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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.
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The Combine Factories, also nicknamed "garage" or "industrial", is a City 17 area cut early in the development of Half-Life 2. It was to be seen during the very first chapter, between the City 17 Trainstation and its plaza. It was to be accessed from the back of the trainstation, although Gordon was likely to first pass through the area while arriving to City 17 on its train.
Note: Some of the screenshots featured in this article were taken in altered versions of the Combine Factories maps, fixed by our contributors (some elements were improved and HDR was added, among other things). While they are very close to the original maps, they slightly divert from them.
- 1 Overview
- 1.1 Features
- 1.1.1 Railway and streets
- 1.1.2 Underground / sewers
- 1.1.3 The Cremator factory
- 1.1.4 The stenographer's chasm
- 1.1.5 The Stalker building
- 1.1.6 The Vortigaunt building
- 1.1.7 The garage
- 1.1.8 Other factories
- 1.1 Features
- 2 Fate
- 3 List of appearances
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
- A quite noisy and sinister area, it was to show the player human servitude under the Combine.
- Workers of these factories would have been consisted of both adult and child Citizens, as well as Stalkers and Vortigaunts. They were to be closely watched by Metrocops and City Scanners.
- Related levels include maps starting with
d1_garage_0*(1 and 2) and
c17_01_**(not to be confused with the E3 map
e3_c17_01) coming in around 15 versions, some featuring the nearby trainstation. The map
e3_industrialplanned to be shown at E3 2002 depicts a trimmed verison of the Combine Factories.
The area was to contain several specific sections illustrated in Raising the Bar or found in the several different WC map pack maps, in which a specific journey was to be made by the player, before reaching the front of the City 17 Trainstation main facade through a short tunnel. The areas include:
Railway and streets
- Factory structures featuring big pipes, catwalks, electric cables and tall chimneys emitting gas flares and pouring smoke into the atmosphere were to be seen all over the place.
- An elevated double-track railway for the (brush) Razor Train was to cross the area, transporting Citizens from the Wasteland or other locations to the nearby City 17 Trainstation.
- Door Towers were to be used by Metrocops to open Combine Barricades while APCs and School Buses were traveling around the area. In early maps, flying APCs ("shuttles") also were to be seen overhead.
- While the main road leads directly to the Trainstation Plaza access tunnel, allowing the player to skip much of the area, a turnstile-like Sensor Gate appears in some of the later versions, forcing the player to take a roundabout path through the surrounding factories and catwalks above.
Gloomy street at the start of the map. On the far left is located the Sensor Gate (here unseen).
A Razor Train passing above the streets among the factories.
The back/side of the City 17 Trainstation seen from near the garage, with the Vortigaunt building on the left (with green light).
Combine Door Tower in an early map.
Underground / sewers
- Sewers and underground rooms can be accessed through a large webbed trapdoor located on street level near the elevated railway, then through an extendable ladder that breaks before the player reaches the ground, forcing them to follow a specific path. The first sewer chamber features a deep shaft below the grating where Scanners can be seen flying, along with moving lights of unknown nature. After journeying through a drainage tunnel where Xen Plant Lights and a scripted sequence involving two Vortigaunts walking behind gratings in the wall were to be seen, the player was to reach partially flooded underground rooms having undergone a fire (and mostly reused from Vertigo). A small portion of the ceiling of one of the rooms was to have collapsed, allowing the rain to pour in. After several dimly lit corridors, the player was to reach the street again.
- An inaccessible underground tunnel can be glimpsed nearby through two gratings in the road.
- Certain versions of the Combine Factories have the entirety of the underground section either omitted or separated into its own map,
The Cremator factory
In this factory (also named "Children Factory"), children were to prepare Cremator heads for a processing machine while being watched by a Metrocop. It was to be seen from the street, then from above on a catwalk, but never directly accessed.
The stenographer's chasm
- This huge elongated building with a glass roof and its walls covered with white tiles (similarly to one of the early Citadels) and City 17 posters was an attempt to create a nightmarish environment, but it proved bereft of gameplay. The building was to feature multitudes of Citizens wearing light blue outfits and typing on stenographs, with Metrocops watching over them.
- While only a relatively small part of the building was situated above the ground level, the eponymous chasm was to extend deep down through the bedrock, with more chimneys and train tracks glimpsed below.
- The stenographer's room was not to be directly accessed (though some early prototype maps show intentions for the player to go through it), and only observed from a balcony or through windows. Corridors run beside it, and one includes stairs with machinery that pierced the wall under them.
- In the playable Half-Life 2 leak files, only the textures of the stenographer's chasm worker model can be found. Added to the light blue outfit, it was to have the head of the retail "Cheaple Male" Citizen model. A sheet of paper was also to be used, as well as a desk model possibly coming in three colors, also missing.
- More recent versions also contain other types of machines mostly involving pistons, as well as working children and Metrocops on the guard in suspended elevators.
- Several pieces of concept art for the interior of the early City 17 Trainstation appear to be based on a map similar to the stenographer's chasm building.
Fixed stenographer's chasm in the mod Half-Life 2 (GabeN).
Ditto, drop-down view. Scanners were also to be seen flying in the chasm.
The Stalker building
Stalkers were to be seen welding a rotating container using their laser tools in a room adjacent to the Vortigaunt building. Upon approaching the locked entrance door with a slot, a scripted sequence named "windowscare" was to be played, involving a Stalker suddenly appearing, banging furiously on the door, and then closing the slot.
The Vortigaunt building
A garage featuring a partially dismantled APC with its engine removed and attached to a small operable overhead crane was to be located opposite of the Vortigaunt building, near the back of the City 17 Trainstation. Odell's model was to be found there, used as a placeholder as it is often in the WC map pack. The building was also to include two operable vehicle lifts and several props such as the early brush vending machine.
Other unidentified factories appearing only in concept art were also to rely on child workers. The maps
e3_industrial contain brush and model versions, respectively, of the pistons featured in one of the concept arts.
- When the Cremator was cut and the team decided that human reproduction had been disabled by the Suppression Field, the presence of children as well as their factory were rendered irrelevant. The whole area then disappeared when the journey to Kleiner's Lab was heavily shortened and the general atmosphere of the game changed.
- The slavery/factory themes were recycled in the Citadel chapters and the slavery work was kept for the Stalkers only.