Metroid franchise strategy guide/Mother Brain

Template:General CVG character Mother Brain (マザーブレイン, Mazā Burein) (often referred to as the Mother Brain) is a major antagonist and boss of the Metroid video game series, acting as the cyborg computer of the Space Pirates.

The villain generally appears as an enormous brain with a single, lidded eye, protruding metal spikes and power cables, which is surrounded by a glass tank, various automated defense systems, and a pool of lava or acid.

Mother Brain is depicted as being female in the television show Captain N: The Game Master, as well as in other lesser-known comic books. Also, the Metroid Fusion manual does make a reference to Mother Brain being female by stating, "On Zebes, Samus also encountered the biomechanical Mother Brain, leader of the Space Pirates, and dispatched her in a bitter fight."



It is ambiguous whether or not Mother Brain is the true leader of the Space Pirates. According to Super Metroid's manual, Metroid: Zero Mission's manual, and both official manga, Ridley is the General of the Space Pirates while Mother Brain is just a biological computer which controls Zebes' defenses. However, the instruction manual for the original Metroid game, the manual for Metroid Fusion, the Nintendo Power comic, and the in-game introduction in Super Metroid refer to Mother Brain as the leader of the Space Pirates, with the original Metroid instruction manual going so far as to say that Ridley is actually controlled by Mother Brain. It should be noted however that the original Metroid has been retconned by Metroid: Zero Mission and the Nintendo Power comic is not canon. Metroid Prime confuses the issue even further in the Pirate Data logs by alluding to a High Command that issues orders, including the reconstruction of Ridley himself. One possible interpretation is that, since Mother Brain may have existed on Zebes before the Space Pirates arrived, that she "leads" them in the sense of a guide, leading them to conquest of the planet.

Aurora Unit at its chamber from the Metroid Prime 3 preview.

In the Metroid E-manga (which acts a guide to Samus' past), Mother Brain is actually an ally of the Chozo, who use it to keep track of data and reports. When Samus disarms a number of enemies but doesn't kill them Mother Brain pauses, but then orders her sentry bots to kill the disarmed invoking Samus' rage, although the story has not yet revealed a reason for Samus and Mother Brain to be enemies in the game or why Mother Brain is a member of the space pirates. However Mother Brain seems to be getting frustrated with the Chozo. The attitude between her and Samus is quite antagonistic even in the manga.

On August 13, 2007, the Wii Preview Channel for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption describes the Aurora unit organic supercomputer, which were originally created by Federation scientists twenty years prior to the game's present. These Aurora Units parallel Mother Brain's duties in the Metroid series, and it is likely she was, if not an Aurora Unit herself (as this contradicts the E-Manga as well as several other sources) then possibly the design-model for the other Aurora Units. According to the video released on the 13th, these computers can be used by government, military and large businesses, and can be given a male, female, or gender neutral persona. The video contains a schematic for an Aurora chamber nearly identical to the chamber in Tourian that houses Mother Brain in Super Metroid and highly like the chambers serving the same purpose in Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission. The game itself, however, did not clarify their relationship.

Another thing of note to Mother Brain's origins, is the B.O.X. Robot in Metroid Fusion. The B.O.X. is large piece of hardware, made for digging holes and maintenance work in the habitats in the B.S.L. Research Station. It is tremendously powerful to protect it from the powerful creatures the B.S.L. scientists have been collecting. When Samus battles the rogue B.O.X. Robot, she blasts apart its mid-section, revealing an organic brain controls it. Eventually the organic brain is replaced by an X-Parasite mimicking it, but the brain itself fused to a cybernetic system is reminiscent of Mother Brain and the Aurora Units, just on a smaller, more mobile level.


Mother Brain's second form from Super Metroid.

In the top three games of the list, Mother Brain is defended by Zebetites, life support units that block Samus' path. Mother Brain is defeated by first breaking its tank with missiles (or super missiles depending on the game), and then pummeling the brain itself. In Metroid: Zero Mission, not only are there rinka launchers and gun turrets, but the brain itself can fire a bolt of energy. In Super Metroid, the cyborg has an ace up its sleeve: after the destruction of its tank, Mother Brain seemingly collapses, but suddenly lifts herself up and is revealed to be part of a large, bipedal creature, with a range of powerful attacks (and a roar similar to Mothra).

In each game in which she is featured, Mother Brain's destruction initiates a self-destruct device, giving the player only a few minutes to escape before the area, atmosphere, or planet is incinerated. Catastrophic self-destruction countdowns are a well-known trademark of the Metroid series, as all but Metroid II: The Return of Samus feature at least one. Interestingly enough, Metroid and the bulk of Super Metroid take place on the planet Zebes. Though the damage done by the time bomb in Metroid is never assessed, in Super Metroid the entire planet is destroyed. In Metroid: Zero Mission Mother Brain's time bomb gutted only her control center and the adjacent rooms.

Other appearances

Animated Mother Brain as depicted in Captain N: The Game Master.
  • Mother Brain has appeared in WarioWare, Inc. series. The first game of the series, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$, has 9-Volt's microgame that re-enacts the fight between Samus and Mother Brain from the original NES Metroid. Samus must shoot missiles at Mother Brain to destroy it.


Metroid series
Mainline Metroid / Zero Mission | Return of Samus | Super | Fusion | Dread
Prime Prime | Prime 2: Echoes | Prime 3: Corruption | Prime: Hunters
Spinoffs Metroid Prime Pinball | Metroid Prime: Federation Force