The Metroid games are quite rich in memorable themes, so much so in fact that we could spend the next several months of this series analyzing them. Perhaps we will, but for now let’s start with “VS. Rundas” from Metroid Prime 3. To begin, please take a minute to listen to the theme. Think about the tones and themes you’re hearing in the song; about the emotions and thoughts it elicits. What do you hear in this piece, what situations come to mind? Take your time.
Okay, now that you’ve got your own take on the song, here’s some background information (some early game spoilers to follow):
Rundas is first encountered in Metroid Prime 3, and is also a well known Hunter in the Metroid universe. Along with Samus and the rest of the hunters in the game, he is attacked by Dark Samus and becomes infused with Phazon as a result. While Samus is recouperating, Rundas and the other hunters are dispatched to various planets in order to combat the latest threat posed by Dark Samus and the Space Pirates. Once Samus becomes active again, she learns that the other Hunters have fallen out of contact and is sent to investigate and complete their assignments. Once she lands on the planet Bryyo, evidence of Rundas’ activities is easily noticed. In the earlier stages of the planet, the evidence suggests he operated normally, using his ability (generating ice) as a useful tool and a nonlethal method of combat.
However, as the planet is further explored, we observe his increasingly aggressive tactics and reliance on his recently gained phazon powers. Where once there were only trace amounts of phazon in the generated ice, now the ice is mostly phazon. Where once his enemies were merely sidelined by being encased in ice, now they were killed outright. When Samus finally catches up to Rundas, his corruption is complete and he has become nothing more than a puppet of Dark Samus, a shell of his former self unable to recognize friends and allies. In his Corrupted state he forces Samus to fight him, a battle from which she emerges victorious. Rundas is killed shortly thereafter, impaled on one of his own ice spikes by either Dark Samus’ influence or his own maddened confusion. As he fades away, he leaves Samus his ice missile ability in one last act of free-will and defiance.
Now, do you remember your first impression of the music? Has your perception of the theme changed after reading the story surrounding it? How do the two compare?