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In Hard mode, enemies are more powerful.

Metroid: Samus Returns introduction text

Hard Mode is a difficulty mode featured in Metroid Prime, the Japanese version of Metroid Fusion, and all versions of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid: Other M, Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Metroid: Samus Returns. Hard Mode is much more difficult than Veteran Mode and, hence, Normal mode. The "Hypermode" difficulty setting in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption takes Hard Mode's place. In Hard mode, enemies usually have twice the usual health and their attacks do 1.5x their normal amount of damage.[1] This mode is acquired after completing Normal Mode with the exception of Other M which requires 100% item completion prior to the post-credits sequence.


Metroid: Other M

"Hard Mode" in Metroid: Other M is unlike the "Hard Mode" seen in the previous games. It does not allow Samus to pick up any Missile or Energy Tanks, but still has the same difficulty in terms of enemy stamina. Due to the enemies' increased damage and the lack of Energy Tanks, many opponents can easily incapacitate Samus in one to three hits, regardless of the Varia and/or Gravity features enabled. It is also the first instance in which Hard Mode is unlocked by collecting all expansions. The final scene where Samus returns to the BOTTLE SHIP to retrieve Adam's helmet cannot be played on Hard Mode, as the game ends after the MB battle. Therefore, Phantoon cannot be fought on this difficulty setting.

Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission

Hard Mode in the Japanese version of Metroid Fusion and in all versions of Metroid: Zero Mission affects expansions and enemy damage. All expansions are worth much less than they are in Normal Mode; an Energy Tank gives only 50 more energy, Missile Expansions give only 2 more missiles, and Super Missiles and Power Bombs give only 1 more ammo of the respective type. Enemies also deal twice as much damage as compared to Normal Mode.

In Zero Mission, additional enemies have been added to various areas. For example, the room in Norfair leading to the Ice Beam will contain Dragons in Hard Mode, thus adding extra challenge to the precise platforming. Hard Mode also significantly increases the number of Metroid larvae in Tourian; however, each individual Metroid's health remains unaffected, and therefore they can still be killed with just five Missiles (or the equivalent one Super Missile). In Chozodia, one Chozo Ruins room contains an additional Zebesian, and certain Save Stations are locked behind permanently inaccessible Metal Doors, increasing the difficulty of the Zero Suit stealth sequence.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Hard Mode is now available.
Press [Y] to enable Hard

Play Hard Mode to earn Hard Mode Medals.

In Federation Force, each mission can be played in Normal and Hard Mode. If the player desires to unlock all Paint Jobs, they will need to complete all 22 missions on both difficulty levels, unlocking all three medals for each mission. This requires completing the mission quickly and completing bonus objectives, as well as achieving a high score. When Hard Mode is selected on the mission select screen, the music will become darker, the interface will turn red and each mission prefix will be spelled with an H instead of an M, for example, M01: Outpost changes to H01: Outpost.

Metroid: Samus Returns

Samus Returns features a standard Hard Mode, but can only be accessed by the save file that had completed a Normal Mode. Another, higher difficulty level called Fusion Mode, which is more difficult than Hard Mode and features the Fusion Suit, can be unlocked with the Metroid amiibo.

Metroid Prime Pinball

Metroid Prime Pinball features an Expert Mode, which acts as the game's Hard Mode. However, the only notable change between difficulties is that on Expert, Mini-Games will begin at level 2 instead of 1.

Metroid: Samus Returns unlock notification

"Hard mode has been unlocked. You can select it when you start a new game."


  • The only exception to the increased damage from this difficulty is the Queen Metroid's stomach Energy drain attack in Metroid: Other M, which ironically, has its damage significantly lowered compared to Normal Mode. This is most likely due to balancing purposes, as the energy drain in Normal Mode can wipe out more than a full Energy Tank before Samus can retaliate.
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