Hidden references and world-building secrets galore.
Valve’s debut VR experience is chock full of hidden secrets just aching to be discovered. So for the sake of simplicity, we’ll be discussing just five of our favorites discovered so far.
Number One: The Location of City 17
The first 10 minutes of Half-Life: Alyx is ripe with world-building Easter eggs, the most telling of which an old school globe location inside Alyx’s makeshift base. Drawn on the globe is a series of markings confirming City 17’s location to be somewhere in Russia. Turn the globe over and you’ll uncover additional information regarding the fate of North America. Spoiler alert: it’s not good. Based on the giant black X carved over the continent and the lines pointing towards Easter Europe, it appears as though North America has been abandoned, no doubt a result of the 7-Hour war in which Combine forces conquered the entirety of Earth in, you guessed it, 7-hours.
Number Two: Baby Dog
Those familiar with Half-Life: 2 will remember Alyx’s trusty mechanical canine, Dog. Given to Alyx as a child by her father as an additional means of protection, Dog would go on to play a pivotal role later on in the series. Turns out, however, Dog wasn’t always a hulking robotic beast. Further exploration of Alyx’s base will reveal a clipboard featuring several early designs for Alyx’s mechanical friend. On one of the shelves, you can also find a photo of Baby Dog prior to his upgrades and modifications. I mean, come on Valve, that’s just straight-up adorable.
Number Three: Alyx’s Pet
Before we move on from Alyx’s base, there’s one more easter egg you’ll definitely want to check out. On one of the end tables located near the aforementioned globe, you may have already noticed the small jar housing a single Snark, a tiny alien creature featured in the original Half-Life. He’ll follow your movements if you get close and react if you tap on the glass, but did you know you can actually feed the little bugger too? Adjacent to the jar is a can labeled “Not Coffee” which you can use to feed your tiny friend. A small, but surprisingly wholesome moment; especially when you consider the fate of the other smaller aliens in Half-Life: Alyx…
Number Four: Team Fortress 2 Scout Figurine
Though Valve made its name with Half-Life, the legendary company is responsible for a whole slew of genre-defining titles, including Team Fortress. Under one of the computer monitors in Russel’s lab, you can find a small figurine oddly reminiscent of the Scout character from the popular team-based shooter. You can even unlock an achievement if you use it as a marker on Russel’s map. The figurine makes a second appearance later in the game hidden behind a shelf.
Number Five: Bridge from Death Stranding
Who doesn’t love a little cross-promotion in their AAA releases? While exploring through the abandoned zoo portion of the game, you can spot a box stacked in corner featuring the logo for Bridge, a fictional company featured in Hideo Kojima’s 2019 action game, Death Stranding. Earlier this month Valve announced a Half-Life crossover in celebration of Death Stranding’s upcoming PC launch, so it makes sense Valve would want to include a little bit of Death Stranding in its own release.
And there you have it! Again these were just five our favorite easter eggs discovered so far. Players have already discovered dozens of hidden secrets scattered throughout the game, with more being discovered every day. In fact, we’d love to hear from you! What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below and perhaps we’ll do a follow-up video!
Feature Image Credit: Valve Software