Ecco The Dolphin Wiki
Vortex queen

Vortex Queen

The source of all Vortex Drones, the Vortex Queen is the massive 'mother' creature at the center of the Vortex hierarchy. Most likely, 'she' is also the leader of their civilization, dictating the hive's activities and goals. The leader and mother of the Vortex kind, she is essentially the Vortex species. The drones have no other purpose than to serve her. It is unknown how, or even if, a new Queen can be made.


No history before Ecco's encounter with the Queen in Ecco the Dolphin is known. It is clear from the final level in the game that the Queen personally consumed Ecco's pod, as at her defeat, they are all released from her body. No information on her intelligence or thought processes is revealed.

In The Tides of Time, the role and thought process of the Queen is developed. The prologue and her knowledge of the Asterite and of the Atlantean time machine make clear she is an intelligent actor. The events surrounding the Vortex Queen in Tides of Time form the majority of the Vortex Offensive. She takes root upon the earth and attempt before form a new Vortex hive, but is defeated by Ecco with aid from the Asterite.

After her second defeat, the Queen travels in her final form of a larvae to the Atlantean time machine, where she escapes into the pre-historic era. The epilogue of Tides of Time details that upon arrival in the past, she was unable to rule Earth's pre-historic ecosystem. The Vortexkind are then forced to integrate into Earth's natural cycles. Interviews with developers state Vortexkind became the ancestors of arthropods.

Ecco the Dolphin[]

In Ecco the Dolphin, the Queen takes the form of a large green "head," very similar in structure to the detached heads of Vortex drones. The Queen will float around her chamber in a circular pattern, and her only line of attack is a strong suction that will cause instant death for the player if Ecco is swallowed, though Ecco is damaged if he stays in contact with her and she does create Vortex Jellyfish. The Queen can be hit with sonar in her eyes for damage but will also release a barrage of damaging projectiles. Her jaw can also be charged and after 3 hits it will fall off. After the Queen's jaw is removed three times, it will no longer regenerate, and the Queen will lose her suction attack. After the eyes and jaws have been removed, the player will need to charge the Queen several times to defeat her. Each time, she will spawn a Vortex drone.

Ecco the Dolphin Master System[]

In Ecco the Dolphin (Sega Master System) the queen does not attack. She simply floats and spawns vortex drones. Similar to the Genesis version she will be defeated after her eyes and jaw are destroyed.

Tides of Time[]

In Ecco: The Tides of Time, the Queen is seen in three forms. During her attack on the Asterite she appears in her defeated form from the previous game. In this form, she attacks the Asterite with what appears to be large orange scyth-like projectiles. When Ecco battles her later in a game, she appears to have changed in color (now being red and flesh colored) and in form. Only her mouth is visible, but she has gained a long grabbing tongue that can ensnare Ecco and drag him towards her mouth. She attacks in the same manner as before; using suction to draw Ecco towards being swallowed. The player must attack her by singing at her when she is not fully retreated downward in her cocoon. After Ecco defeats the Queen, she emerges in the form of a Vortex larvae which the player later encounters in the final level, the City of Forever.


  • The Vortex Queen shares a role and position similar to the Xenomorph queen in the movie "Aliens" which together with its predecessor "Alien" have great influence on the Vortex aliens. Like the queen from Aliens she is the sole member of the species that can produce new drones and is therefore almost irreplacable, the hive literally built and structured around her. In addition, her appearance is also similar to a Xenomorph alien - notice the elongated shape of her head and the very similar jaws.
    • Curiously, in prototype versions of Ecco: The Tides of Time, the stage where the Vortex Queen is fought at is named "Sarlac", which could be a possible reference to the Sarlacc creature from the Star Wars franchise to which the Vortex Queen also partially resembles.
  • If the player is consumed by the Queen, he or she will have to play through a level to return to the fight. In Ecco the Dolphin, this level was The Machine for the American Version, and The Stomach in the Japanese version. In Tides of Time, it was Inside, a mini-level wherein the player was transformed into a Vortex drone, similar in style to those mini-levels played when Ecco is captured by a warrior drone.