Proto:Half-Life 2 (PC)
During October 2003, a hacker was able to get into Gabe Newell's computer and steal the Half-Life 2 prototype, and released it on the internet. This version was very unfinished, though already several things had been cut. It was released as the 'Anon Beta' or the 'Russian Beta', containing textures, VMF files, and the like. It is still floating around on the internet, and many websites are devoted to prying it apart. The most popular website is a Russian one simply named HL2 Beta. 99% of these things are no longer found in the retail version. Interesting enough, it looks like Half-Life 2 wasn't going to have multiple episodes.
Cut Enemies and NPCs
As seen in this video, here are the early versions of the Combine Soldier, the Bullsquid, Combine Guard, Combine Assassin, Mortar Synth*, Early Antlion, Early Antlion Guard, Early Zombie, Early Fast Zombie, Early Poison Zombie, and the Early Stalker.
Spawnable in the beta as npc_fassassin, this enemy is a remake of the female assassins found in the first Half-Life. The only map with one pre-placed is e3_gurluas. Her helmet featured a glow, and she had heelsprings that were recycled for Portal.
Spawnable as npc_combineguard, this hulking enemy carried a gun similar to a Strider cannon. It is unkillable when spawned. It was a trans-human enemy, and the human 'face' was blind and useless.
Known in the files as npc_assassin, though entirely broken and unspawnable. It was a prototype for the Fast Zombie in its behaviors and movement. There is also a zombie version of this model, separate from the Fast Zombies.
Basically the same as the Retail scanners, but with rockets and an orange coloration. These were cut along with the Wasteland areas (a sample of which survived in the teleport sequence.)
An NPC that would have been seen 'cleaning' the streets of bodies. They used a flamethrower, but cannot be spawned at all. All of its sound files remain intact. Initially they would have been neutral, then switched to enemies during the Street Wars. Also, they are notable as their heads were used in the Brickbat weapon, and the Immolator is usable in the beta. It only survived as an easter egg, and that being only its head, in the retail version.
An enemy that would have been found in the sewers. Its spawn code is npc_hydra but only has idle animations, and scripted animations for e3_hydra. It would have stabbed through enemies and stalked you through the sewers, but was cut because while it looked cool, it was too boring to fight and could not be killed.
Present in the first game, this enemy was also to appear in Half-Life 2, and would have been seen in the canals. They have two different colored texture files in game, but only the red one is used. Their spitting sprite is broken.
Also present in the first game, these would have appeared in packs like wild dogs.
The early version of the beta reveals, after the Headcrab is removed, that there is no head of the victim anymore on the Standard Zombie. The torso has a pink/purple face in a screaming pose. The Fast Version is very different from Retail, but still acts the same. It's of a shirtless man in slacks. Note that when used in test maps related to the Fast Zombie in particular, the console will print out 'LEAP! GLIDE! LAND!' The Poison Version is very similar to the retail version.
These changed little from the final versions.
The Early Dropship has two models in the game files; one is a drastically different pink-colored creature with no container apparent. When seen in the maps in the Beta, however, they appear as their Retail versions but carry dumpsters instead of the correct cases. The Early Strider was similar in appearance, but had some strange features. If the player uses noclip to reach its head and presses Use, the view changes to seeing things from the Strider's eyes. The only way to free oneself, and actually kill the Strider in beta, is by then using an RPG launcher while in its head. It collapses and drops an ERROR model, which when touched grants the player the Immolator weapon. The Gunship is identical to the Retail model, except it is able to shoot a blue beam from its underside. The Shield Scanner is the same as in Retail, but it has animations related to attacking with its inside claw. It also has an unfinished, untextured shield model in the files.
The Crab and Mortar Synths
These two Synths are only briefly glimpsed in the Retail, found in the Citadel conveyor sequence and merely displaying walking/flying animations. However, in both the beta and Retail, checking the model files show they have full animations for attacking. The Crab Synth is a large ground-based creature, with charging animations. The Mortar Synth will fire energy pulses at the player.
There are texture differences in the basic Metrocop model, but they behave the same. Ditto with the Soldiers. The Snipers in retail are only seen when they drop out of a window; when spawned in retail they appear as Soldiers. However, in the beta, they have distinct models that appear rainbow-hued or bright green due to improper camouflage rendering. The Stalkers were very aggressive and flighty, employing a lazer-attack and fleeing when the player got near or hit them. Up close they would batter the player.
The earliest known model of a Citizen was found in a screenshot that came from the pre-Half-Life 2 map 'Get Your Free TVs!' wears a gas mask, due to the foul air of the polluted Earth. In the playable Beta, they are wearing drab green clothes. There are also textures for the unused 'Stenographer's Chasm' and the Borealis worker model.
These workers were to be seen in the unused Combine Factories, producing Cremators. They were cut when the Cremators were, and also due to the moral issues of having children in a FPS. The Cremator head they carry is part of the model, and the only animations they have are of putting them into machinery.
These are various cut face textures found in the beta files. No models exist to go with them.
While some NPCs remained mostly the same, like Barney and the G-man, others went through massive redesigns, like Mossman and Eli. Eli was imagined originally as 'Captain Vance', a leader of the resistance. Mossman had blonde hair and a different face. Odessa Cubbage uses the face of Odell, a captain found on the cut Borealis. Instead of Breen, the human face of the Combine was known as the Consul.
There were many cut weapons, as seen in this video. There's the Ice Axe, Stun Stick (used by Civil Patrol in retail), Combine Guard Gun, Immolator, SLAM, Molotov Cocktail, Hopwire Grenade, Tau Cannon, Binoculars, Fire Extinguisher, and the Portable Thumper.
Also of note is the Physics gun, which was reused by Garry in Garry's Mod. The version in the beta is much weaker and things 'hang' drooping from the end of the beam, but it can kill enemies when used on their heads. A cut weapon known as the Brickbat included rocks, headcrabs, and Cremator heads to throw.
Reused in Garry's Mod as an editing tool, the user can pick up NPCs and objects with it. It can kill enemy NPCs as well.
Combine Guard Gun
Used by the Combine Guards, it is very much like a Strider cannon.
A 'missle' launcher, that acts identical to the retail RPG.
AKA the Heavy Machine Gun (HMG1). Has custom rounds.
- Bigrounds 1.png
Cartridge of rounds.
The hopwire grenade, after being thrown, sends out blue strands that stick to walls. When these strands are touched, the grenade explodes. Can crash the game in certain circumstances.
This flamethrower was carried by the Cremators, and will set alight any NPC it hits. It has a green-colored beam that branches out at the end, but gets stuck in a long firing period. It was powered with acid, and can also dissolve dead bodies.
A multi-shot flare gun that can set an enemy on fire. However, it does not fire very far.
Probably the originally planned SMG for the game. It cannot be spawned at all, as it was removed as a viewmodel. But NPCs can be seen using it, and it works like the Retail SMG. Interestingly, in the retail, the player can enter into the console the command "give weapon_citizenpackage" which gives the food packet seen carried in the Terminal to the player. The icon associated with it is the cut MP5K.
A second SMD. This one holds more rounds than the MP5K, with three-round bursts and automatic firing. It has no worldmodel.
This was re-used as an enemy weapon in Episode 2, also used occasionally by Alyx. It works as any Sniper Rifle would, and requires manual loading after a shot. It can zoom in on targets and kill them with one hit. Strangely enough, you can spawn the ammo in the retail with the command "give item_box_srounds", though it has an error texture.
Recycled into the AR2 Pulse Rifle, instead of having an energy ball secondary fire, it has a scope and fires grenades. It has severe recoil after five shots, but can be minimized by crouching. There is an unused bayonet texture for it as well.
An odd 'weapon' that consists of Gordon's arms holding onto various objects, such as rocks, Cremator heads, Headcrabs, and bottles. It is unfinished and likely a test weapon.
A basic fire extinguisher. It really puts out fires! Can also extinguish a flaming NPC. Removed for uselessness.
Shoots flares a very short distance. Can light up enemies. Ammo and the weapon itself can be found in pyrotechnic lockers in different maps. There is also a set of textures for a disembodied arm, belonging to a woman, holding a red flare.
The crowbar with a different model. Can be swung faster, but weaker.
Throw, and it smashes, spreading fire.
Has no animations or worldmodel, but can fire in different modes.
Appears as the pistol, but fires sticky pink blobs that explode with the secondary fire.
Same as in Half Life, this was recycled for Half life 2 Deathmatch.
An electric-powered Stun Stick. It was recycled and used by the Civil Patrol units, and later in spinoff games.
Several pieces of heavy artillery exist in the beta, most only as 'brush' models and unusable. However, like the Desert Launcher, some had impressive animations and could actually fire upon the player.
Several vehicles, most seen as brushes in the Beta, were cut. The only operatable one is the Jetski, that was phased out by the Airboat.
WC Mappack + Textures
There are hundreds of .VMF files in the WC Mappack, all at different stages of completion, with many duplicates. When run through Hammer, most maps can be compiled but will be missing textures and models. There are so many it's impossible to list them all here. The same situation is with the existing textures in game; there are dozens that never made it to retail.
E3 Demos + Early Storyline
In the beta are compiled maps used as technology demos at E3. In their native state, they are completely broken, but if edited in Hammer can be run without too much error. The folder also contains the original maps for the storyline, some complete, and others running into dead ends or crashing.
Just as the textures, there are dozens of sound files never used in the retail. Some include full conversations, and many have generic voices that were to be re-recorded later. Several conversations in the retail version were shortened from the beta.
|The Half-Life series|
|PC||Half-Life (Prototype) • Half-Life: Opposing Force • Half-Life: Blue Shift|
Half-Life 2 (Prototype, Episode One, Episode Two)