Dr Vahlen is XCOM's chief researcher and often the voice of pragmatism among the XCOM command staff. Vahlen is comfortable with quite extreme approaches to research, particularly with live aliens. This is acknowledged by Bradford and Tygan in XCOM 2.
Dr. Vahlen is the Chief Scientist assigned to the XCOM project. She leads the Research Team's efforts with great enthusiasm, as her particular interests lie in finding ways to adapt the alien technology to advance human scientific developments.
Source: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) Research Archives
Dr. Vahlen's Quotes
- "I'm still having a hard time grasping what it is the aliens are hoping to accomplish here. Are they studying us? Why abduct humans seemingly at random? There must be a pattern that we haven't established yet."
- "We're gaining a better understanding of the alien technology with each passing day, but the task of actually reproducing their equipment will be difficult, to say the least. Still, with each new discovery, I find myself wondering how far our research could advance the cause of human scientific development. To think, that despite whatever sinister motive brought the aliens here... that their own technology could actually bring about a positive shift in human society...."
- "I've always thought of science as a way to improve our everyday lives, to answer the long-standing questions of scientific history. The aliens, though...it's obvious now that they consider science simply a means to an end, using and discarding life as needed to reach their goal... whatever that may be."
- "I have difficulty understanding how such an advanced species could show so little empathy for the lives of other sentient beings... It goes against everything we have ever imagined. The technology is there, but with it comes a callousness we would never have expected. What could have brought them to this..."
- "There's no way the aliens could have anticipated this outcome - we've crippled their entire support network. Of course, this isn't the end... We have no choice now but take it further. We have to find their remaining ships, and finish what they started."
- Nothing will ever be the same. The work that we've done here - to adapt the technology of a hostile enemy force - has advanced the scientific progress of mankind by untold generations. These weapons... these abuses of science, we still have an opportunity to use them for a greater good. We have paid a heavy price, but our efforts have not been in vain."
Dr Vahlen does not appear directly in XCOM 2. In the Alien Hunters DLC she is revealed to have escaped the fall of XCOM and tried to set up a research lab to investigate alien biology for purposes unknown. She succeeded in creating the pure-strain Alien Rulers, then seemingly escaped the new base's destruction, but is not seen again.