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This page is a timeline of the Metroid series. The chronology of the Metroid series does not match the release order of the games. According to the official timeline released by Nintendo, the games currently released are ordered as follows:
Timeline of the Metroid series
Samus travels through the caverns of the planet Zebes to stop the Space Pirates from exploiting the Metroid species for galactic domination. She confronts the cybernetic lifeform Mother Brain, as well as its guardians, Kraid and Ridley. In Metroid: Zero Mission, it is revealed that afterwards, Samus is ambushed by Space Pirates and her Starship crash-lands back on the surface. Stripped of her Power Suit and her Starship destroyed, she is forced to infiltrate the Space Pirate Mother Ship in order to find another way off the planet with only her Paralyzer for protection. After receiving a Fully Powered Suit from deep within the ruins of Chozodia, she steals an Escape Ship from the Space Pirate Mother Ship, after triggering its self-destruct sequence with the elimination of the Ridley Robot.
Samus receives a distress signal and travels to Tallon IV to stop the Space Pirates from exploiting the substance known as Phazon. She discovers that the Chozo once settled on Tallon IV, and their disappearance, and the emergence of Phazon, is due to an interstellar object crashing on the planet. The Chozo contained the source of the Phazon, and the survivors left the world. Their prophecies foretold Samus' arrival, and they left abilities to help her defeat the source of the Phazon. After gathering all the abilities and defeating Meta Ridley, she unseals the Impact Crater and confronts Metroid Prime, the source of the Phazon on Tallon IV. After being killed, Metroid Prime absorbs Samus's Phazon Suit; however, it is seen reborn as Dark Samus in the 100% ending.
When the Galactic Federation receives an unusual telepathic message, Samus is sent to the remote Alimbic Cluster in the Tetra Galaxy to uncover the rumored "Ultimate Power". Six rival Bounty Hunters Trace, Weavel, Noxus, Spire, Kanden, and Sylux also heard the message and attempt to secure the power before anyone else, including Samus. The meaning of the Ultimate Power is never specified but is most likely a lie sent by the creature Gorea, sealed away by the Alimbics in an interdimensional prison. After defeating Gorea, Samus and the other hunters are believed to have escaped the Oubliette.
Samus is sent to investigate the planet Aether after communication with the G.F.S. Tyr was lost. Upon arrival, Samus finds them all dead, killed by creatures possessed by an evil, inter-dimensional race called the Ing. Upon meeting one of the several remaining members of the Luminoth race, U-Mos, Samus learns Aether has been split into two dimensions by a meteor similar to the one that crashed on Tallon IV, which is later revealed to be a Leviathan from Phaaze. Samus helps restore "The Light of Aether" to the planet, and eradicates the Ing along with Dark Aether. She also encounters Dark Samus, the result of Metroid Prime snatching away her Phazon Suit in its dying moments, Samus unknowing what troubles her dark counterpart would cause her in the future.
Samus and three other Bounty Hunters, Rundas, Gandrayda, and Ghor are called upon by the Galactic Federation to repair the Aurora Units and investigate Pirate operations. The Pirates attack the nearby planet Norion during the briefing. Samus and the hunters restore the Defense Cannon before a Leviathan launched by Dark Samus and the Pirates can corrupt the planet, but they are corrupted by Dark Samus. A month passes and Samus is given a new PED Suit and a new mission: to destroy the remaining Leviathans and discover what happened to the other Hunters that the Federation lost contact with on three worlds; Bryyo, Elysia and the Pirate Homeworld. Time soon grows short as Samus herself struggles with her own corruption, which the other Hunters have fallen to, and she is forced to kill each of them. She eventually travels to Phaaze, the source of all Phazon. She destroys it along with Dark Samus, thus destroying all Phazon in the universe.
After the eradication of the Phazon threat, the Space Pirates were weakened, but still a threat. To this end, the Galactic Federation initiated Operation Golem, to create Mechs for the purposes of achieving technical superiority over the Pirates. The Mechs are controlled by an elite group of marines known as the Federation Force. The Force discovers a significant Space Pirate presence in the Bermuda System and aims to destroy it across the three planets of the system, with assistance from Samus Aran. The Force discovers a massive Pirate ship in the Bermuda System, the Doomseye, and destroys it.
At some point following the Bermuda System mission, the Galactic Federation deemed the Metroids too dangerous to exist, and, after their own failed attempts, employ Samus to travel to the Metroid homeworld, SR388, and exterminate the entire species. After killing every Metroid, including their Queen, Samus finds an unhatched Metroid Egg and the baby pops out. Samus prepares to kill it like the rest, but finds herself unable to destroy it as it imprints on her as its mother. It follows her back to the Gunship, and in the remake, Proteus Ridley tries to abduct the infant, but fails. Samus later hands it over to the Space Science Academy for research.
Samus receives a distress signal from the academy where she took the hatchling Metroid at the end of the previous game. She returns just in time to see that Ridley followed her after she left SR388, and is stealing the hatchling. After blowing up the research station, Samus follows him to the rebuilt base on Zebes, to stop the Space Pirates in their new plan to clone the Metroids and use them as bioweapons. She kills the resurgent Pirates, including Ridley, Kraid, and Mother Brain, destroying Zebes and killing the last remaining Metroids.
With the fall of the last Metroid and Mother Brain, Samus was rehabilitated. Scientists removed the baby's particles from her Power Suit and genetically recreated the Metroid species. Samus intercepts a distress signal from a seemingly abandoned Galactic Federation space station, the BOTTLE SHIP. She meets the 07th Platoon headed by Adam Malkovich, her former CO. Together they explore the station and battle various aggressive lifeforms. Further exploration reveals that the ship's ringleaders had created a clone of Ridley and the scientists also recreated Metroids without their weakness to ice. Adam sacrifices himself to take out the sector containing these Metroids, leaving Samus to take care of the rest of the site. Later, Samus finds another Queen Metroid and destroys the final Metroid in existence once again.
While acting as a bodyguard for Biologic's research team on SR388, Samus is infected by a creature known as the X Parasite, the original prey of the Metroids. Doctors surgically remove Samus's Power Suit and cure the X infection with a Metroid vaccine, allowing her to survive the parasite infestation, and giving her Metroid characteristics. She is then sent to investigate a disturbance at the Biologic Space Laboratories research station, where researchers attempted to contain the infected Power Suit. It turns out that the infected suit became an X mimicking Samus, the SA-X. This released other X Parasites and allowed them to infect the entire station. Samus attempts to stop them and while doing so discovers a secret lab containing Metroids that the SA-X destroys. She eventually discovers that through the X's asexual reproduction, at least 10 SA-X have been created. She decides, with the help of the computerized Adam Malkovich, to crash the station into SR388, killing both the X on the station and those on the planet.
Sometime after the events of Metroid Fusion, the Galactic Federation receive a video transmission showing an X Parasite alive and in the wild. They track down the source of the transmission - an unknown planet named ZDR - and sent a team of seven E.M.M.I. research robots to investigate. However, communication with the E.M.M.I. was lost after they landed on the planet. Being the only person immune to the X Parasites, Samus was contracted by the Federation to recover the E.M.M.I.
As Samus descends into the caverns of ZDR, she encounters Raven Beak, the leader of the Mawkin, a tribe of Chozo warriors. Samus is swiftly defeated but spared by her adversary, losing all of her upgrades in the process. Samus begins ascending the planet's different areas all while eliminating the E.M.M.I, who have been reprogrammed to hunt her, and extracting vital abilities from them. She is able to communicate with the computerized Adam Malkovich with the help of communication centers spread throughout the planet.
Later on in her Journey, Samus meets Quiet Robe, a Chozo scientist of the Thoha tribe. Quiet Robe explains to Samus that he's the sole survivor of the events depicted in the Chozo Memories. He was spared by Raven Beak to further the development of Metroids for galactic domination. It is then revealed by Quiet Robe that Raven Beak has been using the E.M.M.I in an attempt to extract the Metroid DNA from Samus. After their conversation, Quiet Robe is shot in the back by a Robot Chozo Soldier and killed. With her objective now changed to foiling Raven Beak's plan, Samus ascends the planet in search of his location. On the way, Samus discovers that the X Parasites are indeed present, albeit quarantined within the enclosure of Elun. However, after she entered Elun, Raven Beak unlocked the facility, allowing the X Parasites to rapidly spread across the planet.
During her last E.M.M.I. encounter, Samus discovers that she has awakened a mysterious power, the same power she demonstrated during her first encounter with Raven Beak. She is turning into a Metroid. She makes her way to the surface of ZDR and onto Raven Beak's aerial fortress Itorash, high above the planet's surface. Upon finding Raven Beak, he reveals that he has been masquerading as Adam Malkovich throughout her journey on ZDR and had been grooming her to manifest her Metroid abilities; he now seeks to clone her to create an unstoppable army capable of conquering the galaxy. It is then also revealed that Samus had two Chozo DNA sources: Mawkin and Thoha, and that the Mawkin-DNA given to Samus at a young age belongs to no other than Raven Beak. Samus, unphased by this fact, duels Raven Beak and inevitably loses.
However, Samus's rage at Raven Beak's murder of the Thoha tribe on SR388 and Quiet Robe accelerates her transformation into a Metroid, granting her the Metroid Suit. She drains the energy from both Raven Beak and his fortress, which falls and collides with the planet. Raven Beak survives but is ambushed by an X Parasite and assimilated. Samus swiftly deals with the resulting abomination. However, the planet suddenly begins to self-destruct and Samus begins her escape. However, just as Samus reaches for her ship's controls, the real (computerized) Adam tells her that her new powers will drain the ship of its energy. An assimilated Quiet Robe appears on Samus' ship, salutes her and sacrifices itself by willingly being absorbed into Samus, reverting the Metroid transformation. Samus escapes ZDR before it explodes—eradicating the X-parasites once and for all.
Metroid Prime Pinball is not a separate canon game in the Metroid storyline but actually retells the story of the original Metroid Prime in pinball format. It includes several of the same bosses and areas, such as Phendrana Drifts, Thardus, and Metroid Prime. Despite playing as a pinball game, there are a number of powerups that can be collected in the multi-game mode, including Missiles and Power Bombs.
Two years before the release of Metroid Prime Hunters, a demo of the game called Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt was packaged with Nintendo DS consoles. The demo features vast differences from the final product, including its plot which consists of Samus Aran simply practicing her targeting skills and several abilities in training arenas. Some of these arenas are capable of producing enemies in the form of holograms, such as Tallon Metroids. Its vague and simple story allows it to be placed almost anywhere between the first Metroid Prime game and Federation Force.
The current placement of Metroid Prime 4 in the timeline is unknown.
Canonicity of Prime series
Yoshio Sakamoto stated in a March 2003 interview that he had considered making Metroid Prime a gaiden (side story), but felt it would have been a cop-out. The Prime series has been included in nearly every official Metroid timeline guide, such as those featured in the Japanese website of Metroid: Zero Mission and the Nintendo Power magazine. The only exceptions thus far are the Japanese Samus Returns site, which does not show the Prime series among the Metroid History section, timelines released in marketing for Dread (which emphasize the five-part 2D Metroid arc) and the short retrospective video made by Nintendo to promote the release of Other M. On that note, none of these guides show either the two volumes of the Metroid manga prequel or Metroid: Zero Mission.
The appearance of Proteus Ridley in Metroid: Samus Returns strengthens the validity of the Prime games remaining canon, as he retains some of his cybernetics from the latter. Additionally, the Seeker Missiles Samus obtains in Echoes and Corruption appear in Other M, with Dread also featuring a similar weapon and the Diffusion Beam.
According to Eurogamer following a discussion with Sakamoto, the Prime games are a contained sub-saga in between Metroid/Zero Mission and Return of Samus/Samus Returns.
Canonicity of Other M
Due to the exclusion of Other M from the timeline in marketing for Metroid Dread, some fans have questioned whether the game has been retconned, although there is no direct evidence to say that it has. On a Dread-related episode of the Nintendo Power Podcast, Chris Slate explained that the 2D Metroid saga consists of five Metroid games, from Metroid/Zero Mission to Dread, and excludes both the Prime series and Other M. Nintendo has not made any statement to suggest that Other M is no longer canon.
It is also to be noted that Metroid: Other M was among the images utilized as part of the game's endings, specifically requiring that the player clear Hard Mode at a specific time, and utilized as its artwork the notorious Chapter 17 events. Additionally, the Galactic Federation symbol introduced in Other M was subsequently used in Federation Force, Samus Returns and Dread.
- ^ "History". Metroid Zero Mission Official Site (Japanese version). Accessed on August 21, 2005.
- ^ Ice27. "Metroid Prime 2 Echoes Bonus Disc FAQ/Walkthrough." GameFAQs. Accessed on August 21, 2005.
- ^ Sakamoto: "The story takes place between the first one on the Famicom Disk System and is followed by Metroid 2. I had the idea to make it separately as a gaiden [side story], but wouldn't it be a cop-out to call it a gaiden? Because of that, I consulted with Tanabe, and things fell into place very naturally. The local staff worked on it really hard, it serves as part of the series, and I think they completed it very well." Translated by the Metroid Database. https://www.metroid-database.com/old_site/features/nomsakamoto.php
- ^ http://www.metroid-database.com/old_site/news-post.php?id=283
- ^ File:Metroid Samus Returns JP site History.png
- ^ DidYouKnowGaming? "Metroid Prime Devs Share Secrets (EXCLUSIVE)". YouTube. April 17, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022. (starts at 12:14)
- ^ Phillips, Tom. Eurogamer. "Nintendo's Sakamoto on bringing Metroid Dread back from the dead" 17 June 2021. Retrieved on June 17, 2021. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-06-17-nintendos-sakamoto-on-bringing-metroid-dread-back-from-the-dead
- ^ "This is the final chapter in a five game arc of 2D Metroid games that spans thirty five years, and of course you know this story arc only includes the fully 2D games and doesn't include the Metroid Prime series or Metroid: Other M..." Metroid Dread: Hands-on Impressions & Series Retrospective! YouTube. September 29, 2021. Retrieved on October 4, 2021. Heard starting at 1:16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6mGbSaQJOc