Mike Z's Super Metroid Glitch FAQ

Version 3.0
By Mike Zaimont

This FAQ was written in 1997 by Mike Z, a fan who was great at finding and exploiting glitches in videogames. He did a great job of taking Super Metroid apart, and this is an account of all the strange tricks he discovered. Be advised that some of them are extremely tricky to pull off, and don't e-mail me about them -- I can't do half of 'em either. -- TJ


Left, Right, Down and Up are directions on the control pad.

L and R are the top ("shoulder") buttons.

"Jump" is the jump button, "Shot"/"Shoot" is the fire button, and "Dash" is the button you hold to make Samus dash.

"jump," "shoot," and "dash" are the actions Samus does when the appropriate buttons are pressed.

Tap = press and release the button/direction.

Hit&hold = press and hold the button/direction until I SAY TO RELEASE IT, and not a *moment* before, dammit! :^)


The Speed Ball (aka "Mock/Mach Ball")

Air: Run until you get the blue echoes. While running, jump to the desired height. Release Jump, then press and hold Jump again. Tap Down. (Samus should now be ducking in midair, her gun pointing downwards.) While still holding Jump, tap Down, roll your thumb to Forward (a standard Street Fighter fireball motion) and keep holding Forward. You may release Jump at any time, because as long as you continue to hold Forward, she will stay in the ball form, with Speed.

Ground: Do the Air version, but make sure you do the fireball motion *right* before Samus hits the ground again. If done right, you will end up in a ball, rolling at Speed, and can kill enemies/go through Speed Blocks/etc. ****If you do the motion slightly early, she will bounce once, and stop. If you do it really early, the fact that you're holding Jump will make her do a *big* jump in Ball form.


1. Run, Jump, release then hit & hold Jump 2. Tap Down
3. Right before you hit the ground, do a fireballmotion 4. Continue to hold Forward

Things to do with this:

  1. Practice by your ship.
  2. Open the door into the main part of Crateria (left), and try to time a series of jumps so you get across all of it.
  3. Open the door to the right, and try to time a jump to kill the 2nd flying guy, and land in front of the door.
  4. Go to Norfair, and in the big Speed Room (long, slopes down/right, you *must* have speed to get through it all), do the Air and Ground versions. The Air version is neat, cause if you touch a guy, instead of killing him, you get hurt (while in Speed....)
  5. Once you can do all that in your sleep, you can try for the one-and-only Secret Room in Metroid 3! (However, I asked the big N, and they said that it was a "bug in the first release version of Super Metroid," so I hope you bought it as soon as it came out!)
  6. Go to the room where you fought the Crocomire, in Norfair. All the way on the right is an item (I forget what, since I got it waaay back when), on a pedestal. Now, in the "first release version," the block in the upper-right corner of the ceiling there can be broken with Speedball. Strangely enough, it doesn't show up on the X-ray specs.....but anyway:

    Go back onto the platform with the Crocomire's skull. Walk all the way to the right edge of it, so you're on two blocks overhanging the lava. Now walk left. On the floor, you should pass a small growth, then small growth next to a wide growth, then a wide growth. The *wide* growth is "X marks the spot." What you need to do is: Go to the left side of the platform (by the skull), and Run right. When you reach the above mentioned wide growth, jump, as high as you can. Do an Air Speedball at the top of your jump, but continue to hold Jump. If done right, you should bounce-jump in the lava, then impact against the block that you can break.....

    ......and if you have the right version, and were rising (not falling from the bounce), you break through the block, fall off the map, and see a green Chozo....and the game freezes. Congrats! Now push Reset, and try to find a way around the freeze.....I haven't yet.


X-Ray Echoes

This is easy. Select Grappling Beam. Run until you have the echoes, then while running and still holding Dash, hit Select (to select X-ray specs.) You end up with 2 or 3 echoes that look wherever Samus does.


Space Jump in Somersault Pose

This is just a graphical glitch. You still have all the properties of Space Jump and Screw Attack.

From your ship, go right, past the room with missiles on a pillar, and on until you come to some water and a platform, shown to the right:

Take off the Gravity Suit, if you have it. Space Jump to the right, so you *just* pass the surface of the water. Continue to Space Jump as you hit the surface, and you'll eventually break free, and look like you're Somersault jumping. If you change directions or stop, though, you go back to normal. (Sorry, no pics of this, it's not all that great.)


Mid-Air Shinespark

For all these, Run until you have echoes, then hit Down. Hold Left or Right and hit Jump, so she does a normal Somersault (or Screw Attack) jump. Then, to Dash in midair:

Straight Up: Tap R (aim weapon diagonally-up.)

Diagonally Up: Tap R, then tap Jump really quickly afterwards (or tap both repeatedly, whichever's easier.)

Shoulder Charge (horizontal): Shoot once, then immediately tap Left (or Right) and Jump repeatedly.


Moving During Giant Metroid/Mother Brain Sequence

****This will take a couple of tries, make sure you have a save in Tourian near Mother Brain.

Get to the Mother Brain with legs, (keep both suits on) and shoot her up until she fires those red beams from her arms. By running into her body and/or getting hit, get your energy down until you have nine squares (and some units) of energy. Now, shoot her until she starts to charge up her unavoidable beam. Before she fires, you must: 1. Get your energy down to 7 squares and some units, and then 2. Take off all suits, so Samus is yellow.

Then she fires, and drains off exactly 6 squares, leaving you with 1 square and some units. Wait for her to start to take a step forward, and then, as quickly as you can, pause it and put both suits back on. Take a deep breath, for now is the moment of truth, and.......unpause, then SHAKE IT OFF! (Wiggle the control pad and hit Jump and Shoot.) As soon as Samus stands up, start doing Space Jump.....you must stay airborne until the Metroid has "sucked her dry" and comes after you. Congratulations!

****Note: You may also do this with 13 squares of energy, but she has to shoot you twice with no suits on.....and it's a lot harder to have 13 squares then 7.

Why does all this work? Because the game checks first to see if your energy is low enough for it to summon the Metroid, and THEN it checks, using how much energy you have and what suits you have on, to see if you can get up. (The reason you must wait for her to take a step is because that means the Metroid will come next time she fires.)


1. The setup (yes, I know it shows the wrong number of Energy Tanks) 2. Get shot
3. Get up, wait for Mother Brain to step, and shake it off 4. Space Jump and stay there
5. Keep jumping (graphical glitch) 6. Now it's safe to land.
7. Done!

Things to do with this:

  1. Kill Mother Brain with the Metroid alive! Avoid the Metroid (so it doesn't latch on), and keep plastering her with Missiles or charged Plasma shots. She dies (eventually) without killing the Metroid, and it disappears.
  2. Escape with the Metroid on you!! Let it latch on and begin restoring power. While it is on you, you cannot die, no matter how many times you run into Mother Brain....so, do repeated Screw Attacks to her head, (you did it right if she flashes) and after about 15 minutes (yeah, loooong time!) she'll die, and you can escape with the Metroid on you, serving as a sort of invincibility! ***You can't shoot at all with it on you, that's why you have to Screw Attack.
  3. Game Freeze #1: Let the Metroid latch on, and right away Space Jump into the upper-right corner of the room, and stay there. When the Metroid finishes, it lets go, but Mother Brain can't hit it with the final shots! You can do whatever you want, but to advance you have to Reset or die.
  4. Game Freeze #2: Let everything proceed as normal. When Mother Brain kills the Metroid and Samus starts flashing, shoot repeated Plasma shots straight up. If one of these is on the screen when Samus returns to normal colors (and would have Hyper Beam), the game freezes, Samus disappears, and Mother Brain comes apart.....weird.


The Ultimate Glitch

Everywhere you go is blue on the map, and all items you get/bosses you beat/events you trigger can be re-gotten/re-beaten/re-triggered as many times as you want!

****Notes: This glitch is mostly LUCK! It all depends on where you end up standing. You have a really slim chance of getting it. (I've only done it twice.)

****Also: In order to do this, the set of missiles on the pillar in the water room (on the way to the Wrecked Ship from Crateria) must still be there. (Whew, run-on sentence.) And you also must have Speed Boots.

Be in the room to the left of the (above mentioned) water room. Kill off both of the flying Zebesians (sp?) and open the door leading to the water room. Run from the left door until you are stopped. Go back to the left door and run again, only this time tap Down right before you are stopped. Hold Right and hit Jump so you land on the platform next to the door.

Now, do the trick for an Air Shoulder Dash, but do it as close to the floor as you can. Make sure you get through the door, hope.......

......and if all went well, you will go dashing into the water room, and pass right through the missiles. That's it! To remove the glitch (i.e. all areas you visit will be pink, etc.) just re-do it. And yes, this glitch does Save!

****The reason you have a really slim chance is: You must not only be at the right position horizontally on the step next to the door, but you must also have done the shoulder dash so you pass through the top 4 or less pixels of the missiles, otherwise the missiles are too wide.....

Basically: Get Speed Boots, and make sure the "missiles on a pillar" (in a room near the Wrecked Ship) are still there. Go into the room left of that one, and kill the 2 flying bugs. Open the door to the right. Run from the left, press Down, and while flashing do an Air Shoulder Dash through the door. IF you go through the missiles without getting them, it's done!

Things to do: The possibilities are endless! I have over 300 Super Missiles, and I can get into Tourian even though Phantoon, Draygon (sp?) and Ridley are still there.....



All credit for everything found in this FAQ goes to me, Mike Z...though if anyone else knows anything, tell me.

All screenshots are unedited captures from Snes9X for DOS. Sorry for the size, but they don't work well smaller......

SNES9x savegames provided by ESaint and nameless.

Thanks to the makers of SNES9x....without them, this would all be text. :^)

And, of course, thanks to Nintendo (and the late Gunpei Yokoi) for providing the marvel of entertainment known as Metroid 3!

"Whew.....I need some sleep!" -- Mike Z