The creation of the Ing was the result of the impact of a Leviathan that struck Aether. Dark Aether is the dimensional twin of Aether, meaning that the Ing are also the Luminoth’s counterparts in a sense. Since the Ing do not have any (at least to our knowledge) way of recording their history, most information available was extracted from the Luminoth lore and Galactic Federation Logs and can pinpoint the creation of their realm to about 50 years before the events of Metroid Prime 3 Corruption. Other pieces of information are based on their behaviour as well as my own theories.
We do know however that the Ing invaded Aether shortly after the calamity caused by the Leviathan settled down and became suitable for the Luminoth to live with. It is plausible that the Emperor Ing must have known shortly after being born that the planet was unstable. While the Ing were invading Aether, the Luminoth did not have any means of protecting themselves from Ing possession. During this time, it is reasonable to think that some Warrior or Hunter Ing possessed Luminoth individuals and gained knowledge of the Energy Transfer Module. They stole it from the Luminoth to contain and transfer Light Aether’s planetary energy cores to their own realm, with only the Great Temple core left unclaimed. Knowingly anticipating potential retribution by the Luminoth, they likely increased their numbers and positioned themselves at vital points around Dark Aether to prevent the Luminoth from gaining too much ground. Major setbacks were had when the Luminoth attacked the Ing world, especially with the help of their newly crafted light-based weaponry and other support technology, like Light Crystals, which were deadly for the Ing. Eventually however, the overwhelming numbers and dark-based natural weaponry the Ing developed proved too much for the Luminoth, and even their countless Light Crystals and mechanoids of war were corrupted.
One by one they fell to the Ing Horde, with no survivors, and while the Sky Temple Key Bearers proved to be more resilient, it was not that long after that they too met their doom. Just like the Chozo sealed Metroid Prime inside the Impact Crater, the Luminoth either did the same. Since it is a dark version of Aether, maybe the Ing created it themselves (or it was already just present from the start) to protect the guardian of the Leviathan, the Emperor. It is also unclear in what fashion the Ing saw Dark Samus as except that it posed at least a similar threat like Samus did. The only difference was that while Samus was after the energy cores, Dark Samus was mainly after absorbing all Phazon it could find. Around the same time Samus arrived on Aether, the Ing were already prepared to launch one final assault against the Great Temple to claim that last Energy Core, but she intervened and stopped them before they got the chance. During the entire one-vs-all time period, the Ing still attacked every major area in Aether and possessed various life-forms they deemed worthy enough, as well as the Space Pirates, who were also heavily involved ever since they discovered Phazon on Aether and even more on Dark Aether. So, while the Luminoth did not have anyone battling anymore, the Ing’s attention was focused entirely on Samus to prevent her from gathering the planetary energy cores.
One energy core after another was lost, as Samus defeated each guardian traversing Dark Arther. The Ing got increasingly more desperate, but even then, Samus proved to be too much with the now-acquired Light Suit received from U-Mos as the latest arsenal of the Luminoth against darkness. The Emperor was the final line of defence against the forces of light, taking complete control over the last energy core, which it absorbed into its body before Samus could claim it. After a hard-fought battle, not even the Emperor could stop Samus and the dark world began to destabilise when she stole the last of its energy. With the remaining Ing now leaderless and without purpose, they vainly tried to escape their doom during the final seconds following Samus’ getaway from the dark dimension before the dark realm collapsed under itself, sealing their fate.
Nothing is known about the Ing’s molecular makeup, if they follow the laws of known physics at all. They also do not have a specific biological appearance as there are different kinds of Ing. Most notable are the five limbs of Warrior Ing, with a big red eye that has several pupil-like organs. Furthermore, they have appendages on their backs that resemble a mixture of hair and spines. In addition, there are larger, more evolved versions of the Warrior Ing called Guardians. Then, we have the Inglets as well as the Emperor Ing itself with a big spherical head and an orange/red eye, again with multiple pupils. The Inglets seem mostly fluid as that is their main means of moving and they can fire dark energy projectiles at enemies. The Emperor has several tentacles coming out of its eye and a solid body that keeps it grounded. Finally, we have the Hunter Ing that hovers instead of walking, having four tentacles that don’t quite function as one might think. Their main body seems to be one giant eye or source of energy protected by their dark body.
Culture and Technology
Not much is known about their culture other than their undeniable thirst to destroy and possess any lifeforms they encounter. It is one of the most sadistic and barbaric lifeforms known to Samus and other key players in the galaxy. However, it does appear that Phazon is very important to them and that they pretty much know that it is the source of their creation, meaning that they hold it sacred above almost anything else. But as previously mentioned, their association with Dark Samus is currently unknown. Perhaps they sought to possess it like everything else they enwrapped their black fog on. Ing technology mostly consists of biological, chemical, and dimensional means. They also use other less self-aware Ing to protect key areas like Ingworms, while Ingclaws seem to function as atmosphere stabilisers for the Ing, as a way of maintaining their natural environment. The Ing use Ingworm Caches and Bladepods to store resources around their world.
Weaponry and War
Warrior Ing and the Emperor can fire trans-dimensional beams summoned by focusing the energy around them. The Emperor can also use this energy to warp his tentacles from his body to another point in the surrounding area during combat. Hunter Ing can phase out of one dimension to another to temporarily get closer to their prey without taking any hit, which arguably makes them the most lethal Ing next to the Emperor. Ingstorms are tiny but incredibly deadly when swarming and are used when they face overwhelming forces. To this day, only the Light Suit could allow anyone to safely pass through them. Darkling Tentacles were used as defence measures against any invader trying to enter important areas. In the end, the Ing’s main strategy of warfare was to possess and take control over enemies and turn their former allies against them, increasing their numbers even further. Unlike the Luminoth, thanks to their natural ability to manipulate trans-dimensional energy, they could create wormholes almost at will, giving them an edge over technology-based counterparts.
Seemingly erased from existence since their dimension collapsed on itself, it is safe to say that the Ing are gone forever based on current information available. Of course, nobody knows what the Ing were capable of beyond what was recorded and observed by Samus and the Luminoth. Even though the Ing could not survive in our reality, they could survive by possessing the various lifeforms and enemies they encountered. Considering they also have the natural ability to create wormholes to enter other dimensions, who is to say that they did not expand to other trans-dimensional worlds? Unlike Phaaze- and Phazon-based lifeforms, the Ing were not entirely tied to the fate of their ruler or realm, so who knows – maybe some Ing are still lurking somewhere in the deepest void of dimensions without our knowledge…
Written by Quadraxis