Metroid[a] is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Nintendo. The first installment in the Metroid series, it was originally released in Japan for the Famicom Disk System peripheral in August 1986. North America received a release in August 1987 on the Nintendo Entertainment System in a ROM cartridge format, with the European release following in January 1988. Set on the planet Zebes, the story follows Samus Aran as she attempts to retrieve the parasitic Metroid organisms that were stolen by Space Pirates, who plan to replicate the Metroids by exposing them to beta rays and then use them as biological weapons to destroy Samus and all who oppose them.
Metroid was developed by Nintendo Research & Development 1 (Nintendo R&D1) and Intelligent Systems. It was produced by Gunpei Yokoi, directed by Satoru Okada and Masao Yamamoto, and scored by Hirokazu Tanaka. The game’s style, focusing on exploration and the search for power-ups that are used to reach previously inaccessible areas, influenced other video games. Its varied endings for fast completion times made it a popular game for speedrunning. It was lauded for being one of the first video games to feature a female protagonist, though the player must complete the game in under five hours for this to be revealed, with the game’s English-language instruction manual even using “he” to refer to the protagonist.
Nintendo Power ranked Metroid 11th on their list of the best games for a Nintendo console. On Top 100 Games lists, it was ranked 7th by Game Informer and 69th by Electronic Gaming Monthly. The game was re-released for the Game Boy Advance in 2004 as part of the Classic NES Series. It was released on the Wii Virtual Console in Europe and North America in 2007, and in Japan the following year.