Before I finish things up here, let’s have a look at the only version of Square’s Aliens that saw a commercial release. Above is a video from the MSX home computer edition of Aliens, released in 1987 in Japan and in Europe.
Though the game’s structure is largely the same in both the FDS and the MSX versions, there are some key differences between the two. Weapons have limited ammunition in the MSX game, for one thing — a somewhat pointless change, since new gun pickups are so plentiful. If anything, it would’ve prevented players from holding on to a favorite weapon for too long. There’s also an enemy radar that isn’t present in the FDS game — another inconsequential addition, as it doesn’t show off-screen enemies.
On the other hand, the MSX version of the game is made much easier by the fact that enemies don’t spew life-draining acid after you kill them. The gameplay mechanics appear smoother, too. The jumping is less awkward, and there’s an actual rolling mechanic — with dedicated frames of animation and everything! — eliminating the need to jackhammer the jump button to crawl under low ceilings.
It’s difficult to say which version of Aliens was intended to be released first, or if both editions were developed concurrently. It’s likely, though, that the FDS version was incomplete when it was scrapped, and the MSX game’s enhancements resulted from additional development time.
Anyway, to level 3!
Sorry to say it, but level 3 is mostly unremarkable. There are far fewer doors here than in level 2 (thank god), and it’s much more action-focused.
…which, in this game’s case, means that enemies now spawn in groups of three or four at a time. It’s pretty annoying, but nothing that can’t be overcome with rampant savestate abuse.
Hey, a fellow human! What’s up man!
Well. This is awkward.
(Side note: if you die while a chestbursted human is on-screen, a glitchy chunk of his flesh will follow you back to the beginning of the level, and will float in front of you until you enter a door.)
No level would be complete without at least a few doors that take you back to the starting point. Hopefully you know better by now.
This is where the game really changes things up and delivers something unexpected!
Nah, just kidding.
The same strategy applies here as in level 2. Rush behind the queen, and shoot her until she’s dead.
And now, the final level.