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
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.
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.
Paranoia is a total conversion for Half-Life, in which you play a major of the Russian special forces - Spetsnatz. The story begins with the terrorists attack on the industrial complex Udarnik, located somewhere in Siberia. Together with your comrades, you get the task of eliminating terrorists and protecting civilians. Once inside the Udarnik complex, it is revealed that the real goal of the attackers was something else - the KROT bunkers which are surrounded with a dark past. The story was pretty interesting to me and will remind many of the excellent S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: SoC. You reveal the story during playing, and additional information can be read from notes.
The gameplay happens mostly within old Soviet warehouses and bunkers, which are full of tunnels and corridors. Maps are architecturally exceptional, with great detail, sophisticated illumination and extremely sharp textures. Occasionally they are so good that they almost catch up to similar themed older AAA games. It's a shame only that some parts of the sections repeat, so I frequently asked myself during the play: "Um, didn't I see that already?" Progress through the stages is mostly linear, here and there are some side routes or secrets. There are barely any puzzles.
During the first part of the game you will be attacked by terrorists, which are mostly very well positioned. They often hide behind cover, but if you do the same, they quickly toss a grenade at your position. In the second part, the game concentrates on all kinds of mutants, but since they mostly have only melee attacks, they are not really a big threat. There are almost no situations in which you would be greatly endangered, because the number of opponents is very modest. I was very happy to see that you are often accompanied by two NPC comrades, which cover your back and open doors for you.
You will be armed with a series of pistols and machine guns to deal with the enemies, and you can also use a knife and a shotgun for close combat. Grenades and rockets are also available if you require blowing things up. Some weapons have iron sights look which can be turned on with right click, others have binoculars attached to the same key. You use an armor with a built-in visor to protect you from headshots, but it limits the field of vision. A gas mask is also available, but you need to use it only a few times. The ammo is plentiful, and the same applies to static and transferable healing packages, so I recommend that you play on Hard.
The main trump card of Paranoia is not a remarkable look*, but a great atmosphere. While playing, you are constantly in contact with other fighters through the intercom, which is extremely well executed. Ambient music and sounds deep in the abandoned tunnels create such a tense atmosphere that they could be used in horror movies. It's a pity that the tension is almost completely wiped out with an unwise choice of combat music. The latter is perfect in itself, but it breaks the anxiety that the game can build so well. I needed about 2 hours to complete the mod.
* From the
sdk folder, you will need to copy the
opengl32.dll file into the Half-Life root folder. You will then need to set the file to Read-only mode, disconnect from the Internet, and restart Steam. When you want to play online, you need to delete the
opengl32.dll file from the root folder, otherwise you might get a VAC Ban!
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.
In the original Poke646 our hero Damien Reeves got stranded on Xen. Despite it looked like a situation without exit, he managed to create a functional teleporter and successfully blindly teleported himself to a research vessel orbiting around the Earth. Now it's time for vendetta ...
The design of the maps follows the recipes set by original, which surprised with detailed high quality levels. The venues are varied and extremely well made, but unfortunately the non-linearity of the original was absent. With the exception of some very simple puzzles, a pinch of well hidden paths and jumping trials, the path through the mod was somewhat too simple.
The set of enemies is also pretty trimmed down. In addition to soldiers and machineguns, the levels contain only a limited set of Xen monsters. Their positioning can be good, but their numbers are mostly too small to be really threatening. The teleportation surprises are non-existent, as enemies take several moments to appear, so you can just shoot them before they even begin to attack. Too bad. Nevertheless, I would recommend playing on Hard only to the most experienced players, since the soldiers are already a very decent opponent on the Medium difficulty.
In the sequel you retain most of the weapons from the original, I was however disappointed that the acid spitter and nail shooters were removed. They were replaced by a machine gun, which includes a grenade launcher. This gun also changes the way ammunition is collected, as you can pick it up from the fallen soldiers. This replaces the fine tuned quantities of ammunition from their predecessor. In addition to healing packages, healing stations are also available, but they are one-time-use only.
The graphics of the game are so good that it's hard to believe that this is a Half-Life 1 modification. Some parts of the map are perfectly color balanced, the geometry is full of detail, and the sharp textures and quality models make the game look even better. Sound is also commendable, not only because of the custom music, but also because of the environment sounds which create a special atmosphere. Unlike the very long predecessor, Vendetta finishes after what seems only a warmup. It only takes about a hour and 15 minutes to finish the mod.
In Half-Life: Black Guard, you play a security guard named B. Brad, who works in Black Mesa. The events in the mod are pretty nicely intertwined with the ones from the original, where the failed experiment caused the Black Mesa incident. The game attempts to familiarize you with the story via video sequences, scripted events, subtitles and speech cut from various sources. Although all the techniques used look promising, I have had difficulty following the story. Video sequences and scripted events were annoying because they take control of your character and lock you in a area via invisible walls, the subtitles are written in hard-to-understand broken English, and listening to NPCs is often difficult due to loud background music that can not be made quieter. I'm not quite sure where the Intro (Hazard Course) series of maps fits into the timeline, but it certainly looked as some kind of a pre-employment simulation.
The level designs are clearly inspired by the original, but most maps are unique enough, to avoid the feeling that you are playing something already seen. The maps are very good in terms of architecture and have numerous details, and they also have commendable complexity. There are giant branches in the road in some places, which give the impression of non-linearity, and there are also some secrets. The branches are not optional, but mandatory, because you will have to perform an action in them, or pick up an access card. Additionally, one of the branches also contains the way forward. This decision is poorly thought out, because if you choose wrongly in the beginning, you will need to return to the previous branch, and then go all the way back to the second branch. An additional poor design choice are also duplicate sections. In addition to the aforementioned puzzles, you will also find some that require pure luck to be solved, puzzles in which you will use explosives, do hard jumps, enter codes given by announcer via the keypad, guide NPCs for absurd lengths, and I could go on and on.
As far as fighting is concerned, the game very quickly switches to a higher gear. Very soon after a very peaceful start, hordes of Headcrabs, zombies and mutant dogs will start attacking you, and soon after this their ranks will be joined by other Xen monsters, soldiers and female assassins. The opponents are largely unchanged from the original, the exception being zombies that release Headcrabs when they die, and a more durable form of zombies called Gonome. In addition to good positioning and regular scripting surprises, the main trump card of the enemies is their abundance, as you will be mostly attacked by at least two enemies at once. Difficulty is fairly constant and rather high, but your battles are made easier by a varied weaponry with plenty of ammunition, and a wide range of medical packages and armor (batteries can't be used). Although some parts are quite difficult, I could finish the game on the Hard difficulty, as the amounts of goodies were high enough.
The visuals of the game are excellent due to the already mentioned good geometry, color schemes and lighting, and the good impression is further strengthened by high resolution models of NPCs and weapons. Parallel events will give you a feeling that something is constantly going on in the complex, but the authors overdid the amount of them. Continuous earthquakes in certain sections got on my nerves, and I got tired of constant blathering of the announcer, which reduced my concentration in the fights. The nice visuals are quite taxing, as they cause stutter in certain places, but fortunately such moments are rare. I needed around 3 hours to complete the game, and I used more than 20 minutes of this time for the Intro section.
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.
In the second part of Survive and Catacombs, you play archeologist Neil Harlock, who is investigating catacombs under the city of Rosenwill together with his group. At a moment of madness, you decide to visit the catacombs alone, and, unfortunately for you, the dead awaken. Language and speech in the game are again in Czech, therefore it is difficult to understand what is happening, but the predecessor definitely had better and more logical flow of events.
The maps are architecturally superior to the first game, as they contain more detail, sharper textures and improved lighting. Unfortunately, the improved looks tax the engine heavily therefore you will see a lot of stutter during gameplay. Locations are again diverse (catacombs, train, countryside, mines), but some of the passages between them are very rough and illogical. For example, the train transition seems to happen without a good reason, and there is also a boring map with a teleporter, which seems to only serve extending the game time. I really liked the map where you had to run away from toxic gases, but its potential seemed untapped. Compared to the first game, I did not notice so much secrets, since virtually everything was revealed during normal progression.
In the game, you will again slaughter enemies from the first part, but this time there are more variations of them. Several zombies were added, including armed ones, but unfortunately, Vortigaunts were removed. Their positioning is satisfactory and their numbers are again extraordinarily high. You will fight them with six weapons, which are impractically grouped in only two groups. In the first one you will find a pitchfork, a signal pistol and dynamite, all taken directly from Monolith's Blood. In the second group you have a revolver, a machine gun and a shotgun, which are much more efficient than in the first part. Ammunition is plentiful again, but the game is generally more difficult, so I recommend that you play on Medium.
The appearance of the game has made significant progress, but the atmosphere is simply not comparable to the first part. It's also interesting that the game borrows some sounds from They Hunger ... I am generally disappointed with the sequel, because the authors did not take ideas from the original and improved on them, but they focused too much on the looks instead. You will need about 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the mod.
In Cleaners Adventures, you play a janitor named Bryan Anderson, who works in Black Mesa laboratories. While driving to his work, his tram breaks down and our hero faints. After awakening, Bryan discovers that Black Mesa has been flooded with extraterrestrial monsters, and the clock is already counting down minutes until the cleanup soldier squad arrives.
The maps in the mod are fairly diverse and are well integrated into the original story, mostly because of the similar visual style. Alternative paths give a sense of non-linearity, which is just virtual, as there is only one way through the game. Here and there you will find side paths which will reward you with bonuses, but this it's not a game a explorer would like, because there are simply too many empty boxes. You will spend a lot of time inside ventilation systems and pipes, maybe too much. There are no traps too, so keep saving often. A big fail is the NPC with the shotgun, which is incapable of surviving a lift ride due to GoldSrc engine bugs. Consequently, you will not be able to play the last third of the game (Xen) without using cheats.
The enemies are not plentiful, so they won't be a grave danger, but they will often teleport behind your back and surprise you. Most of them are already known from the original game and expansions, but they have some adjustments that make them more dangerous. The weapon set is standard, and it's gradually unlocked during gameplay. Ammunition is plentiful, the same applies to healing packages. There are no batteries or charging stations, so you will need to pick up equipment worn by security guards for protection.
The visuals are definitely the main selling point of the game, not only because of the beautiful NPC and weapon models, but because of the visually stunning level design. Scripted events and background music also contribute to a good impression. The modification also includes speech in Russian, fortunately, the inscriptions and text in the game are English. I spend about 2 hours to finish the playable part of the game on medium, and if you manage to save the NPC with the shotgun, then you can stretch the gameplay time for another hour.
The Challenger Deep 2 is an improved version of the Half-Life mod with the same name, which had quite a few problems. You play Gordon Freeman, who was enlisted to perform some experiments in a gigantic secret underwater complex somewhere near Japan. While performing one of the experiments, a critical error occurred in which the aliens from Xen were able to teleport into the complex, and the accompanying explosion damaged the shell, so water began pouring in. Your task is to escape the complex before it completely floods, but this will certainly not be easy. You discover the story during the gameplay, and you can get some additional information from computer terminals.
The underwater location promises freshness and a different approach from the one we are used to in conventional modifications, and indeed, the game does not disappoint. The whole game takes place in laboratories and other rooms within the complex, which are often gigantic. Their size is not only two-dimensional, but they also extend in heights which are populated by platforms and passages that connect different parts. The setup of these elements and inclusion of the long jump module allows for a non-linear approach to solving problems, which is additionally strengthened by various passes which connect parts of the maps. It is only a shame that the maps lack clear markings, so it can happen that you will get lost - I did get lost multiple times :$. Flooded parts of the stages significantly enrich the game. In these parts you will not only have to be on the lookout for oxygen tanks, but you will also be hunted by monsters. There are also some secrets (try to find all the packages ;), but beware, you can also get stuck, so save often!
The range of enemies is very diverse, and includes practically all enemies from the original (soldiers and monsters from Xen). Their positions take advantage of the map sizes and the available space, so the fights are turbulent and full of action. For additional tension, enemies will sometimes appear from the portals or they will be cleverly positioned in secret areas and attack you from the behind. On several occasions you will also witness fighting between different factions that can be very epic. In fights, you will use human weapons from the original, with more than enough ammunition available. There's also a lot of first aid packages and batteries, so I recommend that you play on Hard.
The appearance of the game stands out mainly because of giant maps with quite a few details, which, unfortunately, overload the engine and occasionally cause annoying stuttering. Some parts of levels also use a sophisticated choice of colors and / or background music that is activated when fighting. I needed about 2 hours and a half to complete the modification.