Deleted member 102362
Welcome to NeoGλF's Half-Life/Portal series community thread!
Note: Many of the links in this thread will take you to the Combine Overwiki, the primary community-created resource
for all things Half-Life and Portal. Hopefully the information contained within this post will be useful to both veterans
and newbies to the series.
What is Half-Life?
Half-Life, a first-person shooter, is the first game created by Valve Corporation, as well as the name of the overall series.
Released in 1998, Half-Life won over gamers and critics alike, spawning several expansion packs, spin-offs and sequels,
including 2004's Half-Life 2.
In the main Half-Life games, the player assumes the role of Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist who works at the
Black Mesa Research Facility, until an alien disaster strikes, forcing him to don an HEV (Hazardous Environments)
suit and assume a combat role. This is followed by the events of Half-Life 2 and the two Episodes, in which a
malevolent alien empire called the Combine has taken advantage of the events at Black Mesa and taken over the Earth.
Pulled out of stasis by the mysterious G-Man, Gordon must resume his role as a fighter and work with the resistance to
free Earth from the grip of the Combine.
Also worth noting is the robust mod scene that developed following Half-Life's release, spawning such titles as
Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat. The GoldSrc engine was also used in classics such as Team Fortress Classic,
Gunman Chronicles, and of course, Ricochet.
What is Portal?
Portal is a first-person puzzler, based on the student project Narbacular Drop. Valve hired the entire student team and
had them remake their project into Portal, which became the star of Valve's 2007 compilation, The Orange Box.
Portal's primary game mechanics focus around creating portals to solve puzzles, enabling the player to essentially
manipulate space and tunnel from one part of a room to another. You play Chell, a test subject for Aperture Science, who
takes direction from an AI named GLaDOS, whose presence becomes more important as the story progresses. Portal 2
picks up directly where Portal leaves off, and focuses on the developing relationship between Chell and GLaDOS while
adding new gameplay mechanics in the form of gels.
Why do Half-Life and Portal share the same OT?
Because they share the same universe, not to mention there's some story overlap between the games (notably in
Episode Two and Portal 2). Half-Life discussion inevitably leads to Portal discussion, and vice versa, so it makes
sense to keep them contained within the same space.
Wasn't there supposed to be an Episode Three? What about Half-Life 3 or Portal 3?
No one except the developers at Valve know the answers to these questions. But you can read up on what little
information is known to the public here.
Hey! I think I just found an ARG (alternate reality game)!
No, you didn't. Three things to always keep in mind:
1) If Valve releases an ARG or any official information about the continuation of the Half-Life or Portal series, it will be
clear, even if it's ambiguous (see the first Portal ARG).
2) If you find something and you think it's an ARG, it isn't. You're only setting yourself up for disappointment.
3) Valve Time.
Be wise. Be safe. Be aware.
Is it OK to talk about the 2003 Half-Life 2 leak and the 2012 Half-Life 1 press alpha leak?
Yes, on the condition that you don't provide any links to said leaks or related materials (eg. Worldcraft map pack).
Timeline of Half-Life/Portal game releases (bold = main storyline game):
-Half-Life: Opposing Force (HL1 expansion pack developed by Gearbox)
-Half-Life: Uplink (HL1 demo)
-Half-Life: Blue Shift (HL1 expansion pack developed by Gearbox)
-Half-Life: Decay (PS2-exclusive HL1 expansion pack developed by Gearbox)
-Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
-Half-Life 2: Lost Coast (HL2 tech demo)
-Half-Life Deathmatch: Source
-Half-Life 2: Episode One
-Half-Life 2: Survivor (Japanese arcade game)
-The Orange Box
--Half-Life 2: Episode Two
-special thanks to SalsaShark and Marphy Black for their help!