With a new Half-Life game right around the corner- wait… *shuffling papers* this can’t
Hmm, I guess it is.
With Half-Life: Alyx right around the corner, we here at Suggestive Gaming figured now would
be a good time to take a look back at the currently known timeline of the events in
the Half-Life Universe.
This includes the Half-Life games, their various expansions and episodes, as well as the Portal
games and their various surrounding media.
Do note that for the events covered in the original Half-Life game, we will be illustrating
them using the recently completed fan-remake by the Crowbar Collective: “Black Mesa”,
simply because, well… selfishly, I just wanted to play that one.
Now, without further ado, this is what you need to know about Half-Life.
Our story begins in the 1950s with the establishment of the Black Mesa research corporation, as
well as their rivalry with the unorthodox corporation and former shower curtain manufacturer
Aperture Science over various government contracts.
Decades later, in the 1980s, the companies remain neck-and-neck in competition, with
the two developing similar, but separate “portal” teleportation technologies.
Aperture then begins development on their “Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System”,
or GLaDOS: an artificial intelligence which they hope will help accelerate research into
the portal technology.
Sometime in the 2000s, GLaDOS is turned on, however, she instantly becomes self-aware
and takes control of the Aperture Science Enrichment Center, pumping it full of deadly
neurotoxin to kill her creators.
Some scientists survive, however, and install a “Morality Core”, which prevents her
from using the gas again.
They then start her on a permanent cycle of “testing” the portal tech with the surviving
Aperture Science employees in hopes to perfect it before Black Mesa can.
On the morning of May 16th, the Black Mesa researchers begin to test their “Anti-Mass
Spectrometer”, a machine designed to study crystals retrieved from the recently discovered
borderworld: Xen, which Black Mesa scientists were able to travel to using their experimental
Due to Dr. Gordon Freeman’s tardiness, the team in the Black Mesa facility’s Sector
C decide to use the extra time for further preparation.
This includes increasing the power of the Anti-Mass Spectrometer past it’s 90% safety
One researcher, Dr. Rosenberg, protests this decision to his colleague Dr. Richard Keller,
but Keller explains that the directive came directly from Black Mesa Administrator Wallace
Doctors Gina Cross and Colette Green are then tasked with retrieving the Xen crystal sample
to bring to the Anti-Mass Spectrometer’s chamber just as Gordon Freeman arrives to
As Gordon rides a tram to Sector C, he is observed by a mysterious man in a blue suit.
This man, known only as the G-Man by others, continues to monitor Freeman as well as the
other Black Mesa employees.
Also on his way, Freeman encounters Doctors Isaac Kleiner and Eli Vance.
Vance expresses his own concern about the experiment, given that the stress of the additional
power is already causing havoc and breaking equipment.
Gordon dons a Hazardous Environment, or HEV suit and enters the chamber to begin the experiment.
Around this time, security guard and friend of Gordon’s, Barney Calhoun, arrives at
the facility to begin his work on the “Blue Shift” in Sector C.
Meanwhile, Dr Cross delivers the crystal to the chamber, and Gordon begins to insert it
into the device.
At this moment, Eli Vance is contacted by the G-Man, who tells him to “prepare for
Despite this warning, he allows Gordon to insert the crystal, and almost immediately,
a Resonance Cascade occurs, causing a rift to open between Xen and Earth, allowing several
alien creatures to teleport into the facility.
Gordon is then forcefully teleported to various locations around Xen, before returning back
to the test chamber and losing consciousness.
Elsewhere, Barney Calhoun is traveling in an elevator, which crashes due to the power
surge in the facility, causing him to lose consciousness as well.
Gordon soon awakens and leaves the chamber to find Eli Vance, who sends Gordon to head
to the surface to find help.
He heads off, finding a crowbar on his way which he uses to fend off the various invading
Meanwhile, Doctors Cross, Green, and Rosenberg head to the surface themselves, and reach
a communication room where Rosenberg sends out a distress signal to the military, who
send in the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit, who are not only instructed to eliminate any
alien threat, but also any and all facility employees to cover up the incident.
Among these soldiers sent to the facility is a Corporal Adrian Shephard and his team,
whose heliplane is shot down by a Xen aircraft, and they also lose consciousness.
Dr. Rosenberg is quickly captured by the arriving HECU forces, but Barney Calhoun awakens and
reaches the surface, finding and freeing Rosenberg.
He then assists the doctor with finding the A-17 Prototype Test Labs to hopefully use
a prototype teleportation device to escape the facility.
Meanwhile, Gordon discovers the HECU’s presence, and quickly learns that they are not there
to help him and his fellow scientists.
He then fights through their forces and reaches the surface, only to discover that the military
has begun airstrikes on Black Mesa, forcing him to immediately retreat back down into
Doctors Green and Cross then work with Dr. Keller once again, who instructs them to prepare
a satellite delivery rocket for launch, which along with a prototype displacement beacon,
can reduce the effects of the Resonance Cascade and partially close the rift.
They are able to disable the rocket’s lockdown, allowing it to be launched, but are unable
to trigger it themselves, as the HECU arrives and takes over the control room.
Meanwhile, Barney and Rosenberg are able to escape the facility by using the teleporter,
but not before Barney is trapped in a temporal harmonic reflux, causing him to travel between
Xen and Black Mesa, much like Gordon did earlier.
However, he luckily ends up outside the facility, finding Rosenberg along with fellow scientists
Walter Bennet and Simmons, and they all escape safely in a Black Mesa SUV.
Afterwards, Gordon spends the rest of the day fighting through the various forces of
Xen and the HECU to restore power to the Black Mesa facility and reach the control room of
the rocket prepared by Green and Cross.
He clears out the HECU forces and launches the rocket, allowing Green, Cross, and Weller
to activate the displacement beacon, successfully lowering the effects of the resonance cascade.
Green and Cross are caught in their own harmonic reflux, but end up back at Black Mesa with
Weller, where they rest and wait out the aftermath.
Elsewhere, the US Government realize the HECU’s cleanup operation is failing, and decide to
deploy a Black Ops strike team to detonate a Mark IV Thermonuclear Device to destroy
the entire facility and any evidence.
After the Black Ops’ arrival, two Vortigaunts (one of the invading species from Xen) teleport
to Black Mesa and fight their way through the government forces to retrieve and recover
a collection of Xen crystals.
Soon after, Gordon is ambushed and captured by the HECU, stripped of his weapons and equipment,
and thrown into a trash compactor to die.
He escapes this fate, however, and reaches Black Mesa’s secret Advanced Biological
Research Lab, where he finds the various Xen species contained for study and experiments,
revealing that Black Mesa was aware of Xen and it’s creatures far before the resonance
Meanwhile, Corporal Adrian Shephard awakens in a Black Mesa medical facility, where he
was taken by friendly Black Mesa employees unaware of the HECU’s actual mission.
He makes his way to the surface, where he learns of the HECU’s new command to extract
from the facility in order to escape before the nuclear blast.
As he makes his way to an evac helicopter, however, he is stopped by the G-Man, who closes
a door in front of him, causing the nearby oblivious soldiers to leave without him.
Shepard then makes his way back to the facility to search for another way out and finds his
fellow squadmates who help him proceed through the facility, where he eventually reaches
the Lambda Complex around the same time Gordon Freeman does.
Freeman learns that the Lambda Complex was where the Black Mesa staff was initially studying
the teleportation technology that first took them to Xen.
Scientists holding themselves up in the complex inform Gordon that the displacement beacon
couldn’t fully close the rift between the two worlds because of a powerful being on
the other side keeping it open.
Shepard then enters the complex just as Gordon jumps into the teleporter to destroy the being
controlling the portal.
As he does, Alien Controllers teleport in from Xen, which Shepard is forced to deal
He then enters a temporary portal and teleports to Xen himself, where he finds a Displacer
Cannon which he uses to teleport around Xen and Black Mesa, fighting a new invading species
called Race X.
On Xen, Freeman fights his way through the powerful creatures there, coming across the
remains of the HEV suit clad scientists who had teleported there to study the world before
He eventually comes upon an Alien Grunt cloning facility operated by enslaved, and seemingly
Gordon fights his way through the Alien Controllers in the facility, and finds a giant portal
which he enters to find the creature responsible for the rift’s control, as well as the leader
of the Xen forces and enslavor of the Vortigaunts: the Nihilanth.
Upon noticing Freeman’s arrival, the powerful figure begins to attack, and the two engage
Meanwhile at Black Mesa, Shepard learns of the thermonuclear device and fights his way
through the Black Ops forces to find and disable the bomb.
However, his efforts are for naught, as he soon sees the G-Man reactivating the bomb
as he goes to leave.
Unable to return to stop him, Shepard is forced to leave and finds a giant Race X Gene Worm
attempting to enter a portal into Black Mesa.
Shephard is able to destroy the creature to prevent it’s invasion, causing it’s portal
to explode and knock him out.
When he awakens, Shephard finds himself on a heliplane, much like the one he arrived
at Black Mesa in.
The G-Man greets him just as the nuclear bomb destroys Black Mesa in the distance.
The G-Man then teleports them to an unknown location, claiming that he has to keep Shephard
imprisoned in an isolated location at his “employer’s” request, due to his knowledge
of the events that transpired.
The G-Man then escapes through a portal, and Shephard is left alone in the void.
Meanwhile, Gordon battles and kills the Nihilanth.
In its Death, Gordon is teleported out of its lair and is overwhelmed by an explosion
which freezes time.
Emerging from the frozen blast is the G-Man once again, who finally speaks to Freeman.
He reveals that thanks to Freeman, he and his “employers” now control the Xen borderworld.
He then extends a job offer from his employers, teleporting Gordon to a tramcar in the void.
Gordon then accepts the job, and enters a portal, after which the G-Man praises his
decision, stating that he will see him up ahead before putting him into a statis sleep.
After the events at Black Mesa, Portal Storms begin to rage across Earth, causing small
interdimensional rifts to open across the planet, bringing forth a large number of life
forms from Xen.
While the various Governments on Earth are distracted with fighting off these forces,
The Combine, an extremely powerful inter-dimensional empire that had initially chased the Nihilanth
and it’s creatures to Xen, arrive in droves to invade Earth.
The United Nations declare war on the Combine, but it only lasts seven hours, as the Combine
proves too powerful of a foe.
Former Black Mesa administrator Wallace Breen then negotiates Earth’s surrender with the
Combine, allowing humanity’s survival at the cost of a lifetime of enslavement.
Breen is then appointed as a puppet ruler for the Combine Advisors, and takes the role
of Earth Administrator.
Additionally, the Vortigaunts arrive on Earth, now free of their own enslavement.
Owing an eternal gratitude to Gordon Freeman, the Vortigaunts are convinced by Eli Vance
to join Humanity in creating an underground resistance to fight, and ultimately overthrow,
Shortly after the Combine invasion, in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center, GLaDOS
is now seemingly “alone” in the facility.
One of the last surviving employees, scientist Doug Rattmann, gets a hunch about an initially
rejected test subject named Chell.
Due to her extreme stubbornness and tenacity, Rattmann instead moves her to the top of the
list of potential test subjects, hoping she would be able to take down the increasingly
violent and sadistic AI running the facility.
He then goes into hiding, finding various “dens” throughout the facility where he
takes refuge, slowly slipping into madness caused by his now untreated schizophrenia.
GLaDOS then awakens Chell from stasis sleep, and begins running her through tests using
the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, promising her cake upon successful completion
of all of the tests.
However, Chell soon discovers some of Rattmann’s dens, finding various messages and warnings
about GLaDOS deceptions and true intentions, notably that the cake is a lie.
GLaDOS also tortures Chell by providing her with a Weighted Companion Cube as a friend,
but forcing her to incinerate it after the test is complete.
Chell completes all of the tests successfully, and afterwards GLaDOS leads her into a pit
Chell is able to escape, however, and begins to traverse her way through the empty offices
and halls of the abandoned facility.
Eventually, she reaches the Central AI Chamber, where she finds GLaDOS’s mechanical chassis
hanging from the ceiling.
Chell is then able to outsmart the AI, using the portal device to redirect turret missiles
at GLaDOS, removing and destroying her personality cores.
After GLaDOS’s hardware is destroyed, a portal opens and transports Chell and the
remains of the chassis outside to the facility’s parking lot.
However, shortly after, a “Party Escort Bot” arrives to drag Chell back inside the
facility, immediately placing her in a stasis sleep.
Shortly after, Doug Rattmann finally escapes the facility, just in time to see Chell being
dragged by the Party Escort Bot.
Feeling responsible for Chell’s fate, Rattmann re-enters the facility, finding her long-term
relaxation room, where she is in stasis sleep.
He is soon met with opposition, however, and is hit by a bullet from a turret.
Knowing his only chance to save Chell would be to ensure her life-support remains active,
he crawls to a local workstation and redirects her room’s power source to the facility’s
This ensures her survival, but puts no end-date on her cryogenic sleep, meaning she will stay
He then crawls into a Relaxation Vault and falls asleep.
Years later, around twenty years after the Black Mesa incident, Gordon Freeman is awoken
by the G-Man on a train car inbound to City 17.
At the trainstation, Gordon is captured by Combine Overwatch forces, but is intercepted
by an undercover Barney Calhoun, who has infiltrated the opposition.
Barney leads Gordon to safety, and sends him off to find Dr. Isaac Kleiner’s lab.
As he heads out, however, he gets caught in the middle of a Combine Overwatch raid.
He is almost captured, but is soon saved by a young woman: Alyx Vance, none other than
Eli Vance’s daughter.
Alyx leads Gordon to Kleiner’s lab, and there, Kleiner reveals his own teleporter
built to quickly transport members of the underground Resistance.
They decide to use it to send Gordon and Alyx to Black Mesa East: a resistance base and
research facility where Eli Vance is leading the group’s scientific research.
Kleiner gives Gordon a new and improved version of his HEV suit, and the pair set up the teleporter
to send Alyx to Black Mesa East.
After a successful teleportation, Gordon enters the machine to be sent next.
However, Kleiner’s defanged pet head crab (one of the hostile creatures from Xen), named
Lamarr, leaps onto the machine, causing it to malfunction.
Gordon is then teleported to various locations, including Wallace Breen’s office at the
Combine’s monolithic central building called the Citadel.
Breen sees Gordon and immediately recognizes him, alerting his Combine superiors, the Advisors,
of his return.
Gordon is finally teleported outside Kleiner’s lab, and the scientist turns off the teleporter
to leave him there.
Barney meets with him and gives him the crowbar he used during the Black Mesa incident, and
instructs him to use the canal system to reach Black Mesa East and find Eli and Alyx.
Gordon then fights his way through the Combine and other alien forces to make his way, witnessing
the G-Man once again observing his progress, He is soon met with opposition from a Combine
Using an airboat provided to him by the resistance, he is able to fight it off and eventually
reach Black Mesa East.
There, Gordon meets Dr. Judith Mossman, another researcher at the resistance base, before
he is reunited with Eli Vance, who fills him in on the events that transpired since the
Black Mesa incident.
Alyx then takes Gordon outside to demonstrate the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator, or
the Gravity Gun: a handheld device with the ability to manipulate physics.
She also introduces her giant mechanical pet: Dog.
Gordon plays with Dog using the Gravity Gun, but their fun is cut short when the Combine
arrives and launches a raid on Black Mesa East.
As they re-enter the facility, a ceiling collapses, and Alyx and Gordon are separated.
Alyx instructs Dog to take Gordon to the path to Ravenholm in order to escape.
Gordon makes his way to Ravenholm, and finds it mostly abandoned; however, he soon finds
several humans turned by parasitic Headcrabs into zombie-like creatures.
He also finds the town to be filled with various elaborate and deadly traps aimed to kill these
Shortly after, he meets the town’s sole inhabitant, and the creator of the traps:
Father Grigori, who helps Gordon fend off the Zombies and make his way through the town
to find a mine that will take him back to City 17.
Refusing to leave his town, Grigori continues to distract the Zombies, entering a burning
crypt, leaving his fate unknown as Gordon leaves the town.
Afterwards, Gordon learns that Eli was captured and taken to the Combine run Nova Prospekt
He then begins to travel along Highway 17 to find him, meeting Colonel Odessa Cubbage
along the way, who equips him with an RPG to take down an approaching Combine Gunship.
Eventually, Gordon fights and defeats an alien Antlion Guard.
Afterwards, a Vortigaunt extracts a pheropod from the creature, giving it to Gordon and
allowing him to control Antlion forces to aid him in his fight against the Combine opposition.
Gordon reaches Nova Prospekt, and meets up with Alyx.
There, they find a recording of Mossman talking with Breen, revealing that she had been a
spy working with him in some capacity.
Alyx and Gordon track down Mossman and confront her, but she insists that she only acted to
protect Eli and their work.
Alyx refuses to listen, retrieving her father from captivity and forcing Mossman to use
a teleporter the Combine built based on the research supplied by Mossman to take them
all back to Kleiner’s lab.
However, Mossman is able to take Eli and teleport them to the Citadel, leaving Alyx and Gordon
behind to fight off Combine forces as they prepare the teleporter to take them to Kleiner’s
However, when they use it, the teleporter explodes as they do, destroying the facility.
Once they arrive in Kleiner’s Lab, Gordon and Alyx are informed by the doctor that their
teleportation wasn’t instant, and the two had been missing for a week.
Kleiner reveals that in that time, the resistance began their Uprising, taking the destruction
of Nova Prospekt as the signal to strike.
Gordon then takes Dog and the pair leave Alyx and Kleiner to escape the city while they
head out to aid in the battle.
Dog is separated from Freeman and carried away by a Combine dropship, but Gordon is
able to meet up with Alyx, who is later captured and taken to the Citadel.
Gordon then finds Barney, and the two fight towards the Citadel where they find Dog searching
Dog is able to open a passageway for Gordon into a Citadel, and he enters to search for
Alyx and Eli.
Inside, Gordon uses a transport pod designed for Combine Stalkers (resistant humans that
are transformed into lifeless husks by the Combine) to traverse through the facility.
Eventually, Gordon comes across a weapon confiscation field, which destroys his weapons, save for
the Gravity Gun, which causes the field to malfunction and instead charge the Gravity
Gun and Gordon’s suit with the “dark energy” the Combine uses as the basis for their weaponry.
After he fights his way through the facility and enters another pod, however, he is discovered
by Breen, who transports the pod to his office.
There, he is met by Mossman, who apologizes and leads Gordon to Breen, who is mid-conversation
Breen tries to convince Eli to join him, but Eli refuses on moral principle.
Breen then brings in Alyx to use as a bargaining chip, threatening to send all three of them
through a Combine Portal to their Overworld.
However, Mossman intervenes and releases Eli, Alyx, and Gordon from captivity.
Breen then takes the Gravity Gun and Flees to head to the portal to the Combine Overworld
Alyx and Gordon leave Eli and Mossman (who escape the Citadel using Breen’s escape
pods) and the pair give chase, witnessing Breen talking to his Combine masters before
he runs off again, leaving the Gravity Gun behind to be retrieved by Gordon.
He then makes his way to the Dark Energy reactor as the portal begins to open.
Gordon is able to destroy the reactor, causing a giant explosion, seemingly killing Breen.
The G-Man arrives and freezes time, congratulating Gordon on his continued success, and revealing
that he has received other “interesting offers” for Gordon’s work.
Sometime after these events, a group of Vortigaunts appear and rescue Alyx, as well as separating
Gordon from the G-Man.
The pair are then brought out of stasis by the Vortigaunts and teleported to the outside
of the Citadel.
They reunite with Dog and contact Eli and Kleiner, who reveal that the Citadel’s Core
is about to explode, threatening to destroy all of City 17 as well as everyone in it.
Alyx and Gordon then head back into the Citadel to try to stabilize the core to stop it’s
There, they find a recording of Breen’s final conversation with his Combine masters
that they interrupted, in which it is revealed that they evidently wanted to transport him
using some kind of “host body”.
Afterwards, they see an image of a Combine Advisor, and encounter a kind of telepathic
effect before an Advisor Pod is sent through a tube beneath them.
They are able to reach the Citadel Core, and are able to stabilize the core and delay the
Afterwards, Alyx finds intel that the Combine intended on allowing the explosion to signal
off-world Combine forces of the current crisis on Earth.
They then find another recent recording, this time from Mossman (intended for Eli, but intercepted
by the Combine).
She claims to have found the location of a mysterious “Project” before her and her
team are attacked by the Combine and a yet-unseen creature called a Hunter.
The transmission then cuts suddenly.
Alyx takes a copy of the transmission, and her and Gordon then board a train to escape
the facility once again.
While the train crashes, the two are able to escape the wreckage and fight their way
through City 17, eventually meeting up with Barney, who is taking a group of survivors
to a train station to escape the city.
After fighting through very strong Combine opposition, BGordon and Alyx are able to lead
Barney and the Survivors to safety before boarding a train themselves and leaving the
Just as they escape, the Citadel explodes, decimating City 17 in its wake.
The shockwave also causes Alyx and Gordon’s train car to overturn, and the pair are once
again knocked out.
Alyx is able to recover and use the gravity gun to free Gordon from the wreckage of the
They look out to the ruins of City 17 and see a superportal above the remains of the
Suddenly, a portal storm occurs, and Alyx and Gordon use a path it opened to enter a
They reach a communication building, where Alyx is able to contact Eli and Kleiner, currently
stationed at the White Forest resistance base.
When Alyx mentions the recording from Mossman, Dr Magnusson, the base’s leader, then enters
the call and demands they bring them the recording as quickly as possible.
Afterwards, they are found by the Combine, and Alyx is attacked by a Hunter, critically
A Vortigaunt arrives just in time to keep Alyx alive, and it carries her to a small
Resistance outpost nearby.
There, Gordon and two other fighters, Griggs and Checkley, protect the Vortigaunt and his
brethren while they heal Alyx.
Unfortunately, they are unable to fully restore her health without an Antlion larval extract,
and Gordon and the Vortigaunt that saved Alyx then head off to retrieve it and bring it
back to them.
While the Vortigaunts are distracted healing Alyx, the G-Man appears to Gordon once again,
explaining that he had saved Alyx from the Black Mesa incident due to her importance
in his plans, despite Breen’s objections.
He then instructs Gordon to get her to White Forest, and instructs Alyx to relay a message
to Eli: “prepare for unforeseen consequences”.
Alyx awakens, fully healed, and the Vortigaunt then takes her and Gordon to the surface,
where they witness a militia of Combine forces heading towards White Forest.
Gordon then retrieves a car while being covered by Alyx and the Vortigaunt, and brings it
back to them.
Alyx and Gordon then leave in the car, separating from the Vortigaunt, who returns to his brethren
to hunt the Combine Advisors escaping in their pods.
On their way to White Forest, Alyx and Gordon stop at a radio tower to try to contact the
base to warn them about the approaching Combine ambush, however, they are attacked by Hunters,
which Gordon is able to defeat.
Afterwards, they notice that their transmission is being blocked by the Combine Advisors.
They continue on, but soon find a crashed Advisor pod on the side of the road.
Upon finding it, they start to again encounter the telepathic effects they experienced when
they witnessed the Advisor inside the Citadel.
They enter a nearby barn and find an Advisor inside.
Gordon and Alyx attempt to destroy it’s life support system, but it emerges from its
cocoon-like structure and telekinetically pins Gordon and Alyx to a wall, attacking
and almost killing Gordon before an explosion causes the creature to flee.
Alyx and Gordon then fight their way through more Combine attacks, eventually meeting up
with Dog and reaching White Forest.
There, they reunite with Kleiner and Eli, and they all meet with Dr Magnusson.
Magnusson reveals that they plan to launch a rocket using the data Alyx retrieved at
the Citadel, along with the satellites Gordon originally helped launch during the Black
Mesa incident, which they hope will close the Combine superportal.
After fending off another attack, Gordon and Alyx return to Kleiner and Eli to watch Mossman’s
In it, she reveals that the mysterious project she found was the “Borealis”, an Aperture
Science ship carrying an unknown powerful technology that had long since mysteriously
disappeared from it’s dry dock.
Kleiner and Eli then get into a disagreement on what should be done with the Borealis,
with Kleiner seeing value in using the technology for good, while Eli believes that something
of its power would only lead to another incident like Black Mesa.
Kleiner leaves to assist Magnusson with the rocket, and just after he does, the G-Man
appears on a screen behind Alyx for a moment.
When he disappears, Alyx delivers his message to Eli to “prepare for unforeseen consequences”.
This takes Eli off guard, and in confidence, reveals to Gordon that he knows of their “mutual
friend”, and tells Gordon that he had delivered the same message to Eli at Black Mesa, and
also reveals that the Xen crystal sample that caused the Resonance Cascade was provided
by the G-Man himself.
Magnusson then enters and interrupts the conversation with a warning that the giant, walking Combine
Strider forces are advancing on the base, and instructs Gordon to use the “Magnusson
Device”, a sticky bomb that he can launch at and destroy the creatures.
He then heads out and successfully uses them to fend off the Strider attack.
Back inside the base, the team regroups, and Eli tells Gordon that he believes the G-Man’s
warning to be in regards to the Borealis, and instructs Gordon to destroy the ship,
promising to explain more later.
He then expresses his pride and gratitude to Freeman, likening him to a son.
The group are then able to successfully launch the rocket, which works in closing the superportal
and preventing the Combine from calling in further reinforcements from their homeworld.
Alyx then leads Gordon to a helicopter hangar to retrieve a chopper to fly to Mossman at
the Borealis, while Eli follows.
At the hangar, however, they are ambushed by two Advisors, who again pin Gordon and
Alyx to the wall.
They then capture Eli, who gives one final warning to destroy the Borealis, no matter
what it takes.
He then tells Alyx he loves her, and to look away before an Advisor impales his brain,
probing his mind and instantly killing the man.
An Advisor then moves to grab Alyx, but Dog arrives and fights off the Advisors, causing
them to flee which frees Alyx and Gordon.
Alyx then rushes to her lifeless father, and caresses his body as she weeps.
This is the last we see of Gordon and Alyx’s story, at least for now, but we do have one
more to tell…
More than 50,000 years in the future, Chell is finally awoken from her stasis sleep by
Wheatley, a bumbling personality core who hopes to receive Chell’s help escaping the
Aperture Science facility after it’s reserve power was lost.
Wheatley leads Chell to a chamber containing an escape elevator, but she soon finds the
remains of GLaDOS’s lifeless chassis.
Wheatley attempts to route power to the elevator, but instead accidentally awakens GLaDOS.
Upon awakening, she immediately recognizes Chell and resents her for killing the AI.
She then crushes Wheatley, tossing him aside before leading Chell to her old discarded
Dual-Portal handheld device.
GLaDOS then forces Chell to go through test chambers once again, as the AI scrambles to
repair the broken-down facility.
During her testing, Wheatley appears to Chell, hiding from GLaDOS, but revealing he survived
his encounter with her.
A few test chambers later, Wheatley and Chell are discovered by GLaDOS and are forced to
make their way through the back halls of the facility to escape.
On their way, Chell discovers a science project exhibit left over from the “Bring Your Daughter
to Work Day” when GLaDOS began killing Aperture employees.
Interestingly, one of the “potato power” projects is credited to a girl named Chell,
indicating a potentially deeper tie between Chell and Aperture.
Chell and Wheatley then decide to sabotage GLaDOS’s defenses by causing the turret
assembly line to produce defective turrets, as well as cutting off her supply of neurotoxin.
Chell and Wheatley return to GLaDOS’s chamber, and when she tries to kill them, she fails
due to their meddling.
Due to GLaDOS’s corruption and Wheatley’s presence, a transfer of Wheatley into GLaDOS’s
body is initiated.
While GLaDOS tries to stop this, Chell is able to initiate an override and successfully
complete the transfer.
Afterwards, Wheatley sends Chell on the elevator to the surface, but quickly changes his mind,
seemingly corrupted by his new power.
He then puts GLaDOS into one of the Potato Power experiments as an act of embarrassment.
She then reveals that Wheatley was designed by Aperture Science engineers to be a moron,
installed onto her to potentially diminish her intelligence so she would no longer be
able to outsmart and kill her creators.
This pushes Wheatley over the edge, and he destroys the elevator, causing Chell and GLaDOS
to begin a deep, deep fall into the depths of the facility.
At the bottom, Chell watches GLaDOS get snatched away by a bird, and she begins to search her
way through the bowels of the facility, finding it to contain the old Aperture Science facility.
Inside, she hears various recordings of Aperture founder and CEO Cave Johnson explaining the
history of the company and its facilities and experiments, including the portals and
various “gels” with physics altering effects.
One investment was $70 million worth of moon rocks, which are grounded up.
They proved to be great conductors for the portal gun to create portal surfaces, but
prolonged exposure caused Cave to fall deathly ill.
Chell finds GLaDOS and saves her from the birds, and the pair put aside their differences
to take on the common goal of stopping Wheatley before he destroys the facility.
As GLaDOS begins to hear the records of Cave as well, however, she somehow recognizes his
voice, despite having never heard it before.
She then begins to mimic Cave’s assistant, Caroline, during a recorded conversation between
When Chell finds a portrait of Cave and Caroline, GLaDOS recognizes them and is overwhelmed.
In order to regroup, she turns herself off for the time being.
Chell also finds another startling discovery in the Aperture facility: a dry dock for the
Borealis, with the ship nowhere to be found.
Chell then hears another recording of Cave during his last days, where he instructs his
engineers to research artificial intelligence so they could transfer his mind into a computer
to preserve it.
He then proclaims that should he die before they can do so, he wants Caroline to take
over the facility, even if she disagrees, and states that she could take his place as
an AI as well.
GLaDOS then develops a plan to present Wheatley with a paradoxical phrase that should cause
his logic processors to fail and disable him.
However, when they reach him and present the paradox, it has no effect, due to his programming
to deliberately not think.
Wheatley then succumbs to the scientist’s AI design to forcefully test subjects, and
he sends Chell and GLaDOS through tests of his own, lazy design.
However, as he discovers an increasing tolerance to the “high” provided from successful
testing, he reveals that he found a new subject to test (in the form of a robotic test subject)
before leading Chell into a spike-filled trap.
Chell is easily able to avoid this trap and make her way to Wheatley’s chamber.
There, GLaDOS sends in corrupted personality cores, which Chell is able to attach to Wheatley,
raising his corruption level and triggering another core transfer.
When Chell goes to press the button to complete the override, Wheatley reveals that he actually
foresaw this outcome and sabotaged the button, which explodes.
Chell survives the explosion, and notices the moon through a hole in the crumbling facility.
She grabs the portal device and shoots a portal onto the moon, causing her, Wheatley, and
everything else in the room to get sucked into the vacuum of space.
Chell grabs on to Wheatley, still connected to the facility, but GLaDOS detaches Wheatley
and pulls Chell back through the portal, closing it and stranding Wheatley in space.
Chell awakens later to see the two robots Wheatley planned to test on: named Atlas and
GLaDOS, now back in her body and in control of the facility, thanks Chell for helping
her re-discover Caroline deep inside of her programming.
She then deletes Caroline, seemingly returning to her old ways.
However, she decides that despite her best efforts, she has been unable to kill Chell,
and likely will never be able to.
She decides that if she can’t kill Chell, the next best thing she can do is get rid
She then finally grants Chell her freedom, sending her up the elevator, where she is
serenaded by an opera of Turrets.
Outside, Chell steps into a bright cornfield.
Behind her, GLaDOS sends out her incinerated Weighted Companion Cube before slamming the
door shut, leaving Chell outside for good.
Meanwhile, in space, Wheatley admits his regret while floating in space, hoping to one day
go back so he can apologize.
Afterwards, GLaDOS tests on Atlas and P-Body, eventually using them to discover a vault
deep within the facility, which is revealed to contain hundreds of still alive human test
subjects, whom she kills within a week of testing…
This is where we leave the Half-Life and Portal universe, until we revisit the events between
the Half-Life and Half-Life 2 with Half-Life Alyx this month.
And while Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw has revealed his plans for an Episode 3 (which
I’ll link in the description) maybe one day we’ll finally get a fully realized conclusion
to Gordon Freeman’s story.
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