Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #1058: JXQ's SNES Super Metroid "all items" in 1:13:10.22

Console: Super NES
Game name: Super Metroid
Game version: Japan/USA
ROM filename: Super Metroid (JU).smc
Branch: all items
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 1:13:10.22
FrameCount: 263413
Re-record count: 102389
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: JXQ
Submitter: JXQ
Submitted at: 2006-04-19 06:06:32
Text last edited at: 2010-07-19 15:29:43
Text last edited by: Kyman
Download: Download (24836 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Super Metroid (100%) TAS by JXQ


This run satisfies the following criteria:

  • 100% item collection
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates luck

  • Emulator Used: SNES9x 1.43 +v9
    • Use WIP1 Timing - on
    • Allow Left+Right/Up+Down - off
    • Volume Envelope Height Reading - off
    • Fake Mute desync Workaround - off
    • Sync samples with sound CPU - off


Super Metroid is probably my favorite game of all time. Back in its prime, I would play it on the SNES, trying to design a route to the fastest 100% completion. (Back then, "fast" was something like 1 hour 45 minutes game time...shame) TASing this game was the big rock I never knew I could climb, but I did it, and I'm very happy with how it turned out!

This run was attempted almost a year ago by Michael Flatley, and it was the first in-progress run I followed on the forums here at Nesvideos. About a third of the way into the run, Michael unfortunately abandoned the project. However, were it not for his efforts, several of the ideas and tricks here would not have been realized at this time.

Tool-assisted or not, this game has a huge variety of sequence breaks and glitches to exploit in the interest of getting the fastest time. I have put together some information on the Super Metroid tricks page that explains how many of the frame-precise techniques work for this game, and a few of the other glitches that may not be obvious at first glance.


First of all, this game has an in-game timer that runs only during actual playing sequences (and a few other unusual spots). This is handy for console speedrunners of this game, but I don't believe it's necessary in a TAS, so I instead optimized to overall movie length. Because of the rules of the in-game timer, there are certain situations that could be done differently in order to lower the in-game time at the expense of a longer movie length.

I spent a long time planning a route and testing things before really starting the run. I studied several of the console and tool-assisted speedruns for route ideas and strategies, and ended up with my own unique route that takes advantage of things like being able to manipulate the items dropped by enemies. I have a good amount of confidence in this route; I'd be surprised if it could be improved more than a little bit.

The rules of Samus's movement had to be re-learned each time I got an item that changed something about her movement. The Morph Ball, Speed Booster, Space Jump, and Spring Ball all affected what strategy was optimal in a given environment. This makes for a varying style of play as the run goes on, which helps keeps things entertaining throughout.

Although I did optimize this run pretty tightly (I gained over fifteen seconds on Michael Flatley's progress by the time I caught up to him), it's definitely improvable. This game is very difficult to fully optimize, and I'm sure I didn't find everything there is to find, not by a longshot. I would estimate this run could be improved by 15-30 seconds.

This run's in-game timer ends with 39 minutes, 55 seconds and 22 frames. (The in-game timer can be viewed in memory more accurately than the displayed final time.) Since the seconds are so close to the next minute, I would also estimate that time shown at the end cannot be improved to 00:38.

Suggested Description & Screenshot:

In accordance with standard procedure, Samus discarded all of the items she collected on previous adventures before embarking on this one. This run aims for 100% item collection in the fastest time.

Super Metroid has a wide variety of time-saving glitches to exploit, many of which are explained on the Super Metroid Tricks page.

Suggested Screenshot - Frame 187172

Thanks to…

  • Michael Flatley, for his important discoveries and partial progress.

  • Graveworm, for helping me learn the basics of the game and giving me seemingly impossible goals to aim for.

  • Nitsuja, for the invaluable improvements in SNES9x 1.43+ v9.

  • OmnipotentEntity, Saturn, and Truncated for watching my progress closely and giving helpful feedback and encouragement.

  • Angerfist, Fabian, Highness, Kaz, Nach, Bablo, Kyrsimys, OgreSlayeR, Baxter, Guybrush, moozooh, Gorling, Zurreco, xou, Fredrik, yarbles, Torgen, Atma, Oddity, and MANY others for giving me all sorts of extra encouragement. I feel like I had an army backing me on this run!

Enjoy the run!

Spittin' so much fire, I wear a Varia Suit - JXQ

Edit: To those of you who like to see the animals get saved, I've done an alternate run that simply re-does the last few rooms of the escape. You can find it here.

Bisqwit: Amazing … mobility. Accepted without doubt.

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