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The "Spacetime Beam", also known as the "Reset Beam", is a beam used in Super Metroid to cause a glitch that will reset the game. This is not a soft reset of the game's software, or a hard reset of the console itself; instead it "resets" the save file and causes all bosses to respawn and all upgrades to be reset, along with shielded doors.[1] This beam can also be used to escape Zebes before Samus defeats the Mother Brain. This will crash the game if done incorrectly. If the player activates a Power Bomb Combo and switches to the Spacetime beam in the pause menu, a salmon-coloured shield will surround Samus for a few seconds which will deal a small amount of damage to enemies upon contact and freeze them in a glitched way so they will become red and green and intangible.

To use this beam, Samus must not equip the Wave Beam and she must have the other 4 beams all equipped.[1] To get past the fact that the Spazer Beam and the Plasma Beam cannot be equipped at the same time, Samus must equip the Spazer Beam first. Afterwards, the player must go to a boot upgrade, then tap left and A at the same time. If done correctly the Plasma Beam should be equipped with the letters VAR next to it.

This should only be used in a fairly large room, but not too big (one convenient room is located on the right in the long vertical hallway in Crateria, after the player bombs the wall next to the only purple platform that touches the wall), and the game will lag for a short period after firing, so it is advised to stand as close as possible to a door. Before activating the beam, the player must make sure their means to exit the room are open because they cannot open doors when the game is running in Spacetime mode. After that, the player can then fire the beam (it will sound twice), and the game will slow down to a crawl (Spacetime mode). Afterwards, leaving the room will complete the reset and return the game to normal speed. This is when the beam must be deactivated to avoid causing unintentional harm afterward.[1] It is noted that the display at the top of the screen will go erratic and fill with garbage, sometimes becoming covered in many orange squares showing the number 1, and this is normal behavior for this beam. They will turn green if the player selects Missiles, Super Missiles, Power Bombs, the Grapple Beam or the X-Ray Scope, and gray after pressing select again. If the player uses any of these, the correct number remaining will be displayed as usual, same with energy if Samus gets hit or collects extra energy from enemies. The display at the top will return to normal if the game is saved and reset.

Note: If this is performed in a small room, the room's ground hit detection will disappear, and Samus will fall through the ground, soft-locking the game, but if the room is too big, the game will crash immediately.

To return to Ceres Space Colony, the game must be saved after the Spacetime Beam is activated. The player must then reset the console, and return to the safe file that was reset. The game will not take Samus back to the save point on Planet Zebes, but will instead replay the intro (during the flashback scene with Samus fighting Mother Brain, she'll be fully colored if the player equipped her with the Screw Attack before resetting the file, rather than monochrome like the rest of the scene) and place Samus back in the space colony with all of her upgrades, except for her Missiles (This is because the Mother Brain cutscene in the intro temporarily gave Samus missiles, then removed them when it finished playing before the actual game started). Ridley's attacks deal little to no damage during the first encounter with him. Despite having a massively powered-up beam by this time, Ridley still takes the same amount of time to defeat as originally, because his defeat is not measured by the power of Samus's shots here, but rather by the number of times she hits him. Losing this battle is not a recommended way to continue from here, because many Energy Tanks have likely been acquired as well as the Gravity Suit, negating most damage from Ridley (The Gravity Suit also cannot be taken off at this point because pausing is disabled in the Colony) Interestingly enough, the Doors in the Colony are technically enemies, and can be destroyed with the use of Power Bombs.

Once the colony explodes, the ship will return to Zebes, which is now almost fully reset. Note: If Power Bombs have been acquired, rain will not be falling at the landing site due to room state triggers. If the first Torizo's room is re-entered, the fight will start automatically because Bombs have already been acquired. Entering the room where Mother Brain's Control Capsule was after Missiles have been re-acquired, the room states for after the intro will activate, causing enemies to spawn and Crateria - The Space Pirates Appear to play. Some pickups will not spawn if this trigger has not been activated, due to it normally being impossible to reach them otherwise.

Acquiring a major upgrade a second time will not do anything, but re-acquiring past collected Missile, Super Missile, Power Bomb, Energy, and Reserve Tanks will allow the player to go over the maximum number of each upgrade. The game's programming works well with these extra tanks on a game-play standpoint, but not on a visual standpoint. Extra Energy Tanks will not appear above the normal 14 within the actual game, but still work. Extra Reserve Tanks will appear within the Samus Screen, and do not look abnormal until 6 or more are collected. Having more than 999 Missiles, 99 Super Missiles, or 99 Power Bombs will cause glitches in the numbering while they are above that range, but will return to normal once they drop below their place value limit. Recollecting items will also allow for a completion percentage of over 100% because the game's programming simply adds 1% to the count every time an item is collected.

SM - SpaceTime Beam that's a lot of E Tanks

An affected save file where Samus has collected double the max amount of Energy Tanks

To leave Zebes early, Samus must use the beam in the room where her ship is and then enter the ship. Using the beam causes the usual slowdown; Samus' ship also experiences graphical glitches, and the background glitches as the ship climbs. After the ship leaves Zebes, the cutscene where Zebes explodes plays normally.

In some cases, depending on the game / console / emulator used, this method will not work; shooting the beam in outer Crateria may freeze the game, making escaping Zebes impossible unless this method is tried somewhere else. In varying cases, different effects with the beam can be achieved whether it is fired fully before exiting the room Samus used it in, or it is fired as she is running right at the door and almost through it.

An example: the screen to the left of the Wrecked Ship entrance, with the door all the way to the left. If shooting the beam here causes the game to enter "escape from Zebes" mode rather than activating the reset, then the beam should instead be fired as Samus is running at the open door (timing needs to be accurate; if she goes through normally, the beam was fired too late, and if the game slows down and escape mode is active, the beam was fired too early). The damaged graphics at the top of the screen can vary depending on which method was executed. Different areas can swap the escape / reset effects of these two methods; experimentation in each unique location is the only way to know which method of the beam will have which effect.

An easier variant of the timing method (firing it as Samus is running at the door) is to press and hold the shot button, so the shot will be blankly fired a single time (nothing appears and the game remains running normally), and then let it charge for a second, then morph into a ball so the charge turns into many small bombs. This will slow the game down only momentarily until the bombs explode, and then everything will return to normal, and the beam's effect (depending, again, on current location as well) will be armed and ready. The beam can be deactivated in the pause menu now before even leaving the current room.

Some cases, such as different game / console / emulator used, will not allow the Spacetime beam to activate "escape Zebes" mode at all, and can only perform the reset glitch or crash the game.


  1. ^ a b c d Other: Space-Time Beam. Metroid 2002. Retrieved on 2012-11-07.

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