Once you get the Storm Missile, you’re well on your way to Metroid Dread’s climax. But the stops on the way are the most challenging yet. Throughout your adventure you may have noticed a room in which a massive creature is being poked and prodded by machines in the background. Well, at this point the creature has escaped, and it’s pissed.
Experiment No. Z-57 is a big difficulty ramp, preparing you for the rest of what Metroid Dread has in store for you. This boss has a variety of difficult to avoid attacks, and all of them cut through Samus’ Energy Tank reserves like they’re made of cardboard. Knowing what to expect, however, might make things a bit less daunting.
Z-57 has several attacks. First up is a swiping attack with a massive area of effect. The windup is huge, which is good because you need time to get airborne and stay there. Space Jump makes this easier, and while you’re up in the air a large blue trail shows you where you can’t touch.
Next is a sort of vomity beam attack. Z-57 will start to spew, then drag the beam across the ground. It’ll pause, just long enough for you to find the safe spot, then continue spewing. That’s your one chance to avoid damage, and there’s always a safe spot. You might have to do some jumping and Flash Shift work to cover distance, so just pay attention to the ground.
All the while, you need to be shooting Z-57 in the face with missiles or charged shots. You can even use the Storm Missile to hit this thing a few times at once, to speed things up if you have the ammo to spare. Once Z-57 takes enough damage it will recoil down into a corner and fire another puke laser, this time starting at the ceiling and coming down towards the ground. To avoid it, you need to get right up in the boss’ face.
As soon as the sideways beam is done, Z-57 will attempt to punish you for getting too close. This will be your counter opportunity, which you’ll need to hit to progress the fight. During the little cutscene you can spam missiles for extra damage.
Once the sequence is over, Z-57 will slam all four of its… feet(?) into the walls and you’ll notice the large, yellow weak points. You have to damage all of these until the boss lets go, and that can take a while if you go after them one by one. The fight will not progress until you make this happen, no matter how many loops it takes. Alternatively, break out that fancy new weapon of yours and Panzer Dragoon Z-57’s ass to the next stage. If you’re fast enough you won’t even have to contend with the homing shots that will come at you if you dawdle.
To kick off phase three, the boss will fire a massive blast into the far wall, which creates a massive gust of wind pushing Samus toward the wall behind her. The whole thing will be covered in laser puke, so you’ll need to activate the Speed Boost to run fast enough to stay in place. Of course it can’t be that easy, so Z-57 will fire these staggered vertical columns of projectiles that have openings at different heights. So without losing the Speed Boost you have to Space Jump through the openings. There’s some pretty strict timing here so make sure to keep Samus’ weird, floaty weight in mind during this part.
You’ll have to repeat this attack, as well as faster versions of the previous attacks, including a swiping set that adds a third swing you have to jump straight up for as it comes from both sides. Hang in there until you trigger the side beam attack; hit the counter and you’ll win the fight.