Gnome Chompski, Dr. Breen, and other Half-Life: Alyx Easter eggs we've found (so far)

(Image credit: Valve)

It's probably not surprising that Valve have hidden a bunch of surprises amidst the clutter of City 17—and we're not just talking about all the headcrabs that will leap at your face. As we play through Half-Life: Alyx, we've been coming across a number of fun surprises, secrets, and Easter eggs that make rooting around in the darkness all the more worthwhile.

Keep your eyes peeled and you're bound to find more. Here are the Half-Life: Alyx Easter eggs we've found so dar.

Dr. Breen

(Image credit: Valve)

Dr. Breen is making headlines! A soggy newspaper you can pick up from a bench in the introduction of Half-Life: Alyx has a story about Breen surrendering the planet to the Combine, and he's quoted as saying he took "the only possible course of action." Also on the front page, another story (this one criticizing Breen's surrender) about the portal storms, which notes that the Combine don't seem to be exactly friendly with all the creatures from Xen spilling over into our world. True! Also, it's pretty cool that you can actually read the stories.

(Image credit: Valve)

You can also find a Wired-like magazine in Russell's lab with Breen on the cover, suggesting he's going to save us all. I kinda think not.

Gnome Chompski

(Image credit: Valve)

Well, well, look who it is. Good old Gnome Chompski, of Left 4 Dead 2 and Half-Life 2 Episode 2 fame. If you recall, in HL2: Episode 2, you could carry a garden gnome almost all the way through the game and then launch him on a rocket to get an achievement. A really difficult achievement. In Left 4 Dead 2 he got his name and became a melee weapon.

In Half-Life: Alyx, you'll find him in his latest form: a bottle opener. He's a bit tricky to spot, but if you look on the side of the fridge in Russell's lab, he's stuck there. That gnome always had a magnetic personality.

Is there an achievement for carrying him all the way through the game? I wouldn't be surprised, but I'm not gonna be the one to find out.

Kleiner's book

(Image credit: Valve)

At the very start of Half-Life: Alyx you can simply turn and find Dr. Kleiner's book on teleportation, From Here to There in Under a Second, within arm's reach. Unfortunately you can't read it, but you already know how to teleport (depending on which locomotion method you're using). The same book could also be found in the Black Mesa East chapter of Half-Life 2.

Dog's baby picture

High on a shelf in Alyx's surveillance room, you'll find a photo of Dog as a baby robot. How cute! You can also find some plans Alyx jotted down to make him into the more hulking adult we come to know and love in Half-Life 2.

Beatrice, the missing cat (maybe)

(Image credit: Valve)

Early in the introduction, you'll pass through a laundromat. On a bulletin board you'll see a notice for a missing cat named Beatrice, who likes chasing and eating bugs and does not answer to her name. (There's also a scrawled note from someone suggesting Beatrice's owner should worry about missing people, not missing cats, but whoever wrote that has clearly never owned a pet.)

A bit later a woman who lives in the building will slam a door in your face, but before she does you can get a quick look inside her apartment and see another cat, so that might be Beatrice's owner. But where's Beatrice herself?

Well, a little while later you'll be getting out of a truck (you'll know the one I mean) and if you look up at the rooftops, you'll be able to see a cat strolling along. Is it Beatrice? I don't have any way of knowing, but I'll go ahead and say, canonically, that it's Beatrice. And she's fine. She's just off on an adventure.

TF2 Scout figurine

You can find a TF2 Scout figurine in Russell's office, but there's another one considerably later in the game hiding on a shelf. The good thing about this one is he can be fed to a barnacle. Make yourself useful, pal.

A wearable tiger mask

I'm not sure you'd really want to play for long while wearing a mask. You need every eye on your head. But when you get to the old zoo portion of the game, hunt around and you'll find a stylish tiger mask. Hopefully the Combine won't see through your disguise.

A playable piano

You'll want to turn the sound on for this one. In the lobby of the hotel you visit midway through the game, you'll find a playable piano. Go ahead and give it a try! Russel will even ask you to play a particular song. I think I nailed it, and amusingly, so did he.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.