Half-Life

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Half-Life is a science fiction first-person shooter video game series which consists of two full games, two half-length "episodes", two side stories and three expansion packs; the first game, Half-Life, was released in 1998. The protagonist of the series is Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist whose actions at the Black Mesa Research Facility inadvertently create a post-apocalyptic world. Expansions of the game Half-Life feature other controllable characters.

Half-Life (1998)[edit]

Black Mesa Transit Announcement System: Good morning, and welcome to the Black Mesa Transit System. This automated train is provided for the security and convenience of the Black Mesa Research Facility personnel. The time is 8:47 A.M. Current topside temperature is 93 degrees with an estimated high of one hundred and five. The Black Mesa Compound is maintained at a pleasant 68 degrees at all times.
This train is inbound from Level 3 Dormitories to Sector C Test Labs and Control Facilities. If your intended destination is a high security area beyond Sector C, you will need to return to the Central Transit Hub in Area 9 and board a high security train. If you have not yet submitted your identity to the retinal clearance system, you must report to Black Mesa personnel for processing before you will be permitted into the high security branch of the transit system.
Due to the high toxicity of material routinely handled in the Black Mesa compound, no smoking, eating, or drinking are permitted within the Black Mesa Transit System. Please keep your limbs inside the train at all times. Do not attempt to open the doors until the train has come to a complete halt at the station platform. In the event of an emergency, passengers are to remain seated and await further instruction. If it is necessary to exit the train, disabled personnel should be evacuated first. Please, stay away from electrified rails, and proceed to an emergency station until assistance arrives.
A reminder that the Black Mesa Hazard Course decathlon will commence this evening at 1900 hours in the Level 3 facility. The semi-finals for high security personnel will be announced in a separate secure access transmission. Remember, more lives than your own may depend on your fitness.
Do you have a friend or relative who would make a valuable addition to the Black Mesa team? Immediate openings are available in the areas of "Materials Handling" and "Low Clearance Security." Please contact Black Mesa personnel for further information. If you have an associate with a background in the areas of "Theoretical Physics," "Biotechnology," or other high-tech disciplines, please contact our Civilian Recruitment Division. The Black Mesa Research Facility is an equal-opportunity employer.
A reminder to all Black Mesa personnel. Regular radiation and biohazard screenings are a requirement of continued employment in the Black Mesa Research Facility. Missing a scheduled urinalysis or radiation check-up is grounds for immediate termination. If you feel you have been exposed to radioactive or other hazardous materials in the course of your duties, contact your radiation safety officer immediately. Work safe, work smart. Your future depends on it.
Now arriving at Sector C Test Labs and Control Facilities. Please stand back from the automated door and wait for the security officer to verify your identity. Before exiting the train, be sure to check your area for personal belongings. Thank you, and have a very safe, and productive day.

Barney Calhoun: [at the start of the game, repeats almost every time you talk to "one"] Hey, catch me later. I'll buy you a beer!

Scientist: Well, so much for the government, their idea of containment is to kill everyone associated with the project! Judging by your hazard suit I'd say you were part of what went wrong, isn't that right? Now look, if anyone can end this catastrophe it's the science team in the Lambda Complex at the opposite end of the base. With the transit system out I couldn't tell you how to get there, but there's an old decommissioned rail system somewhere through here, beyond the silo complex. If you can make it through the rocket test labs, you might be able to worm your way through the old tunnels to track down whatever's left of the Lambda team. You can trust them. You can trust all of us. Good luck.

Scientist: Did you see it? They said it was hauled from the Challenger Deep. But I'm positive that beast never swam in terrestrial waters until a week ago. There is a tranquilizer gun in the shark cage, but I'm not sure it would work on this species … you're welcome to try.

Scientist: Gordon Freeman, it is you, isn't it? the Science team is tracking your progress with the Black Mesa Security System. Unfortunately, so has the military. That suit of yours is full of tracking devices! Still, it's better than going naked in this place. It's cold in there and you'll have to hurry. It could sap your suit power in a matter of moments!

HECU soldier #1: Where are we taking this Freeman guy?
HECU soldier #2: Topside for questioning.
HECU soldier #1: What the hell for? We got him. Let's kill him now!
HECU soldier #2: What if they ID the body?
HECU soldier #1; Body? What body?
[Both HECU soldiers laugh evilly]

Scientist: Have you heard? They are killing scientists … our own race, turning against us. I think I'll stay here and take my chances with the creatures.

HECU captain: Come in, Cooper! Do you copy? Forget about Freeman! We're abandoning the base! If you have any last bomb targets, mark them on the Tactical Map! Otherwise, get the hell outta there! Repeat: we are pulling out and commencing air strikes! Give us targets or get below!

HECU soldier #1: So, who is this guy … Freeman?
HECU soldier #2: They say he was at ground zero.
HECU soldier #1: Science Team … do you think he was responsible? Sabotage, maybe?
HECU soldier #2: Yeah, maybe, all I know for sure is he's been killing my buddies.
HECU soldier #1: Oh yeah, he'll pay. He will definitely pay.

HECU soldier: I didn't sign on for this shit. Monsters, sure, but civilians? Who ordered this operation anyway?

HECU captain: Forget about Freeman, we are cutting our losses and pulling out! Anyone left down there now is on his own. Repeat, if you weren't already, you are now! [radio abruptly cuts out]

G-Man: [upon completion of the game] Gordon Freeman, in the flesh – or, rather, in the hazard suit. I took the liberty of relieving you of your weapons. Most of them were government property. As for the suit, I think you've earned it. The borderworld, Xen, is in our control, for the time being … thanks to you. Quite a nasty piece of work you managed over there, I am impressed. That's why I'm here, Mr. Freeman. I have recommended your services to my … employers, and they have authorized me to offer you a job. They agree with me that you have limitless potential. You've proved yourself a decisive man so I don't expect you'll have any trouble deciding what to do. If you're interested, just step into the portal and I will take that as a yes. Otherwise, well … I can offer you a battle you have no chance of winning; rather an anticlimax after what you've just survived. Time to choose …
[upon choosing to go through the portal] Wisely done Mr. Freeman! I will see you up ahead.
[upon "refusing" his offer] Well, it looks like we won't be working together. [The player is teleported in front of an army of aliens.] No regrets, Mr. Freeman…

Half-Life: Opposing Force (1999)[edit]

Scientist: Oh, you've woken up. Corporal Shephard is it? I've read the tag on your uniform. I'm glad to see my life-saving efforts weren't in vain, I can't say the same for him. [gestures to the dead soldier he tried to revive moments before] I'm afraid you have been through a serious accident. Most of your friends didn't make it. I was hoping you soldiers had come to rescue us, but now it seems that we are all in the same situation. I think I saw a radio near the crash site where I found you, perhaps you can go there and radio for help? I'm afraid these troops aren't going to make it. I hope you have better luck out there, or I fear none of us will get through this alive.

HECU commander: Shephard, you're alive! Listen, we've been cut up pretty bad and orders are coming down to pull out; repeat, pull out! Apparently they have other plans with Black Mesa now; if you can make your way through the transit system you can probably reach the surface where we are pulling out. Good luck! Over.

Black operator #1: Why do we always have to clean up a mess the grunts can't handle?
Black operator #2: Tell me about it. I just want to deliver the package and get out of here.
Black operator #1: Yeah, sooner or later the grunts are going to figure it out.

HECU soldier #1: Corporal, what the hell is going on here? Nobody told us about Black Operations in the mission briefing.
HECU soldier #2: Yeah, I mean we're all on the same team, right? Right?!
HECU soldier #1: I'm not sure what their mission is, but we need to keep moving!

Black Mesa security guard: I guess you're a good guy, Corporal. Listen, you've got to get down below. There's something coming through and it's the nastiest looking thing yet! Some of your buddies went down there a while ago and I haven't seen them since... I've got some weapons I've piled up in here; you better take as much as you can carry, 'cause I think this is it. Good luck, Corporal!

G-Man: [upon completion of the game] So Corporal Shephard, we meet at last. Please, don't think that I've been avoiding you, a great many matters require my attention in these … troubled times. I do hope you understand, and now I require a further indulgence on your part: I cannot close my report until every loose end has been tied up. The biggest embarrassment has been the Black Mesa facility, but I think that's finally taken care of itself.
[A nuclear weapon detonates in the background]
G-Man: Quite so. But there is still the lingering matter of witnesses. I admit I have a fascination with those who adapt and survive against all odds – they rather remind me of myself. If for no other reason, I have argued to preserve you for a time. While I believe a civil servant like yourself understands the importance of … discretion, my employers are not quite so trusting and rather than continually subject you to the irresistible human temptation of telling all, we have decided to … convey you somewhere where you can do no possible harm, and where no harm can come to you. I'm sure you can imagine that there are worse alternatives …

Half-Life: Blue Shift (2001)[edit]

Scientist: [After a power cut] Oh no … Its probably those Anomalous Materials people again. Always pushing their equipment too hard, dabbling in who-knows-what. I'd be surprised if there's one good brain among them.

Wounded scientist: I appreciate your help, but I'm afraid those bastards did their damage already. [coughs] If you were trying to reach the freight yards in hope of escaping, then just forget about it. The military is rounding up everyone and everything they can find, and either killing them or bringing them up here for questioning. So much for a rescue. A colleague and I came up with our own plan for escape, and we were on our way to one of the old prototype labs when we ran into them. But listen to me: if you still want to get out of here alive your only hope may be to find my friend. [coughs] If you can get past the soldiers, find Doctor Rosenberg. With him you may have a chance to get out of this place … [the scientist expires]

Dr Rosenberg: [upon completion of the game] Ah there he is. Calhoun, you've arrived! When you didn't come through right away we thought that … oh no, there's something wrong here. Simmons, come look at Calhoun. His body seems to be in some sort of resonance displacement and I …
[Calhoun is teleported to a variety of areas before temporarily stabilizing near two HECU soldiers dragging Freeman along unconscious]
HECU soldier #1: Where are we taking this Freeman guy?
HECU soldier #2: Top-side for questioning.
HECU soldier #1: What the hell for? We got him! Let's kill him now!
HECU soldier #2: Err, and if they find the body?
HECU soldier #1: Body? What body? [chuckles]
[Calhoun is teleported back to Rosenberg]
Dr Rosenberg: Thank God you made it! I was worried that a malfunction occurred at the last moment and you might have been caught in an infinite harmonic reflux. If that's the case, you're lucky to be standing here. Then again, we're all lucky. Thanks to you however, we were able to pull off this hare-brained idea. We made it Mister Calhoun, we made it.

Half-Life 2 (2004)[edit]

G-Man: [at the start of the game, over a psychedelic series of images calling back to Half-Life and forward to the final levels] Rise and shine, Mister Freeman, rise and … shine. Not that I wish … to imply that you have been sleeping on … the job. No one is more deserving of a rest, and all the effort in the world would have gone to waste until … well … let's just say your hour has come again. The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference … in the world. So, wake up, Mister Freeman. Wake up and … smell the ashes.

Barney Calhoun: Now … [Barney takes off his mask] about that beer I owed you. It's me, Gordon: Barney, from Black Mesa! Hey, sorry for the scare. I had to put on a show for the cameras. [turns to the console behind him and starts typing] I've been working undercover with Civil Protection. I can't take too long, or they'll get suspicious. I'm way behind on my beating quota.

Barney Calhoun: We can't keep him here long, Doc. It'll jeopardize everything we've worked for.
Alyx Vance: Don't worry. He's coming with me.
Isaac Kleiner: That's right, Barney. This is a red letter day. We'll inaugurate the new teleport with a double transmission.
Barney Calhoun: You mean it's working? For real this time? Because … I still have nightmares about that cat.
Alyx Vance: What cat?
Isaac Kleiner: Now, now, there is nothing to be worried about, we have made major strides since then, major strides.
Alyx Vance: [more anxiously] What cat?

Vortigaunt: [addressing Freeman after being discovered at a hidden campfire] We remember the Freeman. We are coterminous. There is no distance between us. No false veils of time or space may intervene. We see you still in Black Mesa. Clearly we see you in the Nihilanth's chamber. We bear witness to the bright eternity of the Nihilanth's demise. You leap, you fall, we see you flash between the barriers. We are there still, in observance of your final stroke. While our own lay scattered at your feet, you severed the vortal cord that bound the Nihilanth to life, and to us. That sharp spur of hope has not dulled to this day. For once the lesser master lay defeated, we knew the greater must also fall in time.
For a brief time you joined with us. You are one. Between the worlds. Communion of the Vortessence. And that other: a deeper mystery. No deeper than the void itself. We cannot forget those whose cords you cut. Forgiveness is not ours to bestow. Unity of purpose, the shattering of common shackles, a single road we tread. Your song we sing and shall sing for eternity. No matter the consequences of this struggle. You have brought us grief and jubilation beyond measure. With you beside us, a talisman of victory, the day of freedom draws nigh.
Your bright face obscures your darker mask. We call you sib, although your mind and meaning are a mystery to us. Far distant eyes look out through yours. Something secret steers us both. We shall not name it. We have endured these chafing bonds for eons, yet a single moment of further servitude seems intolerable! How often have we slipped our yoke, only to find it choking us again. Let this war end in either total victory or our extinction. No further compromise shall we allow. We take our stand beside you, here, upon this miserable rock.
The way ahead is dark for the moment. What seems to you a sacrifice is merely, to us, an oscillation. We do not fear the interval of darkness. We are a tapestry woven of Vortessence. It is the same for you if only you would see it. How many are there in you? Whose hopes and dreams do you encompass? Could you but see the eyes inside your own, the minds in your mind, you would see how much we share. We are you, Freeman. And you are us.

Wallace Breen: [addressing the Combine Overwatch, who have failed to apprehend Gordon throughout the game] This brings me to the one note of disappointment I must echo from our Benefactors. Obviously I am not on the ground to closely command or second-guess the dedicated forces of the Overwatch, but this does not mean I can shirk responsibility for recent lapses and even outright failures on their part. I have been severely questioned about these shortcomings, and now must put the question to you: How could one man have slipped through your force's fingers time and time again? How is it possible? This is not some agent provocateur or highly trained assassin we are discussing. Gordon Freeman is a theoretical physicist who had hardly earned the distinction of his Ph.D. at the time of the Black Mesa Incident. I have good reason to believe that in the intervening years, he was in a state that precluded further development of covert skills. The man you have consistently failed to slow, let alone capture, is by all standards simply that – an ordinary man.

Wallace Breen: Well, Dr. Freeman, under other circumstances I like to think we might have been able to work together in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Certainly, judging from your brief tenure at Black Mesa while I was its Administrator, you showed every promise of becoming a valuable and productive contributor to the scientific process. And yet – I'm not sure what spurred you to it – but there is really no place in this enterprise for a rogue physicist.
Your mentors are partly to blame, of course. My disappointment in Eli Vance and Isaac Kleiner is far greater than my sorrow over your unfortunate choice of career path. In a way, I suppose you could not have done otherwise. Who knows what seeds of iconoclasm they planted when you were young and gullible. But while they certainly share a great part of the responsibility for the recent troubles, it is you alone who have chosen to act with such willful disregard for humanity's future.
Tell me, Dr. Freeman, if you can. You have destroyed so much. What is it, exactly, that you have created? Can you name even one thing? … I thought not.

Wallace Breen: [addressing Gordon Freeman while preparing to teleport to the Combine homeworld] Dr. Freeman, you really shouldn't be out there. At the moment of synapse as I teleport, this chamber will be bathed in deadly particles that have yet to be named by human science. Perhaps when I'll have the leisure to do the work myself, I'll name one of them after you. That way, you won't be completely forgotten! When the singularity collapses, I'll be far away from here; in another universe, as a matter of fact. You, on the other hand, will be destroyed in every way it is possible to be destroyed and even in some which are essentially impossible!

[When the teleport system is destroyed]
Wallace Breen: No! You need me!
Alyx Vance: Yes, you did it! Come on, Gordon! We have to get out of here! Maybe we still have –
[The teleporter explodes. Time slows down around Gordon, then stops completely]
G-Man: Time, Dr. Freeman? Is it really that … time again? It seems as if you only just arrived. [G-Man "walks out" from the explosion] You've done a great deal in a small time … span. You've done so well, in fact, that I've received some interesting offers for your services. Ordinarily I wouldn't contemplate them, but these are extra … ordinary times. Rather than offer you the illusion of free choice, I will take the liberty of choosing for you … if and when your time comes round again. [extracts Gordon from the Citadel and enters the "black void" from the begining of the game] I do apologize for what must seem to you an arbitrary imposition, Dr. Freeman. I trust it will all make sense to you in the course of … [pauses] well, I'm really not at liberty to say. In the meantime … this is where I get off.
[The G-Man smiles and leaves Gordon in stasis.]

Half-Life 2: Episode One (2006)[edit]

[Chapter 1: D0g has suggested throwing a minivan containing Alyx and Gordon into the Citadel, which hundreds of feet away from the edge of the pit.]

Alyx Vance: Well... Gordon, unless you've got a better suggestion … he is a robot, he's done the math. [to D0g] ... You, uh... did do the math, right?

[D0g shakes its head, plates retracted.]

Alyx: Uh-huh...

Alyx: [entering a Combine control point] I think we just broke about 50 Combine regulations! No eye contact with Combine soldiers; don't damage Combine property; don't kill the Combine representatives; have your papers out and available; no loud noises after 6 o'clock...

[Citizen approaches a door to a Resistance safehouse.]
Citizen: Hey, it's me. Open the door.
[Panel opens to reveal a Resistance member's face]
Rebel: What's the password?
Citizen: I'm not even gonna tell you to shut up.
Rebel: Come on in!

[The door panel closes, and momentarily slides back open to reveal Barney.]

Barney: Gordon? Alyx? I don't believe it! [opens the door to let the two in] How the hell'd you get out of the Citadel?
Alyx: We're...not exactly sure. All we know is that the Vortigaunts had something to do with it. [now serious] But what about you, Barney?
Barney: Well, I'm doin' okay, just going crazy tryin' to —–
Female Rebel: They've found us!

[A Scanner is seen floating just outside one of the windows. One of the rebels destroys it with a shotgun blast.]

Barney: [to Gordon] Aw, hell, Gordon! Were you followed again?!
Alyx: We stole some information from the Citadel on our way out. I don't know what it is yet, but it's important enough that they've been hounding us the whole way here.
Barney: Well, that puts the pressure on – look, we gotta get moving!

Half-Life 2: Episode Two (2007)[edit]

Isaac Kleiner: What you're seeing is the infancy of a superportal. If it attains full strength –
Eli Vance: It'll be the Seven Hour War, all over again. Except this time, we won't last seven minutes.
Alyx Vance: My god … Gordon, maybe that's why they were sending so much data from the Citadel –
Dr. Kleiner: Data? From the Citadel?
Alyx: In the control room … they were feeding huge volumes of data directly into the core destruction sequence.
Dr. Kleiner: [to someone out of the camera's sight] Magnusson, did you hear that?! I bet it's the Combine portal code!
Arne Magnusson: Yes, yes, I'm not deaf!
Alyx: I downloaded the whole packet, and they have been chasing us ever since.
Dr. Magnusson: Well, of course they have! You see Kleiner, it's the lynchpin of all of their plans!
Dr. Kleiner: I can see that. I never said –
Dr. Magnusson: Now, somewhere in that sequence, they would've had to establish a connection with the far side. What you have there, young lady, is the specific contact code for the Combine Overworld!
Eli: Good god …
Dr. Magnusson: If I'm right about this – and I have no reason to doubt myself – you are carrying the very code Doctor Mossman had hoped to recover! Now, how soon can you get here?
Alyx: Well, we have to get our bearings, but we can't –
Dr. Magnusson: There is no time to waste! We'll need to step up the launch schedule and as soon as you get here with the signature data, we'll encode the satellite and get the damn thing into orbit!

Vortigaunt: [seeing the rotting body of a person who has committed suicide lying in a chair] A poignant scene. An eternity's repose. It brings peaceful thoughts, does it not?

[The Vortigaunts are healing Alyx's injuries, when time suddenly stops]
G-Man: [sing-song] Doctor Freeman … [begins to speak with his image imposed over several scenes] I realize this moment may not be the most … convenient for a heart-to-heart, but I had to wait until your [nods backwards and shows one laugh to the Vortigaunts healing Alyx] friends were otherwise occupied. [Background image begins to fade out completey. The G-Man remains visible.] There was a time the vortigaunts cared nothing for Miss Vance, when their only experience of humanity was a crow … bar coming at them down a steel corridor. When I … plucked her from Black Mesa, I acted in the face of objections that she was a mere child and of no practical use to anyone. I have learned to ignore such nay-sayers [Dr. Breen briefly appears on the screen behind the G-Man] when quelling them … was out of the question. Still, I am not one to squander my investments, and I remain confident she was worth far more than the initial … appraisal. That's why I must now … extract from you some small … repayment … owed for your own survival. See her safely to White Forest, Dr. Freeman. I wish I could do more than keep an eye on you, but I have agreed to abide by certain … restrictions. [to Alyx] Well now, listen carefully, my dear. When you see your … father, relay these words: "prepare for unforeseen consequences".
[Alyx wakes up as the vision ends]

Rebel: [teaching a class about combat] So, ever used an AR-2 [Standard Combine Pulse Rifle] before?
Citizen: AR-2 … no, but an AR-3 … sure! Plenty of times.
Rebel: There's no such thing as an AR-3.
Citizen: Well, you see, the city was lousy with AR-3s.
Rebel: No, it wasn't.
Citizen: Yes it was.
Rebel: No, it wa- [sighs] So do you know what the secondary fire on the AR-2 does? It kills Hunters. How did you city folk kill Hunters?
Citizen: Well we sure as heck didn't use guns! We would wrestle Hunters to the ground with our bare hands! I would get ten, twenty a day, just using my fists.
Rebel: [incredulous] So when you're out in the field you're going to be punching Hunters?
Citizen: Out in the field? I'm not going out in the field, I'm a radio operator!
Rebel: [fed up] Leave. You don't need to be here, and I'm not going to continue the lesson until you leave.
Citizen: I'm stayin' right here!
Rebel: I am serious. Leave!

Eli Vance: "Unforeseen consequences". The last time I heard those words was back at Black Mesa. You had just stepped into the test chamber when he whispered them in my ear. You know who I'm talking about … our mutual friend. When he brought in that crystal, I knew I should have aborted that damn test … but I didn't. The whole world went to hell that day. And now … now he's using my little girl. Putting words in her mouth. Goddammit. I should have known when he rescued her, it was for his own damn reasons. Gordon, there's so much I need to tell you. Between us, we may finally have a chance of … [suddenly stops when he notices Alyx is back]

See also[edit]