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Alien: Isolation is a 2019 novelization of the video game of the same name, written by Keith R. A. DeCandido and published by Titan Books. It was due to be released in January 2019[1] before being released on July 30, 2019. While the novel is primarily an adaptation of the game, it also offers up backstory for the Ripley family, including Amanda's relationship with her stepfather.

Publisher's Summary

From birth, Amanda Ripley's life is riddled with hardship. Her parents live on the edge of poverty, so her mother — Ellen Ripley — seeks off-world contracts that lead to a position aboard the commercial hauler Nostromo. Then when the deep-space vessel disappears, Amanda passes into adulthood focused on discovering one thing.

WHAT HAPPENED TO ELLEN RIPLEY?

Amanda's quest pulls her into the underbelly of society, where few can be trusted. On Luna she meets someone who seems the exception — Private Zula Hendricks of the Colonial Marines — but their relationship is short-lived. Just as Amanda appears to hit rock bottom... a lead appears.

To follow it, she must travel to the remote Sevastopol Station. There she hopes to find the answers she needs. But the station is in ruins, and death stalks the corridors in the form of a deadly alien the likes of which she never could have imagined.

Differences from the Game

One notable change present throughout the book is the trimming of several of the more lengthy gameplay sections; for the sake of simplicity, most of the more superficial alterations in this regard are not mentioned, with only major cuts being listed below. The novel also includes the expanded coda from Alien: Isolation - The Digital Series. Other differences include:

  • The sequence in which the crew of the Anesidora set down on LV-426 and discover the derelict, presented as a flashback narrated by Marlow midway through the game, is instead used to open the novel.[2]
  • Hypersleep is said to involve the use of some form of viscous liquid inside the chambers.[5] While this differs from the game as well as the films of the Alien franchise, the same concept is notably mentioned in the novelization of Alien.
  • While in hypersleep aboard the Torrens, Amanda experiences nightmares about her mother Ellen and stepfather Paul Carter fighting when she was a child.[6]
  • While talking with Taylor shortly after waking from hypersleep, Amanda has a lengthy flashback to the last month she spent with her mother before she left on the Nostromo, followed by the moment she learned the ship had disappeared and her mother would not be coming home.[7]
  • Taylor states that Weyland-Yutani have been publicly searching for the Nostromo since its disappearance, even offering up a substantial reward for information as to the ship's whereabouts or fate.[8] This contradicts the game, in which an archive log reveals that the ship's loss was covered up by the company.
  • After finding the Nostromo black box and discovering that it has been wiped, Amanda experiences another flashback, this time to her teenage years when she was conned out of a substantial sum of money by a man named Marvin Okeke, who claimed to have information regarding the Nostromo.[9]
  • After failing to restore communications in Seegson Comms, Amanda is attacked by several Working Joes in a transit station, despite it being a public area.[12] In the game, Joes only attack people attempting to access restricted areas in the early part of the game. Thus the novel makes it seem as through the androids are homicidally defective rather than attempting to enforce security measures.
  • Kuhlman is suffering from an injured leg, thereby explaining why he is alone in San Cristobal.[13] Furthermore, he is not locked in his office but sitting in one of the wards, and Amanda actually speaks with him face to face.[11]
  • Dr. Morley's corpse has been completely eviscerated and dismembered in the book.[14]
  • Following her encounter with the Drone in San Cristobal, Amanda returns to Kuhlman to find him attempting to escape in the secure elevator to the dispensary, leaving her behind.[15] When she confronts him he reveals that her hunt for Morley's keycard was a wild goose chase; he already has his own, and all he needed to access the elevator was the code Amanda retrieved earlier with her access tuner. In fact, it was he who set off the quarantine alarm, hoping to lure the Drone to medical so that it would kill Amanda while he made his escape.[15] While he knows the threat the creature poses in the game and admits to withholding this information from Amanda, he plays no part in it coming to the medical center and can hardly be considered so villainous. His demise also differs slightly. In the novel, he is taken when he opens the elevator to reveal the Drone already inside, rather then while collecting his things from his office in the game.[16]
  • Following Kuhlman's demise, Amanda has a flashback to her meeting with Stefano Vanini, a member of the Thedus dock crew who loaded the Nostromo before its fateful final voyage.[17] However, Vanini is unable to provide her with any useful information regarding her mother's fate.
  • In the game, Amanda is forced to take a lengthy detour through Seegson Synthetics after escaping the explosive trap in the San Cristobal lobby. This entire section is removed in the novel, and she instead makes her way through the vents directly back to Samuels and Taylor, although she does overhear Francis and Peterson arguing along the way.[18]
  • When Amanda finds Samuels and Taylor talking to Marshal Waits and Ricardo, she overhears Waits admitting to setting the explosives in the medical center, as well as blaming her for messing up his chance to kill the Drone.[19]
  • In the novel, the hostile man Amanda encounters while trying to reboot the transit system is said to be Mahoney, the leader of Francis and Peterson's group of survivors.[20] In the game, he is earlier seen being killed by the Drone as Amanda detours through Seegson Synthetics.
  • The armed survivors Amanda encounters in the transit station after rebooting the tram system are said to be Seegson Security personnel in full riot gear.[21] In the game, they are civilians.
  • When Amanda talks with Marlow in the Marshal Beureau, the flashback to LV-426 in the game is replaced with a flashback to Amanda's experiences during her first week on Luna, during which time her boss Flora Mendez offered her an illegal copy of the Nostromo's flight recorder data in exchange for her paycheck.[22] To convince her the information exists, she gives Amanda files relating to her mother's posting aboard the Sotillo, during which time she suppressed an attempted mutiny. Amanda agrees, but when they make the deal it is broken up by police from the fraud squad, who reveal that Amanda reported Mendez and has been helping them build a case against her.[23]
  • An archive log reveals the fates of the rest of the Anesidora crew — Meeks was subdued by a Facehugger and placed in stasis to try and prevent his death, Lewis was killed during a stampede when a Xenomorph attacked Sevastopol's food court, while Heyst died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound whilst being attacked by a Facehugger.[24]
  • The plan to trap the Drone in the Lorenz SysTech Spire proceeds slightly different in the book. Rather than Amanda becoming trapped with the creature and Ricardo having to lift the lockdown to free her, she is instead unable to close the final set of security shutters due to faulty equipment. Thus they move on to the plan to eject the Drone in the Project KG-348 module.[26]
  • Amanda recognizes the Seegson Security men she sees being slaughtered by the Working Joes in the Solomons Galleria as the same men she encountered earlier in the transit station near San Cristobal.[27]
  • Upon arriving in the Seegson Synthetics area to talk to APOLLO, Amanda ditches her (now empty) flamethrower in favour of a shotgun. In the book, the shotgun has a two-round capacity, whereas the Model 37-12 in the game holds four rounds.[28]
  • Samuels shoots the Joe he kills in Seegson Synthetics, rather than bludgeoning it to death.[29]
  • The section where Amanda has to make her way into the APOLLO core through its ventilation ducts, evading several hazardous environment Working Joes, is removed in the book. Instead, she simply enters the core through the front door.[30] Afterwards, she is able to leave the same way, recovering her firearms along the way.[31]
  • The layout of Sevastopol's reactor is quite different in the game, with four points that Amanda has to overload each laid out around the main core like the points on a compass.[32] In the game, there are only two such points, but the maintenance area in which they are found is below and behind the reactor and has a much less uniform, more maze-like layout. Additionally, only one of the control points is located within the Hive in the book, whereas both are there in the game.[30]
  • Within the Hive, Ripley uses her shotgun to kill a Facehugger and its Egg, yet this does not draw the attention of any Drones.[33]
  • After witnessing the Xenomorphs escape the destruction of the Hive, Amanda has one final flashback to an incident on Luna in which an incompetent co-worker almost caused the deaths of five people trapped in an airlock.[34]
  • Following the reactor purge, all the remaining Joes aboard Sevastopol deactivate and pose no further threat.[35]
  • Aboard the Anesidora, Amanda talks with Marlow from the ship's bridge, where he seals her in by closing a security door.[36] It is there that she listens to the message from her mother. Marlow also explains that he had Lewis wipe the Nostromo black box to prevent any information about the Xenomorph falling into the hands of the company.[37] The person or persons behind the device's erasure are never revealed in the game. Amanda eventually manages to bypass the locked door, but she does not reach the engine room until just after Taylor has knocked Marlow unconscious.[38]
  • Ripley's return to Seegson Communications to restore comms never occurs in the book, and instead she finds Ricardo has fallen victim to a Facehugger in the Marshal Bureau.[39] With APOLLO's communications lockdown never lifted, Amanda is able to contact the Torrens when Connor manages to bypass the blackout.[39]
  • Contrary to the Xenomorphs' indestructible status in the game, Amanda incinerates one with a flamethrower while preparing her escape through the towing platform.[40]
  • The sequence where Amanda is captured by a Xenomorph and cocooned in a small Hive is absent in the book.[41]
  • Amanda has to manually place the explosives to separate the Torrens from Sevastopol, taking them from the Torrens itself.[42] In the game, she uses a system built into the towing arm specifically for this purpose.
  • The novel includes the epilogue featured in Alien: Isolation - The Digital Series, in which Amanda finds herself drifting amongst debris following her unplanned ejection from the Torrens. She then has to reach a comms beacon to transmit a distress call.[43]

Trivia

  • As well as the video game and the epilogue from Alien: Isolation - The Digital Series, the novel also adapts a section of the tie-in comic book, in the form of a brief section featuring Sevastopol resident Clark lamenting his accidental shooting of Ross.
  • Isolation is not, in fact, the first video game in the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchise to receive a novelization — an unlicensed novel adaptation of Aliens versus Predator 2, written by Ren Wargner, was published in 2012 in Hungary, under the title Idegen vs Ragadozó: Kényszerhajsza ("Alien vs. Predator: Forced Chase"). The book is in fact just one of several unofficial Aliens/Predator/Aliens vs. Predator novels released in Hungary.
  • Throughout the book, archive logs from the game appear between chapters to shed light on events aboard the station not directly involving Amanda. Some of these logs are in fact exclusive to the novel.
  • Much of the backstory for Ellen Ripley revealed in the novel in fact ties up with the original behind the scenes notes for the character written by Ridley Scott during the production of Alien.

Goofs

See: Alien: Isolation goofs#Novelization

References

  1. "Twitter - Keith R. A. DeCandido". Retrieved on 2018-09-01.
  2. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 18 (2019), Titan Books.
  3. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 35 (2019), Titan Books.
  4. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 39 (2019), Titan Books.
  5. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 45 (2019), Titan Books.
  6. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 46 (2019), Titan Books.
  7. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 71 (2019), Titan Books.
  8. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 74 (2019), Titan Books.
  9. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 131 (2019), Titan Books.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 160 (2019), Titan Books.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 178 (2019), Titan Books.
  12. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 172 (2019), Titan Books.
  13. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 177 (2019), Titan Books.
  14. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 179 (2019), Titan Books.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 180 (2019), Titan Books.
  16. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 181 (2019), Titan Books.
  17. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 186 (2019), Titan Books.
  18. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 204 (2019), Titan Books.
  19. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 207 (2019), Titan Books.
  20. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 213 (2019), Titan Books.
  21. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 216 (2019), Titan Books.
  22. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 227 (2019), Titan Books.
  23. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 241 (2019), Titan Books.
  24. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 243 (2019), Titan Books.
  25. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 248 (2019), Titan Books.
  26. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 249 (2019), Titan Books.
  27. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 262 (2019), Titan Books.
  28. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 270 (2019), Titan Books.
  29. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 271 (2019), Titan Books.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 278 (2019), Titan Books.
  31. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 280 (2019), Titan Books.
  32. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 283 (2019), Titan Books.
  33. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 285 (2019), Titan Books.
  34. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 295 (2019), Titan Books.
  35. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 301 (2019), Titan Books.
  36. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 304 (2019), Titan Books.
  37. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 307 (2019), Titan Books.
  38. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 310 (2019), Titan Books.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 320 (2019), Titan Books.
  40. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 321 (2019), Titan Books.
  41. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 325 (2019), Titan Books.
  42. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 326 (2019), Titan Books.
  43. Keith R. A. DeCandido. Alien: Isolation, p. 332 (2019), Titan Books.

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