Lava (or magma) in the world of Metroid is a hazardous and viscous substance of molten rock that harms or kills most beings that come in contact with it. The substance is usually found in superheated rooms, but this is not without exceptions. It appears in all games in the series except Metroid II: Return of Samus, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (though Dark Water in Echoes and Fuel Gel in Corruption seem to take lava's role of hazardous substance). The substance is mostly seen inside or around a volcano.
Samus' speed when running through the substance is slowed down in all Metroid games. In Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission however, this hindrance in movement is nullified when the Gravity Suit is equipped. The Gravity Suit also gives Samus immunity to the harmful effects of magma/lava. However, superheated magma found in the depths of Norfair, as well as Ridley's Hideout, Tourian and in Crateria can still harm her through the suit's protection in Super Metroid for unclear reasons. The same applies to Metroid Prime's and Metroid: Other M's lava within the Magmoor Caverns and Pyrosphere, respectively.
Samus from, the rebuilt Pirate headquarters in Super Metroid is filled with two different lava-like substances that ignore the mentioned suit's protection: the first one seems to be a highly concentrated liquid not found anywhere else on Zebes, while the second is the previously mentioned superheated magma found mostly in Lower Norfair. When Zebes was about to explode near the ending, superheated magma was also seen rising up to the surface in the old Tourian Shaft.
Some areas in the original Famicom/NES Metroid and Zero Mission feature fake lava where Samus can fall right through to reach secret areas without being harmed.
In Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns, purple liquid exists on SR388, though lava also exists in the remake. Sector 1 on the Biologic Space Laboratories research station instead contains lava in areas mimicking the planet.
- Lava and Metroid were referenced in the film Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. In one scene, the characters were discussing the constant presence of lava in video games. One character says that "In Metroid, it's actually magma.", which is only true for instances where the substance is found underground.
- The mentioned superheated substance found mostly in Ridley's Hideout was capable of melting the entire body of the Crocomire, leaving nothing but its bones.
- In Metroid: Other M, Samus is very limited in her actions while submerged in the substance; she cannot engage Morph Ball mode and is unable to jump out of lava depending on her position.
- According to concept art for Sovas in Metroid: Other M, there are apparently microbes that are not only able to resist the extreme temperatures of lava, but thrive in it as well. Sovas can be seen "drinking" lava to feed on these microbes. As Sovas are native to Zebes and feed on them, one can assume that the microbes are native to the planet as well.
- In Super Metroid, Samus cannot run or use the Speed Booster in lava, even with the Gravity Suit. This is likely due to lava being very thick to the point that even the Gravity Suit cannot allow complete unhindered movement through it.
|Hazardous||Acid (Beta/Fake) • Acid Rain • Afloraltite • Dark Water • Fire • Fuel Gel • Lava (Fake) • 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||Goo • Invisible platform • Jovian steel • Liquid Resource • Sand • Vaccine "Metroid" • Waste • Water • Yellow liquid|
|Food, Nourishment and Sustenance|
|Plants & Fungi||Blueroot Tree • Fruit • Red Starburst • Sap Sac • Saturnine • Tangle Vine Fruit|
|Species||Geruta • Embers • Kiru Giru • Pirate Militia • Reo • Ripper • Sciser • Scritter • Skree • Space Pirate • Tallon Crab • Torizo • X Parasite • Zoomer|
|Specific Humans||Samus Aran • Virginia Aran|
|Carrion||"Deceased Soldier" • Amok Mommy|
|Liquid||Lava • Phazon|
|Artificial/Misc.||Deca-triticale • Elite Nutrient Mix • Energy • Nutrient-grade biomatter • Synthetic Metroid rations • Wrecked Ship|