Nintendo has apparently been teasing the big villain of Metroid Prime 4: Beyond for 17 years

Metroid Prime 4
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Metroid Prime 4 made its big return in the public eye as part of today's Nintendo Direct, complete with plans for a 2025 launch. The brief trailer didn't give us many details, but it did confirm that the game will see the return of Sylux, a villainous bounty hunter who's been established as Metroid Prime's next big bad since 2007.

Sylux first appeared as a major antagonist in Metroid Prime Hunters, the Nintendo DS spin-off that pitted protagonist Samus Aran against a cadre of rival bounty hunters. True to series tradition, Sylux never got much backstory, and Hunters remains his only major appearance in the series - but his cameos in later games look like they're going to be very important in Prime 4.

If you 100% Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, you'll see an extra scene after the credits in which a strange ship follows Samus into parts unknown. Fans speculated for years that the pilot of that ship was Sylux, and producer Kensuke Tanabe confirmed that theory in a 2015 interview with IGN. "There’s still more I want to build around the story of Sylux and Samus," Tanabe said. "There’s something going on between them. I want to make a game that touches upon [it]."

That quote came just before the release of the multiplayer spin-off Metroid Prime: Federation Force, and clearly Tanabe was still interested in Sylux even within the plot of that controversial party game. Another hidden post-credits sequence here shows Sylux breaking into a Galactic Federation research base and recovering a newborn Metroid.

This all seems to directly set up the events we see in the Metroid Prime 4: Beyond trailer, where Samus shows up to help a Federation base under attack from Space Pirate forces. Sylux shows up at the end, flanked by a pair of seemingly tame Metroids, apparently teasing a much larger role for the character in the full game. The full story remains to be seen, but it certainly looks like Prime 4 is set to pay off some long-standing series cliffhangers.

2024 was looking pretty dry for Nintendo before today, but suddenly there are a whole lot of upcoming Switch games on the horizon. 

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.