This article explores the cut enemies from the September 26th, 2003 build of Half-Life 2 for Windows. While these enemies did not make it into the final game, they provide an intriguing glimpse into the development process. Let’s dive in and discover these fascinating creatures!
The Cremators are tall, cadaver-like beings with a unique appearance. They have a white head, human-like arms, green cloths wrapped around them, and circular objects in the middle of their stomachs. The Cremators were supposed to patrol the streets of City 17, wielding their powerful Immolator weapon to clean up the streets. However, in the prototype, these creatures have no AI and cannot be spawned without patches. They do have a model, basic sounds, and 300 HP, hinting at their potential role in the game. Interestingly, the Cremator’s head was reused in a prop in Eli’s Lab in the final game.
The Assassins, also known as Alien Assassins, are lanky, cybernetic aliens with pale skin. They wear black outfits and have cybernetic eyes extending out of their eye sockets. The Assassins lack proper code in the prototype, but their animations suggest that they were designed to be fast opponents who can take large jumps, similar to Fast Zombies. They were armed with knives, claws, smoke grenades, and electrical balls. Interestingly, the Assassin eventually became the Fast Zombie in the final game.
The Zombie Assassin is an Alien Assassin that has been taken over by a Headcrab. It is a fascinating combination of these two creatures. Although all that exists of the Zombie Assassin is a model, it provides a glimpse into the potential hybrid enemies players could have encountered in the game.
The Female Assassins are a Combine version of the Assassins from the original Half-Life game, with some unique twists. They have a sleek design resembling the final game’s Combine Elite, albeit slimmer. Their boots even resemble the Advanced Knee Replacements and Long Fall Boots from the Portal series. The Female Assassins have fully working AI, dual-wielding pistols, and unique effects on their helmets. They are challenging opponents with fast-firing pistols and the ability to dodge attacks.
The Combine Elites in the prototype are completely different from the final version. They wear a bulky, full-body cloaking suit that reflects their surroundings, giving them a camouflage effect. They were armed with sniper rifles, unlike the pulse rifles used by the final Combine Sniper. The Combine Elites have barebones code, suggesting they were cut early in development.
The Combine Guards are large, hulking Synths equipped with gigantic energy cannons. These powerful enemies can spew yellow alien blood when shot and are almost invincible to most attacks. Their guns are extremely powerful and can kill the player in one hit. Interestingly, the game planned to track separate armor pieces on the Combine Guards, each with 50 HP. Destroying these armor parts would progress the battle. The Combine Guard’s unique weapon has been reused in some capacity for the Strider.
The Hydras are long blue tentacles with sharp points at the end. They can impale targets with their points and move around with the target’s ragdoll attached. They were meant to present unique challenges, with complex code calculating their maximum distance, length, and avoidance of entanglement. While the Hydras were not seen in the final game, their textures remain within the game files, a reminder of their wasted potential.
The Combots are predecessors to the final game’s City Scanners. They have red faceplates and larger, more orange eyes. Unlike the City Scanners, the Combots have weapons they can use. They will spew gas if the player gets too close and can perform an unused melee attack. The Combots have skinnier and hairier designs than their final counterparts.
The Wasteland Scanners are unique enemies designed for the scrapped Wasteland area. They have asymmetrical orange bodies and dark purple cameras. These enemies were meant to connect with each other to increase their firepower. While the connecting concept was cut, the textures and models still exist in the game’s files.
The Missile Defenses were robotic enemies designed for a removed sequence where the player controlled missiles. These enemies would shoot down player-controlled missiles with special homing bullets. While they didn’t make it into the final game, their entity still remains and functions to some extent.
The Bullsquids from the original Half-Life game make a reappearance in this prototype. They have a blood-red skin color, yellow eyes, and similar animations and sounds to the first game. They attack with toxic saliva and their tails, making them formidable opponents. Interestingly, a newer Bullsquid skin exists, suggesting its intended use in the episodic installments of Half-Life 2.
The Houndeyes from Half-Life also make an appearance in this prototype. These unique creatures have similar behaviors and sound effects as in the original game. Although their model is corrupt, their textures and preview images give us a glimpse of their intended design.
The Sand Barnacle is an enemy that was meant to be mounted on the sand. While they lack animations and code, their existence in the game’s files suggests their potential presence in sandy areas, such as the Coast or the cut Wasteland area.
An earlier version of the Antlion Grubs is present in the prototype. These grubs have a different appearance and animations, allowing them to move, heal, and attack. While their exact role is unclear, they provide an intriguing look at the evolution of these creatures.
The Rollerbull was a cut roller type enemy that would charge the player with its spikes. It would bark and play taunts before attacking. This behavior was partially reused for the rollermine.
This concludes our exploration of the cut enemies from the September 26th, 2003 build of Half-Life 2. While they never made it into the final game, they showcase the creative process and the multitude of ideas considered during development. It’s fascinating to imagine the potential encounters players could have had with these unique and varied enemies.