100 Half-Life 1 Mods: page 10
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.
Idol Hunt takes place in the ruins of an ancient civilization, located somewhere in the South American Andes. In their experiments Black Mesa researchers discovered a mysterious energy signal coming from the ruins and sent a research team there to check it out. A few days after setting up the base, contact with the group was lost, and the administrator has appointed you, Gordon Freeman, to investigate what happened. The story is full of clichés, but I thought it was pretty interesting. I liked the fact that information about objects or events was displayed during my exploration. but it is a pity that this was not more abundant. In particular, I would like to find out why the ruins are full of aliens and what are the soldiers doing there.
The visual impression is appropriate for the age of the ruins and is nicely done. The things that contribute the most to the visuals are the use of high-quality textures, proper lighting and the elements themselves. There are also modern items lying in the levels, which were left behind by the research group during the exploration. Your journey will take you through temples, you will swim in the caves, climb the ladders and enjoy the fresh air. All this means a quite varied experience, but it's pretty much fully linear. Because of the setting, I expected some secrets or alternative secret passages, but I was very disappointed to not find anything. The game contains quite a few puzzles that involve activation of switches, search for objects as well as some jumping trials.
During your advancement through the ruins, you will be hindered by a pretty modest set of enemies. Among the beings of Xen, the most prominent are Headcrabs and Vortigaunts, the human forces are mostly represented by soldiers. Factions are constantly fighting, which can be used to save on health and / or ammunition. This avoidance is almost necessary, since the weaponry is very limited, and ammunition and goodies are fairly rare. There are also some surprises where enemies storm a place, but the most difficult situations are those in which you must hide from the Gargantua and at the same time solve puzzles. For these reasons, I advise you to play on Medium difficulty, at which you'll spend about 45 minutes to complete the mod.
Night at the Office takes place at the Parcel Packages corporate building, where our hero got employed recently (play Hazard Course for introduction!). One late afternoon, when the building is almost empty, well-organized assailants break into the premises, and begin their ascent to the top of the skyscraper, taking hostages during the way. The story is full of clichés, and it somehow resembles the movie Die Hard, but I kind of liked it. You uncover it through conversations with NPCs and by eavesdropping on attackers. Too bad that the recorded speech is not of better quality ...
The game is limited to the tower, which has sixteen floors, all connected to the central staircase. You can almost freely move between the floors, as you are only limited by obstacles, locked doors and, of course, armed opponents. Therefore the game is exceptionally non-linear, but this also can cause numerous scripting bugs, so save often. The floors have different purposes, but they could be easily cut in half, as there is simply too much empty space in them. The simplicity of the maps is improved by the good choice of textures, however, the game does not impress visually. Puzzles consist of searching for access cards, some vent crawling and breaking items, but that is basically it.
The attackers consist exclusively of opponents with machine guns, which are not very well placed, but they patrol the floors. Since your health is non-renewable, you will sometimes need to sneak past patrols, at least until you get the first weapon - the axe. With it, you can sneak up on one of your opponents and get the valuable machine gun. You can still pick up a shotgun and a pistol later, but to be honest, they're pretty much superfluous. None of the weapons has a crosshair (use patch in mod folder if you wan't it), and when changing the clip, you will discard any remaining bullets that are still in it, so be careful. Interestingly, killed opponents drop a random amount of ammo. Due to the absence of health kits, it doesn't really matter at which difficulty you are playing, as you will be regularly reloading anyway. I needed about 1 hour to complete the mod.
In Breakdown you play as Jonathan Wood, who works at Black Mesa. The game takes place in parallel with the original, and thus you encounter the incident that caused the invasion of the Xen creatures. There is no real story in the mod, as you just need to go from start to finish, and you will do this in largely linear fashion. The beginning is quite difficult, because you have to find the crowbar without H.E.V. suit, and this becomes your sole weapon against Headcrabs and Vortigaunts for quite a long time. Towards the end the Xen enemies are reinforced by Alien Grunts, but the varied rest is not really worth mentioning. A bigger threat will be the soldiers who are cleverly placed in container labyrinths, and in some cases, they must also be avoided by sneaking past them. The weapon set is fairly modest, but there are enough bullets and health to provide a enjoyable experience on Medium, despite considerable fluctuations in difficulty.
Levels consist of a mixture of interconnected external and internal maps. Architecture is quite rough at the beginning, but it has to be said that this is contrasted by quite some details, and also, that the situation improves with the progress towards the end. The course of the game, with the exception of a large number of hallways, is quite diverse, as you traverse through offices, laboratories, sewers, sandy and rocky deserts, and there is also plently of climbing and jumping challenges. Puzzles consist not only of pressing buttons, but you also need to find keys, hidden passages, guide NPCs to open the doors, etc. Playing is also enriched by scripting surprises and occasional music. I needed around 45 minutes to reach the end, which was just an invitation to play the second part of the mod.
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.
Vengeance takes place a few weeks after the events from the original game, when our hero, Gordon Freeman, has already recovered. G-Man wants you to visit a complex called Mipping Tax, which was built to observe the prisoners from Xen. Unfortunately, a renegade group of soldiers has infiltrated the laboratories. They want the experiments to be stopped immediately, and they already managed to take over the entire western part of the complex. Your task is to get instructions from Mr Johnson on how to proceed, but you can not find him anywhere when you arrive. The story is full of clichés and contains quite a few illogicalities. You uncover it through video sequences and text that you can read on the screen.
The map set contains both internal and external areas, in which you can find some side paths with goodies, and also some non-linear areas. Maps have generally very simple geometry with plenty of flat surfaces, also, very low ceilings stand out a lot. On the other hand, they are densely populated with NPCs, they contain plenty of static elements, and in some cases, they also have a nice color scheme. The unconvincing visual impression is also slightly corrected by scripted events and video sequences. The puzzles are practically non-existent, as you have to only push a button here or there, or do a jump challenge. Among them, there are also some bizarre things: e.g. the door does not open until you pick up the pistol ...
In the first three quarters of the mod, the gameplay is mostly passive, as opponents are very rare, but the situation in the last quarter improves a lot. In it, the number of opponents increases sharply, with more powerful beings from Xen and even a helicopter added to the mix. Even a very poor selection of weapons from the first part gets expanded so that you can successfully cope with new dangers. The amount of bullets is hardly enough, on the Medium difficulty, but the amount of healing packages and batteries is the complete opposite, as their amounts are just right. I managed to finish the game in about 1 hour.
Let me just mention that you get the H.E.V. suit after the train ride, so do not bother too much to get it right from the beginning ;).
Back to Xen is a modification for Half-Life which was released in 1999 and was made by a Slovenian author Janez Brezovnik - go Slovenia! :D. It's a package of seven maps with a simple goal of getting to the end. There is no story.
Internal and external maps are architecturally very basic and covered with concrete or rock texture, details are barely existant. The corridors and doors are claustrophobically narrow, but you will be able to catch some breath in the rooms that they connect. Variation of gaming experience comes in form of ladder climbing, manual door opening and button pressing, but there are no other puzzles. There are also some scripted surprises that can seriously damage you, so save regularly. I also recommend regular saving because of the transition problem between the first and second map: jan1.bsp and jan2.bsp. To solve the problem, open the console, type
sv_cheats 1, then
map jan2. Since you spawn without items, you should now enter the
impulse 101 command, which gives you the H.E.V. suit and basic weaponry. The remaining map transitions work perfectly.
The difficulty of the game is quite unusual and is responsible for a lower final score. The start is difficult and full of action, because you are endangered by extremely well placed soldiers and machineguns. In the next moment, difficulty drops greatly, because the set of enemies becomes limited to those from Xen, which are well placed, but much less dangerous. Headcrabs stand out here, because they are positioned in almost every possible hole and behind almost every box, which can be sometimes pretty annoying. The last part is slightly more difficult again. Unlike most other modifications, the Xen creatures and soldiers have signed a treaty of non-aggression, which creates quite unusual situations. Weapon selection is fortunately properly chosen for the action, but variety is lacking. Bullets and medkits / batteries are numerous enough to play on Hard. You will need about 45 minutes to complete the mod.
In Blood Bath, you play an 18-year-old named Scott Day-La-Bell, which is awakened from his sleep by a strange sound. As 27 people disappeared in the last few weeks, you arm yourself with a gun and proceed to explore the apartment. Suddenly, you are blinded by an unusual flash of light which seems to put you to sleep. You wake up floating inside a tank, filled with an unknown fluid, and a few moments later, you are fighting for your life in an improvised arena. You can read the rest of the weird story (which seems to be a collage of the biggest B-movie cliches) in the Blood Bath.txt file.
The maps did not really impress me, because they look more or less quickly thrown together, there is plenty of empty space, and the details are very rare. Transitions between them are rather rough, so you do not really have the feeling that everything is going on inside a single complex. However, it must be acknowledged that the impression slightly improves because of the textures selection. Progression is mostly linear and contains fights as well as varied puzzles and jumping challenges. In order to move to the next level, you will have to fight hordes of enemies or bosses in arenas, perform clever jumps over motion detectors, turn off the alarm as soon as possible, push some boxes, be a successful swimmer, etc.
The enemies that stand out the most, are scientists with poisonous injections, which unfortunately have far too many health points and are therefore bullet sponges. I was not impressed by modified Vortigaunts, which lack the ranged attack, and the machineguns with built-in shotguns, which are really bad at hitting things. Your arsenal has also been affected by modifications, with somewhat mixed results. The thing I disliked the most, was the artificially forced delay for the next shot, which will surely also anger other players, which are accustomed to the usual behavior of weapons. Bullets and healing packages are plentiful enough for the Medium difficulty. At it, you'll complete the mod in about 45 minutes of play time.
Conundrum takes place after the final fight in the original in which Gordon Freeman defeated Nihilanth. Stranded in Xen he decided to enter a random teleporter, which has taken him back to Black Mesa. Here he found scientists who wanted to escape from the complex but did not dare, because the facility was flooded with soldiers. Gordon decides to help them, and in the process, discovers a mysterious room which teleports him into the land of the Egyptians, full of monsters from Xen and soldiers. Even though the story sounds very promising, you will soon find out that it does not make sense, and that you cannot call some place Egyptian just because it has sand and pyramids ...
The architecture of the maps is extremely basic and simplified: there are plenty of flat surfaces, empty corridors and rooms that are just cuboid spaces. External maps are not much better, and the same holds for caves. In each of the levels you will have to solve a puzzle, fight a battle, or do a combination of the two, then move to the next level. The puzzles are quite diverse and include swimming, jumping challenges, button pushing, orientation, searching for hidden paths, traps, ladder climbing, etc., but also have a huge number of flaws. Let me list a few examples: to open a door, you must go to a specific corner of the room, which in no way indicates that it contains a trigger; some teleporters lead to certain death, which can't be avoided without trying; a jump into the water is sometimes softened, sometimes it kills you; some jumping challenges force you to take damage, etc. With such many inequities, fun quickly disappears.
On the way to the finish line you will be obstructed by practically all opponents from the original, which includes both soldiers and creatures from Xen. Due to the abundance of ammunition and medical packages, I recommend playing the game on Hard difficulty. That way fights will be much more interesting, but beware of the final boss at this difficulty. The appearance of the game does not excite, because the textures are too monotonous, and the impression is not improved by the buggy video sequences. Here and there the background music pops in. To complete the mod and the Hazard Course introduction, I spent about 2 hours playing it, and in the process I had to use the official game walktrough several times.
Run from Hell is (very likely) a Russian modification that takes place in the Black Mesa-like complex. The game contains some kind of a background story, but since the speech is in Russian and there are no subtitles, you will probably not understand it. Nevertheless, I recommend that you do not interrupt NPCs during their talking, since the scripts can break and you will get stuck. Most maps are indoor and extremely simple, made up of flat surfaces. They have barely any details, the elements are very rare (with the exception of the huge amount of boxes), quite a few size ratios are wrong. Outside maps are rare, but I liked them a bit more, despite the unnaturally cut cliffs. Parts of the maps are connected to one another by countless doors that open with a button locally or at some remote location, and some of them are also connected with vents. Pay attention to time-limited switches, because sometimes you can also get stuck! The way forward is often obstructed by boxes that have crazy resistance to weapons and will anger players (solution: install my patch). The box smashing is especially annoying under water, as you will have to constantly go back to the surface to reload your air reserves.
On the way to the finish line you will be hindered by standard enemies from the original (Xenians and humans), who are alternating in appearance during your progress, but unfortunately, without any care for keeping the fights balanced. The difficulty curve will therefore have crazy peaks, but fortunately, there seem to be no shortages on health and ammunition, as the game supply is quite generous. You will fight against several types of Xen monsters, soldiers, female assassins, and heavy machinery that includes machine guns, a tank, and a helicopter (you do not get enough rockets to destroy it on everything above Easy ...). The positioning is definitely good and cannot be criticized, as you will encounter several demanding situations. The same goes for abundance of enemies and scripted surprises. You unlock weapons gradually, and for additional help in fights you can use Barney, who is armed with a deadly revolver. On the difficulty of Medium, I finished the game in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
U-Life is a hybrid created by the transfer of some visual features and mechanics from the legendary Unreal, while still being Half-Life in the core. The levels consist of internal maps and have a typical Unreal touch, which is not evident only because of the use of very sharp textures from the game, but also because of general architecture and color scheme. Although the complexity of the maps could be better, the visual impression is very good, and is additionally enriched by special effects and scripted events. Maps contain quite a few alternative routes, which contribute to the impression of non-linearity, and some also have secrets with goodies. The puzzles are quite rare. Most of the time, you will need to activate a certain mechanism (door, lift), which works by hitting the area with your body.
The enemy selection is (somewhat surprisingly) copied directly from Half-Life itself, and consists of both Xenian creatures and human opponents. The placement and the abundance of the enemies are satisfactory, and there are also some ambushes - too bad that the opponents appear pretty late in the game (after the first fifth). The fights between the various factions make the gameplay more diverse and also save you some ammunition and health. The weapon set is quite modest, as it contains only a few weapons from the original, but it has to be said the ammunition is plentiful. Amounts of medkits and batteries are just right for the Medium difficulty, but careful players might also be able to complete it on Hard. The modification is not finished and ends without a warning immediately after an epic battle. It's also really short, as I barely accumulated 30 minutes of play time.