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Resistance imagery

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Throughout City 17, the Resistance has sprayed graffiti and placarded posters as protest to the Combine regime. This imagery is often used to relay information such as a cache point. The images reveal oppression and despair in the Combine-controlled society as well as voice appeals for resistance, either through existing dystopian themes or ironic messages. Like the imagery used by the Combine, Resistance imagery can be quite abstract with its intended message subtly concealed.


Main article: Lambda logo

The Lambda logo is arguably the most prominent Resistance logo, being the symbol for the entire Resistance movement itself. It is often used to signify Resistance supply caches or bases, and is also used in combination with other imagery in pieces of graffiti. Rebels fighters also wear armbands with yellow Lambdas painted on them.

"Evolution" Graffiti[edit]

The "Evolution" graffiti is a common example of Resistance imagery, found in Half-Life 2 and Episode One. It depicts three stages of human evolution, with the first being a Homonidae-, the second being a Homo Sapiens Sapiens, and the third being a Transhuman Combine soldier classified as Homo Sapiens Combinus with an evolution cycle of merely 7 hours, hinting to the 7 Hour War. This graffiti alludes to the Combine's tampering with the process of evolution and the loss of humanity in the transformation of a regular human into a Combine soldier.

"Caste" Graffiti[edit]

The "Caste" graffiti is found sprayed near Black Mesa East and other places such as Matt's home, depicting a Combine (or possibly Resistance, or even a Conscript) soldier holding a baby next to the word Caste. It may be a reference to the dystopian novel Brave New World. It could also hint at the social hierarchy in City 17, with citizens at the bottom, Civil Protection higher above, and the Transhuman Overwatch at the top of the human "caste" system.

Oranges and Lemons[edit]

A piece of Resistance graffiti that obviously refers to the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons, featured in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. It depicts two pairs of oranges and lemons with bombs falling onto them, with the Cyrillic letters "ДЕЙ" ("DEY").

Man with Umbrella Graffiti[edit]

A piece of Resistance graffiti depicting a man standing in the rain holding an umbrella. The image is one of the most ambiguous pieces of Resistance graffiti in terms of its meaning; one possible interpretation is that it represents humanity standing under the "downpour of oppression".[1] It could also be a possible reference to the G-Man, as the man in the image bears certain similarities with him.

'Born' Graffiti[edit]

A piece of Resistance graffiti found in Half-Life 2 depicting a human hand reaching up with a lambda logo in its palm. The word "born." is written directly underneath. This could be a possible reference to the Suppression Field put in place by the Combine, preventing humans from reproducing and thus stopping the birth of new children. It could also be referring to the uniqueness of humans from the Combine: humans are naturally "born" unlike most of the Combine's units which are formed artificially.[1] It is similar in appearance to the poster for Fritz Lang's 1931 film M.

'Resist' Graffiti[edit]

The 'Resist' graffiti depicts Breen's likeness with the word 'resist' written underneath. Sometimes the latter is not present.

Electrical resistance[edit]

Electrical resistance is referenced in some graffiti: one depicts its equation R=ρL/A with the letter "A" (the symbol for the cross-sectional area of the conductor) circumscribed, giving it a resemblance to the symbol used by the anarchy movement. Another shows a circuit diagram that includes a potentiometer marked by the symbol for electrical resistance.


Below are shown other graffiti found throughout City 17, the Wasteland, and the Outlands, be they pre- or post-Seven Hour War.

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Half-Life 2 - Imagery thread on the Steam Users' Forums (archived)