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Kleiner's Lab is a City 17 location seen during the chapters "A Red Letter Day" and Entanglement of Half-Life 2. It is a small laboratory hidden in the workshop of a decrepit warehouse, home to Dr. Isaac Kleiner for some time until the uprising in and eventual destruction of the city. The lab also houses Kleiner's teleport, which he has been developing as an alternative and safer route to Black Mesa East.
After a number of setbacks, Dr. Kleiner and Alyx Vance have finally completed the teleport shortly before Gordon Freeman arrives in the city. This is clearly no coincidence, the G-Man having planned it this way. Alyx and Gordon are to travel through the newly completed teleport to Black Mesa East. Alyx does so, and Gordon is about to do the same when Lamarr inadvertently damages the teleport, causing it to malfunction. Gordon ends up being teleported to and fro between several random locations such as the Wasteland, a lake where an Ichthyosaur is swimming, Black Mesa East, and even Breen's office in the Citadel, where he is recognized by his former administrator. With the teleport out of order, Gordon journeys to Black Mesa East by more conventional means.
The lab is seen once again much later in the game at the end of chapter 9a, Entanglement, when Alyx and Gordon teleport out of Nova Prospekt seconds before its teleport explodes, and arrive at Kleiner's Lab a full week later to find City 17 engulfed by the Uprising. The lab, albeit apparently remaining undiscovered by the Combine, has suffered some battle damage and seems to be serving as an impromptu base of operations. There are also pieces of destroyed Manhacks on the table next to the mini teleport. Along with City 17, the lab is destroyed when the Citadel explodes.
As in Black Mesa East later in the game, some plot information and Easter eggs can be found in the lab. Monitors show views of the city: when Barney gets in, he turns the biggest screen on, and the player can change the view until the G-Man can be seen. Nearby is a CD player indicating the name "Blue Scholars", which is the name of an alternative hip-hop band. One of its two members, Sabzi, is the cousin of Dhabih Eng, one of Kleiner's Lab designers. Two computer cases under the desk where the magnifying glass is bear respectively some tape on which "Carmel" and "Mesa" are written. Some sticky notes also show "find more watermelon for Lamarr", "Ask Eli - RE: manifold parameters" or "Massless field flux MUST self-limit!!!". A cork board hanged on the door to the teleport room also shows some newspaper clips, such as one titled "End is Near" and another showing a picture of Eli and Azian Vance. There are also other items such as a possible recipe for an "Indescribable Salad", a blueprint for the teleport, the photo of a black mesa (probably the mesa that gave its name to the facility), a portrait of Kleiner made by Alyx when she was a child, the cover of the magazine Popular Scientist, where Kleiner can be seen at a younger age, with brown hair and sideburns, and a drawing of a Headcrab from beneath, with arrows pointing at certain spots of its mouth, presumably related to the de-beaking of Lamarr. To the left of the cork board is also a picture of the Black Mesa team before the Black Mesa Incident; the picture includes Gordon, a younger Kleiner and Eli as well as a figure with a blanked-out face (presumably Dr. Breen). Along with the hula doll, Kleiner was able to take it with him to White Forest. There is also a retinal scanner similar to the ones used in Black Mesa, which must be used to access the teleport room.
Behind the scenes
- The earliest known map of Kleiner's Lab presents the current lab, but longer, with another bigger room containing the original teleport, while the retail teleport room merely serves as a corridor linking both rooms, with the door located behind the retail teleport leading to the bigger room with the teleport, and a big basement with pipes emitting steam. That bigger room was partially recycled in Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, in the map "
dm_steamlab". Gordon was also to reach the lab from its basement through tunnels starting in the surroundings of the Manhack Arcade (in the map "
subt.vmf"), a path indicated by Barney he was to meet near the Manhack Arcade. They would meet again in the lab, Barney taking another path to preserve his cover as a CP.
- The E3 2003 video "Kleiner's Lab" features another version of the post-Nova Prospekt scene with different dialog between Kleiner and Alyx, and ending with Combots discovering the lab and a Strider blowing up the wall at the spot where the security monitors are in the final game.
- A recent WC mappack map,
d1_trainstation_01.vmf(last edited June 2003), features a rough lab featuring the base of the teleport seen in Raising the Bar concept art for the Depot teleport.
- A working mini teleport located near the entrance can be operated by the player, capable of teleporting a cactus, or even larger objects found in the lab, in between two teleportation pads. An Orange Box Achievement, "What cat?", requires to break it.
- Near Kleiner's desk is a computer monitor where the Windows 3.x "Starfield Simulation" ("ssstars.scr") screensaver can be seen running.
- As seen in the WC mappack map "
kleiner_labtalk.vmf" and the E3 Video "Kleiner's Lab", the Manhack parts seen next to the mini teleport when coming back to the lab were originally that of a Combot.
- Strangely enough, the lab is extremely close to the City 17 Trainstation introduced in the first chapter of Half-Life 2. Obvious security precautions would have rather placed the lab very far from a very crowded and security-enforced place like a train station. Actually, several levels originally set between the train station and the lab were cut from the final version, such as the Combine Factories and the Manhack Arcade. Therefore, the original lab was much farther from the train station than it is now.
- When viewing the preview image for the Black Mesa scientists photo frame model in the game files, it appears that the woman originally had no glasses and a black jacket. The "A.M.G." initials are also maroon instead of white, and without tape on it.
- The Half-Life 2: Deathmatch map Steam Lab draws some inspiration from both Kleiner's Lab and Black Mesa East, and includes a teleport as well.
The original lab and teleportation sequences
- As heard in the dialogue files found in the playable Half-Life 2 Beta sound files, the lab sequence at the start of Half-Life 2 was originally to be much different and much longer. Several sentences survived into the retail version, but were rerecorded.
- As heard in the files, Kleiner would not know about Gordon's return after his arrival at the lab, and Alyx would not be there. A very long dialogue would then ensue, giving more information about the general setting, Lamarr, the HEV Suit, etc., and some goofy dialogue between Kleiner and Barney, discussing what to do with Gordon. The teleportation sequence would then follow in the main lab where the original teleport was located:
- In the main lab, Kleiner calls Helena Mossman, located at Kraken Base, and they start discussing the best place to send Gordon, in again a dialogue much longer than in the retail version.
- After the team agrees that Eli's facilities are too primitive to make use of Gordon, being, according to Mossman, more suited to mechanics than research scientists, and that its teleport is in pieces, therefore not working, and that the only way to reach the place would be to go on foot through the dangerous Canals, Mossman suggests to send Gordon to Kraken Base instead, and by teleportation. Kleiner seems hesitant about it, while Barney expresses even more doubts in very pessimist remarks. While Kleiner pretends to be sure about the reliability of his equipment, Mossman is very determined, since she says to have run seven sequences without a single failure.
- While the teleportation is being prepared, Gordon must do his part to set things up. Then the teleportation begins, and Barney thinks it is the best time to mention the issues about the cat they used for the previous test, saying that he had to turn the animal right side out again to make sure it was a cat (kept in the retail version for Alyx's teleportation, but minus the explanation), thus providing the information missing from the retail version. The teleportation then succeeds, and Mossman is able to introduce herself to Gordon and compliment him when he is still in the teleport instead of releasing him right away. At Kleiner's Lab, Lamarr jumps into the teleport like in the retail version, disrupting the connection between the two teleports and bringing back Gordon behind a window near Kleiner's Lab (like in the retail version) and damaging both teleports.
- Originally Kleiner's lab was located not on the surface, unlike the retail, but instead it was located under City 17, in the sewers.
- It is also suggested by Barney's sentences that something happens to Kleiner, dying or being hurt and left unconscious, since he ceases to talk after he approaches the teleport, worried by Lamarr's fate. The failure having blown their cover and the lab's roof about to cave in, Gordon finds himself forced to journey to Eli's lab on foot. Barney leads him to the Canals, where the next chapter begins, and leaves at some point, like in the retail version.
- Kraken Base being cut from the storyline, the choice of the destination was simplified, and thus the dialogues.
|What cat? (5G)|
|Break the mini teleporter in Kleiner's lab.|
- The workshop style of Kleiner's Lab is reminiscent of Seth Brundle's apartment/lab in the 1986 film The Fly, also featuring teleportation mishaps. Furthermore, the original version of the film, released in 1958, also features a mishap with a cat, when it is used as the first living being to be tested by André Delambre. Barney mentioning a cat mishap is probably a reference to that scene, although in the film the cat does not reappear and is lost somewhere between the two teleports, while the baboon replacing it in the remake fits better Barney's remark in the original teleportation sequence, the animal being turned into a dying, deformed monster.
- The supplies in Kleiner's lab always contain:
- One magazine for Pulse Rifle. (In supply crate.)
- A shotgun with 6 shells. (Which can be taken after Kleiner leaves it on the ground.)
- A Health vial.
- A Medkit. (In supply crate next to Lamarr's kennel.)
- 2 boxes of shells for the shotgun. (In Supply crate next to Lamarr's kennel.)
- A green ammo crate for the MP7.
- These supplies are only seen after the Nova Prospect Depot teleport sequence.
- Some players think that the HEV Charger makes its first appearance in Kleiner's lab. This isn't true, as it first appears in the room where the player can witness a citizen talking to the Civil Protection before entering the room where Barney reveals himself. Strangely, in the chapter A Red Letter Day, the HEV Charger in Kleiner's lab only has 25 percent power while at the end of the chapter Entanglement, it has 75 percent power.
List of appearances
City 17 Trainstation
|Half-Life 2 story arc journey (1)||Succeeded by|
|Half-Life 2 story arc journey (2)||Succeeded by|
|Half-Life 2 original storyline||Succeeded by|