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Deconstructed Trope / Freeman's Mind

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Freeman's Mind is a Deconstructor Fleet that explores a large number number of Video Game and Speculative Fiction tropes through the thought process of its unhinged protagonist. The series, in fact, deconstructs so many tropes in the process that they warrant their own page.


  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Artificial Intelligence is unlikely to ever rebel against humanity, because they're ultimately too narrow minded and lack emotion. The ideas/tropes of AIs turning against their masters and ruling the world is actually a wishful dream of humans who want the robots to do it, so that humans don't have to. The case is redundant anyway as programming an AI to rule the world would take just as much work as doing it yourself.
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  • Artificial Stupidity: The soldiers actually really hate each other, and are using the presence of Gordon as an excuse to off one another, so they can label it as friendly fire.
  • Bee Bee Gun: Turns out bees just aren't that good at piercing armor, and even then if the target is not particularly affected by their toxins their damage will be minimal.
  • Bond One-Liner: No sane person would let out a quippy pun after brutally killing someone. If they do, it's either a coping mechanism or sign of sociopathy.
  • Clarke's Third Law: While this explains that advanced technology can pass as magic, it doesn't exclude magic as an explanation.
  • Determinator: According to Half-Life, a determinator isn't someone tough enough to endure anything, it's someone sociopathic enough to kill everyone and everything in their way before it can hurt them.
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  • Door to Before: Doors and rooms go in loops because it's a conspiracy to trap and kill people inside Black Mesa.
  • Exploding Barrels: You'd have to go out of your way to make a barrel's contents so volatile that they'd explode from getting shot. The only conclusion that Gordon can come up with as to why anyone would create and spread such dangerous objects all over the the city is that the Civil Protection deliberately engineered and placed them to make their indiscriminate killing easier.
  • Eternal Engine: Black Mesa wastes excess funding on senseless and expensive construction projects to prevent potential budget cuts and bidding wars.
  • Fiery Coverup: A coverup makes no sense and would be impossible if it involves a massive research complex and killing most of the nation's leading scientists.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: The hologram talking about running commands and how to climb a ladder is actually just the result of lousy programming and Stealth Mode is a fancy term the HEV Suit's marketing department came up with for the rubber padding around the suit's knees.
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  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: The helmet is an important piece of protective equipment, and lacking one is a major cause of concern for Gordon throughout the series.
  • Heroic Mime: Since we don't know what a silent protagonist is thinking, for all we know, they are planning to use you as a shield or kill you, are contemplating insane things, or some combination of the above.
  • Icon of Rebellion: For a resistance movement, having a symbol at all, especially one used to identify segments of the Underground Railroad, is going to make it even easier for the oppressive regime to find you and stamp you out.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Chances of getting a mutation from radiation exposure that is beneficial are astronomical, and even if you did, you'd still have radiation poisoning.
  • Living Weapon: No sane person would pick up what looks like an alien larva and shove it in their hand. In fact, Gordon's first reaction to seeing a Hive Hand is to shoot it.
  • Locked Door: Gordon suspects they're actually just painted metal walls made to fool people.
  • One-Man Army: While it's certainly badass to be one of these, the sheer amount of killing you're going to end up doing will likely cause significant amount of psychological problems later in life. Also, being a One Man Army literally means you have to do all the tasks of a military force alone, including the use of complicated pieces of machinery meant to be operated by multiple people.
  • Properly Paranoid: Even if your sense of paranoia is justified, you're still eventually going to end up as a genuine paranoiac.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: Gordon might be the right person for stopping the alien menace, but he just wants to get the hell out. He's already being hunted down by the most powerful military on earth, so why would he bother with stopping the alien invasion when he would still have to worry about being a fugitive afterwards? Gordon also points out he is not the right man, he is just lucky and his employers think he is the right man until he finally dies.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Winning a game of chess is less about overall intelligence and more about memorization of board positions. You could be Einstein or Tesla, but you'd always lose to the nerd who spent his life memorizing all board positions. It also doesn't serve to model strategies beyond a certain point, as the moment one of the "pieces" resists an attack and punches through others anyways the whole metaphor goes out the window.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity:
    • Ammo can be found everywhere in Xen, because Black Mesa dumped people there in the hundreds, hoping to hit one of the islands by chance and with people either dropping from high altitude or dropped in the middle of enemy territory. Given how small the islands around Xen are, ones that Gordon finds are likely just the small minority and most people ended up in the middle of nowhere in space.
    • Ammo is everywhere in City 17, because cops are so trigger-happy that they just walk around carrying these big boxes of ammo everywhere and sometimes dropping them accidentally.
  • Tinfoil Hat: It won't protect against mind control, and, if anything, a piece of metal around the head is going to conduct the signals tinfoil hat people worry about.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Player character would have to be more than a little unhinged to try some of the things most games are asking them to do. In fact, sometimes Gordon refuses to do something stupid the game is asking him to do and uses abilities the game normally wouldn't allow to do a Dungeon Bypass.
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