M02: Hardball is the second mission in Metroid Prime: Federation Force. The Galactic Federation detects a mysterious signal being broadcast from the planet Bion, which has been tracked to the interior of a Temple on the planet. The Federation Force is tasked with discovering the source of the signal.
There is some puzzle solving in this mission. Many doors are unlocked through knocking spherical objects into activation slots on the ground. Another room requires a green button to be shot to form a bridge. The last gate in the mission requires four spheres to open. Fire Hoppers are the only enemy encountered in this mission, which spawn from both Omega Hoppers and Hopper Mounds. At the end of the mission, it is discovered that the source of the signal is a spherical artifact, which may represent the Orb, and they must escape the planet with it. Falling boulders present a threat on the way back. Not letting any of the spheres explode when trying to insert them into their slots is a bonus objective that rewards extra points.
On Hard Mode, the spheres will explode after a period of time.
Bion Log: Orb
Our supreme wisdom sleeps in our sacred shrine. Only those who respect the Orb may proceed from this point.
Bion Log: Bridge
Only one who continues to shine the power of light may reveal the path deeper into our sacred temple.
Bion Log: Risk of Extinction
Though it feels like our world has turned against us, we must keep our spirits high. Through our wisdom, we had created new bodies to carry us forward. With sorrow, we now believe that this advancement is not enough to save us from our fate.
"This is Bion, second planet in the Bermuda system. An ancient race that once lived on this planet possessed a unique culture.
Our best translations suggest that they followed a tenet system referred to as the Orb.
However, our scans show no trace of this race. We can only assume they went extinct a long time ago.
What our scans have detected, however, is a mysterious signal coming from one of the temples on the surface.
The signal itself is coming from within a temple originally built by the ancient race of Bion. We aren't sure, however, if the signal and the temple are connected.
Unfortunately, our scans can't seem to penetrate the temple. We'll keep trying, but proceed with caution.
There shouldn't be anyone on the planet to send that signal, so your mission is to find out who--or what--is doing it.
Bion is a scorching planet with extremely high temperatures. Take Freeze weapons with you: they should perform quite well in that environment.
Although this planet couldn't be more different from Excelcion, I have no doubt the Federation Force is up to the task. Move out, Marine!"
"Excellent work, Marine. The research team nearly tripped over themselves to get their hands on that artifact.
According to them, the artifact dates to just before the original race of this world went extinct.
The signal coming from it appears to be a sort of distress signal--it's tragic that it kept running long after the beings who set it all perished.
Given enough time, I think the research team will discover more information by examining the artifact.
For now, I'm concerned with the evidence that someone else had been in that temple before your squad arrived. We'll need to be more attentive as we proceed.
Speaking of proceeding, we're done here. Prepare for your next mission. Dismissed!"
- There is noticeable input lag during this mission when played in co-op mode. A delay of at least a second will occur between firing a shot at a sphere and the sphere reacting, which makes achieving the bonus objective more difficult.