The Hazard Shield (referred to as the Acid Shield Unit by NZG41) is a suit enhancement from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption that protects Samus Aran from the environmental hazards of Fuel Gel and the Acid Rain of the Pirate Homeworld.
In Corruption, the Hazard Shield takes the role of the Phazon Suit and Light Suit from previous Prime games by reducing overall damage and allowing Samus to move through harsh environments that she would normally not be able to travel through. It is Space Pirate technology, and it was designed so that the Pirates may operate safely in their Homeworld's constant acidic rainfall.
The Hazard Shield is found on the Pirate Homeworld and provides an orange "Force Field" effect on Samus' armor and Arm Cannon. When she enters hazardous environments, the Hazard Shield will protect her from various harmful substances. Interestingly, when Samus enters a pool of concentrated Phazon after obtaining the shield, the orange shield will still activate despite the fact that Samus is already immune to the negative effects of Phazon thanks to her PED Suit. The Hazard Shield seems to view Phazon as a hazard, and rightly so; Phazon has high radioactive and mutagenic properties which is fatal to weaker bioforms. It is unknown if the shield actually does stop Phazon damage, as the PED Suit will absorb it regardless and it does not lower or halt Samus' increasing level of Phazon corruption, following her fight with Omega Ridley and her arrival on Phaaze. In the Metroid Prime Trilogy version of Corruption, the Hazard Shield does not activate when Samus steps into pools of Phazon. The reason for this change is unknown, although it is likely part of the removal of some graphical effects in the Trilogy collection, most notably in the original Metroid Prime.
The Hazard Shield's appearance is visually rather insignificant when compared to other, better-known suit upgrades such as the Varia Suit or Gravity Suit. As opposed to changing the overall color, design, or shape of the suit, the Hazard Shield simply adds pulsating purple hexagonal plating to Samus' already existing shoulder pads and adds an extra plate just below the nape of her neck. However, when coupled with the blue vein-like stripes that appear on the suit as the game progresses, the addition of the Hazard Shield causes Samus to become more similar in appearance to Dark Samus.
Unlike past suit upgrades, which were remnants of ancient Chozo, Luminoth, or Alimbic technology designed to integrate with Samus' Power Suit, the Hazard Shield is a piece of technology designed by the Space Pirates to enable them to exist on their own planet, and therefore may not integrate as flawlessly with the Power Suit as other upgrades can. It may also be because the Hazard Shield upgrade only enhances the defensive shield on the Power Suit instead of directly adding another layer of armor.
While it turns darker along with the rest of her suit over the course of the game, after Samus defeats Dark Samus and is freed of corruption, the Hazard Shield is shown to contain a purple hue similar to the Gravity Suit. This color can also be seen when the Hazard Shield is first obtained.
Samus discards the Hazard Shield at the end of Corruption along with the PED Suit.
The Hazard Shield protects against toxic materials.
This modification increases your defensive shielding.
The Hazard Shield can resist the caustic effects of both acid rain and Fuel Gel, allowing you access to previously inaccessible areas.
- It is possible to skip the Hazard Shield altogether by Sequence Breaking.
- If Samus reaches the Hazard Shield before defeating Gandrayda (by obtaining the Spider Ball through Sequence Breaking), a Missile Expansion will be in its place. It cannot be picked up and scanning it will identify it as the Hazard Shield. Also, Samus will be unable to leave the area, since the only means of escape is through the windows that are smashed by Assault Aerotroopers during a cutscene that takes place after the Suit is obtained. Therefore, this is a game-ending Sequence Break.
- During the events of Corruption, Samus' Power Suit eventually contains the unlikely blending of Galactic Federation, Space Pirate, and Chozo technology, namely the PED, the Hazard Shield, and the Power Suit itself.
- Oddly enough, Gandrayda and the Demolition Troopers can be exposed to the Acid Rain, yet they take no damage; whether they have their own forms of shields or not is unknown. However, the former party is seen to avoid the rain once she lowers the Proving Grounds' shutters. This is most obvious when she becomes Ghor-G, as "he" will stop "his" charge attack before entering the rain.
- Despite the Hazard Shield being Space Pirate technology, most Pirates are never seen using one. This blunder is evident when any Armored Pirate Trooper falls into the Fuel Gel of Bryyo Fire, as they will burn to death.
- Strangely, a render of the Hazard Shield on Samus cannot be seen in the Inventory. Instead, there is a rip of its item form. Additionally, while the diagram of Samus' suit changes in the Inventory when she obtains the PED Suit, it does not change to include the hexagonal shoulder pads when Samus obtains the Hazard Shield.
- While the Hazard Shield is in item form, clouds of Acid Rain can be seen in its canister.
- The Hazard Shield's purple color, damage reduction, status as the third and final suit upgrade and immunity to environmental substances may be a homage to the Gravity Suit itself in 2-D games, as the latter has never been capable of resisting damage from hazardous substances, such as lava, in 3-D games (including Metroid: Other M).
- Similar to the Hazard Shield is the Gravity Boost, another item that replicated functions of the Gravity Suit, without being a full Suit upgrade.
- The aura surrounding the Hazard Shield when in use is a trait shared by the Varia Suit (in Metroid manual artwork and Other M only), Gravity Suit (Other M) and Phazon Suit (Prime).
|Samus Aran's Suits|
|Power Suits||Power Suit • Varia Suit (Varia) • Gravity Suit • Zero Suit • Justin Bailey • Phazon Suit • Dark Suit • Light Suit • Fusion Suit • PED Suit • Hazard Shield • "Unnamed Suit" • Fully Powered Suit • Green Samus|
|Attire||Casual Outfit • Military Dress • Civilian Clothes • Parka • Training outfit|
|Mechanics||Power Suit Mechanics • Fusion Suit Mechanics • Zero Suit Mechanics|