The newest volume of the Metroid Dread report focuses on the setting of Metroid Dread: Planet ZDR. The planet shares many similarities, such as temperature, humidity, gravity, and atmospheric composition as SR388, a planet Samus has previously visited.
Planet ZDR is split up into multiple layers, each with unique traits and organisms, which act as separate areas in the Metroid Dread game.
As with many previous games, remnants of Chozo civilization can be found throughout the planet, such as shuttles and elevators that connect the areas.
This area is located in the deepest parts of ZDR and is where Samus is attacked by a mysterious Chozo figure. The lower portion of Artaria has low-temperature environments while the upper portion contains vast amounts of magma, the primary source of energy on the planet.
Artaria is where Samus begins her exploration of the planet. It’s a relatively large area but has many doors that she cannot open at the start of the game. You can revisit this area after making more progress through the game and acquiring additional abilities, so it may be a good idea to mark those spots on the map. You can also take screenshots using the Capture Button on your controller to keep a record.
Cataris contains the central system that manages and circulates the energy-generating magma throughout the planet. Sections of this area will be too much for Samus to handle unless she upgrades her suit.
Magma abounds in Cataris. Without the Varia Suit, which protects Samus from extremely high temperatures, you’ll take heat damage in many of the rooms here.
By circulating the thermal energy created from magma here, you can open new routes. In fact, if you carefully watch how magma moves within the circulation pipes, you can figure out the destination of the thermal energy. We think this might provide clues for exploring.
Dairon is a biological research site and home to many robots developed using advanced Chozo technology. Certain areas of Dairon will not have power, meaning that Samus will have to navigate in the dark.
Dairon is filled with many robots believed to have been developed with advanced Chozo tech. The robotic enemies are protected by thick armor that’s only vulnerable to a Charge Beam or Missile, which means effective use of the Dash Melee counter is key to creating openings for attack.
This is a marine research site, and half of it is underwater. The enemies here are primarily aquatic. While underwater, Samus’ movements are limited. In previous games, Samus will acquire the Gravity Suit to nullify the effects of water.
Most of Burenia is under water, which can put Samus at a disadvantage. Her agility takes a hit when submerged while equipped with her standard Power Suit or the Varia Suit, which makes it tough for her to contend with zippy sea creatures. But remember, Samus can pull herself to magnetic surfaces by latching the Grapple Beam to them—a move that just might save your hide.
This is an underground forest area close to the surface of the planet.
Civilization has left less of an imprint upon Ghavoran compared to other areas of ZDR, and the area’s appearance has thus been able to evolve in a natural way since ancient times. There are sections with small platforms that require continuous jumping, as well as partially submerged locations. Samus will have to use all her abilities and talents to the fullest when taking on this area.
This was once a sanctuary that was used in Chozo rituals, but now are ancient ruins.
Constructed objects and the natural world co-exist in the other areas, whereas the inside of Ferenia contains mostly buildings left behind by Chozo civilization.
What will Samus find among the ruins of this sanctuary? We don’t want to say too much—but know that Samus will go back and forth between this area and others throughout ZDR to continue her explorations.
Metroid Dread releases on the Nintendo Switch on October 8th, 2021.