Half-Life’s Lead Writer Shares Details on How Episode III Would Have Ended

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use.

It’s been just shy of a decade since Valve released Half Life 2: Episode 2. Gamers have slowly come to grips with the fact that Valve is never going to make a Half-Life 3, any more than it’s going to make a Left For Dead 3, or well, pretty much any other AAA game of note. Valve is a publisher, not a developer, and it’s focused on esports like DOTA 2. Not a great situation.

Marc Laidlaw, the former Valve employee who was responsible for writing Half-Life, has released a full synopsis of the plot using renamed characters to avoid any kind of copyright infringement — but a brave soul has taken his blog post, shuffled in the correct character names, and posted it online. The synopsis takes the form of a letter, written by one Gordon Freeman to a person (not listed in the Pastebin version) referred to as “Dearest Playa.” The first paragraph is below:

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 game (referred to herewith as Episode 2).

I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll keep my remarks general. As implied by the end of Episode II, Episode III would’ve focused on the search for the Borealis, a vessel that could hold the key to allowing the Resistance (the group of humans and Vortigaunts fighting back against the Combine) to push the Combine off of Earth. But the Combine has its own reason for seeking the craft — and it’s not just to keep humans from possessing it.

Borealis_Ep2

The Borealis, as seen in Episode II of Half-Life

The ending is surprisingly grim and its outcome was apparently meant to be the effective end to Gordon Freeman’s adventures. As Laidlaw writes: “Except [sic, likely ‘expect] no further correspondence from me regarding these matters; this is my final episode.”

Whether the long-term plan was to create future HL games based around a new protagonist or not is something we’ll never know. It’s also not clear if this blog post represents the final form of HL3’s story, or just where Laidlaw was in the creative process when the game was effectively put on ice. Valve was never shy about revamping aspects of a game’s plot to make it flow better; Tem Fortress 2 was originally a realistic (as realistic as you can get in the early 2000s, anyway) game with standard military gear and uniforms. Valve didn’t like the way the game was shaping up and revamped it with the bright, stylized cartoon feel that still remains today. Still, this blog post does offer some closure to the plight of Gordon Freeman, and what happened to him after the events of Episode II. Given that Valve is highly unlikely to ever make an HL3, it may be the best we ever get.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ExtremeTechGaming – ExtremeTech

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Bangladesh v Australia, first Test: Live coverage from Dhaka

AUSTRLIA will resume 3-18 on the second morning of the first Test with Bangladesh in Dhaka, determined to fight back

Close