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Evil Waits Below The Surface...

"Something sinister lurks in the depths of planet Tallon IV. Interstellar bounty hunter Samus Aran is the only one who can destroy this evil... but first it must be found."
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Please note that this page and links to it are meant to cover the first game only. The link titled Metroid Prime Trilogy is for the sub-series as a whole.

Metroid Prime is a 2002 First-Person Adventure for the Nintendo GameCube. It is the fifth game in the Metroid series (released on the same day as Metroid Fusion), the first of the Metroid Prime Trilogy, and the first Metroid game to be in 3D. Timeline-wise, it's the second game in the franchise's chronology.

The story takes place some time after the events of Metroid/Metroid: Zero Mission. After destroying the Space Pirates' base on Zebes along with the Pirate leaders Mother Brain, Ridley and Kraid, Samus Aran continues to pursue the scattered fleeing survivors across the galaxy and ultimately tracks them to their fallback position on the planet of Tallon IV, located in the same star system as Zebes. There, the Pirates have set up a secret research base, where they have resumed Metroid cloning, started reconstructing Ridley's heavily injured body, and are harvesting a new power for their own ends; a radioactive mutagenic substance called Phazon, containing nigh limitless energy potential.

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The Hunter must explore and battle her way through the world's lush and myriad environs, putting down Space Pirate operations wherever she finds them all while fending off aggressive, Phazon-mutated lifeforms. But in searching for the origins of why her enemy chose this world to plunder, she discovers an age-old conflict which extends much further, to when her adoptive people the Chozo still called this place home. Something terrible from the stars came to Tallon IV decades ago, bearing corruptive Phazon and an enemy greater still, sleeping within the Impact Crater...

Metroid Prime is the very first game made by Retro Studios. The company initially worked on several rudimentary game prototypes upon their founding in 1998, one of which was a First-Person Shooter engine (many Retro employees had previously worked for Acclaim and Iguana Entertainment on the Turok games). Shigeru Miyamoto suggested that they use this one to make a new Metroid game, the first in the series since Super Metroid in 1994. While Metroid series co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto had little direct involvement with Prime (being busy making Metroid Fusion), Super Metroid composer Kenji Yamamoto would return to provide the soundtrack, while Miyamoto would also serve as a producer. The original GameCube release would include bonus content that could be unlocked by linking with Fusion through the GameCube – Game Boy Advance link cable.

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Metroid Prime includes examples of:

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  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The Phazon Suit is not obtained until very late in the game, and the Phazon Beam is disabled entirely unless you're actually standing in the pools of pure Phazon dropped by Metroid Prime itself.
  • Ability Mixing: Samus can learn Charge Combos, special attacks which combine the Charge Beam and Missile upgrades to create an effect based on her current beam. One such example is pressing the missile button while Samus has a fully charged Power Beam, expending her charge and 5 missiles to fire a Super Missile. Doing the same with the Wave Beam produces the Wavebuster, a continuous stream of lightning which expends missiles every second.
  • Action Prologue: The game starts with an action prologue aboard the Space Pirate Ghost Ship Orpheon, which incorporates a tutorial and gives the player A Taste of Power.
  • After Boss Recovery: In addition to the health and ammo spawned after defeating the Omega Pirate in Phazon Mines, the room right afterwards contains an Energy Tank in plain sight, which not only restores you to full health, but increases your maximum amount of HP.
  • A.I. Breaker: Elite Pirates have to face you straight-on once before they start attacking. If you strafe around them, they'll just keep turning, making them easy to kill. (Just don't bump into anything or try to change direction.) This also works on the Phazon Elite and even on Omega Pirate, though in his case it's only possible for the first armored phase.
  • Airborne Mook:
    • War Wasps are small, agile targets that dart around and shoot stingers, with the Hive Mecha spawning a variant that instead rams into you. Diligent use of locking onto them will let you quickly dispatch each wasp with a few Power Beam shots, and a Missile to their hive will stop them from spawning until the room reloads.
    • Once you reach the uppermost part of the Space Pirates' base in Phendrana Drifts, you'll meet Space Pirates that are equipped with jetpacks. They'll shoot missiles down at you, and if defeated without freezing or incinerating them, they'll attempt to divebomb you before exploding. After their initial encounter, jetpack Space Pirates become uncommon enemies.
  • All There in the Stinger: The 100% ending gives a first look at what would become Samus's main enemy through the next two games — a black hand emerges from Prime's remains, having made use of the Phazon Suit that it stole from Samus to be reborn as Dark Samus.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The eponymous Metroid Prime has the ability to switch between using its own variations of Samus Aran's own weapons;
    • Like Samus's Power Suit, its core is protected by a heavily armored carapace with only a small "visor" as its weakspot.
    • The Particle Wave, its deadly answer to the beam weapons. The color of its armor changes so that it can only be harmed by that specific beam weapon at a time. Its own answer to the Ice Beam is the Ultrafrigid Breath, which can completely freeze Samus in place.
    • Multi-Missiles, where it fires a mortar of long-range missiles at you.
    • Snare Beams, its own variation of the Grappling Beam, which it uses to pull Samus towards it.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: Prior to obtaining the X-Ray Visor, the player will have no choice but to thoroughly explore each room if they wish to collect power-ups, with the only hint that there's one nearby being the peculiar "bwooo-ooom" noise the items emit within a certain vicinity.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The game's Japanese box art is actually more intense than its English artwork, with Samus running in front of an explosion instead of standing in an empty hallway.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Completing the game allows you to unlock the Fusion Suit, which gives Samus a different look, if you can do just one more thing, depending on platform. On the original GameCube version, that would have to be using the GameCube-Game Boy Advance link cable to connect your system with a Game Boy Advance running Metroid Fusion. On the Wii version in Metroid Prime Trilogy, that would be buying it at the cost of a few Silver Credits.
  • Antagonist Title: Metroid Prime is an enormous Metroid residing in the Impact Crater, so mutated by Phazon it barely even resembles a Metroid anymore.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Attempting to navigate an obstacle that looks passable but actually isn't (such as a barely-out-of-reach ledge underwater without the Gravity Suit) a few times will bring up a prompt telling you to come back later with the proper powerup. And if you spend a long time dinking around and wandering, a prompt will appear and mark on your map your next destination. This can be disabled if you find it distracting, or want to find out where to go on your own.
    • If Missiles or Power Bombs are required to progress, the game will generally give them to you. The perfect example is the room where you find the X-Ray Visor, which requires a Power Bomb to escape. If you used all your Power Bombs to get to this room, there thankfully happens to be a perpetually respawning Seedling in this room that will drop one on death.
  • Anti-True Sight: Samus' Thermal Visor works poorly in superheated areas. Also, Thardus can summon a dense snowstorm to flood the arena to shroud himself from Samus, coupled with the innate ability of his Phazon ore to overload Samus' Thermal Visor when exposed.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • The Chozo left behind writings and lore describing their encounter with the meteor and subsequent attempts to contain it. They succeeded in containing the worst of the Phazon, but significant amounts of it escaped and started poisoning everything, including the Chozo.
    • Also present in some of the Pirate Logs when talking about how thoroughly Samus trashed their previous operation on Zebes. Or how she's now on Tallon IV and tearing through their forces.
  • Armless Biped: The Sheegoths are dangerous ice-breathing predators who only have weakspots on their backs, and no arms. Then you realise that they are the babies when you scan them — an adult one appears later, who is much bigger and meaner, and then becomes a Degraded Boss.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: In the lore logs, it is claimed that the Chozo that lived on Tallon IV did this, but were pulled back by the meteor crashing on the planet.
  • Asteroids Monster: The Fission Metroids are a unique breed of Metroid found in the Impact Crater, and on the third floor of the Phazon Mines in the PAL and Wii versions. They behave like normal Metroids, but upon depleting their health they split into two more Fission Metroids, both of which are only vulnerable to one of Samus's beams (denoted by what color their membrane is). However, a Power Bomb will instantly blow up any Fission Metroids in the vicinity without letting them split.
  • Attack Drone: The game has Sentry Drones, which fly around and are equipped with a pair of machine guns. They are destroyable, but pretty aggressive. Their first appearance occurs when the Phendrana base is blacked out, so unless you have the Thermal Visor, you won't see them. Later on (in Phazon Mines), Samus finds a Mini-Boss called the Cloaked Drone, which is an invisible version that cannot be scanned or locked onto (unless the Wavebuster is used, making it very good at killing the drone). There's even an underwater version in the crashed Frigate, but there are only two in the entire game and they aren't much different from the standard ones.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Most bosses have each a weak point you must exploit in order to defeat them. In the case of Parasite Queen, you can theoretically hit her in any part, but the protective barrier's gaps move around, so you need to keep an eye on them to have a good opening. Omega Pirate inverts the trope: He has no specific weak spots, but before you can harm him you have to blast away his armour (which means you attack his strong points first).
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Wavebuster and Flamethrower charge combos are very flashy and powerful, but they also chew through your missile ammo extremely fast.
  • Backtracking: As per the Metroidvania standard, you'll have to revisit many areas of the planet with upgrades to Samus's suit in order to collect further upgrades and collectibles - most notably the 12 Chozo Artifacts, which are required to complete the game.
  • Bag of Spilling: During her escape from Frigate Orpheon, Samus gets caught in an explosion and loses all her powerups except her suit and Power Beam. She gets them all back on the planet itself. And even at the start, she doesn't have all of the power-ups she acquired from either the original NES game or its remake, such as the Screw Attack.
  • Barrier Change Boss: Metroid Prime, which periodically changes its weakness to one of your four beams. Its second form, though, is an odd example; while it's only weak to one weapon (the Phazon Beam), it is only visible in one spectrum at a time, requiring you to change which visor you're using to actually hit it.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Meta Ridley, who actually manages to one-up this by flying directly from an orbiting space frigate to Tallon IV, note  surviving re-entry in the process.
  • Battle in the Rain: It's constantly raining on the Tallon IV Overworld, so you can have mini-battles in the rain all the time. There's also a boss battle in the rain near the end of the game when you face off against Meta Ridley.
  • Battle Theme Music:
    • Any time you're in a Space Pirate research facility (whether the one in Phendrana Drifts or the one in Phazon Mines), an ambient drone starts playing, changing to a full-fledged "Space Pirate Battle" theme when the Pirates appear; another special battle theme is used for both the Chozo Ghosts in the Chozo Ruins and the Elite Pirates in the Phazon Mines.
    • Each major boss has its own battle theme, with Ridley using a remix of his iconic Super Metroid boss theme (back then also shared with Draygon); the eponymous Metroid Prime has two, one for each phase. As for minibosses, two of them (Hive Mecha and Incinerator Drone, both found in Chozo Ruins) share a special theme, while the rest borrow enemy encounter themes.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game:
    • Enemies in the Phazon Mines include Space Pirates who wield copies of one of your weapons and are only vulnerable to the same weapon they use.
    • The fight with Metroid Prime's exoskeleton form can only be damaged by attacking it with the weapon that corresponds to its current colour and attack pattern. What's more, Metroid Prime's true form always needs Phazon weaponry to finish it off, which it always gives you in some way or another, be it via puddles, projectiles, or injecting you with it.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Meta Ridley and Metroid Prime. The Metroid Prime caused the Phazon crisis on Tallon IV; Meta Ridley led the Space Pirate operations there.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The corruption has stopped spreading on Tallon IV, but Samus' actions have created Dark Samus. She also mourns the destruction of the Chozo Temple, which was their last great work. The game ends with her just sadly staring at the smoking ruins of it.
  • Blackout Basement:
    • Removing some power sources or upgrades releases captured Metroids and shuts off the lights. One standout example is the Space Pirate base in Phendrana Drifts, where the lights go out and stay out once you grab the Thermal Visor; fortunately, this upgrade allows you to see things in the dark a lot better.
    • The atmosphere turns dim when you fight Chozo Ghosts.
  • Bleak Level: The Chozo Ruins are set in a desert-like biome, the structures are heavily decrepit, the music is eerily quiet, the water is corrosive due to the toxins secreted by the Man-Eating Plant boss Flaahgra, and most of the plants are dead thanks to said toxic water.
  • Body Horror: A Pirate log reveals that among other Chozo technology, the Space Pirates attempted to replicate the Morph Ball. They abandoned that project soon after their first few test subjects were killed via body distortion.
  • Bookends: The track that plays in the beginning when Samus boards the Frigate Orpheon incorporates the opening to Super Metroid into it, as does the track during the end when Samus watches the destruction of the Artifact Temple.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Super Missiles, compared to the other charge combos. It is also required to beat the game (as it is used to blow up Cordite objects); the other beam combos are not. It's just a super-fast missile launcher that deals massive damage per shot, but that's all it needs to be.
    • Also, the Power Beam itself. It doesn't do as much damage as the Wave or Plasma beams, nor does it freeze enemies like the Ice Beam. However, it can fire almost as fast as you can push the A button, making it the best weapon if you're dealing with a lot of weak enemies or you've brought an enemy's defenses down and need to deal some quick Scratch Damage before they go back up. Fittingly, the two are related; the Super Missile is the missile combo for the Power Beam.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: This trope is surprisingly averted, or at the very least justified, by all of the game's major bosses.
    • Flaahgra, the monster in the Chozo Ruins, has giant mirrors directing sunlight onto him—but scanning him reveals that the Phazon mutation he's gone through makes him need a constant input of direct solar energy to even have the ability to move, so having the mirrors there makes perfect sense.
    • Thardus, the rock golem in Phendrana Drifts, has been placed in a round room with no exit points by the Space Pirates largely because they couldn't control him at all—the best they could do was seal him in a locked chamber and hope for the best.
    • The Omega Pirate is exactly where it's supposed to be according to the Space Pirates' plans, and indeed, the arena is designed for him to be at maximum power. Samus defeating him is a sign of her own skill, rather than any gimmick in the room itself.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Baby Sheegoths, at least when you first encounter them. They can deal out huge amounts of damage, freeze you, take a serious beating, and are only vulnerable from behind. If you missed the Charge Beam earlier, you're going to break your thumb on the A button.
  • Boss Remix:
    • The boss music when fighting the Parasite Queen is a faster version of the moody, suspenseful BGM heard in the Space Pirate Frigate.
    • The Omega Pirate's theme is a slower remix of the Chozo Ghost/Elite Pirate battle theme.
    • It's difficult to catch, but the Final Boss battle against Metroid Prime is accompanied by a remix of the Title theme.
  • Breath Weapon: Besides Ridley, who retains his iconic fire breath, the game has Metroid Prime, which fires all four types of beams out of the "mouth" in its armour; Sheegoths, which have ice breath; and the Parasite Queen, which spews acid.
  • Broken Bridge: After the game was exploited by fans via Sequence Breaking in its first release, Retro made some changes for future versions. Most of these were just bug fixes, but one was a blatant cheat. The Player's Choice version prevents you from getting the Plasma Beam before the Grapple Beam... by magically locking the necessary door. There's no message explaining the lock, but if you see it, you know what you were trying to do.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: A good part of the Tallon Overworld is a verdant area with numerous lakes and constant rainfall. The frontier area transitions into Under the Sea (the sunken Frigate).
  • Bullfight Boss: The Plated Beetle is a mini-boss which has bulletproof armor over its head. Samus must dodge its ramming attack and retaliate by shooting its exposed rear.
  • Button Mashing: The game makes it necessary at the beginning, as you lose nearly everything except the Power Beam when your suit gets damaged, meaning the only reliable way to deal damage is to just spam.
  • Call-Forward:
  • Camera Lock-On: Holding the L Button while looking at something that can be targeted will make Samus train her Arm Cannon on it, allowing you to precisely move and attack at the same time. Missiles and Super Missiles fired while locked on will home in on whatever you're aimed at.
  • Chasing Your Tail: The Parasite Queen is surrounded by a large rotating barrier that has gaps in one part of it, so you need to get to the opening to be able to fire through it and damage it. To aid in this, the game reminds you of the combat dash maneuver that you can do while locked on when the fight begins.
  • Catastrophic Countdown: The seven-minute countdown that begins after defeating the Parasite Queen is justified due to said boss subsequently falling into the reactor of the Orpheon. The area begins falling apart as you go, blocking off the original path and forcing you to go through an alternate one to get back to Samus's ship.
  • Charged Attack:
    • The Charge Beam, returning from Super, allows you to shoot more potent Beam projectiles at the cost of a bit of windup time. Halfway through the game, you can also find Charge Combos, which enable you to combine a full Charge Beam shot with several Missiles to unleash a devastating attack.
    • When fighting the final boss, in order to use the final weapon, Samus must stand in a pool of Phazon while firing. Standing in one place leads to bad things if she's not careful. That said, the boss is totally helpless while taking damage, and the Fission Metroids it spawns can be one-shot killed with this attack if you're willing to to aim it away from the boss.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The Phazon Mines has a save station, near the entrance. The next save station in the area is halfway through the biggest area in the game. Getting there requires you to run a gauntlet of Shadow Pirates, Mega Turrets, Wave and Ice Troopers, and two miniboss battles against an Elite Pirate and the Cloaked Drone. The drone is right outside the Save Station, which is locked until you defeat it and solve the subsequent electric maze to get the Power Bombs. In all, it'll take you about half an hour or more of nonstop fighting and puzzle solving to get from that first Save Station to the next one.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Scan lore in the Artifact Temple discusses Chozo statuary, ending in the line: Those who deface or destroy them will know our wrath, unfettered and raw. Much later, Ridley smashes the Chozo statues over the Impact Crater entrance, only to be finished off by the remaining ones with lasers to the chest.
  • Circle of Standing Stones: The Chozo cipher is shown as a series of stone monoliths in two rings.
  • Climax Boss: Meta Ridley, as Samus first goes to the planet the game takes place on chasing him, tracks him throughout the game, and finally battles him right before going to the final boss' area.
  • Clock Punk: The Chozo Ruins feature mechanisms with this aesthetic alongside Steampunk devices and the more typical futuristic technology.
  • Color-Coded Elements: The elemental beams and everything associated with them are color-coded: The Power Beam is yellow (though the doors they open are blue, as yellow ones require Power Bombs instead), the Wave Beam is purple, the Ice Beam is white, the Plasma Beam is red, and the Phazon Beam (only usable during the final battle) is blue.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The Space Pirate Beam Troopersnote , the Fission Metroids, and Metroid Prime. All of them come in yellow, purple, white, and red, with their color indicating the Beam and Charge Combo that they're vulnerable to.
    • The doors are colored based on what is needed to open them. Blue doors open to any weapon, purple opens to the Wave Beam, white opens to the Ice Beam, and red opens to the Plasma Beam.
  • Computer Voice: The Power Suit has no voice in the original NTSC release, but it was added to the PAL and Metroid Prime Trilogy versions. Its lines in all three Prime games are limited to simple phrases such as "Recording to logbook" and "Data received".
  • Continuity Nod: The first recordable log in the game (found on your first visit to the Space Pirate Frigate) mentions the events of the original Metroid, how their base on Zebes has fallen and that the Pirates are hard at work trying to revive the fallen Mother Brain. Ridley also has a new cyborg body in the game, since Samus completely mopped the floor with him in the original.
  • Convenient Weakness Placement: Flaahgra in Chozo Ruins can only be made vulnerable via misaligning the mirrors around it. It's clear why they're nearby – it needs them to live. This doesn't, however, explain why it also happens to live near a bunch of explosive bomb slots.
  • The Corruption: The game is set on the once paradisial planet Tallon IV, which was hit by a Phazon-bearing meteorite known as a Leviathan around twenty years prior to the game. The resident naturalist Chozo tribe had to leave when the planet began falling apart due to Phazon corruption. The primary Metroid antagonists, the Space Pirates, discover the mutagenic properties of Phazon and begin experimenting with it to improve their forces. Throughout the story, the player comes across several creatures infected by Phazon, most notably Elite Pirates, Fission Metroids, and Metroid Prime itself.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: Meta Ridley is finished off by the Chozo monument, specifically the heads towering far above the battlefield.
  • Cover Drop: The title screen depicts something that looks like some kind of cancerous, tentacle-sprouting growth floating in a bloodstream. Then, at the very end of the game, you find out that it's the inside of the final boss's brain.
  • Cowardly Boss: The Final Boss of the game, the titular Metroid Prime, runs away and burrows deeper into the Impact Crater after each phase, forcing Samus to follow it a short distance below.
  • Cranium Ride: The Puddle Spore is an enemy in Magmoor Caverns that gets stunned when its insides are shot, flipping over and allowing Samus to use it as a platform.
  • Creative Sterility: One scan of a Space Pirate log in the game reveals that they've been trying to figure out Samus' Morph Ball. They have, to an extent - they can give one of their men a suit that, when activated, forces the occupant into a spherical space. What they haven't figured out is how Samus comes out in one piece; all their test subjects are reduced to candy-coated Pirate Nuggets with crunchy bits in their gooey centers, and the ones who survive the experience would generally benefit more from a mercy killing than medical attention.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Looking closely, you can see that Meta Ridley has these combined with Fireball Eyeballs.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • On the Frigate Orpheon in the prologue, we have cases such as Space Pirates having their joints fused together by acid (and leaving them paralyzed) or having their internal organs eaten by parasites while they were still alive.
    • One of the Pirate Logs reveals that the Pirates tried to make their own version of Samus's Morph Ball. For context, the Morph Ball is a Power Suit ability that allows Samus to compact her body into a sphere one meter in diameter without any apparent lasting physical harm. However, no one knows how it works (and the species that invented it is allegedly extinct), and the prototypes for the Pirate version ended up crushing the test subjects to death.
  • Cursed with Awesome: When Samus defeats the Omega Pirate in Metroid Prime, it falls on her, "corrupting" her Power Suit into the Phazon Suit. The "beneficial side effects" (decreased damage and immunity to blue Phazon) from this corruption are all that the player ever experiences, and the only negative consequences show up in the sequel, in a bit of Retcon.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Near the start of the game, Samus gets the Bag of Spilling from a power surge — which she turns to look at several seconds in advance, and could easily have avoided by morphing. Her most consistent bad habit is watching Ridley fly away without taking any parting shots.
  • Cyborg: Meta Ridley qualifies. Pirate logs describe the process of, after being genetically reborn, grafting new weapons and armor onto his body. According to details given, it was incredibly painful, but he quite likes the new weaponry granted.
  • Damage Discrimination: You can actually get Metroids to attack Space Pirates in Phendrana Drifts if you break open their containers with missiles from a distance.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Metroid Prime is insanely resilient, and there are no shortcuts to bringing it down. You'll spend a good 10 to 15 minutes at most just to get past its first phase.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The game has tripped up many people who played Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion and assumed the Varia and/or Gravity Suit would stop lava damage. Prime makes lava hazardous to Samus at all time, regardless of her current upgrades.
  • Deadly Gas:
    • Two new enemies introduced in this game are Blastcaps and Puffers, which upon exploding release green gas that is harmful to Samus until it dissipates: light green for the former, dark green for the latter. Blastcaps are rooted in place, but Puffers float around the room.
    • The Ventilation Shaft in Phazon Mines gets filled with toxic gas once you near its exit for the first time, due to holes in the ceiling that perpetually spawn Puffers. The fans aren't running, so the room will remain full of gas until you find the panel to scan to turn them on. You'll need the Power Bombs for that.
  • Death by Genre Savviness: You're locked in a room, with a single Metroid in a stasis tank, you scan the Metroid and it breaks out. Veteran players will assume you need the ice beam to kill it. The problem is at this point you will not have the ice beam. Cue screams of fear. There is a terminal that actually tells you to use missiles (or Super Missiles) against it, but that won't be available to you until after you kill this one. Have fun with that.
  • Death World: The planetarium in Phendrana Drifts features some data on other planets the Space Pirates are interested in, including one with radioactive dust storms and another inhabited by a Hive Mind created by a sentient and deadly virus.note  And as pretty as Tallon IV is, consider that Samus is exploring it in a special suit and is still in danger of dying from its fauna (aggressive Beetles, spiky Zoomers and Geemers, and explosive Blastcaps) and flora (Sap Sacs, which explode, and Bloodflowers, which have a projectile attack). And this is while you're still in the Overworld. It didn't need a Phazon-infused meteor to be deadly to insufficiently-protected humans, and that only made things worse.
  • Degraded Boss: The Plated Beetle and Sheegoth are initially fought as minibosses - the former in the Ruined Shrine, the latter in the Chapel of the Elders. After their defeat, they'll appear in other rooms and replace the normal mooks there, though they don't get to keep the miniboss music; the Plated Beetle will appear in the Main Plaza, as well as the Ruined Shrine until the Chozo Ghosts replace it there in turn, while the Sheegoth will appear in Ice Ruins East, Ice Ruins West, and Quarantine Cave.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • If you abuse glitches to bypass the cutscene on the Frigate Orpheon that strips Samus of her powerups, the game will take them away when she lands on Tallon IV.
    • The Incinerator Drone, a machine equipped with flamethrowers, takes no damage from the Plasma Beam, even though the Incinerator Drone is a very early boss and the Plasma Beam is one of the last upgrades in the game.
    • Thardus, a boss made out of rock and ice, takes more damage from the Plasma Beam and no damage from the Ice Beam, even though you're not supposed to have either weapon during the fight without heavy Sequence Breaking.
    • The Shadow Drone miniboss is invisible and untargettable to your regular, Scan and Thermal Visors, but can be seen with the X-Ray Visor. The catch is that the X-Ray Visor is normally accessed with Power Bombs, which you need to defeat the Shadow Drone to get in the first place, but if you somehow get a Power Bomb Expansion and use that to get the X-Ray Visor first, you can use it to see and target the miniboss, making the fight a cakewalk.
    • You cannot just ignore the Shadow Drone because of this: one of the Chozo Artifactsnote  needs Power Bombs to access, but will only trigger if you have collected the actual Power Bomb item from the Shadow Drone fight. You cannot cheese it with Power Bomb Expansions collected prior to the main item.
    • If you go to the Crashed Frigate early in the game, you'll see a pair of pirates studying a cracked case of Phazon. Scanning it will give you the usual "unknown substance" spiel. But if you wait until after you've been through the Phendrana Research Lab, Samus will comment in the scan output this is probably the Phazon substance she's read so much about in the Pirate Logs.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!:
    • The rock creature Thardus from Phendrana Drifts is defeated by scanning its body for the current vital spot, and then blowing up that segment of its body in order to reveal its vulnerable core. After each turn, the weak spot moves to a new segment that has not been destroyed yet. Thaardus seems entirely unaffected by its missing parts, which makes sense given that the creature itself consists only of the core.
    • The Omega Pirate is another giant beast with four armored segments on its body. It's fine having three of them destroyed, but once it loses all four it engages its Chameleon Manta to hide and regenerate; it can be seen while it's healing, letting you attack and kill it.
  • Disconnected Side Area: After obtaining the Spider Ball from Thardus in Phendrana Drifts, a newly accessible elevator leads to a side area of Magmoor Caverns, which has a Door to Before that drops you at the elevator back to Tallon Overworld. Said powerup also allows access to a new area of the Chozo Ruins that wasn't on the Map, where you get the Ice Beam. From here, another elevator leads to a side area of the Overworld behind the Frigate Crash Site, except the gate is locked from the other side until you've obtained the Gravity Suit and been through the Frigate wreckage the long way. Luckily, there's another elevator nearby that goes back to the main Overworld area.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The Plasma Beam will disintegrate a target completely if it's fully charged, while the uncharged shot set things on fire.
  • Disney Villain Death: Meta Ridley is pushed off a cliff by lasers and explodes.
  • Distress Call: A Space Pirate frigate sends out a distress beacon that Samus picks up, which was likely intended for their ground control - Samus intercepts it because she was hunting for them after the first game, and the Pirates didn't know she was still in the area.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: The Threat Assessment on your HUD visor will warn you of environmental hazards and your relative proximity to lethal substances such as lava, Phazon and acidic poisons.
  • Door to Before: After defeating Flaahgra and reclaiming the Varia Suit, the door you entered the Sunchamber through is blocked by vines, so you instead have to descend the Sun Tower, which conveniently deposits you near the elevator to Magmoor Caverns. You later have to come back to the Sunchamber via this route once you have the Spider Ball to obtain the Artifact of Wild.
  • Double Jump: The Space Jump Boots enable Samus to jump twice, from the ground and subsequently once more in the air.
  • Down the Drain: The opening of the game is set aboard a derelict frigate. At the end of the opening, the frigate crashes into the planet. About halfway through the game you come across the frigate again, now submerged in a large body of water, and you must make your way through it. Also an example of Techno Wreckage.
  • Drone of Dread: One track is an ambient, ominous, persistent tone that can be heard in both in the Space Pirate Lab and the second level of the Phazon Mines, two areas that are occupied by the Space Pirates.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Japanese version, Phendrana Drifts and Magmoor Caverns are known as "Ice Valley" and "Lava Caves", respectively. Some areas in the former still have remnants of the original non-Japanese name, e.g. the "Gravity Chamber" is called "フェンドラナ地底湖" ("Phendrana Underground Lake").
  • Dynamic Loading: The elevator sequences introduced in this game serve this purpose. There are also several small corridors that are either twisty, filled with obstacles, or littered with enemies. The idea is to basically slow you down enough so that the next room can be finished loading when you reach the door. Hallways like these exist because if several large rooms were directly connected to each other, the load times would significantly increase and the doors would stay closed longer until the loading was done. Small rooms/halls are used as the bridge point to connect two large rooms together without slowing down the game.
  • Early-Bird Boss: The Hive Totem in Chozo Ruins gave many new players more trouble than almost any other boss. It's a stationary mech at one end of the room that periodically releases wasps. The wasps fly in circles around your tiny platform, occasionally stopping to ram you in sync. The room is flooded with Grimy Water, which is almost impossible to get out of once you get knocked in, and the weak point on the boss is only attackable for a few seconds; if you don't realize that it's there immediately, you'll have to fight additional waves of wasps. It wouldn't be such a hard fight if you had anything but your default Power Beam and 99 energy (and you might get there with even less than that)!
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Doubles as Later Installment Weirdness between this game and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes:
    • This is the only game where the Gravity Suit doesn't have Convection Schmonvection as its main protection against lava. This is also the only game to not have the signature Screw Attack that both Echoes and Corruption have. The first game utilizes the Threat Assessment on the HUD to warn the player when they get too close to hazards, something the later games cut out. The first game also lacks Bottomless Pits.
    • It is the only one where you lose and need to regain your Morph Ball, Varia Suit, and Charge Beam.
    • There is no Seeker Missile.
    • This is the only game in the trilogy to feature the Ice Beam and Wave Beam. Echoes has the Dark Beam and Corruption has the Ice Missile, both which function similar to the Ice Beam. The Wave Beam by contrast, has no analogues in the other games.
    • It is the only game where Save Stations, Map Stations, and health and ammo refills have logbook entries. This is also the only game which has Samus use her Arm Cannon to download maps.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Retro Studios themselves confirmed that the bosses are meant to provide the game's challenge while the rest of the game is meant to be easier, in order to keep the player from feeling too intimidated to explore the world freely. This has the added benefit of significantly toning down the game's FPS elements and making it feel like a true entry in the Metroid series, which has since followed a similar design philosophy for nearly two decades.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Most of the Phazon Mines area is naturally underground, and serves as the Space Pirates' main base on Tallon IV.
  • Embedded Precursor: The original NES Metroid is included as an unlockable if you link Prime to Metroid Fusion. It includes a save feature and a new control scheme mimicking that of Prime.
  • EMP: Starting from this game, the Space Pirates occasionally use EMP grenades to throw at Samus. Presumably, Samus' suit is well-protected as neither of these actually does anything to her suit beyond standard shield drain. Some special electricity-based attacks, however, cause static to appear on the HUD.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The 100% ending: The hand from Samus's Phazon Suit (absorbed by the eponymous villain) pops out of a puddle of Phazon with an eye on the back.
  • Enemy Scan: The Scan Visor lets Samus scan enemies, in addition to other noteworthy objects. The Logbook entries will give you hints if the scan is something significant.
  • Eternal Engine: The upper region of the Phazon Mines is a mining operation with active machinery running.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Anyone trying to harvest Metroids is usually unlucky enough to find out that they are untameable. This is particularly evident in this game, where the Space Pirates have Metroid stasis tanks and then Samus cuts the power and they run amok and sap the life force of their researchers.
  • Evil Knockoff: The Space Pirates try this via reverse engineering Samus's beam weapons, supposedly making copies of them. While they did manage to make different types of armor that was only vulnerable to one type of beam weapon, all they seemed to have managed to copy is her Power Beam, which still isn't as good as the original. On Hard Mode, the pirates' ripoff beams gain their respective Elemental Powers.
  • Evolving Music:
    • Chozo Ruins starts out with an ambient droning piece. After getting the Morph Ball, it gets a very prominent percussion beat added to it to give it a more adventurous feel.
    • Tallon Overworld is similar: At the start of the game it is a slow brass and choral-driven rendition of the classic Brinstar theme. Upon getting the Spider Ball, it is replaced with a new piece which is less atmospheric and features more electronic instrumentation.
  • Exposition Fairy: Samus's Cool Ship occasionally sends hints on where to go next.
  • Expy: In regards to Thardus, Mike Sneath mentioned in an interview with Shinesparkers that "There was a movie that inspired this character, but I don’t remember the movie." Given that context, it seems to be in reference to Gorignak from Galaxy Quest, another violent creature that's also a large cluster of rocks.
  • Eye Open: How the 100% Completion bonus ending ominously ends: A dark hand emerges from Metroid Prime's remains, and an eye opens between its wrist and knuckles.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: The 100% ending of Prime has an eye open on the back of a hand emerging from a Phazon puddle, later revealed to be Dark Samus.
  • Failed a Spot Check: A pirate log notes that Samus's gunship is invisible to their scanners and they're reduced to searching the old-fashioned way and hoping they get lucky. Fair enough, except said gunship is parked in the open, plainly visible as orange on a field of green, two rooms and less than a kilometer away from the crashed Pirate frigate.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Elite Pirates are much easier than the Troopers, or even the regular Pirates. Thermal Visor, lock onto the cannon on their shoulder, fire a Super Missile... splat. Usually dead before they get an attack in. Even if they survive the cannon exploding right against their neck, their only real attack at that point is a shockwave along the ground, which you basically have to have your arms fall off at that exact moment not to be able to jump over.
  • Feed It a Bomb: The Triclops enemies that often show up in the Morph Ball puzzles. They try to grab any round object they see, which might be Samus... or one of her bombs.
  • Feed It with Fire: Adult Sheegoths absorb most energy weapons into the ice crystals on their backs, and Elite Pirates can do the same with a handheld energy absorber; both are used to power their ranged attacks.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The eponymous final boss requires you to use all of your beam weapons against it in the first form, and all of your visors against it in the second.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Plasma, Ice, and Wave Beams, respectively. This extends to their respective Super Missile upgrades: Flamethrower, Ice Spreader, Wavebuster.
  • First-Person Ghost:
    • The game shows only Samus's arm cannon and occasionally her left hand when using the Grapple Beam. When switching to and from morph ball mode, the camera changes and shows a full 3rd person model of Samus. Cutscenes will always show off Samus's model fully.
    • You can see Samus' eyes reflected in the Visor whenever a flash of light comes close, you can see her reflection in various reflective surfaces, etc.
    • When you go into third-person view via Morph Ball or Screw Attack, Samus clearly has a model and it moves fluidly. However, her model vanishes the minute you go back to first-person view. You can also aim her arm cannon straight down, but you'll never see her feet.
  • First-Person Shooter: The game is set in the genre, but puts more emphasis on exploration and puzzles than straight-up combat to fit more in line with the Metroid series, hence why Nintendo officially refers to it as a "First Person Adventure".
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: A holobanner in the Chozo Ruins reads "The Great Poison corrupts even the Chozo." Sure enough, the very next room is where Chozo Ghosts are encountered for the first time.
  • Floating Platforms: They're jet-powered here. They simply sit on the ground when the power is off, and one puzzle involves filling a room with water to float such platforms. However, there are also plenty of non-powered floating platforms, including an underwater crash site with perpetually-floating debris that's perfectly spaced out for Samus to hop across. Also, the game never gives any explanation on why some platforms have rockets attached to them. Presumably the Space Pirates did it, but why would they bother strapping rockets to hunks of rocks?
  • Flunky Boss: The Omega Pirate summons a group of Space Pirates to defend himself when he repairs his armour from the damage you're inflicting, and Metroid Prime's core spawns two Metroids of varying types whenever it generates a new pool of Phazon.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When the player backtracks to a stowed-away path at the Tallon Overworld after they've got Missiles and the Morph Ball, they'll catch Flight Pirates studying a crate of Phazon long before the player has encountered anything besides Pirate log entries on it, and a sight of a Space Pirate outpost on the other side of a body of water that requires the Grapple Beam to cross. The pirates fly off rather than confront Samus, and yes, touching the raw Phazon pouring out of the crate will hurt you.
    • In the Space Pirate labs, the Metroids are the only creatures that can survive more than three Phazon infusions, with the primary side effect being unchecked aggression. The final boss is an giant Metroid that has been horribly mutated by Phazon over the course of a much longer time period than the Pirates even knew about Metroids.
    • The Stinger at 100% completion gives you a first look at Dark Samus, who would go on to be the main antagonist of the next two games.
  • Formerly Sapient Species: This was the fate of the Chozo on Tallon IV. After abandoning Zebes and its technological advances in an attempt to return to their more natural, mystical roots, they eventually ascended to the spiritual plane... but when a Phazon meteor struck the surface, their souls were pulled back to the planet and driven mad, making them insane, violent "Chozo Ghosts" that attack anyone who approaches.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: You need to bring twelve Chozo Artifacts to the Artifact Temple to access the endgame. The Artifact of Truth, the first of those twelve, can be found at the temple itself, sitting under a small structure. You only need Missiles to be able to access it, and collecting it activates the Chozo Totems which will give hints to the locations of the remaining 11.
  • Fungus Humongous: In lower parts of Phazon Mines, scanning one of the giant mushrooms (called Saturnines) will state that they are around 400 times bigger than the norm for the species. The huge size is justified twice: First, because the Space Pirates are looking to use them as a low cost replacement feed for their Phazon enhanced units and are using compounds to accelerate and promote the growth of such fungi; secondly, because Phazon itself is a mutagenic substance which itself could also be helping make such huge mushrooms.

    G-N 
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The original North American disc (according to Metroid 2002, only that version) has a problem where the game tends to abruptly crash when you're in one of the hallways that connects to the Furnace in Chozo Ruins. Fortunately, it's infrequent and unlikely to happen more than once on a save file.
    • The original NTSC version got careless with one of its Chozo Artifacts: the Artifact of Warrior spawns when you beat the Phazon Elite, but the doors don't lock to make sure you actually collect it. If you leave, save, and come back, the Elite and Artifact are gone for good, and you need all twelve Artifacts to access the Impact Crater and finish the game. The NTSC Player's Choice, PAL, and Metroid Prime Trilogy rereleases all fixed this; Player's Choice by locking the doors until you collect the Artifact, and the other two by not despawning the Artifact if you leave and come back.
  • Gas Chamber: In Phazon Mines, Samus is attacked by a group of Puffers in a ventilation shaft, and they fill the tunnel with lethal meta-viprium gas that can only be ventilated by a switch reached with the Power Bombs found later in the level.
  • Ghost Ship: The Frigate Orpheon has ended up in this decrepit state by the time Samus arrives there, being a badly-damaged space vessel stranded in an orbit around Tallon IV. After the prologue, the vessel crashes into Tallon Overworld, becoming a sunken frigate.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom:
    • Ridley has a pair of yellow-orange ones; his Space Pirate lackeys share this trait.
    • The main villain of the game, Metroid Prime itself, has glowing eyes, but in deep crimson.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Project Titan, which was the Space Pirates' attempt at creating super soldiers from inanimate objects. Absurd though it sounds, it worked, and it created Thardus, a massive rock monster noted for a very violent temperament that tries to kill anything that gets near and had to be quarantined. Since the beast is made from Phazon Ore, the precursor to Phazite, it's ridiculously durable, and it has no spinal cord, brain, or otherwise notable internal organ systems to target to cheat. Basically, it's Phazon and rock and it hates and kills.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Grapple Beam from Super Metroid returns in this game, allowing Samus to latch onto upper targets so she can swing from one spot to another. In both this game and Echoes, the beam when acquired takes the form of a literal gun that clips under Samus' left arm.
  • Green Hill Zone: While it's not the first area you'll find yourself in, the Tallon Overworld fits this role, being a tranquil rainy landscape. It's where Samus first lands her gunship upon visiting Tallon IV, shortly after failing to catch Meta Ridley upon escaping the frigate Orpheon.
  • Grimy Water: The water in the Chozo Ruins is initially toxic and green, due to Flaahgra poisoning the water's source. Once you've defeated it, the waters in the area become a pure blue and are safe to touch.
  • Guide Dang It!: Trying to scan 100% of the items in the game. There are very easy areas to miss in the game, such as the beginning's location and bosses. Ultra Energy is a very easy item to miss, shown in boxes that appear before a boss but is very easy to miss.
  • Heads-Up Display: The screen display is meant to be the HUD inside Samus's helmet. This is reinforced by the fact that the edges of the helmet's visor are visible around the borders of the screen, water or steam occasionally accumulates on the display, and certain flashes of light can actually cause the player character's reflection to become momentarily visible in the screen, making Samus one of the few FPS heroes to have reaction shots.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: The early stages have "Plated" versions of regular enemies who are harder to damage (most are resistant to the beam weapons you have, but not missiles).
  • Helpful Mook: Gliders, harmless critters with a convenient "magnetic signature" floating over a few gaps, allowing you to swing across with the Grapple Beam.
  • He Was Right There All Along: Thardus in Phendrana Drifts starts out as just a pile of boulders in the middle of the arena, but as Samus walks up to it, a small stone floats up from the ground behind her, and then all of the rocks start to take a humanoid shape...
  • Hint System: The game introduces an optional hint system that prompts you with the next location to visit in order to progress. If it's not to your taste, it can be deactivated in the Options menu.
  • Homing Projectile: The Missiles, Wave Beam and Ice Spreader will automatically home onto locked targets, making it easier to connect shots.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Files recovered from a Space Pirate ship indicates that they refer to her, literally, as "The Hunter". Since the Space Pirates are bug-like aliens with a brutal totalitarian society, however, she can easily slaughter them by the thousands without worrying about the usual psychological problems.
  • Ice Breaker: The game outright states that this is one of Samus' favored tactics; indeed, a charged Ice Beam shot and a Missile can handily dispatch many of the game's creatures in a flash. Conversely, if it happens to her, she can effortlessly bust out of the ice seconds after being flash-frozen.
  • Ice Palace: Phendrana Drifts houses a Chozo chapel, which includes a Chozo statue that, upon Samus using the Plasma Beam, unveils a passageway leading to one of the Chozo Artifacts.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Electrical attacks and certain other attacks (such as the projectiles launched by the Chozo Ghosts) will create static on Samus's visor for a few moments. The Sentry Drones are notable for causing an Interface Screw just by being present (flavored as being designed to mess with visor technology).
    • Steam vents in certain areas will temporarily fog up the visor.
    • The Thermal Visor must be used to target Thardus' weak point. Blasting the spot enough will break it open and expose the Phazon underneath, which overloads the thermal visor and renders it useless until the Phazon piece is destroyed.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Prime is notably the first Metroid game where Samus Aran's adoption by the Chozo is first made explicit, having previously been discussed only in supplementary and/or non-canon sources. The Chozo Lore frequently talks about the "Hatchling" that the birdlike race found on a planet ravaged by the Space Pirates and raised as one of their own. They also promised to do everything they could in the midst of their increasing Phazon-induced insanity to help her eventually save Tallon IV, "for she bears our legacy as she bears the ancient armor and weapons of our people."
  • Invisibility Cloak:
    • Shadow Pirates posses an "active camouflage" type of cloak (appear to be translucent in the visible spectrum, but stick out like a sore thumb in IR).
    • The Omega Pirate has a "Chameleon Manta" which lets him become invisible not only to the naked eye but also to infrared and X-ray vision. The only time he can be seen when it's activated is when he absorbs the highly radioactive Phazon into his body to regenerate his armor.
  • Invisibility with Drawbacks:
    • The Cloaked Drone is only visible to the X-Ray Visor, defying this trope.
    • The second form of the Metroid Prime itself is only visible to one Visor at any given time, but which one that is changes... Once you have all the visors, you'll need to switch them from time to time, but that's it for enemies being able to hide completely.
  • Invisible Monsters:
    • The Cloaked Drone guarding the Power Bombs is invisible to all of the available visors, but its stealth is ruined by muzzle flash. It also can't be scanned or locked onto. However, if you have the Wavebuster, prepare for a short fight. And, if you've been Sequence Breaking, it actually can be seen with the X-Ray Visor, which shows that The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard and allowing it to periodically put up a shield.
    • The Chozo Ghosts are invisible when not attacking. You need to use the X-Ray visor to see them.
    • The Omega Pirate makes itself invisible when it's recharging. You need to use the X-Ray visor to see it. But just in case you weren't paying attention to the boss's recharging health bar, visible Beam Troopers show up as a distraction...
    • The second form of the Metroid Prime itself occasionally makes itself invisible to the visor you're using.
  • Jet Pack: Pirate Aerotroopers not only have jet packs but also go kamikaze on you after being defeated.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The game does this to the largest degree. It is wholly possible to go through the entire game without even knowing what you're doing or why you're doing it. Scanning Chozo Lore and Pirate Logs as you find them will give you bite-sized pieces of information that can eventually be assembled to see the whole picture. Fortunately, the game introduces scanning early on and makes it a core element of gameplay, so it is much more difficult than it sounds to blunder cluelessly through everything. It definitely doesn't hurt that the game marks the story scans with the icon indicating that they are mission-critical. In comparison, the sequels Echoes and Corruption have cutscenes that provide enough information for the player to know the general plot, though rich amounts of details and backstory still have to be scanned.
  • Jump Jet Pack: The Space Jump isn't in this installment, unlike the 2D games. Instead, she gets the Space Jump Boots, which enable her to jump one more time in midair.
  • Jungle Japes: Tallon Overworld, a rainy jungle that acts as the landing area for Samus in the game. Despite the dense vegetation in the starter area, it's not difficult to navigate through; the frontier area, meanwhile, is entirely flooded and requires the Gravity Suit so Samus can explore it properly; said flooded zone is where the Frigate Orpheon crash-landed after the events of the prologue. It is in this region where the Chozo Artifacts have to be deposited to open the Impact Crater, the final location.
  • Justified Tutorial: The game starts out with Samus exploring a mostly-derelict Space Pirate vessel. Whenever she encounters anything that must be done, a message pops up on the screen telling the player how to do it (so, when she encounters a console that must be scanned, the player is told about the Scan Visor, while it's assumed Samus herself already knows how to use it). The tutorial mostly ends when Samus gets the Bag of Spilling.
  • Kill It with Fire: You can kill several enemies with the heat-powered Plasma Beam, and adapt the beam into a veritable flamethrower as well (sapping away your missiles in the process). Seeing your Space Pirate foes blacken and singe away into dust makes up for the ammunition drain.
  • Kill It with Ice: Like in the 2D games, the Metroids are vulnerable to extreme cold, which is probably the only reason why Samus has an Ice Beam. This is also why, in this game in particular, the Space Pirates built their Metroid research facility in the icy environment of Phendrana Drifts: they hoped that the cold weakens any Metroids that might escape, making them slightly less dangerous (one of the better ideas their Science Team came up with).
  • King Mook: The game has a giant Sheegoth guarding the Wave Beam. The difference: that is the "normal" version. More common, "baby" versions are seen long before the fight. Although adult Sheegoths you fight as regular enemies after that are much smaller, meaning either those aren't fully grown or the guardian one was really strong. There's also Omega Pirate, a King Mook of Elite Pirates, which are themselves Giant Mook Space Pirates. So it's a King Giant Mook.
  • Laser Blade: Space Pirates use energy blades as melee weapons. In the sequel they only had metal blades (although they were called "photonic scythes", so they may have been a 40k-style "power field" involved), except for the Pirate Commandoes, who carried a gun that could fire energy projectiles or large exploding balls of every, as well as project a short beam blade. Elite Pirates, meanwhile, have energy claws.
  • Laser Hallway: The game features some Morph Ball tunnels with lasers, as well as hallways with eye-like structures called Eyons that shoot lasers in Chozo Ruins.
  • Last Lousy Point:
  • Late to the Tragedy: The game sets Samus on the planet Tallon IV without any clue as to what happened there, and then does two of these at the same time: the Chozo Lore tells you how things got this way, and the Pirate Data explains what has happened since the original Metroid and what the Space Pirates are doing there. As the pirate entries catch up to the present, Samus becomes the apocalypse.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: Magmoor, as the name might indicate, doesn't try to escape it. Aside from the damage, Samus' mobility while wading in it is all but negated.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: The barrier around the Impact Crater turns out to be not quite as impenetrable as the Chozo might've hoped. Although the Hostile Terraforming efforts of the Phazon meteor are greatly slowed down, Phazon nonetheless manages to leak into the earth surrounding the crater, forming the basis for the Phazon Mines.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Magmoor Caverns is a complex system of caves where many areas are flooded by magma. The high temperatures will damage Samus if she doesn't have at least the Varia Suit; and touching the magma itself will drain her health regardless of the upgrade.
  • Level of Tedious Enemies: Certain sections of Chozo Ruins are full of mostly harmless enemies that are there to disrupt Samus' platforming, such as Reaper Vines, Tangle/Venom Weed, Blast Caps, and Shriekbats.
  • Lighting Bug: Parts of Chozo Ruins have large insect aliens that light up the rooms. If you kill them, the rooms will end up too dark to navigate safely.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Using the Ice Beam followed by a Missile will shatter anything capable of being frozen, with the exception of Ice Troopers in the Wii version.
  • Load-Bearing Boss:
    • The Parasite Queen sends the Frigate Orpheon on a crash course with Tallon IV. Justified, since she falls right into the main reactor of the already heavily-damaged ship after you kill her.
    • The death of Metroid Prime causes the Impact Crater to collapse.
  • Long Song, Short Scene:
    • A programming error caused the first 36 seconds of Flaahgra's theme to loop endlessly. The full song works fine in the PAL, Player's Choice, and Metroid Prime Trilogy versions, however.
    • One variation of the Chozo Ruins theme only plays in the first room when you first enter the ruins, up until you defeat the Plated Beetle guarding the Morph Ball. Afterwards, it's gone and replaced by a different song - though another version of the first song plays in the deeper rooms of Chozo Ruins. The former song also isn't on the official soundtrack album.
    • The Space Pirates' theme has a unique variation that plays once upon first entering Specimen Storage, the first room in the Pirates' Phendrana Drifts laboratory, and never again.
    • Missile Stations have their own theme, a quiet remix of the elevator theme with different instruments, but it's possible to miss this song for various reasons. Activating the Missile Station plays a cutscene that has no music; the Item Acquisition Fanfare plays upon completion of the cutscene before the room's song returns; the Missile Station rooms are small, making it easy to leave before the normal song actually does return; and most damningly, there are only three Missile Stations in the game.
  • Marathon Boss: The first form of the eponymous final boss. The battle itself really isn't too hard, but it takes forever. The boss has a lengthy health bar, a few transition cutscenes, and an impervious lower body that shrugs off everything you throw at it, leaving its small face as the only weak spot. Nothing says "screw you" like wasting ten good missiles to hit him with an Ice Spreader, only for it to bounce off.
  • Marathon Level: The game has the first run of Phazon Mines, up until the Invisible Sentry Drone, and there are no checkpoints or save rooms. You're talking about roughly ten straight rooms of Space Pirates, Elite Pirates, and some devious puzzles and obstacles. Then there's the section that's topped off with the Omega Pirate boss, though there's at least a save room right before.
  • Mini-Boss: Minibosses and actual bosses are easily distinquished: mini-bosses don't have a health bar and tend to become recurring enemies later on. Also, whereas each major boss has its own Battle Theme Music, only two minibosses share a unique track (Hive Mecha and Incinerator Drone), while the others borrow one of the usual enemy encounter themes.
  • Modulation: The first theme of "Tallon Overworld" uses this; it starts off in the key of G Mixolydian with no clear melody, switches to Tonicized C once the melody starts to kick in, switches to F Mixolydian soon after, and the second half of the song switches and climaxes in the key of Bb Mixolydian.
  • Monster Closet: The first adult Sheegoth you fight pops out of a wall that was concealing a dead-end room just big enough for it.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: The game uses cutscenes to introduce bosses, mid-bosses, and major enemies such as Space Pirates, baby Sheegoths, beam troopers, and the Metroids themselves. However, the only time you'll see any text is if you use the Scan Visor.
  • Mook Horror Show: The game highlights it if you read some of the Space Pirate's mission logs, increasingly desperate recordings of how "the Hunter" is tearing through their forces.note  This monster is of course Samus Aran, the player character.
  • Mook Maker:
    • The game introduces the War Wasp hives, which produce War Wasps and are a hassle to deal with.
    • The second boss, the Hive Mecha, is a machine that spits out war wasps.
  • Multi-Stage Battle: The eponymous Final Boss attempts to escape from Samus each time it takes a certain amount of damage. The two opponents dive further into the interior of the Impact Crater until reaching the bottom, where the final phase of the battle takes place.
  • Musical Nod: The Parasite Queen's theme recalls Mother Brain's theme from Super Metroid, Tallon Overworld's first theme is a remix of the first Metroid's Brinstar, Tallon Overworld's second theme is similar to Green Brinstar, and Magmoor Caverns is a remix of Lower Norfair.
  • Mythology Gag: The Spider Ball puzzle in Ore Processing is a subtle tribute to Gunpei Yokoi's old Nintendo toy, the Ten Billion Barrel.
  • New World Tease: You can try and go into Magmoor Caverns early, but past the fourth room of the area, you'll be taking constant damage from the heat unless you get the Varia Suit. That said, it's possible to sequence break through this area with enough skill, but it's very tight.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Once you enter the Hall of the Elders, you'll encounter Chozo Ghosts. After defeating them here, they'll appear in many of the Chozo Ruins' large rooms (including their debut one), cutting the lights out and replacing the music with an encounter theme. You're only required to defeat them a few times, as the doors usually remain unlocked, allowing you to ignore them; in the Hall of the Elders to be able to use the statue, in the Life Grove for the X-Ray Visor, and in the Sunchamber for the Artifact of Wild.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: The game has the Thermal Visor, which apparently works like an infrared camera using a false-color version of the black-white spectrum (purple is the default ambient color, frozen objects and Ice Beam shots appear black, hot objects show up red through white). It can also see through thin walls and platforms, and it actually responds to lava and hot rooms by overloading. The display will stay white until you turn it off for a while. The game also has the X-Ray Visor, a relatively realistic take on a backscatter X-ray camera, though the Power Suit apparently isn't being radiopaque.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Meta Ridley is a cyborg space pirate dragon.
  • No Body Left Behind: Killing enemies with a charged Plasma Beam shot or a Power Bomb can vaporize them completely, leaving behind no body.
  • Non-Elemental: The Power Beam is this, whereas the Plasma, Ice, and Wave Beams follow a Fire, Ice, Lightning motif. As a result, it's the only weapon in Samus' arsenal that can harm Chozo Ghosts.
  • Noob Cave: The game starts in a derelict spaceship before moving on to the planet Tallon IV. Thanks to your array of advanced equipment (which you lose on your way out), it's the easiest level in the game.
  • No-Sell: Chozo Ghosts are completely immune to anything but the Power Beam, which is best for scratch damage against huge enemies or fighting off hordes of weak enemies, not chasing zippy ghosts all over the room. Thankfully, the Super Missile is also "Power Beam" elemental type, homes in when you lock on, and on Normal difficulty hits for nearly all of their health.
  • Not Completely Useless: All of the charge combos (besides the generally-useful Super Missile) work like this:
    • The Wavebuster uses far too much ammo to make it worth using... until you reach the Central Dynamo at the end of your first visit to the Phazon Mines, where you fight an invisible enemy that you can't lock on to and is very quick. Suddenly, the ability to auto-target anything becomes very useful. And this enemy is even weak to the Wave Beam, mitigating the ammo requirement.
    • The Ice Spreader fires far too slowly to be of any use against normal enemies and most bosses. However, it also can freeze the first form of the final boss with one shot, causing massive amounts of damage in the process.
    • The Flamethrower is generally impractical, as it only covers a short distance in front of Samus, consumes way too many missiles per second and is generally redundant given that the simple Plasma Beam packs more than enough power by itself. However, it is the only weapon that completely bypasses the beam shields that the Elite and Omega Pirates project, making their fights much easier.
  • Not Quite Dead: You may have defeated the exterior of Metroid Prime, but the interior still lives, even after you defeat it. This also extends to Dark Samus, the Big Bad in the sequels.
  • Numbered Homeworld: There's a room that gives you a holographic display of the solar system. Tallon IV is actually the fifth planet in that system and the system itself is called the Ooromine System. There is an Ooromine II, but the other planets have distinctive names. This includes Zebes (the planet of the original Metroid and Super Metroid), Billium and Twin Tabula.

    O-Z 
  • Off-Model: A minor example. When using the Fusion Suit, that suit's equivalent of the Phazon Suit has a blue visor like the regular Fusion Suit and its upgrades. However, in Fusion proper, that suit has a green visor like Samus's normal Power Suit.
  • Off with His Head!: Magmoors get decapitated when you defeat them.
  • Oh, Crap!: Several Pirate logs found early on in the Phazon Mines are orders from higher up for the Pirates to immediately drop everything and take combat positions now that they know that the dreaded Hunter has found their base.
  • Old Save Bonus: This game and Metroid Fusion can be linked together with the GameCube/GBA cable. You can wear the Fusion Suit in Prime, and play a port of the NES Metroid on your GameCube.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The music for the title screen, credits, and Magmoor Caverns.
  • One Bullet at a Time: Samus can only have three Missiles active at one time, though given their slow rate of fire, you won't run into this unless you do the Rapid Fire Missiles trick. The limit can be circumvented by maintaining close proximity to the enemies, causing the Missiles to hit them and thus be removed from the count before it becomes a problem.
  • One-Hit Kill: A fully charged Plasma Beam will often completely incinerate enemies you point it at. Many other enemies that aren't outright killed by a regular Plasma shot will be set on fire by it, which will kill them for you eventually. (After they slowly and painfully burn...)
  • One-Time Dungeon: The Frigate Orpheon in the prologue. In its wrecked-but-still-operating state, it can only be explored during the prologue of the game; after the first boss is defeated and Samus escapes in her gunship to land onto Tallon IV, the vessel crashes not too far from the heroine's landing site, and eventually it can be revisited in its flooded, badly altered form. Even then, all of its content and gameplay have changed and are now considered to be part of the Tallon Overworld area; this also means that, if you didn't scan the place's missable log entries or unique enemies, you never will for the remainder of that save file unless you're playing the Wii version and wait until the New Game+.
  • One-Winged Angel: Played with. The eponymous Metroid Prime does this prior to the events of the game (by creating an armored exoskeleton armed with missiles and various energy weapons), and inverts the trope when you fight it (reverting to its core form once the exoskeletal form is defeated).
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Unlike the sequels, the game has two distinct types of Phazon. Their respective colors, indeed, are blue and orange (the latter inflicting damage at a rate 82% faster than in the former's case). The orange variety is only found in the Impact Crater, where the Final Boss awaits.
  • Orbiting Particle Shield: The Parasite Queen is protected by a rotating energy shield and the player must position themselves to shoot between the panels.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: There are Zombie Space Pirates, who move just as well as living Space Pirates.
  • The Overworld: Tallon Overworld has elevators to all but one of the other zones (Phendrana Drifts). True to form, it also plays the Brinstar theme from Metroid.
  • Paint It Black: Although it's not evil, Samus' Phazon Suit is her normal Varia Suit mixed with deadly blue stuff, turning it black and gray with bits of red.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • If you didn't scan a boss during the fight, you won't be able to scan them again (and thus cannot get 100% Completion).
    • The Ice Shriekbats in Phendrana Drifts only appear in a couple rooms and won't respawn after getting the Thermal Visor, unlike all the other normal enemies in the game. For most players, this means seeing them once each in the two locations they're found in, then never again.
    • The parasites on board the Space Pirate frigate area can only be scanned during that opening level. There's also a Pirate Data scan on the ship that cannot be retrieved after it crashes.
    • Mechanical devices such as bomb slots, spinners, and map stations cannot be scanned after they are used. There are a limited number of them in the game (particularly the map stations, as there are only four), and easy to miss if you don't think to scan them.
    • Door blast shields are destroyed by a missile, so they obviously can't be scanned after they get removed from a door. However, you're likely to scan them to learn what's required to destroy them, so these are harder to miss.
  • Pillar of Light: When Samus finally places all the artifacts, a beam of light shoots up from the central structure. What does it do? The player never finds out, as Meta Ridley comes along and breaks it. Presumably, it would have done what the pulse afterward does, which is teleport Samus into the Impact Crater.
  • Pivotal Boss: Parasite Queen and Flaahgra both fight Samus this way. The former is encased within a large incubating capsule, and the latter is a plant harvested in the Sunchamber area of Chozo Ruins.
  • Plasma Cannon: Where Samus switches between beam weapons on the fly rather than stacking their effects, the Plasma Beam functions like a Short-Range Shotgun - having high power but a slow firing and charging speed compared to her other weapons, as well as a limited range when not charged - making it somewhat more realistic than most examples.
  • Player Death Is Dramatic: The game shows Samus with her visor cracked. Once her vitals flatline, her head slumps over. If Samus dies while in ball form, everything freezes in place while her suit detonates in a massive explosion (the same as a Power Bomb) before cutting to black.
  • Player Nudge: The hint system highlights the room you should be heading towards if you take too long to reach it, which is given an in-universe reason via Samus's onboard computer analyzing the world and highlighting things of note.
  • Plot Coupon: The twelve Chozo Artifacts, as they grant access to the interior of the Impact Crater, where Metroid Prime is.
  • Plot Hole: The eponymous creature is sealed inside the impact crater by a Chozo spell, which was placed to prevent the Phazon from further infecting the planet. However, a scan in the game indicates that the Space Pirates had captured the creature for study and imprisoned it in their lab, where it proceeded to steal a lot of weaponry and escape back to the crater. This warrants the question: how did the pirates and/or Metroid Prime both bypass the Chozo seal, when you yourself can't get through it until you complet the late-game MacGuffin Fetch Quest to remove the seal? The EU version of the game plus the Metroid Prime Trilogy compilation fixed this plot hole: In those, the Space Pirates merely detects a creature inside the crater and wastes a lot of time and effort trying to break the seal and failing. They never actually find Metroid Prime. Though now it has all those beam weapons/vulnerabilities just because.
  • Power Copying: The Space Pirates invert this on Samus by reverse-engineering Samus' beams, and unleash troopers outfitted with these counterparts at her.
  • Power Up Letdown: The game has the Flamethrower (the Plasma Beam's Charge Combo) and the Ice Spreader (the Ice Beam's Charge Combo). Unlike the Super Missile (powerful with fast velocity) and the Wavebuster (automatically locks onto enemies for you), the Flamethrower has extremely short range and isn't powerful enough to kill anything quickly. The Ice Spreader fires too slowly to be of any use and has a slight delay before the shot is made, though unlike the Flamethrower, it's at least useful against the final boss.
  • Power-Up Magnet: Holding a charged shot will attract any nearby energy/ammo refills dropped by enemies.
  • Rainbow Speak: In Logbook entries, important words are usually highlighted in red.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: Finishing with 100% Completion adds a brief cinematic showing a hand reaching out from the puddle of Phazon that was once the title creature. At the time the player would have no idea who or what this is: Metroid Prime reviving as Dark Samus, Samus Aran's nemesis throughout Prime 2 and 3.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: After defeating the Cloaked Drone in Central Dynamo, you have to go through a maze in Morph Ball form in order to collect the Power Bombs. This maze is randomly selected from a possible list of at least 300 variations.
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: The Power Beam fires very fast, has the best range, and is generally the thing to use for those pesky Fragile Speedster enemies you come upon fairly often (even though the ice, plasma and wave beam also have infinite ammo and special effects).
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: You pick which beam weapon you want by flicking the C-Stick (or holding + and aiming with the Wii Remote in the Trilogy version); the Arm Cannon takes a brief moment to change configurations before letting you fire the new weapon.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Played with by Samus's Phazon Suit (which comes in a nice black, grey, and red color scheme): Samus is most definitely not evil, but the Phazon corrupting her suit is. Zig-zagged in The Stinger; Metroid Prime fuses with the pilfered Phazon Suit, but the result, Dark Samus, is blue and black.
  • Red Herring:
    • Very early on, some of the Chozo Lore seems to point toward the big plant boss poisoning the waters as the source of the 'Great Poison' that destroyed their civilization. Of course, shortly after Samus fights said boss and heads toward Magmoor, a new bit of Chozo Lore establishes that Flaahgra wasn't half of it.
    • There is one, and only one, item in the whole game that can be scanned but doesn't have any other purpose. The subversion makes it worse when the description says "An ornate wall hanging with a highly reflective surface. It does not appear important." Naturally, this caused many players to waste untold time and return trips refusing to accept that it's truly unimportant.
    • Much more plentiful are little alcoves, rock facings, and other environmental cues which look like so many others you blast open and find secrets hiding behind. Thankfully, the Scan Visor will usually clue you in on whether it can be destroyed, as well as what can destroy it.
  • Remixed Level: The first tutorial level takes place on a frigate over Tallon IV, which goes into unplanned reentry by the time you're through. You later revisit its flooded, monster-infested wreckage.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Lampshaded when the Space Pirates try to reverse-engineer Samus's powers in the game. They manage to clone her basic weaponry but abandoned the Morph Ball research due to... let's just say "unknotting a pretzel" and move on.note 
  • Rock Monster: Thardus, the boss of the Phendrana Drifts, which is an entity of living ice, rock, and Phazon. The fact it was a result of Space Pirate testing with Phazon's effects provides some early Foreshadowing that Phazon itself is actually alive.
  • Scenery Porn: Tallon IV has many beautiful landscapes, in Particular Phendrana Drifts with its (literally) chilling atmosphere and soothing music.
  • See the Invisible: Samus faces off against the invisible Shadow Pirates. She can see them by using the infrared visor, allowing her to see their body heat. The Omega Pirate however is equipped with a Chameleon Manta, which makes him invisible to even this. The only way to see him when the Manta is activated is to wait for him to absorb radioactive phazon into his body, which will temporarily light up his insides with radiation, which Samus can see with her X-Ray visor.
  • See-Thru Specs: The X-Ray Visor lets Samus see through fake and destructible objects, and reveals invisible things. It is the only way to keep Chozo Ghosts visible.
  • Selective Magnetism: The game claims the Spider Ball works via magnetism, yet neither the ball nor the tracks seem to attract anything but each other.
  • Sequence Breaking: In the original GameCube release, there were many ways to do this (many of which were fixed in the Trilogy rerelease):
    • Using the Scan Dash glitch allows for the Space Jump Boots to be acquired before any other upgrades. The Scan Dash was removed in later versions of Prime, so Samus must perform an alternate, but difficult method by locking on to one of the Seedlings in the Temple Hall and heading backwards to the Gunship in Landing Site, before doing the rest like the NTSC version. You can get the Morph Ball early by using this glitch.
    • Samus can get into the Furnace room without the Spider Ball by using a clipping glitch, or a Ghetto Jump. When she reaches the Hall of the Elders, she can jump on a Radiation collector to reach the room's Bomb Slot, and then perform several other jumps to get to the Reflecting Pool. Once there, she can simply stand on a Stone Toad and reach the Antechamber and Ice Beam early. This is usually performed before encountering Flaahgra. In the Japanese New Play Control! version, it is possible to do this in the Furnace using a Spring Bomb Jump. In the Trilogy version, however, an invisible wall was added to the upper entrance of Furnace's Morph Ball tunnel until Samus collects the Spider Ball, and when standing on a Stone Toad in both New Play Control! and Trilogy versions, Samus temporarily loses her ability to jump.
    • The Plasma Beam can be reached without the Spider Ball by either successfully performing two jumps in the Twin Fires Tunnel, or by exploiting the scan dash glitch on the Spider Ball Track in the room. Then in the Geothermal Core, several jumps can be exploited to reach Plasma Processing. Getting this allows you early access to the Gravity Suit without the need for the Spider Ball.
    • The Power Bomb Expansion in Security Cave can be reached using several difficult jumps. This will give Samus early Power Bombs and also enable early access to the Artifact of Spirit and other such items. Notably, this trick can be performed in the Metroid Prime Trilogy version of the game, despite the changes made to jumping. The Power Bomb Expansion in the Magma Pool can also be obtained early by using the infinite speed glitch. In the Nintendo GameCube version, this requires the Boost Ball.
    • The Hive Mecha can be skipped via an L-Lock Spring Space Jump. This allows for Missiles to be acquired without having a battle. Alternatively, a scan dash can also be used to escape the Hive Totem, and if Samus returns, the Hive Mecha is gone, replaced by the Missile Launcher.
    • The Missile Expansion in Main Plaza's half-pipe can be reached using a Ghetto Jump, as another means of early Missiles.
    • The Gravity Suit and crashed Frigate Orpheon can be skipped via Bomb Jumping over the bars in Great Tree Hall.
  • Sequential Boss: The final boss has two phases: the first phase has you attack it with whichever Beam it's currently weak to, with increasing shifts to different weaknesses, and the second phase requires you to switch visors to locate the phasing Prime and blast it with the Phazon Beam.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: In any place where there are both Metroids and Pirates, you might be able to steer the Metroids into attacking the pirates. If one latches on, the victim Pirate is as good as dead.
  • Shaking the Rump: Whenever Samus exits her ship, she does a hip-check before heading off.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Regarding Samus Aran's iconic Morph Ball ability, this is lampshaded. One of the scans in the Phazon Mines reveals that the Space Pirates attempted to copy Morph Ball technology, but... well, the results weren't pretty. If you peek in between the two halves of the Morph Ball in the Prime series it appears to be a case of Samus being converted into Pure Energy.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Chozo Ruins is a sandy, labyrinthine location with some acidic rooms. Burrowing enemies like Plated Beetles can be found here, and it serves as the second majorly explorable location after Frigate Orpheon (Tallon Overworld isn't fully explorable by that early point yet). Five powerups can be retrieved here, and the second major boss Flaahgra appears (as do a few minibosses).
  • Shockwave Stomp: Elite Pirates and the Omega Pirate have an attack that releases shockwaves the player must jump over. Meta Ridley also has a similar ability, where he jumps up and generates a shockwave. And the final boss produces flame waves that function the same way.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Starburst candy. The Red Starburst plant produces star-shaped flowers "considered a delicacy in many territories."
    • Sean Booth and Rob Brown are explicitly mentioned during the Special Thanks in the credits.
  • Shoulder Cannon: The Elite Pirates have shoulder-mounted plasma cannons. The Omega Pirate has two.
  • Silence Is Golden: There is almost no spoken dialogue in game; the only lines include the Frigate system alarm saying "Evacuate Immediately!" and the Omega Pirate occasionally roaring a barely intelligible "Finish her!" during his fight. Samus only makes grunts of pain now and then, and screams whenever she dies.
  • Sigil Spam:
    • The icons denoting a scan point carry the symbol of the twelve artifacts.
    • A little more subtly, you will see the shape of Samus's visor in three places: first, it's what you look out of; second, it's the windshield of her ship; and third, it's the large panorama window of the Artifact Temple.
  • Slave Mooks: The Space Pirate militia is made up of criminals and captured slaves; disobedient militia is what the Space Pirates' rations are made of.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Phendrana Drifts, the third area of the game you explore, is mostly this. It also combines some elements of an underwater level and, with the discovery of a Space Pirate base in the ruins, an Eternal Engine.
  • Snowy Screen of Death: Some enemies cause your visor to do this when they are close.
  • So Near, Yet So Far: The entrance to the Impact Crater is located just a few rooms away from the landing site of the Gunship, but you can't actually go down the entrance until you find all the Chozo artifacts.
  • Space-Filling Path: The game has short Ping Pong Paths between some rooms to mask the Dynamic Loading.
  • Spectacular Spinning: The game introduces the Boost Ball upgrade, which normally propels the Morph Ball forward. But use the boost in a Spinner device, and Samus spins in place to manipulate the attached machinery with her kinetic energy.
  • Spider-Sense: The HUD has a small bar that warns the player of the presence and distance of environmental hazards (lava, poisonous gas/water, etc), as well as beeping if you get a bit too close.
  • Sprint Shoes: Replacing the Speed Booster from Super Metroid is the Boost Ball, which allows the Morph Ball to get bursts of speed to climb half pipes, activate spinners, and generally move faster.
  • Static Screw: Certain enemies have the ability to temporarily cause static over Samus's visor, obscuring her vision. Generally this is caused by enemies that utilize electricity somehow, whether via attacking (such as the Chozo Ghosts' projectiles and Sentry Drones' laser) or otherwise (the Scatter Bombu and Jelzap cause static if you're nearby, and the Sentry Drone dies with an explosion that briefly scatters the Visor if not taken out with the Wave Beam).
  • Static Stun Gun: The Wave Beam, which is a Lightning Gun this time, stuns enemies for a few seconds. It also makes turrets go berserk for about 10 seconds and then explode.
  • Stealthy Mook:
    • Shriekbats (and Ice Shriekbats) are hard-to-see colonies of bats which hang from doorways and divebomb Samus if you get too close (not to be confused with Flickerbats from the same game, which are actually invisible, but fly around open areas and are more for decoration).
    • The unique Cloaked Drone, which is constantly invisible (aside from the glow its weapons produce), which also makes it the only enemy which can't be scanned.
    • The Chozo Ghosts have the ability to turn invisible as they move about, making them hard to shoot until you find the X-Ray Visor (which shows invisible enemies).
    • Shadow Pirates come equipped with cloaking devices, the trade-off being no ranged weapons due to the cloak's high energy requirement, forcing them to rely on their wrist-mounted scythes. They can be tracked with the Thermal and X-Ray visors.
  • Steam Vent Obstacle: Steam vents produce steam that can fog up Samus's visor temporarily, though they don't cause any physical harm.
  • The Stinger: Achieving 100% Completion with the pickups unlocks a scene after the credits that shows a dark hand jutting out of a Phazon pool, Samus's Phazon Suit forming into Dark Samus.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Though the Metroid Prime Trilogy as a whole has this trait (despite adding more cutscenes as well as interactions between Samus and other characters), this game is such a severe example that it's possible to complete the entire game without a single clue of what you're doing or why you're doing it, if you don't use the Scan Visor much. Literally all the story, aside from some introductory text, is in logs and scans. Namely, scanning the lore logs is the only way to discover the importance of eradicating Phazon, how the Chozo succumbed because of it, why the Pirates are in the planet, and how they've empowered their strongest soldiers. The later titles include some cutscenes and basic plot development, but most of the exposition is left to you to find.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: The game allows Samus to stay underwater for any duration she wants, without drowning, thanks to her Power Suit. If she can walk in space without dying, why should water stop her? However, movement and visibility in water are both highly limited, until one receives the Gravity Suit, as which point the water's actually just there to look fancy.
  • Superpowered Mooks: The game has the Space Pirates that have copied your beam weapon technology. Even though they have weapons basically equivalent to yours, they lack the slow rate of fire you have for most of them.
  • Super Soldier: The Pirates' Project Helix was a program to use Phazon to grow super soldiers that are much larger and stronger than normal. The end result was a series of Elite Pirates, and the Omega Pirate, an Elite who took to Phazon exceptionally well.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: A Space Pirate Log reveals that their Science Team tried to make their own versions of Samus's Chozo technology for their use, including the Morph Ball. For reference, the Morph Ball is a device that compacts Samus into a sphere almost one meter in diameter without any lasting physical harm. However, the mechanics of this technology are a mystery even In-Universe (except maybe to Samus), the species that developed the original is presumably extinct, and the Pirates are only working off what they've seen in action. The result: their Morph Ball prototypes ended up lethally mutilating their test subjects; thus, Science Team deemed it a hopeless investment and moved on from it (which is saying something, given Science Team's usual M.O.). The closest any non-Chozo entity has come to safely replicating the Morph Ball is Sylux's Lockjaw in Metroid Prime: Hunters, which is stolen Galactic Federation technology, and the Federation is Samus's most frequent contractor.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Metroid Prime's core form can only be vulnerable to attack when it secretes Phazon pools that Samus can draw upon to blast it with her new Phazon Suit's namesake Beam.
  • Tagline: "Evil must be destroyed. But first, it must be found."
  • Temporary Platform: Temporary platforms appear precisely once: in Phendrana Canyon, where the Scan visor clearly warns that they are unstable.
  • Title Drop: Scanning the Final Boss of this game shows that it bears the same name as the game: Metroid Prime.
  • Tough Beetles: Beetles are highly-aggressive alien beetles from Tallon IV. They have resilient carapaces and are very quick burrowers, capable of digging through solid rock, and they attack anything that approaches their lairs. They also have two more powerful variants; the first one is called Plated Beetle, and its carapace is resistant to most of Samus' weapons, while Ice Beetles have their carapaces reinforced by ice.
  • Underground Level: Phendrana Drifts, which is a snowy location), features some icy caves in the frontier area, located beyond the pirate base; some parts of it are flooded, thus necessitating the Gravity Suit for better navigation. Later in the game, Samus reaches the Phazon Mines, an industrial facility built by the Space Pirates to mine and process Phazon; it is divided in three levels (in descending order), with the lowest one being filled with pools of Phazon and housing the area's boss (Omega Pirate).
  • Underwater Ruins: The game features the ruins of the frigate from the beginning about 3/4 submerged in water (accompanied by a soothing piano song).
  • Unflinching Walk: Happens after defeating Thardus (the rock monster). All of the rocks explode outward and Samus just casually strolls away. One of the smaller rocks actually dings off her helmet, but she just looks annoyed that it messed up her Unflinching Walk.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • Stone Toads are found in just two rooms of Chozo Ruins; one blocking a Morph Ball passage in the Energy Core; and four hanging out on the galleries of the Reflecting Pool.
    • There are a total of three Grizbys in the game; the first is on the Burning Trail leading into Magmoor Caverns; the other two guard platforms in the Lake Tunnel shortly after.
    • Only three Puddle Spores are encountered in the game, two of which disappear permanently after the Grapple Beam is acquired.
    • Ice Shriekbats only appear in one room in the entire game (the Ice Ruins West area of Phendrana Drifts) and are infamous for how easy it is to lose their Monster Compendium entry if you don't watch for them. They blend in with the rocks they roost on until you get close and can be easy to mistake for the very common ordinary Shriekbats you've probably already scanned. When you get close they dive bomb into you killing themselves in the process and they never respawn afterwards. Even if they don't kill themselves, miss them and they disappear as soon as you get the nearby suit upgrade never to appear again, making it impossible to fill your logbook completely. Thankfully, the PAL version fixes this so they do respawn and no longer arbitrarily disappear from the game if you miss them.
    • There's also Ice Parasites that only appear in two rooms and disappear from the game, there are several other one-time scans in this series too, but luckily they're not quite as easy to miss as the Ice Shriekbats (for one, they don't fly at you and explode on your face as soon as you get close).
    • The Aqua Drones are only found in Biohazard Containment in the Crashed Frigate. Once Samus leaves the room for the first time, they never appear again.
    • Ram War Wasps are only spawned by the Hive Mecha mini-boss. Once it is defeated, they are never seen again. Ditto the Barbed War Wasps in the Incinerator Drone chamber.
    • Plated Puffers, which are identical to normal Puffers except for their armor that deflects energy weapons, are only encountered in the Tower of Light, spawning when each tier of Brinstone columns is destroyed and never again.
    • The Cloaked Sentry Drone in the Phazon Mines is the only one of its kind. Due to its Invisibility Cloak, it cannot be scanned and therefore does not have an entry in the Monster Compendium.
    • The Phazon Elite highly resembles the usual Elite Pirates, has a similar moveset, and even uses the same encounter music, meaning one can quite easily miss its scan.
    • Invisible Pulse Bombus only appear in two corridors of the Phazon Mines, and like the Cloaked Drone, are unscannable.
    • Plasma Troopers are only encountered shortly before and during the Omega Pirate boss fight.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The final boss fight(s) take place inside the Impact Crater, the source of the space-borne mutagen infecting Tallon IV, which you have to collect a bunch of Artifacts (twelve in total) and defeat Meta Ridley to get into.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: For the Metroid series, whose first four games were all 2D. As the game is now 3D, many things have been changed to accommodate the new style; the game is played from first-person rather than side view, the Space Jump is limited to a Double Jump rather than Not Quite Flight, and the Spider Ball only works on designated tracks, among other things.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • It is entirely possible to free Metroids in rooms containing other enemies (like Space Pirates), then leave the room (unless the door locked behind you) in Prime. Metroid Quarantine A actually encourages this: there's a force field keeping Metroids penned up, with Space Pirates in a lab on the other side. This force field is in your way. The controls can be scanned from too far away for the Pirates to notice you, and you can easily wait in the upper section for the Metroids to finish off the Pirates.
    • Raiding the Space Pirates' base as much as you want with all of your upgrades. The joy in this is to use every piece of weaponry on them as much as you want. If you use a cheat, you can use the Phazon Beam and torture them while in Hyper-Mode.
    • In the Chozo Temple's grand entryway, you can see a bird-like species flying in the sky. Careful aim will reduce them to an explosion of feathers. There is no advantage or reason to do this except to twirl your Snidely Whiplash moustache.
    • The Plasma Beam's damage is high, but it's programmed to just immediately incinerate most enemies with a charged shot regardless of the numbers. If you're a sadist though, you can take the slow single-shot route and just watch them burn until dead. In the case of the poor Ice Beetle, you get to watch it convulse and then crawl forward, slowly and painfully dying.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: The flamethrower is by far the most useless beam combo. All of them but the Super Missile are situational at best, but the Flamethrower has a short range, is difficult to aim (as it only emits a narrow stream of flame), uses a huge amount of ammo, and you could just be using the charged Plasma Beam which is far more effective.
  • Voodoo Shark: In the original game, Metroid Prime had been captured by the Pirates and studied for a while, before breaking loose and returning to its point of origin, explaining its fancy assimilated Zebesian tech armor. The problem is that said point of origin is behind an impenetrable barrier you spend most of the game deactivating, so how did it get out and back? Other regions and later adaptations covered over the plot hole by re-writing the relevant story entries so that the Pirates never captured it... but in doing so, opened the new plot hole of where the weapons and armor came from.
  • Water Is Air: Samus' Plasma Beam functions perfectly fine underwater. This sort of gets a Hand Wave because she's firing superheated plasma as opposed to ordinary fire, but it still doesn't explain how organic enemies can catch fire when completely submerged. Her flamethrower Charge Combo won't work underwater, though.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • The Hive Mecha. You fight entirely from a circular platform in the middle of toxic water. The Ram War Wasps released by the Hive Totem circle you, and attempt to hit you. If they connect, you may very well fall into the water, which is hard to move around in (and therefore get out of), and which drains your energy extremely quickly. It also depends upon how good you are at quickly cycling between targets. However, a perceptive player will notice that the War Wasps show up on Samus' radar in the top-left corner of the screen, which makes the battle significantly more palatable and even teaches an important lesson about paying attention to your HUD.
    • Flaahgra, the main boss of the Chozo Ruins (and the third boss of Prime), is partially a Puzzle Boss; Samus needs to shoot the mirrors directing sunlight onto the monstrous plant's body to render it vulnerable — but in a dangerous subversion of Boss Arena Idiocy, Flaahgra is very much aware of that weakness and actively flips the mirrors back if you're not quick enough. Flaahgra also possesses many hard-hitting attacks, including both melee and projectile powers, and requires you to be quick in and out of the Morph Ball. First-time players are likely to die initially, but nailing Flaahgra's pattern makes this battle much easier to go through.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Following his defeat at the hands of Samus in the original Metroid/Metroid: Zero Mission Ridley was rebuilt as Meta Ridley, sporting numerous cybernetic enhancements such as armor, electronic wings, and missile- and bomb-deployment systems.
  • Whack-a-Monster: To expose Flaahgra's weak points, you must circle-dash around the arena and deactivate all the solar mirrors before it can reactivate any of them, stunning it with weapons fire if necessary.
  • Where It All Began: The endgame has the final area be accessed from the first area of Tallon IV you land on. Quite close to your ship, too.
  • Wicked Wasps: The War Wasps are a recurring enemy throughout the trilogy, able to quickly swarm Samus and fire their projectile stingers with zero regard for their own survival.
  • Womb Level: The Impact Crater has suspiciously fleshy surfaces, and platforms in one room look like giant, misplaced teeth. The reason for this fleshy nature isn't revealed until near the end of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, it being namely that it originalted from Phaaze, a Genius Loci planet.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The Saturnines in the Phazon Mines' lower floors are indeed about 400 times the size of the ones you can see early in the game. However, the scan data on them displays this as a 400% size increase. 400% should be only four times the original size.

 
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Save Station

Samus can step into save stations to save the player's progress. They also fully restore her suit's energy.

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5 (8 votes)

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Main / SavePoint

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