Super Metroid is an action-adventure game developed by Nintendo R&D1 and published by Nintendo. It was initially released on the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo) in 1994, but has since then been re-released on the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console. It is the third game in the Metroid franchise, and the plot picks up where the last game in the series, Metroid II: Return of Samus, left off.
Like most games of the series, Super Metroid is an 2D action-adventure game with platforming elements. Players take the role of a female bounty hunter known as Samus Aran as she explores the deadly planet Zebes and collect an arsenal of weapons and gadgets, which will in turn let her progress into areas that were previously inaccessible.
Super Metroid was one of the largest and most graphically-impressive games for the console at the time of its release. Even today, the game is considered by many to be one of the greatest games of all time.
Super Metroid is also famous for the unintentional ability to "sequence break" the game. This means that although there is roughly a set path for Samus to follow, skilled players are capable of reaching ledges or getting past barriers before they have discovered the power up that is ordinarily required to get there. For example, by mastering a maneuver known as the 'mockball' players can get the super missiles very early in the game, when they enter Brinstar for the first time. This curious mechanic has many people struggling to see who can find the fastest path to take to complete the game, making Super Metroid one of the first games surrounded by the 'speedrun' phenomenon.
Super Metroid opens with a short summary of its predecessor, Metroid II: Return of Samus on the Nintendo Game Boy. After she eradicated the Metroids from their homeworld, SR-388, Samus Aran finds a Metroid hatchling, which believed her to be its mother. Unable to end its life, Samus brings the Metroid larvae to the Ceres Space Colony, so that scientists could study the mysterious power of the Metroids.
However, just as she leaves, Samus receives a distress signal coming from Ceres. She immediately returns, only to find everyone dead. After a short treck through the Colony Samus encounters her nemesis, Ridley. They have a short battle which ends with Ridley taking the Metroid Hatchling into his possession. She then escapes the space colony as it self-destructs and tracks Ridley to a nearby planet, Zebes.
Upon landing on the planet, Samus arrives in Crateria and shortly after arriving finds the morph ball and missiles power ups. Afterwards she collects the morph ball bombs and, before she can exit the room, she is attacked by a Torizo which she defeats. She takes these power ups with her into Brinstar. While in Brinstar she fights the sub-boss Spore Spawn in order to receive super missiles. After visiting Upper Norfair to obtain the Hi-Jump Boots, Samus travels to Kraid's Lair in order to obtain the Varia Suit. After defeating Kraid, Samus receives the Varia Suit allowing her to travel deeper into Norfair.
While exploring Norfair Samus finds serveral more power-ups including the Grapple Beam and she defeats the sub-boss Crocomire. After exploring Norfair, Samus uses the Grapple Beam to gain access to the Wrecked Ship. When she arrives the power is off and the place is deserted except for ghosts. Eventually she arrives in a room and the boss Phantoon appears. After defeating Phantoon, power returns to the ship allowing Samus to fully explore it. While exploring the ship she finds the Gravity Suit which will allow her to freely travel through water.
Samus then returns to Brinstar and uses a power bomb to break the glass tube separating Brinstar from Maridia. With the Gravity Suit equipped Samus is able to explore the flooded Maridia fully. While in Maridia she defeats the sub-boss Botwoon and the boss Draygon. Upon defeating Draygon Samus receives the Space Jump ability which will allow her access into Lower Norfair where Ridley resides.
Shortly after entering lowering Norfair, Samus enters a battle with a Golden Torizo which is much more powerful than the previous Torizo she battled. After defeating it she receives her final power-up, the Screw Attack. After further traveling through Lower Norfair she eventually reaches Ridley's hideout. After defeating Ridley she enters the next room but finds that the Metroid Hatchling is not there.
After this she returns to Crateria and enters the room with the four golden statues of the bosses. The gems of the bosses break and the statues collapse granting Samus entrance into the Space Pirates base, Tourian. While traveling through Tourian, Samus reaches an area where the Metroid Hatchling (now fully grown) comes out of nowhere and attacks an enemy. After killing the enemy it proceeds to attack Samus draining all of here energy tanks and leaving her with just one blip of energy.
After recovering at a nearby energy machine, Samus eventually confronts Mother Brain who resides in her signature glass tube. Once Samus does enough damage to Mother Brain the tube collapses and Mother Brain reveals her true form. Halfway through the battle Mother Brain begins to drain all of Samus' energy using a beam attack. Before Mother Brain can unleash the killing blow the Metroid Hatchling appears and attacks her. While Mother Brain is stunned from the attacked the Hatchling begins to regenerates Samus' energy. However, Mother Brain recovers from her stunned state and begins to attack the Hatchling while it is in the process of helping Samus. Mother Brain deals a final blow to the Hatchling killing it, but right before it dies it uses the last bit of its strength to give Samus the power of the Phazon Beam which Samus uses to easily finish off Mother Brain.
After Mother Brain is defeated a self-destruct sequence is activated and Samus has 3 minutes to get out of Tourian and escape planet Zebes before it explodes. While on her way to her ship she stops to save the animals that helped her earlier in the game. Once she reaches her ship she takes off and while she is flying away Zebes is seen exploding in the background.
Samus' suit can be augmented with a number of power ups that grant her new powers and abilities. Each element can be configured on or off in the suit equipment menu. There are a great deal of power ups to collect scattered throughout Zebes and each one that is collected, along with map squares discovered, increases the completion percentage which is displayed at the end of the game.
|Energy tanks increase Samus' maximum energy by 100 points. There are a total of 14 energy tanks hidden throughout the game giving Samus a maximum of 1399 energy points (14 tanks plus the initial 99 energy points Samus starts the game with).|
|Missiles can be used to defeat enemies and open red doors, it takes 5 missiles to open a red door. Each missile tank collected by Samus increases her carrying capacity by 5 and their are a total of 46 missile tanks hidden throughout the game for a maximum of 230 missiles.|
|Super missiles are upgraded missiles that are more powerful than standard missiles, but have a slow rate of fire. They can also be used to open green and red doors and it only takes 1 super missile to open either type of door. Each super missile tank collected by Samus increases her carrying capacity by 5 and their are a total of 10 super missile tanks hidden throughout the game for a maximum of 50 super missiles.|
|Power bombs are special bombs that, when laid, create a huge explosion that destroys or greatly damages nearby enemies, and they also have the ability to open yellow doors. Each power bomb tank collected by Samus increases her carrying capacity by 5 and their are a total of 10 power bomb tanks hidden throughout the game for a maximum of 50 power bombs.|
|Reserve tanks are a rare item that allow Samus to collect extra energy in reserve, each reserve tank can hold 100 energy. When Samus is at max energy, extra energy collected will go to the reserve tanks. If Samus loses all her energy but has energy in her reserve tanks, instead of dieing the reserve tanks will be automatically used giving Samus a second chance. The reserve tanks can also be used manually if the player doesn't want to wait till their energy reaches zero to use them. There are only 4 reserve tanks hidden throughout the game.|
|The Varia Suit gives Samus the ability to travel through the super heated areas of Norfair without being damaged. In addition, it also reduces the damage received by Samus. It is received after defeating Kraid in his lair.|
|The Gravity Suit gives Samus the ability to travel freely through water-filled areas. It also further reduces the damage received by Samus. It is found in the Wrecked Ship after defeating Phantoon.|
|The Charge Beam is the first beam upgrade Samus receives. It allows Samus to charge up her arm cannon to create a powerful charge shot. It is found in Brinstar early on in the game. It can be used with all other beam upgrades except for the hyper beam.|
|The Spazer Beam increases the power of Samus' beam and splits it into three horizontal shots giving it a much larger hit box. It can also be combined with the Wave Beam and Ice Beam. The Spazer Beam can be found deep inside Brinstar.|
|The Ice Beam increases the strength of Samus' beam and gives her the ability to freeze enemies in their tracks, allowing her to use her enemies as platforms. It can be combined with the Spazer Beam and Wave Beam, and it is located in Upper Norfair.|
|The Wave Beam has the ability to shoot through walls, allowing Samus to access areas that have a switch on the opposite side of a gate. It also increases the power of her beam and can be combined with the Spazer Beam and Ice Beam. It is found in Upper Norfair after collecting the grapple beam. However, it can easily be collected without the grapple beam by wall jumping.|
|The Plasma Beam is the second most powerful beam in the game, it produces two horizontal beams when fired. While it has a smaller hit box than the Spazer Beam, it is much more powerful. It can also be combined with the Ice Beam and Wave Beam. It is found in Maridia after Draygon has been defeated.|
|While the Grapple Beam can be used to defeat enemies, its main purpose is to give Samus the ability to grapple onto grapple blocks and swing on them to pass over gaps or to aid in climbing up the side of a wall. It is found in Upper Norfair.|
|The Hyper Beam is the final beam received in the game and is the most powerful beam. It fires a single beam of incredible power, capable of destroying normal enemies with a single hit. It is received in the middle of the final boss fight with Mother Brain. After the Metroid Hatchling is killed by Mother Brain, it gives Samus the Hyper Beam before dying.|
|Murder Beam||The Murder Beam is an unofficial beam that can be obtained via a glitch in the game. It is obtained by equipping all five beams at once (usually the Plasma Beam and Spazer Beam can not be equipped together). In order to equip all five beams the player must first charge their beam, while the beam is charged they should go into the menu and equip all five beams. When fired, the Murder Beam produces an invisible wall of broken pixels rather than a sprite and the color is random. It is usually used during the Mother Brain fight as it is capable of killing her very quickly. Another interesting note is that the beam can only be fired to the left, if fired to the right the game will crash.|
|Space/Time Beam||The Space/Time Beam is another unofficial beam that can be obtained using a glitch. Instead of equipping all five beams at once, equipping the Spazer Beam, Plasma Beam, and Ice Beam together will produce the Space/Time Beam (Charge Beam can also be equipped though it is optional). The beam causes heavy lag and is registered as morph ball bomb damage when shot at enemies. The beam is best known for its ability to permanently corrupt the game, make strange alterations to the graphics, and produce several glitches such as resetting item pick-ups.|
|The Morph Ball gives Samus the ability to curl up into a ball in order to roll through small spaces. It is found in Crateria towards the beginning of the game.|
|The Morph Ball Bombs give Samus the ability to lay bombs while in morph ball mode. While the bombs can be used to damage enemies, they are mostly used to bomb jump up to higher platforms while in morph ball mode. It is also possible to bomb jump infinitely, however this technique is very hard to do and is usually only used by expert speedrunners. The Morph Ball Bombs are found shortly after the morph ball in Crateria.|
|The Hi-Jump Boots increase the height of Samus' jump, allowing her to reach platforms that were previously unreachable. The Hi-Jump Boots are found shortly after entering Upper Norfair.|
|The Speed Booster give Samus the ability to run incredible speeds destroying enemies and speed booster blocks in her path. The Speed Booser has a charge up time requiring to dash for a short amount of time before the speed booster kicks in. This charge up time can be shortened using the "short charge" technique. This technique allows speedrunners to sequence break past certain areas of the game. For example, this technique allows players to reach the wrecked ship without the grapple beam. The Speed Booster is found in Upper Norfair after defeating Kraid to obtain the Varia Suit.|
|The X-Ray Visor can be used by Samus to view breakable blocks. It is widely consider to be an unnecessary item because morph ball bombs can be used to reveal breakable blocks and players can often figure out what blocks are breakable by hints in the graphics. The X-Ray Visor can by found in Brinstar after collecting the grapple beam. However, it can also be collected without collecting the grapple beam, by strategically freezing enemies with the ice beam and using them as platforms.|
|The Space Jump allows Samus to infinitely spin jump in the air giving her the ability to reach any height. The Space Jump can be found in Maridia right after defeating Draygon.|
|The Spring Ball gives Samus the ability to jump while in morph ball form negating the need to use bomb jumping. The power up is useful for players who struggle with bomb jumping, but rather useless to masters of bomb jumping. The Spring Ball can be found in Maridia.|
|The Screw Attack is the final power up found in Super Metroid. It adds a lighting attack to Samus' space jump destroying any enemy that comes in contact with it and also destroying breakable blocks. It is found in Lower Norfair after defeating the Golden Torizo.|
|Super Metroid begins when Samus receives a distress signal from this research station shortly after delivering the Metroid hatchling to the scientists there. Her visit is brief as her nemesis Ridley sets off the self-destruct sequence as she exits with the metroid hatchling in hand.|
|The majority of the game takes place on Zebes, the same planet Samus visited in the original Metroid title, as well as her former home when she was being raised and trained by the Chozo. Zebes contains a variety of environments that Samus explores as she tracks down the stolen Metroid hatchling.|
|Crateria is the area Samus lands in when she arrives on Zebes. Not much time is spent here, as it is more of a route to the deeper locales Samus explores. The atmosphere here is dreary and ominously quiet for the duration of her visit, either raining or cloudy most of the time. Crateria also houses the ruins of Mother Brain's original hideout, Tourian, which self-destructed at the end of Samus first mission to Zebes. Samus finds the Morph Ball Bombs here.|
|The starting point of the original Metroid title, Brinstar houses 5 unique environments: a blue-hued environment where the Morph Ball is obtained; a lush, green, jungle-like environment; a pink, plant-filled environment where the Charge Beam resides; an area consisting of red-colored soil where Samus finds the Spazer Beam and X-Ray Scope; and a combination of green plants and metallic structures where Samus battles the gigantic reptilian-like creature Kraid in his lair to obtain the Varia Suit.|
|The fiery Norfair leads Samus the areas closest to the planet's core, which include caves composed of what seems like cooled igneous rock, deeper caves filled with treacherous lava pits, a small area filled with hardened green bubbles of some sort, and ancient Chozo Ruins that Ridley has claimed as his hideout. Samus can find many power-ups here, such as the Hi-Jump Boots, Speed Booster, Ice Beam, Grapple Beam, Wave Beam, and Screw Attack.|
|The Wrecked Ship consists of the haunted ruins of a crashed space vessel (presumably the destroyed Space Pirate mother ship from the conclusion of Metroid: Zero Mission). Samus must defeat the powerful ghost Phantoon here to restore power to the ship and obtain the Gravity Suit.|
|The eerie aquatic environment of planet Zebes, Maridia, is filled with a number of marine-based areas such as water-filled chasms; damp, sand-filled rooms and a flooded metallic area presided over by intimidating crustacean, Draygon. Samus finds the Space Jump, Spring Ball, and Plasma Beam power ups here.|
|After conquering every dangerous corner of planet Zebes, Samus comes to find out that the Mother Brain's base of operations, Tourian, has been relocated and rebuilt and is once again filled with the energy-siphoning Metroids. If Samus can trek through the deathly corridors and defeat Mother Brain once and for all, she can finally bring closure to her once beloved home of Planet Zebes that the greedy Space Pirates invaded so long ago.|
Super Metroid has received universal acclaim from critics. On Gamerankings the game holds an average review score of 95.79%, making it the highest rated SNES game on the site.
Super Metroid has been featured in several "best of" lists. Some of these are as follows:
|IGN||Top 100 Games of All Time (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007)||3,10,5,7|
|Game Informer||Top 100 Games of All Time (2001)||29|
|Game Informer||Top 200 Games of All Time (2009)||21|
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||Top 100 Games of All Time (1997)||6|
|Nintendo Power||100 Best Games of All Time (1997)||6|
|Nintendo Power||Top 200 Games (2006)||12|
|Screwattack||Top 20 SNES Games (2010)||1|
|GamePro||The 30 Greatest 16-Bit Games (2009)||7|
|GamesRadar||The 100 Best Games of All Time (2011)||9|
Super Metroid is one of the most heavily contested speedrunning games of all time and is considered one of the pioneer games of the speedrunning phenomenon. Various techniques such as the mock ball have been used to sequence break past large sections of the game and these techniques are vital in speedruns of the game. There are many opportunities to sequence break and many techniques that can be used to travel through the game at a much faster rate (i.e. shinesparking and spike jumping), because of this the game is speedran often and in many different ways. Speedruns can be run for 100% item completion, low% completion, any% completion, or for certain challenge runs such as beating the bosses in reverse order which requires very advanced techniques to complete.
Tool assisted speed runs are often much faster than there non-tool assisted equivalents. For example, currently the fastest non-tool assisted any% speedrun of the game is 46 minutes 5 seconds real time set on April 19, 2013 by Zoast. The fastest any% tool assisted time is 38 minutes 41 seconds real time set on October 25, 2009 by Taco & Kriole, nearly 8 minutes faster than the non-tool assisted run. The reason for the big time difference is because in a tool assisted run the runner plays the game one frame at a time and uses save states in order to create the perfect run. The runner also uses techniques that aren't humanly possible without playing the game at extremely slow speeds to save a lot of time. However, because the game is so popular in the speedrunning world, new ways to save time are being discovered which causes world record times to be broken.
|Category||Player||Game Time||Real Time||Date||Video|
|Any%||Zoast||0:30||0:46:05.xx||April 19, 2013||Watch|
|100%||Zoast||0:49||1:20:28.xx||May 6, 2013||Watch|
|low% (Ice Beam)||Zoast||0:44||0:57:57.xx||March 5, 2013||Watch|
|low% (Speed Booster)||Zoast||0:53||1:07:11.xx||April 24, 2013||Watch|
|Category||Player||Game Time||Real Time||Date||Video|
|Any%||Taco and Kriole||0:23||0:38:41.52||October 25, 2009||Watch|
|100%||Cpadolf||0:36||1:08:10.87||September 26, 2008||Watch|
|low% (Ice Beam)||Saturn||0:27||0:42:37.13||December 10, 2012||Watch|
|low% (Speed Booster)||NameSpoofer||0:29||0:44:18.62||December 18, 2012||Watch|
|low% (glitched)||Cpadolf||0:12||0:21:25.12||March 4, 2012||Watch|
There are several glitches in Super Metroid. Some are exploited in speedruns in order to sequence break past areas of the game. However, only a small number of the glitches are actually used in speedruns and the majority of them are graphical glitches that are not useful to speedrunners. In addition, there are a small number of glitches that can freeze the game or permanently destroy the games SRAM ruining the cart. However, these type of glitches are very rare and almost impossible to perform on accident. Here are some of the more useful glitches used by speedrunners:
Mockball - The Mockball glitch allows Samus to retain her running speed while in morph ball form. This glitch can be used to get super missiles without having to face Spore Spawn which saves a lot of time.
Quick-charge - The quick-charge glitch allows Samus to charge up her shinespark over a much shorter distance. The glitch is useful in several areas as shinesparking allows the player to quickly dash through rooms, but it most notably allows the player to enter the Wrecked Ship without collecting the Grapple Beam.
Stand-up glitch - The stand-up glitch allows Samus to "stand up" in the Mother Brain fight during the scripted scene where the Metroid Hatchling attacks Mother Brain, heals Samus while being attacked by Mother Brain, and then gives Samus the Hyper Beam after it is killed by Mother Brain. Usually Samus in incapacitated during this entire scene, but this glitch allows Samus to move around and attack Mother Brain during the scene allowing for a much quicker fight.
X-Ray Climb - The X-Ray Climb glitch allows Samus to get stuck in walls and travel outside of rooms without using doors. This glitch can be used to enter Tourian without defeating any bosses, and obtaining a 6% completion percentage which is the lowest possible completion percentage.
Super Metroid is also frequently hacked primarily by using a program called SMILE (Super Metroid Integrated Level Editor). This allows fans of the game to change the games layout however they want whether they want to make small changes or completely change the layout. It also allows them to make graphical changes to give the game a fresh new look. These hacks are not commercial products, they are created and shared among fans of the game for free. They are, however, a big part of why the game still has a large player base almost 17 years after its original release. These hacks give players new ways to experience the game by providing different layouts to explore and, in some hacks, new graphics.
Many ROM hacks have been created by fans with the help of SMILE and there is a popular forum dedicated to Metroid hacks called Metroid Construction. At Metroid Construction users can share their created hacks with other members, provide feedback on certain hacks, ask hacking questions, and many other things. Here are some examples of notable Super Metroid hacks:
Super Metroid: Redesign
Super Metroid: Redesign is a massive ROM Hack created by Drewseph which, as the name would suggest, completely redesigns the game. The layout is all new and more than twice the size of the original. In addition to this, changes have been made to the physics so that Samus falls to the ground quicker after jumping and new items have been added. A new goal has also been added, Samus has to disable 12 Chozo Guardians, which are hidden throughout the game, in order to enter Tourian.
For the development of Super Metroid: Redesign, Drewseph was the project leader and level designer. Kejardon was the main programmer with additional programming coming from Jathys, Jman2050, and MathOnNapkins. The hack was released on June 1, 2006.
Super Metroid Impossible
Super Metroid Impossible is a ROM Hack created by Saturn. While it doesn't deviate from the original layout that much, the small changes made are made to make the game incredibly hard to the point where it is almost impossible to complete without the help of save states and slow down. Expert techniques and challenges are required to the beat the game. For example, the infinite bomb jumping technique as well as traveling to and beating Ridley without the Varia Suit, which is usually only done in challenge runs of the original game, are required in order to complete the game.
Super Metroid Eris
Super Metroid Eris is a ROM Hack created by Digital Mantra. The graphics in this hack are a complete overhaul and are the game's biggest feature. The layout is also completely changed along with the plot. The premise to the plot is that the Galactic Federation has lost contact to Eris Station and Samus Aran has been dispatched to find out what's wrong. It is also notable to mention that Mother Brain is not featured in this game, instead a re-skinned Phantoon is the final boss. In addition, during the ending self-destruct sequence, there is an opportunity for Samus to save a child rather than the animals in the original.
Super Metroid: Aegis
Super Metroid Aegis is a ROM Hack currently in development by Acheron. It is similar to Eris in that the graphics are all new as is the layout. In addition to all the classic powerups, new powerups will also be available such as the boost ball. The game will have five different areas: Glacia (frozen area), Terrenus (mountain area), Radia (desert area), Subverda (Chozo Ruins), G.F.S Aegis (City/Sewer area) and the final boss area which has yet to be revealed. The game has been in development for around 4 years, Acheron stated in August 2010 that the game was almost complete but he has been very busy and the game would be done when its done.
The soundtrack to Super Metroid was composed by Minako Hamano and Kenji Yamamoto. It was released in a compilation Super Metroid “Sound in Action” which included music from Metroid, Super Metroid as well as orchestral and synthesized arrangements of selected tracks. It was published by Sony Records and released in Japan on June 22, 1995.
Super Metroid “Sound in Action”
- Theme of SUPER METROID (Arrange Version)
- Crateria - Space Pirates Appear (Arrange Version)
- Space Warrior - Samus Aran's Theme (Arrange Version)
- SUPER METROID Ending (Arrange Version)
- METROID Ending (Arrange Version)
- Appearance Fanfare~Brinstar
- Norfair Area
- Ridley's Chamber
- Kraid's Chamber
- Opening (Destroyed Science Academy Research Station)
- Theme of SUPER METROID
- Planet Zebes - Crateria Arrival
- Crateria - Space Pirates Appear
- Brinstar - Plant Overgrowth Area
- Brinstar - Red Soil Wetland Area
- Norfair - Scorching Lava Area
- Space Warrior - Samus Aran's Theme
- Wrecked Ship
- Maridia - Rocky Underground Water Area
- Maridia - Quicksand Underground Water Area
- Norfair - Ancient Ruins Area
- Small Boss Confrontation BGM (Spore-Spawn, Botwoon)
- Big Boss Confrontation BGM (Ridley, Draygon)
- Big Boss Confrontation BGM (Kraid, Crocomire, Phantoon)
- Samus Aran Appearance Fanfare
- Item Acquisition Fanfare
- Samus Aran's Last Cry
- Mysterious Statue Chamber
- Mother Brain
- Planet Zebes Explosion