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The music played in the background when Samus first receives an order from the Aurora Unit in MP3:Corruption is the music used in 1994's Super Metroid. This music was also born when I stopped my motorcycle on the side of the road on my way home from Nintendo-I recorded the melody by singing. I'm sure people who drove by me were wondering what I was doing. [Laughs]

Kenji Yamamoto[1]

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Theme of Samus Aran, Space Warrior (宇宙戦士 サムス アランのテーマ Space Warrior Samus Aran's Theme?), also known simply as Theme of Samus, is a music track that originates from Super Metroid, serving as the official leitmotif of Samus Aran. It was originally composed by Kenji Yamamoto.

DescriptionEdit

Super MetroidEdit

Kenji Yamamoto composed the original theme when it suddenly came to him while he was driving home from work. He pulled over his motorcycle and sang the melody into his tape recorder, then played it for Yoshio Sakamoto at work the next day. It then became the theme of Super Metroid.

In Super Metroid, the Theme of Samus is first heard in the intro during the game's prologue, as Samus recaps the events of Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus. This iconic theme features a dark sci-fi bass line, a mysterious choir, and a heroic brass fanfare, setting the mood for the game. This version is titled Theme of Super Metroid (スーパーメトロイドのテーマ?) by Super Metroid: Sound in Action. It can be heard here: [1]

The game's soundtrack comes full circle as the Theme of Samus Aran, Space Warrior is played again during the end credits. This version places most of its emphasis on developing the heroic brass fanfare into a full triumphant march, celebrating Samus Aran's victory over Mother Brain and the Space Pirates, although the darker part of the theme is heard near the end. The credits theme also incorporates the mysterious notes from Silence. This version is titled Ending (エンディング?) by Super Metroid: Sound in Action. It can be heard here: [2]

Two arranged versions of the Theme of Samus, based on the intro and credits versions respectively, appear on the Super Metroid: Sound in Action CD. These remixes use higher-quality instrument samples than what the SNES was capable of producing. The prologue theme is significantly extended and developed. The arranged Theme of Super Metroid (スーパーメトロイドのテーマ (アレンジバーション)?) can be heard here: [3] and the remixed Super Metroid Ending (スーパーメトロイド エンディング (アレンジバーション)?) can be heard here: [4]

This theme has also been performed by multiple orchestras in concerts and albums. In 1994, it was included as part of a medley performed by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra as part of the fourth Orchestral Game Music Concerts. The majority of the medley emphasized the Theme of Samus (accounting for nearly half its total length), ending with a rendition based on the Super Metroid credits. In 2010, the WDR Radio Orchestra concluded Suite: Samus Aran - Galactic Warrior in Symphonic Legends with an arrangement of the Theme of Samus, where it sounds very dark and somber. In 2011, PLAY! A Video Game Symphony featured the Theme of Samus as one of the more heroic themes of their Metroid arrangement. It was later performed in 2012 by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus as part of Super Metroid: A Symphonic Poem for The Greatest Video Game Music 2. Here, the Theme of Samus sounds proud and adventurous. In 2013, the theme was performed once again by the WDR Radio Orchestra, this time as part of Super Metroid - Into Red, Into Dark in Symphonic Selections. In that medley, the theme is one of the only triumphant parts, since it remains true to the melancholy nature of the original game's soundtrack.

The introduction and ending themes are also included on Play it Loud! Original Soundtrack Volume 1, a 1996 compilation album from Nintendo Power. These tracks are taken directly from Super Metroid and were not remixed or arranged.

Metroid PrimeEdit

In Metroid Prime, Theme of Samus is first heard as Samus Aran's Gunship docks at the Frigate Orpheon. After a series of tense strings and a brass buildup, the theme makes its climatic appearance performed by an organ and choir, and ultimately leads into Samus Aran's Appearance Fanfare. This version does not feature the heroic fanfare, which is not present all in this game. It is titled Prologue (プロローグ?) by Metroid Prime & Fusion Original Soundtracks. It can be heard here: [5]

Metroid Prime once again features the Theme of Samus at the end of the game, in a track titled Shrine Collapsing~Epilogue (神殿崩落 エピローグ?). After a reprise of Chozo Shrine, a softer, more somber version of the theme plays as Samus takes off her helmet and surveys the destroyed Artifact Temple. It can be heard here: [6]

Metroid Prime 2: EchoesEdit

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes plays the Theme of Samus during the intro cutscene as her Gunship enters the stormy atmosphere of Aether. This version has the bass line performed quietly by strings, with a lot of emphasis on a new choir melody. Unfortunately, this version is not currently available without sound effects, though variations would be heard in later games. It can be heard here: [7]

Echoes later features the Theme of Samus, this time including the full theme with the heroic fanfare. This remix plays during the story of doomed G.F.S. Tyr crew; this suggests that the song acts as a theme for the Galactic Federation in this game, rather than Samus herself. Ing Battle takes over as the Federation Marines are overwhelmed by Dark Splinters. Unfortunately, this version is also unable to be heard without sound effects. It can be heard here: [8]

Echoes uses the Theme of Samus one last time, with an organ rendition nearly identical to the Prologue theme from Metroid Prime. It transitions to a low choir singing The Luminoth. It can be heard here: [9]

Metroid Prime Hunters: First HuntEdit

In Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, the Theme of Samus is played during the intro movie. It begins with a low piano, transitions to organ, and then switches to a fast-paced electronic version. It is accompanied by choir and punctuated by low brass. This only features the bass line and does not play the fanfare. It can be heard here: [10]

Metroid Prime HuntersEdit

In Metroid Prime Hunters, the Theme of Samus is played in the intro cutscene upon starting a new save file, as the Gunship flies towards the Alimbic Cluster. It is heard again in the ending cutscene as Samus pilots her Gunship away, having completed the mission. This version is fast-paced and aggressive, sounding similar to the First Hunt remix. Unfortunately, it is not currently available without sound effects and is one of several tracks not included in the Sound Test.

Metroid Prime 3: CorruptionEdit

In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the Theme of Samus was arranged as In the Cockpit. It is primarily based upon the drums and choir of the original theme. It was later remixed for Metroid: Samus Returns, where the connection to the original theme is more apparent.

A variation of the landing theme from Echoes can also be heard in Corruption as Samus lands on Norion. It is nearly identical to the Echoes version, but it is shorter in length and the strings sound louder and more tense. It can be heard here: [11]

A remix of the triumphant fanfare, combined with In the Cockpit, can be heard when Samus meets Aurora Unit 242 in person after obtaining the PED Suit, and again when she speaks to Fleet Admiral Castor Dane on the Pirate Homeworld. This can be heard here: [12]

A final remix is included in the Corruption ending cutscene, as Samus's Gunship flies past the G.F.S. Olympus and she transmits a message that her mission is complete. This version is heavy on brass and organ, and while it starts off soft, it builds up to a resolving chord. It can be heard here: [13]

Super Smash Bros.Edit

An orchestral remix of the Super Metroid credits theme appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U on the Norfair stage, available by default. The Super Smash Bros. version was arranged by Masato Kouda, a composer from Capcom. It is heard in Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary, during the cutscene where Zero Suit Samus and Pikachu defeat the Samus clones, and Samus regains her Power Suit. This was the first time that the credits theme was titled Theme of Samus Aran, Space Warrior. It can be heard here: [14]

WarioWare D.I.Y.Edit

The Theme of Samus is remixed of 9-volt's S. Metroid record, which is a metal remix including some 8-bit instruments. It can be heard here: [15]

In the official DLC Metroid microgame created by Yoshio Sakamoto, another remix of Theme of Samus plays while freezing and shooting Metroid larvae.

Metroid: Other MEdit

The Theme of Samus was remixed in Metroid: Other M. It is present in the trailers (including the one shown at E3 2010), on Metroid.jp and Metroid.com, and in-game in the Story feature. This version is based entirely on the bass and choir section, never actually building up to the heroic fanfare. It can be heard here: [16]

Other M does eventually feature the heroic fanfare in Result. This brief orchestral arrangement is based upon the very ending of the credits theme from Super Metroid.

Metroid: Samus ReturnsEdit

A brand new remix of the original Super Metroid intro theme is present in Metroid: Samus Returns for the game's introduction and the Chozo Memories. It is titled Prologue in the Sound Test and internal files. It is also featured in the Nintendo 3DS Theme and on the Samus Archives Sound Selection CD, titled Theme of Samus by the latter. It, along with In the Cockpit, was used in a Nintendo España Twitter video in which fans gave their thoughts on the game.[2] The theme can be heard here: [17]

Samus Returns features another arrangement in the style of the landing theme from Echoes and Corruption, internally named Movie Ship Landing, as Samus lands on SR388. The strings now sound even darker and more aggressive than before, fitting the nature of Samus's mission to exterminate an entire species. This version is preceded by a remix of the landing on Zebes theme from Super Metroid, and followed by the Metroid Prime remix of Samus Aran's Appearance Fanfare.

The Chozo Laboratory theme seems to incorporate some notes from the Theme of Samus, most notably the choir.

As previously mentioned, Samus Returns features its own arrangement of In the Cockpit. An alternate extended version that builds up to the heroic fanfare (similar to the version heard in Result) is played during Samus and the baby's departure from SR388. This track is internally named Movie Ending.

Samus Returns features one final remix of the Theme of Samus during the Staff Credit medley. This version features the bass line performed by low strings, accompanied by a choir rendition of the series's main theme.

TriviaEdit

  • The track titles of Super Metroid: Sound in Action indicate that this theme was not originally intended to be Samus Aran's leitmotif. Instead, the album refers to Crateria Surface by the similar title "Theme of Samus Aran: Galactic Warrior". It was not until Super Smash Bros. Brawl that this theme received its current title, and this was affirmed by the Samus Archives Sound Selection.
  • The beta version of Prologue from Metroid Prime sounded softer and more somber in tone: [18]

ReferencesEdit