Games

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


Metroid Dread Morph Ball
Image: Nintendo / Nintendo Life

The Metroid series is now in its thirty fifth 12 months, and over that prolonged time period 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. In quick, just about each avenue of lore you possibly can 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 aside from one. The actual workings of Samus’ Morph Ball means — a staple of the collection from the primary couple of minutes of the first game — stay shrouded in thriller. Official information stays conspicuously absent on the finer particulars of this ubiquitous ability. “Collect this to give Samus the Morph Ball ability”, “Press this to make her roll into a ball” say the video games regardless of the format, as if such plain instruction might ever quench our thirst for sci-fi ball-related morphing data.

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 know what ability this massive missile-carrying power suit needs? To curl up into a teeny-tiny ball so it can roll wherever it likes.” And who on Earth (or SR-388, or Zebes, or wherever) appeared that particular person within the eye and mentioned “Yes, that’s a great idea and you definitely don’t need to go and have 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 received’t say something, so we’ve needed to provide you with a number of theories on our personal…

Metroid Fusion
Image: Nintendo

#1 The “Cronenbergian Body Horror” Theory

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, reworking right into a sloshing mass of fluids and bone fragments which might be then restored to their unique state as soon as she’s completed rolling because of Chozo know-how — which is conveniently for us typically indistinguishable from magic.

Her eyes and mind probably 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.

This is the true 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
Image: Nintendo

#2 The “Electric Chozo Oneness” Theory

Thankfully Metroid Prime provides a much less grotesque various to the offal-containing risk above. Samus’ 3D outings fill the gaps in-between the Morph Ball’s plating with an eye catching type of glowy mild… erm, stuff.

We can solely conclude that Samus has been transformed right into a type of pure vitality, her thoughts and physique attaining a singularly spherical state of sentience. We assume this lack of something approaching a standard 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 in some way handle to deliver up her not-lunch from her not-stomach by way of 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 lined in each sick and not-sick till she reverts again to her customary human form.

Metroid Prime
Image: Nintendo

#3 The “Shrunken Samus” Theory

Samus operates the Morph Ball by shrinking right down to an applicable measurement at will, thanks as soon as once more to the conveniently unexplained and extremely versatile powers of Chozo magi— er, know-how.

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 set free 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.

Both theories adequately clarify one other thriller: how she is ready to retailer an infinite provide of these little wall-destroying bombs she in some way carries along with her all over the place. If she will be able to shrink herself, then she will be able to presumably shrink these, too, mechanically re-embiggening them at any time when she must blow a gap within the flooring or give herself slightly top increase.

This additionally raises the opportunity of the whole Chozo race really being utterly wonderful and residing precisely the place they used to, with a population-wide shrink tech malfunction lowering them right down to Picori proportions.

Super Metroid
Image: Nintendo

#4 The “Hey You, Samus-chu!” Theory

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

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

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

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

Poke Morph Ball
Image: Nintendo / The Pokémon Company

#5 The “It’s Just A Convenient Gameplay Device” Theory

We’ll embrace this one purely out of sympathy for its believers slightly 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 type as a result of it is a small and cell type, 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 alternate options once more, or at the very least 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 might have a wholly completely different thought of your individual? Do you ever need Nintendo to clarify it in any respect? Let us know by voting within the ballot under and roll on right down to the feedback part to drop your individual Power Bomb…

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