I see some of the top speedrunners trying to minimize time in the air. For example, in the second room of Ceres station, and in the beginning of Parlor. Why do they do this?
I would assume that as long as you hold the direction after a running jump, the speed you were running at would be preserved, only you’re now in the air. Is that not the case?
You might say, “Well, if the top runners do it, then of course,” but another reason a speedrunner might minimize airtime is simply due to habit, especially after hundreds or thousands of ledgegrabs and downgrabs.
I’m looking for an exact answer supported by some well-known Super Metroid resource / speedrunner, or actual proof (e.g. via Ram Watch).
No, running on the ground is faster because of a tech called Arm Pumping or Shoulder Pumping. While you are running, if you move Samus’s arm cannon up and down it advances her forward by 1 pixel.
This is much faster than jumping and can be controlled anytime while Samus is on the ground or not in ball form.
Jumping in Super Metroid isn’t entirely too difficult, but it’s not about wanting to spend more time on the ground. It’s about wanting to advance Samus forward as much as possible.
More info via OmnipotentEntity: Shoulder Pumping does not change the speed of Samus in memory, every time you pump you move Samus one pixel forward. Jumping conserves your speed when you leave the ground, but when you land your speed is reset to 0 (unless you land as a ball.) You can find more info about Samus’s movement on the TASVideos page on Super Metroid: Here