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...


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Game Info
Electronic Arts


US October 10, 2007

Resolution: 1080i
Sound: Dolby 5.1 Surround
Players: 1
Online Players : 2-16
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