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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.
- "You want me? You want some of me? Get it! Get it! "
- ― Animal[src]
The Conscripts are a human Combine unit cut from Half-Life 2. They were to be the remains of the former Earth forces requisitioned and unwillingly reincorporated (according to the definition of Conscription) into the Combine units as low rank human Combine soldiers. They were to be headed by Captain Vance.
They were to use OICWs, MP5Ks, Shotguns, Stun Batons, grenades, APCs, and Bradleys. They were to be protected by flak jackets. Unused canteen and helmet textures can also be found in the Conscript model textures.
There are only two known Conscript models. The head of the generic one, based on Ted Backman's head, was used for Citizen Male 2, but it is likely that Conscripts were to come with the several different Citizen heads, sometimes with helmets, as seen in one piece of concept art and a texture from the Half-Life 2 leak files. The other, sharing the same body, was Captain Vance's model, whose head was reused for the Citizen Male 8.
Known storyline elements
The early Resistance
While heading this unit, Captain Vance, stationed at the Air Exchange, was to secretly organize the Resistance. When Freeman was to destroy the Air Exchange's reactor core, Vance was to rally his Conscripts and other Citizens and start to turn against the Combine to launch the City 17 uprising. They also acted as security in Kraken Base. Similar to the rebels in the final game, Conscripts were to launch an attack on the Weather Control and fight on the City 17 streets, having some advantage on the rebels from the final game in their use of their tanks and other weaponry originally provided to them by the Combine.
The Weather control assault
A massive attack was to be launched on the Weather Control, in the Arctic regions. Gordon and Alyx were to fight alongside Vance and his Conscripts, before going back to City 17 and take part into the ongoing uprising.
The sniper scene
According to sound files in "vo/sniper" folder, and a map named "
sniper", it seems that the Half-Life 2 level where Barney Calhoun is pinned down by an Overwatch Sniper was originally to involve a platoon of Conscripts pinned down in a long street by a sniper equipped with a bolt action rifle while trying to reach Captain Vance's headquarters.
Apparently after the map "
sniper" appears to be roughly the same map, only that "
rooftops" is located on building rooftops and that "
sniper" on the street level, and also reinforced by the fact there's a fire escape ladder at the player's start), Gordon was to arrive on the street level, where a huge battle was to be taking place. Big fires here and there were to be blazing with damaged Conscript APCs all over the place, buildings in ruins, and Zombies lurking in several buildings. At one end was to be a Conscript laying down wounded in an APC, who would interact with Gordon.
At the start of the sniper scene, Gordon watches as three conscripts are pursued by a Merkava, which is presumably being operated by Combine soldiers. Two of them are killed by land mines and the last remaining Conscript takes cover behind a truck, only to be killed by the tank. Shortly after, another Conscript armed with an RPG arrives on a rooftop and destroys it.
Gordon would join the platoon nearby and be ordered by the leading officer to cover another Conscript, named Manwich (also known as Animal), while the latter would take care of the sniper right behind the APC with the wounded soldier in it. Manwich is a quite nervous, jumpy soldier, in the vein of Pvt. Hudson in the film Aliens, would lose his patience and begin running down the street and get shot by the sniper soon after.
sniper_029.vmf" was last edited in May 2001, making it a very early street war map, likely to be set somewhere after the rooftop maps and the Skyscraper (Vertigo version), and before the map "
VanceHQ.vmf", dating from the same period of development.
Behind the scenes
It appears that the AI of the security guard featured in Half-Life was reused for the Conscripts, until they were made unspawnable. Additionally, all voice lines found in the "sound/npc/conscript" folder are the same ones spoken by Half-Life security guards.