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"There's an old building up ahead, a bank or museum or something like that. Whatever the hell it used to be, now it's a nexus for Overwatch in City 17."
Barney Calhoun[src]

The Overwatch Nexus is a major building in City 17, being the core for the Overwatch forces in the city. Previously having been a prominent political building, it was later taken over by the Combine.


Barney keyboard

Barney Calhoun operating Combine computers during the battle to open the way to the roof.

The Combine had apparently been using the building as a headquarters for some time before the Uprising, but after these events, it became the Combine's main base of operations in the city and the primary rally point for the Combine forces. Its power is supplied by Combine Power Generators. Atop the building is a device known as the Suppression Device, also known as the "suppressor". It is a powerful weapon which functions much like a massive mortar, but instead of shells, it fires beams of concentrated Pulse energy capable of disintegrating living things, similar to the effects of the Energy Ball. Despite being the Overwatch's headquarters, the building is heavily damaged, with half of its circular dome collapsed. This forced the Combine to protect it with Combine walls.

Due to its importance, the Nexus is well guarded by Overwatch Soldiers and an extensive electronic security system, consisting of Combine Ground Turrets (triggered by laser tripwires), Ceiling Turrets and Barricades.


Half-Life 2

In the Half-Life 2 chapter "Follow Freeman!", Gordon Freeman and Barney Calhoun led a Resistance assault on the Nexus. After heavy fighting, they breached its defenses and disabled all of the generators, deactivating the Suppression Field Device and opening the gates that were blocking access to the area, allowing Resistance and Civil Protection reinforcements to flow in. When the Combine reinforcements arrived, the fighting reached its peak as Resistance forces engaged several Striders in fierce combat on the steps of the Nexus. The Battle for the Nexus proved a decisive victory for the Resistance,and it turned the tide of the Battle of City 17 in their favor. After the events of Half-Life 2 and Episode One, the abandoned Nexus was probably destroyed when the Citadel exploded in a huge dark energy blast, along with much of City 17. It can be seen in the far distance at the beginning of Episode One, right after Dog lifts up the wrecked Gunship.

Behind the scenes

D3 c17 10a oldnexus

The Overwatch Nexus in the playable Half-Life 2 Beta.

  • The building design was inspired by the Parliament of Serbia in Belgrade. In the Half-Life 2 texture files, several files containing the word "parliament" can be found, tightening the similarities between the two buildings.
  • In the playable 2003 Half-Life 2 Beta, the Overwatch Nexus is clearly identified as a former bank.
  • The inscription inside the dome reads the Latin words "Per ardua ad astra nemine contradicente", which roughly translates to "Through struggle to the stars without dissent". "Per ardua ad astra" is the motto of the Royal Air Force.[2]


In almost every map of the chapter Follow Freeman, the rooftop dome of the Overwatch Nexus is broken and fortified with combine metal, except for the last map it is seen (d3_c17_12) where it appears completely undamaged. This is probably due to developer oversight.


List of appearances


The Half-Life Wiki has more images related to Overwatch Nexus.
Preceded by
Kleiner's Lab (2)
Half-Life 2 story arc journey Succeeded by
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