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Foreground: Samus Aran. Background, left to right: Spire, Trace, Kanden, Sylux, Noxus, and Weavel.

"Hunter becomes the hunted."
— Tagline

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

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

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

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

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


This game contains examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The Omega Cannon is unlocked during the second and final boss fight with Gorea, during which it's the only weapon that can damage him.
  • Abandoned Laboratory: The Celestial Archives and the Vesper Defense Outpost. The former is a space vessel in which the Alimbics used to store all their knowledge and research findings, but fell into disrepair over time following the race's extinction. The latter used to be the storage for fusion-powered weapons kept under very low temperatures, and was used as a bastion to protect the surrounding planets in the Alimbic system. Both vessels have each two Octoliths, which Samus needs to gather in order to find and defeat Gorea.
  • All There in the Manual: About all that's said about the Hunters in-game is that they'll kill you on sight, no questions asked. The manual and supplementary materials give more detailed background stories:
    • Kanden was created in a lab to be the ultimate soldier, but instead destroyed his creators and now works as a power-hungry bounty hunter.
    • Spire belongs to a supposedly-extinct race, and is seeking the ultimate power in hopes that it can bring him answers regarding their fate.
    • Trace is attempting to secure the ultimate power for the Kriken Empire.
    • Noxus is nobly trying to prevent the ultimate power from falling into the wrong hands.
    • Weavel is a Space Pirate who wants revenge on Samus, as she was directly responsible for his injuries.
    • Sylux is the exception, being a total mystery other than the fact that he's there and is equipped with stolen Federation equipment.
  • Anachronic Order: Despite being released after Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, the game is an interquel place before it but after the first Metroid Prime.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The entire plot is revealed by reading lore datashades with the scan visor on the way. It's impossible to miss several crucial messages that refer vaguely to something called Gorea, but unless you actively look for the log it's basically a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere when it arrives, and you never get to know what's going on.
  • Armless Biped: The Guardians are built this way, in addition to having a body that's all eye.
  • Artifact Title: A double example. Not only is Metroid Prime (or Dark Samus) not in the game at all (nor is Phazon present in any of the planets and spacecrafts in the Alimbic system), but there aren't even any regular Metroids- though there is an enemy that latches onto your face in a similar manner, called the Quadtroid. Metroids along with Mochtroids appear in the First Hunt demo, however.
  • Artistic License Physics:
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The remaining Alimbic were said to have given themselves up to create the seal sphere, but in the final boss's second phase it is said their presence has left it and they semi-inexplicably show up in the game's ending so Samus can wave at them, suggesting ascension happened.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In multiplayer, the Omega Cannon can One-Hit Kill anyone in the blast radius (including you) and will blind everyone else for a few seconds, but it's also a Painfully Slow Projectile that only has one shot and only spawns at the top of one of the multiplayer maps.
  • Bag of Spilling: Unlike the first two Prime games, this game doesn't have any explanation for why Samus starts out with just the Varia Suit (though there are no suit upgrades in this game anyway), Missile Launcher (not even loaded when you first start), and the Morph Ball (with bombs and boost included).
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: During the escape sequence after beating the first Arcterra boss, you run into a Guardian, who just love to ambush you during escapes. However, in just one second after it appears, a hunter, Trace, kills it and proceeds to attack you.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Gorea's first form. It changes colors throughout the battle, with the color matching that of the Affinity Weapon you should be using to damage its shoulders and make it reveal its true weak point. Just like with Metroid Prime's core essence, there's a set pattern to what you should shoot it with. However, no matter the color of its armor, it's always weak to the Power Beam and missiles. The secret final phase of the fight drops this and is immune to everything save the Omega Cannon.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Any time you beat a Hunter, they'll just vanish, before returning to fight another day.
  • Battle Theme Music: Every boss in the game, including the rival hunters who occasionally pop up to give hell to Samus, has its own music theme. Of special note is the theme for Gorea's first phase: Being a Final-Exam Boss, its music applies Variable Mix to incorporate snippets from the rival hunters' themes, played in each case when Gorea is using an attack based on one of their respective weapons.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: The final boss changes the color of its obvious weak point and its own weapon to match one of the six weapons you have at your disposal.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail:
    • Kanden's alt form, the Stinglarva, has a detachable stinger tail that acts as a homing missile.
    • The third limb on Trace's alt form, the Triskelion, functions this way, though whether it's a tail exactly is up for debate.
  • Big Bad: Gorea is the ancient power that manipulates the other Hunters into trying to free it so it can continue rampaging across the galaxy.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Kanden's name means "electric shock" in Japanese.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Hitting someone in the head consistently deals more damage, and it's a One-Hit Kill if someone zooms in while using the Imperialist. In multiplayer, the game even shows "HEAD SHOT!" on the screen when you score one.
  • Bottomless Pits: Unlike the console Prime games that include them, falling into a bottomless pit will instantly kill Samus, rather than just drop her back at the ledge where she was with a slight loss of energy.
  • Bridge Logic: In story mode, the scan visor actually suggests blasting a piece of ruined architecture, calculating it will make a bridge.
  • Capture the Flag: Bounty Mode in multiplayer has teams of hunters compete with one another to acquire octoliths and take them back to their bases.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Octoliths are key to calibrating and powering the Alimbic cannon that summons the Oubilette for a final confrontation with Gorea.
    • The Alimbic prophecy is key to being able to fight Gorea's true form and achieve the true ending.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each of the rival hunters is associated with one of the colors of the rainbow:
    • Trace - Red
    • Spire - Orange
    • Kanden - Yellow
    • Weavel - Green
    • Sylux - Blue
    • Noxus - Violet
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Doors and force fields are colored to match the weapon that will open them. The color coding is different from the console games, though- the light blue color is taken by the Shock Coil weapon, so regular doors are now colored gray, and missile doors are now colored brown.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: While it eventually becomes Lovecraft Lite once Samus comes along, the story of the Alimbic System was definitely this. The Alimbics, having been invaded by a particularly powerful adversary, built up their defensive technology to the point where they (probably rightly) believed that nothing could put a dent in them, and decided to relax and focus on growing their knowledge and cultural achievements. Then a formless evil flew out of the sky, assumed a twisted parody of their form, and began slaughtering them en masse as it absorbed everything they threw at it and turned their own weapons against them. With nothing left to save themselves, the Alimbics managed to seal it away, but the process of doing so ensured their physical extinction. Even then, they didn't completely succeed, as that evil was still very much alive and able to project a telepathic beacon outside of its prison in order to attract other powerful beings who could unwittingly break it out and then provide power for it to absorb. Unfortunately for it, one of those individuals attracted was Samus Aran, thereby instantly turning the story into Lovecraft Lite, but the theme of "inevitable, inexorable annihilation by something unspeakable, with no hope of a complete victory and your absolute best outcome being a massive Pyrrhic Victory" makes the backstory far more reminiscent of a CHS.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Gorea is so built up by lore as being invincible so you'd think the final fight would be massively challenging. In its introductory cutscene, it even curbstomps all the other six hunters simultaneously. But nope. Gorea is by far the easiest final boss of all the Prime games, and is in fact MUCH easier to defeat than some of the previous bosses in that game that were placed there as tests of skill to prepare the hunters for Gorea. Which makes total sense when you think about it.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The guardians and the slenches. The guardians have a weak spot and their eye it ain't.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Becoming the "Prime Hunter" in the multiplayer mode of the same name gives you a great boost in power but also slowly kills you. The only way for a Prime Hunter to stay alive is to continue killing off opponents faster than the opposition and their deadly condition can do them in.
  • Degraded Boss: The first fight with a given Hunter is always relatively difficult. After that, they become only a little worse than nuisances.
  • Detachment Combat:
    • Weavel's body splits apart at the waist, and the bottom half becomes a turret, while the top half starts bouncing around and slashing at you with a sword. Justified, since he is mostly robot (he just has a brain and spinal cord left).
    • Also, the Slenches also do this when their synapses are severed, detaching their orb portion to fly in the air and shoot at Samus with whatever weapons they have equipped in there.
  • Detachable Lower Half: The cyborg Weavel can do this, with his lower body functioning as a turret.
  • Doomsday Device: The Alimbic built the Omega Cannon to stop Gorea, but decided against using it for fear that Gorea would be able to mimic the cannon's power. In the game proper, the Omega Cannon is the only thing that can harm the otherwise invincible Gorea.
  • Double Jump: The game explains that she has a "jump booster" that lets her jump in mid-air.
  • Dynamic Loading: As in the console trilogy, the game has very short hallways that act like this. Once you walk in and shoot the next door, it won't open right away. Instead, it will load the next section's data. For the case of bosses, the door before the boss will also do nothing when shot and touched until the FMV introducing the boss finishes loading.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Gorea, whose backstory is right out of the Lovecraft playbook: a formless, starborn evil who crashed into the Alimbic System and started killing everything in sight, absorbing and copying any and all weapons thrown at it. It eventually takes imprisoning it away in an extradimensional tomb. Needless to say, it wants out. Bad.
  • Enemy Mine: Implied in Gorea's introductory cutscene, where the other six hunters are all shooting at Gorea's Sealing Sphere, instead of each other or Samus, as they've been doing throughout the game. Why this is the case is unclear, though the possibility exists that Gorea is influencing them telepathically.
  • Energy Weapons: Trace's Imperialist takes this form, and if whoever's on the receiving end takes it to the head, it's a One-Hit Kill, provided Trace was zoomed in on it. Unlike most examples the imperialist does hit as soon as fired, but like most examples it also gives away the position of the shooter.
  • Escaped from the Lab: Kanden was an attempt by scientists to create an invincible soldier. What they created was an insane killing machine that's virtually indestructible, who slaughtered all the scientists who built him and escaped from the lab before it exploded.
  • Eternal Engine: Celestial Archives and Vesper Defense Outpost are space vessels that originally served as high-tech libraries and fusion-powered weapon storages respectively; ever since the extinction of the Alimbic race, they fell into disrepair and have become dangerous cesspools for enemies. There's also a section in Alinos with Samus going via morph ball into a boiler and dodge its eternal workings while trying to find an Octolith.
  • Falling Damage: The deadliest instance in the Prime games, because falling into a bottomless pit spells instant death to Samus, instead of just respawning from a spot with minimal health substraction like in the console games.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Gorea forces you to remember which color represents which weakness (much like the Metroid Prime and Emperor Ing did) and also to remember obscure lore you found throughout the game to know in which order to shoot crests on the walls with the proper weapon in order to get to the final phase of the battle and the game's true ending.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: There's one fire, one ice, and two lightnings: Spire and the Magmaul, Noxus and the Judicator, Kanden and the Volt Driver, and Sylux and the Shock Coil.note 
  • Floating Limbs: Neither Krikens (Trace's species) nor the Alimbics have necks. Instead their heads just float a few inches above their shoulders, somehow. Gorea has the same thing going, looking like a three legged Alimbic, except his legs aren't attached either.
  • Free-Sample Plot Coupon: The whereabouts of the first Octolith are found at the start of the game, but like all other Octoliths it's guarded by a boss that must be defeated. The remaining Octoliths not only require defeating a boss each to be claimed, but also reach said bosses' whereabouts by exploring extensively the main locations of the Alimbic solar system (including the starter Celestial Archives, as there's another Octolith besides the first one located there).
  • Full-Conversion Cyborg: Weavel became one of these after being left for dead in a fight against Samus. The only organic parts of his body left are his brain and spinal cord.
  • Gaiden Game: Hunters is an installment focused on online multiplayer (but also with a single-player campaign) which canonically takes place between Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Hunters is completely detached from the Phazon storyline that's at the core of every other entry in the original Prime trilogy, including Federation Force. Instead, the story concerns Samus and a group of other bounty hunters all fighting each other over a rumored "ultimate power." Beyond being the debut of Sylux, who would eventually be set up as a new antagonist following the defeat of Dark Samus, the game has no effect whatsoever on the overarching plot.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: If you fight a Hunter with a melee attacking alt-form near a morph ball entrance, stay away from that entrance while in morph ball form, because the melee attacks can knock you through the morph ball entrance while in bipedal form, trapping you there because the game is programmed to disable the morph ball button when you enter a morph ball passageway. Your only escape is to quit your save file and forfeit any unsaved progress to continue.
  • Global Airship: Samus's gunship serves this role, as she's exploring multiple locations across a solar system (planets and vessels) instead of one.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Kanden was part of a science experiment to create supersoldiers. They got the super part right, but his mind is too unstable for the army. His intro cutscene might involve him blowing up the laboratory he came from, but it is never stated outright.
  • Good Versus Good: Samus vs. Noxus has this dynamic more than with the other hunters. Noxus is a very justice-minded individual who just wants to keep less scrupulous hunters from getting hold of a dangerous power. Unfortunately, he thinks this also includes Samus.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Weavel has this weaponized. At any time he can split his body in half through the midsection, causing it to become two autonomous halves. The top half is player-controlled, walks on his hands, and wields an energy scythe. The lower half becomes an automatic turret, letting Weavel defend one area while his upper half hunts around.
  • Hard Mode Filler: Done with the main bosses. Aside from the final boss and the minibosses, there are only two bosses in the game and you have to fight them both four different times, each time with harder difficulty.
  • Harmless Freezing: Noxus's Judicator can do this if it's in his hands and fired at a close range. Ice Voldrums and the Arctic Spawn can also produce this effect.
  • Heart Container: The Energy Tanks as usual, but unlike in the console Prime installments there are only 7 of them.
  • Hero Antagonist: Two of your six rivals, Noxus and Spire, are good guys. Samus wants to secure the "ultimate power" in the area for The Federation, or destroy it if that's not possible. Noxus is trying to destroy it to keep it out of the hands of anyone who would abuse it (and considering the events of Metroid Fusion, he may not be wrong in including the Federation). Spire hopes that by finding it, he can learn more about why he's the Last of His Kind. Despite them all having good intentions for what to do with it, they end up fighting each other anyway.
  • Hitscan: The game uses hitscan for exactly one weapon: the Imperialist, a laser sniper rifle.
  • Homing Boulders: Should you manage to unlock Gorea's final phase and successfully do damage to its main body, it will respond with literal homing boulders that will pass through walls and even the floor just to hit Samus. That said, she can and should dodge them as she tracks Gorea down to continue damaging it.
  • Homing Projectile: The volt driver when used by Kanden, missiles when used by Samus. The Shock Coil comes close, too, as it'll automatically hit if used within a given range of the target, but is completely wasted otherwise.
  • An Ice Person: Noxus's species, the Vhozon, comes from a very cold planet. His signature weapon is the Judicator, which can freeze enemies with a charged shot.
  • Insectoid Aliens:
    • Kanden's Stinglarva form was created using the material of predatory insects. Kanden himself resembles a caterpillar, albeit bipedal and heavily muscled.
    • Trace's people resemble insects, due to their very thin limbs.
  • Interface Screw: A charged Volt Driver shot will distort an enemy hunter's visor.
  • Interquel: The game takes place between Prime and Prime 2.
  • Invisibility Cloak: When Trace is equipped with the Imperialist weapon, he can become invisible so long as he remains still.
  • Jack of All Stats: Samus in multiplayer. She's the only Hunter without a unique weapon (aside from the fact that her missiles can home), and her alt form's abilities are average.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The game requires you to piece together the plot without the aid of cutscenes or expository sequences. And much of the information has to be taken from haphazardly-scattered, scannable data caches which are only visible to your scan visor. Yes, it is ludicrously easy to walk right by the entire story and not even realize it.
  • Last of His Kind: Spire is the last known Diamont, people made of rock. He hopes that finding the ultimate power will let him discover what happened to them.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: The game features the Magmaul, which is basically a magma grenade launcher.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Alinos was the Alimbic homeworld, but became this once the planet's core became unstable. Because Samus has the Varia Suit since the beginning, heat never becomes a problem, though lava remains harmful upon direct contact. The most important location here is a sacred vault originally built by the Alimbics; it is there where Samus has to place all Octoliths in order to gain access to the Oubliette, where the Final Boss awaits.
  • Life Drain: Sylux's Shock Coil will drain health from the opponent if he's using it, which helps make up for the short range.
  • Lightning Gun: Kanden's affinity weapon, the Volt Driver, which fires short bursts of electricity. Its charge shot fires a slow-moving ball of lightning, which, when used by Kanden, has homing capabilities and disrupts the target's visor.
  • Living Weapon: Kanden's Volt Driver is stated in a Scan Log as being a Living Weapon.
  • Load-Bearing Boss:
    • The game includes an escape timer after every Octolith boss fight. If you don't make it out on time, a wave of energy takes up the screen and you die. Unlike explosions revisited in other games, it does no damage to the surrounding area. It was just made to break the one getting the Octoliths, apparently.
    • Gorea's defeat always results in the destruction of its prison, the Oubilette. Whether Samus and the other hunters can safely escape depends on whether you fulfilled the Alimbic prophecy.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: The game tries to use small empty hallways between rooms to disguise the loading. It does not work, as you can often spend as much as 10 seconds standing at the door waiting for the damn thing to open, particularly if one of the other Hunters or Guardians are in the next room. Keep in mind this is on a Nintendo DS cart.
  • Magma Man: Spire. His body is made of stone, and his signature weapon is the Magmaul, a gun which fires blasts of magma.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Samus surprisingly gets this to an extent; having homing missiles instead of a secondary affinity weapon. Weavel is another example, since his Alt mode turns his lower half into a stationary turret instead of simply transforming him into a single entity.
  • Mle Trois: Samus and six other bounty hunters are all in the Alimbic cluster to try and claim the "ultimate power" for themselves. When Samus first encounters Noxus and Trace on Arcterra, a three-way fight between them ensues. Fortunately, Samus only needs to focus on fighting Noxus, since Trace will retreat once Noxus is defeated.
  • Metroidvania: Largely underplayed in comparison to the mainline Metroid games, as it's more of a first-person shooter with a few exploration elements.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Samus detonates an ancient alien prisoner, inside a spaceship, inside a dimensional rift.
  • Mini-Boss: The game has the six antagonistic hunters (fought at various midpoints of the areas) and the Fire and Arctic Spawns. The main bosses are the Octoliths' protectors (Slench and Cretaphid) and Gorea.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: In a reverse case following up Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Hunters added a much more popular and developed multiplayer mode, but at the expense of a criticized single-player mode.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: The hunters range from well-intentioned to selfish to bloodthirsty. Samus is merely commissioned to discover the source of the message. Spire wants to find out what happened to his people. Noxus wants to be sure no one gets the ultimate power. Weavel wants it for the firepower, Trace wants it for conquest, Sylux wants it for revenge, and Kanden wants it because he's crazy.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item: Death alt is a temporary powerup that gives the morph ball an "Instant Death" Radius similar to the hyper ball from Metroid Prime Pinball.
  • Multiple Endings: Killing Gorea's first form without activating the nodes around the battlefield first will cause the Oubliette to explode without any scene of Samus escaping. Activating the nodes and then killing Gorea's second form will depict her and the other Hunters escaping the collapsing Oubliette.
  • Mysterious Past: Sylux. Nothing is known about it except that it hates the Galactic Federation, as well as Samus for helping them.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Sylux has a power suit that was stolen from the Galactic Federation that allows him to transform into its second form, Lockjaw, which uses a compression technology similar to the morph ball. The same can be said for the other hunters, but the secondary forms of the rest are all part of their biology, save for Weavel who splits himself in two. Sylux's prototype suit would indicate that the Galactic Federation has been doing some research into morph ball technology as well.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Hunters is the only game in the series where regular falls can hurt Samus if she is high enough and free fall, and will kill you if Samus misses a jump in a low gravity, no atmosphere environment and drifts out into space.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Compared to the console Prime games, this one has no hinting, and once all four main locations are available it can get quite messy if one takes a break from the game only to return later. It becomes much more apt once there's absolutely nothing to hint as to where to go.
  • Oculothorax: The Guardians' heads/torsos are all eye.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The Oubliette is a prison structure stored in a pocket dimension to ensure Gorea can't escape. Samus ends up pulling it out of the pocket dimension late in the game, at which point it floats in normal space.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • In multiplayer mode, there's the Omega Cannon, a weapon so powerful that it will kill anyone, including the shooter, in a single hit because the blast radius is very large. The weapon can only be used once and you have to pick up another if you want it again. It only appears in one level and people generally avoid picking the level it appears in since it becomes a race to the top to see who can get the weapon first. Naturally, people who cheat will love to use this weapon.
    • In single-player mode, the only hazards that are lethal enough to kill Samus instantly are some crushers located within one Morph Ball segment in Alinos, in the path leading to that planet's second Octolith.
  • Opening the Sandbox: After collecting the second Octolith, all four worlds become available to explore. Since none of the bosses grant ability upgrades to explore more of the map, you're free to backtrack and collect the majority of expansions in the game before collecting the third Octolith.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: The game contrasts Sylux's blue with Spire's orange, with Sylux wanting to use the artifact everyone's looking for to terrorize the Federation and Spire wanting it to find his people.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Samus does this in the true ending of the game, activated by defeating Gorea's second form with the Omega cannon.
  • Permanently Missable Content: In addition to there being scans in which you only have one, few or several chances to take in order for full 100% Completion, there is also one universal ammo upgrade that becomes inaccessible once you advance beyond the room it's in if you don't pick it up.
  • Personal Space Invader: Quadtroids, which look like large bug with a Metroid for a head. Their leech sucker mouths stick to your visor and drain your health.
  • Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: Sylux's shock coil fires neutrinos. In Real Life these particles are so ubiquitous that about 100 trillion of them pass through your body harmlessly every second.
  • Plasma Cannon: The Judicator, which actually uses super-cooled plasma, which is capable of freezing people if used. Sounds like bad science, but it actually is indeed possible to supercool plasma to freezing degrees with a laser.
  • Playing with Fire: Spire's Magmaul, and by extension, Spire himself.
  • Plot Coupon: The Octoliths, which hold the key to unlock the Oubliette where Gorea lies. They're protected by two guardians: Slench and Cretaphid, who watch over four Octoliths each.
  • Precursor Killers: Gorea drove the extinction of the Alimbic race, though not without being sealed in the process.
  • Precursors: The Alimbic race went extinct long before the events of the game, containing the Eldritch Abomination Gorea in the appropriately named Oubliette. They are said to have created incredibly advanced technologies, including an "ultimate weapon".
  • Pressure-Sensitive Interface: In the First Hunt demo, light presses on the menu screen options give tooltips, while harder presses actually select things.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Noxus and Trace basically represent good and evil variants, with the Vhozon described as a highly respected race of peacekeepers while the Kriken are implied to be even more sadistic than the Space Pirates. Of course, they're both going to try to kill you if you run into them.
  • "Psycho" Strings: Sylux's battle theme consists of high-pitched strings which actually use the "psycho note pattern" in some parts.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Omega Cannon. Although it is only used against the final boss, it is the only weapon (out of a huge weapon pool) that is capable of harming it. It can also be used in multiplayer, where it is the strongest weapon of the stage.
  • Puzzle Boss: The final boss can only be beaten for real by using all the weapons you've collected to shoot the orb-lights around the room in a particular order, causing it to enter a second, more desperate form. Fighting the boss conventionally gets you a bad ending.
  • Race Against the Clock: After you collect an Octolith, you're forced to quickly escape the planet due to a security system.
  • Recurring Boss: Slench and Cretaphid are fought four times each, and every rematch increases their power and endurance. The rival Hunters can also challenge Samus more than once if she stands on their way (or viceversa).
  • Red/Green Contrast: Weavel is a cynical veteran Space Pirate who wears green armor, while Trace is an enthusiastic Kriken ready to fight to expand his empire.
  • Remember the New Guy?: According to the manual, Weavel is a former Space Pirate Samus wounded on Brinstar, though the previous Metroid games there had no Space Pirates fought at Brinstar.note 
  • Replay Mode: The save file select screen includes an option to rewatch most of the game's prerendered cutscenes.
  • Rocket Jump: The game includes a bona fide Rocket Jump in addition to Samus' standard bomb jumps: if Samus fires a missile (or certain other weapons) at the ground, she takes damage and gets knocked into the air a bit. Once again, this is useful for Sequence Breaking and speed running. It doesn't work in any other Metroid Prime game, though (then again, most of the good tricks in those games don't work in Hunters either).
  • Rule of Three: Each teleport pad leading to a boss room (and by extension the whereabouts of the Octolith guarded by it) is unlocked by three Alimbic Artifacts.
  • Save Point: Samus' gunship is the only save point, but it's possible to active teleport spots leading back to the ship from deeper into each planet, making it easier to find a place to save.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale:
    • This game provides some very interesting numbers on the weapons of the Metroid universe. The Volt Driver apparently has enough juice to power countries, the Judicator approaches Absolute Zero, the Battlehammer contains a nuclear reactor, and the Magmaul utilizes hydrogen the same way stars do.
    • Additionally, this game is stated to take place in another galaxy. Not only does this imply that the Galactic Federation in general and Samus' gunship in particular has technology that allows it to span the intergalactic void in trivial amounts of time, it also causes issues when recurring enemies (like Zoomers, War Wasps and Blastcaps) appear. Blastcaps are even stated to have spread from Tallon IV using space spores. Assuming spores that don't travel faster than the speed of light, the time this would take is far greater than the age of the universe - and that's not even counting the time it would take them to have evolved on Tallon IV in the first place.
  • Scoring Points: Present in the First Hunt demo, unlike every other non-pinball Metroid game, including the final version of the game. The points for each hit increased as you continued to hit enemies without missing, encouraging careful aim.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Gorea was trapped inside a prison called the Seal Sphere, and then that was placed inside a larger prison called the Oubliette, which was then sent into subspace. By finding the Octoliths, Samus brings the Oubliette into 3D space, and then the other Hunters break the Seal Sphere open, thinking it has the ultimate power.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Samus can reach the end of the Piston Cave (and skip the entire sections of it) by unmorphing at the Morph Ball tunnel in the Processor Core and performing "Missile Pushes" to blast herself into the tunnel.
    • The battle with the Barbed War Wasps in the Ice Hive can be skipped via Missile Jumping to reach the ledge where the Missile Expansion is located.
  • Shock and Awe: Kanden's Volt Driver does this explicitly, inflicting anybody it hits with an Interface Screw, to boot. Sylux's Shock Coil seems to do this, too, though the beam's stated to be made from neutrinos.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: If you don't get the best ending, then the Big Bad's spaceship blows up with Samus still on it, killing her.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Alinos is a volcanic planet with many rivers of lava, whereas Arcterra is a snowy planet with many icy features. The other locations are two space vessels and a dimensional prison where the Final Boss awaits.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Arcterra, the second planet Samus visits. The ice is mostly cosmetic since the level design is focused on a more maze-like layout as Samus makes her way into the Octoliths found here. Two of the rival hunters, Noxus and Trace, are first seen in this world.
  • Slow Laser: The Imperialist, a laser sniper rifle, which strikes the target instantaneously, but creates a very visible red beam that lasts just long enough to give away the firer's position.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Many crushers appears on the way to the second Octolith in Alinos. And they're deadly. If they crush Samus, they kill her instantly.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Even with six new bounty hunters in the mix, Samus is still the only confirmed woman.
  • Sniper Rifle: Samus gets to use one called the Imperialist in the single-player mode. In multiplayer, the Imperialist is Trace's signature weapon, and it allows him to turn invisible when standing still long enough.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: At one point, while looking for the second Octolith located in Vesper Defense Outpost, some debris falls down onto an energy reactor and makes it go haywire. Samus has only 60 seconds to quickly rise to a panel to cool it down before it explodes. During this sequence, the theme that is usually heard in this same place in multiplayer begins playing, but as time passes it will gradually accelerate to increase tension. By the time the song completes a loop, only a few seconds will be left before it's too late.
  • Sound Test: Getting the true ending in Adventure Mode unlocks Music and SFX Tests in the Options menu.
  • Spin Attack: Noxus's alt form, the Vhoscythe, and Spire's alt form, the Dialanche, attack by spinning limbs and large chunks of rock, respectively.
  • The Spook: While the other 5 hunters in the game are given a little backstory and reasons to hunt the Ultimate Power, all we know about Sylux is that they hate the Galactic Federation, and Samus by proxy.
  • Starfish Robots: There are robots on the Vesper Defense Outpost that resemble pillars with several short legs.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Anything that can die and isn't a hunter or a Guardian goes out this way.
  • Subspace Ansible: It's stated that a signal was sent to various bounty hunters via a telepathic frequency.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Quadtroids fill the role of energy-leeching enemy that clings and has to be removed with Morph Ball weapons.
    • The Petrasyl enemy is similar to Super Metroid's Mocktroids, in that they look similar to Metroids but are weaker.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Gorea has an interdimensional prison to lock him away and keep him from demolishing the Alimbic Cluster. His means of egress are a forged psychic message and the eight Octoliths that power the device necessary to open it again... too bad the person responsible for opening the door just happened to be Samus.
  • Taking You with Me: Defeating Gorea's first form without fulfilling the Alimbic prophecy results in an explosion that destroys the Oubilette, killing all bounty hunters, including Samus, before any of them can escape.
  • Tech-Demo Game: The game was proof the Nintendo DS could run online multiplayer first-person shooter games, to the point it was the Metroid game that least resembled series tradition, aside from Metroid Prime Pinball.
  • Thrown Down a Well: Done on a Cosmic Horror Story scale: The resident Eldritch Abomination, Gorea, is sealed away in the Seal Sphere, which is then sealed away in the Oubliette, which, in turn, is sealed away in a rift between dimensions known as the Infinity Void. He comes back by tricking the Hunters into freeing him.
  • Timed Mission: The game has the record of most timed escape sequences in the Metroid series, with a total of eight (once per Octolith retrieved) plus one during a debris leak in Vesper Defense Outpost.
  • Title Drop: One of the multiplayer modes is called "Prime Hunter".
  • True Final Boss: The player must shoot all six panels in Gorea's arena with the corresponding weapon in order to fight its second form and get the good ending.
  • The Turret Master: Weavel does this in his alt form, the aptly-named Half Turret.
  • Unflinching Walk: Kanden does this in his intro cutscene after crawling out of a facility that explodes soon afterwards.
  • Universal Ammunition: The game has actual nanotech-based Universal Ammo that fits all of your special weapons. Only Samus' missile launcher uses different ammo. Since all the other guns are at least partially energy weapons, it's a bit more believable, though, as the ammo itself probably doesn't need to shape itself to extreme tolerances - even for the explosive Battlehammer, "close enough" will do, allowing a quick configuration to be at least somewhat plausible.
  • Uplifted Animal: It's hinted that Kanden is this. It's said that he was once a creature called an Enoema taken to be turned into a super soldier. The neural combat programming being forced into his brain was too much for him to comprehend, turning him into a savage monster.
  • Variable Mix: The boss theme for the rival hunters is basically the same save for some additions, which differ depending on who you're fighting.
  • Vertical Mecha Fins: Sylux also has these. We don't exactly know if he's (if they're even a he) a robot, an organic lifeform in a suit, an alien that just looks like a robot, or a cyborg, so whether he counts as "mecha" is unknown.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Oubliette, a surreal... place that Gorea was banished to. It can only be unlocked by gathering all Octoliths across the Alimbic system and placing them in a special chamber in Alinos.
  • The Worf Effect: Trace pulls this, one-shotting a Guardian before turning his attention to Samus. Gorea does the same later, simultaneously wiping out all six hunters in a single stroke.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: There are two electric weapons: Sylux's Shock Coil is blue, short-ranged, and drains health, while Kanden's Volt Driver is yellow and can cause an Interface Screw.
  • Yellow/Purple Contrast: The purple, lawful Noxus is contrasted with the yellow, Ax-Crazy Kanden.

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