You expect Aliens: Colonial Marines (the spiritual sequel to 1986’s Aliens movie) to have some connection to its source material, but Gearbox Software went out of its way to include as many references to the Alien franchise as possible to please hardcore fans.
From the moment you board the marooned U.S.S. Sulaco to the daring escape from the musky moon of Acheron (aka LV-426), the amount of little background details that date back to the original Alien will make your chest burst with nostalgia. Compare the video game screenshots on top to the original film inspirations below.
SPOILER ALERT! The following images and information may spoil aspects of the game and movies, especially the last picture on page three.
The xenomorph queen rips Bishop in half during the final minutes of Aliens, yet he still manages to save Newt from flying out of an open airlock. In Aliens: Colonial Marines, you’ll find Bishop’s lower half inside the Sulaco‘s cargo bay. Shouldn’t those legs be floating in space along with the queen?
Sulaco crew’s lockers
Take a close look at the lockers inside the Sulaco and you’ll see the names of the crew on them along with their respective ranks. Corporal Hick’s locker is open, but it doesn’t have a poster of a naked woman on the door like in the movie. Boo!
A USCM (United States Colonial Marines) poster hangs on a wall inside the Sulaco. It’s the same emblem that Lieutenant Gorman has on his sleeve, although it’s inverted for some reason.
Once on LV-426, you’ll pass by an abandoned Daihotai tractor, the same one used by Newt’s family to investigate a crashed alien spacecraft.
M577 Armored Personnel Carrier
Besides the Jorden family’s Daihotai tractor, you’ll also see the M577 Armored Personnel Carrier that Gorman uses to transport the Colonial Marines from the Sulaco to the Hadley’s Hope colony. Try to ignore Bishop’s photobomb.
Hadley’s Hope colony
The road in Hadley’s Hope with the bar and grill neon sign doesn’t look as neat in the game as it did in the movie, but it’s still in pretty good shape considering the whole colony blew up in a 40 megaton explosion just 17 weeks earlier. …
Newt crawled through the air ducts of Hadley’s Hope colony to avoid getting cocooned by the xenomorphs. Apparently, a piece of her blanket got stuck on a ceiling fan. The spinning rag even shows up on your motion tracker.
In the special edition of Aliens, a kid rides a tricycle down the corridors of Hadley’s Hope colony. I found the tricycle, and it really bummed me out.
The Sulaco‘s crew is long gone, but some of their weapons remain scattered throughout the ship and on Hadley’s Hope. Keen-eyed marines may find and pick up Hicks’ shotgun, Gorman’s pistol, Hudson’s pulse rifle, Vasquez’s pistol and smart gun (pictured), and Frost’s flamethrower.
Newt lost her doll, Casey, in the sewers of Hadley’s Hope colony when a xenomorph grabbed her. I’m happy to report that Casey’s head is fine, even though her new expression says otherwise.
Power loader battle
The Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader comes in handy when you need to move heavy crates, load missiles into dropships, or smack large alien beasts in the face. Ripley used a power loader to fight the xenomorph queen in Aliens, and Corporal Winters (the marine you play as in Aliens: Colonial Marines) does the same to wrestle a nasty xeno code-named “Raven” into submission.
This reference is a bit far-fetched, but bear with me. A box of donuts sits on a rock in mission seven. Shooting it summons a giant doughnut that rolls down a hill and falls into a lava pit. It could be a random Easter egg, but you can see a half-eaten, wet donut for a split second in Aliens when the marines enter Hadley’s Hope (before the xenomorphs show up).
During mission eight, you explore the interior of the derelict spaceship from Alien. Its pilot, known as the “Space Jockey,” rests in his seat just like in the movie. He looks pretty detailed, right down to the hole in his chest.
The crashed alien craft is huge, so Weyland-Yutani researchers use hovering spheres that shoot red lasers to scan its nooks and crannies. These are the exact same scanners (called “pups”) used by geologist Fifield in Prometheus. Apparently, mapping technology didn’t evolve in 80-plus years.
Straw hat and cane
Weyland-Yutani scientists set camp on LV-426, where they store facehuggers and xenomorphs in stasis tubes. One of the tubes appears to be empty, but on closer inspection you can see a tiny straw hat and a wooden walking stick inside. This is a reference to Mel Brook’s Spaceballs, where a chestburster pops out of actor John Hurt (after he orders the “special” at a space diner) and performs the song Hello! Ma Baby.
Mysterious circular ship
Remember the alien pilot? If you shoot at his head long enough, a holographic projection appears over him. It shows the “Space Jockey’s” ship engaged in a dogfight with a circular vessel of unknown origin. Could it be the same (or similar) ship from the beginning of Prometheus that left a single Engineer on Earth to create life?
During the final minutes of Alien 3, Michael Weyland shows up on Fiorina 161 to persuade Ripley into letting him remove the xenomorph embryo from her chest to save her life. Ripley confuses him with Bishop, whom Michael created, but Weyland claims to be human.Is he really made out of flesh and bone?
Michael’s name shows up as “Bishop II” during the movie’s credits, and Lance Henriksen (the actor that portrayed him) said in an interview that he always thought Michael was an android. At the end of Aliens: Colonial Marines, the surviving soldiers confront Michael Weyland and blame him for everything that happened. Hicks loses his cool and shoots Weyland in the face. And guess what? He was an android. …