This subject is related to the Combine era.

Northern Star

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This subject is related to the Combine era.

This article is about the City 17 location. For the Half-Life: Alyx chapter, see The Northern Star (chapter).

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Northern Star sign.png
Northern Star Exterior.jpg
Northern Star
General information

Before the Seven Hour War


After the Uprising


Quarantine Zone, City 17


Combine occupation

Game information



"Look to the Northern Star."

The Northern Star is a hotel in the Quarantine Zone featured in the fifth eponymous chapter of Half-Life: Alyx.


The Northern Star is a once grandiose hotel located deep within the Quarantine Zone, directly facing the entrance to Terminal Gardens. It is a six-storey East European style mansion with its name in large metal letters mounted on the top. On its front plaza are several news kiosks and a decapitated statue of Russian Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin at the center, with the head nearby. The hotel's affiliated restaurant, Northern Star Bar, is situated on the building's terrace.

The hotel is extensively modified by the Combine to accommodate one of the generator stations supporting the Vault. Its main gate is sealed off by blockades, leaving a window near the luggage room the only means of entering; the substation clings onto the left wing, with catwalks roughly extending from holes on the wall and two sets of elevators leading to lower levels. The underground sections are mostly demolished to create a large cavity filled with machinery and linked with the Terminal Gardens metro station, in order to facilitate the transportation of captured Vortigaunts via Razor Train. Other parts of the hotel appear to be under severe Xen infestation and complete disrepair. The darker rooms of the hotel are occupied by swarms of Poison Headcrabs.

In the basements of the Northern Star, Alyx Vance first encountered the Reviver, nicknamed the "lightning dog". It is an electricity-generating creature which can enter host bodies to create Revived Zombies. After navigating through the overgrown rooms and corridors, Alyx eventually reaches the substation keeping the Vault afloat, and discovers that each of them contains an enslaved Vortigaunt which is forced to channel its energy to the Vault to power it. Grateful for its freedom, the liberated Vortigaunt promises Alyx to rally its peers to take down the remaining substations.

Behind the scenes[edit]

The statue of Lenin located on the hotel plaza is based on an actual statue located in the Muzeon Park of Arts in Moscow,[1] the largest open-air sculpture museum in Russia. It consists of Lenin with one hand in his pocket and the other on a pillar, a variant first designed by sculptor Isaak Mendelevich and reproduced numerous times.[2]

The piano located in the main lobby can be played like a normal piano. If approached by the player, Alyx will let Russell pick a tune to play, which he replies with "Flight of the Bumblebee", an especially sophisticated piano piece. Interestingly, Russell will respond to any note played with "That's it!"

An alternate version of the hotel's exterior building is featured in the "Street Scene" lighting used by the game's ModelDoc. Instead of the hotel's sign above the building are the letters "THT", reused from Half-Life 2.

Related Achievements[edit]

Half-Life: Alyx
Achievement Checking In.jpg Checking In
Reach the Northern Star.
Achievement Heart-Breaker Hotel.jpg Heart-Breaker Hotel
Get creative turning the power back on.
Achievement Surface Tension.jpg Surface Tension
Escape the underground pit.
Achievement Unbonded.jpg Unbonded
Collect the SMG.
Achievement Cord-Cutter.jpg Cord-Cutter
Shut down the substation.
Achievement Xen Lootism.jpg Xen Lootism
Snatch a Xen grenade from its resting place.


Concept art[edit]



List of appearances[edit]


  1. Lenin statue on
  2. Lenin Monuments on Rusmania
Preceded by
Terminal Gardens
Half-Life: Alyx story arc journey Succeeded by
Holden Company Processing Plant