Over the years the Metroid series has had some remarkable boss battles. The climatic fight with Mother Brain at the end of Super Metroid, the endless duels with Ridley, the downright disturbing face-peeling antics against Nightmare X in Metroid Fusion, boss battles have created some of the most memorable moments in the series. But in my opinion, no where else has the series nailed boss fights more than in the Metroid Prime Trilogy. The first-person perspective made shooting fun and intuitive whilst the array of visors and gadgets also allowed the developers to play around with how you fought each boss, and improving the puzzle element of the fights. So, with that in mind, here are the top 10 boss fights in the Metroid Prime Trilogy.
10. Flaahgra (Metroid Prime)
The first proper boss fight in Metroid Prime gets the game off to good start. The main point of interest in this battle is the mechanics of the fight. Making a decent fight based around the morph ball has been a constant struggle for the series, and certainly the fight with the Spider Guardian in Metroid Prime 2 is testament to that (*shudder*). Flaahgra is pretty easy to beat once you work out what to do, although there is always the moment of panic when it wakes up after being stunned and you are scrambling to get to the entry points for the morph ball in time.
9. Chykka (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
What I like about this fight is just how…weird it is. The laval stage is fairly simple, a matter of keeping track of it in the water whilst taking care of the small enemies it throws at you and managing your dark and light beam accordingly. However in its adult stage it becomes a lot more difficult, having to swing between different platforms and using your light and dark beams in tandem with your missiles. Given how easy it is to completely miss your target, ammo can become a serious issue. In most games the temptation would be to make the ‘adult’ form a great slumbering beast, and the ‘larval’ more nimble and smaller, Retro went with opposite approach here. This boss fight encapsulates the weird, gooey-ness of Dark Aether which makes it such a haunting place to explore.
8. Aurora Unit 313/ Dark Samus (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)
The climax of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and the trilogy as whole, is fittingly frenetic. Whilst it’s not quite as much of an endurance test as the finale to the second game (more on that later), it stills offers a serious challenge across it’s three stages. The stages get gradually worse as they go along, starting with the excellent fight with Dark Samus, the best fight with the antagonist in the trilogy, before moving on to the Aurora Unit 313. This first stage is standard dodging lasers and pumping as much into the boss as possible. But the power and variety of attacks at the Unit’s disposal make this a fight where you really have to keep your whits about you. Unfortunately the final stage of the fight, where the Unit’s head starts flying and spinning around the room, seems a tad silly to me. However this doesn’t ruin the battle, and it’s still a more than competent way to close the series.
7. Gandrayda (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)
The fight with Gandrayda is comfortably the best out of the fights with the possessed hunters in Prime 3. Despite the fact that her character model is awful, the actual combat makes up for it, changing between a variety of different enemies throughout the battle’s duration. Because of this you have to keep on adjusting your technique and stay on your toes, while remembering how you beat the enemies earlier in the game. Her final phase where she goes all ninja in your face is also pretty good, using the standard Prime technique of forcing you to change between different visors to keep tabs on her. This fight gets props for ingenuity and trying to do something different, for which it succeeds.
6) Omega Ridley (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)
Whilst this is not the best Ridley fight in the trilogy (foreshadowing…), the fight with Omega Ridley inside the third leviathan seed is certainly a good one. I’m not a fan of some of the more gimmicky motion controls in Corruption, but I’m glad the Wii exists purely for the satisfaction of ripping off Ridley’s chest plate with the nunchuck and unloading a load of phazon into the poor guy. This isn’t the most difficult fight, Ridley is pretty stupid by this point, then again falling into a nuclear reactor will do that to you. For some reason I just found this fight incredibly fun, and in the end isn’t that what games are all about?
5) Omega Pirate (Metroid Prime)
The second ‘omega’ variant in a row, the Omega Pirate is hands down the most difficult fight of the original game in the trilogy. It’s standard attacks are fairly easy to avoid, but cause real damage if you do get hit. Where things get really sticky is when he summons up some pirate cohorts to distract you. This is especially a problem because he can only be damaged when he is ‘refuelling’, the pirates making quite the nuisance of the themselves at this particular point. Whenever I play through this fight I am always caught between two minds on whether to kill them, or just ignore them and concentrate on damaging the actual boss. However frustrating it is though, the fight gives you an enormous sense of satisfaction when you have finally bested him.
4) Quadraxis (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
The first thing that hits with this fight is just how massive this guy is. He is bloody huge! The scale of the fight really does overwhelm you to begin with, your instant reaction is just to curl up into your morph ball and hide in the corner. The first form isn’t actually that impressive combat wise, a small matter of going around bombing his feet. It’s when his head detaches and forces you to use the echo visor, and use his dormant legs as ramps to flip onto his head and bomb him, that things get really interesting. This is a really clever strategy for finding new methods of using the existing gadgets at your disposal, giving Quadraxis a really unique feel and making for a memorable boss battle.
3. Metroid Prime (Metroid Prime)
The final boss of the original game is split into two parts. The first part against it’s spider-like form is mainly an exercise in switching between your different guns and balancing between getting hits in while shooting any projectiles that come your way. This fight really rewards those who went out of their way to find the Flamethrower, Ice Spreader and Wavebuster, as well as collecting a lot of missile expansions on their adventure. The second, essence form, focuses on switching between visors and finding the right opportunity to to stand on the phazon puddles and fire away. This final form is improved vastly by its presentation, revealing this twisted vaguely humanoid facial appearance underneath the monster. This is backed up by the brilliant drum’n’bass remix of the title tune that frantically blazes in the background. This music could have been terrible idea, but it worked out amazingly and really makes you feel like a true hero, which is what you want from a final boss.
2. Emperor Ing/ Dark Samus (Metroid Prime 2: Corruption)
Echoes is a punishing game at times and this final battle is an endurance test. It is essentially made up of 5 different stages which I call tentacle phase, boost ball phase, lantern-mouth phase, escape sequence, and Dark Samus fight. All three of the Emperor’s forms are incredibly strange creations, like Lovecraftian nightmares. This whole section is one massive adrenaline rush that tests all of the skills and weapons you have acquired throughout the game. Gun-switching, visor-switching, boost balling, platforming, it’s all here. It’s an incredible way to finish what is often overlooked as the black sheep of the Metroid Prime Trilogy. After beating this boss you feel as though you have won against the odds, and it serves as a satisfying way of ending the game.
1. Meta Ridley (Metroid Prime)
What makes this boss fight so satisfying is the way it is teased throughout the game. From the opening scenes of Meta Ridley taunting Samus before flying away from wrecked Frigate Orphan, to the shadow he casts whilst you move through the Phendrana Drifts, throughout the whole game you know this fight is coming, and it doesn’t disappoint. The first stage of the fight is simply a matter of being patient and avoiding attacks while he flies around the place, and unleashing hell on him when you get the chance. But after his wings burn off things drastically change. It’s a fight which forces you to hone your evasion skills, especially since he becomes faster and more erratic as his health depletes. It’s a tough old fight but what really elevates this above the rest is the personality Meta Ridley has as an enemy. This great, hulking mass is incredibly intimidating at first, and the look in his dead eyes that he fixes you with when gearing up a charge attack is something that never leaves you. Everything about this fight in terms of combat and presentation is truly remarkable and is one of the most memorable moments Metroid has ever offered.