- Author's Saving Throw: Sea of Sorrows does this to fix some commonly-mentioned fan complaints about Alien: Resurrection. Not only is the ending of said film directly addressed (it nearly caused another Ice Age because of its damage to the planet), but Weyland-Yutani's fate is reversed by having it reform and resume its role as the dominant Mega-Corp on Earth.
- Contested Sequel: Some people enjoyed the books, but others criticized them for playing fast and loose with continuity (despite 20th Century Fox declaring that the books are now canon to the film's universe). Shadows, for example, has to pull some pretty impressive last-minute Deus Ex Machinas to get Ripley back to the exact same point she was at the end of Alien, so she can be picked up in time for Aliens.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- The group's trek through the mine on LV-178 in Shadows. Stuck in a dimly-lit mine, with the only escape route being on the other side of it, and having to battle their way through xenos at the same time.
- The attack on Hadley's, especially from the colonist's perspective. Members of their group start getting abducted during their attempts to barricade the facility, and their Last Stand culminates in a horde of them invading the last room they holed themselves up in. Newt gets to watch as her mother is killed by a xeno and her brother sprayed with acid blood before she escapes into the ventilation system.
- In Shadows, Dr. Kasyanov climbs into a medpod similar to the one from Prometheus to have it treat her injuries. Instead, Ash overrides the programming and - while Hooper is stuck watching - uses the laser scalpels to butcher Kasyanov to death without anesthesia.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Ripley's nightmares about her daughter Amanda getting attacked by the Xenomorphs are far more frightening given that Alien: Isolation has that exact thing happening. And given that Ripley's nigtmares in Shadows occur after she'd been in hypersleep for 37 years. . . the events of that game had already happened.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Ripley's presence aboard the Marion in Out of the Shadows. It telegraphs to the audience that no one's making it out of this but her, and she'll make it out in exactly the same condition as the was at the end of Alien, in order to be picked up at the start of Aliens. The story would have unfolded in pretty much the exact same way without her. It could arguably more interesting to have the potential for some of these characters to survive, only for none of them to. The only wrinkle would come in Sea of Sorrows, which revists LV-178 and the Alien hive deep underground there, with the Aliens identifying Decker as a descendant of "The Destroyer." But even that could have been smoothed over: the novel already implies these Aliens are aware of Ripley's actions at LV-426, despite those hives having no contact (implied to be through their telepathic communication). Not to mention, it would arguably make more sense to have Decker be a descendant of a Marion survivor instead of Ellen Ripley (since Carter Burke states Amanda died childless), the only thing lost would be the connection to the franchise's most iconic hero and loss of the Ripley legacy (YMMV if that in and of itself is a deal-breaker).
YMMV / Alien: Out of the Shadows