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This page is a timeline of the Metroid series. The chronology of the Metroid series does not match the release order of the games. According to the official timeline released by Nintendo, the games currently released are ordered as follows:
- Metroid: Volume 1 and Metroid: Volume 2 (2002)
- Samus' origins are told in the manga including the attack on K-2L, her training with the Chozo, her brief time in the Galactic Federation and other such events leading up to her confrontation against Mother Brain during her Zero Mission.
- Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission (1986/2004)
- Samus travels through the caverns of the planet Zebes to stop the Space Pirates from exploiting the Metroid species for galactic domination. She confronts the cybernetic lifeform Mother Brain, as well as its guardians, Kraid and Ridley. In Metroid: Zero Mission, it is revealed that afterwards, Samus is ambushed by Space Pirates and her ship crash-lands back on the surface. Stripped of her Power Suit and her Gunship destroyed, she is forced to infiltrate the Space Pirate Mothership in order to find a way off the planet with only her Paralyzer for protection. After receiving a fully powered suit from deep within the ruins of Chozodia, she steals a Space Pirate Fighter ship from the Space Pirate Mother Ship, after triggering its self-destruct sequence with the elimination of the Ridley Robot.
- Metroid Prime (2002)
- Samus receives a distress signal and travels to Tallon IV to stop the Space Pirates from exploiting the substance known as Phazon. She discovers that the Chozo once settled on Tallon IV, and their disappearance, and the emergence of Phazon, is due to an interstellar object crashing on the planet. The Chozo contained the source of the Phazon, and the survivors left the world. Their prophecies foretold Samus' arrival, and they left abilities to help her defeat the source of the Phazon. After gathering all the abilities and defeating Meta Ridley, she unseals the Impact Crater and confronts Metroid Prime, the source of the Phazon on Tallon IV. After being killed, Metroid Prime absorbs Samus's Phazon Suit; however, it is seen reborn as Dark Samus in the 100% ending.
- Metroid Prime Hunters (2006)
- When the Galactic Federation receives an unusual telepathic message, Samus is sent to the remote Alimbic Cluster in the Tetra Galaxy to uncover the rumored "Ultimate Power". Six rival Bounty Hunters that also heard the message attempt to secure the power before anyone else, including Samus. The meaning of the Ultimate Power is never specified but is most likely a lie sent by the creature Gorea, sealed away by the Alimbics in an interdimensional prison. After defeating Gorea, Samus and the other hunters are believed to have escaped the Oubliette. What occurred to the Omega Cannon after Gorea's defeat is unknown.
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004)
- Samus is sent to investigate the planet Aether after communication with the G.F.S. Tyr was lost. Samus finds them all dead, killed by several creatures, mainly consisting of an evil race called the Ing. Upon meeting one of the several remaining members of the Luminoth race, U-Mos, Samus learns Aether has been split into two dimensions by a meteor similar to the one that crashed on Tallon IV, which is later revealed to be a Leviathan from Phaaze. Samus helps restore "The Light of Aether" to the planet, and eradicates the Ing along with Dark Aether. She also encounters Dark Samus, the result of Metroid Prime snatching away her Phazon Suit in its dying moments, Samus unknowing what troubles her dark counterpart would cause her in the future.
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2007)
- Samus and three other Bounty Hunters are called upon by the Galactic Federation to repair the Aurora Units and investigate Pirate operations. The Pirates attack the nearby planet Norion during the briefing. Samus and the hunters restore the defense cannon before a Leviathan launched by Dark Samus and the Pirates can corrupt the planet, but they are corrupted by Dark Samus. A month passes and Samus is given a new PED Suit and mission: to destroy the remaining Leviathans and discover what happened to the other Hunters that the Federation lost contact with on three worlds; Bryyo, Elysia and the Pirate Homeworld. Time soon grows short as Samus herself struggles with her own corruption, which the other Hunters have fallen to, and she is forced to kill each of them. She eventually travels to Phaaze, source of all Phazon. She destroys it and Dark Samus, thus destroying all Phazon in the universe.
- Metroid Prime: Federation Force (2016)
- After the Phazon crisis, the Space Pirates were weakened, but were still a threat. To this end, the Galactic Federation initiated Operation Golem, to create Mechs for the purposes of achieving technical superiority over the Pirates. The Mechs are controlled by an elite group of marines known as the Federation Force. The Force discovers a significant Space Pirate presence in the Bermuda System and aims to destroy it across the three planets of the system, with assistance from Samus Aran. The Force discovers a massive Pirate ship in the Bermuda System, the Doomseye, and destroys it.
- Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns (1991/2017)
- At some point following the Bermuda System mission, the Galactic Federation deemed the Metroids too dangerous to exist, and, after their own failed attempts, employ Samus to travel to the Metroid homeworld, SR388, and exterminate the entire species. After killing every Metroid, Samus finds an unhatched egg sac. As she prepares to destroy it, a Metroid larva pops out and believes Samus is its mother. It follows her back to her ship, and Samus hands it over to the Galactic Federation for research.
- Super Metroid (1994)
- Samus receives a distress signal from the academy where she took the "Hatchling Metroid" at the end of the previous game. She returns just in time to see Ridley stealing the hatchling and follows him to the rebuilt base on Zebes, to stop the Space Pirates in their new plan to clone the Metroids and use them as bioweapons. She kills the reborn Ridley, Kraid, and Mother Brain, destroying Zebes and killing the last remaining Metroids.
- Metroid: Other M (2010)
- With the fall of the last Metroid and Mother Brain, Samus was rehabilitated. Scientists removed the baby's particles from her Power Suit and genetically recreated the Metroid species. Samus intercepts a distress signal from a seemingly abandoned Galactic Federation space station, the BOTTLE SHIP. She meets the 07th Platoon headed by Adam, her former CO, and together they explore the station. Further exploration reveals that the scientists recreated Metroids without their weakness to ice. Adam sacrifices himself to take out the sector containing these Metroids, leaving Samus to take care of the rest of the site. Samus finds a Queen Metroid and destroys the final Metroid in existence once again.
- Metroid Fusion (2002)
- While acting as a bodyguard for Biologic's research team on SR388, Samus is infected by a creature known as the X Parasite, the original prey of the Metroids. Doctors surgically remove Samus's Power Suit and cure the X infection with a Metroid vaccine, allowing her to survive the parasite infestation, and giving her Metroid characteristics. She is then sent to investigate a disturbance at the Biologic Space Laboratories research station, where researchers attempted to contain the infected Power Suit. It turns out that the infected suit became an X mimicking Samus, the SA-X. This released other X Parasites and allowed them to infect the entire station. Samus attempts to stop them and while doing so discovers a secret lab containing Metroids that the SA-X destroys. She eventually discovers that through the X's asexual reproduction, at least 10 SA-X have been created. She decides, with the help of the computerized Adam, to crash the station into SR388, killing both the X on the station, and those on the planet. The consequences of Samus's actions have not yet been revealed.
Metroid Prime Pinball is not a separate canon game in the Metroid storyline but actually retells the story of the original Metroid Prime in pinball format. It includes several of the same bosses and areas, such as Phendrana Drifts, Thardus, and Metroid Prime. Despite playing as a pinball game, there are a number of powerups that can be collected in the multi-game mode, including missiles and power bombs.
The current placement of Metroid Prime 4 in the timeline is unknown.