Poll Question 156 – Which Alyx do you prefer?

25th January 2010

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Have you ever noticed how different Alyx is in HL2, HL2: EP1 and HL2: EP2? I have to admit that I didn’t until Jasper pointed it out to me and suggested this poll question.

Let’s look a little closer, and these are Jasper’s descriptions, so feel free to compare and contrast each Alyx with your observations.

In Half-Life 2, Alyx helped a little in combat situations and opened barriers to the way forward but was absent most of the time. She was also used to get to places before Gordon could. Also, arriving after the combat was done seemed to be one of her specialities. The drawback, for some, might be the long cut scenes involving her in long speeches.

The EP1 Alyx was very involved in combat situations but very often IN YOUR FACE and could often be a hindrance.

The EP2 Alyx was helpful in a few combat situations and not in your face at all. Also, with a good sense of humour. The ideal game companion?

It’s observations like this that make me want to replay the games this summer and hopefully I’ll notice other differences too.

My big problem is that I have never replayed any of the games and to be honest I can’t remember the differences between each Alyx, but Jasper’s descriptions do seem to match my very hazy memory.

So, which Alyx do you prefer and do you agree with Jasper’s assessment?

In fact, while we are talking about it, why not tell me what you hope EP3 Alyx will be like.

The Poll


  1. Just off-topic, this poll is essentially the third anniversary question. That’s more or less a poll question every week for three years!

  2. Joe

    Easy. Episode 2. It was quite noticeably they had upgraded her AI. She was a lot better at everything and not getting in your way. Plus episode 2 put her right in the combat with you. She was a helpful right from the start. You become a lot more “entwined” with Alyx with her personally involved in the story. Its an easy win.
    Shes not the best combatant. But she still does all the things Gordon cant. Like speak! Open doors. Use a sniper. Execute zombies and ride shotgun. Not to say that she wasn’t nice to have around in the first games. But comparatively there is no hesitation. Episode 2 Alyx is better in so many ways.
    Though I would like to hear if some people see otherwise.
    Hurrah! your 3 years Poll question anniversary! (that’s your leather anniversary I do believe!)
    Even though I haven’t been around that long to see them all. Congratulations!

  3. WizardExt

    A bit unfair topic, seems a bit rushed. The descriptions will result in the majority voting EP2-Alyx.. Atleast that’s what I would do. I would want a more detailed description and with that I could better make up my mind on what version of Alyx I liked best. I don’t remember too much about the different Alyx versions.

    I think Alyx was awesome in HL2. A new character that I haven’t met before. Sexy too. She climbed a drainpipe at one moment, that was cool. She talked a lot, explained things and led the way. It worked great in HL2.

    EP1 version of Alyx had homour. I remember when Alyx finds a “Zombine”, something that made me laugh.

    Anyway, I voted EP2 Alyx. She helps you when you really need her help, she has a sense of humour and she doesn’t leave you intentionally for too long. She fights by your side and experience the adventure with you. I think she is a great tool when it comes to story telling and puzzle solving. Also, as we know from EP2, is a great motivation for Gordon Freeman.

    But I love all versions of Alyx, she kicks ass!

  4. Lazy Figure

    I only remember Alyx ever being a “hindrance” in Half-Life 2, at one part, where she tends to run ahead and get ambushed and quickly killed by combine. My memory’s hazy too, though. Maybe she caused trouble in Episode 1 as well. I vote Episode 2 for her helpfulness and the sympathetic plot points involving her.

  5. Mel

    I just like Alyx any way she comes; she made a big impression in HL2 and had a major staring role in EP1 and 2. I will go for HL1, after all that’s when most players fell in love with her and demanded more.

    Just a bit off topic, do you think that she, Alyx has ever come off big in a custom mod? If so what mod or mods?

  6. Mel

    I should have said “I will go for HL2′.

  7. I’m actually going to vote for Episode 1 here. In HL2 she was actually a bit of a hindrance, especially the one scene towards the end it felt like the combine took her down with 1 or 2 shots.

    For some reason she felt more useful in Episode 1 than she did in Episode 2. The sniper section in Ep1 was fun, and I really felt like she was the one supporting me. In Ep2, they had a similar type of event when you were trying to get to the car the first time, but for some reason it lacked the same sense of it being HER personally firing the thing. Possibly because I never seemed to bother looking to see where she was shooting from. It would have been nice if she had a “hey, gordon! over here!” during one of the moments when you weren’t getting attacked, and then wave when you actually spot her.
    Another thing I noticed was that the support she gave in Episode 1 felt more important. Ammo was scarce at the beginning of episode 1, and if you were trying to get the “The One Free Bullet” achievement, her firearm skills became even more crucial. She even picked up a shotgun at the one point, and she manned the stationary gun in the trainyard where you were ferrying rebels to the getaway train. There was also the whole hopper mine hacking that was prominent in episode 1, but then never really featured much in episode 2 at all.

    All in all I felt like Ep2 Alyx did very little except tag along for the ride, nearly get killed, narrate, and then play the part to sympathize with for the last scene.

    Also, I can’t remember Alyx EVER getting killed or causing a game failure in Episode 1. I thought that she actually COULDN’t die in Episode 1 OR episode 2, but she managed to get killed in Episode 2 once, and I also left her behind during the one copter chase and was told that I lost cause I left her behind, even though she wasn’t even dead. I WAS going to go back for her.

    1. I killed her in Episode 2. It was the part with the Jalopy and the bridge. Some how I drove the car off the bridge but jumped out in time.

      1. denizen50

        Wow, that’s actually possible??
        Wish I had known that earlier!

    2. Thomas

      “… but she managed to get killed in Episode 2 once, and I also left her behind during the one copter chase and was told that I lost cause I left her behind, even though she wasn’t even dead. I WAS going to go back for her.”

      I might commit suicide too if my male interest was mute and was so disinterested in me to leave me behind.

  8. Muzzow

    I didn’t vote at all just because another option is missing. “No Alyx at all” would be fitting for me. I can’t stand her and wish that Valve would have killed her off instead of her father. But she’s obviously meant for boys/young men to be interesting (her flirtatious attitude towards the player). She’s a nuisance, her stupid jokes make me cringe and I really don’t like easy women in games. And, as a last point to undergird my fierce opposition, she’s unnecessary in the series and doesn’t do more than opening doors, having a couple of totally factitiously spoken dialouges and being constantly in my line of fire, doing my – the players – work in shooting enemies. To make a long story short: Urgh! Don’t want. XD

    1. Since when is she easy? Maybe you were thinking of Fakefactory’s various interpretations of her?

      1. Muzzow

        No, not because of FF’s models. She’s easy because no decent woman would throw herself at a guy she barely knows. And she’s flirting with him as if she could hardly wait to, um, I prefer to censor the rest of the sentence and leave it unspoken. You don’t even need dialogues for that, the body language already reveals it. The way she’s winking, coyly brushing the hair back, throwing her arms around the player, being just a bit “too glad” about him surviving, etc. Every interaction is overdone, just to make sure even the dumbest guy in front of the monitor understands and recognizes flirtatious behavior. (I’ve played games that were way more subtle than HL2 and therefore, much more interesting in their player/character interactions.) Clearly meant from Valve to make the male gamer to be interested in her, thinking that she’s hot and sexy. *rolleyes* And, before you’re jumping to conclusions, no, I’m not attracted to Gordon. He’s kinda boring, and, from Valve’s official pictures (DVD-Cover and Raising the bar) he’s totally unattractive.

  9. EP2 for me.
    Behaviour wise in EP3,same as EP2 but needs smartening up graphically. In both HL2 and EP1, in particular, she is depicted adequately but not that well by today’s standards. Much better in EP2 but could be improved.
    The “No Alyx” poll option could not be done because the poll is for the games that she is in. Relevant to EP3 though.
    Perhaps Phillip might feel another Poll Question coming on?

  10. I do not like her she is always in the way, I wish I coukld kill her off forever!
    She is as useless as Kate in Azure sheep .

    I did not vote because NO alex option is avalible

    1. denizen50

      I agree completely, she’s the informal “babysitter”

  11. I will throw my idea here in and I’m a little estonish nobody open this door I just download episode 2 quite recently and play it during december but after this episode one thing seems clear for me…Alix is more and more taking care of Gordon the role of is father who act a little bit like he could be a second father for Gordon and likes gordon too make no doubt about it after 3 opus (classic and Ep 1&2) Alix if falling in Love of Gordon And the games FPS orientation let also this door open for sure

    So for me through some small speech acting relation during Episode 2 I think really that this is the Alix that I like: she take care of me, she is smiling, joking, helping like my wife in everyday’s life…

  12. ANonEntity

    PP: “…while we are talking about it, why not tell me what you hope EP3 Alyx will be like…”

    I hope Alyx in HL2-EP3 is the guardian. Explaining “mission objectives”, showing “level maps”. and leading to “waypoints”, if they don’t already exist in the HL universe.
    It’s sometimes irritating, to keep on guessing.

    1. what you’re describing sounds more like a “Guide” than a “Guardian”

      1. ANonEntity

        I’d prefer her to be both, for the sake of the HLs gameplay. A “Guide” & “Guardian”. One Key assignment to “call” Alyx for hints or whatever. Well, whatever!

  13. Yes, I preferred EP2 Alyx. Mostly because she got in may way at times in earlier episodes. I’m hoping EP3 Alyx will be more towards a FakeFactory version of her.

  14. zagles

    I want more Barney 🙁 (I love his character and in his voice actor)

  15. Xblah

    I think Alyx will be far more agressive in EP3. I can bet that if she sees an Advisor in her way, she will steal gordon’s crowbar and hit the thing to the death.

  16. Gypsy_Jim

    When I first saw this Poll I thought it must refer to the (many) different models posted elsewhere for Alyx….and looked forward to seeing other people’s favourites.

    Damn, I was so far off the mark, but hadn’t ever really thought about the way the three Alyxs so far played out in the different games, nor worried about it until now.

    There are some really quite good ones out there, especially the FakeFactory ones…..but in keeping with the actual post, I guess I like them all, and don’t get why one of the previous posters didn’t like her input at all. If I absolutely had to choose I suppose I’d go for the Ep1 version, but they all have places and things to contribute to the overall storyline, so it’s not really that big an issue for me.

    It’s interesting to see other people’s opinions though…..

    1. Thomas

      I was like Gypsy_Jim and was hoping that it was talking about all the different models that people like Fake Factory put out, that way I could constantly vote for the models that made her look like she was based on the main character from StreetWalker BJs Volume 5

  17. Hypnotek

    I have to say that I very much preferred the Alyx from Episode 1 because of her usefulness in combat. I found her actually to be a good combat compainion and for once she actually felt useful in a firefight, especially the hospital mission (my favorite in the whole HL series, except for the Water Hazard in HL2. In Episode 2 it felt like all of that combat readiness had been toned done, with her being injured by the hunter, and above all she just seemed scared all the time, like she couldn’t decide whether to shoot, or run in a corner and hide.

  18. Voted the Episode Two version of Alyx.

    – She’s a lot more involved than she was in Half-Life 2.
    – She snipes, gives you direct support, and unlocks doors and whatnot.
    – Her model is upgraded, and she uses an upgraded facial animation system.
    – She ducks out of the picture every now and then to let Freeman do things that aren’t NPC friendly, like jumping and running around obstacles, navigating toxic waste, and things of that nature.

    One thing that needs to mentioned is that she isn’t the only prominent companion NPC present in Episode Two, as one of the Vortigaunts does journey with the player for a while. There are more solo spaces compared to Episode One, but it featured far more companionship than Half-Life 2.

    Overall, the differences between the Ep1 and Ep2 Alyx are relatively minor, she’s very direct and central in the plots and progressions of both episodes. I find it odd that the poll makes a mention of Alyx being a hindrance in Episode One, but she got in the way far more in Half-Life 2 and was much improved in Ep1.

  19. She should stay away from the player. Half Life 2 way is better if you ask me. I like to play alone, companions tend to disturb me.

    1. denizen50

      Same here!!

  20. James

    My vote’s for Episode 1 Alyx. The scene with the stalker on the train, then it crashed and you had to pull the stalker off of her, and then she sort of slumps in the corner to take a breather… it was a very organic and emotionally wrought storytelling device and great character building. It gave Alyx depth.

  21. john

    my favorite part with alyx was when in half life 1 we were in the dark tunnel and she kept making zombie noises and when I would turn around she would giggle and play coi.
    but episode 2 she was much more advanced a plus. a negative those hunters were as smart as she was. looking forward to episode 3 and what do we as a team have to do.

  22. Archaic

    a number of things about alex creep me out:

    1)she’s 20 years younger than gordon[IF gordon remembers her from black mesa, its as a kid] (evidence, last photo of eli’s wife has a five year old alex in it)

    2)she’s too clingy to, open to, and trusting of gordon (the guy is gone for 20 years, no thoughts that he might be working with the combine, beats the shit out of things in his way with a crobar, and doesnt talk)

    3)she’s in my line of fire constantly

    4)talks too much

    5)gets in my way

    6)constantly sending me into danger [maybe gordon dosnt want to crawl through trenches, maybe he wants to fix the car in safety]

    7)entirely too cheerful about killing people

    8)wont die

    9)talks too much

    10)talks too much

    11)she will poop out gordon freeman jr, and the gman will say ‘mazzeltov” (i apologize for bad spelling) and that will wrap the hl2 story arc.

    1. I’m not sure but there is a possibility that Gordon is not 20 years older then her. We don’t know what happened to him in the time between HL1 and HL2. I believe he didn’t live that space and just jumped through time. Well, that’s just a guess but a big possibility if you ask me. If that’s the case they should be approximately in the same age. (Well, considering he wasn’t 40 or more in HL1.)

      1. Archaic

        still doesnt make it right that your friend’s little girl (how gordon almost certainly remembers her) is coming on to you.

        not to mention she’s suppposed to be a genius and cant seem to put “physics major who worked at black mesa long enough to be friends with dad” and “black mesa incident happened 20 years ago” together.

        1. Eli in Black Mesa East: “My God, you haven’t changed one iota, how do you do it?” It’s abundantly clear that Freeman was in perfect stasis, he didn’t age to 40 in the twenty year interval. Overwiki cites Freeman’s age as 27 at the time of his entrance into stasis, so their age discrepancy can’t be much larger than 2-5 years.

          Saying, “still doesn’t make it right” is nonsensical because there’s nothing wrong with the situation in the first place. Gordon Freeman is still a young man in every sense. And Alyx does in fact know that Freeman was there during the time of the incident, she specifically mentions the fact that Freeman and her father “worked together at Black Mesa” (and has made other comments about Freeman’s time at Black Mesa or about his coworkers).

          You want weird, consider Barney. He’s approaching middle age, his hair’s getting greyer, he lived through years of Combine war and occupation, and Gordon is still in his youth. They were both young people in Black Mesa, but they effectively belong to different eras now. Gordon Freeman has had the blessing (or the curse) of living in two generations.

  23. Kyouryuu

    I would say the Alyx from Episode 1, on the grounds that aside from the Vortigaunts reviving her, I can’t remember much about what exactly she did. I felt in Episode 1, they were more focused on developing her as a character. From the moment it starts, you become invested in her story. When you’re thrown into the Citadel by Dog, you’re right beside her. I remember the scene in the Stalker train car, the silly zombie noises she made in the cave, that look of her standing in front of the Citadel core, and trekking through a creepy hospital together. There were more “moments,” basically.

    Everything about Alyx in Episode 2 is technically better, but the moments lacked the poignancy. Alyx in Episode 2 just felt like a more talkative squadmate – it didn’t feel like there were as many one-off interactions, and she also had to share the spotlight with Magnusson and others. And when we get to the end, defending White Forest, she’s nowhere to be found.

    1. Kyouryuu

      “I can’t remember much about what exactly she did.” in Episode 2. Man, too tired to type legibly. XD

  24. EP2 = us 2 girls out there fighting.

  25. Pingback: Episode #68 » Podcast17

  26. Duke

    Actually, as far as Alex goes, in ANY episode, yeah, for sure, she’s the love interest, fit as well I might add (and I don’t mean she’s a good climber)…in some ways it’s a shame you can’t interact more with her (but it’s a Family show..pity there’s not an Adult setting, but I digress) Yep, she, and the others do get in the way sometimes..(and block me in a space when I really do need to be busy) but her character is nice and lends something to it…I would like to see more made of other characters as well, maybe spin offs on their story, bit like Blue Shift and Opposing Force, hell, there’s still miles in all this yet.

  27. I would enjoy the Alyx character if she were only helping me to fight myself free from a pant leg eating bicycle chain. Such a dynamic character and now all but immovable from the HL2 franchise.

  28. Nrmartins

    I prefer the HL2 Alyx, the first time it was introduced it felt more immersive because it was an entirely new Half-Life 2 back then, the game was reworked and it caused more impact, each and every character, specially Alyx.

  29. How interesting. Out of 369 votes, 257 are for EP2 Alyx.
    That’s far more than I thought and I expected the HL2 Alyx to be more popular than the EP1 Alyx.
    We are all different. Good for us, I say.

    If Alyx is in HL3, and I do not doubt that she will be, me and the other 256 will be wanting an Alyx with a character based on the EP2 type by the look of it.

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