In 2005, almost a year after the release of Half-Life 2, I was helping (in the least helpful way possible) a team of people make a modification of it where we would remake Half-Life 1 on the Source engine, the engine used to power the second game.

I was fairly active in the community at the time, posting on forums and the like, and as a possible inclusion in the mod, a discussion took place over how a character from the game lost his leg. That character was Eli Vance, if you’re not familiar with the Half-Life series.

Anyway, I decided to go to the source for clarification, and emailed Gabe Newell, the Valve co-founder, and ask him if he could forward my question onto Marc Laidlaw, who wrote Half-Life 2. He did.

I only had a vague recollection of his reply until I found it a few minutes ago, so I thought I’d post it here. It’s actually made me smile more than it really should have, given that it’s just an email about an almost decade-old game, but still, smile I did. Enjoy!

This is my original email to Gabe:

Hi Gabe,

Apparently Marc [Laidlaw] doesn’t want his e-mail address available or I’m an idiot, but could you possibly forward or answer this yourself?

I was wondering if you could settle a long-running discussion on a few forums about Eli’s leg, and where he lost it? The main arguments are between him losing it helping Dr. Kliener over into City 17 or losing it to a bullsquid back in Black Mesa. Any help, or a complete explantion would be great! Thanks!


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