Spoiler Warning Half Life 2 Special EP12: Post-Grad Commando

By Josh Posted Saturday Oct 29, 2011

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 84 comments

Link (YouTube)

And you only thought there were three episodes this week! In reality, I just flubbed my upload of the first one on tuesday. It’s actually pretty easy to forget that I’m on the wrong account when I go to upload an episode, and in this case I tried to upload episode nine onto my own ancient youtube account. Didn’t even realize my mistake until I got up for my night shift hours later.

The perils of an amateur, scatterbrained video editor I guess.


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84 thoughts on “Spoiler Warning Half Life 2 Special EP12: Post-Grad Commando

  1. uberfail says:

    I was almost hoping it had been set to private, to complete the youtube failure.

  2. mumakil says:

    :O there is more of josh on the youtubes?

    Where can we find this magical land of breaking games and being just cool?

    1. Josh says:

      There aren’t any videos on the account, it was just one I made for personal use back in 2006.

      1. mumakil says:

        aw :(

        well the episode was funny and I especially liked when u fired the bouncy ball towards the combine and it went into the small room and went crazy. :D

        Wish u guys had noticed it.

  3. Mailbox says:

    Uh Oh, Turrets!. You are now almost at the fun little meta game. Turret Defense: Half-Life 2. I always take a turret from the previous encounter and carry it to the next that way I always have one more turret that you are suppose to.

    Where is this mysterious video of Shamus shooting Alyx with a turret?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I do that same thing.Much easier to defend yourself that way.

    2. Tohron says:

      I think the shooting Alyx is part of his “Press the Button” video.

      1. noahpocalypse says:

        I believe that all of the footage in that video is from Episode 2.

      1. Mailbox says:

        Haha. I’ve done some of that. Gordon is a real jerk.

        1. Slothful says:

          That’s nothing, I’ve killed Dr. Magnusson by putting things in his way.

      2. Aulayan says:

        You know. I keep thinking of you as the Paragon of the group. Then I see vids like that, or the Rollercoaster Tycoon one, and realize. You were Josh before Josh was Josh.

      3. swenson says:

        Ahaha, Shamus is a jerk. That’s hilarious.

    3. retas14 says:

      What just one turret, i always take them all and end up with eight at the combine portal. Way more fun to just sit back and enjoy the turret firework of DOOM.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        Naturally nowadays we have learned that such a part of the game needs to be separated with door that lead you to a loading screen that prevents players from some silly forethought.

      2. Velkrin says:

        I did the same thing. Ended up breaking the teleporter cutscene while I was at it.

  4. JPH says:

    Aw, you skipped the part with the fan that you have to stick a cinder block in.


    1. McNutcase says:

      I always use the shovel. Tried to use the big board, but the fan splintered it immediately. Yet somehow the much thinner wood of the shovel handle works so well the fan motor burns out. WTF, Valve?

      1. tengokujin says:

        The wood for the handles are usually hardened and can often take more abuse than a plank?

        1. McNutcase says:

          Not really. It’s all softwood lumber, no real difference beyond I can easily snap off a shovel handle, while there’s no chance I can do the same to a 2×12. The difference is the plank is flagged as a destructible physobject, while the shovel is a non-destructible physobject.

          1. Aldowyn says:

            lemme put it this way: YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EASY IT IS TO BREAK THINGS.

            I was trying to fix a broken catapult all day. We snapped 3 2x4s in less than twenty-four hours, using only 120 pounds of counterweight.

      2. retas14 says:

        One time i broke the fan with the shoe. I never even thought it would work i was just putting crap there to make it fly and hit me in the face when it gets unstuck.

      3. supflidowg says:

        well used the paint bucket to stop the fan and it worked

  5. Spammy says:

    So, as I’m finally upgrading from a computer bought in 2004 to a gaming computer bought in 2011 and getting ready to catch up on the years of PC gaming that I’ve missed, I have to say that I’ve enjoyed your Half-Life 2 videos from the seat of someone who has never played HL2.

    I get a sense of what makes the game good without being spoiled, despite all the HL2 episodes, I don’t feel like I have any better grasp of the plot than I already had before I started watching. It’s similar to what happened with your Amnesia video, where I got to watch the crew playing Amnesia, but that didn’t wind up hindering my experience because I still knew nothing about the plot or pacing or how the game goes.

    And to a lesser extent this applies to your Mass Effect series and the New Vegas series. While I’ve seen a lot of the characters, dialog, and story, throughout all of them I get the sense that there’s stuff I haven’t seen and need to experience on my own. I suppose this really only happens with games you hosts like, as I didn’t get this feeling at all from Fallout 3.

    So I guess what I’m saying is that you do a good job of selling games to people who haven’t played them without making it seem like they’ve seen everything there is to see through the videos.

    Spoiler Warning is great.

    1. Cyranor says:

      That’s the great thing about these kind of videos is 2 people can play the same game and have completely different experiences. Its also why the show is so fun to watch (well the commentary helps a lot too) as you hear what everyone has done differently.

    2. Samkathran says:

      In the case of Half Life 2, it’s honestly just a very hard game to get the story out of at all. I’ve only watched a couple episodes of the HL2 Spoiler Warning, and I’ve learned at least a dozen things that I never knew before. I found this a bit surprising because I’ve played through HL2 TWICE, so it makes sense to me that watching an LP wouldn’t spoil much.

      For example, all I honestly know about Dr Breen is his name. Who is he and what does he actually do? What is his relation to the Combine? For that matter, who are the Combine and why don’t they like me (I never knew Nova Prospekt was for converting people in Combine, wow!)? How do these people and events relate to HL1?

      It wouldn’t be until years after I finished playing HL2 that I first heard any mention of an event called the “7 Hours War”. I assume that took place after HL1? For what is apparently an important event, why did I never even hear it mentioned, never mind having it explained?

      From the few videos of the LP I’ve watched, it seems like you’ll never get any of these questions answered unless you know exactly where to look and stand around for about 5 minutes. Some blame can be put on me (the player), but why am I able to miss critical plot details at all? Back during Bioshock and Fallout 3, I tended to side with Shamus when people in the comments would point out, “hey, that was actually explained on that computer terminal/audio recording”, and he would respond how it doesn’t really count as explained if he has to go searching for the explanation in some obscure place (paraphrased slightly).

      After watching some of this LP, however, I’m not sure how I feel about HL2 anymore. Sure, I probably missed a few details about the various areas in Bioshock, but I understood the overall story behind Rapture. Yeah, Fallout 3 had an awful story, but I could explain the plot to you if I had to. Looking back, I have no freaking clue what happened in Half Life 2 at all.

      I might have to find some time to give HL2 another try. It would be interesting to play though each area normally, then look at a wiki to see all the things I missed. I can only imagine how much there will be…

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        The difference between obscure things in fallout 3 and half life is that fallout 3 requires you to scrounge for specific places and then search for specific information.In half life,youll get to all the places and if you are attentive enough,you will learn almost everything.Vortigaunts being slaves in 1,you find that out if you just look at their collars and see how they dont attack you in the factory,unless the controllers are around,you dont have to search for a specific computer in a specific vault,somewhere off the main quest line.Sure,the story is mostly hidden,but not buried in a random location as well.

      2. krellen says:

        You’re playing someone who shouldn’t know what’s going on in Half-Life 2, and they deliver information the way Gordon would gather it – by ambience, by things going on around him. Since Gordon doesn’t speak, he can’t ask questions to get exposition, and rarely is in a position to have the time to do so anyway.

        This is not the case in a lot of other games.

        1. Dude says:

          Er, how is that any different from the games he mentioned? Bioshock has you playing a plane crash survivor (yeah yeah, would you kindly etc); Fallout 3 has you playing a wet behind the ears vault dweller. They get their information from gathering it as well.

          1. Indy says:

            The difference is that your Fallout character can speak, ask questions, and the Boyoshock character gathers a lot of the exposition through audio diaries which seem like an abstraction (no audio diary ever mentions the audio diary device).

            There are examples in both games where visual, ambient storytelling is great but this game relies on it.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You managed to get alyx killed?Huh,your game breaking skills are legendary Josh.I didnt manage that even on my first play through,when the game came out.Maybe thats because I didnt pump her full of led in the first encounter.

    1. JPH says:

      I played it recently, and she died multiple times in that exact encounter Josh talked about. I think they made it easier for her to die or something, ’cause it was hard to keep her from dying on hard mode.

      1. el_b says:

        i only ever got her killed in the apartments just after the prison. theres one two entranced room where you both enter together and a dozen guys just charge in and go crazy on you. its an easy fight with the two of you, but one time i tried to run round the back and rather than being just outside they were all inside the room straight away and all tore into her at once. i didnt even get through the door before the screen went black.

      2. Someone says:

        I never got her killed anywhere in HL2 or the episodes. I didn’t even think it was possible.

    2. swenson says:

      Alyx isn’t all that hard to kill in HL2, surprisingly. She really only gets upgraded to Made of Iron status in the episodes, because they realized how annoying escort missions are when the person you’re escorting dies easily.

      Yet again, Valve gets something right!

  7. I for one agree that 1991 is the best year, with all the best people born in it. And Rutskarn.

    1. Destrustor says:

      I object! 1989 was the obviously better year, as it is the year the world was blessed with my existence.

      1. Syal says:

        You’re all babies. 1987 was the peak of civilization, and everything has been downhill since.

        1. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

          Seriously people: ’85. Get with the program!

          1. Aldowyn says:

            No love for the evens? :(

  8. Sozac says:

    Breen kinda sounds like Saren from ME1. Except Saren was also partially being mind-controlled. I mean if the PC had the choice to go with Reapers it wouldn’t happen. PCs never give up the way NPCs can.

    1. Someone says:

      I think Breen actually has the right idea. If it wasn’t for G-Man and his shenanigans, the rebellion would have failed and humanity would have been exterminated by the Combine.

      1. swenson says:

        I’ve often wondered about that, actually. On one hand, he sold us out as slaves to the Combine. On the other, we’re not all dead. So you can obviously see his point of view.

        Regardless, he’s still annoying, if only for his arrogance and attitude. Alyx has the right response for him in the end.

        1. Someone says:

          Sold us out? That’s debatable. On the one hand he didn’t have much choice, seeing how Earth’s forces were obliterated in only seven hours. On the other hand he insisted on running the test despite the malfunctioning equipment back in the original Half Life, which caused the whole alien invasion in the first place. But then again, Episode 2 suggests that he did so under pressure of G-Man. It’s hard to say how much of the whole deal is his fault and how much is just him trying to pick up the pieces at this point.

          I found his attitude more tragic than annoying, because I can understand where he’s coming from. If you look at it from his point of view: he spent years trading favors with the Combine leadership, doing everything he can to build humanity a solid position in their larger social structure. He was probably promised a great deal, like secrets of immortality and mankind’s ascent to a higher form of being and such. And then this so-called One Free Man shows up in his office one day and, probably thinking himself a messiah of some sort, starts screwing up everything he worked so hard to accomplish. In Breen’s eyes you’re just a failure of a lab assistant with delusions of grandeur, doomed to fall in your struggle against an omnipotent interdimensional empire, and take all of humanity with you because the Combine won’t give it any more chances after being met with defiance.

      2. el_b says:

        youve just discovered half lifes true shocking twist. breen is actally the protagonist, youre just the backup who wades in and mops up civil protection once hes saved humanity and gained the combines trust.

        1. Someone says:

          The weird thing is: this is probably true to the canon, except both you and, arguably, Breen are acting at G-man’s behest. Which, I guess, makes…G-man the “protagonist”?

    2. Gale says:

      Y’know, I kind of wonder… If not for Breen, or at least someone willing and able to strike that kind of deal, would humanity have actually survived? I mean, put Gordon back in the picture; he’s strong, but he’s just one guy. Could he really have done much better? Best case scenario I can see is him fighting the Combine, striking several key victories against their forces, and probably going off to another dimension to try and cut out the heart of the beast at its source. But what does the rest of the world do, outside of Gordon? I figure the same thing that led to Breen making the decision he made; they’d be hopelessly and overwhelmingly destroyed. How many would have died, in the ongoing conflict? Even if he didn’t fail in his everything-or-nothing strike against the Combine, what percentage of humanity would Gordon return to with his victory? When Gordon wakes up, there is still a useful, sustainable* number of humans on the planet. Unrestrained procreation, at least in several major residential areas, is not necessary to rebuild the population to meaningful levels. In fact, even though human reproduction has been limited, there is a rather cavalier attitude towards murdering people when they become troublesome. This implies to me that there is an excess of bodies. Breen didn’t just save the bare minimum of humanity he could get away with; he convinced the Combine to let him keep a generous surplus.

      *I would argue that a sustainable human population is desirable for the Combine because otherwise, Breen would have nothing to bargain with. If we were more useful dead, we’d be dead. Breen evidently convinced the Combine that there are more uses for a constant, controlled number of bodies than there is for a single lump sum of perishable materials, and the anti-sexytimes field implies that particular number has been exceeded.

      Gordon, as far as I can see, is being used by the G-man to fight the Combine. I think it’s very telling that he was inserted into the situation after things have reached a state of relative equilibrium; he arrives at precisely the moment when the resistance is ready to really start fighting back, and ensure that they aren’t defeated at some critical point and lose all momentum. It’s only due to Breen’s extensive and impressive efforts that Gordon even has a chance to launch a counteroffensive.

      Of course, he had no way of knowing what Gordon was capable of, and would probably have continued to be a serious impediment no matter what. His (probable) death was necessary and desirable. But I would not for a moment begrudge him the respect due anyone who has saved humanity; in fact, I would say that – despite his thoroughly earned position as Gordon’s primary antagonist – in the fight to save humanity and destroy the Combine, nobody has contributed more.

      I would argue that Breen, in fact, was Gordon’s greatest ally.

      1. Someone says:

        This pretty much sums up my opinion, though as I mentioned above Breen has also played an essential role in enabling the invasion to occur in the first place, and it’s hard to tell if he did so unwittingly.

        From my point of view, it’s all a big play set up by G-Man. G-Man engineered the resonance cascade and the Xen takeover in the first game. He might have helped Breen gain his position of power, possibly without him knowing. And now he inserted Gordon, the “right man in the wrong place”, into the proceedings. He appears to have calculated the exact events Gordon would go through and influenced them to gain the exact outcome he desired. Ultimately, he probably could have just popped Gordon on top of the City 17 Citadel with a bazooka and saved everyone involved some time, but I guess he really needed the events to unfold the way they did: Black Mesa East raided and destroyed, Nova Prospekt taken out and the resistance launched. And really, Gordon would have been unable to progress if it weren’t for numerous lucky coincidences, like that gunship crashing into the prison or Dog being around to lift the Citadel’s wall and grant you access. Something tells me that G-Man somehow predicted all these events, and let you loose at the exact time and place where they all would eventually come together.

        1. Gale says:

          Mm… Sure, I would say Breen had a certain level of responsibility in opening the way for the Combine to attack, but with or without the G-man’s influence, I don’t think I would blame him for it. I mean, really, the study of parallel worlds would be an incredible leap forward in the very way we think about reality; this kind of stuff is what science is for. Sure, he may have known that it would be dangerous, but could anyone seriously anticipate a multiverse-conquering empire to immediately stream through and take over the world? And let’s not forget, Gordon himself played a pretty significant part in the experiment, and presumably the studies leading up to it. If we’re talking about responsibility (though I understand that you, personally, aren’t trying to blame anyone) Gordon must accept his fair share.

          I don’t know if I would go so far as to say that the G-man accounted and planned for every little coincidence; like most games, I feel that it only seems like there’s one possible route through a situation because the programmers only designed one route for the player to take. If the Nova Prospekt siege actually happened, and a helibug didn’t crash through a wall, Gordon would’ve found another way through. It’s just a wall. It’s like living through a memory; there’s only one way it can actually go, because it’s already happened, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have gone any other way at the time. I think the G-man dropped Gordon off on the train into City 17 because he needed Gordon to support the resistance, and perhaps gain the trust of the vortigaunts, for the purpose of creating a serious threat to the greater Combine. Merely deposing Breen wouldn’t help him achieve anything.

          1. Someone says:

            I have a suspicion that Breen’s insistence on running the test wasn’t purely scientific. That he somehow, perhaps by way of G-Man, has predicted the resonance cascade and it’s consequences, and attempted to engineer a power grab of some sort. What ticks me off about the post-Black Mesa incident history is that Breen, of all people, ended up being the Administrator of Earth. He just doesn’t seem like an influential enough figure, – the guy’s a lab director. You’d expect a president or an ambassador, a prominent politician of some kind, to take that sort of responsibility, not just a research facility manager. My guess would be that Breen used the Xen and teleport research data from Black Mesa to gain influence after the Incident: before the Combine forces have shown up Earth experienced an invasion of alien lifeforms, which sporadically teleported in across the globe and wrought havoc upon society and ecosystem. Powers that be needed information to fight back against this threat, and Breen was able to provide it. Perhaps by the time Combine has invaded Breen was already very close to the top, which enabled him to surrender on behalf of mankind and secure himself the position he is occupying. Maybe he did all this just for the sake of power, or maybe he expected the Combine and wanted to share in their knowledge and technology, for himself or for humanity as a whole.

            I keep coming back to Dog lifting the Citadel wall. Okay, sure, maybe there was another way into Nova Prospekt, but how do you scale a 30 meter high moving wall made of metal? And then cross the abyss between it and the Citadel? And after you do all that, you need to get into the weapon confiscation field WITH the gravity gun, make your way to Breen’s quarters and… really, there are too many lucky coincidences on Freeman’s path for me not to suspect G-Man’s involvement, especially since he kept showing up throughout his journey as if to make sure everything is going according to plan. And neither the resistance nor vortigaunts would have been able to stop the Combine retaliation were it not for the events of the Episodes… but by then G-Man has lost control over Gordon, which makes me think he never intended to free Earth, just to piss off the Combine enough to warrant a second invasion.

            1. Gale says:

              I have a suspicion that Breen's insistence on running the test wasn't purely scientific. That he somehow, perhaps by way of G-Man, has predicted the resonance cascade and it's consequences, and attempted to engineer a power grab of some sort.

              Eh… That theory insists upon a lot of events and evidence that I just don’t think exists in the games, and creates an image of an incredibly nefarious Breen that kind of runs counter to the tragic and sympathetic light I feel Valve paints him in. Sure, he’s antagonistic and dismissive towards the resistance, but why wouldn’t you be? In his eyes, they’re thoughtlessly endangering the entire human race and prolonging a meaningless fight they have no chance of winning, all because they’re too stubborn to understand an impossible situation when they see one. I never thought it was especially strange for Breen to end up in the position of human-Combine mediator. I feel that a major dramatic theme of the series is that heroes and villains aren’t born into their roles; as the G-man is so fond of saying, the right person in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world, and often enough, the mythology that develops around especially influential figures can cloud the fact that they were merely doing what they could to survive. In Breen’s case, I think he simply had the misfortune of being the only figure of authority present at the epicenter of the invasion, or even just the only person there who understood enough about them to try reasoning with them.

              And, frankly, I just don’t buy that a character in a Valve game would intentionally induce an an alien apocalypse in the vague hope of becoming the lackey of a floating psychic eyeball. Empty promises of power and/or comfort have often been used as a motivator for individuals to betray their people in a million different stories about small groups being taken over by bigger groups, and each time it’s made everyone look incredibly dumb. If someone’s that cynical and distrustful of the people they’ve known for years, why would they possibly think that some hostile strangers would be remotely likely to stay true to whatever honeyed words they might offer as temptation? It’s a trick that’s literally older than print. And even then, even if he wanted to be at the top of the pile, what little power Breen has is overwhelmed by the enormous level of accountability. He does what the Combine says or he dies. He keeps humanity obedient or he dies. He makes a single mistake, and everyone dies. If he was that obsessed with meaningless titles and empty power, he wouldn’t have been a scientist; he’d have been a politician.

              I keep coming back to Dog lifting the Citadel wall. Okay, sure, maybe there was another way into Nova Prospekt, but how do you scale a 30 meter high moving wall made of metal?

              I don’t know. Plane? Helicopter? Enormous catapult? A Gordon-sized railgun + parachute? Steal a Combine dropship? I really think you’re reading too much into this. Valve needed you to get inside the Citadel, so they got you inside the Citadel. There being a wall that Dog was conveniently able to lift doesn’t make more sense than any other means of incursion. Yeah, I’m absolutely certain G-man had a great deal of influence over many significant events throughout the series, but stuff like a prison wall being accidentally broken by a falling ship? If that’s true, then I think it would be the most ridiculous plot point Valve has ever dreamed up, and at that moment, the whole series would turn into a farce for me. If he can micromanage reality to that extent, then there’s no point to any of this, because with that level of power, you may as well just make the Combine Overking choke to death on a pretzel.

              but by then G-Man has lost control over Gordon, which makes me think he never intended to free Earth, just to piss off the Combine enough to warrant a second invasion.

              Thinking about it more, I don’t even know that G-man wants anything, at least in the sense of having a personal stake in the proceedings. Breen talks about Gordon’s services being open to the highest bidder; what currency an entity like G-man could value is open for debate. Could be materials, could be favours, could be people. Could be any and all of the above, in sufficient quantities. This contradicts a few things I’ve said earlier today, but I’m actually not sure if G-man himself particularly cares about striking a blow against the Combine, or if he’s merely been hired – or ordered – to make it happen.

              1. Gale says:

                Man, what am I doing? I spent two hours writing that. Which I’d be absolutely fine with, but I’m not even that interested in Half-Life. I’ve played it exactly once. I could see why people love and respect it so much, but it didn’t really do much for me personally. I like that it can offer these kinds of varied and nuanced interpretation of a character who only has a handful of appearances, but jeez. I should really save it for the stuff I like.

                1. Slothful says:

                  Hey, it’s fun to analyze things like this, and Half-Life’s lack of proper exposition combined with all the details it leaves for the inquisitive to find makes it a hotbed for speculation and theorizing like this.

                  To be honest, I think that most of the stuff that hasn’t been shown really doesn’t have any definite story about it, and even if there was a clear plan about what’s going on behind the scenes, Valve wouldn’t think twice about changing everything between games. From what I’ve read, at least half of what they wrote for this game originally got cut.

        2. MrWhales says:

          I believe it is canon that G Man is somewhat responsible for Breen’s power. Whether he knows it or not, I don’t recall.

          Maybe G Man just likes the sport? He is an inter-dimensional being, so time travel would be in his power. It could be that he sees this as a game of sorts, and manipulates events to get the most interesting outcome.

          1. Someone says:

            I think he’s just pursuing his own agenda which is probably against everyone’s interests.

      2. MrWhales says:

        I think that gives too much credit to Breen’s planning ability. He may have known of the resistance, but they were being eradicated when Freeman showed up. And neither of them had complete, and at some points any, control on the situation at hand. Freeman had been in a stasis environment by the G Man since the accident. In the mean time, it may have been a combination of luck and Breen’s abilities to talk to the Combine that saved humanity to this point.

        I bring G Man back up, as he obviously is outside of the control of everyone, that maybe he is what convinced the Combine to spare humanity. He is a quite capable being and has ties to both Breen and Freeman, so maybe he is influential on the Combine.

        Extrapolating that further. Maybe the Combine see G Man as a problem. think about it, a being that can be anywhere and can control just about anything so far. If you were a race bent on control, wouldn’t you want to get rid of that? So maybe the Combine keep the humans as a sort of bait. While he tries to get Freeman and Breen to do what he plans, the Combine are trying to hunt him down? That would explain why they sometimes send inexplicably large sums of force after one free man.

        1. Gale says:

          Breen’s planning ability..? Oh, no, I think I wasn’t clear. I am absolutely certain that Breen was sincere in his efforts to kill Gordon and stamp out the resistance. They made it increasingly difficult for him to justify the existence of the human race to the Combine, and thus needed to be put down as quickly as possible. I don’t think he saw any potential for their success, or hope in their efforts. I describe him as Gordon’s ally because his work was instrumental in making it possible for Gordon to do what he does best, even unwittingly.

      3. Anorak says:

        I always figured that the G Man is playing a very long game. He’s an enemy of the combine, yes. So why did he set up earth for an invasion? Maybe he’s hoping that we (humans) are resourceful enough to do some damage to the combine? If that was the plan, he was right. Gordon is like the Terminator. He. Never. Stops. Coming.

        But how does the G Man know Gordon’s capable of everything, and that he’s man enough to do all the things he does?

        As previously pointed out, he’s the Right Man in the Wrong Place.

        G man probably has HUNDREDS of the Right Men, to insert into the Wrong Places. Like Adrian Sheppard.

        Maybe the G Man (being an extra dimensional being), is doing this on lots of different planets in lots of different universes, intentionally setting up the combine to invade somewhere, in the hopes of creating the right kind of circumstances to bring them down completely.

        And now I’m imagining the G Man is Samuel L Jackson from Unbreakable.

        So Breen is another kind of pawn. His sole reason for existing, as far as the G Man is concerned, is to keep the situation on Earth balanced enough so that Gordon can go in at the right time, and unbalance it in favour of the G Man.
        If the Combine had wiped out humanity, as they should have done, there would have been no use for Gordon.

        I had a point in there somewhere. I’ve forgotten what it was.

        1. Zukhramm says:

          Something like that is what I think. The point might never even have been for the Combine to invade earth but rather the G-man (or whoever he works for) might have monitored multiple civilizations and seeing Black Mesa working on portal technology that might be useful agains the Combine deciding to jump start them.

  9. swenson says:

    Entanglement is definitely my favorite of the Nova Prospekt chapters. Nova Prospekt kind of freaks me out (and by “kind of” I mean “completely utterly terrifies me” between the shotgun Combine and the dark and spooky atmosphere and the occasional headcrab zombie), but Entanglement is mostly just really cool. You see all the Combine tech combined with the old human stuff, you get to meet Alyx again, and you get to play around with turrets. Fun times.

    My favorite chapter in the game for pure fun purposes, though, is tied between Water Hazard and Our Benefactors. Water Hazard for the airboat (which is awesome), Our Benefactors for the superpowered gravity gun, which is still the most entertaining weapon I’ve ever used in a videogame. But Entanglement still has a fond spot in my heart.

  10. Slothful says:

    I sorta wonder what’s going on in the rest of the facility while all of this is happening. Why does the wall start moving when Gordon gets into that gulch? Do the Combine just know where he is, and they’re trying to squish him, or is there something bigger going on? If they know where Gordon is, why don’t they send more men in to stop him? Is Alyx distracting them or do they not know about her? So many questions.

    It’s also unclear why the Antlion Guardians are storming the base, since they’re not subject to the pheropods that Gordon’s using and I thought that they were supposed to be trying to protect the colony, not attack randomly.

    1. James Pony says:

      The wall moves because there’s at least one wall always moving because that’s how the Combine roll. Maybe someone saw Gordon there and shrugged briefly before poking the buttons, or maybe it was just schedule wall-moving and Gordon being there at that exact time was just a coincidence.

      Gordon turned off the thumpers and it’s mating season. Why WOULDN’T the antlions be jumping all over the place?

  11. olof says:

    I just love the scene with the washing machines! I don’t know why. The whole level is great, but that single room is just awesome.

  12. Stupidguy12 says:

    Not going to lie, but in this part I picked up a turret and carried it around in front of me. It mowed down a surprising amount of stuff, and made the boss fight against the antlion queen or whatever that thing near the end of nova prospekt was. just stand still and let the turret do the shooting, and walk out with full ammo.

    1. Jakale says:

      If I had thought of that I probably would have done it. As it was I reveled in the luxury of sending my endlessly spawning horde of bugs into every hallway and hanging back where I couldn’t get shot. I was really sad every time they stopped following.
      So it’s really weird for me watching Josh be his usual self and run ahead to shoot and be shot.

  13. Reet says:

    You know, for all the crap we give josh for being a terrible player, he’s pretty damn good with that shotgun. Or at least a lot better than I am.

  14. SeanR says:

    The laundry room was one of my favorite places – every time I play the game, I remember about it as I play through the jail cell areas and rush past those to get to the laundry room. I don’t even know why.

  15. Annikai says:

    My major revelation in this episode was “Holy Crap I’m a year older than Rutskarn!” I don’t know why that surprised me.

    1. retas14 says:

      Hey me too.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Dont be daft,hes lying.No way he is over 12.

    3. swenson says:

      I was surprised he’s only one year older than me. I always forget he’s the youngun of the group.

  16. rrgg says:

    You guys are still doing that thing where you all stop mid-sentence whenever the game’s loading screen comes up.

    1. MrWhales says:

      I just thought that was meta-trolling… It really got my last video, and I was disappointed when they talked through the ones here.

  17. Grag says:

    Ruts was born in 91?

    Thanks for making me feel old, spoiler warning.

    I was in junior high, and magic: the crackening was hitting in a huge way. I remember it being banned because it was causing arguments and a few accusations of theft. Good times.

    1. decius says:

      Remember pogs?

      1. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

        I had this awesome slammer with spikes on it. Man, that thing tore up those pogs so good.

    2. Chuck says:

      I remember that with Pokemon cards.

      Born in 89, if that helps.

  18. Another_Scott says:

    If the drinking game doesn’t have it yet: I propose we should now take a drink whenever the last words of an episode go to Rutskarn. It would give us a parting shot to numb our barin from the pain of the last joke/jab/pun he leaves us with…

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I seem to remember a lot of episodes also ending with Josh’s evil laughter after Shamus calls him out on some troll. In fact I remember people at some point mentioning that Josh kinda has the upper hand in picking “the last laugh” since he’s the one doing the editing…

  19. Chris B Chikin says:

    @1:34 Inception Trolling!

  20. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I think I prefer this “snippets of the plot” approach to the alternative. I mean, the game is linear plotwise so we don’t need to be reminded of the background info for choices or some such and it beats the hell out of the “captain obvious stuck on repetition” that the devs provide you with nowadays. Whether it’s an AI, a commlink to some NPC or a fairy companion they just never shut up “go there, go there”, “they’re chasing us! we must run”, “hurry! jump!”, “run!” “person X must be nearby”, “that must be where they’re holding person x”, “hurry, we have to save person x” yip yip yip…

  21. Mixmastermind says:

    I never knew that room at 7:00 even existed and I’ve played HL2 like 5 times.

  22. Gary says:

    I’m watching these in succession and I can’t help but notice that ALMOST every time a loading screen comes up every one suddenly gets quiet. Instead of talking through, 90% of the time the group just pauses and does what every gamer does when a loading screen comes up….STARES at it. :D

    I find it humorous :)

  23. Even says:

    You actually missed a part of the scripted sequence at the start of “Entanglement” when you rushed for the door when first meeting Alyx. I just did a playthrough to refresh my memories about the game couple days ago and the scene played very differently for me. Walking through the “tunnel” section I suddenly hear gunfire from above and suddenly a Combine soldier’s corpse drops down in front of me (which explains the sounds of gunfire when you first see her running to the right). I look up, suddenly see Alyx yelling “Hold it right there!” with her gun pointed towards me. She then backs down right after she realizes it’s just Gordon.

    So long story short, I guess the scene sort of expects you to be looking back up there anyway so I’d say it was more of a problem with breaking the scene which I’d assume to be due to sprinting across the tunnel part. So it ends up with you only seeing Alyx drop down.

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