Metroid: Zero Mission follows the same basic plot as that of the original Metroid
. On an emergency order from the Galactic Federation, bounty hunter Samus Aran
travels to the planet Zebes in order to infiltrate a lair of space pirates, exterminate the metroids that they have in their possession, and destroy the space pirates' bio-mechanical computer, Mother Brain. The bosses Ridley
also return and are given appearances more in line with their redesigned forms that appeared in Super Metroid
The plot is further expanded by cutscenes at key points to illustrate the story in more detail. It also works in key points of Samus's backstory that had been established in later games, depicting moments of her childhood as an orphan on Zebes, raised by the Chozo that once inhabited the planet. The biggest deviation from the original Metroid comes at the point where the first game ended. in Zero Mission, after Samus defeats Mother Brain and escapes to her ship, she is attacked by space pirates and forced to crash land, losing her power suit in the process. Armed with only an emergency pistol, she must sneak into the inner-most chamber of an old Chozo temple and complete a trial to acquire a newer, more powerful suit. Once done, she confronts a now cybernetic Ridley and uses a spare space pirate craft to escape.
Metroid Zero Mission controls similarly to Metroid Fusion. Players fire with B and jump with A. Zero Mission brings in power ups made famous by Super Metroid for this remake for a different take on the first game. Some effects also happen automatically such as the Speed Booster which turns off after walking for a while without getting obstructed. Players also have more control over some more advanced techniques in this game such as the Shinespark, which can now be cancelled by inclines while still allowing it to continue for a short while. An addition was made to the Shinespark, as it can now be used in Morph Ball mode, a technique which is necessary to get 100% of all items in the game.
Sequence Breaking was a big part in the design of Metroid Zero Mission. Some paths that exist in the game are solely there for the purpose of sequence breaking, and are otherwise unreachable without using techniques such as wall jumping, shinesparking or diagonal bomb jumping; all of which are techniques non-existent in the original Metroid.
After defeating Mother Brain and escaping Zebes, Samus is attacked by Space Pirates, leaving her marooned on Zebes without her Power Suit. This new part of the game which puts Samus in her Zero Suit, introduced first in this game. Samus is very weak in this segment, and only a few hits will result in a Game Over. Samus cannot kill enemies in this section, only stun them. This section of the game is a side-scrolling stealth segment which leads Samus getting the Gravity Suit as well as all the Unknown items you've picked up thus far. This will eventually lead to the final boss of the game as well as final escape sequence.
An extension of Samus' Power Beam, allowing her to shoot farther to reach those annoying enemies at the corners of the screen and blow up all the rocks blocking Morph Ball tunnels.
A fully charged blast has the same power as a missile, but it doesn't open red doors. Also if you somersault into small enemies while holding a charge you will destroy them; a less powerful Screw Attack.
The Wave Beam increases your beam width and allows you to shoot through walls. It can also reveal destructible blocks.
One shot of Ice Beam freezes some enemies in their tracks for a short period of time, making them easier to avoid. Since frozen enemies don't harm you, they can be used as platforms.
One of the unknown items you collect early on which later when you get your fully powered suit becomes Plasma Beam. Rather than stopping with one enemy Plasma Beam allows your beam to keep flying to hit multiple enemies.
Morph Ball Bomb
Finally your Morph Ball is no longer weak and defenseless. Morph Ball Bombs are used for opening new paths and you can use them to preform a bomb jump. Using Bombs on certain areas will reveal special blocks that require certain items to get past, such as Power Bombs and Missiles.
This is the game's final upgrade. This bomb has a radius of about a screen and a half and destroys anything in its way.
A missile is more powerful than your beam and can open red hatches, making it a great addition to your arsenal. In easy and normal difficulties the missile tank gives you five missiles, but on hard difficulty it gives you only two.
Super Missile Tank
A Super Missile is around five missiles combined into one huge explosion that opens green hatches and brings bosses to their knees. On easy and normal difficulty, the tank gives you two Super Missiles, where as it gives you one on hard difficulty.
The Varia Suit allows you to enter hot rooms that originally drained your health. You can even go in acid without fear of damage, but lava still zaps your health. Without a better suit upgrade, you will move at half speed while in these areas.
Another one of the unknown items; the Gravity Suit allows you to jump normally in acid, lava, or water and prevents damage from lava. The Gravity Suit also allows you to move freely in these areas without being slowed down.
Your first upgrade you get immediately after starting. Morph Ball allows you to enter small passages and evade enemies quicker.
Power Grip allows you to grab onto edges that you couldn't jump onto before. You can also fire your beam in five directions while hanging.
This greatly increases how high you can jump, and even adds a jump to the Morph Ball. Using this allows you to reach areas that were once unreachable through jumping normally.
This allows Samus to continuously jump while in mid-air. When you acquire the Screw Attack, you can jump without fear of taking damage from enemies, which would cause you to lose your jump otherwise.
This upgrade allows you to run faster through long corridors, destroying everything in your way, including blocks with an arrow on them. While activated, pressing down on the D-pad will allow you perform the Shinespark technique which can be done by jumping twice and pressing a direction.
This upgrade turns your somersault into an upgrade that allows you to plow through all enemies (except for bosses), and destroys certain blocks by jumping into them.
These increase your Health by 100 on every difficulty besides Hard. On Hard difficulty, Energy Tanks only increase your health by 50.
Areas on Zebes
Metroid Zero Mission takes all of the areas from the original Metroid and adds a couple of its' own.
This is the starting area of the game. You even start in the exact same location as well. Most of the environments are rock and plant based. Here, you obtain the Morph Ball, the Long Beam, the Varia Suit, Bombs and the Charge Beam; not necessarily in that order. You can also reach the areas Norfair, Tourian, Kraid and Crateria. Brinstar is basically the game's hub world since it connects to almost every other area in the game.
The environment here is made up mostly of rocks and lava/acid. Some areas are not accessible if you do not have the Varia Suit due to the extreme temperatures, which will cause you to constantly take damage until you die. In this area you can get the Ice Beam, the High Jump, the Wave Beam and the Speed Attack. In Norfair, you can access the areas Brinstar, Crateria, and Ridley. You can also access Kraid, but only through sequence breaking.
This area is where you face the first boss of the game, Kraid. Kraid is a giant lizard that is 2 screens tall. By defeating Kraid you obtain access to the Speed Booster. In Kraid, you can also get one of three unknown items, which are unlocked later in the game. Kraid, like Ridley is an area that existed in the original Metroid dedicated to confronting one of the game's main bosses. In Kraid, you can access Brinstar as well as Norfair, but the latter can only be reached through sequence breaking from this area.
This area is where you face the second boss of the game, Ridley. The area has a similar environmental breakdown as Norfair. Ridley is a giant, flying fire breathing dragon monster. By defeating Ridley, you obtain another unknown item. Along with Kraid, by defeating Ridley you open up one of two paths that are required to be opened to reach the final area of the game, Tourian.
This is the final area of the game, or at least the original game, and is only accessible through Brinstar. The area is very mechanical, but also contains lava. This area also introduces you to Metroids, biological lifeforms that suck your energy away at the slightest touch. They're also hard to shake off. At the end of Tourian, you will face Mother Brain. Mother Brain is somewhat different from the original Metroid in that it actually attacks you directly. After defeating Mother Brain, the game's first escape sequence, while similar to the original game takes you to Crateria and Samus' Ship, both of which were unseen in the first game.
This new area of Zebes contains Samus' Ship as well as access to Tourian, Brinstar, Norfair and Chozodia. You can get the Power Grip early on in the game here. You will rarely visit Crateria throughout the game. Crateria is on the surface of Zebes, so it has no hazards outside of enemies.
Chozodia and Pirate's Ship
While you access the area somewhat early on in the game, it is dominantly the final area of the game, containing the real final boss of the game. Here you can access Crateria, which is a short distance away from the other main areas of the game and you can get the Gravity Suit, and in turn unlock the 3 unknown items you've obtained throughout the game. Those items include the Plasma Beam among others. At the end you face Meta Ridley, a giant mechanical version of Ridley. Defeating this boss will trigger the final escape sequence of the game, which forces Samus to hijack a Space Pirate Escape Pod.
Other Features and Trivia
- The game also allows you to play a copy of the original Metroid for NES
- The game allows you to view the Gallery, which contains all the wallpapers you've obtained from beating the game in various ways
- You can unlock Hard Mode by beating the game on Normal
- You can unlock Sound Test by beating the game on Hard once.
- You can use a Link Cable to link up with Metroid Fusion to unlock the Fusion Gallery
- By achieving a 100% item collection rate, the final boss will take longer to kill and will deal more damage to you