Video Game / Metroid Prime: Hunters
Foreground: Samus Aran. Background, left to right: Spire, Trace, Kanden, Sylux, Noxus, and Weavel.

"Hunter becomes the hunted."
— Tagline

Metroid Prime: Hunters is a game in the Metroid series, released on the Nintendo DS in 2006. A Gaiden Game to the Metroid Prime Trilogy, it was developed by the Nintendo Software Technology Corporation- Nintendo of America's in-house development studio- rather then Retro Studios as with the other Prime games.

While it was released after Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, the game takes place before it in the official timeline. The plot sends Samus Aran to the Alimbic Cluster, a mysterious area of the Tetra Galaxy where a lost race called the Alimbics once had an interplanetary empire. After the Galactic Federation intercepted a telepathic message claiming that "the secret to ultimate power resides in the Alimbic Cluster", they contracted Samus to travel to the cluster to find the truth behind the message. Of course, other bounty hunters have followed the message as well, seeking the ultimate power for their own reasons, so Samus must fight off these rivals as she attempts to solve the mystery of the Alimbics.

Like the console Prime games, Hunters plays in a first-person perspective, and includes numerous lore scans to reveal the game's story and details of the world. It tends to be less focused on exploration than other Metroid games, however, being closer to a regular First-Person Shooter, though new weapons will allow access to new areas of previously-explored planets.

Alongside the single-player campaign, Hunters also includes a multiplayer mode, playable through local wireless as well as (formerly) online through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. This mode allows any of the bounty hunters to be played, each of whom has their own signature abilities.

An early demo version of the game called Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt was packed in with the Nintendo DS hardware for a while, which included three single-player modes as well as a local multiplayer mode.

This game contains examples of:

  • Artifact Title: A double example. Not only is Metroid Prime (or Dark Samus) not in the game at all, there aren't even any regular Metroids- though there is an enemy that latches onto your face in a similar manner. (Metroids do, however, appear in First Hunt.)
  • Artistic License Physics:
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The remaining Alimbic were said to have given themselves up to create the seal spear, but in the final boss's second phase it is said their presence has left it and they semi-inexplicably show up in the game's ending so Samus can wave at them, suggesting ascension happened. Interestingly, lore indicates that Gorea descended from an ascended state to a physical one just so it could destroy the Alimbic.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Oh god, the Omega Cannon. A Painfully Slow Projectile that will explode in contact with anything... with the strength of a nuke. The explosion will One-Hit Kill anyone in the blast radius (in multiplayer, anyway, the story's boss is a tad more resilient), including yourself, and blind everyone else for a few seconds. Oh, and it has only one shot, after which you have to go get it again (which requires climbing the entire Oubliette map, the only one where it spawns). Utterly impractical and an absolute riot to use.
  • Bag of Spilling: Unlike the first two Prime games, this game doesn't have any explanation for why Samus starts out with just the Varia Suit (though there are no suit upgrades in this game anyway), Missile Launcher (not even loaded when you first start), and the Morph Ball (with bombs and boost included).
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: During the escape sequence after beating the first Arcterra boss, you run into a Guardian, who just love to ambush you during escapes. However, in just one second after it appears, a hunter, Trace, kills it and proceeds to attack you.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Gorea's first form.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Any time you beat a Hunter, they'll just vanish, before returning to fight another day.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail:
    • Kanden's alt form, the Stinglarva, has a detachable stinger tail that acts as a homing missile.
    • The third limb on Trace's alt form, the Triskelion, functions this way, though whether it's a tail exactly is up for debate.
  • Bottomless Pits: Unlike the console Prime games that include them, falling into a bottomless pit will instantly kill Samus, rather than just drop her back at the ledge where she was with a slight loss of energy.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Doors and force fields are colored to match the weapon that will open them. The color coding is different from the console games, though- the light blue color is taken by the Shock Coil weapon, so regular doors are now colored gray, and missile doors are now colored brown.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Gorea is so built up by lore as being invincible so you'd think the final fight would be massively challenging. In its introductory cutscene, it even curbstomps all the other six hunters simultaneously. But nope. Gorea is by far the easiest final boss of all the Prime games, and is in fact MUCH easier to defeat than some of the previous bosses in that game that were placed there as tests of skill to prepare the hunters for Gorea. Which makes total sense when you think about it.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The guardians and the slenches. The guardian's have a weak spot and their eye it ain't.
  • Doomsday Device: The Alimbic built the Omega Cannon to stop Gorea, but decided against using it for fear that Gorea would be able to mimic the cannon's power. In the game proper the Omega Cannon is the only thing that can harm the otherwise invincible Gorea.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Gorea, whose backstory is right out of the Lovecraft playbook: a formless, starborn evil who crashed into the Alimbic System and started killing everything in sight, absorbing and copying any and all weapons thrown at it. It eventually takes imprisoning it away in an extradimensional tomb. Needless to say, it wants out. Bad.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Omega Cannon is unlocked during the second and final boss fight with Gorea, during which it's the only weapon that can damage him.
  • Eternal Engine: Celestial Archives and Vesper Defense Outpost.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Gorea forces you to remember which color represents which weakness (much like the Metroid Prime and Emperor Ing did) and also to remember obscure lore you found throughout the game to know in which order to shoot crests on the walls with the proper weapon in order to get to the final phase of the battle and the game's true ending.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Kanden was part of a science experiment to create supersoldiers. They got the super part right, but his mind is too unstable for the army. His intro cutscene might involve him blowing up the laboratory he came from, but it is never stated outright.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The hunters range from well-intentioned to selfish to bloodthirsty. Samus is merely commissioned to discover the source of the message. Spire wants to find out what happened to his people. Noxus wants to be sure no one gets the ultimate power. Weavel wants it for the firepower, Trace wants it for conquest, Sylux wants it for revenge, and Kanden wants it because he's crazy.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Weavel has this weaponized. At any time he can split his body in half through the midsection, causing it to become two autonomous halves. The top half is player-controlled, walks on his hands, and wields an energy scythe. The lower half becomes an automatic turret, letting Weavel defend one area while his upper half hunts around.
  • Homing Projectile: The volt driver when used by Kanden, missiles when used by Samus.
  • An Ice Person: Noxus's species the Vhozon come from a very cold planet. His signature weapon is the Judicator, which can freeze enemies with a charged shot. His alt form, the Vhoscythe, has him curl into a spinning top and is said to be a way that his people keep warm.
  • Floating Limbs: Neither Krikens (Trace's species) nor the Alimbics have necks. Instead their heads just float a few inches above their shoulders, somehow.
  • Insectoid Aliens:
    • Kanden's Stinglarva form was created using the material of predatory insects. Kanden himself resembles a caterpillar, albeit bipedal and heavily muscled.
    • Trace's people resemble insects, due to their very thin limbs.
  • Interface Screw: A charged Volt Driver shot will distort an enemy hunter's visor.
  • Last of His Kind: Spire is the last known Diamont, people made of rock. He hopes that finding the ultimate power will let him discover what happened to them.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Alinos was the Alimbic homeworld, but became this once the planet's core became unstable.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item: Death alt is a temporary powerup that gives the morph ball an instant death radius similar to the hyper ball from Metroid Prime Pinball.
  • Multiple Endings: Killing Gorea's first form without activating the nodes around the battlefield first will cause the Oubliette to explode without any scene of Samus escaping. Activating the nodes and then killing Gorea's second form will depict her and the other Hunters escaping the collapsing Oubliette.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Noxus and Trace basically represent good and evil variants (of course, they're both going to try to kill you if you run into them).
  • Race Against the Clock: After you collect an Octolith, you're forced to quickly escape the planet due to a security system.
  • Remember the New Guy: According to the manual, Weavel is a former Space Pirate Samus wounded on Brinstar, though the previous Metroid games there had no Space Pirates fought at Brinstar.note 
  • Replay Mode: The save file select screen includes an option to rewatch most of the game's prerendered cutscenes.
  • Rule of Three: Each portal leading to a boss room is unlocked by three Alimbic Artifacts.
  • Save Point: Samus' gunship is the only save point, but it's possible to open portals leading back to the ship from deeper into each planet, making it easier to find a place to save.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale:
    • This game provides some very interesting numbers on the weapons of the Metroid universe. The Volt Driver apparently has enough juice to power countries, the Judicator approaches Absolute Zero, the Battlehammer contains a nuclear reactor, and the Magmaul utilizes hydrogen the same way stars do. At this rate, it'll be able to compete with 40K in over-the-top weaponry.
    • Additionally, Hunters is stated to take place in another galaxy. Not only does this imply that the Galactic Federation in general and Samus' gunship in particular has technology that allows it to span the intergalactic void in trivial amounts of time, it also causes issues when recurring enemies (like Zoomers, War Wasps and Blastcaps) appear. Blastcaps are even stated to have spread from Tallon IV using space spores. Assuming spores that don't travel faster than the speed of light, the time this would take is far greater than the age of the universe - and that's not even counting the time it would take them to have evolved on Tallon IV in the first place.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Gorea was trapped inside a prison called the Seal Sphere, and then that was placed inside a larger prison called the Oubliette, which was then sent into subspace. By finding the Octoliths, Samus brings the Oubliette into 3D space, and then the other Hunters break the Seal Sphere open, thinking it has the ultimate power.
  • Shout-Out
    • Weavel's design resembles Master Chief, with military green armor, humanoid design (in contrast to most Space Pirates), and a gold visor (Which also resembles the main eyes of the Ki-Hunters introduced in Super Metroid)
    • The Kriken are a shout out to the Irken, as far as behavior goes.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Arcterra.
  • Unflinching Walk: Kanden does this in his intro cutscene after crawling out of a facility that explodes soon afterwards.
  • Uplifted Animal: It's hinted that Kanden is this. It's said that he was once a creature called an Enoema taken to be turned into a supersoldier. The neural combat programming being forced into his brain was too much for him to comprehend, turning him into a savage monster.