The Aerie is the highest room in the sector, and by extension Aether as a whole. It is essentially a huge elevator. It is unknown what the purpose of the room was originally, but it seems to be a chamber for containing the Echo Visor. O-Lir refers to the Aerie as a "place of honor".
During Samus's exploration of the Fortress, she encounters and fights Dark Samus here, who she thought to be dead after their previous battle. Dark Samus has absorbed more Phazon since her defeat, increasing her own powers and giving her access to more Phazon variations of Samus' abilities, such as the Boost Ball.
Upon entering the room, Samus finds Dark Samus absorbing Phazon from a wall of the substance. Dark Samus becomes aware of Samus' presence, and fires at her. Managing to evade her attacks, Samus finds cover behind one of the two beams that go through the elevator platform. Dark Samus hits an Interface Module, activating the elevator. The two battle until the elevator reaches the top, at which point Dark Samus starts using more of her abilities, like becoming invisible to the Combat Visor.
Upon defeat, Dark Samus escapes by breaking through a window and falling out of it, granting Samus access to a Portal. Samus travels to the Dark version of the room, and uses a higher Portal to return. Samus then acquires the Echo Visor. By using it, Samus can unlock the sonic locks preventing her from leaving. The Dark Aether version of this room is the Hive Summit.
- Dark Samus 2 (continuation of fight from Aerie Access)
- "Morphology: Dark Samus
Reborn, enhanced, and vengeful.
Enhanced beam system and Boost attacks added to arsenal. Stealth field generator present in armor."
- 2 Dark Pirate Commandos
- "Morphology: Dark Pirate Commando
- Darkling-possessed elite Space Pirate.
- Increased combat ability due to symbiotic presence. Able to phase out of local timespace."
- Echo Visor
- Go to the Portal to Hive Summit. Then take the other portal in the Summit to reach a platform right next to the visor.
- Dark Portal (inactive)
- "This rift portal is inactive.
The portal field can be energized with dark energy. Walk into an energized portal to transport to Dark Aether."
- Dark Portal (active)
- "This portal is active.
Walk into the portal to transport to Dark Aether. Extreme caution recommended once transit is complete."
- Elevator (locked)
- "Object scan complete.
Elevator platform is using a sonic security system.
Sonic detection gear needed to interface with this system. Elevator is receiving commands via sonic beam; the commands are keeping it locked in place. Destroying the sonic beam emitters may release the elevator."
- Echo Visor
- "Echo Visor"
- When returning through the final portal the room will be filled with familiar blue particles, indicating that Dark Samus has begun to revive herself again.
- There is an invisible barrier preventing access to the Echo Visor during the Dark Samus 2 fight. It can only be lifted once Dark Samus is defeated.
- If the Echo Visor is acquired without entering the Portal, no cutscene will play out and the elevator puzzle will not appear. The elevator oddity can be remedied by entering the Portal.
- If Samus encounters the two Dark Pirate Commandos and activates the elevator to get back down before defeating them, they will simply vanish as the elevator cutscene starts.
- As mentioned above, the Aerie is the highest room in all of Aether, stretching above even the Main Energy Controller in the Great Temple. However, this does not apply to the Hive Summit on Dark Aether because the Sky Temple in that dimension floats even higher than the Ing Hive and Great Temple, making the Sanctum the highest room instead.
- ^ "The last of our champion's visors used sound to target the unseen. Recover it from its place of honor and use it wisely!"