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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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'''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]].
 
'''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 civilization, are the main antagonists of the series.  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 transported 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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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.
    
== Futurist themes and concepts ==
 
== Futurist themes and concepts ==
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[[File:400MillionDead.jpg|right|thumb|Delays are serious business]]
 
[[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 already canceled as the two employees told it was scope creep, where the episode was canceled quickly. 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>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>
    
<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.
 
<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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