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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/16403_metroid_prime_gamecube_front_cover.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''Evil Waits Below The Surface...'']]

->''"Something sinister lurks in the depths of planet Tallon IV. Interstellar bounty hunter Samus Aran is the only one who can destroy this evil... but first it must be found."''
-->-- '''Boxart Tagline'''

''Metroid Prime'' is a 2002 [[FirstPersonShooter First-Person]] [[GenreBusting Adventure]] for the UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube. It is the fifth game in the ''{{Franchise/Metroid}}'' series, the first of the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'', and the first ''Metroid'' game to be in 3D.

The story takes place almost imminently following the events of the first ''{{VideoGame/Metroid|1}}''. Samus Aran is on the warpath. After destroying the Space Pirates' base on Zebes along with Mother Brain, Ridley and Kraid, Aran relentlessly tracks the scattered fleeing survivors across the solar system to their fallback position on the Wanderer-Class planet of Tallon IV. There, the Pirates have set up a secret research base, resumed Metroid cloning and are harvesting a new power for their own ends; a radiological substance called Phazon, containing nigh limitless energy potential. The Hunter must explore and battle her way through the world's lush and myriad environs, putting down Pirate operations where ever she finds them, but in searching for the origins of why her enemy chose this world to plunder, she discovers an age-old conflict which extends much further, to when her adopted people the Chozo still called this place home. Something terrible from the stars came to Tallon IV centuries ago, bearing corruptive Phazon and an enemy greater still, sleeping within the Impact Crater...

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!!''Metroid Prime'' includes examples of:

* AdaptationInducedPlothole: Inverted with the final boss. In the original game, Metroid Prime had been captured by the Pirates and studied for a while, before breaking loose and returning to its point of origin, explaining its fancy assimilated Zebesian tech armor, but said point of origin is behind an impenetrable barrier you spend most of the game deactivating. Other regions and later adaptations covered over the plot hole by re-writing the relevant story entries so that the Pirates never captured it... but, in so doing, opened ''two'' other plotholes, namely, where the armor came from and how the Pirates knew enough about it to call it Metroid Prime. Theoretically, this isn't as bad, as in either version, it interacted with the Chozo, which would better explain why it has weapons and armor that resemble Chozo tech.
* AllThereInTheStinger: It gives a first look at Samus' main enemy through the next two games, and Dark Samus emerges from the Metroid Prime chamber.
* AllYourPowersCombined: The eponymous Metroid Prime has the ability to switch between using its own variations of Samus Aran's own weapons;
** Like Samus' Power Suit, its core is protected by a heavily armored carapace with only a small "visor" as its weakspot.
** The Particle Wave, its deadly answer to the beam weapons. The color of its armor changes so that it can only be harmed by that specific beam weapon at a time. Its own answer to the Ice Beam is the Ultrafrigid Breath, which can completely freeze Samus in place.
** Multi-Missiles, where it fires a mortar of long-range missiles at you.
** Snare Beams, its own variation of the Grappling Beam.
* AlwaysCheckBehindTheChair: Prior to obtaining the X-Ray Visor, at least.
* AntagonistTitle: Metroid Prime is an enormous Metroid residing in the Impact Crater, so mutated by Phazon it barely even resembles a Metroid any more.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: Attempting to navigate an obstacle that looks passable but actually isn't (such as a barely-out-of-reach ledge underwater without the Gravity Suit) a few times will bring up a prompt telling you to come back later with the proper powerup. And if you spend a long time dinking around and wandering, a prompt will appear and mark on your map your next destination. This can be disabled if you find it distracting, or want to find out where to go on your own.
* ApocalypticLog:
** The Chozo left behind writings and lore describing their encounter with the meteor and subsequent attempts to contain it. They succeeded in containing the worst of the Phazon, but significant amounts of it escaped and started poisoning everything, including the Chozo.
** Also present in some of the Pirate Logs when talking about how thoroughly Samus trashed their [[VideoGame/{{Metroid 1}} their previous operation on Zebes]]. Or how she's now on Tallon IV and tearing through their forces.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: In the lore logs, it is claimed that the Chozo that lived on Tallon IV did this, but were pulled back by the meteor crashing on the planet.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The charged combos apart from the [[BoringButPractical Super Missile]]. They do have some uses, though; for example, the Wavebuster tears through robotic enemies and can put some serious hurt on bosses like Meta Ridley or [[spoiler: Metroid Prime (when it's weak to the Wave Beam, at least)]],and it's auto-locking ability works great for taking out a cloaked mini-boss that your sensors can't detect.
* {{Backtracking}}: Oh, yes. Have fun combing Tallon IV to find all 12 artifacts and [[OneHundredPercentCompletion every single pickup]]!
* BagOfSpilling: During her escape from Frigate Orpheon, Samus gets caught in an explosion and loses all her powerups except her suit and Power Beam. She gets them all back on the planet itself.
* BarrierChangeBoss: Metroid Prime, which periodically changes its weakness to one of your four beams. Its second form, though, is an odd example; while it's only weak to one weapon [[spoiler: [[EleventhHourSuperpower (the Hyper Beam)]]]], it is only visible in one spectrum at a time, requiring you to change which visor you're using to actually hit it.
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: Ridley, who actually manages to one-up this by flying directly from an orbiting space frigate to Tallon IV, [[note]]an impossible feat, considering that space has no air molecules to push against in flight, though his "flight" may have been powered by his mechanical parts, with the wing flapping as just muscle memory,[[/note]] surviving re-entry in the process.
* BattleInTheRain: It's constantly raining on the Tallon IV Overworld, so you can have mini-battles in the rain all the time. You have a boss battle in the rain when you face off against Ridley.
* BigBad: Meta Ridley and Metroid Prime. The Metroid Prime caused the Phazon crisis on Tallon IV, Meta-Ridley led the Space Pirate operations there.
* BlackoutBasement:
** Removing some power sources or upgrades releases captured Metroids and shuts off the lights. The Space Pirate Base in Phendrana is an excellent example.
** The atmosphere turns dim when you fight Chozo Ghosts. The first time, it is ''terrifying''.
* BoringButPractical:
** Super Missiles, compared to the other charge combos. It is also required to beat the game (as it is used to blow up objects); the other beam combos are not. It's just a super-fast missile launcher that deals massive damage per shot, but that's all it needs to be.
** Also, the Power Beam itself. It doesn't do as much damage as the Wave or Plasma beams, nor does it freeze enemies like the Ice Beam. However, [[BeamSpam it can fire almost as fast as you can push the A button,]] making it the best weapon [[ZergRush if you're dealing with a lot of weak enemies]] or you've brought an enemy's defenses down and need to deal some quick ScratchDamage before they go back up. Fittingly, the two are related; Super Missile is the missile combo for the Power Beam.
* BossRemix: It's difficult to catch, but the Final Boss battle is accompanied by a remix of the Title theme.
* BreathWeapon: Besides Ridley, since he is a Space Dragon, Metroid Prime, Sheegoths and the Parasite Queen.
* BullfightBoss: The Plated Beetle, which has bulletproof armor over its head.
* BubblegloopSwamp: A good part of the Tallon Overworld.
* CallForward: Scanning the first Metroid in Glacier One will reveal the information of its home planet, [=SR-388=]. ''VideoGame/MetroidIIReturnOfSamus'' takes place on that planet, and ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'' takes place in a space station orbiting it.
* ChasingYourTail: Parasite Queen.
* CheckPointStarvation: The [[ThatOneLevel Phazon Mines]]. There's a save station, near the entrance. Better use it, 'cuz it's the last one you'll see for a long time. Getting to the next one requires you to run a gauntlet of shadow troops, mega turrets, wave and ice troopers, and two mini boss battles against an elite pirate and a [[InvisibleMonsters cloaked drone]]. The drone battle is especially cruel, as it ambushes you right outside the next save station, which is blocked by debris. The only way to clear away the rubble, is with a power bomb (earned by beating the drone then navigating an electric mini maze). In all, it'll take you about half an hour or more of nonstop fighting and puzzle solving to get from that first save station to the next one. And if you die at any point along the way, you get to do it all over again.
* ChekhovsGun: Scan lore in the Artifact Temple discusses Chozo statuary, ending in the line: ''Those who deface or destroy them will know our wrath, unfettered and raw''. Much later, [[spoiler:Ridley smashes the Chozo statues over the Impact Crate entrance, and thus get blasted by the remaining ones with lasers to the chest.]]
* CircleOfStandingStones: The Chozo cipher is shown as a series of stone monoliths in two rings.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience:
** The Space Pirate Beam Troopers, [[note]]in Power, Wave, Ice, and Plasma flavors, to match your beam weapons,[[/note]] the Fission Metroids, and Metroid Prime. Their current color is the color of the only weapon type that can harm them.
** The doors are colored based on what is needed to open them.
* ContinuityNod:
** The first recordable log in the game (found on your first visit to the Space Pirate Frigate) mentions the events of the original Metroid, how their base on Zebes has fallen and that the Pirates are hard at work trying to revive the fallen Mother Brain. Ridley also has a new cyborg body in the game, since Samus completely mopped the floor with him in the original.
** The remixed music. Tallon Overworld's first theme is a remix of the first Metroid's Brinstar, Tallon Overworld's second theme is a SuspiciouslySimilarSong to Green Brinstar, and Magmoor Caverns is a remix of Lower Norfair.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Averted. Without the Varia suit Samus will take damage from simply entering an area that has lava. This only applies to ''Prime'', as Samus keeps the Varia Suit throughout the rest of the trilogy.
* {{Cyborg}}: Meta Ridley qualifies. Pirate logs describe the process of, after being genetically reborn, grafting new weapons and armor onto his body. According to details given, it was incredibly painful, but he quite likes the new weaponry granted.
* DamageSpongeBoss: Metroid Prime is insanely resilient, and there are no shortcuts to bringing it down. You'll spend a good 10 to 15 minutes at most just to get past its first phase.
* DevelopersForesight:
** If you abuse glitches to bypass the cutscene on the Frigate Orpheon that strips Samus of her powerups, the game will take them away when she lands on Tallon IV.
** Thardus, a boss made out of rock and ice, takes more damage from the Plasma Beam and no damage from the Ice Beam, even though you're not supposed to have either weapon during the fight without heavy SequenceBreaking.
** Another example involving sequence breaking: the Shadow Drone miniboss is invisible and untargettable to your regular, Scan and Thermal Visors, but ''can'' be seen with the X-Ray Visor. The catch is that the X-Ray Visor is normally accessed with Power Bombs, which you need to defeat the Shadow Drone to get in the first place, but if you somehow get a Power Bomb Expansion and use ''that'' to get the X-Ray Visor first, you can use it to see and target the miniboss, making the fight a cakewalk.
*** In another stranger example of foresight, you cannot just ignore the Shadow Drone because of this: one of the Chozo Artifacts[[note]]specifically the one from the Phazon Elite miniboss[[/note]] needs Power Bombs to access, but will only trigger if you have collected the actual Power Bomb item from the Shadow Drone fight. You cannot cheese it with Expansions.
* DisneyVillainDeath: Ridley is pushed off a cliff by lasers and explodes.
* DownTheDrain: The Crashed Frigate, combined with TechnoWreckage.
* DubNameChange: In the Japanese version, Phendrana Drifts and Magmoor Caverns are known as "Ice Valley" and "Lava Caves", respectively. Some areas in the former still have remnants of the original non-Japanese name, e.g. the "Gravity Chamber" is called "フェンドラナ地底湖" ("Phendrana Underground Lake").
* DummiedOut:
** Like ''VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission'''s removal of Crocomire, ''Prime'' would have had a battle with an old boss... Meta-Kraid, which would have marked his first official 3-D appearance. [[http://metroid.wikia.com/wiki/Image:MP_Kraid.jpg A picture of what he would have looked like was shown by one of the modelers.]]
** ''Prime'' also had voiceovers that were supposed to introduce each area by name; all are still on the disc, but the scripting is broken. The only trigger that actually works is transitioning from Tallon Overworld to Impact Crater or vice versa. Additionally, an introduction to Samus and what she has done was voiced over in ''Prime'' - not the one that ended up in the game by the narrator, but Jennifer Hale herself!
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: Most of Phazon Mines is underground, and serves as the Space Pirates' main base on Tallon IV.
* EmbeddedPrecursor: The original NES Metroid is included as an unlockable if you link Prime to MetroidFusion. It includes a save feature and a new control scheme mimicking that of Prime.
* TheEndOrIsIt: The [[HundredPercentCompletion 100% endings]]: [[spoiler:The hand from Samus' Phazon Suit (absorbed by the eponymous villain) pops out of a puddle of phazon with an eye on the back]].
* EnemyScan: Courtesy of the Scan Visor. Helps indicate particular hazards and/or weaknesses.
* EternalEngine: Upper Phazon Mines and Phendrana's Space Pirate base.
* {{Expy}}: Thardus is basically the Metroid universe's answer to [[Film/GalaxyQuest Gorignak]].
* EyeOpen: How the OneHundredPercentCompletion bonus ending ominously ends.
* EyesDoNotBelongThere: The 100% ending of Prime has [[spoiler:an eye open on the back of a hand emerging from a Phazon puddle, later revealed to be Dark Samus.]]
* FailedASpotCheck: A pirate log notes that [[CoolShip Samus's gunship]] is invisible to their scanners and they're reduced to searching the old-fashioned way and hoping they get lucky. Fair enough, except said gunship is parked in the open, plainly visible as orange on a field of green, two rooms and less than a kilometer away from the crashed Pirate frigate.
* FeedItABomb: The Triclops enemies that often show up in the Morph Ball puzzles. They try to grab any round object they see, which might be Samus... or one of her bombs.
* FireIceLightning: The Plasma, Ice, and Wave Beams, respectively.
* FirstPersonShooter: The game is set in the genre, but puts more emphasis on exploration and puzzles than straight-up combat to fit more in line with the Metroid series, hence why Nintendo officially refers to it as a "First Person Adventure".
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the Space Pirate labs, the Metroids are the only creatures that can survive more then three Phazon infusions, with the primary side effect being unchecked aggression. The final boss is an ancient Metroid that has been horribly mutated by Phazon over the course of thousands of years.
** TheStinger at 100% completion gives you a first look at Dark Samus, who would go on to be the main antagonist of the next two games
* FungusHumongous: Lower Phazon Mines scanning one of the giant shrooms show that they are around 300 times bigger than the norm for the species. The huge size is justified twice in that the space pirates are looking to use them as a low cost replacement feed for their phazon enhanced units and are using compounds to accelerate and promote the growth of such fungi and there is also the fact that phazon itself is a mutagenic substance which itself could also be helping make such huge shrooms.
* GrimyWater: The water in the Chozo Ruins is initially toxic, due to a giant plant monster poisoning the water's source. Once you've defeated it, the water clears.
* InterfaceScrew:
** Electrical attacks and certain other attacks (such as the projectiles launched by the Chozo Ghosts) will create static on Samus's visor for a few moments. The Sentry Drones are notable for causing an InterfaceScrew just by being present (flavored as being designed to mess with visor technology).
** Steam vents in certain areas will temporarily fog up the visor.
* JumpJetPack: The Space Jump which, unlike the 2D games, just gives Samus a second jump in midair.
* KillItWithFire: The Plasma Beam and its charge combo, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the Flamethrower]].
* KillItWithIce: The Ice Beam and Ice Spreader. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Duh.]]
* LethalLavaLand: Magmoor Caverns.
* LoadBearingBoss: The Parasite Queen. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], since she falls right into the main reactor after you kill her. Also [[spoiler: Metroid Prime, whose death causes the Impact Crater to collapse.]]
* LostForever:
** If you didn't scan a boss during the fight, you won't be able to scan them again (and thus cannot get OneHundredPercentCompletion).
** The Ice Shriekbats in Phendrana Drifts only appear in a couple rooms and won't respawn after getting the thermal visor, unlike all the other normal enemies in the game. For most players, this means seeing them once each in the two locations they're found in, then never again.
* MonsterCloset: The first adult Sheegoth you fight pops out of a wall that was concealing a dead-end room just big enough for it.
* MythologyGag: One of the spider-ball puzzles in the game is a subtle tribute to Gunpei Yokoi's old Nintendo toy, the [[http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_tumbler_puzzle Ten Billion Barrel]].
* NewWorldTease: You can try and go into Magmoor Caverns early, but you're not getting far without the Varia Suit. That said, it is possible by SequenceBreaking.
* NoSell: Chozo Ghosts are completely immune to anything but the Power Beam, which is best for scratch damage against huge enemies or fighting off hordes of weak enemies, not chasing zippy ghosts all over the room. Thankfully, the Super Missile is also "Power Beam" elemental type, homes in when you lock on, and can kill them outright in one hit on Normal difficulty.
* NotCompletelyUseless: The Ice Spreader and the Flamethrower missile combos for the Ice & Plasma Beams are generally impractical, unlike the Super Missile and Wavebuster, but there are a couple of instances where they are quite useful. The Flamethrower is the only weapon that completely bypasses the beam shields that the Elite & Omega Pirates project (making their fights much easier), while the Ice Spreader does huge amounts of damage to Metroid Prime when it's in the ice armor.
* NotQuiteDead: You may have defeated the exterior of Metroid Prime, but the interior still lives even after you defeat it.
* OminousLatinChanting: The music for the title screen, credits, and Magmoor Caverns.
* OneHitKill: A fully charged Plasma Beam will often completely incinerate enemies you point it at.
* OneWingedAngel: Metroid Prime's second form.
* PowerUpMagnet: Holding a charged shot will attract any nearby powerups.
* RaisedHandOfSurvival: Finishing with OneHundredPercentCompletion adds a brief cinematic showing a hand reaching out from [[spoiler: the puddle of [[ToxicPhlebotinum Phazon]] that was once the title creature. At the time the player would have no idea who or what this is: Metroid Prime reviving as Dark Samus, Samus Aran's nemesis throughout ''Prime 2'' and ''3'']].
* RealTimeWeaponChange: You pick which beam weapon you want by flicking the C-Stick (or holding + and aiming with the Wii Remote in the [[UpdatedRerelease Trilogy version]])
* RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver: Played with by Samus' Phazon Suit (which comes in a nice black, grey, and red color scheme): Samus is most definitely not evil, but the Phazon corrupting her suit ''is''.
* RedHerring:
** Very early on, some of the Chozo Lore points toward the big plant boss poisoning the waters as the source of the 'Great Poison' that destroyed their civilization. Of course, shortly after Samus fights said boss and heads toward Magmoor, a new bit of Chozo Lore establishes that Flaahgra wasn't half of it.
** There is one, and only one, item in the whole game that can be scanned but doesn't have any other purpose. The subversion makes it worse when the description says "An ornate wall hanging with a highly reflective surface. It does not appear important." This caused many players to waste untold time and return trips refusing to accept that it's truly unimportant.
** Much more plentiful are little alcoves, rock facings, and other environmental cues which look like so many others you blast open and find secrets hiding behind. Thankfully, the scan visor will usually clue you in on whether it can be destroyed, as well as what can destroy it.
* SetAMookToKillAMook: In any place where there are both Metroids and Pirates, you might be able to steer the metroids into attacking the pirates. If one latches on, the victim pirate is as good as dead.
* ShakingTheRump: Whenever Samus exits her ship, she does a hip-check before heading off.
* ShoulderCannon: The Elite Pirates have shoulder-mounted plasma cannons. The Omega Pirate [[DualWielding has two]].
* SilenceIsGolden: There is almost no spoken dialogue in game; the only lines include the Frigate system alarm saying "Evacuate Immediately!" and the Omega Pirate occasionally roaring a barely intelligible "Finish her!" during his fight. Samus only makes grunts of pain now and then, and screams whenever she dies.
* SigilSpam:
** The "Scan Here" callouts carry the symbol of the twelve artifacts.
** A little more subtly, you will see the shape of Samus' visor in three places: first, it's what you look out of; second, it's the windshield of her ship; and third, it's the large panorama window of the Artifacts Room.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: Phendrana Drifts.
* StealthyMook:
** Shriekbats (and [[UndergroundMonkey Ice Shriekbats]]) are hard-to-see colonies of bats which hang from doorways and divebomb Samus if you get too close (not to be confused with Flickerbats from the same game, which are actually invisible, but fly around open areas and are more for decoration).
** The [[UniqueEnemy unique]] Cloaked Drone, which is constantly invisible (aside from the glow its weapons produce), which also makes it the only enemy which can't be [[EnemyScan scanned]].
** The Chozo Ghosts have the ability to turn invisible as they move about, making them [[GoddamnBats hard to shoot]] until you find the X-Ray Visor (which shows invisible enemeies).
* SprintShoes: Replacing the Speed Booster from Super Metroid is the Boost Ball, which allows the Morph Ball to get bursts of speed to climb half pipes, activate spinners, and generally allows faster movement.
* TruckDriversGearChange: The first theme of "Tallon Overworld" uses this; it starts off in the key of G Mixolydian with no clear melody, switches to Tonicized C once the melody starts to kick in, switches to F Mixolydian soon after, and the second half of the song switches and climaxes in the key of Bb Mixolydian.
* WombLevel: The Impact Crater, which contains what look like bones and giant teeth. Doubles as TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon.