Throughout the Metroid series, the Power Beam is Samus' original beam weapon, but as she progresses, she can upgrade her Power Beam to make it a more powerful beam weapon. It wasn't until Super Metroid that Samus could combine all of her beam weapons into one, with the exception of the Spazer and Plasma Beam (though this can be done through glitches, and doing so affects gameplay or damages the save file). Super Metroid is also the only known 2D game where Samus can activate or deactivate her beams.
Metroid Prime Series
Much like the Metroid series, Samus can use more powerful beam weapons. However, similar to the function of Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus, Samus cannot combine her beams in Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime Hunters, and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and is restricted to using one at a time, with the exception of the Charge Beam. It isn't until Metroid Prime 3: Corruption that Samus can fully combine the beam weapons she collects.
Unlike its 2D counter-part's rate of fire, which is dependently entirely on the game engine, the Power Beam has the highest rate of fire. Interestingly, in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the rate of fire remains the same when combined with the Plasma and Nova Beam. Although the Power Beam isn't the most powerful, it can become more powerful when combined with the Charge Beam. Another advantage, which is only demonstrated in Metroid Prime Hunters and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, is that it has limitless firepower.
- Samus has started with the Power Beam in every Metroid game, except Super Metroid, where she starts out with the Long Beam.
- In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, when stepping away from a console such as a hand scanner, the Arm Cannon will act as if it is charging a beam. This only works while Samus has the Power Beam.
The Power Beam appearance in Metroid Prime
- "When Samus equips a beam type item, her normal beam will change to that beam." Metroid II: Return of Samus Instruction Booklet, Pg 21
- "At the beginning of the game, Samus is equipped with a normal beam." Super Metroid Instruction Booklet, Pg 22
- "Normal Beam/Charge Beam
Press the 1 Button to fire a beam. Press and hold the 1 Button until the charge gauge is full and release to fire a powerful Charge Beam." Metroid: Other M Instruction Booklet, Pg 22
This is the standard beam Samus possesses at the beginning of the game." Metroid Fusion Instruction Booklet, Pg 32
- "This is Samus's standard beam, which you can fire continuously by rapidly tapping the A Button. As with all beam weapons, the Power Beam becomes much stronger once Samus finds the Charge Beam power-up. Once Samus has found the Charge Beam, press and hold the A Button to charge up her shot, then release the A Button to fire a powerful blast." Metroid Prime Instruction Booklet, Pg 17
- "Fire the Power Beam continuously by rapidly tapping the A Button. It becomes much stronger when Samus uses the Charge Beam. Hold the A Button to charge (which also engages a tractor beam effect that draws power-ups toward Samus), then release it. The Power Beam can open blue hatches and has infinite ammo." Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Instruction Booklet, Pg 16
- "You can use this beam from the beginning. The force of a single shot is low, but you can fire rapidly." Metroid Prime Trilogy Instruction Booklet, Pg 14
- "You can use this beam from the beginning. The force of a single shot is low, but you can fire rapidly." Metroid Prime Trilogy Instruction Booklet, Pg 28
- "The beam you can use from the beginning is called the Power Beam, and it will become more powerful as you obtain new functions. When the player acquires the new beam it will merge with the previous beam, adding new abilities to the beam, while keeping the properties of the previous beam." Metroid Prime Trilogy Instruction Booklet, Pg 44