|The contents of this article have been cut.|
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.
About the size of a horse, Mr. Friendly was to be a creature that crawled on legs of uneven length with hoofed feet at its back and horn-like spurs on its front. It moved in an awkward, shuffling manner while its spurs dragging across the ground made a noise resembling "fingernails on a chalkboard". It would act as a non-hostile scavenger that ate the corpses of dead enemies. This behavior would serve as a logical explanation for the disappearance of bodies that was done to improve the performance of the game. It could also alert the player to nearby threats.
- “It's a carrion eater, and it thinks you are the coolest thing it's ever seen because you create so much food! You can snuff it if you want to, but, if you pay attention to its behaviour, it'll act as an early warning system. It can sense danger like a horse. If a bad-ass monster is close by, it'll make a warning cry and run away.”
- — Ted Backman
One of its proposed attacks was to pound the ground and knock the player's weapon out of his hand. It was even suggested that Gordon's glasses fly off and leave the player stuck in combat with blurry vision, a feature that would have been challenging to implement considering the game technology available at the time. Its most recent attacks in the game's development are demonstrated in the model's animations. Two sequences show it rearing up on its hind legs and whipping its target with its tentacles, a double whip variation also included, as well as vomiting at the player when at range.
Behind the scenes
Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar offers an account as to the origin of the alien's design. According to the book, Valve's Ken Birdwell had a friend whose 12-year-old brother, Ted Backman, used to draw. Birdwell had always liked his work, so while searching for a concept artist for Half-Life several years later, he asked Backman to provide a couple of sketches for possible monsters. Backman presented him and Gabe Newell, Valve's managing director, sketches of several very sexual-oriented monsters, the kind of material Birdwell did not expect. Among these was "Mr. Friendly" displaying an obvious penis. When questioned about it, Backman described that the creature would use its tentacled arms to pull the player towards itself until the point of fatal copulation. Birdwell was worried that Newell wouldn't approve of this material, but it turned out that was exactly what he was looking for. Newell and Backman then began a discussion about possible psycho-sexual alien behaviors and clinical descriptions of disturbed adolescent sexual fantasies. The sexual themes of some of these enemies were intended to elicit a response from the innate homophobia of 14-year-old boys, a significant portion of the targeted audience for the game.
Mr. Friendly was still present in Half-Life as late as of the beginning of 1998. Before it was finally cut, Backman considered the alien to be one of his favorite characters in the game. While removed from the finished product, the final release possesses a compiled version of Mr. Friendly's model with several animations. However, there are no associated sounds or AI for the entity.
The Half-Life SDK includes a second version of the character referred to as "bigfriendly" which scales the model up three times its normal size. It also contains an extra death animation named
dieback which depicts the creature being violently launched backwards.
Mr. Friendly's face texture with Ted Backman's signature.
The larger version of Mr. Friendly, dubbed "bigfriendly", from the SDK.