Brinstar is a main area of Planet Zebes. It is being divided to a jungle-like, lively area (upper Brinstar), and a silent, red-soiled area (lower Brinstar).
Although it may seem like it isn't accessible from the get-go, Brinstar is the first place to go when arriving on Zebes. After you pass through old Tourian, an elevator leads to a deserted cave which seems to be not connected to the main section of Brinstar, though it actually is, as you will see when getting the Power Bomb upgrade. This place is the original start point of Metroid for the NES, where you can find the Morphball. See Crateria if you haven't gotten it yet.
However, you will be able to visit the main part of Brinstar after acquiring the Morph Ball Bomb from the Chozo Statue. After getting the bomb, battling the statue and leaving its chamber, go back the way you came until you reach the spot where you had to morph into a ball. Take the way on the right by climbing the steps and bombing away the blocks with your new item ( , as shown when getting it).
After leaving the tunnel, head left until you reach a wall made of violet-grey stones. You can simply blast this wall. Pass the gate behind it, and run through the cave. At its end, you will find your first Energy Tank. The next room holds green Space Pirates, which are immune to your standard beam. Use Missiles instead, or, if you're insane, bombs should also work. When reaching the bottom, you can choose between two gates. Take the left one. The right door leads to Tourian, an area you will explore much later on.
Another corridor awaits you, which leads to the room that contains the elevator that will lower you down into Brinstar.
The first Room
The first room contains five gates. If you're interested in getting the Brinstar map, take the upper left gate first. When you reach a wall, place bombs at it to pass. After getting the map, you'll have to kill all the enemies to leave the corridor.
Thereafter, enter the opposite room. It contains a bridge that will collapse when you try standing on it. Try to fall down into the first "box" to get a Missile Tank. Leave the box by placing bombs at the left wall (you can also enter the box that way). You can hardly cross the bridge until you get the Speed Booster, so exit the room. The middle left gate contains a save point. Save, if you want, and head for the bottom of the room. The left door leads to a a Missile Recharging Station. If you choose to get there, watch out for the firefly-like aliens. They can hurt you, but if you kill them all, the room will be completely dark.
Finally, take the right door as soon as you're finished.
Getting an Upgrade
After running along that shaft, you will arrive in a huge, pink hall. Your objective now is to go to the upper right to battle Spore Spawn, but before that you can get the charge beam and more Missile Tanks, which should prove useful against the miniboss. Head for the lower part to collect a Missile Tank along the bottom left. The Charge Beam is found just right of this tank.
The Charge Beam
Your first Beam upgrade lies beneath this container. Blast the two conspicuous stones on the right with a bomb and roll into the hole. As you fall downwards, a Chozo statue holding the Charge Beam upgrade will become visible.
Operating the Charge Beam
This part refers to standard controls. For further details, see Controls.
To charge up the beam, press and hold . To shoot, release again. The longer you charge, the more damage your shot causes.
If you spin jump while your beam is fully charged, you can perform something like a "pseudo Screw Attack": you can cause damage or kill little enemies with this move.
By morphing into a ball with a charged beam, you drop five bombs at once around you.
To Spore Spawn
While you head back up, you may notice a Missile Tank in an alcove high up with a Sidehopper, across and above from an orange door. You can attempt to get this now by walljumping along the wall leading to it, but if that proves to be too difficult, just remember to come back here after getting the Hi-Jump Boots soon. At any rate, head to the upper left section of this room.
As you arrive, you can see that the wall is thinner on the left side. You can reveal a save station by placing a bomb at the spot on the very left (→ picture). Save, and head right. You will encounter some kihunters; kill them to get to the next room.
Fighting Spore Spawn
That next room is Spore Spawn's lair. It's a giant spore, spawning little spores that can hurt you. It will immediately start moving around the room. Stand in the left corner of the room and Morph into a ball during this phase. The spores it shoots will not go into this part of the room. As it stops moving, it will open its "mouth". Shoot a missile or a charged shot into it (your standard beam won't have any effect). Now, simply keep that strategy for the rest of the fight. The boss will become faster over time, but that doesn't really matter. If you run out of missiles, shoot the small spores and collect their drops. 10 missiles or 8 full charge shots should be enough for this boss.
As soon as it's dead, collect its drops, jump up the vertical shaft above and pass through the gate. At the end of the following room, you will find a spawner pipe that does not spawn enemies. Jump on its top to make it collapse. You'll fall down a long duct and land in front of a Chozo statue holding the first Super Missile Tank.
About Super Missiles
Super Missiles cause three times as much damage as normal missiles, i. e. 1 Super Missile is worth 3 standard Missiles (with the exception of some bosses that take double damage from Super Missiles; more later). They can be used to easily kill enemies, and to open red and green gates.
After picking up the Super Missiles, head left and walk along the two rooms. As you encounter a green gate, shoot it with a Super Missile to get through. In the following room, a single stone will block your way. If you try to use a standard bomb on it, it will show you the icon of a Super Missile, which means that it can be blasted using one of those. When you've made your way through the tunnel, keep heading left until you reach a wall, where a missile tank was above the charge beam.
Pass the upper tunnel by climbing on the step above the hole, morphing into a ball and setting a bomb on the very right (→ picture (left)). Keep pressing all the time. As the bomb explodes, the force will carry you into the air. The next room holds a secret Missile Tank, which can be reached by walljumping up the way to the pipe which doesn't spawn enemies, then entering it as a ball. You can decide to return with the Hi-Jump boots if you prefer not to walljump. The shutter at the end of the room can only be passed from the left side until you get the wave beam, i. e. you can't return to Upper Brinstar using that passage for now. Open the shutter by shooting the blue button.
As soon as you're in the next room, you'll encounter a disintegrating bridge. Some players get stuck here, because they are unfamiliar with the run button. Press and hold while crossing the bridge to reach the other side. By walking through the next gate, you will enter Lower Brinstar!
Norfair gets a visitor!
The next place to go is Norfair, namely to obtain the Hi-Jump Boots. First, jump off the ledge you are standing on and keep going downwards. As you encounter a couple of rocks with a yellow gate nearby, place some bombs at the ground. As a part of the ground will collapse, place another bomb in the pit. Alternatively, you can shoot the ground as well. Continue going lower and lower until you reach the bottom. The green gate on the left side leads to an energy recharger. Use it if you want, then enter the gate on the right.
You'll instantly have to deal with a spot quite similar to the bridge described above. But this time, you have to jump over a water pit. Simply go to the very left, press and hold , run a few steps and jump as far as you can.
The Spazer hides in the next room, however, you can't gain it until you get the Hi-Jump or by doing a Wall Jump to the top. Keep going forward until you reach the elevator, then use it.
Your journey continues in Norfair.
Before bashing Kraid, you might want to obtain an upgrade for your beam. So, head left again until you reach the first red-solied room. Leftmost, you can notice a breakable block on the ceiling. Shoot it with your beam and jump up through the hole. At the morph-ball tunnel, break the first block with a bomb as usual. But you have to use your beam on the second one. If you use a bomb, a hole will emerge directly under you, causing you to fall down into the water.
Open the gate, then enter it and get the Spazer.
Operating the Spazer
Utilising the Spazer, you will fire three beams at once. This can be pretty helpful when aiming at enemies, not to mention the ability to kill green Space Pirates using the beam.
You'll have to shoot and break certain blocks a lot to reach Kraid, which can sometimes be tricky, so read carefully.
Return to the elevator room. As soon as you're there, shoot the lowermost block in the right wall with a Super Missile. Enter the hole, then jump upon the platform beneath the creepy alien head. Enter the gate behind it.
You'll now arrive in a factory-like room. Shoot the platform's leftmost block and go through the hole. In the lower chamber, set a bomb at the lowest block of the right wall and pass through it. Open the gate and kill the mantis-like aliens in the next room. If you want to save before visiting Kraid (which is actually advisable), go to the right, morph into a ball and roll into the pit. Place a bomb and roll to the right. The Save Station is right behind the gate.
To get to Kraid, hold out for a cracked spot on the floor of the room with the mantis enemies. As you find it, shoot it, go through the hole and the gate. The Space Pirates in the next room can easily be killed by using the beam (thanks to the Spazer). At the end of the room, you will encounter a mini version of Kraid. The best way to beat him is simply using Missiles (two should do). The next corridor hides a refiller room, but it's not too hard to find it. Shoot the ceiling at the spot without solid blocks above. Recharge, if necessary, and go to the next room to meet Kraid.
The battle itself
Kraid is one of the easiest bosses to beat. The best way to finish him is using Super Missiles, since he can only take four of them. As he hatches out of the ground, shoot his eyes using your beam (Try using a charged shot to start the fight while his hand is down; this will lock his hand in place and he won't be able to block your shots for some time). His eyes will flash if done properly and his mouth will open. As he opens his mouth, shoot a Super Missile inside. Once Kraid'd hand begin's moving again, try to time your shots so that Kraid's hand doesn't block your attacks, as he'll periodically raise his hand, covering his eyes and mouth. If you run out of ammo, shoot the claws flying around in the room. Also, watch out for the spikes shot out of Kraid's stomach and chest. You can ride them without taking damage if you land directly atop them, but it's best to try to jump over them entirely.
After hitting him with 4 Super Missiles, 10 Normal Missiles, or 10 Charged Spazer shots he will drop into the ground again, and that's it!
After the fight, go to the next room to obtain your new item: the Varia Suit! Its main purpose is to protect you from heat, which will be quite handy in Norfair! Plus, it halves the damage Samus will take.
Off to Norfair
After beating Kraid and getting the Varia Suit, your next destination is Norfair. Leave Kraid's lair the way you came. As you return to the "factory", you're best off saving your game again. But before you start exploring the vastness of Norfair, it's time to collect another item! As you head for the elevator, you'll notice a door you couldn't access before can now be opened. When you enter the room, you'll only find a bunch of enemies which will attach to you and drain your energy. They can be killed using either missiles or bombs (if you're comfortable, let them all attach to you and fire a single missile upward to dispatch them all at once!). After destroying them all, you'll find but an empty room. However, in Super Metroid (and any other Metroid game as well), you should always be skeptical whenever you encounter a dead end that doesn't seem to have any goodies. This room, for example, has an Energy Tank hidden in its ceiling. If you shoot a specific spot, the Tank will appear and you'll be able to collect it.
For now, you're through with Brinstar, so it's time to head for the elevator again.
Your journey continues in Norfair.
Third Visit for the Power Bombs
When the elevator arrives in Brinstar, head left, back to the room with the rippers floating back and forth. On your way there, the Ice Beam can prove useful in stopping enemies in your way, especially the yapping maws whose lunges for you will be stopped short if frozen.
You should recognize the room with the rippers, as you dropped down this shaft to get to Norfair. You used to be trapped, but now you can freeze the rippers and use them as platforms to get up. This path leads to the place where Spore Spawn was located. You can go back for items you may have missed if you have the Wave Beam, since that beam will let you through the shutter that previously blocked you. To progress, though, take the upper path in the ripper room, which you can now access due to Hi-Jump Boots. There are more rippers to freeze, then take the right upper door.
This new area is rife with traps. The zeelas patrolling the platforms aren't a big deal, they're similar to geemers. Watch out, though, for the spikes as well as the aptly named flowers: Samus Eaters. The Samus Eaters will drain a good chunk of energy and trap you if you fall into them, only allowing you to jump to freedom once you've already been hurt a good deal. Also, some of the Samus Eaters contain insect-like zebbos which fly horizontally in your direction. Because they respawn when killed, you can use the zebbos to restore missiles and energy, just be careful if you do. Make your way right to the door, making sure to time your movements carefully since there are traps on both the ceiling and floor.
Here, shoot the floor when you enter or bomb down. You'll see a pair of larvae called zero on the walls, but they don't pose too much of a threat. Enter the green door down here.
A music change suggests a new item may be here. Continue left to get newfound Power Bombs from the statue. You can test out this new item right now by pressing Select to switch to them, then default X while in ball mode. After the explosion, the left wall will be gone, letting you go left for a Missile Tank.
Explanation of Power Bombs
The Power Bombs release a large explosion, usually instantly destroying any minor enemies onscreen. They can also be used in rooms to check for bombable areas, since they remove anything that can be bombed normally. You use them while they're equipped and you're in ball mode, and like Missiles there is a finite number. Also, this item lets you open orange doors. There are a total of 10 Power Bomb pack locations, with each one adding 5 to your total, for a grand total of 50.
Power Bombs also let you pull off a technique called the Crystal Flash, which can restore lost energy. To pull this off, your energy must be 50 or lower, with empty Reserve Tanks, as well as at least 10 Missiles, 10 Super Missiles, and 11 Power Bombs. With these conditions, Hold both diagonal aim buttons (default L and R), Down, and the fire button (default X). It'll occur if done right, and the previously mentioned number of Missiles, Super Missiles, and Power Bombs will be consumed.
Finally, Power Bombs can be used to pull off Charge Combos. To do this, only one beam type and the Charge Beam can be equipped under the Beam section of the equipment menu. Then, make sure Power Bombs are selected with default Select, and charge the beam. The combo will then be pulled off, consuming a Power Bomb. These combos are not necessary for progress or secrets, but provide an option for defeating enemies and using up Power Bombs.
Returning to Norfair After Power Bombs
You now must go back to Norfair, but you can get another Power Bomb pack first. Exit this Power Bomb room, and head back up. Where you came in from is now an orange door, requiring Power Bombs. Activate it now or skip it, but you'll be returning here shortly. The blue door on the right contains a Save Station if you want to save. Continue up and go through the green door on the left.
In here, there are yapping maws inside Samus Eaters, a dangerous combination. Watch out for the big hoppers, then head left. Drop a Power Bomb over the part of the floor with the last Samus Eater, the one lacking a yapping maw. Don't worry, because you'll just fall safely through to a spot in which you can pick up another Power Bombs pack. Now, head back right to the door, being mindful of the spikes and now free yapping maws.
With Power Bombs, you can reach a new spot in Norfair. So then, backtrack all the way back to the elevator down to Norfair, and use it to return down there.
Your journey continues in Norfair.
Fourth Quick Visit on Way to Crateria
You now should return back up to the surface of Crateria, where your ship is parked. On the way, you can pick up the new X-Ray Scope. Return to the left room in Brinstar with the Rippers after the elevator up from Norfair. On your way up, stop when you see an orange door. Drop a Power Bomb to open the path and door.
If this is your first time seeing Firefleas (the circling creatures with glowing orbs), know that they keep this room lit. Killing them darkens the room, so try to avoid that to help you avoid the traps. Merely touching them can kill them. Freezing them, however, keeps the room lit and they won't die. As such, just freeze them with one hit and jump on them, continuing left and being careful as there are spikes on the top and bottom of this room, and other enemies.
Eventually, you'll see grappling points, indicating you need to grapple left. When you swing on the points, don't worry if you bump the Fireflea here. Destroying one or two shouldn't make things too difficult. Be careful as you continue grappling, because Yapping Maws are placed further left to try and pull you into the trap, and flying Wavers will try to hit you. You may want to rely on grappling close to each point, unless you can move fast enough to dodge the enemies. At the top left end is a red door to go through, leading to an item room.
In here, lay a bomb on the block sticking out on the left, with the pipe underneath. In response, the pipe will rise, where you can continue left.
The Chozo Statue holds the X-Ray Scope.
Examining with the X-Ray Scope
The X-Ray Scope is the final item equipped with . When equipped, hold default to use it, whereupon the screen will darken except for a cone emanating from Samus' visor. Within this cone, any hidden and bombable areas will be revealed. While holding , press , or , to move the cone up or down. You can also press or to switch the direction you are facing, keeping the scope active.
Activating the scope will freeze everything on screen except Samus. It will not, however, stop the ingame timer. This includes countdowns. Also, you cannot dash while it is equipped.
Return to the Surface
You get the opportunity to test out your new item here. Activate the X-Ray Scope while facing left, revealing a path blocked by a bombable block. If you turn around, you'll notice this hidden path extends right. Take this path, and drop a bomb when you can go no further right to let a pipe take you back up.
To easily return to Crateria, go back to the right Ripper room. Head up, then take the right path, and finally go up in here to see the elevator which will lead you to your destination. You'll need to Power Bomb the orange door on the ceiling if you haven't been here yet.
Your journey continues in Crateria.
Fifth Visit: Item Hunting Before Wrecked Ship (Optional)
Back in the first room of Brinstar, take the first door on the right. With the Speed Booster, you can now pass over the bridge to the right in here. You'll be able to make it without the shutters keeping you out, where you can go through the red door.
The Chozo Statue here has a Reserve Tank for you. Further, you can go through the bottom tube to reach a Missile Tank. Bomb the right wall next to this Tank three times to reach another Missile Tank. Now back to the left room.
The shutters can still get in the way. Instead, shoot up to reveal a Waver and Sidehopper infested hall, which holds a Super Missile Tank on the left side. The pedestal that holds it will crumble if you jump on it, where you can head back through the left door.
Learn to Walljump
Head to the bottom of the main shaft, and use a Power Bomb to blow away part of the floor. Continue all the way down until you reach the blue door, and go inside.
Look out for Beetoms here. You can Power Bomb to get rid of all of them. Continue left to the next room, but go slow when you go in. As soon as an Energy Tank appears, activate your X-Ray Scope to reveal there is actually a pit before it. Once you have the location of the pit memorized, step back a bit and make a running jump left at the last spot you can stand on. If done right, you should get the Tank. Head through the green door to get a Super Missile Tank, then head out.
If you got both items, go ahead and fall in the pit this time. Down here, a save point is on the left, but beware if you use it because this room can be hard to get out of. Morph ball right, under the spikes. Tread cautiously, since there are spikes on the bottom and top of this hall. Also look out for more Breetoms, and Zebbos from the pipes. Go to the next room.
When you enter, you'll see three monkey-like creatures called Etecoons, which are non-hostile. They seem to run and jump away from you, but they're actually trying to teach you how to get out. Specifically, they're trying to show you how to Walljump. If you haven't gotten used to this feature yet, you now have no choice but to do so if you want to leave.
The Process of Walljumping
Walljumping might seem difficult at first, but the process is simple. Merely hold the direction of the wall you need to jump towards, ensuring that Samus flips while jumping. You must hold or as soon as you jump to flip. Once you touch the wall, Press the opposite direction and right after hit jump. Repeat this while switching directions to make it up. If you did the first part right, you should see Samus face away from the wall. If you see this animation but still have trouble jumping off the wall, you likely need to press default sooner. Once you get the timing down, you should be able to jump from wall to wall with relative ease. Ignore the small left path on the way up.
When you get to the top, you may see one of the creatures jump right, into a path on the wall. Head left, before the ledge to the door. Now dash and jump right, turning into a ball on your way down. You should have enough momentum and time if done right to squeeze into the path where the Etecoon went, where you'll find some Power Bombs. Take the left door now to get to the main shaft, where you can Power Bomb again at the top to get up.
Now, take the right door.
Shinesparking With Dachora
Know that this section is optional, you can skip to the next if you want. The only real thing to gain here is access to an Energy Recharge Station and a hidden room.
Clear the enemies on the left side, then Speed Boost right in this hall. After going through the obstructions, you'll fall through part of the floor. When you head left, you'll see a friendly bird alien known as Dachora. The door contains an Energy Recharge station if you need it. Anyway, down here the bird will run right, then duck and flash, then jump up. You may recognize the technique it's trying to convey as the Shinespark. Just do as it does, as Shinesparking is the only way back up.
More Item Collection
Go right, returning to the room before Spore Spawn. Continue right, dropping down the ledges until you see an orange door which you should Power Bomb.
In here, take out the Sidehoppers to make the door flash. Jump to find a lone grapple point, and grapple to it. Spin until you're above it to land on it. You ought to have enough time to move when you let go of the grapple, so don't worry if you don't let go exactly above it. With the Wave Beam, shoot the blue switch right to open the shutter. Grapple on the point again, this time swinging right, and heading past the shutter to the next door. So long as you killed the Sidehoppers, you can pass to a room with an Energy Tank.
Back left, bomb the floor left in front of the wall to break the floor. Here, bomb again to make a pipe lift you up. You can now continue back left, killing the Sidehoppers and back through the flashing door to the left room.
Climb back up the ledges, but stop when you see grapple points. Grapple left. You might have gotten the Missile Tank here earlier, but you can get it now if you didn't. If you use the X-Ray Scope and look left and down from here, you'll see the bottom is able to be Power Bombed, and there's a secret path left. Head there, watching out for the spikes and Sidehoppers in the room.
You should spot a part of the ground that stands out on the left side. If you use your X-Ray Scope again, you see that this spot can be Super Missiled, which when blown away leads to an alcove with Power Bombs. To get out, bomb the left pipe then the obstruction to follow the path down and right. When you reach the end of the path, bomb to be lifted by another pipe, and then you can go through the door.
Return down, then right, past the Charge Beam spot and through the right door.
If you didn't get it already, a Missile Tank is in the second green pipe on the right wall in this room. Other than that, head up top and to the right through an orange door.
Sidehoppers are in the next room. Head right, and use a bomb twice while going right to reach Power Bombs, but that's not all. Head right and Power Bomb the wall to clear it. You should recognize this next part as the area where you got the Morph Ball. Continue right, and take the elevator up to Crateria.
More Items in Crateria
When the elevator arrives, head left past the Space Pirates to the vertical shaft room with blue platforms. Jump up the platforms, until you see a part where there are small platforms touching both sides of the walls. Bomb the right wall on the right platform, then Power Bomb the orange door here.
Head right, and freeze the Boyons, making sure they are all frozen in their initial position. Once that's the case, quickly go left before the door, then Speed Boost right. Charge it by ducking, then jump to Shinespark up to a Super Missile Tank. If you're having trouble, just make sure to duck before the right wall, or it'll cancel the Boost. Also make sure not to delay, because the Boyons stay frozen for only a short time.
After that, head left to grapple over spikes, to a blue door. Bomb the leftmost block to reach the top of the shaft with blue platforms. Head up, then back to the outside area where Samus' ship is located. There, you can get a recharge and save.
With all of that, you are prepared to go to the next part to progress: Wrecked Ship. If you care about 100%, before proceeding you should have 7 Energy Tanks, 2 Reserve Tanks, 120 Missiles, 20 Super Missiles, and 35 Power Bombs if you followed the guide so far.
Your journey continues in Wrecked Ship.