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- This article is about the game. For the creature that is the main antagonist of the game, see Metroid Prime (creature).
- For other uses, see Metroid Prime (disambiguation).
GameCube Metroid Prime Box Art.
|Release date(s)||/ November 17, 2002|
February 28, 2003
March 21, 2003
|Platform(s)||Nintendo GameCube (originally), Wii (through New Play Control! or Metroid Prime Trilogy|
|Media||1 x Nintendo optical disc|
Metroid Prime (メトロイドプライム Metoroido Puraimu ) is the first 3D Metroid game, released on November 17, 2002. It was developed by Nintendo-owned Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube. It is officially classified by Nintendo as a first-person adventure, rather than a first-person shooter, due to the large exploration component to the game. It was also the first Metroid game to be released in North America since Super Metroid, which was released nearly eight years earlier. In all other markets, however, Prime was preceded by Metroid Fusion. Metroid Prime was the first of the four-part Prime storyline, which takes place between the original Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus. This is due to the fact that the titular Metroid creatures were exterminated in the latter, and Prime contains Metroids as minor creatures. The title was later bundled with the GameCube in 2004. Like the rest of the series, Metroid Prime has a science fiction setting, once again allowing the player to control the Bounty Hunter Samus Aran. The story follows Samus battling the Space Pirates and their biological experiments on planet Tallon IV.
The game was first announced at E3 2001 and was revealed shortly after to be played from a first-person perspective. Following the announcement and release of the first screenshots, some fans saw it as a disgraceful transition into 3D. In addition, due to frequent layoffs and corporate reorganization at Retro Studios during development, the game was believed to be a failure throughout gaming related message boards, publications, and magazines until near the point of retail release when it attained widespread critical acclaim from various publications. The game has proven to be a commercial success, selling over 1 million units in North America alone, reviving the Metroid franchise.
|“|| 10 years ago, below the surface of Planet Zebes, the mercenaries known as "Space Pirates" were defeated by interstellar bounty hunter Samus Aran. Descending to the very core of the pirate stronghold, Samus exterminated the energy-based parasites called "Metroids" and defeated Mother Brain, the leader of the pirate horde.
But the Space Pirates were far from finished. Several pirate research vessels were orbiting Zebes when Samus fought on the surface below.
After the fall of Mother Brain, the ships escaped, with the hope of finding enough resources to rebuild their forces and take their revenge.
After discovering a possible pirate colony on planet Tallon IV, Samus has once again prepared for war, hoping to end the Pirate threat forever.
—Unused introductory monologue.
In the Chozo Ruins, Samus finds that the local water supply has become extremely toxic, harming her even through her Power Suit. As she explores the ruins, she regains many of her lost abilities and learns that the Chozo on the planet had been killed or corrupted by a great poison brought to Tallon IV on a meteor many years ago. Eventually, Samus discovers the source of the toxic waters, which is located in the ruins. She destroys Flaahgra, a heavily mutated plant, and purifies the spring.
Samus next visits Magmoor Caverns and discovers that the Space Pirates are drawing large amounts of geothermal energy from the region. Samus leaves the caverns and arrives in the Phendrana Drifts, an icy area once home to another Chozo enclave. Samus acquires more abilities there, and soon infiltrates the main Space Pirate laboratories. Her arrival catches the Pirates off-guard; they were unaware of her presence on Tallon IV, and the laboratories had relatively few guards. After fighting her way through the labs, Samus discovers that the Pirates have been conducting experiments with Phazon, the great poison the Chozo spoke of. She also finds out that the Space Pirates had brought some Metroids that had survived the destruction of Tourian to the planet. She then confronts Thardus, a Phazon entity brought to life by Space Pirate experiments. She defeats Thardus and continues on.
With her new abilities, Samus re-explores the places on Tallon IV where she has already been, like the Chozo Ruins. She soon begins to encounter the spirits of Chozo corrupted by Phazon. As she continues, Samus finds the wreckage of the Space Pirate Frigate Orpheon, which had crashed into Tallon after its destruction. A massive operation is underway by the Pirates to try and salvage what they can from it, including some Phazon. Samus once again travels through the Orpheon. Upon emerging on the other side, she discovers the entrance to the Space Pirate Phazon Mines.
Samus enters the Phazon Mines, encountering massive amounts of Phazon and heavy Pirate defenses. She also discovers the outcome of the Phazon experimentation project: Elite Pirates, Pirates mutated to huge and dangerous forms with Phazon infusions. Later, she also learns of two other Phazon-based creatures: the Omega Pirate, an Elite Pirate that had grown to enormous size and power through its near-limitless capacity to absorb Phazon, and the Metroid Prime, a creature that had come to Tallon IV with the original meteor. The Metroid Prime was genetically similar to Metroids, though much more developed. Like the Omega Pirate, there was no limit to its ability to absorb Phazon, but in this case, the massive doses of Phazon had absolutely no side effects. The Pirates had discovered the creature in their mining projects, and captured and studied it. They infused it with much Phazon in the hopes of creating an ultimate weapon, but the creature escaped back to its den. The Metroid Prime was the guardian of the Phazon core on the planet; while the creature survived, the Phazon could never be purged from the planet.
Samus soon reaches the lowest level of the mines. On this level, the Pirates had been conducting many experiments with their remaining Metroids. These Metroids had been so heavily mutated by Phazon that they no longer follow the natural life cycle of their species, instead forgoing all metamorphoses in favor of remaining in their larval stages. Samus fights her way through the Metroids and reaches the Omega Pirate. She defeats it, but as it dies, it collapses on her and dissolves into Phazon, which is absorbed into her Power Suit, creating the Phazon Suit. It provides Samus with immunity to Phazon, and is even capable of harnessing pure Phazon as a weapon.
With the Pirate operations in shambles, Samus sets out to find a way to rid the planet of Phazon. She discovers the ancient Chozo Temple, which contains a lock that prevents access to the meteor's Impact Crater. The deceased Chozo had built this Cipher to contain most of the Phazon within the crater, but some was still able to seep out and begin to corrupt the environment. Samus learns that in order to break the shield and access the crater, she must collect and unite twelve artifacts known as the Cipher. After much journeying and trouble, Samus unites the Cipher and prepares to fight the Metroid Prime. The central totem begins to lower the shield...
...but Meta Ridley flies in and destroys the totems and the Cipher. All hope of entering the crater appears lost, and Samus is forced to fight her nemesis once again. When Samus is about to strike the final blow, however, the Chozo statues on the temple come to life and blast Ridley with energy beams, causing him to fall off the temple and down into the Crater below, where Samus leaves him for dead. The Chozo Ghosts inside the original twelve totems (who were uncorrupted by Phazon) then use their collective energy to lower the shield and create a pathway to the Impact Crater, recognizing that Samus is their only hope.
In the Impact Crater, Samus encounters many heavily mutated creatures, including many Metroids. Samus soon finds Metroid Prime, a hideously mutated Metroid, which instantly recognizes Samus as a major threat. Samus engages in a gruelling battle, but she eventually comes out on top. The Metroid Prime falls off a cliff, but Samus follows, not taking any chances. Indeed, when she discovers its apparently dead body, the core essence of the creature flies out, abandoning its shell and engaging Samus in its true form. Initially, the battle seems hopeless, as none of Samus' weaponry can defeat the monstrosity; fortunately, however, she discovers that stepping in Phazon allows her Phazon Suit to absorb it and fire a deadly beam of Phazon energy. Samus uses this ability to overload the creature's body, until - in a last, desperate move - the dying Metroid Prime changes form again and absorbs Samus's Phazon Suit.It then explodes, releasing all of the Phazon in its body into the Phazon Core, sending it into a critical overload. Samus barely escapes and calls in her Gunship. She then removes her helmet to watch as the crater collapses in on itself, purging all of the Phazon from Tallon IV. She then flies off to search for a new bounty to claim.
Some time after Samus leaves, a small puddle of Phazon is all that is left in the remains of the crater. Out of the puddle rises a hand wearing something that looks similar to Samus's Phazon Suit. On the back of the hand is an eye which looks around warily...
The events of Metroid Prime Hunters follow.
As in previous Metroid games, Prime takes place in a large, open-ended world with different regions connected by elevators. Each region has an entire set of rooms separated by doors that can be opened with a shot from the correct beam. The gameplay revolves around solving puzzles to uncover secrets, platform jumping, and shooting foes with the help of a 'lock-on' mechanism that allows circle strafing while staying locked onto the enemy. The game is the first in the series to use a first-person view as opposed to a side-scrolling view. An exception is when Samus enters Morph Ball mode, where her suit transforms into an armored ball; the game uses a third-person camera angle at those times.
The protagonist, Samus, must travel through the world searching for twelve Chozo Artifacts that will open the path to the Phazon meteor Impact Crater while simultaneously collecting power-ups that enable the player to reach previously inaccessible areas. The Varia Suit, for example, protects Samus' armor against extreme heat, allowing her to enter volcanic regions. Some of the items are obtained after boss and mini-boss fights, present in all of Tallon IV's areas but the Magmoor Caverns.
The heads-up display simulates the inside of Samus's helmet, featuring a radar, a map, an ammunition meter for missiles, a health meter, and a health bar for bosses that also displays the boss's name. The display can be altered by switching visors, including one using thermal imaging, another with x-ray vision, and a scanner that searches for enemy weaknesses and interfaces with certain mechanisms such as force fields and elevators, allowing the player to operate them. A danger level is also provided, showing Samus' proximity to hazardous materials. It is revealed by using the Thermal Visor that this runs on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no hazards nearby and 10 meaning taking damage from hazards. Prime also introduces a hint system that provides the player with a general idea of where to go.
Throughout the game, players must find and collect items that improve Samus' arsenal and suit, including weapons, armor upgrades for Samus' Power Suit, and items that grant abilities. Among these are the Morph Ball, which allows Samus to roll into narrow passages and drop energy bombs, and the Grapple Beam, which works similarly to a grappling hook by latching onto special hooks, called grapple nodes, and allowing Samus to swing from them across gaps.
Items from previous Metroid games make appearances with altered functions. Art galleries and different endings are unlockable if a player obtains a high percentage of collected items and Scan Visor logs. Prime is the first Metroid game to address the reason Samus does not start with power-ups. She begins the game with certain upgrades, but during an explosion in the Space Pirates' ship, they are all lost. The producers stated that starting with some power-ups was a way to give the player "different things to do" before settling into the core gameplay.
Manipulating the game's physics can allow experienced players to receive items much earlier than intended or to skip collecting them altogether. The lowest possible percentage of items collected is 21%.
Completing Prime with a certain percentage of power-ups obtained and scans will allow the player to view galleries that feature artwork of the game. Four galleries can be viewed, depending on how many power-ups the player obtained.
|Gallery 1||Complete 50% of the research and creature data scans.|
|Gallery 2||Complete 100% of the research and creature data scans.|
|Gallery 3||Complete the game under the hard difficulty setting. To unlock the hard difficulty, complete the game in normal at least once.|
|Gallery 4||Find 100% of all power-ups. This does not include the log book. The last picture in this gallery shows Samus without her suit.|
Metroid Fusion Connection Bonuses (Fusion Suit and Metroid)Edit
With the use of a Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable, two additional features can be unlocked. If Metroid Fusion is completed, Metroid can be unlocked for play within the game and can also use the GameCube's memory card to save progress. If Metroid Prime is completed, Samus can be played in her Fusion Suit. The connection only has to be done once to gain the extra features, so if Metroid is unlocked before Prime is completed, the Fusion Suit will be unlocked when it is complete. If the player starts a new game with the Fusion Suit bonus on, Samus' suit will take on all the physical appearances of her suit in Metroid Fusion, such as the changed color scheme for the Varia and Gravity Suit upgrades; the Morph Ball is also changed to its apperance in Metroid Fusion. The Phazon Suit is represented by the color scheme of the Unnamed Suit in this mode.
To connect, there is a trick involved. The player must press and hold the Start and Select buttons on the GBA or SP, and then turn the power on. When the Nintendo logo on the handheld disappears, release the buttons and press A to begin the data link. Samus will then appear on the handheld with a message asking to turn the power of the handheld off. The feature(s) should then be unlocked.
Metroid Prime has three different endings. The ending that a player will view is determined by the number of items picked up during the game.
|74% completion or less||This is the "worst" ending. After defeating Metroid Prime, Samus will lose her Phazon Suit and run to the Artifact Temple. She calls her gunship, jumps on it, and observes the destruction of the temple. Just as she is about to remove her helmet, the credits roll.|
|75% to 99% completion||After defeating Metroid Prime, Samus will lose her Phazon Suit and run to the Artifact Temple. She calls her gunship, jumps on it, and observes the destruction of the temple. She removes her helmet and stares at the destroyed temple for a few seconds; this is the first appearance of her face in 3D. Soon afterwards, the credits roll.|
|100% completion||This is the "best" ending. After defeating Metroid Prime, Samus will lose her Phazon Suit and run to the Artifact Temple. She will call her gunship and jumps on it and observes the destruction of the temple. She removes her helmet and stares at the destroyed temple for a few seconds; this is the first appearance of her face in 3D. The credits then roll. Following the credits, the camera shows a pool of Phazon in the cavern where Samus fought Metroid Prime. A black and red metal hand bursts from the Phazon, then an eye appears behind the hand and starts looking around the room, foreshadowing the appearance of Dark Samus in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.|
After Super Metroid, Metroid fans eagerly awaited a sequel. It was supposedly slated for the Nintendo 64 or its ill-fated accessory, the 64DD, but while the game was mentioned, it never entered production. Developer Shigeru Miyamoto explained that it was because Nintendo "couldn't come out with any concrete ideas".Metroid Prime was developed as a collaboration between Retro Studios and important Nintendo EAD and R&D1 members. Retro Studios was created in 1998, by an alliance between Nintendo and former Iguana Entertainment founder Jeff Spangenberg. After establishing its offices in Austin, Texas in 1999, Retro received five game ideas for the future GameCube, among them a new Metroid, despite not even having development kits. Nintendo members, such as Shigeru Miyamoto, Kensuke Tanabe and Kenji Miki, as well as Metroid designer Yoshio Sakamoto, communicated with the Texas-based studio through emails, monthly phone conferences and personal gatherings. The game was originally envisioned as having third-person perspective gameplay, but this was changed to a first-person perspective after Miyamoto intervened, causing almost everything already developed to be scrapped. Among the reasons for leaving the third-person perspective were Rare's trouble with the camera in Jet Force Gemini, shooting in third-person "not being very intuitive", and exploration being easier using first-person.
Director Mark Pacini said Retro tried to make the game so that the only difficult parts would be boss battles, so players would not be "afraid to explore", because "the challenge of the game was finding your way around".
In 2000, three games were canceled to establish focus on Prime, and in 2001, the fourth other project (an RPG called Raven Blade) was canceled, so that Prime would be the only game in development. The first public appearance of the game was a ten second video at SpaceWorld 2000. In November of the same year, Retro Studios confirmed in the "job application" part of its website its involvement with the game, and at E3 2001, Prime was officially announced by Nintendo, receiving mixed reactions due to the change from 2D side scrolling to 3D first-person.
Kenji Yamamoto, assisted by Kouichi Kyuma, composed the music for Prime. The soundtrack contains remixes of tracks from previous games in the series, because Yamamoto wanted "to satisfy old Metroid fans. It’s like a present for them." The initial Tallon Overworld theme is a remix of Metroid's Brinstar theme, the music in Magmoor Caverns is a remix of Super Metroid's Lower Norfair area, and the music during the fight with Meta Ridley is a remix of the Ridley boss music first featured in Super Metroid, which has been remixed and featured in most Metroid games since. Tommy Tallarico Studios also aided in developing the sound effects.
Prime was released in three versions: the original North American version had the most technical issues (such as more sequence breaking opportunities and a glitch that occasionally caused the game to freeze when using elevators connecting to Chozo Ruins); the Japanese version released shortly afterward resolved some glitches and altered certain elements of the gameplay (mostly to prevent sequence breaking). The European version was heavily based on the Japanese version and slowed the loading so it would normally never freeze. The game was then re-released in North America with some further glitches removed, but none of the major aesthetic or gameplay changes.
The European and Japanese translations had logs removed or changed, resulting in a slightly different storyline and Logbook. The only major change was that Space Pirate logs claimed that the Space Pirates never encountered Metroid Prime, but were still attempting to enter the Impact Crater, while the Space Pirates had already encountered the creature in international editions. A narrator was added in the opening and closing scenes. Some of the changes were in the North American region's Player's Choice re-release, along with more changes not in other releases.
Before the release of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes in 2004, Nintendo released a platinum-colored GameCube bundled with a copy of Prime containing a special second disc, the Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Bonus Disc featuring two preview trailers, a demo for Echoes, a timeline of Metroid games, and an art gallery.
New Play Control!Edit
New Play Control! Metroid Prime was released in Japan on February 19, 2009. The Wii port of the highly acclaimed GameCube title featured slightly updated graphics and improved, Wii-specific controls similar to those found in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Aside from the few aesthetic changes there were also minimal changes in gameplay. The Spring Ball is present which eliminates the need for a Morph Ball Bomb jump much like in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and the visor system from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption makes a return. Switching visors is done through the minus button and changing the current beam is done through the plus button. This edition also features voice acting, such as in the opening sequence and when starting from a Save Station. The game also includes true 16:9 widescreen support. Also included is the same Credit system seen in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption; this is how extras in the game are unlocked, such as the Fusion Suit, which originally required a Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable. (This is also how the feature functions in the Trilogy version—see below) 
Metroid Prime TrilogyEdit
Metroid Prime Trilogy was announced on May 22, 2009 for release in North America on August 24 of the same year. The Trilogy was also announced for Europe and Australia and released on September 4 and October 15 respectively. The disc includes Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption with Wii controls, as well as new content, menus, and unlockable media.
The Trilogy was later re-released on the Nintendo Eshop on January 29th in North America and other countries, complete with all the disc copy had to offer.
|Reviews and awards|
|Famitsu||33 of 40||None|
|IGN||9.8 of 10||Editor's Choice,|
2002 Game of the Year runner-up
|GameSpot||9.7 of 10||Editor's Choice,|
2002 Game of the Year
|GameSpy||96 out of 100||2002 Game of the Year|
|EGM||10 of 10||Platinum Award,|
Game of the Year (2002)
|Nintendo Power||10 of 10||Game of the Year (2002)|
|Edge||9 of 10||Editor's Choice,|
2002 Game of the Year
|Compilations of multiple reviews|
|Game Rankings||96 of 100 (based on 96 reviews)|
|Metacritic||97 of 100 (based on 69 reviews)|
Interactive Achievement Awards
|Console First-Person Action|
|Game of the Year,|
Excellence in Level Design
Metroid Prime became one of the best-selling games on the GameCube, with about 1.49 million copies sold in the United States alone, earning more than $50 million in revenue. It is also the eighth best-selling GameCube game in Australia, and sold more than 78,000 copies in Japan and more than 250,000 copies in Europe, thus entering the Player's Choice line in the PAL region.
According to Nintendo's official data as of December 2006, Metroid Prime was the sixth best selling GameCube game, and the best selling Metroid game in the series with 2.78 million units sold to retailers. 
After its release, the game received much critical acclaim, including a perfect review score from Electronic Gaming Monthly and Nintendo Power. IGN rated it high for its "very impressive graphics, amazing, innovative gameplay, how it stayed true to the classic Metroid formula, and its soundtrack." However, criticisms were also made, mostly for the unusual control scheme and backtracking.
Currently on Game Rankings, Metroid Prime stands as the seventh greatest game of all time and also the greatest game of the sixth console generation, with an average score of 96.26%. The video game countdown show Filter named Metroid Prime as having the Best Graphics of all time. It also won many 2002 Game of the Year awards from major publications and gaming sites.
Metroid Prime was also included in several lists of best games: 24th in IGN's Top 100 and 1st in IGN's Top 25 Gamecube games of all time, 29th in a 100-game list chosen by GameFAQs users, and 10th in Nintendo Power's "Top 200 Nintendo Games Ever".Metroid Prime also became popular among hardcore gamers for speedrunning, with specialized communities being formed to share these speedruns.
Metroid Prime was followed by two direct sequels in the same first-person adventure style, a pinball spin-off, and a portable Metroid game in first person perspective. The first sequel was Metroid Prime 2: Echoes for the GameCube released in November 2004, in which Samus travels to planet Aether and discovers that a Phazon meteor crash on the planet created a parallel universe; she is also pursued by Metroid Prime, now known as Dark Samus. Echoes was then followed by Metroid Prime Pinball, a spin-off game developed by Fuse Games and released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS.Metroid Prime Pinball is a pinball game that features most the locations and bosses of Metroid Prime.
The next game was Metroid Prime: Hunters for the Nintendo DS, with a storyline that happens between Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. A demo of the game was released with purchase of a Nintendo DS titled, Metroid Prime: Hunters - First Hunt, and the full game was released on March 20, 2006 in North America and May 5, 2006 in Europe. The storyline follows Samus trying to discover an "ultimate power" while facing six rival bounty hunters. Hunters wasn't developed by Retro Studios, but by Redmond-based subsidiary Nintendo Software Technology (NST).
The third sequel is Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, released on August 27, 2007 for the Wii. Corruption is the final installment in the Prime mini-series and introduces new hunters and characters, such as Rundas, another bounty hunter from the Galactic Federation. It follows Samus and the other hunters as they fight to stop the corruption of several planets by Phazon-rich Leviathans that threaten to turn the entire universe into Phazon. Super Smash Bros. Brawl features a level based on Frigate Orpheon with the Parasite Queen in the background, as well as various songs from the game as background music.
- According to the unused narration that was partially remixed as a track in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the events of the game were intended to take place ten years after the events of the original Metroid. However, in the released Metroid Prime Trilogy art booklet, it is instead stated that the events of this game take place three years later.
- In the Space Pirate Research Lab there is a Metroid named "Hunter Metroid ds", possibly a reference to Metroid Prime Hunters.
- The game's engine limit to the percentage completion is 13336% (can only be accessed via hacking). 
- Metroid Prime contains several music pieces remixed from other Metroid games. The first Tallon Overworld theme is an arrangement of the Brinstar theme in Metroid, and Magmoor Caverns features a remix of the Ridley's Lair theme in Super Metroid.
- The concept of an extraterrestrial meteor crashing into another planet and slowly corrupting it and its inhabitants is similar to horror writer H.P. Lovecraft's short story "The Colour Out of Space."
- Kraid, a boss from Metroid and Super Metroid, was intended to make an appearance in Prime, and designer Gene Kohler modeled and skinned him for that purpose. However, time constraints prevented him from being included in the final version of the game. Though the beta model displays him inside Phazon Mines, Kohler says he was not replaced by the Omega Pirate. A creature resembling the Ripper also exists within the game code, and the Screw Attack and Speed Booster were intended to appear in the game, but were scrapped.
- The Phazon Suit, in the original GCN version of the game, is not counted as an item until every other item (this includes every single Expansion in the game, and all Suit powerups) is collected in the game.
For ingame artwork, see Metroid Prime's Concept Gallery
- Metroid Prime: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide
- Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- Metroid lanyard
- Samus Aran Bobblehead
- BradyGames Metroid Prime Official Strategy Guide
- Metroid Prime/Credits
- Gallery of merchandise
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