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Oct 19, 2007
Huzzah! The Orange Box is released today (It's already out in the US), bringing what's perhaps the best videogame series ever conceived to Xbox 360 (and PlayStation 3, eventually) bundled along with one of the greatest multiplayer mashups and the world's first perfect game.
Given that Gordon Freeman's only made one visit to consoleland, with Half-Life on Xbox and PS2, we thought living-room gamers might need to catch up. Much of the info contained in this article is only gleaned by series-loving geeks who know their way around a 'console' - the drop down dev interface available on PC. So you know your average consumer won't be wise to, say, the contents of G-Man's briefcase.
Ever sensitive to your needs, we've gathered together the geekiest titbits of info and explored the often overlooked corners of the Half-Life series. You can expect spoilers, of course. As a Vortigant doing an impression of Yoda probably wouldn't say: "Embrace the geekdom, you must"...
"Did you know there's a reference to The Shining?"
That's right, Stephen King's masterpiece is aptly referenced in the original Half-Life - aptly because Half-Life's narrative itself was reportedly inspired by King's style. A scientist lies dead in a smear of blood. And a number is just visible, 247, echoing the fateful room number in The Shining's haunted hotel.
"The G-Man carries three pencils around in his briefcase"
Using the 'no-clip' cheat, your able geek can discover many things otherwise left unseen. Such as the inside of the G-Man's case, which contains three pencils, two sheets of paper, a handgun, his identity card and a portable computer. He's quite strong for someone with arms like pipe-cleaners, don't you think?
"The Blue Screen of Death caused the Black Mesa disaster"
Your first steps into the lab, after the monorail journey, take you past a Barney working at a computer. Well, he would be working. But look closely and you'll see Black Mesa's PCs have suffered what all computer users fear - the Blue Screen of Death! Is Microsoft actually the G-Man?
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