Most Metroid games have featured endings that are received based on difficulty level, game completion, and/or play time. Metroid Prime Pinball and Metroid: Other M do not feature endings in the traditional sense, although Zero Suit Samus is playable during the countdown in the latter.
It is tradition for Samus to remove her Power Suit and reveal her true self in the Justin Bailey, Ending Outfit or Zero Suit in the best endings, which also say "See you next mission" when the item percentage and completion time are displayed.
Samus runs throughout the credits, jumps high, and lands, with either one of these events occurring depending on how long the player took to complete the game.
If the player took five hours or more, Samus will continue to keep running.
If the player took between three to five hours, Samus will simply stand still.
If the player took less than three hours, Samus will be without her armor, releasing her hair so it would blow in the wind, and wears a tank top and panties.
Samus will either remain suited, flip up her helmet or remove her Power Suit entirely, and then jump up offscreen, before falling down and firing a blast.
Samus, in her "Unnamed Suit", will be shown in various poses, before one of the following ending pictures appears:
In addition, before showing the ending pictures, depending on how well the player did, Samus will be enveloped in green energy before assuming either herself unhelmeted, or otherwise in her Ending Outfit.
The Japanese versions contains an additional set of endings that show images of Samus' past rather than the adult Samus in revealing attire. These are shown when the game is cleared with Child Mode. Linking to Metroid: Zero Mission with the Game Boy Advance Game Link cable will unlock all endings, including Japanese-only endings, for a special gallery.
Metroid: Zero MissionEdit
Samus will stand against a space background in various poses before clenching her fist. Each ending, upon acquisition, will be added to a gallery in the menu. The endings for Metroid Fusion can be unlocked by linking the two games with the Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable.
Aside from these, the ending also has a post-credits scene showing the room in Chozodia where Samus acquired the Legendary Armor, which then zooms in to show a etched-in sketch of two birds and a small person on the large bird artwork, presumably depicting Samus herself as a child and her adoptive "parents" among the Chozo.
Samus will appear out of nowhere when it appears she had been lost in the destruction of Phaaze. She then heads to SkyTown, Elysia to mourn her fallen comrades before heading off into the unknown. Meanwhile, a mysterious spacecraft appears and follows Samus. The pilot of this ship was confirmed to be Sylux from Metroid Prime Hunters at E3 2015. Kensuke Tanabe, the producer of the Metroid Prime series, expressed interest in creating a future Prime game which continues the rivalry between Samus and Sylux.
As stated, there are no traditional endings in Other M. However, Samus will congratulate the player in voiceover on the item percentage screen. Depending on their final percentage, these messages are heard:
- "Well done!" (25%-50%)
- "Good job!" (51%-75%)
- "Excellent!" (76%-99%)
- "Perfect! Congratulations!" (100%)
In this game's ending, an individual resembling Sylux breaks into a Galactic Federation facility and observes a Metroid hatching from its egg. This is a post-credits scene that appears if the bonus objective in M17: Infestation is complete. The bonus objective is to capture one Metroid Egg per player.
There are three endings in this game, with differences between Normal, Hard and Fusion Mode. The endings are unlockable depending on completion time. They each start start with Samus kneeling in her classic Metroid II cover pose, before breaking into a run and jumping above the screen, then landing, as she did in the credits of Metroid II. The classic slogan "See you next mission!" is displayed underneath the completion time, to the left of Samus. As with Metroid II, the item percentage is not displayed here, but it can be viewed on the Samus Data Screen. A remix of Record of Samus is heard during the ending.
- Normal Mode
- Over 8 hours: Samus will jump back down in her Gravity Suit and press buttons on her Arm Cannon. This mirrors her actions in the opening for Metroid Prime.
- Between 4-8 hours: Samus will jump back down in her Gravity Suit, minus her helmet, before turning to her left in a pose mimicking one of the endings in Zero Mission.
- Under 4 hours: Samus will jump down in her Zero Suit and cock her Paralyzer while her pony tail blows in the wind. This is the same pose she makes in her Max Factory statue.
- Hard Mode
- Over 8+ hours: Samus will jump back down in her Gravity Suit, and then point her Arm Cannon in two directions before standing back up and raising her Arm Cannon up in a similar pose to that of her Super Smash Bros. Melee artwork.
- Between 4-8 hours: Samus will jump back down in her Gravity Suit, minus her helmet, before readying her Arm Cannon and then standing up and pointing her Arm Cannon in a dramatic pose. Her hair is colored green in reference to the Justin Bailey suit
- Under 4 hours: Samus will jump down in her Zero Suit, stand up, and give a brief wave. Like above, she has green hair, and her Zero Suit is recolored to resemble her Justin Bailey outfit from the NES game (red for most of her torso, lower thighs, and arms up to her wrists, and light pink for her hands, shoulders, and hips. The waving referenced her immediate action upon losing the Power Suit in the better endings.
- Fusion Mode
- Over 8 hours: Samus will jump back down in her Gravity Fusion Suit, do a small sommersault while landing, and then kneel in a pose resembling her stock art from Metroid Fusion.
- Between 4-8 hours: Samus will jump back down in her Gravity Fusion Suit, minus her helmet, before standing up and turning to her right while gripping her Arm Cannon high, similar to another pose of hers from Metroid Fusion.
- Under 4 hours: Samus will jump down in her Fusion Ending Outfit and stand up and brush her hair aside while putting her hands on her hips, resembling a pose from her better Fusion endings.
Regardless of which ending is obtained, a post-credits scene depicts a lone Hornoad hopping across the surface of SR388. It finds Proteus Ridley's discarded mechanical claw and attempts to gnaw on it, only for a gelatinous yellow lifeform to zip past it. The Hornoad then hops to its rough location, only for the creature to swarm it and (offscreen) overwhelm it as the Hornoad shrieks in agony with a bright glow. The Hornoad then pops up with a pink and cyan hue, crystalline spines, and blank eyes before proceeding to make a feral roar.
- Some endings may have been inspired by that of Alien and Aliens, films which heavily influenced Metroid. At the end of both films, the female protagonist, Ripley, is scantily clad as she prepares for hypersleep.
- The Super Metroid ending is mirrored in Samus' congratulations montage in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. In one scene, Samus is seen jumping up offscreen, and falling back down in her Zero Suit form, clad in her Ending Outfit from Fusion.
- The endings of Metroid games are referenced in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in the loading screen Smash Tips: "Multiple Endings – In the original Metroid, the ending would change slightly depending on your clear time. The better endings revealed the secret of Samus's identity!"