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USCSS Nostromo
USCSS Nostromo
commercial towing spaceship
alloy polymer
Gravitational displacement:
Life support:
nitrogen, oxygen
3 decks, 1 flight


Nostromo is a commercial towing spaceship.

In the film Alien, the Nostromo is a spacecraft on a return trip from Thedus to Earth, with crew Captain Dallas, Executive Officer Kane, Navigator Lambert, Warrant Officer Ripley, Science Officer Ash, and Engineers Brett and Parker aboard. They use the craft to land on the surface of LV426 due to a distress signal which they later discover is from a derelict alien spacecraft.

Multiplayer gameplay for Aliens v Predator and Aliens v Predator 2 features the Nostromo in the form of 'Nostromo AvP' and 'Nostromo AvP2' for marines.


Reference stats table.


Appearances in the following;

Aliens v Predator Gold
Aliens v Predator Classic
Aliens v Predator 2
Alien (film)
Alien (1982)
Alien (1984)
Alien (Board Game)
Alien: Isolation
Aliens: Colonial Marines

Other craft



Alien (film)
In the film the Nostromo detached from the Refinery Installation so the crew could land on the surface of a yet unnamed planet due to a signal received by the ship's computer while the crew were in stasis.

Upon landing Captain Dallas, Executive Officer Kane, and Navigator Lambert set out to investigate the signal's source while Warrant Officer Ripley, Science Officer Ash, and Engineers Brett and Parker stayed behind to monitor their progress and make repairs.

In the Derelict Kane discovered a vast chamber containing numerous eggs, one of which released a creature that attached itself to his face. Dallas and Lambert carry the unconscious Kane back to the Nostromo, where Ash allows them inside against Ripley's orders 'to follow the ship's quarantine protocol'.

As the crew departed from the surface to continue on their way back to Earth, but before they re-enter stasis a Chest Burster emerges from Kane and this creature grows rapidly killing the crew and causing Ripley to try and escape in the Narcissus as the only survivor after having set the self-destruct aboard the Nostromo.


Aliens v Predator
Multiplayer gameplay is played around the 'Nostromo' that is in a canyon on the surface of LV426 in AvP Gold and Classic and gameplay is played on the Nostromo in a multiplayer, multilevel map available for Aliens v Predator 2 and Aliens v Predator 2: Primal Hunt.

Gameplay is played aboard the Nostromo in the games Alien (1982), Alien (1984) and Alien (Board Game).

Alien (1984)
The game Alien (1984) featured the floors Upper, Middle and Lower Decks, if a player or players survive they all returned to Earth in the Nostromo.

Upper Deck
Recreation Area

Middle Deck
Cryo Vault
Lab Stores
Living Quarters
Command Center

Lower Deck
Shuttle Bay
Cargo Pods

Aliens: Colonial Marines
Nostromo is mentioned in a log in the Derelict in the Aliens: Colonial Marines campaigns as Ripley encounters it as the crew first descend on the surface of LV426 in the film Alien.


The Nostromo features as a multiplayer Survivor map with the DLC Movie Map Pack. The layout features all the areas on one level without ladder shafts or infirmary but includes a bridge and crew quarters.

Playable in Survivor, the two teams have set missions, for the Marines it is to stay alive and complete Survival Ops for highest score and for the Aliens it is to Wipe out the marines before the time runs out.

As with other DLC maps like Bug Hunt and Reconnaissance, areas and layouts are different from story lines in the singleplayer campaigns and from the Alien films, like in Nostromo which features Marines and Aliens aboard the spacecraft.

Alien (film)
The Nostromo was the spacecraft in the film Alien, this craft would have an escape craft attached to it's loading bay which was called the Narcissus. There was only one escape craft on the Nostromo in the film and although it had its own power source and engines the crew don't use the Narcissus to descend to the surface. In schematics of the Nostromo a further escape craft was attached under fuselage on the other side,

A schematic of the Nostromo was published and packaged with the book; Alien Vault: The Definitive Story Behind the Film. Diagrams and early configurations for the spacecraft showed a slightly different format than the film and spacecraft schematics. The following areas are from the script of Alien and from the film as reference.

Pressurized Decks
Deck A


Mainframe (MU/TH/ER)
Computer Room Annex

Deck B


Food Storage Locker 6/12
Food Locker Corridor
Starboard Airlock
Air Shaft
Air Lock
Passage Way
Corridor leading to Narcissus
Space Suit Locker

Deck C


4 Main Cargo Holds
Equipment Maintenance Area
Undercarriage Room
Undercarriage Maintenance Room 4
Air Shaft Double-Tiered Passageway

Blister Module
SPU Module
Main Air Lock



Engine Room
Power Center
Engine Cubicle
Fusion Reactor
Narcissus (right side)



Dan O'Bannon brought in artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss (with whom he had worked on Dark Star and Dune, respectively) to work on designs for the human aspects of the film such as the spaceship and space suits. Cobb created hundreds of preliminary sketches of the interiors and exteriors of the ship, which went through many design concepts and possible names such as Leviathan and Snark as the script continued to develop. The final name of the ship was derived from the title of Joseph Conrad's 1904 novel Nostromo, while the escape shuttle, called Narcissus in the script, was named after Conrad's 1897 novella The Nigger of the 'Narcissus'. Concept artist for the film Alien was Jean 'Morebius' Giraud while matte painter artist was Ray Caple.



The sets of the Nostromo's three decks were each created almost entirely in one piece, with each deck occupying a separate stage and the various rooms connected via corridors. To move around the sets the actors had to navigate through the hallways of the ship, adding to the film's sense of claustrophobia and realism. The sets used large transistors and low-resolution computer screens to give the ship a "used", industrial look and make it appear as though it was constructed of "retrofitted old technology". Ron Cobb created industrial-style symbols and color-coded signs for various areas and aspects of the ship. The company that owns the Nostromo is not named in the film, and is referred to by the characters as "the company". However, the name and logo of "Weylan-Yutani" appears on several set pieces and props such as computer monitors and beer cans.

Some of the Nostromo's corridors were created from portions of scrapped bomber aircraft, and a mirror was used to create the illusion of longer corridors in the below-deck area. Special effects supervisors Brian Johnson and Nick Allder made many of the set pieces and props function, including moving chairs, computer monitors, motion trackers, and flamethrowers.

When filming on the set of Alien with the inclusion of the 3 Nostromo models produced; 1', 4', and 12' model and fourth 40' side elevation model and fifth 30' docking arm, a 58' model of the landing gear was constructed to give a sense of the ship's size for surface filming on LV426. Ridley Scott still did not think that it looked large enough, so he had his two sons and the son of one of the cameramen stand in for the regular actors, wearing smaller space suits to make the set pieces seem larger.

special optical effects were produced by Filmfex Animation Services Ltd. and special graphic effects by Bernard Lodge. With the construction of the spacecraft almost entirely in one piece, the different rooms lead off the main areas on each level, on level two, Galley, there was the spacecraft's mainframe computer (MU/TH/ER) accessed by a control corridor and access card, on set the computer was voiced by Helen Horton and supervised by floor effects supervisor Allan Bryce.


In production, legs for the Nostromo were produced from the shape of R2D2's legs from the film Star Wars, a few of the crew left the set producing for the film Star Wars. In the film Nostromo's joining clamp and Narcissus' purge light later appeared in the film Bladerunner.

The spaceships and planets for the film were shot using models and miniatures. These included models of the Nostromo, its attached mineral refinery, the escape shuttle Narcissus, the alien planetoid, and the exterior and interior of the derelict spacecraft. Visual Effects Supervisor Brian Johnson, supervising modelmakers Martin Bower and Bill Pearson and their team worked at Bray Studios, roughly 25 miles (40 km) from Shepperton Studios where principal filming was taking place. The designs of the Nostromo and its attachments were based on combinations of Ridley Scott's storyboards and Ron Cobb's conceptual drawings. Some of the doors on the Nostromo carries a logo similar to the Purina logo. The basic outlines of the models were made of wood and plastic, and most of the fine details were added from model kits of battleships, tanks, and World War II bombers. Three models of the Nostromo were made: a 12-inch (30 cm) version for medium and long shots, a 4-foot (1.2 m) version for rear shots, and a 12-foot (3.7 m), 7-short-ton (6.4 t) rig for the undocking and planetoid surface sequences. Scott insisted on numerous changes to the models even as filming was taking place, leading to conflicts with the modeling and filming teams. The Nostromo was originally yellow, and the team filmed shots of the models for six weeks before Johnson left to work on The Empire Strikes Back. Scott then ordered it changed to gray, and the team had to begin shooting again from scratch. He ordered more and more pieces added to the model until the final large version with the refinery required a metal framework so that it could be lifted by a forklift. He also took a hammer and chisel to sections of the refinery, knocking off many of its spires which Bower had spent weeks creating. Scott also had disagreements with miniature effects cinematographer Dennis Ayling over how to light the models.


A separate model, approximately 40 feet (12 m) long, was created for the Nostromo's underside from which the Narcissus would detach and from which Kane's body would be launched during the funeral scene. Bower carved Kane's burial shroud out of wood and it was launched through the hatch using a small catapult and filmed at high speed, then slowed down in editing. Only one shot was filmed using blue screen compositing: that of the shuttle racing past the Nostromo. The other shots were simply filmed against black backdrops, with stars added via double exposure. Though motion control photography technology was available at the time, the film's budget would not allow for it. The team therefore used a camera with wide-angle lenses mounted on a drive mechanism to make slow passes over and around the models filming at 2½ frames per second, giving them the appearance of motion. Scott added smoke and wind effects to enhance the illusion. For the scene in which the Nostromo detaches from the refinery, a 30-foot (9.1 m) docking arm was created using pieces from model railway kits. The Nostromo was pushed away from the refinery by the forklift, which was covered in black velvet, causing the arm to extend out from the refinery. This created the illusion that the arm was pushing the ship forward. Shots from outside the ship in which the characters are seen through windows moving around inside were filmed using larger models which contained projection screens showing pre-recorded footage.

Alien: Isolation


With the Ripley edition and Nostromo edition the Nostromo and Narcissus feature as part of gameplay in the DLC missions Crew Expendable and Last Survivor. The crew of the Nostromo are the characters with separate missions, playing parts from the film after Kane has been infected and killed.

The following areas are from the DLC Crew Expendable and Last Survivor.

Pressurized Decks
Deck A


Mainframe (MU/TH/ER)
Computer Room Annex
Medical Bay
Air Shaft

Deck B

Alien Isolation51.jpg
Alien Isolation50.jpg
Last Survivor.jpg

Air Shaft
Maintenance Hatch 00B2
Maintenance Hatch 00B2
Server Room
Space Suit Locker
Primary Air Shaft
Landing Claw Bay

Deck C

Crew Expendable.jpg

Airlock Systems
Air Shaft
Coolant Room
Coolant Store
2 ATVs
Engineering Control
Electrical Engineering
Land Survey Preparation
Airlock Control
Outer Airlock
Corridor leading to Narcissus


The film Alien is set in 2122.

The game Alien (1984) was published in 1984 and based on the film Alien.

The game Alien: Isolation is set as a continuing story after the film Alien and before the film Aliens. The DLC forms part of the film Alien.

The events of the game Aliens: Colonial Marines are set between those of the films Aliens and Alien 3 but diverge from the film Aliens and over lap the film Alien 3.

See also




Alien Vault: The Definitive Story Behind the Film
Aliens v Predator (video game)
Alien (film)
Nostromo's Levels