The Central Unit is an AI seen in Metroid Dread. It controls "various areas of the planet" ZDR, namely E.M.M.I. Zones (where they are described as "mother computers") and resembles a blue organic brain with a single eye, completely encased in plates of black armor. To destroy each E.M.M.I., Samus Aran is first required to reach the Central Unit of each Zone, then destroy the unit and absorb its energy.
Shortly after arriving on ZDR, Samus encounters a damaged and fallen Central Unit in Artaria. When she touches the exposed brain, it temporarily transforms her Arm Cannon into the powerful Omega Cannon, allowing her to temporarily use the Omega Blaster ability to defeat the damaged E.M.M.I.-01P.
From there, Samus is tasked with tracking down the Central Units of five more E.M.M.I. Zones. These units are active, and she is forced into a miniboss battle with each one. The unit itself does not attack Samus (although it can damage her if she touches it), instead relying on cannons mounted to the ceiling and walls, and generators that spawn Rinkas, which can be destroyed for energy and Missile Ammo. Samus must attack the Central Unit with Missiles and Charge Shots until its armor breaks, exposing the brain; at this point, its defenses will attack more frequently. She must continue attacking it until it falls and "dies". Once acquired, Samus can use the Screw Attack to immediately kill an unarmored Central Unit. Once a Central Unit dies, Samus can absorb its energy and regain the Omega Cannon, and then is able to leave the room and hunt down the E.M.M.I.
"These brain-like organic supercomputers hold the key to wielding the Omega Cannon—a weapon strong enough to take down an E.M.M.I."
- "Survive the Central Unit’s defenses and destroy it. Recover its energy to temporarily wield the Omega Cannon."
- A tweet from Nintendo of America says there is "something familiar" about the Central Unit, followed by a brain emoji. The brain-like single-eyed nature of the Central Unit and its use of Rinkas and cannons strongly suggest it was modeled after Mother Brain. The scene where its eye looks around upon entering E.M.M.I.-02SM's Zone is similar to the scene upon descending the elevator to Norfair in Metroid: Zero Mission.
- The cannons guarding a Central Unit light up before firing; the light is the same color as the associated E.M.M.I.'s armor.
- If the corresponding E.M.M.I. is not activated, the Central Unit will remain idle, not firing from the cannons or firing the Rinkas. Defeating it in this state will not grant Samus the ability to use the Omega Cannon.
- ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "This Central Unit looks a bit familiar... 🧠 🤔 #MetroidDread #NintendoTreehouseLive https://nintendo.com/e3/" 15 June 2021 1:06 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/1404847759639732224