Metroid Dread – Everything We Know So Far

Infendo News

Fans of Samus’ exploits will be happy to know there are two new Metroid games on the way. While Metroid Prime 4 is still in a galaxy far, far away, Metroid Dread, the first 2D Metroid experience in 19 years, is right around the corner.

To raise the hype, Nintendo has been drip-feeding info about this new game, so we thought we’d take a moment to break down what’s been said so far.

Something To Dread

According to Nintendo, the “Dread” title is more than just a catchy name. Metroid games have always had spooky atmospheres and scary encounters, but this time the devs are aiming to notch up the fear factor with “a looming, terrifying threat.”

That threat is, of course, the E.M.M.I, a Galactic Federation research droid that appears to have run amok. Nintendo calls it a research bot, at least, but also states E.M.M.I is “highly agile” and “extremely deadly.”

Fans of some of the more recent Metroid games, like Other M and Fusion, may recall that the Galactic Federation hasn’t always been entirely good natured, so it will be interesting to see if E.M.M.I’s behaviour is truly accidental, or if someone in power is looking to put an end to our favourite power-suit weilding bounty hunter.

History Repeats

image from Nintendo

If you played Samus’ last adventure, Metroid Fusion, you’ll remember the X, deadly space parasites that not only rival the Metroids in lethality, but also almost killed Samus herself.

It sounds like the X survived her last encounter, and Samus is sent to investigate.

Nintendo’s posted the prologue dialogue to their website, straight from the mouth of 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…

Whatever’s happening, it sounds like the X may still be involved. Perhaps they’ve infected the E.M.M.I and created replications, much like they did Samus’ own suit in Fusion.

E.M.M.I On Board

image from Nintendo

The E.M.M.I is said to be so strong that Samus’ attacks will bounce right off – Meaning, at least at the beginning of the game, the player will be forced to flee from the terrifying machine.

The color of the light coming from their eyes will indicate what course of action they take when pursuing you. A blue light mean they’re patrolling – But Samus hasn’t been seen yet. A yellow light means they heard something suspicious, and you’re actively being hunted.

A red light is the worst case scenario – Pursuit Mode. In this mode, E.M.M.I is locked-on to Samus and is pursing at high speed.

Nintendo describes being caught by an E.M.M.I as almost certain death, so be on your guard when the time comes to interact with these fearsome foes.

Fortunately, the E.M.M.I are forced to stay in specified zones, which can be identified by their unique E.M.M.I doors. UNforutnately, once Samus has been spotted, these doors will lock down. The only way to get them open again? Lose the E.M.M.I that’s hounding you and stay out of sight.

Eventually, though, we all have to face our fears – And Samus is no exception. When it finally comes time to destroy an E.M.M.I, you’ll need to make your way to the central computers in each zone. There, Samus will be able to take in power and activate her Omega Stream – A powerful shot that, when aimed at the head of the E.M.M.I, will reveal its’ weak point.

The dev team describes these encounters as follows: “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.”

image from Nintendo

Show Me Your Moves

Fortunately, the E.M.M.I won’t be the only character with an interesting moveset in Metroid Dread. Samus herself is getting a few new moves, and for once, they won’t be exclusive to in-game upgrades.

Similar to what she could do in Metroid 2: Samus Returns, Samus will have a melee counter attack she can use to expose an enemy’s weak point. She’ll also have the ability to use this technique while dashing.

Samus can also aim freely in this game, not just while standing still, but while on the move. Clearly, moving (and ost likely fleeing) is going to be a big part of Metroid Dread’s core gameplay.

image from Nintendo

Samus has also been given a slide this time around, not unlike another arm-cannon toting hero Mega Man. It will be curious to see how this ability interacts with her usual means of getting through small crevices, the Morph Ball.

image from Nintendo

Here’s a new technique that very much sounds like it comes in power-up form: The Spider Magnet. No worries, Arachnophobes, this has nothing to do with actual spiders. Rather, it gives Samus the ability to cling on to specific areas with a blue glow, found on walls and the ceiling. Even more exciting, she can still shoot and counter from these spots!

Phantom Cloak is yet another new ability Samus will be able to utilize during E.M.M.I encoutners. This is a cloaking ability that allows Samus to go unnoticed by the E.M.M.I, by being both invisible to its’ sensors, and completely silent.

image from Nintendo

Sounds like there will be a lot of exciting encounters to be had in Metroid Dread! We’ll be sure to keep you updated as new info comes through from the big N themselves.

Gamer by day, game designer by night - Lukas studied Digital Arts in school, and grew up in the age of the N64 and Gamecube. He's the youngster of the bunch, but that doesn't keep him from shouting out at every available opportunity on Infendo Radio. He often finds himself at the edge of counter-culture (hates Metroid Prime, loves Other M), but isn't afraid to dive into the next big budget AAA title with the best of 'em. Favorite game: Sonic Adventure 2 Battle/Skyward Sword/Ocarina of Time/Zero Escape 2/You get the idea