Borealis (cut ship)

{{DISPLAYTITLEBorealis (cut ship)}}
{{Youmayd|the location cut from Half-Life 2|the Aperture Science ship|Borealis (Aperture Science ship)|Borealis}}
{{Vehicle Infobox
|image=FileBorealis infobox.jpg|250px
|era=Combine occupation of Earth|Combine occupation
*Research ship
*Supply ship
|built=20th century as an icebreaker
|destroyed=Damaged by the Combine in c. 202-
|location=Sea of the Arctic regions, northwest of City 17''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar''
*borealis_full{{abbr3|i|Also borealis_full_untouched}}
*devtestWC mappackHalf-Life 2 leak|''Half-Life 2'' leak}}
|designer=*Marc Laidlaw
*Aaron Barber
*Dario Casali
*Randy LundeenWC mappack
*John GuthrieWC mappack
*Viktor Antonov
The '''Borealis''' is an WikipediaIcebreaker|icebreaker that was cut from ''Half-Life 2''.

The Borealis went through many changes during the project's development. Originally unnamed with the generic moniker "ship", it was first called the "Hyperborea" before being given the title "Borealis". It is believed to be one of the earliest levels that Valve Corporation|Valve created for the game. Work on the ship dates back to May of 1999, six months after they published the original ''Half-Life''.In ''Half-Life 2'' leak, the sound files in the folder "ambient/hyper" are dated May 1999.

By the time it was cut, the Borealis featured a fully realized and realistically modeled interior, the intended gameplay taking place on the lower four decks and upper three levels of the vessel. The location featured the character Odell, the ship's engineer. Much of the combat on board focused on Overwatch Soldiers, although Stalkers, Headcrabs, and Zombies are also encountered.

Throughout the evolution of ''Half-Life 2''{{'}}s storyline, the Borealis is known to occupy two distinct placements in the overall plot. In both iterations, Gordon Freeman would have entered the vessel and, with the help of Odell, made his way to the Submarine|mini-submarine stored on board which would be used to travel to Kraken Base located under the sea.

===1999 timeline===
In one of the early versions of the storyline, the game was planned to begin with Gordon initially standing on a bed of ice surrounded by a thick fog. The player would hear a ship bell tolling and follow it until discovering the source of the sound, the ice-locked Borealis. The player would then enter the vessel through a hole in the hull.http// Half-Life 2 cut content on Facepunch (April 17, 2016){{efn|The ''Half-Life 2'' leak includes a "liblist.gam" file, a data file used by GoldSrc-era games to load various engine settings. It defines the map "Hyper_001" as the starting point of the game, affirming the earliest known storyline that began on the Borealis, then known as the Hyperborea.}}

Once on board, the player would meet the ship's engineer, Odell, who was to explain the backstory of the ship. It was used by the resistance to deliver supplies to an ice station and the underwater Kraken Base located in the Arctic regions. Many members of the crew were scientists acting undercover for the resistance while the rest were unaware of their affiliation.

The ship became ice-locked while delivering supplies to Kraken. Enemy warships{{efn|At this point in the game's development, the game's antagonist force, which ultimately became the Combine, had yet to be fleshed out or even named.Marc Laidlaw on ReferencesMarc Laidlaw emails#On the Borealis|the Borealis (February 4, 2017)}} soon discovered their location and bombarded it with Sacktick|sacktick pods, killing most of the crew. Odell determined that the creatures were vulnerable to cold temperatures, so he shut off the generator to allow the vessel to ice over. He attempted to send a distress call but failed as the radios had been previously been disabled by the scientists to prevent anyone from discovering where they were. The player would then work with Odell to eventually escape the Borealis in a mini-submarine down to Kraken Base.

Although there is little supporting evidence, ''The Final Hours of Half-Life 2'' article claims that the ship was to head to City 17.

===2002 timeline===
FileHL2 original journey.jpg|thumb|right|200px|The Borealis' placement in this version of the story.
In this last known incarnation, the Borealis was depicted as a scientific research ship used by the Combine.''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar'', page 128 Gordon Freeman was to reach the Borealis by a tugboat found at the shore near the Air Exchange.''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar'', page 177 He would board the vessel and meet Odell, working with him to pilot it towards the Arctic regions. At some point during the trip, they are attacked by Combine forces, leaving the ship heavily damaged. They make their way through the interior, traversing many sections that are catching fire or already burning, and eventually escape in a mini-submarine to Kraken Base.

It is not certain what the Combine were using the ship for, but it wasn't necessarily for research purposes. The vessel carries Zombies and Headcrabs kept in a freezer area, the corpses of several hung on meat hooks, and some live specimens stored inside shipping containers. One Stalker is found inside a hanging cage in the rear crane room. At the ship's front is a large structure which appears to have pierced through several decks. Held in place by a myriad of chains and pipes, the structure holds a number of Combine Assassin tank|tanks which house apparently frozen Combine Assassins.

===''Half-Life 2'' leak===
The Borealis can be found in the WC map pack in many forms, including unfinished and partially playable maps with no interconnections, test maps, and demonstration maps created for promotional events which do not reflect the actual state of the level at the time.

The oldest version available in the map pack is "nov_bor_001" by Aaron Barber from January 5, 2001. There are even older versions by Randy Lundeen referenced in the batch files for compiling the maps "hyper" and "hyper_fog", both batch files being dated July 29, 1999. The prefix "d3", a designation that represents the third day of the storyline, was first used on March 27, 2002.WC map pack (d3_borealis_01.vmf) (March 27, 2002)

====ai_guide1 and devtest====
Odell only appears in two Borealis-related maps. In the map "ai_guide1" (July 2002), a test level for the engine's "tour guide" WikipediaArtificial intelligence|AI design, Odell leads the player through various areas as he performs a series of scripted sequences.http// Info received from Valve on (January 24, 2009) The player begins on a side deck alongside Odell who seems to be unaware that the crew has been killed in an attack. Odell attempts to enter through a locked door and calls for anyone inside, but after receiving no response, he takes out a welding torch to forcefully cut it open.

Inside, they discover a tape recorder in the captain's room with a message left on it. The machine plays a distress call from Kraken Base, although this is likely a placeholder left over from a previous iteration of the storyline.{{efn|In the distress call audio file, the person on the line states the base is in critical condition  thinking the ship was going to send someone down to help, unaware of the ship's situation. The file is found in a folder for Hyperborea sounds from May of 1999. It is unknown where it was to be used on the ship.}} The internal name for the sound entity calls the message the "captain's log". After listening to the recording, Odell questions out loud what the crew might have been carrying, then suggesting that they head to the submarine and escape. In the next and final area, the two witness a Stalker quickly race by, startling Odell.

Odell is present in another test map called "devtest" (October 7, 2002) where he is found in a Level 2 hallway. He simply walks up a ladder to the room on the Main Deck. The script and the intended dialog, which doesn't play, for this encounter appears to have been taken directly from the previous "ai_guide1" map, thus they don't fit the scene in question.

====demo_arctic and coastline====
The Borealis can be seen in an arctic-themed map called "demo_arctic" which was last edited on September 9, 2001. The ship is shown to be fully ice-locked near a small encampment composed of prefabricated buildings and hangars. A cave that houses a small cabin is also close by. The ship emits a warning bell sound from its bow, but it cannot be climbed into as it has no interior. The camp may related to the ice station mentioned in the earliest timeline by Odell.

According to Marc Laidlaw, the map was built as a concept test for creating this type of arctic environment. It did not have any gameplay associated with it. While the level appears similar to the description of the game’s starting point from the original timeline, Laidlaw denied this theory.Marc Laidlaw on ReferencesMarc Laidlaw emails#On the arctic base|the arctic base (February 9, 2017)

The Borealis, along with other partially sunk ships, appears in two prototype maps called "coastline_map01" and "FileCoastline prison ships.jpg|coastline_prison", both last edited in July of 2003. These levels show an overview of Gordon's journey along the The Coast|Coast on the highway . The Borealis is placed past Lighthouse Point near Nova Prospekt. It is unknown if this appearance is related to the story or was simply used as a placeholder.

FileBorealis Ep2.jpg|thumb|right|200px|The Borealis in ''Episode Two''.

{{Main|Borealis (Aperture Science ship)}}
The Borealis, along with the rest of the locations in the Arctic regions, is believed to have been cut from the game in late 2002. The last edited Borealis-related maps are from August of that year.{{efn|While some Borealis-related maps in Aaron Barber's folder are indicated to have last been edited on December 12, 2002, this file modification date does not reflect actual map development.}} Many of its props can be still found in the final game. Some prop models originally kept in the "props_borealis" folder were moved to generic prop folders, such as the meat hooks in the freezer and the ship's doors, one becoming featured as the entrance to the Vortigaunt Camp. Odell's face was recycled for Odessa Cubbage. In ''Half-Life 2 Episode Two'', the vessel was brought back for an unrelated role in the storyline as an Borealis (Aperture Science ship)|Aperture Science ship.

==Behind the scenes==
FilePolar Sea and Polar Star.jpg|thumb|right|200px|The WikipediaUSCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10)|USCGC ''Polar Star''.
The creation and successive iterations of the Borealis maps are attributed to Randy Lundeen, Aaron Barber, and Dario Casali with the assistance of Marc Laidlaw and John Guthrie, the latter of which worked mostly on the test and demonstration variants. Josh Weiver implemented the fire extinguisher mechanics that were included in the maps.WC map pack (jweier/firespread.vmf) (August 8, 2002)

The Borealis was based on the WikipediaUSCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10)|Polar Star, a real world icebreaker owned by the WikipediaUnited States Coast Guard|United States Coast Guard. Valve had traveled to Seattle's docks to do research and found the ship's crew members happened to be fans of ''Half-Life''. They allowed the developers to enter and take photographic reference material.http// ''Half-Life 2'' preview on IGN (May 8, 2003){{IA|20030606212616/http//|''Half-Life 2'' preview|GameSpy (May 8, 2003)}} Pictures of the WikipediaTrench art|trench art made by the members of the ship's various aviation detachment units (AVDET) were used as wall textures in the game.

In 2002, the development team created a set of demonstration maps which included the Borealis to present segments of ''Half-Life 2'' for upcoming promotional events. When Gabe Newell was shown the footage, he decided it wasn't good enough to exhibit publicly, so the team decided the game would not appear at that year's WikipediaE3 Expo|E3 event.''The Final Hours of Half-Life 2'' While the game would eventually appear the following year at E3 2003, the Borealis still did not receive a public demonstration. However, the ship was shown in private meetings at the time to display the engine's particle effects{{IA|20070313034859/http//{{=}}91839|''Half-Life 2'' preview|Computer and Video Games (May 28, 2003)}} and water technology.{{IA|20030811012324/http//|''Half-Life 2'' preview|Shacknews (2003)}}

Some of these maps can be found in the WC map pack. They are very detailed and include several unique additions such as dead Borealis workers, who don't appear in any other version of the ship, and extra props to show off the engine's physics. These demonstrations feature a Combine Gunship, an encounter not present in any of the main development versions of the maps.

===''Team Fortress 2''===
In 1999, Valve released two screenshots of ''http// Team Fortress 2 Brotherhood of Arms'', an unpublished early incarnation of the game, to showcase the detail possible in their character models using WikipediaIntel|Intel's WikipediaLevel of detail|multi-resolution mesh technology.{{IA|1999/http//|''Team Fortress 2'' official website}} These screenshots show the characters in what appears to be the interior of an early version of the Borealis, as confirmed by Marc Laidlaw.Marc Laidlaw on ReferencesMarc Laidlaw emails#On the Borealis maps being used in Team Fortress 2|the Borealis maps being used in ''Team Fortress 2'' (November 14, 2014)

The map "d3_tug_01_011.vmf" (June 20, 2002) would serve as an entrance to the ship in the second timeline. It is believed that the player would get on board through a starboard side deck from the tugboat, hence the name of the map. The submarine only appears in the Level 3 Hangar of the map "d3_borealis_01" from March 27, 2002. It is possible that the player was to use the ship's crane to lift the submarine out of the room and place it into the sea.

Although Flare Gun does not appear in any leaked maps, there are pyrotechnic lockers found in various areas of the ship. It is possible that the player was to acquire the weapon and ammunition from these lockers. The player was to use the fire extinguisher to put out spreading fires and use special chargers to recharge it.

Several cardboard boxes with the name "FileArbeit laboratories.png|Arbeit Laboratories" ("arbeit" meaning "work" in German) can be found in the storage areas of the Borealis. According to Marc Laidlaw, this was just a temporary texture from an artist, the name bearing no storyline significance.Marc Laidlaw on ReferencesMarc Laidlaw emails#On Arbeit Laboratories|Arbeit Laboratories (March 2011) These boxes are also present in early versions of City 17's City 17 Trainstation|Terminal.

===Easter eggs===
Although it does not appear in any of the maps, FileFrame dog.png|a photo of a puppy in a picture frame can be found in the props folder for the ship. The dog in the photo, named Moosh, belongs to Valve artist Dhabih Eng and was three weeks old when it was taken.http// Dhabih Eng's post on Facebook (April 24, 2009) Another notable unused prop is a FileMaptube01.png|map in a tube. The label on it reads "Travis is cool", which is most likely a nod to Travis Brady, another artist who worked at the company at the time.

The name "Borealis" comes from "WikipediaAnemoi|Boreas", a wind god in the Greek mythology. "Borealis" is related to the term "WikipediaAurora (astronomy)|aurora borealis", the northern polar lights only visible in the Northern Hemisphere. "Hyperborea", the early name for the ship, was the name of the land of the WikipediaHyperborea|Hyperboreans, a mythical people who lived far to the north of WikipediaThrace|Thrace where it was said they lived in paradise. "Hyperborea" means "beyond the Boreas", thus beyond the land of the wind god Boreas.


FileBorealis early.png|The Borealis circa 2001.
FileBorealis E3 screen.jpg|The exterior.
FileBorealis flames soldiers.jpg|The engine room.
FileCrowbar zombie borealis.jpg|Ditto, with an early Zombie.

===''Half-Life 2'' leak===


FileNov bor 01.jpg|The Level 2 hangar.
FileNov bor 02.jpg|The Level 2 storage room.
FileNov bor 03.jpg|The engine room.
FileNov bor 04.jpg|Ditto.
FileNov bor 05.jpg|Ditto.
FileNov bor misc 01.jpg|Ditto.
FileNov bor 06.jpg|The freezer.


FileBorealis freezer mi.jpg|Dead Fast Headcrabs in Level 2's walk-in freezer.
FileE3 ship borworker.jpg|Dead Borealis worker near the freezer at Level 2.
FileBorealis s12.jpg|Ditto.
FileBorealis s21.jpg|Corridor after the freezer.
FileBorealis s14.jpg|Life raft canisters on the starboard side of Deck 1.
FileBorealis s15.jpg|The conning tower and the smokestack as seen from Deck 1.
FileBorealis s16.jpg|The Level 2 hangar.
FileBorealis s17.jpg|Ditto.
FileBorealis s18.jpg|The Level 2 storage room.
FileBorealis s08.jpg|The Level 4 engine rooms.
FileBorealis s07.jpg|Ditto.
FileBorealis s10.jpg|Ditto.
FileBorealis s19.jpg|Ditto.
FileBorealis s20.jpg|Ditto.
FileBorealis s06.jpg|Ditto.

FileBorealis s11.jpg|Corridor near the engines.


FileD3 borealis 02 003 02.jpg|The Combine Assassin tanks at Level 2.
FileD3 borealis 02 003 01.jpg|The floor mount of the structure.
FileD3 borealis 02 003 03.jpg|One of the higher tanks.


FileAi guide1 01.jpg|Odell entering through a starboard side deck.
FileAi guide1 02.jpg|Searching for any signs of the crew.
FileAi guide1 03.jpg|Listening to the recorder in the captain's room.
FileAi guide1 04.jpg|A Stalker darts by.


FileBorealis odell mi.jpg|Odell at main deck.
FileBorealis s22.jpg|The main deck.


FileDemo arctic01.jpg|The arctic base.
FileDemo arctic06.jpg|The Borealis near the base.
FileDemo arctic02.jpg|Ditto.
FileDemo arctic05.jpg|Ditto.
FileDemo arctic03.jpg|The cave entrance.
FileDemo arctic04.jpg|Inside the cave.


FileBorealis opening concept.jpg|Concept art.
FileBorealis tanks.jpg|Combine Assassin tanks concept art.
FileCoastline prison ships.jpg|The Borealis along the coast.
FileBorealis sub01.png|The submarine.
FileBorealis sub02.png|Another version.
FileBorealis zombie.png|Zombie container.{{efn|In one incarnation of the ship, the freezer includes a metal container with a frozen Zombie inside it. This container blocks the ground entrance of the room.WC map pack (d3_borealis_07.vmf) (May 29, 2002) The Zombie uses a unique model which is not available in the leak.}}
FileMrmdemo1.jpg|The Borealis in ''Team Fortress 2''.


FileOdell model green boots.jpg|Odell.
FileBorealis worker.jpg|Borealis worker
FileBorealis worker back.jpg|Ditto.
FileDead borealis worker.jpg|Ditto, dead variant.
FileBorealis lifering.jpg|Lifering.
FileW LifeRing.png|Another variant.
FileLifecan01.png|Life raft canister.
FileBorealis crane01.png|Crane.
FileBlue barrel.png|Blue barrel.
FileYellow barrel.png|Yellow barrel.

FileMaptube01.png|Map in a tube.
FileBorealis phone001.png|Red phone.
FileBorealis panel001.png|Console.
FileBorealis panel002.png|Ditto.
FileBorealis panel003.png|Ditto.
FileBorealis panel004.png|Ditto.
FileBorealis panel005a.png|Ditto.
FileBorealis panel006.png|Ditto.
FileBorealis panel007.png|Ditto.
FileBorealis panel008.png|Ditto.
FileBorealis panel009.png|Ditto.
FileBorealis panel010a.png|Ditto.
FileBorealis panel010b.png|Ditto.
FileFrame dog.png|Photo of a puppy.
FilePuppy original.jpg|The original photo.

FileIcebergs cluster.png|Ditto, in cluster.
FileTug leak brown 01.png|Tugboat.{{efn|name=tugboat|The tugboat that would take the player to the Borealis is not present in any related map. The following variants were taken from various Wasteland maps found in the WC map pack. These tugs are combinations of brushes and several modular models found in the Borealis props folder.}}
FileTug leak brown 02.png|Ditto.{{efn|name=tugboat}}
FileTug leak brown 03.png|Ditto.{{efn|name=tugboat}}
FileShrimp leak.png|Ditto.{{efn|name=tugboat}}


FileDecal borealis001a bg.png|The logo.
FileBorealis leak logo.svg|Vector version.
FileDecal borealis001b bg.png|The identification number.
FileBorealis 02.svg|Vector version.
FileArbeit laboratories.png|Arbeit Laboratories box.
FilePyrotechnic locker.png|Pyrotechnic locker.
FilePapersigns avdet.png|AVDET art.
FileSky borealis01.png|http// Skybox texture.
FileSky borealis01 final.png|Final version.
FileSky arctic.png|sky_arctic.{{efn|name=skybox|These skybox textures are found in some releases of ''Half-Life'' from late 1999. No other Valve title from this era had arctic or water-themed environments, so it is possible that these textures were created early on for ''Half-Life 2'' and inadvertently included with these later releases of the original game.}}
FileSky water.png|sky_water.{{efn|name=skybox}}
FileBorealis envmap.png|Environment maps.

===''Missing Information''===

FileBorealis s03.jpg|The Level 3 hangar.
FileBorealis s05.jpg|The Level 4 engine rooms.

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



==External links==
*{{YouTube|mQBTnNQNeHo|Playthrough in the first version of the ship, in the map "nov_bor_001"}}
*{{YouTube|2BZVZpVezNw|Playthrough in the latest version of the mod ''Missing Information'', Part 1}}
*{{YouTube|IGn-jEfbea0|Playthrough in the latest version of the mod ''Missing Information'', Part 2}}

CategoryHalf-Life 2 (pre-release)
CategoryArctic locations
CategoryResistance transportation
CategoryCombine transportation
CategoryCut transportation
CategoryResistance locations
CategoryCombine locations
CategoryCut locations