List of Alien morphs in the Alien franchise
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- 1 Life cycle
- 2 Morphs in the film series
- 3 Morphs in the comic series
- 4 Morphs in the game series
- 5 Morphs in the toy line
- 6 References
Aliens are depicted as eusocial life-forms with a defined caste system which is ruled by a queen. Their life cycle comprises several distinct stages: they begin their lives as an egg, which hatches a parasitic larval form known as a facehugger, which then attaches itself to a living host by latching onto its face. The facehugger then "impregnates" the host with an embryo known as a chestburster, which, after a gestation period of several hours, erupts violently from the host's chest resulting in the death of the host. The chestburster then matures to an adult phase within a few hours, shedding its skin in the process. Due to the transfer of DNA during the gestation period, the Alien also takes on some of the basic physical attributes of the host from which it was born.
Queen Aliens are significantly larger and stronger than the warriors, approximately 4.5 metres (15 ft) tall. Their body structure differs also, having two pairs of arms, one large and one small. The queen's head is larger than other adult Aliens and is protected by a large flat crest. Unlike other Aliens, the queen also has high heel protrusions from her feet. The queen also seems to have increased intelligence compared to the other forms of the xenomorph, as the queen on LV-426 was able to learn to operate an elevator. Pregnant Alien queens possess an immense ovipositor on their lower torso, similar to a queen termite's, which is responsible for creating eggs. The queen is able to detach from the ovipositor. When attached to its ovipositor, the queen is supported by a "biomechanical throne" that consists of a lattice of struts resembling massive insect legs. Unlike insect queens, there appears to be no need for drones to fertilize an Alien queen's eggs. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem also features a new form of oral implantation, by which the "Predalien" mimics the action of facehuggers, directly depositing multiple chestburster embryos into a host via its inner jaw. The Strauss Brothers, directors of the film, have since said that this is a stage between adult and queen known as Praetorian, by which a young queen attempts to quickly build its army before it grows the egg sack and cannot defend itself.
In the initial cut of Alien, the Alien possessed a complete life cycle, with the still-living bodies of its victims converted into eggs. However, the scene showing this final stage was cut for reasons of pacing, leaving the ultimate origin of the eggs obscure. This allowed Aliens director James Cameron to introduce a concept he had initially conceived for a spec script called Mother, a massive mother Alien which laid the eggs and formed the basis for the Aliens' life cycle. Cameron conceived the Queen as a monstrous analogue to Ripley's own maternal role in the film. In that vein, some critics have compared it to Grendel's mother.
The design of the queen was created by Cameron in collaboration with special effects artist Stan Winston, based upon an initial painting Cameron had done at the start of the project. The Winston Studio created a test foam core queen before constructing the full hydraulic puppet which was used for most of the scenes involving the large Alien. Two people were inside working the twin sets of arms and puppeteers off-screen worked its jaws and head. Although at the end of the film the queen was presented full-body fighting the power-loader, the audience never sees the legs of the queen, save those of the small-scale puppet that appears only briefly. In Aliens, Cameron used very selective camera-angles on the queen, using the 'less is more' style of photography. Subsequently, the movie won an Oscar for Visual Effects. An adult queen was to reappear in Alien Resurrection. The original mechanical head previously used in Aliens was provided by Bob Burns. It was repainted with a blend of green and brown, giving it a shimmering, insect-like quality.
In the climax of the 2004 film Alien vs. Predator the queen's basic design was altered to make it more "streamlined" in appearance and its over-all size was increased to 6 meters (20 feet) tall. Other changes include the removal of the "high-heel" protrusions on its legs, including additional spines on its head and making its waist thinner because there was no need for puppeteers inside its chest. The animatronic queen had 47 points of hydraulic motion.
The eggs laid by the queen are large, ellipsoidal leathery objects between two and three feet high with a four-lobed opening at the top. As a potential host approaches, the egg's lobes unfold like flower petals, and the parasitic facehugger extracts itself from the egg and attaches itself to the potential host. Giger initially designed the eggs with a much more obviously vaginal appearance, complete with an "inner and outer vulva". The producers complained that Catholic countries would ban the film if the allusion was too strong, so Giger doubled the lobes to four, so that, in his words, "seen from above, they would form the cross that people in Catholic countries are so fond of looking at." The interior of the original egg was composed of "Nottingham lace", which is the lining of a cow's stomach. In the first film, the quick shot of the facehugger erupting from the egg was done with sheep's intestine. Initially the egg remained totally stationary save for the hydraulic movement of the lobes; however, by Alien Resurrection the entire egg was made to ripple as it opened.
A facehugger is the second stage in the Alien's life cycle. It has eight long finger-like legs which allow it to crawl rapidly, and a long tail adapted for making great leaps. These particular appendages give it an appearance somewhat comparable to chelicerate arthropods such as arachnids and horseshoe crabs.
The facehugger is a parasitoid; its only purpose is to make contact with the host's mouth for the implantation process, by gripping its legs around the victim's head and wrapping its tail around the host's neck. Upon making contact, the facehugger rapidly renders its host unconscious through the use of a cynose-based paralyitc as well as a neuromuscular sedative. The facehugger then inserts a proboscis down the host's throat, supplying it with oxygen whilst simultaneously implanting an embryo. Attempts to remove facehuggers generally prove fatal, as the parasite will respond by tightening its grip, and the facehugger's acidic blood prevents it from being safely cut away.
Once the Alien embryo is safely implanted, the facehugger detaches and dies.
Giger's original design for the facehugger was a much larger creature with eyes and a spring-loaded tail. Later, in response to comments from the filmmakers, Giger reduced the creature's size substantially. At first Giger assumed that the facehugger would wrap around the outside of the astronaut's helmet, but Scott decided that it would have far more impact if the facehugger were revealed once the helmet was removed. Scott and Giger realised that the facehugger could burn through the helmet's faceplate with its acid blood; subsequent redesigns of the space helmet included a far larger faceplate to allow for this. Dan O'Bannon initially conceived the facehugger as somewhat resembling an octopus, possessing tentacles. However, when he received H. R. Giger's designs, which substituted tentacles with fingerlike digits, he thought Giger's design concept superior. Since no one was available at the time, O'Bannon decided to design the facehugger prop himself. The technical elements of the musculature and bone were added by Ron Cobb. Giger's initial design for the smaller facehugger had the fingers facing forward, but O'Bannon's redesign shifted the legs to the side. When the foam rubber sculpture of the facehugger was produced, O'Bannon asked that it should remain unpainted, believing the rubber, which resembled human skin, was more plausible.
In Alien 3, another addition, a "super-facehugger" that would carry the embryo of the queen Alien, was planned but ultimately dropped. The super-facehugger is briefly glimpsed in the Assembly cut of Alien 3, but not identified as such.
Hours after implantation, facehuggers die and the embryo's host wakes up afterwards showing no considerable outward negative symptoms. Symptoms build acutely after detachment of the facehugger, the most common being sore throat, slight nausea, increased congestion and moderate to extreme hunger. In later stages where the incubation period is extended in preparation of a queen birth, symptoms will include a shortness of breath, exhaustion, and hemorrhaging (detectable through biological scanners and present in nosebleeds or other seemingly random bleeding incidents), as well as chest pains inflicted either in lack of chest space due to the chestburster's presence, or even premature attempts to escape the host. The incubating embryo takes on some of the host's DNA or traits, such as bipedalism, quadrupedalism or possessing the mandibles of a Predator and other body structure changes. According to Weyland-Yutani scientists in Aliens: Colonial Marines, the chestburster will draw nutrients from the host's body in order to develop a placenta as it grows, attaching itself to several major organs in the process. The placenta has cancerous qualities, such that even if the embryo were removed surgically, the placenta would simply cause the affected organs to shut down, resulting in death. Over the course of 1–24 hours, indeterminable in some cases, and sometimes up to a week, in the case of some queens, the embryo develops into a chestburster, at which point it emerges, violently ripping open the chest of the host, killing it.
The chestburster was designed by Alien director Ridley Scott and constructed by special effects artist Roger Dicken. Giger had produced a model of a chestburster that resembled a "degenerate plucked turkey" and was far too large to fit inside a ribcage. Much to Giger's chagrin, his model reduced the production team to fits of laughter on sight. Scott drafted a series of alternate designs for the chestburster based on the philosophy of working "back [from the adult] to the child" and ultimately produced "something phallic." The chestburster in the original Alien was armless but arms were added in Aliens to facilitate the creature crawling its way out of its host's corpse. This concept would be abandoned in Alien Resurrection and subsequent films.
Growth and maturity
When a chestburster erupts from the body of its host, it is less than 2 feet (61 cm) tall. However, it soon undergoes a dramatic growth spurt, reaching adult size in a matter of hours; in Alien the chestburster had grown to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height by the time the Nostromo crew located it again (though the movie does not provide any explanation how it could grow without eating). The chestburster is shown to have molted before reaching maturity. In Alien vs. Predator: Requiem Alien warriors are shown who are still growing, showing shedding skin. In the unrated cut, the Predalien is shown actively wiping off its final molted skin at the film's start. A shed skin of a growing chestburster is also shown, showing that the creature's final limbs do not grow in the earliest stages.
Morphs in the film series
The "Runner" (also jokingly referred to in-production as the "Dog Alien", "Bambi Burster", or "Runner Alien" in the expanded universe stories), was introduced in Alien3. The creature itself shares the same basic physical conformation and instincts as the other alien morphs shown in the previous films, although there are several differences due to the host from which it was spawned (a dog in the theatrical cut, an ox in the DVD assembly cut). The Runner in its Chestburster form is a miniature version of the adult, unlike the larva-like human spawned chestbursters. The adult is primarily quadrupedal, has digitigrade hind legs and lacks the dorsal tubes of the human-spawned variety.
In Alien: Resurrection, due to significant genetic tampering in an attempt to recover DNA from the deceased Ellen Ripley and the Alien Queen within her, the resulting cloned Aliens show a number of minor human traits. The cloned Queen inherits a womb, and as a result it ceases to lay eggs and gives birth to a humanoid mutant. Physically, the human-Alien Newborn is very different from its brethren, being larger, with pale, translucent skin, a skull-shaped face with eyes, a human tongue and complete absence of a tail. The Newborn fails to bond with its Alien Queen mother, and kills it. Instead, the Newborn sees the Ripley clone as a surrogate parent. It was killed when Ripley splashed her acidic blood on a window behind the clone, creating a small hole that began to suck the atmosphere from the ship, pinning the Newborn against the window until its internal organs were eventually pulled through the small hole and spread out into space.
The Newborn creature was originally scripted by Joss Whedon as being an eyeless, ivory-white quadruped with red veins running along the sides of its head. It had an inner jaw, with the addition of a pair of pincers on the sides of its head. These pincers would have been used to immobilise its prey as it drained it of blood through the inner jaw. The creature was also meant to rival the Queen in size. Jean-Pierre Jeunet later asked ADI to lean towards making the human-Alien hybrid, known as the Newborn, more human than Alien. The Newborn's eyes and nose were added to improve its expressions to make it a character, rather than just a "killing machine", and give it depth as a character. Jeunet was adamant about the Newborn having genitalia, a mix of both sexes. However, Fox was uncomfortable and Jeunet eventually agreed, saying "even for a Frenchman, it's too much." The genitalia were digitally removed in post-production. The Newborn animatronic required nine puppeteers and was the most complex animatronic in the film.
This variation is the result of a facehugger impregnating a Predator. The "Predalien" was first depicted in a painting by Dave Dorman, and subsequently featured in the Aliens versus Predator comics and games. A Predalien chestburster debuts in the final scene of Alien vs. Predator, but it is not until Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem that an adult Predalien makes its first movie appearance.
The Predalien shares many characteristics with its host, such as long hair-like appendages, mandibles, skin color and similar vocalizations. It is a large, bulky creature, and possesses physical strength greater than that of human-spawned Aliens. Like human-born Aliens, it is also shown to be stronger than its host species, as evidenced by its ability to pin, push, and knock a Predator away with ease.
The Predalien has a set of inner jaws that function just like Human spawned Aliens', but also serves the purpose of building a hive without the need of facehuggers by being shoved down the throats of pregnant women, similar to the ovipositor of a facehugger, and implanting multiple chestburster embryos into a single host. The Predaliens ability to do this because it was a young queen according to the Strausse brothers.
The 'Deacon' is a sharp-headed Xenomorph-like creature seen in the end of Prometheus that is known to have a more flesh-like inner-jaw than the Xenomorphs more often seen and known (Drones, Warriors, Newborn, etc.). It was born of an Engineer impregnated by a large Trilobite, and emerged in a more developed form than the typical chestburster, though it emerged using the back of its head to dig through the chest of its dead host as opposed to shoving or eating its way through.
A white-colored creature is featured in Alien: Covenant. It was created through exposure to spores found growing on the Engineer homeworld. The embryonic Neomorph (as referred to by the Covenant film end credits; an in-universe name has yet to be given) then gestates inside the host, until it bursts out of its host's back, throat, or possibly other areas, using mostly its head. The Neomorph is stated to be a more "natural" version of the Xenomorph XX121, being among David's earlier attempts at perfecting life. The Neomorphs are supposedly more primitive and more animalistic than their predecessors, preferring more obvious means of attacking.
In addition to Neomorphs, a predecessor of Xenomorph XX121 makes its appearance in Alien: Covenant (referred to by the Covenant film end credits simply as a xenomorph, but more popularly referred to as a protomorph). More closely resembling the mainstream variants, the protomorphs featured in Covenant are different from their successors in that they lack bio-mechanical features, have longer and more muscular limbs, and smaller and thinner "dorsal tubes". Otherwise, the protomorphs are almost identical, having a similar life-cycle process featuring eggs and facehuggers, though lacking chestbursters; instead the protomorph bursts from its host chest once almost fully formed, like Alien3's "Runner".
The protomorph is spawned from David's early experiments on local fauna, flora, Engineer remains, and the corpse of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw by using the black "accelerant" of the Engineers.
Morphs in the comic series
A mutated Alien variant incapable of maturing past its larval stage, the mutated chestburster resembles a large black Chestburster. Hatched from a pink egg among an ordinary clutch, the mutated chestburster's egg was smuggled to the pleasure planet Celeste, where the resulting hatchling, after escaping from a human host, caused havoc among the population with its diseased slime trail, which caused people to go delirious and detonate.
- Aliens: Kidnapped
In the Aliens Colonial Marines story published by Dark Horse Comics, a group of marines ends up on a colony planet known as 'Bracken's World', a primarily oceanic planet that grows large amounts of sea kelp. Having become stranded on one of the kelp beds following an APC breakdown, the group is attacked from the water by large xenomorphs resembling queen aliens from the top half, and a more whale-like structure below the waist with a lateral tail fin and several trailing tentacles.
The hybrids are a race of Aliens created by a corrupted computer system called "Toy". The hybrids possess the traits of Aliens, Predators and humans. Like Aliens, they are a eusocial species with acid for blood (though it is less acidic than that of the ordinary strain) and like humans, they are capable of speech and can use firearms. They are led by a hybrid king which generates facehuggers capable of impregnating ordinary Aliens.
- Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of Species
Eloise is a vat grown prototype Alien/humanoid android hybrid created using Queen DNA on Sybaris 503, who escapes from the destruction of the facility after an attempted 'hostile' take over. She later settles on the planet LK176 with her group of 'implanted' lepers (whose condition prevents their chestbursters from maturing) and a pack of Alien warriors. She and her army successfully beat back both Predator and human forces (at the cost of most of her leper friends), and she gives the latter an ultimatum to leave her people alone, or be destroyed.
- Aliens: Purge
- Alien vs. Predator: Pursuit
Queen Mothers are the supreme rulers of the Xenomorph species, and even Queens are subordinate to them. They appear in Dark Horse's extended universe, albeit only on the Hiveworld, where they are protected by enlarged, elite drones. Queen Mother's nests consist of six orbs arranged around a central orb, in which they reside. These orbs are interconnected and contain the prized royal jelly, which molts a drone or warrior into a new Queen Mother when one becomes absent. Queen Mothers have acute telepathic and empathic abilities, thus they are able to call to their hive over vast distances. In fact, the Queen Mother was capable of melding to the minds of humans during the Earth infestation. What makes a Queen Mother similar to a Queen is that they are both capable of laying eggs. The first Queen Mother was kidnapped by Ripley in Steve and Stephani Perry's novel The Female War, leading to anarchy and chaos on the Hiveworld. While a drone was morphing to take the previous Mother's place, several deviant, drones, designated as "red drones" by the humans due to their dull, burgundy color, were born that rebelled against the primary hive, and a countering red hive, led by a red Queen Mother, was created. In Aliens: Genocide, massive warfare has broken out between the two subspecies over rule of the planet as the dominant xenomorph species. A fleet of Colonial Marines (financed by the Grant Corporation, Weyland-Yutani's competition in the Aliens novels) were sent on a mission to retrieve the deceased Mother's royal jelly, located in the "black" hive, in order to synthesize a highly addictive drug called Xeno-Zip, a.k.a. Fire (which the government felt was a "highly useful" combat drug). The crew decided to destroy the red Mother's hive to distract the drones of the original nest while the jelly was being extracted. The new Queen Mother was shot after killing a scientist during the extraction.
- Aliens: Earth War
- Aliens: Female War
- Aliens: Genocide
In the comic Aliens: Rogue, a mad scientist engineered the Rogue Alien: a male alien designed as a weapon to rival the queen caste and thus help rid the Earth of its alien infestation (see Earth Hive, Nightmare Asylum, Female War, and Genocide). However, the engineered Alien King escapes and wreaks havoc until it is killed by the Queen that had been nesting in a separate and secured section of the installation.
In the book of the same name, the Rogue is believed to be more powerful than the Queen, but Dr. Ernst Kleist, the scientist who created the Rogue, is shocked to find the Queen is in fact the superior specimen. While the Rogue is larger and stronger, the Queen's superior speed and intellect enable her to easily dodge the Rogue's brutish attacks while she slowly wears it down and finally slaughters it. Kleist is subsequently killed when he uses a sound cannon (a sound device he designed to [and that did] instantly freeze the movements of xenomorphs) on the Queen until it goes critical, destroying the asteroid-base he is on. The Rogue is seemingly much more aggressive and mercilessly attacks the smaller castes of Aliens. This is illustrated when Professor Kleist finds the crushed corpses of the elite Praetorian guard of the queen. The Rogue's recklessness is shown when it destroys the barrier that separates the Alien sector and the Human sector, thus allowing any Alien drones that escaped the Rogue's notice to pour into the Human sector, and when it confronts the queen by crushing the eggs in its way while the queen carefully steps around them to outmaneuver the Rogue.
- Aliens: Rogue
A royal elite guard to the Queen and, in some cases, the ones who fertilize her. Praetorians are larger than typical adults but still only about half the size of the queen herself. Praetorians appear in the graphic novel series (and the Millennium/Orion books based on the same), such as Rogue and Female War (originally serialized as Earth War). They are also a playable class in the computer game Aliens versus Predator 2, in which they cannot "wall-crawl" like the smaller aliens, but have a very thick bullet-resistant exoskeleton and a very high crouch jump. In the game, a background report on their biology reveals them to be a final phase for many drones in Aliens versus Predator 2, or alternatively a young queen in Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction.
The praetorians have been noted in some media to possess a second pair of limbs protruding from the torso, much the same as a Queen. In the video games AvP 2 and Aliens vs. Predator, the praetorians do not have secondary limbs jutting outward from their sternums. In the video game Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction, they are hatched from "Praetorian Eggs" and can later molt to become a queen if the current queen is killed. However, in Aliens versus Predator 2 they are described as being born differently. According to AvP 2, a Praetorian is a full-grown drone (or other 3rd stage xenomorph) that grows old and begins to emit different pheromones that cause the hive to react violently towards it. If the molting Praetorian manages to escape the Hive, it can finish the molting process and return to the Hive to reassert its position. This process assures that only the strongest, the most worthy drones can become protectors of the queen.
Praetorians are easily recognized by their crown shaped headcrest, which, in Aliens versus Predator 2 is very similar in appearance to the Queen's (the only difference being the three rear-facing spires of the crests; the queens' two side spires curving inward toward the straight middle spire while all three of the praetorians' are more straight). Theoretically, praetorian face huggers are purebred, meaning they do not integrate their host's most valuable traits into their own DNA. However, the movie Requiem contradicts it as the Predalien is shown to be a young Queen which is what a Praetorian is considered to be.
Praetorians also appear in the Alien vs. Predator arcade game, where they are known as Royal Guard, and are typically encountered as minibosses as the player gets close to the Queen. Royal Guard are capable of spitting acid and will often spray it in all directions as a defensive tactic. They also use a distinctive "throw" attack if the player comes too close.
In the 2010 Aliens vs. Predator video game, multiple Praetorains appear and are considered a high echelon by one Predator; they act as minibosses.
- Aliens: Female War
- Aliens: Genocide
- Aliens: Rogue
- Alien vs. Predator (arcade game)
- Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction
- Aliens versus Predator
- Aliens versus Predator 2
- Aliens versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt
- Aliens vs. Predator (video game)
In the first Batman/Aliens series, Batman encounters an Alien born from a crocodile, which is significantly larger and bulkier than standard aliens. In the sequel, Batman faces the ruthless Doctor Alice Fortune, a former member of a government black ops team who was implanted with a Queen embryo on a past mission, but a strain of dry leprosy she contracted on the same mission kept the Queen dormant inside her, giving her access to its strength and acidic blood while unable to 'hatch'. Fortune uses the alien DNA to create hybrid clones of the aliens mixed with DNA taken from the inmates of Arkham Asylum, hoping that she can harness the villains' genetic trait for survival without their insanity to use them as a weapon against the heroes should they go rogue. These hybrid soldiers are mostly human in appearance, but their physiology is notably more spindly than standard humans, much like the aliens' thin limbs. At the conclusion of the storyline, Fortune creates a hybrid clone of the alien and Killer Croc, which is again notably larger than the other hybrids and fundamentally more animalistic in appearance, but this clone is clearly out of Fortune's control due to Croc being naturally vicious rather than 'traumatized' as the other villains.
Morphs in the game series
The Empress is a later stage in the xenomorph life cycle not specifically stated. When a hive expands to the point of having multiple queens that dwell in it, the "Empress" is the queen that the subsequent queens had spawned from, making the Empress the "queen of queens." The Empress is somewhat larger than most other queens and boasts a larger crest than the rest. The crest of an Empress has an addition pair of straight spines that flank the three spires of its crest, and there appears to be not as many curves to the crest as there are with the crests of other queens; there are much more geometric lines and angles.
The queen dubbed the "Matriarch" is the oldest known alien queen. It is unknown how old the Matriarch is specifically, but many speculate that she could be thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands of years old. The Matriarch's flesh has whitened and wrinkled with age, giving the creature a subtle softness to its exterior. The crest of the Matriarch has also expanded with age: two pairs of spires fan out to the sides of the crest in addition to the three that all queens seem to have at maturity, and a bony ridge of spines runs down the center of the crest sweeping towards the end of it. The face of the Matriarch is extensively scarred as well and missing chunks of flesh from around the mouth and the carapace that protects the face when it is retracted has holes in it that resemble being eaten away by acid.
A strong purple and black brood that uses powerful jump attacks. They are assumed to be special variants of the Warrior and Stalker aliens created through experimentation, much like the Chrysalis and Razor Claws minibosses. They are sometimes seen curled up on the ground as they wait for enemies.
A very large (around the same size as a Praetorian) Xenomorph with a greyish-green exoskeleton and a hard, tan carapace on its head, back, and forearms. It sometimes moves/attacks by rolling itself along the ground in a ball. It gets its name from the chrysalis that it is seen gestating in when it first appears. The Chrysalis's head can actually extend a short distance from underneath the carapace over its head when biting its prey, in addition to the extension of the inner mouth. More Chrysalis are also seen defending the Queen during the final battle. These have a reddish or blue coloring.
A variation of the Chrysalis appears in the second level of the Konami Aliens arcade game, but it looks considerably different and has a different attack pattern.
A bluish brood with an apparently hardened carapace on its arms and head that can defend itself against most projectiles and hand-to-hand attacks.
A lighter colored variation of the Runner from Alien 3; a "Super" Dogburster also appears as a much tougher version that launches purple balls of acid from its mouth.
- Alien 3: The Gun
A variation of the xenomorph featured in the 2014 video game Alien: Isolation.
Flying aliens can be seen in Konami's Aliens arcade game, the arcade game Aliens: Extermination as a boss under the name Alien Dragon, in the Super NES version of Alien vs. Predator as an end-level boss (this one having gestated in a giant species of bat and taken on the arm-wings and overall appearance of a bat), as well as a Flying Queen in the Kenner toy line.
A human implanted by a type of facehugger altered as a bioweapon. Instead of being sedated, they are put in a zombie-like state, and move around the nesting area, attacking any intruders. If the same type of facehugger implants a Predator, the Predator is instead driven into a berserk state, and will attack anything that moves. Similar zombie-like humans controlled by aliens are found in the Female War comic book, the Aliens arcade game and Alien Trilogy for PlayStation.
In Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction, a variation of the original xenomorphs are created by Dr. Samuel Kadinsky. This group is called "The K-Series". They are almost identical to normal xenomorphs in ability but have white and yellow pigmentations to their exoskeleton rather than the dark colors usually seen. They were eventually wiped out in a hive war to keep the species of xenomorphs "pure" (being that they weren't naturally created, but were instead clones).
In Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction, a Praetorian can evolve into two other forms of Xenomorph than just the Queen: the Carrier and the Ravager. The Carrier Xenomorph has the ability to carry 6 Facehuggers on spikes coming out of its back, and some can even carry 12. Their vulnerability is their weak armor and their frailty against fire, but their greatest advantages are the face-huggers they are carrying. After the carrier is dead the facehuggers riding will scatter everywhere. Some times Carriers will actually hurl the face huggers it is carrying at its foes.
Carriers are arguably the most valuable tool for expansion of the hive in the game as it allows face huggers to traverse great distances without them needing to consume their own organs to survive whilst they are attached to the Carrier.
The Ravager Xenomorph is possibly one of the largest alien breeds ever created, it is familiar to the appearance of a normal alien except of their large armour-like shoulder bones and dark blue skin. This Xenomorph possesses huge, scythe-like claws that have the ability to instantly decapitate enemies with one swipe. They can slice through a star ship's hull and their powerful armor makes them impervious to all but the most intense assault. Ravagers can also heal themselves over short periods of time. It can be argued that Ravagers are bred to be more geared toward all-out warfare than most breeds of Xenomorphs, as their claws are more of a blade-like appearance rather than merely claws and the fact that Ravagers rely more upon brute force to overpower multiple enemies, whereas most Xenomorphs called upon stealth or numbers to overcome such obstacles. Even more dangerous and brutal about Ravagers is the fact that they make no effort in capturing hosts for breeding, and will, instead, kill and/or destroy potential hosts.
The "PredAlien" is the product of an Alien Facehugger impregnating a Predator. The PredAlien caste has appeared in comic books, video games, and one film, in that order. Appearance and abilities vary between media, with varying degrees of common traits to its host species.
The AvP games have shown a creature more in touch with its Predator host: complete with large mandibles, a heavily built physique, and dreadlocks - even going so far as to shorten the elongated head and apparently remove the inner set of jaws. In the games, this variant is also depicted as being light brown with green mottling, similar to the skin-color of the Predators. In the first game the Predalien Queen is not able to headbite, however, in Aliens versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt the predalien is capable of using its mandibles to instantly crush and consume the head of a foe. In other media, laying on her egg, it shares more of a resemblance with its host than all other xenomorphs.
In Aliens vs. Predator: Extinction a Predalien Queen appears in the final Predator mission saying it is "impure" and "an abomination". The PredAlien Queen's head was cut off and set onto a shrine while the rest of the hive was slaughtered by the clan and an Ancient Nuke Carrier destroyed the cave where the hive made base to insure the Predalien Queen's impure strain would not spread.
Also the predalien-Queen showed different pigmentation and also different features. She was brown and had a predator mouth, and predator hair. She was tougher than the regular alien queens and she didn't have acidic blood.
The Predalien in Aliens vs Predator Requiem was revealed to be a young Queen according to the Strauss brothers and its ability to impregnate women was said to be something that young queens do to establish a hive so that when begin to lay eggs and thus become immobile, they will be protected.
Another large breed with a purple coloration and large, sharp claws on its fingers. It is known for its great speed, making it hard to defeat or even keep up with. It is fond of using that speed to make dashing attacks in which it uses its namesakes to cause massive damage and slice its victims in half. The birth of the Razor Claws was a result of a genetic malfunction in the cocoon process.
A brown or green brood with an oversized head that attacks with a charging ram attack. It will usually shake its head before charging.
A gigantic Alien with a bulky body and a massive head with a wide crest. The crusher is very strong and able to bash its way through steel doors with its reinforced skull to get at its prey.
In the first Aliens versus Predator computer game, there is a special variation of the Xenomorph, a cybernetically modified and enhanced xenomorph called the Xenoborg. It is reminiscent of the Star Trek villains known as the Borg; their appearance consists of a mechanical and flesh covered body, a Borg-esque face, and can fire laser blasts. Their only weakness appears to be a flashing green light that, when hit, shuts the Xenoborg down. A similar organism appears in the book Alien vs. Predator: Hunters Planet, where a mad-man creates a planet for big-game hunters (the hunters being strictly human, and does not refer to the Predators) and creates Xenoborgs (called "buggers" by the book's protagonist) intent on using them to conquer worlds.
A xenomorph with Tarkatan features is playable as a DLC character in Mortal Kombat X.
Morphs in the toy line
Various action figures have been made depicting non-canon Xenomorphs, such as the Gorilla Alien, Snake Alien, Arachnid Alien, Flying Queen Alien, and Bull Alien action figures released by Kenner Toys to coincide with the release of the Super NES Alien vs. Predator video game; the Gorilla, Snake, and Flying Queen Aliens appear as boss enemies in the game. Several of these Kenner Aliens would later be repainted as KB Toys exclusives in three separate lines, including Aliens vs. Marines two-packs and the Hive Wars line incorporating previously unreleased figures.
- Scorpion Alien
- Gorilla Alien
- Bull Alien
- Rhino Alien (Bull remold)
- Mantis Alien(Gorilla remold)
- Snake Alien
- Queen Facehugger
- Commander Alien/Lead Drone
- Flying Queen Alien
- Killer Crab Alien
- Hive Warrior Alien
- Panther Alien
- Wild Boar Alien
- Night Cougar Alien (Panther repaint)
- King Alien
- Arachnid Alien (limited release)
- Swarm Alien (limited release)
- Acid Alien (unreleased prior to Hive Wars)
- Super-evolution Alien (Serbian:Return of The Alien comic)
- Jock-Alien/Giant Alien (Alien born from the space jockeys from Alien, seen in The Destroying Angels comic)
- James Cameron (writer and director) (1986). Aliens (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Joss Whedon (writer) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (1997). Alien: Resurrection (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- The terms "facehugger" and "chestburster" date at least as far back as The Book of Alien and HR Giger's Alien—behind-the-scenes scrapbooks composed the year of the original film's release—and are used frequently by the film's cast and crew in retrospect.
- Sideshowtoy. Retrieved 15 February 2006.
- James Cameron, Alien Evolution: Aliens
- Colin Strause during an interview on the "AvP-R: Preparing for War: Development and Production" featurette, from the Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Region 1 Extreme Unrated Set DVD
- Aliens, film commentary, Alien Quadrilogy box set
- The Alien Trilogy: A New Beowulf Archived 2008-02-09 at the Wayback Machine.
- Alien Queen in Cameron's Aliens (1986). Archived 2008-01-15 at the Wayback Machine.
- IMDB: Aliens: Awards
- Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr (2004). Alien vs. Predator: The Creature Effects of ADI.
- Giger p. 46
- Star Beast, the Alien Quadrilogy boxset
- Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers) and Ridley Scott (director) (1979). Alien (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- HR Giger, The Beast Within: The Making of Alien, Alien Quadrilogy Box-set
- Giger 52
- Dan O'Bannon, audio commentary, Alien, from the Alien Quadrilogy DVD set
- Alien3: Adaptive Organism: Creature Design, from the Alien Quadrilogy boxset.
- Alien3: Assembly cut
- Vincent Ward (writer) and David Fincher (director) (1992). Alien 3 (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Shane Salerno (writer) Colin and Greg Strause (directors) (2008). Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Alien Woman: The Making of Lt Ellen Ripley Ximena Gellardo, 2006
- Giger p. 56
- Alien Evolution, in the Alien Quadrilogy box set
- Jody Duncan & James Cameron (2007). The Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio. London: Titan. p. 336. ISBN 1-84576-150-2.
- "Alien: Resurrection (1997) - Trivia". Imdb.com. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
- Unnatural Mutation - Creature Design, Alien Quadrilogy, 2003, 20th Century Fox
- "Aliens". The International Arcade Museum. Retrieved 4 Oct 2013.