|“||Regarding auxiliary weapons, the use of bombs has been authorized. As far as your other weapons go, we will continue to investigate and authorize use as we can.||„|
Authorization is a new concept introduced in Metroid: Other M.
Rather than beginning the game missing her power-ups or losing them near the start, Samus possesses all of her upgrades from Super Metroid (with the exception of the High Jump Boots, Spazer Beam, X-Ray Scope, and Hyper Beam), but they are deactivated, and Commander Adam Malkovich gradually authorizes their use when the situation calls for it. Some power-ups and expansions are still collected in the traditional manner, however.
During the mission to the BOTTLE SHIP, Adam Malkovich re-encounters Samus for the first time since she became a Bounty Hunter, and is displeased to see her. Despite his animosity, Samus stays onboard for the sake of his 07th Platoon, and out of respect for him deactivates her Missiles and Bombs until he authorizes them. He authorizes Missiles as Samus assists the Platoon in fighting the Brug Mass, so that she can use them to destroy the Mass' tentacles once they are frozen with Freeze Guns. Samus is then welcomed onto the team on the condition that she follow Adam's orders, and he authorizes the use of her Bombs. He gradually allows Samus to use more and more of her abilities as the situation changes. He does not allow her, however, to use her Power Bombs due to the devastation they cause.
Items in Other M are usually authorized when an obstacle or danger presents itself that cannot be overcome without the respective upgrade. However, this puts Samus in danger at several points during the game. The most glaring example is when she reaches Sector 3, where she runs through several superheated rooms in her Power Suit before reaching the top of the Crater Interior, when Adam finally authorizes her to use her Varia Feature. Not being allowed to use the Grapple Beam hinders her further exploration of the Pyrosphere before Adam instructs her to pursue survivors in Sector 2, despite already being in pursuit of a creature that was seemingly responsible for the death of a fellow platoon soldier. It is only authorized when Samus is required to use it to get to Anthony Higgs when he is attacked by the Rhedogian and about to be dropped into lava.
After fending off Ridley, Samus loses contact with Adam. From then on, no more upgrades are authorized by him, with her final four major upgrades being used at her will, as it becomes necessary. While pursuing the Deleter, Samus becomes stuck at a retracted bridge. She jokingly asks, "Any objections, Adam?" and activates her Space Jump and Screw Attack to overcome the obstacle. Adam later dies in the detached Sector Zero, and as Samus is escaping she is sucked into the vacuum of space. She quickly activates her Gravity Feature to stay inside. Finally, during the battle against the Queen Metroid Samus becomes trapped in the monster's stomach, and uses a Power Bomb to both escape and kill the creature. Power Bombs become usable during the post-credits sequence, when no humans apart from Samus are on the BOTTLE SHIP.
- Missile Launcher
- Ice Beam
- Varia Feature
- Speed Booster and Shinespark
- Wave Beam
- Grapple Beam
- Super Missile
- Plasma Beam
"Samus has decided not to use bombs or missiles until Adam authorizes them."
"Adam has not yet authorized the use of missiles."
"Adam has not yet authorized the use of bombs."
"Listen up! Freeze guns authorized! And Samus! I'm authorizing Missile use!"
"Samus. Start by searching areas you can access with your current equipment. We'll determine weapon and equipment authorization after we get a better understanding of the situation."
"Looks like the normal beam won't have any impact on the enemies here. Samus, use your Ice Beam."
"Samus, activate the Varia Suit to protect yourself from heat damage."
"The most efficient way through here should be delivering shoulder impacts with your Speed Booster, so I’m authorizing its use."
"Samus! You need a permeating shot effect to get past this! I’m authorizing you to unlock your Wave Beam!"
"Samus, use of the Grapple Beam is authorized! Get to Anthony and cover him!"
"Samus, blast the eruption port to get the magma flowing! Use your Super Missiles!"
"Samus! Samus! Use your Plasma Beam!"
"You can now use Power Bombs."
- Authorization as a concept in Other M has been heavily criticized for its extreme control over Samus' abilities. Critics felt the mechanic removed some of the non-linear game-play that was present in earlier Metroid titles. In particular, authorization of the Varia Feature, Gravity Feature and Grapple Beam were singled out for their authorization during the game's course. However, the heated room run is less dangerous than when Samus steps unprotected into heated areas in previous installments. In this instance, the rooms drain only one unit of Energy per second instead of the traditional five. The criticism was such that even Nintendo Power in their review for the game had a sidebar acknowledging the plot point was absurd.
- Authorization from Adam has become a running joke in the Metroid community, mocking his in-game practice of not authorizing non-offensive upgrades (with the Varia Feature being the more notorious example due to the infamous Hell Run sequence in the Pyrosphere).
- In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the Command Visor is unusable for some time at the beginning of the game until Rundas reports to Samus that such devices are authorized for use during the Norion invasion.
- The computerized Adam in Metroid Fusion continues to authorize actions and missions for Samus, though it has no control over her upgrades, which are acquired through downloadable data or absorbing X.
- While the Space Jump, Screw Attack and Gravity Feature are all activated by Samus herself, the Power Bomb is the only feature to be activated without a dialogue or Samus Screen cue. This left some players confused about its crucial use when Samus is swallowed by the Queen Metroid.
- In a pre-release gameplay video for Metroid: Samus Returns, a Nintendo of America employee encouraged using the Ice Beam against a Gamma Metroid in the game, saying "No one's telling you not to use the Ice Beam here." This is a possible jab at the authorization concept in Other M.