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In AVP, how did the Predator see the Queen at the end, even though Predators only see in infrared without their masks and Aliens do not show up on infra-red?

Is this a plot hole?

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    how do you know Aliens do not show up on infra-red? The didn't show up in the scanners in the Aliens movie, but that was because they were the same temperature as the structure around them.
    – AidanO
    Feb 27, 2013 at 16:09

2 Answers 2

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According to the AVP Wiki

Aliens do not radiate heat, as their body heat matches the ambient temperature of the environment in which they are found

But I don't think that means they don't show up on infra-red. It means they wouldn't show up if standing still in frond of a wall of the same temperature but once they start moving, and passing in front of different temperatures they would show up.

The site also mentions the Preadators' vision:

The Predators' vision operates mainly in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; they can easily detect heat differentials in their surroundings but are unable to easily distinguish among objects of the same relative temperature.

As the Aliens move they would show up as heat differentials.

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    Not only that, but the alien had just come out of the under ground temple, which would have been a different temperature from the surface. Until the alien's temperature matched the surface it would show up very clearly.
    – Xantec
    Feb 27, 2013 at 16:33
  • One of the soldiers in Aliens speculates that maybe they don't show up in infrared, but it is never definitively established. Feb 27, 2013 at 17:20
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There is no plot hole.

The writers used dramatic license. At the point in the movie where the Predator and the Predator Queen face off, they are never further apart than 6-8 yards. Their final battle is in hand to hand combat and at no point do they ever move apart again. Even if his vision would have been considered less effective than his mask-assisted vision, it was good enough for him to fight her in the rain, in hand to hand, by himself, without any technology, to a standstill.

Establishing the premise

At 1 hour, 28 minutes, the last computer-assisted view the Predator (and the movie watcher) has of the Queen is this:

Sensor-enhanced image of the Predator Queen

Sensor-enhanced image of the Predator Queen

  • The two of them are less than five feet apart.

(interlude for heroic helicopter escape)

  • After a quick spear battle with the Queen, at 1 hour, 30 minutes into the movie, the Predator's suit is shorted out after being knocked across the roof by a nasty tail swipe by the Queen. This shorts out his technology.

  • The two of them are standing on the roof to the hospital and he is focused on the Queen. She is less than ten yards from him.

  • The Predator dramatically divests himself of his remaining weapons (perhaps they only work when charged...)

Predator removes his mask, with dramatic flourish

Predator removes his mask, with dramatic flourish

  • After removing his mask, he drops it to the ground without taking his eyes from her. He roars with his arms back and she responds similarly (possibly a genetic aggression display) and eight strides closes the distance for hand to hand.

  • They grapple never breaking contact again. Four mouth/parasite strikes from the Queen, until it is forcibly ripped out by the Predator. She oozes acid blood (which the Predator seems undisturbed by) and in close quarters, uses his dual handblades in an upper-cut to the head.

  • Her death throes however allow her one last tail-stab locking the two of them in a death embrace before the soothing nuclear/fuel air strike wipes the slate clean...

  • I describe it blow for blow to paint the picture. The two aliens lock eyes in the rain, neither is hiding, nor making any effort to not be seen. There is no plot hole.

  • This was a final confrontation which resulted in the deaths of both of them. At the distance they fought, he could have basically been nearly blind and it would not have mattered. They were never further apart than arms length once they initially closed.

  • His visual acuity was sufficient that even in the early pre-dawn light, he was able to dodge her tongue/parasite, three times, and grab it on the fourth attempt. I would say he was able to see well enough mask technology or not.

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