Ah, the Metroid games. One of my favorite gaming series in existence. Samus Aran was my favorite female video game character and I loved playing as her every time I put in a Metroid game. And above all, my favorite Metroid game was Metroid Prime. That was the first Metroid game I ever played and what introduced me to the series.
I was in the process of moving into Slatington, Pennsylvania and I didn't own the Gamecube I had at home with the family. It belonged to my brother, but he did let me take the Metroid Prime game because he knew how much I liked it. Gamecubes didn't cost that much nowadays so I planned on getting one after I moved out.
A few days later, I took the bus to the mall in Whitehall a few miles away. There was a video game shop there at the time which I loved. Game Trader. Sadly it is closed during the time I am writing this. I thought it was better than Gamestop as it had older games as well and they really made sure your product worked before selling it to you. I wish it had remained opened.
Anyway, I went inside and asked for a Gamecube. They had one left in stock. It had some dents, but it was still workable. The man who stood behind the register told me they would double check and make sure the Gamecube worked and asked if that was all right. I told him yes and I waited while they checked the console.
It didn't take them long. Within about ten minutes, he was back out with the console in hand. He put it in a bag and asked me to pay for it. The console was only $30 since it was so old. Upon purchasing it, he handed me the bag and wished me a good day. I exited the mall and returned home.
I couldn't wait to play Metroid Prime again. I know I beat it so many times and knew where all the items were and such, but hey, I love it. I hooked up the Gamecube to my small CRT television and turned it on.
Something was strange right away. The Gamecube logo that came up every time you turn on the system was slow and jerky, as if it was a lot of memory for the console to process. That didn't make any sense, but maybe the console was just a little old. It did work just fine after that jerky intro, so I didn't think it was anything to worry about. Just an old console. The dents did more damage than I thought.
I started up Metroid Prime. I gave a smile as the start menu came up. Just as I thought, it was playing normally. I did have an old game I never finished, but to complete the experience, I decided to start a new game. I selected to start a new game. I watched as the game faded out, but something was strange. Rather than zooming in like it normally does, it briefly showed an image of a Sheegoth before doing a burn away transition.
Despite the initial weirdness, the game played normally after that. No bugs or glitches. It was just like how I remembered it. For the past two days, I played the heck out of that game. I advanced quickly, getting all the powerups I could find as soon as possible.
With no distractions, I made it to the Sheegoth boss in the Chapel Of The Elders quicker than I expected. The Sheegoth boss was one of my favorites and I loved the Sheegoth design. It was so cool and kind of creepy. I moved Samus towards the Wave Beam to trigger the battle.
As the platform lowered and the cutscene played, something new was wrong. It was nothing too bad. The wrong music was playing. Instead of the normal music for this point in the game, the Phazon Area music for later in the game started to play. It was a little slower, but other than that, it was fine. How unusual, I thought. I chalked it up to the console again. What else could it be? My copy of the game was fine.
I found it was a little harder to move. The buttons on the controller were less responsive than they had been before. Despite this, I managed to defeat the Sheegoth babies that spawned in the room. I waited as the wall broke down, revealing the true boss: the adult Sheegoth. This is the first area you encounter them and boy did they leave an impression. The massive behemoth towered over me, cold liquid dripping down its fangs.
I pummeled the Sheegoth adult with my missiles, the only way to kill the thing. It always took forever. It had a lot of health, more so than the other adults that would appear later. I dodged its icy breath as I continued attacking it. I missed a few times, but despite that, I beat it within five minutes. The adult fell down into the ground and the Wave Beam came up.
I walked over to the platform and picked up the Wave Beam. The game glitched up immediately and it skipped over the usual cutscene that should play and no dialogue box came up. I was about to reset the game, but the glitch disappeared and I was in control of Samus once more. Thinking nothing of it, I sat down and continued playing.
Another cutscene played. It wasn't of anything I hadn't seen in a Metroid game before. It depicted the baby Sheegoths burying the larger adult. This was very similar to what happens in Super Metroid, where Draygon, upon defeating it, is buried by smaller Evirs. But why was this happening in Metroid Prime? Was this a bonus cutscene that was never supposed to be played, and if so, how did I trigger it?
The game let me have control of Samus again. I went up to the purple door and whipped out the newly obtained Wave Beam. When I pressed the attack button, it produced the sound of a lightning strike as three jagged, black and purple energy shot out. I pulled my head back and stared in shock. Since when was the Wave Beam like this?
Then a dialogue box came up. It read "Wave Beam has been improved. Now you can kill your foes with greater ease." It closed immediately after I read it, with no option given to read more about it. Kill? That didn't sound like something normally present in the game. Yes you did kill, but the game never talked about being better equipped to kill enemies. What was going on?
I exited the temple and headed back out into the first area of Phendrana Drifts, Phendrana Shorelines. All the while, the Phazon Area music kept playing in a loop. By now, it got even slower, but still sounded pretty normal. Well as far as slowed music is concerned.
The snow appeared to fall even heavier now. So thick it was, I could barely see where I was going. And there didn't appear to be any enemies. A glitch most likely. I walked through the snow and towards the elevator that would take me back to Magmoor Caverns. Upon going through the door, I came face to face with a cave in, blocking the path out.
I switched to the Scan Visor and saw there was some information about these rocks. I scanned them and a message popped up. It read "Magmoor Caverns is inaccessible. You are currently stuck in Phendrana Drifts." Inaccessible? How was that possible? There were many entrances to Magmoor. Surely one of them would work.
But sure enough, no matter which elevator I tried, there was a cave in covering either the path or the elevator itself. Each time I scanned the different piles, the same message would pop up, telling me I could not go to Magmoor Caverns. This meant I really was trapped in Phendrana Drifts as there was absolutely no other way to get here besides through the magma filled underground cave system.
I decided to return to Phendrana Shorelines and tried to think of my next move. I was not able to leave the area, so I had to find something else to do. Maybe the problem would be fixed later on. I went on playing the game. The only thing out of place as I played through was the Phazon Area music still playing and the strange lack of Sheegoths.
I managed to get the Super Missile and Thermal Visor. It was time for me to face another boss. I would have felt nervous, but I hated Thardus and I wanted to defeat him as soon as possible to get it over with. Without a second thought, I headed down to Quarantine Cave where I knew he was waiting for me.
Yet upon arriving, the pile of rocks that should have been there weren't visible. Instead, the spikes of an adult Sheegoth were visible. But that was impossible. I hadn't defeated Thardus yet. I am supposed to get rid of him first and then a Sheegoth replaces him. Nonetheless, it was kind of nice to see an adult Sheegoth. I was starting to miss them. I jumped down and prepared to take on the ice monster.
The adult Sheegoth that rose up looked different than any other Sheegoth I saw. It was a dull gray purple instead of the usual light blue. It also had an appearance strikingly resembling a Grenchler from Metroid Prime 2, but still managing to look like a Sheegoth. And as it moved, it didn't lumber as much and moved with about as much grace and ease as the Grapple Guardian from the second game. The music finally changed and this time it was the Chozo Ghost music.
Luckily for me, the attack moves were the same. It charged me and snapped its jaws at me. I moved Samus out of the way and proceeded to shoot its mouth as it hyperventilated. I didn't know how long this was going to take as it had no health bar, just like the first Sheegoth adult. It was taking even longer than that first battle to take this beast down.
When the final missile hit it, the purple beast struggled to stand up. I expected it to fall over, but instead it remained standing. It shook itself off as if the battle did nothing to it. My eyes widened at this. My missiles were very low by now and I couldn't leave this area without the Spider Ball. I didn't know what I was going to do now.
The purple Sheegoth stomped towards me, emitting a low growl. But then it stopped just in front of me. Even though it seemed impossible, a text box appeared. It was like a cutscene, but I could still move Samus. I moved her back as I read the text. The music changed yet again, this time to Frigate Orpheon, and like the others it was slowed down.
"So you are the great Samus Aran, savior of the galaxy. Tsch, I do not believe such words. You have a cold disregard for the life on the planets you visit. Tell me, does it make you feel good when you slaughter wild animals? Did it make you feel good when you killed my mate to get your fancy new weapon?"
I shuddered at this. I couldn't understand what was going on or what the Sheegoth was talking about. Mate? Perhaps it was speaking of the other adult Sheegoth I defeated earlier. Even though my gut told me to stop playing, I was very curious and pressed the A button to continue reading what the Sheegoth said.
"I have heard so much about you. Both the good and the bad. But mostly the bad." The purple Sheegoth pressed on. "I know you killed Kraid's child so you could enter his lair. I know you electrocuted Draygon in front of its babies. And I know you have killed countless other animals, regardless of their threat level to you, all in the name of progress."
I had no idea how the Sheegoth could have known this. Chronologically, none of those things happened yet. I still felt a cold chill run down my spine as I read this text. Suddenly, that cutscene from before, of the baby Sheegoths burying the adult, made more sense. They were burying their parent, just like the Evirs buried their parent, Draygon.
The adult Sheegoth suddenly seized me with its large foot. I don't know how it could have pulled it off, but I watched as it held Samus in the air, squeezing her body with its foot and looking down at her with non-existing eyes, a feature that made me shudder. Cold steam plowed out of its mouth rapidly. Samus grunted in pain as it struck her. The Sheegoth could have continued, but instead it returned to speaking.
"You are no savior of this or any world. You see me as a monster, but I didn't go from planet to planet wiping out life. I am not the one who destroyed an entire region, then later an entire world. I am not the one who tried to make extinct an entire species."
The Sheegoth squeezed Samus tighter. I heard her struggling to breathe. I tried to struggle free, but the grip was too tight. The Sheegoth continued rambling and what it said next made my blood run cold.
"I will allow you to defeat me. But you will never be able to leave this place. This is my gift to you, Samus, the murderer of the galaxy. You will not be alone, but you will not enjoy this company. I will not kill you because you do not deserve death. I will not show you that kind of mercy, murderer."
I dropped the controller right then and there. I stared blankly at the screen. There appeared to be more text, but I didn't want to read it. I felt my hands start to shake. I never saw Samus as a murderer. She was just doing what she had to for the good of the galaxy. I never thought she was going too far. After all, she only killed in self defense, didn't she?
I looked back at the game. Even though I hadn't pressed a button, Samus had pointed her Wave Beam at the purple Sheegoth. I watched in horror as she shot it in the head. It released her and staggered back, letting out an almost demonic scream. Its body turned charred black and it disintegrated. It was no different than killing a baby Sheegoth with the Plasma Beam, but somehow, here, after what happened, it looked far more gruesome and chilling.
It took me several minutes to get the nerve to leave Quarantine Cave. I ventured through more of Phendrana Drifts, hoping to find something to take my mind off what happened. But as I moved through, everything was gone. All the animals and the Space Pirates. They were just...gone. Phendrana Drifts started to feel much lonelier now and depressing.
I went back to Phendrana Shorelines. There, I noticed about five baby Sheegoths and a few of the smaller, though still large, adult Sheegoths. They weren't buried in the snow. They were walking through slowly, their heads lowered as if sad. They saw me, but didn't attack.
As I came closer, all of them turned to face me. They stood still, staring at me even though they had no visible eyes. The music in the background continued to grow even more depressing as I approached the eyeless Sheegoths. Even as I pushed against them, not one of them moved to attack me.
Without being prompted, the Sheegoth babies began to speak. It was just low growls and hisses, but the game provided a text box. One of the babies said, "Why?" Another said, "Why did you do it?" The third one said, "Why did you kill our mama?" The fourth said, "Did we do something wrong?" Finally the last one said, "If we have been bad, we are sorry."
I looked up at the adults. They hadn't said anything. They just stared at me. Despite having no expression, they looked like they were looking at me disapprovingly. At least one of them almost looked like it was poised to attack me if I dared harm one of the babies.
Feeling guilty, I turned around and tried to leave. I attempted to exit, but the same pile of rocks was there. This time when I scanned it, it simply said "The Sheegoths don't want you to leave."
I examined the console's dents and noticed, barely visible, were some scratchings. It resembled the language of the Luminoth. I looked up online to see what it read. Slowly, I translated it. I shuddered by what it read. It was just a single word.
I looked back at the screen. I let out a scream at what I saw. Samus had her head turned to me. But her face, it looked just like SA-X's face from Metroid Fusion...
As a sharp pang of dread shot through my stomach, I shut off the console. I laid there, panting heavily as I allowed what had happened to sink in slowly. I hadn't played the game for weeks after that. I eventually got the courage to start a new game. I hadn't had any incidents like that happen again, but now none of the animals attacked me, not even any of the bosses. All they would do...is stare at me. Silently. Watching my every move.