July 15, 2021 10:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Since the initial E3 2021 announcement of Metroid Dread for Nintendo Switch, on the game’s official website, Nintendo, together with developer MercurySteam, have steadily been releasing information about the game via their Metroid Dread Reports. Each volume always makes for interesting reading and just in case you’ve been missing out on them, here is a recap of every report so far, which incidentally are released 15 days apart. (June 15, June 30 and July 15, 2021):

Metroid Dread Report Vol. 1: A Closer Look at the Reveal Trailer (June 15, 2021)

 

Welcome to the Metroid™ Dread Report! This series will introduce the newest information on the Metroid Dread game and the world of the Metroid series, along with behind-the-scenes glimpses from the game’s development team.

In this inaugural edition, we’ll be going into more detail on certain elements shown in the announcement trailer. Plus, get special transmissions from the game’s creators on how intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran’s latest adventure took form.

The Meaning of “Dread”:

The word “Dread” in the game’s title signifies fear and terror. In this entry in the series, the team has created a fresh new take on the Metroid experience by combining the series’ universal theme of exploration with the concept of a looming, terrifying threat.

Transmission from the Dev Team: (1)

With the Metroid series, we’ve always challenged ourselves to surprise players. The idea for a terrifying threat is a theme that we’ve been thinking about for over 15 years. You could call it fate. We have been able to show a bit of that in the announcement trailer, but there are other threats that Samus must face, as well—which we will talk about at a later date.

What’s Past is Prologue:

Hear the lead-up to her latest mission from Samus herself:

The X is a terrifyingly lethal parasite that takes over organic creatures, mimicking them afterward based on their genetic information.

It once infected me too. But my life was saved, thanks to a vaccine created from the X’s natural enemy: Metroids. Not only that, it made me into the only being capable of fighting this creature that threatens the galaxy. After a deadly battle with the SA-X, a copy of me at my full capabilities, I finally succeeded in wiping out the X, along with the planet SR388.

However…

One day, the Galactic Federation received video footage from an unknown source indicating that the X still lived. The Federation dispatched a special unit consisting of seven E.M.M.I. robots to the remote planet ZDR, believed to be the source of the transmission.

Soon after arriving on ZDR, the whole unit mysteriously vanished.

Does the X truly still exist? And just what is happening on ZDR? It’s up to me, the only one immune to the X parasite, to go find out…

Transmission from the Dev Team: (2)

This entry marks the end of the story arc focusing on the strange, interconnected fates of Samus Aran and the Metroids, which began all the way back in the first Metroid game for the Nintendo Entertainment System™.

For those who have followed the series, you may have many questions about the story of the Metroid Dread game. Does the X parasite truly exist on ZDR? Why are the E.M.M.I. hunting Samus? How will the story of Samus, the Metroids , and their interconnected fates end?

Of course, those who have not played Metroid before may not be familiar with the events leading up to the Metroid Dread game. Please know that the story of this entry in the saga can be understood on its own, so rest assured you are safe to begin your Metroid adventures here.

The Creeping Terror of E.M.M.I:

The Extraplanetary Multiform Mobile Identifiers—or E.M.M.I.—are highly agile, large research robots that were dispatched to planet ZDR by the Galactic Federation to capture and extract DNA from unknown creatures. But now, for some reason, they are on a relentless chase to capture Samus.

The protective plating on the E.M.M.I. is said to be made of the strongest stuff in the universe. Samus’ attacks bounce clean off them—so your best option might just be to run away.

Transmission from the Dev Team: (3)

You could say the E.M.M.I. are a representation of the concept of a terrifying threat that we’ve spent so long considering. Since these are robots, they have no feelings or hesitation. They come straight after their target and ruthlessly kill in one stab. Samus must accomplish her mission while contending with these cold, calculating, and extremely strong enemies.

Improved Actions:

Samus’ basic actions have been enhanced and are now more satisfying than ever to use. Next, let’s introduce some of her actions showcased in the announcement trailer.

Melee Counter and Dash Melee: With a well-timed Melee Counter, Samus can strike at an enemy’s weak point. This ability was first seen in the Metroid: Samus Returns game for the Nintendo 3DS™ system, and in this installment she can use the move while running with Dash Melee. This helps Samus to now leverage counters as offensive actions by jumping in close to the enemy and countering.

Free Aim: Samus can aim and fire in any angle. In the Metroid: Samus Returns game, Samus had to plant her feet in order to aim freely. Now, she can also make fine adjustments to her aim while on the move in the direction she’s facing.

Slide: Slide is a new action in the series, allowing Samus to move through small gaps without stopping.

Spider Magnet: With this new ability, Samus can move, shoot, and even counter while hanging onto a wall. This can only be used on the blue magnetic strips attached to select walls and ceilings.

Transmission from the Dev Team: (4)

We made multiple improvements to Samus’ movements and abilities so that you may enjoy faster and smoother gameplay.

With the collaboration of the Metroid team at Nintendo and MercurySteam Entertainment—who worked on the Metroid II: Return of Samus™ remake for the Nintendo 3DS system called Metroid: Samus Returns—we have refined Samus’ basic actions even further.

Other Scenes of Interest

The trailer has more scenes filled with details that we plan to introduce in upcoming Metroid Dread Reports. Please stay tuned for more!

Transmission from the Dev Team: (5)

We’ve finally announced the Metroid Dread game, the idea for which we’ve been formulating for over 15 years. There is a lot more we wish to share with you about the game, so please look forward to future Metroid Dread Reports.

Metroid Dread Report Vol. 2: Researching the E.M.M.I. (June 30, 2021)

 

Welcome to the Metroid™ Dread Report! This series will introduce the newest information on the Metroid Dread game and the world of the Metroid series, along with behind-the-scenes glimpses from the game’s development team.

In this edition, we’ll be taking a closer look at the threat stalking bounty hunter Samus Aran—the E.M.M.I. Originally dispatched by the Galactic Federation for research purposes, these large, highly agile, and extremely deadly robots are now in relentless pursuit of Samus. Read on to learn more about these breathtaking machines and a few of the changes they bring to the world of Metroid.

What are E.M.M.I.?:

An Extraplanetary Multiform Mobile Identifier—or E.M.M.I.—is a highly agile research robot equipped with the ability to extract DNA. The Galactic Federation dispatched several to the uncharted planet ZDR in order to research whether the X parasite, a lifeform with mimicking capabilities, exists. But, somehow, the E.M.M.I. on ZDR went dark.

On her subsequent mission to investigate what’s happening on ZDR, Samus encounters the E.M.M.I.—only to find their behaviors and intent seemingly corrupted.

 

Transmission from the Dev Team: (1)

The E.M.M.I. are robots that belong to the Galactic Federation, so they are not ordinarily an enemy of Samus. However, the E.M.M.I. that appear before Samus identify her as a target and relentlessly chase after her. Our belief is that the E.M.M.I.’s lack of emotion and overwhelming power will combine to create a threat so great that they strike terror in the hearts of players.

What happens if Samus is Caught?:

E.M.M.I. roam freely within their zone. Depending on what their sensors are picking up, they are programmed to take one of three courses of actions, indicated by the color of their light:

Patrol Mode (blue light): Roaming the area and has not yet detected Samus.

Search Mode (yellow light): Investigating a suspicious sound.

Pursuit Mode (red light): Pursuing its locked-on target at high speed.

When Samus is caught by the E.M.M.I., it’s almost certainly the end for her. Be very careful to avoid detection as you explore zones where E.M.M.I. are active.

Transmission from the Dev Team: (2)

If caught by the E.M.M.I., you may still have a chance to escape—however slim it may be! Strike with a well-timed Melee Counter the instant the E.M.M.I. opens itself up to attack. However, this window of opportunity has such narrow timing of success you may consider it nearly impossible to land a counter—so much so that you may want to avoid this situation at all costs.

However, there’s always a nearby checkpoint to restart from, which should be helpful if something goes sideways and Samus is captured.

 

E.M.M.I. Zone Doors:

The E.M.M.I. are confined to roam only within designated E.M.M.I. Zones. These zones are separated from the rest of the world by E.M.M.I. Zone Doors—and only Samus can freely move through them.

When the E.M.M.I. visually identifies Samus and begins its heated pursuit, the E.M.M.I. Zone Doors lock down. To get them back open, you must shake the E.M.M.I. off your trail.

 

Transmission from the Dev Team: (3)

The Zones where you must contend with the E.M.M.I. threat are limited. It’s otherwise too stressful to have this kind of sustained tension!

When you enter an E.M.M.I. Zone, your map registers the layout of the Zone and the locations of the Zone Doors, which is helpful for making important decisions around where to go. Just remember: stay calm and check the map to get your bearings when you enter.

 

A New Ability: Phantom Cloak:

Phantom Cloak is one of Samus’ new Aeion Abilities, using optical camouflage to render her invisible. While this ability is active, Samus can move without causing any sound and she will go undetected by the E.M.M.I.’s optical sensor.

Samus can activate this ability by consuming a special type of energy called Aeion. However, if Samus walks or otherwise engages while the ability is active, she will more quickly burn through Aeion. If all of her Aeion is depleted, Samus may continue using Phantom Cloak at the cost of her Energy. Manage these resources carefully.

Transmission from the Dev Team: (4)

By using Phantom Cloak, you can not only prevent the E.M.M.I. from detecting Samus, but also walk through doors that close when detecting humans.

You’ll find this ability is useful against all enemies—not just the E.M.M.I.—so you may want to consider using it to bypass others when you’re low on Energy.

 

Are the E.M.M.I. Invincible?:

The protective plating on the E.M.M.I. is made of a special material said to be the strongest stuff in the universe and can deflect Samus’ standard attacks. However, by taking in the energy from the Central Units—the mother computers managing each E.M.M.I. Zone—her arm cannon temporarily powers up to become an Omega Cannon, and she becomes able to fire the Omega Stream and Omega Blaster. The E.M.M.I. are vulnerable to these forces.

Omega Stream: When Samus’ Omega Cannon is online, hold down the L button to enter Aim Mode. Next, hold the Y button to unleash Omega Stream, a powerful, rapid-fire attack. Continuously striking the head of the E.M.M.I. with this attack will cause its protective plating to overheat and shatter, leaving its core—its weak point—exposed.

Omega Blaster: Hold down the R button while aiming with the Omega Cannon to power up a charged shot. Press the Y button after fully charging to unleash a deadly Omega Blaster attack. Strike the exposed core of the E.M.M.I. with this blast to defeat it. The Omega Cannon will revert to Samus’ regular Arm Cannon once the E.M.M.I. is defeated.

Transmission from the Dev Team: (5)

Samus cannot move while charging the Omega Blaster. As the deadly E.M.M.I. approaches, you’ll have to overcome your fear and stand your ground to charge the Omega Blaster, then unleash this energy to land a finishing blow. This creates a build-up of tension and an exhilarating payoff for the player after pulling it off successfully.

 

How Many E.M.M.I. are there?:

The announcement trailer shows several E.M.M.I., including two models that differ in color as well as a broken one.

However, this illustration shows seven shadows of E.M.M.I. behind Samus. It seems there are more kinds of E.M.M.I. out there!

Transmission from the Dev Team: (6)

Each of the E.M.M.I. have different abilities. What kinds of abilities, you may ask? Why, the E.M.M.I. hold countless mysteries, but we’ll save this mystery for another time.

Metroid Dread Report Vol. 3: Seven Points that Define the 2D Saga (July 15, 2021)

 

Welcome to the Metroid™ Dread Report! This series will introduce the newest information on the Metroid Dread game and the world of the Metroid series, along with behind-the-scenes glimpses from the game’s development team.

The original Metroid game launched in 1986 for the Family Computer Disk System in Japan—that’s 35 years ago now—and would arrive in North America and Europe later for the Nintendo Entertainment System™. Whether you’re new to the series or simply haven’t adventured with Samus in a while, here’s a closer look at seven key points that make a 2D Metroid game, well, a “Metroid” game.

1. Samus Aran:

Lead character Samus Aran is a super-skilled bounty hunter who has single-handedly confronted and defeated multiple galactic threats. She is said to be the strongest warrior in the galaxy.

Samus is renowned throughout the galaxy, but few know her true identity.

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Transmission from the Dev Team: (1)

Many people know Samus from the Super Smash Bros.™ series. (By the way, the Zero Suit Samus fighter who also appears in Super Smash Bros. is this same Samus, but without her Power Suit.)

In the Metroid Dread game, Samus’s suit appears to have changed quite a bit from her previous missions. In the Metroid Fusion game, Samus’ suit was greatly transformed after the emergency removal of pieces eroded by the X parasite and a life-saving injection of the Metroid vaccine—resulting in an organic appearance for her suit. Now, her suit is gradually returning to its original, mechanical Power Suit form.

 

2. Metroid:

This enigmatic, floating life form has the terrifying ability to attach onto other organisms and absorb their energy.

Originally, the Metroid were artificially created by the Chozo—an intelligent species with a vision for galactic harmony—to destroy the dangerous X parasitical life form found on planet SR388.

Some have tried to weaponize Metroids because of their energy-absorbing ability, which has made this species the source of several conflicts in the past.

Samus was sent to planet SR388 by the Galactic Federation on a mission to eradicate the Metroid. She successfully accomplished her mission and returned with a Metroid hatchling in tow. As Samus was the first creature the hatchling saw, the “baby Metroid” imprinted onto her and believed Samus to be its mother. Soon after, however, this Metroid would become a source of conflict with the Space Pirates. In an ensuing battle, this Metroid would bravely sacrifice itself to save Samus. The species would go completely extinct after one of Samus’s later missions.

By the time of the Metroid Dread game’s events, the Metroid species no longer exists.

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Transmission from the Dev Team: (1)

You may not know if you haven’t played the series before, but this character that looks like a jellyfish is the titular “Metroid.” I’m sure some of you may have thought that the character Samus was named Metroid?

The name “Metroid” comes from the Chozo word meaning “ultimate warrior.”

While the Metroids have already gone extinct by the time of the events of the Metroid Dread game, it could be fun to speculate about what role they play in this adventure.

3. 35 years:

To date, the history of the Metroid series spans 35 years, beginning with the original Metroid game released in 1986 for the Family Computer Disk System in Japan. The game would later release in North America and Europe for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987 and 1988, respectively.

The original game kicked off the story arc of what is commonly referred to as the “2D Metroid series,” which tells the tale of the uncanny, intertwined fates of Samus Aran and the enigmatic Metroids. The Metroid Dread game concludes this story arc.

Over 35 years, the 2D Metroid series has played out over these games, leading up to the Metroid Dread game:

Metroid (JP: 1986 / NA: 1987): The original Metroid game tells the story of a battle that takes place between Samus and the Space Pirates on the planet Zebes. Later, this game would be remade and expanded on as the Metroid: Zero Mission game for the Game Boy Advance™ system.

The original NES game can be played on the Nintendo Switch™ system via the Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online app*.

Metroid II (1991): Samus is sent by the Galactic Federation to eradicate the dangerous Metroids found on planet SR388. She returns from her mission with the imprinted Metroid hatchling. This entry was later remade and expanded on with the Metroid: Samus Returns game for the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems.

Super Metroid (1994): The Space Pirates return to steal the Metroid hatchling for their own nefarious purposes. Samus must again travel to planet Zebes to retrieve the hatchling and put an end to the Space Pirate threat.

The Super Metroid game is available to play on the Nintendo Switch system via the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online app*.

Metroid Fusion (2002): Aboard the orbiting Biologic Space Laboratories (B.S.L.) station, Samus battles many forms of the terrifying X parasite—a life form capable of overtaking organic creatures and mimicking their hosts completely based on their genetic information. One of these forms is the SA-X, a deadly mimic of Samus in her Power Suit at full strength.

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Transmission from the Dev Team: (4)

We developed the Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid: Samus Returns games, which are remakes of the first two games in the series, but it’s been 19 years since a brand-new title released in this saga—which means we’ve kept you waiting for more than half of the 35-year history of the entire series to see what happens next. As such, we have plentifully poured in what we have been preparing, and we believe everyone will be able to experience the game with many surprises within.

There’ll be an introduction to the story at the beginning of the game, so those who have not yet played the rest of the series can jump right in and feel at home.

4. Exploration:

The games in the Metroid series don’t follow a linear “clear the stage” setup—they are exploratory action games where you journey through a sophisticated, maze-like world. Picking up new items and weapons along the way lets you expand the areas you can visit, allowing you to explore new destinations and discover alternate routes. Map-reading and navigation skills can be quite helpful.

The map itself has evolved, too. Where previous maps used a simple cell-based view, this new map has become a more detailed navigational tool that can show things like differing terrains.

Icon Highlight: This feature allows you to highlight and view the same type of icons across all area maps. It can be extremely handy when looking for places you can newly explore after obtaining an ability.

Marker: Place up to six markers of different colors anywhere you’d like on the map. These markers will also appear on your minimap during gameplay.

Zoom: You can zoom in and out on the map screen to get a better look at things.

Hidden item hints: Glowing places on the map indicate there are hidden items within that range.

Expand the minimap: During normal gameplay, pressing the Left Directional Button on the Joy-Con™ controller will expand your view of the minimap in the top-right corner of the screen.

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Transmission from the Dev Team: (5)

Since the Metroid series of games is all about exploring, it was clear to us that the map—the foundation of exploration—would be an important thing for us to focus on. This new map is powered up from previous, traditional maps in terms of look and function, which we think will make exploring the world feel even smoother than before.

In addition, players can enjoy greater freedoms when exploring compared to in previous installments, which might encourage you to try new strategies each time you play through.

 

5. Arsenal and Abilities:

Samus’s arsenal includes a range of weapons. The Power Beam is her standard Arm Cannon attack, Missile attacks are powerful but restricted by how many Samus can carry, and her Bombs can break down certain walls and obstacles.

In addition to her weapons, Samus’s basic physical abilities and special abilities will power up as she explores and discovers new capabilities.

Powering up lets Samus get through doors that were previosuly blocked off, as well as get past obstacles and areas to continue on her journey.

Transmission from the Dev Team: (6)

Every time Samus powers up, her offensive power and agility greatly increase. There will be more doors she can open, walls she can destroy, and paths she can take.

With this kind of progression, you might look at paths and barriers in a different light than you did before—and we believe the players holding the controller can, too, feel this same growth alongside Samus.

6. The Chozo:

The Chozo were known to be a highly intelligent species capable of developing amazing technologies. Their primary mission was to achieve lasting harmony across the galaxy.

Once a very powerful force with both intelligence and military might, their position weakened over many years. Now, only a few of them have been sighted, and these remaining Chozo mostly try to avoid attention.

Chozo relics—such as ancient ruins from their former civilization—have been found in multiple locations across the galaxy.

Transmission from the Dev Team: (7)

In fact, Samus’s equipment—like the Power Suit and Arm Cannon—are Chozo technology. When Samus was young, she lost her parents and her home in a tragic incident and was raised by the Chozo on planet Zebes.

During that time, she received a Chozo DNA transplant, which allows her to adapt to environments that are otherwise harsh for humans.

On planet ZDR, where the Metroid Dread game takes place, there are various implications to be discovered surrounding Chozo civilization, which might connect with the game’s story in some way.

 

7. The X Parasite:

This parasitic life form is one of the deadliest in the universe. It can inhabit living or dead organic creatures and use their host’s genetic information to mimic them completely.

The Metroid species was created by the Chozo to destroy the X. Thanks to Samus, the X have been reduced to cosmic dust along with their native planet, SR388.

Transmission from the Dev Team: (8)

The story in this game starts with a mysterious transmission that implies the X—which Samus was gravely afflicted by and is thought to have destroyed in the Metroid Fusion game—may still exist.

Are the X still out there, or is it something else? Please see for yourself.

We hope you enjoyed all of the information and imagery shared above. For more Metroid Dread Reports, more are on the way in the coming weeks, with the fourth instalment said to cover “Unraveling the story of the series spanning 35 years.”

 

 

 

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This post was written by Jack Longman

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