Half-Life: Alyx

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Half-Life: Alyx
Active since 2020-03-26
Hla logo.jpg
Mysterious looping radio stations within Half-Life: Alyx.
Type Official
Creator Valve
Discovered 2020-03-26

Main Page > List of Investigations > Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx (commonly abbreviated HL:A) is a game created by Valve. The game was released on March 23, 2020. This page aims to document the secrets that players have discovered within the game.


The game features two radios that play mysterious numbers stations. One of the radios is in the first level of the game, and one is in the Northern Star hotel area of the game. On 2020-03-25, two days after the game was released, a Reddit thread was created to speculate on the meaning of these numbers stations.

First Radio - Reversed Audio

On 2020-03-26, players noticed that some of the audio from the first radio could be reversed, yielding a set of robotic-sounding messages. Here are the relevant pieces of audio:

Original Audio Reversed Audio Transcription
radio_number_station_terminator_synthy_01.mp3 terminator_01_reversed.mp3 SW TX UY
radio_number_station_terminator_synthy_02.mp3 terminator_02_reversed.mp3 SPTQU
radio_number_station_terminator_synthy_03.mp3 terminator_03_reversed.mp3 XYZ
radio_number_station_terminator_synthy_04.mp3 terminator_04_reversed.mp3 OL PM QN
radio_number_station_terminator_synthy_05.mp3 terminator_05_reversed.mp3 KH LI MJ NK
radio_number_station_terminator_synthy_06.mp3 terminator_06_reversed.mp3 H I F JK
radio_number_station_terminator_synthy_07.mp3 terminator_07_reversed.mp3 D EA FB C

Second Radio

The texture file for the radio

A radio found next to an interactive piano at the Northern Star hotel also plays a numbers station that differs from the numbers station heard on the radio at the start of the game. Players suspect the numbers station is linked to the piano somehow, but nothing has been confirmed.

The numbers station plays a seemingly random string of eight pairs of letters and numbers separated by either "and" or a static sound called "connector_low" that appears to be piano notes. After it has played eight, it randomly plays one of the terminator_synthy files.

Looking at relevant files like the soundevent file, players can see that the number and letter combinations played by the radio are seemingly completely random except for three set number/letter combinations that appear more often but still in a random order: A14, D7, and V4. The randomness has been confirmed by reviewing logs from multiple players recording the sequence from the radio.

The radio looks similar to actual Soviet-era radios. The radio's texture can be found here, and a picture of the radio model can be found here. The words at the top are various Soviet cities.

The radio can be moved around, but when it is moved it appears to stop working. Some players speculate that the radio may start working when placed in specific locations, similar to the Portal 2 ARG.

At the time of writing, none of the audio files have been found to contain spectrograms.

Easter Eggs

Russian poster asking for reviews for the Northern Star hotel. Note the top-left corner

This section serves to document the Easter Eggs that have been discovered in HL:A. These "Easter Eggs" have limited interaction and are likely not part of a larger puzzle.

Northern Star Hotel Tag

A hotel tag that can be found in the game has the number 0451 on it. This number is a reference to the first passcode that gets used in the game Deus Ex, which has since become a tradition for other games to include.

Northern Star Hotel Website/Login

A small piece of paper can be found in the game that asks for online reviews of the hotel. A email at the bottom appears to direct to northernstarhotelonlinewebsite.com, but this website is not registered and the email will not work. Additionally, at the top left of the paper, "user:northernstarFRONTDESK" can be found.

The Terminal Website

Players noticed that a newspaper found throughout the game called The Terminal (which can also be found in Half-Life 2) included a link to their website, theterminal.online. The website appears to only be a parked domain and has no indications that it is related to the ARG as of right now.


Tyler McVicker

On 2020-03-28, Tyler McVicker released a video on the Valve News Network channel. This video summarizes the initial radio station discoveries.

Tyler McVicker, who runs the popular Valve News Network channel, confirmed in the #half-life-alyx channel of the Game Detectives Discord that he had "talked with a few people" and that there was "SOMETHING to be found here." This is notable because Tyler has been a leading source of information on the inner workings of Valve as well as their future plans. Tyler also commented that "Valve doesn't put this kind of shit in a game without knowing people will do this kind of thing."

Portal 2 ARG

Valve previously ran a Portal ARG back in 2010 to tease and announce the sequel, Portal 2. Three years later, the Valve developer solely in charge of the ARG wrote an article for Gamasutra explaining their philosophy behind the ARG, the planning that went into it, and the things that happened that they did not expect. It is worth a read for insight into how Valve approaches ARGs. The article can be read here.