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An Empress is an older and stronger Xenomorph Queen. Though she serves virtually the same purpose, she also generally rules over one or more Queens as a sort of "Queen of Queens" or High Queen, maintaining the order among Xenomorph castes her Hive should it grow sufficiently large to accommodate multiple Queens in it. An Empress even absorbed smaller neighboring Xenomorph hives into her ranks for the sake of their common instinct to expand their species. As they do not commonly feature in the Aliens or Alien vs. Predator franchise, little is known about them.
How Empresses emerged in a hive was started from competitions between presenting multiple Queens in a Hive. Should one of the Queens able to best another, the victorious Queen would become Empress.
Empress Xenomorphs' physiology has been seen to differ than regular Queens. While retaining black and grey coloration, much of Empresses' features such as arms and head crest are better developed than regular Queens (the crest being double layered, with a glossy foremost layer and duller, wider underlayer). Not only that, they can grow even larger than average size of T-Rex, meaning while some Empresses would be comparable to a Queen in height, others would grow to be as big as 20 feet tall and 40 feet long. Some even grow slightly larger than Queen Mother herself, though such Empresses know better not to challenge her superior's might.
There are two variations of Empresses in addition of regular ones:
A variant featured in Aliens vs. Predator: Extinction. This Empress is the result of a Queen molting into one in response of the presence of formidable offensive host species that threaten her very Hive as well as other equal threats such as K-Series Xenomorphs. War Empresses' physiology changes little beside sturdier mesoskeleton that can deflect all but the heaviest munitions, green-yellow marks on her crest, and the ability to rally all members of lesser castes on her side (except Ravager, Carriers, and Praetorians that already formidable) into a combat frenzy, causing them to be more dangerous than usual.
A caste similar to ordinary Empress featured in Aliens/Predator Collectible Card Game. It is the result of a Queen molted into one after taking sufficient damage.
- The Matriarch was possibly an empress, as she was ancient and looks far different than Specimen 6 when she turned into a Queen.
- In AvP:E, Empress is upgraded version of Queen (also known as War Empress) is nearly twice as durable as a normal queen.