Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw, who left developer Valve Corporation last year (after nearly two decades with the company), has recently published a potential plot of Half-Life 2: Episode 3 on his personal website. The post, titled “Epistle 3“, details a proposed story for the unreleased game, with key names changed in order to (presumably) avoid any legal troubles.
For those who haven’t been keeping up with the series’ ongoing development (or lack thereof), here’s a quick refresher. Back in 1999, Valve (who is most famously known for developing games such as Dota 2 and the Left 4 Dead series) released the original Half-Life, a revolutionary first-person shooter for its time. A few years later, they released a follow-up, aptly named Half-Life 2, which was released to critical acclaim from both fans and critics. The game, which followed scientist Gordon Freeman in his attempt to take down the Combine (an alien species that had taken over Earth and enslaved humanity), ended on a cliffhanger, which Valve intended to resolve through a series of smaller, episodic titles.
Unlike some of their other titles, Valve was able to churn out these episodes relatively quickly, with Episodes 1 and 2 releasing in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Unfortunately, Episode 3 has been classified by many as vaporware. After multiple delays, Valve has, for the most part, gone silent on what was supposed to be the final episode, with the last official announcement now dating back several years.
While fans of the series continue to hold out hope for another installment, Valve’s focus on their digital distribution platform and free-to-play/microtransaction-heavy titles has discouraged the gaming community as a whole. Their last single-player title, Portal 2, was released back in 2011. Most recently, the company has announced a collectible card game called Artifact, which was met with negative reactions from fans.
Laidlaw’s post documents the journey of Gertrude Fremont and Alex Vaunt (Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance) as they attempt to find an abandoned ship known as the Hyperborea (Borealis). Along the way, they encounter the Disparate (the Combine), Dr. Wanda Bree (Dr. Wallace Breen), and the mysterious Mrs. X (the G-Man).
For those who would prefer to read the proposed story with all the proper character names, you can check out a “fixed” version of Laidlaw’s work on Pastebin.
[Featured image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]