The Luminoth are a technologically advanced race that make their home on Aether. To complement their advanced technology, they also have numerous natural abilities. They are capable of flight without the use of machines and can also manipulate energy to perform various tasks, such as creating shields around themselves.
- Main article: Luminoth Golden Age
The Luminoth were not originally from Aether, but lived as nomads traveling across the universe. After meeting other enlightened races, including the N'kren, the Ylla, the Chozo, and later the Bryyonians, they decided to find a homeworld of their own, heralding the beginning of their Golden Age. They sent out scouts to find a suitable planet to no avail. Finally, X-Qar returned with news of Aether, and she went on to become the first Sentinel of Aether. They first settled in the mountainous region led by E-Btr, then later in Agon and Torvus, and placed a Temple between the three.
Some time later, the Luminoth found that Aether's energy was running out. They built the Energy Controllers to preserve and regulate the energy, which they called the "Light of Aether," placing them in their four temples.
- Main article: Luminoth Dark Age
The Luminoth eventually discovered a Leviathan heading towards Aether. They attempted to destroy it but failed, and so took shelter to wait out the devastation. The impact devastated Aether, burning Agon into a desert wasteland and flooding Torvus. The Luminoth eventually left their shelters and found that half of their planetary energy was gone and spacial distortions riddled across Aether. Dark creatures started coming through the rifts, possessing creatures on Aether, and began to attack the Luminoth.
- Main article: Ing-Luminoth War
The Luminoth built machines to generate Portals leading to Dark Aether, which had the missing half of their planetary energy. There, they met the Ing. Upon discovering that they could not survive prolonged exposure the atmosphere, they built Light Crystals to create safe zones and also began development on stronger weapons and armor to help them survive. Their first attempt was with a beam designed to overload the Ing with dark energy; when that proved ineffective, they built the Light Beam, which was devastating to the Ing.
The Luminoth also developed numerous mechanoids to fight alongside them, such as the Ingsmasher and Quadraxis. Several cleaning units were retrofitted for combat purposes. The Luminoth even tried training creatures from other planets for use in the war.
The Luminoth developed the Energy Transfer Module to drain Dark Aether's energy, which would destroy Dark Aether if successful. They found the location of the Emperor Ing and discovered that it was blocked. The Luminoth assembled their best warriors to acquire the keys and to recover the lost energy. None of the warriors survived, but the warrior A-Kul, known by her people as the Champion of Aether, managed to return her key to the gateway before her death. As her final act, she left clues as to the locations of the other nine Keybearers. Agon and Torvus fell soon afterward; the Ing had used the Energy Transfer Module against its creators. In desperation, the elderly and children took up arms. The Luminoth retreated to their Sanctuary but were defeated there too. The remaining Luminoth fled to the Great Temple to place themselves in stasis while U-Mos remained active to guard both the temple's energy and the sleeping Luminoth.
Eventually a small group of Ing attack the Great Temple, but are repelled by Samus Aran who was sent there to investigate the disappearance of the G.F.S. Tyr. U-Mos explains the Luminoth's plight and Samus agrees to help defeat the Ing. Samus successfully eradicates the Ing, rescues the Luminoth, and then leaves them to rebuild their planet in peace.
Luminoth physiology exhibits impressive physical and psionic abilities, including heightened reflexes, durability, flight, and the ability to generate and manipulate energy. Their physical strength was enough to allow them to hold their own against the Ing using only melee combat. Though Luminoth Lore is not explicit in its explanation, it's possible that the Luminoth roamed the vacuum of space without the aid of machines before settling on Aether, since they had no planet of origin upon which to build such machines, and such an ability would demonstrate a rarely observed adaptiveness to multiple environments. A full-grown Luminoth stands more than twice the height of an adult human, with slender limbs, three long digits, and a pair of functional wings.
Psionic abilities include a constant "spiritual link" through which the Luminoth can communicate with one another as well as glean other kinds of information, the ability to generate force fields and other energies, such as Telekinetic Barriers, and possibly the ability to read minds.
While there is no explicit evidence that the Luminoth worship a particular deity, they do demonstrate adherence to some religious beliefs. Two of the testaments left by Keybearers, for example, made mention of an afterlife. Furthermore, as demonstrated by the three Sentinel of the Temples, Luminoth parting expressions of goodwill typically wish upon the recipient the aid of the inanimate Light of Aether; this veneration of inanimate natural forces may evidence a pantheistic, animistic, or nature-based belief system. The fact that the Energy Controllers, and the Light of Aether they contain, were placed at the center of Temples would seem to indicate that their spiritual activities revolve around the Light of Aether. Finally, Luminoth Lore describes the Sentinel U-Mos engaging in prayer for deliverance from the Ing, though to who or what he might have been praying was not expounded upon.
Interestingly, in the Japanese version of Echoes, U-Mos's introductory dialogue makes mention of a "Luminoth God."
- Main article: Luminoth Language
The Luminoth writing system is a complex, three dimensional representation often witnessed on Aether in holographic form. Its structure is so foreign that Samus Aran is incapable of reading it without updates to her Translator Module, and is used as a lock to block access to different areas of Aether.
The Luminoth chronicled their rich history using this three dimensional alphabet. Prior to their inventing three dimensional displays, it appears that they used minor distortions in their drawings to render their word clusters legible on planes.
The Luminoth apparently have monogamous matrimonial practices, as demonstrated by the Keybearers J-Stl and B-Stl, who were mates. The fact that they share the same surname suggests that adopting patrilineal or matrilineal surnames upon union is traditional in Luminoth culture, and these surnames are passed on to any offspring. According to B-Stl's testament, family units are recognized in the form of "houses," though exactly which relatives make up the house, and whether the house is built upon a patriarchal or matriarchal system, is not divulged.
- Main article: Luminoth Statue
The practice of immortalizing the Luminoth, especially their honored dead, and their way of life through statuaries is common in their architecture. Entire chambers, such as the Hall of Honored Dead, are dedicated to honoring fallen Luminoth Warriors or Sentinels. These statues are sometimes functional as well as decorative, and come in varying shapes and sizes.
Luminoth awakened from stasis
- "Subject is U-Mos, a Sentinel of the Luminoth. Scans indicate numerous beneficial abilities, including heightened reflexes, durability, psionics, and flight. Ability to generate and manipulate energy on par with that of the Chozo. Dating scans suggest an age of 2.15 centicycles. Only known active member of the species: remaining Luminoth locked in protective stasis until crisis is resolved." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "U-Mos" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Once, long ago, a race of creatures called the Luminoth settled on Planet Aether after many nomadic generations spent roaming the universe." Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Instruction Booklet, Pg 06
- "It is told that the Luminoth were not born of Aether, but of the stars. In the early days, we roamed the greatness of the void, bathing in the glorious light of a thousand stars. We met a vast number of enlightened minds... the N'kren, the Ylla, and the Chozo among them. Each of them, we found, had claimed a homeworld and formed a deep bond with it. In time, we decided to do the same." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Origins" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The ships of Bryyo sped to the stars, in all directions, bearing the banner of peace. Soon we found stellar brethren in the Chozo, the Luminoth, and the Ylla. " —Bryyonian Data "Age of Science" (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)
- "Our search for a home took us through the cosmos. For many a great cycle we roamed, yet a place to call our own eluded us. In time, we began to despair, feeling the search was in vain. We considered remaining among the starts until a scout returned with news of a world unlike any other. When we beheld Aether for the first time, so great was her beauty that we forsook the stars forever to live upon her surface. From that day forth, the Luminoth were of Aether, our blessed paradise." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Our Heritage" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Aether was a fertile, aged world with bountiful fields and oceans. The native creatures were gentle compared to the other worlds we had encountered. We settled in a mountain region first, in cliffside dwellings. In time, we established settlements in the green forest of Torvus and in the fertile plains of Agon. A Great Temple was built between our three domains, a place of peace and a monument to our accomplishments. It was a time of harmony for our people." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Paradise" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "This is a statue of X-Qar, the first Sentinel of Aether. It was X-Qar who discovered the world of Aether, and led her people to settle on its wondrous surface." —Scan Data (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)
- "Aether's planetary energy supply reached a critical stage. If left unchecked, the energy would expire, bringing an end to the world. Our greatest minds devised a way to preserve and regulate the remaining planetary energy - the Energy Controllers." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Saving 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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Light of Aether" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "By the time we detected the stellar object as it streaked toward our world, it was too late to stop it. 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. 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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "A World Warped" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The day came when space was torn asunder, revealing dimensional rifts to a dark place. 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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "The Ing Attack" (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. 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. 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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Dark 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. We needed stronger weapons, better armor. We withdrew from Dark Aether while our greatest minds devised new engines of war." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Our War Begins" (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. 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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "New Weapons" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Designed to fight alongside the Luminoth, the Ingsmasher now seeks to destroy them. In close combat, it smashes its energized fists into the earth to send out powerful shock waves, then pulverizes any immobile prey. It will fire salvos of Missiles at long-distance quarry. It uses an energy shield in battle that can be adjusted to protect against a variety of beam weapons. The shield can be overloaded by opposite-polarity beams, however, damaging the Ingsmasher in the process." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Ingsmasher" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The Diligence Class Drones were the first cleaning united designed by the Luminoth. They were modified for combat duty once the war began but were outshined by the newer Harmony-Class Units. A Diligence uses focused beams to perform its duty. Their energy construct makes them invulnerable to most attacks, though dark energy can disrupt them." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Diligence-Class Drone" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The Luminoth tried to domesticate and train a number of Triclops for use in war, but failed. Undaunted, they created mechanical versions of the hardy creatures to use in battle. The few Mechlops that remain now serve other mechanoids, turning their potent jaws and earthmoving power against their former masters." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Mechlops" (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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Recovering Energy" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "We learned that the ruler of the Ing dwelled in a place dubbed the "Sky Temple" by our forces. 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. A mission was planned, one that would find the hidden keys and recover our missing energy from the Sky Temple." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "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. 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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "The Final Crusade" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "None of the warriors sent to the Sky Temple returned. Our forces searched Dark Aether for the, in Vain. 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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Shattered Hope" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Soon I shall pass to the final rest. My key is in place. Through my spiritual link with 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 worlds 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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "A-Kul's Testament" (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. Our blood chilled when we learned that the energy within that temple was trained. The Ing had found the Energy Transfer Module, and were using it as a weapon against us." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "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. 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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Torvus Falls" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Bioscan complete.
Luminoth subject expired 1.5 decacycles ago. Scan indicates that this Luminoth was very young at time of death, not quite to adulthood. That a child would be pressed into combat duty suggests how desperate the Luminoth were at the war's end." —Scan Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Target has been dead for 1.5 decacycles. Subject was an elderly Luminoth. Approximate age is 4.2 centicycles. Advanced age did not keep him from defending this site or engaging in combat, however." —Scan Data (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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "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. 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." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "Twilight" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Planet Aether, home of the Luminoth, was struck by a “Phazon Meteor” five decades ago. The impact had catastrophic effects on the already unstable planet, creating a “dark twin” of the planet and a fierce race known as the Ing. A brutal war between the twin planets took place, with the Ing gaining the upper hand. The G.F.S. Tyr went to the sector to investigate pirate activity, but were forced to make an emergency landing on Aether. Shortly after, the entire crew of Tyr was attacked and annihilated by the Ing. Hunter Samus Aran was sent to investigate, and wound up entangled in the local conflict. Aran fought against both Space Pirates and Ing, and arose victorious. Aether’s “dark twin” vanished, taking with it the Ing horde, and the planet’s peace was finally restored. After the Aether incident, the Federation sent the G.F.S. Anhur back to Aether to deal with the pirate base. Upon arrival, the crew and marines of the Anhur assisted the native Luminoth in dismantling an abandoned Space Pirate mining facility. During the operation, the crew detected the presence of Phazon. The ship’s crew investigated and collected several kilograms of ore, which would later lead to the development of the PED." —Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Logbook "Anhur Incident" (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)
- "I have no more shells for my weapons. For the enemy, I have naught but the blade and fist. Let them come. They wait in the works, hissing, and slithering like beasts. Let them. When my war cry comes, there will be a dread final reckoning. Come forth, hated enemy." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "C-Rch's Testament" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "As my life faded, I sent a call to the cadre to warn them of this surprise attack." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "S-Dly's Testament" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Object analysis complete. The door is blocked. A telekinetic barrier is present; its mental signature is similar to that of the Luminoth." —Scan Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "You’re our only hope, Samus." —U-Mos (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "A-Kul tried to send me back to Aether, that I might get reinforcements. Both cadres have been attacked, devastated. The Ing followed me. They came, wearing the skin of beasts. I gave them a good fight, yet, I have failed. May I redeem my honor in the next life. Here, at the fortress entrance, I breathe my last." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "S-Jrs's Testament" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "My journey comes to an end. The thrice-cursed Ing prepared an ambush of singular cunning in the mining station. They caught me in it like a neophyte fresh from the training halls. I have sent five score of their number to whatever foul put they call afterlife, but in vain. My life is extinguished." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "J-Stl's Testament" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "May the Light of Aether serve you well!" —I-Sha (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The time for talk is over. Good hunting, and may the Light of Aether guide your aim." —A-Voq (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Good luck. Let the Light of Aether show you the way!" —O-Lir (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "しかし、ルミナスの神は、今一度我らに微笑みたもうた。そう、モジュールはイングの手を離れそなたの内に留まっておる。" —U-Mos (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "I can go no further. Here in this reactor, I go to join my mate, J-Stl, in final rest." —Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Logbook "B-Stl's Testament" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "This is a statue of V-Mos, the third Sentinel of Aether. She died giving birth to her son U-Mos, who, in time, became the fifth Sentinel of Aether." —Scan Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "A creature of the native race of the planet Aether. The Luminoth develop facilities to draw the dwindling energy from the core of their planet. However, they lose that energy when the planet is hit by a Phazon meteor and they are attacked by a race of dark creatures, the Ing. A war over Aether's energy then rages between the Luminoth and Ing races." —Trophy Gallery (Super Smash Bros. Brawl)