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The X Parasite (also known both singularly and collectively as "X") is an alien creature found in the Metroid Universe on planet SR388 and on the BSL research station. It is not a true parasite as a parasite does not kill the host unless absolutely necessary. It is an ectoparasitoid. In its natural state, an X parasite is a free-floating glob of protoplasmic material. It invades the host's body, absorbs its DNA and intelligence, and kills the host by converting its body to X material. An X can remain in a host's form even after the host's death, and while sufficient damage will force it to revert to its normal shape, it can later revert to a previously-acquired form. Some X have even demonstrated the ability to combine different host DNA into a new creature.
Many X can come together and form one creature called a Core-X. The change is not chemical however and individual X can be forced from the Core-X.
The X have one predator, the Metroid. They were genetically engineered by the Chozo to destroy the X Parasites and are immune to X infestation: an X attempting to infest a Metroid will instead be consumed. After Samus Aran exterminated the Metroid race, the X population quickly multiplied. Despite their virulent nature they managed to hide their take over of the planet from the scientists in system until Samus Aran was attacked and infected by one.
In addition to those previously mentioned abilities the X has several unusual abilities. Its ability to absorb intelligence also allows it to organically absorb and implement data, for example to create a heat resistant material to wrap itself in. It reproduces through a process similar to viruses, which makes it almost infinitely adaptable. When an X doesn’t come into contact with a susceptible host it stops growing and reproducing which means it needs no energy for food. It can float forever until disturbed. This makes it amazingly adaptable and incredibly hard to safely breed in laboratory conditions. They are also extremely and self-destructively aggressive, as they will even charge a foe it cannot hope to kill.
The X Parasites in the Metroid storylineEdit
The X Parasites are such prolific breeders that on their home planet of SR388 they threatened to destroy the ecosystem. The Chozo stepped in and created the Metroidsin order to keep the X Parasites' numbers in check. When series protagonist Samus Aran exterminated all of the Metroids on SR 388 in Metroid II: Return of Samus, the X Parasites' population quickly made a comeback. They provided the main antagonist role in Metroid Fusion, particularly in the form of the SA-X, an X mimic of Samus Aran and her Power Suit. As the X continued to menace the station, the Federation took an interest in the X. They ordered Samus' computer to confine her until Federation ships arrive. Samus, knowing that the X would overwhelm them and spread through the universe, set the station on a collision course with SR-388. By doing so, all of the X on the station and the planet would be destroyed. The SA-X tried to stop her, but was defeated.</p>