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Space Pirates are a fictional sentient aggressor species that appear throughout the Metroid series. They are sometimes referred to as Zebesian Space Pirates, or just Zebesians in the Super Metroid game manual, although later games have revealed that the Space Pirates are not native to the planet Zebes. In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, in the Luminoth Lore, it speaks of many races that were met in the travel in space  This leads some to believe that one of these races could be name of the pirate's race, even though the Chozo believe they are far from enlightened. 
This alien race specializes in raiding starships and planets in a quest for dominance in the galaxy. Their species has a wide range of morphological variation – their base forms have hands featuring two thumbs and a single finger, but many are genetically engineered with lobsterlike claws with their gun barrels lodged within. Some of these clawed pirates, called Troopers, have their other arm replaced by a massive blade rather than a second claw. (Oddly, the manga shows the pirates with claws, but they don't actually fire them, so perhaps the guns were a post-Prime addition) Also, the question arises that if both arms are used for weapons, how to they operate their computer systems. Such mutations can likely be attributed to the species' affinity for genetic manipulation – in Metroid Prime, they displayed no qualms in their reports about using the mutagenic properties of Phazon to modify the local wildlife and each other.
Among the Space Pirates' numbers are three recurring Metroid bosses – Kraid, Ridley, and Mother Brain. The Space Pirates are generally the main antagonists in the Metroid games because they are often at odds with the Galactic Federation (the Metroid galaxy's equivalent to the United Nations) with their experiments and take-over plots. In particular, they are infamous for attempting to use the Metroid organisms as biological weapons. Often, with their already existing weapons – wrist-mounted scythes, Galvanic Accelerator Cannons, and Quantum Assault Cannons (the aforementioned clawguns) – as well as their often-superior numbers and cunning battle tactics, the only person who can attempt to defeat their larger bases and have a chance of succeeding is bounty hunter Samus Aran, the main character in the Metroid games. Samus has a particular disliking for the Space Pirates after one of their raids orphaned her. This event was depicted in the e-manga and in the Nintendo Power comic. It was also alluded to in the Metroid Prime instruction manual and game.
Space Pirate variants
The most basic form of the Space Pirate species. They contain moderate shielding and are the mainstay of the Space Pirate armies. They are extremely common in Space Pirate operations and activities. They wield either Galvanic Accelerator Cannons or Quantum Assault Cannons, and are quite agile. Some wield photonic energy scythes for a melee attack. They rapidly attack intruders with their accelerator cannons and will charge or jump over large distances to attack enemies with their scythes. Pirate troopers will often disable door systems in the rooms intruders are in so they cannot escape. Space Pirates appear to be a vastly intelligent species and they use this intelligence to come up with battle tactics. Space Pirates will also cling to walls while firing or run up close for a melee attack. Space Pirates will also hide when on duty so as to not be seen. When intruders enter however they will attack with extreme aggression and prejudice.
Phazon-induced variations include the hulking behemoths known as Elites, a solitary extra-mutated version called the Alpha or Phazon Elite, and an even larger Omega Pirate.
Elite Pirates were developed after many experiments with Phazon on Space Pirates. Elite pirates are roughly two or three times the size of normal Pirates and are highly dangerous at any range. Prior to Samus Aran's arrival on Tallon IV, Elite Pirates were to be rushed into mass production to launch attacks on all of the Space Pirates' enemies—however, these plans were abandoned after she destroyed their labs. The Elite Pirates have an energy-siphon system, allowing them to absorb beam weapon energy with hand-produced shields. They use this siphoned energy to fuel their massive Plasma Artillery Cannons. Concussive weapons (Missiles) are more effective against Elites.
Phazon Elites were the Pirates' first experiments using Phazon. Not many Pirates survived the first tests because the Pirates overused the Phazon, but the ones that did survive were horribly mutated and much stronger than the Elite Pirates after them. They are the same size as the Elites but are much stronger and faster because of their extra mutations. They Phazon Elites were horribly disfigured and webbed with Phazon-filled veins. They were not given weapons but rather relied on brute strength to overwhelm enemies in combat. Not many of the Phazon Elites lasted long after the beginning of Phazon infusion, and Samus destroyed the last one in her attack on Tallon IV.
The Omega Pirate is the most powerful of the Elite Pirate forces. The Omega Pirate was the ultimate result of many horrific experiments the Space Pirates did using the mutagenic Phazon. The Omega Pirate has shielding on its weak spots and can regenerate tissues by covering wounds with Phazon. It can render itself invisible to the naked eye with a cloaking device called the Chameleon Manta (though it can be traced with the X-Ray Visor). It is of great size, and also wields retractable wrist bayonets and a more powerful version of the Plasma Artillery Cannon.
Pirate Commandos are trained to "hunt the Hunter". Dangerous combatants at any range, they carry variable pulse cannons, EMP-grenade launchers, and energy scythes. They also have a portable shield generator which allows them to shield themselves from attack. On the planet Aether, Ing warriors prized the few Commandos they could possess. These "Dark" Pirate Commandos could phase in and out of local time-space at will, due to the fact that only Hunter Ing, which also have the phasing abilities, are allowed to possess them.
Found in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, this is a standard pirate capable of firing high-powered grenades at intruders. They have the same health amount as other pirates, but often stay on high ground, due to the fact that they lack any other weapons. They are incapable of fighting adversaries at close range.
Pirate Aerotroopers (a.k.a. Flying Troopers) are standard Space Pirates outfitted with missile launchers and jet packs. These pirates often are the second most common pirates in Space Pirate operations. They are quite agile and attack furiously with Missiles and standard Pirate armaments to eliminate their targets. These jetpacks have a few significant flaws. First, they generate large amounts of heat, making them easy to track when using thermal imaging. Second, the jetpacks can be overloaded by extreme heat, such as that caused by the Plasma Beam or Light Beam. When shot down, Aerotroopers will attempt a last-ditch Kamikaze attack which consists of them spiraling toward their target and causing their jetpacks to explode on impact.
Aqua Pirates utilize many of the same weapons as their flying brethren. Their thruster-packs have been modified for aquatic use and they use technology similar to that used in Samus's Gravity Suit. As with Aerotroopers, the thruster-packs of Aqua Pirates are easily tracked with the Thermal Visor. These defects are partly apparent to the Space Pirates who work to correct these problems.
Beam Troopers wield reverse-engineered versions of Samus' Chozo beam weapons. These copies are flawed, however. They are less powerful than the real thing, and a flaw in their shielding leaves their users vulnerable to the same type weapon (i.e. the Power Beam is effective on Power Troopers). Power Troopers utilize the Power Beam, Ice Troopers use the Ice Beam, Wave Troopers carry the Wave Beam, and Plasma Troopers wield the Plasma Beam. The shots from all of these weapons look almost, if not exactly the same as Samus' ordinary Power Beam shots. These troopers will often swarm in large numbers on intruders and were quite common in the Phazon mines of Tallon IV. Shadow Pirates Only a select group of Space Pirates have access to cloaking technology; these are the Shadow Pirates. This cloaking technology drains large amounts of power, forcing them to rely solely on melee weapons (energy scythes) in battle. Thermal tracking is still effective for locating Shadow Pirates. Shadow Pirates and Beam Troopers both have a tendency to cling to walls and attack.
Perhaps the most infamous pirates are Ridley's personal guards, known as "Ninja Pirates" or "Kung Fu Pirates". In Super Metroid, they are encountered in lower Norfair, in a corridor, with monitor-like devices hanging from the ceiling (which has earned this area the nickname TV Room by some gamers). These two pirates jump around at high speed firing shots from their Quantum Assault Cannons, while performing various punch and kick attacks, and are nearly impervious to Samus' arsenal: they can only be shot when resting, and only from behind. To many players' frustration, when one pirate becomes vulnerable, he hides behind his comrade, making it very difficult to get a good shot. As soon as one is killed, it becomes much easier to finish off the other. Many players consider this battle to be as difficult as the battle against Ridley, which follows shortly thereafter.
Weavel is a character from the Nintendo DS game, Metroid Prime: Hunters.
Weavel is a former Space Pirate, who was severely wounded by Samus Aran in Brinstar; Weavel will remain associated with the Pirates as long as it's convienent. As a result of the injury Weavel sustained, the hunter can seprate its torso from its lower body, which becomes a stationary turret. It is unknown if he seeks the treasure for the Space Pirates, or for himself.
Weapon Of Choice: Battlehammer (A powerful mortar beam that fires explosive shots in an arc. When Weavel wields it, it does more damage and has more splash damage.). Altform: Halfturret (Weavel's body is split into two separate parts, his lower body becoming a stationary turret while his upper body continues to move about freely wielding an energy sword. Damage taken by either part of the body will affect Weavel as a whole.
There are a number of references to "Command" or "High Command" in Pirate logs in both Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Command is apparently the head of the Space Pirates. It is most likely based on Zebes, a mobile mother ship, or the Pirates' home planet. Command apparently issues orders, troops, and supplies.
There are several references to "Science Team" in Pirate Logs in both Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. It appears that they direct research. They are below Command in the hierarchy of Pirate society, but because they are not a military division, they have more leeway than the rest of the Pirates. It is perhaps because of this that they are resented by the rest of the Pirates. Like Command, Science Team is rather detached from what actually goes on in the field. Some humor related to the Space Pirate Science Team comes in the form of a log entry describing their reverse-engineering efforts of Samus' weapons. Of her arsenal, they are particularly interested with "the curious morph ball function." It seems that any subject who engaged the morph ball prototypes prepared by the Science Team became horribly mangled. Science Team wisely decided to move on. Their main base on Tallon IV would be in Phendrana Drifts. However, later in the story there is evidence of their research found in the Phazon Mines on Phazon experimentation with Elites and logs of Elite Pirates, Phazon Elites, and Omega Pirates. More humor is found in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, in a log entry about the possibility of taming Metroids. 
Pirate rules and laws
In the Space Pirate society, obedience is a strict law; if it is not followed, the consequence is death. The Space Pirates have long been hunted by Samus Aran, also dubbed the Hunter. One of the Pirates' mottos is "Death to the hunter!" In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, the Space Pirates engage a Galactic Federation Marine Corps Ship, and are gunned down to Aether. They set up a base, only to be attacked by the Ing and soon are almost entirely assimilated into the horde's army. The Space Pirates are, oddly, extremely stringent about possessions—thievery within their race is punished severely. Pirates are very strict about following orders. Those who do not comply with orders from higher command officials will be met with strict and cruel punishment. Other lesser punishments often found in Space Pirate society are ration and pay cuts. In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, one of several slightly humorous Space Pirate entries mention a group of pirates that are being put on low rations for "modifying the storage tanks for recreational use." One recurring rule within the compounds pertains to the Metroids they keep in captivity. "High Command cannot seem to stress enough that Metroids are not pets and should not be fed without permission or used for target practice." The rule seems to administer its own punishment - Pirates who disregard it tend to need a trip to the emergency room once the Metroid attacks them. Also, if you scan a certain Metroid holding tank, it will say "This Metroid is suffering from food poisoning, most likely from eating pet treats."
|By chronology: Metroid (Zero Mission) | Prime (Prime Pinball) | Prime 2: Echoes | Return of Samus | Super | Fusion|
|By release order: Metroid | Return of Samus | Super | Prime | Fusion | Zero Mission | Prime 2: Echoes | Prime Pinball|
|Upcoming: Hunters | Prime 3 | Dread|
|Universe: Samus Aran | Characters | Chozo | Gunship | Items | Kraid | Locations | Metroid species | Mother Brain | Ridley | Space Pirates | Luminoth | Ing | Dark Samus|
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