- ""Bad weather for recon.”
"That's the only kind of weather we got here.”"
- ―Two guards during an outside mission on LV-1201
Terrain and Climate
From orbit, LV-1201 appears as a lifeless desert world, but this appearance is deceptive. Although vast areas of bare rock exist, much of the planet's surface is covered by jungles, forests, and even oceans. The surface is often wrecked by hurricane-force winds, requiring the use of landing beacons to assist descending spacecraft. The seas of LV-1201 are extremely corrosive and are deadly even to Xenomorphs, although areas of freshwater exist inland.
Flora and Fauna
With its habitable biosphere, LV-1201 is rich with animal life. In coordination with the world's harsh conditions, much of the indigenous animal life of LV-1201 is hostile, including the moose-like "buhlaghs" and "chameleons", reptilian beasts with highly efficient camouflage capabilities. Other life-forms existed on the planet, including carnivorous worm-like creatures which ambushed prey from underground. The Xenomorphs were not indigenous to LV-1201, rather they were brought there and bred by the Engineers, and had since then spread across the planet.
On a stretch of volcanic rock somewhere near Observation Posts 3 and 4, an enormous skeleton of some unknown creature could be found. More harmless fauna include two arthropod species, one capable of flight and one that couldn't. Humans have introduced dogs, cats, and monkeys as pets or hosts for Xenomorphs in their experiments.
Humans working for the Weyland-Yutani Corporation colonized LV-1201 some time in the early 2200s. Their presence centered around a Primary Operations Complex, a large colony with a population of over 1000 people. The POC possessed a landing field large enough to accept a small interstellar freighter; north and south landing bays for shuttles and dropships; housing for research animals including dogs, cats, and monkeys; its own sewer and water reclamation system; garages and maintenance areas; a cafeteria; an auxiliary generator; and residential areas. Following the destruction of Forward Observation Pod 5, several areas were converted for Xenomorph research.
The POC was connected by a series of tunnels to the Forward Observation Pods, a cluster of cylindrical structures suspended over a canyon by struts and supports spanning the breadth of the chasm. Six pods were originally built, but Pod 5 was severed from the cluster and allowed to fall to the canyon floor to prevent a Xenomorph infestation from spreading to the other pods. The pods can access the canyon floor via lift platforms suspended from their undersides. These lifts dock at enormous cargo bays occupying several floors of the pods. The pods house the majority of the planet's Xenomorph research facilities, as well as areas dedicated to researching the planet's indigenous flora and the relics of the Engineers. Several laboratories were used to research the Yautja and their technology when they were encountered. The pods also contain residential areas. Pod 5 contained residences, an auxiliary generator, a morgue, and a "water-walk" used to pump in potable drinking water from beyond the canyon before it was destroyed.
The Pods were created in response to the loss of four observation posts built early in the planet's human colonization. The observation posts were built to study flora and fauna, especially Xenomorphs, far from the safety of the POC. Unfortunately, the start of the rainy season drove the Xenomorphs to increased levels of aggression, and when a storm knocked out power at the observation posts, the researchers were massacred. The posts remained abandoned ever since.
Weyland-Yutani conducted archaeological excavations at several sites far from the POC and the Pods. Most of these digs took place at sites of Engineer ruins just outside (and connected via tunnels to) the planet's primary Xenomorph hive. At least one site, Zeta Site, had previously been occupied not only by the Engineers, but by the Yautja, who had converted it to a hunting encampment. By the time humans reached the planet, it had been abandoned for hundreds of years.
LV-1201 was also home to a Xenomorph hive of colossal proportions, nestled deep within the heart of a complex of Engineer ruins. Much of the hive was buried, as were most of the ruins themselves, but the hive was accessible through some of Weyland-Yutani's archaeological excavation sites. Natural entrances also existed, many of which were not known to the human colonists.
LV-1201 had a long history of Engineer, Yautja, and Xenomorph activity. When the Engineers settled on the planet, they used it as a location for breeding Xenomorphs for unexplained purposes. An undisclosed amount of time passed, after which a clan of Yautja came to the planet to hunt its aggressive wildlife. While the Engineers had long dispersed from LV-1201 by the time the Yautja arrived, the Xenomorphs still remained and the Yautja took great interest in them. Through utilization of Engineer technology left behind on the planet, the Yautja built a camp on LV-1201 where they could breed and hunt Xenomorphs for sport. Unfortunately, the Xenomorphs eventually overwhelmed their hunters and overran the camp, forcing the Yautja to abandon LV-1201 as well. A single Yautja remained and attempted to cull the infestation using a stasis field generator, but was attacked by a facehugger just as the field activated, trapping him as well.
Many centuries later, some fifty or so years after the Hadley's Hope and Fury 161 incidents, a Weyland-Yutani team led by Dr. Eisenberg and General Vassili Rykov arrived on LV-1201 through the flight telemetry from the derelict Engineer vessel on LV-426. The team established the Primary Operations Complex and the Forward Observation Pods which were linked by a system of tunnels. The Iron Bears, a private mercenary contractor led by Rykov himself, were employed by Weyland-Yutani as the facility’s primary security asset. The company spent much time researching both the Xenomorphs and the Engineer artifacts, hoping to harness both for the benefit of mankind.
During an excursion into the abandoned Yautja encampment, dubbed "Zeta Site" by the human researchers, Rykov's second-in-command, Major Dunya, unwittingly awakened the Yautja survivor from stasis. Carrying a Xenomorph embryo, the Yautja infiltrated the Forward Observation Pods. The Yautja managed to send out a distress call to his people moments before the chestburster he was carrying killed him. The resultant Predalien then proceeded to wreak havoc throughout Pod 5, allowing hordes of Xenomorphs inside. General Rykov was forced to destroy Pod 5 to prevent any further damage, and the loss of the pod caused major setbacks in company operations on the planet.
Sometime later, another Yautja clan led by the elite known as Prince arrived on LV-1201 after responding to the dead Yautja's distress call, only to be captured by Rykov. Six days later, after a facehugger escaped from a secret Iron Bear package and implanted an unsuspecting Cisco, a single Xenomorph infiltrated the Primary Operations Complex and began a bloody rampage, resulting in the POC being overrun and losing communications with Earth. In response to this dilemma, Corporal Andrew Harrison and a detachment of United States Colonial Marines arrived aboard the USS Verloc. As a result of marine activity on the planet, Prince was released from captivity in the Forward Observation Pods and he tracked down and killed the man who had caused the deaths of his clan members - General Rykov, who was once a former marine that had been crippled years prior by Prince.
Cisco's Xenomorph offspring infiltrated the Forward Observation Pods and freed an artificial hive housed in Pod 2. It then pursued Dr. Eisenberg, who was attempting to abduct the Empress, the dominant Xenomorph Queen on LV-1201, and was planning to take her offworld aboard the Verloc on General Rykov's advice. Cisco's Xenomorph slaughtered the Combat Synthetics and Weyland-Yutani staff protecting Dr. Eisenberg, freed the Empress and took Eisenberg alive - he was then cocooned to the wall of the Empress' chamber as a grim trophy. After being separated from his fellow Colonial Marines several times, Corporal Harrison finally reunited with his squad in the nesting chamber of a Xenomorph Queen. After a savage battle, the marines killed the Queen and her minions before escaping on a hovering dropship.
The Forward Observation Pods were set to self-destruct and the Primary Operations Complex was left deserted and infested with Xenomorphs. The Verloc with the surviving marines aboard left LV-1201 and the planet is presumably under Xenomorph control once again.
- The similar name and the fact that the LV-426 Derelict’s telemetry was tracked there suggests LV-1201 could be one of the three moons of Calpamos, along with LV-426 and LV-223. However, zooming space shots in cutscenes show no other celestial bodies near LV-1201.