This article is about the Half-Life 2 character. For his predecessor, see Odell.
|Function(s) / Belongings|
|Rank / Occupation||
Resistance leader ("Colonel")
|Chronological and political information|
- "Colonel Odessa Cubbage at your service!"
- ―Odessa Cubbage[src]
"Colonel" Odessa Cubbage is a Resistance leader situated at the eponymous Coast outpost, New Little Odessa. When Gordon Freeman reaches N.L.O. during his journey along the Coast, Cubbage is found in the main building's basement explaining the use of the RPG to some of his troops, before handing the weapon to Gordon for use in an ensuing Gunship battle.
At some point during the organization of the Resistance along the Coast, Odessa Cubbage ended up leader of New Little Odessa.
Much about the Colonel is open to question among the Resistance: from his slightly askew mustache, to his supposedly Received Pronunciation accent, which many suspect is as false as the military exploits with which he regales his followers. He may not even be a colonel at all, and simply a former member of the University of Rochester Security Services, given his coat. In times of peril, this "royal coward" also tends to hide and never expose himself to any actual danger, dispatching firm orders to his "starry-eyed contingent" and bravely sending warnings to neighboring outposts while never exposing himself to the slightest personal harm. It is also unknown if he gave his name to the Resistance outpost or if he used the existing name for himself.
He is then met in the flesh in the chapter Highway 17. Before Freeman reaches New Little Odessa, Cubbage can be seen speaking with the G-Man by looking towards N.L.O. through Combine Binoculars on the opposite end of the bay. G-Man's visit is never mentioned whilst Gordon reaches N.L.O., therefore it is unknown what he came doing there, whether it was sending a warning about the Gunship attack or providing supplies.
When Gordon Freeman arrives at N.L.O. en route to Nova Prospekt, he is directed by a Rebel into the basement of the main N.L.O. building, where Cubbage is briefing other Rebels on the use of the RPG against Combine Gunships. Looking for a volunteer to test it, and spotting Gordon, Cubbage hands him the weapon and gives him a quick tutorial on using the launcher's laser guide and how it can allow for the rockets to be steered past the defenses of a Gunship.
After the Gunship fight, with the base saved from defeat, Cubbage sends Freeman on his way, telling members of his team to open the gate allowing Gordon to travel further along the Coast. He also warns Freeman that since a base near the bridge on the way to Nova Prospekt, Bridge Point, has maintained radio silence, it has probably fallen under Combine control. Cubbage can be last seen communicating via radio to Lighthouse Point, the Resistance base located after Bridge Point. His fate afterwards remains unknown.
Half-Life 2: Episode One
In Half-Life 2: Episode One, Alyx refers to Odessa by sarcastically claiming that he is her father after a Rebel from a small group asks her if she is Isaac Kleiner's daughter. Later, the Consoling Couple, part of the same group, can be overheard talking about Odessa, among other things. The man says he blames him for the situation, the woman states she has met him once, and that she considers he is an idiot. Other Rebels during the game will occasionally refer to him by asking Gordon if he was there when Cubbage took down the Gunship, suggesting that Odessa may have taken the credit for Gordon's help.
Behind the scenes
- Cubbage exists solely to give the player the RPG. During most of Half-Life 2’s development, he was simply a generic Rebel with the Male 2 Citizen head and whose entity was named "RPGGuy" (the name "rocketman" was also used by the team), with temporary sound clips found only in the game files, since his words were relayed through text only. He was to be met in a large building replaced by the wind turbine in the final game, but featured in the Half-Life 2 leak. Cubbage's retail model, based on the martial arts instructor of one of the game's developers, was originally intended for Odell, the cut Borealis engineer, until it was recycled for Cubbage. The image preview for the retail Odessa model shows an early model with a "refugee" Citizen body, and a beige shirt, changed to his Rochester jacket seen in the final game. This is some sort of intermediate model, as the RPGGuy has a similar outfit.
- Marc Laidlaw states that in earlier video games, the RPG was simply to be placed in the middle of a room, sometimes spinning, and the player was expected to run over it and pick it up automatically. While the goal for N.L.O. was to be the same, the team decided to not simply leave the RPG in the middle of the floor, and build a character and a scene around it, since it was also to introduce the first battle against a Combine Gunship. Laidlaw adds that in that scene, the RPGGuy was rather a tough guy. When Gunships show up to attack his settlement, he rushes out and takes a few shots, demonstrating to the player exactly how to bring one down; then he was to die, leaving the player to carry on. In the Half-Life 2 leak, it is shown he was to go hiding in a small cabin at some point during the attack, and the Gunship would use its belly cannon (cut from the final game) to destroy the cabin, killing the RPGGuy in the process. The player would not be allowed to use the weapon until the RPGGuy's death, since he would have to pick up the weapon near his corpse.
- However, ultimately, the team found that the rocketman dying was not a satisfying outcome. It proved necessary to have him remain in his basement, giving orders but never straying outside. From that point, it was a fairly small step to decide that Odessa Cubbage was actually a "royal coward." He ordered his "starry-eyed contingent" about but never exposed himself to any actual danger. The team gave him a fake English accent to make the player suspicious, and eventually made him a rather dubious and utterly unreliable person.
- "Odessa Cubbage" is a name Laidlaw found one day in his spam filter, and he found it carried quite a bit of character with it, and named the character that way.
- There are several similarities between Cubbage and Colonel Crittendon from the television show Hogan's Heroes. Besides sharing their rank and British nationality, both possess a comically inflated self-image and are widely perceived by their soldiers to be conceited fools. Cubbage's appearance is also remarkably similar to Crittendon's, most notably the shared curled mustache.
- When discussing the fan fiction The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage with its author, Marc Laidlaw revealed that Odessa Cubbage, at one point, was to have a son, Cody Cubbage, who hated his name. It is unknown whether this is a cut character from previous games or a character from a future game in the series.