This article is about one of the two Half-Life: Decay protagonists. For the software she gave her likeness and voice to, see Holographic Assistant.
|Function(s) / Belongings|
|Rank / Occupation||
Level 4 Hazardous Environment Supervisor
List of weapons in Half-Life
|Chronological and political information|
Dr. Gina Cross is a Black Mesa scientist who first appears as the Holographic Assistant for Gordon Freeman in the Black Mesa Hazard Course and then later as one of the two Half-Life: Decay protagonists involved in the Black Mesa Incident, the other being Colette Green.
Gina is a 25-year old Hazardous Environment Supervisor with Level 4 security clearance. She is the senior physicist assigned to anomalous materials handling at the Anomalous Materials Laboratory at the Black Mesa Research Facility. She is a graduate of Caltech and has a Ph.D. in the fields of bioengineering and mechanical engineering. It is stated that she is the designer of the Hazardous Environment Suit. Her personal suit that she wears during her duties is tan-colored.
As suggested by the notes she wrote in her copy of the Hazard Course training schedule, her job as Hazardous Environment Supervisor involves supervising the Hazard Course training drills and acting as the HEV Suit instructor. She is also one of the several scientists to oversee other scientists through exercises such as simulations. When their work requires her to be elsewhere in the facility, she is substituted in the course by her holographic counterpart to which she lent her appearance and recorded the instructional messages for.
Several training lessons were planned before, during, and after the Black Mesa Incident. Two are directly related to Gina as the instructor: on May 13, 200- at 10:00, she instructed Walter Bennet for an Anti-Mass Spectrometer Overload Simulation; on May 13, 200- at 07:30, the day of the incident, her hologram instructed Gordon Freeman for an HEV Suit training session. Another is related to her as the trainee: on May 15, 200- at 20:00, she tested a Mark V HEV Suit prototype under the supervision of Richard Keller. It is unknown how this is related, if at all, to Gordon's Mark V suit seen in Half-Life 2.
In Half-Life, Gina is seen as the Holographic Assistant in the training portion of the game. Gordon Freeman is trained here in the use of his suit in preparation his job as a research associate. She is also a selectable character model in the multiplayer mode.
Half-Life: Opposing Force
In Opposing Force, Gina has a small cameo. While making his way through the facility, Adrian Shephard discovers the Displacer Cannon and can use it to transport himself to the original Hazard Course where her hologram counterpart is still running. At this point, the course is full of Vortigaunts who attack the hologram, mistaking it for an actual human.
She is also a selectable character in the Capture The Flag multiplayer game mode. She is presented with a biography description that states: "As the first scientist to work with the HEV suit, Gina became the HEV instructor and senior physicist assigned to the handling of anomalous materials. When the soldiers came, Gina's HEV suit gave her a combative edge against the Kevlar armored troops."
Half-Life: Blue Shift
In Blue Shift, Gina is seen in person for a minor cameo appearance. Barney Calhoun can enter a video surveillance room and check one of the monitor feeds to watch her deliver the GG-3883 crystal sample.
In Decay, Gina is the one who delivers the GG-3883 crystal sample to the delivery system and then heads to an area below the test chamber, where Colette Green is stationed, to fix a jam in the lift that allows the specimen to be delivered up to Gordon. After the Resonance Cascade occurs, Gina teams up with Green to battle their way through the now alien-infested facility. They first escort Dr. Rosenberg to the surface to contact the military, and then under the guidance of Richard Keller, they succeed in starting a resonance reversal to help lessen the effects of the dimensional rift. During the course of the game, the Holographic Assistant is seen again when the players are required to cut through the destroyed remains of the Hazard Course to reach the surface.
When the game is played with one player, an AI-controlled bot will take control of the second character. This bot will speak and comment during hostile encounters using limited dialog choices. When under control by the AI, Gina expresses herself as a calm and pragmatic individual, a contrast to her partner Colette who exhibits a more excitable personality.
Gina's fate, along with the rest of the survivors in Decay, remains unknown to the other Black Mesa survivors.
Behind the scenes
The original Gina character model was based on Mona Lisa Guthrie, an office manager at Valve at the time and sister of John Guthrie, one of the game's level designers. In the Hazard Course maps, the holographic guide's internal entity name is "
mona". Kathy Levin, Gina's voice actress in all of her appearances, also provided the voice for the Black Mesa Transit System tram recordings, suggesting Gina herself may have recorded it.
In an early iteration of the storyline, Gina was going to be Gordon's spouse and a co-worker who was in the lab with him when the incident happened. Gabe Newell wished for her to be an alternate playable character. The initial plan was to allow people to choose to play as a male or a female protagonist and also have interactions between the two throughout the game. This idea never materialized. By the time he made this proposal, it was too late to implement her, and she didn't work with some parts of the game. Marc Laidlaw convinced Gabe that leaving her out would make the rest of the story stronger. In Day One's files, the included version of
player.mdl, the default player model, contains two body variations under a switchable body group titled "
gender". These male and female variants are respectively represented by Gordon and Gina.
After the role of the second protagonist was cut from the game, Gina's character model was repurposed as the holographic instructor seen in the Hazard Course. In this incarnation, her facial appearance was modified, removing her hair bun and making her look older. She was also made a selectable character model in the multiplayer mode, her appearance here based on her original design.
Decay and expansions
For Decay, the hologram instructor was turned into the playable protagonist of Gina Cross. It's explained that she lent her likeness and voice to the hologram in the Hazard Course. The name "Cross" was first mentioned at the beginning of Half-Life by the Black Mesa Announcement System in a message that states "Dr. Cross, call 729 please." However, it is not known if this is meant to be a reference to the same character.
Unused biographical information for Gina can be found within the Decay game files in
titles.txt, the source file for on-screen messages. The material presented here disagrees with the information given in the instruction manual. In the unused material, her age is stated to be 31, her administrative sponsor is left classified, and her Ph.D. is said to be in the field of applied physics.
Originally, Gina and Colette were both to wear orange HEV suits identical to Gordon's in Decay. Lines from the security guards still make mention of the orange suits despite having been changed during development. When playing as Gina, the player's HUD is displayed in a light blue color[i], while Colette's is displayed in orange-red.
Although Gina's fate after the events of Decay is unknown, a corpse resembling hers wearing a red[a] HEV suit can be found in an underwater section of Xen by Adrian Shephard during Opposing Force in one of the Displacer's teleport destinations. She can first be seen in the chapter Pit Worm's Nest (map
of4a4), later in Foxtrot Uniform (
of5a4), and finally in "The Package" (
of6a3). This body is actually
gina.mdl, the model used for Gina in Half-Life's multiplayer mode, and its entity name in the map is specified as "
gina_dead". As this corpse was placed before Gina was fleshed out into a full character for Decay, it is not clear if these this appearance is meant to reflect the same person.
Gina facing a Gargantua in an early Decay screenshot.
Gina in the Head-to-Head game mode in the PlayStation 2 version.
Hazard Course training schedule given to Colette Green by Gina.
List of appearances
- Half-Life (As a hologram and a multiplayer model)
- Half-Life: Opposing Force (As a hologram and a multiplayer model)
- Half-Life: Blue Shift
- Half-Life: Decay (First identified as Gina Cross) (Also as a hologram)
- Half-Life: Day One (Non-canonical appearance) (First appearance) (As a hologram)
- Half-Life: Uplink (Non-canonical appearance) (As a hologram)
- The multiplayer models have texture maps with a special color palette used for player customization in the multiplayer mode of Half-Life. This customization is defined by the
bottomcolorvalues, allowing the choice of two colors. When a multiplayer model is placed in a singleplayer map, the
bottomcolorvalues default to "0", in this case resulting in a red color.
- Half-Life PlayStation 2 instruction manual
- Opposing Force CTF character biography
- Dr. Rosenberg: "Those HEV suits of yours are well designed, Dr. Cross." Mission: Dual Access, Half-Life: Decay
- Stephen Bahl as quoted on Marc Laidlaw Vault on the ValveTime.net Forums
- "There's pic's of Mike Harrington, Harry Teasley, the beautiful Mona (the chick that the female model is based on), and others." News on Planet Half-Life
- Mona Lisa Guthrie on Valve's official website (December 1, 1998) (archived)
- "The devilish Mona Lisa from Valve let me in on a little secret... today is her brother, John Guthrie's birthday!" News on Planet Half-Life
- Interview with Gabe Newell on HalfLife.org (1999) (archived)
- Next Generation magazine, Issue 48 (December 1998)
- Half-Life Interview on WarZone (1998) (archived)
- Marc Laidlaw on Gina as an alternate playable character in Half-Life (September 1, 2016)
- Half-Life PlayStation 2 trailer on YouTube