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A Queen Metroid or Metroid Queen[2][3] is the largest and most powerful Metroid in the species' standard strain. As the Queen, she is the only individual naturally capable of laying Metroid Eggs, making her solely responsible for the reproduction of the entire species when artificial methods such as Beta-Rays are not in use.

Only two Queens have been encountered in the chronology of the Metroid series. The first was the main antagonist and final boss of Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns, although she is not the final boss in the latter. The second Queen, cloned from the previous one's last offspring, appeared near the end of Metroid: Other M, battled by Samus as one of the final bosses.

Though never confirmed in any game in the series, it is commonly believed that the Queen molts from an Omega Metroid carrying special genes, potentially making her the eighth and final stage in the species' natural life cycle.

Physiology and MorphologyEdit

The overall structure of the Queen is best compared to a massive crocodile. Like the Omega form, the Queen has a cluster of four eyes on each side of the head or six in Metroid: Samus Returns, bringing it to a total of eight or twelve, but her mouth is far more elongated and lined with three rows of razor-sharp teeth. Her neck is thick, extensive, highly flexible and spring-like, allowing her to not only lunge her head at great lengths but also at tremendous speeds. As a result, the Queen can effectively use her head as a ramming weapon and bite her targets from a distance. She has two tubular appendages on her rear end, likely the ovipositors through which she lays her eggs.

The Queen's dorsal area is covered with massive, heavily armored spinal plating. Several pits can be seen in these plates which are used to store Larva Metroids. In Other M, these pits are initially covered with soft scales or a thin layer of tissue that the larvae within will burst through to reach the outside, releasing a green fluid from the inside as they do so.

Similar to other Metroid forms, the Queen's main weak point is her translucent membrane containing her nucleus located on her underside. Although the Ice Beam is capable of wounding it, a direct hit is usually impossible due to her quadrupedal posture which prevents any external attacks from reaching her nucleus. The only reliable method to destroy it is to inflict damage from the inside via the detonation of Bombs and/or Power Bombs, depending on the game. Alternative, but far more resilient weak points are the Queen's head and mouth; the manner in which Samus can inflict damage to these regions also varies between each encounter. She is able to absorb the life energy of her prey through the inner surfaces of her mouth, throat and membrane.

The Queen Metroid is by far the rarest stage in the Metroid life cycle - very few Metroids are born with the genetic potential to reach this form, and only one has ever been known to exist at a time. A Queen carries the responsibility of ensuring the survival of her species, therefore a Queen fiercely protects her children at all costs and will cry out in rage if she senses their deaths. In addition, when Samus freezes any Larva Metroids with her Ice Beam, the BOTTLE SHIP's Queen Metroid immediately reacts by conducting a minor quake that removes the ice encasing her children. All Queens encountered in the series have been found in very close proximity to Metroid Eggs.

Interestingly, Queen Metroids do not seem to require a mate in order to create descendants, making the creatures parthenogenetic.

HistoryEdit

SR388Edit

Near the end of Samus' mission to eradicate all Metroids on SR388, she arrives at Area 8, the main hive of the species. After she kills several Metroid larvae found by her Detector, it informs her of a single Metroid remaining on the planet; she eventually drops into a room and encounters the first Queen in the series. Samus succeeds in killing her after an intense struggle, but spares the creature's newly-hatched Infant Metroid and leaves the planet with it.

As such, Metroids no longer exist on SR388, consequently allowing the X Parasites to reemerge.

BOTTLE SHIPEdit

Queen Metroid hologram picnik

Wireframe hologram of the Queen.

During the events of Metroid: Other M, Metroids were cloned from the remains of the last Metroid on Samus' Power Suit and propagated in Sector Zero of the BOTTLE SHIP. The first Metroid quickly matured to a Queen, an event that the scientists did not predict; this insinuates that the Metroid Hatchling from SR388 was an infant queen. Madeline Bergman would later explain that MB was the one who developed the first propagated Metroid into this beast, which treated her like its mother. They left the Queen's genetics unaltered, so she would act as a control and produce unaltered Metroids for use in their experiments. She is the organism responsible for the demise of Ridley's clone, as she absorbed the latter's life energy off screen.

The Queen Metroid was stored within Room MW. When Samus first tries to contact Madeline, the scientist panics, believing the former to be an agent sent to silence her, and hits a button which opens the Queen's chamber. When Samus investigates inside, she sees hatched Metroid Eggs, and immediately realizes the presence of the Metroid Queen.

During the battle, the Queen deploys six Metroid larvae and later grows spiked crystalline plating on her head. However, she seems nearly impossible to defeat as she grows a second set of crystalline armor. Samus remembers the tragic deaths of Adam and Anthony and refuses to give up. She then uses Concentration and prepares to fire at the charging Queen, before the ship's emergency brakes throw them onto the ground. Samus takes the opportunity to shoot directly at the Queen's unprotected membrane, seemingly hitting its nuclei, and quickly enters the creature's body through its throat before laying a Power Bomb to obliterate her.

It is eventually revealed that Anthony hit the brakes on the BOTTLE SHIP, thus saving Samus from the Queen's charge.

BattlesEdit

Metroid II: Return of SamusEdit

Phase 9 Queen

Samus battling the Queen Metroid in Metroid II: Return of Samus.

Upon Samus' arrival, the Queen will immediately roar and attack with her huge mandibles, which can be dodged simply by a well-timed jump. When the Queen opens her mouth to attack, she can be briefly stunned in place with a Missile, leaving her open for more attacks. The Queen will also periodically launch projectiles from her mouth that track Samus, though they can be destroyed with Missiles or with a Screw Attack. Otherwise, they are near impossible to dodge if Samus did not obtain the High Jump Boots in Phase 3. As the Queen gets more damaged, her speed lunge speed increases, often not giving enough time for Samus to leap out of the way.

MSR Artbook Queen Metroid

Queen Metroid artwork from Metroid II: Return of Samus.

Destroying the Queen by normal means requires 150 missiles. There is, however, a more efficient way to destroy the Queen. After stunning the Queen with a Missile, Samus can instead go into Morph Ball form to enter her mouth, then roll down into her membrane and plant Bombs. While inside the Queen's maw and membrane, Samus will be continuously drained of her energy, requiring her to act fast. Any Bomb that detonates in the vicinity of the nucleus within the membrane will severely damage the Queen and Samus will be spat back out. The Bombs can also be used while inside the mouth, but do considerably less damage. It only takes about ten attacks via this method to destroy the Queen. Once the Queen is destroyed, her corpse disintegrates and Samus' Energy is inexplicably fully restored.

Should Samus become low on Energy during the battle, there is a small passage below the Queen that leads out of the nest. It can be used as an emergency escape route, though the Queen will have healed all damage when Samus returns. The passage takes Samus back to an earlier room containing a destroyed Chozo Statue that held the Ice Beam.

Metroid: Other MEdit

Queen2

The Queen Metroid in her first full 3D appearance.

The Queen Metroid spawns three waves of Metroid larvae, first releasing one, then two, then finally three. The larvae must be destroyed with the classic tactic of freezing and shattering them with concussive weapons: Missiles or Super Missiles. If Samus stalls to kill one of the waves, the Queen will quickly produce the next one, and eventually all six Metroids will come into play. When any number of Metroid larvae are encased in ice, the Queen will almost immediately attempt to free them by causing a small earthquake.

After all six Metroid larvae are defeated, the Queen grows five bright purple crystals on her neck and begins charging at Samus. She will also periodically breath fire at the bounty huntress, lowering her energy to critical levels if touched. This fire breath also ignores SenseMove's invulnerability. The crystals on her neck can only be damaged by the Super Missiles (while they can be targeted by the Seeker Missile, the extra missiles will merely bounce off harmlessly, due to being normal missiles).

Queenie

Gallery Mode

Once the crystals are destroyed, a cutscene will play, where the ship's propulsion system activates and throws both Samus and the Queen Metroid against the floor of the BOTTLE SHIP. This causes the Metroid to land on her side, leaving her membrane and nucleus exposed to Samus' penetrating Plasma Beam. As the Queen struggles to get back up, Samus must damage her sufficiently before the Metroid repositions herself and begins to charge an extremely powerful variant of her fire breath. To avoid this attack, Samus grapples into the Queen's mouth, down her esophagus, and into the Queen's membrane. Samus then allows herself the use of Power Bombs and lays one inside the Queen, causing a massive explosion that obliterates the Metroid's nucleus, instantly killing the Queen and disintegrating her body simultaneously.

If Samus fails to shoot the membrane enough times before the Queen gets up, she will lunge her head and kill the former in a single bite. If Samus fails to grapple the Queen while she charges her fire breath, the focused attack will kill the former instantly. The Queen's insides will quickly drain Samus's energy, as in Metroid II and Samus Returns, therefore she must be quick with the Power Bomb.

Metroid: Samus ReturnsEdit

MSR Queen Metroid gust of wind breath

The Queen Metroid's heavy wind attack.

The Queen Metroid and her battle are improved upon in the remake Metroid: Samus Returns. She now has an armored carapace, additional compound eyes, additional jaw flaps on the sides of her head, and the presence of a long tail in addition to her dorsal tubes. The Queen is a much more formidable foe, with several new attacks including a fire beam that leaves flaming trails, green energy projectiles that remain on the field for some time (telegraphed by the Queen's eyes and throat glowing green), and blowing a heavy gust of wind that negates Missiles and can push Samus toward a flaming trail. The Spider Ball greatly aids in maneuvering around all her breath attacks. The Spider Boost can also be used to stagger the Queen during her breath attacks and cancel her current action, but on any other attack Samus just bounces off.

After the Queen takes enough damage, she will be stunned momentarily before attempting to launch herself and bite Samus, who can then use the Melee Counter against her and then use the Grapple Beam on her tongue to pull her down. This creates an opening in which she can continue shooting her mouth or roll inside the Queen's throat using the Morph Ball and plant Bombs and/or a Power Bomb inside the membrane. Unlike the original, Samus can use the Lightning Armor Aeion Ability to completely negate all damage when traveling into the Queen's body. Once she recovers, her attack patterns will change. There are a total of four "phases" to the Queen's fight, although the final phase leaves her weakened enough to be skipped by deploying a Power Bomb.

Unlike Return of Samus, the battle takes place on an entirely flat zone instead of the Queen looming over on her platform, and there is no passageway for Samus to escape with.

InconsistenciesEdit

MSR Queen Metroid fire beam and green energy balls

The Queen unleashes a fire beam, coating the floor and wall with flames after spitting out green spheres of plasma.

The Queen in Metroid II is only vulnerable in the head, lunges her head out to bite Samus and fires shrapnel that tracks her as well. Stunning her head when her mouth is open is the only way Samus can access the Queen's insides. The Queen in Other M, however, does not retain any of her attacks from the original encounter, and instead uses several new attacks and defenses, such as throwing her head at Samus without extending the neck, releasing Metroids from her dorsal plates, growing crystals on her head and neck and breathing fire, none of which she had in Metroid II.

It was once thought that the fire breath was possibly gained from absorbing the life energy of Ridley's clone prior to her battle with Samus, an example of a Metroid stealing an ability from its prey akin to the Baby giving Samus the Hyper Beam from which it had seemingly absorbed from Mother Brain. It should also be noted that her artwork depicts her extending her neck, indicating that it was considered by the developers to be implemented.

These differences may also be attributed to the Queen being exposed to stimuli that are different from those of SR388 (as seen with other Metroid adaptations throughout the series), or they are simply design, gameplay and artistic changes made by Other M's development team. With the release of Samus Returns, the remake of Metroid II, the Queen was given a head-slam attack without the need to extend the neck, as well as a flame-based beam attack. The latter ability demonstrates that the Queen from SR388 breathes fire despite not encountering Ridley at all, thus clarifying that the attack is an augmented variant of the fire unleashed by lesser Metroids, specifically the Zetas and Omegas.

Unlike in Metroid II and Samus Returns, normal Bombs cannot harm the Queen from Other M. In the same game, a single Power Bomb detonating next to the Queen's nucleus kills her instantly and leaves the room stained in her blood, while in Samus Returns it requires three Power Bombs to defeat the Queen before she regurgitates Samus and her entire body slowly disintegrates.

Official dataEdit

Wutang

Wu-Tang Clan Super Game Boy commercial. [1]

Nintendo Power issue 31Edit

"The leader of the Metroid mutations is a powerful creature with strong armor. You may not have enough Missiles to destroy it."

Metroid: Other M hologram informationEdit

"Common name: Queen Metroid
Size: Height 6m / Length 11m
Classification: Final evolution of Metroid with an ovisac."

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U TrophyEdit

SSB4UTrophyQueenMetroid

"Have you ever met people who thought Metroid was the name of the game's heroine? Adding Queen to the title would just make it worse. But if you show them what a Queen Metroid REALLY looks like, they won't make that mistake again in a hurry. Metroids are fearsome creatures, and the queen is the nastiest of the lot."

Nintendo of America tweetEdit

"The mother of Metroids is a formidable foe in #Metroid: Samus Returns. Samus will need to think fast to defeat the ferocious Queen Metroid!" [4]

Metroid: Samus Returns Official Guide Edit

Queen Metroid (p. 22)
"The source of all Metroids is easily the deadliest of the bunch. The Queen is massive and hits harder than just about anything else in the game. Add the fact that it resides in a room barely big enough to fit it, and you’re in for one of the toughest fights of the mission."

TriviaEdit

  • The Queen Metroid has had three different battle themes in all three games in which it appears. In Metroid II, it was a foreboding, repetitive melody composed by Ryoji Yoshitomi. In Other M, it was an orchestrated battle score composed by Kuniaki Haishima, which she shares with Phantoon. In Samus Returns, her theme was composed by Daisuke Matsuoka.
  • The Queen Metroid encountered by Samus on SR388 had nested in an ancient Chozo structure filled with many containers, giving the area the subtle appearance of a laboratory. This may suggest that not only was this Queen the first of her entire species created by the Chozo, but also that the building she inhabited was her birthplace.
    • Chozo Memory 05 in Metroid: Samus Returns shows what is implied to be the very first Metroid in existence, and may be the one that eventually metamorphosed into the Queen.
  • The corpse of Ridley's clone, and Samus' loss of energy while within the Queens' insides, are evidence of Metroids retaining the ability to drain energy in the stages following the larval phase. For larger creatures such as Ridley's clone however, it is unlikely Queen Metroids can swallow them whole as she does with smaller targets (Samus' Morph Ball mode for instance), thus leading to the assumption that a Queen merely needs to clamp down onto her victims with her jaws and drain life energy through her teeth and/or her mouth's inner surfaces.
    • In Other M, both Larva Metroids and the Queen emit the same aura when they are draining Samus' energy.
  • If the Metroid life cycle was a feature that was not intentionally implemented by the Chozo themselves, then the very existence of Queen Metroids was a devastating issue for the bird-like race, as it gave their creations the ability to increase their numbers outside of their creators' control. The Metroids thus gained complete independence and no longer needed the Chozo to engineer more of their kind.
  • Within the Restricted Lab on the BSL Station, distant tubes can be seen extending into the background of the laboratory. It is unknown if these tubes, or any others potentially located deeper within the lab, contained additional Metroids and/or a Queen. However, due to the computerized Adam Malkovich stating that the secret breeding program focused exclusively in growing Metroid larvae into Omega Metroids, it is unlikely that a Queen was ever produced in the BSL station.
  • As the Metroid series is known to have taken inspiration from the Alien film series, it is likely that the Queen Metroid was inspired by the Queen Alien from those films. Both Aliens and Metroid II: Return of Samus (and the latter's remake) depict a final battle between the Queens and the female protagonist (Ellen Ripley in Aliens and Samus in Metroid II/Samus Returns). In Alien Resurrection and Metroid: Other M, a Queen is created from cloned specimens. In addition, similar to the Queen Metroid, the Queen Alien was also depicted as being extremely protective of her offspring.
    • The scene where the creature emerges through blast doors is also similar to the appearance of the Queen Alien after being able to operate a lift near the end of Aliens.
  • During the fight with the Queen in Metroid II, there is a strange bar on the right wall that increases when the Queen's head nears Samus, and decreases when her head retracts. It is most likely a glitch that reacts to the Queen's sprite animations.
  • The sound that the Queen Metroid makes when harmed is the same as that of an Omega Metroid in Metroid II.
    • This, along with the shared trait of fire-based projectiles between the two Metroid types, lead credence to the belief of Queens having once been Omega Metroids.
  • The first rendition of the Queen Metroid in Return of Samus does not have any pits on her dorsal plates.
  • The purpose of the holes that house Larva Metroids on a Queen's back, is unknown. Considering the presence of hatched eggs in the lairs of both Queens in the series, yet a distinct lack of Infant Metroids during their battles, it can be assumed that newly-born Metroids enter their mother's spinal plates where they are protected and nurtured until they reach the more powerful, independent larva stage, at which point they are released. An additional benefit to this relationship is that the larvae can now serve as defenses for their mother. The presence of a green fluid inside the pits also suggest the Queen provides nutrients to her children.
    • The Queen Metroid in Samus Returns was not seen releasing any larvae during her battle, though the pits on her back are clearly visible, suggesting that they were caused by the ten Larva Metroids encountered by Samus prior to finding the Queen.
    • The concept art of the Queen from Other M, as well as her trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, depict the Larva Metroids being merely attached to the holes on her back, with their membranes remaining fully visible on the outside. This is unlike the in-game depiction in Other M, where the larvae are entirely encased inside her dorsal plating.
    • The act of Larva Metroids breaking out of their mother's spinal plates in Other M may give the false impression that she is birthing them, as it is quite similar to the act of Infant Metroids hatching from their eggs. This has caused some confusion among fans.
  • Curiously, each time the Queen from Other M rams against a wall, the impact causes green fluid to squirt out of the two tube-like structures on her rear. Metroid: Other M Premiere Edition refers to the tubes as her "tail" and describes the appendages as "large cannon-like holes" that fire "poisonous projectiles" (likely referring to the fluid).
  • It is seen in Other M that the Queen's vision is blurred pink. This is seen in the cutscene where she kills Ridley and when approaching Samus. Also, an extremely faint greenish glow can be seen around Ridley and Samus during these same cutscenes. The glow may represent the life energy that Metroids feed on.
  • In Other M, the Energy drained while inside the Queen's membrane is significantly reduced in Hard Mode although the difficulty increase would naturally speed up the draining process. This is most likely due to balancing purposes, as Hard Mode only gives Samus 99 Energy Points (due to the lack of expansions) and the draining process in Normal Mode can easily take away a full Energy Tank before Samus can lay a Power Bomb.
  • In Other M, the Queen's fire breath can hit Samus during a SenseMove even though she is normally be intangible during the dodge. Despite this, Samus SenseMoves over her fire breath in the cutscene preceding the second phase of the battle, where the Queen fights her directly.
  • The Queen Metroid and the Larva Metroid are the only stages in the species' natural life cycle that are never shown metamorphosing from their previous stages, the (presumed) Omega Metroid and Infant Metroid, respectively.
  • Depending on how the Queen Metroid is defeated in Metroid II, her death animation varies:
    • If the player constantly used missiles on her, she simply disintegrates after being frozen in place.
    • If the player utilized Bombs in her membrane, upon spitting up Samus for the last time, her head collapses down to the floor below as her body disintegrates.
  • The trophy description for the Queen Metroid jokingly references the misconception that the title of the franchise referred to Samus Aran, rather than the titular creatures. A similar reference to this misconception was also made in the Palutena's Guidance sequence for Samus Aran where Viridi misnamed Samus as "Metroid" before Pit corrected her.
  • In the room immediately prior to the boss room where she is located in Metroid II: Return of Samus, her cries can be heard in the background.
    • In Metroid: Samus Returns, this is changed slightly to have the Queen's roaring occur after killing the last Larva Metroid in Area 8, implying that her roars were out of fury from sensing the gradual killing of her offspring.
  • British video game journalists who signed non-disclosure agreements in exchange for review copies of Samus Returns were prohibited by the embargo from discussing or showing the Queen Metroid in gameplay footage before the embargo was lifted on September 12, 2017.[5] Despite this, Nintendo released a tweet (see above) on September 2, with a short clip showing the Queen.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Other M hologram image
  2. ^ Super Metroid Players' Guide
  3. ^ "These Metroids [on SR388] were stronger than the ones on Zebes and they had a new leader... the Metroid Queen!" Super Metroid (comic)
  4. ^ https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/904048806282399744
  5. ^ https://youtu.be/qL_76TrOHao?t=42m40s (starts at 42:40)