Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Chozo are a fictional species, an ancient race of bird-like extra-terrestrial humanoids. The Chozo appear in the Metroid video game franchise. The Chozo were the ones who raised Samus Aran and outfitted her with her armaments.
In Samus' galaxy, the Chozo seem to be a mystic race that is either currently extinct, nearly so, or perhaps simply in hiding. Besides raising Samus and giving her a modified version of their Power Suits, they also created the Metroids to stop the X Parasites from destroying the ecosystem of the planet SR 388. Chozo ruins have been discovered on the planets Zebes, Tallon IV, and SR 388 itself. There may be more ruins on other planets, but since no other worlds have been depicted in the Metroid games, this is purely speculation.
The Chozo are, or perhaps were, one of the oldest and most technologically advanced species in Samus' galaxy. Many of their technologies are an utter mystery to the galaxy's current inhabitants. The ruins on Tallon IV are a sort of regression; the Chozo, or perhaps only a few colonists, colonized the planet in such a way that they could become one with the natural things. They did not entirely abandon their technology, but for the most part the Tallon IV colony was made of only natural materials, and the wild animals and plants allowed to roam freely through the civilization. According to the North American version of Metroid Prime, the Chozo of Tallon IV eventually left their bodies behind willfully and began wandering the universe as spirits. However, the European version is quite vague about what happened to the Tallon IV Chozo and where they left. The Tallon IV ruins hold the most complete record of Chozo activity found to date. The Chozo worked hard to perfect their statuary (see Terminology below) and only the most skilled artisans were allowed to construct them.
The decline of the Chozo, or at least the Chozo colony on Tallon IV, can be directly attributed to Phazon and the creature that produces it, Metroid Prime (known to the Chozo as The Worm). Apparently, the mutagenic effects of Phazon had a slow but deadly influence on the Chozo population, forcing them to retreat into spirit form, and slowly driving their spirit forms insane.
The use of the word Chozo in reference to the bird-like race is actually the result of a miscommunication between Nintendo Co. Ltd and Nintendo of America. The word chozo (彫像) is actually Japanese for sculpture (lit. carved statue), and was used in reference to the sculptures of the bird-like race that hold power ups in the various games. Hence, the localization team incorrectly thought that this word was referring to the race the sculptures were depicting, rather than the actual sculptures themselves. In the Japanese versions of the games, the bird-like race is only ever identified by the generic term, choujin-zoku (鳥人族, lit. race of bird people)
The Chozo language was a lingua franca once but was wiped out by the Space Pirates. The Chozo runes in Metroid Prime is the key to their language. Samus must activate a Chozo rune to understand the Chozo lore and unlock doors.
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