Game music of the day: Super Metroid

Game: Super Metroid

Song: "Maridia Rocky Underwater Area"

Composers: Kenji Yamamoto, Minako Hamano


Above: "Maridia Rocky Underwater Area" from Super Metroid

What do you get when you combine a blonde bombshell in a power suit, space pirates, a kick-ass soundtrack by Kenji Yamamoto and Minako Hamano, and an adorable little jellyfish creature that has been known to suck the life out of you? Why, Super Metroid, of course! With the recent release of Metroid: Other M, I've observed a lot of discussion (read: flamewars) about which game takes the podium as the series' all-time best. While many people are raving about the gorgeous graphics and action-packed gameplay of Metroid's latest edition, the general consensus seems to be that Super Metroid remains the tried and true champion.

Why? Graphics aren't everything, for starters - and for its time, Super Metroid was definitely state-of-the-art. The subtle yet dramatic plot was something gamers could really latch on to, though... and nostalgia certainly plays a role, since many of us Generation X and Y-ers were playing the game at the peak of our most formative years. But to me, the music is the real clincher. Super Metroid was the very first game soundtrack to prompt a collaboration album on OverClocked ReMix (Relics of the Chozo, released in 2003) - and years later it even merited a second album, as a get-well gift to one of the community's most beloved artists.

I've always considered "Maridia Rocky Underwater Area" to be a standout theme from the game. It's eerie, it's minimal, and the off-kilter time signature makes the perfect complement to a level in which you're plunging deep into an alien world littered with ruins, completely isolated... *shiver*

Above: Chilling vocals - "Kindred" OC ReMix by Andrew & Jillian Aversa (zircon & pixietricks)

Another personal favorite is "Brinstar Red Soil Swampy Area." I love the ominous bass line, choir stabs, and ethnic flute melody, which serve as the foundation for a great atmospheric track. This source tune has been a particularly popular one on OC ReMix.

Above: "Brinstar Red Soil Swampy Area"

Above: High energy electronica - "In Your Prime" OC ReMix by Jimmy Hinson (Big Giant Circles)

All in all, I hope you'll agree that the Super Metroid OST has stood the test of time... and how!

Jillian Aversa is a composer, vocalist, OverClocked ReMixer and music judge at OC ReMix. A classically trained graduate of Johns Hopkins' Peabody Institute, Jillian's game soundtrack credits include Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, Pump It Up Pro 2, and the soon to be released God of War: Ghost of Sparta with composer Mike Reagan. Jill + Kratos = Heaven and Hell. LET'S ROCK!


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  • 8bitBaby - March 24, 2011 12:18 p.m.

    Brinstar Red Soil Swampy Area is my favourite. i had to come and check to see if a super metroid GMotD had been done for it. this song has haunted me for soooo long. not only because of the game, but because for about 6 months now i could remember what the name of the song was, or what game it was from. and they kept playing it in the BG of talkradar episodes. then i realised that sometimes the games they're talking about at that moment are the audio triggers for the BG music. if i had seen this article 5 and a half months ago... i wouldn't have gone through so much torture. :D
  • sharker - October 15, 2010 2:19 a.m.

    I used to have a remix of the first song as my Killing Floor menu music, it is awesome.
  • 510BrotherPanda - October 13, 2010 7:34 p.m.

    I like "Brinstar Green Vegetation" slightly better than "Red Soil", mostly for the mad bongo action and the powerful beat it has. Red Soil is more eeire, subdued and subtle in in comparison, although its 'vocals' are nicer. There's also that song in Lower Norfair that they remixed for Metroid Prime's Magmoor Caverns... GAHHH! Metroid soundtracks (minus Other M) FTW!!!
  • philipshaw - October 13, 2010 3:42 p.m.

    This soundtrack is so atmospheric and creepy. It was doing what games like Bioshock do now 15 years ago. Love the game and soundtrack
  • Gorillaman23 - October 13, 2010 10:26 a.m.

    A few months ago, I was playing around with an old, shitty keyboard when I discovered something so amazing I needed a putty knife to scrape my jaw off the floor. The "flute" voice is actually the Metroidtone: the voice used for the basslines that made the music of this game so memorable! Also, am I the only that noticed how similar SM's music is to Vectorman's when I read this article? Super Metroid music is undeniably creepier, but that just come with the subject of being isolated on an alien planet.
  • slimjim441 - October 13, 2010 5:33 a.m.

    @db1331 same. the first time i entered the submerged temple area in the torvus bog in echoes (remix of that same track), i cried.
  • HumorTumor - October 13, 2010 3:44 a.m.

    That is an amazing soundtrack. I remember playing that game back in the day. Good time reliving that
  • Tenfey - October 13, 2010 2:36 a.m.

    There is not one aspect of this game that is not 100% amazing. Will we ever get another spectacular 2-D Metroid?
  • Crimmy - October 12, 2010 11:53 p.m.

    @Metroidhunter Agreed. Phendrana had the best theme in all of Prime. I also nominate Skytown, Elysia's main theme. It is awesome. On another note, the last remix wasn't very good. The original version can't be topped.
  • Cleanser247 - October 12, 2010 11:40 p.m.

    Very unique song and level!
  • Strangleme - October 12, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    Incredible choice!!
  • Metroidhunter32 - October 12, 2010 10:42 p.m.

    I love Metroid, and I love the music. I still expcet to see Prime 1 here eventually, Magmoor Caverns and Phenandra Drift themes will not be denied.
  • CH3BURASHKA - October 12, 2010 10:42 p.m.

    Great track. Very creepy. I really hope their next Metroid game will be a 2D successor... on the Wii HD. Will you get some of the OCR crew on the podcast as well? I smell a music segment!
  • KielbasaNinja - October 12, 2010 10:09 p.m.

    I haven't even clicked play yet and I'm already at half mast.
  • thedutewaw - October 12, 2010 9:22 p.m.

    Fantastic music and outstanding remixes, Kindred was hauntingly beautiful, and In Your Prime was awesome. Love the Metroid music, and I'm glad to see OCRemix get some more love.
  • austinthebookworm - October 12, 2010 9:06 p.m.

    It's ridiculous that people even think Other M is close to it's quality. Other M is the worst Metroid game, and Super Metroid and Metroid Prime are the best.
  • paganpoet - October 12, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    I wrote a piece for orchestra back when I was an undergrad in music composition which was directly inspired by both of the music themes in the Maridia area of Super Metroid. I even had them performed and have a live recording of them on my computer. Needless to say, I'm a huge fan.
  • batmanboy11 - October 12, 2010 8:59 p.m.

    Hell yeah!
  • Baron164 - October 12, 2010 8:47 p.m.

    I loved this game and everything about it. It's still my favorite Metroid game hands down.
  • Aeshir - October 12, 2010 8:36 p.m.

    Shit yeah, 'Roids!