Orphaned during a Space Pirate raid on her home of K-2L, Samus was adopted by the mysterious Chozo and taken to Zebes where she was infused with their DNA and raised to become a warrior. Once she reached adulthood, Samus joined the Federation Police where she served under the Commanding Officer Adam Malkovich, but she ultimately left to become a bounty hunter, though she was nonetheless recruited by the Galactic Federation on many occasions. Armed in her cybernetic Power Suit, Samus has become famous for her accomplishments on missions others thought impossible. Her most renowned achievements are the destruction of the Space Pirate base on Zebes, her role in ending the Galactic Phazon crisis, her extermination of the Metroid species, and her disobedience of orders at the BSL station where she chose to destroy the deadly X Parasites rather than turn them over to the Galactic Federation.
Samus broke ground early in the gaming world in the 1986 game Metroid, her first appearance. Originally players were under the impression that Samus was a male, as even the instruction booklet confirmed this. However, completing Metroid under an hour revealed Samus to be a young athletic woman. Although Samus wears the Power Suit throughout most of the Metroid series, it has become a tradition to depict her in much more revealing attire at the end of each game, often as a reward for satisfying certain conditions such as completing the game quickly or with a high percentage of the game’s items collected or even both.
Personality and portrayalEdit
Samus's personality has never been detailed in-depth within the context of the games, a conscious decision by Nintendo to help the player imagine themselves better as the in-game character, as well as allowing them to imagine Samus's personality and backstory in any way they wish. However, Metroid Fusion, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and Metroid: Other M are perhaps the most notable games in the series to give of a glimpse of Samus' personality, as well as other media formats such as comics and manga. Typically, Samus is depicted as a Byronic hero, who despite her great achievements, is deep down very lonely and brooding, and seeks revenge against the Space Pirates, especially Ridley, who is personally responsible for the death of her parents. Samus is known to have been inspired by Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley from the Alien series. However, unlike Ripley, Samus is never shown to be traumatized by the Metroids she faces on her various missions. She was, however, petrified when she encountered Ridley in the manga, where she is seen to suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. This affliction surfaced again when she discovered Ridley in Metroid: Other M to the point that she could barely communicate; she could not regain her composure until Anthony Higgs was thought to be killed while trying to defend her. This portrayal, as well as other parts of her personailty revealed in Other M, were criticised by the general fanbase because they portray her as weaker and more unstable or afraid than previous games, creating a persona that is the polar opposite of the general image most fans have of Samus based on her previous appearances and the brief insights into her thoughts and past.
In licensed Metroid material outside of the games, Samus’s personality is largely left up to the writer in question. As a result, her personality has varied considerably between major publications. The 2002 manga depicts her as suffering from childhood trauma and often thinking heavily about her role and the role of the Pirates. In the Captain N: The Game Master comics, Samus is depicted as brash and money-hungry (as just about any bounty hunter would be), though she is willing to compete fairly with Princess Lana for the protagonist Kevin Keene’s feelings. In the Nintendo Comics System series, Samus unusually has a Southern accent, and commonly uses phrases like "pardner."  She also seems to like a presumably alcoholic beverage called Comet Grog. In Metroid II, Samus bonds with a Metroid who was born in front of her eyes, and decides to spare it, seeing her three-year-old self during the attack on K-2L. It later sacrifices itself at the end of Super Metroid to save Samus, leaving her heartbroken as shown in Metroid: Other M. Her relationship with the Metroid, called "the Baby" by her, is comparable to Ripley's relationship with a surviving LV-426 colonist named Rebecca "Newt" Jorden. Like the Baby, Newt dies in the sequel, Alien3, and just like Samus, Ripley feels guilt over her death.
Samus’s lack of defined personality is largely due to the fact that, aside from opening narrations, she has never had a speaking role except in Metroid: Other M. Prior to Metroid: Other M her voice would be represented by text at the beginning narration, as well as throughout Metroid Fusion. Her character depicted in Metroid Fusion, though mostly well received, did garner some criticism from gamers for its depiction of Samus, who they felt should have been better left to their imagination.
While Samus does not have royal heritage in any of the games, she was depicted as the queen of Garbage World in A King of Shreds and Patches in Captain N, and Anthony Higgs gives her the nickname "Princess" in Metroid: Other M (although in concept artwork James Pierce says "Heey, Princess!" likely referring to Samus). Non-canonically, she is also depicted sitting on the throne in the King Conan Diorama in Corruption. This would seem to indicate that she became an empress to the Reptilicus, although this is never depicted ingame.
The Fusion manual seems to indicate that Samus keeps a journal.
Samus' age has also never been revealed, with the Japanese Prime site even stating that her age is unknown. Other M concept art reveals that in her early years of around the time of the K-2L attack, that she is "4-6 years old", contradicting early media saying it happened when she was three, and in her Federation military period, she is "15-17 years old".
Samus Aran is a Human. She is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 198 pounds (this may or may not include her armor). Her hair color is blond, her eye color is blue and she appears to be Caucasian. Samus wears her hair in a ponytail, except for two locks on either side of her head, a hairstyle that is distinctive to her. Samus’s appearance has varied between games. In the original Metroid, her hair was brown, though it would turn green once the player acquired the Varia Suit. If Metroid II: Return of Samus was played with a Super Game Boy, Game Boy Player or Game Boy Advance, her hair would be colored red. It wasn't until Super Metroid that she officially became blond, although the comic colored her hair purple.
Samus’s signature hairstyle first debuted in Metroid Zero Mission, and has been met with both positive and negative critical reception. This hairstyle has been present in every Metroid game released since. The only exception is Metroid Prime Hunters which, though it retained Samus’s ponytail, was missing the two locks of hair on each side of her head. Previously, Samus had been depicted with a ponytail in Metroid Prime and (briefly) at the end of Metroid II and Super Metroid.
Samus’s face structure has also varied between games. Metroid II, Super Metroid, and Metroid Fusion gave her a wider face and larger eyes than later incarnations. In Metroid Prime, her jaw was squarer, her eyes were more deep-set, and her lips were more defined. Zero Mission gave her higher cheekbones and a thinner face than previous installments, and that template has been the basis for every game since. Echoes’s incarnation is possibly the most critically panned appearance of Samus, due to the in-game model suffering from the uncanny valley. Prime Hunters, on the other hand, is currently the most positively received incarnation of Samus. This game gave Samus a face that appeared to be a fusion of Zero Mission’s and Prime’s depiction. Samus retained the deep-set eyes, traditional ponytail, and fuller face from Prime, but also had Zero Mission’s higher cheekbones. Corruption’s is closer to that is Zero Mission, with a thinner, more anime styled face. A common misconception is that this is the same game-model used for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. However, the two games were developed separately and the Brawl model of Samus shows many notable differences from Corruption’s model. Samus’s appearance in Brawl appears to be a Zero Mission incarnation.
On the other hand, Metroid: Other M is perhaps the largest change Samus has ever had to her appearance since Zero Mission, as she is depicted for the first time with short hair, green eyes and an Asian appearance. While her adult appearance still gives her a ponytail, the two locks on either side of her head have been heavily reduced in size, her bangs have been altered and her ponytail has been moved to the nape of the neck. She also has the beauty mark that Yoshio Sakamoto alluded to in the Super Metroid developer interview, under the left side of her lip. Before the credits, Samus is briefly depicted with her hair down, the first instance of this in 3-D. With her hair down, she has locks of hair hanging over her shoulders. After Anthony steps in, the lock over her right shoulder is no longer there. She then ties her hair back into her ponytail, mirroring the scenes in Metroid II and Super Metroid where she unties the ponytail. A development screenshot pictured her young appearance with black hair.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Samus Aran’s infusion with Chozo DNA, as well as her warrior training since her childhood, has turned Samus in a superior athelete. Her training began at the age of 3 and continued up until she was 14 years old. As a result of the Chozo’s influence, Samus is capable of running and jumping heights far past normal human ability, as well as surviving falls that would otherwise kill an ordinary human. Samus is also more adaptive to foreign alien environments that humans cannot survive in. For example, she was able to breathe normally without her Power Suit on Elysia, despite the atmosphere being toxic to humans, though this is due to her alien DNA infusions. While Samus does not exhibit any powers that humans do not naturally have (except for the aforementioned capability of surviving in alien environments), all of the normal human limits have been exceeded to the max.
Samus also demonstrates good sharpshooting skills. She is an excellent marksman, with incredible aim, and is tremendously deadly in combat. She exhibits prodigious puzzle-solving and hacking skills. She also possess a limber figure that allows her to crawl through tunnels and gaps that would normally require usage of the Morph Ball. All of these are, of course, augmented further by her Power Suit. If need be, Samus will engage in physical combat, often using kicks and wrestling tactics to weaken her foe for a point-blank shot. The extent of Samus’ training after she joined the Federation Police is currently unknown, but it is clear that the Federation has made one major augmentation to her abilities: her infusion with Metroid DNA. This infusion was done in a last-ditch attempt to save her life after she was infected with the X Parasite, and thus it was not completely known at the time what the side effects would be. As a result of the infusion, Samus gained immunity to X Parasites, but also inherited the Metroid’s crippling weakness to cold, though this disability is canceled out with a later Varia Suit upgrade. She does not seem to have inherited their ability to float, and still relies on the Space Jump to do so. It is currently unknown whether Samus has inherited the Metroid’s signature ability to leech life energy from other lifeforms, aside from the well-documented X Parasites, though this is likely to be resolved in any sequels taking place after Metroid Fusion.
Samus’ most notable piece of equipment is, of course, her Power Suit, which has become virtually synonymous with her own identity. This suit was given to her when she first began living with the Chozo, and was built to be fused with her mind, body, and soul. The original Power Suit was destroyed when Samus crash-landed on Zebes after an ambush by Space Pirates, but her duel with the Ruins Test gave her a new, upgraded suit, which is able to absorb dozens of upgrades of alien origin. The Power Suit's main purpose is to protect her from adverse environments and enemy fire. The suit itself can be upgraded to dozens of other forms, each with its own different advantages. While some suits are stronger than others and have different abilities, they all maintain the same basic shape and usage. Beneath the Power Suit, Samus wears a skin-tight body suit known as the Zero Suit. Because of its negligible weight, this suit allows Samus to perform at top physical performance level, and gives some, albeit weak, protection from enemy fire. She also owns a pistol known as the Paralyzer, which auto-charges to fire stunning shots, though unfortunately, it has no lethal capacity.
For transportation, Samus uses her Gunship, which usually resembles her helmet. She has owned a single Gunship that has been with her since her very first Zero Mission and remained in her possession until its destruction in Metroid Fusion. It is a Hunter-class starship made especially for her by the Galactic Federation on Aliehs III. Two other gunships are also shown in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Metroid Fusion.