100 Half-Life 1 Mods
Already in 2001 I decided to gather Half-Life 1 singleplayer mods. I was impressed by the original game Half-Life and enjoyed Azuresheep, Case Closed, They Hunger and USS Darkstar very much. Because my internet connection was really lame (dial-up) I never managed to gather anything. I received the chance when I got access to super fast broadband internet and discovered PlanetPhillip.com (now RunThinkShootLive). That site is an amazing source for Half-Life 1 & 2 single player mods and right at that time its file server went down, To preserve data I decided to gather most promising and best rated mods and upload them to my own FTP servers.
Half-Life 1 20-th anniversary update
For the 20-th anniversary of my favorite game I decided to replay the whole saga and the mods (10 years have passed since I last played them). Because the previous ratings were poor, I decided to discard them and rewrite everything. Each modification received a screenshot, new homepage and download links. Because my FTP servers weren't reliable, I decided to link most of the files to binary compatible ModDB downloads, and keep only the files I have improved with a repack. All mods on this site are compatible with Steam version of Half-Life, but you can also try your luck with the WON version.
- Before every ride with the elevator you should save your game. There is a known bug in Half-Life that can cause you to get stuck and cannot continue.
- If you can't jump or climb to a location try Crouch Jump. At the end of the jump, press the Crouch key. That will help you in many cases.
- When using the Long Jump Module look slightly up, as this will increase your jumping length.
- Don't rely on QuickSave and save manually. There are only two QuickSave slots available!
- If you see some non-transparent textures (blue, black, etc) install the 18.104.22.168 patch or use Steam version of Half-Life.
Mod installation instructions
After downloading any file it is recommended to verify if the download was successful:
- install the free HashCheck Shell Extension
- right click the file and select the Checksums tab
- compare the MD5 value from the program with the value posted on this site
You can install the mods by either extracting the archive (use free 7-Zip) in the Half-Life folder or run the installer. Default WON folder is located at C:\Sierra\Half-Life\, and the Steam version is located at C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common\Half-Life\. After installation you should make sure to restart Steam, and the mod will appear in the Uncategorized section.
Patches for Half-Life WON release
This version of the patch will upgrade your WON Half-Life version to 22.214.171.124 regardless of the version you have installed. I recommend installing this patch first, because most of the mods works great with it.
Size: 82.04 MiB
This is the last in the unofficial patch series. It offers many improvements of the rendering engine and bugfixes. You will need .NET Framework 2.0 and already installed 126.96.36.199 patch to install it. All mods playable with 188.8.131.52 should work with it.
- Added a complete new set of Engine DLLs, featuring blue-transparency fix
- Added Steamless Team Fortress 1.6 (v1.0_final)
- Added Enhanced Graphics Engine (EGC v1.1), featuring bloom effect to improve realism
- Added HLBoom protection
- Added listenserver listing support
- Added modserver support
- Added WON2 Protocol won2://, to enable joining a server from a link
- Added WON2 Updater (through 'sierraup')
- Added Primary Masterserver selection
- Fixed 'Blue'-transparency bug
- Fixed SFX_T bug
- Fixed a number of small issues with CS
- Updated woncomm.lst with WON2 Patch for Players v2.8
- Updated PingTool WON2 Edition
Size: 50.11 MiB
This is Half-Life: Ultra Definition Model Pack by the Half-Life Improvement Team. Isnstall SD Pack first and then this package. Package contents:
- New ultra definition models (weapons and characters)
- New sounds (weapons, items and characters)
- New sprites
- Minor graphic improvements to the HUD
Size: 43.59 MiB
Absolute Redemption takes place after the events of the original Half-Life story. Gordon Freeman freed three butterfly-like creatures called Telnorps, who served to protect Xen against the hostile Zan race from the Theldran galaxy. Te panicked Xen creatures asked the mysterious G-Man for help in finding the lost Telnorps. The first one is in the captivity of a cult in the Himalayas, the other in the amusement park, and the third in captivity of a passionate collector of unusual things, that will do everything to get the remaining two.
If you count Xen, you will fight in the game through four differently built areas and all of them are of exceptional quality. The maps are perfectly joined to form a homogenous area. They are greatly detailed and contain quite a few jumping challenges and scripted events. I really liked the non-linear design, which gives an exceptional sense of freedom, but it could confuse some players. You will occasionally have to return to the previous section, but it may contain a surprise which wasn't there before :).
As far as the enemies are concerned, there are no big changes and they are grouped by thematic sections. In the Himalayas, you will fight soldiers and ninjas, in the circus/Xen aliens, and in the warehouse the personal army of the collector. The game does not treat you as a beginner when starting, but throws you directly into the crossfire. Weapons are standard, there is enough ammo and medkits. The fights can be quite demanding, especially in sections where the map is divided into several heights or in the places where the teleporters are placed.
Visually the mod doesn't deviate significantly from the original, but there are some reskinned models available, and the gameplay is enriched by scripted sequences. There is also some really great custom speech present, and background music is also included in suitable places. To complete the game on Medium I needed about 2 hours, and I must mention here that I was greatly disappointed by the ending.
Affliction takes place in Black Mesa at an unknown time. You start the game unconscious and wounded on a truck guarded by two female assassins. Your H.E.V. suit once again turns out to be priceless, because it rejuvenates you. In another lucky moment an alien bomber attacks your position and allows you to escape. That's all there is to the story of the modification, the rest is just fighting yourself to the goal which you'll reach in about 45 minutes of play time. You will be attacked by a very modest set of reskinned opponents, which contains only the weakest species from Xen and both types of soldiers. Their positioning is good, and there are some scripted surprises, but their numbers are low, and thus the action will only barely meet the needs of better players (even on Hard). There are plenty of bullets and goodies around, especially for those who like to explore, but on the other hand the weapon selection is quite modest.
It would be hard to complain about the quality of the map design, as the levels are mostly visually appealing, they have good geometry and lighting, and there are some interesting scripted events that transform the surroundings or otherwise enrich the gameplay. Parts of the levels are well connected to each other, and you will also backtrack a lot. In the latter case new opponents will appear on the already visited parts, or the maps will be otherwise transformed. The mod relies heavily on maps from the original and other games (for example, Uplink), but does not significantly upgrade them, which is unfortunate - I would like more originality. The puzzles are practically non-existent, as it's already clear from far away how to continue. The exception can be some buttons that look like a light. There are also some rude traps in the game that you can not detect until they trigger.
In the Afraid of the Monsters Director's Cut mod, you play David Leatherhoff, who has been having nightmare troubles for some time. A solution seems to be present in form of mysterious pills, which he receives regularly from an unknown source, but they are highly addictive. David decides to visit a nearby hospital to get cured, but there the nightmare really starts. The story is quite interesting and it's commendable that the game has multiple endings.
If you ever played a game from the Silent Hill series, then you will quickly notice a number of parallels between the games. First of all, there is the similar design of stages which take place inside buildings, in the city and on the outskirts. The way forward is blocked by many doors, which are often blocked from one side, locked by keys or by a remote switch. The keys are relatively easy to find, but the last method of locking is quite annoying, since the switches are often located far away from the door, and from the video sequence, it is often not possible to remember which door was activated. Although the house levels are fairly easy to navigate because of the rectangular layout of the elements, others are not, especially in the darkness. The game is mostly annoyingly dark, and it's made worse by the flashlight that needs batteries to operate. If there were maps on the walls as in Silent Hill, the gameplay would have been much better.
The dark nature of the levels could mean that the authors could go crazy when setting up the enemies, but fortunately they got the numbers just right. Interestingly, most scares were produced by the enemies who were placed in maps with enough light ... In addition to super fast zombies, you will be attacked by other types of crooked monsters, among which the most prominent are the skulls with hands in their mouths, and some kind of giant spiders. Often their occurrence is tied to certain events, so watch your back :). Some of the enemies are partially or completely invisible, which was quite annoying. To combat them you can use several types of close range weapons, pistols, a shotgun, a machinegun/uzi or a revolver, but there are no explosives. You can only carry one weapon type at a time and the other is automatically discarded on pickup. Ammunition is ample for precise shooters (aim for the head), and there is even more to find if you are good at exploring.
Since this is a total conversion, the authors did not only change models, but also the map textures that fit very well into the theme of the game. Custom sounds and music backgrounds are also present. You will need around 4 hours to complete the mod on Easy difficulty.
Arctic Incident takes place in a research complex somewhere in the Arctic. Researchers are drilling through the caves with a laser, and during this operation they discover a number of new lifeforms that have completely adapted to the cold and are ready to defend their territory in every way possible. The survivors call military backup, but their rescuers want to exploit the discovery on their own and do not want to have any witnesses. You play one of the scientists trying escape from the chaos.
The maps represent a mixture of internal and external maps, which are very well connected in a homogeneous and very diverse experience. Laboratories and other buildings are fairly monotonous, but the game is redeemed with a fantastic snow-covered exterior, which can sometimes create a remarkable impression with the addition of well chosen colors. The levels contain quite a few side paths and secrets, and occasionally there are also alternative routes. The puzzles are pretty straightforward and consist of pressing buttons, searching for cards / keys and jumping challenges.
In addition to soldiers with machine guns, you will be attacked by Xen monsters with excellent winter skins. The author has not only changed their color, but also the accompanying effects, which now inflict cold damage. The opponents are very well positioned in tactical places, and are sometimes also backed up by machineguns, which means that you are in for some action. Although the enemies do not appear via teleportation, they will often surprise you during your return to an area. The weapons set is quite limited. You will be able to use a pickaxe, a gun, a machine gun, a crossbow, grenades and a rocket launcher, with the weapons being gradually unlocked. Amount of ammunition and health is just right for experienced players to finish the game on Hard difficulty in about 1 hour and a half of playtime.
Assault on Roswell takes place in Roswell somewhere in the US. You are playing a British secret agent sent to the base to investigate the outbreak of a mysterious virus, which may even be of extraterrestrial origin. In order to increase the effectiveness of infiltration, our character is disguised as gorden (this is what the text says, lol :) and even undergoes plastic surgery.
The level design is one of the key weak points of this mod. The maps (especially at the beginning) consist of simple and almost empty rectangular boxes that are connected with long and boring corridors or shafts. In addition to the dull emptiness, the impression is made worse by the monotone textures on the walls, and design mistakes. Occasionally, you may get stuck without the possibility of a return, so save regularly. The quality of the created levels increases with the time, so the ending levels are pretty decent. The way forward is occasionally well hidden, but in many cases you will need to activate a switch somewhere and return a long way back - very annoying. Maps also contain secrets and traps.
On the way to the end you will encounter opponents already known from the original, which are well placed in some places and represent an interesting challenge, but in other cases the authors have exaggerated their numbers a bit. The weapon list has not undergone significant changes, but the way you get them differs from other modifications. You will have to find them in the level, otherwise you might have to do a long walk back. Ammunition and healing packages are just right, but they are found in unusual fragile objects such as, for example, boxes that look like explosive charges.
The appearance of the game progressively improves during play, but it is never pretty. The elements are mostly placed without some sense of aesthetics, the height and size ratios are wrong, everything is made very crude. Occasionally the music background is switched on, but the moments are not always appropriate. On the Medium difficulty, I finished the game in about 2 hours.
In Azure Sheep, you play Barney, a security guard at the Black Mesa complex, which happens to have same name as the hero from the Blue-Shift expansion. Just another day at work quickly turns into a nightmare after monsters from Xen invade the complex. In order to save his girlfriend, Kate, Barney ventures deep into the heart of the Black Mesa lab complex. The Azure Sheep and original Half-Life Stories are perfectly intertwined, so you are able to meet with Gordon Freeman even help him progress. The mod's story is spiced up by video sequences, and quite a few scripted events.
The level design is good and is almost as diverse as the original, but some labyrinths of corridors with numerous locked doors are really a letdown. There are quite a few alternative routes to reach the goal, which will allow you to try a different advancement approach. The enemies are well placed, and there are quite a few ambushes and shocking moments. Classic enemies from the original were expanded by modified and brand new ones, but there is also quite few new allies. Kate stands out from the crowd, because she is crucial for advancement (she opens some security doors), therefore you must take great care to protect her (and get angry when she does not want to pass through the door :). Arsenal was also expanded with new weapons and a portable medkit, which you can use to treat Kate. Although the fights are quite demanding, there were enough bullets and healing packages that I did not have any problems. Sometimes, you also need to mount a machine gun or rocket launcher, but at the same time this means that you have to be a good shooter, as a lot of opponents will storm you.
In addition to custom models and speakers for them (very commendable!), the game also has a custom colored HUD. The color can sometimes be very problematic as you can't distinguish it from the surroundings. The game is about 4 hours long and offers a very diverse gaming experience, I recommend playing on medium.
Back to Xen is a modification for Half-Life which was released in 1999 and was made by a Slovenian author Janez Brezovnik - go Slovenia! :D. It's a package of seven maps with a simple goal of getting to the end. There is no story.
Internal and external maps are architecturally very basic and covered with concrete or rock texture, details are barely existant. The corridors and doors are claustrophobically narrow, but you will be able to catch some breath in the rooms that they connect. Variation of gaming experience comes in form of ladder climbing, manual door opening and button pressing, but there are no other puzzles. There are also some scripted surprises that can seriously damage you, so save regularly. I also recommend regular saving because of the transition problem between the first and second map: jan1.bsp and jan2.bsp. To solve the problem, open the console, type
sv_cheats 1, then
map jan2. Since you spawn without items, you should now enter the
impulse 101 command, which gives you the H.E.V. suit and basic weaponry. The remaining map transitions work perfectly.
The difficulty of the game is quite unusual and is responsible for a lower final score. The start is difficult and full of action, because you are endangered by extremely well placed soldiers and machineguns. In the next moment, difficulty drops greatly, because the set of enemies becomes limited to those from Xen, which are well placed, but much less dangerous. Headcrabs stand out here, because they are positioned in almost every possible hole and behind almost every box, which can be sometimes pretty annoying. The last part is slightly more difficult again. Unlike most other modifications, the Xen creatures and soldiers have signed a treaty of non-aggression, which creates quite unusual situations. Weapon selection is fortunately properly chosen for the action, but variety is lacking. Bullets and medkits / batteries are numerous enough to play on Hard. You will need about 45 minutes to complete the mod.
Back to Xen 2 is a direct continuation of the predecessor created by the Slovenian map creator Janez Brezovnik (go Slovenia! :), and this time the mod contains a story. In order to stop the invasion from Xen, a new device was developed to prevent teleportation between the worlds. Since this means the end of Xen's research and the revolutionary discoveries associated with it, the Administrator decides that the project will never be launched. Some scientists oppose this decision and try to start the device anyway, but this is prevented by the army. Your task is to get to the device and turn it on.
The quality of the maps made a quantum leap with regards to its predecessor, and for this accomplishment the author should definitely be praised. The levels now contain much more detail, better color schemes, and most importantly, since they are more complex they are consequently more interesting. There is much more non-linearity, and there are several side paths and secrets in which you find many goodies. Most maps are internal, but the rare outside maps do not impress. There are quite a few scripted events. Among them you will find those that deform the surroundings, which looks pretty good. Some work has also been put into the puzzles, which are not limited to pressing buttons anymore.
The enemy types were transferred to the sequel without significant changes, but this time the author used a much better approach to balancing. In the beginning, you are mostly threatened by weaker enemies from Xen (eg Vortigaunts), which are later joined by soldiers, machineguns and stronger creatures from Xen (eg Alien Grunts). In this way, the difficulty curve keeps rising in a steady pace, and consequently the challenge keeps increasing. Due to the more complex maps, the author could improve the positioning of the enemies, which resulted in crazy good action that barely leaves you room to breathe. Some of the action can be attributed to scripted occurrences of enemies at certain events that can surprise you behind your back. I was again not impressed by the amount of Headcrabs, but their numbers are much more modest than in the predecessor.
The weapon set is much more diverse than its predecessor, but it is still limited to human weapons. Unlocking happens gradually. Ammunition and healing packages are sufficient for Medium difficulty, but Hard is another story. Although I have played on Hard, because this is recommended by the author, I must say that I could barely make it to the end, so I advise to stay away from this difficulty. To complete the game, you will spend around 2 hours playing it.
Before is a very short mod, on a ship map. It has some high-res models, Spirit of Half-Life and lots of effects(rain, etc.) so the framerate is very low. The background music is very nice and makes the game more interesting. Through the game you kill some aliens and soldiers and move some crates. The ending fight is easy and buggy.
In the Black Ops mod, you play a special force soldier named Declan Walker, whose task is to find and eliminate a runaway scientist called Dr. Gallagher. The latter has stolen a mysterious suitcase from Black Mesa, which the government wants to recover in every way possible. The story sounds interesting, but it has some faults. It's revealed through comics that strongly resemble those of Max Payne, and there are also a lot of levels and scripted events that players of Max Payne will immediately recognize.
The similarity is not only limited to Max Payne, but also Half-Life 2. Maps are full of detail and very aesthetically made, the paths are often not obvious, and there are some jumping challenges. Occasionally you will encounter a locked door that you will need to unlock with a card, key, or security code. You will be able to get the latter by reading it from a computer or a piece of paper. Some puzzles will also require you to find a missing piece of some device, or explosives to blow up a wall. Enemies are often positioned at different height levels, which can make some situations pretty difficult.
During the game, you will mostly fight against soldiers and turrets, here and there you will be harassed by Headcrabs, zombies, and Alien Slaves. Other Xen creatures are not really newsworthy. With the exception of the silenced pistol, your arsenal has not received any changes, with the exception being removal of biological weapons. There is definitely too much ammunition, and the same applies to healing packages and armor. You can find even more stuff by exploring, as there are a lot of hidden places with goodies in the game.
The visuals are very nice, not only because of detailed maps, but also because of detailed textures (khm, khm, posters don't count :P). The experience is also enriched by scripted events and music that turns on at the right moments. Unfortunately, the comics are cut off at widescreen resolutions. Due to the relatively low difficulty, I recommend that you play on Hard which will provide you with approximately 2 hours and a half of gameplay.