Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

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Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
A person in a big, futuristic-looking powered suit with a helmet, a firearm on the right arm and large, bulky, and rounded shoulders. Behind her stands a duplicate of hers wearing a black suit, and the helmet of a creature with similar armor. In the background is a blue planet surrounded by stars. On the lower part of the box is the game title.
North American and PAL region box art
Developer(s) Retro Studios
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Mark Pacini
Producer(s) Kensuke Tanabe
Composer(s) Kenji Yamamoto
Minako Hamano
Masaru Tajima
Series Metroid
Release date(s)
Genre(s) First-person action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a first-person action-adventure game developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. It is the 9th game in the Metroid series, and the final entry in the Metroid Prime trilogy—excluding two spin-off titles. It was released in North America and Europe in 2007, and in Japan the following year. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk devices are featured in a new control scheme that took a year to develop and caused the game's release to be delayed several times.

The story of Corruption is set six months after the events of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and follows bounty hunter Samus Aran as she assists the Galactic Federation in its fight against the Space Pirates. While fending off a Space Pirate assault, Samus and her fellow bounty hunters are attacked by her doppelgänger, Dark Samus, who incapacitates them with a mutagenic material called Phazon. After losing contact with the other hunters, the Federation sends Samus on a mission to determine what happened to them. During the course of the game, Samus works to prevent the Phazon from spreading from planet to planet while being slowly corrupted by the Phazon herself.

The game was first shown to the public at the E3 2005 trade show. Reception to Corruption has been very positive, with several reviews specifically praising the gameplay. More than one million copies of the game were sold in 2007. It was re-released as part of Metroid Prime: Trilogy, a Wii compilation of the three main games of the Prime series with Wii Remote controls.[3] The Trilogy compilation was re-released for Wii U on January 29, 2015 as a digital download in the Nintendo eShop.[1][2]


View of a futuristic looking room;  two enemies wearing powered armor are approaching the player, and one is being hit by the player's weapon (a large cannon), which is visible in the corner of the screen. The image is a simulation of the heads-up display of a combat suit's helmet, with a crosshair surrounding the enemy and two-dimensional icons relaying game information around the edge of the frame.
Samus's HUD. The targeting reticle can be aimed anywhere on the screen using the Wii Remote.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a first-person action-adventure game. The player controls the protagonist, Samus Aran, using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk devices. The Nunchuk enables the player to perform actions such as moving Samus and locking on to enemies and targets. The Wii Remote allows the player to execute actions such as jumping, aiming, and firing weapons.[4][5]

Corruption is a large, open-ended game that takes place across several planets, each with regions connected by elevators, rail systems, and bridges. Each region has rooms separated by doors that can be opened when shot with the correct weapon. The gameplay revolves around solving puzzles to uncover secrets, jumping on platforms, and shooting enemies with the help of a "lock-on" mechanism that allows Samus to move in a circle while staying aimed on an enemy. The game uses a first-person view, except in Morph Ball mode, in which Samus's suit transforms into an armored ball and the game uses a third-person camera.[4] The third person camera is also used in conjunction with the Screw Attack power-up: in this case Samus's suit emits strange energy waves as she performs a continuous jump.

The game's heads-up display simulates the inside of Samus's helmet, and features a radar, map, ammunition gauge, and when engaged with a boss, its health meter and name. Samus's own health meter is represented by a blue bar at the top of the screen which is referred to as energy. The energy meter, in addition to visualizing how much energy is left, also displays a number to the left indicating how much energy remains. Samus begins the game with a mere 99 energy units. As the game progresses, the player can collect energy tanks. These permanent upgrades will increase Samus's maximum energy by 100 units as well as replenish any expended energy upon pickup. Each energy tank that is added will appear as a square above Samus's energy meter: a solid square will indicate a full energy tank while a hollow square will indicate an empty one. Samus's energy meter will reflect how much energy her current tank has left. A game over screen will appear should Samus's energy tanks be fully emptied and her energy dropped to zero. The player can change visors to enable new abilities such as X-ray vision, or can switch to the Scan Visor, collecting information on many items, creatures and enemies, and interfacing with certain mechanisms such as force fields and elevators. Corruption also includes a hint system that periodically displays on-screen instructions and navigation assistance.[4]

The game also has the addition of the hypermode, an early-game upgrade in which one of her full energy tanks' contents are converted from energy into phazon with her suit's PED (phazon enhancement device). Upon using the PED, the words "ENERGY TANK INJECTED" appear to indicate that hypermode has been engaged. During this time, the energy meter turns from blue to white and becomes much larger and more visible, accompanied by a special visual filter which turns Samus's vision black and white. Any source of phazon, however, will still appear blue. The PED uses this phazon to give Samus temporary invulnerability, and grants her attacks that are vastly more powerful than what she is normally capable of. These attacks drain the phazon tank fairly quickly, and draining the tank completely will take Samus out of hypermode. The player can cancel hypermode at any time, recycling the unused phazon back into energy. After remaining in hypermode for 30 seconds, a fail-safe will vent all of the remaining phazon, canceling hypermode.

Later on in the game, as Samus becomes more corrupted with phazon, an anomaly appears in her suit's PED. From this point forward, remaining in hypermode for 10 seconds or more leads into corrupt hypermode. During corrupt hypermode, the phazon meter turns from white to red and begins to slowly fill itself. In this state, Samus can no longer voluntarily cancel hypermode, but she can still vent the phazon manually by discharging her arm cannon. Taking damage will fill the meter with varying intensity. Venting the phazon tank entirely by manually discharging the arm cannon, or keeping the phazon levels stable for 30 seconds until the auto-vent initiates, will cancel hypermode. The latter can maximize damage output and phazon efficiency, but is also slightly harder to execute due to the risk of corruption — if the phazon meter fills completely and remains full for more than a few seconds, a unique game over screen will display. In the following cut-scene, Samus is shown being fully corrupted with phazon; thus transforming her into Dark Samus.



The events in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption take place six months after Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.[6] The game's protagonist, Samus Aran, is a bounty hunter hired to assist the Galactic Federation during its ongoing conflict with the Space Pirates. After facing initial defeat on the planet Zebes during the events of the first Metroid title, the Space Pirates sought to gain power by using a newly discovered mutagen called Phazon.[7] However, Samus managed to disrupt their operations throughout the Prime trilogy and ultimately allowed the Galactic Federation to confiscate and replicate their Phazon armaments.[8]

The Space Pirates' operation was left in disarray following defeat in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.[8] In their desperation, they turned to Dark Samus, Samus's sinister doppelgänger, for aid.[9] Dark Samus strengthened the Space Pirates' forces, while also slowly indoctrinating them into mindless servants.[10] Their combined forces seek to corrupt the universe with Phazon by first executing a series of methodical attacks on three Federation planets: Norion, Bryyo, and Elysia.[11] The game is primarily centered around these planets and three other locations that become accessible after completing certain in-game tasks.[11]


Metroid series
fictional chronology

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption begins with a meeting between Samus, three other bounty hunters, and Admiral Dane, leader of the Galactic Federation fleet. The bounty hunters, including Samus, receive orders to clear a computer virus from several organic supercomputers called "Aurora Units", located throughout the galaxy. Suddenly, the meeting ends abruptly when Space Pirates attack the Federation fleet. Samus and the other bounty hunters are deployed to the planet Norion, where the Space Pirates are concentrating an attack on a Federation naval base. While suppressing the attack, Samus learns that a Phazon asteroid, called a Leviathan Seed, will soon collide into Norion. Samus and the other bounty hunters attempt to activate the base's defense systems, when they are suddenly attacked by a newly armored Dark Samus. With the other bounty hunters knocked out, a severely wounded Samus manages to activate the system just in time to destroy the Leviathan Seed before she falls unconscious.[12]

A month later, Samus awakens aboard a Galactic Federation starship, where she learns that Dark Samus's Phazon-based attacks have corrupted her. The Federation equips her with a Phazon Enhancement Device (PED) that enables her to harness the Phazon energy within herself. She is informed that her fellow bounty hunters, also corrupted with Phazon and equipped with PEDs, have gone missing during their missions to investigate several planets embedded with Leviathan Seeds. Samus is first sent to the planet Bryyo and later Elysia to determine what happened to her missing comrades. She soon discovers that both planets and their inhabitants are slowly being corrupted by the Leviathan Seeds; and that she must destroy the seeds to reverse this.[12]

Samus encounters heavy resistance from the Space Pirates, Phazon-corrupted monstrosities, and her fellow bounty hunters who have been corrupted by Dark Samus. Throughout her mission, which eventually takes her to the Space Pirate homeworld, Samus slowly becomes further Phazon-corrupted. She manages to stop the Space Pirate assault with the assistance of the Galactic Federation Navy. The fleet then warps to the planet Phaaze, the source of all Phazon in the galaxy. Samus travels to its core, where she finally defeats Dark Samus, then the corrupted Aurora Unit 313. As a result, Dark Samus is obliterated, Phaaze is destroyed, and all Phazon in the galaxy is rendered inert. At the end of the game, if the player collects 100 percent of the upgrades, Samus is seen flying into hyperspace with an unidentified spaceship following her.[12]


A building with a sign reading "Retro Studios". Trees and a hedge are seen in front of it.
Retro Studios, based in Austin, Texas, developed Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, as well as its predecessors, Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

Retro Studios intended to give Metroid Prime 3: Corruption larger environments than Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and enable the game to run at 60 frames per second.[13] The developers were also interested in using the WiiConnect24 feature to provide additional content for the game that would be accessible from the Internet.[13] Retro announced that Corruption would be the final chapter of the Prime series and would have a plot "about closure, told against the backdrop of an epic struggle".[14] After the Wii Remote was revealed, Nintendo demonstrated how Metroid Prime 3 would take advantage of the controller's special abilities with a version of Echoes modified for the Wii and shown at the Tokyo Game Show in 2005.[15]

The title Corruption and some of the first gameplay footage were revealed at Nintendo's Media Release at the E3 2006 trade show. Iwata said he hoped Corruption would launch with the Wii in November 2006,[13] but a few months later the game was delayed to 2007.[16] In April 2007, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime stated in an interview that Corruption was "not going to ship by June"[17] and set it at a summer 2007 release date at the earliest. Later he opined, "when we release it, it will be perfect. And if that's a little later than folks would have liked, I'm hoping they're going to be happy."[18] In late April 2007, IGN editor Matt Casamassina revealed that Corruption would be shown in detail during May of that year, and that the game would be released on August 20, 2007, in the United States.[19] Nintendo of America later announced to have moved the release date to August 27, 2007,[20][21] but Nintendo finally announced an "in stores" date of August 28, 2007.[22] The game was released in Europe on October 26, 2007.[23] At the Media Summit held by Nintendo during the week of May 21, 2007, Reggie Fils-Aime said that Metroid games "never played this way before" when referring to Corruption. He also noted that Nintendo employees who had seen the game in action claimed that it "will reinvent the control scheme for a first-person shooter".[24]

Game director Mark Pacini stated that the biggest concern Retro had during production was the controls, which had "too many functions for the amount of buttons".[25] Pacini also said the Wii Zapper, a gun shell peripheral, was never considered because it was announced when the game's development was almost done.[26] Retro president Michael Kelbaugh said that the delays for the game's release gave them more time to tune the controller, which took a year. He also stated that while Retro did "a great job on the multiplayer in Metroid Prime 2", focus was centered on the single player portion of the game, which was considered to be "the core strength of the franchise".[27] Art director Todd Keller declared the graphics to be focused in both texture detail and variety, with every single texture being hand-made and trying to "make every room its own custom stage".[26] During development, the Nintendo EAD team involved with Corruption suggested Retro to turn Hypermode into the core of the game, saying it would enhance the tension as it made players powerful but if used excessively would lead to a game over. Retro initially disagreed, saying it would be difficult to implement the feature without dampening the entertainment value, but after discussion decided to turn Hyper Mode into a regular functionality of the game.[28] Metroid Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe said that a questionnaire on choosing the game's difficulty was made for Corruption's Japanese release.[29]

Prime, Prime 2, and Prime 3 were bundled together as Metroid Prime: Trilogy, released on August 24, 2009 for Wii on a single disc, and on January 29, 2015 for Wii U as a digital download through the Nintendo eShop.[3][2] Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes feature the motion controls and achievement systems introduced in Prime 3.[3]


The soundtrack for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was composed by Kenji Yamamoto, Minako Hamano and Masaru Tajima.[30] The game took advantage of the increase in the amount of RAM that took place when the series switched from the Nintendo GameCube to the Wii; this allowed for higher quality audio samples to be used and thus allowing a better overall audio quality.[31] Yamamoto used Hirokazu Tanaka's musical design of the original Metroid in Corruption, by keeping the music and themes dark and scary until the very end, when uplifting music is played during the credits.[31]

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the first game in the Metroid series to feature a significant amount of voice acting, compared to previous games in the series in which Samus "[acted] alone [... and] always came across as a lone wolf".[32] The producers decided to include voices to create a stronger connection between players and the characters.[26] The characters' voices were performed by Timothy Patrick Miller, Lainie Frasier, Christopher Sabat, Edwin Neal, Claire Hamilton, Brian Jepson, Gray Haddock, Clayton Kjas and Ken Webster.[30]

Release and reception[edit]

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 90% (62 reviews) [33]
Review scores
Publication Score A[34]
EGM 26 of 30[35]
Famitsu 31 of 40
GameSpot 8.5 of 10[36]
GameTrailers 9.6 of 10[37]
IGN 9.5 of 10[38]
Nintendo Power 10 of 10[39]
X-Play 4/5 stars[40]


IGN initially criticized Nintendo for its minimal marketing campaign for Corruption and compared it to the larger campaign for the original Metroid Prime, which included its own live action advertisement. The website concluded that the campaign was the result of Nintendo's new focus on casual games for their console. When questioned on the company's actions, Nintendo of America responded by saying, "Nintendo fans will be surprised by the quantity and quality of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption information that becomes available before the game launches on Aug. 27. Your patience will be rewarded (or Corrupted)."[41] Following this promise, Nintendo released the "Metroid Prime 3 Preview" channel on August 10, 2007, in North America and on October 15, 2007, in Europe.[42] The channel, available as a free download via the Wii Shop Channel, allowed Wii owners to view preview videos of the game that included a battle sequence and previously unannounced details on new characters.[20] The Preview channel was the first in a series of new downloadable content including videos made available in North America. The "month of Metroid", as named by Nintendo, included Virtual Console versions of Metroid, available on August 13, 2007, and Super Metroid, available on August 20, 2007.[20]


Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was released in North America on August 27, 2007,[43] and in Europe on October 26, 2007,[23] to widespread positive acclaim. Nintendo Power commented, "The stunning visuals and immersive gameplay of the finale to the Prime series proves that the Wii is ready for the mainstream gamer."[39] IGN awarded the game an Editor's Choice Award, and noted that the game was beautifully designed and the best looking game for the Wii. They also praised the inclusion of "well-done" voice acting, in contrast to the lack of any voice acting in most other Nintendo games. Despite stating that Metroid Prime 3 was too similar to its predecessors, the review concluded that it was the best game in the Prime trilogy. IGN also said that it could be worthy of the same score as the original Metroid Prime (9.8), had it not been for the aforementioned reason.[38] X-Play claimed that the game was enjoyable, but it had a few awkward control mechanics and was a little difficult to control on the Wii. They also said that although it was fun, there were problems that lead to odd lock-on mechanics and painful wrists from continuous motions.[40]

Brand Jones from GameTrailers praised the more user-friendly and action-packed nature of the game compared to Metroid Prime and Echoes. Jones also praised the superior motion-sensitive controls, stating, "After playing Metroid Prime 3 you'll never want to play a shooter with dual analog controls again, it's that good." He further added that those elements make Corruption "far superior to the original Metroid Prime".[37] was enthusiastic about the new control system and said the graphics were "some of the best visuals in gaming, period".[34] Electronic Gaming Monthly gave Corruption a Silver award and ranked the title as Game of the Month in a three-way tie with FIFA 08 and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.[35] GameSpot stated the game had enjoyable puzzles, boss battles, atmospheric levels, and smooth gameplay. It also explained that the game was more like a traditional shooter video game than an adventure shooter, and stated that the motion activated actions were too unresponsive.[36]

GamesRadar named Metroid Prime 3: Corruption the 10th best Wii game of all time out of a list of 25, stating that "Metroid Prime 3 is the ultimate achievement of the series. The formula, which was repeated several times by Corruption, was been tweaked and pruned to its most perfect point, with some of the best shooting on the system."[44] In IGN's Best of 2007 Awards, Corruption received the awards for Best Wii Adventure Game,[45] Best Artistic Design,[46] and Best Overall Adventure Game.[47] GameSpy ranked it as the second best Wii game of the year, behind Super Mario Galaxy,[48] and honored it as the Best Innovation on the Wii.[49] Australian website MyWii named Prime 3 as the second best Wii game currently available, behind Super Mario Galaxy.[50] Despite being released on August 27, Corruption was the fifth best-selling game of the month, with 218,100 copies sold.[51] It also debuted at the fifth spot of the Japanese charts, with 34,000 units in the first week of release.[52] More than one million copies of the game were sold in 2007,[53] and as of March 2008, 1.31 million copies of the game were sold worldwide.[54]


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  10. ^ Retro Studios (2007-08-27). "Metroid Prime 3: Corruption". Wii. Nintendo. Logbook - "The Leviathan": Our leader provided us with great wisdom on many subjects, including the improvement of our mighty battleship, Colossus. We followed her teachings, and turned our vessel into a ship without peer. 
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  29. ^ 社長が訊く『メトロイドプライム3 コラプション』 [Iwata Asks: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption] (in Japanese). Nintendo. 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2012-08-18. Tanabe: それで思い出したんですが難易度の選択というのもありますよね。アメリカ版では、時間の関係もあって、基本的に自分で選べるようにしたのですが、日本版では、任天堂らしい味付けをしようと、銀河連邦からのアンケートに答えるような仕組みにしました。連邦のアンケートに答えるって言うのは、レトロスタジオのアイディアなんですが・・・その質問に答えると、「あなたのオススメの難易度はこれです」と教えてくれるようになっています。 / Now that I think about it, you can choose the difficulty level as well. While in the American version, partly because of time issues, we made it so this was chosen directly by the player, in the Japanese version, we wanted to add a bit of "Nintendo flavor" to it, so the difficulty is decided by answering to a questionnaire from the Galactic Federation. That was an idea that came from Retro Studios… After you answer the questionnaire, they will tell you, "This is the difficulty level we would like to recommend to you." 
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External links[edit]