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

Submission #3511: cpadolf's GBA Metroid Zero Mission "Low%" in 34:42.27

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: Metroid Zero Mission
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Metroid Zero Mission (U).gba
Branch: Low%
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 34:42.27
FrameCount: 124936
Re-record count: 156501
Author's real name: Filip Roskvist
Author's nickname: cpadolf
Submitter: cpadolf
Submitted at: 2012-03-30 16:58:09
Text last edited at: 2012-04-03 18:32:52
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (13257 bytes)
Status: published
Click to view the actual publication
Submission instructions
Discuss this submission (also rating / voting)
List all submissions by this submitter
List pages on this site that refer to this submission
View submission text history
Back to the submission list
Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)


  • Visual Boy Advance vba-v24m-svn-r422
  • Lowest item collection
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck

About the run

This is a low% run of Metroid Zero Mission, which finishes the game in 23:48 with only 9% of the items collected. The run was inspired by an old WIP from P.JBoy that went through a little more than half of the game. The reason a 9% run of this game is interesting, besides low% being a classic goal for almost every game in the Metroid series, is that it puts a tremendous strain on ammo, which makes for very interesting boss battles, and powerups, which makes some rooms much more difficult to traverse. Furthermore it streamlines the route, as no detours are ever taken for extra items. This run was recorded on a newer emulator than the currently published runs, and due to emulation differences I lost about 1 frame every door transition and a few more on every item pickup, but it doesn't add up to too much, a couple of 100 frames or so I think.

Notes on points of interest

Spore Spawn

This battle went wonderfully. It's essentially on a countdown to when the second set of spores explode, as before then I can't get enough ammo to finish it. My goal was therefore to get the maximum amount of refills from the first set of spores to reduce the amount of missiles needed to kill it after the second set of spores, and fire as many of them as possible before the second set of spores went of. I managed to fire all of them, and still refill from the second set of spores on the first frame possible (this was with a margin of just 1-2 frames).


The eye door leading to the fight takes 3 missiles to destroy, and unfortunately it doesn't seem to be possible to get more than 2 missiles to hit on the same frame, so it has to be done in two rounds. The third missile is fired while standing extremely close to the door, which makes it possible to fire through the laser barrier it fires. Ridley was very tough to optimize. Getting him to switch patterns is much harder than in Super Metroid, where he reacts more continuously to your position. Here it seems like he only reacts at your position at very specific (non obvious) points, and also sometimes when you take damage from him. After much work I got him to spit fireballs pretty frequently, and the last set is fired in such a way that I can pick up all the refills and shoot him without wasting any time. Both times I take damage from him are to lure him into shooting fireballs, as he would have flown around for hundreds of extra frames otherwise.


The missile refill on the sidehopper just before Kraid took longer than I wanted, but all of the enemies in this room refused to drop missiles quickly, so it had to do as having 3 missiles at the eye door saves a lot of time. It turned out to not be that bad anyway, as I would have had to wait for a bunch of frames to get the eye door to open as fast as possible if I didn't have to wait for the missile. Baring any randomness in how frequently he throws his claws, Kraid himself should be perfect. I broke one of the claws in the last set on the first frame possible, where it luckily dropped a missile, and I managed to pick up that refill and shoot him on the first frame possible after doing that (after which the rest of the missiles could be fired at him without any trouble).

Rio room

This room was incredibly annoying because it seems to be entirely random if a Rio will freeze or not, and the chances seem to be quite low as well. On top of that I have to try and get them to move in a fitting manner to freeze them at benificial points. The bombjumping part was not hard once the pattern for the "double horizontal bombjump" was down. The last part of the room where the frozen Rio's come back worked out reasonably well as I got a bit lucky with the freezing, and I managed to get the last of them to come in at a low enough angle to be able to jump straight to the block that took me over the lake.


Metroids take 5 missiles to kill, and only drop 4, so for each Metroid I had to kill one Rinka as well with a missile to refill back to 5 missiles. At a few points it was beneficial to kill a Rinka with my beam instead, as that meant I could kill 2 metroids and still get back to 5 missiles without killing an extra Rinka. The last of the Metroid rooms is definitely one of the hardest in the game, but I managed to find a strategy that was reasonably fast. It's worth to note that it's random how fast the metroid go from the background to the foreground, and how fast it'll take is decided on the frame they appear on screen, so I have to wait some frames here and there to manipulate this.

Mother Brain

The Zeebites are the real boss here to be honest. It's incredibly hard to continuously refill and advance to be able to destroy the barriers. Due to the Rinkas being so slow and there not being enough of them spawning in the second half of the room (not spawning fast enough anyway) I had to backtrack twice to get all the missiles I needed to destroy the last barriers. Motherbrain takes a long time but wasn't too hard as there are only two points to refill from, so I just travel between the two as fast as I can to kill the Rinkas as soon as they spawn. The power grip doesn't work on the turrets though, so I have to bomb jump to get to the high one.

Meta Ridley

Just like the normal Ridley, Meta Ridley was very hard to manipulate. To get him to fire missiles as quickly as possible I basically just jumped around in the room over and over again hundreds of times until I eventually managed to get him to change to a pattern where he shot missiles quicker. The position needed to do this always seemed to be very specific (both in time and space), but in the end I managed to get him to choose a faster pattern each round compared to what he would have chosen if I just stood still.

Thanks to

P.JBoy and Dragonfangs. P.J's WIP helped me a lot with ideas for some of the difficult parts of the run, and Dragonfangs any% was a very good comparison in a lot of cases.
feos: Added HD encode.
Nach: Excellent run, accepting.
natt: processing

Similar submissions (by title and categories where applicable):