City 17 underground


The film was created by Toronto-based David and Ian Purchase, who use the professional name of the Purchase Brothers. Before Escape from City 17, the Purchase Brothers had directed several commercials, including one for Coca-Cola. David contended that they worked as commercial directors in order to support their independent projects. They were both fans of the Half-Life series, and decided to start Escape from City 17 as a way «to showcase and promote their talents further, and experiment with several post-production techniques they’d developed.»

The two had a budget of $500 for Part One and $250 for Part Two; the computer equipment and software employed for the development of the film belonged to the Purchase Brothers from previous projects. According to David, the money was spent on the live-action elements of the film, saying that «The costumes, and used/broken airsoft guns made up the bulk of the budget.» The two had no crew to support them, and were not paid for their work. Many of the elements of the film, such as the background and sound effects, were extracted from Half-Life 2, «graphically enhanced, and incorporated into the live action with ‘a lot of complicated tracking and rotoscoping.'»


The heavy fighting marked the first time the Combine had suffered a major defeat during their occupation of Earth, and a turning point in The Uprising. The de facto capital of Combine authority on Earth had been destroyed, with heavy casualties on both sides in troops and materiel. In particular, the Combine garrison on Earth were now isolated units, and with their Citadel network disabled across the planet, the opportunity was afforded for humanity to conduct a global counter-offensive.

While rebel forces and refugees made for the heavily-defended stronghold of White Forest, Combine forces were scattered across the Outlands, exposing them to defeat in detail, and leading to isolated fighting with rebel garrisons in these regions. The nucleus of their leadership, the Shu’ulathoi, who had escaped the doomed Citadel in escape pods, had crashed across the countryside, often without nearby support, thereby exposing them to groups of Vortigaunts, who dedicated themselves to hunting and killing them.

However, the Combine garrison had one final strategic option available: using the matured superportal to bring reinforcements through and re-establish their dominion over Earth. This compelled the rebel garrison at White Forest to concoct a plan using the Xenium Resonator to seal the superportal and isolate themselves from the Combine for good, leading to a fierce, but ultimate unsuccessful attack on that base.


The unexpected return of Gordon Freeman to City 17 had the effect of galvanising the populace’s spirit of revolution. Freeman’s quasi-mythical status among the minds of the citizenry garnered the attention of the Combine, who sought to detain or kill Freeman. An initial attempt to apprehend Freeman failed, which saw him escape to the laboratory of his friend and former Black Mesa colleague, Eli Vance. A subsequent raid on the rebel outposts failed to capture Freeman, although Eli was taken prisoner and detained in Nova Prospekt. Freeman and Eli’s daughter, Alyx Vance, vowed to infiltrate the penitentiary and free Eli.

Moving through Ravenholm, a series of Combine raids on rebel coastal settlements met with mixed success, although they failed to neutralise Freeman. Freeman and Alyx launched a raid on Nova Prospekt with the aid of hundreds of Antlions, which, although failed to free Eli, resulted in the inadvertent destruction of the entire facility. The destruction of the prison, a bitterly hated and feared symbol of Combine oppression, inspired the citizens of City 17 to launch an armed revolt against Combine rule.

Behind the scenes

Alyx helpless without Gordon’s flashlight.

  • This chapter is the first example of Alyx’s new co-op features and combat abilities. As she is the only protagonist equipped with a gun, Gordon having only the Gravity Gun (although he originally was to have no weapon at all), he has to help her killing enemies by aiming his flashlight at them in dark areas, otherwise she does not see them and thus cannot defend herself properly and could get herself killed. He can also throw objects at enemies, but Alyx will always be able to manage all the attacks on her own with a minimum of support from Gordon. She also cannot move in the dark if Gordon disappears with his flashlight turned off, and will call for him helplessly, in a scared tone.
  • Gordon originally couldn’t operate the power boxes in Episode One and would have to wait for Alyx to do it. But developers removed this due to the fact that this exposed Alyx’s most robotic tendencies. Gordon would’ve had to let Alyx finish what she was doing first and then wait for her to work. This led to frustration. What developers learned is that in order for Alyx to be more reliable, she has to finish a task quickly and then move on.  
  • This chapter also first introduces the Zombine.

In completely dark sections, Zombies will tend to spawn faster if the flashlight is turned off.

In completely dark areas where the flashlight is the only source of illumination, the team found that they would often end up with grossly over-exposed views and the HDR parameters were to be modified. In particular, they drastically shrunk the region of the screen where the flashlight’s light is located, which is bigger in Half-Life and Episode Two. It permitted them to concentrate only on that area and thus increase the sense of claustrophobia.

In that chapter, the player is also forced to block Antlion burrows with cars in a collapsed parking lot, while Alyx helps him fight the Antlion, but without giving him any clues on how to block the burrows.

The elevator scene is one of the most tricky parts of the game for the inexperienced player. When Gordon and Alyx arrive at it, its power is down and has to be reactivated through a powerbox located at the other end of a big and completely dark room. When the power is turned on again, Zombies swarm the area, and Alyx and Gordon must bear a huge standoff while waiting for the elevator to come, mirroring scenes from previous games such as the teleport scenes at the end of Blue Shift or in the Half-Life 2 chapter Entanglement. The first iteration of this battle was originally very different. The space was larger, had water in it, and was not completely dark. The team cut water in favor of more Zombies, as Water is relatively expensive, performance-wise. The area was made smaller to ensure that the player would see the elevator and recognize the problem that needed to be solved before the fight starts. The team applied a completely dark setting in order to enhance tension and to leave the battle as a final test of the players’ low-light fighting skills, which had previously been developed over the course of the episode. Finally, they added a wire running along the ceiling from the elevator to the powerbox to give the player a guide as they familiarize themselves with the area.

The City 17 vista where Kleiner is seen on the Breencast after reaching the surface is intended to be «an explicit visual reward for surviving the elevator battle.»

External links

Preceded by N/A Half-Life 2 story arc journey Succeeded by Kleiner’s Lab
Preceded by N/A Half-Life 2 original storyline(City 17 Trainstation) Succeeded by Combine Factories
Aperture Science Borealis • Employee Daycare Center • Enrichment Center • Enrichment Shafts: Co-op Test Shaft / Test Shaft 09 • Extended Relaxation Annex • Extended Relaxation Center • Central AI Chamber • Hub • Incinerator Room • Neurotoxin Generator • Testing tracks: GLaDOS’ testing track (Portal) / GLaDOS’ testing track (Portal 2) / Wheatley’s testing track / Cooperative Testing Courses • Turret Manufacturing
Black Mesa Advanced Biological Research Lab • Alien Quarantine Labs • Area 8 Topside Dormitories • Biological Waste Processing Plant • Black Mesa Air Control • Black Mesa desert • Black Mesa Medical Lab • Black Mesa Research Facility • Black Mesa Sectors: Sector A Training Facility / Sector B Coolant Reserve / Sector C Test Labs / Sector D Administration / Sector E Biodome Complex / Sector F Lambda Complex / Sector G Hydro Electric • Black Mesa South Access • Black Mesa Transit System • Freight Yard • Gamma Labs • Level 3 Dormitories • Section A-17 Prototype Labs • Topside Motorpool • Waste Processing Area 3
Combine APC garage • Citadel • Citadel Core • City 8 • City 11 • City 12 • City 13 • City 14 • City 15 • City 16 • City 17 • City 24 • City 27 • City 17 Trainstation • Combine Overworld • Depot • Gate 5 • Nova Prospekt • Overwatch Nexus • Technical Trainstation • The Vault
Resistance Alyx’s Apartment • Black Mesa East • Bridge Point • Dock 137 • Kleiner’s Lab • Lighthouse Point • New Little Odessa • Radio Tower • Ravenholm • Russell’s Lab • Shorepoint Base • Station 6 • Station 7 • Station 8 • Station 9 • Station 12 • Station 21 • Underground Railroad • Victory Mine • Vortigaunt Camp • White Forest • The White Forest Inn
Other Canals • City 17 Underground • Earth • Fairview Junction • The Coast • Hospital • Locations (cut) • Locations in the Half-Life universe • Moon • The Outlands • Quarantine Zone • Santego Military Base • St. Olga • The Wasteland • Xen
Vehicles, vessels and transportation
Black Mesa transportation Black Mesa SUV • Black Mesa Transit System • Black Mesa truck
Black Ops vehicles AH-64 Apache • M35 cargo truck • V-22 Osprey (cut)
HECU vehicles AH-64 Apache • F-16 Fighting Falcon • M1A1 Abrams • M2A3 Bradley • M35 cargo truck • V-22 Osprey
Combine vehicles Advisor Platform • AirEx Truck (cut) • Armored Personnel Carrier • C-130 (cut) • Combine SWAT Truck (cut) • Hunter-Chopper • M2A3 Bradley (cut) • Merkava (cut) • Razor Train • School Bus (cut) • V-22 Osprey (cut)
Resistance vehicles Airboat • Borealis (cut) • C-130 (cut) • Jalopy (cut) • Jet Ski (cut) • Mil Mi-8 • Muscle Car • Scout Car • Submarine (cut) • V-22 Osprey (cut)
Trainstations City 17 Trainstation • Depot • Technical Trainstation
Other Borealis • Chevrolet Caprice (cut) • Digger (cut) • F-117 Nighthawk (cut) • Ford F-250 (cut) • GMC Vandura (cut) • Rail transport • Road transport


Barry White of Citizen Game stated that the first part of the film » my mind» and «Considering the comparatively [sic] paltry resources…at their disposal this short still manages to be better than every video game movie currently in existence.» Wagner Au of NewTeeVee contended that the first part «is one of those rare viral videos that seems destined to launch a breakout success», and added «non-gamers are likely to be impressed by its rollicking action and bravura special effects.» Au believed its popularity was due, in part, to the fact that the video is adapted from Half-Life 2. Patrick Goss, writing for Tech Radar, said the in-game footage from Half-Life 2 «blended almost seamlessly into live action footage» in the film.


Combine OverWiki has more images related to City 17.

  1. Half-Life 2
  2. Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 166
  3. Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 238
  4. ↑ WC map pack
  5. Breencast
  6. Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
  7. The Half-Life 2 chapter Point Insertion
  8. Half-Life 2: Episode One
  9. Half-Life 2: Episode Two
  10. The Overwatch Voice in the Half-Life 2 chapter Point Insertion
  11. Half-Life 2 leak
  12. Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 168
Preceded byN/A Half-Life 2 story arc journey (1) Succeeded byCanals
Preceded byThe Coast Half-Life 2 story arc journey (2) Succeeded byThe Outlands
Aperture Science · · · · · · · · · · · · · s: · ·
Black Mesa · · · · · · · · Black Mesa Sectors ( ) · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Combine · () · · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Quarantine Zone · ( · · ) · · · · · · · ·
Resistance · · · · · · · · · · · · ( · · ) · · · · ·
Xen ·
Other · · · · · · · · · ·
Black Mesa (cut) · · · · · ·
Combine (cut) · · · · ·
Resistance (cut) · ·
Other (cut) · · ·



The Trainstation Plaza, under surveillance by Civil Protection units and equipment, with a «Breencast» monitor, which Doctor Breen uses to address City 17 citizens.

City 17 visually resembles a post-Soviet harbor city featuring mostly Eastern European architecture. It features architecture styles dating from pre-World War II neoclassicism, post-war classical designs, Soviet modernism, and post-Soviet contemporary designs.

Upon the Combine’s arrival on Earth, many buildings were augmented using their own style of architecture with the intent of restricting citizen movement throughout the city.[source?]

In addition, large television screens were installed in several public areas to address citizens regarding the Combine. At the heart of the city is the Citadel, a giant skyscraper which serves as the hub of the Combine.


The core of the city consists predominately of wall-to-wall buildings, with blocks of clustered low-rises made out of a variety of old and new buildings. Under Combine rule, certain residential buildings in the city are used as accommodations for citizens. Conditions in such housings are typically seen as poor, with very few luxuries and constant inspection and raids by Civil Protection. However, some city infrastructure, such as power plants, are maintained by the Combine, and electricity is made widely available from both traditional sources and Combine generators. The Combine themselves occupied some former government buildings, such as the Overwatch Nexus, to help keep control over the city.

The city was large enough to provide all necessary needs for the citizens before the Combine’s occupation. This is supported by the presence of a hospital, several cafés and restaurants, office buildings, and underground city systems; most of which are still intact but abandoned.

The outskirts of City 17 features industrial districts and additional Soviet-style housing, most of which are considered off-limits to citizens. The industrial districts are seen linked to the city via railway lines and canals.

As there was little emphasis in maintaining non-essential parts of the city, many areas of City 17 suffered from urban decay prior to the Citadel’s explosion.

Transportation systems

A Combine Razor Train passes by a canal and residential apartments.

City 17’s transportation system had considerable variety. In addition to highways and city streets, City 17 includes underground road tunnels that traveled beneath the city; during the Resistance uprising against the Combine, portions of the tunnels could be seen, badly damaged, with areas flooded with toxic substances. Several railway lines run throughout the city, with at least two large train stations connecting City 17 to other Combine controlled cities. The Combine maximized the use of these transportation systems, developing ground-based APCs to patrol roads while utilizing pre-invasion trains and their own form of trains to transport citizens and goods in and out of City 17. The presence of unused tramways on a street also suggest that the city once provided tram services before the Combine rule.

A city canal containing hazardous materials.

A network of canals is also prevalent in and around City 17. Much of the inner city canals, however, were made defunct after the Combine’s draining of large bodies of water around City 17 left much of the area’s canal system dry. However, the industrial district canal systems remains usable, albeit shallower, with certain portions of the canals contaminated with .


The food hall inside the trainstation.

This trainstation is not the only one in City 17, and probably not the most important. It is not very crowded and the tracks appear obstructed when Gordon goes back to its vicinity at the start of his escape from Kleiner’s Lab.

Under the main glass roof, several platforms receive Citizens from other cities coming in recycled human trains, while Wallace Breen welcomes them in one of his numerous Breencasts. There, Citizens are instructed by Metrocops to leave their luggage. City Scanners are flying around. After a turnstile, a corridor leads to the waiting room where the schedules are displayed (suggesting other similar cities exist, such as City 16, 15, 13, etc). After this follows a security checkpoint, with Metrocops. From there, three paths are possible: one leads to the Trainstation Plaza, the second leads to interrogation rooms where Gordon Freeman reunites with Barney Calhoun and Isaac Kleiner, and the third leads to the platform where Razor Trains leave to Nova Prospekt. The Plaza path leads to a corridor that then leads to the former main hall of the station, transformed into a food hall, where Citizens queue for their food packages at a Combine Dispenser. There, another Breencast is also playing. Another corridor leads to the Trainstation Plaza, where the same Breencast is broadcast on a screen attached to an obelisk at the center, facing the train station’s main facade.

Each road is blocked by Combine Barricade checkpoints, leading to different precincts and watched by cameras. A Combine Watchtower is also attached to one of the buildings. At the time of the City 17 uprising, the main trainstation entrance is sealed by Combine technology and the whole area is heavily damaged, with Combine Smart Barriers having destroyed most of the surrounding buildings.


The two main characters of Escape from City 17.

Part One

Around the beginning of the first part of the film, scientist Isaac Kleiner, through a large video monitor, is warning that the Citadel will be involved in a destructive event which will probably irradiate a large area around it. Against a backdrop depicting City 17, including the Citadel, with parts of it on fire, Kleiner then advises that anyone left in the city should evacuate promptly. It is later revealed that he is communicating by speakers within the settlement, and the film proceeds to illustrate combat between Combine forces and the Resistance. Two male Resistance members are introduced in a train-yard, with one asking by radio to others away from their location whether any trains are leaving. Receiving a response, he is told that the last train from that yard left earlier, and that he should try to get out of the city by foot or continue trying to locate a train. Civil Protection officers soon appear, and the two engage in combat throughout much of the rest of the film. They are eventually caught upon an open stretch of railway, with a Combine hunter-chopper bearing down. As the chopper, whilst firing weaponry, passes overhead of the two, the film cuts to a black screen.

Part Two

The story begins around the time of the first explosion of Nova Prospekt as war is seen to break out in City 17, eventually leading to the first explosion of the Citadel. A male undercover Rebel saves a female Rebel from Combine soldiers, but the latter, not speaking or unserstanding English, is initially seen to distrust her rescuer. Eventually they get on the way out of the city as it is engulfed in street war, with Striders tearing down buildings. Along with other Rebels, the two endure heavy combat and are seen to bring down a Strider with a Rocket Launcher, SMG, and a Sniper Rifle. Eventually, the two become romantically involved. Travelling by the Canals, the couple then joins with two other Rebels seen escaping the City in Part One, but the male Rebel, caught off-guard, soon gets shot by Civil Protection and dies in the arms of his newfound friend. The remaining three Rebels, chased by the Metrocops, escape into a Zombie-infested tunnel, where the female memeber, distracted in her grief, is attacked by a Headcrab which latches onto her head. The other two members are attacked by the Zombies and are driven back, unable to help their companion. The tunnel, though inhospitable, serves as a shelter against the second explosion of the Citadel, which is seen to tear down what is left of the City. The female Rebel is unable to remove the Headcrab with her hands but, still conscious, she manages to load the spare pistol given to her earlier by her deceased friend and shoot the parasite without harming herself. The three are then seen to drive back the Zombies and escape into sunlight.


  1. Double agent for the Combine, defected to the Resistance late in the battle
  2. Status unknown, presumed dead with the possibility of him having transferred his consciousness into a «host body» of the Combine Advisor
  3. Double agent for the Combine, defected to the Resistance late in the battle
  4. Assuming all gunships the player sees are unique. Also includes gunships under construction in the Citadel. From the start of Anticitizen One to the end of Episode One
  5. Assuming all dropships the player sees are unique. From the start of Anticitizen One to the end of Episode One
  6. Assuming all Striders the player sees are unique. Also includes Striders transported by dropships. From the start of Anticitizen One to the end of Episode One
  7. 10 Advisors are seen in the launch room inside the Citadel. At the end of Episode One, 14 pods can be seen launching. Assuming this includes the original 10.
  8. Lower estimate counts all rebels killed in scripted events, corpses, and zombies. Higher estimate includes all live rebels encountered by the player (including Vortigaunts at the start of Episode 1), assuming all such people could be and were killed in the battle. From the start of Anticitizen One to the end of Episode One
  9. Assumes all soldiers encountered that can be killed are killed by the player. Also counts zombines, corpses, soldiers killed in scripted events, and stalkers. Assumes all those who remained in the Citadel were killed, and the stalkers in the train crash. From the start of Anticitizen One to the end of Episode One
  10. This dropship crashes inside the Citadel in Episode One
  11. Dialogue from the consoling couple heard through the floorboards in Episode One

Final hours

The ramifications of the teleporter’s destruction was immense: it sheared off the top of the Citadel, causing immense structural damage, and overloaded the building’s power grid, triggering an irreversible meltdown of the reactor core. The overload disabled the Combine’s global Citadel network, precariously isolating Combine forces garrisoned on Earth. An unintended side-effect was the deactivation of City 17’s network of forcefields and thumpers, allowing the Xenian wildlife that inhabited the surrounding countryside to infest the city. Troops on both sides soon found themselves caught in a multi-pronged crossfire between these disparate combatants. The destruction of the teleporter had one major consequence: the birth of an infant superportal.

The Resistance had been able to gain control over the Combine’s broadcast system; hitherto used to disseminate Overwatch propaganda, it was now used to coordinate rebel efforts. Rebel fighters also restored power to a freight station, permitting evacuations of unarmed citizens from the city. The protracted and ferocious combat took its toll on the morale of rebel fighters, with some feeling that the totalitarian, though nevertheless comparatively safe, rule of the Combine was preferable to the heavy fighting they had experienced, and began to express dissatisfaction with some rebel leaders, such as Isaac Kleiner. They came to characterise Black Mesa’s reckless pursuit of scientific advancement as the true cause of their plight.

Freeman and Alyx voluntarily infiltrated the Citadel to affect a temporary stabilisation of the core, buying more time for evacuations. There, they discovered the Combine were planning on using what power remained in the core to send a transmission through the superportal, requesting reinforcements to crush the revolution. However, the mere act of transmitting the message would collapse the core, causing a dark energy flare.

With the reactor steadily collapsing, both sides executed a mutual evacuation from the city. Having already lost control of the situation, the Combine withdrew a significant portion of its remaining forces from the city, leaving behind numerous, although scattered and often unsupported regiments of troops to delay the rebels as long as possible. Striders in particular razed entire districts to the ground, destroying vast swathes of the city. These forces could not contain the rebels, however, as they evacuated as many refugees as they could before withdrawing on the restored train network.

As the final trains departed, the Combine sent the transmission packet, collapsing the Citadel’s core. The core exploded in a dark energy flare, destroying what remained of the city and most of the surrounding area, finally ending the battle.

Raid on the Citadel

With Overwatch forces struggling to contain rebel fighters, who were now closing in on the Citadel, in desperation, the Combine relinquished defensive efforts to large reserves of gunships and Striders. These forces inflicted grievous losses on the rebels, and caused extensive infrastructural damage, reducing entire neighbourhoods to rubble. In turn, this provided excellent cover for rebel rocketeers to destroy the synths. Small groups of rebels were soon at the base of the Citadel.

While the fighting raged on throughout the city, Freeman infiltrated the Citadel. Despite successfully engaging the Combine garrison, Freeman ultimately allowed himself to be captured, and was taken directly to Wallace Breen’s office, where he also held Eli and Alyx Vance. Breen hoped to use the captured rebels as leverage over the Combine to strike more favourable terms with them to his own personal benefit. When Eli refused to order the rebels to stand down, Breen threatened to send them to the Combine Overworld, and allow Judith Mossman to continue Eli’s work on local translocation technology. Objecting to this arrangement, Mossman freed the prisoners.

Breen fled to the Citadel’s teleporter, hoping to reach the Overworld, where he would bargain for reinforcements to help quash the rebellion. Freeman overloaded the teleporter’s reactor, causing it to explode. While Freeman was initially extracted, Vortigaunts interfered, burying Freeman and Alyx in the rubble at the base of the Citadel.

The turning of the tide

With the absence of Freeman and Alyx, many in the Resistance, including Isaac Kleiner and Calhoun, had assumed the worst; that they had been killed in the explosion that destroyed Nova Prospekt. In reality, the damage to the Combine translocation device resulted in a relativistic delay; while Freeman and Alyx experienced only mere moments, outside the teleport sequence over a week had passed.

Following their return, the pair led efforts to disable a series of generators in order to loosen the Combine’s grip on the districts closer to the Citadel. While these efforts were successful, Combine troops managed to capture Alyx Vance. Proceeding deeper into the city, Freeman and Calhoun launched a raid on the Combine’s field command post. Where others had failed, owing to heavy pulse artillery emplaced upon the roof, their team succeeded; they infiltrated the building, freed captured fighters, and disabled the artillery, allowing reinforcements to pour into the central city districts.

Determined to re-acquire their lost command post, Overwatch forces launched a ferocious counter-offensive, heavily reinforced with gunships, Striders, and heavy armour. Despite suffering heavy losses, the counter-offensive was repulsed with near-total casualties, impairing the Combine’s defensive manoeuvres against the rebels.

Behind the scenes[edit]

«One of the reasons that we liked Eastern Europe as a setting was that it represents the collision of the old and the new in a way that is difficult to capture in the United States. You go over there, and you have this collision between all of these things, the new architecture, the old architecture, the fall of communism…there’s a sense of this strongly-grounded historical place. We left out the Gothic themes associated with Prague and vampires and looked into a different aspect of the region.»
― Viktor Antonov

When responding to a question in a Reddit AMA about whether he researched any Eastern European cities for City 17, Viktor Antonov wrote that «it was based on childhood city Sofia», and that «it had mixed elements» from Belgrade and Saint Petersburg.

During the development of Half-Life 2, Valve made many reference photos of the larger Seattle area where Valve is based, including, among others: Airport Way S (for decrepit brick building textures), Macy’s on Pine Street (for the Manhack Arcade), an USCGC ship in the harbor as a reference for the Borealis, magnetic cranes in west Seattle and the Queen Anne radio towers for the antenna near the Manhack Arcade.


Alyx recovering from the train wreck.

A group of Zombies walking towards Gordon and Alyx.

Alyx fighting a Zombie.

Alyx fighting Zombies.

Dead Zombines and two Emitters in a Razor Train.

Alyx protecting herself from Gordon’s flashlight.

Maintenance room.

Small parking lot with an Antlion burrow.

Poison Headcrabs in a parking lot.

The same parking lot (slightly different) in a menu background map.

Collapsed ceiling and damaged cars.

Destroyed parking lot with Antlion burrows.


A flooded room.

The exit to the surface.

Alyx watching Kleiner through Breencast right after reaching the surface.


A Zombine running at Alyx and Gordon with a grenade.

Half-Life 2: Episode One

After stabilizing the Citadel long enough to make their escape, Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance become trapped in the underground after the Razor Train they are riding in derails and crashes. After battling hordes of Zombies, swarms of Antlions, and overcoming various other obstacles, Gordon and Alyx are able to locate an elevator, which they manage to power up and ride to the surface, escaping the hordes of Zombies. Almost arrived to the surface, they have to find a handwheel to unlock the final gate, after which they discover how much more City 17 is ravaged and that Isaac Kleiner took over the Breencast network to deliver vital information to the city’s inhabitants.