- "Alright, listen up! We have a potential Xenomorph infestation here. That's right — a bug hunt. So make sure you nail your targets at a distance, molecular acid can be a real son of a bitch."
- ―Maj. Van Zandt (from Aliens vs. Predator)
Major Thomas Van Zandt was a member of the United States Colonial Marine Corps, part of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Regiment. He was stationed aboard the USS Marlow, and commanded the mission to combat a Xenomorph outbreak at the Freya's Prospect colony and the nearby Weyland-Yutani facility on BG-386.
The mission was a disastrous failure, with the Marlow being destroyed and virtually all of the Marines deployed being killed. Van Zandt personally led a last-ditch assault on the Xenomorph Queen nesting in the colony's refinery, but his squad was wiped out and he himself was captured and impregnated with a Chestburster.
Prior to deployment to BG-386, Van Zandt was a veteran of 38 drops and two orbital boarding actions. He also commanded the only squad to successfully eliminate a Xenomorph infestation on board an interstellar craft, the USS Fidanza.
Mission to BG-386
Van Zandt was the commanding officer of the battalion sent to BG-386 in response to a distress call sent from the mining colony on the planet. He was aboard a dropship with Corporal Tequila and Rookie when the battalion's ship, the USS Marlow, was destroyed in orbit by Dark's vessel. He immediately ordered the dropship's pilot to the surface, but the shock wave from the explosion almost caused the vessel to crash. Once planetside, Van Zandt began orchestrating the troops on the ground.
With his men falling victim to both the Xenomorphs and the Predators, he organized the regrouping of survivors within the Freya's Prospect colony complex. When enough forces arrived, he put together a team to go into the colony's refinery in search of the Matriarch, hoping to eliminate her and her Hive and thereby gain some degree of control over the situation on the planet. However, Van Zandt's squad was torn to pieces, and Van Zandt himself was captured, cocooned and impregnated with a Chestburster.
Rookie was later sent to look for the Major by Tequila. He found him cocooned in the lower levels of the refinery, alongside numerous other Marines who had already perished from the Chestbursters implanted within them. Van Zandt ordered Rookie to shoot him, having seen what had happened to the men around him. Rookie solemnly complied, but immediately after the execution the Chestburster within the Major hatched from his corpse.
Van Zandt may have been the ranking officer on a mission, but he made sure he had ample protection from M3 Pattern Personal Armor with a TNR Shoulder Lamp attachment. Van Zandt carried a M260B Flamethrower as his primary weapon, which is found by Rookie lying at his feet when he was cocooned within the refinery.
- Van Zandt voice actor Glenn Wrage also voiced background characters in Alien: Isolation.
- Van Zandt's first name is never stated in the game, but is revealed in the official strategy guide. The same is true of another USCM commander in an Aliens vs. Predator video game — Major McCain from Aliens versus Predator 2. Coincidentally, both men are given the first name Thomas.
- The ship upon which Van Zandt successfully destroyed a Xenomorph infestation as part of his backstory, the USS Fidanza, is yet another instance of spacecraft in the Alien franchise being named after elements from Joseph Conrad novels — Giovanni Battista Fidanza is the real name of the titular character in the novel Nostromo.
- Van Zandt is a multiplayer skin in the game, unlocked when players reach Rank 40. He is the last unlockable skin in the game.
- He is the first officer in the Aliens versus Predator video game series to use regular armor and USCM equipment.
- It is possible to shoot the Chestbuster that erupts from the Major before it escapes, or even torch it with the flamethrower, just like in Aliens.
- Aliens vs. Predator (video game)