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Seriously, What The Heck Is Going On Inside Samus’ Morph Ball?

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Metroid Dread Morph Ball
Picture: Nintendo / Nintendo Life

Over the vacations we’re republishing a few of our greatest options, interviews, opinion items and speaking factors from the earlier 12 months from workers and contributors alike — articles that we really feel symbolize our greatest of 2021. In them you will discover our common mixture of thoughtfulness, frivolity, retro experience, gaming nostalgia, and — in fact — enthusiasm for all issues Nintendo. Get pleasure from!


The Metroid collection is now in its thirty fifth 12 months, and over that prolonged time frame Nintendo has fortunately elaborated on every part from its star’s childhood to flappy parent-killing nightmare Ridley, Metroids, Chozo, and even creepy Phazon-created evil clone. Briefly, just about each avenue of lore you’ll be able to consider has been defined, elaborated upon, over-elaborated on in a sequel, after which given a well-defined slot within the expansive Metroid canon.

All apart from one. The precise workings of Samus’ Morph Ball capacity — a staple of the collection from the primary couple of minutes of the primary recreation — stay shrouded in thriller. Official info stays conspicuously absent on the finer particulars of this ubiquitous ability. “Gather this to offer Samus the Morph Ball capacity”, “Press this to make her roll right into a ball” say the video games irrespective of the format, as if such plain instruction might ever quench our thirst for sci-fi ball-related morphing information.

How does it work? What occurred to the poor souls who examined the prototypes? Which bird-brained scientist checked out that iconic armour and thought “You realize what capacity this large missile-carrying energy swimsuit wants? To twist up right into a teeny-tiny ball so it will probably roll wherever it likes.” And who on Earth (or SR-388, or Zebes, or wherever) regarded that particular person within the eye and mentioned “Sure, that’s an ideal thought and also you undoubtedly don’t have to go and have just a little lie down”?

What does it really feel like rolling round inside a metallic orange ball on the floor of an alien planet or submerged in lava anyway? Nintendo gained’t say something, so we’ve needed to provide you with a number of theories on our personal…

Metroid Fusion
Picture: Nintendo

#1 The “Cronenbergian Physique Horror” Idea

Channeling the spirit of Occam’s almighty Razor, we could assume that the only concept is the right one: Samus is ready to roll right into a ball as a result of her physique is successfully pulped right into a conveniently spherical form during her inhuman revolutions, remodeling right into a sloshing mass of fluids and bone fragments which are then restored to their authentic state as soon as she’s completed rolling because of Chozo expertise — which is conveniently for us typically indistinguishable from magic.

Her eyes and mind seemingly stay intact and gyroscopically stabilized during this exercise, as a result of how else is she going to see the place she’s going? She’d emit a blood-curdling scream of unimaginable agony if she nonetheless had a mouth, however fortunately for everybody concerned she doesn’t.

That is the actual purpose why Nintendo by no means inform us every part, as a result of in the event that they did, Metroid followers the world over would have nightmares for years on finish. It’s sufficient to make you surprise why she will be able to’t simply crawl.

Metroid Zero Mission
Picture: Nintendo

#2 The “Electrical Chozo Oneness” Idea

Fortunately Metroid Prime provides a much less ugly different to the offal-containing chance above. Samus’ 3D outings fill the gaps in-between the Morph Ball’s plating with an eye catching type of glowy gentle… erm, stuff.

We will solely conclude that Samus has been transformed right into a type of pure power, her thoughts and physique attaining a singularly spherical state of sentience. We assume this lack of something approaching a conventional physique prevents her from feeling nauseous as she endlessly spins and boosts across the curved surfaces of Tallon IV (and elsewhere) whereas all balled up, though if she did by some means handle to convey up her not-lunch from her not-stomach through her not-mouth onto her not-self, might anybody inform?

Defenders of this concept level to an fascinating philosophical state dubbed Schroedinger’s Vom, the place she is concurrently coated in each sick and not-sick till she reverts again to her customary human form.

Metroid Prime
Picture: Nintendo

#3 The “Shrunken Samus” Idea

Samus operates the Morph Ball by shrinking right down to an acceptable dimension at will, thanks as soon as once more to the conveniently unexplained and extremely versatile powers of Chozo magi— er, expertise.

From right here two main faculties of thought emerge after which swiftly department off in wildly completely different instructions. Some imagine she runs contained in the ball like a hamster let loose for train, the swimsuit’s typically opaque armour plating the one factor preserving her dignity, whereas others counsel a tiny Samus sits on a tiny Samus-sized swivel chair and makes use of a controller of a console-appropriate form to navigate the world round her, all seen by way of an equally dinky monitor.

Each theories adequately clarify one other thriller: how she is ready to retailer an infinite provide of these little wall-destroying bombs she by some means carries together with her all over the place. If she will be able to shrink herself, then she will be able to presumably shrink these, too, routinely re-embiggening them every time she must blow a gap within the flooring or give herself just a little peak enhance.

This additionally raises the potential for your complete Chozo race truly being fully advantageous and dwelling precisely the place they used to, with a population-wide shrink tech malfunction decreasing them right down to Picori proportions.

Super Metroid
Picture: Nintendo

#4 The “Hey You, Samus-chu!” Idea

As everyone knows Samus is the easiest like no-one ever was and he or she actually does gotta catch ‘em all — as long as “‘em all” are Area Pirates and/or Metroids. It solely is smart, then, that the Morph Ball is the truth is primarily based on extremely superior Poké Ball expertise.

And as everyone knows, Poké Balls work by… they work by… they work so much like Morph Balls, most likely.

Assuming this concept to be true permits us to return to 2 essential conclusions. One; the Samus Timeline is a darkish future the place well-known Pokémon coach Ash was killed at an important level in historical past, permitting Ridleyanni and Workforce Area Pirate to run amok. And two; the within of a Morph Ball is extremely comfy.

Rumours that our area searching heroine didn’t communicate in earlier video games as a result of she hadn’t but realized to vocalise something aside from “SaMUS! Saaaaamus! Samussamus?” are at present unproven.

Poke Morph Ball
Picture: Nintendo / The Pokémon Firm

#5 The “It’s Simply A Handy Gameplay Machine” Idea

We’ll embody this one purely out of sympathy for its believers quite than as a result of it has any actual benefit.

There are these on the market who insist “It’s not that deep, nerd” and that Samus takes on a ball-like kind as a result of it is a small and cellular kind, simply occurs to be a form that’s instantly recognisable at any decision, and requires little to no true animation to convincingly roll across the display screen.

We strongly urge such misguided people to contemplate the above options once more, or no less than level us to the logbook entry they imagine helps such a wild thought as this.


Which of those theories do you suppose is probably to be true, or do you’ve got a completely completely different thought of your individual? Do you ever need Nintendo to clarify it in any respect? Tell us by voting within the ballot beneath and roll on right down to the feedback part to drop your individual Energy Bomb…

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