|Alinos part 2|
With this area already being a lot more confusing than Celestial Archives, it becomes even more so when you start to destroy all the colored barriers and open up new paths...
This one path I found early on leads to a 2D morphball section where you're slowly sinking into a deep pit of lava to get a UA expansion, and then using bomb jumps to float your way back up... the background art here looked really cool.
I don't even know where I should be going first, I just took a path, and after defeating a couple of rival hunter plebs, I went through a door in the Combat Hall and suddenly I'm in this really weird looking vortex room or something... it's the first really cool looking thing I've seen in this game since the repeating Void Stronghold areas.
This place is called Alimbic Cannon Control Room... oh so this is where you need to go after you get all 8 Octoliths... According to the lore, this cannon was used to open the Infinity Void and seal Gorea within it.
...And now I guess Samus is trying to release Gorea, for reasons?
Then I took a different path, and it lead to a lava platforming section where it's like a mix between Magmoor Caverns and Chozo Ruins... This part is fairly linear, although there's some really big rooms that seem confusing at first.
Now I'm at a room that seems to have several ways to go... I'm guessing this is where it splits into the 3 paths to get the the 3 different shield keys and artifacts...
Took the closest door, and there's a miniboss battle against a lava monster that throws fireballs at you. I find it difficult to dodge, so instead I just used the purple beam and outgunned him. Got the Magmaul, a beam that launches fireballs like Mario...
This area just keeps opening up more and more... I've completely lost track of how many paths I need to go back and check at this point...
After finding one of the artifacts and a portal going back to the gunship, I kept going forward and ended up in a really frustrating morph ball obstacle course with pistons... getting crushed gets you killed instantly and makes you restart the room over again (including having to get the scans and the UA expansion again before going into the morph ball section)
This is getting actually fairly challenging. It's noticeably harder than Metroid Prime 1 to me now... After getting the last 2 artifacts, it's... surprise, another boss refight... this time it's a slightly harder version of the tower boss again... this thing is easy... but then there's a 5 minute escape sequence and it actually took me a few tries. It respawns you right after the boss battle, so that's nice. On the 3rd attempt I made it with a couple minutes to spare because I got lucky with not having as many android encounters along the way back, plus I memorized the way to go by then.