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  • Metroid Dread Report Vol. 8: Surveying Planet ZDR


    Metroid Dread Report Vol. 8: Surveying Planet ZDR

    Welcome to the Metroid Dread Report! This series will introduce the newest information on Metroid Dread for Nintendo Switch and the world of the Metroid series, along with behind-the-scenes glimpses from the game’s development team.

    Bounty hunter Samus Aran’s mission to planet ZDR has two objectives. One is to confirm whether the deadly X parasite – a species capable of mimicking other organisms – still exists. The other is to find out why the E.M.M.I. research robots previously dispatched with that same objective have gone dark.


    In this edition, we’ll take a deep dive into some of planet ZDR’s environments along with some of the native creatures that Samus will encounter on her mission. Let’s roll!

    Planet ZDR

    While the planet has gone unexplored by humankind, early readings show that ZDR shares similar planetary conditions (including temperature, humidity, gravity, and atmospheric composition) with those of planet SR388, which Samus previously visited in the past and subsequently destroyed during her most recent mission.

    Deep within the planet are environments split into multiple layers, each with unique traits and organisms. Remnants of the once-mighty Chozo civilization can be found throughout the planet, including shuttles and elevators connecting the areas.


    Samus awakens in the cavernous Artaria region after being attacked by a mysterious and powerful Chozo figure. This area is located in the deepest part of ZDR and has low-temperature environments. The upper portion of Artaria contains vast amounts of magma, which is used as the primary source of energy on the planet.


    This terrestrial, four-footed creature calls ZDR home. It won’t attack Samus but will cause damage and repel her if touched. It isn’t protected by hard armour, so you can inflict damage on any part of the creature.


    A small, flying creature whose head resembles a large eyeball. Once it detects Samus, it follows her, aims and then charges with its large-spiked tail. Sometimes found in flocks. Its small body and agile movements can make it tricky to hit, but Samus' Wide Beam is quite effective against them.


    This two-footed creature with heavy arms is one of the larger lifeforms on Artaria. It drags its arms behind as it walks. Because it dwells and has evolved in darkness, a Muzby doesn’t have the equivalent to a face. It has tough, rugged skin and high endurance, so high-powered attacks like the Missile or Charge Beam are effective. Samus can also slide between its legs when it lifts its arms to attack.

    ~Transmission from the dev team~

    "Artaria is where Samus begins her exploration of the planet. It’s a relatively large area but has many doors that she cannot open at the start of the game. You can revisit this area after making more progress and acquiring additional abilities, so it may be a good idea to mark those spots on the map. You can also take screenshots using the Capture Button to keep a record."


    Home to the central system that manages the supply and circulation of energy-generating magma throughout the planet, which powers various facilities. Hot streams of magma flow out in many places. Some of its high-temperature areas are too much for Samus to handle with just her standard Power Suit.


    This small creature can stick to and move across floors, walls, and ceilings. It stores magma in its body and spits it out when it detects danger. It spits out multiple magma shots, which can be difficult to avoid. It may be most effective to blast it from afar before it goes on the offensive.


    A robot believed to have been created with advanced Chozo technology. The cylinders on both of its sides can slam down with great force, creating an explosion that sends streaks of fire across the ground. Can be stunned with a quick Melee Counter when it pauses for a moment right before it strikes.


    A rock-like creature that lives near magma. Usually, it remains inactive in an ore-like form, but transforms into a battle form when it detects Samus. Be careful if it charges up: the high-temperature burst attack that follows can penetrate terrain.

    ~Transmission from the dev team~

    "Magma abounds in Cataris. Without the Varia Suit, which protects Samus from extremely high temperatures, you’ll take heat damage in many of the rooms here.

    "By circulating the thermal energy created from magma here, you can open new routes. In fact, if you carefully watch how magma moves within the circulation pipes, you can figure out the destination of the thermal energy. We think this might provide clues for exploring."


    A biological research site and home to many robots believed to have been developed using advanced Chozo technology. The power is out in some spots, which makes it difficult to spot enemies. Danger lurks in the shadows.


    A robotic enemy that shoots out from its dock when it detects Samus. It has a strong, spinning energy blade on its exterior that generates power as it turns, capable of damaging anything it touches. When it hits a bomb, the force of the explosion propels it upward.


    A small sniper robot with a precision laser above and six small treads below. It can operate on the ground, walls, and ceilings while aiming and firing at its target from many angles. The laser is a threat capable of dealing great damage, but there’s an opening to Melee Counter right before it fires. If on a wall or ceiling, an aerial Melee Counter would be effective.


    A violent, four-footed creature native to ZDR. Charges at Samus with great speed when she’s detected and will quickly change its direction and try again if she evades the attack. Fight back with a Melee Counter or attack it from outside its charging path.

    ~Transmission from the dev team~

    "Dairon is filled with many robots believed to have been developed with advanced Chozo tech. The robotic enemies are protected by thick armour that’s only vulnerable to a Charge Beam or Missile, which means effective use of the running Melee Counter is key to creating openings for attack."


    The bottom half of this marine research site is underwater. Many aquatic creatures residing here can’t be found in other areas.


    An aquatic creature that calls ZDR home. It floats under water but slowly approaches Samus if she hits it. Despite its appearance, it’s surprisingly durable so be careful not to underestimate it.


    This sea creature resembles a small jellyfish. While individually weak, they find strength in numbers and always collect in large smacks. Take out the group quickly so as not to be cornered.


    A creature with a yellow hump on its back where it stores acid. When it detects Samus, it shoots that acid with great precision. These corrosive blasts can be avoided with jumps and the Flash Shift ability. They can also be destroyed with Arm Cannon blasts or a Melee Counter strike if you react quickly enough.

    ~Transmission from the dev team~

    "Most of Burenia is underwater, which can put Samus at a disadvantage. Her agility takes a hit when submerged while equipped with her standard Power Suit or the Varia Suit, which makes it tough for her to contend with the faster sea creatures. However, Samus can pull herself to magnetic surfaces by latching the Grapple Beam to them – a move that just might save your hide."


    An underground forest area very close to the surface of planet ZDR. Sunlight peeks through from above, while native flora and fauna abound, including many plant-like beings and ancient creatures.


    This large creature has existed on ZDR since ancient times and can be spotted flying between trees and plants in high and low areas. It will rarely pick fights on its own but when attacked, it’ll get angry and emit a beam of light capable of decomposing other creatures, breaking down its prey into more digestible particles. Be careful to not accidentally hit this creature with a stray shot.


    A spider-like creature. Normally, the jaw under its body remains closed but when attacking, it opens wide and charges its opponent for a powerful bite attack. It can’t move between platforms on different levels, so take advantage of your surroundings when facing off against one.


    This insect-like, mid-sized flying creature is native to ZDR. When it detects Samus, it homes in on her position and charges at great speed. This creature is very fast and tricky to counter, but a successful strike will open up a big chance to attack. Using abilities like Flash Shift and slide to effectively avoid its attacks, then hitting it with Missiles is also a good option.

    ~Transmission from the dev team~

    "Civilization has left less of an imprint upon Ghavoran compared to other areas of ZDR, and the area’s appearance has been able to evolve in a natural way since ancient times. There are sections with small platforms that require continuous jumping, as well as partially-submerged locations. Samus will have to use her abilities to the fullest when taking on this area."


    The ancient ruins found here indicate this area was once a sanctuary used in Chozo rituals.

    ~Transmission from the dev team~

    "Constructed objects and the natural world co-exist in the other areas, whereas the inside of Ferenia contains mostly buildings left behind by Chozo civilization. What will Samus find among the ruins of this sanctuary? We don’t want to say too much. Just know that Samus will go back and forth between this area and others throughout ZDR to continue her explorations."

    Next time…

    In the next Metroid Dread Report, the release date nears! To prepare you for the mission, we'll cover a few tips to help kick off your exploration. Please look forward to it!

    Haven't yet read the previous Metroid Dread Report? Go here to check it out now.

    Don't forget, you can join the Nintendo Switch UK community on Facebook or follow @NintendoUK on Twitter for updates on Samus' upcoming mission. There's also more about the game on the official Metroid Dread gamepage ahead of its release on October 8th.