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Let's discuss the Half-Life Episode 3 plot without Valve/Steam talk

Easy_D

never left the stone age
Jan 5, 2008
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I'm wondering why Alyx was so important to the Vortigaunts, "If we lose her, we lose all" they say.

Plus G-Man going "Had to wait until your friends.. heh... were occupied". The Vortigaunts' motivations are almost as unclear as G-Mans lol. He also says he can't interfere with Gordon because he's agreed to restrictions. Which is why he doesn't affect you when he gets Alyx, I suppose, he can't even freeze him in time.
 

GavinUK86

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Nov 4, 2013
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Stop it Marc



edit: Oops, wrong thread, but still relevant I guess.
 

Cindres

Vied for a tag related to cocks, so here it is.
Jan 27, 2009
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I think mentioned earlier on in this thread too was this thought that it wasn't great the the G-Man was omniscient because it means the writers can just have him do what he wants. I think they countered that at the start of episode 1 with the vorts interjecting. That part always said to me that the G-Man was up to no good because they've clearly become allies by HL2.

Id be interested to know what his plan was before the vorts got in the way and how they kept him at bay all this time through EPs 1 and 2.

EDIT: was posted just above me there that scene where the G-Man catches you as the vorts are distracted, totally forgot about that bit. Seriously they must have known something about him. God damn I'm so salty we'll never know :(

Somebody somewhere must know what was going on, I'm sure I heard years ago there was some general secret story outline.
 

CHC

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Aug 24, 2012
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Fair enough idea for a thread - I think both discussions have merit, but the original thread did get a bit overly focused on Valve as a company (thanks to people like me, lol).

I actually love the Episode 3 treatment. Environmentally, the snow area is super cool and atmospheric. I also love the weird Cronenberg-esque idea of the once proud and polished Dr Breen reduced to living as a literal anus-slug creature in the depths of an antarctic crevasse.... it's more disturbing than I would have bargained for.

And the ending! I'm actually totally cool with the cliffhanger and I love the idea that Combine are revealed to be this unimaginably vast, existential threat. The Dyson sphere is pure existential dread and probably would have been really visually amazing to behold.

All in all, it's a tighter, better close to the Half Life 2 than I ever expected and I'm sad it will never see the light of day. I can only hope intrepid modders have the wherewithal to make it a reality someday.
 

george_us

Member
Jul 23, 2008
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Reading that plot summary was depressing. Episode 3 sounds like it would have been incredible. To be honest though I do think we'll probably get Episode 3 or Half-Life 3 years down the road.
 
Aug 12, 2013
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I think mentioned earlier on in this thread too was this thought that it wasn't great the the G-Man was omniscient because it means the writers can just have him do what he wants. I think they countered that at the start of episode 1 with the vorts interjecting. That part always said to me that the G-Man was up to no good because they've clearly become allies by HL2.

Id be interested to know what his plan was before the vorts got in the way and how they kept him at bay all this time through EPs 1 and 2.

I've believed for quite a while that Gordon was to be stuck in time until the G-man fully considered the "interesting offers" (seemingly to buy Gordon) that he received before HL2's ending. What is interesting to consider is that he shows a small interest in Alyx in this scene, but nothing to imply he controls her like he controls Gordon, as I bet they hadn't developed that part of the story yet.

I'm betting based on his comments that the Vortigaunts were blocking him somehow and the way he came out of his door in the beginning of Ep1 that he had decided to sell off Gordon before they stopped him. By the time he had a brief moment of control back in Ep2 he had clearly already decided that Gordon was for some reason too defiant or too dangerous to be left alive and so left him on the Borealis. Somehow the Vortigaunts saved him again though, so I wonder if G-man would know whether he got out or if he even has a connection with him anymore.

Edit:

Reading that plot summary was depressing. Episode 3 sounds like it would have been incredible. To be honest though I do think we'll probably get Episode 3 or Half-Life 3 years down the road.

I've thought for a while now that there will eventually come a time that Valve has enough new blood interested in the series to start a new project. I don't think anything is in the works right now, and I'm pretty sure when the series comes back it will be in the form of a DOOM 2016 style reboot/sequel and not "HL3", but I do think that it will happen at some point (probably more than a decade from now though).
 

Gabriel_Logan

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I'm wondering why Alyx was so important to the Vortigaunts, "If we lose her, we lose all" they say.

Plus G-Man going "Had to wait until your friends.. heh... were occupied". The Vortigaunts' motivations are almost as unclear as G-Mans lol. He also says he can't interfere with Gordon because he's agreed to restrictions. Which is why he doesn't affect you when he gets Alyx, I suppose, he can't even freeze him in time.
So what if Alyx was who he was after the whole time and he just keeps Gordon alive to look after her until the critical moment. At the end of episode 3 your purpose is over.
 

Mman235

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Jun 28, 2013
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A couple of story things that stick out are:

Breen coming back was pretty blatantly foreshadowed, but having him come back and then be eliminated right after feels kind of out of nowhere and like it's more of a setup for a later twist, such as another character coming back as an Adviser slug or something.

It might seem more justified with better context, but the darker twist with Alyx killing Mossman and apparently being a G-Man puppet seems like it's building her up into a more antagonistic role, which seems like an interesting way to twist the seeming love interest angle they were going for in the HL games that exist so far.

What makes this worse is that this would have been a pretty great setup to clean the slate for a years-later HL3 (ignoring the last main paragraph, which seems more like a meta-commentary), as it closes most of the immediate questions (including background stuff like apparently getting glimpses of the 7-hour war) and leaves the bigger conflicts as something that could be taken anywhere in the future. As opposed to now where the story is stuck in a limbo of being part-way through an arc.
 

Easy_D

never left the stone age
Jan 5, 2008
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Should be HL logo there instead of Breen's face.



Sure, when Valve will go bankrupt and be bought out by Disney. Any day now.

Read the OP dude, this thread was made specifically to avoid Valve shit and just discuss story implications :p. Heck you can gather that much by reading the title
 
Aug 12, 2013
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So what if Alyx was who he was after the whole time and he just keeps Gordon alive to look after her until the critical moment. At the end of episode 3 your purpose is over.

What's weird is that he "plucked her from Black Mesa", which (considering the way that Eli seems to imply that he made some kind of deal with the G-man) seemed to me to suggest he teleported her out of the facility in exchange for Eli's loyalty. If he had already taken her using portal tech, one has to wonder why he didn't already "own" her like he does/did Gordon? Pointing back to my speculation that Gordon was sold against his will, possibly by Breen, maybe the G-man couldn't pull her completely into his control at the time. Maybe he needed her to choose to follow him like Gordon (appeared to) in HL1?

We are left to wonder what makes her so special? What made Gordon special is also something of a mystery, but its implied that he is seen mostly as a blunt instrument to destroy whatever the G-man points him towards (which culminates in the destruction of the Citadel and its portal). I have a feeling Alyx is not seen as just another weapon by the G-man, so maybe she has some kind of deeper connection to portals or his otherworldly powers.

Maybe she is actually attuned to whatever the G-man himself uses to travel and enter people's minds? A missing link between his people and humans? I feel that if she was always the ultimate goal (possibly since even HL1 and so the entire Black Mesa incident and invasion might have been orchestrated to take control of her), that she somehow has a use in his interdimensional dealings and not just to be used to blow up things he wants blown up.
 
Jul 25, 2014
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Game Informer just posted a spoilercast for HL2: Episode 3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-w3ITSmBNA

I don't think I gained any new insight by listening to any of this. It's just a lot of stammering over "I think I remember this happening in Half Life 2? Or was it Episode 1 or 2?"

Not shitting on the video.... I'd just wait for VNN's video on it or at least one made by somebody that is a bit more passionate about the series. I'd love to see someone make connections from Raising the Bar/the 2003 leaks or even the Half Life 1 stuff and how it plays into Episode 3.
 

sflufan

Banned
May 5, 2007
6,841
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Wasn't there going to be an episode 4 made by Arkane IIRC? I feel like it was going to be 5 episodes in the end.

Yeah, Arkane was working on an episode called "Return to Ravenholm" whicn can be seen here:

https://www.pcgamesn.com/half-life-2/half-life-2-episode-four-return-to-ravenholm-screens-surface

Also, Warren Spector's Junction Point Studios was working on another project that was ALSO set in Ravenholm. That project was cancelled when Disney bought Junction Point:

https://www.pcgamesn.com/half-life-2/half-life-2-episode-snowy-ravenholm-junction-point

Overall, PCGamesN has a pretty good synopsis of this entire Episode 3/Half-Life 3 affair here:

https://www.pcgamesn.com/half-life-3/half-life-3-release-date-story-gameplay-art
 

disappeared

Banned
Sep 14, 2006
26,832
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It sounded awesome. Like for years we've all been wondering if they could one-up hl2's story or at least compete with it, and wow did it ever.

I'm really happy to have read that. It's at least a modicum of closure.
 

sflufan

Banned
May 5, 2007
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Based on the plot summary, I guess it's safe to assume that Dr. Kleiner and Dog remain at the Resistance base because we see no mention of them?

I just can't imagine Alyx going on the mission to the Antarctic without Dog though.
 
D

Deleted member 22576

Unconfirmed Member
Strange to say its basically what I had always imagined! Super rad read.
 

sn00zer

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Mar 31, 2009
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I don't like how the G-Man is just this omniscient force that can just intervene when Valve written themselves into a corner or if the writers feel like delivering a proper ending.

This version of Episode 3 would not have sat all that well with me.
Naw they made it pretty clear in Ep2 that Gman uses people to light sparks near a powder keg then intervenes only after the blast goes off. I think Episode 2 was also the first time gman intervenes in the middle of the plot which was honestly a pretty big shock
 

Easy_D

never left the stone age
Jan 5, 2008
23,619
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Regarding killing Breen seeming like a waste. I quote the Breen Grub twitter

A more sinister possibility occurs. I may have been terminated, and another instance activated. There is no limit to storage hosts. Unclear.
 
D

Deleted member 22576

Unconfirmed Member
Regarding killing Breen seeming like a waste. I quote the Breen Grub twitter
Man.. since the breen grub is made from a backup.. he will be replaced instantly with another backup.
Horrifying.
Breen was always one of my favorites. Pretty tragic/gross guy.
 

kiguel182

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Sep 9, 2013
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While we wouldn't know more about the G Man and his motivations the set up here for a future game would be incredible. Either controlling Gordon and going against Alyx or controlling Alyx in the future or something would've been amazing.

Alyx murdering someone in cold blood seems like an harsh turn but I imagine there would've been a ton of setup. It's a dark turn none the less.

The question about what the G Man is all about still remains.
 
D

Deleted member 22576

Unconfirmed Member
Portraying the Combine as just a glittering ball so vast the explosion of the ship is lost in its detail is pretty damn good. That is such a Half Life thing to do.
 

Shredderi

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Feb 24, 2013
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G-man would propably never be explained. They'd likely keep him as the mysterious semi-omnipotent force and not ruin his mystique by explaining him.
 

traveler

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Oct 22, 2006
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Taken in context as an episode concluding the episodes and not the series ending finale we'd assumed it had become due to the length of time spent in development, I think this is pretty much a perfect plotline. Need to see how the Mossman stuff would play out, but the trippy Borealis adventure, Breen Grub, overwhelming feeling of futility, and 7 years war scenario are pretty much perfect. That spectacle of seeing the Combine overworld for the first time would be a perfect ending too.

They actually had it. We didn't just miss out Episode 3; we missed out on an Episode 3 that seemingly had it all perfect.
 

fifasnipe2224

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Apr 25, 2008
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I love it
The Borealis phasing in and out like the Aurora Borealis.
Alyx Vance going unhinged after her fathers death.
The story and setting matching the concept art.
At the end of it all it was not even Gordan's (the player's) choice to blow up the ship. It was Alyx's that she forced on us. We are just a pawn in the GMan's game.
I wish Gordan ended off as a well known hero but I guess it is best that he is left as a Freeman.
Not knowing who the GMan actually is or who his employers are is a bit of a let down yet satisfying at the same time.
Sucks that it seems like Dog was not involved in this episode.
 

Shredderi

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Feb 24, 2013
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Taken in context as an episode concluding the episodes and not the series ending finale we'd assumed it had become due to the length of time spent in development, I think this is pretty much a perfect plotline. Need to see how the Mossman stuff would play out, but the trippy Borealis adventure, Breen Grub, overwhelming feeling of futility, and 7 years war scenario are pretty much perfect. That spectacle of seeing the Combine overworld for the first time would be a perfect ending too.

They actually had it. We didn't just miss out Episode 3; we missed out on an Episode 3 that seemingly had it all perfect.

Yep. This plot actually succeeded my expectations and would have been the best plot out of all the games in the series.
 

Gattsu25

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Taken in context as an episode concluding the episodes and not the series ending finale we'd assumed it had become due to the length of time spent in development, I think this is pretty much a perfect plotline. Need to see how the Mossman stuff would play out, but the trippy Borealis adventure, Breen Grub, overwhelming feeling of futility, and 7 years war scenario are pretty much perfect. That spectacle of seeing the Combine overworld for the first time would be a perfect ending too.

They actually had it. We didn't just miss out Episode 3; we missed out on an Episode 3 that seemingly had it all perfect.

Yeah, it really is damn near what I would consider the perfect ending to those episodes.
 

5taquitos

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Apr 8, 2014
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Yeah, it really is damn near what I would consider the perfect ending to those episodes.
Not just a perfect ending to the episodes, but an absolutely perfect jumping-off point for a true HL3 that explores Alyx and the G-Man in depth.

Fuck, I've depressed myself again.
 

Scarecrow

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Jun 21, 2007
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I'm a little unclear on the end. It sounded to me like, even though the size of the Combine seemed insurmountable, the well placed missile would have indeed struck a serious blow to their operation (Gordon saying that he didn't get a chance to see the explosive result.) Sorta sounded like the final blows seen in Independence Day, Pacific Rim, or Avengers.

Then he's transposed safely back on Earth, further in the future where the Combine assault is either over or greatly diminished.

Playing through all the stuff described here seems like it would have been a real treat and a great conclusion to the episodes.
 

5taquitos

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I'm a little unclear on the end. It sounded to me like, even though the size of the Combine seemed insurmountable, the well placed missile would have indeed struck a serious blow to their operation (Gordon saying that he didn't get a chance to see the explosive result.) Sorta sounded like the final blows seen in Independence Day, Pacific Rim, or Avengers.

Then he's transposed safely back on Earth, further in the future where the Combine assault is either over or greatly diminished.

Playing through all the stuff described here seems like it would have been a real treat and a great conclusion to the episodes.
It was always going to be futile:
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.

Also that last paragraph is shade thrown at Valve, not part of the actual story (most likely).
 

KingBroly

Banned
Mar 18, 2015
23,759
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I feel like if I had played all 4 together (2, Ep1/2/3) I'd really understand and appreciate the intracacies of the plot. But as it's own thing, just reading it, along with preset expectations and notions, I'd say it sounded like a satisfying way to setup Half-Life 3. And I think the ending of this, like with Episode 2, really sets the expectations of what it would be.
 
Yeah, Arkane was working on an episode called "Return to Ravenholm" whicn can be seen here:

https://www.pcgamesn.com/half-life-2/half-life-2-episode-four-return-to-ravenholm-screens-surface

Also, Warren Spector's Junction Point Studios was working on another project that was ALSO set in Ravenholm. That project was cancelled when Disney bought Junction Point:

https://www.pcgamesn.com/half-life-2/half-life-2-episode-snowy-ravenholm-junction-point

Overall, PCGamesN has a pretty good synopsis of this entire Episode 3/Half-Life 3 affair here:

https://www.pcgamesn.com/half-life-3/half-life-3-release-date-story-gameplay-art
You're telling the Half Life franchise had the two best immersive sim teams working on two different projects and both got canceled? That's even more frustrating to me than HL3 not existing
 

Nessus

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Dec 8, 2008
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If humanity really stood no chance against the Combine why did G-Man cause the resonance cascade to bring them to Earth? His "benefactors" clearly wanted to destroy the Combine, he must think there's something on Earth that can cause that.

Could have just been a diversion while the "benefactors" attacked the Combine elsewhere, with them considering Earth expendable.
 

ElFly

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Sep 3, 2006
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it's somewhat bad, but in ways true to half life

there's once again nothing linking the story to the conflict / puzzles. the epistle mentions time travel shenanigans in the ship as a passing thing, when that would be the central piece of gameplay. no named opponent to kill -other than mercy killing breen-, no mention of how the fight against the pursuing combine forces is solved, nothing

it is somewhat reminiscent of Bioshock Infinite, in that you are merely glancing at a physical phenomena way bigger than you, but at least B:I has the parallel universes/time travel play a part in the plot. here... it is barely a vehicle to launch a bomb to the combine and that's it

Bioshock Infinite was somewhat disappointing in how limited the parallel dimension gimmick was, but at least it made it matter for the main plot. You can't summarize B:I without having to go into how their parallel universes work. Episode 3 sounds more limited than B:I and the Borealis stuf barely matters beyond providing a way to bomb the combine launch point
 

nekkid

It doesn't matter who we are, what matters is our plan.
Jun 15, 2016
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It all seems like pretty standard Half Life fare, with the expected Aperture cross-over.

Nothing surprising, but certainly solid. I would have loved this game.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
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Half-Life narrative is always at its best when it isn't beating you over the head with exposition but instead scattering observational and passive narrative for the player to digest however they wish. The GMAN never needed an explanation, not in the sense of a lore dump or big reveal. Even in the context of deus ex machina, the Gman, Combine, Vortigaunts, and so on are exciting to speculate about. It's successful science fiction in that regard, baiting just enough to sew seeds of intrigue and idea, but not enough to outright explain characters and events.

The Combine Empire being so much grander fits their motif; it's implied their a dominant interdimensional multi-species empire, ruled by telepathic grubs, that conquer and subjugate species into their order. They're particularly adept at biomechanical technology, but limited with portal science. This strength and limitation is a cornerstone of their conquest operations; surprise attack a targeted world and while cut off from their homeworld due to one way portal tech subjugate the local species. Episode 1 and 2 revolve around this arc, the Combine having met frantic resistance on Earth and seeking a way to reconnect with the homeworld for reinforcements. Episode 3 culminating with the Combine sourcing mankind's greatest portal technology, and Gordon witnessing the true scope of the Empire, is a perfect end to the three part arc to lead into a third major act.

Similar with the GMAN. He's deus ex machina incarnate, but we don't need an exposition dump on his exact origins and purpose. We can piece together enough that can be lightly expanded in other episodes too; he's an enigmatic creature (or creatures, or idea) masquerading a human being, seemingly involved with investment in and acquisition of assets pertaining to conflicts between other species. Like an interdimensional arms dealer.
 
Jan 10, 2015
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It may just be the telling, but Breen-Slug doesn't sound like a necessary or even interesting plot point. I could see it removed entirely with little changing in the overall story. Might be different in the context of a game and not a genderswapped fanfic, though.
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I think it would have been a highly emotional scene. Can you imagine the exposition of his suffering......begging Gordon Freeman to kill him?

I read somewhere that the player could choose whether to kill Breen and put him out of his misery or prolong it. (Certain trophy/achievement attached to it either way)

The GMAN never needed an explanation, not in the sense of a lore dump or big reveal. Even in the context of deus ex machina, the Gman, Combine, Vortigaunts, and so on are exciting to speculate about. It's successful science fiction in that regard, baiting just enough to sew seeds of intrigue and idea, but not enough to outright explain characters and events..

That's exactly what I wrote in the other thread.

You know, there's more fun in the mystery and speculation of G-Man's identity than the actual reveal.......because some people's expectations will never be satisfied.

Well said. What a damn shame we'll never get to experience this.
Well....