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Thardus is an enormous rock monster charged with Phazon energy that inhabited Tallon IV in the Phendrana Drifts. It was originally an experiment by the Space Pirates to use Phazon to create sentient creatures out of inanimate objects, but was found quarantined in a cavern in Metroid Prime. This experiment was titled "Project Titan".
Thardus controls the rocks in its domain and the icy weather that resides over the drifts. Its primary attack is to animate three small rocks and cause them to rush at the enemy; these rocks can be destroyed for ammo and energy. It can also slam its fists into the ground and send an Ultrafrigid Beam at Samus, and lastly Thardus will curl up into a ball and attempt to crush the enemy.
To defeat the behemoth, Samus must use the Thermal Visor to locate Thardus's weak spot, then fire at it with a weapon, preferably with a single Super Missile. Once Samus hits the spot a few times, Thardus will release enormous amounts of thermal energy as its Phazon core is exposed, making the visor overload.
Alternatively, Samus can wait until the beast begins to roll around the room. At this point, laying a single Bomb in its path will instantly smash open the weak point.
Regardless of how the Phazon is exposed, she must then switch back to the Combat Visor and fire at the weak spot. Thardus will continually switch weak spots until the third weak spot is hit. Then it will unleash an ice storm, making it hard to see in the Combat Visor. After the sixth weak spot is destroyed, the creature will dispel the ice storm, so visibility returns to normal. He also noticeably speeds up at this point, as he only has one more weak point that must be attacked. Samus must continue the process, until the creature explodes once the seventh weak spot (which incidentally takes more hits than the others) is destroyed, leaving behind the Spider Ball. Humorously, a large rock hits Samus in the head after she moves out of the way of the falling boulders, making a sound similar to that of a metal drum.
In other mediaEdit
"Thardus is a towering, sentient creature of stone charged with Phazon radiation. Thardus attacks its prey through a variety of well-developed techniques. It can hurl huge boulders at its prey, or curl itself into a gargantuan bone-crushing ball. Thardus is also able to encase its targets in ice, making it an extremely dangerous foe.
Thardus's body consists of dozens of boulders held together through the power of the Phazon's radioactive charge."
An animated, sentient creature of stone charged with Phazon radiation.
The Phazon radiation given off by Thardus negates auto-targeting systems, preventing lock-on. It may be possible to acquire alternate targets with a different Visor. The chaotic nature of Phazon irradiation leads to instability in its structural integrity. Thardus can encase targets in ice, and its colossal size and strength make it a formidable opponent.
"Project Titan specimen is immobilized in Quarantine Cave. Relocation is recommended due to increased violent activity."
"East Quarantine Cave has been secured. Specimen remains in the Quarantine area. All experiments have been suspended pending pacification of area."
"Quarantine specimen exhibits highly aggressive behavior. Its body structure, composed of Phazon ore, appears nearly invulnerable. This has rendered our efforts to train and discipline subject useless."
"Project Titan is suspended indefinitely. Security breaches resulting in massive casualties have occurred. Access is strictly prohibited until further notice."
"Research on Tallon IV is expanding into new areas. Pending stabilization of the Thardus venture, we will expand Inanimation research to include other native Tallon IV materials."
"The taming of Thardus continues. Barring unforeseen attacks, it can be installed on Phazon mine patrol by Lotus Milestone."
Derek Bonikowski animationEdit
Mike Sneath design notesEdit
"Many who have played the game might naturally assume that Thardus would have been one of the more complicated creatures to model because of his "rock reorganization" capabilities, but that isn't the case at all. According to Mike, "It's actually a lot more simple than that, as I know I only made one 'Thardus' model. How the programmer handled it afterwards is beyond my knowledge… Actually, Thardus was probably the easiest boss I did." The Thardus battle is only comprised of one model that was later animated to make all the different configurations seen through out the battle. Quite impressive, I must say, and yet another testament to the ingenuity of the MP programming team. Another artist added the animated particles, such as snow, dust, and rock fragments, later in development."
Mike Sneath interviewEdit
"I was not really involved in the design of any of the creatures for Metroid Prime. My main responsibility was to match as close as possible the concept art that was provided to me by my art lead Todd Keller. The look and feel of the creatures mainly came from Andrew Jones. The Parasite Queen and Thardus were concepted by a concept artist that was on the project in the very early days of the game’s development but I do not recall his name. All other characters were conceptualized by Andrew Jones. I only create the concept for one character and that is the space pirates you see at the very beginning of the game on the ship.
...Thardus was concepted by that first concept artist I mentioned earlier. There was a movie that inspired this character and um I don’t remember the movie. Sorry man, seems like a long time ago. I am not 100% sure but if I remember correctly Thardus was suppose to be in a large lava pit arena but I believe we had to change it due to time constraints. There’s not a whole lot to say about this boss since it’s a bunch of rocks so I looked at rocks for additional inspiration. I would say of all the bosses for Metroid this one was the easiest for me to create."
- In Metroid Prime Trilogy, very noticeable bloom lighting effects have been added to the Thardus battle.
- Scans in Research Core indicate that Thermal Visor technology was used to transport Thardus to the Quarantine Cave.
- In the GameCube version of Metroid Prime, it is possible to defeat Thardus without acquiring the Thermal Visor (this is not possible in the Trilogy release).
- Thardus is very weak to the Plasma Beam, but to obtain it this early Samus must first sequence break to get the Ice Beam (and in European and Japanese regions, the Power Bombs) early. Then she must sequence break in Geothermal Core to actually get to the beam.
- Thardus also does not take any damage from the Ice Beam.
- A rock monster very similar to Thardus named "Gorignak" appeared in the 1999 Star Trek-parody film Galaxy Quest. In the film, the main character (Jason Nesmith / Commander/ Captain Peter Quincy Taggart, played by Tim Allen) comments that Gorignak is "...a rock! It doesn't have any vulnerable spots!". Mike Sneath claimed that Thardus was in fact inspired by a movie monster, likely Galaxy Quest..
- A rock enemy very similar to Thardus appears in the trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild.  Later during the E3 2016 this rock enemy, the Steppe Talus, could be fought.
- On very rare occasions, a random glitch occurs after the Thardus battle. If the player looks around, a rock that Thardus throws in the battle will be floating above. Shooting it several times will make it vanish.
- In a 2010 interview with Mike Sneath, it was revealed that Thardus was originally slated to appear in "a large lava pit arena" in Metroid Prime, before it was changed to the Quarantine Cave in Phendrana Drifts, because of time constraints. This is supported somewhat by an animation video of Thardus that depicts the creature with having a fiery orange core, rather than a blue one.
- In the original GameCube NTSC version of Metroid Prime, if a player enters Quarantine Cave through South Quarantine Tunnel before defeating Thardus through sequence breaking, one can perform a Scan Dash to land on top of the pile of rocks that form Thardus without triggering the battle. The player can then perform another scan dash to reach North Quarantine Tunnel. This is known as the "Thardus Dash" and is a major shortcut.
- There is a glitch where if the player uses the combat visor to shoot Thardus rather than locking on with the Thermal Visor, he will not use his roll attack