Metroid II: Return of Samus
Samus Aran made a name for herself in the alien bug-hunt game when she exterminated all the Nintendo Metroids four years ago - all the Metroids, that is, except one. That pesky, surviving Metroid multiplied rapidly until planet SR388 was once again swarming with Metroids and other creepy crawlies bent on sucking up the world's life energy. Samus suits up once again to pull the Galactic Federation's fat out of the frier in a Game Boy sequel, Metroid II: The Return of Samus.
Metroid for the Memories
The original Metroid is forever enshrined in the NES hall of fame as one of the deepest, darkest, and most enjoyable run-jump-shoot-and-search space survival gigs of all time. Metroid II is another close encounter of the alien kind. You join Samus on a journey to hunt down and eradicate 39 rogue Metroids. (They look like overgrown floating jellyfish, but don't be fooled by goofy appearances, the Metroids play rough!)
Tunnels of Terror
Samus spelunks through 10 areas qt cavernous side-view alien-wasting obstacles. The tricky traps range from blow-up-able blocks to lava, narrow pathways to precariously-positioned platforms. She runs and jumps with controllable precision, and you'd be wise to map out her freshly-explored terrain with pen and paper whenever possible.
Samus' Survival Kit
Metroid's bragging point over all other carts was its amazing range of deadly, creative mayhem-makers. Chapter Two sports even more (14 total) hot-to-trot tools o' death, destruction, and burnt Metroid flesh. You begin play with a regular Beam (read: pea shooter), but you can add an Ice Beam, a Wave Beam, a Spazer Laser Beam, or a Plasma Beam to your arsenal. One of Samus' handiest moves, the Round Ball, is back, but with a new twist.
If you nab the Spider Ball, you can stick to and roll on walls and ceilings! Other prizes include Varia, which enhances your armor, Energy Tanks, which extend your life line, and the Screw Attack, which spins 'n slashes scumazoids to smithereens a la Ninja Gaiden. You latch onto most of the goodies along the way to your Metroid massacre, so don't sweat item-tracking too much.
Mother Metroid's Offspring
Remember that huge, hideous cerebral leader known as the Mother Brain? A similar creature, Mother Metroid, is head of the space-scum pack in the sequel. Before you tackle her, you gotta slime through 40 (count 'em) varieties of enemies, including such disgusting do-bad-ders as Hornoad, Needier, Arachnus, and Gawron. Most are tiny-but-deadly wall-walkers and dive-bombers, but other, more powerful nasties take several hits to dispatch. The Metroids, your prime targets in each area, come in five shapes, sizes, and mutations.
In addition to increased length, Metroid II offers a feature rarely seen in Game Boy titles: a battery back-up! Simply find a self-identified Save Station, press Start, and you just made Metroid history. While we re on the subject of innovations, Samus and the Metroids alike are strikingly drawn and animated in terms of handheld technology. Sounds and music are also above average.
Rarely does a Game Boy cart come along that captures and holds your imagination like Metroid II. It's been a long time coming, but the sequel is well worth the wait. No wad yet on whether the Metroids will infest the Super NES, but we'll keep you posted on the latest developments from SR388.
- At the start of the game, proceed down and left from Samus' space shuttle, polish off the Metroid with Missiles, and an earthquake will open a tunnel to Area ivo. To pass later levels, press Pause to determine the number of Metroids left alive in your area, beat them all, and an earthquake will reveal a passage to the next area.
- Just like the original, Metroid II hides multiple game ending sequences. To view the "best," you have to eliminate Mother Metroid in under two-and-a-half hours. Tough but not impossible.
- A Metroid's cracked shell usually means a real living, breathing, disgusting Metroid is hiding out nearby.
- If a swarm of enemies bogs you down, move quickly to make them disappear off the screen and they will bother you no longer.
- You can score a maximum of around 220 Missiles, but make sure you load up with at least 180 before you reach Mother Metroid.
- Look for places where endless enemies fly out of holes and shoot them over and over to recharge your life and missile meters.
- Freeze enemies with the Ice Beam and jump on them to reach high-up places.
- Once you acquire the Ice Beam, don't relinquish it until you find the Wave Beam. Trade Wave in for Ice again when you reach Level Ten. Use Ice to snow under the last-level Metoids, then rock 'em and sock 'em with Missiles.
- If you come face-to-wall with a sealed door, force an entry with five missiles.
- Roll into a Round Ball to reveal dozens of secret passageways.