Alien: Isolation Preview: Amanda Ripley’s ‘Parallel Story’
The Untrustworthy Fate of Amanda
After details about Alien: Isolation were leaked by Kotaku late last year, a number of fans took to forums to complain about the choice to focus on Amanda. Very little about Amanda is discussed in the films, although her fate is mentioned in a deleted scene in Aliens. In that scene, company man Carter Burke (played by Paul Reiser) shows Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) a picture of an old woman and tells her that it’s Amanda; he also tells her that Amanda has died.
“Burke, as we know in the second film, he’s not the most trustworthy guy in the world.”
It’s a thin bit of lore, but that description seems to preclude Amanda from a certain amount of danger in a parallel story such as Alien: Isolation’s. Since Amanda lived to old age, she couldn’t have been killed by an alien — right?
Under Creative Assembly’s interpretation of the Aliens story, that’s not necessarily true.
“As a big fan of the series, one of the thoughts that always occurs to me, is that Burke, as we know in the second film, he’s not the most trustworthy guy in the world,” Lindop said. “He lies through his teeth. And he needs, desperately needs, Ellen Ripley to go with the marines to see what’s happened to the colony (in Aliens). And so he shows her a picture of an old woman and says, ‘This is your daughter, she’s dead, okay let’s go.’ And you think, well, he’s not the most trustworthy guy — is that the whole story? What may have happened there? So Amanda’s an incredibly interesting character. If she’s anything like her mother, which I suspect she might well be, if anybody’s going to go looking, it would have been her, right?”
The Expeditionary Crew
Amanda Ripley’s venture to Sevastopol puts her on a crew of several other characters, all of whom Creative Assembly worked to make look like they would “belong on the Nostromo,” Lead Artist Jude Bond said.
“She’s on her own, there’s no authority anywhere and the place looks kind of abandoned and ruined, and that’s where the main game kind of kicks off.”
So far, only a few details about other characters have been revealed. There’s Samuels (voiced by Anthony Howell), the Weyland-Yutani executive who tells Amanda about the Nostromo’s flight recorder and recruits her for the expedition to retrieve it. In the hands-on demo Creative Assembly showed journalists, players were also exposed to Ricardo (voiced by Syrus Lowe), who acts as Amanda’s guide by radio. There are a number of other crew members as well, filling several different roles, and the models for all of whom were created with 3-D scans of their voice actors’ faces.
“Weyland-Yutani schedules a ship called the Tollins to take them there, but when they reach Sevastopol station, they find that they can’t communicate with it — soemthing’s wrong with the communications, and there seems to be some destruction around the edges of it,” Lay said. “So they decide, ‘We’re going to spacewalk to it. We’ll get on board and find out what’s happened.’ But during the spacewalk, something terrible happens, and Amanda Ripley is separated from the rest of her crew. So she lands on Sevastopol station, she’s on her own, there’s no authority anywhere and the place looks kind of abandoned and ruined, and that’s where the main game kind of kicks off.”
Though Creative Assembly wouldn’t say how much the other characters factor into the story, it’s clear that a lot of attention has been paid to the cast of characters. A big part of Alien is the interaction of its crew with one another, and it seems that the developers are looking to capture that element in the story unfolding in Isolation as well.