A sentient species born of the stars, or so they claim, were thriving in the light of thousands of stars for what was possibly a long time. As with all origin stories, whether in fiction or real life, certain things eventually get lost in translation or altered from their intended purpose. It is reasonable to think that the Luminoth were a space traveling civilisation for hundreds if not thousands of years once they had mastered the technology of space travel. Living in the void of space, in time they came across the Chozo and the currently unidentified Ylla and N’Kren. Knowledge and words of wisdom were exchanged as they forged a bond with one another, mainly with the Chozo. They also learned that each race eventually found their own planet to claim as their own, so the Luminoth decided to do the same. After many years of desperate and futile attempts to find their own home world, Luminoth scouts finally found one in Aether.
Settling on mountains, then expanding to forests and fertile lands, they built a Great Temple that connected the three regions as a symbol of their marvellous civilisation and to honour their realisations as people. However the planet was running out of planetary energy and the Luminoth, with all their efforts, managed to create four energy controllers, one in each temple that was built in respective regions, namely the Temple Grounds, Torvus, Agon Wastes and the Sanctuary Fortress. They were developed to regulate and preserve what remained of Aether’s energy and to efficiently distribute it to those in need. It is unclear what this energy is at a deeper level, the most logical assumption would be Aether’s core itself, somehow radiating all over the planet. It could also be a combination of all-natural resources left on the planet being transformed into pure energy to be used for general purposes, or a new type of energy only Aether so far is known to have. Being dubbed the Light of Aether, one thing was certain. Without it, all life and the planet itself would die permanently.
As if that wasn’t enough, a Leviathan sent from Phaaze suddenly appeared through a wormhole it created in nearby range and was on a collision course with Aether. The Luminoth didn’t have enough time to identify the object, and unbeknownst to them at the time, they fired a variety of their most powerful weapons at it but to no avail. They sought shelter and gathered as much supplies as possible, as the only choice they had left was to survive the unavoidable impact. Once the Leviathan struck Aether, the entire planet was almost entirely scorched or consumed by the oceans, apart from a few remaining areas where the Luminoth had stationed themselves. When it was safe to emerge from safety, not only did they notice a ravaged world, but Aether itself was unstable due to half of its energy disappearing, its location completely unknown.
It wasn’t long before planetary anomalies were discovered all around them. Spatial disturbances, trans-dimensional fluxes and dimensional rifts. Survival being their top priority, little time was available to investigate and research these things at full capacity. Alas, timing was not in their favour either as the Ing started to invade Aether from these rifts, causing even more devastation to the land and wildlife alike. Since the Ing could not physically enter Aether due to incompatible life conditions, they created tiny rifts in space, going through them as a type of gaseous dark substance, possessing any life-form at will. A-Kul, the Champion of Aether, and nine other Keybearers formed a team of the best warriors Aether had to offer. They were sent to retrieve the planetary energy that was lost and ended up in Dark Aether, an alternate dimension which was created by the impact of the Leviathan. They all fell to the Ing and the Energy Transfer Module needed to absorb this energy was lost, but before she died, A-Kul managed to secure her temple key required to open the gate to the Sky Temple where the Ing Leader resided, in which one of the energy spheres was being kept. She left clues to anyone that could continue their mission in finding the other nine keys. It wasn’t long after when the temples of Agon, Torvus and Sanctuary fell rapidly to the Ing. A secondary Energy Transfer Module was created but they were overwhelmed and the Ing managed to steal it as well. The remaining forces retreated back to the Great Temple. All but one, the Sentinel of Aether, U-Mos, were being put in stasis in hope that one day someone would save them from the Ing.
At more than twice the average height of humans, they look like bipedal moths having very slender bodies with beige and red features. They have three long fingers in each hand, two toes in each foot and what appears to be wings on their back, they seem to hover instead of flying, which might indicate that they use their natural manipulation of pure energy to do so. Red eyes and red features mainly around the shoulders and thighs are present, although some individuals might have had blue colouring as well. The upper torso has a thick white-beige fur while their heads have antennae that are wide but flat. They have mastered the ability to manipulate pure energy at will and can create light orbs and possibly more with the Light of Aether, it is possible that they somehow combined their bodies with this energy during the initial phases of their lives on Aether. Unlike the Reptilicus, for example, Phazon did not affect the Luminoth at all. Why this did not occur is unknown, but the different properties surely depend on unique conditions such as what type of planet a Leviathan hits in combination with Phazon since it affected Aether on a calamitous scale compared to the mutagenic effects on Bryyo.
Culture and Technology
It is unknown what type of technology the Luminoth possessed before they claimed Aether as their home world, but based on the relative ease to manipulate pure energy and implementation of it to their technology during their time on Aether, it is quite safe to say that they must have had similar pre-Aether technology. Circles appear to be vital in their culture and connected via lines in some way, always a part of their machines, infrastructure and even language. My theory is that circles represent sacredness, focus and guidance in relation to Light, unlike their primitive counterpart on Earth where Light is tempting, confusing and disorienting. When Moths on Earth fly towards a Light source, one of their eyes is more sensitive than the other the closer they fly towards a light source, and in doing so, the corresponding side of their wings flap faster than the other, resulting in moths flying in a circular orbit around the light, essentially being confused. Luminoth Lore projectors around Aether hold their history from possibly origin to U-Mos, the last remaining Luminoth present when Samus arrives, the rest hibernating in stasis chambers. They also kept resources needed in storage devices, perhaps nourishment as a necessity mainly during the war. Solar energy was also absorbed and used by red solar lenses; it could be to gather extra power to places that were less vital but still important enough since the Light of Aether needed to be distributed to the most needed areas in life. Echo based technology was also utilised, in most cases as a security measure like keeping weapons and other secret technology hidden and protected.
The Luminoth, like the Chozo, seem to be very aware and enlightened about their environment, building or carving structures into trees, rocks and mountains to blend nature and technology into one just like the Chozo did on Tallon IV. Big red circular lights/decorations seem to be a main feature as well. Genetic modifications to Sandgrass which is found around Agon Wastes were done so it could survive its harsh conditions after the Leviathan hit Aether, most likely to keep the area habitable enough and also as nourishment to keep wildlife from going extinct. Other inventions like Lift Crystals needed a boost of energy to operate, and Sentinel Crystals were scattered in key areas in both Aether and Dark Aether to monitor Ing activity, possibly functioning similar to either surveillance cameras or some type of radar system. The Sanctuary Fortress however was pure technology, the pinnacle of Luminoth engineering and representation of technological progress which also functioned as the main area for weapons manufacturing and mechanoids for various tasks, more so for war after the Ing invaded. Chozo technology is also fused with their own, enabling Samus to use some of their mechanoids and other types of machinery.
Weaponry and War
When the Ing invaded the first time around, the Luminoth were taken by surprise, not knowing what these dark creatures were and so didn’t know how effective their weapons would be against them. They came to understand that the Ing were dependent on pure dark energy, basically the counterpart to the Light of Aether. Volunteering scouts were sent to Dark Aether through rifts opened by newly created machines to investigate the dark world, and shortly thereafter found that half of Aether’s energy lost during the impact was present there. Light Crystals as well as Lightbringers (bioengineered lifeforms) were the most important tools of war they could have created, making it easier to traverse across Dark Aether, protecting them against the Ing and the poisonous atmosphere alike with surrounding pure Light zones. Smaller yet effective Light Beacons were also created and scattered around the hostile world.
The Dark Beam was invented to overload the Ing biology with energy abundance but had little effect. Once that failed, they created the Light Beam, the only weapon that had a real chance in fighting them, but unfortunately they already had suffered overwhelming losses and was a little too late to use on a grander scale. Many different mechanoids were created to fight the Ing, some dispatched to the field such as Ingsmashers, others to defend key areas like Quads and Rezbits. Sanctuary Fortress being their absolute state of the art technology, the war mechanoid Quadraxis was intended to be used against the Ing. It is unknown if it was ever used in battle, but it is possible that they assembled it before the Ing claimed it to the horde, serving as a guardian for the Ing Hive, in which one of the planetary energy spheres on Dark Aether were being held. It is also known that several Luminoth were possessed by the Ing to fight for them in the early stages of the war, eventually though, they managed to create new technology to protect themselves from easy takeovers and were prepared to commit suicide if it faltered before becoming agents of darkness.
It looks fairly bright (no pun intended) for the Luminoth, since Samus retrieved the missing energy from Dark Aether, the remaining survivors were awakened by U-Mos to start recovering their civilisation and Aether as well. The Federation contacted them and aided in clearing any Space Pirate leftovers as well as Phazon extraction since it was still present there. It is likely that they have a level of contact and cooperation in between them even today, the Luminoth helping them with weapon technology as a likely exchange for protection, since human military organisations always have that agenda in mind. Another thing that could take place in the future is lending Samus some help in finding any Chozo alive somewhere in the galaxy, as they are believed to have completely disappeared. Another notable difference between the Luminoth and Reptilicus is that while the latter did not heed the warnings of the Chozo, the Luminoth might have done so since there are no records stating any major conflict between themselves during their entire time on Aether. In some ways the Luminoth are wiser than the Chozo seeing as their own creations do not disrupt the balance in any world unlike the Metroids, which were of course engineered by the Chozo to stop the X-Parasites, ironically for the same reasons. Perhaps the Luminoth are a shining example on how true unity can overcome even the darkest of times, and in doing so, come out stronger and wiser than ever before, continuing existence which in the end is what life truly seeks.
Written by Christian Paredes (Quadraxis)