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|Chronological and political information|
- "I'm with you every step of the way."
- ― Russell[src]
Russell, nicknamed "Russ" by Alyx Vance, is a prominent Resistance member and inventor of the Gravity Gloves who appears in Half-Life: Alyx. He is featured as the prominent deuteragonist of the game and Alyx's invisible company on her journey.
Judging from his aged countenance and memory about past life, Russell was born well before the Combine invasion. Before the catastrophe at Black Mesa took place, Russell applied for a job at this organization. His application was rejected and he was told to apply again the following year, but it proved to be a lucky break for him, as the aforementioned incident took place before he would have reapplied, narrowly saving him from a terrible fate. He appears to have lived a straitened life before the war, as he rated only six points out of ten for his past life, stating that "it's not always great", and merely considers club sandwich as the best food available.
At some point, presumably after the Seven Hour War, he established a lab in a City 17 apartment. In the lab, he spent time working on his invention, the Gravity Gloves, and also modified a City Scanner to create the drone he uses to remotely carry out actions.
One day five years before the events of Half-Life 2, Eli, Russell, and other resistance members are shown trying to steal a mini-reactor from the Combine. Russell is seen successfully hacking into the Combine construction network on-site, finding pictures of an unknown Combine building. The Combine, alerted by the network breach, launch a counter-operation that successfully captures both Eli and his daughter Alyx, though Russell manages to escape back to his lab.
As Russell figures out that Eli and Alyx are being transported in two different vans, he acts to intercept one of them, not knowing who is in which one. In order to free the prisoner inside, Russell sends his drone to drop a grenade through the van's windshield, which kills the driving Civil Protection officers and wrecks the van a few blocks away from his lab. Russell then uses the drone to guide an unharmed Alyx back to the lab until it is accidentally destroyed by a passing Strider. Aware that he only saved one comrade, Russell starts working out a plan to rescue Eli, believing that the Combine will send him to Nova Prospekt by train to torture and kill.
When Alyx arrives at his lab, Russell briefs her on the plan he has hatched to intercept the train and get her father out. Before Alyx heads out to intercept the train, Russell lends her his Gravity Gloves and his pistol. For the rest of the game, Russell plays a remotely supporting role from his lab and is never again seen in person, and instead provides Alyx with advice and intel via radio. Their initial plan eventually succeeds, and Eli returns to Russell's lab. After that, he somehow managed to repair his drone and sent it looking for Alyx outside the Golden Lion Distillery, only to get it destroyed again by Combine troops. Russell's fate after the events of the game is currently unknown.
Russell is a middle-to old-aged caucasian man of medium build, who speaks with a strong New Zealand accent and has white sideburns on his cheeks. He wears a green trapper hat with a brim, an orange Combine Worker's outfit, a brown jacket with several duct tape repairs, and a yellow armband printed with the Russian word "ИНТЕНДАНТ" ("INTENDANT", roughly translates to "quartermaster").
Personality and skills
Russell is a Resistance member who specializes in systems, robotics, and networks, working closely in conjunction with his friend, former Black Mesa scientist Eli Vance. He is very well-versed in his fields of expertise, and claims to have downloaded the whole Internet before the war broke out, granting him access to information as trivial as the material composition of a floppy disk or the etymological roots of the word "quarantine". He has a frank, upbeat personality, a somewhat dark sense of humor, and demonstrates a lack of emotional intelligence at times, often unconsciously blurting out inappropriate statements that may upset people. He is also a parsimonious person, meticulously caring for his properties and not easily allowing others to take them, as seen when he states that he only "lent" the gloves and pistol to Alyx and only declaring the weapon hers when she further modified it extensively. However, he does show much faith and cordiality towards his friends, and he always tries to cheer up and relieve Alyx during her dangerous journey and expresses his pride in her success.
|Eye of the Geiger|
|Measure Russell with the Geiger counter.|
|Catch Russell's ammo magazine before it hits the ground.|
|Bring Russell a bottle of vodka.|
Behind the scenes
In the game files, Russell is also internally referred to as "Jozef" or "Lazlo". The name Laszlo (note the spelling difference) was first used for a Resistance member introduced in the Half-Life 2 chapter Sandtraps referred to as "the finest mind of his generation." In The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx, it is revealed that Lazlo was proposed as a "little kooky" character who would give Alyx a gun and permission to go into the Quarantine Zone as there was a message from a lone Vortigaunt cut off from the Vortessence directed towards her. Lazlo evolved into Josef, described as a "Swedish punk rocker", which then evolved into Russell. The character's location also changed, going from a firehouse to a makeshift lab in an apartment.
In a conceptual artwork for the game, Russell, at that time still named "Laszlo", is shown not only wearing Combine Worker attire, but also a helmet and filter, hinting that he is somewhat related to this job, most possibly being a quotidian disguise or occupation.
Russell's visage and behaviors bear a striking resemblance to the cut Half-Life 2 character Odell.
Russell in The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx.
List of appearances
|Aperture Science||· · · · · · · · · · ·|
|Black Mesa||· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·|
|Combine||· · ·|
|HECU||· · ·|
|Resistance||· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·|
|Xen||· · · ·|
|Other||· · ·|
|Aperture Science (cut)||·|
|Black Mesa (cut)||· · ·|
|Resistance (cut)||· · · · · ·|
|Leaders / key members||· · · · · · · ·|
|Minor members||· · · · · · · · · · · · · ·|
|Weapons||· · · · · · · · ·|
|Transportation||· · · ·|
|Technology||Transportation · Weapons ·· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·|
|Locations||· · · · · · · · · · · · ( · · ) · · · · ·|
|Other||· · · ·|
|Leaders / key members (cut)||· · ·|
|Minor members (cut)||· · · ·|
|Weapons (cut)||· · · ·|
|Transportation (cut)||· · · · ·|
|Locations (cut)||· ·|