The Ice Beam (アイスビーム Aisu Bīmu?) is one of Samus's signature beam weapons that appears in all Metroid games except for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Metroid Prime Hunters, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Though she collects the Dark Beam in Echoes, the Judicator in Hunters and the Ice Missile in Corruption, which have similar properties). It fires a potent beam that has the power to freeze most enemies.

When frozen, certain enemies can be shattered with Missiles (or charged shots in the Prime series). It is commonly used to combat Metroids, especially larvae, as it exploits their weakness to low temperatures. The official website for Metroid Prime states this as being one of "Samus Aran's favorite tactics".


Samus artwork 25
So we could blast a hole into a wall. That got us thinking – what else could we do, can we perhaps go up? So we came up with the ice-beam. The ice-beam is also the result of rational thinking. We had very limited memory. So we decided that Samus should be able to jump on frozen enemies and use them as a platform. And that was a great help for saving memory. All we had to do was change an object's colour and by simply changing the so-called collision-check the former enemy suddenly becomes a stepping stone; a really nice gameplay element that hardly requires any memory at all. So the original Metroid was the result of a lot of hard work and many of the features were hit upon by coincidence.

Behind the scenesEdit

Although the exact methodology by which the Ice Beam freezes enemies is unknown, laser cooling is already used in terrestrial laboratory conditions to reduce the temperature of low-density gases. Currently, the technique is only applied to isolated atoms or molecules, but with more advanced technology it could conceivably be applied to large-scale objects.[3]

However, two other freezing weapons in the Metroid universe- the Freeze Gun and Judicator- appear to work by firing a chemical refrigerant and ultracold plasma, respectively. Although both of these weapons consume ammunition and the Ice Beam does not, the ability of the Ice Spreader to "load" the active agent of the beam onto Missiles implies a physical projectile (as opposed to the energy beams used in laser cooling).


  • After obtaining the Ice Beam in Metroid: Zero Mission, all further Beam upgrades will be stacked with the Ice Beam, and given its signature blue hue. However, if the Ice Beam is skipped by sequence breaking, the other beams can be seen to have uniquely colored sprites.
  • Prior to Metroid: Other M, enemies frozen with the Ice Beam whilst in midair would remain in that specific spot until the ice thaws out, able to be used as a platform by Samus. Not even in the 3-D Prime or its sequels (where enemies were frozen with the Dark Beam and Ice Missiles, respectively) would enemies fall to the ground when frozen in midair. Other M is the first game to realistically portray frozen enemies, such as Metroids which fall to the floor until they break free.
  • In the original Metroid, enemies do not take damage from being frozen by the Ice Beam. Instead, the act of shooting a frozen enemy will unfreeze it while simultaneously causing damage. Because of this, the player will need to shoot the enemy twice as many times with the Ice Beam as they would with the normal Beam.
  • The Ice Beam is found thrice in Metroid II, unlike the other beams. The first time is in Phase 2, and the second time in Phase 7's Chozo ruins (where all beams are found in separate chambers in one shaft). The third and final time is in Phase 9, before Samus fights the Queen Metroid. This is for ease of access as there is no stacking of beams in Metroid II. In Samus Returns, which features the Ice Beam as a separate weapon from the other Beams, it is placed exclusively in Area 1.
  • A frozen enemy that is close enough to death will die once the freeze effect wears off in Metroid II.
  • In Super Metroid, the Ice Beam does not kill enemies on the last shot, but rather freezes them. The next shot will be fatal, provided that the enemy is still frozen.
  • Due to her fusion with the baby's DNA in Metroid Fusion, Samus is deathly vulnerable to the SA-X's Ice Beam until she acquires the Varia Suit upgrade.
  • Curiously, the SA-X's Ice Beam lacks the ice particles and wavy effects.
  • GameTrailers ranked the Ice Beam as number 4 in the top 10 best weapons in video games due to its use as both a weapon and an exploration aid by turning enemies into platforms in the 2-D games. [4]
  • In Metroid Prime, the Ice Beam is not absolute necessity to defeat Metroids, unlike their prior 2D counterparts. This inconsistency with established lore initially earned it criticism from fans at the time. In the game's sequels, this was rectified by new lore that states Metroids undergo through biological and physiological changes as they adapt to environments outside of SR388 and are exposed to radioactive elements. Thus, the Metroids from Metroid Prime, which were given the subspecies name of Tallon Metroid, are weaker than those from SR388 and Zebes due to their adaptation and/or exposure to Phazon.
    • Metroid Prime's version of the Plasma Beam, which has the opposite elemental alignment, is far more effective in dispatching the eponymous foes than using the Ice Beam alone. However, the classic Ice Beam and Missile(s) combo remains the fastest method of killing the creatures when using the Arm Cannon in the same game.
  • The Ice Beam is referred to as the freeze beam in a Metroid Prime print ad.
  • Curiously, in the New Play Control! and Metroid Prime Trilogy versions of Prime, the Arm Cannon does not freeze over when charged. The sound of it doing so, however, remains.
  • The Ice Beam, along with Samus herself and some of her other abilities, were slated to appear in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, but was ultimately removed due to a decision that used the PlayStation 2 to support the game's demo. The Ice Beam appeared to be based on the Prime iteration.
  • In the first Metroid Prime, the symbol for the Ice Beam is a hand print sticking out its thumb, index, and pinky fingers. Donning the Scan Visor reveals that Samus positions her hand in this manner to activate the beam.
  • In Metroid Prime, the Ice Beam was modeled and skinned by Gene Kohler.
  • Ironically, in Other M, the Ice Beam is still effective on ice-based enemies.
  • In Other M, if an enemy is left completely frozen solid (such as a Sova or an Asborean), it will explode and die shorty after. Sturdier enemies such as Baristutes and Magdollites will have body parts frozen over, rendering them immobile until they break free.
  • The effect of the Freeze Gun seems to be stronger than the Ice Beam, as a single shot was able to freeze a Magdollite solid, while it takes a fully charged shot of the Ice Beam just to freeze over a Magdollite's mouth. At the same time, the Freeze Guns did not demonstrate this effectiveness during the battle against the Brug Mass..
  • In chapter 4 of Samus and Joey, volume 1, Samus escapes captivity from thousands of Megaroid crystals by using her Plasma Beam and Ice Beam to destroy them, via thermal shock.
  • All games that feature the Ice Beam also feature the Wave Beam, and vice versa.


See alsoEdit