This is a featured article.

It was the end of peace on Aether, for a new race was born that day on the dark filled with hate and terrible power. They are the Ing.


The Ing (referred to as shadowlings by the Space Pirates) were a vicious and intelligent race of tribal shapeshifters native to Dark Aether, who were the nemeses of the Luminoth. "Ing", meaning "terror" in the Luminoth language,[1] is the name given to these creatures; it is unknown if the species had a name of their own.


Ing emerge in a gaseous form dubbed "black fog" to corrupt and control other beings.

During the Golden Age of the Luminoth, a Leviathan struck planet Aether with such great force that it caused a rift in space. The impact of Aether's unique planetary energy and the stellar object's Phazon seemingly created Dark Aether and gave birth to the Ing.

After having fought the Luminoth for decades of war, the Ing were on the verge of defeating them, having stolen the Light from all but one of their Energy Controllers, with only a single Luminoth to oppose them while the others slept in stasis within the Great Temple. However, after Samus Aran landed on Aether, she eliminated their kind by destroying Dark Aether. Since their dark-aligned bodies could not stand Aether's different atmosphere, they were left without a dimension to inhabit and perished within the collapsing Dark Aether.


Some Ing were able to absorb Samus' abilities at the beginning of her time on Aether, and incorporate them as their own.

In their purest form, Ing were amorphous, black-purple creatures that came in all shapes and sizes, adopting whichever form best suited their assigned role in the horde. The combat-capable classes were large and mobile, with the spider-like Warrior classes being as tall as a Luminoth, whereas those assigned to be worker drones and storage containers tended to be smaller. Many "pure" Ing appeared as stationary and largely docile growths, such as the Bladepod and Ingclaw, but the Warrior and Hunter breeds of Ing were much more formidable. Samus also encountered two Warrior Ing who had become mutated after absorbing her stolen equipment, the Jump Guardian and the Boost Guardian. Though each type of Ing had its own strengths and weaknesses, they shared a common weakness to light energy of any kind. The fields emitted from Light Crystals and Light Beacons could inflict severe injury on them, and would instantly kill them if a crystal or beacon was energized with a blast from the Light Beam or Annihilator Beam. Such was this hypersensitivity to light that they could not survive in Light Aether in their true forms, and could only be found in these forms on Dark Aether.

To circumvent this weakness and attack the denizens of the light dimension, the Ing used what was possibly their most unique ability: The power to possess other beings.

Those who fall under the possession of the Ing are known as Darklings. They often develop physiological changes along with augments to their offensive and defensive properties immediately after the hosts' fusion with invading Ing, but the former consequently acquire the latter's inherent weakness to strong light.

Potential hosts for Ing were nearly unlimited, with the only exceptions apparently being fully inanimate objects. Samus Aran proved to be immune to Darkling conversion due to her fortunate acquisition of the light-emitting Energy Transfer Module early on in her mission on Aether.

Ing forms[]

It can be assumed that the larval form is the basic form of Ing life, and will eventually grow into one of the adult forms to fit the roles necessary for the Horde.

Emperor Ing[]

The Emperor Ing.

The eldest and highest-ranking member of the Ing Horde is the Emperor Ing, who resides within the Sky Temple. It is the keeper of Dark Aether's primary energy source and of a substantial amount of Phazon, both from which it feeds upon in order to grow in power.


Juvenile members of the Ing race are constantly in danger and travel in Ing Larva Swarms to lessen this threat. As such, they grow to be aggressive and hateful of all other living things, making perfect soldiers. Ing Larvae are not common around Dark Aether and are only found in the Ing Hive. It is unknown how these creatures are produced.


Warrior Ing are the basic soldiers of the Horde. They are somewhat powerful, exercising extra-dimensional laser attacks along with various kinetic offensives. Like most Ing, the Warrior Ing can melt into a shadowy fluid, and slide across surfaces. Warrior Ing have only one eye, though with multiple pupils. Warrior Ing tend to congregate about rooms of importance, usually containing a Sky Temple Key or power-up.


The Ing also retain elites to help in destroying specific enemies of the Horde, called Hunter Ing. These creatures are viewed as the second most powerful of all Ing, second only to the Emperor. They can avoid damage by phasing out of the local time-space, and are the only ones allowed to possess Pirate Commandos.


When faced with large amounts of enemies, the Horde depends on the Ingstorm, tiny Ing that float in the air and emit destructive energy that can chew through any substance. Luminoth are easily eradicated by Ingstorm. They are only found in the Ing Hive, Sky Temple Grounds and Dark Agon Wastes. The Light Suit is the only known item that can guard against the Ingstorm's corrosive attacks.


Not all Ing are used as soldiers to attack the Luminoth. Some, like the Inglets, are worker drones who labor for the Horde, carrying around vital materials and essentials for the soldiers. When attacked, Inglets can defend themselves, although their attacks are somewhat pathetic, and they can be destroyed easily. Inglets can, like Warrior Ing, shift into a liquid state and flow around areas. They are easy to destroy by Luminoth, and Samus as well.

Minor Ing[]

Metroid Prime 2: Dark Echoes Q&A[]

QUESTION: Why did the Ing appear? And can you give more details about things beyond the meteorite collision?

ANSWER: Given that everything about Aether split into light and dark, the Ing were born, essentially the dark side of the Luminoth.[1]

QUESTION: Why is it that Phazon, discovered on Tallon IV and known for corrupting life, does not affect the Ing when they come in contact with it?

ANSWER: The Ing are creatures created when the Phazon energy split [Aether] into two worlds, so they are fundamentally immune to it.

QUESTION: This is a genuine question, but are all Ing able to possess?

ANSWER: Only the Warrior Ing can do that.

QUESTION: How come Samus doesn’t get possessed by the Ing? And are there no Metroids?

ANSWER: The Energy Transfer Module Samus received from the Ing protects her. And there are Metroids![2]

QUESTION: I started playing from MZM so with MP2 I only have two Metroid games. MP2 was also profoundly interesting. My question is why is it that the Ing can possess life from seemingly anywhere? And, why weren’t the Luminoth possessed?

ANSWER: The Ing are capable of going back and forth from the Dark and Light worlds. They are also capable of possessing the Luminoth. In the Luminoth lore there are records of this occurring.[3]

QUESTION: Is it possible for Ing to vacate the lifeforms they have possessed?

ANSWER: Yes, they can.

QUESTION: The Ing possess the ability to possess other lifeforms, but why is it that those possessed creatures' weights and shapes change as well? Also, are the Ing and Dark Samus rivals?

ANSWER: In order to perform fusion at the cellular level, some mutations have to occur. Only the weight of that particular Ing is added. The Ing and Dark Samus are not rivals in particular.

QUESTION: In Dark Aether there is a lot of Phazon. What is the relation between the meteorite which fell on Tallon IV and the one on Aether? To what extent do the Ing have the capacity for knowledge?

ANSWER: Probably to the extent of a highly intelligent shark.[4]

QUESTION: The Ing are able to possess life in Light Aether, but are they not able to exist in their original forms?

ANSWER: The Ing are not able to live in the light of Light Aether. They are only able to live in Light Aether by means of possession.[5]

Other appearances[]

A Phaz-ing.

In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, there is a Phazon-based creature known as the Phaz-Ing, which strongly resembles the Inglet. Because of the similarity in name and form, it is possible that this species, native to Phaaze, has some connection to Dark Aether's Ing Horde. Since the Ing Horde became extinct with the destruction of Dark Aether, it is very much possible that the Ing Horde descended from Phaz-Ings that boarded the Leviathan heading for Aether, as there is little to suggest otherwise.


  • The Ing Horde's ability for possession is strongly reminiscent of descriptions regarding demons.
    • Additionally, in function, this ability to enter, take complete control of and endow their host makes the Ing similar to the X Parasite, although the Ing have the advantage of being able to control inorganic machines, energy constructs, and Metroids, while the X have the ability to absorb data, and can mimic entire creatures just from a small strain of DNA.
    • Ing can also possess corpses and bring them to a form of pseudo-life, but these tend to be much weaker, as the Ing cannot properly bond with the host.
    • On that note, the Ing Horde's actions and to a degree motives (to leave Dark Aether and take over another planet) resemble the Aurans from the 1956 Italian sci-fi/horror film Planet of the Vampires. Coincidentally, that film acted as the basis for the Alien franchise, which the Metroid series has been significantly influenced by.
  • Though never seen ingame, the Ing can separate themselves from a possessed host at will, according to the log scan of the Dark War Wasp.
  • The Ing have 5 limbs, suggesting that their design may have been partly based on the human hand. This is of course not forgetting its arachnid shape. Finally, the Warrior Ing's movements are similar to a horse.
  • It is possible, though it requires an incredible amount of stamina and determination, to survive multiple Ing possession attempts. A-Voq was one Luminoth with this characteristic.
  • Despite the Ing's usual inability to maintain their physical form outside of their homeworld, a Warrior Ing can be seen forcing its limbs through the portal during the ending sequence in a desperate attempt to escape its dying dimension but is unable to exit and perishes as the portal and Dark Aether collapses.
  • In Trial Grounds, it is mentioned that the Ing have a "rite of passage" that involves young ones fighting fierce opponents in order to prove themselves in battle.
  • The Ing makes a cameo in the Spanish Metroid Prime Hunters commercial, where one can be seen in the background along with a black Luminoth. Hunters itself is set before Echoes in the timeline and has no references to the Ing nor Luminoth, although it mentions Aether in the scan for the War Wasp.
  • Ing are referred to in the plural as "Ings" in the scan for Super Crystals/Beacons, likely talking about various kinds of Ing (e.g. Warrior and Hunter).
  • Despite the Metroid Prime 2: Dark Echoes interview stating that the Ing are immune to Phazon, this is appears to be false as the Heavy Phazon Canisters will disintegrate Ing (in a manner akin to being exposed to light) if the former explode near the creatures. On the other hand, many other Phazon-based organisms remain vulnerable to weaponized forms of the hazardous substance, an example being Dark Samus herself. However, all of these creatures survive when exposed to the substance in a non-weaponized form, and Dark Samus even feeds from it to become stronger.



  1. ^ Luminoth Lore, "Dark Aether"