- Ascended Fanon: One of the scientists from the original Half-Life is one who wears thick glasses and has white hair on the sides of his head. On 1999, a fansite called "Super Half-Life" adopted this character as a mascot for a weekly feature, called Walter's World, with the protagonist being Walter Bennett, written by the founder of the site Kevin "Fragmaster" Bowen. It turns out Gearbox and Valve liked this character and thus, on Opposing Force and Blue Shift, Walter was directly mentioned by name on each game, becoming canon within the Half-Life franchise.
- Acting for Two: Mike Shapiro practically lives on this trope. His voice credits throughout the franchise include Barney Calhoun, the Nihilanth, a few of the HECU grunts, and the G-Man.
- Fan Nickname: The Vortigaunt who accompanies you through parts of Episode Two has no official name. Naturally, he was nicknamed Cecil.
- Follow the Leader: The first game caused first-person shooters to shift away from "Doom clones" and towards story-driven narratives and immersive environments. The second game popularized physics as a key gameplay element and characters with believable facial animation. More directly, Halo would have its own "headcrab zombies" in the form of The Flood,note and the expansion pack for Doom 3 features an Expy of the second game's Gravity Gun. The series also popularized the Heroic Mime trope for first-person shooter characters.
- Name's the Same: Adrian Shephard from Opposing Force has nothing to do with that other Shepard.
- No Export for You: Half-Life 2: Survivor, an arcade game based off of Half-Life 2, co-developed by Valve and Taito. It's Japan-exclusive as well as being the only Half-Life game Japan ever got. No, nothing else from Valve counts. However, fan-made ports for the PC exist as Survivor was shut down years ago and is considered Abandonware.
- The Other Darrin: Both Eli and Alyx Vance were recast for Half-Life: Alyx.note
- Referenced by...: YouTube firearms history channel Forgotten Weapons has a video called "Freeman's Patent Revolver (No, Not Half Life)."
- Sampled Up: A good chunk of the soundtrack and even some sound effects throughout the series were taken from sample libraries, as these videos demonstrate.
- Schedule Slip: Half-Life 2: Episode 3 (or perhaps by now, Half-Life 3) is one of the biggest contenders. It has been almost 12 years since Episode 2 came out and ended on a cliffhanger, practically promising Episode 3, however not only Valve did refuse to give a clear announcement regarding the status of the game after it missed the Christmas 2007 mark, but in 2017, the writer, Marc Laidlaw, leaked the plot draft as "Epistle Three" before he left Valve, and as of 2019, it's close to reaching the record of the 13-year Development Hell of Duke Nukem Forever.
- As of the end of 2020, there is still no sign of a follow up to Episode 2. 2020 did however bring the release of VR game Half-Life: Alyx, an interquel set before Half-Life 2. HL:Alyx's ending performs a Cosmic Retcon on Episode 2's ending, leaving the future of the story even more uncertain than it already was, though the door remains open.
- Shrug of God: Marc Laidlaw is very ambiguous about some parts of the overall continuity. Not only towards the things added on by the Gearbox expansions, but also when it comes to Valve's own games.The whole issue of canon is something the fans came up with. I guess you will be able to identify as canon those story elements we continue to build on and develop and mention repeatedly as the story progresses. Others might fall by the wayside once they've served their purpose. Couldn't you say the same of us all?
- Trope Namers:
- Vaporware: Common with this series (and even more so for Team Fortress 2, though it did finally get released). Fans have been waiting for Half-Life 2: Episode Three for so long that it's become a source of videogame-culture running gags, and every bit of Valve-related news will include comments like "But what about Episode Three?" and "Wait: [a convoluted chain of "logic" like a parody of a Conspiracy Theory]... HALF LIFE 3 CONFIRMED!"
- To put it in numbers: 2 was released in 2004, almost exactly six years after the original in 1998. Episode One had a much quicker turnaround, taking only two years to get a 2006 release. Episode Two came out only a year after, in 2007; this would normally be considered an aversion if the original schedule wasn't "every few months". As of 2019, Episode Three is still unaccounted for, has likely been restarted from scratch multiple times, and is ten years and counting since the release of Episode Two, surpassing the nine years Team Fortress 2 spent in development and becoming a serious contender to equal or exceed Duke Nukem Forever and its infamously long 14-year development span.
- Further frustrating the fanbase is Valve's complete refusal to speak about the game (compared to Duke Nukem Forever, where periodically gameplay trailers and concept arts are being released before they're scrapped in favor of building the game ground up multiple times), and they rarely acknowledge the franchise even exists beyond the occasional off-hand mention in interviews or an Easter Egg in their other games. Combined with the news of series writer Marc Laidlaw's departure from Valve at the start of 2016 and fellow Valve writers Erik Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek leaving in 2017, fans are increasingly convinced that Valve has no further interest in the series and is letting it quietly die.
- In 2019, a new title was finally announced: Half-Life: Alyx, which takes place before Half-Life 2. In an interview with some of the developers, it's revealed that while there were attempts to make Episode Three and/or Half-Life 3, Valve felt that there was no possible way they could match the expectations for those games and it got to the point that they just couldn't get the motivation to work on the projects. The Stinger of the game is set directly after the end of Half-Life: Episode Two, heavily implying that Valve is finally sitting back down and turning Episode Three into a reality.
- What Could Have Been: So much that it has its own page.
- Wiki Rule: Combine OverWiki
Trivia / Half-Life