Samus Aran's Arm Cannon is her primary weapon, capable of both energy-based and ballistic attacks. The Arm Cannon, as its name implies, is affixed to the Power Suit's right forearm. What separates the Arm Cannon from other firearms is its ability to access various weapons systems by quickly changing its configuration, thus eliminating the need for multiple (and sometimes bulky) guns. For example, during her mission on Tallon IV, Samus could switch between four beam systems (excluding the final Beam), Missiles, and four Charge Combos for the beams. Despite its complexity, in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the Arm Cannon can only handle one beam at a time; she is unable to switch between beams throughout the course of the game and they now stack. By default, Samus' Arm Cannon always features the Power Beam.
Though Samus's Arm Cannon is presumably of Chozo design, other species (as seen in Metroid Prime Hunters) have Arm Cannons that can perform nearly identical functions. In the earliest years of the Federation, the Chozo-built Arm Cannon Samus uses had the ability to change into a desired weapon. Soon, other Races began creating modular weapons like these.
In the Prime Series, the Arm Cannon features many different configurations. The standard configuration, where the Cannon appears completely smooth, always represents the Power Beam. The wide configuration, where the sides of the Cannon expand, is used for the Wave, Light, and Nova Beams. The high configuration, where the top and bottom pieces of the Cannon move vertically, is used for the Ice Beam, Dark Beam, and Plasma Beam (though the Plasma Beam is only in this configuration in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.) The long configuration, where the muzzle of the Cannon extends forward, is used for the Plasma Beam (only in Metroid Prime) and the Annihilator Beam. A fifth configuration, only seen in Corruption when Samus enters Hypermode, shows the Cannon opening up in apparently the wide configuration, but with half-pipe like chutes on the sides, presumably for ventilation. In Prime the Phazon Beam expands the gun in all directions at once. The last configuration, where four parts of the Arm Cannon protrude in four directions, the tip of the Cannon contracts and turns blue, and a ring separates from the Arm Cannon and widens, is used only for the Zero Laser. In Metroid Prime Hunters the Arm Cannon's configuration is not changed, however the orange part of the cannon does change color when using Affinity Weapons.
The Arm Cannon is also shown to have many other functions, such as uplinking with computers or other systems, welding, melee combat, and controlling Samus' Gunship. In the Prime series, it is occasionally shown to have colored buttons on the inside of the left round section when it flips open (this may represent the canonical way Samus changes beams). The Arm Cannon can also be picked up and thrown by smashers in Super Smash Bros. Brawl when Samus sheds her Power Suit as part of the three pieces it leaves behind. The Arm Cannon's three rings are shock absorbers to deal with recoil.
In Metroid: Other M, the exterior of the Arm Cannon has two green circles.
The inside of the Arm Cannon is more simplistic and is simply a long, narrow tube with some sort of trigger mechanism at the end, into which Samus inserts her hand. It can only be seen when using the X-Ray Visor because other visors cannot look through the solid Arm Cannon. The opening scene for Metroid: Other M shows what the inside of the arm cannon's barrel looks like and what happens when a beam is fired, and Metroid Prime Trilogy shows another, alternative look during the start up video and through to the Samus Data Screen.
Arm Cannon weapon systemsEdit
- Power Beam
- Charge Beam
- Long Beam
- Wide Beam
- Spazer Beam
- Wave Beam
- Ice Beam
- Plasma Beam
- Hyper Beam (Mother Brain)
- Phazon Beam
- Dark Beam
- Light Beam
- Annihilator Beam
- Volt Driver
- Shock Coil
- Nova Beam
- Hyper Beam (Hypermode)
- Diffusion Beam
- Electro Lob
- Zero Laser
1The Super Missile is used as a charge combo in the newer games (e.g.: Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes) that simply drains five Missiles per shot. In older games and remakes (e.g.: Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission), the Super Missile is a separate weapon with its own ammo much like the Power Bomb. In Metroid Fusion it overwrites the original Missile data and increases power.
Official Metroid Prime websiteEdit
"Weapon effect: Devastating potential
Weapon range: 3-10 m
Weapon potential: Lethal
The Arm Cannon is Samus Aran's primary offensive weapon. Built into the right arm of the Power Suit, the Arm Cannon is upgradeable with a variety of weapons, including the Wave Beam, Ice Beam and others. When used in combination with secondary weapons such as missiles, the Arm Cannon can become a devastating offensive tool."
- A common misconception among new fans of the Metroid series, as with Samus' gender and name, is that the Arm Cannon is a replacement arm for Samus, who in reality still has her right arm.
- The Arm Cannon is an unlockable weapon in Phantasy Star Ø for the Nintendo DS.
- The X-Ray Visor, when activated, allows Samus' hand inside the Arm Cannon to be seen. In Metroid Prime, Samus uses her hand to change configurations by changing her finger positions, which match the symbols featured in Beam Select. In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Samus can be seen pulling some kind of trigger with her index finger to fire.
- In Corruption, after performing some interface while equipped with only the Power Beam, the Arm Cannon will seemingly "phase out" but will return to its original position shortly.
- In Corruption, the Arm Cannon is the only part of Samus' suit that does not get recolored by Phazon as her corruption progresses. The Arm Cannon only ever shows signs of Phazon changes when using Hypermode.
- As seen in the first Concept Gallery, the Metroid Prime Wave Beam configuration was initially intended for the Plasma Beam, and vice-versa.
- In Prime, if Samus is idle and waits long enough she will flip a panel with four lights that show the colors of the game's four beams. This can occur even before she obtains three of these four beams.
- In New Play Control! Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime Trilogy, it is possible to see Samus' hand when she changes beams while pointing the cannon upwards.
- In many Prime cutscenes, the Arm Cannon is revealed to be rifled on the inside. This makes little sense, as all of her Beams are energy based (rifling is used to give a spin to bullets/grenades in order to make them fly straight). It may be used for her Missiles, but these do not require rifling either. Missiles have small wings to keep them flying straight (or guiding them while homing), although Super Missiles are bulb shaped and do not have wings in some of the games.
|Power Beam • Long Beam • Wave Beam • Ice Beam • Plasma Beam|
Charge Beam • Spazer Beam • Grapple Beam • Hyper Beam (SM/MP3) • Wide Beam
Phazon Beam • Dark Beam • Light Beam • Annihilator Beam • Electro Lob
Volt Driver • Battlehammer • Magmaul • Shock Coil • Judicator • Imperialist
Omega Cannon • Nova Beam • Zero Laser • Diffusion Beam
Arm Cannon • Paralyzer • "tractor beam" • Entangler • Lightblast • Disruptor
| Missile | Super Missile | Ice Missile | Diffusion Missile|
Charge Combo | Seeker Missile | Hyper Missile
Ship Missile | Homing Missile
| Super Missile | Wavebuster | Ice Spreader | Flamethrower|
Darkburst | Sunburst | Sonic Boom
Special Charge Beam Attacks