The frightening atmosphere and deadly encounters of Alien: Isolation aren’t the only things that’ll leave a lasting impression.
When Alien: Isolation came out in 2014, it took Alien fans and the horror gaming community by storm. It not only proved to be an excellent entry in the Alien franchise, set 15 years after the original film, but soon became one of the best survival horror games of all time. The tension and nerve-shredding suspense has never felt so intense and immersive, a massive credit to the intricate xenomorph AI.
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The horror elements get further amplified by the tragic story of the Sevastopol Station and Amanda Ripley's courageous determination for the truth about her mother's disappearance. The dialogue is incredibly well-crafted and full of memorable moments between characters. Here are some of those.
Incoming story spoilers for Alien: Isolation.
This opening conversation between Christopher Samuels and Amanda Ripley sets everything into motion. His question pertains to Ellen Ripley, Amanda's mother from the original Alien film, who disappeared along with the Nostromo. Samuels implies that Amanda is working near her mother's last known location because she still holds onto the hope of her return.
She doesn't refute it, and he offers Amanda compelling news that another ship recovered the Nostromo's flight recorder, now in Sevastopol Station. Samuels is trying to be as convincing as possible to recruit Amanda to join them in obtaining the flight recorder and is ultimately successful.
An explosion from Sevastopol Station shortly sends Amanda, Samuels, and Taylor hurling into the space around it. The sequence ends with Amanda finding herself alone in Sevastopol, unsure if Samuels and Taylor are even alive. That is until she encounters her first ally in the game, who goes by Axel.
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Axel greets her on less than friendly terms, keeping a gun to her head due to the lack of established trust. He’s fearful of something bigger that made its way on the ship, the vicious xenomorph, but it's hard to fathom such a creature exists. He comes off as paranoid, and the scene builds tension, but Amanda will soon have to believe it for herself.
Amanda says this line as she's prying the maintenance jack out of the hands of a deceased Sevastopol employee, who's lying in a pool of blood. It's eerie and horrible to say to someone who's lost their life, especially as you're taking an item of theirs, but it conveys the brutal, disturbing reality of the situation.
The maintenance jack is indeed a tool you'll often use in the game to unbolt doors and potentially defend yourself against other hostile humans and the deviant Working Joe androids. But it captures the shift in Amanda's personality toward her character’s growth as a resilient survivor.
Unfortunately, Axel doesn't remain by Amanda's side for much of the journey, as the xenomorph impales him with its tail and drags him through a vent soon after this interaction, but he makes some profound statements like this one. Amanda expresses shock that no one is doing anything about the intimidating people wielding guns, and Axel offers this cryptic answer in response.
He tells her that what she sees is them doing something, that they're surviving. Amanda can't grasp it because she never could've imagined herself in a situation like this, where people are fending for themselves in enclosed areas from rogue androids and a lethal alien organism. It again evokes the harsh reality that no one is safe and everything is a threat.
Marshal Waits is the top security personnel at Sevastopol Station, and you meet him when finally reuniting with Samuels and an injured Taylor with the medical supplies. However, he's all that's left. Amanda inquires about more security forces needing to be present, but he puts it straight into perspective that there aren't many others alive.
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It's not the warm response Ripley expected, but that's the hardened edge the Marshal has about him. It's also a classic line that delivers much more of an impact on the realization that not many others have the same luck as them in staying alive, and security here is virtually none.
Henry Marlow captained the ship that came upon the Nostromo's flight recorder and is the cause behind the mess unleashed upon Sevastapol station. The Marshal has him locked inside a cell, and Ripley attempts to get more answers concerning what happened to him and his crew.
Amanda tells him she's questioning him for personal reasons, explaining her mother was with the Nostromo. Marlow tells her they never found the ship, only the flight recorder, but Amanda firmly points out they found something entirely different, which has now doomed everyone aboard the station.
Marlow relays to Amanda all the events that transpired with his Anesidora crew after they found the flight recorder through a flashback sequence where you’re able to play as him. They followed the same distress signal as the Nostromo, which led them to a derelict Engineer ship on the planet.
Marlow’s objective is to collect salvage, and that’s precisely how he treats the Engineer lifeform buried inside the cockpit, with everything else they may find on the ship, like the nest of facehuggers. The quote clearly shows Marlow’s greed and his obliviousness to potentially dangerous cargo.
In his decision to open the airlock and expel the xenomorph from Sevastopol, Marshal Waits betrays Amanda's trust by not giving her time to exit and almost killing her as she's launched back out into space. When she safely returns and reestablishes contact, she makes her disdain for his actions known.
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Waits has just destroyed any rapport he established with Amanda because he reasons that removing the xenomorph is his top priority, even if it means her death. It’s a far graver example of his cold personality as a hardened authority figure coming through and demonstrates that emotions don’t affect his decision-making.
Lieutenant Ellen Ripley of the Nostromo was the heroine in numerous Alien franchise films, portrayed by Sigourney Weaver, and makes a cameo appearance in Alien: Isolation via an audio recording addressed to her daughter Amanda. You can access it on a computer terminal while you’re inside the Anesidora ship.
Discovering what was on the flight recorder is paramount to Amanda, and hearing from her mother is an immense moment for her. Ellen Ripley leaves a loving message that explains they had to destroy the Nostromo to avoid the risk of bringing the xenomorph back to Earth, for it would harm her daughter too.
If there's an enemy creepier than the xenomorph in Alien: Isolation, it's the Seegson Synthetic androids, otherwise known as Working Joes. They're operating under Weyalnd-Yutani's Special Order 939 to protect the xenomorph asset and eliminate all human lifeforms standing in their way. Therefore, these chilling lines get hurled at you repeatedly as they hunt you down.
At first, they wish to convince you they want to help but view you as an utter hindrance to the plan. "Tut tut" is a phrase directed at disappointment and annoyance. Much of their unique dialogue surfaces when getting choked to death and gaslighted for being hysterical and needing to calm down, and the game wouldn't be as horrifying without it.
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Dennis is a writer, storyteller, and aspiring game narrative designer. His favorite hobbies include reading suspenseful thrillers, watching films and television, and being immersed in the spectacular worlds of video games.