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The subject matter of this article contains in-development information that was cut from the final version of an official and/or canonical source and appears in no other canonical source. It may also contain incomplete information since not all cut material is publicly known.
The canisters were to be picked up by the player and stored in one's inventory, automatically being administered by the HEV Suit at the appropriate time. When used, the suit was to provide a voice message notification. Each canister was a single-use item. There were three planned variants.
The antidote canister, also known as the anti-toxin syringe, was to cure the player from the effects of blood poisoning and nerve gas. Although unused, it was largely implemented and can be spawned and used in the final game.
The radiation canister or syringe was to treat and make the player immune to the effects of radiation for an unknown amount of time.
Behind the scenes
The canister models can be found in the files in the final game. Poison Headcrabs were to appear in Half-Life and possibly inject the player with their venom, forcing one to find an antidote to counteract the lingering damage effects. The Crossbow's arrows were also poisonous at some point and were to be used by the Female Assassins. A single antidote canister item can be found in the multiplayer map Datacore.
In the cut chapter Reactor Lab, there were radiation showers that acted similar to the radiation canister, immediately neutralizing radiation damage in addition to acid, chemical, and fire damage.