Samus Aran is one of gaming's iconic female characters. She wasn't always a female, though. Metroid co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto explains:
When we were almost done with the development of Metroid, one of our staffers casually suggested, ‘Why don't we make Samus Aran a female character to surprise the player?' Back then I thought it was a nice idea, but I couldn't foresee what a huge impact this would have on the future of the franchise.
And what an impact it has had! When I was 8 or 9 years old, I remember being totally floored by the game's big reveal. In an age when games had players save princesses, Metroid stood out.
Sakamoto and co. distilled the flick Alien into a groundbreaking video game.