Former Valve employee unveils what could have been Half-Life 2: Episode 3

Posted on August 26, 2017

Half-Life 2: Episode 3…you’re salivating aren’t you? The hairs on the back of your arms are on end? You’ve either been hit with a wave of euphoria or utter rage. For those unfamiliar with this phenomenon, Half-Life 2 and its episodic series has been the stuff of legend in modern gaming for almost a decade now.

Valve ended Episode 2, an extremely well received entry in the series, on a cliff hanger 10 years ago in 2007 and have been all quiet since. The wait for the third (and what many believe was the final) instalment in the series has been an exercise in the many stages of grief for most gamers. If you’re like most of us than you’ve finally landed on the last stage, acceptance — acceptance that this game just won’t come out.

Well the internet is all a buzz as former writer for Valve, Marc Laidlaw, who left in early 2016, has posted a fictional letter on his website that certainly hits all the key points it would need to be an overview of the the plot of Half-Life 2: Episode 3.

The letter speaks about Gertie Fremont, Elly Vaunt and Mrs X amongst others. While the names may not be exact matches it is not a reach to see that these characters are pseudonyms for Gordan Freeman, Alyx Vance and G-Man. This is based on their interactions and how the character Gertie describes the events of her previous letter, Epistle 2.

This kind of legal distance makes sense from Marc. Fan fiction isn’t illegal; but I’m sure Gabe Newell wouldn’t like the ex writer adding fuel to a flame he’d managed to almost snuff out.

It’s unclear how close this plot was to a final version of the game, whether this was just a draft or even just notes that were heading towards the beginning of a draft. What can be said with certainty is that fans were ecstatic with many commenting to his twitter that they can finally move on. Marc went on to add.

If you’re having any trouble getting onto the official letter based on “a snapshot of a dream” you can also read it on pastebin. For our convenience the reposter took it upon themselves to do some subtle “translating” of names for those that need help picturing Gertie Fremont taking down the enemy Disparate.

Valve have unfortunately been leaving fans feeling sour about the treatment of the much beloved series, which hasn’t been assisted by their companies recent announcements. If you’ve ever wished for any kind of closure on the series I can’t recommend this letter enough, but now I just have more questions about the relationship between Alex Vaunt and Mrs. X.