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Who is Samus?[]

Nintendo may have the stereotype of being a "kiddy" company, but Samus Aran has helped show that Nintendo has quite the dark side. While the likes of Mario and Link have helped Nintendo fuel its own stereotype, Samus has starred in the most "serious" of all of Nintendo's major series. Even better is the fact that the Metroid series in and of itself is one of the more difficult series in all of gaming.

It all began with a solid Metroid title on the original Nintendo, but the biggest surprise to come from that game was that there was a woman underneath all of that armor. The Metroid series introduced the formula of sticking you the player into a gigantic maze with no hints whatsoever about what to do, but the Metroid game to appear on the Nintendo simply did not have the capability of extending upon this formula to its fullest extent. The game that vaulted Samus, as well as the entire Metroid series, onto the mainstream gaming scene was Super Metroid. Veterans of the series could easily compare Super Metroid to past games in the series, but with the abstract puzzle formula being explored to extents never before seen, even the most loyal of Metroid fans didn't quite know what they were getting into as they progressed through Super Metroid. Nintendo did things in Super Metroid that would shock many people who have stereotyped Nintendo over the past few years. Nintendo starts the game by putting Samus right on the surface of the literal hell that is Planet Zebes, and as the game progresses, Samus is forced to go deeper and deeper into the planet until even Samus herself has no idea of the dangers that lie ahead of her. The configuration of the world around her gets more and more difficult to navigate, and Samus has to constantly cling to every shred of life she has in order to make it through her quest alive.

And that was only the "accepted" way to go through the gigantic maze-like structure that was Super Metroid. Super Metroid took the gaming world by storm, and Samus was in the forefront of the madness. Soon, people starting developing innovative and unintuitive ways to get through the game. Soon, the legend of Super Metroid grew to astronomical heights. People started replaying the game tens and even hundreds of times in order to figure out every shortcut and trick to get through the game as fast as possible. People still do this to this very day, and it only serves to enhance Super Metroid's argument as being one of the greatest games of all time, if not the best game outright. What began as throwing Samus into a maze soon turned into a living legend that may never die.

After the massive success that was Super Metroid, Samus took an extended leave of absence from the gaming scene. Considering the toll that the events of Super Metroid likely took on her, one cannot blame her for taking a break from it all. After an agonizing five year wait for us Samus fans, she made a glorious return, albeit in a fighting game called Super Smash Brothers in which various Nintendo characters were able to beat the holy hell out of each other. It seemed like a fighting game specifically designed to mock fighting games at the time of its release, but Smash Brothers has since become a smash hit in and of itself since then. It wasn't a Metroid title, but it was a game with Samus in it. After waiting for three more years, Samus fans were finally given an early Christmas present in the form of not one, but two Metroid titles. Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion were released on the same day in November of 2002 after eight long years without any Metroid titles released at all.

Metroid Prime had the difficult task of following Super Metroid, but Nintendo took a risk with the game by giving Samus a first person perspective. Despite the possibility of fans not receiving the game well, Nintendo went through with the experiment, and in large part because of this resolve, Nintendo managed to produce yet another legendary game featuring the one and only Samus Aran. No other character in the Nintendo lineup can pull off an adventure title quite like Samus, and even after an eight year absence from the Metroid scene, Metroid Prime was a huge success. For the gamers that never played the game that started the Metroid tradition, all it took was a simple adaptor and both Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion to play the original Metroid from the original Nintendo. The success of Metroid Prime has extended so far that Nintendo has not only released Metroid: Zero Mission, but two more Metroid Prime titles are in the works for Samus. Nintendo has been giving Samus the attention that she has rightfully earned from say one, and she has yet to miss a beat while being one of the biggest mascots for the company.

Samus has been amazing since the day the original Metroid was released, and she has only evolved at an amazing pace since then. Few characters can take an eight year break from their series and have unmatched success when returning to the series, but Samus was able to do so without fail. Her games are amazing, the music within them is amazing, and no matter what is put in front of Samus, she always seems to find a way to extend herself as far as she possibly can in order to complete her mission. Samus is one of the biggest icons in the video game industry right now, and the future is nothing but bright for her.

"The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace..." -Super Metroid

Contest History[]

Win-Loss Record: 38-11

Summer 2002 Contest - West Division - 5 seed

  • Western Round 1 --- Defeated (12) Ken Masters, 40857 [65.31%] - 21698 [34.69%]
  • Western Quarterfinal --- Defeated (4) Ryu, 39293 [57.85%] - 28630 [42.15%]
  • Western Semifinal --- Defeated (1) Sonic the Hedgehog, 41973 [50.02%] - 41939 [49.98%]
  • Western Final --- Lost to (7) Sephiroth, 46047 [47.36%] - 51177 [52.64%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 4th Place [41.07%]


Summer 2003 Contest - North Division - 2 seed

  • Northern Round 1 --- Defeated (15) Isaac, 81123 [75.34%] - 26560 [24.66%]
  • Northern Quarterfinal --- Defeated (7) KOS-MOS, 78948 [69.75%] - 34246 [30.25%]
  • Northern Semifinal --- Defeated (6) Squall, 65582 [58.2%] - 47103 [41.8%]
  • Northern Final --- Lost to (1) Link, 41139 [37.94%] - 67294 [62.06%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 7th Place [36.72%]


Summer 2004 Contest - Chaos Division - 2 seed

  • Chaos Round 1 --- Defeated (15) Lara Croft, 68889 [82.39%] - 14721 [17.61%]
  • Chaos Quarterfinal --- Defeated (7) Sam Fisher, 65809 [80.97%] - 15464 [19.03%]
  • Chaos Semifinal --- Defeated (6) Sora, 57627 [65.85%] - 29880 [34.15%]
  • Chaos Final --- Defeated (1) Sonic the Hedgehog, 48589 [57.51%] - 35897 [42.49%]
  • Final Four --- Lost to (1) Cloud, 41584 [40.99%] - 59867 [59.01%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 4th Place [39.50%]

When Samus first entered the contest, she took everyone by storm. As a 5 seed, Samus blew Ken and Ryu out of the water before squaring off against Sonic the Hedgehog in her legendary showdown. Sonic was expected to win the match with relative ease, but after Sonic spent the first 22 hours of the poll in building a 1500 vote lead, Samus began coming back with the very fury that possesses her every time some dumbassed aliens try to take her down. She opened up the full arsenal of support on Sonic, and after making one of the single fastest comebacks in contest history, Samus managed to hang on by a thread at the very end of the poll, and before anyone knew what had just hit them, Samus had won the match. She lost to Sephiroth in the next round, but not after building a 500 vote lead on him at the beginning of the poll. Samus's mark was forever left on the contest after her run in 2002, and all of this happened before Metroid Prime, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid:Zero Mission ever hit the shelves.

In 2003, we finally got to see what Samus was capable of post Metroid Prime. She failed to break 70% once in 2002, but in 2003, she came damned close to doing it twice. She followed up her two blowouts of Isaac and KOS-MOS by breaking 58% on Squall, a character fresh off of the momentum of two hard-fought victories over Jill Valentine and Luigi. Samus was blown away by Link in the next round, but this created the perfect setup for Samus in 2004. After Samus failed to even come close to breaking 80% in any match in her history, she opened her 2004 campaign on fire. Both Lara Croft and Sam Fisher suffered 80-20 blowouts at the hands of Samus, and she wasn't finished there. She followed up her two blowouts by taking down Sora and Sonic in consecutive matches with ease en route to winning the Chaos Division. She wound up losing to Cloud in the Final Four in 2004, but not after taking the early lead on Cloud in the poll.

Samus has grown stronger with each consecutive year, and she will undoubtedly be a character that no one wants to face in the Summer 2005 Contest. If her growth continues, she may very well be able to give a fight to even Sephiroth. Samus was flat-out scary in 2004, and one can only ponder whether or not she has reached her true potential yet. Samus has Metroid Prime 2 on the way, and Samus also has a Metroid Prime DS demo being packaged with the Nintendo DS itself. Nintendo has dominated the handheld market since its inception, and Samus having a demo packaged with the DS only ensures that she will be an absolute force to be reckoned with in 2005. Another interesting note to think about is that CJayC is currently considering whether or not to take past contest winners out of future contests. For Samus, this means no Cloud or Link. For Samus, this means that two of the three characters that she has lost to could no longer be in her way. For Samus, this could very well mean that only Sephiroth himself would potentially stand in between her and the Summer Contest crown. Considering the exposure yet to come for her, Samus may very well be open to a potential challenge from Sephiroth. She broke 47% on him before Metroid Prime, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid: Zero Mission. Sephiroth may have Kingdom Hearts and Advent Children on his side, but Samus has more than enough going for her to be championship material should Cloud and Link be taken out of the equation.


Summer 2005 Contest - Zebes Division - 1 Seed

  • Zebes Round 1 --- Defeated (8) Yuri Hyuga, 74493 [87.32%] - 10813 [12.68%]
  • Zebes Semifinal --- Defeated (5) Frog, 68106 [70.05%] - 29112 [29.95%]
  • Zebes Final --- Defeated (3) Ganondorf, 53776 [59.66%] - 36363 [40.34%]
  • Elite Eight --- Lost to (1) Mario, 39215 [40.21%] - 58304 [59.79%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 5th Place [38.21%]

Going into this contest, Samus was the statistical favorite to win it all, and she was expected to beat Mario with more than 55% of the vote in the process.

Even now, Samus still bleeds. She was a potential champion after the ease with which she decimated her first two opponents, but the realization of what Mario was in store to do to her set in once Samus was barely able to SFF Ganondorf. And if she could barely SFF Ganondorf, how was she going to hold Mario back?

Short answer: she wasn't. Samus was the victim of one of the biggest board fuck-ups ever, and seeing the board and the vaunted X-Stats scramble all over the place like ants from a flamethrower in a futile effort to justify themselves was quite the joy to watch.

Granted Samus is still a strong character in these contests and I love both her and her games to death, but witnessing the events of her match with Mario was worth seeing her get killed. Though on a more serious note, even after Samus's getting killed by Mario she's still a force in these contests. Some still argue that when she isn't facing Mario, she's still the stronger of the two.


Summer 2006 Contest - Spazer Division - 1 Seed

  • Spazer Round 1 --- Defeated (8) Nidoran F, 95533 [81.85%] - 21180 [18.15%]
  • Spazer Semifinal --- Defeated (4) Ada Wong, 98352 [79.78%] - 24923 [20.22%]
  • Spazer Final --- Defeated (3) Rikku, 85439 [69.00%] - 38387 [31.00%]
  • Elite 8 --- Defeated (1) Tifa, 72773 [50.49%] - 71355 [49.51%]
  • Final Four --- Defeated (1) Zelda, 72890 [55.27%] - 58985 [44.73%]
  • Finals --- Defeated (1) Solid Snake, 67947 [53.11%] - 59987 [46.89%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 1st Place [50.00%]

Battle Royal

  • Battle Royale Day 1 --- Lost to Mario, 12335 [7.74%] - 18473 [11.59%]

Though Samus ended up winning the contest tailor-made for her liking, the Battle Royale proved why some people won't ever take contest champions seriously unless they're in a full bracket. Not only was Samus completely embarrassed in the Battle Royale, but she was very underwhelming once the real competition started in the main bracket as well. Not only was there an inexplicable collapse against Tifa that nearly ended up being the biggest upset of all time, but she only won the final because of Nintendo SFF. A win is a win, but Samus is likely no stronger now than she was after the 2005 contest. Maybe Metroid Prime 3 will help her boost a bit.


Summer 2007 Contest - Division 1 - Third Group

  • Division 1 Round 1 --- 1st place, 70546 [51.75%] - Frog, 25410 [18.64%] - Axel, 25282 [18.55%] - Sarah Kerrigan, 15075 [11.06%]
  • Division 1 Round 2 --- 1st place, 61543 [45.96%] - Scorpion, 32150 [24.01%] - Frog, 23372 [17.45%] - Midna, 16834 [12.57%]
  • Division 1 Finals --- 1st place, 49872 [33.10%] - Mega Man, 45857 [30.43%] - Yoshi, 28823 [19.13%] - Scorpion, 26126 [17.34%]
  • Contest Quarterfinals --- 2nd place, 41623 [28.80%] - Cloud Strife, 59587 [41.23%] - Mega Man, 26641 [18.43%] - Ryu, 16682 [11.54%]
  • Contest Semifinals --- 3rd place, 24078 [16.78%] - Link, 55996 [39.02%] - Cloud Strife, 40836 [28.46%] - Sephiroth, 22582 [15.74%]

Samus had yet another impressive contest run. She plowed through her division, including a solid margin of victory over Mega Man in the divisional finals. She beat him by even more in the contest quarterfinals, though she still fell well short of Cloud. Those Samus fans who believe she can still take Sephiroth took joy in watching her beat him outright in the semifinals. Sure, there was too much SFF to take it at face value (and the contest itself doesn't exactly lend itself to credibility), but Samus still left the door open for future discussion. It might still be a match worth seeing.


Summer 2008 Contest - Division 3 - First Group

Samus Aran looked as amazing as she always does early on. Still winning against tough opponent like Vincent and Crono despite having Nintendo characters in the same match like Ganondorf and Pikachu. Her final match where she finished fourth was too much to handle with Link and Mario along with her. Crono was able to advance despite being the weakest of the four.


Winter 2010 Contest - Varia Division - 1 Seed

  • Varia Round 1 --- Defeated (16) Prince of Persia, 39941 [78.69%] - 10814 [21.31%]
  • Varia Round 2 --- Defeated (9) Jill Valentine, 35025 [67.525] - 16852 [32.48%]
  • Varia Semifinals --- Defeated (13) Sub-Zero, 34062 [67.31%] - 16543 [32.69%]
  • Varia Finals --- Defeated (10) Zelda, 32292 [63.85%] - 18286 [36.15%]
  • Contest Quarterfinal --- Lost to (1) Cloud Strife, 27999 [47.19%] - 31335 [52.81%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 4th Place [43.85%]

As usual, Samus dominated her division on her way to a rematch with Cloud that hasn't been seen since 2004. It was extremely exciting and close for the most part. For the first four hours, the match stayed within 100 votes and both led for different updates. Something happened after that and Cloud went on a monster run to win by over 3000. Samus has come a long way and perhaps Other M can be the thing to put her over the top.


Summer 2013 Contest - Division 7 - 1 Seed

  • Division 7 Round 1 --- 1st place, 17326 [68.51%] - (27) Sandbag, 4769 [18.86%], (18) Isaac Clarke, 3193 [12.63%]
  • Division 7 Round 2 --- 1st place, 16029 [61.85%] - (9) Knuckles, 5528 [21.33%] - (22) Catherine, 4359 [16.82%]
  • Division 7 Final --- 1st place, 21836 [41.7%] - (7) Tifa Lockheart, 17705 [33.81%] - (8) L-Block, 12826 [24.49%]
  • Contest Semifinal --- 1st place, 20097 [38.48%] - (1) Mega Man, 17401 [33.32%] - (4) Pokémon Trainer Red, 14724 [28.2%]
  • Contest Final --- 3th place, 26981 [16.71%] - (3) Draven, 73396 [49.13%] - (1) Solid Snake, 49025 [32.81%]

It's been three years since Other M, a game that divided fans and critics, underperformed comercially, and was even accusing of ruining Samus' personality. Thus many questioned if the Metroid heroine continued to be relevant enough to be a contender... only for her to get further than any other Nintendo character. She breezed through her first two matches and in the third barely gave a chance to both a previous champion and the only non-Noble Niner that got close to beating Samus. Following the upset that took down Mario, the favorite to win the lower bracket, the path was clear for Samus' second final: Red was no Mario or comparable to the Pokémon themselves, and despite Mega Man's boost caused by his announcement in the fourth Super Smash Bros., the fact that Capcom is neglecting him even more than Nintendo does with Metroid cost him votes. Of course Samus didn't have a shot with both Snake and the rallied to death Draven in the finals, but she managed to get a somewhat respectable support. The 26981 votes were more than Draven's lead over Snake (proving some LFF was at hand), and in a contest with depressingly low voting totals, more than any character in the previous rounds other than Draven (Reddit swarm), Link and Mewtwo (both in Draven matches, as already strong characters were boosted by GameFAQs in an attempt to take the "invader" down). Even if Super Smash Bros. 4 is the only sure thing in Samus' future, the Metroid legacy and Smash appearances continue to keep her popular.

Fall 2018 Contest - Legends Division - 2 Seed

  • Finals Round 1 --- Defeated Tifa Lockhart, 17343 [58.93%] - 12085 [41.07%]
  • Finals Round 2 --- Lost to (7) Mario, 13950 [48.58%] - 14765 [51.42%]
  • Loser Bracket Round 2 --- Defeated Tifa, 16557 [58.58%] - 11705 [41.42%]
  • Loser Bracker Round 3 --- Defeated (4) Solid Snake, 14725 [56.48%] - 11345 [43.52%]
  • Loser Bracket Round 4 --- Lost to (7) Mario, 14324 [49.97%] - 14343 [50.03%]

Talk about good timing. With the contest shortly after the well-received Metroid II remake for the 3DS (just what fans needed when Nintendo had the guts to last try appeasing them with Federation Force) and with Smash Bros hype at its fullest, Samus showed no signs of losing her strength, even if the format spared her and other Noble Niners from the regular bracket - and of course, the fact the one adversary that always SFFs her was on the way. Twice she handily beat Tifa, with percentages that show the near-upset in 2006 will never repeat; Samus also repeated what she did to Snake in that contest, by even higher percentages; but Mario continues to be an adversary she can't defeat, no matter if this time the matches were impressively close (part of it is due to the low vote totals, but that's a detail). In their rematch loser bracket, she even lost by a mere 19 votes while beating Mario in raw votes.

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