Moving Video Game Music: Underwater Depths (Metroid Fusion)

Could it be? A track from the first Metroid game I ever played? It is! Four out of five.

As this is a theme for an actual level and not a menu screen, I’ll be able to ramble even more about it. Won’t that be nice? …Anyone?

Metroid Fusion is a pretty creepy game, all things considered, although I’ve found subsequent playthroughs to be considerably less nervewracking (once you learn the SA-X’s appearances are scripted and not random, that takes the edge off considerably even if dealing with her is still an ordeal).

The game’s soundtrack, as such, is made up of a mixture of intense, pulse-pounding tracks like Sector 1 and more eerie tracks like Environmental Disquiet.

Underwater Depths isn’t like any of these tracks. But then again, the area in which it plays isn’t like the rest of the game, either. In more ways than one.

For much of the game, you’re acting under the guidance of a Galactic Federation AI that Samus casually nicknames ‘Adam’. Whereas traditional Metroid games essentially drop you in an expansive world and tell you to explore until you figure out what you need and where you need to go, Adam tells you those things in this game. If you don’t like your hand being held, you’re not going to like this.

But Metroid Fusion is, in many ways, a very deliberate and, dare I say it, self-aware piece of fiction, and so the plot effectively “goes off the rails” once you reach a certain point. Samus is separated from Adam’s guidance, and it’s here that the game’s plot shifts from the simple ‘Outbreak on Space Station’ plot it was before into… a simple shady government conspiracy plot with the outbreak still a pressing issue. Well, it may not be a Five Star story, but it’s certainly enjoyable.

As Samus moves to reconnect with Adam, she enters the level where this plays. It’s part of Sector 4, the aquatic section of the BSL. Unlike the part of Sector 4 the player has seen before, it’s a proper habitat instead of a few holding pens and what appear to be flooded rooms. Here there’s a ton of underwater life that will gladly murder you, set to the backdrop of an artificial sea cavern.

It’s a beautiful, yet mildly disconcerting area. This track fits it perfectly. It’s calming, yet there’s an aura of mystery to it. There’s also a lonely quality to it, at least that’s the feeling it gives off when I listen to it.

You’ve been shuffled around this space station by a disembodied mechanical voice for awhile, but for the moment? You are free.

You’ll understand what’s going on soon enough.

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