A close-up of an Airthorn.

An Airthorn is an aerial enemy from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. A flock of Airthorns is observed in one room only, the Dark Transit Station, and cannot be scanned in normal gameplay for the reason being that Samus is moving through a tunnel in Morph Ball and cannot access her Scan Visor when they pass by. When accessing a Secret World in the same room, however, Samus, now in her bipedal form, can scan the flying mechanoids and read their information. Airthorns are not stored in her logbook since they are not meant to be scanned, though the well-detailed information suggests they were originally planned to be.

These mechanisms were originally programmed to patrol the skies and inform their Luminoth creators of any potential danger from the Ing Horde, much like the ground-based Sentinel Crystals and Dark Sentinel Crystals. However, unlike the latter two, the Airthorns have malfunctioned and they now obediently give their data to the Ing. They seem to possess some sort of Dark Energy-based shield, given the fact they fly through the atmosphere of Dark Aether unhindered.

The Airthorns' in-game behavior is identical to Dark Aether's Nightbarbs, making them a counterpart of sorts. Their physical structures are also similar as well.

Logbook entryEdit


Airthorns in gameplay.


Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Temporary scan

Mechanism: Airthorn
Rogue airborne mechanoids. Targets are small and travel in packs for safety. Avoid contact.

Logbook entry

The Luminoth made the Airthorn to patrol local airspace. The small, speedy machines were a boon to the war effort until their programming failed. Now rogue, they serve the Ing as fiercely as they served their creators.


  • The creatures known only through the script name of "lightSwarm" are also a counterpart to the previously mentioned Nightbarbs. However, the former behaves more closely to the Nightbarbs specifically summoned by the Emperor Ing, in which both creatures act as sustenance and barriers to the Ing leader.
  • Guard Nodes in Metroid Prime Hunters resemble Airthorns, in that they are both triangluar shaped machines.


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