Half-Life's unused cutscenes


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Jun 11, 2004
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In Half-Life, everything is seen through the player's eyes, in first person view. But this wasn't always the case. The game was originally designed with third person cutscenes in mind.

During the development of the game, Valve was torn between using or removing cutscenes. In some cases, they couldn't figure out how to advance the story without them. They didn't have time and resources to do a good job with third person cinematics. These constraints forced them to make everything in first person. This gave the game its own unique identity.

For today's article, we remade one of the cutscenes using the leftover animations from the game. According to Marc Laidlaw, this sequence was to show Gordon Freeman being captured by the military from the view of a security camera. In the next scene, Gordon was to be seen being dragged to a trash compactor by soldiers.



Gordon Freeman gets captured by soldiers. Unfortunately, the last 33 frames of his animations are missing. Every other character's animations are 254 frames long.



Gordon Freeman is seen being dragged to a trash compactor by soldiers. The same animation was included in Half-Life: Blue Shift but was left unused.




Half-Life has a fully functional complex camera system that was created for the cutscenes. It was only used twice in the entire game. First, when Gordon is being dragged to a trash compactor by soldiers. Second, in the finale of the game, when the player accepts the G-Man's offer and steps into a teleporter.


For cutscenes, they used a variant of monster_generic named monster_player, a generic character entity that uses Gordon Freeman model.


The company wanted to use cutscenes for the tram ride, the disaster sequence and the finale.

Special Thanks

Marc Laidlaw for answering our questions
Slartibarty for recording the video


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