Extreme cold is an obstacle faced in the Metroid series. Due to Samus having been injected with Metroid DNA at the beginning of Metroid Fusion, sub-zero temperatures become a threat to her until she recovers a more powerful suit.
Role and appearances
In Metroid Fusion, this vulnerability is displayed in the Sub-Zero Containment and in Sector 5 (ARC), as the environment is cold enough to damage Samus constantly. In the Sub-Zero Containment Unit, the cold damages her at a rate of 6 units of energy per second, while in Sector 5, it damages her at a rate of 15 units per second and knocks her backwards every 1.25 seconds. This damage is unaffected by varying difficulty modes in the Japanese version.
In addition to supercooled rooms, the Blue X in Sector 5 and Sector 6 (NOC) will sense this weakness and pursue Samus, dealing damage to her if they come into contact. If the SA-X spots Samus, its Ice Beam will freeze her and deal 200 units of damage.
Once Samus recovers the Varia Suit, she will no longer take damage in cold environments and can absorb Blue X to restore her energy. The Ice Beam will no longer freeze her either, though it still deals a large amount of damage. Samus completely overcomes her vulnerability to cold temperatures after absorbing the SA-X at the end of the game; according to Yoshio Sakamoto, this Core-X restored her cellular makeup from prior to her X infection, although this statement was likely retconned by Metroid Dread.
Rooms featuring extreme cold make a return in Metroid Dread, appearing in Artaria, Dairon, and Ferenia. Some rooms appear to be frozen over, with doors that have an icy effect emanating from them, similar to how doors to rooms with extreme heat in Dread have a fiery effect. Additionally, these rooms are marked as distinctly dark blue on the map, similar to how the superheated rooms in Dread are marked red. Unlike in Metroid Fusion, the Varia Suit does not protect Samus from extreme cold, but the Gravity Suit does.
The depths of ZDR would be frozen if not for thermal energy routed from Cataris. When Experiment No. Z-57 blocks the central routing system, significant portions of Artaria and Cataris (as well as Burenia, according to the map) become extremely cold, freezing water into ice, blocking numerous doors, and making many other devices such as Teleportals unusable. The X may have done this deliberately in an attempt to thwart Samus; fortunately, this only occurs after the Gravity Suit is acquired, preventing Samus from taking damage. Once Z-57 is defeated, these areas return to their normal temperatures.
A sector in Dairon appears to use sub-zero containment for its specimens. During the blackout, Samus is able to pass through these rooms unhindered; upon turning the power back on, these rooms become extremely cold.
Prior to the chronological events of Metroid Fusion, Samus never took damage from extremely cold environments such as Phendrana Drifts, Arcterra, Bryyo Ice, or Sector 2 / Cryosphere, most likely due to her lack of Metroid DNA.
The Cryosphere is explicitly designed for an extreme cold atmosphere. Evidence of Metroid predation in the sector is the first clue revealing the existence of Unfreezable Metroids immune to the cold.
"Even legendary bounty hunters could use a coat sometimes…or a timely suit upgrade. #MetroidDread
- Despite being a very large threat, the only cold environment on the beaten path is the Sub-Zero Containment, as Samus is never required to enter Sector 5 until she gets the Varia Suit. In fact, she is urged to avoid that sector until she has the Suit.
- The knockback effect seen in Sector 5 was likely implemented to disallow Samus from using the Speed Booster to break some Boost Blocks required to be able to access the Security Room in the sector, which would be a Sequence Break.
- Although supercooled rooms do not appear in Metroid: Zero Mission, an unused cold damage effect exists within the game's files.
- ^ Metroid Dread Samus Screen descriptions for Varia Suit and Gravity Suit
- ^ Metroid: Other M Sector 2 / Cryosphere description: "This section has been reserved for the care and feeding of animals that can survive in an artificial atmosphere of extreme cold."
- ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). 28 September 2021 3:30 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/1442934856049037314