Half-Life WikiCanon

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The '''''Half-Life'' series canon''' has never been officially defined by Valve, and probably never will. Series' writer Marc Laidlaw stated that they do not "get involved in issues of canonicity", that "canon itself is non-canon", and that there is "no official stance", "just the games" as they are.{{cite web |title=Canonicity of games in the Half-Life series|url=http//crowbarerror42.com/2009/09/canonicity-of-games-in-the-half-life-series/|publisher=Crowbar Error 42|accessdate=2012-06-17|archiveurl=http//web.archive.org/web/20100101155255/http//crowbarerror42.com/2009/09/canonicity-of-games-in-the-half-life-series/|archivedate=2010-01-01|date=September 2009}} "Canon itself is non-canon" emphasizes the fact that a few to no plot points are set in stone and that they can change anything during the development of further games, the aim being to have a good game before having a good story.

Valve also does not get involved in timeline issues. A complete official timeline of the ''Half-Life'' series has never been made and probably never will, since it could probably make the writers contradict themselves and limit their creativity for possible subsequent episodes.http//www.halflife2.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2480543&postcount=130 ''Marc Laidlaw Vault'' on the HalfLife2.net Forums Several retcons have been made and others will likely be made in future games, confirming the "canon itself is non-canon" quote, meaning that any game can have its facts changed in a future release. In that case, if information contained in a new source contradicts facts laid out in an older source, the new source always prevails and overwrites any contradicting data.

==Defining canon==

Given this lack of reference and stance from Valve, the official source, the wiki had to define the canon itself to avoid confusion, and provide content as consistent as possible to what is set in the final, "real" ''Half-Life'' storyline, and what is not. These choices have been made as logically as possible and mirror the general consensus often viewed among fans.

The only requirement for a source to be canon is that it must be official, meaning it has to come directly from Valve, or, if not, be endorsed by Valve.

These endorsed sources are the Gearbox Software|Gearbox expansions, although their canonicity has been questioned for years, and the Prima Guides, although they sometimes contain goofs, inaccuracies and obsolete information, since they are always completed before the game's release. They are considered canon unless they contradict the certified canon material.

The cut material is endorsed by or directly comes from Valve, but is logically deemed non-canon by default. However, some cut content could be deemed canon if it does not contradict the canon material. For example, the Headcrab Shell|Headcrab Shell launcher or the seagulls eating the Leeches featured in ''Lost Coast'' is likely canon, as it is reflected in the canon games.

Sometimes external sources, such as interviews of Valve employees, provide additional in-universe information. They are included in the wiki as canon as long as they do not contradict the previously established canon.

==The list==

What follows is listed all the official material related to the ''Half-Life'' universe, with their canonicity level. Please note that games series from Valve such as the ''wccounterstrike|Counter-Strike'', ''wcteamfortress|Team Fortress'', ''wcdayofdefeat|Day of Defeat'' or ''wcleft4dead|Left 4 Dead'' series are obviously non-canon, being not set in the ''Half-Life'' universe.

===Certified canon material===

*''Half-Life'' / ''Half-Life Source'' {{C|Features several minor retcons}}
*''Half-Life 2''
*''Half-Life 2 Episode One''
*''Half-Life 2 Episode Two''
*The Portal ARG|''Portal'' ARG {{C|Not in its entirety}}
*The PotatoFoolsDay ARG|''PotatoFoolsDay'' ARG {{C|Not in its entirety}}
*''Portal 2 Lab Rat''
*''Portal 2''
*http//www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=114535 ''Marc Laidlaw Vault'' on the HalfLife2.net Forums {{C|Although unofficial, it gathers e-mails from series' writer Marc Laidlaw, some revealing canonical information}}

==="Canon unless stated otherwise" material===

====The Gearbox expansions====

{{See also|Gearbox Software of the Half-Life expansions}}

*''Half-Life Opposing Force''
*''Half-Life Blue Shift''
*''Half-Life Decay''

====The official guides====

*''http//www.amazon.com/Half-Life-DC-Primas-Official-Strategy/dp/0761531254/ Half-Life Prima Guide''
*''http//www.amazon.com/Half-Life-Opposing-Force-Official-Strategy/dp/0761525904/ Half-Life Opposing Force Prima Guide''
*''http//www.primagames.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780761543626 Half-Life 2 Prima Guide''
*''http//www.primagames.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780761552178 Half-Life 2 Episode One Prima Guide''
*''http//www.primagames.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780761556947 The Orange Box Prima Guide''
*''http//www.primagames.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780761559788 Portal Prima Guide''
*''http//www.future-press.com/index.php?sect=books&book=112 Portal 2 The Official Guide''

===Non-canon material===


*''Codename Gordon''
*''Deathmatch Classic''
*''Half-Life Deathmatch Source''
*''Half-Life Day One''
*''Half-Life 2 Deathmatch''
*''Half-Life 2 Survivor''
*''Portal Still Alive''
*Portal_2 DLC for ''Portal 2''

====Cut material====

*Anything related to the ''Half-Life'', ''Half-Life 2 Beta|Half-Life 2'' Betas and early versions of the other games that did not make it into the final versions
*''Get Your Free TVs!''
*''Half-Life Uplink''
*''Half-Life 2 Lost Coast''

====Behind-the-scenes media====

Even if they always contain a small amount of canonical information, most of what is found in these sources pertains to the game's development, and thus covers material that was altered or deleted, making them non-canon, though suitable for discussion regarding cut or altered content.

*''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar''
*''The Final Hours of Portal 2''


==See also==

*Half-Life WikiRetcons
*Timeline of the Half-Life universe|Timeline of the ''Half-Life'' universe

==External links==

*WikipediaCanon (fiction)|Canon on Wikipedia