If I had to pinpoint a single, unmoving constant from my life, it would likely be my love and adoration for the works of Nintendo. As a kid, I moved around from state to state and even across continents a few times, constantly faced with new and strange challenges. But at least I had Pokemon, Kirby, and Mario forever at my side, and in my greatest moments of fear and solitude, those worlds came alive and swallowed me whole, letting me inhabit the fantasies that I could have only dreamed of otherwise.
And then I tried to get into Metroid. I still remember the day, long ago, that I purchased Metroid Prime at a Hastings while on a trip through Texas (cool store, but unfortunately nowhere to be seen in Northern California). I was familiar with the series in name and character design only, thanks to Super Smash Bros, and thought I’d give the more mature black sheep in Nintendo’s lineup a chance. What I remember from that impressionable period in my life was that I was often profoundly affected by atmosphere, in both a positive, inspirational sense and, unfortunately, the reverse.
I got scared easily, as a kid, and Metroid Prime‘s pulsating, grotesque, lonely world disturbed me. By the time I made it to Flaahgra, my interest was largely cut short by what I perceived to be a piece of media too far above my own psychological capacity. After a frustrating series of failures against that boss, I put the game back on my shelf, never to touch it again. There it sat, watching me grow and change, and today, I return to it once again, for both a historical analysis but also a personal awakening.
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