Bounty Hunters are combatants who are independently hired for missions.
Bounty Hunters are typically hired for hunting down targets. Bounty Hunters are also hired to participate in wars or battles, which makes them more akin to mercenaries than traditional bounty hunters. Upon completing an assignment, they are paid in bounties such as Seguru.
While Samus features in every game in the Metroid series, bounty hunters feature most prominently in Metroid Prime Hunters and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. The bounty hunters serve as boss battles in both games, although Rundas, Ghor, and Gandrayda serve as allies in the opening sequence of Corruption until they are corrupted by Phazon. Earlier bounty hunters have appeared in comics, such as 'Big Time' Brannigan, Armstrong Houston, and Zegan Doh. In Hunters, each Bounty Hunter is known for using a specific Affinity Weapon.
The series contains multiple non-canonical references to the Bounty Hunter occupation. In Bounty Mode of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Multiplayer, players must battle each other to collect Bounty Coins. The Hunters Multiplayer Mode features its own Bounty mode, in which Bounty Hunters must collect Octoliths. Metroid Prime Pinball awards Samus with Bounty Bonuses, which is increased by the Bounty Multiplier.
Certain bounty hunters may tend to play favorites when it comes to their employer, due to political alliances or personal grudges. For instance, it would be safe to assume that Weavel gets most of his missions from the Space Pirates, while Sylux would be averse to working with the Galactic Federation.
Some Metroid media appears to make a special distinction for an elite faction called Space Hunters, which are highly mobile and operate on a large scale under the Galactic Federation, acting in desperation, for the purposes of ensuring safety in the most remote regions, so that the Federation remains connected and secure. Samus is frequently referred to as the greatest Space Hunter.
"The Federation Bureau and the Federation Police called together warriors known for their great courage and sent them to do battle with the pirates. These great warriors were called "space hunters." They received large rewards when they captured pirates, and made their living as space bounty hunters."
"There are many unknown planets throughout the galaxy. Many of these are causes of concern to the Galactic Federation. To take care of this, they employ Space Hunters, the greatest of which is Samus Aran."
- Originally, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was intended to feature actual bounty hunting missions for Samus and the player to undertake. However, Nintendo of Japan ordered Retro Studios to drop the concept, primarily because when Nintendo envisioned her as a bounty hunter, they thought of her more along the lines of a mercenary or hired gun. They also seemed to imply that Samus is not paid for her missions by the Federation.
- Outside the franchise, the character Captain Falcon from F-Zero also had the profession of bounty hunter, with Samus and Captain Falcon also working together in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in Event Match 36: High-Tech Special Forces alongside Star Fox character Wolf O'Donnell (who ironically was himself subject to a bounty in Star Fox Command). In Melee, Samus also competed against Captain Falcon in Event 17: Bounty Hunters (although they were technically on the same team), with the flavor text stating that she was competing with him for a bounty. In the Event Match Bounty Hunter Clash in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the player plays as Captain Falcon and initially fights against Zero Suit Samus, before ultimately fighting against some villagers from Animal Crossing, with the flavor text indicating that Captain Falcon and Zero Suit Samus were fighting each other for a bounty, and that the two villagers joined the fray to "make a quick buck" (although it is left unclear whether those two were meant to be bounty hunters themselves).
- Similarly, in the game Animal Crossing: Wild World, talking with Gulliver after his ship is fixed will have him comment about space Bounty Hunters. Aside from Samus herself obviously (whom he refers to as someone who turns into a metal ball), he also alludes to Fox McCloud from the Star Fox series regarding a "fox who flies a spaceship" (although similar to Wolf O'Donnell above, Fox was never specified in his home series to have been a bounty hunter or anything other than a mercenary).
- A print advertisement for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes references a Bounty Hunter Chronicle pamphlet, targeted toward a Bounty Hunter audience. Additionally, Echoes had a pre-order incentive in the form of the Universal Bounty Hunters T-shirt.
- ^ Casamassina, Matt (August 28, 2009). A Space Bounty Hunter in Texas pp. 8. IGN. “We were looking for something more along the lines of a mission-based game where Samus collected bounties. And for the life of us we couldn't understand why [Nintendo was] being so resistive to that concept. And then over the period of days we came to understand that their definition of a bounty hunter is not a bounty hunter. It is not someone who brings in bad guys for money. That concept was completely outside of their definition.”
|Metroid series||Samus Aran|
|Comics||'Big Time' Brannigan • Armstrong Houston • Zegan Doh|
|Metroid Prime Hunters||Sylux • Weavel • Kanden • Spire • Noxus • Trace|
|Metroid Prime 3: Corruption||Rundas • Ghor • Gandrayda|
|Other||Dark Panda • HWCASE • Georgia McHenry|