Valve can’t tell us Half-Life’s full history – It was lost in a crash

Valve head Gabe Newell, who worked on Windows at Microsoft before founding the team behind the Steam, compared it to something that happened with the original version of Windows.

“We couldn’t actually rebuild Windows 1. It was actually impossible. Two hours before I got on a plan to take the very first release of Windows, we found a problem. And it was patched in the binary, right. Somebody went in and patched the executable using a hex editor.” The fix wasn’t a problem until Microsoft went to build localized versions, but Newell said that it was just another example of “those kinds of awkward shenanigans.” Animation studio Pixar even lost the entirety of Toy Story 2, and we would’ve never seen the movie, if it weren’t for one of their employees working from home.

It’s a bit sad to think that all that history is lost to time, and a bit amazing that we even have Half-Life at all considering how much was lost. Of course, people like Newell and Johnson can tell stories, but the work that went into making the final product? That’s gone – long gone.

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