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Video Game / Metroid: Zero Mission

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"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."
Samus Aran

Metroid: Zero Mission is a remake of the original 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 come into possession of a dangerous organism called a "Metroid", which they are cloning to create an army. Samus Aran must infiltrate their base on Zebes to destroy both the Metroids and the base's Artificial Intelligence Mother Brain. However, the story has been expanded, with extra bits touching on Samus being raised on Zebes by the Chozo and Ridley's belated arrival on Zebes. The gameplay builds on the control set-up refined in Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion while including new power-ups, areas, and enemies not present in the original NES version. 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 1986 game, see here.

Thirteen years later, the sequel to the original, Metroid II: Return of Samus also got a remake in a similar vein for the 3DS, titled Metroid: Samus Returns.

This game is notable for being the last game developed by Nintendo R&D1, where the original game was created. After Zero Mission's release, the unit was absorbed into the newly founded Nintendo SPD and mostly used as a support studio for other developers' projects.

Metroid: Zero Mission contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: In addition to the Metroid standard of finding all collectables in a single playthrough, the game tracks how many endings you've unlocked in the Gallery section of the options menu. A copy of the game with all possible ending screens unlocked will show the Gallery option in yellow text.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: After the stealth section in the Zero Suit, you get your suit back, only it's the Legendary Suit now, so not only do you get all the items you got on Zebes, but you also get to use the three Unknown Items the game didn't let you use before. These are the Gravity Suit, Plasma Beam, and Space Jump. Not too long after this, you can get the optional Power Bombs, but they're mainly there to allow you to backtrack to the rest of Zebes and get the rest of the items. They still pack a punch though.
  • Adaptational Badass: All three of the main bosses go through this.
    • Kraid is redesigned from an impish little lizard into a Godzilla sized monster a la Super Metroid.
    • Ridley goes from a goofy looking purple alien into a massive badass space dragon.
    • Mother Brain's defense system is as nasty as ever, but she now has a laser attack to defend herself with, making the fight harder than it was in the original (especially on Hard Mode).
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Sort of. The Space Pirates and Ridley are part of Samus' backstory
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: This game is a remake of Metroid, yet it features items and abilities that didn't exist in the original, but debuted in later games. As well, Kraid and Ridley are based on their appearances in Super Metroid, and Samus's distinctive Varia Suit design after the Zero Suit sequence originally appeared in Metroid II: Return of Samus. Notably, the Power Grip is based on an ability from Metroid Fusion that didn't require an item to use. Also, the Zebesians, first shown onscreen in Super Metroid, are portrayed in this game despite the Space Pirates being an offscreen presence in the original, while the Gadoras that blocked boss rooms in Super also appear here.
  • Adapted Out: Fake Kraid, an optional side-fight in the NES game, is absent from this remake.
  • After Boss Recovery: Played straight with most of the bosses, who are near save rooms or healing Chozo statues. Played with in Ridley's case; you actually pass through his empty boss room to find the Chozo statue and (currently unusable) power up behind it, then he attacks. Of course, nothing stops you from revisiting the same Chozo statue after you defeat him.
  • All There in the Manual: Samusí 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 Missionís 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.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Did the Space Pirates lose control of the Metroids in Tourian and have now become lunch for these would be bio-weapons? Or did Mother Brain decide her pirates would make excellent fodder to test out the Metroids for future galactic domination?
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Red hatches only take one missile instead of five to open now, and Tourian's ten-missile yellow hatch is removed completely, so you don't have to waste missiles. In Hard Mode, where you only get two missiles per expansion, this is a blessing.
    • The dev team knew just how brutal Tourian would be on Hard Mode, so there's a couple accommodations. There's three save stations, the second immediately following the hardest part of it, a spot near the second and third ones where you can safely farm for health and ammo, and when the Zebetites defending Mother Brain are destroyed, they stay destroyed—you can go back, restock and save your game so you don't have to waste precious missiles plowing through them again.
    • When you start the Zero Suit segment, it's impossible to die until you pass the Save Station, which (along with all the other Save Stations in the area) automatically refills your health, and keeps you from having to refight Mother Brain all over again if you die.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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. Skilled speedrunners have exploited this to make it through the entire Zero Suit segment completely undetected.
    • 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 shoots down at the Pirates as they climb up to her, the Black Pirates will stop climbing and shoot in the opposite direction until they die.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Charge Beam unfortunately gets hit by this, at least in comparison to other games - while a fully charged shot from it does deal the same amount of damage as a missile without consuming ammo, that's the only real advantage it has over missiles - it can't open missile doors, it doesn't draw recovery items to the player like in the Prime games, and unlike in Fusion (where getting it is mandatory) or Super (where it's a bit out of the way, but is just lying out in the open), you have to fight the Charge Beam Beast to get it (and doing so is completely optionalnote ; in fact, it's entirely possible to go the entire game without beating said boss).
    • The Power Bombs. As in previous games, they obliterate anything on screen. However, you get them so late in the game when you can already tear enemies to shreds with ease that they're only useful when backtracking to uncover marked blocks in an area to find the rest of the collectables. They're completely useless on the final boss.
  • Ascended Glitch: In Super Metroid, it was possible to make the morph ball roll at Shinespark speeds, via a glitch that was popularly called the "mock ball". This game lets you Shinespark in Morph Ball mode.
  • 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.
  • Boss Arena Recovery: Almost every boss and miniboss in the game shoots projectiles that can be destroyed by Samus for energy and ammo pickups.
    • The Charge Beam Beast's spikes.
    • The Acid Worm's spit.
    • Kraid's claws.
    • The entangled Kiru Giru's spores.
    • Imago's stingers.
    • Ridley's fireballs.
    • Mother Brain's Rinkas.
    • Mecha Ridley's missiles.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The Fully Powered Suit that Samus finds in the Chozo Ruins is implied to be an earlier version compared to the Power Suit that was lost earlier.
  • Call-Forward: There are a lot of nods to Super Metroid in this remake.
    • Underneath Mother Brain's tank is a hidden room with a Power Bomb in it, alluding to Mother Brain's cyborg body. In the escape tunnel, you can shinespark to reveal a hidden area to the left, which is where Samus emerges when you reenter that same room in the countdown of Super Metroid.
    • Players who remember the shortcut into Maridia from Super Metroid will be able to return to Zebes by using a Power Bomb in the glass tube of the Space Pirate Mother Ship.
    • Crateria makes an early appearance here, and the level layout is similar to its depiction in Super Metroid—it even links to both Tourian and Brinstar once you get all the power ups.
    • Not far from the Space Pirate Mother Ship, you can find a few rooms from the Wrecked Ship, which makes an appearance as a full level in Super Metroid; the game even includes an area in Crateria that is an almost exact replication of the entrance to the Wrecked Ship, complete with the broken walkway over a lake and a powerup hidden underwater. The Mother Ship also has robots similar to the ones on the Wrecked Ship. The Mother Ship's normal theme is a remix of the Wrecked Ship theme, and its more urgent theme is a remix of the underground Crateria theme.
    • The Ensnared Kiru Giru is one to Spore Spawn as both are plant-based boss fights, both attack by firing spores at Samus, and the music is a remix of Spore Spawn and Botwoon's boss theme. Furthermore, the boss fight has a Ripper flying around for Samus to both avoid and use to reach the vines. According to the wiki, Spore Spawn's boss fight was originally going to have a Ripper flying about as well, but didn't make it past the beta. One could even go so far as to say the Ensnared Kiru Giru's shape and silhouette match that of Spore Spawn's as well.
    • The Zero Suit that Samus wears under her Power Suit has a bright blue color scheme resembling the Fusion Suit from Metroid Fusion, the latter of which resulted from Federation doctors surgically removing most of the outer layers of her original Power Suit. If you compare the three suits, the Fusion Suit basically looks like a midway point between the Power Suit and the Zero Suit (though Metroid: Samus Returns and Metroid Dread would Retcon the blue parts of the Fusion Suit into fleshy tendons).
    • The very last Chozo statue that Samus finds before entering Tourian has been ominously smashed to pieces, much like the last statue in Metroid II: Return of Samus.
  • 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).
  • Chiaroscuro: Not the gameplay itself, but the artwork. Some of the cutscenes also use it. Particularly, the ones introducing the bosses.
  • Colossus Climb: Kraid, sort of. When his belly spikes begin destroying the floor, Samus must jump on them to reach Kraid's head again. The number of spikes he uses depends on how much damage he has sustained: one for minor, two for moderate, and three for critical.
  • 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 color palette from any other rooms in the area, contain the same robots and Atomics as the Wrecked Ship (although in Zero Mission said enemies 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.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: In Fusion, all one had to do to pull themselves up from a ledge was tap Up. In Zero Mission, you have to hold towards the ledge and press jump.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • 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're intended to stand on a frozen Ripper to reach the vines you must shoot.note  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.
    • Sequence breaking will allow you to enter Ridley's lair and fight him before Kraid. Entering Ridley's lair will play the cutscene of him and the Space Pirate Mother Ship landing on Zebes like usual, but going to Kraid's lair afterwards, defeating Kraid, and exiting the area leads to the usual cutscene of Ridley and the Mother Ship plotting a course for Zebes being removed, as would be logical given that you've already triggered the chronologically subsequent cutscene.
  • 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.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • By sequence breaking, you can get the Screw Attack as soon as you get the Speed Booster (as opposed to getting it after you beat Ridley), which turns the second half of the game into a cakewalk. This is also extremely helpful on Hard Mode.
    • You can also exploit the Speed Booster to get early Super Missiles, which pack a wallop, allow you access to a few pickups ahead of time, and allows you to skip the Imago miniboss.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: The Final Boss, the Ridley Robot, is coded to have much more health 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.
  • Early Game Hell: In Hard Mode, you get a nasty wake up call of how hard it'll be right from the first room. Every single enemy will kill you in just a couple hits, and item expansions and energy tanks only give you half of what the normal game gives you. You have to be much more careful and shrewd with your resources if you want to make it through in one piece.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: If you beat the game on Easy, you can only unlock the ending picture with a fully armoured Samus, regardless of how quick you were or your percentage of items collected. This image is otherwise only received if you complete the game in more than four hours without getting 100% of the items.
  • Easy Level Trick: Kraid's weak point is inside his mouth. You must hit his head with a missile to make him roar, then fire missiles into his mouth to actually deal damage. Eagle-eyed players, however, may notice that Kraid roars on his own at the start of the fight, before he throws out any attacks. Exploiting this can allow you to deal tremendous damage before the fight begins, or even end it altogether in seconds.
  • 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 a few in the game, and you're only required to fight two.
  • Embedded Precursor: Beating the game allows you to play the original NES Metroid.
  • Emergency Weapon: 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 open doors, and are useless on enemies. Nobody would use this if they had any alternative... naturally, you acquire this at the beginning of a No-Gear Level and do not, in fact, have any alternatives. Samus' narration brings attention to this, outright calling it "rather useless".
  • End-Game Results Screen: After the credits end, you receive a screen showing you how long it took you to beat the game, as well as how many items you collected. The background behind this screen is one of eight unique ending images based on your time, item completion, and difficulty, which become available for viewing under the Gallery option in the main menu after you earn them.
  • Episode Zero: 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.
  • Fat Bastard: This game's incarnation of Kraid, making the Super Metroid one look skinny by comparison.
  • Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: As has been common with Metroid games since Super. What makes this one unique is that you're flying a Space Pirate fighter craft, what with your original gunship being wrecked.
  • Game Changer: Samus destroys Mother Brain and blows up the Space Pirates' 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. One could say the Zero Suit itself has rudimentary shielding, but really it's so that the player doesn't die the second a Pirate shoots them once.
  • 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:
    • The Charge Beam Beast 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.
    • Mother Brain, of course, though this is a double subversion since in previous games you could shoot her anywhere on her brain.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: The game has this on Normal. The final boss gets significantly more challenging if you've got 100% completion, though.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Unlike in other games, Ridley's legs aren't part of his hitbox, meaning that the easiest way to take him down is to stand directly underneath him and spray him with Missiles.
  • Holy Pipe Organ: Zero Mission has a boss fight against the Chozo God of War, encountered as a sacred test in the Chozodia temple. Its battle theme is almost entirely an organ solo, an instrument rarely used in Metroid soundtracks. Overlaps with Ominous Pipe Organ due to being a boss theme, but the God of War isn't regarded as evil or villainous, simply a test for Samus to overcome and prove herself worthy.
  • Iconic Attribute Adoption Moment: The story makes its status as the start of Samus's adventures abundantly clear by bringing back the Long Beam, which lets Samus's shots travel the length of the whole screen and is combined with the standard Power Beam in every game besides Metroid and Zero Mission, and waiting until the endgame to give Samus's Varia Suit its now-iconic Shoulders of Doom, which had originally been introduced in Metroid II: Return of Samus.
  • 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.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Throughout Brinstar, there are a series of indestructible plants that only parasites (also found in Brinstar - one instance of its normal usage is in the room prior to Varia) can clear. One of these indestructible plants exists in Norfair directly out of the room past the Save Point, and without the parasites that would clear it normally. Its only purpose is to ensure the player obtains the Power Grip, since the plant arbitrarily disappears as soon as it is collected.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Upon collecting an Unknown Item, the game quite plainly informs you that it is incompatible with your current suit. Mind, by The Law of Conservation of Detail, anyone with two brain cells would know you're gonna find some way to use the things — the message only spoils what that method ends up being.
    • The fact that there is more to the game after defeating Mother Brain is less of a surprise if you noticed that there are blocks that can only be destroyed by Power Bombs, but you don't have those yet. You can also stumble across a few yellow hatches connecting Crateria to another unexplored area, but never open them with any of the weapons you acquire even up to unlocking Tourian, which the manual handily explains as also being opened by Power Bombs.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: In addition to the obvious example of needing to defeat bosses and minibosses to leave the room they're in, the doors in Tourian will lock in rooms with Metroids in them until you've defeated all of them.
  • 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.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Norfair as per usual.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the previous games, including Metroid Prime, this game is more upbeat in atmosphere and tone, while dark moments such as a Metroid draining a Space Pirate to death are minimum at best.
  • Load-Bearing Boss:
    • Downplayed with Ridley and Kraid, whose defeat causes statues by their lairs' entrance to crumble.
    • Kill Mother Brain and she activates Tourian's self-destruct.
    • Kill the Ridley Robot and it does the same for the Mother Ship.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The Wrecked Ship theme from Super has two remixes in this game, and the latter of them has minimal presence. Its first appearance is when you enter the Pirate Mothership during the Zero Suit segment, but this song stops playing and is replaced by a different one when you get noticed by a Zebesian, and the first one you encounter is nigh-impossible to avoid being seen by without a frame-perfect Paralyzer shot. Its second appearance is in a single hallway which is two map tiles wide. That said, you can also hear it in the Sound Test, if you've unlocked it, as track #18.
  • Mayincatec: Chozo statues take a bit of a Meso-american influence in this game, including one statue directly based on a chacmool. Their architecture also resembles that of the Egyptians, particularly the carvings surrounding the Ruins Test.
  • Metamorphosis: The hanging Kiru Giru Samus saves in Norfair metamorphoses 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.
  • Mood Whiplash: Despite being less foreboding than Fusion tended to be, you can get a cold chill up your spine whenever you collect an Unknown Item. The music that plays is a dark, mysterious theme and the whole "you don't know what you just collected" element can feel jarring.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene: For the titular Metroids. As you enter Tourian, you get the sight of them munching on a deceased Space Pirate.
  • Nerf: In Fusion, you are practically invincible when you use the Screw Attack, with the exceptions of the last two boss. Here, Space Pirates can hurt you while using it.
  • Nintendo Hard: Easy and Normal are pretty much a breeze, but Hard Mode feels the closest to the original game's difficulty. While Samus thankfully doesn't start at 30 Energy every time you start the game up (unless you saved the game in that state), all expansions are halved, giving you only 2 Missiles per tank, but notably the 12 Energy Tanks only give +50 to your Energy max, meaning 699 Energy is the max assuming you found them all. Even the least of the enemies can easily destroy you in a few hits until you get the Varia Suit, which mitigates this somewhat. By endgame, however, the gloves fully come off as the Zebesians can deal 200 damage with each shot even once you've acquired the new suit, giving you at best 4 hits tops.
  • 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.
  • 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 and the adjacent rooms.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom:
    • Like in the original game, Tourian is a very linear level with no items note  or sidepaths—it's a straight line through the Metroids to Mother Brain from the elevator.
    • Chozodia starts like this due to the nature of its stealth-based gameplay, but it opens up once you get all your stuff back, including being able to open a path back to the main areas after you get Power Bombs.
  • Nostalgia Level: More than just being a remake of the original game, there are areas that nod to Super Metroid by taking advantage of the expanded map.
  • Oh, Crap!: Thought the game would end with Mother Brain's defeat like the original? Cue Samus reacting this way when she realizes her gunship is surrounded by Space Pirates.
  • One Bullet at a Time: A non-player variant: the turrets that shoot Rinkas can only have one Rinka active at a time. You can exploit this by freezing Rinkas in place with the Ice Beam, temporarily removing their threat to you while denying the turrets the ability to shoot a new one.
  • Opening Monologue: 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.
  • Point of No Return: You can destroy the Zebetites in Tourian, save, restock and return, but as soon as you get to the room with Mother Brain herself, the Morph Ball entrance seals, and it's do-or-die from there.
  • 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 Ruins Test restored her warrior's spirit and thus let her suit return. Except the supplementary material specifically state that the suit acquired from Chozodia is a different suit, and the entirety of Metroid Fusion's plot depends on the fact that Samus's suit is a physical object that remains intact when she's out of commission, and can be removed and hijacked by an alien parasite.
  • Pupating Peril: In the lower areas of Norfair, Samus encounters giant Kiru Giru grubs that can only be defeated by attacking their weak underbellies. She later finds a stationary one that is strung up in some vines that she must sever, which drops the grub through the ground and lets her continue to Ridley's lair. The grub can be seen starting to pupate. Samus must double back to the grub's location, only to see the grub has left its pupa. The nearby tunnel leads to a chamber where Samus must fight the Imago.
  • Railroading:
    • The game does encourage Sequence Breaking and is quite non-linear once you know it in and out, but there are some road blocks that weren't in the original game. For starters, you can't sequence break into Tourian anymore (Ridley and Kraid's new giant statues completely block your path) and whereas you could technically beat the original game without the Ice Beam (big emphasis on technically, as it's extremely hard to pull off), you absolutely need the Ice Beam in order to beat Tourian here—unlike the original game, Metroids have to be killed in order to open the doors, and the Ice Beam is the only thing that lets you damage them.
    • In the original game, the only items needed to complete the game were the Morph Ball, Bombs and Missiles. In this game, even on a 9% run, you at least need a pack of Missiles, the Ice Beam, Plasma Beam, Morph Ball and Bombs, Space Jump, Varia Suitnote , Gravity Suit and Power Grip to finish it.invoked
    • At the beginning of Norfair, if you try to use infinite bomb jumping in the large room to the right of the start to access the rest of the area without getting the Power Grip, there's a Tangle Vine Fruit at the end of the room which is there specifically to prevent you from doing that. Unlike every other occurrence of this obstacle, the bugs you need to break it are completely absent, so grabbing the Power Grip is the only way to make it disappear.
  • Reformulated Game: Or rather, Reformulated Remake. The game straddles the line between being an updated remake of the original NES Metroid by having similar level designs with modern gameplay, and being a completely new title with several newly-designed areas and overhauled sections of the original levels along with a heavily reworked game engine that feels like a souped-up Super Metroid while borrowing none of the physics of the original game.
  • 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, the back of the game's box refers to her as "her", and a whole level is spent out of armor when Samus's suit is destroyed.
  • Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification: Somewhere in between a 2 and a 3. Although it keeps the main story of the NES original, it expands on it a lot, including Samus' dramatic backstory and a new gameplay segment near the end.
  • Sequence Breaking: The game encourages this, providing lots of hidden spots that can let you do things out of order or even skip them entirely, spicing up replays and enabling the 15% runinvoked. Infinite bomb jumping and one-wall jumping both return from Super Metroid, which are a part of the tools you'll need to execute things such as these:
    • The Long Beam can be skipped by taking an alternate route of Fake Blocks that are up-right from the tunnel that would otherwise require the item.
    • The secret Missile Tank to the left of the first long shaft of Brinstar can be reached without the Power Grip by wall-jumping to it, as long as you have Bombs.
    • 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.
    • After getting the Ice Beam in Norfair, the path to leave takes you to the top of the "bubble shaft" on the right. The very top block of the wall on the right is a Missile Block, which you can destroy to gain access to a side shaft that takes you all the way to the bottom of the bubble shaft. This lets you accomplish several other Sequence Breaks:
      • You can access Ridley's lair and defeat Ridley before Kraid (which also lets you get Super Missiles before Kraid).
      • You can get the Screw Attack early by shooting four missiles at the leftmost part of the ceiling in the room down and to the right of the item.
      • You can skip the Wave Beam, as this shaft takes you past the two things that require it: the Speed Booster hall full of breakable blocks, and the Kiru Giru encounter right after that.
    • It's possible to skip the Ice Beam and collect several items before you get it (though given that you need the Ice Beam to defeat Metroids, these are mainly for goofing around);
      • You can get early Super Missiles from the Imago battle by using the hidden bubble shaft route in Norfair. However, this makes the fight with the Kiru Giru suspended from the ceiling much harder, as it now requires the use of one-wall jumps to attack the Tangle Vine.
      • You can collect the Wave Beam without the Ice Beam, allowing you to see the sprites of the former without the ice modification.
      • It is possible to enter Tourian without obtaining the Ice Beam. Just don't enter the room where you first encounter a Metroid.
    • There are two ways to skip the metamorphosed Imago fight in Ridley's lair:
      • The room to the right at the very start of Ridley's area has a missile block in the roof that opens a path leading backwards through the end of the area, which you can use to shortcut to Ridley, and in the process skip not only Imago but most of Ridley's area as well.
      • Alternatively, you can get Super Missiles, which you need to break the green hatch to the left of the start, from another source. There's one in Brinstar that requires you to Ballspark, and one in the Chozo Ruins portion of Crateria which can be reached with several wall jumps and Shinesparks.
    • 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 Plasma Beam, Gravity Suit, and Space Jump, Samus gains the Varia Suit anyway as the new suit provides it.
    • During the escape after Tourian, there's a stone that you need the Speed Booster to break through to reach your ship. If you skipped the Speed Booster, there's a hole in the ceiling of the cave by your landing site that you can reach with infinite bomb jumping, which leads to an alternate route out.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: The three "unknown items" are a big shout-out to Kid Icarus, Metroid's sibling series. The game was developed by the same team that made the original Metroid, although it is a lot less well-known, especially outside of Japan. The items greatly resemble the Sacred Treasures of the latter game, and while cosmetically different, perform roughly the same function. The Gravity Suit - highest defense, free movement in liquid, blocks lava damage (Mirror Shield - blocks any attack), Plasma Beam (Light Arrows) - both allow attacks to pierce multiple enemies, and Space Jump (Wings of Pegasus) - both allow unlimited flight.
  • Skippable Boss:
    • The Charge Beam Beast doesn't have to be fought, but if you don't kill it then you'll never get the Charge Beam.
    • The Acid Worm is skippable by a horizontal bomb jump (which allows you to defeat Kraid before getting the Power Grip), but it's really hard, and 100% Completion still requires its defeat.
    • Imago is completely skippable as well, unless you're going for 100% Completion.
  • So Near, Yet So Far: Much like in the original, the entrance to Tourian is very close to your starting position in Brinstar and can be visited soon after getting the first few upgrades (and unlike the original, Zero Mission subtly encourages you to visit it through the level design), but you can't pass the statues until you defeat Kraid and Ridley.
  • Sound Test: By beating the game on Hard difficulty, you unlock a Sound Test in the options that has 23 of the game's 29 songs.
  • 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, though the main reason it's threatening is because it's loaded with Zebesians who can be deadly on your first visit.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: After beating Mother Brain, you're suddenly thrown into a Stealth-Based Mission.
  • 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.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: There is at least one spot in the game where you can become permanently stuck from attempting to explore more of the area than you need to and the only way to get out of that spot requires an ability that you don't have yet.
  • Violation of Common Sense: The safest spot to stand during the Ridley battle? Directly under Ridley. By doing so you avoid his tail behind him and the fireballs he spits in front of him.
  • 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 while later.
  • You Have Researched Breathing:
    • Once again, Samus needs an upgrade just to shoot more than a few feet in front of her. The need for a Morph Ball to crawl through small spaces is simply because Samus' suit is too bulky, which wasn't clearly shown in the original NES games sprites. Here it is clearly shown, especially as Samus can crawl when out of armor.
    • 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).


Video Example(s):


Mother Brain

Mother Brain's defeat causes the Space Pirates' hideout to detonate, forcing Samus to escape.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / LoadBearingBoss

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