This is a featured article.

This article is about the planet itself. For other uses, see Planet Zebes (Disambiguation).

Planet Zebes... I called this place home once, in peaceful times, long before evil haunted the caverns below.

Samus Aran

Zebes was a planet in orbit around the star FS-176 and habitat of the devious Zebesian Space Pirates and Mother Brain. Zebes was the locational setting of the original Metroid, its enhanced remake, Metroid: Zero Mission, and Super Metroid. According to Metroid Prime, Zebes had a mass of 4.8 trillion teratons[1] and was in the FS-176 system. Samus Aran, the famed Bounty Hunter was raised on Zebes by the Chozo after her home on the Earth colony K-2L was taken over by the Space Pirates.



Samus Aran's Starship approaching Zebes in Super Metroid.

Zebes had a vast network of underground caverns and labyrinths that led deep into the planet. A deep cavernous area in the planet known as Brinstar seemed to be the home of more than 60% of the planet's wildlife. Brinstar was home to a dense forest, yet the vegetation did not seem to have anything to photosynthesize. It can be said that the plants only needed water, or that the majority were carnivorous as indicated by the foliage in Kraid's Lair. It is also possible that Brinstar plants use chemosynthesis.

Another oddity lies in the existence of huge deposits of water just below the surface. Labeled Maridia, the water from this realm spiraled in all directions, eating away at the land and creating huge and sometimes dangerously vast mazes of water. The ground "liquified" in some areas and formed deadly quicksand traps leading deeper into the planet.

Crateria was the crust of Zebes. It was a bleak and rocky area that was constantly drenched by acid rain. This rain would affect bioforms not able to adapt to the harsh atmosphere (Samus Aran being an exception). There was also a Wrecked Ship that had landed in a pool on Crateria long ago, arriving with the first Chozo civilization on the planet.[5]

While they lived on the planet, the Chozo had constructed a Planetary Protection Shield to defend themselves from attack. However, it was later disabled by the Space Pirates with a micro black hole.


Zebes Observatory Model

Astronomical holographic projector model, with moons.

Samus uses the phrase "Great Moons of Zebes!" in the early Captain N: The Game Master comics. It is shown in the Metroid Manga that Zebes had two moons, one very large in appearance from the surface and another that is smaller. Both moons also appear in Metroid Prime as holograms in the Observatory. The larger moon had a normal revolution, while the smaller moon had a retrograde orbit.

The fates of the moons after the planet's destruction are unknown. Assuming they were not also destroyed by the explosion of Zebes, it is likely that they continued to orbit their sun within the former planet's debris field.


Zebes Geo-Cross

Geological cross-section.

  • Wrecked Ship — An ancient, flooded ship that crashed into Crateria long ago, now infested with ghosts. Segments of it are found in Chozodia in Zero Mission. The area is home to Phantoon, one of the Space Pirate leaders in Super Metroid.
  • Chozo Ruins — An area of desolate temple ruins built by the Chozo long ago, now containing some of their artifacts left behind. These ruins overlap Crateria and Chozodia, with segments included in both areas. Seen exclusively in Zero Mission.
  • Brinstar — Includes two main sections: a lush underground jungle and a network of caverns primarily composed of dry rock. Home to the Zero Mission and Super Metroid minibosses Charge Beam Beast and Spore Spawn, respectively.
  • Kraid's Lair — A moist subsection of Brinstar that teemed with flora and small animal life. It contains a unique zip line system in Zero Mission. As the name implies, this is the hideout of Kraid, a veteran Space Pirate leader and one of their main Enforcers.
  • Norfair — The fiery underground caves of Zebes. The Fire-Sea of Norfair boasts incredibly high temperatures, requiring Samus to obtain the Varia Suit before exploring portions of it. Home to the Super Metroid miniboss Crocomire and the Zero Mission miniboss Kiru Giru.
  • Ridley's Lair — An area of Zebes that is even deeper than Norfair. Ridley's Lair is completely artificial as it includes Chozo Ruins and possibly Space Pirate technology. This area serves as the base for Ridley, the most infamous of the Space Pirate leaders and one of the two main Enforcers. The Gold Torizo miniboss also resides in Ridley's Lair. In Super Metroid, Samus needs the Gravity Suit to explore the area safely.
Zebes Mercator

Mercator projection map.

  • Maridia — The flooded caves of Zebes, seen exclusively in Super Metroid. This area is composed of underground oceans teeming with aquatic bioforms and some Space Pirate structures and laboratories. It is in these sunken labs that Samus finds the results of failed attempts at cloning Metroids by Space Pirates. One of the Space Pirate leaders, Draygon, also lurks in this area in Super Metroid. Maridia also features Botwoon, a serpent-like miniboss.
  • Chozodia — A series of ancient Chozo ruins situated near Crateria, seen exclusively in Zero Mission. Though Space Pirates secured portions of these ruins due to their proximity to the Space Pirate Mother Ship, there are still parts of Chozodia that remained largely unexplored until Samus stumbles across them while fleeing from the pirates. The walls of the silent corridors are covered with Chozo hieroglyphs, and the newly installed Pirate Alarm Systems stand ready to detect any intruders. It is in this area of Zebes that Samus passes the Ruins Test, earning herself the "legendary" Power Suit as a result. Certain segments of the Wrecked Ship and Chozo Ruins are located here.
  • Space Pirate Mother Ship — The Space Pirates' mobile base during the events of Zero Mission. Presided over by Mecha Ridley in the absence of Ridley himself, this ship is equipped with state-of-the-art security systems and swarmed with Space Pirates, making it a dangerous place for Samus. It becomes all the more dangerous when Samus is forced to infiltrate the ship without the aid of her famous Power Suit. The ship is completely destroyed at the end of Zero Mission.
  • Tourian — The main Space Pirate headquarters on Zebes. Entirely mechanical, Tourian is the location of the Metroid labs and the place from which Mother Brain, the leader of the Space Pirates on Zebes, commands her forces. Samus has twice destroyed this area. The first Tourian was built unusually close to the surface; when it was destroyed, another Tourian was rebuilt much further into the depths of the planet. The original's ruins are integrated as a part of Crateria in Super Metroid.
CrateriaWrecked ShipBrinstarTourianNorfairMaridiaZebesZebes Hexa Map

Click on one of the various locations to navigate to the corresponding article.



Zebes is stated to have a mass of about 4.8 trillion teratons (1 teraton equals 1 trillion tons) and a diameter of 11,700 km. In comparison, Earth has a mass of about 5.972 × 10²⁴ kilograms, or 5.972 billion teratons, and a diameter of 12,742 km. Zebes should have a gravitational pull of 9,360 m/s², or about 954 g. For the sake of comparison, if Zebes's mass were to be reduced a thousandfold to 4.8 billion teratons, then it would have a gravitational pull of 9.36 m/s², or about 0.95 g, barely weaker than Earth's gravity.

However, according to the 1994, Nintendo Official Guide Book for Super Metroid, Zebes has a mass of 4.974 × 10²⁴ kilograms, or about 4.974 × 10⁹ Teratons, with a diameter of about 10,389.143 km. Therefore, Zebes would have a gravitational pull of 12.3 m/s², or about 1.26 g.

While most translations (including Japanese and Spanish)[6] of Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime Remastered retain the English version's data, the German translation instead states that the mass of Zebes is 4.8x1024 kg ("Masse (kg): 4,8 x 10 hoch 24"),[7] reducing it by a factor of a thousand and almost matching the 1994 Japanese Player Guide's mass description of Zebes. This would make Zebes's gravitational acceleration about 0.954G on the surface.



Captain N: The Game Master

Originally a Chozo colony, Zebes (or the Chozo research/tech scattered across it) had been desired by the Space Pirates for some time. The Space Pirates tried to invade it on the founding of the Galactic Federation, but were unsuccessful. It was after this that the Chozo inhabitants took the orphaned Samus Aran under their wing; also, breakthroughs in the design of the Metroids were made by Gray Voice and the organic computer Mother Brain at this time. After Samus became a Federation Police Force officer, the Space Pirates returned with the Space Pirate Flagship, Mother Brain betrayed the Chozo, and the Chozo colony was entirely evacuated and/or wiped out. For the next few years the Space Pirates secretly used Zebes as their primary base of action, and, under the guidance of Mother Brain, became a more effective and deadly force, conducting unthinkable experiments to weaponize the Chozo-made parasitic life-form: Metroid.

The Galactic Federation sent Samus back to Zebes to destroy the threat of Metroids and Mother Brain. Samus succeeded in neutralizing both the Metroids and Mother Brain, and she destroyed the Space Pirate Mother Ship, seemingly ending the Space Pirate presence on Zebes. For the next few years the planet's only inhabitants were the roughly 200 archaeologists and researchers sent there to study the many Chozo ruins on the planet's surface and in the subterranean tunnels. Eventually the Space Pirates returned to Zebes, regained their previous strength, and rebuilt Mother Brain.


Zebes melee

Destruction of Zebes depicted in the Adventure Mode of Super Smash Bros. Melee.

After Samus defeated Mother Brain for the second time on Zebes in Super Metroid, yet another self-destruct sequence was activated. However, unlike the first, which destroyed the first Tourian, the second engulfed the entire planet: As Samus escaped in her Starship, the planet ignited with a blinding flash and a tremendous explosion. Zebes, the former home of the Chozo and Samus herself, was lost forever.

The flourish that plays during the planet's destruction is titled "Planet Zebes Explodes" on the Super Metroid: Sound in Action CD.


Zebes had a wide variety of inhabitants, the most well known being the Chozo, the Space Pirates, the Metroids, and even Samus Aran for a time in her youth.


Super Metroid commercial.

Official data[]

Super Metroid Players' Guide[]

Zebes - A Visitors Guide
"Planet Zebes consists of six distinct sections, linked to one another via a network of lifts and passages. Each section contains an array of deadly creatures and come littered with traps and obstacles, heightening the risk to Samus Aran tenfold."

Metroid Prime Logbook entry[]

Zebesscan - RemasteredZebesscan
Zebesscan2 - RemasteredZebesscan2


Logbook entry

Planet Zebes
Mass: 4.8 trillion teratons.

Profile: Planet's crust is primarily Urthic ore, making it ideal for subterranean construction. A class XIX planet, Zebes is inhospitable to most bioforms. The world was considered unremarkable until it became a base for Space Pirate forces.


Metroid Prime website[]


Super Metroid Nintendo Player's Guide

"object type: Planet
mass: 4.8 trillion teratons
dimensions: 11,700 km diameter
sentient inhabitants: 200, mostly researchers
composition: Urthic Ore"

"Zebes is a Class 5B planet with an Urthic ore crust ideal for subterranean construction. Though many zones on Zebes are seemingly inhospitible to life, extremely tough organisms have evolved on this planet that can thrive in conditions that would kill ordinary terrestrial creatures.

Planet Zebes is as rich in history as it is in Urthic ore. It is well known across the Galactic Federation as the site of bounty hunter Samus Aran's heroic stand against Space Pirate rogues. In the deeps [sic] below Zebes, the Space Pirates were conducting unthinkable experiments with parasitic lifeforms known as Metroids. If harnessed as a biological weapon, the Metroids could have quickly neutralized large armies and forced entire solar systems to accept Space Pirate rule. Working for the Galactic Federation, Samus cut a swath through the Space Pirates' ranks, destroying everything in her path, including the Metroid threat.

Planet Zebes is also a popular destination for archeologists studying the enigmatic Chozo, a wise race of birdlike humanoids that prized peace over all other things. They built many civilizations on planets across the universe, including Zebes. Chozo ruins are a common sight on the planet's surface and in subterranean tunnels. Space Pirate attack is the most widely accepted explanation for the Chozo's disappearance from Zebes."


  • Zebes was originally known as Zebeth in the original Metroid, but was changed to its current name starting with Metroid II. Reasoning is unknown, but both terms are pronounced the same in Japanese.
    • The official pronunciation of the planet's name is "Zeh-bess". However, it is sometimes mistakenly pronounced as "Zeebz" or "Zee-bees". Those familiar with the Zebeth name are more likely to get it correct.
  • The Metroid Prime Trilogy art booklet stated the Pirate Homeworld was one of many Space Pirate homeworlds; Zebes could very well be one of these in the sense that both planets were headquarters with immeasurable importance to the Space Pirate forces. In fact, Zebes was regarded as the homeworld of the marauding race for some time.
  • A girl in Custom Robo for the Nintendo GameCube, when guessing what the "Z" in "Z Syndicate" stands for, guesses Zebes, among other words which also include various Nintendo references.
  • According to chapter 2 of Metroid: Volume 1, Zebes is the second planet from its sun, FS-176. In Metroid Prime, the planetary orbits are very irregular and Zebes is shown to only (possibly) occupy the second closest position rarely. Whether Samus was referring to that specific time-frame or if events between then and Prime (such as the Pirate attack that involved using a black hole to break through the Zebesian Chozo's defenses) caused alteration in the revolution is unknown.
  • According to Mother Brain in Metroid: Volume 1, humans can only naturally survive in Brinstar and Crateria, probably due to the fact that the rest of Zebes is more like Venus than Earth.
  • Zebes is the third of five planets to be destroyed by Samus, even if not by her intention, the others being Dark Aether, Phaaze, SR388, and ZDR (in that order).
  • It is commonly stated in media taking place before Super Metroid that Samus destroyed Zebes in her original Zero Mission. Examples of this can be seen in a log about SPC M. Angseth in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, in the Metroid Prime Comic, the Pirate Data entry "Fall of Zebes", and Another Side Story. It is likely referring to the Space Pirate base(s) there, with some foreshadowing.
  • In Metroid: Other M, Samus remarks that "With those creatures, crafted into killers, running free, the BOTTLE SHIP had been turned into a nightmare replica of Zebes". When taken literally, she can be considered incorrect as the BOTTLE SHIP has several notable differences from Zebes. Firstly, some of the creatures on the BOTTLE SHIP are never seen on Zebes, such as Griptians. Secondly, the BOTTLE SHIP does not contain climates similar to Maridia or Crateria, but does contain a cold climate, something Zebes was never seen to have had.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Melee, in the cutscene transition from the Escape stage in Adventure Mode to the Kirby fight, Zebes is in close proximity to Pop Star from the Kirby franchise.


Metroid: Map of Zebes

Super Metroid: Map of Zebes

Metroid: Zero Mission: Map of Zebes



  1. ^ a b c Scan from the Observatory specifically states Zebes's mass to be "4.8 trillion teratons". In the German release, the same scan states Zebes's mass to be "Masse (kg): 4,8 x 10 hoch 24"
  2. ^ a b Nintendo Official Guide Book for Super Metroid
  3. ^ Observatory
  4. ^ a b (dead link)
  5. ^ Shigesato Itoi May 10, 1994. in Osamu Kasai (Tsukikosha), Toyotaro Shibao (Tsukikosha), Ryuji Watanabe (APE), Junichiro Ohkubo (Shogakukan Corporation): Nintendo Official Guide Book for Super Metroid 2 hours and 59 minutes by Samus Aran (in Japanese). Japan: Shogakukan Corporation. ISBN 4-09-102474-2. “宇宙船乗りなら、どんなときでも死んだ船を目のあたりにするのはつらいものだ。数百世紀前に難破した船。機能を停止し、無残な姿をさらしている。一歩船内に足を踏みいれたわたしは、死んだはずの船の中に邪悪な気配を感じた。この船をくいものにしているやつがいる! 夕闇の地表にその船はあった。かつて銀河を支配した鳥人族の難破船。何千光年もの旅の末にこの星に漂着した。 あの船にわたしを助けてくれるなにかがある。予感がわたしを船に導いた。 死んだように静まりかえった船の中、息をひそめて進むわたしの背後に、やつがあらわれた。悪霊、ファントゥーン! 思ったとおりだ。マザーブレインが送りこんだファントゥーンによって、難破船のエネルギーは吸いとられていたのだ。 ファントゥーンを撃破したいま、船内に静かな動力音が響く。やわらかな光が空間を満たす。主をなくした船の中で、作業ロボットがやみくもに動きだした。 マップ情報アクセス完了!”
  6. ^ [ METROID PRIME ] Walkthrough Español 100% (DIFÍCIL/HARD) - Parte 9 : Laboratorio Pirata (1/2)
  7. ^ The American Version of Prime has miscalculated the mass if the planets by a thousand. The european translations, actually have the correct mass of all planets : r/Metroid