Difference between revisions of "Half-Life universe"

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(They are also semi-biotechnologically advance as well, since they revealed to used unwilling Bioenergy from their conquer species.)
 
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'''Half-Life''' (stylized ''HλLF-LIFE'' only first game of series or just '''λ''') is a series of first-person shooter video games that share a single science fiction alternate history. The games in the series all utilize either the GoldSrc or Source engines and are linear, narrative, single-player titles.
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[[File:Half Life.jpg|thumb|right|Film Fiction.net The Future of the Half-Life Universe]]
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The '''Half-Life universe''' encompasses the first person shooter Half-Life series, as well as the puzzle-based Portal series.
  
'''Portal''' is a series of first-person puzzle-platform video games developed by Valve Corporation. Set in the Half-Life universe, the two games in the series, Portal (2007) and Portal 2 (2011), center on a woman test subject, Chell, forced to undergo a series of tests within (now abandoned) the Aperture Science Enrichment Center by a malicious artificial intelligence computer, GLaDOS, that controls the facility. Each test involves using the "Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device" - the "portal gun" - that creates a human-sized wormhole-like connection between nearly any two flat surfaces.
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== Setting ==
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'''Black Mesa''' is a US research corporation, experimenting with [[teleportation]].  Its New Mexico headquarters, the Black Mesa Research Facility, is a sprawling complex of advanced industrial and scientific facilities and serves as the setting of the first <i>Half-Life</i> and its expansions.
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'''Aperture Science''' is a private company that competes with Black Mesa for government funding, with a comically haphazard approach to basic research and development.  In addition to stable [[wormholes]] and an alternative in-universe teleportation technology, their achievements include [[artificial intelligence|AI]]-controlled robotic systems (including reconfigurable architecture and weapon turrets), [[mind uploading]], and [[cryonics]].
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The '''Combine''' or '''Universal Union''', a multiverse-spanning, highly advanced technological, as well as semi-biotechnological (as revealing in <i>Half-Life: Alyx</i> that some of their technology are fueled from living beings (via the health goo seen in the both ''HL2'', its episodes, and ''HL:A'' were Antlion Grub blood) civilization, are the main antagonists of the series, starting in fully since <i>Half-Life 2</i>.  Led by 'advisors' (large grublike aliens wholly dependent on their technology for physical tasks), the Combine subjugates other species using [[synthetic biology]] and overwhelming military might transport through inter-universe portals.  <i>Half Life 2</i> and its sequels are set in and around the eastern European '''City 17''', one of a series of Combine-controlled urban centers in which human survivors of their invasion (and the resulting ecological devastation) are concentrated.
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== Futurist themes and concepts ==
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=== Advanced Engineering ===
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The Black Mesa Research facility depicts an organization capable of extremely advanced feats using roughly 1990s-era technology, and encompasses a hydroelectric dam, nuclear reactors, rocket engine testing facilities, massive terrariums for studying captured Xen specimens, and multiple advanced particle accelerator systems.  The complex is also shown to be capable of trans-orbital rocket launches and maintaining a satellite constellation.
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Combine forces are based in and coordinated from "Citadels" - massive structures containing all the facilities they would need to manufacture, maintain, and support their forces locally, and establish portals for communication and transport with other Combine worlds.  Citadels are manufactured off-world and installed in-place through portals - displacing multiple city blocks at their base.
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=== Combine Transhumanism ===
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==== External Propaganda ====
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After invading Earth, the occupying Combine forces use incentives to recruit for their human 'Civil Protection' forces.  Humanity's collective future as planned by the Combine, as well as higher ranks of the Combine forces, are propagandized in vague transhumanist language, with the general public promised transcendence and immortality as their population dwindles and the planet is stripped of natural resources and rendered an inhospitable wasteland.
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==== Internal Messages ====
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Internal Combine messaging aimed at Civil Protection members cites memory replacement indoctrination as "the first step towards promotion," a process later depicted in passing with a limp CP officer attached to a face-covering machine.  Further modifications are heavily implied, with elite soldiers wearing helmets dominated by large, red, cyclopean lenses and communicating with heavily distorted speech from implanted [[speech synthesis|vocoders]].  At one point in a later level, a group of their soldiers are directly addressed as "the transhuman arm of the Combine Overwatch" and threatened with "permanent off-world assignment" if unsuccessful in their mission.
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Regardless of rank, CP and Overwatch members are directed in their duties by a female-voiced artificial dispatcher that can be heard throughout the city, issuing orders couched in medical euphemisms: "innoculating" the general public against dissent while "amputating" and "cauterizing" those who resist and their influence.
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==== Stalkers ====
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<blockquote>"This is what happens to you if you resist...or if you're just in the wrong place at the wrong time." ― Alyx Vance on stalkers in <i>Half Life 2: Episode 1</i></blockquote>
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Some less fortunate humans are enslaved and turned into 'stalkers,' stripped of their extremities, identifying characteristics, and 'unnecessary' organs.  Stalkers are not depicted as capable of speech, and walk and work using crude prosthetics - with reminders that their "limb privileges" can be revoked.
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While they are not shown outside the Combine Citadel, chatter among resistance fighters in-game show they are aware of stalkers and their risk of becoming one for their actions.
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== Future [in Virtual reality] ==
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[[File:400MillionDead.jpg|right|thumb|Delays are serious business]]
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<i>Half life 2: Episode 3</i>'s development has been widely known and discussed since 2006.  Originally intended for a tentative release for Christmas of 2007, the game was still supposedly in development with very few known details, until March 2020, that the final (and now never existed) vaporware episode, that it was scrapped as the current two employees told it was scope creep was the reason, why the episode was canceled quickly before the development ever begun. Leaks and rumors hint at several complete reworks of the plot and game design, with one iteration (allegedly in development from 2013 to 2015) hinging heavily on transhumanist themes and prosthetics.<ref name="hl3-posthuman">[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVeScN7l3pg An Unconfirmed Half-Life 3 Story Leak], Tyler McVicker, <i>Valve News Network</i> on YouTube, December 24, 2018</ref>
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<i>Black Mesa</i>, A fan remake/reimagining of the original <i>Half-Life</i> in the Source engine, was originally released as a mod before transitioning to a commercial game in its own right with the support of Valve Software.  Later stages, set in the (reimagined) Xen borderworld, is now complete with the final maps that are still in the late stages in mid-late 2019. In March 6, 2020, is where the full complete version of the mod as finally release to fans for play.
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In August 2017, series writer Marc Laidlaw posted a possible early script for Episode 3 with swapped character names and genders to his personal blog.<ref>[http://www.marclaidlaw.com/epistle-3/ Epistle 3], Marc Laidlaw, August 2017</ref><ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urza2sbU68Q Half-Life 2: Episode 3's Story Released By Marc Laidlaw], Valve News Network, August 24, 2017</ref>  The story represents "The Disparate's" overwhelming [[Kardashev scale|technological superiority]] with a [[Dyson sphere]], and a character re-instantiated from [[Mind_uploading#Backup|personality backup]].
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Recent updates to several Valve games and their associated Software Development Kits have contained references to an apparently separate <i>Half Life</i> VR title, rumored to be a prequel to <i>Half Life 2</i>.<ref name="hlvr-1">[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBFnoVr0_ck Half-Life: VR Story Leaks], Tyler McVicker, <i>Valve News Network</i> on YouTube, November 10, 2018</ref>  This was confirmed with the November 2019 announcement of <i>Half Life: Alyx</i>, a [[virtual reality]]-only main entry in the series slated for release in March 23, 2020.<ref name="hl-alyx-1">[https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/nov/19/new-half-life-sequel-vr-exclusive-htc-vive-headset New Half-Life sequel to be VR exclusive], Keith Stuart, <i>The Guardian</i>, November 27, 2019</ref>
  
== Setting ==
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== Media ==
Both series take places in underground labs (both are also rival to each others), Black Mesa and forementioned Aperture Science. {{update}}
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=== Franchise ===
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* <i>Half Life</i> (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, Sega Dreamcast (unreleased), Sony PlayStation 2), 1998
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* <i>Half Life: Opposing Force</i> (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 1999
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* <i>Half Life: Blue Shift</i> (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2001
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* <i>Half Life: Decay</i> (Sony PlayStation 2), 2001
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* <i>Half Life 2: Raising The Bar</i> (Art Book)
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* <i>Half Life 2</i> (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2004
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* <i>Half Life 2: Lost Coast</i> (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2005
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* <i>Half Life 2: Episode 1</i> (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2006
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* <i>Half Life 2: Episode 2</i> (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2007
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* <i>Portal</i> (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2007
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* <i>Portal 2</i> (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2011
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* <i>Black Mesa</i> (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2012 (mod), 2015 (early access), 2020 (full release)
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* <i>Half Life: Alyx</i> (Microsoft Windows (PC-compatible VR headsets), Linux), 2020
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=== References in Other Media ===
  
== Characters ==
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The <i>[[Deus Ex]]</i> series games <i>Human Revolution</i> and <i>Mankind Divided</i> reference the original <i>Half Life</i> in an achievement title ("Unforseen Consequence"<ref>Deus Ex Wikia: [http://deusex.wikia.com/wiki/Unforeseen_Consequence Unforseen Consequence]</ref>) and email dialogs.<ref>https://www.reddit.com/r/HalfLife/comments/955cta/was_playing_deus_exhuman_revolution_when_i_found/</ref>
''Gordon Freeman'' - main hero of most all of half life series, former scientist from Black mesa and gradated from [[Massachusetts Institute of Technology]] with PhD in [[Theoretical Physics]], now unemployee and treated later of series as official savior-like revolutionary against combine.
 
  
''Chell'' - main heroine from portal series, test subject from (abandoned) aperture science. Some part semi-reveal in sequel portal 2 that implies that was forced being test subject after massacre with neurotoxin years before events of game. {{update}}
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== External links ==
  
== Genre ==
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* {{wikipedia|Half-Life (series)}}
Half-life is one of several 1990s games that being Cyberpunk genre as well several Biopunk elements into video gaming (gameplay and enivornment), Its offical sequel Half-life 2 take place 20 to 30 years in future were Earth take control by Combine (transhumanist soldiers) and thier Synth (plays word Synthic biology). Portal series is take place in Postcyberpunk-style ruins of underground part of corporation destory by AI named GLaDOS.
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* {{wikipedia|Portal (series)}}
  
== Transhumanist themes ==
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== References ==
Both series share simliar ideas of types of Transhumanism. {{update}}
 
  
 
[[Category:Video games]]
 
[[Category:Video games]]
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[[Category:Biopunk]]
 
[[Category:Biopunk]]
 
[[Category:Postcyberpunk]]
 
[[Category:Postcyberpunk]]
[[Category:Sci-fiction]]
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[[Category:Science fiction games]]
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[[Category:Dystopian transhumanism]]

Latest revision as of 02:49, 25 July 2020

Film Fiction.net The Future of the Half-Life Universe

The Half-Life universe encompasses the first person shooter Half-Life series, as well as the puzzle-based Portal series.

Setting

Black Mesa is a US research corporation, experimenting with teleportation. Its New Mexico headquarters, the Black Mesa Research Facility, is a sprawling complex of advanced industrial and scientific facilities and serves as the setting of the first Half-Life and its expansions.

Aperture Science is a private company that competes with Black Mesa for government funding, with a comically haphazard approach to basic research and development. In addition to stable wormholes and an alternative in-universe teleportation technology, their achievements include AI-controlled robotic systems (including reconfigurable architecture and weapon turrets), mind uploading, and cryonics.

The Combine or Universal Union, a multiverse-spanning, highly advanced technological, as well as semi-biotechnological (as revealing in Half-Life: Alyx that some of their technology are fueled from living beings (via the health goo seen in the both HL2, its episodes, and HL:A were Antlion Grub blood) civilization, are the main antagonists of the series, starting in fully since Half-Life 2. Led by 'advisors' (large grublike aliens wholly dependent on their technology for physical tasks), the Combine subjugates other species using synthetic biology and overwhelming military might transport through inter-universe portals. Half Life 2 and its sequels are set in and around the eastern European City 17, one of a series of Combine-controlled urban centers in which human survivors of their invasion (and the resulting ecological devastation) are concentrated.

Futurist themes and concepts

Advanced Engineering

The Black Mesa Research facility depicts an organization capable of extremely advanced feats using roughly 1990s-era technology, and encompasses a hydroelectric dam, nuclear reactors, rocket engine testing facilities, massive terrariums for studying captured Xen specimens, and multiple advanced particle accelerator systems. The complex is also shown to be capable of trans-orbital rocket launches and maintaining a satellite constellation.

Combine forces are based in and coordinated from "Citadels" - massive structures containing all the facilities they would need to manufacture, maintain, and support their forces locally, and establish portals for communication and transport with other Combine worlds. Citadels are manufactured off-world and installed in-place through portals - displacing multiple city blocks at their base.

Combine Transhumanism

External Propaganda

After invading Earth, the occupying Combine forces use incentives to recruit for their human 'Civil Protection' forces. Humanity's collective future as planned by the Combine, as well as higher ranks of the Combine forces, are propagandized in vague transhumanist language, with the general public promised transcendence and immortality as their population dwindles and the planet is stripped of natural resources and rendered an inhospitable wasteland.

Internal Messages

Internal Combine messaging aimed at Civil Protection members cites memory replacement indoctrination as "the first step towards promotion," a process later depicted in passing with a limp CP officer attached to a face-covering machine. Further modifications are heavily implied, with elite soldiers wearing helmets dominated by large, red, cyclopean lenses and communicating with heavily distorted speech from implanted vocoders. At one point in a later level, a group of their soldiers are directly addressed as "the transhuman arm of the Combine Overwatch" and threatened with "permanent off-world assignment" if unsuccessful in their mission.

Regardless of rank, CP and Overwatch members are directed in their duties by a female-voiced artificial dispatcher that can be heard throughout the city, issuing orders couched in medical euphemisms: "innoculating" the general public against dissent while "amputating" and "cauterizing" those who resist and their influence.

Stalkers

"This is what happens to you if you resist...or if you're just in the wrong place at the wrong time." ― Alyx Vance on stalkers in Half Life 2: Episode 1

Some less fortunate humans are enslaved and turned into 'stalkers,' stripped of their extremities, identifying characteristics, and 'unnecessary' organs. Stalkers are not depicted as capable of speech, and walk and work using crude prosthetics - with reminders that their "limb privileges" can be revoked.

While they are not shown outside the Combine Citadel, chatter among resistance fighters in-game show they are aware of stalkers and their risk of becoming one for their actions.

Future [in Virtual reality]

Delays are serious business

Half life 2: Episode 3's development has been widely known and discussed since 2006. Originally intended for a tentative release for Christmas of 2007, the game was still supposedly in development with very few known details, until March 2020, that the final (and now never existed) vaporware episode, that it was scrapped as the current two employees told it was scope creep was the reason, why the episode was canceled quickly before the development ever begun. Leaks and rumors hint at several complete reworks of the plot and game design, with one iteration (allegedly in development from 2013 to 2015) hinging heavily on transhumanist themes and prosthetics.[1]

Black Mesa, A fan remake/reimagining of the original Half-Life in the Source engine, was originally released as a mod before transitioning to a commercial game in its own right with the support of Valve Software. Later stages, set in the (reimagined) Xen borderworld, is now complete with the final maps that are still in the late stages in mid-late 2019. In March 6, 2020, is where the full complete version of the mod as finally release to fans for play.

In August 2017, series writer Marc Laidlaw posted a possible early script for Episode 3 with swapped character names and genders to his personal blog.[2][3] The story represents "The Disparate's" overwhelming technological superiority with a Dyson sphere, and a character re-instantiated from personality backup.

Recent updates to several Valve games and their associated Software Development Kits have contained references to an apparently separate Half Life VR title, rumored to be a prequel to Half Life 2.[4] This was confirmed with the November 2019 announcement of Half Life: Alyx, a virtual reality-only main entry in the series slated for release in March 23, 2020.[5]

Media

Franchise

  • Half Life (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, Sega Dreamcast (unreleased), Sony PlayStation 2), 1998
  • Half Life: Opposing Force (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 1999
  • Half Life: Blue Shift (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2001
  • Half Life: Decay (Sony PlayStation 2), 2001
  • Half Life 2: Raising The Bar (Art Book)
  • Half Life 2 (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2004
  • Half Life 2: Lost Coast (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2005
  • Half Life 2: Episode 1 (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2006
  • Half Life 2: Episode 2 (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2007
  • Portal (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2007
  • Portal 2 (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2011
  • Black Mesa (Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux), 2012 (mod), 2015 (early access), 2020 (full release)
  • Half Life: Alyx (Microsoft Windows (PC-compatible VR headsets), Linux), 2020

References in Other Media

The Deus Ex series games Human Revolution and Mankind Divided reference the original Half Life in an achievement title ("Unforseen Consequence"[6]) and email dialogs.[7]

External links

References

  1. An Unconfirmed Half-Life 3 Story Leak, Tyler McVicker, Valve News Network on YouTube, December 24, 2018
  2. Epistle 3, Marc Laidlaw, August 2017
  3. Half-Life 2: Episode 3's Story Released By Marc Laidlaw, Valve News Network, August 24, 2017
  4. Half-Life: VR Story Leaks, Tyler McVicker, Valve News Network on YouTube, November 10, 2018
  5. New Half-Life sequel to be VR exclusive, Keith Stuart, The Guardian, November 27, 2019
  6. Deus Ex Wikia: Unforseen Consequence
  7. https://www.reddit.com/r/HalfLife/comments/955cta/was_playing_deus_exhuman_revolution_when_i_found/