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This article contains information about an unreleased video game This article or section contains information about an unreleased video game.
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Metroid Dread (メトロイド ドレッド Metoroido Doreddo?), also known as Metroid 5, is an upcoming atmospheric science-fiction horror action-adventure game in the Metroid series, developed by MercurySteam. It is their second Metroid game after Metroid: Samus Returns (2017). It is scheduled to be released on October 8, 2021[1] for Nintendo Switch. It is a sequel to Metroid Fusion and will be released 19 years after that game.

Metroid Dread was planned since 2005 for the Nintendo DS, but cancelled because of technical limitations. It lingered in development hell for 15 years until it was revived following the success of Samus Returns.[2]


Following the events of Fusion, the Galactic Federation receives video footage from an unknown source that suggests the X Parasites had survived the destruction of SR388. Still seeking to utilize them as bioweapons, the Federation dispatched a unit of seven E.M.M.I. robots to investigate the planet ZDR, which was believed to be the source of the transmission. The unit vanished soon after arrival. Samus Aran intercepts the transmission and travels to ZDR. As the only being in the universe with immunity against the X Parasites, Samus seeks to uncover whether they truly still exist. On the planet, she encounters the E.M.M.I. robots, which have gone rogue and now seek to kill her.

The computerized Adam Malkovich returns in this game as a provider of lore and story-related information. Samus is able to interface with him via Communication Rooms. He will not give Samus orders or objectives like he did in Metroid: Other M and Metroid Fusion. Whether the Dachoras and Etecoons are still travelling with Samus has yet to be confirmed. A living Chozo character that previously appeared in the Chozo Memories of Metroid: Samus Returns will appear in the flesh in this game, possibly as an antagonist.


New to the series, Samus use magnetic grapples to climb walls, and the Phantom Cloak ability renders her temporarily invisible.[3][4] The latter is useful against the E.M.M.I., which pursue Samus relentlessly throughout the game.[5] The Free Aim and Melee Counter mechanics from Samus Returns are retained, with the latter now being usable while Samus moves. Samus's movement speed in Dread is faster than any other previous Metroid game.[6]


The game will be released on October 8, 2021.[7] It will have a Special Edition that comes with a steel game case, art book and art cards that depict Dread and the first four games in the 2D Metroid saga.[8][9] Amiibo of Samus in her new suit and an E.M.M.I. will also be released alongside the game, which grant an extra Energy and Missile Tank respectively, and can be tapped again once per day to partially restore energy and Missile Ammo. Whether the previously released Metroid amiibo will work with this game is unknown, but likely.[10]



Metroid Dread was first announced in the June 2005 issue of Game Informer, and further details emerged on the magazine's online forums. According to the forum moderators, the game was a 2D side-scroller being developed for the Nintendo DS, with its plot following the events of Metroid Fusion.[11][12]

On September 19, 2005, IGN reported that Metroid Dread was being developed but would not be formally announced for some time.[13] Nintendo had neither confirmed nor denied its existence.[13] On February 17, 2006, Official Nintendo Magazine listed Metroid Dread as having a possible release date in November 2006. However, on March 16, 2006, in the second issue of the magazine, the game was marked with a vague 2006 release date.

On October 7, 2005, the Nintendo-Next website reported that the game was cancelled without giving a source. However, on March 23, 2006, the website N-Sider reported that IGN editor Craig Harris was asked about Metroid Dread, who stated that it was too early to show Dread at E3 2005, but that it could be shown later that year. [14]

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption reference

On August 27, 2007, IGN discovered a scannable Space Pirate log from a terminal in the Metroid Processing room, on the Pirate Homeworld. The message stated:

Experiment status report update: Metroid project "Dread" is nearing the final stages of completion.

The adjacent terminal states that the project had failed:

"Experiment results unsuccessful. All attempts at using Metroids as a weapon power source have failed."

Fans were led to believe that these messages were a reference to Metroid Dread and indicated the game had been cancelled,[15] but on September 6, 2007, Nintendo denied the existence of Dread and said "Nintendo is not making the 2D Metroid at this point in time".[16][17] While Retro Studios developers stated that the reference was a coincidence, Mike Wikan later admitted that it was a joke.[18]

The Metroid Dread reference was removed in the Japanese version of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption only.[19] It now reads:

"Space Pirates data decrypted: Ordnance research and development progress report. The development of Dread-Class Turret is going well."


Yoshio Sakamoto revealed that the game did exist at one point and stated that if he were to return to it, he would prefer to "reset the situation at once and start from scratch."[20][21] [22]

On the May 3, 2010, 75th episode of IGN's Nintendo Voice Chat Podcast, editor Craig Harris confirmed that the story for Dread was fully written and he had seen it at one point in time, claiming "[Nintendo] has it and can bring it back at any time."[23]

In July 2015, a Nintendo Software Technology insider revealed that a working prototype of Dread had been created around 2008, and was shown in secrecy to Nintendo of America staff around E3 2009. By this point, the game no longer bore the "Dread" title and had a graphical style very similar to Fusion. [24] The source stated that NST had been considered as a priority studio in the development of Dread, but were dropped by Nintendo after the failure of their game Project H.A.M.M.E.R.[25]

On a followup podcast, Liam Robertson, the video game researcher who broke the NST story, revealed some more details. The prototype had a Map on the bottom screen of the DS, with the gameplay being on the top screen. He also revealed that Craig Harris could not recall the synopsis he had seen of the game, which he had seen in materials selectively distributed to the press circa 2005. Robertson speculated that Dread was dead by 2010, and developed by the same team behind Fusion.[26]

When asked by IGN whether Metroid: Samus Returns, the forthcoming remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus for Nintendo 3DS was linked to Dread, Sakamoto quickly shot down any connection, saying "I think it’s better to say that this is a remake, remastering of Metroid II, a powered-up version of that, and not something to do with the other project."[27] He did, however, indirectly confirm the earlier statement by the anonymous NST developer, about Dread having a dual screen setup with the Map and UI on the bottom screen, and gameplay on the top screen.[28] In a 2018 interview with Hobby Consolas, Sakamoto stated that the DS did not have the technical specifications to make the new Metroid game he had in mind, which he reiterated when Dread was finally announced. He also implied in the same interview that the next game would explain the Chozo Memories ending from Samus Returns.[29]


Metroid 5.png

Metroid Dread was officially announced at Nintendo's E3 2021 Direct on June 15, 2021. It will be released for the Nintendo Switch on October 8, 2021.[30] A trailer was presented, followed by a presentation given by Sakamoto in which he detailed the game's long development history. About 40 minutes of gameplay was shown after the Direct during the Treehouse Live event.[31][32]

In the development history video, Sakamoto said that the game was cancelled twice. According to Eurogamer, Dread had been revived in 2008, with a playable prototype being created and shown internally at Nintendo before being cancelled again.[33] This appears to confirm the report from Liam Robertson suggesting a Dread prototype was presented in secret at E3 2009.

According to Sakamoto, he first conceived the general concept of a "dreadful" enemy - the E.M.M.I. - 15 years earlier, but the overall story had been finalized recently with the help of MercurySteam. In Sakamoto's opinion, it surpassed his original vision. The E.M.M.I. were directly inspired by the SA-X, the main antagonist of Metroid Fusion that stalked Samus throughout the game, and was too powerful for her to defeat until the very end.[34]

The general concept of Dread, in which Samus was chased by an overwhelming enemy that she could not defeat, had not changed over the 15 years. While the game places an emphasis on "fear-based gameplay", it is not intended to make Dread a horror game and the E.M.M.I. will not be present everywhere. The story will be important to Dread, but not intrusive, making use of occasional cutscenes similar to Samus Returns.[34]

Potential sequel

During his Development History presentation, Sakamoto stated this about the game's story: "The series has chronicled the uncanny relationship between these Metroids and the heroine Samus, but this game will mark an end to that story arc. We're hoping fans of the series will wonder "what does 'mark an end to the story arc' mean?" as they play the game."

Two days later, he later clarified that Dread would not be the final game of the traditional Metroid series, and what he meant was that the game would resolve the connection between Samus and the Metroids, while introducing new storylines for future titles. He said another game is "waiting in the works, and we want you to look forward with what we do with that next — but there are no specifics now."[34] He also told Eurogamer that the ending of Dread will offer an idea of Samus's next adventure.[33]

See also


For artwork, see Metroid Dread/Gallery.


  1. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "While Samus is facing some strong new threats, she is the only bounty hunter in the universe fit for such a challenge. There will be more #MetroidDread news to share in the near future, so look forward to the game’s release on 10/8! ¶" 16 June 2021 11:30 a.m. Tweet.
  2. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "It’s been 19 long years... ¶ Here's a look at the box art for #MetroidDread, coming to #NintendoSwitch on 10/8! ¶ Pre-order:" 16 June 2021 4:37 p.m. Tweet.
  3. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "Samus may be outnumbered, but the fearless heroine has new moves and tactics at her disposal to battle hostile creatures and the relentless E.M.M.I. as she takes on her mission at ZDR. #MetroidDread" 16 June 2021 11:16 a.m. Tweet.
  4. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "Samus can aim in any direction, grab ledges, and will be able to make it through tight spaces quickly with her new slide move. Also, with the Spider Magnet, she can move and shoot freely while hanging onto specific walls and ceilings." 16 June 2021 11:18 a.m. Tweet.
  5. ^ Our Favorite Games From E3 2021. Game Informer (2021-06-16). Retrieved on 2021-06-19.
  6. ^ Shea, Brian (2021-06-17). Metroid Dread Preview – A Fusion Follow-Up Two Decades Later. Game Informer. Retrieved on 2021-06-19.
  7. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "#MetroidDread is coming. ¶ We’re taking a closer look at the legendary bounty hunter Samus Aran’s upcoming adventure. Stalked by a seemingly invulnerable threat, can she overcome the threat plaguing the planet ZDR? ¶" 16 June 2021 11:10 a.m. Tweet.
  8. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "Check out the #MetroidDread: Special Edition also releasing on 10/8, which includes the game, a steel game case, artbook, and art cards covering all 5 games in the 2D saga!" 15 June 2021 12:23 p.m. Tweet.
  9. ^ Nintendo UK (NintendoUK). "A Metroid Dread Special Edition is available to pre-order on My Nintendo Store now. It includes the game, a SteelBook® case, a 190-page 2D Metroid franchise artbook and five holographic art cards. 🛒" 16 June 2021 5:36 a.m. Tweet.
  10. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "Have an early look at the #MetroidDread Samus and E.M.M.I. #amiibo figures, releasing alongside the game on 10/8!" 15 June 2021 12:20 p.m. Tweet.
  11. ^ Ask GI: Metroid Dread?. Game Informer forums. Retrieved on 2005-08-21.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ a b Craig Harris (journalist) (2005-09-19). Nintendo DS Mailbag. IGN. Retrieved on 2005-09-19.
  14. ^ Bayer, Glen (2006-03-23). GDC: Spore on Nintendo DS, New Super Mario Bros. videos, more. N-Sider.
  15. ^ Matt Casamassina (2007-08-27). Metroid Dread Nearing Completion. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-08-27.
  16. ^ Mike Jackson (2007-09-06). Nintendo denies Metroid Dread. Computer and Video Games Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-09-06.
  17. ^ Stephen Totilo (2007-09-26). Retro Studios Answers The Dreaded "Metroid Dread" Question — And Other "Prime" Exclusives. MTV Multiplayer. Retrieved on 2008-02-17.
  18. ^ Monnens, Devin "CapCom" (2012, June 21). "Where is Metroid Dread?" [Msg 12] Message posted to
  19. ^ proof, Fool (2008-03-13). Metroid Dread reference removed from Japanese version of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. GoNintendo.
  20. ^ Totilo, Stephen (2009-06-03). Nintendo: New Metroid Is NOT Metroid Dread. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2009-06-03.
  21. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2009-06-04). E3 2009: Metroid: Other M Heavy on Action and Story. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-06-05.
  22. ^ Yoshio Sakamoto discusses Metroid 64, Metroid Dread and the 3DS. GamesTM (2010-09-14). Retrieved on 2011-03-18.
  23. ^ Harris, Craig (2010-05-03). Nintendo Voice Chat Podcast Episode 75 - Wii Feature at IGN. IGN. Retrieved on 2010-05-03.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Sakamoto: One of the themes we chose to stick with this time [with Metroid: Samus Returns] was utilizing both 3D visuals and a dual screen setup. In fact, I’d been interested in creating a Metroid title that allowed you display the map constantly on a second screen and interact with the elements of the UI by touching them since the time of the original DS.
  29. ^
  30. ^ @NintendoAmerica (2021-06-15). Twitter. Retrieved on 2021-06-21. (Metroid Dread announcement) "Suit up as Samus Aran in the first new entry of the 2D #Metroid saga in more than 19 years, #MetroidDread, launching 10/8.  ¶ Continue Samus’ story after Metroid Fusion, exploring a strange new planet alone and hunted by the ominous E.M.M.I.  ¶ Pre-order:"
  31. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "Samus. The galaxy's greatest bounty hunter. ¶ #MetroidDread #NintendoTreehouseLive ¶ Part 1: ¶ Part 2:" 21 June 2021 12:00 p.m. Tweet.
  32. ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "New segment acquired. The second part of our #MetroidDread gameplay is now live on #NintendoTreehouseLive | #E32021. ¶ Watch:" 15 June 2021 4:26 p.m. Tweet.
  33. ^ a b Phillips, Tom. Eurogamer. "Nintendo's Sakamoto on bringing Metroid Dread back from the dead" 17 June 2021. Retrieved on June 17, 2021.
  34. ^ a b c Myers, Maddy. Polygon. "Metroid co-creator on why Metroid Dread is all about scary robots" 17 June 2021 9:00 a.m. EST. Retrieved on June 17, 2021.
  35. ^ a b Robinson, Andy. Video Games Chronicle. "Nintendo’s new Metroid was first reported by the media 16 years ago" 16 June 2021 1:35 p.m. Retrieved June 18, 2021.

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