- "Reminder: Memory replacement is the first step toward rank privileges."
- ― Overwatch Voice[src]
As stated by an Overwatch Voice radio transmission to Civil Protection officers, memory replacement is mandatory to access higher rank privileges, i.e. to go from a Metro Cop with an unaltered nervous system to an Overwatch soldier. This method, essentially brainwashing, turns a normal human into a pawn with complete loyalty to the Combine, replacing most if not all the memory of his former self.
The process is achieved through a device in which the soldier is placed, while only wearing his fatigues and boots. While the body is retrained to an arm-like device, the legs hanging below, the head is enveloped by a shell-like apparatus. The device is first seen in the Citadel during the Half-Life 2: Episode One chapter Direct Intervention, where eight devices are attached to a wall in an inaccessible area.
While the stripped Overwatch Soldier first appears on a monitor in Nova Prospekt's cell block B4 in Half-Life 2, on an operating table, it is unknown if memory replacement was also performed at Nova Prospekt.
Behind the scenes
While the memory replacement device was first introduced in-game in Half-Life 2: Episode One, it was originally designed to appear in Half-Life 2, at Nova Prospekt.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar (First appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 230