Marc Laidlaw's 'Epistle 3'

G-man can still use Shepard if he wants to too.At least we know how the Combine homeword looks like,it’s just a giant metal sphere which is kinda boring in my opinion but I didn’t expect much more from them just by looking on their Citadel and synth design.Also it could be so cool to see “glimpses of other worlds” and sadly there was no place for Barney and Adrian in EP3 plot.

On one hand I am really grateful Marc did this but also sad it just might mean that H-L2E3/H-L3 is officially dead…such a bittersweet feeling.

I mean, this is a little different, Geek.

This is like a girl that’s been fucking you for a while and then, after the last time, leaves on terms which suggest that she’ll be seeing you again real soon. She texts you and calls you, hyping up just how hard she’s gonna fuck you when she sees you next. Then, out of the blue, she just stops talking to you in any intimate way. You never see her again. Instead, all she does is ask you for money for unrelated art projects she’s trying to fund. You say that all you really want is to see her one more time, but she refuses to acknowledge any sort of history between you two. After a while, you fall out of love with her, but you still have this sense of longing for closure. Why did she cut off all intimate contact? What happened? How would it have ended up if she hadn’t moved on so suddenly?

I don’t think that we were ever entitled to the next game. In fact, it was clear for many years we were never going to get one and if anybody really wanted an ending they could have made it themselves. Valve never signed a contract with its fans; we never donated money to a Kickstarter campaign. However, their blatant disregard for the fan base that made them who they were and lifted Steam off the ground in the first place is a little pretentious and rude. At least tell us that you aren’t making the game, rather than spend the first four years hyping up the cool features you’re working on for the next title and then entering total radio silence about it for the next six. I mean, you have to admit it was a pretty large cliffhanger we ended on. Granted, HL’s magic was always in how the narrative was interweaved with the gameplay, so perhaps this ending Laidlaw delivered doesn’t have that oomph that the rest of the story had. But you have to admit that you were a little curious how it would have all ended and that you would have preferred a new game over a blog post to finish the series.

You have to feel for Laidlaw though. This story was his baby and Valve stuffed it in a closet right when it was about to conclude. I imagine he’s been just as frustrated, if not more so, than we were. If anything, he was owed an outlet for a conclusion, not us.

Even in which case, you are still not owed anything. Maybe it was a shitty thing for her to do, but you aren’t entitled to her affection…

…which we seem to agree on.

Continuing the metaphor, you aren’t owed affection, but a lack of answers is going to threaten even the most stable of friendships. An explanation other than “I have nothing to say about it” is just… necessary. Otherwise there’s always going to be that wedge between the two of you.

This is incredibly sad. Yes technically valve did not owe us another game, but to let their flagship game and one of the greatest videogames of all time just fall by the wayside? WTF were they thinking? I guess the gobs of money they make off of steam and micro transactions made them think they didn’t need to make another single player game

Let’s be honest, Valve gave us fans a brutal cliffhanger then made us think we’d return to the world of Gordon Freeman very soon, way back in 2007-2008… teasing how innovative and new EP3 would be, a feature even better than the Portal Gun, new visual elements and things that weren’t really in the previous games, which you could tell from the concept art that they really were aiming for something amazing, but then, silence. Well it wasn’t instant but slowly they stopped mentioning EP3’s progress though did confirm it was still happening, then they started to stop talking about it completely, it did not pull through successfully as a project at Valve and we weren’t notified of what went wrong, they started to focus on a MMORPG called Dota 2, they made CSGO and gave it a skin and spray store, back in 2011 they made Portal 2 which was a pretty successful game, let alone sequel to Portal 1 and just demonstrated they are still capable of making wonderful games, as well as continuations of games, but… they got greedy, their business models completely changed, they didn’t think EP2 needed a rightful continuation or so it seemed, at some point the community began digging up lost code from EP3 and even HL3, they found the so called ‘development team’ for HL3 and discovered a supposed EP3 Movie, at some point Gabe finally addresses the issues and states that they’d need a good reason to go back and do a ‘classic product’ and that it’d be unwise if they ignored what they learned from Portal 2… which apparently was the beginning of the end of the classic Valve we knew and loved, no more story-focused single player titles from them, they’ve branched out of the HL2 genre in so many ways, they’re even focusing on VR, while I’m excited about and cannot wait to play HL2 on the VR, it doesn’t appear to be the anticipated endeavor the community hoped for, and with all that taken in consideration…

they make a card game… apparently a clone of another card game I hear, they really just don’t care and they’ve grown too big, maybe it’s good for them but not for us, sticking with Valve like it’s the Valve we remembered is just pointless, they’ve changed and they don’t need us anymore. They don’t need Half-Life anymore. I honestly think that an actual HL3 from them in this day and age would be a complete sham and just a cash grab, it’s really for the best that there won’t be another Half-Life in this sense, really.

You can always modify the plot.

Tbh, including Barney in the plot would have been too fanservicey. He’s a dark comedy character, and the narrative for Ep3 was going in a much more serious direction. Maybe he should have been seen in a call or something, hearing about Eli and reacting, but I personally wouldn’t have put him in the lineup for the actual mission to the Borealis.

As for Shep, he’s Gearbox. Not really that canon imho.

Didn’t Gearbox help with the original Half-Life too?

As far as I’m aware, the only things that were ironclad canon about the Gearbox expansions were:

A. Black Mesa was nuked by the government

B. The HL2 Barney’s last name is Calhoun.

Marc Laidlaw shared some more thoughts on the Epistle on his Twitter account:

Epistolary Afterthoughts

Further data on why he released what he did, when he did.


“What if the final explosion powers a huge timeloop singularity that puts Gertrude back on the Green Valley Science Factory Inbound Train…”

THIS I imagined many times that could be quite suitable and FINAL ending for HL.

I’m happy to read what Marc put out, but the only question I have, is WHY now, If its been dead this long? Reading this, I cant help but tie it closely to “Minerva” by Adam Foster, turns out what he wanted to do was pretty similar to what Marc just put out.

  1. He could not put it out earlier because he was an employee of Valve.
  2. He decided to put it out now because he wanted his website to go down due to the flood of traffic.
  3. If not now, when?
  4. Doe it really matter.

1.He could have put that out while working there, nda’s don’t expire after 6 months.
4.It might.

Why would they include references to the Borealis in Portal 2 if they’d already stopped working on Episode 3 by then? They had to have known it would just hype Episode 3 even more.

It’s not like his story is cannon anyways so whatever. The real continuation of Half Life will include the Strogg from Quake 2/4 which will be part of the combine and you’ll have Doom guy helping you fight them.


Founded in 2004, became one of the first online communities dedicated to Valve’s Source engine development. It is more famously known for the formation of Black Mesa: Source under the 'Leakfree Modification Team' handle in September 2004.