The Big Metroid, also known as the Giant or Super Metroid, was an anomaly in the Metroid life cycle featured in Super Metroid and briefly seen in Other M. The anomaly consists of a Larva Metroid growing to gigantic proportions without undergoing any other major physiological changes.
Normally, when a larva is located outside of the environment of its homeworld, SR388, the different atmosphere and climate seemingly halts the Metroid's natural life cycle and the creature is never able to metamorphose into the Alpha stage. However, an unnatural mutation occurred with Samus Aran's baby, the last surviving Metroid from SR388, when it was brought to planet Zebes. Stolen by Space Pirates from the Ceres Space Station during a raid, the hatchling was not only restricted to its larval stage, but also increased dramatically in size.
This abnormal growth never occurred with other Metroid specimens on Zebes featured in Metroid, its remake Metroid: Zero Mission and earlier Metroids encountered in Super Metroid. However, a similar mutation was depicted in the gamebook Metroid: Zebes Invasion Order called the M=M.
Powers and abilities Edit
The giant Metroid had grown powerful enough to not only feed on common and enhanced lifeforms, but also immensely dangerous "boss" characters such as a Torizo and the Mother Brain herself. Its leeching attack was far greater than that of a typical Metroid, capable of absorbing the entirety of Samus' complete stock of Energy Tanks within seconds. The creature was immune to all of Samus' weaponry, including Power Bombs and the Ice Beam, the latter of which is normally the Metroid species' main weakness. Only Mother Brain had the strength to harm and ultimately kill the Giant Metroid after she resurrected herself; while the Pirate leader was capable of killing it with one of her standard attacks in Super, Other M 's interpretation revealed she had to rely exclusively on her devastating Laser Brain Attack to destroy it.
Interestingly, the Big Metroid was capable of performing an action that no other Metroid had previously shown in the entire series: the ability to willingly transfer life energy from one being to another, thus healing all injuries present on the individual receiving the energy. This power was first hinted in Super Metroid's introduction sequence by the Ceres scientists as possibly being beneficial to Galactic society, and was ultimately demonstrated when the Metroid leeched off Mother Brain's energy and transferred it to a gravely wounded Samus. During this process, the mutated Metroid had also robbed Mother Brain's Laser Brain Attack and gave it to Samus in the form of the Hyper Beam. The organism's ability to heal wounds and steal abilities are what allowed Samus to emerge victorious in her final battle with Mother Brain.
The reason behind this mutation is never explained in-game. In the Super Metroid comic, Armstrong Houston suggests that the creature was heavily exposed to Beta-Rays which resulted in its unnatural size increase; since the baby was the only existing Metroid during Super Metroid 's events, it is probable that the Space Pirates were forced to use an excessive amount of beta radiation to produce a satisfying amount of Metroids, thus mutating it. This would also explain why the Metroids featured in Samus's Zero Mission did not turn into Big Metroids despite exposure to beta rays. However, since it is stated in Other M that only special Metroids have the specific genetic coding to become Queen Metroids and the Queen featured in the same game was created from the baby's DNA, it is possible that the Big Metroid was a stage in the baby's evolution into a Queen.
The battle against the Big Metroid is scripted in the game. As mentioned before, it is invulnerable to all of Samus' weapons and it is programmed to chase her at an incredible speed and weigh her down as it drains energy off of her, preventing her from leaving the room where it is "fought". It cannot kill Samus since it is also programmed to stop exactly when one unit of her energy remains, triggering the cutscene where she kneeling in an exhausted posture as the Big Metroid recognizes her as the one it had imprinted onto as its parent.
However, it is nevertheless possible to "defeat" this creature: Samus can successfully evade the Big Metroid's persistent chase and leave the room using quick maneuvering of her jumping abilities without triggering the mentioned cutscene (a popular tactic among speedrunners). However, if the Metroid is latched onto Samus as she exits the room, she will be glitched in the form of incredible slowdown in her movements, exactly as if the creature was still weighing her down. Another glitch that can result from having the Big Metroid latch onto Samus before leaving its room, is the heroine being frozen in her exhausted animation, unable to recover. Therefore, these glitches force players to reset their consoles.
Metroid Prime: Federation ForceEdit
The spinoff title also featured Big Metroid larvae, however the manner in which they attained their gigantism differed greatly. Prior to the events of both Metroid II and Super Metroid, the Space Pirates possessed a device called the Amplification Beam. This beam allowed them to increase the sizes of their own kind and various specimens to massive proportions. Among the latter were Metroid larvae, which had grown large enough to latch onto the Galactic Federation's piloted Mechs.
Despite the Metroids' similar size to the giant featured in Super Metroid, the former were far weaker. The Metroids exposed to the Amplification Beam kept their vulnerability to cold temperatures. Additionally, those that were frozen could be killed with the Mechs' standard beam fire. All of the Metroids featured in-game were exposed to the Amplification Beam, with the sole exception being the one hatched from its egg by Sylux in a post-credit scene.
"There's nothing you can do to get it off of you."
- The Giant Metroid's invulnerability to cold temperatures is a trait that was once exclusive to several Phazon-induced mutant strains. Later on in the series' chronology, Unfreezable Metroids are created within the BOTTLE SHIP.
- The Big Metroid's power to steal the abilities of its victims may have been performed by other members of the species in a few instances in the series. The Metroid Prime's capacity to produce Phazon is believed to have initially belonged to a Phazon Core. The BOTTLE SHIP's Queen Metroid was able to breathe fire, an ability it potentially acquired after it devoured Ridley's clone. Finally, Samus herself absorbs the abilities of unique X Parasite hosts and their imitations after she becomes a Metroid hybrid.
- The anomaly from Super Metroid is the first member of the Metroid species to give away absorbed life energy of its own volition. In the Metroid Prime series, Space Pirates are known to have forcefully extracted the life energy stocked in their Metroid specimens via artificial means; additionally, it was discovered that repeated extractions can cause the organisms to die.
- Super Metroid is the first game in the Metroid series to reveal the fate of victims killed by the titular species. The Big Metroid's prey are turned into lifeless, colorless husks that crumble into sand-like particles when touched. In addition, some victims are immobilized in their final agonizing moments. These traits, evidence of a Metroid attack, were brought back in Zero Mission, Other M and Metroid Prime 3, though only the latter kept the crumbling aspect of the corpses.
- Matt Manchester, an environment artist for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, wrote design notes explaining why the Metroid increases in size, but they are not considered canon as they did not make it into the final game due to text size limitations: "Observations of captive Metroids display a rare anomaly in their developmental growth. Approximately .08% of contained specimens never reach the biological process that leads to their otherwise natural metamorphic stages of maturity. While developmental stages are stunted, physical growth continues at a congruent rate. Efficiency of energy consumption increases steadily as well. During behavioral analysis, greater intelligence and problem solving skills are observed. Heightened abilities of energy consumption make this anomaly a potential key in isolating and duplicating their feeding process artificially." In his notes, he considered placing a Big Metroid in a containment in Metroid Processing, though this never came to fruition: "In one chamber, I wanted to put a fat giant metroid, like in the end of Super, and then tie in an explanation as to why some Metroids (like the one in Super) get really big in their larval state, but others evolve into more adult forms. Again, none of this is canon by any means, but just the fiction I wrote for myself when making the room."
- Interestingly enough, the Omega Metroid seen at the end of Metroid Fusion also suffered from an unnatural growth. Since this Metroid was also cloned from the baby like the Queen Metroid in Other M, it may also have been transforming into a Queen. However, this was never confirmed.
- The first encounter with the Big Metroid is accompanied by the boss theme heard during the fights with Kraid, Crocomire and Phantoon. Also, the ominous music that plays directly before battling both Kraid and Phantoon is also heard prior to fighting the mutated Metroid. This, coupled with the fact that the creature can be "defeated", constitutes the Big Metroid as a boss.
|Unused Bosses and Species|
|Metroid: Zero Mission||Crocomire • Ridley-2|
|Metroid Prime||Fireflea • Kraid • IceBoss • Ripper • Skree • Maggot • Kihunter • Sova • Chomper Fish • Experiment 7526 • Tallon Chameleon • Carnivorous Plant • Phazon Blastcap • Phazon Burrower • Zebesian|
|Metroid Prime 2: Echoes|| Dark Pirate Aerotrooper • Dark Shriekbat • Dark Sporb • Dark Triclops • Kenobite • Phlogus • Triclops • Zoomer • Sova • Icemite|
Metroid 1.5: Mad AI • Humetroid • Thrash-hunters • Shock beast
|Metroid Prime 3: Corruption||Advanced Pirate Militia • Advanced Shield Militia • Assault Pirate Militia • Assault Shield Militia • Big Metroid • Crocomire • Endocoon • Mantha • Phase Sprite • Phazite Armored Trooper • Phazon Tentacle • Reptilicus-G • Salamander|
|Super Metroid||Bang • Reflec • Stoke|
|Metroid: Other M||Zebesian|
|Metroid Fusion||Geega • "Hive" • Kago spawn • Skree • Toxic Gas|
|3DS Metroid game||Boss Creature|
|Non-hostile|| Aurora Unit 217 • Baby • Dachora • Databot • Etecoon • Fleet Admiral Castor Dane • Fleet Mechanic • Pow • Septogg • Tatori • Tatori, Jr. |
Training Drone • Watchdrone • Work Robot
|Hostiles|| Aazelion • Airthorn • Autom • Big Metroid • Cannon • GMX-04 Halberd-class turret (if provoked) • Polyp • Proboscum |
Puromi • Ring Beam Unit • Ripper II • Samus Eater (Bud) • Seed platform • Unfreezable Metroid • ZipNMEBomber
|Misc.|| Bloatsac • Blueroot Tree (Dark) • Butterflies • Chomper Fish • Durable plantform • Fish • Fungus • Glow Stem • Great Tree |
Massive tentacle • Moth • Parasitic fungus • Protozoan • RedGrass • Sandgrass • Sbug • Scarp • Scatterbug • Tallon fern • Mantha