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The Conscripts are a human Combine unit and an undercover Resistance faction cut from Half-Life 2. They were to be the remains of the former Earth forces requisitioned and unwillingly reincorporated (according to the definition of Conscription) into the Combine units as low rank human Combine soldiers, apparently even lower than the Civil Protection. Conscripts were to be headed by the cut character Captain Vance.
They were to use OICWs, MP5Ks, Jaytest's, Stun Batons, shotguns,, GR9's, AK-47's, grenades, APCs (V-100's and Vab Apc's), Bradleys and Merkavas. They were to be protected by PASGT vest.Unused canteen and helmet texture files can also be found in the Conscript model texture files.
There are only two known Conscript models. The head of the generic one was used for Citizen Male 02, but it is likely that Conscripts were to come with the several different Citizen heads, sometimes with helmets, as seen in one piece of concept art and a texture file from the playable Half-Life 2 Beta files. The other, sharing the same body, was Captain Vance's model, whose head, based on Ted Backman's head, was reused for the Citizen Male 02. A third face texture file, not present on any model, can also be found in the game files.
Known storyline elements
The early Resistance
While heading this unit, Captain Vance, stationed at the Air Exchange, was to secretly organize the Resistance. When Freeman was to destroy the Air Exchange's reactor core, Vance was to rally his Conscripts and other Citizens and start to turn against the Combine to launch the City 17 uprising. Similar to the rebels in the final game, Conscripts were to launch an attack on the Weather Control and fight on the City 17 streets, having some advantage on the rebels from the final game in their use of their tanks and other weaponry originally provided to them by the Combine.
The Weather control assault
A massive attack was to be launched on the Weather Control, in the Arctic regions. Gordon and Alyx were to fight alongside Vance and his Conscripts, before going back to City 17 and take part into the ongoing uprising.
The sniper episode and Animal
According to some early sound files contained in a folder named "sniper" and a map named "
sniper_029.vmf" (which features a building seen in "
cremator_039.vmf"), it seems that the Half-Life 2 episode where Barney is pinned down by an Overwatch Sniper was originally to involve a platoon of Conscripts pinned down in a long street by a sniper equipped with a "bolt action rifle" while trying to reach Captain Vance's headquarters, with other Citizens and some of them equipped with RPGs.
Apparently after the map "
sniper" appears to be roughly the same map, only that "
rooftops" is located on building rooftops and that "
sniper" on the street level), Gordon was to arrive on the street level, where a huge battle was to be taking place. Big fires here and there were to be blazing with damaged Conscripts APCs and Merkavas all over the place, buildings in ruins, and Zombies lurking in several buildings. At one end was to be a Conscript laying down wounded in an APC, who would interact with Gordon. Then Gordon would join the platoon and be ordered by the leading officer (as another obsolete NPC,
npc_leader) to cover another Conscript, named "Manwich", while the latter would take care of the sniper right behind the APC with the wounded soldier (Peters) in it. He was to be shot, as said by another Conscript, apparently called "Peters". Then, Manwich, in the vein of Pvt. Hudson in the film Aliens, would lose his patience and want to take over the situation himself, saying things like "You want me? You want some of me? Get it, get it!" or "You're all a bunch of pussies!". It is possible that he was to be shot as well, and that Gordon would finally kill the sniper himself. "
sniper_029.vmf" was last edited in May 2001, making it a very early street war map, likely to be set somewhere after the rooftop maps and the Skyscraper (Vertigo version), and before the map "
VanceHQ.vmf", dating from the same period of development. It is unknown if "Manwich", often humorously mentioned or used by users on Beta-related forums, was to be an actual character or a generic NPC, but since he is quoted by the wounded Conscript in the game files (saying "Animal is reloading"), he might have been a standalone character, perhaps even seen before, during the Air Exchange or the Weather Control battles. At this point of the game's development however, his head is that of Citizen 02 and he is identical to the generic Conscript model.
- In the file "hl2_gamerules.cpp" in the leaked source code, Conscripts are named "class_military".
- It appears that the AI of the security guard featured in Half-Life was reused for the Conscripts, until they were made unspawnable.
- There is a sound file called "
fire_scream" for the Conscript soldiers, when they are lit on fire. It is similar to the early Civil Protection screams.
- Unlike the Combine or Citizens the Conscripts are capable of climbing ladders. Originally if they did their model would stand still while climbing but was fixed to have a animation.
- When attacking the Hydra the Conscripts would just run around and run up to it and just running by or at it as they don't attack. Instead the will run in circles or just keep running to it or away. It is still unknown why the Conscripts act like this towards the Hydra.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar (First appearance) (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2 (Mentioned only)