|“||Even the very air of Dark Aether is dangerous, and can cripple the strongest of warriors.||„|
The air of Dark Aether is the primary danger posed to offworld entities in the dark version of Aether. Any being exposed to its harmful effects will quickly begin to burn away, unless they possess a form of protection against it, or are born of Dark Aether. The atmosphere seems to contain elements of Dark Energy, as well as Phazon (due to the Leviathan's role in Dark Aether's creation). Aside from the Ing and various Darklings, the only entity that's fully immune to the air of Dark Aether is Dark Samus, due to both the atmosphere and Dark Samus herself being made up of Phazon.
Samus Aran's Varia Suit provides limited protection from the effects of the atmosphere. When exposed, the Varia Suit takes high amounts of damage, losing 6 units of energy per second (regardless of difficulty mode), and makes a fizzing sound. The HUD will periodically flash in a faint yellow and the Threat Assessment meter will immediately reach its highest level unless Samus seeks shelter in Light Beacons or Crystals that are placed throughout Dark Aether, which negate the harmful effects of the air within their field. Once the Dark Suit is acquired, Samus will only lose 1.2 units of energy per second from the atmosphere, the HUD will no longer flash yellow, and the fizzing effects are reduced. The Luminoth-designed Light Suit is the only upgrade capable of making Samus completely immune to the air, as it contains the Light of Aether, although the Screw Attack provides limited protection as well.
In Metroid Prime: Episode of Aether, Samus states that the atmosphere is filled with "poisonous gas".
QUESTION: Why is it that Dark Samus is able to travel around Dark Aether’s toxic gas?
ANSWER: The toxic gas in Dark Aether is essentially made of Phazon, so it’s not a concern.