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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.
Marc Laidlaw (backstory)
- "It was a low dome, jutting with antennae and radar dishes, tiny red lights blinking above them. Around the dome were more structures, built low and painted white, almost indistinguishable from their surroundings. The whole thing was sprinkled with snow, like powdered sugar, but it was hardly a pristine image. There had already been fighting here. Smoke rose from a crack in the dome. The soldiers stationed inside the station had massed against the Combine operators as the news of the uprising spread; the fighting had torn it apart from within."
- ― Weather Control short story[src]
The Weather Control, also known as Weather Station, is a location and chapter cut from Half-Life 2. At this point of the game's development, it was to be set between the Kraken Base and Skyscraper chapters, being the second and last location of the third day, and the third and last location of the Arctic regions.
The Weather Control was to be a massive dome that drained Earth of its oxygen, covered with antennae and radar dishes emitting red lights and with other structures around it, the whole facility partially hidden by snow and located in a canyon, in the Arctic regions northwest of City 17.
Most of what is publicly known about the Weather Control chapter can be found in the short story Weather Control given to the developers for design inspiration, reproduced in Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar. The Air Exchange reactor has been destroyed several chapters before and the uprising is in process in City 17 and other Combine facilities in the Wasteland and other areas. Conscripts stationed inside the Weather Control rebelled against the other Combine units stationed there.
In the previous chapter set in Kraken Base, Gordon was to take part in a fight between the Resistance, and Stalkers unleashed by Elena Mossman, and narrowly escape in an escape pod while the base was flooded and eventually destroyed. Rescued by the Resistance, in the shape of rebelled Conscripts, Gordon was to start this new chapter with a meeting with Captain Vance and his daughter Alyx (her whereabouts between the Air Exchange and this chapter are unknown).
At the start of the chapter excerpt, Gordon was in a column of battered Conscript Bradleys heading for the Weather Control with Vance, his Conscripts and Alyx, the latter located in another nearby Bradley. Suddenly they were bombarded by Combine airships (likely the Combine Gunship predecessor, throwing its early projectiles, cut from the retail version) and several Bradleys and soldiers were destroyed. Soon after they reached the already damaged station. Vance then told Gordon that a C-130 was coming to take him to City 17, and that he had to bring "chips" with him (these "chips" probably consist of some predecessor of the data packet Alyx is carrying in her EMP Tool in Episode One and Episode Two). The plan was to hold off the Combine as long as possible in the canyon, then fall back inside the dome.
Right after Vance finished talking to Gordon, Combine "mech carriers" (likely the Combine Dropship predecessor) arrived, one of which delivered a "mech" right between Gordon and the station in a package unfolding itself right after the carriers left. "Mech" is likely the early term for "Synth", while the enemy depicted here seems to be some sort of Combine Super Soldier, also sharing some similitude with the Strider, or a variant of the Combine Synth Elite Soldier.
While Gordon stood in awe while the mech was deploying, the soldiers directly started attacking it, then Gordon started firing as well. Then he spotted Alyx coming at the same mech from the other side, with a grenade ready in her hand. Her father called her, and, distracted, she misthrew the grenade that exploded in mid-air, near the mechs's "head". The attention of the mech was caught by the explosion and he directed itself towards Alyx, while her father and Gordon were rushing towards her. Then its head pulsed with a faint glow as if powering up for energy, and then fired at Alyx, missed, but she was shaken by the blast and fell, unconscious. At the same instant the mech's upper carapace was destroyed by one of the huge guns located in the battlefield below the station. They had been hidden by the ice and had been uncovered with the blasts of the battle. The Conscripts took control of them and others started firing missiles at the other mechs and airships. When Gordon arrived at Alyx's side, her father was with her, she had already regained consciousness and smiled to the two men. She then got up and reached for the huge guns to help the Conscripts. Right after that more Combine forces arrived.
This is were the story excerpt ends. It is unknown what was to happen exactly during the next stages of the battle, and how long it would have taken. It is clear however that Gordon and Alyx were able to go back to City 17 in the C-130 mentioned by Vance but crashed into the Skyscraper back into City 17. Vance was also to survive the Weather Control battle and go back to City 17 around the same time, since Gordon was to find him in his headquarters some time after the crash.
- This chapter is part of the storyline set between the Depot and the City 17 street wars that was completely cut, the game timespan having been reduced to three days instead of the original four. Since there are three levels after the Air Exchange where the City 17 uprising is sparked (the Borealis, Kraken Base and the Weather Control), it is logical to see the war in good way when back into the city. In Half-Life 2, this fourth day was replaced by the week during which Gordon and Alyx are stuck between the two teleports, giving time for the uprising to start.
- This is also the only chapter for which no known maps or any scripted material are known, although some material may exist at Valve.
- A similar battle might take place at the end of next Half-Life game as a final showdown to the Half-Life 2 story arc. While it is unknown if a Weather Control-like building will be seen, concept art suggest the presence of a large Combine facility set in the Arctic, near which Alyx and Gordon will crash their helicopter. This facility could be an informal successor to the Weather Control, while the helicopter crash would mirror the C-130 crash.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2 original storyline#Weather Control
- "Behind the scenes" section of the Synth article for information about the "mech"