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"The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world."
The G-Man talking to Gordon during his monologue at the beginning of HL2.[src]

Dr. Gordon Freeman is the main protagonist of the Half-Life series. Freeman is a theoretical physicist, forced to defend himself and the human race in a conflict against hostile aliens and other enemies after a failed experiment causes a worldwide alien invasion.

In the process, Freeman becomes an almost legendary resistance hero, eventually rising to be one of the key leaders in the war against an inter-dimensional empire.



Gordon letter PS2

Freeman's letter of acceptance to Black Mesa, written May 5, 200-, as it appears in the instruction manual of the PlayStation 2 version of Half-Life.

A native of Seattle, Washington,[1] Freeman harbors an early interest in theoretical physics, such as quantum mechanics and relativity. His earliest heroes are Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Richard Feynman.[5]

He has no dependents[2] and is a graduate of MIT, having earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics.[2] His thesis was titled Observation of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Entanglement on Supraquantum Structures by Induction Through Nonlinear Transuranic Crystal of Extremely Long Wavelength (ELW) Pulse from Mode-Locked Source Array (the behavior of large stuff {Supraquantum Structures} relative and related to each other {Entanglement} after a very short duration {Mode-Locked} "Extremely Long Wavelength Pulse" by an arrangement {Array} of crystals with an atomic number greater than 92 {Transuranic}, without coming into physical contact with the structures in question {Induction}) (essentially about the teleportation of matter through the use of extremely dense elements).[1]

After graduating from MIT, Gordon travels to Austria and observes a series of teleportation experiments conducted by the Institute for Experimental Physics in Innsbruck. Eventually, he becomes disappointed with the slow pace of teleportation research in academia and begins to search for a job outside the education sector.

By coincidence, Freeman's MIT mentor Dr. Isaac Kleiner has taken charge of a research project at a government-owned, integrated research facility known as the Black Mesa Research Facility and offers Freeman a job. He accepts, hoping that at least part of the immense funding would go towards civilian applications of astrophysics and quantum computing.[5]

At the start of Half-Life, Gordon Freeman is 27 years old,[3][2] who has been working for a while at the Black Mesa Research Facility under a "classified" administrative sponsor. He owns a Level 3 Research Associate position,[3] is accommodated in the Level 3 Dormitories in the Black Mesa North Wing, alone in room 309.[3][6]

He is assigned to the Anomalous Materials department doing nuclear, subatomic, and quantum research. Despite having obtained a Ph.D. from the prestigious MIT, the laboratory work that the player does as Freeman (pressing a button and pushing a cart) does not require any intellectual expertise at all (Though a possibility is all of his intellectual expenses happened before the events of the game).

Barney Calhoun pokes fun at this in the beginning portion of Half-Life 2 when Freeman performs similar "technical" assistance (pushing a switch and attaching a fallen plug back into a socket). Barney then goes on to joke that Gordon's MIT education "really pays for itself."

During their time at the facility, Freeman and Calhoun would compete with each other to be the first to retrieve Dr. Kleiner's keys whenever he locked them in his office in Black Mesa (apparently a fairly regular occurrence) without resorting to conventional means.[7] This is where Freeman learned to make use of ventilation shafts to infiltrate rooms and buildings. Indeed, Freeman and Calhoun crawled through numerous ventilation shafts in Half-Life and Half-Life: Blue Shift, respectively.


Gordon HL1 promo

Artwork of Freeman from the original Half-Life.


Freeman starts his tram ride from Level 3 Dormitories at Black Mesa. He is 30 minutes late, as he got on at 8:47. Arriving at the Anomalous Materials department, Freeman dons the Hazardous Environment Suit before he and his team experiment on sample GG-3883 in Sector C's Anti-Mass Spectrometer.

The experiment goes wrong and triggers a Resonance Cascade. As a result, the space-time continuum is ruptured, allowing alien lifeforms to enter the Black Mesa facility. They immediately start killing any humans they can find.

Freeman finds himself hunted by two groups: the invading aliens and later the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit, a military clean-up team that has been sent to contain the situation by silencing aliens and surviving personnel alike. Freeman manages to survive the chaos, impressing the few surviving scientists and security guards with his acts while quickly becoming the HECU's top priority target.

Eventually, Freeman encounters a few rare glimpses of an elite military detachment sent to eradicate all life at the facility, including Freeman himself. However, Freeman fights his way through them and continues on his journey across the facility.

We Are Not Alone 3

Gordon Freeman leaving for Xen, as seen through the eyes of Adrian Shephard.

After numerous challenges, and after eliminating countless aliens and soldiers, Freeman is eventually transported by a few surviving Lambda Team scientists to the alien home-world of Xen, where he manages to eliminate the Xen "leader," the Nihilanth.

Upon recovering from his final encounter, Freeman is finally confronted by the mysterious G-Man, who has been observing Freeman from a distance throughout the entire game. The G-Man shows Freeman several locations throughout Earth and Xen before finally offering him a choice: either agree to work for him and his mysterious "employers," or be left to die on Xen without any weapons and surrounded by hostile lifeforms. Half-Life 2 assumes that Freeman accepts the G-Man's offer.

Half-Life: Opposing Force

In Opposing Force, Adrian Shephard witnesses Freeman teleporting to Xen in the Lambda Complex, and any attempts to follow him through the same portal will result in a "temporal paradox" which sends Shephard falling through Xen's void and ends the game.

An "Employee of the Month" picture of Gordon can also be seen in one of the offices visited.

Half-Life: Blue Shift

Ba outro gordon

Freeman seen carried away by HECU soldiers in Blue Shift.

Gordon is seen four times by Barney Calhoun during Blue Shift. Barney sees Gordon waiting for the tram on a ledge Barney passes by. A few moments later, Gordon can be seen riding by. He is also seen heading towards the HEV storage area through a surveillance camera. Lastly, being dragged to a trash compactor by a pair of HECU marines.

Half-Life: Decay

Although never actually seen in Decay, Gordon is mentioned several times throughout the game. First by the first security guard to be met, who says: "The big guy was pretty excited today when he came in earlier. He was talking about the new guy, Dr. Freeman." Dr. Richard Keller also mentions, "Dr. Freeman is running late today, again." He also questions Freeman's skills, stating he does not understand what Isaac Kleiner sees "in that boy."

Furthermore, the HECU soldiers are also heard, screaming "Rot in hell, Freeman!," "Ha! Ha! We've got Freeman!," or "Freeman is on the move!"

Freeman's bedroom in the Level 3 Dormitories can be visited; on his night-stand can be seen a copy of the book "The Truth About Aliens" (by "RH," a nod to Gearbox's Rob Heironimus), also owned by Barney Calhoun.

Half-Life 2

"Fortunately, the resistance has shown it is willing to accept a new leader, and this one has proven to be a fine pawn for those who control him. How about it, Dr. Freeman? Did you realize your contract was open to the highest bidder?"
Dr. Wallace Breen
Barnacle Gordon

Gordon being choked by a Barnacle in the City 17 canals. (This does not happen in-game as Gordon is immune to the depicted effect)

Half-Life 2 begins with the G-Man speaking to Gordon, waking him from an apparent altered state he put him in at the end of Half-Life. Like the ending of the original game, the scene is somewhat inexplicable and psychedelic, with the G-Man's face in extreme close-up fading in and out of visibility over backgrounds representing scenes from the original Half-Life as well as scenes Gordon, will visit in the course of Half-Life 2.

The G-Man delivers a typically cryptic speech, commenting that "the right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world," and concludes by telling Freeman to "wake up, and smell the ashes." He kept Freeman "in stasis far from Earth, thought, and time itself" for "nearly two decades,"[8] which sets Half-Life 2 at 202-. It is also implied by Eli Vance that Freeman did not physically change during his stasis, in the words "My god man, you haven't changed one iota," said in Black Mesa East.

Freeman then wakes up on a train with two Citizens being "relocated" to City 17, and as a Citizen himself (thus also wearing Citizen clothes). One Citizen remarks that he did not see Freeman get on the train, implying that he was brought onto the train in the middle of its journey (through G-Man's unknown abilities). Freeman quickly learns that Earth has been conquered and occupied by the trans-dimensional Combine empire. He soon meets up with Barney Calhoun and Alyx Vance and eventually joins the Resistance against the Combine.

Rebels tunnel

Rebels by Freeman's side during the City 17 uprising.

During the game, Freeman battles the forces of the Combine to free humanity from its grasp. Already famous for his role in the Black Mesa Incident, Freeman quickly develops a legendary reputation among Earth's surviving human populace, who begin to refer to him by messianic titles such as "The One Free Man."

Shortly after his arrival, and having killed a significant number of Civil Protection troops while attempting to escape City 17, the Combine designated him Anticitizen One, a title that indicates the individual posing the greatest threat to their empire. After slaying scores of Combine soldiers and leading an assault against the Combine stronghold of Nova Prospekt, Freeman eventually sparks a full-scale rebellion against the Combine domination, in which he becomes a prominent combatant. Gordon infiltrates one of the Combine's footholds on Earth, the City 17 Citadel, and destroys its teleporter core by detonating the dark fusion reactor, rendering the Citadel inoperable.

Although caught in the reactor's explosion along with Alyx Vance, Gordon is rescued by the G-Man at the last second, who tells Freeman that he is impressed with his work and has "received several tempting offers for his 'services'." The G-Man finally informs Freeman that, rather than offering him "the illusion of free choice," the G-Man has taken the liberty of choosing for him and deposits Freeman back in stasis until he is needed once again. Thus, Half-Life 2 concludes just as cryptically as its predecessor did.

Half-Life 2: Episode One

Citadel core drop

The Citadel Core.

Half-Life 2: Episode One rejoins Gordon and Alyx as they attempt to escape from City 17, doomed by the destruction of the Citadel's dark fusion reactor at the end of Half-Life 2.

At the beginning of the episode, the G-Man appears once more to Gordon, but this time, he is interrupted by the appearance of a group of chanting, purple-glowing Vortigaunts, who take Gordon and Alyx away while blocking the G-Man's path. The G-Man appears most displeased by this development and responds by scowling and darkly stating "We'll see... about that!"

Gordon regains consciousness under a pile of rubble and is found by Alyx and Dog. It is quickly revealed that the only way to escape the Citadel's explosion, which would obliterate virtually all of City 17, is to contain the Citadel Core which would stall the structure's detonation long enough for an escape. Gordon and Alyx attempt to do so, discovering in the process that the local Combine forces were deliberately trying to overload the Citadel's reactor in order to send a distress message to the Combine Overworld since the teleport core had been destroyed in Half-Life 2.

The Combine apparently considers this an acceptable outcome, considering the damage the Citadel had already taken; the subsequent explosion would destroy all of City 17 and much of the surrounding countryside which has been all but lost to human Resistance forces. Gordon and Alyx avert the destruction for a few hours and manage to escape the Citadel with a copy of the distress message and meet up with Barney and other survivors.

The pair eventually escape City 17 via an evacuation train as the Citadel goes critical. The Combine message is successfully transmitted while several Combine Advisor pods escape from the Citadel at great speed. The train Gordon and Alyx were escaping on was struck with a shockwave. Their subsequent fate is revealed in Episode Two.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Ep2 outland 010019

The Vortigaunt holding Alyx.

Episode Two begins almost directly where the previous episode ended. The train derailed in the Citadel's explosion. Gordon and Alyx crawl out and begin to make their way to White Forest, the Resistance base where Dr. Eli Vance, Dr. Issac Kleiner, and Dr. Arne Magnusson are waiting for them, encountering many obstacles on the route.

Early in the journey, Alyx is severely wounded by a Hunter and only survives through the aid of several Vortigaunt allies. Alyx is saved by a miraculous larval extract that Gordon retrieves from the Antlion hive for the Vortigaunts. The G-Man briefly reappears to Gordon revealing that Alyx was under his watch as well - that he had "appraised" her and "plucked her from Black Mesa." The G-Man requests that Gordon safely escort her to White Forest as repayment for his survival without explaining the reasons. He then proceeds to whisper to the unconscious Alyx an instruction to relay the message "Prepare for unforeseen consequences" to her father (this refers to the Resonance Cascade in the original Half-Life). Once Alyx recovers, they make their way to White Forest.


The last Victory Mine outpost.

The journey is far from smooth, as Gordon is required to travel through a Headcrab-infested mining settlement that was used as a rebel outpost in order to retrieve a car to be used to make travel much faster. Then, on the road, the two encounter a radio tower, and Alyx decides to send a warning about Combine forces they had witnessed heading in White Forest's direction. They linger for too long, however, and are ambushed by Hunters.

They later encounter a Combine Advisor in incubation who almost kills them when they destroy its life support but escape before being chased by a Hunter-Chopper into another rebel outpost. Gordon is then required to deal with a Combine Autogun while Alyx and the rebels repair their car. The Combine then set up a force shield ambush at the White Forest Inn where Gordon and Alyx are outnumbered and surrounded but manage to fight through.

Finally, upon arrival at White Forest, Alyx gives Dr. Kleiner the data packet she retrieved from the City 17 Citadel before its destruction, and Gordon is enlisted to help defend the base from an unexpected Combine infiltration. The data reveals the Borealis, an Aperture Science vessel thought to have been lost and containing some advanced portal technology that Dr. Kleiner insists should be used against the Combine while Eli, haunted by the Black Mesa Incident, insists upon its destruction.

After Gordon and a group of resistance members destroy a Hunter and Strider assault force to protect Dr. Magnusson's rocket launch, Dr. Magnusson is able to use the data in his satellite. The rocket using the old Black Mesa Array, is able to shut-down the Combine Superportal before it could open fully, averting the possibility of a second combine invasion

As Gordon and Alyx prepare to depart for the Borealis, (NOTE: The following events have been altered in the timeline of Half-Life: Alyx), two Combine Advisors rip through the base and kill Eli. Fortunately, Dog reappears in time to rescue Alyx and Gordon from the same fate. The episode ends with Gordon looking over Alyx weeping over her father's body, with the possibility that the Combine have now learned everything about the Resistance, the Borealis, and, debatably, the G-Man, through Eli.

Half-Life: Alyx


Gordon in-game.

Gordon is shown to Alyx by the G-Man at the end of Half-Life: Alyx. The G-Man appears to Alyx and gives her the chance to have something she doesn't know she wants yet. The G-Man takes her to the future and gives her the powers to kill the Advisor, saving Eli. After this the G-man explains that he had grown displeased with the lack of progress Gordon had apparently made as well as his refusal to obey his unspecified orders, and that Alyx would be a suitable replacement for him. His HEV Suit has been damaged from the Advisors' attack.

In the post-credits scene, the player briefly controls Gordon as Eli swears revenge on the G-Man for taking his daughter away from him. Dog then shows up carrying Gordon's signature crowbar. Eli takes the crowbar from Dog and hands it to Gordon, saying, "C'mon, Gordon. We've got work to do."


Kleiner bust

Isaac Kleiner in his lab.

Isaac Kleiner

Dr. Kleiner was Gordon's teacher at MIT and recommended him to Black Mesa, where they likely worked together. After the Combine invasion of Earth, Gordon again worked alongside him, this time in the Resistance. Kleiner feels genuine concern for Gordon on his travels yet still foolishly puts Lamarr first on a few occasions.

Eli Vance

Eli knew Gordon well at Black Mesa; they both worked in Sector C. After the Resonance Cascade, Eli was the one who opened the door for Gordon to head towards the surface in search of help. That was the last Eli would see of Gordon until he showed up at Black Mesa East nearly twenty years later. They forged a strong bond throughout Episode One and Two because Alyx was with Gordon most of the time. In Episode Two, shortly before his death, Eli tells Gordon not only about his encounter with the G-Man but also that he could not be prouder of Gordon if he were his son.

Alyx Vance

Alyx Vance first

Alyx meets Gordon for the first time.

Alyx and Gordon have not known each other for a very long period. Alyx says to Gordon that he probably does not remember her, indicating he briefly met her (likely at Black Mesa) when she was an infant. But after going through such intense life and death combat situations and other hardships, they have forged a strong relationship with each other. Alyx has shown affection to Gordon several times throughout the series: Twice giving a sad goodbye at an elevator and hugging Gordon when Dog pulls him from the rubble at the beginning of Episode One.

Barney Calhoun

Ep1 c17 05000600

Barney smiling at Gordon near the Technical Trainstation.

Barney and Gordon go way back, being old friends at Black Mesa. When Dr. Kleiner would lock himself out of his office, the two would race to be the first to get the door open, usually making use of the ventilation ducts to get in. They also see each other once in Half-Life and Blue Shift, Barney's background having been retconned in Blue Shift and Half-Life 2. In the Combine-controlled world, Barney saves Gordon from a terrible fate when Gordon nearly boards a train to Nova Prospekt. Gordon then joins Barney in assisting the Resistance. As of now, he still owes Gordon a beer.

Arne Magnusson

The working relationship between Gordon and Magnusson is relatively unknown, but Arne did harbor a grudge about Gordon destroying his casserole on the day of the Resonance Cascade. In the aftermath of the Citadel's collapse, Gordon becomes an assistant to the Doctor at White Forest to get the rocket being constructed there into space. Near the end of Episode Two, Dr. Magnusson finally has to swallow his pride and show appreciation to Gordon for what he did.

Judith Mossman

Gordon and Judith both applied for the same position at Black Mesa. Gordon won out with his Innsbruck experience, and even later, during the Combine, occupation of Earth, she is still jealous, at least according to Alyx.

The G-Man

Not much is known about the relationship between Gordon and the G-Man, as they have only had conversations at the beginning of and the end of a game. However, what is known is that the G-man has displayed great interest in Gordon before the Black Mesa Incident, and he has said to Adrian Shepard that he has respect for those who survive against all odds, to which Gordon is no exception. However, as stated by Wallace Breen, it is likely that the G-Man is only interested in those worthy enough to survive for either his "employers" or his "contract" and can skillfully manipulate people. This is later shown when G-Man drops Gordon from his employment when feeling he wasn't performing the tasks laid out for him by G-Man and ended up being replaced by Alyx Vance.

Personality and skills

Gordon crowbar enemies

Gordon Freeman fighting off enemies with his iconic crowbar.

As a silent protagonist, Gordon does not say a single word during the entire Half-Life saga. This is most likely an intentional choice so that he is not regarded as a separate character outside of the player's influence. Since the start of Half-Life, Valve has made sure that the player's and Gordon's experiences are the same. An example of Valve's player strategy is shown during the scene in Eli's lab. Investigation of certain props (most notably the newspaper board) triggers Eli to explain their meaning and history.[9] Despite his muteness, Gordon's actions speak louder than any words, and he will usually go to great lengths to help his allies and protect the Earth from external threats.

Although quite proficient with weapons and explosives, Freeman had not handled any weapons until some cursory training at the Black Mesa Research Facility's Hazard Course (aside from the butane-powered tennis ball cannon he constructed at age 6).[5]

Behind the scenes

Ivan model views

Several views of Ivan the Space Biker's third-person model.

  • Freeman's original model had a full, wild beard that earned him the nickname of "Ivan the Space Biker." The beard eventually turned into a stylish goatee, while his glasses also went through several iterations.[4]
  • Freeman's HEV Suit model (the version used in Half-Life and its expansions for the dead scientists on Xen and seen in Blue Shift, as well as the version used in Half-Life Deathmatch and seen in Opposing Force, and the PlayStation 2 model) sports a small ponytail, while his white coat scientist model (seen in Blue Shift) has none. The glasses are also found only in the Opposing Force model. While Gordon wears glasses most of the time, the ponytail is a reminiscence of his early design stages never removed from the model, which is not to be considered canon.[4] The Half-Life: Day One model is identical to the Half-Life one, except that it has "gender" body parts. The "male" version is Gordon, and the "female" is an early "gina.mdl" / "holo.mdl." Furthermore, it has an animation removed from the more recent models, named "ambush player," consisting of Freeman being hit twice, then falling on the floor, unconscious. This model may be related to the end of the Half-Life chapter Apprehension, during which Freeman experiences the same thing, and maybe related to a cutscene feature not present in the final games. The HEV Suit also has "Valve" written on the back. The Day One file also contains two small Avi files, "gordon.avi" and "gina.avi," consisting of a higher resolution version of the "male" / "female" player model turning on itself, but with the HEV Suit helmet in their hands.
  • The name "Gordon Freeman" was coined by Gabe Newell. When looking for a name for the character, Marc Laidlaw wanted it to evoke some famous scientists. So he took inspiration in the names of his "heroes": the name of physicist/philosopher Freeman Dyson mixed with that of the French mathematician Jules Henri Poincaré, ending up with "Dyson Poincaré." Gabe Newell disliked it and suggested "Gordon Freeman" instead.[4]
Gordon model 2

The old hi-res model renders, with the helmet.

  • The first name "Gordon" is a Scottish surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "great hill."[10] "Freeman" is a common English surname that originally referred to a person who was born free, or in other words was not a serf,[11], and not subject to the will of another. This is a rather ironic title to be given to Gordon since he is 'involuntarily' serving the G-Man. On the other hand, it does make sense in that Freeman unknowingly sets the Vortigaunts free from the Nihilanth in Half-Life and sets humanity (and their new Vortigaunt allies) free from the Combine rule in Half-Life 2. The Vortigaunts refer to Gordon as "the Freeman" and in one of Dr. Breen's announcements, he mentions that people are starting to refer to Gordon as "the One Free Man, the Opener of the Way."
  • Gordon Freeman was originally designed by Dhabih Eng and Chuck Jones, while the Half-Life 2 model was made by Dhabih Eng only. The face for that model was made out of the faces of several Valve employees morphed together, such as David Speyrer, Eric Kirchmer, Greg Coomer, and Kelly Bailey.[4] Of note is that while Freeman has several GoldSrc models available, no official Source model was ever released. By typing "third person" in the console in Half-Life 2, it's revealed that Gordon's Source model is untextured and motionless, meaning Valve never finished the model.
  • As seen on a board at Valve's seen in early 2004 where it is listed as a cut item, a love scene between Alyx and Gordon was at some point to be featured in Half-Life 2.
  • In October 2009, Gordon Freeman won the title of Greatest Video Game Hero of All Time by GameSpot after a four-week-long user voted competition.
  • In May 2010, Gordon Freeman was ranked #1 of the 50 Greatest Video Game Characters by Empire.
  • The Gordon Freeman model that makes an obscured appearance at the end of Half-Life: Alyx is fully modeled and animated to get up from a fetal position and bend over to pick up his glasses. This animation is not seen in its entirety by the player because the G-Man is blocking Alyx's view.


Baby pic

The baby picture found in the locker.

  • In Half-Life, the picture of a baby with besides an adult hand making a "thumb's up" can be found in Freeman's locker.[12] Although the baby on the picture is Harry E. Teasley's daughter Isabel,[13] and the picture was officially explained as being an Easter egg placed by the level designer, Marc Laidlaw offered the idea that it could be an infant relative of Gordon's, such as a niece or nephew.[14] The locker also contains the books The 37th Mandala and The Orchid Eater by Marc Laidlaw and what seems to be Gordon's diploma in a frame, a Thermos and a cup, an HEV Suit battery, two sticky notes, and a blue suit. After the Resonance Cascade, the Thermos fell on the floor and the diploma fell on its face.
  • Comparing Adrian Shephard and Gordon's shooting animations in Half-Life 1, Freeman has slightly less recoil management than Shephard, this would make sense lorewise considering Gordon's only experience with weapons being the Black Mesa Hazard Course, and a butane powered tennis ball cannon he constructed at age 6. And Shephard being a marine would indefinitely have more weapons experience. However this could all just be the result of Half-Life 1 and Opposing Force being made separately by Valve and Gearbox.
  • Gordon's face model is the result of Valve's David Speyrer, Eric Kirchmer, Greg Coomer, and Kelley Bailey's faces being morphed together.

Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance surrounded by Beta-textured Antlions

  • Though Gordon is commonly thought to be mute, this is contradicted in the Half-Life PlayStation 2 manual. The image of Gordon Freeman's letter of acceptance to the Black Mesa Research Facility mentions a "recent telephone conversation" between Freeman and someone at Black Mesa.
  • In Blue Shift and Opposing Force, Gordon's model doesn't have a death animation; if he dies, he will do the walking animation instead. However, his body can be destroyed.

References in other media

  • In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Anna Grímsdóttir remarks to protagonist Sam Fisher that "crowbars are for geeky video-game characters," poking fun at the fact that Gordon Freeman is a scientist by profession.
  • In Call of Duty: United Offensive, two American soldiers are shown running side-by-side. On the left, Pvt. Gordon, and on the right, Pvt. Freeman.
  • In the Stark Towers level of the video game The Punisher, a scientist refers to another scientist as "Doctor Freeman" and asks what a noise he heard was, to which Doctor Freeman replies (paraphrased) "Maybe the quantum physics department finally opened that extra-dimensional portal!" with the other scientist replying "Extra-dimensional aliens! Wonder what they look like?" a reference to the opening scene of Half-Life.
  • In Red Faction: Guerrilla, while standing in the upgraded building at the safehouses, the player can sometimes hear the radio operator saying "Cut the chatter Freeman, we need radio silence." This line is an ironic reference to Freeman, as Gordon is a mute in the games and part of another resistance against another totalitarian state. The radio operator is voiced by Michael Shapiro.
  • In The Ship, a game developed using Source, the description of the crowbar weapon states it is suitable for any "free man."
  • In Destroy All Humans, the main character, Crypto 137, can read the thoughts of humans. If he scans the mind of a scientist, the player may hear "I must hurry, they need me in the test chamber! Oh, wait, wrong game."
  • In TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, during the level Breaking and Entering, Cortez, the protagonist of the story, changes into a lab coat along with a name tag that reads "Dr. Freeman." He is also told, "Remember, your name is Gordon, now lead on a doctor."
  • In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, the player may find the body of a scientist named "Gordon Freeman," whose PDA makes mentions of Black Mesa, City 17, and a crowbar.
  • In Metro 2033, a skeleton can be found, with a pair of glasses and a crowbar at its side. A character who looks similar to Freeman can also be seen sitting at a computer in the Market Station.
  • In the novel A Big Boy did it and Ran Away by Christopher Brookmyre, the author makes frequent references to various video games including Half-Life; one of the protagonists takes the alias of "Gordon Freeman" while there is a SAS soldier named "Shepard." At one point the male protagonist is equipped with a crowbar, and the main action takes place in a large underground hydroelectric power station with the Gaelic name "Dubh Ardrain" which can be translated as "Black Mesa."
  • In the Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve game) downloadable campaign The Passing, Louis will sometimes say, "Man, I feel like Gordon Freeman!" when equipped with a crowbar.
  • In console versions of Duke Nukem Forever, there's a control setup similar to the default control setup in the console versions of Half-Life 2 called Freeman.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, one of the terminals is from Dr. Gordon, griping about the lack of cake at his retirement party. A reference to both Half-Life and Portal.
  • In Penumbra: Overture, a frozen, detached hand holding a crowbar can be found in a lake of ice. The name "Freeman" is written on the crowbar.
  • In Unturned, the old description of the common melee weapon crowbar read "Fordon Greeman's favorite weapon" a (spoonerism) reference to Gordon Freeman.
  • In Borderlands 3, there is a Laser-Guided Launcher (Similar to HECU RPG and Resistance RPG)named "Freeman," with a unique line of text "The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world," a quote from G-Man at the start of Half-Life


  • He eats a lemon.
  • In Escape from Tarkov, a crowbar can be found as a melee weapon named "Freeman crowbar." Its description reads "Steel and reliable crowbar by Freeman company. Caution! May lead to resonance cascade." It can be used both as a chopping attack and as a stabbing attack, which is a reference to the swinging animations used when wielding the crowbar in Half-Life and Half-Life 2.
  • In the indie game Dead Cells, a secret room in the Prisoner’s Quarters area may appear featuring a corpse with a creature attached to its head. Examining it results in the player character remarking that being in said room could bring “unforeseen consequences.” Furthermore, they can also grab blueprints for a crowbar weapon, and a parody of the HEV Suit, called the HEV outfit.


Half-Life story arc

Half-Life 2 story arc

Half-Life 2 model face

Half-Life: Alyx


List of appearances


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Half-Life 2 Prima Guide
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Half-Life PlayStation 2 instruction manual
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Half-Life
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Half-Life Prima Guide
  6. Half-Life: Decay
  7. Half-Life 2: Episode One
  8. Ia icon Episode One: The story so far on Half-Life 2's official website (Archived)
  9. Half-Life 2 Chapter: Black Mesa East
  10. Gordon on BehindtheName.com
  11. Freeman on BehindtheName.com
  12. Gordon Freeman's locker contents
  13. Wavelength: A Day with Valve
  14. Vic. LG favicon "The Girl in Gordon's Black Mesa Locker is 14 Years Old, Today" on LambdaGeneration, January 3, 2012.
  15. Keighley, Geoff. "The Final Hours of Half-Life 2" GameSpot, April 28, 2016.