Metroid franchise strategy guide/Space Pirate

The Space Pirates are members of a fictional, alien, intelligent and militaristic species that appear throughout the Metroid series, as well as other members of the criminal/terrorist organization that the species comprises. Resembling bipedal crustaceans, they are sometimes referred to as Zebesian Space Pirates, or just Zebesians in the Super Metroid game manual, although later games have revealed that the Pirates are not native to the planet Zebes. The Space Pirates species was not present during the events of the original Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus.

HistoryEdit

The Space Pirates were first encountered shortly after the founding of the Galactic Federation. These Pirate groups would attack and raid spaceships to search for loot and to instill fear in the people of the Galactic Federation. Their main goal was (and for the entirety of the series, is) to take over as the dominant force in the Galaxy.

During one particular Pirate raid led by Ridley, the Pirates targeted the colony K2-L in an attempt to steal the mineral called Afloraltite, a great source of fuel and energy. During the raid, a small human child came upon Ridley amidst all the destruction. Ridley attacked the girl, but her mother took the blow for her. With the mother dead, Ridley planned to kill the small child, but an explosion destroyed his ship (caused by the girl's father in a suicide bombing) and he was forced to leave. This girl was later brought to Zebes by Chozo who she then lived with. This girl, Samus Aran, grew up with the Chozo even as she developed a hatred for the Pirates.

On an expedition to SR388, The Federation discovered an organism known as a Metroid. Studies showed that exposure to beta rays would cause them to multiply. This 'Metroid' is theorized to have wiped out an advanced civilization on SR388.

When the Pirates learned of it, they immediately set out and attacked the ship containing the capsule. They stole the hibernating Metroid and brought it to the fortress planet of Zebes in hopes of using the Metroid as a biological weapon. The planet, a confusing labyrinth underneath and an impregnable rock layer on top, was a prime selection for the Space Pirates. The Federation, knowing what destruction this creature could cause, sent out search teams to find the Metroid and return it to Federation authority.

Eventually, they tracked the Pirates down and began attacking the planet and the Pirate base, yet none of their forces could penetrate it. Meanwhile, the Pirates in the base were successfully cloning Metroids, and the Federation was now desperate. They proceeded to called in the famous Space Hunter, Samus Aran, to stop the Pirates, destroy the Metroids, and eliminate the Pirate leader which ran the base on Zebes which was a creature named Ridely and the Pirate computer, Mother Brain.

Metroid / Metroid Zero MissionEdit

In the original Metroid the Space Pirates were not featured in the game at all; their activities were only mentioned in the game's instruction manual. For the remake Metroid: Zero Mission, Space Pirates were included in the game's final section. Their appearance (or lack thereof) in Tourian in the original Metroid is retconned in Zero Mission, as dried Space Pirate husks are seen strewn throughout the Metroid-infested area. It can be assumed that the Space Pirates lost control of the creatures and were wiped out. This would be the first, but far from the last, time that a pirate group would meet this fate.

Metroid PrimeEdit

File:Space Pirate.jpg
Space Pirate as seen in Metroid Prime

After the destruction of their Zebesian base, the Pirates split into two groups; one would return to Zebes and attempt to rebuild their base and revive Mother Brain while the other searched for a powerful energy source to aid the Pirates (somewhat reminiscent of their previous hunts for Afloraltite). Not long after did the second group detect a massive energy supply emitting from the planet Tallon IV, a former home of the Chozo. The Pirates then landed there, and set up a base to find the energy and use it. When found, they named it Phazon, a radioactive substance directly responsible for the decline of Tallon IV's environment.

Building a base in the Phendrana Drifts, where the cold temperatures made it easier to maintain and control experimental life-forms, as well as a massive mining complex, the Pirates began experimenting with Phazon. Once they learned of its potential, they began exposing Tallon's inhabitants to Phazon. However, initial tests were unsuccessful, and most third generation specimens died.

However, they eventually mastered Phazon exposure, and learned that if the creature survived the infusion process, muscle tissue would grow, though brain tissue degenerated, causing insanity. Eventually, with enough testing of different Phazon types, the Space Pirates found a way to mutate organisms without much loss of brain tissue.

Eventually they brought Metroids to Tallon IV to see what a Metroid's reaction to Phazon would be. After an initial problem at the landing site resulting in the death of three Metroids, they were safely transported to Phendrana Drifts, due to a new find that cold temperatures made them sluggish. They soon learned that Metroids could absorb this energy without limitation, resulting in a different evolutionary growth; they would evolve either into Fission Metroids or Hunter Metroids.

Once mastered, they even began experimenting on their own kind, which ended up being the creation of the Elite Pirates, the Phazon Elites, and the culmination of their efforts created the Elite Pirate Upsilon, or the Omega Pirate. Certain Phazon would bring a new age to the Pirates, they continued Phazon experimentation with various creatures, including parasites on an orbiting frigate, Orpheon.

Late in their operations they traced Phazon back to its source; the impact crater of the meteor that brought Phazon to Tallon IV. They sensed massive energy readings from within, and even detected bio signs of a giant creature located in the crater, absorbing high amounts of Phazon. However, they could not access said crater due to a powerful containment surrounding it. Tracing the field back to a Chozo Temple, they learned that in order to breach the shield, twelve Chozo artifacts would be needed. Finding a few, they continued their search in hope of controlling both the Phazon and the creature in the crater.

In the original, U.S. version of Metroid Prime, the Space Pirates eventually found the creature, and named it Metroid Prime. They were amazed at its capabilities: not only could it absorb Phazon, but it could also produce it. They tried to contain it, but it escaped several times, at one point assimilating Space Pirate weaponry. Other versions of the game laid out the sequence of events differently. The pirates were only able to detect Prime beneath the surface, leaving its name and the technology it had absorbed unexplained.

They also resurrected the defeated Ridley, and added cybernetic enhancements, making him an even fiercer opponent. They called their new creation "Meta Ridley". The Space Pirate High Command also planned on allowing him to head Pirate Security. However, he could not do so until his enhancements were complete on Orpheon.

In the Chozo Ruins while exploring for Chozo items, they encountered several Chozo-like entities, named Chozo Ghosts. Killing many personnel, the Pirates planned on destroying these apparitions, which seemed to haunt several religious areas.

Eventually, Phazon exposure of the Parasites resulted in the birth of four enormous mutant Parasite Queens. Two died due to Phazon overexposure, but the remaining two survived, and one escaped. It and the mutated Parasites eventually eliminated or injured a significant majority of the Pirates on board, excluding Meta Ridley. A distress signal was sent out, but Samus Aran detected the distress call and went out to find its source. Eliminating a Parasite Queen, she was forced to flee as the body fell into the reactor. On the way out, she spotted Meta Ridley, chasing after him as he escaped to the planet.

After causing havoc in their Phendrana base, she proceeded on through the crashed Frigate Orpheon to Phazon Mines, where she learned of the Pirates somewhat successful attempts to duplicate Samus's weapons (the Power Beam, Wave Beam, Ice Beam, and Plasma Beam) and used them against her. While capable of similar power, they were of inferior design and could be destroyed by using the weapon that corresponded with their own.

Traveling deeper into the Mines, she encountered the Elite Pirates and the Phazon Elite, proceeding all the way to the Elite Quarters, where the Omega Pirate dwelt. After defeating the Pirate, it crashed upon her, infusing her suit with massive amounts of Phazon, creating the Phazon Suit. With the defeat of the Omega and the Elites, the Pirates were all but finished.

After acquiring all the Chozo Artifacts, Samus traveled to the Artifact Temple where she could access the Impact Crater and destroy the Phazon and the creature there. In a final attempt to stop her from entering the Crater, Meta Ridley arrived and tried to kill her once more, destroying much of the Temple in the process. Samus ultimately defeated him, and in their wrath, the spirits of the Chozo cause the statues of their race to send piercing lasers toward Ridley's body, with the large amount of force launching him over the edge of the Temple; the last that is seen of him is a massive explosion somewhere within the Crater.

HuntersEdit

The Pirates played a very small role during the events of Metroid Prime Hunters, but Weavel, a former Pirate general was introduced. In a previous battle with Samus Aran, he was defeated and supposedly killed, but was found by fellow Pirates and restored to health. However, the damage was so extensive his brain and spine were implanted in a space pirate copy of the chozo suit Samus wears. Although losing the rank of general, he quickly proceeded to the tops of the Pirate assassination force due to his unique physique and his prior training. Mastering the Battlehammer and utilizing his alternative form, the Halfturret, he proved himself to be a formidable foe. He was one of the many who received the telepathic message from the Alimbic Cluster, and took off in search of it. There he traveled the Cluster in search of Octoliths, which would lead him to the Ultimate Power spoke of in the message. However, whether or not he wanted the Ultimate Power for himself or for the Pirates is unknown.

Finally accessing the Oubliette when Samus Aran operated the Alimbic Cannon to find the Ultimate Power, he and the other Hunters joined together to open the seal holding what they believed the Ultimate Power was. However, when the seal broke, a monstrous creature known as Gorea emerged, who then drained them of energy and duplicated their weapons as its own.

After Samus Defeted Gorea (she had witnessed the defeat of the other Hunters) the Hunters ships, along with Weavel's, were seen escaping the exploding Oubliette. Nothing more is known of Weavel.

Metroid Prime 2: EchoesEdit

After their defeat on Tallon IV, the Pirates went off in search of more Phazon to compensate for their losses on Tallon IV. Finding energy readings on Aether, they traveled to what they presumed was a peaceful planet. They soon learned that a terrible war was being waged between the natives, the Luminoth, and an unknown foe. Creating a base in Agon Wastes, they discovered the Dark Beam, the means to open a portal that led to Dark Aether. Learning of a Phazon meteor that caused the planet to split into a Light and Dark world and the birth of a race of dark creatures known as the Ing, they immediately requested more military support, as even the atmosphere in Dark Aether was poisonous.

Realizing that all planetary Phazon was found in Dark Aether, they began mining operations, which turned into a disaster. The Ing, believing the Pirates to be enemies, constantly attacked the Pirates, possessing and destroying them. Not only that, but planetary instability was high due to a large attack somewhere in the mountains, most likely the Ing's raid of Sanctuary Fortress. Phazon experimentation on Metroids was also carried out.

The Pirates also were forced to deal with Dark Samus, who they believed was actually Samus Aran. The creature raided their base, only stealing Phazon to sustain itself and destroying anything that tried to hinder its progress. In one attack, Dark Samus destroyed the Pirates' shield generator, causing them to be discovered by the Federation ship Tyr, the original target of Samus's rescue mission. However, the Federation's weapons were ineffective against the Ing and the entire crew was soon killed.

Following Samus Aran's arrival on Aether, after finding out that Dark Samus was not Aran, the Pirates hoped to form an alliance with Dark Samus, discovering that it held a grudge against her for destroying its true form in Metroid Prime. However, this peace proposal went unheeded, and Dark Samus continued to interfere with the Pirates' plans until it was vaporized by Samus. After the collapse of Dark Aether, the Pirates were forced to abandon their base.

Metroid Prime 3: CorruptionEdit

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Pirates from the E3 2006 demo.

After the events of Echoes, the Galactic Federation rendered assistance to the remaining Luminoth in removing Space Pirate equipment from Aether. In doing so, the small amount of Phazon left on the planet was revealed, and the Federation salvaged a portion of what was left to conduct their own experiments. Upon learning of the remaining Phazon, the Pirates took it upon themselves to stealthily extract what was left of it, but in the process they had collected a dormant Dark Samus along with the Phazon.

Dark Samus took control of the Space Pirate force, brainwashing them into following her orders without question. They considered it an honor for Dark Samus to launch a Leviathan at their home planet, corrupting it with Phazon. In addition, they raided the G.F.S. Valhalla, stealing the ship's resident Aurora Unit, 313, and using it to corrupt the other Aurora Units with a Phazon virus. Due to Dark Samus' control over them, the Space Pirates become powered by Phazon instead of corrupted by it.

The Galactic Marine Corps. use a prototype suit stolen from Space Pirate bases. The suit is named the Phazon Enhancement Device (PED for short) the suit can transfer energy in a backpack to strengthen the body of the user. Apparently the suit of the Marine Corps. is much safer than the Space Pirate technology. The original suit caused many Space Pirates to produce a disease called Phazon Fever. It was possibly referenced in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes that a pirate got this "fever" showing that the Space Pirates were possibly experimenting this suit even then. The Space Pirates have perfected the technology as well, however; most of their main force is capable of using the PED at will.

In the game, the Space Pirate Homeworld (never given a specific name) is visited for the first time. It appears that all traces of organic material, with the exception of Phazon, has been purged from the planet; everything is metallic. Acid rain constantly pours down in unsheltered locations, harming those without proper protection. A series of connected subways are used to traverse the homeworld effectively.

According to scans of Space Pirate Militias, disobedient members often find themselves as "dinner" for regular troopers, suggesting that Space Pirates are (at least to some degree) cannibalistic.

Super MetroidEdit

Gone from the events of Metroid II: Return of Samus, they returned for Super Metroid in a second attempt to use Metroids for galactic conquest. At some point before this game, they allied themselves with the KiHunters, Space Pirates from another galaxy. Reestablishing a base on Zebes, the Space Pirates also resurrect the mainstays of the Pirate armies: Kraid and Ridley, along with Mother Brain. Ridley goes out to steal the last known Metroid hatchling from a space colony, shortly after it was brought there by Samus, who was returning from an expedition to SR-388 where she wiped out the rest of the species. A distress signal was sent out quickly, and Samus returned, but Ridley escaped with the Metroid.

Samus chased Ridley back to Zebes, and finally defeated the final boss needed to unlock Tourian in the deeper section of Norfair. It is unknown if Phantoon and Draygon were associated with the Space Pirates in any way, but given their importance, along with Kraid and Ridley to open the final section of the game, they might have been leaders of some sort. Supporting this theory are the golden statues built on the entrance to Tourian, which represent (and possibly honor) the four major bosses in Super Metroid: Kraid, Phantoon, Draygon and Ridley. Samus, having access to the core of the base, entered and faced the Mother Brain but was unprepared to face Mother Brain's second form. As Mother Brain was about to destroy Samus, the Super Metroid arrived and refilled her energy. Mother Brain destroyed the Metroid during the process, but not before it powered up Samus's Power Beam. Samus, enraged by the death of the Metroid, used her new weapon to destroy Mother Brain. Escaping, Samus saw the final destruction of Zebes, and a powerful blow to the Pirate organization. The Metroids had been hunted to extinction, Ridley, Kraid and Mother Brain were once again destroyed, but whether or not the Space Pirates were finished or if they had more bases is unknown at this time.

Metroid FusionEdit

Once again the Pirates played a small role during the events of Fusion. Samus stumbled upon the frozen corpse of Ridley on the B.S.L. station, in cold storage by Federation scientists. X Parasites mimicking Pirate troopers also appeared, suggesting that they somehow absorbed Pirate DNA. It is unknown if there were any Pirates on the station, since they would have been killed, and subsequently mimicked, by the parasite.

OrganizationsEdit

High CommandEdit

There are a number of references to "Command" or "High Command" in Pirate logs in both Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Command is apparently the head of the Space Pirates, responsible for issuing orders, troops, and supplies. While this body is authoriatarian, it is not totalitarian, as one Space Pirate's log on Aether openly rebelled against the government established there.

Science TeamEdit

There are several references to "Science Team" in Pirate Logs in both Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. It appears that they direct research. They are below Command in the hierarchy of Pirate society, but because they are not a military division, they have more leeway than the rest of the Pirates. Science Team appears at times to be rather detached from what actually goes on in the field; in particular, one major disaster involved their belief that Metroids could be domesticated; the creatures entered a rampage and killed some Pirates before being destroyed themselves.

It would seem that Science Team is sometimes at odds with some Pirate soldiers as evidenced by a miscellaneous Pirate Log which can be found in the Pirate's make-shift base camp in the Agon Wastes of Aether. The log appears to be written by a skeptical Pirate who disagrees with a plan of Science Team's, making the point of saying that Science Team "has vapor for brains."

Security Team(s)Edit

The group of Pirates that Samus Aran finds herself fighting off in the Metroid games. Security Team is not so much a group as it is a name for the group of Pirates who have the responsibility of defending bases from intruders. They are also in charge of defending and/or carrying out scientific experiments for the higher orders.

Pirate society and lawsEdit

In the Space Pirate society, obedience is a strict law. Those who do not comply with orders from higher command officials will be met with strict and cruel punishment. The punishments range from simple ration and pay cuts to death; offenses punishable by death include any signs of cowardice in a battle or sympathy towards a victim, as well as inability to follow orders, which is considered equal to treason. However, they do appear to allow free speech, as some computers in Echoes have messages that criticize High Command or Science Team. Whether these aggressive traits are inherent to the species or merely a product of their society remains a mystery.

The true leader of the Space Pirates is the subject of some debate. The Mother Brain was assumed to fill that role for some time, but the Metroid manga revealed that the Mother Brain was an ally of the Chozo on Zebes before it was taken by the Pirates. Also, the repeated mention of a High Command in the Prime games indicate that many Pirate operations take their orders from another source. According to the last game to mention leadership, Metroid Zero Mission, Ridley is (or, at least, was) the leader.

While the Space Pirates appear to be very good at stealing and modifying technology and bioforms, they seem to have little regard for the safety of their researchers, soldiers or experimental subjects. Given the rate at which they seem to go through each of the above, as well as their willingness to experiment on their own species, it can be assumed that they have a vast existing population and/or a rapid breeding rate. The recurrence of certain powerful creatures (primarily Ridley, but also Kraid and Mother Brain) suggests that the Pirates possess some sort of resurrection or cloning technology, which may also explain their willingness to let mass numbers of their own kind die. The method by which the Space Pirates reproduce, and even whether or not they have sexual traits, is still unknown.

In Prime, a message warning of Phazon madness in pets indicates that the Pirates keep domesticated animals, though no such animals are actually seen. In Echoes, one computer's information states that a member of the Science Team had been affected by Phazon madness, and, claiming the Phazon for himself, held his companions at gunpoint until security arrived. Several messages in Echoes inform Pirates that Metroids should not be kept or considered as pets, implying that at least one Pirate has tried to tame a Metroid (and was likely killed by the creature). Apart from this, no other records exist to indicate any concept of leisure or entertainment, let alone art, in Space Pirate culture.

In Prime, it is noted that Pirates use live creatures for target practice, as one Pirate log notes that a Pirate attempted to use a Metroid as target practice, and barely survived, receiving severe brain damage.

The basis of the Pirates' lofty ambitions of conquest has yet to be revealed, along with their origin. Despite their fanaticism for their cause, a religious motivation is unknown. Although their disregard and contempt for religions makes this appear unlikely, Space Pirate Data Log 11.420.7, entitled "Metroid Morphology," which is found in the first Metroid Prime, does suggest some sort of spiritual impetus:

"Metroid dissection continues to provide more questions than answers. Our research teams have isolated the energy conduits that run from the invasive twin mandibles to the energy core in the creature's quadripartite nucleus, but the manner in which a Metroid actually extracts the life force from its prey remains an utter mystery. The victim does not lose blood or any other vital fluids, and yet the Metroid extracts energy: identifying this energy is our central problem. It takes no physical form, and yet without it, the victim dies. We will continue to research this matter, as the isolation of this life-giving essence could be the key to our ascendance."

However, a definitive explanation for their origins and behavior has yet to be given.

TechnologyEdit

Galvanic Accelerator CannonEdit

The Galvanic Accelerator Cannon (GAC) is a weapon used by the Space Pirates stationed on Tallon IV in Metroid Prime. GACs are also equipped to Humility Class Turrets in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Attached to the beings' right arm, the GAC's are fired by raising their single finger into an alcove containing a trigger.[citation needed] They fire small, reddish bolts of energy capable of dealing minimal damage, but they fire very fast and have extremely low recoil.[citation needed]

Quantum Assault CannonEdit

After the events on Tallon IV, the Pirates abandoned GACs for QACs, Quantum Assault Cannons, seen throughout the rest of the series — prototypes of these can be found in Lab Hydra, and a few are seen in the first story, depicted in Metroid: Zero Mission.

ScythesEdit

The standard pirates stationed on Tallon IV had powerful scythe blades attached to their wrists, although they are more like bayonets or swords. These swiveled up alongside their arms when not in use, and rapidly swung out into attack position when situations called for close-range attacks. Troopers had their blades, dubbed Photonic Power Scythes, grafted directly onto their left arms, evidently replacing their hands, on both Tallon IV and Aether. Commandos on Aether had energy blades that emerged from the tips of their cannons, and some of the pirates in Corruption have similar blades that form from their left wrists.Weavel in Prime Hunters has what looks like an energy bayonette on his wrist, which he uses in his alt-form.

ShieldsEdit

Pirate Commandos have energy shield generators carried on their left arms, which deflect all attacks. In Echoes, they are indestructible. However, in Corruption, one can "grab" a shield with the Grapple Beam and toss it away.

Space FrigatesEdit

The Space Pirates are seen to use gigantic spaceships to move around space, and two of these are visited by Samus throughout the series. In Metroid: Zero Mission, she sneaks into a huge purple spaceship. The actual name of the ship is not revealed, but the game refers to it as the Space Pirate Mother Ship. After recovering her Power Suit, she destroys the ship, steals a fighter ship, and escapes.

In Metroid Prime, Samus' adventure starts by exploring the space frigate Orpheon, which has been recently evacuated due to a catastrophic uprising of experimental test subjects. (Namely, the Parasite Queen specimens.) Samus destroys the frigate and escapes, leaving the Orpheon crashing down on Tallon IV. Later in the game, she finds and revisits the wreckage of this ship.

Logs in the Orpheon's map room also make mention of other frigates, such as the frigate Vol Parragom.

These frigates usually appear alone and without aid of a larger fleet, and, when orbiting planets, seem to be the source of the many experiments and strongholds planetside. This seems to suggest that the Pirates are very independent of High Command, and this may also explain their wide range of appearances, since they may identify each other's position in physical appearance and personal experimentation. For example, Orpheon, in Metroid Prime, in-game (the official artwork reveals a far more insectoid figure), boasts Pirates with muscular, reptilian features under a scaly exterior with almost fleshy covering, and heads with clearly defined claw-like hands and mouths, also reptilian. However, the ship the GF troopers shoot down at the beginning of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes boasts the planetside Pirates with their distinctive claws, insectoid heads, and a clearly defined exoskeleton.

StarfightersEdit

In Metroid: Zero Mission, several one-manned Space Pirate starfighters are seen escorting Ridley's Space Frigate. They appear some time later once Samus attempts to escape after defeating Mother Brain, and is set upon by several of the ships. Their shape can be described as mimicking a horseshoe crab, complete with a long tail. They are colored green, and have a symbol of unknown meaning on them. Their speed is swift, although they couldn't overtake Samus's ship in Metroid Zero: Mission. The craft's firepower was strong enough to take her ship down, although whether Samus' ship had shields or was critically hit is not known. Samus later stole one of the vessel when she escaped, though it was colored cyan and lacked a symbol.

After Metroid: Zero Mission, no fighter has been reported, although there have been several dropships depicted. One type is in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and is roughly the same size as a Federation Dropship, and can indeed fly into space. The other type has been seen in the demo(s) of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and looks as if it can only hold at least two Pirates, who are passengers. It is unknown whether this smaller carrier can fly into space, or if it is even piloted by a Pirate and not robotic.

Space Pirate variantsEdit

Pirate TroopersEdit

The most common, well-known form of the Pirates in the games. They contain moderate shielding and are the mainstay of the Space Pirate crews. They wield either Galvanic Accelerator Cannons or Quantum Assault Cannons, and are quite agile. Some wield photonic energy scythes for a melee attack. They rapidly attack intruders with their accelerator cannons and will charge or jump over large distances to attack enemies with their scythes. Pirate troopers will often disable door systems in the rooms intruders are in so they cannot escape. Troopers usually form some kind of basic tactic to deal with foes, generally involving the simple fact that Troopers are rarely (if ever) alone. Space Pirates will also cling to walls while firing or run up close for a melee attack. Space Pirates will hide when on duty so as to not be seen. When intruders enter, however, they will attack with extreme aggression and prejudice. They are the only enemies seen in a Metroid game, other than an SA-X, capable of opening doors Samus has run through. It is unclear how they created log entries on computers, or exercised any fine motor skills whatsoever, without fingers, so it may be possible that the lobster-like appendages are merely a covering, and are removable. Or the computers are able to pick up brain waves that the Space Pirates send out, but no information has been shown that supports this idea.

Elite PiratesEdit

During their stay on Tallon IV, the Pirates started a program known as "Project Helix". On the most basic level, the Project was a supersoldier experiment, using Phazon to mutate and enhance their own kind. The resulting creatures were the Elite Pirates. Elite Pirates are roughly two or three times the size of normal Pirates and are highly dangerous at any range. Prior to Samus Aran's arrival on Tallon IV, Elite Pirates were to be rushed into mass production to launch attacks on all of the Space Pirates' enemies—however, these plans were abandoned after she destroyed their labs. The Elite Pirates have an energy-siphon system, allowing them to absorb beam weapon energy with hand-produced shields. They use this siphoned energy to fuel their massive Plasma Artillery Cannons. Concussive weapons (Missiles) are more effective against Elites.

Phazon ElitesEdit

Phazon Elites were the result of the Pirates' first attempts at creating Elites. Phazon Elites were no larger or faster than the more efficient, easily produced Elites that followed, but were far stronger. Due to a failure to understand the complete nature of Phazon at the time, the Pirates gave the Phazon Elites far more than was necessary, resulting in a drastically shortened lifespan and psychosis in most subjects. The single product that did survive was covered in bulging, Phazon-filled veins, but was incapable of using them for anything; they were simply a corruption that would eventually be its undoing. Before that time came, though, Samus killed it to find a Chozo Artifact.

The Phazon Elite doesn't use the Plasma Artillery Cannon of its "descendants"; rather, it relies far more on the shockwave generator in battle. This sacrifice is not without its benefits, however; the lack of the vulnerable cannon makes the Phazon Elite nearly twice as hardy and enduring as its counterparts.

Omega PirateEdit

Elite Pirate Upsilon, codenamed 'Omega Pirate' by its creators, is the most powerful of the Elite Pirate forces, and is by far the largest, dwarfing the other Elite Pirates. The Omega Pirate was the ultimate result of Project Helix. Most Elite Pirates either suffer from serious cases of Phazon Madness or die after such intense infusion, but Upsilon had a natural tolerance for these effects, allowing infusion to go far beyond standard safety restrictions. The Omega Pirate has shielding on its weak spots and can regenerate tissues by covering its wounds with Phazon. It can render itself invisible to the naked eye with a cloaking device called the Chameleon Manta (though it can be traced with the X-Ray Visor). It can only be damaged while regenerating. If it completes its regeneration, Samus has to start all over again with destroying its armor. It is of great size (roughly four times as tall as Samus), and also wields retractable wrist bayonets, an energy deflection shield, and a more powerful version of the Plasma Artillery Cannon, known as Plasma Incendiary Launchers, as well as a Wave Quake Generator that is faster and more powerful than that of basic Elite Pirates. The Space Pirates are said to consider the Omega Pirate the pinnacle of the Phazon program, with its only weakness being its high dependence on Phazon to sustain itself. Omega can also summon Beam Troopers as a distraction, but ironically, most of its attacks can destroy any unlucky Trooper that is on the ground. Defeating the Omega Pirate gives Samus the Phazon Suit, which protects her from Blue Phazon damage (but not the Orange Phazon in the Impact Crater). She obtains the suit when the dead Pirate collapses on her, enhancing her suit with the huge amounts of Phazon stored within its body.

Pirate CommandoEdit

File:Space Pirate Commando.jpg
While the space pirates of Metroid Prime 2 were already substantially visually different from those in Metroid Prime, the Commandos looked considerably more different.

Pirate Commandos are trained for the sole purpose of "hunting the Hunter". Dangerous combatants at any range, they carry variable pulse cannons, EMP-grenade launchers, and energy scythes. They also have a portable shield generator which allows them to shield themselves from attack and jetpacks to travel quickly over any terrain. On the planet Aether, Ing warriors were known to possess them. In fact, these pirates were prized amongst the Ing as trophies. These "Dark" Pirate Commandos could phase in and out of local time-space at will, due to the fact that only Hunter Ing, which also have the phasing abilities, are allowed to possess them.

Pirate GrenadierEdit

Found in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, this is a standard Pirate capable of firing high-powered grenades at intruders. They have the same health amount as other Pirates, but often stay on high ground, due to the fact that they lack any other weapons. Despite the fact they possess the Scythes of their counterparts, they never use them; if Samus comes into striking range, they prefer to bludgeon her with their grenade launchers (a very weak, clumsy effort).

Flying Pirates/Pirate AerotroopersEdit

Flying Pirates (later called Pirate Aerotroopers) are standard Space Pirates outfitted with missile launchers and jet packs. Their appearance, however, varies somewhat from other Pirates. They are less bulky, and have somewhat lighter green skin. These Pirates often are the second most common Pirates in Space Pirate operations. They are quite agile and attack furiously with missiles and standard Pirate armaments to eliminate their targets. The jetpacks are not without their flaws, however; in addition to generating vast quantities of heat and smoke (which make tracking with Thermal Imaging and the naked eye much easier, respectively), the jetpacks can be overloaded by extreme heat, such as that caused by the Plasma Beam or Light Beam. When shot down (if not completely destroyed), Aerotroopers will attempt a last-ditch Kamikaze attack which consists of them spiraling toward their target which causes their jetpacks to explode. According to the log entry on aerotroopers, they do this because they prefer "death before dishonor".

Aqua PiratesEdit

Aqua Pirates utilize many of the same weapons as their flying brethren. Along with their exoskeletons, their thruster-packs have been modified for aquatic use and they use technology similar to that used in Samus's Gravity Suit. As with Aerotroopers, the thruster-packs of Aqua Pirates are easily tracked with the Thermal Visor. These defects are partly apparent to the Space Pirates, who work to correct these problems. Interestingly enough, the missiles used by Aqua Pirates are far slower than those used by Aerotroopers, and are even more easily dodged, most likely caused by their impeded movement in water.

Beam TroopersEdit

Beam Troopers wield reverse-engineered versions of Samus's Chozo beam weapons. These copies are flawed, however. They are less powerful than the originals, and a flaw in their shielding leaves their users vulnerable to the same type of weapon (i.e. the Power Beam is effective against Power Troopers). Ice Troopers have the greatest weakness to the corresponding beam; they can be frozen with the Ice Beam and then shattered with a missile, though the Ice Beam must be charged to freeze the trooper. Power Troopers utilize the Power Beam, Ice Troopers use the Ice Beam, Wave Troopers carry the Wave Beam, and Plasma Troopers wield the Plasma Beam. The shots from all of these weapons look almost, if not exactly, the same as Samus's ordinary Power Beam shots, and all of them behave the same way. These troopers will often swarm intruders in large numbers and were quite common in the Phazon mines of Tallon IV.

In some versions of Metroid Prime, the beams have different effects on the harder difficulty setting; Power Beams knock Samus backwards, Wave scrambles the visor, Ice has a small freeze chance, and Plasma has a small chance to ignite Samus.

Shadow PiratesEdit

Only a select group of Space Pirates have access to cloaking technology; these are the Shadow Pirates. This cloaking technology drains large amounts of power, forcing them to rely solely on melee weapons (energy scythes) in battle. Thermal tracking is still effective for locating Shadow Pirates. Ironically, it isn't very difficult to track a Shadow Pirate with the naked eye alone; the cloaking device releases periodic sparks of energy that serve as a (potentially life-threatening) giveaway to the Pirate's location. Shadow Pirates and Beam Troopers both have a tendency to cling to walls and attack.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Space PiratesEdit

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption features several new classes of Space Pirate enemies. With the exception of Pirate Militia, slaves and criminals used as battle fodder, most Pirate Troopers carry assault rifles, energy scythes, EMP grenades, and Dash Jet systems for increased mobility. Aerotroopers return, with twin Remote Attack Pods that can fire particle cannons or helix missiles. Some Militia members or Troopers also appear as Shield Pirate Militia or Shield Pirate Troopers. These enemies carry shields that block most attacks, and must be ripped off with Samus' Grapple Lasso. With the exception of the Militia, all Pirates have P.E.D. functionality, allowing them to boost their own abilities with Phazon.

In addition, Pirate Troopers, Shield Troopers, and Aerotroopers may sometimes outfit themselves in special types of armorsuits: Armored variants block beam attacks but are weak to missiles, while Assault variants can withstand missiles but are weak to charged beam shots. Advanced variants cannot be damaged at all until their armor is blown off with missiles.

Higher level Pirate troops also exist. Pirate Hussars are normal Troopers that ride Korakk Beasts into battle; they come equipped with energy lances that are dangerous from any distance. Commando Pirates are similar to their Metroid Prime 2 incarnations, except they also carry cloaking devices much like Shadow Pirates. Their strong armor protects them from anything short of a Plasma Beam shot.

Berserker Knights and Berserker Lords are Pirates heavily mutated through use of Phazon. The weak point on the back of their heads is shielded with Phazon armor that can only be damaged by rebounding their projectile attacks back at them. Berserker Lords have additional spots on their shoulders that are vulnerable to fire, and both shoulders spots must be destroyed before they even begin shooting projectiles. Knights must survive the highest level of Phazon corruption before they are promoted to Lords.

Pirate Commanders are high-danger enemies that have every weapon Commando Pirates do, but wear Red Phazite armor that can only be pierced with high frequency weaponry. They carry personal teleporters that allow them to warp around the battlefield, and normally enter battle with multiple Commandos beside them and under their orders. Pirate Commanders must serve as Commando Pirates for ten years before receiving a promotion, and Commanders often live to rise to the ruling caste of the Space Pirate homeworld.

Other Types of PiratesEdit

Two very strong pirates are found just prior to fighting Ridley in Super Metroid, they are encountered in lower Norfair, in a corridor, with monitor-like devices hanging from the ceiling. These two Pirates jump around at high speed throwing boomerang-like projectiles at Samus, while performing various punch and kick attacks, and are nearly impervious to Samus' arsenal: they can only be shot when resting, and only from behind. However, they could also be damaged by striking them as they did a flying jump attack.

In Metroid: Zero Mission, the Space Pirate mother ship had black Pirates scattered about. On every difficulty, the two black pirates in the hangar area had to be fought and defeated before Samus could escape.

X-PiratesEdit

These are normal Zebesian Space Pirates that have been infected and copied by the X-Parasites. They are green skinned with purple armor. They usually cling to walls in shafts and attempt to shoot Samus as she climbs up the shaft. They are also encountered in water and upon absorbing an X Parasite from a fish-like creature, will transform into a mermaid-like version that is extremely fast, but can only live in water. The X-Pirates can absorb multiple X-Parasites and become "Gold Pirates". Entirely gold in color, these "Gold Pirates" are almost the same as regular X-Pirates, but they are much stronger and are only vulnerable from behind.

WeavelEdit

Weavel is a character from the Nintendo DS game Metroid Prime Hunters.

Weavel is a former Space Pirate commander who was severely wounded by Samus Aran on Brinstar (according to the official Hunters strategy guide), leaving only his brain and central nervous system intact. Afterwards, he was fitted with a new robotic body, allowing him to separate his torso from his legs, which then become a stationary turret. It is unknown if he seeks the treasure of the Alimbic Cluster for the Space Pirates, or for himself, but he will remain with the Space Pirates as long as it's convenient. He enjoys missions that no other Space Pirate could accomplish because of his robotic physique. It should be noted that Weavel must have had some special value for the Space Pirates as he was saved and given a new body, when usually Space Pirates have little regard for the safety and/or death of their own kind (or any other beings for that matter).

Weavel uses the Battlehammer, which is an energized mortar gun that is capable of rapid fire shots. When Weavel wields it, it does more damage and has a far greater splash radius. According to the Nintendo Power guide, it has crude mechanics but is effective when properly used. The Battlehammer can also propel Weavel upwards or back if aimed correctly against the wall or even the ground. Although taking damage from the splash damage, it can be used for shortcuts or high places that no other hunter can easily access. This term is referred to as "Battle Hopping" because of using the Battlehammer to propel Weavel in the air. It is also sometimes called a "Quad Jump" which consists of two Battlehammer shots on the ground, followed by a mid-air normal jump by tapping the Touch Screen, and then going into Alt-Form. Four jumps are commonly used in this.

Weavel's alt form is the Halfturret, in which Weavel's body is split into two separate parts at the waist, splitting his remaining health equally between the two parts. His lower body become an autonomous, stationary turret that shoots non-affinity powered Battlehammer shots, while the player retains control of his upper body, which wields a Plasma Scythe. When Weavel returns to his biped form, the health of the two parts combines to form the amount of health he has after switching. In the event that he only has one point of health when transforming into the Halfturret, both parts will have one health point each. Damage taken by the upper half will not affect the turret unless the upper half is destroyed, in which case the turret explodes too. If the turret is attacked, it damages both parts. If the turret is destroyed, Weavel will be left with only one health point.

Strangely enough, Weavel activated his plasma scythe in the opening video, but in Hunters, he does not use it unless he's in his alt form. The scythe was potentially a good melee attack, but Weavel doesn't use it in favor of the slightly weaker Battlehammer. This is probably because none of the other characters utilize melee weapons except in alt-form. This makes an imbalance among the seven hunters, making a "High-Tier" hunter such as Sylux, a more favorable hunter due to the lack of speed in the Half-Turret.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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