- "Ah jeez, I'm running late!"
- ―First lines in the series, spoken by Gordon Freeman.
Freeman's Mind is a Half-Life machinima series created by Ross Scott, the creator of Civil Protection. The series format is comparable to that of a "Let's Play," albeit in-character as Scott's narration is meant to represent the thoughts of the eponymous character and Half-Life protagonist, Gordon Freeman, as he attempts to survive the Black Mesa Incident.
The series received critical acclaim, largely due to the initial amount of exposure it received due to Scott's contract with Machinima.com, which lead to them featuring the series on their official YouTube channel. On May 4th, 2013, Ross Scott officially announced his departure from Machinima, citing various legal issues as his reason for leaving. Following his departure, Scott began to upload both Freeman's Mind and other videos to his own YouTube channel, as well as other additional media sources like Blip.tv (until the site's discontinuation in 2016) and ThatGuyWithTheGlasses, although these were temporary.
The series officially concluded on December 31st, 2014. Although Scott was initially apprehensive about producing a sequel in Half-Life 2, emphasizing the fact that "The Movie" was his top priority, the first episode of Freeman's Mind 2 premiered on April 1st, 2017. Despite initial concerns from Scott's audience that the episode was an April Fools' Joke, it was confirmed to be a legitimate series following the release of the second episode on May 29th.
Main article: Gordon Freeman
Whereas most official Half-Life media depict Freeman as a stoic, selfless hero, the series subverts this expectation by making Gordon Freeman into an unlikable, narcissistic, and morbid individual with several questionable motives and an even more questionable history.
In the official Half-Life universe, while a handful of employees disliked Freeman (namely Richard Keller from Decay), Freeman was on good terms with a number of Black Mesa employees. In Freeman's Mind, Freeman is rude and outright antagonistic to his fellow co-workers, going as far as to threaten to kill someone. Though this characteristic is tame in the first three episodes, it is amplified to an extreme degree following the resonance cascade, with Freeman seldom showing little to no concern for the employees killed in the wake of the invasion. Despite this, Freeman is capable of demonstrating empathy, as seen in Episode 4 where Freeman calls down an elevator, unintentionally resulting in the death of two employees, an act Freeman apologizes for, though he very quickly searches for justification by saying that he hopes "they were at least jerks."
Main article: List of Freeman's Mind episodes
A total of 71 episodes (counting specials) were released over the show's seven year run. The first episode of Freeman's Mind was first uploaded on December 2nd, 2007. The final episode of the series, Episode 68, was released on December 31st, 2014.
Given the fact that the show was the first of its kind to utilize the concept of a silent protagonist in a unique and interesting way, as well as its extensive reach due to Scott's initial partnership with Machinima, Freeman's Mind would go on to inspire several people to create a Mind series of their own. Shows such as Shephard's Mind and Barney's Mind were the first spin-offs to appear, which was to be expected as the series followed the protagonists of the two Half-Life expansion packs, Half-Life: Opposing Force, and Half-Life: Blue Shift respectively.
As more Mind series began to appear, a group centering around the most popular spin-offs at the time was formed. Formally referred to as The Master Minds, the group consisted of the creators of Barney's Mind, Shephard's Mind, Freeman's (-ish) Mind 2, Felix's Mind, Chell's Mind, Kane's Mind, and Parker's Mind. Following the conclusion of Freeman's Mind as well as their respective shows, the group went on to form a gaming channel called Opposites Attack.
- The show originally served as a side-project while Scott worked on Civil Protection. Though the series' future was in doubt at the time, fan reception and requests to continue the series compelled Scott to produce more episodes past the first two, eventually resulting in Scott covering the entirety of the Half-Life story.
- Despite the fact that the series is titled Freeman's Mind, it is unclear as to whether or not Freeman's dialogue are simply monologues within his head or actual sentences spoken out loud. Evidence towards it being the latter include Freeman's dialogue both possessing a slight reverb and becoming muffled when underwater, both of which suggest that Freeman speaks out loud rather than keep his thoughts to himself.
- Ross Scott either uses cheats or modifies various aspects in order to make the series more immersive and realistic. Examples of this include:
- Freeman's weapons dealing approximately three times more damage, which results in enemies dying far more quickly.
- Freeman doing pull-ups in order to bypass entire areas in the game. Scott accomplishes this by using noclip.