Featured Marc Laidlaw releases Half-Life 2: Episode Three's plot

Discussion in 'News' started by Barnz, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Barnz

    Barnz ValveTime Reporter
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    The former writer of the Half-Life series, Marc Laidlaw, released Half-Life 2: Episode Three's plot on his personal website. We also included an edited version of the story by Gondile from Reddit.

    Epistle 3

    Dearest Playa,

    I hope this letter finds you well. I can hear your complaint already, “Gertie Fremont, we have not heard from you in ages!” Well, if you care to hear excuses, I have plenty, the greatest of them being I’ve been in other dimensions and whatnot, unable to reach you by the usual means. This was the case until eighteen months ago, when I experienced a critical change in my circumstances, and was redeposited on these shores. In the time since, I have been able to think occasionally about how best to describe the intervening years, my years of silence. I do first apologize for the wait, and that done, hasten to finally explain (albeit briefly, quickly, and in very little detail) events following those described in my previous letter (referred to herewith as Epistle 2).

    To begin with, as you may recall from the closing paragraphs of my previous missive, the death of Elly Vaunt shook us all. The Research & Rebellion team was traumatized, unable to be sure how much of our plan might be compromised, and whether it made any sense to go on at all as we had intended. And yet, once Elly had been buried, we found the strength and courage to regroup. It was the strong belief of her brave son, the feisty Alex Vaunt, that we should continue on as his mother had wished. We had the Antarctic coordinates, transmitted by Elly’s long-time assistant, Dr. Jerry Maas, which we believed to mark the location of the lost luxury liner Hyperborea. Elly had felt strongly that the Hyperborea should be destroyed rather than allow it to fall into the hands of the Disparate. Others on our team disagreed, believing that the Hyperborea might hold the secret to the revolution’s success. Either way, the arguments were moot until we found the vessel. Therefore, immediately after the service for Dr. Vaunt, Alex and I boarded a seaplane and set off for the Antarctic; a much larger support team, mainly militia, was to follow by separate transport.

    It is still unclear to me exactly what brought down our little aircraft. The following hours spent traversing the frigid waste in a blizzard are also a jumbled blur, ill-remembered and poorly defined. The next thing I clearly recall is our final approach to the coordinates Dr. Maas has provided, and where we expected to find the Hyperborea. What we found instead was a complex fortified installation, showing all the hallmarks of sinister Disparate technology. It surrounded a large open field of ice. Of the Hypnos itself there was no sign…or not at first. But as we stealthily infiltrated the Disparate installation, we noticed a recurent, strangely coherent auroral effect–as of a vast hologram fading in and out of view. This bizarre phenomenon initially seemed an effect caused by an immense Disparate lensing system, Alex and I soon realized that what we were actually seeing was the luxury liner Hyperborea itself, phasing in and out of existence at the focus of the Disparate devices. The aliens had erected their compound to study and seize the ship whenever it materialized. What Dr. Maas had provided were not coordinates for where the sub was located, but instead for where it was predicted to arrive. The liner was oscillating in and out of our reality, its pulses were gradually steadying, but there was no guarantee it would settle into place for long–or at all. We determined that we must put ourselves into position to board it at the instant it became completely physical.

    At this point we were briefly detained–not captured by the Disparate, as we feared at first, but by minions of our former nemesis, the conniving and duplicitous Wanda Bree. Dr. Bree was not as we had last seen her–which is to say, she was not dead. At some point, the Disparate had saved out an earlier version of her consciousness, and upon her physical demise, they had imprinted the back-up personality into a biological blank resembling an enormous slug. The Bree-Slug, despite occupying a position of relative power in the Disparate hierarchy, seemed nervous and frightened of me in particular. Wanda did not know how her previous incarnation, the original Dr. Bree, had died. She knew only that I was responsible. Therefore the slug treated us with great caution. Still, she soon confessed (never able to keep quiet for long) that she was herself a prisoner of the Disparate. She took no pleasure from her current grotesque existence, and pleaded with us to end her life. Alex believed that a quick death was more than Wanda Bree deserved, but for my part, I felt a modicum of pity and compassion. Out of Alex’s sight, I might have done something to hasten the slug’s demise before we proceeded.

    Not far from where we had been detained by Dr. Bree, we found Jerry Maas being held in a Disparate interrogation cell. Things were tense between Jerry and Alex, as might be imagined. Alex blamed Jerry for his mother’s death…news of which, Jerry was devastated to hear for the first time. Jerry tried to convince Alex that he had been a double agent serving the resistance all along, doing only what Elly had asked of him, even though he knew it meant he risked being seen by his peers–by all of us–as a traitor. I was convinced; Alex less so. But from a pragmatic point of view, we depended on Dr. Maas; for along with the Hyperborea coordinates, he possessed resonance keys which would be necessary to bring the liner fully into our plane of existence.

    We skirmished with Disparate soldiers protecting a Dispar research post, then Dr. Maas attuned the Hyperborea to precisely the frequencies needed to bring it into (brief) coherence. In the short time available to us, we scrambled aboard the ship, with an unknown number of Disparate agents close behind. The ship cohered for only a short time, and then its oscillations resume. It was too late for our own military support, which arrived and joined the Disparate forces in battle just as we rebounded between universes, once again unmoored.

    What happened next is even harder to explain. Alex Vaunt, Dr. Maas and myself sought control of the ship–its power source, its control room, its navigation center. The liner’s history proved nonlinear. Years before, during the Disparate invasion, various members of an earlier science team, working in the hull of a dry-docked liner situated at the Tocsin Island Research Base in Lake Huron, had assembled what they called the Bootstrap Device. If it worked as intended, it would emit a field large enough to surround the ship. This field would then itself travel instantaneously to any chosen destination without having to cover the intervening space. There was no need for entry or exit portals, or any other devices; it was entirely self-contained. Unfortunately, the device had never been tested. As the Disparate pushed Earth into the Nine Hour Armageddon, the aliens seized control of our most important research facilities. The staff of the Hyperborea, with no other wish than to keep the ship out of Disparate hands, acted in desperation. The switched on the field and flung the Hyperborea toward the most distant destination they could target: Antarctica. What they did not realize was that the Bootstrap Device travelled in time as well as space. Nor was it limited to one time or one location. The Hyperborea, and the moment of its activation, were stretched across space and time, between the nearly forgotten Lake Huron of the Nine Hour Armageddon and the present day Antarctic; it was pulled taut as an elastic band, vibrating, except where at certain points along its length one could find still points, like the harmonic spots along a vibrating guitar string. One of these harmonics was where we boarded, but the string ran forward and back, in both time and space, and we were soon pulled in every direction ourselves.

    Time grew confused. Looking from the bridge, we could see the drydocks of Tocsin Island at the moment of teleportation, just as the Disparate forces closed in from land, sea and air. At the same time, we could see the Antarctic wastelands, where our friends were fighting to make their way to the protean Hyperborea; and in addition, glimpses of other worlds, somewhere in the future perhaps, or even in the past. Alex grew convinced we were seeing one of the Disparate’s central staging areas for invading other worlds–such as our own. We meanwhile fought a running battle throughout the ship, pursued by Disparate forces. We struggled to understand our stiuation, and to agree on our course of action. Could we alter the course of the Hyperborea? Should we run it aground in the Antarctic, giving our peers the chance to study it? Should we destroy it with all hands aboard, our own included? It was impossible to hold a coherent thought, given the baffling and paradoxical timeloops, which passed through the ship like bubbles. I felt I was going mad, that we all were, confronting myriad versions of ourselves, in that ship that was half ghost-ship, half nightmare funhouse.

    What it came down to, at last, was a choice. Jerry Maas argued, reasonably, that we should save the Hyperborea and deliver it to the resistance, that our intelligent peers might study and harness its power. But Alex reminded me had sworn he would honor his mother’s demand that we destroy the ship. He hatched a plan to set the Hyperborea to self-destruct, while riding it into the heart of the Disparate’s invasion nexus. Jerry and Alex argued. Jerry overpowered Alex and brought the Hyperborea area, preparing to shut off the Bootstrap Device and settle the ship on the ice. Then I heard a shot, and Jerry fell. Alex had decided for all of us, or his weapon had. With Dr. Maas dead, we were committed to the suicide plunge. Grimly, Alex and I armed the Hyperborea, creating a time-travelling missile, and steered it for the heart of the Disparate’s command center.

    At this point, as you will no doubt be unsurprised to hear, a Certain Sinister Figure appeared, in the form of that sneering trickster, Mrs. X. For once she appeared not to me, but to Alex Vaunt. Alex had not seen the cryptical schoolmarm since childhood, but he recognized her instantly. “Come along with me now, we’ve places to do and things to be,” said Mrs. X, and Alex acquiesced. He followed the strange grey lady out of the Hyperborea, out of our reality. For me, there was no convenient door held open; only a snicker and a sideways glance. I was left alone, riding the weaponized luxury liner into the heart of a Disparate world. An immense light blazed. I caught a cosmic view of a brilliantly glittering Dyson sphere. The vastness of the Disparate’s power, the futility of our struggle, blossomed briefly in my awareness. I saw everything. Mainly I saw how the Hyperborea, our most powerful weapon, would register as less than a fizzling matchhead as it blew itself apart. And what remained of me would be even less than that.

    Just then, as you have surely already foreseen, the Ghastlyhaunts parted their own checkered curtains of reality, reached in as they have on prior occasions, plucked me out, and set me aside. I barely got to see the fireworks begin.

    And here we are. I spoke of my return to this shore. It has been a circuitous path to lands I once knew, and surprising to see how much the terrain has changed. Enough time has passed that few remember me, or what I was saying when last I spoke, or what precisely we hoped to accomplish. At this point, the resistance will have failed or succeeded, no thanks to me. Old friends have been silenced, or fallen by the wayside. I no longer know or recognize most members of the research team, though I believe the spirit of rebellion still persists. I expect you know better than I the appropriate course of action, and I leave you to it. Except no further correspondence from me regarding these matters; this is my final epistle.

    Yours in infinite finality,

    Gertrude Fremont, Ph.D.

    Episode Three (Gondile's version)

    I hope this letter finds you well. I can hear your complaint already, “Gordon Freeman, we have not heard from you in ages!” Well, if you care to hear excuses, I have plenty, the greatest of them being I’ve been in other dimensions and whatnot, unable to reach you by the usual means. This was the case until eighteen months ago, when I experienced a critical change in my circumstances, and was redeposited on these shores. In the time since, I have been able to think occasionally about how best to describe the intervening years, my years of silence. I do first apologize for the wait, and that done, hasten to finally explain (albeit briefly, quickly, and in very little detail) events following those described in my previous letter (referred to herewith as Episode 2).

    To begin with, as you may recall from the closing paragraphs of my previous missive, the death of Eli Vance shook us all. The Research & Rebellion team was traumatized, unable to be sure how much of our plan might be compromised, and whether it made any sense to go on at all as we had intended. And yet, once Eli had been buried, we found the strength and courage to regroup. It was the strong belief of his brave daughter, the feisty Alyx Vance, that we should continue on as her father had wished. We had the Arctic coordinates, transmitted by Eli’s long-time assistant, Dr. Judith Mossman, which we believed to mark the location of the lost research vessel Borealis. Eli had felt strongly that the Borealis should be destroyed rather than allow it to fall into the hands of the Combine. Others on our team disagreed, believing that the Borealis might hold the secret to the revolution’s success. Either way, the arguments were moot until we found the vessel. Therefore, immediately after the service for Dr. Vance, Alyx and I boarded a seaplane and set off for the Arctic; a much larger support team, mainly militia, was to follow by separate transport.

    It is still unclear to me exactly what brought down our little aircraft. The following hours spent traversing the frigid waste in a blizzard are also a jumbled blur, ill-remembered and poorly defined. The next thing I clearly recall is our final approach to the coordinates Dr. Mossman has provided, and where we expected to find the Borealis. What we found instead was a complex fortified installation, showing all the hallmarks of sinister Combine technology. It surrounded a large open field of ice. Of the Hypnos itself there was no sign…or not at first. But as we stealthily infiltrated the Combine installation, we noticed a recurrent, strangely coherent auroral effect–as of a vast hologram fading in and out of view. This bizarre phenomenon initially seemed an effect caused by an immense Combine lensing system, Alyx and I soon realized that what we were actually seeing was the research vessel Borealis itself, phasing in and out of existence at the focus of the Combine devices. The aliens had erected their compound to study and seize the ship whenever it materialized. What Dr. Mossman had provided were not coordinates for where the sub was located, but instead for where it was predicted to arrive. The liner was oscillating in and out of our reality, its pulses were gradually steadying, but there was no guarantee it would settle into place for long–or at all. We determined that we must put ourselves into position to board it at the instant it became completely physical.

    At this point we were briefly detained–not captured by the Combine, as we feared at first, but by minions of our former nemesis, the conniving and duplicitous Wallace Breen. Dr. Breen was not as we had last seen him–which is to say, he was not dead. At some point, the Combine had saved out an earlier version of his consciousness, and upon his physical demise, they had imprinted the back-up personality into a biological blank resembling an enormous slug. The Breen-Slug, despite occupying a position of relative power in the Combine hierarchy, seemed nervous and frightened of me in particular. Wallace did not know how his previous incarnation, the original Dr. Breen, had died. He knew only that I was responsible. Therefore the slug treated us with great caution. Still, he soon confessed (never able to keep quiet for long) that he was himself a prisoner of the Combine. He took no pleasure from his current grotesque existence, and pleaded with us to end his life. Alyx believed that a quick death was more than Wallace Breen deserved, but for my part, I felt a modicum of pity and compassion. Out of Alyx’s sight, I might have done something to hasten the slug’s demise before we proceeded.

    Not far from where we had been detained by Dr. Breen, we found Judith Mossman being held in a Combine interrogation cell. Things were tense between Judith and Alyx, as might be imagined. Alyx blamed Judith for her father’s death…news of which, Judith was devastated to hear for the first time. Judith tried to convince Alyx that she had been a double agent serving the resistance all along, doing only what Eli had asked of her, even though she knew it meant she risked being seen by her peers–by all of us–as a traitor. I was convinced; Alyx less so. But from a pragmatic point of view, we depended on Dr. Mossman; for along with the Borealis coordinates, she possessed resonance keys which would be necessary to bring the liner fully into our plane of existence.

    We skirmished with Combine soldiers protecting a Combine research post, then Dr. Mossman attuned the Borealis to precisely the frequencies needed to bring it into (brief) coherence. In the short time available to us, we scrambled aboard the ship, with an unknown number of Combine agents close behind. The ship cohered for only a short time, and then its oscillations resume. It was too late for our own military support, which arrived and joined the Combine forces in battle just as we rebounded between universes, once again unmoored.

    What happened next is even harder to explain. Alyx Vance, Dr. Mossman and myself sought control of the ship–its power source, its control room, its navigation center. The liner’s history proved nonlinear. Years before, during the Combine invasion, various members of an earlier science team, working in the hull of a dry-docked liner situated at the Aperture Science Research Base in Lake Huron, had assembled what they called the Bootstrap Device. If it worked as intended, it would emit a field large enough to surround the ship. This field would then itself travel instantaneously to any chosen destination without having to cover the intervening space. There was no need for entry or exit portals, or any other devices; it was entirely self-contained. Unfortunately, the device had never been tested. As the Combine pushed Earth into the Seven Hour War, the aliens seized control of our most important research facilities. The staff of the Borealis, with no other wish than to keep the ship out of Combine hands, acted in desperation. The switched on the field and flung the Borealis toward the most distant destination they could target: Arctica. What they did not realize was that the Bootstrap Device travelled in time as well as space. Nor was it limited to one time or one location. The Borealis, and the moment of its activation, were stretched across space and time, between the nearly forgotten Lake Huron of the Seven Hour War and the present day Arctic; it was pulled taut as an elastic band, vibrating, except where at certain points along its length one could find still points, like the harmonic spots along a vibrating guitar string. One of these harmonics was where we boarded, but the string ran forward and back, in both time and space, and we were soon pulled in every direction ourselves.

    Time grew confused. Looking from the bridge, we could see the drydocks of Aperture Science at the moment of teleportation, just as the Combine forces closed in from land, sea and air. At the same time, we could see the Arctic wastelands, where our friends were fighting to make their way to the protean Borealis; and in addition, glimpses of other worlds, somewhere in the future perhaps, or even in the past. Alyx grew convinced we were seeing one of the Combine’s central staging areas for invading other worlds–such as our own. We meanwhile fought a running battle throughout the ship, pursued by Combine forces. We struggled to understand our situation, and to agree on our course of action. Could we alter the course of the Borealis? Should we run it aground in the Arctic, giving our peers the chance to study it? Should we destroy it with all hands aboard, our own included? It was impossible to hold a coherent thought, given the baffling and paradoxical timeloops, which passed through the ship like bubbles. I felt I was going mad, that we all were, confronting myriad versions of ourselves, in that ship that was half ghost-ship, half nightmare funhouse.

    What it came down to, at last, was a choice. Judith Mossman argued, reasonably, that we should save the Borealis and deliver it to the resistance, that our intelligent peers might study and harness its power. But Alyx reminded me she had sworn she would honor her father’s demand that we destroy the ship. She hatched a plan to set the Borealis to self-destruct, while riding it into the heart of the Combine’s invasion nexus. Judith and Alyx argued. Judith overpowered Alyx and brought the Borealis area, preparing to shut off the Bootstrap Device and settle the ship on the ice. Then I heard a shot, and Judith fell. Alyx had decided for all of us, or her weapon had. With Dr. Mossman dead, we were committed to the suicide plunge. Grimly, Alyx and I armed the Borealis, creating a time-travelling missile, and steered it for the heart of the Combine’s command center.

    At this point, as you will no doubt be unsurprised to hear, a Certain Sinister Figure appeared, in the form of that sneering trickster, G-Man. For once he appeared not to me, but to Alyx Vance. Alyx had not seen the cryptical schoolmarm since childhood, but she recognized him instantly. “Come along with me now, we’ve places to do and things to be,” said G-Man, and Alyx acquiesced. She followed the strange grey gentleman out of the Borealis, out of our reality. For me, there was no convenient door held open; only a snicker and a sideways glance. I was left alone, riding the weaponized research vessel into the heart of a Combine world. An immense light blazed. I caught a cosmic view of a brilliantly glittering Dyson sphere. The vastness of the Combine’s power, the futility of our struggle, blossomed briefly in my awareness. I saw everything. Mainly I saw how the Borealis, our most powerful weapon, would register as less than a fizzling matchhead as it blew itself apart. And what remained of me would be even less than that.

    Just then, as you have surely already foreseen, the Vortigaunts parted their own checkered curtains of reality, reached in as they have on prior occasions, plucked me out, and set me aside. I barely got to see the fireworks begin.

    And here we are. I spoke of my return to this shore. It has been a circuitous path to lands I once knew, and surprising to see how much the terrain has changed. Enough time has passed that few remember me, or what I was saying when last I spoke, or what precisely we hoped to accomplish. At this point, the resistance will have failed or succeeded, no thanks to me. Old friends have been silenced, or fallen by the wayside. I no longer know or recognize most members of the research team, though I believe the spirit of rebellion still persists. I expect you know better than I the appropriate course of action, and I leave you to it. Except no further correspondence from me regarding these matters; this is my final episode.

    Yours in infinite finality, Gordon Freeman, Ph.D.
     
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    #1 Barnz, Aug 25, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  2. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    What the hell Alyx.
     
  3. Vaapukka

    Vaapukka Medic

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    To think I've been lurking this site daily for about 4 years, mainly witnessing people 10 years older than me reminisce their teen years on a now dead forum, and suddenly I have no reason to keep coming back. Feels more empty than anything, really. This is to be the climax of this all?
     
  4. Boff

    Boff Medic

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    Well, thats some closure on it all anyway.
     
  5. DevonWC

    DevonWC Space Core

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    At least i can say we got something, closure.
     
  6. Tollbooth Willie

    Tollbooth Willie The Freeman

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    This plot honestly sounds bad, creative differences probably being why he left. No one wanted a shitty suicide mission jump into the future ending.
     
  7. ZoFreX

    ZoFreX Spy

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    I like it!

    Valve being what they are, of course it isn't necessarily the plot Ep3 would have had... this could be the plot of one of the many incarnations of Ep3 or perhaps another imagining entirely of what it could be that's 100% Marc (probably the latter, unless Valve's lawyers are extremely chill). For that reason it doesn't really give me closure, but I still enjoy it as another story in the HL universe. There have been several enjoyable stories in the past that were non-canon, if this turns out to be one of those it's no less enjoyable for it in my opinion.

    Thank you Marc!
     
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  8. Tollbooth Willie

    Tollbooth Willie The Freeman

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    I like your mother f*cking optimism and viewpoint.
     
  9. Elendil

    Elendil Medic

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    What a plot! It would have been a great game.

    Thanks Marc, we love you.

    Now we can finally move on, and probably you too.

    Blame on you, Valve, blame on you, Newell. You'll never be forgiven.
     
  10. Hectic Glenn

    Hectic Glenn Site Director
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    I felt like I could add a bit of substance to Marc's wrap up to the Half-life universe by adding the context of the Episode 3 concept art by Andrea Wicklund which we came across back in 2012. We believed the art to originate from 2008. Although the story may have evolved somewhat since then, the art still appears to fit accurately with Marc's final Epistle.

    I thought I'd put a few here with context - perhaps you may which to use them as visual queues to paint a more vivid picture.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The crashed aircraft Alyx and Gordon take from the scene of Eli's death - Gordon is unsure what brought down their little aircraft.

    [​IMG]
    Alyx and Gordon out in realisation the Combine have already occupied the region in pursuit of the Borealis. It still appears unclear if they have located the research vessel yet.

    [​IMG]
    Alyx in her arctic gear as she accompanies Gordon in pursuit of the Borealis.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    From the 'Into the Pixel' exhibition - it becomes clear the Combine have already located the Borealis in its transitional relocating state.

    [​IMG]
    A Combine arctic worker possibly used in attempting to recover the Borealis from the ice - note the spiked boots to transverse the icy terrain.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Gordon is 'detained' by the old nemesis, Dr Wallace Breen in the form of Breen grub / Adviser form.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Gordon once onboard the Borealis in it's brief stabile phase is able to view a variety of other worlds from that point - potentially a reference to an 'aleph' - a point in space where all other points can be seen from, an idea Marc enjoyed from Borges' work 'The Aleph' and was connected to Prospero, see our video on that here:
    )

    [​IMG]
    Andrea drew several of this strange object in different colour pallets. It appears alongside Gordon in the other worlds but without him several images showing a kind of energy beam emitting from its centre - it may potentially symbolise the shredded and fragmented Boreals travelling through space and time to the heart of the Combine world / Dyson sphere.
     
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  11. Hectic Glenn

    Hectic Glenn Site Director
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    I will add an additional comment that I found this a beautiful ending to a story I have very much cherished all these years. I would have loved to have played the game, I would have been content it ending there. Half-life 3, should it ever have existed should have been a new beginning as the jump from HL1 to HL2. It's regretful Valve was not able to finish the story arc but I'm very grateful to Marc for giving us closure to the story.

    For many of us, we moved on many years ago from what drove us here every day, Half-life was so centric to our connection with Valve. They have blossomed in other ways they could not have imagined, so much so their other games have created their own pocket universes and communities away and outside of Half-life, so much so that those fans are unlikely to know or ever have enjoyed these games we've cherished so deeply. The success of Steam and eSports, alongside the ventures into VR are incredibly exciting and it's been amazing to follow the journey. For me I'm loving the Vive and I follow Dota closely, TI7 was a magnificent event and Valve is going from strength to strength.

    I have to balance that against what we have lost. Valve have certainly changed, as many of you know many of their personnel have moved on in recent years as their focus has adjusted to the aforementioned games and technologies. It is sad but it was a moment in time we got to enjoy, what a ride it's been. I think we've all known for some time Half-life was over. The world has always been in Marc's mind with a team of people building the game in a special environment within Valve. If you were here for those years you will remember it was a special time and mixture of people but we must acknowledge that time has passed. Episode 3 / Half-life 3 since Valve has transitioned or Marc's retirement would not be Half-life. Epistle 3 captures a raw version of that moment in time as we're ever likely to see (Alongside Andrea's concept art).

    I feel the sadness that the times have changed and we didn't get to finish something so special at that time. If you read Marc's last paragraph once again wearing that hat, I'm sure Marc is speaking for himself and Gordon.

    It's been wonderful, but this is truly the end my friends. In the meantime, this is where I get off.
     
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  12. Sidedraft

    Sidedraft Party Escort Bot

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    So this is the closure huh? Hmmm. I like it and dislike it.
     
  13. AYKO

    AYKO Tank

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    I've logged in after long time just to write this message.
    So here it goes.


    F*ck Dota.
    F*ck TI.
    F*ck VR.

    We didn't get to play that game all because of that stupid game and that stupid gimmick. I hope VR flops some day. And for dota, they can have fun shoving that game up 10-year old kids' asses.

    I'm done with Valve. Unless they give me something that is worth paying attention/playing (ie new Half-Life/Portal game).

    Btw, login function on mobile website doesn't work.
     
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  14. Reconciliation

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    This pushed me from being indifferent towards Valve to resenting them.

    Valve barely shows any of its personality anymore. It became a cold and calculating machine of a company years ago.
    I don't think this 'fanfic' confirms that Valve will never make a Half-Life game.
    I think it confirms that Valve will never attempt making a game again, at least not a single player game because they can't milk it with hats and crates.
    At least we had Marc to offer what Valve never would. Transparency, closure.

    God damn it, Valve. God damn.
     
  15. Suicide Machine

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    So that's it?

    Ahaahhaahhaha.

    For 20 years I obsessed over this franchise. Jesus ****ing christ.
     
  16. Oveja Negra

    Oveja Negra Hunter

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    Well, you can count me among the ones that visited this site almost in a daily basis (since it came to life). I barely posted but I consumed every bit of information regarding what it's to me the best game ever, in any category. HL saga is just unmatchable to me.

    But then the time passed and Valve (Gabe) adopted that attitude of playing dumb about what was going on with HL3/Episode 3. Like many, I just got tired of it and one day I didn't even care about login in this site, later I didn't even care about visiting it anymore.

    If this is true and we never see a new Gordon adventure as episode or a full game, I have to say it's a super crappy way to end this.

    Part of me -a tiny bit- still thinks it will be a proper closure, yet Marc' epistle reads it like a drama that shouldn't have happened.

    Regards.
     
  17. PimpinPenguin

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    I'm sorry but I gotta disagree. Valve are certainly not going from strength to strength. Hardware has hardly been a success for Valve. Steam machines were dead before they arrived. Steam controller hasn't really took off. Vive is still a niche product and Valve refusal to support other more successful VR devices like the PlayStation VR is certainly limiting their venture into VR. Yes, Steam is certainly going from strength to strength profit wise, but it has certainly in recent times been saturated with so much shit that it risks ending up being like the Google play store where you struggle to find gems under so much crap. Many times now i have missed games i was interested to buy cause i didnt know they'd been released, cause instead all i see is a bunch of shovelware that's been released. Its got so bad now that ive now I've switched over to GOG

    And well let's not talk about games. I haven't played a Valve game in years. TF2 was destroyed for me after it went free 2 play and saddled with stupid crap. Valves focus now is multiplayer and esports and making hats and other stupid things. We've gone from getting single player gems like Half Life and Portal aswell as great multiplayer games such as Counter Strike and Day of Defeat to simply Dota. Valve as a game development studio has certainly gone backwards.

    I hate to say it but I really do dispise Valve, from a company that claimed they were fan centric and part of the community to simply casting them aside.
    I'm glad that some closure has been brought to the series and in a way I'm glad it's ended in this way cause I certainly wouldn't trust Valve in it's current state to do Half Life the justice it deserves.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. chimpmunk

    chimpmunk Tank

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    Goodbye, Gordon.
     
  19. CongoJack

    CongoJack Medic

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  20. Pikminiman

    Pikminiman Assistant Writer

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    I would have preferred a video game, but this is still a nice read, in my opinion. Maybe I can let this series go now, no thanks to Valve.

    Thanks, Marc. Seriously.
     
  21. Clan Wolf 2

    Clan Wolf 2 Hunter

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    - I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING

    playing episode 2 now, you wouldn't go backwards.
    Occasionally listen to the soundtracks.

    Half Life is Kaput. Long live Half Life!
     
    #21 Clan Wolf 2, Aug 26, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  22. DEATHMASTER

    DEATHMASTER The Freeman

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    As it was pretty much stated, it does feel more like the plot of an 'episode 3' than a full 'HL3.'
    If this came out maybe 7 years ago in game form, I may or may not have liked the plot tbh, but I would've looked forward to the next full installment.
    Alas, we get neither.

    He did say that on twitter: https://twitter.com/marc_laidlaw/status/901230093472681984
     
  23. The_KillSmith

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    Wake up and smell the ashes.
     
  24. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

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    Why are people saying this is the end of the series? Am I missing a post of Marc's that confirms or even suggests this? Has he even confirmed its the ACTUAL plot they were working with, and not something he just came up with in his free time?

    Or is the entire internet yet again jumping to some baseless conclusion?
     
  25. blackout

    blackout Spy

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    :|

    Tell me this is some kind of sick joke... Please...
     
  26. Oveja Negra

    Oveja Negra Hunter

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    I guess people tends to think if Valve is unable to finish the damn third chapter, how in the hell are they going to begin to work in something much more ambitious like a "full game" of the same caliber of Half-Life 2?
     
  27. DEATHMASTER

    DEATHMASTER The Freeman

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    Yes. HL3 is Schrodinger's cat. It is both ready to be released and not even started on yet. When Valve says something we'll know for sure.
    Meanwhile the internet is still the internet.
     
  28. caste

    caste Hunter

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    If the bootstrap device allows to travel back in time within one universe then it is a bad idea, it defeats the G-Man purpose as the plot device as well as the whole Half-Life plot. VALVe debunked that thing for sure. It was never in VALVe's intentions to make travelling back in time to change the past and therefore the future in the Half-Life universe. There wasn't not a single mention of it since the first installment.

    In Portal 2 Erik and Chet did an amazing job, I agree when they said it was the best storyline ever written, think about it, we experienced what we can call as an exploration of the past without the actual time travel, the plot was divided into 2 narrated parts, prequel and sequel, old and new labs of Aperture Science.

    VALVe doesn't want travelling back in time within one universe, but still wants to experiment on it without ruining everything. To solve that problem the Multiverse idea was introduced in Portal 2, teleportation between parallel universes at different time. Nothing can be undone within one universe. That is the VALVe's Law that keeps everything safe and away from chaos. Also in case of the Multiverse there has to be the core universe, maybe it is the Aleph universe who knows.

    As for Borealis, it is simply phasing in and out of an infinite parallel universes at different time. Therefore Gordon saw myriad versions of himself, Apreture labs, 7 hour war and so on. No doubt Marc wrote a good ending, a beautiful summary of all major events since the first Half-Life installment that we could've witnessed, but it contradicts with VALVe's bigger plans for the Half-Life universe.

    Added:
    Now it's up to loyal fans to finish EP3 which is the end of extended Half-Life 2 story, maybe they will make a fan movie or a modification based on Marc's synopsys.
     
    #28 caste, Aug 28, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  29. ricarleite

    ricarleite Hunter

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    A couple of years ago, on this very forum, I was ridiculed when I stated Valve would never, ever release HL3 or Ep3.

    I guess I was right.
     
  30. Clan Wolf 2

    Clan Wolf 2 Hunter

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    People who are displeased with Valve, might not seem to consider the following - but still irrational makes us do crazy things...

    http://i.imgur.com/spciZ46.jpg

    edited this post, just briefly - Valve are assholes. Go read why. Marc could of let that out years ago, Valve wouldn't allowed it most like. Valve - like deep sea fish that use disco lights in the dark to hypnotize their prey, they lured us into the most clever of traps. False Light.

    In my experience, just when you think you understand something, you find out how little you actually know.


    And just quick: a statement that i consider quite significant in relation to common knowledge (i guess)

    the general population doesn't know whats happening and it doesn't even know that it doesn't know - Noam Chomsky - Father of Modern Linguistics
     
    #30 Clan Wolf 2, Aug 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  31. Clavius

    Clavius Spy

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    If this is Half-Life's tombstone, I'd also like to lay some flowers.
    I still see a teenage version of myself behind my dad's Pentium II with a CRT monitor going through this amazing adventure, winter 1998-1999. I started coming to this place in 2003 in anticipation of the sequel, which was equally fantastic. Then episode 1 and 2 and then... nothing. I stopped posting here somewhere 2009, but for another 8 years it kept itching. I've stopped by every few months, just to see if there were any developments. I'm not the only one - when here I still see some of the old guard sitting around the campfire waiting patiently. I guess after all that time I still had a little glimmer of hope we'd see Gordon again, but apparently we won't.

    Soit. I'm grateful to Marc for doing this; it both quenched my curiosity of how the story would have ended, and is as close to a definite statement that it's done and gone as we'll get. With that there's nothing left for me to do here, the fire has gone out and I won't return. Glenn and the others, thanks for keeping this place alive for all that time.

    Time, Dr. Freeman? Is it really that … time again? It seems as if you only just arrived.
     
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  32. The Monkey

    The Monkey The Freeman

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    Figure I ought to write something here. Years and years ago, this forum occupied quite a lot of my free time. I, like almost everyone, became inactive a long time ago, but I was hoping that a Half-Life sequel would breathe new life into this once-great community. Now it seems like that will never happen. Shame shame...
     
  33. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    imagine if valve got a shit about anything but steam and VR, lmao
     

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