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Metroid Physiology by Kalapusa Metroid Physiology by Kalapusa
Available as a shirt via Meat Bun! [link] Also available in you’re-taking-damage-red. [link]

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. Some artistic liberty had to be taken for the transition, so please keep that in mind.

Special thanks to Krystaline Fox and Nicole Bouchard for their help!

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.
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:iconsamven:
Samven Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
AWWWWWWW!!! IT'S SO CUTE! IWANNAHUGIT!

But I can't. It's an energy vampire. Brrr.
Reply
:iconfudge125:
Fudge125 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014
Am I the only one that thinks metroids are cute? lol
Reply
:iconogrorix:
Ogrorix Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
BRUTAL!!!
Reply
:iconmast3rlinkx1:
mast3rlinkx1 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow... And I mean that towards both the picture itself and the description. Finally we have an explanation for how a metroid actually feeds. This is definitely going into the favorites.
Reply
:iconarchangel87-b:
Archangel87-B Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014
Wow... this is the kind of stuff I'm hoping shows like Game Theory WON'T touch, for the nightmare fuel.  Then again... I WAS brought here by a link on a page dedicated to nightmare fuel on the Metroid series as a whole on TVTropes, so might be a tad bit too late for that.
Reply
:iconrenewal-art:
RENEWAL-ART Featured By Owner May 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So much details! It´s looks like some kind of an biologic studie!
Reply
:iconmeganintendog:
Meganintendog Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014
I think I need to change my pants.....
Reply
:iconcalbhach:
calbhach Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh wow, beautiful details! :3
Reply
:iconninjapythonblanx:
NinjaPythonBlanx Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Student Artist
Wow, he looks great... But.... He is still my worst enemy.. :)
Reply
:iconwhiterabbit17:
whiterabbit17 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014
Wow, this is very cool man. Love how realistic it looks and freaky        =]
Reply
:iconskyflyer111:
SkyFlyer111 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Interface Designer
This is amazing...
Reply
:iconmrash96:
MrAsh96 Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013
Nice design scary as hell
Reply
:icontuckerscreator:
Tuckerscreator Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
Oh gosh, that thing is ugly... and yet I love it.
Reply
:iconbakerlylesvalentine:
BakerLylesValentine Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
c: whoa! nice.
Reply
:iconjayjedi17:
jayjedi17 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
wooo! Good luck sleeping tonight after looking at that monster. *shivers*
Reply
:iconalkyoneus-ii:
Alkyoneus-II Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013   Digital Artist
This would be right at home in a taxonomy text. Or a museum. It's amazing.
Reply
:iconspudtron98:
Spudtron98 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Eugh. Now that is... GAH!

Your pic is on tvtropes, by the way.
Reply
:iconmetroidman45:
metroidman45 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
this one looks real
Reply
:iconzs3:
ZS3 Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012
TVtropes.org sent me. And holy shit, you nailed the Metroid look better than the creators of the Metroid games themselves...
Reply
:iconthemetroid:
TheMetroid Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012
I love this! Very detailed
Reply
:iconcaboose1994:
Caboose1994 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Student General Artist
NEEERRRRRRD! Naw jk it's really cool.
Reply
:iconmetroidsmakegoodpets:
MetroidsMakeGoodPets Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's pretty epic!
Reply
:iconshorjok:
Shorjok Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I bought the tshirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconradda3:
radda3 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012
Terrifying. I like it!
Reply
:iconhinata-teh-lefty:
Hinata-teh-Lefty Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2012  Student Photographer
Wow, fantastic detail!! >W<
Reply
:iconepitaphxiv:
EpitaphXIV Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012
Love the Metroid story line over all, love the metroid, and love the written addition including the comments expanding on how metroids do what they do. Thank you!
Reply
:icontektalox:
Tektalox Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That metroid was just mindblowingly AWESOME! If that is how you imagines a metroid, I can only imagine how awesome (and scary) other metroid monsters like the core-x, dragotix, desbrachian, the SR388 animals and the other metroid-kinds would look with your design skills.
Reply
:iconvince-aran:
vince-aran Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2012
agreed. i'd love to see some realistic interpretations of such creatures with explanations on how their attacks work
Reply
:icongenisay:
Genisay Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is amazing! I love your reinterpretation of this classic creature, and the realistic explanation and design. And yet.....some how it is still kind of cute, in a creepy sort of fashion.
Reply
:iconsorakokiri:
SoraKokiri Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
EXCELLENT!
Reply
:icontechunadept:
TechUnadept Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2011
[Oh, gods, they're loose! open fi- AAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!]
Last words, Pirate Science Commander 46
Reply
:iconultimateerror:
UltimateError Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011
OH JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE HELL IS THAT
Reply
:iconchougingarasen:
ChouGingaRasen Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2011
Not to seem nit-picky, but that looks more like a mocktroid, what with just the one nucleus and all
Reply
:iconneocasko:
Neocasko Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I think it is a partial cut out of part of the nuclei. If you look closely, it kinda looks like that.
Reply
:iconsoapmanpv:
SoapManpv Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
THATS FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!!
Reply
:icondopplegager:
Dopplegager Featured By Owner May 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Dag dude thats really super cool.
Reply
:iconkillerbear069:
KillerBear069 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2011
that is freaky and awesome kudos.
Reply
:icontheubbergeek2:
theubbergeek2 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2011
Dang freaky... but well made!
Reply
:iconrustedsoda:
rustedsoda Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
The only real issue here seems to be the conflict it presents with Super Metroid. The piece regarding its brain patterns is one thing: Imagine this as being written back in the Prime days, before anyone knew they were capable of imprinting.

However, there is mention of consumption of the bodies. No mention was made of metroids potentially reducing their prey to fragile husks that collapse into dust when disturbed. Such behavior was prevalent in Prime 3 as well as Super, although not every target a metroid consumes is reduced to such state, and not every metroid may be capable of doing it in the first place (There have been notable differences in Metroid biology and maturity based entirely on what planet/conditions they are raised.)
Reply
:iconcommodorezeke:
CommodoreZeke Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2011
Between the pic and the description, I had to link this at TV Tropes' High-Octane Nightmare Fuel page for the Metroid series. Brrrrr.
Reply
:iconthe-big-z:
The-Big-Z Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011
And thanks to you I am now frightened heavily. Worst part? I'm watching a friend play Metroid over Skype -right now-

._.;;;
Reply
:icongirlgunner:
girlgunner Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks a lot....
Reply
:iconnragemachine:
Nragemachine Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011
Wow this is INCREDIBLE!!
Reply
:iconmnzero4:
mnzero4 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
looks like a uterus! xDDDDDD
nonetheless its still a metroid, well done! ^__^
Reply
:iconmarcuszoner:
marcuszoner Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
very well done. looks like an official anatomy sketch
Reply
:iconjrgoloda:
JRGoloda Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2010
Gorgeous. Love the muscle structures.
Reply
:iconinistrife:
IniStrife Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this little one~ its soooo cute ;3
Reply
:icond15c0rd:
D15C0RD Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010
Nice realistic looking Metroid and fantastic description too. Great job!
Reply
:iconnefariax-10:
NEFARIAX-10 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2010
AN astonishing piece of work. Being a fan to the seires, this image is a great joy. The detail is amazing. I would prefer a slightly darker green for the outer membrane, but it's perfect regardless.
Reply
:icongoblinprincess:
GoblinPrincess Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010
This drawing is one of the most impressive works I've seen in dA, and I can tell I've seen a lot... So detailed and realistic; it feels like you can almost touch it, that it is a copy of a real living creature :heart: Congratulations, it is an amazing piece of art ^_^
(The most disgusting creature in the whole world, by the way. Yeah, I went through the whole text, and I'll tell you I used to think they were kinda cute in their oldest version, but not anymore... and the drawing isn't helpful either ^^;)
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