Metroid Prime is a fictional character in Nintendo's Metroid franchise. It is a highly mutated Metroid which appears in Metroid Prime as the final boss. Its influence is felt throughout the entire series, making it the main antagonist of the Metroid Prime trilogy.
On Tallon IV, a planet inhabited by the Chozo, there was a prophecy that foretold a "Worm" would infest the planet. The prophecy foretold that the Worm would devour the planet from within and would bring a "Great Poison" along with it. However, the prophecy also foretold a great "Defender" (Samus Aran) would deliver the planet from evil and confront the "Worm".
Eventually, this prophecy came true. A Leviathan from Phaaze crashed into Tallon IV which started the destruction of the planet. Chozo who came in contact with Phazon became corrupted (or became victims of "Phazon madness", as referred to by the Space Pirates) and went mad. Known as "Turned," they destroyed everything they could and attacked other Chozo. This madness did not end with death, as some would become dangerous Chozo Ghosts, attacking all they encountered.
Seeing the evil that was corrupting the planet, the Chozos created a temple to contain the Leviathan, the source of the Phazon, as well as the Phazon itself. They named this temple the "Cradle". They created twelve Artifacts, known as "Cipher", that one must have to gain access to the temple and visit the Impact Crater of the meteor.
However, the problems the Chozos faced did not end. Space Pirates landed on the planet and were able to steal some of the Artifacts, causing the Chozo to scatter the rest of the Artifacts across the planet. The Space Pirates try to comprehend what the Artifacts do though do not succeed. They then tried to destroy the Artifact Temple, though failed again. The Space Pirates eventually found Phazon on the planet and gained access to the Impact Crater through mining. In the underground, they found the mutated Metroid, naming it "Metroid Prime". They then began mining operations on the planet to obtain more Phazon, using it for their experiments on both themselves and other creatures.
The Chozo came to the conclusion that Tallon IV was doomed to destruction. Before they left, they saw visions of Samus Aran exploring the planet. They left behind upgrades for her battle suit in hopes that one day she will fulfill the prophecy. They then left the planet.
Space Pirate DataEdit
According to NTSC-version Space Pirate Data, Metroid Prime was discovered in a cavern by a mining crew. It quickly killed the miners, though was able to be contained by security units and drones. Studies were then conducted on the Metroid. They discovered that it is genetically similar to a Metroid, though much more "evolved". It has a limitless capacity for Phazon and is not affected by the substance. It never stops growing and has some psychotic behavior, likely due to the Phazon.
Metroid Prime was at one time kept in a stasis tank. There was a large batch of Phazon in the room it was in and, sensing it, destroyed its tank and consumed all the Phazon. It also managed to assimilate several weapons and defense systems from fallen security units and began using its new weapons against the Space Pirates. They were able to contain it though were not able to remove the equipment, making them an integral part of Metroid Prime's body.
Metroid Prime eventually managed to fully assimilate the equipment, granting it armor plating and powerful defense screens.
In the PAL-version of the game, however, the Space Pirates on Tallon IV were merely aware of the presence of some creature within the containment field of the Cradle. They also detected it fed on Phazon.
When Samus arrived on Tallon IV, the planet was greatly corrupted by Phazon. She explored the planet, ridding it of its corrupted creatures and destroying the Space Pirate base. She eventually collected the twelve Chozo Artifacts and gained access to the Impact Crater, though she had to dispose of Meta Ridley first.
Inside, instead of the normal blue Phazon seen throughout the planet, orange Phazon could be seen. Samus also found Fission Metroids, Metroids corrupted due to the high concentration of Phazon. As she progressed through the Impact Crater, she met Metroid Prime.
Samus manages to defeat Metroid Prime, but it escapes, and Samus follows it. When Samus lands, she finds Metroid Prime's plating has been cast off with Phazon oozing out of it. The core essence of Metroid Prime flies out of the plating.
Once Samus has defeated Metroid Prime's second form, it morphs into an odd looking blob, similar to a Metroid or a Core-X from Metroid Fusion, and grabs Samus with its tentacles. Despite Samus resisting, it takes her Phazon Suit (leaving her in her Gravity Suit) and all other sources of Phazon in the general vicinity and explodes, causing the entire cavern to collapse with Samus barely escaping. Samus races to her gunship, observes the Artifact Temple in its destroyed state, and leaves the planet, successfully fulfilling the prophecy.
Main article: Dark Samus
Despite Samus killing Metroid Prime and causing the cavern to collapse on itself, it was reborn. With the absorption of the Phazon Suit, its own DNA, and Samus's DNA, the Phazon that Prime left behind was able to reconstruct itself into a body similar to Samus's. It could now travel across space and was more powerful than ever before. It was dubbed "Dark Samus" ("Dark Hunter" to the Space Pirates) due to the dark color of its suit and its malevolent nature.
On the Metroid Prime 3: Corruption model of Dark Samus, the creature's original face can be seen on her chest.
Despite the Prime subseries being over, Metroid Prime's origins were never fully explained, though the Prime website states its homeworld to be SR-388. Strangely, the website also features a picture of the Metroid Prime in a form never encountered in any game, but it somewhat resembles the exoskeletal form. In Corruption, the room just before the battle with Dark Samus on planet Phaaze features exoskeletons very similar to Prime's (it is unknown if they belong to the Metroid Prime found on Tallon IV or to other Primes living on Phaaze); it is also filled with both Phazon and Metroids (though they can be found throughout Phaaze), indicating that it was simply a heavily mutated/corrupted Metroid. This further complicates the issue, as this implies that Metroids have been living on Phaaze long before the entire Prime series took place, making it impossible for Pirates (the first who discovered it) to have implanted Metroids on Phaaze before the first Metroid Prime. This raises the question on how and when Metroids appeared on Phaaze (allowing one to evolve into Prime and having it launched to Tallon IV in a Leviathan) when SR-388 is supposedly their homeworld. Some theories tell that the Chozo, the original creators of the Metroids, crash-landed on Phaaze along with a batch of Metroids after evacuating Planet SR-388.
But whatever its origins, it is clear that Metroid Prime was the creature chosen to guard Tallon IV's Leviathan's core. This raises the question of where the core went. A possibility is that since Metroids can tolerate more Phazon than most creatures, after becoming disappointed on the amount of Phazon the core was feeding it, it absorbed the core itself, absorbing its ability to create Phazon. The fact that the Phazon on Tallon IV is destroyed after Prime's death enforces the theory. While Tallon IV was inhabited by the Chozo, who created the Metroids, they did not mention in any of their lore if they recognized Prime as a Metroid.