New Half-Life Choreography Files For Doctor Magnusson, Found In Portal 2

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There’s been a couple of times when we spotted references towards EP3 content within another Valve game’s content. In fact, the Combine OverWiki has an entire article on the subject. It hasn’t happened in a while, though. It was getting a bit dull –  exploring the depths of game folders in hopes of finding… whatever, can be surprisingly enjoyable. And it turns out it’s happening again! 

In a forum thread posted on the Episode Two Steam Forums, forum user Ded tells us how he uncovered several .vcd choreography files labelled “magnuss” in Portal 2’s VPK cache, which can be found in the game’s main directory (open “pak01_dir.vpk”, then head over to the “scenes” folder). The files themselves are named:


A quick inspection of the files in the Source SDK’s Faceposer tool will reveal that the choreography actor is named “magnusson”, and this actor’s model appears to be “magnusson.mdl”. The label, “magnuss”, differs from Episode Two’s label for Magnusson’s choreography files, which was simply “mag” – this pretty much confirms we’re dealing with new choreography, created after Episode Two’s release. In fact, these files cannot be found inside Episode Two.

DasFreeman95 cooked up a little video showing the choreography in use on Magnusson himself:

Looks like this is taken from Episode Three’s intro sequence – “magnuss_wave” might simply be Magnusson waving Gordon and Alyx goodbye. “magnuss_nopoint” seems to be Magnusson in disagreement with someone – perhaps Alyx? As for “magnuss_get_going” – I would imagine that’s Magnusson telling Gordon to get going somewhere, in case he lingers in a certain area.

I’m pretty sure these were intentionally placed here. There’s no reason why Valve would inexplicably misplace files (that seem to work all too well on current versions of Source), for an unreleased, unannounced title. The way they seem to have been carefully selected also leads me to believe this is an intentional easter egg of sorts, left for any fans with a propensity for data mining.

Let’s hope the day comes when we get to see Magnusson’s cool moves, without having to go digging through game caches.


  1. Commenter AvatarTerminatorsCousin1 March 2012 at 10:39pm

    I hate how they tease us so much, “misplacing” animations in releases id just love a flat out “yes we’re working on it, no you cant see it”

    • Yeah!

    • Um dude we already got that. Check out the Penny Arcade interview. Gabe says that he wont announce the game until its close to being out. They dont want to over-hype it. That’s as good of a “we’re working on it” statement as you’re ganna get. And Im fine with it 🙂

  2. Is it possible to know if this was in the initial release, or if it was in any update afterwards?

    • No idea. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it’s a fairly recent addition – surely someone would have noticed this.

    • Try checking the older versions of the folder, that might work.
      That if you have the game.

  3. I thought the Portal 2 engine was branched off from the HL2 engine, and if the next HL is going to have an updated engine, which is not an unreasonable expectation, it doesn’t make sense why new HL content could show up in an older, branched off engine.

    • Perhaps the content is outdated.

    • Valve uses the Source Engine for all their games. Rather than releasing a new one, they tend to simply update the Source Engine’s capabilities. I doubt they will change this, considering it would kind of screw over the modders, and they can make games look extremely good even with an older engine.

      • There’s this bizarre misconception that Valve will continue using Source indefinitely. If you ask me, this is hardly the case – eventually, Valve will have to overhaul Source (just as they did with Goldsource, which Source is still built from), updating it in such a way that it could reasonably be called a “new” engine. Perhaps they’ve already done so in-house.

  4. Quite old actually:

  5. isn’t Valve attending GDC???

  6. I just want to point out somehting that the SPUF guys noticed
    (Ded- and Master Cat i think).
    The weight of the Space Cores is 3.1, and in march the first (3/1) VALVe made it into the E3 expositor list.

  7. Yo Vic,
    What’s your opinion on this?

  8. Somebody emailed Erik about it.

    • The interesting thing is that he says “old”, and nothing more. He doesn’t say when they were made or what project they were made for.

  9. Check this out:

    • Nice, but it’s woefully incorrect. The Citadel is only about 2,569 meters in height, so it’s not quite that big.