Samus Returns Melee Counter

The Melee Counter is a new technique in Metroid: Samus Returns. When a charging enemy is about to attack Samus, she can parry the attack and then follow up with Beam or Missile shots. The opportunity to use the Melee Counter is always indicated by a white flash and clicking noise from the enemy. A successful Melee Counter will also instantly ready a fully charged Charge Beam. The Melee Counter can even be used against Metroids, leaving their weak points vulnerable to attack and making them easier to battle than they were in Metroid II: Return of Samus. The Melee Counter also means that Samus no longer has to dodge attacks from advancing enemies, which she did have to in previous games. A Melee Counter is also capable of killing a Rock Icicle before it can burrow out of the ceiling. The Melee Counter cannot be used against an advancing enemy that is surrounded by electrical or fire energy, such as an Alpha or Gamma Metroid, or Gulluggs. The Lightning Armor greatly enhances the Melee Counter, turning it into a Lightning Counter with increased range.

If not countering an enemy, the melee attack does very little damage though it is still capable of killing certain weak enemies such as Rock Icicle and Chute Leech. However, if used on an enemy frozen by the Ice Beam, they will instantly shatter akin to being hit with Missiles. Additionally Samus can also use the Melee Counter while holding onto a ledge, allowing her to counter enemy attacks and makes her less vulnerable to attacks while holding onto ledges.

Using Melee Counter on a Gamma, Zeta, Omega Metroid, or Proteus Ridley creates a cinematic where Samus mounts Gamma or Omega, grabs the Zeta by the tail and throws it into the ground, or climbs onto Ridley and grabs onto his head before shooting into his throat, similar to Overblast and Lethal Strike. The Zeta and Omega will also attempt to fight back during the cinematic, to no avail as Samus continues targeting their vulnerable membranes.

When performing a Melee Counter, Samus swings her Arm Cannon upwards in a manner similar to an uppercut.

List of enemies that can be Melee CounteredEdit

Samus Returns Lightning Armor Melee Counter

The Lightning Counter.

List of enemies that can be killed by Melee CounterEdit

Official dataEdit

E3 websiteEdit

"Classic Metroid II: Return of Samus gameplay is joined by a wealth of new content, including a set of brand new abilities that utilizes a mysterious energy resource called “Aeion,” a powerful melee counterattack, and 360-degree Free Aim Mode."

Yoshio Sakamoto commentsEdit

Our new action for this game that I really recommend is the defensive Melee Counter. Land this move on an enemy just as they're about to strike and you can stun them, then hit them with your own powerful attack. In previous Metroid games, you had to defeat the enemy from far away and dodge when they charge, but now Melee Counter lets you surprise enemies, giving you a new combat style to enjoy.

—Yoshio Sakamoto


"Samus can deflect projectiles and defend against attacks by swinging her arm. Use it at the same time as an enemy attack to do the following actions."

Counter Hit
"Counter an enemy's special attack to stun the enemy and automatically take aim at it.
  • Press [Y] right after a Counter Hit to use a powerful beam attack."
Grab Sequence
"Counter a boss's special attack to create an opening. Attack during this opening to perform a special action that deals a lot of damage."
Melee Counter Tips
"You'll see a flash right before an enemy performs an attack that can be countered. It's important to observe your enemies' movements if you want to counter-attack effectively."

On-screen tutorialsEdit

Melee Counter tutorial
  • "Use your Melee Counter right before a charging enemy makes contact to parry. After doing so, you will automatically take aim. Press [X] to use your Melee Counter now."
  • "Press [X] to use your Melee Counter right before a charging enemy makes contact."


  • The idea of a parry mechanic in the game was suggested by MercurySteam, who had previously used a similar technique in their Castlevania games.
  • When performing the Melee Counter, Samus uses the Arm Cannon as a melee weapon which is ironic as it is traditionally a ranged weapon.
    • Its appearance in Samus Returns marks the first time Samus has used her Arm Cannon as a melee weapon in gameplay outside of the non-canon Super Smash Bros. series.
    • Samus can be seen performing an energy slash similar to the Melee Counter with her Arm Cannon on the cover of Metroid: Zero Mission, although it is apparently directed downward.


See alsoEdit

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