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 220.127.116.11 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 18.104.22.168 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 (blue-transparency fix). You will need .NET Framework 2.0 and already installed 22.214.171.124 patch to install it. All mods playable with 126.96.36.199 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. Install HD 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
Hazardous Course 2 is some kind of an extreme version of the Hazard Course or Training room from the original Half-Life, which takes place in the Black Mesa Training Facility. In the latter, new players get acquainted with the H.E.V. suit, jumping and ducking, interaction with objects and NPCs, diving, environmental hazards, and a smaller section is also dedicated to weaponry. Hazardous Course 2 takes all these mechanics and extends them to an unprecedented scale, with the result being exponential increase in difficulty. This modification is therefore suitable only for the most patient and skillful players who know the basic physics mechanics of the GoldSrc engine, have a perfectly developed timing, and are not afraid of a challenge (or humiliation :).
You start the game in a central hub that is full of traps and fun scripted events in which you or NPCs can get slaughtered. This section is followed by the Basic Training, in which each of the jumping challenges from the original Half-Life is extended with additional dangerous elements such as for example fire, circular saws, crushing blocks and radioactive waste. Navigating in the dark will be performed in a maze full of zombies and Headcrabs, and you will also have to keep balance on a narrow bridge full of pendulums and electric traps, with your source of light being only your flashlight. The difficulty is taken to the extreme after you get the long jump module, as you will need to overcome almost impossible distances (look straight or slightly upwards during a jump!) and balance on slippery surfaces. The diving section is also made harder with the inclusion of a crazy complex maze of underwater shafts. This first part is followed by highly original sections in which you will have to lead Barney through a factory full of hazards, drive the train through an extremely complex labyrinth of tracks, and then climb up the insanely high tower with the help of the ladder system, moving platforms and jumping surfaces (almost Prince of Persia like).
By fulfilling the above mentioned challenges, the player will only scratch the surface of the game, because the mod contains more than twenty secret areas which are hard to spot and even harder to access. In some cases, you will need keys and in other cases, access codes that you can read in different places or hear via speakers, so keep a notebook ready. Paths forward are often located at extremely difficult to reach places, so you will need to have a huge amount of skills and foresight in addition to keen eyes, but all the effort will definitely be worth it. In the hidden areas, you will be able to see the backstage of the test program, find tips for the coming up sections, or even reduce the difficulty by turning off certain hazards. The secrets you find, will also allow you to access the giant bonus sections, and help with finishing the mod.
The map design starts with a fairly average linking hub and the first section, and eventually transforms into an extremely complex visual treat. The architecture is excellent and contains massive amounts of details, and the effort that went into all the scripted elements is admirable. In spite of all this praise, however, there are some very annoying problems in the mod, caused by the bugs in the GoldSrc engine. The NPCs often have a will of their own and it is very difficult to escort them across areas full of dangers, which do not forgive mistakes; vertically moving platforms suffer from the same problems as the lifts, so you will sometimes get crushed when they ascend; the train will sometimes not cross forks in the road (save and reload); manually operated platforms get stuck and fall down (use noclip). What a waste of potential! For these reasons, I was forced to lower the final score of the mod.
I finished my playthrough in about 6 hours of playtime on Medium difficulty, but it should be noted that I did not manage to find all the secrets. The total playing time for a new player which will go for all secrets is thus probably around 10 hours.
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.
First of all, it should be mentioned that the mod consists of two parts. The first one, White Force (Alpha), is located under Hazard Course. It's an hour and a half long alpha version, which is in an early stage and needs quite a lot polishing for a final release. The fights are quite interesting, but most of the levels are uninspired and filled with tons of boxes, so you will get a feeling of playing a box breaking simulator :). The other part is called Residual Point which was tested in this review. You play dr. Jack Sohn, who works in the Biodome laboratory of the Black Mesa complex. On a typical work day, it becomes quickly apparent that something will go seriously wrong. Already at the arrival you notice, that the whole complex has security and power grid problems. Nevertheless, your team decides to conduct a teleporter test, but something goes horribly wrong.
The level design in this modification is mostly very good, the paths to advance are often unclear and thus require some thinking. There are a few sideways which will replenish your resources, and I'm almost sure that there is a giant alternative path around the middle of the game, for which the authors deserve all praise. A very clever level was also the flooded map, where you need to do some diving, and oxygen is provided by tactically placed oxygen tanks. In some stages, you also have to accompany NPCs and bring them safely to the locked door, but for greater drama you can also take a dangerous sidestep to a warehouse :).
The enemies are very well placed, and often appear behind your back or create an ambush on your return. The fights are therefore very intense, but fortunately there are plenty of healing packages and recharge stations, and in some places you will also find scientists who can heal the worst wounds. In addition to classical opponents from the original Half-Life and official expansions, you will also be fight custom enemies, among which the hyperactive headcrabs and super zombies will certainly stand out. Both are moving and attacking extremely fast, so you need to do some precise shooting and choosing the right type of weapon. There are also semi transparent versions of the monsters, which, fortunately, are only a few. Arsenal selection is standard, but is good enough as the weapons are varied enough. The ammunition is plentiful, so no worries there.
The graphics and music provide no surprises, but some maps are really pretty and there is also some scripted events. The difficulty of the game is just right on Easy, and you'll spend about 5 hours and a half to complete it.
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.
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.
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.
Cthulhu is a scary modification inspired by the books of H.P. Lovecraft. The latter created the Cthulhu Mythos of horrible extraterrestrial monsters, which can make you mad if you only look at them. The story takes place in 1928, and you play Ranulf Stafford, an occult researcher. Your adviser Sir Henry wants you to meet him in his country house. When you get there, you discover that Henry was abducted by the Occultists, but he was quick enough to reveal their goal. The story is interesting, you uncover it by reading books and listening to your monologue while driving in a car.
The levels are dark and mysterious, and they provide a good view on the world in the Cthulhu mythos. Unfortunately, the quality of the maps didn't impress me. There are too many dark labyrinths, rooms are too simple, there are no secrets and awards for people that like to explore. On the other hand, you can't overlook that they contain quite a few traps, scripted events, jumping challenges and well placed advancement paths. The enemies are pretty diverse and consist of Occultists armed with various weapons, extraterrestrials and other monsters. Since most of them are only skinned standard enemies, some of them have trouble moving and attacking. The biggest stand out are definitely the knife-armed Occultists.
Against such a diverse range of enemies you can fight with an extensive set of weapons, which are quite awkwardly arranged in the slots. Along Stick and knife you also wield a pistol, a double barrelled shotgun, a machine gun and a rifle, and there are also molotovs and dynamite available. A notable specialty are magic weapons such as, for example, a snake conjuring stick and spellbooks. The latter are extremely powerful not only for attacks, but you can also regenerate your life with them (fairly buggy). Unfortunately, they drain your sanity with usage. If you empty the latter, you will go mad and the game will be over. Fortunately, it restores itself on certain events. Ammunition for classic weapons is plentiful, the same applies to just right amount of healing packages.
Appearance wise, the models are really nice, but the layout of the map elements didn't impress me. There is also a recorded speech in the game, and the background music is also turned on some occasions. To finish the mod, I used about 4 hours and a half on Medium difficulty. If you get stuck, a walktrough is also available in the modification folder.
If I try to guess the story of the Half-Life Prison (the speech is in Russian), I would say that it starts in a highly guarded Siberian prison, where our hero Gordon Freeman is imprisoned. One day the prison gets flooded by aliens and Gordon is able to escape from captivity, but the story is not over yet ...
I had mixed feelings about the mod level design. On the one hand, the maps are extremely original, full of skill tests and puzzles, and on the other hand, they could get annoying with unfair situations and traps that you can not foresee, if you are playing for the first time. Quick saving and loading is a must, it's a pity that the autosaves are not more frequent. Paths to advance are often not obvious at first glance; often, some machine or mechanism needs to be activated, there are also some timed events. There are quite a few hidden secrets in the levels, which will increase the amount of ammunition, batteries, or health, but on the lowest difficulty you will be able to get through to the end even if you find none of them.
Some enemies were taken from the original and some more resistant were added in the mod. The latter will certainly put your shooting skills to the test. There are also a lot of dangerous giant monsters (Gonarch, Gargantua), who often appear in groups. Fortunately, ammunition is plentiful, and your arsenal is good enough. A selection of weapons from the original is present, and the shotgun has undergone a visual transformation. Difficulty curve is quite good with rare exceptions, and you will also have to fight bosses.
The appearance of the game is exotic because of the unconventional design of the levels, and the same is true for the sounds. Some of the latter could be omitted without any big loss :). The mod contains quite some scripted events and video sequences which enrich it. I recommend playing the mod on Easy, and on this difficulty you'll need about 4 hours and a half to complete it.
ReIssues or Project Quantum Leap 3 is a compilation of maps of various authors in which you have to complete the tasks of your employer, the mysterious G-Man. The maps are not directly linked to one another, but they connect via a teleportation node. In addition to the entries in the map, the node contains a healing pool, which is recommended to be used after every return.
Since the theme has not been defined, the maps are extremely diverse. The themes of the original Half-Life game are expanded with oriental and futuristic ones. Most of the levels are excellent, so all the praise for the authors! They contain puzzles, fun fights, jumping challenges, scripted events, some of them are non-linear and give an extraordinary sense of freedom. There are no bad levels, as even the unfinished map (It's safer here) manages to reach a fairly high standard, but some of them are really short. Since you might encounter a nasty bug during gameplay, keep saving the game regularly.
During playtime, you will be attacked by a limited range of enemies that includes soldiers, machine guns and monsters from Xen, but the choice is dependent on the authors of the map. Scepter of Ra stands out from the crowd, since the models represent a total conversion. As far as weapons are concerned, there are no surprises, ammunition is enough, and the same applies to healing packages and batteries.
The visuals of the package range from exceptional (for example Cyan) to good. Along customized models, higher quality textures are also available. The engine used is Spirit of Half-Life, which greatly enhances the visuals, but can occasionally cause FPS fluctuations. Unfortunately, it also has bugs, for example the quicksaves get corrupt when you climb the tower in the Second Wind (save manually), and in It's safer here the sky breaks (save and reload). Occasionally the background music is turned on, and the modpack also contains custom speech. To finish the package, I needed approximately 4 hours and a half on the Medium difficulty.
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.