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"Take only the worthy prey. Dishonor is worse than death..."
Isabella Borgia (from Predator: Concrete Jungle)

The Yautja Honor Code is a set of rules that govern day-to-day interactions of Yautja as well as the Hunt. It details under what circumstances a hunter may kill a creature of another species and under what circumstances they may not. The code is strict, and to break it - purposefully, accidentally, or even unwillingly - is a near irredeemable offense in many situations. Only very high ranked seasoned warriors, such as Scarface, or very low ranked novices, such as Young Blood and Un-Blooded Yautja, are permitted any leeway as far as the code is concerned.[1]

All hunters are expected to hunt and kill while adhering to the code and traditions. If they breach the code Yautja are expected to submit themselves for punishment honorably.[citation needed] Failure to do so marks a Yautja a Bad Blood. In either case, he is then excommunicated altogether from society and Bad Bloods are considered fair game for the remaining honorable hunters. Some Predators are specifically tasked with hunting down code-breakers that flee from punishment or hide their failures, called Enforcers or Arbitrators.[citation needed]

It is not entirely impossible for a Yautja that has in some way broken the code to regain their honor and rejoin society. Such opportunities are rare and limited to very specific circumstances as seen with Scarface. In order to even be offered the chance at redemption, the Yautja in question must have acknowledged their breach of code and willingly accepted the punishment for that violation. In the case that they are offered a chance to redeem themselves, they are assigned a task that must be completed, or die trying.

Overview

It should be noted that none of these rules are official, and are instead a culmination of multiple sources. As such, the rules of the code may differ, or be false:

  1. Code Violations: Those who break the code are Bad Bloods, and are considered an insult to Yautja culture. They are to be destroyed when encountered.[2][citation needed]
  2. Hunting Intelligent Species: According to War, there are strict rules concerning the hunting of intelligent species. Those who are not blooded cannot do this at all. However, some hunters wants these laws overturned.
  3. Hunting Worthy Game: When hunting, the hunter must be sure that his prey is considered game and lawful to kill. Worthy game must fill the following criteria: Can defend itself and/or is able to kill the hunter himself, of age (killing children and the elderly is considered highly dishonorable), not linked to other lives (so that removing the prey will not doom another, e.g. pregnant women), and not weakened by diseases. This excludes self-defence.[3]
  4. Equalize the odds: Killing prey when using less equipment is considered a greater prize, and hunters should typically give their prey a fighting chance for honor's sake. If the prey demands close-combat, the hunter is to fight to their prey's standards, and should minimize use of their Plasmacaster or other projectile weapons.[4][5][6][7][8]
  5. Failing in the Hunt: Should the hunter fail in one's quest, he should take his own life to retain his honor than to live in shame.[9] However, some cowards prefer to live in obscurity rather than die. This is considered to be dishonorable and suicide is then "assisted" by an Enforcer.[10][citation needed]
  6. Claiming the Kill of Another Hunter: To take the Trophy of another Yautja, living or dead, is considered to be a great insult. For example, two Un-Blooded go on their first Hunt: one Yautja takes on a Xenomorph, and both are mortally wounded. While the wounded hunter is dying, the other hunter conveniently finishes off the prey and claims the kill as his own, abandoning the wounded Yautja. This is a crime that can be paid for with abandonment, or death.[11]
  7. Murder of Another Yautja: To kill another Yautja intentionally holds severe consequences. This excludes self-defence and killing an opponent in a fight to settle a dispute.[12] Murder is the worst crime.[13]
  8. Show Mercy: Those that defeated you in a fair hunt, or who are the victors in a deadlier hunt, should be considered an equal and must be shown respect.[14][15]
  9. Never harm the innocent: Those who have done no harm should have no harm done to them. (It can be inferred that this rule must pertain only to harming other Yautja in their society since they hunt and kill members of many species one could call "innocent". It can also be inferred that Bad Blood Predators would ignore this rule either in part or in whole.)
  10. Hunting for Food: When hunting for food, take only the weak. This is to purify the species' line.[citation needed]
  11. Wounded Game: When coming upon game wounded by another hunter, and the prey is dying without sport, show honor to another's kill. If the game still shows sport, it is to be a joint trophy.[citation needed]
  12. Joining Another Hunt: Do not join another's Hunt, or Hunt in their territory, without their permission. All trophies taken in this manner are stolen trophies and shall be dealt with by the rightful owner.[citation needed]
  13. When in a duel with an enemy, you must reveal yourself: In the novelization of AVP, Lex Woods was about to be killed by a cloaked Predator, but before it prepared to deliver the final blow, it de-activated its cloak. According to the book, it is "hunting ethic" to reveal yourself to your enemy at the climax of a fight.[16] However, the movie ignored this part, and showed the still-cloaked Predator attempt to kill her.
  14. Weapons of Warfare: Weapons of Warfare like the Blazer and Electroshock Missile Battery are strictly forbidden in hunts or even by use of non-Military Caste hunters. They are considered too destructive to constitute a hunting weapon.[17]

Trivia

  • Though not a rule of honor, foreign species (mainly humans) have been allowed to join the hunt and integrate into Yautja culture, depending on their perceived worthiness.
  • Though not necessarily a Bad Blood, the Predator Hook was known to have been a disgraced Elder; it could be argued that perhaps it was his title that saved him from receiving the moniker.

References

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