MINERVA: Episodic, Single-Player Half-Life 2

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb -

Guess what I'll be playing at 6pm GMT this evening?

Yup, everyone's favourite upcoming global thermonuclear war simulator, DEFCON.


Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the bomb. The BOMB, Dmitri. The hydrogen bomb. Well now, what happened is, uh, one of our base commanders, he had a sort of, well, he went a little funny in the head. You know. Just a little...funny. And uh, he went and did a silly thing. Well, I'll tell you what he did, he ordered his planes...to attack your country. Well, let me finish, Dmitri. Let me finish, Dmitri. Well, listen, how do you think I feel about it? Can you imagine how I feel about it, Dmitri? Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello? Of course I like to speak to you. Of course I like to say hello. Not now, but any time, Dmitri. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened...

Article Comments (now closed)

krisvek's gravatar

1. not the next Minerva ep? :)

Posted by krisvek at 6:35PM, Friday September 29 2006

Mutually assured destruction...is there a sweeter phrase? I think not.

kast's gravatar

2. Big baada boom

Posted by kast at 6:39PM, Friday September 29 2006

Absolutely. ^.- I am so looking forward to this in... oh, twenty minutes. Plus however long it takes to download.

I just Introversion's work and ethos. Great guys. Check out the interview with Tom in The Steam Podcast.


kast's gravatar

3. phooo

Posted by kast at 7:15PM, Friday September 29 2006

I forgot we're still in BST. Hence I should have been at the PC an hour earlier. Now the servers are under such demand IV's closed the store for the time being.

Arses. :(

Flarty's gravatar

4. OI

Posted by Flarty at 7:26PM, Friday September 29 2006

stop playing stupid bloody games and get on with the 3rd phase of the mod :P

just kidding

asd's gravatar

5. Erm.

Posted by asd at 7:52PM, Friday September 29 2006

BST means you were an hour early. it's 7PM BST, so in 8 minutes.

kast's gravatar

6. Confused!

Posted by kast at 8:01PM, Friday September 29 2006

Yeah, thanks. I spent half an hour chatting with my girlfriend trying to work it out. :P Darn BST, I can never quite wrap my head around it.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

7. *BOOM*

Posted by Cargo Cult at 9:39PM, Friday September 29 2006

And on cue, my under-construction IKEA cupboard collapsed under its own weight while being brought upright.

Bolts wrenched from chipboard leaving ugly craters, dowels broken in half and all that.

Luckily, fortified by a bottle of Leffe Blonde, I've figured out how to salvage the situation.

Likewise, the seemingly catastrophic failure of the DEFCON launch seems to be working out. I've received the keys, and *STOP PRESS* I've just received a bunch of mirror links.


fuzz's gravatar

8. mmmm

Posted by fuzz at 12:47AM, Saturday September 30 2006

compleatly forgotten about this, just got back from the pub, time for megadeath casulties methinks....

it's all going to go horribly wrong :(

Nesretep's gravatar

9. "Shall we play a game?"

Posted by Nesretep at 6:39AM, Saturday September 30 2006

It's like War Games! Can you play against Joshua? :-) I can hear the sythesized voice now...

Cargo Cult's gravatar

10. Mutually Assured Destruction

Posted by Cargo Cult at 3:43PM, Saturday September 30 2006

Just finished a brilliant game - in which an audacious, alliance-breaking attack against Moscow scored many, many points for me, but at the expense of dozens of missiles raining down on my European territory.

Still, I won the game - but with the greatest number of casualties. Nearly 70 million dead in Europe alone..

My friends will never trust me again!

fuzz's gravatar

11. MAD indeed

Posted by fuzz at 3:51PM, Saturday September 30 2006

I took quite a few attempts before I could connect to a game properly, but it was damn entertaining, even had some spectators to chat to. Russia now glows an attractive green colour :)

Be on the look out for servers with the word 'Minerva' in the title. (because it'd be fun to play against you lot)

She'd probably see it as an homage...

kast's gravatar

12. Backstabbing son of a gun!

Posted by kast at 5:12PM, Saturday September 30 2006

That's me :P

Was in a four way playing as Europe. Teamed up with S America vs. USSR vs. S Asia. Was doing fine, holding my own against USSR while the Ruskies slaughtered South Asia. But then I went and made a huge mistake.

I popped up a load of sub's off the East coat of Brazil and rained down green clicking death. Which distracted me from the Eastern Front and I got jumped by my Russian neighbours.

Came out second over all, but actually had the greatest number of survivors. So I lost the war, but it's my people that'll be repopulating the planet. ^^

Nesretep's gravatar

13. Is it possible?

Posted by Nesretep at 7:12PM, Saturday September 30 2006

Is it possible to play single player vs the Computer in DEFCON? Also is it even worth the trouble to try and play online over dial-up? Or will I be destroyed before I can even tell?

I am sure loaded with questions on this post aren't I? (ooh there's another one... )

Cargo Cult's gravatar

14. Rage against the machine

Posted by Cargo Cult at 8:45PM, Saturday September 30 2006

Yes, it is indeed possible to play against the computer, without an internet connection - the AI is also available as bots for online play, or as a replacement for a player who's left the game. It's actually remarkably good.

So good that in the last game, a CPU-replacement for a player proceeded to trounce me. Poor South America never stood a chance, despite the valiant attempts of my unbroken alliance. :-(

It can be a fairly slow and methodical game - but running at 'real-time' speed ramps up the tension to somewhat ridiculous levels. Ping is irrelevant, pretty much, and I've no idea what effect low bandwidth connections will have. Worth trying, anyhow.

I am now armed with food and beer, and will shortly be starting the fourth game of the day. No 'Minerva' servers, alas - but I'm sure she'd approve of the destruction.

Game starts at 7pm GMT (8pm BST, etc). Server name: 'UA GAME #4', password 'wibble'. Might be able to fit one or two non-UAers on there, so don't be surprised if you get kicked or asked to leave... ;-)

Launch Detected's gravatar

15. Cargo Cult has left the Red Alliance

Posted by Launch Detected at 10:38PM, Saturday September 30 2006

Didn't help you win though, did it?

Cargo Cult's gravatar

16. Planning ahead

Posted by Cargo Cult at 10:38PM, Saturday September 30 2006

Game times tomorrow - 11am, 2pm, 5pm and 8pm BST. Similar server name, same password!

Cargo Cult's gravatar

17. Sore losers!

Posted by Cargo Cult at 10:39PM, Saturday September 30 2006

I still clawed my way back from near-last to second, though - my massive alliance-breaking helping somewhat... ;-)

vecima's gravatar

18. tsk tsk

Posted by vecima at 2:17AM, Sunday October 1 2006

i don't know if i approve of this much Defcon... it is distracting you from your duties, Mr Foster.

you don't want me to get upset about this, do you?
i might...
well, i might cry. that would be on your conscience, making a grown man cry. is that what you want?

Holy Socks's gravatar

19. DEFCON and Children of Men

Posted by Holy Socks at 2:36PM, Sunday October 1 2006

Well I think our leader deserves a bit off a break to releave stress... and if theres a better way to do that than detonating nuclear warheads over Russia, I dont want to hear about it.

ps: I Just saw "Children of Men" and was surprised by how good it was, had a few similarities with Half-Life, anybody else seen it?

kast's gravatar

20. RE: Children of Men

Posted by kast at 11:23PM, Sunday October 1 2006

Similarites? Like what - can you say without giving too much away?

I'm meaning to see it but it's unlikely I will due to being absolutely skint :P Looks great though.

kast's gravatar

21. Bastard Perseus (Part 1)

Posted by kast at 6:21PM, Monday October 2 2006

Alright, Master and Acolytes... I've been rather bored lately and rambled off this little piece of literature. The first ever Minerva fan fiction, I think. :)

I'll probably keep working on it. It's rather rough at the moment and there's plenty of scope to continue but I hope you enjoy it none the less. Perhaps it's best to think of this as more of a teaser. Anyway... I digress. Read on!


Part 1

Chris "Kastanok" Fox

Dazed and confused, I hit the water. Bullets flew around me as I struggled against the back draft of the helicopter above me. I ducked for cover on the beach and tried to recover my bearings. I realised that my great-grandfather went through the same event four score years ago on Omaha beach. I only hoped that, unlike him, I would make it out of here alive.

Get up on the beach, turn right and RUN!


No time for day-dreaming! Move it! I charge out of the water and throw myself behind a large rock, pulling the sub-machine gun to my chest. Bullets rip through the air around me, ricocheting off the stone behind my head. Where are they coming from? What the hell am I doing here?

“I am your Athena, you are my bastard Perseus, and our Medusa for today is this island; our aim is to infiltrate, reveal, destroy.”

The helicopter that deposited me turns and pulls away over the ocean, leaving me cold, alone and in a most desperate situation. The cliff-side towers over me to my left, the ocean depths lurk to my right and a cluster of buildings swarm with masked soldier behind me. I'm safe the moment but whoever's shooting at me seems to be moving to flank. There's no time left to think.

I bunch my legs under me and make a run for the next piece of cover further up a path. No sooner have I left my sanctuary than my leg screams in agony, claret life-blood bursting to splatter across the dry grass. I threw myself behind an outcropping as my leg crumpled under me. I'd hit the shingle but it was simply another temporary reprieve.

There, before me, stood a pair of battered supply crates. Their existence out of the soldier's town made no sense to me but I wasn't about to argue with a blessing. I cracked one open with a burst of fire. An iridescent green tube was blown out and rolled to my side. I grabbed it and cracked it open against my wounded leg. I screamed in pain as the glass imbedded itself in my flesh. Yet my wounds healed instantly, leaving nothing more than torn trousers and light bruising. I've seen the green fluid before...

Bodies... tumbling from the wall into great acid baths. Sloughed off skin floats to the surface before being consumed by the emerald depths. Emaciated servants of the occupying forces stalk the perimeter – dark, false-human shapes directing great machines to collect the fluids. Soylent Green for the 21st century.

A volley of gunfire above my head tore me back to the matter at hand. I can't defend this point. My flesh stitching itself back together, I dash forwards over a rise and sudden slope downwards. In the last moment before my body drops below the horizon, bursts of blood erupt from my shoulder and chest. I charge on, acting purely on instinct. Blinded by throbbing white behind my eyes and deafened by the roaring static of the oceans, my mind shuts down and my body leaves me behind.



The scream of an ancient data line echoes in my mind as my consciousness returns. I find myself collapsed on the cold, diamond-steel floor of a rumbling elevator. The world brings itself into focus and I notice in turn a pool of blood (probably mine), an empty box of pistol rounds, a cracked and spilt vial of more green liquid and... oh god. I didn't think they were down here. “Down”? A solid ball of flesh with four spindly, spider-like legs and a vicious spiked mouth/beak thing lay dead across the floor from me.

"Violence is certainly one of your stronger points - that was nasty. I'll try to help more next time."

I hadn't noticed until now but ever since I landed on the beach I had been followed by the incessant data scream and communications from... someone. She had directed him to safety at the beginning, gave instructions that kept him alive and now she had sent him into the depths of the island. She was a constant observer to his actions, seeming to revel in the destruction and her own sense of superiority.

"Besides, that dead headcrab looks a bit ... unusual. I'm not sure what else you can expect down there, so take care."

I’d cleared the bunkers and taken the beaches. But no support was forthcoming. I could expect no armoured tanks, dropped supplies or reinforcements in my private war. I was alone with only Her to guide me.

In Minerva we trust.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

22. Fan Fiction, and Typo Gnomes

Posted by Cargo Cult at 6:58PM, Monday October 2 2006

I think you're actually the second... ;-)


Also, the magical Typo Gnomes (not affiliated with the Apostrophe Realignment Militia) quietly corrected the spelling of 'Perseus' in your comment title. Luckily, nobody need ever know!

... I do like the ideas about the origins of that green medicinal liquid. Concentrated stem cells from dissolved dissidents? Eww.

Nice to see fiction from the other side of the fence, anyway - the player's experience condensed into prose...

kast's gravatar

23. Doh!

Posted by kast at 8:12PM, Monday October 2 2006

OH... mittens! Sorry, Vecima.

And what do we have to do to appease the Gnomes! I'll do anything! :'(

kapowaz's gravatar

24. a thing of beauty.

Posted by kapowaz at 8:59PM, Monday October 2 2006

I just love the attention to minimalist nerdy detail, like the list of simulations available:

Bizarrely, Tic-Tac-Toe is missing though.

inomine's gravatar

25. RE: a thing of beauty.

Posted by inomine at 10:51PM, Monday October 2 2006

If memory serves, Tic-Tac-Toe was not on the list at all, but was in fact a password.

Nesretep's gravatar

26. Re: a thing of beauty

Posted by Nesretep at 3:37PM, Tuesday October 3 2006

Yes, it was an option as well as chess. If you are referring to the movie WAR GAMES, then yes tic tac toe was a game the was available as well as chess. Tic tac toe was actually played in the movie at the end when Joshua finally learns futility.

Nesretep's gravatar

27. Whoa

Posted by Nesretep at 3:38PM, Tuesday October 3 2006

Boy that post was a mess! Guess that's what I get for starting it and leaving for 30 min and then coming back and finishing it....

Baffled's gravatar

28. Been there, done that...

Posted by Baffled at 4:53PM, Tuesday October 3 2006

There is some strange blindness that afflicts me as well, when supposedly proofreading a post before clicking the button-of-no-return. The very instant it appears on the page, all those typos just dance mockingly before my eyes...It's a shame those Typo-Gnomes are only part-time employees isn't it?

Kast, I enjoyed your piece very much; it was very well done. If I might offer some friendly and constructive criticism, I would suggest that you keep to a purely first-person narrative. That passage, relating to his awakening to Minerva's presence, felt like an intrusion by being in the third-person. "She had directed me to safety.." would have kept the smooth flow of the narrative. Or do you disagree? Would illustrative screenshots add or detract; or would that stray too close to Graphic Novel territory?

Baffled's gravatar

29. Oh, and another thing...

Posted by Baffled at 5:10PM, Tuesday October 3 2006

This looks fun:


kast's gravatar

30. Well... socks!

Posted by kast at 5:22PM, Tuesday October 3 2006

Thanks a lot, Baffled. :) And I absolutely had not meant to stray from the first person at the point. Or any point, for that matter. I think what happened there was me pouring my thoughts directly onto the screen, just a little too quickly.

Illustrative screenshots... interesting idea. I think, to do both mod and story justice, would require a total conversion to graphic novel rather than the odd picture on the side. Intriguing thought and I'll have to try it out. *grabs a note book and starts scribbling*

Oh, yes, the Bioshock trailer. ^^ I've been following this for a while now, checking Gamespot's section on it every day. Very much looking forward to this. Especially roleplaying it. Unlike many forum-members, I wouldn't kill the little sisters unless I believed my avatar had been splicing (using genetic enhancements) so much he'd become addicted - like the Splicer inhabitants of Rapture. The atmosphere really lends itself to throwing your heart and soul behind the game.

Baffled's gravatar

31. You're wierd and scary

Posted by Baffled at 7:59PM, Tuesday October 3 2006

Bioshock hadn't registered on my radar until I saw that trailer. It looks like it'll be a 'must have'. I read your 'Little Sisters' post on Gamespot Kast, and although I used that riposte you received as my title, I must say that I heartily approve of your commitment to achieving the maximum possible level of immersion in a game's virtual reality. I seem to remember our agreeing on how to get the most out of Episode One:


On that subject, old news really, but they are implementing a 'Harder-than-Hard' difficulty setting for Episode Two... :-D

Holy Socks's gravatar

32. Bioshock

Posted by Holy Socks at 8:00PM, Tuesday October 3 2006

I'm also looking forward to bioshock, I really love the creepy atmostphere of rapture.

Oh, and I liked your story, Kast, especially the green liquid and the description of the headcrabs.

kast's gravatar

33. Things

Posted by kast at 9:49PM, Tuesday October 3 2006

Thanks a lot, Holy Socks. :)

Baffled - I saw your post title and thought 'Oh dear, that sounds familiar' with a sinking feeling in my stomach. Relieved to find it's in jest.

Harder-than-Hard? Hadn't heard that. Ooh, that's some lovely alliteration. That's good news, I think. Not to boast but I usually find first person shooters a too easy and always like my skills to be challenged by a game.

PiX_NeG's gravatar

34. Things, indeed

Posted by PiX_NeG at 11:32PM, Tuesday October 3 2006

Agreed, kast. It's just so much more satisfying to tromp through a game at the hardest difficulty. Makes you think you could do it in real life.

Naurgul's gravatar

35. What part of the HL universe is Minerva?

Posted by Naurgul at 12:40AM, Wednesday October 4 2006

So, I was thinking. When our master returned from VALVe HQ, he claimed that he had finally found Minerva a place in the Half-Life universe.

During my sessions of Episode One, I had this info in the back of my mind but I couldn't figure out what he meant.

Just a few minutes ago, I had that crazy thought. What if Portal was shown to adam during his visit? Maybe that's where Minerva belongs. She conducts experiments and Aperture Science does the same.

What are your opinions?

SkUrRiEr's gravatar

36. Re: What part of the HL universe is Minerva?

Posted by SkUrRiEr at 10:56AM, Wednesday October 4 2006

I was thinking that too!

I thought that Aperture Science was somthing she'd infiltrated before / during the combine's invasion, and was using their test subjects as lab rats, much like how she uses us in the Minerva episodes.

As for her ultimate aim with that, I'd assume that they're being "trained" for some form of anti-combine mission.

kast's gravatar

37. Re: What part of the HL universe is Minerva?

Posted by kast at 11:59AM, Wednesday October 4 2006

I always understood that comment to be unrelated to any product....

kast's gravatar

38. Bastard Perseus (Part 3)

Posted by kast at 7:27PM, Wednesday October 4 2006

Ooh kay people. Here's the next part. Hopefully there won't be too many spelling errors here - I used the checker of Google taskbar for this one. It didn't seem to like 'corpses' but what can you do?

I played through the first level of MINERVA againd to remind me what came when and where. By what Minerva said while you're in the WW2 bunker, I felt more and more that the character we play is actually a metro-cop or solider. "You renounced all that regardless"... ? Hmmm... gotta think about this some more.

Keep an eye out for the third and final part soon! Final, that is, until we see some more gameplay :P


Part 2

Heavy boots thundered over the gangway above. Radios crackled, passing order to the masked... ex-humans who were searching for me. If any of them were still capable of any significant thought, they might have thought to look down once in a while. There I was, hidden in plain sight. They'd find me soon enough, though. I didn't know yet whether or not I'd resist when they did. I'd come so far out of instinct and fear but know I had some time to think it over, I realised I didn't much care either way but I kept moving anyway. So I followed the tunnels, passing through intermittent beams of light. The boots faded into the distance, leaving the thrum of power running through the walls and the stench of decay. My leg, shoulder and the myriad other wounds I had sustained had healed and I barely felt them at all - thank goodness for morphine.

Flickering light at the bottom of my vision drew my attention. Blurred shapes flashed irregularly somewhere in front of me. They'd been there all along but, strangely, I'd only just noticed. Damn helmet must have been damaged. I popped the magnetic locks on the helmet and ripped it off... yet the flickering remained, apparently not part of the faceplate. During my flight to the island, I had somehow been strapped into a full body protection suit. Once upon a time, it had been orange. Now it was caked with dirt and blood, not all of it mine. The insurgents often made mention of a heroic figure clad in a suit like this. Could it be I was wearing his trophy? Had this 'great free man' fallen? It wasn't a comfortable thought.


The bunker had once been a hive of activity. Soldiers, officers and intelligence agents moving like clockwork. Smooth, efficient, regular. And just as unthinking. They pass by grey concrete walls, lined with tubing and pressed hanging flags. Paper, folders, ammunition, food, clothing, people all travelling along through the corridors. A perfect, inhuman, machine. Now cold and empty, as if it had never been inhabited. Water seeps through cracks in the ceiling, trailing mildew after them. The water pools in the corners and runs along the walls... mixing with thick, putrid mush. The smell given off by the black and sickly-yellow substance made me dry-heave. My gaze drifted up to great, steel sarcophagi hanging upon the wall. Forgotten victims of the regime left to liquefy in their own private containers.

"Dulce et decorum est pro terra mori?"

I lent back against the wall, despondent, firearm hanging limp by my side. Was this my fate? To be forgotten? I couldn't imagine every getting out of there in one piece but maybe I wouldn't be so lucky as to die. I didn't know why I was on the island and now I stopped to think, I realised I didn't care. She would be getting inpatient, but it wasn't my problem. She wanted to study what I'd do? Well, there I was. A model of inaction. My eyes fixed upon the cages upon the walls.

Bodies... carried through the cavernous halls of the occupying forces. Living corpses swinging lethargically from the rail. Some screamed. Some moaned. Others cried uncontrollably. I watched as a wrinkle-faced old man poured his tears into the void below. Cry while you can, old timer, and be thankful for each moment spent awaiting your fate. A woman's scream - shrill, primal - breaks the repetition of gears and sobbing. She has been screaming since she was pulled from her bed and her voice is tattered and raw. Soon she will fall silent. Dulce et decorum est pro terra mori? If only they'd been so lucky.

"But you renounced all that regardless, didn't you?"

kast's gravatar

39. Part 3?!

Posted by kast at 7:28PM, Wednesday October 4 2006

Looks like I'm getting ahead of myself with that topic title :P Yeesh... starting to make this a habit.

Baffled's gravatar

40. Poor Bastard ( Perseus )

Posted by Baffled at 8:31PM, Wednesday October 4 2006

Gosh, he is suffering isn't he, poor chap. That was great, Kast. I must say that you're especially good at describing pools of unspeakable semi-liquids!

I'm still puzzled over the excact nature of our man's identitiy in MINERVA. Minerva, at one point, refers to his security pass having been revoked, seeming to imply that he is ex-Combine. Another missive relates to his Combine friends ( although yet another refers to his Rebel friends ), and to his being traitorous. So it seems that he might be an ex-ex/trans-human, so to speak. Perhaps you could work that into the story with murky memories of that ghastly past surfacing under stress?

I'm glad to see that you're an exponent of the There-Is-A-Helmet Camp of the Half-life 2 community, as am I:


I was particularly taken with the background screams, moans, and sobbing. I rather think they would make an excellent addition to the mod itself, don't you?

Anyhoo, I enjoyed Part Two ( a.k.a. Part Three ) very much, and what's more, think that you should produce a 'Trilogy in Four Parts' in homage to the masterwork itself!

Baffled's gravatar

41. Oh noes....!!!

Posted by Baffled at 9:17PM, Wednesday October 4 2006

We were led to believe that a charatcer was going to die in Episoed Two and I may ( or not ) have stumbled upon a spoiler:


It's Dog *sob*.

Mind you, I'm a cat person myself, but still...

kast's gravatar

42. Murky history

Posted by kast at 9:56PM, Wednesday October 4 2006

I certainly intend to work in the narrator's history. It may not have been entirely clear (especially as I haven't tried using italics - don't think we can use those) but the paragraphs starting with 'Bodies... ' are his/her flashbacks or imagination, though the screams and moans could concievably spill over into the concious mind.

Ooh... I've just gone back and read that passage again. In my minds eye, the hanging pods glided... gload... glode... did glide upwards into darkness and became part of the memory. That's how I'd like it to work in a more visual medium.

Constructive criticism and review is always welcome. :) So thank you very much for paying such attention.

I rather liked the terrible silence of MINERVA. Creates a wonderful sence of tension. A don't doubt that added creepy noises would emphasise this but MINERVA seems rather more... naturalistic than that.

D0g? Oh dear... :( At least he can be repaired. Hopefully. I don't think it'll be the Strider that'll take him, though. It's got to be a lot more than that to take D0g.

Aranth's gravatar

43. Thanks for the spoiler

Posted by Aranth at 1:11AM, Thursday October 5 2006

It's common courtesy to have some sort of obvious spoiler warning before giving away plot elements. Especially if it hasn't even been released yet.

You know, for those of us who like, enjoy narration and stuff, AND reading message boards on the internet.

Although, honestly, that article is so ridiculously poorly-written that I'm not so sure I would believe it.

Baffled's gravatar

44. Courtesy

Posted by Baffled at 2:10AM, Thursday October 5 2006

You're absolutely right Aranth, and I would feel the same way. But I already knew that it wasn't a spoiler. I was only jesting.

It was only an imagined example of how an NPC's emotions could influence the player and the flow of the game. It wasn't a spoiler. I had already read some of David Freeman's articles and interviews; including one translated from German in which he imagines Alyx having to send Dog on a suicide attack in order to allow she and Gordon to escape. He then goes on to describe the emotional impact upon Alyx and how that would make her less effective in combat.

So you can rest easy, nothing has been spoiled, but you were right to be annoyed. ;-)

As for being poorly written, I think The Inquirer does that on purpose, as a sort of trademark. Wierd, huh?

Kast: Your flashback sequences were clearly identifiable as such, but I meant flashbacks specifically about being a trans-human.

kast's gravatar

45. Bastard Perseus (Part 3) (Really this time)

Posted by kast at 2:32PM, Thursday October 5 2006

And here it is. The third (possibly final, possibly not) part of Bastard Perseus. And yes, back story a-plenty. Well... you'll see. :P

As you'll have noticed, this story hasn't even gotten to the end of the first level. So, there's a fair likely hood more is on it's way. At some point.

You know what? I'm going a little crazy here waiting for the next installement of MINERVA. So that's probably why I'm writing all this. Anyway... enough blabbering. Here's the story.


Part 3

"-tzzcch- locate infection... treat... pacifiy... amputate..."

The distinctive growl of the soldiers' voice-box was deafening. I threw myself down against the wall, back to the icy concerete. My head collided with a rusted pipe and I stifled a cry of pain. Twin red eye-lenses erupted in sparks as my bullets ripped through its mask. There must have been a lucky shot because it fell hard, scattering its submachine gun across the concrete.

"Outbreak! Outbreak! -


"- Outbreak!" barked the white-armoured commander, just as was thrown from the rooftop across the path by a blast of rifle fire. The dispatcher in my ear told us our target was directly ahead, in her own perculiar manner. "Anticitizens identified in sector Omicron-Iota-Niner."

We - myself, four other MPs and a gold-banded elite soldier - had followed a half dozen insurgents through the bowels of the city. They'd hijacked a public information broadcast station and spread their message across the entire region. It was a disaster that the Administrator himself had stepped in to rectify. It was on his orders that a city-wide crackdown was issued upon the citizens and that 30% of the local MetroPolice were directed to Omicron-Iota to destroy the outpost. My squad had been commandered by an elite commander on the way. Now the six of us all were charging through the rubble of abandoned industrial buildings, hunting for the very team that had spread deception and some very dangerous ideas throughout the body. I kept glancing them leaving an area just as we entered it. The fear of god gave them speed we could never have matched and they left a trail of corpses in their wake.

"Judgement waiver is in effect," proclaimed the dispatcher. "If outbreak persists, permenant offworld assignment/relocation is assured."

We were nearing the entrance to an old factory when the commander signalled for us to stop. I understood why. On a clinical level, it was an obvious point for an ambush - high footways on either side, a low factory floor to gather your targets. In my gut, though, I just felt something wasn't right. "Proceed with caution," he growled through the voice-synthesizer.

Glass shards crunched underfoot as we stalked between ranks of benches on the factory floor. Blades and unassembled man-hacks littered the desks and filled heavy boxes beside each work place. Every surface was covered in a thick layer of dust and dirt. Little light shone through the grimed-up windows. Where the glass was shattered, beams of pale sunlight illuminated a million specks of dust floating in the still air.

The gantries above groaned as they were filled with dozens of rag-tag but heavily armed anticitizens. Each and every one wore a mask of hate, to mirror our own masks of ruthless efficency. And I knew I was going to die.


Then all hell broke loose.

I looked around the corner and just managed to dart my head back into cover before the wall corner was obliterated by plasma-covered rounds. There was a lone blue-suited soldier hiding behind a pile of wooden crates. It carried an assault rifle where as I had nothing but a half-empty pistol. It was Blue versus Orange and seemed clear how it would end. I searched my mind for any way to turn the tables.

ting... ting... ting...

Something small and metal bounced over the concrete. From around the corner, it hit the floor, then the wall and then bounced over to land right at my feet. I stared at its bright, flashing red light as it emitted an ever more piercing whine. In instinctual desperation, I grabbed the grenade and threw it around the corner. As soon as it had left my hand, the corridor erupted in a inferno of white fire and shrapnel. The world around me had been destroyed in an instant. The last thing I knew was a disturbing crack as the back of my head hit the wall and then... sweet oblivion.

Nesretep's gravatar

46. The helmet

Posted by Nesretep at 4:20PM, Thursday October 5 2006

I would have to say that I am of the "hazard suit must have a helmet" camp too. After all how could the suit protect you from the hazardous environment otherwise?

Kast - This story is great. You are very good at creating visuals for the reader. I'm sure it helps that I have played the game too...either way you've done a great job. Keep up the good work!

kast's gravatar

47. Helmet and visuals

Posted by kast at 4:37PM, Thursday October 5 2006

It just wouldn't make sense for any protective suit NOT to have a helmet. So radiation won't collide with your arms, legs or torso. So whatif i's gonna get your head fairly well.

Nesretep - Thank you. :) I always picture stories in fine detail and so that's how I write. I think people who have played the game will get a lot more out of the story than those who haven't, especially if they haven't played Half Life 2 either. Which is a flaw but then the story IS intended for fans.

kast's gravatar

48. Easy access and better reading

Posted by kast at 5:32PM, Thursday October 5 2006

OK, I've put Bastard Perseus up in one place for easy reading. Also, by the time you read this, I'll have copied up an older work also based on HL2 called The Wrong Place.


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49. Mutual inhumanity

Posted by Baffled at 6:08PM, Thursday October 5 2006

Masks of hate confronting masks of ruthless efficiency; chilling stuff. It seems to me that you've exposed the dehumanisation inherent in the HalfLife Universe, Kast. The Rebels are reduced to a viral infection of the Citizenry ( outbreak, outbreak ) whilst the Overwatch are things, neutered beings, each an "it", to be denied empathy and value.

It is interesting that the Overwatch can be threatened with their, off-world, equivalent of The Eastern Front for under-performance. What quality of life is left to them that they can fear losing? I suppose there is always a worse fate to fear no matter how bleak your circumstances; more tin, than silver lining eh?! I notice you left our man ( hero seems hardly fitting ) with much of his more basic human feelings and instincts intact; but I suppose the Combine would build on, and augment, base human nature rather than start from scratch. Much more efficient.

I wonder to what degree he has been liberated from the degradations of Combine "enhancement". Minerva seems anything but caring towards him; perhaps he has simply been rebooted, and reprogrammed, as much a puppet for Minerva as for us ,to animate with keyboard and mouse. Do you think you might be guilty of anthropomorphism, too generous with empathy? Then again humans have been turned into tools for destruction all too easily without resort to exotic technology, able to supress conscience, and subvert logic whilst being fully human. Of course the term inhuman is a vain attempt to hide from the full set of human nature.....jeesh what am I blathering on about, this is all your fault, Kast! Katastrophee indeed, I'm thoroughly depressed now...;-)

Still, I think Adam should declare you Acolyte-Of-The-Week for your efforts of homage and promotion of MINERVA! Mind you, there's some rather ruthless self-promotion involved too, I see! ;-)

kast's gravatar

50. RE: Mutual inhumanity

Posted by kast at 6:43PM, Thursday October 5 2006

*Nods a lot*

I don't think I'm granting the character more feeling and thought than he would be capable of. It seems to me that metro cops are usually entirely human - it's just the suits that make them look wrong. These are often people who either, like Breen, believe the Combine can be beneficially for humanity or they're so tired of having absolutely trash to eat, of constant beatings etc etc they've taken the job in hope of a little flavour and security. The Combine is rather skiled at using the worst of human nature to its advantage, or making good people so desperate as to abandon their humanity.

I think soldiers and elites are are all... neutered and enhanced. Like the soldier you see with his jacket off in Nova Prospekt. Metro Cops will have only superficial componants at most and their mind is their own... apart from the water of course.

Self promotion? Hmm... maybe just a little :P And as for acolyte-of-the-week? I just like to write.

vecima's gravatar

51. Easy access and better inhumanity

Posted by vecima at 7:25PM, Friday October 6 2006

very nice.

very nice indeed, Kast.

i was planning on expanding on the bit of minerva fanfiction i had started, but alas, school got in the way, so for now my creative arm has been amputated.

perhaps i could barter myself one of those superficial implants sometime in the future?

anyway, keep up the good work, and perhaps someday Dr. ******** will respond in kind.

Nesretep's gravatar

52. dead links

Posted by Nesretep at 10:08PM, Saturday October 7 2006

Hey kast! I was just cruising your web page and you have some maintainance to do...either my internet service is just retarded or you have a bunch of broken links, Mr. Fox.

kast's gravatar

53. RE: dead links

Posted by kast at 10:08AM, Sunday October 8 2006

A bunch? I found two. One in links where my college had removed my webspace over the summer and another in News Archives. And I'd followed each and every link in the site.

I wonder at which point in that post I shifted from being Kast to Mr. Fox. :P

xbskid's gravatar

54. Are we there yet?

Posted by xbskid at 5:44PM, Sunday October 8 2006

So, um. Metastasis pt. 3+ yet? It's been how long? :(

M_Gargantua's gravatar

55. digging yields questions

Posted by M_Gargantua at 5:52PM, Sunday October 8 2006

//My random storyline babling follows in newest news post

I was compeled to look through various bits of someplace else again. and there were quite a few interesting things I found.

there is a game_text that gives you the URL i2.webhop.org/ labled incident 2. Which redirects here

from a different hidden message:

"Aren't you trying to get home? Such enthusiasm towards this world
reminds me of someone. Remember that soldier, the bloodthirsty poet?

His predicament had to be recorded somewhere, even someplace
away from prying eyes. Such an incident, the second of its kind,
had to be remembered.

Second? You're the product of the third. Don't forget that."

this site is the site of the minerva tale -> this site is incident two
+ Xen has no real time and space restrictions

Does this mean, that if Someplace else/paralex was incident 3, and even though it took place in 2002, that this minerva tale is incident 2?

and does it then mean that our perceus is the bloodthirsty poet, and that the final chapter of minerva is set on Xen?

//run seek answers

Baffled's gravatar

56. To seek, you must search!

Posted by Baffled at 9:26PM, Sunday October 8 2006

Don't forget Adam has fitted this blog with an internal search feature:


Naurgul's gravatar

57. Backgound Information

Posted by Naurgul at 10:54PM, Sunday October 8 2006

Okay, I was doing a project for university (a web page as a matter of fact) and I was looking around here for ideas.

Have you fellow acolytes noticed that this background here is a blueprint? Seems like something mechanical, but I'm not sure.

Also, the main site background looks like a code or something. I think I can discern numbers correspoding to symbols.

Where are all these from? Or did our master make them as a cryptogram to keep us busy?

Nesretep's gravatar

58. Re: Dead Links

Posted by Nesretep at 2:41PM, Monday October 9 2006

OK, so maybe a bunch was exaggerating a little. And you became Mr. Fox just because, but it was all intended to be with a little jest. I didn't mean to sound like I was getting after you or something. Sorry. I was just disappointed that I could see some of the web development stuff I was interesteed in looking at.

Baffled's gravatar

59. DEFCON 2:The last game you'll ever play

Posted by Baffled at 2:41PM, Monday October 9 2006

Let us hope that Kim Jong-il is not a fan of DEFCON, or we might never get to play the Metastasis finale!

Friedrich Nietzsche had a theory about history, called Eternal Recurrence, in which we we're doomed to endlessly repeat everything we had done before, forever. It seems this blog might be headed down that road, unless Acolytes utilise that search function! ;-)



Having pointed that out, it has to be said that we made no progress the first time around, so perhaps a repeat is no bad thing. I still think this site should have a noticeboard/sticky kinda thingy for all important discoveries, clues, questions, and theories.

kast's gravatar

60. re: dead links

Posted by kast at 3:30PM, Monday October 9 2006

No offence taken at all. :)

Naurgul's gravatar

61. "Ouroboros"

Posted by Naurgul at 12:02AM, Tuesday October 10 2006

Meh... and I thought I had heard it before... but I wasn't too sure.

So when I submited the message I thought I'd search... I guess I didn't put in the right keywords.

Anyway, as you said, Baffled, no harm done since we didn't get far the previous time. But this fact is not enough to cover the feeling of stupidity overwhelming me right now. I just feel stupid.

Baffled's gravatar

62. Chasing our collective tail

Posted by Baffled at 1:21PM, Tuesday October 10 2006

Oh dear, Naurgul, there's really no need to be so hard on yourself! I'm in no position to tell anyone off anyway, it's not even my blog!

I'm of the firm conviction that we are all equally clueless concerning the MINERVA mysteries, and, as such, stand united in our ignorance! ;-)

Adam did say that there were still clues to be found hidden in silly places on his website, so do be on the lookout. I'm don't think the backgrounds are anything other than decorative, but you never know.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

63. Ignorance is purely decorative

Posted by Cargo Cult at 1:28PM, Tuesday October 10 2006

Have some clearer versions... ;-)


locworks's gravatar

64. trainspotting

Posted by locworks at 2:35PM, Tuesday October 10 2006

Re: big-blueprint.jpg
It's a choo-choo. Or for those who are not about to have a baby, it's a steam engine or a locomotive.

locworks's gravatar

65. Re: Chasing our collective tail

Posted by locworks at 2:40PM, Tuesday October 10 2006

<quote>I'm of the firm conviction that we are all equally clueless concerning the MINERVA mysteries, and, as such, stand united in our ignorance! ;-)</quote>

The creator knows everything.
The translator knows enough to write that the truth behind the veil is a thing of beauty and elegance.

Baffled's gravatar

66. 'No, it's a train of thought'...and other musings

Posted by Baffled at 5:39PM, Tuesday October 10 2006

So our musings are printed out atop a blueprint of a train? Well, could that symbolize the idea that we are being taken for a ride? Or could it be a play on loco, implying not madness as such, but a place where reason and logic fail us? The blueprint displays, what could be called, a God's-eye view of the inner workings of the train. Could this symbolize Minerva's superior perspective on events? The Latin phrase 'in loco' means to stand in place of something; could this be a symbol of deception? Or is an image of cogs in a machine a comment on our lowly status? It's function involves being fed fuel to be consumed; is this an image of the human condition ,are we merely fodder in some heartless process? It is essentially a machine for converting chemical energy to mechanical energy( plus heat ). Does this symbolize some great process of transformation that we are meant to aid, or stop? The sword background makes mention of a dashboard, prompting the question of who's at the controls?!

Have I gone off the rails on this one, have I lost track of reality?...Oh wait, I just thought of something else...why is the official French translator called 'locworks'?.. The French for train translates as 'horse of iron'...Pegasus was a horse, or in this case, is He a train!!!!

Anonymous's gravatar

67. Text of the sword background

Posted by Anonymous at 10:19PM, Tuesday October 10 2006

Looks like the output of top, or a similar task tracking system, on a Mac, judging by "quartz" and "dashboard" appearing in the listing.

I'll leave any potential musings on that to you guys...

locworks's gravatar

68. trainspotting

Posted by locworks at 12:52PM, Wednesday October 11 2006

<quote>why is the official French translator called 'locworks'?.. The French for train translates as 'horse of iron'...Pegasus was a horse, or in this case, is He a train!!!!</quote>

locworks stands for "localization works", a play on "steamworks", which is inspired by my work on steampunkish role-playing scenarios. It's also the name of my company.

Your take on "horse of iron" makes my eyebrows shoot north, as "railway" in French is "chemin de fer" and not "cheval de fer".

You may be in fact referring to the reaction of Bronze Age natives when they encountered for the first time the railway and the name they gave to the steam engine (Iron horse).

I think that the authors of many exegetic comments forgot that in a visual medium, such as hylobatidae.org/minerva/ or the metastasis trilogy, a lot of items are there because they look good or, in other words, because they serve a cosmetic purpose.

Baffled's gravatar

69. Elegant indeed

Posted by Baffled at 1:22PM, Wednesday October 11 2006

I've had a more sober thought concerning the blueprint. I remembered that passage from The Cryptonomicon that described Minerva as the Goddess of technical ingenuity. What could be more elegantly symbolic of invention than an engineering blueprint of a steam engine; the very machine that powered the Industrial Revolution and took us all, willing or not, into the Age of Technology? So you see, Locworks, there is meaning to see, if you but look. ;-)

I renounce that idea about Pegasus and hang my head in shame for my hopeless French! I feel certain that whatever awaits us down that hole is not a train, but something far more... ingenious.

It's also occurred to me to wonder why the translator had to know some of the secrets of the plotline in order to properly translate its text. That seems to suggest that there is a subtlety of phrasing involved, a layer of inference, hints aplenty...if only we had eyes ( or brains! ) to see.

P.S. Hold on, surely Bronze Age natives would have beheld a Bronze Horse, having no knowledge of iron?! Come to think of it, were there any Bronze Age natives still in existance to greet the age of the railway? Perhaps my eyebrows should join yours on a northwards excursion! ;-)

kast's gravatar

70. Elementary, I'm sure

Posted by kast at 2:33PM, Wednesday October 11 2006

You know, for once, I don't have any theories. :P It's fascinating enough just to listen to you own ideas. The frustrating part is I imagine it'll all be made clear eventually, and we'll be kicking ourselves for our blindness.

Oh, and that IS a lovely diagram of the steam engine.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

71. Steam Powered

Posted by Cargo Cult at 3:28PM, Wednesday October 11 2006

Actually, the train thing is more that I'd scanned that picture for use in the background of a real-life work website I was building - one about European railway standards, or something like that.

It looked sufficiently internal, behind-the-scenes and mechanical, so I borrowed it for these pages. No malevolent forethought or hidden messages there, I'm afraid...

The real puzzle, however - has anyone noticed the precise relationship between the colour schemes of the blog and the true MINERVA site?

kast's gravatar

72. Colours

Posted by kast at 3:44PM, Wednesday October 11 2006

Yes... hehe. Thought so. I took a screenshot of the blog and inverted the colours. What a lovely brown it gave me.

Stated plainly - the colour schemes are exact opposites of one another.

locworks's gravatar

73. colors

Posted by locworks at 3:45PM, Wednesday October 11 2006

opposite ?

Baffled's gravatar

74. Imprecise and a little dim

Posted by Baffled at 4:20PM, Wednesday October 11 2006

Oh dear. All I had to proffer was a feebly imprecise symbolism of Earth and Sky. My technical nous seems even wonkier than my French as I don't really see why brown should be the opposite of blue. Is it some kind of Hexadecimal jiggerypokery? ( I wiki'd The Colour Wheel but am still slightly bemused ).

Also I had to note the use of American English spelling by our ,apparently Polish, French translator. Do all speakers of English-as-a-second-language end up as hono(u)rary Americans? ;-)

locworks's gravatar

75. Re: Elegant indeed

Posted by locworks at 4:39PM, Wednesday October 11 2006

I look and see, with pleasure, the elegant symbols populating the various media created by Adam. I just tend not to derive too much from them in terms of meaning


For me, the interest of this artistic enterprise resides in the story itself: the fight of the anti-heroes against the alien invaders. The warrior on the island, exploring the deadly labirynth, starts out clueless, but not purposeless. A voice (the second anti-hero) guides him by whispers and shouts and talks to us through the intercepted transmissions.
The odds are against them, but they push on. The lonely hero and his good spirit, that's what makes the story enthralling. But I may be pauper spiritu and more easily entertained than others. :-)

Bronze Age natives: I meant 19th century natives, such as Native Americans (using the equivalent of Bronze Age technology) exposed to modern technology. But the pun is exquisite. :-)

Colour, colours: You may spot Hiberno-English constructions in my comments. Wouldn't it be grand if it made me Irish?

kast's gravatar

76. re: Colours

Posted by kast at 5:28PM, Wednesday October 11 2006

As in they're polar opposites of one another.

Baffled's gravatar

77. Terminological befuddlement

Posted by Baffled at 6:37PM, Wednesday October 11 2006

You meant to say, I think you'll find, is that they are complimentary colours. Of those I have heard! They're opposite each other on the colour wheel but are termed complimentary because they add to an achromatic ( white, grey, or black ).

My ego insists that it was you who were at fault, Kast, and I who have corrected you! But you don't have to believe that if you don't want to. ;-)

Oh, and Locworks, point well taken. But I wonder if Adam has taken into account subconscious motives influencing his choice of apparently cosmetic materials? Don't dismiss that too readily, a certain Sigmund Freud made a darn good living off such suggestions. ;-)

PiX_NeG's gravatar

78. topically divergent?

Posted by PiX_NeG at 9:59AM, Friday October 13 2006

aesthetics always get me. and plenty of people out there have good aesthetics, whether by a miracle of genetics, training, or the sum of the two. for me, cosmetic beauty is a natural by-product of the design process (or so I hope), and, although it doesn't come into play when constructing game levels, it does tend to dominate the overall product, either drowning the level in polygon-busy architecture, or further immersing the player in the world. I think, by my observations of Adam's level design, that this also may be the case for him; he may very well be blessed with natural aesthetics unknowlingly (or knowingly, as it may be), and, as a result, constructs levels (and websites, etc, etc) that are pleasant to our senses. It may not even register in his thought processes that what he makes is beautiful. surely, you agree: it is beautiful.

vecima's gravatar

79. tpical cream. (aesthetically [bronze] age divergent?)

Posted by vecima at 11:36PM, Friday October 13 2006

the levels populating the minerva series are quite pretty, but in the case of at least carcinogenesis, the true beauty is in the fact that it's not too beautiful. it looks every bit like an island, and almost nothing like a game level, yet provides both major level design models (bounce, loop) in just the first half.

about that 'little' island...

...choo choo diagrams here...
...trains in downhill struggle...
... for those of you who thought you knew what island it was, you're wrong! the polar icecaps must have melted, which is why the rails are under sub sealevel. sodor is our island. the only home we know.

Evan's gravatar

80. Color Inversion

Posted by Evan at 2:13AM, Sunday October 15 2006

Pretty obvious to anyone with a keen eye (or a program capable of inverted screenshots) that the color schemes are direct inversions of each other from the blog the main web site. Rather creepy, for sure, how similar they look in their inverted selves to the respective other. Very interesting.

Though I doubt this has little to do with Minerva in any form, other than the sheer, "Wow, that's kind of nifty" factor of it.

Evan's gravatar

81. Further Thoughts

Posted by Evan at 2:16AM, Sunday October 15 2006

Forgive me for not throwing this in with my previous comment.

What VECIMA said about the polar ice caps; how would that be? Are not the sea levels greatly decreased in City 17 (as seen in Half-Life 2 with the beach levels and how boats are strewn in random areas where they would of once been afloat)? Why would the sea levels be higher elsewhere but not there? I would think the sea levels would drop as they did in City 17 on a global scale.

Of course I don't know any other real reason of why railings would be underwater, which I've never even noticed myself.

vecima's gravatar

82. bah

Posted by vecima at 8:22PM, Sunday October 15 2006

in the usual acolyte fashion, you put way too much thought into it.

it was a joke.

though... perhaps minerva takes place chronologically before the draining of the seas.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

83. Sodorf

Posted by Cargo Cult at 9:22PM, Sunday October 15 2006

No excessively cute anthropomorphised versions of Combine razor trains here, alas - perhaps you should be looking at evidence for a *lowered* sea level?

When I was building that Silent-Cartographer-inspired sea arch connecting two beaches in Metastasis 1, at one point I had a noisy geographer (my father, no less) insisting that for such a geomorphological feature to have formed, the sea level should have been at least a few metres higher.

I told him that I'd planned that all along. Have a look at the docks!

Note also that the sea level hasn't dropped *that* far... ;-)

Evan's gravatar

84. Too Much Thinking

Posted by Evan at 9:24PM, Sunday October 15 2006

I'd like to think that I don't put too much thought into things, but rather I'm far too observant.

RodeoClown's gravatar

85. Thomas the Razor Engine

Posted by RodeoClown at 12:28AM, Monday October 16 2006

>No excessively cute anthropomorphised versions of Combine razor trains here

"What're they?", asked Thomas, as numerous stalkers shuffled out of Annie and Clarabel, his newly refurbished carriages.

"They are the result of the continued resistance against the unyeilding might of the combine" said Sir Toppam Hat, the fat combine controller.


Um... I'm done now :)

vecima's gravatar

86. Re: Thomas the Razor Engine

Posted by vecima at 3:11PM, Tuesday October 17 2006

ha ha ! marvelous!

not thomas per se,

but i could be sure that at least one of those razor trains was the stalker equivalent of percy or gordon...

locworks's gravatar

87. trainspotting (cont.) - OT

Posted by locworks at 3:33PM, Tuesday October 17 2006

I'm not sure if I should be happy or embarrassed by introducing the choo-choo factor into the discussion.
I'll pick happy, in honour of my nephew Augustin, who, as a 1/365 year old lad, is certainly looking forward to the toys I'll bring him.

Dagda's gravatar

88. Now what's that supposed to to mean?

Posted by Dagda at 3:40AM, Wednesday October 18 2006

"Note also that the sea level hasn't dropped *that* far... ;-)"

Would that be a hint as to the timeframe? The sea hasn't dropped as far due to the fact that the game takes place before Half-Life 2?

Or perhaps I'm just under-informed.

Evan's gravatar

89. Re: Now what's that supposed to to mean?

Posted by Evan at 3:45AM, Wednesday October 18 2006

I think he means it literally. As in, when I checked, the sea levels probably have only one or two meters. I think probably from what I was saying once before that the sea levels were a LOT lower, when they aren't actually too extreme.

Hard to tell, though.

kast's gravatar

90. RE: Now what's that supposed to mean?

Posted by kast at 7:57PM, Wednesday October 18 2006

I'm with Dagda on this one. That explanation seems quite logical.

Evan's gravatar

91. In the Past? In the Future?

Posted by Evan at 2:29AM, Thursday October 19 2006

>> I'm with Dagda on this one. That explanation seems quite logical.

In the first chapter, Minerva mentions your "rebel friends" or something along those lines. Unless there was a rebellion going on before HL2, I don't think the series takes place before.

vecima's gravatar

92. Back to the future

Posted by vecima at 5:30AM, Thursday October 19 2006

i would imagine that there have been various rebellions starting, pausing, stopping, resuming, etc in the nearly 20 years between HL and HL2.

also, i think it DOES take place before, given the
2009 date on the incomming messages... unless minerva caught the y2k09 bug.

if you assume HL to be anywhere from 1997 to 2002, then HL2 is set anywhere from 2013 to 2021,
so 2009 in my book plants it somewhere in the middle.

M_Gargantua's gravatar

93. dates

Posted by M_Gargantua at 11:04PM, Friday October 20 2006

HL2 is 2010

HL is 1999

I may be mistaken, but I at least know there are exact dates

Naurgul's gravatar

94. Exact Dates? That's a laugh.

Posted by Naurgul at 11:28PM, Friday October 20 2006

Well, M_Gargantua, (or should I say "Laughing Man"?) you see, there are no exact dates for HL2. I think HL1 is set in the end of the 90's (without giving an exact date) but HL2's dates are completely shrouded in mist. In Raising the Bar it says that one decade has passed. In the EpOne website it says it's been nearly two decades.

Nesretep's gravatar

95. HL2 and Ep1 dates

Posted by Nesretep at 4:43PM, Saturday October 21 2006

I would lean toward the time frame from the Episode One Website, because I got the impression from the various things we hear from Alyx that she grew up in the time between HL1 and HL2 rather than already being around during the event s of HL1. But I could be completely off.

M_Gargantua's gravatar

96. .

Posted by M_Gargantua at 2:15AM, Sunday October 22 2006

I know at least that HL is 1998-1999 ish. I don't know exactly where I remember that from, but I belive it was a mix of rasing the bar and ingame hints.

that puts HL2 either in 2009ish (which seems to be the general wikiperdia standard date) or 2019ish

that puts Alyx somewhere around either 16 or 26.

and 26 being closer to a realistic age for her, I have to agree with the two decades past on the Ep1 website

that puts mineva right in the middle.

Tombocombo's gravatar

97. Re: dates

Posted by Tombocombo at 3:19AM, Monday October 23 2006

There's no way Half-Life can take place in the 1990s. In the manual for the game, there is a letter from the Administrator of Black Mesa to Gordon Freeman, congratulating him on being hired as a research associate. The letter is dated "200x", and Gordon is supposed to arrive on May 29. Therefore, Half-Life could occur anywhere between May 29, 2000 and December 31, 2009. Because Gordon and Barney and Eli are supposed to be good chums, 2002 seems a more likely date (especially when you take the Aperture Science website into consideration). Plus, ten years is far too short for Alyx to go from a toddler to a mature woman. As a rough guess, I would say that "almost two decades" = eighteen years, putting Half-Life 2 at 2020. So if Alyx is two- or three- or four-years-old during Half-Life, she would be 20-22 in Half-Life 2.

M_Gargantua's gravatar

98. Next Re:

Posted by M_Gargantua at 9:31PM, Monday October 23 2006

It might have been raising the bar that I got the 1999 date from then, or it might have been a prequal story or something along those lines.

I will go with your dates then Tombocombo, which still puts minerva inbetween the games

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