Half-Life 2 – All Characters Information and Stories Guide in 2021

Half-Life 2 – All Characters Information and Stories Guide in 2021 1 - steamlists.com
Half-Life 2 – All Characters Information and Stories Guide in 2021 1 - steamlists.com

In this “character guide” you will learn about the Half-Life 2 characters! From their background stories, to their individual personalities!

WARNING: Insanely massively long guide.

EDIT: I hope that no one removes this guide, as it is the biggest longest most painstaking guide I have ever compiled. And I like to keep it for my own references as well.


Full on Introduction




Ok, so who doesn’t like a good character guide explaining every little detail about the characters which make them come to life instead of a bunch of pixelated beings who walk, shoot, and talk? Heheh, I assume none of you here would want to read through this whole thing, you can easily favorite this and come back later to read some more. Now, first off, no hate! We all need to learn to appreciate what VALVᴱ created, in some form or another.

Complete Source: http://combineoverwiki.net/wiki/Main_Page

Second, “what’s the point of a character guide for HL2…it’s been out for almost 10 years now?” Well, honestly, I haven’t gotten that far in thought about it, but we all realize not every single person in the world has played Half-Life, let alone Half-Life 2. So there are still new players today, and I doubt it’ll stop until the end of days. So it’s still interesting to have a character guide showing and explaining a lot about the characters.

Though, garanteeing I don’t have EVERYTHING trapped in my brain, that would make me explode. Just to assure you, it’s 99% copy/paste job from the wiki.

Let’s begin with our iconic hero and star of the game, Gordon Freeman, surely this will be interesting!

Dr. Gordon Freeman

Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - Dr. Gordon Freeman
So whose this guy? Well, how could you not know him at all? He’s GORDON FREEMAN!! Along with his trademark crowbar, he’s the main protogonist of the game, the guy you play as.



Gordon Freeman was born between 1973 – 1981 in Seattle, WA, USA.

A native of Seattle, Washington, Freeman showed great interest and aptitude in the areas of quantum physics and relativity at a young age. His earliest heroes were Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Richard Feynman. At age 6, he even constructed a butane-powered tennis ball cannon.

While visiting the University of Innsbruck in the late 1990s, Freeman observed a series of seminal teleportation experiments conducted by the Institute for Experimental Physics. Practical applications for teleportation became his obsession, and he eventually attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in which Isaac Kleiner became his mentor. In 1999, he received his doctorate (Ph.D.) from MIT with a thesis paper entitled Observation of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Entanglement on Supraquantum Structures by Induction through Nonlinear Transuranic Crystal of Extremely Long Wavelength (ELW) Pulse from Mode-Locked Source Array (essentially about the teleportation of matter through extremely dense elements).

Working at Black Mesa


Disappointed with the slow pace and poor funding of academic research (and with potential tenure a distant dream), Freeman looked for a job in the private sector. Incidentally, Kleiner had taken charge of a research project being conducted at the Black Mesa Research Facility, located somewhere in the New Mexico desert. He was looking for a few bright associates, and Gordon was his first choice, although Judith Mossman also applied for the position.

Considering the source and amount of funds available to the Black Mesa labs, Gordon suspected that he would be involved in some sort of weapons research, but in the hopes that practical civilian applications would arise in areas of quantum computing and astrophysics, he accepted Kleiner’s offer.

At the start of Half-Life on May 16, 200-, the day of the Black Mesa Incident, Gordon Freeman is 27 years old, has no dependents, and has never handled a weapon of any sort. He is working at the Black Mesa facility, where he owns a Level 3 Research Associate position. He is accommodated in the Level 3 Dormitories in the Black Mesa South Wing, alone in room 309.

He is assigned to the Anomalous Materials department doing nuclear, subatomic, and quantum research. Despite having obtained a Ph.D. from the prestigious MIT, the laboratory work that the player actually does as Freeman (pressing a button and pushing a cart) does not require any intellectual expertise at all. Barney Calhoun pokes fun at this in the beginning portion of Half-Life 2, when Freeman performs similar “technical” assistance (pushing a switch and attaching a fallen plug back into a socket). Barney then goes on to joke that Gordon’s MIT education “really pays for itself”.

In Half-Life, the picture of a baby with beside an adult hand making a “thumb’s up” can be found in Freeman’s locker. Although the baby on the picture is Harry E. Teasley and Yatsze Mark’s daughter Isabel, and the picture was officially explained as being an Easter egg placed by the level designer, Marc Laidlaw offered the idea that it could be an infant relative of Gordon’s, such as a niece or nephew.[source?] The locker also contains the books The 37th Mandala and The Orchid Eater by Marc Laidlaw, as well as what seems to be Gordon’s diploma in a frame, a thermos and a cup, a HEV Suit battery, two sticky notes, and apparently a blue suit. [Gman?] After the Resonance Cascade, the thermos fell on the floor and the diploma fell on its face.

As told by Alyx in Half-Life 2: Episode One, Freeman and Calhoun would compete with each other to be the first to retrieve Dr. Kleiner’s keys whenever he locked them in his office in Black Mesa (apparently a fairly regular occurrence) without resorting to conventional means. This is reputedly where Freeman learned to make use of ventilation shafts to infiltrate rooms and buildings. Indeed, Gordon and Barney crawled through numerous ventilation shafts in Half-Life and Half-Life: Blue Shift respectively.




  • Half-Life 1
  • Half-Life: Blue Shift
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force
  • Half-Life: Decay
  • Half-Life 2 and Episodes/Lost Coast (obviously)

You can read more about the appearances combineoverwiki.net – http://combineoverwiki.net/wiki/Gordon_Freeman#Appearances on the actual wiki.

Gordon’s Relationships/Personality&Skills/Behind the Scenes




Here’s the fun part were we get to know Gordon’s relations to other people!

  • Kleiner:

    Dr. Kleiner was Gordon’s teacher at MIT and recommended him to Black Mesa, where they likely worked together. After the Combine invasion of Earth, Gordon once again worked alongside him, this time in the Resistance. Kleiner feels genuine concern for Gordon on his travels yet still foolishly puts Lamarr first on a few occasions.


  • Eli Vance:

    Eli knew Gordon well at Black Mesa; they both worked in Sector C. After the Resonance Cascade, Eli was the one who opened the door for Gordon to head towards the surface in search of help. That was the last Eli would see of Gordon until he showed up at Black Mesa East twenty years later. They forged a stronger bond throughout Episode One and Two, due to the fact that Alyx was with Gordon most of the time. At one point in Episode Two, Eli tells both Alyx and Gordon, “now that the suppression field is down… we all have to do our part”. The extremely candid statement shows how Eli feels about him. Shortly before his death, he tells Gordon not only about his encounter with the G-Man, confirming that the G-Man does exist on some level, but also that he could not be prouder of Gordon if he were his own son.


  • Alyx Vance:

    Relatively speaking, Alyx and Gordon have not actually known each other for a very long period. Alyx says to Gordon that he probably does not remember her, indicating he briefly met her (likely at Black Mesa) when she was an infant. But after going through such intense life and death combat situations and other hardships, they have forged a very strong relationship with each other. Alyx has shown affection to Gordon several times throughout the series: Twice giving a sad goodbye at an elevator, and hugging Gordon when Dog pulls him from the rubble.

    Although…. 웃❤유 heheheheheh


  • Barney Calhoun:

    Barney and Gordon go way back, being old friends at Black Mesa. When Dr. Kleiner would lock himself out of his office, the two would race to be the first to get the door open, with Gordon usually making use of the ventilation ducts to get in. They also see each other once in Half-Life and Blue Shift, each game depicting the scene from their own respective perspective. In Blue Shift, Gordon silently nods to Barney as he passes by in a tram. In the Combine-controlled world, Barney, undercover, saves Gordon from a terrible fate when Gordon nearly boards a train to Nova Prospekt. Gordon then joins Barney in assisting the Resistance. He still owes Gordon a beer.


  • Judith Mossman:

    Gordon and Judith both applied for the same position at Black Mesa. Gordon won out with his Innsbruck experience, and even later during the Combine occupation she is still jealous, at least according to Alyx.


Personality & Skills


Since Gordon does not say a single word during the entire saga, it is not clear to what extent he exists as a separate character outside of the player’s influence. Since the start of Half-Life, Valve has made sure that the player’s and Gordon’s experience are one and the same. An example of Valve’s player strategy is shown during the scene in Eli’s lab. Investigation of certain props (most notably the newspaper board) triggers Eli to give some explanation to their meaning and history, thus indicating that Gordon presents emotions that the non-player characters can detect.

The chapter Captive Freight from Blue Shift also shows an example of the character apparently speaking but being unheard by the player. When Rosenberg asks Barney how he knows his name, there is a slight pause, then Rosenberg confirms the name of the scientist who told it to Barney, as if he was answering him.

Although seeming to be an expert with weapons and explosives (turning into a “one man army” during the course of the games, much like in most FPS games), Freeman had actually not handled any weapons until some cursory training at the Black Mesa Research Facility’s Hazard Course (aside from the butane-powered tennis ball cannon he constructed at age 6). What separates Gordon Freeman from other games’ heroes is that he is a scientist – a rather unlikely kind of hero when compared to more traditional video game characters such as Duke Nukem, or soldier types in many other games, such as the Doomguy or the Master Chief.

Behind the Scenes


(whole thing not included)

  • The first name “Gordon” is a Scottish surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning “great hill”. “Freeman” is a common English surname which originally referred to a person who was born free, or in other words was not a serf, and not subject to the will of another. This is a rather ironic title to be given to Gordon, since he is ‘involuntarily’ serving the G-Man. On the other hand, it does make sense in that Freeman unknowingly sets the Vortigaunts free from the Nihilanth in Half-Life and sets humanity (and their new Vortigaunt allies) free from the Combine rule in Half-Life 2. The Vortigaunts refer to Gordon as “the Freeman” and in one of Dr. Breen’s announcements, he mentions that people are starting to refer to Gordon as “the One Free Man, the Opener of the Way”.
  • Gordon Freeman’s appearance was originally designed by Dhabih Eng and Chuck Jones, while the Half-Life 2 model was made by Dhabih Eng only. The face for that model was made out of the faces of several Valve employees morphed together, such as David Speyrer, Eric Kirchmer, Greg Coomer and Kelly Bailey
  • While older sources state that Gordon only started work at Black Mesa on May 15 (the day before the Black Mesa Incident), Half-Life 2 and its episodes retconed this, implying that Gordon was already working for some time at Black Mesa before the incident: Barney tells Gordon he owns him a beer and reminds him who he is when first meeting in the City 17 Trainstation, and Alyx tells in the City 17 Underground that Gordon and Barney would compete in air ducts to get into Kleiner’s office whenever he got himself locked out, among others.
  • As seen on a board at Valve’s seen in early 2004 where it is listed as a cut item, a love scene between Alyx and Gordon was at some point to be featured in Half-Life 2.
  • In October 2009, Gordon Freeman won the title of Greatest Video Game Hero of All Time by GameSpot after a four week long user voted competition.
    In May 2010, Gordon Freeman was ranked #1 of the 50 Greatest Video Game Characters by Empire.
  • The portion of a text seen in E3 video “Psyche” makes mention of muscular catatonia and Gordon, among other things.

    A 7” (c. 17.7 cm) action figure of Gordon Freeman was released by NECA in September 2012. It includes over 20 points of articulation, two sets of interchangeable hands, a crowbar, a pheropod, a Gravity Gun and a Classic Headcrab.


Alyx Vance

Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - Alyx Vance
Alyx Vance…hmmph, what can we say about her? Well, number 1, my all time favorite heroine of time. Number 2, she likes Gordon! 😀

Her birthday: UNKNOWN
Birth place: Earth

Alyx Vance is the deuteragonist of Half-Life 2 and its Episodes. The daughter of former Black Mesa scientist Eli Vance, she is portrayed as a woman in her mid-twenties, and is a prominent figure in the Resistance campaign against the rule of the Combine.



As a young child, Alyx lived in the dormitories within the confines of the Black Mesa Research Facility along with her father Eli and her mother Azian, while Eli was working at the Sector C Test Labs. When the Black Mesa Incident occurred, Eli managed to escape along with Alyx and a family picture, while Azian was killed in the incident. During the course of the incident, the G-Man was instrumental in rescuing Alyx, despite the objections of unnamed naysayers. Alyx was apparently too young to remember this, and although Eli witnessed it, he never shared the story with her.

Alyx was raised by Eli in the world controlled by the Combine, likely at Black Mesa East much of the time. During this time, Alyx was also on good terms with Isaac Kleiner, referring to him as “Uncle Kleiner” in an affectionate portrait she once offered him. During Alyx’s childhood, Eli used scrap metal to create Dog, a sentient robot designed to protect her, making him physically powerful, intelligent and with an in-built sixth sense so that he could always know Alyx’s whereabouts. Although the initial model was a mere meter high, Alyx added new parts to Dog over the time, making him a towering 2.5 meters high at the time of Half-Life 2.

As Alyx reached adulthood, she began working with the Resistance. As one of the core members of the City 17 branch, her contributions mostly included assisting Kleiner and Barney Calhoun in helping Citizens escape the city to Black Mesa East through the old Canals, as well as helping Kleiner, her father and Judith Mossman establish a teleport connection between Black Mesa East and Kleiner’s Lab. She is working with this at the time of Half-Life 2.




  • Half-Life 2 – Episode 2.
  • Future:

    In 2009, a video involving Gabe Newell and two interpreters discussing deafness and video games with a small audience of hearing-impaired people was posted on YouTube. In it Newell suggests that Alyx had a crush on a hearing-impaired Resistance member and that she taught Dog how to sign so she could practice and easily communicate with him. Then this person went away from Alyx to fight the Combine someplace else, and Alyx and Dog started signing with each other when they wanted to communicate without making noise or without other people knowing. This person would eventually come back in the next Half-Life game, as a new gameplay and Source engine feature aimed at providing better support for hearing-impaired players.


Appearance (looks)


Alyx has brown, short hair with streaks of red (a reminiscence of her original fully red hair,) a headband and green eyes. She wears worn-out clothes, as most of the Half-Life 2 characters: a brown leather jacket with the right sleeve attached to the rest with duct tape, jeans and brown work boots, with a grey hooded sweater bearing the Black Mesa logo, with the words “Black Mesa” under it. She has black fingerless rappelling gloves and a tensor bandage around her right hand (it is unknown if it is for the looks or if she was previously hurt.Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide

She also wears a green belt where her gun and EMP Tool are attached; purple underwear can also be seen from behind. Around her neck is a little box-like jewel, made out of wood or metal, which apparently belonged to her mother, according to the Vance family picture. A nevus can also be seen at the stem of her neck. At the beginning of Episode One, she gains a small scar above her right eyebrow, presumably inflicted at the end of Half-Life 2 and having been dug “out of the rubble”. During Episode Two, her jacket is damaged when the Hunter wounds her, also staining her undershirt with blood.

Alyx’s Relationship with Gordon/The rest of the stuff


Relationship with Gordon Freeman


Although Alyx was a child at the time of the Black Mesa Incident (at which point Gordon was 27 years old), Gordon’s almost two decades long stasis after Half-Life has more or less erased any age gap between the two. At several points during Half-Life 2 (as well as in Episode One and Episode Two), it is suggested that there is a growing relationship developing between her and Gordon.

  • Half-Life 2:

    Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide
    Eli Vance makes a teasing comment when him, Gordon and Alyx meet up in Black Mesa East: “There is nothing Gordon can’t handle… with the possible exception of you!”. Alyx, embarrassed, utters “Dad, please!”. This is followed by a moment of awkward silence, and is also the first time such a relationship is mentioned in-game.

    The chapter Entanglement contains several scenes, mainly when the two are forced to part ways for some reason, with Alyx becoming pensive with worry and telling Gordon to be careful.
    In the chapter Dark Energy, Alyx longingly looks down upon Gordon when he descends down the elevator, to the final confrontation. She puts her hand to the glass, and solemnly says “Do your worst, Gordon, but, be careful.”Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide

  • Episode 1:

    Continuing this theme, Episode One contains several situations where this relationship is developed:

    In the first chapter, Dog finds Gordon under a pile of rubble, and Alyx rushes at him and ardently embraces him, telling him how worried she was about him. However, she soon recovers her wits, acts embarrassed and changes the subject to more pressing concerns.

    Like the chapter Dark Energy elevator scene in the previous game, the chapter Direct Intervention contains at least one scene with Gordon going down an elevator and Alyx telling him to “hurry back”. Additionally, a developer commentary given during this scene verifies that a Gordon/Alyx relationship was indeed intended.

    In the chapter Lowlife, when forced to go through sewage-like sludge, Alyx comments on Gordon’s HEV suit and jokingly asks “Got room for two in there?”. In the chapter Urban Flight, having bridged a gap between two ruins (and given Gordon his trademark crowbar), Barney Calhoun additionally states “Go on across, Gordon. She’s waiting for you, you lucky dog, you!”.

    After Gordon has defeated the Strider at the end of the chapter Exit 17, Alyx runs up to him and tells him “You’re my new hero!”.

  • Epsiode 2:

    Their possible relationship is hinted even more obviously in Episode Two:
    In order to resurrect Alyx after the near-fatal attack by a Hunter, Gordon participates in a Vortigaunt ritual wherein his life is “weaved” with hers in a pact that might resemble a marriage (or a Vortigaunt variation) somewhat. After being informed as to the intense struggles Gordon went through to retrieve the Antlion larval extract (which was essential to the ritual), Alyx replies “Yep, that’s Gordon.”

    After the previous highlighted scene, the Vortigaunt, Gordon and a weakened Alyx enter an elevator. Alyx asks Gordon to stand “next to her”. This implicates that Alyx feels safer when he is near to her, at least when she is in a disoriented http://state.In the sequence where Gordon must go ahead in order to take down the Autogun, he jumps down a gap, leaving Alyx with the two rebels above. The last thing heard is one of the rebels asking Alyx “So, uh… is that your boyfriend?'”. However, her answer cannot be heard (noclipping shows that she is not even answering, and that no answer was scripted at all).

    Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide
    In his most obvious comment, her father jokes about everyone “doing their part”, playing off of Dr. Kleiner’s speech to the public about the Suppression Field being down, along with expressing his desire of having grandkids: when Alyx confirms she and Gordon make a pretty good team, her father answers “That’s good, because now that the Suppression Field is down, we all have to do our part.” Alyx, embarrassed, yells “Dad!” at him, as she did earlier in Black Mesa East, after which Eli retorts “Can you blame an old man for wanting grandkids?”.




In Half-Life 2 and its expansions, Alyx is seen with her unique weapon, an automatic pistol, known simply as “Alyx’s Gun” (from its entity name, weapon_alyxgun). This gun is not available to Gordon, although it can be obtained via the console. However, late in Episode One, Alyx grabs a shotgun and wields it throughout the hospital. In both Half-Life 2 episodes, she also uses an Overwatch Sniper Rifle to protect Gordon while he has to scout an area alone, and provides support twice during Episode One with a Combine Emplacement Gun.

Behind the Scenes (Alyx)

Alyx’s face and body were based on Jamil Giovanni Mullen, an American actress and television host. Mullen spent several days in a motion capture studio recording running, jumping, and combat animations, which were used as the starting point for Alyx’s animation library. Actress Merle Dandridge voices Alyx. According to Valve’s Bill Van Buren, she was chosen among the last five over more than one hundred actors auditioning for the part. The team wanted “someone with a beautiful voice, who could be charming, very feminine, and warmly intimate, but could then go into intense circumstances and be a strong, confident, and believable action character.”

  • “Alyx” is a very rare feminine variant of “Alex”, the short form of “Alexander” / “Alexandra”, which is from “Alexandros”, “defender of men” in Greek. Being intended or not, it fits the character very well.
  • A study found in Raising the Bar and named “I.A. Latham”, simply referred to as “female protagonist”, may refer to a very early version of Alyx (as it is referred to as “protagonist” and not “antagonist”) who was to wear leather straps and probably a breathing mask (in this case with a single “eye” recycled in the Combine Assassin). It may also be an early version of the latter.
    In the early stages of production, Eli and Alyx Vance had no relation, and she was the daughter of Captain Vance, leader of the Conscripts. Therefore she was not half Asian/half African-American, but Caucasian.
  • She had also a slightly different appearance: red hair (she still has streaks of red), a green jacket with a white fur collar and a blue-green bodysuit. It consists of her first known model, as seen in the playable Half-Life 2 leak game files (only as its textures and a screenshot used in the E3 2003 video “Psyche”; the model used in the Half-Life 2 leak is almost identical to the retail one), the first Half-Life 2 trailer, Raising the Bar, and several pre-release screenshots set in Kleiner’s Lab.


  • Late in the development process, the team agreed on the fact that she was not very different from other video game heroines, and they redesigned her whole appearance except the head in a very short time, based on sketches by Dhabih Eng. During several design meetings, the team considered giving her braces or glasses, along with making her more of a tinkering mechanic. In the end, the team ended up with a young woman attractive without being over the top like many female video game characters.
  • Early concept art depicts her with a socket wrench that she could have probably used as a basic weapon, in the vein of the crowbar for Gordon or the pipe wrench for Shephard.[4] It is however unknown if she is portrayed with it only for aesthetic reasons or if it actually was to be scripted, as no information is given about the picture. However it is the vein of the early concept of her being a tinkering mechanic, and her model still has sockets attached to the belt.
    In her playable Half-Life 2 leak model, similar to the final one, her panties are red instead of purple.
  • Alyx was to own a female pet alien named “Skitch”.
    At one point of the game’s development, Alyx and Skitch were to be first met at the start of the Air Exchange chapter, where Gordon was to crash with his train at a nearby depot. They were to be attacked by “tripods” and “Combine Elite”.
  • As seen on a board at Valve’s seen in early 2004 where it is listed as a cut item, a love scene between Alyx and Gordon was at some point to be featured in Half-Life 2.
  • Very early Alyx sound files can be found in the folder “\temp\alyx” in the playable Half-Life 2 leak files (made by other actress than Merle Dandridge)
  • One gives some information about a prototype of Half-Life 2’s final Citadel scene. Alyx can be heard saying “Let go of me, b—-!”, referring to Judith Mossman (as confirmed in the concept art below), and also lectures the Consul about him being “just another cog in the Combine machinery”.
  • Other sound files relate to the Skyscraper chapter, where she is wounded after the plane crash and asks Gordon to find her father, Captain Vance, in his headquarters near the near the city’s inner gates.
  • A sound file also mentions she was to bring Gordon to her place at some point during the game. Another sound file reveals that Eli was to explain to Gordon at Black Mesa East that after the Resonance Cascade he found Alyx alone with her mother’s wedding ring in her hand, suggesting the jewel carried by Alyx was originally a ring instead of a necklace, and that Alyx does not remember anything about that day. While Eli still wears his wedding ring in the final game, no ring can be found in Alyx’s model, and no reference to that is ever made.
  • In the WC mappack maps, the Alyx’s model appears often. It was used for measurements, lighting tests, and placeholders (Odell’s model also alternatively fills this role).
  • As seen in the first Episode Two teaser released with Episode One. at the very start of the game Alyx was to be hanging to the twisted barrier of the partially collapsed train bridge (at that point all concrete), on the brink of falling in the canyon below, calling for Gordon, instead of safely being out of the train as seen in the final game.
  • David Speyrer revealed she was to fall right after, thus being wounded differently than in the final game. He stated there were a lot of issues with that early sequence, the worst being that Alyx falling as a result of the train crash did not create any interesting tension between the player and the Hunter as an adversary. He added that testers mashed the Use key to try and figure out how to catch her before she falls, and then they go down below, see her unconscious and really want to help her, realizing there was nothing to do but wait for the Vortigaunt. Speyrer felt that the sequence they eventually created with the Hunter was much more effective, as the player knew very clearly that Gordon was trapped and immobile, and simply had to watch helplessly as the enemy punctured Alyx.
  • Concept art for Episode Three suggests that Alyx’s outfit may change in the next Half-Life game. Design studies include Alyx wearing a thick parka, a Soviet army officer ushanka, her father’s jacket and Harvard sweater, goggles similar to those featured in Half-Life 2 concept art, and a chullo, among others.


Barney Calhoun

Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - Barney Calhoun
Barney Calhoun, he’s Gordon’s good friend. He’s that cool guy we played in ‘ol Blue Shift years and years ago. He’s just awesome. And he’s a main character who disappeared in Ep1’s ending.



Barney Calhoun, an undecided major after two years at Martinson College, is employed as a mid-level security officer at the Black Mesa Research Facility, with a Level 3 security clearance and as part of the Blue Shift High Security Unit. He is accommodated in the Area 8 Topside Dormitories. He is friends with Gordon Freeman and Isaac Kleiner, who are also employees of Black Mesa.

As a Black Mesa security guard, he is tasked with duties including guarding assigned sections, performing general maintenance, and assisting the science team when required. His “Disaster Response Priority” is to protect the Black Mesa facility and its equipment in the event of an emergency, with secondary priority to safeguard members of the science team whilst his own personal safety is of relatively low importance.

On May 9, 200-, Barney receives a letter from L.M. about his May 15 reassignment to Blue Shift.
Before May 12, 200-, Barney is performing a retinal scan and has his salary increased. His two-day Security Guard Training is scheduled.

On May 12 and May 13, at 08:00, Barney undergoes a two-day Security Guard Training under the Miller-based holographic instructor (May 12 is the Blue Shift Hazard Course).
On May 15, Barney is assigned to a 09:00 – 22:00 Blue Shift assignment and reports to Area 3 Medium Security Facilities in Sector C, at 09:00. His shift is to last until August 15. The Blue Shift instruction manual features the sentence “Buy flowers for Lauren”, suggesting that Calhoun has a wife or girlfriend.




  • Half-Life
  • Half-Life: Blue Shift
  • Half-Life: Decay
  • Half-Life 2 & Episode 1
  • Episode 2:
    Barney does not appear, nor is even referred to, during the course of Episode Two. Given his place as a returning character of note in the series, and that he escaped City 17 ahead of Freeman, he is presumed to still be alive, but his location is unknown.

    However when coming back into White Forest after the Strider battle, he can be heard saying “Good job, Gordon”, but is not among the Rebels cheering in the garage. The subtitle appears with Barney’s midnight green subtitle color, and uses the Episode One subtitle file, as it cannot be found in the Episode Two file. It is unknown if that is actually to be Barney or if the file was reused as being said by a Rebel. Only MIRT’s mouth is moving when something is said, making impossible to identify the possible Rebel uttering the words.


Half-Life 2 Background


After the Portal Storms, the Seven Hour War, and the subsequent Combine takeover, Barney was presumably relocated to City 17 where he signed up for Civil Protection, where he became an Officer. This would have been valuable to gain inside information and distribute warnings about upcoming raids or provide misleading intelligence to the Combine though it was likely quite risky to his own safety. At some point before or after his relocation, he also came back into contact with Isaac Kleiner and Eli Vance who had also apparently been relocated to City 17 prior to Half-Life 2 and participated in their Resistance movement.

On one memorable occasion, Barney was assisting with Kleiner’s teleport experiments where Kleiner attempted to transport a cat as a test experiment and something traumatizing happened to it. Barney claims to have persistent nightmares about the cat and even mistakes a distant Strider roar as a meow late in Half-Life 2.




  • Gordon Freeman:

    Barney and Gordon have been friends since Black Mesa. Both would race into Dr. Kleiner’s office via the air ducts when he would lock himself out. Barney would save Gordon from a miserable fate at Nova Prospekt, and send him on his way to the Kleiner’s Lab. The two would later fight side by side in the fierce street fighting in City 17, and escorting people out of the city. Barney also comments Gordon’s relationship with Alyx, calling Gordon a “lucky dog”. He still owes Gordon a beer.

  • Alyx Vance:

    Alyx was just an infant at Black Mesa, and it is unknown if he met her during his tenure as a security guard. Nevertheless, he considers her a worthy ally in the human resistance on the Combine-occupied Earth.

  • Isaac Kleiner:

    Barney essentially serves as Kleiner’s bodyguard, keeping the Civil Protection away from the area of the secret lab. Before this, as stated above, he would race Gordon to get to Isaac’s office when the latter would lock himself out.


Behind the Scenes (Barney)


  • “Barney” is the diminutive of Bernard, Barnaby or Barnabas. “Calhoun” is a Scottish name, a variant of “Colquhoun”, from a place name meaning “narrow corner” or “narrow wood” in Gaelic.
  • Although initially being the generic security guard from Half-Life, an entire class of throwaway characters on its own, he was retconned in Half-Life: Blue Shift and Half-Life 2 as a standalone character, playing increasingly prominent roles as the series has progressed. He is one of only three playable characters in the series to be heard speaking, and being a generic model with a generic first name turned into a standalone character with a surname, the others being Gina Cross and Otis Laurey.
  • At the time of Half-Life’s release, the security guard seen knocking on the Area 3 Security Facilities door at the start of the game was not referred to as Barney Calhoun. It was later retconned in Blue Shift, along with expanding what is behind the door. Barney’s relationship with Gordon mentioned in Half-Life 2 and its episodes was also retconned, since good friends would have interacted during that scene in both games.
  • At the beginning of Blue Shift, the player may notice strange material in the Calhoun’s locker: books titled “The Truth About Aliens” (by RH) (Gordon Freeman also has a copy of this book in his bedroom, as seen in Decay) and “Government Conspiracies”, hinting that Barney was interested in these subjects. This could also be foreshadowing, since the game centers on aliens and government conspiracies. Also seen in Calhoun’s locker are pictures of family members/friends, among them a young woman who might be Lauren (although the pictures are likely that of a relatives of of Gearbox employees). A box in his locker also reveals, when destroyed, a Chumtoad creature as a small Easter egg.
  • In the original Kleiner’s Lab introduction and teleportation scenes, Barney appears as even more pessimistic than in the final version, expressing even more doubts in very sarcastic and funny remarks each time Kleiner or Mossman say something positive.
  • In Blue Shift, Barney is always referred to as “Calhoun” or “Mr. Calhoun”. His first name is only given in the instruction manual.
  • In the playable Half-Life 2 leak files can be found the model of a slightly damaged security guard helmet, named “BarneyHelmet”. Appearing as a Metrocop helmet separated in two parts in the retail files and used upon first meeting Barney in the City 17 Trainstation, it was either used as a placeholder early in development or suggests Barney was to have kept his old helmet, as it appears rather worn out, and it would have been seen at some point during the game as an Easter egg.
  • Barney comes across Gordon three times in Blue Shift. He first sees him while he is riding his tram to Sector C, being actually a scene from the start of Half-Life from another point of view. Gordon can then be spotted through a security camera heading to the test chamber. Gordon is finally seen at the end of the game as two HECU soldiers are dragging him away, mirroring a scene from the Half-Life chapter Apprehension.
  • The “Now… about that beer I owed ya!” said by Barney at the start of Half-Life 2 is a nod to one of the random security guard sentences heard at the start of Half-Life, “Hey, catch me later, I’ll buy you a beer.”
  • The face texture is nicknamed “scottface” in reference to Scott Lynch in the playable Half-Life 2 leak files.


Eli Vance

Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - Eli Vance
Dr. Eli Vance is a physicist and researcher, an African-American man apparently in his late fifties or early sixties with short gray hair, a beard and moustache. He wears a prosthetic leg to replace his left leg beneath the knee.



As seen on his sweater, Eli is presumably a graduate of Harvard University.




  • Half-Life
  • Half-Life 2 & Episodes
  • Half-Life 2 Background

    After assisting Gordon in the aftermath of the Resonance Cascade, Eli managed to escape the facility along with Alyx, although Azian perished in the Black Mesa Incident. Alyx, a family picture and his wedding ring which he still wears were all he managed to carry out of Black Mesa.
    After escaping, he relocated to City 17, where he contributed in founding the local Resistance, and became the leader of Black Mesa East. During that period, he also lost his leg to a Bullsquid while helping Isaac Kleiner climb over a barrier to get into City 17.

    During his work at Black Mesa East, he also raised Alyx and built Dog to protect her when she was a kid. He also designed the Gravity Gun, worked on teleportation with Kleiner and Judith Mossman, and rebuilt with his daughter a Scout Car for the Resistance outposts located along the Coast, on which he mounted a Tau Cannon.

    According to the Vortigaunts, Eli was the first human being to make peaceful contact with them (“The Eli Vance was our first collaborator.”), quickly persuading the alien race to ally with humanity against the Combine invasion of Earth. Vortigaunts furthermore state that Eli earned their trust, is indispensable to the liberation and that he almost perceives the “All-in-One”.

    As survivors of the Black Mesa Incident, Eli, Alyx, Isaac Kleiner, and Barney Calhoun, form the core of the Resistance who are attempting to overthrow the Combine who have taken over Earth after the Seven Hour War. The Vances have established a makeshift laboratory, Black Mesa East, on the outskirts of City 17. There, Dr. Judith Mossman assists them in their continuing research in the field of teleportation.

    When Gordon Freeman is freed from stasis in 202-, he is reunited with his old colleagues, and is to link up with Eli at his lab. Kleiner and Vance briefly establish a working teleport system between their two labs; the system fails on its second attempt due to interference from Lamarr, forcing Gordon to reach Black Mesa East on foot.

    When Freeman arrives at Eli’s lab, his arrival triggers an invasion by Combine forces, who had been chasing him throughout. The soldiers then capture Eli and take him to Nova Prospekt.
    Later Gordon and Alyx storm the prison to free him, fighting off hordes of Combine forces to locate Eli and Mossman. During the final siege, however, Mossman teleports herself and Eli into the Citadel.

    While infiltrating the Citadel, Gordon and Alyx are captured; Dr. Breen addresses both Vances and Freeman in his office with Dr. Mossman at his side, revealing her double agent role. Mossman then turns on Breen and frees his hostages, and stays with Eli while Alyx and Gordon pursue the fleeing Breen.

    Before the dark fusion reactor is destroyed and before Gordon and Alyx are rescued by Vortigaunts, Eli and Judith use one of Dr. Breen’s escape pods to leave the Citadel, and reach a Vortigaunt camp, “way outside the city”, possibly in the Outlands.





  • Alyx Vance:

    Having lost a wife and a mother, Eli and Alyx are very close. He calls her “baby”, “honey” or “sweetheart” and is willing to sacrifice himself for her when she and Gordon come to rescue him at Nova Prospekt. At Black Mesa East and White Forest, Eli also teases her several times about her relationship with Gordon, and suggests he would not mind having grandchildren from them. Eli and Alyx seem even closer in Episode Two, embracing and expressing joy at being together again. Right before Eli dies, he tells her how he loves her one last time. When the Advisor let go of his body, Alyx weeps over it, devastated, asking him not to leave her.

  • Gordon Freeman:

    A few minutes before dying, Eli thanks Gordon for everything and tells him he could not be prouder if he were his own son. He holds Gordon in high esteem and is very admiring of his courage through his ordeals since the Black Mesa Incident. He also does not blame him for what happened in Black Mesa.

  • Dr. Kleiner

    Eli and Kleiner have both known each other and worked together since the days of Black Mesa. Kleiner is also affectionately nicknamed “Izzy” by Eli on various occasions. When the Borealis issue is raised, they are both opposed to each other views, Kleiner suggesting they used the technology for the Resistance, Eli insisting that it be destroyed at all costs.

  • Judith Mossman:

    Judith and Eli have a somewhat ambiguous relationship. At Black Mesa East, Judith seems fully devoted to Eli. During the confrontation with Breen in the Citadel, it is learned that Mossman had bargained for Eli’s life, so he could continue his research. When she realizes Breen changes the plans and will have both Eli and Alyx killed instead while he tries to win Gordon’s allegiance, she has a change of heart and saves the trio. Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide
    After Alyx and Gordon leave Breen’s office to pursue the latter, Mossman stays with Eli, telling him she won’t leave him again, as they stay sitting on the ground, appearing very close. When later it is learned that Mossman is in danger after having discovered the Borealis, Eli blames himself for the situation, stating he should never have let her go. There is probably more than meets the eye between the two, but Eli died before they could reunite, thus halting the revelation of new clues about their relationship, although Mossman’s reaction to Eli’s death might be revealed later.


  • Wallace Breen:

    Breen, Eli’s former boss at Black Mesa, is quickly shown to be strongly disliked by Eli when he is introduced by Alyx on the propaganda poster found near Kleiner’s Lab’s hidden entrance. At that point, Alyx suggests that Gordon should not “get [her] father started” on the subject of Dr. Breen. In the final confrontation with Breen in the Citadel, Eli goes on to explain that he despises Breen for selling himself to the Combine at humanity’s expense, and later describes what he has done to Earthlings as “beyond words”, “genocide”, and “indescribable evil”. Eli then challenges his adversary to kill him and Alyx, “if that’s the worst [he] can do.”


Personality & Skills


Eli is warm, good-humored, and charismatic, holding everyone around him in the aura of his personal charm. A skilled scientist, he designed the Gravity Gun and Dog, “put together” the Shorepoint Scout Car with his daughter (and added himself the Tau Cannon to it), and was able to rebuild a teleport with the aid of the other key Resistance members.

Behind the Scenes (Eli)

Eli is essentially the African American scientist model (“scientist03”, or “Luther”) from Half-Life turned into a real character.

  • Eli’s face was based on that of a local man who was holding a sign indicating that he was looking for work, found on the Seattle streets by Valve employees. Within the Half-Life community, this man is often improperly credited as Larry “The Count” Heard, a musician actually used as the reference for the “Male 03” Citizen. Eli’s reference model is actually uncredited.
    Eli’s texture files from the playable Half-Life 2 leak, also seen in the Half-Life 2 E3 2004 trailer, indicate that he was originally to wear a Yale jumper, not Harvard University.
  • Eli Vance stems from two merged characters, Eli Maxwell and Captain Vance. Maxwell was to be a scientist unrelated to Alyx and fill the same role as Eli in Black Mesa East, already building the Gravity Gun and owning Dog. Captain Vance, Alyx’s father, was to be one of the few surviving military leaders of Earth, and the leader of the Conscripts.
  • “Eli” is a Hebrew name meaning “ascension”. In the Old Testament, Eli was the high priest of Israel and the teacher of Samuel. In England, “Eli” has been used as a Christian given name since the Protestant Reformation.
  • According to Valve’s Bill Van Buren, the decision to kill Eli was not made lightly. Once they made it, they had to figure out how to make it meaningful. They had already established Eli’s frailty, as well as his importance to the Resistance and Alyx’s devotion to him, so from a narrative point of view the impact of his death seemed obvious. The hard part for the team was the execution of the death scene.
  • The Advisors’ ability to immobilize the player gave them a way to stage it, the animations and the sound design made it believable, but the performances by Merle Dandridge and Robert Guillaume were the key element. Bill Fletcher gives further details: to create the sequence, the team talked it through in great detail, wrote up an outline with all the events they had discussed, and then produced an animatic. They used rough sketches painted over screenshots, and a variety of crude special effects and sounds to create a quick pre-visualization of how the scene would play out. Not only did this help them to converge on a shared vision for the scene, but by working rough, they were able to quickly iterate until they had a design worth implementing in the game.
  • The loss of the leg was originally to be mentioned by Eli in his lab,[10][11] but was ultimately cut, to be only mentioned in Raising the Bar and the Half-Life 2 Prima Guide. Early sound files found in the playable Half-Life 2 leak files, dating from when Eli was still known as Eli Maxwell (as the file names feature the name “maxwell”), indicate that he was to lose his leg to a Particle Storm. Concept art for Episode Three features Alyx wearing Eli’s jacket and Harvard sweater.


Azian Vance

*snif* Alyx’s Mother. Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide
Azian Vance was the wife of Eli Vance and the mother of Alyx Vance. During the Black Mesa Incident, she was one of the many who did not make it out of Black Mesa.



To remember his wife, Eli managed to save a picture of her and Alyx as a baby, which he kept safe with him in Black Mesa East and later White Forest during the Uprising. Azian can also be seen with Eli on the Kleiner’s Lab cork board on a small newspaper clip pinned on the bottom-left. It is unknown if Azian was a Black Mesa scientist, had another occupation, or was merely a housewife.
According to the family picture, it seems that the little box-like jewel Alyx is wearing around her neck originally belonged to Azian. Along with the family picture, it was salvaged somehow by Eli, while he does not mention it to Gordon at Black Mesa East when he mentions what he managed to carry out of Black Mesa.

  • Behind the Scenes:
    • As heard in sound files featured in the playable Half-Life 2 leak files, Eli was to explain to Gordon at Black Mesa East that after the Resonance Cascade he found Alyx alone with her mother’s wedding ring in her hand, suggesting the jewel carried by Alyx was originally a ring instead of a necklace. While Eli still wears his wedding ring in the final game, no ring can be found in Alyx’s model, and no reference to that is ever made.



Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - D0G
Dog (written as DØg on his body) is Alyx Vance’s “pet” robot, built by her father Eli to protect her when she was young.



Dog was built by Eli Vance to protect Alyx when she was a child. Dog’s first model was around one meter high, but as Alyx grew older, she began adding upgrades and new parts to Dog, and he towers around 2.5 meters tall at the time of Half-Life 2.




  • Half-Life 2 and Episodes


Personality & Skills


Dog, much like a real dog, is very friendly, loyal, and has an intelligent and excitable personality. Similarly to Barney Calhoun, Dog provides much comic relief throughout the games, with his quirks and many strange and odd decisions, even dancing when he is looked at for a period of time. Dog makes friendly and playful noises such as beeps and whines, much like a real dog, especially when he is around Alyx. When provoked, he can become very dangerous to enemies, using his immense strength and weight to smash enemies to the ground or tear them apart.

This makes him a pivotal force in any battle, as he can be seen destroying Striders with ease and lifting heavy objects from the ground, only to throw them into an enemy moments later. His behavior changes when around Alyx, as he becomes friendly and cautious, but still alert for any imminent danger. His protective nature makes him an excellent bodyguard, and it is understandable why Eli built him for protecting Alyx as a child.

Dog’s body is constructed largely of scrap metal, hydraulics, and wires. He has what appears to be a scrapped City Scanner for a head, though with only three flaps while normally Scanners have four. He is quadrupedal but walks on his knuckles. His appearance is very unlike a dog’s, and his movement is more akin to primates, mostly gorillas. His body language is hard to convey effectively, due to his large size and weight. One of his main forms of emotive outlet is his eye, which has an aperture used in much the same way as the human eye to show feelings by opening and closing, but often more prolifically. His Scanner flaps also move according to his mood.

Alyx treats dog much like a pet dog, calling him “boy” most often and using similar body language and voice as when talking to a real dog. She pats her upper thighs when calling him at Black Mesa East, and tells him to “fetch” when Gordon throws the Rollermine. Their relationship is also much like that of a dog and its master: they have a mutual trust and friendship, which has grown over the years so that Alyx now trusts Dog’s opinions and hunches, as crazy as they may sometimes appear. She also has come to accept his sometimes erratic behavior, when he runs off without warning only to appear again moments later.

Their relationship differs from the traditional dog and master relationship in the sense that Dog is considerably more intelligent than most real dogs, and is also much larger and more powerful than any human. However, these differences rarely come between them and their friendship seems very deep, so much so that Alyx shows many signs of affection for Dog. He also seems to have something of a sixth sense, being able to determine where Alyx is, no matter the situation. When Alyx is inside the Citadel, he is eager to get in there and rescue her.

Dog has a Zero Point Energy device, much like the Gravity Gun, built into one hand, to pick up and throw things. He has an amazing strength, and proves extremely useful through the course of the story, as he can throw large objects (such as vehicles) at enemies or make way to areas which are otherwise inaccessible to Gordon. Dog is incredibly resilient against damage, being able to withstand many sources of injury including weapons, fire, and explosions.

Behind the Scenes



  • Dog does not have any combat AI, and all in-game scenes with Dog fighting are scripted. If a spawned Dog is approached by anything threatening, even a common Headcrab, he will flee. If no enemies are present, he will find a nearby small object and throw it at the player, as if playing “fetch”.
  • Dog’s character, even though important to the story, also plays a recognizable role for the game. His battle sequences are often humorously exaggerated, where the player can see him throw large objects great distances to wipe out entire squads of Combine soldiers, or furiously attack disoriented and panicking groups of enemies without caring for consequences nor taking any noticeable damage. Whether it is crushing a handful of soldiers or taking a Dropship head-on, Dog seems to care little for himself.
  • As mentioned in the Half-Life 2: Episode One commentary, players’ feedback towards Dog were very positive, hence Valve made him the first thing to be seen at the start of the game.[2]
    Dog was one of the few Half-Life 2 concepts that went from the first sketch straight into the game with relatively few changes to the design. Designers were inspired by classic movie robots, as Dog is a near cousin to Robbie from Forbidden Planet.
  • Early texture sheets from the playable Half-Life 2 leak show that Dog was to feature other colors, such as aqua blue, maroon, pink or green. His head was also to be made out of a scrapped Combot, the direct predecessor to the City Scanner.



Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - The G-MAN
The G-Man, or simply G-Man, is a key, yet mysterious and enigmatic character in the Half-Life series. Referred to as a “sinister interdimensional bureaucrat”, he is known to display peculiar behavior and capabilities beyond that of a human and his identity and motives remain almost completely unexplained. He plays the role of an overseer and eventual employer, watching over Gordon Freeman and other characters as the series progresses.

End of discussion!




  • All Half-LIfe games, Lost Coast excluded




Physically, the G-Man appears to be a middle-aged Caucasian male with a tall, thin physique, pale skin, a prominent widow’s peak, black hair shaped in a military-style crew cut, and pale green eyes. Throughout the entire Half-Life series, he is seen dressed in a gray/blue suit and is almost always seen carrying a briefcase.

The G-Man speaks in a slow, raspy yet commanding manner, with a certain accentuated low-key moroseness to his tone, bordering on the cryptic. He also has an odd habit of placing unusual stress on syllables, stressing the wrong parts of words, making unneeded pauses and awkwardly changing the pitch of his voice. He also has a tendency to elongate consonants, especially the “S”.

Personality & Skills


The G-Man can best be described as an enigma. In the Half-Life Audio Script, he is referred to as follows: “The cryptical bureaucrat, mystery man with a briefcase. He appears in the shadows, disappears when you chase him down dead-end corridors. He leads you into danger and guides you to safety, as the whim strikes him. His motives remain mysterious, but at the end of the game, when you have extinguished an alien civilization, he offers you a job with whoever it is he works for.”

The G-Man possesses a calm, almost disinterested demeanor, particularly apparent in the ruined and alien-infested Black Mesa facility. He can often be seen calmly straightening his tie or brushing his suit lapels with his hands, regardless of whatever chaos may be going on around him. He also has a bit of a dry sense of humor.

He has stepped in directly and rescued Adrian Shephard and Alyx Vance before the destruction of Black Mesa, suggesting that he is capable of mercy, though it is more likely that he merely did this for his own interests.

The G-Man thus far seems to be a master of manipulation, having created pawns of Gordon, Alyx and Adrian thus far and perhaps countless others. It is also implied that he orchestrated the Black Mesa Incident, suggesting that Dr. Breen may also have been under his influence. He is also shown to be capable of forgiveness and not one to hold a grudge. Even when the Vortigaunts interfere he later seems confident of his planning once again when he appears in Episode Two; the mild level of ire he earlier displayed when the Vortigaunts abducted Gordon is gone, implying the Vortigaunts actions have not significantly derailed whatever he has planned and has let the earlier transgression go. The G-Man even shows a hint of amusement at the notion that Gordon and the Vortigaunts are now allies.

The G-Man shows respect for people who can survive against incredible odds, citing that such people remind him of himself. His message to Eli mentioning “unforeseen consequences” and the subsequent revelation about the threat to humanity posed by the Combine acquiring the technology on board the Borealis could imply that the G-Man might secretly be sympathetic to humanity and its fight for survival.

He also appears quite technically skilled and is capable of operating a very wide range of machinery and technology, ranging from simple cell phones and sealed steel doors to complex nuclear weapons (although for the latter there are instructions inside the cap) and experimental teleports and portals.

Throughout the entire Half-Life series, the G-Man has a tendency to appear in an out-of-the-way or hard to reach location and then walk away and vanish without a trace once the player arrives. He is seen twice using portals, perhaps explaining his ability to appear and disappear apparently randomly. The G-Man also seems to be able to manipulate time to a degree, as he momentarily stops the dark fusion reactor’s explosion at the end of Half-Life 2.

In most games featuring the G-Man, there are several sequences when the G-Man is talking at close range to the player, and various areas can be seen in the background, including areas from Black Mesa or even areas the player will visit later into the game. In these sequences, the G-Man talks to the player (the player’s character never responds or reacts in any way) and can be seen quickly appearing in different portions of the screen, in dream-like sequences. He also appears on TV screens and “Breen Casts” dotted around the environment; G-Man also seems to have technopathic or telepathic abilities of some sort, as the player will occasionally see his face on things such as unplugged televisions.

People Aware of the G-Man


The G-Man is seen talking to various people, and yet at times it seems that only the player is able to see him. However, a few characters other than Gordon Freeman seem to be aware of his existence or have interacted with him. Besides the many unnamed security, military, and science personnel in Black Mesa seen interacting with the G-Man, the characters include:

-Adrian Shephard: Encountered
-Barney Calhoun: Saw him
-Colette Green: Saw him
-Gina Cross: Saw him
-Nihilanth: Mentions
-Wallace Breen: Somehow
-The Vortigaunts: They know
-Eli Vance: He knows
-Joe: Watched TV with a Vorti
-Odessa Cubbage: Encountered
-Alyx Vance: She got a message from him, so Encountered, but not fully aware



With the exception of the opening sequence in Episode One and the Episode Two sequence, the G-Man is always seen carrying a briefcase, and its contents have often been debated. In the original Half-Life, using the “noclip” cheat, or with the aid of a model/texture viewer, it is possible to see its contents. However, since the contents of the briefcase are never seen during the game, they may constitute nothing more than an Easter egg. These contents appear to be as follows:

-Three pencils
-One sheet of paper
-A handgun in a holster
-An identity card

It must be noted that this only applies to his original Half-Life model, as the inside of the HD and -Half-Life 2 models are blank.

Near the Gargantua dam in the Opposing Force chapter Foxtrot Uniform, G-Man is seen for a moment talking on a cellphone before disappearing in a portal.

Behind the Scenes (G-man)


  • Originally, all Black Mesa employees in Half-Life were to be hostile to the player. After several tests, allied NPCs showed their usefulness and testers grew fond of their (occasionally bumbling) behaviors. The Black Mesa security guards, as well as large parts of the story, and the main character itself, were rethought. Then, the team came to think about characters that were neither allies nor enemies to the player, leading to the creation of the G-Man.
  • The idea behind the G-Man was proposed to Marc Laidlaw by Ken Birdwell, who was thinking about the different functionaries that would exist in an institution like Black Mesa, especially the administrators above the scientists, i.e. the tax guys and the government guys who are checking over the books and representing some other interests; people whose actual nature and function are not clearly determined. The G-Man was developed on that concept.
  • The G-Man’s name comes from “G-Man”, an American slang term for “Government Man” or “FBI agent”. However he is never identified or referred to by name in any of the Half-Life games, his name being merely a code name / nickname. That name actually stems from his Half-Life model and entity name, reused in every subsequent games, and is not a fan-created name at all. It has been confirmed and referred to as such in documentaries featuring Valve employees, or the voice actor credits for Half-Life 2 or Raising the Bar. Furthermore, in the manual for Opposing Force, Shephard makes mention of him as “a G-man”, although this seems to be as the generic slang term. Also, the pre-release Half-Life model featured the United States Department of Defense logo on the briefcase.
  • Another explanation of the G-Man’s nature is given in the comment section of the file “npc_gman.cpp” in the Source SDK file “sourcesdk.gcf”, the following is written: “// Purpose: The G-Man, misunderstood servant of the people.” In an interview with series writer Marc Laidlaw and in the official Half-Life audio script, the G-Man is referred to as the “Administrator”, suggesting he is the one overseeing experiments. This title was later retconned to refer to Wallace Breen.
  • The G-Man was to make a cameo in the canceled Team Fortress 2: Brotherhood of Arms.
    Frank Sheldon, an Alexander Technique practitioner and the person whom G-Man’s Half-Life 2 model is based on, was originally slated to be the model for Dr. Breen. It was chosen for G-Man’s appearance after Bill Van Buren presented a hastily Photoshopped image of Sheldon, with chopped-off hair and a scaled down face shape.
  • Doug Wood, who designed the facial expressions of the Half-Life 2 G-Man model, wanted the player to never quite know what side the G-Man was on by giving him ambiguous facial expressions. For example, Wood would have the G-Man express an apologetic look toward Freeman as he ‘regretted’ to put the latter in this situation, but then have him give a slight smirk or smile at the end to keep the player guessing about his sincerity.
  • The Half-Life 2 model originally had darker eyes and a blue tie instead of purple.
  • The Half-Life 2 introductions went through two different versions before the final one. One version, proposed June 2, 2000 to the development team by Marc Laidlaw, has Gordon waking up in the midst of beautiful rolling hills, with a bright blue sky, singing birds, and a modern city below. Then the G-Man appears and the landscape starts to change to become the Combine-controlled City 17, with a wasteland around it, while G-Man does not talk much, preferring to show Gordon images instead of explaining in details. Then, Gordon climbs into a train and the people inside it starts moving, and he encounters Samuel. The second one is shorter but the G-Man is more specific, mentioning for example the time lapse between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, which is said to be 10 years, changed to 20 when Episode One was released. Then Gordon was to abruptly wake up on the train, and also encounter Samuel.
  • The G-Man is featured in a surreal scene in the WC mappack map “ickypop” in which he is held in mid-air by a crow while a flying Ichthyosaur excretes gibs and crashes beyond the horizon.
  • In the Episode Two trailer, the G-Man is shown standing over Alyx, apparently talking to Gordon and telling him that he is “not supposed to be here” and that he should “forget about all this.” This dialog comes from two unused voice clips for Half-Life 2, featured in a different version of the E3 2003 video “Psyche” found at the end of the WC mappack map “hazard01” (an early Hazard Course for Half-Life 2 overseen by Kleiner), while the scene itself was modified for the final version of the game.
  • The actor voicing the G-Man in the Italian version of Half-Life is the actor voicing the Cigarette-Smoking Man in the Italian version of the TV series The X-Files, chosen at Valve’s request.
    Two The Orange Box achievements related to the G-Man were cut from Half-Life 2. One of them, Man of Mystery, was to be awarded for finding an appearance of the G-Man in Half-Life 2 or Episode Two. To unlock another achievement, with an unknown name, the player was to find all appearances of the G-Man in Half-Life 2.


Dr. Wallace Breen

Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - Dr. Wallace Breen
Dr. Wallace Breen was Black Mesa’s then Earth’s Administrator. From his headquarters on Earth through the Citadel of City 17, he was humanity’s representative and served as the primary antagonist of Half-Life 2.




  • Half-Life, and the Seven Hour War:

    Doctor Breen is Administrator of the Black Mesa Research Facility at the time of the Black Mesa Incident in 200-. During the events depicted in Half-Life, he is neither seen nor directly mentioned by name, instead always referred to as “the Administrator”.

    At the end of the Seven Hour War, he “negotiates” a peace agreement with the Combine that saves humanity, but at the cost of enslavement. Breen is first appointed “Interim Administrator” (as seen on newspaper clips in Black Mesa East), then simply becomes ruler of Earth – mostly a puppet of the Combine who have little physical presence on the planet. Some speculate he may have orchestrated the events of Half-Life at the request of the Combine, with the rule of Earth promised as reward (this however would also suggest that he or the Combine had control of the G-Man at least up to the point where he handed over Xen crystal sample GG-3883 to the Black Mesa scientists which caused the Resonance Cascade); others believe that he may have been under the impression that introducing the Combine would have brought about a cosmic unity between the two races, and would have been ultimately beneficial for the human race (something that he still clings on to despite the evidently large amounts of humans suffering at the time of Combine occupation of Earth).

    Whether or not he is the one who introduced the Combine to Earth, his intentions seem to be noble and he sounds quite sure that he is doing the right thing – though it is possible that he is simply a very convincing liar. Even if he had selfish reasons for doing so, the human race would have most definitely been completely destroyed or assimilated by the Combine had he not surrendered Earth at the end of the Seven Hour War.

    Another unanswered question surrounding Breen in Half-Life is near the beginning of the game: as Gordon Freeman is about to go into the test chamber, the two scientists briefing him say that the Administrator “went to some lengths to get it [the sample].” This statement lies dormant through most of the game until Freeman travels to Xen and sees crystals similar to the one he pushed into the Anti-Mass Spectrometer. Next to these crystals are often found corpses of Survey Team members, perhaps explaining the “great lengths” mentioned in the beginning of the game.





  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 1:

    Dr. Breen’s fate remains unknown in Half-Life 2: Episode One. His only appearances in the game are during an apparent flashback/dream at the beginning, with Breen repeating a sentence from Half-Life 2 on a falling Combine monitor, asking Gordon what exactly he has created. Afterwards, while being plucked out the wreckage, one of the few things Alyx remembers is Breen falling. Another occasion of Breen’s appearance is during a video recording of a conversation made during Half-Life 2, where he mentions being transferred into a “host body”.

    After seeing Breen on the monitor, Alyx is surprised, questioning how it is possible, but is then relieved when she realizes that it is an old recording – apparently she believes that Breen is dead. In the same scene, an Advisor in its pod (with the serial number 314 URB-LOC 0017) is moved into a launching tube and begins a psychic attack against Gordon and Alyx while leaving the Citadel.

    It is not clear if this attack was unprovoked as it only begins when Alyx gently taps on the casing of the pod; though there remains the possibility that Breen is actually dead and the Advisor in the pod is merely the Advisor that Breen is speaking to near the end of Half-Life 2, or any other Advisor. The game commentary included by Valve for the scene is non-committal about what the creature actually is, and only reveals that what is happening in that particular room is an important setup for events in Episode Two.

  • Half-Life 2: Episode 2:

    Breen does not appear in Episode Two; However, during the G-Man’s “heart-to-heart” with Gordon Freeman, at the mention of “naysayers” who were against the rescue of Alyx Vance from Black Mesa, Breen’s image briefly flashes up on the screen behind the G-Man. The latter goes on to say that he learned to ignore such opposition when “quelling them was out of the question”. This, coupled with the remarks Breen made at the end of Half-Life 2 and during his speech in Nova Prospekt, suggests more than ever that Breen was directly aware of the G-Man and his employers, and was fighting against them even before the Black Mesa Incident occurred


Relationships/Otherstuff/Behind the Scenes (Breen)





  • Gordon Freeman:

    They worked together at Black Mesa. Breen seems to have mixed feelings towards Gordon: he appears admonishing towards him when addressing him via Breencasts, often questioning as to how he could simply throw everything away in favor of fighting the Combine and leading what Breen believes to be a pitiful Resistance. He also seems skeptical as to how a simple theoretical physicist could slip through Combine forces again and again, going as far as to threaten Overwatch forces with severe punishment unless they double their efforts against Freeman. However, when not in front of the public and Overwatch forces, he seems to show more respect towards Gordon, praising his abilities, yet showing his power by being slightly mocking. He attempts to bargain with Freeman for his services, stating that Gordon’s “contract was open to the highest bidder”.

    However, Breen seems to have a deeper relationship with Freeman than initially thought, as Breen heavily implies that he is aware of the G-Man and Freeman’s employment by him, and attempts to employ him for himself. In addition to this, Breen’s last words to Gordon before his apparent death are “You need me!”, suggesting there are many unanswered questions surrounding Breen’s connection with Gordon, although in that case he may just do nothing more than bargaining

  • Eli Vance:

    Breen, as former Black Mesa Administrator, was once Eli’s boss, but their relationship at that time is unknown. As Earth Administrator, Breen is quickly shown to be strongly disliked by Eli when he is introduced by Alyx on the propaganda poster found near Kleiner’s Lab’s hidden entrance. At that point, Alyx suggests that Gordon does not “get [her] father started” on the subject of Dr. Breen. When Gordon approaches the corkboard with newspapers in Black Mesa East, Eli refers to Breen as “the administrator of this whole vile business.” In the final confrontation with Breen in the Citadel, Eli goes on to explain that he despises Breen for selling himself to the Combine at humanity’s expense, and later describes what he has done to Earthlings as “beyond words”, “genocide”, and “indescribable evil”. Eli then challenges his adversary to kill him and Alyx, “if that’s the worst [he] can do.”

    Breen shows general disrespect for Eli, and mocks both him and his daughter while they are helplessly captive. Breen acknowledges Eli’s abilities and his value to the Resistance however, and plans to barter both Gordon and Eli to the Combine, before being betrayed by Judith Mossman.

  • Judith Mossman:

    Breen does not appear to show much care for Mossman as a person, as he tries to manipulate her against Eli, Freeman, and Alyx, and only uses her as a double agent. It is also Breen who points out that Mossman is only campaigning for Eli’s life because of her feelings for him, something she is quick to deny. Breen also speaks to Judith dismissively, treating her as a distraction rather than a valuable asset, and showing false reassurance when telling her that she is “more than qualified” to finish Eli’s work herself. However when Mossman finally betrays Breen to save Eli, Gordon and Alyx, Breen is visibly surprised, and attempts to dissuade her from doing so, to no avail.

  • Alyx Vance:

    Breen does not hold Alyx in much regard, and speaks to her like she is a child, asking Eli to give her the chance her mother never had. This comment provokes Alyx to spit angrily at Breen’s face, telling him to never dare even mention her, suggesting she seems to think that Azian’s death was Breen’s fault to a degree. Breen then discards his air of mock concern and angrily retorts that she has her mother’s eyes, but her father’s stubborn nature, where Alyx stands her ground.

  • The G-Man

    While Breen’s relationship with the G-Man is ambiguous, there is definitely some connection between them. Breen makes several comments that would appear to reference the G-Man, such as Gordon’s “contract” being “open to the highest bidder”, showing that he sees himself on the same level as the G-Man and his employers.

    During the G-Man’s “heart-to-heart” with Gordon Freeman, he speaks in a slightly mocking tone of how Breen (while never referring to him by name) was in “objection” of the G-Man saving Alyx Vance during the Black Mesa Incident, and that she was “a mere child, and of no practical use to anyone”. The G-Man then changes his tone to that of subdued anger, and states that he has learned to ignore “naysayers” such as Breen, when “quelling them was out of the question”, showing that the G-Man was not permitted to silence Breen, likely by his “employers”.




Throughout Half-Life 2, Dr. Breen is frequently seen and heard making “Breencasts” — city-wide propaganda video broadcasts which he uses to speak directly to Citizens and Combine forces. Breencasts consist of anything from the doctor addressing Citizens’ concerns, to an outlet for pro-Combine propaganda. In both, Breen refers to the Combine as the “universal union” or “Our Benefactors,” never using the term “Combine” except in attempts to mock the term. However, when relaxed and not in front of the public, even he seems to use the word “Combine”.
One such Breencast (played to the player in audio form only) is as follows, as he addresses Gordon Freeman.

This last Breencast has the Administrator pleading with Freeman to end his quest to bring down the Citadel. He also displays his fearfulness and disappointment with the Combine, who are suspicious of his motives.

As briefly stated earlier, Dr. Breen never uses the term “Combine” in his formal broadcasts, and criticizes those who do. For example, shortly after the chapter Anticitizen One begins, a Breencast can be heard on a television set in the area where Hoppers are first encountered, in which Dr. Breen says, “…And only the universal union that small minds call ‘The Combine’ can carry us there.” However, when Freeman is taken to Breen’s office in the Citadel, in which Eli Vance is being held prisoner, Breen says, “Having both of you in my keeping ensures I can dictate the terms of any bargain I care to make with the Combine.” One may theorize that Dr. Breen’s use of this term signifies that he does not in fact respect the Combine as much as he would have others believe, and/or that he is merely using them to gain more power (likely through the ransoming of Gordon and Eli). However, it could merely be a slip of the tongue on his part. Either way, it is up to speculation.

Apparently, some Citizens enjoyed some of the Breencasts – in Episode One, one Citizen can be heard saying to another; “I don’t miss Dr. Breen, but I do miss his show. Remember when he had the jugglers on?”. Whether the Breencasts broadcast other programs such as jugglers is unknown.

Breen’s Private Reserve


A brand of drink manufactured by the Combine, “Dr. Breen’s Private Reserve”, is named after Breen. Used as another propaganda tool, it probably affects the health of Citizens, like the water.

Behind the Scenes



  • In the early stages of Half-Life 2’s production, Breen was not known as the “Administrator”, but the “Consul”.
  • In the Half-Life Audio Script, the Administrator evoked by the scientists is revealed to be the G-Man, suggesting he is the one overseeing experiments. For Half-Life 2, the G-Man was retconned as a more independent entity, and Wallace Breen was created to retroactively fill the Administrator’s shoes.
  • Wallace Breen was modeled after Roger Guay, director at Tanner Electric Cooperative, an electric cooperative located in North Bend, Washington. Breen’s outfit was also inspired from Guay’s. At one point in the game’s production, nine different types of eyewear for Breen were suggested. (can’t fit anymore)


Judith Mossman

Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - Judith Mossman
Dr. Judith Mossman is a Resistance scientist introduced in Half-Life 2. She is a cunning and manipulative double agent, aiding both sides during the Uprising but eventually siding with the Resistance. Later on she discovers a secret and powerful project that could be used against the Combine, in the vanished Aperture Science ship Borealis.



Before the Black Mesa Incident, Mossman was a promising, up-and-coming research scientist. She applied for the same post as Gordon Freeman at Black Mesa, but lost out to Freeman’s Innsbruck experience (as said by Eli Vance in Black Mesa East) and Isaac Kleiner’s personal recommendation.

Years after the Combine invasion, Mossman became an important member of the Resistance base Black Mesa East, where she partnered with Eli Vance in making scientific advances to aid the Resistance war effort. Unbeknownst even to Alyx Vance, who disliked her, she also spied for the Combine, and reported directly to Dr. Wallace Breen. How and when she took on this role is not known, but Breen’s impatience with her and his remark that the Combine “could have taken [Eli] at almost any time in the last several years” suggests that she acted as a double agent for some time before Freeman’s reappearance. She also leaked the secret of uni-dimensional teleportation to the Combine, a technology they had previously lacked.




  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 1:

    Judith finally reaches White Forest with Eli, and heads north in a helicopter right after they arrive, tasked by Arne Magnusson to discover the Combine portal code, a vital piece of data needed to close off the impending Superportal the Combine deliberately set into being by destabilizing the Citadel Core. She succeeded in discovering this and transmitted the data in an encrypted video recording (which is intercepted by Combine agents). The transmission was discovered and then purloined by Alyx and Gordon during their attempt to stabilize the Citadel Core in Episode One; she was shown in an Arctic location, talking of a mysterious “project”, but was forced to abruptly end her transmission when Combine forces discovered and attacked their base.

  • Half-Life 2: Episode 2:

    In Episode Two, Magnusson, Vance and Kleiner retrieve the Portal code from Gordon and Alyx and use it to close off the Superportal. They also play the message and are successful in decoding the rest of it, discovering that the “project” is related to the mysterious Borealis, said to contain a secret so powerful that it could start a second Seven Hour War. At the end of the episode, Alyx and Gordon, believing that Mossman is still alive, equip a helicopter with the intention of heading north to search for her.


Personality & Skills


Mossman has a friendly if cunning personality, tempered by a certain amount of arrogance. She does not get on well with Alyx Vance, due to what Mossman considers is Alyx’s blasé attitude towards the Resistance’s scientific equipment, and also possibly due to Mossman’s attraction to Alyx’s father, Eli. According to Alyx, Mossman, despite her overtly courteous manner towards the protagonist, nurses resentment against Gordon Freeman due to his appointment over her at Black Mesa; she believes that “it should have been her in the test chamber that day”. Despite her cynical manipulations of all of these characters, however, she is apparently able to reconcile her differences to defeat the Combine.

Mossman’s double betrayal is open to interpretation and never fully explained during the course of the games. A likely explanation is that she had a change of heart in aiding the Combine after seeing Breen’s callous treatment of Eli. However, it is also possible, particularly through her proclamation that taking Eli to Breen was “the only way”, and her telling Gordon after his capture in the Citadel that until he is where Breen wants him, there is nothing he can do, that she planned the final confrontation in the Citadel from the beginning. Another theory, inferred from her conversations with Dr. Breen, is that she considered cooperation with the Combine as the only way to ensure Eli’s safety; of course, this could also have been her way of throwing all parties off as to her intentions.

Behind the Scenes



  • In the Half-Life introduction, Black Mesa is said to be an equal opportunity employer, while no women other than the Holographic Assistant are seen during the game. Marc Laidlaw stated they all stayed at home that day; they knew there was something going on. This may be a tongue-in-cheek comment, as the real reason is that while the Half-Life team wanted the game to feature a wider range of characters, such as female scientists that would be found scarcely along the journey, they simply didn’t have the needed texture read memory. The texture files for the female scientist model can be found in the folder “f_science” in the Half-Life: Source texture folder, but not in that of the original Half-Life.
  • After Gearbox’s female scientists Gina Cross and Colette Green in Decay, Valve was able to finally introduce in Half-Life 2 a female scientist the way they wanted to in Half-Life, as Judith Mossman. The whole relationship with her in Half-Life 2 is a scene they tried to do in Half-Life: they had done a lot for this scene where there was a betrayal by a woman scientist (using the generic female scientist model); at that point in the story Freeman was being hunted and the player would think that the scientists were all friends, so this scientist would say she is going to get help and would tell Gordon to stay in the room he was in – and then she would call the guards. They were unable to do that properly in Half-Life – they didn’t really have characters on that level, and Half-Life 2 was a good opportunity to finally implement the traitor female scientist concept.
  • As heard in the Half-Life 2 leak sound files, Judith Mossman was originally named Helena Mossman (“Elaine” is often mentioned across the web; this is a mistake). Helena was to be a blond woman wearing a purple coat and purple trousers, and the director of Kraken Base (“Kraken’s director”).


  • Mossman was modeled over Donna Van Buren, wife of Valve’s Bill Van Buren. She is uncredited for unknown reasons.
    • Mossman’s model in the playable Half-Life 2 leak features darker make-up around the eyes.


Dr. Isaac Kleiner

Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - Dr. Isaac Kleiner
Dr. Isaac Kleiner is one of the main characters of Half-Life 2 and its episodes. An archetypal ‘absent-minded genius scientist’ (although somewhat more benign), he is a prolific author of several works on teleportation and interdimensional travel, and one of the few survivors of the incident that took place in the Black Mesa Research Facility. Later on, he becomes a key (if somewhat self-conscious) leader of the Resistance against the Combine, and a prime member of the Resistance science team.



Kleiner first worked as a professor at MIT, where he was one of the mentors of Gordon Freeman. It appears that the two started their friendship already back then, and that Kleiner was quickly impressed by Freeman.[1] Kleiner would later take employment in the Sector C Test Labs of the Black Mesa Research Facility, where he worked with Eli Vance and security guard Barney Calhoun.

During this time, Kleiner appears to have become a widely recognized scientist, seeing that he is on the front cover of the magazine Popular Scientist, apparently in an article called “Next level of quantum physics”, as well as the author to at least one book, From Here to There in Under a Second, likely about teleportation.

When Freeman showed interest in a job at Black Mesa, Kleiner recommended him for employment in the Civilian Recruitment Division, and this recommendation combined with Freeman’s experience at the Institute for Experimental Physics in Innsbruck, Austria,[1] ensured that he got the position instead of his competitor, Judith Mossman. In Black Mesa, Kleiner would also compete for grant money with Arne Magnusson.

A brown-haired Isaac Kleiner on the cover of Popular Scientist. The hair was Photoshopped on a screenshot of his model.

Kleiner appears to have been working with administrative jobs prior to the Black Mesa Incident in Sector C, as he received carbon copies of several letters, from L.M. to other employees, such as his letter regarding Barney Calhoun’s new Blue Shift assignment, sent on May 9, 200-,[4] and L.M.’s letter to Colette Green regarding the Xen crystal swap prior to the incident. Kleiner also appeared to be a Hazardous Environment Supervisor or Instructor, as the Hazard Course Training Schedule sent by Gina Cross to Colette Green mentions that Kleiner was slated to instruct Green for a Hazardous Materials Handling on May 9, 200-, although it was postponed to June, and ultimately did not happen due to the Black Mesa Incident.At this time, Kleiner was also on friendly terms with many co-workers, namely Gordon, Eli and Barney, although Richard Keller stated he did not understand what Kleiner was seeing in Freeman.

The Anomalous Materials team before the Black Mesa Incident. Kleiner is the third from the right.
When the Resonance Cascade and resulting Black Mesa Incident occurred, Kleiner managed to escape Black Mesa, although exactly how remains unexplained. After escaping the facility, Kleiner relocated to City 17, where he formed up the core of the local Resistance along with Eli Vance, Judith Mossman and Barney Calhoun. As Kleiner and Eli entered City 17, however, Eli lost his leg to a Bullsquid while helping Kleiner over a fence. In the city, Kleiner set up a small lab beneath an abandoned Norther Petrol building located near the City 17 Trainstation, and began working on teleportation, among other works, while also staying in touch with Eli, who was working in Black Mesa East in the city’s outskirts, as well as Mossman, and Eli’s daughter Alyx, who was growing up.

Barney worked as a double agent for the local Civil Protection forces at this time, while in the meantime ensuring that Kleiner’s Lab would go undiscovered and safe from the Combine. At one point, Kleiner finished his teleport, and tested it with a cat, apparently resulting in its death, forcing Kleiner to resume work on it. In this time, Kleiner also found a Headcrab, which he de-beaked, making it harmless, and named it Lamarr, before keeping her as a pet and, to an extent, domesticating her, much to the disdain of Barney. When Alyx grew older, Kleiner also worked with her and Barney to rescue Citizens from the Combine, and evacuate them through the Underground Railroad located in the City 17 Canals to Black Mesa East. At the time of Half-Life 2, Kleiner is finishing up his teleport.




  • Half-Life 2 & Episodes





  • Gordon Freeman:

    Gordon Freeman was taught by Kleiner at MIT. He then recommended Gordon’s position to the administration of Black Mesa, after which they became coworkers. At Black Mesa, Kleiner had apparently a habit of locking himself out of his office and Gordon would race Barney to “break in” to it. Gordon became Kleiner’s assistant again as a part of the human Resistance on Earth. He holds Gordon in the highest respects, even though he admits his heroic acts tend to cause trouble.

  • Barney Calhoun:

    Dr. Kleiner probably knew Barney well through Gordon. Barney would often race Gordon into Dr. Kleiner’s office via the air ducts to retrieve Kleiner’s keys when he locked himself out. Barney would later aid Kleiner in the human Resistance in various ways, though mainly by working undercover in the Civil Protection, keeping the Combine away from his Lab, at no doubt tremendous risk to himself.

  • Alyx Vance:

    Dr. Kleiner knew Alyx when she was an infant at Black Mesa, and they were close enough for her to call him “Uncle” in a collage she made. In Half-Life 2 they both work together in his lab, and on sending refugees on foot through the canals.

  • Eli Vance:

    Eli is almost the polar opposite to Isaac. He is laid back and confident, whereas Kleiner is reserved, logical, and cautious in most situations. Coincidentally, this is probably why they make such a good team. They have both known each other and worked together since the days of Black Mesa. Kleiner is also affectionately nicknamed “Izzy” by Eli on various occasions.

  • Arne Magnusson:

    While Eli is the opposite to Isaac, Arne is simply headstrong with a very short temper. He has no patience for most of Kleiner’s input and at times appears to give him many tedious and long tasks. Back at Black Mesa, the two competed for grant money.


Behind the Scenes (Kleiner)


  • Kleiner was first introduced in Gordon Freeman’s backstory for Half-Life, with the first name “Alex”, which was probably changed because of the similarities with “Alyx”. He was later mentioned in the Half-Life (both PC and PlayStation 2) and Blue Shift manuals, as well as at the start of Decay.
  • Kleiner is voiced by Harry S. Robins, the voice of most of the scientists in the original Half-Life and its expansions.
  • “Kleiner” is a German surname. Related to “klein”, “small” in German, it has several translations, most of the time related to “reduce” or “inferior”. “Isaac” is a Hebrew name, and comes from “Yitzchaq”, meaning “he laughs”. In the Old Testament, Isaac was the son of Abraham, which God asked to sacrifice to test his faith, though an angel prevented the act at the last moment.
  • As an English Christian name, “Isaac” was occasionally used during the Middle Ages, though it was more common among Jews. It became more widespread after the Protestant Reformation. Kleiner shares his first name with physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton, and the science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov and the late assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
  • Kleiner is basically the Half-Life bespectacled scientist model (“scientist01”, or “Walter”) turned into a real character, as it happened for Walter Bennet. Kleiner’s Half-Life 2 appearance was based on Ted Cohrt, an accountant working in the firm about Valve’s office. Kleiner’s face originally depicted him as much older man, but the team changed his mind when they came across Ted Cohrt in an elevator. It is also said that team members sometimes ran into him at Starbucks and the ones who did not know he was Kleiner’s face were staring at him, trying to figure out why he looked so familiar.
  • After Cohrt was taken as the model, the older Kleiner face was recycled into the elder Counter-Strike: Source hostage. Although the old Kleiner model has nothing to do with Ted Cohrt, it is named “cohrt.mdl”, while the final model, based on Ted Cohrt, is simply called “kleiner.mdl”. “Walter” is still used as the name of Kleiner’s face texture.
    • The current model originally had a green shirt and black tie.
  • At the end of the Episode Two trailer released August 2006, Kleiner can be seen in an humorous situation in the rocket silo at White Forest, saying “Mmhh… Now, that’s interesting! I think we’re getting somewhere!”, then screaming when sparks spew from the rocket. This sentence/sequence is not featured in Episode Two; the scream is recycled from the scream Kleiner makes when Gordon appears behind him at the end of the teleportation failure at the start of Half-Life 2.


Dr. Arne Magnusson

Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - Dr. Arne Magnusson
Dr. Arne Magnusson is the leader of White Forest. He is a grey-haired stocky Caucasian man who looks to be in his early sixties. He is a former member of the Black Mesa Science Team, one of the few survivors of the Black Mesa Incident, and an important orchestrator of the Resistance.



Before the Black Mesa Incident, Magnusson worked at Black Mesa as a scientist. As said by Eli Vance in White Forest, Arne used to compete for grant money with Isaac Kleiner (Eli: “The way he and Magnusson have been going at it, you’d think they were still competing for grant money!”, to which Alyx answers “Some things never change…”), and took grievance with Gordon Freeman when the latter destroyed his microwave casserole back at Black Mesa. It is never directly explained how Dr. Magnusson managed to survive the Black Mesa Incident.

After the Combine invasion he came to head a major Resistance base, White Forest, and used his scientific expertise to make technological advances to aid the Resistance. Most notable amongst these are the rocket he constructed to tap into the old Black Mesa/Xen satellite array, as well as the Magnusson Device, a deadly anti-Strider weapon. He was aided in these endeavors by Uriah, a Vortigaunt. Dr. Magnusson is held in the same high regard by the Vortigaunts as is Dr. Eli Vance, both as an accomplished scientist and leader of the Resistance.




  • Half-Life 2: Episode 2


Personality & Skills


Arne Magnusson has a fussy, petulant nature. He makes constant complaints about the completion of his satellite rocket, an object that he dotes upon. Verbose, egotistical and authoritarian, Magnusson thinks highly both of himself and his inventions, to the point of naming them after himself. He finds shows of emotion distasteful, particularly when he feels it comes at the cost of industry. He despises Isaac Kleiner’s pet Headcrab Lamarr just like Barney Calhoun does (Magnusson: “And get your cranio-conjugal parasite away from my nose cone!”, to which Kleiner answers: “Now listen here, Magnusson, there’s no call for hurtful comments!”).

Magnusson is not, however, without a softer side; he grudgingly thanks Gordon Freeman for saving his rocket during the events of Episode Two, and his joy at the rocket’s successful launch is palpable. His dedication to the Resistance comes above all else.

Behind the Scenes



  • Magnusson was created for several reasons:
    • As said by Marc Laidlaw, in early drafts of the episode, Eli and Kleiner had warmed up White Forest all by themselves to have it as equipped as it is in the brief time after fleeing City 17. When the team realized it was “ridiculous”, they developed a backstory in which Black Mesa had acquired an extremely cheap Cold War bunker and developed some projects in response to budgetary and oversight problems associated with basing all work in North America. Magnusson would have been working there for some time when Eli and Kleiner were to reach the base from City 17.
      • As said by John Morello, the addition of a new character was also to counter the lack of interpersonal conflicts between the characters, as Alyx, Eli and Kleiner have a lot of affection for one another. While at Valve they all value the benefit of strong positive relationships, they were “happy to have Dr. Magnusson around to get irritated by all the hugging.”
  • Magnusson’s appearance was based on that of Paul Eenhoorn, a prominent actor from the Seattle-area filmmaking community.
  • According to the Episode Two games files, Magnusson was to appear older and balder. The current model is more faithful to Eenhoorn’s features.
  • In the Victory Mine, the Vortigaunt says at some point “What next in the parade of constant obstacles?”, a variant of one of Dr. Magnusson’s sayings, “What next in the parade of constant interruptions?”. According to Marc Laidlaw, the affinity between the Vortigaunts and Dr. Magnusson has caused some of his mannerisms to spread among them by way of their lowgrade telepathy.
  • Just after Gordon has tested the Magnusson Device, Magnusson tells him that he might forgive his “microwave casserole” debacle at Black Mesa if he succeeds in protecting the rocket from the Striders (Magnusson: “Oh, and Freeman! If you pull this off, I might just forgive you for that debacle at Black Mesa. You know the one I mean… involving a certain microwave casserole.). This is a reference to the beginning of Half-Life, when the player can turn on a microwave and explode the meal inside.
  • According to John Guthrie, the team thought it was finally time to let the player know whose lunch had been ruined in Half-Life, and give them a chance at redemption.
  • “Arne” is a Scandinavian first name. It was originally an Old Norse short form of names beginning with the element “arn”, meaning “eagle”. “Magnusson” is a Swedish name, literally meaning “son of Magnus”, a Late Latin name meaning “great”. It was borne by a 7th-century saint who was a missionary in Germany. It became popular in Scandinavia after the time of the 11th-century Norwegian king Magnus I, who was said to have been named after Charlemagne, or Carolus Magnus in Latin. The name was borne by six subsequent kings of Norway as well as three kings of Sweden. It was imported to Scotland and Ireland during the Middle Ages.
  • A “Magnuson Park” found in Seattle, where Valve is based, may be the inspiration for the name. Furtheremore, of note is that “Magnus” itself means “big” or “great” in Latin, making it the opposite of Isaac Kleiner’s surname, “klein” meaning “small” in German.


Odessa Cubbage

Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - Odessa Cubbage
“Colonel” Odessa Cubbage is a Resistance leader situated at the eponymous Coast outpost, New Little Odessa. When Gordon Freeman reaches N.L.O. during his journey along the Coast, Cubbage is found in the main building’s basement explaining the use of the RPG to some of his troops, before handing the weapon to Gordon for use in an ensuing Gunship battle.



At some point during the organization of the Resistance along the Coast, Odessa Cubbage ended up leader of New Little Odessa.

Much about the Colonel is open to question among the Resistance: from his slightly askew mustache, to his supposedly Received Pronunciation accent, which many suspect is as false as the military exploits with which he regales his followers. He may not even be a colonel at all, and simply a former member of the University of Rochester Security Services, given his coat. In times of peril, this “royal coward” also tends to hide and never expose himself to any actual danger, dispatching firm orders to his “starry-eyed contingent” and bravely sending warnings to neighboring outposts while never exposing himself to the slightest personal harm. It is also unknown if he gave his name to Resistance outpost or if he used the existing name for himself.




  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 1:

    In Half-Life 2: Episode One, Alyx refers to Odessa by sarcastically claiming that he is her father after a Rebel from a small group asks her if she is Isaac Kleiner’s daughter. Later, the Consoling Couple, part of the same group, can be overheard talking about Odessa, among other things. The man says he blames him for the situation, the woman states she has met him once, and that she considers he is an idiot. Other Rebels during the game will occasionally refer to him by asking Gordon if he was there when Cubbage took down the Gunship, suggesting that Odessa may have taken the credit for Gordon’s help.


Behind the Scenes



  • Cubbage exists solely to give the player the RPG. During most of Half-Life 2’s development, he was simply a generic Rebel with the Male 02 Citizen head and whose entity was named “RPGGuy” (the name “rocketman” was also used by the team), with temporary sound clips found only in the game files, since his words were relayed through text only. He was to be met in a large building replaced by the wind turbine in the final game, but featured in the playable Half-Life 2 leak. Cubbage’s retail model, based on the martial arts instructor of one of the game’s developers, was originally intended for Odell, the cut Borealis engineer, until it was recycled for Cubbage. The image preview for the retail Odessa model shows an early model with a “refugee” Citizen body, and a beige shirt, changed to his Rochester jacket seen in the final game. This is some sort of intermediate model, as the RPGGuy has a similar outfit.
  • Marc Laidlaw states that in earlier video games, the RPG was simply to be placed in the middle of a room, sometimes spinning, and the player was expected to run over it and pick it up automatically. While the goal for N.L.O. was to be the same, the team decided to not simply leave the RPG in the middle of the floor, and build a character and a scene around it, since it was also to introduce the first battle against a Combine Gunship. Laidlaw adds that in that scene, the RPGGuy was rather a tough guy.

    When Gunships show up to attack his settlement, he rushes out and takes a few shots, demonstrating to the player exactly how to bring one down; then he was to die, leaving the player to carry on. In the playable Half-Life 2 leak, it is shown he was to go hiding in a small cabin at some point during the attack, and the Gunship would use its belly cannon (cut from the final game) to destroy the cabin, killing the RPGGuy in the process. The player would not be allowed to use the weapon until the RPGGuy’s death, since he would have to pick up the weapon near his corpse.

  • However, ultimately, the team found that the rocketman dying was not a satisfying outcome. It proved necessary to have him remain in his basement, giving orders but never straying outside. From that point, it was a fairly small step to decide that Odessa Cubbage was actually a “royal coward.” He ordered his “starry-eyed contingent” about but never exposed himself to any actual danger. The team gave him a fake English accent to make the player suspicious, and eventually made him a rather dubious and utterly unreliable person.
  • “Odessa Cubbage” is a name Laidlaw found one day in his spam filter, and he found it carried quite a bit of character with it, and named the character that way.
    With Barney, Odessa Cubbage also fills the military leader role originally intended for Captain Vance.
  • There are several similarities between Cubbage and Colonel Crittendon from the television show Hogan’s Heroes. Besides sharing their rank and British nationality, both possess a comically inflated self-image and are widely perceived by their soldiers to be conceited fools. Cubbage’s appearance is also remarkably similar to Crittendon’s, most notably the shared curled mustache.
    When discussing the fan fiction The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage with its author, Marc Laidlaw revealed that Odessa Cubbage, at one point, was to have a son, Cody Cubbage, who hated his name. It is unknown whether this is a cut character from previous games or a character from a future game in the series.


Father Grigori

Half-Life 2 - The Character Information Guide - Father Grigori
Father Grigori is the only known surviving occupant of Ravenholm during the events of Half-Life 2. He appears to be mentally unstable, but is generally friendly. In Half-Life 2, he helps Gordon Freeman survive his trip through Ravenholm and escorts him to the mines on the far side of the zombie-infested town.



Although not much about Father Grigori’s background is revealed in-game, it is known that he is not a native of Ravenholm, but rather sought it out during the Combine invasion, where he did his best to minister the occupants, implying that he is not actually a priest. After the Combine bombardment of Ravenholm, he was angered and became mentally unstable, seeing it as his plight to liberate the town’s zombified residents through death.




  • Half-Life 2: (end of Ravenholm)

    Grigori’s eventual fate is left ambiguous; if the player remains at the gate after having been “escorted” to the mines, Grigori continues shooting at zombies, and tells Freeman to “Get going,” and that “No one wants to stay in Ravenholm.” Eventually, Grigori will detonate some nearby fuel tanks as zombies break out of a crypt; he runs through the flames laughing and firing before taking cover in the crypt entrance and continues killing zombies for some time, then disappears inside.

    It is unknown whether or not Grigori survived the destruction of the Citadel. The time and distances involved are sketchy, but as Gordon manages to reach Black Mesa East in about 2 to 3 hours or so, and Ravenholm is just outside Black Mesa East, it can be judged that Ravenholm is around 20-40km from City 17. Seeing as the forests outside City 17 are relatively untouched, it can be reasoned that Grigori escaped the Citadel explosion. It is not impossible that he escaped by waiting out the fire and running away, but being slightly insane, he may have fought to the end anyway. In Raising the Bar, it is stated that his eventual fate was left up to the players to decide, and that there were no plans to re-use the character in the series.


Appearance (looks)


Father Grigori is a middle-aged man with a shaven head; he dresses in traditional embroidered clothing and red Converse sneakers covered with Headcrab ooze.

Around his neck, he wears a crucifix, signifying his religious position and outlook, which seems to have taken a turn for the extreme as he tries hard to return his “congregation” to their human state, or relieve them. He has a cross pierced into the skin of one of his hands.

His canny ability to move around Ravenholm quickly and inconspicuously suggests he is fast on his feet and agile, or that he has set up many escape routes that the player never uses.

Personality & Skills


Grigori is mentally unhinged, and can be heard ranting, uttering disjointed biblical references and laughing manically while hunting zombies in Ravenholm. Grigori probably has a form of chronic reactive psychosis, which is not a mental disorder in itself, but psychosis brought on by the experience of a severely traumatic or stressful event.

Grigori appears at various points in Ravenholm, generally standing at a high vantage point from which he proceeds to kill the various zombies in the areas below. Zombies seem to prefer to attack the player when given the choice, except during the final sequence leading up to the mine entrance. Because of the limitations of his weapon, he has to reload frequently, so he is vulnerable to the zombies that can reach his position, such as Fast Zombies, in significant numbers or when operating at ground level.

Like Alyx Vance, Grigori seems to have rapidly regenerating health, making him very hard to kill, so players shouldn’t generally need to concern themselves if he is attacked, unless the numbers get too large or explosive weapons are used. He will cry out in anguish when he is overwhelmed and requests the support of the player.

The Father tends only to fire at enemies short to mid-range since his weapon does not have a scope, so he will often fire while retreating back from a zombie if they reach his location. Additionally, while his weapon is very powerful and is capable of killing a zombie in a single shot, it must be reloaded every two shots thus hindering its usefulness against large groups.
Grigori has also rigged a great number of traps throughout Ravenholm, ranging from spinning blades to flaming pits. These traps are able to be used by the player throughout the town to kill zombies to great effect without expending somewhat rare ammunition.

  • Objects:

    Grigori is the only character in the Half-Life series who uses the Annabelle. He fires the Annabelle with great accuracy, almost always hitting the targeted zombie’s head. He advises Gordon to to kill zombies quickly also by aiming for their heads. He seems to have large supplies of ammunition, and provides Gordon a shotgun before directing him to the town church.


Behind the Scenes



  • “Grigori” is a variant of Grigoriy, the Russian form of “Gregory”, coming from “Gregorius”, from late Greek name “Gregorios”, derived from “gregoros”, meaning “watchful, alert”, which fits him well. This name was popular among early Christians, being borne by a number of important saints. It may also be a reference to the Grigori, the “Watchers”, a group of fallen angels from the biblical apocrypha who were originally dispatched by God to watch over mankind and ended up mating with mortal women.
  • The Half-Life 2 subtitles file contains several Grigori lines cut from the final game.


Character Trivias!


Gordon Freeman


In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Anna Grimsdóttír remarks to protagonist Sam Fisher that “crowbars are for geeky video-game characters”, poking fun at the fact that Gordon Freeman is a scientist by profession.

In Call of Duty: United Offensive, two American soldiers are shown running side-by-side. On the left, Pvt. Gordon, and on the right, Pvt. Freeman.

In the Stark Towers level of the video game The Punisher, a scientist refers to another scientist as “Doctor Freeman” and asks what a noise he heard was, to which Doctor Freeman replies (paraphrased) “maybe the quantum physics department finally opened that extradimensional portal!”, with the other scientist replying “Extradimensional aliens! Wonder what they look like?”, a reference to the opening scene of Half-Life.

In The Ship, a game developed using Source, the description of the crowbar weapon states it is suitable for any “free man”.

In Destroy All Humans, the main character, Crypto 137, can read the thoughts of humans. If he scans the mind of a scientist, the player may hear “I must hurry, they need me in the test chamber! Oh wait, wrong game.”

In TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, during the level “Breaking and Entering”, Cortez, the protagonist of the story, changes into a lab coat along with a name tag that reads “Dr. Freeman”. He is also told, “remember, your name is Gordon, now lead on doctor.”

In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, the player may find the body of a scientist named “Gordon Freeman” whose PDA makes mentions of Black Mesa, City 17, and a crowbar.

In Metro 2033, a skeleton can be found, with a pair of glasses and a crowbar at its side.
In the novel A Big Boy did it and Ran Away by Christopher Brookmyre, the author makes frequent references to various video games including Half-Life; one of the protagonists takes the alias of “Gordon Freeman” while there is an SAS soldier named “Shepard” (a reference to Half-Life: Opposing Force’s Adrian Shephard). At one point the male protagonist is equipped with a crowbar and the main action takes place in a largely underground hydroelectric power station with the Gaelic name “Dubh Ardrain” which can be translated as “Black Mesa”.

In the Left 4 Dead 2 downloadable campaign The Passing, Louis will sometimes say “Man, I feel like Gordon Freeman!” when equipped with a crowbar.

Alyx Vance


Unlike other games that feature extremely vulnerable mission-critical characters, Half-Life 2 gives Alyx the ability to absorb a large amount of damage before death (due to the fact that her health regenerates extremely rapidly). It is still possible for her to die during combat however, and at several points the player is required to protect her from taking damage. Her death will result in a black screen fade and failure message, then the game will reload. It takes five simultaneous Overwatch Sniper Rifle shots to kill her, indicating that she can absorb an extremely high amount of damage. Alyx can often successfully defeat several enemies at once without the player’s assistance, but she is vulnerable to multiple enemies mobbing her at close range, or to individual Combine Soldiers equipped with shotguns.

Just before Alyx and Gordon meet with Barney, a rebel asks Alyx if she is Kleiner’s daughter and she sarcastically claims that she is the daughter of Odessa Cubbage, mirroring somehow the early stages of Half-Life 2’s production when she was to be the daughter of another military man, Captain Vance.

In the complete darkness areas of the Episode One chapter Lowlife, Alyx will protect her eyes when Gordon directs his flashlight directly at her face (it is also seen in Episode Two). Furthermore, as she cannot proceed in complete darkness without Gordon and his flashlight, she will call in fear when the player turns it off and suddenly moves away from her.
Alyx is referred to in Overwatch announcements as the “Vance Subprime.”

When Alyx and Gordon first meet, she asks him “Doctor Freeman, I presume?”, probably a nod to the infamous quote “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”.

Barney Calhoun


Characters from The Andy Griffith Show bear the names of Barney and Otis. It is probable, though yet to be verified, that the references are intentional. Also, the original Barney model bears a striking resemblance to Don Knotts, one of the actors of the show, who played the character named Barney Fife, which in the United States has long been a disparaging term for an inept and incompetent policeman.

At the start of Half-Life, Barney is seen by Gordon knocking on a door with his armor vest and helmet already equipped. As this security guard was retconned as Barney Calhoun for Blue Shift, an inconsistency appeared, Barney obtaining his equipment in his locker only after entering the door.

In Blue Shift, Barney is never heard talking from the player’s point of view, just as Freeman and Shephard are not heard speaking. However, the chapter Captive Freight shows an example of the character apparently speaking but being unheard by the player. When Rosenberg asks him how he knows his name, there is a slight pause, then Rosenberg confirms the name of the scientist who told it to Calhoun (“Oh, I see. Poor Harold.”), as if he was answering him.
Unlike Gordon Freeman and Adrian Shephard, Barney lacks any form of power armor and is equipped only with a simple armored vest and helmet. Thus, instead of utilizing HEV recharging stations, he must restore his damaged armor by picking up “fresh” vests from fallen comrades along the way. Unlike Freeman and Shephard, he comes across only a few living security guards after the cascade. Moreover, he can communicate with only one of them, who is seen towards the end of the game and only lives long enough to tell Calhoun about recharging the power cell and then immediately dies.

At the end of the Half-Life 2 chapter Entanglement, Barney is seen on a monitor holding an MP7. This is the only time he is seen wielding this weapon in Half-Life 2 and its Episodes, as he is only seen using an AR2 when in combat.

Character Trivias 2!




The G-Man’s “prepare for unforeseen consequences” message is a reference to the third chapter of Half-Life, Unforeseen Consequences, in which Gordon Freeman regains consciousness after the Resonance Cascade occurs.

The official Half-Life 2: Episode One website states that “In Half-Life, the G-Man made you.”[4]
The G-Man is famous in the Garry’s Mod community for his numerous humorous poses, exaggerated facial expressions and/or as a running joke in many videos, relayed by the YTMND community.

The webcomic Concerned also mocks his sudden disappearances. Each time he disappears, things never happen as he expected. His raspy voice and the way he talks is also mocked. In February 2011, Portal series’ writer Chet Faliszek mocked one of the many wild theories community members have about the G-Man by telling to the Australian arm of the website http://News.com that the G-Man is in fact a mysterious version of Gordon Freeman from the future, and that he is Alyx’s great grandfather. He then briefly stated “We’re not prepared to talk about that at the moment,” and later told the website “Sure it was a joke. OR WAS IT?”.

One of the many bots in Team Fortress 2 is named after the G-Man.

Judith Mossman


Mossman wears a gold bracelet that reads “Progress”.

Her hair grip is reminiscent of Gina Cross’ bun pins.

Being in an Arctic location in Half-Life 2: Episode One, she is seen wearing a winter coat and gloves above her original clothes. This somehow restores her original purple outfit.
She is one of the few main characters who has never been in Black Mesa, as Gordon Freeman filled the position she wanted there.



Upon first seeing Gordon he says “What is this, another life to save?” indicating that he might have helped some of the residents of Ravenholm escape when the headcrabs first entered.
Several unused voice files indicate that Grigori was once able to give out health and ammo to the player.

Grigori seems to have a quite unique A.I, as if he is given rapid-fire weapons by means of mods, console or other, he will stand still, only falling back after enemies get too close. He also will fire continuously and usually goes for the headshot. He has animations for many weapons, but only has one reload animation that belongs to Annabelle.

Upon entering the mines at the end of Ravenholm, running through the door, then running back out again, will show Father Grigori in the flames, infinitely laughing and fighting off zombies.

It is implied that Grigori misses the human inhabitation of Ravenholm. This is indicated when the player dies, as he will say “Yet again I am alone” in a saddened tone, and during their trek through the Ravenholm cemetery when they encounter zombies. He will say “I still remember your true face”.

Grigori’s name, nationality, religion, and somewhat eccentric personality could also be a reference to Grigori Rasputin, a Russian mystic who was known as the “Mad Monk”. Rasputin was also famous for his ability to survive; the circumstances in which he finally did die becoming legendary (consuming food and wine laced with enormous amounts of cyanide, being shot in the back four times, being clubbed, and in some reports castrated, before finally drowning after being bound in a carpet and thrown into the Neva River). This reference is even more supported by the fact that in the game files his name is npc_monk.

There are crucifixes visible on the back of Father Grigori’s hands. The crosses appear to be burnt or cut into his skin, and likely inflicted by Grigori himself.

Despite what many believe, Grigori’s weapon is not a shotgun. It is a lever-action Winchester 1892 carbine that uses .357 caliber rounds, which explains its accuracy and deadly firepower. A shotgun would be ineffective at the ranges Grigori fires at from the rooftops.
If Grigori dies, the player can use his weapon, Annabelle, briefly before the “game over” message comes up. Unfortunately, it has too many glitches to be of any use, and does not even have its own view model or icon.

Grigori’s line about his traps being “the work of a man who once had too much time on his hands and now only finds time for the work of salvation” hints to the possibility that Grigori may have crowned himself as a priest after the shelling of the town rather than already having been a priest beforehand.

Jim French, who voices Grigori, also voiced Bill from Left 4 Dead and the Fisherman from Half-Life 2: Lost Coast.

Dr. Isaac Kleiner


At the end of the Half-Life 2 chapter Entanglement, Kleiner is shown poking his head through a door in his lab while holding a shotgun in a possible nod towards the original Half-Life. A scientist at the end of the chapter Lambda Core is shown holding a shotgun in a similar, scared fashion, and is spawned as the scientist model that Dr. Kleiner is based on. It is possible that scientist actually is Kleiner, as it is the Scientist01 that is Kleiner’s base model.

At the end of the Half-Life 2 chapter Entanglement, it can be seen that Kleiner may have used his shotgun against a Manhack, as broken parts of one can be found near his mini-teleport.

Kleiner appears in Dota 2 as an official announcement pack. When enabled, this pack replaces most of the lines in Dota 2.

The Half-Life 2 series voice actor of Kleiner, Harry “Hal” Robins, also voiced one of the Dota 2 heroes, Tinker. His backstory bears a resemblance to the Black Mesa Incident.

End of Character Info Guide

Alright, so, seeing as we didn’t include headcrabs, vortigaunts, combine, citizens and all those other characters, we can tell this guide is getting too long by now! No room to fit in everyone else, but just only the plot characters. This guide just stated the main characters, though I wouldn’t consider Odessa or Grigori, main, as they only appear once, it would be a shame not to have added them in, as they’re quite important still.

By Frosty Dr.

I hope you enjoy the Guide we share about Half-Life 2 – The Character Information Guide; if you think we forget to add or we should add more information, please let us know via commenting below! See you soon!

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