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Freeman's Mind doesn't just have the eponymous character, but his perception of those around him.

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Black Mesa employees/Resistance members

    Gordon Freeman 

Gordon Freeman

"I know it's obvious that I'm a genius, but is everyone else really this stupid?"

A rambling, narcissistic, somewhat maladjusted physicist, Gordon finds himself most unwillingly thrust into the role of saving Black Mesa and Earth, even though all he wants is to go home and drink.


  • Accidental Hero:
    • Gordon makes his way through the facility, killing troops and setting up things to end the Resonance Cascade, solely out of either ignorance or the belief that his actions will eventually allow him to escape. In fact, he explicitly rejects helping intentionally at every turn, because it's not his job. The one exception is in the Lambda Core episodes, where he actually does proactively try to stop the nuclear reactor from melting down and is very angry that no one else is taking it seriously given the potential ecological disaster they have on their hands.
    • On his forums, Ross justified this by saying that Freeman isn't just being selfish when he refuses to save the world: rather, he's genuinely convinced that he'd be subpar at the job. Freeman espouses this sentiment himself in episode 63 when he wonders why the hell the scientists said he was "the last hope" when they clearly had several other suits and guards ready to go, not to mention the U.S. military being on the scene.
      Ross: Freeman hasn't had ANY briefing on this, the Lambda labs were outside his security clearance. While I gloss over it for the sake of the series, Freeman would be extremely weak at this point having exhausted adrenaline, doing strenuous physical activity, and barely having any food for two days. He's not qualified for this at all aside from being a tenacious survivor. While he doesn't have faith in the military or the Black Mesa staff, I don't think I've suggested Freeman considers the entire globe to be incompetent. Freeman has no evidence this isn't a localized event confined to Black Mesa aside from one scientist saying otherwise. Keep in mind, these scientists also claimed they had to "seal off" the area when aliens were clearly teleporting inside. Freeman doesn't trust these people, but he's hoping they can teleport him AWAY FROM BLACK MESA since all hell has been broken loose, he suspects it could get nuked, and he's still lost and hungry. Even if they are telling the truth, he's in no condition to handle this and figures there would be better people for the job. I mean everybody's commenting on how selfish he is, but in this scenario, they're asking an awful lot and not telling him much at all.
    • Gordon lampshades it in the tenth episode of Freeman's Mind 2 that the higher ups tend to ignore all the miracles that lead to Freeman getting out of Black Mesa alive so they keep throwing him in more dangerous mission hoping he works his magic.
  • Adaptational Villainy: From what little characterization we get from the real Freeman, this one is much more of a jerk and has a few petty crimes on his record before he joined Black Mesa.
  • Adorkable: From his constant pop culture references to his incredibly awkward interactions with others, he's about as awkwardly cute as an Ax-Crazy Jerkass can get.
  • The Alcoholic: Gordon often brings up his taste for alcohol through the series; he comes to work after having two shots of vodka for breakfast, talks about how he's going to get way more drunk than usual when he seems to find a way out, and begins to wonder if he's hallucinating alien worms as part of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: The episode descriptions call him a "neurotic individual", which... may be putting it mildly. Judging from his frequent delusions and antipathy towards others, he most likely has paranoid schizophrenia and some form of antisocial personality disorder at the very least, compounded by his many drug addictions and all the trauma he's accumulated throughout the Black Mesa Incident.
  • Angrish: Gordon tends to fall into senseless angry shouting when at his most frustrated. One particularly strong one happens at the beginning of episode 39.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: It's common for Freeman to be ranting about something or other, only to cut himself off with "Hey, what's this do?" and fiddle with whatever button catches his eye. Taken Up to Eleven when he's on morphine; he gets distracted by a massive control panel. Twice.
    Gordon: Buttons!
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Gordon gets more and more crazy as episodes go on. For example, in Episode 15, he comments on how fun it was to shoot aliens, and in episode 24, he thinks about decapitating an injured security guard and using his intestines as rope, but decides against it because it would be too slippery (and gross).
    • Episode 66 gives a good instance of this when after he get's shocked by a vortigaunt, he decides he's had enough with the aliens.
      Gordon: STEP RIGHT UP! [launches several grenades from grenade launcher at some alien grunts] NICE CATCH! [launches another grenade and then fires a few SMG rounds] NOW DON'T CROWD! [hit by hivehand round] AHH! [takes cover and reloads before firing a grenade round] THIS MUST BE THE MEAT STORAGE FACILITY! DON'T WORRY WE'LL FILL IT UP!
  • Badass Beard:
    • Freeman constantly rants about how awesome his beard is, and how no one else has any style and how everyone looks the same.
      Gordon: Does my beard intimidate you?
    • Though once the military invades and is out for him personally, he starts to regret having a beard somewhat since it makes him instantly recognizable.
      Gordon: If I had went with that stupid Einstein Hair, they wouldn't be able to pick me out of a lineup!
  • Badass Bookworm: Gordon makes no bones about his education; he's a graduate of MIT, and among other things he tells a bunch of enemy soldiers that his diploma is more valuable than their life. At the same time, he mocks his fellow scientists for not being as fit as him.
    Gordon: I'm a physics-crunching badass. I'm the complete package.
  • Badass Boast: Plenty of times.
    Gordon: I have a doctor's degree!
    Gordon: [while fighting ninjas] I chase electron orbits, you think I can't find you?!
    Gordon: See, this is why I'm such a good theoretical physicist. I solve problems that shouldn't even exist to begin with.
    Gordon: Yeah, feel the sting of Defense Department funding! I don't know what this gun is, but it's VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE!
  • Berserk Button:
    • Gordon hates cockroaches. And locked doors. And dead ends. And aliens or soldiers interrupting his train of thought.
      Gordon: Okay children, Class is in session! Everyone take your seats! I said everyone take your seats! Dammit, Billy, that means you too! Take your seats!
    • Freeman seems to have a special hatred for Bullsquids, since he gets angry at them more often than the other species and has particularly nasty nicknames for them (Cthulhu Dog, Snot Monster, Snot Rag, Snot Freak...). Their persistent tendency to spit in his face might have something to do with it.
    • He also doesn't take kindly to people insulting his education or intelligence, as evidenced by him leaving the jerk scientist in episode 41 to die and his reaction to Barney's snarky comment on Gordon flipping the switch on the teleporter in the second game.
  • Born Lucky: Gordon comments on his seemingly improbable luck several times.
    • When he somehow blows up a Bradley with an MP5.
      Gordon: You can't buy luck like that. You just have to be me.
    • After just avoiding getting his brain splattered by a sniper.
    • After shooting down an attack helicopter with an MP5. Even he's surprised by that one. Ross didn't actually intend to do it, but the health for the thing was lower than he thought.
    • Finding a rocket launcher right before another attack helicopter shows up. This is what gets him to revise his stance that the universe wants to kill him, because if that were true, it would've just let the chopper shred him rather than giving him the means to destroy it.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his ramblings, Gordon's monologue does show that he is genuinely intelligent, and knows a lot about advanced science. Ross has stated that his intention was to make Gordon seem as invaluable to Black Mesa as possible to justify how he can be such a dick and not get fired for it.
    Random Scientist: Do you know who ate all the donuts?
    Gordon: NO! Do you know if leptons are really compound particles?! Friggin' donuts...

    Gordon: Those monkeys in there are having trouble learning about gravity. Whereas I can recite the quantum chromodynamic gauge-invariant Lagrangian in my sleep!
  • Casanova Wannabe:
    • By his own admission (though without any air of self awareness), a lot of dates he goes on end with him getting tasered ("It's not as bad as pepper spray though, I hate pepper spray."). He also makes reference to repeatedly hitting on a girl named Heather and failing, and theorizes he probably ended up in a trash compactor since she threw him in there.
      Gordon: [unleashing his rage on some Vortigaunts] THAT IS IT! I AM SICK OF GETTING ELECTROCUTED OVER AND OVER! Even on my worst dates I never got shocked this much!
    • When he winds up in City 17 with no money or identification, he decides to charm the first woman he finds, who refuses to talk in public.
      Gordon: What the hell? Desperate women love me!
  • Catchphrase: Multiple.
    Gordon: I HAVE A DOCTOR'S DEGREE!
    Gordon: I should've been a(n) X.
    Gordon: Is someone following me?
  • Character Development: Over the course of the series, Freeman slowly evolves from a Non-Action Guy into a gun-toting badass who has Seen It All. Best exemplified by his reactions to dangerous situations - in the beginning he has a minor Freak Out! about the mere presence of aliens in the facility, whereas by the time he encounters his first battle tank he barely even seems to notice it.
  • Character Tics: When he's nervous, has a tendency to lapse into technobabble, basically spouting science as a Survival Mantra.
  • The Chew Toy: Gordon. Half the fun of the series is seeing how freaked out he will get the next time he sees a giant alien or another new obstacle courtesy of the HECU. He compares himself to Rasputin in the sense that he's been shot, burned, almost drowned, bit, lacerated, electrocuted, etc...
  • Clothes Make the Superman:
    • Freeman's HEV suit, of course. Even more so than in canon Half-Life. The suit makes him more or less immune to all of the aliens' projectiles in season 1 (thornets, ball lightning, electric beams, poison spit, etc.), pistol rounds, shotgun shells, and low level shrapnel, on top of being highly resistant against rifle fire, which is what has helped him survive so many encounters. However, it doesn't go to the point where it trivializes Freeman's own accomplishments, as many of the threats he encounters (heavy machine gun nests, artillery positions, soldiers with grenade launchers, mines, attack helicopters, giant alien monsters, aliens with absurd levels of strength in melee range, etc.) are more than capable of getting through it. He says at one point that he would have stolen it a long time ago if he knew how useful it was.
    • Sometimes, such as in the Blast Pit, Gonarch, and Residue Processing episodes, it's inverted. In those cases, the suit doesn't actually offer any relevant protection, either because he never gets hit by "small" threats or because what he's facing would kill him dead regardless of whether or not he's wearing the suit. It just weighs him down enough to inhibit his ability to dodge and jump.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Gordon is a total loon, even before the whole mess went down.
    Gordon: I am Captain Gordon Freeman of the Intergalactic House of Pancakes ordering you to open!
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like:
    • When Barney saves him from being shipped off to Nova Prospekt, Gordon mostly complains about Barney not giving him directions to Kleiner's place, oblivious to the danger he was in.
    • When Alyx saves him after he's cornered and knocked out by Civil Protection, Gordon is initially impressed that she took down five cops, but immediately bemoans the fact that she disposed of their weapons and notes that the cops are only going to be that much more persistent now that five of their own are dead.
  • Cop Killer: He is not exactly thrilled by it but he guns down Civil Protection when they are coming at him.
  • Covered in Gunge: Gordon ends up coated in blood, meat chunks, sewage, projectile alien mucus, and who knows what else on his journey through Black Mesa. He has a few chances to wash it off, but usually ends up with a new layer shortly afterward.
    Freeman: I've got more blood on me than an axe murderer. I'd be arrested if I were to approach a child looking like this.
  • Crazy-Prepared: After realizing his bank accounts are probably frozen, Gordon mentions getting back to Massachusetts to find the 10,000 dollars in gold he has buried in Harold Park State Forest that he hid precisely for a situation like this.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite his oafishness and blundering, he can prove surprisingly competent when actually confronted with things that can kill him.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right:
    • In the first episode, as Gordon gets off the train, he looks back down the tracks asking "Is someone following me?" While this, at first, comes across just as him being paranoid, if one considers the actual events of Half-Life, the G-Man is following Gordon. Throughout all of the events that have happened to him so far.
    • Apparently, Gordon had been paranoid about alien invasions and government conspiracies even before he worked at Black Mesa.
    • When he finds the rocket launcher, he comes to the conclusion that he's a pawn in a game between cosmic forces - half that want him dead and half that want him to succeed. This is exactly what's revealed to be happening later in the series.
    • Gordon is convinced that the CEO of Black Mesa is a James Bond villain. The administrator, Dr. Breen, turns out to fit the part, although Gordon doesn't remember him.
    • During his sojurn into Uplink, he theorizes that the military is going to get killed along with the scientists as part of the cover-up. Opposing Force reveals that this is exactly what the Black Ops (which he calls ninjas) are there for (although Freeman thinks that this is the cause of all the Unfriendly Fire between the HECU marines).
    • In season 2 he theorizes that the Gas Mask Mooks he's fighting are being mind-controlled by the same aliens who took over the Earth, using cybernetics. He's correct, though ironically, the mooks he says that about are Civil Protection officers, the only members of the Combine Overwatch who aren't cybernetically modified.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gordon of course. Between the architectural death traps, aliens, soldiers, and absolute stupidity from everyone involved, Gordon brings plenty of snarking to the table.
  • Ditzy Genius: Gordon is legitimately intelligent, knows much about theoretical physics, and speaks five languages. He just has a lot of weird quirks.
  • Dented Iron: While he mostly either shrugs off weak attacks thanks to his armor or dodges stronger ones altogether, sometimes it's made clear that he is accumulating damage. Examples in season 1 include part of his ear being shot off by a turret gun in episode 9, another turret's gunfire leaving him bruised under his armor in episode 12 ("This is worse than paintball!"), a sniper putting a big pockmark in his suit and leaving a welt on the skin under it in episode 31, and his statement in episode 66 that, even though his suit protects him from lethal amps, he probably has nerve damage after being shocked so many times by the Vortigaunts.
    • In season 2, episode 5, he comes very close to being killed by a barnacle of all things. The experience leaves him clutching his nearly-broken neck and then puking on the floor. He also mentions he's suffering hearing loss from all the times he's used firearms in enclosed spaces.
  • Doom Magnet: Freeman's companions tend to die, though some are lucky enough to "only" get injured or stranded.
  • Driven to Madness:
    • In the beginning of Episode 17, an exhausted Gordon becomes frustrated with the monsters for not answering his questions. At the end of the episode, in an unconnected rant, he questions whether he's already insane and imagining it all, then goes on about the unimaginable psychological torment he's going to endure later in life.
    • [Hurling a grenade at a wall of explosive crates] "I HAVE TO BLOW EVERYTHING UP! IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO PROVE I'M NOT CRAZY!!"
    • In episode 24, he thinks about decapitating an injured security guard and using his intestines as rope, but later decides against it because he figured the intestines would be too slippery (and it'd be gross).
    • In Episode 25, he's hearing voices of the damned. note 
    • He spends the entirety of Episode 27 talking like a pirate for no reason. note 
    • In Episode 29 he starts howling like a wolf for no reason when he sees the full moon outside.
      Gordon: [clears throat] AROOOOOOOOOOOOOOO- wait, what the hell am I doing?
    • In Episode 39, he decides that everyone in the world is out to kill him, and thus he should kill everyone in the world. While he's said things like this before, he puts his money where his mouth is by killing a friendly security guard without a second thought after he let a hostile marine run right past him to attack Gordon, and shooting all marines on sight. His "kill everyone" policy doesn't last for long, though; at least as far as friendlies are concerned.
      Gordon: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, EVERYONE DIES!
  • Driven to Suicide: Played for Laughs when Gordon finds himself trapped in an alien dimension with no way home in Episode 62:
    Gordon: Okay, I guess I'll make my way to the big thing, then... blow my brains out, I don't know...
  • Dull Surprise: Intentionally done for comedy when Freeman unknowingly launches the required satellites into orbit to end the Resonance Cascade, and mistakes it for an ICBM:
    Gordon: Jesus Christ, I launched a missile... I'm not helping anything.
  • Easy Amnesia: Gordon has amnesia from Episode 34 onwards after a few punches to the face. He writes it off as the result of getting drunk the night before. He also states this isn't the first time he's woken up in a trash compactor with no memories of the previous night. His memories slowly start to come back to him over the course of several episodes.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: He thinks that slavery was limited by the racism involved.
  • Everyone Has Standards: As selfish and borderline Ax-Crazy as he is, Freeman is still horrified in season 2 episode 10 when he reasons that Barney has probably tortured a bunch of people.
  • First-Person Smartass: A lot of Gordon's monologue involves him snarking about all the craziness going on.
  • The Fool: In his blind efforts to get out, Gordon manages to clear his own path simply by wandering around. Most obvious example is in episode 19 when, when he returns to the rocket testing station after activating the electricity and fuel needed to start the rocket and kill the worm monster.
    Gordon: Hey, the lights are on! [pushes button] Hey, it's doing something! Did somebody fix this? [rocket begins to start up] What did I just do?
    [shortly thereafter]
    Gordon: Awwright! I'm making a lot of progress for not knowing what the hell I'm doing!
    • One interviewer amusingly referred to him as "the Homer Simpson of action heroes".
    • In a later episode we get this exchange:
      Scientist: You're heading for the Lambda Complex, aren't you?
      Gordon: I have no idea.
  • Fantastic Racism: Gordon develops this attitude towards the Vortigaunts. When he sees one cleaning the floor after the G-Man releases him from stasis he cheerfully thinks it was enslaved by humans AND that other humans littered on the floor just so it would clean up after them, stating the only thing that would have made him happier is seeing "their heads on a stick". The first time he sees one without chains, he starts yelling at everybody to kill it. Later Gordon murders one that was part of the anti-Combine resistance and at first doesn't understand why a nearby human resistance member is angry at him for "saving you" before concluding that the Vortigaunt he killed was the rebel's slave. Somewhat justified, since Vortigaunts spent the entirety of the first season jolting Gordon with electric discharges which, although rendered non-lethal by his HEV suit, were still quite painful.
  • Flanderization: Ties into Characterization Marches On above. Early on, Gordon is noticeably selfish, had a bit of an ego, prone to panic, and tended to rant to himself about odd things, but wasn't above trying to help people who are in trouble, kept a clear head even amidst his fits of fear and his rants were more of less on topic. Compare him to the end of his journey in Season 1/the beginning of Season 2, and he's doesn't mind ditching everyone to fend off the alien invasion themselves, regularly enters screaming and anger fits, his rantings are loony and usually unrelated to what's happening, and he views anyone who isn't him or Dr.Kleiner below them. Justified in that the sheer stress and terror he went through in Black Mesa brought out his worst qualities as his mental state declined.
  • For Science!: Gordon is genuinely enthusiastic about science and engineering. Upon reaching Kleiner's lab, Gordon remarked that all he wants to do was do some experiments with him.
    Gordon: Man, it's times like this that remind me why I became a physicist...TO SHOW ANTI-MATTER PARTICLES WHO'S BOSS! YEAH!!!
  • Functional Addict: Gordon apparently has an oxycodone and alcohol addiction (stronger stuff is implied here and there), but he manages to be reasonably stable considering his situation and he kept his job at Black Mesa in spite of his habit.
  • Hard on Soft Science: Gordon has a dim view of Freudian psychology and relishes the prospect of disproving string theory. He also looks down on engineers.
    Gordon: (looking at a dead scientist) You know, I'm pretty sure that this guy didn't kill himself just so he could paint the wall with his blood as part of some performance art piece. Even engineering wouldn't do something like that.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath:
    • Freeman eventually begins to enjoy killing aliens and soldiers. He considers time spent killing the former to be community service hours. Although he only really does it when he has to. He tries to negotiate with them at first (it doesn't work), and in episode 28 goes out of his way to avoid fighting a few soldiers.
      Gordon: Killing the soldiers is one of those chores where, if I had any option, I'd just avoid it. Hope it solved itself.
    • From Ross Scott himself in an interview with PC Gamer:
      Ross: In retrospect, I realized that the sheer number of people you have to kill in the Half-Life games suggests that some sort of paranoid psychopath might actually have a far better chance of survival than someone sensible.
    • Sometimes he just needs to let off some steam.
      Gordon: Oh, look at this. Aliens that can't shoot back! I'm gonna take my time here.
  • Humble Goal: Freeman just wants to go home, and isn't all that interested in saving the world like the other scientists want him to. He couldn't care less about the alien invasion and government response if only they would all stop shooting/biting him.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Gordon was firing his revolver wildly at a Gargantua that had him panicking in the corner when some scientists rescue him via teleporting him out. Unfortunately, one was standing right in front of his firing line when he appeared, getting himself killed. Gordon gets over this by concluding that those scientists were cultists, and he just shot their leader to put them in their place.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Gordon claims to have never fired a gun in his life before the Black Mesa Incident, and that all his knowledge of firearms comes from watching Die Hard "like fifty times". It's subverted, though; Gordon is woefully ignorant about the actual workings of firearms (for example, claiming that a Glock 17's safety is off when Glocks don't even have a safety) and demonstrates a complete disregard for gun safety, which has occasionally fatal consequences for those around him.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: He adapts pretty well for someone who has never touched a gun before. While his accuracy starts out fairly poor, it progressively improves. By season 2 he's consistently scoring headshots on quick-draws, picking off enemies from 75+ meters away using a pistol that only has a 25 meter effective range, and at one point quickly places six shots into some manhacks swarming a citizen without once hitting the citizen himself.
  • Insufferable Genius: Gordon graduated from M.I.T., and he won't hesitate to let everyone know it.
    Gordon: [firing at soldiers] MY DIPLOMA'S WORTH MORE THAN YOUR LIFE!
  • Jerkass: Gordon has a hatred or disgust for practically everything and everyone who crosses his sight, and is hilariously selfish. He is also implied to have committed several petty crimes in the past, ranging from embezzlement to vandalism. In his April 2017 Videochat, Ross said he wrote Freeman like "If I were a jackass, what would I do?"
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Gordon is a massive jerkass, yet constantly makes very good points about how illogical the whole situation is, and how stupid everyone involved would have to be for it to happen.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: While Gordon is by no means an idiot, there are times where it's clear he really doesn't know what he's talking about. The best example is his lack of knowledge concerning firearms and he apparently doesn't know the difference between being shocked and being electrocuted, instead using the terms interchangeably.
  • Lack of Empathy:
    • Gordon's sympathy for his coworkers extends as far as their usefulness to him, and his concern for their deaths rarely extends beyond a single thought. Gordon only shows concern for two scientists: a tough old man who does a Super Window Jump and dies, and another who proves helpful in escaping the weapons testing labs. Kleiner seems to be the only person in the world Gordon has genuine appreciation for.
    • Freeman does feel bad about killing the soldiers at first, but later starts to just stop caring all together. They probably don't deserve any better.
      Gordon: [having just killed several soldiers] You know, its strange. I thought I would feel weird about killing all these people, but really, I don't. That's because they're all pricks and deserve to die! I'll make a speech at their funerals if someone wants me to. I have no problem with going up to a grieving widow and telling her "I'm sorry for your loss... but your husband was a ratfuck meathead who tried to kill me for no goddamned reason because he was too stupid to figure out what the word "civilian" means. If I hadn't put him down, he likely would have come home later and strangled you in your sleep. And not in the kinky way either. I know how you base wives are...
  • Large Ham: Whenever Gordon starts ranting, out comes the ham.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He can sprint at 20+ mph while weighed down by plated body armor and dozens of pounds of weaponry, jump and climb with the same ease, and beat superhuman aliens to death with a crowbar. His speed and agility, more than almost anything else, is what helps him so much at avoiding death. This is more notable in Freeman's Mind than in canon because his suit is not Powered Armor in this version (not to mention, this Gordon can do pull-ups to pull the occasional Dungeon Bypass). It's lightly justified in the first episode, where Gordon expresses pride in his fitness and makes reference to having to practice for the company decathlon.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Gordon is completely unaware of the plot because he never listens to the NPCs. He's just trying to escape and completing objectives by accident along the way. In season 2 he actually asks the NPCs what's going on, but they're all too eager to shove him out the door without telling him anything and without giving him so much as an address for where he needs to go next.
  • Made of Iron: Gordon's suit protects him from almost anything, but he still falls great distances and suffers other injuries only to walk it off with only minor complaints.
  • Mad Scientist: Gordon relishes the opportunity to send Alyx through the teleporter, and clearly has the time of his life watching the experiment happen. The fact that it worked and she came out the other side alive is of absolutely no concern to him.
    Gordon: That was beautiful! This is what it's all about, right here. Kleiner! You have any champagne?
    Kleiner: [to Eli] Well? Did it work?
    Eli: See for yourself.
    Alyx: [appears on screen] Hey, Doc!
    Gordon: [indifferent] Oh. Bonus.
  • Metaphorgotten: Gordon frequently mangles his metaphors. But one example:
    Gordon: [sees a Bullsquid eating a dead soldier] Okay, I see a dead soldier and an alien that doesn't see me. I can put one and one together. [shoots Bullsquid] Actually, that's one and negative one. [shoots the Bullsquid more, killing it] Now it's negative two and me. But wait, wouldn't I be number one? I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. See, this is why you have to define your terms: if you don't, people die.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Freeman has this opinion of himself after he launches a missile at the end of the On A Rail arc. Amusingly, he's right, but for the wrong reasons.
    Gordon: Jesus Christ I launched a missile... I'm not helping anything today. Well, guess I started World War III.
  • Moby Schtick: At one point, after one of the sharks tried to eat him, Gordon waits by the pool and shoots it dead. After he does this he shoots it's corpse while whistling Blow The Man Down.
    Gordon: "Yeah! Call me Ishmael bitch!"
  • Morton's Fork: In episode 34 of season 1, Freeman finds out that his HEV suit has built-in trackers that the military has been using to hunt him down with. He deduces that he can either take the suit off and walk around in a warzone naked yet mostly undetectable, or keep the bullet-proof suit on and keep attracting trouble to himself. He choses the latter out of necessity.
  • Motor Mouth: Just read this hilarious exchange:
    Alyx: Man of few words, aren't you?
    Gordon: Listen, smartass, I don't- oh, okay, well fuck you, then. Yeah, I talk a lot, but that's because I get things done.
    • Generally speaking, if Gordon really is talking out loud at points and is not just thinking to himself throughout the series, then that means he's been speaking practically non-stop for a couple days straight (time travel not included) over the course of the series.
  • Omniglot: Gordon apparently speaks German, on top of having some knowledge of Hindi, Spanish, and French. He says he's been to Haiti and India in the past, and he mentions living in Austria a few times (where German is spoken)—specifically Innsbruck, which matches with Freeman's canon background. No word yet on where he learned Spanish, though he does live in New Mexico. However, it's worth noting that his understanding of the other languages appears focused on how to get something for himself. Spanish for buying drugs; German for finding treasure; Hindi for his new life after he goes into hiding; and French to buy zombies.
  • Nerd Action Hero: On top of his profession as a physicist, this Gordon is also rather fond of nerdy pop culture; for example, Warhammer 40,000 (he at least knows what Servo-skulls are at a time where the Internet wasn't really mainstream) and Doctor Who.
  • Nominal Hero: Considering his general attitude towards the people around him and his actions throughout the course of the series, Freeman is definitely this. The only thing preventing him from being a villain is that he doesn't (intentionally) harm innocents or pursue any grand malicious goal, and is willing to even let his enemies go if they just stop bothering him. He is, above all, selfish and self-interested.
    Ross: To me, the game really doesn't make it clear that Freeman is some grand hero. The level design leads you around like a sheep from one event to the next that you have to complete in order to proceed. Freeman doesn't save any of the scientists dying around him, you can even MURDER OTHER CIVILIANS and get away with it scot-free and yet he's still the "hero." In my eyes, what's notable about Gordon is not his deeds, but that he's just a seemingly ordinary scientist that WILL NOT DIE despite all odds that he should.
    • In his April 2017 video chat, a fan asked Ross Scott whether he considered his Freeman character to be "evil." He responded that he doesn't, and that Freeman is selfish and paranoid can be fairly decent to people he doesn't perceive as a threat. He cites Freeman occasionally attempting to save scientists as an indication of that within the series itself.
  • One-Man Army: Freeman, as usual. Though Deconstructed to a degree: Freeman is very vocal about the outcome of his body count, probably predicting it will result in extreme mental breakdown and the U.S. Government hunting him down even if he manages to escape. Also, while Freeman's high intellect, physical strength, and resourcefulness help him survive, he's clearly acknowledged several times that without his suit he'd most likely be dead. His enemies' blunders also help.
    • In episode 31, he has come to the conclusion that, since he has no prior military or firearms training, doesn't belong to any extremist groups, and is just a theoretical physicist, it would be extremely difficult for the military to really believe he's killed dozens of their numbers single-handedly, and thus he may not end up being the fall guy.
    • In episode 51, he complains about being a literal one-man army, insisting that the phrase is only meant to sound badass and complaining about how it actually consists of one man having to do everything you'd expect a more competent army to accomplish with teamwork.
      Gordon: You say that to sound badass, not because you literally want to function as an entire army!
  • Only Sane Man: Freeman sees himself this way. Surprisingly, there is a lot of truth in his statements, as per the nature of Half-Life, everyone is either completely retarded (he frequently lampshades the scientists' and marines' suicidal tendencies) or trying to kill him. Or both. At the beginning of episode 13, he even says "Everyone is crazy except me!" while reacting to the marines bombing the surface. This by no means makes him that sane himself, it's more "Everyone's more insane than me!"
  • Pet the Dog: Though mostly known for being a selfish Jerkass, Freeman does on occasion try to save fellow civilians.
    • Near the end of episode 59, he starts lobbing grenades at a Gargantuan that's attacking some Black Mesa personnel and actually seems upset when he's unable to save them. Bear in mind that doing so wouldn't benefit him at all. Ironically, this moment happens at what could easily be considered the height of Gordon's Ax Craziness
    • Freeman won't actually kill people that he doesn't see as a threat (though his paranoia and jumpiness has massively lowered the threshold for someone to qualify as one). This applies even to aliens, as when he runs into some non-hostile vortigaunts on Xen, he's willing to let them live.
    • Despite being a massive jerkass, Freeman's not particularly malicious. Just really selfish. When a trio of Mad Scientist types teleport him in and out of a death trap as part of an experiment, he scares them by firing his gun, and yells at them a lot, but doesn't kill them. Well, he does kill one by accident—as a continuation of his wildly firing at the Gargantua he was being threatened by—but even that is immediately followed by him saying that he didn't want to kill the guy.
    • The scientist who helps Gordon to get out of Bio Labs gets shot in the leg by a soldier. Before leaving, Gordon suggests said scientist to treat his wound immediately, showing real concern for him.
    • He has a bit more success at saving civilians in season 2. Probably his most decent moment comes in episode 6, where he saves a refugee from getting killed by manhacks, doesn't get mad about the refugee keeping the drugs for himself ("Oh, looks like you're having a bad trip; alright, I'll go easy on you") despite Gordon really wanting some, and even offers to bring the refugee with him to escape, because he believes Civil Protection is going to come through the area and kill him. He's baffled when the guy decides to stay anyway, but even then Gordon makes one last attempt at warning him of the danger before giving up and leaving.
    • Weirdly combined with Kick the Dog in episode 4: he guns down a friendly Vortigaunt in a panic to (in his mind) save a civilian from getting mauled to death. No one told him that the Vorts were now friendly. He doesn't get too mad at the guy pointing a gun at him and shoving him out the door either, being more confused than anything.
    • On the same note, he tries to warn Eli and Alyx about the Vortigaunt behind them.
  • Phrase Catcher:
    Random person: Gordon Freeman.
    Freeman: You know it.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Freeman sure does love his pop culture references.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: When Freeman fails to follow Chronic Hero Syndrome, he justifies it by saying "That's not my job!".
  • Pungeon Master: Guess who?
    Gordon: What's up with this ceiling?
    Gordon: [trapped in a box and surrounded by aliens] I'M BOXED IN!
    Gordon: [looking at a dam] They can blow up the damn dam for all I care! Dammit!
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: He at one point theorizes that the reason behind all the Unfriendly Fire he sees is that the military doing the cover-up are themselves being covered up. Opposing Force shows that this is indeed happening- but it's the black ops (which Freeman calls ninjas) that are behind it, not the marines, who are just working with really outdated AI.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: Gordon may be a rambling narcissist who only succeeds in saving the day by accident or because he has no other option, but that still makes him about ten times more competent than his coworkers or the soldiers.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Gordon is actually pretty smart, physically fit, and overall competent, though he tends to inflate it to godlike levels.
    Gordon: [after killing a Gargantua] That's why the dinosaurs went extinct: ME!
  • The Stoner: It's implied he regularly takes oxycodone, morphine, and other "mood enhancements".
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Gordon frequently makes comments to this effect, applying this standard to both the military and his peers.
    Gordon: These people aren't scientists; they're cultists with advanced degrees.
    Gordon: I know I'm a genius, but is everyone else really this stupid?
    Gordon: Why is everyone who's not me such a problem?
  • Talking to Himself: Gordon's monologue is not just thoughts, but occasionally him talking to himself as a coping mechanism.
  • Taught by Television: Gordon attributes his firearms experience to his repeated viewings of Die Hard.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Freeman gets noticeably more callous, uncaring, and cynical as the series goes on. Compare episode 4, where he tries to save a scientist from falling, to episode 10, where he says to a scientist "You're on your own, chump" and abandons him. He also talks about how slavery was a good idea (though overly restricted by only targeting one race) and makes a back-up plan in case he accidentally shoots a civilian. There's a couple reasons for this. He does show concern when a helpful scientist is shot and demands he find gauze and disinfectant. He seems to believe in survival of the fittest as he doesn't care when idiots get themselves killed, but he likes people to stay alive if they are helpful, smart, and DON'T piss him off. In episode 65 (and later 66), he even spares a couple of aliens because they're not attacking him, and he doesn't want to discourage that mentality. He's slightly nicer in season 2, presumably because the G-Man gave him the opportunity to rest and refuel ("Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good right now"), relieving some of the strain and stress.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: He gets shot, stung, shocked, frozen, bit, burned, exposed to radiation, and wanders around a facility seemingly made of dead ends for days, but he deserves most of it.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Lampshaded in episode 51.
    Gordon: It's too easy to just explain this all away as "aliens". It's aliens and teleportation and a conspiracy against me, and drugs, and in-house genocide, and ghosts, and now these... cosmic disco balls?
  • Would Hit a Girl: Freeman does so by necessity, gunning down the female black ops he mistakes for ninjas.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Laments that despite spending most of his time wanting nothing more than to get to the surface after running around in circles underground, whenever he does make it topside, there's something horrible there that forces him underground again (military bombing each other, being isolated in the middle of the desert with the only way out being a tunnel, and so on).
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: He is not amused by the length the universe goes to kill him. Most notable when he fought the Gonarch who shrugged off explosives and when he realized the reactor was about to melt down.
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    Barney Calhoun 

Barney Calhoun

"Yeah, Gordon, take the canals, right, then the police can shoot at you from above while you're trying to swim and completely surround you without getting caught in the crossfire!"
—Gordon doing an impression of Barney

A Black Mesa security guard turned resistance fighter after the Black Mesa incident. He remembers Gordon from Black Mesa, but Gordon doesn't even remember his name.


  • Adaptational Jerkass: Technically speaking, none of his actions are changed from the base game, but the combination of Gameplay and Story Segregation and Remember the New Guy? being averted casts those same actions in a different light. For example, his M.I.T. comment goes from friendly ribbing to a mean spirited insult, and his tendency to position himself in a specific spot whenever there is a Scripted Event becomes him intentionally and rudely shoving Gordon around.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Shoves Gordon out the back door of the interrogation room and tells him to get to Kleiner's without so much as an address. Gordon is starting to wonder if he wants him dead or is just that stupid.
  • Butt-Monkey: Locked outside during Gordon's tram ride in, and Gordon can't even be bothered to remember his name.
  • Jerkass: He's constantly shoving Gordon out of his way and throwing him sarcastic insults, which drives Freeman's violent narcissism crazy. Then he forces him out the door into a city full of Metrocop death squads without giving him a gun or a map.
  • The Other Darrin: If you consider Barney's Mind canon, he sounds noticeably different from IRAMightyPirate.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Lampshaded when Gordon has no idea who he is, despite knowing Kleiner on sight.
  • Reverse Mole: Gordon speculates that he's secretly working with the Combine to get him killed. Later he considers the possibility that Barney is piloting the Hunter-Chopper that is tracking him.

    Dr. Isaac Kleiner 

Dr. Isaac Kleiner

"Dammit, you know what the problem is? I just got Kleiner'd. I have a hundred questions I need answered, I need supplies, but instead he distracted me, got me excited about his experiment, and almost got me killed. Again. And now that the experiment's done, I'm out the door. Dammit, Kleiner!"
—Gordon, describing what it's like to be "Kleiner'd" as he puts it.

A rare instance of a scientist not rocking the Einstein Hair that was nearly ubiquitous at Black Mesa (possibly because he doesn't have enough hair to do so), Kleiner is one of the few people at Black Mesa Gordon actually recognizes and likes, mostly because he's as morally unrestrained as Gordon is, at least when it comes to science.


  • Adaptational Villainy: Instead of being an Absent-Minded Professor, this Kleiner is For Science!. It's not clear if his backstory is actually any different or if Gordon is just seeing things that aren't there.
  • Badass Bookworm: Gordon is confident in Kleiner's ability to survive, figuring he has weapons hidden around the lab and would have no issues escaping the cops.
  • The Dreaded: Gordon respects and fears him enough to do whatever he says.
    Gordon: I think I'm the only person here who realizes just how dangerous Kleiner actually is.
  • Mad Scientist: Gordon is utterly unsurprised when "that cat" is brought up, having seen worse from Kleiner before, and when Lamarr attacks Barney, Gordon immediately assumes Kleiner deliberately set it up that way.
  • The Only One I Trust: In a rare moment of compassion for his fellow man, Gordon actually trusts Kleiner immediately upon seeing him. The list pretty much starts and ends with him, too. This turns out to be not so much compassion as it is that he and Kleiner are two amoral peas in a pod.
  • Person as Verb: Getting "Kleiner'd", which Gordon describes as Kleiner distracting him, roping him into an experiment, then shoving him out the door without explaining anything. It's happened to him more than once.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Gordon may not know who Barney, Alyx, Eli, or Dr. Breen are, but he recognizes Kleiner on sight. Ross explains this as Kleiner actually being mentioned in the Half-Life 1 manual as the one who got Gordon his job at Black Mesa, whereas none of the other people were.

    Dr. Eli Vance 

Dr. Eli Vance

A scientist that sent Gordon to get help after the Resonance Cascade. Joined the resistance after the Combine conquered Earth.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: He's the one that Gordon talks to right after the Resonance Cascade, but Gordon never bothered getting his name and obviously doesn't recognize him in the present.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: He survived the events of the first game despite not having a HEV suit and, unlike Gordon, actually managed to escape Black Mesa without ending up on an alien planet.

    Alyx Vance 

Alyx Vance

Eli's daughter. She rescues Gordon from Civil Protection and brings him to Kleiner.


  • Butt-Monkey: While he doesn't hate her like Barney, Freeman repeatedly insults her for her perceived stupidity, and unlike Barney he can't even be bothered to remember her name ten minutes after they meet. He also thinks nothing of potentially killing her in Kleiner's experiment.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She calls Gordon a man of few words after one of his rants. It annoys him.
  • The Ditz: Gordon clearly has this opinion of her, as while he considers it impressive that she killed five cops, he also considers it monumentally stupid, because that just means they're going to get lot more cops coming after them who will want to take revenge for their fallen comrades. He is also confused by her apparent decision to gather up the cops' weapons and throw them all out the window, instead of keeping around at least one stun baton and/or pistol for him to use. When she casually jokes that Barney "isn't an animal person" when he expresses a dislike of headcrabs, Gordon chastises her ("You know they Mind Rape you, right?") before comparing her to a bobblehead.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Gordon is amazed that she managed to kill five cops. He assumes she threw a nail bomb at them or another type of explosive.

    Badass Scientist 

Badass Scientist

"Grandpa was a fighter."
—Gordon Freeman

One of the older scientists, who earns Freeman's admiration by doing a Super Window Jump to escape a zombie and keeps a shotgun on his desk. It's too bad he dies immediately afterward.


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    Zombie Scientists 

Zombie Scientists

Fascinating...

A pair of scientists in a heavily tripwired corridor. If Freeman is to be believed, they're voodoo zombies, and the reason don't do anything more than stand around and occasionally say things is that their master is on break.


  • Brick Joke: A rather short one, but still. After Freeman has been running around the booby-trapped facility and fighting the military all the way, he sees these guys again and rants about how they've made the same progress as him despite staying in the same spot.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: They just stand around in the middle of an alien invasion, which is why Freeman theorizes that they're zombies.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: After going in circles yet again and seeing them the second time, Freeman gripes that they've had more progress standing there than he's had "running all over this facility leaving a trail of bodies."
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The voodoo kind, not the Zombie Apocalypse kind.

    Genie Scientist 

A scientist who stands in a security station and tells Freeman about the Lambda team, or a genie who grants shotguns to the good scientists who wish for them (but won't grant the other two wishes if you shoot at him). Whichever.


  • Magical Negro: Literally, if you believe Gordon.
  • Mr. Exposition: He tells Freeman about the Lambda Team's efforts to fix the situation and about the rail system... or he would, if Freeman had actually been listening.
    Freeman: I don't care about any of this.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Only appears once.
  • Our Genies Are Different: This one seems to work for Black Mesa as a scientist, if he's a genie at all and it's not just Freeman rambling.
  • Three Wishes: But he won't grant them after you shoot at him with a shotgun, much to Freeman's disappointment as he laments that now he's never going to own a water park.

    Scientists 

Scientists

Do you know who ate all the doughnuts?

Freeman's fellow scientists, up an alien invasion without a HEV suit. They're mostly bystanders, but the Lambda Team is actively trying to fix the situation.


  • Adaptational Villainy: The Lambda Team sent Freeman to Xen despite him clearly saying he wanted to go to Massachusetts, and he theorizes that the reason for the large numbers of dead explorers on Xen is that the scientists don't really know what they're doing and are just firing the teleporter off at random in hopes that at least a few of the explorers would land safely.
  • Cool Old Guy: One old scientist earns Freeman's respect by diving through a window to get away from a zombie. He ends up dying, though.
  • Cult: Freeman thinks the Lambda Team is one.
  • Idiot Savant: Freeman's opinion of most of them, given that they just stand around during the alien invasion.
  • Indy Ploy: The Lambda Team don't really have any idea of how to solve the invasion—they're just shooting explorers at Xen in hopes that at least a few of them get lucky.
  • Non-Action Guy: They have no real weapons or combat skills.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Gordon thinks that two of them are genuine Voodoo zombies.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The Lambda Team has access to teleporters.
  • We Have Reserves: The Lambda Team's strategy for exploring Xen.

    Security Guards 

Security Guards

Black Mesa's security, and basically the only people with guns who are on Freeman's side. It's a shame they shoot so slowly and have absolutely no grasp of tactics whatsoever.


  • Blood Knight: One security guard in the Lambda Complex (who Gordon nicknames Captain Trigger Finger) is a little too excited to face an alien invasion.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Several security guards following Gordon do things like run in front of his gunfire or stand out in the open to fire even when there was cover (in the form of sandbags) right there.

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Military

"Whatever the name of this mission originally was, it's probably being called Operation Fuckup by now."
—Gordon Freeman

    Soldiers 

Soldiers

"We got Freeman!"

Members of the U.S. military sent to kill everything at Black Mesa. Their priority target list goes 1) Freeman, 2) Each other, 3) Civilians, 4) Aliens.


  • Armies Are Evil: They're at Black Mesa to kill unarmed civilians who looked to them as rescuers, and they do that job with aplomb.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Their AI has not aged well, and most of the Unfriendly Fire incidents associated with them happen because of the AI's mistakes.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Freeman at one point describes how if he met a widow of one of the soldiers he killed he'd tell her that her husband was a "meathead rat fuck" who'd otherwise have strangled her in her sleep (and not in the good way).
  • Crazy Enough to Work: The 'jack-in-the-box ambush' might have been ridiculous, but it did manage to take Freeman by surprise.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first soldier Gordon sees casually guns down a scientist (a scripted event). In the second group he sees, one soldier accidentally kills another with a grenade (which was not scripted).
  • Gang Up on the Human: Freeman muses at one point on how little he's seen the soldiers and aliens actually fight each other.
  • General Failure: He thinks they're being led by one of these, which is why they just send in more cannon fodder for Freeman to kill and don't just use nerve gas on the helmet-less Freeman.
  • Karmic Death: One soldier complains that of the dozen unarmed scientists he killed, not one of them fought back. He's soon after killed by Freeman, a scientist who was armed and quite able to fight back.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Despite their incompetence, they usually win in skirmishes against the lighting-spewing, plasma-spitting, bee-shooting aliens barring a huge disparity in numbers or a teleportation-aided ambush, which Freeman comments on:
    Freeman: And bullets win again! What a shock.
  • Mook Chivalry: Politely run around corners to engage Freeman directly even when doing so got their squadmates shot, and while they do use grenades, they're usually kind enough to aim for fellow soldiers instead of Freeman. They also won't use nerve gas (which Freeman would have no defense against since he doesn't have a helmet), despite already committing war crimes by killing innocent scientists.
  • Moral Myopia: One pair of soldiers have a conversation about Freeman killing their buddies, when he wouldn't have done anything had those buddies not started shooting him first. Freeman, of course, promptly lampshades it and kills them.
  • Revealing Cover Up: Freeman doesn't believe that they are trying to cover up the Black Mesa incident at first, because of how impractical doing that would be. He later theorizes that the soldiers keep killing each other because the government is trying to cover-up the first cover-up (He's correct about the military being covered-up, but not about the culprit; in actuality, it was the Black Ops/ninjas that he occasionally fights that were behind it).
  • Stuff Blowing Up: They have access to grenades, grenade launchers, rocket launchers, landmines, artillery strikes, and tripmines. They're not very good at using them, though, unless taking each other out was their goal in the first place.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Freeman's opinion of them, since they do stuff like throwing grenades at each other and walking into traps that they themselves set.
  • Unfriendly Fire: They take it up to new levels. Not only do they shoot and throw grenades at other soldiers, they call down friendly fire airstrikes.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Another of Freeman's theories about their Unfriendly Fire is that all the soldiers hate each other and are using Freeman as an excuse to off their enemies.

    Vehicles 

Vehicles

Various tanks, helicopters, and planes that joined the effort to kill Freeman.


  • Bottomless Magazines: Gordon is annoyed that the helicopter never runs out of missiles, theorizing that the pilot is just shooting them off without concern for what each one costs.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Like in the original game, they can be taken down by enough fire from weapons their armor really should be proof against. Whenever Freeman manages to take down a tank (or, in one case, a helicopter) this way, he theorizes that he got a really lucky shot that ricocheted and hit something important and explosive.
  • Made of Explodium: See Death of a Thousand Cuts. Freeman has caused a helicopter and a Bradley to explode by shooting at them. Even he's not sure how that works, and at one point comments that he'd like to perform a ballistics simulation to figure out how his latest achievement in tank-killing was possible.
  • Made of Iron: Literally (well, steel, and some titanium and composites...). It takes a lot to kill them, though not as much as it would in real life.
  • Tank Goodness: Well, not from Freeman's point of view, since they're all trying to kill him.

    Ninjas 

Ninjas

"You can never prove the absence of ninjas, only their direct presence."
—Gordon Freeman

Stealthy female black ops that Freeman consistently refers to as ninjas, who ambush him a couple times. He's quite paranoid about them, which isn't really unreasonable.


  • Action Girl: They are all female, and give Freeman a hard time.
  • Fragile Speedster: They're fast and agile, but don't wear much armor.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Though they're technically black ops, Freeman thinks of them as ninja.
  • Occam's Razor: While fighting them, Freeman coins 'Occam's Shuriken': When the answer is elusive, never rule out ninjas.

    Rocky the Rocket Ranger 

Rocky the Rocket Ranger

A soldier who fires rockets at Freeman while he's riding the tram.


    The Sniper 

The Sniper

"Yeah, there's people who give you the evil eye, and then there's snipers. Big difference."
—Gordon Freeman

A sniper following Gordon around and occasionally shooting at him from outta nowhere.


  • Cold Sniper: He gets Gordon quite paranoid about him.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Gordon first wonders if there's a sniper after him in the very early episodes.
  • The Ghost: We never see him in person—just Gordon being shot at.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Episode 48, Freeman throws a grenade at him, killing him.

Xen Aliens

"Okay, that's it! It's official: All aliens are bastards!"
—Gordon Freeman, upon receiving his first Vortigaunt shock

    In General 

In General

Inhabitants of Xen, invading Black Mesa after an experiment gone wrong. Freeman thinks they're all bastards, and really, he's not entirely wrong.
  • Alien Blood: It's greenish-yellow.
  • Aliens are Bastards: Freeman thinks so, since they attack humans on sight.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: He wonders why, in addition to sapient military units (Grunts, Vortigaunts, Gargantuas, Mantas), the aliens bother to teleport in their wildlife. He compares it to humans using expensive aircraft to drop a bunch of feral dogs and badgers on the enemy.
  • Organic Technology: What tech they do use is either entirely organic (like the Hivehand) or has an organic look to it.
  • Schizo Tech: As Freeman discovers on Xen, they have access to factories, teleportation, and force fields. Despite that, the aliens that attack Black Mesa mostly just use natural weaponry (the only exception being the Grunts and their Hivehands) and don't show much tactical skill.
  • Tele-Frag: Freeman's theory for why Black Mesa is falling apart is because the aliens keep teleporting into walls and so forth, weakening structural integrity. He also worries that an alien might eventually teleport inside him.

    Facehuggers / Zombies 

Facehuggers/Zombies

Called 'Headcrabs' in the original game. Small alien crab-like things that like to leap at Gordon. They can also take control of bodies to create Headcrab Zombies. Freeman hates them because they jump onto his face and bite.


  • Biological Weapons Solve Everything: Aside from initial shock of suddenly getting bombed, Gordon is not surprised in the slightest that the Combine have utilized the Facehuggers for biological warfare.
  • It Can Think: Freeman theorizes that the Zombies have gotten smarter when he spotted them holding the bodies of dead soldiers and puppeteering them in what looked like an attempt to coax him in to coming closer. He ultimately reaches this conclusion when a Houndeye baits him into a room and two Zombies ambush and nearly crush him by tipping tall computer servers on him as he entered.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They are humans controlled by alien crabs.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Headcrabs are this.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: When his location is being bombed by Headcrab Shells and Zombies/Facehuggers start rising from the ground/water all around him, he decides to just get the hell out of there rather than stay and fight.
    Freeman: I need a flamethrower! That kind of says somethi- (Zombie rises out the water in front of him.) OH MY GOD! (Unloads his entire magazine into it and starts running) Nope, nope, I'm done! I'm done here, bye! (Another payload lands behind him) Oh another bombing? That's nice, you go ahead and do that, I'm done!

    Tongue Thing 
Also known as 'Barnacles' in the games. Relatively low on Gordon's list of problems, these ceiling dwelling organisms are less of a threat and more of a disgusting annoyance, save for the rare moments when they catch him off guard.
  • Fridge Logic: When he encounters them again in season 2, he can't help but wonder how they can grow themselves on ceiling grates and still be able to swallow entire bodies whole.
  • Humiliation Conga: At one point in season 2, Gordon narrowly escapes death from an attack helicopter and is ranting to himself about how terrible his current situation is before he accidentally walks face first into a Barnacles tongue, causing it to hoist him up in a stranglehold, and then vomit its entire history of meals directly onto Gordon's face when he kills it, which in turn causes him to be left gagging, puking and traumatized for the rest of the episode.
  • Squick: Almost any time Gordon kills one and causes it to puke its stomach contents, he can't help but be mildly revolted at the puke shower, and the resulting smell of several of them doing it at once is a different league of nausea on its own.

    Mexican Jumping Beans 

Mexican Jumping Beans

Also known as Maggots, actually called 'Houndeyes', they are small round aliens who attack with shockwaves. Freeman thinks they'd be great fodder for a game where the players kick them to death.


    Zappers 

Zappers

'Vortigaunts' in the original game. They are somewhat humanoid aliens who attack with electrical shocks. Freeman calls them 'Zappers' because he can't think of a better name for them. He hates them because of their tendency to painfully zap him.


  • Berserk Button: Freeman gets madder at them than anything else in Black Mesa, despite (or perhaps because) their electrical attacks are incapable of actually killing him.
    Freeman: (shooting Vortigaunts) I'll kill every last one of you bastards. All I need are bullets. We have a lot of bullets here! Earth is a mineral rich planet! I bet yours SUCKS! It's probably a swamp planet with no metal, and if not then you belong in a swamp anyway!
    Freeman: Your help isn't any help at all! You're just breaking things! [shoots a Vortigaunt] I can do that! [kills another] And I can do it better!
    Freeman: (shooting Vortigaunts) THAT IS IT! I AM SICK OF GETTING ELECTROCUTED OVER AND OVER! Even on my worst dates I never got shocked this much!
    Freeman: (seeing a friendly Vortigaunt standing behind Eli and Alyx) Oh my god. BEHIND YOU, RIGHT BEHIND YOU! IT'S RIGHT THERE! (teleports away for a moment, then teleports back) IT'S STILL THERE! KILL IT!
  • Look Behind You: Shouts this to Eli Vance and company when he's experiencing another teleporter accident and sees a Vortigaunt standing behind them, still not aware that they're allies now.
  • Mooks: Common, not very tough, and show up pretty much everywhere.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Freeman usually regards them as an annoyance, but treats them much more seriously whenever they're in close proximity to him due to their Super Strength (the first one he sees busts through a heavy steel door with ease). He's unnerved when he sees two dead HEV-clad researchers piled up in one of their caves on Xen, pondering how much force they'd have to apply to kill a power-armored man so messily, and the first free one he sees in season 2 (in the confines of a small train car) causes him to have a miniature freak out, followed by him emptying a magazine into it.
    Gordon: That was a close one! [later] That thing was going to kill us!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Their eyes are entirely red.
  • Shock and Awe: It doesn't actually do much damage to Freeman (who claims he's had worse shocks from tasers), but it most definitely hurts. Their lightning has also been seen to kill soldiers.
  • Slave Race: Not that Freeman knows... or cares. By the events of Freeman's Mind 2, he believes that humanity has domesticated them and is quite jubilant to see them enslaved.
  • Token Good Teammate: Several of them on Xen are the only aliens in the game who don't attack Freeman on sight.
  • You Will Be Spared: Freeman spares a couple of them on Xen that aren't attacking him, as this is behavior he wants to encourage.

    Cthulhu Dogs 

Also known as snot monsters and snot things. In the original game, they're 'bullsquids'. Freeman hates them because they spit in his face.


  • Hell Is That Noise: Their spitting.
    Gordon: It sounds like somebody is frying bacon and smacking their head against the pan.
  • Tastes Like Feet: Gordon claims their ink tastes like dead caterpillars.

    Tentacle Monsters 

Aliens composed almost entirely of green, wildly-flailing tentacles. Freeman encounters a few, and kills one by torching it with a test rocket.


  • Kill It with Fire: How Freeman takes down the first one he meets.
    Gordon: If you can't take the heat, get out of the rocket propulsion test chamber!
  • That's No Moon!: Freeman at first theorizes that the tentacles are just a small part of an extremely large creature underground, and he's relieved to be proven wrong.
    Gordon: It's wearing me and this entire facility as a hat.

    Godzilla 

Godzilla

Gargantua in Half-Life; very large and strong aliens Freeman occasionally encounters. He doesn't usually fight them directly, instead killing them with such things as electrocution from just-activated generators and localized airstrikes. Freeman is pretty terrified of them, for obvious reasons.


    Sharks 

Sharks

If Gordon had listened, he'd have known that these aquatic monsters are actually aliens called Itchyosaurs. But he didn't, so he thinks they're sharks.


    Bodybuilding Aliens 

Bodybuilding Aliens

Beefy armored aliens who attack with bees. Freeman hates them because they sting him and are really hard to kill.


  • Adaptational Wimp: Thornets (Hivehand ammo) in the original game were basically poisonous heat-seeking armor-piercing living bullets and could do some serious damage to Gordon. In this version, Gordon speculates that they could only be dangerous due to being poisonous, and they simply die on impact with his suit without doing anything, causing him to quip:
    Gordon: They don't even swarm. Earth bees are more hardcore than space bees.
  • Armor Is Useless: Zig-Zagged. Like in the original game, their armor protects them from small-arms fire. However, it conspicuously exposes their abdomen.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Having your own super-strong telepathic manufactured Doom Troops is pretty cool, but Freeman is thoroughly unimpressed by their weaponry and the allocation of resources involved in their creation.
    Freeman: So the aliens manufacture their own soldiers? Why!? So they can shoot bees? Have they run a cost-benefit analysis on that compared to just making guns?
  • Bee Bee Gun: They are armed with Hivehands. Gordon isn't very impressed ("I'M NOT ALLERGIC TO BEES, ASSHOLES!"), but they're very effective against soldiers.
  • Clone Army: They are manufactured at the factory Gordon visits in Xen.
  • Dumb Muscle: They're not very smart. Though Freeman still considers them a step above the rest of the aliens (and most of his co-workers), commenting that the first one he sees "could definitely be management."
  • Elite Mooks: They're very common enemies and very tough.
  • Made of Iron: It takes a lot to bring them down, and that's with Gordon's guns doing more damage than they do in the original game. They consistently survive point-blank hand grenade explosions and occasionally even direct hits from his 40mm grenade launcher, much to his annoyance.
    Gordon: Why does it feel like I'm fighting a dump truck?
  • Stripperiffic: Their armor doesn't cover their abs.
    Gordon: Are we being invaded by strippers? I thought this invasion was the normal conquering variety, but maybe it has some weird kinky alien context.
  • Super Strength: Enough that, even with his plated armor, Freeman would rather waste rocket launcher ammo than get close to them, commenting that "they'll smash our heads like grapes if we don't shoot them down." He feels extra vindicated after seeing one kill a soldier in one punch and smash a thick concrete wall.
    Freeman: I mean what am I supposed to do, go hand to hand with the body builder aliens? Yeah that's real smart, right?
    Freeman: I'm starting to think that your species communicates entirely through a series of lifts and squat thrusts.

    Flyers 

Flyers

Originally 'Alien Controllers'; large-headed, flying, fireball-spewing aliens that Freeman encounters at the portal to Xen and beyond. He hates them because they keep showing up when he's not expecting them and trying to kill him.


  • Airborne Mooks: For the Xen chapter.
  • Flight They have this power.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Freeman at first thinks they're the dominant species because of their flight (since Xen is mostly made up of floating islands), but later changes his mind because they keep behaving like this, doing things like flying into a cramped corridor to attack him.
    Gordon: They basically act like dogs strapped to jetpacks that can shoot ball lightning from their paws.
  • My Brain Is Big: Freeman theorizes this is why they have large heads, though another theory is that the large heads are filled with something lighter-than-air and that's how they fly.
  • Shock and Awe: They can shoot ball lightning from their hands.

    The God-Spider 

The God-Spider

Really called the Gonarch. Freeman teleports into its lair in Xen, and ends up fighting it to get through. The fight takes a very long time, mostly because nothing Freeman throws at it does much good. Freeman hates it because of how much damage it can take.


  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: With the twist that as it flees, it breaks down the barriers in the way of the portal to the next area.
  • King of All Cosmos: Its immunity to explosives prompts Freeman to wonder if it's this (it isn't).
  • Made of Iron: It takes multiple grenade rounds, rockets, and satchel charges without so much as a scratch, making Freeman wonder if it's God.

    The Elder God 

The Elder God

"FREEMAN..."

Really the Nihilanth, the being responsible for the aliens invading Black Mesa. Freeman calls it an Elder God due to its power and distinctly Lovecraftian themes. When he first meets it, Freeman is utterly terrified, but later gets used to it and even willingly goes back to the fight just to annoy it.


  • Big Bad: It is responsible for the alien invasion of Black Mesa.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Quoth Gordon: "LOVECRAFT WAS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING! HOW DID HE KNOW?"
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Over the course of the battle, Gordon goes from being utterly afraid of it to mocking it.
    Gordon: I'm totally not fighting an Elder God! Nope! No, no! That's not what's happening! It's just really big, levitates, and looks like an Elder God. But I should try and keep perspective. We had dinosaurs bigger than you- or at least taller- and Earth gravity's way higher, so what's your excuse?!
  • Final Boss: It is the last enemy Gordon fights.
  • Power Floats: It usually floats in the air.
  • Shock and Awe: Can produce Nihilanth Bolts, which Freeman admits he felt.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Several times during the fight, it sends portals after Gordon, and as it dies, portals spew out of its head.
    Gordon: [upon seeing a portal coming for him yet again] Oh, this again? This is Your Answer to Everything!
  • Your Answer to Everything: Portals.

The Combine

    The Tripods 
Combine Striders, they're the first new alien Freeman encounters upon his return to Earth and easily the most threatening.
  • The Dreaded: Whereas most of the Xen aliens have been reduced to annoyances as far as Freeman is concerned, the sight of these things terrifies him.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Freeman thinks they're an example of this, much like his reaction to fighting a Lovecraftian horror, believing them to be the antagonists of The Tripods and assuming they're going to cap him.
  • Master Race: Freeman mistakenly assumes they're the ones who've conquered Earth, rather than just being war machines for the Combine.

     Dr. Breen 

The administrator of Black Mesa, and a James Bond villain. By the time of Freeman's Mind 2, he's taken over the world and broadcast videos of him talking everywhere. Currently has only appeared in person for a few seconds while Freeman is in the teleporter.


  • Call-Back:
    • In Freeman's Mind, Gordon notes that he doesn't know who's in charge at Black Mesa. When he sees Breen's face in Freeman's Mind 2, he doesn't recognize him.
    • Gordon also does a lot of theorizing about Black Mesa being a "James Bond villain company". Breen does fit the Bond villain theme pretty well.
  • The Ghost: In the first Freeman's Mind. He never appears, but Freeman does a lot of theorizing about Black Mesa's leader (although he doesn't know who it is).
  • Remember the New Guy?: Freeman has no idea who he is despite Breen being his former boss. He doesn't even remember having his picture taken with Breen or the other scientists.

    Cops 
Actually known as Civil Protection, they're Combine police officers who pursue Freeman. Their primary weapons are their pistols, shock prods, and countless Exploding Barrels.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Freeman assumes their gas masks are signs that they've been capped by the Tripods.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Zig-zagged. Freeman admits that dumping barrels full of explosives on him is definitely more effective than shooting the power-armored man with a handgun. On the other hand, he wonders why they do this with unwieldy and slow barrels (complete with an delay that allows him to get out of the explosion's radius before it goes off) when they clearly have more advanced weaponry at their disposal.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Sometimes, Freeman is more annoyed by their incompetence at killing him than the fact that they're trying to do so in the first place.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Their poor accuracy is a constant point of mockery for Freeman ("They don't even stop to aim!). In episode 10 of season 2, he actually outright calls one of them "a stormtrooper in training" when the metrocop sprays dozens of rounds at him from a few dozen yards away with a submachine gun and hits nothing but air and water.
  • Police Brutality: Gordon also assumes that, with them being cops, the fact they open fire without even saying "Freeze!" or anything in Russian (still convinced he's somewhere around the area) qualifies as this, even before he could be qualified as a cop killer. And that's not getting into the Exploding Barrels, and the more advanced armament they get like gun nests and missiles.
    Gordon: What country gives its police guided missiles!? That's literally more firepower than Robocop!
    Gordon: (impersonating a cop) Welcome to the force! Here's your badge and your box of bullets, now don't come back until you shoot someone!
    Gordon: (pondering the placement of all the Exploding Barrels) Maybe the cops just want to make it easier to kill everyone, everywhere, with everything, at all times. Everyone must die! Before lunch.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: While most of them are murderous and brutal, Freeman also witnesses two of them going on their lunch break, excited that it's taco day.
  • Schizo Tech: Their repeated tactic of using Exploding Barrels against Freeman gets compared to medieval practices of pouring burning oil onto enemies.
  • Zerg Rush: Their favored tactic; they're endless, and tend to come in multiple squads at a time.note 
    Gordon: Fucking Christ! There's no end to them!

    Paparazzi Bots 
Floating robots that reveal Gordon's location to the cops, and blind him.
  • Blinding Camera Flash: Probably the most formidable enemy Gordon has encountered so far, he remarks that he will eventually lose his eyesight to them.

    Manhacks 
The result of the Combine experimenting with Redneck technology, Manhacks are tiny flying circular saws.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Freeman notes that all they do is fly in a straight line, and can thus be stopped simply by putting a fence in-between them and their target. Furthermore, he believes their targeting is far too inclusive and they just chop up anything they see, which is why there's no dogs, cats or rats anywhere.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The engineering that went into them combines a buzz saw and an artificially intelligent drone into a weapon that's only effective if the target is in such a confined space that they have trouble moving their arms.
    Gordon: If your top-end robotic assault device can be defeated with a baseball bat every time... well, that kinda says it all, doesn't it?
  • Mundane Utility: Gordon fights one in a sealed air vent, which he thinks was placed there to hunt rats.
  • Zerg Rush: While he still finds them rather terribly designed, Gordon is unfortunate enough to find out they're not lacking in numbers. Even then, he's not impressed.
    Gordon: Okay, I guess those are dangerous when there's... a MILLION of them! But that's true of anything! A nerf bat will kill you if it's shoved down your esophagus!

Other

    G-Man 

G-Man

A CIA Time Lord that follows Gordon around the facility before offering him a job. Gordon agrees because he thinks he'll get a pardon for all the murder and property damage he committed while wandering around the facility.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Recruits Gordon without telling his mission, instead dropping him in City 17 with no information, no identification, and no money.
  • The Men in Black: Gordon assumes he's a CIA spook.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: When dropping Gordon off in City 17, he gets uncomfortably close to Gordon's face. Gordon claims his breath smells like paint and deems him a sexual predator.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Can appear and disappear at will while stalking Gordon on his journey. It only reinforces Gordons view of him being a Time Lord, though whether it's a natural power or incredibly advanced time travel technology remain to be concluded for him (the latter of which annoys Gordon because it'd be like, quote "If we were in the 1800s inventing the internal combustion engine and he just shows up in a Ferrari doing doughnuts outside our workshop, it's really demoralizing!")

    Eddie 

Eddie

Gordon's shady friend. If Gordon wants to buy or sell something of dubious legality (drugs, weapons, blood packs, et cetera), Eddie's the guy he'll go to.
  • Arms Dealer: A small one, Gordon thinks he'll be able to sell all the weapons he found in Black Mesa for big bucks.
  • Friend in the Black Market: Gordon's contact for drugs and illegal deals.
  • The Ghost: He is only mentioned by Gordon.
  • Noodle Incident: Gordon mentions one involving Eddie and a trip to Panama.

    Jessie 

Jessie

Gordon's sex offender cousin, who Gordon thinks of getting a job as a security guard.


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