As part of our ongoing celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting some very special ladies from the world of geek culture. Although she may be fictional, Samus Aran of the Metroid franchise has had a huge and real impact on both Nintendo and video games at large. So strap on your shiny orange power armor and curl up into a ball for this warrior woman.
The original Nintendo Entertainment System is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential video game consoles of all time. And the original Metroid is one of its landmark games. In 1986, no one had even conceived of a game like Metroid. Mario had jumping. Mega Man had shooting. Zelda had secret-filled nonlinear adventure. But Metroid combined them all into one irresistible package slathered in the moodiest sci-fi atmosphere the 8-bit machine could produce. Metroid gameplay is so specific and spectacular there’s a reason why we refer to a whole genre of exploratory sidescollers as Metroidvanias.
But beyond its gameplay innovations, the first Metroid is also remembered for its earth-shattering final twist that playable hero Samus isn’t a jacked dude or a weaponized robot but a kick-ass lady. In retrospect it makes sense that a game so influenced by Alien it named a villain after director Ridley Scott would ultimately have a Sigourney Weaver-esque protagonist. But seeing that Samus was a woman was a legitimately big deal at the time.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.