Pyramids are large structures common in Yautja architecture. On Earth, pyramids are typically associated with ancient human civilizations such as the Egyptians, Cambodians and Aztecs, and were built by those cultures under the direction and instruction of Yautja who visited Earth early in its human history. While it seems Yautja pyramids have many uses across their civilization, including simply for habitation, they are arguably best known as breeding sites for Xenomorphs and for their corresponding use as hunting grounds for Yautja initiation rituals.
Along with their significance in hunting Xenomorphs, many pyramids were constructed to honor particularly worthy Yautja who had died, either in battle or of natural causes, and often held tombs containing the bodies of those individuals. As a result, many pyramids were considered religiously or spiritually significant by the Yautja. Many structures found on Yautja Prime are known to have conformed to pyramid-like designs.
While little is known about the structures found on Yautja Prime, pyramids used by the Yautja for hunting rituals are fairly well-documented by comparison. The structures are typically constructed of stone and include elaborate decorations in the form of statues and carvings that celebrate both the Yautja themselves and their reverence for the Xenomorphs, or "Serpents", which they consider to be the ultimate prey. On Earth, pyramids constructed under the auspices of the Yautja also contained engravings of ancient text on the interior surfaces that reveal the purpose of the structure and shed light on the Yautja's history with humanity.
The most important areas of a pyramid are the chamber used to imprison a Xenomorph Queen, from whose Eggs lesser castes of Xenomorphs are bred to hunt, the sacrificial chamber, where this breeding takes place, and a room holding the sarcophagus that contains the Yautja's Plasmacasters, their prize for surviving the Hunt. Vast trophy rooms containing the skulls of victims who died within the structure are also common. The rest of the structure consists of numerous chambers and passageways in which the Hunt would take place, many of these spaces specifically designed to suit the Xenomorph's abilities, with tight, enclosed passages that encourage close-range ambushes and a lack of lighting.
Some pyramids were created not as dedicated locations for ritualistic Hunts, but to honor significant events or individuals in Yautja history. For example, the pyramid on BG-386 was build in honor of the great Predator Lord, the first ever Yautja to successfully hunt the Xenomorphs. In reverence of his achievements, the first ever Xenomorph Queen to be captured by the Yautja was eventually entombed alongside his body within the temple.
Despite the seemingly rudimentary stone construction, many pyramids conceal advanced technologies designed to facilitate the Hunts undertaken there — this combination of ancient techniques with highly advanced technology is typical of the Yautja and reflected in much of the other developments. Among the more advanced technology found within pyramids are the machinery used to contain the Xenomorph Queens imprisoned at their core, advanced holograms depicting ancient ceremonies, or the mechanisms that allowed the entire interior of the structure to rearrange itself periodically, constantly shifting the landscape of the Hunt.
During a Hunt
When a Hunt takes place in a pyramid, the Queen entombed within is revived from stasis and almost immediately begins laying Eggs — secure restraints prevent her from moving freely or escaping. These Eggs are in turn delivered by automated mechanisms to the sacrificial chamber, where several hosts are impregnated with Chestbursters. These hosts may be willing sacrifices who give themselves voluntarily, or victims unwittingly lured to the structure so that the Xenomorphs may multiply. The Yautja participating in the Hunt will enter the structure and combat the creatures.
Once the Hunt is complete and the Xenomorphs have been slain, the Queen is returned to stasis to await the next Hunt, while the Yautja are honored for their accomplishments. In the event that the Xenomorph outbreak escalates out of control and the Yautja are overcome, the hunters would use their Self-Destruct Devices to wipe out the Xenomorphs, in the process also obliterating the surrounding civilization, a reason many ancient Earth cultures simply vanished in such a short period of time.
While humanity was still in its infancy, the Yautja discovered Earth and taught the primitive peoples there how to construct pyramids, thus explaining why so many ancient human civilizations — including the Aztecs, Mayans, Zapotecs, ancient Egyptians, Cambodians and many other cultures — built such startlingly similar structures. Owing to their incomprehensibly advanced technologies, including space flight, these Yautja were often worshiped as Gods by the peoples they encountered. Owing to this reverence, many of the civilizations they assisted gladly offered willing human hosts to be used in the breeding of Xenomorphs within the pyramids; these sacrificial individuals would go willingly to their deaths so that Yautja adolescents would have creatures to face in their initiation Hunts.
The Yautja would periodically return to the civilizations they had assisted to conduct new Hunts, each time expecting ritualistic hosts to breed their prey. Over time, this practice either died out, or the civilizations themselves were wiped out when the Hunts spiraled out of all control, resulting in their destruction. As such, modern humanity had little knowledge of the ancient practices, or of mankind's prior contact with extraterrestrial species, save for theories proposed by the likes of Sebastian De Rosa that were almost unilaterally rejected by mainstream historians.
- The idea of an ornate pyramid inside which sacrificial victims are impregnated by Facehuggers atop stone plinths is remarkably similar to Dan O'Bannon's original concept for Alien, in which the Eggs were discovered inside just such a pyramid (later dubbed the Egg Silo).
- Alien vs. Predator
- Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt
- Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
- Aliens vs. Predator (video game)
- AVP: Evolution
- Paul W. S. Anderson (writer and director). Alien vs. Predator (2004), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Shane Salerno (writer), The Brothers Strause (directors). Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Aliens vs. Predator (2010), Rebellion, SEGA [Microsoft Windows].
- Paul W. S. Anderson (writer and director). Alien vs. Predator Unrated Edition (2005), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Marc Cerasini. Alien vs. Predator, p. 38 (2004), HarperEntertainment.
- "Monster Legacy - StarBeast — Prologue: Alien, Dan O'Bannon's Cosmic Horror". Retrieved on 2015-08-07.