The Grapple Beam is a useful upgrade in the Metroid series. It allows Samus to swing across gaps and can also perform other tasks. She can only use it on set points throughout each of the games in which it appears. These points are called Grapple Points. The Grapple Beam in Super Metroid, Metroid: Other M, and the Super Smash Bros. series, is a beam released from Samus's Arm Cannon. In the Prime series, however, the Grapple Beam is an attachment to Samus's rarely used left arm.
The Grapple Beam was first featured in Super Metroid. It is obtainable after defeating Crocomire. It is used to swing across Grapple Blocks, can defeat small enemies, and open doors. It can be used to quickly and easily defeat the boss Draygon.
In the first Metroid Prime, the Grapple Beam is again used to swing across gaps and lava. After being lost in the explosion on Frigate Orpheon, it can be recovered in Storage Depot B of Phazon Mines after solving a Spider Ball puzzle while fending off Metroids. Once the upgrade is obtained, a small cannon-like periphery is attached to Samus's left arm. It fires much slower than Super Metroid's and other games' Grapple Beam. Samus can also use this upgrade to grapple onto Gliders, humble bioforms with a magnetic underside.
There is an interesting glitch in Echoes that allows the Grapple Beam to be held indefinitely and pointed towards other objects and enemies. It is, however, a cosmetic glitch that causes no apparent harm, nor does it enhance gameplay.
In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption the Grapple Beam receives a set of upgrades of its own. These include the Grapple Lasso, Grapple Swing, Ship Grapple Beam, Grapple Voltage, and Hyper Grapple. All Grapple upgrades are used in conjunction with a special attachment to the left hand of Samus's Power Suit that constantly glows green around its openings. The color of the beam shot out is variable depending on the type: Yellow for the Grapple Lasso, light-blue for the Grapple Swing, gray for the Ship Grapple Beam, purple for the Grapple Voltage (red when releasing energy, blue when absorbing energy), and Phazon-colored for the Hyper Grapple. All Grapple upgrades, regardless of hue, have a static-like, electric look. Samus is able to hold onto the beams, probably because of her left hand's attachment.
The beam is, once again, obtained in Metroid: Other M. It is quickly authorized as Adam, through Samus's visor, and Samus notice a Grapple Point leading to where a Rhedogian held Anthony over a pool of lava in Sector 3 (Pyrosphere). Samus uses the Grapple Beam to knock Anthony off the Rhodegian's appendages.
The Grapple Beam also plays an important part in defeating Vorash. Before the Vorash battle, Vorash attempts to eat a falling Grapple Point. The Grapple Point was, however, too large for Vorash to swallow and it stays lodged in its throat. Samus uses this to her advantage, Grappling its mouth and pulling him onto a platform to keep his stomach vulnerable as much as possible.
Super Smash Bros. series
In the Super Smash Bros. series, Samus can use the Grapple Beam, which is very similar in appearance to its Super Metroid incarnation. The Grapple Beam in Super Smash Bros. can be used to simply harm an opponent, if Samus uses it while airborne (not in the original Super Smash Bros.), or she can use it to grab opponents while she is on the ground. The Grapple Beam is much slower here than most appearances due to its long-range grab nature. Additionally, it can be used as a tether, allowing Samus to grab on to a ledge in midair. Zero Suit Samus has an ability similar to the Grapple Beam known as the Plasma Wire.
- Main article: Grapple Lasso
The Grapple Lasso is the first Grapple Beam upgrade obtained. It is acquired almost immediately after landing on Norion. It allows Samus to rip apart enemies and structurally unsound objects that shimmer yellow. Many enemies and bosses, such as Gragnol Adults or Omega Ridley, can be damaged or stunned with the help of the Grapple Lasso. Usually, its usage entails revealing weak points in structures or creatures that can be shot and destroyed.
The Grapple Swing is the familiar version of the Grapple Beam, functioning nearly identically to previous versions of the Grapple Beam. It allows Samus to swing across great distances with the use of special Grapple Points. This Grapple upgrade is obtained shortly after landing on Bryyo, after Samus fends off a group of Reptilicus. It is necessary to traverse various hazards and reach many expansions. Unlike every other appearance, Samus can (and must, at certain points) shoot while aboard a Grapple Swing, and she can also be stationary while using the Grapple Swing by grappling certain objects, such as SkyTown's Zipline system.
Ship Grapple Beam
- Main article: Ship Grapple Beam
The Ship Grapple Beam is used to pick up large objects. It is a ship upgrade that allows Samus's ship to carry objects at her command using the Command Visor. The Command Visor interface allows Samus to see whether or not her ship has an object and what object it is holding. This upgrade is important in assembling the Theronian Bomb to destroy Elysia's Leviathan's shield.
- Main article: Grapple Voltage
Upon defeating Gandrayda on Pirate Homeworld, Samus grabs the Grapple Voltage upgrade that Gandrayda drops. This upgrade can be used to either funnel in or exert energy through a Grapple Beam "string." Both can destroy enemies, by either removing any energy they require to live or by overloading them. It can also be used on certain terminals that either require energy to power up or are energized and need to be shut down. As Samus removes energy from targets, her energy fills up while releasing energy causes it to go down. Notably, Samus's energy can be exerted far quicker than it can be drawn in.
- Main article: Hyper Grapple
The Hyper Grapple functions as a stronger, Phazon-powered version of the Grapple Voltage. Samus uses the Phazon within her to power this powerful Grapple Beam. It allows Samus to exert and funnel Phazon from enemies and Phazon-based structures. This Hypermode addition is acquired after defeating the Phazon-infused behemoth, Omega Ridley in the Pirate Homeworld's Leviathan. The Hyper Grapple is necessary to advance to a portal between Pirate Homeworld and the Leviathan capable of opening wormholes to the planet Phaaze.
The Hyper Grapple becomes useful as Samus enters Phaaze. On Phaaze, Samus must keep the levels of Phazon in her body low; an easy way to accomplish this is by relieving her Phazon energy onto creatures using the Hyper Grapple. This is notably useful against the Phaaze-common Phaz-Ings and those that can be grappled.
- "After she tracks down the Grapple Beam, Samus will be able to latch onto specific energy nodes with an energy beam from her left arm. The icon above a node will brighten when it is in range: simply press and hold the L Button to latch onto it with the Grapple Beam. Tilt the Control Stick to vary your swinging angle. Then release the L Button at the top of Samus's swing to launch into the air." Metroid Prime Instruction Booklet, Pg 23
- "This lets Samus latch onto specific energy nodes. The icon above a node will brighten when it is in range; simply press and hold the L Button to latch onto it with the Grapple Beam. You can still shoot while grappling." Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Instruction Booklet, Pg 21
- "When you use the Grapple Beam, you will be able to latch onto a Grapple Point, gain momentum and fly through the air. If you lock onto the Grapple Point with , the beam will automatically launch and allow you to hang, and so just release with good timing to launch into the air." Metroid Prime: Trilogy Instruction Booklet, Pg 15
- "When you use the Grapple Beam, you will be able to latch onto a Grapple Point, gain momentum and fly through the air. If you lock onto the Grapple Point with , the beam will automatically launch and hang — just release with good timing to launch into the air. Also, you can fire beams with while hanging." Metroid Prime: Trilogy Instruction Booklet, Pg 29
- "When you use the Grapple Beam, you will be able to latch onto and pull items, like enemy shields and some hatches. When you lock on to a Grapple Point, shake the Nunchuk to shoot the Beam. When the beam connect to the target, pull the Nunchuk back." Metroid Prime: Trilogy Instruction Booklet, Pg 45
- "If you have the Grapple Swing, you will be able to hang from a certain type of Grapple Point to gain momentum, and fly though the air. If you lock on to a specific Grapple Point with , it will automatically shoot the beam and hang, so just release with good timing to launch into the air." Metroid Prime: Trilogy Instruction Booklet, Pg 45
- "Method of use: Fire Button You can use this beam to grab onto special blocks, then swing into open areas. You can shoot the Grappling Beam into metallic blocks with holes in the center." Super Metroid Instruction Booklet, Pg 21
- "Grapple Beam acquired! Press and hold to fire the Grapple Beam. Release to stop grappling." —Screen data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)