Alyx is the daughter of Dr. Eli Vance and of Azian Vance. The latter, her mother, died during the Black Mesa incident, but can be seen in a family photograph at some point during the course of Half-Life 2. Alyx was but a child when Gordon Freeman was a scientist at Black Mesa, but G-Man's imposed stasis upon Freeman between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2 pretty much erased the age gap between both characters. Alyx lived with her father at Black Mesa East until their dislodgement at the hands of the Combine in Half-Life 2.
Alyx is not only a skilled hacker but is also very talented at bypassing security systems, locked doors and even in the process of reprogramming enemy equipment, such as turrets and rollermines, to attack their very owners, aka the Combine. Aside from that, Alyx is also a good fighter. She usually wields an automatic pistol, but can sometimes be seen carrying a shotgun. She also likes to kick headcrab zombies to keep them at bay. Athletically, Alyx is quite capable when it comes to jumping and climbing through debris, obstacles and even buildings.
Alyx Vance is one of the few female characters in the history of videogames to convey a wide range of emotions. She is not the typical damsel in distress type, nor is she the half-naked warrior so commonly seen in the industry.
Alyx is a strong independent young woman, the epitome of a strong female lead character. She is a friendly and playful individual for the most part. She has a great sense of humor and provides a sense of humanity in an otherwise grim world. She really does not miss a chance to make jokes about the various situations she and Gordon face along the way. Her immitation of zombie-like noises to try and scare the player and also her Zombine joke in Episode One stand out as probably the best known.
There is however, a more serious and fragile side to her personality, which can often be seen during the course of the game, especially in more dire or traumatic situations, and also when in the presence of Dr. Breen, whom she accounts as being responsible for her mother's death. She even spits on him when Breen mentions her mother. She also shows some animosity towards the conceited Dr. Judith Mossman, but this is a feeling that eventually fades away when Mossman helps Alyx escape from the Citadel.
She develops a "budding-romantic" attachment to the story's silent protagonist Gordon Freeman throughout the Half-Life 2 saga (Episodes obviously included), for whom she often reveals her caring and affectionate side.
- Alyx is voiced by the Broadway actress Merle Dandridge, who shares a similar bi-racial heritage with her character.
- American actress and television host Jamil Mullen provided the basis for Alyx's model.
- Alyx was supposed to have had a pet name Skitch; apparently Dog replaced Skitch as her pet.
- Man of few words, aren't you?
- Well, Gordon... unless you have a better suggestion... He is a robot. He's done the math. [to Dog] You did do the math, right?
- I've heard stories about you and airducts. Doctor Kleiner says whenever he locked himself out of his office you and Barney used to compete to see who could get in fastest without using a key.
- A Combine zombie. Zombie Combine. That's, that's like a... ah... a Zombine! Right? Heh...
- Gordon, you know what'd be cool? Actually, I can't think of anything cooler than what just happened. Think it's dead? Maybe you should whack it with the crowbar just in case.
- Good thing you've got your hazard suit on. This stuff's nasty. Got room for two in there?
- Aren't you going to speak up for me, Gordon?