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The Canals are a network of rivers and drainage tunnels, located in City 17 and the Wasteland. After the Combine occupation, they began serving as an escape route for refugees trying to leave City 17 on foot.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Major locations
- 3 Appearances
- 4 Related Achievements
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Gallery
- 7 List of appearances
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The canals near and in City 17, connecting the urban center to a river system and dam where its water supply is pumped, appear to be heavily used as drainage, and have a very large network of sewers and waste tunnels. Because of the Combine's invasion and subsequent drainage of Earth's resources, the canals near the city have almost all emptied out, with the riverbed and a large amount of waste remaining. The network is infested with Xen wildlife, and constantly shelled by the Combine.
Outside City 17, the tunnels and sewers give way to rivers and waterways, which are used for transportation rather than drainage and waste disposal, as shown by the many shipwrecks along the larger tunnels. The water levels, however, are low, and following the Combine invasion, a large portion of the canals in both the City and outside have become flooded with toxic waste or other hazardous materials.
The Resistance established an organised system of stations, living areas and bases, using the many tunnels and drainage areas both in the canals inside and outside the City, for refugees hoping to escape Combine oppression. Through the use of radios and hidden bases containing supplies and living quarters, humans and Vortigaunts formed a fairly strong foothold in the canal areas.
Partial in-game map of the Canals, rather close to the in-game layout, with notable points added in visit order. Found in the Resistance point where the Airboat gun is provided, it includes only the section between that particular point and Black Mesa East.
The first underground railroad base encountered by Gordon Freeman during his trek through the sewers. It was raided by Civil Protection shortly before Gordon's arrival, and the rebels stationing there were executed.
A Metrocop killing Rebels with an Emplacement Gun.
An underground railroad base located at the end of the canals, just outside City 17. It housed the Airboat that Gordon Freeman used to travel to Black Mesa East. The station is shelled soon after Gordon's arrival, with all of the rebels stationed there having been killed or turned into Zombies.
A Resistance Underground Railroad station located at the end of the Wasteland part of the Canals leading out of City 17. Located on a bank of the Canals, Station 7 was used by the Resistance as a refugee aid station before the destruction of City 17.
A Combine garage located in the Wasteland section of the Canals, used for the maintenance of Armored Personnel Carriers. It is visited by Gordon Freeman during his journey to Black Mesa East.
A Combine outpost located in the Canals. It is visited by Gordon Freeman during his journey to Black Mesa East.
Black Mesa East
A Resistance base located at the Wasteland end of the Canals outside of City 17, opposite to a dam, its generating station and its reservoir, and right next to the abandoned mining town of Ravenholm. Black Mesa East is where Doctor Eli Vance, Doctor Judith Mossman, Alyx Vance, and many other Resistance members, including several Vortigaunts, used to live before its destruction.
With the arrival of Gordon Freeman, Civil Protection was fully aware of the presence of Resistance refugee stations, and were conducting raids on them. Eventually all the bases were either found and destroyed, or were closed down and abandoned. Freeman did however destroy almost all of the Civil Protection's outposts on his way to Black Mesa East.
|Anchor's Aweigh! (5G)|
|Get the Airboat.|
|Heavy Weapons (5G)|
|Get the Airboat's mounted gun.|
|Destroy the Hunter-Chopper.|
|Discover the hidden singing Vortigaunt cave in chapter Water Hazard.|
|Half-Life 2 (cut)|
|Float five seconds in the air with the Airboat.|
Behind the scenes
Among the biggest challenges the developers had to overcome during the creation process of the Canals were giving the player a feeling of having traveled out and away from the city and into the wilderness, setting up a clear goal and a gratifying end to reach, and making sure that the players don't get Airboat-induced motion sickness.
The Canals were to be much longer and allow the player a deeper view of the Wasteland sections. Moreover, in the original design, there were to be a lot of enemies that the player would drive under and navigate around. This style of gameplay turned out to be difficult to consistently convey, and it proved not to sit well with people who were focused on fully experiencing the game, as leaving enemies behind them made them feel like they were missing something. After a lot of changes, the Canals were eventually made more linear and direct in terms of combat and navigation.
The Canals were originally to feature the Bullsquid, cut from the final release. In the WC map pack, it can be found in
outside_city, etc. and their variants, and
d1_canals_02, swimming underwater and attacking Headcrabs. The Houndeye was also to be found, before being cut as well. It can be found in maps such as
canals_industrial and their variants.
In the Canals, a total of 13 skulls have been intentionally hidden. In the "Additional investigations" part of the Half-Life 2 Prima Guide coverage of the chapter Water Hazard, the player is encouraged to find them all. The tip is described thus: "Be vigilant! Rumor has it that someone, or something, has been placing human skulls in a variety of out-of-the way locations throughout the canals. There's at least five to locate. Can you spot them all?".
Homeless citizens under the bridge in the same map.
An early City 17 street with a canal in the middle.
One of the numerous chambers in the Half-Life 2 leak canals.
Razor Train passing by a canal and residential apartments.
Barnacle lying in wait for its prey near a Medkit.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2 original storyline#Sewers / Canals
- Half-Life 2 original storyline#The Wild - The Wasteland - The Scrapland
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 205
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 203
- Eric Kirchmer's Blogger profile
- WC map pack
- The Final Hours of Half-Life 2
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 258
- Half-Life 2 Prima Guide
- Half-Life 2 game files
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar (uncorrected proof), page 234
- Half-Life 2 leak
- Bremerton and Sinclair Inlet on Google Maps
- Eagle Harbor on Google Maps
- "c17_outside", a fixed map of the leak Canals (based on "canals_01_15"; requires Episode Two)
|Half-Life 2 story arc journey||Succeeded by|
|Aperture Science||· · · · : / · · · · · · · · · s: / / / · ·|
|Black Mesa||Black Mesa Sectors ( / / / / / / ) · · · · · · · · · · · ·· · · · · · · ·|
|Combine||· ( ) · · · · · · · · · · · · ·|
|Quarantine Zone||· ( · · ) · · · · · · · ·|
|Resistance||· · · · · · · · · · · · ( · · ) · · · · ·|
|Other||· · · · · · · · · ·|
|Black Mesa (cut)||· · · · · ·|
|Combine (cut)||· · · · ·|
|Resistance (cut)||· ·|
|Other (cut)||· · ·|