Floaty Jump, or simply Floaty, is the state that Samus is in when the game applies water physics to her while she is outside of water. As a result, Samus will jump much higher in the air than would otherwise be possible under normal circumstances. This is possible because you can force the game to think that Samus is deeper inside the water than she actually is. There are multiple methods of getting Floaty Jump in the Prime games, and these differ by the room.
While Floaty Jump doesn't have a major use in the three major speedrunning categories (formerly used in 21%), there are still applications for it. For example, there are some Secret Worlds, such as the one in Shorelines Entrance, that cannot be done without Floaty Jump. It is possible to get Floaty Jump in the PAL and Trilogy versions of Prime 1, but the effect will disappear once the room's water box is unloaded. This is because the behavior was changed such that Samus' water physics are tied to the specific water box in this version of the game. This change was first introduced in PAL and then carried over to the Trilogy version of the game. Applications of Floaty include extremely high Jumps, and Slope Jumps as well as the Infinite Bomb Jump which is Prime 1 only. This is because the morph ball is not affected by physics the same way in later games.
In the Metroid Prime series, water is made up of triggers that are placed in the individual rooms. This includes the lava in Magmoor Caverns and the dark water in the Dark Aether regions of Echoes. When Samus interacts with these triggers, multiple values in memory are changed to account for this. Two of these values are relevant:
- Fluid Counter: Value that tracks whether or not Samus is currently interacting with a water box. This value can range from 0-3, corresponding with the number of water boxes Samus is interacting with. If this value goes over 3, it will instead go back to 0 and water physics will therefore be disabled. (see also: Abusing the Fluid Counter)
- Fluid Depth: Value for registering how far inside the water Samus is relative to the surface of the waterbox that you are entering from. Once this value is >1.25, the game applies water physics to Samus. Game does not check where you left a water box from only that your fluid depth is >1.25 unmorphed or >1.4 morphed when you leave. (see also: Abusing the Fluid Depth)
Pre-floaty is the requisite state for getting Floaty in Prime 1. Pre-Floaty describes a fluid counter > 0 while having a fluid depth of <1.25. While is in pre-floaty, it is possible to touch the edges of a water box and get Floaty Jump as a result. You can increase your fluid counter and get pre-floaty only by unloading a water box while Samus is inside. There are multiple methods of unloading water boxes:
- Naturally Unloading Method: Being inside a water box at the same time the room naturally unloads it.
- Infinite Speed Method: Being inside a water box and then unloading the box while inside of it using Infinite Speed. This can be done by simply unloading a room while inside of its water box using Out of Bounds or can be done entirely inbounds by activating Framedrag to get Nan position and essentially "touch" a water box the same frame you would unload that room. To unload the room you can either transition 2 rooms away for an autoload room, or by touch an unload trigger in an adjacent room.
- Unload Trigger Method: Being inside a water box out of bounds and touching an unload trigger for that room while inside of its water box.
(see also: List of Rooms That Can Give Pre-Floaty)
Floaty is when Samus has underwater physics while not being in the water. Specifically it is a fluid counter >0 and a fluid depth of >1.25 while Samus is out of water. Getting floaty from pre-floaty is as simple as updating Samus fluid depth value to be >1.25 Touching water typically will lose floaty as it resets your fluid depth to <1.25. There are two methods for acquiring floaty from pre-floaty state:
Out of Bounds Method
This is the most common method of obtaining Floaty. Once in pre-floaty, go Out of Bounds and touch the water box. While Samus is in the water her
fluid depth is checked relative to the surface only, so leaving the same water box from the side or bottom Samus can maintain a high fluid depth >1.25.
This will give Samus Floaty Jump in the air after interacting with the box.
Overlapping Water Box Method
Once in pre-floaty, go to a room that has a connecting room with another water box. The other water box has to be such that its fluid depth is higher
than the one you are entering. In the video below, this is done in the room Frozen Pike. It is possible to carry this increased fluid depth into the box with
the lower fluid depth level. This means that when exiting the water box, Samus' fluid depth level will be greater than 1.25, giving Floaty.
Once Samus has Floaty Jump, simply entering a water box like normal is enough to cancel the effects. Once Samus enters the water box, the fluid depth value will update like normal, removing the effects of Floaty. However, the fluid counter value will still be above 0 in the air, meaning that even when entering a water box, Samus will still maintain the pre-floaty state. Despite this, if the route being done requires carrying Floaty through multiple rooms, then it is important to never touch these boxes until it is desired to get rid of Floaty. Floaty will also be lost through any Elevator, Death, or reload from a Save Station. This is because Samus is unloaded losing her fluid count and fluid depth and then reloaded after.
Fast Fall Floaty
Unmorphed, Samus must have a fluid depth of >1.25 to have the underwater effects of floaty. Morphed, Samus has to have a greater fluid depth of >1.4 to have the underwater effects of floaty. This allows you to have a fluid depth of between 1.25 to 1.4 and Samus will have floaty physics when unmorphed but have normal physics while morphed.
Pseudo Gravity Suit
Pseudo Gravity Suit is when Samus has normal physics underwater. This is similar to Air Underwater in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes however behaves differently in Prime. Pseudo Gravity will give Samus completely unrestricted underwater movement, an skill usually obtained through acquiring the Gravity Suit. Applications of Pseudo Gravity Suit are extremely limited. One of the only known applications of Pseudo Gravity is acquiring the Energy Tank in Hydro Access Tunnel without the real Gravity Suit. Because underwater physics are calculated by both fluid depth and fluid counter separately, there are two separate methods of obtaining Pseudo Gravity Suit:
Abusing the Fluid Counter
Inbounds the most water boxes Samus can be in is 3 at any given time. Because of this, if Samus' fluid count were to ever increase from here, it would go back down to 0 instead. By unloading any water box while inside it, you prevent the game from subtracting the water boxes you're currently in. This can allow you to have a fluid counter >0 or as its called, pre-floaty. By stacking pre-floaty multiple times we can keep adding to the fluid counter until it resets back to 0. This can allow samus to have a fluid counter of 0 while she's underwater. This gives Samus normal physics while underwater.
Abusing the Fluid Depth
The fluid depth can be abused at the transitions between water boxes. By transitioning back and forth between two adjacent water boxes, it is possible to carry Samus' fluid depth from one water box to the next. This is only possible for one water box at a time and cannot be used to carry a fluid depth through multiple water boxes. This is because transitioning back and forth into the next water box will reset fluid depth you have carried to those respective water box depths. In carrying a high water box value into a low enough water box, Samus can leave the lower water box at a depth value >1.25 giving her floaty jump. By carrying a low water box value into a high enough water box, Samus can have negative water depth value while being underwater. This will give Samus normal physics but only as long as her fluid depth >1.25 or Samus gets a fluid depth >5. If samus gets too high a negative fluid depth the game considers this to be the same as being outside of the water and will set the fluid depth to 0. This will also give Samus normal physics. Both of these versions of Pseudo Gravity Suit will only last as long as Samus is inside that particular water box.
List of Rooms That Can Give Pre-Floaty
Theoretically any water box taller than 1.25 units can be used to acquire Pre-Floaty through the Infinite Speed method. These rooms will be listed with an asterisk (*) . Floaty is not possible in Phazon Mines because there are no water boxes. Waste Disposal appears to have water, however this water is not real and cannot be used for Floaty.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
With current knowledge, there is only one room Samus can get Floaty Jump in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Unlike in Prime, Floaty does not affect morph ball limiting its scope of applications. As a result it is typically used in only a couple of niche cases, such as being able to defeat Power Bomb Guardian without the Spider Ball.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption