Metroid Prime is back after 20 years and fans are still at war over how Samus fits in her power suit

Samus Aran
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Decades later, Metroid fans are still locked in a civil war over a question that's getting increasingly stupid answers: how the heck does Samus Aran fit inside her power suit?

Samus's proportions have been weird and inconsistent over the years. A spread in Nintendo Power magazine around the era of Super Metroid suggested that she's 6'3" tall and weighs in at 198 pounds, and described her as a "strong, muscular woman." An illustration goes so far as to show how she fits inside the power suit.

Samus Aran

(Image credit: Nintendo)

But Samus's visual design has evolved in the years since Super Metroid. Putting aside the questionable ways her out-of-suit design has become shorter and less muscular over the years, there's been a clear upgrade in the range of motion of the power suit's arms. This illustration's suggestion that her shoulders don't even enter the ball joints of the power suit simply does not work with the modern version of the power suit.

The debate over how Samus exists in physical space has been going on for ages, but the release of Metroid Prime Remastered has reignited the debate. The illustration in the tweet below provides a pretty solid example of what's wrong here. The suit is far too narrow at the waist to support someone with broad enough shoulders to actually fill out the power suit, and the gap in the power suit's armpit makes it clear that she's not just holding her arms at her sides.

People keep pointing to power suit cosplayers or concept art that shows Samus's musculature inside the armor, but again, these depictions do not match the proportions of the power suit we see in-game. For any of this to work, Samus would need to be built like Jessica Rabbit, and while her design has certainly become more traditionally feminine over the years, we're not there yet.

It seems like players are finally starting to accept that this is all a result of video game characters not being bound by the constraints of real, physical space, but that hasn't stopped anyone from coming up with increasingly ridiculous answers to an increasingly silly question.

guys_i_figured_it_out from r/Metroid

In canon, of course, Samus's power suit was designed by a race of birdlike aliens with magical powers known as the Chozo. As a result, everyone's come to realize that you can pretty confidently answer almost any Metroid lore question with one simple phrase: bird magic.

But actually, there may be another answer to all this, one that sticks to hard sci-fi without any 'mystical' cop-outs. What if the power suit's breastplate is wider to make room for a control panel in there? What if Samus herself is controlling her classic GameCube iteration with an actual GameCube controller?

Maybe Metroid Prime 4 will finally answer this burning question.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.