Events Leading to War
- Main article: Luminoth Dark Age
During the Golden Age of Luminoth discovery, technology, and culture, a stellar object approached the race's home planet of Aether. Though the Luminoth attempted to use their weaponry to alter its trajectory, these ultimately proved ineffectual and weakened Aether's planetary reserves. The residents stored food and water and took shelter from the blast, but most of the planet was completely ravaged by the impact, hailing the beginning of a Dark Age on Aether. The planet held, despite expectations, but the land was transformed and half of Aether's planetary energy was gone: the Agon Plains were completely scorched and became a desert, and the Torvus Forest was engulfed by floods and turned to marshlands. What the Luminoth hadn't forseen was that the collision into Aether had flung the planet and many objects upon it into a state of Transdimensional Flux, meaning that half of that object's total atomic structure was transported to an alternate dimension of the same formations as Aether's current form.
Not much was known about the other world until, during the time J-Gnk acted as the Sentinel of Aether, rifts began to spontaneously appear to that dark dimension, connecting the two lands for the first time. A new race had been formed in the alternate dimension and began swarming out of the rifts, using their unique ability to possess and control life-forms on the indigenous species; the possessed creatures, known by the Luminoth as Darklings, became the main threat during the confrontation and ended their state of peace. Many Luminoth were killed, including the ancient founder of Sanctuary Fortress.
Course of the War
Phase One: Preparation
Eventually the Luminoth created machines to open rifts into Dark Aether and began sending volunteer scouts through them. Those scouts discovered the missing half of Aether's energy there as well as the true form beings responsible for possessing creatures on Aether, which they named "Ing" after the Luminoth word for terror. The first scouts did not last long in Dark Aether's poisonous atmosphere, but the Luminoth were determined to return.
Before the stellar object impacted Aether, the Luminoth had constructed Energy Controllers as part of a system that regulated and distributed the Light of Aether across the planet, ensuring peace and prosperity. The revelation that Dark Aether had acquired half of that planetary energy, weakening the original Aether and keeping Dark Aether alive, led to the creation of weapons and equipment that would be efficient in fighting the Ing.
The first and one of the most critical Luminoth inventions for the war was the Light Crystal, a portable mineral that emits light energy in Dark Aether, which allowed the Luminoth to explore the enemy land and bring war to the Ing, although the crystals did not protect from Ing attacks. Light Beacons were strategically placed throughout Dark Aether as well. Another ability that the crystals and beacons have is to replenish the health of any creature alien to the alternate dimension and amplify the effects of any element with which its charged. Luminoth armor and weapons proved ineffectual, however, and so they withdrew from Dark Aether in order to create better offensive and defensive technologies.
Because the Luminoth were vastly outnumbered and not prepared to fight a long war, they sought a means to end the war quickly, and to that end they decided to build a device to recover the lost planetary energy from Dark Aether, resulting in its collapse. The device would not be completed until the war's Second Phase.
Luminoth studies of the Ing revealed a dependence on dark energy, which they intended to exploit using a weapon, called the Dark Beam, meant to overload them with that energy. The weapon was not nearly as effective as predicted, and a new weapon was was developed in its stead; thus the Light Beam was brought into commission, a light-based weapon that could exterminate Ing forces efficiently.
Soon the Ing learned to possess Luminoth, turning friends and family against each other and resulting in heavy Luminoth casualties. A new, effective form of armor was created to prevent Ing possession, but it was not perfect, and the practice of self-terminating under imminent threat of possession became commonplace.
Phase Two: Desperation
The Luminoth learned that the dark counterpart to their Great Temple on Aether, called the "Sky Temple" by Luminoth forces, was the lair of the leader of the Ing. The temple contained the planetary energy of Dark Aether and was heavily guarded, and the entrance was barred by a gate that required ten Keys to unlock. The keys were hidden across Dark Aether by the Ing, and a mission was planned to claim them and recover the missing energy from the Sky Temple.
That mission came to fruition after the Energy Transfer Module was finally completed. A cadre of ten elite warriors, known as the Keybearers, was equipped with the best armor and weaponry available and sent to invade the Sky Temple and retake the missing energy, ending the war once and for all. All of the warriors were successful in locating the keys they were sent after, though nine were unsuccessful in returning them to the Sky Temple Gateway. Only one of the Keybearers, A-Kul, was able to secure her key and unlock one of the ten locks, though she died before she could return to Aether. In a final attempt to inform anyone else who may try to liberate the Luminoth, she left clues as to where each warrior had fallen.
When none of the Keybearers returned, the rest of the Luminoth went to Dark Aether in search of them, but in vain. The Energy Transfer Module that had been assigned to them had been captured by the Ing, and so the Luminoth set out to prepare another mission and build a second module.
Shortly afterward the Horde launched a massive attack and crippled the land of Agon, slaughtering many of the warriors there. All the defenders of the Agon Temple but the child acolyte squire D-Chr were slain, leaving the boy as the sole defender of the Temple; a centicycle later, he was killed in battle on Dark Aether. When Agon finally fell the energy in the temple was drained: the Energy Transfer Module was being used by the Ing to seize the Light of Aether from the Energy Controllers on Aether.
The forces of the Ing then moved on to Torvus, encountering heavy Luminoth resistance there. Thousands of Ing were slain, including at least one Ing Horde war chief by the Torvus hero B-Stz during the Fourth Battle of Torvus, and numerous battles were fought. When the Ing's superior numbers eventually led to the fall of Torvus, some .3 decacycles after the fall of Agon, the energy was to taken to Dark Aether.
Phase Three: Desolation
The remaining Luminoth forces had gathered at Sanctuary Fortress, preparing for the inevitable siege that would strike the area. Waves of Ing bombarded the Fortress, possessing even the Luminoth mechanoids that had been built there. A mere .1 decacycles later, they had drained the energy from the Fortress' Controller. Only the Controller in the Great Temple remained intact on Aether. With all hope of survival lost for the Luminoth, they decided to gather in the Great Temple and enter a life-preserving stasis to be released once the Ing threat was eliminated or sleep forever. The last remaining sentinel of the Luminoth, U-Mos, remained awake to guard the final Energy Controller in solitude, marking the end of the Luminoth's resistance against the Ing.
Revival of the Luminoth
- Main article: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
Samus Aran's arrival on Aether began the beginning of a new age for the Luminoth. After Samus finds the remains of the GFMC Task Force Herakles and was attacked by Darklings in the Temple Grounds, she proceeded to enter the Great Temple herself. There she was attacked by a Dark Alpha Splinter in the Temple Sanctuary. The creature held the Energy Transfer Module that the Luminoth had created. Although not even her Scan Visor could identify the object, it bonded with her suit and she became immune to Ing possession. She took the elevator to the Main Energy Controller, where she met U-Mos. The last Sentinel divulged to Samus the history of the Luminoth, beginning with the Luminoth Dark Age, that had transpired prior to her arrival, and that he had been waiting for anyone that could save their civilization from extinction.
Samus accepted the mission, and proceeded to journey into each region of Aether and its dark counterpart, taking the stolen energy from Dark Aether and restoring it into the corresponding Energy Controller. During her journey, she met the final hologram recordings of fallen Temple Sentinels of Aether that gave their lives to protect the Energy Controllers. She also recovered the weapon and visor systems of the fallen Champion of Aether, taken by the Ing.
In order to gain access to the final Dark Energy Controller and defeat the Emperor Ing, Samus collects all ten Sky Temple Keys hidden across Dark Aether. She finds A-Kul's clues in the gateway where her fallen body lays and collected the keys herself, all hidden in Ingworm Caches that can only be seen using Dark Visor technology. Once all of the keys were collected, she gained access to the Sky Temple and faced off against the Emperor Ing.
After a long battle, the leader was finally defeated, and the energy was restored to Aether. With no energy to maintain its stability, Dark Aether collapsed and the entire dimension was destroyed. Samus managed to escape the destruction of the world and return to the Great Temple, where the awakening Luminoth greeted her. They bowed as she departed, the Ing conflict finally resolved.
- Main article: U-Mos
U-Mos is the last surviving sentinel of the Luminoth. He was the only survivor that did not join stasis, as to guard the Great Temple's Energy Controller. He met Samus Aran and informed her on her mission to save their world, and gave her advice on where to go, as well as the Light Suit, the ultimate armor against the Dark World.
- Main article: Samus Aran
Samus Aran is the Bounty Hunter that was called by the Galactic Federation to investigate what had happened to the G.F.S. Tyr on Aether. She eventually met U-Mos and transferred the stolen energy from Dark Aether back to the original mainframe, and destroyed the entire world of Dark Aether.
- Main article: Sentinel of the Temple
I-Sha, A-Voq, and O-Lir were the last sentinels of the Temples in Agon, Torvus, and Sanctuary. In the holograms they left behind, they impart information that help Samus on her way.
- Main article: J-Gnk
J-Gnk was the fourth sentinel of Aether and the one who ruled during the first Ing attack.
- Main article: Keybearer
The Keybearers were the warriors that were selected to retrieve the Sky Temple Keys from Dark Aether.
- "By the time we detected the stellar object as it streaked toward our world, it was too late to stop it." —Luminoth Lore "The Stellar Object" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "We fired numerous weapons at it in a vain attempt to alter its trajectory. Nothing worked. Our efforts placed a great strain on the Energy Controllers, and weakened Aether." —Luminoth Lore "The Stellar Object" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "All we could do as the object drew closer was take shelter and wait. We gathered stores of food and water, reinforced the shielding on our dwellings, and spent the last hours in peace." —Luminoth Lore "The Stellar Object" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The starborne terror burnt through the heavens and struck Aether with and untold might. We all expected the world to shatter...but Aether held. There was great devastation, however. The green plains of Agon were scorched forever, and the forest of Torvus was engulfed and wracked by the sea. The skies burned for days, casting darkness over the land." —Luminoth Lore "Cataclysm" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "In time, the roar of a wounded planet subsided. The air, though fouled, was breathable. Light made its way through the dark veil over our world. Slowly, we ventured out from the shelters of our homer to see what remained of our paradise. What little comfort we gained by surviving was soon shattered. Half of the planet's energy had vanished from the Energy Controllers. Aether became violently unstable as a result. Of the stellar object which stuck our home, there was no sign." —Luminoth Lore "Age of Anxiety" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Amidst this turmoil, we discovered many anomalies. Spacial disturbances appeared across the land. Object went into a state of dimensional flux, their atoms divided between Aether and...somewhere else. There was little time to ponder these strange happenings, for we had to deal with the devastation of our lands." —Luminoth Lore "The World Warped" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "This is a statue of J-Gnk, the fourth sentinel of Aether. J-Gnk was the Sentinel of Aether when the Ing brought war to Aether. He died in battle while defending the Great Temple." —Scan Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The day came when space was torn asunder, revealing dimensional rifts to a dark place." —Luminoth Lore "The Ing Attack" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Horrible dark swarms streaked forth from these rifts, engulfing nearby creatures and transforming them into what we could come to call darklings. The dark creatures became our enemies, and peace came to an end on Aether." —Luminoth Lore "The Ing Attack" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "This is a statue of E-Btr, the founder of Sanctuary. He lived for nearly 5 centicycles, and died in hand-to-hand combat during the first Ing attacks." —Scan Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "In time, we created machines to open rifts to our enemy's world. Volunteer scouts went through the rifts and found a twisted world, harsh and poisonous...a Dark Aether." —Luminoth Lore "Dark Aether" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "They discovered that this world held the missing half of our planet's energy. They also saw the true face of the enemy, a race we came to call "Ing", meaning terror." —Luminoth Lore "Dark Aether" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Our scouts could not survive long on the surface of Dark Aether, so venomous was its air. Still, we vowed to return. We prepared for war." —Luminoth Lore "Dark Aether" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The main Energy Controller was built in the Great Temple: three sub-controllers were built in Torvus, Agon, and Sanctuary. They collected the energy of Aether, then radiated it over the world to all who needed it. In time we came to call this precious energy the "Light of Aether". It brought peace and prosperity to the Luminoth." —Luminoth Lore "Light of Aether" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "We developed Crystals that brought the Light of Aether to the dark world. Using these Crystals allowed our warriors to explore the enemy lands, to bring war to the Ing. Sadly, the Crystals were not enough." —Luminoth Lore "Our War Begins" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "We needed stronger weapons, better armor. We withdrew from Dark Aether while our greatest minds devised new engines of war." —Luminoth Lore "Our War Begins" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "We were not prepared to fight a long war. The forces of the enemy outnumbered ours vastly. We sought a way to end the war quickly, without extended combat. We decided to build a device to recover our lost planetary energy from Dark Aether. Without this energy, the dark world would cease to be, and our world would be restored to stability." —Luminoth Lore "Recovering Energy" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Our studies of the Ing revealed the source of their attacks as dark energy. We built weapons to use this energy, thinking it could overload energy targets and eliminate them." —Luminoth Lore "New Weapons" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "We soon learned our error, as the Dark Beam was not of great effect on the Ing. We then began to develop a weapon that used light energy. This weapon would dispatch the Ing with terrible efficiency." —Luminoth Lore "[Luminoth Lore#New Weapons (New Weapons]]")
- "In time, the Ing began to possess Luminoth as well as creatures. Friends and family members became the enemy, spilling Luminoth blood across the land." —Luminoth Lore "The New Terror (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Desperate, we devised shielding to prevent Ing possession. It was effective, but not perfect. Should the shielding fail, all Luminoth were prepared to self-terminate rather than become a weapon for the Ing." —Luminoth Lore "The New Terror (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "We learned that the ruler of the Ing dwelled in a place dubbed the "Sky Temple" by our forces." —Luminoth Lore "The Sky Temple" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "This place held the planetary energy of Dark Aether as well. It was heavily guarded, and entry was barred by a great gate requiring ten keys to unlock. These keys were hidden throughout Dark Aether by the Ing." —Luminoth Lore "The Sky Temple" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "A mission was planned, one that would find the hidden keys and recover our missing energy from the Sky Temple." —Luminoth Lore "The Sky Temple" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "While our forces on Dark Aether fought desperate battles against superior numbers, our best minds completed their work. The Energy Transfer Module, a device designed to recover our lost planetary energy, was ready at last." —Luminoth Lore "The Final Crusade" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "A force of our greatest warriors was assembled, each equipped with the best armor and weaponry available. We sent this brave cadre of fighters to invade the Sky Temple and seize the missing energy lying within." —Luminoth Lore "The Final Crusade" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Soon I shall pass to the final rest. My key is in place." —A-Kul's Testament (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Through my spiritual link to the others, I know where their bodies lie. I shall leave this knowledge, that their last location in the dark world can be known. May this knowledge lead our warriors to the Sky Temple Keys. The time draws near. Hear the words of A-Kul, she they call Champion of Aether. Know that my warriors fought and died with uncommon valor. Do not look unkindly upon their failure, for they died to save us all." —A-Kul's Testament (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "None of the warriors sent to the Sky Temple returned. Our forces searched Dark Aether for them, in vain." —Luminoth Lore "Shattered Hope" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Of the Energy Transfer Module, there was no sign. Though saddened, we set out to prepare another mission, to build another module, to try once more to save our dying world." —Luminoth Lore "Shattered Hope" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "A massive Ing attack came to the land of Agon. Soon, the Temple of Agon was surrounded by the Horde, with no hope of salvation. Our gallant warriors there were slain, and Agon fell to the enemy." —Luminoth Lore "Agon Falls" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "This is a statue of D-Chr, the Child Hero of Agon. Once a lowly acolyte squire, he became a warrior when the temple was attacked. All warriors but D-Chr were slain, leaving the boy as sole defender of the temple. He served for nearly a centicycle before being lost in battle on Dark Aether." —Scan Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Our blood chilled when we learned that the energy within that temple was drained. The Ing had found the Energy Transfer Module, and were using it as a weapon against us." —Luminoth Lore "Agon Falls" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The Ing turned their focus on the Torvus Bog next, sending a vast force to lay siege to the temple there." —Luminoth Lore "Torvus Falls" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "This is a statue of B-Stz, a great hero of Torvus. B-Stz led the charge in the Fourth battle of Torvus, single-handedly killing the Ing Horde war chief in battle. He died of old age in the temple he helped defend." —Scan Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Bioscan complete. Luminoth subject terminated 1.5 decacycles ago." —Scan Data of I-Sha's corpse (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Bioscan complete. Subject Luminoth has been dead for 1.2 decacycles." —Scan Data for A-Voq's corpse (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Thousands upon thousands of Ing were destroyed by our warriors, yet they kept coming until there was no Luminoth alive to offer resistance in Torvus. On that day, the energy of Torvus was taken to Dark Aether, and our hopes for survival grew dim." —Luminoth Lore "Torvus Falls" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Bioscan complete. Luminoth subject terminated 1.1 decacycles ago." —Scan Data from O-Lir's corpse (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Our battered forces gathered in the Sanctuary Fortress to prepare for the inevitable siege there. They didn't wait long. Wave after wave of Ing assaulted the greatest of our fortresses, with one goal in mind: to seize the energy there. The Ing turned the machines of Sanctuary against our warriors, and soon all was lost. The energy of Sanctuary was taken by the Ing. Only one Energy Controller remained on Aether." —Luminoth Lore "Sanctuary Falls" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "What few remained gathered in the Great Temple. There, all but U-Mos, the last Sentinel of Aether, entered into life-preserving stasis. There they remain, to be released once the Ing were destroyed...or to sleep forever." —Luminoth Lore "Twilight" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "His people safe, U-Mos prepared for the last, terrible assault. In the silence of the Great Temple, he prayed for salvation, for deliverance from the terror of the Ing." —Luminoth Lore "Twilight" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The Energy Transfer Module allows you to siphon power from Energy Controllers. Samus's notes: The Energy Transfer Module has a power core fueled by light energy. The presence of this energy protects the user from Ing possession. Once you have siphoned all power from an Energy Controller on Dark Aether, you must return it to an Energy Controller on Aether." —Samus's Notes (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Long ago, a cosmic object fell to our planet, Aether, exploding with great force. A rift was torn in time and space, and a strange power flowed over the world. Where once there was once Aether, there were now two. One of light…and one of shadow, each existing in its own dimension. It was the end of peace on Aether, for a new race was born that day on the dark world…one filled with hate and terrible power. They are the Ing. The Ing are creatures of shadow and darkness, knowing nothing of peace or mercy. For decades, we stood against them…yet we now lie on the verge of defeat. When Dark Aether was born, our planetary energy was divided. Half for our world, half for theirs. Should one world gain control of this energy, the other will perish. Before you arrived, the Ing had stolen a device from us…one that collects planetary energy. With it, they have weakened our planet to the verge of collapse. But fortune smiled upon us this day, for the Energy Transfer Module…is now bonded with you. With it, you can help us…help us restore our world. You’re our only hope, Samus. Should we fall, the Ing will look to the stars for new planets to ravage and conquer. Your species could be their next victims." —U-Mos (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)