Took 2 more attempts, but I finally beat the damn thing in the Tower. I have to admit, that was a much hollower victory than I expected. It didn't have the overwhelming joy of overcoming a major obstacle and bettering myself in the process, like scoring my first Omega Metroid kill in v1.0 after a few attempts...no, this was more akin to clearing an obstacle that, due to past experiences with it, never should have been an obstacle in the first place. It felt more like getting past a traffic jam than anything.
Should've been "YEAH! I feel great now!"
Ended up being "Finally. Fuck that stupid thing."
I almost got waxed by the drones on the way to the item room (partially due to having no Power Bombs to room-wipe with), which would have ended this playthrough prematurely via ragequit file deletion, but I made it to the Screw Attack.
Once again, no satisfaction...guess that's just one more reason why I don't do Hard Mode on games that often. It just doesn't do anything for me.
Anyway, typical Screw Attack-driven sequence break followed to the Gravity Suit, with the Plasma Beam being where the Screw Attack normally is (huh, the two just swapped places), and now...I'm back at the Golden Temple.
Why? Because I've skipped most of the Metroids so far due to refusing to go after them until I had the Gravity Suit. Bad enough they're cheapskates with the powerup recharges, didn't want to deal with the breeding grounds' life-sapping floors while I was at it.
So yeah, here I am, about to go wail on a bunch of Alpha Metroids when I should be possibly ready to take on a Zeta Metroid.