Before the events of Zero Mission, the Zebesian forces launched an attack against the Galactic Federation Research Vessel Marina. Federation researchers had detected and captured Metroids, previously unknown life forms, on the planet SR388. Raiding and stealing several capsules with Metroids inside, the pirates carried them off to different operational bases, with Zebes becoming the main stronghold.
Shortly thereafter, likely after performing some tests on the Metroids, the Space Pirates discovered that exposing them to Beta Radiation caused the creatures to multiply. This gave them the opportunity to use the Metroids as a bioweapon against the Galactic Federation and anyone who stood in their way. The Space Pirates, Galactic Federation, and other factions widely believed that Metroids were the reason for the collapse of the Chozo civilisation on SR388.
During Samus’s assault on their Zebes headquarters, she wiped out every Zebesian opposing her, and defeated their commanders Kraid and Ridley. Due to the destruction taking place, Metroids managed to escape and started killing the pirates as well, while also becoming a hindrance for Samus. Before taking on Mother Brain herself, Samus was attacked by a Space Pirate special forces unit that included the Zebesian Weavel. Not being much of a threat, he was fatally wounded and resurrected as a bounty hunter some time before the events of the Alimbic Nightmare. Weavel was more dangerous than ever because of their advanced technology.
After the defeat of Mother Brain, the pirates managed to intercept Samus’s ship with several attack vessels as she was about to leave the planet’s orbit. Severe damage to her Power Suit left her vulnerable after her ship crashed back on Zebes near Chozodia. A Space Pirate Mother Ship was present nearby, having access to the ancient Chozo temple to some degree, and it was Samus’s only means of acquiring another ship in order to escape. The mothership was heavily guarded by Ridley’s elite forces, which chased Samus relentlessly when she set off their security alarms.
With the pirates unable to capture her, Samus managed to find an ancient room she had visited with Old Bird. Successfully passing the Ruins Test, she gained the Fully Powered Suit, and thus the remaining Zebesian forces posed very little threat. Traversing through the underground caverns of Chozodia, she soon found herself back inside their mothership, only to end up being trapped in a room with a mechanical security robot modelled after Ridley.
Following an intense showdown, Samus managed to destroy it, setting off the ship’s self-destruct sequence. After running through the ship while shooting remaining pirates left and right, Samus stole one last vessel and escaped. The Mother Ship was destroyed, the Zebesian bases significantly damaged, and all Metroids were eliminated. Before the Zebesian forces were defeated, they sent a distress call to their brethren across the sector, making them aware of what had transpired.
Once Samus left Zebes, she headed out towards new missions. This included her investigation on the Frigate Orpheon, which led to the Phazon Crisis, the Alimbic Nightmare, and the extermination of all Metroids on SR388. Meanwhile, the survivors of the Zebesian forces started to rebuild their bases. At some point after Ridley’s defeat, a group of pirates found his dying body in the depths of Norfair.
Never having found Kraid’s body, he was presumed dead. Ridley was sent to the Frigate Orpheon, and the Prime Pirates managed to revive and enhance him with cybernetic body parts and an arsenal of weapons and abilities. Dubbed Meta-Ridley, he once again led the Space Pirates against Samus and the Galactic Federation, giving the Zebesians time to not only rebuild their base, but to improve and carry out their plans regarding Metroids.
During Samus’s raid on SR388, Ridley, now back to his original form and cured of Phazon corruption, managed to locate Samus’s ship on the planet. With all Metroids killed except the Baby Metroid now following Samus, Ridley attacked them both in order to capture the last remaining Metroid.
After an intense battle, and nearly killing Samus, the baby attacked Ridley, and almost completely drained his lifeforce. The baby saved Samus in the process, and they left Ridley’s body behind on the planet before leaving. Sometime after, Samus delivered the baby to the scientists at the Ceres Space Station, where its potential applications for the good of mankind would be studied.
Sometime during her travels to the station, Ridley managed to recover and leave SR388 in pursuit of the baby once again. Samus had barely left the station, when a distress call was sent from them, and she headed back there. She found that the scientists were brutally murdered, and the station attacked, and it did not take her long to see that Ridley was behind the carnage. Her nemesis having grabbed the capsule containing the Metroid, Samus was unsuccessful in defeating Ridley, and he managed to escape with the infant. With the station’s self-destruction protocol triggered, likely by Ridley, Samus only had sixty seconds to escape. She made her way to her ship to hunt Ridley down.
Samus once again found herself on Zebes after she located Ridley’s position. She immediately headed towards Mother Brain’s original chambers, since it was her best chance of finding the infant Metroid. Once she arrived, a Space Pirate squadron attacked her there, but she quickly destroyed them and carried on. Realising that the Space Pirates had rebuilt their base while sealing off many of the previous access doors, she came across the Golden Statues located in southwestern Crateria. Representing Ridley, Kraid, Phantoon and Draygon, she had to defeat each of them in order to get access to the new Tourian, where she had the best chance of finding the Metroid.
Upon defeating these four guardians, Samus made her way towards Tourian and discovered that the Space Pirates had already begun the Metroid breeding program when she encountered Mochtroids. Thereafter, she faced and eliminated newly cloned Metroids, and was attacked by a giant Metroid, which was the baby grown to an unnaturally large size. After almost killing her, the Metroid realised she was its “mother”; seemingly guilty about nearly killing Samus, it left her alone.
Fortunately, a nearby healing station could be accessed and Samus restored herself. Shortly afterwards, she found Mother Brain’s new chamber and battled her. Mother Brain established a very similar setup for herself, knowingly setting up a trap for Samus’s inevitable return. Samus, thinking she had this in the bag, ‘defeated’ Mother Brain just like before. Unfortunately for her, Mother Brain had constructed a grotesque biomechanical body for herself and took Samus by surprise. Quickly overpowering Samus, she used her Laser Brain Attack to deeply wound her enemy, and crippled the hunter with her other weapons.
Before using one last charged laser attack, the Giant Metroid sensed their presence and immediately attacked Mother Brain, draining her energy. While Mother Brain was thought to be dead, the Metroid revitalised Samus with much of its own energy. However, Mother Brain had a backup plan of her own and revived herself, quickly starting to attack the Metroid during its restoration process. With one last attack, the Metroid charged at Mother Brain, but now too weak, it was killed, and Samus resumed the battle once more, now fully energised. She emerged victorious. With Mother Brain killed for good, a self-destruct procedure was set off once again, this time destroying Zebes entirely. Samus narrowly escaped, knowing that this was the end of the Zebesian pirates, and set off towards future missions.
Unlike their Prime brethren, the Zebesians had largely humanoid and crustacean-like features, as well as exoskeletons that made for resilient bodies. They had glowing pairs of eyes just like the Prime pirates, but unlike them, their arms were affixed with long, scorpion-like claws. Zebesians had agile bodies, were able to jump great distances, climb almost any surface, and even hang from walls just like their counterparts. They also came in a variety of colours, each representing ranks of increasing order.
Grey Space Pirates were the most basic warriors on Zebes and could easily be taken out by Samus. Green Space Pirates were predominantly found around Brinstar, and possibly acted as the personal legion of Kraid since a few of them also guarded his chamber. Red Space Pirates could be seen as the main Zebesian military force, as they guarded key areas such as Norfair, and the Space Pirate Mother Ship, where they relentlessly hunted down Samus. Their strength is increased since they are only vulnerable to missile attacks or the Spazer Beam, due to their thicker exoskeleton. Both the green and red variations were never seen climbing or hanging from walls.
Pink Space Pirates were even more resilient and could only be killed by the Plasma Beam or Screw Attack. They patrolled Maridia. Yellow Space Pirates acted as Ridley’s elite guards and took a lot of firepower before they were killed, but they were easier to defeat than a Pink Pirate while climbing walls. Ridley also had personal guards in the form of the Silver Space Pirates, notorious for using martial arts rather than ranged weaponry, although they could throw their biomechanical claws at Samus like boomerangs. Blue-Grey Space Pirates and Silver Space Pirates alike had virtually the same strength and attack patterns, and were resilient and challenging to fight, which made them the elite forces among Zebesians.
Culture and Technology
Similarly to their Prime cousins, Zebesians followed a strict hierarchy where Mother Brain ruled supreme, and then commanders leading them such as Ridley and Kraid, and finally the Zebesians themselves according to their ranks. They seemed to be somewhat more willing than the Prime pirates in cooperating with what they deemed lesser beings, such as the Kihunters, Evirs, and possibly even Crocomire. Whether or not they kept pets is currently unknown, but it would not be too farfetched to speculate that they did.
Considering a Berserker Knight during the Phazon Crisis used expendable Pirate Militia as thrown projectiles against Samus, it is possible that Mother Brain released the Metroids in Tourian to “test” them against the oblivious Zebesians there, and as a final hindrance for Samus, knowing she was on her way during the events of Zero Mission. Their bases were completely mechanical in nature, featuring lots of pipelines and platforms, possibly because of their agile bodies. They also appeared to worship or honour their commanders Ridley and Kraid as divine or militant idols, evident by statues of both in Zero Mission and Super Metroid.
Weaponry and War
Zebesians apparently preferred biomechanical weaponry and armour as their standard military equipment. Their exoskeletons and the different coloured variants of Zebesians might be an indication of this, along with their claw-like basic weapons that fire beams. Unlike their Prime counterparts however, they do not have a diverse range of tools and other weapons at their disposal. This could be due to their more primal nature, or perhaps it was the most efficient setup on Zebes. They were equipped with laser alarm systems, automatons, and other advanced structures and ships such as the Tourian bases, Space Pirate vessels, escape ships, and Ridley’s Mother Ship.
While the Zebesians might appear to be more primitive than their Prime brethren, they still held their own thanks to their bioweaponry and mechanical weaponry. Examples of these include the Spore Spawn, Mecha Ridley, and the Metroid breeding program. Countless raids, invasions, and wars were initiated by the Zebesians since they first introduced themselves to the surrounding systems.
Notable events included the attack on K-2L led by Ridley, the takeover of Zebes, and the assault on the Space Research Vessel Marina where they managed to steal captive Metroids from the Galactic Federation. Countless other raids were done to other civilisations across the sector, the majority of which focused on the Galactic Federation. The threats they represented were no lesser than the Prime pirates, and unlike them, they never betrayed their own kind due to Phazon madness.
As to their current status, the Zebesians were completely wiped out by Samus during her second assault on Zebes. One could ponder about the possibility of cloning them, but the Shadow Federation already did similar things with clones and then creating the cybernetic variants in Metroid: Other M. The X-Parasites had remnants of the Zebesian DNA during the events of Metroid Fusion, which was how they were able to form into them. Until we get to find out who or what High Command was and if it had control over both Space Pirate groups, the fate of the Zebesians has been sealed forever. However, we do need to remember that even Zebes was not their original homeworld, so they had to come from somewhere else where they might still exist in some form…
Written by Quadraxis