Smash History: Dark Samus

Dark Samus SSB Ultimate pose

Background

Dark Samus is the manifestation of Metroid Prime via Phazon energy. Her goal is to chase down Samus all throughout the galaxy. No one is really sure why either. Maybe she’s got some plan to take control of Samus’ body? Or maybe Dark Samus just that petty about getting taken down at Samus’ hands? All we know is that Dark Samus has got a single track mind and will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

Why She Was Requested

Smash Bros has always had something of a representation issue when it comes to the Metroid series. When Ridley was neglected as a playable character in Brawl, fans were incensed. It got worse when the only new Metroid character introduced into Smash Bros after Melee was Zero Suit Samus. Fans wanted a new Metroid character, not an alternate version of an existing character.

Dark Samus Dark Pit

That’s why Dark Samus seemed like a reasonable request. Sakurai had stated that Ridley was too big to be playable. Since Dark Samus was the other major villain in the Metroid series, she was a reasonable compromise. Even though Dark Samus had “Samus” right in her name, she was at least a different character within her own franchise.

Dark Samus Kamehameha

There was just one problem. Fans were unaware that Nintendo, for whatever reason, was giving up on the Prime franchise after the third game. So, when Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U came out, Dark Samus was no longer a relevant character. Fan requests at least got Dark Samus in as an Assist Trophy, but that wasn’t enough.

Analysis

As an Echo Fighter, Dark Samus takes all of her influence from regular Samus. Some may view this as a missed opportunity to capture Dark Samus’ move set from Metroid Prime. However, Sakurai has gone to great lengths to capture the feel of the character. Dark Samus glides around on the stage without ever touching the ground.  She lazily points her blaster out to shoot a charged Phazon shot. Everything points to Dark Samus being the more agile version of Samus.

Dark Samus charge

There are some small nods to Dark Samus’ original games beyond her animation though. When you win a match, Dark Samus splits into two. This is a reference to the fights with her in Metroid Prime 2, which is a nice nod. Her entrance animation has her warping in through a Dark Aether portal. Even Dark Samus’ taunts have her glowing with Phazon energy.

Final Thoughts

Dark Samus’ inclusion is absolutely thrilling, even without a more unique move set.  This is a symbol for Metroid fans everywhere that Nintendo has finally recognized the legacy of Metroid Prime. With Metroid Prime 4 on the way, Metroid fans can finally rest easy that Nintendo won’t forget about it again.