Poll Question 158 – Would you like to see the return of Race X?

6th February 2010

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

I loved Opposing Force and presume you did too. The inclusion of new enemies was very important and these enemies, called Race X have never been seen since and too my knowledge never been acknowledged in Half-Life 2 or the episodes (please correct me if I am wrong).

So, the poll question simple: Would you like to see the return of Race X?

I definitely would but I am sure everybody is expecting new enemies for EP3, and re-introducing Race X may seem like a cop-out.

I should mention that I am not talking about any remakes of Opposing Force or Mods, but whether the enemies should be introduce in EP3 or other Valve made/sanctioned releases.

Poll Idea Source

A while back a PP reader, called Grey Acumen, emailed me a very detailed poll question about whether Race X could be retconned to fit Half-Life cannon. I felt the question was too detailed, but still very interesting.

I decided to redefine the question and if the result is overwhelmingly “Yes”, then I will run Grey’s original question as is, with all the detailed poll options.

The Poll


  1. I think it would be nice to see more of the aliens from Black Mesa, not just Race X. Surely there would have been more than just Headcrabs and Vortigaunts escaping into the wild.

    However, I can’t see Valve introducing past aliens. I think the focus is more on the Combine now.

  2. No, absolutely not. Lets go forwards not backwards.
    I’d rather have to face poison antlions again.
    Let’s be rid of these superannuated beasties from HL1 and the like. Valve have and thank goodness for that.
    The very idea horrifies me.
    Don’t lets move backwards, lets move on.

  3. 23-down

    I would love it to see Op4 monsters again.. They don’t even have to include them in the entire game just in 1 little chapter. Maybe Gordon is getting teleported into their dimension rift by accident. Just like he and Alyx arrived few weeks later in Kleiners lab in hl2 after a teleportation accident.

    I would like to see some of the old Blackmesa monsters maybe even some that were cutted out the original hl1. I miss the little houndeye dogs and what happend to the alien grunts some of them should still be alive and free after gordon killed the brain monster in hl1. They should help the voltigores in hl2 ep3.

    Or some completely new monsters I allways thought Hl2 doesn’t have enough enemies.

  4. Beastery

    Would be perfect to have a new species that kick Combine ass, then the surviving Combine soldiers help you.

    1. Talon

      That would be an interesting storyline in which the resistance must team up with the Combine to fight a common enemy…perhaps race X.

  5. vindow_viper

    I wrote Valve an email a couple years ago after Ep.2’s release asking a similar question, though I was specifically referring to the original HL Xen wildlife (bullsquids, houndeye, etc.) Here is part of the response I got:
    “Honestly, we miss some of the original “Xen wildlife” too. I can’t say what enemies you’ll face in the games to come, but it would be fun to bring back some of the classics.”

    So… maybe? I can understand if they decide not to- the sheer numbers of antlions are so overwhelming it stands to reason they depleted much of the available food supply, and it could also explain the lack of Earth fauna.

    As for Race X? I recall hearing about Marc Laidlaw being asked a similar question, and he replied that he did not take events of Op4 into account when writing HL2, or something to that effect. I always thought they were some kind of Combine-assimilated synth race, given their hostile AI coding towards Xen creatures as well as humans.

  6. Planetary

    I don’t get the point of fighting things we fought 10 + years ago. What’s wrong with a little originality?

    1. What’s wrong with a little originality?

      Nothing, but what’s wrong with a little nostalgia?

      1. The Dias

        When it exists purely for it’s own sake, rather than for making the game better.

  7. I don’t mind as long as Valve makes this game 🙂

  8. Kyouryuu

    I personally like the Combine and Synth-style enemies more than the aliens in HL1 and Opposing Force. The generic warmongering alien is a cliche. It’s pretty easy to invent a whole race of odd alien creatures to fight, but they are difficult to relate to as enemies. This creature has one eye, this creature has four arms, this one has an arm coming out of his gut – you tend to define them by appearance rather than who or what they are. The Vortigaunts, for example, are imbued with enough backstory and idiosyncrasies to make them interesting characters. If I asked you to define a Vortigaunt, take Uriah for example, you probably wouldn’t begin with a physical description. To me, that’s the bar alien creatures in Half-Life have to meet, and for the most part, Race X doesn’t.

  9. Joe

    Race X are to surreal and diverse for me to take seriously.

  10. I would love to see Race X again. HL2 and it’s episodes really felt like they were lacking enemies, and Race X brings me nostalgic feelings. 😀

    I don’t see why so many people are against them.. They were fun to fight, and they looked really cool..

  11. What were the Xen lifeforms what wee see in the Citadel at the end of “Our Benefactors” (just before go up to Breen’s office)? One of them looks like giant Chumtoad. Maybe Race X?

    1. Da Fat Cat

      Those were some sort of alien beings combined with Combine technology (similar to the striders and gunships), known as the crab and mortar Synths.

    2. HEC HL FAN

      You mean the Combine Advisors????

      1. No, follow the links in the main post to learn more about Race X.

  12. Talon

    The race X aliens were very fun to interact with, perhaps with the exception of the humanoid aliens with the overpowered weapons. It would be nice to see some of the race x creatures return to the game, but only if they are integrated well and into the storyline.

  13. Michal

    I voted yes, but I wanna see a reason why they appeared here and from where they came. It would be also nice for example to see them fight against combine as another enslaved race (beside people).

  14. Barnz

    I totally love Pit Drones.

  15. The Dias

    My biggest problem with the “Race X” creatures is that they leave no impact at all on the series plot-wise & their origin being so similar to the combine’s seems quite redundant unless they were connected somehow. The name “Race X” is also quite unimaginative, generic, and to a degree confusing. All of the HL creatures created by Grearbox obviously wouldn’t be the same species, let alone all being a collective “race’.

    Some of the creatures were also obvious recycles of AI. The Gonome was simply a bullsquid with a zombie-like model & the Shock Troopers reused Grunt AI, and the Shock Roaches were Headcrabs.

    All it really seems to boil down to people caring about is getting more weapons to shoot & superficial visible variety in things being shot at.
    And the ever popular reason; ‘valve acknowledging Opposing Force as being canon’. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the game was fun and all, but I’ve come to hate it’s fans with a passion simply because they won’t just move on and keep insisting that valve will bring back Adrian or the Race X creatures some day simply as Fan-Wank/Pandering To The Base/Continuity Porn. Sorry for the wall-of-text.

  16. Freyband

    Sorry, but I gotta vote no. It was a pretty good boss in HL:OP, but in the normal HL2 universe I just don’t really think so. The only place I can see it coming back (in the flesh at least as an enemy) would be is if the whole Adrian Shepard myth proved true in portal 2. Just personal opinion (would be funny if he spoke in the game, and his line when seeing it was “oh s**t, not you again.”)

    1. Wesp5

      I would say “yes”, and bring back all the other cool HL1 aliens too!
      Because as Planetary wrote “What’s wrong with a little originality?” and all off those were much more original than the three types of headcrabs, three types of zombies, three types of combines, three types of antlion approach of the HL2 games. But please forget the “Race X” rubbish. Was this ever stated inside the game itself and not only in some marketing hype? To me these were just different Xen aliens because we don’t really know how big the Xen world is…

  17. Pingback: Episode #70 » Podcast17

  18. 23-down

    Another good point for bringing them back is that Earth is huge. Antlions just lifed near deserts.. So we might encounter completely different monsters in a possible EP3 Iceworld. I played once a russian hl1 mod which used nice bullsquid monsters. They had ice spears on their bodies and different camouflages. Something like that might be possible. The monsters adapted to their new home area.

  19. THAT is the first mod I ever played in the screen shot…what is that? what was the name of the mod…There’s a room and a shaft to the right off screen where there are the valve and another logo in it.. You have to go down there to flood the chamber..Tough mod..I loved that one..

    The return of Zen Critters? Sure!

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