Half Life 2: The Orange Box
Is a Half-Life Sequel Reveal Being Teased in Valve's Portal 2 ARG?
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It will have been a helluva long time coming if Valve finally decides to reveal the next chapter in the Half-Life saga soon, which if a number of clues prove to be any kind of indication, could be on the cards in the very near future. Games Radar have managed to gather a number of clues regarding a potential Half-Life reveal, starting with a strange morse code message.

Said beeping message came from the latest unofficial Steamcast podcast, which the hosts claim to have had no prior knowledge of. It could be that they're either starting their very own Half-Life teasing hoax or they could be working with Valve to generate some Gordon Freeman-related buzz in preparation for a reveal. A bit of a stretch perhaps, but it's nice to be optimistic about these things.

The morse code message, when translated, reads: "It’s not over. The others have been compromised"

What this could mean is anyone's guess, but it's speculated that it could mean one of several things. Perhaps it's indicating yet more ARG-related insanity, more revelations and possibly more clues in Portal 2. Furthermore, the Portal 2 ARG (Alternate Reality Game) site has been sent a message from Valve, in the guise of an Aperture Science internal memo. It reads thusly:


1. We designed the entire thing to be very, very durable. It was easy to get the materials since everyone’s been thinking it’s a simple icebreaker ship. Ha.

2. We have made sure to strip it of anything not necessary, so that we have plenty of space for it. It doesn’t have any backup supplies in the event the crew runs out of food, though. And there isn’t much food onboard in the first place.

3. In the event you need to send it off all of a sudden, use the OR box with code ‘hb1′.

That’s all, C.J. Not much else I can tell you other than this won’t leave a blight on our record. Mesa is going to be sore when they see what we’ve done."

C.J. is obviously referring to Aperture Science CEO Cave Johnson, while the icebreaker ship in question must be the lost vessel known as 'The Borealis', which Alyx and Gordon Freeman have to race to locate before the Combine track it down and exploit its technology. And the reference to Mesa is a nod to Aperture's long-standing and well-documented rivalry with the Black Mesa Institute from the Half-Life universe.

And finally, could "the OR box with code 'hb1'" be some sort of clue that Valve is planning to patch some teasers into the Orange Box? Valve has done this kind of thing before, so it's not beyond the realms of possibility. With the Portal 2 ARG, the morse code message, email from Valve and so on, it's all a rich tapestry of clues. Could they all be pointing to the next Half-Life? Goodness knows that Valve is smart enough to pull off an elaborate ploy like this. We can only hope...


User Comments

Forum Posts: 512
Comment #2 by ImmortalArbiter
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:10:40 AM
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I really hope so! Episode 2 was amazing, but it's been too long since we've been put in the role of Gordan Freeman. Besides, I'm sure we've all been waiting to get our revenge on the Combine after that ending!

Forum Posts: 39
Comment #3 by tommies1
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:13:09 AM
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DAMN! i want Half-Life!
What do you think Dan?

Forum Posts: 20765
Comment #4 by Barad
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:18:57 AM
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I never played the Orange Box but I wanna try it, need to get my hands on Portal 2 first!

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #5 by antiOrchid
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:22:00 AM
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It's sounds so far fetched that it's perfectly possible especially for Valve :)

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #6 by CalmedFury
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:22:02 AM
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I liked the Orange Box but didn't really get into the Half Life portion of it. Mainly played it for Portal and TF2.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #7 by Havoc 654
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:22:23 AM
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Half-Life 3 or Episode 3. Either way its going to be awesome!

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #8 by Vandiloo
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:24:01 AM
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I wish they would stop screwing around with everything else they are doing and make Half Life 3 already! So lets hope this is it!

Forum Posts: 1414
Comment #9 by Vindicator51
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:34:52 AM
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Hell, it's about time! we need episode 3, or maybe Half Life 3.

Forum Posts: 109
Comment #10 by DugDigger
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:37:04 AM
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Valve does a great job with marketing and generating buzz! Here's hoping for an announcement in the near future!

Forum Posts: 3252
Comment #11 by EliteShadowMan
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:43:20 AM
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So theere was 2 Left 4 Dead games, now 2 portal games, and weekly/monthly updates for TF2, and yet they couldn't at least reveal something sooner? Makes no sense if it's just going to be another Episode since the episodes are way too short. Either way come on and release a trailer valve!

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #12 by S q u e e t l e
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 07:57:21 AM
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If you take a good look at Portal 2, you'll notice the update in gfx...
Does this mean that Portal 2 is using a premature new Source engine?
I hope they've been working on a new engine and that they will blow us
all away like with a teaser for HL³! The Freeman will reign supreme soon, believe my words for it! I cannot wait to get my hands on Portal 2 and
learn more about the Borealis..............

Forum Posts: 250
Comment #13 by Fang Foom
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:04:26 AM
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I love Half life and a new one would be long overdue.

"Be Adequate"

Forum Posts: 78
Comment #14 by The Horror
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:09:00 AM
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I find it rather amusing when people say they can't wait for the next installment of Half-Life to be released when they haven't even played the first game or Opposing Force or Blue Shift. It would be nice to find some others on here that have been a fan since 1998 like myself.

I've been waiting patiently for this and I'm sure it will live up to all my expectations.

By the way, it's Black Mesa Research Facility, not Black Mesa Institute.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #15 by Jleek1992
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:12:31 AM
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This sounds awesome! really really good news can't wait.

Forum Posts: 250
Comment #16 by Fang Foom
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:12:49 AM
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@14 well your holyness, I've played the original and was a fan as soon as it came out. Didn't get the chance to play all the add ons. Doesn't meant I'm not a true fan though...

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #17 by ViciousBanshee
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:17:27 AM
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About sweet time! I want Half Life 3, already! :D

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #18 by Rogue Gamer 23
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:26:16 AM
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hell yeah this better be the next chapter play the xbox 360 version of half life 2 and fall in love with it.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #19 by trockcrazy
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:26:53 AM
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im playing portal 2 now, muhahahahah, : )

Forum Posts: 1720
Comment #20 by UNDERWALLY
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:28:09 AM
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I've been waiting for Epiaode 3 for a lon long long time. Im going to rent Portal 2 tomorrow modrning. I know there will be an HL: Ep 3 announcement there

Forum Posts: 78
Comment #21 by The Horror
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:33:31 AM
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@16 I wasn't trying to be holier than thou, so you can cut that shit out.
"didn't get the chance to play all the add ons" so you have no money to purchase them now and play them? There will always be a chance to play them, unless they somehow magically disappear. Plus, I didn't say you had to play all of them, hence the OR instead of AND, also nothing was mentioned about being a true fan. I think maybe you just need to grow up and think before you start rambling.

Forum Posts: 288
Comment #22 by ONI recon 111
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:45:13 AM
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@19 lucky you, i have to wait till friday :(

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #23 by trockcrazy
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:49:31 AM
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@22 too bad, well, it's worth waiting for in my opinion :)

Forum Posts: 250
Comment #24 by Fang Foom
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 08:54:20 AM
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@21 Yeah sorry I did sound like a total dick in that post and re-reading your post, it wasn't as rude as I first took it.

Forum Posts: 78
Comment #25 by The Horror
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 09:04:01 AM
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@24 Cheers, I appreciate that and apology accepted. I'm sorry too if it initially seemed like I was being a twat and offended you, I'm aware I can come across as a bit cocky every now and then, though it's never intended. It's just I'm a big fan of Half-Life and can get a bit protective of it. Anyway, it's good to know that you obviously are mature and have excellent taste in games :)

Forum Posts: 57
Comment #26 by RIIIPPER
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 09:14:07 AM
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Sounds like a fun way to get everyone hyped up over it! :)

Forum Posts: 540
Comment #27 by ErmacVersion1
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 09:19:25 AM
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Portal gun in HLE3? YES PLEASE!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #28 by rstephengraves
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 09:49:37 AM
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portal gun is going to make this shxt crazy fun!

Forum Posts: 46
Comment #29 by bio187
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 10:13:22 AM
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OT Even though i love the thought, if they were to announce something,it would still be a decent amount of time before we got our hands on it.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #30 by Spartan375x
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 10:21:12 AM
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Have a Po2talgasm!

Forum Posts: 298
Comment #31 by ViNyLek
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 10:25:14 AM
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Wow! I did not know I love HL so much until I experienced goose bumps while reading all of the above. Considering I can not fucking wait - like most of you said - it's been too fucking long to take revenge for what they did to Eli!!

Forum Posts: 1757
Comment #32 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 10:29:08 AM
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Half Life 2 didn't grip me as well as it should. Seemed to start off good but I kept getting lost which kind of killed it for me. Amazing set pieces and great narrative but just didn't strike my fancy bell. More Portal on the other hand, I'd take as much of it that's thrown at me.

Forum Posts: 48
Comment #33 by Pazuzu91
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 10:43:59 AM
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i want team fortress to be a stand alone game

Forum Posts: 659
Comment #34 by Blueprotoss
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 11:00:39 AM
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I'm hoping that Episode 3 will be coming out soon.

Forum Posts: 19
Comment #35 by wickedclowns95
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 11:20:54 AM
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@4 Go play the first Portal before you play Portal 2. Do it now, your time is precious little!!!

Forum Posts: 1439
Comment #36 by Auburok
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 11:43:42 AM
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@33 Unfortunately, you're forced to play on Steam if you just want Team Fortress 2. I think Valve's given up on patching TF2 on 360 as well, given the huge amount of new content.

Forum Posts: 337
Comment #37 by Phenoviral
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 11:44:46 AM
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So, what, you can't look forward to Episode 3 if you haven't played add-on packs for the first game?

Get off your high-horse, sir. >_>

Forum Posts: 1757
Comment #38 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 12:24:59 PM
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@ 14 - Have to agree with #37. People can't just enjoy a game for being a game? I've jumped into games on Part 2's or 3's b/c the original didn't interest me at first/at all. Half Life 2 was cool. I never played Half Life 1 and really have no interest as well. As I said too, I didn't adapt too well to HL2 so i won't be looking forward to HL3. It's called personal preference and you really shouldn't give a shit one way or the other about someones opinion on a game and their interest in it. It has nothing to do with your personal preference so let the person enjoy the game for what THEY want to.

Forum Posts: 1439
Comment #39 by Auburok
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 12:57:21 PM
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Oh, for anyone interested in crackpot theories on this, go to

There's a thread full of people trying to figure this out. Most people think that the OR box is an override box in Portal 2, and "hb1" is the code to use.

Forum Posts: 226
Comment #40 by Vault Lad
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 02:18:04 PM
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They directly referenced the Borealis.

Isn't this kind of a given?

I hope so anyway.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #41 by Drjimbo32
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 05:00:36 PM
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@18 English much?

Half Life is a great series, hoping Half Life 3 will be revealed!

Forum Posts: 25
Comment #42 by Beechbone
Monday, April 18, 2011 @ 10:45:55 PM
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I don't know about it. A year ago the hype was skyrocking to the top with anticipation of possible HL sequel reveal at E3... and it turned out to be just the info about "hey, we're doing Portal 2 also on PS3, y'know". I don't get my hopes up. On the other hand, if they are to announce anything HL related, there's no better time than launch of their brand new game (Portal 2) with E3 just around the corner.

Forum Posts: 178
Comment #43 by Blue Thunder28
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 05:27:51 AM
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This better be true or else.

Forum Posts: 78
Comment #44 by The Horror
Saturday, April 23, 2011 @ 07:04:10 AM
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People who gave thumbs down to my comments are clearly delinquent children who don't know anything about Half-Life or care for it as much as I do. As for 37 and 38 (especially 38) you are a couple of mindless hypocritical imbeciles who obviously don't know what you're talking about, thanks for making me laugh though. Now run along and grow up.

Forum Posts: 226
Comment #45 by Vault Lad
Saturday, April 23, 2011 @ 10:39:45 PM
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@44 Jesus, what?

Forum Posts: 337
Comment #46 by Phenoviral
Monday, April 25, 2011 @ 05:07:58 PM
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Or.. maybe we don't like the fact that, regardless of whether or not you're actually making a xorrect point, you're being an arrogant dick about it?

The fact that I didn't make two related points of my own to actually be able contradict each other negates my ability to be a hypocrite based on my above comment, so I don't really know what you're on about.

Ordinarily, I'd dismiss you as one of those annoying "I'm better than you, grow up, you're making me laugh" trolls at this point. Though the fact that people have seemingly agreed with you (based on the comment ratings) leads me to ask; could you please point to where I've actually said something imbecilic?

Forum Posts: 2006
Comment #47 by XoNiNjAlEoNoX
Thursday, May 26, 2011 @ 02:57:12 PM
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There won't be a sequel because the voice actor of Gordon Freeman is dead :(

Forum Posts: 7120
Comment #48 by Opiate42
Monday, June 20, 2011 @ 01:12:07 PM
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I would be so happy I will cry.

Forum Posts: 112
Comment #49 by NinjaHamster24
Tuesday, September 06, 2011 @ 10:39:06 PM
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Gordon never talks??....

Forum Posts: 112
Comment #50 by NinjaHamster24
Tuesday, September 06, 2011 @ 10:40:10 PM
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sorry I meant #47 not 48 lol

Forum Posts: 53
Comment #51 by Wheatley101UK
Sunday, September 18, 2011 @ 06:26:23 AM
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Firstly, dont get me wrong - in my opinion Valve are the 2nd best developer on the planet (behind Bethesda) but i feel like they're starting to take the piss with this whole HL3/HL2: Ep3 situation. Come to think of it they've been taking the piss for years now.

They shouldnt make a reported HL2 Episode trilogy and leave us with no ending to it.

I can see that letting the consumer stew for a bit makes us want it more but its not funny any longer - release HL2: Ep3 already Valve!

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #52 by CaptainMustardo
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 @ 12:38:53 AM
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Maybe they will incorporate the portal gun in some form into half life 3. Drool.

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