Hunter Metroids are adolescent Tallon Metroids, first appearing in Metroid Prime in the Phendrana Drifts area of Tallon IV (NTSC/Wii versions only), and later appearing in the depths of the Phazon Mines and the Impact Crater, the latter where the Metroid Prime can freely spawn them in pools of pure Phazon.
Hunter Metroids have highly elongated bodies, making them appear much taller than their previous juvenile form. While a Tallon Metroid possesses a smooth, glossy membrane, a Hunter Metroid's is very irregular, inconsistent with the rest of its body and is vertically long with a red color. The inner nuclei within remains mostly unchanged. Due to the stretched membrane however, there is a large amount of space between the quadripartite nuclei and the top, inner wall of said membrane, consequently doubling the length of the strands of flesh connecting the former to the latter. Peculiarly, official artwork shows there is nothing inside this large amount of space, though both the model and image scan seen in-game reveals a blue, bulbous organic matter resembling Phazon floating above the inner nuclei. A Hunter Metroid still possesses two pairs of mandibles, but they differ drastically from a Tallon Metroid's, as all four fangs are now the same length, thin, more hook-like in appearance and, like the base they are attached to, possess a dark shade of color. The most unique features of a Hunter Metroid are the addition of two energy-siphoning tentacles dangling from the bottom of its base, rendering the fangs useless in terms of gripping onto prey and draining them.Because of these tentacles, they are capable of draining life energy from long distances, making them much more efficient than younger Metroids. When Hunter Metroids attack, they flip their bodies to a horizontal position so their tentacles can attach to their prey and begin absorbing energy. If the prey is outside the physical reach of these tendrils, they will emit a blue beam from the tips to the location of their target in order to nonetheless feed on it. Hunter Metroids' tentacles and blue beams circumvent the need to grip Samus Aran with the lower half of their bodies, preventing her Bombs from reaching them and are thus ineffective in shaking them off (contrary to all other forms of Metroid larvae). Consequently, since they do not attach onto Samus' head with their fangs, she is unhindered by any visual obstructions, allowing her to freely aim and shoot at Hunter Metroids while they siphon her energy. Their second method of attack consists of spiraling toward their enemies to ram them.
Like the Tallon Metroids, the adolescents can be harmed with all of Samus' weapons, and the Ice Beam remains extremely effective against them, as is the case with most forms of Metroid. However, they have developed a tolerance to all other forms of cold matter. Space Pirate research data found within Glacier One mentions two code-named Hunter Metroids, dg and ds, in which the latter is stated to have developed heightened immunity to cold damping fields. Another data terminal mentions that the usual cold containment methods employed by Pirates to keep juvenile Metroids sluggish are no longer sufficient for the 'larger' ones, forcing the Pirates to move them into quarantined caves. The 'larger' Metroids are likely refering to Hunter Metroids, considering one of these adolescents is indeed found in the Frost Cave (in some versions of the game), completely unaffected by the sub-zero temperatures of Phendrana Drifts; this specimen may also be the Hunter Metroid ds.
Interestingly, all Hunter Metroids mentioned in data terminals have a mental or physical dysfunctionality, which may or may not be attributed to the Phazon on Tallon IV before and during the events of Metroid Prime.
Morphology: Hunter Metroid
Adolescent Metroid. Energy-siphon tentacle increases its threat level.
As Metroids develop, they become more efficient predators. An energy-draining tentacle allows them to attack at a distance. Quick to anger, a Hunter Metroid will charge troublesome prey and attempt to ram them into submission. Cold-based attacks are still quite effective against these creatures.
Omega Research terminal scanEdit
"Metroids from the initial batch have matured to the Hunter phase. Be advised that the Hunter Metroid has a siphon-tentacle. It can attack with it from a distance, as opposed to the close-combat tactic used by younger Metroids."
"As Metroids develop, they become more efficient predators. Hunter Metroids use their energy-draining tentacles to attack their prey from a greater distance than normal Metroids. Quick to anger, a Hunter Metroid will charge troublesome prey and attempt to ram them into submission. Hunter Metroids are averse to cold temperatures.
An adolescent energy-based life form with a translucent upper body. Claw-like spikes and an energy-draining tentacle protrude from the lower half of the creature, which it uses to latch onto its prey."
- Early Metroid concept art also depicts them as tentacled, as well as the Nintendo Comics System.
- The tentacle may be, in regard to design, derived from the lightning attack of the Gamma Metroid.
- In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, there is a new strain of Metroid called Metroid Hatchers. They share a great deal of similarities in appearance, movement patterns and attacks (particularly their energy-siphoning tentacles).
- Official Hunter Metroid artwork features two differently colored variants (seen on top of this page), but only the red type is present in-game.
- A Hunter Metroid can be seen on a computer in the Pipeline multiplayer stage of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.
- Interestingly, Hunter Metroids are referred to as adolescents, which would imply that there is a stage after them.
- If Sequence Breaking is used to dislodge the highest stalactite in the Frost Cave (the one leading to the Missile Expansion) before acquiring the Gravity Suit, the Hunter Metroid can be lured into the water, but is apparently unaffected by it.