Love it or hate it, Nintendo has released Metroid Prime spin-off Federation Force for the 3DS. Though fans have already written the game off as an unwelcome entry in the extended series, with many reviews suggesting the same, there is one thing to love about it: a potential teaser for Metroid Prime 4.
The game itself is extremely self-contained: instead of playing as protagonist Samus Aran, you play as a random space marine. Similarly, instead of traveling to different planets and discovering various artifacts, as well as flora and fauna, the player progresses through the game by completing missions that focus heavily on combat. In fact, if it didn't have Metroid Prime in the title or a Samus Aran cameo at one point in the game, most people would likely not associate it with Metroid at all (some still don't).
However, a post credits scene may serve to connect the seemingly stand-alone spin-off to the main series.
In the scene, players get to watch as a mysterious figure enters a Galactic Federation starship, before going inside a room with a Metroid egg and forcibly hatching it. Viewers are never explicitly shown who this person is, but the way the scene transpires clearly suggests that whoever it is, is clearly an antagonist. Not only does the person hide when s/he sees two marines approaching from the left, but the scene ends with the screen zooming out, partially revealing an outfit that doesn't resemble the typical space marine attire.
Here is the post credits scene (fast forward to 23:10 to see everything unfold):
Who is this person? Some fans believe that is Sylux, a character from Metroid Prime Hunters for the Nintendo DS.
His bio from an issue of Nintendo Power reads: "Sylux's background is unknown, but the hunter's motives are clear - to crush the Galatic Federation. Using technology suspiciously similar to a stolen Federation prototype, Sylux can deploy blades that travel along beams of energy while the hunter is in ball form."
Recent evidence would suggest as much too. During an interview at E3 2015, Metroid Prime series boss Kensuke Tanabe revealed that it was Sylux's ship that appeared in the post-credits scene for Metroid Prime 3, chasing the series heroine Samus Aran. In addition, he explicitly stated that he would like to create a future game where Sylux and Samus are the stars.
"There's still more I want to build around the story of Sylux and Samus," he said. "There's something going on between them. I want to make a game that touches upon [it]."
"I'm also thinking that, in that eventual game between Sylux and Samus that might get made, that I want to involve the [Galactic] Federation as well. So it would be a good idea to release a game like Federation Forces to flesh out its role in the galaxy before moving on to that."
During that same interview, he also mentioned that the next numbered Metroid Prime game would likely arrive on the NX and skip the Wii U.
Honestly, the Sylux prediction looks right on the mark. The character looks like Sylux from behind and everything Tanabe said has panned out so far: there has been no Metroid Prime for the Wii U and many suspect the next will arrive on the NX. With all of these Sylux appearances (he's also featured as a trophy in Smash Bros. Brawl) it looks like Nintendo has something big planned in store for Sylux and Samus, and Metroid Prime 4 would be the game to do it.
Of course, this doesn't necessarily confirm a Metroid Prime 4, but this latest development does strongly suggest it.