metroid dna dread fusion

Samus Aran is a DNA cocktail. Although she was born human, her genetic makeup has been altered numerous times throughout her life. She was fused with Chozo DNA to survive on Zebes, corrupted by Phazon (and eventually freed from it), and in Fusion, she was injected with a vaccine made from Metroid DNA. That last one is especially important, as Metroid Dread will end the long and strange relationship between Samus and Metroids. But frankly, the whole situation is a little murky. Let’s dig into some Metroid lore!

Samus and Metroid DNA

In the intro of Metroid Fusion, Samus is infected by X parasites. Because Metroids were created in a lab specifically to hunt X parasites, Galactic Federation scientists decide to make a vaccine from Metroid DNA. Let me repeat that. They planned to kill a parasite…with a vaccine… made from the parasite’s predator. This incredibly medically sound and logical plan somehow works, because of video game logic. But as a result, Samus is forever changed. She becomes part Metroid.

Aside from the story implications, this has real consequences in the game. Metroids are extremely weak to cold temperatures, and now, so is Samus. Throughout Fusion, you will take damage from cold rooms, and you’re especially vulnerable to the ice-covered parasites. Additionally, it’s a major plot point in the game that you can’t use your Ice Beam anymore. But this changes during the final boss fight. Samus absorbs the core of SA-X, a parasite that perfectly copied her DNA before the Metroid vaccine. Immediately after absorbing the SA-X core, Samus can use Ice Beam without any problems. What changed? Series producer Yoshio Sakamoto gave this explanation in an interview:

When she absorbed the core of the SAX (the perfect condition of Samus), she basically reconstituted her genetic condition. She didn’t recover the physical damage of her amputated suit, but she did recover her genetic condition.

Samus “recovers her genetic condition” from SA-X, and SA-X was a pre-Metroid version of Samus. Done deal, right? Nope.

Metroid Dread complicates things

The marketing for Metroid Dread brought this understanding into question weeks back. The story emphasizes that Samus took this mission because she’s immune to X parasites. But that immunity came from the Metroid vaccine. If she no longer has Metroid DNA, wouldn’t she also lose that immunity? Or does the immunity come from antibodies formed after the first infection? Trying to obtain a medical understanding of the situation is probably utter madness, considering we’re dealing with space parasites and vaccines made from their predators.

However, the latest Metroid Dread Report gives a clear answer to at least one question. She is still part Metroid.

Since the Metroid went extinct prior to the events of Metroid Dread, the only one who can rival the X is Samus, as she now has Metroid DNA in her.

So how then do we view the end of Fusion, in which Samus, Metroid DNA, and all, is able to use Ice Beam without hurting herself? Frankly, I have no idea. In fact, if the Metroid Dread map is anything to go by, Samus might still be weak to the cold. Early footage has shown some ice-covered rooms that appear blue on the map. If those can damage her, then I’m not sure why Ice Beam doesn’t. Perhaps Dread will give us a fuller explanation that puts Fusion‘s ending in context.

Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.

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