Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is a first-person shooter and action-adventure video game (dubbed as a First Person Adventure) that revolves around combat, puzzle-solving, and platform-jumping. The game takes place on the fictitious planet Aether, home to a race of moth-like people called the Luminoth. Assuming the role as Samus Aran, players must navigate an expansive map of interconnected regions in order to uncover secrets, collect items, and ultimately win the game. In addition to the overworld map, there is also a parallel "dark" realm that bears a strong semblance to the light world, but with an increased difficulty and more use of complicated puzzles such as trans-dimensional conflict. The atmosphere of Dark Aether is detrimental to Samus's health, but much of the damage can be negated or reduced by use of light beacons or light crystals and various suit upgrades. Exploring Dark Aether is necessary, which forces player to continually warp between the two worlds via portals in order to progress through the game.
The heads-up display (HUD) simulates Samus's visor. Samus's health bar and Energy Tanks collected, weapon selection, map, radar, and visor are displayed around the edges of the screen at all times, simulating a view of actually being behind the visor of Samus Aran. Throughout the game the player collects various visors that change the way Samus views Aether, whether it be via sound or sight. The Combat Visor is the default visor used for most navigation; the Scan Visor collects information on enemies and landmarks; the Dark Visor can be used to locate inter-dimensional objects; the Echo Visor makes supersonic activity and sound visible to the player.
Echoes and the original Metroid Prime are very similar in terms of controlling Samus and her weapons and visors. However, while the core gameplay remains in tact, Retro Studios modified a large number of existing elements and added quite a few new ones. Samus gradually acquires new power suit upgrades: the Dark Suit, which decreases the rate at which Dark Aether's harmful atmosphere deteriorates Samus's health bar, and the Light Suit, which eliminates that threat entirely. Additionally, new or returning weapons have been introduced to the Prime series, such as the Screw Attack.
Perhaps the most notable change is the introduction of an ammunition system. Whereas the first Prime limited only explosive ammo, Echoes implements and ammo system for its two new beams - the Light Beam and the Dark Beam - which use light and dark ammo respectively. The third new Arm Cannon upgrade, the Annihilator Beam, uses both light and dark ammo. The player initially starts out with 50 ammo slots for each weapon but can increase that clip size if they are able to locate ammo expansions hidden throughout the game.
Mission File 02543
Samus is hired by the Galactic Federation to locate and render assistance to Federation Marines that went missing in the Dasha Region 8 days prior. She arrives at Aether, the planet from which their last transmission was received, and heads for the coordinates 78.67.563. As she enters the atmosphere, her gunship is damaged by a lightning storm and she becomes effectively stranded while her ship repairs itself. Continuing her search on foot, Samus discovers dead Marines scattered within a hive of indigenous creatures called Splinters. Amidst searching for survivors, she comes across a unknown biomass that reanimates many of the corpses, which engage her in combat. Soon thereafter the bounty hunter comes across her twisted doppelgänger, Dark Samus. Samus pursues Dark Samus through a Portal into another dimension with a poisonous atmosphere, where she is attacked by a group of dark creatures. They steal most of her weapons and she is flung back into Aether with only her most basic suit functions and the rift disappears.
After she leaves the hive, Samus discovers the Communication Area where the Troopers attempted to set up a communications array and that atmospheric interference is scrambling outgoing distress beacons. When she arrives at the GFMC Compound, where the downed G.F.S. Tyr was undergoing repairs by Force One of the squad Bravo, she finds the remainder of the troopers dead and a final report left by Captain A. Exeter. In the final report, Exeter reveals that the crew was pursuing a Space Pirate frigate that crash landed on Aether after a skirmish, but their ship was also damaged by a strange storm. The trooper's comm systems were unable to penetrate the interference and the task force split into two divisions: one ordered to set up an Ops base and the other focused on repairing the ship. Depicted in the report is some sort of dark variant of Splinters slaughtering the task force, and Samus travels to the nearby Great Temple in search of clues.
At the Great Temple, Samus encounters the Alpha Splinter, which she engages in battle. The parasitic biomass she encountered earlier emerges from a spontaneous rift and possesses the Splinter, augmenting its power. When she emerges victorious, an alien technology bonds with her suit. In the main chamber Samus meets U-Mos, the last remaining sentinel of a technologically advanced race called the Luminoth.
U-Mos explains that the impact of a cosmic object sent Aether into a state of Transdimensional Flux and created a "Dark Aether." A vicious species called the Ing, named after the Luminoth word for "terror," was birthed of that division and waged war with the Luminoth, slowly overtaking them with their superior numbers and annexing Aether's planetary energy - called the Light of Aether, which they stored in four Energy Controllers - with a stolen device and hording it in their contorted Dark world. When the Luminoth's situation became dire, U-Mos sealed the Luminoth that remained in stasis, to be released once the crisis was over or sleep indefinitely, and stayed awake to protect the final Energy Controller himself.
The device stolen by the Ing, the Energy Transfer Module, was the alien technology that bonded with Samus's suit; since it has come into her possession, U-Mos implores her to aid him and the other Luminoth and sends her on a mission to recover the lost Light of Aether.
The Light of Aether
Samus sets off to restore the planetary energy to the three Energy sub-controllers on Aether, one in each of the planet's primary regions: Agon Wastes, Torvus Bog, and the Sanctuary Fortress. Along the way she engages incarnations of the Ing that had adapted to use the technology they had stolen from her suit during her first encounter with them in the Sky Temple Grounds, and from these and other Ing who had stolen Luminoth Technology she gathers many Upgrades to augment her suit performance. She also has several run-ins with her counterpart, Dark Samus, and engages her in combat multiple times.
Using her updated Translator Module, Samus first explores the Agon region. At the Agon Energy Controller, she encounters a hologram of the Temple's deceased Sentinel, I-Sha. In the message, I-Sha explains the nature of the Dark Temples, where Dark Aether's Energy Controllers lie, and the Dark Temple Keys that must be recovered to enter them. The message also divulges information about Light Crystals placed in Dark Aether to repel the toxic air there and updates her Translator Module. With this information, Samus manages to recover the three keys to Agon's temple and defeat the massive Ing in the Dark Agon Temple and retake Agon's planetary energy. Along the way she encounters Space Pirates, who have set up a base of operations and are harvesting Phazon when she arrives, even making raids on Phazon sources in Dark Aether. The pirates also keep Tallon Metroids in captivity for use in Phazon experimentation, domestication, and bio-energy harvesting.
After returning the Light of Aether to the Agon Temple, Samus visits U-Mos again in the Great Temple and he directs her to the Torvus region. At the Torvus Energy Controller, she encounters the hologram of A-Voq, who warns her about the poisonous waters of Dark Aether and divulges the location of the Dark Temple Keys in the area. Once the hologram updates her translator module, Samus ventures even further into the Torvus territory and the flooded Luminoth temple infested by local aquatic predators. In the Dark Torvus Temple, Samus defeats the monstrous Chykka and takes the planetary energy from the enemy.
Finally, U-Mos directs Samus to the final Luminoth stronghold in the cliffs of Aether, the Sanctuary Fortress. She finds the hologram left behind by the inventor and sentinel O-Lir at the Sanctuary Energy Controller; in it O-Lir explains that the Sanctuary's dark representation, the Ing Hive, is the heart of the Ing horde, and that the mechanical sentinels built to accompany the Luminoth in battle were eventually corrupted and used against their creators. Her Translator Module updated once more, Samus ventures into the depths of the Fortress and the Ing Hive. After invading the Hive Temple and defeating the corrupted Quadraxis, Samus returns the last stolen Light of Aether to the Energy Controller in Sanctuary Fortress and turns her attention to exterminating the Ing threat entirely.
Ultimately, Samus transfers all of the energy back to Aether, save for the last unit protected by the Emperor Ing itself. To reach the final Ing stronghold, the Sky Temple, Samus needs to acquire the ten Sky Temple Keys that seals the entrance in the Sky Temple Gateway. The Luminoth originally sent ten Keybearers to retrieve these keys, but only A-Kul, the Champion of Aether, managed to return her key before her death. U-Mos gifts Samus the Light Suit, which is completely immune to the toxic hazards of Dark Aether, and sends her after the nine remaining keys.
After attaining the keys, Samus travels to the Sky Temple, where she combats the Emperor Ing and emerges victorious. Upon acquiring the last fragment of the Light of Aether, the dark dimension becomes unstable and threatens to collapse within minutes. Samus flees from the Sky Temple and attempts to return to Light Aether, but is blocked in the Sky Temple Gateway by Dark Samus, who has absorbed Phazon to critical capacity. Samus overcomes her adversary and travels through an active portal to Light Aether mere moments before Dark Aether ceases to exist. She returns to U-Mos, who has awoken the previously slumbering Luminoth. The Luminoth thank Samus, who then leaves in her repaired gunship.
Should the player finish the game 100%, they are rewarded with a post-credits cutscene depicting Dark Samus reforming herself in outer space.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was the first Metroid title to implement a multiplayer game mode. The multiplayer mode could be played with two to four people on any of six maps. There are two gameplay modes: Deathmatch (in which players fight one another until a score or time limit is reached), and Bounty (players fight and kill one another to earn coins).
Combatants control colored variations of Samus and use her powers similarly to how they appeared in the single player campaign. Several of Samus's upgrades were stripped for the multiplayer mode, but several unique and temporary power-ups were added to supplement this. These new abilities include a Death Ball mode, Hacker Mode, invulnerability, invisibility, damage boosts, and unlimited ammo. These new powers are granted to a player if that player is able to locate them on the maps.
All combatants begin the rounds with the same basic abilities:
- Arm Cannon
- Space Jump Boots
- Gravity Boost
- Boost Ball
- Morph Ball Bombs
- Spider Ball
- Dark Visor
- Grapple Beam
In addition to these, Power Bomb and Missile upgrades can be found in crates scattered across the maps. Players may also obtain the Light Beam, Dark Beam, and Annihilator Beam by collecting their respective tokens. All of these weapons are limited in ammo, just as they are in the single player mode.
List of the Multiplayer Maps:
- Sidehopper Station: A mix of outdoor and indoor combat. Several Kinetic Orb Cannons are on this stage.
- Spider Complex: A tight indoors arena with a Spider Ball orb in the center of the stage.
- Shooting Gallery: There is a single turret gun on the map - use the Morph Ball Bomb slot to destroy it.
- Crossfire Chaos: Small but open fighting space. A Super Missile upgrade rests in the middle.
- Pipeline: The only underwater level has an open atrium and tight tunnels.
- Spires: This level is divided by a huge pitfall. Kinetic Orb Cannons can be used to cross the chasm.
It should be noted that Pipeline and Spires are unlocked through playing and completing the one-player adventure.
- In the PAL region, it remains the only Nintendo-published game not to be compatible with the PAL-50Hz mode, which means it cannot be played on older PAL TVs except for the Metroid Prime: Trilogy version.
- "--- Mission File 02543 --- 8 days ago, contact with Galatic Federation trooper squad Bravo was lost.
--- Contract Agreement --- Locate Federation troopers and render assistance.
--- Data Confirmation --- Last transmission received from a rogue planet located in the Dasha region called Aether." —Samus Mission File (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Your ship has been damaged. Auto-repair function initiated." —Scan Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Bioscans indicated terminated lifesigns in this trooper, and the presence of an unknown biomass with parasitic tendencies." —Logbook (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Chozo Battle Suit
Alert! Gear stolen by unknown creatures.
Space Jump Thrusters: OFFLINE
Grapple Beam Launcher: OFFLINE
Morph Ball Boost Unit: OFFLINE
Power Bomb Generator: OFFLINE
Missile Launcher: OFFLINE
Morph Ball Bomb Module: OFFLINE
All remaining systems: Online and Active." —On-Screen Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The engineer tells me there's no way we'll get the ship's engines online, and the atmospheric interference is scrambling our distress beacon." —Trooper Log for PFC L. Brouda (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Datecycle 07.014.2 (Cosmos) Final report, GFMC Task Force Herakles. Exeter, A.C. commanding." —Captain A. Exeter (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "While on patrol in the Dasha system, we engaged an unknown Space Pirate frigate. The enemy frigate was crippled, and it crashed on the planet Aether. We followed the Pirates, but our ship was damaged by a storm as we entered Aether's atmosphere." —Captain A. Exeter (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Heavy magnetic activity during the storm disabled our comm systems. Upon landing, we split into two units: one to set up an Ops base, the other to repair the ship. Each unit was doing fine, no problems... ...until they appeared." —Captain A. Exeter (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "System Alert. Unknown item acquired. Alien technology has bonded to armor systems. Threat scan complete. No negative impact on suit performance." —Acquisition Data (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." —U-Mos (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "They also saw the true face of the enemy, a race we came to call "Ing", meaning terror." —Luminoth Lore (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "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." —U-Mos (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." —Luminoth Lore (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "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. The Ing have taken our energy to three temples on Dark Aether. Find these temples, and transfer the energy from them to our own. I have updated your map system with the location of another temple. There is knowledge there that can help you on your way. I have also updated your Translator Module. You can know access devices and doors coded with Violet holograms. Many lands are now open to you. Prepare well for your journey. The Ing now know you possess the Energy Transfer Module. They will try to recover it at all costs. Return to me once you have restored the energy to a temple. I will aid you as I can. May the Light of Aether shine upon you!" —U-Mos (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Welcome. I am I-Sha, Sentinel of the Agon Temple. This message survives my death, as guidance to one who would fight the Ing. A portal to Dark Aether lies nearby. With it, you can travel to this land’s shadow. You must locate a Dark Temple, a twisted mockery of this sacred place. Inside you will find the Energy Controller you seek. The temple door is held fast by three locks. The keys for the locks are hidden throughout that dark land." —I-Sha (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Your search will be difficult. Even the very air of Dark Aether is dangerous, and can cripple the strongest of warriors. In our past struggles with the Ing, we placed a series of Light Crystals throughout their world. They remain today. These Crystals create safe areas that will protect you from the harmful atmosphere of the dark world. I have updated your Translator Module. You can access devices and doors coded with Amber holograms. More lands are open to explore. When you have taken the energy from the Dark Temple, return here at once. May the Light of Aether serve you well!" —I-Sha (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Science teams have discovered the presence of Phazon in the Dasha system four cycles ago. High command authorized the deployment of our team shortly thereafter. Our orders are to establish a base on planet Aether and evaluate local Phazon resources. Because this world lies on the periphery of Galactic Federation territory, we are following stealth protocols at the highest level. A cadre of elite commandos has been dispatched to provide security for our force as well. This operation is now under way." —Space Pirate Data "Log 04.468.1 (Phazon Operations)" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Phazon extraction raids are under way on Dark Aether. The toxicity of the atmosphere has taken a toll on our workforce, as have the hostile natives of that world. Science Team is preparing survival gear to protect our work teams, and we have increased our security presence in extraction areas. Fortunately, High Command is sending more troops and supplies. Our troops and resources are spread dangerously thin, and this mission cannot fail." —Space Pirate Data "Log 06.221.7 (Phazon Raids)" (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Metroid unit 318 was put down today after a failed domestication session. Metroid unit refused commands and terminated one of its handlers before it was subdued." —Scan Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Metroid subject has been energy-drained repeatedly over the last 3 cycles. Subject's cellular structure has become unstable as a result." —Scan Data (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "I thank you for restoring energy to the Temple of Agon. Your valor honors the Luminoth…those who have passed, and those who remain…here, under my protection as they sleep in a deep stasis. Be on guard, for the Ing do not suffer defeat lightly. They will surely seek revenge for your actions. With the energy lost from the desert region, they will increase their efforts in other lands. I have detected unusual amounts of Ing activity in the Torvus sector. The enemy is on the move. The swamplands of Torvus are treacherous, and can hinder you considerably. Bear this in mind as you move through the bog. Seek the Temple of Torvus. More knowledge awaits you there. May the light of Aether serve you well!" —U-Mos (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "A great warrior comes to the Temple of Torvus. May you succeed where I failed. I am A-Voq, the last Sentinel of the temple. Heed my words carefully. As you can see, this temple has been crippled by the ravages of war. While the main chamber has been mostly preserved, the remainder of the temple has been flooded. You must use your abilities to venture into these flooded areas and find the keys you need to enter the Dark Temple. The waters of Dark Aether are foul and venomous. Avoid them if you can." —A-Voq (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "I have updated your Translator Module. You can access devices and doors coded with Emerald holograms. Search the areas now opened to you." —A-Voq (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The Temple of Torvus glows with energy once more. Only one temple remains without the Light of Aether. You must travel to our fortress, high in the cliffs. The last temple lies in the fortress. Seek knowledge there before invading the Ing Hive. Be cautious in the fortress. This place was once guarded by machines of our creation, but now they are corrupted slaves of the Ing. They will not see you as a friend. Our goal draws ever closer. Let the Light of Aether be your guide." —U-Mos (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Hear the words of O-Lir, last Sentinel of the Fortress Temple. May they serve you well. This used to be a great fortress, a safe haven for our people during the war. It also holds portals to the Ing Hive, the heart of their dark tribe. During the war, I built a number of mechanical sentinels to join me in battle. They were made to fight the Ing, and fight them they did...for a time. One by one, the Ing corrupted them. Now, they attack with no mercy. Many went to Dark Aether with their Ing masters. Expect them when you are in the Hive. The Ing like to use them as guards. The Ing will protect their home with great ferocity. In all of our battles, the Hive has never fallen." —O-Lir (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "I have updated your Translator Module. You can access devices and door coded with Cobalt holograms. Search the areas now open to you." —O-Lir (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "The Light of Aether shines from all three temples once more. And yet, Dark Aether remains. One Energy Controller still shines in the darkness, sustaining the world. The Sky temple, dark shadow of this hallowed place, holds the final Energy Controller. The greatest and most powerful beast of the Ing keeps guard over what you seek. The nine keys to the Sky Temple have been hidden in each land of the dark world. Finding them will be perilous, but… …I offer you this blessed suit of armor, energized by the Light of Aether itself. Its power will help you reach these final keys. May it serve you well in the darkness!" —U-Mos (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Soon I shall pass to the final rest. My key is in place. 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 (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)
- "Scans indicate that Dark Samus has absorbed tremendous levels of Phazon into her body: too much, perhaps. She can vent Phazon energy in the form of destructive blasts and protective shields: doing so will help her maintain stability." —Logbook (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)