Metroid (Japanese: メトロイド Hepburn: Metoroido?) is a science fiction action-adventure video game series created by Nintendo. The series is primarily produced by the company’s first-party developers, although some installments were handled by other developers, including Fuse Games, Team Ninja, and Next Level Games.
The series chronicles the missions of space-faring bounty hunter Samus Aran, who protects the galaxy from the depredations of the Space Pirates and their attempts to harness the power of the eponymous Metroids. Metroid combines the platforming of Super Mario Bros. and the exploration aspect of The Legend of Zelda with a decidedly darker atmosphere and a greater emphasis on nonlinear gameplay.
The series consists of eleven games that were released on almost every Nintendo video game console. It is one of Nintendo’s most successful franchises, and the games have received varying levels of critical acclaim. As of September 2012, the Metroid series sold over 17.44 million copies. The series has been represented in other Nintendo media, including the Super Smash Bros. series. Additional media for the Metroid series has also been released, including soundtracks, comic books and manga adaptations.
Samus Aran is an ex-soldier of the Galactic Federation who turned into a galactic bounty hunter, usually fitted with a powered exoskeleton that is equipped with weapons such as directed-energy weapons and missiles. Throughout the series, she executes missions given to her by the Galactic Federation while hunting the antagonistic Space Pirates and their leader Ridley, along with the parasitic energy-draining organisms called Metroids.
Samus has appeared in every Metroid video game and has also been featured in media outside of the series, including in the Super Smash Bros. series and in the comic book version of Captain N: The Game Master. She is well known as one of the earliest female protagonists in video game history and has remained a popular character over a quarter-century after her first appearance.