|“||When Dark Aether was born, our planetary energy was divided. Half for our world, and half for theirs. Should one world gain control of this energy, the other will perish.||„|
|“||May the Light of Aether shine upon you!||„|
The Light of Aether, also known as the planetary energy, is a source of energy created from within planet Aether, seen in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Due to its status as a rogue planet, Aether has no sun, but the planetary energy has proven to be a sufficient equivalent, as it allows the planet to sustain many forms of life. Comprised of several types of energy, notably solar, bio and geothermal, it is powerful enough to have not only endangered the planet itself in the distant past, but to also narrowly sustain two planets of equal size.
Long ago, Aether was in danger of being destroyed in the near future due to its supply of planetary energy having reached a critical stage. The peaceful Luminoth prevented this energy from expiring by constructing a Main Energy Controller and three sub-controllers that would collect, regulate, preserve and radiate the planetary energy all across Aether through a global network. Since then, the Light of Aether is used by the Luminoth to stabilize the planet, sustain their settlements and power their technology in Agon, Torvus, and Sanctuary.
Usage during the war
When a Leviathan collided with Aether, it not only tore the world into two (a light and dark Aether), but split the planetary energy to both planets, leading to two dimensionally unstable worlds occupying the same area of space. This was likely the result of the impact between the meteorite's Phazon energy and the unique Light of Aether.
Prior to the impact, the planetary energy emitted a yellow color, but this same energy turned red within the opposite world. From the dark planet, the Ing, a warring race who sought the submission of other life forms, began attacking the Luminoth world and all its occupants, triggering a war. The Luminoth, desperate to bring a quick end to the conflict, devised a plan to acquire all the planetary energy from the opposite planet and bring it back to theirs, which would cease the existence of the Ing homeworld and stabilize their own. The Energy Transfer Module was created to interact with and collect the Light of Aether.
However, during the war's final stages, Dark Aether's inhabitants stole the Energy Transfer Module, and with it, took the Luminoth's planetary energy from three of their temples and brought it to their respective opposite temples on Dark Aether. The future of the Luminoth looked bleak, and while the other remaining survivors put themselves in stasis to await either a painless death or a miraculous salvation, the last Sentinel of the Luminoth, U-Mos, awaited the final enemy assault on the Great Temple, which would result in the taking of the final Light of Aether, and consequently, cause the planet's destruction. This was prevented, however, with Bounty Hunter Samus Aran's timely intervention; she arrived at the Great Temple just as Ing-possessed wildlife appeared to take the Great Temple's planetary energy. Not only did she dispatch them, she also took from them the stolen Energy Transfer Module. Samus then met U-Mos, who explained his planet's situation and respectfully pleaded for her aid in reacquiring the Light of Aether stolen from Agon Temple, Torvus Temple and Sanctuary Temple.
Samus traveled across the dimensionally fluctuating world, invading the dark planet, reclaimed portions of the Light of Aether, and defeating the Ing Horde's Guardians along the way. Whenever a portion of the Light was taken from a Dark Temple, the sky of that entire region permanently fluctuated with a crimson color. Eventually, only one portion of light remained in the Dark World, within the Sky Temple that contained the missing half of the Great Temple's energy, guarded by the Emperor Ing. She defeated the Emperor and absorbed the final energy, which began the collapse of Dark Aether. The start of this collapse was an event similar to an earthquake, but on a world-wide scale. As Samus returned to Light Aether through a nearby portal, the Ing homeworld was eradicated.
The Light of Aether seems malleable enough to be used for other means than sustaining planets. The Emperor Ing was shown engulfing the Sky Temple's planetary energy and was stated to be siphoning energy from it to empower himself. Strangely, Samus had absorbed the same type of energy numerous times throughout her mission, yet never gained additional power from it; this may be due to the fact that while the Emperor was absorbing the Light of Aether directly into his body, Samus was merely gathering it into the Energy Transfer Module. The flying insects known as Lumites are naturally gifted in manipulating the planetary energy for nutritional, offensive and defensive purposes.
The Light of Aether can also be converted into a Luminoth energy transport system if wearing the appropriate gear and technology. The Light Suit allowed Samus to use this system to quickly travel between all the main regions of Aether, as well as accessing areas that were too high or otherwise impossible to reach. While the Luminoth are stated to use the Light Shafts for transport, it is never mentioned what gear they need to do so, if any.
- If Samus tries to leave the area she is in whilst she contains its Light, a telekinetic barrier will form over the doors. Scanning it reveals that the energy she carries is bound to the area and cannot leave it.
- Prior to the development of the Energy Transfer Module, Dark Aether and Light Aether each contained half the planetary energy. That equates to each Energy Controller, including the Main Energy Controllers housed in the Great Temple and the Sky Temple, having 12.5% of the world's energy.
- Curiously, several Luminoth Lore (The Sky Temple, The Final Crusade, Shattered Hope) insinuate that the entirety of Dark Aether's planetary energy could be collected from the Sky Temple's Dark Main Energy Controller. Either the other three dark sub-controllers had remained empty until they were filled with their opposites' energy, or these sub-controllers always had their respective 12.5% energy, but due to their link with the Main controller, one could absorb all four controllers' planetary energy from the Sky Temple.
- When Samus entered the Sky Temple, prior to the battle with the Emperor Ing, the Light of Aether was red, as was the case with every other portion of this energy found throughout Dark Aether. However, upon killing the Emperor Ing, the planetary energy returned to its original yellow color seen on the light planet; it is the only moment in the entire game when the planetary energy was yellow despite being present within a Dark Temple.
- ^ Retro Studios. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Nintendo. English. 2004-11-15. In-game scan: Main Energy Controller: Energy chamber: "Initial analysis complete.
Chamber holds a collection of several types of energy. Notable types include solar, bio, and geothermal energy. Unable to measure exact power levels with current scan equipment."