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Power Suit Mechanics

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PowerSuit Diagram

Samus's Power Suit has many distinct technologies.

The Power Suit is the technology that Samus Aran utilizes to accomplish the various tactical feats that she is faced with throughout her career, usually in the forms of missions assigned by the Galactic Federation, or bounties requested by private interests. Designed by the Chozo, it grants Samus an enormous amount of power. Using this technology, she has become one of, if not the most famous bounty hunter in the known universe. Here, some basic functions of the Power Suit will be outlined.

GeneralEdit

The basic Power Suit provides Samus with the basic Power Beam through her Arm Cannon for offensive capabilities, life support to enable her to survive in situations with no breathable air, enhanced mobility to compliment her acrobatic skills, augmented physical strength, and offering protection from her surroundings. Designed by the Chozo, it incorporates the most cutting-edge of this race's technology. The suit is modular in nature, allowing for modifications and enhancements when special upgrades are received. But the suit isn't limited to only Chozo upgrades; upgrades from different cultures have been incorporated, such as the Luminoth (Dark, Light, and Annihilator Beam; Dark and Light Suit), the Galactic Federation (PED Suit), and even the Space Pirates (Nova Beam; Hazard Shield), but upgrades born from largely different technologies don't always integrate as smoothly as more compatible technologies tend to.

The Arm CannonEdit

Arm Cannon Mechanics

The Arm Cannon is highly modular, allowing exceedingly different weapon types to be utilized.

The Arm Cannon is Samus's main offensive tool. It provides her with offensive capabilities for hostile situations, and like the Power Suit, is highly modular. Mainly, it utilizes various Beam Weapon & Missile Launcher technologies. These weapons are all contained within the device, and can be switched between should the need arise.

Beam WeaponsEdit

The Arm Cannon (Most notably in the Prime Series,) can change configurations to accomodate different weapon technologies. With the Charge Beam upgrade, a concentrated burst of a beam weapon will build outside of the Arm Cannon barrel. When launched, it causes a much higher amount of damage. The three rings just behind the forward barrel of the Arm Cannon seem to act as a shock absorber for this upgrade & the Missile Launcher. In some instances, Samus can combine different combinations of beams. They can be alone, or in any combination possible, except between Plasma and Spazer Beam combinations. For more information on Beams, see the below template.

Missile LauncherEdit

The Arm Cannon has the capability of launching ballistic projectiles known as Missiles. The forward barrel seperates & expands into four seperate pieces to allow room for the missiles launched. As storing 255 bulky material missiles in the insides of the Power Suit seems a little impractical, these missiles might be stored as an energy and materialized into missiles when needed. In fact, the first two Prime games feature missiles as entirely energy-based projectiles, though the 2D other games and Corruption convert the energy into actual missiles.

The Morph BallEdit

The Morph Ball is one of the Power Suit's most prominent features. It allows Samus to transform her surrounding body armor into the shape of a metal sphere, allowing for movement into much smaller spaces. According to a scan in the first Metroid Prime, the Morph Ball is probably around 0.7 meter(s) in diameter. It is unknown exactly how it functions, but energy is seen seeping through the "equator" in Prime, and a Space Pirate scan mentions calibrating sensors for "Morph Ball energy signatures" to help detect the hunter, suggesting that Samus's body is transformed into energy when in Morph Ball form.

This metal sphere has several offensive upgrades, such as Bombs and Power Bombs. These are used primarily for clearing environmental obstacles, but are occasionally used for combative applications.

The Morph Ball also has several advanced movement systems.

Spider Ball Upgrade

The Spider Ball.

With the Spider Ball upgrade, Samus could scale vertical walls, and (In the Prime missions) use specialized Spider Ball Tracks.In both cases, the Spider Ball is used for access to areas otherwise unreachable.
Spring Ball Upgrade

The Spring Ball.

With the Spring Ball upgrade, Samus no longer needed to rely on Bomb Jumping to scale ledges only accessible by the Morph Ball. It gives the Morph Ball the ability to jump. The Spring Ball often comes packaged with the High Jump Boots. However, in Metroid Prime Trilogy, New Play Control! Metroid Prime and New Play Control! Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, the Morph Ball gains the ability to jump after acquiring the Morph Ball Bombs.

With the Boost Ball upgrade, the Morph Ball gained the ability to move in charged bursts of speed. It is comparable to a Speed Booster for the Morph Ball. When charged, the Boost Ball can scale large heights with the help of a Half-pipe, and can also be used for charging mechanical devices using the Spinner mechanism.

The Morph Ball seems to be the key for activating certain Chozo Statues, as observed in Super Metroid, Metroid Prime , and in Metroid Zero Mission. If Samus curls into the Morph Ball to be held by these statues, it will cause an event to happen nearby inside the chamber. This can range from opening a new area, to recharging samus's energy, or to even the statue getting up and walking Samus to a new location.

MovementEdit

The Power Suit has several advanced movement systems. The most basic of these is Samus's aided jumping capabilities, since without any help, lugging around a massive suit of (what is assumed to be) metal would be a difficult task.

PowerSuit RearTorso

The Rear boosters shown here are used for jumping, speed boosting and aid in evading enemy attacks with the SenseMove.

High Jump Boots upgrade

The High Jump Boots.

The Power Suit's jumping capabilities receive an enhancement in the form of the High Jump Boots. In most cases, this upgrade nearly doubles the jumping height of the Power Suit. But in special cases such as the Space Jump Boots, the upgrade is simply just a second jump. In both of these cases, the extra jump height is provided by the boosters mounted on the Power Suit's jet pack.

Speed Booster Upgrade

The Speed Booster.

The Speed Booster enables the Power Suit's booster pack to create a tremendous amount of translational kinetic energy for running at supersonic speeds. Running at supersonic speeds is lethal to most targets, making this a very deadly movement system. If Samus charges the kinetic energy from running at such speeds into potential energy, she can release it to perform a Shinespark, a special ability that launches her through the air like a speeding bullet. However, if the charge is held for too long, the stored energy will dissipate and become useless. The Speed booster is mainly used for clearing environmental obstacles such as bulldozing through destructible walls or jumping extremely wide gorges.

Grapple Beam Upgrade

The Grapple Beam.

The Grapple Beam (later changed to Grapple Swing to avoid confusion between offensive beams) is a device mounted on Samus' left arm. It allows Samus to grapple magnetic points in order to scale sizable gaps. It appears more frequently as an upgrade for the Arm Cannon. The Grapple Beam is the precursor to more advanced movement systems such as the Space Jump since obtaining more advanced systems renders the Grapple Beam obsolete. It appeared first in Super Metroid and since has featured in all the Prime games and the Super Smash Bros. series. It failed to make an appearance in either Metroid Zero Mission or Metroid Fusion, but the upgrade's absence is more than made up for with the ability to climb special surfaces and the Power Grip upgrade. The Grapple Beam returned in Metroid: Other M and takes the form of its Super Metroid predecessor by using the Arm Cannon as the base of its energy.

The Grapple Lasso is a Federation-made variant of the Grapple Swing that appears only in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. It enables Samus to forcibly pull light objects, such as debris, loose from unstable positions; Samus can even use it to yank energy shields and body armor from the hands of her foes.

Another form only featured in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the Grapple Voltage. This upgrade allows Samus to siphon power from and send power to various objects, including power conduits that will open new areas when powered or drained of power.

Space Jump Upgrade

The Space Jump.

The Space Jump, not to be confused with the Space Jump Boots or the Screw Attack, allows for continual somersault jumps in midair, ultimately leaving almost no areas inexplorable. The boosters mounted on the Power Suit's back work at full power, as Samus somersaults so quickly with this upgrade that she appears blurred. Samus can scale any height with this upgrade.

Screw Attack Upgrade

The Screw Attack.

The Speed Booster is not the only lethal movement system available for the Power Suit. The Screw Attack adds a deadly electrical charge to somersault jumps, destroying nearly any target on contact. Working in tandem with the Space Jump, this is a very useful tool when faced with large swarms of small creatures. It can also chew through certain types of wall surfaces, allowing for access to areas otherwise inaccessible. In the Prime series, special Wall Jump Surfaces were used to vertically climb large shafts or structures. The armor itself radiates the electrical energy used for this upgrade. In the 2D games, this form of movement was unlimited, but in the more recent Metroid Prime series, its use is limited to around 5 jumps. In Metroid: Other M, the movement is again unlimited, but no height can be gained while jumping and no lost height can be regained.


Body ArmorEdit

PowerSuit Underlayers

This image shows the flexible undersuit below the external armor plating.

The Power Suit's armor plating is a very complicated tesselation of different pieces. The external armor is suspended onto an underlayer that is very flexible, allowing Samus no restriction to movement. The 'under armor' twists and stretches to allow Samus to aim at 90 degree angles, and the shoulder pads, even the large ones of the Gravity and Varia Suit, have the ability to spin forward and backward to allow Samus to aim upwards. The image to the right shows the detail of Samus' Varia Suit and the underlayer which allows her needed flexibility.

Samus's armor had three layers of armor. The bottom layer is the Zero Suit. It is a Suit in its own rights, but as it needs to be activated in order to activate the other two (or one, depending on which mission) layers, it is technically the lowest layer of armor. The second layer is the organic layer. This was what allowed Samus to move the third layer of armor. It is very flexible, and it is what the Fusion Suit was built on. The last layer of armor was the metal armor Samus was most commonly seen in, before her surgery. It had large shoulders most commonly (in the Varia to Phazon Suits, the Power Suit had small shoulder pads), and was very strong. Due to their size, it is probable that the shoulders hold the more bulky components, such as power generators or possibly energy tank storage. The Omega Suit currently has the armor that equals the Varia.

It is a common misconception that the armor on the Power Suit is to be removed as any r
Samus in her new suit

The Fusion Suit was built onto existing organic components of the Power Suit.

egular body armor (i.e., piece-by-piece). But it is actually removed all at once using a dematerialization mechanism (possibly the same mechanism employed by the Morph Ball). Of course, it can still be manually removed to some extent, as seen in the opening events of Metroid Fusion, but the entire suit including the organic components cannot be removed without Samus's conscious cooperation.
Samus Aran MP3

The PED Suit is a modification of the already existing Varia Suit.

It may not be able to be removed without Samus's cooperation, but that doesn't also apply to the suit being modified. The PED Suit was grafted onto Samus's existing Varia Suit by GF scientists and engineers during the events of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, in order to take advantage of Samus's recently obtained self-generating Phazon supply within her body. This shows that the suit can be modified or removed to some extent, but as long as it doesn't involve the organic components bonded to Samus's central nervous system.

The actual durability of the suit's plating has never been tested, but the armor dissipates instantly once it runs out of energy.

Defense SystemsEdit

The Power Suit relies on an extremely durable energy shield to protect Samus from attacks. The shield
Suit shield

The energy shield as it appears in Metroid Zero Mission.

is powered by Samus's Energy Tanks, and is capable of withstanding any attack, as long as there is enough energy to absorb the attack. The energy shield can also protect Samus from environmental hazards such as acid, lava, and Fuel Gel, however Samus's energy reserves will drain constantly and rapidly while in contact with these substances. The more Energy Tanks the Power Suit has, the more powerful the energy shield becomes. In addition, Suit Upgrades such as the Varia and Gravity Suit can increase the energy shield's ability to dissipate attacks, and even render the energy shield invulnerable to certain substances.
Suit shield2

The energy shield as it appears in Super Metroid.

The energy shield typically manifests itself as an aura that completely surrounds Samus when she is attacked. In the Prime games it is only visible in Morph Ball form as a red aura.

When Samus's energy reserves run out, the suit can no longer be maintained and it disintegrates, leaving Samus in her Zero Suit. In some cases the suit cannot be re-activated due to extreme damage and Samus is stuck in her Zero suit until she repairs it.

It appears one purpose of the Zero Suit is to store Samus's energy reserves. The Zero Suit then converts the energy into the solid matter of her suit. The hardware of the suit then allows Samus to use her abilities.

SoftwareEdit

The Power Suit's computer system is apparently quite powerful: in addition to maintaining the suit's weapons, defense features, movement, life-support system, and heads-up display, it possesses enough artificial intelligence to retrieve data from the creature, structure, and flora and fauna databank through use of the Scan Visor and produce in-depth tactical analysis of acquired items and encountered creatures or technologies which can be scanned. The suit is also capable of quickly interfacing with and even hacking into a wide variety of alien computer systems, including scan terminals and Hand Scanners designed by cultures as varied as the Alimbic, the Luminoth, the Galactic Federation, the Elysians, and the Space Pirates. This system has its limits, however: the control systems for the Space Pirates' portal to Dark Aether are capable of resisting the hacking system as well as robotic creatures which are also immune to hacking, while the suit's default translator module is incapable of deciphering the complicated 3-dimensional layout of the Luminoth language. A Luminoth security drone, the Rezbit, is even capable of uploading a virus to the suit that completely shuts down the central computer, rendering Samus's armor completely immobile until the system is manually rebooted: this demonstrates how much the suit relies on its software in order to function. The data the scan visor can retrieve is also limited as much of it comes from an unknown database. This is evident in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption when Samus scans a "flower" on Phaaze which results in the scan visor saying "No matches found in flora and fauna databank."

See AlsoEdit

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