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The canals near or in City 17 appear to be heavily used for drainage of raw sewage, and have a very large network of sewage pipes and waste disposal tunnels. Because of the Combine invasion and the drop of Earth's resources, the canals near the city have almost all drained out, and what remains is the riverbed and a large amount of hazardous chemical waste. The canals are infested with Xen wildlife, made worse by constant Headcrab shells being fired by the Combine at Resistance outposts.
Outside City 17, the canals appear to be more rivers and waterways than tunnels and sewers, and were probably used more for transportation purposes than draining and waste disposal, as shown by the many shipwrecks along the larger tunnels. The water levels, however, are low, and following the Combine invasion, a large portion of the canals in both the city and outside had been filled with toxic chemical waste or other highly hazardous materials.
The Resistance had established an organised system of stations nicknamed "The Underground Railroad" for refugees hoping to escape City 17. Through the use of a short-wave radio network and hidden bases containing supplies and living quarters, the Resistance had formed a rather strong foothold in the canal area.
Resistance used both the canals inside City 17 and outside, and repurposed the many useful tunnels and drainage areas to secretly establish living areas and outposts.
With the arrival of Gordon Freeman, Civil Protection was fully aware of the presence of resistance refugee stations, and were conducting raids on the stations and killing Resistance personnel. Eventually all the stations were either found and destroyed, or were closed down and abandoned. Freeman did however destroy almost all of the Civil Protection's outposts on his way to Black Mesa East.
Behind the scenes
- The Canals were originally to feature Bullsquids (which makes sense as there are many areas where toxic waste was flourishing). However, this was cut from the final release.
- The levels were also to be much longer and allow the player a deeper view of the Wasteland part of the Canals.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2 (First appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2 original storyline#Sewers / Canals
- Half-Life 2 original storyline#The Wild - The Wasteland - The Scrapland
- "c17_outside", a fixed map of the Beta canals (based on "canals_01_15"; requires Episode Two)
Half-Life 2 story arc journey
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Half-Life 2 original storyline
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