Metroid: 10 Best Samus Aran Designs Across The Series, Ranked

One of the first female protagonists in video game history, Samus Aran's first appearance in Metroid was rather deceptive. The developers gave Samus a suit that was more forward-thinking, featuring a design that was gender-neutral. So Samus being revealed as a woman made for quite the twist ending on the NES at the time.

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Over three decades later, Metroid is still going strong and Samus remains an icon in Nintendo's lineup of characters. Across the series, including the recent Metroid Dread, Samus' famous suit has seen many upgrades and redesigns, some better than others.

10 Dark Suit (Metroid Prime 2: Dark Echoes)

Other than the red lights featured across the Dark Suit and its darker color scheme, it doesn't do much to stand out from others. The Dark Suit debuted in Metroid Prime 2: Dark Echoes and allowed Samus Aran to traverse the Dark Aether's corrosive atmosphere and the dark vapor emitted by Ingclaws.

The design for the suit is still worthy of praise, as some fans can enjoy the muted colors and disc-like shoulder pads. The color scheme of the Dark Suit appeared in Super Smash Bros. games, but only as a color variant of Samus' Varia suit.

9 Power Suit (Original Metroid)

Every hero has to start somewhere, and when it comes to Samus' design, it all began with the original Metroid on the NES. Metroid was far ahead of its time, especially when it came to the design of the alien threats and Samus herself. All of the many suits Samus wears across the long-running Metroid gaming franchise owe their success to this suit.

It may not have the shoulder pads or the most detailed sprite-work, but it is still a suit that pushed the boundary of what a hero could look like. An armored suit hadn't been done like it before, so it remains an important part of Nintendo's history.

8 Light Suit (Metroid Prime 2: Dark Echoes)

On the other side of the spectrum, Samus' Light Suit is exactly as it sounds: a bright white suit that adds a more alien-like aesthetic to the design. The suit's chest plate is less mechanical and more bio-organic and the whole suit gives Samus a sleeker and slimmer design compared to her typical bulky armored suits.

This suit, combined with the evolved first-person Metroidvania gameplay, helped shape Metroid Prime 2: Dark Echoes into one of the best games on the Nintendo GameCube. Sadly, the Light Suit is not used extensively in the game, but it makes quite the impact nonetheless.

7 Varia (Metroid II: Return Of Samus)

When it comes to Samus Aran, this is likely the design that immediately pops into the head of gamers and it was first introduced in Metroid II: Return Of Samus. It took the original design of the Power Suit from the original Metroid and added large shoulder pads that would remain a staple.

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Since Metroid II, the Varia Suit has appeared in many of the games as the default look for Samus Aran. It's a streamlined futuristic look that helped make Samus' design so iconic in gaming. Even in her many appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series, Samus wears the Varia suit.

6 Fusion Suit (Metroid Fusion)

Orange and red had been the staple of Samus' suit for years, but Metroid Fusion was one of the first times Samus was decorated in blue. It fit the more horror-like atmosphere that made Metroid Fusion into one of the definitive GameBoy Advance games.

Similar to the Light Suit, the Fusion Suit features a more organic design. It also changes colors depending on the upgrades that help Samus through some of the most challenging levels in the series. So not only does the suit have a distinct design, but it also has a variety of color schemes to keep it fresh throughout the campaign.

5 Phazon Enhancement Device Suit (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)

The Phazon Enhancement Device Suit (or PED Suit) gave Samus new abilities and helped prevent corruption, like with the Dark Suit. Visually, the PED suit comes the closest to looking more like Samus' classic look while still updating it.

The classic orange is back, but instead of the more sleek design, Samus' armor across her whole body is much bulkier, harder, and more mechanical, similar to an Iron Man suit. It even features a glowing chest piece and fans accepted this suit with open arms.

4 Zero-Suit (Metroid: Zero Mission)

Samus in her Power Suit is the more iconic design, but fans have also enjoyed seeing Samus operate without her armor. The result is Zero-Suit Samus, who doesn't appear very often in the series but usually stands out due to her cyberpunk-esque bodysuit and a blaster at the ready.

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The design is rather similar to female protagonists seen in cyberpunk anime, such as in Ghost In The Shell. It made its first appearance in Metroid: Zero Mission and has since made numerous appearances in Metroid and Super Smash Bros. titles, including the latest entry, Metroid Dread.

3 Gravity Suit (Metroid: Zero Mission)

Similar to Zero-Suit Samus, the Gravity Suit also made its debut in Metroid: Zero Mission. It acts as the main upgrade from the Varia Suit, allowing Samus to have extra abilities, high jumping just one of them. This is also where the Gravity Suit is the most different because visually, it is nearly identical to the Varia Suit.

However, this also showcases how a simple color swap can make something pop even more. The added purple to the arms and legs helps give the Gravity Suit a distinct look, despite no change in the armor. The Gravity Suit has appeared in many Metroid games since, including Metroid Dread.

2 Hazard Shield Suit (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)

From a design perspective, the Hazard Shield takes elements of multiple beloved designs and merges them together. Fans got the armored appearance of the PED, the muted tones of the Dark Suit, and the color scheme of the Gravity Suit, all merged with the overall appearance of the Varia Suit.

The result is Samus at her most epic in appearance. There is even its own distinct feature of ditching the typically green arm blaster for a black blaster with glowing red accents. Unfortunately, Metroid Prime 3 would be its first and only appearance in the franchise.

1 Power Suit (Metroid Dread)

Samus made her biggest return with Metroid Dread in 2021 and her suit was given a similar treatment as the Hazard Shield. There are many elements of previous suits implemented into her newest suit, such as less extreme shoulder guards, the blue organic parts from her Fusion Suit, sleek white elements from the Light suit, and even some features reminiscent of her Zero-Suit.

It's a perfect mix of old and new, with some new aspects including much more glowing components and a more compact design that makes the whole suit look more uniform. It's a great suit for both new and old-school players of Metroid to enjoy.

NEXT: 10 Tips For New Players Of Metroid Dread



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