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Arctic regions

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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.

Arctic regions
General information

Northwest of City 17[1]


Combine occupation

Game information

See Borealis and Kraken Base


The Arctic regions are an area located northwest of City 17 that originally was to be visited between the Coast and City 17 in Half-Life 2, mostly covering the third and penultimate day of the game. Completely scrapped from the final game, it was to start at the end of the Air Exchange area and leading into the City 17 uprising. It consisted of three main areas: the Borealis, Kraken Base, and the Weather Control. While they are located in City 17, the Skyscraper and Vance Headquarters are also part of this section of the game, linking the Arctic levels with those of the City 17 uprising.[1][2]


In one of the earliest versions of the Half-Life 2 story, Gordon Freeman was to start the game by boarding the Borealis, bound for City 17, and leaving from an undefined Arctic location.[3]

In the latest version of the script before the Arctic regions were scrapped, the ship was to appear later during the game: After sabotaging the Air Exchange, Freeman was to continue his journey to Kraken Base and reach the Borealis where he was to meet Odell. After leaving the ship with a submarine, Kraken Base was to be reached; there Elena Mossman was to reveal her double agent role and have unleashed an army of Stalkers against the base. After narrowly escaping the base's flooding and destruction in an escape pod, Gordon was to be rescued by the Resistance and take part in the epic canyon battle of the Weather Control with Alyx Vance and her father Captain Vance leading his Conscripts, and head back to City 17 with Alyx aboard a C-130, carrying "chips" of unknown nature. Upon reaching City 17 at dawn, the two would crash in the Skyscraper and be separated while Gordon would take part in the city's uprising.[1][2]

This area was also to introduce Arctic-related weapons and items such as the Ice Axe, the Flare Gun and the Fire Extinguisher.


The Arctic regions were completely scrapped from Half-Life 2, replacing the Air Exchange by Nova Prospekt and its Depot as the location originating the uprising, with the latter linking directly into the City 17 uprising, skipping the Arctic story arc and setting the last act of the game on the third day instead of the fourth. However it appears that the Arctic setting has been and may still be considered for reuse by Valve for the next Half-Life game, since Judith Mossman is seen in Episode One talking from what appears to be an Arctic location, and Aperture's Borealis is shown stranded in icebergs in Episode Two. Several official and leaked pieces of Episode Three concept art, as well as Marc Laidlaw's short story Epistle 3, also indicate an Arctic environment was planned.


Half-Life 2 (pre-release)[edit]

Half-Life 2: Episode Two[edit]

Half-Life 2: Episode Three[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]