The Chozo (Japanese: 鳥人族 (Chōjinzoku), "Birdman Tribe") were an ancient, mysterious and highly advanced species of sage-like avian sapients that inhabited several planets in the cosmos, including Zebes, Elysia, SR388, Tallon IV, and possibly others. Although the eventual fate of the race as a whole is unknown, countless ruins and technological wonders are littered throughout the many planets they once inhabited. The Chozo are also responsible for the creation of both the Metroids and Mother Brain; these would both later pose a threat to galactic civilization, though they were both originally created for peaceful reasons.
The original Japanese name for the Chozo is 鳥人族 (chōjin-zoku) which literally means "bird-man race". The English name is a contraction of this term.
Culture[edit | edit source]
The Chozo culture seemed to have been a peaceful one for the most part, prizing knowledge in all its forms. They were explorers in every sense of the word, simultaneously seeking scientific and technological advancement alongside primal shamanistic wisdom. This balance between technology and spiritualism seemed to be another defining trait of the Chozo culture. This is in contrast to their original nature, which was more proud and warlike.
The Chozo had the utmost respect for the natural flora and fauna found on every planet they visited with the sole exception of the X Parasites they found on SR388. These were deemed a massive threat due to their ability to kill and assimilate any other life forms they came across; as such, the Chozo used their highly-advanced technology to create an entirely new species (the Metroids) to combat said threat.
The Chozo often shared their knowledge and wisdom with other species, both those that were as advanced as they were and those who were not as advanced.  They also colonized other worlds, but never to the extent of harming any native lifeforms. The Chozo had their own language, as well as the habit of recording their own history through both art and writing that featured events, rituals, scientific discoveries, and even prophecies or warnings.
Many of their structures were built of stone, although it is clear they were capable of using far more complicated materials and building techniques. This is most prevalent in the crafting of their statues, which seem to be present in all Chozo colonies. This art form was considered to be a sacred process, reserved only for those Chozo who had lifetimes of experience in such things. They also used illustrations similar to Ancient Egyptian art to depict aspects of their culture.
A schism within the Chozo is implied to have occurred after the creation of the Metroids when they started metamorphosing and grew out of control. While it's still unknown why this split happened, it's known that at least a few Chozo did not renounce their old, warlike ways.
History[edit | edit source]
The history of the Chozo is shrouded in mystery, and what is known has no accurate timeline associated with it, save that they are confirmed to be present as early as 1500 years before the events of the Metroid series. The Chozo were known to possess the most advanced technology and were once proud of their greatly advanced fighting strength. They also had the ability to survive in environments that would be toxic to humans. The species used to have a pair of wings that enabled flight on their backs, long ago.
Many of the items Samus Aran collects in her missions contain the physical abilities the bird-like race possessed and excelled at, such as enhanced speed and agility, increased jump height, and the ability to curl into a ball. In the Super Metroid comic, Old Bird states that the Power Suit is meant to be tough, like the skin of a Chozo.
Due to the Chozo's great longevity, old age wrought havoc on their ability to reproduce, causing a steep decline in their numbers. Sources also state that the Chozo's technology reached a point where it could advance no further. These changes were major factors leading to their decision to withdraw from the galaxy, going from a warrior race into non-violent observers that were content to live in simple harmony with nature.
The Chozo of Zebes, who arrived via the Wrecked Ship, were known to have a "mental block" that discouraged them from physically harming others. Those who defied this mental block (such as Grey Voice when he attacked Mother Brain) suffered immense pain, often enough to virtually immobilize them. This block may have been implemented when the Chozo changed their warlike habits and became a peaceful race.
The Chozo have a long history of making contact with other races throughout the cosmos and sharing their technology, wisdom, and culture; some of these include the Bryyonians, the Luminoth, Humans, and likely the Ylla. They also colonized several worlds and left behind many relics, machinery (such as drones/robots), and lore to mark their passing; among those were the observatory known as SkyTown high above the clouds of Elysia as well as the robotic Elysians, who were eventually given the gift of self-awareness. The last known Chozo colony was likely Tallon IV.
Recent History[edit | edit source]
The Chozo were the adoptive parents of Samus Aran, having found Samus at Earth Colony K-2L after a Space Pirate attack destroyed the colony and killed her parents. After using their technology to infuse their blood into the young orphan, the Chozo trained Samus to become a warrior of their people and gave her the trademark Power Suit. When Samus eventually reached adulthood, she parted ways with the Chozo and became a Bounty Hunter. There have been exceedingly few documented interactions with the Chozo: known encounters include only Samus's upbringing, one meeting with Old Bird in the Super Metroid comic, and the ghostly forms of Chozo on the surface of Tallon IV (who may or may not still be present after the events of Metroid Prime).
What exactly happened to the Chozo as a whole remains a mystery. Some sources state that the Chozo were killed off by continual Space Pirate raiding or by out-of-control Metroids. Metroid: Samus Returns sheds a little light on this through the Chozo Memories feature, which shows that some Chozo Warriors did succumb to the Metroids on SR388 after the latter had metamorphosed into the Alpha stage. Another Memory reveals that an unknown Chozo, who appears to have been the leader of a splinter group, murdered those who were involved with the creation of the Metroids. What happened to this group and their leader afterward is unknown.
Other sources would indicate that the Chozo attained some form of ascension beyond physical existence, as described by the Chozo of Tallon IV. These, however, have since been reduced to a maddened state of dimensional flux due to the influence of Phazon and now only exist as the apparitions known as Chozo Ghosts. At the same time, this may have simply been the fate of certain unfortunate individuals as opposed to the Chozo as a whole. As with almost anything else concerning the race, this will likely remain a mystery.
Finally, there are sources which suggest there are surviving Chozo that are either in hiding (as is true of Old Bird) or that have simply departed to an unknown destination far from any currently known galaxy in the Metroid series. Likely a combination of all of the above factors is responsible for the Chozo's disappearance; in any case, it would seem that the Chozo as a whole no longer physically grace the cosmos but for a few isolated examples.
While the Chozo themselves were highly devoted in maintaining peace throughout the galaxy, they ironically unleashed two of the greatest known threats to galactic peace: the Metroids and the Mother Brain, both originally intended for noble causes. It was Samus Aran, who also happened to be of Chozo creation - albeit symbolically - who eventually corrected the Chozo's "mistakes".
Known Chozo[edit | edit source]
Enemies[edit | edit source]
Official data[edit | edit source]
Interview[edit | edit source]
"I have a question regarding the design materials in the Development Room's [part of the site]; in the manga, the Chozo were described as a peaceful race, but in these documents, why are they only shown as a warrior race everywhere?"
Yoshio Sakamoto: "Formerly, the Chozo had advanced technology and were a race proud of their advanced fighting strength. However, due to their long lives, their fertility decreased and their civilization declined, so they changed their personality to a non-violent race. The Chozo gave Samus the "Powered Suit" which was created by assembling together the essence of this advanced technology." 
Official Metroid Prime website[edit | edit source]
Civilization type: Unknown
The Chozo are a wise race of birdlike humanoids who prize peace over all other things. They have built many civilizations on planets across the universe and have spread knowledge and goodwill wherever they've found life, always striving to find the higher truths to the universe. They've left signs of their presence not only on planet Zebes but on many other planets as well. It is not known when the Chozo started to build their civilization on Tallon IV or how long they lived there.
The great bounty hunter Samus Aran's Power Suit was designed using Chozo technology, but the exact connection between Samus and the Chozo is unknown.
The Chozo exhibit both humanoid and bird-like traits. The Chozo's head is avian in nature, but its arms and legs are very much like a human's limbs. Unfortunately, very little is known about the physical composition of the Chozo body."
Metroid Prime manual[edit | edit source]
"The Chozo... Over millennia, this bird-like race of creatures
made incredible technological and scientific leaps. Traveling at will
through space, they built many marvels across the universe-technology-
cal wonders of unfathomable complexity and cities unmatched in beauty.
They shared their knowledge freely with more primitive cultures and
learned to respect and care for life in all its forms.
Even as their society reached its technological peak, however,
the Chozo felt their spirituality wane. Their culture was steeped in
prophecy and lore, and they foresaw the decline of the Chozo coinciding
with the rise of evil. Horrified by the increasing violence in the universe,
they began to withdraw into themselves, forgoing technology in favor of
simplicity. Tallon IV was one of the several refuges they built - a colony
bereft of technology, built of natural materials and wedded to the land and its
The years passed, and in time a great meteor crashed into
Tallon IV, sending a massive spume of matter into the atmosphere and
impregnating the land with a cancerous element known as Phazon. This
element immediately sank into the earth and water, poisoning life wher-
ever it bloomed. Most plants and animals died, while others mutated into
The Chozo called upon all of their knowledge and technology to
control the power of the Phazon, but their efforts were doomed to fail. All
they could do was build a temple over the crater at the impact site, sepa-
rate the Phazon core, and seal it away. Believing that someday a savior
would return to the planet, the Chozo left for an unknown destination,
leaving behind nothing but engraved accounts of their time on Tallon IV."
QUESTION: I'm very excited to play. Is there any relation between the Luminoth and the Chozo?
ANSWER: Actually, there is a strong possibility that there had been an interaction between them.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The only games where the relics of the Chozo are not present are Metroid Prime Hunters, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid: Other M. Though they were not in-game, Samus met a species similar in purpose to the Chozo in Echoes (the Luminoth, along with relics that combined both races' technology) and in Hunters (the Alimbics). In Metroid Fusion, she discovered an X Parasite mimicking a Chozo Statue, the Elephant Bird.
- Most Metroid games mention the intelligence of the Chozo, but they mentioned only their technological inventions until Metroid Prime, in which they saw the future of the Leviathan and Metroid Prime. The method for how the Chozo looked into the future is unknown, only that they went to Tallon IV to rid themselves of their technology so it may have been some sort of advanced spiritual/supernatural ability. The lore in Metroid Prime states this:
- "At the highest point of our city lies the fountain, a wellspring of pure water that flows throughout our civilization. It is the jewel of the Chozo, the life-giver, and yet its waters speak of a clouded future. As we come to understand the paths of time and space more clearly, we have begun to glimpse rough tatters of past and future, glittering behind reality like soft lights behind a curtain. We have seen the fountain in these glimpses, pouring darkness instead of water, and we cannot guess what the visions mean."
- The statues that the Chozo have built, such as the Torizos, are probably alive (though to a lesser extent than the Elysians on Elysia, as the Chozo gave the latter the gift of self-awareness). Scans from Metroid Prime state, "As we have done for millennia, we Chozo work constantly on our statuary. The statues are our sentinels: blind but ever watchful, they are and have always been, repositories for our most precious secrets and strongest powers. The crafting of each is a long and sacred process, performed only by those Chozo who have lifetimes of experience in such things. We have left these relics on planets across the solar system. Some are merely reminders: silent emblems of the Chozo that serve as icons of peace in lands that know only war. Others wield subtle strength, exerting their influence in ways beyond the understanding of mortal creatures. Still, others are guardians of our secret ways, and these can be as terrible as they are beautiful. Those who respect and honor these relics will know the friendship of the Chozo. Those who deface or destroy them will know our wrath, unfettered and raw." This can be proven as the statues blasted Meta Ridley off of the Impact Crater for having destroyed the entryway.
- However, the cause for the Torizo's aggressive behaviors toward Samus on Zebes is never officially explained.
- Metroid Fusion implies that Chozo Statues and Torizos are at least partially biological in nature: the X Parasites cannot mimic machines or inorganic substances, and yet Samus has to battle two Core-X that are mimicking a Chozo Statue and a Torizo in Sector 1 and Sector 2, respectively.
- In the Metroid manga, the Chozo call the Metroids their children because they created them, though they did not intend for them to kill all life in their path.
- Oddly, all of the Zebesian Chozo in the manga have names consisting of colors and words, while all Elysian Chozo in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption have names of a wholly extraterrestrial origin. This discrepancy has not been explained, as no other Chozo were named in any other official media. It could be a cultural difference between planets, or perhaps the Zebesian Chozo did not use their real names. Another possibility is that a name composed of color and a word is simply a translation of the name of extraterrestrial origin.
- It is noted that the technology of the Chozo is arguably more advanced than the Galactic Federation's. This is exemplified by the GF's Plasma Gun, a prototype of a reversed-engineered Plasma Beam developed by Chozo. While both weapons have the same approximate power output, the Federation's version takes a frustratingly long time to charge a single blast and requires a large power source, while the Chozo version is small by comparison (being integrated into Samus Aran's Arm Cannon) and can charge a blast in mere seconds. Other Chozo tech that has been reversed-engineered are the weapons and armors seen in Metroid Fusion and possibly the Aurora Units from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
- The murals depicting a green-skinned Chozo holding a shepherd's crook resemble Osiris, the Egyptian God of the dead and afterlife.
- The Super Metroid Nintendo Player's Guide says "Torizo and Chozo basically mean the same thing", but this is incorrect. The Japanese name for Torizo is 鳥人像 (Chōjinzō), which literally means "bird-person-statue", whereas Chozo is 鳥人族 (Chōjinzoku), which literally means "bird-person-tribe". However, there is no distinction in Japanese between Torizo and Chozo Statue; the latter is sometimes referred to as simply "Chozo" in early Super Metroid media, which likely explains this guidebook's error.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Metroid (Manual, statues)
- Victory Techniques for Metroid
- Metroid II: Return of Samus
- Super Game Boy Player's Guide
- Super Metroid (Manual, statues)
- Super Metroid (Manga) (Statues)
- Super Metroid (Nintendo Power comic)
- Super Metroid Nintendo Player's Guide
- Super Smash Bros. (Mentioned)
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (Mentioned, statues)
- Metroid Fusion (Manual, statues)
- Metroid Prime (Manual, lore, statues)
- Metroid Prime (Comic) (Statues)
- Metroid: Volume 1
- Metroid: Volume 2
- Game Boy Player (Statue on packaging)
- WarioWare: Twisted
- Metroid-Morph Ball (Statues)
- Metroid: Zero Mission (Flashback, manual, statues)
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Mentioned)
- Metroid Prime Pinball (Statues)
- Metroid Prime Hunters (Mentioned indirectly)
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Lore, statues)
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Mentioned, statues)
- New Play Control! Metroid Prime (Manual, lore, statues)
- New Play Control! Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Mentioned)
- Metroid Prime Trilogy (Lore, statues)
- Samus & Joey: Volume 2 (Flashback)
- Metroid: Samus Returns
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- ^ Metroid (Magazine Z manga)
- ^ Metroid Prime - See logbook entry "Beginnings" in the Chozo lore section.
- ^ Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - See logbook entry "Age of Schism" in the Bryyo lore section.
- ^ Metroid Prime - See storyline section of the instruction manual.
- ^ Metroid Prime - See logbook entry "Statuary" in the Chozo lore section.
- ^ Metroid: Zero Mission - Chozodia
- ^ Metroid: Samus Returns - Chozo Memories 11
- ^ Metroid Prime 3: Corruption – See logbook entry “Creators” in the Elysian lore section.
- ^ Super Metroid (comic) – See issue #4 page 3
- ^ Metroid – See instruction manual pages 5-6
- ^ Metroid Prime – See logbook entry "Exodus" in the Chozo lore section.
- ^ Metroid Prime – See logbook entries "Chozo Ghost" and "The Turned" creatures and Chozo lore sections.
- ^ Metroid Prime - See storyline section of the instruction manual.
|Sentient Species in the Metroid series|
|Human | Space Pirate | Craftsmen | Kriken | Luminoth|
|Reptilicus | Diamont | Elysian | Ing | ancient Bion race|
|Alimbic | Chozo | N'kren | Phrygisian | Enoema | Vhozon | Ylla | machine race |
"Elfin" | "Simian" | "Ceratopsid" | "Space dragon"
|Species||Alimbic • Boost Guardian • Chozo (Ghost) • Craftsmen • Dark Pirate Commando • Darkling • Darkling Tentacle • Gorea • Ing (Hunter, Emperor, Warrior) |
Ingsphere Cache • Kralee • Leviathan • Luminoth • Metroid Prime (Core essence) • Phantoon • Warp Hound • Phazon Metroid
|Gateways||Alimbic Cannon • Artifact Temple • Interdimensional void • Portal • Stronghold Portal • Wormhole|
|Alternate Dimensions||Dark Aether • Infinity Void • The Locker • Oubliette • Stronghold Void|
|Other||Black fog • Dark Visor • Darkburst • Multidimensional Stealth Warship • Transdimensional energy • Transdimensional flux|