The virtual spaces of videogames provide the player with a chance for exploration, a pleasurable activity that has been a specialty of the Metroid series.The Planet Zebes is a maze of secrets, and the player who wants to see it all must be curious, study the game's map, solve puzzles, and make use of the proper skills.

In the game's map system, the pink shading marks places the player has been. In the screenshot of the map system included on this page, the abrupt change to blue near the bottom of the map suggests that the player reached something in the environment that he could not yet surmount.

Later in the game, having gained more skills, the player will likely return to this area to continue his exploration. We have included several screenshots that document the player finding a secret hidden in a wall as well as a video clip using multiple skills to explore a new area.

Detailed map of Planet Zebes that has fluid illustrations showing the different areas.
Map included in original manual
Tunnel system used to depict Planet map within the game.
Map screen from game
The map shown smaller in gameplay with symbols indicating where to look for things.
Using the Game Map

In this image, the white dot in a blue square on the map indicates an item to find in an adjacent room.

Player in a room that has nothing inside of it.
Looking for a special item

The player enters the rooms, but does not see an item.

A screenshot shot showing where the cracks in the ceiling are. The cracks are difficult to see.
Finding a clue

The player notices cracks in the ceiling and shoots them to check for weaknesses.

The player is in the hole they created in the ceiling with a tank above them.
The player discovers a secret

The open area reveals an Energy Tank.

Skills & Exploration

In this clip, the player sees an out-of-reach item in the environment and must use multiple skills to navigate his way to it.