Years before the introduction of 3D gaming, the original action heroine was already ripping up the rule book and blasting her way into history. The Metroid series has given us over twenty years of girl power and the series has sold over 15 million games, thanks to its female bounty hunter star, Samus Aran.

In the mid-1980s, a young game designer called Shigeru Miyamoto was busy revolutionising the industry with Mario and a young adventurer named Link. But while he created these masterpieces, Yoshio Sakamoto and the legendary R&D1 team at Nintendo were working on one of the most ambitious projects ever seen.

Set in the depths of space their latest creation was the first real non-linear home console game as well as one of the most atmospheric titles the industry had ever seen. What’s more, R&D1 took the bold step of making the game’s main star female! In the years since the original title Samus has starred in a series of Metroid games as well as featuring in other well-known Nintendo titles like Super Smash Bros.

Samus Aran is not your usual helpless videogame heroine, nor is she a typical scantily-dressed female star. Our heroine is clad head to foot in a Power Suit, complete with helmet to disguise her identity. In fact, in the original title, Metroid, released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986, players didn’t even realise Samus was female until the ending when she removes her helmet. In the latest titles this sense of mystery is maintained with only the slightest hints such as reflections of the character’s face in the helmet visor giving her identity away.

One of the things that have made the Metroid series so famous is the atmospheric nature of the games. Samus often finds herself alone on a hostile planet with no help aside from clues she gathers and items she manages to uncover. The original Metroid game gave players a sense of enormous foreboding and all its sequels have managed to capture a similar feeling as Samus battled against insurmountable odds.

Unlike first person shooters where players spend most of their time blasting waves of enemies, Metroid has a greater emphasis on adventure. There are vast, desolate areas to be explored and clues to be uncovered as well as intense firefights to be won.

The Metroid series takes its name from one of Samus’s main adversaries, a species of lethal jellyfish-like creatures called Metroids. These creatures feature in each game along with an army of hostile Space Pirates bent on using these lethal organisms to help them take over the universe.

Now, you should prepare yourself for a Metroid adventure like no other as stunning action, cinematic cut scenes and an enthrallingly personal story come together unforgettably in Metroid: Other M, launching across Europe for Wii on 3rd September 2010.

Samus Aran takes centre stage in this unprecedented collaboration, blending the slick, action-packed production of the Team NINJA development team with the game design talents of the original Metroid’s creators.

And for the first time in a Metroid game, you will seamlessly switch between third-person and first-person gameplay, exploring and fighting in third-person but able at any time to look through Samus’s eyes by simply pointing the Wii Remote at the screen.

With a host of new moves and weapons to be unleashed and a deep and engaging back story to the character, waiting to be uncovered, Metroid: Other M is the latest adventure for this seminal character. Amidst all the new features, however, the development team have not forgotten what makes Metroid games so immersive and memorable: atmosphere, exploration and a truly great story. In Metroid: Other M you’ll find yourself drawn into a deeply personal story that finally tells Samus’ own tale, revealing her failings, her flaws and ultimately her motivation for being a Bounty Hunter.

The story begins immediately following the events of Super Metroid, when a baby Metroid gave its life to protect Samus and with more than an hour and a half of beautifully rendered cut-scenes in total throughout the game, Metroid: Other M is not simply fun to play but also exciting to watch. This is a dramatic new direction for a legendary franchise and a bold new blend of cinematics, storytelling and stylish, no-holds-barred action. Charge up your Beam, arm your Bombs and get ready to scan your environment for a copy of Metroid: Other M when it launches across Europe for Wii on 3rd September 2010.

The Metroid story and timeline (in order of in-game timeline):

Metroid – (1986) Nintendo Entertainment System
Samus battles her way across the planet Zebes to prevent the Space Pirates from using a hostile species called Metroids to conquer the galaxy. Our heroine comes face to face with the leader of the Space Pirates, Mother Brain, for the first time.

Metroid: Zero Mission – (2004) Game Boy Advance
This is an updated and enhanced remake of the original story, partly taking place at the same time as the Nintendo Entertainment System Metroid but with a whole new section of storyline taking place after the events in the original Metroid.

Metroid II : The Return of Samus – (1991) Game Boy
Following her previous adventures, the Galactic Federation decides the Metroids are too dangerous to be allowed to live and dispatch their best bounty hunter, Samus to their home world SR388 to exterminate the entire species. After killing every Metroid Samus finds one last egg; the Metroid hatches and adopts Samus as its parent. Samus saves this creature and hands it over to the GF to study.

Super Metroid – (1994) Super Nintendo
Samus receives a distress signal from the lab where she left the last remaining Metroid. It has been stolen by the Space Pirates and she must once again journey to Zebes to destroy the newly rebuilt base and foil their plot to clone the Metroid.

Metroid: Other M – (2010) Wii
The story begins in the middle of the events of Super Metroid, when a baby Metroid gave its life to protect Samus. With voice acting and a rich story, players learn more about Samus’ past as she weaves through an action-packed adventure aboard the Bottle Ship, a decommissioned space facility. As she hurtles into this new adventure, Samus encounters her first mentor and Commanding Officer of the Galactic Federation, Adam Malkovich.

Metroid Fusion – (2002) Game Boy Advance
While acting as a bodyguard for researchers on SR388 after the extermination of the Metroid race, Samus is infected by a parasite. As the station is infected our heroine must find a way to stop the X Parasites.

Metroid Prime Series (in order of in-game timeline):
The Metroid Prime series is a separate collection of games featuring Samus Aran which has a different concept and game design to Metroid games.

Metroid Prime – (2002) Nintendo GameCube
After receiving a mysterious distress signal, Samus discovers a Space Pirate ship drifting in orbit around the planet Tallon IV. There Samus finds evidence of experiments on an unknown energy source called Phazon before following Meta Ridley down to the surface of Tallon IV after it escaped from the ship. Samus heeds the Chozo prophecies and stands alone against the Space Pirates and their plans of using the Phazon.

Metroid Prime Pinball – (2005) Nintendo DS
This game tells the same story as Metroid Prime in pinball format so fits into the timeline in the same place.

Metroid Prime: Hunters – (2006) Nintendo DS
A telepathic message is sent from the Alimbic Cluster, where a race called Alimbics once ruled, claiming that the secret to ultimate power was there and the Galactic Federation sends Samus to investigate. However, 6 other bounty hunters, in addition to Samus, also follow the message and head to the Alimbic Cluster. The fight between Samus and the 6 bounty hunters over the Octoliths, the keys to the ultimate power, is about to begin.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes – (2004) Nintendo GameCube
During the pursuit of a Space Pirates ship, contact is lost with the Galactic Federation Squad Bravo whilst on the planet Aether. Samus receives a request from the Federation and heads to Aether. However, following the impact of a Phazon meteorite the planet had been split into two overlapping dimensions, Light Aether and Dark Aether.

Samus accepts the request of the Luminoth who live on Light Aether and decides to fight the Ing who are trying to destroy them from Dark Aether. However, Dark Samus, a corrupted copy of Samus herself stands in her way. Will Samus be able to come out on top in a fierce 4 way battle with the Ing, Dark Samus and the Space Pirates and so save Aether and the Luminoth?

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption – (2007) Wii
Aurora Units, the core of the Galactic Federation’s network system are infected by a virus one after another, bringing down the Federation’s network. Just at that moment the Space Pirates launch a full scale attack against the Federation, with Dark Samus, who was thought to have been defeated by Samus, leading them. In order to stop Dark Samus’s plan of controlling the planet Phaaze and using Phazon seeds to corrupt the entire galaxy, the Federation gather together Samus and 3 other Bounty Hunters.

However, Samus and the others are infected by Phazon during Dark Samus’s initial attack and as time passes, one by one they become corrupted by the Phazon and fall under the control of Dark Samus. Samus’s time is running short too. She puts everything on the line in order to save the galaxy and faces her final battle against Dark Samus on the planet Phaaze.

Key characters in the Metroid series:

Samus Aran
First Appearance: Metroid
The female star of the series. Samus is a bounty hunter and is equipped with arm-mounted cannon, a high-tech Power Suit and the ability to transform into a ball (Morph Ball) to access small areas.

First Appearance: Metroid
Originally created as a biological weapon by the ancient Chozo to combat X Parasites these jellyfish like creatures soon turned on their creators and all but wiped out the Chozo on SR388. Metroids drain life energy from their prey using sharp mandibles and are known to mutate into other strains based on their surroundings. As they absorb more energy Metroids evolve into larger and more dangerous forms.

First Appearance: Metroid
This technologically advanced ancient civilization colonized much of the known universe 1500 years before the first Metroid game. Now they have withdrawn and all that remains are ancient ruins filled with high-tech equipment. Samus was raised by remnants of the Chozo and her famous Power Suit is of their creation.

Space Pirates
First Appearance: Metroid
The Space Pirates are a violent and sinister race that first appeared just after the founding of the Galactic Federation. They carry out violent raids across the galaxy and are directly involved in the plots of most games in the Metroid series.

First Appearance: Metroid
One of the highest-ranking Space Pirates is a sentient dragon called Ridley. This creature is a reoccurring enemy in the Metroid series and is the nemesis of our heroine. He is thought to be responsible for the death of Samus’ parents while she was still a child resulting in her upbringing by the Chozo.

First Appearance: Metroid
Another reoccurring boss in the Metroid series is a huge reptile known as Kraid, one of the highest-ranking Space Pirates. In the original title this character and Ridley served as the two guardians of Mother Brain. Kraid made a comeback in Super Metroid.

Mother Brain
First Appearance: Metroid
This bio-chemical supercomputer resembles a giant cybernetic brain in a
glass tube. Often referred to as the leader of the Space Pirates, Samus
first encounters Mother Brain at the end of the original Metroid game

Dark Samus
First Appearance: Metroid Prime
Dark Samus only appears in the Metroid Prime series. Moments before being finally defeated by Samus, Metroid Prime absorbed Samus’s DNA, allowing Dark Samus to be recreated from Metroid Prime’s cells based on that DNA. In order to become stronger Dark Samus heads to Aether in search of Phazon and comes up against Samus in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

Dark Samus appeared to be defeated by Samus, but comes back in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption thanks to the Phazon energy collected by the Space Pirates and once again stands in the way of Samus and the Galactic Federation. Dark Samus learns how to corrupt others with Phazon and so control them and, with control of Space Pirates and Bounty Hunters, plans the conquest of the Federation. Dark Samus is finally destroyed by Samus along with the planet Phaaze, the source of Phazon.