PI PI PI PI...
Pyonchi is a small, furry friend of Samus Aran, the Zebesian Chozo, most notably Old Bird, and even a Galactic Federation chairman, Chairman Keaton. Pyonchi is of the Rabbilis species, which is probably native to K-2L, though it is possible that Humans have brought the species to K-2L from another planet. No other member of Pyonchi's species has been met throughout the series and he was only seen prior to Mother Brain's initial destruction.
While small and meek in appearance, Pyonchi seems to exhibit qualities seen in sentient life forms. Namely, his strength, relative longevity, intelligence, understanding, and apparent self awareness all constitute qualities of an advanced species.
Pyonchi is powerful enough to easily dispatch a couple of young Federation cadets. Pyonchi's strength is not often exhibited. It could have been a skill he enhanced and exercised by living on Zebes's harsh environment. The true origin of this strength, however, may lie on the Rabbilis species considering Damara recognized Pyonchi's species but was not terribly surprised when she witnessed the tiny creature overhandedly threw a proportionally large humanoid. While this act seems mechanically impossible, Pyonchi could be taking advantage of many factors to reach a torque necessary to topple him over.
As evidenced above, the Rabbilis also seems to have a relatively high intelligence. By his reactions, it is clear that Pyonchi understands spoken language. Aside from understanding the language, Pyonchi seems to be able to think for his own, meaning orders aren't necessary for Pyonchi to make a decision. When the Space Pirates attacked Zebes with the help of Mother Brain, Pyonchi knew to guide Samus toward a hologram device Old Bird left behind. Also, Pyonchi seemed to notice before anyone else that the Space Pirate Mother Ship had moved out of the way to exit into space. Samus also seems to trust that Pyonchi can navigate his way through Zebes. When Kreatz claims Pyonchi to be dead weight, Samus exclaims that he and Mauk are the true burdens on Pyonchi. His ability to remember Samus after not seeing her for a long time can be explained by an expanded memory, which correlates with higher intelligence.
Aside from this spectacular combination of traits, Pyonchi seems able to live a surprisingly long time. When Pyonchi was found by Samus, she was only three years old. He is still under the care of Keaton well into Samus's twenties. This means that Pyonchi is at least around twenty years old. This, paired with the fact that Pyonchi doesn't seem to have deterred in any physical way seems to give rise to the fact that Pyonchi has live a relatively long life. This could be due to the nature of the Rabbilis, the treatment of Pyonchi's owners, or some life-enhancing Chozo technology. Despite this, he hasn't been seen after the destruction of Mother Brain.
Behavior and Personality
Despite the lack of speaking ability, Pyonchi does seem to have a unique personality. Pyonchi's personality, though not explicit, is stated through his actions and reactions.
Pyonchi seems to care for those around him, especially Samus. He returns love shown towards him by staying next to his caretaker's side. His alert nature enables him to be of use, even if usually minimal, to Samus and those around him. Although he can't speak, he clarifies that he wants those bullying Damara to "play nice".
As mentioned, Pyonchi seems to have a heightened sense of awareness. While this may be attributed to Pyonchi's species' abilities, Pyonchi seems to be actively aware nonetheless. He was able to detect Samus's presence under a crowd. He also is quick to warn those around him of dangers, like the Iono Feria and the Space Pirate Mothership.
He may also have a playful side exhibited many times. When he was first met, he had stolen Samus's sack. There was no evidence that there was food in her bag, so Pyonchi may have stolen it simply out of mischief. When he first encountered the Chozo's Metroid, Pyonchi seemed to want to play with it. He stood close to its container and seemed excited, Old Bird noted "He he he, it seems like Pyonchi is of the same mind..."
Relationship with Others
Samus was introduced while trying to retrieve a sack Pyonchi had stolen from Samus and taken with him up a tree. Samus bumped into a cloaked Old Bird, while amazed at the non-human appearance at first, she quickly grew fond of the Chozo. Because he has wings, Samus asked for his help in retrieving the stolen bag by force. Old Bird then suggest for Samus to use a less direct approach, by befriending Pyonchi. Samus does that, initially showing friendliness by naming the creature. The creature seems tame, as he allows Samus to easily hold him and care for him. From this point on, Pyonchi seems to not mind living with Samus.
Pyonchi continued to live with Samus even when she lived on the hostile planet Zebes. Pyonchi seemed more capable of taking care of himself on the planet than his appearance indicates. While Samus lived on the planet, it seemed Pyonchi would always be at her side, even while she trained. It always seemed fond of Samus, never exhibiting a negative behavior towards her.
When Samus returned to Zebes after joining the Galactic Federation Police, Samus and Pyonchi seem very happy to see each other again. Pyonchi clearly recognizes Samus and listens to her commands, most notably her command to protect Kreatz and Mauk from the Zebesian environment. After setting him off with the two, they have another heartful goodbye as Samus fears there is a possibility the two may never see each other as she enters into battle. Pyonchi later rejoins with Samus, and the two escape Zebes along with Kreatz and Mauk. It is unknown for what reason, but it seems Samus then gave Pyonchi to Chairman Kreatz, a friend of the Chozo. Samus didn't see Pyonchi until she returned years later as a lone bounty hunter.
Kreatz and Mauk
Pyonchi briefly protected Kreatz and Mauk when Samus returned to Zebes with them. When they landed, Pyonchi was the first friend Samus found alive. Shortly after reuniting, Samus decided to go to Mother Brain, leaving Pyonchi charged with protecting Mauk and Kreatz. While Mauk seems to show a more timid, introverted personality, Kreatz gives plenty of color to the relationship between Mauk and Kreatz against Pyonchi.
Kreatz initially seemed annoyed that he and Mauk were charged with taking care of Samus's pet. Samus, however, forces Kreatz to realize that Pyonchi is the one taking care of them, as it is more capable of easily surviving on Zebes as the two of them are. After this point, it seems, Kreatz behaves more yielding towards Pyonchi. He notices when Pyonchi senses danger in a relying manner.
Their brief relationship ends when the three meet up with Samus and return to the Federation base.
When Samus left Zebes to join the Galactic Federation Police, Pyonchi stayed behind with the Chozo. It appears that Pyonchi had already built a bond with the Chozo as it grew up on Zebes, in particular with Old Bird.
While there are no events of particularly strong emotions, it is apparent that Pyonchi is more than comfortable among the Chozo. Pyonchi is often resting on the shoulder or head of Old Bird. Old Bird doesn't seem to mind Pyonchi's presence, as is the nature of the elder. Even when among all of the Chozo, Pyonchi seems to prefer to be by Old Bird's side.
Pyonchi seems to have been acquainted with Chairman Keaton since Samus's childhood. When Old Bird and Keaton are discussing the future of the galaxy, Pyonchi is observing with Old Bird. It is possible that through Keaton's visits, Pyonchi was able to develop at least a minimal relationship with him.
After Samus left the Federation to become a bounty hunter, she left Pyonchi with Keaton. It is possible that it was Keaton or Pyonchi's choice, though it is likely that Samus simply didn't want to expose Pyonchi to danger and wanted to take on missions as a warrior alone. Through this time, Pyonchi has grown comfortable with Keaton, and Keaton doesn't seem bothered by him, even worrying when Pyonchi senses something.
Chronologically, it seems Pyonchi's current whereabouts are with Chairman Keaton, though there is always a possibility that something unexpected has happened with Pyonchi.
- Pyonchi seems to only make the same sounds as a Pokémon, Pichu; both the creatures make either the "pi", "chu", or "pichu" sounds.
- Pyonchi is very blatantly based off a rabbit, as evidenced by his species' name, "Rabbilis".
- Pyonchi is often used as an element of comic relief, only having an important plot role in the very beginning of the manga.
- Leaving Pyonchi with Keaton may have been a device used to explain why Pyonchi does not appear in Samus's future events without having to have killed him off as writers often do.
- Her memories of Pyonchi may explain Samus' instinct to aid Pikachu in The Subspace Emissary.
- "Hmm... Perhaps he refuses to come down because he thinks that you're angry with him. Why not make friends with him as we did earlier" —Metroid (manga), Old Bird, Vol 1 Ch 1 Pg(s) 14
- "...Ah, that's the Rabbilis that was with Chairman Keaton! ... But why is it here?" —Metroid (manga), Damara, Vol 2 Ch 14 Pg(s) 14
- "Now lets quickly get onto the ship, we're out of time! What's wrong Pyonchi? The rain stopped..? And we can see the moon!" —Metroid (manga), Kreatz, Vol 2 Ch 12 Pg(s) 5
- "Samus: Then Pyonchi, I'm leaving these two in your care!
Kreatz: Hey what are you saying! I'd rather not have to take on your pet as extra weight!
Samus: What are you saying?! You're the extra weight! Did you forget there are a lot of predators on this planet!!
Kreatz: Ah..." —Metroid (manga), Conversation between Samus and Kreatz, Vol 1 Ch 6 Pg(s) 16
- "He he he, it seems like Pyonchi is of the same mind..." —Metroid (manga), Old Bird, Vol 1 Ch 4 Pg(s) 16