Metroid, along with the likes of Super Mario Bros and The Legend Of Zelda, was one of those pivotal games that made the NES a must-have system in the 1980s. And if you were a fan of Metroid, you’ll doubtless remember its password system – rather than a battery back-up, you saved your progress by entering a long string of letters and numbers.
It was a cumbersome process, entering all those letters and numbers, but it did have one tactical advantage: by tinkering around with different combinations, you could activate weapons and open up entire areas of the game – and if you subscribed to the right magazines, they’d often print codes to save you the hastle of finding them for yourself. One of the most famous pass codes for Metroid was also the easiest to remember – far from a random string of letters and numbers, entering the name Justin Bailey unlocked a fully powered-up Samus Aran wearing a purple leotard rather than her usual armor.
The question was and remains: who the hell is Justin Bailey? Why did his name unlock all that great stuff? Needless to say, back in those pre-internet days, all kinds of urban legends and theories sprang up around the name, and Justin Bailey remains a quirky footnote in videogame culture. The latest video from YouTuber Gaijillionaire wades into the whole Bailey mystery, exploring (and roundly discounting) all those urban legends, before heading off down a wonderful rabbit hole of pop culture references and weird coincidences.
It’s a great way to spend a few minutes – especially if you have fond memories of the rock-hard Metroid…