Aliens Didn't Ruin a Franchise, It Established One

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Seth Carter:

Fappy:

I still don't understand why the franchise has been milked so much more than many other, similarly successful properties from the 80's. You don't see one or two video games from the Terminator franchise every year, right? Just seems weird to me. Are people really asking for this much Alien-themed shovelware?

I think its more that a Terminator game would either set in future mech-world times, which only one movie has more then tangentially touched upon, and that's largely reviled. Alternatively, it'd be in the present/past, being basically a guy running around shooting other guys, with one slightly stronger guy by virture of being a Terminator. Which is just a generic FPS with very little unique visuals or gameplay spins to make its own.

Belive it or not, they've tried. To recap -

image

(Actually not that bad of a game from what I remember. Hard though)

image

(Hey look! Shitty movie licenced game!)

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(This game was Battlefield 4 before Battlefield 4 was a thing. In short, it's a really bad Battlefield knockoff)

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(Ugh -_-)

You get the idea. While not as licenced out as much as Aliens or AvP, these are but four examples. There are more. Wikiped has a full list X3

I agree with Jim, the franchise is made better by both films. Furthermore I disagree that the Marines over the top macho bravado was there to show how little it matter when everything goes horribly wrong. I think it was there to make the marines feel like bad asses and to offer a little comic releaf after the somewhat heavy beginning of the film. Also the act of laughing at Hicks, Hudson and Apone helps viewers connect with them on some level. Granted the Marines are pretty thin characters but they are more then a random 'Red Shirt'.

CaptainMarvelous:
Totally is, it got re-appropriated. It's like arguing that Predator literally means "a creature that hunts prey" and isn't the name for that specific creature.

To be fair, they do have an actual name. Yautja.

Granted, Yautja is never actually spoken in any of the films and was something introduced to the Predator universe through the various comics, novels, and games... but still, it's a name that's become generally accepted.

Tuesday Night Fever:

CaptainMarvelous:
Totally is, it got re-appropriated. It's like arguing that Predator literally means "a creature that hunts prey" and isn't the name for that specific creature.

To be fair, they do have an actual name. Yautja.

Granted, Yautja is never actually spoken in any of the films and was something introduced to the Predator universe through the various comics, novels, and games... but still, it's a name that's become generally accepted.

(You're totally right dude, but if I start calling them Yautja or Hish or something it kinda kills my point that common nouns can still be used to identify a species)

CaptainMarvelous:
(You're totally right dude, but if I start calling them Yautja or Hish or something it kinda kills my point that common nouns can still be used to identify a species)

I actually do agree with your stance, though. It's why I still to this day refer to the aliens from... Aliens... as Xenomorphs. I fully acknowledge how vague of a term it is, but it's still the term used in-universe to describe them.

It's like calling the enemies in Starship Troopers "bugs" or "arachnids." Bugs and arachnids are two completely different things, and the aliens from that universe are neither - but it's what the characters call them, so it's what they are. Period. At least, until they're given a true canonical name that isn't "bug" or "arachnid."

Tuesday Night Fever:
The problem is that there was a (very) brief clip of film that was edited out and not restored into the Special Edition where, after the bag of ammunition explodes, Hicks props up a wounded Wierzbowski against a wall before going to check on Crowe. It's implied that Wierzbowski's legs were messed up pretty bad in the explosion, which is why Hicks includes Wierzbowski when he says "Wierzbowski and Crowe are down."

Ah, intersting stuff.

Tuesday Night Fever:

Apone was likely still going to get dragged off. He was caught off-guard trying to hear Goreman over the radio over the sounds of Vasquez and Drake opening up with their M56 Smartguns. That was with just two guns. If the whole team had been firing assault rifles, and Apone is so apparently easy to catch off-guard, he likely wasn't going to be walking away from that encounter. Xenomorphs are smart, sneaky bastards.

Also, Apone wasn't going to stop anyone from going nuts. Vasquez and Drake open fire regardless of orders, and continue to fire even after Apone directly says "Vasquez! Drake! Hold your fire, God damnit!"

And again, the Pulse Rifle fires explosive tipped ammunition and they're fighting in extreme close quarters. What happened to Drake could have been a significantly larger risk to everyone if they'd had their Pulse Rifles.

And lastly, we don't even know how many Xenomorphs were engaged by the Marines. We never really get a good view of the battle. Sure... maybe the Marines would have killed enough so that they wouldn't be up against 200 later, but for all we know they only actually encountered like ten or so. The only ones that we know for absolute certainty were killed are the five near the APC (Vasquez guns one down, Drake guns one down, the one Vasquez kills that burns Drake, "EAT THIS!", and the one that gets run over by Ripley). There's also one early that you see Hicks firing at with his shotgun from Hudson's helmet camera, and you hear the Xenomorph scream, but it's not an on-screen kill. For all the rest of the firing, we don't know if anyone actually hit anything. It could have all just been suppressing fire for all we know.

As for "Hey! Hey look! The Sarge and Dietrich aren't dead, man! Their signs are real low, but they ain't dead!" from Hudson... he's only looking at a single monitor. The camera and lifesign displays were spread across multiple monitors. It was likely just an oversight on Hudson's part. The guy was panicked, wounded, and clearly not in the most stable of mental conditions.

So yeah... those Colonial Marines were pretty much screwed either way. Crowe and Wierzbowski are still the only real iffy ones in the group.

All open to interpretation.

As I said, might have been more orderly with only 2 guys down, might have been able to cover each other better so the alien didn't get the drop on Apone.

Apone might not have stopped them opening fire, but encouraging him back into the APC as part of a more orderly retreat? Possible, hell, Drake might have been nowhere near the alien when Vasquez shot it, he might not have run out of ammo with a few more people around.

Yes, they could have been at risk from acid spray, doesn't mean they are going to be hit, or maybe somebody will get hit, who knows?

You're correct, neither of us have any idea how many aliens they killed. Could have been 5, could have been 50.

Yeah, he could have missed them, or maybe he didn't. Or he could have died from his injuries from the blast.

No, I say they could have made it out. After all, the aliens are only directly responsible for taking out 2 marines, Deitrich and Apone, the rest are accidental, in fact 1/3rd of their casualties are down to 1 bit of bad luck. And even when they've lost over half their number the rest make it back to the APC (even if one of them stupidly decided not to get in it). Or maybe it could have gone even worse, maybe Drake flamed the inside of the APC and barbecued everyone when he died.

Here's the problem we have, it's fiction, either interpretation is valid, what you consider more likely is not what I consider more likely. I'm not saying either is more likely, I'm saying that either is possible.

Zykon TheLich:
snip

We're actually both forgetting one more important detail. Who actually had Pulse Rifles?

If you watch the "Get on the ready line!" scene the team's armaments are (in order of appearance)...

Drake: M56 Smartgun / H&K VP-70
Dietrich: M240 Incinerator Unit / H&K VP-70
Wierzbowski: M240 Incinerator Unit / H&K VP-70
Frost: M240 Incinerator Unit / H&K VP-70
Crowe: M41A Pulse Rifle / H&K VP-70
Hicks: M41A Pulse Rifle / Ithaca M37 Shotgun / H&K VP-70
Hudson: M41A Pulse Rifle / H&K VP-70
Vasquez: M56 Smartgun / S&W M39
Apone: M240 Incinerator Unit / H&K VP-70

These weapons are mostly consistent with what's carried into the hive. The inconsistencies are as follows...

1. Apone's M240 Incinerator Unit is switched for an M41A Pulse Rifle. This is corrected though when the Chestburster comes out of the cocooned colonist. Apone takes Frost's M240 Incinerator Unit, and continues to use it until he is dragged off (Frost switches to a VP-70 handgun).
2. When taking magazines, Apone specifically demands Wierzbowski to give up his ammunition, despite Wierzbowski never at any point in the movie having an M41A Pulse Rifle. He's still carrying an M240 Incinerator Unit as they enter the hive.
3. Drake's M240 Incinerator Unit. When Drake runs out of ammo with the M56 Smartgun he switches to an M240 Incinerator Unit that just sort of magically appears in his right hand between cuts. Presumably he picked it up from one of his fallen comrades, but you never see it happen. Likely just a minor continuity error created by iffy editing.

So at the very most the team would have entered the hive with four M41A Pulse Rifles, assuming we give Apone his despite its presence being a continuity error.

As for Apone, it's reasonable to assume he still would have been taken out even if they had the Pulse Rifles. He was taken completely by surprise by a Xenomorph that nobody spotted (except for him, when it was already too late). Notably it was a Xenomorph that attacked from the ceiling. Given Apone's position in relation to the other Marines, he was either in the center of the group or at the rear - though the center is the one that seems most likely given what we see in the movie. So that means that the Xenomorph that grabbed him either came from a vent or something above Apone and wouldn't have been killed anyway, or it managed to sneak along the ceiling and breach their perimeter anyway. And given the Xenomorph's position prior to attacking Apone, if anyone had shot it with a Pulse Rifle, it would have completely showered Apone with acid. So yeah... Apone had no chance.

As for Drake, as it is, he already wasn't near the Xenomorph that Vasquez iced. The Xenomorph was directly in front of Vasquez, who was standing in the door on the right side of the APC. Drake was a few yards away from the front/center of the APC. Vasquez was actually closer to the Xenomorph than Drake was, but because of where she hit it it sprayed acid (which is highly pressurized) in an arc to the side - effectively spraying a cone in front of the APC that could extend outward at least a few yards. The only ways Drake could have survived would be if he was the one to kill that Xenomorph (which is a big maybe, especially if he still had ammo for his Smartgun - he either would have been sprayed anyway, or he might have killed everyone standing inside the crew compartment of the APC) or if he had entered the APC before Vasquez. And regardless of whether or not he was wielding the M56 or the M240, he wasn't going to be ending that shooting spree he was on since he clearly was trying to cover everyone else's retreat and planned to be the last one to board the APC. So yeah... like Dietrich, Frost, and Apone... Drake was pretty much screwed. Though in his defense, his sacrifice may have been the only thing that kept the Xenomorphs at bay long enough for the rest to escape.

Also, as for additional evidence of the kill count, every single Xenomorph killed in the entire movie "screams" as it's killed. All of them (including the Chestburster). The only Xenomorph death "screams" we hear in that entire sequence are the one that Hicks shoots at off-screen with his shotgun, the two that Vasquez and Drake kill during the retreat, the one Vasquez kills that burns Drake, "EAT THIS!", and the one that got run over. So that means that all the other shots fired in that scene were suppressive fire to keep the Xenomorphs' heads down and prevent their advance.

Spot on, Jim. Spot on. Exceeeeeeept...

I was not able to stand Aliens 3, and don't really see why anyone could.

Of course, my loathing is in large part because I saw it in the theaters, with full surround sound, and OH GOD THE ECHOES. For most of the movie, I could only understand the first few seconds of what anyone was saying, because their echoes would come back and immediately destroy whatever followed. Nevermind that its beginning manages to destroy the second film's ending with the whole "impregnated while a human popsicle" thing.

Perhaps the first problem has since been solved by sound editing, once it had to go from the big screen to the small (and the movie might be tolerable as a result), but I really can't be arsed to watch Ripley wandering around the inside of a foundry while everyone around her gets killed off with tropes and jump-scares that were old when the film came out.

I suppose I'd been fairly warned by their marketing department, though.

As I went into the darkened theater, there was a banner on the wall which read:

"ALIENS THREE! THREE TIMES THE HORROR! THREE TIMES THE SUSPENSE!"

One-third the movie.

I have alway's loved Aliens. When other kids were watching Disney as there favorite movies, that's what I was watching. Granted it was a scrubbed for tv version. I have a very serious place in my heart for it. I would not say that the marines were incompetent. I would say they were unprepared. In their banter they lay a foundation for past exploits where they were more than successful. They had no reason to fear anything, they thought. They had not confronted an enemy like this before though. A low tech, highly organized force using tunnels and EXTREME guerrilla tactics.

Which brings me to the next thing I love about this movie. It's parallel's to The Vietnam War. I discovered as an adult, that Aliens is a Vietnam War movie. High technology coming in to a "bug hunt" and losing much to their disbelief. It deals with PTSD in the opening with Ripley in a very real, very human way. Not over dramatized or a focus. Yet it's there for all to see and deal with. The scene where Ripley bolts up almost screaming holding her chest covered in sweat is uncomfortable to say the least.

Plus, name another movie with a female protagonist that is just that. A female. Not a man with boobs and good hair. But truly feminine. Weeping openly during multiple scene's. Being a mother and protector to Newt. Flirting shyly with a marine, AND A TOTAL AND COMPLETE BADASS! When the elevator door's open and she is standing there with her taped together uber-gun, you KNOW it's on.

So no, Aliens ruined nothing.

Tuesday Night Fever:

So at the very most the team would have entered the hive with four M41A Pulse Rifles, assuming we give Apone his despite its presence being a continuity error.

So the whole team would have been properly armed instead of just over half.

Tuesday Night Fever:

As for Apone, it's reasonable to assume he still would have been taken out even if they had the Pulse Rifles. He was taken completely by surprise by a Xenomorph that nobody spotted (except for him, when it was already too late). Notably it was a Xenomorph that attacked from the ceiling. Given Apone's position in relation to the other Marines, he was either in the center of the group or at the rear - though the center is the one that seems most likely given what we see in the movie. So that means that the Xenomorph that grabbed him either came from a vent or something above Apone and wouldn't have been killed anyway, or it managed to sneak along the ceiling and breach their perimeter anyway. And given the Xenomorph's position prior to attacking Apone, if anyone had shot it with a Pulse Rifle, it would have completely showered Apone with acid. So yeah... Apone had no chance.

Yeah, again: "reasonable to assume". It's also reasonable to assume they might have been in different positions without the exploding ammo bag. Are you saying they couldn't have seen the alien? Because I say, yes, they could have. More eyes cover more angles. Again, I'm not saying you're wrong, just that saying "this is what is most likely to happen" based on an incomplete knowledge of completely fictional events is just your interpretation, not the right one. It's not "wrong" but it's not the definitive answer.

Tuesday Night Fever:

As for Drake, as it is, he already wasn't near the Xenomorph that Vasquez iced. The Xenomorph was directly in front of Vasquez, who was standing in the door on the right side of the APC. Drake was a few yards away from the front/center of the APC. Vasquez was actually closer to the Xenomorph than Drake was, but because of where she hit it it sprayed acid (which is highly pressurized) in an arc to the side - effectively spraying a cone in front of the APC that could extend outward at least a few yards. The only ways Drake could have survived would be if he was the one to kill that Xenomorph (which is a big maybe, especially if he still had ammo for his Smartgun - he either would have been sprayed anyway, or he might have killed everyone standing inside the crew compartment of the APC) or if he had entered the APC before Vasquez. And regardless of whether or not he was wielding the M56 or the M240, he wasn't going to be ending that shooting spree he was on since he clearly was trying to cover everyone else's retreat and planned to be the last one to board the APC. So yeah... like Dietrich, Frost, and Apone... Drake was pretty much screwed. Though in his defense, his sacrifice may have been the only thing that kept the Xenomorphs at bay long enough for the rest to escape.

Again, whose to say he would have been standing there had there been more of them?

Tuesday Night Fever:

Also, as for additional evidence of the kill count, every single Xenomorph killed in the entire movie "screams" as it's killed. All of them (including the Chestburster). The only Xenomorph death "screams" we hear in that entire sequence are the one that Hicks shoots at off-screen with his shotgun, the two that Vasquez and Drake kill during the retreat, the one Vasquez kills that burns Drake, "EAT THIS!", and the one that got run over. So that means that all the other shots fired in that scene were suppressive fire to keep the Xenomorphs' heads down and prevent their advance.

Maybe, but we didn't follow the marines the whole time did we?

Look, really my point here is not specifically about aliens, it's about speculating on what would have happened or what did happen in a work of fiction is not going to come up with a definite or even most "likely answer", unless it's a very simple cause and effect. It's hard enough in reality, but in fiction we have even less to go on a lot of the time because not only do we not have all the info, the info doesn't actually exist because it wasn't important to the plot. Discussing what might have happened, yes, saying "this is what would have happened", eh, no.

Change something like "what if they were still armed" and suddenly Frost may not explode, that means W&C might not die, the sqaud don't have to duck and cover from the explosions so maybe their positioning is different...I'm sure you can come up with a way to say "actually I think it's more likely that..." and I can come up with a way to say "actually no, I think it's perfectly possible and just as likely".

Zykon TheLich:

Yeah, again: "reasonable to assume". It's also reasonable to assume they might have been in different positions without the exploding ammo bag. Are you saying they couldn't have seen the alien? Because I say, yes, they could have. More eyes cover more angles. Again, I'm not saying you're wrong, just that saying "this is what is most likely to happen" based on an incomplete knowledge of completely fictional events is just your interpretation, not the right one. It's not "wrong" but it's not the definitive answer.

The thing is that my assumptions are based on what's actually there. Hence, reasonable. Yours are based upon stretches of logic. The only people whose positions were actually changed were the ones near the ammo bag. Vasquez, Drake, and Apone were all where they were supposed to be within the formation. Hell, you barely see any of them moving at any point at all from the start of the engagement until the retreat. Note that they aren't in a tight formation. As they enter the hive Apone even tells them not to bunch up. They were spread thin, and it was by design.

Neither interpretation may be "right." But at least mine is based on evidence given.

Again, whose to say he would have been standing there had there been more of them?

Anyone who understands the concept of a tactical withdrawal? If there were more of them he would have actually needed to be in that position longer in order to cover everyone's exit. In effect it even makes sense that of the surviving Marines it would be either him or Vasquez to do this, since in real life light machine gun operators typically do use their weapons more to suppress targets than directly killing them (though they obviously will, if given opportunity).

Maybe, but we didn't follow the marines the whole time did we?

We cover them for the vast majority of the scene. Even when it cuts away to inside the APC, the audio from the helmet cameras is constantly playing in the background. Get a decent sound system and crank up your volume enough and you can hear the whole battle. The only times you can't are during the exterior shots of the APC. So to make your assumption work, you would need to assume that the Marines, who aren't doing so well as it is, somehow manage to rack up massive kill counts during a couple brief windows of a few seconds each. Once again, a huge leap in logic that's seriously stretching what we're given.

Look, really my point here is not specifically about aliens, it's about speculating on what would have happened or what did happen in a work of fiction is not going to come up with a definite or even most "likely answer", unless it's a very simple cause and effect. It's hard enough in reality, but in fiction we have even less to go on a lot of the time because not only do we not have all the info, the info doesn't actually exist because it wasn't important to the plot. Discussing what might have happened, yes, saying "this is what would have happened", eh, no.

Change something like "what if they were still armed" and suddenly Frost may not explode, that means W&C might not die, the sqaud don't have to duck and cover from the explosions so maybe their positioning is different...I'm sure you can come up with a way to say "actually I think it's more likely that..." and I can come up with a way to say "actually no, I think it's perfectly possible and just as likely".

Oh, I get the point. You're the one that keeps dragging this out. I've presented this from the start as opinion and theory. I've on multiple occasions said that it's based upon reasonable assumption based on evidence given in the film (you even directly quoted it and addressed it!). You challenge my theory, I defend it. You stretch logic massively to continue trying to challenge it, I point out why it doesn't fit. At no point, in any of my posts, did I say that I had a definitive answer other than within my own theory. It's not my fault if you've misinterpreted that.

I base my theory on three key things: What's in the movie (what we actually see and hear) first and foremost, information that James Cameron himself has called canonical (like the Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual, which I've read, which covers pretty much everything relating to the Colonial Marines including weapons, combat formations, and tactics - if you like the Colonial Marines it's a fascinating book), and actual military experiences (my husband was an M249 SAW operator in the real-life Marines). So I try my best not to stretch logic unrealistically in order to get any particular outcome (it's why early on I even identified Wierzbowski and Crowe as the wild cards in the scenario, since those two are pretty much the only real unknown variable).

As for Frost... dude was dead. There's no "what if." Dietrich pointed her weapon directly at him, at close range, and opened fire. Regardless of whether or not he was being hit by jellied napalm (note: he didn't actually explode) or 10mm explosive-tipped ammunition, he was dead. And she wouldn't have had a Pulse Rifle anyway. She was armed with the M240 at every single point in the movie. So yeah... Frost doesn't get to stay frosty.

You were playing devil's advocate, and I can respect that much, to try and get me to stop speculating about a topic that I'm (hopefully clearly) very interested in. The thing is though... frankly, if you don't want people to try to defend their positions and just immediately give up, perhaps think first before challenging them? I mean seriously... forum use 101.

Tuesday Night Fever:

The thing is that my assumptions are based on what's actually there. Hence, reasonable. Yours are based upon stretches of logic. The only people whose positions were actually changed were the ones near the ammo bag. Vasquez, Drake, and Apone were all where they were supposed to be within the formation. Hell, you barely see any of them moving at any point at all from the start of the engagement until the retreat. Note that they aren't in a tight formation. As they enter the hive Apone even tells them not to bunch up. They were spread thin, and it was by design.

Neither interpretation may be "right." But at least mine is based on evidence given.

Based on your interpretation of the evidence, I give a different interpretation. They all seem to be within view of each other, Frost, Crowe, Weirzbowksi, Deitrich and Hicks are all bunched up, we never get a wide angle. Losing 4 people in 1 go puts a big gap in their unit, they just lost slightly under half their squad and nearly got blown up, seems pretty logical to me.

Tuesday Night Fever:

Anyone who understands the concept of a tactical withdrawal? If there were more of them he would have actually needed to be in that position longer in order to cover everyone's exit. In effect it even makes sense that of the surviving Marines it would be either him or Vasquez to do this, since in real life light machine gun operators typically do use their weapons more to suppress targets than directly killing them (though they obviously will, if given opportunity).

He might have been standing a bit further forward, or been in the APC quicker, or good old Weirzbowski might have seen the alien before it snuck up and shot it and he might have had more people covering the retreat, hell maybe more of them would have been killed by acid spray. Which was my point, once you start saying "what happens if", you deviate from the script then things change and you can't say what would have happened, but it seems I have misinterpreted your original post.

Tuesday Night Fever:

We cover them for the vast majority of the scene. Even when it cuts away to inside the APC, the audio from the helmet cameras is constantly playing in the background. Get a decent sound system and crank up your volume enough and you can hear the whole battle. The only times you can't are during the exterior shots of the APC. So to make your assumption work, you would need to assume that the Marines, who aren't doing so well as it is, somehow manage to rack up massive kill counts during a couple brief windows of a few seconds each. Once again, a huge leap in logic that's seriously stretching what we're given.

That assumes that the alien always scream in exactly the same way when killed and that they are always going to sound the same, even when you aren't given a close up of them exploding. Lot's of screeching going on in that scene, over a firefight, through a helmet radio, to the sound of an APC chugging along. Anyway my point was, saying the 5 we see killed are the only ones that could have been killed is not something we can definitively, or make guesses as to the likelihood of it being true.

Tuesday Night Fever:
At no point, in any of my posts, did I say that I had a definitive answer other than within my own theory.

Ok, fair enough, I guess I took what you were saying in the wrong way.

Tuesday Night Fever:

As for Frost... dude was dead. Dietrich pointed her weapon directly at him, at close range, and opened fire. Regardless of whether or not he was being hit by jellied napalm (note: he didn't actually explode) or 10mm explosive-tipped ammunition, he was dead. And she wouldn't have had a Pulse Rifle anyway. She was armed with the M240 at every single point in the movie. So yeah... Frost doesn't get to stay frosty.

No argument here, never said he wouldn't die, just that he wouldn't explode, unless maybe a round ignited a grenade? Who knows?

Tuesday Night Fever:

You were playing devil's advocate, and I can respect that much, to try and get me to stop speculating about a topic that I'm (hopefully clearly) very interested in. The thing is though... frankly, if you don't want people to try to defend their positions, perhaps think first before challenging them? I mean seriously... forum use 101.

My initial question was about The Crowe/Weirzbowski thing. I just felt compelled to add the rest because way the rest of your post read to me seemed like you were saying "nope, uh uh, this s the was it would have gone down if you changed things". I guess I read that wrong and didn't make my point of "there's no right answer" very clearly, sorry.

Zykon TheLich:
Based on your interpretation of the evidence, I give a different interpretation. They all seem to be within view of each other, Frost, Crowe, Weirzbowksi, Deitrich and Hicks are all bunched up, we never get a wide angle. Losing 4 people in 1 puts a big gap in their unit, they just lost slightly under half their squad and nearly got blown up, seems pretty logical to me.

Again, Dietrich and Frost were goners. Wierzbowski and Crowe are still the wild cards. They're also the two that break formation to go to Dietrich/Frost's aid. Going by the lead-in to the hive Hicks was the one closest to Dietrich/Frost. Hicks responded to the situation properly while Wierzbowski and Crowe left holes in their line. Even if those two didn't get knocked out by the ammunition bag explosion they're still putting the team in jeopardy. As for combat effectiveness, the only thing we really know about either of them is that Wierzbowski managed to allow a Xenomorph to sneak up on him and capture him without ever opening fire. Maybe Wierzbowski and Crowe are sterling examples of the Colonial Marines, maybe not. Maybe they would have made a difference, maybe not. That's why I always present them as a wild card.

If you go by the official Aliens novelization, where both Wierzbowski and Crowe are slightly more significant characters rather than just background fodder, they're both portrayed somewhat negatively as Marines. Wierzbowski is lacking in discipline and has contempt for authority (you can still see evidence of this during the briefing scene - Wierzbowski can be seen flipping Goreman the middle finger, right in front of the guy as he's looking at the Marines, after Goreman mandates the tight timetable for drop preparations), and Crowe is somewhat of an unreliable coward (part of this is also in the film, as he's the one having the "I have a bad feeling about this drop" conversation with Frost in the dropship).

It's not concrete evidence that they'd be useless if they'd live longer, but it also doesn't help the theory that they're somehow going to be the two heroes that save the day.

He might have been standing a bit further forward, or been in the APC quicker, or good old Weirzbowski might have seen the alien before it snuck up and shot it and he might have had more people covering the retreat, hell maybe more of them would have been killed by acid spray. Which was my point, once you start saying "what happens if", you deviate from the script then things change and you can't say what would have happened, but it seems I have misinterpreted your original post.

Colonial Marines Technical Manual. Seriously. In the case of a tactical withdrawal its the Smartgunners who cover everyone's exit. Weirzbowski and Crowe would have been retreating with the rest. Drake and Vasquez were the last two to board the APC, which makes sense in the scene and using Colonial Marine tactics.

That assumes that the alien always scream in exactly the same way when killed and that they are always going to sound the same, even when you aren't given a close up of them exploding. Lot's of screeching going on in that scene, over a firefight, through a helmet radio, to the sound of an APC chugging along. Anyway my point was, saying the 5 we see killed are the only ones that could have been killed is not something we can definitively, or make guesses as to the likelihood of it being true.

They do always scream upon death. Every single one of them in that scene, in the turret scene, in the "they cut the power" scene, and when Ripley is killing off the Xenomorphs that engage her after she starts torching eggs. They make that scream whenever they're shot, whenever they're ripped apart, and even when they're killed by Vasquez's underbarrel grenade launcher. The only Xenomorph in the movie that doesn't scream is the one that Vasquez shoots with her handgun in the tunnels - which notable isn't dead. After she empties her magazine into it and kicks it away, you get a brief clip of it flailing around - still alive but critically wounded.

Also, no, there isn't any screeching going on in that scene (except for Hicks' off-screen shotgun kill, and the previously-mentioned on-screen kills). Go back and watch it again. The only things you hear in the background are gunfire from the M56 Smartguns, occasionally a jet of flame from the M240's, and Marines shouting at each other.

Also, the APC wasn't "chugging along" - it was parked. The only time it was moving was when Ripley commandeered it. That's when you get the few seconds of exterior shots. Those exterior shots are the only time it's on the move, and also the only window of opportunity for something to happen with the Marines that we aren't privy to as viewers. So in order to kill more than the half-dozen we are privy to, they would have needed to waste 'em all during that window.

No argument here, never said he wouldn't die, just that he wouldn't explode, unless maybe a round ignited a grenade? Who knows?

He didn't explode. Dietrich torched him with a flamethrower, and he (for some reason) climbed over a safety rail and fell probably three or so stories into the lower part of the complex. The bag of Pulse Rifle magazines is what exploded. Presumably he dropped the bag while making his way over the safety rail.

Oddly enough, that bag probably shouldn't have had that kind of explosive force anyway. If you cook ammunition in real-life it doesn't behave like a bomb. That bag had enough force to literally throw Crowe across a room. Notably, a hand grenade won't produce that kind of force - so that bag had more explosive power than a modern M67 hand grenade (which has a kill-radius of roughly 15 feet). Granted, I don't know how things would change with caseless ammunition where the bullet is actually inside the propellent. Caseless ammunition does exist in real life, it's just ridiculously uncommon. Only a small handful of firearms have ever used it, and as far as I'm aware none of them ever went into any serious production.

My initial question was about The Crowe/Weirzbowski thing, the way the rest of your post read to me seemed like you were saying "nope, uh uh, this s the was it would have gone down if you changed things". I guess I read that wrong and didn't make my point of "there's no right answer" very clearly, sorry.

Apologies here too. This is a universe I absolutely love. I've watched Aliens more times than I can even place a number on (it's my go-to movie both as something to watch, and as something to have on as background noise while I'm doing something else), I've read all the comics, I've read all the novels, I've played all the games... hell, I actually have a full suit of professionally-made Colonial Marine body armor and equipment (modeled after the gear used by Corporal Hicks, even though Michael Biehn admits that he hates the heart painted on the breastplate by James Remar prior to Biehn getting the role) that I break out for Halloween each year. So I tend to get pretty defensive, because I'm passionate about the subject.

To be perfectly honest, it's actually somewhat refreshing to debate the issue with someone who doesn't just go with "COLONIAL MARINES WOULD WIN CUZ THEY ARE AWSUM!!!!1"

Jimothy Sterling:

I know what it means. However, it now means the species name when talking about Aliens. It is far from the first time a word has been appropriated for an alternate use.

I did say "pet peeve" for a reason. Just thought the way the word has been "re-appropriated" is somewhat relevant to how the message of the film has been interpreted by the audience in a different way as originally intended. :)

Aliens also got its own fan made musical. Well one song anyway, but its great. http://youtu.be/Noe95IxpsiQ

Tuesday Night Fever:

Again, Dietrich and Frost were goners.

I agree, I never said anything else. Although I suppose an argument could be made that in the absence of their proper weaponry they might have adopted a different combat formation or been less jittery. That one's definitely playing devils advocate.

Tuesday Night Fever:

Wierzbowski and Crowe are still the wild cards. SNIP That's why I always present them as a wild card.

Yes, there's a huge amount we just don't know, not just about Crowe and Weirzbowski and I prefer not no make judgements on what I don't know and present Apone and Drake as "wild cards" in this different situation.

Tuesday Night Fever:

If you go by the official Aliens novelization...

It was a shame, Ripley had liked Wierzbowski...

Tuesday Night Fever:

Colonial Marines Technical Manual. Seriously. In the case of a tactical withdrawal its the Smartgunners who cover everyone's exit. Weirzbowski and Crowe would have been retreating with the rest. Drake and Vasquez were the last two to board the APC, which makes sense in the scene and using Colonial Marine tactics.

Sure that's fine, it makes sense that they would be the last 2 through, still doesn't mean the alien would have popped up at the same time as he was in the spray's arc, or someone else wouldn't have killed it before hand. I'm mean sure, if things played out exactly the same as in the movie then yes, but with more marines surviving to withdraw then things may well go differently.

Tuesday Night Fever:

They do always scream upon death. Every single one of them in that scene, in the turret scene, in the "they cut the power" scene, and when Ripley is killing off the Xenomorphs that engage her after she starts torching eggs. They make that scream whenever they're shot, whenever they're ripped apart, and even when they're killed by Vasquez's underbarrel grenade launcher. The only Xenomorph in the movie that doesn't scream is the one that Vasquez shoots with her handgun in the tunnels - which notable isn't dead. After she empties her magazine into it and kicks it away, you get a brief clip of it flailing around - still alive but critically wounded.

Critically wounded is as good as dead in my book. They might heal right on up or they might kick the bucket, but we have no information either way on that, but for the time being, unless it's right on you, as in Vasquez' case, it's no longer a threat.

Taken out would probably have been a better word to use on my part. Or maybe alien casualties, but that sounds odd.

Tuesday Night Fever:

Also, no, there isn't any screeching going on in that scene (except for Hicks' off-screen shotgun kill, and the previously-mentioned on-screen kills). Go back and watch it again. The only things you hear in the background are gunfire from the M56 Smartguns, occasionally a jet of flame from the M240's, and Marines shouting at each other.

And just because we don't hear those screams doesn't mean they're not happening. I hear guns are very loud, and I'm assuming the marines mouths and guns are going to be closer to the mike than the aliens, or at least I hope so for the marines sake. Pretty shitty comms system that picks up aliens screaming at a distance. Although to be fair, my sisters microphone set does pick up one of her cats meows, only one, so maybe the aliens hit that sweet spot.

Tuesday Night Fever:

The only time it was moving was when Ripley commandeered it.That's when you get the few seconds of exterior shots. Those exterior shots are the only time it's on the move.

That might well have been the time I was referring to.

There are a couple of shots from inside as Ripley is driving it. Remember when the alien jumps on the APC and smashes the glass panel and reaches inside?

Tuesday Night Fever:

and also the only window of opportunity for something to happen with the Marines that we aren't privy to as viewers. So in order to kill more than the half-dozen we are privy to, they would have needed to waste 'em all during that window.

Well, I disagree with that for the reasons stated, they kill a few that we see while we are following them, they might well be killing a few while we are in the APC, whether it's while the APC is moving or we have a view of their screens.

Tuesday Night Fever:

He didn't explode. Dietrich torched him with a flamethrower, and he (for some reason) climbed over a safety rail and fell probably three or so stories into the lower part of the complex. The bag of Pulse Rifle magazines is what exploded. Presumably he dropped the bag while making his way over the safety rail.

You mean his body didn't spontaneously turn into TNT? Well I never...

I thought the bag went with him and exploded on the stairwell or floor below?

Tuesday Night Fever:

Oddly enough...

I know, thanks. It's like the atmosphere processor, although my knowledge of fusion reactors is kind of spotty (for some reason...) from what I gather, if we ever build them they will be unlikely to explode into a gas cloud the size of Nebraska.

Maybe they stuffed their grenades in their too? Can't say I remember if they did or didn't.

Tuesday Night Fever:

Apologies here too. This is a universe I absolutely love. I've watched Aliens more times than I can even place a number on (it's my go-to movie both as something to watch, and as something to have on as background noise while I'm doing something else), I've read all the comics, I've read all the novels, I've played all the games... hell, I actually have a full suit of professionally-made Colonial Marine body armor and equipment (modeled after the gear used by Corporal Hicks, even though Michael Biehn admits that he hates the heart painted on the breastplate by James Remar prior to Biehn getting the role) that I break out for Halloween each year. So I tend to get pretty defensive, because I'm passionate about the subject.

To be perfectly honest, it's actually somewhat refreshing to debate the issue with someone who doesn't just go with "COLONIAL MARINES WOULD WIN CUZ THEY ARE AWSUM!!!!1"

I know you aren't ascribing this to me but I thought I'd make it clear: I'm not saying they would "win" by any stretch of the imagination, just that rather than a total rout taking 66% casualties, if they had been armed properly they could quite possibly have got out in a relatively ordered withdrawal, taking maybe 33% or less casualties, it's still not good by any means, they've clearly met with a force that requires more that they've got in order to defeat, but it's not a given than all 6 of those marines were going to die.

So have you played the Leading Edge games RPG?

EDIT: Additional:

I suppose that while I like Aliens, I also come from the position that it's all made up. The aliens took Apone because that's what the writers wanted to happen, Drake died because the writers decreed it, Hudson survived for the same reason, they didn't put in the bit of film where Weirzbowski got dragged off because reasons, they cut out the sentry gun section because other reasons, so trying to say what would happen with any real confidence, especially something with as many chaotic variables as a firefight, just doesn't work for me, especially as we have only seen the situation play out once. Analysing that kind of thing is hard enough in real life, let alone in a fiction where not only do we not have all the information, but most of the information doesn't actually exist.

Zykon TheLich:
I agree, I never said anything else. Although I suppose an argument could be made that in the absence of their proper weaponry they might have adopted a different combat formation or been less jittery.

As far as I can tell from what you see their formation is pretty standard and doesn't really deviate much until the shit hits the fan with Dietrich/Frost and Wierzbowski/Crowe coming to assist.

Can't comment on the jitters, but in that sorta situation, normal equipment or not, I'd be pretty damn impressed with anyone who could maintain complete composure.

It was a shame, Ripley had liked Wierzbowski...

I was actually kinda hoping that he was going to be the Marine that Gearbox was hinting would still be alive canonically in Aliens: Colonial Marines. They really gutted his presence in the movie, though understandably so. You only get so much screen time, and it's understandable that they'd want to focus on the "main" Marines. Still, it always struck me as odd that they couldn't give Wierzbowski and Crowe at least a few more lines.

Sure that's fine, it makes sense that they would be the last 2 through, still doesn't mean the alien would have popped up at the same time as he was in the spray's arc, or someone else wouldn't have killed it before hand. I'm mean sure, if things played out exactly the same as in the movie then yes, but with more marines surviving to withdraw then things may well go differently.

Which is why I maintain that Wierzbowski and Crowe are wild cards. Though I lean more toward the belief that the team was doomed (which is somewhat odd, because I'm really not a "glass is half empty" type of person) going by what we see, what we hear, what has been stated as canonical outside of the film, and what can be inferred by the characters' behavior as established both in that scene and in the scenes leading up to it.

You seem to be coming at this from a "glass is half full" perspective, which is perfectly valid in your own theory of how the situation would have played out, but just seems to come out of left field to me and tonally inconsistent with the message of the film.

Critically wounded is as good as dead in my book. They might heal right on up or they might kick the bucket, but we have no information either way on that, but for the time being, unless it's right on you, as in Vasquez' case, it's no longer a threat.

I'm not sure I'd agree with you there. The Xenomorphs are pretty much always a threat, even in death (acid). That and animals tend to be particularly dangerous when they're hurt and/or cornered. Given the acid blood and the wild flailing, Vasquez is actually pretty lucky the burn to her foot is all she got in that tunnel.

Y'know... lucky for however many seconds she had left. I know I'd rather have the instant death of a hand grenade than the slow, agonizing death of an acid bath.

Not that the acid damage is particularly consistent. In Alien it melts through several decks of a starship, it's shown to have melted through several floors of the Hadley's Hope complex, it kills Drake, but Hudson just gets a mild flesh wound on his arm from it.

And just because we don't hear those screams doesn't mean they're not happening. I hear guns are very loud, and I'm assuming the marines mouths and guns are going to be closer to the mike than the aliens, or at least I hope so for the marines sake. Pretty shitty comms system that picks up aliens screaming at a distance. Although to be fair, my sisters microphone set does pick up one of her cats meows, only one, so maybe the aliens hit that sweet spot.

When they do scream (both on and off camera) we hear them, even over the gunfire and shouting. They're also not fighting at any great distances. So that to me says that if someone managed to bag one, we'd know it (unless it happens while the APC exterior shots are going on).

Nope there a couple of shots from inside as Ripley is driving it.

And during those shots we can still hear the battle going on from the monitors in the back of the APC. Admittedly it's difficult to hear at times over the film's score. Either way, we're talking about a span of time that's at most a minute. I don't currently have access to the movie to check the actual timestamps, since I'm currently at the office.

Well, I disagree with that for the reasons stated, they kill a few that we see while we are following them, they might well be killing a few while we are in the APC, whether it's while the APC is moving or we have a view of their screens.

They very well might be killing some what we the viewer are with the APC while it's on the movie, I don't think I ever claimed otherwise. I just doubt that they would manage to rack up so many kills during that brief period of time that it would have had any significant impact on the number found later in the movie. Hadley's Hope had a total population of 158. That means that there are, at the very most 155 possible Xenomorphs (minus one because of Newt, minus one from the host who was killed when they attempted to surgically remove a facehugger, and minus one from the Chestburster that Apone fried). I'll concede that the actual number is likely not that high, since it's shown that the colonists did actually attempt a "last stand" with demolition charges near the entrance to Operations/MedLab. Granted, we don't see any bodies... but that's most likely cinematic short-hand to add to the tension. Either way, we know that a large portion of the population did "give birth." We know that there are 9 confirmed Xenomorphs during the battle (the ones that get killed along with the ones that dragged away Dietrich, Wierzbowski, and Apone). Any more than that are unconfirmed, though it's safe to assume that Vasquez and Drake were trying to suppress something during the retreat.

I thought the bag went with him and exploded on the stairwell or floor below?

The editing there is a bit wonky, but the bag does explode on the same floor the Marines are on.

I know, thanks. It's like the atmosphere processor, although my knowledge of fusion reactors is kind of spotty (for some reason...) from what I gather, if we ever build them they will be unlikely to explode into a gas cloud the size of Nebraska.

Maybe they stuffed their grenades in their too? Can't say I remember if they did or didn't.

James Cameron just really, really likes explosions. Not quite like Michael Bay, but he's certainly no stranger to making things explode violently when they really shouldn't. According to Ripley the rounds fired by the Colonial Marines would run risk of damaging the atmosphere processor reactor's cooling system. In the case of a cooling system failure, it'd make a lot more sense for the reactor to go into meltdown rather than violently explode. Granted, we don't know the inner workings of the atmosphere processor - the reactor melting down may have caused a chain reaction of other components failing that resulted in the explosion. Speculation. But yeah, that would beg the question of why Weyland/Yutani would build them to be so fragile that you cause a massive nuclear explosion because of a couple stray bullets. Admittedly I always assumed it was actually acid damage that caused the reactor to blow, but again, speculation.

I know you aren't ascribing this to me but I thought I'd make it clear: I'm not saying they would "win" by any stretch of the imagination, just that rather than a total rout taking 66% casualties, if they had been armed properly they could quite possibly have got out in a relatively ordered withdrawal, taking maybe 33% or less casualties, it's still not good by any means, they've clearly met with a force that requires more that they've got in order to defeat, but it's not a given than all 6 of those marines were going to die.

So have you played the Leading Edge games RPG?

No, I most definitely wasn't trying to say that type of person is you. I was more mocking people I've had this conversation with in the past. The ones whose side of the debate is built entirely upon "Pulse Rifles are totally badass," and absolutely nothing else. They put no thought into it beyond just blind love for the Colonial Marines.

Also, you have no idea how happy you've made me by acknowledging the tabletop RPG. These days not many people seem to remember it. Sadly I don't have my miniatures anymore, I sold them a few years back to a collector (it wasn't Jim, sadly).

What I would love to find is the cartoon, Operation: Aliens. I've been searching for years, but can't really come up with much. It never actually aired, but rumors from inside Fox state that the first season of the show actually was complete and ready to air. I'm still hanging on to the hope that this rumor is true, and someday a disgruntled employee will leak it to the internet.

...they cut out the sentry gun section because other reasons...

Time constraints. According to James Cameron in the film's commentary the primary reason why most of the scenes removed from the Director's Cut were removed was because he needed to get the movie down to 2-hours. At that point in time movie theaters regularly refused to play movies that were over 2-hours because it meant that they couldn't play the movie as many times per-day, cutting into their profits. So Cameron made the decision to cut scenes that he felt weren't completely necessary to the story in order to appease the movie theaters. This sort of thing is a lot more rare today, but it still happens from time to time.

Tuesday Night Fever:
As far as I can tell from what you see their formation is pretty standard and doesn't really deviate much until the shit hits the fan with Dietrich/Frost and Wierzbowski/Crowe coming to assist.

Can't comment on the jitters, but in that sorta situation, normal equipment or not, I'd be pretty damn impressed with anyone who could maintain complete composure.

Well, no, like most of this kind of thing it was speculation with little to no solid info to go on.

Tuesday Night Fever:

Which is why I maintain that Wierzbowski and Crowe are wild cards. Though I lean more toward the belief that the team was doomed (which is somewhat odd, because I'm really not a "glass is half empty" type of person) going by what we see, what we hear, what has been stated as canonical outside of the film, and what can be inferred by the characters' behavior as established both in that scene and in the scenes leading up to it.

You seem to be coming at this from a "glass is half full" perspective, which is perfectly valid in your own theory of how the situation would have played out, but just seems to come out of left field to me and tonally inconsistent with the message of the film.

They are all wild cards in a way. Why did those 3 make it out while the other 6 died? Why wasn't there an alien lurking above Hicks, or Vasquez or any of the others? Why was it above Apone. Why weren't there more aliens altogether? We really have very little to go on in that sense.

I'm coming at it from a "there is water in the glass, it takes up half the volume, as far as I can tell" perspective.

If we were musing on what the writers would have done then yes I'd agree with your assessment, but once we're speculating on "what would have happened if" then for me we're not really discussing the writers intentions. I'm not analysing the film, I'm analysing the "real world" (i.e. totally imaginary) possibilities, not what I think would happen if someone were pushing for a certain theme, but what could happen. Tone and message are not relevant to me except when discussing it as a piece of art. "IRL" doesn't give a shit about tone and message and as far as I'm aware there is no director calling the shots.

Tuesday Night Fever:

I'm not sure I'd agree with you there. The Xenomorphs are pretty much always a threat, even in death (acid). That and animals tend to be particularly dangerous when they're hurt and/or cornered. Given the acid blood and the wild flailing, Vasquez is actually pretty lucky the burn to her foot is all she got in that tunnel.

As I said, "unless they're right on you, as in Vasquez' case".

Tuesday Night Fever:

Not that the acid damage is particularly consistent. In Alien it melts through several decks of a starship, it's shown to have melted through several floors of the Hadley's Hope complex, it kills Drake, but Hudson just gets a mild flesh wound on his arm from it.

Yeah, again, fiction, plot armour, inconsistencies, that's part of what makes it so hard to judge these things.

Tuesday Night Fever:

They very well might be killing some what we the viewer are with the APC while it's on the movie, I don't think I ever claimed otherwise. I just doubt that they would manage to rack up so many kills during that brief period of time that it would have had any significant impact on the number found later in the movie.

Ok, fair enough, another misunderstanding then.

Me too, never said otherwise.

Tuesday Night Fever:

The editing there is a bit wonky, but the bag does explode on the same floor the Marines are on.

Ah, OK.

Tuesday Night Fever:

But yeah, that would beg the question of why Weyland/Yutani would build them to be so fragile that you cause a massive nuclear explosion because of a couple stray bullets.

You already answered that:

Tuesday Night Fever:
James Cameron just really, really likes explosions.

Again, it explodes because JC wanted it to.

Tuesday Night Fever:

Also, you have no idea how happy you've made me by acknowledging the tabletop RPG. These days not many people seem to remember it. Sadly I don't have my miniatures anymore, I sold them a few years back to a collector (it wasn't Jim, sadly).

Ah, it was such fun. Due in part to it being based on Phoenix command it had such specific hit locations..."let's see the alien bites you in the...*rolls*...groin...oooh, sucks to be you son!"

I sold it a few years ago, I do have the odd pang of regret, most things I flog I could always buy again, but that? Probably not.

Tuesday Night Fever:

Time constraints. According to James Cameron in the film's commentary the primary reason why most of the scenes removed from the Director's Cut were removed was because he needed to get the movie down to 2-hours. At that point in time movie theaters regularly refused to play movies that were over 2-hours because it meant that they couldn't play the movie as many times per-day, cutting into their profits. So Cameron made the decision to cut scenes that he felt weren't completely necessary to the story in order to appease the movie theaters. This sort of thing is a lot more rare today, but it still happens from time to time.

And there was me thinking it might have been due not wanting to give a feeling of hope or the idea the marines had at least given them a bloody nose.

Hmmm, wish I knew this was coming before I wrote my own rebuttal (not that anyone likely cared).

One point I would like to correct Jim on is that he seems to have missed a big point in "Aliens". The Marines were more than capable of handing the Xenomorphs. The point was more or less that the situation here was caused by the corporation which was calling the shots, overruling the marines and forcing them to do stupid things, while withholding information about the threat being faced. The initial defeat of the marines largely transpires because they were pretty much made to disarm themselves (even if some of them held out ammo anyway, which is the only reason any of them survived). Had the marines handled the situation as they were trained to do, or even proceeded forward as stupidly as they were made to, it would have been an entirely different movie. The real message here is basically that the corporation is the recurring group of morons that creates these problems.

Indeed this is one of the real issues I've had with cameronverse crossovers in the past, where the Aliens are presented as being some kind of major threat to a well prepared military force. They really aren't unless some other factor intervenes. Likewise when they crossover Predator with other science fiction concepts it kind of misses the point that Predator tends to hunt less advanced beings which is what makes him scary, beyond a certain point if the concept is going to remain it's integrity Predator(s) are just ugly aliens with a few science fiction weapons, no better or worse than humans using their own technology once they themselves reach a similar level.

I think half the appeal of Cameron's "universe" when it's come to horror and suspense is how contextual it is. How something can go from being pretty normal to monsterous and terrifying based on how it's presented. In the original "Alien", the "Alien" isn't really all *that* tough, it's pretty much on the level of an apex predator,
albeit one not from earth. On a lot of levels it's like being stalked by a tiger (which they have also done movies about... things like "Ghost In The Darkness"), the tiger isn't much of a threat if you have a gun and know where it is, but if your not armed with anything resembling a proper weapon or are facing the tiger where it can hide and stalk you... well, that's entirely different, your now pretty much on the Tiger's terms. On a lot of levels "Aliens" was kind of showing that against a bunch of well armed humans in a straightforward situation, even a virtual legion of tigers has no real chance... unless something (like stupid Corporations) changes that equasion to put you more on their level. With Predator it was similar to Alien in a lot of levels, except in reverse, this was a situation where a well armed and prepared hunter can render even an apex predator simplistic prey, in this case being shown by an alien taking down humans using more advanced weapons. It's terrifying because it's understandable and makes sense. Likewise the ending is very much the whole "sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you" maxim. After all when dealing with an Apex predator even when you think your holding all the cards, something that dangerous can still get the upper hand. That kind of threat is also incidently why some people still claim sporthunting predators with guns is exciting. "Terminator" was the same way, I mean conceptually this robot was no real threat... in the era it came from, "Skynet" sent it back in time as part of a desperation ploy due to losing a war against humans, in the past however where it was more advanced than everything else it was a hugely powerful, and the soldier sent back to stop it had to improvise things to fight it, where in his own timeline with his own weapons he probably would have just blown it away with a sidearm. Many people seem to miss a key part of terminator was the role reversal... the whole plot is "Skynet was losing, time travel was it's only hope of survival".

At any rate, I'm rambling, I'm simply point out the similar threads between a lot of these movies people throw together and crossover because of James Cameron. See, the genius of this kind of thing was that the threats were always highly contextual. Anyone can just flat out say "the monster is dangerous because it's supernatural and unbeatable", these movies got away from that and became on a lot of levels more believable because it was the situation and context that mattered rather than just spakling the bad guy with mystical BS (which can still be fun). Jason Voorhees is fun for example, but he's totally ridiculous, the result of a curse, nobody could even conceptually see that kind of thing happening... however presented as science fiction... well the Cameron works can come across as almost believable.

Jimothy Sterling:

thaluikhain:
I disagree about the marines. The Aliens got really lucky, and the marines had to be incompetent. If the aliens weren't under the reactor so all the marines had their guns, things would be different. If the lieutenant was competent, and the other ranks were professional, things would be different.

Part of what I said was that the marines sucked. They lost their confidence when they didn't have their technology backing them up. So yeah, they were clearly incompetent - and their culture of overconfidence would suggest that's a fundamental flaw for the whole force.

As for whether or not the aliens got lucky, I'd argue they're clearly smart enough to understand how certain things work. The queen can operate machinery after seeing somebody use it once. While it seems to be that aliens get "dumber" the more there are (perhaps their personal instincts taking a backseat to a sweeping and simplified hive mind), it's obvious the one calling the shots for them isn't stupid, and certainly seemed to see the marines coming.

Now, their trap might not have been as good if the marines could shoot, but they had surprise and numbers, and later on, when firepower wasn't an issue, they still had their asses handed to them. Hell, the xenomorphs knew how to effectively cut off their escape by getting aboard the carrier as it was about to lift them off-planet. I think they deserve a bit more credit.

Jesus, I am a fucking nerd.

Well, the thing is that by the time the Marines are fighting for real they have already lost a good portion of their numbers. Likewise, one has to wonder exactly how that alien got on board their drop ship, and why it wasn't guarded.

As I said myself in my much longer response, which goes into most of the Cameron stuff since I tend to be rambling and long winded as well, I think the real message here is that the Corporation is the real group of incompetent idiots, and basically acted as the foil needed to set up the entire thing.

To put things into perspective, the Marines land on this planet, they see the damage and are told to keep moving on and on and on. Don't call for backup, don't regroup and set up a perimeter, just keep moving further into the complex. Once they get there they are told to disarm themselves under the pretense of damaging the reactor, but really it seemed more like the corporate goober just wanted to make sure they didn't kill all the Aliens so he could get his samples.

What would have happened if the corporation wasn't so stupid? Well they would have seen to it that the marines all received a classified briefing, and would be told what they know about these Xenomorphs. Preparations would have been made to have some kind of device needed to actually capture one of these things, because honestly I never quite understood how the corporation intended the marines to do that bit operating in the dark the way they were.

Upon arriving on the planet, since we are no longer having the shots called by a mouth breathing idiot, it would be easily deduced that the problem is pretty big, and the marines would have formed a perimeter and called in massive amounts of backup from both other military units and if needed Corporate security goons which they seem to have no shortage of in other works (and really, while they hadn't thought of that yet at this point, looking back on Aliens one has to wonder why the Corporation wasn't doing this entirely in house... but you can't fairly speculate based on material that wasn't created yet). Of course then you wouldn't have had much of a movie.

To me the whole thing with "Aliens" was that it represents the joys that can happen to even the best military operation when you send the troops in blind without any kind of intelligence at all. Now, it makes sense to compartmentalize information in some cases, and you can understand not sharing ALL the facts, but when your using the military to allegedly capture a Xenomorph (the entire point of this exercise) not even telling them that there is a Xenomorph when they are going to need to see the thing(s) just to do what you want them to, is purely idiotic.

In short, I think the Marines were just fine, and could have handled this easily, it simply continues the franchise staple of Waylan-Yutani (I think I have the name right) being not only evil, but stupid beyond credible belief, and ultimately screwing everything up. Pretty much the only way they could have conducted this operation worse would be to have all the marines wear hats made out of meat without any stated reason (old Yahtzee joke).

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