The Grid Alien was a remarkable Alpha Xenomorph from the first Alien vs. Predator movie, noticeable by the grid pattern on its head. This Xenomorph Warrior received damage from a Predator netgun but still managed to kill two Yautja, a rare and impressive feat for a single Xenomorph that is not a Praetorian or a Predalien. Here is an overview of the exploits of the Grid Xenomorph, including its inclusion in other media.
The Xenomorph Alpha
The Xenomorph Alpha is a concept in Alien lore when a Xenomorph Warrior or Drone takes the leadership of a group of other Xenomorphs and commands them into battle. This often happens in the absence of the Alien Queen, or when the Queen is incapacitated in some way (like the Antarctica Queen). Often being slightly larger and smarter than the other Xenomorphs, the Alpha would show remarkable cunning and ingenuity in dealing with its foes. This was the case with the Grid Alien from Alien vs. Predator 2004, who was able to kill two Predators in a short amount of time and later led other Warriors into battle. Other Xenomorph Alphas include the Number Six Alien from Alien vs. Predator 2010, and the Sevastopol Drone from Alien: Isolation.
Birth In The Temple
The Grid Alien was created in the pyramid beneath Antarctica, where a group of human explorers (headed by Charles Bishop Weyland), Young Blood Predators, and Xenomorphs became entangled in a bloody battle. The Alien species is well-known for its parasitic reproductive cycle, and this creature was no exception. When a group of humans got trapped in a room titled the "Sacrificial Chamber", Xenomorph eggs emerged from the floor, conveniently revealing facehuggers for each victim. The Grid Alien was most likely born from mercenary Adele Rousseau or Thomas Parks, an archaeologist, as they were the first to be facehugged and later, chestbursted. After emerging from its host, Grid Alien hid and started to grow rapidly.
Killing Chopper Predator
As the chaos unfolded within the ancient temple, Chopper, one of the Young Blood Yautja, was unfortunate enough to encounter the Grid Alien. While Chopper was distracted by humans, Grid sneaked up and penetrated the helpless Predator with its abnormally long tail, lifting him off the ground to face the Predator head on. With its elongated inner jaw, the Xenomorph Alpha swiftly dispatched Chopper, punching through his bio-mask which offered no protection at all. This initial encounter demonstrated the Grid Alien's formidable power and cunning, as this was the first enemy it faced.
Fight With Celtic Predator
Celtic, the leader of the young Predators who had ventured into the pyramid, confronted the Grid Alien shortly after the death of Chopper, seeking to avenge his brother. The fight was intense, with the Grid Alien using its agility, strength, and the notorious tail and claws to engage Celtic. This clash of titans was a highlight of the film, showcasing the relentless nature of the Xenomorph Alpha. However, Grid seemed to be the underdog in the fight, having trouble with the more powerful Predator, even getting the tip of its tail cut off. In a scene perhaps more fitting to a wrestling match, Celtic swung Grid from a leg and threw him across a corridor, allowing the Xenomorphs to briefly escape and use stealth again.
Grid Damage By The Netgun
While Grid snuck up on Celtic and tried to bounce him, Celtic Predator managed to ensnare it in a netgun, causing severe damage to its head. One of the Predator netgun's features is that the net closes in on itself, cutting into the prey. While this would kill an ordinary human in seconds, it worked to the Xenomorph's advantage, as the Predator gear was not acid-proof. Although the net caused the distinctive grid pattern to emerge on the dome-shaped head and shoulders, the acid blood cut the net and freed the Xenomorphs, allowing it to continue the fight.
Killing Celtic Predator
Despite its injuries, the Grid Alien was far from defeated and would now get the upper hand. Celtic was perhaps too confident and thought several times during the fight that he would get the kill and become blooded. Grid Alien broke free from the net and ultimately climbed on top of Celtic Predator, ready to finish him off. Just like with Chopper Predator, Grid blasted through Celtic's weak bio-mask with its inner jaws, splashing the Predator's blood and brains everywhere. Having now killed two Predators in a few minutes, Grid showcased the Xenomorph's resilience and ferocity.
Pursuing Lex and Scar Predator
As the chaos continued, the Grid Alien relentlessly pursued Lex, one of the surviving human characters, and Scar Predator, who was now an ally of necessity. This chase through the dark, eerie corridors of the pyramid added an element of suspense and horror to the film, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. Scar noticed the distinctive Xenomorph in his Predator vision, and tried to blast it with his shoulder cannon. However, Grid was too agile and easily dodged the blast, while other regular Xenomorphs took several hits.
Freeing The Queen
The Grid Alien's actions did not go unnoticed and the Xenomorph was called away from pursuing Scar by the Alien Queen. The Queen had been captured long ago and during the chaos in the temple, found a good opportunity to escape with the help of her minions. Grid led several Xenomorph Warriors to the Queen's chamber and devised a plan to release her. Using their inner mouths, they punched into the Queen's abdomen, releasing large quantities of acid which splashed on the chains holding her. Again, the Predator equipment failed to counteract the Xenomorph acid, and the chains broke free, allowing the Queen to go on a rampage through the temple.
In the climax of the film, the Grid Alien faced off against Lex and Scar Predator once more, bringing along the Xenomorph Warriors he commanded. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, there would be no fight between them, as Lex and Scar just escaped, leaving the Xenomorphs behind. As Scar Predator had previously left his self-destruct device in the middle of the temple, the bomb activated at the moment when the protagonists entered the tunnel. Grid Alien was seemingly disintegrated in the blast along with his brethren, while the Alien Queen had already escaped to the surface before them. There were some rumors about production photos showing Grid Alien on the surface fighting alongside the Queen, offering a scenario where it survived. However, these photos have never made it online so the existence of this alternate ending cannot be proven.
Grid Alien Figures
The Grid Alien's unique appearance and significance in the Alien vs. Predator franchise led to its inclusion in various collectible figures and merchandise. Its segmented head and grid pattern have made it a popular choice among fans and collectors, making it a sought-after piece of memorabilia for enthusiasts of the series. McFarlane Toys was the first to produce a Grid Alien figure soon after the movie's release. Although a good-looking figure, it resembled the Alien: Resurrection Xenomorphs a bit too much. Later, NECA released a superior version of the figure, with a slimmer body, but a thicker tail, offering a more movie-accurate figure than the McFarlane one.
Grid Alien In Video Games
The Grid Alien's popularity extends beyond the film, as it has made appearances in various video games set in the Alien and Predator universes. Players have had the opportunity to control or face off against this distinctive Xenomorph variant, adding an extra layer of excitement to their gaming experiences. The Grid Alien first appeared in the Alien vs. Predator 2010 video game as a multiplayer skin, known as the "Nethead." More recently, in DLC released for Dead By Daylight, the Grid Alien is an unlockable skin for the Xenomorph "Killer" character.
In conclusion, the Grid Alien, also known as the Xenomorph Alpha, is a standout character in the Alien vs. Predator franchise. Its distinctive appearance, memorable encounters with Predators, and relentless pursuit of prey have made it a fan favorite. The Grid Alien serves as an inspirational example of how an ordinary Warrior can rise above the rest.