Half-Life 2: Black Mesa East

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

This is the fifth chapter of Half-Life 2. This chapter sees Freeman reaching his destination, Black Mesa East, after a series of chases through the canals.

Gordon meets Dr. Judith Mossman for the first time, and is reunited with a former Black Mesa Scientist and Resistance leader, Eli Vance and Alyx.

Gordon is also introduced to the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator, also known as the ‘Gravity Gun’, a physics manipulator that quickly becomes indispensable, and after that, Gordon meets DOG, Alyx’s robotic “pet.”

Like “A Red Letter Day,” this chapter is full of insight and dialogue about the current state of the world, the people in it, and the aftermath of the Black Mesa Incident.

While Gordon is playing with DOG in the scrapyard, Alyx spots Combine Scanners sweeping the area, shortly before an all out aerial raid on Black Mesa East.

While attempting to rejoin the others, Gordon and Dog are separated from Alyx by a collapsed ceiling, and Gordon is forced to escape down a tunnel to Ravenholm, a place that Alyx didn’t want to talk about earlier, showing obvious discomfort at the thought.

Screenshots

Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
The Replay Experience Experiment

This post is part of the The Replay Experience Experiment event. This is a chance to replay all the Half-Life games and discuss them based on our experiences since we first played them.

Hat Tip

The intro and trivia text are taken from the CombineOverWiki, a fan-supported, editable wiki covering the Half-Life series of games.

Walkthrough
A Complete Half-Life 2 Walkthrough

On the left is a complete text walkthrough for Half-Life 2.

It has been written by Stanley E. Dunigan and updated with all the tricks and tips from PlanetPhillip.Com readers.

It is in PDF format, meaning you can open it directly in modern browsers or download it and print it.

(Left-click to open and right-click to save)

Do Not Own This Game?

You can purchase Half-Life 2 directly through Steam and could be playing in within moments, depending on your internet connection.

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20 Comments

  1. BOY! Did we need a rest after Water Hazard? I certainly did. It’s just not possible to keep the tempo up for too long. We need these pauses to allow the story to be told and to set the scene for the next section. Once inside the base we learn a little more about what they are working on and how it might fit into the overall story.

    Valve does a great job of letting us interact with the surroundings and having Eli add information when needed. It’s so seamless, it’s perfect.

    Alyx’s “We don’t go there” is enough to get you wondering. Well, it’s not long after playing around in the junkyard that you’ll get to find it.

    Getting a brand new weapon is always fun but the Gravity Gun was just amazing. If you had never seen the trailers or heard anything about it, this moment was a WOW moment. Notice how Valve put the right kind of music in the background just before you get to take it off Alyx. Just like the HEV suit a few hours earlier, this scene is so subtle yet so important. No other weapon is so useful in the long term.

    Anyway, you R&R is over and it’s time to go to Ravenholm and see what is waiting for you.

    I got a lot of stuttering on this chapter and am thinking of reinstalling all of Steam. Fingers crossed it doesn’t get worse.

    Playtime: 24 minutes

    1. I remember having terrible stutter on this level and long time back. It started after the dam drops loading screen, but that was a PC and graphic cards renewal away now!

  2. Nice scenery and enjoy the echoes!
    The first time I encountered the airlock I was very surprised, having expected a fight. This time I could just enjoy this scenes introduction to a new character and the workings of the lock. Dr. Judith Mossman provides a good way to learn new information as we get a brief tour of the base and snatch glimpses of things happening in the background. The ride down in the lift is particularly illuminating and humorous; vortigaunts make good chefs it seems, well their roast headcrabs not bad I remember!
    The head guy is our friend Eli Vance and we learn more of the state of the world since Gordon’s stasis as he stares at the notice board and we learn who surrendered the planet and was rewarded!
    We are given a hint the Judith Mossman is a bit suspect by the way she interacts with Alyx, who we trust. Or is this just me on my umpteenth replay!
    We play with Dog and the famous gravity gun, which gives one god-like lifting powers and the ability to kill things with stuff! And to paint!
    Alyx says, “We don’t go there anymore” referring to the Ravenholm tunnel and you instantly know where you are heading next! And even the first time you play this you know it is going to be unpleasant and it is already night!

    The gravity gun is an epic tool and weapon in HL2 and I had endless fun stacking barrels and grates to get to high places. One time I spent two or more hours collecting barrels to climb onto a wall and was rewarded with a view of the maps elements!

    This area has some nice little touches, one being the old style Black Mesa HEV charger panel, very nostalgic and the paint containers. The gravity gun can lead to some nice repainting and graffiti opportunities but is limit in palette choice, white splodge only! Zombie repaints anyone?

    Challenges: scoring a basket with Dog’s ball. It’s too hard!

    Deaths: I managed a few early on!

    Five words or less review: Time to relax and learn

    Playtime: 19 minutes.

  3. Blue Lightning

    Just as stated above, a great time to take a rest and learn. A wonderful time to wind down from the bright fast paced Water Hazard, to prepare us for the dark, forboding and slower Ravenholm.

    The first time (in Dec 2004) I thought to myself “wow, I just went from an amazing high tension boat ride, to playing catch with a wonderful mechanical Dog using a new weapon. This is too much!”

    Perhaps the most signifigant part of this level, besides garnering the gravity gun, is the part where Alex says “that tunnel leads to Ravenholm, we dont go there anymore”. Not only was that a warning of things yet to come, but an egg: if the player goes into the blocked tunnel, Alex will actually follow, then give a brief story about Ravenholm! I’m suprised that so many are un-aware of this egg, even to this day.

    The most telling part of the section is when the area is crumbling around you, and Alex is talking to her dad on a monitor. Despite the monitors bad reception, it works long enough for Eli to say “take Gordon to the coast…do not go through Rave” *static* *silence*. He was clearly trying to warn you not to go through Ravenholm. The static and silence of the lost reception after the monitor dies while he is saying “Ravenholm” is very chilling, and an indication of exactly where your about to go! As you proceed through the recently blocked cooridoor that leads to Ravenholm, the chilling effect is heightend as you encounter signs that say “Stop!” and “Do not Enter!” and “Go Back!” and “Are you Crazy?”(well mabye not “go back” and “are you crazy”, I threw those in there! ;))

    All in all Black Mesa East is an important chapter, although HL1 fans might of hoped it was like Black Mesa in HL1, which it wasnt.

    1. Thanks for that egg infomation about Alyx and the Ravenholm tunnel. It makes this little level that much richer.
      There is also some more from Judith if you follow her.

      1. I didn’t know about that either. Quite impressive how many little details are hidden away in this game.

  4. General

    Black Mesa East come as rest after recent Gordon’s adventures. It also an important chapter in scenario and a transition between two part of the games, City 17 and the outside.

    Of course there is no action and the lab part with Eli can be a little disconcerting but the yard part is more enjoying.

    This is where we obtain the famous Gravity Gun and the whole yard part is only a tutorial for this weapon. We also meet Dog, guardian of Alyx and a precious companion for events to come.

    But HL2 is a FPS and we can’t rest too long, so the Combine attack Black Mesa East to catch Gordon. Without any choice we must run away to Ravenholm.

    Caught my eyes

    On the menu today; Headcrab Soup!

    G-Man Sighting

    I didn’t saw him this time, maybe he is tired after Water Hazard.

    Playtime

    16 minutes

    Death

    Nones

    My French Let’s Play

  5. I’m still on Route Kanal!

    1. You need a better dentist!

  6. Stanley Dunigan

    Hey! Hey, can anybody hear me? (Waving arms around wildly.) I’m still back here, in Route Kanal. Heeeelllp! (Gasp! Choke! Drown!)

  7. I am not the kind of person who appreciates long cutscenes, but playing catch with DOG is truly awesome. messing around in the scrapyard is also very cool, but I don’t see anything else worth mentioning in this chapter :/

    Challenges:
    No challenges. again.
    mine:
    – Find an hl1 suit charger panel
    Yes I did 😀
    – Get killed by DOG
    Yes I did :/
    – Kill one of the scanners
    I didn’t have time, but I saw someone doing that a long time ago.

    Five words or less review:
    My claw, at last

    Deaths:
    I ACTUALLY DIED IN THIS CHAPTER. I survive numerous combine attacks, I fight a chopper, I fly around the sky in many maps, and I manage to die in a chapter like this one. go ahead, throw your tomatoes ._.

    Playtime:
    14 minutes 39 seconds 833 milliseconds.
    Still pretty long :/

  8. I have a query about the wild differential in playtimes I have seen so far. Granted I am a slow, plodding, exploring kind of fps player and others, maybe the Xbox generation, are really quick, but some times are ludicrously different! Take “Water Hazard” for example; Phillip gives a playtime of 2hrs, I managed a quick, for me, 1hr 22mins but others have 45mins and just 17mins! Is this just in game time or are some players in localized spacetime anomalies?

    1. It’s in-game time for me, but you can see my video, so there shouldn’t be any misunderstandings ^^

      I’m a speedrunner, and I know a lot of glitches and tricks to be faster, so it’s easy to understand why I get such small times, everybody go to their own speed.

    2. My time is super slow because I played in several sessions and that always slows things down, along with just looking around a lot. Some people seem to go much faster and the 17mins is one of those “speedruns” where the only objective is to finish as quickly as possible.

      It is a very interesting question and may be worthy of an article.

      1. I tried looking around a bit more on “Water Hazard”, but those homing rockets and that chopper encouraged me to keep my foot down! Plus my airboat had defective steering. Why else would it crash into harbour walls? 😀

  9. When I started this chapter for some reason the map was in fullbright. A little Googling revealed it to be yet another bug caused by the update they did a few years ago. I really don’t understand how Valve could have left their most acclaimed game in such a broken state?

    Bugs aside, this is an important area in terms of narrative. Most obvious is the upcoming trip to Ravenholm but other story threads, such as a mention of reaching the Coast and Mossman’s attitude to Alyx, become important much later. Of course all that pales in comparison to receiving the Gravity Gun for the first time – it’s a good thing we get something of a sandbox environment to try it out in. Does it seem odd to you that such a revolutionary piece of technology is left in a glass case outside? After a little chance to catch our breath, it’s time for the Combine to return. Interesting to note is the fact that much of the attack happens “off screen”, but the scanners flying overhead and collapsing ceiling is all that is needed to leave the rest to our imaginations.

    Challenges

    How about finding the HL1 charger? Not difficult once you know where to look but a nice callback.

    Deaths

    None, thankfully. I suppose that death by Dog may be possible though.

    Playtime: 15 minutes

    1. Yes, I it’s confirmed. death by dog is possible ._.

  10. Unq

    Here we have a chapter that is unlike any we’ve seen in the Half-Life games so far. It’s a non-combative chapter that isn’t one of the introductory or ending chapters. It’s nicely placed, however, in that it serves several purposes: it’s a nice recovery downtime after the long airboat chapter, there’s a small helping of exposition (especially introducing Mossman), and the highlight – the acquisition of the gravity gun. It’s of course the signature weapon of the game and has become iconic in the FPS genre.

    I don’t have too much to say about this chapter. It’s pretty nice looking for a mostly interior space, and it looks like it’s a cobbled-together lab so it’s genuine on that front. The only reason I don’t like this chapter is that I know Ravenholm is right around the corner.

    Thank god for the gravity gun, I no longer fear those damn manhacks.

    Playtime: 19 minutes

  11. Ade

    Heh found the old hev board but noticed some lighting issues in the scrapyard.
    And the last ladder in the level, as I go to Ravenholm, is of a bright white nuance – all ladders should be like that lol

    Playtime: 22 min

    1. Ade

      apparently the bright ladder was still because of lighting issues and realized it after seeing Kaito Kid’s playthrough and the issues ported into the next chapter, sadly, it’s like everything is on full bright I think (yes I tried to mess with shadow details, silly me, won’t happen again!)
      but even with full bright, I really liked this section and the roofing:
      http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=156691916
      http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=156691969

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