Alien vs. Predator (franchise)

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What would happen if the Predator, interstellar alien hunter extraordinaire, took it upon himself to go after the face-raping Aliens? Oddly enough, lots of humans dying.

Alien vs. Predator is the combination of Fox's two hit alien monster movies, and the stories of the innocent humans caught in the middle. The series started with Aliens vs. Predator, a comic by Dark Horse Comics, featuring colony administrator Machiko Noguchi, who finds her newly-settled world has just become a hunting ground for the Predators as they seed it with Xenomorph eggs. Dark Horse would follow on this with other comics, such as Deadliest of the Species and War, as well as crossovers with Superman, Batman, and even The Terminator. Riding the popularity wave of Predators, the Machiko story was picked up again in the mini-series Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War, in which the humans and Predators team up against a second race of Predators (similar to the "black" ones from the film) and their Alien pets.

The concept was even hinted at in the second Predator movie, which featured a Xenomorph skull amongst the Predator's trophies. It was finally made into a movie in 2004, with a sequel in 2007. The movies abandoned the previous setting and had the conflict take place on contemporary Earth. That the movies weren't exactly embraced, even by the fanbase, owes more to the fact that the movies Human protagonists were the weakest element and simply weren't credible enough while the Aliens and Predators remained both on form.

A number of games, notably a First-Person Shooter for the Atari Jaguar, two FPS for the PC, a Real Time Strategy game (Extinction) for the PlayStation 2 and XBox, and an arcade Beat'Em Up by Capcom, have also been made. The first FPS was notable for being just about the only good game on the Jaguar. The second FPS (the first on the PC) was notable for the sheer, pants-wetting terror experienced in the Marine campaign. The second PC FPS was notable for having a pretty good story, even if it did tone down the whole "terror" aspect. A third FPS (this one being Multi Platform) was released in early 2010.

The games, along with a series of comics and novels, are completely unrelated to the story or setting of the movies. They are instead set in the same time and setting as the second Alien movie.

For the films on which the game was based, see Alien vs. Predator.

Not to be confused with Alien Loves Predator.

Tropes used in Alien vs. Predator (franchise) include:
  • Abnormal Ammo: Radioactive ammo from the RTS.
    • Spider mines!
    • The standard ammo for the pulse rifle. It's 10mm, larger than mostly any ammo used for rifles, caseless, armour-piercing and explosive. When it comes to fighting Xenomorphs, this is essentially the kind of ammo you need to put a dent in them, as Aliens showed us them shrugging off pistol shots like nothing, and in the 2010 Rebellion game, using the pistol against a Xenomorph is asking for an overdrawn engagement. It usually takes the better part of the pistol magazine; over a dozen rounds. And that pistol's an upgraded one designed to be halfway effective against the buggers.
    • Predators get this in general, especially with the second PC game. Most of their weapons are abnormal and require some form of abnormal ammo, starting with energy as described above, all the way to nets and spears made of substances not found on our periodic table. The Predators can also turn electricity into plasma.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: the 2010 game.
  • Action Girl: Machiko from the comic and Linn Kurosawa from the Arcade game.
    • Dunya the Iron Bear mercenary from AVP2 (the game) and its expansion pack.
    • Tequila from the 2010 game.
    • Lex from the first film, after a bit of a warm up.
  • Air Vent Passageway: Alien players will see the interior of a lot of ventilation shafts. The Marine player in the second PC game also does this.
  • And I Must Scream: Dr. Eisenberg in AvP2. His arms and legs are torn off, cocooned into the wall of the Queen's chamber, and since he's a synth, he can't die. The Alien campaign ends with his hysterical shrieks echoing throughout the dark burrows of the hive.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Most of the bosses from the second PC game. The Exosuit is heavily armed and armored, but has an atrocious lack of armor over where the operator's head is, allowing you to bring it down with just a few headshots, or even a single bonegun round to the head; the Predator's pistol also paralyses the stupid thing with every shot. Even the Alien Queen goes down after a few bursts of minigun fire or some brief circle-strafing and whacking with the combi-stick. Predators are pretty nasty, though, especially when you fight them as the unarmed, unarmored Alien.
    • In the 2010 game, the queen isn't even mobile, in fact, it's less of a boss, and more of a piece of scenery you have to kill while fending off facehuggers.
      • The final enemy of the Alien campaign in AvP2 is Dr. Eisenberg, who really seems anticlimatic after two in-tandem Predators, seeing as you can just run up to him and eat his freaking head off.
  • Anti-Villain: General Rykov in AVP 2. Although he's happy to secretly kill a few Weyland-Yutani civilian employees (the people he's hired specifically to protect) in order to steal company resources for his mercs, and under Eisenberg's orders sets the Marines up for an ambush to wipe them out, he's clearly not taking any pleasure in doing so and is absolutely loyal to his own men, even going so far as to undergo a suicide mission at the end of the game to buy time for his surviving mercs to escape the planet. He also ends up indirectly helping the Predators (even though the last time he encountered them, they blasted a hole through his spine).
  • Apocalyptic Log: Most of the backstory for AVP 2 and the 2010 game is told through memos and Incident Reports seen at the start of each level. They even foreshadow what you're about to run into next.
  • Arm Cannon: Schaffer in the Beat'Em Up has a cybernetic arm with a Smartgun mounted on it. The Predator topknot in AvP: War is shown with a wrist-mounted plasma caster.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: In the 2010 game Weyland comments that the Aliens are a "true meritocracy." Given what Aliens do, this trope applies to the entire species.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Karl Bishop Weyland in the 2010 game; in the final shootout of the Marine campaign he can kill you in just 2 shots and can survive even more damage than an elite Combat Android, taking almost a full 99 round magazine from the pulse rifle to bring down, although he still goes down after about 14 shots from the semi-auto sniper rifle or 5 good shotgun blasts.
    • The Alien Queen and Predator Ancient in the RTS. The Ancient can insta-kill all enemies under 50 hp within arm's length. The Queen is no pushover, even in her default form, but the upgraded form has more armor, and sends all transbreed aliens into a killing frenzy. It's a totally viable strategy to assault a base with the Queen leading the charge. Averted with the Commtech marine, who is almost defenseless before being upgraded, but is still a bit of a Glass Cannon after.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Both PC games feature a rocket launcher as part of the Marine's arsenal. That's all very well and good, but not much use when 99% of the enemies you face are fast-moving, melee-oriented aliens.
    • The kill moves in the multiplayer demo for the 2010 game are awesome looking, but leave you vulnerable for some time; its not that uncommon to see an alien grab a marine, with another alien behind him, etc cetra, forming a conga line of blood and gore. This applies in single-player too when fighting multiple enemies, too.
    • The Marine's flamethrower is cool, but doesn't actual deal direct damage, and it takes an alien several seconds to burn to death during which they'll happily attack you. The 2010 game is even worse, as it retains all the flaws of the version from the 1999 PC game, eats ammo for breakfast, and now a burning Alien can grab your leg and kill you instantly when it explodes. In AVP 2, the flamethrower didn't really set enemies on fire, but it did deal massive direct damage and could kill a xeno in a split second.
      • It's very effective against Facehuggers though.
    • In the 2010 game, the Predator's plasmacaster auto-locks onto enemies and can gib a xeno or marine with a single charged shot... and you can only fire about 3 or 4 charged shots before running out of energy and being unable to fire until you found an energy pickup.
      • Except during the final battle, where you gain infinite ammo for it, putting the thing into the territory of Awesome Yet Practical.
  • Awesome but Practical: The Smartgun and minigun in AVP 2.
    • AVP 2010 In multiplayer the default Marine weapon: the Pulse Rifle. Accurate, high rate of fire kills in one or two seconds and has a grenade launcher.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Lex and Scar in the first movie.
  • Badass: Machiko. In the recent miniseries Three World War, she immediately gains the respect and attention of her old Predator hunting buddies (whom she was trying to get in contact with) by completely slaughtering one of them in seconds.
  • Badass Normal: Given the...nature...of the other two primary combatant species in the PC games, the anonymous Marine and Corporal "Frosty" Harrison from the games definitely count. Hell, Harrison repeatedly takes on entire hives of Aliens by himself and kills a particularly vicious Predator that took out most of White Team. As for the anonymous Marine of the first game, well. Balls of steel doesn't even begin to cover it.
    • The "Rookie" from the 2010 game, who gets stranded alone in alien territory at least once per scenario and he still manages to fight his way out, including at one point getting captured by the Aliens and having to escape through the hive . It's worth noting that nearly every character in the game expresses disbelief that he has somehow managed to survive.
  • Bag of Spilling: No matter what you end a mission with in the 2010 game's Marine campaign, you always start the next one with a Pulse Rifle in one slot. And at one point you lose that, too.
    • Averted in the Marine's final battle; there's a cutscene which seems to imply the Marine has lost all his weapons except his pistol, just before he has to fight some of the toughest enemies in the entire game. In fact his previous weapons are simply holstered, and he can pull them out at any time.
    • In the RTS, even if you ended the mission with an army, you'll start the next with a handful of units. Occasionally explained in the Alien story, with situation such as A Queen starting a new hive, a recently decimated hive trying to reclaim it's captured Queen.
  • BFG: Lots of these. The Minigun, kill-a-Praetorian-in-one-hit sniper rifle and military power loader in 2 come to mind, and the 2010 game's Smartgun is so big it takes up both primary weapon slots.
  • Downer Ending: In AVP: Three World War, Machiko is able to defeat the rogue evil Predators, but her refusal to die fighting causes another Predator to burn her "status symbol" forehead mark with more xenomorph blood. She's no longer able to work with the Predators, and humans in general are back on the hunting menu.
  • Body Horror: We all know how revolting that scene in Alien with the chestburster eating its way out of John Hurt's chest was, right? Well, in the second PC game, you get to play as the chestburster. Then you have to eat a cat.
    • In the expansion, not only are you the chestburster, but your unfortunate victim is the Predator you play as in the Predator campaign.
  • Book Ends: In the Arcade Beat'Em Up, in multiplayer at the start of stage 1 the human characters ask the Predator Warrior why the predators are helping them, to which he responds that if they survive this, he will tell them. Cue the ending, where the humans repeat the question, to which they get a cryptic "You'll know.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: In the 2010 game, the Predator has to use some unfortunate guy's severed noggin to open doors locked by retinal scanners.
  • Boss Arena Urgency: The battle between the Predator and Predalien in the 2010 game takes place over walkways slightly above lava. As the battle goes on, the Predalien will start to cause a cave in, wrecking the walkways so that the player has to both make tricky leaps between platforms, and at the same time fighting the Predalien.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted in the 2010 game, which features a black dude as the player character in the Marine campaign.
  • Bury Your Gays: Surprisingly averted in Alien vs. Predator: Prey (and in theory, the comic that it's based on, although their relationship is far less obvious in the comic. Jame Roth and her wife Cathie are among the few survivors at the end.
  • Canon Immigrant: The PredAlien goes from a enemy in the PC game to an official sub-species in the second movie. There's also the different vision modes the Predator uses to spot aliens instead of humans in the first movie.
    • That in turn was an explanation of the vision modes used in Predator 2, where it found the heat-cloaked humans by switching settings.
    • The 2010 game in turn incorporates a few elements from the first AVP movie (the Predator pyramid, Alien Vision mode being green instead of red, Charles Bishop Weyland) as well as from the AVP 2 game which was made by a different developer (Combat Synth Elite Mooks, Runner aliens, a shotgun and sniper rifle, and a Corrupt Corporate Executive Big Bad who turns out to be an android).
    • The Predalien went from an enemy in the PC game, to having it's own campaign in the second game's expansion, and THEN it was the sub-species in the second movie.
  • Check Point Starvation: Nightmare Mode disables the checkpoint system, meaning you get bumped back to the very beginning of the mission if you ever die (which, given the enemy's increased damage output, happens a lot).
  • Clone Degeneration: This is an in-game theory presented as to how, over the course of several hundred years, Weyland went from a reasonably Reasonable Authority Figure in the present day to the Card-Carrying Villain he is in the far future of the 2010 game.
  • Colony Drop: The W-Y installation on LV-1201 is designed around "Pods" suspended from a ginormous superstructure. If one Pod is compromised by, say, the alien lifeforms you're running unethical research on, you can just jettison the whole thing before the infestation spreads.
    • Also in the Capcom version, where the heroes destroy the alien hive in the city by making the Big Bad's ship crash into it.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: The 2010 game's Marine campaign does this rather a lot; Tequila tends to be the one constantly reminding you that you need to hurry up and get your ass to the place you do not in fact have to hurry up and get your ass to.
    • This leads to a bit of Hypocritical Humor later on, when Tequila joins you and Katya takes over as Mission Control. Tequila complains about Katya always interrupting with mission objectives, after spending a couple levels doing nothing except interrupting you with mission objectives.
  • Continuity Nod: Both Weyland and Yutani appear in the modern-day settings, establishing the company (and the Xenomorph-chasing hysteria) for the earlier movies.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: How the Predator is balanced against the Marines and Aliens in the games. As ridiculous as their gear is, catch one holding the wrong tool for the job and you've got a much better chance at winning. Most evident in the second PC game, less so in the newest one.
    • Also, Praetorian Aliens. Yes, they hit hard and can take quite a bit more damage than regular Aliens... but they can't pounce or climb walls. Very bad trade off...
    • Happens with the most marine and some predator units in the RTS. Very good at fighting 1 type of unit. Terrible at dealing with pretty much anything else.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Anyone high up in WY is guaranteed to be doing something dangerous, unethical and in all likelihood stupid involving the nearest Hive and / or ancient ruins. It's apparently true for the whole corporation: Weyland-Yutani's contract has a clause that allows them to feed you to a Xenomorph just to see what happens when they feed you to a Xenomorph.
  • Crossover
  • Cyborg: Linn and Dutch in the Beat'Em Up. Dutch has a huge mechanical arm. The only reason you can tell Linn's a cyborg is when she starts slinging Xenomorphs around.
    • The Xenoborg from the first PC game, complete with Eye Beams and Arm Cannon. Yes, someone thought it was a good idea to graft heavy weapons onto a cyborg Xenomorph.
  • Dark Action Girl: Dunya in the second PC game. She's even the main playable human character in the Primal Hunt expansion pack.
  • Deadly Lunge: In the original PC game, Aliens simply had the best jumping ability; which could clear the distance between them and opponents quick. In the sequel, the Alien's pounce ability was now an actual attack. In the newer game, it's possible (if awkward control-wise) for the Alien to run, leap and attack, but it's not a specific move.
    • Both the Alien and Predator have a ranged lunge move in the 2010 game.
    • The Runner alien in the RTS has such an attack. Can be upgraded to inject the target with toxic spores on impact, fun.
  • Deadpan Snarker: One funny moment of this in the Japanese version of the Arcade Beat'Em Up on the malfunctioning elevator:

Dutch: Jeez, stuck again. What a rickety old junk...
Predator Warrior: You mean yourself?

  • Degraded Boss: In the Capcom beat-em-up, the Chrysalis and Power Loader bosses return (in pairs) during the final stage.
  • Difficult but Awesome: The Aliens take on this role in the 2010 game's multiplayer. You're more fragile than the Predators and the Humans, you move differently, and your only attacks are melee-oriented, but a skilled player can make use of their prodigious speed, wall-crawling abilities, and swift takedown maneuvers and become a absolute nightmare to play against.
    • Actually, Aliens have more health than marines. Marines have 100 health, Aliens 130 and Predators 150. That doesn't diminish the above point, though; since the Aliens make growling noises when moving at speed, they can subvert their own attempts at stealth. It makes both stalking prey and engaging in combat inherently risky, but still intensely rewarding. Nothing like getting an execution finisher on a Predator.
  • Did Not Do the Research: In-game example; in the 2010 game, one log is of someone saying that they're coming home, ending with "You were right, there are better people to work for than Weyland-Yutani."
  • Disposable Vagrant: In AvP 2.
  • Downer Ending: The AVP Jaguar game's marine campaign ends with the player filing a mission report in his escape pod, complaining about "stomach cramps". The first AVP PC game's marine campaign ends with the player successfully defeating the Alien Queen, but it's an empty victory since he's trapped in the hangar bay of an alien-infested battleship with no means of escape. The 2010 game ends with the player marine and a xenomorph-infected squadmate being "rescued" by a dropship... crewed by Weyland-Yutani mooks, who are having a nice chat with Karl Bishop Weyland about how now they know where the Xenomorph homeworld is.
  • Dragon Their Feet: In the 2010 game, Praetorians, supposedly there to protect the Queen, don't even begin to show up until well after she's killed.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower/Game Breaker: In the Predator campaign of the 2010 campaign, the combistick spear, which doesn't become available until the second-to-last level. It can be thrown several dozen feet, is a one-hit-kill against almost everything, and best of all doesn't drop you out of cloak. Once you get it, you can waltz through human enemies without any effort, and even aliens become much easier to handle.
  • Elite Mooks: The second PC game has Dr. Eisenberg's personal cadre of illegal Combat Synths; bald, muscular androids with reinforced bodies and several times as much health as standard human troops. They can see in the dark and even right through the Predator's cloaking device, and some of them carry miniguns and rocket launchers. A good headshot still decapitates them, though.
    • Combat Synths, now referred to as Combat Androids, make a return in the 2010 AVP game during the later levels in all 3 campaigns.
    • Technically, the player alien as well; the Marine and Predator players slaughter your sisters by the dozens, however, you typically manage to go through an entire army of marines, with one or two predators also on your hit list.
    • Praetorians and Predaliens in the FPS and RTS.
    • Combat Androids are in the 2010 game. They normally carry either a shotgun or, more likely, a sniper rifle. They can take about 25% more damage than a human Marine (Weyland's black-uniformed personal Praetorian Guard are even tougher, and can take at least 60 rounds from the pulse rifle to kill), and headshots do not help.
    • In the Capcom beat-em-up, the uncommon Royal Guards (seemingly based on the Praetorian aliens) serve this role.
  • Emergency Weapon: In the first PC game you ended up using your pulse rifle as a club if you ran out of ammo for all your guns. In the second game you had a knife. Given the nature of the enemies you faced, though, if it ever came down to that you were pretty much screwed anyway. The 2010 game gives you a pistol with infinite ammo, but it takes almost a full 18 round mag to kill a single Alien drone.
    • Medics and basic Synthetics in the RTS have pistols. They work as well as you'd imagine.
  • Enemy Mine: A staple of the series - it's happened in the original comics (where the elder Predator and humans form a strained bond), Deadliest of the Species, the first movie (which has the last surviving human and the last surviving Predator teaming up to fight the Aliens) and the Capcom game (where the Predators team up with two Cyborgs to fight the Xenomorphs).
  • Excuse Plot: All of the games by Rebellion (the Jaguar, the 1999 PC game, and the 2010 game) have only a bare-bones outline cribbed from the films for the plot, as the games are much more about atmosphere than story and most players know everything they need to know about what's going on from the films. Alien Vs Predator 2 by Monolith has a much more developed and coherent plot, though it takes playing through all three different species campaigns to get the full picture of it.
  • Expy: One of the cyborgs in the Capcom game is modeled on Schwarzenegger's character in Predator.
  • Face Full of Alien Wingwong: Especially in the 2nd game
  • Fake Difficulty: In the 2010 game, the Marines don't have any sort of alert to tell them from what direction they just took damage from. In theory the motion-capture device should tell you, but Aliens don't move when they are beating you up.
  • Finishing Move: The aliens and Predators. The humans just have to make do with smacking enemies onto their backs and shooting them.
  • Firing One-Handed: Schaffer fires any gun he picks up one-handed. Using his natural arm. Even the Smartgun. He is (an Expy of/descended from?) an Arnold Schwarzenegger character.
  • Fragile Speedster: The player aliens in the PC games are not too durable, but are exceptionally fast, and due to their wall-crawling, far more mobile than the other species. It's toned down somewhat in the sequel, where it's possible to play as a Predalien or Praetorian (which are more durable but slower), though normal warriors and runners are still fast and fragile.
    • The Alien runners in the RTS. They're extremely fast even by Xenomorph standards.
    • Linn Kurosawa from the Arcade Beat 'Em Up is the traditional weak but fast character.
  • Functional Genre Savvy: In the second game, the Weyland-Yutani xenomorph research outpost on LV-1201 is actually very well designed for its purpose. The Primary Operations Center, which houses most of the administration, spaceport, intersteller communications array, and bulk cargo is surrounded by electric fences on the outside and more electronic fences inside and is located far from the xenomorph hive. Even the weakest point in the security is still proof against anything short of a bomb. The Forward Observation Pods are several independant units suspended over a canyon by means of an electrified framework. The mustering area on the surface below is surrounded by electric fences and automated gun turrets, with additional bunkers for shelter during an emergency, and the only access between this area and the pods is by means of an elevator lowered down from above with no supports to climb up. If necessary, a compromised pod can be seperated from the others and detached. The pods and the POC are connected by a roadway with substantial underground tunnels that are gated in sections like an airlock to ensure that no "specimens" are able to pass through without proper security measures.
    • These are all very logical and effective security measures to deter the xenomorph. However, this being an Alien game, of course something still goes wrong anyway, making this an example of Death By Pragmatism.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: In the 2010 game, Action Girl / Mission Control Corporal Tequila briefly joins you for about 1/3rd of the 2nd-to-last level, and helps you fight about a dozen or so of Weyland's Combat Androids. She's entirely invincible. Averted with the Red Shirt Colonial Marines who occasionally join you; they can die at any time, but if you manage to get through the area while keeping them alive (which can be quite difficult) you'll usually get an extra mini-scripted sequence with them.
  • Gatling Good: The minigun is the ultimate weapon in both PC games; it kills pretty much anything in less than a second.
    • The minigun in the first game, in addition to having no windup time, had simply the coolest firing noise ever (see 0:23).
    • Shows up in the RTS, with radioactive ammo. Also, the exosuit has 2.
  • Genre Savvy: The marines in the second game seem rather pessimistic about their chances of surviving even before the mission begins, but other than some offhand griping, simply roll with the punches of it knowing that complaining would be futile.

"Gee, thanks Duke, now I know whose tail to pull out of the fire first when everything goes to hell."

  • Genre Shift: The three different campaigns were all surprisingly different genre-shifts of the same game: the Predator campaign felt almost like a hunting game, whether the prey be Alien or human with his cloaking device, thermal and EM vision modes and unique equipment. The Marine campaign was an incredibly creepy horror shooter, while the air vent-scuttling, wall-crawling Alien campaign was a unique stealth-based game interspersed with extreme and bloody violence.
  • Glass Cannon: Typically, Marines have the heaviest weaponry, but also the lowest durability. This was especially true in the first PC game, where even on Normal difficulty you died after only a handful of hits. They're quite a bit tougher in AVP 2 and have regenerating health in the 2010 AVP, though.
    • In the second game, the player character Predator is like this. You could survive even less damage than a fully armored Marine player character, but this was balanced out by having infinite regenerating health.
    • In the RTS, the Marines have the Sniper and Rocket Soldier. They deal a LOT of damage (and bypass armor), but if they're caught in melee range, they're usually dead before the player can react.
  • Gorn: The demo for the new 2010 multiplatform game shows the Predator can collect trophies by ripping off marines' heads, with the faces twitching in shock while the still-attached spinal cord flails around.
    • All the Alien special kills apply as well.
  • Gray and Grey Morality: For the most parts. While the leaders of that big corporation are a bunch of greedy assholes, most of the employees are just people doing their work or innocent victims who haven't done anything bad. The marines are usually well-meaning if slighty hardballed with their work. The Xenomorphs are obviously nasty bastards but in the video games, it's their territories that are being invaded and their queen violated, so in all rights they're fighting an war of self-defence against the humans and the yautjas, thought with rules that aren't exactly what the Geneva Conventions would allow. The Yautjas no doubt starts wars and deaths for no actual good reason but they do have standards on which things the hunters are allowed to kill; women, children, sick and old are forbidden to hunt but for the rest, it's a free game with whatever nasty and violent way they want to use.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Gold edition of the original game gives the Marine a cool new pair of pistols, that pretty much do fuck-all against the enemies he faces.
    • Also included: a goofy, if logical reload sequence that takes an extraordinary amount of time - the pistols attach together, simultaneously drop their magazines, are reloaded simultaneously with a pair of magazines, and are then separated.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: When the power goes off during the alien campaign, one of the scientists wearing a gas mask who gets trapped in the hallway outside your chamber will run screaming INTO the chamber and bang on the giant window... BETWEEN the hallway he was just in and your Chamber.
  • Harder Than Hard: Nightmare difficulty in the 2010 game. It has all the challenge of Hard difficulty (enemies have more health and do more damage, button prompts no longer appear to tell you whether an enemy is using a heavy or light attack, marines are smarter and more aware of their surroundings, and xenos can no longer be knocked down in melee) AND no save checkpoints in any of the levels, so if you die (and you likely will) you have to restart the entire level.
  • Healing Factor,Good Thing You Can Heal: Xenomorphs. They don't get any Stimpacks/Health Shards. They can Headbite, and the Praetorians can Cocoon to enhance it. In the RTS, Human radiological ammo stops it.
    • In AVP 2 the Predator can use his Medicomp as often as he likes as long as he has energy, which he gets from a device he can also use as often as he likes.
    • In the 2010 game the Alien auto-heals, while the Marine and Predator have a segmented bar; damage within a segment auto-heals, past one requires a stimpack or medicomp.
  • Heel Face Turn: Predator Warrior and Predator Hunter in the arcade beat 'em up.
  • Hide Your Gays: Played with in the comic, but ultimately averted in Alien vs. Predator: Prey. In the book, Jame Roth and her wife Cathie are a perfectly normal couple, and their relationship is never really brought up as an issue (indeed, they're among the few survivors). The comic completely glosses over any mention of them as a couple and as a result you could be forgiven for thinking they're just really good friend.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The parasitic nightmare-beasts and killing machines who rip people apart for fun tend to be treated almost sympathetically in comparison to the human villains. Also, the Marine player character is the only one who ever ends up facing enemies of his own species...
    • Aliens Are Bastards:...but still the alien creatures ain't much better themselves. The Xenomorphs kills whatever living creature they see, and in Aliens vs Predator 2 it's heavily hinted that they're semi-sentient so they must do this for more reasons than just to protect the hive. The Yautjas kills peoples without provocation, usually start the fights and if you survived an earlier attack from them in your life then God help you because those creatures will hunt your ass down, no matter if it'll take them ages or thousands of enemies between them and you before they finally gets you, all for wounded pride.
  • Hybrid Monster: The Predalien.
    • They're particularly nasty in the RTS, as they increase their maximum health after surviving a few battles. The K-Series might also apply. They never do explain how they're different from normal aliens, but they're seen as a threat to the alien bloodline.
  • I Call It Vera: The marine platoon in AVP2 has a Combat Exoskeleton (essentially a militarized version of the Power Loader with weapons and armor) in its armory. The marines call it "Alice". It is lumped in with airstrikes in how destructive it can be.
  • Identical Grandson: Karl Bishop Weyland, the President of Weyland-Yutani in the 2010 game, looks and sounds exactly like Charles Bishop Weyland, company founder way back in the 20th century. As anyone who's seen the Aliens movies will know, he turns out to be a series of androids who have been doing this for a very long time, with a new one taking over every time the previous one gets killed. Oddly, no one at the Company seems to have noticed this as being odd.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: In the 2010 FPS, the first mission of the human campaign, you are sent to help your buddies in a club. A holographic Ms. Fanservice pops up on the stage. You can watch her if you want, but the story will stop dead. And your CO keeps at you untill you go do your job. If you progress, you're too busy killing monsters to watch the dancer.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Of course. One notable instance is in the Arcade Beat'Em Up just before the Final Boss fight, where the Queens impales the Corrupt General and then rips him in two in direct homage to similar scene in Aliens.
  • Interface Screw: In the 2010 game, type B. Why does the player character Predator insist on holding his wristblades right up in front of his eyes?
  • It Got Worse: This sums up most of the marine campaigns.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: In AVP Requiem, an infested Colorado town is nuked to prevent the aliens from spreading across North America.
    • This trope is also invoked by the Predator in the first AVP film, when it detonates the pyramid to destroy an alien hive.
  • It's Personal: The Predators in the Arcade Beat'Em Up after killing their infected comrade.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: In the Arcade Beat'Em Up continue screens, humans characters get an Alien creeping upon them, while the predators start the self destruct sequence.
  • Jack of All Stats/Lightning Bruiser: The Predators in the FPS games have the best balance between firepower, durability, and speed.
    • In the arcade beat 'em up, Predator Warrior is the Jack while Predator Hunter is the Lightning Bruiser.
  • Justified Tutorial: In the 2010 game, the opening for the Marine has you be incapacitated until after things go to Hell, and a Voice with an Internet Connection talks you through basic actions. For the alien, the tutorial is provided by a scientist observing you. the Predator goes through his Initiation trials.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Linn Kurosawa carries one into battle. It's so much better, in fact, that it doesn't melt on contact with Alien Blood.
  • Kamehame Hadoken / Ki Attacks: Linn Kurosawa in the Arcade game has one special move where she charges then unleashes Ki.
  • Kill It with Fire: On the upside, using a flamethrower on a Xenomorph avoids that "acid blood" problem. On the downside, you've just really pissed it off.
    • In the RTS, the Flamethrower soldier and Predator Blazers, and Predator Shrine. The Upgraded Rocket Soldier counts too, their new launchers fire incendiary ammo.
  • King Mook: Praetorians and PredAliens. The PredAlien is upgraded to a unique, full-on Big Bad for the Predator campaign in the 2010 game, while the Praetorian is a full boss battle with only 3 appearing in the Marine campaign and 1 in the Predator campaign.
  • Late to the Party: In the 2010 game, thanks to a convenient piece of unsecured equipment, the Rookie suffers head trauma and is knocked out; which leads your squad to leave you behind.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Predator player characters in the first PC game could run as fast as an Alien, soak loads of damage, AND most of their weapons were 1-hit-kills against most enemies. Predator players were toned down in the later games, though, although the NPC Predators remain very tough.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The Matriarch in the smelter. Killing her results in an explosion that seemingly destroys most of the colony.
    • Karl Bishop Weyland seems to be like this in the Marine campaign, as the Pyramid starts to collapse as soon as you kill him (and explodes soon afterwards), for no particular reason. However, it's revealed in the Predator campaign that the Predator had set the Pyramid to self-destruct earlier, and while the Rookie was busy fighting Weyland, the Predator was fighting the Abomination in the chamber below, with the Abomination smashing up the structural supports holding the Pyramid up.
  • Lock and Load Montage: The first film features one for the Predators.
  • Lowered Monster Difficulty: Two accounts.
    • In the second PC game, the PC Predator is much less resilient than his NPC kinsmen.
    • The Aliens are nigh-undefeatable badasses in the films, but for gameplay reasons tend to get the mook treatment in most games.
    • Mostly averted with the Rebellion FPS games, where even one Alien can ruin your day. Both are considered to have a high learning curve.
  • Mad Scientist: Not so much in the films, but since the games, books, and comics take place in a similar setting to Aliens, there's all sorts of crazy doctors experimenting with the critters. In the upcoming game, the player Alien (Specimen 6) was apparently bred in captivity, because that always works out so well...
  • Malevolent Architecture: The main building of the colony in the 2010 game is a volcano-shaped tower centred on a smelter apparently built directly above a room full of explosive canisters.
  • Master of Unlocking: Frosty in 2 gets a handy hacking tool and a blowtorch for getting through locked doors. The Predator gets a "Charge Emitter" for shorting out panels.
  • Meaningful Rename: In the 2010 game, while Synths seem to have been changed to Androids for no particular reason, the change of Alien "Queen" to "Matriarch" reflects a slightly different take on how the Alien Hive actually works. Specifically, that any drone can become Matriarch, seemingly just by kicking enough ass. This happens to Six in the Alien campaign ending.
    • This phenomenon has actually been suggested in other materials previously, but this is one of the first, if not the first time, we actually see it happen.
  • Melee a Trois: Aliens vs. Predators vs. Humans. Although in many cases the Predators and Humans tend to team up in an Enemy Mine situation against the Aliens.
  • Mighty Glacier: The marines in the first person games are slow, but have enough firepower to level a mountain (including the minigun and SADAR missile). Dutch Schaefer also qualifies as this.
    • In the RTS, the Marine exosuit, the Alien Ravager, and Military Predators. All very slow moving, but designed to engage multiple enemies simultaneously and win.
    • Praetorians aren't exactly slow, but they're too heavy to wall-crawl like regular aliens, which does limit their mobility, especially in the 1999 PC game and AVP 2.
  • Mythology Gag: While it only had three barrels, the image in AVP 2's manual makes it very clear the minigun has the same M60 handguard under the barrels as the famous Predator minigun.
    • An obsucre one; in the 2010 game, Tequila refers to their present mission as shaping up "worse than Acheron". Acheron is the alternate name for LV 426, the planet where the Aliens were first discovered and were a company of Marines were wiped out in Aliens.
  • Nerf: The Pulse Rifle in the 2010 game is noticeably weaker than in previous games. It takes 15-25 bullets to kill just one Xenomorph drone on Normal difficulty, compared to just a handful of bullets in the 1999 AVP and AVP 2.
    • Inverted, in some schools of thought. The Aliens could be considered buffed rather than the pulse rifle nerfed, as it is one of the most efficient damage-dealing weapons in the game. Rebellion released the multiplayer health ratings for the creatures, which placed Aliens at 130 to a marine's 100. On hard difficulty, Aliens have something in excess of 200 health.
  • New Meat: The Marine player character in the 2010 game is called "The Rookie." Even by his own HUD.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Eisenberg's reaction to the Marines shutting down the security grid in 2. Despite that he ordered it to be set up like that in the first place.
    • Also, when Harrison is escaping from the Pod he unintentionally releases the Player Character Predator from stasis, allowing it to wreak havoc on the guards and scientists. Granted, the Predator never actually interferes with Harrison or his allies, and in some cases aids him indirectly, so this example is iffy.
  • Night Vision Goggles: In the first PC game, the Marine had a grainy, monochrome green pair of goggles. Because they were light amplifiers, any light source could be blinding (including the muzzle flash of your guns). The Predator's alternate vision modes could also count.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Frosty tries this in AVP 2. It doesn't exactly work out well the first time, although he does have more success when he tries it again at the end of the game.
    • As does The Rookie in the 2010 game. It doesn't work out much better, given the ending.
    • Predator campaigns tend to do this too, though usually the Pred is aware whoever he's looking for is dead and is trying to do something honour-related with their body or stuff.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Weyland-Yutani have a nasty habit of designing bases, security systems and more or less everything so it'll fail if someone looks at it funny. Lampshaded in AVP 2 where you find a note which explicitly states that the current communications setup compromises the entire security grid.
    • AVP 2 also has high-pressure, extremely hot steam coming out of random pipes, and pipelines labelled "Natural Gas" directly adjacent to ones labelled "Oxygen."
    • In the 2010 game, in which mining explosives were kept directly underneath a blast furnace.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: Doctor Eisenberg from AvP 2 was part of an early expedition to LV-1201 that got trapped in an installation by aliens for an extended period. When he was finally rescued, he was found huddling in a corner surrounded by half-eaten corpses.
  • Not Quite Dead: The Alien Queen in the Arcade Beat'Em Up.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The Marine campaign in any of the games relies heavily on this. Special mention goes to second PC game wherein the first few stages nothing attacks you, instead throwing many a cat scare your way.
  • Obviously Evil: Weyland-Yutani. It's amazing how forgetful the universe seems to be about this.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: The AVP2 Predator had a huge weakness when it came to medium-range combat, being equipped exclusively with melee or slow-firing, long-ranged weapons. Primal Hunt introduced the Ancient Predator's energy flechette, a handy SMG-like device.
  • One-Man Army: Pretty much all the main characters will be killing off entire armies' worth of the other two species (although in the Predators' case, this is entirely in-character and Predators themselves are usually bosses for the other two species). Special note probably goes to the Predator in the original SNES version of Alien Versus Predator, who cleans out a human colony of a major alien infection (including a queen and several different praetors) more or less single-handedly, using only his bare hands.
  • Only Six Faces: While the 2010 game has several different Marine character models, they do tend to recycle a bit if you play for a while. Most notably, one of the female marines uses the exact same character and face model as main female character Tequila, only with slightly different color hair. It's a bit jarring to go through much of the Marine campaign saving her, then performing gruesome finishing moves on marines that look exactly like her in the Alien campaign.
  • Optional Character Scene: In the Arcade Beat'Em Up, depending on number of players and chosen characters: Example (based on Japanese version) at the start of stage 5, when the human soldiers are attacking the party:

Linn: There shouldn't be any other military units left besides us!
Dutch: Christ...we were disposable!
Predator Hunter: So you are throwaway cyborgs... how miserable...
Linn: Shut Up! We are humans!

  • Outside the Box Tactic: Most of the bosses in the 2010 game are relatively easily killed with one particular weapon, and almost impossible to kill with any other weapon. I.E. The Praetorian laughs off scoped rifle shots and automatic weapons fire, but goes down after only a few shotgun blasts, while the Predator is fairly easily sniped with the scoped rifle, while a full magazine from the Smartgun will barely tickle him.
  • Percussive Maintenance: In the Arcade Beat em up, our heroes arrive at the malfunctioning cargo elevator.

Dutch: I know how to handle this. (punches the terminal, elevator stars moving) See? American Know-How.

    • Lampshaded in the multiplayer:

Linn: You guys do nothing but smash...

  • Pistol-Whipping: In the first PC game, marines who ran out of all their ammo could wield their Pulse Rifle like a club. Generally, if things came down to that, you were screwed. In the 2010 game, the marine can fairly competently stun Aliens in close quarters, but it's hardly suitable to be your primary tactic.
  • Plot Hole:
    • In the 2010 game, why exactly did the marines drag the unconscious player character with them into the combat situation, only to leave him behind when things got dangerous?
    • In Primal Hunt, the Predator is carrying a chestburster. This does not stop facehuggers from giving a face full of one-shot kill.
  • Powered Armor: Remember the Power Loader from Aliens? The AvP 2 game has the militarized version, with enough firepower as an entire squad of marines. She's called Alice.
    • The Beat'Em Up fighting games have the standard version of the Power Loader as a boss. It's got two big-ass claws and a shoulder-mounted flamethrower.
    • The RTS has the exosuit. Features include a completely sealed cockpit and 2 gatling guns, with enough ammo to destroy a small country. The refire rate is so high, that units caught in the firing cone are barely able to move.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Praetorian/Royal Guard aliens, obviously, although they only really guard the route to the Queen in the first PC game. In the 2010 game they don't even show up until long after the Queen's already dead.
    • Karl Bishop Wayland is protected by a personal cadre of advanced Combat Androids with distinct black uniforms and helmets, who are found in the last level of the Marine and Predator campaign. They're got cloaking devices and can take more than twice as much damage as a regular Combat Android, making them about as tough as a Predator Youngblood.
  • Private Military Contractors: the Iron Bears from the second PC game.
  • Puzzle Boss: The Queens in the 1999 and 2010 games are puzzle bosses for marine players. In the 1999 game, you have to open the airlock to kill it, while in the 2010 game, you get to Kill It with Fire.
  • Read the Fine Print: Apparently even the most mundane WY contract has at least 88 clauses with subclauses, which seem to include the ability to do more or less anything they like to you.
  • Real Is Brown: The 2010 game does this any time you're outdoors.
  • Recycled Title: Rebellion Developments has made not one, not two, but three separate games based on the Alien vs. Predator universe: Alien Vs Predator (1994, Atari Jaguar), Aliens versus Predator (1999, PC), and...Aliens Vs. Predator (2010, multiplatform).
    • And that's not counting the SNES and arcade games, which are also titled Alien vs. Predator.
  • Redshirt Army: Hoo boy, the Marines die in droves...
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Averted in the 2010 game, as the combat androids can have their heads shot clean off and remain functional, even continuing to attack. Presumably, they have other sensory devices not on their heads. Knocking the head off does reduce their accuracy and make it easier to sneak up on them, though -- apparently the other sensory devices are limited back-ups.
    • The only way to finally kill Big Bad Karl Bishop Weyland is with a headshot, since in the final quickdraw duel he completely ignores being shot anywhere else.
  • Respawning Enemies: Seen in the Jaguar game as well as the first PC game. The fact you could never safely clear a room and thus had to keep moving to avoid being eaten is part of what made the Marine campaign so terrifying.
    • Although the second PC game (AVP 2) generally avoided this, there was one section at the end of the first map of the 4th mission (the alien-infested underground base) where you had to deal with constantly respawning aliens while most likely low on health and armor due to the lack of any pickups in that area.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Eisenberg in AvP2, and Karl Bishop Weyland in the 2010 AvP.
    • Katya, the administrative android from the 2010 game would also count, though the fact she's been partially dismembered breaks the illusion.
  • Right-Handed Left-Handed Guns: In the 2010 game the pulse rifle has the charging handle on the left-hand side, and most of the guns have left-handed ejection ports, even though they don't actually eject anything.
  • Robo Speak: The synthetics in the second PC game.
  • Rule of Cool: The original reason why they had Aliens fighting Predators.
  • Shoulder Cannon: The Plasmacaster. The RTS steps it up with shoulder-mounted missile launchers and heat beams.
  • Shout-Out: The arcade game contains a few Shout Outs to the earlier Aliens arcade game (released by a different company, no less!), particularly the Chrysalis aliens and "infectoid" blue-skinned chestburster-infected zombies.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: In the second and third PC games, the three campaigns - Alien, Predator, and Marine - intersect and overlap with each other, although each campaign starts and ends at different points in the overall story. To get the full picture it is necessary to complete every campaign.
  • A Space Marine Is You: The games tend to feature Colonial Marines as a third faction, and typically as the only one that have to fight their own species as well as the other two. The trope's come full circle, since Aliens was the inspiration for Doom, then Doom and its myriad offspring inspired the AVP games.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It varies as to whether the series title is "Alien Versus Predator," "Alien Vs Predator," "Aliens Versus Predator" or "Aliens Vs Predator." You are likely to get Gannon Banned for talking about the wrong one.
  • Stay Frosty: Played straight and played with; in AVP 2 you are Frosty.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: In the 2010 game, apparently a human Marine with average strength can catch a Facehugger in mid-jump and hold it away from his face, shove a Xenomorph off him, block the metal-shredding claws of a Xenomorph or the super-sharp blades of a Predator, and even knock these super-strong creatures flat on their asses. But lifting up a big battery is still "nnnngh"-worthy.
  • Supervillain Lair: The WY complex in AVP 2 appears to be some kind of attempt at designing a Xenomorph-proof building; it consists of a series of skyscraper-sized pods suspended from an overhead gantry that can be dropped individually in case one is compromised. The Aliens get in along the gantries; quite why they hadn't tried this before isn't particularly clear.
    • They were probably electrified. Notice how the Xenomorphs didn't break in until right after Harrison accidentally compromised the security grid?
  • Ten-Second Flashlight: Played straight with AvP2's night vision, which literally lasted about ten seconds. The 2010 game avoids this with the actual flashlight, though the flares still burn out absurdly fast. Averted with the first game, which involved creeping though dark and terrifying environs without a flashlight.
  • They Would Cut You Up: One of the Company's goals regarding Predators.
    • Also seen in the RTS. One of the missions involves captured predators.
  • Thong of Shielding: The holographic nudie dancer in the 2010 FPS. This is what gave the game a "Suggestive themes" warning in the rating box.
  • Those Two Guys: Sergeant Blackwell and Private Shugi, the other two members of Harrison's fireteam, in the second PC game. While they appear frequently at the beginning of the Marine campaign, they disappear for the most part until the end, where they pop up just so they can get killed by the Queen.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: In the first PC game, the Marine has to deal with an Alien Queen by spacing it.
  • Time Abyss: The Matriarch in the 2010 game was apparently the first Alien Queen ever hunted by Predators, and was entombed along with a Predator noble.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Lex.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Tequila in the 2010 game is a borderline case; she's something of an Expy of both Vasquez and Hicks. She gets implanted with a chestburster, but is put into cryo sleep to keep her alive until it can be removed. Considering that the Marine Campaign doesn't exactly end cheerfully, it's probable she'll never get that surgery.
  • Versus Title
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: AvP '99 has a flamethrower that will light up aliens in a heartbeat, but won't actually kill them until long after they've both set you on fire and torn you to shreds. Averted with the second installment, where the flamethrower deals high direct damage and can kill aliens very quickly (the offset being that the fire physics are much simpler than in the 1999 game). To quote the WY training manual:

"The flamethrower is an effective weapon in all battlefield situations but especially so when confronting xenomorph, not only because of its high stopping power, but also because of the barrier of flame it puts between a containment officer and an offending specimen."

    • The one in the RTS is decent. It's good for crowd control and can cancel out regeneration abilities. Using it on Alien runners or Predator Spearmasters is a BAD idea though.
  • Villain Protagonist: Averted to an extent; typically the actual bad guys are humans and the Alien and Predator characters are often the subject of their villainy.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: The Marines usually have one in the games; in the 2010 game, so does the Alien and the Predator.
  • Weak but Skilled: The player-character Predator in the 2010 game can take a decent amount of melee damage when fighting Xenos, but dies almost instantly against full-auto weapons fire when fighting Marines. Combat against marines is thus all about stealth and distraction, drawing many comparisons to Batman: Arkham Asylum.
    • Predator Spearmasters in the RTS. They can score a 1-hit kill while cloaked, and when surrounded by enemies, will use a spin attack that sends them all flying. They can also parry weaker alien attacks. The low health is the only thing keeping them balanced.
    • In the Arcade Beat 'Em Up three stats are shown when selecting characters: Speed, Power and Skill. Linn Kurosawa, the Fragile Speedster character of the game, has the lowest power and the highest skill rating of the four characters.
  • What Might Have Been: A very early script of the first film would have had the film take place in the same timespace as the Alien trilogy, complete with a Ripley expy!
  • Wingdinglish: The commonly-shown Predator glyphs are actually just an LED-like number display in base 9.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?
  • Wrestler in All of Us: One of the Predator's kill moves in the 2010 game is to grab an Alien and do a backbreaker.
    • Schaefer and the Predators in the Arcade Beat 'Em Up use wrestling moves.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Marine campaign in the first PC game ends like this, with the Company thanking the player for achieving all their mission objectives then informing the player that they "regretably cannot be evacuated at this time. Goodbye." Also; clause 88-C of the WY contract, which apparently gives your employer the right to shoot you for giggles or use you as a guinea pig.
    • Note that the Marine's superior officer in the first game still helps you by opening the hanger doors, meaning he at least got to live a bit longer and kill the Queen.
    • Karl Bishop Weyland invokes this trope; he claims he "owns" the Marine Corps, therefore he owns the Rookie. And when an asset is no further use to him, it is to be disposed of.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: In the Arcade Beat'Em Up we kill the Alien Queen on stage 4. Happy end? No, there is the matter of the evil army trying to kill us.
  • Zero Effort Boss: Dr. Eisenberg, the Big Bad of AVP 2, comes at you with a combat shotgun and goes down after 1 hit at the end of the Alien campaign. Although this does make sense, as although he was an android, he was a non-combat model and besides he wasn't really the final boss of the Alien campaign anyway; that was the two Predators you fought just prior to defeating Eisenberg. And on the higher difficulties he CAN kill you in one shot if you dick around instead of finishing him immediately.
    • In contrast, Karl Bishop Weyland who's also an evil android Big Bad armed with a combat shotgun will often kill you the first few times you fight him, especially if you try to kill him with the wrong weaponry.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The mutated infested soldiers from the Arcade Beat'Em Up.