|Function(s) / Belongings|
|Rank / Occupation||
Right hand-mounted Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator
2.5 meters (8 feet)
|Chronological and political information|
Dog is a giant robotic bipedal robot, and a minor recurring character in Half-Life 2 and its episodes.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Related Achievements
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Gallery
- 6 List of appearances
- 7 References
Dog was created by Eli Vance more than almost two decades ago to both celebrate and protect his daughter, Alyx Vance. He has been programmed to be playful, but also ardently loyal to Alyx, acting as both a pet and bodyguard. Similarly to Barney Calhoun, he provides much comic relief throughout the games, with his quirks and many strange and odd decisions.
When provoked, he can become very dangerous to enemies, using his immense strength and weight to smash enemies to the ground or tear them apart. His battle sequences are often humorously exaggerated; he always attacks head-on with little care for himself or consequences, nor taking any noticeable damage. This makes him a pivotal force in any battle, as he can be seen destroying Striders with ease and lifting heavy objects from the ground, only to throw them into an enemy moments later.
Alyx treats Dog much like a pet dog, calling him "boy" most often and using similar body language and voice as when talking to a real dog. She pats her upper thighs when calling him at Black Mesa East, and tells him to "fetch" when Gordon throws the Rollermine. Their relationship is also much like that of a dog and its master: they have a mutual trust and friendship, which has grown over the years so that Alyx now trusts Dog's opinions and hunches, as crazy as they may sometimes appear. She also has come to accept his sometimes erratic behavior, when he runs off without warning only to appear again moments later. Their relationship differs from the traditional dog and master relationship in the sense that Dog is considerably more intelligent than most real dogs, and is also much larger and more powerful than any human. However, these differences rarely come between them and their friendship seems very deep, so much so that Alyx shows many signs of affection for Dog. He also seems to have something of a sixth sense, being able to determine where Alyx is, no matter the situation. When Alyx is inside the Citadel, he is eager to get in there and rescue her.
Dog's body is constructed largely of scrap metal, hydraulics, and wires. He has what appears to be the camera and three of the four flaps from a scrapped City Scanner for a head. He is quadrupedal but walks on his knuckles like a gorilla. His body language is hard to convey effectively, due to his large size and weight. One of his main forms of emotive outlet is his eye, which has an aperture used in much the same way as the human eye to show feelings by opening and closing, but often more prolifically. His Scanner flaps also move according to his mood.
Dog has a Zero Point Energy device, much like the Gravity Gun, built into one hand, to pick up and throw things. He has an amazing strength, and proves extremely useful through the course of the story, as he can throw large objects (such as vehicles) at enemies or make way to areas which are otherwise inaccessible to Gordon. Dog is incredibly resilient against damage, being able to withstand many sources of injury including weapons, fire, and explosions.
Gordon Freeman is first introduced to Dog in the Black Mesa East scrap yard. As part of a tutorial on operation of the Gravity Gun, Alyx arranges a game of "fetch" between Gordon and Dog, using a deactivated Combine Rollermine as the ball, until they are interrupted by a Combine assault on the Resistance facility. After heading back inside, Dog opens for Gordon the door to an unused tunnel leading towards Ravenholm, to aid his escape after he gets separated from Alyx. While Gordon enters the tunnel, Dog stays behind to help Alyx and the others defend the lab.
Gordon meets Dog again after he and Alyx teleport from Nova Prospekt to Kleiner's Lab at the end of the chapter Entanglement. The company splits again when Gordon and Dog set off to find Barney Calhoun, Alyx deciding to stay with Dr. Kleiner who refuses to leave without his pet Headcrab Lamarr. As the chapter Anticitizen One begins, Dog is quick to leave Gordon behind and charge at a nearby group of Combine troops outside the lab, tossing a ruined car at them and even fighting off an APC. He then forces open a Combine Barricade gate for Gordon, allowing him to proceed. However Dog goes berserk immediately after and jumps on a Combine Dropship whilst trying to attack it, departing into the unknown.
Dog eventually manages to find Barney, and Gordon meets both of them in the square toward the end of the chapter "Follow Freeman!", in a scene where Dog, in the heat of the battle, knocks over a column topped with the large statue of a horse. As Barney reports to the player, Dog is probably aware of the fact that Alyx is already in the Citadel, and so tries to reunite with her, being completely uncontrollable by others. The last time Dog is seen in Half-Life 2 is when he once again opens a passage for Gordon, this time allowing him to proceed to the Citadel's foot, by lifting a heavy section of Combine Smart Barrier, uncovering an ancient sewer tunnel.
Half-Life 2: Episode One
Episode One opens with Gordon lying in the darkness under a pile of rubble. The sound of Alyx and Dog searching for him leaks through, and after lifting up a large slab of rock, Dog's head and eye appear through a hole. He seems elated, and quickly lifts Gordon out of the rubble.
After Gordon's recovery, Dog helps Alyx contact her father, using his metal body as an antenna by twisting his hand to get a better signal. After much deliberation, Alyx and Gordon decide to enter the Citadel, however they are blocked by a large ravine. Dog runs off in search of something, and soon throws over a large empty car. Testing the distance by throwing a rock over the ravine, he lets Alyx know that her and Gordon are to climb into the car, allowing him to throw them over. Eventually Alyx concedes, telling Dog to go back to Eli after he has thrown them. Gordon and Alyx both get into the vehicle, before Dog picks it up and throws it across the dividing ravine. Dog is not seen again for the rest of the game.
Half-Life 2: Episode Two
In Episode Two, Dog appears late in the game in the Outlands, when Gordon and Alyx have nearly reached White Forest. When the duo is forced to stop their car because of a gate, a Strider that was lying on the ground wakes up. Fortunately, Dog appears quickly and takes down the Strider in an epic battle, with little regard for his own well-being. After narrowly avoiding being crushed multiple times, he manages to tear off the casing of the Strider's control mechanism and subsequently shuts it down by removing its "brain".
Afterward, Dog challenges Gordon to beat him to the base in his car. If the player is able to beat Dog, Alyx will mock Dog by saying "Better luck next time, slow poke." However, if Dog wins, he will dance around triumphantly. Dog is then left outside to help MIRT patrol the area while Gordon and Alyx continue on to meet Eli and Kleiner.
Towards the end of the game, after the closure of the Superportal, Dog appears once again. He greets Alyx but is distracted by something in the distance, and goes running off much to Alyx's dismay. Whilst Dog is gone, Eli, Gordon, and Alyx go into the hangar to get to the helicopter, but are ambushed by Combine Advisors who kill Eli, inserting their appendage through the back of his neck, breaking his spinal column. Before the Advisors manage to repeat the horrific process on Gordon and Alyx, Dog shows up in the nick of time, narrowly avoiding the death of Alyx. He manages to injure one Advisor considerably, jumping onto its back and smashing it to the ground, whilst the other flees from his attacks relatively unscathed. As Alyx cradles her dead father, Dog leans over, watching in confusion and sorrow.
|Two Points (2G)|
|Use Dog's ball to make a basket in the scrapyard.|
|Half-Life 2: Episode Two|
|Pedal to the Metal (5G)|
|Beat Dog in a race to White Forest.|
Behind the scenes
- Dog was one of the few Half-Life 2 concepts that went from the first sketch straight into the game with relatively few changes to the design. Designers were inspired by classic movie robots, as Dog is a near cousin to Robby the Robot from the 1956 film Forbidden Planet.
- Concept art for Eli Maxwell, Gordon Freeman, Alyx Vance and Skitch made during the first year of Half-Life 2's development shows the silhouette of Dog in the back, standing up like a human. At this point he was still "a rough idea"; no real design was completed yet.
- Dog does not have any combat AI, and all in-game scenes with Dog fighting are scripted. If a spawned Dog is approached by anything threatening, even a common Headcrab, he will flee. If no enemies are present, he will find a nearby small object and throw it at the player, as if playing "fetch".
- As mentioned in the Half-Life 2: Episode One commentary, players' feedback towards Dog were very positive, hence Valve made him the first thing to be seen at the start of the game.
- Valve released two merchandise featuring Dog: "Good Dog" shirt on November 18, 2015; "Dog vs. Strider" poster (by Ben Steinbeck) on April 28, 2016.
- 3A, a toy company, announced that they were working with Valve in a newsletter on March 17, 2012. Ashley Wood of 3A revealed that Gordon and Dog set is in the works, based on detailed models sent by Valve, in a question and answer session on January 19, 2014. Ashley posted a photo of an unfinished version of Dog figure on his Instagram on March 6, 2015. This figure appears to be similar to the Dog model (by Tristian Reidford) found in Aperture Robot Repair.
Half-Life 2 leak
Ditto, with a symbol also seen in the textures of TBot1.
Half-Life 2: Episode One
Half-Life 2: Episode Two
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch "Dog crossing (Xing)" spray.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (Spray only) (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- Randolph the Red-Nosed Turret (Name only) (Non-canonical appearance)
- Travis Brady on Pinterest
- Half-Life 2 Prima Guide
- Half-Life 2, Black Mesa East
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- Half-Life 2: Episode One commentary
- News on Steam's official website (November 18, 2005)
- Ben Steinbeck's personal website
- News on Steam's official website (April 28, 2006)
- 3AVOX Newsletter - Volume 2, Number 7 on MailChimp (March 17, 2012)
- Sunday Q&A #17 with Ashley Wood on World of 3A's Facebook page (January 19, 2014)
- Ashley Wood's post on Instagram (March 6, 2015)
- Aperture Robot Repair (vr/models/personal/tristan/dog_model.vmdl)