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Proteus Ridley's arcing-fireball attack

The arcing-fireball attack[1][2] is an attack used by Zeta Metroids and Proteus Ridley in Metroid: Samus Returns.


Zeta Metroid[]

The Zeta Metroid can climb up a wall and cling to the ceiling of its chamber. From this vantage point, it protects its vulnerable core and mouth as it charges up fire in its mouth for a few seconds. It then rapidly spits seven red fireballs, which spread out in an arc to cover much of the room.

While the Zeta Metroid is charging the attack, its back starts glowing red like a Pull Block. Samus Aran can prematurely interrupt the attack by shooting her Grapple Beam at the Zeta Metroid's back. From here, Samus can pull the Zeta Metroid down to the ground, stunning it for a moment and exposing its vulnerable core.

Proteus Ridley[]

From the air, Proteus Ridley will fire a spreading arc of five purple fire balls at Samus, which cause severe damage if they hit her. He always takes a moment to charge fire energy in his mouth before releasing it, which is a telegraph to Samus that he will use the attack.

It is used in all three phases of the battle, but only when Proteus Ridley is flying. When on the ground, Ridley will switch to firing straight fireballs. In the final phase, Proteus Ridley also uses the fireball shockwave, which can be distinguished from the arcing-fireball attack as he will fly directly above Samus and begin to charge a blast with his open mouth pointed to the ground; he does not do this when he is about to shoot fireballs in an arc.

Official data[]

Metroid: Samus Returns Official Guide[]

ZETA METROID 26/40 (pg. 132)
"The fireball attack comes with a huge windup. When the Zeta arcs its back and a red light begins to glow there, react quickly and decisively. Your job here is to Free Aim directly at that red light and fire to pull the Zeta down to the ground."
"At times, Proteus Ridley's mouth brims with purple fire. This is a sure sign that he's about to spit an arc of fire in your direction. To avoid the attack, simply move between the fireballs. You have plenty of time to do this, but it's easy to take damage if you're in a frenzy. When you see Proteus Ridley's mouth turn bright purple, remember to move calmly and carefully."


  • In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Black Ridley uses an attack similar to the arcing-fireball attack. While Ridley can normally only breathe one fireball at a time, the powered-up Black Ridley breathes three at once, which spread out in a small arc.



  1. ^ Metroid: Samus Returns Official Guide page 132: "Instead, watch for one of two attacks: its arcing fireball attack and its bouncing acid-ball attack."
  2. ^ Metroid: Samus Returns Official Guide page 214: "His mouth points to the ground, which is how you differentiate this new attack from his arcing-fireball attack."