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A Pirate Commando before (left) and after Ing possession (right).

Darkling is a Luminoth term used to identify Ing-possessed creatures and mechanisms.[1] Most of them will have the word dark added to the front of their non-possessed counterpart's name. The term Darkling is also used to identify original bioforms that can only be seen on Dark Aether.

History[]

The Dark Quad is an example of a mechanoid Darkling.

According to scans, the Ing race were initially unaware of their ability to invade another being's body.[citation needed] They first learned to possess organic creatures early on in the war against the Luminoth until finally learning how to do the same to the Luminoth[2] and artificial intelligent machines[3] near the conflict's final stages (prior to Samus' arrival to Aether).

Darkling-possession was the Ing Horde's solution to gaining access to the Light dimension, in which its atmosphere was otherwise fatal to them. An Ing invades the opposite dimension by creating a small portal and emerges in as the black fog to possess the nearest being within its range, be it synthetic or organic. If an Ing wants to possess a being in Dark Aether, its homeworld, it needs only to lunge itself at its target and envelop it in its liquid, semi-gaseous or intangible form, which will then be "absorbed" into said host's body. A Darkling's body allows the dark Ing within to survive in the light dimension, and the presence of said Ing prevents the light body from deteriorating inside the corrosive dark dimension. Some Ing brought their possessed victims to their homeworld and added them to the Ing Horde; as a result, the Ing army is composed of a variety of beings, ranging from mechanoids to wildlife, pure Ing and others. Early on in the war for Aether's planetary energy, the Luminoth were among the first to be targeted for Darkling-possession, creating Dark Luminoth, thus forcing the light-dwelling race to kill their possessed friends and family members.[2]

Since the Ing are a sentient and intelligent race, any animal relying on instinct or robotic entity with basic programming becomes a vastly larger threat when turned into a Darkling, as their low intelligence is replaced with the invading Ing's greatly advanced mind. It is largely due to this that the Ing Horde nearly won the war against the Luminoth. By converting a portion of light Aether's beings into Darklings, the Ing strategically attacked with military precision important locations and stole the planetary energy from three of the light planet's four Energy Controllers in order to stabilize their own world and destroy the Luminoth's (the fourth controller was protected by Samus' intervention).

Description[]

The Dark War Wasp, a classic Darkling. Little has changed from the standard War Wasp besides its head structure, coloration and in-game damage potential.

The victims of darkling-possession gain an altered physical appearance following the Ing's corruption: one change that is seen in all but one possession is an overall purple/darker shade of color (the lone exception to this is the Quadraxis drone). Other possible changes are the growths of thorns and spikes on the possessed's body, and the least common mutation is the addition of one or several red glowing spheres on the Darkling; these spheres are likely the same cluster of red particles present in several pure Ing.

According to a scan, the controlling Ing can leave the host's body any time it wishes to do so;[4] there is no known method to separate the entities apart without the former's consent. Killing a Darkling will end the lives of the host and the inhabiting Ing. Possession is also possible with deceased bioforms, however it seems that the time usually required for complete parasitic fusion, a mere few seconds, is exponentially extended in this case.[5] Until the fusion is finished, the "resurrected" Darkling will have slow movements and reflexes similar to a typical zombie. The Ing must be certain if their potential hosts are healthy or clinically dead before taking control: a scan in Dark Agon Wastes reveals that, following a biosystem shock, a Space Pirate suffered cardiac arrest during its conversion into a Darkling, causing the deaths of both individuals.[6]

An Ing that fuses with an entity tends to greatly increase the latter's natural health and/or offensive capabilities; in most cases, the combined being is more powerful than the lone Ing, but now shares the high vulnerability to light based weaponry. However, if a powerful Ing were to possess a weak host for whatever reason, the resulting Darkling is likely to be weaker than the invader's pure form. This scenario seemed to intentionally take place during a young Ing's trials to adulthood, where it would prove its worth by using a weak individual in the battlefield and graduate to the control of stronger entities.[4] There exists some limitations to their ability: a lone Ing possessing an incredibly powerful and immense being is seemingly impossible, and instead takes an untold amount of Ing members to successfully take over such a being. This was the case for the Quadraxis. Interesting to note is that some bioforms' minds, despite being possessed, are difficult to control and are not fully-accessible by the Ing. This makes the invading race incapable of utilizing some of their hosts' natural abilities, such as the sonic attack from the Bloggs being non-existent in the Dark Blogg.

Quadraxis, a powerful Darkling.

Darklings usually have Aether counterparts, such as the Dark Splinter and the Splinter. However, some are not known to have any: the Dark Phlogus, the Amorbis and Darkling Tentacles are a few examples. These creatures could be considered as original Darklings, as they were seemingly born on Dark Aether without having any light counterpart possessed and/or brought over to the dark world. Below is a list of all Darkling organisms encountered by Samus in Metroid Prime 2 divided into two categories: those confirmed to be Ing-possessed entities and the previously described original Darklings.

Ing-possessed entities[]

Original Darklings[]

The Darkling Tentacle and Ingclaw are peculiar entities, as their names and logbook entries describe them as being both pure Ing and Darkling.

The Webling is a more bizarre case due to the fact that its potential light-counterpart, the Luminoth Webbing, is a non-living, non-sentient inanimate object. All in-game evidence regarding Darklings have always pointed towards the fact that the Ing can only invade the bodies of organic beings (alive or dead) and robots (online or offline), making the Webling a contradiction of sorts. However, there are no scans related to the Webling or Luminoth Webbing that state any connection whatsoever between the two, leaving the possibility that the former is an original Darkling with a structure that simply corresponds with the latter.

Countermeasures[]

The Power Suit notifying Samus of a failed Symbiotic possession attempt.

Samus Aran and specially armored Luminoth seemed to be immune to any form of darkling-possession, the former having acquired the Energy Transfer Module early on in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, which generates a constant light energy from within, thus making it impossible for her to become a Darkling. An Ing attempting to possess Samus following the Module's acquisition will simply leave her body mere seconds after enveloping and/or entering her, though she may receive damage from the Ing's corrosive body. If the special armor of a Luminoth were to break and allow access to an Ing, the wearer would be prepared to end his/her own life before losing his/her will.[2] There are uniquely powerful Luminoths, however, that possess incredible stamina and psychic durability capable of fending off Darkling-possessions without the use of the mentioned armor: A-Voq was one such Luminoth that repelled numerous Ing possession attempts.

Light Crystals and Light Beacons also appear to provide some protection against Ing possession on Dark Aether. An Ing attempting to possess Samus's body will leave immediately should Samus enter a field of light, and the Ing almost never attempt an Ing possession attack on Samus while she is standing in the center of an active light field.

Destruction of Dark Aether[]

It is unknown if any Darklings survived on Light Aether when Dark Aether collapsed, though it is a possibility, and it is known that at least one Dark Tallon Metroid was kept as a specimen by the Space Pirates on one of their homeworlds and dissected for research purposes.

If any number of Darklings remain on Aether after the Luminoth awakened from their life-preserving stasis, it is probable they were disposed of by the latter, given their deep hatred for the Ing race.

Trivia[]

  • Darklings share many similarities to individuals possessed by spirits and demons.
    • If the Luminoth Webbing is indeed a candidate for Ing-possession, the resulting Darkling would be akin to a poltergeist event during which inanimate objects such as dolls are moved and controlled by malevolent ghosts.
  • Dark Phlogus, Darkling Tentacles and Nightbarbs are odd cases, because the only creatures that could potentially be their natural forms are only seen on other planets; the Puddle Spore and Reaper Vines are found on Tallon IV, while Nightbarbs on Bryyo share the same name. If the mentioned Darklings are not original beings, then it is possible that the Chozo, Luminoth and Bryyonians, having all met each other at some point in the past, had exchanged a few wildlife from their respective planets, thus explaining how the Ing were able to possess these extraterrestrial bioforms.
  • The Quadraxis drone is the only darkling that did not keep a darker shade of color after the Ing fully possessed it. Curiously, when the Ing were first attempting to get it active, the drone's body momentarily turned dark purple with glowing blue "eyes" before reverting to its normal color scheme.
  • The corpses of Keybearer Luminoths found throughout Aether seem to be wearing smooth, glowing armor pieces not found on living Luminoths nor among normal Luminoth corpses; these Keybearers were possibly wearing the special armor designed to protect their wearers from Ing possession.
  • Ironically, despite being Dark-based creatures, they are still vulnerable to certain sub-categories of dark energy. For example, if a Dark Pirate Trooper or Dark Pirate Commando stumbles upon Dark Water, it gets incinerated. Other examples would be that the Dark Missile Trooper and Dark Pirate Commandos remain susceptible to the Entangler's effect.
  • It is a common misconception that Dark Samus is a Darkling due to the "Dark" prefix in her name. Dark Samus as a Darkling would entail Samus being possessed by the Ing.

References[]

  1. ^ Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004) The Ing Attack [Path of Roots (NTSC); Underground Tunnel (PAL/Trilogy)] "The day came when space was torn asunder, revealing dimensional rifts to a dark place. Horrible dark swarms streaked forth from these rifts, engulfing nearby creatures and transforming them into what we would come to call darklings. The dark creatures became our enemies, and peace came to an end on Aether."
  2. ^ a b c Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004) The New Terror [Catacombs (NTSC); Gathering Hall (PAL/Trilogy)] "In time, the Ing began to possess Luminoth as well as creatures. Friends and family members became the enemy, spilling Luminoth blood across the land. Desperate, we devised shielding to prevent Ing possession. It was effective, but not perfect. Should the shielding fail, all Luminoth were prepared to self-terminate rather than become a weapon for the Ing."
  3. ^ Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004) Dark Quad MB [Sanctuary Fortress; Ing Hive] "The Ing discovered they could possess and control artificially intelligent machines as well as living beings. They soon turned the loyal Quad drones against the Luminoth, finding the tenacious machines to be quite useful additions to the Horde."
  4. ^ a b Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004) Dark War Wasp [Service Access; Vault Attack Portal] "Vicious and swift, the War Wasp is a prime target for young Ing eager to join the war effort. They appreciate the flying speed and numerous attacks the insect possesses. If they prove their mettle in the War Wasp, these Ing often graduate to the control of larger, deadlier creatures."
  5. ^ Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004) Dark Trooper [Splinter Hive] "Bioscans indicate terminated lifesigns in this trooper, and the presence of an unknown biomass with parasitic tendencies. Though the trooper's armor has been compromised, the bulk of it remains intact. Weapon systems remain online as well. Full parasitic fusion has yet to be obtained, resulting in low agility and response time."
  6. ^ Scan in Oasis Access: "Subject [Space Pirate] was undergoing parasitic fusion when its heart failed. Massive biosystem shock led to the termination of subject and parasite."


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