This article contains spoilers. Read at your own risk!
It might spoil your gaming experience when first playing the related games.
Larry's background, whether as a human who was left in the Quarantine Zone or a Rebel who went in to scavenge for some items such as vodka at the distillery is unclear. However, his ability to survive in the Xen-infested area for so long strongly implies he has some experienced survival skills. When Alyx first meets him he is carrying some beer bottles, suggesting he went into the distillery to find alcohol.
Alyx first encounters signs of life in the distillery when she hears a voice having a one-sided conversation. She rounds a corner to find Larry with his leg caught in a barnacle tongue, trying to negotiate with the barnacle to let him go while also deciding whether or not to cut off his leg. Alyx kills the barnacle for Larry, who thanks her by letting down a ladder for her to climb and warns her to look out for "Jeff."
Alyx meets Larry again a few minutes later while navigating above a long hallway, where he points out Jeff, a massive blind zombie. He then demonstrates how to distract Jeff by dropping a vodka bottle onto the ground and showing him follow along. Wishing Alyx luck, he adds she should cover her mouth so she does not cough from the spores in the air.
After Alyx traps Jeff in a trash compactor, Larry shows up again and casually congratulates Alyx for defeating Jeff, then wishes her luck on her way before quickly leaving.
Larry's somewhat unkept appearance suggests he has been traveling alone for some time. He wears some protective goggles and a construction helmet with nails driven through the interior, most likely his way of warding off headcrab attacks. He wears a backpack containing a set of pliers and a beer bottle, with another beer bottle stuffed in his pocket.
Personality and skills
Larry is depicted as somewhat eccentric, wearing a construction helmet with spikes poking out of it, choosing to personify the blind zombie with the name "Jeff", and trying to negotiate with a Barnacle that traps his leg. Similar to Father Grigori, he is a strange but overall friendly character who provides the player with lifesaving advice.
Man, I thought we had an agreement. Keep your tongue in yourself and I don't shoot you.
Oh, that's just Jeff. Don't worry, he can't see. Hears just fine, though. Got an ear like Mozart.
Alyx: I trapped Jeff in a trash compactor. And I crushed him.
Larry: Goddamn! Well, I uh, hope you came across some of the good stuff. See you around.
Behind the scenes
Originally, the developers explained the mechanics of avoiding Jeff using subtle environmental hints placed around the distillery. While this worked for some elements, they soon realized players needed explicit training, otherwise they would stumble through the level while having a terrible time. This necessitated the creation of Larry, someone who is familiar with Jeff and tells Alyx everything she needs to know to survive the distillery. To prevent making Larry too much of an expository character, his advice was spread out over different story beats, starting with him introducing Jeff, later demonstrating Jeff's reaction to a broken bottle, and later informing the player about the Xen spores.
- Larry's final line changes depending on whether or not Alyx chose to kill Jeff after trapping the monster in a trash compactor. If not, Larry simply awkwardly congratulates her and leaves; if yes, he adds an impressed "Goddamn!" before awkwardly congratulating her and leaving.
- Larry's appearance appears to be based off of his voice actor Rich Sommer.
- If the player is wearing a construction helmet, Larry will remark "Nice helmet" when he and Alyx are introducing themselves.
List of appearances
- Half-Life: Alyx developer commentary, Jamaal Bradley.