- "You don't beat this thing, Ripley. You can't. All you can do is refuse to engage. You've got to wipe out every trace. Destroy any clue. Stop its infection from spreading. Make sure there's no chance of the human race ever making contact with it again. Because the moment it makes contact, it's won."
- ―Marlow (from Alien: Isolation)
Henry Marlow was the captain of the salvage vessel Anesidora. He was in command for the ship's fateful voyage in 2137 when it discovered the derelict ship on LV-426, an incident that ultimately unleashed an Alien on Sevastopol Station and led to the destruction of the Anesidora and the loss of all of its crew.
Marlow was killed overloading the Anesidora's reactor in an attempt to destroy Sevastopol and thereby eliminate the Xenomorph threat.
- "I'll find the beacon and shut it off. Don't want anybody else finding this place."
- ―Marlow, to his crew (from Alien: Isolation)
After several lean years salvage hunting in deep space, Marlow was beginning to become desperate for money. The Anesidora and its crew were becoming increasingly run down, and the vessel was in desperate need of a major — and very expensive — overhaul. However, after recovering the Nostromo's flight recorder, Marlow saw the black box as his key to a major payday. Hoping to locate the Nostromo itself and salvage its wreck, Marlow had his crew access the box and extrapolate the flight data it contained. The flight data led the Anesidora to LV-426, where the crew picked up the transmission coming from the derelict ship, mistaking the beacon for a distress signal coming from the Nostromo.
After setting down on the moon, Marlow, Foster, Heyst and Meeks set out on foot to locate the source of the signal, stumbling upon the derelict. Now faced with a salvage haul of truly historic proportions, Marlow led his crew inside to investigate. After discovering equipment abandoned by the Nostromo's crew during their brief visit to the ship, Marlow tracked down the Engineer equipment broadcasting the signal that had lured them to the derelict and deactivated it, not wanting anyone else to discover his find. He then followed Foster and Heyst down into the derelict's cargo hold, where they discovered the same Xenomorph Eggs that Kane had stumbled upon fifteen years before. Within minutes, Foster was attacked by a Facehugger.
After dragging Foster back to his ship, Marlow set a course for Sevastopol Station, hoping to get medical attention for his wife. Once the Facehugger detached from Foster and died, Marlow insisted she enter hypersleep immediately, hoping that cryo would help to forestall any damage the Facehugger might have caused. Upon reaching Sevastopol, Meeks attempted to prevent Marlow from taking Foster aboard the station, realising to do so would be a huge breach of quarantine regulations; the two ended up in a physical fight, which Marlow won. Marlow had Foster admitted to San Cristobal Medical Facility on Sevastopol, but she soon perished when the Chestburster inside her emerged. The following day, Marlow was arrested by the Colonial Marshal Bureau and thrown in the cells at headquarters for his role in the incident, where he remained as the Alien now loose aboard the station began claiming more and more victims.
When Amanda Ripley came to Marlow in the Marshal headquarters, he explained to her his part in unleashing the Xenomorphs upon Sevastopol. He later managed to escape from his cell, presumably by manipulating Taylor's interest in acquiring the creature for the Weyland-Yutani Corporation and convincing her to release him. After escaping his cell, he immediately took Taylor hostage before making for the Anesidora, still parked in orbit around KG-348; realising the threat to humanity posed by the Xenomorph, he intended to detonate the ship's reactor, destroying Sevastopol station and the creatures with it. He was pursued by Ripley, who still believed there was a chance to save Sevastopol and the survivors still aboard it, and while the two argued Taylor bludgeoned Marlow unconscious with a wrench. Taylor and Ripley attempted to prevent the now imminent explosion, but only succeeded in reducing the severity of the blast. Both Taylor and the still-unconscious Marlow were killed when the Anesidora exploded, although Ripley managed to escape.
Despite his outward appearance, which was rough and intimidating, Marlow was intelligent and savvy, and also cared greatly for his crew, especially his wife, Foster — although ironically, it was this caring that led to the disaster on Sevastopol, first by driving him to explore the derelict in search of a payday his crew so badly needed, and then when he rushed Foster to Sevastopol so that she might receive medical aid following the Facehugger's attack.
Following the devastating Xenomorph outbreak on Sevastopol, and no doubt feeling responsible for his own role in creating the situation, Marlow developed a single-minded resolve to wipe out the creatures at any cost. He realized the threat they posed to humanity, and had learned (presumably through Taylor) that Weyland-Yutani intended to obtain specimens for study, an act he knew would simply doom many more to a similar fate. His determination to destroy the Xenomorphs was such that he was willing to destroy Sevastopol and all of the survivors still aboard just to ensure the creatures would never spread beyond the station. Although his goals were honorable in nature, Marlow's methods were extreme, and it seems likely this lack of consideration for the other survivors may have been fuelled by his personal guilt and sorrow over the death of Foster and so many others.
- Marlow is seemingly yet another reference in the Alien franchise to the works of Joseph Conrad — he is likely named after Charles Marlow, a recurring character featured in several of Conrad's works. The name Marlow was previously used for the USS Marlow in the 2010 video game Aliens vs. Predator.
- Although Marlow's role in the story is pivotal, his appearance in Alien: Isolation is actually somewhat brief. However, unused script files reveal that Marlow was originally going to play a far larger part in the game, and was even going to accompany Ripley for a portion of the story. Initially, he was not in the custody of the Colonial Marshals, and it was Ripley herself who had to chase him down and capture him, after the first Alien is jettisoned into KG-348's atmosphere. Later, Ripley actually agrees with Marlow that the Xenomorphs need to be eradicated at all costs, and the two set about detonating the Anesidora's engines together — although in this version, the explosion is not intended to immediately destroy the station, therefore giving survivors time to escape. He is still killed aboard the Anesidora, but dies saving Ripley's life when the overload procedure goes wrong. Notably, Marlow comes across as a far more sympathetic character in this version of the story, whereas in the finished game his actions seem somewhat extreme (even if his intentions are good).
- An alternate version of mission 15 is referenced in the game files, showing that Ripley would see Marlow kill taylor, then shoot himself. This was later changed to the version in the final game we see, where Taylor kills Marlow, and Taylor is then subsequently killed by the reactor.
- ↑ Alien: Isolation (2014), Creative Assembly, SEGA [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One].
- ↑ Alien: Isolation - Archive Log 031 - Torrens Hail
- ↑ Alien: Isolation - Archive Log 071 - Arrest Sheets
- ↑ Alien: Isolation - Archive Log 134 - Technician's Report
- ↑ Alien: Isolation - Archive Log 132 - Signal Detected
- ↑ Alien: Isolation - Archive Log 134 - Sevastopol
- ↑ Alien: Isolation - Archive Log 133 - Approaching Sevastopol
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "Steam Community - Alien: Isolation - The Original Story!". Retrieved on 2016-01-08.