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SM-Murder Beam

Samus fires the Murder Beam while battling Mother Brain.

The Murder Beam[1] is a beam from Super Metroid that can only be obtained by exploiting a glitch. It is a combination of all the beams in the game, including the Charge Beam.


The Murder Beam simply creates a pillar where it was shot. Any enemy that comes in contact with it is hit, and the pillar remains until Samus leaves the room or overwrites it with a Charge Beam + Power Bomb combination (not with the Murder Beam). This makes the Murder Beam very effective against respawning enemies and a few bosses. Its most noteworthy use is against Mother Brain, where it is able to continue attacking Mother Brain all throughout the battle, practically killing her by the time Samus receives the Hyper Beam. It is also useful against Ridley because (for unknown reasons) the shot sticks to his tail. The effect causes his tail to appear to be smoking.

The Murder Beam is also referred to as the VAR beam. When all weapons are combined, it will lead to a sub-category with the only option, VAR, appearing to be taken from the first three letters of Varia Suit.

The damage of the Murder Beam is the same as Power Bombs, and the damage type is considered a Charged 'Power Bomb' Beam. This has nothing to do with the Charge Beam + Power Bomb attacks, as those are still considered Charged Ice/Wave/Spazer/Plasma Beams. With the Murder Beam, the game's engine recognizes it as a charged Power Bomb. This is usually irrelevant because most of the time, enemies only care that Samus is firing a charged attack. However, it causes odd effects with freezing some unexpected enemies, such as the Gold Torizo, and failing to freeze others, such as Yapping Maws.

The Murder Beam will crash the game if Samus fires an uncharged shot, or attempt to use a Charge Beam + Power Bomb attack with it. It will also crash the game if she fires the shot to the right, attempts to fire diagonally up or down, or fires the shot while spin jumping. There are two methods to charge the Murder Beam without firing an uncharged shot. The simplest is to charge a safe beam, then switch on the Murder Beam in the pause screen. A faster method is to turn on the X-ray Scope then hold the fire button. Samus will charge her beam without firing an initial shot in this situation.

There are five memory slots for Samus's projectiles (not including bombs), which means that only five projectiles can be on the screen at once. Normally, this is not very important because shots can quickly accelerate past Samus and disappear off screen, so it is difficult to attempt to fire more than 5 shots at once. However, each Murder Beam takes up a slot in the projectile array. Firing five Murder Beams means that Samus is unable to use her main weapons. Also, Murder Beams will not disappear even if they are offscreen; Samus must leave the room or overwrite the Murder Beams with a Charge Beam + Power Bomb attack.

There are two very interesting applications of the Murder Beam: Full-Screen Murder Beam and Semi-Frozen Murder Beam. There are no specific uses for either of these, but they are still formidable tools.

Colored IceEdit

When Samus freezes an enemy with the Ice Beam then switches to the Murder Beam, the enemy turns pink due to the odd combination of beams. If she removes the Wave beam, the enemy will turn black.

Full-Screen Murder BeamEdit

When the Murder Beam is used on a screen where there are respawning enemies and they are currently dead, the Murder Beam will affect the respawning enemies regardless of where they are on the screen. However, if the enemies move far enough away, the Murder Beam will not affect them. The exact dimensions of this effect are currently unmeasured.

There is no known way to affect non-respawning enemies with the Full-Screen Murder Beam. It has been noticed that the turrets in Tourian seem to treat the Murder Beam as a horizontal barrier rather than a vertical one. The reasons for the Murder Beam's ambiguous borders is unknown.

Semi-Frozen Murder BeamEdit

Because the Murder Beam contains the Ice Beam, it will attempt to freeze any enemy it touches. If Samus does not currently have the Ice Beam equipped, however, enemies cannot be frozen because the required palette is not currently loaded in RAM. Freezable enemies will still be hit repeatedly, but cannot be killed because the Murder Beam will not kill a freezable enemy unless it is frozen. However, in this state, enemies do not damage Samus, but instead switch rapidly between frozen and intangible.

Official dataEdit

Playing with Super Power! Nintendo Super NES ClassicsEdit

MURDER BEAM (pg. 149)
"There's a glitch that allows players to combine all Beams simultaneously into what has become known as the "Murder Beam." The Murder Beam functions strangely, and can continuously deal full or partial screen damage equal to a Power Bomb. Players often use it to damage Mother Brain during the non-interactive segments of the final boss battle, and the attack can also stick to Ridley's tail, creating a smoke trail. Misuse of this glitch can cause the game to crash, or prevent Samus from using her Beam at all."

See alsoEdit


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