I'm proud to declare that I was an owner of a Sage Saturn system. It had some pretty awesome games (Panzer Dragoon, Daytona USA) and a pretty cool system menu. I would play these off and on while I'd play around with my SNES and Mac platforms.
One title that recently popped into my head was none other than the Acclaim PC/PS/SS game known as the Alien Trilogy.
This was a first person shooter that took place in the alien universe. Don't let the title fool you thought. This game is just a straight up retelling of James Cameron's ALIENS. Why they called it the Alien Trilogy is beyond me since you're always on LV-426. The game does try to incorporate elements from both trilogies, but it can get a little... confusing.
Let's start at the beginning. The game opens with a nice CGI recreation of the dropship sequence from ALIENS with a very, very strange voice over exposition of some higher up from Weyland-Yutani briefing Burke on his mission. It should be noted that Burke sounds very out of character in this opening saying things like "Yes sir" and "Understood" like he was some soldier. It's a good thing Burke is one of the most trustworthy Weyland employees around because this Weyland idiot is spilling his guts about how they deliberately set up the colony and infected everyone so they could grab an alien specimen of their own.
Here's where the big changes really start to occur. Ripley is bald in this game from the start and is accompanying the marines in securing the colony. Not seven seconds go by once the marines enter the complex do the Aliens show up and they kill everyone. EVERYONE. Hudson, Hicks, Vasquez, Apone, Drake, Gorman, Frost ect. Ripley is the only one to make it out alive while she stumbles across a pistol laying on the ground before she shuts the door behind her.
Act I: ALIENS
The first act plays out exactly as you would expect from playing a solo version of ALIENS' story line. You play as Ripley going through the colony with nothing but a pistol and completing mission objectives along the way. If you can look past the very dated looking graphics, the environment, mood, music and pace of the game are quite excellent. The music especially. The hallways are angled like they were in the movie, the air ducts are in the right place, and face huggers even crawl out of small holes in the walls as you walk past them.
There's a lot of interactive environments you can play around with to. Walls and lockers can be blown open, crates destroyed and gasoline barrels ignited with awesome effect. Be careful, some of these crates/lockers may be packing a face hugger or chest burster. Real fun.
Here's where the attempt at playing the "Trilogy" title comes into play. While exploring the colony, you will stumble across some strange visual references to other alien films that should not be there. For example, an exact replica of the Nostromo sleeping chamber room can be found in one of the levels in the colony. This is not a hidden easter egg nor some redesign. The walls are the same detail and color and the cryo tubes all face outwards from the center counsel. It's really confusing why a land based, self-sustained colony would have an every day cryo stasis chamber that are normally used on long duration towing ships.
Than you stumble across evil humans armed with pistols (?), evil synthetics spouting smart guns (?!) and evil marines armed with pulse rifles (?!?!?!). It gets really confusing until you reach the battle with the Queen, who's 2D sprite is attached to an in-game 3D egg sack.
Act II: Alien3
We've done it! We cleared the colony of baddies, killed the Queen and everyone should be happy! But we're not. You see, the drop ship still managed to crash into the processor's cooling unit and even though the APC is still intact, we must use a stronger dish to bring another drop ship down. And this Processor's explosion isn't a wimpy one that we all saw in Aliens. Oh, no. When the processor goes, it's going to DESTROY THE ENTIRE PLANET. That's.... comforting.
But we still need another drop ship. What about the colony transmitters? Nope. However, the prison has it's own satellite dish... WHAT?! The prison? This colony that's supposed to house families has an entire complex dedicated for prisoners? And it's not just any prison either. It replicates Fury 161's design to the letter. We've got long, metallic hallways, gigantic tubes, infirmaries, cafeterias, the big "Rumor Control" room, the lead shaft complete with the pushing thing (doesn't work in the game), and the weirdest inclusion of them all, the EEV. Yes, the Sulaco's EEV is on LV-426 in an exact replica of the room that they used to store it in Alien3 where Riple can even enter it and open the three cryo tubes inside.
Plus Weyland-Yutani has decided not to rely on Burke anymore and has sent in the containment marines from Alien3 to deal with you on a regular basis. At this point in the game, I'm wondering why Weyland-Yutani doesn't just capture Ripley and make synthetics of her instead? She's already kill an entire infested colony worth of Aliens starting out with nothing but a pistol, killed armed synthetics, humans and the Queen Bi**** herself.
I should also point out that Ripley in this game is kind of a thrill seeker. She LOVES to make snide comments whenever she kills something, and it's even weapon specific to! Check this out when she kills two dog aliens with a flame thrower. Wow. And that's not the only flame thrower quote either. Duke Nukem this Ripley is not.
Act III: ALIEN
Alright, we killed all the aliens, the evil humans and another blasted Queen in the prison complex. Bishop should have the drop ship ready for us, right? Nope. But there is that colony eight wheeler from the Special Edition laying around that Ripley decides to hitch a ride in. She even gives her "BISHOP! GODDA** YOU!" speech with "Damn you Bishop. Where are you?". So. Now what? Well as it turns out, the colony was build much closer to the Derelict Spaceship than one had originally thought. In fact, all Ripley does is look out the window of the parked colony vehicle to see the ship laying on top of a mountain! Upon seeing the Derelict, Ripley starts the vehicle up and proclaims "Now it's time to finish it once and for all". Gotta give this Ripley some credit. She's cleared the colony, but now she's going for the source. Oh, if you thought it was weird for the Derelict Ship to shrink to about half the size it was from the first movie, well, it's now the size of a standard McDonalds.
Inside the derelict, the evil marines have set up shop and they're not going to let an unstoppable god like being like Ripley stand in their way. Oh, no. The Derelict ship is a nice change of pace from the previous two acts. Everything looks very Giger'ish and the levels are all structured around the Space Jockey's chamber. And they didn't cheap out on him either! He has only one bursted side instead of the two that most game companies do to save on texture work. Same can't be said for the very poor recreation of the egg chamber that now has two eggs per row instead of hundreds!
Act IV: The End...?
So after killing all the evil humans and the last alien queen, we finally get to our last cutscene. Ripley jumping out of one of the Derelicts "things" and seeing LV-426 literally on fire. I'm not kidding. It's like the Derelict ship was transported into Hell. Bishop than shows up with the drop ship just seconds before LV-426 is about to explode, and just before it does, the Nostromo's shuttle is seeing escaping the explosion as well....
What the heck? Why is a towing vehicle shuttle escaping the explosion of LV-426 along with the Dropship? This doesn't make any sense! We've never seen it before! Sure, there are some references to a different team that's following your progress in the mission briefings, but this just feels really tacked on.
So Ripley and Biship are the only survivors and both of them go into hyper sleep with Bishop saying "Pleasant dreams Ripley". We than cut to the random gratuitous shuttle and we see that aliens are inside and have killed everyone on board. The End.
From a story stand point, this is a very, VERY confusing game. But if you have the means, I would highly recommend checking this game out. The mood, the setting, the music and the game play all deliver the goods, and there's some pretty creative level designs throughout.