The Spider Ball is a special power-up for the Morph Ball, featured in Metroid II: Return of Samus, its remake Metroid: Samus Returns, Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. It is also used as an attack by Samus in Metroid Prime: Federation Force.
In Metroid II, the Spider Ball is one of the most important upgrades to exploration. It allows Samus to adhere to walls and ceilings when in Morph Ball form, thus allowing her to reach nearly anywhere in the game. However, if Samus is attacked, including from spikes that are lined on some surfaces, the Spider Ball will be canceled and she will be dislodged.
The Spider Ball is acquired in Metroid Prime by defeating Thardus, in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes by defeating the Spider Guardian, and in Corruption in the Powerworks on SkyTown. In these games, the Spider Ball allows the Morph Ball to cling to magnetically conductive ground areas, via electromagnetic capabilities. Normally, it is used to climb specially adapted railing called Spider Ball Tracks. If a Morph Ball Bomb is deployed, the Morph Ball will make a vertical "hop" as if on regular ground, disconnecting her from the rail for a second. If the Boost Ball is used (only in the later two Prime games), she will leap in the opposite direction from the track, often with enough power to shatter thick glass.
The Spider Ball is often used to gain access to hidden areas with a Missile Expansion, Energy Tank, or similar upgrades. Early, simpler upgrades might be a straight shot to the prize, but many involving the Spider Ball require the player to go through complicated puzzles, including the use of Bomb Jumps, Boost Ball leaps, and dropping from one track to another or grabbing onto a side track while falling. There have been a few bosses that required use of the Spider Ball to defeat, notably the Power Bomb Guardian, the Emperor Ing, the Quadraxis, and the Caretaker Class Drone.
In Samus Returns, in addition to spikes there are slippery surfaces that cannot be traversed through using the Spider Ball, thus acting as barriers that impede the Spider Ball and making its use for exploration more limited. Also, unique to this game, planting a Power Bomb while using the Spider Ball will initiate the Power Bomb Cannon move, which is similar to the Ballspark in Metroid: Zero Mission. Although it is depicted here as being able to attach to almost any surface, Spider Ball Tracks do make a brief appearance during the Diggernaut boss battle in which Samus must use the Spider Ball on the Tracks located on the Diggernaut's drill arms to reach a Bomb Slot inside, which destroys each arm. These Spider Ball Tracks rotate, forcing Samus to wait until they line up to access the next track. As a result, the Diggernaut battle is somewhat reminiscent of bosses in the Metroid Prime series.
In Metroid Prime, the Spider Ball greatly alters Samus's Morph Ball appearance. A large dent covers both sides of the Morph Ball and glows with the same color as the core. Transparent glass covers the dent and retains the Morph Ball's roundness. Electricity can be seen in these when attached to a Spider Ball track. Oddly enough, when the Fusion Suit mode is activated, the Spider Ball does not appear on the Fusion Suit's Morph Ball form as it would regularly, though it still allows Samus to climb magnetic surfaces.
In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Samus acquires the upgrade while in the Dark Suit. The only change is that the red orbs on the sides are enlarged. It is unknown how, or if, the Light Suit is affected, as the suit has no similarities to the previous one. At the beginning of the game (prior to losing her power-ups), if Samus looks through her inventory to her morph ball modes, it shows that she has the Spider Ball ability at that time. However, it shows a picture of the Dark Suit morph ball even though she was wearing the Varia Suit.
In both Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Metroid II: Return of Samus, the Morph Ball's appearance is not changed.
In the Prime series, a small band of energy connects Samus to the magnetic rail when activated. This bond is easily broken by the Morph Ball Bombs and Boost Ball.
In Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Samus uses the Spider Ball during the battle against her. The chamber she is fought in has multiple Spider Ball Tracks on the ceiling and walls which she uses in a pattern intended to avoid attacks to her core. After some time, she will roll to the center of the ceiling and drop, creating a massive shockwave when she lands. She will also lay Bombs in her final phase.
Metroid II: Return of Samus manual
"When Samus has assumed the ball shape, she can activate the Spider Ball by pressing down on the Control Pad. This “sticky ball”, gives her the power to move across the walls and ceiling unhindered by gravity. To maneuver, use the Control Pad. To return to the regular ball, press the A Button."
Official Metroid Prime website
Weapon Effect: N/A
Weapon Range: N/A
Weapon Potential: Non-Lethal
"The Spider Ball allows Samus to take advantage of special Spider Ball Tracks while in Morph Ball form. With the Spider Ball, Samus can cling to these surfaces and roll over obstacles, across walls and even upside down. The Morph Ball Bomb can be used to trigger a Bomb Jump while Samus is attached to a Spider Ball Track."
"Magnetic tracks are located around Tallon IV, often leading to secret areas and useful items. Acquire the Spider Ball power-up to travel along these tracks. Hold/release the R button to attach/detach."
Metroid Prime manual
"Once Samus finds the Spider Ball, she can magnetically attach herself in Morph Ball mode to specific magnetic tracks that run throughout Tallon IV's environment. To activate the magnet, simply press and hold the R Button. The Morph Ball will stay fixed to the track as long as you hold the R Button—tilt the Control Stick to move along the track and release the R Button when you wish to drop off the track. You can propel yourself upward by laying Bombs while attached to a track."
Follow the magnetic rails to explore new areas.
The Morph Ball Bomb can be used to trigger a Bomb Jump while attached to a rail.
You can use the Boost ability to rapidly propel the Spider Ball away from magnetic rails.*
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes manual
"Once Samus finds the Spider Ball, she can attach herself to specific magnetic tracks. To activate the magnet, simply press and hold the R Button. The Morph Ball will stay fixed to the track as long as you hold the R Button—tilt the Control Stick to move and release the R Button when you wish to drop off. You can propel upward by laying Bombs when attached, or launch out by using the Boost Ball function."
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes hint system
"Missing gear detected.
Chozo origin confirmed.
Recover missing gear."
* This sentence is included in Echoes, which otherwise features the exact same entry.
Metroid: Samus Returns Samus Screen data
"The Spider Ball can stick to and move along walls and ceilings. While in Morph Ball form, hold [L] to activate."
In terms of gameplay, the limitation to magnetic tracks in the Prime series was likely made to balance out the fact that being able to climb any 3D wall would easily break the game, potentially leading to a great amount of glitches, Sequence Breaking, etc.
- In Corruption, the Spider Ball is the only item held within the hands of a Chozo Statue. In the entire Prime series, this and the Artifact of Strength are the only items to be found in such way.
- In Metroid Prime, it is possible for Samus to acquire the Gravity Suit before the Spider Ball. However, in doing so, her Morph Ball's appearance will resemble that of her original Power Suit.
- The Spider Ball can cling to virtually any surface in Metroid II: Return of Samus despite the lack of magnetic tracks, which are used in other games. This is due to the fact that a sticky film surrounding the Morph Ball is what gives it its clinging ability, whereas the Prime version is magnetic in nature.
- The Spider Ball in Metroid: Samus Returns resembles its Return of Samus incarnation, though it gains a few limitations such as slipping on slippery walls and being impeded by crystal spikes. Additionally, it can also be used on Spider Ball Tracks found on the drill arms of the Diggernaut which are used to reach a Bomb Slot on each arm that allows Samus to destroy them. Additionally, Samus must use the Spider Ball to cling to the Diggernaut's head to Bomb three weak points. As a result the battle with Diggernaut somewhat resembles Samus' battle with Quadraxis. The concept art also depicted terrain spikes surrounding the Morph Ball, explaining its ability to climb non-magnetic walls.
- While the Spider Ball is active in Return of Samus, Samus will take significantly more damage from purple liquid.
- The Spider Ball does not appear in Metroid Prime Hunters. However, Spire's Dialanche form has a climbing ability similar to the Metroid II Spider Ball.
- In Echoes, the Spider Ball is necessary to defeat the Power Bomb Guardian, the "Caretaker" Class Drone, Quadraxis, and the Emperor Ing.
|Morph Ball | Bombs |
Spring Ball | Spider Ball | Power Bombs | Cross Bomb
Boost Ball | Force Ball | Hyper Ball
Death Ball | Deathalt
See also: Template:Alt-Form.
|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|