Metroid Fusion/Game Mechanics and Tricks

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Timing standards by the metroid fusion speedrunning community go by in-game time. This means your final time is the time shown at the end of the game, after the credits. The in-game timer counts anytime you see the playing screen, including:

  • Anytime you see Samus moving and/or have control over her
  • Item acquisition cutscenes
  • Seeing Samus's ship move

Things that don't count towards the in-game timer include:

  • Door transitions
  • Dialogue with Adam
  • Samus's monologues

For racing, RTA timing begins upon hitting "Start Game" on a 00:00 Main Deck File, or "Continue" on a 00:00 Main Deck New Game+ File. RTA Timing ends upon losing control of Samus, or the moment Samus gets beamed back into her ship after defeating Omega Metroid.

Starting a 00:00 Main Deck File

Resetting in Metroid Fusion would normally be very long, painful, and timewasting because of the very long introduction cutscene with slow text that is at least 5 minutes long. Fortunately, the game provides a way to start with an empty file without having to trudge through that introductory cutscene with every attempt via getting a 00:00 Main Deck File.

On a fresh file, start the game and go through the introduction cutscene. Once you see Samus's ship land in the ship, and the computer starts talking to you, then soft reset. The file you started on should now be a 00:00 Main Deck file, where all you have to do is go through a few boxes of dialog then you can immediately start playing.

A New Game+ File is especially handy for keeping count of your item count, and also your current in-game time in minutes. A New Game+ file is shown on the file select screen with the screw attack symbol on the right side of the file. To get that symbol, simply play a file and beat it. The file will still be at the last spot you saved, but you will now have that symbol.

To have a 00:00 Main Deck File with the New Game+ attributes, first get a standard 00:00 Main Deck File. Then play through the file and beat the game without saving. That 00:00 Main Deck File will now have the New Game+ Symbol.

General Movement Tips

  • Run as much as possible, and jump as little as possible. Jumping is horizontally twice as slower than running.
  • If in the air and you need to move horizontally, avoid being in morph ball. Morph ball moves horizontally slower in the air than spin jumping.
  • Land as little as possible. Every time Samus land, she has a landing animation and must then accelerate to start running again.
  • Avoid taking hits as much as possible, as Samus gets knocked back very far, and you typically lose almost a second for each unintentional hit.
  • Killing enemies in the way is generally faster than jumping over them or taking hits. It is even better to kill them without stopping. This is usually done by aiming diagonally down while running and using charge beam or missiles to finish off the enemy in the first half of the game.
  • If you have power bombs and there are bomb blocks to destroy, plant power bombs as early as possible that can reach the bomb blocks, as this is faster than using normal bombs up close.
    • This applies more to 100%, but screw attack destroys individual bomb blocks as well.
  • Every eye door after charge beam can be destroyed in one shot. For Zazabi's and Serris's eyedoor, use a close-range charge beam shot to hit with the flare to one hit KO it. All eyedoors after that can be destroyed by a single missile (since you should have super missiles or stronger), or a flare-hit charge shot.
  • Whenever the morph ball fall from a high height and lands, it spends a little time stopping and bouncing. If you have fast fingers, you can avoid this by unmorphing and morphing again a few blocks before landing, so you don't bounce.
  • If given the option between the two, always space boost (or jump with speed boost) instead of shinespark, as shinesparking has a considerable startup and bonking lag that makes it usually slower.
  • When space jumping, Samus must be at maximum falling speed in order to space jump again. Because your vertical speed decreases as you approach the pinnacle of your jump, you ascend faster overall for higher climbs if you release the A button about 2/3 the height of each jump.
    • On the other hand, some situations call for using full jumps to reach ledges just short enough to reach in one jump less.
    • If there are ladders, platforms, or enemies that you can freeze, then it is better to ladder jump or high-jump off of floors or frozen enemies, respectively.
  • There are several spots in the game where there is a one-sided gate right after a door. The easiest way to shoot them without stopping is to charge your beam and hold L to aim diagonally up before going through the door before the gate. During the door transition, let go of B but keep holding L. Samus will shoot the beam at the earliest possible frame, which will always unlock the gate.
    • One exception where this may not work is the gate after Ice Missiles and/or Power bombs in Sector 5. If you started running from too far left, then Samus will activate her speed boost before shooting the gate, and thus she'll run into the gate before opening it.
  • Avoid power gripping whenever possible. Use jump extends or walljumps to avoid power gripping, as it is relatively slow to climb up ledges.

Wall Jumping

Walljumping is a technique to gain height and/or cross longer distances to speed up certain rooms.

If walljumping off of a right wall, spin jump towards the wall and press right against the wall. After touching the wall, press left then A to walljump off of it. Samus can walljump off of any physical object as long as the bottom of her hitbox is touching the object she is attempting to walljump off of it.

Walljumping is useful to reach a higher height more quickly. Furthermore, the spinjump from a walljump also has 50% more horizontal speed than a normal spin jump, so it is useful for horizontal distances, or simply crossing horizontal gaps more quickly.

  • You cannot walljump on a single wall and gain height (unless done underwater without gravity suit), like in zero mission
  • You cannot walljump anymore after obtaining space jump.
  • You can pull change direction quickly in a walljump by pressing A again during the walljump. This lets you pull back towards the wall quickly and walljump again on the same wall if you like (but you can't gain height).

Ladder Jump

This is a technique used primarily in 100%.

This can only be done after obtaining space jump, or if submerged in liquid before Gravity Suit. Samus can jump off the ladder, pull back towards the ladder, and grab it again, then repeat. If done quickly, this is faster than space jumping manually, as you never lose any height for each jump.

Assuming Samus is facing a left ladder, simply press right, press A, immediately press and hold left until she grabs it, then repeat.

The only use for it in any% and 1% is the short ladder immediately after obtaining diffusion missiles. However, this technique of climbing rooms is used often during 100% cleanup.

Jump Extend

Every time Samus breaks out of her spin in the air, her vertical velocity is set to a constant and she stays in the air for a very slight amount of time. This gives her a very slight boost in horizontal distance for a jump, hence the name. By linking multiple jump extends in one jump, Samus can gain a few extra pixels of distance. The most common way to jump extend is while spin jumping, alternate between pressing B and A.

While it is a very minor technique, it helps turn several pixel-perfect jumps into just difficult jumps. It can also make the difference between power gripping a ledge and landing on it.

Underwater Wall Jump

Samus can walljump on a single wall and gain height if she does it underwater without Gravity Suit. However, she gains very little height with each walljump, and it requires very fast fingers. After doing a walljump, immediately pull back towards the wall and walljump again.

This technique is almost useless, except for one trick. After speed booster, you can leave backwards from Serris's tank and get out of the alcove with the underwater walljump. If done quickly and on the first try, this saves less than a few seconds than taking the standard route.

Pseudo Screw Attack

After collecting Charge Beam, you can charge a beam and spin-jump to attack enemies. This is especially useful for defeating weaker enemies that are in the way of your jumps, without breaking out of your spin. It's generally not as strong as a full beam shot. But in some special cases, you can pass through parts of bosses using this technique, most notably against Nightmare's arms. Even though the arms have no health, it mysteriously nullifies their contact damage.

If an enemy has more health than the pseudo screw attack damage, then the enemy will take damage but will not die; Samus will break out of her spin and take contact damage as well.

Ledge Shot

If you have a charged beam as you grab a ledge, you can shoot along the ground as you climb up. This is handy if there are enemies on the ground above you that might block you.

R Shot

While Samus has her beam charged and has at least one missile available, tapping R makes her automatically shoot it. However, an R shot is different from shooting her beam normally as R shooting does not affect Samus's current state. In other words, Samus's movement will continue as if she did not shoot at all.

The R shot allows you to shoot your beam while spin jumping, without breaking out of spin. This is the most practical use for R shots, and is required to open doors while spaceboosting. It is also useful for shooting your beam while climbing across ceiling bars without stopping.

Double Missile

The standard technique for double missiles is used for defeating the core-x of bosses more quickly. Typically, against a normal core-x, you hit it with a single missile then it is invincible for a few seconds, and you repeat. However, by hitting it with two missiles on the same frame, you can skip one round with each successful double missile.

The key to double missiling a core-x is the fact that the core-x's hitbox is a square. The standard method is to lure it to come sideways from high up, and shoot two missiles upward as closely together as possible. If done correctly, the side of the core-x's square hitbox will hit the two missiles and both missiles will hit it.

With the standard method, while aiming up and holding R, fire a missile up, immediately jump vertically, then while still rising in your jump, fire the second missile as early as possible. The first missile will have been fired as low as possible, and the second missile as high and early as possible, so both will be very close together.

If you have normal missiles, you can also hit the core-x easily if it's low. Simply stand near the core-x, and while it's forming, fire two missiles quickly. If done at the right time, both missiles will be inside the core-x by the time it forms, and it will be hit by both.

The timing for the double missile varies depending on what kind of missiles you have. Each upgrade to your missiles increases the cooldown after firing a missile, and the missile also travels faster than the previous type. Thus each upgrade makes it more and more difficult to double missile. The player should be able to master the timing for all four types (normal, super, ice, diffusion) to reliably double missile all standard core-x.

Beam Core-X are near impossible to double missile, mainly because the hitbox is much, much smaller, so both missiles must be at the same spot on the same frame. It is unviable to double missile any beam core-x besides the charge beam core-x.

List of Core-X and how many missiles they take:

  • Arachnus - 3
  • Charge Beam - 4
  • Zazabi - 4
  • Serris - 5
  • Mega-X - 6
  • Wide Beam - 4
  • Yakuza - 6
  • Nettori - 5
  • Nightmare - 6
  • BOX-2 - 4
  • Ridley - 6

You can also double-missile eye doors, specifically before Arachnus and the Charge Beam core. To do so, you must stand about 3 blocks back, jump straight up, simultaneously hit A and B, then land and shoot another missile as soon as possible. The key here is that, for some reason, if Samus is changing animations, the missile starts from the back of her sprite, thus your second missile is fired in front of the first. If you're spaced at the right distance and timed your missiles exactly right, the first missile catches up to the second as they hit the eye. This is obviously the hardest of the double missile strategies, and even the best players get it less than 10% of the time, but you need to grab the red X to refill missiles regardless, so there's practically no cost to attempt it.

Golden Pirates

The game intends for you to damage the gold pirates with charge shots on the back. However, the game only checks if both Samus and the pirate are facing the same direction when calculating if the beam should damage the pirate or not.

The fastest way to kill a golden pirate is to have a charged wave beam and face a golden pirate that is facing Samus, shoot it, then immediately turn around. Both Samus and the pirate will be facing the same direction, and the charged wave beam shot should finish it in one hit.


Shinesparking is a basic technique that speeds up many parts of the game. While running with a speed boost, crouch at any time to Shine Charge. To shinespark, press A from the ground without pressing a direction. During the start-up animation, press a direction to shinespark in that direction; Samus can shinespark horizontally, up, or diagonally up in either direction. Samus will then shoot herself in that direction, and will not stop until she hits an object.

To shinespark in the air, press A with a shine charge while samus is in aerial standing position, then press a direction during the startup. Samus can spinjump with a shine charge without shinesparking, but to shinespark, you must break out of her spin before trying to shinespark.

If Samus shinesparks horizontally or diagonally into a slope, and the horizontal direction on the d-pad is held, then Samus will continue running on that slope with speed booster. You can then shine charge again and repeat.

Shinesparking is the fastest form of movement in the game, and is very slightly faster than speed boosting and space boosting. However, there is a considerable startup animation and a long bonk animation, which makes shinesparking primarily useful only if you can cancel the bonk by hitting a slope, or usually only for long rooms. In other words, avoid shinesparking short distances, and if you can, space boost.

Pseudo Space Jump

If you shinespark horizontally and hold Jump, you automatically perform a jump after bonking, as if you had been standing on the ground. The only current use for this in a speedrun is in the second visit to Sector 5 ARC.

Similarly, though less importantly, if you're holding left or right, you automatically start spinning.

Space Boost

Space boosting is space jumping while speed boosting. This move horizontally as fast as running on flat ground with speed boost. This is one of the best forms of movement after obtaining space jump, as there is no start up nor delay unlike with shinesparking. However, it is also the most difficult technique to master, as touching any solid object besides a ceiling from below will stop Samus. Pressing any direction besides forward will also stop the space boost. Shooting anything will cause Samus to break out of spin, which stops the space boost, meaning to open doors while space boosting, you need to charge your beam and R shoot the door while space boosting.

Though space boosting is used in all categories, it is most prominently used in 100%, particularly during Sector 6 Cleanup.

Bomb Jumping

Fusion has previously received a reputation of ruining the speedrunability of the series for various reasons, and its very limited bomb jumping is an example of such developer control over players. You cannot infinitely gain height by bomb jumping as in all previous games (besides the original played by a human). Bomb jumping is required once, immediately after receiving bombs, but you are then given Jump Ball shortly after that. The only notable advanced bomb jump is used exactly once in 100%, to give you access to a morph ball tunnel slightly too high for Jump Ball.

To perform a Jump Bomb Jump, morph, jump, plant a bomb at the apex, release jump until you land so that you bounce, then hold jump again so you jump after the bounce. If timed right, you should consistently get propelled from the top of your jump, one block higher. You can only get propelled by a bomb in the air if you're ascending and holding A. The only reason this is useful is because during a PB explosion, you cannot be grabbing ledges to climb into high morph ball tunnels.

Weapon Information [1]

Name Base Damage Charge Damage Flare Damage Pseudo Screw Damage Cooldown (frames)
Normal Beam 2 - - - 6
Charge Beam 4 20 6 14 6
Wide Beam 9 45 9 21 6
Plasma Beam 9/frame 27/frame 12 30 6
Wave Beam 9/frame 27/frame 15 48 6
Ice Beam 18/frame 36/frame 15 48 6
Missile 10 - - - 8
Super Missile 30 - - - 13
Ice Missile 40 - - - 14
Diffusion Missile 45 - - - 15
Bomb 8 - - - 6
Power Bomb 50 - - - 4
  • Charging the diffusion missile does not do any more damage. However, the spreading flakes do 1 damage.
  • Plasma, Wave, and Ice Beam have the property to travel through most enemies, including some bosses. Thus they deal damage for every frame they travel inside the target.
  • There can be a maximum of three beams, two missiles, four bombs, and one power bomb on the screen at a time.
  • Ice and Diffusion Missiles have the property that they do not one hit KO enemies they freeze on the first hit.
  • It is very obvious that the wide, plasma, wave, and ice beam have three parts. However, the charge beam is actually two shots put into one; you can confirm this by shooting a wall and noticing two hitboxes that hit the wall. As a result, for strats relying on charge beam, it's important to make sure both parts hit, rather than only half of the beam.


  1. Dump of damage data for Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid: Zero Mission by PJ Boy -
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