Phase Drift is the fourth and final Aeion ability in Metroid: Samus Returns. It is acquired from an Aeion Ability Artifact in Area 5. When used, the screen takes on a purplish hue and time is slowed down by 50%, affecting enemies and obstacles but not Samus herself. This includes graphical effects in the background and the baby's movement. Phase Drift will even slow down the process of blocks breaking when it is active, which can be inconvenient or beneficial for Samus. For example, when used over a floor of Pit Blocks, Samus can move across them at a normal speed before they break. The Phase Drift is also useful during the final phase of the Diggernaut battle; it is much less difficult to plant Bombs on all three weak points before the robot resumes its previous attack pattern.
"You’re fast on your feet, and you know the best way to get ahead of an enemy is to slow it down. That’s why Phase Drift is the Aeion Ability that best matches the way you’d want to play the Metroid: Samus Returns game. You can use Phase Drift to slow time for everything except Samus, giving her a chance to run over collapsing floors and attack fast-moving enemies."
"Slow time for everyone but yourself."
"Select with [D-pad down]. Time is slowed for everything except Samus, allowing her to run over collapsing floors and attack fast-moving enemies.
- Aeion is expended gradually while this ability is activated."
In-game Aeion Abilities data
"Phase Drift uses Aeion to slow time for everyone but you. Press [D-pad down] to equip. Press A while equipped to activate. Press A again to deactivate."
- Prior to being officially unveiled during the Overview Trailer, the Phase Drift was leaked by a user on Reddit, who had acquired a copy of the game's boxart from a friend who worked at a print shop in Mexico.
- The ability is similar to Clock Up used by the Kamen Riders of Kamen Rider Kabuto, as well as the Witch Time ability of the Bayonetta series.