Nintendo dropped some new Metroid Dread info this morning, complete with a video detailing the different skills franchise heroine Samus Aran brings to the table in the upcoming Switch game when it launches on October 8. But this all pales in comparison to the reveal that Kraid, a secondary antagonist who hasn’t been seen in years, is making his glorious comeback.
Kraid first hit the scene in 1986 as one of several bosses in the original Metroid, appearing as a little, spike-shooting dude barely bigger than Samus herself. Kraid was overshadowed by Ridley, the space dragon who would go on to become the bounty hunter’s main rival. Kraid did receive substantial makeovers for 1994’s Super Metroid and 2004’s Zero Mission remake before quietly disappearing from the series.
According to former Retro Studios artist Gene Kohler, there were plans to feature Kraid in 2002’s Metroid Prime as a boss battle on par with Meta Ridley, a Space Pirate-resurrected version of Samus’ eternal foe who acts as the game’s penultimate antagonist. Work never got past modelling and skinning. Sadly, all Kraid assets were removed from the game before launch, but Kohler was kind enough to provide an image of the big guy’s early model during the aforementioned interview.
Another ex-Retro employee, Greg Luzniak, shared concept art in 2015 of what a potential battle with Kraid would have looked like had he survived to Metroid Prime’s release.
But back to Metroid Dread. The latest trailer depicts Samus stumbling upon Kraid in some sort of containment chamber. He lunges at her but can’t quite make it due to his restraints. Later on, Samus is shown climbing Kraid’s belly towards his face for an up-close-and-personal reunion.
Another important Metroid Dread foe appears to be one of the Chozo, a race of technologically advanced, bird-like people that raised Samus after her colony was destroyed by Ridley as a child. While Kraid is a rare sight in the Metroid series, the Chozo are practically extinct, their once-grand civilisation reduced to ruins.
Metroid Dread is the first time a Chozo has actually appeared in the flesh throughout the decades-old franchise, which would be a big deal for Samus if she wasn’t immediately attacked by the armoured figure and left bereft of her signature abilities.
Nintendo is keeping story details close to its chest for now, so we’ll need to wait a little longer to learn more about this mysterious Chozo.