Ice is a comparatively rare gameplay element in the Metroid series. Composed of frozen water like in the real world, it is mostly found in sub-zero locations, such as Phendrana Drifts, Arcterra and the Cryosphere.
As an environmental feature
In Metroid Fusion, ice is purely for cosmetic purposes to distinguish Sector 5 from other zones, though the area's extreme cold could harm Samus prior to obtaining the Varia Suit. Ice was also used to keep the Ridley clone's corpse preserved in Sub-Zero Containment.
Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Metroid: Other M made ice a more prominent part of the gameplay, as Samus could melt ice walls with the Plasma Beam (or rarely other weapons) in Phendrana and Bryyo Ice to reach certain upgrades in both areas. Both Prime and Other M have stalactites hanging from the ceiling that can be dropped to kill enemies and create platforms via Missile explosions. In Corruption, Reptilicus are seen frozen throughout Bryyo Cliffside in ice and a bridge of ice is present in the Gateway Hall; this was caused by Rundas in both cases. Much of Arcterra's environment is covered in ice in Metroid Prime Hunters; notably, a layer of it over the Frost Labyrinth forces Samus to navigate the maze in Morph Ball form, and a sturdy Ice Bridge is present in the Ice Hive on the same planet.
Underwater sections of Phendrana also contain fish frozen behind ice walls in the caves.
In Metroid Dread, ice mainly signifies that a room is cold like in Fusion. However, Samus cannot move through the substance or directly melt or break it. This makes it a major obstacle when the depths of ZDR are frozen over due to Experiment No. Z-57 blocking the planet's thermal routing system, causing ice to obstruct many passages during this sequence, such as the way to the Screw Attack. To thaw the planet, Samus must defeat Z-57, after which the thermal routing system resumes operation and the global temperature returns to normal.
Samus often uses ice in her attacks. The Ice Beam is one of the most useful and potent weapons in her arsenal, and is essentially the only way to destroy the titular Metroids. Their vulnerability to ice also drove much of the plot for Other M, as all hatched Metroids with the exception of the Queen Metroid's offspring were genetically altered to have this weakness removed.
Beyond the Ice Beam, Samus has also equipped herself with the Ice Missiles, with a similar effect. The Ice Spreader is the Charge Combo for the Ice Beam in Prime, and spread a large wave of ice impacting many things. The Diffusion Missile in Fusion overwrites the Ice Missile upgrade and when it impacts it spreads a wave of ice that freezes over enemies.
Both the beam and missiles can freeze enemies solid into blocks of ice, allowing Samus to use them as platforms or shatter them instantly. Other M deviates from this tradition by having enemies freeze over realistically. For example, Metroids fall to the ground frozen everywhere but their talons and struggle, unless killed, to break free.
Fellow Bounty Hunters Noxus and Rundas use ice in their attacks as well, with Noxus wielding the Judicator and Rundas being capable of spawning ice to "surf" on as well as creating shields and projectiles out of the substance through cryokinesis. Samus also acquires the Judicator in Metroid Prime Hunters, and certain other enemies in that game such as Blue Barbed War Wasps and Slench 4 use attacks similar to it. The Federation Force in Metroid Prime: Federation Force also uses ice in their attacks via an item known as the Freeze Shot.
Metroid Prime shifts between elemental forms. In its ice form it can fire a freezing beam that encases Samus in ice until she jumps or Bombs repeatedly, and can also summon slow-moving ice balls to hover toward her. It is also capable of launching freezing waves of ice in any form. Thardus, like Metroid Prime, is capable of firing an ice beam as an attack against Samus. Some other ice attacks, such as the Sheegoth's ice projectiles or the Dark Beam can similarly freeze Samus and cause her a small amount of damage, although she is easily able to break free.
In Fusion, Samus can be frozen by the SA-X's Ice Beam until she reacquires her Varia Suit, allowing the Blue X to heal her in Sector 5's environment. The aforementioned Ice Beam will still deal massive damage. It is only when she absorbs the Core-X of the SA-X that she regains her general immunity to ice. In Metroid Dread, E.M.M.I.-05IM can freeze her if it catches her in its visual cone, and is also seen doing this to (and subsequently shattering) an Autool in the cutscene where it is reactivated.
|Hazardous||Acid (Beta/Fake) • Acid Rain • Afloraltite • Dark Water • Fire • Fuel Gel • Lava (Fake/Scalding-hot) • Phazon • Purple liquid|
|Gases||Dark vapor • Industrial-grade pesticide • Meta-viprium gas • Nohadin gas • Noxious gasses • Poison gas • Talvania Gas|
|Destructible||Barnacle-like material • Bendezium • Brinstone • Cordite • Denzium • Frigidite • Glass • Grobnite • Ice • Maldium • Meltable Metal • Metroid webs • Radion • Sandstone • Talloric Alloy • Vegetation • Zebetite |
Kelbium and Zafrite
|Phazon||Red • Crystal • Black Crystal • Mass • Ore • Elite Nutrient Mix • Strain Vertigo • Phazite (Red) • Concentrated|
|Crystals||Ammolite/Witherite Shards • Black Phazon • Crystallized Fuel Gel • Crystals • Dark Sentinel • Lift • Liftvine • Light • Minerals • Phazon • Red magma • Sentinel|
|Ore||Urthic • Phazon|
|Miscellaneous||Invisible platform • Jovian steel • Liquid Resource • Liquid solution • Sand |
Vaccine "Metroid" • Waste • Water • Yellow goo • Yellow liquid