The Mother Ship is recognizable for its purple, enormous and bulky appearance, coupled with relatively short, sturdy wings. Along with a glass tube connecting to the Chozo Ruins of Chozodia, the ship features a docking bay containing Escape Ships. When the ships enter or leave the Mother Ship, a door in the front would open, resembling a mouth or beak. The pilot area has various red circles nearby, as well as three glass cockpit bubbles. Presumably, the red circles supplied transmissions from Zebes and any other Pirate Homeworlds to the Mother Ship, due to them flashing red and Ridley immediately ordering the vessel to head to Zebes.
The Mother Ship houses the incomplete Mecha Ridley, a safeguard created in Ridley's image in order to protect the ship in his absence. This robot is connected to the Mother Ship, and its destruction causes the triggering of a three, five, or seven minute (depending on difficulty level) countdown to the destruction of the Mother Ship as well. After Samus's escape, the ship's interior starts to glow red (which can be seen through the ship door), and the ship falls apart with an explosion, leaving it as a scorched wreck.
The ship serves as a replacement for the Space Pirate Flagship, which was destroyed in a battle against the Federation Army Special Ops Battleship VIXIV IV over Zebes. Scan images aboard the Frigate Orpheon in Metroid Prime feature the ship as being shaped similarly to the Mother Ship, implying that they are of the same model. The Space Pirate starship from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes also resembles the Mother Ship in terms of design.
Main article: Chozodia/Items
The Mother Ship is not present in the original Metroid game, but rather in the extended ending in the remake, Zero Mission. Following the defeat of Kraid on Zebes, Ridley receives a distress signal from the planet in the ship's bridge and changes course, heading straight for the planet. By the time Samus enters Ridley's Lair, the Ship has landed in Chozodia, and Ridley makes his way to his chamber.
Following the defeat of the Mother Brain, Samus escapes Zebes but is shot back down to the planet. Without a choice, Samus undertakes the "foolish" task of infiltrating the Mother Ship, armed with only her Paralyzer (her Power Suit had been destroyed in the crashing of her Starship). Samus escapes the Mother Ship and encountered the Ruins Test, which she completes. Rewarded with a Fully Powered Suit, Samus returns to the Mother Ship and slaughters any and all Space Pirates in her way with her newly-enhanced weapons. She finally confronts Mecha Ridley and destroyed it, then escapes the exploding Mother Ship in a hijacked Escape Ship.
In Metroid: Volume 2, the Space Pirate Mother Ship is seen as Ridley's new flagship, fighting against the Federation Army Special Ops Battleship VIXIV IV. Midway though the battle, it tries to warp to Zebes but is stopped by Adam Malkovich in the VIXIV IV, knowing that if it makes it to Zebes it would effectively put an end to Samus' Zero Mission. Eventually, Ridley is able to make it to Zebes with his ship, although not before Samus destroyed Kraid.
It can be assumed that the events depicted in Metroid: Volume 2 serve as an explanation for why Ridley and the Space Pirate Mother Ship was not immediately present on Zebes at the start of Samus's Zero Mission.
The Mother Ship was also present during the raid on the Space Research Vessel Marina, as it is visible in the background of the intro cutscene depicting the space battle. The ship participated in the raid by deploying a large squadron of Space Pirate vessels to attack and cripple the Research Vessel in the Pirates' attempt to acquire the newly discovered Metroid sample obtained from planet SR388. Chronologically, this is the Space Pirate Mother Ship's first known appearance.
Connection to other areas
The destruction of the Mother Ship would seem to imply that its remains would be revisited by Samus in the area known as the Wrecked Ship during the events of Super Metroid. However, supplemental materials and careful inspection of the Wrecked Ship reveal it to be of Chozo origin and the vessel's entrance can be found in Zero Mission before the Mother Ship has yet to land on the planet. Furthermore, the Chozo ship can be partially explored as an entirely separate area from the Pirate vessel near the end of the game. Finally, Yoshio Sakamoto dismissed the possibility of both ships being one and the same.
The explosions from the Mother Ship is believed to have removed the cavern walls surrounding the Wrecked Ship's entrance seen in Zero Mission, which would explain why this same room is open-air in Super Metroid.
The overall purple asthetic of the Mother Ship, its eventual destruction and its close proximity to the Wrecked Ship's flooded location has led to the theory that the former's remains sank and integrated with Maridia from Super Metroid. The underground ocean features many purple rooms that are clearly of artifical origin with Space Pirates using them as a facility to house their experiments. Some rooms also have traits that suggest segments of the Wrecked Ship and/or the temple ruins of Chozodia have sunk into the area as well.
Metroid: Zebes Invasion Order
A similar massive Pirate Ship (巨大な海賊船) appears in Metroid: Zebes Invasion Order, the 1986 Choose your Own Adventure book adaptation for the FDS Metroid game. While it is not explicitly referred to as the Mother Ship, it essentially fills the same role and can be considered a non-canonical precursor.
The Pirate Ship is enormous; Samus compares the difference in size between her Escape Pod and the Pirate Ship to a fish and a whale. It is notably marked with a skull and crossbones design, hearkening back to the Jolly Roger used by Earth pirates. Inside the ship, notable rooms include the control room where the Pirate Boss resides, and the docking bay where a small spacecraft is kept. It is crewed by the human Space Pirates who built their fortress on Zebes and stole the Metroid capsule.
The Pirate Ship appears in space after Mother Brain is defeated on Zebes. Depending on how the story plays out, the Pirate Ship may intercept the distress signal sent from Samus's spaceship, or it may simply approach her escape pod. Either way, Samus is captured by the Space Pirates and brought to the Pirate Boss in the control room. The Metroid=Mutant also boards the Pirate Ship and wreaks havoc, killing many Space Pirates in its path. In the good ending, Samus duels the Pirate Boss in the control room and retrieves the stolen Metroid capsule before escaping in a small spacecraft. She fires a large missile from the small spacecraft, which completely destroys the Pirate Ship.
This plotline would later be reused to some extent in Zero Mission, a later remake of the original Metroid game that served as the inspiration for Zebes Invasion Order. It is unconfirmed if this was a deliberate reference to the book or just an interesting coincidence.
- In Metroid Prime: Episode of Aether, Samus destroys a Pirate vessel that was attacking a transport and passenger ship, and reports that the "Space Pirate Mothership [has been] eliminated."
|Space Pirate Vehicles|
|Large Spacecraft||Flagship • Mother Ship • Orpheon • Siriacus • Vol Paragom • Starship • Leviathan Battleship • Destroyer • Colossus • Doomseye |
Leviathan-class capital ship • Marauder-class battleship • Plunderer-class cruiser • Dragüd's Ship
|Space fighters||Zebesian Pirate Ship • Space Pirate vessel • Boarding Pod • Missile Transport (Elite) • Pirate Warship |
|Others||Escape Pod • Escape Ship|