This fight with Ridley won’t be as formidable as you might expect going in. To be sure, he’s no pushover, but compared to some of the wars that we know are in the future of this series against the Space Dragon, this one is actually fairly manageable. There are a few different strategies that you can employ if you chose to take the detour and get the Wave Beam earlier, but if you listened to me and skipped it, don’t worry – there’s only one strategy you need!
Ridley will jump up and down, firing off projectiles at you that will stun you and deplete a modest amount of health if they hit you, and that’s really all he’s got. To beat Ridley, we’re going to use some close-quarter tactics and literally get up in his face and blast him with missiles. You’ll want to freeze the fireballs with your Ice Beam to quiet down the battlefield a bit, and while they’re frozen, just blast Ridley with clean shots to the face.
Even better, if you feel like your shots aren’t connecting or they’re hitting too many of Ridley’s fireballs, just jump right through him. Your Screw Attack will damage him and you’ll be on his backside. Ridley will usually take a second or two to react and turn around, so just hammer him with your missiles. Keep firing, Screw Attacking, and Ridley will bite the dust in no time.
Conversely, if you did grab the Wave Beam earlier, you could stand on the far side of the room and just fire at him, or even jump in the lava below and fire upwards (jump so you don’t take as much damage from the lava obviously). This is another way to achieve victory, but honestly, you should have enough missiles and health to follow the above strategy and be just fine.
Playing Super Metroid as often as I had growing up had conditioned me to expect the Ridley fight to be hard and the Kraid fight to be a breeze, so it was kind of refreshing to see that NEStroid actually went the opposite way.
Kraid is a beast in this fight. He is extremely hard to hit and is firing projectiles at you constantly, from both above and from his belly. The projectiles above aren’t too bad, but the ones firing from his belly are a real pain in the butt, for the simple fact that they block your missiles, they stay frozen in place if you hit it with your Ice Beam and still block your missiles, and the bottom one is basically unavoidable unless you get down into Morph Ball for and lay a bomb, something that will probably take more time than you’ll have. Our strategy of Screw Attacking through Kraid to get to the other side and hit him before he turns around also won’t work since the projectiles shoot out of his back too.
So what to do?
I’ve found that the most effective way to beat Kraid is to actually get in Morph Ball form and lay bomb after bomb until Kraid explodes. This is a risky strategy, as obviously you’ll need to get close to Kraid in order to damage him. There’s no way around it: you’re going to take a beating here. You will absorb a ton of punishment, buuut the key difference here is that Kraid will also be absorbing his fair share of licks, far more than he would if you were fighting Kraid head on.
This is why we saved this fight until after Ridley and why we collected all the Energy Tanks the game has to offer. If you’re aggressive with your bombing and can keep yourself on the platform, you should outlast Kraid.
Pro-tip: there is an Energy Tank in this room. While it won’t add any extra Tanks to our health, it will completely heal you, either after or during the fight if you need it. It’s hidden directly below the door 4 blocks down. Jump in the lava, shoot the block, jump back up, Morph Ball and drop and tuck in to grab it.
Get ready, because Tourian is the most hostile location yet. You’ll immediately be confronted by the deadliest creatures on Zebes – the Metroids. In case you didn’t know, Metroids attack by sucking on to you and literally draining the life out of you. Once a Metroid has its fangs in you, it can be very difficult to shake it off. Avoid this at all costs, but if you do get zapped by a Metroid, immediately get in Morph Ball form, roll side to side, and start laying bombs. The Ice Beam is absolutely critical here, so if for whatever reason you ignored my advice and got the Wave Beam instead, go back and get the Ice Beam. Seriously, don’t even attempt to enter Tourian without it. The strategy will be freezing Metroids and then blasting them with 5 missiles to destroy them. Don’t get cute and freeze them and just go past them – destroy them.
This is as hostile as hostile gets. You’ll have to deal with a constant barrage of enemy fire, in the way of both Rinkas and turret gun fire. The Rinkas will shoot out in groups of threes consistently. There will always be three of them to contend with. Your best bet is to freeze as many as you can, which will buy you some time to concentrate fire. The turret fire is a bit tougher since there’s really no way to counter or stop it; you’ll just need to avoid it as best as you can.
There will be five barriers in front of Mother Brain’s tank called Zebetites. These are an incredibly annoying and tough obstacle in the way. You’ll need to fire about a dozen missiles or so and land direct hits to destroy them, which is tough since there’s Rinkas everywhere and turret fire that can knock you off the platforms. Making matters worse is these Zebitites regenerate, so if you land a couple shots and then ease off the pressure for a few seconds, you’ll have to start from scratch. I hope you can understand now why we got so many missiles!
Once you destroy the fourth Zebitite, the floor will be covered in lava, which only adds to the challenge. Destroy the fifth Zebitite and you’ll be face-to-face with Mother Brain herself.
I know I mentioned it earlier, but it bears repeating: you’re going to make your life so much easier if you freeze all of the Rinkas so they can’t hit you or knock you in lava. I would actually make that your topmost priority here, even ahead of damaging Mother Brain. You’ll need close to 30 shots to Mother Brain in order to put her away, so aim true, calm the battlefield as much as you can, and eventually, the leader of the Space Pirates will be no more.