The Artifact Temple, also referred to as the Cradle in Chozo Lore, is a location in the Overworld region of Tallon IV. Created by the Chozo who colonized the planet 50 years prior to Samus Aran’s arrival, it was created to contain the spread of Phazon on Tallon IV, with a cipher sealed by 12 Chozo Artifacts. The Temple was later unlocked by Samus to confront the Metroid Prime, the source of Phazon on the planet.

The Artifact Temple also has its own unique theme music.


The prosperous Chozo colony on Tallon IV prophesied their own destruction, foretelling that "the Worm" would threaten them, and that "the Hatchling" (Samus) would come and encounter this Worm.

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This prophecy would later came to pass when Tallon IV was struck by a Leviathan. When it made contact, local flora and fauna were horribly mutated, and the environment itself became poisoned. The Chozo attempted to seal away the Leviathan, along with the Worm, constructing the Cradle over it. However, despite their efforts, the Phazon brought by the Leviathan had already poisoned their world. Even as they finished the Artifact Temple, the Chozo were soon driven mad from Phazon Fever. The Worm, however, was successfully detained in the Impact Crater below the temple, as the poison the Leviathan carried continued to spread across Tallon IV. Samus learned of the prophecy through Chozo Lore and set out to fulfill it.

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The Cipher's seal is finally broken, allowing Samus to explore the Impact Crater's depths.

After discovering the twelve Artifacts hidden by the Chozo across the planet, Aran returned them to the Temple, activating the totems and unlocking the seal. However, as the temple began to unlock, Meta Ridley attacked Samus, and destroyed the artifact totems. The Artifact Temple then became the arena for an intense battle between Samus and her cybernetically reconstructed nemesis. After she severely wounded him, the power of the temple itself finished the job, striking Meta Ridley with several simultaneous beams of red energy. As Ridley plunged down to the Impact Crater below, the Chozo Ghosts that had dwelled within the twelve totems completed the process of unlocking the Seal, allowing Samus to proceed into the Impact Crater below.

The subsequent battle between Samus and the Metroid Prime led to the collapse of the Impact Crater, which spread up to the Artifact Temple as well. Barely managing to escape from the Crater, Samus leaped from the Temple's main platform onto her Samus Aran's Gunship, and mournfully watched the Artifact Temple burn from atop her ship with her helmet removed.

In the NTSC versions of the game, Pirate Data states that the seal did not extend below the surface, and so the invading Space Pirates were able to find the Metroid Prime and capture it for study. It was infused with so much Phazon before it escaped back to its den. In the PAL versions, this is retconned with the statement that the Pirates were never able to breach the seal, though were aware that some powerful creature existed within.


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Samus looks up at the Chozo statues in the Artifact Temple.

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The top of the room curves out in paths leading left and right. The right corridor leads to indestructible debris, while the other corridor goes outside of the shelter to the main portion of the temple. The Chozo Lore entries "Prophecy of Light" and "Contain" can be scanned on the top floor. In the middle, a green visor-like window reveals the temple outside. The actual temple leading to the Impact Crater is a large, ornately carved stone circle with twelve Chozo Totems arranged concentrically and a unique, central totem holding the Artifact of Truth. The Chozo Totems can be scanned for hints to the artifacts' locations and when an artifact is returned, the corresponding totem will light up as will glowing lines connecting the totems on the floor.

After all totems are activated, they will be destroyed during the battle with Meta Ridley. After she severely wounds him, Chozo Statues above the platform fire red lasers at him, driving him back off of the platform. The Chozo Lore found at the Artifact Temple, "Statuary", implied that this had been done due to Meta Ridley willfully destroying the Chozo Artifact holders while the temple was preparing to open the way to the Impact Crater.

Connecting roomsEdit


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Samus battles Meta Ridley.


Artifact of Truth
The first Chozo Artifact is located in the middle of the room, underneath the central Totem.


  • SkyTown's Main Docking Bay greatly resembles the Artifact Temple. Key similarities include both being the last rooms seen in the game, the green window, the U-shaped corridor, statues, circular design, open-topped layout, destructible obstructions, link to the Chozo Artifacts and having a boss battle take place there. In an unlockable Diorama in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Ghor is seen surrounded by the Chozo Ghosts in the Main Docking Bay, further strengthening the relation between the two areas.
  • Strangely, although Samus can see when she is going through Temple Security Station that she is passing through a hallway suspended over a chasm, when she reaches the main temple platform, she cannot see the object behind the Chozo statues on the roof of the overlooking structure, even though it is so big that it should be immediately visible. No explanation is given for this.
  • If the player defeats Ridley before he destroys all of the artifact totems (typically by cheating), they will all still disappear regardless in the following cutscene when the Chozo Ghosts emerge from them to open the portal to the crater. Oddly, they can still be scanned until the next time the room is entered.
  • The theme that plays when the Impact Crater is opened is titled Artifact Shrine (Release of the Chozo Ruins Seal) in the Metroid Prime & Fusion Original Soundtracks tracklist.