The Finnish VHS version rated K16 is cut with 3 minutes and 42 seconds. Some gory murders done by the aliens, some acid-to-the-face scenes, and pretty oddly the entire "fingers and knife"-game between the soldier and Bishop, and just a shot of Newt in the water and couple of aliens rising up to the surface, are cut out. The scene in the movie's ending, where the alien queen rips Bishop in half is heavily cut too. The Finnish video version re-release is still heavily cut (3 minutes and 3 seconds), although it's a little more complete (at least the "fingers and knife"-game is intact). The cuts on both versions were applied by the distributor.
The Blu-ray edition of Aliens (available as part of the Alien Anthology boxset) fixes two errors that appear near the movie's ending. Firstly, the famous goof towards the movie's ending where Ripley picks out weapons on the dropship and then sets them down in the wrong order, has been fixed. She no longer picks out a pulse rifle and sets down a flamethrower before picking out a flamethrower and setting down a pulse rifle; she now picks out and puts down a pulse rifle and then a flamethrower in order. Secondly, when Bishop grabs Newt to stop her sliding out of the airlock during the confrontation with the alien queen, the section of actor Lance Henriksen's torso that could previously be seen poking up through a hole cut in the floor has been digitally removed.
A Special Edition saw a limited release on Laserdisc in December 1991, in which only 10,000 copies were made. It had 17 minutes of restored footage. It was also released on VHS in 1992 and 1993. Audiences first experienced this on DVD when it was released in 1999. There were several rare copies of Aliens released on VHS that included the Sentry gun scenes but no others.
Ripley is sitting on a park bench waiting for Burke (before the inquisition), immediately following her stay in Gateway Station's hospital. She presses a button, and the entire park behind her disappears, revealing a gray screen. Burke enters and tells her how to behave and what to expect at the hearing. Ripley asks about her daughter but Burke tells her she needs to focus on the hearing. She insists to hear about her daughter and Burke hands her a computer printout (colour) that shows her an older woman (actual photo of Sigourney Weaver's mother). Burke tells Ripley her daughter died at age 66, which was two years ago and that she had no children. Ripley whispers that she promised her daughter she would be back before her 11th birthday before going off on the Nostromo.
After Ripley's outburst during in the inquest ("Because if one of those creatures gets down here, you can kiss all of this goodbye"), dialogue has been restored in which Van Leuwen voices the council's final decision. (Her flight status is revoked because she is deemed unfit to serve as a flight officer, she has to have monthly psych evaluations, and no criminal charges being filed against her)
There's a scene of the colony, before contact with the aliens, in this scene we see a sign outside the colony reading: "Hadleys Hope - pop. 158"
A scene where the colonists receive company orders telling them to explore the derelict spacecraft. Newt's family drives to the site and during the trip Newt and her brother Timothy are arguing about a game of hide and seek that they play in the colony's air duct system. Timothy complains that Newt has the unfair advantage of being able to hide in the small places that the rest of the players can't get to. Following this, they arrive at the derelict ship and the mother and father go in; later the mother returns dragging the father who now has a facehugger clamped on his face.
During the sequence in Ripley's apartment (where they attempt to convince her to go investigate the lack of contact with the Colony), Ripley asks Burke what his interest is, in which he replies that the Company co-financed the colony.
Immediately following the establishing shot of the Sulaco, there is a restored introduction to the interior of the ship, showing empty tables, lockers, weapons, equipment, and both dropships. The pan of the ship eventually leads to the frost-covered hypersleep chamber from which the crew awakens.
During the drop from the Sulaco to LV-426, is a restored scene of Hudson playfully boasting about the Marines and their weaponry. He tells Ripley he and his squadron of Marines will protect her. He also tells her the dropship carries every weapon from knives and sharp sticks to 'nukes'.
During the Marines' initial search through the colony, a sequence has been inserted in which Hudson and Vasquez investigate some motion they have detected ahead of them. It turns out to be pet hamsters walking around in their cage.
The scene in which Ripley, Burke, Gorman and Bishop approach in the APC and then enter the colony to meet Hicks' team has been restored. Ripley pauses before entering and Hicks stays behind to ask if she's okay. She says "yes" and enters the complex.
During Hicks' description of the equipment salvaged from the APC wreckage, additional dialogue has been added in which he describes the four remote sentry guns.
When Ripley and the Marines examine the colony's blueprints, discussing how they will barricade themselves inside the complex, there is some additional dialogue referring to the strategic placement of the sentry guns.
The sequence of Hicks arming the sentry, and Hudson and Vasquez testing one of the sentry guns has been restored. If one watches the theatrical version closely, the sentry guns from this scene are briefly visible when Hudson and Vasquez close the door to weld it.
Before the scene where Ripley carries Newt into the infirmary, a single shot of the sentry guns silently scanning the hallways has been inserted.
During the scene where Ripley puts Newt to bed in the medical center, dialogue about Ripley's daughter and the origin of babies has been restored. Newt asks Ripley if human babies are born the same way as the aliens. She also asks if Ripley ever had a baby, and Ripley tells her that she had a daughter, but she's gone. Newt asks if that means she's dead, and Ripley changes the subject by giving her the wrist locater.
In the scene where Ripley, Bishop, Hudson and Vasquez discuss the aliens' life cycle, there is some additional dialogue in which Hudson offers his speculation that the eggs are laid by a queen and that she runs the entire nest, like in an ant hive. Vasquez corrects him that bees have hives, not ants.
After Ripley's confrontation with Burke, the sequence involving the aliens attempting to make their way past the sentry guns in the service tunnel has been restored.
After Vasquez and Ripley seal Bishop in the pipe, the aliens confront the other two sentry guns that have been set up in the colony corridors. At the end of the sequence, when Hicks dispatches Hudson and Vasquez (to walk perimeter), some of the shots have been rearranged from the theatrical edition and Hicks' dialogue slightly altered.
Before Ripley leaves the dropship to rescue Newt, there is some additional dialogue in which she turns to Hicks to say goodbye, and they tell each other their first names (Ellen Ripley and Dwayne Hicks).
The laserdisc and DVD editions also includes the sound of a facehugger scurrying from left to right as the final credits fade.
An additional scene shows Ripley searching for Newt and finding Burke who has been cocooned and impregnated. Burke begs Ripley to shoot him, instead she hands him a grenade. This scene was filmed (some magazines printed a few shots taken from it), but it does not appear in any version of the film, because Burke, given the established timetable, would have still had the facehugger attached to his face.