Metroid: Dread diary 9

Exploring Dairon after the save point opens up a lot of new territory. I find a new EMMI zone, and use stealth and get past it without incident. It seems like I have a lot of options for which direction I want to explore. I don’t know which way to go, but I decide to try going up and out the right side entrance to this zone.

This ends up being a good choice. I end up finding a large new area to explore, and eventually I find the power station. I bring it back online, and the area comes to life. I try to go back the way I came, but the way is now refrigerated, and I can’t withstand the deep cold. I retreat back to the power station room, and find there’s a door to the right that I didn’t notice at first. This leads to an area that is normal temperature, but also lit up and active.

At one point, I’m walking through a corridor, when suddenly something powerful smashes into the background wall right where I’m standing. I expect some enemy to bust through, but after a few seconds nothing else happens. It’s foreboding.

A little more in this direction, and I find another powerup: the bomb. Now I can use bombs in morph ball mode, and I am really happy. Other than the screw attack and ice beam, I have all the traditional powers that Samus has in the original Metroid, and it feels good to be complete again.

Now I can drop bombs, boost myself up with them (you can also jump in morph ball mode in this game), I can blow up bomb blocks, and use bombs to launch myself through special tubes that run through the walls. Good stuff.

Somewhere around this area, I find a map room, and download the map data for Dairon. Dairon’s pretty large, and there’s huge unexplored areas that I’ve yet to find. I guess what I’ll need to do is go exploring, find another room with another boss to temporarily boost my beam cannon to Omega strength, find and kill the EMMI in this area, and probably fight some other boss as well.

Based on the size of the unmapped regions of this area, it’s going to take some time.

I start out going to the right, and then follow the only available path downward, and soon find myself in the EMMI patrol zone. I sneak through the area and exit at some point. There’s a bio lab, where I see a huge creature, similar to the one I fought in Artaria to obtain the stealth cloak ability, being vivisected. It’s a part of the background, thankfully, but I’m guessing at some point I’m going to encounter it again and it’ll be broken free, powered up, in great pain, and enraged.

It doesn’t completely make sense — I mean, this area had been in a power outage for who knows how long. Am I to believe that this creature had been captured, stored, alive somehow, for however long the power was out, and it didn’t die from the injuries of whatever experiment they were doing on it, or just from starvation, in all that time?

At some point I find another save point. But I’m very low on health again, and I don’t know if I want to be stuck resuming from this point with my health down so low, so I don’t save. Instead I press on, hoping I’ll find a health recharge, or a spot with an easy enemy who I can farm health from. But this is Dairon, and easy enemies aren’t really a thing here.

Eventually I get to a platform near the bottom of Dairon, and find another transportation platform to a new region, Burenia.

The monorail to Burenia is on the edge of a rough, angry looking sea. When I get to Burenia, it seems that the place is mostly submerged, with a lot of aquatic life forms. These don’t seem quite as hostile as what I was encountering in Dairon, but they’re still tough in terms of how much damage it takes to kill them. If I avoid triggering their hostile modes, I can take them out safely. This enables me to regain health to where I’m not so worried about dying. But I know I should be careful in a new region, because whatever’s here shouldn’t be underestimated.

As I explore, I find a weapon recharge station, but it’s just after an encounter with a creature that spawns a lot of “babies” that attack me, and each of these “babies” drops items, so I’m already full up. I continue on, and find a Missile Container, bringing me up to 61 total, and an E-tank, which I can’t get because there’s some trapdoor blocks that cause me to fall, and I guess I won’t be able to collect this until I get some new ability.

There was also another partial E-tank at the start of this area, but it wasn’t accessible either, due to a strong wind that I couldn’t push through. I find a communications terminal and it mentions that there’s abilities called Space Jump and Grapple Beam, and so probably I’ll acquire them soon, and then I’ll be able to get them.

It appears from here that I have some choices as there’s a branch in my path. But my first choice, to go right, is actually blocked by a sensor door that I can’t bypass using my stealth cloak. So I go left instead, and find a save point. Excellent, now that I’m fully powered again, sure I’ll save here.

It’s very fortunate that I do, because my next encounter just a couple of screens’ distance outside the door kills me. There’s another one of those creatures that spawns a swarm of babies, and this time they overwhelm me, and take me out from full health.

I had a relatively easy time with the first one, when I was nearly dead, so why did this one take me down? Because it was on a different elevation, and my charge shot didn’t take out the whole swarm. I didn’t have time to recharge, and the normal shot only takes out one individual from the swarm per shot. This lets the swarm continue to attack me, each time it does damage it disrupts my charge beam, and I can’t get off another full charge shot. They do a lot of damage and take you out quickly if you can’t get them off you.

I try again and this time I jump over the creature, turn around, and blast it, and this approach works a lot better.

A little past this point, I find a deep tank, which I sink to the bottom of. I see a Missile Container+, but it’s too far to the left and I can’t make it before I fall past. I can’t get up to it, either. But I can climb out of the tank, at least, by following a series of platforms on the right side.

After I get out of the tank, I come to another cutscene as I enter a room with a large Chozo statue. This time there’s no boss fight, and instead I’m rewarded with a new power, called Flash Shift. It is a dash ability that enables me to instantly shift my position right or left by a short distance. This is probably really helpful for dodging, and possibly other things.

Past the Chozo statue room, there’s a transporter platform. I don’t want to leave just yet, so I loop back around to the Save Point, save again, and then jump back into the deep tank and this time I’m able to grab the Missile Container+, which boosts my capacity up to 71. Nice.

I also go back to where I found the E-tank that I couldn’t get earlier, and test out my new Flash Shift ability. It works; I’m able to get over the disintegrating blocks and obtain my 3rd E-tank. I wonder if Flash Shift will work to get me past the wind, way back where that other E-tank was.

I make my way back to its location, but the dash move doesn’t work to get me through the wind. It only gets me about a block’s distance further than before, nowhere near enough to collect the partial tank. I guess maybe the grapple beam, then, or maybe there’ll be a way to destroy the fan or turn it off.

I also explore back by where I picked up the full E-tank, and find a destructible wall, and beyond it another monorail platform leading back to Dairon. So now I have a choice: go back to Dairon on this platform, and probably end up in a new region of Dairon that I can explore; or, go to the transportation platform and see where it goes; or see if there’s anything more to explore here in Burenia.

I’m curious to find out where the green teleportal leads, so I go back to its location, only to find that the door is now closed and I can’t open it. So I guess it’s back to Dairon, then. That’s really weird, that the game would allow this path temporarily, and then lock it a short time later after nothing much consequential has happened. I don’t know what I did that triggered the door to seal, but maybe I’ll figure it out later.

Back in Dairon, I emerge from the train platform and find myself in another EMMI patrol zone. I can only try to sneak through, and I move as quickly as I can, using my stealth cloak when I need to, but mostly just relying on speed to get through and stay ahead of the EMMI. I have a few close calls, but with my recently developed skills and new abilities, it’s a lot more fun to play cat and mouse with this thing than it was before. I have more options: I can morph ball and roll into a corner and hide, or I can use the spider magnet to cling to a wall or ceiling.

I manage to evade the EMMI’s detection for the most part, and make it across the area, only to find the doors are sealed and I can’t go through them to exit the area. I keep exploring, find another door that is also sealed, and press on further. I find an E-tank sealed in the wall, but I can’t get it, and I’m not sure what power I’ll need to get that one.

Just past the inaccessible E-tank, I find the Control Room, where I have another lame boss fight with another weak eyeball robot, who isn’t any tougher to defeat than the first two were. I’m disappointed that this recurring encounter doesn’t develop to match my abilities. I easily take the Control Room out and now I have the Omega Beam power again, and it’s time to tangle with the EMMI.

This EMMI is on me almost immediately as soon as I exit the Control Room, and I have a hard time putting enough distance between us to have enough time to blast its face shielding off. I try four or five times before I manage to do it. It’s like running a parkour course, but by dropping through gaps in the platforms and then sliding, I’m able to get to a location where I have a good shot lined up, and I turn around and wait to ambush the EMMI as it follows me. It has to crawl low through a tunnel, and I pour the Omega Cannon stream on it. Just as I’m almost to the point where I would need to turn and run to hopefully get more distance, the face shielding blows off. Perfect! I dash away and get to another point in the room where I can line up a good ambush and hit the EMMI just as it’s emerging out of a low tunnel.

In the past, one of my downfalls with EMMI encounters is forgetting the controls for the Omega charge beam. Since I don’t use it all that often, I forget that it’s Hold L to use the Omega beam, hold R to charge the Omega beam, and once charged, it’s Y to fire the beam. I usually forget the part about hitting Y, and then release the L and R buttons, lose my charge, and screw myself out of the opportunity to fire. This time, though, I remember, and I do it right on the first try, after several runs where I couldn’t get the distance I needed to have the time to blast the face shield off.

The EMMI goes down, my Omega power boost is once again drained, and I absorb a new power from the fallen EMMI, : the Speed Booster. This is the ability first introduced in Super Metroid which allows Samus to run at a boosted speed, doing damage to enemies, breaking certain types of blocks, and giving her the “Shine Spark” ability to make boosted jumps. Shine Spark is my least favorite ability in Metroid, because I’ve always found it hard to pull off — you have to get up to speed, and then press down, and then B to jump, and I usually screw it up.

Right away, there’s a few places where I can try out the ability. First, I bust through some blocks and expose the path to collect the E-tank that was just outside the Control Room. It turns out to be a partial tank, so now I’m at 3/4 to a 4th tank. A little further on, and I find a long corridor that I can boost my speed in, and then at the end of it I do a Shine Spark jump, straight up, which punches me through several ceilings, and I end up all the way at the top of a tall shaft near the center of Dairon. As I’m flying upward, I notice an E-tank in the wall on the left side of the shaft, so I jump back down and grab it; it’s a full E-tank, so now my total life energy is 499.

So now what? I’m not sure where I need to go. I explore the EMMI zone in Dairon and try to make sure that I’ve covered it all, and picked up any Missile Containers or Energy Tanks that I can find. But by going back and exploring more, I think I have lost the trail that the designers intended for me to follow. There’s an area in Dairon, where the large creature was being experimented on in the background, where the music seems to be indicating that something exciting is happening, but I’m not sure what it is.

This is a good stopping point for now, so I go to a save point and shut down.

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