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Frigate Orpheon was a Space Pirate research frigate, and one of three that had fled Zebes after the subsequent destruction of Tourian. It had fled to Tallon IV, where the ship had conducted experiments with Phazon in high orbit over the planet.
Prior to Samus's arrival, an escaped Parasite Queen and its offspring had caused considerable damage to the frigate, promting most of the crew to abandon ship. They had left behind many of the test subjects behind, including Phazon containers and creatures that had or were supposed to be introduced to it. Many injured Space Pirates had stayed behind, possibly because of their grievous wounds that prevented them from reaching the escape pods.
After Samus defeated a Parasite Queen at the Orpheon's reactor, the creature had fallen into the core and exploded, triggering a meltdown that would destroy the frigate. Once she and Ridley (then rebuilt as Meta Ridley) escaped, the ship fell to Tallon's surface.
Samus revisited the Orpheon after it crashlanded into the Tallon Overworld. The majority of the shipwreck was flooded, with aquatic predators lurking in the ship's corridors. Samus passed through the wrecked frigate to reach the Phazon Mines, the Pirate's headquarters on Tallon IV.
While in orbit:
- Metroid Prime (First appearance)
- Metroid Prime Pinball