Ice Beam

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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, 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.

Yoshio Sakamoto on Metroid development.[1]

Samus has the power to stand on frozen enemies in all of the 2D games. This is usually crucial at some point in the games, as it gives extra height for jumping.

In Metroid Fusion, the Ice Beam was thought to be incompatible with the Fusion Suit by the Galactic Federation, as the Metroid Vaccine gave Samus a vulnerability to ice. This was proven by the Cold X, the cold climates of several rooms within the Biologic Space Laboratories and the SA-X's own Ice Beam being able to completely freeze her in place. However, following the acquisition of the Varia Suit upgrade, this vulnerability was seemingly neutralized, as Samus could withstand all mentioned threats; thus she did not receive the Ice Beam until near the end of the game from the SA-X. Before that point, freezing was done with the Ice and Diffusion Missiles, suggesting that Samus' Missiles are not integrated as close to her body when compared to her Beam weapons. The Ice Missiles replaced the Ice Beam in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption as well, because the game used a beam-stacking system instead of a beam-switching system, so it would not be possible to combine the Ice and Plasma Beams, the latter of which represents fire in the Prime trilogy.

In Metroid: Other MEdit

Lethal Strike Goyagma Pyrosphere HD

Samus performs the Overblast on Goyagma, using her Ice Beam.

Samus gains the Ice Beam early in her exploration, soon after she enters the Pyrosphere for the first time. When Adam Malkovich realizes that her standard Power Beam is too inferior against the sector's fire-based creatures, he authorizes it for her use.

The 07th Platoon also utilizes their own variation of the Ice Beam: the Freeze Gun.

The Ice Beam behaves much like its 2D counterparts. Key differences include its inability to completely freeze most enemies (only small creatures such as Geemers can be encased in solid ice). Rather, when it impacts a larger creature, it can partially freeze them, such as freezing one of a Sidehopper's legs in place, or a Zebesian's claws. This ability of the beam is key in battling certain bosses, of course. Another difference from the rest of the series is that if an enemy is completely frozen in midair, it will actually fall to the ground and shatter. Unlike the 2D counterparts, the Ice Beam does not "color" the Wave and Plasma Beams white or blue, as the strongest beam in her current arsenal will override its hue.

In Metroid PrimeEdit

Ice Beam crop

The Ice Beam in item form in Metroid Prime.

The Ice Beam is a slow-firing interchangeable Beam upgrade to Samus' arsenal. Upon impact with a solid surface, the shot will freeze into a small fragment of ice and then shatter. When the Ice Beam is charged up, the Ice Beam will not only create a larger fragment of ice upon impact, but it will also freeze various enemies in their place. The Ice Beam is able to open White Doors. The 10 Missile Beam Combo for the Ice Beam is the Ice Spreader, which is a missile that releases a rapidly spreading sheet of ice upon the impacted surface. Such a weapon is highly effective against flying enemies, or those that attack or move in swarms. A glitch in the game allows the upgrade before fighting the Flaahgra, which can then lead to more opportunities for Sequence Breaking. This does not aid in the fight against Flaahgra, however, as the Ice Beam has no effect on either Flaahgra or the panels that are to be flipped over to defeat Flaahgra.

Similar to fighting Metroids in 2D installments, Samus may freeze a foe and then shatter it with a Missile, ultimately killing it.

Although the Ice Beam can kill weaker enemies in one hit, a glancing shot on these can freeze them instead.

Oddly enough, when Samus freezes a Magmoor in Prime, its head is the only thing that is visibly frozen.

Official dataEdit


A frozen Reo in Metroid.

Metroid manualEdit

"This allows you to freeze an enemy temporarily. If you already have a long beam, then the Ice Beam becomes a long ice beam. This can't be used at the same time as the wave beam. When you freeze an enemy, you can climb over it."

1986 mangaEdit

"Freezes enemies for a short period of time and can also destroy them. Can't be combined with the Wave Beam."

Official Nintendo Player's GuideEdit

"This allows you to freeze the enemy temporarily. You can escape from strong enemies by freezing them. You can climb up to high places by stepping on frozen enemies like stairs."

Metroid II manualEdit

"This beam will freeze an enemy for a short period of the time, making them unable to move. Samus can jump on a frozen enemy without receiving damage."

Super Metroid manualEdit

"The Ice Beam freezes enemies for a short time. You can use frozen enemies as platforms."

Super Metroid Nintendo Player's GuideEdit

"The Ice Beam was built to emit a ray that chills various forms of organic life to their individual freezing points. It won’t work on all enemies."

Official Metroid Prime websiteEdit

Metroid Prime Ice Beam

The Ice Beam in the Metroid Prime beta.

Weapon effect: Freezing or slowing opponents

Weapon range: 3 m

Weapon potential: High

"Chozo Technology. The Ice Beam upgrade for Samus Aran's arm cannon emits a sub-zero attack capable of freezing certain enemies. If the Ice Beam does not freeze a target solid, it will at least slow it down. Charging the Ice Beam increases the amount of time enemies are frozen. One of Samus Aran's favorite tactics is to freeze an enemy and then shatter its body with a Missile attack. The Ice Beam is also quite effective against fire-based enemies."

Metroid Prime manualEdit

"The Ice Beam has a slower rate of fire than the Power Beam, but it makes up for this flaw with its ability to immobilize enemies briefly with a layer of ice. Some enemies are particularly vulnerable to this weapon, so experiment with it. The Ice Beam may destroy weak enemies rather than freezing them."

Samus and Joey volume 3Edit

"This powerful beam freezes enemies instantaneously!"

Inventory dataEdit

Ice Beam

Metroid Prime

Inventory entry

The Ice Beam can freeze enemies solid. Hits from the Ice Beam may also slow foes down.
Press GC C-stick down/Hold Wii + button then point left to select the Ice Beam as your active weapon.

Samus's Notes

Use the Ice Beam to open White Doors.
The Ice Beam is quite effective against fire-based creatures.
Charge the Ice Beam to increase the time an enemy will stay frozen when hit.
Some frozen enemies can be shattered by Missile hits.

Metroid: Zero Mission manualEdit

"This weapon allows Samus to freeze enemies temporarily. Samus can stand on frozen enemies."

Zero Mission Samus Screen DataEdit

"This beam can freeze enemies in place. You can safely stand on frozen enemies."


"The sub-zero temperatures emitted from the Ice Beam can stop foes dead in their tracks. Charging this beam yields particularly frigid results."

Metroid: Other M manualEdit

"Adds the ability to freeze enemies. Effective against hot creatures, it also increases the beam's attack power. You can also fire Charge Beams."

Metroid: Other M Status screen dataEdit

"Effects:Boosts damage, effective against high-temperature creatues.
Secondary effect of freezing some targets."

Metroid: Other M on-screen tutorialEdit

Ice energy has been added to your beam. You can freeze targets with the Charge Beam.

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 [2].

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.
  • 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.
  • 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. [3]
  • Strangely in Metroid Prime, the Ice Beam is not the only beam able to defeat the Metroids.  In fact, that game's version of the Plasma Beam, which has the opposite elemental alignment, is far more effective in dispatching the eponymous foes. This inconsistency with established Lore earned criticism from some fans at the time.
  • 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 X-Ray 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

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