Dear Half-Life 2 Diary,
…at least I’m consistent. Just like every time I’ve started a real-life diary, I had great intentions. I was going to write something after every notable event! I was going to record every thought and experience, and save it to give to my imaginary future grandchildren when I’m 80. And just like every time I’ve started a real-life diary, I wrote a detailed first entry, wrote a belated second catch-up entry (complete with apologies for lateness), and then abandoned the project to occasionally remember it later with a twinge of guilt later.
But YOU, Half-Life 2 Diary, will be different! So I didn’t keep up with you. Cry me a river. I’m still going to bring some closure to this thing, chapter by chapter. Including the stuff we’ve already covered! You’re my diary; I can do what I want.
I enjoy harassing the Combine guards before they can do real damage to me. I hate City 17. I can’t figure out where I’m supposed to go. Help me, Gamefaqs! Thank the Combine that’s over with. Heeeey, Alyx! You’re pretty.
“A Red Letter Day”
Suit! Kleiner! Alyx! Barney, quit whining. Where’s that beer you were talking about, anyway? I don’t want to know what happened to the cat. Lamarr is adorable! I want a plush Lamarr. Shit, this isn’t going to end well, is it? A crowbar’s better than a beer anyway, Barney. I still can’t figure out where I’m supposed to go. Stupid trains.
Things are looking up! I get to kill bad guys! I have a pistol! I’m still a little iffy on directions, but I am starting to legitimately have fun. I don’t know what a Vortigaunt is, but the one I just met is nice. EURGH, I do not like those tongue-barnacle things! Gross! It is satisfying to shoot these Manhack thingies. Headcrabs are cute, but annoying. Headcrab zombies are kind of scary. A nice lady gave me an airboat!
This part’s going to suck, isn’t it? I can just tell. Wait…this is NOT sucking! This is awesome! I’m so fast, hahahahaha! I am a much better drunk airboat driver than I am drunk Mario Kart driver. Dodge dodge dodge! HA! Ran over a dude. What was he thinking, dropping down in front of me like that? Drunk Gordon Freeman don’t stop for nobody. I HAVE A BIG GUN NOW. Take THAT, helicopter! BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM! You are DEAD! I am the most badass—SHIT!! I just hit a red barrel and died.
*break for 4 days, definitely not drunk anymore*
Oh man. Where is this stupid switch. I went up there and pushed it and it didn’t do anything and now I have to go BACK up there and push it again. I hate everything. Gordon, why can’t you just jump over the damn logs already?! You did it fine when the gate was still closed! This is all your fault, Gordon. I hate you.
Black Mesa East
Hey cool! We made it! No thanks to you, Gordon. Whaddup, Eli! I do not like Dr. Mossman. She is a lousy suck-up. Alyx! Yes, let’s go play with the gravity gun. I like the gravity gun. I do not like having to stack things. I really like Dog! Uh oh, we’re under attack. Cave in! Crap. Guess I’ll take a little jaunt through Ravenholm after all! See you in a few, Alyx.
“We Don’t Go to Ravenholm”
Thiiiiiiis is scary. That is a set of legs hanging from a tree. There are lots of zombies. I tried to kill that guy on the balcony, but he turned out to be my friend. You are cool, Father Grigori! I DO NOT LIKE these horrible black headcrabs that poison me with neurotoxin! They aren’t even cute like normal headcrabs! I DO like flinging these sawblades at zombies with the gravity gun. Did you leave those there, Father Grigori? You are the best. This whole section is super scary, and I like it that way. Well, when I have ammo. I like shotguns. AAAAAAH, stop throwing headcrabs at me, zombie-man! Oh man, we’re going to team up now, Father Grigori? I’d run through a zombie-infested graveyard with you any day. So many headcrabs. Damn, this chapter is long. Snipers?! Eat my grenade. Safety at last! Hahahaha, I can’t believe I thought I had a chance of getting the gravity gun-only achievement at the beginning of Ravenholm. Hahahahahaha.
Way to drop a dune buggy on me, asshole! I do not like antlions. I do not like this dune buggy thing as much as I liked the airboat. I do not like this section. Oh cool, I’m going to team up and fight with refugees! Most of them died, but I finally killed that helicopter. Onward! Crane, crane, movin’ my buggy…another Hunter Chopper helicopter! It was much easier to take it down when I wasn’t worried about those poor refugees dying all around me. I changed my mind; I like this section a lot when I have some open highway to drive on. What’s this, up the hill? Crossbow? Let me try it—WHOA!! I love the crossbow! Whoooooa, this bridge stuff is nuts. Gordon, where did you learn to balance like that? Did you grow up in a circus like Razputin Aquato? Wait, crap; we fell off. My bad, Gordon.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME WE HAVE TO FIGHT A HUNTER CHOPPER FROM THE UNDERSIDE OF THIS BRIDGE THING?!!
This is…oddly exhilarating. HOLY CRAP, GORDON; we finally did it! We are the coolest. Let’s blow on outta this joint.
Aaagh, this tunnel is scary! Flashbacks to Ravenholm! Movin’ on, throwin’ mines, killin’ Combine, as you do. Hey there, refugees! I guess you can have my dune buggy. Ha-ha-ha, Hunter Chopper! I just killed one of you while balancing on bridge beams hundreds of feet above the ocean. You, my friend, are no thang. See ya, surviving refugees! Hippity hoppity, ANTLIONS! Sorry you had to die, refugee pal. You did call me an idiot. Yikes, this is tough. If an antlion does come out, he/she/it pushes you off the rock and summons more of its buddies. Slooooooow gooooooiiiiiiiing. Haha, I made it! Wait, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!! It got me in a corner. I died a bad death. OK, let’s try again. DODGE! DODGE! AAAAAAAH! I finally killed it. Cool! Pheropods. Nothing can stop us now, Gordon! We have an army of antlions! Muahahahahahaha! Die, Combine, die! Whooooa-kay, this two Hunter Choppers at once thing is new. Fortunately, I am a pro now. It still took about seven tries, but we DID IT, antlion buddies; we DID IT!! Hugs all around. Let’s go get Eli.
This part was fun. Much antlion-on-Combine carnage was witnessed. I noticed that there was an achievement for killing someone with a toilet, so I carried a toilet along with me for a ridiculous amount of time in case I couldn’t find another one once the killing started. Companion-toilet had to wait while I battled another antlion queen. I did finally get the achievement. You’d think some super science facility would have come up with a turret that’s harder to knock down.
Alyx! How did you get here? What are you wearing? You don’t have any safety gear! How do you do these things? I don’t know, but I love you. Let’s hug. Mossman! I knew she was a rat. Now we’re going to fight together, Alyx? OK! WAIT, ALYX, WAIT! DON’T DIE!! That…can never happen again. Stay back, Alyx; let me clear the room! Staying ahead of Alyx for her own good is stressful. She is not the hanging-back type. Yes, that’s a much better idea, Alyx! You open doors for me and I will kill the stuff. Hey, turrets! This is fun. I don’t have to shoot anything but a couple of manhacks! Movin’ on, movin’ on…oh look, another set-up-the-turrets section! This should be easy. This is NOT EASY. Holy crap. Would reeeeeeally appreciate those harder-to-knock-down turrets at this point, science. Did these Combine soldiers learn the knock-down-the-turrets tactic from me?
Aside: STOP TALKING TO ME, HONEY; KEEPING THESE DAMN TURRETS UP IS STRESSFUL! End aside.
Whew. Thanks for hustlin’ there, Alyx. Aaah, it’s OK; I forgive you. Haha, you rip that Mossman lady a new one, Alyx. Oh no! Ol’ Judy M. got away with Eli! Yikes, this fighting off people while you figure out how to teleport us out of here is insane. Aaaaand we’re off! This game is turning me into an adrenaline junkie.
Dog = AWESOME! I love you, Dog. Hey, people follow me! Let’s go kill some stuff. People, you need to take a lesson from Alyx’s death earlier and stay the hell behind me. I can take a lot more damage than you. I am just killing bad guys like a bad guy killing machine. Oh hey! Alyx again! A generator, you say? Certainly, I will protect you. STAY BACK, other freedom fighter people! I got this. We did it! Alyx, you just climbed a damn building. I love you. Oh no! They got Alyx! Run away! That sucks.
Snipers, ha! I know how to deal with your kind. I’ve got to rescue Barney? When is he ever going to get me a beer? Is there still beer in this awful future world? Is Barney a craft brewer when he’s not masquerading as a Combine security guard? That one sniper is being a pain. Heeheehee, but I have a rocket! Hi, Barney. Barney somehow never gets killed like Alyx and everybody else. How do you do that, Barney? Is it the beer? I am not good at rolling grenades where I want them to go. I am good at annihilating scores of Combine guards. Guys, give it up with the Hunter Choppers, they cannot stand against Gordon and me.
Striders! Dude, I hope this part is going to be quick. It’s really late, and I have a terrible headache.
Shit. It killed me. And again. And again.
Internet, you are a lying liar who lies. You told me it takes five rockets to kill a Strider, but that one took nine direct hits. NINE! I watched to make sure they all impacted. I finally killed the first two. By Wallace Breen’s mustache, please let this be a save point….it’s not. Crap. I only have 3 points of health, and I have to fight through some Combine. I will NOT die, I will NOT. Aaaaand somehow I didn’t. That was amazing. ANOTHER STRIDER?! You have GOT to be kidding me! [In hindsight: why didn't I just save and go to bed? I can't really say.] At least I have a handy hiding place from this one. Ugh, finally, you asshole Strider. My head is killing me. Aaargh, you freedom fighter people want me to lead you again, don’t you? I hate you all! DON’T follow Freeman! Freeman is tired of you following him! What the hell am I even doing? TWO MORE STRIDERS?!! And all these little Combine buttheads? I hate everything. I hate the whole world. I WILL kill these things before I go to sleep. This part would probably be cool if my head didn’t hurt, but it does and I hate it. FINALLY! What the hell, freedom people, what horse? I hate you guys, too. Ugh. OK, there’s the damn horse. Barney, quit bitching at Dog.
Pre-sleep: At least nobody’s shooting at me. I’m supposed to get on that thing? Gordon, are you an idiot? Oh well. This ride through the Citadel is pretty cool. Wait, they’re TAKING MY WEAPONS? No way; this is going to suck. Wait a second…it doesn’t suck at all! Why couldn’t the gravity gun always be like this? This is probably going to be really awesome, so I’m going to go to bed now so I can play it tomorrow and not hate it.
Post-sleep: OH MY ELI VANCE, THIS IS THE MOST FUN I HAVE EVER HAD! Hahahahaha, suck it, Combine! I’m up in your Citadel, tossin’ your soldiers! Why was I in such a bad mood last night? This is possibly the greatest thing that has happened to me in a video game. I feel as badass as I did when I jumped the Mako through the Mass Effect relay at the end of ME1. I love everything! I love Bethany for talking me into playing this game! I should sleep more often!
Dialogue, dialogue, no spoilers on my watch, except OH WAIT—Gordon and I are going to win everything! Oh Breen, it’s so cute and Bond-villainish how you think you still have a chance to stop me now. Just keep on talkin’ pal. Aaaand BOOM! Did it! We win! But everything’s blowing up! Hey Alyx, let’s make out…wait, WHAT?! G-Man, you are a real cock-block, you know that? We’ll just see about that, pal; I’ve got Episodes 1 and 2 waiting right here on this same game disc.
In summary, Half-Life 2 Diary, this game was amazing and I really enjoyed playing it once I gave myself a chance to acclimate to it a bit. Onward to Episodes 1 and 2!
Your affectionate author and Half-Life 2 loving convert,