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 larval Metroid growing to gigantic proportions without undergoing any major transformations.
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 led by Ridley, the Metroid was not only restricted to its larval stage, it had also increased dramatically in size. 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. It had somehow removed its vulnerability to cold temperatures (a trait seen previously in several Phazon-induced Metroid mutations, and Unfreezable Metroids later on). This mutation never occurred within other Metroid specimens on Zebes featured in Metroid, its remake Metroid: Zero Mission and earlier Metroids encountered in Super Metroid.
This giant Metroid was 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. It was practically immune to all of Samus' weaponry, including the Ice Beam and Power Bombs. 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 Laser Brain Attack to destroy it.
Interestingly, the Big Metroid was capable of performing an ability that no other Metroid had previously shown: the ability to transfer energy from one being to another. This life-saving power, first hinted in Super Metroid 's introduction sequence by the Ceres scientists as possibly being beneficial to Galactic society, allowed Samus to emerge victorious in her 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 energy remains, triggering the cutscene where the Big Metroid recognizes Samus. 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 (hit by the Laser Brain Attack and her near-complete energy absorption), 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 larval Metroids, 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."
- 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.
|Natural Life Cycle|| |
|Zebes Metroids|| |
|Tallon IV Metroids|
|Aether Metroids|| |
|Phazon Metroids|| |
|Cocoons and Eggs|| |
|Artificial Metroids|| |
|Metroid Hybrids|| |
|Specific Metroids|| |
|Metroid Technologies|| |
|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|
|Bosses in the Metroid series|
|Metroid||Kraid • Ridley • Mother Brain|
|Metroid: Zero Mission|| King Worm • Mua • Kraid • Kiru Giru • Imago • Ridley • Mother Brain • Ruins Test • Ridley Robot |
|Metroid II: Return of Samus||Alpha Metroid • Arachnus • Gamma Metroid • Zeta Metroid • Omega Metroid • Queen Metroid|
|Super Metroid||Torizo • Spore Spawn • Kraid • Crocomire • Phantoon • Botwoon • Draygon • Golden Torizo • Ridley • Big Metroid • Mother Brain|
|Metroid: Other M||Brug Mass • Fune and Namihe • Groganch • King Kihunter • Mystery Creature • Goyagma • RB176 Ferrocrusher • Rhedogian • Vorash • Ridley • Nightmare • Queen Metroid • MB • Phantoon|
|Metroid Fusion||Arachnus-X • Elephant Bird • Zazabi • Serris • B.O.X. Security Robot • Mega Core-X • Scientist • Yakuza • Nettori • Nightmare • Neo-Ridley • SA-X • Omega Metroid|
|See also: Bosses in Metroid Prime Series|
|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