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Phendrana Drifts (known as Ice Valley in the Japanese release and Ice World in concept art) is an area on Tallon IV, explored by Samus in Metroid Prime. It is the fourth area that Samus must explore in the game.
Located far at the western and southwestern edge of the explorable Tallon IV areas and towering higher than the rest, the Phendrana Drifts are snowy and icy, with some parts filled with water. Major geographical features are a canyon, a lake, and several caves. The Drifts are relatively isolated, and can only be accessed (ironically) from the Magmoor Caverns.
Areas and main roomsEdit
There are three main areas in the Drifts:
This is the first area explored in the Drifts. It houses the ruins of Chozo villages, as well as a snow-rich area of wildlife. As the name suggests, much of the area is or once was flooded. Thematically, this area is a polar habitat, and creatures are ice- and snow-themed.
Glacier One (Space Pirates Research Facility)Edit
On the opposite side of the Drifts, a Space Pirate research facility can be found, housing Metroids as well as Space Pirate contigents - relatively small in comparison to those found in the Phazon Mines. The Space Pirates chose this location to build their base as Metroids have a vulnerability to cold, which would make them much easier to contain. This research proved fruitful for the Space Pirates, who managed to develop the Thermal Visor and Thardus, a fusion of Talloric minerals and Phazon.
This area is located, as the name suggests, in the depths of the Phendrana area. It contains no ruins and some Space Pirate activity. Most of the rooms are flooded with water beneath a certain point. Most puzzles here focus on the Gravity Suit, and the area, while retaining the general "snow" theme of the entire Phendrana area, is also oriented towards water and aquatic creatures.
Icy variations of other species, such as the Ice Shriekbat, Ice Burrower, and Ice Beetle can be found in this region, as well as some more unique species, such as the Sheegoth, Pulse and Scatter Bombus, and the Flickerbat, creating a rather diverse range of inhabitants. Two bosses are found in the area, an adult Sheegoth, and Thardus.
Metroids can be found can be found inside the Space Pirates research facilities in Phendrana Drifts and Pirate Data implies that the Space Pirates take advantage of its cold climate to keep Metroid's sluggish. Interestingly, NTSC/Wii version Hunter Metroids can be found in the Frost Cave. While the area is cold, it is apparently not cold enough to actually kill Tallon Metroids and Hunter Metroids out right like the Cryosphere in Other M (as Samus dismisses the idea of Metroids being able to survive in the cold climate of the Cryosphere, though she was unaware the Federation developed Unfreezable Metroids), or Phazon mutation has made them more resistant to cold climates. This fits with the cold snowy areas of the Chozo laboratory of Area 7 in Metroid: Samus Returns which the natural Infant Metroid Baby is capable of surviving in and traveling through without the exposure being fatal to it much like the Tallon and Hunter Metroids can in Phendrana Drifts. As that laboratory is implied to have been where the Metroids where created by the Chozo, it suggests that the Chozo similarly used cold temperatures to contain and render the Metroids sluggish like the Space Pirate Science Team.
Six suit upgrades can be found in the drifts. The Boost Ball is found on the first visit. On the second visit, Samus obtains the Wave Beam after defeating the Sheegoth, the Super Missile, and Thermal Visor in the Space Pirate research area and the Spider Ball after defeating Thardus. Later, the Gravity Suit can be tracked down here. Also found in the area are multiple Energy Tanks, Missile Expansions, and Power Bomb Expansions. Three Chozo Artifacts can be found here, which are the Artifact of Spirit, the Artifact of Elder, and the Artifact of Sun.
Energy Tank, Missile Expansion, and Power Bomb Expansion Locations
- Energy Tank: Ruined Courtyard, flood the room with water, jump to the end of the room opposite the bomb slot, and go down the Morph Ball tunnel.
- Energy Tank: Contained inside one of the glass tubes in Research Lab Aether. Use a missile to shatter the glass.
- Energy Tank: In Transport Access, use the Plasma Beam to melt the ice and expose a tunnel containing the tank.
- Missile Expansion: In Research Lab Aether, jump on top of the narrow path near the top of the room, then roll across it with the Morph Ball.
- Missile Expansion: In Phendrana Shorelines, destroy the Cordite next to the door leading to Temple Entryway, scan what it was covering, then use the Spider Ball track.
- Missile Expansion: In Research Lab Hydra, destroy the Cordite tank on the top floor to reveal the expansion.
- Missile Expansion: In Quarantine Cave, use the Grapple Points to get to Quarantine Monitor, where the expansion is held.
- Missile Expansion: In Frost Cave, use the Glider to swing to one of the ledges and blast down the stalactite to reveal the expansion.
- Missile Expansion: In Gravity Chamber, melt a patch of ice with the Plasma Beam to reveal a Grapple Point which is used to swing to the ledge holding the expansion.
- Power Bomb Expnasion: In Ice Ruins West, melt some ice on top of one of the buildings with the Plasma Beam to enter the chamber holding the expansion.
- Power Bomb Expansion: Swing across Phendrana's Edge with the Grapple Beam and use the Morph Ball tunnel to access Security Cave. The expansion is in the center of the room.
There are multiple themes that play through the area:
- Phendrana Entrance/Ambience : 
- Phendrana Shoreline Area (Main Theme): 
- Ice Chapel : 
- Phendrana's Puzzle Theme : 
- Space Pirates Research Lab : 
- Space Pirates (Laboratory Gate) : 
- Phendrana's Depths : 
- Phendrana Drifts Beta : 
"Phendrana" may derive from the Greek prefix, φαίνω, meaning "to bring to light, make to appear", from which the English word "phenology" comes. Phenology is the study of the influence of climate on recurring natural phenomena.
- After the first Sheegoth is killed, many other rooms in Phendrana contain fully-grown Sheegoths, though they are noticeably smaller in size compared to the first.
- The heat of Magmoor has seemingly no climatic effect on wintry Phendrana, not even any smoke from the mountains.
- The sub-zero temperatures strangely do not damage Samus without the Varia Suit, unlike in Metroid Fusion where Sector 5's low temperatures was harmful to Samus until she acquired the Varia Suit. However, this could be attributed to Samus wearing the Fusion Suit in the latter game, which contained Metroid DNA and inherited their weakness to cold temperatures.
|Areas of Tallon IV|
|Tallon Overworld | Chozo Ruins | Magmoor Caverns | Phendrana Drifts | Phazon Mines | Impact Crater|