Missiles (ミサイル Misairu), also known as rockets, have appeared in every single game to date in the Metroid series. They are a more powerful weapon than the normal uncharged Beam, dealing 4-5 times as much damage depending on the game, and are useful in destroying Brinstone walls, Zebetites, and Missile Blocks.
Missiles are usually first acquired upon finding a Missile Tank or Missile Launcher; however, in Metroid II: Return of Samus, Metroid: Samus Returns, Metroid: Other M, and Metroid Dread, Samus starts off her missions with 30, 24, 10, and 15 of them, respectively. In Metroid Fusion, they are instead "downloaded" through a Data Room. In most of the Prime games, she loses her Missiles near the beginning but reacquires them later on. Finding a Missile Tank will increase Samus's missile supply.
Missile technology is created by many sentient species in different planets across the galaxy. Despite the weapon's various origins, they are all easily compatible with Samus Aran's highly modular Power Suit.
2D Metroid series
The 2D side-scrolling Metroid titles feature rapid-firing missiles. In their usual form, the Missiles have a rocket shape with gray colouring and pink stripes. The total number of missiles Samus can acquire varies from game to game.
Super Missiles are a more potent form of missile capable of opening Green Doors and clearing away Cordite. In most 2D Metroid games, Super Missiles have their own separate ammo reserve. In Metroid Fusion the Super Missile only makes normal Missiles three times stronger with a more effective propulsion system, and can damage more hardy beings that the standard Missile could not, and simply creates a larger explosion upon impact followed by an aftershock.
In Fusion, it is heavily implied that Missiles are not closely integrated to Samus's body in comparison to her Beam weapons; this is apparent when the cold attributes of the Ice Beam are initially incompatible with Samus's new genetic make-up, while her Ice Missiles, outfitted with subzero properties, seem to have no repercussions against her.
In Dread, normal, Super and Storm Missiles each have their own form factor. This is best seen when shooting them against a spinning fan. The head of each type of Missile is also visible when the Missile Launcher is activated, and the Arm Cannon's Missile-firing configuration changes when Samus has the Omega Cannon.
Metroid Prime series
In the Metroid Prime series, Samus must first obtain the Missile Launcher, which automatically provides a capacity of up to five missiles. Metroid Prime Hunters is an exception to this: there, she has the Missile Launcher from the start, but must gain Missile Ammo from a Petrasyl in the Meditation Room before she can use it. Missile Expansions increase the maximum missile capacity by five, or ten in Hunters. Expansions in Hunters will also fully restore her supply.
There are several uses for missiles in the Prime series, and they can be combined with other weapons for special attacks known as Charge Combos, though this feature was removed in Hunters and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Missiles in the first two Prime games were blue, and appeared to be energy-based. Corruption differed from the other depictions and seemingly returned to the roots of the franchise by making missiles more similar to the original designs. This difference could be explained with different origins of missiles; energetic missiles may be Chozo technology while material missiles are Federation technology.
Missiles in the Prime series have a slower rate of fire than the 2-D games, but offset this by having a small area-of-effect and a homing ability, although they can still miss agile targets. Some enemies can also have a jamming effect on homing missiles, causing them to become erratic and miss their target. A few Space Pirates in Corruption are equipped with specially sloped battle armor that simply deflect missile attacks, making missiles useless against them. However, once their armor is broken, they are vulnerable to missiles.
In Metroid Prime, up to three missiles can be on-screen at a time. In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (including Multiplayer), up to six missiles can be on-screen at a time. Missiles here inflict 15-20 damage, depending on the enemy.
In Metroid Prime Hunters, missiles are used as weapons by the six bounty hunters (at least in Multiplayer Mode) and certain Guardians in addition to Samus. Missiles can be charged to deal more damage, but the blast radius can also hurt the user. The Missile Launcher is Samus's Affinity Weapon; other hunters' missiles lack a homing effect. The missile does around 36 damage if uncharged.
in Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Missiles are equippable by Federation Force. They have seeking properties similar to Samus' Seeker Missile. The Force can equip MODs to enhance their Missiles, though only one copy of a MOD can be equipped at a time. The first MOD, Payload Density, comes in three levels and increases the amount of damage to enemies from Missiles by 20, 30 or 50%. With Split Warhead equipped, Missiles will split in two when fired, causing even more damage to enemy targets.
- "An explosive projectile that seeks to its target when fired."
- Payload Density
- "Increase damage of missiles by 30%."
- Split Warhead
- "Missiles split in two when fired."
Metroid: Other M
In Metroid: Other M, missiles play a more unique role. They are more often used to damage/eliminate things that other weapons cannot (mostly the Charge Beam). All missile types can only be fired in Search View, however.
Other M is the first Metroid game to introduce a missile supply that can be reloaded and replenished if Samus is low on missiles by holding the Wii Remote vertically, and pressing and holding the A button until her stock is replenished. This technique is known as Concentration, and can also be used to restore energy at dangerously low levels.
Methods of acquisition
- Metroid/Metroid: Zero Mission - Found in Corridor No. 5 in Brinstar. In Zero Mission, the Missiles must be collected before the Charge Beam Beast challenges Samus in the same room.
- Metroid Prime - Samus has Missiles at the beginning of the game, but they are lost when her suit is damaged by an explosion on the Frigate Orpheon. It is reacquired in Hive Totem after the Hive Mecha is defeated.
- Metroid Prime Hunters - Samus begins the game with the Missile Launcher. It is empty, however, and Missiles are first acquired from a defeated Petrasyl in the Meditation Room of the Celestial Archives. No other game in the series starts out in this manner.
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes - Samus loses the Missile Launcher after being attacked in an alternate dimension whilst on a mission to recover lost Federation troops on planet Aether. She recovers them shortly after locating the Federation's ship, the G.F.S. Tyr, where a Missile Launcher is in storage in a Galactic Federation Ordnance Crate.
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - Samus finds a Munitions Storage containing Missiles on the G.F.S. Olympus.
- Metroid II: Return of Samus/Metroid: Samus Returns - Samus begins the game with Missiles.
- Super Metroid - Samus finds the Missiles once again in Brinstar, but in a different room close to the original location of Kraid's Lair.
- Metroid: Other M - Samus has the Missiles, and uses one unauthorized to open a door. During the fight with the Brug Mass, Adam permanently gives her Authorization to use them once again.
- Metroid Fusion - Samus downloads support data for a Missile Launcher on the Operations Deck.
- Metroid Dread - Samus begins the game with Missiles.
Types of Missiles
- Normal Missile- The basic missile Samus gets at the beginning of the game or finds later in the game. Normally does more damage than a regular uncharged Beam shot. Has rapid fire capability in the 2D Metroid games.
- Super Missile- A stronger version of the missile, sometimes a power-up to regular Missiles or a separate power-up portrayed as a silver projectile with an enlarged green warhead. It appears in Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes as the Beam Combo for the Power Beam. Metroid: Other M fires the Super Missiles in a similar way to the Beam Combo.
- Seeker Missile- Yet another missile-based upgrade that only appears in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Metroid: Other M. This allows the ability to lock on to up to 5 different targets then simultaneously fire a missile at each (in the case with Other M, one of the five Missiles is actually a Super Missile). In Echoes and Corruption, a single enemy or more may be locked on to multiple times to expose a weakness or to just do more damage.
- Storm Missile- A Missile upgrade in Metroid Dread similar to the Seeker Missile upgrade in that it can lock on to a maximum of five targets at once; however, three micro-missiles are fired at high speed at each individual target instead of one standard Missile, allowing it to inflict far higher damage than its counterpart at the expense of using up three standard missiles for each target locked on. It is also able to damage enemies that are shielded by electric fields.
- Ice Missile- A Metroid Prime 3: Corruption feature is the Ice Missile upgrade (obtained by defeating Rundas) which turns all normal Missiles into Ice Missiles. Ice Missiles have no negative characteristics or disadvantages over normal missiles and have the added abilities to slow down or freeze enemies, freeze liquids in the environment, and open doors protected by shields vulnerable to cold-based weaponry. Ice Missiles also appear in Metroid Fusion, as the Ice Beam was assumed incompatible with Samus' Metroid-infused cellular makeup at the time and therefore could not be downloaded from the Galactic Federation. Ice Missiles appear in Metroid Dread as well, as Samus retains the Metroids' weakness to cold during her mission to ZDR.
- Homing Missile- Not a true upgrade, but a feature of the Missiles in 3-D games. These seek enemies.
- Diffusion Missile- Only appearance thus far is during the events of Metroid Fusion. This upgrade adds a charging effect to the Ice Missiles; when fully charged, a successful hit will diffuse its freezing effect across a large area, chilling anything in the blast radius.
- Hyper Missile- This is a powerful attack that appears in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption; it uses one standard missile, but can only be used in Hypermode. It puts a large drain on Phazon reserves (equally draining the Hypermode time limit), but creates a very large explosion that can defeat many enemies (and those nearby) in only one hit.
- Charge Combos- In Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, charging a beam and activating a missile will activate a Charge Combo, if that particular beam's Charge Combo has been added to the suit. There have been 7 different types of these (over the course of two games).
Super Smash Bros. series
The Missile is Samus Aran's Side Special Attack in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl. It is similar to the 2D appearance and function, but homes in on enemies like in the later Prime games. However, unlike all of its appearances in Metroid games, it moves very slowly and will decelerate until it stops and explodes after traveling for a set amount of time.
By flicking the joystick before pressing B, Samus will fire a Super Missile rather than a normal one; Super Missiles inflict slightly more damage than normal Missiles but lack a homing ability. When fired, it will initially move even slower than a normal Missile, but rapidly accelerates until it is much faster than a normal Missile. Instead of slowing down at the end of its flight, it travels at full speed until it reaches its maximum range, at which point it will immediately explode.
Dark Samus, as Samus's Echo Fighter, uses Missiles in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as well. Her Missiles are fired at a lower height, which means she can hit smaller targets (such as Pichu when it crouches) that Samus's Missiles could not.
An Ultimate update on January 29, 2019 extended the range of Samus's Missiles and reduced her vulnerability when she fires one in midair.
|Metroid: Zero Mission||250 (100 on Hard Mode)|
|Metroid Prime Hunters||95|
|Metroid Prime 2: Echoes||255|
|Metroid Prime 3: Corruption||255|
|Metroid II: Return of Samus||250|
|Metroid: Samus Returns||264 (314 including Missile Reserve Tank)|
|Metroid: Other M||80|
|Metroid Fusion||250 (106 on Hard Mode)|
|Metroid Dread||275 (285 including amiibo, 290 on Rookie Mode, 300 on Rookie Mode including amiibo)|
"When you collect one, you will receive five Missiles. You can defeat any enemies that show up with one Missile."
"When you take one, the number increases by five. You can have up to 255 Missiles."
Super Metroid Players' Guide (Terminals, page 8)
"These are necessary for opening certain doors and give you a better chance against the powerful guardians. You'll be able to carry five missiles for each missile icon you collect. To use missiles, highlight the icon screen top with SELECT and press [X] to fire. Location: Crateria, Brinstar, Norfair, Wrecked ship, Maridia."
Metroid Fusion manual
"These are the standard Missiles Samus downloads early in the game."
"The ability to fire Missiles is crucial throughout the exploration of the space station. However, with a limited supply, Missiles must be used carefully."
Official Metroid Prime website
Weapon effect: Devastating potential
- Weapon range: 3–10 m
- Weapon potential: Lethal
- "Chozo technology. The Missile Launcher adds ballistic weapon capabilities to Samus Aran's standard Arm Cannon. Its ammunition is limited. Charge Combo enhancements scattered throughout Tallon IV allow the Missile Launcher to be used in tandem with the Charge Beam, creating devastating effects."
Metroid Prime scans
- Hive Totem
- "It appears this item can only be reached by using the elevated bridge."
- Gravity Chamber
- "This item rests on a ledge that appears to be too high to access by jumping."
- Metroid Prime series Inventory data
The Missile Launcher adds ballistic weapon capability to the Arm Cannon.
Press / to fire the Missile Launcher. Press / to return to Beam mode. Target and lock on with / to fire a Homing Missile*.
Missiles fired with a lock-on will seek their targets.
Missiles can destroy objects made from Radion or Brinstone.
There are Charge Combo enhancements scattered throughout the environment. They use the Missile Launcher and the Charge Beam in tandem to fire more effective blasts.
Each Missile Expansion you find will increase the number of Missiles you can carry by 5.
Metroid EX: Samus & Joey Chapter 1
"Has the ability to create a Missile by gathering chemicals and elements from the area surrounding the user."
Metroid: Zero Mission manual
"This is the most basic form of a Missile."
Zero Mission Samus Screen data
"Press R+B to fire. Opens red hatches."
Metroid Prime Hunters Logbook entry
"Launches explosive-tipped MISSILES that detonate in a percussive blast. This standard-issue weapon is extremely effective in dealing with biological threats. Hold the FIRE button to charge the weapon and cause the MISSILE to seek heat signatures. Charging will attract energy and ammo."
Metroid: Other M onscreen tutorial
Press [A] and release immediately while locked on."
Metroid: Other M manual
"Press and release A while locked on to release a missile. If you press and release A when the Charge Gauge is fully charged, five missiles will be used and you'll shoot a powerful Super Missile."
Metroid: Other M Samus Screen data
"Controls: Press [A] while locked on."
"Holding a direction will fire a Homing Missile, while quickly inputting a direction will fire a Super Missile!"
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Official Game Guide
"You can fire multiple homing missiles simply by holding a side direction and repeatedly hitting the Special button."
- Damage 5~10%
- "Fires a homing missile at the closest opponent. If you input the attack as a Smash attack, it fires a Super Missile. The Super Missile launches higher, travels farther, and deals more damage, but only travels horizontally. Note, you can only have one Super Missile at a time or Samus will misfire."
Metroid: Samus Returns on-screen tutorial
"While holding [R], press [Y] to fire missiles."
Metroid: Samus Returns Samus Screen data
"A standard Missile sub-weapon that fires a powerful projectile. Hold [R] and then press [Y] to fire."
"Samus starts her mission on SR388 with a Missile Launcher and a decent-sized missile count. Missiles—along with the Ice Beam—are your primary means of damaging Metroids, but they’re also excellent for dealing with most of the planet’s other hostile types. You find a metric ton of Missile Tank Upgrades on this planet, so don’t be afraid to utilize these projectiles with reckless abandon."
* The Homing Missile sentence is used in Corruption.
- Missile (Side Special) – "Holding a direction will fire a homing missile, while quickly inputting a direction will fire a Super Missile."
- Dark Samus
- Missile (Side Special) – "Holding a direction when you press the special-move button will fire a homing missile, and quickly inputting a direction as you press the special-move button will fire a Super Missile!"
"The missile is a powerful weapon with a limited number of rounds. Like the beam attack, it can be upgraded with power-up items. The maximum number of rounds you can carry is increased by acquiring Missile Tanks scattered throughout the world."
"By default, they can destroy Missile Blocks, Missile Covers, and expose hidden blocks. Upgrade to the Super Missile for more power. The Ice Missile upgrade adds a freezing effect, and the Storm Missile upgrade allows Samus to unleash a devastating multi-missile attack."
Metroid Dread Samus Screen data
Metroid Dread loading screen tip
- Though ammunition is limited, Missiles are a powerful weapon. Don't hesitate to use them.
- In Metroid Prime, rapidly pressing the buttons that fire Missiles and Beam shots in an alternating manner will fire Missiles at a much faster rate than normal. This technique is called the Rapid Fire Missiles. An example of this can be seen here.
- If there are currently three Missiles on-screen and a Charge Combo is used, the Charge Combo will fire, but no bullet will produce. (Doing this does not use up any Missiles, though Samus would still need the proper amount to initally fire.)
- It is revealed in Corruption by use of the X-Ray Visor that the reloading mechanism for the missile launcher is actually operated manually by Samus turning her hand inside the arm cannon, performing the turning motion of the open barrel seen every time Samus fires a missile. However, this action is not performed in Metroid Prime.
- In Other M, Samus pumps her Arm Cannon after each Missile, similar to a shotgun.
- In Metroid Prime, firing missiles will not activate any Blue Doors, and instead will bounce off and Samus' visor will display a message saying that it is not a weapon that can open that door. Oddly, this never occurs for the other Blue Doors of the Prime series. This error has been fixed for most, if not all Blue Doors in the Wii versions of Prime.
- Although Missiles are said to be Samus's Affinity Weapon in Hunters, several enemies seem to have versions of the Missiles and the Missile Launchers in Echoes and Corruption seem to be of Galactic Federation origin.
- In Metroid: Other M, if Samus fires a Missile at a Desbrachian, there is a possibility that it will bounce off its armor and reflect back at her, dealing light damage.
- In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Missiles, like beams, cause organic bipedal enemies such as Reptilicus and Space Pirates to disintegrate upon death. This wouldn't be possible as it's shown many times that Missiles are actual projectiles and not energy munitions. A possibility for this reason is due to the Wii's limited hardware.
- The 3DS, however, has somewhat slightly more advanced hardware than the Wii, yet this issue carried over into Metroid Prime: Federation Force.
- In Metroid Dread, deployed Missiles have their own shadow.
- ^ Super Metroid Players' Guide
- ^ Looygi Bros. "13 Cool Details in Metroid Dread (Part 5)". YouTube. December 28, 2021.
- ^ Looygi Bros. "10 Cool Details in Metroid Dread (Part 8)". YouTube. January 27, 2022. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
- ^ Nintendo of America (NintendoAmerica). 20 August 2021 2:30 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/1428786449034457094
- ^ Looygi Bros. "14 Cool Details in Metroid Dread (Part 4)". YouTube. December 22, 2021. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
|Missile Launcher | Missile | Super Missile | Ice Missile | Diffusion Missile|
Charge Combo | Seeker Missile | Hyper Missile
Ship Missile | Homing Missile | Storm Missile
Relentless Missile | Turbo Missile | Missile Key
|Metroid Prime and Dark Samus|
|Abilities||Metroid Prime: Particle Wave Projector • Seeker Missile • Snare Beam • Ultrafrigid Beam|
Dark Samus: Bomb • Boost Ball • Charge Beam • Dark Echo • Missile Launcher • Missile • Phazon bullets • Phazon Suit • Screw Attack • Shrapnel Beam • Stealth field generator
|Misc.||VS. Metroid Prime (Spider) • Metroid Prime Battle • Dark Samus Intro • Dark Samus Appears Part 2 • Darkness • Escape • Dark Samus Biography • Dark Samus Gallery |
Dark Samus Rooms • Dark Samus in Super Smash Bros. • 04ε: Dark Samus