Infinite speed, also known as IS, is a glitch in which Samus' angular momentum overflows. It causes Samus' morphed shell to disappear, and allows you to "framedrag" - effectively collide with most objects in a room simultaneously, causing strange effects, and allowing you to collect certain items. The exact mechanics by which this occurs are still under investigation. Upon unmorphing, the camera data is corrupted, putting you in "Lightshow." While in lightshow, beams and missiles will not fire correctly, and the screen will be covered with seemingly random triangles. You can still move, and open blue doors using bombs. Lightshow is fixed by any cutscene that repositions Samus, notably elevators and save stations.
The name was originally coined by Master_ZED, who discovered the trick after some suggestion from Doninss who had originally noted that Samus could get stuck in walls while morphing in rooms she was not correctly transitioned into. It is also referred to some as 'Flickerball' and was the preferred name for a period of time, initially.
Obtaining Infinite Speed
To obtain IS, one must be "stuck" in collision while in morph ball, and then hold the control stick at a very specific angle. The morph ball will then begin to spin rapidly, eventually flickering between two different visual frames of rotation. After about 45 seconds, the morph ball shell will disappear, and you will be in the infinite speed state.
The places which you can obtain IS usually contain most of the following characteristics:
- You will be able to fit as Samus, but not quite fit as morph ball
- Tilting the control stick will cause morph ball to rotate very quickly, or not at all, depending on the angle
- Two different pieces of vertical collision near each other
In Metroid Prime GameCube edition, you can get IS between a box and a wall (for example, in Magma Pool, as demonstrated in the examples below). In all newer versions of the game, the only way to get IS is through wrong room.
The two primary effects of Infinite Speed are framedrag and lightshow. There are a number of other effects, mostly stemming from one of these two primary effects
Framedragging is the most useful effect of and primary reason for using Infinite Speed. When framedragging, Samus' transform's position is set to NaN, which causes the collision algorithms to break down, leading to Samus "colliding" with most active objects in the game simultaneously. This includes enemies, triggers, and pickups. This is most notably useful to pick up certain items that are otherwise unobtainable. It also has several other uses in a TAS setting - triggering elevators and save stations remotely, killing enemies and picking up health drops from a distance, etc.
Framedrag can be triggered in one of the following ways:
- Boosting with Boost Ball and running into something
- Toggling Spider Ball a few times on a track
- Spring Ball (Wii games only)
- Bombs (Wii games only)
There are also a few ways of triggering framedrag using cheats:
- Obtaining IS while moving
- Obtaining IS while unmorphed
- Moonjump, under certain circumstances
Lightshow is triggered by unmorphing with Infinite Speed. It will persist to morph ball once triggered, and can be removed by any cutscene that sets Samus' position - notably, elevators and save stations.
During lightshow, the camera's transform's position is set to NaN, causing seemingly random triangles to be drawn across the screen, making it impossible to see the game. You can still move around normally, although you won't be able to see the game itself. Beams and missiles do not work properly. If morphed, bombs and power bombs work normally, and can open the doors they would normally be able to open.
It is possible to disable both IS and Lightshow while morphed if you unmorph and re-morph in an area with a fixed camera (for example, Ruined Fountain).
In Metroid Prime 3, missiles can sometimes open doors, and have some other strange effects. It is also possible to trigger effects similar to framedrag after Spring Ball jumping into a specific elevator. More research is needed in this game.
[Video showing off lightshow, including unmorphing with fixed camera]
[Videos are still needed for these]
- [MP] Chapel of the Elders (wavesun)
- [MP2] Hive Chamber A