Metroid Prime was worth the wait, and more on me being an idiot

It’s June 1st, and I’m kinda freaking out about the whole wedding thing.  Yeah, it’s happening…soon…so very soon.  Dear readers, I have no idea how posting is going to go this month since I’ll be away for part of it.  And especially since I’m currently running on the brain power of a cream-filled doughnut.  I’m going to try to aim for one post a week.  Apologies in advance for bad grammar, incomplete thoughts, and/or incoherent ramblings.  

And with that, let us commence…


In the whole tiny slew of games that I have played, I don’t think a single one came with the incredible anticipation I felt awaiting the release of Metroid Prime (2002).

Metroid Prime cover art © Retro Studios and Nintendo (source)

As much as we loved our Nintendo 64, we were terribly intrigued by the little box Nintendo released in 2001 as its N64 follow-up.  The Gamecube…well…it was little, compact, and cute! And it was purple, and it came with a purple controller! And it was a new controller with better placed buttons!  And the system used these “new” little things called mini-DVDs!  I mean, how could we pass it up?  How could any Nintendo fan not want one?!  The whole  system felt like such a step up from Nintendo’s cartridge consoles – and it was mostly.  The graphics were better, gone was the “just blow on it” method to make cartridges work, and the mini-DVDs just seemed extra-cool compared to the regular-sized disc consoles.  The Gamecube was a good thing.  Did we also know it was going to be an oh so short-lived thing at the time?  Of course not!  That was called “living in the moment.”

But best of all, it promised some great games – we saw them on the TV and in the magazines.  Super Monkey Ball, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and Luigi’s Mansion, and so forth.  On my to-buy list went Super Mario Sunshine and Metroid Prime, because of course.  Prime promised to reinvent Samus and her world in many, many, many more pretty pixels and in 3D!  Oh, it was do die for.  And it suuuuuuucked having to wait.  Sure I’ve been excited about games before, stood in lines for pre-orders and pick-ups, but Metroid Prime was different.

We got our Gamecube…at Christmas 2001?  It might have been after the holiday, but it was definitely late 2001 or early 2002.  And the first game we got for it was Super Monkey Ball (more on that later).  We managed until the release of Super Mario Sunshine (more on that later too), and then I waited even more until the end of 2002 and happiest of happy days, the release of Metroid Prime.  It was after Thanksgiving 2002 that I finally got my twitching hands on Metroid Prime.  Between the time we had obtained the Gamecube and I got Prime, we had moved to California.  So I was ready to play anything.  I was so ready to revisit Samus, see what she had been up to, and save the world (whatever world she was on).  Mind you, I was still in my non-1st-person shooter mode, but, at the risk of repeating the repetitive, it was Metroid Prime for chrissakes!!  So screw my terrible notions about gaming perspective, it was Game. On.

Blast away Samus. It’s your god-given duty. (source)

The bulk of Prime took place on a planet called Tallon IV and involved more Samus chasing after space pirates and Ridley (“Meta Ridley” this time round), but the game began on an abandoned ship.  I was mesmerized by the crazy location, what with space being in the background an all.  It felt like one move in the wrong direction meant certain death, and the ship was full of suspense and dark corners.  I spent way too much time generally tooling around the ship.  Samus was meant to fight, but I was perfectly happy exploring.  And I explored myself out until I got to the ship’s primary boss.  I won’t spoil anything here but the fact of the matter is that boss sucked.

I’ve paid my dues during boss battles (by far my least favorite being M. Bison), but this Prime boss battle made me infinitely unhappy.

Yet, I tried…

And I tried….

And I tried again.

But for whatever terrible reason, the video game gods had deemed me incapable of progressing in Metroid Prime beyond the first boss battle.

And to that I said “Phooey on you!”

No, I didn’t really.  But it took me a 1-2 months of on and off play to finally, one fine California winter day, put on my big-girl pants and declare that I was going to beat that boss!!

Run, Samus, Run! (source)

And I did beat it.  (Like a boss, ha ha.) And a celebratory dance in front my my bemused cat followed.  I regaled my fiancé with the grand story of the battle and my triumph.  There were huzzahs and flourishes celebrating my name in throughout the kingdom!

“So how’s the rest of the game?” he asked plainly in the midst of my joyous mood.

“Oh, well…uh…”I stammered, not expecting anything less than him shouting my name from the mountaintops, “I don’t know. I didn’t actually continue playing.”

“Hmm.  Let me know how the rest of the game is cause I haven’t played yet,” he casually stated as he proceeded to set up a Playstation jam session with friends.

“Um. Okay.” Way to bum me out, dude.

And then the joy quickly flooded from my brain and left me with a headache.  Yeah, there was a whole rest of the game to deal with.  And imagine, I thought, how incredibly crazy it’s going to be if that one boss was that difficult. UGH.

But it’s okay, I thought, because it’s Metroid.  Samus and me, we’re buddies – I look out for her and she looks out for me.

It took me a couple days to get back to the game, but I was psyched to keep pace with Samus.  I loaded my game and waited.

And then……

Up popped the screen showing the game at the last save point before that terrible boss.

I had forgotten to save.



If there’s a number one rule of gaming, it’s save. Save. Save. Every goddamn chance you get, SAVE.  You know it.  I know it.

I sat staring at the screen in utter disbelief.  I cycled back to reload the game and the same screen popped up.  During my previous fit of rapture, I had simply forgotten to get to the next save point.  I…I just just didn’t believe it.  And that is why I failed.  Failed so very hard.

I had to put the game away.

And I couldn’t go back to it.

I think I will now actually curl up into a ball and die. (source)

In retrospect, I was a wuss for turning my back on Samus and the Prime series, but at that moment of sheer anger at myself for being such a giant dumbass, it was all I could do to not set myself and the Gamecube and the house on fire.  I know recent Metroid games have been pretty decent, but I still can’t bring myself to play a single one. Even re-reading all the great, wonderful, fantastic reviews for and blogs about Metroid Prime brings forth nothing but this silly story and utter bitterness.

I guess Samus and I weren’t best buds after all.  At least in the three dimensional universe.  We did get along smashingly on the DS and continue to on the Wii.


  1. […] Long story short, with nothing less than immense thrill and glee, I picked up Metroid Prime when it was released. I choked on and fought through my dislike of first-person perspective gaming to carry on with Samus and her adventures on Tallon IV. It felt like it took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to reach just the first boss. I had a terrible time trying to beat it — took a couple months at least. Then one day I finally beat the thing and opted, like a big dummy, to celebrate my victory by forgetting to save after the boss. When I went back to play again, it picked up from just before that awful boss battle. The rage and humiliation I felt were so intense, I simply could not play.  In a fit of almost-tears, I turned off the Gamecube and didn’t look back. […]


  2. NOOOO!!!! … NOOOOO!!!! How terrible! I used to have trouble with the Metroid Prime games, too. In Metroid Prime 1, on my first time through, I would often get stuck at bosses, take a break for a few months, then try again. I could not beat the Elite Pirate, then I couldn’t beat the final boss. (I think the first boss was hard for me, too.) Then, in Metroid Prime 2, I had tons of trouble with bosses in this one, too. This underwater one (I despise that one). This moth thingy. I actually couldn’t beat the game for a while. I tried again years later and finally beat it. Phew. Metroid Prime 2 is definitely the hardest. I didn’t have much trouble with Metroid Prime 3, luckily. That one may’ve been the easiest (plus the most fun, due to the motion). I bet you can beat it if you try again. Just take deep breaths before.
    I, too, am buddies with Samus. And I used to dream sometimes that I was Samus, but then I was sad when I woke up because I wasn’t awesome anymore. They were extremely nerdy dreams, I think.


    • It is terrible, right? Never had I felt so awful about giving up on a game. After writing this post, I *almost* went to Amazon to buy another copy of the game, just because; but I didn’t. Too much on my mind right now. But I know it’s a series worth revisiting. Keep dreaming the dream! Inside, we are all Samus. (In a good way, not in a gross, alien-bursting-through-the-stomach way.)


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