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A Game Over is an event which occurs whenever Samus Aran is defeated; this can occur if her Energy Tanks are fully depleted, along with some other, rarer causes of defeat. The Game Over sequence has varied throughout all games in the Metroid series.
In Metroid, Samus will completely explode on the spot regardless of whether she is armored or not. The screen will say Game Over and return to the Password Screen. The Famicom Disk System version features a Continue Screen with the option to continue, save or quit. The screen depicts a sprite of Samus crouching and the text "Defeat Mother Brain and the Metroid threat!"
Metroid II: Return of Samus
In Metroid II: Return of Samus, Samus will freeze and gradually fade away.
"Classic" Game Over
In Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid: Samus Returns and Metroid Dread, Samus's suit will explode (dissipate in Zero Mission) and her vulnerable body will be left behind to die in the "Ending Outfit" or Zero Suit. In Super Metroid, Samus' clothing seems to shrink or disappear along with the suit's pieces through the animation frames, but everything flashes white at the pivotal moment. This could either be a sprite mistake or a remnant of an earlier idea in which Samus would have been nude under the suit. It is also possible to see her chest flick up, which does not happen in the other games. In Zero Mission, Samus' hair also comes out of its ponytail in the last frame. Zero Mission has the shortest version of Samus' death, Super Metroid second shortest, Fusion second longest, and Dread longest.
After Samus's death animation, the "GAME OVER" screen appears, with the option to "TRY AGAIN" from the last point where the player saved their progress or quit to the title screen. The Game Over screens vary depending on the game: Super Metroid will depict the baby in its capsule, with the words "FIND THE METROID LARVA!" under it. In Metroid Fusion, the screen shows a star-forming region in space, while the screen from Metroid: Zero Mission depicts the asteroid belt. Samus Aran's Final Cry plays during the Super Metroid and Samus Returns Game Overs.
Samus Returns manual
- If Samus's energy reaches zero...
- "You will be returned to where you last saved the game, or to the last checkpoint. Checkpoints are created when you pick up important items or interact with certain devices (page 9).
- Checkpoints are not saved. If you quit your game you will have to restart from where you last saved."
If Samus fails to escape the countdown in Ceres Space Colony, the screen fades to white as cutscene shows the station exploding without Samus's Gunship escaping at the last second. A cutscene does not occur for failing the Zebes escape, immediately cutting to the Game Over screen.
Metroid Prime Hunters
In Metroid Prime Hunters, a warning siren will play, with the message, "EMERGENCY - POWER SUIT energy is depleted." appearing onscreen. As this happens, Samus's visor will shut off before showing a message stating "Energy depleted", with the option to continue the game. If Samus dies when using the Morph Ball, it will explode.
If another hunter defeats Samus, they will take an Octolith (if she has any) as the message "HUNTER HAS TAKEN AN OCTOLITH" appears. Samus will scream, but her scream in Hunters sounds differently than the one in the core Prime trilogy.
Metroid Prime Pinball
Metroid Prime series
In the Metroid Prime series, Samus's visor will shut off while she lets out a scream (followed by a sigh in Corruption), and then various game over screens will be shown depending on the game:
- Metroid Prime depicts Samus having a large crack in her visor, with the screen saying "Life support system: Critical." Seconds later, the screen goes red and the word "Offline" appears as Samus' head is shown, slowly sagging to one side as she begins to die. "Game Over/Failure" appears briefly, before the screen cuts out as Samus flatlines.
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes depicts Samus going into cardiac arrest, with the message, "Warning. System alert". As this happens, a heart monitor is heard rapidly beeping, before eventually flatlining as the message "Failure. Mission failure/Game Over" appears. This has been considered by many to be the darkest Game Over scene in the series. This particular game over screen was also used for the Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Preview when showing SPC C. Campbell's demise. Samus' Varia Suit can still be seen during the sequence.
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption will show a drop of blood slowly oozing across the screen as the words [GAME_OVER] appear. Corruption also has an alternate game over when Samus is terminally corrupted. This version is largely the same as the usual, only the drop of blood is colored a blue indicitive of Phazon instead of crimson, and the words TERMINAL CORRUPTION appear below [GAME_OVER].
While using the Morph Ball, there are two more defeat sequences. In Prime, the Morph Ball will explode using Power Bomb frames before initiating the Game Over. In Echoes, the Morph Ball will explode with pieces flying. Strangely enough, it will also show Samus's visor shutting off. This is the same in Corruption (the screen goes white after the Morph Ball explodes).
A variation of the shut-off visor effect was also used in the preview trailer for Echoes as SPC C. Campbell is killed by a Dark Splinter.
Metroid: Other M
In Metroid: Other M, the Game Over combines elements from that of the classic games and the Prime series. Samus screams and falls to the ground, with her Power Suit disappearing and leaving her in her Zero Suit as she loses consciousness. The screen then fades to a light-green tinted flickering background and the words 'GAME OVER' and "CONTINUE? YES/NO" appear, with the option to continue the game from the last checkpoint reached.
When dying, Adam will frantically contact Samus, saying, "Samus! What's going on? Respond! Respond!". He will not say this if Samus dies after the cutscene preceding the Ridley battle, due to the fact that contact had been lost with her. It is interesting to note that nothing is said by Adam if Samus dies during the Brug Mass battle. If Samus dies in lava, she falls in and sticks her hand out in a futile attempt to pull herself out. If dying in the arms of a Kihunter, Samus will simply become limp in its arms with her suit staying intact. If she runs out of Energy in the Queen Metroid's stomach, the Morph Ball will be surrounded by stomach acid. If Samus gets caught by Vorash in the boss battle with low health she will get pulled into the lava while in Vorash's teeth.
There are conditions where Samus is killed instantly. In the Biosphere, it is possible for a moving elevator to crush Samus and kill her if she fails to enter an alcove built in the sides of the room within a certain time limit. If Samus fails to avoid the Vorash's jaws in the "lava cavern" of the Pyrosphere, the creature will digest her. While Samus races up the Crater Interior, if she falls into the lava, the Goyagma will immediately grab her and pull her into the lava, though it will not do so after Samus reaches the top. In the Cryosphere, failure to escape from an avalanche will have Samus being buried under a large mass of snow, filling the screen to white. As Samus is escaping Sector Zero, any attempts made by her to Space Jump out towards an intact segment of the sector results in her falling into the abyss of space.
The only other condition where a Game Over is received if another character dies is when returning to the Pyrosphere; if Samus fails to save Anthony Higgs from being dropped into the lava by the Rhedogian, this results in a Game Over.
If Samus fails to escape the BOTTLE SHIP at the end, a cutscene of the destruction and flashbacks to the death of Adam and the supposed death of Anthony plays. The destruction part of the cutscene is also seen when Samus envisions the Federation destroying the ship, while questioning why they did not do so.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
If the Federation Force dies in any mission, the screen will display a message saying "Mission Failed: You were defeated." The message will change if the Game Over was for another reason, such as if a mission objective is failed.
In Metroid Dread, in addition to the classic Game Over, if Samus is captured by an E.M.M.I. and she fails to Melee Counter, it will impale her in the sternum and instantly kill her, and the screen immediately cuts to the Game Over screen.
If Samus fails to stop Raven Beak X, the hulking monstrosity will swallow her, also immediately cutting to the Game Over screen.
Super Smash Bros.
In the first game, if the player loses all stocks in the Classic Mode with any character, including Samus, the doll representing the character will fall limp before asking if the player wants to continue. If the player says yes, the character's doll will reanimate.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Similar to the first game above, if the player loses all stocks in Classic Mode, Adventure Mode, or All-Star Mode with any character, including Samus, the trophy representing the character (as well as which specific variant depending on the mode being played) will fall down before the announcer asks if the player wants to continue (exempting if it's All-Star Mode). If the player says yes, the trophy will be flipped back upward. If the player refuses, or if the player does not have any remaining coins to pay for the continue (or if it is All-Star Mode), the trophy will instead remain limp before the screen fades away and the announcer says Game Over in an ominous tone. Notably, if the player loses all lives if they fail to reach 4-2DASSYUT's exit on time before the Countdown ends, it will omit the scene of Zebes' explosion altogether and take the player to the game over screen.
- In Metroid Prime, there is an animation bug that occurs when Samus is killed while exiting Morph Ball mode: Samus freezes and the camera zooms as normally until shutting off when she returns in first-person mode. Oddly enough, she doesn't scream and the sound of the visor shutting off is different, being some sort of bubbling sound instead of the usual sound.
- In Echoes, Samus has multiple animations that occur when she dies: depending of the strength and the knockback of the attack, she either falls to the ground, flies away awkwardly, or even explodes into pieces (though the latter only occurs when dying by a Super Missile in multiplayer). Although these animations are only intended to appear in multiplayer mode, the player can see it if Samus dies when exiting Morph Ball mode in single player.
- Originally, in Super Metroid, Samus was briefly nude and she screamed, the voice being recorded by Minako Hamano, but it was scrapped due to American sensitivity to nudity and the voice sounding too sexual. This sound may represent Hamano's recording:
- The second pre-release trailer for Fusion depicted Samus wearing a blue dress with red shoes in her Game Over.
- A storyboard for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (pictured above) shows what appears to be a Game Over sequence in the style of Super, Fusion and Zero Mission, suggesting that the idea was scrapped.
- In Echoes, Samus will die if the "Vigilance" Class Turret that she currently operates is sufficiently damaged.
- The Game Over in Metroid was ranked #8 on the "Top 10 Worst Ways to Die in a Video Game" by ScrewAttack.com.
- Ghor's death sequence in Corruption consists of his armorsuit exploding, with him floating in the air quite similar the classic Metroid game over.
- The message by Adam during the Game Over in Other M is a reference to that of the Metal Gear series — starting from the first Metal Gear Solid onward — where Solid Snake's, Naked Snake's, or Raiden's name is shouted in a similar manner on their game over scenes.
- In Other M, if Samus dies in lava, Adam's messages are still heard despite her communication systems being incinerated, although it is more likely the player is hearing the message being sent rather than Samus receiving it.
- Samus will always wear the Varia Suit in Prime and Echoes when she dies, regardless of upgrades.
- Although she lacked it in the cutscene preceding the Ridley battle and throughout the whole Sector Zero cutscene, Samus wears the Paralyzer on her leg if she dies after either cutscene. However, she is seen wearing it in the cutscene where she collects Adam's helmet.
- In Corruption, during the section in the Pirate Homeworld where Samus is escorting Demolition Troopers, if three or less Troopers are left alive, Admiral Dane has a special line, and then the Game Over screen shows. This is a rare instance of a Game Over being tied to the deaths of characters other than Samus herself.
- In Dread, if Samus somehow enters the terrain or clips out of bounds she will die instantly.
- ^ Interview: Clark Wen . Shinesparkers 2018-06-02. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
- ^  Nintendo Official Guide Book for Super Metroid, May 1994. Pages 86-95, as translated by Metroid Database
- ^ https://tcrf.net/Super_Metroid#Unused_Audio
- ^ ScrewAttack ~ Top 10 Worst Ways to Die in a Video Game. ScrewAttack. Retrieved on 2011-09-20.