Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Go To

Spoilers for all Metroid entries preceding this one, including Metroid Prime, will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/683eaed64ef01f4b388ddb715008b3ff.jpg
A War Between Light and Darkness.

"Step behind the visor once more. Stalked by a mysterious entity and a warring race called the Ing, Samus Aran must explore the dark and light worlds of a doomed planet as time grows ever shorter..."
Boxart Tagline
Advertisement:

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Dark Echoes in Japan) is a First Person Adventure released in 2004 on the Nintendo GameCube. It is the sequel to Metroid Prime, the second game in the Metroid Prime Trilogy and the seventh game in the Metroid series. It is also the fourth game in the fictional chronology of events.

After her foray on Tallon IV, Aran is sent to investigate the disappearance of the GFS Tyr and its crew complement, the Galactic Federation Marine Corps Task Force Herakles. They had been undergoing a routine patrol in the untamed Dasha Region of the cosmos when they were drawn into a chase with a Space Pirate frigate that ended on the rogue planet Aether. The Hunter makes a flight path for the planet only for a strange purple lightning storm to damage her gunship and leave her stranded while the vessel repairs itself. She soon finds that the Marines were slaughtered down to the last man by unusually aggressive wildlife — and both the dead Marines and the wildlife have a tendency to get possessed by unidentified parasitic organisms that then aim their aggression at her.

Advertisement:

Searching for further clues in a great temple hovering over the land, Samus meets U-Mos, the Sentinel of the Luminoth, Aether's native race. He explains that the planet was struck decades ago by a Phazon meteor much like the one that struck Tallon IV, and the impact, combined with the planet's previous dimensional instability, resulted in the creation of Dark Aether, a shadowy alternate world inhabited by the vicious Ing, the same organisms possessing the Marines and wildlife. Since that impact, the Luminoth and the Ing had warred over the planetary energy called the "Light of Aether" that had been split between the two worlds; up until Samus arrived and fortuitously took from the Ing the Energy Transfer Module, the shadowy beasts had been on the verge of taking all of this energy for themselves and leaving Dark Aether as the only remaining world.

Advertisement:

U-Mos tasks Samus with returning the Light to the various temples scattered across the planet in order to end the violent reign of the Ing and save Aether from destruction. Yet her quest will not occur without hindrance. Not only must she battle against both the Ing and the stranded Space Pirates, but also against another dangerous offworlder: a dark entity with armor similar to hers and driven by a ravenous hunger for Phazon....

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is notable as the first Metroid game to feature a multiplayer mode. Unlike later games such as Metroid Prime: Hunters and Metroid Prime: Federation Force, this was an exclusively local mode without online capabilities. The game was later re-released in the Metroid Prime Trilogy compilation for the Wii, while adding motion controls and an achievement system similar to what was introduced in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption along with several other gameplay tweaks.


Metroid Prime 2: Echoes provides examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Samus gets the Light Suit, which allows her to navigate Dark Aether unharmed (previously, the poisonous atmosphere of Dark Aether would make Samus take constant damage)and to travel across Aether through beams of light; however, she only gets this shortly before going to the Supervillain Lair.
  • Ability Mixing: Like in the first game, Samus can learn Charge Combos, special attacks which combine the Charge Beam and Missile upgrades to create an effect based on her current beam. One such example is pressing the missile button while Samus has a fully charged Power Beam, expending her charge and 5 missiles to fire a Super Missile. She can do the same with the hidden powerups that require 5 missiles plus 30 ammunition units of either or both special beams: Darkburst, Sunburst and Sonic Boom.
  • Actionized Sequel: Echoes ups the difficulty and frequency of combat sequences, and adds more boss fights, as opposed to just one major boss per area in the first game. The game also adds FPS-oriented concepts such as an ammo system for the standard beam weapons (previous games in the series had limited it to Missiles and Power Bombs) and a multiplayer mode.
  • After Boss Recovery: The energy controllers, accessed after beating each of the major bosses in Dark Aether (specifically in the Dark Temples), restore your health fully. Even after the first recovery lot.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: There's rogue A.I. in Sanctuary Fortress; the robotic assistants of the Luminoth are programmed to eliminate all intruders, most notably Samus, and they also turn out to be perfectly suitable Ing hosts.
  • Alien Sky: Dark Aether naturally has a purple or reddish sky, and in Light Aether, around the Temple Grounds, the sky will occasionally become unstable and shift between normal and a deep purple color.
  • Allergic to Evil: The atmosphere of Dark Aether is damaging to anything not from that realm. As such, Samus takes constant damage in Dark Aether when not within the field of a light crystal. She eventually gets upgraded suits that massively decrease (and later still outright negate) the effect.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Technological example. A-Kul — the Luminoth Champion, had all of the Luminoth-designed suit modules, like the Dark Suit and Annihilator Beam, yet she was unable to survive her mission on Dark Aether. Samus Aran arrived on Aether, with a nearly complete collection of Chozo-designed suit modules, yet was immediately overpowered by the Ing. Only by combining both Chozo and Luminoth technology does Samus become powerful enough to defeat the Ing completely.
  • Already Done for You: The Sky Temple in the Dark World requires 10 Sky Temple Keys to unlock. The first Key was already found and put in place by a dead Luminoth warrior laying at the bottom of the key pillar, leaving only 9 for you to find.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Ing, which have no technology of their own, only want conquest, and make any creatures they possess substantially more aggressive. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption hints they may be little more than the organisms they dominate.
  • Ammunition Conservation: One of the Space Marines was noted to be especially stingy with his ammo, and he took great pride in never running out. He's quite upset that Dark Splinters required More Dakka to take down.
  • Another Dimension: Dark Aether and Aether exist on very close but alternate planes. Dark Aether is only accessible through a portal and its atmosphere is corrosive to everything that isn't an Ing or another dark creature native to it.
  • Antepiece: When you visit the Sanctuary Temple, you'll see the uncompiled components of a big Luminoth security robot strewn about the room. You'll eventually be able to use the Spider Ball to go up one of the legs of this machine and use the Boost Ball to propel off of the legs onto another Spider Ball track. Upon reaching the Dark Aether equivalent of this room, the Hive Temple, you'll discover that the Ing have compiled parts similar to those in the Sanctuary Temple into the boss robot Quadraxis. The final phase of the Quadraxis battle involves using the Boost Ball to jump off of its damaged legs onto its floating head.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Enemies will drop light and dark ammo regardless of the weapon used to kill them if you're very low on ammo. The tentacles of the final boss's first phase will also frequently drop light/dark ammo when destroyed.
    • Standing on the dark water damages you, but you can still escape since you won't sink. The Light Suit stops dark water damage, allowing you to explore underwater in Dark Aether freely.
    • After you defeat the Emperor Ing, you must endure an escape sequence and one more fight with Dark Samus. However, the game sets up a checkpoint (and the only time the game does this) after the long fight with the Emperor in case you die during the escape sequence.
    • One tiny but welcome improvement the game makes over the first is the ability to fire your arm cannon during the transition from the Morph Ball into the suit. Hardly something game-changing, but it does make opening doors while you’re approaching one as the Morph Ball much smoother.
    • Another noteworthy improvement from Prime to Echoes is the Scan Visor. Instead of orange and red "Scan Points", scannable items are fully highlighted in blue and red. Fully-scanned items are also highlighted in green, rather than a faded square. The logbook Entry is also much more elaborate and categorized, with percentages for each main and sub grouping.
    • Almost every portal to Dark Aether has a Safe Zone around it, so it's almost impossible to die immediately upon going there.
  • Antimatter: The Annihilator Beam uses both the Light and Dark Beams to contain a matter-antimatter reaction and fires the resulting energy let off by the annihilation.
  • Apocalypse How: The Luminoth are bordering on Species Extinction when Samus arrives, and the planet would have undergone Metaphysical Annihilation if she hadn't intervened. The Ing themselves suffer both Total Extinction and Metaphysical Annihilation when Samus recovers the last Light of Aether, causing the entire Dark Aether dimension to completely collapse, taking all of the Ing down with it.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Like Metroid Prime before it there is plenty of lore to scan, this time detailing the Luminoth's battle with the Ing and how they slowly began losing the war, to the point where all but one of the survivors is hidden in cryogenic sleep waiting for the day when the war is over.
  • Armless Biped: Grenchlers are armless creatures that look quite similar to the Sheegoths from the first Metroid Prime, except they're more amphibian in appearance and are MUCH more aggressive and more dangerous, with abilities Sheegoths don't have, like firing electricity at long range and leaping across entire rooms. And then there's the one room in Dark Torvus with the Dark possessed Grenchlers, and the Grapple Guardian, which is a King Mook.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Space Pirate Grenadiers can get hurt by their own grenades (and you can trick them into hurting themselves too) and they will not fire their weapon if you get up close. This also doubles as an A.I. Breaker since they can't do anything but use grenades and will refuse to attack if you're close.
  • Artifact Title: Subverted. Dark Samus turns out to be the Metroid Prime, as implied by the eye on its hand as seen at the end of the final boss fight and in the previous game's stinger.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The optional Beam Combos. The Darkburst and Sunburst aren't as powerful as they seem. The latter is possibly the worst offender — firing a painfully slow round projectile which shoots out weak beams of light towards nearby enemies and explodes with a rather small blast radius and pitiful damage output. The Darkburst is faster, much more powerful, and the vortex it produces can pull nearby foes to it, but due to its expensive demand (thirty Beam Ammo and five Missiles for both Combos), using the basic Super Missile Combo tends to be the more optimal method. These Combos are useless against most bosses (which has to do with much of them taking places in situations in which you can't use them), except the Alpha Blogg, when it reveals its opening during its charge attack. Coincidentally, obtaining the Darkburst right before grabbing the Gravity Boost makes the fight much easier. These are also useful against Ingsmashers and Dark Ingsmashers because they are large, slow, and take massive amounts of damage to destroy. The Sonic Boom hits instantly and deals massive damage to all enemies, but it also costs 30 of both ammo types. You also get it too late to use against anything other than the final boss... but it's also one of the most effective weapons against the final boss.
  • Back from the Brink: The Ing had stolen the Energy Transfer Module and were two rooms away from the last Energy Controller before Samus showed up. Had she not beaten the Ing that possessed the Alpha Splinter and stole the Module back, the Ing would have won.
  • Background Music Override: When fought in a Boss Battle, Dark Samus usually plays her signature battle theme. But at the end of the game, when Samus confronts them one last time, the series' classic Escape Sequence (which has started playing since the gradual collape of Dark Aether) keeps playing to remind the player of the urgency to win the fight and escape back to Aether ASAP.
  • Bag of Spilling: Samus starts with several modules on her power suit, but is ambushed by the Ing shortly after finding some dead Federation Marines. They steal most of her modules, leaving her with only the Varia Suit and forcing her to rearm with found supplies or take back the stolen modules. Samus also ends up back in the Varia Suit at the end of the game.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Done twice. You fight two boss-versions of two enemies, called the Alpha Splinter and Alpha Sandigger. However, they become possessed by the Ing a few minutes into the battle, becoming the Dark Alpha Splinter and Bomb Guardian respectively.
  • Barrier Change Boss:
    • Quad CMs, Ingsmashers, and Dark Ingsmashers put up shields of light or dark energy that can be dispelled by firing shots of the opposite beam or charge combo.
    • Emperor Ing, in his third form, has his mouth glow white or purple. To damage him, he needs to be shot with beams of the opposite type or the Annihilator Beam.
  • Bat Scare: Early on in the game, as soon as Samus walks into the Great Temple for the first time, she is immediately greeted by a swarm of sand bats right to the face. While it does come as a shock at first since the player would be lulled into a false sense of security, the bats do signal where the next Save Point is by flying out of the crack where it's hidden.
  • Battle Theme Music: The game has a battle theme for possessed Trooper confrontations (including a hidden Dark Missile Trooper Mini-Boss), another for Ing battles, and another for the possessed Space Pirate encounters. The Ing battle theme is later borrowed for minibosses Alpha Splinter and four of the Item Guardians (Jump, Boost, Spider, Power Bomb); meanwhile, the possessed Space Pirate theme is later used for minibosses Alpha Blogg, two Item Guardians (Bomb, Grapple), and Caretaker Class Drone. The major bosses (Dark Samus and the four Temple Guardians) have each their own battle themes.
  • Battle Tops: Sanctuary Fortress has the Quad drones as well as their King Mook Quadraxis, which can curl up into spinning top shapes. The former can only be stopped by bashing into them using the Boost Ball.
  • Beef Gate: On Dark Aether, you can find giant indestructible Ing called Ingclaws. Any room with active Ingclaws drains your health at a phenomenal rate until you get the Dark Suit. Later, you run into the Ingstorm, which does the same thing and is only nullified by the Light Suit.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Emperor Ing and Dark Samus. The former is the leader of the Ing Horde who aims to destroy the planet Aether and the Luminoth; the latter, a reincarnated Metroid Prime, seeks the Ing Phazon for herself.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The caverns at the beginning of the game, where dead GF troopers are possessed by the Ing, forcing you to kill the very people Samus came to save.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Chykka. It starts off as a larva the size of a whale before maturing into a ginormous War Wasp.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Samus has destroyed Dark Aether, but Dark Samus is still about and causing havoc. Also, the Ing have already wiped out the GF Marines and a large portion of the Luminoth population.
  • Blob Monster: The Inglets are small Ing specimens that move around as dark, harmful ilk stains; they attack Samus by throwing dark matter at her.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: The Emperor Ing has two impenetrable defenses, though they are not without drawbacks so he is not unbeatable.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Grenchlers, the Aether equivalents of the Baby Sheegoths from Tallon IV. They do even nastier damage than the Baby Sheegoths, their lightning attacks have greater range than the Sheegoth freeze breath, they can jump up ledges, and their shells have rather wonky hit detection, making landing hits with the Dark Beam even harder than normal. Even worse, you have to fight a number of them underwater before you get the Gravity Boost.
  • Boss Remix: Amorbis's theme is a remix of the Parasite Queen theme from the first Prime, and Quadraxis's theme is the Ing battle theme remixed.
  • Broken Bridge: One of the Sky Temple Keys is hidden deep in an area filled with Ingstorm. You won't survive long enough to reach the Flying Ing Cache if you don't have the Light Suit.
  • Broken Faceplate:
    • When Samus comes across the leader of the Federation Marines this trope is used to convey that he's dead.
    • The possessed Federation Marines also have this, showing only one discoloured eye, which ominously hints at how deformed their bodies are underneath the armour.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Torvus Bog is a staggeringly wide, deep bog filled with hostile plant life, bipedal alligators, and water that Samus has a hard time jumping out of. Dark Torvus Bog keeps the aggressive plants but replaces the normal water with corrupted Grimy Water, and the boss is a giant dragonfly.
  • Bug War: There's an early plot point dealing with how the Galactic Federation Marines were wiped out by a swarm of insectoid Splinters. Played with, in that while regular Splinters can be fairly dangerous to anyone who isn't as well-armed as Samus, the specimens that attacked the Marines were an abnormally strong and aggressive batch possessed by the Ing, an extradimensional species of Starfish Aliens. Further played with due to the presence of the Luminoth, a race of friendly moth-like humanoids who are bitter enemies of the Ing.
  • Bullfight Boss: Bloggs and the Alpha Blogg charge at you, and you have to shoot their weak mouths as they come close instead of jumping away.
  • Call-Forward: The underground sections of Torvus Bog feature a remix of Red Brinstar, a track of music from Super Metroid.
  • Canon Foreigner: Among the characters the manga adaptation(Episode of Aether) gives us, we have characters such as "Boss", the unnamed space pirate leader; and the Bravo Squad members Klaus Schneider, Jeff McCloud, Lily Thran, and Miguel Luis Garcia.
  • Captain Ersatz: Warrior Ing are very much like Leng Spiders, demonic arthopods with 5 legs.
  • Catapult to Glory: Kinetic Orb cannons happen to be perfectly sized and positioned to fire the Morph Ball up ledges, across chasms, or wherever Samus needs to go.
  • Characterization Marches On: One thing that sets Echoes apart from its predecessor is that it sets up more of Samus’s character through subtle visual storytelling. Such as when she at first holds her cannon towards U-Mos but lowers her weapon when she realizes he’s not a threat. Or when Samus waves goodbye to the Luminoth after completing her mission.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The game is infamous for having few life-restoring save points and a dark world that actively drains your life for much of the game. You can restore your life at the Light Beacons, but some areas like the Ing Hive/Sanctuary Fortress distance these ridiculously. The worst one however, is in the submerged part of Torvus Bog where you have to open three locks to gain access to the lowest levels, where the Gravity Boost (and the Alpha Blogg) is. Opening the last lock makes it impossible to get to the save station without the Gravity Boost... and the Alpha Blogg is right between the Gravity Boost and the save station.
  • Child Soldiers: One of the dead Luminoth bodies you can scan in the Hall of Honored Dead reveals that the Luminoth individual in question wasn't even an adult upon being killed in battle. The fact that children were being used as soldiers against the Ing showed how desperate the Luminoth became in the war.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Chykka, the main boss of Dark Torvus Bog. When it reaches its adult phase, Samus needs to shoot its four wings simultaneously with the Seeker Launcher, knocking it into the poison bog to transform into Dark Chykka, who's even easier to damage thanks to your Light Beam being very effective against Dark-anything.
  • Collapsing Lair: Justified. Killing the final boss isn't what makes Dark Aether collapse. The collapse only starts when Samus gathers up the remaining energy holding the planet together that the final boss was guarding.
  • Color-Coded Elements: The Power Beam is yellow like in the first game, the Light Beam is white, the Dark Beam is purplish black, and the Annihilator Beam is gray. The Phazon Beam, only usable as a deflection of Dark Samus' attacks during the final battle, is blue.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: The multiplayer mode involves multicolored Samuses fighting each other.
  • Colossus Climb: Used in the boss fight against the Humongous Mecha Quadraxis in Ing Hive. In the third phase of the fight, Quadraxis' head separates from its legs and starts flying around the arena. The player must climb the Spider Ball tracks on the legs, use the Boost Ball to launch onto the head, and then lay bombs in the weak spots in order to damage it.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When you fight Dark Samus during the escape from Dark Aether, a close-up on "her" reveals an eye is on its hand. Players who completed Metroid Prime 100% and saw its secret ending will know this is a clue that Dark Samus is Metroid Prime in a new form. And like the first game, you defeat it by once again overloading it with a Phazon-charged attack.
    • In the Wii port of the game, going to the Dark Aether version of the GF Troop landing site (and a few other rooms heavy on Phazon) will play the music of the Impact Crater caverns from the first game.
  • Convenient Weakness Placement: The Spider Guardian's rooms in Sanctuary Fortress have death lasers which, being blind, it can't even avoid running into.
  • The Corruption: Samus visits a second Leviathan-struck planet. Planet Aether became unstable due to the interaction between its own physical properties and those of Phazon, resulting in a permanent state of trans-dimensional flux that connected it with another version of itself, dubbed Dark Aether. Dark Aether is a barren wasteland full of Phazon, albeit not inhospitable, being inhabited by the Ing, which also have parasitic and corrupting abilities. The Ing attacked the Luminoth, native to Light Aether, as well as Space Pirates who arrive to harvest the Phazon, and the entire planet broke into a war of three opposing sides for survival. Several Aether creatures and those brought from Tallon IV by the pirates become victims of both Phazon and Ing corruption as well. Only one Ing (the Final Boss) is willing to touch Phazon without a middleman. That should have warned people.
  • Cosmic Plaything: If it's possible to feel sorry for Space Pirates, this would be the game for it to happen. The instant they land, every possible thing that could go wrong for them forms a long line: The planet they land on is not peaceful and is both at war and incredibly unstable; the dramatic instability of the planet keeps them from getting timely supplies without attracting Federation attention; Command expects them to use their meager supplies to raise Metroids en masse and make trips to the Death World dimension for Phazon; their trips attract the attention of the Ing, who begin treating them as a goody bag of easily-possessed darklings, and their harvesting of Phazon attracts the attention of Dark Samus, who at that point just starts kicking them while they're down. After all of this, the Federation actually do arrive, at which point a log aptly notes that at this rate, the earth itself is just going to open up under their feet and swallow them. And then, of course, Samus herself arrives. At one point, the Pirates lament their luck upon observing that there are now two Samuses looming around.
  • Crate Expectations: There's crates abound and are filled with pick ups like energy and ammo like in the first game, but this time they come in different flavors depending on who made them. There's also crates in the flavor of organic plants that hold the items (one of them invoking Hammerspace according to scan data) and the scan information actually reveals why you sometimes get nothing from destroying them; destroying the organic crates sometimes destroys the item inside as well.
  • Crosshair Aware: Quadraxis in Ing Hive has a variant of this trope: The target marker appears on Samus' visor. In Morph Ball form, it shows up as a laser.
  • Cypher Language: A design sheet (viewable in one of the game's bonus galleries) that gives a complete set of 26 three-dimensional Luminoth characters and their English alphabet equivalents. They actually work in-game; the Luminoth Lore images are 3-letters that have some relevance to the lore in question. Indeed, the last image in the game's bonus galleries is a very long message in Luminoth script. Eventually, with the exception of one glyph, a French fan managed to fully translate this message, which is a very brief history of Planet Aether: "LIGHT PARADISE / METEOR (unclear) DARK HORDE / ING POSSESS TEMPLE ENERGY / HARSH DIVIDE TWO AETHER".
  • Dark Is Evil: Dark Aether. The planet itself is a darkly-lit dimension whose very atmosphere is toxic to things from the light dimension, while its shadowy Ing inhabitants are Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Dark Reprise: The escape theme that plays after Emperor Ing is defeated is a remix of the escape theme from the original Metroid, which had a heroic tone to it, as if it were saying, "Great job, now get out of there!" The Echoes remix, however, is slower, has a klaxon blaring in the background, includes chanting, and noticeably omits the more heroic-sounding parts of the original song, giving it sense of tension and urgency.
  • Darker and Edgier: Echoes takes place on a ruined planet on the brink of destruction, where three groups on the planet (Luminoth, Space Pirate, and Galactic Federation) have been slaughtered by horrific extra-dimensional monstrosities with demonic traits. While the previous game had Tallon IV — a planet that used to housed a long extinct Chozo civilization, its ecosystem slowly being corrupted, and its resources being ravaged by Space Pirate experimentation and colonization, it was still a bright, tropical world with a nomadic motif to complement Samus' journey. Echoes is Samus' struggle to survive the trials placed by the Ing and Dark Aether to save another species from being extinct, which is taking place right in front of her eyes.
  • Darkest Hour: As mentioned earlier, Aether was quite literally two rooms away from being completely destroyed by the Ing by the time Samus arrived on the planet, with the planet already in ruins thanks to the war and made even worse by all but one of the Light of Aether, the planets substitute for a sun and source of energy, being stolen, and the Luminoth nearly driven to extinction by them. Fortunately, her timely arrival makes things go uphill from there.
  • Dark World: Dark Aether is a dark alternate version of Aether, and holds the bases of the major Ing guardians. The atmosphere is toxic, and there are a few points where using a mechanism will affect something in both worlds.
  • Deader Than Dead: A rather amusing example takes place in Dark Torvus Bog. Throughout the course of the rather long battle against Chykka, the opponent is seemingly defeated in its larval form, but survives by rapidly aging itself into its adult form. Then, when it's defeated in that form, it's revived via Ing possession. When that finally gets taken out, its corpse remains in the area, which is fairly unusual for the series. However, if you scan it, the info basically goes out of its way to assure the player that this trope is in effect;
    "Bioscan complete. Target Chykka has been terminated. Lifesigns are at flatline. No regenerative ability in effect. No evidence of symbiotic corpse possession. Resurrection does not appear likely."
  • Death by Childbirth: According to scan data on one of the sentinel statues, U-Mos's mother died when she gave birth to him.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: All of the charge combos except for the Super Missile are this. The Darkburst consumes 5 missiles (no big deal) and 30 dark ammo (a very big deal). The Sunburst consumes 5 missiles and 30 light ammo (another very big deal). The Sonic Boom consumes 5 missiles, 30 dark ammo, and 30 light ammo, making it the most expensive attack in the game. These attacks are really expensive especially if you have not found any beam ammo expansions because you initially can only hold 50 beam ammo of each type. However, the results if you hit enemies with attacks they are weak against speak for themselves.
  • Death World: In Dark Aether, the air is dangerous, the environment filled with nasty traps and pitfalls, and the native monsters attack on sight. Aether isn't a nice place either. The once-fertile Agon plains are arid desert, the Torvus region is a swamp filled with vicious wildlife, and Sanctuary Fortress is overrun with hostile mechanoids.
  • Demonic Possession: The Ings' most unique trait (and the reason why they are so feared) is their ability to possess other beings, either by directly corrupting their bodies or by reanimating corpses. This allowed them to circumvent their hypersensitivity to light, as they just need to take over a host as soon as they manifest in Light Aether.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Space Pirates. In the first Metroid Prime, Samus came to Tallon IV specifically to track them and Ridley down, they have constructed bases in almost every region, most of the scan logs come from them, and they make up most of the non-animal enemies in that game. In Prime 2, in contrast, Samus came to Aether to rescue the Marines who had tracked down a much smaller group of Pirates, who only have a base in the Agon Wastes and largely disappear after that point. Tellingly, there's not even a boss fight for them. This is also the first game to feature the Pirates without Ridley.
  • Determinator: One of the Luminoth body scans reveals that she stayed at her post to watch out for the Ing, despite the fact that she was starving to death.
  • Developers' Foresight: In any part of the Dark Temple Grounds where the Sky Temple is visible you can look up and see red beams of light stretched from the temple to beyond the horizon. The number of red beams corresponds to how many Energy Controllers are still active on Dark Aether. Once the energy has been recovered from the third temple in the Ing Hive the beams will be gone.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!: Quadraxis, from Ing Hive. This is the reason why it's a Marathon Boss, as dismembering it part-by-part takes a very long time, and the boss won't stop attacking in the meantime. It's only truly defeated when its head module is completely destroyed.
  • Dies Wide Open: Samus finds the captain of the GF Marines dead with his eyes open under his Broken Faceplate. She takes a moment to close his eyes out of respect.
  • Disappears into Light: Dark Samus dies like this after the final battle. However, being blasted into specks of light turns out to be only a momentary setback for her.
  • Disconnected Side Area: There's a portal and blue door right off the central room of Agon Wastes, which nags you as something you missed every time you look at the map. But it's sealed off by an impenetrable gate both in the light and the dark world. It turns out that this particular section of the map is only attainable much later when you have the proper gear, and takes a veeery long roundabout path to get to. Most players even get there via an elevator directly from Torvus Bog followed by a one-way dark world portal.
  • Distress Call: A Galactic Federation warship crash lands and is under attack by a mysterious foe. They send a final SOS before they are wiped out, which doesn't actually get through the atmospheric distortions. The Federation hires Samus to find out why they've gone dark, and she finds the SOS at their crash site, detailing what happened to them.
  • Door to Before: After going up an elevator in the Ing Hive and transporting back to Sanctuary Fortress you go through this dynamo area, letting you save the game. You continue onward to the temple, then backtrack slightly and go a different way. Then you fight the Spider Guardian, and once you've beaten it, you find there is another exit at the top of the battle arena, which leads to a morph ball tube which suddenly ends and drops you — right back at the room just after that first elevator. You don't have to use the portals to get back, as you have the Spider Ball (the lack of which is what made you go into Dark Aether in the first place).
  • Double Jump: Like before, the Space Jump Boots enable Samus to jump twice, from the ground and subsequently once more in the air. However, the game also introduces the Gravity Boost, which not only returns the underwater functionality of the Gravity Suit from other games, but also allows Samus to use her thrusters to do a third jump underwater.
  • Down the Drain: The game features the difficult lower levels of Torvus Bog, which is otherwise a Bubblegloop Swamp level. It's not the first underwater level in a Metroid game, but it might be the first that forces you through half of it without the Gravity Suit (or in this case, the Gravity Boost).
  • Dreadful Dragonfly: Chykka, the boss of Torvus Bog, in its second form. It simply rams you and spawns smaller versions of itself to attack.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: The game has Samus travel between Aether and Dark Aether. The planet was split by the impact of a Phazon meteor, and the inhabitants of Dark Aether started an invasion. Even worse, Aether is in danger of being destroyed because the Ing stole critical technology from the native Luminoth. Samus finds portals made by the Luminoth that let her travel there to set things right. Because Dark Aether isn't as interconnected, each level's Dark World feels like a claustrophobic, twisted splinter of reality. And the atmosphere of Dark Aether will eat your suit, just like everything else there. Fortunately your suit gets an upgrade somewhat early in the game that makes it more resistant to Dark Aether's atmosphere, and another upgrade near the end of the game that makes it completely immune. The two worlds are so intricately connected, that at times opening a gate or moving a platform in one world shows a phantom of it's otherworld counterpart also moving shortly afterwards in turn.
  • Dying as Yourself: The Luminoth warrior D-Isl chooses suicide before the Ing that is attempting to possess him can succeed, according to his last testament.
  • Dynamic Loading: In addition to the elevators and corridors that mask area loads like the first game, Echoes has a "travelling in a Pillar of Light" Warp Whistle that allows a load to the next part while Samus is warping between spots, though that ability doesn't come until near the end of the game (namely when the Light Suit is acquired).
  • Early-Bird Boss: The Alpha Splinter in Great Temple is a giant bug that sits in the center of the circular arena you fight him in and lunges at you. It's harder than it sounds, since his jumps are extremely quick, hard to dodge, and take off sizable chunks of health — and this is a point when you have 99 health and five missiles... if you made it through the five Dark Splinters beforehand without getting hit once. Amusingly, after he Turns Red and becomes the Dark Alpha Splinter, he actually gets easier, because he stops timing his charge and mixes it up with an incredibly-easy-to-dodge projectile attack.
  • Early Game Hell: The early parts of the game are some of the hardest in the series: enemies are way more aggressive and durable than those in other Metroid games, and you're stuck with only the Charge Beam and missiles until halfway through Agon Wastes. And that's before you venture into Dark Aether, which ramps up the difficulty even further with a damaging atmosphere and even more aggressive enemies. After obtaining more beams, the Dark Suit, and Super Missiles, things slowly start to become easier.
  • Eldritch Location: Aether was split into two when it got hit by a Phazon meteor (which, in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, is revealed to be a Leviathan from planet Phaaze): the light world had some catastrophic global changes, such as plains becoming barren or a woodland jungle flooding but the serious issue was the creation of Dark Aether which has an atmosphere so toxic it kills any non-native in seconds (eating through almost any armor/shielding), truly sinister landscapes and the locals are always chaotic evil and really doesn't like light.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The game uses the Light-Dark dichotomy: the Light Beam slaughters Ing and other Darklings, and the Dark Beam is generally very effective against creatures on Light Aether. The Annihilator Beam reunites the properties of both previous beams, allowing it to defeat enemies from both groups.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: The beginning of the second fight with Dark Samus takes place in a moving elevator.
  • Emergency Weapon: The "charged single shot" for ammo-dependent beam weapons. It's basically an out for opening beam-dependent doors when you happen to be out of the respective ammo, not meant as a practical combat alternative.
  • Enemy Scan: Like in the first game, a quick two-second scan of practically anything with the Scan Visor will give you a name, classification, 3D models of its body, strategies for battle, its origins, and anything else you can think of. Scanning your own ship informs you that it contains an onboard computer and encyclopedia, which your suit is wirelessly consulting no matter how far you are from it. It's worth mentioning that the "Pirate Data" you get from scanning Space Pirate terminals is actually encrypted info that your Scan Visor is casually cracking in a matter of seconds. So there's a point in this game when one of said data scans consists of an internal message, a terse warning that "The Hunter has hacked our datanet. All our secrets are now hers. She cannot be allowed to escape. TERMINATE HER ON SIGHT."
  • Eternal Engine: Sanctuary Fortress and the Ing Hive are full of machinery and technologically-based enemies like the Quads and Ingsmashers. The lower sections of Torvus Bog also have this, albeit a lot more run down, and Agon Wastes features the Space Pirate base.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The game starts out with Samus entering a Galactic Federation base, only to find that all of the soldiers she had been tasked with rescuing have been brutally murdered. As she investigates further, all of the corpses suddenly come back to life as undead "Dark Troopers" and start attacking her. They continue to shamble about the base even after she leaves, but they never have a significant appearance later on in the game's plot.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Dark Beam works very similarly to the previous game's Ice Beam. Both beams have the arm cannon configure itself to become taller (rather than wider for Wave and Light or longer for Plasma and Annihilator), they have a lower fire rate and projectile speed than any other beam in their respective games, and charge shots with both beams will generally freeze enemies and make them vulnerable to being shattered with a single missile.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Echoes has scans that reveal the Space Pirates are having a hell of a time dealing with random Ing raids and Dark Samus. And Dark Samus isn't exactly friendly with the Ing, either, as seen in Sanctuary Fortress when she fights two Ing-possessed pirate troopers.
  • Eye Open: After saving, there's a brief closeup of Samus opening her eyes.
  • Feed It a Bomb: Two examples:
    • Amorbis is damaged when Samus lays a bomb inside it.
    • Feeding the Alpha Blogg a Darkburst when it is charging at you with its mouth open will cause it to lose 50% of its health.
  • Fighting from the Inside: In a room in Temple Grounds, you can find the last testament of a Luminoth possessed by an Ing, a warrior who remains Defiant to the End.
    D-Isl's Testament: It is inside me. I feel it spreading, clawing at my will, tearing at my thoughts. It moves me against my will, to this cavern. Here it will end. I do not wish this, do not want my body to become a weapon for the Ing within me. It hates. It demands obedience. I will fight to the end. I shall self-terminate before I will be a pawn of a filthy Ing.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The second form of the Emperor Ing requires the use of the Morph Ball and the Power Bombs to gradually break the carapace of the chrysalis. The third and final form subtly changes colour to reveal its weakness to either the Dark Beam or Light Beam (and by extension their Super Missile forms), though the Annihilator Beam (which uses the ammunition of the other two specialized Beams) will hurt it in both situations.
  • Final Solution: The Energy Transfer Module was this for the Luminoth; a means of exterminating the Ing by draining the Light of Aether sustaining Dark Aether. They only came to this solution after realizing that they lacked the numbers to face the Ing in a protracted war. Unfortunately, the Ing managed to steal the Transfer Module and decided to use it destroy Aether instead.
  • Foreshadowing: You may notice during your battles against Dark Samus that she actually takes more damage from the Dark Beam, and that she is listed under "Offworld" in her Logbook entries. These are hints that she does not originate from Dark Aether, and set up the reveal that she is the new form of Metroid Prime, which is only seen very briefly at the end of the previous game.
  • Forgets to Eat: As a sign of just how desperate the Luminoth were during their war with the Ing prior to the events of the game, you come across the emaciated corpse of a deceased Luminoth warrior; scans reveal that said warrior refused to abandon her post despite the fact that she was starving to death.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: One of the ten keys needed to access the Sky Temple is already in its lock thanks to the efforts of a long-deceased Luminoth warrior, so Samus only needs to find nine. In turn, one of those nine keys lies close to its required destination, needing little effort to find it; namely, its location is the Dark World version of Samus's landing site.
  • Freeze Ray: In the absence of the Ice Beam, the game has a Palette Swap standing in for it called the Dark Beam (which only freezes with charged shots).
  • From a Single Cell: The second scan of Dark Samus says that she cannot be destroyed bar "total atomic disruption".
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • You start the game finding out the Galactic Federation team you were sent to rescue was completely massacred by the local wildlife. Then you get nearly all your gear stolen thanks to a bunch of demonic creatures and an evil doppelganger. Then find out the local wildlife was possessed by an army of those evil creatures, and that they've nearly driven the planets race, the Luminoth, to extinction, having already laid waste to the once lush world, and are nearly close to completely destroying the entire planet altogether.
    • The Luminoth lore gives its own perspective on this; first, their attempt to try and stop the "stellar object" (a Leviathan Seed) from landing on the planet failing miserably. The "object" inexplicably vanished, but still decimated the planet. The plains of Agon was reduced to a desert wasteland, and the forest of Torvus was flooded into a bog, and the land and sky alike was scorched and darkened. Then they found out half of their planetary energy was gone, leaving the planet unstable. And then the Ing started traveling into their dimension, and everything went to hell in a handbag from there. The Luminoth quickly discovered they were completely outnumbered and outmatched by the Ing hordes, and that the Ing had in fact stolen the lost half of their planetary energy, and were not content until they had the rest. Despite efforts to make weapons to fight them and venture through Dark Aether to recover the stolen planetary energy, in addition to making shielding to protect them from Ing Possession and the Dark worlds toxic atmosphere, their efforts failed miserably, and they were eventually overwhelmed and nearly driven to extinction. And then they found out the technology they planned to use to recover their lost planetary energy, the Energy Transfer Module, was stolen and being used against them, with all but one of their sources of power being taken by the Ing. By the time Samus arrived, the surviving Luminoth had gone into stasis, with only U-Mos awake and ready to go down fighting preventing the last bit of Planetary Energy from being stolen.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • You can render the game Unwinnable by triggering the floaty-jump glitch during the fight with Chykka, then using your glitched super-jump to leave the room. When you return, Chykka is gone, and he's taken the Dark Visor with him.
    • Some areas require you to shoot several sonic locks. Shooting a lock, leaving the room, and returning will reset the counter but not the switches. In one case, located within the Main Research room in Sanctuary late in the game, doing this ends the game right there.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the beginning of the game, most of Samus' gear is stolen by the Ing. Among the gear stolen are the Grapple Beam and Power Bombs, but the game does not let you use them like the rest before the game takes them from use and they don't show up in the inventory menu.
  • Going to Give It More Energy:
    • The Dark Beam was conceived to be effective against Ing by overloading them with dark energy. It didn't work, so the Luminoth then designed the Light Beam which was much more effective on their enemies the Ing.
    • Ironically, the Phazon-powered beam shots do on Dark Samus, despite her perennial hunger for more Phazon. By the final encounter her body is already starting to deteriorate due to Phazon oversaturation, and a makeshift Phazon charged shot destroys her body temporarily.
  • Great Offscreen War: The backstory, readable through the scannable lore entries, covers the 50-year war between the Luminoth and the Ing. By the time Samus Aran lands on Aether, the surviving Luminoth are holed up in the Great Temple waiting for a miracle to beat back the Ing, and dead Luminoth are all over the place.
  • Grey Goo: The Ingstorm, a massive collection of small living particles that can corrode even the toughest metals when they swarm in large numbers.
  • Grimy Water: You're harmed by the purple-colored water in Dark Aether, where everything is lethal.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Neither the Ing nor the Luminoth will be satisfied until their entire world is removed from existence. Samus has no qualms about deliberately engineering the destruction of Dark Aether, and though she and the Luminoth are aware that the Ing are sentient, they're just too gosh darn malevolent to let be.
  • Hack Your Enemy:
    • The Rezbit enemy is very dangerous, partly because it can do this. If Samus is hit by its virus attack, her suit will shut down and it has to be rebooted, leaving Samus helpless for a moment.
    • In multiplayer, one of the powerups you can get allows you to hack your opponent using the scan visor. This results in them taking continuous damage and a fuzzy screen for a short time.
  • Hard Mode Perks: In Hard Mode, safe zones heal damage twice as quickly to counteract the increased damage you'll be taking.
  • A Head at Each End: Agon Wastes features the Sandigger, a worm enemy whose heads can only be damaged when either is active.
  • Hellgate: Inverted. The Ing themselves don't use the portals to Dark Aether, as they can't survive on Aether in their normal forms; they appear as mist that possesses creatures instead. Some of the portals appeared spontaneously, and some were created by the Luminoth so that they (and eventually Samus) could return the favor. However, an optional combination weapon known as Darkburst basically creates a portal to somewhere even worse than Dark Aether; it's a mobile portal that attempts to draw in everything that comes close to it.
  • Helpful Mook: Lightbringers act as mobile Safe Zones in Dark Aether.
  • He Was Right There All Along:
    • Many bosses make their entrances this way: The Chykka boss won't attack until you shoot its cocoon and drop it into the water. The Alpha Blogg mercifully can't reach you until you've visited the room just beyond it. Finally, the Ingsmasher waits in a storage rack until you approach, just like the Elite Pirates.
    • The Jump Guardian actually inverts this; as you enter the room, he's right where he'll be when the cutscene starts. He's invisible, but you can still hit him.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The Ing are the villains for most of the game, with the player occasionally running into the mysterious Dark Samus. As it turns out, the Ing were being used by Dark Samus, who turns out to be Metroid Prime, the final boss of the first game.
  • Hub Level: The Luminoth specifically built the Great Temple at the center of their other three dwelling areas on Aether, hence, the hub area (Temple Grounds). Its Dark World equivalent is the Sky Temple Grounds, though it averts the trope as the other Dark Aether areas are not directly connected to it.
  • Humongous Mecha: Quadraxis, an enormous Quad and possibly the largest foe Samus has ever faced.
  • Hunter of Monsters: The Space Pirates react to the appearance of Dark Samus by referring to a "Dark Hunter." Hilarious to read at first, as they express their horror at being hounded by two Hunters.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: This game marks the debut of Dark Samus, one of the most iconic antagonists in the Metroid series alongside Ridley and Mother Brain. The first Metroid Prime only features her precursory incarnation, the eponymous Metroid Prime). Putting it into perspective, this is the seventh game in the series (and chronologically the fourth).
  • Implacable Man: Dark Samus, a near unkillable doppelganger of Samus who thrives on Phazon and can come back From a Single Cell. Best displayed after beating her near the end of this game, where she uses the last strength she has left to crawl towards Samus and attempt to grab her for one last attack before collapsing, eerily similar to another Implacable Man. Then she returns in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and is more dangerous than ever.
  • The Immune: As soon as Samus gets the Energy Transfer Module, she becomes immune to Ing possession. Fortunately, the Ing don't consider her to be worth possessing until after she has the module, when she begins actively hunting them down and destroying them.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Luminoth are a race of moth-like people. Their archnemeses the Ing are also fairly insect-like, in a Lovecraftian sort of way at least.
  • Instant-Win Condition: While usually played straight with the bosses, two of them take place in hazardous areas of Dark Aether where there's no safe zone to recharge in, making it possible to kill the difficult Boost Guardian and then die to the toxic atmosphere afterwards.
  • Interface Screw: Rezbits in the Sanctuary Fortress can hack Samus' power suit, causing a massive loss of frame rate, code errors on the HUD, and inability to fire the arm cannon. A special button sequence reboots the power suit, which takes a second but otherwise has no long term effects.
  • Interface Spoiler: Scanning Dark Samus in the first fight labels her as "Dark Samus 1", which gives away the fact you will fight her more than once.
  • Invisible Block: There are blocks you could only see with the Dark Visor, and platforms you can only hear (you can later find and use the Echo Visor to echolocate stuff).
  • Ironic Name: The Ingsmashers. Their name was accurate for a while until they were corrupted, many now serving or even acting as hosts for the Ing they're supposed to be smashing.
  • Jet Pack: The Gravity Boost is a powerup that lets you rise up while underwater for a limited time. It doesn't work on land, so it's an underwater-only jetpack.
  • Jungle Japes: Torvus Bog was once a forest; but after the Phazon meteor impact 50 years ago, flooded the region and turned it into a swampy marshland.
  • King Mook: Most bosses, including all of the item guardians, are essentially either a really strong Warrior Ing or a combination between a species native to Aether, the Ing possessing it, and (optionally) one of Samus's weapons. The Spider Guardian, for example, is an Ing-possessed Pillbug that has been enhanced with magnetic powers and control over the railway systems due to Samus's Spider Ball. The Caretaker Class Drone, Dark Samus, and Chykka are the only exceptions.
  • Last Disc Magic:
    • Defeating Quadraxis grants you the final beam weapon, the Annihilator Beam. It homes in on targets without requiring lock-on, is equally effective against both Light and Dark enemies (but not as powerful against them as the Dark Beam or Light Beam), fires as fast as the Power Beam, will super-charge Light Crystals in Dark Aether so that Ing and Ing-possessed creatures will become attracted to them and kill themselves entering the safe area, and allows you to interact with the Echo Key Beam systems.
    • Returning the Light of Aether from the three temples grants you the Light Suit, which makes you immune to the damaging effects of Dark Aether's atmosphere, dark water, and Ingstorm, and allows you to teleport between the four temples via the Light Shafts in the Energy Controller rooms as well as various other light beams that lead to various item expansions.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • The Ing Webtrap scan is very easy to miss, as it's a special door lock that only appears during a single battle sequence in Dark Agon Wastes. Once the battle is over, the Webtrap vanishes and never appears again.
    • The Webling obstacles only appear in one hallway and do not respawn, ever. It's doubly bad because they're very similar-looking to a web-like obstacle found earlier that doesn't count for the logbook, so if you scanned one you might think you don't need to scan the other and will miss it.
    • The Caretaker Drone in Sanctuary Fortress looks just like all of the other background scenery in the area. Only one exists in the game, and it can only be scanned before the battle as it is fought entirely in morph ball form, and explodes after being defeated.
  • Late to the Tragedy: The game shows Samus landing on Aether in search of a lost platoon of Federation Marines; you find them all dead. You then have to single-handedly reverse the outcome of a just-completed war that had been going on for at least the past several decades.
  • Law of Alien Names: The Luminoth have names like U-Mos, A-Kul, and other variations that involve a letter, dash, then three more letters. There is also U-Mos' mother V-Mos, so the second part might be like a last name.
  • Lead the Target:
    • The Alpha Splinter is actually more difficult before being possessed by the Ing, due to employing this tactic. It makes dodging its lunges tricky unless you get more creative in your dodging.
    • The fight with the Power Bomb Guardian involves navigating along Spider Ball tracks to activate multiple Bomb Slots. It tries to throw its Power Bombs ahead of Samus to better its chances of dislodging her from the tracks.
  • The Legions of Hell: The Ing are highly reminiscent of this, despite being "merely" transdimensional alien beings. They come from Dark Aether, a dimension that kills any "light creature" (anything that is not Ing) almost insantly, possess creatures to suit their needs, and are repelled by "sacred" light.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: The game has light and dark as a major theme. The planet Aether has been split in two, with a Dark World copy in another dimension. Over the course of the game, Samus travels between the two dimensions encountering light and dark enemies and obtaining light and dark beam weapons (which later combine into the Annihilator Beam), light and dark suits, etc.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Shooting an enemy with an Entangler shot (charged Dark Beam) and then a missile will instantly kill it, just like most ice-based weapons in the series.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Defeating the Emperor Ing and retrieving the last of Dark Aether's energy causes Dark Aether to collapse, prompting a self-destruct sequence. Thought technically, its Samus' actions after the Emperor Ing's death that causes the planet to collapse. And you have to fight Dark Samus one last time during the countdown.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: Dark Samus appears three times during the game and, despite initial impressions, it isn't affiliated with the Ing at all (though Dark Samus certainly wasn't in a rush to stop the Ing from stealing her original counterpart's upgrades; hell, she even attacks a group of Ing-possessed Space Pirates just before the two clash in the Aerie Access in Sanctuary Fortress). Also, a few cases of hostile wildlife, especially the Alpha Blog, which is never possessed by the Ing.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The title screen theme of the game. If you just press Start when the titles come up, the only time you'll hear it it is an excerpt during the final cutscene (the credits play the menu theme instead).
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Boost Guardian. The thing ricochets around the tiny arena it's in like a pinball. It's completely impossible to predict where it's gonna be next, and you're constantly taking damage from being in the Dark World. In addition, the health refills for the fight are located in four pillars around the room, which can only be destroyed by the boss. Beating it requires that it not hit you excessively, and that it break open the pillars when you need health refills rather than breaking them all right away and wasting the health pickups.
  • Macabre Moth Motif: Inverted. Samus is trying to save a light-loving moth-like alien race called the Luminoth, who are implied to have connections to the Chozo, from the Ing.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: A mild example with the Seeker Missile powerup, which allows Samus to fire five missiles at once, each onto a different targeted spot (but all of them following parallel paths).
  • Mad Bomber: There are two bosses with this behavior: Bomb Guardian (which attacks Samus with her own Morph Ball Bombs) and Power Bomb Guardian (which attacks with Power Bombs). They received these powerups from the Ings that stole Samus's gear early in the game, and love spamming them during battle.
  • Made of Iron: Dark Samus is incredibly resilient, appearing three times intact throughout the game, each time stronger than the last, and survives all three of them. The scan of it during the second fight reveals that nothing short of total atomic disruption could destroy it.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: You get your first taste of how powerful the Ing and Dark Samus are when you reach the Space Pirate outpost, and read their logs about how they are getting annihilated by them.
  • Marathon Boss: A lot of bosses in the game are given ridiculous longevity (large amounts of HP and multiple phases), as well as the fun bonus of them being Puzzle Bosses. Adding to it is that most of them are fought in an environment that constantly drains your energy. Note that they are long battles by action game standards, as they are still much shorter than many other of the examples in this page. Special mention goes to the final bosses. The first one has multiple phases, all of which are long endurance matches (there was an additional phase that was discarded during development). Meanwhile, the second is timed and you have to use an almost Guide Dang It!-y trick to beat it; fortunately, losing just causes you to go back to the beginning of the second boss. Another notable example is Chykka, which takes a particularly long time. Dark World boss fights do have the light crystals, which slowly heal you, so they might have felt justified in that you have a theoretically infinite supply of health.
  • Marathon Level: There are some sequences which Save-Game Limits kick in (save - walk a long distance - face a boss - walk some more - save again), most memorably before the Alpha Blogg and Spider Guardian fights.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The mechanoids in Sanctuary Fortress were originally built by the Luminoth to defeat the Ing, but ended up turning against their own creators due to the influence of Dark Aether. Quads and Rezbits are the most common mooks.
  • Mechanical Monster: Quadraxis, the King Mook of the Quads, is a gigantic quadrupedal automaton that serves as the boss of Ing Hive (the Dark World version of Sanctuary Fortress); it was originally a benign creation by the Luminoth, until the Ing corrupted it with the power of Dark Aether. There's also the Caretaker Class Drone, a Mini-Boss found earlier in Sanctuary Fortress itself, at the start of a path leading to the Screw Attack.
  • Mêlée à Trois: There are numerous factions battling on Aether at the time the game takes place. Samus, the Federation Marines and the Luminoth are essentially on friendly terms, but the Ing, Dark Samus and the Space Pirates all have their own agenda.
  • Mercy Kill: In the manga, a surviving Federation gunman considers this as such when Samus defeats some of the other platoon members possessed by Ing.
  • Metropolis Level: Sanctuary Fortress is the center of a massive fortified city on a cliff located at the site of where the Luminoth first settled the planet Aether. While the place is devoid of Luminoth in the game's present due to them either being killed by the Ing or going into protective cryosleep in the Great Temple, the robots and other machinery they built still function, and Samus must fight the former and manipulate or traverse the latter as she navigates the area. The lower half of the skybox texture also features an even larger grid-based city that the player doesn't visit.
  • Mini-Boss: Both main bosses and mini-bosses have a healthbar, unlike in the first game; however, the Energy Controller guardians are often considered to be main bosses and the item guardians mini-bosses (although in this case some of the most diffcult fights are against item guardians). The Energy Controller guardians further stand out as main bosses for having multiple phases during battle and having many scannable items for the Scan Visor; in comparison, even the most powerful item guardians only require a conceptually simpler strategy, so at best they're only harder than the bosses of the first game. Dark Samus stands out for inverting Degraded Boss: She's fought as a miniboss in Agon Wastes and again in Sanctuary Fortress, but is then challenged as the Final Boss at the end.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The game has it twice before boss battles with Dark Samus.
  • Mirror World: Dark Aether is a twisted, corrosive version of Aether, albeit occupying an alternate dimension. The layout and architecture is nearly identical in both dimensions, and the biomes are also similar (though much more polluted in Dark Aether). However, whereas Aether is inhabited by the friendly Luminoth, Dark Aether is inhabited by the aggresive Ing, and the latter world's atmosphere is very harmful for anyone who wasn't born there.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: The split-screen deathmatch mode (not found in either Prime or Corruption) is very much an afterthought, only notable for pioneering the gameplay expanded on in Metroid Prime: Hunters' online multiplayer. An interview with a developer says the multiplayer was originally planned to be much bigger including wallgrabbing and the ability to play as a Space Pirate. He admits in the final game, multiplayer was an afterthought and probably should've been cut.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: The core gameplay is virtually unchanged from the first game, aside from making game progression more linear and having a little more emphasis on story. The only significant gameplay changes are the addition of the Light World/Dark World concept, and having to use ammo for your other beam weapons.
  • Monster Progenitor: The Emperor Ing. Scan logs will tell you that it "is the strongest Ing in the horde, the alpha and the omega".
  • Monstrous Humanoid: Dark Samus, whose humanoid form makes a debut in this game, and resembles a black, biomechanical version of Samus Aran. "She" began as the titular Metroid Prime, a Metroid mutated by prolonged exposure to Phazon and prophesied by the Chozo as the Worm. Following its defeat at the hands of Samus, it merged with her Phazon Suit and came back as a twisted doppelganger bent on spreading Phazon throughout the universe and, in this game's case, other dimensions.
  • Mook Horror Show: The Space Pirates' recordings are even more tragilarious than in the first game, because the pirates on Aether are already under attack by a "Dark Hunter," and then... "Another Hunter, this wearing the traditional colors of Samus Aran, made planetfall today. Horrific as it may sound, there are TWO of them now."
  • Multiplayer-Only Item: Death ball is a temporary powerup that gives the Morph Ball an "Instant Death" Radius similar to the Hyper Ball from Metroid Prime Pinball. The classic Super Missiles are also available, allowing super missiles to be rapidly fired.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The game effectively starts with one; the Luminoth have all but been nearly exterminated by the Ing and Aether is on the verge of complete destruction by the time Samus arrives. In fact, the Ing are practically on the front doorstep of where the last surviving Luminoth are holed up by the time Samus fights the Alpha Splinter and it's by pure dumb chance that the Ing carrying the Energy Transfer Module possesses the Alpha Splinter and engages Samus. Had Samus never investigated the lost Federation squadron (or if the Dark Alpha Splinter kills her in the following battle), they would've very well wiped Aether off the map and replaced it with their own twisted twin.
  • Nemesis Magnet: After being defeated by Samus as the Metroid Prime, Dark Samus began to stalk her throughout Dark Aether, trying to kill Samus every time they met. Their feud eventually became much more personal when Dark Samus corrupts Samus' bounty hunter friends, forcing them to fight her and killing them off when they failed.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If the Pirates weren't on Aether looking for Phazon, Samus would never have wound up there herself.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: During the game's prologue, there are human corpses reanimated by the Ing, and begin attacking Samus when she approaches them. They're slow, however, so it's not too difficult to dispatch them.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: The ironically named Dark Visor functions like an X-Ray Visor: On top of revealing items and creatures trapped in a transdimensional warp, it also makes darkly lit rooms easier to navigate.
  • Nintendo Hard: Between more emphasis being placed on combat and boss fights, and the latter being much more frequent and difficult than the first game, having to use an ammo system for your other beam weapons, and a huge chunk of the game being spent in another dimension where you constantly take damage when you step out the safe zones, the game really raised the stakes in difficulty.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty: The unlockable Hard Mode causes Dark Aether's air to damage you twice as fast, but the safe zone crystals heal you twice as fast, too. This little fact makes much of the Dark Aether segments easier.
  • Noob Cave: The game has the caves encountered early in the game, which are full of simple puzzles and harmless enemies in the form of Worker Splinters. Well, until the Dark Troopers attack, and even they are easy to beat. Then most of your equipment is stolen.
  • Nostalgia Level: While most of the multiplayer maps are designed based on environments from this game, a few of them are designed based on environments from the first Metroid Prime- Sidehopper Station evokes the Space Pirate Frigate (it's even in orbit around Tallon IV), Pipeline is based on Phendrana Drifts, and the Shooting Gallery is based on the Chozo Ruins.
  • Not Completely Useless:
    • Like in the previous game, the Missile combos in this game are generally useless... except that the Sonic Boom is the fastest way to kill the swarms of flying creatures the Emperor Ing generates in its final form and obtain a truckload of pickups. In fact, one of the Retro programmers outright said this was the sole purpose they designed the Sonic Boom for. Also, the Darkburst takes 50% of the health of the Alpha Blogg (one of the hardest bosses in the game) if you hit its opened mouth with one.
    • The hazard proximity bar in the HUD is generally considered a pointless aesthetic touch. But during certain boss fights like the Omega Pirate in the first game and Dark Samus 1 and Emperor Ing in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, it becomes incredibly useful for letting you know when you're dangerously close to a pool of Phazon, for example, since you can't see where you're strafing or backing away while locked on to the boss.
    • Seeker Missiles are generally ignored aside from opening certain doors. However they turn out to be exceedingly useful for taking out the tentacles of Emperor Ing's first form.
  • Oddball in the Series: Not counting the handheld Prime spin-offs (as two of them feature plenty of FPS elements and are focused on multiplayer, while the other one is a pinball game), this game is the oddball of the Prime saga. It is the only entry to have an ammunition system for beam weapons, makes uses of a dual world mechanic more inline with fellow Nintendo franchise The Legend of Zelda, and is one of the very few Metroid games where Ridley is absent. In fact, the antagonistic role of the Space Pirates and the Metroids is largely overshadowed by the Ing, and even Phazon — the main plot point of the original trilogy — plays a secondary role.
  • Odd Name Out: The Dark World counterparts of Temple Grounds, Agon Wastes, Torvus Bog, and Sanctuary Fortress are respectively Sky Temple Grounds, Dark Agon Wastes, Dark Torvus Bog, and Ing Hive. The last one has its name because it's where the Ing proliferate the most.
  • Oh, Crap!: Done hilariously where you can find Pirate logs detailing an ill-fated expedition. The logs end with them panicking about the destroyed stealth field and two Samuses.
    Pirate Log: Horrific as it may sound, there are two of them now. We are bracing for a new assault.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Emperor Ing goes through two very bizarre alternate forms during the battle against it, with the second form being a cocoon for his final form. Also, the larval Chykka metamorphoses into its dragonfly-like adult form midway into the fight. Dark Samus has also undergone a serious mutation as a result of chowing down on too much Phazon and is nigh invulnerable.
    • Any time an enemy gets controlled by an Ing mid-fight (the Alpha Sand-Digger and Alpha Splinter are prime examples).
  • Optional Boss: After restoring the planetary energy to the Agon Wastes' temple, you can encounter a Dark Missile Trooper at the Temple Grounds (it's in Hive Chamber A near Samus' ship). Beating it grants you a Missile Expansion.
  • Orbiting Particle Shield: The weak point of the Emperor Ing's first form is also protected by a rotating barrier.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The Ing were born from an alternate, "Dark" plane of reality, and seek to destroy the light one. They can't survive in the light plane, so they possess various creatures in order to carry out their goals. Light-based weaponry is very effective against them. In their standard forms, they look like monstrous spiders or tentacles, and they can transform into an amorphous sludgy puddle to escape or evade attacks. They are malevolent, animalistic, and pose a threat to anyone who gets in their way. They are definitely aliens, but they are also demons in all but name.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The game's plot is mainly about the conflict between the Luminoth and Ing for control of the planet Aether, with Samus and the Space Pirates showing up to the planet to take sides, Samus by aiding the Luminoth and the Space Pirates by falling under Ing possession to aid the Ing against their will. And then there is Dark Samus, who shows up to the planet for the sole purpose of feeding off of the Phazon there and attacking everything that gets in her way, Samus and Space Pirates alike. Despite having nothing to do with the Ing and their conquest of the planet, Dark Samus still manages to prove herself as a major hindrance to Samus, and by extension the Luminoth, by taking away all of her power-ups, fighting her directly on multiple occasions, destroying the easiest routes for Samus to take, and finally becoming the Final Boss, attacking Samus one last time after she has defeated the Emperor Ing. With her Phazon powers and stolen abilities from Samus, she manages to bring a whole new challenge to Samus beyond what the Ing can do.
  • Paint It Black: EVERY Ing-possessed enemy. Be they bugs, bad guys, or even robots, if an Ing's in charge, expect black-and-purple enemies, maybe with Spikes of Villainy.
  • Palette Swap:
    • The Mechlopses in this game are reskins of the Triclopses in Metroid Prime.
    • The game uses reskins to create "Dark" versions of many enemies.
    • In a somewhat odd aversion, the Bombus from Prime were reused as Luminoth drones in Echoes with no changes to appearance and only the most minor alterations to activity.
    • Even the weapons get this; the Ice Beam and Plasma Beam in Prime show up in Echoes slightly reskinned as the Dark Beam and Light Beam, respectively. The scan for the Metroids in Echoes even mentions that they're vulnerable to the "freezing effects" of the Dark Beam.
  • Parasite Zombie: Samus' first encounter with the Ing is through the Dark Troopers, which are deceased GF Marines possessed by Ing. They're slow, jerky, and poor shots.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Besides all boss scans, some scans have a limited time available:
    • A-Kul's Clues cannot be scanned after returning all the Sky Temple Keys.
    • Dark Quads only appear twice: on the first visit to Sanctuary Temple and the battle against Quadraxis.
    • The Ing Webtrap appears during a single battle sequence as a door lock.
    • Lightbringers disappear once the Dark Beam is acquired.
    • Samus's Gunship goes into repairs after restoring energy to Agon Controller. All following scans do not count for the logbook.
    • Shredders stop appearing after restoring energy to Torvus Controller. Dark Shredders only appear in the first phase of the Chykka boss battle.
    • Vigilance Class Turrets only count as a logbook scan when Space Pirates man them. This only occurs on the first visit to Central Mining Station.
    • There are a limited number of Ingsmasher enemies to scan in the Sanctuary Fortress, as they start out as set props that do not respawn after being defeated. Their Dark variety, on the other hand, does have a respawning member in the Hive Reactor.
    • The Growler Class Turret only appears once in the first visit to the Trooper Security Station, and does not respawn when destroyed.
  • Pillar of Light: Restoring the energy to all four temples and gaining the Light Suit allows Samus to teleport between the temples by riding their Pillars of Light. You also use one to enter the final level.
  • Pivotal Boss: Amorbis in Dark Agon Wastes can upgrade into one, and Emperor Ing stays on the center of its battlefield during the first two phases.
  • Player Death Is Dramatic: The game shows Samus going into cardiac arrest and then her heart stops completely. Samus' death in Morph Ball form was made less dramatic by having the ball explode (sans the massive explosion previously) and break apart into fragments like a grenade.
  • Plot Coupon: First the three Dark Temple Keys that open the gate to each of the individual temples located in the main regions of Dark Aether, and then the nine Sky Temple Keys that grant access to the central temple located hundreds of meters above Sky Temple Grounds.
  • Portmanteau: The Luminoth. Their name is a combination of luminous and moth.
  • Possessing a Dead Body: At the start of the game, a group of Ing possess dead Galactic Federation soldiers and use them to attack Samus. Unlike the powerful "Darklings" seen in most of the game (created when an Ing possesses a living creature), the soldiers' movements are stiff and zombie-like.
  • Possession Burnout: The Body Snatcher race known as the Ing usually possess hosts with little trouble, though it is apparently a power that requires a little practice according to Samus's scan notes. Younger Ing sometimes form imperfect possessions that cause permanent damage to the host form. Ing can also possess fresh corpses, but the bodies are still dead so they are slow and zombie-like. If inexperienced Ing bite off more than they can chew and try to possess powerful creatures, the creature can reject them or even kill them from within. The Space Pirates figured this out and began to look into how to prevent possession, though it mainly devolved into Unfriendly Fire or suicide.
  • Power Copying: Samus gets a missile expansion from the Dark Missile Trooper. The Ing item guardians are a double example; after they steal your equipment at the beginning, you can see them using it when they fight you, then you kill them to get it back.
  • Power Up Letdown: The game, whose predecessor suffered from this with the elemental Super Missile upgrades, has similar problems with the Darkburst, Sunburst, and Sonic Boom. However, it does a slightly better job at making them Not Completely Useless - the Darkburst does ludicrous amounts of damage to Dark Samus (since Dark Samus is technically a "light world" creature), and the Sonic Boom can take off nearly half of the final boss's health with a single shot if the whole blast connects. The Sunburst is still fairly useless though, simply due to its extremely slow firing speed and ammo consumption.
  • Pre-Final Boss: During the endgame, Samus defeats the Emperor Ing before facing off against Dark Samus for the last time.
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel: The game is noticeably bigger and longer than its predecessor, Metroid Prime (and is also longer than the succeeding Metroid Prime 3: Corruption). Not only are the main regions of Aether larger and more maze-like than those of Tallon IV, but the majority of individual rooms and areas have each their own equivalent in Dark Aether, so you have to explore almost twice as much terrain as you did in the first adventure. The boss battles are much longer as well, and there's a larger amount of collectibles (114, when combining the total of 18 Keys used to open the temples of Dark Aether with the 96 standard pickupsnote ) as well as a more extensive catalogue of scannable log entries.
  • Pupating Peril: The Chykka boss starts of as a larval monster that swims around the arena before pupating into a wasp-like flyer. Similarly, the Emperor Ing starts off as a stationary creature resembling an Inglet, seals itself into a spherical cocoon that Samus must bust open, and then emerges as a giant version of the Warrior Ing.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Ing are able to possess other creatures, even if they are deceased or artificial. Possessed creatures become much stronger and allow the Ing to interact with Light Aether, but the Ing will die if their vessel is destroyed.
  • Purple Is the New Black: The Ing, dark energy, and many things on Dark Aether are typically colored a sinister dark purple. Most Ing models are black but purple is used to highlight most of their features. In the official art blue is use on them instead.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: In the manga, the first chapter has Space Pirates attacking a freighter. Samus arrives and kills them all, but the last Pirate takes an old man and a young boy hostage. The Pirate demands that Samus lower her weapon. She refuses. The old man then chimes in and yells at her to do the same, saying that she's endangering their lives. Samus still refuses, and calmly explains to the hostages that if she does lower her weapon, the Pirate will kill them anyway. The Pirate then ends up throwing his hostages at Samus, intending to use his scythe blade to kill all three at once, but in an example of perfect timing, Samus grabs the boy and throws him further up and simultaneously jumps off of the old man, knocking him to the ground. The Pirate's swing misses everyone, and Samus shoots him in midair and catches the boy before the Pirate's corpse even hits the ground.
  • Recurring Boss: Dark Samus shows up for a battle three times over the course of the game.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: After draining the planetary energy from a region of Dark Aether, the sky turns bright red instead of the normal dark purple hue. This is just to show that the region has been drained of energy and therefore destabilized by the loss of its energy. It is not that a threat to Samus looms, though.
  • Required Secondary Powers: The Luminoth tried to weaponize the toxic nature of "Dark Aether" against the Ing... except they are perfectly fine in their environment so the weapon did nothing to them. However the Ing have the opposite problem with our world (so a light gun was invented) and as such the Ing can't enter "Light Aether". To work around this they can (and often do) possess corpses, machines and animals to do the attacking for them.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: The Dark Beam this effect on targets when charged, looking like ice shrapnels (it makes sense, since the beam was programmed with the Ice Beam from the first Prime as a basis).
  • Ring Menu: The game has a variation in which menu options are displayed emanating from a central node, and the user rotates the menu in three dimensions to bring one node to the front.
  • Rival Final Boss: After Samus kills the Emperor Ing and so causes the destruction of Dark Aether, the final battle is a rematch against Dark Samus while the planet around them collapses.
  • Rogue Planet: Aether is a rogue planet that does not orbit a star. Instead, light and heat are provided to its surface inhabitants by a mysterious native energy referred to as "the Light of Aether".
  • Rule of Three: Three standards Dark Temples guarding parts of Aether's light, and each of them requiring three Dark Temple Keys. The Sky Temple, being the final area and guarding the biggest piece of Aether's light, requires nine (3x3) Sky Temple Keys, and the Emperor Ing is fought in three phases. Lastly, Dark Samus is fought a total of three times over the course of the adventure.
  • Sand Worm: The Sandiggers, as well as the MUCH larger Amorbis (their King Mook), are caterpillar-like worms that burrow and swim through the sand, leaping at Samus to attack.
  • See-Thru Specs: The Dark Visor allows Samus to see objects and elements that are either invisible, or cross-dimensional (between the Light and Dark Worlds).
  • Send in the Search Team: This is the reason Samus is dispatched to Aether: the Federation lost contact with the GFS Tyr, a ship full of Marines sent to the planet, and needed someone to investigate. By the time Samus gets there, all of the Federation troops are dead, their corpses occasionally possessed and puppeteered by the Ing.
  • Sequence Breaking: Continuing a series tradition, Echoes has many ways of doing this in the original release (most of these were fixed in the Trilogy port):
    • Using the infinite boost glitch, Samus can avoid losing the starting items that would normally be stolen by the Ing. However, if Samus gains several items and then re-enters the room where she first sees Dark Samus, she will not only lose the items stated she lost, but also any upgrades (i.e., Dark Suit, Light Beam, etc.) she acquires. Also, although Samus appears to have the Grapple Beam and Power Bombs stolen, she does not have them at the start of the game. This also lets the player gain access to Torvus through the Half-Pipe located in the Agon.
    • Using a carefully executed Bomb Jump and Screw Attack, Samus is able to completely bypass getting the keys to the Hive Temple.
    • Early Power Bombs via a series of difficult jumps in the Temple Grounds. When used on bosses not designed for it, the effects can range from a one-hit kill (Boost Guardian) to no effect at all (Amorbis)
    • By "Ghetto Jumping" in the Abandoned Base, the player can enter the Torvus Bog and clear most of the game without the Dark Suit. This can still be performed in the Metroid Prime Trilogy.
    • In Watch Station Access, on the side connecting to the Main Gyro Chamber, the player can reach the other side of the room without the Grapple Beam by morphing off of the platform and subsequently unmorphing while Samus is blocked by the platform, then space jumping to the other half of the pit. This will confuse the game and respawn Samus on the far side of the pit, allowing her to get the Energy Tank early, and if combined with the trick below, can let the player acquire the Screw Attack without the Grapple Beam.
    • An incredibly difficult trick involving Scan Dashing can be performed in the Grand Abyss. By locking on to one of the drones on the right side of the room, the player can scan dash to land on top of one of the other drones on the left side of the room, which will carry Samus across the room and allow her to skip using the portals. When she enters the Vault, she can scan dash again onto the right platform with a spinner and continue to obtain the Screw Attack without entering the Dark World, and if the Grapple Beam is not acquired at this point, it will be skipped entirely. Note that if the player fails to make the scan jump onto the drone on the first try, the game must be reset, as the drone will never stop moving and the trick will become impossible. Alternately, a wallcrawl can be used to obtain the Screw Attack, though this is much slower.
  • Sequential Boss: All Temple Guardians are of this type. Amorbis has three phases (one where you figth one large worm, one where you fight two and one where you fight three), Chykka has two phases (one as a larva and one as an adult), Quadraxis has three (one in its complete form, one when the main body is disabled and only the head module is attacking, and one when only the module itself remains), and Emperor Ing has three as well (one when it's just an enlarged Inglet, one when it's a chrysalis, and one when it's a grown adult). Dark Samus, in her Final Boss rematch, has two phases as well (one where she fights like she has done in the previous fights, and another where she relies on a Phazon field to periodically shoot Phazon renmants to Samus, who has to throw them back at her).
  • Series Continuity Error: Defied. One of the GF Trooper logs (PFC I. Crany) talks about how Samus took out an entire Space Pirate base. The incident in question is Samus' first (and only so far) mission to Zebes, but many assume it's referring to Super Metroid since PFC Crany first says that, according to SPC Angseth, Samus "blew up a planet full of [them]" which is how that game ended, but it is clearly hyperbole on Angseth's part as the events of Super Metroid still have yet to happen. Apparently, Samus already has a reputation for blowing up planets. Unless she blew up some other planet (not impossible).
  • Shielded Core Boss: The Emperor Ing in Sky Temple provides two examples in one long battle: In its initial form, Samus must destroy its tentacles to expose its weak point for damage; in its final form, hitting its weak point with enough firepower prompts the boss to shield it with either Light or Dark energy, at which point the player can actually damage the boss with the opposite energy weapon.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Agon Wastes are just desert with some ruins and a Space Pirate stronghold. They used to be a lush Green Hill Zone with many farms before the meteor hit.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Ingsmashers in Sanctuary Fortress have an attack that releases shockwaves the player must jump over. They do this akin to Elite Pirates from the first Prime, which makes sense since they're functionally the same enemy with a new skin. So does Quadraxis during its Boss Battle in Ing Hive.
  • Shout-Out: According to notes on the production storyboards, the first confrontation between Samus and Dark Samus is based off the scene in Aliens where Ripley threatens the Xenomorph Queen with the flamethrower.
  • Shrouded in Myth: While higher-ups in the Galactic Federation are at least aware Samus is real, even if they don't know who's under the armor, most Federation Marines apparently consider everything about Samus to be only slightly more credible than fairy tales. One of the logs in Temple Grounds sums it up quite nicely:
    PFC Crany: Last night at chow, Angseth starts talking about some bounty hunter and how she blew up a planet full of Space Pirates. I told her I didn't believe in fairy tales like that, and she took it personal. I just find it hard to believe that one person took out an entire Space Pirate base, that's all. But if she wants to believe in this Samus, or Bigfoot, or Santa Claus, she can.
  • Skippable Boss: The Alpha Blogg in the Trilogy version. The door at the top of its room isn't locked, so using a jumping exploit will allow you to leave the battle.
  • Skull for a Head: At the end of the game, the Final Boss Dark Samus looks like this. Due to Samus defeating her and causing her to blow up on two separate occasions earlier in the game, along with logbook scans noting that her form was unstable to begin with (hence her Horror Hunger throughout the game), she has not had time to properly repair herself before her final chance to confront you. Thus, when she makes one last-ditch effort to kill Samus, her armor is transparent, revealing a mouth-less skull underneath the helmet, showing that she has a partially-human-looking form underneath the armor from absorbing Samus's DNA.
  • Space-Filling Path: The game has a number of rooms where there are two doors, one of which is always blocked by a rotating barrier. To rotate the barrier so you can access the other door, all you have to do is place a Morph Ball Bomb in the slot. Of course, now the barrier is on the first door, so you have to do it AGAIN in order to get back.
  • Spider Tank: The game has the Quad units that populate the Sanctuary Fortress (and the Dark Quads in the Ing Hive), as well as the King Mook Quadraxis that serves as the area boss. They all have main bodies and detachable head units, each requiring different tactics to defeat.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Creatures tend to grow a lot of these when possessed by the Ing. They also tend to grow hair, for some reason.
  • Spring-Loaded Corpse: The game has Samus exploring a GFMC base that is filled with Marines corpses. Once Samus activates a device at one end of the base, Ing start possessing the bodies, which Samus must destroy.
  • Starfish Language: The Luminoth use dots and lines on a 3-D grid to form the "letters" of their written language. A single word forms one cluster of these lines and dots, letters being connected to each other by a bright dot that is part of both. You can see it in holograms, stone carvings and plants if you look carefully enough. Driving home how alien this language is is that Samus requires Translator Modules from the Luminoth themselves in order to operate some of their devices, something which the Scan Visor compensates for in literally every other instance.
  • Start X to Stop X: According to the lore, this was the idea behind the Luminoth's creation of the Dark Beam; killing dark creatures by overloading them with dark energy. Unfortunately, this didn't work, so the Luminoth created the Light Beam instead, to much better results.
  • The Stinger: Achieving 100% Completion with the pickups unlocks a scene after the credits showing Dark Samus reform in space from particles.
  • Story Overwrite: Emperor Ing's heart in the final phase alternates between dark and light. Regardless of the colour when he is actually killed, it will always be light in the death cutscene, as this is the case if the player performs optimally.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: The game has a Wolfpack Boss that would be very difficult if not for the fact the others run away once one dies. Also, Dark Pirate Commandos will flee if the fight takes too long. Ing will also avoid your charged light beacons if you just turn one on without trying to trap one. Hunters final boss becomes more annoying by not adhering to this trope, should you unlock its extra phase. Other enemies in the series only opt not to attack at certain plot points, however, mostly playing this trope straight.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: The Harmony-class and Diligence-class drones from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (which game design-wise, are just slightly modified from the Pulse and Scatter Bombus from the first Metroid Prime) were designed by the Luminoth to be cleaning robots, which clean up organic residue by dropping electrical pulses or firing a focused laser beam. This is partially justified by the Luminoth later modifying them for combat against the Ing. By the events of Echoes, the ones that weren't possessed by the Ing suffered a programming glitch that caused them to consider all organic life (including the sapient Luminoth and Samus) filth that must be cleansed. The Octopedes from the same game were designed to be data-delivery units, but are for some reason designed to create electrical fields when linking with each other and equipped with an explosive self-destruct mechanism.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: This is the only Prime installment where the Bag of Spilling occurs at the end of the game, specifically in regards to the upgrades that were created for that game. To start, some of the newest upgrades in that installment are Luminoth tech, and unlike the Chozo on other planets, the Luminoth aren't a dead civilization (even if the Ing war took its toll on them), so they were only letting her borrow their tech. Second, the upgrades in question either needed the Light of Aether to function, were built specifically for fighting against the Ing and surviving on Dark Aether, and/or were built to weaponize dark energy. With Dark Aether and the Ing gone by the end of the game, either those upgrades have become functionally obsolete or Samus wouldn't have much practical use for them elsewhere.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Although this story takes place on a different planet from Tallon IV, there are still several creatures that heavily resemble creatures from the first game:
    • Green Kralees move around just like Zoomers.
    • Grenchlers are essentially Sheegoths with Rhino Beetle heads. Complete with vulnrable backs and mouth projectiles.
    • Preeds are Puffers susceptible to Ing possession. The 'dark' variety is no different apart from the gas cloud being purple instead of green.
    • Dark Pirate Commandos are dead ringers for Chozo Ghosts, in that both are spindly enemies that warp around the arena and can only be reliably tracked using a specific visor.
    • Ingsmashers are basically Elite Pirates, being bulky enemies that start off dormant in their chambers/alcoves and fight using floor-smashing shockwaves and beam-blocking hand maneuvers. Both are also non-respawning enemies.
    • The Luminoth are very similar to the Chozo, in that both are technologically advanced and spiritual people whose planets were devastated by a Phazon meteor and whose original home planets are currently unknown. Unlike with the above creatures, this similarity is explicitly brought up: the scan data for U-Mos says his "ability to generate and manipulate energy [is] on par with that of the Chozo," and the two races had extensive contact when the Luminoth were still searching for a planet to call home.
    • The final bosses mimic the ones from the first game pretty closely; a large odd-number-of-legs spider-like opponent whose head is its only vulnerable spot, who will cycle through its vulnerable areas to force you to change beams—followed by an all-but-invulnerable opponent who cloaks itself to force you to change visors and can only be defeated by pumping its own Phazon back at it.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Dark Samus, in the rematch, is only vulnerable to Phazon — which it shoots regularly at Samus, who can absorb and weaponize it for herself. Apparently it didn't learn from its mistakes as Metroid Prime in the previous game. Justified again as scanning Dark Samus reveals that it's dangerously unstable from absorbing too much Phazon, and has to expel it to survive.
  • Tagline: "Let there be light".
  • Technicolor Toxin: Dark Aether has toxic purple water, toxic purple sky (you take damage from walking around in the dark world unless you are in a safe zone), and (often) purple enemies.
  • Tennis Boss: Dark Samus in the final rematch. Instead of bouncing back the attack, you absorb some of it by using your charge beam until you have enough and then throw it back at the boss. Easier than it sounds, especially due to the time limit you're under.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Dark Samus does this a few times. No matter how much you kick her ass in this game, she's always able to get away and recover. First, she explodes. Then, she falls out of a several-mile-high window. Then, she gets trapped inside a collapsing dimension with Samus taking the only visible way out at the last second. Justified, since one of the Pirate logs you can find mention that "the Dark Hunter" reformed out of stray particles in their Phazon storage, where the thing then proceeded to absorb the entire load and wreak havoc upon the crew. The only thing that is able to finally kill Dark Samus is the entire sentient planet Phaaze exploding, thus killing all Phazon everywhere, including what was keeping Metroid Prime/Dark Samus alive, and that doesn't happen until Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
  • Time Bomb: The game has Samus escaping the Dark World before it is reabsorbed. Naturally, her Evil Counterpart is blocking the exit. Cue timed Final Boss battle.
  • Timed Mission: Defeating the Emperor Ing starts an eight-minute time limit to escape Dark Aether and defeat Dark Samus for the last time.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Three of them:
    • Two bosses, the Boost Guardian and Quadraxis, are fought in arenas where there is no safe zone that protects you against the harmful effects of Dark Aether's atmosphere, making it a timed fight where you get more time when you get pickups and lose time when you get hit.
    • You have eight minutes to fight the final boss (Dark Samus for the third time); and it is cheap, as she stalls... a lot.
  • Tomorrowland: Sanctuary Fortress shows off the greatest of Luminoth technology with its hordes of robots, Matrix Raining Code, complex machines, and technology everywhere.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • The Annihilator Beam, though very useful, eats through your ammo rather quickly. On the other hand, because of the way enemies drop ammo, using the Annihilator Beam on swarm enemies like Hydlings tends to result in getting more ammo than you had began with.
    • The Sonic Boom charge combo takes this Up to Eleven; ten missiles and thirty shots of both beam weapons all compacted into a single blast. Expensive, but it is every bit as powerful as the ingredients, and the name, suggest.
  • Turns Red: Every boss in the game gets increasingly aggressive with their attacks as their health decreases. An early example is the Jump Guardian, which starts using its leaping shockwave attack almost exclusively once its at critical health, making it both harder to hit and increasing its invincibility state.
  • Tutorial Failure: When you acquire the Screw Attack, the game tells you to press the jump button repeatedly and you have limited amount of jumps with it. Most people that see "press this button repeatedly" will usually take it as Button Mashing, which is something you should not do with the Screw Attack when clearing large chasms. Mashing the jump button can cause the Screw Attack to end early and you are not told how limited your jumps are. Timing your jumps in between each jump's arc is how you're supposed to do it and you have up to 5 jumps before the Screw Attack stops working.
  • Underwater Boss Battle: Alpha Blogg is a large creature with a massive jaw located in Torvus Bog, specifically in the flooded jail of the Hydrochamber. After Samus acquires the Gravity Boost, which allows her to move and hover underwater more fluidly, the jail will open and the monster will start attacking her, thus forcing the battle between the two. The jaw is the weak point.
  • Underwater Ruins: The lower part of Torvus Bog — a ruined, sunken temple, with a remix of Red Brinstar from Super Metroid. Dark Aether's version doesn't have nearly as much water, but is MUCH creepier and even more derelict.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • During the battle with Chykka, standing in dark water while beginning a cutscene will cause Samus to be able to jump like she's still in water, even when not. The door leading to the Energy Controller is not sealed, and can easily be reached with this glitch. Entering it and coming back will reveal that Chykka has vanished, which prevents you from obtaining the Dark Visor and thus beating the game.
    • If you use Sequence Breaking to bypass the area where Samus loses her gear, that's fine and dandy, but do not go back to that area afterwards unless you can glitch out of it again. The scene will play, and any gear obtained since then will be lost. Already obtained that gear? Well, you can't get any more of it.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • Lightbringers, which are living, walking safe zones that crawl on walls. Interesting game mechanic that could have been used in a lot of places... but no, you only got to see three of them in a room near the beginning of the game, and they're gone when you come back later.
    • There are two kinds of Ing barriers that hardly appear at all, but still count towards 100% Logbook, so if you're going for it, don't forget to scan these guys when you can.
      • One is the Ing Webtrap. They are only found once in the Dark Agon Wastes. They are living shields that block all the doors of the Battleground while Samus fights a horde of Warrior Ing, and they disappear afterwards. Most players will be too focused on the fight to notice.
      • The other is the Webling, which are similar but block hallways instead of doors. They are only found in the Feeding Pit Access in the Dark Agon Wastes, and can be killed with the Light Beam.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: To access the Sky Temple in Dark Aether, you have to get back all of the weapons and abilities you lost, steal the planetary energy from the rest of Dark Aether, obtain the Annihilator Beam, and collect the nine Sky Temple Keys. It doesn't hurt that you're told ahead of time that the lord of all Ing is in there, either. He's not the final boss, but shortly after its defeat you fight Dark Samus, who is. But given that the Emperor Ing makes up one-half of the Big Bad Duumvirate and you fight Dark Samus (the other half) in the temple entrance, it still counts.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: After losing most of her starting abilities to a mob of Ing, she has to regain them in one-on-one boss battles where they're used against her.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Try shooting an infant Metroid with the light beam. Then wince as it spasms and cries for about three seconds of being lit on fire before burning away. Quickly changing beams and firing the dark beam will actually put out the fire, and it will fall to the ground and die silently.
  • Villain Decay: The Space Pirates get hit hard with this in this game. After being the driving menace of Metroid and Metroid Prime, they are abruptly downgraded into a recurring nuisance to Samus — but this can be justified by the game wanting to play up the threat of the Ing and Dark Samus, and the fact that the Pirates on Aether were a small, marooned colony that got many of their crew killed or Ing-possessed.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Alpha Splinter has some nasty charge attacks which he can lead to try and strike where you're going. You also have about ten missiles and an extra Energy Tank at the time. He gets easier once he's possessed, though, since his charge is no longer leaded.
    • Despite being the first Temple Guardian, Amorbis is not only much harder than previous bosses, but also the first of many Marathon Bosses present in the game. The player won't be able to win the battle unless they've mastered the trick of recovering energy in Dark Aether with the Safe Zones.
  • Wall Jump: After its absence in the first Metroid Prime, the Screw Attack can be used to this effect on special wall surfaces. The game adjusts the camera to make it easier for the player to time the jumps between walls.
  • Warp Whistle: After all Temples are restored, Samus received the Light Suit is able to travel between them by climbing into the Pillar of Light of each one. Like most warp-point systems, you can't go to areas you've never visited — which says something about how ingrained in gaming that particular limitation is, since there's one Temple in each area, so the restriction can't come up in normal play!
  • Waterfront Boss Battle: The Chykka swims around in toxic water while you stand on a platform. You can attack it while it's swimming, though it's very hard to hit. It does occasionally jump out of the water, and occasionally jumps onto the platform to try to eat you.
  • Weakened by the Light: The Ing must possess other creatures to enter the Light side of Aether, and use of the Light Beam to energize protective fields on Dark Aether can vaporize weaker Ing.
  • Weaponized Offspring: The game has the Chykka, guardian of Dark Torvus, who spawns Chykklings during the fight against her. This generally makes the fight easier, since Chykklings are easily destroyed and usually drop profuse amounts of health and ammo.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Toward the beginning of this game, the Ing steal 7 of your items, including the Missile Launcher. While you get a brand new Missile Launcher not too long after, the other 6 items are retrieved from those very Ing that stole them in the first place. Which means there's still a Missile Guardian wandering around somewhere. It's possible that the Dark Missile Trooper that Samus fights near where she first entered the area was the Missile Guardian, but the scan and model suggest it was just a dead trooper armed with a missile launcher rather than enhanced with it by the Ing.
  • Where It All Began: The battle against the final Ing-based boss (Emperor Ing) takes place in the Dark Aether equivalent of the area the first Ing-based boss (Dark Alpha Splinter) took place in.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: The Annihilator Beam fires combined blasts of dark and light energy. However, despite being effective in combat, it's actually weaker than either beam it draws from (falling between hitting an enemy with an opposite polarity beam and the Power Beam) even though it deplenishes both ammo types.

Alternative Title(s): Metroid Prime 2

Top