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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:
- 1 Metroid: Volume 1 and Metroid: Volume 2 (Manga, 2003/2004)
- 2 Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission (NES/Game Boy Advance, 1986/2004)
- 3 Metroid Prime (GameCube, 2002)
- 4 Metroid Prime Hunters (DS, 2006)
- 5 Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GameCube, 2004)
- 6 Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii, 2007)
- 7 Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS, 2016)
- 8 Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns (Game Boy/3DS, 1991/2017)
- 9 Super Metroid (SNES, 1994)
- 10 Metroid: Other M (Wii, 2010)
- 11 Metroid Fusion (Game Boy Advance, 2002)
- 12 Metroid Dread (Nintendo Switch, 2021)
- 13 Other information
- 14 References
Metroid: Volume 1 and Metroid: Volume 2 (Manga, 2003/2004)
Samus' origins are told in the manga including the attack on K-2L, her training with the Chozo, her brief time in the Galactic Federation and other such events leading up to her confrontation against Mother Brain during her Zero Mission.
Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission (NES/Game Boy Advance, 1986/2004)
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.
Metroid Prime (GameCube, 2002)
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.
Metroid Prime Hunters (DS, 2006)
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.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GameCube, 2004)
Samus is sent to investigate the planet Aether after communication with the G.F.S. Tyr was lost. Samus finds them all dead, killed by several creatures, mainly consisting of an evil 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.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii, 2007)
Samus and three other Bounty Hunters 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 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, source of all Phazon. She destroys it and Dark Samus, thus destroying all Phazon in the universe.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS, 2016)
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.
Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns (Game Boy/3DS, 1991/2017)
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, 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.
Super Metroid (SNES, 1994)
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.
Metroid: Other M (Wii, 2010)
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 a Queen Metroid and destroys the final Metroid in existence once again.
Metroid Fusion (Game Boy Advance, 2002)
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. The consequences of Samus's actions have not yet been revealed.
Metroid Dread (Nintendo Switch, 2021)
The upcoming title Metroid Dread has been confirmed to take place after Fusion, and will be the first game to advance the timeline since Fusion's release; however, the exact amount of time that has passed has not been confirmed. It will conclude the arc centering around the connected fates of Samus and the Metroids, but not the franchise.
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.
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 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.
According to Mike Wikan, Nintendo closely examined all text, including scans, in the Metroid Prime Trilogy compilation and requested "hundreds and hundreds and hundreds" of edits to ensure consistency in the lore with the 2D style games.
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.
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.
The current placement of Metroid Prime 4 in the timeline is unknown.
- ^ "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.
- ^ "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: http://ninten.do/6013n1X3P" 15 June 2021 12:18 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/1404835690827948038
- ^ Nintendo UK (NintendoUK). "The story of the interwined fates of Samus and the Metroids draws to a dramatic conclusion when Metroid Dread lands on Nintendo Switch 8th October." 22 July 2021 6:00 a.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoUK/status/1418148855598694400
- ^ 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
- ^ "To tell you the seriousness that Nintendo takes with, they had gone through all of our text, all of our scans from all three games, and done a complete spreadsheet analysis on how it all fit together with the Metroid Prime universe in its current state. Every word. They sent us hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of edits and changes for all the text to make sure everything harmonized and worked in the Metroid universe. That’s the level of detail that they put into it. Probably 50-60% of the work we did on the Trilogy was changing those scan files." KIWI TALKZ - #105 - Mike Wikan Interview (Metroid Prime Trilogy, Game Design, Crunch, Booz Allen Hamilton etc.) September 6, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlbeRLmfCHk
- ^ 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