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Kraid (クレイド Kureido ) is a corpulent, three-eyed green reptilian extraterrestrial from the Metroid series. Kraid is one of the largest enemies Samus ever encounters in her missions, as he takes up multiple screens at a time. Kraid made his first appearance in the original Metroid as part of the game's boss duo, the other being his comrade, Ridley. Though he has no known official rank, Kraid is a high-ranking Space Pirate and may even be a leader, as he is a prominent boss throughout the series. The Metroid Prime manual describes Ridley and Kraid as the Space Pirate army's "mainstays"; one could easily imagine this colossus as the muscle and backbone behind Pirate attacks or raids. As is the case with most Pirates stationed on Zebes, Kraid is not a native of the planet, and his origins, along with his homeworld, remain unknown. In all of his canon-appearances, Samus Aran is always required to defeat him, among others, as a means to infiltrate Zebes' Pirate HQ, Tourian.
Kraid only possesses organic weapons: he shoots projectiles such as dagger-like spikes from his belly and spinning claws resembling nails or fingers from his hands, all of which are infinitely generated in his body. In his resurrected Super Metroid appearance, he gains the ability to spew out rock-like projectiles from his mouth. Except for the original Metroid game, Kraid is always seen tunneling out of the ground (both partially and entirely) prior to his battles within the series, establishing him as a natural digger.
A press kit profile for Super Metroid has Samus refer to Kraid as the "brutal ruler of Brinstar". In official Zero Mission art, Kraid is titled the Awakened Behemoth.
In the Famicom and NES verison of Metroid, Kraid is the boss of Mini-Boss hideout I. He is found in a room containing a large platform surrounded by a pool of acid. His original design differed considerably from that of later installments. Kraid's artwork seems to show that, in addition to being approximately the same height as Samus, he also appears to have green fur on his back and only two eyes. There are also spikes located on his back that are shot out and diverge towards the front, similar to boomerangs, in an arching trajectory. The three spikes on his belly and face are always launched in a straight path. The entire boss battle consists of Kraid walking back and forth on his platform as he constantly hurls his weapons at Samus.
All of Kraid's projectiles also serve a defensive tactic; due to their invulnerability, they can destroy all of Samus' long-range weapons on contact. In particular, the middle spike on Kraid's front is aligned with her Arm Cannon's line of fire, requiring either precise jumps to shoot in-between the top spikes, or strict timing in order to shoot his vulnerable body before his spikes reform on him. Samus can, however, use the Ice Beam to temporarily freeze Kraid's spikes in midair and away from him, leaving him completely exposed and unable to generate additional spikes until the ice thaws. Only the front spike closest to the floor can never be frozen because of the absence of crouching or diagonal aim in the game. One must be careful with the Ice Beam, for if Kraid's projectiles freeze before he launches them, they'll remain attached to his body for an extended period, somewhat increasing his defenses and thus further hinder the heroine. The Screw Attack and Bombs also harm him, but at the expense of Samus' health due the close proximity needed to make them effective. Due to all of the mechanics implicated in Kraid's battle, he is generally considered to be a more difficult boss than Ridley.
There is also a Fake-Kraid which Samus can encounter before fighting the real Kraid. However, since there are multiple paths leading to the authentic Kraid, Samus may never come across the imposter. Fake-Kraid shares the same attacks and the appearance of his namesake, but it is a darker shade of brown with light blue fur and is rather feeble by comparison. Unlike the real Kraid, it respawns even if killed by simply re-entering the decoy's room. Worthy to note is that due to the Famicom console's superior internal memory, the back spikes on Kraid and his doppelganger are thrown in various different trajectories chosen at random, while the NES console's lower specs only offer a single path for these projectiles (among other objects and enemies in-game), making the American version of Metroid slightly less challenging.
In the remake of the first Metroid game, Kraid's size and appearance are retconned to being similar to his appearance in Super Metroid, disproving earlier theories that he somehow grew between his appearances in Metroid and Super Metroid. Kraid's hideout is now named after him and remains separate from Brinstar, unlike Super Metroid where his lair was simply a section of the latter. His weaker decoy is nowhere to be seen.
In the battle with Kraid, he will hurl from his right hand destructible, spinning claws (similar to his chronologically subsequent appearance in Super Metroid) while periodically swiping at Samus with his left arm. In the remake, his entire body is invulnerable save for the inside of his mouth, which can be exposed by shooting a charged beam or any concussive weapon at his eyes. Once Kraid has taken enough damage with any of these, or if Samus is to fall off the pillar she is standing on, he will begin to continously shoot his two lowest belly spikes at her; this destroys most of the pillar in the process, leaving only a tiny block to stand on. Regardless of whether the spikes hit Samus or not, they will stick onto the back wall, allowing her to use them as platforms to reposition herself in front of Kraid's head if she were to fall, but only briefly as they explode within seconds. When Kraid's health is further reduced, he will begin shooting spikes from all three belly holes, crumbling the final remnants of the stone pillar. When Kraid is defeated, he partially sinks to the floor and explodes, unlocking one of the Stone Statues' gates.
Kraid also appears in the second half of the Metroid: Volume 2 manga, which is an adaptation of most of the events of Zero Mission. The manga doesn't outright tell what Kraid is, but he is described as being "Ridley's comrade". Mother Brain also states that "his skin is on par with an anti-optical shield", explaining how most weapons cause him very little damage. The theme for fighting him was a remix for the boss theme that was used for fighting against him, Crocomire, Phantoon and the Giant Metroid in Super Metroid.
The Metroid Prime game's instruction manual makes reference to events which occurred in the original Metroid, such as Samus Aran killing the "gargantuan mainstays of the Space Pirate army, Ridley and Kraid", foreshadowing their retconned sizes in Metroid: Zero Mission. The manual also mentions that, after the fall of Zebes's Pirate base, the Space Pirates orbiting the planet split into two main camps - one to search for a planet with powerful energy resources (soon settling on Tallon IV), and the other to rebuild their ravaged facility on Zebes and begin resuscitating Ridley, Mother Brain, and Kraid. Only Ridley, as the reborn Meta Ridley, would make an active appearance in the game, with the other two's redevelopment at an unknown status throughout the entire Prime series.
However, Kraid was intended to have a larger role in the game; a reborn Kraid (with the fan-coined term "Meta Kraid") was planned to make an appearance as a boss character in the Phazon Mines area on Tallon IV. He was modeled and textured by Gene Kohler for that purpose. As can be seen from the image on the left, he possessed what appears to be a metal helmet on his head, likely made by the Space Pirates to protect his eyes (an exploitable weakpoint established in other games). Kohler indicated in an email reply to N-Sider that the helmet was supposed to be an obstacle to be overcome in the planned fight against him. This was later clarified by an anonymous former employee at Retro who stated players needed to cause objects to collapse onto his armored head, a goal made difficult by Kraid firing projectiles at Samus from his belly holes and tipping over the platforms she needed to ascend; the former employee further stated there may have been additional phases to the fight, but could not recall them. Interesting to note is that his belly projectiles were mentioned by the same person to be missiles instead of the organic spikes previously used on Zebes, strongly implying that the Space Pirates had installed weapon systems in his body. While Kraid likely was not cybernetically enhanced to the same extent as his comrade Meta Ridley, the missile system and the metal helmet further contribute the fan-given name "Meta Kraid".
A piece of concept art made during Metroid Prime's development (image on the right) shows a helmetless Kraid extending multiple organic spears from his stomach at Samus while she is jumping and firing at his exposed face; she appears to have simultaneously destroyed some of his uppermost spears and dodged a strike from his left hand along the way. This concept, in which Kraid features over two dozen belly ports launching a different type of weapon, may have represented a phase following the destruction of his helmet. The fight (and character) ultimately did not make its way into the game in time for the release. Contrary to popular belief, Kraid was not replaced by the Omega Pirate. Due to the scrapped appearance, Kraid's only 3D appearances have been in other series, namely Super Smash Bros. Melee and the Metroid Blast minigame of Nintendo Land.
|“|| I had completely finished modeling and texturing Kraid. The level that he was to be included in was well underway to being designed. There just was not enough development time remaining to fully implement all aspects of the scenario that were needed to pull off a highly polished\fun gaming experience... animations\effects\programming\etc. It was decided that Kraid was not imperative enough to the Metroid Prime project to run the risk of pushing up the release date in order to fit him in.
I'm sure the folks over at Retro are designing ways to fit Kraid in possible future Metroid titles.
—Gene Kohler, May 11, 2004 (Mythicahq.com)
|“||According to Mr. Kohler in an email to N-Sider, Kraid is said to have a metal plate covering his face due to it being a designed gameplay feature - an item that you had to overcome in your encounter against Kraid. Although, he said, if the model does appear in a future Metroid title, expect some modifications to be made as the older ideas become refined.||„|
|“||Kraid was really just some ideas and a first pass model. We were about to start work on him when he was cut. The overall idea was to have Kraid at one end of a large cavern, and some rickety platforms at the other end that Kraid could reach out to and tip over. He would also fire missiles at you from his belly ports. As I recall you would have to climb to the top and trigger something to collapse on him several times. There were probably other stages but I don’t remember them.||„|
|“|| Probably the biggest throwaway I remember was Kraid. There were some prototypes for him, but it was pretty obvious we would run out of time to get him done.
(asked to elaborate) I wish I remembered more. I just remember he was huge, that there were a bunch of jumping pieces, and that there was no way we were going to make it work in the time we had. I believe the Omega Pirate took his place, and I’m actually ok with that, because I thought that ended up being a pretty cool boss.
Mathews also joked that Kraid was cut because "we had a hard time finding him a toothbrush".
Though Kraid does not appear in this game, a released storyboard for an unused introduction animation by Ben Sprout features a creature that resembles Kraid attacking Samus, but being destroyed by her Gunship.Missile, Super Missile, or beam shot (charged or uncharged). Four Super Missiles or 20 missiles/charged shots in total are necessary to defeat Kraid.
As Samus enters his room and stands on the only platform available, Kraid is nowhere to be seen initially, until he tunnels out of the organic thorns covering the entire floor in front of the heroine. Due to the room's low ceiling, only Kraid's upper torso rises aboveground. During this phase, Kraid's attacks consist only of hurling rock-like projectiles from within his mouth (four in a row), and a ram in which he attempts to skewer Samus against the wall with his fingers. Because of the small platform and low ceiling, Samus has limited space to manage his attacks. After a set amount of damage is inflicted on him, Kraid will rise entirely out of the ground, breaking the ceiling above in the process, revealing a far larger room with platforms standing above the thorn-covered ground.
At this point, Kraid will cease to use his rock-like projectiles and instead shoot spikes from all three belly holes, as well as throw his fingers around the room. These attacks have different properties from their "past" Zero Mission variant: the fingers now bounce off any flat surface they collide with rather than exploding on contact, thus they remain on the field for a far longer amount of time and can reach Samus from multiple directions. As for the belly spikes, they are not only launched out at a much faster rate, they no longer jab onto the wall behind Samus and instead pierce completely through it, giving her substantially less time to use them as platforms. Kraid's mobility is significantly quicker; as he moves back and forth across the room, he can potentially push Samus off the small platforms and into the hazardous ground below, or damage her by colliding his fingers onto her, or a combination of both. As he dies, the floor will seemingly crumble beneath Kraid and he will fall through it. His death will deactivate one of the Golden Statues.
Akin to the original Metroid game, there is an imposter appropriately named Mini-Kraid. He is encountered two rooms prior to Kraid's; it is dwarf-like in comparison, both in terms of size and strength. Similarly to the Metroid decoy, it respawns after it is destroyed if Samus re-enters its corridor. Numerous Green Space Pirates and Kihunters patrol the rooms before the boss' chamber, seemingly to defend Kraid and Mini-Kraid.
A trophy of Kraid is obtained when the Brinstar Depths stage is unlocked. Kraid also appears as part of the stage itself—occasionally, he will emerge from the magma, roar, and rotate the arena by slashing it, changing gameplay. Though he is based on his Super Metroid appearance, he has a more greyish colored skin, is enormously larger in size, and his eyes are of a pupiless white color rather than red.
Nintendo Land - Metroid BlastEdit
Kraid is featured as a robot and is the first boss encountered by the Mii in Hostile Colossus. His battle theme is a remix of the upper Brinstar song from the original Metroid.
He begins by partially emerging from a pool of lava, exposing his head, arms and chest. At this phase, he attacks solely by throwing his classic boomerang-like claws, however they now detonate with a wide explosive radius after a few seconds. The Mii must shoot the presented target on his nose and then fire missiles (if piloting the gunship) or charged shots at his throat - after three successful shots, Kraid will rise out of the lava and add to his long-range arsenal by firing missiles, bullets, lasers and energy spheres from various locations on his body. He also extends platforms from his body which carry Zebesian Pirates, revealing Kraid as a sentient, mobile fortress. The Pirates are not necessary to kill, though they can hinder the Mii by shooting beams from their claws and may try to close-in on the player for melee attacks. Regardless, the Mii must continue to shoot all the new targets spread throughout Kraid's body before attacking the one on his nose which will expose his throat. After enough damage is inflicted, Kraid will rise higher out of the lava, unveiling more of his large, cylinder-shaped, heavily armed mechanical body. After repeating the process with the targets a third time, Kraid will explode, thus ending the battle.
If the Mii is accompanied by other players during Kraid's battle, numerous Cyclons and robot Zoomers will be present in the area, increasing the overall difficulty. Another method for killing Kraid is made available to the player if another Mii is piloting a gunship: the Mii on foot can grapple beam with the left arm onto the underside of the gunship, allowing the player to be carried above Kraid's head and, if the latter's mouth is open, drop down his throat and land inside his chest where the weakpoint can be damaged with standard beam fire.
If Kraid is defeated, the Mii unlocks Survival Mode for Ground Battle. His head is also a prize in the game. Its description reads: "This hulking monstrosity dwells in the depths of planet Zebes. His skin is impenetrably thick, so try shooting into his mouth. You'll have to climb his towering body to reach his face!" The last mission of Metroid Blast consists of fighting both Kraid and Ridley simultaneously; unique to this battle is Ridley's ability to regenerate himself indefinitely, making Kraid's defeat the main goal to completing the mission. As Kraid explodes at the end, so too will Ridley. This duo boss battle marks the only occasion where these Space Pirate leaders fight alongside each other in any Metroid-related video game.
Just as in Metroid, Metroid: Zero Mission, and Super Metroid, Kraid appears as a guardian of the Space Pirate stronghold on planet Zebes (specifically in Brinstar). Normal beam attacks do not work on Kraid; missiles must be used to damage him. He resides in room A-22, and is guarded by a Sidehopper, then a Doublehopper, a cybernetically-enhanced Sidehopper, which only appears in this book.
Text (Passage 97)Edit
"A dinosaur-like creature with numerous, enormous spikes appeared. Its height was easily around 3 meters. The command computer spoke: 'It's Kraid.'
"Kraid's method of attack is to use his spikes as a weapon, launching them [at his enemy]."
Text (Passage 169)Edit
"The command computer issued an alert. 'Without missiles, Kraid cannot be defeated.'
"I shot my beam behind him as a distraction. Using that, I managed to dodge his attacks and fled the room. For the moment, I think I'll leave the area, stock up on missiles and energy, and try again."
Text (Passage 178)Edit
"A high-pitched alarm went off from the command computer.
"'Warning! Warning! Massive energy readings past this room. Kraid, the boss of area A is ahead. At this moment, you are able to retreat from this room. It is preferable that you proceed in top condition. This room has a three-layer shutter. The enemies have not yet noticed you, so you can clearly escape. And since Kraid is the area boss, this fight will not be simple. Will you proceed or turn back?'"
"This is the head of the Mini-Boss hideout. He hurls horns from his stomach and back. Be very careful of his fierce attacks. If Samus gets hit by him, his energy will be weakened a lot."
Virtual Console retranslationEdit
"A miniboss that shoots horns from his stomach and spinning horns from his back. These horns can do considerable damage, so be careful."
Official Nintendo Player's GuideEdit
"This is the Boss who protects Brinstar. He shoots missiles from his stomach, and uses a spinning horn on his back to attack. Missile attacks are the best way to kill him."
Super Metroid manualEdit
"The giant lizard of Brinstar attacks Samus with thorny projectiles and spits spheres out of its mouth. No weapons - beams, missiles, or bombs - have any effect on its body. The creature's weak point is unknown."
Super Metroid Players' GuideEdit
"By far the largest guardian in the game, Kraid will prove a tough adversary. He only has one weak spot and that's the inside of his mouth. Shoot him in the head then, when he roars in pain, lob as many rockets and laser bolts down his throat as possible. When he first emerges, he pauses with only his upper body showing. Use this time to get in as many hits as possible; he'll then rear up to his full height and your job becomes much trickier. To make matters worse, he will launch a myriad of projectiles from his body. The spikes launched from his chest can be ridden upon if you can get on top but contact anywhere else results in damage being sustained. The spinning claws have to be either shot or dodged. If missiles or energy are running low, try shooting the claws as they sometimes leave bonuses behind. Three super missile direct hits will do for Kraid, but otherwise use normal missiles and charge shots."
"In Super Metroid for the Super NES, the hulkin Kraid is the boss enemy that resides in Brinstar. The giant's weak spot is its mouth, and you can inflict damage by firing a missile into its mouth when it's open. To get Kraid to open up and say 'ahh,' fire a missile at its face, then shoot another missile into its slack-jawed mouth."
"Fire missiles into Kraid's open mouth to cause damage. If you're out of missiles, use Charge Beam shots."
"When Kraid rises, hop onto one of the platforms that it shoots out of its belly. Use the platform or the Hi-Jump Boots to set your sights on Kraid's face, then blast missiles into the alien's open mouth."
Metroid: Zero Mission manualEdit
"The largest enemy in all of the mazes beneath the surface of Planet Zebes, Kraid fires spikes from his belly and claws from his fingertips for extremely powerful attacks."
Official Metroid: Zero Mission websiteEdit
"Extremely dangerous! Giant lizard-like monster over two stories tall. Possesses iron-shredding claws and fires small projectiles from its mouth. When angered, shoots regenerative claws from giant openings in belly. Can be destroyed by hitting soft tissue in mouth with Missiles. DANGER LEVEL: VERY HIGH."
- "Soft tissue (weak spot)"
- "Iron-shredding claws"
- "Regenerative claws"
Super Smash Bros. Melee TrophyEdit
"A boss enemy from Metroid. Kraid lives in the depths of Brinstar. He immobilizes enemies with his three red eyes, and his powerful jaws can crush anything. He can also shoot the three spikes in his belly; it's said he often fires them at his prey. Once Samus defeated Ridley and Kraid, the way to Tourian opened."
Super Smash Bros. Brawl StickerEdit
- Kraid Metroid: Zero Mission - [Head] Attack +33 (All)
- When Friends Fall Out (Flashback)
- Cartoon (Incomplete list)
- Kevin in Videoland
- Mega Trouble For Megaland
- Metroid, Sweet Metroid
- Game Boy
- Super Metroid
- Super Metroid (Manga)
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Metroid Prime (Manual, removed boss)
- Metroid (2002 manga)
- Metroid: Zero Mission
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Bonus Disc
- WarioWare: Smooth Moves
- NES Remix 2
- Kraid's Super Metroid and Zero Mission sprite artists never bothered creating the large Pirate's entire tail. By extracting Kraid's sprites from the games' internal files, it is revealed that his tail always ends abruptly; the sprite artists likely ignored this detail since players are never capable (and are not meant) to get behind Kraid and explore the areas beyond him until he is defeated, which results in him sinking into the ground and exploding, thus preventing his tail from being fully viewed.
- Had Kraid been implemented in Metroid Prime with his helmet and missiles, the Prime series would be the only games in which both Ridley and Kraid utilize any form of technology during their boss battles rather than strictly using their natural weapons and defenses.
- Kraid occasionally appeared in the Captain N: The Game Master comic series, based on his original concept art. One of his appearances occurs when he was imprisoned on RX 338. He attempts to convince all of the prisoners in his block that were put away by Samus to turn on their fellow captive, before she beats them all using Kraid as a weapon. Samus later uses him as a diversion to make her own escape.
- The cartoon version of Captain N featured Kraid, who had a much different appearance and served Mother Brain in multiple episodes. Concept artwork of the creature and its gun identify it as Kraid. In "Kevin in Videoland", Kraid makes a cameo appearance as the one guarding Princess Lana's prison. Kraid or his Fake-Kraid copies appear in "Mega Trouble For Megaland" enslaving the residents of Mount Icarus (home of Kid Icarus/Pit) In "Metroid, Sweet Metroid", Duke is seen playing dead as a distraction while Kevin steals Kraid's Missile Gun which is then used by Kevin to kill a Protoplasm. In "Game Boy", Kraid and Ridley are among the monsters generated by the Mother Brain-controlled Game Boy.
- Due to the Reptilicus species possessing three eyes and a reptilian appearance have led some fans to believe Kraid may be related to the former. The Reptilicus' statues and busts on Bryyo, as well as their Mogenars built with arcane arts and technology, are also tricloptic. On top of this, Mogenar's battle theme is extremely similar to Kraid's, though this was likely an intended homage similar to Berserker Lord's theme being an altered rendition of the unrelated Arachnus.
- In the NES Toys "R" Us commercial, "Kraid's Toy Shop" is shown, in Tourian, to be sold out of NES games.
- Kraid's size changes throughout the games. For example, in Metroid, he is about the same size as Samus, whereas in Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission, he takes up two screens. In Melee, he is even larger. This is likely due to the NES' limited processing power being unable to smoothly handle larger animated sprites.
- According to the official Metroid: Zero Mission web site, Kraid is over two stories tall, the low-end being three stories. This would mean Kraid is at least 9.9 meters tall (32.5 ft.).
- The Squizzard boss in Super Mario Galaxy 2 bears subtle similarities to Kraid. Such similarities include the weak point being the mouth, and spiked projectiles being fired by the flick of a hand. The Squizzard is also half-burrowed in the ground, similar to Kraid in Super Metroid.
- The color of Samus' suit during the cut-scene with Kraid rising before her in Zero Mission will vary depending on whether or not the Varia Suit is acquired prior to the battle.
- His roars in Metroid: Zero Mission is stock roars from King Kong from the 1976 movie, performed by Peter Cullen.
- Interestingly, Kraid in Luxembourgish translates to "Cretaceous", possibly an intended nod to the Pirate's dinosaur-like appearance.
|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 • Infant Shriekbats • 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|