Beams are some of the most important items in the Metroid series. As the main armament in Samus Aran's arsenal, her Arm Cannon is capable of assimilating and using several energy-based beam weapons. Beams have varied in the Metroid series. In the earliest games, it was not possible to carry each Beam at once. More recent games have allowed for the collection and retention of multiple Beams. In Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Metroid: Other M and Metroid: Samus Returns, Beams are stacked and their attributes are combined, although in Super the Spazer and Plasma Beams cannot be used simultaneously. In Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime Hunters, Beams are interchangeable through the Beam Select Screen.
Most Beams used by Samus are of Chozo origin, but she has utilized Beams of Galactic Federation, Luminoth, Space Pirate, Enoema, Diamont, Vhozon and Kriken origin as well. Her Power Suit allows her to utilize each of these Beams without any complications. Samus carries the Power Beam as a basic weapon, and either begins the game with additional Beams or must collect them.
There were some occasions where Beams were created out of environmental factors, which are usually temporary. The Phazon Beam was created, along with the Phazon Suit, through viral Phazon corruption to the Power Suit caused by the Omega Pirate falling on top of Samus. It could only be used when standing in pools of purely concentrated Phazon, which only appeared during the battle against Metroid Prime. The Beam was lost when it stole her Phazon Suit. The Hyper Beam Samus used on Zebes was formed from Samus' rage and the power of the Laser Brain Attack that the baby absorbed and transferred to Samus prior to its death. It was not retained after her escape from Zebes, though Samus notes that it seems to have enhanced her abilities slightly.
In the games, Beams are energy-based and do not rely on ammunition, allowing Samus to fire unlimited shots. Her Beams often have elemental attributes, such as ice, fire, electricity, darkness, light and Phazon. Other Beams increase her firepower or shooting ability. The Long Beam in the original Metroid, and its remake Zero Mission increase the Arm Cannon's firing distance, an ability which she retains in all other games.
Super Metroid introduced a charging function, which has appeared in every game since either as a collectible upgrade or an ability Samus has at the beginning. The first two Prime games feature Charge Combos, which allow Samus to combine charged Beam shots with a number of Missiles for a powerful attack. They also introduced a tractor beam function, which allow Samus to lure floating Energy Capsules and ammunition into her Suit while charging.
Echoes introduces an ammunition system for the Dark, Light and Annihilator Beams. Beam Ammo for one polarity Beam can be collected by shooting enemies with the opposite polarity Beam, or the Annihilator Beam to collect both. Ammo Stations and Beam Ammo Expansions can replenish and increase the amount of ammunition Samus can carry.
Beams in the Prime series have featured their own uses in dealing with obstacles. The Wave Beam in Prime can energize Power Conduits, the Plasma Beam can melt ice and weld in Corruption, and the Nova Beam can penetrate weak points in Phazite shielding and armor. They also have several configurations for the Arm Cannon that moves the components up, apart or forward.
In Hunters, the Beams are called Affinity Weapons, as the six collected in the game are used by an individual Bounty Hunter and are effective against another Weapon user, for example, the Magmaul being the Judicator's foil.
List of Beams
|Power Beam||Also known as the Normal Beam, it is the default weapon made of Chozo technology and is the most basic beam in Samus' arsenal.|
|Charge Beam||Allows Samus to charge up her current beam and release a more potent version of it.|
|Long Beam||Extends Samus' shots to be capable of traveling much farther. This upgrade also slightly increases the strength of the Power Beam.|
|Wide Beam||Splits Samus' shots into three pink rings like a wall. It is made up of three separate shots, so that all three can hit different targets.|
|Spazer Beam||Allows Samus to fire three thin lasers.|
|Wave Beam||Allows Samus' shots to pass through walls. It also fires in a sine wave shaped flight trajectory.|
|Ice Beam||Allows Samus to fire a potent beam that has the power to freeze most enemies.|
|Plasma Beam||Allows Samus to fire a thin ray capable of piercing multiple enemies.|
|Hyper Beam (Mother Brain)||Given from the Baby Metroid to destroy Mother Brain. Allows Samus to fire an extremely powerful beam capable of destroying all obstacles and going though walls. No charge function available.|
|Phazon Beam||Constantly reliant on Phazon in the immediate vicinity, it allows Samus to fire shots that spread apart the farther they go or a continuous beam.|
|Dark Beam||Allows Samus to fire shots with a very high damage bonus to creatures of Light Aether and can also petrify enemies.|
|Light Beam||Allows Samus to fire shots with low range, high damage against creatures of Dark Aether, and set enemies aflame.|
|Annihilator Beam||Allows Samus to fire shots that are effective against enemies from both Light and Dark Aether and home-in on nearby enemies.|
|Battlehammer||Allows Samus to fire bomb-like shots in an arc trajectory; it has a limited blast radius effect but the blast force knocks targets backward. No charge function available.|
|Volt Driver||Allows Samus to fire quick-moving electrical blasts with a fast rate of semi-automatic fire and spray capability. When fully charged, the weapon fires a large, slow-moving explosive sphere of energy that causes massive damage to a target.|
|Magmaul||Allows Samus to fire shots that are arched downward and roll across the ground and explode with an area-of-effect. When charged, it produces a larger and more damaging projectile with a much greater splash radius.|
|Judicator||Allows Samus to fire supercooled plasma at near absolute zero temperatures and ricochet off impacted surfaces. When charged, it fires three shots.|
|Shock Coil||Allows Samus to emit a short-ranged, continuous beam that deals more damage the longer it stays connected. No charge function available.|
|Imperialist||Allows Samus to fire a powerful, long ranged laser with built-in magnification, while limiting the rate of fire.|
|Nova Beam||Allows Samus to fire a high-frequency beam than can shoot through objects made of Phazite and hit weak points or hidden targets.|
|Hyper Beam (Hypermode)||Allows Samus to fire devastating bursts of Phazon energy from her own body; when charged it functions similar to a machine gun.|
|Diffusion Beam||Allows Samus to fire Charge Beams that will burst and spread in muliple directions upon landing on an enemy or surface.|
|Electro Lob||Only obtainable in Multiplayer Mode, it allows Samus to fire shots that travel in an arc and explode upon contact. Anyone caught in the blast will have their visor scrambled for a short amount of time, rendering them vulnerable and confused. When charged, its shots will travel straight as opposed to in an arc.|
|Zero Laser||Only in Smash Bros, a non-canon series. Allows Samus to fire a grand blast of energy at opponents.|
Metroid II: Return of Samus manual
"When Samus equips a beam type item, her normal beam will change to that beam.
She cannot have 2 different beams simultaneously."
Super Metroid manual
"At the beginning of the game, Samus is equipped with a normal beam. You can increase Samus' power by collecting new beams. Some beams can be combined with other beams for even more power and diversity."
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes manual
"Samus finds many weapons over the course of the game, each of which will become integral to her success. New to Samus is an ammunition system; for the Dark, Light, and Annihilator Beams, she will have to collect light and dark ammo to replenish her supplies."
Metroid Prime Hunters manual
"You can earn up to six different Sub-Weapons as you progress through the game."
Metroid Prime Trilogy manual
- "Shoot beams with the A Button. Press and hold the A Button to charge, then let go to shoot the Charge Beam. While charging, you can pull in energy orbs and ammo. When you get a new beam, the powers of the new beam will be added to those of the existing beams.*"
- "Press and hold the + Button to open the Beam Select Screen. Move this pointer over the beam you want to select and let go of the + Button.
Note: When using beams other than the Power Beam, you can switch back to the Power Beam by quickly tapping the + Button."
* The last sentence is included in the Corruption section.
- Nintendo of America
- "The beam attack is Samus' main weapon. It can fire continuously and be powered up with certain items. It can also take on a rope-like quality, becoming a "Grapple Beam" that can be used to tow or swing across gaps."
- Nintendo of Europe
- "Samus’ Beam attack can be enhanced with upgrades like the Charge Beam and Wide Beam. These make fighting easier, but also let Samus overcome obstacles and open locked doors. #MetroidDread"
- BEAM ATTACKS
- "Upgrade the iconic Arm Cannon to pack an even greater punch. Plus, each upgrade allows Samus to open new doors or clear obstacles to continue her journey. Acquire these and others on your journey."
- ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). 20 August 2021 2:30 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/1428786434148868102
- ^ Nintendo of Europe (NintendoEurope). 23 August 2021 6:00 a.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoEurope/status/1429745287405395972
|Armaments||Arm Cannon • Paralyzer|
|Weapons||Power Beam • Wave Beam • Ice Beam • Plasma Beam • Grapple Beam |
Hyper Beam: (MP3/SM) • Phazon Beam • Dark Beam • Light Beam
Annihilator Beam • Nova Beam • Zero Laser
|Enhancements||Beam Burst • Charge Beam • Diffusion Beam • Long Beam • Phazon bullets • Spazer Beam • Tractor beam • Wide Beam • Omega Cannon (Dread)|
|Affinity Weapons||Volt Driver • Battlehammer • Magmaul • Shock Coil • Judicator • Imperialist • Omega Cannon (Hunters) • Electro Lob|