Beginners Route

From A complete guide to Super Metroid speedrunning
Jump to: navigation, search


This video is a demonstration of a route that I think would be excellent for anyone who has played Super Metroid casually, and wants to do their first ever speedrun of the game. There is already an excellent beginners' tutorial by Mishrak, but that route has several techniques that you want to learn early on when speedrunning, but still might require some practice to get them reliably.

  • This route assumes you can walljump, but have trouble chaining multiple walljumps together
  • This route avoids mockballs entirely
  • This route assumes you can shinespark vertically, but don't know how to do horizontal shinesparks
  • This route assumes you don't know how to short charge the speed booster
  • This run does one diagonal shinespark, but you could use the Grapple Beam to traverse Mt. Everest instead
  • This route doesn't do the Zebetite Skip, so you need to pick up enough Missiles to destroy the Zebetites
  • This run avoids Arm Pumping entirely. It's a "free" timesave, but I didn't want to introduce new runners to it in a video with no commentary, because then I can't explain why you want to avoid it on downward slopes.

I was inspired to create this video because of the recently-added Nintendo Power% category, which follows the route laid out in an issue of the magazine. The problem is that the route is very inconsistent in the skill level that it expects out of the player -- it makes you get Grapple Beam before you can pick up Wave Beam, even though that's a fairly simple walljump, but it expects you to get the Norfair Reserve Tank before Grapple Beam, which means you need to get there through either a very precise walljump, or by using a Damage Boost. This run collects largely the same set of items, but doesn't require even a moderate level of skill to do so. Compared with Nintendo Power%, this run collects one less missile pack (the Grapple missiles), skips Spring Ball, skips X-Ray, and collects one additional Energy Tank (the Fireflea E-Tank in Lower Norfair).

I uploaded my splits file here. I use the autosplitter script, which is included in LiveSplit. The Autosplit settings used for the video included splitting on every item pickup, as well as certain door transitions.


A few mechanics I think may not come across by watching the video:

  • Control Schemes -- Set your own control scheme based on what makes sense for you. You can switch later, the choice is not permanent
  • Stop on a Dime -- There are many times during the run that I'm holding an angle button and tapping the d-pad to scooch Samus forward a small amount without wanting her momentum to carry her further. Also, you can hold an Angle button as a room loads in order to stop immediately
  • Walljumping -- Many casual runners don't realize that the walljump inputs must be pressing away from the wall then jumping, and instead try to do those inputs simultaneously

Some mistakes that I made in the video:

  • I really meant to turn on my input viewer when recording this, so you could see what buttons I'm pressing for any given move
  • I left the room after grabbing the Alpha Power Bombs without grabbing the missiles behind the statue, so then I had to go back to get them
  • I grabbed the Golden Torizo Supers before fighting Golden Torizo, which is a perfectly valid order to do it, but it's not what's reflected in my splits
  • At the start of Mother Brain's Room the autosplitter splits twice. At the time this was a known bug that sometimes popped up, and it's since been fixed. Hitting the "Undo Split" button once put the timer back where it should be.


If you're already familiar with some tricks of the standard run, you can save a substantial amount of time over this route by implementing some aspects of Mishrak's route. Over time you can drop these safety items to speed up your route, as long as you're comfortably able to complete a run without that safety.

  • Even with several failed attempts at the mockball in Early Supers Room, it will still be faster than fighting Spore Spawn
    • Taking the Reserve Tank in the next room over is also a commonly-recommended safety if you need more health during the run than you currently pick up
  • Walljumping up Bubble Mountain is significantly faster than taking the long way through Volcano Room
  • If you're able to do the shinespark across The Moat, you can skip Grappling Beam, including the need to fight Crocomire. If you have trouble with the West Ocean shinespark or can't afford the health, you can just turn off Hi-Jump Boots and jump across those platforms
    • Skipping the Grappling Beam also means that you'll need to kill Draygon with some other method, such as the "Beginner" strategy listed on Draygon's page
  • If you can do the Zebetite Skip, you can skip several missile packs, which can save substantial time from both traversing to the location, and the item fanfare