The Plasma Beam (プラズマビーム Purazuma Bīmu ) is a beam which has appeared in all of the Metroid games except for the original Metroid, Metroid Prime Hunters, and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (though Samus gains the Magmaul in Hunters and the Light Beam in Echoes, which have similar properties). In the main series, it is a thin ray capable of piercing multiple enemies; in the Prime Series, it appears as a short-range beam of intense heat that can be used to melt ice and weld metals. The Plasma Beam also appears in Metroid: Other M and is authorized for use before the Ridley battle, and Anthony Higgs is equipped with a large Plasma Gun. Samus's Gunship is also stated to be equipped with a "retractable rear-mounted plasma cannon".
- 1 In the main Metroid Series
- 2 In the Metroid Prime series
- 3 Official data
- 3.1 Metroid II: Return of Samus manual
- 3.2 Super Metroid manual
- 3.3 Super Metroid Players' Guide (Beam Power Ups, page 9)
- 3.4 Official Metroid Prime website
- 3.5 Metroid Prime flash
- 3.6 Metroid Prime manual
- 3.7 Inventory data
- 3.8 Metroid Fusion manual
- 3.9 Fusion website
- 3.10 Zero Mission Samus Screen data
- 3.11 Metroid.com
- 3.12 Metroid: Other M manual
- 3.13 Other M Samus Screen data
- 3.14 Metroid: Other M on-screen tutorial
- 3.15 Metroid: Samus Returns Website
- 3.16 Samus Returns Samus Screen data
- 3.17 Metroid: Samus Returns Strategy Guide
- 4 Trivia
- 5 Gallery
In the main Metroid Series
In Metroid: Zero Mission, the Plasma Beam was gained as an Unknown Item and could not be used until the Fully Powered Suit was obtained in Chozodia. The Plasma has the unique capability to pierce through multiple foes, ultimately obliterating them. When combined with the Wave Beam, it becomes virtually unstoppable and extremely destructive as each shot will pass through both hostile enemies and solid material. It is found in the water-filled hole.
It was available at various points in Metroid II: Return of Samus, and like other beams in that game, could not be stacked. It is the most powerful beam in that game, but only the Ice Beam could harm some enemies. The Plasma Beam was first introduced in this game.
In Super Metroid, the Plasma Beam was incompatible with the Spazer Beam. If both were simultaneously selected in combination with a variety of other factors, the game would glitch, creating results such as the Murder Beam, Spacetime Beam, and the Chainsaw Beam.
In Metroid Fusion, the Nettori possessed this function, and Samus was able to recover it when she absorbed the X Parasite it left behind. According to Adam, the Plasma Beam was the only thing that could pierce the SA-X's armor and damage it. This implies that the Varia Suit is highly vulnerable to the Plasma Beam's piercing effect.
In the same game, Adam mentions that the Federation had successfully developed the Plasma Beam, but withheld it to prevent her from harming the SA-X, yet she had recovered it on her own. This game marks the only time Samus gets the Plasma Beam before the Wave Beam.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Zero Suit Samus has two attacks called the Plasma Whip and "Plasma Wire" that fire from her Paralyzer. Both also act as a tether, similar to the Grapple Beam she can use with her armored Power Suit.
The Plasma Beam returns yet again in Metroid: Other M, retaining its piercing abilities from the 2-D series, and of course, the last beam to be obtained being the strongest beam of all. It is a green beam with a slight electric effect, like its Super Metroid incarnation. Adam suggests the use of the Beam against the Mystery Creature and get rid of it for good. When it evolved into Ridley and confronted Samus in the Geothermal Power Plant of the Pyrosphere, Adam authorized the Plasma Beam so Samus could ultimately destroy Ridley.
Anthony Higgs has a type of Plasma Gun which has approximately the same damage output as a charged Plasma Beam, though he complained about it of how it takes "forever to charge". He used it twice against Ridley in his premature and adult forms. It also has an infra-red laser attached, shown when he aimed it at Samus, when he accidentally targeted her. This variation of the Plasma Beam fires slightly different-colored shots.
When Samus fires the Plasma Beam at the Queen Metroid, it bounces off, indicating that the Plasma Beam cannot go through all enemies, or those with extremely tough skin.
In Metroid: Samus Returns, a remake of Metroid II, the Plasma Beam was found from a Chozo Statue in Area 5 and could stack with other beams except for the Ice Beam and Grapple Beam. This stacking included the Spazer Beam, which couldn't have been done in Super Metroid. It is also required to destroy the Gryncore parasite, which block doors with a hard shell that is impervious to other weaponry. Samus also used multiple bursts of the Plasma Beam to force Proteus Ridley to release his grip on the Baby.
In the Metroid Prime series
The Plasma Beam was the second-to-last beam acquired in Metroid Prime, and as such, apart from the Phazon Beam it is perhaps the most powerful beam weapon in the game. When charged, it could instantly incinerate some normally-resilient enemies such as Baby Sheegoths and Plated Beetles, and it could set fire to others, causing damage for a few moments after the shot hit them. It was also capable of melting Frigidite casings. The Plasma Beam's color scheme in Prime was red, and it represented the "element" of fire. It can open Red Doors as well. The Flamethrower, the Charge Combo for the Plasma Beam, was a continuous Charge Combo that shot out a stream of flame with an exceedingly short range. It was primarily useful for killing Plasma Troopers and cold-based enemies such as Sheegoths. The Magmaul in Metroid Prime Hunters takes over some of the Plasma Beam's functions. In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, the Light Beam was very similar to the Plasma Beam with its heat-based and burning effect as well as with its animation. However, it was the Annihilator Beam that used the Plasma Beam's Arm Cannon shape from Metroid Prime.
In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the Plasma Beam is acquired after defeating the bounty hunter Ghor, making it the only known example of Plasma Beam technology that was not Chozo in origin. The beam wasn't as short-ranged as the version on Tallon IV and the rate of fire remained the same as the Power Beam, since all beam weapons were stacked upgrades in Corruption. To compensate for this heightened firing rate, however, the Plasma Beam suffered a downgrade in firepower when compared to the version in Metroid Prime. Its Arm Cannon configuration was also different: Instead of extending the cannon forward and turning the core red, the Plasma Beam acquired from Ghor made the cannon adopt a vertically extended configuration similar to the Ice Beam and Dark Beam. It retains its ability to ignite enemies and melt objects seen in previous games, and can open Orange Doors. In addition, the newer Plasma Beam in Corruption is capable of repairing damaged Circuit boards with a welding attachment; this ability is kept even when stacked to the Nova Beam, though the mentioned attachment gains a green glow.
Metroid II: Return of Samus manual
"This extremely powerful weapon fires a beam that can even penetrate the solid walls. It is the strongest and most destructive of all of the beam type items."
Super Metroid manual
"The most powerful of all the beams can destroy several targets at once."
Super Metroid Players' Guide (Beam Power Ups, page 9)
"The most powerful gun add-on - clears whole hordes of enemies with one shot. Location: Maridia."
- Super Metroid Players' Guide (The Plasma Beam, page 62)
- "At last you can get your hands on the most powerful beam weapon in the game! This little beauty will devastate most nasties and give you a considerable advantage in the final confrontation with that enigma of evil, the monstrous Mother Brain."
Official Metroid Prime website
Weapon effect: Expels bolts of pure molten energy. Weapon range: 3 – 10 m Weapon potential: Lethal "Chozo Technology. The Plasma Beam is expelled from Samus Aran's Arm Cannon. Capable of firing bolts of pure molten energy, this weapon becomes even more effective when charged. Extremely effective against ice-based targets. It is perhaps the most potent weapon in Samus Aran's arsenal."
"The Plasma Beam's short range is compensated by immense power. Its molten energy can turn certain enemies to ash. Like other Beam weapons, the Plasma Beam can be charged to increase effectiveness."
Metroid Prime manual
"The most powerful beam weapon in Samus's arsenal, the short-range Plasma Beam launches streams of molten energy that can ignite some enemies and melt ice. Like all beam weapons, the Plasma Beam can combine with Missiles for a high-powered combo attack once Samus finds its combo power-up."
Fire the Plasma Beam to open Red Doors.
The Plasma Beam is very effective against cold-based enemies.
Charge the Plasma Beam to fire a sphere of plasma. Enemies struck by this blast will be engulfed in flames for a few moments.
Metroid Fusion manual
"This beam passes through enemies, hitting multiple targets."
"The Plasma Beam's three lasers can easily cut through enemies, continuing on to take out even more foes."
Zero Mission Samus Screen data
"This powerful beam can blast through multiple enemies."
"Untold levels of destruction come from a single shot of Plasma, which can even pass through enemies themselves. Precious few foes are immune to the power of this beam."
Metroid: Other M manual
"Adds the ability to pass through enemies to Samus's beam. This most powerful beam can also be shot as a Charge Beam."
Other M Samus Screen data
"Effect: Increases damage. Secondary effect of passing through enemies."
Metroid: Other M on-screen tutorial
PLASMA BEAM This most powerful beam does more damage and can pass through enemies.
Metroid: Samus Returns Website
PLASMA BEAM "The ultimate in penetrating firepower."
Samus Returns Samus Screen data
"The Plasma Beam accumulates and then releases powerful plasma energy. It can pass through multiple enemies."
- The Armory (p. 11)
"The Plasma Beam is the deadliest beam in the game, and the Spazer and Wave Beams make it even better. It doesn't boast any new features, but it does hit like a truck. It makes the task of defeating most enemies much easier. The only catch is that even this powerhouse of a weapon can't deal damage to a Metroid. That's rough stuff, but there are plenty of alternatives for you to choose from when it comes to the business of Metroid-slaying."
Walkthrough (p. 144) "The Plasma Beam doesn't radically change your beam weapons aside from increasing the power. What it does that's of note is allow you to destroy the Green Door parasites known as Gryncores, which is quite handy for reaching new item tanks."
- The Plasma Beam made its debut in Metroid II: Return of Samus. In this game, it (along with the Spazer Beam) had the ability to penetrate solid walls. This ability was removed in all later appearances, but the beam often retains this ability from the Wave Beam via Stacking.
- In Super Metroid, due to memory limitations in the SNES cartridge, the Plasma Beam is unable to be combined with the Spazer; despite lacking this limitation when fusing with the nearly identical Wide Beam from Metroid Fusion. The Spazer and Plasma Beams can be combined in Metroid: Samus Returns.
- In Zero Mission, it is impossible to obtain the Plasma Beam without the Ice Beam. The Plasma Beam alone can only be obtained via hacking. It is a light green color. If the Plasma Beam is obtained in this way, it will cause exceptionally high damage to some bosses such as Ridley, Mua, and the Kiru Giru. Kraid, although vulnerable to charged Ice Beam shots, will take no damage from the Plasma Beam. Narratively speaking, Ridley's high susceptability to the Plasma Beam makes sense as he is very sensitive to it in Samus Returns, Super Metroid, Other M and Fusion.
- Near the end of Metroid Fusion, Adam stated that the Federation completed downloadable data for the Plasma Beam, but withheld it to stop Samus from destroying the SA-X, and thus preventing their studies. However, Samus restored the function on her own by destroying Nettori and absorbing its Core-X.
- Although somewhat ironically, this is incorrect as disabling the Wave Beam via debug shows that the Plasma Beam isn't capable of damaging the SA-X alone even with charged shots.
- Anthony Higgs's Plasma Gun may be a prototype of the reverse-engineered Plasma Beam, as a single Plasma Gun shot is equivalent to a charged Plasma Beam shot in terms of damage.
- The Plasma Gun weapon shows just how advanced Chozo technology is when compared to similar technology used by the Galactic Federation. While both weapons have the same power output, the Galactic Federation version takes a significantly longer time to charge a single blast and requires a large power source. Samus's Chozo version is tiny by comparison (being integrated into her Arm Cannon) and can charge a blast in just a few seconds.
- The Nova Beam in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption resembles the classic green Plasma Beam.
- It is possible that the Plasma Beam in Metroid Prime may actually be Space Pirate technology, as it is found in Plasma Processing, near Pirate-created geothermal processing equipment. However, the Plasma Troopers use weaker versions of the technology, which would not make sense if the Plasma Beam found on Tallon IV was created by the Pirates.
- It is therefore more likely that the Plasma Beam, being on a planet the Chozo once inhabited, was taken by the Pirates and experimented with in the Magmoor Caverns, a fire-based area, which may have led to the development of the Plasma Troopers.
- Interestingly, the Plasma Beam in Metroid Prime is the only beam that increases in range when charged (albeit only slightly). Additionally, it is the only beam in Prime to fire an actual energy beam rather than the spherical energy balls that the other beams release.
- In the New Play Control! and Metroid Prime Trilogy versions of the game, embers no longer float off the Arm Cannon when charging. This may be due to the way this and other visual effects were programmed in the original versions of the game, making it too difficult to reproduce the effects on the Wii. It is also possible this had to be removed due to the free-aim features of the Wii controls. Despite this, similar effects are retained in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The Trilogy received minor fan criticism for the removals.
- In Corruption, when Samus tests the Plasma Beam out during the pickup cinematic, the sound it makes is the same as in Prime, although it makes a different sound throughout the rest of Corruption, albeit one that sounds similar to the sound from Prime.
- The Plasma Beam arm cannon model seen in Corruption's cutscenes has an incorrect specular map on its tip. Because of this, large circles appear on the muzzle of the arm cannon.
- The Plasma Beam, along with Samus and several of her other abilities, were slated to appear in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, but they were removed due to Nintendo withholding their consent. The Plasma Beam in Ultimate Alliance appears to be based off of Prime's iteration due to its orange color.
- In the first Metroid Prime, the symbol for the Plasma Beam is a handprint presumably combining the index finger with the middle finger, the ring finger with the pinky, and putting them together, with the thumb turned inward toward the hand. Using the X-Ray Visor reveals that Samus configures her hand this way to activate the beam.
- The Plasma Beam's Arm Cannon appearance from Prime is the only one that does not return in Corruption.
- In chapter 4 of Samus & Joey, volume 1, Samus escapes captivity from thousands of Megaroid crystals by using her Plasma Beam and Ice Beam to destroy them, via thermal shock.
- While the Plasma Beam does not appear in Metroid Prime Hunters, its Official Nintendo Player's Guide erroneously refers to the Power Beam as the Plasma Beam in one instance: "Track Spire with your Plasma Beam as you walk the periphery of the room, moving in lockstep with Spire."
- The welding ability of the Plasma Beam in Corruption is not enabled until the beam is obtained. Unlocking all beams with a cheat code enables the Nova Beam, but the welding ability is not gained until that point, probably due to the room with them changing properties once the beam is obtained.
|Armaments||Arm Cannon • Paralyzer|
|Weapons||Power Beam • Wave Beam • Ice Beam • Plasma Beam • Grapple Beam |
Hyper Beam: (MD/MP3/SM) • Phazon Beam • Dark Beam • Light Beam
Annihilator Beam • Nova Beam • Zero Laser
|Enhancements||Beam Burst • Charge Beam • Diffusion Beam • Long Beam • Phazon bullets • Spazer Beam • Tractor beam • Wide Beam • Omega Cannon (Dread)|
|Affinity Weapons||Volt Driver • Battlehammer • Magmaul • Shock Coil • Judicator • Imperialist • Omega Cannon (Hunters) • Electro Lob|
|Features of Samus's Gunship|
|Personal||Adam's helmet • Chozo biotech computer • Data records • Logbook • Mii Bobblehead • Samus Screen • Ship Bumper Stickers • In the Cockpit • Music player|
|Armaments||Plasma Beam • Power Beam • Ship Grapple Beam • Ship Missile Launcher • Gunship Multiball • Bunker-Busting Annihilator • Gunship|
|Mission features||Auto-repair function • Biohazard scanner • Blast Shield • Bombing Run • Command Visor • Commander Adam Malkovich • Cryostasis • Escape Pod |
Heads-Up Display • Helm controls • Landing Gear Legs • Microfactories
Missile Station • Recharge Station • Save Station • Tetra Galaxy Scan Screen • Transmission console • B-Unit
|Cargo||Theronian Bomb (1st piece • 2nd piece • 3rd piece) • Colossal War Golem|
|Passengers||Baby • Anthony Higgs • Dr. Madeline Bergman • Commander Adam Malkovich (computerized) • Dachoras • Etecoons|