In its very early years, the video game industry was heavily inspired by other art forms, including movies, TV shows, books and comics. Heck, for a short time, video game cover art borrowed massively from popular films to the point where artists basically traced stills from famous movies and used them as the basis of their covers.
With this in mind, it's interesting to note that the protagonist of a relatively obscure Japanese manga and anime series, Dragon's Heaven, sports a mecha suit that looks a lot like Samus Aran's Varia Suit in Metroid.
Well, it's not an exact match – it's mainly the massive, spherical shoulder pads which look the same – but the similarity has been picked up recently by video game historian Kate Willaert:
While Willaert specifically references the Original Video Animation (OVA) from 1988, Makoto Kobayashi's original manga was actually released in 1986 – the same year that Metroid launched on the Famicom in Japan.
Set in the year 3195, Dragon's Heaven is heavily inspired by the works of Jean 'Moebius' Giraud and Hayao Miyazaki, and focuses on the aftermath of a war between robots and humans. Shaian, a sentient combat armour, has lost its human companion in battle but is reactivated when a new human ally appears.
You can watch the OVA below, complete with English subtitles.
Do you think this was an inspiration to the Metroid team at Nintendo? Or is it just a mere coincidence? Let us know with a comment below.