The randomizer sets restrictions on each item location to ensure that no progression item is placed behind an obstacle that requires it to continue. For example, if Varia Suit is after Draygon, Gravity Suit cannot be in a location that requires Varia, like Lower Norfair. In addition, there are a few restrictions on certain items.
- Morphing ball is always at one of the first two major item locations, Morphing Ball or Energy Tank (Blue Brinstar)
- Gravity Suit cannot be in Crateria, and can only be at X-Ray Scope or Energy Tank (Waterway) in Brinstar.
- Gravity Suit also cannot be at Plasma Beam, Spring Ball, or Space Jump
- Varia Suit cannot be in Crateria, or at Morphing Ball or Energy Tank (Blue Brinstar)
- Varia Suit also cannot be in Lower Norfair
- Neither Speed Booster nor Screw Attack can be at either of the first two major item locations
There are several other minor changes made to the game. The goal of these changes is to balance out item distribution, minimize idle time in the game, and minimize the chance of a soft lock. The details of these changes can be found on the randomizer information page.
Major Item Locations
Major items are all 14 Energy Tanks, all four Reserve Tanks, and all unique items.
- Energy Tank (Gauntlet)
- Energy Tank (Terminator)
- Reserve Tank (Brinstar)
- Charge Beam
- Morphing Ball
- Energy Tank (Blue Brinstar)
- Energy Tank (Etecoon)
- Energy Tank (Waterway)
- Energy Tank (Pink Brinstar)
- X-Ray Scope
- Energy Tank (Warehouse)
- Varia Suit
- Ice Beam
- Energy Tank (Crocomire)
- Hi-Jump Boots
- Grappling Beam
- Reserve Tank (Norfair)
- Speed Booster
- Wave Beam
- Energy Tank (Ridley)
- Screw Attack
- Energy Tank (Fireflea)
- Reserve Tank (Wrecked Ship)
- Energy Tank (Wrecked Ship)
- Super Missile (Wrecked Ship East)
- Gravity Suit
- Energy Tank (Mama Turtle)
- Plasma Beam
- Reserve Tank (Maridia)
- Spring Ball
- Energy Tank (Botwoon)
- Space Jump
Due to the random nature of the item placement, there is no one optimal route. Much of the routing decision-making process boils down to where you are and what you have access to at any given time. It's generally a good idea to visit the closest location you can that has the most items, and that you can completely clear out so as to minimize backtracking.
A key difference between this run and most other runs is that you may not find Charge Beam until very late in the game, or it may not be in a location you can check without a significant time loss. It's important to know the ammo requirements for each boss, as you may not be able to fall back on charged shots, and on some bosses this can lead to a soft lock.
Super Missiles deal 300 damage, Power Bombs deal 200 damage, and Missiles deal 100 damage. For comparison, a fully charged Ice + Wave + Plasma beam deals 900 damage.
- Botwoon has 3,000 health, which is 10 Super Missiles
- His hit boxes can be misleading, so care should be taken if your ammo count isn't much higher than required
- Ridley has 18,000 health, but takes 2x damage from Super Missiles, so you only need 30
- Power Bombs can hit him twice if timed correctly
- Mother Brain 1 requires 19 hits with at least 3,000 damage total
- Mother Brain 2 has 18,000 health, which is 60 Super Missiles, on top of whatever you use for phase 1
In addition, if you don't find ice beam, you can clear all of the metroids in Tourian with 12 power bombs. If you can't hold that many, you may need to leave Tourian and farm drops to kill all of the metroids.
While the randomizer can't generate the vanilla game due to the switching of the Hi-Jump Energy Tank and the Wrecked Ship East Super Missile, it is entirely possible to generate a seed that requires no advanced techniques. It's also possible to generate a seed that is significantly easier than the vanilla game, commonly referred to as a "free" seed. That being said, there are some techniques that will be useful in every seed for minimizing backtracking.
- There are a ton of places where this is useful in getting to items early, and several advanced techniques and room-specific tricks require it
Most seeds will require at least one of these techniques to complete, or to prevent a soft lock when searching for items.
- Damage boosting
- Alcatraz Escape
- This will never be necessary, but you can soft lock the game if you check Bomb early and can't perform this technique to get back out
- Mochtroid Clip
- Puyo Clip
- Gate Glitch
- In Pink Brinstar Hopper Room while flush with the left wall, jump and fire a Super Missile so it passes just below the grapple block. If you don't have Hi-Jump Boots, you have to jump out of the door frame, but the randomizer will never require this.
- Can be required to access Energy Tank (Crocomire) and Grappling Beam
- Can allow faster access to Screw Attack
- Short Charge
- Grants access to Energy Tank (Waterway) without Gravity Suit
- Can be used to escape after Draygon
- Can be used to escape Gauntlet without Bombs or Power Bombs
It's rare that any given seed will require any of these techniques, but it is possible for a seed to generate that requires one or more of these techniques to complete.
- Infinite Bomb Jump
- May be required to access Grappling Beam
- May be required to access Reserve Tank (Norfair)
- This can technically be done with a wall jump as well, but without Hi-Jump Boots it is extremely precise and the randomizer will never require it
- May be required to access Energy Tank (Mama Turtle)
- May be required to pass through The Worst Room In The Game
- May be required to escape from Plasma Beam
- A very precise version of this starting with a jump may be required to get through Sponge Bath on the way to Energy Tank (Wrecked Ship)
- Gravity Jump
- Can be required to access Lower Norfair, or to escape after Draygon
- Continuous Wall Jump
- Can be required to access Wrecked Ship
- Spring Ball Jump
Some of these can make your run a bit faster, but the randomizer will never generate a seed where these tricks are required to complete. Unless you are very consistent with them, attempting these tricks is generally slower than just going back and looking for the required items.
- Inner Maridia without Gravity Suit
- Lower Norfair without Varia Suit
- Lava Dive Room without either Hi-Jump Boots or Gravity Suit