Terminator vs. Aliens

Here’s the setup: T-800 model against a nest of gorilla Aliens with one queen and, of course, eggs in a warcraft the Marines were slaughtered on. Weaponry is mostly intact and unused, as the Aliens do not use tools (at least to fight).

The T-800 time warps into the cargo hold and is pretty much defenseless except for his strength and his amazing durability. An Alien jumps him right off, and knocks him to the ground. The Alien bites through the flesh but is unable to penetrate the hyper-alloy combat chassis, so the T-800, fazed for a while but catching on fast (they never were quick on the uptake), reaches around and rips the Alien’s head off. The acid blood takes off most of the rest of the flesh, but cannot seriously damage the chassis below. (Justification? The T-800 was designed for heavy combat. Its design is basically on the same level as a tank: Slow, ponderous, even a bit stupid, but as tough as the current technology can allow. Organic acids, acids that can be contained by mucous and organically-grown exoskeletons, simply don’t stand a chance against that level of strength and over-design.)

Soon, the Aliens are looking for the T-800 in force. They are agile, fast, and probably have the edge in brains. But none of that really matters as they have no effective offensive against the intruder. Neither their muscles nor their acids are strong enough to do damage to the skeleton, and the T-800 is perfectly functional as a bare chassis.

Eventually, the T-800 finds the armory and equips itself. This is an easy process, as the Marines’ weapons are very similar to what the T-800 was programmed to use. Now the ball is firmly in the T-800’s court: It can basically pick off anything that comes close, and the Aliens completely lack a ranged attack. It is slow enough to let the Aliens get within striking distance, but it is deadly accurate once it gets a bead on the beasts.

And it has infinite patience: It will not make rash moves. It will scope out a room before it enters, looking for humans but killing the Aliens as detrimental to its prime mission. It will quite handily pull off the face-grabbers as they attempt to pass eggs into a metal jaw. It will destroy the queen exactly the same way it destroyed the workers: Sheer endurance and single-mindedness, coupled with a deadly skill with weapons.

T-800: One nest.
Aliens: Closer to extinction. :smiley:

Next I’ll probably do a scenario where a T-800 tries to infiltrate a dropship full of Marines. That should be interesting to think through.

In the movie Alien the blood of the face hugger ate through a couple of decks after is splattered on the floor. I don’t know how much trouble it’d have eating through a T-800 which can be stopped with weapons that aren’t as powerful as anti-tank weapons.


Eh, I’m with the OP on this one. I’m no chemist, but I think organic acids that can eat through dense metals are rare to impossible.

The OP also didn’t consider that the T-800 can scan on a multitude of electromagnetic frequencies.

The “Alien” movies have always been profoundly unrealistic. In reality, trained soldiers with advanced weapons and cover could easily slaughter any type of animal that can actually be killed by a gun, no matter how fast or vicious. And I’ve never met any person dumb enought to do half the things the main characters do in “Aliens.”

Nah, see - The Aliens can let a whole bunch of cats loose in the ship, to make noise and distract ol’ Arnie. Then, when he’s gotten used it:

Unless the robot gets a hold on that corgo-lifting exoskeleton. Then it’s all over. :smiley:

Well I’m not sure how common it is to find a species with acid for blood either. Anyway who knows how dense the terminator metal is? For the most part we just saw it take a bunch of small arms fire.

From what I saw in Alien and Aliens the blood of the xenomorph ate through several decks of metal. However we’re basing this debate on pure fiction so who can be right?


I throw my hat into the alien acid blood eating Mr. Terminator ring. What ate through the ship’s decks was a little amount of blood from an immature alien. An entire mature alien’s worth of acidic blood blowing all over the Terminator will reduce him to melted goop. A hive’s worth of mature aliens blowing up all over the Terminator will reduce his goop to nothing.

Besides, taking away the alien’s acidic blood (it seems every Alien vs. X does this) is taking away one of its primary defenses. Why not have the Terminator fight a pack of dogs, except the Terminator’s metal frame is now Styrofoam?

The Aliens are smart though…
If they’re smart enough to kill one of their own to melt a hole somewhere to escape through, there’s no reason they won’t think of melting a hole through the side of the ship, thus sucking the Terminator out of it.

Hrm, now that I think on it…

What do we know about alien organic acids? The strongest acid I know of being contained in mucous would be in my tummy. If you cut my stomach open and dumped the contents onto the floor of the Nostromos, I doubt it would eat through several layers of the ship. If it did, the crew of the Nostromos would have had bigger problems than the alien anyway :wink:

Come to think of it, a splash of blood did quite a number on Hicks’ combat armor as well.

The decks of the Nostromo weren’t designed to be tested in that way. It was a cargo ship that had the bad luck of hearing the wrong distress call. The T-800, as I said, was designed to take as much abuse as possible and keep going. For example, in T2 a T-800 is run through with a metal spike and is able to reroute its power systems to auxilliaries and keep going. That level of overdesign would be extremely tough to stop with acids.

Hicks’ combat armor had to be carried by a standard human chassis. The T-800’s armor had no such weight restriction. The T-800 is orders of magnitude stronger than a human being.

The reason the T-800 can be stopped with human-carriable weapons (admittedly not easily: It took a metal press in the original film and a vat of molten steel in T2 to finally kill the T-800) is because it isn’t as massive as a tank. It’s a bit over average human size, but able to wear the clothing of a large human being (remember the biker bar?). In taking abuse, size matters, especially if you want to be able to absorb massive concussive shocks (think grendades and other high explosives). The T-800 lacks the raw size of a tank, but it does pretty damn well with the bulk it does have.

Derleth, the aliens blood was shown to eat through the armour of the combat tank in Aliens, it took it a little while, but it did. (When the tank rolled over the aliens head, the acid ate through the transaxel, the small jump the tank did would not have broken it unless it was severely compromised before hand.) So I think it would eat through the T-800 chasis.

If the Termie goes in unawares, he loses if the first alien gets close. If he has some prelim intell or takes out the first alien at a distance, he has a good chance of winning… See below for reasons why he also has a good chance of losing. His big advantages are that he has a full sensor suite available to him, he can use distance weapons excedingly well, and he learns (This is assuming that function isn’t turned off.). Aliens are probably almost as strong as he is, or at least are not wimps. Their advantage comes in terms of numbers. Contrary to Lizards statement, one troop of what 15 marines, vs 100 aliens would most likely lose in such close confines. Shoot as fast as you like, the wave washes over you and takes you out. The British found that out rather the hard way in Africa. Human(alien?) wave attacks are expensive in resources for the attacker, but if he can afford such losses and the defender can’t…well as the saying goes, the attacker needs only one win to win the war. Termie needs to be carefull to only meet up with small groups of aliens, then he wins, if they pin him down, or he meets up with 10 or more aliens…he loses.

I would like to preface my reply by saying that I thought seriously about the effect of imaginary acid on imaginary metal. Scary. In the scenario presented, I would imagine that Arnie - I mean the T-800 - would simply blow open the hull, hold on to something, and see how well pouncing works when a gale force wind is pushing you out into space.
How much do aliens weigh? Can someone point me towards a fan site with stats like this?

  1. Derleth, why don’t you just state flat out that your terminator chassis can’t be melted by your alien acid? That would spare us part of the debate.

  2. Aliens all the way, baby! Here’s why: the Terminator will NEVER hunt the aliens to extinction, it is only hunting humans. The aliens will quickly learn that if they stay out of it’s face, they won’t be bothered. They just have to bide their time for the right ambush. And they can try again and again, because if they fail they will not anger or change the purpose of the terminator. The survivors can back off and hatch some more eggs for another try.

You say they’re on a ship. Is the ship in zero G vaccuum? Landed on a planet with gravity/atmosphere?

Didn’t think of this before, but regardless of how strong the outer armor casing is, I sincerely doubt the T-800 is hermetically sealed. Acid will seep into the cracks and do hell to the bits inside that make the guy move. And the wiring, circutry, etc.

I don’t buy it, but really, if you say the Terminator is immune to the acids, why bother? The aliens are flesh and blood and obviously their teeth and claws aren’t going to pierce metal. You may as well say “Jophiel in a tank versus a kajillion hyenas.” Sure, hyenas may be nasty to fight but as long as I’m immune to all their attacks, I just run them over and win. Yay me :slight_smile:

OK, I must not have seen that part of the show. A T-800 isn’t completely proof against Alien acids, but would probably be highly resistant to them. Meaning it would have time to learn that the acids were damaging to its chassis and find a way to get it off, such as looking for a strong enough base to neutralize it or some other method. It was smart enough to repair its eyes in the original film (and put on glasses afterwards), it should be able to deal with the acids.

Unless it was attacked by a horde, of course. It would be able to physically overpower any number of Aliens, but it would have a tough time dealing with all of that acid at once. The acid, in this case, is a kind of slow toxin that a T-800 can deal with as long as it isn’t overwhelmed. It would be overwhelmed in a full assault.

That is, until it gets its hands on some firepower. What their jaws are to Aliens, guns are to a T-800. Its whole strategy is based around ranged projectile weapons, such as machine guns and rocket launchers. I think an autogun would be downright spectacular in the hands of a T-800. :smiley: Of course, it wouldn’t need motion detectors (it probably has them pre-installed, or could program in their equivalent given the sensorium it does have), and it could probably see better than the Aliens anyway.

All of that would make the T-800 a very effective sniper. The Aliens would be looking for, essentially, a piece of metal in a ship full of pieces of metal. I don’t know exactly what spectrum Aliens see, but if they are seeing IR they are screwed: The T-800 would be the same temperature as the ambient air once its flesh was removed. The T-800 would just have to stand still, maybe hidden among scrap or ductwork, and the Aliens would most likely pass it by. That infinite patience, plus its deadly accuracy with gun-type weapons (and given that a full Marine armory would include some weapon accurate enough for sniper work), the T-800 would gain the upper hand assuming it wasn’t overwhelmed early on.

As for T-800s being sealed or not: The T-800 chassis is able to survive immersion in bodily fluids (blood, sweat, etc.), all of which are saline-based. Saline does a number on electronic gear, which is what the T-800 is full of. So it would have to be very close to hermetically sealed.

It all pretty much hinges on how powerful the acid is: and the movies themselves sort of diverge on that point. In the original Alien, as well noted, a few drops eat through several deckplates, over the course of several minutes.

In Aliens:
“The acid oxidizes after the creature’s death, completely neutralizing it.”
“That’s very fascinating Bishop, but…”

The whole acid thing was largely discounted–there was a sizzling spray when an alien got blown apart by a burst of that 10mm explosive-tipped caseless (“standard light armor piercing round, why?”) that did a number on flesh, sure–but a surprisingly light number. When Vasquez got squirted from a point-blank capping in the air ducts, her leg was still attached afterwards; Hicks got a good sized burn, but the acid didn’t go through his armor with nearly the same speed the face-hugger’s blood went through a Nostromo deck plate.

And on the other hand, when initially patrolling the empty colony, the marines come across a big hole eaten through who-knows-how-many levels–an acid performance that was out of proportion to what was seen in the rest of that film.

More hands: the T-800 was mostly invulnerable against modern-day small-arms fire; its resistance to heavier firepower really wasn’t all that impressive–keep in mind a single pipe bomb blew the chassis in half. And their resistance to the plasma rifles of the future war was never examined, but I doubt they could shrug off bolts from those. Remember Reese’s flashback of the (non-Arnie-sized, I’ll note) Terminator getting into a base in the future. The ending of that initial slaughter wasn’t shown, but my money’s on it ending pretty rapidly once people scrambled to actually get their hands on weaponry after the initial chaos.

And finally, I’d question just how undetectable a Terminator would be to the Aliens. Dogs could spot them straight away.

In the books it says that the acid in the face-huggers is more concentrated than that of the adults.

The higher-concentration thing is a good theory–but there’s still the matter of that great whopping big shaft of holes they found on the sweep. “Someone must have bagged one of Ripley’s bad guys here.”

It’s as if it’s just a movie, and I won’t stand for that!

I’d guess someone had killed an adult, dumping its entire acidic contents onto the floor pretty much at once.

But you’re right, the movies kind of touch and go on the acid thing. Given the amount of acid dumped around during the first real battle in Aliens, you’d think the floor would cave under since they were obviously over a basement (one of the marines spits down the hole… Hudson I think). Unless the floor was coated in the same coating as the walls and ceiling were (guessing the dried mucous stuff making the tunnels is impervious to the acid like the aliens themselves presumably are). Who knows. I’d have to go back and check on the scene with Hicks; I remember the armor being pretty pitted and smoking by the time he and Ripley got it off. Of course, the armor was most likely some composite plastic/Kevlar thing and not a slab of metal. Would it be more or less damaged by the blood than metal? Who knows. :slight_smile:

I actually did a quick check to try and see if there was any “canon” regarding the aliens and their blood but all I found was some home made RPG crossover type stuff. Hardly a reference.

Erm, I meant “one of the marines spits down the stairwell”