Release Date: 1990
In this third-person perspective game, the player can play either Ripley, Hicks, or both. Armed mainly with a M56 Smart Gun, the player must rid LV-426 of Aliens and kill the Queen Alien. Eight stages exist in the U.S. version and two of the more popular ones involve the player riding atop the A.P.C. (Armored Personnel Carrier) in an attempt to save Newt. Tons of different Aliens are in this game including Eggs, Facehuggers, Chestbursters, Adult Aliens, and a Queen, who even has an egg-laying ovipositor which must be destroyed. This game is loosely based on the film, Aliens, because many of the Aliens in it were not in the film, and neither Hicks nor Ripley used Smart Guns. The player can get either a 3-Way Flamethrower, 3-Bullet Missile Launcher, 2-Bullet Missile Launcher, or Flamethrower, but they can only be kept and used until the player loses a life. Bombs, Super Bombs, and the Powerloader can also be used in the game.
Two endings were created for this game which are determined by the player’s actions in the last stage where the player must battle the powerful Queen Alien. If the player keeps hitting the Queen with the Powerloader or shoots it a lot with the Smart Gun then the Queen will explode into bloody chunks which get pulled into the Sulaco’s airlock and out into space. If the player pins the Queen up against the airlock with the Powerloader then the small torch on the Powerloader can be activated and the Queen will be pulled out into space just like in the film’s ending. World Set 1, World Set 2, and Japan versions of this game exist, but the two World Sets appear to be identical to the U.S. version.
US – Japan Differences:
The US version is slightly different, it has the “Winners Don’t Use Drugs” screen.
The Japanese version is very unlike any other version to appear in other countries :
- Most obviously, both APC driving levels have been entirely deleted.
- As such, the subplot of rescuing Newt is gone. Therefore, Newt never appears in Stage 1.
- When you take on the ‘Shrinky-Dink Alien Quartet’, the first one to fully enlarge hops off-screen, leaving you to only battle the other three.
- Many of the aliens, zombies, and mid-bosses can be killed with fewer shots.
- Two new kinds of minor enemy appear in the game :
a) An adult alien bursts out of the background wall during the vent portion of what we consider Stage 5. It functions much like the Ground-Poppers and is destroyed just as easily, but with new animations and from a different angle. It is the only one of its type in the game.
b) The small form of the Shrinky-Dink Alien, as seen in the form of the second mid-boss in Stage 5, reappears in Stage 7. It stands alone on the catwalks with a ring of orange energy circling it and the catwalk in a kind of ‘shield’. A few shots destroy it.
- Titles have been given to each level. They are as follows:
Level 1 – Living Quarters
Level 2 – Factory
Level 3 – Factory2
Level 4 – Queen Alien’s DEN
Level 5 – Escape Route
Level 6 – Battle Ship SULACO
- Special weapons and bombs appear much more frequently in the game, dropping from the sky for the players to use at regular intervals.
- It is now possible to attain 1-ups in the game. If a player is still carrying a weapon from the last special weapon power-up, the next one to fall on-screen will contain a 1-up. It comes in the form of a red ribbon with a bow wrapped around the word ‘1up’.
- In addition to the other enemies in this section, ground-popping aliens now appear earlier, during the nest portion of what we know as Stage 3.
- In addition to the other enemies, flying aliens now appear during the first power loader segment, in Stage 3.
- Flying aliens are much more frequent throughout the outdoor portion of Stages 5 and 7.
- Extra exploding barrels appear throughout the game.
- Numerous aliens have changed colour Adult aliens are now purple instead of maroon, face-huggers are now flesh-toned instead of green, etc.
- Many of the adult aliens in the elevator sequence of Stage 3 have been removed. They have been replaced with flying aliens that do NOT damage the cables. This makes this sequence much easier.
- The beams from the 3-Way gun have changed colour from purple to orange.
- During the final battle, the queen does NOT breathe fire/acid at you. Instead, after flashing white, she sends out multiple images of herself as a projectile! These are wider and therefore are easier to be hit by.
- The queen charges at you constantly even if you are in the power loader. This makes the final battle much more difficult.