Adam hypothesizes that the X only use human hosts for assimilating knowledge, since they are too weak to battle, while other humans were consumed by the X as sustenance. Therefore, the Metroid Fusion manual proposes that Zombie Researchers are created from X Parasites combining their human hosts with the DNA of an unidentified slime bioform. Consequently, the integrity of their bodies has become severely compromised, reducing them to partly-liquefied, shambling monstrosities clad in tattered lab coats that collapse into gelatinous puddles in the absence of X to animate them.
Zombie Researchers can be found slowly lurching through the BSL Space Station corridors, usually on the Main Deck, or throughout the artificial sections of Sector 1 (SRX). The reanimated zombies pose little threat to Samus, being very lethargic and only attempting to ram her if she is close. One shot from the unmodified Arm Cannon of the Fusion Suit is enough to reduce these organisms back to a puddle of organic sludge and expel the X Parasite within. The puddles cannot be destroyed, and any roaming X Parasite is capable of reanimating the remains.
Metroid Fusion Manual
ENEMIES IMITATED BY X PARASITES (pg. 39)
- ZOMBIE RESEARCHERS
- "These shambling creatures are probably the result of X parasites absorbing a slime creature's DNA then infesting staff researchers. They're remarkably similar to zombies."
- The Zombie Researcher's name-tag depicted in official artwork appears to read "S.C.R. 7".
- Unlike the Zombie Researchers, the X-infected scientist appears to be an ordinary human without signs of decay. This may be due to the X needing to use the scientist as a host to access the Main Boiler and therefore not combining him with slime DNA. Alternately, Adam states that the scientist was only recently infected, which could suggest that the Zombie Researchers' physical state may be due to being infected for a longer time.
- In early builds of Metroid Fusion, the researchers were pale green in color, bearing a resemblance to common depictions of zombies with green rotting flesh. They were also seen in a room that is not accessible in the final game without hacking.
- ^ a b Metroid Fusion manual, pg. 39
- ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). "After being infected by the X Parasite, Samus’ original Power Suit needed to be surgically removed. She recovered with the help of a vaccine created from Metroid DNA and returned with the new Fusion suit seen here. ¶ - SA-X ¶ - Samus ¶ - Samus’ Gunship ¶ - Zombie Researcher" 18 August 2021 17 August 2021 3:00 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/1428069256697090048
- ^ Adam: "We can now confirm the deaths of all crew members. I imagined this was the case, but I had hoped it wasn't so. I believe the X only infected the humans for knowledge... That form is too weak for battle. I am sure the others were merely food for the X..."
- ^ Adam: "The infected crewman you saw had survived until recently."