LV-426 is the name of the moon that is reportedly home to the Xenomorphs. Logically, this means that April 26 is alien day, so in honor of this universal holiday, we thought we’d look at some of our other favorite alien races from games. We have a day for everything now; pretty soon we’re going to have to expand the calendar so we can celebrate more things.
[Editor’s Note: This list first appeared in issue 261 of Game Informer Magazine, and we’re not going to just add the Xenomorphs to it just because it’s their special day.]
1) Metroids – Metroid series
When it comes to strange, unfamiliar, and incredible, Metroid’s namesake species is truly alien. These parasitic energy vampires are a rare sight throughout Samus’ adventures, but when they finally appear they pose an immediate and real danger. Little is known about these enigmatic creatures other than the fact that they were bioengineered for combat by the ancient Chozo race. Unfortunately for Samus, they’re good at their job.
2) Krogans – Mass Effect series
The planet Tuchanka is a playground of unforgiving biomes and home to some of the deadliest predators in the universe, but the war-hungry Krogran thrived there for millennia, breeding like bored rabbits until a genetically modified retrovirus sterilized their females. Still, these aggressive reptilian bipeds remain as imposing as they are inspiring.
3) Quarians – Mass Effect series
The Quarians are a highly advanced engineering society, but after being exiled from their home planet by a race of synthetic creatures they created, the Quarians are forced to drift through the stars on a flotilla of salvaged ships and repurposed technology. Centuries of breathing recycled air has muted their immune systems and forced them into personal hazmat suits.
4) Space Invaders – Space Invaders
Space Invaders do little more than shift from side to side as they scroll down a screen, but Taito’s 1978 arcade hit helped expand the gaming industry from a novelty amusement into a worldwide industry. The pixelated aliens themselves are so iconic that they have essentially become pop-culture shorthand for retro gaming.
5) Zerg – StarCraft series
Obsessed with the ideal of a perfect race, the Zerg hunt down advanced species across the galaxy and incorporate their DNA into a genetic melting pot. Dominated by an ancient brain called the Overmind, the Zerg will stop at nothing to consume the galaxy and bring it under their rule.
6) Thin Men – XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Some aliens seek to overthrow humanity through technological or military might; others take a craftier approach. Thin Men may look like well-tailored businessmen with decent verticals, but if you take a closer look, you realize that their entire facade is a mask and a poison-spewing monster can be seen poking through the seams.
7) Pikmin – Pikmin series
Not all aliens have to be serious threats to human survival; some can be friendly, even helpful. Some of the docile plant-animal life forms of planet PNF-404 are immune to fire, while others can breathe underwater, but their compliant nature and big doe eyes make us want to do little more than hug them.
8) Combine – Half-Life 2
Posing as humanity’s benefactors, the Combine took over the known world and imposed an oppressive rule. With an empire spread across several parallel worlds, no one knows who leads the organization. It has used its formidable technology to create armies of super-soldiers to ensure it stays that way.
9) Sangheili – Halo series
The Covenant is known as the “race” at humanity’s throat in the Halo series, but it is really a collection of several species. The Sangheili are the most recognizable branch in this hegemony. Proud, strong, and intelligent, the Sangheili have proven formidable foes for Earth’s Spartan army.
10) Maians – Perfect Dark series
Rare’s take on the stereotypical “greys” from alien-abduction folklore was both surprising and amusing. Not only can these aliens live for centuries, but they are an ideal choice for anyone looking to cheese Perfect Dark’s multi-player, because they are so short that bullets whiz over their heads.
Don’t forget that you can celebrate Alien Day with a radio drama that takes place between the first two films.