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 or own patches. All mods on this site are compatible with Steam version of Half-Life, but you can also try your luck with the WON version. The total playtime of all mods is over 200 hours!
- 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 126.96.36.199 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
Half-Life WON Patch 188.8.131.52
This version of the patch will upgrade your WON Half-Life version to 184.108.40.206 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
Half-Life WON Patch 220.127.116.11
This is the last in the unofficial patch series. It offers many improvements of the rendering engine and bugfixes (blue-transparency fix). You will need .NET Framework 2.0 and already installed 18.104.22.168 patch to install it. All mods playable with 22.214.171.124 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
Classic Weapons HD Pack
This pack contains HD versions of the original weapons from Half-Life. It removes M4, Beretta and Stocked SPAS-12 and replaces them with the original MP5, Glock and No-Stocked SPAS-12. To install, extract the files to valve_hd and ovewrite when prompted.
Size: 1.49 MiB
Half-Life 1 Mod list
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Half-Life: Echoes is the newest modification in my collection, as it was released just a few months before the 20-th anniversary of the first Half-Life game! The game takes place in Black Mesa, and you play as an unknown person, which is referred to as Candidate #12. You are one of the many scientists who have applied for the testing of the purest, but highly unstable, crystal from Xen (GG-3883), which caused the resonance cascade in HL1 and, consequently, a disaster of epic proportions. The story is extremely interesting and is revealed to you via events that take place in the complex, video sequences and excellent speech, which is very skillfully cut. In addition to presenting an alternative view of the HL1 incident and linking with its story, the game also tries to explain some other events in the Half-Life series, but I won't spoil it for you ;). The game consists of a rather large introductory part (almost 20 minutes long), which familiarizes you with the complex and the background story, and later nicely connects to the events that followed the failed experiment.
The levels are composed mainly of internal parts, which are occasionally connected to external sections, and both of the types are of exceptional quality. We are not just talking about carefully crafted architecture and massive amounts of detail, but also about the sizes of the rooms, which will often blow your mind. Despite the spaciousness, the rooms don't look dull and empty, as they contain plenty of elements. Your progress through the sections will often be blocked with puzzles that need to be solved before you continue. The set is not limited to pressing buttons, jumping challenges, moving objects, and guiding NPCs, but it often contains multi-layered problems that can sometimes completely change the appearance of the map, you are residing in. Some of these problems are extremely long and highly complex, and could thus be easily split into a smaller, independent modification. During the game you will also return to certain areas that you have already visited, but are now completely different because they were adjusted to the events in the complex. I think this was greatly done, and I liked it very much.
Even with all these puzzles, the author did not forget to iron out the fights. The first half is devoted to a very varied range of zombies and monsters from Xen, and is later spectacularly expanded by soldiers, female assassins and all the heavy machinery the army has. Due to the good enemy positioning and abundance, you will have to survive several challenging fights, and the action is further amplified by scripted events and ambushes. Every now and then you will have to fight against boss opponents, and a few times you will also have to stay hidden or even run away. The available weapon set is very strictly regulated, which means that the firearms get gradually unlocked. However, players that like to explore, might find certain weapons much earlier. Although the weapons are taken from the original, they have certain changes that will require some careful examination before charging into battle. The most prominent changes are the limited barrels on the shotgun and the machine gun, and additionally, the total number of bullets you can carry, was limited. Since you do not have the H.E.V. suit, you can not pick up batteries, but you can wear the security guards helmet and armor. The amount of goodies and bullets is just right to play the mod on Conventional difficulty, but more cautious players can also try to finish it on Stringent.
The game runs on a modified version of Spirit of Half-Life, which helped the author to create an incredible visual appearance. With the help of a good selection of textures, color schemes, special effects and new models, the game appears almost 10 years younger, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The highlight of the modification are, in my opinion, the movie-like scripted events with good background music, which are taking place in parallel with your gameplay, and have made me feel like I'm part of the game. An example of them, are the NPCs who perform everyday tasks, chat, give you advice, fight for their lives, run away, etc., and everything is enriched by very good animations. Exceptional appearance occasionally overloads the engine and reduces the number of frames per second, but luckily such moments are very rare. I needed about 3 hours of gameplay to complete this masterpiece.
Length: 3 hrs
Size: 255.70 MiB
Invasion begins at the end of the original Half-Life 1 when Gordon Freeman on a train to the unknown has to choose whether to work with G-Man or stay on the train. He opts for the latter and just before G-Man condemns him to death, a group of scientists succeeds to open a teleporter back to Earth. Gordon escapes, but the situation on Earth is by no means rosy: the alien attackers still control the Black Mesa, while the rest is being purged by soldiers. Scientists ask Gordon to enter the Black Mesa complex again and destroy the teleportation crystals, which should stop the invasion for good.
The design of the levels is excellent and diverse, and the enemies are placed very well. Advance is often not obvious and is quite frequently blocked with security codes which you enter via mouse control. They are given to you by NPCs and sometimes you also read them from notebooks or computers. Sometimes you will also have to hide from cameras or snipers, and there are also some time-limited events in which you will have to put your jumping skills to the test. In addition to classic man to man battles, you will also spend a part of the game driving a tank, and shooting with the machinegun or canon.
In addition to soldiers from the original, you will also encounter snipers and soldiers with rocket launchers. Both of them are extremely dangerous opponents. Fortunately, you have a very varied arsenal, which contains a whole lot of new weapons. You will, for example, find a gun with a thermo sensor that will allow you to detect enemies through the walls, and a sniper rifle with the possibility of zooming. The rocket launcher has received projectiles that damage enemies through the walls, and you will be also able to launch nuclear projectiles to blow up obstacles. An additional special feature is that you do not have a flashlight, but a lighter with (unfortunately) a very narrow band of luminosity. Despite the often dark fights, you will not be helpless, as opponents have built-in flashlights which can be targeted. There are relatively few healing and battery stations, but the specialty of the game is that you can carry batteries and healing packages in your inventory and use them when an emergency appears.
The graphics elements of the game are fully reskinned, you will also be able to listen to custom music. The game also includes French speakers, but fortunately English subtitles are included. As far as the graphics are concerned, abundant breakable materials were definitely a eye catcher. This way, soldiers are able to shoot through walls or windows (well, you can too), and with the tank you can do some massive destruction :). The atmosphere of the game is also enriched by scripted events. Difficulty is very high, so I recommend playing on Easy, where you'll spend about 5 hours of gameplay.
Length: 5 hrs
Size: 43.50 MiB
Poke646 is a government organization founded to cover up incidents similar to the disaster in Black Mesa. When scientists intercept signals that the creatures from Xen are once again trying to attack the Earth, they try to close all portals with the help of four giant generators. The plan fails, because the teams have to leave early, and by coincidence, our hero is left back alone in a city full of aliens. You play Damien Reeves, who needs to fight himself trough to the generators and activate them to prevent a new disaster. You discover the interesting story during gameplay by reading your superiors' computer messages.
The design of the levels is exceptional, not only because of the many details, but also because of the different paths to the goal. Your playing time will be split between the streets of Nation City, the sewage, the interior of the buildings, and also a tiny bit of Xen. Routes are often not obvious, so you will have to pay attention to the surroundings. There are some locked doors that you can only open with found keys or by reading security codes. Sometimes you will need to solve a combination of puzzles to advance, and there are also jumping challenges and time-limited trials - none of them are frustrating.
Opponents include a wide range of aliens from Xen, which are later joined by soldiers and machineguns. The placement of them is very good and will provide very intense fights, which are pretty fair. There are also some surprises that are triggered by certain events.
You can confront the enemies with the help of custom weapons, which include two nailguns, a shotgun, a crossbow and a biological acid spitter that is fed with chocolates. Also interesting are explosives that are triggered by your multifunctional clock. You can familiarize with them in the Hazard Course. The ammunition is well taken care of, and the same applies to healing packages. There are no shields.
The visuals of the mod are exceptional due to high quality mapping, lighting, sharp textures and new models. Sounds, custom music, and scripted events also contribute to a good atmosphere. To complete the game I needed around 3 hours on the Medium difficulty.
Length: 3 hrs
Size: 144.63 MiB
The Trap is an unusual Half-Life mod, which has a strong preference for puzzles and less emphasis is put on fights. One day your protagonist somehow appears in a mysterious testing complex, and is greeted by a robotic voice which is thrilled by his willingness to participate in solving the puzzles. A quick look at the test rooms quickly kills the spirit, as it reveals the corpses of the unlucky ones, which misjudged the tests.
Anyone who has ever played Portal will quickly see many parallels between the games. The game is divided into several sections, each containing several rooms. To advance to the next room or section, you have to solve a series of puzzles that lead to the activation of the transporting portal. Rooms are full of various devices, which must be activated by conventional, bullet-sensitive or time-limited switches. The selection contains not just simple lifts, but also considerably more complex devices, such as push fans, connected teleports, zero gravity fields, energy shields, etc. Often devices lack vital parts or the connection to the power source is interrupted, so you need to pick up the missing elements during the gameplay and insert them into the sockets. Often, you will also need good timing. In some rooms you will also find machine guns and energy cannons that can destroy even the hardest materials.
Of course, the game also contains dangers. In addition to fatal falls from the height, you will also be damaged by toxic and radioactive pools, electric fields and explosives. The enemies are scarce and are often positioned so that you have to kill them as quickly as possible, otherwise they trigger a chain explosion. Sometimes you must also draw them to a suitable place where they enable your advance. The weapon selection is rather modest, but ammunition is plentiful and the same holds for healing and energy kits. Rooms also have secret places/events that give you bonuses and also unlock the achievements (they provide an alternative ending).
The modification is based on an improved Spirit of Half-Life engine, which allows for mind blowing puzzles, but at the same time often results in FPS fluctuations. This bothered me a little, but it was not critical enough to lower the total score. The package includes pretty nice custom weapon models and excellent speech. The latter, together with the level design and scripted sequences, provides an excellent atmosphere for which the author must be congratulated. I was less happy with the accompanying music, which would be better if it was absent. I spent approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes to finish the game on the Normal difficulty.
Length: 5 hrs 30 mins
Size: 126.51 MiB
They Hunger Triology takes place in a town called Rockwell, which has witnessed strange events in recent times. Our hero's car gets struck by lightning while driving on a country road, and consequently he gets thrown in the nearby lake. When you finally reach the surface through the catacombs, you enter a church which is falling apart. There seems to be no living soul in it, so you decide to leave. At that moment your path is blocked by the bloodthirsty undead. During your escape, you try to find the cause for the resulting chaos, an by doing that, you discover the darkest secrets of the town. The story is quite interesting and enriched by video sequences, sound clips and radio transmissions.
The level design is excellent and keeps alternating between the exterior and interior maps, which often contain non-obvious paths and some pretty good riddles, which could take several minutes to solve. The levels allow you to go back through another path, which gives the impression of non-linearity. The enemies are very well placed, which provides very intense fights and the just right amount of shock moments. In addition to zombies you will encounter Frankenstein monsters, wolves, skeletons, live palms, etc. The enemies don't just beat you up, but some of them can also shoot or electroshock you from range. There are also some boss's battles. The arsenal is varied, most of the weapons are reskined versions from the original, but biological weapons and missiles are absent. There are no healing stations and no armour, but the amount of healing packages is high enough to make it to the end.
Since this mod is a complete conversion of the Half-Life game, you will rarely see models from the original, but it doesn't matter, because the new skins are extremely well made. There are also new sounds, which, combined with visual signals, will make your skin crawl. Desperate cries of horror and suffering ... zombies crawling out of the earth with the desire to eat your brains ... howling of wolves mixed with the crow caws ... horrible moments in the asylum ... rustling of trees, which is interrupted by the sniffing of skeletons, which desire meat ... The atmosphere is really exceptional.
The game length is around 5 hours and half for experienced players (or at least 10 for newbies) and offers an excellent experience, I recommend playing at medium.
Length: 5 hrs 30 mins
Size: 67.06 MiB
USS Darkstar is a giant spacecraft intended for exploring the living creatures discovered during its journey through space. One day a expedition to a nearby planet returns to the vessel because one of the security guards has gotten ill. During his examination a Headcrab bursts from his chest, and causes the scientist to panic and activate a flame thrower. Due to unwisely positioned fuel containers, a powerful explosion is triggered which causes a series of technical problems on the vessel. During the chaos, prisoners from Xen escape from the cages, and take over the control of the spacecraft. The story is great and will surely be liked by fans of the Alien series.
Although the whole game takes place inside the spacecraft, the authors have nevertheless managed to create an extremely diverse experience. You will not only be limited to corridors and laboratories, but you will also ride with trains, be forced to overcome jumping challenges, jump in a zero gravity environment, and even get shrunk to a mouse size when the teleportation system fails. The maps are perfectly connected to each other, occasionally through alternative routes. There are a few places in which you have to go around the obstacle, and sometimes you will also need to backtrack. The paths forward are well hidden. There are some secrets with goodies and even bonus weapons, but there are also numerous traps.
During the game, you will be fighting exclusively against the Xen monsters which have flooded the vessel and also infected the computer system. The opponents are very well placed, and they can also surprise you behind your back. I was very fond of how the Xenians use human devices because this way they are not just cannon fodder, but show intelligence, which presents them as even more dangerous. Weapons are standard, and the amount of ammo and goodies is just right for you to enjoy the game on Medium. For experienced players I recommend Hard for the best challenge.
The game has no outstanding visual novelties, but with very detailed maps it still succeeds to create very good visuals. Its main trump card is certainly a phenomenal atmosphere, which it reaches not only with good ambient sounds, but also with fantastic scripted events. The latter make it feel like the ship lives and things happen in parallel with your advancement towards the end. To complete the modification, I spent about 2 hours and a half playing it.
Length: 2 hrs 30 mins
Size: 10.74 MiB
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.
Length: 4 hrs
Size: 40.52 MiB
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.
Length: 2 hrs 30 mins
Size: 42.69 MiB
The story of Heart of Evil is set up in the time of the Vietnam War. You play Percy Freeman, a special forces captain, who is assigned a mission to kill a renegade colonel called Kurtz (did you detect any connection with the Apocalypse now movie yet?). You are not alone in your mission as you are accompanied by Barney, an indispensable assistant which will be of great help through the game and will also be driving you through enemy territory. The story is extremely interesting and it is revealed through events, dialogs and documents.
The modification consists of gigantic sections, which are connected by vehicular transport. Each of them consists of a large number of maps that are incredibly well-connected to each other. The developers have provided an enormous amount of freedom to the player, as sections can be explored almost indefinitely, but in my opinion, the paths should be more limited. Although some places contain way points and you can read some useful navigation tips from the documents, you must be extraordinarily focused to not get lost. Because your progress depends on Barney who will often severely slow you down in the numerous corridors, it is advisable to leave him in a well-marked place. This way you can quickly find him when his help will be needed. I also advise you to play with pen and notebook, as certain puzzles will require you to perform a certain sequence correctly, and it can be really useful to also mark areas which were already explored. Progress through certain sections will often be disabled with one side barricades or locks, and sometimes you will also need to blast your way through or find certain items, so keep an eye out for interesting things.
The enemies are extremely varied. First of all, you will encounter well-armed renegade US soldiers supported by tanks and extremely dangerous choppers; then there are lesser armed, but still dangerous enough, Viet Cong people; and last but not least, there are zombies accompanied by other monsters. The factions are hostile to each other and are constantly fighting, so there is always lots of action, additionally, their fights can be used to your advantage to save health and ammunition. Opponents are not only skinned AI from the original, but have modified parameters that make the fights more demanding. Soldiers can take cover, attack you with a rocket launcher, and they really like throwing grenades. Zombies are extremely resistant, some of them will also attack you with weapons. Gorillas surprise you with long jumps and a scary screams. And we could go on and on ...
Your arsenal is very diverse. You can kill opponents with a machete or a chainsaw, poke some holes in them with several types of machine guns, pistol or shotgun, and disintegrate them with grenade or rocket launchers. You will also be able to use grenades, laser bombs and (very interesting) Snarks ... Weapons are not well balanced, and for some of them you can carry a ridiculous amount of ammo. Medkits and healing stations are plentiful (especially if you love exploring), and there is also a lot of armor available. Even though some situations may be very challenging, experienced players should be able to finish the mod on Hard difficulty without any major problems.
Because it's a total conversion for Half-Life, the game has mostly new models and textures. Although the latter can sometimes be low quality, I still liked the overall appearance of the game. There are enough details present, architecture is good enough, and everything is enriched by pretty good scripted events. In addition to custom voices and music, you will also find some humorous things in it, but they can sometimes be distasteful. I ended playing the game after about 5 hours and a half of playtime, because at an end of a boring boat trip a door didn't open.
Length: 5 hrs 30 mins
Size: 90.19 MiB
In Operation Black Thunder, you play a commando named Roger McAllen, who works for NASF. Your task is to restore control of the rocket launching ramp seized by the terrorist organization WOLF. Before infiltration, you will have to fight yourself to the vincinity of the launch site and destroy tactical targets, but the task will not be easy, as the opponent is well organized and armed. Your objectives are given gradually, and appear in a small window. In the latter you will sometimes also see tips, which, however, I found unnecessary. The game has a very unusual keyboard layout, which can only be overwritten at the filesystem level (download the patch).
As far as the mapping is concerned, the authors deserve all praise. The architecture is very good, full of details, side paths and hidden ways forward. During gameplay, certain parts of the levels get transformed, and you will often need to go back through the newly unlocked door or the newly created gateway. You will be wandering around in military complexes as well as in rocky canyons. In both cases, the authors have taken care of a lot of interesting puzzles and jumping challenges.
With rare exceptions, opponents are very well placed and comprise of a whole spectrum of soldiers. There are also many mechanical hazards which come mostly from the very destructive machinegun nests, but there are also plenty of tanks, snipers and rocket launchers. Often you will have to think about the situation before charging the enemies or you will face quick death. The vertical multi-layered level design makes the game pretty hard, but hiding spots are also well taken care of.
The arsenal is extremely varied and has some novel weapons. Among these you can find several types of machine guns and also knives that you can throw, too bad that the weapon slots are not standard. During the game there are quite a few moments in which you lose your weapons, but fear not, you will regain them all. Ammunition is too abundant, but the exact opposite goes for healing packages and shields. Since opponents are extremely effective, your health and shield will be always very low even on the Easy difficulty.
Because it is a total conversion of Half-Life, the game contains new models (which are really well animated), new sounds and also background music. The visual wow comes not only from the good layout of the elements, but also due to the very good lightning scheme and scripted events that contribute significantly to a good atmosphere. To complete this mod, I needed about 3 hours and a half.
Length: 3 hrs 30 mins
Size: 57.60 MiB