Video Game / Super Metroid

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"The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace..."

Super Metroid is the third game in the Metroid series and the ante penultimate game in the timeline (taking place before Metroid: Other M and immediately following the events of Metroid II: Return of Samus). It was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1994 and later released on the Virtual Console.

The plot immediately picks up where the second game finished, with Samus leaving the Metroid hatchling she found at a Federation lab for study. Ridley and the Space Pirates promptly show up and steal it, prompting a distress call which summons Samus just in time to chase them to Zebes...

The game retains the Metroidvania style of gameplay of previous titles, as well as introducing new equipment. Unlike Metroid II, all the items you pick up stay with you (rather than needing to strategically choose which beam to carry), although you can switch between some in the equipment screen (unlike Metroid: Fusion where it was fixed and the 3D games where beams were selected in real time). It was also notable for being the largest game released on the SNES at the time, using a 24-Megabit cartridge (that's roughly 3MB).

Super Metroid contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Ability Required to Proceed: You need various abilities and equipment to proceed, as par for the course of a Metroidvania-style game, but there's one point where it's combined with Some Dexterity Required: if you wind up in the optional section where the Etecoons teach you the Wall Jump (and if you happen to save your game there), you must become at least familiar with the ability to escape. This isn't too difficult, but it's notably one of the few places where good control and execution is necessary to advance, as opposed to merely making the game easier and enabling Sequence Breaking.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: Crocomire, who periodically steps towards Samus, forcing her towards a wall of spikes. It's also combined with Ring Out Boss, because defeating Crocomire requires that you hit it in its mouth, causing it to step back, until it falls into a pit of acid. The battle's not over until its lifeless skeleton breaks the wall.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: In Tourian, Samus runs across a room where several invulnerable enemies were sucked dry by the Metroid hatchling.
  • Anachronic Order: As mentioned in the description, this is the third game in the series and the third-to-last game in the overall plot. To be fair though, the games were in normal order until the Prime games started coming out, so this is only applied retroactively.
  • invokedAnti-Climax Boss: Invoked. The first battle against Mother Brain is very easy. Not only is she weaker than she was in the previous game, but you have a lot more toys to blow her up with now. But then she reveals her enormous robotic body, and the battle takes a turn for the worse.
  • Antepiece: In the second room of the Ceres research station, the first area of the game, there's a small step you have to jump up on, in contrast to the many stairs in the rest of the area. This forces you to jump at least once and get a basic understanding of how the jump mechanics work, before you're pressed by time in the escape out of the area. You also meet Ridley there in a mock Boss Battle to test out your shooting skills, as the fight will end either when you damage him enough, or you lose too much health.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When they called this game "Super" Metroid, it was for good reason. Fortunately, despite its innocent, insatiable hunger, it's on your side. Kraid is also much bigger than he used to be, which is now his canon design and size.
  • Auto-Revive: The Reserve Tanks serve this purpose by automatically refilling some of your Energy Tanks before they all completely go empty. You can also choose to use the Reserve Tanks yourself to get some energy back.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Super Missiles pack the biggest punch in the game, and can destroy bosses far more quickly than regular missiles can. However, they are far rarer than regular missiles, are fairly slow to fire, restocking ammo is quite difficult (only some enemies drop Super Missile ammo, and Missile Stations don't restock them, only your ship does) and sometimes have unexpected side effects — for example, while they kill Phantoon faster, they also trigger a unique retaliatory attack where he swings a chain of fireballs across the screen eight times in a row. If you can use them well, they are very deadly, though — they're the best way to push Crocomire to his death, for example, because they knock him back the furthest compared to Samus' other options.
  • Bag of Spilling: Samus doesn't retain any of her gear from the previous game. Unlike later games, there's no explanation for this.
  • Bait and Switch: For players of the original Metroid. You fight a fake Kraid which is the size of the original one. However, a few rooms later, you fight the actual Kraid, who is gargantuan in size.
  • Beam Spam: The Spazer Beam, which isn't short for "Spam Laser", but should be. It triples the output of the other beams (except the Plasma Beam) resulting in a wider field of fire.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: This is the first game where Ridley demonstrated his deadly, serrated tail with a spaded stinger. It actually does more damage to you than anything else Ridley can hit you with. Also, unlike most attacks it can damage Samus while she's using the Screw Attack.
  • Big Bad: Mother Brain, returning from the first game.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The (now fully grown) Metroid hatchling shows up to save Samus in the final boss fight.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Space Pirates have been destroyed for good, but it comes at the cost of killing the only Metroid that wasn't dangerous (which has repercussions in Fusion) and destroying all of Samus's home planet. And then comes the Sequel Gap.
  • Book Ends: The game begins and ends with Timed Missions following boss fights (one with Ridley, the other with Mother Brain.)
    • The first and final minibosses you face are both Torizo statues.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: The game has a couple different boss battle themes that played for multiple bosses. The one that just happened to play during encounters with Ridley (along with Torizo, Draygon, and the escape sequences) has become the "Theme of Ridley".
  • Boss In Mooks Clothing: The armored Space Pirates encountered in Lower Norfair, who throw their limbs at Samus and leap all over the place. They can't be damaged until they're coaxed into performing a jump kick and even then they take a ton of hits to kill. On the other hand, with a little practice it becomes easy to keep them in their vulnerable state throughout the fight. Although they respawn, Samus only has to fight them once before the door they're guarding becomes permanently unlocked and she can just jump past them any other time.
  • Brain in a Jar: Mother Brain, once again. Although, when that jar is destroyed...
  • Charged Attack: The Charge Beam, of course.
  • Chest Monster: Torizo looks just like one of the upgrade-giving Chozo statues, and it's effective because you get the Bombs from it first, THEN the doors lock. The Golden Chorizo much later is less convincing.
  • Clone Degeneration: Mochtroids are a failed attempt at cloning metroids. While they can absorb some of Samus' health, the are very weak and will die from any of her ordinary attacks (no need to freeze them and use missiles).
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Beams and Doors. With Doors, red can be opened with missiles, green with super missiles, and yellow with power bombs, while blue can be opened with anything. As for the beams, the color coding has no real significance, but exists all the same: The Power/Charge beam is orange, the Spazer is yellow, the ice beam is blue, wave beam purple, and plasma beam green.
  • Combat Parkour: Highly skilled play typifies it strongly enough to make this game the Trope Codifier for the 2D platformer genre.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Averted, a first for the series. In previous games, the Varia Suit merely cut damage in half; in this one, it also protects Samus from the convective heat which, without it, quickly overwhelms her in most of Norfair, excepting only those few rooms whose existence is all that makes a reverse-boss-order run possible (and that only barely).
  • Cyclops: Mother Brain's final form.
  • Darker and Edgier: The tone is much more grim and unsettling than the original Metroid.
  • Dash Attack: The Speed Booster and all the abilities that come with it. Only the most formidable of enemies can withstand the impact of a speed-boosted Samus.
  • Determinator: Crocomire. Even after he's fallen into a lake of acid that strips the flesh from his very bones, those bones themselves make one last try at killing you.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The fight with Draygon can be made much simpler if you shoot out one of the cannons on the walls, exposing electric wiring inside, letting Draygon capture you, and then using the Grappling Beam to connect to the wires, channeling the electrical circuit through Samus and shocking Draygon to death.
    • You can turn off upgrades in the menu, and there is/are a distinct beam(s) for every combination of activated beam weapons, which amounts to 33 different beam animations (one for the default beam, plus 2 to the 5th power, on or off for the remaining five beam upgrades).
    • If by some chance you are able to sequence break all the way through the searing hot caves of Upper Norfair without the Varia Suit and survive, arriving at Lower Norfair will result in a very rude awakening—almost every single room is as hot as the worst parts of Upper Norfair. It's virtually impossible to get anywhere through it without a tool assisted run.
    • During the second half of the final battle, if you stop blasting Mother Brain for a moment, you'll notice that she attacks much more frequently (bordering on Beam Spam) and moves much faster than in the first half. This doesn't make the battle any more difficult - it just serves to show that Mother Brain realizes the gravity of her current situation.
  • Double Jump: The Space Jump is somewhere between this and actual Flight—gravity still affects Samus, but she can Space Jump infinitely, meaning that once she's airborne, touching the ground is just a suggestion.
  • Down the Drain: Maridia is completely submerged. Though, unlike the ones from that other series, it avoids being That One Level thanks to the Gravity Suit allowing Samus to traverse liquids as if they weren't there. Attempting the area without the suit, however...
    • Though it's still not That One Level in the Reverse Boss Order run (which is the run type in which the player would be most likely to traverse Maridia without the Gravity Suit) because the Lower Norfair run is even harder.
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display: An odd variation; the status display itself doesn't disappear whilst fighting a major boss, but rather, the automap display in the top-right corner of the screen becomes completely blank during these fights.
  • Easter Egg: If you return to the Surface of Zebes after obtaining the Super Missiles but before descending into lower Brinstar (when it's still raining) and use the bombs and super missiles to go into the cave on the right, you can listen to the "arrival on Zebes" music again.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Hyper Beam, absorbed from Mother Brain's own Wave Motion Gun.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Two of Samus's best upgrades, the Space Jump and Screw Attack, invoke a lot of airborne spinning.
  • Evolving Weapon:
    • The Power Suit itself.
    • Unlike many of the games, Samus's Arm Cannon retains each and every upgrade she gets. By the end of the game, the Charge Beam, Spazer, Wave Beam, Ice Beam, and Plasma Beam combine into one single, powerful weapon. The only exception is that the Spazer and Plasma beams cannot normally be combined, although they can be combined via a glitch, resulting in the fan-coined Spacetime Beam.
  • Excessive Steam Syndrome: In the intro level, Samus needs to escape a space station, while avoiding gushes of steam coming out from practically everywhere. If you get hit by the steam, you lose precious time to escape.
    • Happens again during the escape from planet Zebes, only the steam's escaping from the ground itself.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The fake Kraid looks like Kraid and goes down in a single Super Missile. The real Kraid is very large and looks intimidating, but he's the Warm-Up Boss.
  • Fanservice:
    • The Best Ending, as per usual in the series.
    • Using the Crystal Flash, as noted in Sexy Silhouette, below.
  • Fan Disservice: The alternate way to see Samus in her underwear is...to let her health run out, causing her suit to disintegrate around her in the process right before she dies.
  • Fetal Position Rebirth: Samus, when using the "Crystal Flash" for emergency recharge.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Samus's narration at the very beginning hints that the Metroid ability to drain energy can also be used for beneficial purposes, implying that the devoured energy can be used afterward. This is important for later.
    • In Maridia, you catch a glimpse of what looks like a Metroid when traveling through a pipe...It's actually a "Mochtroid" a far weaker failed cloning experiment, but...
    • After defeating Ridley, the next room has the larval Metroid's capsule smashed and empty.
    • In Tourian, you will enter a room filled with grayed-out enemies that crumble to dust if touched or shot. In the very next room, you become trapped with one such enemy, which is impervious to your weaponry. In the next second, you find out what happened to the others.
    • Shortly after the above, after the "Super" Metroid finishes feeding on the enemy, it then attacks Samus. There is nothing she can do to prevent this, and it will drain every last unit of energy from her—except one. Then, it will back off, hovering, and whimpering, indicating that it is the same Metroid that Samus saved in the previous game, and that it recognized Samus at the last second.
    • The Metroid steals the deadly beam energy from Mother Brain to save Samus and then, proving the Federation right, it uses that same energy to empower Samus.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A small blip flying away from Zebes's ruins at the end of the game, indicating that the creatures if they were rescued have safely made it off the planet.
    • This ends up being extremely important in Metroid Fusion, as the animals return in that game and help Adam pilot Samus' ship, saving her life at the very end.
    • The other is far less significant but still awesome nonetheless: During your escape from Ceres at the beginning of the game, one of the doors will actually explode behind you, leaving behind an impassible hunk of glowing hot metal. This one is a lot more likely to go unnoticed, due to all the other explosions and random chaos on screen (not to mention that your escape is timed.) It's also the only instance of a door exploding in the entire game.
  • Fusion Dance: Draygon is apparently several members of its species that merge into a larger body.
  • Game Mod: While the definitive history of ROM hacking has yet to be written, one of the oldest total-conversion hacks, Super Metroid Redesign, dates at least from 2004, which establishes the game's hacking scene as perhaps one of the longest-standing outside the fan translation world. There's a wide variety of Super Metroid hacks, ranging from relatively minor gameplay and physics tweaks (Project Base) to radically deuterocanonical and hugely ambitious reimaginings of the entire game and its backstory (Hyper Metroid); while the total number of released hacks is relatively small compared to, say, the Super Mario World scene, the gameplay variety and general quality level of Super Metroid hacks is surprisingly high. They make a delightful diversion, especially for the veteran SM player who knows the classic game back to front. Would you like to know more?
  • Game Over: Should you run out of energy, the background disappears and Samus's powersuit overloads and explodes, leaving her in her underwear.
  • Guide Dang It: Averted. Although the expansions and hidden passages are well-hidden and can be easily passed up at first, the X-Ray Scope can reveal hidden passages and fake, destructible blocks. Played perfectly straight with the beam-specific charge combos, which are described only in the (sold separately) strategy guide, and all but impossible to discover by accident.
  • Heart Container: The energy containers (health) and missile upgrades (ammo). This was the first game in the series to utilize reserve energy tanks, which will save Samus if all her health is depleted.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: During the final boss fight, the larval Metroid, now huge, takes a blow for Samus and bequeaths Samus' ultimate weapon.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Samus manages to get one during the final battle after the Metroid hatchling makes its Heroic Sacrifice to save Samus's life.
  • High Voltage Death: This is the "easy" way to defeat Draygon. Samus touches a current while Draygon is grasping her and then earns a Victory by Endurance while both are electrified.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The fight against Ridley in the opening. You can make him fumble the Metroid hatchling's container, but you can't stop him stealing it, It also starts the station's self-destruct.
    • Also the second portion of the final fight. Mother Brain's giant laser is impossible to dodge, meaning Samus either dies or is paralyzed, triggering a cutscene and the rest of the fight.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Mother Brain doesn't whip out her mechanical body until Samus has seemingly won, and has trapped herself in an inescapable room.
  • I'm Melting: A particularly brutal and graphic example occurs when the mini-boss Crocomire is pushed into a pit of acid. After bobbing up and down a bit trying to get out, it screams at a very high pitch and flesh starts peeling off in gooey streaks until only the skeleton remains.
  • Imprinting: As implied at the end of the second game, the Metroid hatchling is definitely imprinted on Samus, even giving its life to save Samus'.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Samus can befriend creatures who teach her to Wall Jump and use the Shinespark ability. They (canonically) survive through the ending, and show up again in Metroid: Fusion.
  • Jump Scare: Performed by the remains of Crocomire after the battle but they fall apart soon after.
  • Kaiju: Kraid apparently Took a Level in Badass since the last game and has grown several stories tall. Unfortunately for him, he's still the first and easiest of all the bosses.
  • Killed Off for Real: This is canonically the game in which Ridley is killed off for good. His appearances in Other M and Fusion being a clone and an X-Parasite copy respectively.
  • Kill It with Ice: Freezing was handled differently in this game, as it takes longer to freeze an enemy, instead of each shot freezing and then unfreezing them. By the time they actually freeze, one good shot will kill them.
  • Last Of Its Kind: The larval Metroid is the last survivor of its species (at least until the Space Pirates capture it.) And until Fusion...)
  • Limit Break: The Crystal Flash technique, which requires that Samus have less than 50 units of energy, no reserve energy, 10 of each missile, and 11 Power Bombs. The player must then lay a Power Bomb and input a rather complicated button combination, without moving or taking damage. Success results in a complete energy recharge. Failure has no special consequence, but given the dire straits one has to be in to perform the technique at all, it's likely that a Game Over isn't far away.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: A series standard. This game uses it twice:
    • In the Ceres Station antepiece with Ridley. The station's self-destruct timer starts immediately after he steals the Metroid larva.
    • In the game proper, Mother Brain, whose death triggers the timer on the Space Pirates' final sanction.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: The Crocomire boss just seems to be part of Zebes local wildlife, and has no real ties to the Space Pirates or Mother Brain.
  • Metroidvania: Shares the Trope Codifier laurel with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
  • Mutually Exclusive Powerups: Compared to the first and second games, this game downplays the trope. While Samus can carry both the Spazer and Plasma Beams, only one can be equipped at a time, where previous games required you to actually go and pick up a beam powerup again if you wanted to switch back to it.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: The first game concluded with Mother Brain's self-destruct timer blowing up the Pirate base, but leaving the surface intact. But since that failed, this time the self-destruct causes a massive, Zebes-Shattering Kaboom.
  • Noob Bridge: The Trope Namer is the infamous collapsing bridge in Brinstar, where the game requires a mechanic that has never come up before (dashing) to cross a bridge. Many newcomers will go onto forums asking how to cross the bridge, to the ire of many veterans. It is possible to cross without the run button, but extremely difficult as it requires precise timing and is more of a Self-Imposed Challenge than a proper solution.
  • Nostalgia Level: Several.
    • When first landing on Zebes, you will backtrack the last part of the first game, where you fought Mother Brain and escaped the time bomb.
    • You will find the Morph Ball in the exact same place as the first game.
    • You will find several segments of Ridley and Kraid's hideouts that resemble the first game. You'll even find "Fake Kraids" like before.
    • The new Tourian is basically just an upgraded version of the first. The battle with Mother Brain even goes pretty much the same until she whips out her mechanical body.
  • Not Quite Flight:
    • The Space Jump provides you unlimited Double Jumps.
    • The Shinespark will rocket you in a single direction until you hit an unbreakable obstruction or until your energy, which the technique consumes in proportion to the distance traveled, becomes too low. (This game's Shinespark is the only instance in the series where this technique consumes energy, probably because it was just too annoying a mechanic to keep. Even most Super Metroid ROM hacks eliminate the shinespark's energy cost.)
  • Nothing Is Scarier: When Samus first arrives on Zebes, the music, sound effects, and environment take on properties unique to this part of the game. There are no enemies, the music is hushed and ominous, there's a thin haze in the air and vermin everywhere, as if the place hasn't been disturbed or set foot upon in years. This lasts for at least three sections of the game, until you return from Brinstar back to Old Tourian, and all of a sudden Space Pirates are everywhere, and a Chozo Statue (actually a "Torizo") suddenly wakes up and attacks you!
    • Perhaps the eeriest part of this whole sequence is when Samus acquires the morph ball. As soon as she does so, a spotlight hits her, following her until she leaves the area. As she does so, it's clear that several devices that weren't on before have suddenly activated. The sense that you're being watched and that the planet is slowly starting to come to life around you is very creepy...
    • The Ceres space station also pulls this trick. The background music is just the ambient drone of computer systems. The entire area is lit in a dull, blue light. As you proceed, you come across the corpses of scientists, but with no sign of what actually killed them. The tension slowly builds until it finally climaxes when Samus enters a seemingly-empty room. The room is completely silent, save for the Metroid chirping in the corner. The player just knows something's about to happen, but the game takes its time with revealing exactly what that is.
  • Oh Crap!: As with many things in the game, is used with subtlety - avoid attacking Mother Brain after she kills the baby metroid and you obtain the Hyper Beam, and you will see that she moves much more quickly and shoots much more frequently. This doesn't make the battle any more difficult though: it's just there to show that Mother Brain realizes what's going on, and is rightfully terrified of you.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Well, as close as the SNES sound chip could do;
    • Chanting is part of the music in the intro when you start a new game.
    • There's also Ominous chanting during certain parts of the game meant to raise tension—such as when the Space Pirates first show up after a long segment of absolutely nothing happening.
  • Point of No Return: Once you've saved at the second save point in Tourian you can never go back. You're never told this.
  • Power Glows: The Charge Beam, Speed Booster, Screw Attack, and Hyper Beam all make Samus glow to varying degrees and are easily some of her most powerful abilities. Especially the Hyper Beam, where Samus starts glowing for several seconds after acquiring it to let you know that shit just got real.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Fortunately the Power Suit protects Samus from drowning. It will not, however, prevent damage from spikes that may happen to be placed at the bottom of a pit of quicksand...
  • Run, Don't Walk: This game has a run button, which is even the basis for the infamous "n00b bridge".
  • Sand Is Water: In Maridia, when the Gravity Suit is acquired, water no longer renders Samus sluggish. However, flowing sand pits underwater still slow her down.
  • Sequence Breaking: Super Metroid is one of the most well known examples:
    • The first being Samus' wall jump mechanic. When mastered, it allows her to rapidly scale a single vertical wall (no opposite wall even necessary) and visit game sections early without the necessary upgrades. In future games in the series (including the prequel Prime trilogy) Samus has required a second wall to jump off of in order to use the move continuously.
    • The "mock ball" (aka, the "mach ball") trick allows Samus to move at dashing speed while in Morphball form, allowing her to reach certain areas without needing the Speed Booster. There are numerous walkthroughs and speedruns on youtube that show how both tricks can be done.
    • It's actually possible to tackle the four main bosses of the game (Kraid, Phantoon, Draygon, and Ridley) in reverse order. It's excruciatingly difficult because it requires traversing Norfair without the Varia Suit, meaning the heat on any screen containing lava, including the entire region where Ridley resides, deals constant damage to Samus (and therefore requiring both extremely skillful navigation and extremely shrewd resource management). Also because it requires traversing Maridia without the Gravity Suit, meaning the player has to do all kinds of weird maneuvres that aren't normally possible to climb the underwater area. Needless to say, every single energy tank, power bomb, and super missile is much more important than it is in an ordinary run (you'll need to do several Crystal Flashes to survive Norfair). The Reverse Boss Order run is one of the most prestigious runs possible, and a player who can pull it off can be considered to have mastered the game. It's also a popular Speed Run format since it's pretty much not possible to do any other way. The current live world record is just over sixty-eight minutes, while the fastest TAS is just under forty-seven minutes.
  • Sexy Silhouette: When performing the secret "Crystal Flash" move, Samus's power suit briefly disappears and she is surrounded by a cocoon of energy. At the center, a nude Samus remains in the fetal position until the recharge is complete.
  • Shock and Awe: Samus can shoot open the turrets mounted on Draygon's boss room, leaving an electrified open socket. If Samus then allows herself to be grabbed by Draygon, she can electrocute him by latching on to the exposed wiring with the Grapple Beam. This damages Samus slightly but defeats Draygon much more quickly than she would with any of her other weaponry.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: This is one of the series' main schticks. This game introduced Power Bomb and Super Missile locks (in addition to the color coded beam based locks and missile shields) for the first time. As well as "Gadora", a door shaped like a huge eye.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The Spazer beam (incompatible with plasma beam for some reason; it's the only game this happens in. Zero Mission had it as an inherent function of the Wave Beam and Fusion was A-O-K with the two being combined. Here, it can glitch the game badly enough to crash if the two are used together.)
  • Shoulders of Doom / Giant Poofy Sleeves: This was the first game to feature the Varia Suit in its iconic form, in that it combines both the shape from Metroid II and the color scheme from the first game.
  • Shout-Out: One of her abilities is called "Moonwalking", though it can be turned off in the options menu.
  • Space Pirates: They're even called such by name, although they're firmly entrenched in Zebes rather than space at the moment.
  • Special Attack: These abilities are not mentioned anywhere in the manual and, unlike the Wall Jump or Shinespark, aren't taught in game. However some of them show up in the game's Attract Mode.
    • Spin Jump Attack, also known as the Pseudo Screw Attack, which allows Samus to hurt a single enemy if she spin jumps while the Charge Beam is fully stocked. Connecting with an enemy inflicts damage and consumes the charged shot, but unlike the Screw Attack, this does less damage, and Samus will be hurt like normal if the damage isn't enough to destroy the enemy. This technique can also be used defensively in some cases — it offers temporary invulnerability against Phantoon's projectiles, which is quite welcomed since some of Phantoon's attack formations sweep the entire screen.
    • Five-Bomb Drop, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin if Samus morphs into a ball while the Charge Beam is held, then released. Depending on how long the charge is held, the bombs are launched at different trajectories.
    • Crystal Flash, which allows Samus to utilize weaponry reserves to recharge her energy in a pinch. Also counts as a Limit Break, since it can only done under very specific conditions and only with 50 units of health remaining.
    • Each beam by itself, when combined with the Charge Beam and a Power Bomb, has a special maneuver which usually creates some sort of Sphere of Power or effect that surrounds her and damages enemies. They're all done the same way, but each has a different effect. Also doubles as a Mutually Exclusive Powerup, because the other beams must be turned off for the specifically chosen one to work.
  • Speed Run: Encouraged, as per series tradition. You need 3 hours or less to see Samus in her leotard, although dedicated players have been able to complete non-TAS runs in less than one hour.
  • Sphere of Power:
    • Power Bombs do this with an ever-expanding explosion.
    • Each beam upgrade has a Special Attack that creates this effect around Samus.
    • The Crystal Flash also creates this effect, but with a healing ability rather than destructive one.
  • Super Speed: The Speed Booster does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and was introduced in this game.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Super for Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • Techno Wreckage: The Wrecked Ship.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: After the the titular Metroid rescues Samus and is then killed by Mother Brain, the music from Crateria plays in the background, and Samus begins to glow.
  • Timed Mission: It wouldn't be a Metroid game without a timed escape from an exploding planet. Super Metroid even provides the current page image. It also has the escape from Ceres at the start.
  • Touch of Death:
    • Acquiring the Charge Beam allows Samus to damage weak enemies by spin jumping into them while the beam is charged.
    • Colliding into most enemies while using the Speed Booster/Shinespark in any capacity will kill them.
    • The Screw Attack does nothing but this, and when combined with the Space Jump basically makes Samus death incarnate without firing a single shot.
  • True Sight: The X-Ray Visor shows you hidden passages and invisible objects.
  • Turtle Power: The oft-forgotten and turtle-like Tatori and Tatori, Jr. creatures in Maridia are non-hostile toward Samus; Tatori even lets Samus stand on top of it to access an Energy Tank and a Missile Expansion.
  • Uncommon Time: Ridley's boss theme (also used for several other battles and the escape from Zebes) is in 10/8 (with a few bars of 4/4 and 3/4 thrown in here and there) and Mother Brain's is in 7/8.
  • Underground Monkey: half a dozen different colours of Space Pirates, of increasing power. From the wimpy grey Pirates in Old Tourian to the nasty red variant in Maridia that required the plasma beam to harm. There were also a pair of gold Pirates that served as sub-bosses before Ridley's lair.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Shortly after defeating Crocomire, the player runs into a platform which ramps upward, a long pit and blocks that can only be broken by speed boost. Did you know you could use Super Speed to create a long jump? Well, you do now! The game never told you beforehand that combining Super Speed and long jumping was possible, so the only way you could know about it is to just take a (literal) leap of faith.
  • Utility Weapon: Every weapon you get (beyond the basic power beam, which can still open basic blue doors) will help you bypass a specific obstacle.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: If you choose to, and if you even bother to go off the beaten path to look around while the planet is exploding, you can rescue Dachora and the Etecoons during the final escape sequence, practically the only two friendly species to Samus throughout the entire game, and who even gave her demonstrations about certain techniques.
    • Fusion reveals that this is canon in the ending, even if you choose not to. You'd feel pretty damn sorry if you didn't rescue them, though, since the ending to Fusion shows that they pilot Samus' ship during the escape sequence, effectively saving her life.
  • Videogame Settings: Most of the game's levels contain two or more in different regions.
  • Wham Line: Or rather, "Wham Sound Effect". The chirping noise that the Super Metroid makes before it releases Samus serves as a cue for the player that it was the Metroid larva from the beginning of the game. Applying some Fridge Brilliance, this trope is in effect In-Universe: the last thing the larval Metroid heard from Samus before being kidnapped was the siren of her "danger" alarm, which is what causes the Super Metroid to realize who she is, and lets her go.
  • X-Ray Vision: The X-Ray Visor lets you see hidden passages.
  • Zeerust: The Wrecked Ship is similar to something one would find in old sci-fi movies—especially the design of the walking bipedal robots.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/SuperMetroid