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Metroid Prime (メトロイドプライム Metoroido Puraimu?) is the first 3D Metroid game, released on November 18, 2002.[2] It was developed by Nintendo-owned Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube. It is officially classified by Nintendo as a first-person adventure, rather than a first-person shooter, due to the large exploration component of the game. It was also the first Metroid game to be released in North America since Super Metroid, which was released nearly eight years earlier. In all other markets, however, Prime was preceded by Metroid Fusion.[3] Metroid Prime was the first of the Prime storyline, which takes place between the original Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus. This is due to the fact that the titular Metroid creatures were exterminated in the latter, and Prime contains Metroids as minor creatures. The title was later bundled with the GameCube in 2004. Like the rest of the series, Metroid Prime has a science-fiction setting, once again allowing the player to control the Bounty Hunter Samus Aran. The story follows Samus battling the Space Pirates and their biological experiments on planet Tallon IV.

The game was first announced at E3 2001 and was revealed shortly after to be played from a first-person perspective. Following the announcement and release of the first screenshots, some fans saw it as a disgraceful transition into 3D.[4] In addition, due to frequent layoffs and corporate reorganization at Retro Studios during development, the game was believed to be a failure throughout gaming related message boards, publications, and magazines until near the point of retail release when it attained widespread critical acclaim from various publications.[5] The game has proven to be a commercial success, selling over 1 million units in North America alone,[6] reviving the Metroid franchise.


10 years ago, below the surface of Planet Zebes, the mercenaries known as "Space Pirates" were defeated by interstellar bounty hunter Samus Aran. Descending to the very core of the pirate stronghold, Samus exterminated the energy-based parasites called "Metroids" and defeated Mother Brain, the leader of the pirate horde.

But the Space Pirates were far from finished. Several pirate research vessels were orbiting Zebes when Samus fought on the surface below.

After the fall of Mother Brain, the ships escaped, with the hope of finding enough resources to rebuild their forces and take their revenge.

After discovering a possible pirate colony on planet Tallon IV, Samus has once again prepared for war, hoping to end the Pirate threat forever.

—Unused introductory monologue.

Samus arrives at the Frigate Orpheon, following the distress signal.

This game's events follow those of Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission.

Samus Aran, having destroyed the Space Pirate stronghold on Zebes during her Zero Mission three years ago, starts traversing across the galaxy in search of a client, when she intercepts a distress signal coming from a space station in orbit above Tallon IV. Upon investigation, she realizes it is one of the few Space Pirate frigates that escaped her attack on Zebes. The ship, the Orpheon, was maintained by the Space Pirate Science Team engaged in the genetic enhancement of various creatures native to Tallon IV. However, most of the Pirates are dead, and those that remain are in weak physical condition. All of the escape pods had been launched 6 hours prior to Samus' arrival. Samus, after exploring the station, comes face to face with the cause of the distress signal: the Parasite Queen. Once defeated, the creature falls into the Reactor Core, causing a malfunction of the station's propulsion systems.

Ridley returns from the dead, augmented with cybernetic implants.

Samus quickly escapes via the ventilation network, but not before an explosion damages her suit, causing the Varia Suit, Charge Beam, Missiles, Morph Ball, and Grapple Beam to malfunction, leaving only the Power Suit and the Power Beam. She witnesses Ridley, genetically rebuilt after Samus' fight with him on Zebes, fly off towards Tallon IV. Once she gets to her Gunship, Samus follows, eager to destroy the Space Pirates once and for all.

Samus encounters the Flaahgra in the Chozo Ruins, the source of the area's toxic water.

After landing in the Tallon Overworld, Samus explores nearby areas of Tallon IV, starting with the Chozo Ruins. There, Samus finds that the local water supply has become extremely toxic, harming her even through her Power Suit. As she explores the ruins, she regains many of her lost abilities and learns that the Chozo on the planet had been killed or corrupted by a Great Poison brought to Tallon IV on a meteor many years ago. Eventually, Samus discovers the source of the toxic waters, which is in the center of a large broken dome in the ruins. There she destroys Flaahgra, a heavily mutated plant, and purifies the spring.

Samus journeys to the Magmoor Caverns on the trail of increasing Pirate activity in the area.

Samus next visits Magmoor Caverns and discovers that the Space Pirates are drawing large amounts of geothermal energy from the region. Samus leaves the caverns and arrives in the Phendrana Drifts, an icy area once home to another Chozo enclave. Samus acquires more abilities there, and soon infiltrates the main Space Pirate laboratories. Her arrival catches the Pirates off-guard; they were unaware of her presence on Tallon IV, and the laboratories have relatively few guards. After fighting her way through the labs, Samus discovers that the Pirates have been conducting experiments with Phazon, the Great Poison the Chozo spoke of. She also finds out that the Space Pirates brought some Metroids that had survived the destruction of Tourian to the planet. She then confronts Thardus, a Phazon entity brought to life by Space Pirate experiments. She defeats Thardus and continues on.

Samus discovers the downed Orpheon.

With her new abilities, Samus re-explores the places on Tallon IV where she has already been, like the Chozo Ruins. She soon begins to encounter the spirits of Chozo corrupted by Phazon. As she continues, Samus finds the wreckage of the Space Pirate Frigate Orpheon, which had crashed into Tallon after its destruction. A massive operation is underway by the Pirates to try what they can do about it, especially the salvage of Phazon. Samus once again travels through the Orpheon. Upon emerging on the other side, she discovers the entrance to the Space Pirate's Phazon Mines.

Samus battles her way through the Phazon Mines, destroying many of the Pirate's forces.

Samus enters the Phazon Mines, encountering massive amounts of Phazon and heavy Pirate defenses. She also discovers the outcome of the Phazon experimentation project: Elite Pirates, Pirates mutated to huge and dangerous forms with Phazon infusions. Later, she also learns of two other Phazon-based creatures: the Omega Pirate, an Elite Pirate that had grown to enormous size and power through its near-limitless capacity to absorb Phazon, and the Metroid Prime, a creature that had come to Tallon IV with the original meteor. The Metroid Prime is genetically similar to Metroids, though much more developed. Like the Omega Pirate, there is no limit to its ability to absorb Phazon, but in this case, massive doses of Phazon have absolutely no side effects. The Pirates had discovered the creature in their mining projects, and - in one version of events - captured and studied it. They infused it with much Phazon in the hopes of creating an ultimate weapon, but the creature escaped back to its den. The other theory is that the Space Pirates have never been able to get through the Cipher (the invisible force field projected by the Chozo Artifacts) and Metroid Prime has been undisturbed since it had been included in the Leviathan from Phaaze, the source of all Phazon in the universe, eons ago. This version of events may be more plausible, because it would be almost impossible for Metroid Prime to have escaped from the Impact Crater at all, let alone return back. The Metroid Prime is the guardian of the Phazon core on the planet; as long as the creature survives, the Phazon can never be purged from the planet.

The Omega Pirate, the pinnacle of the the Pirates' twisted projects.

Samus soon reaches the lowest level of the mines. On this level, the Pirates have been conducting many experiments with their remaining Metroids. These Metroids have been so heavily mutated by Phazon that they no longer follow the natural life cycle of their species, instead forgoing all metamorphoses in favor of remaining in their larval stage. Samus fights her way through the Metroids and reaches the Omega Pirate. She defeats it, but as it dies, it collapses on her and dissolves into Phazon, which is absorbed into her Power Suit, creating the Phazon Suit. It provides Samus with immunity to Phazon, and is even capable of harnessing pure Phazon as a weapon.

Samus visits the Artifact Temple to return the Chozo Artifacts that were scattered across the land.

With the Pirate operations in shambles, Samus sets out to find a way to rid the planet of Phazon. She discovers the ancient Artifact Temple, which contains a lock that prevents access to the Impact Crater the meteor had made. The deceased Chozo had built this Cipher to contain most of the Phazon within the crater, but some has still been able to seep out, corrupting the environment. Samus learns that in order to break the shield and access the crater, she must collect and unite twelve artifacts known as the Chozo Artifacts. After much journeying and trouble, Samus unites the Chozo Artifacts and prepares to fight the Metroid Prime. The central totem begins to lower the shield, but Meta Ridley flies in and destroys the totems and the Cipher. All hope of entering the crater appears to be lost, and Samus is forced to fight her nemesis once again. When Samus is about to strike the final blow, however, the Chozo statues on the temple come to life and blast Ridley with energy beams, causing him to fall off the temple and down into the Crater below, where Samus leaves him for dead. The Chozo Ghosts inside the original twelve totems (who are uncorrupted by Phazon) then use their collective energy to lower the shield and create a pathway to the Impact Crater, recognizing that Samus is their only hope.

Samus encounters Metroid Prime.

In the Impact Crater, Samus encounters many heavily mutated creatures, including Metroids. Samus soon finds Metroid Prime, a hideously mutated Metroid, which instantly recognizes Samus as a major threat. Samus engages in a gruelling battle, but she eventually comes out on top. The Metroid Prime falls off a cliff, but Samus follows, without any fear of taking a chance. Indeed, when she discovers its apparently dead body, the core essence of the creature flies out, abandoning its shell and engaging Samus in its true form. Initially, the battle seems hopeless, as none of Samus' weaponry can defeat the monstrosity; fortunately, however, she discovers that stepping in the pools of Phazon it generates in the process of bearing Metroids allows her Phazon Suit to absorb Phazon and fire a deadly beam of Phazon energy. Samus uses this ability to overload the creature's body, until - as a last, desperate move - the dying Metroid Prime changes its form again and absorbs Samus' Phazon Suit.

Samus engages the creature's true form in a final battle.

It then explodes, releasing all of the Phazon in its body into the Phazon Core, sending it to a critical overload. Samus barely escapes and calls in her Gunship. She then removes her helmet to watch as the crater collapses on its own, purging all of the Phazon from Tallon IV. She then flies off to search for a new bounty to claim. Some time after Samus leaves, it is revealed that a small puddle of Phazon is all that is left in the remains of the crater. Out of the puddle rises a hand wearing something that looks similar to Samus' Phazon Suit. On the back of the hand is an eye which looks around warily.

The events of Metroid Prime Hunters follow.


The game uses a First-person perspective, which allowed Samus to use different 'Visors'.

As in previous Metroid games, Prime takes place in a large, open-ended world with different regions connected by elevators. Each region has an entire set of rooms separated by doors that can be opened with a shot from the correct beam. The gameplay revolves around solving puzzles to uncover secrets, platform jumping, and shooting foes with the help of a 'lock-on' mechanism that allows circle strafing while staying locked onto the enemy. The game is the first in the series to use a first-person view as opposed to a side-scrolling view. An exception is when Samus enters Morph Ball mode, where her suit transforms into an armored ball; the game uses a third-person camera angle at those times.[7]

The protagonist, Samus, must travel through the world searching for twelve Chozo Artifacts that will open the path to the Phazon meteor Impact Crater while simultaneously collecting power-ups that enable the player to reach previously inaccessible areas. The Varia Suit, for example, protects Samus' armor against extreme heat, allowing her to enter volcanic regions. Some of the items are obtained after boss and mini-boss fights, present in all of Tallon IV's areas but the Magmoor Caverns.

Morph Ball mode was a third-person experience.

The heads-up display simulates the inside of Samus's helmet, featuring a radar, a map, an ammunition meter for missiles, a health meter, and a health bar for bosses that also displays the boss's name. The display can be altered by switching visors, including one using thermal imaging, another with x-ray vision, and a scanner that searches for enemy weaknesses and interfaces with certain mechanisms such as force fields and elevators, allowing the player to operate them.[8] A danger level is also provided, showing Samus' proximity to hazardous materials. It is revealed by using the Thermal Visor that this runs on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no hazards nearby and 10 meaning taking damage from hazards. Prime also introduces a hint system that provides the player with a general idea of where to go.[8]


Throughout the game, players must find and collect items that improve Samus' arsenal and suit, including weapons, armor upgrades for Samus' Power Suit, and items that grant abilities. Among these are the Morph Ball, which allows Samus to roll into narrow passages and drop energy bombs, and the Grapple Beam, which works similarly to a grappling hook by latching onto special hooks, called grapple nodes, and allowing Samus to swing from them across gaps.[8]

Items from previous Metroid games make appearances with altered functions. Art galleries and different endings are unlockable if a player obtains a high percentage of collected items and Scan Visor logs. Prime is the first Metroid game to address the reason Samus does not start with power-ups. She begins the game with certain upgrades, but during an explosion in the Space Pirates' ship, they are all lost.[9] The producers stated that starting with some power-ups was a way to give the player "different things to do" before settling into the core gameplay.[10]

Manipulating the game's physics can allow experienced players to receive items much earlier than intended or to skip collecting them altogether. The lowest possible percentage of items collected is 21%.



Completing Prime with a certain percentage of power-ups obtained and scans will allow the player to view galleries that feature artwork of the game. Four galleries can be viewed, depending on how many power-ups the player obtained.

Gallery 1 Complete 50% of the research and creature data scans.
Gallery 2 Complete 100% of the research and creature data scans.
Gallery 3 Complete the game under the hard difficulty setting. To unlock the hard difficulty, complete the game in normal at least once.
Gallery 4 Find 100% of all power-ups. This does not include the log book. The last picture in this gallery shows Samus without her suit.

Metroid Fusion Connection Bonuses (Fusion Suit and Metroid)[]

This will appear on the Game Boy Advance or SP when the connection is successful.

With the use of a Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable, two additional features can be unlocked. If Metroid Fusion is completed, Metroid can be unlocked for play within the game and can also use the GameCube's memory card to save progress. If Metroid Prime is completed, Samus can be played in her Fusion Suit.[8] The connection only has to be done once to gain the extra features, so if Metroid is unlocked before Prime is completed, the Fusion Suit will be unlocked when it is complete. If the player starts a new game with the Fusion Suit bonus on, Samus' suit will take on all the physical appearances of her suit in Metroid Fusion, such as the changed color scheme for the Varia and Gravity Suit upgrades; the Morph Ball is also changed to its apperance in Metroid Fusion. The Phazon Suit is represented by the color scheme of the Omega Suit in this mode.[11]

To connect, there is a trick involved. The player must press and hold the Start and Select buttons on the GBA or SP, and then turn the power on. When the Nintendo logo on the handheld disappears, release the buttons and press A to begin the data link. Samus will then appear on the handheld with a message asking to turn the power of the handheld off. The feature(s) should then be unlocked.

Super Metroid was originally the unlockable game, but Nintendo demanded its removal because it was implemented using a third-party emulator.


Metroid Prime has three different endings. The ending that a player will view is determined by the number of items picked up during the game.

74% completion or less This is the "worst" ending. After defeating Metroid Prime, Samus will lose her Phazon Suit and run to the Artifact Temple. She calls her Gunship, jumps on it, and observes the destruction of the temple. Just as she is about to remove her helmet, the credits roll.
75% to 99% completion After defeating Metroid Prime, Samus will lose her Phazon Suit and run to the Artifact Temple. She calls her Gunship, jumps on it, and observes the destruction of the temple. She removes her helmet and stares at the destroyed temple for a few seconds; this is the first appearance of her face in 3D. Soon afterwards, the credits roll.
100% completion This is the "best" ending. After defeating Metroid Prime, Samus will lose her Phazon Suit and run to the Artifact Temple. She will call her Gunship and jumps on it and observes the destruction of the temple. She removes her helmet and stares at the destroyed temple for a few seconds; this is the first appearance of her face in 3D. The credits then roll. Following the credits, the camera shows a pool of Phazon in the cavern where Samus fought Metroid Prime. A black and red metal hand bursts from the Phazon, then an eye appears behind the hand and starts looking around the room, foreshadowing the appearance of Dark Samus in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.


Samus in the Chozo Ruins in a 3rd person perspective.

After Super Metroid, Metroid fans eagerly awaited a sequel. It was supposedly slated for the Nintendo 64 or its ill-fated accessory, the 64DD, but while the game was mentioned,[12] it never entered production. Developer Shigeru Miyamoto explained that it was because Nintendo "couldn't come out with any concrete ideas".[13]

Metroid Prime was developed as a collaboration between Retro Studios and important Nintendo EAD and R&D1 members. Retro Studios was created in 1998, by an alliance between Nintendo and former Iguana Entertainment founder Jeff Spangenberg. After establishing its offices in Austin, Texas in 1999, Retro received five game ideas for the future GameCube, [14] despite not even having development kits yet.[15] Shigeru Miyamoto noted the similarity of Metaforce, which Retro was developing at the time, to Metroid and recommended that they turn it into a Metroid game. Led to believe that the GameCube was more powerful than it was, Retro planned a traditional first-person shooter control system for Prime with right stick moving and left stick aiming.[16] For more information on this, see the Metaforce article.

Screenshot from an early trailer for Prime.

Nintendo producers, such as Miyamoto, Kensuke Tanabe and Kenji Miki, as well as Metroid series producer Yoshio Sakamoto, communicated with the Texas-based studio through emails, monthly phone conferences and personal gatherings. The game, like Metaforce, was developed with a third-person perspective for the first three months, but this was changed to a first-person perspective after Miyamoto intervened, causing much of what was already developed to be scrapped, including a vertical platforming section.[16] Among the reasons for leaving the third-person perspective were Rare's trouble with the camera in Jet Force Gemini, shooting in third-person "not being very intuitive", and exploration being easier using first-person.[15] Despite this, Sakamoto and Spangenberg preferred to keep it in third-person. The conflict over perspectives led to the resignation of the lead developer, John Whitmore (he later came to agree with Miyamoto's decision). At one point, Prime switched back to being a third-person game, before finally settling on first-person. Retro staff still chose to add in third-person moments, such as when the Morph Ball is in use or Samus uses a Save Station.[16].

Director Mark Pacini said Retro tried to make the game so that the only difficult parts would be boss battles, so players would not be "afraid to explore", because "the challenge of the game was finding your way around".[17]

In 2000, Metaforce and two of Retro's other games were canceled to establish focus on Prime, and in 2001, another project (an RPG called Raven Blade) was canceled, so that Prime would be the only game in development.[18] The first public appearance of Prime was a ten second video at Space World 2000. In November of the same year, Retro Studios confirmed in the "job application" part of its website its involvement with the game, and at E3 2001, Prime was officially announced by Nintendo, receiving mixed reactions due to the change from 2D side scrolling to 3D first-person.[19]

According to Michael Mann, the game's development lasted roughly two and a half years, and had a team of 35 people according to Mike Wikan.[1] Retro and Nintendo EAD collaborated on the production process, exchanging hundreds of emails, as well as telephone and video conferences, with occasional staff visits from both companies to Texas and Japan.[20] Rooms in Prime were built as prototypes ("blue rooms" as they were created in blue grids) by the designers, who would add the gameplay elements before they were given to the art team. Their responsibility was then to add the appearance of the rooms while maintaining their gameplay functions. 75-80% of the game's content was added in the final six months of development, once the foundations for it had been set.[1] Employees worked six-seven days a week, twelve hours per day in the final stretch.[21] Late into development, Miyamoto re-mapped the GameCube controller's buttons by himself, improving the control scheme.[16]

Sound design[]

Kenji Yamamoto, assisted by Kouichi Kyuma, composed the music for Prime. The soundtrack contains remixes of tracks from previous games in the series, because Yamamoto wanted "to satisfy old Metroid fans. It's like a present for them."[22] The initial Tallon Overworld theme is a remix of Metroid's Brinstar theme, the music in Magmoor Caverns is a remix of that of Super Metroid Lower Norfair area, and the music during the fight with Meta Ridley is a remix of the Ridley boss music first featured in Super Metroid, which has been remixed and featured in most Metroid games since.

According to Clark Wen, the lead audio designer for the first two Prime games, the game was "designed originally to be played without music."[23] He later clarified that this was never an official direction from the team, but a worst case scenario since it took a long time to find a composer for the game; Yamamoto did not step up until later in development.[24] Tommy Tallarico aided in creating the sound effects at the start of development.[25]

Wen was inspired to continue the "lineage" of sound design from Metroid and Super Metroid in Metroid Prime. Wen was influenced by the opening scene of Apocalypse Now, where the sound made by the helicopter blades was synthesized. This sound had an "otherworldly" feel to Wen and he was inspired to use the same technique to create realistic sounds with synthesis in Prime. This approach was also used in Japanese television series and tokusatsu that Wen had watched, where sound effects would be more stylized compared to American television. He sought to pay homage to classic video game sounds rather than using Hollywood quality audio and music as other studios were at the time. The synthesizers Wen used included Absynth, MetaSynth and Access Virus.[21]

The game's soundtrack was inspired by the English electronic music duo Autechre, which consists of Sean Booth and Rob Brown. Both of them are credited under Special Thanks in the original North American version of Prime. In a 2013 AMA interview, Booth said that he signed a non-disclosure agreement and could not discuss his exact involvement with the game.[26] Wen later explained that Retro Studios had approached Autechre to compose for Prime, and used some of their work in demo levels, but Nintendo rejected them. Retro sent Nintendo a list of composers they wanted to approach, including Jake "virt" Kaufman, none of which were approved. After six months, Nintendo offered Yamamoto to Retro, who immediately accepted. All of the music he composed was well liked by the team, with only minor adjustments needing to be made. Yamamoto was particular about the use of Prime's music, and gave Retro a spreadsheet with every single music cue he wanted and when they would play. Some scenes would have multiple music cues.[21] Andrew McKenzie of Hafler Trio is also credited under Special Thanks, suggesting he was among the musicians considered.

The night before Prime went gold, Yamamoto requested that Wen make about a dozen last minute changes, which he worked on until the early hours of the morning. Wen felt it was the right decision in the end.[21]


Certain flashes of light will allow the player to see Samus's face.

The original North American version of Prime had the most technical issues (such as more sequence breaking opportunities and a glitch that occasionally caused the game to freeze when using elevators connecting to Chozo Ruins), which eventually received a Player's Choice release that added an invisible wall over the Runic Gate in the Arboretum. The Japanese version released shortly afterward, resolving some glitches and altering certain elements of the gameplay (mostly to prevent sequence breaking). The European version was heavily based on the Japanese version and slowed the loading so it would normally never freeze.

The PAL version had logs removed or changed, resulting in a slightly different storyline and Logbook.[27][28] The only major change was in the Pirate Data, which stated that the Space Pirates never encountered Metroid Prime, but were still attempting to enter the Impact Crater, while the Space Pirates had already encountered the creature in international editions. A narrator was added in the opening and closing scenes. Some of the changes were included in the North American region's second Player's Choice release, along with more changes not in other releases.[29]

Before the release of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes in 2004, Nintendo released a platinum-colored GameCube bundled with a copy of Prime containing a special second disc, the Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Bonus Disc featuring two preview trailers, a demo for Echoes, a timeline of Metroid games, and an art gallery.[30] This bundle contained the second Player's Choice version, which fixed several more glitches and exploits, and included some of the changes from the PAL version, a notable exception being the male narrator.

New Play Control![]

New Play Control! Metroid Prime boxart.jpg

New Play Control! Metroid Prime was released in Japan on February 19, 2009. The Wii port of the highly acclaimed GameCube title featured slightly updated graphics and improved, Wii-specific controls similar to those found in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Aside from the few aesthetic changes there were also minimal changes in gameplay. The Spring Ball is present which eliminates the need for a Morph Ball Bomb jump much like in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and the visor system from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption makes a return. Switching visors is done through the minus button and changing the current beam is done through the plus button. This edition also features voice acting, such as in the opening sequence and when starting from a Save Station. The game also includes true 16:9 widescreen support. Also included is the same Credit system seen in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption; this is how extras in the game are unlocked, such as the Fusion Suit, which originally required a Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable. (This is also how the feature functions in the Trilogy version—see below) [31]

Metroid Prime Trilogy[]


Metroid Prime Trilogy was announced on May 22, 2009 for release in North America on August 24 of the same year. The Trilogy was also announced for Europe and Australia and released on September 4 and October 15 respectively. The disc includes Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption with Wii controls, as well as new content, menus, and unlockable media.

The Trilogy was later re-released on the Nintendo eShop on January 29th in North America and other countries, complete with all the disc copy had to offer.[32]


Reviews and awards
Publication Score Comments
Famitsu 33 of 40 None
IGN 9.8 of 10[33] Editor's Choice,
2002 Game of the Year runner-up[34]
GameSpot 9.7 of 10[7] Editor's Choice,
2002 Game of the Year[35]
GameSpy 96 out of 100[9] 2002 Game of the Year[36]
EGM 10 of 10 Platinum Award,
Game of the Year (2002)
Nintendo Power 10 of 10 Game of the Year (2002)
Edge 9 of 10[37] Editor's Choice,
2002 Game of the Year
Compilations of multiple reviews
Game Rankings 96 of 100 (based on 96 reviews)[38]
Metacritic 97 of 100 (based on 69 reviews)[5]
6th Annual
Interactive Achievement Awards
Console First-Person Action
2003 Game
Developers Conference
Game of the Year,
Excellence in Level Design
Art Direction in a Game Cinema (Todd Keller)
Art Direction, Game Engine

Metroid Prime became one of the best-selling games on the GameCube, with about 1.49 million copies sold in the United States alone,[6] earning more than $50 million in revenue.[39] It is also the eighth best-selling GameCube game in Australia,[40] and sold more than 78,000 copies in Japan[41] and more than 250,000 copies in Europe, thus entering the Player's Choice line in the PAL region.[42]

According to Nintendo's official data as of December 2006, Metroid Prime was the sixth best selling GameCube game, and the best selling Metroid game in the series with 2.78 million units sold to retailers. [43] Metroid Dread surpassed it as the top-selling Metroid game in 2022.[44]

Critical response[]

After its release, the game received much critical acclaim, including a perfect review score from Electronic Gaming Monthly and Nintendo Power. IGN rated it high for its "very impressive graphics,[45] amazing, innovative gameplay, how it stayed true to the classic Metroid formula,[46] and its soundtrack."[33] However, criticisms were also made, mostly for the unusual control scheme[47] and backtracking.[48]

Currently on Game Rankings, Metroid Prime stands as the seventh greatest game of all time and also the greatest game of the sixth console generation, with an average score of 96.26%.[49] The video game countdown show Filter named Metroid Prime as having the Best Graphics of all time. It also won many 2002 Game of the Year awards from major publications and gaming sites.

Metroid Prime was also included in several lists of best games: 24th in IGN's Top 100 and 1st in IGN's Top 25 Gamecube games of all time,[50] 29th in a 100-game list chosen by GameFAQs users,[51] and 10th in Nintendo Power's "Top 200 Nintendo Games Ever".[52]Metroid Prime also became popular among hardcore gamers for speedrunning, with specialized communities being formed to share these speedruns.

Prime was nominated for 17 awards at the 2002 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers, becoming one of the organization's all-time most nominated games. It won two awards in the categories of Art Direction in a Game Cinema and Art Direction, Game Design. Todd Keller was the recipient of the former award.


Metroid Prime was followed by two direct sequels in the same first-person adventure style, a pinball spin-off, and a portable Metroid game in first person perspective. The first sequel was Metroid Prime 2: Echoes for the GameCube released in November 2004, in which Samus travels to planet Aether and discovers that a Phazon meteor crash on the planet created a parallel universe; she is also pursued by Metroid Prime, now known as Dark Samus. Echoes was then followed by Metroid Prime Pinball, a spin-off game developed by Fuse Games and released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS.[53]Metroid Prime Pinball is a pinball game that features most the locations and bosses of Metroid Prime.

The next game was Metroid Prime Hunters for the Nintendo DS, with a storyline that takes place between Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. A demo of the game was released with the purchase of a Nintendo DS titled Metroid Prime: Hunters - First Hunt, and the full game was released on March 20, 2006 in North America and May 5, 2006 in Europe. The storyline follows Samus trying to discover an "Ultimate Power" while facing six rival bounty hunters. Hunters wasn't developed by Retro Studios, but by Redmond-based subsidiary Nintendo Software Technology (NST).

The high scores for a stage in the Nintendo GameCube game 1080º Avalanche (developed by the Metroid Prime Hunters team, NST) spell out: "MET "ROI" "D P".

The third sequel is Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, released on August 27, 2007 for the Wii. Corruption is the final installment in the Prime mini-series[54] and introduces new hunters and characters, such as Rundas, another bounty hunter from the Galactic Federation. It follows Samus and the other hunters as they fight to stop the corruption of several planets by Phazon-rich Leviathans that threaten to turn the entire universe into Phazon.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl features a stage based on Frigate Orpheon with the Parasite Queen in the background, as well as various songs from the game as background music.[55][56]

Another spin-off game, Metroid Prime Federation Force, was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2016.

A fourth sequel, Metroid Prime 4, was announced at E3 2017. It is currently in development for Nintendo Switch, and will be released "beyond 2017".


When we made the shift from side-scrolling Metroid to a first-person adventure Metroid, we needed to have more realistic sound effects and environmental sounds. On top of that, since I wanted to give a strong impression of the Metroid universe to players experiencing this realistic first-person game environment, the important original theme of Metroid had to be arranged as well. The original Metroid theme arrangement blended well with the newly composed Metroid Prime music to create the distinct Metroid Prime universe.

Kenji Yamamoto[57]

  • According to the unused narration that was partially remixed as a track in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the events of the game were intended to take place ten years after the events of the original Metroid. However, in the released Metroid Prime Trilogy art booklet, it is instead stated that the events of this game take place three years later.

Poster from Kodansha.

  • In Glacier One, there is a Metroid named "Hunter Metroid ds", which has been taken as a (perhaps prophetic) reference to Metroid Prime Hunters.
  • The game's engine limit to the percentage completion is 13336% (can only be accessed via hacking). [2]
  • The concept of an extraterrestrial meteor crashing into another planet and slowly corrupting it and its inhabitants is similar to horror writer H.P. Lovecraft's short story "The Colour Out of Space."
  • Kraid, a boss from Metroid and Super Metroid, was intended to make an appearance in Prime, and designer Gene Kohler modeled and skinned him for that purpose. However, time constraints prevented him from being included in the final version of the game.[58] Though the beta model displays him inside the Phazon Mines, Kohler says he was not replaced by the Omega Pirate. A Ripper model and behavior also exists within the data (and can replace the Glider via hacking), and the Screw Attack and Speed Booster were intended to appear in the game, but were scrapped.
  • The Phazon Suit, in the original GameCube version of the game, is not counted as an item until every other item (this includes every single Expansion in the game, and all Suit powerups) is collected in the game.
  • Prime, Metroid: Other M, Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Metroid Dread are the only Metroid games where Samus does not remove her entire Power Suit in the ending. Prime is also the only game in the series to show Samus being unmasked regardless of the final ending, since even in the "worst" ending, she is seen removing her helmet briefly before the credits roll.
  • Prime establishes that beam switching is controlled by Samus's hand gestures. This can be seen through the Arm Cannon when using the X-Ray Visor.
  • Mike Wikan likened programming the game to a Rube Goldberg machine, since every small action had a chain reaction. For instance, collecting the Ice Beam or Ice Spreader would set off "dozens and dozens of switches" and change Room States.[1]
  • The game's logo was designed by Jim Wornell. It uses Impact font for "Prime", but he could not recall what font "Metroid" was in.[59]


For ingame artwork, see Metroid Prime/Gallery

See also[]


  1. ^ a b c d KIWI TALKZ - #105 - Mike Wikan Interview (Metroid Prime Trilogy, Game Design, Crunch, Booz Allen Hamilton etc.) September 6, 2021. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  2. ^ a b | Nintendo | . October 21, 2002. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  3. ^ Metroid Fusion Release Information. GameFAQs. Retrieved on 2015-01-19.
  4. ^ No Metroid For You. N-sider (February 19, 2001).
  5. ^ a b Metroid Prime reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2006-09-08.
  6. ^ a b US Platinum Videogame Chart. The Magic Box. Retrieved on 2005-08-13.
  7. ^ a b Kasavin, Greg (2002-11-15). Metroid Prime review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2006-01-29.
  8. ^ a b c d Nintendo (2002). Metroid Prime Instruction Booklet. Nintendo of America, Inc..
  9. ^ a b Williams, Bryan (2002-11-19). Metroid Prime review. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2007-01-21.
  10. ^ Totilo, Steven (2007-09-26). Retro Studios Answers The Dreaded "Metroid Dread" Question — And Other "Prime" Exclusives. MTV. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  11. ^ Metroid Prime, Fusion connection revealed. GameSpot (2002-10-25). Retrieved on 2007-04-10.
  12. ^ News Archives: 1996 – 1999. Metroid Database. Retrieved on 2006-02-21.
  13. ^ Metroid Prime Roundtable QA. IGN (2002-11-15). Retrieved on 2008-02-20.
  14. ^ Metroid Primed. The Escapist (2006-04-04). Retrieved on 2007-09-16.
  15. ^ a b MIGS 2007: Retro Studios On The Journey Of Metroid Prime. Gamasutra (2007-11-27). Retrieved on 2007-12-03.
  16. ^ a b c d DidYouKnowGaming? "Metroid Prime Devs Share Secrets (EXCLUSIVE)". YouTube. April 17, 2022. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  17. ^ INTERVIEW: Retro Studios. Edge (magazine) (2007-12-26). Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
  18. ^ History of Retro Studios. N-sider (2004-12-17). Retrieved on 2007-07-19.
  19. ^ Metroid Prime development. N-sider. Retrieved on 2008-02-20.
  20. ^ " Interview: Retro Studios", Shinesparkers, 2021-02-26. Retrieved on 2021-02-26. 
  21. ^ a b c d Kiwi Talkz. "#112 - Clark Wen Interview (Metroid Prime, Sound Design, Kenji Yamamoto, Mixing, SFX, Game Audio )". YouTube. October 23, 2021. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  22. ^ Interview with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Sound Team at Retro Studios and Composer Kenji Yamamoto. Music4Games (2007-10-05). Retrieved on 2008-01-27.
  23. ^ Wen, Clark (exile5ound). "Most people don't know it but Metroid Prime 1 was designed originally to be played without music. It's all about the isolation. #Metroid" 20 Jun 2017 7:54 p.m. Tweet.
  24. ^ "Interview: Clark Wen". Shinesparkers 2018-06-02. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  25. ^ Tallarico, Tommy.— Metroid Prime. Retrieved on 2007-09-17.
  26. ^ Sean Booth: "sorry we signed an NDA". We Are The Music Makers. November 2, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2022.
  27. ^ Rag, Koran. Chozo Lore FAQ and Pirate Data FAQ (NTSC version). GameFAQs. Retrieved on 2007-09-14.
  28. ^ Scutt, Luke (BlitzBoy). Log Book FAQ (PAL version). GameFAQs. Retrieved on 2007-09-16.
  29. ^ Version differences: version number. Retrieved on 2007-07-19.
  30. ^ New Metroid Prime Bundle Announced for GameCube. GamePro (2004-04-08). Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
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  32. ^
  33. ^ a b Mirabella, Fran (2002-11-11). Metroid Prime review. IGN. Retrieved on 2006-09-08.
  34. ^ IGN staff (2003-01-23). 2002 Overall Game of the Year. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
  35. ^ GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2002: Game of the Year. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-07-19.
  36. ^ Game of the Year 2002. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2007-07-19.
  37. ^ (2002-11-15) "Metroid Prime review". Edge magazine (115). Retrieved on 2006-01-29.
  38. ^ Metroid Prime Reviews. Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2006-09-08.
  39. ^ Campbell, Colin / Keiser, Joe (July 29, 2006). The Top 100 Games of the 21st Century: 39–30. Retrieved on 2007-10-22.
  40. ^ Australia's Choice (2006-10-16). Retrieved on 2007-03-30.
  41. ^ Japan GameCube charts. Japan Game Charts. Retrieved on 2007-12-03.
  42. ^ New Player's Choice titles!. n-europe (2003-10-03). Retrieved on 2007-03-30.
  43. ^
  44. ^ Darren. "Metroid Dread Becomes The Best Selling Metroid Title Ever". Shinesparkers. May 10, 2022. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  45. ^ Castro, Juan (2005-04-29). The Top Ten Best-Looking GameCube Games. IGN.
  46. ^ Entertainment Gaming Monthly reviews. Retrieved on 2007-02-24.
  47. ^ Metroid Prime review. Game Informer. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
  48. ^ Game Rankings review. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.
  49. ^ Game Rankings' top games. Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2009-07-18.
  50. ^ IGN's top 100 games of all time. IGN. Retrieved on October 28, 2006.
  51. ^ GameFAQs: 10-Year Anniversary Contest - The 10 Best Games Ever. GameFAQs. Retrieved on 2006-10-04.
  52. ^ (February 2006) "Top 200 Nintendo Games Ever". Nintendo Power (200).
  53. ^ Metroid Prime Pinball. Nintendo. Retrieved on 2007-07-19.
  54. ^ Metroid Prime 3 Details Emerge. IGN (2005-08-03). Retrieved on 2007-03-30.
  55. ^ Frigate Orpheon. Nintendo/HAL Laboratory (2007-12-18). Retrieved on 2007-12-18.
  56. ^ First Songs in My Music. Nintendo/HAL Laboratory (2008-01-29). Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  57. ^
  58. ^ Did You Know? Classic Metroid enemy Kraid was planned to be in Metroid Prime. Generation N. Retrieved on 2007-09-16.
  59. ^ Kiwi Talkz. #134 - Jim Wornell Interview (Graphic Design, Ocarina Of Time, Metroid Prime, Voice Acting etc.) YouTube. May 2, 2022. Retrieved May 12, 2022.

External links[]