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|“||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 (referred to as shadowlings by the Space Pirates) are a warring, ferocious race of tribal beings native to Dark Aether, and are the arch-nemeses of the Luminoth. "Ing" (meaning "terror") is the Luminoth name for these creatures; it is unknown if the species have a name of their own.
During the Golden Age of the Luminoth, a stellar object (now revealed as a Leviathan) struck Aether with such great force that it caused a rift in space and time, creating Dark Aether and giving birth to the Ing. After having fought the Luminoth for decades of war, the Ing were on the verge of defeating them, having stolen all but one of their planetary energies, and with all but one of the Luminoth in stasis tubes in the Great Temple. However, after Samus Aran came to Aether, she eliminated their kind by destroying Dark Aether. Since their dark-aligned bodies could not stand Aether's different atmosphere, they were left without a dimension to reside in and collapsed within it.
While Ing appear as nearly every Darkling creature in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, there are much fewer "pure" Ing, and they are always found on Dark Aether. The reason behind this is that Ing, in their true forms, cannot survive outside of their dark world; as such they possess beings from the opposite dimension and by doing so, gain the ability to resist to the atmosphere of the normal dimension, allowing them to invade it. Most "pure" Ing appear as stationary and largely ignorable growths, such as the Bladepod and Ingclaw, but the Warrior and Hunter strains of Ing are much more formidable. These Ing are best fought from the safety of a Light Crystal, which produces a field that they rarely penetrate to avoid harm. Even when Samus obtains the Dark and Light Suits, the Light Crystals can still be energized with the Light Beam or Annihilator Beam in order to produce deadly traps for the Ing. While a good quantity of pure Ing appear in quite small forms, such as the Inglet or Ingstorm, Warrior Ing are almost the same height as a Luminoth. Samus also encounters two Warrior Ing who have become mutated after absorbing her stolen equipment, the Jump Guardian and the Boost Guardian. Though each type of Ing has its own strengths and weaknesses, they share a common weakness to light energy.
During their war against the Luminoth, the Ing would generally attack by forcefully possessing nearby creatures or machines, which would darken and possibly mutate their form, and generally increase their offensive prowess. They preferred to possess creatures with a natural talent for combat, such as Aether's predators, the Luminoth warmachines and the Luminoth themselves. Later on, the extraterrestrial Space Pirates and Metroids became favorite hosts. These possessed creatures were dubbed "Darklings" by the Luminoth. Though these hybrid creatures were generally more powerful than their original forms, they gained the Ing's signature weakness to light energy. Ing can also possess corpses and bring them to a form of pseudo-life, but these tend to be much weaker, as the Ing cannot properly bond with the host. Specially armored Luminoth and Samus were safe from Ing possession, the latter from having acquired the Energy Transfer Module, which constantly generates light energy from within. It is unknown if any of the Darklings living on Light Aether survived the destruction of Dark Aether, but it is unlikely they would live long if they did. It is known that one Dark Tallon Metroid was captured and dissected, and put on display in Metroid Processing on the Space Pirate Homeworld; however, an unreleased scan reveals that the dissected darkling was originally meant to be the result of Pirates attempting to create a possessed Metroid without needing an Ing.
It can be assumed that the larval form is the basic form of Ing life, and will eventually grow into one of the adult forms to fit the roles necessary for the Horde.
The eldest and highest ranking member of the Ing Horde is the Emperor Ing, who resides within the Sky Temple. It is the keeper of Dark Aether's primary energy source and of a substantial amount of Phazon, both from which it feeds upon in order to grow in power.
When Ing are still larvae, they are constantly in danger and travel in swarms to lessen this threat. As such, they grow to be aggressive and hateful of all other living things, making perfect soldiers. Ing Larvae are not common around Dark Aether, and are only found in the Ing Hive. It is unknown how these creatures are produced.
Warrior Ing are the basic soldiers of the Horde. They are somewhat powerful, exercising extra-dimensional laser attacks along with various kinetic offensives. Like most Ing, the Warrior Ing can melt into a shadowy fluid, and slide across surfaces. Warrior Ing have only one eye, though with multiple pupils. Warrior Ing tend to congregate about rooms of importance, usually containing a Sky Temple Key or power-up.
The Ing also retain elites to help in destroying specific enemies of the Horde, called Hunter Ing. These creatures are viewed as the second most powerful of all Ing, second only to the Emperor. They can avoid damage by phasing out of the local timespace, and are the only ones allowed to possess Pirate Commandos.
When faced with large amounts of enemies, the Horde depends on the Ingstorm, tiny Ing that float in the air and emit a destructive energy that can chew through any substance. Luminoth are easily eradicated by Ingstorm. They are only found in the Ing Hive, Sky Temple Grounds and Dark Agon Wastes. The Light Suit is the only known item that can guard against the Ingstorm's corrosive attacks.
Of course, not all Ing are used as soldiers to attack the Luminoth. Some, like the Inglets, are worker drones who labor for the Horde, carrying around vital materials and essentials for the soldiers. When attacked, Inglets can defend themselves, although their attacks are somewhat pathetic, and they can be destroyed easily. Inglets can, like Warrior Ing, shift into a liquid state and flow around areas. They are easy to destroy by Luminoth, and Samus as well.
- Bladepod - Storage unit (Sky Temple Grounds/Dark Agon Wastes).
- Ingworm Cache - Storage unit (Ing Hive)/Sky Temple.
- Flying Ing Cache - Floating storage unit that is used to hold important items, such as Sky Temple Keys.
- Ingsphere Cache - Storage Unit (Dark Torvus Bog).
- Ingclaw - Stationary Ing growth that spews a poisonous gas. Ingclaws are not invulnerable to Dark Aether's atmosphere, and can enter a torpor when they are too affected..
- Ing Webtrap - A creature used by the Ing to block doors.
- Webling - A creature used by the Ing to block walls, which can be destroyed by a light beam.
- Darkling Tentacle - A tentacle of a possibly large unknown creature.
In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, there is a Phazon-based creature known as the Phaz-Ing, which strongly resembles the Inglet. Because of the similarity in name and form, it is possible that this species, native to Phaaze, has some connection to Dark Aether's Ing Horde. Since the Ing Horde became extinct with the destruction of Dark Aether, it is very much possible that the Ing Horde descended from Phaz-Ings that boarded the Leviathan heading for Aether, as there is little to suggest otherwise.
- The Ing Horde's ability for possession is strongly reminiscent of the mythology behind demons. Additionally, in function, this ability to enter, take complete control of and endow their host makes the Ing similar to the X Parasite, although the Ing have the advantage of being able to control inorganic machines, energy constructs, and Metroids.
- Though never seen ingame, the Ing can separate themselves from a possessed host at will, according to the log scan of the Dark War Wasp.
- The Ing have 5 limbs, suggesting that their design may have been partly based on the human hand. This is of course not forgetting its arachnid shape. Finally, the Warrior Ing's movements are similar to a horse.
- It is possible, though it requires an incredible amount of stamina and determination, to survive multiple Ing possession attempts. A-Voq was one Luminoth with this characteristic.
- Despite the Ing's usual inability to maintain their physical form outside of their homeworld, a Warrior Ing can be seen forcing its limbs through the portal during the ending sequence in a desperate attempt to escape its dying dimension but is unable to exit and perishes as the portal and Dark Aether collapses.
- In Trial Grounds, it is mentioned that the Ing have a "rite of passage" that involves young ones fighting fierce opponents in order to prove themselves in battle.
- The Ing makes a cameo in the Metroid Prime Hunters Spanish commercial, where one can be seen in the background along with a black Luminoth.
- Ing are referred to in plural as "Ings" in the scan for Super Crystals/Beacons, likely talking about various kinds of Ing (e.g. Warrior and Hunter).
- The Ing share similarities to The Flood, an alien parisitic species encountered in the Halo series of Games. Such similarities include possesion of hosts, mutation, increase in agression, and severe change in host's physical features.
|Ruling caste||Emperor Ing|
|Battle forms||Warrior Ing • Hunter Ing • Boost Guardian • Jump Guardian • Ingstorm • Darkling Tentacle|
|Submissive||Darkling • Inglet • Ing Webtrap • Flying Ing Cache|
|Immobile||Bladepod • Ingsphere Cache • Ingworm Cache • Ingworm • Webling • Ingclaw|
|Misc||Black fog • Ing Horde • Ing Larva • Fusion attack • Transdimensional energy • Phaz-Ing|
|Sentient Species in the Metroid Series|
|Human | Space Pirate | Craftsmen | Kriken | Luminoth|
|Reptilicus | Diamont | Elysian | Ing | "Ancient Bion race"|
|Alimbic | Chozo | N'kren | Phrygisian | Vhozon | Ylla | Jovian | "Machine race" |
"Elfin" | "Simian" | "Ceratopsid" | "Space Dragon"
|Native to Phaaze|| Hyper Grapple blocker • Leviathan • Leviathan womb • Leviathan Infant • Phazon Core • Phaz-Ing • Jelsac • Liquid Phazon • Maw • Phazon Grub • Phazon Leech |
Phazon Fungus • Phazon tendril • Phazon vine • Glow Stem • Aazelion • Tangle Weed • Massive Tentacle • Parasitic fungus • Fungus • Protozoan • Seed platform
Missile Blocker • EyeballBlocker
|Corrupted Creatures||Phazon Hopper • Phazon Nightbarb • Phazon Shriekbat • Phazon Puffer • Phazon Pillbug|
|Space Pirates||Aurora Unit 313 • Elite Pirate • Phazon Elite • Omega Pirate • Berserker Knight • Berserker Lord|
|Phazon Metroids||Class I Energy Harvester • Tallon Metroid • Hunter Metroid • Fission Metroid • Miniroid • Phazon Metroid • Hopping Metroid • Metroid Hatcher|
|Leviathan Core Guardians||Metroid Prime • Emperor Ing • Mogenar • Helios • Omega Ridley|
|Born of Phazon||Phaazoid • Red Phaazoid • Ing • Dark Samus|
|Species|| Alimbic • Boost Guardian • Chozo (Ghost) • Craftsmen • Dark Pirate Commando • Darkling • Darkling Tentacle • Gorea • Ing (Hunter, Emperor, Warrior) |
Ingsphere Cache • Kralee • Leviathan • Luminoth • Metroid Prime (Core essence) • Phantoon • Warp Hound • Phazon Metroid
|Gateways||Alimbic Cannon • Artifact Temple • Interdimensional void • Portal • Stronghold Portal • Wormhole|
|Alternate Dimensions||Dark Aether • Infinity Void • The Locker • Oubliette • Stronghold Void|
|Other||Black fog • Dark Visor • Darkburst • Multidimensional Stealth Warship • Transdimensional energy • Transdimensional flux|