HL2 Opening

A draft for the Half-Life 2 introduction
TIMELAPSE OPENING [Proposed 6/2/00]

The basic idea is to convey the passage of time between HL and HL2 visually, using our new terrain and shader effects and the teleport tricks we used in the original Test Chamber Disaster sequence. It should be a direct continuation of the end of HL: You are still in the G-Man’s custody and control, still basically suspended outside normal spacetime, which makes it fairly easy to say that 10 years have passed in what for you is the blink of an eye.



You fade in standing on a slight rise in the midst of beautiful rolling hills. The grass is green; at your feet is a small flowing brook’; the hills are crowned with occasional willows.  The sky is blue and fresh; birds are singing in the trees. In the distance, on the horizon, is a modern city. It’s an idyllic scene. You can almost smell the fresh air. We show our terrain in all its splendour.

The G-MAN appears just behind you – or perhaps he has been standing there all along. You are still contained in his sphere of influence, meaning that you can turn and move in any direction, but only for a very short distance. You cannot leave the crown of the hill.

Fan-art by OddDoc

“Hello again, Mr. Freeman. Sorry to keep you waiting. Not that the passage of time has had any meaning for you, but elsewhere it’s a different story. I’ve been wondering how to explain what the world has become in your absence. I decided to simply show you.”

There is an odd quickening, a sense of metamorphosis in the environment. The sky begins to darken ominously. The vivid green color begins to leech from the grass and leaves. The bird song is fading. The sound of wind begins to sweep up. The running water in the creek sinks into its bed.


“Don’t blink or you will miss it. Sometimes everything can change… overnight.”

There is a flash. Suddenly everything has changed. The earth is brown; the sky is grey. The streambed is dry and black. The trees are twisted skeletons now. The sound of birds has been replaced with the distant cries of houndeyes and bullsquids. A crow crouches in the black willows, cawing. On the horizon, the city appears grey, no longer lively. A pall hangs over it. In the sky, streaks of deadly light, dark aircraft. Explosions bloom on the horizon. A Combine dropship screams overhead and there is another explosion, surrounding you.

Throughout all the changes, the G-Man continues to talk calmly.


Fan-art by OddDoc
“Don’t be nervous, Mr. Freeman. We’re not really here…not yet anyway.”

Another flash engulfs you, and as it fades you find the land has changed again. The earth is utterly blasted. The streambed is choked with ashes. The trees are gone. There is a new sound in the wasteland where you stand, and ugly insect chirring. The city is a blackened ruin, its surviving towers tilted and about to fall. The sky is choked with smoke. From the center of the city, an alien spire begins to rise, towering over the damaged human structures. A light flares out from the spire, like a beacon.


“Ten years is long time for most people – a lifetime for some. Long enough to heal the first scars of the whip. Long enough to forget the little things, like the taste of fresh air. But you remember, don’t you, Mr. Freeman? It was no time at all, for you.”

As he talks, a strip of shining rail begins to extend across the land in front of you, pointing toward the city. In the distance, you begin to hear the sounds of a train. It gets louder and louder as he speaks.


“I think that covers just about everything. All that remains is to put you in the picture.”

The Wasteland Train appears, slicing into view like a rusted knife. It squeals to a halt directly infront of you, and sits there hissing and ticking as it cools. A door opens in the side of the rear car.


“All aboard, Mr. Freeman. Time waits for one man.”

You climb aboard the train. There are several passengers on the car, but they are frozen in their seats, caught in mid-motion, completely unaware of you.
The door hisses shut. A moment later the sounds of movement commence. The train begins to crawl forward. The G-Man slides out of sight on the blasted hill. And the other passengers slowly, then abruptly, lurch back into life.
One of them, Samuel, looks up at you sharply.


“Hey, you startled me!”

29 Jun 2017, 20:03:20
Source: Raising the Bar
Author: Marc Laidlaw
Translation: инициативная группа на форумах сообщества сайтов Наша-Life

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