Thursday, December 13, 2007

Samus Unwrapped... so to speak

Ah, the "Justin Bailey" code to Metroid. When we find out that Samus Aran was actually a hot lookin' girl.

So today I was browsing through a webcomic favorite of mine (Dueling Analogs) and I came across today's comic...

I began to wonder about the "hot girl" images you can find in the games (being the dirty old man I am) and so began to look for the elusive images for this babely video game figure's figure.

The Nintendo Famicom (the Japanese NES) had Metroid as a disk game. Yes, the whole game was on a floppy disk. So the elusive "Justin Bailey" code was ONLY in import games that didn't use a save-state as the disk did.

What is the Justin Bailey code? The Nintendo Famicom (the Japanese NES) released Metroid as a "floppy" disk game. Yes, the whole game was on a floppy disk. So the elusive "Justin Bailey" code was ONLY in non-Japanese games that didn't use a save-state as the disk did.

Who was Justin? Well nobody really knows for sure... it might be a fluke of the password code process, it might be a reference to an actual person... nobody really knows, and Nintendo ain't talking. All we know is that if you input the code, you get to play Samus in a purple leotard.

Well after this code there is another rumor that if you play fast enough and long enough into the game, she continues to remove clothing. This is a falsehood... especially with Nintendo of America's staunch conservative beliefs. I'm actually surprised that the leotard got through.

Now the endings were even special as well. This was quite the stretch again for Nintendo of America. Nintendo of Japan wouldn't have minded at all, but Japan is a completely different monster when it comes to showing skin. The first is for beating the game in under three hours. The second image for beating it in under 1 hour.

The sequel that came out on the Gameboy handheld system even threw it's shoe into the fray with its own "special" ending.

The Metroid go into the Super Nintendo realm kept the cheesecake factor as Samus, once again, would show some "skin" if you went through the game under three hours. She actually changes very fast and such work for under 3 seconds worth of virtual sexiness is a bit too much even for this dirty man.


With the Gameboy Advance system, Metroid Fusion (a very fun game if I may say so myself) went even further offering MANY different shots depending on how fast you completed the game. The main shot would stay the same, but the scan still-shot would be different. The main shot was the tight suit:

And if you beat the HARD MODE then you got these (with a special America only image shown last here):

WOW What a lot of images to put into a game! Those wacky... dirty... old men!

The second Gameboy Advance game featured even more sleek pics and the first inclusion of the now infamous Zero-Suit. Once again, the main picture was the same:

With the rest of the scroll-shots being different. You even got a gallery at the end to view them:

You can see how Samus has become a "cheesecake" icon while keeping her bad-ass-fighter demeanor.

The GameCube and Wii versions have taken out this semi-erotic feature. So now, they just show Samus changing into her Zero-Suit, but not in a sexy way. Why? I think they now are focusing on enjoying the game as much as possible and trying not to deal with people speeding through it to see a hot girl in a tiny swimsuit. It quickly becomes cliche, and a "Yawn, oh well" gimmick. That's my theory anyway. Take the endings from Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2, and Metroid Prime 3 and you'll catch my drift.

To me, METROID features Samus Aran in one of the rare instances where a powerful female character in video games keeps her femininity intact without being too overtly sexual. She is comfortable in her skin while not showing too much skin... especially as the games progressed.

Sure there are inevitably hentai and dojinshi comics that contradict this, but I believe that Nintendo has done well to keep her strength and beauty together in a non-degrading way. Unlike Laura Croft who from the game-get-go shows way too much T&A for a strong female character to show, Samus only gives you a PG glimpse and only to those who prove themselves "worthy".

Thanks to Wikipedia, Metroid Database, and Video Game Museum for the images borrowed.