Alien Movie Universe

What really caused Ashes Meltdown in Alien?
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MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 3:25 PM

Have you ever wondered what really caused Ashes meltdown in Alien?  I know Bishop said the Hyperdyne 120 A/2 systems were twitchy, and Bishop also being a Hyperdyne Droids(341B model). I think it goes a bit farther than that.  If the hyperdyne models are built in anyway similar to the weyland models.

I think Ripley caused Ash to meltdown when she slammed him against the wall in the MUTHUR interface room. The reason I believe this is where the processor is located at the back of the skull.  Think the beam sticking out (picture above) might have damaged the processor.

You can see where the AMD processor is located at the base of the head on the Walter Model.  All things said all computers built today are located in the same general location regardless is processor manufacturer.  With humans being creatures of habit I think this would hold true and carried over to the droids in the film.  

Thanks in advance for the input.


49 Replies


MemberNeomorphMar-15-2017 3:39 PM

Interesting theory! But then again, why didn't David malfunction when Vickers pushed him up against the wall in Prometheus? 


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 3:44 PM

I think Ripley's attack made her a threat that needed to be eliminated as per his orders rather than a fault in his processing.  He wasn't 'damaged' when he was talking to them later on (aside from that bit about his head being knocked off).

Stan Winston (deceased)

MemberFacehuggerMar-15-2017 4:18 PM

Ripley did damage him, because Ash starts bleeding down the side of his forehead (just before he snatches her hair). But I'd concur that that didn't make him berserk, rather triggered a different path in his programming logic, which told him Ripley must be eliminated. You see he returned to a relaxed state when he was atop a table, decapitated.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 4:31 PM

I think his orders told him to kill her, rather than any programming or error in programming.

I often find some people (in general; no one specific) get hung up on 'well so and so could have programmed this or that android'. No need to go to that trouble if you can just give them a verbal or written order to follow.


MemberTrilobiteMar-15-2017 5:15 PM

Interesting that the chip is not installed in a less vulnerable space like in the chest cavity. That could problematic though to access it if needed.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 5:18 PM

dk, At the same time when you watch where the processor is absorbed into the head (walter video) looks like it goes in the top in the video not at the back near the base.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 5:26 PM

Alex, where Mere pushes David hits in a different location near where the crest of occipital bone is.  Ash was struck closer to where the occipital condyl is located.  Human anatomy of course not android.

Thanks Stan, the white blood (milk) if you will ran down his forehead which happens right after him and Ripley have that confrontation in the communications room which is what made me think about Ash being damaged from the blow at the base of his skull when she pushed him against the wall.


I also thin S.M is right to a point.  I know SO-937 said crew expendable but at that point they hadn't made it a point to blow up the ship until after they torch Ash so she wasn't really a threat to him or the specimen.  Well maybe when she pushed him into the wall, but that was more of a desperate reaction than a threat.  I mean that was really creepy him silently sneaking in and looking over her shoulder and then speaking at the last second.  How did he get into the room without the door making any noise. (really?)


MemberOvomorphMar-15-2017 5:32 PM

You do have a good theory there however... you have to take ALIENS for canon, and I just don't. James Cameron had his own ideas and while I did enjoy the product he put out I believe he watered down the ALIENS. My reasons why are my own personal preferences. He got rid of the awesome "domes", he never explored the "eggmorphing" which was pretty terrifying considering that was what he was going for??? And... he turned them into bugs??? If Giger or Ridley didn't have anything to do with it then for me anyway it's just another in the series but I don't consider it canon. For now it's PROMETHEUS, ALIEN: COVENANT and ALIEN. That's it. I hope Ridley has six more in him. Fingers crossed!   

"Sometimes to create, one must first destroy." 


MemberChestbursterMar-15-2017 5:54 PM

I think the yoghurt dripping down the head of Ash and his brief indecipherable mumbling in that scene sort of reveals that it was at least partly a malfunction that lead to him attacking Ripley.

I think Ash attacking was either a standard safety-mechanism when the chassis (specifically the head) had sustained enough damage intentionally caused by humans (wasn't this a flawed unit?) or a specific objective (independent or programmed) that was triggered after the shove impact to kill the main threat: Ripley.

Shasta cyclone

MemberFacehuggerMar-15-2017 6:04 PM

Well, in aliens : out of the shadows ash downloaded himself into the nostromo'so computer before his confrontation with ripley which could have effected his robotic body to malfunction


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 6:16 PM

Shasta, I'm not sure if Lebbons book is considered canon.  I know the movie novelizations are.  I'm not trying to take anything away from Tim.  I hear his books are really good, but I can't accept that.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 6:30 PM

"How did he get into the room without the door making any noise. (really?)"

He used his 'not giving away the surprise Ninja android skillz'.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 6:33 PM

S.M - LOL, ok he must have been really good.  I mean to get into the room you have to play 10 minutes of PONG, play tick-tack-toe on the keyboard, then pull the slot machine lever to get in.


MemberTrilobiteMar-15-2017 6:36 PM

How did he get into the room without the door making any noise. (really?)

I think that was an actual oversight.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 6:39 PM

No, it was deliberate to not give away the surprise.  If you look very closely you can see the light change very briefly behind Ripley to indicate the door opening and closing, but as Ripley is so focused on the computer she doesn't hear it and so we as the audience can't hear it.


MemberTrilobiteMar-15-2017 6:43 PM

Hmm.. I had read it was a mistake. I can see how Ripley would not have heard the door but as a viewer, I would have expected to. I never even noticed until a blooper site mentioned it. Maybe some one could do a cut and have a door open that sounds like the Star Trek OS door!


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 6:48 PM

It could technically be a mistake, since the door obviously makes noise, but if you had it make noise in this scene it would ruin it since Ash enters before Mother displays the 'Crew expendable' payoff.

The scene is shot with close ups on Ripley, the keyboard and the screen, so we're focused tightly on those things, so cinematically you can get away with deliberately leaving out the sound effect.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 6:52 PM

S.M even if we're focused tightly on what she is doing the problem is we're in the forest when the tree falls.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 7:02 PM

Not sure what you're saying.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 7:43 PM

S.M no quotes this time....really?  (poke poke, lol)

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody's there, does it make a sound?


MemberTrilobiteMar-15-2017 7:45 PM

Rick. Do you mean that the Mother room was the forest and we didn't hear the door open (tree fall) like we did shortly before in the same scenr?


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 7:49 PM

Yeah I get that, but I'm not sure how it's relevant.  The focus of the film is on Ripley uncovering something revelatory and we're finding it out as she does.  She's focused on that; we're focused on her.  She doesn't hear it so we don't.

It's the same sort of cinematic device as when someone looks around for the monster in the dark and it's nowhere to be seen, then a lightning flash shows it standing right next to them in defiance of all logic.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 7:52 PM

LOL yes dk......S.M is trying to go all technical on me.


MemberTrilobiteMar-15-2017 7:53 PM

It may have been a continuity error instead of a blatant mistake. I cannot find information stating whether it was deliberate.


MemberFacehuggerMar-15-2017 9:43 PM

I always thought that us not hearing the door open was intentionally done for the surprise factor. There are no other known 'silent door' errors are there? For this to be an error and be in this scene specifically is way too much of a coincidence for me to accept.


MemberXenomorphMar-15-2017 9:46 PM



MemberNeomorphMar-16-2017 12:09 AM

its most definitely a deliberate removal of the door noise opening and closing I believe. its not until ripley rests back in the chair that ash comes into view, thus surprising ripley and the audience. sometimes when we r so focused on one particular activity we can miss things going on around us and I think that's what is being portrayed here. ripley is so engrossed in finding out information that she doesn't realise someone has entered the room. the door does normally make a noise but its not a very specific loud clunk so could be missed


MemberOvomorphMar-16-2017 4:27 AM

For another bit of "Ash/Door" spookery, how about after his confrontation with Ripley?  He quaffs the drink, leaves the infirmary, and the door closes behind him without (literal) digital manipulation. 


MemberXenomorphMar-16-2017 12:01 PM

Actually all the doors close when Ripley tries to go to them and Ash does nothing but stand there.  Yeah that is creepy


MemberDeaconMar-16-2017 12:56 PM

Nice point and who knows if any minor damage can cause him to go a bit haywire, he is a Machine after all and if some parts of a Machine are damaged they can start to malfunction or not perform as they should.

But if the question is, did Ripley pushing him up against the Wall cause a malfunction that then made him try and force a Magazine down her throat...?

I will have to agree with SM on this and Ash realized that his plans (Special Order 937) could now well be compromised and so Ripley was expendable and she would have been a Thorn in the sides of Special Order 937 and Ash then had to eliminate her.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

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