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Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver in Alien movies) with her cat

Ellen Ripley


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, was the heroine of the landmark 1979 sci-fi horror movie Alien. Both the movie and the character filled important niches – there was no surplus of masterful sci-fi films, or of action/survival heroines.

Weaver returned for the 1986 Aliens action/thriller sci-fi movie (which worked surprisingly well), and in more forgettable sequels. Ellen Ripley remains, even 35+ years later, one of the signature sci-fi protagonists.


Background

  • Real Name: Ellen Ripley
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Weyland-Yutani employee
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile in space
  • Height: 5’11″ Weight: 142 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Ripley’s main ability is her ability to think fast for survival. She’s very adept at computers, electronics, mechanics, biology and physics. She’s a good knowledge of medicine and general science. She can handle any type of vehicle like no-one else and is a master at handling assault weaponry.

Her cool and clear mind is probably her greatest asset in combination with her ability to lead people in order to get the most out of people for their survival. In fact, she’s so cool that she doesn’t even wear armour like everyone else 🙂

She’s, of course, a great speaker, capable of affecting most people. Her experience with the aliens makes her extra good at anticipating their strategies. Her inner strength just keeps her going on for hour after hour until the aliens are definitely out of the picture.


Video

720p trailer for the the 1979 Alien film.


History

Ellen Ripley has been the main star in the Aliens quadralogy. Presumably, sci-fi interested people know everything about the Aliens and their story, but to be on the safe side, here’s the story of Ellen Ripley:

Helen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) with an improvised flamethrower

Some time in the future a space freighter, the Nostromo, was headed towards Earth. Since space travel takes a very long time, the entire crew were sleeping in cryo-chambers. The trip to Earth was abruptly interrupted when the Nostromo’s computers caught a distress signal from a nearby planet, named Acheron.

The crew landed the planet, which was uncolonized, in order to investigate the signal.

The 8th passenger

One of the technicians, Ellen Ripley, decoded the signal. She realized that it was a warning signal. The warning was for any space traveler to avoid the planet. Explorers from the Nostromo were sent out and they found a crashed alien ship and that was were the signal came from.

One of the explorers found several large eggs lying around. Before he could make his way back to the ship, an alien hatched from an egg and jumped up on his face, putting the man in a coma.

The man was found comatose by the other explorers and taken to the ship. They planned to surgically remove the alien, but realized that the man would probably not survive the procedure. Eventually, the alien left the man anyway and was killed after a long hunt.

Later, when the man was having dinner with the rest of the crew before the trip back to Earth, an alien hatched out from the man’s chest, killing him, after which it escaped into the ship.

The Alien quickly grew into a man-sized being and slaughtered almost everyone. The science officer, secretly a Weyland-Yutani corporate android with orders to bring an alien back to Earth, didn’t make things easier. Finally, the ship had to be abandoned, and only Ellen Ripley and her cat Jones managed to escape in an emergency shuttle.

The Nostromo was set for self-destruction and Ripley and Jones went into hibernation sleep before the trip to Earth (Alien).

Corporate politics

57 years later, scanners around Earth detected Ripley’s ship. Ripley was taken down to Earth to recuperate after such an unusually long sleep. She was held accountable by Weyland-Yutani, for the destruction of the Nostromo, which they owned. Thus, she could only get a job as a truck driver.

The corporation then suddenly lost contact with Acheron, which now housed a colony of 60-70 families. Ripley was hired to bring her to Acheron as an advisor. Ripley, having nightmares every night about her previous experiences, accepted the mission. Weyland-Yutani agreed to clear her record and get the rank of a civilian Lieutenant.

Ripley, cocky colonial marines, an android and a corporate man were sent to Acheron.

Helen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in a loader exoskeleton

They found that that colonists were all dead, having been destroyed by the aliens that had been on the planet all along. Basically all colonial marines were killed and the colony had to be nuked. The only survivor Ripley had found, a little girl named Newt, was taken care of by her.

The corporate man tried to get them all killed since they tried to kill the aliens, which he had orders to bring back to Earth for study as biological weapons. He was, of course, himself killed by the aliens.

Only Ripley, Newt, the android Bishop and a marine named Corporal Hicks survived the aliens and the destruction of Acheron. They all escaped in an emergency shuttle and were put into hibernation sleep on their way to Earth (Aliens).

Arrival on Fiorina 161

Somehow, an alien had been hiding in the emergency capsule. Thus, the shuttle malfunctioned. It crash landed on an old colony planet named Fiorina 161 (called Fiorina 16 in the next movie). The crash was horrible and when the colonists sent a group to investigate they found only one survivor – Ellen Ripley.

Hicks had gotten perforated by a piece of steel straight through the chest, Newt had drowned in her malfunctioning tube and Bishop was blown into small pieces (in Gibson’s script for Alien3 both Hicks and Bishop survived to continue on further adventures. See their profiles for further details).

Fiorina 161, nicknamed Fury 161, was now housing former criminals. They were all members of an apocalyptic Christian sect. The arrival of a woman greatly disturbed the men who had made a wow of celibacy and hadn’t seen a female in years. Meanwhile, the xenomorph had survived the crash and was roaming free in the colony.

Fury 161

The Weyland-Yutani onboard computers on the crashed emergency shuttle had reported all events back to Earth. Thus the corporation knew about Ripley’s and the aliens existence on Fury 161. The planet was a low-tech world and the prisoners had no real weapons. Under Ripley’s leadership they tried to survive the alien until the Earth troops arrived there.

Most colonists died, and Ripley discovered another problem. She was carrying an alien queen inside her, implanted while she was in the shuttle. She only had hours to live before it would erupt. In the end, the alien was killed by trapping it and pouring molten lead onto it. At that point Weyland-Yutani arrived, bringing the original Bishop to operate on Ripley.

Ripley refused. She knew that the Corporation would bring the xenomorph to Earth, study it and make it into a military weapon. She was certain Earth was doomed if that happened, and jumped into the lead bath. Just as Ripley sacrificed herself the queen broke free out from her chest. Ripley’s final act was to save Earth from destruction by the aliens.

Fury 161 was closed down and project Alien temporarily shut down (Alien3).

The clone’s saga

Many years later, researchers cloned Ripley from remains that had been collected from Fury 161. This Ripley, named Ripley-8 (since she was clone number eight) still carried the alien queen. Not only was the clone fully functional, but she had alien powers and her memory was almost intact due to the hybridization of alien and human DNA.

The scientists isolated the alien queen from Ripley, which had been their goal all along. The clone now could serve as a template for hybrid super-soldiers. The story of the fantastic survivor Ellen Ripley would live on, but that is something for another write-up… (Alien 4).


Description

Ellen Ripley is a tall and slender woman with brown hair and brown eyes. She moves in an agile and confident manner under most circumstances. She’s played by Sigourney Weaver. She can well control her body language and rarely is seen showing her real emotions.

Ripley tends to make a strong impression on people she meets and they quite quickly tend to listen to her advice even though they don’t trust her the least.


Video

A 1080p, remastered version of the 1986 Aliens movie trailer. Excellent image quality.


Personality

Ellen Ripley is incredibly adept at surviving against impossible odds. She has a back-up plan for most cases and has safety and security as her first priorities.

Ripley is a strong woman and a natural leader. She is able to instil a feeling of safety in others. Although her rank as a Lieutenant is only a civilian rank, she tends to be put in a leadership position when the going gets tough, due to her strong personality and experience. In game terms, her Rank could be treated just like the standard equivalent military rank.

She is a good strategist and has a tactical mind. Her coolness is invaluable in combat situations. She takes shit from no-one and knows well how to mark her stand. If possible, she will take no risks with the safety of her teammates. She’s a caring person, but most often has to be strong for the sake of others.

Her stories are always disbelieved and she’s held responsible for the destruction of both colonies and space-ships she’s successfully escaped from. Basically any other human would have gone insane from the experiences she’s had.

She has, however, not escaped completely unscathed from her experiences with the aliens. Each night she dreams nightmares about them and feels a great guilt for failing to save all those who’ve died at the aliens’ hands.

Additionally, she occasionally stands shocked from the memories she has when confronting a horde of aliens, but normally overcomes her fears in time for survival. Having someone shouting at her when she’s in this state helps.


Quotes

“I got you, son of a bitch.”

“Cargo and ship destroyed. I should reach the frontier in about 6 weeks. With a little luck, the network will pick me up. This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off.”

Ripley : “Wait a minute. If we let it in, the ship could be infected. You know the quarantine procedure. 24 hours for decontamination.”
Dallas : “He could die in 24 hours. Open the hatch !”
Ripley : “Listen to me, if we break quarantine, we could all die.”

“God damn it, that’s not all ! ‘Cause if one of those things get down here then that will be all ! And all this bullshit that you think is so important, you can kiss all that goodbye !”

“I don’t know which species is worse. You don’t see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage !”

Ripley : “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. That’s the only way to be sure.”
Burke : “Ho-ho-hold on one second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it.”
Ripley : “They can *bill* me.”

“Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away ?”

(To the alien queen) “Get away from her, you bitch !!”

Dillon : “Do you have any faith, sister ?”
Ripley : “Not much.”


Video

720p version of the Alien3 movie trailer, in 1992.


DC Universe History

Given the DC Universe’s currently high tech level in the modern era, the spaceship Nostromo could be making trade/transportation between Earth and her first colonies right now. We do know that the Aliens exist currently as well (as demonstrated in the Superman-Aliens series  and others).

Some technologies, such as cryo-chambers, could be scrapped from the ship, and instead giving it higher APs of Flight.

Alternatively, Ripley lives between the time of the Great Disaster and before the era of the Legion of Super-Heroes. She could represent humanity’s thriving attempts to rebuild itself. If so, the evil men of Weyland-Yutani would be employees of the old LexCorp corporation before it joined up with Weyland-Yutani.

Quite possibly, STAR Labs also have a part somehow in either current or future shipments, given the advanced technology used.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Ripley (At end of Alien3)

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 07 Wil: 08 Min: 07 Occupation: Survivor
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 018 HP: 055

Skills:
Charisma: 07, Gadgetry (Identify Gadget): 06, Medicine: 04, Military Science: 05, Scientist: 05, Scientist (Computers): 05, Thief (Security Systems, Stealth): 05, Vehicles: 05, Weaponry (Exotic, Firearms, Heavy): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Vehicles includes the Mechanics Bonus (+1)

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, Leadership, Rank (Lieutenant; Merchant Marine), Scholar (Aliens, Survival)

Connections:
None, in theory she could have Weyland-Yutani (Low), but since they never listen to her she doesn’t have it

Drawbacks:
CPR (carrying alien queen), Guilt, Mistrust, Traumatic Flashbacks

Equipment:
Depending on what she can get her hands on she might carry some of the following:

  • Combat knife [BODY 08, EV 03 (04 w/STR)]
  • M41A Pulse rifle [BODY 05, Projectile weapons: 07, Ammo: 20, R#2, Advantage: Autofire] w/ underslung 30mm grenade launcher [BODY 05, effects include EV 08 (Killing, M38 HEAP round), EV 07 (bashing, M230 baton round), Bomb: 07 (M51A bounding fragmentation round), EV 07 (area of effect, M108 canister round), Flame project: 07 (M60 white phosphorus incendiary round), Flash: 05 (M72A1 Starshell)]
  • M4A3 pistol [BODY 05, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 12, R#2]
  • M56 Smart gun [BODY 05, AV 05, Projectile weapons: 08, Telescopic vision: 03, Thermal vision: 09, R#3, Advantage: Autofire]
  • M240 Incinerator [BODY 04, Flame project: 07, R#3]
  • M42A Scope rifle [BODY 05, EV 06, Range: 10, Ammo: 15, Detect (energy): 08, Interface (some sensors and weapon systems such as sentry guns): 10, Telescopic vision: 05, Thermal vision: 10, Ultra vision: 10]

Ripley the Lone Survivor

Ellen Ripley has exceptional survivor instincts and works well under pressure. She commonly spends HPs in the face of danger and quickly adapts to new dangerous situations.

In game terms, whenever she needs to find a weapon, an escape tunnel, a complex map or anything else critical for her immediate survival (from stalking aliens, for example) she gets a -1 CS OV/RV on such Perception Checks (by use of Scholars (Aliens, Survival)).

Furthermore, she often spends HPs to alter her surrounding to, again, increase her chances of survival, and might get to do such alterations for 5 HPs lower fee than usual (GM decision).


Ripley across the ages

Before having extensive experience in combating the aliens, Ripley was much less soldier-like and hardened. Back in the first movie, she had reduced abilities; Her DEX, WILL and all of her Skills were 1 AP lower and all of her Mystical Stats were 2 APs lower. HPs were only 030.

Furthermore, she did not have the Leadership and Scholar Advantages (and hence the rules as stated in “Ripley the Lone Survivor” were not applicable during her early adventures). She isn’t likely to have access to any of the more powerful weapons listed under her Equipment either.

On the good side is that she did not yet have the following Drawbacks – CPR (carrying alien queen), Guilt and Traumatic Flashbacks yet.

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen

Source of Character: The Aliens trilogy

Helper(s): Roy Cowan, Sébastien Andrivet

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