Character appreciation – The G Man

If there was a prize for being creepy, mysterious and totally awesome the G Man of Half Life would be the front runner.

The G Man is a mysterious character from the Half Life series who works for mysterious ‘benefactors’ and uses the player (Gordon Freeman) to unwittingly accomplish his mysterious goals. And that pretty much sums him up… Did I use the word mysterious already? The thing that make the G Man so great is that nobody really knows who he is or what his goals are. He never really gives any hint as to who he works for or what his beliefs are, he rarely speaks to you and when he does he is cryptic and brief.

Although he has the appearance of a human being he has abilities that stretch far beyond anything a human can probably comprehend. This guy has the ability to freeze time, teleport to any location and maybe even any time. He can be invisible to those he does not want to see him and control people and machines at will, the person you see him controlling (Alyx Vance) appears to be completely oblivious to what happens. These might sound like the powers of some kind of super hero but the G Man doesn’t run around in tights and a cape, in fact he could not look less remarkable. He is simply an ugly middle aged man in a suit carrying a briefcase, the only kind of action he ever takes when using his abilities is to adjust his tie.

All of this makes him fascinating for the player. In the games he appears in he is both a hindrance and an ally to the player. This leave you wondering whether this guys is even your enemy or not, although your (employment) under him is not so much a job as it is an incarceration – with him providing your ‘services’ to the highest bidder.

I mentioned earlier that this guy is also creepy, don’t worry I don’t mean watching you shower kind of creepy. Brilliantly voiced by Michael Shapiro; the G Man talks in a way that simply isn’t human. With emphasis on the wrong words when he speaks, his weird raspy breathing and his awkward pauses his speech is very unnerving.

I find the G Man a joy to watch and I hope that when the next Half Life game is released (COME ON ALREADY!!!) we will get to see more of him. Although I still don’t really want him explained, that would only spoil the magic!


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