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|“|| Commander Adam Malkovich was normally cool and not one to joke around, but he would end all of his mission briefings by saying, "Any objections, Lady?"|
He was joking, but others weren't... At the time I felt surrounded by people who treated me like a child, or used kid gloves because I was a woman. And yet, with Adam, I was grateful for the nod... My past has left me with an uneasy soul, and as a result, it touched me on some level that Adam would acknowledge that past by calling me something delicate - like "Lady." And I knew more than anyone that every word from Adam was deliberate.
The exact nature of the relationship has varied. In Fusion, Samus reflects on Adam rather fondly. She names her new AI Commanding Officer after Adam, but quickly grows to revile it for lacking his compassion, especially after it chastises her for destroying the Restricted Laboratory.
In Other M, Samus confesses in her monologues that she viewed Adam as her "best friend" and a father figure. She at one point finds herself concerned with Adam's view of her, knowing that he, a staunch opponent of bioweapons, would have strongly condemned her final act from the SR388 Metroid extermination, of sparing the baby and providing it for scientific study.
Anthony Higgs seems to take note of Samus' chemistry with Adam, as he asks her at one point how she feels about him.
Metroid: Other MEdit
As the prequel to Fusion, Other M features Adam as a prominent figure in both the main story and Samus' backstory. Samus reunites with him aboard the BOTTLE SHIP for the first time since she became a Bounty Hunter. Adam is initially bitter with her and calls her an "outsider" (a word that, Samus says, "pierced my heart"). Though he does not authorize Samus to stay, she decides to do so for the sake of his 07th Platoon. Out of respect for Adam, she deactivates all of her upgrades for later. After assisting the Platoon in defeating a Brug Mass, Adam welcomes her onto the team, on the condition that she follow his commands.
In a flashback, the circumstances of Samus' departure from the Federation forces are revealed - the VIXIV was supervising Adam's brother, Ian Malkovich, who was working to repair the destabilizing drive unit of the civilian aircraft Lusitania. The drive unit went critical, and Adam made the hard decision to order the ejection of the machine, knowing that it would kill his brother. Samus protested, believing that she could save Ian in time, but Adam did not cease the order. Samus later felt guilt for "questioning authority and making things more difficult", causing her to become an independent Bounty Hunter. In the present day, Samus reflects on the incident and says "If something like that happened again, I would hold fast to that glimmer of hope and try for redemption. That's who I am."
Samus grows increasingly aware that Adam knows more about what occurred on the BOTTLE SHIP than he is telling her. She encounters a survivor who shows her a Metroid military program report that Adam wrote concerning the feasibility of Metroids as bioweapons. Learning that the Metroids were cloned and placed in an area of the Ship called Sector Zero, she travels to this area, where she encounters a Baby Metroid outside of the Sector entrance to this Sector. Adam shoots Samus from behind and, before it can attack her, kills the Metroid. Adam explains that the Metroids in the Sector were made to be unfreezable—with this weakness wiped away, these Metroids were now a threat that Samus could not defeat. Adam explained that his report outlined the various risks that came with using Metroids as bioweapons; although "HQ listened" to his warnings, a corrupt faction of the Federation took his report and went ahead with the project anyway. Adam then reveals that Sector Zero has a failsafe mechanism: if the sector takes significant damage, it will detach from the BOTTLE SHIP and self-destruct, completely wiping out the unfreezable Metroids.
Realizing what this means — that someone must die to make it happen — Samus protests, echoing the incident in which Ian died. Adam explains that while he can't beat Ridley or save the galaxy, he can still "save [her]". He then walks off to his death, locking doors behind him to prevent Samus from following him. She bangs on the doors, crying out his name. Finally, Adam turns to her and asks: "No objections… Right, Lady?". Bitterly, Samus give him a thumbs-down (see below); and as the doors close behind Adam, Samus sheds a tear for him.
|“||Adam vanished. My best friend, the person who understand me best, the closest thing to a father I had. Thoughts swirled through my head – I couldn't come to grips with what had happened. Such a cruel way to say good-bye. I was the only one who witnessed Adam's last moment, and though it shook me, I was calmer than I usually am. I think Adam granted me that eye-of-the-storm clarity – his final gift to me. There was no time for me to grieve his death. But there was time for me to say: Adam, thank you… Leave the rest to me.||„|
Escaping Sector Zero, Samus finishes the mission and rescues Dr. Madeline Bergman, a survivor that Adam had told her about. Madeline kills MB and departs with Samus and Anthony in Samus' Gunship. As they return to Galactic Federation Headquarters, Samus questions Adam's choice and says that "the cost was far too great". However, she later realizes that he had made the right decision, as he had years ago. She swears not to grieve his death and finds comfort in that someone else understands her now, just as well as Adam did: Anthony.
Days later, Samus returns to the BOTTLE SHIP as it is scheduled to be destroyed, looking for an object she describes as irreplaceable: Adam's helmet. Disabling her Power Suit, she has a tender moment with the helmet and embraces it, seemingly breaking her vow not to grieve. The Countdown then activates, and Samus escapes suitless from the BOTTLE SHIP with the helmet before it is destroyed. Onboard her ship, she talks to the helmet: "Sorry for keeping you waiting, Adam. Let's go home." What becomes of the helmet is unknown.
|“||As I listened to the briefing, my thoughts turned to Adam. The real Adam understood me well. He would end orders by saying, "Any objections, Lady?" He knew I wouldn't disagree. That was just his way of noting our trust. I wonder if I can trust this computer, too...||„|
Fusion introduces the character of Adam. Although it was released eight years prior to Other M, canonically it occurs after. By Fusion, Adam had died of initially unknown causes (explained in Other M, see above), and Samus looked upon him fondly. As stated, she is reminded of Adam by her new artificial CO and privately names it after him. She is unsure if she can trust the computer, and occasionally disobeys its orders or does things without its approval, such as lifting Level 4 Security.
The biggest act of disobedience that Samus commits is breaching the Restricted Laboratory after destroying B.O.X., despite "Adam" warning Samus to leave immediately after to avoid the SA-X. Having discovered the entrance to the lab prior to the battle with B.O.X., Samus returns with the newly acquired Wave Beam and enters the lab. She discovers that the Galactic Federation is secretly breeding Metroids and destroys the lab. The computer Adam admonishes her for ignoring her orders and destroying the Metroids. Disgruntled, Samus calls the computer a "machine obsessed with duty" in an introspective and states that no compassion compared to the real Adam could exist within it.
Late in the game, the computer informs Samus that the Galactic Federation is coming to capture the SA-X, and confines her to a Navigation Room in order to prevent her from stopping them. Samus calls it Adam in a moment of frustration. Having not disclosed her private nickname to the computer, it becomes confused for a minute. After a brief argument, the computer regains control of itself and reveals it actually contains the consciousness of the real Adam. It orders Samus to activate the BSL station's propulsion sequence and then escape, to eradicate the X before the Federation can acquire it. Samus escapes right before the station collides with SR388, destroying the station, planet, and all X Parasites.
At the end of Fusion, Samus learns that Adam's "perfect military mind" was preserved in computer form and installed in her gunship. She becomes concerned about being held responsible for her actions aboard the BSL, but Adam reassures her that someone will understand them. One detail continues to bother her, however. Before she confronted an Omega Metroid in the Docking Bays, her Gunship was moved by someone, before it was flown back into the station for Samus to board it. Samus briefly wonders whether it is possible that Adam operated the ship, having somehow survived. The computer Adam reveals that the Dachoras and Etecoons, which Samus had rescued earlier, assisted him. What becomes of Samus and Adam after Fusion is currently unknown.
|“|| The thumbs-up sign had been used by the Galactic Federation for ages. Me, I was known for giving the thumbs-down during briefing.|
My thumbs-down was a twofold response - a sign of derision at being called a lady, and a signal of my complete understanding of the mission orders.
Samus met Adam when she joined the Galactic Federation Army. Adam joked with her after his briefings by asking "Any objections, Lady?" as she was the only female under his command. To signal that one understood the mission orders of their commander, a soldier would give a thumbs up sign. Samus developed a reputation for giving a thumbs-down, which told Adam that while she understood the mission orders, she would not be derided by him calling her a lady. In Fusion, she said the phrase was a way of denoting their trust.
As Adam leaves for Sector Zero, he turns and asks a weakened Samus, "No objections, right Lady?" She responds with a bitter thumbs-down. Following the death of MB, at Galactic Federation Headquarters she gives him a thumbs-up for the first time, "just in case he was watching over me." Anthony appears, giving a thumbs-down at her. Samus, having previously stated in a soliloquy that only Adam understood her, realizes that Anthony understands her as well.
- Critics of Other M stated that though Samus describes Adam as a father figure, her actions and thoughts suggest a warped Electra complex (in which a daughter is attracted to her father).
- In addition, the depiction of their relationship in Other M was also criticized for romanticizing abuse, with Adam shooting Samus in the back being one of the more blatant examples that criticism focused on.
- Elements of the relationship, owing to Other M being designed for a more Japanese audience than usual in an attempt to increase the amount of Japanese fans, was taken from various elements of Japanese and East Asian culture. In particular, filial piety was used for the scenes where a large part of Adam's coldness to Samus was because of her leaving the military, and to a certain extent the similarly-controversial Authorization mechanic in the game (in Japan, a soldier is expected to absolutely obey their commanding officer's orders without question and not do anything without the CO's explicit authorization under the basis of having absolute trust in authority. On that note, walking out on their CO for any reason is considered inexcusable in Japan.). Also, several of Samus's decisions are emphasized as being due to thinking that's what Adam wanted rather than what she personally believes (the latter barely given any focus in the story), which had basis on the Japanese virtue of "Enryo" or the suppression of self.