Super Metroid

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Super Metroid
Missing image
Smetroidbox.jpg
Super Metroid Box

Developer(s) Nintendo R&D1
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date(s) April 1994
Genre Action Adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ESRB: Kids to Adults (K-A)
Platform(s) Super Famicom/Super NES

Super Metroid is a video game, the third installment in the Metroid series. It was developed by Nintendo's R&D1 team and released in 1994 for the Super NES. With its 24-megabit cartridge size, it was the largest game available for the console at the time.

Super Metroid is a 2D platform game with action and adventure elements. Game progression revolves around sequentially gathering power-ups that allow Samus to overcome obstacles in order to access new parts of the world. The world has a non-linear layout and features plentiful hidden areas, making exploration a central concept.

Contents

In-game story line

Super Metroid title screen
Super Metroid title screen

Prologue

After managing to extinguish the Metroids on SR-388 (the planet from which the species originated) in Metroid II: Return of Samus, bounty hunter Samus Aran brings the last surviving Metroid larva to the Ceres Space Colony. There, scientists conduct research on the larva and reach the conclusion that the powers of Metroids could be harnessed for the benefit of mankind. Confident that things are in order, Samus leaves Ceres in search of a new bounty to hunt. However, shortly after leaving, Samus picks up a distress call from Ceres and returns to investigate.

In the first playable sequence of the game, the player controls Samus through a short series of corridors inside the space colony. In the laboratory where the Metroid larva was being studied, she finds its container shattered and the scientists dead on the floor. Continuing, Samus finally reaches a dead-end room where she finds the Metroid larva in the claws of the dragon Ridley, one of the Zebesian Space Pirate leaders.

Samus and Ridley engage in battle, but Ridley soon flies off with the larva in his talons. At the same time, a countdown sets off for the self-destruction of the space colony and the player has 60 seconds to return to Samus' Gunship. After reaching the exit, the first playable sequence ends and a cut scene shows Samus trailing Ridley to the planet Zebes, the home of the Space Pirates that was destroyed in the first Metroid game but has now been rebuilt. Her task will be to locate the Metroid larva and prevent the Pirates from gaining use of its powers.

Exploration of Zebes

The main sequence of the game begins when the player emerges from Samus' Gunship, parked hovering above the rocky surface of Zebes in an area called Crateria. There is an ongoing thunderstorm, with thick rain falling. As in the previous games, Samus will be forced to delve into the planet through its complex cavities in order to hunt down the Space Pirates.

Upon entering the tunnel system of Crateria, Samus initially finds the area completely desolate with no sign of Space Pirate activity. She makes her way to the ruins of Tourian, the Pirates' headquarters and lair of Mother Brain, which she destroyed on her last visit. Moving deeper, she reaches Brinstar, the area where the first Metroid game started, and there she finds the first power-up in the game, the Morphing Ball. Upon collecting this critical item, a spotlight is activated, indicating that someone is now aware of her presence. From this point, the planet is swarming with creatures and patrolled by Space Pirate warriors.

...

Finale

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Super_Metroid_statues.png
The entrance to Tourian is blocked by a statue of the Pirate leaders Kraid, Ridley, Phantoon and Draygon. Only after defeating all of them will the statue give way for Samus.

After defeating Ridley in Norfair, the fiery heart of the planet Zebes, Samus finds the container from the Space Colony shattered and empty. With no trace of the hatchling in sight, Samus sets aim for the rebuilt Tourian, the command center for the entire Zebesian fortress.

The entrance to Tourian is guarded by a giant golden statue of the four Pirate bosses. As the door locks behind Samus, the eyes of the statue begin to burst one by one, and each part fades to silver. Once all the parts have faded, an earthquake begins. The statue sinks slowly into the mire below it, and the floor collapses, revealing the elevator to Tourian.

Tourian

In Tourian, Samus discovers that the Pirates'   program has been successful.
Enlarge
In Tourian, Samus discovers that the Pirates' Metroid breeding program has been successful.

Samus battles her way through the familiar, metallic corridors of the new Tourian, destroying everything in her path. The Pirates have already succeeded in jump-starting their Metroid breeding program, and although the many Metroids Samus encounters are clones of the larva she saved from SR388, they harbor no affection for the bounty hunter. After dispatching them all, she finds herself in a very different environment, possibly meant to replicate conditions on SR388. After bypassing some extremely dangerous Side Hoppers, Samus finds the remains of a Torizo alone in a small chamber. She approaches with caution, expecting the worst, but upon touching the corpse, it crumbles away to dust, apparently sucked dry by a Metroid. The next room is filled with similar, dried remains of various enemies. As she examines them, a living giant blue Side Hopper approaches her.

Suddenly, a Metroid of incredible size appears, engulfing the Side Hopper and swiftly consuming all of its life energy. Before Samus can even move to escape, the giant creature is upon her, draining her as well. She prepares for death, but then, at the last moment, the Metroid releases her and begins to chirp apologetically. It appears that this huge Metroid is the larva from SR388, and it has recognized Samus just in time.


Mother Brain

After the Metroid leaves, Samus is fortunate to find a nearby energy station and restores herself to full power. After overcoming the few remaining obstacles, she finds Mother Brain's chamber. Once there, she shatters its stasis tank and begins to pummel it with missiles. The brain turns quickly from red to a sickly gray color, and as its support columns explode, it falls to the floor with a thud.

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Super_Metroid_Mother_Brain_tank.png
As in Metroid, Mother Brain awaits at the core of Tourian. Samus must shatter its glass tank while dodging the automated defense cannons and staying clear of the acidic lava.

But unlike the last time Samus fought Mother Brain, the battle does not end with this. Instead, Mother Brain begins to rise from the floor, her brain now mounted on a giant cybernetic body. The creature returns instantly to its healthy color and now begins to actively attack Samus with plasma rings, laser beams, and grenades. Samus continues to pump every last bit of her arsenal into the beast's cranium, but it seems to accomplish nothing. Soon, Mother Brain begins to use a powerful blast against Samus that hits with the force of a dozen plasma beams, but the bounty hunter does her best to dodge them. Finally becoming desperate, Mother Brain plays its trump card and unleashes its devastating hyper mind ray on Samus, throwing the space hunter hard against the far wall and draining her energy rapidly. Two more times this repeats itself until Samus is at the brink of death. She struggles to stand, but it is no use.

Then, just as the Mother Brain is charging for the coup de grace, the Metroid hatchling flies into the chamber, engulfing the giant brain. Mother Brain tries to fight, but it is utterly helpless, and finally slumps back against the wall behind it, turning to the color of dust.

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Super_Metroid_Mother_Brain_hyperbeam.png
After some time in its second form, the Mother Brain employs its most deadly weapon, a beam of such force that it presses Samus to the wall, ultimately rendering her powerless and unable to even stand.

The Metroid hatchling swoops down and refills all of Samus' energy, but before it can finish this task, the Mother Brain somehow revives itself for one final battle. Mercilessly pounding the Metroid with its plasma rings until it is forced to leave, it prepares to once again fight Samus. But, the Metroid hatchling is determined to put an end to this once and for all, and it comes swooping back into the room. Before it can again latch onto Mother Brain's head, however, the fell beast fires one more plasma ring into the larva, destroying it.

However, Samus is ready to avenge the Metroid; her body is now pulsating with the energy transferred from Mother Brain, and all of her beam weapons have been overwritten with a "HYPER" beam that is of similar power to the ray Mother Brain used on her. In no time, Mother Brain is utterly destroyed, once again falling down to the floor, and this time, crumbling into dust.

In predictable style, the life support systems for the Mother Brain detect her death, and a time bomb is set. Samus tears through room after room, using her Screw Attack and Super Jump to smash through walls and hapless Space Pirates. Rocketing up through the same escape shaft she used in her first mission to Zebes, with lava creeping up behind her, she swiftly heads for Crateria and the surface. This time, it looks like the entire planet might blow.

The surface of Zebes begins to crack like an eggshell, until finally an enormous blast of energy is released. Then, as the light starts to subside, Zebes is now nothing more than a ball of flame, and spiraling away from it is Samus' Gunship. The bounty hunter has escaped alive and has completely annihilated the Space Pirates on this planet.


Gameplay

Related article: Items in the Metroid series


Special Abilities

In the aquatic world of Maridia, Samus encounters many strange creatures.
In the aquatic world of Maridia, Samus encounters many strange creatures.

The first two abilities do not require any special items to perform.

Wall Jump 
A technique that allows Samus to jump off vertical surfaces by hitting a wall or edge at the correct angle and pressing the jump button at the right moment. The technique is mastered by a group of friendly aliens who demonstrate it to the player, although it should be noted that Samus carries this ability from the start.
Moon Walk 
If activated from the main options menu before beginning play, Samus can fire her arm cannon while walking backwards.
Crystal Flash 
This ability replenishes Samus' energy by reconstructing her Power Suit within an orb of light. It requires that her energy be less than 50, including reserve tanks. In addition, she must carry a minimum of 10 missiles, 10 super missiles and 11 power bombs, which will be expended during the regeneration process. Perform this by morphing, selecting power bombs, and holding the aim up, aim down, and directional down buttons. Then hold down the fire button.
Charge Bomb 
This ability uses a power bomb in conjunction with the charge beam to unleash a devastating area attack. Select the Charge beam and exactly one other beam, (Ice, Wave, Spazer, or Plasma), then select power bombs and hold the fire button to charge the beam. The attack will be performed automatically, and will use one power bomb.
Pseudo Screw Attack 
Samus can imitate the effects of the Screw Attack by spin jumping after powering up the charge beam. This will do heavy damage to the first enemy she touches during her jump, but it is not as powerful as the Screw Attack and does not affect some enemies. If the enemy is not destroyed, Samus may also take damage. The charge beam must be reactivated after each time this technique is used.
Bomb Spread 
If Samus morphs while her Charge Beam is fully charged, she will drop five Bombs at once, which spread out and bounce off walls and floors.

Items

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Samus_Aran_Super_Metroid_screenshot.gif
Super Metroid incarnation of Samus' Gravity Suit.

All of the items available in the previous two games except for the Spider Ball exist in Super Metroid along with many new ones. For weapons, see the weapon-section below.

Morphing Ball 
This item gives Samus the ability to morph into a ball, allowing access to narrow tunnels.
Spring Ball 
Gives Samus the ability to jump while she's morphed into a ball.
High Jump Boots 
Doubles the height of Samus' jump.
Speed Booster 
Grants Samus the ability to run incredibly fast and break through dash blocks. Also enables the techniques known as the Super Jump and Shoulder Dash, wherein Samus stores the energy of the Speed Booster to perform a powerful, long-distance charge. The Super Jump is also known as the Shinespark. This name was verified as official in Metroid Fusion after the player completes a difficult "obstacle course" using this technique.
Space Jump 
Allows Samus to repeatedly jump in midair.
Grapple Beam 
Used with grapple blocks, this electromagnetic beam allows Samus to swing over chasms she could not jump over. It can also be used as a low-power weapon.
X-Ray Visor 
When used, Samus can see hidden passages and what type of destructible blocks are in the field of vision.

Weapons

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Super_Metroid_inventory.png
From the inventory screen, the player can enable or disable weapons and other abilities that Samus has gathered by collecting power-ups.

The use of weapons in Super Metroid is twofold: to defeat enemies and to overcome obstacles found in the environment.

Power beam 
Samus' starting weapon, which is relatively weak and therefore useless against some enemies and most bosses. There are five upgrades, however, which increase the abilities of the power beam somehow. Ammunition is unlimited for the power beam as well as for all the other beam weapons.
Charge beam 
An upgrade to the power beam that lets the player fire much more powerful shots.
Ice beam 
The Ice beam is capable of freezing enemies, effectively making them harmless and additionally making them as a sort of "stepping stone".
Wave beam 
Enables shots to pass through walls and other solid objects.
Spazer beam 
Makes shots larger and more powerful.
Plasma beam 
Greatly enhances beam power. Allows beams to go through enemies.
Hyper beam 
The strongest beam available, with about the same power as a super missile.
Missiles 
Missiles are used to open locked doors and to defeat enemies that are invulnerable to regular beams. Samus is not equipped with any missiles from the start so she has to collect them on her way.
Super missiles 
Super missiles are similar to missiles, but carry five times the power. They are capable of opening doors that missiles can't budge. In addition, there are many enemies that cannot be destroyed with any other weapon in Samus' arsenal.
Bombs 
Primarily needed for destroying objects that block Samus' path. Bombs can be used to defeat enemies, but are usually not very effective for that purpose.
Power bombs 
A single detonation of a power bomb destroys all regular enemies and bomb-destructible obstacles on the screen. There are some blocks and doors that can only be cleared with Power Bombs.
Screw attack 
A jumping technique that transforms Samus' jump into a whirling sawblade of energy. Virtually any enemy she contacts while in this state will be instantly destroyed.

Enemies

Bosses

The bosses are listed in chronological order in which Samus encounters each one of them.

Ridley
Ridley, the dragon whom Samus fought in the original NES game, makes his comeback as one of the hardest bosses in the game. He is responsible for the bloodbath at Ceres Space Station and the kidnapping of the Metroid larva.
Kraid
Kraid, who was part of the miniboss duo (the other one being Ridley) of the original NES game, makes its comeback, but has somehow managed to grow dramatically and is now Brobdingnagian. A seemingly fresh carcass (insects are still feasting on it when our heroine encounters it) is found outside the chamber where it lurks. Some claim this to be the body of Adam Malchovich Samus speaks of in Metroid Fusion.
Phantoon
Phantoon is a ghostly flying skull who taps into Mother Brain's brainwaves and feeds off the Wrecked Ship's energy supply.
Draygon
Draygon is an enormous sea creature that resides in Maridia. Her hard armour-like shell provides her with a great amount of defensive strength. There is a trick to defeating her that involves the grappling beam.
Mother Brain
The final boss, this entity is a disembodied brain in a tank protected by deadly Rinka laser rings, automated defense cannons, and self-regenerating organic life support conduits known as Zeebetites. Once damaged sufficiently, the Mother Brain attaches itself to a cybernetic body, which increases its offensive powers and energy level by many orders of magnitude.

Mini-bosses

Torizo
The Torizo appears to be a simple Chozo statue which possesses the Bomb item, until Samus takes the item from it. A Chozo-like creature then bursts out of the statue and attacks using its claws, energy waves, and fake item spheres. It is unclear whether Torizo are mechanoids or evil, violent members of the Chozo race.
Spore Spawn
The Spore Spawn is a native inhabitant of the subterranean jungles of Brinstar. It consists of an entire room of plant biomatter connected to a large, head-like pod. The pod can swing throughout most of the room, limiting Samus' range of movement severely. Spores also drop from the ceiling during the entire battle. These cause damage, but they can be destroyed for energy or ammo refills. The main pod opens occasionally to reveal a vulnerable core which must be struck with missiles.
Crocomire
This denizen of Norfair is a red, thick-skinned beast with eight eyes which can tolerate even the hottest temperatures. It is massive, and its primary mode of attack consists of rushing toward Samus in an attempt to push her back into a spiked wall. It can also strike her with its long arms and spit energy orbs from its mouth. Like Kraid, its mouth is its weak point. Shooting it here will drive it back toward a lava pit, which proves deadly to the beast when it falls in.
Botwoon
Botwoon is a serpent-like creature with a crocodile's head. Its main attack simply consists of rushing between the various burrows in its chamber in wide arcs. It will occasionally reveal only its head from one of the burrows and will shoot energy beams at Samus. Target its head to destroy it.
Golden Torizo
Another incarnation of the Torizo fought in lower Norfair. This opponent is very powerful, possessing all the attacks of the normal Torizo along with some new ones. Among other feats it can perform, it will catch any Super Missiles fired at it and throw them back at Samus, where they explode with significant force.

Friends

Not all of Zebes inhabitants act hostile towards Samus. Some are more or less neutral and are harmless to Samus but there are also aliens who reside in Brinstar which aid Samus on her quest. The aid consist of teaching Samus how to use certain techniques. Curious note: In the best alien-tradition these are all green-coloured, although for some reason the apes are blue in the official artwork.

Etecoons
The wall-jumping ape trio. According to some players, the most frustrating part of the whole game. The ape-like aliens with antennas sticking out of their heads demonstrate the invaluable and difficult wall-jumping technique with considerable ease.
Dachora
The running ostrich. This creature is a green bird which has a striking resemblance to an ostrich. The Dachora demonstrates the "Shine Spark" technique.

Note: After defeating Mother Brain and starting the self-destruction of Zebes, the player may choose to save these friendly creatures. A flashing metal door appears in Crateria, the one that originally led the player to acquire the bomb ability. In that chamber these creatures appear to be trapped. Samus can destroy the opposite facing wall so that the aliens may escape. The reward is the feeling of satisfaction and a very slight difference in the ending scene.

Areas

Ceres Space Colony
Ceres Space Colony is where the game begins and is the scene of the discovery that the Metroids could be used for the good of mankind.
Crateria
The surface area of planet Zebes. The surface of the planet is plagued by acid rain, thus the living creatures are mostly found below surface level.
Brinstar
The jungle area of Zebes, teeming with life. The area of Brinstar explored in this game is mostly different from that of the original mission. It appears that parts of old Brinstar have been absorbed into Maridia. Kraid's hideout is located in this area.
Norfair
It lies deep below the surface and thus requires that its visitors carry sufficient protection from the incredible heat. Ancient Chozo ruins can be found in the deepest parts of lower Norfair, where the dragon Ridley rules supreme.
The Wrecked Ship
A long time ago, cosmonauts belonging to an ancient civilisation crashed on Zebes. This is what remains of their space ship. The Wrecked Ship is in approximately the same location on the map as the Space Pirate mother ship Samus explores at the end of Metroid: Zero Mission, which seems to be a retcon. The ghost Phantoon has shut down the Wrecked Ship, making most of it unaccessible at first.
Maridia
The water world of Zebes. Most of Maridia occupies territory that was once part of Brinstar. The area contains an aquatic Pirate laboratory where they have bred a mostly unsuccessful Metroid clone called the Mochtroid. The giant crustacean creature Draygon is the guardian of this area.
Tourian
The control centre of the Zebesian Space Pirates and their wicked leader, the Mother Brain. The location has shifted to a more secure area since the first Metroid game, when Samus wreaked havoc on the Space Pirates' plans.

Development

Credits

Producers
Graphics designers
  • Hirofumi Matsuoka (backgrounds)
  • Masahiko Mashimo (backgrounds)
  • Hiroyuki Kimura (backgrounds)
  • Tohru Ohsawa (objects)
  • Tomoyoshi Yamane (objects)
  • Hiroji Kiyotake (Samus original design)
  • Tomomi Yamane (Samus)
Sound and music
Programmers
  • Kenji Imai (program direction)
  • Kenji Nakajima (system coordination)
  • Yoshikazu Mori (system)
  • Isamu Kubota (Samus)
  • Misturu Matsumoto (events)
  • Yasuhiko Fujii (enemies)
  • Motomu Chikaraishi (map)
  • Kouichi Abe (assistant)

Reception

Super Metroid became and remains one of the most popular and critically praised games for the Super NES.

It frequently appears in "best games of all time" lists; Electronic Gaming Monthly has named Super Metroid the best game of all time [1] (http://web.archive.org/web/20030611191341/http%3A//gamers.com/feature/egmtop100/index.jsp), and IGN ranked it the third best game of all time in its 2003 "top 100" list, with the motivation:

"Hailed as one of the best 2D adventures ever, Nintendo's sci-fi epic still provides one of the most thought out and intriguing gameplay experiences around. Ranging from extensive platform challenges to gigantic boss battles to a comprehensive power-up system, Super Metroid has attained a divine place in the hearts of longtime gamers. Certainly, it stands as something players and developers can idolize for years to come." [2] (http://top100.ign.com/1-10.html)

Swedish game publication Super PLAY ranked Super Metroid number 6 in the "top 100" list its March 2003 issue, commenting on its atmosphere (the following is a translation from Swedish):

The graphics and sound form a wonderful symbiosis, creating an almost tangible atmosphere. Concerning the looks, there is no individual part that sticks out; the game maintains an even, stable, and thoroughly crafted graphical style. The music mostly consists of reserved, dark and mystical melodies that lurk in the background. After a while they consume you, fully immersing you in the Samus role. And the role is indeed an exciting one to play. The pure joy of exploration is on top and makes you thirst for more constantly.

In a Metroid feature in its December 2002 issue, Super PLAY also noted the game's care to detail:

Super Metroid remains one of the most well made adventures ever produced. Every detail, from the echoing ice shafts to the statue that shifts color to illustrate which of the game's four bosses have been defeated, is indicative of an almost manic dedication among the developers at R&D1.

Pushing the limits

In recent times, players have decided to push the game to its limits. Many players have begun to manipulate glitches to achieve extremely fast times, such as beating the game with 100% in under one hour, or in less than 40 minutes without 100%. Other players attempt to complete the game with as little or as much as possible within certain boundaries. Some players have been able to complete the game with only 14%, and others are able to obtain up to 73% of items without fighting any minibosses or bosses beyond the Torizo fight for bombs. Additionally, a glitch called the Space-Time Beam has been found that resets most of the game to its initial state, allowing players to play through the game again with all of their current weapons except missiles.

See also

External links


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