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Background

I'm learning to speedrun Super Metroid (Any%).

Runners following the old route (KPDR, i.e. Kraid-Phantoon-Draygon-Ridley) as well as the new route (PRKD) both obtain two super missiles tanks in common, and usually only these two:

However, it can be useful for a new runner to pick up backup supers, as insurance. For example,

  • as a backup for Draygon, having missed the 2-tap or the subsequent shinespark.
  • for safety at the end of the game, where the runner must land 9 supers* on Mother Brain's glass enclosure without any getting "sniped" by spitters or running into 3 drifting Rinkas. (Failure here forces the runner to reset. Having performed the zeb skip, the runner cannot return to fill up on missiles, and is locked in a room whose enemies drop nothing.)
  • for extra ammunition when Ridley enters his pogo phase.

Question

Which 3rd set of supers is the fastest to obtain?

Here is a list of supers for reference. Let's constrain the question to Old Route, since New Route runners likely aren't beginners needing backup supers.

I believe the on-route candidates are limited to these:

  • Spore Spawn Supers Room, but this would require deviating the fast Big Pink falling strategy, then having to fire a precise super and jump-morph into the opened pathway, not to mention 2 door transitions each way.

    enter image description here

  • Wrecked Ship East Supers Room, which isn't too out of the way, but is kind of annoying to navigate, and I believe requires power-bombing a Chozo to get through to the hidden area with the supers.

    enter image description here

  • Maridia Main Street via Mt. Everest, which requires walljumps and mid-air morphing into a hidden tunnel, with slow movement plus a bomb jump.

    enter image description here

  • Aqueduct, which is the only option not requiring any door transitions, but requires traversing the entirety of a large room, and performing a tight jump to skip an unneeded pack of missiles.

    enter image description here

What have you tried?TM

So, if you're wondering why don't I just try them all and time their differences, I certainly will attempt to do so, but it's not as easy as it sounds:

  • To say I've timed a strategy, I need to be able to perform the optimal execution of that strategy, i.e. if there was a faster way to perform a room, then it wasn't a fair comparison.
  • That means practicing every room until I get a perfect "take."
  • But having learned 95% of my strategies so far by copying other runners, and never having come up with a strategy better than theirs, I think it's safe to say I'm not going to come up with the best for these rooms.
  • Finally, even if I devised near-optimal strategies, my skills are deficient. For example, for the proposed Aqueduct supers, there are two sets of disappearing blocks one can "eject" through using the right-left technique, but it's difficult to time for me.

So, I'm reaching out to any Super Metroid speedrunners here who can tell me, intuitively and heuristically, what the fastest 3rd super would be, and maybe even what set of routes or techniques would be optimal in that room.

2
  • Links are dead.
    – pppery
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 5:12
  • Thanks @pppery, they moved their wiki last year. Fixed. Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 12:21

1 Answer 1

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Important caveat: I haven't done any Super Metroid speedrunning in several years. When I was actively speedrunning, I mostly focused on 100%, but I did learn the old (KPDR) Any% route (back when it was just the Any% route).

From my experience, I would say that the Spore Spawn supers would be the way to go. This pack has several advantages over the others:

  1. The trick required to get to the super missiles without fighting Spore Spawn is actually very easy. There's a very nice visual cue for when to jump and shoot the super missile - I recommend checking out this video to learn how to pull off the trick.
  2. It's fault-tolerant. If you miss the super shot, setting it back up takes about 3-5 seconds. If you repeatedly miss the super shot and need to farm, there's a fly pipe conveniently located nearby.
  3. It's faster than the other super missiles, taking only about 45 seconds to grab with just bombs. If you delay grabbing it until after you get power bombs and speed booster, it's about 7-10 seconds faster, but you miss out on the next benefit. Compare that to the next-fastest pack (the Wrecked Ship East pack), which takes over a minute to grab.
  4. Since the pack can be acquired before fighting Kraid, it's a nice extra buffer in case you miss up the Kraid quick kill, as well as the rest of the game. Additionally, if you go for them before Kraid and have too many failures with the trick, you will only lose a few minutes by resetting, compared to the other packs, which all require fighting at least Phantoon.

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