This article is about the technique from Samus Returns. For the technique from Other M, see Counter Attack.
Our new action for this game that I really recommend is the defensive Melee Counter. Land this move on an enemy just as they're about to strike and you can stun them, then hit them with your own powerful attack. In previous Metroid games, you had to defeat the enemy from far away and dodge when they charge, but now Melee Counter lets you surprise enemies, giving you a new combat style to enjoy.

Yoshio Sakamoto, Developer Diary[1]

Samus Aran using the Melee Counter against an attacking Gullugg

The Melee Counter is a new technique that is used to parry enemy attacks in Metroid: Samus Returns. It is performed by pressing the X face button before a charging enemy makes contact.

Description[edit | edit source]

When performing a Melee Counter, Samus swings her Arm Cannon upwards in a manner similar to an uppercut. The opportunity to use the Melee Counter is always indicated by a white flash and clicking noise from the enemy. A successful Melee Counter called a Counter Hit[2] will instantly ready a fully charged Charge Beam and stun the countered enemy. Aeion will also be released when this occurs.

The technique means that Samus no longer has to dodge attacks from advancing enemies, which she did have to in previous games though she still has the option to do so.

Samus can also use the Melee Counter while holding onto a ledge, allowing her to counter enemy attacks and making her less vulnerable to attacks while holding onto ledges. The Melee Counter cannot be used against an advancing enemy that is surrounded by electrical or fire energy, such as a Gamma Metroid or Electric Gullugg.

Other uses[edit | edit source]

Samus mounts a Gamma Metroid and shoots it during a Grab Sequence.

Counter Hitting certain attacks by Alpha, Gamma, Zeta or Omega Metroids creates an opening in which continuing to shoot the enemy creates cinematic called a Grab Sequence[2]. In these, the camera pans while Samus continually shoots the Alpha, mounts the Gamma or Omega or grabs the Zeta by the tail and throws it into the ground. The Zeta and Omega will also attempt to fight back during the cinematic, to no avail as Samus continues targeting their vulnerable membranes. Countering the Queen Metroid will allow Samus to pull down her head with the Grapple Beam and either keep shooting her mouth or roll into her membrane using the Morph Ball and lay Bombs or a Power Bomb inside it. Using it on Proteus Ridley allows Samus to grab onto him and climb up to his head before shooting into his throat.

The Lightning Armor greatly enhances the Melee Counter, turning it into a Lightning Counter[2] with increased range.

The Lightning Counter.

If not countering an open attack, the Melee Counter does very little damage, only knocking back most enemies slightly. It is completely ineffective against Autracks, Autoads, Gunzoos, and Wallfires. Despite this, the move is still capable of killing certain weak enemies such as Rock Icicles and Chute Leeches and if used on an enemy frozen by the Ice Beam (excluding Metroid larvae), the lifeform will instantly shatter akin to being hit with a Missile.

The attack can be used to block smaller projectiles such as the acid spat out by a Stronger Hornoad.

List of enemies that can be Melee Countered[edit | edit source]

Enemies denoted with an asterisk (*) will initiate a Grab Sequence upon a successful Counter Hit.

List of enemies that can be killed directly by Melee Counter[edit | edit source]

Enemies denoted with an asterisk (*) require the Lightning Counter.

Official data[edit | edit source]

E3 website[edit | edit source]

"Classic Metroid II: Return of Samus gameplay is joined by a wealth of new content, including a set of brand new abilities that utilizes a mysterious energy resource called “Aeion,” a powerful melee counterattack, and 360-degree Free Aim Mode."

Manual[edit | edit source]

"Samus can deflect projectiles and defend against attacks by swinging her arm. Use it at the same time as an enemy attack to do the following actions."

Counter Hit
"Counter an enemy's special attack to stun the enemy and automatically take aim at it.
  • Press [Y] right after a Counter Hit to use a powerful beam attack."
Grab Sequence
"Counter a boss's special attack to create an opening. Attack during this opening to perform a special action that deals a lot of damage."
Melee Counter Tips
"You'll see a flash right before an enemy performs an attack that can be countered. It's important to observe your enemies' movements if you want to counter-attack effectively."

On-screen tutorials[edit | edit source]

The on-screen tutorial

  • "Use your Melee Counter right before a charging enemy makes contact to parry. After doing so, you will automatically take aim. Press [X] to use your Melee Counter now."
  • "Press [X] to use your Melee Counter right before a charging enemy makes contact."

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The idea of a parry mechanic in the game was suggested by MercurySteam,[citation needed] who had previously used a similar technique in their Castlevania: Lords of Shadow games.
  • When performing the Melee Counter, Samus uses the Arm Cannon as a melee weapon which is ironic as it is traditionally a ranged weapon.
    • Its appearance in Samus Returns marks the first time Samus has used her Arm Cannon as a melee weapon in gameplay outside of the non-canon Super Smash Bros. series.
    • Samus can be seen performing an energy slash similar to the Melee Counter with her Arm Cannon on the cover of Metroid: Zero Mission, although it is apparently directed downward.
  • After successfully countering an enemy, Samus' beam will be charged even if she does not have the Charge Beam power-up.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Metroid: Samus Returns - Developer Diary (Nintendo 3DS) (YouTube). Nintendo UK (June 14, 2017). Retrieved on July 14, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Name from Page 6 of the electronic manual

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