Orpheon is a Space Pirate frigate from which Samus receives a distress signal in Metroid Prime. It is the first area explored in the game. The vessel is operated by the Space Pirate Science Team as a transport and research vessel and was key in the transportation of Metroid samples from the fallen base of Zebes to the research facilities on Tallon IV. Other than Metroids, the vessel housed various other bizarre species that the Space Pirates were running tests on, most likely for militaristic purposes; the most notable being the Parasite Queen and reborn Ridley. Phazon could also be found on the frigate. The ship was crippled in orbit due to a fusion core accident (caused by a dying Parasite Queen falling into the Reactor Core). The frigate later crashed into the surface of the planet shortly after Samus defeated the Parasite Queen. Samus would later find the wreckage and have to traverse through it to reach the Phazon Mines.
The Orpheon is where the defeated Ridley was resurrected/rebuilt into Meta Ridley after his defeat on Zebes. It is also where Samus first encounters him (in his new cybernetic-enhanced form) during her escape from the crippled Orpheon. It is unclear exactly why Meta Ridley was still aboard as most of the able-bodied crew had evacuated six hours before Samus' arrival. He may have chosen to stay and guard the ship, or at the time still needed time to recuperate before moving.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl the Frigate Orpheon stage is based on this area. A Parasite Queen watches from the background and the stage flips occasionally with the power occasionally going out (both similar to its crashed state).
Areas and main roomsEdit
The main area of the frigate, composed of three decks; by name, these are Alpha, Beta and Gamma, serving as the emergency evacuation, biohazard research, and propulsion areas, respectively. Samus lands here and traverses it to reach the Parasite Queen.
After the reactor core is sent into critical condition, Samus is forced to escape through this area of the ship.
Log 09.992.3 Zebes has fallen. All ground personnel are presumed dead, either killed by the Hunter clad in metal or in the subsequent destruction of the underground facilities. Our research frigates Orpheon, Siriacus and Vol Paragom were in orbit at zero hour and managed to retreat. Frigate Orpheon is now docked at Vortex Outpost. Orpheon's cargo appears to have a 100% survival rate: Metroids are healthy but on restricted feeding schedules due to uncertain supply status. We are ready to begin research on the Metroids and other promising life-forms. Security status remains at Code Blue: no signs of pursuit from the Hunter.
- Three more Parasite Queens are encountered on the Orpheon by Samus (two already dead, one in hibernation, with the fourth being the Reactor Core boss). The first one is encountered in the Emergency Evacuation Area (either killed by the pirates or succumbed to Phazon poisoning). The second is located in Biohazard Containment (died due to infusion of Phazon Batch 0732.C, it being incompatible with its DNA). The final Queen is found in Biotech Research Area 1, in hibernation. After Samus defeats the Reactor Core Queen, she must return to this room during her escape from the crippled Orpheon, where she witnesses the Queen battling two Space Pirates as it tries to escape its stasis tank. The Pirates manage to subdue it, but are subsequently killed by an explosion caused by the Queen falling. Interestingly, Samus can collect whatever items come out of the two Pirates.
- Before the Reactor Core's meltdown, most of its crew had evacuated the vessel 6 hours before Samus' Gunship arrived due to the escape of two Parasite Queens (the one Samus defeats in the Reactor Core and the one found dead in the Emergency Evacuation Area). It is likely that some if not most of the crew who fled the Orpheon were members of the Space Pirate Science Team. A small number of the frigate's still living crew remain on board, mainly those unable to evacuate (the injured) and possible those who were either forced (or bravely chose) to remain there (as the Pirates may have also been trying to retake the ship). The injured were likely left behind as they were no longer useful (or beyond help).
- The images on the screens of the computers on the frigate are reused for the screens of the computers in the Pirates' Glacier One facility in the Phendrana Drifts, as well as the Phazon Mines. Some of the images were also reused for some of the screens on the crashed GFS Theseus in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
- In the Parasite Queen trophy from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it is said that the frigate had a nuclear power reactor.
- The destruction of the Frigate Orpheon is similar to that of Ceres Space Colony in Super Metroid; specifically the scene where Samus pursues Ridley to Tallon IV.
- The Frigate is the first location visited in Metroid Prime, and is therefore the first location in the Prime series, as well as the first location explored in 3-D.
- The Orpheon, before its crash, is the only area in Metroid Prime besides the Impact Crater to not contain any upgrades. Rather, it is one of the two locations where Samus loses upgrades (The Varia Suit, Morph Ball, etc. at Orpheon, and the Phazon Suit in the Impact Crater.).
- Scanning the dead, dying, or wounded space pirates will reveal how each was killed or injured. For example, a scan might tell that the space pirate was immoblilized due to acid fusing its joints together.
- Certain screens in the ship reveal that the ship's shape resembles that of the Space Pirate Mothership possibly indicating that it may be of the same class as the Mothership.
- Issue 163 of Nintendo Power and page 14 of Metroid Prime: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide refer to the Orpheon as the Pirate Ship. This is also an alternate name for the Space Pirate destroyers in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
- The Orpheon is never specifically named as such in the game itself; while the name is mentioned in a scan, it isn't mentioned to be the specific frigate that Samus lands on. It was actually Super Smash Bros Brawl that first declared the ship to be the Orpheon.
|Areas of Tallon IV|
|Tallon Overworld | Chozo Ruins | Magmoor Caverns | Phendrana Drifts | Phazon Mines | Impact Crater|
|Planets visited in the Metroid Series|
|Other locations visited in the Metroid Series|
|Space Pirate Vehicles|
|Large Spacecraft||Flagship • Mother Ship • Orpheon • Siriacus • Vol Paragom • Starship • Leviathan Battleship • Leviathan-class capital ship • Destroyer • Colossus • Marauder-class battleship • Dragüd's Ship • Doomseye|
|Space fighters||Zebesian Pirate Ship • Boarding Pod • Plunderer-class cruiser • Fang-class fighter • Missile Transport (Elite)|