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The Combine Depot is an enormous structure towering over the Nova Prospekt prison facility. It is primarily used to detain and process prisoners.


The Depot is a nexus for Combine distribution of Stalkers, as well as a storage center for political prisoners such as Eli Vance. The inclusion of the Depot on Nova Prospekt necessitated the partial or complete destruction of several blocks, such as block C3. The Depot covers cell blocks C1 through D8, and fills the area with Combine articles such as computers, forcefield gates, cells, etc. In addition, the Depot is a relay for the Razor Trains coming directly from City 17 and other locations. When citizens arrive at the Depot, they are held in sturdy metal straitjackets housed within metal pods, called Combine Cells. Once needed, the cells can be brought in at any point from within an access point. Just like the Citadel, the Depot has its own cell distribution center. Finally, the Depot houses the Combine entanglement device, which at the end of Chapter 9 explodes just as Gordon and Alyx teleport out of the facility. It is unknown if this is a prototype teleportation device, or a regular tunneling teleport used by the Combine.

Just like the Citadel and the cut Air Exchange, the Depot was to be one of the many identical train depots spread along railways by the Combine.

Behind the scenes[]

  • During his journey to the Air Exchange through the Wasteland, Freeman was to travel parallel to the Wasteland Train, a key theme of the game, tying all its environments together, transporting mysterious cargo from the city to outlying facilities. Along the tracks were numerous depots where the train would stop, refuel, unload, or take on cargo. One of these depots would later be expanded and merged with the Air Exchange to give way to the Nova Prospekt chapters, where the signal to begin the Uprising would be given.[1]
  • The WC mappack gives deep insight into the evolution of the Depot area.
  • The map "wasteland_depot.vmf", last edited August 2001, is apparently one of the depots to be seen during the journey and a predecessor for the main Depot (as several parts were recycled later). It consists of a small train station set on the desert ground with small hangars, a control room and a platform around a single track linking City 17 to the Air Exchange. It is guarded by Overwatch Soldiers and Stalkers, as well as a Cremator on the train platform. Gordon was to reach the area on foot and see soldiers battling Antlions on the sand before the depot. Then he was to get inside the facility through a small Antlion-filled tunnel (as the main gate is closed), to finally reach the platform and embark the train after his journey apparently on foot.[2]
  • One of the most notable early main Depot maps are "wasteland_depot_outside.vmf" (last edited November 2001) and "wasteland_depot_outside.vmf" (last edited January 2002). This larger facility is set on a cliff above the desert, with a large indoor (and brush) depot, a small prison next to it, a lighthouse overlooking the beach, and the train tracks mounted high above the ground. There Gordon was to get inside the lighthouse, defeat a Gunship from the top of it (recycled for Lighthouse Point), then get inside the facility through the lighthouse basement, after which he would be in the prison courtyard, and get in the Depot itself through a garage door. This map was later modernized to give way to the map "d2_depot_01", featuring a larger prison, then "e3_depot.vmf", without the prison but with a battle between Overwatch Soldiers and an Antlion Guard at the start of the map, several Thumpers set along the sand, and the wreck of a submarine.[2]
  • What directly follows "wasteland_depot_outside.vmf" is the map "wasteland_depot_inside.vmf", set inside the Depot and starting right after the garage door. Inside are trains stored above one another, and distributed with elevators inside the Depot or on the tracks, from which they can leave. There Gordon was to fight his way through the facility, avoid several Overwatch Soldiers, Stalkers and an Overwatch Sniper in a large hangar located below, then finally board a train in the hangar, have it lifted with an elevator inside the Depot above, then leave in it to the Air Exchange,[2] to finally meet with Alyx in another depot located right before the Air Exchange.[1] Of course, it does not include any Combine teleport, not part of the story at that point.
  • More recent maps of the Depot area tend to feature the Depot as a model, and greatly expand the prison, which is now closer to the retail Nova Prospekt and where Antlions aid Freeman. One notable feature though set between the prison and the Depot that was eventually removed is the Gunship Bays (featured in maps such as "proto_gunshipbay.vmf", last edited November 2002, or "d2_prison_06", a more recent version featured in the playable Half-Life 2 Beta). In that area guarded by Overwatch Soldiers and set right at the foot of the Depot, Gunships were to be seen being built, and Antlions were to invade the area. A fire was to start, triggered by a chain reaction of explosions of the Gunship fuel lines and tanks installed there, hit during the combat, and engulfing the whole place in flames. Then Gordon was to leave the place by going into the Depot itself through a cargo conveyor.[2][3]
  • The Depot brush was converted into a model late in the game's development. Several WC mappacks of the Citadel base also use this model, as several Depots were originally to be located at the foot of the Citadel.[2]
  • "depot_2" takes place in a prison full of Antlions. An Antlion Guard appears to be stuck in a hallway. You have to kill him to progress in the area. Many Combine Soldiers fight as best they can in a cafeteria. They are in a way entrenched, undergoing the incessant assaults of the Antlions.


Concept art[]

The teleport[]




List of appearances[]


See also[]