Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
aka: Metroid Prime 3

Go To

Spoilers for all Metroid entries preceding this one, including Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_metroid_prime_3_packaging.jpg
You Are The Bounty Hunter.

"The Trilogy comes to a close as Corruption creeps over the universe... and into Samus Aran."
Boxart tagline
Advertisement:

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a First-Person Shooter released in 2007 for the Nintendo Wii. It is the third home console installment in the Metroid Prime Trilogy, and the fifth game in the overall Metroid franchise's fictional chronology.

Set six months after the incident on the planet Aether, Samus Aran and three other elite hunters are summoned to the Galactic Federation anchorage above the military world of Norion and tasked by Fleet Admiral Castor Dane to investigate a mysterious computer virus that seems to have infected the Federation's network of Aurora Unit supercomputers. Not long into the initial meeting, however, a Space Pirate fleet warps into the system and attacks the military base below using a new line of Phazon-powered bio-weaponry. It is soon discovered that Ridley and Dark Samus are alive and stronger than ever. The latter has overthrown High Command as the ruler of the Pirates, and she is in possession of Phazon's first and ultimate weapon; the Leviathan seeds, semi-sentient organic meteors that are each designed to crash into a heavenly body and contaminate it with its life-killing mutagen.

Advertisement:

After Samus and her compatriots are blasted into comas by her doppelgänger in a last-ditch attempt to keep them from destroying a Leviathan seed aimed at the Federation stronghold, they become contaminated: their bodies begin self-generating the toxin until they succumb to madness and become its slaves. The Federation does what it can to help them control their condition, before sending the quartet to the stars to stop the Corruption Crisis once and for all. They must travel to other planets infected by Leviathans and battle Dark Samus's forces, all while fighting the effects of Phazon within them. Who will emerge triumphant?


Advertisement:

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    A-E 
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Unlimited Hypermode. It's only available when storming Phaaze. However, this is not a good thing, as it only delays Samus's rate of corruption, which is now just on the verge of overpowering her.
  • Action Bomb: The game features two Action Bombs made by the Space Pirates. Crawlmines crawl around everywhere and explode when Samus shoots or touches them; Aeromines are floating robots that have energy shields and weak lasers, which explode if an enemy gets too close.
  • Actionized Sequel: This game is more action-heavy than the first two Prime games with more emphasis on gunplay, a more dramatic and climactic story, and more action-heavy setpieces (such as raiding the Pirate Homeworld or dropping a nuke on a Leviathan's energy shield).
  • Action Prologue: The chapters on the GFS Olympus and Norion are very action-packed with little exploring, very much like a straight up first person shooter. After that, however, the sandbox opens and the game settles into the Metroidvania structure that we know and love.
  • After Boss Recovery: The Leviathan Guardians don't have many drops, but once you destroy the Leviathan, you go back to your ship, which is what fully heals you.
  • A.I. Breaker:
    • The Screw Attack will kill Gandraya in 6 hits. Hilarious if you let her grab you, because when she disengages, she is at the perfect Screw Attack distance.
    • Omega Ridley is programmed to follow a set pattern with his attacks, but he is also programmed to drop whatever he is doing and jump to the side should you try to attack him with the Screw Attack. Players can exploit this behavior by initiating the Screw Attack when Omega Ridley is charging up a powerful, time-consuming, or hard-to-dodge attack, forcing the AI to swap it for an easily dodged Ground Pound.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: All the A.I. in the game are either complete subversions or double subversions, who only turn evil due to Phazon corruption (and considering what Phazon does to organics, it's not entirely their fault). That said, given Samus' past experience with Mother Brain, you can understand her hesitance to trust any A.I. she comes across (which you can see when she first meets Aurora Unit 217).
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Your brainwashed, former allied bounty hunters get this. Rundas seems to come to his senses only to to be impaled. Ghor is screaming and helpless as Dark Samus absorbs him in spite of your efforts. Finally, as Gandrayda succumbs, she shape-shifts into the previous two, then into Samus, a reminder that you couldn't save your allies, and since you're corrupted like them, you may yet share their fate.
  • Alien Sky: This being a Metroid game, all the planets have an alien sky, but special mention goes to Bryyo, where large moons floating in the sky appear to be chained to the surface of the planet. The planet is Tidally Locked to its star, so one half of the planet is stuck in perpetual daylight, and the other is stuck in perpetual night. The first area Samus explores is where the two hemispheres meet and the sky there is in a permanent state of sunset.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The final area, Phaaze, has you using every single Hypermode ability in order to progress to the final boss, since the Phazon-based obstacles you encountered in the previous worlds also show up here. Nearly every single Phazon-based enemy that you encountered previously also shows up, though some new ones are also thrown into the mix.
  • Already Done for You: On the first planet (Norion), you are charged with the task of getting 3 generators back online. After you take care of the first one, Rundas, a friendly bounty hunter, sends you a transmission informing you that he took care of the second one and that you should go for the third. He did state he was going after that one before you even started, but, given that side characters in these games, whatever they may say, are generally woefully incompetent at solving any problems big enough for the player to handle, it was a bit unexpected that he actually succeeded.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The game reversed the usual trend by being more action-packed, since the Japanese artwork crams most of the game's major characters behind Samus.
  • Amulet of Dependency: The PED suit allows the user (Samus) to use Phazon to her advantage without suffering immediate harm. However, if you stay in the Super Mode that makes use of it for too long (approximately ten seconds of not using any attacks, the risk growing the longer it is turned on), you get a Non Standard Game Over where Samus turns into a Dark Samus (or a copy thereof). You can be forced into it involuntarily (if you're hit by a phazon based weapon or have the PED Suit hacked). Also, you use up health to use it (though the game is kind enough to return a percentage of your health used to start Hypermode if you manually disengage before it berserks).
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: In the Non-Standard Game Over, Samus is "terminally corrupted" and turns into another Dark Samus.
  • Anti-Air: At one point in Bryyo, Samus needs to call in her gunship to destroy a particular target. It turns out that the target is protected by AA defenses, forcing her to find and disable them on foot.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • You start the game with a limited amount of power-ups from previous games. You do not have to start over from having just the basics.
    • If your ship is carrying an object and you need to call it back to save your progress, you can have your ship automatically return the object to its original location and then come back to you.
    • Certain enemies can force Samus enter critical Hypermode where you only have a few second to expel the excess Phazon energy before succumbing to Terminal Corruption. While you normally lose health by entering Hypermode and spending energy, being forced into Hypermode by enemies will not sap your health except for the amount you had lost from the initial attack.
    • 100% Completion is much simpler in this game compared to previous Metroid Prime games as you can dispatch research probes to the various worlds that will show you which upgrades you have yet to collect. This is particularly relevant when it comes to Energy Tanks as your ability to endure the final area is dependent on the number of Energy Tanks you have.
    • This game has two impossible-to-avoid Energy Tanks; in fact, they're the only two in the entire series that aren't optional. Without them, the Hypermode mechanic would inevitably be more frustrating.
    • Unlike the first 2 Prime games, your beams stack on top. While the Plasma Beam is less powerful than in Prime 1, it makes up for it with firing faster and longer range.
  • Apocalypse Wow: Phaaze, after Samus finally defeats her nemesis for real, with added drama with the Galactic Federation fleet trying to escape in time.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The game has a series of journals for each corrupted planet you visit.
    • Bryyo is also a variant, as it details the literally planet-shattering civil war that drives the surviving natives to savagery, before The Corruption arrives.
    • Elysia's logs are writing by the last non-corrupted robotic inhabitant of the planet, called Elysian. Prior to the last three Pirate lore entries ("Bryyo Falls", "Disaster at Elysia" and "Mistress Gandrayda"), this was the most recent recording of the game's backstory, meaning that Elysian succumbed shortly before Samus's arrival.
    • The Space Pirate lore gives you a bit of a twofer as it begins with Dark Samus corrupting them, and continues on as Samus begins killing them all. Again.
    • There's also a message from the Aurora Unit of the destroyed Valhalla? First you have to activate the message by getting a code from a dead trooper, then you have to listen to its deep voice go on about how it feels the "Darkness Coming..." Add in the effects such as the ship rattling and it just adds to the apocalyptic factor.
  • An Arm and a Leg: One can shoot off a Steambot's arms. Doing so means it can't attack you from long range anymore, but at close range it will still fight back with a spin attack.
  • Armless Biped: Defense Drone, a boss fought in Elysia. It is a large mechanoid that relies on high jumps instead of walking, shooting powerful missiles, unleashing balls of plasma, and performing electrified Shockwave Stomps. Its weak point is the core behind its face, but to unveil it Samus has to hit the three antennae at its top and then use the Grapple Lasso to open up the core's carapace.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: Space Pirate Militia are made up primarily of captured slaves and criminals forced into service. Their service mostly consists of acting as canon fodder at for the space pirate vanguard, rations for the rest of the space pirates, and anything else which requires disposable bodies.
  • The Artifact: Missile Expansions become worthless very early on. Unlike in the first two games, where having a 100% collection of Missiles was a huge advantage as fuel for Charge Beam Combos, Hypermode renders both Ice Missiles and Seeker Missiles obsolete. While there is a Hyper Missile upgrade available later in the game, they see limited use as they lose their homing property even when locked on to a target, taking out a hefty chunk of your Phazon energy often to miss the intended target completely. Aside from unlocking the extra ending sequences, there's little incentive to keep more than 50-75 Missiles in stock.
  • Artifact of Death: After your suit has been corrupted by Phazon, you run the risk of becoming fully corrupt and turning into Dark Samus (thereby resulting in a Game Over) whenever you enter Hyper mode. This can be averted, however, by exiting Hyper Mode before the corruption starts, or by firing rapidly to prevent the Phazon overload.
  • Artificial Limbs: The cyborg Ghor only has 6% of his original body left, having replaced most of it with mechanical appendages. He displays a bit of Cybernetics Eat Your Soul — his personality changes from a fairly gentle and intelligent demeanor (it's noted that he will work for free or give bounty money to the victims of those he hunts) to aggressive and violent when he merges with his armorsuit, though he maintains control of himself as seen on Norion (where the player sees him both in and out of his suit — out of the suit, he calmly informs Samus of a tactical decision, while in the suit he starts shouting at her to get a move on to the objective while brandishing weapons). Justified in that the suit could be designed to alter his personality to make him more aggressive, as it's noted in his scan entry that he isn't a proficient fighter without it. However, after his corruption, he does get a terminal case of straight Cybernetics Eat Your Soul as seen when, without his suit, he gloats and causes some destruction to hinder Samus but is easily fended off (and even makes a remark while retreating that could show he's not yet fully corrupted), but in his suit he goes full-on berserker, going as far as to throw Samus' gunship at her.
  • Asteroids Monster: Phaazoids split into two when destroyed. These two Phaazoids split into two apiece when destroyed, which then explode upon contact with Samus or a surface and can't be shot down. Red Phaazoids do not split into smaller explosive versions when destroyed.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: There's the flyin space version, the Space Pirate ATC (Armoured Tactical Carriers), and their upgraded counterpart, the Assault Skiff. Both will drop off space pirates and continue to provide aerial support via laser fire. They have a weakness in the front-facing heat vents, subverting the 'armoured' aspect.
  • Bag of Spilling: Downplayed. Some of the past games' powerups, such as the Morph Ball Bombs and Spring Jump, are retained (as is the Varia Suit, just like in Echoes). All other powerups are missing once again, and Retro Studios felt that justifying their absence yet again would have felt old by this point.
  • Battle in the Rain: Many fights on the Pirate Homeworld take place in acid rain. Early in the battle against Gandrayda, she opens the roof of the arena, exposing the outside areas of it to acid rain. It only serves as a hazard if you go too far out of the arena, however, and it deals less damage than the acid rain in the rest of the Pirate Homeworld.
  • Battle Theme Music: For enemy ambushes, the game has one theme per planet, with the one in Pirate Homeworld being the familiar "Space Pirate Battle" music. Among bosses, all Leviathan Guardians have their own tracks, which use a distorted electronic flavor to symbolize their corrupting Phazon powers (this includes Ridley, whose iconic theme gets a heavily revamped remix in this style as well). The corrupted hunters have each their own battle themes as well, with the one for Gandrayda being a Boss Remix of her Leitmotif. Among minibosses, Berserker Lord has its own theme (a remix of Arachnus' theme from Metroid II: Return of Samus, also used by Diggernaut in the remake Metroid: Samus Returns); all remaining minibosses (Korakk, Defense Drone, Metroid Hatcher, Pirate Commander) borrow enemy encounter tracks. Lastly, Dark Samus retains her boss music from Echoes, albeit remixed.
  • Beam Spam: The Hyper Mode's charge beam is literally a Beam Spam, firing so fast the blast forms a near-constant stream.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: There are enemies that can enter Hyper Mode — the best counter being to do that yourself. This also applies to the majority of bosses.
  • Beehive Barrier: The Leviathans protect themselves with glowing blue barriers composed of interlocking hexagons. As does Samus herself with the Hazard Suit upgrade.
  • Benevolent Architecture: The game does this offscreen, as the Space Pirates seem to use them to transport Crawltanks, and most civilizations have either insects that burrow or maintenance drones. The doors are hand waved by having "force shields" over them which are vulnerable to various types of weapon fire. Samus needs a specific type of energy to shoot the forcefields off - the actual creators, presumably, use a key. The scannable lore in planet Bryyo justifies the benevolent architecture there by explaining that a prophetess foresaw Samus' arrival and worked to prepare the area for her.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Samus and the other hunters are called to Norion to activate its laser defense system and fend off a Space Pirate assault. During this adrenaline-charged intro sequence (which is itself an example), Rundas' Establishing Character Moment comes when he saves Samus' life mere seconds before hitting the bottom of a shaft several kilometers long after she just dueled Ridley in free-fall.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The three bounty hunters Samus teams up with are Ghor (Big), Rundas (Thin), and Gandrayda (Short).
  • Bittersweet Ending: Samus has finally defeated Dark Samus and destroyed all Phazon, but, in the process, had to kill three of her friends and fellow bounty hunters.
  • Black Box: As seen already in previous Prime games, Phazon turns its users nigh-invulnerable and greatly amplifies their weapon strength, at the risk of corruption. By the events of this game, the Federation is able to develop a PED Suit that contains a "black box" that allows its wearer to safely utilize Phazon to improve their combat capabilities, but unfortunately Samus' variant gets damaged early in the game.
  • Blackout Basement: In Elysia, you're required at one point to kill the power to get an item behind a force field—which also douses the lights and releases all those Phazon Metroids you've been safely walking past just to get here.
  • Bleak Level: The Valhalla. It is almost completely devoid of life, save the hordes of Metroids and Phazon-based monsters, ruined and nearly powerless, has an eerie red ambience, and is filled with corpses that disintegrate when shot. It has been compared to Dead Space in terms of atmosphere and horror.
  • Blessed with Suck: Hypermode, a Limit Break in which Samus becomes very powerful and invincible. But, it involves Phazon, so excess use of it will cause Samus to get slowly corrupted, and if corrupted far enough she will become terminally corrupted, leading to a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Blob Monster: Liquid Phazon is essentially a fast-moving puddle of living Phazon. It also constantly reproduces Phazon Grubs, which are definitely not blob-like.
  • Body Horror:
    • Early on Samus gets infected by Phazon. As the game progresses, so does the Phazon, changing her appearance, with blue veins and such. By the end one of her eyes is completely black, the other one is fully glowing blue, and a Phazon vein can be seen in the middle of her face.
    • The same happens to the other hunters after they have succumbed to corruption. Ghor gets the least of it, with the metal of his body and mech taking on a blue tint, but Rundas ends up with Phazon tendrils growing from all over his body. Meanwhile, Gandrayda’s skin becomes even more translucent, her now-blue organs become far too visible, and circles have formed under her eyes, which have also turned dark blue.
    • Once Ridley returns as Omega Ridley, he is clearly worse for wear. His robotic parts are once again visible and his chest injury from Tallon IV is apparent despite it not being so when first encountered in Corruption, implying his outer skin is gone. His appearance actually looks corpselike: discolored, wasted away, and held together by more robotic parts than ever.
    • The Pirates also deserve a mention: If you look at their models, you can see that they’re now grotesque, leech-like creatures with techno-organic limbs artificially grafted on. Worse still, looking inside their Cargo Drones reveals that each “robot” houses a disembodied Pirate head and spine - implying that one punishment for disobedient Pirates is ripping off their limbs and jamming what’s left into these Cargo Drones.
    • Two of the GF Troopers aboard the Valhalla had their PEDs malfunction. Judging by the Phazon tendrils growing out of their corpse and anchoring them to the walls, it wasn't pretty.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: The game has some unlockables, such as bumper stickers and a Mii bobblehead for Samus's gunship, that were only made available by trading friend vouchers over the internet. The limited-edition Trilogy version of the game also had friend vouchers, but Trilogy vouchers could only be sent to other copies of Trilogy; you couldn't send vouchers to or from regular copies of Corruption. Subsequently, since the servers shut down in June 2013 due to the Wii's production life ending, it's now impossible for anyone to unlock the friend-voucher features if they haven't yet done so. Fortunately, some people have uploaded new save files that have all the vouchers.
  • Book Ends:
    • When entering Norion for the first time, there is a short cutscene where Samus's gunship enters the planet's atmosphere. The next time this type of cutscene plays is when entering the atmosphere of Phaaze, the final planet.
    • The final sequence plays out the same way it does in the first Prime: The destruction of the source of Phazon causes the area to destabilize and collapse.
    • The final bosses of Prime and Corruption are fought in the deepest levels of organic Phazon-filled environments. Both are defeated by overloading them with Phazon.
    • In the secret ending of Prime, the birth of Dark Samus is shown via a closeup of her left hand emerging from a Phazon pool. In Corruption, her death scene features a similar closeup on the same hand.
    • Prime starts aboard an active spaceship, and eventually the same ship is revisited, although ruined. Corruption starts aboard an active spaceship, and eventually a ruined spaceship of the same type is visited.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Using the Nova Beam with the X-Ray Visor lets Samus see through Pirate Commandos' blue Phazite helmets and snipe their brain. However, the Pirate Commander boss has a red Phazite helmet that's immune to this. This also works on Phazon Metroids to pierce their carapace, including the Metroid Hatcher miniboss.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: A curious aversion. Samus routinely has to press her hand to various scanner switches in order to activate them, and her normal hand works just fine even for scanners of different species. It makes sense that that she can activate Galactic Federation scanners (with human handprints) since she works for them, and somewhat sense that she can activate (four-fingered) ancient Chozo scanners since she is part-Chozo, but then she can also activate (three-fingered) Space Pirate scanners just the same. It's never stated if the Powered Armor she wears is hacking the scanners or performing any other bypass.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Fargul Hatcher. It's in only one room in the game, and that's a good thing. It's only vulnerable while its mouth is opened—trouble is, it spews swarms of Fargul Wasps while doing this, and the wasps hunt you down. Meaning, 9 times out of 10, you'll be fighting the wasps more than the Hatcher. By the time the first swarm is dead, another will just be released. Last thing, the Hatcher itself has a ton of health.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Leviathan Seeds. Getting into them is already a long, dilated process, so all Samus has to do is to go through a wide entrance, a small curvy corridor with an obstacle that is easy to remove, and then reach the heart of the seed to confront the local Leviathan Guardian.
  • Boss Remix: Gandrayda uses an extended version of her leitmotif when you fight her in Pirate Homeworld.
  • Bowdlerise: The Trilogy compilation uses the PAL version of the game, which changed Admiral Dane's use of "Damn!" near the beginning of the game to just "No!".
  • Bowled Over: There's an area in Elysia where ten enemies are lined up like bowling pins and marching forward. Players who see this for what it is and run into them as a morph ball are rewarded with an achievement.
  • Brain in a Jar: The general appearance of the Federation's Aurora Units is a gigantic mechanical brain in an equally gigantic tank. The resemblance to Mother Brain is uncanny, though it's never brought up. However, one trailer for the game does show off a potential Aurora facility which bears more than a passing resemblance to Mother Brain's Tourian complex.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • When Samus obtains the X-Ray Visor, she stares at the screen, as though she can see the player.
    • As Samus flies her ship victoriously at the end of the game, she gives a thumbs up to Admiral Dane, but while also facing the screen.
  • Broken Faceplate: This happened to one of the Troopers on the G.F.S. Valhalla, giving you the privilege to see the staring, lifeless eyes and gaping mouth of his corpse.
  • Building Is Welding: Samus can use the Plasma Beam (and the Nova Beam once she gets that) to weld the wiring on circuit boards.
  • Bullfight Boss: Mogenar, the Bryyo Seed boss (and first Leviathan Guardian) frequently aims to run over Samus, as does Helios (the Elysia Seed boss and second Leviathan Guardian) in one of his forms, and hunter Ghor. The Final Boss (AU 313) starts doing this in the final phase.
  • Button Mashing: Invoked, as Button Mashing is how to keep from being fully corrupted when Hypermode goes corrupt itself.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Main Docking Bay in Elysia has a layout and design highly evocative of the Artifact Temple from Metroid Prime: a large circular area with a series of inclined hallways leading upwards, with green windows overlooking the circular area. SkyTown was built by the Chozo, the same way the Artifact Temple was, so the resemblance may just be Chozo style. Both areas also have boss fights in them.
    • Several lore entries refer to the events on Tallon IV and Aether. Furthermore, scanning one Metroid tank on the Pirate Homeworld reveals that it housed a specimen directly from SR388.
    • Metroid Prime's exoskeleton can be seen in the Genesis Chamber in Phaaze.
  • Call-Forward: Early in the game, Samus falls into unconsciousness after destroying a Leviathan seed. Her surgeons have to modify her Varia Suit into the PED Suit to allow her to use Phazon. This is a call forward to Metroid Fusion, where Samus again loses consciousness and her surgeons have to remove parts of her Varia Suit, turning it into the Fusion Suit. Both this game and Fusion are the only games to show how Samus' suit cannot be deactivated while unconscious. Unlike Other M. However unlike Fusion, where it's implied her surgery was in a matter of days and isn't in top form, here, it appears to have given enough time for her to heal and she is able to return on the field without any after-effects of her PED surgery. At first, anyway...
  • CamelCase: SkyTown is written as such, possibly a quirk from its original architects.
  • Cast from Hit Points:
    • Hypermode injects an Energy Tank from Samus' Power Suit into her Phazon Enhancement Device. How many hit points this mode is cast from depends on how much of the energy you expend using Hypermode attacks, meaning you can cancel Hypermode and potentially gain back all of the energy used to enter it, if you make no attacks. The game soon after introduces "corrupted Hypermode", which locks you into Hypermode until you either expend all the energy or trigger the PED's auto-vent, preventing you from recovering any of the energy you used to enter Hypermode. Despite this, it is still possible to recover your energy by manually ending the mode before corrupted Hypermode triggers.
    • The Grapple Voltage upgrade allows one to either feed energy from your Energy Tanks into objects or to do the opposite and drain energy from them to power them down. This also applies to certain enemies, like Phaz-Ings.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Happens during the first Ridley fight, which occurs as both combatants are free-falling down a fusion generator tunnel about sixteen thousand meters deep. Once Samus polishes off Ridley, Rundas, showing off his powers of ice flight, swoops down the tunnel, catching her a few thousand meters from the bottom, which also served as his Establishing Character Moment.
  • Checkpoint Starvation:
    • The GFS Valhalla. The only save point is Samus's gunship, left at the docking area, so the entire area has to be explored in one run without dying.
    • Once you hit Phaaze, your ship locks you out, forcing you to finish the game in one go. Fortunately, there is a checkpoint once you reach the Final Boss, so if you die fighting it you go back to the start of the fight.
  • Chest Monster: The Boost Ball power-up leads you to a boss battle against the Defense Drone when you approach it. You do get it after the battle, though.
  • City Planet: The Pirate Homeworld (Urtraghus) is a planet-wide metropolis built by the Space Pirates. The only non-organic patches found there, such as the Metroid nests or the Leviathan Seed, were introduced to the planet by the Space Pirates very recently. As a result of heavy pollution, the planet is also covered in a Perpetual Storm of extremely corrosive acid rain that will kill Samus in seconds without a Hazard Shield.
  • Climax Boss: Omega Ridley, who again appears early on — this time as a boss battle — and later acts as the final Leviathan guardian fought before Samus and the Federation take the battle to Phazon's origin on Phaaze.
  • Clock Punk: Skytown in Elysia is a floating city with equal parts Steampunk and Clock Punk technology... and it's pretty.
  • Colony Drop: Samus needs to disable a shield around a Leviathan on Elysia. Since she can't destroy the shield generator, she loads a thermonuclear bomb onto part of Skytown and drops it on the shield, destroying it instead.
  • Color-Coded Elements: The Power Beam is yellow as usual, the Phazon Beam (now usable anytime during Hypermode, unlike in the first two games) is blue, the Ice Missiles are white, the Plasma Beam is orange, the Grapple Voltage is purple, and the Nova Beam is green.
  • Comet of Doom: There are five this time around: One in the intro sequence that requires you to activate an Anti-air cannon in time, three more that already landed and you're trying to fix, and the final one is inside the Genius Loci planet that makes these to spread its influence.
  • Computer Voice: The Power Suit again has its voice. This game also adds the voices of Aurora Unit 242 and Samus' Gunship.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Anything you can use the Grapple Lasso on shimmers yellow, while ledges you can jump to and pull yourself up onto shimmer green.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!:
    • A notable aversion happens during the prologue, and without a displayed countdown. You have about 7 minutes to restart the 3 power generators for the anti-aircraft guns before the comet slams into the military base you are trying to defend. The other bounty hunters and computer constantly remind you of this but there's no onscreen timer. Heck, you can see the comet in the upper atmosphere, seeming somewhat stationary. The thing is, it isn’t—the comet really is moving and if you start wasting time it will arrive and collide, killing everyone and everything on the base.
    • Later in the game it's played straight. Just before Samus fights Ghor, reports are transmitted from her ship at regular intervals showing increasingly bad damage. The ship, however, is never completely destroyed and it is always ready to fly again at the same point in time.
  • Convenient Weakness Placement: Berserker Lords have Phazite armor that's immune to everything except their own missiles, which they fire slowly so you can bounce them back.
  • The Corruption: Phazon. Samus and the other Hunters are terminally infected with it, with the Phazon Enhancement Device designed to "vent" some of the corruption as weapons energy when needed, but there's little doubt that continued exposure to external Phazon sources is not helping the situation at all. If Phazon corruption gets too high, Samus becomes another Dark Samus. The other Hunters have already succumbed by the time you find them.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: The free-fall battle against Meta-Ridley ends with Samus landing on Ridley's head, sticking her Arm Cannon down his throat, and blasting away. She then leaves him to continue falling while Rundas swoops down to return her to the surface. He survives, of course, and returns near the end of the game as Omega Ridley.
  • Cover Drop: The Main Menu screen depicts something like a freaky-looking microscopic organism floating in blue plasma. On the final level of the game, you find out that it's the baby form of a Leviathan, which are the huge meteor-like creatures which have been crashing into planets and infecting them with Phazon for the past three games. Also, the shiny blue planet on the title screen is Phaaze, a living planet that is the source of all Phazon, which is also the final level.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Using the Nova Beam + X-Ray Visor combo for a one-hit headshot can make tough mini-bosses into a cake walk, including Metroids, Metroid Hatchers, and Berserker Knights, and Pirate Commandos. It can be pretty impressive at the end of the Escort Mission when three Commandos rush in, one of the troopers fears they're doomed... and then with quick reflexes the player headshots them all.
    • Samus and the other hunters make short work of the Space Pirates attacking Norion. Dark Samus, in turn, wipes the floor with all of them, corrupting them with Phazon in the process.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: If Samus does shoot at something escaping (like Dark Samus at various points in the game), it's naturally entirely ineffective and she never tries using missiles or hypermode.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Ghor is a pretty nice guy most of the time, but when he interfaces with his battle armour he becomes brutal and aggressive.
  • Cyborg: Only 6% of Ghor's original body remains following injuries sustained during the War of Liberation on Wotan VII.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • In most Wii games, pausing is set to the + button. In this game, that button activates Hypermode, and the 1 button pauses. Expect to enter Hypermode repeatedly when trying to pause if it's been a while since last playing.
    • Impressively, if you're playing Metroid Prime Trilogy, you can get this within the same game. In the first two Prime games, 1 brings up the map (which was mapped to Z in the Nintendo GameCube originals) and 2 brings up the pause menu, allowing you to look at your current items and alter game settings. Corruption bundles the map into the pause menu, so 2 does nothing. It's minor, but it can take some getting used to if you play the games consecutively.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Hypermode will suck your life energy dry and turn you into a walking Phazon zombie if you stay in it too long, but using it makes you invincible and ramps up your beam cannon to ridiculous levels. But despite its danger, you'll be triggering this a lot over the course of the game.
  • Darker and Edgier: The plot involves a large-scale war, an area's backstory involves a ruthless Space Pirate attack against a group of troopers on a training mission, every planet besides Norion has faced major damage in its backstory, the creatures seen are nastier-looking and acting, the Space Pirates are MUCH more competent (and insane), the threat of death constantly looms over Samus as she becomes increasingly corrupted, and she has to kill off her newfound allies when they succumb to corruption. It's a step up from the already-dark Echoes.
  • Deadly Upgrade: A central point. Samus gets a powerful "Phazon Enhancement Device" added to her suit that allows her to transform into a hyperactive killing machine, but over-use of it will cause her to become 'corrupted' and end the game. Using the PED also explains why the Space Pirates' experiments with Phazon frequently caused Unstoppable Rage: Firing indiscriminately is the easiest way to get rid of excess Phazon, preventing an overdose. And even if you don't overuse it, it'll probably kill you anyway - witness the PED-equipped Marine with the suspiciously shaky hands in the Preview Channel video, to say nothing of the other three hunters, who apparently go over to the Dark Side right out of the gate, and AU 242's warning to Samus on Bryyo:
    "We have discovered that the unique Phazon in your body, once activated, will eventually overreact, resulting in terminal corruption. In providing you with the PED, we have inadvertently placed you in grave danger. (pause) We are sorry."
  • Death by Genre Savviness: You reach the Xenoresearch laboratories in Elysia, where many Metroid specimens are encased in canisters. By this point you have the Ice Missiles, and ice attacks have always worked in the past, what could possibly go wrong? These Metroids can phase right through the missiles, as they've larned to dodge solid matter this way.
  • Death from Above: Samus can call in an air strike from her Cool Ship once she has acquired the correct Power-Up and is in an open area. This kills most ordinary Mooks and is needed to destroy certain objects her suit weaponry cannot destroy.
  • Death Mountain: The Cliffside area of planet Bryyo. Justified as the large chasm it is close to is the result of the planet remaining badly affected by the war between the opposing factions formed by its now-defunct inhabitants. It and the Thorn Jungle area are still part of the inhabitable 4% terrain within a Tidally Locked Planet, with the remaining geosphere split between Lethal Lava Land and Slippy-Slidey Ice World to make up for a varied Hailfire Peaks planet in the Galactic Federation system.
  • Death World:
    • Bryyo is tidally locked, with one half scorched by the sun and the other half frozen over, with only a tiny sliver of the equatorial area inhabitable. This area is filled with hordes of nasty creatures, treacherous landscapes, functional war machines, and lakes of explosive and caustic Fuel Gel. And then there's the effect of the Leviathan and the resulting Space Pirate invasion.
    • Elysia is a gas giant with many electrical storm clouds and air that is said to be unsustainable for long-term habitation by humans. The Chozo created and left a settlement behind in the form of SkyTown, which is now run by a race of sentient mechanoids. However, as it's a very old facility (as most of the machines are steam powered), frequent maintenance is required to keep it floating and from being shorted out by the electrical storms, and even with maintenance drones, the facility is clearly in a state of disrepair as evidenced by the frequent shaking. The Leviathan hitting the planet (which even corrupted the mechanical Elysians) naturally made things worse.
    • The Pirate Homeworld is continuously drenched in an acid rain so powerful that any object not covered by high-power energy shielding will be disintegrated in seconds. It's also in the process of being corrupted into another Phaaze, with giant Phazon tendrils flailing around on the surface and seas of Phazon everywhere.
    • Phaaze is a truly nasty place. Step foot on the surface and the radiation will kill you painfully within seconds. If that doesn't kill you, then the Phazon will, as the planet is made almost entirely of it. If that doesn't kill you, and instead corrupts you, then the hordes of Phazon-powered fauna and some of the flora certainly will. And it's sentient. And, if somehow, someway, all of THAT doesn't kill you, Dark Samus will.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: When entering Hypermode (while not on Phaaze), the colors turn black and white, with only certain enemies, objects, and obstacles retaining their color.
  • Demolitions Expert: A late-game mission involves Samus protecting a group of demolition specialists as they make their way to a heavily reinforced door that cannot be opened any other way.
  • Demonic Possession: The revelation that Phazon is sentient and can corrupt any living creature (or even machines that hold value to them, such as Ingsmashers in Echoes) to evil means that this trope retroactively applies to all Phazon-mutated creatures in the first two Prime game as well as this game, made most readily apparent with the previously benign Chozo Ghosts.
  • Derelict Graveyard: The GFS Valhalla became a gruesome Ghost Ship after the Space Pirates ravaged it, killing all members within and hijacking their Aurora Unit to take control of Phaaze and lure its Phazon meteors into innocent planets, all under the command of Dark Samus. By the time the game's heroine reaches it, all she sees along the way is passageways filled with Marine corpses and assorted creatures. The place can only be explored in full by collecting the Energy Cells found in the affected planets.
  • Destination Defenestration: The Berserker Lord tosses a Federation soldier through the window in order to herald the boss's entrance. It's worth considering that the "window" is an external panoramic viewport overlooking the docking bay of a starship. An external docking bay. This implies that it is very thick tempered glass capable of holding an atmosphere, and the Lord throws the poor Redshirt through it so hard that it shatters into a bajillion tiny pieces.
  • Determinator: If it hadn't been obvious before, Corruption makes it very clear that Samus Aran does not give up.
    • Even when nearly unconscious from the effects of Phazon corruption during the defense of Norion, Samus manages to drag herself to the controls for Norion's planetary defense system and activate it.
    • Then, when on the verge of total succumbing to Phazon on a planet made of Phazon and flooding her with it, Samus manages to delay it for another hour to drag herself to Dark Samus and finish her for once and for all.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!: The Metroid Hatcher has four tentacles that must be individually torn off. Once they are gone, the creature dies, but the loss of any individual tentacle does not hinder it. However, blasting its brain with the Nova Beam and X-Ray Visor combo will kill it instantly.
  • Diegetic Interface: The four lights at the top of Samus' field of view, which did nothing in the first two Prime games, represent the power level of the batteries in the Wiimote.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The Pirate Homeworld is hyped a lot for being the native planet of the Space Pirates. The Galactic Federation prepares a full-scale assault on them, and it houses the final Leviathan Seed which is guarded by Omega Ridley. But after all of that, Samus still has to find her Evil Counterpart, Dark Samus, who is revealed to not be there.
  • Disconnected Side Area: Bryyo Ice is a very small area of the planet Bryyo which is only accessible through a small portal elsewhere on the world. It gets its own map because of this, and does not show up on the map of Bryyo as a whole. This means players looking for the last power-ups may not realize they're missing something from Bryyo Ice unless they visit it directly.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The Plasma Beam returns, retaining this effect as shown in the first game; when combined with the Nova Beam, will turn a target to dust, even when uncharged if they are on fire long enough.
  • Door to Before: The game rarely uses this, as the multiple landing sites for Samus' gunship already reduce the backtracking (when you reach one, you can call your ship, enter and from there choose your next destination). However, it is still done in the Pirate Homeworld through the subterranean metro stations that connect the main playable areas, as some of those allow you to return to the necessary parts without needing to backtrack the normal way.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: This trope is mostly used in the fight against Dark Samus. She divides into 2 or 3 identical looking copies that are all capable of attacking. However, you can tell which is real in a few ways. You can scan them; the copies register as "Dark Echo" while the real is "Dark Samus". They move pretty fast, so you have to keep your eye on the right one when you stop scanning and go back to the combat visor. Also, there are certain attacks that only the real Dark Samus will use. Unfortunately, they render her invincible for the duration of the attack, and she tends to recall her duplicates immediately after doing them. Also, only one glows under the X-Ray visor.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Dark Samus does this often during the final battle. Figuring out which of the Dark Samus clones are fake is easy with the X-Ray Visor, but if you don't kill them quick enough, the original can re-absorb them and regain health.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Used twice in the game. Early in the game, shapeshifter Gandrayda gets the drop on a squadron of pirates by disguising herself as one. Later in the game, after her Face–Heel Turn, she lures Samus into a trap by pretending to be a Galactic Federation Marine.
  • Dub Species Change: In the English version of the game, Phazon Hoppers are presumably Phazon-corrupted versions of Hoppers, a species naturally found on Bryyo. In the Japanese version, Phazon Hoppers are outright referred to as heavily mutated Phazon Metroids, putting them in the same lineage as the similar Hopping Metroid.
  • Due to the Dead: After purging the galaxy of Phazon, Samus spends time on Elysia, where she mourns the lives lost (including those of her fellow bounty hunters).
  • Dying as Yourself: After being defeated by Samus, Rundas appears to briefly regain control of himself, before being killed by his own ice crystals.
  • Dynamic Loading: The game has numerous scenes of Samus's gunship sailing through the air, entering or exiting a planet's atmosphere, or of Samus herself riding a platform, train, or whatever to disguise its loading screens. A bit more varied than simple elevators, but essentially the same idea.
  • Early-Bird Boss: One of the reasons Mogenar is such a difficult battle is the fact that you have a very limited arsenal and health when you fight him- the Power Beam, Ice Missiles, and about four (five at most) energy tanks, which bites even harder considering Hypermode attacks are required to permanently damage him. Future bosses become easier to deal with once you obtain better weaponry and more energy tanks.
  • Easter Egg: Inputting certain codes in the ship's transmitter will play recorded messages (in Japanese) from various Nintendo officials.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: The game was developed with the same modus operandi as the first game: Most of the game is somewhat simple (with the exception of some scripted instances of high action that involve large numbers of normal enemies, usually Space Pirates of some kind), but the bosses - especially the Leviathan Guardians - can be very difficult to beat.
  • Eldritch Location: Phaaze, the Phazon planet, by virtue of being a sentient being that is trying to spread and corrupt other planets. It also has some very organic looking natural structures. Lore surrounding the planet suggests that it's an Eldritch Abomination existing in a higher dimension, with the planet merely being its form in our Universe. Phaaze is the source of all Phazon, which seems connected no matter how far apart its fragments are. Leviathans are birthed inside its crust, and Phazon versions of the Ing from the previous game appear as common enemies.
  • EMP: Besides Space Pirates, the Steam Lords of Elysia can also generate one as an attack. In this game, getting hit by an EMP instantly puts Samus into corrupted mode with a full Phazon tank. This is a double-edged sword for the Pirates though; if Samus can't vent the Phazon in time (due to a paralyzing attack, for example) it's a Non Standard Game Over for her, but to vent Phazon she has to Beam Spam it all out, and those beams are highly destructive to anyone nearby. Such as, for example, the hapless pirate that threw the EMP...
  • Endless Daytime: The backstory of the planet Bryyo reveals that the Magic Versus Science war that destroyed the dominant civilization resulted in their planet having one half perpetually in sunlight (reduced to an uninhabitable scorched desert), the other in perpetual darkness (reduced to an uninhabitable frozen wasteland), and only the narrow border between the two sides is still livable.
  • Escort Mission: During the Federation assault on the Pirate Homeworld, Samus has to protect 12 demolition troopers so that at least four of them can blow up a door blocking the path to the Leviathan. It's made easier by the fact that only two are ever on the map at one time, and that they actually try to defend themselves.
  • Ethereal Choir: The title theme and end credits music. Also, the SkyTown background music.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Phazon, even more so in this game than it already was in the previous ones. The Space Pirates see it as a power source while Samus just wants to get away from the stuff as it ruins planets. The Federation manage to use it as a power source for weapons, but take precautions to ensure it doesn't drive its users insane. A scan of a PED Trooper who had the containment device for the Phazon breached/damaged reveals he was eaten alive by the Phazon, so its clearly still dangerous. At the end of the game's prologue, it's been forced on Samus by her Evil Counterpart, so she makes the best of a bad situation by channeling its power through a special suit that can use Phazon that her body produces, though heavy reliance on it also has potentially lethal effects. At the end of the game, she manages to destroy all of the Phazon in the galaxy by destroying its source.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Dark Samus will laugh when badly injured during its boss fight, with a rather deep voice.
    • Ghor, after being corrupted by Phazon, opens his boss fight with a maniacal laugh.
  • Evil Overlooker: Dark Samus on the cover art.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Played straight for Dark Samus; inverted for Aurora Unit 313, which has a deep gender-neutral voice when good. When encountered again on Phaaze it does not speak aside from laughs and groans of pain.
  • Evolving Weapon:
    • Each new beam upgrade replaces the previous type permanently, but retains the effect of the previous one, so the Plasma Beam fires as fast, and with the same range as, the Power Beam and retains the Charge Beam, but also has the ability to melt red slag plates, open orange doors, and weld things. The Nova Beam can do all that plus One-Hit Kill enemies wearing Phazite armor, hit switches protected by Phazite barriers, and open green doors.
    • The Grapple Beam starts off as a way to open certain doors and disarm shielded enemies, then gains the ability to attatch to grapple points and ziplines, then finally allows you to Life Drain or overload enemies and open power locks.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Samus's Phazon corruption and PED suit allow her to overclock herself by sending her into Hyper Mode whenever she wants, which uses health as ammo and causes total corruption if she stays in it for too long. Strangely enough, there are some enemies that will induce this mode in Samus as a form of attack. The logic behind it is essentially taking an enemy that can already overpower herself and pushing the berserk button, on the off chance she'll lose herself in rage before she can blow your face off.note 
  • Exposition Fairy: Fleet Admiral Dane and Aurora Units 242 and 217 serve this role, each at different points of the story: Dane when Samus aims to destroy the incoming Leviathan in Norion and later when she's looking for a way to disable the planetary shield in Pirate Homeworld to prepare the Federation's assault, AU 217 while Samus is in Elysia in her quest to gain access to that planet's Leviathan, and AU 242 in the rest of the game.
  • Eye Scream: Samus gets one when her face becomes increasingly scarred as the Phazon corruption progresses. By the time you hit 50% corruption or so, not only are her eyes glowing blue, but the pupils have turned radioactive green. It's even squickier in the trailer video, when you see the Phazon flowing into her eyes from the inside. This can be seen in-game too if you go into Hyper Mode and let yourself get corrupted, or stay in Phaaze too long. It'll probably be the last thing you see, though.

    F-O 
  • Fan Disservice: This is one of the only games in the series to show Samus without her helmet on well before the ending. Unfortunately, the only reason she took it off in the first place was to vomit Phazon all over the place, without a Vomit Discretion Shot.
  • Feed It a Bomb: A variant occurs in the game. One boss is a huge mining machine with two settings, cutting laser and vacuum. The only way to harm it is to blast some Mook enemies while it's in vacuum mode, so their bodies get sucked inside to jam the laser. In another part of the game, in one of the deep pits you have to jump into on Phaaze, there's a creature that grabs Samus while she's in Morph Ball form; you have to use the Hyper Ball to kill it (if you don't move to the side to keep it from grabbing you).
  • Fighting Your Friend: The battles against Rundas, Ghor, and Gandrayda. They all help you at various points through the game, and in the 75% ending, Samus mourns their deaths.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Gandrayda is a shapeshifter that cycles through the forms of several bosses you have already fought (as well as a couple standard mooks, and Samus herself). Each form must be dealt with using the correct weapons.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The 3 rival hunters introduced in this game (Ghor, Rundas, Gandrayda) fit this models, as do the upgrades Samus gets for defeating them (Plasma Beam, Ice Missiles, and Grapple Charge). Relatedly, all three of these elements are involved in a puzzle in Bryyo's Hall of the Golems. These three weapons are used to destroy covers on three golems, and the corresponding golems use their abilities to accomplish puzzles: melting a metal door with fire breath, freezing a Fuel Gel waterfall with ice breath, and activating a Spider Ball track with electricity.
  • First-Person Ghost: Though played straight by default, the game not only allows you to see Samus' lower body and arms when she's sitting in her spaceship, you can also view her skeleton when using the X-ray visor.
  • Fist of Rage: After Dark Samus absorbs Ghor and leaves, Samus clenches her fist in silent rage. Later after defeating Gandrayda, Samus aware of what is about to happen, can once again only clench her fist.
  • Floating Continent: SkyTown is a floating technological establishment that floats high above the gas giant Elysia.
  • Flunky Boss:
    • Helios attacks with hordes of Swarmbots, usually manipulating them to create various forms.
    • The Mining Laser is "fought" in a room full of infinite spawning Pirates, which grow tougher in rank as the battle progresses.
    • The Pirate Commander summons Commandos (4 at a time) to attack Samus while it battles you. While focusing on the Commander ends the battle, it's actually possible to kill enough Commandos that he can't summon any more.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Subverted. There's never any real mention of Rundas, Ghor and Gandrayda after Samus is forced to kill them. That is, until the ending cinematic in which Samus silently remembers her fallen comrades while watching the Elysian sunset.
  • Formerly Sapient Species: The Reptilicus once had an advanced space-faring civilization on Bryyo, but a planet-devastating Magic Versus Science war combined with the spread of Phazon following a Leviathan impact resulted in them becoming bestial mutants.
  • Free-Fall Fight: The first fight against Meta Ridley. Though in this case, both Samus and Ridley appear doomed when the floor gives out — Samus can't fly, and the tunnel is too small for Ridley to spread his wings. Ridley doing this may be a case of Taking You with Me, but defeating Ridley lets Rundas fly down and save Samus. Ridley himself, however, doesn't die, as usual. Interestingly, there is actually a 'bottom' and you must defeat Ridley before your altitude reaches zero (which isn't the ground in this case, but the planet's core).
  • Free-Sample Plot Coupon: Samus has to gather Energy Cells to restore power as she goes to portions of a derelict space vessel. Conveniently, a wrecked fighter is crashed in its docking bay, with its Energy Cell having fallen out for her to grab and use right away.
  • From Bad to Worse: Bryyo and Elysia are picturesque examples of how Phazon makes everything worse.
    • Bryyo: The Reptilicus were enlightened minds, sharing their knowledge of Bryyo and their people with other enlightened minds, including the motherfucking Chozo, and heralded the rise of Science, even as the Primals mourn the loss of the old ways. One of the Lords of Science essentially tells the Primals to bugger off, and the reaction is such that "it was as flame to a dry forest" ceases to adequately describe the backlash. The planet was literally torn apart (you think those chains are just Scenery Porn?), with only 4% remaining inhabitable, and the Lords of Science were forced into hiding from the frothing Primals. After they get their cleaning gear up and running to try to save what is left, all but one Lord of Science wind up being discovered and slaughtered with extreme prejudice. The last one lives in hiding with his custom Mogenar up until he finds a Primal prophetess seeking him to decipher the visions she had been having. A Fuel Gel explosion reveals them to the hopelessly bloodlusted savages, and the prophetess manages to flee and stave off death for a while longer while the last Lord of Science bites it. Long after the day that Reptilicus society as it was once known died off for good, the Space Pirates ravage a GFMC outpost and drop a Leviathan onto the planet.
    • Elysia: The Elysians — mechanoid beings who avoid A.I. Is a Crapshoot — were created by the Chozo themselves and gifted with self-awareness. They selflessly aided their creators until they left, and governed the facility diligently even from sleep mode despite the horrible dreams they had. When the GFMC signed a treaty with them, they yielded their vast wealth of knowledge and gained the fuel, parts, and equipment to keep themselves going. It starts going downhill once the Space Pirates infect 313 with a virus, knocking 217 offline due to universal AU shutdown to stem the damage. Four months later, the Space Pirates show up and hang the forces long enough for another Leviathan to drop, and likely worsen 217's Phazon corruption as one last fuck you. Two weeks after that disaster, Ghor shows up and starts fixing things... and then, to utterly dash the Elysians' remaining hopes, he gets completely corrupted himself and takes absolute control over Sky Town. Somewhere in space, the Chozo are crying...
  • Full-Conversion Cyborg: 94% of Ghor's body is stated to be completely mechanical, while the other 6% is what's left of his original body. He's typically a Nice Guy known for making charitable donations and occasionally working for free, although in his battle armor he becomes a lot more aggressive.
  • Fungus Humongous: According to the developers, the orange, bulbous, spiky growths on Bryyo's Thorn Jungle area are mushrooms.
  • Game Changer: After the game's first mission, Samus is infected with Phazon that allows her to briefly supercharge her abilities but will corrupt her if she uses it for too long. Up until this point, Phazon was a hazard, but it's now being weaponized by Samus and the Federation.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Samus must ultimately find at least 5 Galactic Federation energy batteries in order to activate enough doors on a wrecked cruiser to get a code that unlocks the last area of the game. However, she's working for the Galactic Federation. And at the end of the game, they're waiting on her to do this. Surely, she could just let them know that she needs a few batteries. No, she must scour the landscape of four worlds for batteries from Federation installations, crashed ships, and the like.
  • Gatling Good: Hypermode's Charge Beam attack causes the Arm Cannon to spin around while Beam Spamming.
  • Genius Loci: All Phazon in the galaxy turns out to come from the planet Phaaze, a living planet made of Phazon that launches Leviathans to reproduce.
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: Rundas' boss fight appears to have been this for him, as upon his defeat he seems to regain his senses before being fatally impaled by his own ice spike.
  • Ghost Ship: Samus is sent to the wreckage of a Federation starship (Valhalla) lost in battle. In retrospect, it was probably a better idea not to, but it's the only way to clear the game as it provides the Pirate Code that grants access to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Glamour Failure: In The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, Samus' ship refuses to let her back in because the Toxic Phlebotinum has overwritten her DNA to the point that she isn't even classifiable as a Half-Human Hybrid anymore.
  • Global Airship: Like in Metroid Prime: Hunters, Samus' Gunship serves this role; this is because she's exploring multiple locations across a solar system (planets and vessels) instead of one. You can even choose a specific landing site as long as it's been unlocked (usually by reaching that part manually and then enabling it for aerial use).
  • The Glomp: Gandrayda features an atomic glomp, literally. When you fight her on the Pirate Homeworld, one of Gandrayda's attacks involves her glomping you and irradiating the hell out of you.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Phazon-corrupted characters sport glowing blue eyes, including Rundas, Ghor, Gandrayda, and Samus herself - the last being visibly reflected in her visor, and growing worse throughout the game.
  • Going to Give It More Energy: The Grapple Voltage allows Samus to either suck an enemy's life force out and add it to her own or to sacrifice her energy to overload an enemy with her energy to make them explode.
  • Grand Finale: The game concludes the trilogy and the Phazon arc. This is an even more Actionized Sequel and begins with the space pirates declaring all out war on the galactic federation. Samus must help them fight back, destroy several more Leviathans and defeat Big Bad Dark Samus, whilst Samus is basically dying from Phazon corruption. However, it wouldn't be the last Metroid Prime game, as Metroid Prime 4 would be announced in 2017.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Unlike in the previous two Prime games, the Grappling Hool takes the form of a disc attachment to the back of Samus' left hand — but adds being able to latch onto and yank away certain obstacles like metal bars, plates, enemy deflector shields, etc. Later in Corruption, Samus gets the Grapple Voltage device which augments the functionality further by allowing her to siphon energy from her tanks into another device to power it up, or siphon it away from a device or enemy to recharge her own reserves. A Phazon-based version allows her to dump Phazon into the target; she can use this to prolong her purity on Phaaze as well.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Phaaze, as the source of all Phazon, is this for the Metroid Prime subseries.
  • Great Offscreen War:
    • Bryyo's Reptilicus civilization tore itself apart with a civil war between the traditionalist Primals and the Science Lords, super geniuses who looked upon the Primals with disdain. This war also did serious damage to Bryyo. Bear in mind, this was before the Leviathan hit the planet. The player learns about this war from lore scans dotted around Bryyo.
    • Another example is mentioned early on in the game. One Federation employee aboard the Olympus mentions a "Horus Rebellion" that was allegedly some nasty business.
    • Yet another example is the War of Liberation on Wotan VII, which is mentioned in Ghor's backstory. As a result of the injuries he received in that conflict, he was rebuilt as a cyborg, with only 6% of his original body still intact.
  • Green Aesop: Played with in the case of Bryyo. Yes, it was the Lords of Science and their ego which started doing the most damage on the environment...but what the Lords of Science started, the Primals decisively finished. It's only by combining the magic of the Primals with the science of the Lords of Science that the last Lord is able to create Magitek capable of restoring the planet.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Downplayed with Gandrayda. While she's one of the more humanoid characters among the cast, she has translucent pinkish-purple skin that reveals an odd skeletal structure and weird tentacle-like hair.
  • Grimy Water: The yellow, boiling fluid in planet Bryyo looks like lava, but is actually Fuel Gel. This is the reason why touching it is harmful for Samus even with the Varia Suit, requiring an additional powerup (the Hazard Shield) to fully negate its effects.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The Berserker Knights can attack Samus by picking up and throwing other enemies at her, including their fellow Space Pirates.
  • Hailfire Peaks:
  • Heads-Up Display: There are occasions where the visor can become distorted, which can either be temporary or is solved by switching to a different visor mode. And some enemies can latch onto Samus's helmet, obscuring her view. The helmet even has a slight delay before turning with the player to simulate being a distinct object from the player's head. Apparently this causes motion sickness for some players; you can disable the effect by toggling the "HUD Lag" option in the menu.
  • Healing Boss: Dark Samus can use Phazon energy to restore her health, but is vulnerable to Samus's attacks during this process. Therefore, Dark Samus uses clones of herself to distract Samus.
  • Healing Spring: Samus can immerse herself in large Phazon pools to regain energy once equipped with the PED Suit, though there are only two or three such instances in the entire game.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: The Armoured Pirate Troopers, whose protective shields have to be removed with the Grapple Lasso.
  • The Hedge of Thorns: The Thorn Jungle zone in planet Bryyo. The Space Pirates installed one of the sources of the defense barrier protecting the Leviathan Seed in this region, requiring Samus to storm the area in order to disable said source. The local flora is uniquely colored with shades of pink and orange, and several overgrown roots can be seen along the way. Late in the game, it's possible to connect this area with that of the Cliffside, and doing so is part of the process to obtain one of the Energy Cells of eventual use in GFS Valhalla.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam:
    • The corrupted Rundas seems to come to his senses briefly after Samus defeats him ... just before he is impaled by multiple icicles. It is left unclear whether this was a form of self-termination or a result of Dark Samus's influence.
    • In the backstory of Bryyo, after the war that nearly destroyed the planet's biosphere, the Science Lords, having conceded that it was their arrogance that led to this, built machines that would save what remained. The Primals, believing such machines were signs of hostility, hunted down and slaughtered the remaining Science Lords.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Samus's helmet can apparently be teleported on and off at her whim, but the only times she does it is when an overdose of Phazon causes her to vomit, and parts of the ending. Otherwise she never takes off the helmet during a mission, even on planets with earthlike atmosphere. Nor does anyone else, except for Admiral Dane.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • Swarmers, insectoid enemies that latch on to Samus while she's in Morph Ball mode and lift her up, carrying her to new areas. You just have to shake them off before another, nearby critter tries to eat you.
    • Phazon Puffers and Phaz-Ings on Phaaze, of the unintentionally assisting type. The former draw Phazon in, reducing your corruption meter greatly, but explode if you stay close too long. The latter are Hyper Grapple targets that you can pump Phazon into, reducing the corruption meter.
  • Hero Killer: The game introduces three other bounty hunters. By the end of the game, Dark Samus has killed and absorbed all three of them.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Ghor is fought in the hangar bay of Skytown, a futuristic city floating in the skies of Elysia.
  • Hive Mind: The Aurora Units appear to have this, as they're connected by an interstellar network and always refer to themselves as "we".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Reptilicus enemy carries throwable, boomeranging weapons that they attack you with. It's possible to use an Ice Missile to freeze them after they throw the weapon... at which point it comes back and flies into their frozen body, shattering them instantly (and awarding you a Friend Voucher).
  • Hold the Line: Samus must defend the Spire Dock from waves of Space Pirates as it maneuvers above the Leviathan Seed until it reaches its destination. The Space Pirates are also trying to do the same, though they're trying to prevent Samus from escorting it to the Leviathan Seed.
  • Hologram: The Aurora Units frequently relay messages in this form.
  • Hope Spot: After defeating Rundas, the icy bounty hunter briefly appears to regain his mind, looking around in confusion....before being fatal impaled by his own ice crystals.
  • Hub Under Attack: The various landing sites for Samus Aran's ship tend to have little to no enemies and allow her to heal and save inside said ship. At one point during the Elysia arc, however, a corrupted Ghor starts attacking the ship and throws it at Samus when she comes to investigate the commotion; she must then defeat Ghor and then let the ship repair itself before it regains full functionality.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Gandrayda is a humanoid with translucent purple skin.
  • Human Popsicle: Samus' gunship includes a cryostasis pod built into the pilot's chair, presumably because of space restrictions on the amount of oxygen, food, water, etc. the ship can carry. The Federation also uses cold stasis to transport nasties like Metroids, Phazon and the like, with predictable results.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Mogenar are large machines used during the magic vs. technology war in Bryyo. The strongest of them was lured by Phazon into the Leviathan Seed of the planet to protect it.
  • "I Can't Look!" Gesture: Samus does this as Dark Samus' spectre shows up to claim Gandrayda.
  • Ice Crystals: The ice emitters on Rundas' arms are shaped like these, being bright blue and crystal-shaped compared to his rounded sides and grey coloration.
  • Ice Palace: Samus ventures into Bryyo's hidden ice area and finds a frozen temple housing a tall monument shaped like a Chozo, where the Screw Attack can be found.
  • An Ice Person: Rundas, who can create ice pillars, surf through the sky a la Iceman, and fire freezing projectiles.
  • I Fell for Hours: In what has to be a Homage to The Lord of the Rings, Samus fights Ridley in freefall early in the game. The shaft they're falling down is explicitly shown to be several kilometers deep. Samus survives because Rundas catches her before she hits bottom. Ridley survives because he's Ridley.
  • I'm Melting!: Shoot tinbots with the plasma beam in Elysia, and they will sink into bright puddles.
  • Impairment Shot: Used when Samus wakes up from a month-long coma after the events of Norion. Made somewhat amusing by the Federation medical officer planting a hand right in her visor as she's coming to.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: When Samus goes to rescue the captured Federation Trooper, if you stand behind the pirates without them noticing you, you'll notice that their shots are missing by quite a margin. They're doing it on purpose, as Gandrayda is trying to fool you, and the pirates are in on the act.
  • Improvised Umbrella: The Space Pirate Homeworld has acidic rain, so Samus has to spend a good amount of time finding a special device that protects her (which is not this trope). However, after she does all that, she is called outside to meet with her superior, Admiral Dane, a normal human with no protection equipped; this confidence is because it is not raining around Dane, as he's being covered by the GFS Olympus, an Aries-class transport, hanging directly above his head. There's a reason the man is highly-revered among fans in a universe that contains Samus Aran.
  • Informed Kindness: The bounty hunter Ghor is said to be nice most of the time, but turns more violent when in his mecha suit. While he certainly does sound mean while in it, the "normal" Ghor doesn't really act that nice, sounding irritated when going through security screenings and referring to a killed Berserker Knight as having "stopped bothering us". Admittedly, he is here on business just like Samus, and we don't get to see him outside of that business before he's infected by Phazon and turns evil.
  • Interface Screw: As is usual per the Prime series, some enemies can cause Samus' visor to be full of static. However, there are a few examples specific to this game.
    • If Samus is in danger of succumbing to Hypermode corruption, Phazon tentacles will appear on the sides of her visor.
    • When fighting Gandrayda, she may leap on to you and start frying your visor until you shake her off.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Reading the detailed scan data on Space Pirates that use a shield reveals that intense Phazon energy can also destroy the shield, foreshadowing that you'll be getting Phazon-based weaponry quite soon.
    • After Samus wakes up from her one-month coma, going to your inventory before advancing the dialogue shows that you have the PED Suit and the Hyper Beam before the NPC and the game even acknowledges that you have them.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Samus can count among her friends Rundas, a Phyrigisian; Ghor, a near-completely robotized alien; and Gandrayda, whose species is unknown, though Gandrayda seems to love piling on subtext. Unfortunately for Samus, all of them succumb to Phazon corruption, so she eventually has to kill them at different points in the game.
  • Invisible Monsters:
    • The Steamlord miniboss is invisible most of the time until he has to revive his flunkies. It's possible to fight the last one of those after getting the X-Ray Visor, which makes the fight a lot shorter.
    • Enemies using hypermode short out the X-Ray Visor, making those fights very annoying on the highest difficulty (where any enemy that can go into hypermode most likely will do so immediately).
  • It's Personal: Although it's only briefly mentioned in a scan log, Admiral Dane is rumored to have been orphaned by the Space Pirates. So his desire for the Galatic Federation to win against them is understandable.
  • Just in Time: Samus learns that her ship is under attack while it's parked. As she returns to her ship, the damage gets progressively worse, before arriving to the scene of the crime, finding that a corrupted Ghor is pounding at its hull. Ghor himself looks at Samus to say "just in time!" before attacking her.
  • Justice Will Prevail: Near the end of the prologue in Norion, Rundas comes up with this line when the hunters are all arguing with one another: "Hey, relax. We're the good guys, remember? Justice will prevail, and all that stuff. Right, Samus?" He's right in that Samus will make justice prevail by the end, but that's after she's avenged his and the other Hunters' Phazon corruption and deaths by Dark Samus.
  • Keystone Army: Killing Aurora Unit 313 causes the planet Phaaze, which it's been bonded to, to die. Phaaze dying causes all Phazon in the galaxy to die, kills Dark Samus, and cures Samus of her corruption.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Plasma Beam makes a return, and when you let a full-charged shot rip into a horde of Tinbots, they melt.
  • Kill It with Ice: The Ice Missiles can be used to freeze fire-based enemies on the volcanic side of Bryyo. (Incidentally, there's one that attempts to attack Samus with a round boomerang. You can make it so that projectile shatters its body right after you freeze it, which nets you an achievement token.)
  • Killed Off for Real: After coming back from the dead in both Metroid Prime and Prime 2, Dark Samus finally dies for good when the planet Phaaze is killed, causing all Phazon in the galaxy to die.
  • Kill Sat: A rare non-threatening example is the Defense Cannon seen on Norion. It manages to completely destroy the Leviathan sent to corrupt the planet before impact.
  • King Bob the Nth: The game has this as a borderline Running Gag when you scan busts of Bryyo's ancient rulers found all over the planet... until you reach 'The last emperor of Bryyo'.
  • King Mook: Berserker Lord (Berserker Knight), Steamlord (Steambot), Helios (Swarmbot), and the Pirate Commander (Commando Pirate) are all boss versions of normal enemies.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: By the time the game's events roll around, three planets have been struck by Phazon meteors and the game starts with you trying to prevent one from striking a fourth planet. Phazon is now widespread enough for both the Space Pirates and the Galactic Federation to use it as weapons. Justified in that these meteors are revealed to have been launched from a sentient living planet made of Phazon. It is trying to get everywhere.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": There are two different mines and both are in plain sight and easy to shoot from a distance if you don't rush into the room. One mine is a standard proximity mine that blows up if you get too close. The other mine type is similar, only if you get too close, the mine will jump up, fire a laser in 360 degrees, then explode.
  • Laser Hallway: There's a single corridor wired with invisible lasers, designed to teach the player to use their shiny new X-ray visor to look for traps like this.
  • The Last Dance: The final mission has heavy hints of this. The Phazon corruption doled out to each of the hunters at the beginning of the game has so far proven to be uniformly fatal. Samus herself is so far gone at this point that her gunship's computer can't identify her anymore, she's forced to vent Phazon every minute just to stay alive, and the final boss fight takes place on a radioactive, sentient planet only reachable by wormhole, at the bottom of a pit deep enough that even if she survives, she has no chance of wall-jumping, screw-attacking or speed-boosting her way back up. At the end of the fight, she just lies on the ground utterly exhausted. The whole thing feels much less like a Final Showdown and more of a Taking You with Me / Heroic Sacrifice on her part, which isn't helped by the exchange between Fleet Admiral Dane and his bridge staff in the ending cutscenes:
    Crewman: Damage reports coming in. We've lost 37% of the fleet. Surviving ships are reporting heavy casualties.
    FADM Dane: What about Samus?
    Crewman: Negative, Sir. No contact...
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • There's a specific type of Space Pirate (of which there are many almost indistinguishable variants) which only appears during a particularly difficult timed mission in which you fight a large number of Space Pirates while also having to deal with annoying ships that shoot at you from the distance. Thus, if you want to scan it, you'll likely have to let them attack the vessel where you are.
    • Of the 26 Friend Vouchers that can be collected, one requires doing a No-Damage Run through the Morph Ball segment on Norion where Meta Ridley is attacking you. Even just Collision Damage from him will ruin this achievement, and it's back to your last save (minimum six rooms ago) to try again.
    • For those who want to get every possible credit in the game, the Gold Credit for completing the Federation demolition trooper Escort Mission on the Pirate Homeworld without any member of the team dying. Keeping the required four of twelve alive just to progress the story is difficult enough in its own right. Keeping all twelve alive is an exercise in persistence and many, many save-loads.
  • Last of His Kind: Bryyo is littered with lore painting the fall of Bryyonian civilization, all penned by an entity known as "the last Lord of Science".
  • Late to the Tragedy: There are four instances of this trope: three planets and the wreckage of a battle cruiser. This is at least a bit better than the other examples, as the three planets were recently attacked, and Samus didn't go there immediately because she was unconscious from a previous attack.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: The Red Phaazoids and the Pirate Commander are powerful versions of their normal counterparts with snazzy red coloration and greater defenses.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Bryyo Fire is a unique take on this. The orange goop isn't actually lava (it's Fuel Gel, a highly flammable, lava-like form of liquid fuel), but it still acts like it and gives the place a feel of a fire world. Most of the puzzles in the area use the Fuel in various ways.
  • Levels Take Flight: SkyTown is a Floating Continent built withing the sky of a stormy gas planet named Elysia.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Freeze something with Ice Missiles first, and a potent energy weapon should wipe them out. These include, but are not limited to, the Plasma and Nova Beams when fully charged as well as Reptilicus chakrams. You need to wholly freeze the target for this to work, though - chilling isn't adequate.
  • Lizard Folk: The Multi-Armed and Dangerous Reptilicus of Bryyo, one of the more atypical examples of this trope. Once known as the intelligent Bryyonians, with enough clout to have extensive contact with the Chozo, a brutal conflict between the tech-using Lords of Science and the magic-using Primals devastated the planet. The point of no return came when the Leviathan Seed crashed into the planet and spread Phazon everywhere, after which the Bryyonians degenerated into savage beasts.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Strangely enough, Samus herself gets a load bearing Hypermode when she lands on Phaaze. She has to not only find and kill Dark Samus, but also Aurora Unit 313 before time runs out and she becomes wholly corrupted. It turns out AU 313 was connected to the planet's core, which is why Phaaze goes boom after it's killed.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Some of the room loads can leave you standing around for several seconds waiting for the door. This is almost always due to loading a scripted event, so you can usually tell when something's going down just by how long it takes the door to open.
  • Magic Versus Science: The natives of Bryyo had an entire war over this. The war caused 96% of the planet to become uninhabitable and the survivors became barbarians. Notably, the Chozo (who themselves struggled with similar problems in the past) warned them to seek a balance between the two, but they didn't listen.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: In its backstory, Bryyo faced a war between the magic-using Primals and the technology-using Lords of Science. In the end, both sides lost and the planet was nearly destroyed. It was more of a Pyrrhic Victory on the part of the Primals: they utterly demolished the Lords of Science once their fuel sources ran out... but when they ran out of Lords to kill, the Primals, still war crazy, decided to turn on each other.
  • Magitek: The Mogenars are Humongous Mecha that are powered by magic, and the boss Mogenar is the first to have been built through both magic and science, combining the philosophies of the Primals and the Science Lords.
  • Malevolent Mugshot: The Pirate Command section of the Pirate Homeworld has amber holographic displays depicting Meta Ridley.
  • Marathon Boss:
    • If you try to use the wrong strategy against Mogenar, its regeneration will prolong the battle more and more. However, if you attack him the right way (and are quick), his regeneration won't even factor into it.
    • Dark Samus plays this way. Since she becomes invulnerable upon re-combining with her clones and stays that way until splitting again, she spends a lot of time splitting and un-splitting to deny consistent damage to the player. This is an effective stalling tactic to waste the player's time while their Phazon corruption level continues to rise.
    • The final boss isn't designed like this, but playing this way intentionally is a good way to win in Hypermode difficulty.note 
  • Marathon Level: Phaaze, which is the final area in the game (and by extension the original trilogy); you have to go through an area for half an hour without saving, THEN beat the final bosses, which can take up to another 20 minutes if not more. Thankfully, dying only puts you back at the bosses - too bad it's the first of the three.
  • Mark of the Beast: Samus' Phazon corruption gradually worsens, causing her suit (and, on those occasions when her face is visible, her skin) to develop glowing blue veins. Eventually one of her eyes begins to glow blue as well.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Tinbots and Steambots. They were originally benign robots at the service of the Chozo, but then they succumbed to the corruption by Phazon and are now hostile robots.
  • Mechanical Monster: The Defense Drone is a big robot built by the Chozo many decades ago that protects the Boost Ball powerup in Skytown, Elysia. Due to Phazon corruption, it's now hostile and proceeds to attack Samus as soon as she attempts to grab the Boost Ball powerup. Despite its large size, it is capable of performing impressive jumps.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: The cyborg hunter Ghor is quiet and unassuming — until he plugs into his large mecha/Powered Armor hybrid, instantly becoming gruff and hyperaggressive.
  • Mini-Boss: The game has several mini-bosses, including corrupted hunters, that you fight about halfway through the zones and planets (the actual bosses are the Leviathan Guardians).
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Shriekbats are a terrestrial life form. If you get partway into the Valhalla and come back later, Phazon Shriekbats will be there, which is illogical as it's been floating derelict in deep space for the past five months.
  • Missing Mission Control: When Samus takes a portal from the hot part of Bryyo to its icy part, she loses contact with Aurora Unit 242 aside from some very garbled audio transmissions. It's not until she returns through the portal that a worried 242 can contact her again.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: Samus's eyes glow blue in the last stages of Phazon corruption.
  • Monster in the Ice: Samus can find several frozen Reptilicus on Bryyyo as she follows Rundas's trail. The ice encasing them gradually displays greater traces of Phazon as an indication that Rundas is losing control of his Phazon-enhanced abilities.
  • Mook Depletion: The Space Pirate Commander battles you with a horde of Pirate Commandos. It is possible to kill all the Commandos until it's only him left, but doing so takes a while and is pretty tough, especially since he's the second to last non-Final Boss in the game.
  • Mook Maker: Liquid Phazon will produce Phazon Grubs until you destroy it.
  • Morphic Resonance: Gandrayda always has the same pink spark effects left behind no matter what she turns into in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, although this is pretty easy for her to hide when she actually cares about blending in.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Along with the series’ usual example of Samus in her Zero Suit, Gandrayda is also introduced as another extremely attractive bounty hunter with plenty of appeal.
  • Mundane Utility: In addition to the Plasma Beam being able to burn enemies and melt ice and debris, it also makes an excellent welding tool.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Interestingly, it's because Samus comes so far that victory for Dark Samus is almost assured: the Galactic Federation traces the source of the Phazon corruption to the planet Phaaze and Samus goes in alone as she is the only one with the kind of body that can withstand being on the planet. However, because the planet itself is made of Phazon, it accelerates her corruption to near-unmanageable levels and her ship stops acknowledging her as Samus Aran, leaving her stranded. Going to the planet is essentially a death sentence for Samus and her sole hope is to retain what little of herself remains intact from the overwhelming corruption long enough to put an end to Dark Samus. If Samus dies on Phaaze, which is almost guaranteed, then there will be no hope for the galaxy as no one else will be able to penetrate Phaaze's absurdly toxic atmosphere.
  • New Game Plus: After beating the game, you can start over on a higher difficulty, with all scans from the previous game carried over in case you missed some early on. All the achievement tokens you've received in the previous playthrough will be retained, and you can collect new ones by defeating bosses in Hypermode difficulty.
  • New World Tease: You can enjoy Elysia for about one room if you travel there the instant it's available. The second room is filled with Phazon growths only destroyed by the Hyper Ball and requires the Grapple Swing to traverse the rest of the room.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: The X-Ray Visor makes a return in this game, after having appeared in the first Prime but not the second. By the time you finally get it, you're already gone through the darkest areas (such as the Xenoresearch lab when energy goes out), so you'll instead use it for its primary attributes.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Meta Ridley is a cyborg space pirate dragon. Later in the game, he returns as Omega Ridley, a mutant cyborg space pirate dragon.
  • No Fair Cheating: Hypermode makes you practically invincible! However...
    • Trying to go through Fuel Gel or Acid Rain before obtaining the Hazard Shield in Hypermode will return you to normal, even if you were in a corrupted state.
    • Certain bosses also posses attacks that will yank you out of Hypermode if you are hit so that you can't just cheese the fight by using invincibility to avoid damage all the time.
    • The passcode terminal needed to progress in the Pirate Homeworld has its buttons change every time you enter a code to prevent people from brute forcing their way through by guessing every possible combination without getting the X-Ray Visor first.
    • Similarly, trying to use Screw Attack to pass through Acid Rain works about as well as using Hyper mode does: Screw Attack does protect you from the acid rain's damage, but the second you land while still exposed to the rain, you'll be taking several energy tanks worth of damage every second!
  • Non Standard Game Over: More examples than any other Metroid game up to this point.
  • Noob Bridge: The start of the game puts the player in the hangar of a friendly space station and door shooting is required to progress. The game assumes that this is obvious but for new players it is not logical to shoot friendly-controlled doors in order to open them.
  • Noob Cave: The game starts in the GFS Olympus, which has no enemies (at first, anyway), some story elements, and a basic tutorial until the Space Pirates come in. Near the starting point you can even play a shooting challenge where you can win up to two tokens.
  • Noodle Incident: The Horus Rebellion is briefly mentioned early in the game. The only known details about it are that it was the only known time that a large amount of Stiletto-Class Fighters were scrambled aside from the attack on Norion at the beginning of the game, and that it was heavily implied to have resulted in a lot of casualties on the Galactic Federation's end.
  • Not Completely Useless: Seeker Missiles, like in Echoes. Their ability to lock 5 missiles onto a single enemy provide a semi-decent replacement for the absent Super Missiles or beam combos, and at least don't cost health unlike Hyper Missiles.
  • Notice This: Objects that can be moved or torn away with the Grapple Lasso have a distinctive yellow shimmer to them; once scanned, the visor's HUD also superimposes a semitransparent grapple icon over them. Ledges that Samus will automatically pull herself up onto when she leaps at them similarly shimmer in green.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Compared to Prime and Echoes, Corruption is more subtle about it, with the "incoming scans" replaced by intelligence from the Galactic Federation being sent to you. The effect is exactly the same, but it's better integrated into the story.
  • Nuclear Option: Midway through the game, the only way to destroy the shield of the massive Leviathan Seed poisoning the planet Elysia is to assemble and drop a Chozo Theronian Thermonuclear Bomb on it, which successfully works.
  • Nuke 'em: The Leviathan Seed on Skytown is protected by an energy shield, and unlike the last level the generators are out of reach. So what solution does the local supercomputer come up with? Assemble some parts they happen to have lying around the place, and drop a nuke on it. It's called a 'Theronian Bomb', but is also referred to as a nuclear weapon.
  • Odd Name Out: The main planets visited are Norion, Bryyo, Elysia, and Pirate Homeworld. The last one is the only planet without a fully confirmed name (averted in the Japanese version of the game, where it's called Urtraghus; the only hint suggesting this name in the Western versions is the name of an enemy, Urtragian Shriekbat).
  • Oh, Crap!: A Space Pirate log details how they inadvertently brought the remains of Dark Samus with them while hastily collecting Phazon on Aether. Dark Samus then revives herself in their cargo hold...
    Pirate Log: Surely, we are cursed.
  • Old Save Bonus: One of the unlockable bonuses adds bumper stickers to Samus's ship based on save files you have on your console, ranging from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess to the later-released Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • One-Hit Kill: Using the Nova Beam combined with the X-ray Visor lets you target certain enemies' innards. This can make short work of tough enemies like Phazon Metroids, Metroid Hatchers, Pirate Commandos, and Berserker Knights.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: By this game, the Federation is savvy enough to hold off its entire space armada while Samus forges ahead on her own twice: the Space Pirate Homeworld first and then Phaaze immediately afterward. Even after the Federation's badass upgrade, they're not stupid. Prime 3 actually takes this a step further: Samus is sent to investigate, by herself, two planets that have had a Leviathan impact, and the Space Pirates' homeworld. While Samus spent a month in a coma, the Federation sent her fellow hunters on solo missions to each location, figuring that their hard-earned statuses as people of mass destruction would mean they could get the job done. When contact is lost with them, the Federation sends Samus to find out what happened to each of them.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The GFS Olympus is only available during that game's prologue. At least it's lucky to not be destroyed afterwards, unlike its Metroid Prime equivalent (The Frigate Orpheon).
  • Only Idiots May Pass: There is an energy generator which you need to call your ship in to destroy - which is guarded by two glaringly obvious anti-air cannons. The forward path will not open until you foolishly call your ship in for a bombing run, getting it damaged and having your advisor inform you that you first need to disable the cannons. The doors which quite obviously lead to the two cannons you have just been told to destroy are locked. Nothing the player does will unlock them, and they can't be opened until the player gives up and tries to leave; at that point, the doors open up so that enemies can come through and attack you.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: The game uses this for box art and other artwork, but it's downplayed in the game itself. While blue is prominent because of Phazon becoming more abundant, orange is largely limited to Samus and her gunship. Shades of orange and some of yellow and/or cream are present in the areas and ambiance of Bryyo and Elysia; the Space Pirates' home planet features large amounts of red.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Several enemies can be killed in a single strike of the Nova Beam augmented by the X-Ray Visor, due to the limitations of their Phazite armor.
  • The Overworld: Bryyo has the area that encompasses the Cliffside and Thorn Jungle areas (which are later revealed to be connected), but only for that particular planet.

    P-Z 
  • Palette Swap: The Phaz-Ing in planet Phaaze are reskins of the Inglets in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
  • Pent-Up Power Peril: When you enter corrupted hypermode, your phazon reserve continuously grows as long as you do not fire, and any damage you take gets converted into phazon in your phazon reserve instead of damaging your health. The problem is that if your phazon reserve tank overflows, you become terminally corrupted, causing you to become taken over by Dark Samus and becoming a copy of her in both mind and body, causing a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Thankfully averted with collectible items and upgrades, as they are either in locations that are always accessible, or in the case of the Energy Tank on the Olympus, cannot be skipped. However, some other things are missable.
    • Most things aboard the Olympus become inaccessible after leaving it for the first time, such as Admiral Dane and several lore objects. Only a few things remain the second time around, and after talking to AU 242, Samus leaves the place for good.
    • The three Hunters have lore scans that can only be found during the opening Norion battle. Ghor is relatively easy to scan, as he stays as an intractable NPC for a portion of this mission that won't disappear until you leave the room, but Rundas and Gandrayda can only be scanned during the brief elevator ride at the end. And these three scan are separate from when you re-encounter the Hunters later in the game.
    • Any repair drone shot by Samus at SkyTown is permanently destroyed, unlike enemies which respawn.
    • The only time AU 217 can be scanned to add him to the research section is after curing him of the virus but before destroying the Elysia Seed. Before that point he only gets a basic scan mentioning the Phazon virus. After that point his tank fogs up as he is "acquiring new data" and gets only a basic scan mentioning that as well.
  • Persecuted Intellectuals: Bryyo's backstory involves a war between the intellectual Lords of Science and the traditional Primals, which eventually ended with the Primals hunting down and killing the intellectuals that remained after the war.
  • Phlebotinum Overload: Being exposed to large amounts of Phazon will send Samus into a dangerous form of Hypermode where she's required to continually vent it from her body/suit or risk Terminal Corruption. In general, anyone trying to use Phazon for a power source may get some benefits from it but always runs the risk of their device backfiring fatally (as happened to some GF Phazon Troopers). Regardless, the Space Pirates keep playing with the stuff in order to energize their own forces.
  • Planetary Parasite: The Leviathan seeds strike planets and start growing Phazon on them. They're later revealed to come from a sentient planet called Phaaze, and they're attempting to transform other planets into clones of Phaaze.
  • Planet Eater: Phaaze, by itself, is a living planet. However, in a loose reenactment of an Alien's modus operandi on a planetary scale, it sends out its offspring in meteorite form to corrupt and devour other planets as a means of reproducing.
  • Player Death Is Dramatic: The game shows Samus' blood spilling onto a blue screen and then "Game Over" is displayed. If Samus' corruption levels get too high, the game shows the Phazon inside Samus overtake her body completely, transforming her into another Dark Samus. The game over screen then appears, but blue substance/blood is shown instead and "Game Over: Terminal Corruption" is displayed.
  • Playing with Fire: Ghor attacks with overheated plasma when piloting his machine.
  • Plot Coupon: The Energy Cells, which provide supplies of energy to the doors and machines that fell into disrepair in GFS Valhalla after the Space Pirates destroyed the whole vessel. It's only necessary to collect a minimum of five in order to access the Pirate Code that grants access to Phaaze, but getting all nine is the only way to achieve 100% Completion (both because of the cells themselves accounting for the game's global item count and because giving energy to all parts in need of it is necessary to find and collect the items found here).
  • Plot-Demanded Manual Mode: The Aurora Unit 21 instructs Samus to assemble the Theronian bomb so they can drop it on top of the Leviathan Seed shield in Elysia to breach it. In order to do this, Samus has to Ride the Bomb and disable the engines manually.
  • Point of No Return: Polite example: There are two good reasons you can't return from the final planet. One, it's so far away that the only way back to the rest of the planets are to go back through the wormhole created by the Leviathan, and the Federation has only planned to use it to get there and to leave when they're done. Second, Samus has become so corrupted that her own ship stops recognizing her and won't let her back on board. The Aurora Unit encourages you to make any preparations you see fit before doing so.
  • Polluted Wasteland: The Space Pirate Homeworld is very much a planet-wide case. The planet's acid rain is the most dangerous environmental hazard in the game, killing you almost before you can realize it.
  • Portal Endpoint Resemblance: The teleportation device that takes Samus to Bryyo Ice is found in a room that is similarly iced over despite being located in the otherwise hot Bryyo Fire.
  • Power Copying:
    • The Nova Beam is collected after destroying a mining platform that was using it.
    • Defeating each of the corrupted bounty hunters yields an upgrade based on their powers. Rundas gives Ice Missiles, Ghor gives the Plasma Beam (which is explicitly stated to be his main weapon), and Gandrayda drops the Grapple Voltage.
  • Power Degeneration: The true price one pays for using Hypermode. While very strong, Hypermode floods the body with the effect of Phazon. The longer one relies on it, the more likely that they become Phazon.
  • Power Incontinence: Present as a side effect of using Hyper Mode. After a few seconds of active use, the power meter starts charging on its own, causing a Non Standard Game Over if it fills. While the usual "treatment" is an Unstoppable Rage, Samus can opt for A-Team Firing if there are no targets nearby.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • When the player travels back to previous worlds (which they will do, a lot, because it's a Metroid game), they will find that the tedious or fearsome enemies from before have not gotten any easier to deal with. This is because the games' advancing weaponry prioritizes overworld exploration and thus they don't get any stronger like in previous games—the Plasma beam does the same damage as the Power Beam, as does the Nova Beam. Barring the cheats these open up like the X-ray combo kill, this means the player doesn't actually get any better at handling threats. Part of this is to enforce the use of Hypermode.
    • The Hyper Ball: as long as you don't spend Phazon or wait too long, you can freely move into and out of the invincibility-granting Hyper Mode without ever losing any health. Before getting the Hyper Ball, you can drop bombs that cost no Phazon while in Hypermode. After you get the Hyper Ball, the bombs are replaced with an attack consisting of giant energy tendrils that don't really do anything aside from destroying Phazon growths in certain places. Without the Hyper Ball, then, Morph Ball Bombs are essentially a way to deal damage while invincible (this is a very useful property against Mogenar]]).note 
    • The Hazard Shield, while giving you boosted defense, is supposed to protect you from hazardous substances, namely acid rain and fuel gel. By the time you get this item, there's barely anything that requires this power up anyway.
    • Beating the final Leviathan boss (Omega Ridley, whose arrival is always a big deal) gets you the nearly useless Hyper Grapple.note 
  • Pre-Final Boss: During the game's climax, Samus has to fight Dark Samus before facing the corrupted Aurora Unit 313.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: After Samus defeats Rundas on Bryyo, he appears to come to his senses, only for him to impale himself on an ice spire. It is implied, although not explicitly shown or stated, that it is Dark Samus's influence that causes this.
  • Purposely Overpowered: Hypermode makes you invincible for a long time, gives your shots ridiculous amounts of power, and only requires a spare Energy Tank to activate. However, as the story goes on, the threat of terminal corruption and the fact that enemies begin to use Hypermode as well makes it less of a Super Mode and more of a precious resource Samus has to carefully manage to stay on even footing with her foes while not succumbing to the risks involved with its use.
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: After playing it straight in the previous Prime games, the Power Beam averts this trope entirely by the game making the different beams stack on top of the basic one (as in the 2D games), although the beam cannon still has infinite ammo compared to the far more powerful missiles.
  • Recurring Boss:
    • You must fight Meta Ridley three times: He harasses you while you're using Morph Ball to navigate between towers the first time, then you fight him while plummeting down a shaft, and finally when attacking the third Leviathan seed, where he's powered up by Phazon and labelled Omega Ridley.
    • The Berserker Lord is challenged twice: The first time occurs in GFS Olympus (being also the boss of this tutelary location), and the second in Elysia as a Mini-Boss.
    • Though it's a Skippable Boss in every instance, the Metroid Hatcher can be challenged up to three times over the course of the game: Pirate Homeworld, Norion, GFS Valhalla.
  • Red Alert: The GFS Olympus goes into "Condition Red" during the Space Pirate attack at the beginning of the game.
  • Red Filter of Doom: On the GFS Valhalla and the Pirate Homeworld.
  • Remilitarized Zone: Planet Norion and Pirate Homeworld. The former is a force-of-good version, as it's run by the Galactic Federation and only becomes a threat for Samus when the Pirates invade it during the game's prologue. In contrast, Pirate Homeworld is definitely an evil place as it's filled with Space Pirates and mechanical enemies; the environment is another enemy, due to the acid rain.
  • Remixed Level: The GFS Valhalla isn't the same place as the GFS Olympus, but it feels like this trope because it has the same layout as the Olympus but is ruined and overrun by monsters. Justified in-universe, as it comes from the same mass-produced line of ships.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: In addition to series-classic Ridley, the game also features the Reptilicus (a.k.a. the Old Bryyonians), who'll attack you on sight. To be fair, though, the lore entries that you can scan on Bryyo imply that they were fairly nice guys at one point, but more or less turned "evil" after a schism broke out between the "primal" ways of magic and the "new ways" of science.
  • Respawning Enemies: Bryyo has a room with respawning aerotroopers guarding an anti-air turret. To expose the turret's weak point, you must pull three switches on raised platforms, and the enemies can reset the switches. The only way to win is to ignore the enemies and do it as quickly as possible.
  • The Reveal: The Leviathans are the offspring of a planet-sized organism that is the source of all Phazon in the universe, and the meteors that struck Tallon IV and Aether were Leviathans.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: Ice missiles act like this, when they freeze something sharp ice crystals from in a sphere then snap onto the target.
  • Riding the Bomb: The game has a different take on this - after chasing the Space Pirates away from the Spire Pod and commencing the engines' shutdown sequence, Samus has five minutes to repair the Escape Pod and blast off in it before she literally rides the bomb into the Leviathan. If this happens, or the Space Pirates successfully shoot down the Spire Pod, you get a scene of the pod falling before Game Over-induced sudden blackout - if the fall and storms don't kill Samus, the bomb certainly will.
  • Ring Menu: How one switches between Samus's visors and beam weapons. In the game's two predecessors, they corresponded to the controller's directional pad and second analog stick respectively; in this game (and the Trilogy edition of the other two), it's made explicit by overlaying the menu across the game screen for selection with the motion controls.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: The game's scannable lore describes a Great Offscreen War between two factions on the planet Bryyo: the Primals who followed the Old Ways and magic vs. the Science Lords who had a more progressive and technological bent. It didn't end well; the environment was devastated, the Science Lords were wiped out, and the Primals have reverted to basically animals. However, one of the Primals and one of the Science Lords did manage to work together to set in motion a plan to restore the environment through Magitek.
  • Rule of Cool: Samus should not be able to arc weld delicate circuitry with her Plasma Beam, but it is awesome.
  • Rule of Three: Three planets struck by Phazon, thus three Leviathan Seeds to destroy. Relatedly, in each of those planets, Samus has to defeat one of her three fellow bounty hunters, who have been corrupted by Phazon.
  • Sad Battle Music: Sad, but intense, music plays during your battle with Rundas.
  • Sapient Ship: This game goes on to mention how an intelligent computer can benefit a normally crew-run ship; Olympus-class battleships with an Aurora Unit have cut down on the crew requirements, leaving room for more weapon systems.
  • Save Point: Besides the series-classic save rooms, Samus Aran's gunship deserves special mention. In most games, the ship is always placed at the start of the games; but in this game and the preceding Metroid Prime: Hunters, it becomes handy since there are now multiple landing sites (and the Command Visor allows you to summon it into a newly-discovered landing site as long as the space is cleared).
  • Scenery Gorn: The desolate and ruined environments on Bryyo manage to be quite spectacular and awesome.
  • Scenery Porn: The graphical capabilities of the Wii are shown off quite well in the game's spectacular environments, with each world boasting elaborate architecture and unique landscapes, particularly in Bryyo and Elysia.
  • Scenic-Tour Level: The opening sequence of the game has Samus go through the G.F.S. Olympus as part of a check in procedure for her meeting with Admiral Dane. During the meeting, the Pirates attack, and Samus then has to fight her way back through the ship, passing many of the landmarks she went by on her way in. Although the Olympus does not get revisited much later on, most of the rooms in the G.F.S. Valhalla are built from the same blueprint as the Olympus, making it an effective contrast.
  • Second Hour Superpower: You start the game with the general Samus gear, but after the assault on Norion and Samus successfully saving the planet from destruction, she gains Hypermode.
  • Saved by Canon: A lot of the game's tension deflates when you remember that the Prime series canonically takes place before Metroid II, meaning Samus is in no danger of being permanently corrupted.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: In her boss fight, Gandrayda shapeshifts into Samus once her health is down to a third. She proceeds to use a suped-up version of the Boost Ball, an energy blast not unlike Dark Samus's barrier move and finally a Wave-Motion Gun that sweeps over the arena. You never gain access to anything resembling the latter two attacks.
  • See-Thru Specs: The X-Ray Visor returns, now allowing Samus to see the symbols and characters of special keyboards she must use to write codes in Pirate Homeworld. She can also use the visor to see through Phazite plates and activate certain gizmos when using the Nova Beam.
  • Sequel Escalation: In Prime and Echoes, Phazon threatened only one planet at a time, and was limited to specific areas. In this game, Phazon is suddenly a massive threat to the entire galaxy, and has spread everywhere, even inside Samus. This is justified as Phaaze, the source of the Phazon, is now under Dark Samus's strategic control rather than flinging seeds randomly.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • As Samus flies off in the Golden Ending, the Delano 7 follows her.
    • Scanning a certain monitor gives you the message "Metroid project 'Dread' is nearing final stages of completion". This was a reference to the Metroid Fusion sequel, Metroid Dread, which would actually go on to be cancelled (twice) before being finally seeing official announcement and release fourteen years after Corruption teased it.
  • Sequence Breaking: Heavily downplayed compared to other Metroid games. There are only two instances where you can do this in Corruption due to glitches, and only one of them is beneficial. Both of them were fixed for the Trilogy rerelease.
    • You can get the Spider Ball early via a series of glitches.
    • It is possible to skip the Hazard Shield, although you need certain methods to get past the five Acid Rain areas without it. Unfortunately, it's impossible to reach it early by using the early Spider Ball due to a dev team trick; If Samus reaches the Hazard Shield before defeating Gandrayda, a Missile Expansion will be in its place. It cannot be picked up and scanning it will identify it as the Hazard Shield. Also, Samus will be unable to leave the area, since the only means of escape is through the windows that are smashed by Assault Aerotroopers during a cutscene that takes place after the Suit is obtained, making the game impossible to complete.
  • Sequential Boss:
    • Gandrayda has four phases (one when she transforms into enemies, one when she transforms interchangeably into Rundas and Ghor, one when she transforms into Samus, and one when she attacks while using Hypermode).
    • Omega Ridley has three phases, having a different weak point in each (its mouth, its chest's carapace, and the chest itself).
    • Lastly, in the final area, you fight Aurora 313 right after putting down Dark Samus, and has two forms: complete and floating severed head.
  • Series Fauxnale: This was meant to be the end of the Metroid Prime trilogy, before the creation of Metroid Prime 4.
  • Shapeshifter: Gandrayda is a master of this and Samus' first encounter with her is the bounty hunter assuming the form of Samus as a way of teasing her. When you fight her after she succumbs to the corruption, she uses her shapeshifting abilities to transform into previous bosses and the other bounty hunters while retaining the same abilities. She'll even transform into Samus herself, but her attacks look more similar to Dark Samus' abilities from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, like using an arena covering laser attack and using the Boost Ball to roll everywhere.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: When fighting Gandrayda in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, she transforms into multiple characters you've already fought over the course of the game. Most of what she transforms into is sensibly around her own size, with the notable exceptions of a group of tiny Swarmbots (while they may collectively equal her size, she turns into multiple beings at once), Ghor and his ginormous powered-armor, and the massive Berserker Lord. Her scan page states that how she can change size so drastically is unknown.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Gandrayda pulls one of these once you defeat her. First, she changes into Ghor, then into Rundas, then into Samus which leads to the image of a Samus nearly corrupted by the Phazon standing over a normal Samus laying on the ground dying. The whole thing takes less than a minute, and the only sound that comes out of her mouth is a scream, but the message to Samus is clear: "You couldn't save them from The Corruption, you couldn't save me from it, and you're not going to be able to save yourself. Your Days Are Numbered, Samus."
  • Shapeshifter Swan Song: Gandrayda pulls one during her death throes, turning into Rundas, a Berserker Lord, Ghor, and finally Samus, before finally succumbing. This leads to the rather horrifying image of a badly corrupted Samus standing over an uncorrupted Samus in her death throes. Samus is clearly unnerved by the sight of herself reaching for help.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Some of its Space Pirates are armed with energy shields; you can rip these off with your Grapple Lasso.
  • Shielded Core Boss: The gigantic war golem Mogenar has four Phazon cores (in various locations) shielded by red energy orbs; the player must blast through the shielding and then deliver a strike at the core with their Hyper Beam. Mogenar can regenerate the energy orbs using fixtures located along the edge of its Boss Room, and regenerates all of them whenever any core is destroyed. This perk makes the boss difficult to defeat.
  • Shock and Awe: Gandrayda attacks with purple-colored electricity when she's not using her shapeshifting ability. By extension, the Grapple Voltage allows Samus to absorb or give away health via an electrified syphon cord.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Several bosses in the game have this as part of their respective attack repertoires: Berserker Lord, Mogenar, Defense Drone, Dark Samus. The former three, when performing it, unleash electrified waves, while Dark Samus unleashes one made of Phazon.
  • Shoulders of Doom: Samus Aran's shoulders become the housing for the Hazard Shield upgrade, visibly changing after that upgrade is acquired.
  • Shout-Out: The "Horus Rebellion" is a reference to the "Horus Heresy" event from Warhammer 40,000, another rebellion that was indeed some "nasty business," enough to cause a schism within the Imperium of Man. Said rebellion was led by the eponymous Horus, who was corrupted by the Chaos Gods, much like how Dark Samus in this game brainwashes the Space Pirates for her own ends. Coincidentally one of the daemons from early in Warhammer was named "Samus."
  • Single-Biome Planet: Elysia (a gas giant, and gameplay-wise the setting of a major Floating Continent), Pirate Homeworld (a City Planet shrouded in acid rain), and Phaaze (a planet made of Phazon, thus a Genius Loci). Norion's status is unclear (it's described as a forest planet, but it doesn't specify whether or not oceans are present as well), and Bryyo averts it altogether.
  • Skippable Boss: None of the Metroid Hatchers are mandatorily fought, though it's recommended to defeat at least the first of them (namely the one from Pirate Homeworld, serving as the planet's second boss) since doing so leads to a shortcut to the then-following objective. The one onboard the Valhalla doesn't even lock the doors to the connecting rooms while it's being fought; as such, you can completely ignore it and walk into the next room unhindered (humorously, the Boss Subtitles will remain onscreen for about a minute after leaving). You do have to defeat all of them if you're aiming for 100% Completion, however.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Bryyo Ice, an extremely small one which doesn't even have any enemies and evokes the feel of Phendrana Drifts of Metroid Prime. The ice aspect of the area is purely cosmetic, and irrelevant to gameplay. It is here where the iconic Screw Attack powerup can be found in this game.
  • Smashing Survival: There are some enemies and a trap that might latch onto Samus; players have to waggle the remote and nunchuck to break loose.
  • Smug Super: An odd example in the form of Rundas. Rundas considers himself to be one of the unrivaled bounty hunters and has the balls to prove it. Gandrayda also qualifies, she has an obvious reason to see Samus as her rival and enjoys her profession as a bounty hunter nothing more than just a hobby.
  • Socialization Bonus: Friend Vouchers could be traded between other Wii systems to obtain special green credits that could be used to unlock bonus goodies. Due to Nintendo shutting down their servers, this became a Bonus Feature Failure.
  • Sole Surviving Scientist: On the planet of Bryyo, you can read the journal entries of the last surviving scientist, as he tries to keep the world from suffering an environmental collapse. He fails.
  • Sound Test: Players can use credit badges (gained through various different achievements, as well as scanning lore and creatures) to unlock most of the tracks, notably overworld and boss themes.
  • Space Is Cold: In the depressurized areas of the Valhalla, Samus' breath fogs up her visor and ice crystals can be faintly seen, to suggest this trope.
  • A Space Marine Is You: The game contains most of the clichés that define the trope. The Federation military comes into their own, troopers alternate between seriously kicking ass and dying horribly.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Regarding the Boost Ball and how it's used with Spinners, the game kicks it up a notch in Skytown, which has these circular generator things that you have to boost around for a while to activate whatever they're connected to.
  • The Spook: Gandrayda, the Shapeshifting Bounty Hunter. According to her scan, her backstory, including her homeworld and exact age, are unknown to the Galactic Federation. They don't even know anything definite about her species aside from its similarities to the inhabitants of Jovia XII.
  • Spotting the Thread: There are several hints that the captured GF trooper is a fake, but the biggest one is that Space Pirates don't take prisoners.
  • Standard Power-Up Pose: When empowered by the rush of Phazon after Leviathan bosses, Samus takes a more and more painful looking variation of the pose. It really sells that she is turning into a copy of Dark Samus, especially when she floats in this pose to expel the supercharge of Phazon at Leviathan seeds.
  • Steampunk: SkyTown has this theme, as most of the architecture and machinery is brass-colored and has an antiquated yet functional feel.
  • Storming the Castle: After saving planets Bryyo and Elysia from the threat of Phazon, Samus travels to the Space Pirates' home planet to give them some hell and eventually disable the planetary shield to allow the Galactic Federation to do the storming themselves as well (which later helps Samus destroy the local Leviathan Seed as well). Later, at the end, Samus and the entire Galactic Federation does the same thing to Phaaze, in order to get rid of the Phazon menace once and for all.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option:
    • There's a stage in Bryyo that requires you to call in your spacecraft to airstrike a shield generator. Said generator is surrounded by several blatantly obvious anti-aircraft cannons... but the doors leading out of the area are locked, and the game won't allow you to proceed until you actually call in your ship and get the crap shot out of it.
    • In Elysia, you waltz into a secret Pirate lab with Metroids trapped in forcefield cages. When you find the local weapon upgrade, it's in a forcefield container. To get it, you have to disable all the forcefields, with predictable results.
    • While hunting down Gandrayda, Samus encounters a lone Federation Marine in the middle of the Space Pirates' home planet. He neither explains why he's there nor bothers to explain why, exactly, Samus should come with him, only that they "have to take the elevator to get out." His first transmission to the player, before one even sees him, has the player thinking [spoiler:"it's Gandrayda", and they're absolutely right. However, the cutscenes make it clear that Samus wasn't fooled, and was using Gandrayda to advance further]].
  • Suicide Mission: Maybe Samus didn't necessarily sign on for it to be but traveling to Phaaze at the end of the game turns into one when her Phazon corruption mutates her genetics to the point her gunship won't allow her to reenter and she is constantly approaching terminality while remaining on the planet. Luckily she does manage to destroy the source and her corruption is neutralized in the process, allowing her to escape before it blows.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Samus gets the ability to enter Hypermode, fueled by the evil substance known as Phazon. Staying in this mode for too long corrupts her, leading to a Non Standard Game Over, specifically turning into another Dark Samus.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity:
    • You are forced to pick up two Energy Tanks during the Pirate attack on the Olympus and Norion. The Berserker Lord isn't too hard, but you have to fight Meta Ridley on a time limit not long after the second tank. Even then, you need to inject a whole tank to use Hypermode, which completing the game without is impossible. And good luck getting through Phaaze with just those two.
    • Right after the Escort Mission on the Pirate Homeworld, there is a room with a pool of Phazon that can be used to fully restore your health. In the next room, you fight the Pirate Commander.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Gragnols found in Bryyo act very similar to the War Wasps from the previous two Prime games, complete with spawning out of destructible hives.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Mogenar can only be damaged by using the Hyper Beam to destroy the sockets on his body... which means you have to blow up the red orbs inside the sockets first... of a boss whose tactical stupidity is resorting to the charge attack that lets you shoot the orb on its back.
  • Take It to the Bridge: After acquiring the map data for Bryyo that reveals the two other landing sites, the doors lock as Samus crosses a bridge made of ice and a swarm of Hoppers attack her.
  • Take My Hand!: Rundas literally snatches Samus out of Ridley's jaws at the end of the Free-Fall Fight on Norion.
  • A Taste of Power: Compared to the previous Prime games, Corruption just uses the Bag of Spilling but starts Samus off with the Space Jump Boots, Morph Ball and its bombs, and the Charge Beam. The developers said that it was fun to make Samus lose her gear, but by the 3rd Prime game, they stopped doing it as a plot point because it wasn't fresh anymore.
  • Tech-Demo Game: Corruption became solid proof that the Wiimote could do First-Person Shooter gameplay well.
  • Techno Wreckage: GFS Valhalla, after being ravaged by Space Pirates. All that's left is a Ghost Ship with fearful music, corpses everywhere (with scans revealing how they died), dreadful Phazon monsters in every room, and more Metroids in this one area than has been seen in the entire franchise except possibly Tourian in the original game.
  • Teleportation: A portal can be found in the fiery side of planet Bryyo, which sends you to the other side of the planet, which is very cold. The object scan even confirms that it is a teleporter. Another teleporter can be found in Pirate Homeworld, which takes Samus into a Leviathan (orbiting Phazon meteor) so she can open a wormhole to the final planet.
  • Temporary Online Content: Due to Nintendo Wi-Fi shutting down in May 2014, the Friend Vouchers can be no longer be redeemed, thus permanently preventing you from obtaining unlockables that require green credits (except through save files recorded on SD cards and then shared online, or by actively hacking the game).
  • Temporary Platform: The Ice Missiles can be used to create temporary frozen platforms of Fuel Gel, a liquid found virtually everywhere on the planet Bryyo. This applies to pools of the gel (a small circular platform appears and then melts shortly after), and gel-falls (the entire flow freezes).
  • Tennis Boss: Happens with a couple of bosses, including the very first one. As Samus lacks a melee weapon to swing, in this case you have to shoot the opponent's projectile several times before it abruptly reverses course.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: The fight with Meta Ridley down the shaft in Norion. Right before the after battle cutscene kicks in, you can see Ridley's life bar has a sliver left. Of course, when you fight him again his name has changed to Omega Ridley and his appearance is different, implying you did kill him and the pirates just revived him with Phazon.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: The Berserker Lord is first weakened down by Samus, then dizzily falls into some energy barriers only to be electrocuted. When the barriers fail, the Berserker falls out into space... and promptly is crashed into by a passing starfighter. Samus stares for a bit then casually re-summons her ship.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Used to interesting effect in the game, where the chaotic first level features space pirates and federation troopers being blown out of damaged airlocks and holes in the ship (there's a bonus for getting the blast doors down in time to save one trooper). Samus also ends up being shot out of an airlock, then manages to get back inside through another.
  • Tidally Locked Planet: According to the lore, 48% of Bryyo's surface is in perpetual daytime (thus very hot), 48% is in perpetual nightime (thus very cold), and the remaining 4% has a temperate climate that allows the existence of cliffs and thorny jungles, taking place in a hybrid between noon and morning.
  • Timed Mission:
    • On Norion, after defeating Meta Ridley and restoring the last generator, a silent countdown for the Leviathan's impact begins. The lack of a visible timer on screen (a departure from one of the series mainstays) may lead some players to think that they can take their time. Warnings are given over the intercom every minute though, and those warnings are not just for dramatic effect — take too long to reach the elevator to the planetary defense system, and the Leviathan will crash into the planet.
    • After disabling the Spire Dock's thrusters to drop the Theronian bomb on the Leviathan Seed, you have five minutes to get on the emergency shuttle and escape. If that sounds like an unusually generous amount of time, that's because things go wrong and you have to fix the shuttle.
    • The whole trek on Phaaze is a timed mission for Samus due to her needing to vent all of her Energy Tanks and the Phazon corruption is slowly overtaking her. Takeing too long to reach and defeat the Final Boss will have Samus succumb to the corruption. How much time you have depends on how many Energy Tanks you collected.
  • Time-Limit Boss:
    • You only have so long on the opening planet to beat Ridley before you fall to your doom.
    • The final set of bosses, located in Phaaze, who are at the end of a long path where your Phazon gauge fills up due to the planet's atmosphere. If it fills, it's the end for Samus.
  • Tin-Can Robot: The Tinbots, defenders of the Steampunk planet Elysia, are exactly that; easily blown apart and even more easily melted once the Plasma Beam is acquired. The Steambots and Steamlord are less fragile.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Space Pirates undergo a massive competency upgrade upon being indoctrinated by Dark Samus, launching full-scale assaults that are often successful, and they know how to utilize Phazon much better.
  • Toxic Phlebotinum: Phazon. On Phaaze, it overwrites Samus' DNA to the point that her own gunship can't recognize her anymore and denies her entry.
  • Tragic Monster:
  • First, you fight Rundas on Bryyo. A bunch of Space Pirates arrive in a cutscene. In a Big Damn Heroes moment, Rundas destroys them all... then attacks you. One boss battle later, the player is treated to a cutscene of Rundas coming to his senses to a moment, then is impaled on a spike of his own ice and absorbed by Dark Samus.
    • Then, on Elysia, you fight Ghor. You return to your ship, only to find Ghor trying to destroy it. He spots you, and tells you you're just in time. He throws the ship at you, and the boss battle begins soon after. His battle suit explodes, and then Dark Samus absorbs him.
    • Then, on the Space Pirate Homeworld, you fight Gandrayda. She disguises herself as a federation trooper, then tries to shoot Samus In the Back. After the boss battle, she changes first into Rundas, then into Ghor, and finally into Samus. At this point, Samus can't bear to look as Dark Samus absorbs Gandrayda.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Both Space Pirates and Bounty Hunters wind up abandoning their old loyalties to further the cause of Phazon corruption. Averted by Samus herself unless the player gets the Non Standard Game Over.
  • Tranquil Fury: Samus remains a Silent Protagonist and the visor hides her face, but when Dark Samus arrives to absorb Ghor and Gandrayda her clenched fist speaks volumes.
  • Tron Lines: When Samus's Phazon corruption reaches the highest levels near the end of the game, her suit really starts to show those blue lines. Yellow and blue lines can also be seen in Skytown, Elysia.
  • Turbine Blender: Pirates fought in the Mining Laser room will grab onto something to hang onto while its suction is on. Shoot them a few times, and they'll fly right up the vacuum and get shredded.
  • Tragic Monster: Fellow bounty hunters Rundas, Ghor, and Gandrayda start off as your allies. By the time you find them, they have been corrupted by Phazon into bosses you're forced to fight.
  • Tron Lines: Actually a plot point. Samus's suit gradually develops blue highlights at the seams, which grow brighter and thicker as her Phazon corruption progresses. By the end of the game, they resemble glowing veins and Samus appears almost identical to Dark Samus.
  • Turns Red: Many regular enemies in the game will enter Hypermode at random intervals. The bosses also alternate hypermode after sustaining enough damage.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: The game has you do this with a GF trooper in order to activate an elevator. The "trooper" in question is the shape-shifting foe Gandrayda.
  • Unflinching Walk:
    • Each time Samus destroys the Core of a Leviathan, she turns to leave, waits for the Core to fall, then continues walking away while the Core overloads and explodes behind her. She cocks her head to listen for the sound of the Core hitting the ground.
    • Another occurs on Elysia, where you can drop a bridge out from under a crowd of Tinbots by grappling out the support gates. As the bridge collapses, the camera focuses on Samus' back as she calmly walks away. The whole sequence earns you a "Stylish Kill" token voucher.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • The Fargul Hatcher only appears in Bryyo Cliffside's Hall of Golems. It reflects missiles and frequently spits out swarms of Fargul Wasps.
    • The Gel Ray pops out from Fuel Gel every now and then in a Fuel Gel-filled room on Bryyo Fire.
    • There's a single Geemer in a missile expansion room in Bryyo, which is noteworthy as Zoomer/Geemers are usually The Goomba of other Metroid titles.
    • The Phazon Harvester Drone, of which there is one in the Pirate Homeworld. It mainly serves to impede Samus' progress by blasting out the walkways in the room it appears. Destroying it with the gunship earns you a Friend Voucher, though it vanishes after defeating Omega Ridley.
  • Uniqueness Decay: Phazon goes from a rare enough substance to fight over in the first two games to being everywhere, commonly used in technology by the Space Pirates and Federation alike. Justified; being The Corruption, spreading Phazon is the villains' goal, and it reproduces itself.
  • Unobtainium: Fuel Gel, a combustible corrosive goop with value as a fuel source. It's normally extremely rare, but Bryyo has an incredible amount of the stuff.
  • Unreadably Fast Text: The corrupted data at the beginning of Corruption; it includes the words "Wii Format", and some German text with the word "Kaempfen (to fight)".
  • Vagueness Is Coming: A video can be found aboard the Valhalla of Aurora 313's last log before its capture, its last words being "Darkness coming..."
  • Vehicular Assault: You fight Space Pirate transport crafts on a few occasions and Space Pirate fighters when you deliver the bomb to destroy the Elysian Leviathan Seed's force field.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Phaaze, the source of all Phazon in the universe. To access it, you have to take control of a Leviathan Seed that is within the domain of the Space Pirates, for which you must have destroyed the injected Seeds from all affected planets (including that from the Pirates' own planet), and input a Pirate Code that is only available in a wrecked vessel whose state requires a new set of Energy Cells (up to nine, if you want to collect all items and get the Golden Ending) scattered across the galaxy.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: During the attack on the Olympus, there are multiple achievements for saving troopers' lives when they're attacked by Space Pirates. One can also, with some sweating, save all 12 Demolition Troopers during the Escort Mission on the Pirate Homeworld.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The game snuck in some creative ways to dispose of enemies.
    • If the player has the Plasma Beam while fighting a Pirate Aerotrooper, they can ignite its jetpack on fire, then yank the pirate off their pack with the Grapple Lasso. Said pirate will then fall to the ground and splat, with their exploding pack to land on them. And you get a Friend Voucher for doing so!
    • After having your ship blow up a wall on Bryyo, a Berserker Knight and some Pirate escorts will attack. You can either fight them off yourself... or call in your ship again to airstrike the area.
    • A nice way to slow down Mogenar is to fire an ice missile in his face while his mouth is open, giving you some time while he stumbles about trying to break the ice.
    • After getting the Grapple Voltage, the player can leech life out of enemies that can be grappled on, or do the opposite and send your energy into them to electrocute them alive.
    • There are a bunch of little harmless repair drones toddling around SkyTown. You can easily blast them to bits for no real reason. Unlike typical enemies, they never come back.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Shoot an ally while aboard the GFS Olympus, and a turret will appear and shoot you for your misbehavior. Destroy that turret and shoot somebody again, and a stronger turret will appear. Repeat the process, and an invincible turret appears, charges up for a second, then instantly kills you as everything goes white. Even using cheat codes to have infinite health or attempting to board your ship doesn't stop the turret from instantly killing you!
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Berserker Lord is the first boss fought in the game and, while by no means difficult, takes some time to defeat as it's one of the two (the other being Meta Ridley) Samus has to confront before acquiring the Hypermode powerup. It returns later in Elysia and, as soon as its weak point is exposed, it can be killed near-instantly now that Hypermode is available (as the monster hasn't received any sort of upgrade or improvement, unlike Meta Ridley who returns later in a stronger form as Omega Ridley).
  • Villain Opening Scene: The game opens with Dark Samus resurrecting.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: After defeating the guardian of the Leviathan Seed on Bryyo, Samus's Phazon infection gets dramatically worse, causing her to take off her helmet, drop to her knees, and throw up pure Phazon. It's at least seen from a distance, but there's little denial of what it is. Samus doesn't comment on this, but she's decidedly slow getting back to her feet. The kicker is that although a similar worsening of her condition occurs upon defeating the other Leviathan guardians later, Samus handles it progressively better and better each time — implying that her body is growing more and more of a tolerance to her Phazon corruption, as the corruption gets worse and worse.
  • Wall Jump: Like in Echoes, the Screw Attack can be used for this effect. Once again, the camera shifts to a more adequate angle so the jumps between walls can be timed more easily.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The Berserker Lord isn't too powerful, is slow with easily-dodged attacks, and its weaknesses are easy to see and shoot.
  • Warp Whistle: The introduction of the Command Visor gives the gunship a use besides saving and replenishing ammo: Cutting back on the incredibly high amount of backtracking in the first two games. There are still only a few areas with open sky access where it can land, including a few at the bottom of mile-long ventilation shafts.
  • Weaponized Offspring:
    • The Fargul Hatcher, which is not a boss but appears in only one spot on the planet Bryyo, also uses this form of attack by spawning a wave of Fargul Wasps at Samus.
    • Metroid Hatchers, as their name suggests, spawn Phazon Metroids from time to time.
    • The Leviathans act as these, being the offspring of Phaaze that are sent to corrupt and destroy the universe.
  • Wetware CPU: The Aurora Units are highly intelligent beings stored in liquid containers. Unfortunately, being part biological leaves them wide open to Phazon...
  • What the Hell, Player?: If you attack the Galactic Federation troopers, they'll ask you to cut it out. If you keep it up, they'll pull defense turrets on you. Destroy the turrets, and eventually an instant-kill turret will come down.
  • Womb Level: Both the Leviathan seeds and Phaaze act as ones. The Leviathans are destroyed by crawling into their "mouths" and searching for a gigantic eye inside their bodies. Plus, a ship used late in the game has the cockpit inside its brain cavity, with eyes staring at you from all directions. Inside its head.
  • X-Ray Vision: The X-Ray Visor, as per its appearance in the first game in the series, though it acts and looks more like the Thermal Visor. However, now you can combine it with the Nova Beam to shoot specific organs inside your target.
  • You Had Us Worried There:
    • There's a brief section where Samus teleports to a distant location on Bryyo and is too far from her gunship to receive transmissions properly.
    • The game does this at the end with the obligatory Earth-Shattering Kaboom, when everybody in GFS Olumpus thinks Samus didn't escape from Phaaze in time. They later see that she did.
  • You Nuke 'Em: Samus destroys the shield around the Elysia Leviathan by constructing a crude thermonuclear explosive and dropping it (with the Sky Dock as the delivery device) right on the Leviathan.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: All four bounty hunters' bodies start producing phazon. Phazon is highly toxic. Eventually, Samus has to kill the other three bounty hunters, who had been corrupted by phazon. The only reason Samus doesn't get corrupted is that she destroys a load-bearing-boss on Phaaze, the source of all phazon, destroying the planet, which causes phazon to cease to exist. It makes sense in context.

 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Metroid Prime 3

Top

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Dying in MP3:C to Phazon corruption results in a special cutscene and modified Game Over screen.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / NonStandardGameOver

Media sources:

Report