|“||No! It can't be!.||„|
—Samus in Metroid: Other M
Posttraumatic stress disorder (also known simply as PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. PTSD causes nightmares and flashbacks of the event that instilled it, often triggered unpredictably by stimuli related to those of the original event. The symptoms must persist for at least a month to be classified as PTSD.
Samus Aran of the Metroid series has had this disorder ever since the attack on her home of K-2L, where she witnessed Ridley kill her mother right in front of her, and threaten to do the same to her. It has been depicted somewhat recurrently throughout the series, but most notably in the Metroid Manga and again in Metroid: Other M.
In volume 2 of the manga, Samus is tortured by Ridley when she, Mauk and Kreatz invade Zebes. Gray Voice even says that she seems to be exhibiting symptoms of PTSD, and that it appears Ridley has caused her to undergo emotional duress. She falls to the ground complaining that she can't breathe, and her Power Suit disappears.
She is next seen on the ground making hacking noises, presumably coughing. Ridley, after this, recognizes Samus as the child from K-2L. He then tells her how he healed himself after her father destroyed his warship: by consuming the dead flesh of the colony's citizens, even going so far as to taunt her by saying that her mother may have been one of his meals.
The last thing Ridley does to her before leaving is calling her pitiful. As her friends come out of hiding to free the prisoners, Samus stands up, with blank eyes, and begs to be killed. The Chozo that were imprisoned realize that all the repressed memories of her colony's demise are coming back to her, and they comfort her, telling her that she can let out all the emotion that she had been holding in. Eventually, she is able to recover, and shoots Ridley away when he attempts to attack Grey Voice.
Near the end of the manga, Samus seemingly triumphs over her PTSD and manages to destroy Ridley again. In the actual game Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus' eyes are briefly seen through her visor before Ridley attacks. She seems to have a shocked expression, but is able to come to her senses and fight him.
Metroid: Other MEdit
At the beginning of the game, Samus states that she killed Mother Brain, and that Zebes then exploded, taking Mother Brain, the Space Pirates, the baby, and Ridley with it, but this later proves to be not entirely accurate, as all of them had each been secretly recreated on a Federation vessel.
Samus, on her mission to the Bottle Ship, encounters Little birdie, a small, white creature that stalks her. She believes it to be of no harm. When she finds a facility of interest, she is attacked by the Mystery Creature, an evolution of Little birdie, as she finds out after nearly being killed by it. It flees, and Samus' main objective is to track it down. Commander Adam Malkovich later contacts Samus and tells her that the monster appears to be headed to the Geothermal Power Plant, where Anthony Higgs was said to be going to destroy the magma-eruption port.
After Samus completes the latter objective, the lava increases the light in the room, and Samus finds that the monster in the room is a reborn Ridley. The shock of seeing Ridley again, despite the fact that his remains were consumed in the the explosion that destroyed Zebes, triggered her PTSD and she lost her suit's composure. Adam saw the events and attempted to contact Samus, but she was unable to speak. He frantically attempted over and over again to communicate with her until his communicator was shut off, presumably by the Deleter. Ridley then dragged her across the wall until Anthony shot him, and she fell to the platform below, unable to stand up, until Anthony was seemingly killed. Samus regained her composure and destroyed Ridley in her rage. He managed to survive, as he always did, and escaped.
Before Adam walked off to Sector Zero, Samus was told to defeat Ridley as one of her several and final missions from him. She later found Ridley as a mummy in the Bioweapon Research Center, having been killed by the Queen Metroid. The corpse stayed there until the Galactic Federation invaded the station and was probably taken to the BSL, where it can be seen in a freezer.
- The Metroid: Other M PTSD scene has been heavily criticized by gamers due to the fact that Samus, who is normally strong and competent, suffers a panic attack at the mere sight of Ridley when she has fought and defeated him many times before. However, one of the reason for this criticism most likely stems from the fact that the criticizing gamers have only played the games and are unaware of the past connections between Samus and Ridley. However, there are some people who are aware of the past connections and yet still criticize it, citing both her lack of a reaction to Ridley's survival in the other games as well as the fact that the ending of the Metroid Manga also had her triumphing over Ridley and even mocking him. Samus never exhibited severe signs of PTSD during any other encounters with Ridley, nor did she react when she encountered him again on the BSL Station.
- It is important to note, however, that Samus had assumed Ridley to be killed for good at the end of Super Metroid, only for him to suddenly appear before her alive and well. It can also be argued in Metroid Fusion that Samus had plenty of time to mentally steel herself for the inevitable battle against Neo-Ridley after witnessing the X Parasite emerge from his frozen husk. However she did not show any signs of PTSD in Super Metroid, despite Ridley's apparent death and disintegration in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. She also did not show any signs of PTSD during her encounters with Ridley during the Prime Trilogy.
- It should also be noted that the death of the baby metroid left Samus emotinally traumatised. This may have helped cause the PTSD episode when she encountered Ridley as her emotional barriers were damaged.
- Klaus Schneider seems to have his own episodes of PTSD after being narrowly killed by the Alpha Splinter.
- In the story feature of Other M, Samus is described as "panic-striken".
- Wikipedia article
- An interview with an ex soldier and a PTSD expert related to the Metroid: Other M scene
|Organic||Flesh-eating bacteria • Miteralis • 'Twin Fever' • X Parasite|
|Phazon||Phazon Fever • "the scritters"|
|Artificial||Corruption virus • Rezbit Virus|
|Conditions||Posttraumatic stress disorder • Twin sight|