Movement & Jumping (Fastest to Slowest)
Movement is the #1 priority in Metroid Prime. However, the movement is so complex that it can be difficult to optimize. Knowing what is fast and what isn't is essential. From fastest to slowest, here are the options of movement.
When there is a lot of horizontal distance to cover on a relatively flat surface, this is optimal. This includes most "access tunnels". To optimize boosting you should know that by holding the stick towards the direction you are going the game will try to slow you down to normal rolling speed. This means that after 1 or 2 boosts you should let go of the stick to reach higher speeds. This is especially important in long Morph Ball tunnels such as South Quarantine Tunnel. Here's an example of "Access Tunnel" type room movement.
Dashing is the second fastest way to get from Point A to Point B. It is important to note that when you let go of B is when your dash starts; in general, you want to tap B as fast as possible. In order to do a dash, you need to be locked on to something (it can either be an enemy or a scan target) and then move towards the side. Tap B for as little as possible, then after about 7 frames (generally speaking), you release L and the control stick if you are not bending the dash. You should never hold the direction you're flying in because you will go slower as you're making Samus face forwards which puts a speed cap in place.
R-Jumps are a faster method of jumping. It does not matter when you press R in the air, just as long as it is before your Space Jump. How you press the R button is just personal preference. The gist of it is when you press R midair, the next time you press L, your speed will get locked. When you press and hold L, then Space Jump, then release L, you can keep gaining speed, as when you space jump, you lose some speed. Ideally, you want to be turning sideways to maximize the speed you get by holding in between right and up-right (same with left and up-left). Once you are fully sideways, just hold straight up. The videos uptop demonstrate how to do R-Jumps and how they work.
Rolling is faster than L-jumping and walking, but slower than dashing, boosting and R-Jumping. When rolling you want to avoid hitting walls, but still cut the corners tightly to reduce traveling distance. You should not use Morph Ball when rolling up hills unless you boost. You should use it on flat ground and going down hills.
L-JumpingL-Jumping is the most basic form of movement. During a normal jump, you decelerate for 13 frames, then accelerate. Applying this knowledge, you want to jump and hold L for 13 frames, then release L to gain speed. You can go even faster if you turn sideways during your jump.
In general, you just want to hold L. You have a lower speed when holding L, but you move further than walking.
Walking has a higher speed without holding L, but you do not move as far. Here is a comparison video for some of the movement techniques.
Key (ranked by highest speed):
4. Walking (Top Left) 3. Holding L (Top Right) 2. L Jumping (Bottom Left) 1. Morph Ball (Bottom Right)
Morph Ball Tricks
The Morph Ball has interesting physics and this can be used to your advantage.
Double Bomb Jump (DBJ)
The most widely used bomb jump in the game. It gets double the height of a normal bomb jump.
Triple Bomb Jump (TBJ)Used to make the Aboretum Gate Jump easier. It requires burning a bomb before to exploit the bomb refill. This jump gets three times the amount of a normal bomb jump by placing a double bomb jump at the end of a normal bomb jump.
Bomb Space Jump (BSJ)
Very rarely used in a speedrun, the most famous being in Phazon Core, this allows you to unmorph mid-bomb jump and jump within a 21 frame window of leaving the ground. This is a tiny bit more than one third of a second.
HBJ & UBJ
This family of bomb jumps get the most amount of height. This jump, again, requires burning a bomb to make use of the maximum amount of bombs. An HBJ, done correctly, spaces all of the bombs out evenly. By comparison an UBJ begins the same as an HBJ except the last two bombs are placed in quick secession to simulate a mid-air double bomb jump.
Rolling into walls can sometimes cause the Morph Ball to bounce off the ground, Boosting as you bounce will add extra height.
This trick is useful in 100% during Early Newborn. Bouncing to collect the Artifact saves health and is very lenient.
When the unmorph animation is skipped. This is caused by a blockage of the camera by scenery or walls.
Jumping against a slant or jumping while walking up a slope gives a boost in height. This technique is widely used throughout the game. Doing a ghetto jump underwater also gives insane amounts of height when you do not have Gravity Suit.
Holding L and R and pressing B as you come in contact with the ground will maintain your speed. To maintain all your speed you have to jump on the exact frame you land, however if you are a few frames late you can still maintain most of your momentum. Hopping on slopes can change your direction and speed. Hopping on downwards slopes will cause you to gain extra speed, but less height. For upwards slopes the opposite is the case. Combine this with R-Jumping and dashing to get insane amounts of speed.
Out of Bounds
By using Secret Worlds, you can leave the intended boundaries of the game. This allows for various skips and routes. Movement and Physics in "Aether" (key term for Out of Bounds) is a little different that it is for In Bounds.
Every room is contained inside of an invisible box, which is determined by the collision of the room. Inside of the box everything is just as usual, but the outside of the box is surrounded by Aether. The Aether has following properties:
- You can not jump while inside of aether;
- You can stand in the aether and you slowly float upwards doing so;
- When morphed, you fall just like inside of the box.
For any wallcrawl (movement oob) involving aether it is important to know the boundary of the box. If multiple rooms are loaded at once the boxes will intersect each other and aether will only be in the outside of the union of all boxes.
Whenever leaving ground the game still gives you a 3 frame window to jump. As this also applies when leaving aether, it can also be used to climb up any room oob by aether jumping up on any side of the box. This can also be used to jump out of the bottom of the box as soon as you pop up through slowly floating upwards in the bottom's aether.
To successfully perform an aether jump on a wall one has to exit the box and immediately jump to hit the 3 frame window. Missing the jump can cause you to fall all the way to the bottom. Because of that it's often preferred to diagonally aether jump up on the corner of the box so whenever you miss an aether jump you just land back in the aether. Knowing the rooms box and muscle memory is key to fast and successful aether jumping.
Each collision in Metroid Prime has an inside and outside. While the inside of each collision behaves just as expected the outside is a lot more sticky. Since you can't move on sticky surfaces it is prefered to move on standable spots, which are surfaces that behave just like inbounds collision. Those can be found on extended flat surfaces, edges between 2 sticky collisions, or the top of a vertical collision ( for example walls ). Knowing your standable spots is essential for wallcrawling fast.
There are many different ways to get a room loaded. Obviously when a room is not loaded it can not be entered, nor transitioned.
One way is to load the room by hitting an invisible box shaped trigger. There are also a few events, which can influence whether a room is loaded or not. When trying to load a room via load triggers it is key to know it's boundaries, which can be viewed in PWE.
There are also rooms which will load every connecting room in a set order.
The only way to manually load a room is by shooting the connecting door and getting close to it. To stand close enough it is not sufficient to stand on the door. One has to enter an area next to the door rather than above or below. One should be careful with this method as it will not dump any other rooms, which can occasionally cause a crash if too much stuff is loaded. Sometimes this can be avoided by making previous rooms invisible by opening the door connecting to it and closing it again.
When a room has finished loading it still stays invisible, but it can be tracked by shooting against collision in the room.
The game always tries to keep track on which room you are or you are supposed to be as one can see on the map on the top right. This is done by docks placed on every single door in the game. The game will only load rooms which are directly connected with the room the game thinks you are shown on the map. So for any longer wallcrawl one has to make the game think you are in the right room. This process is called transitioning. Usually this is done by jumping on the according side of the door, but sometimes there are different setups have to be used especially on vertical doors.
It is important to know that rooms can behave differently when not transitioned into. Most notably the game will not reposition you when you morph next to a wall, which can be abused to obtain Infinite Speed, but also cause you to softlock on the sticky side of a wall.
Getting back inbounds
While you can do a lot oob you probably want to get back inbounds some time.
The simplest way to get back inbounds is by just jumping back into the room like from above for any room without a roof.
Another way is by letting the room load around you, so by being inside the room before it is even loaded. This is usually done by manually loading a room while waiting for it to load in the aether behind the room.
If the room is already loaded, but not transitioned into one can attempt a trick called the ceiling warp. Ceiling warps can not be done everywhere. To perform a ceiling warp into a room one has to have the map transitioned to a different room first. Then one morphs on the top of some collision and unmorphs. In some cases boosting can help to successfully ceiling warp into the room.
The last method is called infinite boosting. To infinite boost into a room one has to stand on some standable spot directly next to a wall and morph against it. Then keep boosting and eventually unmorph to clip through. This might not work every time and the number of boosts required to clip through may change depending on angle and position and in many cases unmorphing is not required. It is also recommended to infinite boost into a room you are not transitioned into as it is significantly harder to infinite boost into a room you are transitioned into.