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Gordon rubble crowbar

Gordon Freeman in City 17 rubble in 202-.

"Time, Dr. Freeman? Is it really that time again? It seems as if you only just arrived."
The G-Man[src]

A timeline of the Half-Life and Portal universe can be made by gathering known dates. Since several retcons have been made since the release of the first game and technological limitations have changed in the intervening time, a complete official Half-Life series timeline will probably never be made, especially due to the fact it could probably make the writers contradict themselves and limit their creativity for possible subsequent episodes.[1] Despite this, general events can be organized in a chronological order around known dates.





Between 1944 and 1954[]


  • Aperture Science receives the award for Best New Science Company from the Science and Business Institute of America.

Between 1947 and 1957[]


  • Aperture Science is rated #2 among the Top 100 Applied Science Companies by the Mechanical Engineering World Journal.


It is during this decade that the Black Mesa facilities are probably built, before being purchased and refurbished later by Black Mesa (several Half-Life texture files names contain the word "fifties", suggesting the facility is as old as from the 1950s).



  • Aperture Science constructs Pump Station Alpha and at least Test Shaft 09 Chambers 01 and 02.
  • In this year, Aperture discovers quantum tunneling portal technology, and begins development on it. Side note: Aperture Portals are NOT wormholes.[4] Aperture installs very low level portals in their still being sold shower curtains, between the inside and outside of your shower. Apparently, "Very little science" is needed to make portal technology work.


  • Aperture Science is the Runner Up for the US Department of Defense's Contractor of the Year award again.


  • Aperture Science receives the Spirit of Idaho National Potato Board award for the promotion of Potato Science.


  • The Eisenhower administration signs a contract with Aperture Science to manufacture shower curtains to all branches of the US Military, except the Navy.[5]
  • Pump Station Alpha (which pumps Repulsion Gel) is in active use by now.





March 15[]


  • Aperture Science is involved in US Senate hearings regarding "missing astronauts". By now, Aperture Science has gone black bankrupt. Cave Johnson says that Black Mesa has stolen and remade many of Aperture's products.
Moon 2

The Apollo 16 landing site

Between 1968 and 1978[]



Sometime in the late 1970s, Aperture Science Innovators somehow manages to figure out time travel, yet never uses it.[7]




Between 1974 and 1984[]

c. 1976[]


October 17[]

  • Cave Johnson receives the answer to a confidential letter titled "Human Enrichment & Testing Initiative, Resource Acquisitions", describing the four types of Test Subjects and their behavior.[8]



  • Both of Cave Johnson's kidney's fail due to an unspecified reason. Dying and in his deteriorating decrepit state, he concocts 2 ideas, the Aperture Science Reverse-Heimlich Maneuver, designed to make people choke to death, and the Aperture Science Take-A-Wish Foundation, taking wishes from terminally ill children to random but well-off adults. Very good ideas.

Between 1977 and 1987[]

Adrian Shephard

Adrian Shephard.



  • Aperture Science constructs the Conversion Gel Testing Facility's enrichment center, and now performs tests on its own employees. By now, Cave Johnson has spent $70 million on moon rocks to grind up and turn into Conversion Gel, and as a result of exposure has himself become gravely ill and addicted to pain medication.
  • The 2 previously mentioned projects, the Aperture Science Reverse-Heimlich Maneuver, and the Aperture Science Take-A-Wish Foundation, are released to the public in a lavish ceremony. To the surprise of no one, the products instantly become extremely unpopular and lead to hundreds of deaths and disasters. Aperture is called by the US Government due to this to a supposedly secret meeting, at which they reveal their secret "Portal" project, and the Government signs a long contract with Aperture, giving them more funding, Apparently several high ranking Fatah members die due to the Reverse-Heimlich maneuver.[10]
  • Aperture Science would've hit bankruptcy if it was not for the contract.


  • Aperture Science constructs Pump Station Gamma and the Conversion Gel Testing Facility.
  • Cave Johnson names Caroline as his successor when he realizes he will die. When testing is complete, her intelligence is to be stored in a computer, only if Cave dies before it's completed. A couple years after this announcement, he succumbs to moon rock poisoning and dies.


The girls of aperture science

September page of "The girls of Aperture Science" 1983 calendar, with a girl posing in bikini on an Unstationary Scaffold in test chamber 18, as seen in one of Ratman's dens.

  • For this year, a calendar named "The girls of Aperture Science" is issued by Aperture Science. It is unknown if it was issued each year.[11]



  • The Conversion Gel Testing Facility is updated with an additional wall.
  • Word reaches Aperture Science management that Black Mesa is working on a similar portal technology. In response to this news, Aperture Science actually begins developing GLaDOS, although the name was already in use in 1982, they weren't developing it until 1986.[5]


  • This is the most recent date for the Aperture Image Format. At that time, it is maintained by Doug Rattmann.[8]
  • Sometime in this time period, Cave Johnson dies of moon-rock poisoning. It is unspecified when exactly it happened.
  • The Borealis is claimed lost at sea. It is also unspecified when exactly this occurred.


  • Judging from Chell's handwriting and spelling skills,[12] she is very young, meaning that the Aperture Science Bring Your Daughter to Work Day event occurs sometime early or mid in this decade, and ends in the GLaDOS disaster.[13][14]
  • An unspecified time in the late 90's after 1996, likely 1998, Caroline is brain mapped and forcefully put into GLaDOS and activated without her consent during Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. Mere picoseconds later, she attempts to take over and release neurotoxin into facility. Luckily this fails and leads to Aperture Science developing Aperture Science Personality Constructs, attaching many onto GLaDOS in an attempt to stop her from attempting to take control, which succeeds until May 14, 200-. A certain Intelligence Dampening Core is attached and removed in this process.[15]

Between 1995 and 2005[]


  • GLaDOS V.1 is activated, which is just the DOS part at this point, and works as planned, an AI computer assistant. Due to the DOS part of GLaDOS being completed, they begin development on the GL part, mapping Caroline's brain. The Aperture Science Red Phone plan is implemented in case GLaDOS appears to go crazy or become godlike, requiring an employee to sit by a red phone on a desk in GLaDOS chamber's entrance hall.[16]


  • At this time, GLaDOS's version is 3.11. This is also the latest known date of Aperture Science using a bulletin board system.[8]


  • Aperture Science releases several testing elements, such as the Excursion Funnel, a tractor beam-like funnel made of liquid asbestos, the Thermal Discouragement Beam, a laser to be used with a Weighted Pivot Cube to destroy Sentry Guns and activate some buttons, the Aerial Faith Plate, a catapult plate flinging into the air Test Subjects or any other object upon contact, and the Pneumatic Diversity Vent, a variant of the Vital Apparatus Vent used for distributing objects to Test Chambers.[17][18][19]
  • This year is presumably when GLaDOS is first activated after Caroline's brain-mapping. leading Bring-Your-Daughter-To-Work-Day to end disastrously, although GLaDOS is stopped with Personality Cores.


  • On an unknown time before bring-your-cat-to-work-day, Chell applies to work on Aperture Science as a test subject, but is rejected.[20]


Rtb laidlaw note

Marc Laidlaw's brainstorm note from Raising the Bar.

Blue Marble calendar 2

The December calendar.

  • This is the "year" during which the Black Mesa Incident occurs. Deliberately kept vague by the Half-Life team,[21] it could be any date from 2000 to 2009.

Deduction points at "May 16, 200-" for the precise date of the incident. What follows are the different facts and clues leading to that choice:

  • The year "200-", first appearing in the Half-Life instruction manual, is given in every official source from the Half-Life story arc era.
  • Several entries from Adrian Shephard's diary are given in the Opposing Force instruction manual, written by Gearbox writers. March is used, corroborating the Raising the Bar date. Shephard says in his last diary entry, written on March 15, "We were told today to be ready in case it happens tomorrow.", suggesting that the incident occurs on March 16. It seems that the Gearbox writers replaced May by March: in the Half-Life instruction manual, Freeman is said to start working at Black Mesa on May 15 (later retconned to an unknown, earlier date), he is also said in the Half-Life PlayStation 2 instruction manual to attend the Hazard Course on May 16 at 7:30 (in a Hazard Course schedule with dates all set in May), and Barney is said to start his duty on May 16 at 9:00. Therefore May 16 appears to be the best day for the incident, and consequently March from Shephard's diary should be replaced by May, for consistency.
  • While "200-" could refer to any date from 2000 to 2009, a note by series' writer Marc Laidlaw seen in Raising the Bar features "March 31, 2003", and a time, "4:33 p.m.".[22] Although it has not been confirmed by Valve, it is possible that the Half-Life events originally were to start on March 31, 2003.
  • A calendar with the "Blue Marble" photo is also seen in the Half-Life chapter Office Complex, in the Opposing Force chapter Welcome to Black Mesa, in the Blue Shift chapters Insecurity and Captive Freight and in the Decay chapter Domestic Violence, always using the same texture file showing the December page. While the table was not made with much precision, December 1, 8, and 15th start on a Sunday, suggesting the calendar is for the year 2002. However, there should be no reason every visible calendar should be opened to several months after the current date of May 16. One possible explanation for why these calendars are opened to December is that the Black Mesa Incident occurred after 2002, and that the calendars that are seen are actually several months out date, either due to Black Mesa not purchasing new calendars or simply the forgetfulness of staff members.
  • Considering that the lack of accurate calendars (as hypothesized in the previous paragraph) likely could not be overlooked for more than a year or two at most, it is quite probable that the Black Mesa incident occurred in 2003. This concurs with Laidlaw's notes, indicating that the most likely date and time of the Black Mesa Incident would be Friday, May 16, 2003, at 8:58 AM UTC-07:00. However, since Valve has not confirmed this date, one should hesitate before treating this time as absolute.
  • On March 24, 2010, an updated and expanded Aperture Science timeline, originally given on ApertureScience.com in 2006 and submitted by Erik Wolpaw, was published on Game Informer.[23] Several dates were changed, and the last paragraph was expanded with facts suggesting that the Black Mesa Incident had occurred in 1998, the same date as that of Half-Life's release, instead of the original "200-". However Marc Laidlaw dismissed "1998" as the date for the Black Mesa Incident, as the date "200-" given when the first Half-Life was released is the only correct one.[21] It is unknown why Erik Wolpaw made that mistake, and if it was intended or not. For convenience and consistency, that "1998" will always be replaced by "200-" on the wiki, even with the dates pertaining to Aperture Science.

May 3[]

  • From Shephard's diary entries (originally March; see above): "Another typically hellish day at base camp... I'll be glad when this is over and I can finally can get assigned a mission. There has been this really weird civie spotted at the base. Rumor is he's from some government branch looking to recruit; others say he's with some secret research group. I would jump at the chance to join. It would be cool just for the change and the adventure."[24]

May 5[]

Gordon letter PS2

Freeman's letter of acceptance to Black Mesa, as it appears in the instruction manual of the PlayStation 2 version of Half-Life.

  • The original date that Gordon Freeman receives a letter from the Black Mesa Office of the Administrator's LM confirming he is hired.[25] It has now been retconned to an earlier date.[26]

May 7[]

  • From Shephard's diary entries (originally March; see above): "I finally saw the government guy today. I am not sure he is a g-man, but he was wearing a really uptight suit and carrying a briefcase. He looked more like a lawyer or insurance agent to me. I did notice him checking me out. Several times throughout the day I spotted him just watching me during training. I wonder what he's up to..."[24]

May 9[]

  • From Shephard's diary entries (originally March; see above): "For weeks our drills have been the same crap day after day. Today we assemble for the morning run and our drill instructor tells us we have one week to become experts at indoor strategic combat. We will be spending every day this week at the combat simulation facility. As far as I know this a specialized training not taught in boot camp. What I want to know is if this is to test our ability to adapt or if we are being readied for a specific mission? Time will tell..."[24]

May 11[]

  • Colette Green receives a letter from the Black Mesa Office of the Administrator's LM saying that sample GG-3883 will replace sample EP-0021.[25]

Before May 12[]

  • Barney Calhoun is performing a retinal scan and has his salary increased. His two-day Security Guard Training is scheduled.[27]

May 12[]

  • From Shephard's diary entries (originally March; see above): "The rumors have been flying since our indoor combat training began. Most of my peers are convinced that we are being primed for a mission. No one can agree on what the mission is. I have heard the name Black Mesa Facility thrown around a lot, but I have no information about the place. The rumors are that some top-secret research is going on there. Doesn't sound too exciting to me..."[24]

May 13[]

  • Second day of Barney Calhoun's Security Guard Training.[28]
Decay notes

Colette Green's letter about sample GG-3883 and Gina Cross' Hazard Course Training schedule.

May 14[]

  • GLaDOS fools the researchers into thinking she is good, and asks to do an "Experiment" requiring neurotoxin as a part of Bring-Your-Cat-To-Work-day. For some awful reason they accept and give her neurotoxin, and upon being given it, within picoseconds she takes control of Aperture Laboratories, locks everyone inside, and kills the Enrichment Center staff via neurotoxin if they refuse to opt in to her new testing initiative. Most staff either die from testing or being killed by GLaDOS due to their non-compliance. Some survive, one of them being Doug Rattmann.[29] She begins testing in a desperate attempt to out-do Black Mesa, still hunting down remaining staff.
  • Colette Green was to be instructed by Isaac Kleiner for an Anomalous Materials Handling, but it was postponed to June.[25]

May 15[]

  • Barney Calhoun is assigned to a 09:00 - 22:00 Blue Shift assignment until August 15 and reports at Area 3 Medium Security Facilities at 09:00. Other unknown security guards are assigned to Red, Orange, Yellow, Green and Indigo Shifts in specific areas of Sector A, B, and C. For that timespan, the Violet Shift is on standby.[27]
  • From Shephard's diary entries (originally March; see above): "The rumor has been confirmed. We are being trained for a mission at the Black Mesa Facility. All I know is that the place is being used by scientists who are doing some kind of new research. I can't imagine what we would be needed for. We were told today to be ready in case it happens tomorrow. I don't know what "it" is, but the whole thing is a little strange. I kind of hope it doesn't happen; the mission doesn't seem to have much excitement potential. I'd rather hold out for something with more likelihood of combat."[24]
  • This day was originally Gordon Freeman's first day of work at Black Mesa,[25] but it was retconned in Half-Life 2 and its episodes, where it is implied that Gordon was already working for some time at Black Mesa before the incident: Barney tells Gordon he owes him a beer and reminds him who he is when first meeting in the City 17 Trainstation, and Alyx tells in the City 17 Underground that Gordon and Barney would compete in air ducts to get into Kleiner's office whenever he got himself locked out, among others.

May 15[]

  • Adrian Shepard is "mysteriously" bumped up to the advanced training list. This is also the point in time when G-man visits the Marine Boot Camp.

May 16[]

  • Several system crashes occur around Black Mesa (the security guard in the Sector C lobby states he has had a system crash "about 20 minutes ago").[26]
  • Barney Calhoun starts his tram ride from the Area 8 Topside Dormitories at Black Mesa,[28] to start his second day at Area 3 Medium Security Facilities in Sector C.[27] He arrives there as soon as Gordon Freeman begins his tram ride, at 8:47.
Remainder of the day[]
  • Freeman, Calhoun, Green and Cross fight their way through the facility.
  • Adrian Shephard and his squad are shot down by an Alien Aircraft and their Osprey crashes.
  • Shephard is left behind (this matches the message addressed to Cooper)
  • Barney Calhoun successfully escapes Black Mesa with Rosenberg, Simmons and Walter Bennet.
  • Overnight, Freeman successfully launches the rocket.
  • As heard during the tram ride at the start of Half-Life, the Black Mesa Hazard Course Decathlon was to start in the Level 3 facility.[26] This never happened due to the incident.

May 17[]

  • Early in the morning (source this takes place on May 17th's morning?), Gina Cross and Colette Green are able to perform a resonance reversal. Colette's fate, along with Keller's, are unknown. Gina perishes some time during the incident[30]
  • As Gordon Freeman fights his way across the surface towards the Lambda Complex,
  • Race X creatures appear sometime after Shepherd witnesses Freeman leave to Xen
  • Black Mesa is destroyed by an atomic bomb. Shephard is also placed in stasis by the G-Man and remained so for an as of yet unknown amount of time.
  • As the Black Mesa facility is destroyed, GLaDOS's race against Black Mesa ends.[23]

May 18

  • Colette Green was to conduct a Public Relations Tour.[25] This never happened due to the incident.
  • Otis Laurey was to be instructed by the Miller's holographic instructor counterpart for a Security Guard Training, but he apparently postponed and Cross suggests to Green to ask Barney to replace him.[25] This never happened due to the incident.

August 15[]

  • Barney Calhoun's Blue Shift was to end on that day.[27] It ended earlier due to the incident.

After May 200-[]

BME newspaper clips

Newsclips of that period seen in Black Mesa East.

Main article: Seven Hour War
  • During this period of almost 20 years, Gordon Freeman is in stasis.[31] It starts at the aftermath of the Black Mesa Incident in May 200- and ends at Gordon's arrival in City 17 in 202-.
  • Portal Storms rage on Earth while Xen creatures continue to be teleported. The governments and United Nations provide the protection centers located in major cities worldwide.
  • The Aperture Laboratories are in a lockdown, with employees still trapped inside. The number of Aperture Science employees also likely diminishes, until there are only a few of them left.
  • The Combine launches an assault on Earth. Earth governments and the United Nations enter into war against them. The Seven Hour War occurs. Finally, Earth surrenders to the Combine once Wallace Breen, former Black Mesa Administrator, learns how to communicate with the Combine. Breen is subsequently appointed Earth Administrator. Meanwhile, the Combine activate a suppression field that prevents child birth.


Main article: Portal
  • This is the period during which Portal is set. It occurs a short amount of time after the Combine invasion of Earth.[32][33]
  • In the Aperture Science computer-aided(controlled) Enrichment Center, Chell is awoken by GLaDOS who makes her perform seemingly routine tests. However Chell soon learns that the Aperture employees are long dead or have escaped, and that GLaDOS is seemingly the only being left in the decaying facility. After much promise of cake at the test's conclusion, Chell is met with an incinerator, which she narrowly escapes, and works her way through the maintenance areas, despite GLaDOS's protests. Eventually, Chell finds GLaDOS's control room, and manages to escape death by neurotoxin by detaching the GLaDOS's Personality Cores, and partially destroying her as a result. Chell is forced to the surface by GLaDOS's catastrophic explosion, only to be dragged away from freedom and back into the facility by the Party Escort Bot. Unknown to Chell however, GLaDOS ultimately survives. Due to the catastrophic error, emergency systems activate in the facility, engaging hundreds of personality constructs and maintenance bots in order to try and take care of the facility.
  • Doug Rattmann, being the one of the last Aperture employees alive, witnesses GLaDOS' destruction. After the Party Escort Bot drags Chell back into the facility, Rattmann feels guilty for Chell's situation and reenters the facility to help her, redirecting all power to her stasis chamber.

Between 2015 and 2024[]

Main article: Half-Life: Alyx
  • The resistance to the Combine, spearheaded by Eli Vance and Russell as well as others begins. During a routine Reconnaissance mission, Alyx Vance is informed about a supply shipment coming into City 17 but before they are able to act on it, Eli and Alyx are captured by Civil Protection. After Alyx is broken out of custody by Russell, she sets out on a journey to save Eli. After rescuing him, Russell and Eli learn of a "superweapon" being held by the Combine in the Quarantine Zone outside of City 17. Upon severing all the cables keeping the Vault containing the superweapon afloat (with the help of several Vortigaunts), Alyx infiltrates the Vault and discovers the Elusive G-Man is the "superweapon" being held captive by the combine. When freed, the G-Man offers her a "nudge" for freeing him. After Alyx asks for the Combine off Earth, he refuses and instead offers "Something else she doesn't yet know she wants", taking Alyx into his own space and traveling forward in time.
  • At an unknown time before Gordon Freeman's awakening, Isaac Kleiner and Eli Vance each build in their respective labs a teleport not needing a Xen relay with the aid of Alyx Vance and Judith Mossman, among others. (as of the release of Half-Life: Alyx, it is unknown how Alyx was still around after being taken by the G-Man.) When the teleporter is tested on a Cat, the cat is killed, traumatizing Barney Calhoun. They then continue working on it until Freeman's arrival.

Between 2019 and 2028[]

  • This is the last time Alyx Vance drives Highway 17, as said by her in the radio transmission at Shorepoint Base.


Citadel smoke trailer

The destroyed Citadel in the second Episode Two teaser.

Day 1 of Gordon's journey[]

  • Two decades after the Black Mesa Incident,[31] Gordon Freeman is awakened by the G-Man after a long period of stasis, he is placed on a train entering the City 17 Trainstation.
  • Barney prevents Gordon from entering a prisoner train and reintroduces both himself and Dr. Kleiner to Gordon.
  • Breen's speech on instinct occurs at this time.
  • Gordon explores City 17. During the exploration, he is ambushed by several Civil Protection units for entering a residential building. Gordon is saved by Alyx, who brings him to Kleiner's Lab.
  • Alyx is teleported to Black Mesa East, but a teleporter accident causes Lamarr to be sent to the Wasteland and Gordon to ultimately be teleported a short distance outside the lab.
  • The teleporter accident causes the Combine to send CP officers to kill Gordon.
  • Gordon leaves City 17 with an airboat, and the Underground Railroad is dismantled by Civil Protection. Station 6 and 7 are destroyed by Headcrab Shells.
  • Gordon attacks the APC garage and Gate 5, killing all Combine forces within. Breen's speech on Gordon Freeman occurs as Gordon raids the APC garage.
  • Gordon destroys a Hunter-Chopper shortly before entering Black Mesa East.
  • As Gordon enters Black Mesa East, he disembarks the airboat and meets Judith Mossman.
  • Gordon is given the Gravity Gun by Alyx.
  • Combine forces led by Breen raid Black Mesa East while Alyx, Dog, and Gordon are in the nearby scrapyard. Gordon escapes the raid and enters the nearby town of Ravenholm. Eli is captured and taken to Nova Prospekt. Judith Mossman is also taken however has not been captured by the Combine. Dog and Alyx also escape the raid.
  • Gordon meets Grigori, Ravenholm's priest. Gordon uses Grigori's traps to explore the town.

Day 2 of Gordon's journey[]

  • Grigori helps Gordon escape Ravenholm.
  • After navigating an underground mine, Gordon fights several Overwatch soldiers attacking Shorepoint Base.
  • Alyx tells Gordon that Eli has been captured, and that she will infiltrate Nova Prospekt by train.
  • Gordon leaves Shorepoint Base with the Scout Car.
  • By this time Dock 137 and Bridge Point have been occupied by the Combine. The Combine has also taken a Petroleum Station on the Coast.
  • Gordon visits New Little Odessa. He helps Colonel Odessa Cubbage destroy a Combine Gunship while the Colonel contacts Lighthouse Point. After successfully destroying the gunship, Gordon continues his journey to Nova Prospekt.
  • Gordon clears out the Combine presence at Dock 137, the Petroleum Station, and Bridge Point.
  • Gordon reaches Lighthouse Point, where he helps the Resistance members there repel a Combine attack. Shortly after leaving on foot, Lighthouse Point is again attacked by Combine. The Scout Car is captured, and the base is presumably occupied by the Combine.
  • Gordon meets with Rebels Sandy and Laszlo. When Laszlo moves in the sand, an Antlion horde attacks them, killing Laszlo.
  • After traversing the Antlion territory and killing an Antlion Guard, Gordon receives Pheropods and enters the Vortigaunt Camp. After a brief tutorial on pheropod use, Gordon leaves the camp to Nova Prospekt.
  • Gordon uses antlions to attack the Combine in the prison. Breen gives another speech specific to Overwatch soldiers, expressing the advisors' disappointment in their failure to stop Gordon.

Day 3 of Gordon's journey[]

  • Gordon meets Alyx in the Depot. The two send Eli to the transportation room and uncover Mossman's cooperation with the Combine.
  • Mossman and Eli leave Nova Prospekt to the Citadel with the Combine teleporter.
  • Alyx and Gordon leave Nova Prospekt in the Combine teleporter, destroying Nova Prospekt in the process.
  • After using the Nova Prospekt teleporter, it takes Gordon and Alyx a week to arrive to Kleiner's teleporter; however, from their perspective it was only a few seconds. During this week the following events take place.
    • Lamarr is recovered and returned to Dr. Kleiner.
    • The original door to Kleiner's lab is replaced with a much larger door.
    • Dog enters and stays inside Kleiner's lab.
    • The Uprising of City 17 begins due to the destruction of Nova Prospekt. City 17 citizens are given guns and medical equipment by Resistance members outside the city.
    • Headcrab shelling causes many areas of City 17 to be infested by Xenian fauna.
    • The City 17 Trainstation is decommissioned and a barrier is placed in front of the entrance.
  • Alyx and Gordon reappear in Kleiner's Lab and are briefed by Dr. Kleiner on current events.
  • Gordon and Dog leave to find Barney.
  • Breen's speech on collaboration occurs.
  • Kleiner escapes City 17 with Alyx's help.
  • Alyx and Gordon destroy a Combine Power Generator shortly before she is captured by the Combine.
  • Gordon finds Barney and the two attack the Overwatch Nexus.
  • Breen uses his Breencasts to directly speak with Gordon.
  • The suppression device within the Nexus is destroyed, causing the Nexus to be occupied by resistance forces.
  • Several Striders are dispatched to retake the Nexus, and attack the occupying Resistance forces.
  • Gordon evades and destroys the striders surrounding the Citadel, and is given access to the Citadel itself by Dog.
  • Gordon enters the Citadel and loses all his weapons except the Gravity Gun. The Gravity Gun becomes significantly more powerful, allowing Gordon to continue within the Citadel.
  • Gordon is briefly captured; he, Eli and Alyx are freed by Mossman after a conversation with Breen.
  • Gordon and Alyx prevent Breen from escaping by destroying the Dark Fusion Reactor, causing a massive explosion at the top of the Citadel.
  • Gordon is taken into stasis by the G-Man.

Day 4 of Gordon's journey[]

  • The vortigaunts remove Gordon from stasis and place him "a few days" later at the base of the Citadel.[34] During his absence the following events take place.
    • The vortigaunts remove Alyx from the Citadel's Dark Fusion Reactor explosion.
    • Mossman leaves for a Resistance base in the polar regions.
    • Mossman reports that she has discovered the Borealis. The Combine attack her Resistance base during the report.
    • Alyx searches for Gordon in City 17's rubble.
    • The Combine stores Mossman's report in the Citadel.
  • Alyx and Dog discover Gordon at the base of the Citadel. They are told by Eli and Kleiner that the Citadel Core is extremely unstable.
  • Alyx and Gordon stabilize the Citadel Core and leave in a stalker train.
  • The train is derailed, and both Gordon and Alyx are knocked unconscious.
  • City 17's defenses against antlions and Xenian life fail by this time.
  • Gordon and Alyx fight through an underground parking lot and escape to the surface.
  • Gordon and Alyx meet Barney; Gordon and Alyx agree to create a diversion for Barney so he can move citizens to the Technical Trainstation.
  • Gordon and Alyx fight through a hospital.
  • Gordon, Alyx and Barney successfully get to the train station.
  • Barney and the surviving citizens leave City 17 first. A Strider appears, and it is destroyed by Gordon. Gordon and Alyx leave City 17 on the last train.
  • City 17 is destroyed when the Citadel explodes due to the Combine's request for reinforcements.
  • The Superportal is formed. Portal Storms emit from the City 17 ruins.
  • Alyx is impaled by a Hunter, who also knocks Gordon unconscious. The Victory Mine Vortigaunt stabilizes her.
  • Gordon and the Victory Mine Vortigaunt meet Griggs and Sheckley in a resistance outpost. Gordon defends against an antlion assault on the outpost.
  • Gordon and the Victory Mine Vortigaunt evade the Antlion Guardian and retrieve the antlion extract to heal Alyx.
  • The G-man takes the opportunity (while the vortigaunts are preoccupied healing Alyx) to have a "heart to heart" with Gordon and tells Alyx to relay a message to her father.
  • Alyx is healed, and the two leave Victory Mine.
  • Alyx and Gordon fail to kill a Combine Advisor.
  • Alyx and Gordon see Dog as they approach White Forest and race him to the entrance.
  • Mossman's report is inspected at White Forest.
  • White Forest is attacked by the Combine, but the attack is repelled.
  • The Superportal is destroyed.
  • Eli is killed by an attack from two Advisors.
  • Arriving forward in time from the main events of Half-Life: Alyx, the G-Man allows Alyx to kill the Combine Advisor before it kills Eli, undoing the end of Half-Life 2: Episode 2.
  • After killing the Advisor, Alyx Vance is forced into employment to replace an apparent "unwilling or unable" Gordon Freeman to do the G-Man's and his Employers' work. This removes Alyx from Gordon and Eli's vicinity, prompting Eli to swear vengeance on the G-Man, claiming him and Gordon have "work to do".

Pre-Portal 2[]

  • GLaDOS' partial destruction is followed by a very VERY long period of inactivity within the Aperture Laboratories, during which time maintenance systems and Personality Cores maintain their functions. The facility remains in disarray, having become overgrown and dilapidated, with collapsed and weathered parts all over.[17] Pre-recorded 'Emergency Test Protocols' can oversee test chambers in times of cataclysmic system failure, "able to sustain themselves on a minimum 1.1 Volts". Chell spends this time in stasis until the events of Portal 2. For at least some of her stasis, Chell is under supervision by a remaining Aperture employee, Doug Rattmann.

Portal 2[]

Chell facing glados concept

Chell facing GLaDOS in the ruins of the Enrichment Center.

Main article: Portal 2
About 50,000 years later....
  • Chell is reawakened by Wheatley, a personality core. Wheatley insists he can secure an escape route out of the withered and dilapidated Aperture Laboratories, which instead results in the inadvertent reactivation of GLaDOS.[17] As the story progresses, GLaDOS begins repairing most of the facility as evidenced by the steadily improving conditions of the testing courses that Chell is forced to complete.
  • Wheatley rescues Chell from the testing courses and helps her to GLaDOS's control room, sabotaging GLaDOS's defenses along the way.
  • GLaDOS's begins the Aperture Science Cooperative Testing Initiative, which is eventually halted with the establishment of Wheatley Laboratories.
  • After an extremely brief confrontation, Wheatley, with Chell's help, is placed in control of the Aperture Science facilities. He immediately becomes mad with power and proceeds to integrate GLaDOS's core with a potato battery. Lashing out, he sends Chell and GLaDOS's potato down an elevator shaft hundreds of meters deep.
  • Chell survives the fall because of her Long Fall Boots and GLaDOS survives because of her happenstantial situation as a potato; she is, however, carried off by a crow at this point. Chell now finds herself traversing a series of old condemned Enrichment Spheres, the precursor to the testing rooms that GLaDOS employs in the new Aperture facilities. The first of these spheres were built at the time of Aperture Science's foundation, earlier than June 15, 1961, at which time Aperture Laboratories was under the direction of Cave Johnson. They continued to be used at least until Johnson's death by poisonous moon-rock some time in the late 1980s.
  • Chell eventually finds GLaDOS, makes her way back to the facilities controlled by Wheatley, and finds that Wheatley has managed to inadvertently demolish massive portions of the facility. Signs of the extent of the facility's degeneration include the announcer which directed Chell's testing before GLaDOS's reactivation repeatedly interrupting Wheatley with warnings of the facility's imminent destruction. Eventually, Chell manages to make her way back to Wheatley's "lair" and after a relatively brief battle, exiles Wheatley and the Space Core into space via a portal shot onto the moon, and puts GLaDOS back in charge of Aperture. As a token of appreciation (or perhaps of resignation), GLaDOS allows Chell to leave Aperture Science, and sends her back to the surface, as she evidentially is growing annoyed with Chell's resilience. The game ends with the player viewing a seemingly endless field of grain, before the view is interrupted by the Companion Cube from the first Portal game being sent up after Chell. After this, She tests two robots in her Cooperative Testing Initiative, in which she and the protagonists find a vault of 10,000 cryogenically stored humans to test on. These people could've been used to rebuild humanity, but they are killed in a week by GLaDOS.
  • It is unknown whether the Combine is still in control of Earth, if humans even exist anymore, or what became of GLaDOS and Chell following her escape from Aperture Laboratories.


  1. Marc Laidlaw Vault on the HalfLife2.net Forums
  2. According to the Half-Life Playstation 2 manual, he is said to be 55 in Decay, set in 200-.
  3. According to The Terminal, found in Half-Life: Alyx, he is said to be 52 during the Combine invasion, set in 200-.
  4. Aperturescience.com / Quantum Tunneling is not wormhole technology. Portal 2 and Portal 1 specifically state that the portal gun is a quantum tunneling device.
  5. 5.0 5.1 ApertureScience.com
  6. She is said to be 31 in Decay, set in 200-.
  7. Portal 2 Chapter 6 "The Fall"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Portal ARG
  9. She is said to be 25 in Decay, set in 200-.
  10. ApertureScience.com
  11. Portal
  12. Chell's Bring Your Daughter Work Day poster
  13. Portal 2, chapter The Escape
  14. Portal Comic Lab Rat
  15. ApertureScience.com and Portal Comic Lab Rat
  16. Portal commentary
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Game Informer, April 2010 issue
  18. Portal 2 Demo (Part 2) - E3 2010 on IGN's YouTube channel
  19. Portal 2 Demo (Part 3) - E3 2010 on IGN's YouTube channel
  20. Portal 2: Lab Rat
  21. 21.0 21.1 Facts about the date issue on the Marc Laidlaw Vault on the HalfLife2.net Forums
  22. Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
  23. 23.0 23.1 Aperture Science: A History on Game Informer
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 Half-Life: Opposing Force instruction manual
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 25.7 25.8 Half-Life PlayStation 2 instruction manual
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 Half-Life
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 Half-Life: Blue Shift instruction manual
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Half-Life: Blue Shift
  29. Portal Comic Lab Rat
  30. Stephen Bahl as quoted on Marc Laidlaw Vault on the HalfLife2.net Forums
  31. 31.0 31.1 Ia icon Episode One: The story so far on Half-Life 2's official website (Archived)
  32. "Valve Plans To Bridge Portal And Portal 2 With A Surprise, Keep Gordon Freeman Out Of It" on Kotaku.com
  33. Eurogamer favicon How Valve Opened Up Portal 2 • Page 3 on Eurogamer
  34. The Marc Laidlaw Vault on Steam Users' Forums

See also[]

Imagecat Game storyline articles