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Memory replacement

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Memory replacement closeup.jpg
Memory replacement
General information


Game information



Dhabih Eng (concept art for the device)[1]

"Reminder: Memory replacement is the first step toward rank privileges."
― Overwatch Voice[src]

Memory replacement is a psycho-engineering process used by the Combine as part of the transhuman operation, transforming humans into Overwatch Soldiers and Overwatch Elites.


As stated by an Overwatch Voice radio transmission to Civil Protection officers, memory replacement is mandatory to access higher rank privileges, i.e. to go from a Metro Cop with an unaltered nervous system to an Overwatch soldier. This method, essentially brainwashing, turns a normal human into a pawn with complete loyalty to the Combine, replacing most if not all the memory of his former self.

The process is achieved through a device in which the soldier is placed, while only wearing his fatigues and boots. While the body is retrained to an arm-like device, the legs hanging below, the head is enveloped by a shell-like apparatus. The device is first seen in the Citadel during the Half-Life 2: Episode One chapter Direct Intervention, where eight devices are attached to a wall in an inaccessible area.

While the stripped Overwatch Soldier first appears on a monitor in Nova Prospekt's cell block B4 in Half-Life 2, on an operating table, it is unknown if memory replacement was also performed at Nova Prospekt.

Behind the scenes[edit]

While the memory replacement device was first introduced in-game in Half-Life 2: Episode One, it was originally designed to appear in Half-Life 2, at Nova Prospekt.


List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]