For the Sony® PlayStationTM
(SegaTM SaturnTM version identical. CODES also available)
(PC version identical. DEMO, CODES, and some TECHNICAL SUPPORT also available) --Strategy Guide Version 6.5--
Your breath comes in ragged gasps as you approach the next corridor. You grip your pulse rifle closer to your chest. That last group of warriors almost ended it for you . . . and that facehugger managed to get far too close! You push these thoughts from your mind and press forward, forcing yourself to continue for what you know will seem like another eternity. But you don't dare stop. You must move on, and above all, you must not allow them to take you alive . . .
This is Alien Trilogy, one of the few games to ever elicit genuine fear from my pounding heart. If you like first-person shooters, this game is good. If you are a fan of the Alien movies, this game comes closer to putting you in the thick of the action than any other console game available. Brought to us by the very fine folks at Acclaim and Fox Interactive, this is one game that actually manages to capture the dark atmosphere of the films it is based on.
This criteria applies only to games that are based on a pre-existing concept (such as a movie, book, or television show), and this is where Alien Trilogy truly shines. There are a host of authentic artifacts from the movies: the space jockey from Alien (with chestburster opening correctly placed on the right side of the body--something missing from the graphically advanced PC game Aliens vs. Predator!), the APC from Aliens, and the crashed EEV from Alien 3 are just for starters. All the weapons are movie-authentic, and so are most of the enemies. In fact, the only missing enemy is the queen chestburster from Alien 3. There are also lots of little things that show good attention to detail--the company synthetics, for example, have white blood! Any Alien fan with a sharp eye will not be disappointed!
The levels are each, for the most part, quite unique. This is one game that doesn't leave you with that "I've done this one before" feeling. There are lifts, drops, moving walls, ramps, slides, pools, stairs, switches, secret rooms, and hidden powerups: plenty of diversity for making each level different. The glaring exceptions, and the primary reason for a sub-par score, are the identical powerup and almost-identical PILOT'S CHAMBER levels scattered throughout the game. With the PILOT'S CHAMBER levels, however, you are returning to the same location to gain access to a new part of the boneship, so this repetitiveness is somewhat offset by the storyline. The environments of Alien Trilogy showcase some nifty 3-D touches, as well. Kill an alien on a ramp or stairs, for example, and it slides down! Facehuggers jump down off crates and tables, young dog aliens run across beds before dropping onto the floor, and warriors hop up onto railings or tables as they scurry after you. Overall, the levels are original and convincingly recreate the settings of the movies.
Unfortunately, this is the one area in which this otherwise-excellent game actually manages to fall short. While the environments look good, the enemies are very pixellated, especially if you have already played Alien vs. Predator for the Atari® JaguarTM. After the first time you get facehugged by the pixellated mass in Alien Trilogy, you may decide that having a chestburster pop out of you a few days later is not the worst part of the experience! There should have been a noticeable improvement in the PlayStation'sTM xenomorphs, but there isn't. While you do get side and rear views of your enemies (unlike in Alien vs. Predator), a dead enemy always looks the same no matter what angle you view it from. On the other hand, the animated sequences throughout the game are superb and fit right in with the very plausible storyline. There are also some pretty cool death animations--make sure you die them all! (The way-cool death animations could only have been better if there had been more of them: dying by a chestburster or facehugger gives the same ending, as does dying by falling, acid burns, steam vents, exploding barrels, fire jets, or hot grates.) In the end, the other merits of Alien Trilogy help compensate for the graphics, making this a game that is still very definitely worth a look.
This game has good sound and excellent music. Many sound effects, particularly weapons fire, were reportedly sampled directly from the movies. The music is superb and lends a great deal to the eerie atmosphere and excitement of the game (if you don't agree, then you might try putting one of the movie soundtracks into the PlayStationTM after the game has loaded; just remember to swap again before loading another level). Good as the music is, however, points get docked because the same tracks are played repetetively on different levels. More originality for the background music (as well as some of the alien sounds) would have resulted in a higher score here.
The control in this game is dead-on, and movement is smooth and precise. The only real complaint is that your character will stop completely (rather than sliding) when moving or sidestepping too close to walls. This is especially annoying when backpedaling from approaching aliens. The other problems are extremely minor. Being able to toggle an "Always Run" option on would have saved me from holding down the "Run" button for the entire game. And while more gameplay variety is added by being able to look (and shoot) up or down, the ability to jump is noticeably absent. With all the walls, towers, catwalks, and lifts that you traverse, jumping could have added a great deal of depth to the gameplay, as well as a way to avoid alien acid on the floor. While very few other games at the time offered a fully customizable control scheme, this would also have been a nice touch. But the bottom line is that Alien Trilogy allows you to move precisely and accurately with no guesswork at all.
This score is not a mathematical permutation of the numbers above, but a simple measure of how much fun Alien Trilogy is to actually play. Factored into this is replay value--i.e., how likely you are to play the game again once you have beaten it. On the minus side, there are always the same number of enemies, regardless of difficulty setting, and they are always in the same place. In Alien vs. Predator, most enemies (as well as many powerups) are redistributed every time you reload the game. This really increases the challenge and suspense of the gameplay (although in Alien Trilogy, knowing where each bad guy will rear his [or her] ugly head does allow you to master each level more quickly). On the plus side, the HARD difficulty setting makes your gameplay strategy entirely different (due to reviving enemies), and anyone who has defeated the game on the EASY or MEDIUM settings has not yet experienced the true challenge of Alien Trilogy. This challenge should keep most gamers coming back for a long time. In the end, in spite of some faults, and in spite of the bumper crop of newer and smoother shooters available, Alien Trilogy remains one of the finest movie licenses around and one of the very best console games yet for Alien fans. HiveSeeker gives the SONY® PLAYSTATIONTM version of Alien Trilogy an 8 out of 10. If you want the best gaming experience, this is the version to buy and play!
SEGATM SATURNTM Mini Review -- This version has more difficult control and poorer sound than either of its two counterparts. The limited number of controller buttons results in a configuration that may cause you to inadvertently fire weapons or perform other actions while trying to look up or down, which proves wasteful as well as inconvenient. All told, you simply can't maneuver as effectively as in the PlayStationTM and PC versions. Many sounds (such as weapon firing and powerup pickup) simply don't occur when they should; this is particularly annoying on the timed powerup levels, where you sometimes can't tell by ear whether you actually obtained a nearby powerup or merely ran past it. Graphically, the SaturnTM version is noticeably inferior to the PlayStation'sTM, but definitely better than the PC's (assuming a 256-color PC installation). However, enemies flicker in and out of sight when the action gets fast and furious, making them rather difficult to shoot! Similarly, dead enemies will sometimes disappear permanently, leaving behind a nasty acid puddle that is completely undetectable. However, this version of Alien Trilogy is actually a bit easier to play, as the more limited processing power of the console causes enemies to move somewhat slower than in the other versions. Facehuggers don't seem quite as tenacious either! In the end, a reasonably good game considering the limited processing power of the system. Buy this version over the PC's (unless your PC has a supported video card that will allow you to perform the 16-bit color installation, and you also happen to prefer mouse-and-keyboard control).
AUTHENTICITY - 10 / LEVEL DESIGN - 8 / GRAPHICS - 4 / SOUND & MUSIC - 6 / CONTROL - 4 / FINAL SCORE - 6.
PC Mini Review -- Usually, games that launch on both consoles and PC tend to look better on the latter. In this case, the PC version actually does not look as good as the PlayStationTM or SaturnTM games. There is one exception: if you have a supported video card (see the TECHNICAL SUPPORT page for a partial list), the game does provide some graphical improvements, raising this version's looks to a level just below that of the PlayStationTM. However, most gamers using newer PCs will find that the game does not recognize their modern video card, and will be forced to perform the lower-quality 256-color install. Despite the advantages that mouse-look might confer, the PC version does not control better than the PlayStationTM version; while the PC does manage to top the SaturnTM here (mainly due to a much larger button supply and the ability to mouselook left and right, although not up and down), it has its own set of problems. While you can redefine the keyboard controls, the mouse-look sensitivity is not adjustable, and I found the default setting uncomfortably slow (although the 180-degree quick-turn button helps here). In addition, the game (specifically enemies) might run so fast on newer PCs that it is practically unplayable, but there are links to some possible fixes for this at the TECHNICAL SUPPORT page. Overall, reviews for the PC version were lower than reviews for Alien Trilogy on the other two systems, and HiveSeeker agrees with this general assessment. This version would be your last choice (unless your PC has a supported video card that will allow you to perform the 16-bit color installation, and you also happen to prefer mouse-and-keyboard control). This version of the game also seems to be the hardest to find. [NOTE: A link to a free demo is available at the TECHNICAL SUPPORT page.]
AUTHENTICITY - 10 / LEVEL DESIGN - 8 / GRAPHICS - 3 (5 with 16-bit color installation) / SOUND & MUSIC - 8 / CONTROL - 4 / FINAL SCORE - 4 (6 with 16-bit color installation).
Emulation of Sony® PlayStationTM version on PC or Macintosh -- For PC or Mac users that own a copy of Connectix Virtual Game StationTM, this emulator will reportedly run the PlayStationTM version of the game, and with better-looking graphics than the PC version (see below under EMULATORS for more details). This may provide a viable alternative over the SaturnTM and PC versions of Alien Trilogy, and the emulator reportedly supports keyboard (but not mouse) control as well as PC handheld controllers. However, this emulator is no longer commercially available. Since you need the PlayStationTM version of the game to play it anyway, HiveSeeker's best recommendation if you don't already own Connectix Virtual Game StationTM is to simply buy a used Sony® PlayStationTM. In fact, with the recent price drop on the currently-available Sony® PS oneTM to $49.99, even the brand new console won't cost you much more than a single game!
You'll be pretty lucky to find a new, shrink-wrapped copy of any version of Alien Trilogy in a store nowadays. Instead, check the bargain bins and used game sections of such stores as Electronics Boutique and Gamestop. An even better bet, and one that doesn't require sorting through hundreds of old games, is to search for "Alien Trilogy" at EBgames.com and Gamestop.com, as they sell used games online. If the game doesn't come up, try again in another week or two, as inventory is always changing. Finally, you can search the eBay online auction site. In my experience, the PlayStationTM version of Alien Trilogy is the easiest to track down, followed by the SaturnTM version; the PC game seems hardest to find. Happy hunting!
This may seem a bit early to begin discussing difficulty levels, but you will soon find that the HARD difficulty setting can make a tremendous difference in how you will plan your entire game strategy. After hundreds of hours of gameplay, it appears that the changes in difficulty are NOT accomplished by increasing the number of enemies or their damage to you (except for acid). Rather, what sets each difficulty level apart is presented below. Although my instruction manual shows a difficulty level of "EASY" in one screenshot, the names for the different settings in my version of the game are more creative:
1. ACID REIGN (= EASY) -- Contrary to this level's moniker, the acid from dead or expiring aliens will NOT hurt you at this setting. Enemies may (or may not) take roughly 25% fewer shots to kill, depending on the level. You can see your weapon's shots just like tracers, making aiming much easier. Similarly, you can also see enemy fire directed at you, making dodging bullets quite a bit easier. Dead aliens stay that way--you can leave powerups behind until you need them, then retrace your steps to grab the required item without consequences. This lets you maximize your health, armor, and ammunition.
2. RAGING TERROR (= MEDIUM) -- The primary difference here is that the alien acid will burn you. Acid will spray onto you from aliens being shot at close range, and you must be careful to avoid walking over any alien cadavers. Enemies may take approximately 25% more shots to kill compared with the EASY difficulty setting, although this is not consistent throughout all the levels. This level adds some challenge but still lets you explore freely after dispatching all the bad guys. Although HiveSeeker strongly encourages gamers to try Alien Trilogy on the hardest difficulty setting (below), that large challenge admittedly makes this medium setting the most fun and enjoyable to play.
3. XENOMANIA (= HARD) -- Playing at this difficulty can discourage additional exploration! Dead enemies come back to life if you leave and then re-approach their corpses (except for eggs and the 3 queens). After playing a particular level several times, you will learn approximately where and when the dead enemies you left behind are reactivated as you retrace your steps, and you will learn how to avoid reawakening more foes than necessary. Sometimes you can even see the "dead" body sliding along the floor (or up or down stairs or ramps!) at you before popping up for a renewed attack. Watch out: if you step in the spot where a resurrected alien corpse WAS lying, you will receive an acid burn even though you can't see anything to let you know it is there! I don't know if this was intentional or not. One plus is that human enemies that yield powerups upon termination will bring fresh goodies back from the dead with them. To permanently eliminate an enemy takes a DIRECT hit (no carcass left) with a pulse rifle grenade or seismic charge. There are numerous areas where you will definitely want to eliminate any chance of certain enemies coming back for you. On this difficulty level, you will need to weigh the value of grabbing a particular powerup or ammo when you first see it against the number of enemies you will have to re-kill if you choose to go back for it later. You cannot see your weapon's shots, making aiming, especially at longer ranges with the pulse rifle, much more difficult. Enemy bullets are now invisible, also, making dodging them a real trick.
Level passwords are 32 digits long! Sony® succeeded in selling me my very first memory card this way. If you don't own one yet, you'll want one real soon. If your PlayStationTM is like mine, it will recognize the card if you insert it immediately after initial boot-up or at the Options menu (the Memory Card Management option lights up when you do so), but not in between. After this, the system will continue recognizing the card until shutdown.
[NOTE: HiveSeeker STRONGLY recommends that you format any memory card before saving games to it! Most of the memory card problems I have encountered have been eliminated by formatting. Alien Trilogy just so happens to be one of the few PlayStationTM games that offers this option (at the Memory Card Management screen). Make sure that you do not have any important save files on a card prior to formatting it, as all data is ERASED from the memory card during the process!]
If you own a DexDriveTM (or a GameShark Pro© that you have connected to your PC) you can download and use the following Alien Trilogy game saves for the PlayStationTM, straight from HiveSeeker's personal game save library! These saves took several weeks to create, and are specifically selected to get you past the most challenging levels in the game. Saved at the MEDIUM or HARD difficulty settings, they emphasize near-theoretical health levels while at the same time maintaining extremely high ammunition counts for all weapons. For those interested, they were created without using cheats or codes of any kind. Just click on the icon below to download the zip file, unzip it, and follow the instructions in the included Readme.txt file. Keep in mind that you can only have 1 of these game save files on a memory card at a time, and that a new Alien Trilogy save file will overwrite any previous Alien Trilogy save file already present on that memory card.
Includes save levels 1-8, 1-11, 2-4, 2-7, 2-10, 3-4, 3-7, and
The MISSION ASSESSMENT screen comes up after completion of most levels. The exceptions are all of the timed powerup levels (which do contain secrets but no aliens and no real mission outside of grabbing as much as you can get before the clock runs out), and the PILOT'S CHAMBERS levels in the third stage of the game. It is a definite challenge to complete each level with a 100% in each category. Rise to this challenge and go for it!
[NOTE: There are a number of SEQUENCE-RELATED BUGS in this game that may cause you to score less than 100% in any of these 3 categories. In other words, if you kill aliens, open secrets, or complete your mission in the "wrong" order, you may receive a deficient score. See the WALK-THROUGHS for details. However, unless you fail to complete your MISSION and must automatically replay the level, the MISSION ASSESSMENT scores do not affect the game or game ending in any way.]
1. ALIENS -- Getting 100% on this one can be pretty hard at times. Levels with lots of enemies (such as the queens' lairs) can be hard to complete without missing a critter or two. On other levels, once you reach a specific location during play, an enemy will materialize somewhere else in the level where you have already been. You will have to go back and kill it to get full credit. Some of you might not insist on getting a perfect score here every time. But hey, you saw the movies--do you really want to leave any behind?
2. SECRETS -- Some secrets took me quite a while to figure out. Most are opened by seismic charges or grenades, some by switches, some by the Action button (just like a door or switch), some by weapons fire, and some--lifts--by blowing crates or barrels sitting on them. On a few levels, you may have to open the secrets in a very particular order to get full credit. For some reason, exploring every secret area in the "wrong" order may result in a deficient score. You might be able to tell how many secrets you have missed by your score: a 75% suggests 3 out of 4, while a 66% may indicate that 2 out of 3 (or even 4 out of 6) secrets have been discovered. Your auto-map is indispensable for finding secrets (usually a bright green line will indicate a secret wall or door). Another big hint is blips on your motion tracker (usually accompanied by alien sounds) on the other side of a wall.
3. MISSION -- One nice thing about Alien Trilogy is that it is more than just a shoot-'em-up. On each level, you have specific goals. True, those goals often involve killing all the enemies, but there are enough other mission objectives to make things interesting. If you have trouble hitting the top of the scale here, review your mission and then make sure you find all the secrets, kill all enemies encountered, activate all switches, grab all pickups, and blow all crates and barrels.
This one's in the instruction manual and is extremely convenient for console gamers who want to restart a level, but merits mention because the option is easy to overlook. To exit your current game without having to kill yourself (by standing in acid, letting a warrior beat on you, or lobbing seismic charges at objects in close proximity) or--worse yet--actually getting up to hit the Reset button on your console, do the following: at the in-game pause screen choose OPTIONS and then select EXIT GAME. When the ARE YOU SURE? prompt appears, joypad left or right to toggle between YES and NO prior to making your departure. You may find yourself using this option quite a bit once you reach the more difficult levels.
DISCLAIMER: This site neither condones nor condemns the legal purchase and use of commercially-available emulators. Individual gamers must decide whether or not a product, even if legally available, violates the property rights of the system it emulates. The purpose of this section is only to provide public information already available elsewhere regarding Alien Trilogy alone. [NOTE: These products are no longer commercially available.]
The Connectix Virtual Game StationTM (for PC and Macintosh), a PlayStationTM emulator, is capable of playing Alien Trilogy. I have been able to confirm this for both the PC and Macintosh versions, but am aware of reports that even with the last available update (v. 1.4) there are still some minor sound and other bugs. The graphics on both platforms reportedly appear somewhat grainy, but still look smoother than the PC version (assuming a 256 color installation). The simulated memory card feature is apparently bug-free, and even the in-game codes work. However, you may run into problems when attempting to use both simultaneously. Note that this emulator may lock up your computer if you attempt to play Alien Trilogy without installing the latest update FIRST! This product is no longer commercially available.
The bleem!TM PlayStationTM emulator (for PC) appears to be unable to play Alien Trilogy, even when patched with the last available update. There have been reports of an earlier, unpatched version being able to play the game, but I have been unable to verify this. This product also is no longer commercially available.
RANK: ALIEN EGG
Exit with 100+ health points.
Exit with 200+ health points.
Exit with 300+ health points.
Exit with 400+ health points.
Exit with 500+ health points.
MOTHER OF ALL QUEENS
Exit with 600+ health points.
(1) The absolute, theoretical maximum of 649 health points (although the nefarious unopenable secret area on Level 371 [DROP LIFTS] may have contained some derm patches). The 649 health points listed here represent normal play in which all the SECRETS, including one that requires a 5-health-point fall, are explored. The health points listed here also require completing the game without a single facehugging after acquiring the first adrenaline burst!
(2) The full 200 points of body armor. (This is extremely tough to do in that last queen's lair on the HARD difficulty setting due to invisible acid puddles all over the ground from revived facehuggers, not to mention the revived 'huggers themselves, but it IS possible.)
(3) Full ammo counts on ALL weapons, including pulse rifle grenades. (Once again, this will be quite difficult on HARD because in the last queen's lair the only powerup left after exiting the corridors is a single flame thrower canister--you have to kill any revived 'huggers in your path with the flame thrower first and then grab the canister to exit.)
(4) Approximately 70-120 seismic charges. (This will vary quite a bit, but players at the EASY and MEDIUM settings will be at the higher end of the range since they do not need to use seismic charges to permanently kill enemies and prevent them from reviving. The flip side is that a HARD player can keep reviving enemies that carry seismic charges to rack up the counters. The 70-120 charges listed here represent normal play without doing so. An additional factor will be whether pulse rifle grenades or the smartgun were also used in addition to seismic charges for opening secret areas.)
The perfect ending to a great game!
Your task is finally completed, and the tightness in your chest eases. But it still leaves you somewhat disturbed. Victims of facehuggers seldom have any recollection surrounding the event. You are exhausted; can you be certain about your own condition? And in that last queen's lair . . . there were so many of them . . .
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Download the file for your preferred monitor setting, then copy it to your C:\Windows directory. Right-click directly on your desktop and choose Properties; the first tab will be "Background" and you can select the Alien Trilogy wallpaper graphic from there (the file will be at_640, at_800, or at_1024 depending on which you downloaded).
For icon color customization to better match your new wallpaper, you may next select the Appearance tab. Choose "Desktop" under the "Item:" category and change the color in the available palette to black.