Maridia: a subterranean network of aquatic caves. Evidence of Chozo mining operations present in 3 caves (A Shaktool being located in the far eastern tunnel – Section D). Further analysis has concluded that Maridia was not initially a sub-aquatic environment; what remains of a Chozo structure of complex design, most likely to be a city or science complex, indicates that the area was once dry – further studies point toward a semi-temperate environment.
No known native bioforms exist, though it is possible that the Owch and Yard are the result of some prior species' adaptation to an aquatic ecosystem. Most prominent in the invasive species are the Skultera and Choot; though the most notable species are the Mochtroids and the Evir. It is believed that the Evir may be the remnants of a once-sentient race; though this is unconfirmed, it must be noted that they possess semi-sentient traits not exhibited by other bioforms on Zebes – such as forming communal niches, solving problems while at the same time creating solutions, understanding their surroundings through trial and error, communicating through vocalization, and the unnerving practice of burying their dead.
There appears to be some form of submersible aquatic transport located beneath the Chozo ruin complex of Maridia (Far eastern shaft – Section B). This brings into question the legitimacy of prior studies that undoubtedly point toward a prior environment in which water was not present. The vessel appears to actually out-date the Chozo structures in the surrounding region by at least 700 years. The two most logical explanations for this phenomenon are that the vessel may have belonged to the beings who crash-landed on Zebes around the same time period (-See Wrecked Ship Transcript-), or that the vessel may be of Dragonic origin, due to the fact that various metals that make up the hull can only be found in Lower Norfair.
Pirate activity is unusually high in the region; Super Commandos are only found in this region – strange considering the fact that there is nothing of strategic value in the area. They appear to be centralized in a single cavern situated near the center of the region (Caver A – Section C). It is possible that they might be an exploratory party – evidence supporting this view includes the fact that they are unusually centralized and that a passage leading to Brinstar's Red-soil region is located directly above them in another cavern (-See Grappling Chamber Transcript-).
A rarity to Zebes can be found in the mid-regions of Maridia; an extremely rare Oorominian Water Serpent of the Class Botwoon. The Botwoon appears to have adapted to Maridia's aqueous environment in several ways – a rosette scale pattern, larger eyes, a multiple fluked tail, and the presence of gills being the most notable. A few of the Botwoon's adaptations do not appear to have naturally occurred; a water-jet propulsion system, an extra set to teeth, and the presence of a multi-fire kinetic energy launcher. These points lead to the assumption that the Space Pirates purposely introduced the Botwoon into the region as either an experimental bio-weapon or as a sort of sentinel.
Maridia itself is actually divided into three regions – The Drifting-sands zone, the Rocky-underwater expanse, and a small section of the Red-soil region of Brinstar. The water in this region has no ionized compounds or salts of any sort – It is believed that the source of this water is in the form of underground aquifers. The fact that there is any water in the region (Let alone on Zebes) at all is cause for debate. The surface of Zebes is barren and inhospitable, void of any breathable atmosphere. Though water is not uncommon on the surface; it can only be found in the form of highly corrosive acids – The only form of life on the surface can be found in these acid pools in the form of bacterium. Needless to say, the discovery of pure Di-Hydrogen Oxide in any form on Zebes took the scientific community of the Federation by storm. It is also prudent to note that the different regions of Maridia not only have different geological structures, but different ecosystems as well – the most distinct ecological variance in the Drifting-sands and Rocky-underwater regions is the specie of large crustacean known as Scisor.
The Alpha Predator of Maridia is without question the entity known as Draygon. Draygon appears to be an Evir, though on a larger scale both in size and physical development. Though still exhibiting the typical Evir carapace, Draygon has also developed a number of unique adaptations. Unlike other Evirs, Draygon does not have a spiked projectile on the end of its tail but instead has developed a poisonous barb-like appendage. Also unlike the rest of its species, the armored segments of the head and thorax region appear to be fused on Draygon. The presence of bony nodules and spines are unusually pronounced on Draygon's lower thorax, some of which are over half a meter in length. Another unusual development unique to Draygon is the presence of eight limbs instead of the usual four. Other traits unique to Draygon include unusually large eyes, an orifice full of teeth arranged in a rosette pattern, a second set of gills, and a highly elongated skull. Perhaps the most notable aspect of Draygon is the eerie, throbbing protuberance of the cranium that bears an uncanny resemblance to anguished, skeletal faces; something that has no practical use or explanation. More unusual, still, is that this strange armature appears to have occurred naturally. Draygon most likely belongs to the dwarf species of Evir, characterized by their dark-green hue, violet eyes and deeper bodies. Draygon could be the result of an Evir with a genetic disposition to extreme growth; such as gigantism, or perhaps an extreme example of a genetic mutation due to the massive amounts of beta-radiation that hits the surface of Zebes nonstop. It may even be the result of Space Pirate experimentations on local fauna to conduct research on the prospects of bio-warfare and engineering super-soldiers – a long-standing goal of the Space Pirates.
Note-worthy items in this region include the Space Jump, the Spring Ball, and the Plasma Beam.
Number of expansions found in this region: 15
Missile Expansions – 8
Super Missile Expansions – 3
Power Bomb Expansions – 1
Energy Tanks – 2
Reserve Tanks – 1