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Spoilers for all Metroid entries preceding this one, specifically Metroid: Other M and Metroid Fusion, will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

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Metroid project "Dread" has at last reached completion.

You are faced with overwhelming power. Your highest priority should be, simply, to survive.
ADAM
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Metroid Dread is a 2½D action-adventure platform game for the Nintendo Switch, developed by MercurySteam and Nintendo EPD, following their collaboration on Metroid: Samus Returns. Also known as Metroid 5, the game is the sixth entry in the main Metroid series (and the 13th overall), and the first original 2D installment in the franchise since Metroid Fusion 19 years prior. Billed by Metroid series director Yoshio Sakamoto as the conclusion to the franchise's Story Arc revolving around Samus and her connection to the eponymous creatures, Metroid Dread takes place sometime after the events of Fusion.

When a video transmission from the planet ZDR suggests the presence of surviving X Parasites on its surface, the Galactic Federation dispatches seven E.M.M.I. robots to deal with the situation but quickly loses contact with them. Samus Aran decides to find out the truth herself, as the Metroid DNA infusion she received after her first encounter with the X makes her the only living being immune to infection by them.

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But while her initial expedition into ZDR's depths reveals the remains of yet another ancient Chozo colony, she soon finds that the ruins are not completely abandoned this time — a large Chozo warrior in a Power Suit much like hers attacks and leaves her depowered and cut off from her ship on the surface. And her subsequent survey of the area where she is now trapped shows that the Chozo warrior and local fauna aren't the only threats lurking on the planet — the E.M.M.I. have turned hostile and seem dangerously bent on stalking and killing our heroine. Samus must continue fighting her way through the caverns of ZDR with the help of the "Adam" A.I. who guided her on her last mission, all while seeking answers to what connections the E.M.M.I., the Chozo, and the X might have.

The game released on October 8th, 2021. Alongside the game, a pair of amiibo were released, consisting of Samus in her new Powered Armor and an E.M.M.I. unit. On February 9, 2022, the game received a free update that added two new difficulty modes: Rookie (i.e., Easy Mode) and Dread Mode. On April 7, 2022, another free update added three different Boss Rush modes: a standard Boss Rush, Survival Rush, and Dread Rush.

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Videos pertinent to Metroid Dread include the E3 2021 announcement trailer, the development history video, Part 1 and Part 2 of the Nintendo Treehouse presentation, the August 2021 trailer, and the September 2021 Overview Trailer. A developer's log called "Metroid Dread Report" updated every few weeks between the game's announcement and release, and is available on the official website here.


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  • 11th-Hour Superpower:
    • The last upgrade Samus gets is the Power Bombs, received when she absorbs the final E.M.M.I. in Hanubia. They're at their most destructive in Dread, and mostly serve to cause a lot of destruction in the final area and supplement backtracking.
    • After the final boss battle, Samus receives the Metroid Suit that contains the Hyper Beam. The Hyper Beam, formed from combining all her beam weapons, is only used to annihilate Raven Beak X and one-shot blasts through obstacles effortlessly during the escape from ZDR. The only downside is that it has a short charge time before it starts firing, and stops when you turn around. The Metroid Suit gives her infinite health after the cutscene, although you still have to escape from the planet that is about to explode within the time frame given.
  • 100% Completion: Unlocking all of the items per area rewards you with gallery artwork. If you wish to get all of the artwork unlocked in Hard Mode, you should beat the game first in under 4 hours and then get all of the missing items.
  • 2½D: Like Samus Returns, the game combines 3D models with 2D gameplay.
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: The E.M.M.I.'s 360° hip joints and front/back symmetry allow them to move in terrifyingly unnatural ways, most notably when it turns by rotating its upper body under its legs.
  • Absurdly Short Level: Elun, Hanubia, and Itorash are all significantly shorter than the main areas of ZDR and serve to progress the plot, with the last of them not having any items and none of them featuring Teleportals. Notably, Hanubia is set up to have an E.M.M.I. sequence like bigger areas, only for Samus to destroy it and absorb its Power Bomb ability as soon as she encounters it, bypassing it completely.
  • Action Girl: Samus is close to her absolute best in terms of badassery in this game, since not only is her immense no-nonsense glory retained from the majority of previous games, perfecting the usage of her various skills really exemplifies just how much of an unrelenting and deadly force she is to the galaxy's worst baddies.
  • Actionized Sequel: To both Metroid Fusion and Samus Returns. Samus's Counter-Attack can be done while running, and it causes damage to enemies. The much more prevalent E.M.M.I. also stick around to menace Samus after she evades them, unlike the SA-X which tended to show up for a moment before menacingly stalking away.
  • After-Combat Recovery: Later in the game, Samus does this in one of two ways. One is by absorbing the X Parasites that make up certain bosses. Another is when she begins tapping into her Metroid powers and absorbs the life energy from her foes as a finisher.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The E.M.M.I. are products of the Galactic Federation that are primarily meant for exploration and research. They instead have gone rogue and are now actively hunting Samus for reasons unknown. It's later revealed that they were reprogrammed by Raven Beak to capture Samus and extract her Metroid DNA for his bioweapon project.
  • Air-Dashing: In Burenia, Samus obtains the Flash Shift, an Aeion Ability that lets her instantly warp forwards or backwards up to three times in a row. This can be used on the ground, but is just as effective in the air, allowing Samus to cross very wide gaps.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • A small handful of enemies, such as Muzby and Hecathon, were given names and descriptions in the online Metroid Dread Report.
    • In the last segment of the story, the game doesn't bring up the description of Samus's Metroid Suit or Hyper Beam. They're only viewable by pausing the game and selecting them in the menu.
  • All There in the Script: Unlike previous Metroid games, there's no manual or Prima guidebook to name enemies, nor are any regular non-boss enemies named in-game. Therefore, most enemy names are derived from their models' internal filenames.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The zones on planet ZDR have Samus start in Artaria, and go through the alphabet from there until Itorash. In a mild subversion, they aren't necessarily discovered in alphabetical order.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Almost everything revealed just before the final battle until the end credits creates more questions than answers — not just about this game, but about the entire lore of the Metroid universe as a whole. Spoilers 
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • It's unclear if Samus is investigating ZDR on behest of the Federation or of her own accord and the terms she's on with them, especially given the last game had Samus take actions they speculated would cause them to see her as a enemy which is unaddressed as not important to the plot. ADAM mentions a bounty but notes it's insufficient given the risks, but given the danger of an X infestation Samus would certainly investigate regardless of reward or relations with the Federation.
    • On the way to the final area, a ship is in the background docked at a port. During the ending while making your way back to the ship, the port is empty. Did the ship fall in the chaos? Or did something take it?
  • Antepiece: The rooms with a Central Unit require you to take out the door using the Omega Cannon so you have an idea to use the new weapon without fear of death. The first time you don't even have to use the Omega Stream first.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The first proper E.M.M.I. encounter doesn't immediately hunt down Samus until you break the ceiling separating it from you. So those that need a second to get their wits together have it.
    • There are invisible Checkpoints just before entering E.M.M.I. Zones, just after leaving E.M.M.I. Zones, before and after boss fights, and after travelling between regions, so as to not waste a lot of time/progress if the player hasn't saved in a while.
    • During kill sequences, the Omega Cannon's firing mode locks you into an angled perspective with the camera at either 5:00 or 7:00. If this would happen to block off Samus from view, she'll be highlighted in white past whatever barrier is in the way.
    • The Phantom Cloak won't kill you, but leave you with one point of energy. So if you absolutely have to use every single second of cloak, you won't die when it drops, though your chances aren't great if it's come to that.
    • The Phase Shift ability recovers the fastest of all the Aeion abilities in only a few seconds. It's very useful in boss battles and E.M.M.I. zones so you aren't deprived of it when you most need it.
    • E.M.M.I.-05IM's zone is frosted over but isn't cold enough to make Samus take damage constantly. It is found well before the Gravity Suit that protects from cold so you aren't rushed getting through its area.
    • Power Bombs are the last piece of equipment you get, yet Power Bomb Tanks can still be found and acquired before you gain the ability, so you don't have to backtrack just for them after you unlock it.
    • If there's a hidden item around, the map will show a pulsing grey square giving a general idea of where to look.
    • Missiles and bombs will uncover any special blocks they hit. These are also added to the map, making backtrack exploration a lot less memory-based.
    • Like Fusion before it, Super Missiles act as simply an upgrade to the regular Missiles and consume just one standard Missile per use, rather than being a separate weapon (a) that uses its own ammo (like in Super Metroid, Zero Mission and Samus Returns) or (b) consumes 5 regular Missile ammo (like the Prime games).
    • Items that you can see are added to your map, and the ones you have obtained stay on the map but are faded/transparent and are labeled as acquired. This helps prevent searching areas for items you already have or think are missing.
    • Doors, blocks or barriers that require a special ability to get through will be marked on your map after you encounter them, and you are able to highlight every one that you've found in the current area to make it easier to figure out where to go next. The harder ones to deal with, such as Speed Booster and Power Bomb blocks, permanently disappear once broken so they don't need to be dealt with repeatedly.
    • The room before the final E.M.M.I. has a lot of robot drones that drop ton of health and ammo so that you're prepared for the Chozo Soldier fight in the next room.
    • Upon accessing the final area of the game, all the Teleportals will be linked, allowing you to travel between any of them without worrying about color-coding. This cuts down a lot on travel time while cleaning up.
  • Apocalypse How: At the halfway point, the X Parasites escape from their confinement on Elun and quickly overrun the entire planet. All the player can do is watch as a planet's entire ecosystem is completely consumed by the invasive parasite. This later necessitates the destruction of the entire planet, as usual for a Metroid game.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • The E.M.M.I. robots stalk Samus in much the same way that the SA-X did, but have much better pathfinding and traversal abilities, making them much more dangerous. The E.M.M.I. will also thoroughly search their environment when they lose sight of you, which makes it very difficult to traverse their zones without getting heard by them if you don't play cautiously and carefully pay attention to the mini-map.
    • With the first two E.M.M.I., you can more easily escape from them because the first one is so debilitated that it can only awkwardly hobble towards you, and the second one has armor plates too large to allow it to chase Samus through small gaps. Starting with E.M.M.I.-03MB, the strategy of using small gaps to escape isn't as effective, as all of them from that point on have the ability to fit in narrow spaces and can follow Samus through them. The one saving grace is that they have to stop and re-configure themselves to fit in small spaces and then stop again and re-configure to go back to their normal crawling while Samus can easily slide through or use the Morph Ball, which slows them down and buys you precious time to escape.
    • The E.M.M.I. will change up what route they take to reach you when you have the Omega Cannon, doing their best to avoid approaching you from the front. If you're standing in a narrow space, they will try to approach from above or below depending on spacing. And if given the opportunity to do so, they WILL sneak up behind you.
  • Ascended Glitch: A glitch that lets players fire through walls, coined the "pseudo-Wave", was discovered early in the game's life, which (among other things) allows players to skip the first E.M.M.I. robot. In the base and 1.0.1 versions of the game, skipping that E.M.M.I. and then going back to the room where it's encountered much later in the game would softlock the player, as the robot would disappear after the cutscene - and you need to kill the now-nonexistent E.M.M.I. to unlock the door and leave. Version 1.0.2 fixed the softlock by making the E.M.M.I. spawn as normal, allowing players to fight and defeat them as intended at any point in the game... and didn't touch pseudo-Wave, which caused the softlock in the first place.
  • Asteroid Thicket: A minor one shown in the opening cinematic, where Samus maneuvers her ship between several closely-packed asteroids during her approach to ZDR.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Samus will need to use the Omega Cannon on the E.M.M.I.'s core in order to kill it. To do this, she must melt off their protective faceplate by overheating it with the Omega Stream. They are immune to all other damage.
  • Attack the Mouth: Just like in Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus can fire missiles and the Charge Beam into Kraid's mouth to damage him. She also blasts the Chozo Soldiers in their mouths with a Charge Beam to finish them off.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Omega Cannons acquired from the Central Units are the only weapon short of a Metroid's power-draining abilities capable of destroying the E.M.M.I., but it's the only thing they're actually useful for. While powerful, they require Samus to remain stationary to fire, the stream function takes a few seconds of sustained fire to melt an E.M.M.I.'s face plate (and the E.M.M.I. will continue moving, even if slowed down by sustained fire), the blaster function has a four-second charge time, and they will stop functioning after Samus destroys the associated E.M.M.I. Part of the challenge of taking on the E.M.M.I. is putting enough distance between you and the E.M.M.I. to work around the cannon's drawbacks. Even if Samus were allowed to take the Omega Cannon outside the E.M.M.I. zones, she already has more efficient ways of dealing with non-E.M.M.I. enemies quickly and while being mobile.
    • There's a reason that you have to wait until the end of the game to get the Hyper Beam and Metroid Suit. Both of them replace all other beam arm cannon weapons and suits Samus has, and they cannot be reacquired. Thus, they aren't practical for anything more than the Post-Final Boss and escape sequence. Further, Samus cannot fly her ship in the Metroid Suit, as the attempt would drain the vehicle's energy. The Quiet Robe X has to restore Samus to her previous state before she's able to fly the ship to safety.
  • Back for the Finale: Dread is billed as the finale to Samus's Story Arc with the Metroids. Kraid makes his long-awaited return in this game. Fittingly, he was in the original Metroid for her first adventure with Metroids.
  • Badass Longcoat: The Corpius battle takes place in front of a statue of a regal-looking Chozo wearing a billowing coat that is also draped over one of its arms.
  • Bag of Spilling: During the opening cutscene, her armor (redesign notwithstanding) is orange and yellow, much like it was when she ended her last outing. Upon making planetfall on ZDR, she's attacked by a mysterious Chozo, requiring her to fight back with strong weapons like the Plasma Beam and Super Missiles, and loses most of her abilities in what Adam calls "physical amnesia." The only things she has left at the beginning of the game are the Power Grip, Long Beam (as with most post-Metroid games) and 15 Missiles. In place of the Morph Ball, she can now slide through narrow gaps so she can at least squeeze through small passages instead of being totally blocked off until she gets the ball form back.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: The E.M.M.I.-07PB encountered in Hanubia ambushes Samus with a large explosion and dumps her into an open room. At this point it looks like you're about to be thrust into a direct battle with the E.M.M.I. when Samus's latent absorption abilities from her infused Metroid DNA activate and she manages to single-handedly drain the E.M.M.I. of its power and deactivate it on the spot. A Chozo soldier then appears and you have a proper fight with it. You still get the power up (Power Bombs) that the E.M.M.I. had afterwards.
  • Behind the Black: Samus’s first encounter with Raven Beak comes just after she exits an elevator in the introductory cutscene. After the doors open, she spends a few seconds looking around her surroundings, and continues doing so as she steps out onto a long bridge, before suddenly startling and drawing on a looming figure standing on the other end — which has been directly in front of her from the moment she exited the elevator, and who by all indications has been there staring at her the entire time.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The Corpius can use its bladed tail to lash out at Samus during its boss fight.
  • Big Bad: Raven Beak is the main antagonist of the game. He is the one who strips Samus of her abilities at the beginning of the game and traps her deep below ZDR. And he's the reason why the E.M.M.I. went rogue as he reprogrammed them to capture Samus and extract her DNA for his clone army of Metroids.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Taken quite literally. Golzuna first appears in the form of a Muzby (a common mook) and then turns into a Goliath (a stronger version of said mook) before finally revealing itself as a boss.
  • Boss-Only Level:
    • Sort of - the E.M.M.I. zones are devoid of any normal enemies while the robot patrolling them is still active, save for some tiny robotic drones. However, like the Metroid Rooms in Metroid: Samus Returns, they get populated by said normal enemies once Samus has taken down the E.M.M.I. patrolling the zone.
    • Itorash, the personal ship of the Big Bad, is just the entry room, a save room, and an elevator straight to the Final Boss.
  • Boss Rush: The 2.1.0 update to the game added a Boss Rush mode accessible after finishing the game, featuring twelve bossesnote . Samus is given roughly the same items and health/ammo capacity she would have fighting each one in the game proper. Continues are infinite, but time penalties are given upon death, and only ammo refills between fights. It comes alongside a practice mode that saves the best times for each fight. There's also Survival Rush (beat as many bosses as possible before time runs out, extra time being granted by defeating and no-hitting bosses) and Dread Rush (Boss Rush in Dread Mode).
  • Boss Tease:
    • Three E.M.M.I. units make appearances prior to sections of the game where Samus goes through their zones to destroy them:
      • E.M.M.I.-04SB briefly accosts Samus when she passes through part of Dairon's E.M.M.I. Zone, which is before she defeats E.M.M.I.-03MB in Cataris and can access the rest of the area.
      • E.M.M.I.-06WB catches Samus as soon as she enters a cut-off section of Ferenia, but gets quickly deactivated by Quiet Robe. By the time Samus makes it to the main section of Ferenia, it's been reactivated.
      • E.M.M.I.-05IM is deactivated and sits in the background when Samus first travels through Ghavoran, but reactivates after Raven Beak lets out the X-Parasites in Elun.
    • You can notice an invisible Corpius hunting and hiding around in the background several times before his eventual fight.
    • You can find a tortured creature during your first traversal in Dairon, but it's confined to the background, unable to do anything. Later on, said creature is possessed by the X and becomes the Experiment No. Z-57 boss fought during your return to Cataris.
    • There are two Chozo Soldiers patrolling in the background at the beginning of Hanubia. They eventually notice Samus and proceed ahead of her path to confront her later.
  • Brain in a Jar: The Central Units are biomechanical brains in glass containers that give Samus access to the Omega Cannon. Adam describes them as the "mother computers" managing their respective E.M.M.I. Zones. Their similarities to Mother Brain are noted when compared to "similar units in previous Metroid games" in the E3 Treehouse footage. Central Units even defend themselves from Samus with turrets and Rinkas just like Mother Brain.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • Ever since Return of Samus, being able to return to your gunship to save and replenish resources has been a staple of the series. Here, Samus winds up as far away from her ship as she could at the start and she must journey to get back to it and reaching a few feet from the ship triggers the ending sequence.
    • A number of item trends are played around with:
      • The Morph Ball has always been either the first or second upgrade you get in a Metroid game, assuming Samus doesn't already have it from the start. Dread holds it back for a good while, granting the player a handful of other abilities and having them travel through three of the game's locations before they're finally able to roll into a ball.
      • Rather than getting the traditional Hi-Jump Boots, Samus gets the new Spin Boost as an intermediary between standard jumping and the Space Jump. The Spring/Jump Ball, which was unlocked together with the Hi-Jump Boots in Fusion, is built into Dread's Morph Ball as soon as it's obtained.
    • Ridley doesn't show up at all, despite showing up in every other mainline Metroid game (with the exception of the original Return of Samus). His only appearance is in some of the ending artwork referencing the Metroid series, including one based upon Metroid: Other M.
    • This is the first mainline game where Samus doesn't take off her armor in the ending screen. Instead, you get a scene of Samus in her basic Power Suit glancing at you, regardless of completion time or percentage, before the game rewards you with artwork celebrating one of the mainline games. Samus does appear wearing her Zero Suit in a drawing of all the major characters in the series, which is unlocked upon unlocking all other Ending Rewards.
  • Breaking the Bonds: As the battle with Kraid wears on, he breaks the restraints holding him back, giving him more attacks. When he breaks his last bond, he sinks into the lava.
  • Breath Weapon: Corpius occasionally releases a noxious-looking green gas that Samus must avoid by grabbing onto a Spider Magnet platform.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Downplayed even more than Samus Returns did. The official Dread amiibo grant Samus some bonuses — the Samus amiibo offers an extra energy tank, and the E.M.M.I. increases her missile count by ten — while other Metroid-themed amiibo can be scanned once a day to replenish some energy or missiles on the spot.
  • Brick Joke: Meta-wise, Samus has been subjected to being misnamed as Metroid, even though Samus and the Metroids are two entirely different things. Come this game and Samus becomes a Metroid in human form.
  • Bright Is Not Good: The E.M.M.I. models are painted bright colors over their armor plating. You'll get a good look at their pristine nature when they're trying to stab Samus with their internal needles.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • After a long seventeen-year absence from the series, last appearing in Zero Mission, Dread marks Kraid's 3D debut in the franchise. He's been absent even longer if you only include non-remakes, twenty-seven years since Super Metroid.
    • While they have appeared in the Stinger in Samus Returns, Dread marks the first appearance of the X Parasites since Fusion, nineteen years after their debut. This time, they return not just in cutscenes, but also in gameplay.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: After a while, Adam's briefings become rather complimentary towards Raven Beak and derogatory towards Samus's chances in a rematch. It's foreshadowing that the A.I. is being impersonated by Raven Beak.
  • But Thou Must!: The basic golden Save Rooms and more elusive Map Rooms are technically optional to interact with, and as such avert this trope. However, the ADAM Network Stations play this straight, as a new one will typically lock all of the doors until Samus uploads new data to ADAM and listens to his instructions on getting through ZDR. Turns out that this requirement is because this fake ADAM is what Raven Beak is disguising himself as to trick Samus into keeping him up to date with her progress.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Those quadrupedal critters that are usually seen chilling and being hunted in the backgrounds of Artaria and Ghavoran? They're internally called "deer".
  • Call-Back:
    • In Metroid Fusion, the ship was noted to be a separate piece of equipment from Adam. The opening shows that it has its own unique A.I. for navigational purposes. It's incapable of flying the ship itself just like in Fusion.
    • Samus in Fusion wonders if the X Parasites are capable of reason, but decides that they don't as she sees them as soulless abominations. As it turns out, they are, as the X who possessed Quiet Robe willingly lets itself be absorbed by Samus.
    • Once Power Bombs are acquired, one of the first things they're required for is exploding some glass pipes from inside. Unlike the notorious Guide Dang It! from Super Metroid being referenced, these ones have visible damage and revealable power bomb blocks.
    • During the climax of Fusion, there's a shot wherein Samus's eyes visibly widen in her visor as she realizes that the AI she's talking to is in fact Adam's mind. There's a similar shot in the climax of this game, this time to highlight that she's realized the AI she's talking to not only isn't Adam, but isn't an AI at all; it's been Raven Beak for some unknown amount of time since her initial encounter with him.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Once Samus's Aeion meter runs out from prolonged Phantom Cloak's usage, it will start to use Samus's energy tanks to fuel it. The rate at which it drains energy depends on whether or not Samus is standing still or moving, with the latter draining energy significantly faster than the former. This makes it impractical to constantly use it, but it can be reserved for a last resort.
  • Ceiling Cling: Samus can use the Spider Magnet to latch onto and press her whole body up against a ceiling in combination with the Phantom Cloak to avoid an E.M.M.I.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the intro cutscene, the only damage Samus causes to Raven Beak is to make a small crack in his helmet from a Super Missile. In the ending, this crack saves her life as it's what allows her to reach in and touch his head with her hand to Metroid drain him.
    • Multiple power-ups in this game are acquired by Samus killing an E.M.M.I. or other boss monster and then absorbing them, presumably extracting something from their DNA in the case of the organic bosses. At first, this just seems to be a Call-Back to Samus absorbing powerful X Parasites in Metroid Fusion, and players will likely attribute it to being an aspect of her new bio-mechanical suit. It turns out to be Foreshadowing that she is slowly being overtaken by her Metroid DNA, and ultimately she turns into what is essentially a humanoid Metroid.
  • Chiaroscuro: The plot-important rooms like Save Rooms, Map Rooms, and Network Stations that haven't used yet are unlit except for a few lights like those on Samus's suit and the doors, providing a strong contrast between light and dark.
  • Clone Army: Raven Beak's plan in the end is to create an army of clones of the most powerful Metroid of them all — Samus Aran.
  • Collision Damage: If the Metroid Suit wasn't already overpowered enough, it also has the ability to instantly kill anything Samus physically touches.
  • Color Contrast:
    • The art direction puts emphasis on deep bright red lights pouring through otherwise dark and monochromatic objects and scenery. The E.M.M.I.'s robot eye and the villainous Chozo's armor have the effect.
    • Much like with the Fusion Suit before it, Samus' new suit, as seen in the main promotional art and all other promotional materials, retains the red color of her helmet and chest armor while the rest is predominantly blue and white.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Breakable blocks in this game all have color-coding for what breaks them, in addition to having icons on them like in prior games.
    • Beam Blocks are white.
    • Missile Blocks are red.
    • Pitfall Blocks are gray.
    • Bomb Blocks are pink.
    • Boost Blocks are yellow.
    • Screw Attack Blocks are blue.
    • Power Bomb Blocks are orange.
  • Conlang: While previous games such as Prime and Other M gave us a glimpse at the ancient Chozo language, we get to hear it spoken for the first time in this adventure. Notably, the Chozo on ZDR seem to write their letters in triangular shapes as opposed to the previous square shapes, though the design of the new alphabet is still visibly based on the one from Other M.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Samus's new suit features patches of blue biomechanical material, which are remnants of her Fusion Suit from Metroid Fusion — a brief recap of which is shown in the development history video.
    • Just as in the original Metroid, Samus starts the game deep underground and the ship is not a interactable object but something she gets on after control leaves the player's hand.
    • The Central Units are giant biomechanical brains with a cybernetic eye attached, which is a Call-Back to not only Mother Brain but the Aurora Units from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. They even grant her a super powerful beam attack evocative of the Hyper Beam that the Metroid hatchling transferred from Mother Brain to Samus. They have the same defense systems as Mother Brain in Metroid 1/Zero Mission, only fighting Samus through turrets and Rinkas. When Samus first arrives in an area with a Central Unit, there is a closeup on it's single eye just like in the Metroid Zero Mission remake does when Samus gets close to Mother Brain.
    • The E3 2021 reveal trailer initially introduces the game as "Metroid 5" on a dark background with small, "typed out" text before later revealing the game's real name, much like the title screens of Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion.
    • The 4-point star emblem of the Galactic Federation is the same one introduced in Metroid: Other M and also used in the title logo for Metroid Prime: Federation Force.
    • Like in Metroid and Super Metroid, the entrance to Kraid's domain is depicted with the face of a ferocious horned creature.
    • Samus gets aboard bulky trams, known as shuttles, similar to the ones on the Pirate Homeworld in Corruption.
    • Super Missiles and Ice Missiles are stacked upgrades to the regular Missiles just like in Metroid Fusion.
    • Samus is still vulnerable to cold due to her Metroid DNA after losing her suit upgrades. The Chozo-model Varia Suit you acquire only protects from extreme heat, unlike the Federation's model from Fusion which was built for both heat and cold, so you have to wait until you get the Gravity Suit before you can plod into colder areas.
    • Quiet Robe greets Samus by placing their hand over their chest and bowing, the same gesture used by the Luminoth to thanks Samus in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. This makes sense, considering the Chozo and Luminoth are said to have interacted frequently.
    • X Parasites can still be absorbed to recover health and missiles due to the Metroid genes in Samus. The color of each X corresponds to whether health or ammo will be replenished. Yellow X replenish health, green X replenish missiles, and red X replenish a large amount of both. This was the same in Fusion.
    • The X Parasites blink white whenever they are about to transform into a creature or when they are scripted to do so and can't be stopped by Samus, just like in Fusion.
    • Core-X battles play out just like they did in Fusion: blasting the outer shell with Missiles, then absorbing the Core-X for a new power-up.
    • The final item Power Bomb is retrieved late in the game. However, collecting capacity upgrades beforehand will generate it as an unknown item. This is similar to Metroid: Zero Mission where you can collect unknown items and then when you get your power suit restored again, you get all of those unknown item upgrades revealed.
    • The final escape sequence is one to Super Metroid in that you're blasting your way out of an exploding area with a super-powered beam that annihilates everything in your way.
    • In the flashback during Raven Beak's big reveal of Samus' Chozo heritages, the silhouettes of two robed Chozo can be seen in the background, one tall and one short. These are almost certainly Samus' adoptive Chozo parents from the Metroid manga, Gray Voice and Old Bird.
    • The armor of the first Chozo Soldier the player fights is colored grey, while the last has gold-plated armor—the same colors as the two Torizo Samus fights in Super Metroid.
    • During the final boss fight, Raven Beak uses the Lightning Armor and Beam Burst Aeion abilities that were introduced back in Metroid: Samus Returns.
  • Controllable Helplessness: Samus's first encounter with an E.M.M.I. unit places her in a narrow hallway that's too short to allow her to jump over the robot, with the only other door behind her being locked. This forces Samus to be caught by the E.M.M.I. to teach the player that they can perform a counter-attack to escape.
  • Cool Starship: Samus's starship is the same purple vessel she got at the beginning of Fusion. She also does some elaborate piloting as she approaches ZDR.
  • Cores-and-Turrets Boss: Each Central Unit is fought in a fashion similar to Mother Brain; the Central Unit is the core, which floats stationary in the upper-middle of the room and is guarded by lasers and Rinkas shot by the turrets on and in the walls.
  • Cosmic Deadline: Upon reaching Hanubia, which is on the planet's surface, the game's plot pacing kicks into high gear. Samus's Metroid powers begin to fully manifest when a stray creature breaks out of a lab and attacks her, shortly after this the final E.M.M.I. robot ambushes her and forces her to use her full Metroid abilities, and obtains the Power Bomb from the E.M.M.I.'s wreck. There is very little opportunity to use the Power Bomb unless you deliberately go back to previous areas to search for items because after this whole sequence, it's a straight shot to Itorash and the final showdown with Raven Beak.
  • Costume Evolution: Samus's seemingly new red, blue, and white suit is her Power Suit in the process of "regenerating" from its biomechanical "Fusion Suit" form from Metroid Fusion to its fully mechanical "Varia Suit" form from the majority of the series, and patches of biomechanical substance can still be seen on its arms and legs. The suit starts off predominantly orange and with a chest plate and pauldrons resembling her Varia Suit's when Samus first lands on ZDR, only for her to lose it after her first encounter with Raven Beak.
  • Counter-Attack: Dread retains the melee counter mechanic from Samus Returns while also integrating a new advancing melee attack so it's not as reliant on waiting for an enemy to strike before using a melee move.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: In Ferenia, the Elevator room has fresco wall-art depicting a Mawkin warrior battling a group of Zebesian Space Pirates, implying that there may have been a conflict between the two groups at some point in history.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Samus gets beaten by Raven Beak rather handily in the opening cutscene, only managing to crack part of his helmet before he subsequently knocks her out and takes away her abilities.
  • Curb-Stomp Cushion: Despite the opening cutscene battle going very poorly for Samus, it still showcases the fact that she actually figured out his counters and weaknesses almost immediately. She skillfully dodges or parries everything he tries against her, and slowly wears down his shields until her missile deals enough damage to crack his visor. The one thing she isn't able to counter is a Flash Step into a Neck Lift. Which applies again to their final battle, until Samus unlocks her Metroid Suit.
  • Cutscene Boss: E.M.M.I.-07PB, the final E.M.M.I. in Hanubia. You enter the zone, expecting to have to run from it until you reach the Central Unit, fight it as a boss, get the Omega Cannon, and kill the E.M.M.I. just as before. Only to have it barge right into the room you're in and pin Samus down in a cutscene. She kills it in said cutscene by draining it with her newfound Metroid power.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Avoided for the most part; a player can do just about everything Samus does in cutscenes. Even the more spectacular moves she makes are possible via Quick Time Events. There is one major exception, however: in cutscenes, Samus has the ability to absorb abilities from any enemy, whether biological or mechanical. Late in the game, this culminates in her catching an E.M.M.I.'s stinger and destroying it by absorbing all of its energy. Though there are no longer any E.M.M.I. to try using that ability on from that point on, that Energy Absorption attack becomes Samus's Instant-Win Condition in every boss fight cutscene thereafter.

    D-G 
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • In past Metroid games, aerial Shinesparks could be executed while already holding a direction, as long as you weren't somersaulting. In this game, the Control Stick has to be in the neutral position before pressing the jump button to charge the Shinespark.
    • In Metroid: Samus Returns, the Grapple Beam is L + Y. In Dread, it's ZR + Y. Makes it somewhat jarring to play one again after playing the other.
    • While the Ballspark returns from Zero Mission, unlike in that game you cannot store a Speed Boost while in Morph Ball form.
    • In Fusion and Zero Mission, the Speed Booster and Screw Attack were both capable of destroying Bomb Blocks. In this game, Bombs are the only thing that will break them.
  • Darker and Edgier: The game has a noticeably bleaker feel from the previous Metroid games, as the E.M.M.I. are frightening machines that chase down Samus in their respective zones.
  • Deader Than Dead: Raven Beak is ultimately infected by an X after getting severely damaged by Samus, and once he's defeated and reverted into an X, Samus unleashes the hyper beam and erases it down to nothing, ensuring he can never come back. By extension, Kraid suffers the same fate.
  • Death World: ZDR is comparable to Zebes and SR388 in terms of hostile environments with even more hostile lifeforms. Artaria has a lot of extremely cold areas deep underground, Cataris has a lot of lava and superheated areas that avert Convection Schmonvection, Dairon is an Abandoned Laboratory with various hostile Chozo robots and leftover Bioweapon Beasts running amok, and Ghavoran is an underground forest filled with many gigantic carnivorous plants. The planet seems to be so naturally cold that the Chozo built a geothermal generator in Cataris to pump magma to other parts of the planet to keep it warm. And none of that is even the worst part about ZDR. Elun is a quarantine site for the X Parasite-infested Mawkin tribe. After Samus stumbles into the area and Raven Beak lets them out, every other living creature on the planet gets infested and copied by the X. Like SR388, this ends up necessitating the entire planet's destruction.
  • Depth Perplexion: Averted. Despite the 2½D presentation, enemies have the decency to remain on the same plane as Samus at all times. There's only one boss who noticeably moves out of the line of fire, and only during one attack where the player will likely be too busy to shoot.
  • Deus ex Machina: After obliterating Raven Beak the planet starts exploding, creating a convenient way to destroy the remaining X Parasites. We do not know the reason for this explosion.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • A common tactic for those that attempt Sequence Breaking in the series is to intentionally eat some damage in heated areas prior to getting the Gravity Suit when you have enough energy to tank it. Dread adds cold areas to the mix, and both of them will rapidly ramp up the damage you sustain after several seconds, burning or freezing Samus to death if you attempt the same tactic without the appropriate upgrades. This mechanic even bypasses infinite health cheat codes, as the heat/cold will eventually start doing more damage than the cheat can regenerate.
    • One instance of Sequence Breaking is rewarded with something other than just speed. If you went out of your way to get the Morph Ball Bombs before fighting Kraid in Cataris, there's a Morph Ball Launcher hidden in his arena when his second phase starts. This launcher sinks you right into his weak point where you can then bomb his belly with impunity, completely trivializing the hardest part of the fight.
    • If you manage to obtain Flash Shift early, during Kraid's second phase a special animation occurs if you Flash Shift at Kraid's mouth while his eyes are glowing.
    • The Screw Attack is effective against enemies that are "cloaked in electrical energy". This includes Escue, should you Sequence Break to get the Screw Attack before that boss fight, turning an otherwise hellish boss into a joke.
    • There are ways to charge a Shinespark either before or during certain boss fights. Almost all bosses where this is possible have an interaction with the Shinespark (usually extreme pain, occasionally skipping a phase of the fight); the only exception, perhaps fittingly, is the Final Boss.
    • All the game's loading screens are pre-rendered videos, and each have a variant for the Power, Varia, and Gravity Suits. This includes the transportation pod to the final boss, despite it being impossible to reach that point of the game without the Gravity Suit.note 
    • Another sequence break bonus is that one of the Twin Robot Chozo Soldier fights is a Skippable Boss, since the only reason to fight them in a sequence break run is that the boss guards a Missile Tank. Should you be shooting for 100% Completion however, you can come back with the Power Bomb to destroy the boss instantly.
    • The music for an area will get muffled if Samus' head, and only her head, is underwater. If she is in shoulder-height water the music will be normal, but as soon as she ducks and submerges her head the music will change.
    • If you fire Ice Missiles while submerged in lava, the heat will "deice" them and turn them into regular Super Missiles.
    • Near the end of the game, Samus discovers an alternate way of dispatching Chozo Soldiers — using the Metroid powers in her hand to devour the X wholesale. After unlocking it, should any Chozo Soldiers have been skipped through sequence breaking and revisited later, Samus will finish them off with the new method.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: When you clear Raven Beak's Finish Counter, Samus leaps at him to Metroid-Drain him, only for him to turn the tables, grab her, and deliver the taunt below.
    Raven Beak: Did you truly believe you could defeat me? You overestimate yourself.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Storm Missiles on bosses. You can do amazing damage if you manage to pull it off but charging it, aiming and locking on must be done without taking damage and enemies do not give you much time to prepare.
    • The Speed Booster and Shinespark. There's only a handful of times where you'll need them to actually progress through the story, but mastering them can open up shortcuts, access hidden upgrades, and even, given the player can recognize the opportunity, heavily damage bosses.
  • Disconnected Side Area: Done primarily through the Teleportals. With them, Samus can visit certain areas earlier than intended (or revisit previous ones), but she's usually confined to a specific, walled off portion of said areas.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Samus cannot move while using the Omega Stream or Omega Cannon, making it so she has to stand her ground as the E.M.M.I. slowly approach.
  • Door Jam: This game uses this trope much more frequently than earlier Metroid games; often, after the player finds the correct route to go, something will alter or change (such as a turnstyle moving, a floor breaking, or a hazard popping up) that prevents Samus from returning to a previous area until she's collected the necessary power-up to get past it. Atypically of a Metroidvania, this basically means that Samus is roughly able to explore the same amount of map after opening new areas. Even much later in the game, when Samus has collected most of her abilities, there are many spots that can't (or aren't supposed to) be reached until virtually the end of the game, after she has pretty much everything.
  • Door to Before: The map is littered with blocks that can only be removed from the far side of where they're first seen or doors that require later upgrades to open. It's particularly noticeable here because the critical path is just one long, gratuitous circuitous path from the bottom of the map to the top, so moment when you recognize an area you're taking a shortcut through are common.
  • Double Jump: Dread introduces the Spin Boost ability, which acts like a poor man's Space Jump and functions similarly to the Space Jump Boots from the Metroid Prime Trilogy, letting Samus perform one additional jump while spinning in the air. She obtains the original Space Jump later.
  • Doves Mean Peace: A subtle name example that emphasizes a "doves-versus-hawks" ideological conflict. The backstory heavily involves two tribes of the Chozo Bird People: the Thoha and the Mawkin. The name "Thoha" is derived from swapping around the syllables of the Japanese word Hato (鳩), which means "dove/pigeon"; their tribe was a Proud Scholar Race that peacefully studied the native lifeforms and Aeion energy of SR388 and only reluctantly created the Metroids to wipe out the dangerous X Parasites. The name "Mawkin" is derived from the Japanese word Mōkin (猛禽), which means "bird of prey"; they were a Proud Warrior Race tribe who had a brutal society on ZDR that believed Might Makes Right and mistreated the beasts of that planet, and who also massacred most of the Thoha when the latter wanted to destroy SR388 to neutralize the Metroid threat — because Raven Beak wanted to use the Metroids to take over the galaxy.
  • The Dreaded: Purposely invoked with the E.M.M.I., which Sakamoto describes in the Development History video as the titular "Dread" that constantly hunts Samus.
  • Dual Boss: At various points, Samus would battle with two Chozo Soldiers; one silver and one gold, who attacks her upon entering a certain area.
  • Early Game Hell: Like Fusion, Samus spends the early part of the game severely depowered and lacking in abilities. She doesn't have the Morph Ball when she starts and due to limited resources the player has to rely on their wits and the Melee counter to mitigate threats.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: ZDR is the fifth planet (after Dark Aether, Zebes, Phaaze, and SR388) to bite the dust at the end of the game. Quiet Robe mentions that the Chozo once considered blowing up SR388 to put an end to the Metroids, but this never transpired, at least until Samus did just that in Metroid Fusion, to stop the X Parasites.
  • End Game Results Screen: In Metroid tradition, the game ends with a screen containing some stats on your playthrough. Initially there was only a timer showing your total clear time, but the 2.0.0 update released on February 9th of 2022 added a second screen that contains several more stats: difficulty, clear time (same as the first screen), total play time, item collection percentage, Energy, Missile, and Power Bomb counts, total deaths, total damage taken, bosses defeated, and number of saves.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: The game's mini-map shows an E.M.M.I.'s location whenever Samus enters its zone. Though only when the E.M.M.I. is in close proximity.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • The first E.M.M.I. we see effortlessly shrugs off everything Samus throws at it, before chasing her down, cornering her, and going in for the kill. This is one that's broken; the ones that still work are even fiercer.
    • Raven Beak is introduced as a very powerful warrior, defeating Samus with little effort as her weapons have no effect on his armor, aside from a lone Super Missile.
  • Eternal Engine: In contrast to the mostly stony, low-tech ruins on other Chozo worlds, the ZDR colony has many factories and other mechanical structures. This is especially true for Dairon, which is a biological research site that is entirely artificial in design and primarily features robotic enemies.
  • Event Flag: Obtaining the Gravity Suit will set an event flag that causes Artaria to be frozen over, thanks to an X-infected Experiment Z-57 sabotaging the planet's heating in Cataris.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: The designs of the E.M.M.I. robots, as well as Samus's new default Power Suit, invoke the aesthetic designs of an iPod, with their sleek white shells contoured with clean seams.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Samus (who is over 6 feet tall in her own armor), encounters Raven Beak who clearly towers over her and is over twice her size, measuring over fourteen feet in relation to Samus. Even for his size, the arm cannon is massive compared to Samus's own, and is as big as she is.
  • Evil Overlooker: The main promotional art for the game shows Samus in the foreground with the silhouetted E.M.M.I. looking at her from some cliffs in the background. An alternate title cover shows Raven Beak behind Samus in the background.
  • Expy: The E.M.M.I. are a dead ringer to AMEE, having a similar name, design, and general purpose as a planet-exploring machine that went Killer Robot.
  • Eye Scream: When Samus unlocks her full abilities as a Metroid and begins to drain Raven Beak of his energy, she very noticeably rams her hand directly into his exposed eye.
  • Face Palm Of Doom: Samus herself develops this ability late in the game, as her left hand becomes capable of a Metroid's signature siphoning ability, which is explained as her Metroid DNA awakening fully due to her initial confrontation with Raven Beak.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Chozo we've seen so far belong to two genetically-distinct tribes; the scentific Thoha and the warrior Mawkin. The two of them had vastly different ideologies on how to bring peace to the galaxy; the Thoha sought to do so through scientific innovations and creations, while the Mawkin wished to do so with force. While the two often cooperated and needed one-another, there was also clear animosity. The reason for doing so is never stated, but the Thoha explicitly programmed Metroids to be hostile to Mawkin. Likewise, the Mawkin chose to slaughter all of the Thoha except one when the latter made the decision to destroy all the Metroids, so that they could use them as bioweapons.
  • Final Boss Preview: The attacks that Raven Beak uses in the opening cutscene for the game are all used in the final boss battle with him. You can even respond to the attacks the same way Samus did in the scene such as ducking the purple energy wave or melee countering him during certain charges.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Raven Beak is the leader of a Chozo warrior tribe with the full technological might of his race at his disposal. It only makes sense that Samus would have to bring her entire arsenal to the table to match him effectively.
    • Space Jump has always been an important piece of Samus' late-game evasion options, but Raven Beak is so fast that Flash Shift is practically required to keep your distance.
    • Super Missiles are excellent for popping the black energy orbs Raven Beak throws and drop missile pickups when destroyed.
    • Storm Missiles are great once Raven Beak takes to the skies, gains mobility, and provides precious few openings for conventional munitions.
    • Power Bombs even get a chance to shine by being able to easily destroy the miniature suns Raven Beak unleashes in his final phase and neutralize an otherwise dangerous attack that makes dodging so much more difficult.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • The Corpius in its invisible state can be seen in the background in of a room in Arteria before retreating, with the monster itself fought not long afterwards. It can be seen much earlier as well, but the second time is only a few rooms away from where it is finally fought.
    • The Elun area is sealed off by a massive bulkhead, and Samus has to submit to a scan at the entrance before she's allowed further in. Elun is where the X Parasites were quarantined.
    • On the Itorash, the final area of the game, the standard network room conversation with Adam takes a sudden turn, as he explains that Samus’s trip to ZDR was all according to his plans. The very next line then makes it explicit that Samus is speaking to Raven Beak instead of Adam, and has been ever since their encounter at the start of the game.
  • Flash Step: The Flash Shift is a short-distance dash powered by Aeion that can be done 3 times in a row. It can also be used in midair, handy for getting across gaps quickly or getting through pressure plate doors without triggering them.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Throughout the game, Adam refers to Samus by her name as opposed to "Lady" whenever they are in contact with each other. This hints that Raven Beak has been impersonating Adam ever since Samus lost contact with him after descending below ZDR's surface.
    • At the very beginning of the game, ADAM says that remote communication between him and Samus may be a problem due to poor signal strength within the depths of the planet and its facilities. ADAM recommends that Samus connects to the facility's network in order to boost the signal. This directly allows Raven Beak to intercept the transmission and pretend to be ADAM thanks to his control over said network.
    • Pre-release interviews had the developers state that, unlike Other M, ADAM wouldn't be ordering Samus around all over the map, which is technically true, as the ADAM that Samus communicates with throughout the game is Raven Beak ordering her on how to proceed through the planet.
    • The very first E.M.M.I. that is encountered in the game is one that's in a partially-mangled state. When one gets past the creepy factor, the obvious becomes apparent: these things are explicitly made of the universe's strongest alloy and are virtually invincible. Nothing in the arsenal of Samus Aran, not even at full power, can put a dent in them. This implicates that, whatever could do this to an E.M.M.I. is stronger than Samus even at her best. The one who did this was Raven Beak, and it's an early show of decisive evidence that Samus can't beat him as she is.
    • Towards the later part of the game, once the X Parasites have been released on ZDR, ADAM informs Samus after a while that, thanks to their virulent propagation, she should assume that by now everything on the planet has been assimilated and replaced by an X Parasite copy save herself. This foreshadows a few things:
      1. Early on in Dairon, you come across Experiment No. Z-57 being experimented on in the background. Later on, after the X get released from Elun and infect every other living creature on ZDR, returning to that particular room reveals that Z-57, which appeared to be deceased previously, has already disappeared. As it turns out, Experiment No. Z-57 has become assimilated by the X and becomes a boss when it stalls Cataris's reactor to freeze all of ZDR over in an attempt to freeze Samus to death (which doesn't work since Samus has just gotten the Gravity Suit to protect herself from low-temperatures).
      2. One of Samus's old, incredibly hard-to-kill foes in the Space Pirates — Kraid — was earlier revealed to be on ZDR and apparently killed in a boss fight with Samus, falling into a pit of lava. While Kraid sinks into the lava and is never seen again, one of his organic stomach spikes remains embedded in the room's right wall after the fight. The spike vanishes after the X are released from Elun, implying that it was assimilated by an X Parasite off-screen, resulting in the X aquiring Kraid's DNA and being able to use it to mimic his likeness.
      3. The game's Big Bad, Raven Beak, is not on the planet, instead being on a flying fortress above the surface, safe from the reach of the X Parasites as he monitors Samus' situation. Sure enough in the final fight, once Samus drains the fortress' energy and sends it crashing to the surface, Raven Beak survives the crash, but is shortly thereafter assimilated by an X Parasite — the same one that absorbed Kraid's DNA — resulting in a fused monstrosity between them that Samus is easily able to obliterate to remove all traces of the two to make sure they don't come back in any form.
    • At the beginning of the game, as Samus regains consciousness after being defeated by Raven Beak, she scans her left arm before moving forward. It's not her inspecting her suit for damage; it's her noticing the first signs of the Metroid instinct, as its Life Drain powers manifest in that arm.
    • ADAM constantly expresses concern that Samus can't defeat Raven Beak even with her full arsenal, and it's only when her Metroid DNA starts awakening that he starts becoming more optimistic about her chances. This turns out to be an accurate prediction of the final battle; even after a long struggle where Samus deploys everything she's got, Raven Beak still gets the upper hand and renders her at his mercy. Her Metroid Suit manifesting at the last second is what finally gives her the opportunity to strike back and properly defeat him. This also ends up being a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, as Raven Beak was goading her into cultivating her latent powers and never actually expecting what he was saying to become truth.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A brief clip from Dread's second trailer shows Samus fighting a Chozo Soldier with amorphous qualities. This foreshadows how all the Mawkin Chozo save for Raven Beak are actually X Parasite possessed.
  • From Bad to Worse: Getting stranded on ZDR and trying to find her ship is trouble as it is given how dangerous the wildlife and the E.M.M.I. are. Then Raven Beak pops open the containment on the X Parasites in Elun, transforming an already-hostile planet into an utter hellscape as the X convert all wildlife within minutes. And they hate Samus in particular so much that they're willing to freeze the planet over just to kill her as soon as possible. If that wasn't problematic enough, Quiet Robe's corpse gets reanimated by an X and reactivates the remaining E.M.M.I.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Shortly into the game, Adam reveals that E.M.M.I. stands for Extraplanetary Multiform Mobile Identifiers.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: There is a bug that causes the game to forcibly close if you destroy a specific door near the end of the game while it has a map marker on it. This can be resolved by simply playing the game again and removing the map marker before opening the door. This was fixed in the first patch.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Rarely do the cutscenes invoke Cutscene Power to the Max or Cutscene Incompetence. Everything Samus or an enemy can do in cutscenes, they can do either in normal gameplay or via a Quick Time Event. For example, Samus's battle with Raven Beak in the introduction features most of Raven Beak's actual attacks during the boss fight and Samus likewise counters them exactly how the player is expected to do in the game. The one exception is Samus's Metroid absorption power; it's an ability she can only use in cutscenes. But even that makes sense narratively, as she doesn't have full control of it until the end, and once she does, it's an Instant-Win Condition.
  • Glass Cannon: Samus is still in a depowered state compared to earlier games in the series, and thus her defenses are cripplingly low. Even at maximum Energy Tanks in the game and some increase in defense, singular hits are likely to take half to an entire energy tank's worth of health outright. On the flip side, this is easily some of the strongest weapons and abilities she's got in a 2D entry, especially with rapid-shooting super missiles. In the right conditions, her arsenal can destroy bosses within a few shots or even in 1 hit.
  • The Goomba: Klaidas are the very first enemies Samus encounters in the game, appearing to be quadrupedal creatures with bright orange growths on their backs. They are unarmored with low HP, deal low damage on contact, do not actively try to attack her, and will even try to run away from Samus if she shoots at them.
  • Grand Finale: The creators at several points during development stated this game is intended to be the finale of the "Samus and the Metroids" story arc that the original NES game started, though not the last Metroid game, with things still open for new games that involve new story arcs. Now, as to how this game wraps up the plot that started the franchise: Samus finally encounters the last living Chozo who had involvement in Zebes, SR388 and the Metroid's creation, fully manifests the Metroid DNA she was infused with in Fusion, and resolves how her origin ties her to all of these. The X Parasites, whom the Metroids were created to oppose by the Chozo, are found to have come into contact with the last major pocket of Chozo inhabitants, having wiped them out — and are ultimately erased when Planet ZDR dies. The Chozo and their part in the Metroids' origin come to a head here, with Quiet Robe and Raven Beak both standing representative of the Chozo in their values and the mistakes they made, with the latter even being the Chozo donor who made Samus physically what she is. Even the Space Pirates are given definitive closure as Samus has one final showdown with Kraid, bringing an end to the last of the Space Pirate commanders and the dark legacy of Mother Brain. As for the Metroids, they are well and truly gone; they don't return here — but the series' name will never truly be an Artifact Title, for the last Metroid yet lives, out there in the cosmos: Samus Aran.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: None in the game itself, but the story features a retroactive one. Raven Beak singlehandedly kickstarted the entire series by killing all the Thoha Chozo save for Quiet Robe, to prevent them from destroying SR388 and the Metroids. The Space Pirates and Galactic Federation would eventually find them while Raven Beak struggled to control the X crisis on ZDR.
  • Green and Mean:
    • E.M.M.I.-03MB has a green chassis and is just as dangerous as its fellow robots.
    • Kraid is his usual green, Samus-attacking, Notzilla self.
    • Samus herself becomes this in her Metroid Suit by the end of the game, where she gets the trademark Energy Absorption ability of Metroids and a Wave-Motion Gun in the form of the always active Hyper Beam.
  • Ground Punch: One of the enemies Samus can run into in Cataris, the Autclast, resembles a miniaturized version of Diggernaut, and its preferred method of attack is to smash the ground, causing shockwaves that Samus must jump over.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Similar to the Spiderball/Power Bomb combo from the previous game, the game never tells you that you can wall jump or slide without breaking speed boost outside of a random loading screen tip (which you are likely to only see if you are loading up your save file or if you die), nor that speed boost-slides break through Beam Blocks, making some items far more difficult to get. A good example is a single Missile+ tank at the very start of Ferenia that seems almost impossible to get; it requires shooting through a row of Beam Blocks, using a cross bomb to get past a floor of Pitfall Blocks, bombing some Bomb Blocks, and then vertically shinesparking to get through some Boost Blocks. If you manage to be pixel perfect, you can do it that way... but the intended way is to speedboost in from the shuttle bay, wall-jump and then slide whilst speedboosting to cross through the Beam Blocks and over the Pitfall Blocks into a chamber where you can lock in the shinespark before going back to the Bomb Blocks, making it much less tight to preserve the spark.
    • You can shinespark while spin-jumping by pressing Y and B at the same time, which isn't mentioned anywhere in the game, and is useful for many shinespark puzzles.
    • You can shinespark onto one of the normally impassably steep slopes to race up it and "recharge" your Speed Boost, allowing you a chance to lock in a new shinespark; players of previous 2D games would be fully aware of this aspect of the ability, but newcomers will be lost due to the only mention of this by Dread itself coming in a tip that might appear during a loading screen. There's a Shinespark puzzle in Burenia, hidden behind bombable blocks in the Green teleportal room, that requires mastery of this technique to complete. There are also spots where the player has to know for themselves that just jumping onto a slope while boosting is enough to keep running up it.
    • Because the series is known for lacking any health bars on enemies, there isn't any indication that Experiment Z-57's attacks that begin at the start of its second phase and re-occur throughout the rest of the fight actually HEALS it, meaning that the player can get stuck fighting the boss for FAR longer than intended unless the player takes out the appendages siphoning energy from the sides of the arena with Storm Missiles, as each appendage destroyed will be destroyed permanently, and once those appendages are gone, the boss can no longer regenerate.

    H-P 
  • Hailfire Peaks: At one point late in the game, certain rooms in the normally melting hot Cataris freeze over and Samus has to go through those cold rooms to investigate the source.
  • Harder Than Hard: Dread Mode, introduced in a free post-launch update, makes the player a One-Hit-Point Wonder where a single hit instantly triggers the Game Over screen. While Energy Tanks and Energy Parts can still be collected, they only exist for 100% completion purposes in this mode.
  • Heart Container: Energy Tanks play this role as usual, but they won't help against an E.M.M.I. attack. Like in Metroid: Other M, Samus can collect both full Energy Tanks and Energy Parts, every four of which create a full Tank.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Just when it looks like Samus has finally met her end at Raven Beak's talons, she activates her latent Metroid abilities and slams her hand into Raven Beak's face, draining him and his ship as she roars in fury and proves that the galaxy will never fall to the likes of him while she's around.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: The Missile Door Shields are made of dark metallic hexagons with red Tron Lines. Later on, Super Missile Door Shields appear with green lines.
  • Horror Hunger: Near the end of the game, Samus finds herself experiencing this as a lab experiment attempts to attack her, due to her Metroid DNA steadily awakening. She has to make a concentrated effort to shoot the attacking creature, rather than use her hand to drain it, leaving her breathing hard afterwards. It comes to a head shortly afterwards when the last E.M.M.I. attacks her and leaves her with no choice but to drain it to defend herself. From there, she starts using her new ability with increasing impunity.
  • An Ice Person: E.M.M.I.-05IM, the blue model, has a scan that freezes on contact, as it possesses the Ice Missile.
  • Imminent Danger Clue: The areas where the E.M.M.I. patrol are marked by distinct pixelated black-and-white doors, and the color of the area beyond is washed out in color palette. Also, whenever an E.M.M.I. is actively in the same room as Samus, you can hear several high-pitched beeps.
  • Immune to Fire: A few creatures, naturally, aren't affected by the extreme heat in certain sections of Cataris. Most notably, Kraid is imprisoned in its depths, sitting in a pool of lava, yet he's perfectly fine.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: When the schematic of the E.M.M.I. is shown, we get to see that the metal plates surrounding its eye lens are concealing four retractile spikes that can extend into a a very sharp needle. If Samus is caught by an E.M.M.I. and she fails to counter it, she gets pinned and its eye opens before it stabs her through the chest.
  • Implacable Man:
    • The E.M.M.I. bots are invincible to Samus's weaponry and will relentlessly pursue her until she either loses them or they catch her. The only way Samus can even damage them is by overclocking her blaster with energy from the Central Units, or, in the case of E.M.M.I.-07PB near the end of the game, having their energy drained with Samus's Metroid DNA. To top it all off, they are plated with "(some) of the strongest stuff in the universe".
    • Samus' first encounter with Raven Beak shows how tough Chozo technology is with the Chozo shrugging off almost everything she throws at them. Her Melee Counter is able to push him back and it takes a super missile to damage his armor. And all that does is make him angry.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Zigzagged for the Samus screen. Unlike in prior titles, upgrades that stack (like the Wide Beam to the Power Beam) do not occupy their own slots, but rather replace the item that they stack on top of. While this provides an element of uncertainty to when you're "done" with that upgrade, in some cases it results in you having a general idea of how many abilities of that type you'll end up with (for example, three separate Beam-related upgrades).
    • Near the half-time of the game, Quiet Robe deactivates all remaining E.M.M.I.s. However, the main interface still tells you that there are 3/7 E.M.M.I.s remaining. Cue forward when they're reactivated and they chase you relentlessly again.
  • Invisibility Cloak:
    • The Corpius is a huge predatory beast resembling a cross between a reptile and a scorpion, and is capable of camouflaging itself to be almost completely invisible. It's first encountered attempting to hunt on a beach before Samus's presence scares its would-be prey off, and it ambushes her in a room containing massive Chozo statues.
    • One of Samus's new Aeion abilities is the Phantom Cloak, an optical camouflage system that renders her invisible to the E.M.M.I. mechs' sensors that she obtains after defeating the Corpius, and is also used to get past the sensors of doors that will lock if Samus gets too close. If it's left on for too long, however, it starts draining her Energy Tanks.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Samus starts deep in the bowels of ZDR. Almost all the game is one long quest to return to the surface.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Fail to escape in time during the final escape sequence, and the game over screen will include a lovely background of the remains of ZDR, having exploded with Samus still stuck on the planet.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: Once the X escape, Samus's next briefing with ADAM will have the AI tell her that they need to assume that the entire planet's biosphere has been consumed by the X and will immediately suggest destroying the planet to deal with the issue. As per Metroid tradition, that is exactly what happens.
  • Jungle Japes: Ghavoran is a forested area that is close enough to the surface for there to be enough sunlight for many plants.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In the first appearance of E.M.M.I.-02SM, Samus shoots a few Power Beam shots at it, followed by a Missile. When she sees that it doesn't react to any of it, her first reaction is to look over her shoulder at the path behind her and book it.
  • Last Ditch Move: When captured by an E.M.M.I., Samus has two chances to escape (one chance if the E.M.M.I. is standing upright when it catches you) by pressing X when the robot emits a red flash, first from their claw, and then from their head. Failing both will result in an instant Game Over. However, the timing is strict enough that it just barely falls short of average human reaction time with a window of just a few frames, amounting to mere milliseconds to counter. On top of that, the E.M.M.I.'s delay before these flashes are randomized every time, keeping players from relying on it to cheese E.M.M.I. encounters.
  • Last Lousy Point: While the game gives a per-area completion rate, actually finding the last item in a zone can be hair-pulling experience. While concealed items are given a search zone, visible items you haven't come close enough to spot aren't. Which leads to systematically patrolling the entire zone lighting up the map hoping it shows up.note 
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Collecting items in Metroid: Samus Returns unlocked "Chozo Memories", images showing the history of the Chozo on SR388. The secret final image, unlocked upon 100% completion, shows the survivors of the Metroid attack getting massacred by a legion of Chozo warriors led by a Chozo with an arm cannon. This once-secret scene is depicted in an updated image in the "Glimpse of Dread" teaser.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: For the sake of visibility when Samus traverses through it, lava is pretty much red water in this game.
  • Leitmotif:
    • The Mawkin share a mysterious leitmotif most heavily used in Ferenia. It can be heard in the battle themes with the Chozo Soldiers, the Robot Chozo Soldiers (though very drawn out), and even Raven Beak (most notably in his 2nd phase).
    • The X Parasites have a leitmotif using "Tension Before a Confrontation" from Fusion. It's present in the music for Escue, Experiment No. Z-57, and Raven Beak X's creation.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Cataris has areas that are so hot from volcanic heat that Samus needs an upgrade to properly traverse them. There are also puzzles that involve redirecting the flow of "thermal fuel" through pipes.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The E.M.M.I. units are only slightly slower than Samus herself despite being twice her size, and possess an unsettling dexterity when fully operational. They're also completely immune to Samus's conventional weapons and powerful enough to deliver instant kills through her Power Suit.
  • Living Motion Detector: The E.M.M.I. are equipped with motion detection. Even if Samus is nowhere near them, they'll detect her movement nearby, and will do a thorough search of the area even if Samus tries to hide with the Phantom Cloak. Cranked up to eleven with 06WB and 07PB - unless you enter 06WB's zone with the Phantom Cloak on, it will instantly know you're there, and 07PB can detect Samus even with the Phantom Cloak on.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: As is tradition for this series, an unexplained countdown to ZDR's destruction starts the moment Samus finishes Raven Beak off for good.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The new Storm Missiles upgrade lets Samus lock onto up to five targets and fire three micromissiles at each one. With a full five locks on one target you can unload a whopping 15 Missiles into it for massive damage.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: During the final boss battle when Samus blasts Raven Beak's wing off his response is to rip his remaining wing completely off and continue fighting as if nothing happened.
  • Mascot Mook: The E.M.M.I. (more specifically, E.M.M.I.-02SM, the white variant) has a starring role in most media associated with the game. Plus, it even has its own amiibo, much akin to the Metroid from Metroid: Samus Returns.
  • Meaningful Name: The Metroids get their name from the Chozo word for "Ultimate Warrior." At the end of the game Samus becomes the ultimate Metroid — A human with Chozo DNA, capabilities, and armaments in addition to the devastating energy draining properties of the Metroids. You'd be hard pressed to find something the Chozo would consider more worthy of the name Metroid given its meaning in their tongue.
  • Meta Twist: The game loves toying with player expectation about the traditional structure of Metroid games in order to get under their skin.
    • Metroid titles usually see the Chozo in a helpful role, with their ruins often being a place for Samus to recover her lost strength after a fight as seen in Zero Mission and Prime. The main antagonist of this game, Raven Beak, is a vicious Galactic Conqueror with his sights set on the Metroids as a bioweapon, and the entire game takes place in a large Chozo facility that's been turned into a deathtrap from years of disrepair.
    • Unlike literally every entry in the series save the very first, Samus begins her journey through ZDR at the bottom of the planet rather than her ship at the top. Most of the game is spent getting back to her ship so she can regroup.
    • The Metroid series is famous for averting When All Else Fails, Go Right, with its upgrades and bosses found often by going left. At the start of the game, the only way to go is right, and many bosses are fought left to right.
    • The player spends a solid amount of the early game without the iconic Morph Ball. The Morph Ball is usually one of the first upgrades given, and the game loves shoving small tunnels and passageways in your way to make you realize how much you actually miss it before finally giving it to you.
    • After Fusion introduced a stronger narrative and Other M outright gave Samus a voice and defined personality, players likely expect Samus to speak at least once during the course of Dread. They'd be right, but she doesn't speak English. She speaks Chozo.
    • The zones of Metroid games are usually structured as "enter the zone, explore around, fight a boss, gain a mobility/utility/offensive upgrade, move on and backtrack later with new items". Not so in Dread: the game will regularly force you to exit a zone due to being unable to progress, and the game is not shy about dropping one-way passages on you to get you to explore a new area without the ability to backtrack.
    • Metroid games usually have static zones that don't change over the course of the game. After retrieving the Gravity Suit, the first two zones of the game have their entire layouts changed due to being frozen over, forcing the player to maneuver through the environment in a new fashion.
    • Metroids do not appear at all, even when it seems like the plot is building to their revival. Likewise, at no point does Ridley appear either, implying that his death in Super was final after all.
    • The previous "assistants" in the Metroid games, such as the Gunship A.I. in Prime 3 or the Adam A.I. in Fusion, have never betrayed you for any reason. In this game, Raven Beak masquerades as Adam for most of the game and does so to keep an eye on Samus.
    • Adam's previous portrayals make him rather hard to read in this game. He remains coldly blunt toward Samus, especially when expressing the threat posed by the E.M.M.I. and Raven Beak. This makes it hard for series veterans to figure out exactly when ADAM was impersonated by Raven Beak. The major clue is that he stops referring to Samus as "Lady" after she awakens in Artaria.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Shakernaut is a robot that resembles a miniaturized Diggernaut from Samus Returns.
  • Missing Secret: At the end of the game, with all areas of ZDR explored, there's an empty spot in the top-right corner next to Hanubia. Since the game's final area is above the planet and displayed on its own screen, there aren't any additional areas to fill up that section.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: ADAM's monotone diction does make him a little hard to read, but he starts acting a little off, and later starts pontificating in creepy detail about Samus' developing Metroid abilities and belittling her chances against Raven Beak. That's because ADAM has been impersonated by Raven Beak for an unspecified amount of time.
  • More Dakka:
    • The Omega Cannon has a mode called the Omega Stream that acts as something of a machine gun, allowing Samus to melt off the face plating of the E.M.M.I.
    • Raven Beak will frequently use the Beam Burst Aeion ability from Samus Returns against you in the second phase of the battle against him. It goes without saying that it's best not to get hit by the entire thing.
  • Musical Nod:
    • The beeping of the E.M.M.I. are a throwback to the ambient sounds of Metroid II: Return of Samus. Makes sense, considering the games developers previously worked on its remake Metroid: Samus Returns.
    • In Metroid: Samus Returns, the heroic "Theme of Samus" plays over the Chozo Memories, only to be suddenly interrupted when the final memory is revealed and the Mawkin tribe slaughters the Thoha tribe. In Dread, the soundtrack seems to reference this during the cutscene with Quiet Robe (which recaps some of the later Chozo Memories): "Theme of Samus" plays towards the end of the cutscene, but is abruptly cut off before its final note to emphasize the suddeness of Quiet Robe being assassinated by a Robot Chozo Soldier.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the images on screen when Metroids are described in the opening narration is an 8-bit Metroid from the original game.
  • Nerf:
    • Unlike in Fusion, the Varia Suit in this game doesn't protect Samus from low temperatures (which is ironic, considering that the Federation tried to give her the Varia Suit so she could immediately deal with a cold environment) and only provides protection from high temperatures. Instead, that immunity is bestowed by the Gravity Suit.
    • The Scan Pulse is gained past the halfway point rather than being an extremely early ability like in Samus Returns, and purely shows breakable blocks rather than map layout. On the flipside, since Aeion power regenerates rather than being a resource, it can be used continuously.
    • The Plasma Beam's piercing effect is less powerful than in Super or Fusion, as the beam only hits enemies once as it passes through them, instead of chainsawing them apart as it rips through.
  • Nintendo Hard: Dread retains the trademark difficulty of the series, especially with the introduction of the E.M.M.I. Chances are that an average playthrough from an average player will lead to several Game Overs, most of them thanks to the One-Hit Kill Killer Robots.
  • No Delays for the Wicked: Zig-Zagged. It turns out that the entire game series to this point has been a massive delay for Raven Beak's plans. He didn't foresee Samus, the very human child he donated his genes to, eradicating the Metroids and setting back his plans to bring "order" to the galaxy. Once Samus is on ZDR, however, all of Raven Beak's plans go off without a hitch. Even the escape of the X Parasites, the most deadly organism known in existence, factors into his plans and doesn't inconvenience him in any way... until Samus unlocks her 11th-Hour Superpower and crashes Raven Beak's flagship on the surface. Then, the X he released to fast-track Samus' transformation into a Metroid mutates him, and Samus uses said transformation to finish him off.
  • Noiseless Walker: One of the effects of the Phantom Cloak ability is that it also renders Samus almost totally silent as she's moving. While the cloak is active, she does not make any sound while walking or dropping down onto floors, and the noise of her transforming into the Morph Ball is gone, as is its distinctive whirring noise while rolling or the "clunk" when it drops onto a floor.
  • Non Standard Game Over: And this is why this game can be dreaded at some points:
    • E.M.M.I. can instantly cause a Game Over if they catch Samus and she fails to counter their attack.
    • Getting eaten by the infected Raven Beak X. That part was not a cutscene and you are supposed to blast the hideous abomination.
    • ZDR self-destructs before you reach your gunship.
  • Noob Bridge: There is one room in Artaria, accessible through a Charge Beam door at the top-right of ADAM's Network Station, that is notorious for tripping up first-time players. The room seems to be a dead end with no visible exit other than the way Samus came in, with a center platform that has enemies crawling all over it and the ceiling above, and more flying enemies above the ceiling. The intention is that the player will shoot at any of these enemies, probably miss a shot or two, reveal the destructible blocks on the ceiling, and then jump from the center platform into the area above the destructible ceiling. However, if the player chooses to ignore the enemies, shoots a bit too accurately, only shoots at the ones Samus can reach, or simply sees the "dead end" and leaves, they will often become confused and get stuck in that particular area — especially if they forgot or did not pay attention to the tutorial popup several rooms back that warned them that some walls may be shootable.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Inverted. Thanks to Quiet Robe and Raven Beak's voiced dialogue, there are now pronunciations for many words in the Chozo conlang (even if fans debate over the exact specifics of those pronunciations). However, because their dialogue is only subtitled in real-world languages, it's the spellings of most pronounced Chozo words that we don't have a guide on. Only a small handful of words and phrases (such as Hadar Sen Olmen and Ili Tarin Nalima) are written in the game, and some of them (such as Metroid) do not exactly match the spoken pronunciation.
  • No-Sell: The E.M.M.I. mechs are unable to be harmed by any of Samus' standard weapons, and will relentlessly pursue her if they detect her. The first intact one Samus encounters takes several Power Beam shots and a missile to the head as if they didn't happen without so much as its paint getting chipped.
  • Nostalgia Level: Elun, to Fusion. The area is short and extremely linear, and contained within are X Parasites and the infected variants of wildlife on the planet, including zombie Chozo that are masses of ooze like the zombie crewmen on the B.S.L. Station. Even if you've collected every available E-tank, suddenly your health will be a much more valuable resource given how much damage X enemies can do, evoking the general feeling of helplessness present all through Fusion. Once you make it out of Elun after acquiring the item inside, the X escape, turning the back half of the game into essentially Metroid Fusion 2.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • Most Sequence Breaking involves using various items/powers in ways that the developers did not intend, but players are still welcome to try. In particular, the Bombs and Speed Booster allow players to reach unintended locations and acquire several other abilities earlier.
    • Through hacks, it's been discovered how the Hyper Beam and Metroid Suit behave in gameplay. Both endgame items completely replace most other beams and suits that Samus has acquired. While this serves well for the Post-Final Boss and escape sequence due to their ability to instantly kill anything, this means that Samus loses specific abilities that ordinarily would be required for progress. If a hacker starts the game with them, this means they cannot use or acquire most abilities that are mandatory to progress (including the Omega Blaster), nor will they be able to survive extreme temperatures. On the plus side, this means Samus can destroy every type of breakable block in the game without the items required for them and One-Hit KO every enemy in the game (including bosses).
  • Off-Model: In the sixth ending reward, depicting Samus draining Raven Beak's energy, the Chozo overlord is drawn without his BFG arm cannon.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • After making her way back out of the depths of Elun, Plasma Beam in hand, Samus stops cold before exiting as she sees something horrific to behold: the bulkhead doors, which had previously sealed behind her, have been reopened and all of the X are free.
    • Raven Beak goes from completely calm and in control at the end of the final boss fight as he chokes Samus out to desperately and frantically trying to pull Samus off of himself when she catches her heroic second wind, her Metroid DNA goes full power incontinence mode, and she starts violently draining both him and his ship at the same time.
  • Ominous Fog: The damaged E.M.M.I.=01P emerges from a foggy hallway to attack Samus.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: When the subtitle "Dread" is revealed for the first time in the E3 2021 trailer, pixelated glitches distort the word while creepy electric sounds play.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Should an E.M.M.I. catch up to Samus, it will pin her down and terminate her on the spot by stabbing her through the sternum, ushering the player straight to the Game Over screen a la the Ultimate Chimera. This, coupled with their immunity to Samus's conventional weapons, means that Samus usually has to run whenever she encounters them.
    • The Shinespark returns in this game. What is awesome about it? It can instantly kill various bosses; if not at least 2-shot them. During the Experiment Z-57 fight, there's a point where it will cause the fans to trigger. The benefit of the fans is that Samus can run against the current to have enough space to trigger the accelerator boost and save the Shinespark energy. Use it to to hit the boss's head and the fight ends.
    • The Hyper Beam atomizes virtually anything in its path except for really big stuff like Raven Beak X. The Metroid Suit itself is capable of disintegrating foes on contact.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: A post-launch update has Dread Mode, where a single hit would instantly kill the player and result in a Game Over, even if the player has multiple Energy Tanks.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • After the X Parasites are released, they infect all of ZDR's wildlife and mutate them into more powerful, monstrous forms.
    • Samus herself suffers a rare heroic example. When Raven Beak nearly strangles her to death, her Power Suit is covered in crimson energy and transforms into a Metroid-like form — a green organic exoskeleton with red lights and claws. In this form she's able to obliterate anything she comes across with one shot of her arm-cannon.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Some bosses can be damaged by the Shinespark, assuming you charged one beforehand. Escue's boss room has a straight path outside it that can be used to start boosting inside the room, while Golzuna's room has enough space to charge the Speed Booster if you run while it's transforming.
  • Palmtree Panic: Artaria is an unusual example. It has sandy environments, water-filled caves, and enemies resembling sea life such as crabs and mantas, giving it a strong beachlike vibe. But its predominantly grey color palette and lack of plantlife, combined with typical Metroid elements like high-tech corridors and Starfish Aliens, give it a more otherworldly feel than usual.
  • Player Death Is Dramatic: If Samus's Energy is depleted (not killed by the E.M.M.I.), the entire game world vanishes into a black void, and Samus hunches over hovering in pain. Her suit then crackles with electricity and shatters into pieces in a bright flash, as demonstrated here.
  • Plot Tunnel: Even though ZDR is quite open, this game is full of these in a dreadfully sneaky way. Certain actions will deny access to go back until you get certain power-ups or do certain objectives, but the game does not explicitly tell you that.
    • Slide underneath the first gap? You are 1 block less to slide back there again. You cannot go back due to not having the morph ball at that time.
    • Destroy an explosive blob? Awesome, but boulders block the path behind you.
    • The platform blocks that disappear when you step on them? The game does this quite a bit intentionally.
  • Post-Final Level: Itorash, Raven Beak's flying base which only consists of a few rooms, and comes after the actual final level, Hanubia.
  • Power Copying: Several variants:
    • After defeating Corpius, Samus retrieves her first Aeion ability, the Phantom Cloak, from the core in its pincer that acted as its weak point.
    • After defeating each E.M.M.I., Samus absorbs it and gains an ability based on its capabilities.
    • Like in Fusion, defeating an X Parasite boss and absorbing its Core X gives Samus a new ability.
    • It's revealed that Samus is able to do all of these because of her Metroid DNA causing her to siphon energy from anything she touches with it, including machines, biological entities, and the X. It becomes far more pronounced toward the end of the game, and by the end she even recovers all health and ammunition from bosses she's beaten.
  • Power Incontinence: Samus is unable to turn off her Metroid suit as well as the energy siphoning after awakening it fully, which would have resulted in her death due to draining her ship when she tried to take off. This is only avoided when the X-mimic of Quiet Robe sacrifices itself to give her its Thoha tribe genes and full control over her Metroid powers, letting her turn the suit off.
  • Press X to Not Die:
    • If Samus gets caught by an E.M.M.I., she gets two chances to survive. One is when the robot's claw flashes before grabbing her, the second is when the robot's eye flashes after grabbing her, both giving a very brief window to perform a Melee Counter and escape. If Samus fails to do the second, the E.M.M.I. runs her through. However, the timing of this counter is very tight (and the amount of time between getting caught and the E.M.M.I. attacking you is randomized to keep you from relying on it); the given tutorial for the situation says this is a "last resort, at best". This is also a literal example, as the button for the Melee Counter is indeed the X button.
    • Unlike previous games, there are mandatory QTEs in Dread. Chozo Soldiers and Raven Beak have Finish Counters, which automatically initiate when they are low on health. During this interactive cutscene, the player must correctly time two Melee Counters to end the boss fight; if they fail either input, Samus takes damage and the battle resumes until another Finish Counter is triggered.
  • Pretentious Pronunciation: Likely done by the game developers for the sake of making the Chozo conlang sound more exotic, there are several words and names such as Samus, Metroid, and E.M.M.I. that are pronunced differently from usual. However, these words are still spelled the same in the Chozo text as they are in English.
  • Previously on…: The game opens with a meaty and comprehensive recap of all the series' plot threads thus far, with a primary focus on Fusion. This is understandable; given how long it has been in real-time since the last series entry and how this is likely to be a series jumping-on point for many, it's ultimately a justified inclusion.
  • Primal Stance: The E.M.M.I. are humanoid robots, but they crawl around while searching for Samus.
  • Protagonist Title: The Metroids are long extinct and do not make a physical appearance in the game beyond flashbacks. But as it turns out, the title is no longer referring to the extinct species; it's referring to Samus herself, who has been slowly metamorphizing into a Metroid since Fusion. At the climax of the game, when she unlocks her full potential as a Metroid, her suit becomes a humanoid Metroid and she can now drain all kinds of energy just by touch. She's even dubbed by Raven Beak as "the most powerful Metroid of all".
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Screw Attack is ridiculously strong — capable of killing most enemies in one hit, doing significant damage to some minibosses, and opening various obstructions. This is usual for Metroid, as the Screw Attack is commonly the last or second-to-last ability that Samus gains and marks the exact moment that the entire map becomes a joke to the player, adding a sense of well-earned catharsis as they mow down legions of enemies that gave them headaches mere hours prior. Retrieving this item at that time was meant to supplement backtracking, almost getting rid of firing weapons or melee counters against regular enemies.

    R-Z 
  • Ramming Always Works: Many major enemies and bosses can be either dealt tremendous damage or destroyed outright if you slam into them with the Shinespark.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The main promotional art depicts all the E.M.M.I. as imposing silhouettes with glowing red eyes against a crimson background. This is a stylistic effect done with atypical lighting rather than a literal depiction of how they all actually look, as five of the E.M.M.I. are brightly colored in-game.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The E.M.M.I. have a single red eye, and are dangerous robots that are immune to Samus's standard arsenal.
  • Replay Mode: As part of the post-release update that added the Boss Rush feature into the game, Practice Mode allows you to replay directly any boss fight at your leisure, allowing you to master your strategy against the bosses so you can then challenge them in the Boss Rush proper. The catch is that, at first, only Corpius will be available; to unlock each subsequent boss you must have met it at least once in either the standard Boss Rush or the more difficult Dread Rush.
  • Ret-Canon: Kraid half-submerged in a puddle of lava, making large haymaker attacks with his arms is a construct of Super Smash Bros.. Here the idea comes full circle and Kraid looks and acts like he did in the Brinstar Depths stage. Similarly, none of Samus' beams have ever become a giant laser as wide as she is tall like the Zero Laser until the Hyper Beam here.
  • Retraux: The prologue, which discusses the creation of the Metroid vaccine, has Metroid and X Parasite pictures based on their 2D sprites from Metroid and Metroid Fusion respectively.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Replaying through the game a second time knowing the eleventh-hour Plot Twist raises interesting questions about ADAM's behavior throughout the game. The game never provides a definitive answer as to how much of ADAM's assistance was really Raven Beak in disguise, but his foreknowledge of the planet, his accurate speculations as to Raven Beak's plans, his constant reminders of Raven Beak's power and skill, and the lack of referring to Samus as "Lady" are all suspicious traits that possibly foreshadow the aforementioned twist.
  • Ribcage Ridge: Corpius' lair and the tunnels leading to it have numerous ribs from the beast's prey.
  • Rings of Activation: Samus is surrounded by rings while using a save room.
  • Rise to the Challenge: Getting the Varia Suit requires the player to navigate through a collapsing area that's slowly overheating from the ground up.
  • Rocket Jump: While the traditional "Bomb Jump" lets Samus use the explosion to climb upward in Morph Ball form, the "Cross Bomb" lets Samus do this sideways as well.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: Once Samus acquires the Omega Cannon, both she and the local E.M.M.I. have one-hit-kill weapons. It's just a matter of who lands theirs first.
  • Rock Monster: The Obsydomithon is a rocky creature found in Cataris with a fiery beam attack that can penetrate objects much like the Diffusion and Wave Beams. However, they seem to have some organic components, as all of the Obsydomithons get consumed and copied by the X after they're released from Elun.
  • Run or Die: The E.M.M.I. robots cannot be harmed by Samus's weapons and will relentlessly pursue her if they spot her. Getting caught by one only gives you two very brief chances to counter it and escape, and if you fail both, it's Game Over.
  • Savage Setpiece: The Hecathon lifeforms on Ghavoran and its aquatic Omnithon version on Burenia are huge, floating creatures with a lot of health but do not actively attack Samus. However, if they're damaged in any way they will project a damaging light from underneath that deals constant, high damage.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Applied to an actual gun. The Omega Cannon actually has limited ammo, but will only become depleted once you use it to destroy an E.M.M.I., which will somehow always be the last shot.
  • Screaming Warrior: When Samus taps into her full Metroid powers and begins sucking the energy out of Raven Beak and his ship, she lets out a loud scream of anger the entire time.
  • Send in the Search Team: The plot of the game kicks off when the Federation receives mysterious footage of X Parasites on planet ZDR, sends E.M.M.I. robots to investigate, and hires Samus after losing contact with them.
  • Sequel Hook: A small Easter Egg one only spotted near the end. The final area of Hanubia features a pair of Chozo fighter ships docked in the background, seeming to be mere decoration. However, during the escape sequence, eagle eyed players may notice that those ships seemed to have already taken off...
  • Sequence Breaking: Encouraged by the devs. Volume 4 of the "Metroid Dread Report" says that the player can "obtain weapons, items, and abilities earlier than the intended timing", which is said to be most directly inspired by the design of Super Metroid. Some prominent examples:
    • The Morph Ball Bombs can be acquired early, either through getting the Grapple Beam early and progressing from there or by temporarily bypassing the Grapple Beam to reach them another way. In either case, returning to Kraid with the Bombs enables a secret method of defeating his second phase.
    • The Speed Booster and its Shinespark/Ballspark capabilities enable some sequence breaks as per usual for the series. They can be used to retrieve the Super Missiles early, to fight Golzuna in the middle of the game for its Cross Bombs, and to temporarily skip Escue (though it eventually needs to be fought as its Storm Missiles are required).
    • There are two ways to reach the Gravity Suit and the frozen Artaria/Cataris sequence it leads into early. One way involves Shinesparks and lets the Space Jump to be ignored, while the other is trickier (requiring underwater bomb jumps and damage boosts) but allows the Ghavoran E.M.M.I. and its Ice Missiles to be bypassed in addition to the Space Jump.
    • There's a secret passageway that can be used to obtain the Screw Attack while Artaria is frozen. However, the boss of that section of the game (whose defeat allows Samus to reach the Screw Attack normally) cannot be skipped.
  • Show, Don't Tell:
    • Dread returns to the "minimalist" storytelling that drove the plot in the early games. What dialogue exists is short and direct, Samus herself only narrates the opening and speaks exactly one line (in Chozo), and some scenes (such as the X Parasites escaping and overrunning ZDR or Quiet Robe's Heroic Sacrifice to save Samus in the end are more powerful without words to go along with them.
    • Samus's battle cutscenes throughout the game provide clues and hints on how to fight whatever enemy is featured in said cutscene. For example, when battling Corpius, Samus slides under his legs. When encountering Kraid, Samus shoots him in the mouth. Even the fight against Raven Beak in the intro features Samus ducking under Raven Beak's full-screen energy field, deflecting his rushing melee attack, sliding and dodging his stomp attacks, and even shows Raven Beak's shields change color as they take damage, until he finally takes physical damage.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Despite the opening cutscene beginning with her on the wrong side of a Curbstomp Battle, the rest of the game features Samus at her absolute best. In gameplay, Samus has an arsenal of abilities, weapons and counters that can allow the player to remain virtually untouched if they're good enough. In cutscenes, Samus shows no signs of panic or distress; when confronted with the towering Kraid, she stands unflinchingly as he struggles to bite and claw at her, counters his attacks and stands in his mouth firing missiles into it, and then calmly dodges his last-ditch desperation attack. There are rarely other moments in the game where she is any real trouble, but these moments typically result in her growing only more confident and powerful.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Despite being the reason that Samus and the E.M.M.I. go to Planet ZDR, the X Parasites are conspicuously absent from promotional material. The only time we see the X is during a Galactic Federation recording from previews of the opening cutscene; they otherwise have zero presence in cutscene or gameplay showcases. The game even frames it as likely being doctored footage made to lure Samus into a trap. However, they are very much present in the game, having been sealed away in Elun prior to Samus' arrival on the planet. They get let out about halfway in.
  • Slide Attack: While the slide itself is primarily used for mobility, countering during it will have Samus throw out a bicycle kick. This can easily be seen during the boss battle against Corpius, where you can use this combination to have Samus slide under the boss and kick them in the face before leaping at them to start an extended counterattack.
  • Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration: Cutscenes and gameplay follow each other very closely.
    • Samus is as helpless to the E.M.M.I. bots in cutscenes as the player is and uses her equipment and abilities as the player would to evade them.
    • Every pre-battle cutscene with an enemy is meant to teach you how you should go about killing it. For instance, the Corpius intro cutscene has Samus shoot it in the face with a Missile, and Missiles serve as the best attack against it.
    • The E.M.M.I. themselves seem to be segregation examples, as Adam believes they are trying to capture Samus, yet they are very clearly stabbing her with a spike from their face if they manage to pin her down. After meeting Quiet Robe, however, it becomes clear that they are actually trying to kill her and take a sample of the Metroid DNA within Samus so that more Metroids may be created by Raven Beak.
    • Samus is regenerating her armor from Fusion and still has many openings showing the underlying Fusion Suit so her defenses are still pretty low. She takes quite a bit more damage than in many other games save Fusion. And when the X get loose the new enemies can do damage on par with Fusion. And the final Metroid suit is straight up invulnerable to anything other than Raven Beak X, reflecting that her armor has no weakpoints.
    • When Samus uses her burgeoning Metroid siphoning ability to drain an enemy, she actually uses the energy drained to cap-off her energy tanks. It also is a subtle indication of just how much hate she holds for Raven Beak when you can note that, despite draining what must have been an enormous amount of energy from both the Chozo and his ship, her energy tanks are still where they last were. She doesn't use any of the energy to restore herself, not wishing to have anymore of Raven Beak in her body than there already is and uses all of that energy presumably just to power the Hyper Beam (and obliterate what's left of Raven Beak).
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The entire planet temporarily becomes this after the acquisition of the Gravity Suit, particularly Arteria and Cataris. This was caused by an X-infected Experiment No. Z-57.
  • Some Dexterity Required:
    • Using arm cannon weapons and sub-weapons, such as the Charge Beam, Grapple Beam, Missiles, and Storm Missiles, requires the player to hold multiple buttons at once, especially if they are trying to use precise aim. For example, trying to fire Storm Arrows on a flying or low opponent requires the player to hold L and R, tilt the analog stick in the direction they wish to aim, and then press Y when they want to release their salvo. (This exact same method is also used for aiming the Omega Cannon shots.) Likewise, aiming the Grapple Beam requires holding both L and ZR, tilting the analog and then pressing Y.
    • The Speed Booster puzzles are guilty of this once again. While the Shinespark function of the Speed Booster is given a basic explanation this time, its more advanced features are not only required for some of the puzzles, they're not mentioned anywhere:
      • While Speed Boosting, you can slide without losing the boost. This includes sliding into long tunnels and being forced to Morph Ball, which in turn includes the speedrun feature of automatically un-morphing if you quickly exit the tunnel — the speed boost can be retained through all of this if you keep moving forward, and you can store a Shinespark afterward too. The Speed Boost-enhanced slide and Morph Ball can also break through Beam Blocks.
      • While Speed Boosting, wall jumping will retain the boost. This is important for after you acquire the Space Jump, which normally disables wall jumping, but boosting re-enables it so as not to screw with the intended puzzle solutions.
      • Using Space Jump with a stored Shinespark lets you retain it a little longer.
      • You can Shinespark in mid-air. Either Shoot or enter Free Aim to cancel the spin, then press Jump; you'll even get a chance to aim the Shinespark as if you were on the ground.
      • There's also an alternate trigger for a mid-air Shinespark: press Jump + Shoot + (insert direction here) simultaneously while still spinning through the air. No extra time to aim, but it's faster... and very easy to do by accident if you don't know about it beforehand.
      • Returning from both Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission, you can Shinespark into a slope to run up it, then press Down when back on flat ground to store the Shinespark again. This at least shows up in the hint screen... completely at random.
      • Also returning from Zero Mission, you can Shinespark as a Morph Ball if you come to a complete stop, a technique referred to as a Ball Spark. It's brought up in another random hint screen tip.
  • Sound of No Damage: There's a pronounced "clink" sound that's heard if you do an attack that deals no damage.
  • SpaceX: A digital schematic for the E.M.M.I. seen in the E3 2021 Development History video shows the emblem for a company called "Exelion Star Corporation" complete with a stylized star logo.
  • Speaking Simlish: The Chozo speak a Star Wars-esque Conlang, and Samus's only spoken line in the game is in Chozo. Despite this, Raven Beak somehow has a fluent enough grasp of English to effectively impersonate the Adam AI throughout the mission even if he never speaks English when showing his true identity.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Subverted as Samus becomes a humanoid Metroid, her Fusion Suit becomes Metroid-like in appearance, including spikes and a red visor, but is still a good person.
  • Spread Shot: The Wide Beam, which fires three widely-spaced beams at once, has returned. This time, it can also be used to move "Wide Beam Boxes" that have three targets that must be hit at once.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Samus periodically will head into marked areas where she must evade detection from E.M.M.I. bots.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, Samus poses in her basic Power Suit. She lowers her hand cannon as the camera closes in on Samus's face. Then, the Metroid logo appears, with the clear time and the "See you next mission!" caption superimposed on it.
  • Suddenly Voiced:
    • ADAM speaks in a very robotic-sounding voice, both in Samus's ship and in the communication rooms. The latter is actually Raven Beak in disguise, however.
    • Samus speaks her only voiced line when meeting with Quiet Robe, although it's in Chozo.
      Samus: Don't worry... I'll end this. Once and for all.
  • Super Mode: Samus can absorb energy from Central Units to temporarily augment her Arm Cannon into the Omega Cannon — the one weapon in her arsenal capable of damaging E.M.M.I. mechs.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The E.M.M.I. robots. If one senses Samus it will swiftly make its way towards her last known location, and thanks to intelligent pathfinding they are very good at finding their way around obstacles.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Quiet Robe is shot by a Robot Chozo Soldier right after giving Samus a mission.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • The E.M.M.I. bots are pretty much the SA-X from Metroid Fusion and the Zebesians from Metroid: Zero Mission taken to the logical conclusion. They are largely invincible to almost anything Samus can dish out, and can easily kill her if they catch her.
    • The doors leading to a boss chamber is blocked by a one-eyed creature faintly resembling the Gadoras that blocked off boss rooms in Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid: Zero Mission. The biggest difference is that the Dread enemy can extend into a wormlike form, forcing Samus to dodge before attacking it.
    • The Storm Missiles are nearly identical to the Seeker Missiles introduced in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, letting you hit up to 5 targets with missiles after preemptively locking on to them.
    • Numerous enemies in Dread recycle attacks and behaviors from MercurySteam's previous outing, Metroid: Samus Returns, such as:
      • The Armadigger and Takumaku charge at Samus and will turn around and charge again if she dodges, much like the Stronger Moto.
      • The Autsniper is a robot Chozo turret that aims at Samus's position and fires, much like the Autrack.
      • The Caterzilla and Slidle infinitely emerge from one nest and crawl into another nest while typically going through narrow Morph Ball tunnels, much like the green Glow Fly.
      • The Daivo spawns an enemy swarm as its attack, much like the Blob Thrower.
      • The Dizzean, Fing, Redenki, and Yojimbee are large groups of small swarming enemies, much like the Blob, Meboid, Mumbo, and Paraby.
      • The Dropter, Sharpaw, and Iceflea are common flying enemies that aggressively divebomb Samus, much like the Gullugg.
      • The Ground Shocker electrifies the entire platform beneath it, much like the Electric Moheek.
      • The Rock Diver infinitely spawn from holes and dive into the ground below, much like the Rock Icicle.
      • The armored Shelmit fires a vertical laser beam as it moves horizontally, much like the Gunzoo.
  • A Taste of Power: An Omega Cannon power up is found shortly after evading the first E.M.M.I. bot. This allows Samus to deal with the first one, but the power up fizzles out and additional upgrades take much longer to find after first entering their respective zones. Additionally the Central Units afterwards are fully operational and have their defenses up meaning you won't get any freebies from them. It's heavily implied that Raven Beak Invoked this, as the Central Unit Samus encounters is already dead and waiting to be drained to power the Omega Cannon when she enters the room, and she's attacked by the only damaged E.M.M.I. unit from Raven Beak repurposing them, which is too badly scrapped to do more that follow her down a single hallway and unable to even climb up a ledge after her, implying that Raven Beak used the weakest E.M.M.I. unit to demonstrate to Samus how they can be killed, before increasing the difficulty involved in her bypassing the other units to get the necessary Omega Cannon powerups.
  • Temple of Doom: ZDR is yet another planet covered in Chozo ruins. There are Chozo statues all over the place (with one broken-down machine seemingly designed to manufacture them), while the Development History video also shows an Ancient Egypt-style mural depicting the history of the Chozo. Vol. 8 of the "Metroid Dread Report" in particular describes an area called Ferenia, "once a sanctuary used in Chozo rituals" that is loaded with such ruins. Except the presence of living Chozo means Ferenia's ruins are much better maintained than Chozo ruins on other worlds, complete with fresh-looking tapestries.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In the opening narration, Samus mentions that "Success was stated to be almost guaranteed," by sending the E.M.M.I. to ZDR. It takes less than ten minutes of gameplay to prove that statement wrong.
    • In "Another Glimpse of Dread", Adam admonishes Samus to "Treat our lost assets with care, Lady", in reference to the E.M.M.I. that went missing on ZDR. Samus has to avoid and eventually destroy those lost assets because they aren't treating her with care.
  • Tentacled Terror: One of the enemies in Burenia is a giant cuttlefish. The boss of Burenia, Drogyga, is also a giant aquatic creature with tentacles.
  • Throne Room Throwdown: The final battle with Raven Beak takes place in his throne room at the very top of Itorash.
  • Tide Level: Parts of Artaria require you to shoot holes in bodies of water to drain them in order to progress.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth:
    • On first glance, the Muzbies, Goliaths, and Golzuna appear to be beetle-like creatures with huge frontal legs and heads compared to tiny rear ends. However, the large parts are actually their rear ends and legs which they use to attack, while their actual heads and front legs are the small part (and serve as the weak point for the latter two). This is best shown by the location of the Circling Birdies after a Muzby is hit with a Melee Counter. The "Metroid Dread Report" confuses the Muzby's wrong end for the front, mentioning its heavy arms and using them to attack.
    • Raven Beak X appears to have Raven Beak's comparatively tiny head inside a Flower Mouth on Kraid's massive body.
  • Too Powerful to Live: The final E.M.M.I.-07PB is relegated to a Cutscene Boss because it would be too powerful to fight in-game. As shown just prior to its attack, its ability to stunlock Samus from anywhere on the map the instant it detects her through its Power Bombs, as opposed to the E.M.M.I.-05IM and E.M.M.I.-06WB needing to get a direct line of sight on her through their blasts, mean it's impossible to run from it in gameplay unlike the other E.M.M.I. as it can simply attack Samus without having direct contact or even being close to her. Said detection abilities are enhanced to the point where not even the Phantom Cloak can hide her from it.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Remember the flash of energy Samus is surrounded with while held at gunpoint in the intro cutscene? That is her Metroid DNA's killer instinct reacting to the presence of a Mawkin tribe Chozo, Raven Beak, which starts her metamorphosis into a full-on Metroid. The process is later completed when Samus is again held at Raven Beak's mercy. But this time it's not a reaction to the Mawkin - it's a reaction to the awful crimes Raven Beak has committed in his search for power, and Samus having had enough of letting the powerless suffer.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay:
    • One of the big gameplay features of Dread is the fact that every enemy attack can be dodged and has a "tell" which lets the player know when it's coming. There's virtually no instance of unavoidable damage in the game, but every enemy (especially bosses and minibosses) hit like a truck to compensate. This means that boss fights will usually kill a player multiple times until they memorize the patterns and the correct counters.
    • E.M.M.I. encounters usually come down to figuring out the correct path which move toward an exit while avoiding the E.M.M.I.'s line-of-sight. It commonly takes a few tries to learn, and then a few more to execute it properly (especially when the E.M.M.I. begin to gain more troublesome abilities). The devs realized this would be the case, as dying in an E.M.M.I. zone will reset Samus directly outside the entrance she last used.
  • Underground Level: Unlike other Metroid games where Samus starts at or near the surface of the planet and has to make her way deeper underground, Dread has Samus start in Artaria, the lowest section of the planet, with each subsequent area being closer to the surface, culminating in the Itorash, Raven Beak's ship and location of the Final Boss fight with him.
  • Under the Sea: Burenia is an underwater area complete with fish, coral, and aquarium-like rooms.
  • Unique Enemy: There's a Giant Flyer enemy with two variations on ZDR: the Hecathon (encountered in Ghavoran) and the Omnithon (encountered in Burenia). There are only two Hecathons (one near the Elun shuttle, one near the Dairon elevator) and one Omnithon (in the underwater depths) that can be encountered as enemies. However, both of them do appear in the backgrounds of their respective stages.
  • Unseen No More: The Chozo as a species are no longer The Ghost; there is an active Chozo civilization on Planet ZDR. Unfortunately, these are the Proud Warrior Race Chozo rather than the Proud Scholar Race Samus was raised by... and they really don't seem to like her, being a persistent enemy faction in the game. It's also suspect as to how active they really were; only two sentient Chozo are met, one from the Thoha tribe and one from the Mawkin tribe, and all Chozo Soldiers fought are in the back half of the game and are possessed by the X as a result.
  • Video Game Sliding: One of Samus's new abilities is sliding, which is done by pressing ZL while moving. This enables her to move under certain enemies and squeeze through tight spaces without the Morph Ball, though Samus can't use this to get through elevated gaps, and she can't slide while underwater without the Gravity Suit.
  • Virtual Sidekick: The Adam AI makes his return from Metroid Fusion. His tasks are to analyse the data Samus sends him, and provide hints and lore. However, it was never Adam, but Raven Beak attemping to manipulate Samus into maxing out her power for his clone army.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • If you haven't mastered Samus' free-aiming abilities as well as recognizing attack tells, the Corpius will beat it into you, on virtue of being the first three-phase boss fight as well as the first opponent Samus fights who has enough health to outlast any reckless offensives while punishing failures to dodge with hard-hitting strikes. You can somewhat get away with beating it without using Melee Counters, but the fight is a lot longer to do.
    • The first Chozo Soldier is this if you have defeated every boss before this point without the use of Melee Counters, because it is required to defeat it. No more cowering away with long-distance fighting this time.
  • Wall Crawl: Samus can cling to magnetized walls and platforms with the Spider Magnet. The E.M.M.I. mechs are also supposed to have this capability by default, though at least one unit is unable to make use of it because of a missing hand. In fact, Samus obtains the Spider Magnet after destroying E.M.M.I.-02SM, the very first one to demonstrate this.
  • Wall Jump: Samus can jump off walls as usual. Chozo soldiers can also jump off a wall before doing a Ground Pound with their spears in an attempt to hit Samus.
  • Warmup Boss: The first E.M.M.I. you encounter, E.M.M.I.-01P, is very badly damaged and lacking its normal mobility, but is still an Implacable Man immune to Samus's standard weaponry. This gives the player a chance to learn how to run from other, fully operational E.M.M.I. units.
  • Warp Whistle: Teleportals can be used to warp across ZDR. Unlike the similar teleport stations from Samus Returns, however, you can only teleport between color-coded pairs rather than between all such stations. Once you reach the last area, however, you're free to teleport to any station of your choosing.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: At the very end of the game, Samus acquires a new version of the Hyper Beam, the amalgamation of all of her beam powers combined with the powers granted to her from absorbing Raven Beak's energy and becoming a Metroid. With it, Samus is able to infinitely fire a massive, concentrated beam of pure energy from her Arm Cannon that obliterates any hostile creature and breakable block on contact and melts the single Hyper Beam Door in the game blocking access to her Gunship. It is also one of the only known weapons in the universe capable of annihilating X Parasites, next to Metroids and cataclysmic damage.
  • We Can Rule Together: Once Raven Beak reveals that he has been manipulating Samus the entire game to unleash her Metroid abilities, he tells her to join him so that they can bring order to the galaxy. She turns him down with an Ice Missile.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Samus's encounter with Quiet Robe reveals what happened to the Chozo colony on SR388 as shown in Samus Returns. The scientist Thoha tribe that had created the Metroids to destroy the X Parasites, and the warrior Mawkin tribe led by Raven Beak had managed to seal the Metroids underneath SR388's surface after they had broken loose. However, when the Thoha proposed destroying the planet to prevent the Metroids from escaping or being exploited by forces such as the Space Pirates, Raven Beak and the Mawkin proceeded to massacre the Thoha so that they could use the Metroids to conquer the galaxy, coercing Quiet Robe into aiding their plans. This ultimately leads to the Galactic Federation capturing a live Metroid on SR388 where it was later stolen by the Space Pirates, setting the entire plot of the series thus far into motion.
    • The X Parasites being released from their Elun confinement is a big one gameplay-wise, as it completely changes how the vast majority of ZDR's enemy fauna look and behave from that point on.
  • Wham Line:
    • While viewers may felt ADAM was being increasingly shifty beforehand, this line, which comes after a particularly eyebrow-raising piece of exposition, throws into question who you've actually been reporting to the entire game.
      ADAM: I was right to let you live during our first encounter.
    • What follows after that is even more jaw-dropping.
      Raven Beak: You disappoint me... my daughter.
  • Wham Shot:
    • A blink or you'll miss it moment from the reveal trailer shows the first appearance of a Chozo in a Metroid game. Not a statue, not a ghost, not an ending or bonus image, but a real, live Chozo.
    • The second trailer not only shows a live Chozo in the flesh, but an apparently antagonistic one equipped similarly to Samus! As well as the return of Kraid, whose last appearance in the series was in Metroid: Zero Mission, 17 years prior to Dread’s release.
    • After finishing the Elun area and making it back to the entrance, you're greeted with the sight of the X Parasites escaping into the rest of ZDR.
    • After confronting Raven Beak just before the final fight, the audience is greeted with a scene of Samus being genetically altered by the Chozo... and one of the Chozo donating their genes looks very familiar.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Etecoons and Dachoras are unaccounted for after the events of Fusion, since the game starts with Samus and ADAM heading to ZDR. Given that Dread takes place an undetermined time later, she most likely left them somewhere else after destroying SR388.
  • The Worf Effect: Samus winds up doing this to E.M.M.I.-07PB, bypassing the stealth, Central Unit battle, and Omega Cannon elements of all the other E.M.M.I. fights, save the first, by unwittingly using her fully-awakened Metroid powers to kill the final E.M.M.I., and its Central Unit by proxy, simply by draining it.
  • Worf Had the Flu:
    • Samus is repeatedly noted to not be at full power even before she's severely weakened by the Chozo warrior at the beginning of the game, with her Power Suit still in the process of restoring itself from the Fusion Suit. This is re-enforced throughout the game, as ADAM repeatedly notes that even if Samus were at full power she wouldn't stand a chance against the Chozo warrior who de-powered her. Nothing "Adam" says on the planet can be trusted, as at least some of it is actually Raven Beak in disguise, manipulating Samus to accomplish his goals. That said, the fact that Raven Beak still nearly wins their showdown shows that he wasn't entirely wrong about how much better he is. Indeed, like he said, it's only though using her newly-gained Metroid powers and becoming the Ultimate Metroid that Samus is able to beat him — and he's still able to keep going before the X Parasite gets him.
    • E.M.M.I.-01P, the first E.M.M.I. Samus meets, is heavily damaged, sparking and lacking its left claw which prevents it from climbing after her like the intact ones she later encounters. However it still takes a super-charged Omega Cannon straight to its eye to kill it. The others require a more powerful shot to remove their faceplates before using the Omega Cannon. The Chozo Archive image for Artaria reveals that Raven Beak was responsible.
    • Similarly, the first Central Unit that Samus finds is already dead, allowing her to gain the Omega Cannon from it and destroy the damaged E.M.M.I. From that point forward Samus must "decommission" later, fully operational Central Units in mini-boss fights before she can get the Omega Cannon.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Raven Beak's manipulation of Samus throughout the game means he wins no matter what. If the E.M.M.I. catch her they will obtain the Metroid DNA, and if she survives, he will have an even stronger Metroid that he can clone. The only thing he didn't plan on was Samus evolving to be even more powerful than him.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: The dedicated obstacle for Storm Missiles is a set of five locks which deactivate shortly after being hit and need to turned on all at once to unlock the corresponding door. A few of these can technically be solved with standard missiles, but the doors won't open even if all the locks are hit fast enough unless Storm Missiles are used.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Raven Beak X. Despite his giant, monstrous, mutated form, all you have to do is hold Y and the Hyper Beam does the rest.


 
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And Then Samus Was a Metroid

After years of hunting down Metroids, Samus ends up becoming one herself, with the energy-draining powers that goes with it.

How well does it match the trope?

4.69 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / AndThenJohnWasAZombie

Media sources:

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