Metroid Dread’s Adam Won’t Order Samus Around, Says Nintendo

Metroid Dread’s Adam Won’t Order Samus Around, Says Nintendo
Image: Nintendo

It’s been a busy day for E3 2021, with the biggest announcement probably being Nintendo’s revival of the long-rumoured Metroid Dread title for the series’ fifth mainline instalment. Metroid Dread, coming to Switch on October 8, again follows Samus Aran on her planetary explorations, but also features an appearance by Adam Malkovich, a controversial figure among Metroid fans.

Nintendo, for its part, seems to be aware that Adam is a touchy subject, and made sure to let folks know that he won’t be playing a large role in Metroid Dread — at least when it comes to giving Samus orders — during a recent Treehouse demo.

“Adam is just a point for lore,” Nintendo’s Theresa Apolinario told viewers earlier today. “He doesn’t give any direction to Samus, it’s up to the player where they want to navigate and explore.”

The average viewer likely paid no mind to this little disclaimer, but for those familiar with Adam’s history in the Metroid series, it felt obvious that Nintendo was getting out ahead of any drama by performing some damage control.

So why the fuss?

After first being mentioned in 2002’s Metroid Fusion for the Game Boy Advance, Adam made his on-screen debut in 2010’s Metroid: Other M on the Wii. A prequel to the handheld game, Other M focused heavily on Samus and Adam’s personal relationship, specifically the tensions that arose between them due to Samus’ role as an independent bounty hunter rather than an enlisted soldier under Adam’s command.

Still, Samus spent a lot of time in Other M taking orders from Adam. Whether it was about which weapons she was allowed to use or the areas she should explore, Adam felt like a constant, demanding presence, which felt at odds with Samus’ legacy as a powerful, self-reliant woman. While there were certainly other issues with the game, this dynamic played a large role in Other M’s critical failure and has remained its most enduring legacy in the otherwise-lauded Metroid franchise.

Since dying in Other M, Adam’s mind was used as the basis for an AI that filled a similar role in Metroid Fusion and now functions as the computer for Samus’ gunship in Metroid Dread. It’s unclear if he’ll play a larger role in the upcoming game’s story, but one thing is for sure: He won’t be bossing Samus (and, by extension, the player) around anymore.



  • Did you seriously just try to make it about sexism? Are you drunk? I have literally marched in the streets for equality, but that is absolutely ridiculous. A military commander trying to boss others around is somehow strange to you? Stupid. We’ve seen it a thousand times in all forms of media, including a commander/bounty hunter dynamic many times.

    • It’s long been suspected that changes in that game were due to Miyamoto’s own sexism, which is why he’s being quietly forced away from so many projects and why so many attribute Adam’s characterisation/involvement in Other M to sexism. It’s not like it’s a new story as far as industry gossip goes.

    • Other M made a lot of stuff weird so it’s not purely about the idea of her being given orders or Adam himself being overbearing. Samus is someone who gets a mission and completes it so the idea of having her put up with someone micromanaging her is stupid, and it gets insulting when the rationale behind it seemed to be a desire to girl up her character.

      That said I think everyone’s reading way too much into this. They’re just playing it safe and confirming that yes, Adam will be in it, but they’re still back to a Samus that’s Ellen Ripley’s brain in a T-800’s body.

      • Thanks for so eloquently spelling it out. Other M was a royal pain in the arse of a game with just utterly stupid -No you can’t use X weapon/item in that area because reasons- moments.
        “Sir, having access to my missiles right now would really help me umm, survive… But sure, Chain of Command says no, so guess I’ll die, huh?”
        It wasn’t sexism that ate at most players, it was genuinely bad game mechanics.

        • Yeah. Sometimes I feel like I’m a bit overly harsh to Other M because I love Metroid so much, and honestly I’m still glad Nintendo were willing to step out of their comfort zone with one of their big names, but there’s a reason over a decade later they’re still navigating the fallout from it.
          It’ll be a long time before they can mention stuff closely tied to it like Adam without frantically waving their arms and adding ‘but not Other M Adam! This isn’t Another M’!

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