A Xenomorph Drone was born on board Sevastopol Station in 2137 after Catherine Foster, a crew member of the USCSS Anesidora, was attacked by a Facehugger and brought to the station for medical treatment. It began terrorizing the halls of Sevastopol and killed most of its personnel. It was eventually killed when it fell into KG-348's atmosphere aboard a science module jettisoned from Sevastopol by Amanda Ripley.
As an Egg
The Drone began its life as one of the many Ovomorphs aboard a derelict Engineer spacecraft on Acheron, a moon orbiting the gas giant Calpamos in Zeta2 Reticuli. At some point, the spacecraft crashed on Acheron under unclear circumstances, while at around the same time the vessel's Pilot was apparently impregnated by a Facehugger. Before dying, the Pilot set up a warning beacon to deter any other lifeforms from investigating.
In 2137, the Anesidora investigated what they believed to be a "distress signal" coming from the derelict ship (much like the Nostromo before it). When Catherine Foster got too close to an Ovomorph, a Facehugger emerged and latched onto Foster's face. Foster was taken back to the Anesidora where the Facehugger eventually detached after completing its implantation process. She was later placed in stasis and brought to Sevastopol Station. After being seen to by Dr. Lingard, the Chestburster inside Foster erupted from her chest, killing her. At some point a Xenomorph began an infestation aboard Sevastopol. Its appearance on the station caused panic, and Colonial Marshal Waits and his team struggled to keep order aboard the station.
Eventually, a Hive was established in the depths of the station, where hosts were then taken to.
At some point, the Xenomorph was spotted in engineering, and Waits and the last of his men — Turner, Garcia and Harris — went to investigate. The team discovered two corpses and a locked door. When Garcia opened the door, he was quickly Headbitten by the Drone. Harris then charged at the Xenomorph, but the Drone quickly impaled him with its tail. Waits and Turner forced it back through the doorway using their shotguns, and closed the door. The Drone then moved above the two using the vents above them. Turner, not wanting to suffer the same fate as his colleagues, aimed his shotgun toward the vents. Before he could fire a single round at the Drone, the creature knocked out a grate above Turner and captured him, either killing him or taking him to the Hive to be impregnated with a Chestburster.
In Habitation, survivor Clark heard movement ahead of him in the narrow hallway he was passing through, and so he decided to commit suicide with his last remaining .357 Revolver bullets to escape being killed - or worse, captured - by the Xenomorph. After putting the gun to his chin, he decided at the last second not to, and instead shot whatever was approaching him. However, he mistook Ross, a Colonial Marshal, for the Drone, shooting him and seemingly killing him.
Clark broke down upon realizing he had just just shot another human. After hesitantly taking Ross's satchel of weaponry, Clark was about to enter Elevator C-3, but Ross woke up, revealing he had survived being shot. He weakly asked Clark to help him, but the actual Xenomorph showed up behind Ross. With no weapons to defend himself due to Clark taking them when he previously thought he was dead, Ross begged Clark not to leave him at the mercy of the Drone, but a panicking Clark entered the elevator. Ross screamed as the doors closed, and was presumably either captured or killed by the Drone afterwards.
Torrens crew arrival and death
Some time later, Diane Verlaine and her crew aboard the Torrens attempted to board Sevastopol station in search of the Nostromo's flight recorder. Amanda Ripley became separated from the crew and stranded on the station.
Ripley first encountered the Drone while travelling with a scavenger named Axel when the Xenomorph impaled Axel with its tail and pulled him into an air duct. Ripley managed to evade the Drone for some time until she met Dr. Kuhlman in the San Cristobal Medical Facility. Kuhlman asked Amanda to find a keycard from Dr. Morley's corpse in another area of San Cristobal. After retrieving the keycard, again evading the Drone along the way, Ripley returned to Kuhlman. However, when the doctor returned to his office to gather his supplies, he opened a door the Drone was behind. Kuhlman froze in terror, and was quickly seized and taken into the darkness of the other room and abducted while Ripley fled.
Ripley wandered into area of San Cristobal, where she had to avoid several armed survivors and find the passcode for a locked door. After she found the passcode, the Xenomorph dropped down from the vents and attacked the survivors, slaughtering all of them them despite their firepower. Ripley herself slipped away in the chaos, and managed to unlock the door using the passcode she'd found.
After she unlocked the door, Amanda walked into a large atrium. As she did so, the Drone suddenly dropped down from an overhead shaft in front of her. Ripley fell to the ground and crawled backward away from the Drone. Suddenly, the lights in the room switched on, and several timers began counting down. As the Drone approached Ripley, the timers in the room counted to zero, and simultaneously several explosives set up in the room detonated. The blast knocked Ripley unconscious while the Drone quickly fled into the vents to escape.
Some time afterwards, Ripley awakened in the room, which was now on fire and collapsing in on itself. Ripley escaped by climbing a ladder, and eventually wound up in Seegson Synthetics.
Despite Amanda's survival, the creature also survived the blast and had caught up with Amanda and was now stalking her across Seegson Synthetics. While she was sneaking past a group of survivors including Francis, Peterson and a third unnamed survivor, she witnessed it drop from a vent and land on Peterson and the unnamed survivor, dragging them both aside and killing them, before turning to face Francis. Francis, frozen in fear, hesitates for a brief moment before firing a single shot at the Xenomorph as it immediately seizes him and takes him into the vents. After presumably taking Francis to the Hive, it returned to Seegson Synthetics to hunt for Amanda. The Drone came very close to catching Amanda, but she escapes by powering up the elevator and escaping on it.
After escaping the area via the elevator, she found herself in the Seegson Synthetics fluid plant, where she witnessed the Drone attacking another group of survivors. It grabbed one survivor and took him into the depths of the fluid plant, the other survivors firing their guns at it as it departed.
Ripley soon met Marshal Waits and Ricardo, who were arguing with Samuels about how they boarded Sevastopol despite Waits warning them not to. Waits reveals that he is the one who set up the up the explosives from earlier, in an attempt to kill the Xenomorph. Together, they organized a plan to trap the Drone in the Gemini Exoplanets Solutions module. Though their plan succeeded, Waits ejected the module from the station and it fell into the atmosphere with Ripley inside. However, she escaped the module via the airlock, while the Xenomorph was killed when the module burned up in KG-348's atmosphere.
List of Known Victims
- Catherine Foster (presumed host)
- D. Turner
- Mike Tanaka
- Axel Fielding
Behind the Scenes
In Alien: Isolation, with very few exceptions, the Drone's behavior and points of appearances are unscripted and dynamic. Following Axel's death near the beginning of the game, the Alien is "unleashed" on the player and is liable to drop from the vents at any time and begin hunting them. Certain actions on the player's part, such as making a loud noise will draw the Drone out to investigate. Noises made by other characters in the game will also attract the Drone — for example, a hostile NPC shooting at the player. Additionally, the Alien may simply appear randomly. The frequency with which the Alien typically appears depends on the set difficulty of the game, although the rate will increase as the game progresses regardless of difficulty.
Once the Drone emerges from the vents, it will immediately begin actively hunting Amanda Ripley (and any other survivors in the area). If lured out by a loud noise, it will aggressively search for the source of that noise. The Drone cannot be killed, either by the player or other NPCs, and is virtually impervious to most weapons (most likely due to its scripted demise). If it encounters any humans, it will immediately attack and kill them. It is possible to hide from the Drone while it is searching, either inside lockers, under counters or behind objects in the environment, but once spotted the player very rarely has a chance to escape. The Drone will also learn from the player's behavior and adapt accordingly — for example, if the player frequently uses lockers to hide, the Drone will begin checking lockers more frequently and will often spot the player upon closer inspection, or if the player keeps using flares to distract it (or any other distraction device), the creature will soon become uninterested and ignore them.
The Drone's aggression can be used to the player's advantage if there are hostile survivors in the area; if the creature is lured to their location, it will attack them. However, the Alien will still view the player as a legitimate target, and will attack them as well if they present themselves as an opportune victim. The Drone will not attack the Working Joes present on the station and will completely ignore them, most likely due to the fact that they are inorganic and the Drone identifies the androids as mere machines. Similarly, synthetics will not react to the Drone's presence with anything other than mild curiosity (often stating things such as "unidentified species" or "what are you?").
Despite being impossible to kill, the Drone is susceptible to fire. The flamethrower will cause the creature to flee. However, as with all the player's actions, the Drone will learn through repetition and will become less averse to the flamethrower the more often it is used; for example, the Drone may simply pause when fired upon rather than fleeing to the vents, and if the player then does not have sufficient fuel for another shot, it will attack and kill them. The only other weapons that have a significant effect on the Drone are the Molotov and the pipe bomb, which will also cause it to retreat. A blast from the shotgun or Bolt gun will cause the Drone to flinch, but it will soon resume charging the player. Unlike in Aliens versus Predator 2, EMP mines have no effect on the Alien.
The Drone will play a unique animation when pointing the Flamethrower directly at it. The Drone will suddenly pause, shield its face, and growl at the player, as if comprehending the danger the Flamethrower poses to it. It will also walk much more slowly and will not screech if the player holds the Flamethrower at it. Putting away the Flamethrower in this scenario will prompt the Drone to dash at the player.
- Despite being just a Drone, it stands taller than they usually do, exceeding 7 feet and nearing a Praetorian in height.
- Considering the revelation later in the game that there are in fact multiple Xenomorphs aboard Sevastopol, it is possible, even likely, that the creature encountered early in the game is in fact more than one individual, and the references made to "it" as a singular entity by survivors are simply mistaken.
- The Drone's lack of aggression towards synthetics ties in with other Alien canon which postulates that although Xenomorphs are aware of androids, they do not appear to consider them 'alive' and are not typically aggressive towards them unless they pose a direct threat.
- This Drone features a human skull under its smooth dome, something the original Alien (from Alien) also featured.
- It features an odd green coloration and a seemingly drier and rougher texture under low lighting conditions, but appears the normal Xenomorph black under brighter lights and extremely low lighting conditions.
- Unlike other Xenomorphs, this Drone, along with the others aboard Sevastopol, usually drags its tail behind it along the ground. The rare times it does raise its tail is when investigating a noise or pursuing the player. Regardless, touching the tail will immediately alert the Drone to the player's presence and cause it to attack.
- Creative Assembly have stated that the Xenomorph's digitigrade legs were designed that way for animation purposes, because the original plantigrade leg design did not hold up very well during prolonged encounters with the player.
- Excluding Catherine Foster, its presumed host, the Drone aboard Sevastopol claimed 12 known victims (including two unnamed survivors killed during scripted events). This would make it one of the deadliest known Xenomorphs in the franchise. However, it is strongly implied that the Drone killed far more than this off-screen, primarily before Amanda arrived on Sevastopol. It can also kill a variable number of NPCs while the player is progressing through the game's story, depending on the situation. Considering Sevastopol's rough population of around 500 before the Xenomorph incident begins, the Drone's potential number of claimed victims is staggering to speculate. These factors make it arguably the deadliest Xenomorph in the entire franchise, contending with, if not surpassing, the likes of the Dragon, Mozart and Specimen 6. Again, however, it is entirely possible that these attacks were actually made by a large group of Xenomorphs, then incorrectly attributed to a single creature.
- Coincidentally, the Drone can be thought of as a "sibling" to the Alien that earlier hunted Amanda Ripley's mother Ellen, due to the fact both creatures originated from the same batch of eggs.
- The Alien's dorsal tubes can occasionally be seen vibrating when it stands still and is searching for the player. This may indicate they are some form of sensory organ.
- With the news that there was in fact a Queen present, though unseen, the Drone may not have been the one to hatch from Foster, numerous signs point to this as well as there are chestburster victims in the same medical center as her body as well as in some vents, indicating that these victims were impregnated before a hive was established as all other victims are found there.
- Although it is able to traverse the ventilation system of Sevastopol station, the Drone does not scale walls or ceilings when actively hunting. It may be due to it adapting to the environment and using the many automated doors aboard the station, or the result of it getting bold, as there is virtually no real threat to its' well-being. However, this is most likely simply due to the the developer's decision to exclude the feature due to gameplay mechanics.
- While impossible to hurt the Xenomorph to any meaningful degree with the weapons the player has available, several firearms will cause the creature to bleed its signature acidic blood. This blood and its highly corrosive effects were originally to play a greater role in the game, but the idea was scrapped.
- Additionally, the acid blood will not harm the player if they touch it.
- Drone (Seegson Comms) — An individual Drone that stalked Amanda Ripley through Seegson Communications on Sevastopol.
- Drone (Torrens) — An individual Drone that got aboard the USCSS Torrens during the Sevastopol incident.
- Ridley Scott, Laurence F. Knapp, Andrea F. Kulas. Ridley Scott: Interviews, p. 47 (2005), University Press of Mississippi.
- Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) - February 2014 issue
- Alien: Isolation (2014), Creative Assembly, SEGA [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One].
- Alien: Isolation - Archive Log 031 - Torrens Hail
- Andy McVittie. The Art of Alien: Isolation, p. 76 (2014), Titan Books.