Lava (or magma), as depicted in the Metroid series, 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. The substance is mostly seen inside or near a volcano.
In all Metroid games, Samus Aran's movement speed is diminished when she is in contact with the substance, though this hindrance can be nullified when the Gravity Suit is equipped in Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission. The Gravity Suit also gives Samus immunity to the harmful effects of magma/lava. However, Super Metroid features a second, more potent form of the substance that can still harm her through the suit's protection for unclear reasons. The same applies to the lava within Metroid Prime's Magmoor Caverns and Metroid: Other M's Pyrosphere.
In Super Metroid, Samus cannot run or use the Speed Booster in lava, even with the Gravity Suit. In 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.
In addition to the purple liquid seen in Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Samus Returns, the lava is also shown to exist on SR388 in the remake. Sector 1 (SRX) on the Biologic Space Laboratories research station only contains lava in areas mimicking SR388, and uses the same lava in the volcanic habitats of Sector 3 (PYR).
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.
Variation of lava
The more powerful lava which ignores the Gravity Suit's protection is translucent and light brown in color. It is capable of melting the entire body of the Crocomire in seconds, leaving nothing but its bones. It is found in the depths of Norfair, Ridley's Hideout, Tourian, and Crateria. Lava Tides are a common hazard associated with this specific form of the substance, where it periodically rises and falls in level. The rebuilt Tourian headquarters in Super Metroid is filled with two variants of this same potent lava: while the substance in the lower floors is visually identical to the one seen elsewhere, the upper rooms feature it with a red and opaque appearance not found anywhere else on Zebes. When the planet is about to explode near the ending, the translucent and light brown form of the magma is seen rising up in the last room of Tourian as well as in the vertical shaft of the original Tourian.
There are many organisms in the Metroid series capable of living within the hazardous substance. A select few appear to be comprised of materials associated with lava, such as the Magdollites. 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, it can be assumed that the microbes are native to the planet as well.
Lava appears as the main stage hazard of Norfair, introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There are rising and falling Lava Tides that submerge the stage; lava walls that cover the left or right sides of the stage; lava jets that spray up from the background; and an enormous lava wave that can only be effectively avoided with the safety capsule.
Lava also appears on Planet Zebes: Brinstar Depths and Pyrosphere, but only as a background element that does not directly affect gameplay. On Brinstar Depths, Kraid periodically emerges from the lava to attack the stage, and then he sinks back down; therefore, Kraid's appearance is first telegraphed by large splashes of lava. However, lava has not been seen in Brinstar or Kraid's Lair in any canonical game.
- 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.
|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
|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|
|Carrion||"Deceased Soldier" • Amok Mommy|
|Liquid||Lava • Phazon|
|Artificial/Misc.||Deca-triticale • Elite Nutrient Mix • Energy • Nutrient-grade biomatter • Synthetic Metroid rations • Wrecked Ship|