There's a simple trick behind defeating Draygon, the boss of Maridia, that completely undermines how threatening it is. By shooting out the wall turrets in the room, then letting Draygon grab you, you can Grapple Beam onto the turrets and electrocute Draygon, killing it in seconds. Draygon is also very vulnerable to cheese tactics, since there are unintended methods of killing it quickly: Shinesparksnote It's the only boss vulnerable to Shinesparks, and two or three of them can kill it in under a minute and the Plasma/Charge/X-Ray combonote If you use a glitch to get the Plasma Beam early, you can zap it with a Charged Plasma Beam and then repeatedly use the X-Ray Scope, which resets Plasma's damage, allowing Draygon to be beaten by firing a Charge Shot at it and then rapidly tapping A. In the vanilla game, Draygon ordinarily unlocks access to Plasma, so this is typically only seen in "GT code" categories like GT Classic (guide; WR as of 2021-06-07) and "major glitches" categories like RAMBO or RBMBO (guide; WR as of 2021-06-07); however, it's fairly common in randomizers for players to have Plasma, Charge, and X-Ray by the time they fight Draygon.
For a Final Boss, Mother Brain isn't all that challenging. She has three attacks for most of the fight, then gets a fourth when low on health, but none of them deal very much damage and are fairly easy to avoid. The room is a single screen large and, due to Mother Brain's sprite design, the player can almost always hit her by aiming diagonally up at her. Finally, if the player comes here with even a moderate amount of missile upgrades (or the Charge + Wave + Ice + Plasma beam combo), Mother Brain will go down fairly quickly. This all adds up to a Final Boss where you just stand in the corner of the room with a shoulder button held down bombarding them with missiles, only needing to occasionally jump to avoid an attack. The saving grace for this fight, as the rest of this page will attest to, is that the game's story picks back up with flawless execution.
Awesome Music: Super Metroid's soundtrack is fairly memorable, especially for its era thanks to its new composers Kenji Yamamoto and Minako Hamano.
Norfair Ancient Ruins Area sets up the appropriate sense of dread for the area in which you fight... Not for nothing did Prime reuse the theme for the Magmoor Caverns.
Ridley, whose theme in this game is memorable enough that it's reused as his Leitmotif throughout the series from this point on. (The theme wasn't exclusively Ridley's in this game, but it would be used solely as his theme in future entries.)
Breather Level: The Wrecked Ship is roughly half-way through the game. It's self-contained and requires little back-tracking, the standard enemies aren't too tough, and the platforming ranges from simple to non-existent. The average person can probably complete the entire area in about 20 minutes. While Phantoon is fairly challenging, it's at least a straightforward boss battle in a small room without any environmental hazards.
Crossing the Line Twice: Crocomire's graphic death via melting in the acid? A traumatizing moment that makes you feel like a monster. Crocomire's skeleton leap out of the acid to kill you one last time, only to then comically fall apart into a pile of bones? A hilarious moment that makes you forget you brutally murdered it.
Disappointing Last Level: Tourian is short, simple and easy compared to the mazelike areas of the rest of the game. The final boss is largely a Cutscene Boss which then becomes a Zero-Effort Boss after the baby Metroid dies. There's no place where you can take advantage of all of your late-game upgrades, as they're not needed for the endgame.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Despite only being a mini boss (as opposed to a main boss of an area like Kraid or Ridley), Crocomire managed to be fairly memorable for a number of reasons, including its design, possible interpretation as a Non-Malicious Monster (considering there's no indication that it's allied with the Space Pirates), and the section after its boss fight where its skeleton attacks Samus before falling apart. These sentiments only intensified when detailed sprites and concept art were unearthed for Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Prime respectively, indicating that he could have become an Ascended Extra like Ridley.
Epileptic Trees: The unidentified corpse outside Kraid's room has been the subject of countless fan theories over the years. Some say that it's an adventurer who was killed by Space Pirates, since these unfortunate adventurers are frequently mentioned by the Super Metroid Players' Guide. Some suggest that it's a Galactic Federation marine, given that they're typically redshirts in the Metroid series. Some speculate that it's Weavel, owing to similarities in their armor design. Since the release of Metroid Dread, a new theory has emerged: it's a Mawkin Chozo Soldier who died trying to capture Kraid and bring him to ZDR. However, it's most likely that we'll never get a definitive official answer on the corpse's identity.
Even Better Sequel: While the previous two games were good, and the second in particular contributed many of the core mechanics this game utilized, Super Metroid is often considered one of the greatest video games of all time and is Metroidvania's Trope Codifier. It is the game to which all other 2D Metroid games are compared, leading to "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny with the previous two entries.
The Worst Room in the Game, a tall shaft in Ridley's hideout that not only requires Power Bombs to remove the false ceiling, but also requires some serious mobility items to climb past the first couple of screens and some dodging skills to avoid getting shot by gold pirates that crowd the room.
Shaft Supers, an ammo expansion in Old Tourian that requires the player to find a hidden tunnel and charge up a Shinespark to rocket up a shaft and through a thin grating of speed booster blocks.
Omega Missiles, most commonly the last missile expansion to be collected in 100% runs.
Room of Spikey Death, a water-flooded compartment in the Wrecked Ship with both floor/ceiling spikes and moving platforms with spike-studded undersides, that a player must cross both ways if they're attempting to collect the item at the end, more commonly seen in 100% runs and Randomizer races.
Shaktool, a room with a slow-moving tunneling robot that leads to the Spring Ball, requiring players to scour away a barrier with their Power Bombs and wait patiently for the robot to mine out the passageway - trollish announcers in Randomizer races may jokingly suggest that major progression items have been shuffled here to make runs take more time to complete.
The Gauntlet, a long tunnel made out of two connected rooms that have an acid pool ebbing and flowing, which must be accessed from the starting area above your ship by very precise wall- or bomb-jumping. It's full of Yapping Maws, and has a total of three items within it, making it a necessary, if difficult, challenge. The fastest strategy for navigating the second room is referred to as Sexmaster for reasons not entirely clear; it was apparently named by a viewer in perennial world record holder Zoast's chat. (It has also been referred to as "Scoodillipoo Master", "Samus Expert Master", and "Teletubby Huggie" at various events where the commentators were discouraged from using its usual name.)
Mission: Impossible, an item pedestal inside a secret room in Pink Brinstar that requires you to shoot a hole in the floor of the room immediately above it to access it; it earned its name due to speedrunners coming up with a way to jump back out the way they dived in after grabbing the item, before the floor panel seals itself back up.
The Green Hill Zone, a tiered set of ledges and pipes leading from pink Brinstar to Red Brinstar, with a power bomb door to Blue/Retro Brinstar as well.
The Waterway, a half-submerged room behind the Charge Beam's pedestal in Pink Brinstar that requires the Speed Booster to reach the far end, where an item pedestal sits. Often requires a second trip into Brinstar to collect, as players would often lack the Speed Booster the first time they pass through, and sometimes overlooked in Randomizer races, often to the neglectful player's disadvantage.
The Chozo Bowling Alley, a room in Wrecked Ship where Samus must enter Morph Ball in a statue's hands. The statue will then carry Samus like a bowling ball. Normally this unlocks the Gravity Suit.
Candy Mountain/Gumdrop Mountain/Bubble Mountain, the green bubbly area of Norfair with a large crevice near the top of the room.
The Business Centre, the vertical entrance room for Upper Norfair where players can find doors that branch out to all the major subsections of Norfair.
Croc Escape, a room connected to the bottom of the Business Centre that can only be accessed from Crocomire's section of Upper Norfair due to a one-way Super Missile gate.
The Parlour, the main cave area of Crateria, just to the left of the Landing Site, through which Samus heads into the Tourian escape shaft, finds a map room, a save room, and some other goodies, and in SMZ3, finds the door to the Lake Hylia Fortuneteller. Within it is the sub-area Alcatraz, where Samus goes in to get Morph Ball Bombs, so-named because escape the faster way is a difficult trick to master, but the slower way costs a major time-sink and requires Bombs, which the player may not have when they go in.
The Forgotten Highway, a very long stretch of rooms behind the Wrecked Ship that leads to the 'front' of Maridia where the Plasma Beam door is. As this path is not only long, but has a complicated morph ball maze somewhere before the elevator to Maridia, many experienced players, speedrunners, and racers never go this way, and some 'runners don't even know this route exists, since there are no useful items to collect here to otherwise entice players this way. However, traversing it can sometimes be a hard requirement in the Keysanity mode of the SMZ3 randomizer as well as some area randomizers. Viewers sometimes joke that this area is Downloadable Content.
The Big Metroid has never been officially called the Super Metroid, but many fans have taken to considering it the title character. Speedrunners refer to it as the "Big Boy". Alternatively, it is referred to as "The Giant Anomaly" to distinguish it from the game's title, while Other M gave it the derisive nickname of "the Baby" (when Twitch chat uses "the Baby", it's usually meant to mock Other M). After the release of Metroid: Samus Returns and some of the amiibo toys released with it, several fans have taken to calling the hatchling "Squishy."
The naming conventions spills over into the Tourian speedrunner tactic called the Baby Skip, where players carefully use the Space Jump and some well-placed shots to lead the Big Metroid in circles before escaping deeper into Tourian without getting actually grabbed, thus bypassing the entire cutscene to save time. A significantly faster, but much riskier and less consistent, strat is called the "Yolo Skip" for probably obvious reasons; if executed correctly, players can even forego the jump-rope segment used in the normal Baby Skip and just speed through the room. The Yolo Skip is generally only ever seen in 100% runs (and occasionally in randomizer runs), since it requires items like Spring Ball that are usually skipped over in other routes (see Shaktool above).
Numerous elements of the game are named after food: Power Bombs are hamburgers, the Gravity Suit is pancakes (as its pickup icon resembles them), Rinkas are called Spaghetti-O's and Mother Brain's attacks are onion rings, meatballs, fries and the Desperation Attack, ketchup.
A very specific technique to cross the big spiked room before the entryway to Draygon's lair using the Shinespark was called the "Halfie", as the original form of the move would carry you halfway across the room. With careful positioning, you can rocket across the entire room instead, in a move called the "Full Halfie." For the hat-trick, if players then got a 'blue suit' glitch from killing Draygon with a Shinespark, they can bring it back up to the big room and use the Shinespark to cross the way back at high speed, thus coining the "Reverse Full Halfie."
Fans and speedrunners commonly refer to the act of running through the superheated rooms of Norfair (and similar areas in other Metroid games) without the protection of the Varia Suit as Hell Running. The most gruelling Hell Run in Super is navigating the way through Lower Norfair, defeating Ridley, then escaping to the cooler back passages of Upper Norfair behind Bubble Mountain without Varia, and this run requires the player to not only have at least seven or eight E-tanks, but also know how to accurately time a Crystal Flash while losing health rapidly in a superheated room.
Franchise Original Sin: While it would be nowhere near as linear or cinematic as say, Metroid Fusion, this game definitely began a greater focus on story and cutscenes for the franchise (for example, Samus getting a lengthy starting monologue), which remains a contentious topic among Metroid fans. This cinematic aspect would be given increasing weight inFusion, Prime 3, and especially Other M.
Game-Breaker: Several movement mechanics, heavily relied upon by speedrunners to skip major sections of the game. The game's profusion of such mechanics is a major reason for its sustained popularity among the speedrun community.
The Wall Jump gives Samus more mobility than the game can provide challenge for. Mastering it allows players to visit areas early and get around obstacles that they weren't meant to. On the other hand, some walls are clearly (and effectively) designed to prevent the player from wall jumping all the way up them, so the developers must have noticed and allowed for the "breakage" potential inherent in the game's implementation of wall jumping.
Once you pick up a pack of Power Bombs (easily done early in Brinstar if you know where to go), you can get into the Wrecked Ship without the Grappling Beam with some careful running jumps to get to the door, and can then get the Gravity Suit. Because the developers assumed you'd already have the Varia Suit when you got the Gravity Suit, the Gravity Suit has all its upgrades on its own, granting you 75% damage reduction, full movement in liquids, and protection from lava. Speedruns do this all the time.
The Speed Booster allows for "Shinesparking" and super jumping, which a careful player can likewise use to bypass obstacles much earlier than intended.
The recoil jump, which may or may not be an intentional addition to the game, lets the player turn simple damage knockback into a long jump with a uniquely flat trajectory. This is useful in many areas, and instrumental to getting the X-Ray Scope ahead of the Grapple Beam.
The "mockball" (or "mock ball", sometimes also "Machball" or "Mach ball"),note Although people who hear the word "mockball" spoken out loud might assume it's spelt "Machball" as a reference to Mach speed, its etymology refers to mocking the speed of a running jump in ball form, although it may be intended as a pun on both. The name evidently originates from the speedrunning resource Metroid 2002. While "mockball" is generally considered more correct, "machball" is sometimes considered an acceptable alternate spelling. whose frame-perfect timing requirement means it's also probably an exploit rather than a deliberate mechanic, allows Samus to use the Morph Ball at running speed. This permits the player to bypass timed obstacles which are designed to require the Speed Booster, which in turn enables early acquisition of Super Missiles and the Ice Beam. The same technique can be used with the Speed Booster, allowing Samus to carry a charge into places where a shinespark wouldn't normally be possible, and also to roll straight through blocks which ordinarily require bombs to break.
There's also a whole variety of extremely detailed and timing-sensitive animation exploits, which make use of quirks in the game's 2D approximation of physics to preserve momentum, improve agility, and otherwise move Samus through the game a lot faster than the developers likely intended to make possible. Unlike the prior tricks, which a skilled and practiced player can perform by hand, many of these exploits require software assistance to reliably achieve, giving rise to the "tool-assisted" category of speedrun.
An intentional example is the Screw Attack. Combined with the Space Jump, it makes Samus a very nearly invulnerable one-woman wrecking crew, since she cannot be damaged while spinning. This makes subsequent boss fights a lot easier. However, given that in the vanilla game, the Space Jump is only available after defeating Draygon in Maridia and the Screw Attack is only available after defeating the Golden Torizo in Lower Norfair, this means ordinary runs won't get this combination until fairly late into the game. In the item randomizer, they could be almost anywhere, though, depending upon the settings you used.
Another intentional example is the Crystal Flash. By using 11 Power Bombs, 10 Super Missiles, and 10 Missiles when her health is 50 or below (and she has empty or no reserve tanks), Samus can restore her health to 100%. (It's possible, albeit difficult, to pull this off with 10 Power Bombs if you manage to pick up a Power Bomb drop with the correct timing.) This one of the reasons Reverse Boss Order is even possible. It can also allow Samus to glitch into certain areas. Note that she isn't invincible during a Crystal Flash; being hit by an enemy at the wrong time will deal far more damage than usual and can kill her, and if she's taking heat damage, you'll want to lay the Power Bomb before she drops below 50 health, but not too much before.
The Mockball, a trick that lets you move faster than normally as a Morph Ball, relies on quirks in the way the game handles Samus' speed when curling into a Morph Ball while moving. This can also be used to maintain a Speed Booster effect while rolling, and is the cornerstone of several important sequence breaks and time-saving moves.
When running, Samus' hitbox is moved forward very slightly when you quickly aim up and down diagonally as you run, producing the impression of Samus pumping her arm cannon. This will very gradually allow Samus to cover ground faster than normal, and was quickly adopted by many notable speedrunners once discovered.
Samus' hitbox changes dramatically when she somersaults or aims her arm cannon upwards or downwards while in mid-air, so speedrunners learnt to make even tighter jumps possible by manipulating her hitbox while platforming, allowing her to complete jumps and land on platforms faster and more efficiently.
Moonfalling, a trick discovered in the 2010s, which is a trick to fall faster than the game's default terminal velocity by exploiting the way the game handles Samus' falling speed if you enable Moonwalking as a special control option and walk backwards off a platform in a specific way. Another trick, the Moondance, was derived from this glitch by exploiting the way the game can 'store' Samus's artificially boosted falling speed to clip through certain objects.
The Blue Suit, a Speed Booster exploit revolving around defeating Draygon while Shinesparking, caused by the game resetting you to a standing position without removing the Speed Booster's effect from you. This is mainly used to carry the Speed Booster buff to a place where you can then turn it into an easy Shinespark to save serious time travelling across a large room. A related glitch that involves taking contact damage from spikes at just the right moment while carrying a Speed Booster charge became known as the Spike Suit glitch as a derivative, and while it is harder to execute correctly, it allows players to use the Run button, which they cannot do with the Blue Suit.
X-Ray Plasma, a glitch revolving around how the Charge Beam, Plasma Beam, and X-Ray Visor interact, allowing you to make a single Charged Plasma Beam projectile do tremendous damage to Phantoon, Draygon, and Botwoon, easily turning each fight into a Curb-Stomp Battle. Also known as "microwave" for probably obvious reasons.note Acquiring this combo in the normal game before Draygon or Botwoon requires either major glitches or the "GT Code", and acquiring it before Phantoon requires either of the above or performing the difficult "suitless Maridia" traversal; however, it is fairly common for randomizers to allow logical access to all three of these items before any or all of these fights.
Using the Spazer/Plasma combo glitch can lead to one of three unintentional weapons.
Combining all the beams but Wave create the Spacetime Beam; with it, Samus can reset time, beginning the game again with everything but her missiles intact.
The Murder Beam (all beams) continually damages bosses to the left of the shot, making bosses that are generally to the left of you (Ridley and Mother Brain) near enough a Curb-Stomp Battle to Samus.
The Chainsaw Beam, the least useful of the three, does no damage to enemies, but breaks blocks insanely fast, making it more of a Utility Weapon than an actual weapon.
Baby Skip, a tricky move employed by Speedrunners, allows players to bypass the cutscene where the Super Metroid latches onto you. Pulling this off also means you don't have to recharge your health before the Mother Brain fight, saving further time.
Standup Glitch, an exploit of the way Samus' state is handled after being blasted by Mother Brain's version of a Hyper Beam, was quickly adopted by some speedrunners and racers that use it as a way to speed up the endgame even more.
Growing the Beard: The first two Metroid games were fine games but had very noticeable flaws. The original Metroid had very confusing environments and downright merciless difficulty. Metroid II added some very welcome improvements such as the Save Stations, attempted more diverse environments and cut slack on the difficulty, but was a more slow paced, linear adventure as a tradeoff. Super Metroid improved all of that, and everything else. It had better gameplay, better bosses (including one of the most highly regarded Final Bosses of all time), masterfully told a minimalist story and most importantly, finally added a map. It's no wonder why this game defines the Metroidvania genre, and even its two predecessors were given remakes to bring them up to par with Super.
Harsher in Hindsight: The famous line "The last Metroid is in captivity... the galaxy is at peace." becomes morbidly funny when you take Metroid Fusion into account. Considering the Metroids were the only thing that could stop the X parasites, the galaxy is actually in pretty big danger. The morbid impact becomes more pronounced with Metroid Dread in the equation - Samus, as the last Metroid in captivity on ZDR, means that the galaxy is on the cusp of war, with Raven Beak poised to harvest her genetic material to clone himself an army of Metroids to wage a war of conquest with.
Hilarious in Hindsight: Fans are amused that after Super featured a "Chozo Bowling Alley" where a statue carries Samus in morph ball form like a bowling ball, Prime would follow suit with a statue in the Chozo Ruins that actually does bowl with Samus.
It Was His Sled: Whenever people bring up this game in conversation, it's usually in response to the genre it spawned or in reference to the baby Metroid's death. Said moment is held up in reverence by retro gamers as the most infamous Gut Punch of the 16-bit era, and the fallout on Samus' psyche has taken an oversized role in the plot of every game that takes place after this one.
The Maridia Power Bomb Pipe (a glass tunnel that you shatter from the inside with a Power Bomb in order to access Maridia) has become an established element in gaming culture, being featured in numerous shoutouts and parodies used in various games.
"Y can't Metroid crawl?"explanation a Miiverse post found alongside many like it in the discussion forums for Super Metroid which has become a by-word for ignorance of video game history. Viewers on some streams often pretend that Samus' name actually is Metroid, perhaps as a tribute to this meme. This has seemingly become an Ascended Meme with a few references to Samus crawling in Wii U-era Metroid promo material, plus one in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
The very large (for the time) scale of the game and the incredibly high number of secret passages and hidden powerups, a lot of which were unnecessary for beating the game, prompted some Metroid fans to mess with new players by spreading rumors of secret areas and upgrades, such as talking about the hidden region of "Warfair" and the super-hidden items known as the "Wood Beam" and "Pipe Boots". With the proliferation of sites like GameFAQs that make it rather more obvious that this is a hoax, this meme has mostly died about, but it still occasionally pops up on boards filled with Metroid veterans.
Save/Kill the animals!explanation During the final escape sequence, the player has the ability to take a detour and rescue the Dachora and Etecoons from the impending explosion. Speedruns don't require it since it doesn't effect the completion percentage - a rather unfortunate situation given that Fusion made it canon that Samus saves them. The choice to save or kill is always the subject of a bid war in Games Done Quick marathons and a running gag during races and speedrun attempts.
D e e R F o r C e (sometimes also seen as D E E R F O R C E or other variants)explanation The name of the team that developed the game. It is virtually mandatory to spam their name in chat when they are credited at the end of the game, or even to say it out loud in certain settings. The earlier capitalisation apparently originates from Twitch user MSDS3170's chat, and for whatever reason, it caught on within the community.
Kraid Stand-Up DLC/Taking Kraid to the promexplanation Thanks to various strategies allowing speedrunners to get Super Missiles early, then exploit hit-stun to keep Kraid's mouth open and vunerable for long enough to stuff 3 or 4 Super Missiles in and kill him before he can stand up and break open the false ceiling in his room, many races and streams love to joke about how getting to see Kraid actually stand up and go to the second phase of his boss fight is actually a rare thing.
DLC boss/I've never seen this boss beforeexplanation A similar reference for Spore Spawn, affectionally nicknamed "SpoSpo" for obvious reasons, who's outright skipped in basically every speedrun and most randomizer races. Since the player can mockball to get early Super Missiles, it's not necessary to fight Spore Spawn to get the first Super Missiles, and even in randomizers, it's possible to shoot the block at the exit of Spore Spawn's area with a Super Missile when Samus is standing on the correct pixel. As a result, seeing a Spore Spawn fight is quite rare, and many viewers like to pretend they've never seen a SpoSpo fight before (and a few very well may actually never have seen one). Keysanity in the SMZ3 randomizer can sometimes require a Spore Spawn fight under certain circumstances, but otherwise, randomizers will usually provide a way to skip Spore Spawn as well.
Forgotten Highway DLCexplanation Yet another part of the game rarely seen in streams, referring to the "Forgotten Highway" that links Maridia to the Wrecked Ship. It's rarely necessary to traverse this either in speedruns or randomizers (hence its name), although occasionally a randomizer may require it. Thus, viewers also like to pretend they've never seen the Forgotten Highway before, either.
Referring to Ridley as "Rodney"Explanation Information about the origin of this particular meme is scarce, but most likely it simply caught on after an autocorrect gone wrong. However, we should note that in canon, Samus' father was named Rodney Aran, and he sacrificed his own life in an attack that severely wounded Ridley. Being referred to as "Rodney" would probably severely annoy Ridley, which could be another reason some people do it.
(Item that streamer is searching for) is at Shaktool/Spring Ball.note A randomizer-specific meme. The vanilla Spring Ball location is a remote, extremely time-consuming check (since it's behind a very slow digging robot called Shaktool) that requires either several items (Gravity Suit, Grappling Beam, and High-Jump Boots) or some often difficult tech/glitches (among them Gravity Jump, Ice Clip, or X-Ray Climb) to access; some randomizer logic settings may require some of these glitches. As a result, Twitch chat is extremely fond of suggesting that a required item is at the Spring Ball location, and when that item actually is at Spring Ball... well, this happens. (For part one of this randomizer, see here.) The required progression is rarely actually at Spring Ball, but chatters will undoubtedly suggest it every seed, regardless of whether the streamer even possesses the equipment required to check it yet.
A few categories basically only exist for the sake of memes, such as North Korea%note Must defeat the major bosses in the order Draygon, Phantoon, Ridley, Kraid (the same letters as the initialism for the "official" name of North Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea). For a category that basically exists only for the purpose of a meme, this is actually somewhat difficult, since it requires doing Maridia suitless, and also requires doing a "hell run" through part of Norfair (though not the much more difficult Lower Norfair hell run). That said, zoast, the current world record holder of both North Korea% and Reverse Boss Order (as of August 2021), regards North Korea% as a "de-stresser" run. and 69%note Collect exactly 69 items, no more, no less. (Nice.). These are actual category extensions on Speedrun.com, mind you.
Most Wonderful Sound: The sound of the fully charged Spazer Beam—and later on, the Hyper Beam—firing.
Narm: Tourian's tense theme music is designed to sound like someone's bowels hard at work, with tons of bubbling, internal rumblings... and, now and then, an unmistakable farting noise. While the song is appropriate for the setting, as Tourian effectively serves as Mother Brain's body until the second phase of her fight, some people who listen to the soundtrack can't help but make fart and restroom jokes in response.
When portrayed in the game's spectacular pixel art, Mother Brain's final form is absolutely terrifying. However, its official art◊ is cartoony and almost downright cute, taking away a lot of the fear associated with it otherwise. That gross brain's looking a lot more like a red perm, Miss Brain.
Even the in-game depiction of her final form loses some of its fear factor when you consider that it basically resembles a cross between a T-Rex and a chicken.
Sacred Cow: The game is frequently cited as the pinnacle of game design and environmental storytelling. While most of the other Metroid games have at least a few criticisms, Super Metroid is easily the definitive Metroid game for most Metroid fans and is generally tied with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night among audiences for the position of the greatest Metroidvania of all time.
The run button. Novice players often don't remember (or know about) it, which makes the noob bridge an infuriating impasse; contrariwise, veteran players hardly ever let go of it, because of the additional speed and agility it imparts to Samus' movement. The 2D sequels to Super Metroid dispense with the run button entirely, increasing the character's base speed and automatically invoking the Speed Booster during movement rather than requiring a button be held down to do so.
Wall jumping in this game, while it would go on to become one of the core mechanics of 2D Metroid games later on, is relatively finicky in comparison to the sequels, and easily one of the trickiest advanced mechanics to master. This makes the room where you're required to do it several times in a row rather infamous among people who play this game — especially since there's a save point down there, which if used leaves you with a choice between getting good at wall jumping and starting the game over entirely. (Or getting good at infinite bomb jumping, which some players think find actually easier than wall jumping.) Even the developers seem to have had a less than stellar opinion of this part of the game, considering that their official storyboard refers to it as "Hell". Of course, once you figure out the wall-jump, it becomes the biggest sequence breaking tool in the game, as mentioned above.
The "moonwalk", which is unique among movement mechanics in being toggle-able in the game settings. This is all to the good, because Samus moves so slowly while moonwalking as to make the technique worse than useless. (Though the discovery of the Moonfall has changed this somewhat; see Good Bad Bugs above.) The moonwalk was reintroduced in Another Metroid 2 Remake as a similarly optional feature, but Samus is much faster with it.
The quicksand in Maridia is infuriatingly difficult to jump out of if you fall in, especially with the nearby creatures cherry tapping you with projectiles every so often, and it's nearly impossible to do so if you enter Maridia without the Gravity Suit.
Tourian's final save point is a Point of No Return. The game does not inform you of this, making it rather unfortunate news for any player who decides they were underprepared for the fight and wishes to go back.note Though a low% speedrun shows just how little you actually need with enough skill. By that same token, it makes 100% Completion impossible if not done already.
As cool as it was for the time, the Grapple Beam can become this. It is reasonably useful against some enemiesnote (it can be used to quick kill one of the bosses in mere seconds), but many are immune to it. Otherwise, it can be a slight pain with aiming and launching yourself if you're even a slight second off. Granted, it's still somewhat useful until you find the Space Jump, which renders it useless entirely. Needless to say, many hacks have tried to implement the Grapple Beam better in their puzzles, such as using the crumbling grapple blocks to cover hidden paths. It's also quite telling that, as far as the 2D games go, the Grapple Beam wouldn't reappear until Samus Returns, where the addition of Free Aim and the ability to automatically switch to the Grapple Beam when Free Aiming at a grapple point makes it much more convenient.
Shinesparking drains energy in this game. Tellingly, this is not the case in any future Metroid games that feature the move, and several Super MetroidROM hacks patch out shinespark damage as well.
While the game's overall design is still held in almost universal high regard, several players hold the controls to have aged poorly. Issues include Samus' floaty jumping, a redundant run button, having to switch between various weapons with the Select button, overly strict timing for the Wall Jump and Space Jump, and using both triggers to aim diagonally up or down. For newer Metroid fans, the smoother controls of later 2D games can make Super's controls hard to get accustomed to. Indeed, there are a few ROM Hacks that edit the controls and movement physics to be closer to that of the GBA games.
The bosses are also thought by many as having not aged that well, with there being a big imbalance of difficulty. Some are regarded as being exceptionally hard and frustrating with how difficult it is to avoid their attacks thanks to the aforementioned control problems, like Ridley and especially Phantoon. Others fall into the problem of being too easy, including the game's final boss, Mother Brain.
Signature Scene: The Baby Metroid sacrificing itself for Samus is easily the signature scene not only for the game, but for the entire Metroid series.
Tear Jerker: The Super Metroid's Heroic Sacrifice, done completely without dialogue, is one of the saddest moments in the entire series.
That One Boss: Phantoon, thanks to its unpredictable movement, brief vulnerability periods, devastating flame-sweep attack, and being far away from a save point or any good energy/missile farming spots.
That One Level: Maridia generally gets this opinion, due to the quicksand sections slowing down gameplay as well as being more labyrinthine than most of the other levels in the game. Its one saving grace is that you can complete the entire level without having to leave and come back, although there is some backtracking within the level itself.
Tough Act to Follow: The biggest reason there was not a Metroid game for the Nintendo 64 was because nobody could figure out how to make a worthy successor to Super Metroid; Sakamoto wasn't confident about creating a 3D game with his team, and an outside studio Nintendo approached to make an N64 entry didn't even want to risk screwing it up. While Metroid Prime would release years later on the GameCube and mostly avoid this, ironically becoming this trope for the 3D half of the franchise that spawned in its wake, the mainline series would continue to remain in the shadow of Super Metroid. Despite games such as Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission improving the mechanics and experimenting with different level structure and narrative approaches, Super is still seen as the best entry in the franchise for offering the most player freedom.
Toggling upgrades off in the Samus menu. While this allows you to switch between the Spazer Beam and Plasma Beam since they can't be used simultaneously (and there is reason to switch as both are useful in different scenarios), that is pretty much where it ends. There are no other "incompatible" upgrades, and the more situational abilities like Grapple Beam are accessed temporarily with Select (and thus they aren't part of the Samus menu), so despite the novelty of the mechanic it doesn't really have a purpose. Tellingly, this mechanic does not return in any future games (unless you count it being Dummied Out in Zero Mission).
As an example contained within the above example, there is an intriguing mechanic that can be accessed by disabling upgrades, but it is practically useless: when only the Charge Beam and one of the other four beams is enabled, selecting Power Bombs and then charging Samus' Arm Cannon activates a special attack, which is different depending on which of the other four beams was used. Aside from this mechanic never being explained (with only one appearance in the Attract Mode to prove its existence), the special attacks are not required for any puzzles or exploration, and are not particularly useful for combat given the inconvenience of disabling your other special beams, so even players who are aware of them just don't have a reason to use them.
The Reserve Tanks act as spare Energy Tanks that you can use manually or, well, keep in reserve to automatically replenish your health when you run out of it completely. A nice idea, but not the most convenient; the only way to refill them is to either collect energy pickups while your health is maxed out, or backtrack to Samus's ship, so the type of players that would benefit from auto-revives the most would need to maintain high health to make regular use of them anyway. To date, the only other game the mechanic has appeared in is Metroid: Samus Returns, and only as an extra you receive for scanning the Zero Suit Samus amiibo.
The voice that did the line "The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace" is sometimes mistaken for a woman, but it is actually voiced by a man named Dan Owsen. According to Kenji Yamamoto, he was a Nintendo of America employee who made frequent visits to Japan, and so they selected him to do the voice in the opening script.
Draygon is occasionally referred to as female by fans, likely due to being interpreted as a maternal figure to the other Evirs. However, the Super Metroid Players' Guide book instead refers to Draygon with masculine pronouns; otherwise, Draygon is only called "it" in official media.
The Woobie: The sub boss Crocomire is minding his own business until Samus comes in and attacks him, and gets pushed into a pit of acid and starts melting until all the skin and flesh come off his bones. Compare this to the other bosses, which just generally explode, and you might feel bad for him.
Woolseyism: In Japanese, Chozo statues and Torizo statues are identically named. English guidebooks used an Alternate Character Reading of their Japanese name when referring specifically to the mini-bosses, and fans widely accepted this method of distinguishing the two types of statues.
The Shounen Oh! manga
Adorkable: While she's usually depicted as a stoic warrior, Samus's portrayal in this manga is unexpectedly adorable, especially thanks to her endearingly dorky obsession with round objects in the "Round and Round" comics.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Fans do not enjoy how the baby Metroid dies differently in this comic. The baby Metroid's Heroic Sacrifice during the fight against Mother Brain is considered one of the most iconic moments of gaming, but here it is anticlimactically shot and killed by Chief Hardy without saving Samus from Mother Brain. It also causes Samus's "revenge" on Mother Brain (which is unchanged from the game) to feel a bit hollow, as her rage over the infant Metroid's death is redirected at the wrong target.