Then I saw that several gamers had written to Marc about this and that he said that the BM Incident had not occurred before the noughties. For instance, a fellow user on Combine OverWiki also asked him for clarification. In a nutshell, "Is that 1998 or 200-?" Here's what he said:Nope! All of that information, aside from the introduction, was supplied directly from Valve! Hope that helps!
Not completely content, I decided to ask him myself for clarification on April 9, 2010, and maybe get a precise date for the BM Incident (who knows?). I also told him that this apparent mistake also made some mess on our wiki (Combine OverWiki), and that we changed many pages more or less for nothing. Here's what he answered, not without some ironic humor:Information coming out of Aperture about Black Mesa is bound to be biased and inaccurate. It is well established in the documentary evidence that was shipped with the original Half-Life that Gordon Freeman did not go to work at Black Mesa until sometime in the noughts.
Not the best answer from the master, but better than nothing!Hi, Quentin,
Sorry to say, we'll never specify those dates precisely--Gordon's arrival at Black Mesa was sometime in the 2000's, and the Black Mesa Incident was a short while after that (not his first day at work, however, as some have conjectured--maybe based on some jokes we made back in the day). At the time we came up with the time range, it was deliberately kept vague, and the reasons for doing that have not changed.
I'm sorry that the site has to suffer the fallout of this inconsistency. I will send your mail along to the Portal team, and also waggle my finger at them when I pass them in the hall.
So it appears that our friend Erik is the culprit. I wondered why he didn't consult Marc before. How can't he know now that there are many hardcore HL fans who take these dates very seriously! Then I wrote to him, but about something else. We won't get any more from them, so let's be content with what we have.Hey Quentin!
No, I haven't heard anything from the Portal writers on the subject. The info came from Erik Wolpaw if you would like to follow up with him!
I just realised, this is a bit of a stealth jab at the Portal writing team isn't it? Just replace Aperture with Portal and Black Mesa with Half-Life.Information coming out of Aperture about Black Mesa is bound to be biased and inaccurate.
There's this question which has been eating away at me for years, since I first read Geoff Keighley's "The Final Hours of Half-Life 2". There it was said that in your first pass at the Half-Life 2 script, players would start aboard the Borealis. Is this true, and if so, how would this have worked, exactly? It's not mentioned in any other sources, and the infamous 2003 leak only included game levels in which the Borealis was placed towards the end of the game.
Thanks for reading!
Sincerely, yet another Half-Life fan
RE: Half-Life 2 question
That is basically correct, however that wasn't really the "first pass" at the script. We had many different starting places and many different storylines we kicked around.
In that version, you started on the ice, on foot, near the ice-locked Borealis, and then you boarded it, made you way through the ship, the ship travelled out of the ice and you boarded a minisub that took you down to an underwater lab run by Dr. Mossman and an army of stalkers. The lab was flooded, you narrowly escaped in an escape pod, were rescued by rebels and fought your way to a weather station where you boarded a C40 that flew you to the city where you crashed into a skyscraper and worked your way down through the ruined building to ground level where...my memories become unclear because we never built most of this. We already felt it wasn't working and we were moving on to more compelling scenarios. So in answer to your question "how would this have worked, exactly?" I reply, "It wouldn't work." That's why we didn't make it.
I'm not sure why people thought Borealis was placed toward the end of the game in the stolen version. (By the way, it was not a "leak." It was "theft.")
Hello again mr. Laidlaw.
In my e-mail to you from yesterday I've asked you about mention that Gordon originally was to start his HL2 journey from Borealis. In your reply you wrote "I'm not sure why people thought Borealis was placed toward the end of the game in the stolen version." I attached a map of original HL2 journey from Raising the Bar book, where you can see "Path of Borealis" is set in the second half of the journey, so that's why everyone thinks it was placed towards the end of HL2. It seems that this particular version of HL2's events also fits the plotline you described. Also, most of the stolen Borealis maps have the prefix "D3", which means they would be set in the third day of the game's chronology, closer to the end of the game.
Could the confusion have started with GameSpot? Apparently Raising the Bar mentions game settings like Washington D.C. and the Middle East, but there is no indication there that the game's introduction would have occured on the icebreaker.
RE: RE: Half-Life 2 question
Ah...that diagram shows a later version of the story than the one I described. And the DC/Middle East settings were even earlier than the version that had Borealis in it. Don't forget, we had six years to churn through alternatives and lose our way over and over again.
Answer:In Opposing Force, are Race X and Xen creatures (the Nihilanth's forces and such) intended to be enemies against each other? Or are they allies working on the same side? They are never seen fighting ingame (or together in the same area, for that matter), but some believe that there's evidence to support them being hostile to one another, and vice versa.
I worked within a framework articulated to me by Marc Laidlaw of Valve that allowed for many alien species to exist in the universe – some intelligent, some not – some with agendas, some without. With what was revealed, you can deduce that the masters of the aliens referred to as "Race X" clearly have some sentience and some agenda and they clearly employ or subjugate other aliens... In that way, they are similar to the creatures that have subjugated the Vortigaunts (and you learn more about that in HL2). Other than that, there is no clear answer to your question given the information that's been revealed by the games.
I always loved those guys too. They never got the attention they needed to be a fun, functional monster...only rudimentary code, very little level design to put them to use. They were originally a story element and just never got fleshed out into a game element. Originally their heads were used as the model for all the rollermines and not only Dog's ball. The mines had a lot more character then than the generic sci-fi version that shipped.
Just wondering - if Valve gave you the go-ahead, would you consider writing a novel or series of novels in the Half-Life universe intended to bring closure to the storyline?
No. The whole interest of the thing to me was in crafting a story that hinged entirely on FPS game design considerations. Not interested in going back there and resurrecting that whole particular set of story problems. I’d rather continue to explore new challenges, and keep moving forward, or whatever direction this is that I’m going in.
This makes me sadMight as well throw this up here... recent email exchange I had with Marc on 12/3/16: