During the events of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Sector Zero on Norion fell under threat of Leviathan impact. Four Bounty Hunters, Samus Aran, Rundas, Ghor and Gandrayda raced to the Control Tower to power up the planetary Defense Cannon. Dark Samus confronted them there and was able to best them, knocking them all unconscious before leaving. Samus, however, temporarily regained consciousness and activated the Defense Cannon.
A month later, Samus awoke and learned that her body, as well as that of the other Hunters, was now self-generating Phazon as a result of Dark Samus' attack. The Galactic Federation outfitted them with Phazon Enhancement Devices and tasked them with destroying Leviathans on other planets. Samus is sent to Bryyo when contact is lost with Rundas, to finish his mission and locate him.
In the Corrupted Pool, Samus experiences a Phazon Overload and nearly falls under Terminal Corruption. Upon further analysis, Aurora Unit 242 reports to Samus that the Federation has discovered an error they did not foresee: the Phazon in Samus' body overreacts after a few seconds, and begins to overload. If she is unable to control the Phazon, she will fall under Dark Samus' control. Samus later discovers that the other Hunters have been terminally corrupted, and is forced to kill them.
Terminal Corruption is an instant Game Over. If Samus is unable to maintain Hypermode during the game, a cutscene will play showing the Phazon within Samus spreading throughout her body, and Samus becomes another Dark Samus. The Game Over screen is slightly altered. It now says "[GAME_OVER] Terminal Corruption" and features Phazon spreading across the screen instead of blood. If Samus is terminally corrupted while in Morph Ball mode, there is a white explosion, as opposed to the blue-black static fadeout when corrupted.
The scene depicts Samus literally turning into another Dark Samus. What this is referring to is unclear. It may be that Samus literally turns into another Dark Samus, or the scene is a metaphor for her falling under Dark Samus' control. There is an unused transmission, however, from Aurora Unit 242 which hints at the Terminal Corruption Game Over scene. 242 sadly says that if Samus cannot destroy Dark Samus, she will become her.
|“||Samus, we discovered that the Phazon inside you is linked to Dark Samus and is trying to take control of your body. We believe the only way to stop you from becoming corrupted is to destroy Dark Samus. If you cannot, you will become... her.||„|
The Terminal Corruption scene can be viewed here .
- Having regained consciousness from the Norion incident a few weeks ahead of Samus, it can be inferred that Rundas, Ghor and Gandrayda were exposed to progressive Phazon infection for a longer amount of time, leading to their respective Terminal Corruptions and leaving Samus as the only one of the four hunters to escape this fate long enough to defeat Dark Samus.
- The reason Samus woke up a month later may be attributed to the excessive strain she put her body through when she forced herself to activate Norion's Defense Cannon following Dark Samus' attack on her and the other hunters.
|Organic||Flesh-eating bacteria • Miteralis • 'Twin Fever' • X Parasite|
|Phazon||Phazon Fever • Terminal Corruption • "the scritters"|
|Artificial||Corruption virus • Rezbit Virus|
|Conditions||Posttraumatic stress disorder|