game Cover
game cartridge
©1986 Nintendo
Release: 1986-08-06 (¥2600)
DiskCard FMC-MET
Action / platform game

American Version American Version
American Version
Released in America
on cartridge as METROID

European Version European Version
European Version
Released in Europe
on cartridge as METROID

Metroid is an action/platform game and is the first installment of Nintendo's classic and Alien-influenced series. In a distant future, Space Pirates wreak havoc to the galaxy, relentlessly attacking ships from the Galactic Federation. Unable to prevent the attacks, the Federation decides to gather bounty hunters (called 'Space Hunters' in this version) to counter the threat. But now space pirates have attacked a research facility and stolen an unknown life-form (that the scientist named 'Metroid') recently found on planet SR388 before it could be safely brought back to Earth. The federation must now send a space hunter to infiltrate the pirate headquarters hidden on planet Zebes and stop them before they turn the Metroids into deadly weapons. The bounty hunter Samus Aran, the female protagonist of the game, accepts the mission and she has now to travel deep inside the enemy underground fortress, through five vast areas built around complex networks of caves and rooms. Her primary task is to defeat the space pirates and all the aliens she faces, up to the toughest of them all - the monstrous Mother Brain. Although Samus can jump and fire a simple Arm Cannon, the first upgrade she collects is the Maru Mari, most commonly known as the Metroid trademark morph ball, which gives her the incredible ability to roll into a ball and to rush through narrow corridors and tunnels. But the morph ball is only the tip of the iceberg and countless other weapons and abilities are available for the taking later in the game, such as missiles, morph ball bombs, ice beam, wave beam, high jump boots, increased defense, energy tanks (which increase her maximum life) and so forth. Zebes is incredibly vast but unlike other games in the series, this first episode of Metroid doesn't feature a map (dedicated players had to draw their own). Finally, the Famicom Disk version includes a three slots savegame system.
SuperMetroid (Sfc)
screen shot screen shot
screen shot screen shot
screen shot screen shot
See SuperMetroid (Sfc) for more information about then Metroid series.

Metroid was only released on disk in Japan (unlike the rest of the world where is was released in cartridge format). The greatest difference between the two versions is the saving option. Instead of writing down a password, Japanese players could save their progress in one of the three available save slots on the disk. Another interesting element present in this version (and never included in the cartridge game) are the creepy sound effects that some of the Metroids do. Thanks to the improved sound chip integrated with the Famicom Disk System, some of them sound much more organic than the electronic 'beeps' from the cartridge version.

Teaser text from the American version (grey version):
It's you against the evil Mother Brain in the thrilling battle of Metroid!
You're inside the fortress planet Zebes. The planet of endless secret passageways where the Metroid are multiplying. Left alone the Metroid are harmless. But in the wrong hands they could destroy the galaxy. It's up to you to prevent the Mother Brain that controls Zebes from using the Metroid for evil purposes. But that won't be easy. You'll have to use of power items like the Ice Beam, Wave Beam, High Jump Boots and Varia. If you survive, it will be you and your acquired powers against the Mother Brain.

Teaser text from the American version (yellow version):
It's you against the evil Mother Brain in a thrilling battle!
More than a million courageous players have joined Samus Aran in the desperate fight against the alien Metroids. The demand for further adventures resulted in a hit Game Boy title. Now the original is back... and so is the Metroid menace!
You're inside the planet Zebes, a fortress of endless passageways where the Metroids are multiplying. Left alone, Metroids are merely dangerous, but in the wrong hands they could destroy the galaxy! Unfortunately, the Space Pirates who control Zebes have set up the Mother Brain for just that purpose. It's up to you to thwart their plans, but that won't be easy. You'll have to search out and gain use of power items like the Ice Beam, Wave Beam, High Jump Boots and Varia. If you survive, it will be you and your asquired powers against the Mother Brain.

Game Staff (Copied from the American version end credits) :

Scenario Written by

Character Designed by
New Matsuoka

Music By
Hip Tanaka

Main Programmers
Hai Yukami
Zaru Sobajima
GPZ Sengoku
N. Shiotani
M. Houdai
Special Thanks to
Ken Zuri

Converted by
T. Narihiro

Assisted by
Makoto Kanoh
Directed by

Chief Director
Satoru Okada

Produced by
Gunpei Yokoi


Japanese Guide Book
Japanese GuideBook
Japanese Guide Book
Japanese GuideBook
Japanese Guide Book
Japanese GuideBook
Japanese Adventure Book
Japanese Adventure Book
Japanese Comic
Japanese Comic


Metroid manual Metroid Handbill Metroid commercial
Metroid Adventure Book
Click on picture to enlarge


Add your Pov here !

Metroid has become a video game icon and, let's face it, it totally deserves the honor. Gunpei Yokoi was the creative force behind the game and Metroid is a great achievement indeed. This is one of those games that managed to craft a brilliantly atmospheric world with a flawless gameplay at its core. To me, the non-linear exploration and the uncontrollable drive to find all the items and power-ups hidden within the game are really what fuel the adventure. Unfortunately, I played the first Metroid years and years after finishing Super Metroid for the Super Famicom - and yet, it was sort of a nice way to be introduced to the series, planet Zebes already looked familiar to me and I could fill the gaps of the Famicom version. All in all, Metroid is a true classic and, even to this day, decades after its original release, I still enjoy running around Zebes's intricate underground maze. A timeless masterpiece.

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