Ravenholm is really popular
Before vanishing into the ether and becoming gaming’s longest running gag, Half-Life 2 was actually supposed to get more than just one final episode. While we’ve only ever known the name of Arcane Studios Return to Ravenholm, some new images have surfaced from a project that Junction Point Studios was working on. While there is no official title, these screenshots show a snow covered Ravenholm. In other words, Alyx lied to you when she said, “We don’t go to Ravenholm.”
As for what these images pertain to, the head of Junction Point, Warren Spector (Deus Ex, Epic Mickey), has briefly spoken about this before. In an interview with Game Informer a few years ago, Spector detailed how his team was working on a new weapon called the Magnet Gun. The reason their episode never got finished was due to Junction Point striking a deal with Disney, a studio Spector always wanted to work with.
“So we were trying to flesh out a specific part of the world of Half-Life and we created a new tool. A thing we elegantly called the Magnet Gun, which I still wish they would do something with,” Spector states in his interview. “We came up with so many cool ways to use a magnet gun that were completely different from anything [Valve] had done and was really freeform in its use. I still think it’d be cool, but when the deal with Disney really started to bear fruit, I just couldn’t say no to Disney. I’d always wanted to work there, so we never completed the work with Valve.”
Due to the wonders of the internet, you can actually tinker around with the prototype map files. As posted on ValveTime.net, you can read through a thread that explains what each map contains and how it may have pieced together to create a final product. If nothing else, I hope some prospective modder takes these files and glues them together. It would be neat to play what could have been, much like you can with the leaked Half-Life 2 beta.