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Video Game / Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

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

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.


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.


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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Chykka. It starts off as a larva the size of a whale before maturing into a ginormous War Wasp.
  • Bonus 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.
  • Boss Bonanza: The game ends with the longest series of boss fights to date in the franchise, with three boss fights against Emperor Ing, immediatelly followed by timed boss battle against two forms of Dark Samus. There's no way to save after starting the first fight, though thankfully the player doesn't have to fight Emperor Ing again if they choose to restart after dying against Dark Samus.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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.
    • It does work on Dark Samus, however. 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.
  • Grey Goo: The Ingstorm, a massive collection of small living particles that can corrode even the toughest metals when they swarm in large numbers.
  • 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.
  • Hard Mode Perks: In Hard Mode, safe zones heal damage twice as quickly to counteract the increased damage you'll be taking.
  • Hub World: Temple Grounds grants access to the other temples via elevators.
  • Humongous Mecha: Quadraxis, an enormous Quad and possibly the largest foe Samus has ever faced.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: If the Pirates weren't on Aether looking for Phazon, Samus would never have wound up there herself.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Sand Worm: The Sandiggers, as well as the MUCH larger Amorbis, are caterpillar-like worms that burrow and swim through the sand, leaping at Samus to attack.
  • Sequence Breaking: Continuing a series tradition, Prime 2 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.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Stronger enemies are more common, the ammo system forces you to rely on the weak Power Beam more instead of your stronger weapons, the environments are nastier, and Dark Aether provides some tough challenges due to it slowly killing you.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Timed Mission: Defeating the Emperor Ing starts an eight-minute time limit to escape Dark Aether and defeat Dark Samus for the last time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: See that twisted glowing structure floating high in the sky above the Sky Temple Grounds? That's where the final showdown's going to take place.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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


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