The Screw Attack (スクリューアタック Sukuryū Atakku) is one of Samus Aran's most iconic and powerful Power Suit upgrades. It is an advanced movement system that allows Samus to emit energy waves from points on her armor while she somersaults into the air, turning her into a rotating energy blade of destruction. The Screw Attack can destroy most creatures and Screw Attack Blocks instantly on contact. It first appeared in Metroid, and has appeared in most games since, except for Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime Hunters.
The Screw Attack is traditionally thought to have been invented by the Chozo, due to its appearance in the hands of Chozo Statues. However, this origin is possibly disputed in the Prime series; while most scans made by Samus' Power Suit for the Hint system in Echoes specify whether an upgrade is Chozo or Luminoth in origin, the Screw Attack is referred to only as "unknown technology". Still, it is entirely possible that the Hint system may have simply not been able to identify its origin, especially since it was protected by a state-of-the-art Luminoth Vault.
At some point in the past, the Chozo exchanged the Screw Attack technology with the Reptilicus. This is commemorated in the ice climate of the planet Bryyo in monument form by two statues: one represents the Chozo De'la, having its hand outstretched above the hand of another statue representing the Bryyonian emperor N'ge, the latter holding the Screw Attack in its palm. The scan of De'la says, "Statue represents De'la and the first Chozo gift of knowledge bestowed upon the Reptilicus." The Screw Attack item in N'ge's hand is collectible by Samus.
2D Metroid series
In Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid: Samus Returns, Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion and Metroid Dread, the Charge Beam features a semi-Screw Attack function called the Spin Jump Attack. However, the official Screw Attack will make it obsolete. Neo-Ridley had the Screw Attack item in his possession in Fusion, and his Core-X restores the item to Samus.
In Metroid: Other M and all 2-D Metroid games except for Metroid II and Super, the energy surrounding Samus during a Screw Attack constantly shifted colors; Super and the Prime series kept it to a single color: green and yellow, respectively.
In Other M the Screw Attack is re-equipped by Samus at the same time as the Space Jump, although the two are separate items by default and nothing like in Echoes and Corruption. It is far more powerful than in previous 3-D games, capable of reducing enemies far larger than Samus to a puff of smoke. Samus activates them without Adam Malkovich's approval, having lost contact with him while tracking the Deleter. He disables a bridge to stop her from following him, and she takes the liberty of enabling both items, jokingly asking "Any objections, Adam?"
When the Screw Attack is used in conjunction with the Space Jump, it becomes one of the most devastating weapons in every game it is featured in.
The Screw Attack seen in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is different from those found in every other game. It is actually a combination of the Screw Attack, Space Jump and Wall Jump from the 2D games. It enables Samus to "jump" in midair, though only in one direction and allowing up to five consecutive jumps; pushing the control stick either left or right will make her curve slightly towards the desired direction. It also enables her to jump off special surfaces, which activates the Wall Jump ability seen in post-Metroid II games.
While Samus is performing this form of the Screw Attack she is granted immunity to damage or "invincibility". It is possible that the Prime Screw Attack upgrades are of a different technology from their 2D counterparts, allowing them to perform altered functions. This would explain why the Hint system does not recognize the technology in Echoes, even though Samus had the upgrade during her Zero Mission before. Though the variant in the Prime games is quite powerful, it is only capable of killing off weak creatures in a single jump and requires additional hits from the upgrade to dispatch more powerful beings, unlike the Screw Attack from other entries. This makes it less practical as a weapon.
In Echoes, Samus has the ability to cancel the Screw Attack. She cannot activate the upgrade underwater in Echoes, as a third jump will simply activate the Gravity Boost instead. However, she can activate the Screw Attack slightly above water and repeatedly descend into and jump out of water with it, with no impact on the Screw Attack's performance.
The glowing part resembles a buzzsaw.
According to Kynan Pearson, multiple developers (including Andy O'Neil) worked on designing the Screw Attack in the Prime series. They first decided to limit its usage to prevent Samus from being able to gain altitude. After this, they spent time polishing the Wall Jumps and ensuring the camera would understand how to time using the item.
Bryan Walker said that the Screw Attack was added to Echoes due to significant fan demand, and was more challenging to implement than the Spider Ball from an engineering standpoint. Michael Kelbaugh added that the decision to add the Screw Attack was unpopular with the game's engineers, but the studio was satisfied with the final result.
The Screw Attack was discussed for inclusion in Metroid Prime, but "quickly shot down" according to Clark Wen. He enjoyed designing its sound, which was a synthesized and modernized version of its sound effect in Super Metroid.
In other games
- The Screw Attack is used in the Metroid Prime Pinball minigame Wall Jump, where Samus Wall Jumps exactly as in the Prime series to reach a bonus.
- The Screw Attack was in Kirby Super Star (under the name "Screw Ball"), as a collectible treasure in The Great Cave Offensive, worth 80,000 Gold. It returns in the Nintendo DS remake, Kirby Super Star Ultra (now named correctly).
- In Super Mario Bros. 3 and later Mario games, when Mario acquires a Super Star (or Rainbow Star in Galaxy), he will be able to spin-jump. This spin-jump greatly resembles the Screw Attack.
- In the NES and SNES game adaptation of the 1992 film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the player character, Kevin McCallister, after getting a bell item can end up performing a similar move to the Screw Attack, and can use it until he takes damage.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, one of Eggman's mobile machines performs a Screw Attack in which the machine surrounds itself in deadly energy whilst spinning around.
Super Smash Bros. series
Samus has appeared in every Super Smash Bros. series game to date, and the Screw Attack has consistently been her Up Special recovery move in each game. When used, she launches up and deals damage to opponents on contact. After using the move, Samus descends while in a "helpless" state, in which she flashes rapidly and cannot move until she lands or is KO'd and respawns. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, each Special Move has three variants, with the Screw Attack's custom variants being the Screw Rush and Apex Screw Attack. As an Echo Fighter, Dark Samus also uses the Screw Attack as her Up Special.
The Screw Attack has also been an item usable by all characters, which gives them the ability to Screw Attack every time they jump, damaging opponents on contact. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Screw Attack is held, and it can be thrown at an opponent to deal damage. Starting in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it is worn like a badge and falls off when it expires. Melee uses the more subdued color scheme of the item's Super Metroid sprite, while Brawl updates its design to match the brighter colors of its Zero Mission sprite.
The Screw Attack symbol is also used as the Metroid series emblem in the games.
List of locations
- Metroid/Metroid: Zero Mission: Chozo Statue in Norfair, past the "Screw Attack corridor".
- Metroid Prime Pinball: Used in the Wall Jump minigame.
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: Hidden inside a chamber in the Vault, Sanctuary Fortress.
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: Hall of Remembrance, Bryyo Ice.
- Metroid II: Return of Samus/Metroid: Samus Returns: Statue in Phase 7/Area 5.
- Super Metroid: Statue in Lower Norfair.
- Metroid: Other M: Samus allows herself in the "Bioweapon Research Center access bridge", Biosphere.
- Metroid Fusion: Neo-Ridley's Core-X in Sector 1 (SRX).
- Metroid Dread: Statue in the "Screw Attack complex", Artaria.
Screw Attack symbol
Since Super Metroid, the Screw Attack symbol of a lightning bolt on a circle has become the Metroid series' official logo, being used for Fusion and Prime. It has also been the symbol for the suit upgrades in the Prime games. The "S" shape would seem to represent "Samus", "Suit", or "Screw". Alternatively, the shape could be a lightning bolt, in relation to the Screw Attack's electric nature. The symbol is depicted on the Metroid Hat and Medallion, two promotional items for Super Metroid. Furthermore, it is used on the Results Screen of the Metroid Prime Hunters Multiplayer Mode despite the upgrade's absence from Hunters: gold, silver, and bronze Screw Attack symbols indicate that the player ended up in first, second, and third place respectively. The player in fourth and last place is shown a red skull representing death.
- The only time Samus ever demonstrated the use of the Screw Attack outside her Power Suit was in the original Metroid via a password.
- In 2-D Metroid games, the Screw Attack only functions as an attack while jumping and does not increase Samus's jumping height or time she can spend in the air (which in 2D Metroid games is left up to the Space Jump) while in the Prime series the Screw Attack increases the amount of times Samus can jump from two to seven.
- In Metroid Fusion, Samus has more control over her wall jumps if the Screw Attack is enabled without the Space Jump (seen through the debug menu).
- In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, using the Screw Attack off the edge in Grand Windchamber will not deal falling damage.
- In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Multiplayer, the Screw Attack can be hacked in and will instantly defeat any opponent it touches when used. If two players collide while using it simultaneously, no damage is given to either player.
- The Screw Attack is not invulnerable to a Kinetic Orb Cannon's blast however.
- This upgrade is one of three that the Luminoth sub-sentinels never mention or give hints to in-game, the others being the Boost Ball and the Grapple Beam.
- In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Gandrayda is highly vulnerable to the Screw Attack. However, it is very hard to hit her with it as she is jumping around for the majority of the battle. This weakness has been reduced in Metroid Prime Trilogy.
- The Screw Attack can also play a role in the final phase of the Aurora Unit 313 battle, where it is an effective means of stopping AU 313's spinning attack.
- This item plays another prominent role with Omega Ridley, as he will usually cancel whatever he is doing and simply dodge it.
- In Echoes and Corruption, the Screw Attack can be used to find a number of Secret Worlds and Sequence Breaks. Most large open rooms however have invisible barriers to prevent Samus from Screw Attacking out of bounds.
- The Screw Attack in Echoes and Corruption places Samus in a Morph Ball-like state. Because of this, it is possible to glitch Samus inside most Morph Ball-sized tunnels or occasionally to save time by jumping over the wall in Dynamo Access. This also leads to Secret Worlds.
- In Metroid: Other M, Samus is capable of using the Screw Attack while underwater without the use of the Gravity Feature, a feat not possible in previous games.
- In Super Metroid, if she activates the Screw Attack and falls into water without the Gravity Suit, the Screw Attack will continue but with usual water physics and a considerably slower spinning animation.
- Metroid Fusion's instruction manual states that Samus cannot utilize the Screw Attack underwater until she has obtained the Gravity Suit. While this fact is normally true (seen through the debug menu), Samus cannot naturally obtain the Screw Attack normally until after the Gravity Suit is obtained.
- In Metroid: Other M, Samus performs the Screw Attack while Kick-Climbing, despite the fact that she does not actually enter a Spin Jump in that process.
- ^ (2022, January 26). Episode 21 – Jack Mathews (Ex Retro Studios) [Podcast]. Shinesparkers. Shinesparkers. Archived from the original on June 18, 2022. (starts at 48:50)
- ^ Interview: Kynan Pearson. Shinesparkers. November 7, 2021. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
- ^ NOM Staff. "Post game report: Retro Studios talk Metroid Prime 2 Echoes". Computer and Video Games. December 3, 2004. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
- ^ Kiwi Talkz. "#112 - Clark Wen Interview (Metroid Prime, Sound Design, Kenji Yamamoto, Mixing, SFX, Game Audio )". YouTube. October 23, 2021. Retrieved April 24, 2022. (starts at 11:12)
- ^ Best and Worst Power Ups in gaming, from ScrewAttack
|Power Suit movement systems|
|Thrusters||Screw Attack • Gravity Boost • Speed Booster • SenseMove|
|Boots||High Jump Boots • Space Jump • Jump Boots • Space Jump Boots • Spin Boost|
|Morph Ball||Spring Ball • Spider Ball • Boost Ball|
|Arm Cannon||Grapple Beam • Spider Magnet|
|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