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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

The creature took on the host's memories, appearance, abilities, everything. It sucks everything dry. Utterly terrifying. Can you not see that if a mimic such as this were to infiltrate a population, it could replicate almost indefinitely! With evil taking the form of an ally, the galaxy could be overthrown. It is truly the worst kind of evil... it has no name, but... we call it X.
~ Old Bird on the X Parasites.

The X Parasites (sometimes spelled as X-Parasites) are major antagonists of the Metroid franchise, serving as the main antagonists in both Metroid Fusion, and one of the main antagonists in its sequel Metroid Dread, alongside Raven Beak. They are hostile parasites that were the Metroid's prey, but after the Metroids became near extinct, the X Parasites took over a space station where Metroids were being researched, and caused enough threats to nearly wipe out the universe if it was not for Samus Aran.

They have the ability to take the form of anything they make contact with. Doing so, the X Parasites created SA-X, B.O.X., Nightmare, Neo-Ridley, and so much more. Their existence is the reason that the Chozo created the Metroids in the first place.



The X Parasites were the apex predators of the planet SR388, having the ability to take the appearance of their eaten prey. When the Chozo arrived on the planet to establish a colony, they discovered the destructive potential of the X Parasites due to their ability to "borrow" the forms of their companions and labeled them "evil". To keep the X Parasites at bay, the Chozo created the Metroids which would eat the X Parasites. The Chozo refrained from telling the Galactic Federation for they feared the Federation would see military potential in the X Parasites.

Metroid II: Return of Samus/Metroid: Samus Returns

Because Samus wipes out all Metroids from SR388, she unknowingly allowed the X Parasites to recover in population. This is elaborated in a post-credit scene of Metroid: Samus Returns, when an X Parasite attacks a Hornoad and infects it.

Metroid Fusion

The Biologic Space Laboratories establishes a research station orbiting SR388 to study the change in the ecosystem since Samus eradicated the Metroids. While accompanying a research team gathering specimens from the planet, Samus is attacked by an X Parasite possessing a Hornoad, infecting her. Samus thought little of it but soon fell unconscious while piloting her gunship when the X Parasite duplicates and infects Samus' central nervous system. Samus' gunship crashes, but Samus is set out through an emergency escape pod that was retrieved by the Galactic Federation.

The medical personnel surgically removed portions of Samus' Power Suit that the X Parasites infected, sending them to the BSL research station for further study. The medics were unable to remove the X Parasites embedded in Samus' central nervous system without killing her. Fortunately, scientists were able to develop a vaccine using a cell from the Baby Metroid, eliminating the X Parasites in Samus' body and giving her the ability to safely absorb the X Parasites as Metroids could.

Samus was then sent to the research station after the Federation received a distress call from the BSL, as the X Parasites obtained from Samus' Power Suit merged together to form the SA-X. It proceeded to hunt Samus down across the research station, allowing the X Parasites to infect specimens across the six sectors of the station. Through the game, the X Parasites attempt numerous efforts to stop Samus in her path, such as mutating into Blue X due to the Metroid vaccine making Samus weak to the cold, and destroying or blocking Data Rooms to prevent her from recovering lost abilities. At one occasion, a Core-X possessing a scientist attempts to overheat the Main Boiler of Sector 3 in an attempt to destroy the station.

In the game's climax, Samus decides to deorbit the station to wipe out the X Parasites when the Galactic Federation is contacted to retrieve her, believing once the X Parasites possess them, they have access to put an end to all life in the universe. At the Operations Deck, one of the SA-X attempts to stop her but Samus defeats it. After defeating an Omega Metroid, Samus flees from the research station before it impacts SR388, destroying the planet and presumably wiping out the X Parasites.

Metroid Dread

A mysterious transmission from planet ZDR reaches the Federation and confirms the X Parasites have survived. The Federation sends E.M.M.I. robots to the planet to investigate. When the E.M.M.I. go silent, Samus is sent to investigate. Indeed, the X have survived and are continuing their effort to kill Samus. At one point, the X block thermal energy in Cataris, causing the planet's temperature to drop until Samus removed the blockage.

According to the Chozo Quiet Robe, he reveals the X have invaded ZDR due to one of Raven Beak's Mawkin soldiers being infected when they massacred the Thoha tribe on SR388 to obtain the power of the Metroids. Raven Beak contained the X within Elun, but released them intentionally when Samus inspected the sector. Afterwards, the X spread across all sectors of ZDR and infect all organic fauna with the exception of machines.

Eventually, Samus defeats Raven Beak, causing a chain reaction when his ship, Itorash, crashes, resulting in the planet's destruction, seemingly wiping out the X Parasites for good.

Other Media

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

An X Parasite appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an attack-type primary spirit. It can be obtained by purchasing it from Beetle's Tent for 500 SP or by defeating it in a spirit battle, which is against ten yellow Kirbys on the Lylat Cruise stage. The spirit can be enhanced to Nightmare upon reaching level 99.


The appearance of an X Parasite is that of a floating gelatinous organism. The structure of their bodies allows them to slip through any opening of a surface, rather it be the pores of an organism or crevice of any surface. They have the ability to multiply via asexual reproduction. The X Parasites absorb into their host through open surfaces, and target the central nervous system, eating away at it and duplicating until the host's death. Upon the host's death, the X Parasites are capable of imitating their host by replicating the host's DNA, also granting them the memories and behaviors of said host.


Yellow X

The most basic and common type of X Parasite. When absorbed, they restore ten units of Energy in Metroid Fusion and forty units in Metroid Dread. A single Yellow X was responsible for infecting Samus and nearly killed her if it was not for the Metroid vaccine.

Green X

Green X appear after Samus regains her Missile Launcher. Similar to Yellow X, the Green X can be found anywhere on the BSL station and excrete from most enemies. They restore two units of Missile Ammo in Metroid Fusion and five units in Metroid Dread when absorbed.

Red X

The rarest out of the three common X Parasites. Normally appearing from Gadora-X and other strong enemies, they restore five hundred units of Energy, ten units of Power Bomb Ammo, and fifty units of Missile Ammo upon absorption.

Blue X

The Blue X (or Cold X in Japanese) are a special type of X Parasite that have adapted themselves to the cold temperature of Sector 5 of the BSL station. Apparently, the X Parasites deliberately forced their evolution to stop Samus from exploring the rest of the space station, explaining why Blue X have invaded Sector 6 as well. Until Samus obtains the Varia Suit, Blue X will chase down after Samus and, due to the Metroid vaccine, absorb themselves into her in order to damage her, although Samus can shoot at them to temporarily stun them. After Samus regains her Varia Suit, Blue X will try one last time to contact her, but after this, any future Blue X will learn from this mistake and flee from Samus instead. Blue X will both inflict and restore thirty units of Energy. Because of their added cold immunity, they are much larger than regular X Parasites and are oddly unable to infect and possess a host, presumably due to their size or cold body temperature.

Orange X

Exclusive to Metroid Dread, the Orange X appear after Samus obtains Power Bombs, restoring three units of Power Bomb Ammo.

Purple X

A single Purple X appears at the end of Metroid Dread, where it infects Raven Beak, turning him into an abomination of the bosses of ZDR, implying this X assimilated them as well at some point. Samus effortlessly destroys the monster with the Hyper Beam and obliterates the X as well.

Mini X

Mini X are smaller versions of Yellow X and Green X in Metroid Dread, dropping from small swarm enemies. Unlike other X, they will remain idle when defeated. Mini Yellow X restore five units of Energy and Mini Green X restore one unit of Missile Ammo when absorbed.



Core-X are the largest and strongest members of the X Parasites. They have incorporated themselves into either an important ability from the DNA of their victims or one of Samus' lost power-ups. They take the form of a boss and, upon defeat, reveal their natural form. They will then pursue Samus until she or it is defeated and its nucleus is exposed for Samus to absorb. The Core-X were originally regular X Parasites, but the source of their prey made them stronger and allowed them to produce X Parasites at an alarming rate. Using the Screw Attack or shooting at them with a beam or missiles will make Yellow and Green X fly out of it. Upon destroying the shell and absorbing its nucleus, Samus will obtain one of her power-ups, along with four hundred units of Energy, fifty units of Missile Ammo, and ten units of Power Bomb Ammo.

First Variant

These Core-X are protected by a strong outside shell that have to be broken with Missiles until their nucleus can be obtainable.

  • Arachnus: Morph Ball
  • Zazabi: High Jump Boots and Jumpball
  • Serris: Speed Booster
  • Mega Core-X: Varia Suit
  • Yakuza: Space Jump
  • Nightmare: Gravity Suit
  • Neo-Ridley: Screw Attack
  • Escue: Storm Missile
  • Golzuna: Cross Bomb
  • Experiment No. Z-57

Second Variant

These Core-X hold a power-up beam that can only be damaged when they expose their nucleus-like eye from underneath their Missile immune exterior. Their eyes only open when they are about to shoot out a laser, meaning Samus should be cautious about timing her shots to avoid theirs.

  • Fake Chozo Statue/Elephant Bird: Charge Beam
  • Scientist: Wide Beam
  • Nettori: Plasma Beam
  • B.O.X.: Wave Beam
  • SA-X: Ice Beam and Unnamed Suit


  • In early beta trailers for Metroid Fusion, X Parasites were recolored sprites of the Boyon enemies from Super Metroid.
  • The X Parasites have similarities to The Thing as they both can infect a host and copy their physical appearance and abilities.


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