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"When this is all over...I'm gonna mate..."
Resistance Citizen[src]

The reproductive suppression field, also referred to as the suppressing field, was imposed by the Combine upon gaining dominance of Earth. It prevents human procreation as part of the Combine plan for population control.


The suppression field's main effects are to bring the human birth rate down to zero by prohibiting the formation of "certain protein chains important to the process of embryonic development," as Dr. Kleiner states in Episode One, making it impossible for conception to occur in any form. This effectively ensures that the humans currently alive will be the last generation to survive. As a result, no children can be found on Earth by the time of Gordon's arrival after two decades in his prolonged stasis following the Black Mesa Incident.

The suppression field, as later mentioned in Episode One, is supposedly functioning within, or at least depends on, the Citadel of City 17. It is never mentioned, however, where exactly the installation is located. When the Citadel is severely damaged by the end of Half-Life 2, the Supression field is shutdown. 5 years before the events of Half-Life 2, when the Citadel was being built, the supression field is never mentioned. It is unknown if it was already functional at that time or if it only turned on with the fully operational Citadel.



An empty playground in City 17.

Dr. Breen addresses the issue of the suppression field to the people via a Breencast during the opening chapter of Half-Life 2 as a response to a letter written to him by a "concerned citizen," claiming that the field will be deactivated once humans prove they no longer need it. He also states that the field is suppressing "the urge to reproduce." However, this is a part of his propaganda grandstanding as it is seemingly contradicted by the fact that Civil Protection are promised "non-mechanical reproductive simulation"[1] as a reward for achievements in their service, which they would not be inclined to receive had they no such urges. Furthermore, many references of Citizen and Rebels expressing their desires to "mate" can be heard. For example, in Episode One, Resistance fighters may mock how, since the suppression field is down, they have permission from Kleiner to mate, remarking "Not that [they] needed permission anyways."

Series writer Marc Laidlaw initially stated that he imagined the suppression field "had an effect on a great deal of mammalian life,"[2] but later resolved that it "shouldn't" affect organisms other than humans, being a highly specific inhibitor. Nevertheless, he also stated that the Combine might not have been as selective as they intended.[3]


In Episode One, it is revealed by Kleiner during his hijacked broadcasts throughout City 17 that the near destruction of the Citadel brought about the shutdown of the suppression field. He suggests that everyone "should give serious consideration to doing [their] part for the revival of the species" if they have escaped the city. Alyx comments on the unusual nature of this directive, asking Gordon, "Is Dr. Kleiner really telling everyone to... 'get busy'?"

In Half-Life 2: Episode Two, when Alyx and Gordon reach White Forest and meet Eli, Alyx says she and Freeman make a good team. With a wink and a nod, Eli tells Gordon, "Now that the suppression field is down... we all have to do our part." After an embarrassed outburst from Alyx, he asks, "Can you blame an old man for wanting grandkids?"

List of appearances[]

  1. The Overwatch Voice: "Rank leader: reminder: 100 sterilized credits qualifies non-mechanical reproduction simulation"
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