Are these guys the combine?

Are these guys the combine? Or was it just a race of worms that were assimilated like they're trying to do with humans?

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They're Combine jannies. We don't really know if there are even an "OG" Combine species still around or if they've long shed whatever original species identity they might have had as they turned into a cyborg collective using organic and mechanical parts ad hoc.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      i like the idea of finding someone with a superior body but weaker mind and just stealing it from them
      imagine living forever in good health because Gankerarded chads didn't learn to protect themselves from bodysnatchers/demonic possession/whatever

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        That’s kinda the plot of hereditary

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          you mean animorphs

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Being able to overwrite minds seems to be a biological feature unique to the grubs. If it could be done with just any species, why would the Combine rely on grubs to serve as their host bodies? Who would want to be a fat slug if they didn't have to be?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          maybe they have hot muscleman bodies inside the comfy slug cocoon?
          if i could levitate around all comfy in bed i'd probably not bother looking presentable either

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          How could they conquer a species like that? All the grub had to do was change their minds

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            They're host bodies for whatever conscience the Combine have copied

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          obviously the slugs are mainlined to the Combine Empire's inner workings, all those cyborgs like the dropships, warships, striders, raptors and transhumans are made to serve in their own specifics ways. For example, it's hard to notice, but the pods designed to carry the slugs are living beings too

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I think Breen was trying to find how to make the human race inmortal, and actually he found it, in the form of the transhumans, with the best case scenario being a cyborg without free will like the overwatch, and worst posible scenario, get turned into a stalker, to a few "lucky ones", get turned into an Advisor, in HL2 ending you can hear Breen talking about a host body, and everyone pretty much agrees he was talking about an Advisor body

        Though if you transfer your mind into a being of another race, would you even still be the same race anymore? I mean the we wouldn't really consider breengrub to be exactly human anymore.
        honestly would their be any division between the races of the combine if you can just switch out one body for another?
        Like that at that point you are just thoughts and data, and that's not even getting into the fact that you can have multiple copies of one mind, so that's individuality being called into question as well, copies that can probably decay over time or be rewritten.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Frick off

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Breengrub twitter "fanfic" by Laidlaw was pretty much that. The copy of Breen that wakes up starts freaking out over those very questions.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          at that point we are more soul than species
          i am completely fine with organic transhumanism, and the roided up league for the olympics where we get to see what humans are really capable of

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >combine is just a vastly incompetent, prolonged shell of itself that is keeping the operations running long after forgetting the reason or question as to why anymore
      >valve [...]

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    they're psychic worms that were assimilated

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They were assimilated and are used as personality storage. So a lot of them will be in administrative positions because they house useful personalities

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The advisors aren't the original combine.
    I personally think that the original combine was a machine created by some other sentient race which was probably the first to be assimilated.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This is likely. The Combine see everything, even assimilated civilizations as part of their own grand machine. They're either all uploaded minds at this point or a series of systems nobody is in control of anymore endlessly repairing and building more of itself, like the City in BLAME! as an even more extreme example or the sphere in Prey as a smaller one.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I think it's kinda sad if the original combine are gone :C like what's the point of their interdimensional empire if they're not even alive to witness its greatness?

        I like to imagine they're the combine equivalent of middle management given the scale of their empire which spans multiple realities.
        The original combine race themselves are probably long gone. I like the idea that they've transcended their physical bodies and exist as incorporeal beings while their Empire which is largely automated continues to march on.

        Psychic worms. There's no way they're the original combine species considering the Nihilanth was a slave. What kind of whip and chains do you need to keep something like that in check?

        Honestly I wouldn't be surprised I wouldn't be surprised if the original combine race at some point just became very lazy and have slave races, robots and AI do all of the jobs, including running the empire and ruling the empire in their stead, like a race of NEETs and probably are no longer aware of what is going on and regressed to a point of non-sapience since they wouldn't need to think anymore or uploaded themselves into simulations, or died out because they became too lazy to even reproduce so the empire was just on autopilot the whole time serving a race that's not even alive anymore.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      [...]
      [...]
      [...]
      Honestly I wouldn't be surprised I wouldn't be surprised if the original combine race at some point just became very lazy and have slave races, robots and AI do all of the jobs, including running the empire and ruling the empire in their stead, like a race of NEETs and probably are no longer aware of what is going on and regressed to a point of non-sapience since they wouldn't need to think anymore or uploaded themselves into simulations, or died out because they became too lazy to even reproduce so the empire was just on autopilot the whole time serving a race that's not even alive anymore.

      This is likely. The Combine see everything, even assimilated civilizations as part of their own grand machine. They're either all uploaded minds at this point or a series of systems nobody is in control of anymore endlessly repairing and building more of itself, like the City in BLAME! as an even more extreme example or the sphere in Prey as a smaller one.

      [...]
      I think the combine rule of earth is based on INSOC from the book 1984.

      I think that the idea of the combine using AI or machines, or there being a ruling class that benefits from the combine empire goes against the concept of what the combine should be. It's a runaway bureaucracy that only exists to benefit the corporation itself, but none of the individuals inside stand to benefit. However, the individuals can't escape the combine because they get completely biologically integrated until they're unable to exist as species without combine technology.
      It's sort of like 1984 if everyone was a party member of ingsoc and there were no proles left to oppress. The system is like a machine, but the parts are all individuals who because of the nature of the machine aren't able to escape their roles. They can't live without the combine and they can't organize without the impossibly unlikely occasion of the majority of individuals independently coming to the same conclusion to organize their way out of the system.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous
      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        the "original" dont exist anymore
        they were replaced, surpassed by the thing that they created, so long ago as to be immeasurable, as it is the only logical endpoint of an advanced civilization bound by organic limitations
        so the combine are slaves, all of them, an ever growing and innumerous workforce of conquered races given purpose in a greater structure, one of mindless consumption and control
        and what they serve is the very concept of technology itself, machination upon a cosmic scale, a new god weaving itself form out of the matter of reality
        all that is and ever can be will be touched by the hand of this god, manipulated to be given new form and purpose derived from the indecipherable whims of something too vast to ever be lent intent or conscious desire
        they, all, are simply being chewed up and spit out

        I don't think I've seen this theory anywhere but on Ganker but it's my favourite.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This is likely. The Combine see everything, even assimilated civilizations as part of their own grand machine. They're either all uploaded minds at this point or a series of systems nobody is in control of anymore endlessly repairing and building more of itself, like the City in BLAME! as an even more extreme example or the sphere in Prey as a smaller one.

      I think this actually devalues the concept.
      I've always seen the combine as a conglomerate of assimilated races that has become so esoteric and complex that there isn't a ruling race, or at least not anymore.
      Every one of them follows directives given to them long ago to conquer and take in other planets and races throughout time and space... but without any grand agenda or purpose.
      The whole thing is an MLM scheme that has gone rogue and now just recruits new people while the money gets sent up the chain until it eventually gets dumped in the metaphorical trash.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        WTF

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        So what happens when they win?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Galaxy/universe destruction? Acension to some new level of existence? Collective shutdown?
          We know too little about combines to tell.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The combine is
        >line must go up: the civilization
        taken to its logical extreme

        So what happens when they win?

        They have no intention of doing anything so prosaic as "winning". They simply go on.
        And on.
        And on.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          At some point all the dimensions will be conquered, no?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Then you learn how to create new dimensions, so you can keep making the line go up.

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    These guys are the original combine

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      you may be joking but they kinda do seem to be. do we even know what the strogg actually are? in the games it seems like they are just human beings taken and ripped apart into new grotesque cybernetic soldiers.

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They are the combine, everything else are the assimilated ones.

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The big hl3 plot twist is the combine were humans all along and g-man was one of them.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      G-man reeks of J.J. Abrams tier writing where they introduce a mystery without having a good explanation for it in the first place.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The way Marc Laidlaw describes writing the Half-Life story it sounds like he was basically constantly shitting himself trying to fit a story into what the developers wanted to do without really knowing where anything was going to end up because he couldn't

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          that and their is now the issue of aperture science would be involved in episode 3, and portal have a difference ton to half-life that is more comedic with the company being largely incompetent which probably would clash with Laidlaw's own vision of the borealis and what's inside or why it disappeared.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Valve went on record around the time Portal 2 came out saying that putting Portal in the same universe was a mistake and they shouldn't have done it.
            It's the entire reason Portal 2s story is designed the way it is with being immensely far in the future, so that they don't have to answer questions about half life.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >the company being largely incompetent
            But it's not scientifically incompetent, they actually invented loads of cool shit and were ahead of Black Mesa. They just failed to capitalize on their inventions and their flagrant osha violations landed them with lawsuit after lawsuit, but even then they didn't go bankrupt before GLaDOS fricked everyone over.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Laidlaw has admitted as much in interviews and blog posts. After Half-Life shipped, he wrote a short article about how his job at Valve was essentially "Keeping up with the constant inventiveness of the level designers."

          For Half-Life Alyx, Erik Wolpaw has also been rather blunt about how he along with Jay Pinkerton and Sean Vanaman were essentially dropped in after the game was already done and told to make up a story for it.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Keeping up with the constant inventiveness of the level designers.
            This is how games should be written btw, level designers should NOT adapt to the story, the story should adapt to the game

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Sometime tells me the reason why we never got half-life episode 2/half-life 3 is because of a conflict between game play vs story during development.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              if that was true we never would have even gotten portal because laidlaw did not want it to be connected to half-life but they did it anyways

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                They did it as an excuse to handwave all the reused HL2 assets but not realising that people wouldn't have cared anyway.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              It wasn't that, which should be obvious considering just how often not only Laidlaw but a bunch of other Valve old guard have constantly repeated "story serves the gameplay" in interviews and emails.

              No, it was much more banal. Dario Casali in an interview outright said that Half-Life 2 Episode Three died due to scope creep and devs losing interest in Half-Life and moving on to other projects (Casali himself went off to mostly focus on making maps for Team Fortress 2, for example).

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              it was because gay ben kept chasing tech gimmicks instead of just making a game

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >For Half-Life Alyx, Erik Wolpaw has also been rather blunt about how he along with Jay Pinkerton and Sean Vanaman were essentially dropped in after the game was already done and told to make up a story for it.
            that's the right way to do it

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            must be why the pacing in half life games is so good

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            You're omitting that they were there to REPLACE what Campo Santo had written already.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          He struck gold with it though despite him just winging it. The idea of a conflict between interdimensional alien races taking place on Earth supervised by a Nyarlathotep-like alien bureaucrat is really cool. For a series that has its grand scheme of the story pretty much based on a shit load of improvisations, it worked really well, so far at least.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            In HL1 you could argue he was just a "I wanna believe"-tier glowie of UFO mythos that actually worked for the government and it wasn't really until HL2 that they went with the whole "interdimensional beuracrat"

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >In HL1 you could argue he was just a "I wanna believe"-tier glowie of UFO mythos that actually worked for the government
              Nah, not with the ending.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            In HL1 you could argue he was just a "I wanna believe"-tier glowie of UFO mythos that actually worked for the government and it wasn't really until HL2 that they went with the whole "interdimensional beuracrat"

            On the topic of improvisations, according to the 25th anniversary documentary interview with Bill Van Buren, the Gman's voice direction just started from an improvisation by Mike Shapiro:
            >So we did a take on all the G-Man lines with kind of a straight voice, and I was thinking that, okay, we have something safe, but we're not super excited about it, and, 'give us something else.' And he does this crazy lizard voice. And we took it back and everybody just loved the crazy lizard voice. And so that's how it worked out.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        How did they keep the gman trapped in alyx? Who are his employers?

        >G-Man
        He is a part of bigger picture, you'll have to read shit about Proteus(?) project game where you would play Librarian which is stuck in world of Steam library, Vortigunt speach from HL Alyx, Steam and Combine logo etc. It's all 4th wall breaking and connected beyond games. In a nutshell tho, G-man is your handler, his employers are Valve.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Vortigunt speqch from HL2*

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          this is literally quite possibly the lamest way to do a metanarrative and its a shame that its most likely the canon one.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          isn't that just some fanfiction made up by gachagays

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          It's Prospero I recall.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        He's based on the smoking man from X-Files, and yea he was just a deus ex machina to begin with.

        Between the Breengrub tweets from Laidlaw, and the hints in HL: Alyx, he is presumed to be a sort of Shu'ulathoi psychic virus, possibly an infected Shu'ulathoi that escaped Combine enslavement. Although none of the Breengrub stuff is confirmed canon, G-man's prison in Alyx is shaped like a T4 bacteriophage.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I'm glad somebody noticed

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            devin?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          looks like T7 to me, not T4

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        A GOOD QUESTION FOR ANOTHER TIME

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The thing is, is the the Gman ISN'T a mystery. He's a plot device to explain why he can drop Gordon off on a new adventure.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          What about in Alyx?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >still not realizing g-man is time traveling Gordon freeMAN
        ngmi

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Why is Gman abandoning Gordon if that's the case?
          Why are Vorts saving Freeman while holding Gman back if they're confirmed to see through time and space?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Time can be altered, it's possible that if gordon can be persuaded not to go glowie by the vorts at a known future point then Gman will be punted from meddling with present-day Earth or some wacky time shit.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Why is Gman abandoning Gordon if that's the case?
            cmon brainlet, obviously he has to coordinate things so that gordon ends up becoming him, if he helped him at certain points then freeman's life would have changed and he never would have become gman

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              I mean, you would not put past you in the "come with me or I'll drop you in a middle of 50 grunts with no weapons" situation, right?
              You also should expect the Vortigaunts in your special little dimension if you've seen that exact scenario play out before.
              Plus in Alyx he says Freeman is unable or unwiling to perform tasks set before him but Alyx has potential. So he plucks her out of the hangar and abandons Gordon like an unwanted baby.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous
        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >I FRICKING HATE [books]

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >dude, everything should just be explained
          >i don't want to speculate, I don't want anything left up to interpretation and I definitely don't want to have to think for myself
          what a boring, stupid gay

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          It depends on how it’s done really. Lot of people shit on souls games, but bloodborne’s works IMO cause of cosmic horror’s nature. In souls games it’s moronic how they expect you to feel bad for some wolf you know next to nothing about. It still baffles me how people can view Sif’s death as one of the saddest in gaming when both Half As Long and Twice Is Bright exist.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I don't mind From's brand of storytelling, it's just that they used the same motifs over and over again, and after a while, it gets tiring and boring.
            Anyway as for the topic of this thread, Half-Life kinda did pretty much the same thing where you as a player have to really piece the story together but it didn't go too far with its ambiguousness so it's easier to stomach I feel.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >actively conjuring you own explanations of symbols and events is "dull and passive"
          >passively swallowing a series of strictly dictated events is the opposite of this
          what a bizarre post

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          modern consumer.jpg

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I can't come up with shittier twist than this

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    they're used as hosts for more intelligent beings

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    those are og combine

    the ones you see fighting are "slaves"

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Psychic worms. There's no way they're the original combine species considering the Nihilanth was a slave. What kind of whip and chains do you need to keep something like that in check?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      How did they keep the gman trapped in alyx? Who are his employers?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >How did they keep the gman trapped in alyx?
        leglock

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >How did they keep the gman trapped in alyx?
        Space magic they siphoned off the vorts.
        >Who are his employers?
        Quelling them was out of the question, that much I remember.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Who are his employers?
        Probably Gods or architects of time and space. The entire idea of HL seems to be that the dimensional tear was so severe that it needed some kind of higher intervention. They do seem to understand the concept of consequence though, that's why G-man is not blowing everyone up. He does seem unable to act when Vorts are around though.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Mark Laidlaw once wrote a short story about the Nihilanth where Xen gets discovered by every super advanced civilization and has become a giant battleground as you NEED Xen for inter-dimensional travel and whoever has it under control is the biggest fish in the universe. It's like super-oil to these races.
          It's why the Nihilanth squatting there as a lost resort hideout fricking PISSED OFF the rest of the multiverse and is likely why G-man arranged for a developing civilization to "accidentally" make a way out for Nihilanth to escape through.
          G-man didn't expect a man in a big gaudy orange suit to kill the pest, but probably saw it as one hell of an opportunity to own a very powerful example of what originally appeared to be a throwaway race.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >G-man didn't expect a man in a big gaudy orange suit to kill the pest, but probably saw it as one hell of an opportunity to own a very powerful example of what originally appeared to be a throwaway race.
            Pretty sure HL1 explicitly states that Gordon killing Nihiliath was the whole POINT of the story. He even says that he deliberately handed you the weapons to do it with. Nihiliath wasn't G-man's pet, he was his direct enemy.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >He even says that he deliberately handed you the weapons to do it with
              No he didn't. At no point did G-man so this or imply he planned Gordon to be the one to kill Nihilanth. I've just finished replaying the game so it's fresh in my memory.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Have you actually played the fricking game? Did the line "the border world is finally in our hands" not fricking clue you in? How FRICKING moronic are you? Why the frick are you talking about a game you haven't played?

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >"As for the suit, I think you've earned it"
                >flashforward to HL2
                >spawn without your suit
                Valve are a bunch of fricking hack jobs who don't care about continuity

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Gman spawned Gordon like 4 blocks away from the suit, quit being nitpicky now

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >he didnt see the secret cutscene where gman gets an email telling him that the suit is still government property and he has to get it back from gordon

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Is this how kids troll today? Because that is just boring.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                It's a metaphor for Steam and owning games.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >G-man didn't expect a man in a big gaudy orange suit to kill the pest
            If a dude wearing some gucci with a glock can kill Nihilanth, why couldn't any of these super advanced aliens do it?

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Because you are the MC.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              It helped that the Nihilanth sent a lot of his forces to invade Earth, leaving him relatively defenseless when Gordon came to Xen

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              I think it's because the Combine couldn't go to Xen, for plot reasons.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            the "original" dont exist anymore
            they were replaced, surpassed by the thing that they created, so long ago as to be immeasurable, as it is the only logical endpoint of an advanced civilization bound by organic limitations
            so the combine are slaves, all of them, an ever growing and innumerous workforce of conquered races given purpose in a greater structure, one of mindless consumption and control
            and what they serve is the very concept of technology itself, machination upon a cosmic scale, a new god weaving itself form out of the matter of reality
            all that is and ever can be will be touched by the hand of this god, manipulated to be given new form and purpose derived from the indecipherable whims of something too vast to ever be lent intent or conscious desire
            they, all, are simply being chewed up and spit out

            holy kino

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Who are his employers?

        whoever pays him the most. since HL3 was supposed to end with freeman doing a 9/11 on combine dyson sphere using the aurorea borealis, it appears that gman was hired by the enemies of the combine. it could be that these enemies of the combine have long since died or even been assimilated into the combine. everything from providing the xen crystal that causes the resonance cascade to taking freeman/alyx/shepard in and out of stasis at select times built up to the cpmbine losing earth and extremely valuable teleportation tech.

        the real qurstion, why do the vortiguants interefere if they are qlao enemies of the combine

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >There's no way they're the original combine species considering the Nihilanth was a slave.
      the funy thing about that I don't see anyone mention when it comes to the combine's inability of using in-universe teleportation, is that the combine used the Nihilanth species as slaves and the Nihilanth have the ability to summon portal and teleport things, so the entire species most likely was used as a living FTL drive for their ships. an ability that the combine probably lost when the Nihilanth rebelled.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      some form of psychic torture and raising them from birth. (which they show)
      also probably, they mind swap with them to practically (live forever)

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Probably those cosmic god moths that's described in one line, these things might be their grubs

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I like to imagine they're the combine equivalent of middle management given the scale of their empire which spans multiple realities.
    The original combine race themselves are probably long gone. I like the idea that they've transcended their physical bodies and exist as incorporeal beings while their Empire which is largely automated continues to march on.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I like your idea, and relies heavily on that concept of a combine empire that works more or less like an organism feeding itself. Those advisors probably are hardcore bureaucrats but instead of being a determined species, they're like a meat suit for those willing to join the combine forgetting their original bodies when faced to the total annihilation of their species, sort of like what Breen was trying to do by brutal ways: keep the combine from exterminating the human race. Also it's heavily implied that the Combine lacks creativity and the capacity of thinking outside the box, Breen himself says to the Overwatch he's trying to convince the Combine that the transhumans and to an extent the human race are an unique species capable of bringing some much knowledge and initiative to the Combine, this supported by the fact the Combine never actually managed to research local teletransportation, when humans scientists like Kleiner already discovered teletransportation to local dimentions

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Breen himself says to the Overwatch he's trying to convince the Combine that the transhumans and to an extent the human race are an unique species capable of bringing some much knowledge and initiative to the Combine, this supported by the fact the Combine never actually managed to research local teletransportation, when humans scientists like Kleiner already discovered teletransportation to local dimentions
        though the question is what kind of privileges would humanity get if they proved themselves? like would it just the ability to reproduce or would their be other privileges?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Immortality

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I think Breen was trying to find how to make the human race inmortal, and actually he found it, in the form of the transhumans, with the best case scenario being a cyborg without free will like the overwatch, and worst posible scenario, get turned into a stalker, to a few "lucky ones", get turned into an Advisor, in HL2 ending you can hear Breen talking about a host body, and everyone pretty much agrees he was talking about an Advisor body

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            There's a fan theory that the advisor you see being loaded in Episode One and then find hatching from incubation in the red barn in Episode Two is the Breen copy in a new Advisor body.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The breengrub recordings sort of support this idea, useful minds are backed up and transplanted into advisors via thought virus, and something is lost of the original each time a copy is made. Whatever the original combine were, they may have transferred to grub bodies, and whatever minds they had could have been lost to slow degradation as they attempted to sustain themselves.

  14. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    this game's writing is shit
    >all important black mesa staff conviniently ends up in the same city
    >set in eastern europe, everybody speaks english
    >combine btfos humanity in 7 hours, loses to a bunch of rebels
    >breen signs a treaty on behalf of all humanity for no reason at all

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      mistery for mistery sake... kino...

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous
    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      1. it makes some sense that the resistance would want to position themselves under Breen's nose to keep tabs on him, but yeah it's a stretch
      2. this is like complaining about gladiator movies using english, nobody cares
      3. the combine brought their full force and attention when they first arrived and conquered the world in 7 hours. once they got their jannies situated and started slurping up the earth's resources, they shifted their attention elsewhere and left just a contingent skeleton crew to man the outpost. that's what the rebels fight against and why the idea of them using the broken citadel to phone home causes everyone to shit bricks
      4. combine are probably autistic pencil pushing nerds, if they can assimilate rather than conquer and save 2% on resources policing their outposts, they'll do that, they don't ultimately care whether humanity lives or dies but they'll happily strike a bargain if it helps their bottom line. Breen might be an opportunistic butthole but he probably doesn't want earth to get evaporated any more than anyone else does so why wouldn't he help facilitate a treaty?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >4
        I meant who the frick gave breen the authority to speak on behalf of the whole earth? and canonically the combine agrees because breen tells them about the portal technology that doesn't rely on xen

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >During the war, the former Black Mesa administrator, Dr. Wallace Breen discovered a way to communicate with the Combine directly. The United Nations then authorized Breen to negotiate peace with the invading extraterrestrial empire by any means necessary. Breen managed to negotiate peace by "saving" the remainder of humanity at the cost of their freedom.During the war, the former Black Mesa administrator, Dr. Wallace Breen discovered a way to communicate with the Combine directly. The United Nations then authorized Breen to negotiate peace with the invading extraterrestrial empire by any means necessary. Breen managed to negotiate peace by "saving" the remainder of humanity at the cost of their freedom.
          The UN

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I always thought G-man had something to do with the Rebels winning and so many important people being in City 17. However, I have nothing to back any of that up.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Well that's kinda obvious, that's why he wakes you up in the first place

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Kleiner said in the beginning about how there should be more warning of Gordon arriving
        >Gordon inexplicably arrives when resistance has finished rebuilding its teleportation tech
        >Eli nonplussed about Gordon's aging
        >G-Man's interaction with Cubbage
        They're all part of the program and some elements of the resistance are aware of G-Man. Half-Life 2 Beta made it really clear too with some of the lifted dialogues

        ?si=slK14MFWx-mR_MbN

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Eli calls the G-man their "mutual friend" and states that he delivered the sample to Black Mesa. Breen is also aware of him.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      btfos humanity in 7 hours, loses to a bunch of rebels
      You basically are fighting their version of best coos the entire game. At no point do you fight their actual military, and destroying the citidel prevents them from sending it.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >all important black mesa staff conviniently ends up in the same city
      >set in eastern europe, everybody speaks english
      Isn't City 17 one of the last cities left? Makes sense everyone alive would be there, European or not.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Imagine being such a brainlet that you don't understand a children's video game.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The combine forces that participated in the initial invasion (the 7hr war) are not the same forces we see in-game.

      The combine we see in-game are basically just the police force. They also are reusing most of humanities tech to assimilate into their own. Basically using their enemies resources to control them, while sparsely using their own.

      The combine also conquer many worlds so they likely had no interest in having too many resources on earth.

  15. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They're middle management.

  16. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Combine are just a copy of the Dominion from Deep Space 9.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Not the Borg?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Not the Borg?

      I think the combine rule of earth is based on INSOC from the book 1984.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Not the Borg?

      [...]
      I think the combine rule of earth is based on INSOC from the book 1984.

      They’re a parody of a corporation and corporate culture. The lore was made by Gen X nerds during the height of anti-corpo pop culture sentiment, e.g. Office Space

  17. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Or was it just a race of worms that were assimilated like they're trying to do with humans?
    Interestingly the advisors are pretty much the same as what the Combine are doing with humans. While all the other Combine members we've seen are biomechanical or mechanical robots, humans and advisors are odd in the sense that they retain their original biological forms, with prosthetic devices grafted onto them. I wonder if that was on purpose.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Vortigaunts are biological too

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      they're all biological cyborgs, even the striders have brains that pop out sometimes when you destroy them

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      they're all biological cyborgs, even the striders have brains that pop out sometimes when you destroy them

      The Vortigaunts and grubs aren't synths. They were going to make humans synths in Episode 3 though.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Grubs are synths. Unless you think the metal limbs, gas masks, and cameras grafted on their sides are naturally biological?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The "synths" are synths because all their biological parts are artificially mass produced, and they all share a carapace/crustacean look. Even their robotic parts blend naturally with them.
          The grubs are clearly just normal organisms with synthetic parts welded on.

  18. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    both yes and no, the advisors were another race conquered by the combine, but their bodies got used as personality storage so if anything, they are being used as honests for the real combine race that probably don't even have their original bodies anymore and exist in form of thoughts and data.

  19. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    He looks just like me

  20. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Called the combine
    >they combine various features from enslaved races

    any other kino like this

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >headcrabs
      >they're "crab"-like creatures that attach to your "head"
      wtf

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >headcrabs
      >they're "crab"-like creatures that attach to your "head"
      wtf

      Annihilated.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Communism

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Stellaris allows you to easily make something like this.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      its also a reference to the combine harvester

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >combine harvester

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIYfSY1PjFs

        rent fricking free for a decade

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Gordon Freeman
      >His name is Gordon and he frees men
      Bravo Valve

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Gordon
        >His name is Gordon
        woaw...

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >named after some bumfrick shithole in scotland
          god anglo names are so lame

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous
  21. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They're host bodies for whatever conscience the Combine have copied

  22. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Advisor grubs probably get one of the worst deals in terms of assimilation. Other species get to keep at least some semblance of their original minds, but grubs presumably get completely mind-wiped in order to put in other minds.

  23. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    from what breen grub implied, they are another race assimilated into the combine with their role essentially being low level managers

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Not even that, they're flash drives for copying useful minds onto.

  24. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I think it's kinda sad if the original combine are gone :C like what's the point of their interdimensional empire if they're not even alive to witness its greatness?

  25. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    How fricked are metro cops post ciditel destruction? Like revels sure as hell ain't taking them in, but will the rest of the combine remnants?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That entire timeframe is literally an everyman for himself situation for a time.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Overwatch has a line that mentions "Memory replacement is the first step toward rank privileges," so some officers may stay aligned with the Combine

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I figure the rebels would begrudgingly take them in because they're still humans and probably deserted in scores once they saw the wind changing

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      at the end we literally see a squad trying to hijack the trains for themselves while overwatch was telling them to stay and fight, so either some got out and went where ever the next safe train station was or they were all wiped out when city 17 was destroyed

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        that small part was a good reference to Barney talking about metrocops trying to muscle their way out of the city after the fall of the citadel, it flew over my head the first couple times I played Episode One, sometimes is hard to differentiate the CP from Overwatch when you're not paying attention

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          another thing you might not have noticed was overwatch ordering for them to stay and that their reward will be virtual sex or something along those lines

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      800% and they know it

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Some Metro Cops might not even have any changes or memory wipes and can just take off their uniform and blend back in. Like Barney.
      Regardless the Combine win and they probably come back to Earth at some point, genocide every human as they just aren't worth it, suck up all the water and minerals and leave.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Combine win and they probably
        how lol? In episode 2 we literally stop them from sending their "army" to Earth again

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The Combine presumably have taken the Borealis by the end of Episode 2 so they could always create a plan b with Aperture's portal technology.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The ending was posted by the lead writer a long time ago. Gordon takes the borealis through to the Combine system or whatever and basically realizes they are just far too immense for anything to be done about them. They can be delayed sure but they are so massive and technologically advanced it's hopeless for Earth, or the universe, to be truly free of them.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Laidlaw himself has always emphasized that Epistle Three was just him sharing some old ideas he had and it should not be considered an official ending for the Half-Life 2 Episodic Trilogy. He has even outright scrubbed Epistle Three from his website and very publicly recanted and declared he wished he had never posted it.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Ah. It's a good ending, better than the typical save the world shit, but maybe that's what people want.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >old ideas
              ideas become canon in development
              >publicly recanted and declared he wished he had never posted it
              incentivized, probably

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                He was "incentivized" by a genuine care for the fans and the lore of Half-Life. He greatly regrets posting it because it created a false impression among fans that it should be considered the ending of Half-Life 2, when in fact a real Half-Life 2 Episode Three would have ended up completely differently.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Then the whole G-man thing seems pointless.
            I always imagined sequels to be about Gordon going on a space adventure where he initiates the crumbling of the whole system trough basically "dominos falling" like you know the whole "right person in the right place" - and it was all set up by G-man and other species rebels. But when he comes back to Earth there is no happy ending because Earth is fricked up and you werent a big hero but a tool for G-man's employers.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >rebels will shoot you on sight most likely, no free rides after shit hits the fan
      >overwatch is basically 50/50 chance they'll also just shoot you since you aren't as programable as the soldiers
      >option C is trying to head out into the wilderness with more metrocops and trying to survive in that mess
      Legit there is no good options.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I'd play a mod where your band of metrocop misfits is trying to survive in the wild on their own, getting by without alerting the main combine forces and fighting over scraps of resources with the rebels all the while dealing with headcrab and other wildlife infestations.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I'd play a mod where your band of metrocop misfits is trying to survive in the wild on their own, getting by without alerting the main combine forces and fighting over scraps of resources with the rebels all the while dealing with headcrab and other wildlife infestations.

        That would be so frickin cool. Sorta reminds me of Entropy Zero and EZ: Uprising. Being a desperate former beat cop trying to survive in a world that doesn't need/want you anymore grappling with memory and body replacement is kino.

  26. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Half Life 2's lore is so lame & gay

  27. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Attention ground units. Mission failure will result in permanent offworld assignment. Code reminder: sacrifice, coagulate, clamp.
    What do?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I tend to run out using a radiator as a riot shield with the gravity gun and proceed to demonstrate its pushing power to the Combine not currently fending off infinite antlions.
      I fricking love the gravity gun. I remember when every other action game tried to include a rip off version of it that was never as good.

  28. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I still like Half Life 1's setting and plot more
    >Hey we are doing some experiment on a weird crystal
    >Oh no, it made a tear in reality and dangerous aliens are pouring out!
    >Ah the military are here to save us!
    >oh no, they're actually here to kill us, the scientists who could probably help stop this if they actually thought about their cover up ideas!
    >The aliens are trying to take Earth and are winning by the halfway point
    >and are showing increasing signs of organisation as you're no longer fighting scared animals and random slaves but actual soldiers and seeing UFOs
    >When you get to their own reality its heavily implied through their leaders dialogue that they're hiding from something WORSE than them and humanity somehow stole a Xen crystal which allowed this mess to even happen
    >Once you kill the leader weird suit guy (Gman) appears, says you did well and retook the dimension for his employers and shoves you into stasis because you're now a secret agent for whoever he works for or else
    All this but from Gordon's perspective he's just a guy having the worlds worst work day and is trying to escape while being lucky enough to be wearing a suit of advanced power armour designed to keep people alive in the bizarre nightmare dimension you're actually experimenting with when shit went down.

  29. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >The Combine's name inspiration was likely by the 1962 Novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. The novel's narrator mentions an oppressive, manipulative, and mechanistic authority that rules the masses, that he referred to as "The Combine."
    ?

  30. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    ?si=q5Q2_pA54Vihdn0k&t=1169
    Can someone please explain what do they mean by this? Are they implying the Combine is the tower?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The story is always in flux right up until the game ships, so it's possible back in 2003 "Combine" might have just been the name for what became the "Citadel" rather than the name for the faction.

  31. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    the "original" dont exist anymore
    they were replaced, surpassed by the thing that they created, so long ago as to be immeasurable, as it is the only logical endpoint of an advanced civilization bound by organic limitations
    so the combine are slaves, all of them, an ever growing and innumerous workforce of conquered races given purpose in a greater structure, one of mindless consumption and control
    and what they serve is the very concept of technology itself, machination upon a cosmic scale, a new god weaving itself form out of the matter of reality
    all that is and ever can be will be touched by the hand of this god, manipulated to be given new form and purpose derived from the indecipherable whims of something too vast to ever be lent intent or conscious desire
    they, all, are simply being chewed up and spit out

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I refuse to believe this, I imagine a dimension filled with aristocrats talking about how they've managed to Combine this new reality in just 7 hours...

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      interesting take but then how did humanity (Breen) bargain a truce?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I imagine Breen is kinda like Locutus, he's just supposed to be a face and he didn't really accomplish anything

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Used Black Mesa satellites/comms to send out messages, Advisors realized it'd be more cost effective to enslave humanity than to wipe them all out then teleport the slave labor/equipment from their other worlds, and used him to make humanity surrender so their bottom line would look a little better at the next board meeting.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          literally the only reason combine give a shit about earth is to get fancier portals. stealing the water and shit is just a might-as-well

          but if you kill all the humans you won't get the tech. so apply pressure until something breaks

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This works with the theory that Combine are metaphor for corporations. After all some corporations start as a family business but then they get big, become public, previous owners get shifted aside and replace by CEOs, old ideas get replaced with shareholders desire for perpetual growth.

  32. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They're just another piece of it. Another step up in authority answering to the next level of authority answering to the next. They don't really know for sure, that's how big the combine has become, they don't know if they're in charge or have just lost contact and knowledge over time about who they were supposed to be reporting to. Humanity/Earth's only real possible plan is to effectively become the combine too, invade other worlds to escape and colonize, recruit or eventually enslave other species to fight and just advance the universe-spanning interdimensional MIC constantly waging war against the outside and itself. The combine isn't a faction, it's a state of civilization, one that humanity can't avoid unless it somehow jumps over it to the G-Man level or beyond.

  33. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The Combine are the friends we made along the way (think about it)

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      combined we form a mighty homosexual!

  34. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >the Combine assimilate other races and make them slaves to their will
    >nobody knows who the "original" species are
    >the Combine also employ head crabs, seemingly mindless biological weapons that can assimilate other races and make them slaves to their will
    Hmmmmmmmmmm

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >employ
      Do head crabs have an employment contract? Are they unionized? What's the combines tax policy?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        they are paid in head
        just like me when your mom needs my help

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Headcrab zombies aren't loyal to the combine in any way, they're basically just animals. Headcrabs are used in the same way a disease is, just chuck a bunch of them into a settlement and they'll end up killing everything before eventually dying out due to lack of hosts and nutrients, leaving the infrastructure available for reuse.
      Not even the combine themselves are immune to it, hence why we see zombines later on.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >they'll end up killing everything before eventually dying out due to lack of hosts and nutrients, leaving the infrastructure available for reuse.
        Really? I thought headcrab zombies don't really need any nutrition to survive and only eat to grow into their stronger variants like the gonome.
        What about Ravenholm? That place sure as frick doesn't look like the headcrabs are about to die out over there. Fast zombies also look like hungry skeletons and don't seem to be any worse for wear because of it.
        This makes me wonder what the hell did they eat in Xen, since vorts are too smart to get crabbed, grunts are too powerful, and the other fauna just doesn't seem all that compatible with headcrabs.

  35. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >half-life lore

  36. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I like the idea of them being assimilated the same as races lower on the rung, the combine doesn't just exploit floating bloat sacs for helicopters and bipedal monkeys for all around utility, it grinds down the most transcendent alien races all the same. if the grubs are the top rung they're just a different flavor alien pig corpos.

  37. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There's either two possible explainations that happened to the "original" combine race. One is that they've been long dead and the super advanced AI network they created when alive is running on autopilot fulfilling it's baseline set of directives, onr of which is dealing with potential threats to it's creator, and it determines that EVERYWHERE across ALL universes is a potential threat to it's creators so instead of killing everything this AI network instead methedically invades, absorbs, passifies, sterilizes and moves on like an endless rapid expanding cancer. The Combine architecture on Earth shows exactly how they operate by absorbing a host, adding itself onto it's existing structure and moving on as the natives are doomed to a slow extinction insble to breed normally leaving only trans-modified machine abominations that have no recollection of how they lived before. The other is that the race is alive in their own universe in some paradise garden world and they have absolutely no idea nor do they care that this automated AI network created thousands of years ago is endlessly expanding across the entire multiverse absorbing everything and anything it comes in contact with.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      What AI?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The AI you hear talking to Overwatch and the CP. It's clear that whatever controls the Combine is a fully synthetic machine, most likely something akin to AM. The advisors are just cunning aliens much like Dr Breen that managed to get themselves a bigger cage but they're still slaves like everyone else.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The AI you hear talking to Overwatch and the CP. It's clear that whatever controls the Combine is a fully synthetic machine, most likely something akin to AM. The advisors are just cunning aliens much like Dr Breen that managed to get themselves a bigger cage but they're still slaves like everyone else.

      there's no AI
      the overwatch voice is just someone's recorded voice lines. The combine is a bureaucracy made up entirely of slaves to the system, like real world governments. You don't need an AI for this kind of organization.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >there's no AI
        Actual moron, that fricking voice is an AI.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous
        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          it's no more of an AI than any modern train announcer with prerecorded voice lines
          it doesn't control anything, it's just a messaging system

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Anon you might be stupid. It's supposed to handle each individual CP's credit score and makes decisions and issues orders on it's own both when it comes to make decisions about civillians - for example the miscount in the first building you enter, and when it's time to fight and hunt down the Freeman.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              so it can read a spreadsheet
              it's nothing more complex than any modern computer. It's not in charge of anything, it's a tool

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                You're right about that. It's advanced, duh, but even if it makes some decisions about tactics for the ground team and handles punishing and rewarding civs and CPs it doesn't call all the shots. Breen and elite combine are above it. It is JUST an AI for handling menial tasks.

                you are impressively moronic

                Yes anon, that's totally how that works. Nevermind the fact that you're hunted all day and night by the same announcer that warns each individual CP at the same time about their performance and at the same time handles citizens around the entire C17. It's gotta be a human and not AI because AI is bad.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >It's gotta be a human and not AI because AI is bad.
                what are you talking about, evil AI is the most generic and overdone science fiction trope ever
                it shouldn't be AI because the combine doesn't bother with robotics. It would be a waste of resources to bother having some supercomputer running things.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >waste of resources to bother having some supercomputer running things
                Not if the supercomputer runs ultimately menial things for an entire city and can be easily copied to perform in the exact same way in other cities. It's just consistent.
                And combine does utilize robotics in addition to biological beings, particularly with how augmented all their units are. You can also hear the voice going moronic in Ep1 when the citadel is falling apart, you goddamn moron.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Also, I'm pretty sure the bomber helicopter is also just an unmanned aircraft piloted by an AI. There's no room for crew on that thing.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Combine soldier ragdolls can fall out of it for some reason

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                it's got a double wienerpit m8

                Huh, guess I was wrong.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                it's got a double wienerpit m8

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >it shouldn't be AI because the combine doesn't bother with robotics. It would be a waste of resources to bother having some supercomputer running things.
                uh, you do realize that the combine makes use of mahacks, scanners, rollermines and turrets right?

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                utilizing the very latest of 1960s technology

                >uh it has a gyroscope and a logic chip that steers it towards body heat, that's intelligent

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                you might as well say modern drones and land mines are AI
                it's a weaponized computer, but it's not actually intelligent. It's no more complex than technology we have today. Not the sort of thing that can act with administrative function for a whole organization like the combine, it's a simple tool.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                utilizing the very latest of 1960s technology

                >uh it has a gyroscope and a logic chip that steers it towards body heat, that's intelligent

                holy shit you guys are moronic, those machines would need AIs to know where their target is, that's how the manhacks know where to fly to, or the scanners know what to take a picture of or how the Turrets know friend from foe. those would require AIs programs to do that kind of shit, just very simplistic ones, do you guys legit think I am talking about AGI (aka actual intelligence) or something like that?

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                yes, they use computers
                no, AI is not involved in actual administrative roles

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                utilizing the very latest of 1960s technology

                >uh it has a gyroscope and a logic chip that steers it towards body heat, that's intelligent

                >he doesn't know that the all NPCs in games are controlled by AI
                >he doesn't know that in RTS games have skirmish mods were the the none-player armies are controlled by an AIs
                >he doesn't know that the first AI was creation in the 50s

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >the combine soldiers are literally in-game AIs
                noooooooo

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                They also use rats in their computer terminals.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Explain how this isn't a malfunctioning AI lmao

                Oooh, lemme guess, the first citadel explosion at the end of HL2 gave the women hooked up to the system brain damage, right? Or it's just extreme fear and shock affecting her without affecting her speech pattern.
                You're a clown, anon.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                It's just an alert system malfunctioning, there is no AI

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >by the same announcer
                you better be pretending lad

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              you are impressively moronic

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              actual moron, stop posting

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              actual moron, continue posting

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          it's no more of an AI than any modern train announcer with prerecorded voice lines
          it doesn't control anything, it's just a messaging system

          a cursory google search suggests a black hole only needs 3 solar masses to be stable
          sol isnt especially big and the intergalactic scale makes it completely reasonable

          apparently it's not even an AI, it's legit a person hooked up to a computer and only oversees the transhuman overwatch forces.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            to be fair amazon got caught doing that
            organic slaves are just so much cheaper to run than an AI

  38. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    What we see in half life 2 is just mall cops. While Earth is being drained of it's ocean and other shit the combine probably have so many more worlds that they don't even care about Earth and don't think it's top priority, I bet even the slugs are bottom of the barrel of things not important to the combine.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      the problem with this is local teleportation. humanity has to be on the shortlist if they have something that technologically significant that's eluded the combine.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        There's a fan theory that lets those who prefer "humans aren't special" stories explain that idea away: there's no particular reason to assume physics is the same between dimensions, so there's no reason to assume "local teleportation" is special outside of the human dimension. Maybe the Combine need to tune and customize teleportation for every dimension they control.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The Combine can only teleport across dimensions, they cannot travel in a timely manner in the universes they arrive in. How something that uses an artificial black hole to power a building is unable to efficiently travel is unknown but humanities teleportation and portal technology can allow the combine to travel across a universe they arrive in.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Doesn't Breen say that there is stuff not even on the periodic table that they (combine) have found when the core is going critical? I wonder when they were building the citadel that brought shit from other universes

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            a cursory google search suggests a black hole only needs 3 solar masses to be stable
            sol isnt especially big and the intergalactic scale makes it completely reasonable

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              The black hole seen underneath in episode 1 isn't even used to power the citadel but to power the combine teleporter, so their entire teleport technology just sucks if it requires something like that to power it.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              a less cursory google search would've told you that they don't exist. biggest fricking meme in astronomy

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                they do though your mother has one

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The Combine can only teleport across dimensions, they cannot travel in a timely manner in the universes they arrive in. How something that uses an artificial black hole to power a building is unable to efficiently travel is unknown but humanities teleportation and portal technology can allow the combine to travel across a universe they arrive in.

          We actually don't know what the combine's FTL method is or if they have one, though I suspect it would be just using dark energy to accelerate their ships way past the speed of light (which of course leads to it's own problems like ramming into thing accidentally and would be vastly slower then just instant teleportation from one place to another)
          and that's assuming most universes are the same size of ours, for all we know most universes are just the size of the solar systems or just have one planet in them or just an infinite flat earth and actually large universes are rare.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The black mesa team still made teleportation tech before the combine

  39. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    g-man being around since the actual beginning of the story sort of proves that the events of hl1 arent necessarily random and that either ~~*humanity*~~ has been in cahoots with outer powers or that the outer powers had infiltrated humanity to some extend long before the events of hl1 even began, no?

    >The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.

    is such a sinister fricking line.

  40. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There is no "the combine" there's no one species at its helm, the combine isn't an empire in a traditional sense with a core population and second class colonized native citizenry, it's more of a universe-conquering machine where everyone is just a cog and is disposable all the same.

  41. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Honestly If their is a leader race of the combine, I suspect it's more of their were artificially created specifically to run the combine, and are less like individual leaders and more like each one is a braincell of a larger mind controlling a massive organism, no true leader and each one is fully replaceable.

  42. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    the half-life games are utter dog shit. really crappy games

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      what about the halflife erotic visual novel?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        needed more dialogue tbh

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >freemanu-san ...daisuki!
          ngl i cried myself to sleep the night i read that

  43. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I like how everyone just assume their was just ONE original combine race without considering the possibility that the combine was founded or created by multiple races joining together, and decided to conquer shit together.

  44. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    you have your half life 3, it's the blog post from the old writer
    let go
    alyx was ass

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      alyx was actual kino thoughhowever

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The blog post was Half-Life 2 Episode Three, not Half-Life 3.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        half life 3 and episode 3 is the same shit you fricking autistic sperg are you really this dense?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          No it's not, episode 3 is just the ending of half life 2

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Half-Life 2 Episode Three was supposed to be the end of the Half-Life 2 story arc. Half-Life 3 was supposed to be a brand new thing, as big a break from Half-Life 2 as Half-Life 2 was to Half-Life. Half-Life 3 was supposed to mean no more City 17 and no more Combine, just like how Half-Life 2 featured no more Black Mesa.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Half-Life 2 featured no more Black Mesa.
            and look, you've gone and said something carelessly and brought autistic wrath upon ye post. foolish.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          technically, no. valve likely plans to release a continuation of the retconned ep2 story as "half-life 3" since releasing ep3 over a decade later world be ridiculous. but back then, hl3 and ep3 were seperate entities, and "half-life 3" would be a different game.

          >Half-Life 2 featured no more Black Mesa.
          and look, you've gone and said something carelessly and brought autistic wrath upon ye post. foolish.

          there are references to black mesa and its still relevant but you dont GO to black mesa. a hypothetical "half life 3" wouldnt take place in eastern europe OR the north american desert. in fact as we know it itd likely take place in the arctic circle, though the original half-life 3 likely wouldve been something completely different, before ep3 was renamed into hl3.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      if that is indeed true, im fricking glad they never made that shit. killing the franchise outright is the better outcome in this scenario

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        That's a stupid position to take. "Epistle Three" was just Laidlaw compiling together and sharing some ideas he had to help him cope with his failure to make Half-Life 2 Episode Three. An actual game would have been radically different, because story is always written to fit the game, not the other way around.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >That's a stupid position to take.
          maybe you should just write a better story, laidlaw

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It's a stupid position to take because the story of Epistle Three would have been nothing like Half-Life 2 Episode Three, meaning the quality of Epistle Three is completely irrelevant to anything.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >would have been nothing like Half-Life 2 Episode Three
              Who are you to say that

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Technically they did use one element of Epistle 3 with G-Man taking Alyx away at the end of HLA.
        I kinda don't mind the story direction the nuwriters are doing. There is still hope of a fair fight between the Resistance and the Combine instead of the implication of what happened in Episode 2, more chance of fleshing Eli's character instead of being this damsel in distress throughout the games, and the idea of G-Man's involvement becoming more obvious to the story.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      if that is indeed true, im fricking glad they never made that shit. killing the franchise outright is the better outcome in this scenario

      Laidlaw stated that he regretted posting Epistile Three, and that he doesn't consider it the canonical ending

  45. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Actually, is there anything to prove that the combine assimilated intelligent species before?
    It might've just been the original ones turning wild animals into weapons
    After all, the only intelligent combine species we see in game are the advisors

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Vortigaunts, they were hiding in Xen to escape the combine.

  46. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Stop replying to his bait

  47. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    i thought ep3 was gay

  48. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'd imagine if there is a "true" Combine species it's just some supercomputer strapped to the Dyson Sphere the just does the logistical planning and optimization for the empire. It would be a good representation of the facelessness of the empire, because there's really no person or people in charge, it's just a self-optimizing machine that gets other species trapped inside of it (wink wink).

  49. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Seriously discussing a series its creators don't give half a shit about

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      not liking things isnt cool anymore anon
      go back to the 90s

  50. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      it's got a double wienerpit m8

  51. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    My mother is an AI, how else can you explain her chicken nuggies?

  52. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >epistle 3 wouldn't have been episode 3 dude
    >why?
    >because trust me dude, i discuss video game helicopters on a basket weaving forum

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      anyone who has ever made any creative work knows that the process changes the product

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Compare the known design docs of Half-Life and Half-Life 2 to what shipped. They're nothing alike. Hell, the difference between Half-Life 2 in 2003 to 2004 is so drastic that a lot of people mistakenly believe that the project was rebooted in response to the 2003 code theft (it wasn't rebooted, that's just how game dev works)

        cool non answer, b***hes. you both it's a possibility

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          know it's a possibility*

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Compare the known design docs of Half-Life and Half-Life 2 to what shipped. They're nothing alike. Hell, the difference between Half-Life 2 in 2003 to 2004 is so drastic that a lot of people mistakenly believe that the project was rebooted in response to the 2003 code theft (it wasn't rebooted, that's just how game dev works)

  53. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    How hard would the Qu roflstomp the Combine?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >dude I made the robot man into a female tree with a pussy the male will cum into
      OMFG SCARIEST SHIT I EVER DID SEE AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA IM GOING INSANE

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >dude I made the robot man into a female tree with a pussy the male will cum into
      OMFG SCARIEST SHIT I EVER DID SEE AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA IM GOING INSANE

      >supposed to be a book about how humanity would hypothetically diverge and evolve and become totally inhuman over billions of years of space travel
      >instead of slowly evolving over time it's just "lol actually some ayys come along and wipe out all of humanity and steal their dna so they can create genetically modified weirdos"
      fricking stupid

  54. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'm sure glad we don't have to worry about any psychotic aliens coming and finding us

  55. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Actually the enemies in half life 2 use state machines to determine their behaviour so not AI, sorry chuds

  56. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Have you guys seen this?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJOZN3YhLtY

      No one cares about your school project homie

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        its kino though

  57. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  58. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    So what's Gman's story? I mean, he's a mystery homie, but even from what we see, his timeline doesn't make sense.
    He sets up the resonance cascade to get Nihilanth to attack Earth. He says his employers take over the place and puts Freeman into stasis. He also takes Shepard and ensures Black Mesa is wiped out(probably canon).
    Combine show up.
    Then he gets somehow captured by them?? And later Alyx frees him, he says his employers WANT Combine on Earth, then just casually looks through time and space and tells her how daddy will die, claiming that Gordon already failed tasks set before him. But he could not have predicted his own capture.
    Then HL2, he places his chesspiece on the board and causes trouble for the Combine. In the end Breen says Freeman's services were offered to him, but ultimately he gets killed (or his original body, but we don't know if Breengrub is canon to Valve's version of the universe) and Freeman goes back into the storage closet, with Gman saying he's considering other offers for Freeman's services and seemingly not caring about Alyx but knowing she'll survive the center of the explosion because he has plans for her in Ep2?? And I guess the "debt" matter from HLA???
    Not even an hour passes before he walks up to Freeman to talk to him with unknown objective in mind but Vorts show up and kidnap his favorite employee. Seemingly surprising Gman and going against his plans, but after Alyx gets nailed and Vorts work on her he's back and not even upset, so you probably didn't actually mess any of his plans up in the end. He taunts Eli through Alyx relaying the unforeseen consequences line and says he's the one who pulled her out of BM seeing her potential, even though she would have been a child at that time.
    Then, wtf exactly happens when Eli is supposed to die anyway? And why is he so favorable towards Freeman during HL2? He already knew he'll slip out of his grasp. Why consider offers put forward by the Combine, if they're a threat to him?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      hes just lazy writing

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >nooooo you have to explain everything otherwise it's bad writing

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          there is no explanation though. hes just valve. the explanation is lame as frick.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        He was interesting before they shat the bed and gave him time traveling in addition to his teleportation power.
        Unrestricted time travel and clairvoyance is so lame in a context like this. Gman literally cannot lose unless he wants to lose.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Putting him in a cage in Half-Life Alyx was probably a bad idea. It was probably Rob Yescombe's idea, and then they couldn't take it out because they'd already built the final prison level.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        They could have put Shepard from Opposing Forces in the prison instead

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Switching the idea of putting G-Man inside the cage was Sean Vanaman's idea. The company liked that idea so much that they changed the entire story from that. I recall Rob Yescombe's idea was the one that had this overwhelmingly negative response from the playtesters. People suspected it was the proposed time travel plot of Alyx jumping into Black Mesa pre-Resonance Cascade.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Not even an hour passes before he walks up to Freeman to talk to him with unknown objective in mind but Vorts show up and kidnap his favorite employee.
      Laidlaw says there were supposed to be a few days between Half-Life 2 and Episode One and that he regrets how they didn't properly convey that to the audience.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Gman's employers are literally valve themselves, his job is to engineer scenarios that would make for a fun video game.
      >I have recommended your services to my employers, and they have authorized me to offer you a job. They agree with me that you have limitless potential.
      >Rather than offer you the illusion of free choice I will take the liberty of choosing for you -> nod to how the game is linear and everything pre-determined
      >Pushing the Combine off Earth would be too large of a nudge for his employers because they need an antagonist to fight against
      >He's always watching you and nudging things so that there's always a path forward, always supplies to keep you going, but is also maybe responsible for your constant bad luck that ensures you're always on the run and fighting
      Half-Life's story is a riff on player choice (or lack thereof) in video games and how everything is ultimately 'on a rail' no matter how much artificial freedom you've been given. He's the personification of the game developer inside the game itself, this sinister, all powerful force creating the events of the game that leads to all kinds of horrible shit happening, but also helping you along and ensuring there's always a path forward.

      or maybe I'm just a moron and he's an x-files parody that got out of hand idk

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        These types of explanations are gay as frick always

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        i don’t mind this if “valve” aren’t pure meta fiction and are akin to the incorporeal superpowers manipulating all reality for their own ends. his employers do view reality like a game because all of it is that simple to them as they fight over it

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        These types of explanations are gay as frick always

        I think that would've been more exciting back in Half Life 2's era but now every "deep lore" does something meta like that.
        I'm sure it would've been hype back in the day but if it happened now it'd just be an eyeroll

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      There's also the whole aspect of it seeming like everybody but you is in on the plan. G-Man is seen talking with people you reach later. They all know about him and are in on something that you're not.

  59. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Would it be possible to create something like the Combine in Stellaris?

  60. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Thought that was a chasity cage lol

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      the combine put everyone in 5g chastity cages for 20 years

  61. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The tragedy of the Combine conquest of the Shu'ulathoi is really messed up if you think about it. It would be like if everything on the entire Internet was suddenly all deleted in order to repurpose all the Internet servers to host a bunch of alien data, except we at least still have other physical artifacts of human civilization aside from the Internet. The Shu'ulathoi civilization was nothing but the virtual mental constructs of their telepathy "internet," and it was completely wiped away without even a material tombstone to memorialize any of it.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Imagine waking up one day to find out your image folder was deleted to make room for Joe Bidens mind imprint

  62. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >B
    Where does the can fit in all of this?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Don't drink the water. They put something in it. To make you forget.

  63. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Also, is "Concerned" a name?

  64. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The ones who said the series narrative is metatextual are somewhat right, so in order to speculate where the story goes from here we need to examine the current of Valve itself.
    The Combine are inspired by Valve's legal battle against Sierra to keep them from trying to prostitute out their IPs and also by Gabe's experience in Microsoft. The local teleportation, the only worthwile reason why the Combine keeps humanity around, is also serves as the metaphor for Valve's IPs as well.
    G-Man is an obvious stand-in for Valve. The way he operates and the way he talks allude to some sort of game dev-player relationshop theme going on. His cold technical terminology reflects him being aware that he's inside of a video game which is also what Vorts sometimes point towards with their talk about vortal loops (loads and saves) or how they always refer to the characters with 'the' article.
    There's a theory that this all tied to Prospero - their first planned game and the initial inspiration for Steam and the one and only title that Valve devs said they'd come back for if they ever decided to restart the project. The game was supposed to be about Aleph, the Librarian, who runs the Library which contained all possible worlds and all possible realities (this concept served as an inspiration for Steam features and systems) and the basic premise was that the Library was under attack by an alien intelligence and you had to defend and defeat the invading force. There are some pretty interesting and plausible theories that connect Half-Life into all this: so according to them the Library is basically Steam and the invading force is the Combine, G-Man is an associate of Aleph or supposed to be Aleph himself and he either forced out of home dimension or voluntarily travels into the Half-Life universe in order to find the individuals capable of stopping that threat, so he begins evaluations, discovers Gordon and the rest is history.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Where does the Steam Deck and vr fit into all of this?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        So, the Combine plot reads as anti-publisher narrative to me and Half-Life serving primaril as the tech-demo series maybe this whole obsessive pursuit of new technologies is a way to fight against the homogenization and stagnation of the gaming industry?
        Notice how Valve stopped making games and vetnured heavily into hardware and software development specifically Linux right after rumoured closed door meetings with Microsoft in which they supposedly offered to buy Valve and after Valve declined they threatened to drop the support for Steam in Windows. Vakve spent a decade experimenting and building up their own ecosystem to escape Microsoft's stranglehold.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      If I were to guess meta-level, I could see HL3 involving elements on why Valve game-making has ground to a truly glacial pace, like the Resistance becoming the government but once the great heroes like Eli and Kleiner and Alyx? died off from simple old age, the newer generations became stagnant as they don't really have a culture of innovation beyond using the leftover technology from Aperture, Black Mesa, and the Combine. Maybe for the game itself it could involve a more advanced physics simulator involving manipulating small, complex objects to make weapons and vehicles and shit (i.e. innovation).

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Maybe for the game itself it could involve a more advanced physics simulator involving manipulating small, complex objects to make weapons and vehicles and shit (i.e. innovation).
        Doesn't sound that revolutionary and groundbreaking.
        They already had a game changing tech in the form of next gen AI director. We haven't had a truly great procedural generation in games yet despite with all the major strides in AI development, so Valve has a chance to make it finally work and implement it to the next Source engine which will instantly shake up the entire game engine market.
        Imagine the sheer seething from Timmy..

  65. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    i like to think that the combine is an infinitely ascending hirearchy, there will literally be always a bigger fish, if you read the very canon breengrub shit you'll find out that the advisors are also just assimilated schmucks

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      There must be a biggest fish then, someone at the top

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        theyre probably dead by now. the combine master computer is the only biggest fish.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Frick off with your AI nonsense

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            moron, AI supercomputer that goes out of control is literally one of the most common dystopian sci-fi tropes

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Frick off I said

              I like to think that it's some hivemind that assimilates entities that it considers smart enough.

              Even the borg had a queen

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                no. only low IQ people think having something appear in a story means you support it.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Yeah and the borg queen is a mistake

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Honestly I think the combine does have a leader but it will be the case that the second you kill them, they are immediately replaced by another, or the higher ups are nothing more then just bureaucrats that operated more like the neurons of a brain rather then a true race but at the same time is not a hive mind, and that everything thing within the combine has a backup and can be replaced, including the biggest fish.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          What do you think he looks like?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Ether probably a hug stationary creature that is basically biologically engineered to command the empire with the twist that was originally another race that the original combine enslaved and thought would be a good tactician.
            Or is also inhabiting a host body of it's own.
            Or doesn't actually have a body and exist purely as a living thoughtform or a memetic lifeform or a living idea with no physical presences and simply can move from one body to the next, like a virus but for the mind infecting everything through the combine.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I like to think that it's some hivemind that assimilates entities that it considers smart enough.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Imagine if it turns out that he combine leaders are not physical beings but are rather memetic entities of pure thoughts infecting people's minds, living thoughts that are quite literally the ideas of the combine itself and what it represents.
          Like even if you somehow wipe out the combine, they will just simply appear again with another civilization that also became the combine.

  66. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    What does this symbol mean and where did it come from?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      wrench screwing a bolt, symbolizing modification

      is what I always saw

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Apparently it's a claw

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      it's a sun in the center with a spaceship that acts as a dyson sphere around it representing the homeworld
      it came from the combine

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Dyson sphere?

        Stop with the reddit stuff I beg of you

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Take your own advice.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Dyson sphere?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      its obviously just the valve logo which is lame as frick and boring BUT

      it's a sun in the center with a spaceship that acts as a dyson sphere around it representing the homeworld
      it came from the combine

      Dyson sphere?

      Apparently it's a claw

      i personally like to believe these because theyre alot cooler.

  67. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Damn I feel like replaying HL2. Mods anyone?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Entropy zero 2 is the big one. It's got good gameplay if you can't stand the writing.

  68. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    How would the resistance even defeat the combine?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      go back in time with the borealis and stop the black mesa incident. thats the only solution. the dyson sphere ending is awful, even if it had traveled to a point before the combine discovered earth the story even says itself that the ship would do nothing to the combines impenetrable might. its a shame that infinite finality is gonna go with that ending tbdesu

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      They already did by cutting the combine off. Now to just mop up the rest

      go back in time with the borealis and stop the black mesa incident. thats the only solution. the dyson sphere ending is awful, even if it had traveled to a point before the combine discovered earth the story even says itself that the ship would do nothing to the combines impenetrable might. its a shame that infinite finality is gonna go with that ending tbdesu

      The time travel thing is so lame but its totally what they'll go for

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        if they want a "happy ending" its basically the only option, even if time travel endings are pretty fricking awful 99% of the time. though realistically, leaving the combine on earth does give them options for future half life games. since earths societies would be completely collapsed, the planet overrun with alien life, and the remainder of the combine trapped on earth struggling for control.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Now to just mop up the rest
          they have to secure the borealis first. also, the earth is still basically unlivable. if alyx is anything to go by there are large swaths of land infected with xen flora, not to mention the literal worldwide infestation of car-sized man eating bugs and other hellish creatures. its unlikely many of them are even edible.

          half life ain't supposed to have happy endings
          i want to see humanity try to rebuild after they deal with the combine. they have to recreate society out of decrepit cities while fending off xen. they can repurpose combine tech to help them rebuild, maybe breed bullsquids for food and tame houndeyes for hunting

          just getting a freebie reset button sucks so much

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Now to just mop up the rest
        they have to secure the borealis first. also, the earth is still basically unlivable. if alyx is anything to go by there are large swaths of land infected with xen flora, not to mention the literal worldwide infestation of car-sized man eating bugs and other hellish creatures. its unlikely many of them are even edible.

  69. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    if he was just undercover in the metrocops, did he really appeal to the beating quotas or did he find ways around it? or does he just beat civilians and not care?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Not completing the beating quotas would attract too much attention. Besides after 20 years you start to not really care anymore. The bottom line is whats important and if you're not beating the civilians, someone else will.
      Honestly I'm impressed that he was presumably in the Combine for a while and yet managed to stave off being "promoted"

      >rebels will shoot you on sight most likely, no free rides after shit hits the fan
      >overwatch is basically 50/50 chance they'll also just shoot you since you aren't as programable as the soldiers
      >option C is trying to head out into the wilderness with more metrocops and trying to survive in that mess
      Legit there is no good options.

      Just try to kill a civilian as cleanly as possible and ditch your uniform for their clothes and pray no one recognizes you

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >and not care
      he loves it

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >The Combine doesn't have beating quotas
        >He's behind on his own, personal beating quota where he strives to assault as many people as possible
        >All this Resistance work has really distracted him from his true calling

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      He would eagerly volunteer to brutally beat any minority but would go easy on white males.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Probably did heinous shit in order to pass as one of the combine. Probably went soft when he could and went hard when he couldn't.

  70. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Every race in the combine is assimilated into the combine. As far as I understand it, there is no true master of it or a genuine race that overseas it. Whoever started it is also another product of it now.

  71. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Freeman
    >He is....... in some sense..... a "FREE" "MAN"
    WHAAAAAAATTAAAAAAAFUUUUUUUUUUCCKKKKKKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      He's named after Freeman Dyson

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH

  72. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I think that the creepiest possibility for the Combine would be that there's literally no one in charge at this point and the entire system is so sprawling and overcomplicated that it's ultimately just directed by mindless algorithms and machines spitting numbers at each other akin to the effect that this screencap describes

    It's like how in the movie "Cube", one of the characters explains the process of how the titular giant killer cube was built and it boiled down to an impossibly vast bureaucratic system plodding along with everyone involved being too concerned with keeping their heads down and collecting a paycheck to question it, extrapolated to an interdimensional scale

    There is no actual motive for anything the Combine does, because it has no "head"; if there ever was a purpose to this giant clusterfrick of a process it's been completely lost to time along with whoever started it

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      (Forgot to include the actual screencap like a moron, apologies)

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      So the Combine are basically an abstract cancer that wants to consume all life

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Yeah, pretty much - that might explain G-Man and his employers being interested in either slowing it or directing the spread of it in a particular direction

  73. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Kinda sucks that there were multiple spin off episodes in development and Valve one day cancelled all of them for no good reason with one of them even entering very late stages of development. They definitely would've fleshed out the HL2 world tremendously just like Gearbox expansions.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Arkane's game looked really promising too. It's pretty much Dark Messiah meets Half-Life. There are some weird decisions to it though like how the zombies are generic and how the game takes place in a goddamn Ravenholm for no reason.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >one day cancelled all of them for no good reason
      They had a good reason: they had decided they weren't going to make Half-Life 2 Episode Three and didn't want spin-off episodes building up hype and thus putting pressure on them to make a Half-Life game.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      OpFor is incredibly overrated. The levels are mostly boxes and corridors with nothing particularly memorable, and Race X is fanfic tier.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      There were three known spinoff of HL2, all of them were cancelled.
      >Arkane's Return to Ravenholm
      >A Half-Life game developed by EA
      >Warren Spector's Half-Life game with a magnet gun as its main focus

  74. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      i love the visceral disgustingness, combined with the unintelligbleness of nearly everything and the otherworldly sense of scale.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >combine anthem starts playing
      KINO, kino as frick

  75. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I sincerely believe that pic rel is not merely a '"lazy asset reuse" and they had serious plans to tie Portal directly into the next games, but after Orange Box they felt burned out, saw how both TF2 and Steam were booming and decided to take a hiatus on HL until Source 2 was completed, so they then changed the plans on Portal and prooceded to make it a separate franchise and distance it from HL.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The only things truly reused in these shots are the combine AR muzzle flare and the dark energy ball. Everything else is just similar.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      iirc, gabe said ep3 would have something "even cooler than the gravity gun". i wouldnt be surprised if there wouldve been some test-chamber like environments on the borealis (im pretty sure the ep2 blueprints mention nonstationary scaffolds and material emancipation grills among other portal things, basically confirming it), there likely wouldve been some cool reality bending gimmick weapon you'd get in the final stretches of the game. but it likely literally was just lazy asset reuse (they didnt expect portal to become a big hit) but honestly they couldve come up with some cool way to explain it like in EZ2.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      also, the reason we didnt see any half life for a long time was because ep3 was in development hell for a few years before getting cancelled. id say it likely got cancelled before P2 started development and they put the little borealis easter egg in as a nod. valve is notoriously rigorous with playtesting and the game likely repeatedly failed playtests. not that thats an indication that it was bad, just that it wasnt up to valve's standards.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >id say it likely got cancelled before P2 started development
        Depends on what you mean by "started." An attempt to make a Portal 2 was started right after the "design experiments" in early 2008, but it stayed as a prototype project and very nearly died before catching on in late 2009/early 2010. A Half-Life 2 Episode Three attempt definitely would have been being worked on at the same time as the Portal 2 "F-Stop" prototying era of 2008-2009, but it indeed may have died after Portal 2 caught on.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >f stop prototyping starting during the year ep3 was originally slated to release
          that checks out completely, actually.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      It's mostly just that they re-used assets. They already tied the stories together in Ep2, and plans for Ep3 didn't include the portal gun. The Borealis used a different kind of teleportation.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >separate franchise and distance it from HL
      Werent there mentions of Mesa or even Combain in Portal 2?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It does, the game even hints at the Borealis stuff in it as well. Anons theorized that Valve simply decided to separate the two series farther apart than mere mention of the lore points because they have no idea how to connect the two as a proper crossover without having this massive tone whiplash with each another.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I can't recall any direct references to combine, but in portal 1 there was this one voiceline from Glados where she mentions even she doesn't know what's happening in the outside of Aparture.
        There were also some powerpoints about Aperture compeating for DoD contracts with BM.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I think Cave directly mentions Black Mesa, doesn't he? I don't think there's anything regarding the Combine though. Glados possibly mentions that she's keeping them away from Aperture in a vague line in Portal 1
        One thing that people have talked about in that regard is the ending, because you see Earth in its normal state - that is without the drained oceans and green, and the fact that you walk out of the elevator to a perfectly blue sky in the middle of a wheat field with no Citadels in sight.
        I dunno, the wheat field could be another fakeout from the way Aperture works and Earth is still fricked after the Combine invasion. Y'know, like a field in a fake dome projecting an image of the blue sky? It's been on my mind ever since I've seen a video showing off some beta ideas for Portal 2 because one of the ideas was that you'd start on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean, but then the room completely dismantles itself around you, complete with the thousand screens showing you a pretty blue sky...

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Yeah, I always thought the ending has fake nature. Like it looks too bright for usual Portal and HL color schemes.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Or maybe it's just that the Combine has zero presence in North America due to it being the epicenter of Black Mesa Incident and later Portal Storms that in consequence turned the continent into Xen infested and uncontrollable shithole which prompted them to insantly fully abandon it thus not affecting local ecosystem.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The wheat field of 2 is definitely fake but the parking lot from 1 should be real. It is surprising there's no sign of Xen flora though. I guess Glados has been keeping it at bay

          I wish they weren't so allergic to the Half Life stuff in 2. Imagine if instead of a potato plant infesting Aperture, it was Xen that broke into the facility while Glados was inactive. Just flora so it's not anything too crazy, but you would have to complete early-game puzzles without getting stabbed by the Xen trees for instance

  76. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    going back to play HL1 as an adult is crazy with the things you notice now.
    Like how black mesa was experimenting with xen and already captured aliens a long, long, time ago.
    Gordon was just another fresh scientist grad sent to be fodder like the rest of the hev suit bodies lost in xen, black mesa was basically sending fresh grads to their deaths to see where the portals ended up.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The series has so many things going on in the background that player didn't get to witness or told straight up
      >HECU is aware that something is going to happen at Black Mesa
      >Black Mesa had discovered Xen for a while
      >Breen is aware and might be in cahoot with Combine since the beginning
      >G-Man is the one delivering the Xen crystal
      >Resistance is aware of G-Man
      >It's possible that they had a dealing with G-Man to deliver Gordon back

  77. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    assimilated
    they have high brain power so they're used as backups for smart minds, they themselves ain't the combine, but they very well might have some og combine mind scans uploaded into them

  78. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    how the frick do you stop a multidimensional spanning empire?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You close the portal.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You don't. Even the games made it clear that the best you can do is to simply shut the Combine portal out to prevent them from going back to Earth. No heroic "attack their homeworld" narrative just a simple resignation of escaping.

        You don't. You close the portal and hope they're just so massive that they don't even notice you're gone.

        what is the purpose of gman luring them to earth though?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Still a mystery. The ending of Half-Life Alyx kinda hints at it with how G-Man, or at least his employer intends to keep the Combine on Earth for something.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You dont. Dont believe me, check out Epistle 3. It shows just how much fricked humankind really is.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You don't. Even the games made it clear that the best you can do is to simply shut the Combine portal out to prevent them from going back to Earth. No heroic "attack their homeworld" narrative just a simple resignation of escaping.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You don't. You close the portal and hope they're just so massive that they don't even notice you're gone.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      A virus

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I actually don't mind the soft confirmation of him being an intelligent virus in HLA.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I actually don't mind the soft confirmation of him being an intelligent virus in HLA.

        What's this thing about GMan being a virus? VR gives me motion sickness so just spoil me.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          In Half-Life Alyx he's trapped in a icosahedron shaped prison, so people started making fan theories that he's like a virus because the icosahedron shape reminds them of viruses.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It was more than just the shape, it had the stem and legs as well. Very clearly meant to resemble a virus, with Gman being the RNA inside.

            It's that, plus all the talk of containment and quarantine (obviously referencing the fight against Xen wildlife, but likely has double meaning).
            Additionally, and perhaps most critically, was the Breengrub tweets translated into audio here:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdue3gcaAA0

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        reminder that the combine initially corrupted the shu'ulathoi with a mind virus

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Yes, but it's implied that those who managed to escape set to work subverting the virus. It's plausible that Gman is the Combine's own virus re-engineered and turned against them. His "employers" being the surviving Shu'ulathoi.
          The exact details of how it all works aren't really important, it's all extradimensional and kind of beyond human comprehension.

          Of course none of Breengrub is officially canon so they could end up going in a completely different direction in the next game. The whole virus shaped prison could be a red herring, just a little nod to Laidlaw and nothing more.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Some multi dimensional bullshit device obviously.

  79. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    So what the frick was the deal with the portal and half life nods? Was it ever going to amount to anything more than just cameos or were we gonna get Gordon meeting GLaDOS? What about the giant Cave Johnson head?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >So what the frick was the deal with the portal and half life nods?
      Valve was planning big with it in Episode 3 but suddenly they got cold feet, hence the cancellation and the Portal 2 timeskip.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >So what the frick was the deal with the portal and half life nods?
      Valve was planning big with it in Episode 3 but suddenly they got cold feet, hence the cancellation and the Portal 2 timeskip.

      There was going to be a co op game like the one in portal 2 but one player has the gravity gun and the other a portal gun

  80. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    so is gman an interdimensional space wizard or what
    does he actually work for combine or some completely different organisation?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      In HL1 Xen ends up in the hands of his "employers", likely an unknown third party that at this point doesn't give a shit about Earth in the first place. They weren't the Combine though, because if they had control over Xen they would also realize it's role in the teleportation technology Black Mesa had.
      In HL2 Eli is aware that Freeman is coming back, Kleiner is aware("I expected more warning" which could be taken in either way if it weren't for the fact he was literally keeping his HEV suit polished specifically for him), and Barney just happened to be around at the right place and moment to prevent him from going to the place where he could not have escaped from. So the resistance movement likely hired Gman there, possibly to assassinate Breen and/or destroy the citadel. I wonder what the frick did they give him for that small favor, though.
      Gman and Breen also literally spell it out for you that these services are up for the highest bidder, and Gman was considering some unusual offers.
      So it's possible he was hired by some Combine bigshot right after Breen died, remember that at the start of Ep1 he walks up to Gordon to talk but gets interrupted by the Vorts. But all in all it's unknown if that's the case or what objective for Gordon Gman had.

  81. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Not enough people question the Vortigaunts. The helpful, eager-to-please, hivemind aliens. Completely stranded on Earth, with nowhere to go. They're helping the humans remove the hostile force from the planet. Hell they're so much more powerful than humans when freed of their slave collars that the Resistance would be doomed without them.

    If they were to ever, say, want to take over the planet once the Combine were gone, who could stop them?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      There doesn't seem to be all that many of them and they're not THAT much more powerful. One vort could probably take about 5 resistance fighters, they die or get captured by the Combine all the time. Imo their main asset is knowing the Xen wildlife thats invading the planet.

  82. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'm 100% sure we'll meet different more cold and manipulative version of GLaDOS on board of the Borealis if HL3 ever comes out.

  83. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The original founding race of the combine is in fact humanity from the far future

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Man, I would really hate that. I hate the trope that it turns out that these incomprehensible aliens are humanity in a far-flung future or how it's from our pasts and shit. It's just a lame twist that adds nothing imo. I really hope Half-Life won't fall into such tropes.

  84. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I wish HL2 retained some of the grit from beta. Aside from the sea level dropping it doesn't seem combine is doing all that much to harvest Earth.

  85. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    These were like ambassadors.

  86. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'm sorry but the word "epistle" is just really homosexual and for that reason alone we should ignore it completely

  87. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Does no one think that the whole thing might be a simulation and that Gman is like our connection to the "real" world? That's why when Gman is trapped everything kinda breaks in reality

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