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Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, known as Metroid Prime 2: Dark Echoes (メトロイドプライム2: ダークエコーズ Metoroido Puraimu 2: Dāku Ekōzu ) in Japan and Korea, is the second Prime game in the Prime trilogy. It is a direct sequel to Metroid Prime, although chronologically, it occurs after Metroid Prime Hunters.
|“|| Galactic Federation troopers investigating Space Pirate activity are missing.|
Contact with the troopers was lost 8 days ago.
—Unused intro text 
Samus Aran receives a Mission File some time after Hunters. She is informed that contact with Squad Bravo was lost eight days prior, and that she must find them and render assistance. Their last known location was planet Aether. As she enters the atmosphere, her ship flies through turbulent purple storm clouds and is struck by lightning. Badly damaged, the Gunship is sent hurtling towards the planet below but regains enough power just in time to land safely after crashing through the roof of a cave. While exploring the GF troopers' abandoned base of operations, she discovers a portal to Dark Aether after an encounter with a strange black-blue being that is wearing something very like her Power Suit. Following the being through the portal, she finds it absorbing Phazon; upon detecting Samus' arrival, the being destroys a nearby crystal. The barrier this crystal generates shrinks away to nothing, and Samus begins to be affected by the poisonous atmosphere. After the barrier fades, vicious creatures unknown to Samus at the time attack her. She escapes, but almost all of her upgrades are stolen by the creatures.
Despite the damage done to her suit, Samus proceeds to the GF trooper base, eventually finding their landing site where their damaged and burning ship, the G.F.S. Tyr, is located. After watching the commanding officer's last entry log, Samus learns that all the troopers were brutally murdered by Dark Splinters. She moves on to investigate their deaths, but soon realizes she has reached the end of the line: the room that might let her move onwards is blocked by some form of shielding that is impervious to her weapons systems. However, she finds a missile launcher near the landing site and, after a short battle with some Dark Splinters, continues to explore the Temple Grounds.
Samus eventually makes it to the Great Temple, where she battles more Dark Splinters, an Alpha Splinter, and its dark form, the Dark Alpha Splinter. After the battle, she recovers a mysterious "alien upgrade". Though it has no negative impact on her suit's performance, it does raise questions as to its use. She travels up the Temple elevator and discovers a device which contains a bright, glowing light. There she encounters a Luminoth called U-Mos, who tells her the true name of the dark beings she encountered: the Ing. He explains how the Luminoth fought the Ing over their planetary energy. The Ing have stolen nearly all of it, and so U-Mos implores her to help them. The Energy Transfer Module she had taken back from the Ing would help her steal the energy and protect her from Ing possession. Stranded at the moment and with nothing better to do, Samus agrees.
U-Mos then sends her to the Agon Wastes, plains that were burned by a Leviathan impact, which brought the Ing and created Dark Aether. While collecting Dark Temple Keys to allow her access to each of the dark temples, while at the same time regaining her own abilities, Samus infiltrates the Agon Pirate base, coming face to face with Dark Samus for the first time. Once she has collected all keys, she invades the Dark Agon Temple and destroys the Amorbis before stealing Agon's energy back.
Reporting to U-Mos in the Great Temple, she is sent to the flooded Torvus Forest to recover the lost energy there. Samus finds that the area has a lesser, but still prominent degree of Space Pirate activity. Collecting the keys to the Dark Torvus Temple, she fights the Chykka and obtains more energy.
Upon her return to U-Mos, she is tasked with restoring the energy to the Sanctuary Fortress, a mechanical facility high in the cliffs. There, Samus gains the last of her missing abilities and then re-fights Dark Samus. In the Ing Hive Temple, Samus faces Quadraxis, a rogue Luminoth unit. After defeating Quadraxis, Samus acquires the Annihilator Beam and finds the third energy controller.
U-Mos, using the power Aether now has thanks to her, gives her the Light Suit, a suit that actually has the Light of Aether within it. Then, he gives her the most dangerous mission she'd have to complete on Aether: reach the final Energy Controller, hidden within the Ing Sky Temple. To enter the Sky Temple, though, she must find nine keys. With much difficulty and complex strategy, Samus finds these keys and enters the Sky Temple.
Within the Great Temple mirror, Samus faces the Emperor Ing, a mighty behemoth that rules the Ing Horde. Though she is almost defeated, she prevails and drains the stolen energy from the final energy controller. With the last of its energy gone, Dark Aether and the dimension it exists in begins to crumble; with only eight minutes to spare, Samus races down to the Sky Temple gateway and prepares to leave the destabilizing shadow of Aether. However, Phazon quickly covers the entrance from which she came. Samus looks behind, only to find Dark Samus pointing her arm cannon at her.
The final form of Dark Samus that fights Samus has deteriorated greatly due to extreme Phazon absorption. Dark Samus's face, now exposed, is revealed to have three yellow eyes slightly resembling the nuclei of a Metroid, revealing Dark Samus to be the reincarnation of Metroid Prime. Samus exploits the Metroid Prime's fatal weakness - an overload of Phazon. This in mind, Samus collects small Phazon bursts launched by Dark Samus with her Charge Beam and forms one-shot Phazon blasts that can penetrate Dark Samus' shield (also comprised of Phazon energy). Eventually, Samus prevails, and Dark Samus falls.
After her defeat, Dark Samus tries to touch Samus (possibly in an attempt to absorb Samus's light suit, like her previous form did with the Phazon Suit), but disintegrates into Phazon particles before being able to do so. Unfortunately, Samus's victory is short-lived, as the Sky Temple is collapsing, and she is quickly surrounded by a horde of Warrior Ing intending to take her with the planet. Suddenly, some Phazon on a wall of the Temple disintegrates, revealing a portal that corresponds with the Hall of Honored Dead. Realizing this as her last way out, Samus successfully evades the Warrior Ing and jumps into the portal.
Samus arrives safely back in Aether, moments before Dark Aether collapses. She turns around just in time to see the Ing attempting to exit the dark portal, only to be destroyed as the portal connecting the two planets is destroyed. Finally out of danger, Samus returns to the Main Energy Controller to see the groups of Luminoth revived from hibernation watching her as she returns the remaining energy. After returning Aether's technologies (light suit, energy collecter, etc.), Samus walks out of the room amidst a number of bowing Luminoth and returns to her gunship, deactivating her suit before flying off the planet and into the vast darkness of space.
As Samus's gunship disappears in space to an unknown destination, outside of Aether's atmosphere a multitude of blue particles combine into an unknown figure. This figure, later revealed to be Dark Samus, would later exact her revenge on Samus in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes retains many gameplay elements from the original Metroid Prime, a game that initially had met with mixed reactions from fans and critics alike when it was announced for the first time that it would use a first-person perspective; however, the original Metroid Prime was found to stay true to the traditional gameplay of the Metroid series, focusing primarily on non-linear exploration, with occasional bouts of combat. Likewise, Metroid Prime 2 encourages players to explore huge areas, solve numerous puzzles, and defeat enemies when they're present. Weapons, tools, and expansions can be obtained during the adventure, and progress is based on usage of those items and defeat of bosses.
However, Metroid Prime 2 also features new additions, including the exploration of an alternate world, new items, and a multiplayer mode. Below is a brief explanation of those distinctions.
Light and Dark conceptEdit
Because Aether experienced a severe impact from a Leviathan, it suffered a dimensional division resulting in the creation of a darker, more sinister version of itself, appropriately called Dark Aether. During the events of the game, Samus has to explore both worlds in order to recover the Light energy Aether needs to subsist, which was stolen by the inhabitants of the dark version of the planet, the Ing. While she can safely travel around Light Aether, she experiences harsher conditions on Dark Aether due to its highly corrosive atmosphere; she can only survive there if she navigates among spots of light known as Safe Zones, where she will slowly recover energy. Samus can travel between Light and Dark Aether with the help of dimensional portals, activated by using certain weapons or by scanning a nearby console.
This concept of light and darkness is also reflected in the type of items found during the game. Replacing the traditional Ice, Plasma, and Wave Beams are the Dark, Light and Annihilator Beams respective, able to damage different types of enemies according to the world they come from. The Dark and Echo Visors allow Samus to see invisible materials and imperceptible sounds, respectively. The Dark and Light Suits help her to survive on Dark Aether for longer periods of time, as they greatly reduce (and even nullify, in the Light Suit's case) the damaging effects of Dark Aether.
The enemies also come into two versions: light and dark forms, the latter being called Darklings. They are vulnerable to weapons of the opposing nature, a very important detail to remember. The Light and Dark Beams also have limited ammo, something never seen before in previous Metroid games, so Samus has to find expansions to increase their capacities and, meanwhile, use her new weapons wisely (although she can recover ammo with the help of her gunship or an Ammo Station).
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is commonly identified as a darker and more challenging game than its predecessor, the former due to its main plot device. With the story regarding Aether and the tragic past of the Luminoth, as well as the introduction of a dark and devilish dimension, the game features a certain concept of fear, death and corruption never seen previously in the series, an aspect that would later be extended in Metroid Prime 3. Samus, having never before faced an evil force like the Ing or Dark Samus (which are able to corrupt anyone and anything to force them to fight on their side), learns the hard way that the Space Pirates are not the only bad guys in the galaxy, and that evil can both be present in many other forms and be so devastating as to nearly extinguish innocent civilizations. In fact, she notices that even the Pirates are vulnerable to the darkness the Ing bring with them, as even a Pirate can be turned into a Darkling in seconds.
The game also has a higher difficulty level than that of the first Metroid Prime. One of the reasons is the elements from Dark Aether: not only its dark atmosphere is damaging, for when it reaches a regular enemy, it becomes corrupted. The new version of the enemy, often referred to as a "Darkling", is more powerful and resilient, meaning its attacks are more devastating and it takes more shots to be defeated. For example, when a Splinter is corrupted by the dark atmosphere, it becomes a Dark Splinter, and its movements are more agile and accurate. Save Stations are comparatively rare throughout Dark Aether, forcing the player to play for longer stretches between saves. This becomes a severe problem in later levels, most notably when the player is looking for bosses like Alpha Blogg and Spider Guardian; if one of these defeats Samus, she will restart from a very distant point in the game, forcing her to redo many things that couldn't be recorded prior to the boss battle. Another challenge comes from backtracking, which plays a major role in this game and occasionally forces the player (after collecting a new item) to completely exit the area he or she is in so that a new part of a previous zone can be explored, another new item collected, and normal progress resumed. Finally, fulfilling the requirements to enter the final area of the game requires a much more extensive bout of exploration than was needed to enter the final area of the first Metroid Prime.
While most fans have enjoyed this new challenge (which becomes even greater on Hard difficulty), they also agreed that it becomes occasionally abusive, particularly when the time comes to find the nine Sky Temple Keys. Because of this and the aforementioned facts, Retro Studios concluded that the game was too difficult for casual players and therefore decided to moderate this aspect for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption by allowing players to choose a difficulty setting from the beginning (Normal and Veteran are available at first, and Hypermode is unlocked by accomplishing certain conditions).
When Nintendo first demoed the tentatively named "Revolution" (later named "Wii") remote at the Tokyo Game Show on September 15, 2005, and in America at a New York hotel on December 8, they allowed select press to try eight tech-demos in private. Most demonstrated simple concepts to introduce the capabilities of the new device. In order of showing, the demos were: a block shooting-range, the fishing game that ended up in Wii Play, an electric maze with a baton, air hockey, shooting baskets, a game where a Pokémon had to be found hidden among others, and flying a paper plane in Super Mario Sunshine's Delfino Island.   
The final and most advanced demo was a version of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes that had been retooled by Retro Studios for a few weeks to incorporate pointer controls. This demo was the only one to use (and thus introduced) the Nunchuk. The buttons were mapped to: A:Jump, B:Fire, Z1:Switch Visors, Z2:Lock-on/Scan, and Select:Morph Ball. The last three buttons were eventually renamed "C", "Z", and "-", respectively.
When imagining how various genres would work with this control systems, IGN stated:
"Using Nintendo's controller to navigate first-person shooters is going to be an amazingly empowering, freeing experience. We know this because Nintendo demoed a modified version of Metroid Prime 2 Echoes using the new peripheral, and the potential is undeniably jaw-dropping. In the demo, players could move Samus through the environments with the attached analog trigger. The need to lock-on to enemies, however, was been eliminated, thanks to a new level of precision aiming made possible with the pointer. In a level of accuracy rivaled only by a PC mouse configuration, gamers could simply use the device to point and shoot." 
IGN interviewed Retro Studios in 2009 and learned:
"Corruption's innovative Wii remote control scheme was born out of a technical demo at the Tokyo Game Show and a single talented programmer, Mark Haigh-Hutchinson. Nintendo needed a project to showcase at TGS that would successfully demonstrate to journalists the power of its new controller with regard to first-person games. Of course, it turned to Retro Studios to create the demo. About two months before TGS, a Revolution prototype arrived at the developer's Austin offices -- "the thing was a circuit board with wires hanging off it; it was funny," says Walker -- and it went immediately behind Hutchinson's locked door. "Mark locked himself literally in his office because he was not even allowed to show anybody else in the studio what he was working on at the time. And he was able to work his magic."
I ask how long it took him. "It was about two solid months and that was two hard months and a lot of late nights for him, but he loved every minute of it. He was such a dedicated and passionate developer. And when we first got our hands on what he had been doing, we were ecstatic because we knew, one, that we had a great demo for the Tokyo Game Show, but that the potential of the Wii controller for Metroid Prime 3 really was illuminated at that point," he says. The TGS demo was not an early build of Prime 3, but rather Prime 2. "We retrofitted -- no pun intended -- Echoes," elaborates Walker." 
New Play Control! Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was revealed at Nintendo's Fall Press Conference in Japan, along with a similar remake of Metroid Prime, as part of the New Play Control! series. The games have new motion-based controls and slightly improved graphics.
Metroid Prime TrilogyEdit
Metroid Prime Trilogy was announced on May 22, 2009 for release in North America on August 24 of the same year for $49.99. The disc includes Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption with Wii controls, as well as new content, menus, and unlockable media.
- Echoes originated as Metroid 1.5 on the day Metroid Prime was released in North America.
- Prior to the release of Echoes, a preview of the game was given out by Nintendo to some players in the form of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Bonus Disc, which had trailers, a history of the Metroid series, and a demo which featured 12 rooms from the Temple Grounds, Agon Wastes, and Dark Agon Wastes in a remixed order. It was later bundled with Metroid Prime and the Nintendo GameCube.
- Echoes is the first game in the series to have a multiplayer mode (though Metroid claimed to on its box art) and to have ammunition for its new Beam weaponry.
- There is a microgame based on this game in WarioWare: Smooth Moves.
- The beams re-use the same Arm Cannon configurations from Metroid Prime, although re-colored and re-textured. The Annihilator Beam takes on the Plasma Beam, the Dark Beam takes on the Ice Beam, and the Light Beam takes on the Wave Beam. The new beams also share similarities with the older beams in Prime.
- Echoes has several references to the Alien film franchise:
- Samus being sent to Aether to restore contact with the troopers is a concept in Aliens in which Ripley and the Colonial Marines are sent to restore contact with the colony on LV-426.
- The Splinter hive in the Federation Troopers' Ops base and the discovery of the dead troopers caught in webs is similar to the discovery of the Alien hive and cocooned colonists in the colony complex in Aliens.
- The scene where Dark Samus aims at the real Samus when they first meet is, according to storyboards, based on the climax of Aliens.
- Retro Studios discussed having Super Metroid as an unlockable hidden extra much like Metroid was in Prime, but it did not happen due to time constraints. 
- The game was playable as a demo in 2004 during the Nintendo Fusion Tour. 2005 saw the full game playable.
- Echoes was the first Metroid Prime game, as well as the first in the series overall, to have dialogue from human characters (SPC C. Campbell's line of "Ace! They're closing in fast! I need backup! I need backup!" during Exeter's final report.)
- When Samus loses her weapons and items to the Ing, it says her Power Bombs and Grapple Beam were stolen, despite the fact that they were unusable before and they did not appear in the inventory screen.
- List of Rooms in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- List of Logbook entries in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- Bosses in Echoes
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Multiplayer
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes' Image Gallery
- List of creatures in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- List of items in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes/Credits
- Metroid Prime 2 Echoes T-Shirt
- Gallery of merchandise
For the ingame artwork, see Metroid Prime 2: Echoes' Gallery