Imagine some Japanese developers sitting through a showing of Aliens. It's in English, so they can't really understand the plot. They spend most of the film goofing off. A few months later, Konami calls and wants to know how the game is going. "SHIT," they think, "we had to make a game based on that?"
I think this probably explains the zombies.
The ones on the ground there are cut in half - yet still living! The dudes pinned on the wall in the picture above have chest bursters and they're clearly not having a good time. The chick, on the other hand, is just sorta hanging out. Like the aliens bought her drinks or something. She looks like a background character from Street Fighter. Little does she know just how weird the party's gonna get.
Aliens came out in 1986. Konami released the game in 1990. It's pretty clear from the intro - which features barely comprehensible text and low-res scans from promotional materials - that they didn't spend four years working on the game.
You play Ripley (or Hicks if you're the second player), complete with the M56 smart gun. Which Ripley and Hicks, incidentally, never used - they only used the M41A pulse rifle, which is a lot smaller. You can also get ahold of a rocket launcher, flame thrower, and ubiqituous three way gun via power-ups scattered through the levels, but you won't want to, because they're much worse than the main weapon.
(Aside: Why don't they have three way guns in real life? It's probably bad for the guys standing next to you.)
Ripley is the chick on the left, while Hicks is on the right wearing the green leotard and camo tights. You may also notice that for some animations we show, Hicks intermittently switches to Ripley's sprites. This is how it is in the actual game. We have no explanation.
Really, there's a pretty wide range of stuff in this game. Don't you remember the part in Aliens where (click for image):
Later on in the game, you ride an elevator. The Xenomorphs show frightening intelligence by attacking the elevator cables ...
... with their high-friction Giger buttocks
. Once they destroy the cables, you fall to your death. And you die. You have to insert a quarter to continue playing. We're serious. At first we thought we had shot the cable out by accident, but the Aliens actually attack it with their buttocks (and claws). We think you're supposed to defend it, but we played through it a couple times and never made it down safely.
You will also find delicious barbeque amongst the Xenomorph hordes. Of all the foodstuffs consumed in brawlers, we think that meat found at the feet of acid-blooded, mucus-covered aliens has to be the most questionable, and we much prefer the relative safety of the tire stack barbeque from Final Fight.
Apparently, the APC is a convertible, because there's a nice place for Hicks and Ripley to stand and shoot at Xenomorphs as they drive along. Which brings up a good question. Who's driving?
You'll notice that Hick still turns into Ripley. This is incredible because these are a completely different set of sprites and a completely different game mechanic.
It sure would be nice to use that turret.
Aliens is a game. We accept this fact. It's not bad, but the connection to the movies is weak, and the game mechanics aren't fully thought through. The powerups aren't an advantage, the driving sequence is inconsistent, and the enemies are arbitrary.