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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.
- "Keep it clean... or he will"
- ―Combine propaganda poster[src]
The Cremator is a Combine unit cut from Half-Life 2. "A Combine janitor of sorts", it was originally intended to remove corpses from the city streets, cleanup Wasteland trains coming into the city from any wildlife that might have held on to it during the journey, as well as patrolling some parts of the Wasteland, such as train depots. It was also apparently to occasionally fight the player.
- The Cremator was to be some kind of janitor, breathing heavily and disposing of dead bodies through the use of its Immolator - a large cannon capable of spraying a green beam of plasma, which would disintegrate organic matter upon contact. It was intended for the player to obtain an Immolator, which would have been effective against organic enemies.
- It has a Poké Ball-like sphere located on its belly, which was to be connected to the Immolator via a hose, providing the corrosive substance for the weapon and suggesting that much of the Cremator's disproportionate body was used as a vessel for storing the acid.
- Cremator heads were to be prepared by children in the Cremator factory located in the Combine Factories area in City 17. It is therefore unknown to what extent the Cremator was to be transhuman or if it was to be transhuman at all, since while it appears to have at least human arms and hands (although with only four fingers), the original human was probably beheaded at some point. The rest of the process of the preparation of Cremator units was apparently not to be seen.
- The player was also to be able to pick up Cremator heads and throw them at enemies, as part of the Brickbat weapon.
- Although the Cremator's NPC has no AI (no coding related to it can be found in the leaked source code), no clear fight animations and was mostly intended to clean the streets, sound files indicate that it was to notice the player, invalidating the theory of the Cremator being more of a dynamic prop than a real NPC, like the Boid in Half-Life. Another sound file indicates it was to be seen dying, indicating it was to be fought and killed by the player or Rebels, allowing the player to use its weapon and pick up its head to throw it at enemies. It was likely to be passive at the start of the game, and turn against every non-Combine NPC during the uprising.
- In its model, its eyes and "mouth" textures are incorrectly displayed, although they are properly rendered in the Brickbat's Cremator head.
- Both the Cremator and the Alien Assassin bear some similarities. They have an identical orange sphere on the back of one hand, looking like some sort of lid (the left hand for the Cremator, the right for the Alien Assassin, in lower resolution), similar arms and hands (except that the Cremator has only four fingers), and also lines on the hands (although the Cremator has them on its gloves instead of the skin like Alien Assassin).
Several WC mappack maps, such as "
cremator_street02" or "
cremator_039" (which features a building seen in "
sniper_029"), feature areas of the American-like City 17 of the first concepts where some Cremator tests were conducted by the development team. The map "
cremator_street02" involves a run-down area in fire with two Cremators, while "
cremator_039" involves a normal area with Cremator squads protected by Metrocops and a brick tunnel filled with wrecked cars, Manhacks and Ceiling Turrets, all attacking the player (this tunnel was somehow recycled into the Half-Life 2 chapter Anticitizen One and the Episode One chapter Lowlife). It also contains several door/guard towers, also cut from the final game. Another map, "
wasteland_depot", last edited August 2001 and set in the Wasteleand, features an early Depot with, among other things, a Cremator waiting for the player on the train platform. Another Wasteland map, "
toxic_pit03", last edited June 2001, consists of a small valley filled with Headcrabs, and several Cremators stationed above.
Behind the scenes
The Cremator partially made the final cut as an Easter egg left in Eli Vance's lab at Black Mesa East. A Cremator's head can be found apparently preserved in formaldehyde on the table located to the right of the teleport, but green-colored, instead of the original white. Eli mentions that Alyx brought it in, stating "We're still not sure what that does. Alyx brings in the strangest things". A nearby computer screen with some sort of scan of the Cremator head on it also suggests it is studied by Eli or someone else (it is also featured in the Half-Life 2: Deathmatch map Steam Lab). Early Half-Life 2 footage also shows that the Cremator's head was originally not contained in a jar.
Side view of the concept model. Note the hose connecting from its stomach to the Immolator.
Close-up view of the concept Immolator model with the twin barrels.
The Cremator factory in the WC mappack.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2 (First appearance) (As an unidentified head and on a computer screen)
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar (First identified as Cremator) (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (Non-canonical appearance) (On a computer screen)