List of references to Aliens in the Halo series

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There are numerous similarities between the Halo and Aliens universes. Bungie has even admitted to being inspired by the movie. Below is the list of references to Aliens in Halo.


  • The UNSC Marines in Halo: Combat Evolved heavily resemble the Colonial Marines from Aliens in terms of armor design and behavior.
  • Both Sergeant Apone and Sergeant Johnson have a strikingly similar appearance. Both are tough-as-nails, mustache-lipped, black, cigar-chomping, gung-ho Sergeants with a penchant for playfully mocking their Marines and spouting humorous one-liners, and Johnson occasionally repeats Apone's lines.
  • The Colonial Marines' main weapon, the M41A Pulse Rifle, is equipped with a digital ammo counter and fires caseless ammunition. Similarly, the UNSC Marines' service rifles have digital ammo counters.

The Flood[edit]

The Facehuggers' and Infection Forms' similar attacks.
A comparison between the infected from the Aliens and Halo franchises.

There are numerous similarities between the Flood and the Xenomorphs from the Alien series of films.

  • Both aliens exhibit similar qualities such as climbing walls and jumping large distances. They are also hive-minded yet learn as individuals.
  • The Facehugger and the Pod infector are both roughly the size of a football, their coloring is extremely similar, neither has visible eyes or mouths, both move around low to the ground on numerous long, thin appendages, and both have a ridged tail. Both are able to leap with appendages spread open in order to latch on to their soon-to-be-hosts.
  • The Aliens and Flood both reproduce in a way that could be described as parasitic, though the Flood seems to modify existing biomass, (or create their own in the case of the Pure Form) while the Xenomorph "chestbursters" only develop inside the host up to a certain point, at which time they erupt from the victim's chest and presumably make up the rest of their mass by food consumption.
  • In the case of both aliens, the genetic makeup of the host will influence the appearance and behavior of the resulting creature "born" from the parasitic process. For example, if a Xenomorph hatches from a human, it will retain human characteristics; if a Pod infector attaches to a human, it will also retain human characteristics (though this is due to the fact that the combat form is a mutation of the host's body).
  • The android Ash describes the alien in the franchise's first film as "the perfect organism," while the Gravemind (as well as the artificial construct Mendicant Bias) considers the Flood to be the perfect society—the last, most advanced stage of evolution. The "societies" of both species are governed by queen-bee-like leaders of a central hive-mind. In both societies, there appear to be no internal divisions or opposing behaviors.
  • The Flood screeches in Halo 2 resemble the Xenomorph screeches at a higher pitch.

The Covenant[edit]

A comparison between the Queen and the Councilor's headdress.
  • The headdresses worn by Sangheili Councilors closely resemble the Alien Queen's head, albeit smaller and narrower. In addition, both Halo's Covenant and Aliens' titular species have caste systems. Whereas the Covenant's is based primarily on race and religion, the Aliens' is based on their different life stages and host species.
  • Many other aspects of Elite design, such as the "shoulder spikes" on Heretic armor and the shape of the species' legs, are similar to that of the Aliens.

The Forerunner[edit]

The Halo Array's effect of killing off The Flood's food source to starve them mirrors the purpose of the nuclear bombardment tactic to kill the Xenomorphs, as is described in Aliens tie-in novel Earth Hive.

Vehicles and technology[edit]

A comparison between the Pelican and the Cheyenne dropship.
  • Several vehicles and structures within the Halo trilogy are inspired by the Alien franchise. One such example would be the Pelican dropship, which bears some resemblance in form and function to Aliens' UD4L Cheyenne dropship (shown in their descent to the surface of LV-426). The UD-4L has an armored personnel carrier loaded internally in its belly, and the Pelican is capable of holding various vehicles externally from under its tail section. Both swoop in, drop the Marines off, and get out of dodge. Also, the Pelican cockpit seats are similar to the UD-4L as one is in the front right and the other is in the back left.
  • UNSC frigates, such as the Forward Unto Dawn and the In Amber Clad greatly resemble Sulaco, both in appearance and usage. The most obvious shared trait is that both of their profiles look like massive guns, a characteristic that the Sulaco is famous for.
  • In a cutscene from the Halo 3 Campaign level The Ark, the Forward Unto Dawn deploys a flight of Pelicans which then plummet toward Installation 00 below in almost the exact same fashion as the UD-4L, when it is deployed from the Sulaco in Aliens.
  • In Aliens' fiction, "atmosphere processors" are set up by colonists in order to alter the atmosphere on new worlds, making them survivable by humans. This structure is prominent in the story, as it is the place where the colonists are cocooned and the Colonial Marines have their first "close encounter" with the Xenomorphs. The Forerunner Portal to the Ark heavily resembles the atmosphere processor and is also a prominent set piece in Halo 3. The name and concept of the atmosphere processor is also similar to "atmospheric processors" used to terraform worlds in the Halo universe.
  • The novelizations of Alien and Halo say that people go into cryo-stasis naked, though the films and game show them clothed.

Story and characters[edit]

  • Aliens' Ripley begins and ends two of the franchise's movies in cryo-stasis, much like the Chief's beginning in Halo: Combat Evolved and ending in Halo 3. Both Ripley and the Master Chief begin their respective franchises in a large ship with other people, and both end up alone in a smaller shuttle with a non-human (Ripley with Jonesy and the Chief with Cortana). Both characters also seem to be a rarity, in that they can survive encounters with the Xenomorphs and Flood, respectively.
  • In the mission log of PFC Jenkins during the level 343 Guilty Spark, Sgt. Johnson yells at Private Mendoza to identify a noise the squad hears, foreshadowing the coming of the Flood. This is much the same as the scene in which Sgt. Apone yells at PFC Hudson before the encounter with the Alien. Similarly, Mendoza and Hudson both start out cocky and confident, but start to break down and panic.


During the Flood-themed levels in both Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2—most notably 343 Guilty Spark and High Charity—visibility is limited, and close-quarters fighting is common, such that the player is forced to keep an eye on their motion tracker—a homage to Aliens.[1] The same is true, albeit to a lesser extent, of some areas in Halo 3's Floodgate.


Comparison between Alien (top), Halo: Nightfall (middle) and Prometheus (bottom).

In Halo: Nightfall, the rocky, almost desolate terrain of Installation 04 has multiple visual similarities to the surface of LV-426 in Alien and its sequel Aliens. However, the terrain has a more significant resemblance to the surface of LV-223 in the film Prometheus, which is set around 20 years before the events of Alien. Coincidentally, Halo: Nightfall is produced by the director of Alien and Prometheus, Ridley Scott.


Several spoken lines heard in the Halo trilogy are taken from the Alien franchise. For example:

Halo: Combat Evolved[edit]

Apone: All right, let's go people. The Corps ain't payin' us by the hour!
Johnson: Hit it, Marines! Go! Go! Go! The Corps ain't payin' us by the hour!

In some cases, Halo's Sergeant Johnson borrows military banter from other Aliens cast members.

Hicks: All right people. Let's move like we got a purpose.
Johnson: You heard the lady. Move like you got a purpose!

The following dialogue occurs in the Colonial Marines dropship as they head toward the colony, before meeting the Xenomorph.

Frost: ...telling ya, I got a bad feeling about this drop.
Crowe: You always say that, Frost. You always have a bad feeling about this drop.

The following discussion takes place in Halo: Combat Evolved before the UNSC Marines encounter the Flood for the first time.

Mendoza: I've got a bad feeling about this.
Johnson: Boy, you always got a bad feeling about something.

The following comical exchange in Halo 2 is a reference both to the exchange in Aliens and its replication in Halo: Combat Evolved.

Grunt 1: Me have bad feeling about this.
Grunt 2: You always have bad feeling! You had bad feeling about morning food nipple!

The following discussion takes place during the opening cutscene of Halo, after the Bumblebee lifepod exits the Pillar of Autumn. The Bumblebee pilot has a resemblance to Ferro as well.

Ferro: Stand by to initiate release sequencer. On my mark. Five. Four.
Bumblebee Pilot: Heads up everyone, this is it. We’re entering the ring's atmosphere in five...

Notice the similarity between the three conversations below, the former being from Aliens and the latter two appearing in Halo: Combat Evolved. In particular, note the jargon that appears in all three.

Hicks: Ferro, do you copy?
Ferro: Standing by.
Hicks: Prep for dust off. We’re gonna need immediate evac.
Ferro: Roger. On our way.
Gorman: (to Ferro) Immediate dust off on my clear, then stay on station.
Ferro: In the pipe. Five by five.

During the Campaign level Halo:

Cortana: We have survivors and need immediate dust off.
Foehammer: Echo 419 staying on station, Foehammer out.

During The Maw:

Cortana: Cortana to Echo 419. Come in, Echo 419.
Foehammer: Roger, Cortana. I read you five by five.
Foehammer: Affirmative. Echo 419 going on station.

The following dialogue occurs after the dropship sent to rescue the Colonial Marines crashes in spectacular fashion, when a Xenomorph butchers Ferro mid-flight.

Hudson: Well, that's great. That's just fucking great, man! Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now, man!
Hicks: (grabs Hudson) Are you finished?
(A moment of dialogue takes place between other characters.)
Hudson: That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?

The following dialogue occurs in Halo: Combat Evolved, after the dropship pilot informs a group of Marines that she is taking fire and can't rescue them from the Covenant ship they are now trapped on.

Marine: Oh man, we're trapped in here. We're screwed! We're screwed, man!
Keyes: Stow the bellyaching soldier. Remember that you're a leatherneck.

Tension builds before a dramatic "last stand" scene in Aliens, as Hudson sees a lot of activity on his motion tracker and famously utters one of the better-known lines of the film.

Hudson: There's movement all over the place!

When the Master Chief first emerges to the surface after his first bloody meeting with the Flood only to battle more of them on the surface, Foehammer says,

Foehammer: I'm tracking movement all over the place!

Halo 3[edit]

In Halo 3, if Gunnery Sergeant Stacker is infected by the Flood, sometimes he mutters "kill me" or "shoot me", which is a line uttered at least three times in the Alien series by an infected host. Again, this may not necessarily be a deliberate reference.


Jonesy and the Billboard.
  • In Halo: Reach, a female Sabre pilot will occasionally say "In space no one can hear you scream!" upon destroying an enemy fighter. The line is a reference to the tagline of the first Alien film.
  • The Pillar of Autumn bulletin board reads "LOST: CALICO CAT ANSWERS TO: JONESY.", which alludes to a scene in Alien (the movie before Aliens) when Brett goes looking for the ship cat Jones by calling "Jonesy".
  • The "Attention Marines: South Pacific Duty..." notice in the Autumn bulletin board may be another reference to Aliens.


  1. ^ The Art of Halo, page 82

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