(Updated as of 13/09/2019)
Hello discerning AvP fans, this time I am writing about my perspectives on the cultural modalities and other aspects of the Yautja and I would like to thank WOLFPREDATORQUEEN1 for providing the conjecture in her various blog posts that inspired me to write one myself.
And be sure to see my speculation on Xenomporph hive dynamics and comprehensive USCM arsenal list, also any anime/mecha fans reading this might be interested in my posts regarding topics from the Gundam and Zoids franchises.
Cultural Modalities of the Yautja
The Yautja (Ya-OOT-ja) are a classic example (and the best that I am aware of) of a technologically advanced extraterrestrial species that understands how and how not to use technology, meaning they only use advanced technology to enhance their culture, individuality and capabilities, not supplant them or become lazy and dependant on technology, nor do they use advanced technology to perform grotesque experiments, fundamentally alter natural laws/dynamics, conquer, enslave, torture or alter other sentient species etc.
They do not pollute or strip mine worlds, breed so excessively so that they must colonise planet after planet in order to support their needlessly expanding population, or exterminate whole species but simply hunt creatures (whilst allowing for the continued perpetuation of those species) they see as worthy game or; in the case of specific humans; other warriors to test themselves against in order to enjoy more skilled sport in the form of lethal, drawn out cat-and-mouse engagements, going so far as to spare the life of and even honor those skilled enough to best a Yautja, or in unique circumstances assist or save the life of a Yautja during a Xenomorph hunt etc.
They mostly keep to themselves (mostly) and do not interfere with; as a whole; other sentient species (they did interact with and influence older Earth human cultures, but did not do so in a way that altered the ultimate development of Earth humans in any sort of artificial or biased way and eventually withdrew their overt presence, presumably to allow a sentient species to develop of its own accord), except to observe and use the cover of armed human conflicts to hunt those whos skill makes them worthy of the aforementioned cat-and-mouse engagements, haha and of course skinning and suspending from trees those less skillful but still armed and warring humans along the way.
I also believe that the Yautja would for the most part likely ignore (mostly) the Engineer species (except for one example in a recent comic book series spawned from the offshoot Poometheus (oh yes) lore...) as despite potentially being excellent sport because they are large and very physically capable, are also a spacefaring species that are presumably technologically advanced enough in terms of being able to not only detect cloaked Yautja spacecraft, interstellar travel paths etc. but also quickly and effectively project; throughout the galaxy; a similarly competent military capability to pose a threat to the Yautja civilisation if they were to be treated as a game species by them, similar to how the Drukathi are described as being feared by the Yautja, though I believe my interpretation of Yautja protocols toward other technologically advanced extraterrestrial species is more accurate, that being not one or both sides in fear of the other, but simply as mature extraterrestrial species' with a mutual understanding of the benefits and logic behind cultural etc. preservation on either side and the folly of intergalactic warfare between two or more technologically advanced species.
Yautja Physiology and Hunting TechniquesTo begin with, the head of a Yautja is very similar to what you would see if you were up close and face to face with a spider, this may even have been the original inspiration for the designer(s) of the Yautja's appearance.
This seems likely as they also have in common with spiders their skill at stealth, hunting and how they string up the skinned bodies of their victims in a similar fashion to how spiders cocoon and hang their prey, not to mention the equipment and weblike weaponry they use such as netguns, electroshock bolas, nooses etc. as well as the variety of mines and remote bombs they use as lethal traps. The segmented design of their armour and devices also look similar to the exoskeleton of various arthropods.
And as I mention underneath the above picture, the variation in design of a Yautja's forehead pattern is similar to the abdominal patterns of spiders and my creative suggestion to those who design Yautja appearances for use in various official media be that they design the forehead pattern of each Yautja individual to correspond with a particular species of spider whose hunting style etc. is similar to that of the specific Yautja.
A certain Yautja forehead pattern variation could also be used to distinguish Yautja clans or even subspecies who have a particular hunting style and predilection for specific weaponry, based on the attributes of the species of spider whose abdominal pattern is similar and this of course without actually naming any particular clan etc. directly after any kind of spider as this is best as a subtle style/design influence.
And the section at the end of that first picture featuring the wolf spider, I ask what is that, if not a pussy face...
Filmmakers etc. read this
And so you see, instead of making consecutive movies about steroid abusing bad blood Yautja (a much less prevalent niche in other Predator media) that also feature behaviour, competence/capability and designs that clearly deviate from what is the definitive Yautja style, the rich Predator and indeed AVP/Aliens lore provides plenty of content variety to create more carefully planned, quality media instead of the sloppy incongruous turds (just my own personal opinion of course) that have appeared here and there, whos target audience seems to be those who dabble in scatomancy (as I'm sure that competent scatomancers would steer well clear of such toddler tripe)...Links to other of my analyses on The Predator:
- Talk:The Predator (film)
- User talk:Evolto001#The Height of the Modified Predator From The Predator
- Comment from WOLFPREDATORQUEEN1's blog post review of The Predator
Yautja sexual dimorphism
And now to heal your mind from my creative potty talk, a quick final word about Yautja physiology.I believe that Yautja females would exhibit sexual dimorphism primarily with a significantly contrasting hip-to-waist ratio, meaning they would be best described as wasp-waisted by having slim waists and proportionately wide pelvises.Not only is this the most definitive and sexually attractive (mostly) feature of humanoid female sexual dimorphism (and yes I am interested in comments featuring pictures of attractive human female breasts in an ultimately futile yet promisingly jiggly attempt to debate against this), but is also very practical and functional (attractive form does usually follow well designed practical function), meaning that childbirth is easier and a broad female pelvis also provides a larger and more stable skeletal base for greater muscular development and this is certainly the sort of evolutionary adaptation I would expect from a very physically active species such as the Yautja.
Being a species with diverse epidermis colouration and spots/mottling etc. Yautja sexual dimorphism could also likely have to do with such contrastingly subtle differences which are also a sexually dimorphic feature found in various terrestrial species of reptiles to which the Yautja display what is at least a superficial semblance. The talented artists who created these lovely pictures clearly know what is important and what Yautja males would definitely want to see after returning from a hunt!:
The unfeasibility of Predator hounds
The hell-hounds used by the Tracker Super Predator to flush out prey are a concept that is incongruent with what is known; and that which can be speculated as likely; from the Hunt and the Yautja Honour Code.In various human cultures, different sorts of hunting dogs have been and are used for a variety of purposes to assist with hunting animals of various sizes for sport and other reasons, though I can say that none of those reasons are relevant to the hunting style of the Yautja which could probably be best described as a combination of tribal warriors, monster slayers and stalkers.
It should be obvious that the use of hell-hounds to flush out prey is an impatient and lazy tactic requiring little effort from the Yautja himself and therefore a poor show of skill and if one were to speculate that the use of hell-hounds also extend to chasing down and assisting with the take down of larger and deadlier game, then that is even less likely as for it to be a fair kill and demonstration of the hunter's prowess, he would have to do so by himself with his own hands.
To help put this incongruity further into perspective, a Yautja is a 7+ ft musclebound extraterrestrial hunter that is not only extremely resilient but also capable of incredible feats of strength and athleticism including but not limited to, landing safely on his feet from a drop height of 10 stories, vertically jumping three times his own height and tearing off a man's head and spine out from their body single-handedly. And in addition to their incredible strength and durability they are also equipped with a variety of advanced mêlée and ranged weapons constructed from extremely strong materials, so to think that they would use hunting dogs of any sort for any purpose is absurd.
I doubt that even bad blood Yautja would be so lazy as to use hell-hounds, though it is not entirely unfeasible that hell-hounds or; much more effectively; Tusked Xenomorphs could be used as a weapon of war instead of hunting to soften up an enemy position before assaulting it directly (as the Killer Yautja bad blood clan has been known to do). Though the use of Tusked Xenomorphs seems even less likely as they are a divergent strain showing differences from regular Xenomorphs at the most basic stages, indicating that they have been genetically modified by Yautja and; as I have mentioned elsewhere; genetic engineering is a science that would most likely have not been developed to such an extent by the Yautja as it is not congruent with other facets of their culture and use of technology.
These lists are derived from the same section (which I categorised into its current order) of Xenopaedia's Yautja article with some new entries and adjusted terminology.
The Bio-Mask is one of the main tools used by the Yautja and is directly linked to a Yautja's Wrist Gauntlet, which controls many of the mask's functions. As well as performing the basic function of protecting a Yautja's head, the Bio-Mask also grants the wearer access to multiple vision modes including adjustable binocular vision, facilitates vocal mimicry, and includes breathing apparatus, diagnostics, audio/visual recording systems and often also incorporates a red targeting laser used in conjunction with a Plasmacaster.
- Vision Modes: A Yautja's Bio-Mask contains systems to enhance its thermal vision and provide additional vision modes in other electromagnetic spectra, ranging from night vision to ultraviolet and even vibration scanning as well as featuring adjustable binocular vision.
- Language Translator: The Language Translator is a program installed in some Yautja's Bio-Masks that allows a Hunter to understand other species' communication(s)/language(s).
- Vocal Mimicry: Vocal mimicry requires a Bio-Mask to be utilised, and should not be confused with a Yautja's natural ability to copy human speech.
The Wrist Gauntlet includes the Yautja's Sat-Com and sometimes an Energy Flechette or Power Punch Glove. Also incorporates hologram and touch-pad technology to control a Yautja's Bio-Mask, Cloaking Device, Self-Destruct Device, and even remotely pilot Yautja vessels.
- Cloak: Light-bending adaptive camouflage allowing Yautja a form of invisibility, or at least translucence, rendering them incredibly difficult to spot. The invisibility effect has been known to be shorted out through contact with water or if the arm gauntlet is damaged, and it is susceptible to the effects of an electro-magnetic pulse, at least temporarily. The effects of the device have also been known to fail as a result of direct assaults on the Yautja's body, be it with ranged weaponry or physical attacks. This device is rendered useless during Xenomorph Hunts owing to the Xenomorph's ability to 'see' through its cloaking effects.
- Charge Emitter: It emits a surge of ultrahigh electric frequencies from the Yautja's Wrist Gauntlet, which would disable electrical devices.
- Gauntlet Cuffs: Gauntlet Cuffs are a Yautja technology used to bind two individuals together by way of the Wrist Gauntlets.
- Sat-Com: The Sat-Com is a Yautja holographic map projector which shows a complete 3D scan of an area and is part of a Yautja's Wrist Gauntlet.
- Self-Destruct Device: The Self-Destruct Device is a powerful Yautja explosive device built into a Yautja's Wrist Gauntlet.
- Medicomp: Yautja hunters carry field medical equipment including solvents capable of cauterising and healing wounds and various serums and other medical devices.
- Health Shard: The Health Shard is a Yautja device that works similar to the Medicomp.
- Cleaner Case: A case containing a Tracking Syringe, Dissolving Liquid and a Self-Destruct Device.
- Flaying Tool: The Flaying Tool is 'Y' shaped, its prongs spaced slightly apart. It is meant to be grabbed at the bottom and emits a laser from between the two prongs hot enough to simply and easily peel skin off of a yet-flayed trophy.
- Ceremonial Dagger: Used by warriors as a last-resort weapon or a weapon to take trophies from fallen enemies.
- Yautja Axe: The Yautja Axe was an axe-like blade that the Super Predators had in their camp. Since it wasn't used during their hunt its true purpose remains unclear.
- Mallet: As seen in this image, Yautja make use of mallets for presumably utility purposes.
- Pickaxe: As seen in this image, Yautja make use of pickaxes for presumably utility purposes.
- Grappling Hook: During their Hunts, Yautja make use of the grappling hook to access areas that can only be passed by Xenomorphs, or to get to airducts. Its role is similar to the USCM's Jet pack in this regard.
- Falcon: The Falcon was a bird-like spying device used by the Super Predator Clan on the Game Preserve Planet.
- Tag: The tag is a small circular tracking device that is used on prey which the Yautja wishes to continuously bait rather than kill outright.
- Beacon: Beacons are Yautja technology that help a Yautja to navigate in a large and confusing hunting ground.
- Energy Sift: The Energy Sift is a piece of Yautja technology used to recharge the user's gear.
Yautja armour can be as varied as the physical appearance of Yautja themselves and appears to be based largely on personal preference of the individual. Design changes can include tribal ornamentation on the forehead, different arrangements of armour plates and different colours/metals used for the individual armour pieces. As for actual clothing, Yautja seem to have little but a loincloth to keep them decent. Otherwise, they are content to walk around next-to-nude and have no problem actually being nude.
Perhaps the most recognisable aspect of a Yautja's armour is its Bio-Mask, the outward design of which can range from simple and utilitarian to elaborate and decorative. Another common piece of Yautja clothing is a heated wire mesh undersuit with temperature control elements to help the Yautja adapt to the harshest of cold environments. Other items, such as the metallic armour plates and bandoleers for weapons, including grenades, are applied over the top of this mesh. Wrist gauntlets provide a number of weapons, including retractable Wristblades and a Self-destruct explosive, as well as computerised control for many of the Yautja's systems.
There seems to be two types of armour: Hunting Armour, which if of course made to aid in the hunt, and Military Armour, which is designed with war in mind.
- Bio-Mask: In Predators (2010 film), it seems to show that Predator Bio-Masks are capable of withstanding incredible damage. It can even withstand bullets as shown when Ricky tries to kill Wolf by shooting him in the face.
- Body Armour: Body armour is usually composed of a partial or full breastplate, pauldrons, gauntlets, extremity armour and is xenomorph blood proof for Blooded Yautja and those of higher ranks. The body armour also includes thermal netting.
- Vanguard Armour: A type of heavy armour worn by Yautja Vanguards.
- Phoenix Armour: The Phoenix Armour is worn by well respected Spear Masters and like the Vy'drach (phoenix-like creature) itself, this armour is uniquely resilient to fire, energy, and radiation.
- Tactical Supremacy Armour: Worn by military Yautja such as the Hydra and Blazer (title), this widely feared protective suit provides its wearer with substantial defenses against kinetic, fire, and acid damage. Its exceptional hardness also deflects outright any projectiles not specifically designed to penetrate armour. Consequently, enemies must make a concentrated effort to defeat any Yautja possessing this defensive system.
- Power Punch Glove: It is used to give a Yautja a boost in punching strength, allowing a user to perform a punch powerful enough to make a hole in solid concrete.
- Wristblades: Razor-sharp serrated retractable blades built into the wrist gauntlet, typically in pairs, used for mêlée combat and the ritualistic mutilation of prey.
- Ceremonial Dagger: Used by Yautja as a last-resort weapon or a tool to take trophies from fallen enemies.
- Predator Axe: The Predator Axe was an axe-like blade that the Super Predators had in their camp. Since it wasn't used during their hunt its true purpose remains unclear.
- Scimitar: Essentially an enlarged singular Wristblade worn on the forearm.
- Maul: A heavy bladed weapon with a perpendicular handle, an arrangement similar to a police officer's nightstick.
- Sword: Though rarely mentioned as an in-hunt-use weapon, a sword can be fashioned as a replacement or equivalent to a Yautja's wristblades.
- Combistick: A retractable spear that can be used either in hand-to-hand combat or as a thrown weapon.
- Glaive: Similar to the Combistick, this combat staff is fitted with a sizeable blade at each end, designed to slice through prey.
- Plasma Glaive: Wielded by Spear Masters, Plasma Glaives are double terminated weapons that seethe with white hot plasma that burns through enemy armour.
- Plasma Scythe: Wielded by Vanguards, The Plasma Scythe produces an indigo coloured blade made of superheated plasma energy, it can burn through armour and enemies with ease.
- Whip: A bladed chain whip capable of slicing targets in half with enough force.
- Noose: When used in the dark, the wire-thin Noose is almost impossible to see. The material is slim but strong, able to hold the weight of an adult human as it yanks them up.
- Electroshock Bolas: Electroshock bolas carry a powerful electrical current, which instantly kills victims on impact.
- Smart Disc: A thrown, self-guiding, chakram-like bladed weapon, it can also be wielded as a mêlée weapon.
- Poly Nanovibronic Disc: The Poli Nanovibronic Disc is a thrown Yautja disc weapon similar to the Smart Disc and can also be wielded as a mêlée weapon.
- Shuriken: Similar to the Smart Disc except considerably larger and fitted with several long, fan-like, retractable blades around its circumference, it can also be wielded as a mêlée weapon.
- Combistick: A retractable spear that can be used either in mêlée combat or as a thrown weapon.
- Kuhjad Projectile Weapon: When attached to the Wrist Gauntlet, the Kuhjad can function as a weapon (similar in principle to the Energy Flechette), but instead of firing plasma-based projectiles, it instead fires a tiny discus that (contrary to its small size) has enough power and sharpness to not only pierce the thick hide of a Yautja, but also cleanly slice through the flesh and bone of a human with relative ease.
- Speargun: A projectile weapon that fires small metal spears, comparable to a traditional projectile firearm or crossbow.
- Netgun: A handheld device capable of firing a wire net with enough force to pin a target to a wall. The net also features an automatic tightening mechanism designed to cause grievous wounds to the enclosed target.
- Electroshock Missile Battery: Used by Hydra military Yautja, this is a back mounted missile device that fires up to three powerful armour penetrating electroshock plasma missiles capable of targeting up to nine different targets.
Directed energy weapons
- Energy Flechette: A short-range energy projector weapon, a simpler and less powerful version of the Plasmacaster, built into the Yautja's Wrist Gauntlet.
- Wrist Cannon: The Wrist Cannon is a Yautja energy projector weapon which, in many respects, stronger version of Energy Flechette, built into the Yautja's Wrist Gauntlet.
- Plasma Pistol: A hand-held version of the Plasmacaster.
- Wristburner: A gauntlet-mounted energy beam weapon similar to a Burner.
- Burner: Burners project streams of hot plasma, they resemble and function much like a Human assault rifle.
- Plasmacaster: A ranged weapon capable of directing bolts of high-energy plasma at distant targets that is worn on the shoulder. Generally aimed through the Predator's Bio-Mask, although there are exceptions.
- Blazer: The Blazer is a shoulder-mounted energy projector used by Blazer (title) military Yautja that fires a sweeping inferno beam.
- Killscreen Generator: This weapon uses dark plasma streams guided by a tracking device that neutralises any incoming projectiles up to and including rockets.
- Mines: Yautja utilise a variety of mines with varying trigger mechanisms and detonation effects in their hunts.
- Fire bombs: The fire bomb is a highly explosive Yautja grenade type device.
- Plasma Grenade: The Plasma Grenade is a Yautja hand grenade that creates a large explosion when detonated and is powerful enough to destroy an M113 armoured personnel carrier.
- Remote Bomb: The Remote Bomb is somewhat similar in function to Predator Mines, but is remotely detonated from a Wrist Gauntlet by the Yautja instead of proximity activated.
Mobile sentry guns
- Pred-Gun: It has a huge inbuilt Plasmacaster and moves using anti-gravity plates underneath it and can only fire when deployed.
- Fireliner: The Mobile Shrine is equipped with a fireliner, a multibeam heat weapon related to the Blazer.
Anti-gravity cushion vehicles
- Blade Fighter