Video Game: Metroid: Zero Mission

A Video Game Remake of Metroid, released for the Game Boy Advance in 2004, and the sixth game released in the Metroid series.

The plot is essentially the same as the original game: the Space Pirates have possession of a dangerous organism called a "Metroid", which they are cloning to create an army of them. Samus Aran must infiltrate their base on Zebes to destroy both the Metroids and the base's Artificial Intelligence Mother Brain. The story has been expanded with extra bits touching on Samus being raised on Zebes by the Chozo, while the gameplay builds on the control set-up refined in Super Metroid and Metroid: Fusion. There is also an Unexpected Gameplay Change near the end, and beating the game unlocks the original NES game.

For the page on the original 1987 game, see here.

Tropes exclusive to Zero Mission:

  • All There in the Manual: Samus’ childhood with the Chozo and overall backstory before Zero Mission are only ever alluded to in the game with brief flashbacks composed of still shots. They can be seen in full in Zero Mission’s two-volume manga.
    • In addition, the entire backstory behind the conquest of Zebes, the cloning of Metroids, and the failed Federation assault before Samus are left to the manual as well. It should be noted the events of the manga do eventually overlap with Zero Mission and things take a drastic turn from there, bringing into question if that part of the "manual" still counts.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Space Pirates are the only enemies that will chase you from other rooms, rather than get left behind when you exit into one.note  They will also follow you through secret passages, unless the passages are shadowed so that they can't usually be seen.
  • Artificial Stupidity: There are some amusing exploits of the enemies' idiocy.
    • Mooks such as Zeros will just move in a single line of sight.
    • The alarm in the Space Pirate Mother Ship resets whenever a Space Pirate sees you, and ticks down when one doesn't. When the alarm shuts down the Pirates immediately forget about you even if you're right next to them, as long as they're not facing you.
    • Shooting a Space Pirate with the Stun Pistol apparently also freezes it in time because the Pirate acts completely unaware that it was frozen for a few moments, even if you walked through it.
    • Where's the safest place when fighting Ridley? Right underneath him. His hitbox doesn't extend to his feet, so they won't cause any damage to you from touching your head. Underneath him the player can simply shoot upward into his body at point-blank range. The only danger is that he starts swinging his tail if he takes too much damage in a short amount of time, so as long as the player is methodical in their shooting, then Ridley is essentially harmless for the entire fight.
    • Metroids tend to take the shortest distance they can to reach you. They have some knowledge of the map, but if you leap to a higher balcony too quickly the Metroid will eternally ram into the underside of it trying to get to you, until you head below.
    • Black Pirates have a huge amount of health and do not take any knockback from your shots... except when climbing up a wall. If Samus stands on a ledge and is shooting the Pirates as they climb up to her, the Black Pirates will get stop climbing and shoot in the opposite direction until they die.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Kraid, just like in Super Metroid and unlike the original game, where he's the same height as Samus.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Samus in the unlockable artwork if the player beats the game with only 15% of the items.
  • Call Forward: Underneath Mother Brain's tank is a hidden room with a Power Bomb in it, alluding to Super Metroid and Mother Brain's cyborg body.
  • Catastrophic Countdown: While the NES original averts it entirely ("TIME BOMB SET GET OUT FAST!", plus a countdown, that's it), the remake retcons in a straight example (the "time bomb" causes explosions and flames well before going off) and an aversion (the Space Pirate Mother Ship).
  • Colossus Climb: Kraid, sort of. When his belly spikes begin destroying the floor, Samus must jump on them to reach Kraid's head again.
  • Continuity Nod: The temple that you must sneak through at the end of the game is part of Maridia from Super Metroid, before presumably sinking into the lake. The Space Pirate Mother Ship, however, while in the same spot as Super Metroid's Wrecked Ship, is a completely different craft.
    • The Wrecked Ship from Super is in the game as well, although only as few rooms separating the Chozo Ruins area from Crateria. They have a different look and colour palette from any other rooms in the area, contain the same robots and floating orb enemies as the Wrecked Ship (although in Zero Mission said enemeis are also found aboard the Space Pirate Mother Ship) and the room in Crateria they connect to is an almost exact duplicate of the room just before the Wrecked Ship in Super.
  • Crosshair Aware: Space Pirates have an annoying tendency to twitch themselves just out of your firing path when aiming at them.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • It's possible to sequence break and acquire the Screw Attack before you go to fight Ridley. The Screw Attack lets you destroy Rippers, an otherwise mostly Invincible Minor Minion, but in the boss fight before you enter Ridley's Lair, you have to stand on a frozen Ripper to reach the vines you must shoot. How does the game ensure you don't accidentally destroy the Ripper you need? Simple. This unique Ripper is invincible to the Screw Attack, and can only be frozen without being killed.
    • Fall off the ledge during the Kraid fight, and he'll begin spewing belly button spikes early so that you can leap back to the top and resume fighting him.
    • Deliberately ignore getting certain power ups, and you won't get them when you regain your Power Suit. Therefore it becomes possible to shoot through enemies but not through walls and to Space Jump but have no Screw Attack with which to defend yourself.
    • Save Rooms don't work if any enemy is in them, in order to keep the player from respawning during a time when something's trying to kill them.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: The extended story is kicked off by Samus being shot down by Space Pirates while leaving the planet, destroying her ship and suit.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: The Final Boss the Ridley Robot is coded to be much harder to defeat if all the upgrades have been collected; if you can go without a few missiles or that last energy tank for the first playthrough, the battle will be remarkably brief.
  • Dummied Out: Two very interesting things were removed at some point. One was the ability to turn suit upgrades on and off from the pause menu, as in Super Metroid; fans are still wondering why this much-missed feature was taken out. (Cheat codes can turn it back on.) The second was... Crocomire! This Super Metroid boss was found in the ROM, with a full set of sprites and some movement code, but nothing else. It's possible to hack him into various rooms.
  • Elite Mooks: Black Space Pirates, who are dozens of times more powerful than standard red ones, are swift and leap high, can only be damaged by your beam weapons, and are immune to freezing and wave effects. Good thing there's only four in the game.
  • Embedded Precursor: Beating the game allows you to play the original NES Metroid.
  • Emergency Weapon/Stun Guns: The stun pistol used when in the Zero Suit. When fired, it temporarily stuns an enemy, but only when fully charged. Lower than full shots can only break blocks and are useless on enemies. Why would anyone use such a terrible weapon? Well, during then you have no Power Suit and no other weapons...
  • End Game Results Screen: The game has a special note by having different pieces of artwork shown for completing the game with less than 15% of the power-ups collected.
  • Episode 0: The Beginning: Zero Mission.
  • Eye Awaken: Mother Brain in a cutscene while Samus descends down the elevator to Norfair. Surprisingly, Samus herself also does this at the beginning of the game. Upon entering the Space Pirate Mother Ship, a cutaway shows an aperture open to a green lens, an eye of the Ridley Robot.
  • Fly-at-the-Camera Ending
  • Game Changer: Samus destroys Mother Brain and blows up the Space Pirate's base on Zebes, just as she did in the original game. Then pirate ships ambush her starship and send her crashing back down to the surface, now without a suit, weaponless, and with little hope of escape.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Samus keeps her energy tanks after losing her suit, despite the fact that the tanks connect to the suit and serve to power it.
  • Glass Cannon: Ridley. His attacks are very quick and powerful, but he can be shot basically anywhere on his body but his tail. Since he's fought halfway through the game, Samus is sure to be fairly powerful by then.
  • Go for the Eye:
    • Mother Brain, of course, though this is a double subversion since in previous games you could shoot her anywhere on her brain.
    • King Worm must be shot in the eye, though this is harder than it sounds because he only opens his eye three times before fleeing and you must shoot it all three times to defeat him.
    • Downplayed with Kraid. You must missile him in the eye, yes, but only to get him to reveal his real weak spot: his mouth.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The game has this on Normal. The final boss gets significantly more challenging if you've got 100% completion, though.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: At the very, very end, a lone Space Pirate encounters Samus trying to take off in a stolen Pirate fighter ship. He shoots at the ship, to no avail, then climbs up to it and throws himself at it. The result? The ship runs him over.
  • Load-Bearing Boss:
    • Kill Mother Brain and she activates Tourian's self-destruct.
    • Kill the Ridley Robot and it does the same.
    • Downplayed with Ridley and Kraid, whose defeat causes statues by their lairs' entrance to crumble.
  • Lost Forever: Certain areas become inaccessible after leaving them. The unique Chozo Statue where Samus gets the Power Grip cannot be revisited, nor can the Chozo mural that gives you back your Power Suit. Subverted, however, with the previous caverns of Zebes after Samus arrives on the Space Pirate Mother Ship. Detonate a Power Bomb in the glass tunnel connecting the ship to Chozodia, and Samus will be able to return to Zebes.
  • Mayincatec: Chozo statues take a bit of a Meso-american influence in this game, including one statue directly based on a chacmool.
  • Metamorphosis: The Imago Larva Samus saves in Norfair metamorphosizes into a full grown Imago, which then you must fight after you break its eggs. One can encounter its cocoon being opened so it can exit, then later find it empty. Oddly, it seems it transformed from larva to adult in just a couple of minutes.
  • Minimalist Run: Beating the game with just 15% of items on both Normal and Hard rewards the player with bonus artwork of Samus.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: for the titular metroids, as you enter Tourian
  • No Endor Holocaust: The destruction of Tourian is so powerful it can be seen from orbit. And yet, if Samus returns to the previous levels after killing Mother Brain, she'll find that the upper caverns of Zebes, i.e. Brinstar, Norfair, Crateria, etc., are all fine. Only Tourian, the deepest level, is damaged, and most of the destruction is confined to Mother Brain's chamber.
  • Opening Monologue/Opening Scroll: Samus has a few words to say (in text only, no voiced dialogue) to the player as the game opens.
    Samus: Planet Zebes...I called this place home once, in peaceful times, long before evil haunted the caverns below. Now, I shall finally tell the tale of my first battle here.... My so-called Zero Mission.
  • Psychoactive Powers: Word of God on Samus's suit is that it's formed together from will and needs Samus's bravery to remain active. When she crash-landed on Zebes, her confidence was lost and thus she couldn't resummon her suit. Returning to the Chozo ruins and completing the challenge of the Chozo Mural restored her warrior's spirit and thus let her suit return.
  • In Medias Res: Just like in the original game, the game begins with Samus already inside Brinstar's caverns, not on the surface of Zebes where her ship landed. A little exploring when you return to Crateria after you destroy Mother Brain lets you find a hidden path from her ship to the opening site, suggesting that's how Samus got to Brinstar from her ship.
  • No-Gear Level: The stealth mission after your Power Suit is destroyed. All you get to keep is your stun pistol and your energy tanks, though now you take more damage.
  • Samus is a Girl: In contrast to the original game, the remake doesn't even try to hide Samus's gender, since it's a well known secret now. Thus, a glimpse of Samus's eyes occurs at the beginning, her unarmored body can be seen on the death screen, and a whole level is spent out of armor when Samus's suit is destroyed.
  • Sequence Breaking: The game actually encourages it, including lots of hidden spots to do things out of order. Of note is that a tunnel in Norfair lets one defeat Ridley before Kraid, which also lets you get Super Missiles before fighting Kraid.
  • She's Back: Getting shot down and losing your Power Suit? Running and hiding from just about everything? A Chozo Trial boss fight later, then The Hunter, who strikes fear into the hearts of the Space Pirate legions, is reborn, more powerful than ever, and slaughtering her way through the Pirates' ranks, complete with Theme Music Power-Up.
  • Skippable Boss: King Worm doesn't have to be fought, but if you don't kill it then you'll never get the Charge Beam.
    • Imago is completely skippable as well, unless you're going for 100% Completion.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: When entering Ridley's Lair, you might notice a bunch of big pink eggs lying about. Those look conspicuous, better not touch them... oh dear, the room's locked. And the only way out is to break the eggs and await their avenger.
  • Suicide Mission: Samus regards her infiltration of the Space Pirate Mother Ship as one, but notes that she doesn't have another option.
  • Temple of Doom: Chozodia.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change/Stealth-Based Mission: The stealth segments after you beat Mother Brain.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Because the player is so used to bombs and missiles only destroying specific blocks, plenty of players can miss discovering that Power Bombs can also destroy the glass tunnel connecting the Space Pirate Mother Ship to Chozodia.
  • Underground Level: Most of the game, but it mixes it up by including the surface levels of Crateria and Chozodia.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After losing her Power Suit, Samus spots a Chozo Statue carrying Power Bombs in another room. Just before she reaches them, though, the Power Bombs are stolen by a Space Pirate, and you don't get to catch up to him and unlock them until a few levels later.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: The Power Grip is an upgrade, despite the fact in Fusion it's just something Samus can do (and in general seems to be something that would rely on the user's physical ability more than a component of their Powered Armor; of course, the item serves as a Hand Wave regarding how Samus can grab ledges despite doing it one-handed due to the Arm Cannon).
    • A possible reason why the Power Grip was not required in Fusion was simply because Samus' suit had become much lighter after losing the majority of its armor pieces which made up most of its bulk (this was also the case with Zero Suit Samus in the Pirate Mother Ship) following the X Parasite infection, thus allowing her to pull herself up using her own strength.