08 February 2013

FWS Topics: The Video Games of ALIENS

Since the first days of video games, killing aliens has been a great and well-expanded subject. It is no wonder that aliens have never touched to make contact...they're scared we'd kill'em! Nothing was desired more by fans of the ALIENS film series than to go on a bug hunt, and since 1982 (the year I started gaming), all the way to today in 2013, were have been a number of games attempting to delivery this concept. When it comes to titled video games, we ALIENS fans have been more taken advantage than an opened porn magazine in a Barnes & Noble bathroom! It seems that there has been no ALIENS video game worth full price and some are even worthless. However, before the drop of the latest, and hopefully greatest of the ALIENS themed video games, FWS will be taking a look back at the ALIENS video games. This blogpost is mainly concerted on the purely ALIENS releases, FWS will be a Broken Promises on ALIENS vs. PREDATORS listing all of those mostly shitty titles.

ALIEN (Atari 2600 1982)
Back in the early days of video games, there was alot of cash grabs with video games with known title...ET or M*A*S*H anyone? And it seems that 1979's ALIEN was a similar story, they took the basic architecture of Pac-Man (not shit) and converted it to an a human character running around mazes, avoiding xenomorphs, and collecting dots to stay alive. If all of these dots are collected, then you're moved on to a open screen with xenos running around, and you must avoid them, and make to the hatch on the top of the screen. Until I started research on this blogpost, I had never heard of this game, and must have become lost in the mass of ATARI 2600 games. This type of game was pretty standard for the time period and technology.

  ALIEN (Commodore 64 1984)
If ALIEN fans were looking for an experience close to the movie, than the Commodore 64 1984 game is close. In this strategy game based on the Nostromo is a good old game of 'hunt the alien' before they get back to Earth or the oxygen runs out onboard the vessel. There are several paths to victory, including a rescue mission for the cat! I was unaware of this game until this blogpost, but I've read that some fans really liked this game back in the day.

ALIENS (Commodore 64, Apple II 1986)
There is not much on this 1986 game, but it seems another Commodore 64 game that gives the fans a great deal in game play that is similar to Space Hulk, were the player must get the characters out of the 255 room LV-426 colonial complex to safety. According to some sources, this game was the first to have digital cut-scenes  on a home gaming system.

ALIENS (MSX Japan only release 1987)
In 1987, there was a side-scrolling combat game  that was only released in Japan for the MSX  system. The MSX was one of the most popular video game system platform prior to the NES, and this game looks like the real deal. This was never released in the United States, but there are a few videos of game play on youtube. This would have been pretty rad if it had been released on the NES back in the day!

XENOPHOBE (Arcade, NES, Atari  Lynx, 2600, 7800, XE 1987-1990)
Okay, I know that this is not an 'real' ALIENS games, but it is important to know for much of us in 1987, this was as close as we came to an ALIENS-ques game....and it was a hell alot of fun! Three-players on three-different split-screens battle across space stations, shuttes, and moonbases to raid the galaxy of xenos in all of their forms. I loved the Xenophobe game, and plan on devoting an entire blogpost on this 1987 forgotten classic that is still my favorite arcade game. It is my belief that Xenophobe may have caused 20th century FOX  to finally develop an arcade cabinet game

XENOMORPH (Commodore 64, ATARI ST 1990)
Here is another game that is not an official ALIENS gaming title, but it borrows so much for the world of ALIENS, it might has well have been. Your crippled starship, the Mombassa Oak crash lands on the Atargis abandoned mining complex. You are the only survivor of the crew due to a computer malfunction   No one has answered your calls, and you must navigate the vast complex to find items to repair the Mombassa Oak and get off of this infested rock in space. Xenomporh is a science fiction role playing game similar to Dungeon Master and was well received.

ALIENS Arcade Game (1990)

For many of us, this was our first experience with an official ALIENS game. This was one of the most vivid side-scrolling arcade titles at the time, and featured the M56 Smart-Gun as the standard armament, some rail-shooting via an APC, and tons of xenos to kill. I can still remember playing this one in the arcades in Bartlesville and Tulsa, and often there was a line. Never was any good with this game...

ALIENS 3 (NES, Sega Genesis 1992-1994)
Here is a pretty standard side-scroller shooter game with ALIENS 3 based characters and environments. This released on most every major system at the time. Check out Ripley's buzzcut!

ALIENS 3: The Gun (Arcade 1993)
This Sega arcade game presents a different plot for ALIEN 3, where two Colonial Marines are sent to LV-426, but crashland on Fury-161, These space marines do battle with dog-based xenos, and Weyland-Yutani Apesuit-wearing corporate soldiers, and at the end of the game, are deleted from the USCMC database has MIA. I never saw this game in any arcade in my travels in 1993.

ALIENS: The Comic Book Adventure (PC 1995)
From 1991-1995, I abandoned most of the gaming consoles for a PC...so I could play X-Wing, Terminator: 2029, and Wing Commander, and it hard from to believe that I missed this one! ALIENS: The Comic Book Adventure was developed by Cryo, who also made the strategy MS-DOS DUNE game from 1992 (which I played the hell out of!), and was based on the Dark Horse comics second ALIENS series from 1990. This could be one of the more rare ALIENS games.

ALIEN TRILOGY (Playstation, PC, and Sega Saturn 1996)
When the original Sony Playstation dropped in 1995, this game was on the list to be released, and I was itching to play it! In 1996, the ALIEN Trilogy was released on several next-gen systems, including the Playstation and the Sega Saturn. One of the unique features of the game, was that players navigates Ripley through LV-426, Fury-161, and the Space Jockey ship to square off the the Queen. The game was only and creepy in parts with tons of xenos and humans to kill, but I found the game boring after a few hours...there wasn't much to do or experience. The xenos were never scary enought, nor were their attacks skilled. I did always enjoy the cheat-code though:  1GOTPINK8C1DBOOTSON

Developed in the early days of online computer  gaming, ALIENS Online was an attempt to bring some meat to the bone of the xeno AI, by having human players take control of the aliens then attack other human-controlled marines.
The game's servers were disabled in 2000. There were a number of different maps, including Gateway Station, and this introducing laser weaponry into the ALIENS universe. This was another one of those ALIENS that I had no idea existed.

ALIENS RESURRECTION (Playstation, 2000)
Before this first-person-shooter ALIENS even came out for the original Playstation in 2000, ALIENS: Resurrection had already bombed at the box-office, making the game a hard sell. Original, this game was meant to be an 3rd person POV game with more puzzles and to be released on the PC and Sega Saturn. I got this for an Xmas present, and played through to the end. Being based on that dogshit movie hurt it, but it was an okay shooter all and all. On the plus side, it did allow the player to operate from different characters, including Christie with his surgically attached pistols. I also enjoyed getting some hands-on time with the A:R futurist modular weapons. Watch for these United Systems Military weapons to appear an upcoming FWS Armory blogpost on modular weapons.

ALIENS: The Thantos Encounter (Gameboy Color 2001)
A group of Colonial (not space) marines are the way back from training, when they are awoken from hypersleep to answer a distress call from the Weyland-Yutani freighter Thantos. Once onboard...well, you know the rest. This THQ game was only released on the Gameboy Color and was one of the last pure ALIENS game until Colonial Marines. This was a top-down swarm-shooter type, owning some of it's design to the nearly ancient Ikari Warriors. 

Much like ALIEN 3: The Gun, there is a game with two pulse rifles, and a whole lotta xenos to kill! Despite this arcade game being released in 2006, it is still seen in arcades, my Alley Cats Bowling Center in Dallas has one, and I do play it with some enjoyment.

This is a touch-able side-scrolling shooter that allowed from retro-shooting with ALIENS universe element. ALIENS: Infestation was similar to Metroid and Metal Slug games, and received good reviews when released. Some players really enjoyed the levels were you could engage xenos in space.


In just a few days, ALIENS: Colonial Marines will be released and we will all see if the hype is indeed true. Randy Pitchford, president of the Dallas-based Gearbox Software is a huge ALIENS fan, and he took great pains to develop this game right, and be the FPS ALIENS game we fans have wanted since 1986. Elements of the movie were carried over, including some of the weapons that Hudson mentioned in the Special Edition version. I was thankful that hand-wielders will be used, and the correct fucking sound from the M41a1 pulse rifles as well! All I have to say is mutha futha better be good after we have waited for so long! Of course, FWS will be posting a review this game in-dept.


  1. Don't forget about "Aliens: The Board Game". It's an Flash based adaption of... well... "Aliens: The Board Game"


  2. You missed Alien3 on the Super Nintendo, which was radically different enough from the rest of its peers at the time. A sidescrolling platformer, you had roughly 8 levels, each with 8-12 missions or so to complete, each with a respectably large (for the time) map, a fantastic (for me) soundtrack, and a full combination of weapons including pulse rifle, flamethrower, and grenade launcher. Okay, so that combination should tell you that this was going to be an ALIENS game, but they reskinned it for Alien3 as they didn't know the plot of the third film during development.
    That aside, the graphics are brilliantly done for a SNES console, and it controls beautifully. You can still get hold of it as an emulated ROM, or possibly stumble over a SNES cartridge if you want to play it old school.

  3. I know this comments pretty late to the party but it may also be worth noting that there is at least 1 Aliens casino digital slot machine game. It seems to be an older digital slot game. The only place I've ever seen it is at Fort McDowell Reservation Casino here in Arizona.
    I loved the Aliens Arcade Game from 1990, it may be one of the few videogames ever that I actually beat(or completed perhaps), if I remember correctly.

  4. That is very cool! Thanks for the information! And it is never too late here on FWS

  5. Were the excellent 'Aliens VS Predator' games omitted due to the inclusion of the Predator?

  6. blog needs to be updated to include the failure that was Aliens: Colonial Marines and Alien: Isolation.

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