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This subject is from the Combine era.
HL Alyx Logo Orange White This article is part of the Alyx Project.
The subject of this article is featured in the new Half-Life: Alyx; therefore, its content is subject to change as more information about it is added.
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Gameplay tactics, trivia and walkthrough information should not be included, unless they are related to the plot; instead add it to its respective chapter article.

Alyx Vance using her Multi-tool.

This article describes the Half-Life: Alyx storyline chapter by chapter.

Although ostensibly a prequel to Half-Life 2, Alyx is best understood as a follow-up to Half-Life 2: Episode Two due to its storyline being affected by said game's ending.


The Citadel under construction.

Chapter 1: Entanglement[]


Russell in his lab.

Five years before the destruction of the Citadel and Eli Vance's death, a young Alyx Vance performs reconnaissance on the continued construction of the Citadel in City 17. She receives a call from her father Eli and his mechanic friend Russell as they attempt to steal a Combine reactor. She reports normal CP activity but adds that she noticed the Combine moving supplies into the Quarantine Zone for unknown reasons. Just as the call finishes, Russell and Eli discover something. While checking in with fellow Resistance member Olga, Civil Protection suddenly goes on alert. Alyx is subsequently captured while trying to rendezvous with her father, who is also captured by the Combine.

Russell manages to rescue Alyx by destroying the transport taking her to be interrogated and they meet up at his lab where he reveals Eli will most likely be taken on a train to Nova Prospekt and that she will need to intercept the train by going through the Quarantine Zone. He gifts her with special gloves that will allow her to pick up objects from afar, dubbed “the Russells”, as well as a pistol. Alyx then boards a hacked train that will take her through the zombie-infested Quarantine Zone.


  • This chapter shares the same name as Chapter 9a from Half-Life 2.
  • Like Half-Life and Half-Life 2, the first chapter of Half-Life: Alyx includes a train ride. However in this case, the train comes at the end of the chapter, leading Alyx to the location she will explore for the rest of the story.

Chapter 2: The Quarantine Zone[]


A Zombie in the Quarantine Zone.

The train is stopped just outside the Zone due to the Combine shutting down the area, forcing Alyx to make her way on foot and fight through the various forms of Xen wildlife that have overtaken the buildings. Along the way she encounters a brain-damaged Vortigaunt named Gary, who cryptically warns her that her father is fated to die and that she will not be able to prevent it on her own. He also informs her that the Combine have many of his kin trapped and that she needs to rescue them and that she will need to follow “the Northern Star.”

Chapter 3: Is Or Will Be[]

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Alyx finds the flashlight.

Alyx continues through the Quarantine Zone, where she acquires a flashlight and fights off various headcrabs hiding in the dark tunnels. After fighting off some Combine soldiers she arrives at the junction where she can intercept her father's train, but discovers the controls are broken. She then uses a nearby switch to stop the train by leading it to a dead-end, derailing it. Inside she finds her father, who she nearly loses when he falls into a pit, only to be rescued by Gary, who had followed Alyx. Eli explains that he and Russell discovered images of a building containing what appears to be a Combine superweapon, contained in a massive ship called “The Vault” floating above the Quarantine Zone. He sends Alyx to disable the Vault while Gary reminds her to follow the “Northern Star” and escorts Eli back to safety.


Chapter 4: Superweapon[]

Alyx makes her way through the subway tunnels again while trying to get to the so-called “Northern Star.” Along the way she encounters several more zombies and headcrabs, along with Combine forces who are now hot on her tail. She sees the Vault for the first time, outside a window. Eventually she discovers the “Northern Star” is actually a hotel called The Northern Star which contains a substation for the Vault. She makes her way inside.


  • This chapter was added to the game to introduce the Vault to the player before they arrive at the Northern Star.
  • Russell explains to Alyx what the Vault is even if the player refuses to look at the window.
  • One of the posters in the train station is an ad for St. Olga, the primary location of the Half-Life 2: Lost Coast tech demo. It, or rather "the Coast", is depicted as a vacation destination.

Chapter 5: The Northern Star[]

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Xen infestation inside the Northern Star.

Traveling through the headcrab-infested building, Alyx soon encounters a new enemy: an electrified headcrab-like creature that has the ability to climb into corpses and reanimate them in order to attack her. According to her description, Russell dubs the creature “lightning dog”. She manages to fight off the creature and reaches the top of the hotel, where she discovers the Combine is using trapped Vortigaunts at each substation to power the Vault. She frees the Vortigaunt trapped there, who pledges to help her by freeing his brothers at the other power stations. Alyx then starts making her way to a nearby Vodka distillery where she can access a tunnel that will take her directly to the Vault.

Chapter 6: Arms Race[]

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Alyx battles Combine Soldiers outside the distillery.

Alyx makes her way to the distillery, fighting through the streets of City 17 through increasing Combine forces, who employ manhacks to track her down.


  • The scene where Alyx has to defuse a room full of trip mines and explosive barrels is a reference to a pivotal scene in the "Surface Tension" chapter of the original Half-Life. A similar music cue to that used in "Surface Tension" plays when Alyx enters the room, and an achievement received upon defusing all of the trip mines is titled "Blast From the Past", cementing the reference.

Chapter 7: Jeff[]

After facing off with more Combine forces, Alyx heads inside the distillery where she encounters another human named Larry, who warns her to look out for a blind zombie dubbed “Jeff” that is extremely sensitive to sound and will attempt to destroy her without hesitation. Alyx manages to trap Jeff in a trash compactor before opening the path to the tunnel.


  • Previously titled "Silent Partner."[1]
  • This chapter was in development for three out of Half-Life: Alyx's nearly four-year development.[1]
  • Originally the distillery would have had a much stronger Combine presence, with Alyx having to fight off Combine soldiers while also dealing with Jeff. This was removed in favor of the more horror-tinged final chapter as the intermittent firefights affected the pacing and tension of the level.[1]
    • A very brief shot of Alyx fighting a Combine soldier in the distillery is present in the announcement trailer.

Chapter 8: Captivity[]

Alyx fights her way through the Antlion-infested tunnels, where she also finds an old zoo infested with more Xen wildlife. She finds evidence that the Combine is unable to control the more alien-infested areas of the City. Eli then reports that the Vault may not actually contain a superweapon but in fact something that the Combine is trying to keep imprisoned. Alyx decides to continue on, reasoning that perhaps whatever it is inside the Vault could be used to the Resistance's advantage.


  • A Combine Sentry Gun can be seen firing at Antlions behind a locked door near the zoo entrance. The player is unable to interact with the turret directly.
  • A shelf in one of the rooms contains a Bridges delivery package and a boot. Bridges is the company at the center of the Kojima productions game Death Stranding. Death Stranding itself contains a Half-Life easter egg by way of a Headcrab hat.

Chapter 9: Revelations[]

Alyx makes her way through Antlion-infested tunnels and emerges just as the Vortigaunts destroy the last power station keeping the Vault afloat. However, the Vault is prevented from crashing down by the intervention of a tractor beam from a backup generator. While looking for a way to shut down the tractor beam, Alyx overhears a conversation between an Advisor and a Combine scientist who claims the Vault is a prison for someone who survived the Black Mesa Incident and subsequently disappeared. Alyx, Eli, and Russell conclude this must be Gordon Freeman, and that it is now imperative that they rescue him from the Vault. Alyx fights through more Antlions and Combine forces through several abandoned buildings as she heads to the Vault's dock.


  • Inside the building with the unnamed scientist is a hideout owned by a character developers refer to as "The Combine Killer". The Combine Killer is a scavenger, like Larry, who lives in the Quarantine Zone, spending their days hunting Combine patrols. According to the developers, this character may eventually join the organized resistance in Half-Life 2.[2]

Chapter 10: Breaking and Entering[]

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Combine Grunts inspect a fallen Strider.

After fighting through more forces, Alyx makes it to the Vault's dock, where she attempts to shut down the tractor beam. However, this results in the Vault crashing down to the ground, destroying numerous buildings. Alyx survives, and fights through more surviving Combine forces and zombies before confronting a Strider, which with extreme difficulty, she manages to destroy. She then starts to enter the Vault, just as Eli realizes something is wrong and tries to warn her before communication is cut off and she loses all her weapons.


  • As Alyx approaches the currently de-activated Strider, she spots two Combine soldiers. If the player listens long enough, one of the soldiers starts kicking the Strider body, which his companion reports to Overwatch. The other soldier then reports Overwatch says to stop kicking the Strider, which the first soldier does – the other soldier confirms this to Overwatch.

Chapter 11: Point Extraction[]

Inside the Vault, Alyx finds the remains of the building the Combine trapped within the Vault in order to capture their prisoner: however the building appears to defy reality itself, with numerous rooms being oriented differently and the objects within them defying the laws of gravity. Making her way into the main prison, Alyx discovers her gloves can absorb the Vortigaunt energy previously used to power the Vault and uses them to fight off the remaining Combine forces. Inside the Vault she finds a giant cage and frees the individual inside, only to find the prisoner was not Gordon but the mysterious G-Man.

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The G-Man addresses Alyx.

The G-Man offers his services to Alyx in return for her releasing him, but when Alyx asks that he remove the Combine from Earth he turns her down, noting it would be against his employers' wishes. He then shows her a vision of the future: her father's death at the hands of an Advisor in the hangar at White Forest in five years' time. He then rewinds time to just before Eli's death and gives Alyx the chance to save her father. Alyx uses her gloves to destroy the Advisor and free Eli. However, the G-Man explains she has proven herself a worthy successor to Gordon Freeman, whom the G-Man is disappointed with for failing to follow through on his directions. Despite Alyx's pleas to let her go, he places her into stasis.


  • The name of this chapter is a play on Point Insertion, the first chapter of Half-Life 2.
  • The appearance of Gordon Freeman during the G-Man's interaction with Alyx is the first time in the series since Half-Life: Decay that Gordon has been depicted in-game.
  • Alyx's extended interaction with the G-Man is the first time the G-Man has been depicted having an audible conversation with another character in the entire series.
  • The decision to rewrite Episode Two's ending nearly 13 years later came about from conversations between the game's writers Erik Wolpaw, Jay Pinkerton, and Sean Vanaman. The challenge of Half-Life: Alyx was that the game risked being low-stakes due to its status as a prequel, so the team questioned what they knew of the G-Man and what he could offer as a reward for freeing him from prison. Wolpaw joked that one version of the game could have ended with the G-Man simply agreeing to get rid of the Combine, snapping his fingers, and ending the entire series without a Half-Life 3.[3] Other endings that were considered include an alternate sequence where the G-Man guided Alyx through a series of red doors which depicted familiar environments from the Half-Life series, or an ending where Alyx stopped Gordon from pushing the Xen crystal into the Anti-Mass Spectrometer in the original Half-Life.[4]


Gordon wakes up at White Forest base five years later to discover the Advisor dead, Alyx missing, and Eli alive and well. Eli realizes that the “unforeseen consequences” were the G-Man using his death to manipulate Alyx into joining him, and swears revenge. Dog arrives with Gordon's crowbar, which Eli hands to Gordon and declares that they have a lot of work to do.


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