The Reactor Core is a room in Metroid Prime. It is found in the Frigate Orpheon, and encountered twice, before and after the ship crashes. The first visit to the room provides a battle with a Parasite Queen, the first boss in the game, who is partially protected by a moving cylindrical barrier. Killing the creature initiates a sequence in which the frigate begins to destruct before crashing into Tallon IV, a nearby planet. Samus is given a few minutes to escape before this happens.
Later, when Samus explores the wreckage of the Orpheon she comes across this room again. Now completely underwater, the Reactor Core has multiple floating platforms to get to the top and bottom of the room. The bottom of the room is covered with sand and a bunch of rocks pierce through the room. Several Power Conduits need to be activated with the Wave Beam to energize the door out.
- Reactor Core Entrance/Reactor Access (via large door with Ball Clamp/powerless door)
- Deck Gamma Monitor Hall (via Blue Door) (Before crash)
- Main Ventilation Shaft Section A (via Blue Door) (After crash)
- 3 Jelzap (before obtaining Gravity Suit)
- Aqua Reaper
- 2 Aqua Pirates (after Gravity Suit is obtained)
Morphology: Parasite Queen
Parasite female, genetically enhanced by unknown means.
A weak spot has been detected in this creature's mouth. Use your auto-targeting to acquire this new target!
Scans indicate the presence of a potent mutagen, origins unknown. Creature exhibits the ability to fire weapon-grade blasts of energy from its mouth, a trait not present in the standard parasite genome. It appears the Pirates have begun a bioengineering program, with considerable results.
Please note that these scans are before the elevator down into the room.
These creatures still contain a heat signature. They have not been here for very long.
Analysis detects large amounts of blood missing from the carcasses.
These bodies may have been used for nourishment. Pattern consistent with predator behavior.
Entrance to Deck Gamma Monitor Hall
"Reactor Core critical! Evacuate immediately!"
LeRoy Strauss design notes
What is of most interest about the environment design on Metroid Prime is the fact that the modelers of each area created their own concepts, instead of having concept artists design them. "Well the way I approach building a level is I start by doing little thumbnail sketch's," described Strauss. "That way if I decide I don't like the look of something I can just draw a new thumbnail sketch rather than scrap a few days of work. If I like how the rough drawings are starting to turn out, I have a good idea of how I want the room to look, so the blueprint is now on paper and in my head. Then I plan on how I can best use my time and what pieces can be re-used in the same room without being to overly redundant."
According to LeRoy, modeling and texturing of the queen's boss chamber took between two and three weeks. When questioned on the polygon count, he became a little vague due to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) imposed by Nintendo and Retro Studios. "I know we pushed the GameCube very far and still tried to maintain 60 fps. Lets just say lots of thousands. [laughs]"