What G-Man keeps in his briefcase...

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?


  • thenichol1 - February 9, 2013 8:35 p.m.

    The cheats were not a "reference" to Quake. Half-Life 2 runs on the Source engine, which is a heavily modified version of the Goldsource engine, which was a heavily modified version of the Quake engine. There is therefore some Quake code left over in Half-Life 2. It's like a tower of duct tape.
  • Rivenscry - February 14, 2011 2:51 p.m.

    Is it sad that I actually knew some of these? No? Good. I'm a Half-Life geek and proud of it. A Halfian, if you will. Thanks Games Radar for your articles on Valve's best series. But why does everyone give the Orange Box a 9.5 or lower?
  • bigkriem - December 24, 2009 8:20 p.m.

  • breadlord - September 3, 2008 8:37 p.m.

    Oh you missed one, During the portal end fight, the blue orb is saying what i believe is the cake recipe. I heard something like 2 tsp of chocolate
  • cog114 - September 1, 2008 8:15 a.m.

    i agree
  • johnsteven - September 1, 2008 7:05 a.m.

    mind blowing!!!!!!!!!!!
  • jackf-11 - June 22, 2009 6:50 p.m.

    You messed up on the part about Dr. Kleiner, he's on the cover of the fictional magazine, Popular Scientist.
  • disturbedanomaly36 - June 17, 2009 11:49 p.m.

    i found somthing that wasnt mentioned. if you the noclip cheat and go into the projector room, there are a couple of clipboards, a few of them discussing Gordon's HEV suit. Unfortunatly, the only words that were readable were the words "Hazardous Enviroment Suit" and nothing else but this certanly proves that Aperture will be the new Black Mesa seeing how it got blown up in Opposing force if i remember correctly
  • ChocoMongoose - June 17, 2009 4:25 a.m.

    I went to the Apeture website and after going through the login found a Christmas vault with the cake and Companion Cube and still alive hymn music kinda creeped me out
  • Kleptzilla - June 16, 2009 4:03 p.m.

    Another random thing about Portal: after you escape, on the wall of one of the side rooms, you can see a picture of a "little, good jellyfish", and more famously, in a different room is the "big, bad jellyfish".

Showing 1-10 of 10 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000