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 is 39 (Return of Samus) or 40 (Samus Returns) Metroids. However, when Samus is approaching the Queen Metroid, crossing the first scene with the Metroid Egg in Area 8, the number of Metroids rises up to nine in Metroid II or eleven in Samus Returns, indicating the eight/ten Larva Metroids. In Samus Returns, this is included with a cutscene when Samus emerges from a tunnel and her Detector goes haywire as the Larva Metroids are detected. Although Samus may return after escaping the battle with the Queen (in Metroid II only), the eight Metroids will not respawn. In Samus Returns, regular wildlife will take their place.
When the baby is born, the meter does not rise up to one. This implies that the Metroid Detector does not take into account Infant Metroids until they grow to the Larva stage more commonly seen in other games. As the meter does not rise in either game, it is not a programming error. Discounting the hatchling, the meter totals 47 (Metroid II) and 51 (Samus Returns) Metroids.
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. This is similar to the Motion Trackers used by characters in the Alien films to track the movements of the titular creatures. Like the Motion Trackers, the Metroid Radar is demonstrated to go haywire when Samus is close to the Metroid breeding grounds. The Metroid Radar is further enhanced by the Metroid Marker, which is usable if the Metroid amiibo has been scanned. Chozo Seals also indicate the number of Metroids in their given area, as well as the location of their husks. 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."
- No reason is given for why Infant Metroid signals are not picked up by the Metroid Detector. The infants' small size in comparison to all other Metroid forms on the planet may have some relevance to this.