In Nintendo's latest report for Metroid Dread, more information has been provided on the E.M.M.I, a new threat for Samus in the upcoming game and the inspiration behind one of its shiny new amiibo figures.
In the game, the E.M.M.I are dispatched by the Galactic Federation for research purposes and end up in a relentless pursuit of Samus. They were a major focus of the game's early footage, with plenty of time being spent during Nintendo Treehouse Live showing them in action; for the most part, Samus has no way to destroy them and must instead run away and hide before unlocking temporary power-ups that can get rid of them one at a time.
So, let's learn all about this deadly new foe, shall we?
What are E.M.M.I.?
An Extraplanetary Multiform Mobile Identifier – or E.M.M.I. – is a highly agile research robot equipped with the ability to extract DNA. The Galactic Federation dispatched several to research the X parasite, a lifeform with mimicking capabilities, on the uncharted planet ZDR. But, somehow, the E.M.M.I. on ZDR went dark.
On her subsequent mission to investigate what’s happening on ZDR, Samus encounters the E.M.M.I., only to find their behaviours and intent seemingly corrupted.
Metroid Dread dev team: "The E.M.M.I. are robots that belong to the Galactic Federation, so they are not ordinarily an enemy of Samus. However, the E.M.M.I. that appear before Samus identify her as a target and relentlessly chase after her. Our belief is that the E.M.M.I.’s lack of emotion and overwhelming power will combine to create a threat so great that they strike terror in the hearts of players."
What happens if Samus is caught?
E.M.M.I. roam freely within their zone. Depending on what their sensors are picking up, they are programmed to take one of three courses of actions, indicated by the colour of their light:
- Patrol Mode (blue light) - Roaming the area and has not yet detected Samus.
- Search Mode (yellow light)- Investigating a suspicious sound.
- Pursuit Mode (red light)- Pursuing a locked-on target at high speed.
When Samus is caught by the E.M.M.I., it’s almost certainly the end for her. Be very careful to avoid detection as you explore areas where E.M.M.I. are active.
Metroid Dread dev team: "If caught by the E.M.M.I., you may still have a chance to escape – however slim it may be! Strike with a well-timed Melee Counter the instant the E.M.M.I. opens itself up to attack. However, this timed window of opportunity is so narrow you may consider it nearly impossible to successfully land a counter – so much so that you might want to avoid being put in this situation at all costs.
A checkpoint where you can restart from is always nearby, though, which should be helpful in case something goes sideways and Samus is captured."
E.M.M.I. Zone Doors
The E.M.M.I. are confined to roam only within designated E.M.M.I. Zones. These zones are separated from the rest of the world by E.M.M.I. Zone Doors, and only Samus can move through them freely.
When the E.M.M.I. visually identifies Samus and begins its heated pursuit, the E.M.M.I. Zone Doors lock down. To get them back open, you have to get the E.M.M.I. off your trail.
Metroid Dread dev team: "The areas where you must contend with the E.M.M.I. threat are limited. It’s otherwise too stressful to have this kind of sustained tension!
When you enter an E.M.M.I. Zone, your map registers the layout of the zone and the locations of the Zone Doors, which is helpful for making important decisions about where to go. Just remember: stay calm and check the map when you enter."
A new ability: Phantom Cloak
Phantom Cloak is one of Samus’ new Aeion Abilities, using optical camouflage to make her invisible. While this ability is active, Samus can move without causing any sound. She will also go undetected by the E.M.M.I.’s optical sensor.
Samus can activate this ability by consuming a special type of energy called Aeion. However, if Samus walks or otherwise engages while the ability is active, she will burn through her Aeion faster. If all Aeion is depleted, Samus may continue using Phantom Cloak at the cost of her Energy. Manage these resources carefully.
Metroid Dread dev team: "By using Phantom Cloak, you can not only prevent the E.M.M.I. from detecting Samus, but also walk through doors that close when detecting humans. You’ll find this ability is useful against all enemies – not just the E.M.M.I. – so you may want to consider using it to bypass others when you’re low on Energy."
Are the E.M.M.I. invincible?
The protective plating on the E.M.M.I. is made of a special material said to be the strongest in the universe, and can deflect Samus’ standard attacks.
However, by taking in the energy from the Central Units – the mother computers managing each E.M.M.I. Zone – her Arm Cannon temporarily powers up to become an Omega Cannon, and she becomes able to fire the Omega Stream and Omega Blaster. The E.M.M.I. are vulnerable to these forces.
When Samus' Omega Cannon is online, hold down the L Button to enter Aim Mode. Next, hold the Y Button to unleash the Omega Stream, a powerful rapid-fire attack. Continuously striking the head of the E.M.M.I. with this attack will cause its protective plating to overheat and shatter, leaving its core – the E.M.M.I.'s weak point – exposed.
Hold down the R Button while aiming with the Omega Cannon to power up a charged shot. Press the Y Button after fully charging to unleash a deadly Omega Blaster attack. Strike the exposed core of the E.M.M.I. with this blast to defeat it. The Omega Cannon will revert to Samus' regular Arm Cannon once the E.M.M.I. is defeated.
Metroid Dread dev team: "Samus cannot move when charging the Omega Blaster. As the deadly E.M.M.I. approaches, you’ll have to overcome your fear and charge the Omega Blaster, then unleash the energy to land a finishing blow. This creates a build-up of tension and an exhilarating payoff for the player after successfully pulling it off."
How many E.M.M.I. are there?
The announcement trailer shows several E.M.M.I., including two models that differ in colour and a broken one. However, the packshot illustration shows seven shadows of E.M.M.I. behind Samus. It seems there are more kinds of E.M.M.I. out there!
Metroid Dread dev team: "Each of the E.M.M.I. have different abilities. What kinds of abilities, you may ask? Well, the E.M.M.I. hold countless mysteries...but we’ll save this one for another time."
They sound pretty terrifying, but should make for a fun twist when Metroid Dread launches later this year. Are you excited for the new game? Let us know with a comment.