Rundas

        Last time I talked about the planet Bryyo from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and briefly mentioned one of the bosses, Rundas. Today I’d like to go into a bit more detail on him. Before I get to the battle, of course, I have to explain why he is fighting Samus in the first place. To begin with, when you first meet Rundas, the idea that he would want to fight you certainly wouldn’t enter your mind.
        Because he, Ghor, and Gandrayda are all fellow bounty hunters hired by the Federation in the same capacity as Samus, finding out what the Space Pirates are up to and destroying the Leviathans. In particular we see these three hunters in action on Norion, aiding Samus at various points. Ghor’s ship serves in both that role and as a mecha for him to ride in and fight with, which he uses to take out a Berserker Lord, the game’s first boss, with minimal effort.
        Gandrayda uses her ability to mimic other creatures to hide among the Pirates and kill them before they can ambush Samus, and Rundas particularly stands out, using his ice powers to destroy two Space Pirate ships before they could unload more troops on Samus, fixes one of the three generators needed to stop the Leviathan from hitting Norion, and, most impressively, uses his ice powers to swoop in at the nick of time to save Samus from falling into a reactor with Ridley, whom she was battling with on the way down.
        Through all four of their efforts, the generators were activated, and they were able to get a cannon online to destroy the Leviathan before it could crash into the planet. It was a very close thing, though- Dark Samus, the cause of these attacks, shows up to take them down and ensure the Leviathan lands, but even after she knocks them all unconscious and flies off, Samus manages to revive and start the cannon. And of course, nothing could be done to stop Bryyo and Elysia from getting hit by Leviathans either.
        Therefore, Rundas is sent off to deal with the Leviathan in Bryyo, Ghor to Elysia, and Gandrayda to locate the Pirate’s base of operations. Samus, who wakes up a few days after the others, is also sent off to Bryyo because it is closest and all three of them suddenly stopped transmitting back. Thus, Samus has been sent in to find out what happened to them and, if necessary, finish their jobs. All of the hunters have been equipped with PED Suits, allowing them to make use of the Phazon their bodies now produce thanks to Dark Samus’s attack. This lets you use the Hypermode I decribed in the Bryyo article.
        I’ve already described Bryyo in length, so I’ll hurry on along to when you meet Rundas. You see signs of him as you travel the Cliffside, most notably the giant ice bridge he created to pass a gap and the frozen enemies. He can also be spotted watching you on occasion. You do not meet him there, however- instead, you’ll see some frozen over spots in Bryyo Fire. His ship is also parked by where Samus’s lands, in plain sight.
        I should also note that while the first spots of ice can be destroyed, save the bridge, the latter blasts you see in Bryyo Fire cannot, and when scanned it seems to indicate that it’s less ice and more some kind of frozen Phazon, indicating that he became more and more corrupted. Rundas finally appears himself when Samus is attacked in the Temple of Bryyo room. After fighting the Space Pirates for a few minutes, Rundas will appear and send out ice spots that freeze all the remaining Pirates, in spite of their attempts to flee.
        While you might think that’s a good thing, and it is, he then looks at Samus, and it is clear that he is no longer on your side when you see what appears to be Dark Samus’s image briefly appearing over his own, making it abundantly clear he is under her control. It is likely he slew the Pirates out of pride, wanting to fight Samus alone. Samus, perhaps thinking he was on her side do to this aid, started to draw closer, only to be attacked.
        Incidentally, unlike Ghor and Gandrayda, Rundas doesn’t say anything before, during, or after the fight, and he is the only one ot have Dark Samus ‘appear’ over him like that, which implies to me that his will may have been a bit stronger than theirs. Notably, Dark Samus only appears after he slaughters the Pirates, perhaps indicating he is resisting his corruption, forcing the village to exert control more directly.
        I must also must pause to point out that the music for this fight is suitably awesome, and simply must be heard. Moving on to the fight itself, the battlefield, while previously bare, is covered in ice pillars that inhibit your movement. Rundas, in contrast, can zip around on ‘slides’ of ice, which he reabsorbs to keep putting more out and keep flying about. He can do so very quickly, and make pinpoint turns, making him difficult to hit while moving. If you are going to try, I’d suggest missiles, as they can home in on him, but it is still certainly possibly they’ll miss entirely or just collide with a pillar.
        If you’re trying to hit him on the ground, on the other hand, he can let out a cold wave of air to freeze your missiles before they can hit. And on top of that, even if you can hit him, he can take a beating thinks to his icy armor, which means none of your attacks will harm him in the slightest until you remove it. Once his armor takes enough abuse however, he will be stunned, and you can yank it off entirely, allowing you to harm him.
        As for how he acts offensively, if he is on the ground, he will fire out ice shots to freeze you in place, and if you are very close he will form a ice blade on his arm to slash you with. If he lands on a pillar, on the other hand, he will form three giant slabs of ice to fire at you. However, despite their intimidating size, they can be destroyed with a couple power beam shots. I assumed a charge shot would be needed thanks to the size, and took some damage because of my slowed down fire rate, so don’t make that mistake. The projectiles also leave behind power ups. These blasts will also destroy a pillar if they run into one, while said pillars will deflect your fire entirely.
        If he has had his armor removed, he will start to run off, which he can do surprisingly quickly, and can easily elude your fire thanks to the pillars. After running around for a bit, he will regenerate his ice armor, and the fight continues as before. His attacks and movement speed up as he takes more damage, and when he slides around, he will shoot out slow moving projectiles that home in on you. A single shot can destroy one ,but there will be plenty. These too give powerups, and they’re less a threat than a distraction, which seems to be the point.
        He will occasionally stop on a pillar and produce a giant ice flail, which he will spin around his head before flinging the giant mass at you. Don’t bother trying to destroy it- you will fail. Instead, focus your fire on him. If you can stun him, he will drop the flail, causing it to fall and crush him. Which I guess makes it an epic fail! Hehehe.
        Anyway, he can also go into Hypermode, which, like when any other enemy uses it, makes him far stronger, taking less damage and doing far more in return. If the flail falls on him, then it will knock him out of Hypermode, but given how durable he is at that point, your best bet may be to dodge. Similarly, the projectiles he makes while flying about also speed up tremendously, and as he gets closer to death he becomes harder and harder to manage in his desperation.
        Once the icy hunter is beaten, a cutscene will start where he is sent flying backwards, presumably by Samus’s fire, and he looks around, seemingly confused, and even offers his hand to Samus, perhaps expecting her to help him up. His being defeated seems to have made him more lucid, and brought him to his senses. However, I’m afraid if anyone were hoping that he would help Samus after this or become an ally, their hopes are quickly dashed, or more accurately, impaled. A giant ice spike shoots up, killing Rundas instantly.
        A ghostly apparition of Dark Samus appears, absorbing whatever is left of him, and flies off, leaving behind the Ice Missile power up for Samus. I do have to wonder- given he was aware of things in that brief moment, did he kill himself to stop Dark Samus from using him? Or did she slay him because he had been beaten, and is no longer useful?
        It’s all very ambiguous, but what is clear to me is that whichever it is, it sends a clear message about how threatening Phazon and Dark Samus are. She will not only destroy your planet with giant Phazon meteors, she will corrupt your friends and force them to battle you. While the new powerup is nice- and in fact necessary to proceed- taking it leaves me with a distinctly sad feeling, knowing where it came from.

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