Combine Vs. Xen - the final solution

Discussion in 'Half-Life' started by Angry Lawyer, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Glenn the Great

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1
    Let me explain some of the finer details of the second theory which I subscribe to.

    The Nihilanth is sort of a queen of the Vortigaunts, who is able to control them telepathically. The Vorts are hive minded (I refer to the official game guide), and they are coterminous, meaning they have a shared mind. The Nihilanth has more influence in this shared mind, and is thus able to control or guide the entire Vortigaunt race.

    The Combine captured the Nihilanth at one time in the past, and made some modifications to it to rear it under Combine control. The evidence of this is all over the Nihilanth's body, as there are many stitches where someone was making surgical modifications.

    The Nihilanth is analogous to Dr. Breen, being a puppet leader of the Vortigaunt race. The Combine uses Nihilanth to act as a medium in dealing with the Vorts, just as Breen was used as a medium for dealing with humans.

    Someone within the Combine made a deal with Breen sometime before the resonance cascade. What came of this was Black Mesa's acquirement of an alien crystal, that when bombarded with phaser rays, would tear a hole in the dimensional fabric, allowing the Combine to move in en masse and conquer. Breen influenced Black Mesa to perform a "test" on the crystal, as dictated by the Combine.

    Breen may have made contact with the Combine as a result of scientists exploring the Combine outpost on Xen, with their presence there alerting the Combine masterminds that another race ripe for conquering existed somewhere in the multiverse.

    To get back to the matter of the Vortigaunts, the Combine used it's influence on Nihilanth to cause the Vorts who were on Xen to invade Earth after Breen successfully orchestrated the resonance cascade. The Vortigaunts wreaked havoc on the planet, until Gordon destroyed Nihilanth at the end of HL1. The result of this victory was that the Vortigaunts became able to think for themselves, free of Nihilanth's influence.

    Recognizing that Gordon freed them from bondage, the Vorts came to revere him, and they also realized that they had to assist the humans, because the Combine had many other slave races other than the Vortigaunts, and they were about to send more waves of dominated aliens to continue the attack against Earth. This happened, and Earth was defeated. Ever since then, humans such as Kleiner and Eli Vance have conspired with the stranded Vortigaunts to topple the Combine.

    Just as extra information, there is some controversy over the Alien Controllers who were present on Xen, and appeared to be domineering over the Vortigaunts. My speculation is that being a hive-minded race, the Vortigaunts have a caste system similar to most colonial insects. The Nihilanth is a queen, the vorts are workers, the grunts are soldiers, and the controllers are drones. All four of these creatures are similar in anatomy if you look at their third protruding arm. This feature suggests the possibility that these are all different castes of the same race. The roles of these creatures as seen in HL1 reinforce this. Vorts are seen working in an alien factory on Xen, Grunts are obviously used as heavy weapons, Controllers are serving as the ruling elite, acting as taskmasters in the factories (you could say these guys are like the Combine Metrocops), and then you have the big leader, Nihilanth, directing everyone else.
     
  2. Black Op

    Black Op Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought it was apparent Xen was never under Universial Union control. Any similarities between the Xenian and Combine factions would likely result from previous encounters between the two. None of the obvious tell-tale signs of a Overwatch occupation are present: no standard Synths appear in use throughout the Borderworld and there are no buildings of Combine make at all. Furthermore the Combine have no need for a stepping stone between their Home Dimension and Earth as they can just tunnel through to Earth.

    The Combine were just the wrong people at the right time, making all the difference in the world. While the Universial Union can be compared to the Soviet Union, the Nihilanth is analogous to a mere third-world dictator who was chased out by the bigger power.
     
  3. 99.vikram

    99.vikram Tank

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    4,324
    Likes Received:
    1
    Very good. You get a cookie :)


    Ah, my confused friend, the Nihilanth could just as easily have been built by the controller race as we were led to believe in HL 1.

    a) If Nihilanth was built by the Combine, the metal used would have looked more blue-back than grey.

    b) The official HL 1 game guide says grunts grow their body armor naturally, not by Combine alteration.

    Initially my love of symmetry led me to the same theory. But it has too many flaws to work.

    If the Combine were on Xen why didn't they send Citadels during the HL1 invasion? Why wait till after the portal storms?

    But vorts only attacked you when a controller came near.

    Also RtB explicitly says "the Combine were attracted to earth by the incident at Black Mesa"; so I think they did not cause it.
     
  4. Black Op

    Black Op Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's one big-ass plothole I notice if you're correct. If Xen really was a member of the Universial Union, why do the Combine show no signs that they can use local teleportation technology? Surely if the Combine controled Xen, all their armies would have the capabilities of inter-dimensional teleportation as Xen's contribution to the Union? I choose to believe that after the Vortigaunts left their home, some chaps thought it was a good idea to imbue one Vortigaunt with a massive amount of power to defend from future Combine attacks. Chances are it worked, but then the Nihilanth decided to abuse its power and enslave its own race.

    Then why are the Nihilanth's minions not in the form of the Combine Advisors? EP1 makes it clear the Advisors are assigned to Citadels to help with their local Overwatch. Yet these Alien Controllers basically do the same job and may have comparable mental abilities, while no Advisors are present. My theory is that when the Nihilanth gained power, it copied the methods that the Universial Union used to make sure its race stayed subjugated. Thus explaning the caste system and military-industrial complex seen during the Black Mesa Incident yet abandoned two decades later by the surviving Vortigaunts.

    Anomalous Materials had been analyzing many specimens before they found the purest they've seen yet going by scientist dialogue, and it's clear that Black Mesa survey teams were plunderring Xen for some time. Going by EP1 where it's apparent communication with the Combine Home Dimension was reliant on an intact Citadel network, there's no way at all Breen or anything on Xen could contact the Combine to make any sort of deal. In this situation, the Universial Union was aware of an easy chance to enslave a species and they took it. Either the Union could detect dimensional breaches from their Home Dimension (very possible as the Meltdown Transmission from EP1 was expected to be picked up from the Home Dimension) or they used the services of another interdimensional power that had already infiltrated the human race to provide pre-invasion intelligence. This second option would undoubtetly mean Government Man had some unknown role to play.

    But still, this does not mean that G-Man started the Incident himself for the Univsersal Union. To do so before Black Mesa's teleportation technology was perfected would be foolish on the part of the Combine. Rather he would do what he does best and just watch over the Black Mesa Research Facility while masquarding as part of its Administration staff. This monitoring may not even be a service for the Combine, but rather the G-Man's employers keep tabs on all races for their own use. Of course that whole Incident screwup on Breen's part would prevent local teleportation from coming into fruition, and thus Earth would be brought into the Union without this technology anyway since it was such an easy kill. Of course the G-Man's employers show remarkably poor faithfulness to their former customers as they would be willing to aid the Earth Resistance 20 years later. The Universial Union is very much aware of this as shown by Breen's comments.

    No contact with the Combine could ever be established unless the Universial Union had no less than a Citadel network within the Borderworld. No evidence for such a network exists.

    Earth couldn't have been ravaged in the timespawn of a few days. Not with the pathetic war machine the Nihilanth had (when compared to the Combine). The Combine just happened to have a good oppunitity on their hands and exploited it. It's not everyday a planet can be totally conquered within 7 hours.

    Why did the Vortigants kept their mouths shut about their true masters if they appreciated what the humans did for them then? Why did Earth have no knowledge of the Combine until it was too late? Why were the humans stupid enough to concentrate themselves in the cities knowing how the Union waged war? Well the answer was that the Combine for a long time had no presence in the Borderworld at all, and thus the Vortigaunts did not keep the Combine's existance in mind given their newfound freedom.

    If the Vortigaunts were a pure caste race, they strangely were able to cast it aside without much growing pains the moment the Nihilanth was destroyed. The sheer intelligence, powers, and dislike of Nihilanth that a free Vortigaunt posesses implies that they were originally a free race before they encountered the Universial Union. It was only after they fled to the Borderworld when they let themselves become slaves to the Nihilanth and a caste system.
     
  5. Garbel

    Garbel Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    I must say that i quite hold with the first theory after reading all this and thinking for myself a little

    Nihilanth freed himself from the Combine's grasp (maybe with the help of the vortigount's power as in HL2 Ep 1?) and escaped to Xen, with the big brain he has i'm sure he used the technology he learned and saw in the Combine world to actually build up his, all those metal thingies the other aliens had were made by Nihilanth (or the controllers) to have and keep control of his underlings from their birth to death (which, maybe he learned from the Combine as well). The metal objects Nihilanth had on him could have been used to keep control of the Alien-controllers while the Alien-controllers controlled the Alien slaves, grunts etc
     
  6. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    2
    No, because that's not Combine routine. They don't 'set up' leaders at all. Earth was the first time something like that has happened.
     
  7. Sulkdodds

    Sulkdodds Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    18,853
    Likes Received:
    19
    Garbel...are you by any chance the same Garbel who inhabits the Earthen Ring realm on WoW?
     
  8. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    2
    You could have just pmed him. :p
     
  9. Sulkdodds

    Sulkdodds Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    18,853
    Likes Received:
    19
    But that would leave no chance of a shocking public exposure.

    Uh, yes, the Combine were not on Xen prior to the events of HL1, as evidenced by the quintessential difference between Earth and Combine architecture that is exploited to such effect in HL2, especially concerning the Synths, which are logically and apparently ubiquitous to all Combine regimes, and thus it can be assumed that the Combine enforce their own architectural 'style' and also their synths on every world they conquer, thus the absence of such things on Xen can be considered an indication that the Combine were not on Xen, and it doesn't matter that Valve hadn't planned the Combine because if the Combine were on Xen pre-HL1 then Valve would have retro-actively justified it by throwing familiar motifs onto HL2's earth for example healing pools and they would have made the player fight through a 'Combine soldier factory' in the Citadel so that players recalled the similar segment in Xen, and the Combine would have made use of local teleportation, ahem, harrumph, egad, etc.
     
  10. Llama

    Llama Tank

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Im still curious about
    1.) What is the Combine going to do to Earth in retaliation
    2.) What the G-Man is going to do
     
  11. Black Op

    Black Op Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Wipe them out..... all of them."

    Find his Briefcase first where ever it went to, then set out after Anticitizen One.
     
  12. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure that after Breen's mismanagement of the assimilation program the Combine are simply going to tear Earth to shreds once they regain contact.
     
  13. Garbel

    Garbel Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    If your refering to the European Earthen Ring, yes i am

    1.) I think that the Combine is going to destroy earth now that dr.Breen failed to show them that the humans are good enough to be a part of the Combine empire. Actually, their first goal in earth were to absorb it's resources, enslave the humans and then leave for the next world

    Or now that they have seen the local teleport technology & Gordon freeman they could be after his head to later enslave the other humans continued by destroying Earth, inprison Dr.kliener and Vance because of the local teleportation technology they're after

    2.) It's still unknown what the Gman is up to or what his goal is, but it looks like Breen knew about it, and Nihilanth as well..There's a part in HL1 where Nihilnath says a line, something like this:

    "You are a man, he's not man, for you he waits, for you"

    i guess we'll find more about him in Episode 2

    Well, these are just my thoughts about this, sort of
     
  14. Laff

    Laff Newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    And what was the point of that? I understand by giving humanity a humane figure to follow it make everything easier, but if they're just there for the resources and to eventually suck the Earth dry, what's the point of going through all the trouble?
     
  15. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    2
    Because Breen surrendered Earth with the promise of local teleportation tech. They were going to wipe us out.
     
  16. oddnerd

    oddnerd Guest

    Ha, the combine were outdone by humans in something, losers.
     
  17. omgeric!!!

    omgeric!!! Guest

    Can you substantiate this through something directly from Valve?

    You see one aspect of Xen in Half-Life. Think of the areas of Half-Life 2 which are devoid of any Combine architecture, even though it's a biased selection considering the story's situated in the apex of all Combine activity on Earth. Ravenholm (aside from headcrab shells), the canals which you navigate with the hovercraft through, and the other less urban parts of Half-Life 2 are practically asbent of any Combine architecture.

    And I do consider at least the neckbraces a recurring motif. Who is to say that those particular Vortigaunts have NOT been appropriated into the typical Combine technology? If you examine the Vortigaunt closely, you'll see it's quite a complex apparatus. It's such an obvious hint to the previous game in that it's one of the first things you're to see after exiting the train. What other purpose would it show other than to illustrate continuuity in the domineering force in the two games, and to indicate their current presence on Earth?

    I dunno, the other theories seem so convulted and unsubstantiated.
     
  18. Black Op

    Black Op Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    0
    But what we do see of the Borderworld directly relates to its military-industrial complex, something that would obvious fall under the jurisdiction of an Universial Union Overwatch. Why, oh why does the Xen Overwatch leave such an important facility as a Vortigaunt Grunt factory virtually without any Combine influence at all? Maybe because they were never there to begin with? :hmph:

    Who says the Overwatch is incapable of creating a complex apparatus to keep a Vortigaunt enslaved? Perhaps it is the only way a Vortigaunt can be prevented from just teleporting elsewhere. So obviously the Overwatch would remember to use the previous form of Vortigaunt enslavement.

    With the Universial Union's obvious lack of local teleportation mastery which they would have gained from the Borderworld and implimented into their armies, the Combie Rules Xen(TM) theory seems so convulted and unsubstantiated. :|
     
  19. omgeric!!!

    omgeric!!! Guest

    Maybe because the aesthetic was designed over 6 years prior to the release of Half-Life 2, a game that was barely conceived at the time?

    No no no... I'm offering a refutation to a previous comment that noted the lack of seemingly "Combine" tech associated with the inhabitants of Xen. I'm asserting that there are, i.e., the neckbraces

    It's less convoluted and unsubstantiated than a theory which postulates the existence or intent of an unknown party or force that was herding the inhabitants on Xen, that, furthermore, hasn't even been mentioned within the confines of the games.

    There's little, if any, insinuation or story thread that insinuates the Nihilanth acting on his own accord, for whatever reasons, or a possible third (or fourth if you consider G-Man acting on behalf) party behind him.

    I could be wrong though.
     
  20. Black Op

    Black Op Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    0
    Still if VALVe really was intent on showing that Xen was an Universial Union member all along, they would have created a retcon for issue by now.

    Any technologically-advanced species bent on enslaving other beings have the potential to use neckbraces. :|

    Funny how you fail to acknowledge the obvious plothole of how the Universial Union should have obtained local teleportation technology had they really controled the Borderworld. Unless VALVe bothers to explain this, the most official scenario we have is that the Vortigaunts fled from the Combine and that the Nihilanth was acting on its own accord.
     
  21. Glenn the Great

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sure, the Combine only use one kind of metal. There are other metals used by the Combine. Look at the vort collars in HL2, they are a greenish-gray color, and I'm sure you can find other examples of different metals if you look carefully.

    Never said the Grunts were modified. If we want to talk about modification though, I have read reports that the Controller model appears to have mechanical parts in its head.

    They quite possibly were. We have no idea what was going on in other places of the world while we were in Black Mesa. I imagine that while we were trying to get out of Black Mesa, the world's armies were having a grand struggle with the Combine.

    Either way though, I don't feel we have enough information to conclude that either theory is correct or incorrect. It's a pointless argument, and we're just going to have to wait until Valve reveals more of the mystery. It's just too bad we didn't get any of that in Episode One.
     
  22. Eejit

    Eejit The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    13,519
    Likes Received:
    174
    Well actually there were several years between the BM incident and the Combine invasion when humans were fighting off Xen creatures randomly teleported by the portal storms.

    So no.
     
  23. Black Op

    Black Op Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    0
    I detect large amounts of the fallacy of affirming the consequent. According to your beliefs, if a species has a neckbrace then they must be under Combine control. HL1 Vortigaunts had neckbraces, and so you think they are part of the Combine. However you choose to ignore how any species can have the capability to create neckbraces. Why must neckbrances be a Combine-exclusive technology?

    You seem to have forgotten about the Portal Storms. They would have been occuring long enough for all of humanity to move into the cities.

    I think the Universial Union's lack of local teleportation technology obtained from Xen speaks for itself.
     
  24. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    2
    37 pages? Christ.
     
  25. esplin

    esplin Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ugh, and I remember being so happy when I first saw this thread and realized the debate was finally over.

    I have yet to see any of the "Combine = Xen" believers explain why none of the Xen aliens used pulse rifles.

    Come on guys, I DARE you. :)
     
  26. 99.vikram

    99.vikram Tank

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    4,324
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you for converting me, Samon :)

    I bow before you and Angry Lawyer *bows*
     
  27. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    20,876
    Likes Received:
    370
    Because Adrain Shephard stole them all :p
     
  28. Glenn the Great

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1
    Easy. The Xen Aliens have powerful natural ranged attacks. A special weapon had to be made for humans, because they can't shoot plasma out of their hands like the humanoid Xen aliens can. Look at their hands too. The poor Vort in Eli's lab is struggling "hunt and peck" style with his keyboard.
     
  29. Eejit

    Eejit The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    13,519
    Likes Received:
    174
    What's your point? It's an alien using a keyboard designed for humans...
     
  30. AHA-Lambda

    AHA-Lambda Newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    Link. Now.
     
  31. Ludah

    Ludah Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Xen is not part of the Combine. Stop pretending otherwise. If you don't, you're an idiot.
     
  32. AHA-Lambda

    AHA-Lambda Newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah I know that.
     
  33. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    20,876
    Likes Received:
    370
    [​IMG]
     
  34. Eejit

    Eejit The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    13,519
    Likes Received:
    174
    Wierd but not necessarily mechanical. For all we know it's a big lump of Xenian bone full of Xenian bone marrow :p
     
  35. Glenn the Great

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1
    The point is that with only 3 fingers, they look like they would be rather clumsy with a gun. They are better off with their natural lightning attack, and that is why they don't use pulse rifles.
     
  36. Eejit

    Eejit The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    13,519
    Likes Received:
    174
    I'm sure the Combine could have adapted a design which would work for Vorts.
     
  37. Ludah

    Ludah Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Or just, y'know, done their own forced evolution thing (I hear they're into that) and give them a few more fingers.

    Forget pulse rifles for a second. There's no sign of any modification on them whatsoever. Or any Xen creature featured in Half-Life 1.
     
  38. Glenn the Great

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1
    Go into Garry's Mod and spawn a Vortigaunt and a Combine Elite w/ Pulse Rifle. Who always wins?

    Vort Lightning > Pulse Rifle

    The Combine made the right choice in deciding not to give the Vorts guns.
     
  39. 99.vikram

    99.vikram Tank

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    4,324
    Likes Received:
    1
    Stalkers have had their body parts ripped out of them.
    What part of a Vort on Xen looked modified to you? Oh, that's right. Nothing.

    Nothing stands out about them except their shackles.
     
  40. madmarco245

    madmarco245 Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, i havnt actually read through ALL 38 pages but did anyone see "Lord of War"? the main character is a gaunt man with a suit and suitcase, he deals in arms, so its likely its intertwined with gman somehow. its likely that he got hold of teleportation equipment and sold arms to several other species/races at war with each other, so he could bve the reason that the combine have the technology, gman took it off other races and sold them out, so with it they could conquer xen AND earth.
    My conclusion is that gman is on NOBODY'S side, not even Gordons!
    Gordon is a weapon, gman will sell him to the higest bidder!
    at the end of HL2, gman says "a lot of contracts have opened up"
    gman is the reason xen, combine AND humans are at war!
    gman is a b*****d!
     

Share This Page