The Metroid Detector, or Metroid Radar (also referred to as the Metroid meter in some early print) is a technology exclusive to Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns. It appears as a small Larva Metroid in the bottom right corner of the screen, and is used to detect the number of Metroids remaining on planet SR388. Whenever Samus kills one, the meter will scramble for a few seconds before it decreases the number by one in Metroid II, but in Samus Returns, the number will simply tick down by one. When Return of Samus is paused, the tiny Metroid will be replaced with an "L", indicating how many Metroids are left in the area. Samus Returns features a separate counter for Metroids in the area, from the tally of those on the planet.
By default, the number on the meter is 39 (Return of Samus) and 40 (Samus Returns) Metroids. However, once Samus has reduced this number to 1 (unbeknownst to her, representing the Queen Metroid) and crosses the first tunnel with the Metroid Egg in Area 8, the meter will coincidentally and suddenly increase up to nine in Metroid II and eleven in Samus Returns, indicating the eight/ten Larva Metroids. In the latter game, this is included with a cutscene when Samus emerges from a tunnel and her Detector begins beeping wildly as the Larva Metroids' signals are picked up. By the end of Samus' mission on SR388, the Detector will have signaled on its meter number a total of 47 and 50 Metroids in Metroid II and Samus Returns, respectively. Strangely, both games' Detectors will not acknowledge the presence of the Infant Metroid found by Samus, leaving the meter number at zero since the queen's death.
In Samus Returns print, the Detector is referred to as the Metroid Radar. When a Metroid is nearby, it will begin beeping and turning green, yellow or red, with its frequency and color depending on how close Samus is to the Metroid. Chozo Seals are a complement to the Detector, as the former specifically indicate the number of Metroids within the vicinity rather than the entire planet; while they may not show the exact location of a Metroid, they can reveal on Samus' Map Screen the position of discarded husks belonging to living Metroids, thus aiding the Detector in tracking the creatures found nearby. The beeping is a single sound, played repeatedly. It can be heard below.
Metroid II manualEdit
- The number of Metroids detected on the planet.
- This detector can also show other information about Metroids.
Metroid.com (Samus Returns)Edit
- Metroid Radar
- "A convenient tracker located on the bottom of your map that lets you know if there’s a Metroid near you, and how many you have left to kill."
Metroid: Samus Returns manualEdit
- Metroid Radar
- "Displays the number of Metroids on the planet. A reaction occurs when a Metroid is nearby."
- As previously stated, when the last Metroid on SR388 is born, the Detector's meter does not rise up to one in both the original Metroid II and its remake, confirming it is an intentional effect and not a programming error. No explanation is given on either games, though it can be deduced that the energy which emanates from Infant Metroids is simply too small to be picked up by the Detector in comparison to all other, larger Metroid forms on the planet.
- The sudden detection of numerous Larva Metroids in Area 8 was likely caused by the creatures being Infant Metroids for some time and remaining undetected until they all simultaneously grew into the Larva stage.
- The Metroid Detector is akin to the Motion Trackers used by characters in the Alien films to track the movements of the titular creatures, also known as Xenomorphs.