Analyzing The Heroics Of Samus Through Cambell's A Hero's Journey, Jung's Archetypes And Feminist Analysis

2672 words - 11 pages

If you were to ask many video game enthusiasts about their favorite female video game heroines, the answers you’d get would be very varied - some will say Lara Croft of the Tomb Raider series, others say Alyx from the Half-Life series, few say Jade from Beyond Good & Evil, a handful will vouch for Chell from Portal, and a lot of old-school folks might just say Ms. Pac-Man. However, there is another video game heroine who has managed to reach into the hearts of gamers, both male and female, proving that she was just as awesome as any celebrated male hero. However, for gamers who were sitting tight in front of their television sets, exploring the desolate planet of Zebes via their Nintendo Entertainment in 1986, it was widely assumed that the famed bounty hunter was male. At the end of the adventure, the big reveal was made - removing her helmet to signify a job well done, Samus Aran, protagonist of the Metroid series, was indeed female. For the purpose of this paper, we’ll analyze the heroics of Samus through three distinct analytical lenses: The Hero’s Journey (from Joseph Campbell), Carl Jung’s archetypes, and through feminist analysis.

Of course, to learn more about our heroine, we must first find out what drives her, what makes her tick, and her purpose as a bounty hunter. The story of Metroid stretches along 11 games, and various Japanese manga series, all of which follows Samus along her never-ending quest. Her role is to rid the world of Metroids, lifeforms which are being used as bioweapons by the Space Pirates, the main enemy of the Galactic Federation, of which Samus is employed as a formidable bounty hunter. In her pursuits against the Space Pirate menace (and also her bounty hunting), she uses her body as her weapon, mainly through her Power Suit, designed by an extinct race of bird-people known as the Chozo. She was taken under the wing of the Chozo leader as a child after her colony was raided by the Space Pirates, which led to the death of her parents at the hand of their leader, Ridley. While living in their civilization, she was trained to be a tough, yet agile fighter, motivated by her thirst for revenge against Ridley and the Space Pirates. Her further travels across the cosmos have caused her to learn more about the mysterious Metroid species, and the reasons why they’re a threat to the longstanding peace.

Using the monomyth for Samus Aran is excruciatingly tough, considering how many games she has starred in, but we can possibly fill in those blanks by looking deeper at her backstory as well as the progress she has made over the course of her 11 games. I cannot definitively state that this is correct, but assume that it is the best we can squeeze out of Metroid. Of course, we start with the call to adventure: in-game, it usually comes from a briefing from the Galactic Federation or due to a distress call, but we can also assume her call to adventure comes from her coming face-to-face with Ridley during the fateful raid...

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