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Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, known as Metroid Prime 2: Dark Echoes (メトロイドプライム2: ダークエコーズ Metoroido Puraimu Tsū Dāku Ekōzu ) in Japan and Korea, is the second Prime game in the Prime trilogy. It is a direct sequel to Metroid Prime, although chronologically, it occurs after Metroid Prime Hunters.
|“||Galactic Federation troopers investigating Space Pirate activity are missing.
Contact with the troopers was lost 8 days ago.
—Unused intro text 
This game's events follows after Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime Hunters.
Samus Aran receives a Mission File informing her that contact with Galactic Federation's Squad Bravo was lost eight days prior, and that she must find them on planet Aether and render assistance. As she enters Aether's atmosphere, Samus's Gunship flies through turbulent purple storm clouds and is struck by lightning. Badly damaged, the Gunship is sent hurtling towards the planet below but regains enough power just in time to land safely after crashing through the roof of a cave. While exploring the GF troopers' abandoned base of operations, she discovers a portal to Dark Aether after an encounter with a strange black-blue doppelganger. Following the being through the portal, she finds it absorbing Phazon; upon detecting Samus' arrival, the being destroys a nearby crystal. The barrier this crystal generates shrinks away to nothing, and Samus begins to be affected by the poisonous atmosphere. After the barrier fades, vicious creatures unknown to Samus at the time attack her. She escapes, but almost all of her upgrades are stolen by the creatures.
Despite the damage done to her suit, Samus proceeds to the GF trooper base, eventually finding their landing site where their damaged and burning ship, the G.F.S. Tyr, is located. After watching the commanding officer's last entry log, Samus learns that all the troopers were brutally murdered by Dark Splinters. She moves on to investigate their deaths, but soon realizes she has reached the end of the line: the room that might let her move onwards is blocked by some form of shielding that is impervious to her weapons systems. However, she finds a missile launcher near the landing site and, after a short battle with some Dark Splinters, continues to explore the Temple Grounds.
Samus eventually makes it to the Great Temple, where she battles more Dark Splinters, an Alpha Splinter, and its dark form, the Dark Alpha Splinter. After the battle, she recovers a mysterious "alien upgrade", though it has no negative impact on her suit's performance. She travels up the Temple elevator and discovers a device which contains a bright, glowing light. There, she encounters a Luminoth called U-Mos, who tells her the true name of the dark beings she encountered: the Ing. He explains how the Luminoth fought the Ing over their planetary energy, and have stolen nearly all of it. The alien upgrade she recovered is an Energy Transfer Module that would help her take back the stolen planetary energy and protect her from Ing possession. With her upgrades stolen by the Ing, U-Mos's warning that the Ing could target humanity should Aether fall, and moved by the Luminoth's plight, Samus agrees to assist.
U-Mos then sends her to the Agon Wastes, plains that were burned by a Leviathan impact, which brought the Ing and created Dark Aether. While collecting Dark Temple Keys to allow her access to each of the dark temples, while at the same time regaining her own abilities, Samus infiltrates the Agon Pirate base, coming face to face with her doppelganger Dark Samus for the first time. Once she has collected all keys, she invades the Dark Agon Temple and destroys the Amorbis before stealing Agon's energy back.
Reporting to U-Mos in the Great Temple, she is sent to the flooded Torvus Forest to recover the lost energy there. Samus finds that the area has a lesser, but still prominent degree of Space Pirate activity. Collecting the keys to the Dark Torvus Temple, she fights the Chykka and obtains more energy.
Upon her return to U-Mos, she is tasked with restoring the energy to the Sanctuary Fortress, a mechanical facility high in the cliffs. There, Samus gains the last of her missing abilities and then re-fights Dark Samus. In the Ing Hive Temple, Samus faces Quadraxis, a rogue Luminoth unit. After defeating Quadraxis, Samus acquires the Annihilator Beam and finds the third energy controller.
With the Light of Aether returned, U-Mos bestows Samus the Light Suit before giving her the most dangerous mission she'd have to complete on Aether: reach the final Energy Controller, hidden within the Ing Sky Temple and sealed away by nine keys scattered across the planet. With much difficulty and complex strategy, Samus finds these keys and enters the Sky Temple.
Within the Great Temple mirror, Samus faces the Emperor Ing, a mighty behemoth that rules the Ing Horde. She prevails and drains the stolen energy from the final energy controller. With the last of its energy gone, Dark Aether and the dimension it exists in begins to crumble; Samus races down to the Sky Temple gateway and prepares to leave the destabilizing shadow of Aether. However, Phazon quickly covers the entrance from which she came. Samus looks behind, only to find Dark Samus pointing her arm cannon at her.
The final form of Dark Samus that fights Samus has deteriorated greatly due to extreme Phazon absorption. Dark Samus's face, now exposed, is revealed to have three yellow eyes slightly resembling the nuclei of a Metroid, revealing Dark Samus to be the reincarnation of Metroid Prime. Samus exploits the Metroid Prime's fatal weakness - an overload of Phazon. After her defeat, Dark Samus tries to touch Samus, but disintegrates into Phazon particles before being able to do so. Unfortunately, Samus's victory is short-lived, as the Sky Temple is collapsing, and she is quickly surrounded by a horde of Warrior Ing intending to take her with the planet. Suddenly, some Phazon on a wall of the Temple disintegrates, revealing a portal. Samus successfully evades the Warrior Ing and jumps into the portal.
Samus arrives safely back in Aether, moments before Dark Aether collapses. She turns around just in time to see the Ing attempting to exit the dark portal, only to be destroyed as the portal connecting the two planets is destroyed. Finally out of danger, Samus returns to the Main Energy Controller to see the groups of Luminoth revived from hibernation watching her as she returns the remaining energy. After returning Aether's technologies, Samus walks out of the room amidst a number of bowing Luminoth and returns to her Gunship, deactivating her suit before flying off the planet and into the vast darkness of space.
As Samus's Gunship disappears in space to an unknown destination, outside of Aether's atmosphere a multitude of blue particles combine into Dark Samus, who would later exact her revenge on Samus in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes retains many gameplay elements from the original Metroid Prime, a game that initially had met with mixed reactions from fans and critics alike when it was announced for the first time that it would use a first-person perspective; however, the original Metroid Prime was found to stay true to the traditional gameplay of the Metroid series, focusing primarily on non-linear exploration, with occasional bouts of combat. Likewise, Metroid Prime 2 encourages players to explore huge areas, solve numerous puzzles, and defeat enemies when they're present. Weapons, tools, and expansions can be obtained during the adventure, and progress is based on usage of those items and defeat of bosses.
However, Metroid Prime 2 also features new additions, including the exploration of an alternate world, new items, and a multiplayer mode. Below is a brief explanation of those distinctions.
Light and Dark concept
Because Aether experienced a severe impact from a Leviathan, it suffered a dimensional division resulting in the creation of a darker, more sinister version of itself, appropriately called Dark Aether. During the events of the game, Samus has to explore both worlds in order to recover the Light energy Aether needs to subsist, which was stolen by the inhabitants of the dark version of the planet, the Ing. While she can safely travel around Light Aether, she experiences harsher conditions on Dark Aether due to its highly corrosive atmosphere; she can only survive there if she navigates among spots of light known as Safe Zones, where she will slowly recover energy. Samus can travel between Light and Dark Aether with the help of dimensional portals, activated by using certain weapons or by scanning a nearby console.
This concept of light and darkness is also reflected in the type of items found during the game. Replacing the traditional Ice, Plasma, and Wave Beams are the Dark, Light and Annihilator Beams respective, able to damage different types of enemies according to the world they come from. The Dark and Echo Visors allow Samus to see invisible materials and imperceptible sounds, respectively. The Dark and Light Suits help her to survive on Dark Aether for longer periods of time, as they greatly reduce (and even nullify, in the Light Suit's case) the damaging effects of Dark Aether.
The enemies also come into two versions: light and dark forms, the latter being called Darklings. They are vulnerable to weapons of the opposing nature, a very important detail to remember. The Light and Dark Beams also have limited ammo, something never seen before in previous Metroid games, so Samus has to find expansions to increase their capacities and, meanwhile, use her new weapons wisely (although she can recover ammo with the help of her Gunship or an Ammo Station).
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is commonly identified as a darker and more challenging game than its predecessor, the former due to its main plot device. With the story regarding Aether and the tragic past of the Luminoth, as well as the introduction of a dark and devilish dimension, the game features a certain concept of fear, death and corruption never seen previously in the series, an aspect that would later be extended in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Samus, having never before faced an evil force like the Ing or Dark Samus (which are able to corrupt anyone and anything to force them to fight on their side), learns the hard way that the Space Pirates are not the only villains in the galaxy, and that evil can both be present in many other forms and be so devastating as to nearly extinguish innocent civilizations. In fact, she notices that even the Pirates are vulnerable to the darkness the Ing bring with them, as even a Pirate can be turned into a Darkling in seconds.
The game also has a higher difficulty level than that of the first Metroid Prime. One of the reasons is the elements from Dark Aether: not only its dark atmosphere is damaging, for when it reaches a regular enemy, it becomes corrupted. The new version of the enemy, often referred to as a "Darkling", is more powerful and resilient, meaning its attacks are more devastating and it takes more shots to be defeated. For example, when a Splinter is corrupted by the dark atmosphere, it becomes a Dark Splinter, and its movements are more agile and accurate. Save Stations are comparatively rare throughout Dark Aether, forcing the player to play for longer stretches between saves. This becomes a severe problem in later levels, most notably when the player is looking for bosses like Alpha Blogg and Spider Guardian; if one of these defeats Samus, she will restart from a very distant point in the game, forcing her to redo many things that couldn't be recorded prior to the boss battle. Another challenge comes from backtracking, which plays a major role in this game and occasionally forces the player (after collecting a new item) to completely exit the area he or she is in so that a new part of a previous zone can be explored, another new item collected, and normal progress resumed. Finally, fulfilling the requirements to enter the final area of the game requires a much more extensive bout of exploration than was needed to enter the final area of the first Metroid Prime.
While most fans have enjoyed this new challenge (which becomes even greater on Hard Mode), they also agreed that it becomes occasionally abusive, particularly when the time comes to find the nine Sky Temple Keys. Because of this and the aforementioned facts, Retro Studios concluded that the game was too difficult for casual players and therefore decided to moderate this aspect for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption by allowing players to choose a difficulty setting from the beginning (Normal and Veteran are available at first, and Hypermode is unlocked by accomplishing certain conditions).
Development of Echoes initially began as Metroid 1.5, soon after the original Metroid Prime's release. Bryan Walker described the development time on Echoes as "exceptionally aggressive" for a group of 45 staff members at the time. Unlike the predecessor, where the studio dealt with low expectations from fans and critics, they were under pressure to deliver a worthy sequel. Retro personnel and their Japanese development partners were also worn down from mismanagement during production of the first Prime, necessitating Walker's role in improving the work culture.
The engineering team developed a set of tools that greatly assisted in the accelerated production. No assets were reused from the first Prime, as the artists wanted to recreate everything from scratch. Echoes also increased its use of cutscenes to tell a larger story compared to the original Prime; only one unspecified employee was focused particularly on the cutscenes. The production workflow for Echoes had been optimized compared to the first game, which led to a less intense development despite the short deadline.
According to Mike Wikan, it was Paul Reed who came up with the concept of a light and dark world, and they worked together on the pitch for it to Nintendo. This idea simplified development as rooms and assets could be reused in a parallel dimension. While the intention was to duplicate Aether in Dark Aether, this proved to be more ambitious than the development team thought, and some areas were blocked off by obstructions (such as Ingworms) in the dark dimension. Other ideas considered were a time travel mechanic or gameplay inspired by the film Memento, in which the protagonist suffered from anterograde amnesia.
The development team spent six months experimenting with Metroid multiplayer concepts; while it was not specifically designed for a sequel to Metroid Prime, the result was Echoes' in-game multiplayer mode. Compared to the final stretch of development for Prime, there was less crunch involved in the production of Echoes.
For the original Prime, audio lead Clark Wen made heavy use of synthesizers to simulate realistic sounds. On Echoes, he chose the opposite approach, using sounds from real-world sources and altering them to sound synthesized.
When Nintendo first demoed the tentatively named "Revolution" (later named "Wii") remote at the Tokyo Game Show on September 15, 2005, and in America at a New York hotel on December 8, they allowed select press to try eight tech-demos in private. Most demonstrated simple concepts to introduce the capabilities of the new device. The final and most advanced demo was a version of Echoes that had been retooled by Retro Studios for a few weeks to incorporate pointer controls. This demo was the only one to use (and thus introduced) the Nunchuk. The buttons were mapped to: A:Jump, B:Fire, Z1:Switch Visors, Z2:Lock-on/Scan, and Select:Morph Ball. The last three buttons were eventually renamed "C", "Z", and "-", respectively.
New Play Control! Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was revealed at Nintendo's Fall Press Conference in Japan, along with a similar remake of Metroid Prime, as part of the New Play Control! series. The games have new motion-based controls and slightly improved graphics.
Metroid Prime Trilogy
Metroid Prime Trilogy was announced on May 22, 2009 for release in North America on August 24 of the same year for $49.99. The disc includes Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption with Wii controls, as well as new content, menus, and unlockable media.
Nintendo.com ad blurb
In this highly anticipated sequel to Metroid Prime, become the bounty hunter behind the visor once more and travel to a planet torn into light and darkness.
Retro Studios, producers of the wildly popular Metroid Prime, take Samus Aran on a terrifying journey.
Galactic Federation Trooper Squad Bravo is missing; their last transmission-- a distress call from a rogue planet called Aether, located in the Dasha region.
Enter legendary bounty hunter Samus Aran. Her mission: Locate the Federation troopers and render assistance. But what begins as a search and rescue mission becomes an intense, haunting sojourn to save a species from total genocide in a world caught in the maelstrom between dimensions of light and darkness.
Light Aether is the domain of the Luminoth, gentle beings with a unique and highly developed civilization. But when a great cataclysm tore the fabric of space and time, the Ing Horde were unleashed from Dark Aether, a dimensional echo of Light Aether. Now the Luminoth are under siege. The Ing send armies into Light Aether, absorb its lands into the clutches of Dark Aether, and possess the Luminoth's warriors. Only the Luminoth's four gigantic energy generators keep the Light World from collapsing. If the Ing seize control of the generators, the Light World will be extinguished forever. Samus embarks on her mission to defeat the Ing and restore peace to Aether.
But, as Samus will soon learn, an ominous shadow lurks in the darkness, a shadow which stealthily hunts the hunter...
- New Beam Weapons: The Dark Beam and the Light Beam wield powerful ordinance to crush the Ing, solve puzzles, and open doors
- New Suits: As Samus traverses the depths of Light and Dark Aether she can don powerful new suits to protect her against the planets myriad enemies.
- Screw Attack: The famous attack from Metroid games of the past makes its triumphant debut on the Nintendo GameCube
- Power Ups: The space jump and the grapple beam are just some of the power-ups you'll find
- Multiplayer Metroid: For the first time in the history of the franchise, up to four players can battle each other as they search for weapons, grapple across ceilings and turn into Morph Balls to make their escape
Metroid Prime 2 Echoes is one of those rare games that exceeds its predecessor in quality. The game expertly weaves themes of light and darkness in every element, from plot, to characters, weapons, power-ups, even the music. The action is engaging and intense (you'll love to hate the Ing Horde), the levels brilliantly designed, and the puzzles intelligent but approachable. Metroid Prime 2 Echoes is a fantastic installment in one of the Nintendo GameCube's most exciting franchises.
- A sequel to Metroid Prime was hinted at in an interview with Michael Mann, Mark Pacini and Karl Deckard, which was published on the Metroid Official Site on April 16, 2003. When asked if a sequel was planned, Mann said there were ongoing discussions, but Retro was enjoying the success of the first game for the time being.
- The plot of Echoes bears a number of similarities to Jim Henson's 1982 film, The Dark Crystal. Both stories involve the disruption of a peaceful world by two warring factions formed by the splitting of a single entity into conflicting groups of good and evil (Aether/the Luminoth and Dark Aether/the Ing in Echoes; the urRu and the Skeksis in The Dark Crystal), and the efforts of the sole surviving member of a third party (Samus of the Federation in Echoes; Jen of the Gelflings in The Dark Crystal) to restore the peace in accordance to a prophecy. The Luminoth themselves strongly resemble the urSkeks from the film, both in appearance and behavior.
- Echoes originated as Metroid 1.5 on the day Metroid Prime was released in North America.
- Prior to the release of Echoes, a preview of the game was given out by Nintendo to some players in the form of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Bonus Disc, which had trailers, a history of the Metroid series, and a demo which featured 12 rooms from the Temple Grounds, Agon Wastes, and Dark Agon Wastes in a remixed order. It was later bundled with Metroid Prime and the Nintendo GameCube.
- Echoes is the first game in the series to have a multiplayer mode (though Metroid claimed to on its box art) and to have ammunition for its new Beam weaponry.
- There is a microgame based on this game in WarioWare: Smooth Moves.
- The beams re-use the same Arm Cannon configurations from Metroid Prime, although re-colored and re-textured. The Annihilator Beam takes on the Plasma Beam, the Dark Beam takes on the Ice Beam, and the Light Beam takes on the Wave Beam. The new beams also share similarities with the older beams in Prime.
- Echoes has several references to the Alien film franchise:
- Samus being sent to Aether to restore contact with the troopers is a concept in Aliens in which Ripley and the Colonial Marines are sent to restore contact with the colony on LV-426.
- The Splinter hive in the Federation Troopers' Ops base and the discovery of the dead troopers caught in webs is similar to the discovery of the Alien hive and cocooned colonists in the colony complex in Aliens.
- The scene where Dark Samus aims at the real Samus when they first meet is, according to storyboards, based on the climax of Aliens.
- Retro Studios discussed having Super Metroid as an unlockable hidden extra much like Metroid was in Prime, but it did not happen due to time constraints.
- The game was playable as a demo in 2004 during the Nintendo Fusion Tour. 2005 saw the full game playable.
- Echoes was the first Metroid Prime game, as well as the first in the series overall, to have dialogue from human characters (SPC C. Campbell's line of "Hey, somebody! They're moving in fast! I need backup! I need backup!" during Exeter's final report.)
- When Samus loses her weapons and items to the Ing, her Varia Suit states that her Power Bombs and Grapple Beam were stolen, despite the fact that they were unusable before and they did not appear in the Inventory.
- Metroid.jp featured an eight page Q&A interview with the development team, which was unofficially translated into English on behalf of fansite Shinesparkers in 2018.
- Commenting on criticisms of Echoes for being too difficult, the lead technical engineer Jack Mathews stated that the difficulty level masked many of the "stressful" gameplay mechanics, such as navigating Dark Aether and the Beam Ammo system, as well as the internal struggle to build a game that could match or surpass the success of the first Metroid Prime. He wished that the developers could have spent more time differentiating the environments of Aether and Dark Aether, which are often dark or light mirrors of the other in the final game. Plans to have a completely dark world with Samus walking around with a spotlight emitting from her were scrapped as it was "just impossible to play". The team only had enough time to build the Sanctuary Fortress and Ing Hive to be more distinct from each other.
- Two Separate Worlds: One Shadow, One Light
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide
- Nintendo Official Guidebook for Metroid Prime 2 Dark Echoes
- Metroid Prime 2 Dark Echoes Light and Dark Perfect Book
- Metroid Prime 2 Echoes Website
- List of rooms in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- List of Logbook entries in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- Bosses in Echoes
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Multiplayer
- List of creatures in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- List of items in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes/Credits
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes/Gallery
- List of development renders in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- Metroid Prime 2 Echoes T-Shirt
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Survival Kit
- Mission File 02546 shirt
- Universal Bounty Hunters T-shirt
- Bounty Hunter Chronicle
- Gallery of merchandise
For the ingame artwork, see Metroid Prime 2: Echoes' Gallery
- ^ Interview: Bryan Walker. Shinesparkers. May 6, 2022. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
- ^ NOM Staff. "Post game report: Retro Studios talk Metroid Prime 2 Echoes". Computer and Video Games. December 3, 2004. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
- ^ a b Kiwi Talkz. "#112 - Clark Wen Interview (Metroid Prime, Sound Design, Kenji Yamamoto, Mixing, SFX, Game Audio )". YouTube. October 23, 2021. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
- ^ Kiwi Talkz. "#114 - Kynan Pearson Interview (Metroid Prime 2, Donkey Kong, Level Design, Management etc.)". YouTube. November 12, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2022. (starts at 8:42)
- ^ a b KIWI TALKZ - #105 - Mike Wikan Interview (Metroid Prime Trilogy, Game Design, Crunch, Booz Allen Hamilton etc.) September 6, 2021. Retrieved March 16, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlbeRLmfCHk (starts at 30:46)
- ^ Michael Wikan: "Paul Reed had the original idea for the Dark/Light world (mad props Paul!) And he and I worked out the pitch to Nintendo for it. The other competing idea was a "Momento" [sic] based game (like the movie) by some other team members. Nintendo selected the dark/light motif right after we made the pitch." September 26, 2020 4:16 p.m. https://www.facebook.com/shinesparkers/posts/5064736973552418?__tn__=-R
- ^ http://www.mobygames.com/game/gamecube/metroid-prime-2-echoes/adblurbs
- ^ "Metroid.jp Interviews", Shinesparkers, 2021-02-26. Retrieved on 2021-02-26.
- ^ http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=112761
- ^ "Interview: Jack Mathews", Shinesparkers, 2018-01-20. Retrieved on 2018-01-20.
- ^ Sakurai, Masahiro (Sora_Sakurai). "2005年のきょう『メトロイドプライム2 ダークエコーズ』(Metroid Prime 2: Echoes)日本で発売!! 海外は半年ほど前｡ ダークサムスが現在の姿で初登場した作品｡Echoはサムスとダークサムスの関係を比喩してますね｡ なおスマブラのダッシュファイターは､海外ではEcho Fighterと言います｡ #スマブラSP" 25 May 2021 11:00 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/Sora_Sakurai/status/1397387014098538498