Zero Suit Samus (SSBB)

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This article is about Zero Suit Samus' appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For other uses of Samus' "Zero Suit" character design, see Zero Suit Samus.
Zero Suit Samus
in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Zero Suit Samus
Universe Metroid
Alternate form Samus
Other Smash Bros. appearance in SSB4

Availability Starter
Final Smash Power Suit Samus
Tier B (9)

Zero Suit Samus (ゼロスーツサムス, Zero Suit Samus), often abbreviated as ZSS, 0SS, or Zamus, is a character that appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Zero Suit Samus lacks stamina compared to when she is in her suit, but is much faster. She uses a gun known as the Paralyzer, which can be converted into a Plasma Whip. The Plasma Whip can be used for a tether recovery, similar to her Grapple Beam while in the power suit. The only two games in which Zero Suit Samus is playable are Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid: Other M. While Samus is without her power suit in these games, her only form of attack is the paralyzer pistol, which does nothing but shoot paralyzing shots. The idea of a whip coming out of it was created for use in Brawl. Zero Suit Samus is voiced by Alésia Glidewell, who also voices Krystal from Star Fox and the Assist Trophy Knuckle Joe.

The impact from Samus's Final Smash is enough to remove her Power Suit, transforming her into Zero Suit Samus. Zero Suit Samus is able to transform back into normal Samus by using her Final Smash, which causes her to get her suit back while performing a move similar to the Crystal Flash from Super Metroid.

Zero Suit Samus ranks 9th in the B Tier on the current Brawl tier list; she has an amazing aerial and juggle game, possessing very high jumps and low-lag aerial attacks that do good knockback and damage, with her back aerial being especially useful. She also has very fast mobility, noticeable especially in her jumps, and some of the game's most versatile recovery options, including her midair jump, side and up specials, and down special. Zero Suit Samus also has an effective spacing tool in her Plasma Whip (albeit not being very fast), powerful KO options, such as her back aerial, Plasma Whip, and Flip Jump, as well as a great combo starter and KO setup in her down smash. Her Power Suit Pieces, in addition, are among the most powerful items in the game, and at the beginning of a match are very effective at damaging and shutting down the opponent. However, she has a poor ground game, with her tilts and smashes doing below average damage and mediocre knockback (though some of her ground attacks are still effective for combos), and a grab that despite its range, is one of the laggiest in the game, even when used as a pivot grab (unlike some other tether grabs). Because of this, her out of shield and defensive game (outside of maneuverability) are poor, due to lacking safe options on shield (her grab is unreliable due to its heavy lag), making herself prone to heavy shield pressure, and despite her good air game, she lacks reliable options for enemies below her; this can make her vulnerable to juggling from characters such as Meta Knight. Zero Suit Samus is additionally reliant on tether recoveries that can be edgehogged, although her high jumps and Flip Jump make her suffer less from this than other characters with tethers. Her advantages lead to rather above average matchups across the board, but this also causes her to suffer against higher-tiered characters, and Zero Suit Samus has achieved some strong tournament results.

Transforming from Samus to Zero Suit Samus[edit]


Samus can remove her Power Suit while in battle by doing the up taunt, down taunt, and up taunt in quick succession. It appears to be rather difficult to achieve, as DOJO!! states, "It's not easy [...] Try it out next time you feel like showing off."[1]

However, the best way to do this is by placing both thumbs over the up and down directions on the D-pad (1 and 2 buttons on the Wii remote + Nunchuk), and press them alternately in quick succession.

Starting as Zero Suit Samus in Brawl[edit]

By choosing Samus and holding a certain button on the controller when the character selection is concluded (i.e. start is pressed on the character selection screen), one can play as Zero Suit Samus from the start of the match.

To select Zero Suit Samus as a CPU opponent, there must be a controller connected to the slot of the respective CPU opponent. Then, in that controller, the right button needs to be held in the same fashion.

After the character selection is concluded, there is no longer need to hold the button. One can confirm that Zero Suit Samus has been chosen by her face on the top-left corner on the stage selection screen. In Wi-Fi, the characters' faces don't appear, but Zero Suit Samus can still be selected normally.

Starting as Zero Suit Samus in Adventure Mode[edit]

After Samus regains her power suit during the Subspace Emissary, Zero Suit Samus can still be selected by highlighting Samus on the character select screen and pressing the following buttons:

  • GameCube Controller: Moving the C-Stick in any direction.
  • Classic controller: Moving the Right Stick in any direction.
  • Wii Remote with Nunchuk: Pressing the C button.
  • Wii Remote: Pressing the Minus (-) button.

This technique can also be used to select an alternate form during tournament mode, and works for all other multi-form characters in addition to Samus.


Zero Suit Samus, as seen in the first trailer for Brawl at E3 2006.

Zero Suit Samus is a fast and strong, but lightweight and tall character. She starts the match with a huge advantage over most characters in that she has readily throw-able projectiles that are extremely powerful and combo well with her glide toss. She can dash quickly, crawl, wall jump, combined with one of the highest initial jump and second jump, allowing her to reach characters that are higher. Many of her attacks have the advantage of coming out fast, and can combo most heavy weights with her aerials very easily.

Her side special has a huge sweetspot at the end (one of the biggest in the game, second to Zelda's side special) and the sour spot has the ability to push the opponent into the sweet spot, effectively KOing most characters around 110% if it's not stale. Her down smash has deceptively long range, and sets up many combos, as well as KOing ones. Zero Suit Samus is unique in the fact that many of her moves have large hit boxes and easy to hit sweet spots, this can devastate opponents as they are dealt a barrage of aerials and fast ground attacks. Her up smash is excellent because it has fast start-up and its great to stop incoming opponents from above and puts them in good position for juggling.

Another great KO'ing move is her up aerial, a very fast flip kick that can KO as low as 90% if opponent is near the upper blast line and a very large sweetspot for such a powerful move. Both of her high jumps compliment this strategy. It is most often used to combo with a down throw or an up smash. She also has 3 meteor smashes, her flip jump kick, if hit when she sticks her foot out, will spike opponents hard (even without doing this, the kick is still very powerful and can KO most characters at fairly moderate damage percentages with strong horizontal knockback), her up special, if hit at the tip, will meteor smash anyone it hits and her down aerial (although this is an unreliable spike). Both of these can be used for any situation, making her KO options very wide.

Zero Suit Samus, if mastered, is extremely dangerous and many characters can find themselves down a stock or worse if they aren't careful. However, Zero Suit Samus is a light character. Her attacks and combos require a lot of precision which makes her a difficult character to learn and play effectively. The stale move negation can complicate her to get a KO, although she has enough KO moves and good edgeguarding skills to prevent that to happen. All of her tilts are quick, with decent range, and have the added bonus of launching her opponents into the air. She has a situational though passable out of shield game (making herself prone to heavy shield pressure). Her aerial game is powerful with lethal kicks and long-ranged attacks, but her very high short hop makes approaches with aerials difficult. Her projectile, the Paralyzer, can set opponents up for KO's and does a little bit of damage. However, it's slow and needs to be charged up to go far. Her tether grab has incredible range (tied with Olimar´s Red Pikmin, only losing to White and Blue Pikmin, although her grab possesses the longest range in aerial opponents), but it leaves her vulnerable if it misses which is dangerous for a such light character. Her smashes compliment her perfectly. Her up and down smashes are useful for their range. The down smash is perfect for set up KO's, and the up smash makes for an excellent launcher, and can stop opponents' midair combos, while her side smash is quite weak, in terms of damage and power, with high ending lag and considerable start-up lag, but with good range. In terms of recovery, she can use her Plasma Wire and Whip as a tether recovery, but it can be stopped by edge-hogging, although due her air speed and second jump being fairly high and combining with flip jump she can usually come back to the stage without relying on her tether.


Ground attacks[edit]


  • Neutral attack - Palm strike, pistol whip, hip thrust. Hits for 2%, 2%, 3%, respectively, for a total of 7% damage. First hit out on frame 1, being one of the fastest moves in the game. The third hit its easily powershield, although the jab is inescapable against aerial opponents.
  • Dash attack - Similar in appearance to Fox's dash attack; does a sliding kick forward with her leg extended. Hits on frame 6. Can easily be followed with tilts at low to mid percentages, and can lock if bufferred properly. Has transcendent priority. Does 7%.
  • Forward tilt - An around-the-body kick 45 degrees from horizontal (when tilted upward). Can also be angled closer to horizontal (with forward held) or a quick, short ranged low leg sweep (when tilted down). At low percentages, it can make opponents trip if tilted down. However, at mid-high percentages, angle upward or forward will cause tripping more often. Very low knockback. Has a start-up of 6 frames. Can lock, like the dash attack. Does 6% damage.
  • Down tilt - Similar in appearance to Sheik and Sonic's down tilts; a prone leg-sweep. Knocks upwards from afar, knocks diagonally at close range. Hits on frame 5. Can combo into other moves well at low and high percentages alike. Does 6% damage.
  • Up tilt - Does a handstand split while spinning in place, legs moving up vertically. Two hits for 5% then 6% damage, totaling 11%. Pretty good knockback at higher percentages, and at low percentages it sets up combos well. Has a start-up of 3 frames. Replaces her down smash as a semi-effective means of hitting opponents on both sides. Good OoS, although it is situational.

Smash attacks[edit]

  • Forward smash - Lashes forward with the whip. Good disjointed range, but poor knockback for a forward smash, along with some startup lag and high ending lag, being very punishable (especially to shield grabs). However, when sweetspotted and fully charged, it can KO at 121%. Hits slightly behind her as well. Inflicts 10%-14% damage in front, does 6% behind. Hits on frame 20.
  • Down smash - Aims down and shoots paralyzer gun at the ground in front of her, creating a lightning effect. Only hits in front. Low damage and delayed knockback, but stuns the target in place for a short time depending on the damage that the opponent has. Unique attack that can be followed up by a side smash, a grab or another move. Double down smash followed by up smash (or whatever is appropriate at the time, like an aerial) is an effective combo and can easily rack up damage. Does 11-15%. Also moves her forward a little. Can infinite Fox at mid percentages and other fastfallers to a lesser extent. Hits on frame 20.
  • Up smash - Spins in place, extending the Plasma Whip up above her head in a swirl. Hits multiple times, has long vertical disjointed range and decent horizontal range, and fast startup (8 frames). Only the tip of the plasma whip does knockback (which is very low). It's easy to SDI out of it before the last hit connect. Inflicts 12-16% damage if all hits connected.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Neutral aerial - Spins the Plasma Whip around herself. Fairly long range, but with below average knockback. Always deals 10% damage, regardless of stale-move negation, and does not refresh stale-move negation on other moves. Hits on frame 6.
  • Forward aerial - Two forward kicks, with the second being stronger and slightly faster than the first. Does 6% then 11% damage, total of 17%. Because of the knockback of the first kick, it is difficult to hit with both kicks unless taking advantage of upward and forward momentum from a jump. Second kick can be landed without first kick, but it requires correct timing. Contrary to popular belief, the second kick is actually more powerful than her back aerial, though not by much. First hit on frame 6, second hit on frame 16.
  • Back aerial - Backward kick, similar in appearance to Samus's back aerial, but is faster and has a larger hitbox. Good for shield pressure, high knockback. Can bait, combo at lower percentages, KO at high percentages, and can be bufferred or used twice in a short hop. Has a disjointed hitbox. Does 13% damage. Hitbox out on frame 8.
  • Up aerial - Flip kicks both legs above her head. KO potential on lighter characters at around 90% if they are near the upper blast line. Does 10% sweetspotted, 7% otherwise. Sweetspot is directly in front of her. Hitbox out on frame 4. At low percentages, it can chain into itself, like Meta Knight´s up aerial, being a very useful juggling move. Hits slightly behind her too with low knockback, good for setting up back aerials or up tilts on a grounded opponent.
  • Down aerial - A stall-then-fall. Samus stalls momentarily in midair, and then shoots down diagonally (similar to Sonic and Sheik's down aerials). If it hits in midair, the first hit knocks the target into the second hit. Upon hitting the ground, it hits a second time, knocking anyone close away a fair bit. Like most stall-then-fall moves, this can be used to cancel some vertical knockback if used while being knocked back. This move can meteor smash, but it is very weak and dangerous if she doesn't land onstage, as it will not stop until for some time, similar to Toon Link's down aerial, although, unlike Toon Link´s down aerial, it will always meteor smash. The move generally isn't used often due to being easy to SD with. It also has very high ending lag and landing lag, like most stall-then-falls, and is easily punishable. However, its extremely fast vertical descent speed makes it an effective way to counter juggling, especially since her falling speed is below average. Does 4% on contact, 5% landing, total of 9% damage possible. Start-up of 14 frames.

Grabs and throws[edit]

Coincidentally, every one of Zero Suit Samus's throws consist of two hits.

  • Grab: Reaches forward with Plasma Whip. Very long range, especially if used as a pivot grab, but is extremely laggy if it misses. All of Zero Suit Samus's grabs have a start-up of 16 frames. The longest grab tether in aerial opponents.
  • Pummel: Knees her victim. A fairly fast pummel. Does 2% each hit.
  • Forward throw: Hits opponent forward with gun. Deals 2% then 7% damage, total of 9%. Can chaingrab most characters at lower percentages.
  • Back throw: Kicks opponent. Deals 2% damage then 4%, inflicting a total of 6%. Extremely low knockback, rarely used due to there usually being better options available.
  • Down throw: Slams opponent on ground and then axe kicks them. Deals 2% then 5%, total of 7% damage. Ideal for combos, knocking opponents in a great position to followup with an up aerial or, depending on the opponent's DI, a forward or back aerial.
  • Up throw: Flips into the air and kicks the opponent. Deals 2% then 8% damage, total of 10% worth damage. This is her most powerful throw knockback wise, being the only one capable of guaranteed a KO in Sudden Death. However, it has somewhat high ending lag, with a down throw being the preferred way to get opponents into the air for combos.

Special moves[edit]

Zero Suit Samus's special moves
SSBB Icon.png SSB4 Icon.png
Neutral special Paralyzer
Side special Plasma Whip
Up special Plasma Wire Boost Kick
Down special Flip Jump
Final Smash Power Suit Samus Gunship


Zero Suit Samus, Falco, Peach, Pikachu and Meta Knight are the only five characters with speaking parts in all three of their taunts.

  • Up: Throws her gun into the air, spins and catches it behind her and says "Is that all?".
  • Side: Activates her whip, flicks it and says "Try me".
  • Down: Samus spins multiple times quickly on one foot, twirling her plasma whip around her like a rhythmic gymnast and says, "You're mine".

Idle poses[edit]

  • Checking her Paralyzer
  • Stands straightly with Paralyzer besides her head, then looks around


Zero Suit Samus' NTSC and PAL cheer

Zero Suit Sa-mus!

Brawl manual description[edit]

Samus in her unarmored form. Her physical abilities far outclass standard humans.

In competitive play[edit]


Zero Suit Samus is soft countered by six characters, has eight even matchups, soft counters thirteen characters, counters six characters, and hard counters three characters. She has six disadvantageous matchups, two even matchups, and one advantageous matchup against other top/high tier characters. According to the current SWF matchup chart, her matchup spread has the eleventh highest unweighted rank, tenth highest total, and the eleventh highest weighted total. Zero Suit Samus tends to do well against characters who she can juggle and beat in the air easily, as well as characters who lack considerable range and ability to counter her great movement speed. However, she has trouble against characters with good projectiles, especially if they have a reflector to counter her Power Suit Pieces. This is more noticed with Falco, who has a very useful projectile and a ranged reflector. ZSS also has a bit of trouble against characters who can space against her easily, such as Marth who can do so on the ground and in the air alike. She is one of the only four characters (along with Meta Knight, Toon Link, and Peach) to have an advantage against the Ice Climbers as she can outspace them with her Plasma Whip to avoid getting grabbed as easily.

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Zero Suit Samus professionals (SSBB)

Tier placement and history[edit]

Zero Suit Samus was originally a mid tier character, ranked 21st on the first tier list (September 2008). However, as Zero Suit Samus mains such as Snakeee and Nick Riddle showed how effective her aerial game and combo abilities are, she rose to 16th place on the second tier list (January 2009), then stayed at 15th until the fifth tier list (September 2010), where she jumped into the high tiers, at 13th place. She rose again to 12th in the sixth tier list (July 2011), and 10th in the seventh list (April 2012). Due to Salem winning Apex 2013 using only ZSS, she rose to 9th place in the eighth and current tier list, as of April 2013. Some people even believe that she belongs in the bottom of the top tiers; whether her current position is accurate or should be higher has been disputed.

Role in The Subspace Emissary[edit]

Zero Suit Samus in the SSE

Zero Suit Samus is first seen breaking into the base of the Subspace Army. Soon she comes across Pikachu being drained of its electrical power. Samus uses her whip to break the container the Pikachu is being held in, summoning a security force of R.O.B.s. Later, she comes across her Power Suit, but is confronted by two Shadow Bug clones mimicking the Power Suit.

After reacquiring her Power Suit, Samus and her new companion Pikachu come across Ridley. He grabs Samus and starts to drag her against the wall, until Pikachu returns Samus' favor and uses Thunder on Ridley, causing him to drop Samus. An infuriated Ridley attacks. Once they defeat him, the duo exits the base and come across a cave.

Samus and Pikachu make their way to the Subspace Bomb Factory and find the Ancient Minister with the R.O.B. Squad. They prepare to fight, but then realize that he looks very sad. Soon, Captain Falcon, Olimar, Diddy and DK find the factory and enter. A hologram of Ganondorf appears and orders the R.O.B. Squad to activate the Subspace Bombs in the factory. The Ancient Minister tries to stop them, but is set on fire when Ganondorf orders them to retaliate. After The Ancient Minister is revealed to be a R.O.B. himself, the characters set out and all join the quest.

Samus helps fight Meta Ridley, flees the island, is defeated by Tabuu and revived by the others. She can help to defeat Tabuu in the end.

Playable appearances[edit]

After Zero Suit Samus reclaims the Samus suit, the players have the option to use her Zero Suit form in other levels.

Exclusive stickers[edit]

Since Samus and Zero Suit Samus share the same trophy base, there are some cases in which certain stickers will not affect one of them. Since Smash Balls don't appear in Adventure Mode, if one transforms into Zero Suit Samus, they will be unable to change back until the end of the level (or, in The Great Maze, a save point). Aside from use of items, only Leg, Weapon, and Energy stickers will affect both characters. That said, all of Zero Suit Samus's moves are comprised of Leg or Weapon attacks barring the first hit of the jab, Forward Throw and Down Smash.

On-screen appearance[edit]

Her Power Suit falls off as she stands up (similar to the result of the Zero Laser). Power Suit pieces can then be used as throwing items.

Victory pose[edit]

Victory Theme: Metroid Power-Up Theme

  • Side Kick flex, making the Screw Attack symbol.
  • Backflips to the screen.
  • Slashes with her energy whip and says "Be still."

Credits music[edit]

  • Ending (Metroid)

Alternate costumes[edit]

Zero Suit Samus's alternate costumes in Brawl

Trophy description[edit]

Zero Suit Samus's trophy in Brawl.

"Samus Aran without her mighty Power Suit. In this condition, she does not have the firepower she's famed for but is in full possession of the agility and athleticism she gained through her childhood training with the Chozo. Without the armor, she's also much, much faster. The weapon she carries is a self-protection device known as a Paralyzer that stops enemies cold."

GB Advance: Metroid: Zero Mission


"Zaro Suit Samus"
  • Zero Suit Samus's grab, while a tether grab, is not a tether recovery. She shares this disability with Yoshi, Ivysaur, and Olimar.
  • Samus is usually a silent protagonist in the Metroid series. However, Zero Suit Samus speaks in each of her taunts, and in one victory pose. She had previously never spoken outside of Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid: Zero Mission, and then only in text. Brawl is the first instance of Samus's dialogue being performed by a voice actor. Samus's only voice prior to Brawl was in the form of grunts and "pain" noises in the Metroid Prime series. However, she is not the first or only character in the Smash series to get a true voice. In the video game Metroid: Other M, Samus speaks and has dialogue provided by a voice actor.
  • Strangely enough, Zero Suit Samus's up tilt and up aerial (which involve her legs) have a slash effect, along with making a slashing sound. Kirby's up smash also shares this trait, despite that he just uses his legs instead of a slashing tool.
  • Zero Suit Samus speaks English in the Japanese version of Brawl when taunting.
  • Zero Suit Samus is the only character not to appear on the character selection screen in Brawl.
    • Similarly, Sheik is the only character not to appear in Melee's character selection screen.
  • When selecting Zero Suit Samus on the tournament mode and SSE character selection screens, her name is misspelt as "Zaro Suit Samus".
  • Zero Suit Samus and Sonic are the only characters not fought in any form in the Subspace Emissary.
  • Whenever Zero Suit Samus gets Star KO'd or Screen KO'd, her Paralyzer vanishes. A similar effect happens whenever she gets hit by Blue Falcon.
  • Zero Suit Samus is the only female newcomer introduced in Brawl


  1. The DOJO's page on Zero Suit Samus.

External links[edit]