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HLA Gary01.jpg
Function(s) / Belongings
  • Green electrical attack
  • Claws
  • Gravity manipulation


Eye color


Chronological and political information

Combine occupation



Game information
Voiced by

Tony Todd


Karen Prell (animation)[1]

Voice sample(s)
"I have a brain injury. My brain is injured! Ow."
― Gary[src]

Gary[2][3] is an eccentric Vortigaunt who appears in Half-Life: Alyx.


While traveling through the Quarantine Zone on her mission to rescue her father Eli, Alyx Vance comes across a number of strange occurrences while passing through a canal. She finds various Headcrab traps, pieces of floating cardboard apparently charged by a green electric energy, and a number of cryptic glowing murals painted on the walls seemingly depicting events of both the past and future. Following the clues left by these phenomena, she discovers the hideout of a lone Vortigaunt named Gary. Living as a hermit, he traps and cooks Headcrabs for food. He bears many scars on his body, the Combine insignia with the letters "CP" stamped on his chest, and has leftover restraints on his arms and head from Combine imprisonment. He also reveals that the Combine had drilled into his brain to sever his connection from the Vortessence, cutting off his contact with other Vortigaunts and impairing his perception of time. He delivers a warning to Alyx that her father has either already died or will die, and that she alone cannot avert this fate. He spurs her on to rescue the other Vortigaunts that have been imprisoned by the Combine, directing her to the Northern Star. As she departs, Gary throws her a dead Headcrab as “sustenance”.

Gary later returns at Fairview Junction, rescuing Eli from a fatal fall down a pit by levitating him back to safety. Gary then accompanies Eli as the latter travels back to Russell's lab.

Related Achievements[edit]

Half-Life: Alyx
Achievement Sustenance.jpg Sustenance
Receive a tasty treat.

Behind the scenes[edit]

The Vortigaunt consumption of headcrabs is introduced in Half-Life 2, when Gordon gets a glimpse of Vortigaunt chefs working in the kitchen of Black Mesa East. It can also be observed earlier in the den of the All-Knowing Vortigaunt.

The idea of a Vortigaunt who had been forcibly severed from the Vortessence was conceived by the Half-Life: Alyx story cabal early in development. In an early version of the meeting with Gary, Alyx would be sent by Laszlo (the early name for Russell) to find a Vortigaunt who had a message for her. She discovered that Gary was near death and squeezed 'nectar' from several Headcrab hearts into his mouth to give him sustenance. This sequence was observed in a build dated October 15, 2018, but the development team eventually decided from playtesting feedback that the repetitive interactions and Gary's low energy slowed the flow of the scene, which led them to add more humor and energy to his character and reduce the number of interactions required to progress. To compensate for these reductions, the team added more optional interactions in his surrounding environment instead.[3]

Although his name is neither said in-game by Alyx nor the Vortigaunt himself, the game files confirm the Vortigaunt's name as "Gary", as seen in multiple commands. The name was confirmed as his official name in The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx.

Some Half-Life: Alyx team members referred to the sequence in Gary's hideout as the "Swedish Chef Vort Sequence" after the Muppet of the same name.[3] This may be because Karen Prell, a Valve animator who works as a puppeteer for the Muppets, did most of the animations for Gary.


Half-Life: Alyx[edit]





List of appearances[edit]

Combine OverWiki has a list of quotes for Gary.

Main games[edit]



  1. Twitter favicon.png Matt Scott on Twitter
  2. Half-Life: Alyx game files, script name teleport_gary_introductions and animation name @gary_scratch_arm
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx, Chapter 8