As seen in the previous section, the medium of the videogame has inherited characteristics from a variety of arts, including literature, painting and other visual arts, comic books, and cinema (among others). However, it also belongs to a different thread of cultural tradition, that of game and play. This section deals with some of the dominant gameplay features of Super Metroid.

Above all, Super Metroid is about navigating an environment, the Planet Zebes. To finish the game, the player needs to guide Samus to and defeat her nemesis, Mother Brain. However, Mother Brain cannot be reached until Samus has learned a number of skills and found tools that are hidden throughout the planet. As the player/Samus explores the environment, she learns new skills and can reach new areas - where she explores, defeats more enemies, and learns new skills. Thus, each part of this section covers a different a type of gameplay, but each type is necessary to progress further through the game and all are interconnected.

Enclosed Passageway Before Open Sky