Metroid: Zero Mission has a main path that the game guides players on, however there are also plenty of opportunities to go off the beaten path in a number of intended and unintended sequence breaks. These can be as simple as shaving off seconds of time for a speedrun or as game-changing (pun intended) as an early “late-game” item. Here you’ll find a series of sequence breaks and accompanying video footage so you’ll know exactly how to pull these tricks off! To jump to a particular sequence break, use the navigation bar:
How to do it: It’s actually possible to fight Ridley before Kraid. You’ll need the Ice Beam first, but immediately afterwards the game will force you through a series of rooms that circle back to the long vertical shaft that connects all of Norfair together. In the top right room where you would normally fall through some hidden crumble blocks, freeze the Ripper instead as soon as it touches the right wall and jump on it. Be careful not to walk onto the crumble blocks, as you’ll have to circle all the way back around to try again if you mess up (or rewind in the future when this game is added to NSO). The crumble blocks are 3 squares long, going from the top of the dip in the room and extending all the way to the wall.
Once you’re safely on top of the frozen Ripper, fire a missile at the wall directly in front of you to open a secret passage. As soon as you roll through the new opening, you’ll hit another crumble block that sends you down a narrow shaft. SPAM YOUR BOMBS HERE! If done correctly, another tunnel will be revealed at the right side of the shaft. The tunnel is too high to reach with a normal jump however, so you’ll either have to use a wall jump or an infinite bomb jump to reach it before the bomb block refreshes. You can learn about both of these techniques in the Special Abilities section of the guide.
After reaching the second tunnel, keep bombing the blocks that are in your way until you reach ANOTHER narrow shaft, this time much taller (it is indeed a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll). Fire a missile upwards and repeat what you did in the last shaft before the missile block comes back. I would heavily recommend sticking with the wall jump here. Once you’ve made it to the top, congratulations, the hard part is finished! Just follow the loooooong path downwards to the bottom of the map. Once you reach the bottom, crouch and fire a missile left into the tunnel. Roll through, help yourself to an early MISSILE EXPANSION #27 and give yourself a pat on the back for pulling off this tough sequence break!
Early Varia Suit
How to do it: You can collect the Varia Suit as soon as you get Bombs if you’re skilled enough, however for this guide we’re gonna wait until after we have the Power Grip and Ice Beam to make things a bit easier for us. Don’t let that fool you though, this is without a doubt the most difficult early item to acquire. You’re going to have to master the infinite bomb jump at multiple points, including being able to do so DIAGONALLY. Read more about this technique in the Special Abilities section and PRACTICE getting the timing down beforehand, especially for those diagonal jumps. I recommend using the Crateria landing site where Samus’s ship is located since it’s wide open and has plenty of verticality.
Get to the hallway with the single Waver (the flying clam-like creature) near the top of Brinstar. Take it out and then shoot the ceiling while standing in the middle of the room to create an opening above. Activate your Morph Ball and start infinite bomb jumping through the gap before the block respawns. I like to use a “gallop” timing for my bomb jumps, however there are plenty of YouTube videos showing people using different timings too, so use whatever you’re comfortable with.
Once you’ve ascended high enough, you’re going to need to transition to a diagonal bomb jump to make it to the ledge on your left. While maintaining your rhythm, you need to tap left once to line yourself up, then as soon as the bomb propels you diagonally, hold right and DON’T LET GO. If you keep your groove going while doing this, you’ll be launched diagnally left, then get pulled back just in time at a position that will launch you at the same angle again. The most difficult part about this is accidentally exiting the Morph Ball when using the directional pad. Point yourself downwards when moving horizontally to prevent this.
Once you’ve made it to the ledge, you’ll see a couple of breakable blocks over you covering up the next level. Shoot one of the blocks, then once more get into Morph Ball mode and start infinite bomb jumping your way up before the block respawns. This time you won’t have to engage in any diagonal manuevers, so this should be a fair bit easier.
In the next room, wait for the insects to eat through the Tangle Vine Fruits before proceeding forward. You’ll come across a Morph Ball section with 2 narrow shafts that have a slowly deteriorating crumble block at each base. Exit Morph Ball in each of the shafts and use your Power Grip to reach the top. If you’re doing this without Power Grip, you’re going to have to do some very fast infinite bomb jumping instead.
You’ve made it through 3 of the 4 trials, but we still have one absolutely brutal finale coming up. The last section involves 3 slowly deteriorating crumble blocks descending into the acid pool. You need to land on the 2nd one to get yourself up to the Morph Ball section above. The problem is you need the Hi-Jump Boots to be able to reach that height, which means… more infinite bomb jumps. This one is a doozy, you have very little time to get an infinite bomb jump going with how quickly the block dissolves underneath you. It’s likely going to take you a lot of patience, but it IS possible. It can be tempting to leave Morph Ball mode once you get near the top and try to Power Grip the ledge, but I would advise against this. It’s much easier to just keep your infinite bomb jump going and propel yourself into the crevice. Once you reach the top Morph Ball passage, roll to the left and keep holding left so that the crumble block at the end doesn’t surpise you and make you have to redo everything. Bomb the cracked blocks holding the insects, let them eat their meal, and head on through to the next room to collect your shiny new VARIA SUIT!
Early Super Missiles
How to do it: Once you’re back in Brinstar after grabbing the Hi-Jump Boots, head left into the hallway we fought Deorum in earlier. There’s an expansion hidden here that will take some somewhat precise Shinesparking to obtain (what’s a Shinespark? See Special Abilities!). Infact, we can actually get an important item here much earlier than the game intends for us to. I usually try to write these guides in a “the way the game intends you” kind of way, but this one is easy enough, so it’s up to you whether you want to do this or not. Let’s get started.
Once you get to the flat part of the room (this will line up to where the dot on the left side of your map is), start running and shooting. Your Speed Booster should activate right after you go through the blast door. As soon as your Booster kicks in, CROUCH! You’ll have about 3 seconds to act, so move quickly! Head back through the blast door into the room you came from and head down that little slope. Quickly turn around, fire the door open, get into Morph Ball form and activate your Shinespark. Head to the left and you’ll go crashing through a wall into a secret room which will house MISSILE EXPANSION #24! But wait – there’s more! Roll back out and repeat this process – run, crouch, Morph Ball, Shinespark. This time, when you get into the secret room, press down on the D-pad! Do this after you’ve destroyed the two Rippers with your Shinespark. You’ll have another 3 seconds to work with here, so quickly lay a bomb on the ground, closer to the right side of the room. The ground will give away and you’ll be on a small ledge (not the bottom most part, but a slightly raised ledge off the ground). Shinespark to your left, and you’ll go flying into another secret room which houses SUPER MISSILE EXPANSION #1! Congratulations – you just pulled off a sequence break!
Early Screw Attack
How to do it: If doing the intended boss order, you can get the Screw Attack on your way to the Wave Beam instead of waiting until after Ridley. As you can imagine, this is a MASSIVE boost in attack power and will make navigating Ridley’s Lair significantly easier. On the flip side however, it will also make certain expansions that require using frozen enemies as platforms more difficult as the Screw Attack will tear right through them, so it’s somewhat of a trade-off.
There’s 2 ways to grab the Screw Attack early; the “intended” method and the “unintended” method. The intended method is both easier and quicker than the unintended method, but the unintended method looks a bit more stylish with some tight Shinesparking manuevers. It’s up to you which way you want to tackle this.
For the intended method, go to the Save Station located just 4 rooms away from the Screw Attack (you can use our handy dandy 100% Map to pinpoint this location). Once there, go to the room immediately to the left and head towards the door at the opposite end, but DO NOT enter the next room. Instead, while at the door, fire 4 missiles upwards to carve a new path into a hidden area on the map. Wall jump or infinite bomb jump through this new passage, go through the door and you’ll find yourself just outside the Chozo Statue chamber holding the SCREW ATTACK. It is really THAT easy!
The unintended method requires a bit more work and is not at all optimal for speedrunning, but darn does it look cool when you pull it off! This features the same setup as SHINESPARK SHORTCUT #5, so if you’re familiar with that then this should be a breeze.
This time we’re gonna start off at the door directly across from the Norfair Map Station entrance. Open the door, but before running through to charge your Speed Booster, point your arm cannon diagonally downwards and arm your missiles. The next room is filled with infinitely spawning bugs that will cut off your run upon contact, plus your standard beam is also ineffective at taking them out fast enough before impact (hence why we have missiles armed). As you approach the first spawn pipe, start spamming missiles and DO NOT STOP until you enter the Speed Booster state. You’ll have a door coming up shortly, so while keeping your momentum be sure to let go of the directional aim button and fire your beam to open the door quickly. Otherwise you’ll be slamming into it like a rogue Tesla.
As soon as you load into the next room, crouch and store your charge. You need to Shinespark upwards roughly 4 squares away from the door you exited. The square you need to be standing on is the only flat surface before the dip. If done correctly, you’ll shoot upwards through the exact same Speed Booster block path that you would have gone through had you used the Morph Ball Launcher on the standard path after Ridley. The SCREW ATTACK is finally within reach and you looked like an absolute stud getting here! Now you’re playing with power!
Walkthrough | 100% Map | Missile Expansions | Super Missile Expansions | Power Bomb Expansions | Energy Tanks | Shinespark Puzzles & Shortcuts | Boss Fights | Special Abilities | Sequence Breaks | Endings