The Landing Site is a rocky, mountainous area on the surface of Crateria. Samus Aran lands her Gunship on a relatively flat area of the ground, between two high cliff walls. The Gunship functions as both a Save Station and Recharge Station while landed here.
The geography is altered slightly between the two games, but remains very similar. Directly to the right of the Gunship is a raised portion of ground, which is much higher in Super Metroid and has a barrier of destructible blocks creating a passage through the bottom. The right cliff wall of the Landing Site has long ledges outcropping towards the left, while the left cliff wall contains a network of caves, most notably including the rocky cave. Although no creatures inhabit the Landing Site, some vegetation can be seen growing on the rock. At different points during the Zero Mission and Raid on Planet Zebes, the Landing Site is doused with Acid Rain during a Craterian thunderstorm.
In Zero Mission, the Landing Site is briefly seen in the intro cutscene as Samus lands her Gunship. Samus can return to the Landing Site at any time after obtaining the Power Grip from the nearby Chozo Ruins. After a Self-Destruct System has been set in Tourian, Samus returns to the Landing Site through the rocky cave. If she has the Speed Booster, she can simply run through a rock barrier to reach her Gunship; if not, then she has to use the Turbo Bomb to reach an alternate passage through the cave network. After obtaining the Power Bomb in Chozodia, Samus can optionally return to the Landing Site during a Craterian thunderstorm; since her Gunship has been destroyed, it is no longer located here.
In Super Metroid, Samus lands once again at the same Landing Site after the destruction of Ceres Space Colony. Unlike Zero Mission, Samus is able to explore the Landing Site as soon as she touches down, although the current state of her Power Suit means that she can ultimately only go left into the rocky cave. As she acquires more power-ups, she can return to the Landing Site, which provides a hub for different areas of Crateria: "The Gauntlet" to the upper left, and Brinstar and the flooded cavern to the right. Just like in Zero Mission, after a Time Bomb has been set in the new Tourian, Samus returns to the Landing Site through the rocky cave; the entire area is given a red/purple tint, with pockets of steam erupting from the ground. The gameplay concludes as soon as Samus reenters her Gunship.
In Super Metroid, a Blue Door in the upper left side connects to a cave with Lava Tides. A Yellow Hatch in the upper right side connects to a room with a Power Bomb Tank. A Green Hatch in the lower right side connects to a tube-like hallway.
- Power Bomb Tank
- In Zero Mission, after returning from Chozodia, Samus must launch a diagonal Ball Spark from the raised portion of ground. If aimed correctly, it will break through Boost Blocks in the left wall, revealing a hole where the Power Bomb Tank can be found. She will then need to use a Power Bomb to break through Power Bomb Blocks and reach the tank.
- Zebes - A Visitor's Guide (pg. 13)
- "The landing point for Samus; she'll dock her ship here before heading off into the great unknown. Samus can use the starship to re-energise and top up her missiles as well as save game data."
- Area A (pg. 16)
- "Samus arrives on the surface of Zebes amid the wind and rain of a fearsome Craterian thunderstorm. There's no time to waste, though, as at this very minute Mother Brain is plotting her evil machinations. The cliffs to the left are impassable at this point so go through the door on the right. Samus will return here later in her quest with the necessary items allowing her to pass into the higher reaches of this inhospitable section."
- The first depiction of the Landing Site comes from Metroid: Zebes Invasion Order. Much like the later games, it is depicted with large cliffs. Additionally, Samus hides her Gunship by covering it with camouflage.
- In Zero Mission, the Landing Site is the only room in Crateria to feature a Craterian thunderstorm. Other locations in Crateria, such as the neighboring Chozo Ruins, will still have clear skies.
- ^ Metroid: Zero Mission: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide pg. 38: "ADVANCE TO YOUR LANDING SITE"