What have the Combine ever done for us?

18th August 2010

When patrolling through the streets of our beautiful city, I often hear the mumbling and grumbling of ungrateful citizens. The most common question I hear is “What have the Combine ever done for us?”. I can’t help but think back to our decadent days and ways and the first thing that springs to mind is Monty Python’s scene from the Life of Brian.

So, let’s take a moment a think about what the Universal Union have done for us.


Well, firstly, man made pollution is almost nothing. Of course, we still pollute when working in the factories and workhouses but it is for a greater cause and so should not be counted. A common phrase around in the early part of the twenty first century was “Carbon Footprint”. We can say categorically, that every citizen’s carbon footprint is almost zero. How wonderful is that and it’s often overlooked.


Next on my list is war. Consider for just a moment, beside those terrible resistance rebels, there is no war on earth. We have finally achieved what was once dreamed of: Peace on Earth. Can there be anything more glorious and inspiring? How many citizens died from fighting each other this year? Besides those unsightly food riots last month the figure is less than 10. Again, isn’t that an incredible thing?

Teenage Pregnancies

Whilst our Benefactors deem it right to prevent us from exhibiting our basest of animal urges, we no longer have to worry about teenage pregnancies, which were on the steady increase in the years before their arrival. In fact, no unwanted pregnancy has occurred in a very long time. We should be truly grateful.


Forgive my bluntness, but when was the last time you saw a fat person in City 17? probably years ago. Again, through efficient sue of food resources, we are all much healthier and slimmer! No more getting out of breath walking up the stairs, especially as few of the decadent moving rooms are still in operation.

You know I could go on, but I thought perhaps I could open this point to our dear readers and ask you to write in with other benefits of our Benefactors.

Learn more about the City 17 Times news posts.


  1. Yeah, the only fat “creatures” are those flying brain-sucking slugs…

  2. I have to argue the pollution issue. The combine have already drained oceans and are essentially strip mining the planet for those resources as well. While they aren’t introducing actual harmful chemicals back in, they’re essentially doing the same thing as if they were slash&burn deforesting (which is surprising that they aren’t bothering to do)

    I do like the general idea though. The civil protection are supposed to be a form of pacification; to at least pretend to be for the good of the people. So what are they actually doing to those ends?

    I suppose the real good points would be defending the citizens from ant lions and other alien forces that may have appeared during the portal storms. Considering that the Alien Grunts and possibly the Alien Controllers from HL1 were grown in a factory for war, it wouldn’t be surprising if they lacked the regular vortigons” acceptance of cohabitation, which would also explain why you never see them in HL2.

    what is rather interesting is that a year before HL2 came out, Beyond Good and Evil was released, which apparently has a similar situation to that of HL2, where the planet has already been taken over by hostile aliens and “humans” are being drafted to serve their purposes, but in the case of BG&E, everyone thinks the draft is to FIGHT the hostile aliens.
    I’m surprised Breen hadn’t been trying to make similar claims that he actually managed to contact a different alien force to fight the Combine and THAT force is actually the one in control of the planet and responsible for ensuring the human race is properly rebuilt. Then again, letting the inhabitants of the planet they’re in the process of stripping resources from may be a first for the combine.

    1. While they aren’t introducing actual harmful chemicals back in

      We don’t really know what other processes they have going and Grey, it’s a bit of fun, not a detailed analysis.

      1. Of course not, Phillip, that’s what the comment section is for, after all.

        1. MikeS

          Heresy! You will be taken out and shot.

  3. Wallace Breen

    Finally! A citizen who sees how our benefactors have helped the human species! I must commemorate you, Mr. Phillip, for standing up for the truth.
    -Dr. Wallace Breen

    1. Dr. Breen, it’s an honor to know that such a wondeful person is reading my newspaper.

      1. Pyro

        Wait, I thought he only read the headlines.

        – An unconcerned citizen

    2. Hec

      oh my holly god so you are alive?? thought you were die or into a combine advisor,, mm be into a combine advisor would be disgusting, wouldn’t is????

    3. Commemorate Phillip:(
      I did not know he is dead.
      Now look, Phillip, you really must keep us up to speed.
      Not even a mention in the obituaries, dear me.
      It’s just a common courtesy to tell people when you’re dead.

      1. Please accept my sincere apologies. I promise that after I die I will make an announcement of my death.

  4. Hec

    jajaja lol!! that python’s scene is fantastic, could say the same about the cmb brought peace jajaa, this could be a good cut scene about the recistence tring to convince stuborn citizens

    1. I actually started working on doing a whole voice over script for that scene. Replacing “Romans” for “Combine” etc. Eventually, I decided to use it for this article instead.

      1. Hec

        oh its going to be great, hope u could uploaded as soon as it’s finished!

  5. The beautiful shape and graceful sky dance of Gunships.
    The sheer staying power of Helicopters.
    The self-guided accuracy of APC rockets.
    The raw power of airborn troop carriers.
    The magnificence of Striders and their destructive powers.
    The clarity of Combine radio comminications.
    The smart white unforms of the Elite.

    We are Privileged to bear witness to this excellence.
    The destruction of our planet is but a trifle to pay.

    I thank the Univeral Union. Ta lots.

    1. Dear Citizen, all you say is true, but try to think about how the Combine have helped the Human race, not just the beauty of the Combine.

  6. *static*

    The Combine have taken over our planet and *static* waste to it’s natural beauty. What was once a proud sphere of blue and green is now a blistering hulk of gray and brown. You must stand up and fi– *static* A new cohesion is possible is we try. There’s nothing to lose and ev- *static* -thing to gain.

    If you can hear this… *static* …you are the Resistance.

    *static fades*

    1. We apologize for the interruption, normal service has been resumed.

  7. they give us melons. I like melons. I am very grateful to our benefactors.

  8. I’m rather grateful for the elimination of gang violence. Before the Combine’s arrival, my sector was rampant with gangs constantly fighting. I would hear the gunshots day in and day out, fearing for my safety. But now that the Combine are here, I can sleep soundly knowing I and my family are safe.

    1. Dear Citizen Thor, You are completely right. The same was true of my sector and not only that but night clubs and brothels also caused me trouble. With the arrival of our benefactors, these have gone. Now I can walk the streets (when allowed) safely.

  9. Nrmartins

    This benefactor propaganda we have is just to cover what is beyond a Portal : Unforeseen terror, chaos, all kind of harmful things to human life. Planet Earth is NOT from the so called “benefactors”. They can not have it. And they are just the beginning of an even bigger scheme, beyond our eyes can see, not only the Combine and our “benefactors”. It’s a power struggle.

  10. Hmm… This article is a bit similar to one particular Civil Protection episode where the same subject matter was broached. The lack of polution I specifically remember being talked about.

    Maybe I should just put this down to great minds thinking alike? 😛

  11. Then there’s the traffic free streets. Lovely.
    We are free to roam in what are effectively pedestrian precincts – approved precincts, as is only right.
    No dog poo and chewing gum either.

    No more noisy vehicles, honking and road rage.
    No danger of getting run over. No more Green Cross code!

    No more decisions to make; just do as you are told and eat what you have been so generously given.

    City 17 is heaven indeed

    1. 2muchvideogames

      what are you talking about, there’s barely any food for the rest of us. My friend is thinking about joining civil protection just to get a decent meal

  12. I agree that the obesity threat to our way of life has been steamed thanks to our beloved benefactors grace but this man in my old block flouts this grace still!
    An acquaintance of a friend, of a work college, of a secretary got these printouts for me and I give them to your readers.

    Dear Civil Protection Cell 1138,
    They is a fat man living two doors down from my block, I’m in 668 and I think he must be acquiring food from somewhere. Maybe those resistance fighters, whose obscene lust for power must be checked, are helping him. Maybe that Gordon Freeman is feeding him our precious food!
    Judas Rimmer
    (Loyal Citizen).

    Dear Civil Protection Cell 1138,
    Re the fat man down the corridor. Judging by the commotion last Friday, or was that Wednesday, do we still have those? I am writing to ask about my free food credits as I assume you have taken that man into custody, but the local mech only dispensed my standard ration?
    Judas Rimmer
    (Hardworking Loyal Citizen).

    Dear Civil Protection Cell 1138,
    Re the fat man down the corridor. He is still there and looking fat and vigorous, why his skin even has a healthy reddish hue while mine, a loyal citizen, is flaking off in chunks! I am sorry to complain, but he must be told the error of his ways and, by the will of benefactors, I will tell him.

    The Combine Elite guard that block now and it looks like I’ll never get my lamp and telly back! Oh, and I have not seen old Rimsey in weeks.
    There are rumours of the exalted ones present at the site, so I’m camped on the roof of the next block hoping to catch a viewing!
    Here is something for your readers. What needs 7 striders, 12 gunships, an army of elite troops, some kinds of tiny striders and 9 of the exalted Administrators?
    It’s getting rather dark so I’ll send this in now; let you know how it ends.
    I didn’t know they had ground portals!..zzzzt!!!zzzt!.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt

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