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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,[1][2] the games currently released are ordered as follows:

Metroid Samus Returns JP site History

A timeline of the mainline Metroid series, given on the Japanese Metroid: Samus Returns website.

Timeline of the Metroid series

Metroid/Metroid: Zero Mission

Samus travels through the caverns of planet Zebes to stop 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, a remake of the original Metroid that replaces it in continuity, Samus is ambushed by Space Pirates while escaping the planet after killing Mother Brain, and her Starship crash-lands back on the surface. Stripped of her Power Suit and transportation, 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 returns to the Mother Ship, eliminates its onboard Ridley Robot, and makes off with an Escape Ship as it self-destructs.

Metroid Prime

Samus receives a distress signal, and travels to Tallon IV to stop the Space Pirates from exploiting a substance called Phazon. She discovers that the Chozo once settled on Tallon IV, and their disappearance, along with 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. Once killed, Metroid Prime absorbs Samus's Phazon Suit as the crater collapses, and a post credits 100% reward reveals it being reborn as Dark Samus.

Metroid Prime Hunters

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 the Oubliette, an interdimensional prison. After defeating Gorea, Samus and the other hunters are believed to have escaped the crumbling facility.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Samus is sent to investigate the planet Aether after communication with the G.F.S. Tyr was lost. Upon arrival, Samus finds them all killed and 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.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

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 towards the end of their goal, rendering them comatose for varying lengths of time. A month passes and Samus is given a new PED Suit and 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, and destroys it along with Dark Samus, thus eliminating all known Phazon in the universe. At the end of the game, a 100% post-credits scene shows Samus flying into space; Sylux then appears and follows Samus with unknown intentions.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

After the eradication of Phazon, 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 its three planets, with assistance from Samus Aran. The Force discovers a massive Pirate ship in the Bermuda System, the Doomseye, and destroys it. At the end of the game, if the player grabbed the Metroid Egg, a post-credits scene shows Sylux breaking into the Federated Force research station and hatching the baby Metroid.

Metroid Prime 4: Beyond


Metroid II: Return of Samus/Metroid: Samus Returns

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 a baby hatches from it. 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.

Super Metroid

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 the research station self-destructs, 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.

Metroid: Other M

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 commanding officer. Together they explore the station and battle various aggressive lifeforms. Further exploration reveals that the ship's ringleaders had created a clone of Ridley, as well as 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.

Metroid Fusion

While acting as a bodyguard for Biologic's research team on SR388, Samus is infected by a creature known as an X Parasite, the original prey of the Metroids whose numbers have now run rampant in their absence. Doctors surgically remove Samus's Power Suit and cure the X infection with a Metroid vaccine, allowing her to survive the parasite infestation, and covering her body in cells able to absorb them. 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 completely destroying the planet.

Metroid Dread

Metroid timeline

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 send a team of seven E.M.M.I. research robots to investigate. However, communication with the E.M.M.I. is lost after they land on the planet. Being the only person immune to the X Parasites, Samus is 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. She begins ascending the planet's different areas while eliminating the E.M.M.I, who have been reprogrammed to hunt her, and extracts vital abilities from them. She also remains in contact with the computerized Adam Malkovich via 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 from the Metroid II remake, Samus Returns. 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 Metroid DNA from Samus, in order to clone replacements for the ones destroyed by her in previous series entries. 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, and create an unstoppable army capable of conquering the galaxy. It is 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, leaving Samus to swiftly deal with the resulting abomination. With Raven Beak X destroyed, the planet suddenly begins to self-destruct. Samus reaches her ship to escape, however, just as Samus reaches for its 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.

Other information

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.

This article contains information about an unreleased video game This article or section contains information about an unreleased video game.
The content may change dramatically as more information becomes available. Please do not add speculation to this article and try to provide a source for information you add.

According to the Announcement Trailer, Metroid Prime 4: Beyond takes place in Cosmic Year 20X9.

Cosmic Calendar

Various instruction manuals and promotional materials have made reference to the Cosmic Calendar, a dating system utilized by the Galactic Federation to track the passage of time. Usage of the Cosmic Calendar in the Metroid series has been sporadic and inconsistent with the timeline of events depicted in the games.

Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission are set in Year 20X5. From there, the official in-universe timeline of the Metroid series is inconsistent. Also compounding the timeline is the introduction of cycles in the Prime series as an alternative method of measuring time.

  • Unused narration in Metroid Prime states that the game takes place ten years after the original Metroid. However, because this narration was cut from the final game, it is not considered canon.
  • The Metroid Prime comic states that the game takes place two years after Samus's mission to Zebes. However, due to numerous inconsistencies (including the fact that the aforementioned mission to Zebes is implied to be her second mission), this is not considered canon either.
  • The Metroid Prime Trilogy art booklet states that Metroid Prime takes place three years after Metroid: Zero Mission, but the placement of most of the following games is not clear.
  • Metroid Prime: Federation Force has a contradictory placement in the timeline; while it takes place after Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, it is also said to occur in Year 20X6, which would be a year after Metroid: Zero Mission. The Nintendo of UK website claims that Cosmic Calendar Year 20X6 is "several years" after the events of Corruption, further muddying the timeline.
  • The SR388 Data File trailer for Samus Returns says that it takes place "less than a year" after Zero Mission.
  • In Japanese commercials for Super Metroid, Samus states the year to be 20X7, two years after the original Metroid. This also means Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns are set in 20X7, as Super Metroid takes place shortly after Samus Returns.
  • According to Super Metroid programmer Isamu Kubota, Samus is said to be in her late twenties. The Magazine Z prequel manga indicates that Samus is in her late teens or early twenties during Metroid: Zero Mission. If both sources are taken as canonical, then there may be roughly a decade between the events of Zero Mission and Super Metroid.
  • The Prima's Official Stategy Guide for Metroid Fusion states that it "has been eight years since" Super Metroid. Since a specific year is not mentioned, this neither supports nor contradicts any other depiction of the in-universe timeline. However, it could just as easily be referring to the out-of-universe time between the releases of Super Metroid (1994) and Fusion (2002).

Canonicity of Prime series

162-163 snes classics

Metroid Story Chronology as seen in Playing with Super Power: Nintendo Super NES Classics.

Yoshio Sakamoto stated in a March 2003 interview that he had considered making Metroid Prime a gaiden (side story)[3], 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[4]. 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.[5]

John Whitmore said in 2022 that Retro Studios staff believed they were making Metroid Prime as a quasi-reboot, and Nintendo would find a place for it in the chronology.[6]

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. Samus was also seen remotely starting her Gunship when preparing to leave SR388 with the Baby in tow immediately prior to the Proteus Ridley cutscene, seemingly alluding to the Command Visor from Corruption.

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.[7]

Canonicity of Other M

MD Ending Rewards 04 - MOM

The unlockable Other M ending image in Dread.

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.[8]

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; furthermore, the Super Metroid image also references Other M, as it depicts Samus trying to take hold of the Baby's particles after its sacrifice, a scene first introduced by Other M flashbacks. Additionally, the extra image shows Commander Adam Malkovich with his Other M design.

Other hints towards Other M canonicity can be found in the way its innovations have been borrowed by subsequent games in the series, like the Galactic Federation symbol introduced in Other M that was later used in Federation Force, Samus Returns and Dread, or the Diffusion Beam from Other M making a comeback in Dread, or Samus's more active combat style being carried forward by Samus Returns and Dread.

Other M contributions to the lore of the Metroid series is also another factor in favor of its canonicity. For example, it explains how Ridley, the Zebesians or other kinds of Zebes fauna ended up on the Biologic Space Laboratories research station, a SR388 centered facility.


  1. ^ "History". Metroid Zero Mission Official Site (Japanese version). Accessed on August 21, 2005.
  2. ^ Ice27. "Metroid Prime 2 Echoes Bonus Disc FAQ/Walkthrough." GameFAQs. Accessed on August 21, 2005.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^
  5. ^ File:Metroid Samus Returns JP site History.png
  6. ^ DidYouKnowGaming? "Metroid Prime Devs Share Secrets (EXCLUSIVE)". YouTube. April 17, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022. (starts at 12:14)
  7. ^ Phillips, Tom. Eurogamer. "Nintendo's Sakamoto on bringing Metroid Dread back from the dead" 17 June 2021. Retrieved on June 17, 2021.
  8. ^ "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.