Here's the document I promised in the "Stuff I only Noticed" thread. It's basically intended to be a chronological listing on all (or most of) the things brought up in the thread, with some new material added. You'll notice that in some places I included an aknowledgement in the form of "Thanks to--user name here--". If you have been acknowledged and, for some reason, want your name to be removed pleas let me know. Now, without further ado: Things to See and Do in Half-Life 2 Easter Eggs and Beyond (Draft Version: Copyright 2007, W. A. Habington) This document comprises a list of interesting subtleties which can be observed when playing through Half-Life 2. It is in no way intended to be a complete or comprehensive list, and it will likely be supplemented with regular updates, as the author is made aware of material he has neglected. The creation of this document owes a substantial debt to the posters halflife2.net, several of whom contributed to a thread entitled "Stuff I only noticed the 2nd time around" (started 15-01-07). Where appropriate, acknowledgements have been made using user names. Note: With one or two exceptions, this list does not feature either G-man sightings or the locations of "Lambda" tagged weapons caches. For guidance on where to find these, please consult any of the numerous lists posted on existing websites, such as "Half-Life Fallout" and "The G-Man Fan list." The former also includes detailed instructions on the locations of Easter eggs and hidden weapons/heath caches. Point Insertion: 1. Immediately after Barney, in the guise of a Metrocop, has asked you to follow him, take a peep through the slot of the closed door on the left side of the hallway. Doing so will cause a Metrocop to come over and briskly close the slot. 2. After exiting the station and climbing over the fence to reach the tenements, listen carefully as you approach the swing set on the playground. The faint sound of children playing can be heard. Also, take note of the battered baby doll at the base of the swing set. The same doll will appear again later in the game. (Additional Note: If the player picks up the doll while playing with closed captions enabled, its gurgling sound is transcribed as "Mama."). 3. Also of interest is the missing O/X piece on the vertical tic-tac-toe board. It can be found inside a tenement apartment later in the level. (Thanks to ultrapeepi). 4. Take a moment to stop and say hello to the grieving couple sitting on the sofa in the tenement building. You'll be seeing them again. Red Letter Day: 1. Kleiner's Lab is a full of Easter eggs, including a picture of Black Mesa staff (with disgraced former administrator Breen's face scribbled out), and a bulletin board featuring a young, sideburn-wearing Doctor Kleiner on the cover of an old magazine. It's also the location of the game's first G-Man sighting (or second if the opening cinematic is counted) on the lab's security monitor. 2. The miniature teleportation device in Kleiner?s lab is functional and can be used to teleport small objects. Some players have reported that excessive tinkering will cause it to explode. 3. Pay attention to what Gordon sees during his failed teleportation. An ichthyosaur briefly appears during an underwater sequence. This is the creature's only appearance in HL2. 4. When, outside, look closely at the Citadel as it enters high alert mode. The objects flying out of the building are not birds, as some have speculated, but scanners. 5. A possible continuity error occurs when Barney throws a crowbar to Gordon, claiming the latter "dropped [it] at Black Mesa." Technically, it's unlikely that the crowbar is one of the two Gordon used Black Mesa, since the first was confiscated by HECU captors at the end of the "Apprehension" chapter, and the second was confiscated by the G-Man after the defeat of the Nihilanth. Of course, given Barney's jocular nature, it's likely that he wasn't really being serious about the crowbar's origin. Route Canal: 1. Just prior to his descent into the canal, Gordon is spotted by three Civil Protection officers who begin to pursue him down the railway track. Jumping down on to the ledge that leads to the next area triggers a scripted sequence in which a razor train speeds across the track killing all three officers. Water Hazard: 1. As seen in numerous speed runs, a large portion of the level may be bypassed by sniping the explosive barrels outside the building adjoining the APC warehouse from afar. To do this, choose a vantage point in the water, facing the giant gates and then jump up on to your mudskipper so that you can actually see the barrels behind the gates by using the HEV's zoom feature. Then, shoot at them with the pistol until you hit one. (Note: The author does not condone skipping any portion of "Water Hazard," which is a wonderful and action-packed level, despite its length). 2. When fighting the helicopter which acts as the level's boss character, take note of what happens to it as it takes damage. At a certain point in time, after visibly suffering damage, but before initiating its hell-for-leather bombing run, the chopper will eject one of its two crew members. The body can sometimes be found afterwards, either lying on the ground or floating in the water. It is revealed to be a Combine Overwatch soldier. 3. After defeating the chopper and raising the gate to access the next level, take a moment to explore the open pipe on the left side of the next area. Once you've climbed into the pipe and traversed some toxic sludge, take a left turn to enter the lair of the famous "All-Knowing Vortigaunt." If prompted with the "E", he will spout a succession of cryptic speeches, alluding to (among other things): Gordon, key events in Half-Life, the Nihilanth and (possibly) the G-Man. Note: due to the dangers involved in traversing toxic sludge, entering this area with low health is not advised. 4. A nearby town, later revealed to be Ravenholm, may be seen from several vantage points in the dam area, including the top of the platform which the player ascends to raise the gate after defeating the chopper. The church where the player later encounters Father Grigori is clear visibly on the outskirts. (Thanks to Shift). Black Mesa East: 1. Another possible Easter egg can be found by no-clipping through a chain link fence in the area the player passes before riding the elevator down to Eli's lab with Judith Mossman. Some believe that the goateed citizen who walks to the end of the hallway, and then proceeds to pace for a short time before stopping and apparently levitating several inches from the ground, is meant to resemble famed street magician, David Blaine. 2. Like Kleiner's lab before it, Eli's lab at BME is scattered with items of interest from the expository news clippings on the bulletin boards to the severed head of a Cremator (deleted HL2 enemy) in a jar. Approaching either of these will cause Eli to comment on it. Also, note the picture of Eli's family, featuring an infant Alyx along with her mother (Eli's late wife Azian). The face of Azian is said to have been based on a photograph of Merle Dandridge, the actress who supplies Alyx's voice in the Half-Life series. 3. Take note of how Mossman excuses herself to do something in an adjacent room near the elevator in Eli's lab. If you go into the room before she comes back out, she will nervously ask you to leave--an obvious hint that she's up to no good. (Thanks to kamikazeCow). 4. An HEV suit-recharging panel of HL1 vintage can be found in an elevated area in the junk yard where the player first acquires the Gravity Gun and trains in its use. 5. The player passes by a sign reading, "Beware of Dog" en route to the first meeting with Dog in the Junkyard. (Thanks to Pinkle) 6. One of the game's unique physics items is a deactivated rollermine, commonly referred to as "Dog's Ball." It is possible to bring this item along for use in Ravenholm and later chapters of the game. As a compact but heavy item, the "ball" makes a formidable weapon when launched from the Gravity Gun and can fell any human-sized opponent with a single shot. Some players have also noted that it can be fired into the midst of a group of zombies to distract them (since their A.I. immediately hones in on the ball, causing them to ignore the player). It should also be noted that successfully putting Dog's Ball through the basketball hoop at BME will cause it to light up. 7. If the player remains in the scrap yard after the Combine assault on BME has begun, he can witness an often-overlooked cinematic sequence. A Combine Hunter Chopper appears and commences a missile attack on the facility (the only known instance of a helicopter firing missiles in a HL2 game, released to date--thanks to Narvi). We Don't Go to Ravenholm: 1. Some players have reported finding a chair surrounded by spent shotgun shells and a few beer cans on top of a wooden shack, suggesting that our friend Father Grigori has been engaging in some zombie-killing recreation. 2. A particularly shrill scream, seemingly belonging to either a woman or a child, can apparently be heard as a background noise in the level. Contrary to some reports, it is not a Wilhelm Scream. Curiously, the sound file is named "town_child_scream1.wav" (Thanks to Desstroyer), though the game world of HL2 supposedly features no children. 3. In a open area near the middle of the chapter, shortly after Gordon has had his first encounter with poison zombies, one of Grigori's spinning-blade traps can be found. What distinguishes this one from the ones before it is the fact that the blade mechanism is broken and will fly off when the trap is activated. HOWEVER, the blade itself may be picked up and launched with the Grav Gun--a favorite practice among veteran players. This, like Dog's Ball, is one of the game's few unique phys items. It essentially does the work of a saw blade, but with a much wider cutting surface. Highway 17: 1. When you come to the second Combine-patrolled Bungalow (the one with the window-mounted binoculars) make sure you approach the main house stealthily. You can sneak up on the soldier manning the binoculars for an easy kill. 2. The G-man sighting in this chapter is notable in that it presents a rare instance of the G-Man interacting with a human character other than Gordon Freeman. There's some speculation about the nature of the G-Man's dealings with Resistance leader Odessa Cubbage, but one popular theory holds that it's linked to the Resistance's acquisition of rocket launchers. Sand Traps: 1. Take note of the area surrounding the large house Gordon comes across on his way to the Resistance base. A bonfire made of what appear to be human torsos can be seen here. (Note: While the bonfire seems to have been built by Combine soldiers, it?s not clear whether the torsos belonged to zombified humans or resistance fighters). 2. During the sequence at the lighthouse, pay attention to what the Combine dropship is doing. Before quitting the scene, it will pick up Gordon?s buggy and take off with it. 3. Shortly after the famous sequence with Lazlo and his grieving friend, an interesting item can be found in a shed near the seaside. The "harpoon" (also sometimes called a "spear" or "boathook") can be picked up with the Gravity Gun and used as a potent physics weapon. Among its notable traits are the ability to fell almost any opponent (or multiple opponents) with a single, on target shot, and its tendency to cause glitches in the game. A full description of the harpoon's many quirks can be found in Appendix A, at the end of this document. (Note: The harpoon can be carried--with some difficulty--as far as the teleportation sequence near the end of "Entanglement.") 4. The radio chatter heard in Combine bunkers is extremely detailed and full of mordant humor. Although difficult to make out in-game, it's worth having a listen to. Strangely, the radio chatter is not displayed in detail in the game's closed captions. 5. Two more harpoons can be found in the area on the cliffside where two zombies lie in wait under an overturned boat. Nova Prospekt: 1. The direct-feed footage displayed on monitors is always fascinating to watch. Of particular interest are the early glimpses at Stalkers and partially-clothed Combine soldiers whose exposed torsos display surgical modifications. Also, pay close attention to the battles between Antlion Guards and Overwatch soldiers. Apart from being entertaining in and of themselves, they depict areas of the prison which will be visited later on in the chapter. Entanglement: 1. This level's notorious three turret standoff has a great deal of replay value owing to the fact that it can be approached with a variety of different strategies. One favorite tactic among players is to carry one of the turrets from the previous standoff all the way to the second one to increase firepower in the player's favor. It's also possible to construct elaborate barricades by carrying large objects from other areas into the cell block. 2. It's also been reported that zombies can be lured up out of the electrified water area into the cell clock where the three turret standoff occurs. (Thanks to Samon). 3. After the "slow teleport" to Kleiner"s lab in downtown City 17, take note of the manner in which Kleiner answers the door. The way he greets you is very similar that of a certain shotgun-brandishing Lambda Core scientist in the original Half-Life game.