Emperor Ing

        Last time I talked about the Ing, dark monsters that live in another dimension, Dark Aether and plot to conquer the normal Aether than move on to the rest of the universe, most likely. I explained their abilities, the different kinds the player will see, and a plausible reason for their vile mindset. Now, however, we’re proceeding to see their ruler, the Emperor Ing.
        This entity is the strongest and oldest of the Ing, commanding all the others, and as you might expect, you don’t actually see any sign of this ruler until the end of the game, but his influence dictates everything that happened in the game itself, except Samus’s arrival. She arrived because of a distress call by Marines who were stranded on the planet, which they sent out because they were trapped after their ship was damaged in a battle with Space Pirates.
        Once Samus arrived, she too was stranded by her ship getting hit by lightning, though her ship immediately starts repairing itself, so she isn’t stranded for long. She heads out, and discovers that the marines were all killed before she arrived by the Splinters, giant insects. From the video Samus saw of the attack on them, these were actually Dark Splinters, controlled by Ing.
        She then met U-Mos, the last Sentinel of the Luminoth. He explained to her how the Ing came to be, and begged her to help him. All the other Luminoth are in hibernation, so that they would not live their lives out in fear of the Ing, andare waiting for the war to end, one way or another. He explains as well how the world’s energy is divided with that of Dark Aether, and if one world manages to take all the energy from the other, the second world will cease to be.
        The Luminoth had made a device so they could take Dark Aether’s energy, but it was stolen from them by the Ing, and used to take their energy, so that only U-Mos’s Energy Controller remained. In fact, the first boss of the game, the Dark Alpha Splinter, was holding this device, which is how Samus got it. Had she lost, it would have gone on to attack U-Mos, and end the war right there.
        However, she did win, and the game goes on. She heads to each of the Energy Controllers, fighting a boss at each. After she conquers three bosses and obtains three controllers worth of energy, U-Mos gives her the Light Suit with the energy gathered, which powers up her defenses to the point that she isn’t harmed by Dark Aether’s atmosphere, poisonous air, or the Ingstorm.
        This also lets her use the Energy Controllers on Aether as warp points, so she can reach any of the game’s locations. She’ll need to do this, because it turns out that to reach Emperor Ing’s Sky Temple, she needs to find the remaining nine of ten keys and bring them to the temple’s entrance, which are hidden in remote places all over Dark Aether, and are invisible to anything but the Dark Visor.
        Once they are found, you can enter the Sky Temple, which, surprisingly, doesn’t have any guards or anything like that- no, when you walk in, you instantly see the Energy Controller- before a black mass comes out of the ceiling, and tentacles grab the energy and pull it in, forcing you to move on. The temple is very small, so this isn’t much of an issue.
        What is an issue is that this takes you to the emperor’s sanctum, which is a wide open area, lined with Phazon. This doesn’t limit your movement much, but if you back up too much, it’ll be an issue, and you don’t want to get too close to him. The Emperor himself appears as what could be called a giant Inglet, but with abilities like a Hunter Ing as well.
        Your first objective is to shoot his tentacles until he’s forced to retract them. His attacks include lashing out with the tentacles, trying to knock her into the Phazon, dragging the tentacles along the groundf, forcing Samus to jump, throwing dark energy balls at her, and opening portals for him to stab her with the tentacles from odd angles. Luckily, destroying them gives you power ups as well.
        Once all the tentacles are taken care of, he will expose his eye, which, like all the Ing, appears to be a giant pulsing red orb. His in particular is protected on both sides by barriers, but there is a small opening on the front. The barriers move as well, stopping you from just aiming and shooting. In addition, the entire time the Emperor is charging up a powerful laser, which will not only do a lot of damage, but stun Samus for a short time, preventing her from firing.
        If enough time passes, he will cover his eye and resume using his tentacles. If beaten, however, his head will turn downward and seem to swallow the rest of his body, forming a cocoon. In this phase, he will be invulnerable to your regular weapons, and poison gas will fill the room, forcing you to use your Spider Ball ability to stay on the Emperor himself to stay above the gas.
        Inglets will also appear in their goo form to try and knock you off, but a bomb can destroy them. Your new objective is to destroy the tentacles that appear out of the holes on his cocoon. Don’t get too close to them, because they can and will knock you off. Instead, just leave a bomb next to them.
        There are 11 vents to destroy, and both they and the Inglets give power ups. As more tentacles are destroyed, more poison gas fills the room, meaning it is best to destroy the lower ones first, or else you’ll have to go into the gas to do so. The gas also raises temporarily as more vents are destroyed too, to the point the only safe spot is on the very top of the cocoon.
        Once all the tentacles are destroyed, the cocoon will explode, revealing that the Emperor Ing has mutated himself into a new form rather like a Warrior Ing. Obviously now he is a much more mobile and alarming threat, pulling out bigger and more devastating moves. What moves he can do and how you hurt him depends on what color his core is in his ‘mouth’.
        If orange, anything will harm him, but he won’t actually take damage- think of this as his shielded phase. The Emperor Ing also has a sort of hole in his back which you can hit him from, but it isn’t very easy to hit, and the only real time you’d have to do so is after a jump attack or something like that. Normally, he can use a jump that makes a shockwave, and fire out five lasers similar to those used by the Warrior Ing in various directions. He will also stab Samus with his legs if she gets too close.
        Breaking him out of this shielded phase, which I usually do with a Super Missile, will knock him into either the purple or white phase. These represent darkness, the Emperor’s natural abilities, and light, which it got from the energy it absorbed. They both have ascetically similar attacks, but with different effects.
        In either case he can fire out giant lasers- the dark one freezes you on contact, while the light one burns you, doing lingering damage. He can also summon small flying creatures, either Nightbarbs or some unknown light blobs, to fly around and act as defense, as well allowing him to eat them and restore some health. He also adds new attacks as the fight goes on, such as trying to trample you, indicated by him roaring and opening his mouth wider, or sliding along the ground, which he only does after the former attack.
In his dark phase he can only be harmed by the Light Beam, and in the light phase he can only be harmed by the Dark Beam.         However, the Annihilator Beam can hit him in both cases, and even better, it fires faster than the other two and homes in on the target. The problem is all these extra beams run on ammo, and the Annihilator Beam uses both types. Therefore, I’d suggest holding onto it until the battle is near its end. Luckily, those minions the emperor summons produce light and dark ammo, so don’t worry about running out too much, especially if you stick to the usual beams.
        Once he is beaten, he collapses, releasing the energy he absorbed, allowing Samus to finally collect it. However, with that taken, Dark Aether begins to destabilize, and she has to escape before time runs out, or be destroyed along with it. However, before she can beat far, she is halted by Dark Samus, who looks to be destabilizing herself, for one last fight. But that’s a topic for another day.
        All in all, the Emperor Ing is a long, exhausting battle that throws a lot of different tricks at the player, forcing them to adapt to very different adversaries as the battle rages on. I may have beaten the game quite a few times now, but the battle never gets old, and certainly never becomes less challenging.

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