Metroid Physiology

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Metroid Physiology

Author Comments

This is the final reference illustration, rendered with pencils, to be used for the metroid specimen sculpture. It marks the end of many months of work on designing a reinterpretation of the iconic monster into something that could exist in real life. The following is a summary of the biological workings of my interpretation of a metroid body, which comprises about half of the work that led to this design. Very special thanks to Nicole Bouchard for helping me make as much sense as possible out of its biology, and Krystaline Fox for cracking her head open with me to come up with a reliable build for it!

Basic Physiology of the Metroid
by Kalapusa

Death by metroid is, by design, as painful as it gets, since its survival depends on overstimulating the nerve systems of live prey in order to detour and absorb the resulting electric current before it consumes the body. The process of consumption can be traced and explained visually, as the rather unique assembly of organs can be seen through its seemingly impenetrable shell.

Once its claws latch onto a victim's head, four electrodes surround a cavity that functions as a mouth/anus combo. These are used to jack into the body's nerve system and trick it into a state of complete pain, so that it may steal the resulting electric charges. The victim basically is electrocuted by charges produced in its own body while the metroid gathers as much as it can before the host dies. Once the victim perishes, the metroid is unable to exploit its chemistry any longer and then proceeds to consume the flesh of the cooked brain, leaving the rest of the body for later consumption as needed.

Right above its oral cavity is the equivalent of a crop, where food is broken down further before being sent to be digested and processed in four separate stomachs, each with their own specialty. Most of this is used to support cell regeneration, but it manages to convert some of the material into electricity by sending it to one of four organs, each right above the claw muscles. Energy collected directly from prey or by digestion is sent from here to be stored in the uppermost organ, which also carries minimal brain functions. Its thought capability is a subject of ongoing debate, most believing that despite the size, complexity and high energy of the brain, it is driven merely by the attraction to more energy.

The end result is a collection of energy substantial enough to use as a form of defense without fear of depletion. Electricity permeates throughout the metroid's body, keeping it harmful to the touch, but its main defense is through a direct expulsion of powerful charges through four veiny stems. When the electric mediums are in play, it may reacquire static electricity in its proximity by absorbing it back into a pair of organs at the mediums base, before being sent back to the main energy storage. Although it survives upon the surplus of consumption, the metroid can overdo it and must periodically release excess energy. Its effectiveness in collecting it makes it dangerously sought after as an energy source, despite its reputation as a major ecological threat.



This is incredibly detailed, in regards to both the artwork itself and to the theory behind its biological functions.

Just... wow, dude. Nice work.


I'm a huge metroid fan and i never knew that. that is some great art, the shading and work on it is amazing, congrats on the front page.

Well Done

A great piece, the bleached pencil reminds me of the old zoological manuscripts of explorers printed from the turn of the last century, really nice. The attached physiological background only added to that feeling, nice touch by the way.

Two things, 1) in the background, the background I was wondering on how you thought the metroids flew around. 2) Are you making a series of these? Not neccisarilly metroids but of game monsters?

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Great depiction

Your rendition of one of the most fearsome creatures ever is quite outstanding. However I see a couple of inaccuracies with it. 1, the metroid larva has four nuclei although only three are usually all that is seen. 2, there are two large fangs in the back and two smaller fangs in the front, the larger to hold the prey and the smaller to absorb the life energy.

I must also agree with NoPetrol that there is no feasting on the carcass of the prey creature at all. What they feed on is unknown but it is some sort of energy. To answer your question in the response to NoPetrol I only have one theory as to how they grow and regenerate. All matter is made of energy, energy is what metroids feed on, thus metroids convert excess energy not needed for life support into mass. Before you ask how, remember that metroids are genetically engineered organisms and not natural. Whatever made them must have had the knowledge to create them to do that. Sorry for going against what you have, but when it comes to Metroid, I always try my best to stay on top of the game.

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Looks like some kinda forest in there or something!

I like it. I like staring at it in full screen and admiring the detail. Good job.

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Credits & Info

4.68 / 5.00

May 7, 2010 | 9:01 PM EDT
File Info
1111 x 889 px
542.4 kb

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