In the previous feature about the civilisations of the Metroid universe, we gave an insight into what the Galactic Federation was and what its purpose was in relation to the overall galactic affairs. But like everything else with power, those who sought more than just maintaining order secretly developed military programs that would have caused immense problems for everyone around. Just like the Space Pirates before them, this hidden organisation within the Galactic Federation put the Metroid cloning program on as its primary objective.
The story behind this ominous group within the Galactic Federation likely has its origin shortly after the discovery of Metroids and the power vacuum left by the Chozo due to Raven Beak’s malevolent scheme. Among the earliest signs of covert operations include the creation of the Shock Coil, the accompanying prototype suit and the Delano 7, which were stolen by Sylux. This secret technology was most likely intended to approach a level of technological achievement that compared to Samus’s Varia Suit. During the events of the Phazon crisis, information obtained from Space Pirate data logs indicated that Federation spies were hidden across the sector, divulging secret information to the pirates by bribing them. What they were bribed with and how these transactions occurred is currently unknown, but there could be some possibility that the ship, GFS Valhalla was one of these betrayals that lead to an entire squadron killed and their Aurora Unit stolen by the Space Pirates. But since Dark Samus corrupted these pirates beforehand, one might wonder if the pirates had this information prior to their assimilation. The Federation Force itself was also a product of a hidden agenda that was to be carried out as a bonus objective, to capture the Metroid egg found in a weapons facility on the planet Talvania. Their completed mission however was short-lived since Sylux managed to infiltrate the GFS Aegis not long thereafter, getting his hands on it. Things turned towards a darker path when Samus secured the baby Metroid after eradicating all Metroids on SR388 and brought it with her to the Ceres Space Colony. It is very possible that this was when the Shadow Federation operatives saw the potential in Metroids as bioweapons, just like the Space Pirates did. Unfortunately for them, not too long thereafter, Ridley attacked the colony and stole the baby Metroid and brought it back with him to Zebes for their own plans. Before Zebes was ultimately destroyed by Samus, the baby Metroid sacrificed itself to save her as Mother Brain was about to deliver the final blow. The remains of the baby scattered around and on Samus, finally rendering the Metroids extinct.
The Shadow Federation had other plans following the incident that took place on SR388 some time after the destruction of Zebes. Samus picked up a distress call from an unknown source, later revealed to be the Bottle Ship, an illegal remote Shadow Federation base conducting experiments, both biological and technological. Possessing a sample of that Metroid DNA, their primary objective was to clone Metroids under a new project that also saw the creation of an A.I. implemented into the body of an android named MB. She was modelled after Mother Brain’s thought processes in order to establish a developing link between her and the Metroids so that she could control them, while the “ringleaders” (as Samus called them) controlled her. In theory, this would grant them complete control over the Metroids. Their greed did not end there however, since this was just a continuation from having previously created artificial Zebesians that would serve as MB’s army as one of their primary plans. Other experimental weapons included the gravity manipulating sentient machine known as Nightmare and experiments on creatures and plants. To further complicate things, they also altered the Metroids to become immune to freezing temperatures as they matured, leaving them only vulnerable at their infant stages. One experiment that would prove instrumental to the loss of control over the Bottle Ship, was the creation of Ridley’s clone. They did not expect a small furry creature to be the infant stage of Ridley and so did not pay any real attention to him until it was too late. The inability to control Metroids and other creatures on the ship was interrupted by the overriding screeches of Ridley even at such a young state.
Samus was also not alone when she arrived on the Bottle Ship, because a platoon of Federation Army troopers led by Commander Adam Malkovich were sent there to investigate as well. Unbeknownst to them all, there was a Shadow Federation agent among them, labelled as The Deleter by Samus due to his relentless objective of killing off some of the other members and sabotaging the ship’s systems in order to prevent Samus and Adam from exposing the truth. Adam sacrificed himself by blowing up Sector Zero in the Bottle Ship to destroy the Metroids once and for all. The Deleter, now known by players to be James Pierce, was found brutally killed shortly thereafter in the Bioweapon Research Center area, along with Ridley close-by in a connected room. While it wasn’t a hundred percent clear on how James was killed, it is highly plausible that MB finished him off after he failed to kill her off screen. He caught MB by chance near Sector Zero after he failed to kill the remaining survivor at the warehouse with the RB176 Ferrocrusher, having tried to locate her once again. Perhaps his final orders were to secure Sector Zero and the Metroids inside and then initiate a self-destruct protocol on the ship to delete any evidence of their operations. Successfully stopping MB’s rampage and intentions, the overall mission failed due to the Galactic Federation taking control of the Bottle Ship, forcing Samus, Anthony and Madeline to leave.
Samus discovered that the Galactic Federation intended to destroy the Bottle Ship, so she went back there to retrieve Adam’s helmet before that happened. The Shadow Federation likely took the opportunity during Samus’s short absence of the ship to collect all data and Metroid samples that still lingered there, with the remains of Ridley and Nightmare nowhere to be found. Assisting a team of Federation scientists on an excursion mission sometime after the events of Other M, she was infected by an X-Parasite that transformed back into its true form after mimicking a hostile Hornoad that attacked the team. Her only salvation was a newly developed Metroid vaccine created by DNA scraps from the baby Metroid that the Federation managed to clean off Samus’s suit. Now having Metroid DNA as well, Samus found herself on a vessel called the B.S.L Research Station conducting more illegal projects. Using the baby Metroid’s DNA, they continued their Metroid cloning program in hopes of using them as bioweapons and other monstrosities such as the Serris and Yakuza. The X-Parasites, specifically the one who infected Samus earlier, started to mimic her possessing the entire arsenal of the Power Suit and its weapons. Ten other parasites did the same. Now dubbed the SA-X, they began to destroy the station and unleashed the rest of the parasites which quickly overran the station mimicking all kinds of creatures that were once held there, including the Ridley clone and Nightmare. The threat these parasites represented were as big or even bigger than the Metroids themselves, leading to Samus crashing the station onto SR388 where the X rampaged and thrived, ultimately destroying the entire planet along with them.
Before Samus’s initial arrival during the events of Samus Returns, Raven Beak and his Mawkin followers committed a genocide of the Thoha tribe of Chozo in order to prevent them from destroying all the Metroids by blowing up SR388. Sparing only Quiet Robe, they fled to ZDR in order to prepare the retrieval of Metroids, but unfortunately for them, an X-parasite disguised as a Mawkin soldier began the onslaught of ZDR. Raven Beak barely managed to contain them before it got out of hand even though he lost the majority of his kin. During this time, Samus eradicated all the Metroids, spoiling Raven Beak’s plans to use Metroids as his personal army. The Galactic Federation received an unknown transmission with video footage years after that incident, showing an X-Parasite alive on that planet. They immediately dispatched seven E.M.M.I to locate and retrieve DNA samples from these parasites. Shortly after landing on ZDR however, Raven Beak reprogrammed them all for his own personal agenda. While officially the E.M.M.I was sent by the Galactic Federation, I cannot help to think that the Shadow branch would have used the parasites in the same way as they tried with the Metroids, but then those plans crashed once Raven Beak took control.
Since pretty much all of the known Shadow Federation presence in the Metroid universe have been human, there are no differences as of yet between them and the official branch of the Galactic Federation.
Culture and Technology
Not much differs between the two factions as both operate in highly advanced technological bases. The biggest dissimilarities would be that while the Galactic Federation are usually diplomatic and generally pleasant to deal with, the Shadow Federation are cold, manipulative, rather hostile and of course work in secrecy. Another likely difference could be that this shadow branch took some inspiration from Space Pirate operations due to the similarities in them.
Weaponry and War
Besides possessing the same standard technology as the rest of the Galactic Federation, the shadow branch has their own formidable and nightmare-fuelled experimental weapons that would have caused great galactic havoc if unleashed. As mentioned before, the Shock Coil, the accompanying combat suit, and the Delano 7 that Sylux stole were Federation technology, partially in hopes to mimic Samus’s power suit to some extent. The entire Bottle Ship was essentially a Shadow Federation base where all kinds of illegal projects were conducted. These projects included samples of animals, plants and environments from various planets, project Nightmare, a gravity manipulating sentient machine with a seemingly organic head as its core, and the accidental creation of Ridley. Their primary objective, however, was the Metroid program along with the Zebesian program, and lastly MB, the android based on Mother Brain created to control these Metroids once she developed and learned how to control them and the Zebesian cyborgs.
Unlike the Space Pirates, Mother Brain, Ridley, Sylux (potentially) and Raven Beak, this seemingly malevolent branch of the Federation is still out there preparing whatever sinister plans they want to realise. Currently, there are no representative characters that can pinpoint exactly to who these people are and what their ultimate end goal is. But it is clear that at least a portion of the highest-ranking operatives are behind this and can enable these illegal activities, hiding them from the rest of the Galactic Federation. It is also said that Sylux harbours a deep hatred for them and is also likely that he is in fact human due to his experimental suit being made for human use. He could very well be a top agent of the Shadow Federation, giving some further arguments for it by what happened at the end of Federation Force. Having worked as spies for the Space Pirates and who knows what else, they are a group that would do anything to secure dominance over the galaxy by using anything they deem having great potential, like the Metroids. Their last possible activity being that of the E.M.M.I, they are still a threat to the galaxy and now Samus as well since she spoiled their plans several times by now.
Written by Quadraxis