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Sequence Breaking / Metroid

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A classic example of a Metroid sequence break, used to get into Tourian early.explanation 

The Metroid series is a paradise for gamers who love Sequence Breaking, as the examples below will prove. These are also a reason why the Metroid series is so popular for speedrunning videos.

An entire website, Metroid 2002, is dedicating to documenting the many sequence breaking techniques used in the series. You can view it here.

To date, the only games in the franchise to feature no sequence breaking at all are Metroid Prime Pinball and Metroid Prime: Federation Force.



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  • The original NES game started a series wide tradition of doing this thanks to some tricks you can pull off. Many of these tricks are frequently used in speedruns.
    • The Morph Ball, Bombs and Missiles are the only things absolutely required to beat the game (making seven power ups optional), though you will probably need the Ice Beam too if running an absolute minimum run.
    • A "Bomb Boost Jump" can be performed by laying a bomb and unmorphing before it detonates. Samus will be sent into the air by the bomb, and she can jump higher than normal.
    • If Samus rolls off a ledge in Morph Ball form and unmorphs, she will be in her standing sprite, and she is able to jump.
    • The Varia Suit can be collected without the Ice Beam by Door Jumping up to the Varia Suit's room in the shaft that is two rooms from the Varia's location, or by Double Bomb Boost Jumping (lay two bombs, the second just before the first explodes, then a third in midair, unmorphing and jumping off of said bomb's blast).
    • The Varia can also be collected without the High Jump Boots but with the Ice Beam. Samus must abuse a Waver by freezing it over and over to get to the Varia. The Waver may not always line up correctly though.
    • Ridley's Lair or the area leading to the High Jump Boots can be reached without the Bombs by using the "Door Jump" glitch in the "green bubble" area of Norfair.
    • The Ice Beam can be collected without the Bombs by using the Door Jump. The Brinstar Ice Beam normally requires the High-Jump Boots to get out of the shaft it is in, but can be escaped with the Bomb Boost Jump as well.
    • Kraid and Ridley do not have to be defeated to get into Tourian. If Samus lures a Reo from Corridor Number Two into the room with the Stone Statues and freezes it above the acid, she can perform a difficult Bomb Jump to reach the other ledge.
  • By exploiting glitches, one player managed to beat the game while only grabbing the Morph Ball!

     Metroid II: Return of Samus 
  • You can't do sequence breaking in Metroid II: Return of Samus to the extent of the original game due to its more linear nature, but there are some spots in the game where you can pull this off due to some useful tricks:
    • Samus can roll off a ledge in Morph Ball form and unmorph, and then jump in midair.
    • If Samus jumps into an enemy, she will be knocked back, and can jump higher than normal in the air. This has particular use when she is trying to climb a wall of Autracks. Further, if Samus is damaged while she is in midair, the game will allow the player to jump again off nothing.
    • Samus can make an indefinite Bomb Jump if you have very good timing. She must lay a Bomb, and before it explodes, lay another one, and so forth.
    • If Samus has two Energy Tanks at the very least and the Varia Suit, she can run through the acid to reach Phase 3.
    • Samus can rapidly fire her weapons when in an enemy-filled room, to slow their movement down.
  • It's also possible at later points in the game to actually survive charging through the dangerous liquid that normally drains when you've killed all the metroids in an area, allowing you to take on the next area. This holds little purpose outside of the novelty of being able to come back to finish the previous area off with later-game equipment, as the developers foresaw this and set the final boss to not appear until you've killed every metroid.

     Super Metroid 
  • Super Metroid, more than any other game in the series, is famous for being full of tricks that allow you to break the game wide open:
    • 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. The Wall Jump can be used to collect Power Bombs before the Grapple Beam, the Wave Beam, Spazer Beam, X-Ray Scope, reach Kraid early, and get into the Wrecked Ship without the Grapple and thus collect an early Gravity Suit. This also lets you get to Draygon without the Grapple Beam via getting the Gravity Suit early. 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, allowing her to get the Super Missiles and Ice Beam early on. There are numerous walkthroughs and speedruns on youtube that show how both tricks can be done.
    • It is possible to skip the first Torizo via the Arm pumping glitch, but this is a TAS-only trick—it's physically impossible to pull it off on a real SNES.
    • The Energy Tank in the blue part of Brinstar can be reached by using a "Damage Jump". By using a quick Speed Booster charge, Samus can collect the Energy Tank in the pink portion of Brinstar much earlier and without the Gravity Suit.
    • In Norfair, once you have the Speed Booster, it's possible to use its speed to leap your way to the Wave Beam before you get the Grapple Beam. For extra irony, this allows you to sequence break past a one-way gate to another part of Norfair, which grants you early access to not only the Grapple Beam, but the Power Bombs as well.
      • Not even necessary for Wave Beam — you can wall-jump your way up the right side of the room.
    • A glitch commonly known as the "Green Gate Glitch" involves a Shutter with a green light that is on the left of the machine. Samus must jump and fire in a certain area of the Shutter to make it lift from the wrong side.
    • The Speed Booster, High Jump Boots and Power Bombs can be collected later than usual if other sequence breaks are performed, although the High Jump can also be skipped altogether. The Speed Booster can also be skipped altogether by using the Ice Beam to freeze a Puyo or a Mochtroid to clip through a Pit Block in the room before Botwoon, causing them to crumble, and allowing Samus to skip the Speed Booster Blocks normally needed to reach the rooms.
    • The Baby Metroid can be avoided in Tourian through dodging with the Space Jump, or with the usage of a Shinespark.
    • 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-four minutes, while the fastest TAS is just under forty-seven minutes.
    • One player did a minimalist TAS run and exploited an out of bounds glitch that allowed him to beat the game in seven minutes (roughly two in the games clock).

     Metroid Fusion 
  • Metroid Fusion is mostly designed to make sure you can't do this (or at least, make it so that you can't benefit from it) due to its more linear, story driven nature, but there are several exceptions, mostly reserved for minor situations:
    • There is a secret conversation that can be seen by using a series of tricky Shinesparks in Sector 4. This almost allows you to skip the Diffusion Missiles; the developers thought to lock the door to the Main Deck. There's also a way to do it without the Shinespark—Samus can freeze the enemy blocking her path by using a very carefully timed and aimed Ice Missile launched from a diagonal angle. The secret message only acknowledges the Shinespark method though, as the second trick was a dev team oversight. Note that the latter trick was fixed in the European release of the game.
    • It is possible to exploit a glitch in the games memory that allows you to spawn in the area before you fight the Omega Metroid upon dying in a certain spot in Sector 3. Unfortunately, this breaks the games event value scripting, so you won't get the Ice Beam back from the SA-X, and the Omega Metroid just stands there, impossible for you to kill.
    • For 0% runs, the hardest sequence break to pull off in the entire game is using the Shinespark in Sector 3 to bypass an organic barrier that can otherwise only be destroyed with Super Missiles and thus avoid the mandatory missile tank (nicknamed "BOB" by fans) on the normal path. How hard is it? The shinespark charge lasts three seconds. If you move perfectly, it takes 2.88 seconds to get where you need to be. This is just barely possible without tool-assistance, but in practice requires Pause Abuse to mimic frame-advance.
    • Using quick manuevers, Wall Jumps and Shinesparks, numerous Energy, Missile and Power Bomb Tanks can be obtained without the otherwise required equipment. For example, the Shinespark can be used to bypass a very powerful organic barrier (that could otherwise only be destroyed with a Power Bomb) near the beginning of the game to access a Power Bomb tank—unfortunately, you can't use it until the game gives you the actual ability.
    • When you first enter Sector 3, if you have enough energy tanks on hand, you can go through a superheated tunnel early on and survive before getting the Varia Suit, and if you find out how to get through the next room, your reward is an early missile upgrade and energy tank. This also doubles as a Self-Imposed Challenge.
    • Likewise, if you have at minimum three Energy Tanks and go back to the lava room in Sector 1, Samus can Morph Ball below and grab the missile upgrade without the Gravity Suit. You'll have just barely enough time to make it out before the lava kills you.
    • A glitch was discovered in Fusion involving Screen Scrolling, which allows for minor sequence breaks involving items.
    • Subverted with the "TRO Trap" glitch. Using a tricky Shinespark maneuver in the reactor, you can bypass fighting Yakuza and get to Nettori—unfortunately, the game is programmed to be played in scripted order, so you not only won't get a weapon from Nettori (just a message stating that the Level 1 doors are unlocked, which already happened) but Yakuza can't be fought afterward, making the game impossible to complete.

     Metroid: Zero Mission 
  • Unlike its predecessor, Metroid Fusion, Metroid: Zero Mission actually encourages sequence breaking, 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. What also helps is that the infinite bomb jumping and one wall jumping both return from Super Metroid after their absence in Fusion.
    • The Screw Attack can be acquired early. First, Samus must take a secret route in the main 'bubble shaft' of Norfair. A well-executed Bomb Jump or Wall Jumping and destruction of Missile Blocks will bring Samus to the Screw Attack.
    • The Varia Suit can be collected by freezing Wavers, or by using several Bomb Jumps to reach the Varia's room. This also means it can be collected without the Power Grip.
    • The secret Missile Tank in the first long shaft of Brinstar can be collected using Wall Jumps and Bombs.
    • The Super Missile Tank near the Brinstar shaft can be reached using several Ballsparks. That in the Chozo Ruins portion of Crateria can also be reached with several Wall Jumps and Shinesparks as well.
    • The Long Beam can be skipped by taking an alternate route of Fake Blocks.
    • The Wave Beam can be collected early via skipping the Ice Beam.
    • The Imago can be skipped by taking an alternate route to Ridley's Lair, or by getting early Super Missiles.
    • It is possible to completely skip the Varia Suit, but when the Ruins Test is completed and Samus collects the fully powered suit, which activates the three Unknown Items revealed to be the Gravity Suit, Space Jump, and Plasma Beam, Samus gains the Varia Suit anyway as the new suit provides it.
    • It is possible to enter Tourian without obtaining the Ice Beam. If she goes into a room with Metroids in it, however, she will be trapped with no way to kill them.
    • It is possible to defeat Mother Brain and exit Tourian without the Speed Booster, by wall jumping or bomb jumping up the wall near the west entrance to the ship.
    • It is possible to obtain early Super Missiles without the Ice Beam by entering a secret route to the lower areas of Norfair. However, this makes the fight with Kiru Giru much harder, as it now requires the use of Wall Jumps to attack the Tangle Vine.

     Metroid Prime 
  • Taking the series time-honored tradition into 3D, the original Gamecube release of Metroid Prime has many ways to do this (many of which were fixed in the Trilogy rerelease for the Wii):
    • Using the Scan Dash glitch allows for the Space Jump Boots to be acquired before any other upgrades. The Scan Dash was removed in later versions of Prime, so Samus must perform an alternate, but difficult method by locking on to one of the Seedlings in the Temple Hall and heading backwards to the Gunship in Landing Site, before doing the rest like the NTSC version. You can get the Morph Ball early by using this glitch.
    • Samus can get into the Furnace room without the Spider Ball by using a clipping glitch, or a Ghetto Jump. When she reaches the Hall of the Elders, she can jump on a Radiation collector to reach the room's Bomb Slot, and then practice several other jumps to get to the Reflecting Pool. Once there, she can simply stand on a Stone Toad and reach the Antechamber and Ice Beam early. This is usually performed before encountering Flaahgra. In the Japanese New Play Control! version, it is possible to do this in the Furnace using a Spring Bomb Jump. In the Trilogy version, however, an invisible wall was added to the upper entrance of Furnace's Morph Ball tunnel until Samus collects the Spider Ball, and when standing on a Stone Toad in both New Play Control! and Trilogy versions, Samus temporarily loses her ability to jump.
    • The Plasma Beam can be reached without the Spider Ball by either successfully performing two jumps in the Twin Fires Tunnel, or by exploiting the scan dash glitch on the Spider Ball Track in the room. Then in the Geothermal Core, several jumps can be exploited to reach Plasma Processing. Getting this allows you early access to the Gravity Suit without the need for the Spider Ball.
    • The Power Bomb Expansion in Security Cave can be reached using several difficult jumps. This will give Samus early Power Bombs and also enable early access to the Artifact of Spirit and other such items. Notably, this trick can be performed in the Metroid Prime Trilogy version of the game, despite the changes made to jumping.
    • The Power Bomb Expansion in the Magma Pool can also be obtained early by using the infinite speed glitch. In the GameCube version, this requires the Boost Ball.
    • The Hive Mecha can be skipped via an L-Lock Spring Space Jump. This allows for Missiles to be acquired without having a battle. Alternatively, a scan dash can also be used to escape the Hive Totem, and if Samus returns, the Hive Mecha is gone, replaced by the Missile Launcher.
    • The Missile Expansion in Main Plaza's half-pipe can be reached using a Ghetto Jump, as another means of early Missiles.
    • The Gravity Suit and crashed Frigate Orpheon can be skipped via Bomb Jumping over the bars in Great Tree Hall.

     Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 
  • Picking up where Prime left off, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has many ways of doing this in the original release (most of these were fixed in the Trilogy port for the Wii):
    • Using the infinite boost glitch, Samus can avoid losing the starting items that would normally be stolen by the Ing. However, if Samus gains several items and then re-enters the room where she first sees Dark Samus, she will not only lose the items stated she lost, but also any upgrades (i.e., Dark Suit, Light Beam, etc.) she acquires. Also, although Samus appears to have the Grapple Beam and Power Bombs stolen, she does not have them at the start of the game. This also lets the player gain access to Torvus through the Half-Pipe located in the Agon.
    • Using a carefully executed Bomb Jump and Screw Attack, Samus is able to completely bypass getting the keys to the Hive Temple.
    • Early Power Bombs via a series of difficult jumps in the Temple Grounds. When used on bosses not designed for it, the effects can range from a one-hit kill (Boost Guardian) to no effect at all (Amorbis)
    • By "Ghetto Jumping" in the Abandoned Base, the player can enter the Torvus Bog and clear most of the game without the Dark Suit. This can still be performed in the Metroid Prime Trilogy.
    • In Watch Station Access, on the side connecting to the Main Gyro Chamber, the player can reach the other side of the room without the Grapple Beam by morphing off of the platform and subsequently unmorphing while Samus is blocked by the platform, then space jumping to the other half of the pit. This will confuse the game and respawn Samus on the far side of the pit, allowing her to get the Energy Tank early, and if combined with the trick below, can let the player acquire the Screw Attack without the Grapple Beam.
    • An incredibly difficult trick involving Scan Dashing can be performed in the Grand Abyss. By locking on to one of the drones on the right side of the room, the player can scan dash to land on top of one of the other drones on the left side of the room, which will carry Samus across the room and allow her to skip using the portals. When she enters the Vault, she can scan dash again onto the right platform with a spinner and continue to obtain the Screw Attack without entering the Dark World, and if the Grapple Beam is not acquired at this point, it will be skipped entirely. Note that if the player fails to make the scan jump onto the drone on the first try, the game must be reset, as the drone will never stop moving and the trick will become impossible. Alternately, a wallcrawl can be used to obtain the Screw Attack, though this is much slower.

     Metroid Prime 3: Corruption 
  • Sequence breaking in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is heavily downplayed compared to other Metroid games. There are only two instances where you can do this in Corruption due to glitches, and only one of them is beneficial. Both of them were fixed for the Trilogy rerelease.
    • You can get the Spider Ball early via a series of glitches.
    • It is possible to skip the Hazard Shield, although you need certain methods to get past the five Acid Rain areas without it. Unfortunately, it's impossible to reach it early by using the early Spider Ball due to a dev team trick; If Samus reaches the Hazard Shield before defeating Gandrayda, a Missile Expansion will be in its place. It cannot be picked up and scanning it will identify it as the Hazard Shield. Also, Samus will be unable to leave the area, since the only means of escape is through the windows that are smashed by Assault Aerotroopers during a cutscene that takes place after the Suit is obtained, making the game impossible to complete.

     Metroid Prime: Hunters 
  • There isn't much sequence breaking you can pull off in Metroid Prime: Hunters, but a few nuggets slipped through the cracks:
    • You can enter a room containing an Alimbic Artifact from the wrong side with a double bomb jump.
    • Samus can reach the end of the Piston Cave (and skip the entire sections of it) by unmorphing at the Morph Ball tunnel in the Processor Core and performing "Missile Pushes" to blast herself into the tunnel.
    • The battle with the Barbed War Wasps in the Ice Hive can be skipped via Missile Jumping to reach the ledge where the Missile Expansion is located.

     Metroid: Other M 
  • Metroid: Other M is considered to be next to Fusion in terms of how much it discourages sequence breaking, but of course this hasn't stopped the fans. One notable example made it in:
    • A glitch which allows Samus to cancel the spin animation of her jump by firing her cannon allowing her to slowly float down at an angle allows you to get to an area you could normally only get to with the Speed Booster and get an Energy Tank early. The speed booster requirement for the areas after this does prevent you from getting any further though. If you do a certain sequence of events (which is very easy to do) you actually permanently lock a door to the next area, breaking the game (whatever happens, don't backtrack in sector three until after you've left it for the next area the first time!)

    Metroid: Samus Returns 
  • Metroid: Samus Returns is very linear as it still follows the overall structure of the original Metroid II despite the expanded areas, but there are some spots where you can pull this off;
    • The Spring Ball, Hi-Jump Boots, and Spider Ball can be skipped.
    • There are several power-ups that can be gotten earlier than intended via bomb jumping.

Example of: