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|“||I'd like to take a moment to address you directly, Dr. Freeman. Yes. I'm talking to you, the so-called One Free Man. I have a question for you. How could you have thrown it all away? It staggers the mind. A man of science with the ability to sway reactionary and fearful minds toward the truth, choosing instead to embark on a path of ignorance and decay. Make no mistake, Dr. Freeman. This is not a scientific revolution you have sparked… this is death and finality. You have plunged humanity into freefall.||„|
|~ Wallace Breen|
|“||I don't know what you can possibly hope to achieve... apart from your own annihilation.||„|
|~ Breen leaves Gordon Freeman to die in the Dark Fusion Reactor.|
Dr. Wallace Breen is a character in the Half-Life franchise, mentioned in passing as the Administrator during the events of the original Half-Life and its expansions, before appearing as the main antagonist in the sequel Half-Life 2.
Wallace Breen was the former administrator of Black Mesa prior to the Black Mesa Incident and the Seven Hour War. Following the Combine's subjugation of Earth, Wallace managed Earth's surrender in exchange for immunity from the Combine, but at the cost of human enslavement.
He was voiced by the late Robert Culp.
Black Mesa Incident
Wallace Breen was the administrator of the Black Mesa Research Facility in New Mexico, and frequently collaborated with the Anomalous Materials research team in Sector C. Here, Breen worked alongside several colleagues, including Isaac Kleiner, Eli Vance and Gordon Freeman, all of which would later oppose him. It is hinted that Breen in some part was responsible for the Incident, as he had supplied the sample for the Anti-Mass Spectrometer; Xen crystals, found next to many deceased Survey Team members, indicating a great human cost and the "lengths" he had to take to find them. The G-Man, also present at Black Mesa, is revealed to have been stealing one of the crystals, revealing a connection between him and Breen.
Following the incident, after the Seven-Hour War, Breen negotiated an agreement with the invasive force, the Combine, agreeing in exchange for immunity to be Earth's administrator and the Combine's human representative at the expense of humanity's freedom, although in actuality the Combine were using him as a puppet and a face for the higher forces in the organization. Breen had been criticised for their action, although he defended himself.
Breen was seated in power in City 17, a Combine-occupied city in Eastern Europe, to which he ruled with complete control over it's citizens, enforcing an oppressive fascist government. Breen had fortified himself above ground in the Citadel, where he had set his primary base of operations establishing a communication with the Combine. It is implied that Breen helped spread Combine propaganda across City 17, issuing Breencasts which establish a second connection between Breen and the citizens of City 17. This is seen in various points of City 17, prominently in the train station, where Breen is welcoming the citizens.
By the events of Half-Life: Alyx (although never making a direct appearance), Breen continued to be seated in power, and continued to oversee Combine operations in City 17. Later, according to Breen's remarks in the final chapter Dark Energy in Half-Life 2, it is implied more than ever that Breen was aware of the G-Man and his employers. It is strongly inferred due to the Scientist's knowledge of the G-Man, that Breen oversaw the G-Man's imprisonment in the Vault above the Quarantine Zone, and knew what he was capable of.
Chapter 1: Point Insertion
|“||Welcome. Welcome to City 17. You have chosen, or been chosen, to relocate to one of our finest remaining urban centers. I thought so much of City 17 that I elected to establish my Administration here, in the Citadel so thoughtfully provided by our benefactors. I have been proud to call City 17 my home. And so, whether you are here to stay, or passing through on your way to parts unknown, welcome to City 17. It's safer here.||„|
|~ One of Wallace Breen's Breencasts.|
Chapter 2: "A Red Letter Day"
Following Gordon Freeman's deployment into City 17, Breen is alerted by his arrival, and his past as a scientist who was a part of the test which caused the Black Mesa Incident. Breen and Freeman meet in the flesh when the latter's teleporter malfunctions, accidentally transporting him to Breen's office. Breen recognized Freeman in the encounter, issuing a manhunt in the slums of City 17.
Chapter 4: Water Hazard
To be added
Chapter 9: Nova Prospekt
To be added
Chapter 9a: Entanglement
To be added
Chapter 11: "Follow Freeman!"
To be added
Chapter 12: Our Benefactors
To be added
Chapter 13: Dark Energy
|“||Tell me, Dr. Freeman, if you can. You have destroyed so much. What is it, exactly, that you have created? Can you name even one thing? I thought not.||„|
|~ Wallace Breen|
Half-Life 2 - Episodes One & Two
Breen appears in Episode One, first in the opening in a flashback/ dream sequence questioning Gordon via video screens, and then later on in a pre-recorded message talking with the combine adviser about him being placed in a host body. When Alyx first sees this footage she first believes Breen survived, until realizing that it is just an old recording. Alyx confirms Breen's fate prior to the teleporter explosion, that he did indeed fall off the Citadel.
In Episode Two when The G-Man has his "heart to heart" with Gordon Freeman and at the moment he mentions "naysayers" against him rescuing Alyx Vance from Black Mesa, Breen's face briefly flashes up on a screen behind him.
Half-Life 2: Episode Three
In a leaked draft by Marc Laidlaw concerning the unreleased game, it is revealed that early memories of Breen was transferred into the body of a Combine Advisor, which is confronted by Freeman and Alyx. Breen is shown to be in misery over his existence and asks to be killed, a choice which was apparently up to the player to carry out.
Gordon Freeman Speech
Addressing the Overwatch
Addressing Gordon Freeman
- Breen was originally going to be known as the "Consul", as seen in the Half-Life 2 behind the scenes book "Raising the Bar".
- Originally, the enigmatic G-Man was intended to be the Black Mesa administrator who had been overseeing the experiments. A hidden audio file confirms this. But by Half-Life 2, Valve had changed this and created Wallace Breen and established him as being the unseen administrator for Half-Life 1, making him and G-Man separate characters.
- In the Half-Life 2: Episode One and The Orange Box prima guide, Breen's character profile states his current whereabouts are unknown since he was stopped by Gordon Freeman on the Citadel, possibly hinting he survived. However it is not known if Valve approves of this or may change their mind down the line.
- Whilst he appears to be the main antagonist of Half-Life 2, the episodic sequels make it clear that Breen is just a pawn to the de-facto leaders of the Combine, the Advisors.
- A cryptic Twitter account named BreenGrub was run by Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw centering around Wallace Breen, who is apparently a Combine Advisor (a plot point which was possibly going to be explored in Episode Three). The account hasn't been active since 2014, and its canonically to the Half-Life lore is up to debate.
- Wallace Breen has appeared in other Half-Life 2 mods and spin-off webcomics, including Dayhard, Gorgeous Freeman The Citizen and Concerned: The Half-Life and Death of Gordon Freeman.
- In the acclaimed third-party remake Black Mesa, Breen is still indirectly referred to as the Administrator by several scientists throughout the game and like the original goes unseen by the player. In an jokey Easter Egg that can be found by the player, a sheet of paper on a board by Breen details his plans to takeover the world (although done in a childish way with drawings and misspellings), which involves befriending aliens and then building his own tower. This serves as a humorous foreshadowing to his actions in Half-Life 2.
- An updated model for Wallace Breen exists in the files of Half-Life: Alyx. In an early build he was originally going to appear, in which a propaganda video had him defend the Combine and depicted archived footage of him signing the peace treaty resulting in the Combine enslaving earth and appointing him as administrator. The only use the new model had was Breen's depiction in a magazine, which can be found as an Easter Egg in the game.