Like numerous other rooms in Norfair, the Path of Destruction consists of glass bubble platforms over a pool of lava. In Zero Mission, the background is detailed with odd honeycomb-like formations and purple gelatinous material, and the room has extreme heat, making it risky to traverse without the Varia Suit.
The Path of Destruction earns its name from the large number of breakable blocks, including what appears to be a dead end wall midway through the room. In order to traverse the corridor, Samus Aran needs to break her way through these blocks. This is an excellent opportunity for Samus to use her Wave Beam, which can be acquired in a nearby room.
In the original Metroid, the Path of Destruction is one of two rooms (alongside the Hopping-Mad Corridor) in Norfair to feature large boxes composed of 6x6 breakable red blocks. Two of these boxes are situated on either side of the green bubble-block wall. To avoid the lava and Dragons below and clear a path through the wall, Samus can use her beams and/or bombs to break away enough of the red blocks so that she can use the remainder as platforms.
In Zero Mission, the Path of Destruction's layout and puzzle have been altered. The corridor is now much narrower, requiring much less platforming to jump across the lava. Most of the glass bubbles blocking the path can be easily destroyed with any weapon, but the two at the far end of the path are Boost Blocks. Samus needs to clear the way in order to build up enough speed and activate her Speed Booster, but there are too many blocks to break one at a time with her Ice Beam; by the time Samus has destroyed enough blocks, they have already started to respawn. Therefore, it is required to use the Wave Beam in order to proceed through this corridor, since its wall-bypassing properties can quickly clear the way for Samus's Speed Booster.
In Metroid, the Path of Destruction leads to a dead end, where a single Missile Tank can be acquired. In Zero Mission, the Path of Destruction leads to a new room containing the first two Kiru Giru larvae, which then connects back to the blue-bubble shaft.
- Single-block-wide bridge (Metroid, via Blue Door)
- Save Room 4 (Zero Mission, via Blue Door)
- "Kiru Giru larva hall" (Zero Mission, via Blue Door)
- 1 Gamet nest
- Missile Tank (Metroid)
- A Missile Tank can be found sitting on a metallic pedestal on the far right end of the corridor. In order to reach it, Samus simply needs to traverse the room by breaking through the blocks and jumping over the lava.
- 024 PATH OF DESTRUCTION (pg. 133)
- "As you continue to the right, through the green-bubble corridor in the lower section of Norfair, you'll encounter a large number of dangerous enemies and many opportunities to drop into lava. When you reach a collection of red blocks near a green wall, fire your Wave Beam through the top blocks. You'll break one of the blocks in the wall and expose a path to a tank."
- 145 BLAST AND BOOST (pg. 60)
- "The long, hot corridor that cuts through the middle of lower Norfair is cluttered with blocks. Run to the right and blast as you go to break the blocks. Your Speed Booster will charge up and you'll blaze through a pair of Speed Booster Blocks near the end of the corridor."