I used to play the Half Life games a few years ago, and among the many screenshots I had taken, here is the most questionable one:

"Caste" graffiti screenshot

What is this picture about?


1 Answer 1


It likely refers to the fact that some of the Combine are former humans, enslaved by the Combine, and now the lowest tier of what is presumably their caste system. The BBC describes India's caste system like this

Rural communities were long arranged on the basis of castes - the upper and lower castes almost always lived in segregated colonies, the water wells were not shared, Brahmins would not accept food or drink from the Shudras, and one could marry only within one's caste.

The Combine definitely treat humans like a lower caste. You can move up, somewhat, by being reprogrammed as a Combine soldier, but it's not clear if that's an actual improvement. Many humans are turned into Stalkers, who no longer have any free will. Humans are not allowed to have children as the Combine have implemented a Suppression Field that prevents pregnancies from coming to term. The Combine soldier juxtaposed to the baby is apparently meant to show these two injustices (assimilate or go extinct).

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