For the standard Ethereal unit, see Ethereal (XCOM: Enemy Unknown).
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The Uber Ethereal is the primary antagonist and final boss of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It is encountered on the bridge during the Temple Ship Assault. The Uber Ethereal possesses all the abilities of an Ethereal, plus improved projectile/energy deflection, immunity to mind control, and higher hit points.


The Uber Ethereal is discovered by XCOM when the Volunteer makes psychic contact with this being while interacting with the Ethereal Device for the first time. The Uber Ethereal possesses a stature similar to a regular Ethereal, has a more ornate helmet/headdress, and resides within the Temple Ship. The Uber Ethereal appears to be the head of the Ethereal collective; though it's unknown if it is the leader of all of the Ethereals or just the ones attacking Earth. The Uber Ethereal reveals that the Ethereal collective subjugated and uplifted the other alien species.


Ability Description
Mindfray  Mindfray Causes the target to lose grip on reality, inflicting penalties to Aim, Will, and mobility, and doing 5 base damage. Robotic units are immune. Lasts 2 turns, 1 turn cooldown.
Rift  Rift Devastate an area with a storm of psi energy. The rift does more damage against targets with low Will, and reduced damage against target with high Will. 4 turn cooldown.
Psi Lance  Psi Lance Project a bolt of pure psi force at an enemy.
Mind Control  Mind Control Very difficult psi technique that, if successful, grants control of the target for 3 turns. Does not work on robotic enemies.
Psi-Drain  Psi-Drain Drain health from an ally.


Trait Description
Hardened  Hardened Reduces the chance of suffering a critical hit by 60%.


The Uber Ethereal will be surrounded by two regular Ethereals and two to four Muton Elites. It, and the other Ethereals, can easily devastate your team — the best method of finishing this challenging final fight is by concentrating on the Uber Ethereal; once it is dead, all other enemies die along with it and the game ends.

A hasty offense is vital here. A Sniper with the Squadsight and Double Tap abilities; Heavies with Rockets (three of them are required to kill the Muton Elites within the blast radius); an Assault equipped with Ghost Armor and an Alloy Cannon with the Rapid Fire ability; and Rift (only usable by The Volunteer) are all helpful in defeating it. A relatively easy victory can be had if multiple explosives are deployed against the Uber Ethereal, ignoring all other enemies, as explosives bypass its defenses.

Regardless of the displayed chance to succeed using Mind Control on the Uber Ethereal, the game overrides this with a notification that the Uber Ethereal is immune. The Uber Ethereal is also immune to the effects of Flashbang GrenadesEW.

Or just use second wave option damage roulette and get your sniper to one shot kill the uber ethereal on classic or easier difficulty.

Uber Ethereal Dialogue[]

Activation of the Gollop Chamber[]

Upon interacting with the Ethereal Device, the Volunteer receives a mental vision of the Ethereals' enslavement and experimentation on other races (including humanity) accompanied by the words:

"At long last... YOU have succeeded... where WE have failed."

Final Mission[]

As the squad advances through the Temple Ship during the final mission, the Uber Ethereal delivers exposition to the Volunteer (who is referred to as the "New One") revealing much about the nature of the alien species encountered throughout the game and the ultimate reasons behind the invasion of Earth.

Upon landing on the Temple Ship:

You hear our voice, New One, now listen well…

Long have we watched… and waited. So many promising subjects, so many failed efforts. And now, after untold trials, the New One emerges to face the rigors of our collective… An enduring physical form, paired with an equally adept mental capacity – the rarest of traits, finally within our grasp.

Upon encountering the Sectoids:

The New One faces the earliest effort of the Ethereal Ones, the first… failure. Though possessed of a certain… brilliance… they are marred by their cowardice and frailty… which made them cruel… and ultimately useless.

Upon encountering the Cyberdiscs and Drones:

Another attempt, this one inspired. Two subjects, each with a glaring weakness – brought together in the hopes of a symbiotic strength. And yet, this newfound power left them devoid of higher thought. Lacking in comprehension. Another… useless effort.

Upon the Volunteer using Rift for the first time:

It is as we hoped… the New One has surpassed all that have come before… and with such great confidence… so skilled with the Gift.

Upon on a soldier's (or mind-controlled alien's) death during the mission:

The New One's kin falls, and our fear grows, as we question the worthiness of our selection…
Weakness… we did not expect this… weakness… another of the new breed fails to pass…
Were we… mistaken… Could this be another failure in the face of such promise? How can the New Ones' pack fall to these… lesser beings…

Upon encountering the Floaters:

The new one faces a great foe, and an equally great… disappointment. When their organic form failed to evolve… it was given the strength of a machine, creating this… merciless, fearless, killer… A fate worse than death.

Upon encountering the Chryssalids:

A curious endeavor… the search for the Gift in the most… unsavory of beings. They were little more than insects when their uplift began… And in their failure, became the most dangerous of predators… incapable of direction, understanding, they were deemed fit only to breed and die.

Upon the doors to the 3rd area opening:

Long was our search… and now… with success so close at hand, we witness the fruits of our endeavor…

Upon encountering the Thin Men:

A valiant effort… a being of intelligence and exceptional loyalty, easily adapted to serve our needs. Still, despite such great hopes… They were unable to embrace the Gift… Another wasted example.

Upon encountering the Mutons:

Now… The New One confronts a greater threat - a rare strength, found in an easily controlled breed. And yet, they are incapable of brilliance, of independence… they will never be more than primitive warriors… serving only to fight, and die, as did those who came before them.

Upon encountering the Sectopods:

An artificial warrior… created to supplement the limitations of the many… failures. Crafted with a singular purpose… it ultimately contributes little to our cause. Still, there is hope, as the New One approaches…

Upon the door to the bridge opening:

The New One continues to surge… to prove that this was the worthy path, that we were justified in our efforts. This will bring about our redemption, and usher in our future…

Upon a soldier spotting the Uber Ethereal on the bridge:

Behold the greatest failure… of the Ethereal Ones… We who failed to ascend as they thought we would.

We who were cast out. We who were doomed to feed on the Gift of lesser beings… as we sought to uplift them… to prepare them… for what lies ahead.

After a couple turns of fighting on the bridge:

The hunt draws to a close. It was not a vain undertaking… but a necessity, as our physical form has grown… ineffective. Our search for a perfect specimen was driven by our own crippling limitation, and now, at long last…

Upon the death of an Ethereal (including the Uber Ethereal) on the bridge:

This is not your path! Not your purpose! You need our guidance to hone this power… without us, what are you?


  • Despite expressing disdain at the killing of the Ethereals, there is no way for the player to enter the final room 'peacefully' and try to complete the mission any other way than killing the Uber Ethereal.
    • Despite the fact that the Uber Ethereal is not listed as stun immune, the player cannot use the Arc Thrower on it.