This subject is related to the Combine era.

Combine Guard (Synth)

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This subject is related to the Combine era.

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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.

This article is about the cut Part-human, part-Synth unit. For the cut Civil Protection unit, see Combine Guard (human).

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Combine guard.jpg
Combine Guard
General information



Part-human, part-Synth / Elite Heavy Assault Soldier

Individual information

Combine Guard Gun

Game information



Ted Backman[2] (Combine Synth Elite Soldier)

The Combine Guard[1] is a part-human, part-Synth enemy[2] cut from Half-Life 2 and the direct successor of the Combine Synth Elite Soldier, which the Combine Elite also stems from. It was to be presented at E3 2002.


The Combine Guard in e3_terminal.

Valve artist Dhabih Eng suggested that the Combine Guard represented the next stage in the Combine's transformation hierarchy for humans after the Combine Soldier, becoming less and less human at every step.[3] It was to wield a large weapon, the Combine Guard Gun, that was to fire a powerful disintegration beam, recycled for the Strider, that the player would have been able to use after defeating it. It was also to use it to kick its opponent at close range, much like the HECU grunts and early Combine Soldiers. Another smaller weapon is featured on its left wrist.[1]

The camera attachment being the real head of the soldier (according to its texture, named "head.vtf"), it is likely that the man inside the robotic suit was to be blind, his eyes seeming to have been somehow removed. It would have made it a disturbing sight for humans, who would tend to look at its human face and be unaware of the direction its real "head" is actually looking at. A breather is also in the human mouth, implying it is breathing the ambient air, filtered, and still uses some form of lungs.[1]

As seen in the WC map pack map e3_terminal, it was featured in a climactic segment in this scripted demonstration. At the "end" of the map, the player was to find themself behind a locked door. The Combine Guard would appear on the other side, destroy the small window with the small weapon attached on its left wrist, look through it with its camera, and then knock the door down with its fists, forcing the player out of the hallway to which the demonstration would conclude.[1]

According to the code, the Combine Guard could have been thrown off-balance by attacking it with physics objects. In that vulnerable state, the player would then need to use explosive damage to break pieces of its armor. With all pieces destroyed, the Combine Guard would go into a defeated state, topple over, and play a looping "helpless" animation indefinitely. The code calls for animations, bodygroups and attachment points not present in the available model. Instead, trying to kill the Guard crashes the game.[4]

Apart from the map e3_terminal, its only other appearance is in cguard1_fixed. Neither are storyline maps.[5]

Behind the scenes[edit]

In Half-Life 2 a console command titled "sk_combine_guard_spawn_health 1" can be found, likely the remains of a command related to the Combine Guard. Interestingly, the appearance of Dog's right foot is similar to that of the Combine Guard's.

Concept art from Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar show a more conventional soldier named "Combine Guard" with a long trench coat inspired in part by the German SS uniforms of World War II.[6] This unit was to be part of the Civil Protection and has nothing to do with this Synth Combine Guard.

An early model of Dog appears to have its right leg reused from the Combine Guard. While mostly unchanged in the final version, the leg has a different texture and seems to have been made from scrap metal instead.


These are pieces of concept art for several different versions of the Combine Synth Elite Soldier featured in Raising the Bar. Most of them feature a large left arm where a weapon is included (as seen in the Combine Guard NPC) and a thinner right one.

List of appearances[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Half-Life 2 leak
  2. 2.0 2.1 Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 106
  3. Twitter favicon.png Tweet: "Actually I just saw the leaked footage, looks like these were the same time as soldiers, and now I remember they were supposed to show the next step in combinification of what happens when you level up from being a combine soldier, less and less human." @dhabiheng (Dhabih Eng) on Twitter (November 2, 2022)
  4. Half-Life 2 leak source code
  5. WC map pack
  6. Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 110
  7. Twitter favicon.png Tweet: "Found! Original Half-life 2 Combine you can tell from the 31337 on hit shoulder. Which, in my defense, was HILARIOUS back in 2001." @dhabiheng (Dhabih Eng) on Twitter (November 1, 2022)
  8. Twitter favicon.png Tweet: "yes! thanks for sharing this, I haven't seen this in years. Was made probably around 2000 or 2001" @dhabiheng (Dhabih Eng) on Twitter (November 1, 2022)
  9. File:Combine soldier leak back logo.jpg