Super Metroid is a classic SNES title and the precursor to the Metroidvania genre. It's a fan favorite even today, 24 years after its initial 1994 release with tons of memorable areas to explore, items to collect, and enemies to defeat.
It goes without saying but Super Metroid is perfect in so many ways: the way it looks, its engaging story, and how seamlessly Samus controls. I especially like the fact that it has a lot more depth than it seems at first. For example, the bosses aren't that easy, there are plenty of collectibles in difficult-to-reach places, there are some really exciting power-ups to collect, and, last but not least, you can do difficult maneuvers such as turning into a morph ball in mid-air to reach certain areas. There's an entire speedrunning community that has emerged around Super Metroid and runners have mastered maneuvers that allow them to play through it in a different order than the developers intended. The world record run is amazing to watch. Anyway, since I experienced Super Metroid in its entirety for the first time, I'm excited to talk about my most memorable moments, both good and bad.
A Metroid game wouldn't be complete without plenty of secrets. There are tons to find in the five main areas of Super Metroid, from bonus tanks to weapon upgrades and missiles. Some are easily found (like the one pictured below) while others are deviously hidden in obscure places and the most important ones are awarded from bosses. Prepare to search every corner if you want to find everything.
This invisible gap
Look out for the invisible gap! If you're unaware of it, you're almost certain to fall in. Even when you know it's there, it can be tough to make it past because all the blocks look the same. The trick is to dash while jumping so you jump far. If you fall in, you have to go through a spike-filled corridor, land some tricky wall-jumps, and loop back over to the left before you can try again.
Three green dudes wall-jumping up this room
These green UFO-looking things jump up in the air for a few seconds before they start wall-jumping out of the top of the room. You have to piece together that you have to wall-jump yourself but unfortunately, the way to wall-jump is pretty tricky. You have to jump into the wall, move to the opposite direction, and jump just slightly after you start to fall. To make consecutive wall-jumps, the key is that you can't stop somersaulting. If you do, you fall helplessly to the ground.
Oops, not enough missiles
I went into Crocomire's chamber when I didn't have enough ammo and things didn't go well as I quickly ran out. I tried to push him back further but I was the one who got pushed back until I reached the spikes on the left side of the room and I died.
Norfair is easily my favorite area in Super Metroid. You have to visit it three times: first to find the ice beam and the speed boots, again to find the grapple beam, and a third time to go to lower Norfair and defeat Ridley. Each time you visit, the area seems more dangerous than the last time. Norfair has so many dangers from lava-filled rooms to Ridley and Crocomire to the space pirates inhabiting the lower chambers. The fact that there are so many dangers seems fitting, however, since Norfair is the lava-filled caverns below Zebes.
Finding the Power Bomb
The first Metroid game I played was Zero Mission and in that game, the Power Bomb was the absolute last upgrade you find. So, it took me by surprise that I got the Power Bomb quite early on here. It was a pleasant surprise as it feels great to unleash huge bombs on your enemies. It's also pretty handy to reveal hidden blocks.
The first time I fought Kraid, I had no idea what I was doing and the fight took over ten minutes. I ran out of bombs and almost ran out of life, too. For minutes, I was forced to hit his projectiles and get the health and ammo pickups while carefully avoiding getting hit. Fun fact: for killing Kraid, you get the Varia Suit (Samus Aran's trademark orange armour). It's heat resistant so you can traverse the caverns of Norfair without taking constant damage.
Maridia without the Gravity Suit
You can enter Maridia before getting the Gravity Suit by using a Power Bomb on a glass walkway. You walk really slowly because the whole area is flooded with water. Although you can advance further, you'll eventually reach the room pictured below with sand waterfalls. I spent too long (more than ten minutes) trying to make it past before I realised that I needed more items.
The terrifying eyeball brain ghost
Is there any monster more terrifying than this phantasm in any SNES game? Phantoon is found on the lower level of the Wrecked Ship. It flies around in circles while dropping blue flames around the room. When defeated, the power in the Wrecked Ship turns on and you're free to explore previously inaccessible areas including the way to the much-needed Gravity Suit.
The Metroid hatchling that helps you fight Mother Brain
The whole Mother Brain fight is a rollercoaster. First, you have to shatter Mother Brain's tank just like you did in the NES game. For a moment, the brain lies on the floor seemingly defenceless but then it emerges on top of a mechanical body! After you damage Mother Brain enough, she uses a rainbow beam to drain your health and pin you in place. Then, the Metroid hatchling arrives just in time to save your life and restore your health but is soon blasted into little Metroid bits! You then discover that you now have a more powerful Hyper Beam which you use to blast Mother Brain into submission. You escape the planet just in time before the whole planet explodes and that marks the end of both Mother Brain and Planet Zebes.
That about does it for my favourite Super Metroid moments! What are your most memorable moments from Super Metroid? Let me know in the comments below.