I'm playing Half Life 2...what's going on?

OK, I played half Life 1…for a little while. I got as far as killing the giant monster with the jet engine, then just stopped playing. I am now playing Half Life 2, and despite beign a fair amonut into the game, still ahve no idea what is going on. If I had finished Half Life 1, would I know? There was no freakin; manual for the game (who he Hell does that? No manual! Christ!) so if there is a backstory explained somewhere, I didn’t read it. I’ve been able to piece together the following:

The aliens that came into Black Mesa have now somehoe appeared all over and started a war
The war ended, but some group called the Combine took over (are they human? Alien? Hybrid?) They are led by Burt Reynolds, apparantly.
A group of humans and some of the aliens have started a resistance group.
Somehow, you are captured and brought to a work facilitk, Cue game starting here.
How did the aliens get to Earth? Why are some of the aliens, who previously jsut wanted to kill me, helping me? Yet some of them (like the head crabs and so forth) are still evil?

Do I find out all this info through the course of the game? I jsut finished Nova Prospect and am still confused by the situation. If revleaing some or all of the answers gives game spoilers, dont’ tell me, but I would still like to know how half life ends regardless.

That’s the fun of both Half Lifes (Half Lives?). You only figure out what the story is by playing the game. Much like life. But yeah, you got it right on basically. At the end of HL1 Morgan…I mean Gordon Freeman traveled to the alien world and destroyed a big boss alien. When he got back to Earth he was confronted by the mysterious G-Man who gave him a choice to work for him or die basically. You can make a choice but the only way to live to to side with the G-Man. So in HL2, Gordon has become reknown as the go-to man for dealing with aliens when you need them killed. But the Combine worked out a deal with the aliens to help enslave the world in exchange for a place at the top of the ruling echelon. Naturally they don’t want Gordon or the resistance mucking up their plans.

In the first game, you learn the following:

-The Xen Aliens come from some alternate dimension with floating rocks and such. So does the mineral that you pushed into the beam at the the beginning and started the entire mess. Presumably, the mineral is needed for inter-dimensional travel(How we got a sample is something I haven’t quite figured out yet).

-Humans based at Black Mesa have been visiting Xen for a while, using Hazard suits and collecting “Samples”. You find some of these samples soon after you fire a rocket. The humans also begin setting up equipment in Xen.

-After a while, the Aliens got wise and started “collecting” the visiting humans. They also begin preparing for a war with earth, probably because they feel threatened. You see Alien soldiers being packed into barrels for transport to earth in one stage in Xen.

-It’s hard to know for sure, but it can be argued that the “accident” at the beginning was anything but.

I wrote a timeline for the game(and it’s add-on’s) a year back. E-mail me if interested in it.


Moderator, could you fix the spoiler tags on that last post? I’d appreciate it.

Anyway, presumably the accident at the beginning damages space-time, making it fairly easy for the aliens to slip through. Some, like the Alien Soldiers and Grunts, appear to be intelligent, while others, like headcrabs and houndeyes, appear to be pets or wild animals.

At the end of the game, you beat the Xen leader and meet the guy with the briefcase you’ve seen throughout the game. You’re in a tram car, like you began the game in, but this one is flying through space(or so it appears) at incredible speeds. The guy tells you that you’ve done well and that his employeers have offered you a job. He gives you 30 seconds to decide by opening the door which leads to a portal(looks kind of like a lighting ball). If you step through, you accept it and you’re held somewhere(stasis?) until you are needed(Half-Life 2). If you don’t, you’re thrown into a room with many Alien Soldiers and no weapons(A fight you cannot win).

He does mention that “we” have taken over the Xen Dimension. I suspect this is Elite military troops, but as for who is controlling them…

You never find out who his employeers are. I haven’t played HL2, so I guess they explain there, but either the US government has gotten some extremely advanced tech over the years or he’s some kind of Alien(But presumably not a Xen Alien) in human form.

Short version: HL-2 does not owe a lot to HL-1 except for the hero and a few minor characters. Here’s my synopsis of HL-1 for what it’s worth:

Half-Life (1): Dr. Gordon Freeman is a physicist working for the United States government at the Black Mesa complex, a former missile base converted into a classified research lab, located in the American southwest. Dr. Freeman is a newcomer and doesn’t have full security clearance yet, but his job involves work in the Anomalous Materials section of the facility, analyzing bizarre substances of unknown origin. He has just finished qualifiying for use of the Hazardous Environment Mark IV suit, a prosthetic body armor and protective gear used at Black Mesa.

At the beginning of the story, Dr. Freeman reports to Anomalous Materials to take part in an important experiment. The “largest and purest sample yet” of a strange glowing crystalline substance is to be subjected to analysis using the Anti-mass spectrometer. Despite warnings that their equipment is already overloaded, and that theoretically a “resonance cascade” reaction could occur, the plan is to run the spectrometer past it’s normal limits in order to get definitive results. Dr. Freeman’s role is decidedly low-tech: wearing the protective HEV-IV, he will be in the test chamber during the experiment to manually insert the sample into the particle beam. The moment that he does, all hell breaks loose. Whether it’s an accident or whether the sample was sabotaged, no one knows. But as soon as the sample hits the beam, uncontrolled energies begin to be released. Freeman finds himself briefly teleported somewhere else, glimpsing a strange alien world before blacking out.

When Freeman regains conciousness, he is back in the now ruined test chamber, with massive structural damage is everywhere. Struggling to climb back up to the main facility, he encounters hostile alien creatures that appear out of nowhere in flashes of green light, as well as former humans now serving as the hosts of alien parasites. Freeman struggles to work his way through the ruined facility, bypassing blocked corridors and collapsed elevator shafts to get to the surface and get help. He is aided by other survivors he encounters and acquires weapons to fight off successive waves of new hostile aliens. He also catches glimpses of a mysterious figure, a government official known only as the Administrator, following his progress.

Finally near the surface, Freeman recieves word that government soliders are on their way to secure the facility. But when Freeman encounters them, he discovers to his horror that they have orders to “sterilize” Black Mesa, killing all witnesses as well as the aliens. Now Freeman has to fight against his fellow man as well as the aliens. He reaches the surface only to discover that escape is impossible; the facility is surrounded by government forces shooting at anything that moves. Retreating back underground, Freeman is told by a surviving scientist that the only possible salvation lies with the “Lambda Complex” group, on the opposite side of the base.

To reach the Lambda complex, Freeman must make his way through deep underground areas consisting of a rocket test lab, an underground tramway, a satellite launching facility, a flooded section, and various areas devoted to industrial machinery and freight storage areas. All the time the alien attacks increase as well as the government’s more and more drastic countermeasures.

Finally reaching the Lambda Complex, Freeman discovers that it is devoted to experiments in teleportation. The surviving scientists there explain that they had discovered a means of teleportation based on transferring into another dimension called Xen, the home universe of the invading aliens, who are now countering the intrusions into their world with an invasion of their own. The only possible way to stop them is to send someone on a suicide mission into Xen to find the energy source powering the invasion, and destroy it. Freeman volunteers.

In the bizarre universe of Xen, Freeman navigates through multiple teleportation sites, fighting against the inhabitants to remain alive, while homing in on the energy source. He finally finds the master intelligence controlling the invasion, and after a tremendous battle kills it, ending the menace to Earth.

In the epilog, Freeman is rescued by the sinister Administrator, who apparently works for some agency with vastly more power and knowledge than the US government. He offers Freeman a choice: certain death, or to work for the Administrator’s mysterious superiors as an expendable agent.

Yeah, like I said.


Even though I’ve played through HL1 many times, I’ve gotta say –

Cool summary!

Yes, a good summary … if but for one small detail. The mysterious figure in the suit that follows your actions throughout both games is not the “administrator” of Black Mesa. It’s a widely-accepted fact (though unconfirmed within the narrative of either of the two games) that the administrator of Black Mesa was in fact Dr. Wallace Breen.

The mysterious figure, who’s affectionately referred to as the G-Man by fans, remains an enigma whose motives and allegiances are unclear. More than likely, he’s some rogue entity that is playing both sides of whatever interdimensional conflict is occuring. Many theorize that he’s out to thwart the Combine while others think he’s got a higher agenda than that. What is certain is that he finds Gordon Freeman to be a uniquely adaptable individual capable of great things when in grim circumstances, and certainly has some more nefarious plans for him in whatever chapters follow in the Half-Life saga …

Ok I have some other questions.
I just got Half-Life 2 because now it is only 20 bucks.



I can’t see a damn thing. I went to the video options and turned the brightness up all the way. I turned up the brightness on my monitor all the way as well and play in a totally dark room. I can still barely make stuff out. There is this thing flying around that occasionaly turns on a light like a flash and then I can see fine. (I can see, and hear, that guy welcoming me to City 17 and I so hope I get to kill that dude in the game) I have stumbled around a bit, found some boxes, talked to some shadows, and I even threw a box at an ‘alien’ or a guy in a mask. It seemed to piss him off but other than that I don’t know. I just want to blow stuff up! I do I get out of this so I can start the blowing stuff up!

Oh and how do it get to play Counter Strike on line so I can have my nooobeee butt handed to me by 7 year olds?

Zebra, what kind of video card do you have, and have you updated your drivers for it? You might want to try that to fix the darkness problem.

As for getting CS:Source, open up Steam, and hit the “Browse Games” button. Then hit the “Individual Games” tab up top. It should have a column for CS:Source, and just click on the “Download & Install” link.

Actually Steam told me to update my video card drivers. I have a GeoForce m something/somenumber that is ‘built-into’ my motherboard.
I was on steam and I clicked to play CS Source and it told me that the wait time would be 80 mins. Is that normal?

80 minutes is a normal download time - CS:Source is an >1gig download. As for your drivers, head over to ]www. nivida. com, and grab the latest nForce chipset drivers, and the latest graphics drivers. Though honestly, with just the Integrated Geforce 2 you have, that is pretty much the bare minimium need to play Half-Life 2. You might want to look into a graphics card upgrade.

The thing about HL2 is that you really don’t know much more about what’s going on than the character you’re playing in the game. You “wake up” sitting on the train, with no memory of what’s happened in all the elapsed time between the end of the first game and the beginning of the second. What happened to the Earth, who the Combine are, who the three armed alines are, etc. etc. are all things you have to learn through the course of the game, by paying close attention to what other characters in the game are saying and piecing the details together by yourself. It’s a very, very cool way of telling the story. If you don’t have the patience for that, though:

[spoiler]The aliens you fought in the first game were a slave race of some larger conquering alien empire that you haven’t yet seen directly. They move between dimensions, subjugating other races and genetically altering them to meet their needs. The spindly three armed aliens were the normal inhabitants of the world that invaded the Black Mesa facility in the first game. If you go back and look at the first game, when you see those aliens you’ll notice they’re wearing collars and heavy bracelets: they were slave-soldiers, forced to invade Earth wether they wanted to or not. In the second game, a lot of them have relocated to Earth, where they are no more happy with their conquered status than the native humans.

After the first game, the alien overlords of Xen invade Earth and conquer it in less than a week. Dr. Breen, administrator of Black Mesa, cuts a deal with them that leaves him as the ruler of what’s left of humanity. In return, he facilitates their experiments on humans, which lead to the creation of the Combine troops, who are the victims of medical experiments to combine human and alien DNA. These experiments are conducted in the former prison called Nova Prospect. Breen is the human equivalent of the big boss from the first game: a quisling who works with the conquerers to ensure that the surviving members of his race are not annihilated. It’s actually kind of questionable if opposing Breen is even the right thing to do, as he seems to have taken the only viable alternative to human extinction.

The raspy-voiced guy in a suit whom you see in the opening cut scene and spot randomly throughout the game is an enigma. He apperntly has some sort of extra-dimensional ability, as he was able to teleport you from the alien homeworld directly to the train car in HL2, skipping over about ten years or so of Earth history in the process. Odds are, he’s not human, although who he’s actually working for is still entirely mysterious. One common theory is that he’s a representative of a third alien species that is at war with the overlords who conquered Xen and Earth.[/spoiler]

Random, I’ve disconnected the link, which has been reported to me as a place that starts putting spyware/hijackers on your machine.

I haven’t tested it myself, for a variety of reasons, but it was reported by a reliable poster. I assume this is some sort of goof on your part… ?

It must have been a typo, the link should be www.nvidia.com .

What I don’t get is the ENDING to Half Life 2:

You stop Dr. Evil from leaving and joining the aliens, you blow up the “dark fusion” generator, you’re just about to get ripped to shreds by a flying pyroclastic debris cloud, and then – suddenly – you go into Bullet Time and Sinister Brief Case Man appears?!? What?!?


The G-Man obviously doesn’t want to lose such a valuable employee as Gordon Freeman! So, back into stasis (or whatever) for Dr. Freeman, until he is needed again.

And it would appear that

Alex doesn’t share Gordon’s “good fortune”, but I hear talk that she comes back as a mutant or something in HL3… I’m not really all that much into the whole thing, I got HL2 as a freebie DL with my video card, so I’m not the best source of info

Sorry, it was a goof - :smack: :smack: :smack: , as Revtim mentioned, the correct site is www.nvidia.com. Sorry about that, everyone.