The Tower is a weapons research center, where robotic drones vigilantly guard against any organic intruders. In order to make progress, you'll first need to figure out how to reactivate it. Once you've uncovered its secrets, there's yet another discovery to be made far below the surface of the planet; a geothermal plant that is extremely sensitive to any disruption. You'll come away from The Tower even more powerful than when you first enter... but only if you can survive.
Reaching the tower
Outside of the entrance to the Research Site, the lava that once rested at the surface of the pit has receded. You can now head down and explore the tunnel. From room A, begin dropping down to the bottom to reach room B below. As you get close to the bottom, you may encounter a new species of creature that pops out from the wall sporting what looks like two spinning circular saws. After a time, it will retreat back into the wall. You will see these from time to time as you make your way to the next section.
Continue to follow the tunnel down as you maneuver through room B. You will notice a Missile Tank in an isolated chamber on you way. See Missile Tank A below to learn how to obtain it. When you reach the bottom, continue to the left to room C. Many creatures will confront you as you drop to the bottom. It's best to ignore them as much as possible to reach the bottom quickly. There, you will have the choice to go left or right. To the left is a save station. Save your game, and then take the right exit to room D.
More of the circular saw creatures will dog you as you make your way to the bottom of room D, which levels off and heads to the right. This leads to room E, which is a simple straight fall down to the bottom. The only exit heads to the left to room F.
Room F contains a number of insects, and the floor is lined with a pool of lava. Make your way down and to the left to reach room G. Room G is a long corridor, also filled with lava. It has two different creatures; a bird-like creature that rises continuously out of the lava, and another creature with very shielded wings that deflect your current beam. They normally hang in place until you get close enough for them to track you. Continue to the left to reach the entrance to the tower.
- Missile Tank A (room B)
- Along the very bottom of the room, there is enough space to run from the right side to the left, and build up enough speed for a Shinespark. Squat down to the store the Shinespark, and return to the spot on the ground beneath the highest point in the ceiling. Jump straight up to crash through that high point in the ceiling, revealing a tunnel up to the missile tank waiting in the small chamber.
- Missile Tank B (room F)
- The missile tank in this room is hidden in the lower right corner of the room, behind a wall that can only be broken with the Speed Boost. There are two ways of getting to this tank. The intended way takes a bit longer, and requires that you travel to the opposite side of room G and build up enough speed to Shinespark all the way across room G to the right, and into room F where you crash through the wall to collect the tank. However, you can also build up enough speed by running to the left from room E and stopping just before the ground drops to the lava below. The only trick is that you have to store the Shinespark, and then jump diagonally through the air so that you dodge the two closest insects and land on the platform below. From there, you can hop over to the lower platform on the right. Then press jump, and hold right so that you crash through the wall and collect the tank.
Investigating the tower
- Getting your bearings
You begin in room A. Two boulders seem to block your progress to the left, but they are easily removed with a single bomb. Head to the left to room B. Like many other sections you've visited, there is an outside exterior to the tower. Unlike other sections, this exterior is broken up into four sections; one to the left, one on the top, and two to the right. Room B is the lower of the two sections to the right of the tower. You have a lot of freedom as to how you tackle this tower. In fact, you can go around and defeat all six Metroids without exploring the Tower much at all, but you'll be leaving a lot behind. For now, simply hop left over the surface of the lava to the entrance of the tower. Go through the door to room C.
Inside the Tower, you'll notice that it's incredibly dark, as the power source has been turned off. Space Jump your way up to the door at the top, and step inside. Even the save station room is dark, but at least the station is functional. Save your game, and continue left to room D. Drop to the bottom of this empty room and head left through the door. You're now in room E, the section that contains the exterior to the left of the tower. Room E contain two exits to the left, both of which lead to Metroids. If you start Space Jumping up along the wall of the tower, you'll spot one entrance which is colored yellow. Yellow doors can only be opened with Power Bombs, an item you don't yet have. As you keep going up, you'll notice a hole in the wall. At this time, you can choose to enter through the hole in the wall, although you may wish to visit room F above to try an collect a few items, including an Energy Tank before you continue.
- Powering up the tower
Use the hole in the wall alongside room E to access the upper portion of the tower. You will literally arrive directly below a Chozo statue holding an item orb in room I. However, from this portion of the room, you are helpless to collect it. If you explore the narrow passage in the lower right side of the room, you can use it to access room J. After bombing your way out of the passage, you can explore the entire room, but the power to both doors is disabled, so you can't use them. Your only alternative is to roll along the narrow passage on the bottom of the room to the right, and drop down to room K below.
Room K indicates that there's an item hidden somewhere, but if you bomb the brick below the bottom of the passage, the tile will indicate that you need Power Bombs. Bomb the block to the left to access the rest of the room. Once again, the disabled power prevents you from opening the door. If you bomb around the lower left corner of the room, you'll find yet another passage that drops you down to room L below.
Follow the passage as it bends to the right. Then bomb your way to the narrow chamber below. Your goal is to reach the bottom, and to do so, you'll need to bomb a block on the floor of each chamber. Even when you reach the bottom, all you'll find is a deactivated door. Bombing the lower right corner, however, will provide you access to another hidden passage. This one will lead you down to room M below.
Room M is pretty dark and has deactivated doors on either side as well. What it also has is a contraption in the middle of the room, with a slot just big enough for a Morph Ball to fit in. Shrink down and fit inside the slot. If you do this, you will act as a switch, activating the electricity in the tower, and powering up all of its systems. The left door will remain closed, but the right door is now accessible.
- Obtaining the Plasma Beam
With the Tower powered up, you can now attempt a return trip to room I where you saw the Chozo statue. Unfortunately, it won't be that easy. From room M, take the right door to room N. Two different types of robots will be moving about, but only one is a threat. A flying laser sentry will fly down to attack you. Destroy it before you move on. The other type of robot is a repair drone that is only interested in attending to the tower and ignores you. Jump up to the top of the room and head left back into room L.
When you enter room L, you'll be in a small chamber. Ignore the armored robot floating along the ceiling. You need to access the passage below the chamber. Bomb the lower left corner of the chamber to open a path to the passage. From here, you will be repeating the process of bombing your way through the chambers to get to the bottom. The only difference is now the Tower is activated, and the devices attached to the walls of each chamber fire electric beams across the chamber. This makes it difficult to bomb your way down without taking quite a bit of damage. Try to time your drops down into each chamber so as to avoid the electric beams as much as possible. Definitely don't hang around by the bombs and allow yourself to be thrown up into the beams. Once you reach the bottom, open the door on the left and enter room O.
As soon as you enter the room, the camera will shift to alert you to the presence of a giant flying machine known as the Tester. The Tester's purpose is to assess the effectiveness of a large number of weaponry. And true to its purpose, it is about to test a variety of weapon systems on you. Be prepared for a long fight.
The Tester has several components. It has four armored segments that surround it. It can rotate these segments around itself to any desired configurations. However, once these segments are sufficiently damaged, they are permanently destroyed. These armored segments are immune to beam weapons and can only be destroyed by concussive explosions. The Tester also has four cannons. These cannons can fire a wide range of weapons, including giant laser beams, heat seeking missiles, reflective beams, and pulse orbs. The cannons can be shot and destroyed, but once the Tester retracts them, it can restore them for use with the next weapon it chooses to fire. The inner core is what makes the Tester function. Unlike the armored segments, it is immune to concussive blasts, but it is vulnerable to beam weapons.
Your goal is to strategically remove the armor to expose the core, and then pelt the core with your main weapon until it is destroyed. To destroy the armor, use up your Super Missiles (you won't risk missing such a big target and you'll get more throughout the fight) and then continue chipping away at the armor with Missiles until all four segments have been removed. Then focus on attacking the core with your normal weapon. Whenever you destroy a segment of armor, you get a cache of missiles. You get a variety of items for every cannon you destroy, along with items for each destroyed heat seeking missile.
Surviving the fight requires you to adopt a different strategy based on what weapon is being fired. The reflective beams are slow, but they scatter around the room whenever they hit a wall. The pulse orbs primarily fire up and down, so you're safe on the sides of the room. The heat seeking missiles can be fired out of the air with relative ease. The weapon which requires you to move the most are the giant laser beams. The Tester fires them in four directions and rotates around in a counter-clockwise direction. You'll need to stay in a safe zone if you don't want to get hit and take damage. The room is outfitted with a series of ledges which collapse after Samus has stood on them for a period of time. Use them to your advantage, but find another place to stand once they collapse. They will reset themselves over time.
Once you destroy the Tester, you can proceed to the top of room O and pass through the door to room K. Room K will be much more heavily defended now with armored sentries. Head to the right, and bomb your way back into the passage that you originally took from room J above. Jump back up to room J, and roll along the passage until you are close to the door on the left. Bomb your way out of the passage, shoot the red door with a missile to access the Chozo statue in room I. Shoot the orb its holding to obtain the Plasma Beam. With the Plasma Beam in your possession, the armored sentries outside the room will be much easier to deal with, as the Plasma Beam passes right through their armor.
- Clearing the Metroids
After collecting the Plasma Beam, it's a good idea to exit through the door on the right side of room J, and cross tower exterior room H to find a save station on the right. At this point in the walkthrough, we'll take some time to clear the six Metroids around the Tower before we try to explore beneath the Tower. We'll start in the lower right portion of the map, and work our way up and around to the lower left portion.
From room H, drop down to room B. From the entrance to the area, around the door to room A, jump up and follow the exterior wall until you find the entrance to room U. As you pass through room U, you'll see a new type of obstacle to be avoided; very jagged white rocks that are harmful to the touch. Room U is fairly tame compared to others which this feature, in that it still has safe rock to stand on. Continue right to reach room V. When you enter room V (assuming you're following along with the walkthrough), the camera will pan to the right and show what looks like a Gamma Metroid molting or evolving into an entirely new form: the Zeta Metroid. Zeta Metroids no longer fly. They are bipedal and can move with astonishing speed. Among their favorite methods of attack, are a charging head-butt, spitting acidic saliva, and a claw rake that can actually cancel your own missile attacks. It's vulnerable spot remains its underbelly, and you can reasonably hit it as long as the Zeta Metroid doesn't swipe the air which sends out a force field that nullifies your missile. Shoot as many Super Missiles and missiles as you can into its belly, but keep a safe distance as its strikes can be very damaging.
After you defeat the Zeta Metroid, return to the left until you are back in room B. You should return to a save point if you are low on health or ammunition. Otherwise, Space Jump you way to the upper right corner of the room, where you will find an entrance to room T. In this single vertical room, you'll find a Gamma Metroid. Defeat it in the usual way, and then drop back down to room B. Space Jump over to the left and over to the left side in order to climb back up room H.
Save your game at the save station along the right side of room H, then step back out to the room. From where you are standing, you should notice a hole in the wall directly across from you. Jump over to it, and roll through the narrow passage, bombing the blocks that are between you and room P. Shoot all the sentries that guard the room as you head to the left. You'll notice a Metroid shell below a shaft in the ceiling. Jump up to room Q, and bomb your way through the passage, and you'll find another powerful Zeta Metroid. The strategy against this Zeta will be the same as for the first. Then drop back down to room P, and make your way back to room H (you can save a bit of time by shooting the wall above the passage back to room H to bypass the blocks.)
Save your game again, and then Space Jump your way up to room F, which contains very elaborate statues of two creatures holding a globe. Jump up into the upper right corner of the room, where you will find the entrance to room R. The surface of this room is covered with a lot more jagged rocks than room T. Carefully Space Jump your way through the room to reach room S on the right. Room S contains a lot of sand, as well as a Gamma Metroid. Clear some sand away to give yourself enough room to fight. Then lure the Gamma Metroid over to take it on. Be aware that its electrical attack can clear the sand away as well.
Once you defeat the Gamma Metroid in room S, make your way back to room F, and travel to the left side in order to drop down into room E. Fall down room E and hug the left wall as you do to find the entrance to room W, which is another room containing a varied configuration of jagged rocks, including one section that you must roll under. Carefully make your way to the left to reach room X. Like room S, room X contains sand which you must clear away in order to effectively fight the Gamma Metroid that lives there. Unlike room S, the floor of room X is covered in jagged rocks, so if you clear away too much of the sand, you won't have a safe surface to stand on while you fight.
After you defeat the Gamma Metroid in room X, it's a good idea to save your game at the station between rooms C and D. Then return to room E, and explore the entrance to the left of where the lava lies. This is room Y, and it contains the largest arrangement of jagged rock which you must navigate Samus through. There are just a few tiny safe spots in an otherwise completely dangerous room. Follow the room to the left as it snakes up and down, and enter room Z. This room will present you with your most dangerous fight against a Zeta Metroid yet, as portions of the floor contain jagged rock. Not only must you avoid the Metroid and its attacks, you must also be aware of the terrain and avoid taking damage by stepping on the harmful surfaces. Your strategy against the Zeta should remain the same, although you may need to stop and put more distance between you if the jagged rocks get in your way.
Once you defeat this sixth and final Metroid, you will trigger the earthquake. You may believe that your way to the next segment of the game will be open, but if you attempt to journey to the Distribution Center now, you will discover that you can't proceed without Power Bombs. The lava pools that surround either side of the Tower have also receded, so now would be a good time to explore the region beneath the Tower.
- Missile Tank A (room B)
- This tank is easily gathered in the bottom left corner of room B, although you may wish to wait for the lava to descend before you attempt to collect it if you don't want to take any damage.
- Missile Tank B (room F)
- There is a tank hidden up in the ceiling of room F. To reach it, you'll need to find a spot along the left wall to begin using the Spider Ball. Roll along the wall until you start rolling to the right along the ceiling. Lay bombs down to discover one tile which bombs can destroy. Then roll up into this passage to discover the tank.
- Missile Tank C (room G)
- Along the floor of room F, you'll see a pit to the room below on the left side. Bomb the floor above this pit to gain access and drop down to room G. Once inside, you'll need to roll around through very narrow passages in order to proceed to the right. You'll have to bomb several blocks to proceed. You'll spot the missile tank easily, but you'll be forced to go far to the right and then double back in order to collect it. Find a passage that takes you back to the left and above the tank. When you are as close as you could be above the tank, bomb the floor to break through and get closer. The floor that the tank rests on will give way as soon as you touch it, so be ready to roll into the alcove and collect the tank before you are forced to drop down to the passage below.
- Super Missile Tank A (room K)
- After you've obtained Power Bombs, remember to return to room K, where there was a Power Bomb tile at the bottom of a shaft on the right side of the room. Detonate a Power Bomb to break the tile to discover the Super Missile Tank hidden beneath.
- Power Bomb Tank A (room E)
- After the lava has been drained by defeating the six Metroids, and after you've obtained Power Bombs, explore the lower left corner of room E and detonate a Power Bomb there. You will break a hole in the wall leading to Power Bomb Tank that will extend your Power Bomb capacity by two.
- Energy Tank A (room F)
- Read the procedure to collect Missile Tank C above. When you are in room G, continue all the way to the right side of the room. When you reach the end of the passage where another pit opens up, jump up to arrive beneath the right side of the floor in room F, where the Energy Tank is waiting.
Investigating the Geothermal Plant
- Locating the elevator
Once the earthquake has caused the lava pools to lower, you can safe explore the areas below either side of the Tower. Below the room labeled E on the map above, you will find a door in the lower left corner which leads to room A on the map to the right. All future rooms will refer to the map on the right.
As you head right through room A, two very large gated locks must open, one after the other, in order to grant you entrance to the lower portion of the tower. They will simply open as you approach, and lock behind you. Continue on to room B, and shoot your way down to the bottom of it. The busted door on the right is inaccessible, so open the door on the left to access room C. To reach the left side of room C, you must bomb your way through a couple of narrow passages. Destroy the robot sentry in the middle of the room, and continue bombing your way to the left. Use Spider Ball to access the narrow passage that leads left into room D. Drop straight down to the bottom of room D and head through the right door to room E.
Room E is a little easier to traverse through since you only need to shoot your way through the rocks, but it contains more robot sentries guarding the middle. Proceed to the right until you reach room F. If you explore the region above you, you'll only find a deactivated door, so head down to the bottom, and shoot your way to through the rock to the floor below. Go through the door on the right to room G. Once again, you must shoot your way through the rock to reach the bottom of the room and access the door on the left which leads to room H. You must reach the top of room H, by moving left and right through the room, bombing your way through the middle passage. Clear away all the robot sentries, and shoot the door at the top to finally access the elevator.
- Obtaining the Power Bomb
The elevator takes you very deep down to the lowest accessible location in the entire planet, where the heat of the planet powers the Geothermal Plant Once it stops at room J, hop off and drop down to room K below. Head through the door on the left to access the save station. Beyond the save point is vertical room L. If you hop over and investigate the door on the left, you will simply find an empty chamber. Instead, drop down and open the door on the right to access room M.
Room M contains a bunch of devices on the floor, which presumably have something to do with gathering energy from the thermal vents. They are merely obstacles for you to jump over as you continue to the right to room N. When you enter room N, you'll get a new log entry explaining how this plant is responsible for supplying power to all the other major facilities throughout the planet. It also warns of overloading the system. Far to the right, you will see a lone Chozo statue resting with a new item in its hands. This item is the Power Bomb.
Naturally, you should collect it, but after you do, you'll find that the door that you came through is deactivated. You can't open it, so you must find another means of escape. If you bomb the floor, you will see the tiles which indicate that they are only broken by Power Bombs. With no other choice, you must detonate one of your newly claimed Power Bombs right now. Doing so will unfortunately cause a chain reaction with one of the power cells, and it will begin to overheat. You are suddenly presented with a meter indicating how hot the power cell has become. It is clear that you must escape the Geothermal Plant before it melts down if you wish to survive.
- Escaping the core
Having blown a hole in the floor, you now have access to a narrow passage that lowers you down in room O. You must head to the right, and then back to the left, hoping over some barriers to reach room O. Then head through the door on the right to room P. Jump up through the tunnel which connects room O to room Q above. Then proceed to the left until you hit a dead end. Find the portion of the floor that you can bomb to reach the chamber below. Then head left until you step on some blocks which dissolve and drop you down to room M below.
Once you're back in room M, start running to the left. Unfortunately, before you reach room L, you will be attacked by a Tank Prototype that bursts in through the wall. This Tank Prototype has a number of components which you can attack, including the treads, the arm cannon, and the head. The armor on this enemy makes it invulnerable to any type of missile, so stick to your main weapon. It's a good idea to destroy the treads first to stop it from advancing, and then the arm cannon to cut down on its offensive abilities. It can still attack you by firing heat-seeking missiles from its back. With the arm cannon removed, jump onto one of the energy arrays and bombard the chest armor with beams until it is destroyed. This will expose the Tank's core. At this point, you may choose to continue pummeling it with beam weapons, or switch to missiles to take it out considerably faster.
Once the tank is destroyed, make your way back to room L on the left, and jump up to the top. If you attempt to return to the save station on the right, not only will you find that it's disabled, but the door back to room K will explode. You are forced to examine room R to the left instead. As soon as you enter room R, the door will collapse, but so will the wall on the left side, allowing you to jump up above the ceiling of the chamber. You must shoot out the walls which block your passage. When you are far enough to the right, it will dead-end. If you shoot or bomb the floor, you should recognize the Speed Boost tiles. Head back to the left, and run all the way to the right to break the tiles and drop down to the bottom. Then continue right and take the elevator for a ride back to the Tower.
You're not out of danger yet. Open the door and return to room H. If you're looking for a shortcut, you can shoot the floor of the section above the door to room G with missiles to get back to the door faster. Make your way up to the top of room G and head left. When you return to room F, the door to room E will be destroyed. Instead, head to the top, and the door that was previously deactivated will be working. Head through it to room S and run all the way to the left. Once you reach the left side, you should burst through the floor just before a destroyed door, and fall down to room E. Head left, and Space Jump your way up room D, and back to room C at the top.
If you've been moving pretty quickly at this point, the temperature meter will rise fairly quickly to highlight the need to keep moving. Room C is the room that you need to bomb through the passages to cross. If you still have a Power Bomb, you can detonate it here to clear the passages out. Otherwise, you'll need to slowly bomb you way through, including the high passage on the right side, which you'll likely need to use Spider Ball to properly access. Shoot your way up through the barrier in room B, and head to room A. You're practically there, all you need to do is pass through the two lock gates. Unfortunately, they open incredibly slowly, and the temperature meter rises extremely quickly. Just as the second gate is about to open and release you to safety, the core will melt down with an explosion so powerful, it blows you through the door and leaves you lying on the ground with nothing but 5 units of energy in your suit.
At this point in the game, you are ready to move on to the next section, the Distribution Center. However, with only 5 units of energy, you must be extremely careful making your way back to the nearest save station to restore your energy. Alternatively, you can search around for an Energy Tank if you know where to look.
Note: At this time, you also have the item required to access the GFS Thoth section of the game, which can be reached by returning to the Research Site. Visiting the Thoth is entirely optional, but required in order to achieve a 100% completion rate.
- Missile Tank A (room U)
- Follow the instructions to reach Energy Tank A below. After you have collected it, explore the narrow passage that brought you to this room. If you bomb around, you will find a Super Missile tile above, and a Speed Boost tile below. Begin running across the floor to the left in order to build up speed, and squat down before you hit the broken door to store Shinespark. Jump straight up below the Speed Boost tile to create a vertical tunnel into the passage. If you hang from the wall facing right, you can aim your cannon diagonally to the left and shoot the tile with a Super Missile — or, even simpler, if you shoot straight up from the ground into the hole, the splash area will destroy the tile. From there, jump up into the hole you created to find the Missile Tank.
- Energy Tank A (room U)
- After the Geothermal Plant core melts down, it is possible to return through the busted lock gate in room A to room B. However, the explosion has destroyed access to many of the existing routes. The floor of room B can be bombed to drop lower into the room. You can do this many times in fact until you are low enough to reach room T. The door to the left is disabled, but there happens to be a narrow passage hidden in the wall above the door which can give you access to room U beyond. Once your in the room, bomb the block at the end of the passage, and continue to the left to find a Chozo statue holding the Energy Tank.
While returning here through the transportation chutes in the Distribution Center is worthwhile, there aren't a lot of items to collect that you couldn't before. There is just one, and it's on the way to another destination where you may find more items. The path to the one remaining item leads to another transportation chute.
- Missile Tank B (room W)
- From your arrival in room V, jump up and exit through the door on the right. Break through the wall in the next room using Screw Attack, and proceed to the right exterior of the Tower. Drop down to the bottom (in the space which used to be occupied by lava.) You can use the Screw Attack to break through the rock wall in the lower right corner. This will lead to room W, where you can drop down to the bottom to obtain a Missile Tank. The door to the left leads to purple room X, which contains a transportation chute that takes you to the Hydro Station.