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A Hirogen with characteristic armour and adorned with red markings for the hunt.

The Hirogen are a fictional race in the Star Trek universe. The Hirogen were used as a long running plot device in the Star Trek: Voyager television series, appearing 9 times from season 4 to season 7 of the seven season long show.

Portrayed as a significant threat to the Voyager crew, the Hirogen are placed as an ancient and dominant species in the region, roaming vast distances in pursuit of worthy prey. While portrayed as an ancient race, their technology is not overly superior to that on Voyager, although their tetryon-based weapons are unfamiliar to Starfleet.

Initially a major threat to Voyager, the Starfleet crew eventually help the Hirogen to solve problems arising from their way of life, leading to a de-facto truce.

Contents

Characteristics

Similar to the aliens of the Predator species from the science fiction franchise of the same name, the Hirogen are cast as a species driven by the hunt, who highly prize the unusual trophies derived from the carcasses of their prey. As such, they are not attributed as having a home planet, and their society is apparently organized around spacefaring nomadic hunting packs or tribes, with a hierarchical structure in which an 'alpha' individual leads and a 'beta' and 'gamma' are secondary subordinates. Contact is maintained over vast distances between tribes by an ancient communication network. The ritualistic hunt is reinforced through the depiction of the application of paint to the armour before a hunt. Hirogen are typically shown as being much taller than humans, usually over two metres in size with a muscular build evolved for combat, and are usually shown wearing armour, with masks for inhospitable environments. However, in the seventh season episode "Flesh and Blood", a Hirogen technician is introduced that does not participate in hunting.

Plot

The USS Voyager encountered the Hirogen sometime around 2374, as Voyager uses an apparently abandoned ancient communications network belonging to the Hirogen (although it is not clear if the network was created by them or merely appropriated for their use). The Voyager crew use it to send a message to the Alpha Quadrant. The Hirogen vigorously object to use of their technology by Voyager. Sensing Voyager to be worthy prey, the Hirogen attack in force. Voyager's weapon systems were initially unable to penetrate the hull armour of the Hirogen fighter craft. Many conflicts ensued between Hirogen and Voyager as the aliens continued their ritualistic hunt, but, under Captain Janeway's guidance, the Starfleet crew was able to survive each encounter.

One of the final confrontations between Voyager and a Hirogen war party in 2377 was so devastating to both sides that a cease-fire between the two was reached (an unprecedented event in the entirety of Hirogen history). The Alpha in charge of the Hirogen party had initially invaded Voyager in the hopes of obtaining holographic technology and, though he fell during the combat, Janeway delivered the technology to his successor. The Alpha acknowledged that, by chasing 'prey' across the entire Quadrant, the Hirogen people were losing all cultural and national unity and would eventually be overcome by other species in the galaxy. By creating holographic hunts, with the safety systems off, they could continue to have lethal and challenging hunts while remaining united in a single portion of space. Unfortunately, the Hirogen programmed their holographic prey too well — the holograms were programmed to learn from each "death", and as such their combat abilities increased exponentially. This eventually reached the logical conclusion of the prey becoming the predators, and it is only the intervention of the Voyager crewmembers that prevented the Hirogen's utter extermination.

Episodes

  • "Message in a Bottle" - The Doctor's program is sent to an advanced Starfleet vessel via a vast ancient communications network belonging to the Hirogen, but he soon discovers that only he and the ship's own EMH remain to fight against a Romulan attempt to take over the ship in question.
  • "Hunters" - A transmission from Starfleet Command gets held at a Hirogen relay station and Janeway sets course to retrieve it.
  • "Prey" - Voyager rescues a Hirogen survivor who tells them a new kind of prey is on the loose.
  • "The Killing Game" - The Hirogen implant devices into the crew making them believe they are characters within the holodecks being used for hunts.
  • "Tsunkatse" - Seven of Nine and Tuvok are kidnapped while on shore leave and Seven is forced to compete in a fighting contest against a Hirogen.
  • "Flesh and Blood" - Voyager's hologram technology given to the Hirogen has been modified and is rebelling.

Other media

The Hirogen were featured in the 2000 PC game Star Trek: Voyager: Elite Force. Several missions took place aboard their ship, and their Tetryon Pulse Disruptor is obtained as a usable weapon.

See also

External links

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