Air Exchange

{{Article|hl2|featured}}
{{Cut}}
{{Location Infobox
|image=FileAirex reactor inside 1.jpg|250px
|name=Air Exchange
|hidei=
|constructed=after the Seven Hour War
|destroyed=during the Uprising
|location=The Coast
|builder=Combine
|hidep=
|hideu=
|era=The Uprising
|affiliation=Combine
|maps=*airex_0102
*airex_03040506
*airex_rough puzzles
*airex_start
*proto_airexchange001
*testroom_light_airex01
*temp3WC mappack
|designer=*Viktor Antonov (concept art)''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar''
*Dave Riller (mapping)
*Randy Lundeen (mapping)WC mappack
*Marc Laidlaw (backstory)
}}
{{Quote|She pointed out a mounded shape, just visible through the enveloping smog; it looked like the shell of a vast slumber beetle; a streamlined mountain of corroded metal. From the density of the fumes, the stink of the air and the burning in his eyes, he suspected he had arrived at what Eli had called, "The Air Conditioner".|Alyx Vignette|Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar}}

The '''Air Exchange''', also known as the '''Air Conditioner''', '''AirEx'''Playable Half-Life 2 Beta|''Half-Life 2'' Beta files or the '''Combine's atmospheric reprocessor''', is a location and chapter cut from ''Half-Life 2''. It was to be set after the Depot, at the end of the Wasteland / The Coast|Coast chapters, and before the ''Borealis (cut location)|Borealis'', as the penultimate location of the third day. Prototyped and having all its maps made (although they are very messy and hard to fix),WC mappack it was never finalized in order to let the team concentrate on areas more fruitful for gameplay. 

==Overview==
FileAirex tower large.jpg|thumb|200px|left|The AirEx industrial tower.

Like the Citadel, the Depot and possibly the Weather Control, the AirEx was to be one of the many Air Exchanges spread on Earth by the Combine.

Similar on the surface to common Earth factories, it was to be a Combine facility guarded by Combine Soldiers and Stalkers that was to replace the air with noxious, murky gases, with its main reactor powered by an unknown blue energy source, probably the storyline predecessor of the Dark Energy reactor. Most of the air of the region was to be highly toxic, and most of the City 17 inhabitants were to wear gas masks. As leader of the Conscripts, Captain Vance was to play a compromised and dangerous role protecting the facility ("airex_03040506" also features several visgroups named after Vance, and a command center). AirEx Truck|Trucks of unknown use were to be found in the facility, along with refineries. Barnacles and Zombies were also to be found in several areas.WC mappack

In this chapter, early concepts have Gordon Freeman arriving by train and crashing into a small depot located before the facility. There he was to meet Alyx and her pet alien Alyx Vance the scenes|Skitch. Then they would be attacked by Striders and Combine Super Soldiers.

While Vance and his Conscripts were to launch an attack on the Weather Control, three chapters after the AirEx chapter, it is likely that some battle was to take place at the very start of the chapter, outside and inside the AirEx, since Vance was to protect the facility. It is also said that Eli Maxwell was the first to mention the AirEx existence to Gordon, probably in his slideshow.

Inside the facility, Gordon was to reach the top of the industrial tower where there was located what seemed to be a control room and battle a Gunship, and then jump into a pool of industrial solvents at its base. Then he was to go inside the main reactor of the facility, protected and operated by Stalkers, and sabotage its core (its design is almost identical to the Lambda Core from ''Half-Life''), making the Air Exchange completely nonoperational and triggering the human uprising in City 17. Then, Gordon was to reach the shore on foot and proceed to the ''Borealis (cut location)|Borealis'' with Odell on a tugboat.

==Fate==
FileAirex reactor.jpg|The main reactor.|thumb|250px|right

*The AirEx is part of the storyline set between Nova Prospekt and the City 17 street wars that was completely cut, the game timespan having been reduced to three days instead of the original four. Some elements were however recycled blowing up the facility to trigger the uprising was merged with the Depot levels to make the Nova Prospekt levels; reaching the top of the industrial tower and blowing up the core of the whole facility was recycled in the Citadel levels, along with the factory-like themes.

*The AirEx was last worked on in February 2002; the last AirEx map to be modified, the map "temp3.vmf" (an overview of the AirEx, with a different design of the reactor) was last modified on that date.WC mappack

*It is uncertain whether or not the AirEx exists in the final storyline of the game, but as there are no in-game references to it, it is quite likely that it does not. This is especially true as its effects were to force the remaining humans to wear gas masks apparently constantly, as seen in other related early concepts. The fact that no humans are witnessed wearing said masks means that the idea was almost definitely removed completely.

*While Alyx and Gordon do not experience a train wreck in ''Half-Life 2'' like originally planned, they do in ''Episode One'' and ''Episode Two''.

==Trivia==
Pistons similar to the ones featured around the AirEx core can be found in maps of the Citadel version|tiles version of the Citadel, although as brushes, not as models.

==Gallery==


FileAirex tower1.jpg|The AirEx industrial tower.
FileAirex tower large.jpg|Ditto.
FileAirex tower2.jpg|Ditto.
FileAirex tower4.jpg|Ditto.
FileD2 airex tower.jpg|Ditto.
FileAirex tower top.jpg|Inside the industrial tower.
FileWasteland Airex skybox.jpg|Razor Train running through the Wasteland near the Air Exchange (and a part of the http//developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Skybox_Basics skybox).
FileAirex reactor inside 1.jpg|Gigantic pistons in the Air Exchange reactor. 
FileAirex pistons inside.jpg|Ditto.
FileAirex pistons 3.jpg|Ditto.
FileAirex pipes outside.jpg|Pipes outside of the Air Exchange compound, with the industrial tower on the top-right.
FileAirex start concept visgroup.jpg|Part of the map "airex_start", on which the previous concept art is actually based. 
FileAirex reactor inside2.jpg|Inside the Air Exchange.
FileAirex rocks.jpg|The Air Exchange outer wall and the end of the highway.
FileAirex catwalks.jpg|Pipes and catwalks under the outer wall. 
FileD2 airex truck.jpg|Fixed AirEx Truck.
FileAirex inside.jpg|Inside the Air Exchange grounds, with the reactor in the back.
FileAirex reactorpipe.jpg|The Air Exchange reactor.
FileAirex buildings.jpg|Various buildings inside the Air Exchange grounds.
FileAirex overview1.jpg|Ditto.
FileAirex overview2.jpg|Ditto.
FileAirex command center.jpg|Exterior of the Air Exchange command center.
FileAirex command center inside.jpg|Inside the command center. Its design is very similar to that of the industrial tower. Conscripts should be there in place of Overwatch Soldiers. This is also where Captain Vance was to be met.
FileAirex pipes.jpg|Pipes inside the reactor.
FileAirex reactor vents.jpg|Ditto.
FileAirex soldiers.jpg|Overwatch Soldiers near the Air Exchange reactor.
FileAirex field tunnel.jpg|Tunnel conducting Dark Energy|unknown energy near the Air Exchange reactor.
FileAirEx reactor pistons.jpg|Gigantic pistons inside the Air Exchange reactor's core engine. 
FileD2 airex 06007.jpg|Ditto.
FileAirex reactor core.jpg|Inside the Air Exchange reactor core powered by an unknown energy source.
FileProto airexchange001 s1.jpg|A prototype interior in "proto_airexchange001".
FileProto airexchange001 s2.jpg|Ditto.
FileAirex 0102 01.jpg|Earliest known version of the Air Exchange's main entrance found in the map "airex_0102".
FileAirex 0102 02.jpg|Ditto, with an unfinished model of the AirEx Truck parked on the highway.
FileAirex 0102 04.jpg|Ditto. This place was partially kept in the next version.
FileTemp3 airex 01.jpg|The most recent map of the Air Exchange ("temp3"), last edited 2002 and featuring a different design of the reactor.
FileTemp3 airex 02.jpg|Ditto.
FileTemp3 airex 03.jpg|Ditto. Trees can be found in this version.
FileAirEx_pistons_model.jpg|Pistons model.
FileAirEx vent.jpg|Vent model.


==List of appearances==
*''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar'' {{1st}} {{Nc}}

==References==
{{Reflist}}

==See also==
*Half-Life 2 original storyline Exchange - AirEx - Air Conditioner

==External links==
*http//www.hl-beta.spb.ru/download.php?view.15 Air Exchange mod - complete chapter on the ''Half-Life Beta Project'' website (does not contain everything; requires registering and the playable Beta)
*{{YouTube|url=vTzz_HNBDpw|text=Airex Demonstration Workspace in the mod ''Dark Atmosphere''}}
*{{YouTube|url=BwDsHcVLPu8|text=Airex Demonstration Encounter in the mod ''Dark Atmosphere''}}

{{succession
|title=Half-Life 2 original storyline|''Half-Life 2'' original storyline
|before=Depot
|after=''Borealis (cut location)|Borealis''
}}
{{Locations}}
{{Combine}}
CategoryHalf-Life 2 Beta
CategoryCombine locations
CategoryCut locations
CategoryThe Coast locations
CategoryLocations
CategoryViktor Antonov designs


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