It took nearly two decades of waiting, but the Metroid faithful were rewarded. Dread is the first all-new 2D Metroid since 2002’s Fusion, and it picks up right where the GBA adventure left off. The next chapter in the life of Samus was well worth the wait, expanding the series’ lore in interesting ways. Now that I’ve had a chance to experience that story for myself, I’m eager to start dreaming about where Metroid’s plot will go after Dread. If you haven’t had a chance to beat the game, then be aware this article will contain spoilers.
Metroid’s plot after Dread
In a pre-launch development history trailer, Sakamoto called Dread the end of the story arc about the uncanny relationship between Samus and Metroids and encouraged players to ponder what that means. But while Metroid Dread is meant to wrap up a plot 35 years in the making, it certainly won’t end the series. Sakamoto and his team already have more stories in mind, and it seems they’ve left us some clues. Here’s what he had to say during a recent roundtable interview.
“It’s the conclusion to one story arc. What I can say upfront is that Samus’ adventure will continue. How will it continue? Well, first things first, I believe that if and when you clear Dread, you will have a clear idea. Beyond that, we will continue to work hard so we can meet expectations and keep surprising you guys with exciting gameplay experiences.”
So Dread was meant to end the story of the Metroids, but also set things up for the next adventure. And if Sakamoto wants us to speculate about what that means, who am I to disagree?
Metroid without Metroids?
After the events of Super Metroid, the titular Metroids themselves are extinct. There are attempts to clone and weaponize them in both Other M and Fusion, but Samus intervenes each time. Fusion also reveals that Metroid DNA was used to save Samus from an X parasite infection, and this causes her to become part Metroid herself. This idea reaches its conclusion in Dread, as the villainous Raven Beak pushes Samus to her limits in order to awaken her Metroid DNA, fully transforming her into a Metroid herself. However, Samus returns to normal before the credits roll. So what happened to her Metroid DNA?
That depends on how you interpret the final scene. Samus is out of control, absorbing the energy of everything she touches. Then, an X parasite mimicking Quiet Robe voluntarily merges with Samus, and she returns to normal. Is this the end of her Metroid DNA? On the one hand, that would justify Sakamoto’s statement that Dread ends the relationship between Samus and Metroids. On the other hand, we’re only told that Thoha genes can control Metroids, not destroy them. Dread’s ending scene parallels Fusion, in which the SA-X merges with Samus to help her defeat an Omega Metroid. If that process didn’t eliminate her Metroid DNA, I’m not sure it would be any different in Dread.
If that’s the case, future games could potentially use Metroid powers as a gameplay mechanic. Something that Samus has to learn to control. This would allow Nintendo and MercurySteam to mix things up when it comes to item progression. If Samus can absorb powers from her enemies, Mega Man style, her arsenal wouldn’t be limited to the standard Chozo weaponry. It would allow the devs to flex their creativity and focus more on new abilities than old favorites.
A deeper exploration of the Chozo
While it would be interesting to see Metroid move away from dependency on the Chozo, it’s also possible that it goes in the opposite direction. Dread dropped more Chozo lore on us than ever before, introducing specific tribes like the Thoha and Mawkin. Both of those tribes seem to be largely wiped out by the game’s end, but it’s possible that they have colonies on other planets. The Thoha colonized at least Zebes and SR388, and the Mawkin wanted to rule the galaxy, so it wouldn’t be shocking to learn they have other bases.
If we’re looking for clues in Metroid Dread’s plot, there’s one strange line near the end that hints at a greater Chozo storyline. During the final “ADAM” transmission, a disguised Raven Beak tells us that “Metroids are programmed to identify Mawkin as enemies.” Past games told us that the Chozo (the Thoha tribe, specifically) created the Metroids to wipe out the X parasites…but they had a secondary purpose. The Thoha seemingly created them as a weapon to wield against their Mawkin kinsmen. Did the Thoha plan to destroy a rival tribe? Or were Metroids simply a last defense, prompted by fear of Raven Beak?
And while it may just be supervillain monologuing, Raven Break believes conquering the galaxy is Samus’s destiny. Similarly, the Thoha tribe hoped that she could become their successor by bringing peace to the galaxy. In Metroid Prime, the Chozo of Tallon IV also prophesied that she would arrive and destroy the source of the Phazon corrupting their planet. Going all the way back to the start of the timeline, Zero Mission has Samus battle an ancient Chozo War God, rewarding her with the Legendary Power Suit. With Metroid Dread‘s plot expanding giving us more Chozo lore than ever before, future games could further explore Chozo prophecy and the role she plays in their religion.
Exelion Star Corporation
One final possibility that begs closer examination is the Exelion Star Corporation, creators of the E.M.M.I. bots. The E.M.M.I. bots were sent to ZDR by the Federation, so it would have been easy for Dread to leave their origins at that. Instead, the opening cutscene namedrops Exelion as their creators. There’s also an unlockable Chozo Archive image that shows Raven Beak and Quiet Robe programming an E.M.M.I., and the Exelion name and logo are once again visible. Metroid Dread’s plot was first teased in the unlockable Chozo Memories of Samus Returns, so this feels like something that could be significant.
We’re told very little about Exelion, but we can glean a few details. They have some kind of relationship with the Galactic Federation, perhaps being under their control, much like Biologic Space Laboratories in Fusion. We also know that they must be incredibly talented at crafting armor because none of Samus’s Chozo weapons can even leave a dent on the E.M.M.I.s. How are they this advanced, and what else are they manufacturing?
It would be interesting to explore Exelion as the Federation’s emergency plan for Samus. With as many planets as she’d destroyed, you have to imagine someone in the Galactic government sees her as a threat. In both Other M and Fusion, Samus uncovers a corrupt group of Federation officers with ambitions of creating a Metroid army. If any of them avoided arrest, you have to imagine they’re still holding a grudge. Exelion could easily be their new experimental hotbed after Samus destroyed the BSL station.
It’s also possible that Exelion is capable of making Chozo-proof armor because their engineers are actual Chozo scientists. The Chozo of Zebes worked with the Federation prior to their disappearance. Zebes was eventually taken over by space pirates, but a Federation rescue ship managed to evacuate 10 of the Chozo. We haven’t seen them since, but it’s possible they’ve been helping the Federation ever since. The E.M.M.I. were dispatched to ZDR to investigate the reappearance of X parasites, and who knows the X better than the Chozo? Well, Samus, but the Federation sent her too. The Chozo were responsible for releasing the X parasites on planet SR388, and creating the E.M.M.I. could have been their attempt at atoning.
More Metroid Dread content
Nintendo and MercurySteam have plenty of options for Metroid‘s plot in the aftermath of Dread. Wherever Samus goes next, I’m excited for the future of the series. If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about mastering Metroid Dread, check out some of our speedrun and sequence break guides:
- Metroid Dread guide: How to Water Bomb Jump and get early Ice Missiles
- Unlock all Metroid Dread Ending Rewards and Chozo Archives on one file
- Metroid Dread: How to get Grapple and Bombs early + Kraid Quick Kill
- Metroid Dread speedrun guide: How to skip the Drogyga Boss Fight
- Metroid Dread speedrun guide: Getting the Phantom Cloak early
- Metroid Dread speedrun tricks: How to skip the first EMMI
- How to Shinespark almost every boss in Metroid Dread
- Metroid Dread guide: How to get early Gravity Suit