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Metroid Prime: The Novel

RoyboyX February 21, 2011 User blog:RoyboyX

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My fifth novel, based on the first 3-D adventure in Metroid. Yes, another thing created during my block.

Prologue

Three 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 while Samus fought on the surface below. After the fall of Mother Brain, the ships escaped, with the hopes of finding enough resources to rebuild their forces, and take their revenge. After discovering a possible Pirate colony on planet Tallon IV, Samus has again prepared for war, hoping to end the Pirate threat forever.

The cosmos... in the vast universe, the history of humanity is but a flash of light from a lone star. The life of a single person should be lost in space and time... but among the stars, there is one light that burns brighter than all others: the light of Samus Aran. Her battles extend beyond her life, and etch themselves into history. Here, another chapter of that history will be written.

Chapter 1: Distress Call

I'd been resting in my gunship above a planet called Tallon IV when I picked up a distress call. It was coming from a lone frigate in orbit above Tallon. Meteors encircled above as I landed my newly rebuilt ship on the frigate's docking bay. But first off, let me introduce myself.

My name is Samus Aran. I'm a bounty hunter, defected from the Federation Navy after an incident with my former commanding officer, Adam Malkovich. Three years ago, I'd gone to Zebes, the planet I had grown up on, and I'd single-handedly destroyed the Space Pirates. They planned to use parasitic creatures, Metroids, for use against galactic society. I had destroyed them all as well as the supercomputer that lead them, Mother Brain. After escaping their exploding base my mission was complete, or so I thought. I was shot down and I lost my Power Suit and ship in the crash. Stranded near their mother ship with no protection but a taser, I invaded the ship, barely making it to the Chozo ruins, where I collected an even stronger Power Suit and blew up the mother ship.

During the three years that followed, I hadn't really had anything to do but train myself on the now safe Zebes, and salvage my ship for reconstruction. I gave it an orange color this time and even though I'd lost the wings in the crash, I didn't give it new ones.

As my ship landed and I exited the cockpit, getting onto the lift that would bring me through the hatch at the top of my ship, I did a spin jump off the hull, aided by the boosters on my back, and landed, before I programmed my Arm Cannon. I was back in business.

There was a force field in my way with several targets around it on walls to both sides. Shooting the targets was the only way to get through. After that, there was another one, but the lights weren't active. Thankfully, there was an Interface Module nearby that restored it. I kept moving through the ship, the Frigate Orpheon, and came into a depressurizing room. Appropriately, it was called Air Lock. Several dead creatures and debris were in the air that dropped after I restored the switch.

And then I found myself in the Emergency Evacuation Area. There was a large dead creature, much vermin lying about, and many jettisoned escape pods that left 6 hours prior to my arrival. Shooting at the vermin which my Scan Visor called Parasites, I kept moving. There were several Space Pirate corpses scattered around near the huge corpse. What had happened here? This must have been a Pirate ship, but how did they survive? A very weak Space Pirate, with bite marks on its body was trying to shoot me, but failed miserably. "Yeah, right." And I shot it to death.

I soon encountered several Parasites running into a tunnel in the wall. Now was when I exploited one of my abilities, the Morph Ball, and rolled through the tunnel. They were gone, but I found myself inside a navigation room. A map of the ship was in here; after downloading it I read some of the terminals and found out some more about the Pirate activity here. Two 'Parasite Queen' specimens became volatile on Deck Beta. Was that what the large dead creature was?

In Biotech Research Area 1, there were three specimen tanks that had creatures (Parasite Queens?) with low life signs. The tanks were shrouded with liquid that I could barely see through. Two wounded Pirates were in here, one was actually standing. I then entered a Biohazard Containment and found many different species, including another Parasite Queen in stasis. Some of the specimens here were entirely new to me, like Parasites, Ice Shriekbats which looked like the Zebesian Skree and a Plazmite. However, there was one creature that was very violent and tried to break out of its containment. I could see through the cracked portions of its containment door that it looked like a Sidehopper. Four more Pirates.

While scanning the terminal I happened across a Pirate log talking about Zebes. There were three frigates, this one, the Orpheon, the Siriacus and the Vol Paragon. All had managed to retreat after my Zero Mission. Orpheon had docked at 'Vortex Outpost' and apparently had Metroids onboard, but whether or not they were still here I had yet to see.

A long elevator leading downward, and for once there was a Pirate in perfectly good condition. After opening two vault doors, I found myself in the Reactor Core. The elevator descended and took me down to the main chamber. I heard roars and then saw a Parasite Queen descend down from the main chamber of the core.

Chapter 2: Planetfall

The scorpion-like beast was inside a barrier with a huge gap in it, actually, two gaps, that gave me a striking point. It only had one attack, an easily dodgable acid laser. Sometimes the barrier would split and rapidly spin around, but otherwise I was able to dash around and fire at the queen. I then scanned it and found a new target: its mouth. Several Missiles finished it off in seconds. The barrier exploded and the queen fell into the Reactor Core, trying to escape, but failing. An explosion then commenced. "Evacuate immediately. Evacuate immediately." This echoed throughout the ship. A force field behind me disappeared, and since I had no time to go back the way I came I rushed through there quick.

I sped through halls, scanned elevator switches and paid lots of attention to any information I could glean from terminals. I had to know what was going on and have evidence for it as well. Sometimes there would also be Interface Modules that I could scan to disable the ship's Auto Defense Turrets, a real life-saver. Re-entering the Bioteach Research Area 1, I could see one of the Parasite Queens trying to escape its containment. A terminal below its stasis tank ordered its termination. The others had already escaped. Soon, a large explosion occurred, killing all the Pirates nearby and the queen. I sped up to the top via stairs of broken floor and made sure there would be no survivors but me.

I then realized, there's no door! No door! What?

But, I then remembered some information I'd found earlier; which said that ventilation caps would explode if overheated. One was nearby, and sure enough, it blew off, giving me a passage into the ventilation tunnels. More of those Parasites were flooding the chambers and they clogged up my visor with their splattered blood. One time I'd encountered a piston that would lunge itself out now and then, but I was able to push it back with weapon fire enough that I found a way out.

In a large room with water on the bottom, I heard roars. Looking around, I suddenly saw the source of the roars at the top. I was taken aback by it although I aimed my gun up. It was Ridley, reborn from my fight with him on Zebes. After he killed my family I had been scarred with post traumatic stress disorder. I'd killed him, but he was here. How?

"You..." I said, silently. He roared and broke free of his restraints before fleeing. I waved my arm off in anger. The only way over the water was two Grapple Points. I swung over the obstacle Tarzan style and kept moving. Before I left I gained some information on Ridley – no, Meta Ridley, as he was now called – and found myself in another elevator shaft. After scanning the Interface Module to activate it, several explosions occurred, coming to me. I tried to escape, but the explosion sent me flying at the wall. I hit it and fell to the floor, my suit degrading. I now had a yellow color scheme, my old Power Suit. What? No!

"Varia Suit malfunction. Morph Ball malfunction. Missile malfunction. Charge Beam malfunction. Grapple Beam malfunction." No, no, no, no, no! I was getting stressed and this wasn't helping me. My suit was so damaged it just disappeared completely, leaving me in my Zero Suit. Hoping there were no serious hazards out there I grabbed my Paralyzer pistol and did not once stop moving.

Thankfully, I made it out safely. The ship had begun exploding, with pieces of it blowing off quickly. Ridley was flying to Tallon IV, the planet. I raced to my gunship and pursued him. I was so ready to destroy him.

"Tracking on enemy target has been lost. Ground-based recon required. Begin landing sequence." Dammit! I'd lost him. As I descended through the clouds I looked at the scenery. It was very gorgeous, lots of green vegetation and rain. I was instantly reminded of Crateria. I took a moment before exiting my ship to recharge my suit's energy and read up on all the information I'd gathered.

Chapter 3: Restoring my Suit

The Pirates had been building a colony on Tallon IV with some mutagen they called "Phazon" that had very powerful properties. They'd used it on several bioforms and themselves for experiments, like the Parasite Queens. Meta Ridley was genetically rebuilt after Zebes. I was going to track him down and kill him.

Once my Power Suit's energy was recharged I exited my ship and started off to the right first. The Tallon Overworld was constantly raining. It was gorgeous. Once my mission here was complete I was going to take some time off and stay here. As I entered the next cavern, there was a rumble, and I saw two pig-like creatures sprout from the floor. They were actually called Beetles, and I killed them after two seconds.

In the Tallon Canyon, there was lots of gorgeous rainfall and scenery and several bioforms. Zoomers and Geemers, both of which were familiar to me, Sap Sacs and Blastcaps. I cleared the room of enemies (save for the Geemers because their shell was very resilient) and sat down in the puddle that previously held blastcaps. When I killed the Sap Sac I didn't realize it was very volatile, and it exploded violently, knocking me back into the moss-covered wall. My suit had some damage.

I soon found myself in an elevator room just two seconds after. When I scanned a switch that was nearby, a transport to an area called the Chozo Ruins had been established. I stepped onto the elevator and automatically it took me up to this "Chozo Ruins" area. Just thinking about it made me shut my eyes.

The Chozo. The race that had previously inhabited this planet, and Zebes. The race that had raised me, that had made me one of them by giving me a blood transfusion. The race that had made me what I am today. And now most of them were gone. Yet another set of ruined cities and towns for me to discover and learn from.

As soon as I had stepped into the ruins my gunship sent me a transmission. Abnormal seismic activity had been detected in a room not too far from here. My attention then diverted to a ripping panel above the door out of the room. I scanned it, apparently, it was an entry of Chozo literature. It spoke of the Chozo moving from a location whose name they had forgotten, and that they had decided not to use technology on the planet. Good choice.

When I entered the Main Plaza I saw a familiar sight just in front of me: a Cyrlic tree. Bio-engineered trees by the Chozo that they planted everywhere they visited, including Zebes. Their familiar striped red leaves rained down over me, and I couldn't help but rest under it. In fact, I climbed it and sat in between the branches. I ignored the sounds coming from below me.

After being surrounded by the falling leaves I jumped off, finding myself landing on something soft. Underneath me was a brown-blue crushed thing with green blood squirting all out of it. I'd stepped on a Beetle, and several more were swarming me. I ignored them and ran off, up the steps of the plaza, to the left, through the hallway full of crawling vermin called Scarabs and another full of eyeball-beam-shooting-things called Eyons and into a Ruined Nursery with more Chozo Lore.

This time it talked about them seeing into the future through a fountain. As several War Wasps swarmed around me from hives in the room, my gunship called and said that there was a Save Station like right next door. Good. These recorded my suit's data in case it ever was disabled. If this happened I would be able to return to the station and restore it. It also postponed this possibility as it also fully replenished my energy. I stepped into it and relaxed before I moved on.

I sat on the branch of the nursery's Cyrlic tree, shooting any wasps that tried to attack, before I got sick of the falling leaves and jumped down so I could move on.

Through a corridor of Scarabs and buzzing green insects, cross a pool of acid with two Missile targets, past another hallway inhabited by new creatures called Plazmites and finally to where the seismic activity had been detected: in the Hive Totem.

I analyzed my surroundings. There were drains on the walls that had long since been drained out, another pool of acid that sloped down to one side, leaving some space for me, and a platform connected to a bridge, with, could it be? My Missile Launcher! Above that was an inactive mechanoid that seemed to have life-forms in it. How was that possible?

I strolled on carelessly, whistling a tune as I stepped toward my prize. Easy money.

Or not.

The bridge lowered, and the platform holding my Missile Launcher pressed up with the lowering mechanoid. Dammit! The drains began pumping out more acid, leaving me in heavy danger of being knocked down.

This "Hive Mecha" was a security unit with very weak shielding, and because of this it relied on its servants, which were ramming War Wasps. Within seconds I found myself surrounded by the little pests. It was hard for me to lock onto one, but they eventually stopped. Their buzzing was deafening. They planned to charge me, but I killed one before it could do this. It would then begin swarming again, and then stop and try to attack and repeat and so on. On occassion, I would nail one during the swarming.

After I'd killed them all, the releasing unit on the Hive Mecha opened, and I fired several shots at it. It shut and released more wasps. I repeated this and eventually the mecha came apart, the acid lowered and the bridge resurfaced. I quickly stealth-walked across the bridge and under the mecha before grabbing my prize fast in case it challenged again. It didn't.

After I blasted down the door in front of me I found an Energy Tank and several crates to further recharge my energy and my used Missile. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a hole in the wall that I could probably fit through with my Morph Ball but I didn't have it with me, so I left, making a note of it.

I exited the chamber but I thought I felt movement behind me, so I quickly whirled around and fired at the still inactive Hive Mecha, giving it a huge dent. The explosion caused rubble to fall from the ceiling that I could use as platforms.

Going back a few chambers I fell down into the acid by mistake, War Wasps swarming, and saw an eroded wall. It was made of Brinstone, and was vulnerable to explosive blasts. I shrugged and blasted it, and voila, a Missile Expansion! I made myself a note that Brinstone was Missile-intolerant.

I then saw a Missile Door Lock and destroyed that as well, finding a very useful Map Station. Once I left the station a War Wasp smacked into me and I grabbed it and ripped it apart. These things were becoming a nuisance. In annoyance I blasted the hive on the ceiling and miraculously it blew up! I blew the stem off of my Arm Cannon despite my helmet being in the way. These babies could do wonders.

I backtracked to the Main Plaza and found a passageway to a Shrine, which deeply interested me. Perhaps there would be some relics that would tell me what had happened to the Chozo here, because I had a feeling the Space Pirates had little or nothing to do with it. Along the way I found that Missiles could destroy another nuisance, Scarabs, much easier as well.

The shrine was ruined as its name implied and immediately in front of me was a sloped shape made out of a wall, too sloped to be natural, and a hole below. I climbed over the slope and I found something that was just as good as artifacts: another Morph Ball. But there was some rubble crumbling from the ceiling, and my bout with the Hive Mecha had taught me that these ruins are not so peaceful despite what they seem.

Sure enough, once I jumped down a gate rose blocking my path to the Morph Ball, and up from the ground sprouted a swarm of Beetles. No problem. The real problem came when a larger beast sprouted from the ground, a Plated Beetle. Appropriately, it had invulnerable plating on its front but a large red abdomen that blew right off when I shot two Missiles at it. Why did I ever say it was a problem?

The gate lowered and I collected my next prize.

I then backtracked to the Main Plaza again and climbed some platforms on the upper area, leading to a broken bridge and finally to another set of rooms. Cyrlic trees in hallways with small crevices under the branches? No problem. Verminous Scarabs swarming them? Problem. Major.

I then found myself in the Ruined Fountain, an acid-filled room in the dark with the only light coming from the Plazmites, and, of course, a fountain in the middle. Was this the fountain spoken of in the Chozo Lore? It sprouted poisonous water that grossed me out. Speaking of Lore, there was another piece of literature that spoke of what they did on the planet with no technology.

In another hallway there were several Shriekbats, enemies that resembled Zebesian pests called Skrees. The hallway connected to an even larger room, the Arboretum, which had a large Cyrlic tree in the middle of an acid pond and several platforms all over the place. Out of the walls came plants called Reaper Vines that weren't easily destroyed. I decided to ignore the features of the room and stepped into a Gathering Hall, which had a nearby Save Station. I used it and got attacked by Kamikazi Shriekbats. Back to the Save Station with a sigh.

Immediately on the bottom floor was another passage. Through more halls of acid (I was getting pretty sick of it all) I found the Watery Hall, which had Reaper Vines and Blastcaps and several odd symbols around the place. I scanned one, and they were identified as runic symbols, and four needed to be activated within the room. With that, I started scouting the room for the symbols until I came to a gate that depicted them all. The last symbol scanned revealed another one on the middle of the gate; after scanning that, it lowered.

Could that be another prize? Yes, the Charge Beam. And above it more Lore. I paid attention to the latter first, and was somewhat shocked at the writing. Many Chozo were gifted with distant sight, and many of their visions were dark, depicting the coming of a creature called the Worm. Space Pirates? Or something else?

I was just about to leave when I suddenly chuckled to myself. I'd forgotten the Charge Beam. Unfortunately, picking it up triggerred the activation of Eyons that didn't want me to get out alive. As if. Blasts to all before backtracking to the Gathering Hall. A quick save at the Save Station before I climbed up the platforms leading to another path. I found myself in a room filled of course with acid, and as I entered a door across from me locked. I took a left and found a tunnel for my Morph Ball to traverse through. Before I left, I noticed a creature beside me, a Stone Toad. Note made.

I then found myself in the Burn Dome. A strange etching on the floor with something over top of it, underneath acid, and a War Wasp Hive above me, but nothing came out. The door locked as a strange drone rose out from the floor. An Incinerator Drone that, quite obviously, incinerated trash, including what it perceived to be threats, in this case me. Two arms extended out and shot out flames that ran in a counter-clockwise circle. I sidestepped them and saw a unit rise out from the top. The red button on it clearly indicated target. The Chozo should have built better machines.

The Incinerator Drone shot flame at the War Wasp Hive, aggravating the wasps in it. They came out barbed, and once I finished shooting them the drone started shooting flames in different directions and then released its control unit again. And then repeat, until the drone became so overpowered it exploded, and guess what was in it? Yet another prize: my Bombs, which were much needed for further exploration.

A wall on the far side of the room was heavily eroded, but my Missiles did nothing to it. I then tried bombing it, and it blew right up. I made another note: eroded walls like that, Sandstone are vulnerable to Bombs.

It was time to exit this dump. I once again turned to the Stone Toad and greeted it, allowing myself to be swallowed up in Morph Ball so I could teach it was indigestion was. I found a Bomb Slot, which, surprisingly, lowered the acid and exposed another Bomb Slot further down into the room. Beside me was an energy unit and a hole through which I could fit and drop down. Bombing that made several formerly submerged platforms rise up and let me cross them into another area. Another Bomb Slot. More platforms rose up and the door unlocked.

The door lead to a Furnace, which had a striped magnetic track in front of me, and a hole beside it. I had no method to climb the track so I went through the hole and found an Energy Tank, then I backtracked to the Gathering Hall and decided that with no other tasks in the way I could see what was up with the Arboretum.

Climbing around the room I found more runic symbols and a gate up at the top that split apart and exposed a Sandstone wall. At that minute my gunship picked up the source of the toxins in the ruins and it was relatively close to here. I crossed through more rooms until I found a grotesque blossom pulsing in the toxin's source, the Sunchamber.

Chapter 4: Purifying a Spring

A large flower blossom pulsated and shook and opened up, creating a patch of toxic plants where I was, so I leapt out of the way. A Mirror Array in the room aimed itself at the beast and the light from the sun shone on it.

From the flower emerged a large praying mantis-like beast, Flaahgra, with scythes for hands. In several corners around the flower were tunnels, and at the end, from what I could see, Bomb Slots. Blocking the tunnels were spiky tentacles, Flaahgra Tentacles. I scanned Flaahgra and saw that it could not be damaged easily. I could not damage it by shooting it, I would only stun it. I had an idea, however.

I'd recalled reading a hologram which said "That which fouls the water seeks the sun." If these Mirror Arrays were giving it the sun, I had to get rid of it, so I fired at the red dots on the arrays, knocking them upward. The beast fell to the ground with a thud, and the tentacle nearest me lowered. I raced to the tunnel and rolled inside, laying a bomb in the Bomb Slot. The central nervous system of the creature was damaged, and the tunnel exploded.

Another Mirror Array activated. I repeated the previous step while stunning Flaahgra as I knew it would try to get the sun back online. After that a third Mirror Array activated, then a fourth, and finally the beast began to sink back into its flower. Toxic plants and growths sprouted from it, trying to live, but failing. All that was left was a stream of clean water.

I analyzed the Sunchamber and saw a locked door on the other side of the flower, with a spinning icon depicting a lightning bolt. The door from whence I came was covered in indestructible vines. I shrugged and picked up the upgrade. Rose into the air. Spreading my arms and legs out. Closed my eyes. I let the energy become absorbed into my suit and suddenly I was standing on the ground with an orange color scheme. My Varia Suit was back.

I left through the only available way and discovered an electric creature, a Pulse Bombu. It dropped very powerful bombs that were shed electricity from its body, and so I ran for it after I scanned it. I then found myself at the edge of a long drop down. Taking a deep breath I took the plunge, and the shock from my landing sent out several War Wasps. No problem. There was more Lore at the bottom. A meteor had crashed onto Tallon IV, bringing forth a "Great Poison" that corrupted all the life on the planet (Phazon?). It also talked about Flaahgra.

I found an elevator to a "Magmoor Caverns", but before I went down I scoured what I could explore of the ruins with my new abilities for more powerups. I found another Lore entry that brought up a fountain, the Sunchamber? The Chozo were very iron-willed in it, stating that even if their water dries up, their will never would. After the great hunt I took the elevator down to the caverns.

Chapter 5: Fire and Ice

From the first room that I saw the area appeared to be an extension of the ruins, but above me was a hazing red sky. Conveniently, a Save Station was nearby. Although my Energy Tanks were at maximum, I entered anyway so I could record my suit's data.

I dealt with many, many Shriekbats in the room and found a non-violent creature called a Grizby crawling about a rock platform in lava. Maybe this was the planet's mantle. In the next room I leapt to a platform with another Grizby on it and found a strange black protrusion in the wall jabbing my shoulder. I touched it and suddenly it fired a bout of flame at me, which caught me off-guard and made me tumble into the lava. I waded back to shore and waited for the flame jet to stop jetting so I could go on. In the cavern after that I encountered Burrowers.

Finally I came across a Lava Lake. In the middle of the room was a pillar and several creatures called Puffers floated through the air. A Grapple Point also hung above the gap between two rock platforms. When am I going to get my Grapple Beam?!

A creature called a Magmoor, for which the caverns were presumably named, surprised me and aimed another bout of fire at me. I quickly morphed and rolled around, using the "stop, drop and roll" principle that one would do if their clothes caught fire. In the connecting room there was grating blocking a gap in the floor, with a wall barring my access and a pillar with four flame jets at each corner. Under my feet were Triclops. I rolled through the tunnel while evading them.

I had a hell of a challenge in the Monitor Station, where several Auto Defense Turrets much stronger than those on the Orpheon fired at me, but they also shot at the crates for me when I led them to doing it and they killed Puffers when I was out of sight. I reached the interior of the chamber in the room and scanned the terminals for information. One of them interested me. Apparently when mining Phazon was complete the Pirates were going to mine crystals in the caverns. I spotted one growing out of the wall and fired a Missile at it. The crystal broke off, and I ran and caught it. I found an elevator leading to a "Phendrana Drifts" area and left the crystal on the floor outside the elevator platform. It would be a souvenir that I would come back for later.

Upon arriving at the drifts, the immediate scenery around me indicated snow area. In the hallway after the elevator were several ice formations blocking my way. They were weak to my fire.

Once I stepped out of that hall, I was mesmerized.

The Phendrana Shorelines were beautiful, ice walkways covered in snow, situated over freezing cold water. Rock pillars sticking out of the ground and constant snowfall. Platforms aloft in the air and ruined buildings giving the area a nice feeling.

What was distracting was the life-forms in the environment.

Crawling across the floors Zoomer-style was a creature called a Crystallite, whose shell could not handle my Missiles, and flying bird-like creatures called Flickerbats, who were difficult to shoot down but I did. I killed everything in sight before I sat for a brief bit and enjoyed the scenery.

At that point my gunship indicated that there was a Save Station right next door. I stepped in and saved my data and recharged my suit and then took notice at several panels on the walls. My Scan Visor decoded the information: one mentioned a 'Research Lab Hydra', one mentioned a 'Western Temple' where access was forbidden to Space Pirate personnel and a 'South Research Facility'. The Pirates must be polluting the area! I knew I had to stop them.

Their armies here could not be so huge after Zebes, wherever the Frigates Siriacus and Vol Paragon went, I doubted it was here. I could take the labs down with ease.

I caught a glint from the corner of my eye and fired a Missile. I'd missed a Crystallite. A gate made of Radion, which I guessed was something like Brinstone, was destroyed, as it had blocked my way to the Crystallite. I fired again, this time hitting the Crystallite, and then found that it was blocking a panel. I scanned it, and it said that "the door above was unlocked". True enough, there was a door above that ruined building.

I took a pathway leading up and encountered a new creature, a Scatter Bombu, apparently a variation of the Pulse Bombu I'd seen before. It spun through tunnels creating electrical currents. Only an electrical weapon could disrupt it, but I had none, so I was forced to roll in between its currents. I found myself in an Ice Ruins East.

On the ground, nestled in snow beds, were strange creatures, Baby Sheegoths. Only as I was walking by them did I get surprised by them. They roared as they nipped me, and they jumped on me, trying to get through my suit. I bombed them away and found that the tough shell on their back was their weak point. Once I'd destroyed that I could get at the soft skin underneath.

Going through another corridor I found Ice Burrowers, and then found myself in the Shorelines again, moving up a ledge to another room, once again finding Pulse Bombus. Again, I couldn't kill any of them. I then found myself in the west Ice Ruins, with more ignorable Baby Sheegoths and a ruined building with an immediately-dead Crystallite and another Chozo Lore entry.

Although the Chozo began to despair, they crafted a Cipher from their magic to conceal most of the Great Poison. It was powered by twelve artifacts. Hm. Twelve artifacts? I ignored the rest of that room and took a different path that lead to the Phendrana Canyon. Immediately below me was a bridge, and in a cave below another Lore entry. The Chozo speculated as to what the meteor was.

There was a snow ramp leading upward and an Interface Module on that. Once I scanned it, several platforms lowered, leading up to a high ledge. I jumped onto one, but quickly felt it rumble, so I jumped onto the next one. These were incapable of holding my weight, so I quickly leapfrogged over to the ledge and found another new Morph Ball upgrade, the Boost Ball.

I dropped down from there, and slipped on the ice, hitting my head on the ground. How embarrassing, but I told myself, "Look at it this way, you don't have to include this in your report to the Federation." I then remembered notes I'd taken on the Boost Ball, and they said that I could scale large u-shaped slopes, and where I was at seemed to be one of those. I boosted from left to right and found myself getting higher and higher at each side, until I felt something prick me from underneath. I unmorphed and jumped back, slipping on the ice again.

I'd stepped on the half-revealed fin of a large fish frozen in the ice. "Pfft," I said. I then continued my boosting until I was above the Half-pipe, on the wall. I made my way back to the Shorelines and my gunship told me it had found a half-pipe in the Tallon Overworld.

As I re-entered the Shorelines I saw a large shadow above me. I was frozen with fear. It was Meta Ridley. I regained my composure and fired off several shots at him, but if they hit he didn't do anything. I cursed and dropped from the high ledge, making my way back to the Magmoor Caverns elevator.

Once I got down there I found my crystal and picked it up, placing it inside my chestplate, which was my extra storage compartment. I ignored the point poking at my breast and decided I'd take a different path from the Monitor Station. I found myself in a corridor with blue plating blocking the way out. Through a tiny crack in the bridge I could see underneath was an upgrade, but I had no way to reach it. Part of the shield was dull, it was made of Bendezium, what could destroy that I had no clue. I simply made a note of it.

Later, I found another elevator I hadn't yet seen and the Interface Module told me that it would take me to the Tallon Overworld. Excellent. I took the crystal out of my chest plate and rode up the elevator. I was in a different part of the overworld, with a Beetle hive at the bottom of the shaft I entered and a new creature called a Bloodflower spewing acid at me when I walked into its habitat.

The half-pipe was traced to the Tallon Canyon. I traversed it and found myself inside a tunnel that eventually took me to the Landing Site. I was careful not to drop down. I then found a small connecting room, an alcove, with an upgrade in the center, light shining on it as if it were God's gift. Dropping down and landing in a group of ferns I walked along and picked it up. My feet suddenly became powerful, and I dropped the crystal and leapt into the air, coming down hard.

I'd acquired the Space Jump Boots. Unrelated to the Space Jump I used on Zebes, these allowed me to jump a second time after jumping once. Very good for getting to higher areas, including right now, where the ledge was too high to reach. I collected the crystal and jumped down to my ship, going in for a quick break.

I downloaded all the data and Lore entries to my ship's computer and put the crystal on my bookshelf. I let my suit disable itself so I could have a nap.

After awakening I went back to the Chozo Ruins for a pickup run and then went back to the Magmoor Caverns, and the Phendrana Drifts. I jumped to a previously unexplored part of the Shorelines and entered a Chozo Ice Temple. Was this the 'Western Temple' the Pirates meant? There was lots of Chozo architecture frozen over and a Baby Sheegoth was at the bottom. I jumped up the room, encountering Ice Parasites, and found the statue of a Chozo shaman blocking a door, and busts representing Chozo warriors, philosophers and architects plus another shaman. The translation on the first shaman statue said to find its twin, which I assumed was the bust.

It had traces of Brinstone in it, and even though I regretted doing so, I destroyed the bust and exposed a Bomb Slot, which, when activated, caused the shaman statue to lift. After going through a Morph Ball maze I found myself in the Chapel of the Elders. Across the room was an item, scanning it said it was the Wave Beam!

Unfortunately, unlike the Charge Beam, Boost Ball and Space Jump Boots, I wasn't able to get it easily without having to kill something. The weapon lowered into the ground and the door I came through had become purple, but that was the least of my problems. Two Baby Sheegoths had emerged from the ground and attacked. They were easy, but I had a bigger challenge soon after.

Through the wall behind where the Wave Beam was came a very ugly beast, who I presumed to be the mother Sheegoth. It didn't have a small shell. Do you know what it had? A vulnerable mouth and soft underbelly, the former of which I could rapidly Missile and the latter of which I could bomb. I chose the former until my Missiles ran out, at which point I was forced to shoot open some crates and collect extra ammunition.

Thankfully it wasn't so much of a challenge as I thought. The Wave Beam reappeared and I collected my prize. A beam of electrical energy that could get me out of here, activate conduits invisible to the naked eye, kill Bombus of any kind and glitch Auto Defense Turrets. I returned to the Ice Ruins West and knocked down a stalactite just outside of the building with the Lore. It broke off and I was able to use it as a platform. I climbed and leapt across the tops of the ruined buildings and did not notice several Ice Shriekbats launching at me.

A Purple Door was to my right. Shot open and I found a Ruined Courtyard. The door locked behind me and I found a mechanism called a Spinner a few feet away. If I boosted repeatedly in it, a device would activate, in this case another Spinner. Leaping across the ice caps in the cold water I activated that Spinner and a Bomb Slot above me activated again, so I jumped up there and bombed it, this caused the water to rise and I could jump up to the central pillar. Three doors existed to my front, left and right. The first lead to a Pirate base, which I would explore in a second, the second had no power and I couldn't restore it yet and the other was a Save Station, which I used.

The panels there again mentioned Research Lab Hydra and a Glacier One lab.

I then proceeded to the lab.

Inside the first room was an Auto Defense Turret (piece of cake) and to my surprise a Space Pirate (also a piece of cake). Once I'd entered the next room, a strange mechanism in front of me spotted me. The door behind me locked and my suit said "Defeat enemies to unlock doors." Several gates raised and the Pirates appeared. They used the gates for cover, but it was no hard fight. "Doors unlocked."

To my right was a Map Station. After downloading the map I read the panels, which brought up Phazon ore and a 'Project Titan specimen'. Two rooms later I'd found Research Lab Hydra. In front of me was a force field that had an Interface Module beside it, that spelled its "doom". After killing the Pirates I began compiling the data in the room. One talked about me and how they wanted to have me captured in a way that would allow for salvage of my Power Suit, another about them finding a massive energy spike from somewhere on Tallon, another about a structure powered by Chozo Artifacts (interesting), them finding the energy source as a substance and calling it Phazon and establishing a base in the Phendrana Drifts.

The rest of the information was just talking about their operations, and none of them showed any particular massive bioweapons of any kind. There were lots of empty specimen tanks in the room. I called up the elevator, killed the rest of the Pirates and turrets in the room and left.

I found myself in an Observatory. The door locked and several Pirates attacked. No problem. With their deaths an Interface Module activated, with that's scanning a Bomb Slot activated. The room's data mentioned the Pirates' eagerness to experiment on the Metroids (nothing interesting) and Parasites.

The Bomb Slot activated another Bomb Slot across from me, which activated the mechanism below me on the floor. This mechanism seemed to be a holoprojector that showed a solar system. Four Spinners circled it. Each lowered locks on the machine, and a machine lowered from the ceiling and fired a laser, with the bottom machine firing one back. A projection of the FS-176 System was produced. My suit downloaded the data on Zebes and Tallon IV as well as Bilium, Oormine II and Twin Tabula.

I climbed up the platforms and got up onto the top machine, which had an upgrade: my Super Missiles! Unlike the ones at Zebes, these were a 'Charge Combo' that meant I had to charge my Power Beam and then release a Missile. Five Missiles would be used up, but a powerful projectile weapon would be fired.

I'd heard mentions of a 'Control Tower' here, and I had entered it. The room was boxed in from the sides and had two open buildings before and behind me. The front door locked and several Flying Pirates ambushed. They fired at me, but I used the crates as cover.

After that was over, I stepped into Research Lab Aether. In front of me, in a specimen tank, was a mature Metroid. I wasn't surprised, I'd read about them in Pirate data many times before. As I stepped close enough to it, the tank broke! "Oh shit!" I screamed out. I didn't have the Ice Beam, the one item the Metroids hated. It rushed at me and began sucking on me. I used the one method to detach a feeding Metroid, laying a Bomb, and fired several shots at it, but it wasn't affected.

Just then, it seemed as though the Pirates were helping me, because one jumped through the window and killed the Metroid. I hadn't seen it coming, I just ducked behind the Metroid's ruined tank when it jumped through, and it killed the Metroid. Just as it was about to leave my Arm Cannon swung around the tank base and fired, shattering the pirate's spine and causing it to fall down. Lots of Pirate screams echoed through the room.

They knew I was here, and they were off-guard. "Hehe." I said to myself as I jumped down and began rampaging the room. I collected data, of course, such as the Pirates' status mining the Phazon, problems with local bioforms attacking Pirate personnel, Meta Ridley and experimentation with Phazon on Pirates themselves (called 'Project Helix'). There were Metroid experimentation notes and a mention of an "Elite Pirate" in a massive, indestructible tank containing remains of a failed experiment. 'Project Titan' was suspended indefinitely, as well.

At the bottom of the chamber, just for the taking, was an Energy Tank in a specimen tank. The other tanks down here had Metroids in them, so I was careful to not break them out. Two rooms later I'd entered the Research Core, where I had a hell of a battle. The room was dark, and at the bottom was a prize for me, but I couldn't just go and get it. There were several panels around the place on various floors.

The prize at the bottom was surrounded by an indestructible tank, several small rings and several larger rings. While repelling the Aerotroopers I disabled the large ring layers, then dropped down two floors and disabled the second layer, the tank. On the bottom floor, the final terminal deactivated the small ring layer, and my item, the Thermal Visor, was there for the taking.

I scanned the terminals around me to get some information on how to use it, when the room became dark. The only lights came from the floors in the room, which still wasn't enough. I used my new upgrade to see my attackers, and then climbed up to the top. As I went, several Metroids that were previously kept behind impenetrable gates broke out. "Dammit!"

At the top, the door was deactivated, just like in the Ruined Courtyard. While attempting to repel the Metroids I noticed that the Power Conduit beside the door had a high heat signature, and remembered that the Wave Beam could activate them. With one shot the door was restored to power. Excellent. As soon as the door opened, fire rained down on me. Not excellent. The drone I'd seen earlier, a Sentry Drone, was attacking me. The doors locked while the drone rained fire, and I returned. My visor filled with static once both of them exploded, but I heard "Doors unlocked."

The Pirates attacked me in massive numbers, but I calculated an idea: release the Metroids for "feeding time" and escape before both my suit and body made them fat. During my escape from the labs, the only lit rooms were the elevators connecting from the Control Tower, the Control Tower itself, the Observatory (somewhat), the Save Station connecting to it, the Research Entrance, which had new foes, the Shadow Pirates, and the Specimen Storage, before I was finally out of the labs for now.

Once in the Ruined Courtyard I leapt down into the cold water and took a bath, washing all the dirt from the labs off of my suit, before I solved the puzzle again and got back up to the top of the room, and looked into the deactivated door.

Above it was Cordite. I'd seen that this was vulnerable to Super Missiles, so I let one loose and found a Power Conduit underneath. After I'd activated that I was able to enter what was beyond. Perhaps the 'East Quarantine Cave' where I would find the 'Project Titan specimen'.

True enough, I had found the Quarantine Cave, and there were several rocks on the ground. This was no specimen, unless they'd killed it. Just then, I remembered that there were mentions of it being made of Phazon ore. Perhaps they had somehow mastered animated inanimate objects? I dropped down and began to approach when I heard something come out of the snow behind me. A rock. I spun around and examined it, before I heard rumbling behind me. The smallest rocks swirled around the larger ones as they formed a body and it stood up. It was somehow able to roar.

This was Thardus, the Project Titan specimen that became unstable. According to its scan, the ore had heavy heat signatures that I could reveal and then destroy. Switching to the Thermal Visor I fired a Super Missile blast at the rock, and I screamed out when my Thermal Visor flashed brightly. It said something like "Thermal Visor overload. Return to Combat Visor." Happily.

The Phazon ore was exposed, and I could let loose another blast, which destroyed Thardus' leg. And yet, it still moved, unparalyzed. As I was about to target its arm, it morphed into a ball. Copy my ability. Hmph. I morphed as well and tried planting a bomb, which revealed the ore and caused it to unmorph. I laughed at its klutziness.

I then targeted its other arm, and after I destroyed it, it began charging energy and the room lit up. I couldn't see it except in Thermal Visor, and that wasn't entirely helpful. The next target was its other leg, then a floating rock behind its central body, then another of those rocks. Thardus then discharged the energy it had collected and the room became less lit up, before the the middle rock that held up the entire beast became the next target.

The rocks then began to fall down dead like a normal person generally would, so I began to run, and the rocks exploded into rubble, one of which even hit me in the back of my head.

Where Thardus stood before was several energy and Missile refills plus another upgrade. It was the Spider Ball, something I'd never acquired before. My Morph Ball got a new sleek design and I could now use the magnetic tracks. There were several scattered around the room, so I tested my new toy out and climbed to another ledge, which brought me to a Magmoor Caverns elevator. I descended and found a Save Station just outside the elevator.

I entered a Magmoor Workstation, where I solved a puzzle that gave me an Energy Tank. Later, I found a disgusting lava-inhabiting creature called a Puddle Spore. In another corridor, a Magmoor rested just under a stalactite. I chuckled to myself as I said "H'asta la vista, baby" before I let it loose.

Chapter 6: Prophecy

A long trek over a Spider Ball Track lead back to the Tallon Overworld elevator, but I ignored it for now and headed to the original Chozo Ruins elevator. Once back in the Sun Tower I blasted down the Cordite artworks blocking runic symbols and scanned them, thus removing a gate that blocked a Spider Ball Track. This was the only way I could enter the Sunchamber now that the plants were blocking the first entrance. I climbed up the track, encountering Oculus pests along the way, and encountered a ghostly appariation leaving once I'd entered the next room.

I heard eerie screeches and entered the Sunchamber to investigate. The room darkened, the door locked and three ghostly figures arose from Flaahgra's flower. They metamorphosed, and I saw them to be Chozo Ghosts. Yes...

They shot me. What the hell?

I scanned them, and found out that they were so corrupted with Phazon that they didn't know I was an ally. Kind of like Altzheimer's disease on Earth. It's very scary if relatives don't know who you are. Nevertheless I was forced to kill them again, and they faded. The plants on the door withered, and a strange item appeared on the flower.

I took a second to grieve the Chozo. Corrupted or not, they were still Chozo. Shaking it off, I jumped on the flower, cautious as to whether or not Flaahgra would rise again, and collected the item. I received a notification that I had collected "the Artifact of Wild". Whatever that was.

Then I remembered.

The Pirates had repeatedly mentioned over and over that there was a temple powered by special artifacts that was impossible to breach. The Chozo had mentioned a Cipher that they built over the starborne meteor to conceal the Great Poison and the Worm. The Artifact of Wild was one of these artifacts, and I figured that the temple was hidden in the Overworld. I decided I would check it out later, because I recalled a half-pipe back in the Ruined Shrine.

I went up it and found a Spider Ball Track on the ceiling. This took me to the Tower of Light, which was partly submerged in water. Multiple platforms lead up to the top. I stood on one and found that the support structures holding up the ceiling were made of Brinstone. Three Missiles to all four caused them to break down, but the ceiling did not topple.

Underneath me, much more violent Puffers with plating were appearing, so I jumped up where they couldn't reach me and detonated them from there. More support structures, but some of them had Oculus circling them. When I climbed up several more platforms I had found the Wave Beam Charge Combo, the Wavebuster! I could now fire a stream of electric energy.

My suit then detected an abnormally cold temperature deep into the ruins. It was relatively near the Energy Core, where I had completed that puzzle. It was also where I had made note of a Spider Ball Track. I trekked across the ruins to the Energy Core and found the Furnace. Across from me was a white-colored door. What could open it? I didn't know.

There was another Chozo Lore entry. It again mentioned the Entrusted One, which I knew was definitely me, and The Turned; I think they meant the Chozo Ghosts.

Under the Lore was a Morph Ball tunnel, which lead me into a half-piped room and into not one, not two, but three more Lore entries! Lore #1 spoke of their determination to contain the Great Poison, Lore #2 spoke of the Prophecy of Light, where a woman (me) would come and save the planet, and Lore #3 mentioned their wavering faith. Would I come to the planet and save it? Hell yeah.

After solving a puzzle for a Missile Expansion, I stepped into the Hall of the Elders. I was closer to the cold temperature, whatever it was. The room was huge, with a Chozo Elder Statue at the bottom, and in its hands one Chozo Ghost apparition. After killing it, I found another Lore entry behind the statue, which was a message to me about invaders that wish to use the Great Poison for themselves, the Pirates.

I also found close to the door from which I'd entered a tunnel to a Missile Station, something I should have used before the fight. Then I noticed a blue aura coming from the statue's hands, so I morphed into it, and was launched up to a ledge with a Bomb Slot, which activated three other Bomb Slots. The curious thing about these ones was that they gave off purple, white and red auras. Purple meant Wave Beam, obviously, but what about white and red?

I shot the purple one, the glow faded, and it returned to a normal Bomb Slot. When I used it, the machine in the floor changed the course of the tunnel, and it lead me up behind a force field at the top of the room. The control switch was there, and the door out.

I found myself in a room with what looked to be a flooded half-pipe. The Interface Module in front didn't drain it, instead I found that I had to destroy the drain cover in the pool. So I did, and it slowly drained out. Before the fish were sucked in, I grabbed one, killed it, cooked it with my Arm Cannon and had it as a snack. I was hungry.

The Half-pipe boosted me up to two ledges. The one on the left lead to the source of the cold temperatures, the Ice Beam! Now I could open those White Doors and kill enemies, especially Magmoor ones, much easier. The other ledge had a Save Station and a tunnel that lead to an elevator back to the Tallon Overworld (another was back in the flooded room), but I went back to the Hall of the Elders to check out the white Bomb Slot. Three ghosts were now present, and the slot lead to an Energy Tank.

I found that the elevator not connecting to the Save Station lead to a blocked off area, so I took the other one and ended up near the Landing Site (convenient). The room I found myself in was a crash site. The wreckage pile on my side of the lake was of the Frigate Orpheon. Analysis of it indicated that it was flooded, and my suit didn't move properly in water. I needed my Gravity Suit.

I jumped down and saw Flying Pirates across the lake fleeing the scene, leaving behind two crates that I'd seen on the Orpheon. I then felt a shot on my back. Turning around, I saw three beyond critically wounded Pirates that had somehow survived the crash. The one that had shot me was the only one whose spine was still intact. Please.

The lake had a strange plant, and when I closely inspected the crates, a poisonous blue substance was leaking out of it. It must be Phazon, and in turn, the Great Poison.

As I returned to the Landing Site, almost on cue, gravity pulses were located in the Phendrana Drifts. I laughed to myself and returned to the part of the drifts near the Quarantine Cave. The elevator I'd found after killing Thardus had another path I was going to explore. But first, the Cradle.

A path I hadn't yet explored had data on the Elites, and I could see a massive rock hanging in front of a glass tunnel. I found the Artifact Temple, which was apparently the Cradle. Awaiting me underneath a structure was the Artifact of Truth, which awaited those who truly seeked it. I collected it, and several of the surrounding totems lit up. I found that I could scan them to bring up hints to the locations of the artifacts.

Now for the drifts.

I stepped into a massive shaft that connected to the Glacier One lab, but I didn't need to go there, I didn't think. I kept moving, and found two new creatures: first was a Hunter Metroid, a Metroid that didn't evolve into the next stage in its life cycle due to being out of its home environment. The other one was the only harmless creature I would encounter on Tallon IV, the Glider. Its scan stated that I could swing on it, but I couldn't just yet.

After much exploration, most of it tredging through hard to see water, and finding Aqua Reapers as well, I entered the Gravity Chamber, where the source of the gravity pulses, my Gravity Suit, of course, was located. My suit became purple with blue accents, and I was now able to resist changes in gravity, see and move better in water, and I was also impervious to lava.

I then followed a path out of there, into a drier area. I was back in the snow region. Scattered around me were bits of rubble, analysis indicated that this was the remains of a human research facility. Whatever had destroyed it, had to be big. And it was.

Marching out of the whiteout came a six-limbed, crystal-covered, tusked, gorilla-like beast. It thumped its chest and roared at me, much like a normal ape, and started the fight.

Its name was IceBoss. It was a genetically engineered creature, a gorilla fused with Sheegoth DNA. IceBoss climbed around with its large arms and towered over me. While I dodged its tree-trunk arms and legs, I looked for a way to destroy it. First, I tried firing at the eyes. This caused it to become blind, and so it would now try to find me as best as it could.

I was blindly fighting as well, so I targeted the chest, blowing off bits of fur and skin. I ultimately hit its heart, and it dropped to the ground, dead. That was pretty poor, Pirates. Their experiments were always crude, but this was just plain pathetic. They were obviously desperate to have me killed, but I just wouldn't die. Why won't they realize that I just won't die? Like how Wile E. Coyote won't catch Roadrunner and eat him?

In either case, I returned to the frigate.

Scurrying across the flooded halls were Tallon Crabs. I killed one, cracked the shell open, cooked it and ate it as another snack. I felt very hungry now, and the scan stated that they were food. I went through the frigate, encountering Aqua Pirates, Flying Pirates that were outfitted to survive underwater, and Aqua Drones, Sentry Drones modified for the same purpose. In several rooms, such as the Reactor Core, I had to activate several Power Conduits to reactivate the doors. The Save Station, fortunately and mysteriously, was undamaged.

I had explored some rooms I hadn't seen on the frigate, and I stepped out into a remote part of the overworld. The Jelzaps tried to keep me from going underwater. As I climbed up the platform and admired the nice tree in the middle, I realized I was on the other side of the dead end from earlier. A Spinner fixed that, but I was informed of mining activity nearby.

As I stepped into a hallway, my suit picked up readings of intense radiation. Electric blue stuff, possibly Phazon, was covering the floor underneath a measly bridge. I found an elevator to the Phazon Mines, and unknowingly stepped into a minefield of Pirates.

Chapter 7: Pirate War

The sky was a hazy pink, there was a lot of pollution. A tower was situated in the Main Quarry, a Force Field was blocking the way out, and there were two Mega Turrets guarding it. My gunship detected a nearby Save Station, which was right next door, so I went in and used it. I had to scan an Interface Module to remove security bars, however.

I stepped out and went up the ramp. I had heard Pirate vocalizations in their garbled, odd language, so I kept myself prepared for them to jump, and they did. One Pirate let out their scream, indicating that I was here. I ran up the building while killing them and scanned the information on the terminals, only one of which was useful, to move a crane. But then I couldn't use it because it was a Grapple Point. Goddammit.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a pump blowing fumes into the air, so I destroyed it. I then solved a puzzle for a Missile Expansion and jumped off the building, scanning two Interface Modules to disable the force field. As soon as I stepped in, I was ambushed by Mega Turret fire. My lifesaver came in the form of another module, and when the turrets were deactivated, I gave them a Nelson "Ha ha!" and destroyed them.

I then entered a winding corridor with many pillars and blockages in the way, and it was really annoying. I made a note of a Red Door blocked by an impenetrable force field and kept moving on, before Pirates with purple armor ambushed me. These were Wave Troopers, Pirates equipped with reverse-engineered versions of the Wave Beam. As always, there was a flaw in their armor that made them weak to their own weapon, so I whipped out the electric conductor and gave them a bad shock.

Before I leapfrogged up through a door on the ceiling I took note of a terminal behind a wall made of Bendezium. The terminals here contained more information on Elite Pirate armaments and a Pirate Data entry about the meteor. The Pirates knew of a massive creature gestating in it (the Worm?) and they knew they had to breach the crater to access the creature and the Phazon there.

In the middle of the room was a hideously mutated Pirate. Covered in blue blotches of Phazon, it was in stasis at the moment. The tank stated that it was of the designation 'Elite Pirate Alpha'. The tank was made of Bendezium. I scanned one terminal and it activated some platform systems for me to use. I jumped up to a higher floor where Wave Troopers activated a locking mechanism to block me from reaching the surrounding alcove, and then ambushed me. Nuh uh.

I made my way behind the wall and scanned the terminal to lower it and summon more platforms. The next floor was surrounded by very weak rock walls, an Industrial Grade Pulse Beam on the ceiling (the reason for the weak rock walls), some more terminals and a Spinner. I found that the Spinner rotated the cannon, which I used to fire at each wall. One revealed a Missile Expansion and the other the door out.

I was about to just spin jump down but I noticed two strange contraptions running counter clockwise down a shaft, so I backtracked and grabbed a bloody Pirate corpse, throwing it in to test it. It was heavily electrocuted when it went down the middle, and then when it hit the actual contraptions. So I used the Spider Ball Track and thought that these guys had no concept of Occupational Health and Safety.

In the room Ore Processing I killed two more Power Troopers and then made note of the central pillar. It had three color coded Spider Ball Tracks on them, red, blue and yellow, and there were midair attachments so I could get up each floor. To rotate the pillar I was able to use a Bomb Slot. The closest reachable floor was the blue track, when I'd gone up to level 2 I realigned the red track. Bendezium rubble blocked the control unit for the yellow track, so I ignored it for now and continued on to where I'd detected odd energy fluxes.

I soon found an elevator to floor 2 of the Phazon Mines. As I descended, I was able to look at a great view of the Impact Crater. In the room that came after the elevator on level 2 I saw yellow gas coming from an air vent. A destructible crate was beside it, so I tried shooting it to get rid of that awful smell, and saved myself the trouble of killing two Pirates!

Then I stepped into the Elite Control, which had a lot of terminals, so I knew I'd be here for a while. Another stasis tank was in here, but this time the Elite broke out to attack me! I scanned it and found that the Plasma Artillery Cannon it carried had a high heat signature, so I first began to target that, manuevering my way around the room, jumping on top of things such as the ruined stasis tank and firing at the cannon, but it was no use, so I began firing at the actual Elite. Its death caused the cannon to blow up, and the Elite sent an electric shockwave that disabled the force field blocking further progress.

Pirates were approaching, but I ignored them as I quickly downloaded the data. There was a mention of 'Egenoid Star Marines', which I assumed were related to Federation Marines. Most of the other stuff was just detail about the operations there. Only the Pirate Data entries were interesting.

First of all, I had a good laugh when I found out about the failed attempts to copy the Morph Ball. I was informed of Elite Pirate Upsilon, codenamed the Omega Pirate, apparently a hugely mutated Elite. Uh oh, not good. Then there was talk of their determination to create a special forces unit of Pirates. Next they had confirmed that the artifacts had something to do with the temple, and they were trying to find them, and then they found that they could not. And then they were attempting to dissect Metroids to figure out how they drained energy, then more about the Chozo Ruins, and finally they figured out that the artifacts corresponded to the totems. I had no doubt they would never find the artifacts.

I then ran up the ramp and encountered white troopers that were weak to the Ice Beam, and a switch to open the force field blocking the way out. It lead into a room with a half-pipe and several air vents on the ceiling. Suddenly, my suit said "Poison gas detected" and Puffers appeared out of the vents, creating a lot of gas. I quickly ran into the small area where the gas wouldn't affect me, and ran on to the source of the energy fluxes.

The Central Dynamo. I had read up on that before but did not know where. The energy fluxes were here. A strange unit overtop a floor of grating seemed to be the cause, and when I scanned it, this was confirmed. It was unstable. I jumped down and approached it, ready to destroy it, but a Sentry Drone sounded. Only, there was no drone. I whirled around me and saw some light, however. A Cloaked Drone, huh?

EAT WAVEBUSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was the one thing I could think of doing, and in just a few seconds, the drone had exploded, and so had a hatch in the floor.

I navigated through the tunnel in the floor, moving along through a maze of on and off electrical currents and flammable water pools until I found that I had picked up a special upgrade. My Power Bomb, which I used to destroy the Dynamo Unit and free up some space so I could get out of there. A much needed Save Station was also nearby, and I ignored the rest of the path for now, instead going back to Ore Processing.

I went up to the Bendezium rubble and blew it up, setting up the yellow track to eventually reach another floor where I regained my final lost on the Orpheon ability, the Grapple Beam! I left the room and was able to test it out on a point outside, so I could get to the other ledge. I was Jane, but who would be my Tarzan? I'd found a new path cutting back to the Main Quarry, which was where I wanted to go, because I had some other places to explore.

I went up the elevator to the Tallon Overworld and took the earlier ignored path.

Chapter 8: Ghosts

In the Great Tree Hall, I went up the platforms and found a higher ledge leading to a Bendezium blockage. I rolled through some tunnels and then found myself in a dome. The Life Grove.

One of my hints to the Artifacts was in a "Grove of life". But there didn't seem to be anything underneath the small amount of water. Respawning Seedlings were roaming the dome, and an upgrade was in the middle, but I wasn't ready to collect it yet. After giving up on the Artifact, I just collected the new item, the X-Ray Visor, and then analyzed the walls for a way out.

The walls of the dome were Bendezium, of course. Beyond the dome were more waves, so I inspected them while being a bit disturbed by eerie noises in the atmosphere. I soon found a Sandstone cover in the water, which I destroyed, and a pillar rose out. It had a Spinner in it, which rotated some protrustion from the pillar, and another one, with the Artifact of Chozo, arose from the water!

I then searched for a way out of the room. Where could it be... where could it b... I found a pathway running along the walls. I was ready to do some jumping, so I leapt across bridges on tree branches, wall platforms and through tunnels, but I was knocked down by a Chozo Ghost. Three of them. Oh, come on, I said to myself. After killing them, I attempted to go across the platforms, and I reached the surface of the dome. There was a hole in it that lead to the ledge that would bring me back to Great Tree Hall.

Continuing the treasure hunt, I took a left into the Chozo Ruins elevator, sweeping the area for all the pickups I could get. I returned to the Tower of Light, where I'd acquired the Wavebuster, and jumped into the waters, because there was supposed to be an Artifact nearby. Indeed, I soon exited the water and found a tiny chamber containing the Artifact of Lifegiver. I also found the last Chozo Lore entry, again speaking of me.

I'd acquired every pickup except for whatever was behind the red Bomb Slot in the Hall of the Elders, so I made a note of that and returned to Magmoor Caverns via the nearest elevator. I returned to the hallway with the bridge made of Bendezium, and jumped down. Ironically, I'd found the Charge Combo for the Ice Beam, the Ice Spreader! Then I went back to the Geothermal Core and grappled across to a platform on a high turbine pillar. I then began a puzzle spinning Spinners and bombing Bomb Slots while jumping up to higher platforms, until the ceiling began to rise. A long web of Spider Ball Tracks was exposed, as well as several Plated Parasites crawling across it. I balled across the tracks until I reached a ledge with Bendezium rubble and destroyed it, finding a room with the Plasma Beam!

Unlike the one I'd used at Zebes, this Plasma Beam was made of molten energy and could ignite several enemies in flame. Then I remembered the frozen statue in the Chozo Ice Temple, so I returned to that region of Phendrana and melted the ice freezing the statue's hands. A blue aura emanated from them, and I jumped into its arms, opening a tunnel in the water basin just below it. I'd found the Artifact of Sun! And then I returned to the Control Tower and jumped into one of the buildings, firing a missile at a group of Radion cells and toppling the massive tower. It crashed into the wall and exposed part of the floor. Underneath this place I found another Artifact, Elder. I had just four more to go.

I returned to Phendrana's Edge, where one of my hints said to go, and destroyed a wall blocking a door. Here I found the Artifact of Spirit. Next I returned to the Hall of the Elders to shoot and bomb the Plasma Beam slot. The statue moved, and I found a tiny chamber under the floor that contained the Artifact of World. I then returned to the mines.

Chapter 9: Corruption

Remembering the force field in the Mine Security Station, I destroyed the grating blocking the terminal and all of the troopers in the room, then scanned the terminal and entered a small chamber containing the Plasma Beam's Charge Combo, the Flamethrower!

I also returned to the Elite Research room and released the Phazon Elite, killing it for the Artifact of Warrior. One more to go, but where could it be? My hint said a tunnel of the Great Poison, but where was that? Somewhere deeper into the mines?

Perhaps the answer lied in whatever was beyond the Central Dynamo. I returned there and kept going on until I found a Metroid Quarantine. Behind an energy force field, several Metroids inhabited a Phazon infested area. Several Pirates were guarding the room, and there were some terminals up here. I had an idea.

There was one particular terminal that disabled the force field, allowing the Metroids to fly be free and have a bit of a snack. I allowed them to suck dry the Pirate corpses before I finished them off myself. Now, I was hungry after all this time, and measly little fish and crab didn't do me much. I grabbed one Metroid talon, ignoring the energy it was sapping from my fingers, and rammed it into Phazon ore, killing it. Its membrane deflated like a balloon.

I held onto the carcass as I kept moving, eventually finding an elevator room. Now that I was in peace, I sat down on the elevator before activating it to cook the Metroid. I'd done some research, and it seemed that they could be eaten by humans. Much like Native Americans would use every part of a buffalo, humans used every part of the Metroid. They could melt the membrane for jam, use the talons for a necklace or cups or something, and eat the nuclei as they tasted just like meat. For now I was only interested in the food, and I tossed the carcass out the window, admiring the view of the Impact Crater.

In the third level of the mines I came across Gliders flying about, they were somehow able to survive Phazon. After playing a bit of the sport known as 'Glider riding', I resumed exploration. I had to have a little bit of fun, you know.

I then seemed to have found the final Artifact's resting place, in a Phazon Mining Tunnel. I rolled down, but soon found that the floor was made of Phazon! My suit's energy burned away like a crisp as I struggled to reach the artifact in time. I'd collected it, but my suit's energy was nearly emptied. Why did I make such a reckless choice?

I'd managed to make it out in time, but a Metroid in the next room rammed into my suit once, and it began to disappear. While attempting to repel it, my suit was rapidly losing parts of itself, and I was getting burned by the Phazon in the room. I'd made it to another Metroid Quarantine, but Metroids weren't the things greeting me, it was Plasma Troopers. Their armor quickly depleted the energy of my suit, and so I stunned them while trying to regain at least the functions of the helmet so I could scan some more data and disable the other force field. The Plasma Troopers were quickly tearing through the Zero Suit, so I ran up to them, grabbing them by their guns and throwing them into the Phazon. Just as I thought, they died instantly.

The small amount of energy they left behind was enough to reactivate the helmet, so I disabled the force field and used the same tactic on the Plasma and Wave Trooper still in the room. Conveniently, a Save Station was just next door, so I quickly ran in and was instantly healed of my wounds, and the suit was restored.

There were two Pirate Data entries, the first speaking of the potentials if they tamed their Metroids, harvested the energy they consumed, and removed their vulnerability to cold. The second told about incidents with Chozo Ghosts, which explained why I never found any Pirates in the ruins.

I then went up the ramp, finding a corridor guarded by a Plasma Trooper and containing Frigidite frozen overtop of the door. In the next room, the Elite Quarters, a massive, towering Elite Pirate rested in its stasis tank. Several pools of Phazon existed on the floor, and there was a high platform above the tank, with an elevator off to the side to use, but it wasn't working.

This Elite was Elite Pirate Upsilon, or the Omega Pirate. As I approached, it awakened, roared, and then escaped its tank, before screaming at me. The battle was now commenced.

The Omega Pirate was not as weak as a typical Elite, I soon found. My analysis concluded that the Omega's armor plates were the weak points, and if they were destroyed, it would disappear from the visible spectrum and summon several troopers to finish me off. They were distractions while the Omega reappeared and began healing itself in a pool of Phazon. I repelled them with Charge Combos but turned my attention back to the Omega when it started healing itself.

But should I really have done that?

The Omega's eyes faded, and the monstrosity began to fall forward. No.

I fell onto my back to reduce the pain of being crushed, but I still felt it. It began disintegrating and I felt my suit absorbing it. Soon, the Phazon was all gone, and I was able to stand up. My purple, blue, red and yellow suit had become black, red, silver and orange. This was an epic color. I had a Phazon Suit, so I was now able to resist radiation from Phazon. Excellent.

I also found that my Arm Cannon had been altered as well. It was now capable of firing a powerful Phazon Beam if I was standing in pure concentrations of it. I tried testing it on the Phazon in the room. Nothing. Dammit!

I then returned to the Save Station and restored my suit's energy and recorded data. I wasn't losing this new stuff. However, I had another skirmish when I returned to the Elite Quarters. The room was rumbling, and out of the wall burst a gigantic green lizard thing. Kraid.

But how?

I scanned him and it stated that after the fall of Zebes, the Pirates had begun Project Osiris, with the purposes of speeding up the resurrection of Kraid and also creating IceBoss. Kraid had been let loose after the Pirates found that I'd killed IceBoss.

This time he had a helmet over top of his face and Phazon veins on his belly. Other than that, my battle with him pretty much remained the same as last time, jumping on spikes shot out from his bellybuttons and trying to crack the helmet off by firing at all the points on it. It fell to the ground and I was then able to kill him normally.

Crude, crude Space Pirate experiments...

Chapter 10: Fulfilling the Legacy

I now had all Artifacts. It was time to kill off the Worm and end the catastrophe.

I marched through the mines back up to the Tallon Overworld. Pirates, normal, Shadow and troopers alike, were killing themselves by jumping into Phazon when they saw me approach. After getting bored of Pirate suicides, I reached the Artifact Temple and produced the Artifacts from my hand. Each piece went to its corresponding totem, and the Cipher was unlocked. The central totem pole fired into the sky.

Just then, I noticed a figure in the far background, fast approaching. It was Meta Ridley.

The rat bastard performed a bombing run on the temple, knocking out most of the totems and the Cipher, destroying my only chance of entering the temple. "DAMN YOU!" I shouted. Now that he'd doomed the planet, I was going to kill him yet again.

I fired at the chest with the Plasma Beam, eventually driving him into the background to do another bombing run. I kept firing at the chest until his wings were burnt off, and he made touchdown on the temple. He then began charging at me, whipping his tail, breathing fire and trying to crush me. I kept firing at the chest until he was stumbling towards the temple's edge. Behind me, the Chozo statues on the temple were firing laser beams at his chest until he tripped and fell off the temple into the abyss below. I witnessed the explosion.

Now, I was still left with no way of getting into the crater. Or so I thought. Twelve non-violent Chozo Ghosts appeared and the Cipher did once again as well. I stepped into the blue vortex and was transported into the crater.

The entrance featured a Save Station, something the Chozo probably installed for me to use in case I came here. It was a very welcome sight after the battle, since I'd stupidly forgotten I could go back to my ship.

The next corridor featured red colored Phazon that for some odd reason the Phazon Suit did not protect me against. Maybe it was just too much for it to handle. Crawling among the rocks and into the Phazon was a group of gecko-like creatures called Lumigeks. Jumping over them, I made my way into the next gigantic room.

The Phazon Core. Several tooth-like rocks acted as platforms, with additional floating ones in the area. A massive bone-like pillar rested in the middle. Fish swam around behind membranes, and out of Red Phazon rose grey-colored Metroids. Fission Metroids. They were so highly mutated by Phazon that they could no longer be frozen, and if shot with a certain weapon, it would split and one of them would be colored correspondingly to whatever weapon was used. I tried to repel them back, before I found a Missile Station and used it.

After going through one last corridor, I entered a room containing a wall of Phazon and a massive black creature thing. This was the Worm. This was what killed the Chozo here. And now I was going to kill it.

The beast, the Metroid Prime, jumped down from its rest and roared at me, before fleeing like a coward into the wall behind it and allowing me to pursue. The battle had just begun.

Prime roared and fired five missiles at once at me. I quickly scanned it while jumping on top of a stalagmite, and as soon as the scan results came in, I sighed. Prime was weak to certain beams when it was a certain color. Everything was now. Trooper Pirates, Fission Metroids, Prime, everything. Dammit.

I did as I was told and since Prime was purple, I dealt it loads of Wavebuster damage. What I didn't expect was that it would jump back, roar, and then charge at me. I was forced to jump over it from the rock spire, and I got nicked by its head. It was then that I noticed a bunch of grooves in the ground.

Prime had destroyed the one reachable spire, so I was forced to fight it on the ground. It turned yellow, so I shot a Super Missile at it and it became agitated, but instead of charging at me, it burrowed into the ground. Was this thing a coward or something? In any case, I jumped down after it. We were in another Subchamber.

It turned white, so I tried out the Ice Spreader on it just to see. Unexpectedly, it completely stopped it from moving even though only its face was frozen over. I shot another blast of normal ice, and it charged, so I quickly dove into a groove in the floor. Yellow, Super Missile, groove. Purple, Wavebuster, it burrowed again. Cowardly thing it was.

Rather than change, this time it rendered its armor completely invulnerable and shot a green snaring beam from its eyes. I morphed and boosted away. It then turned red, so I tried out the Flamethrower but nothing happened, so I took to blasts of fire. Before it jumped back, it released two projectiles of fire that I fired some shots at before I rushed into a groove. I rolled to the other side of the room to get rid of them. Purple, Wavebuster, groove.

It turned yellow and created a wave of spiky ice that almost hit me. Just before I could Super Missile it, it did the snare beam again. After I'd escaped, I let the massive projectile loose and then took to the groove. White, Ice Spreader, burrow yet again. This thing just did not like losing.

Yellow, but before I unleashed a missile, it turned purple. Wavebuster equipped, fired, taken to groove. It then turned red, but before I could do anything it unexpectedly rushed at me before I even did anything! I had to take the hit because I couldn't make it to the groove. After it got to the other side I quickly snuck under its big leg and rushed to the other side, before I got my revenge and did make it to the groove after the next charge attack.

Purple, and it summoned the same two projectiles as the fire ones, but these were electric. I Wavebustered Prime and rushed to the other side, but I got hit by one of the projectiles before I could destroy it and my visor was full of static for like ten seconds. Red, and I got too close so Prime slapped me with its tentacle. It released two more fire projectiles as I blasted it some more, and it burrowed through the wall beside it and fell into an abyss.

After I dealt with the remaining projectiles I looked into the abyss, and knew it wasn't dead. But how long did the abyss extend? Was it a bottomless pit, or did it have a floor 20,000 leagues under the ground, with no way of getting back out? I uttered a quick prayer and jumped down.

I landed. There was Prime's armor with several rocks circling the chamber, and Phazon leaking out of the armor. What also leaked out was a strange Metroid. This was Prime in its core essence form. It looked kind of like a floating octopus and I could see its brain, along with two yellow eyes. The brain was concealed by a blue membrane with several tentacles being used to swim around in the air. I ran at it and scanned it.

The scan data was interesting. This Metroid, like the Fissions, was unfreezable. In fact, it was un-Power Beamable, unelectrocutable and inflammable. The only weakness was an overload of Phazon. But what was I supposed to do, have sex with it and hope that the Phazon Suit would leak into it and kill it? But wait...

Then I remembered, my Phazon Beam. My Arm Cannon was able to fire a powerful blast of Phazon, but it needed pure Phazon to do so. And I didn't have it. Maybe the Phazon coming out of the armor?

Dodging Prime's energy wave attacks, I jumped onto it, but yielded nothing. But after Prime roared at me, it created some Phazon and disappeared. Maybe this is my chance!

True enough, my Arm Cannon got all swollen, and there were veins of Phazon crawling around it everywhere. Now I needed to find Prime and unleash this horrible weapon.

Which visor, which visor? The X-Ray. I jumped back into the pool of Phazon and unleashed it. A powerful roar erupted from the Metroid and it looked to be a bit hurt.

It created another pool (why did every enemy always exploit their weakness? It only got them killed!) of Phazon and I looked around in Combat and X-Ray mode to find where the creature was. Then I tried Thermal Visor and it was right in front of me. Like, literally. Too close for comfort. After I dealt my damage it hit me but moved back.

When it made its next pool, I was shocked to see a normal and Hunter Metroid coming out of it. I used a Power Bomb to kill them both and then dealt damage. On the next round, two Hunters came out. The next round was two Fissions, and then after I dealt more blasts, it began to dance around drowsily. I'd killed it.

I put my arm in front of my face to block out the massive light that was coming from his dying body. It was... sucking itself in?

Its brain was now in a nucleus sort of thing, and it let out a tentacle at me. I was horrified to notice it was in my pelvis area. It pulled me in, and I struggled against it, but ultimately some sheen was ripped off of me. As soon as I realized my suit was purple I found out it had stolen my Phazon Suit.

Thanks a lot Prime. Now I won't last long in the crater. As it rapidly expanded, my suit displayed the message "Crater collapse imminent. Evacuate immediately."

I rushed up some fallen debris and then was able to wall jump up the walls, creating more debris for me to get back up to the Phazon Infusion Chamber and then escape like normal. All the while, Prime was expanding, and expanding, and expanding until the entire crater was totally covered in Prime nucleus.

I made it out of there, and turned to see an explosion occuring on the surface of the Artifact Temple. What? The temple was being destroyed? Several more explosions occured, fires spread and debris was flung about. There was nothing I could do, so I called my ship to pick me up and jumped on top of it.

I stood on top of my ship, disabling my suit and letting the rain soak my Zero Suit and hair, watching the temple's destruction, before I went into my ship and took off for the depths of space.

Epilogue

The Chozo's faith in Samus has been well rewarded. And now, a new star shines in the universe. The bounty hunter, Samus Aran. What future, and fate, await her?

It's been a few hours since the Prime Mission ended. All Phazon, with the destruction of the Impact Crater, has burned away, leaving nothing but a faint ash, and relics of the Chozo race that is now gone from the universe.

My Power Suit recharges and records its data. I am now due for another mission in the Alimbic Cluster, where the Galactic Federation has received a cryptic message mentioning an ultimate power. I am to secure it or destroy it.

Despite Tallon being over with, I just can't help but feel that the Metroid Prime is not truly dead. If it stole my Phazon Suit then it could have survived. Oh well. I put these thoughts aside as I set off for the Alimbic Cluster.

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