Shadow Pirates are an elite class of Space Pirate encountered by Samus Aran only in Metroid Prime. Their main strategies are to use stealth combat and surprise tactics. Only a select group of Pirates are allowed to use this advanced cloaking tech, which suggests that Pirates who wish to obtain this gear must pass certain criteria to be eligible. However, the cloaking gear is very powerful and requires a tremendous amount of energy, meaning the user cannot use a Galvanic Accelerator Cannon as Pirates with standard gear can.

As concerns their lack of beam weaponry, it should be noted that such weapons are not necessary since the Pirates are near-invisible to the naked eye and firing a weapon would give away a Pirate's position, which would defeat the purpose of invisibility. The only weapon they possess is a scythe, which they are not afraid to use with aggression. These special Pirates appear in the Phendrana Drifts research lab Glacier One, and the Phazon Mines.

They wear large purple helmets that obscure their entire faces, including their eyes, which feature a large translucent blue orb on the forehead. Its purpose is unknown, but it is possibly the source of the cloaking device, and it falls to the ground if a Shadow Pirate is incinerated by the Plasma Beam. It may also be an optical device.


Shadow Pirates tend to cling onto ceilings and wait for unsuspecting victims. Once a target is close enough to a Pirate, the Pirate will drop from their position and engage. Shadow Pirates tend to rush their enemies, but they also tend to move to another position in hopes of gaining the element of surprise again, should their enemy move too far away. The Thermal Visor can be used to spot Shadow Pirates clinging onto the ceilings in the Space Pirate Phendrana Base. It is possible to lock onto them and shoot them with a Super Missile or other powerful weapon, like the Plasma Beam, for an instant kill, taking advantage of their ceiling strategy.

Revealing Shadow PiratesEdit


A Shadow Pirate.

Shadow Pirates are able to render themselves invisible to creatures that see in the standard spectrum of light. However, they can effectively be tracked with the Thermal Visor or the X-Ray Visor. The former is more efficient, as it makes the Shadow Pirates much more visible, especially at long range. They can also be scanned while frozen with the Ice Beam.


Shadow Pirates have only appeared in Metroid Prime, though Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption featured Pirates capable of turning invisible. It is possible that the technology used by these Pirates, or that of a similar project, was eventually perfected and used by the Commando Pirates of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

Shadow Pirates can be found in these rooms:

Logbook entryEdit

Shadow Pirate scanpic
Shadow Pirate head scanpic

Shadow Pirate

Metroid Prime

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Morphology: Shadow Pirate
Pirate forces trained and equipped for stealth operations.

Logbook entry

A select group of Space Pirates have access to sophisticated technology. This gear drains high levels of power, however, forcing them to rely solely on melee weapons in battle. Use enhanced detection gear when fighting these units.


  • One Shadow Pirate appears without the ability to cloak, right at the entrance to the Glacier One facility - in Specimen Storage. Oddly, the area over its eyes glow with fire like normal Pirates in Prime, despite the helmet covering them entirely. This Shadow Pirate could possibly have a malfunctioning cloaking device, allowing it to be scanned by Samus.
  • The pirate's cloaking ability is similar to Predator's cloaking ability from the Predator films.