Half-Life: Unforeseen Consequences

11th June 2012

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

As Gordon Freeman’s efforts to reach the surface to get help in the aftermath of the Resonance Cascade just begin, more problems get in his way.

The building starts falling apart in his face, and mysterious alien creatures materialize from thin air. Gordon is given his trademark crowbar, and more weapons and hazards entail.

After being told that all communication outside Black Mesa has been lost, Gordon is requested by his colleague Eli Vance to try to make it to the surface in order to acquire help. Black Mesa has received massive structural damage, and to make matters worse, aliens from Xen, the border world, begin randomly teleporting all around them. Most are simply reacting naturally to their new surroundings, but even more hostile are the creatures Gordon saw earlier (known as Vortigaunts). Also, strangely, Gordon occasionally witnesses the man in the suit, the G-Man, watching him from out-of-reach places, always walking off before Gordon can get to him.

Since the tram is too damaged to work, Gordon must cross Sector B’s Coolant Reserve Facility in order to find a way out.

Trivia
  • The green and red button on the laptop (the one that is locked to prevent Gordon from using it) from Anomalous Materials has changed to a white button.
  • The door leading to the monorail can be opened after the Resonance Cascade by destroying its monitor (or the controller). Through the door a scientist can be found, who will fall to his death. Ammo can also be found there.
  • The title alludes to the G-Man’s words to Eli Vance prior to the Resonance Cascade, where he told him to “prepare for unforeseen consequences”. As revealed by Eli to Gordon in Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the G-Man is where he got the alien sample from.
The Poll


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
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 summer 2012 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

All text taken from the CombineOverWiki, a fan-supported, editable wiki covering the Half-Life series of games.

A Complete Half-Life Walkthrough
A Complete Half-Life Walkthrough

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

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23 Comments

  1. This could be a masterclass in level design and game setting. We have gone from Black Mesa Inbound, which had limited interactivity but did a great job of setting the scene.

    Next came Anomalous Materials, which stepped up the interactivity to the next level and also added to the atmosphere of the created world.

    But now, all the “setting” has essentially finished and it’s time for us to actually get our hands dirty.

    The first thing that hit me was the dead scientist in the main entrance. Suddenly, we have innocent casualties and that abstract “accident” has now become serious reality.

    Next, which only added to that feeling was the scientist giving CPR to the security guard. Beside the scientist is the health kit, which fits the scene so well but also is part of the gameplay mechanics.

    We then walk through the same sections we came in but obviously destroyed in some way. This gives a clear indication of the havoc wrought by our actions.

    At this point the game reaches a special crux. The two scientists tell us exactly what we need to do. Up until this point we didn’t really know, but now we have a clear objective. Any aimless wandering has been replaced by motivation. “Get top the surface and get help”.

    Of course, getting there is not going to be easy and we’ve already seen a headcrab stuck in a tube, so we should have guessed that the enemies we will be fighting won’t be human.

    The interesting thing for me is exactly how many alien enemies we seen in such a short time.

    We meet the Mawman (The zombie scientists. I didn’t know they had that name until I read it in my Prima guide!), headcrab, Vortigaunts, houndeyes and BullSquid. That’s 5 within the space of about 25 minutes.

    Each with their own style of attack and consequently a different way to approach them.

    Now our focus shifts from setting to architecture.

    No square rooms here, well maybe a few, but you only need to look at the ceilings to see what I mean. Look at images 29 and 33 for perfect examples. Take a simple room and suddenly make it mysterious by adding some struts or angles.

    You see the G-man on a walkway and 1 minute later that’s where you are. All perfectly planned and controlled. No corridors that are too long, but lots of winding around corners and up and down stairs of ladders.

    Almost at every turn you seemingly have choices, but the reality is you don’t. Valve have led you exactly where they want you to go.

    Added to this is a little humour – the scientist who pops up out of the trash can and even for the dark-humoured, the scientist back at the tram entrance.

    Let’s not forget the grand ideas too, with that very cool angled platform.

    Sure, there were a few anomalies, like the houndeye’s arse sticking out of the crate and HOM effect earlier on. But picking holes in something so old is churlish.

    What we have here is what I consider a fantastic piece of work and could even see myself using the concepts behind this chapter as a competition.

    Every aspiring level designer should play and replay this level, because it’s a fantastic piece of work.

    Playtime: 26 minutes

  2. Now, isn’t that a great idea? You go back through the same place where you were before, but now everything is in chaos. Computers blow up and fall, pipes are broken, alarm light rays, red light and sounds.

    Scientist is doing a cardiac massage to a guard. Once the guard came to himself, we can try and make him follow us, but he won’t be able to get through the pipes lying on the floor. Unfortunately, the follower AI in Half-Life is not as advanced as in Kingpin: Life of Crime.

    Getting through control room laser is scary even though I know the pattern. The water puddles in the next room look awesome:
    The Replay Experience Experiment: Unforeseen Consequences

    And then, no matter what you do, elevator with scientists is falling. This is horrifying. You can get a battery below.

    Then we see the zombies for the first time. So good to have ragdoll physics instead of death animation which you have to watch again and again.

    Once we get to the entrance we have to bypass a blockage. The interesting things that entrance have to offer don’t end here. Break the lock and you can see what’s left of the train station where you arrived. For some reason in Half-Life: Source that place was moved to separate map. The scene looks a lot better with Source Engine physics.

    I remember that in Half-Life it’s possible to glitch the scene if you talk to the scientist (I did that in the old version of the game, though. Don’t know if it will work in the latest one). This might prevent the bridge from falling. You can even jump to the place where your train came from and get stuck there, because the tunnel ends with a wall since developers didn’t foresee that and didn’t create another path for the player.

    Our only way is to get to the “wrong airlock”. We see a dying barney there. In original Half-Life it’s possible to save him if you quickly run to the airlock, then he will get to medkit and cure himself:
    The Replay Experience Experiment: Unforeseen Consequences

    This chapter also has cool scripted scenes. Scientist fights headcrabs, horrifying process of turning into a zombie, alien slave breaks the door, zombie climbs out of the canals, and thanks to Source’s ragdolls it’s possible to make him fall back there.

    We find ourselves in some maintenance rooms and sewer canals. Once we start meeting the headcrabs, it fun to shoot one midair and look how its ragdoll falls. It’s also fun to use explosive barrels to neutralise enemies. A scientist can help you get to room with grenades.

    And this elevator with crowd of headcrabs. Usually I climb down without the elevator to avoid them, today I made an exception:
    The Replay Experience Experiment: Unforeseen Consequences

    I had to resort to climbing down back in the day because they kept killing me. In Source version they fall through the elevator which makes things easier.

    When I encountered the broken bridge for the first time back in the day, I tried to do a Long Jump, because I forgot that you need a module for that.

    Some jumping, some vent-crawling, some swimming, and we find ourselves in the big crates transportation room. The Source physics make jumping on them more realistic. The room is breathtaking and atmospheric thanks to its size, lighting and nice air blowing sound.

    Eventually we find ourselves in the elevator which takes us to Office Complex. But that’s the story for the next time.

    Glitch: Standing elevator sounds like moving.

    Playtime: 22 minutes 59.71 seconds.

  3. Ade

    – even now I think pressing a button to open a door shouldn’t be done twice to get a result; it felt so unfair, the way out of the test chamber
    – odd place to find the crowbar lying around, now that I think about it
    – I loved the destruction around me, I bet everyone felt the same (I remember a competition about scripted destruction sequences, it had very interesting entries)
    – the area before the falling elevator was used in a co-op map for hl2dm!
    – I’m still not used to always running, I fell so easy off that ladder
    – somehow (prolly because I played hl1 and mods 10 times more than hl2) Barney’s lines are so hard to forget and even to this day, lines like “didn’t wanna die alone anyway” still play in my head
    – it’s a shame we don’t get to see a scientist fully transform in a zombie after he’s attacked; nevertheless, great scripting
    – sonic power of the houndeyes, man these guys were thinking ahead!
    – couldn’t get in the goodies room but didn’t try hard enough, I kind of rushed through it all today, not feeling like myself; on that note, didn’t think to break the main entrance panel lock; I also missed the G-Man, but that always happens to me
    – haha scientist in a dumpster
    – the walls and doors here felt bit Quake`ish; later on some taller metal walls even reminded me of the combine structures, specially their high endings
    – I wish the platform ride wasn’t so loud so I could actually hear the ingame music; bug, loading a save here first gave me 0 clips for my pistol, then changing weps gave me 1, respectively 2 clips; another quick load made all crabs disappear 😐
    – alternate routing & rewarding exploration, I always love these; too bad I’m so used to breaking only the ammo crates in hl2, which here aren’t marked as such
    – and here’s another example of tall, tight walls, as seen in screenshot 41, now tell me that didn’t take you back (or fwd) in a Combine time

    playtime: 19 minutes (as I’ve skipped/missed some areas)

    1. Unq

      – even now I think pressing a button to open a door shouldn’t be done twice to get a result; it felt so unfair, the way out of the test chamber

      You don’t need to hit the button twice, you just need patience. 🙂

  4. TWIN SUNS

    This chapter introduces both of Half Life’s most iconic icons, the Headcrab and the crowbar. It also does a great job of portraying the initial repercussions of the Resonance Cascade, including scientists dealing with headcrabs, guards dealing with zombies and the falling elevator scene; all with a clever use of backtracking through an area that has now been transformed into scenes from a nightmare.

    “Prepare for unforeseen consequences.”

    Playtime: 20 minutes

  5. William

    Playtime: 41 minutes

  6. I remember the first time I walked through the destroyed and ruined Black Mesa. Despite the horrid graphics it was probably the most memorable moment I have ever had in Gaming.

  7. This is where things really get started, or as I would say, where the shit hits the fan.

  8. Unq

    To start, let me point out the opening music in Unforeseen Consequences. Another brilliant atmospheric piece from Kelly Bailey, Space Ocean.

    I personally love this chapter. It’s a great retracing of much of Anomalous Materials, but not a rehash by any means. My favorite section by far is what I call the Headcrab Elevator; not just for my unrequited love for headcrabs, but the for the unmistakable feeling of traveling deeper and deeper into the belly of the beast.

    In Unforeseen Consequences Valve starts to reveal patterns that will show up throughout the game. First, they show you many of the enemies you’ll face before you face them. For example, you get to safely observe a couple of headcrabs before having to deal with one in the open. Same for the bullsquid – the first one you see falls to his death in front of you, and the next one you can safely observe across the canal while he attacks the poor helpless headcrabs. This is not only a nice way to tease the player, it’s a nice way to also let him observe the enemies while relatively protected from them.

    Second, the player is rewarded for exploring and straying off the typical path, although the paths aren’t without danger. Third, you encounter a number of deadly traps, such as deadly chasms and electric beams. However they aren’t without warning signs, so you’re usually given the chance to avoid them if you’re a cautious and observant player. Finally, we get our first indication that something isn’t normal about the G-man. This is one of your only chances to shoot him at close range, but no weapons affect him. Add that to the fact that you can chase after him, although he seems to have just disappeared from a dead end area, and you’re left with the first thoughts that there might be more than meets the eye to this guy.

    Mapper’s Corner: There’s more classic trickery in the scene where a slave/vortigaunt teleports in and busts through a door before attacking you. When you approach, the slave is already in the room, and the teleport sounds are used to give you the sense that he just arrived. The various stages of door-busting are accomplished by a series of func_wall_toggles, until the door finally disintegrates using a func_breakable to throw door chunks all over.

    The Replay Experience Experiment: Unforeseen Consequences

    Playtime: 13 minutes

  9. Phillip your Replay Experience looks strangely suspicious – as a warm up before release of Black Mesa. Just saying. 😛

  10. “…and why they’re wearing science team uniforms?”

    One of the best ways to get started in a FPS game, again! (after the “Harzard Course”)
    Things get serious now so watch your step, and reload your crowbar! 😉

    There is another wave of very cool scripts, screen is shaking sometimes and explosions or other hazardous environments can injure you seriously if you don’t approach carefully enough.
    If I remember it right I took lot of damage during the very first time I played “Unforeseen Consequences” (UC). But that’s absolutely okay, as there’s the HEV suit and there are plenty of healing possibilities. Yep, it starts easy but difficulty increases step by step.

    Thanks to Phillip for the trivia facts, I never seen the Monorail section after the Resonance Cascade!
    Is there some “new” kind of music or ambient sound? Hmmm..

    Other funny things are scripted again, the scientist who successfully fights a headcrab but losing versus his “brother” 😉
    Or the elevator which is on speed. Sorry, I know it wouldn’t be that funny to see that in real life, but at that moment I just couldn’t stop laughing or at least having smiling widescreen lips like Cameron Diaz 😛

    Ah, I think it’s not mentioned here before (haven’t read every single line but most of it), but here’s another hint:

    If you want to be at full power, ammunition you should revisit the locker room.
    Guthrie’s locker is suddenly open and filled with two pistol clips.
    And if you check your own (Freeman’s) locker again, there’s a shiny new HEV battery – tada!
    In case you need/want it, don’t forget the health charger at the toilets.

    “UC” is such a cool chapter, I love playing it, it has awesome scripts with lot of surprises, most excellent leveldesign and lighting, slightly increasing difficulty in combat and simply lot of things to explore or discover.
    For the first time we have to solve some minor puzzles, the main puzzle is of course: how the heck get to the surface after this mess?
    Other ones are the one in the huge water pipe etc., they’re not hard but I like the style of the them. Once you have to train some jumps again, so I call it a puzzle for rookies, “Hazard Course” in the field…

    The most annoying spot is the large lift which goes down very slow.
    Headcrabs are suddenly coming down from above and try to attack you.
    This is just pretty bugging as it takes quite long time.

    All in all, replaying that chapter was, just as “Anomalous Materials”, very intense and pretty much fun due to the great, chaotic atmosphere, finally combat, some mini puzzles and the neat scripts.

    Playtime: 9 minutes (went everywhere, but not for long time, just running through, at least I did visit ALL areas with goodies such as the security office, Monorail, locker room etc.)

  11. 2muchvideogames

    Replay 4: Unforseen Consequences Challenges:

    – Find the headcrab that was hiding in a duct (only 1 in this chapter! – Does not include the ones that came out of a vent during the elevator ride)
    – Enter the supply room and obtain 10 grenades.
    – Get to the bottom of the ramp (screenshot 32) safely without activating the lever.
    – Find a glitched catwalk; you will fall off if you try to stand on it.

    This chapter is quite scary: you backtrack through Sector C to survey all the damage caused by the resonance cascade (ultimately caused by you yourself.)
    I remember flipping on a lightswitch, and it didn’t turn on, and sparks flew out of it! Really creepy in that room with the freaky zombie staring at a blank screen. However, across the hall, that headcrab and scientist battle was hilarious.

  12. Flynn

    Where does it say you guys are playing in Half-Life: Source? I thought you were playing the original Half-Life?

    1. We aren’t, although some people might be because they don’t own the original.

      1. I’m playing Source, despite owning the original, because it’s the only one accessible to me right now.

        Does anyone else have the “problem” I’m having?? Despite having ALL the eye candy turned to “MAX”, I’m getting insane framerates (350fps+, according to Source), and the entire game is playing WWWWAAAAAYYYYY fast! I mean not only am I moving way too fast (I had to turn the bloody mouse down to less than 6), but the entire game is going too fast–voices accelerated, animations too fast, enemy character moving faster than they should.

        I’m in Blast Pit right now, and the Tentacles move so fast they’re almost impossible to see. I haven’t gone past this yet, but I’m pretty sure they’re moving too fast for me to *get* by.

        Anyone else having this problem, trying to play this ancient game (despite the Source version) on modern machinery that’s akin to playing the original on a set of Crays?? And is there any way to slow it down and make it play a bit more “normally”??

        This is driving me nuts. 🙁

  13. My memory of this level, boosted by a recent replay, (free download from Steam, using my HL-Generation codes, thanks Valve!), were of great difficulty.
    It is a great level full of doom, gloom and terror all caused by those irresponsible scientists. “I was just doing what I was instructed!” Freeman’s desperate plea at the inquiry as the government looked for it’s usual ” scapegoat” to prevent high-level heads from rolling! That’s what he was feeling as he recovered his senses in that chaotic chamber and headed for the exit. Also he needed a word with the union safety rep about not being provided a helmet with the H.E.V. suit for use in such a hazardous environment.
    But that will wait, as there seems to be some rather disturbing consequences going on!
    The darker look to familiar areas and the red emergency lights play on your mind as you wander aimless until a familiar face tells you to head to the surface to get help. Remember those two, they knew the experiment was too hazardous to continue. You smile and go on your way desperate to find a good lawyer or the press before they drop you in it!
    People die around you as you find the most iconic weapon in existence! It seems to belong in your gloved hand as if its part of your being, you feel powerful, invulnerable almost a god. You narrow your eyes and charge at that monstrous creature wearing a torn lab coat; you raise the crowbar and your dead!
    I died so many times when I first cautiously moved through this level, even ladders proved fatal and I’m sure I was even killed by a door!
    Then I spot my fellow scientist having a private chat with a suited man with a briefcase. He’s already got a lawyer? I pound on the door but they wont let me in. wasn’t he on that monorail earlier?
    Some of the hidden gems I found later after reading about them in PC gamer magazines on the way to work.
    I died a few times on that cargo platform due to the rain of headcrabs until I found a corner that they missed, just mopping up the odd one or two that remained on the platform with my pistol. I used the gun far too much those days and frequently ran out of ammo even playing on easy! This was my second ” modern” FPS after all and quite an advance over my first one. “Alien Trilogy” bought in 1996, a couple of years before!
    Very interesting game play where you see where you need to go but have to find the route, and some nice new scenery down in the depths of Black Mesa. Then I spot the lawyer again starring down at me. “Will you represent me” I shout up at him, but he just turns and goes while I am left to my alien combat. “Odd chap for a lawyer” I mutter.
    Mayhem, running, shooting, dying, resurrection and yet more running were curtailed by the suspended box “jumpathon”! Now this proved a marathon for me the first play; in fact I quit the game swearing quite a few times after I fell and just fell! Recently I breezed through this level without dying once!
    Getting to the lift took so long, at least a couple of weeks, including cooling off periods. It felt like the hardest parts of “Alien Trilogy” at times, but much less creepy!
    But I was beginning to get the hang of the games mechanics and vices but the ladder issue would haunt me all throughout the game!

  14. Vic

    The shit has now well and truly hit the fan. We wake up some minutes after the disaster has occured, although things are only about to get worse. One of the scientists in the test chamber hall has vanished – either he’s still alive out there, or he’s been brutally gibbed. The former isn’t such a pleasant fate either, given that we’re dealing with the Half-Life universe.

    Valve did a great job of showing us the consequences of our actions in the test lab – the moment we step outside, we see a scientist (could even be that missing scientist from the chamber hall, but who knows) desperately trying to resuscitate an injured security guard. If we linger, the guard will eventually return to life – at which point we can then… well, return him to death (but only if the player has acquired the crowbar), and obtain his pistol.

    The next scene is one of great relevance to the Half-Life narrative – not only do we meet Gordon’s friend, Eli Vance, but we also have our first ever encounter (an up-close one at that) with HL’s most iconic foe: the Headcrab. Marc Laidlaw has stated that he sees Eli’s injured scientist pal as Isaac Kleiner, Gordon’s mentor at Innsbruck University (and the man who got Freeman hired at Black Mesa), whom we will of course meet in Half-Life 2.

    We continue to backtrack through the corridors of the Anomalous Materials labs, which are now utterly wrecked and filled with scenes of gruesome carnage. We also encounter yet another security officer, who is among the few survivors we ever see in Sector C. Many choose to kill him and take his pistol, but I rarely do so.

    The VOX system’s automatic diagnostic announcements (most audible in the AM lobby) make the whole scene come together and feel… real. They help the player think that there’s more to this world than just a game level and its immediate surroundings. Great stuff – and we’ll be hearing VOX’s monotonous voice deliver ominous reports of distant emergencies for a while yet.

    Since the tram system is more or less destroyed, Gordon is forced to take a detour through Black Mesa’s canal systems in Sector B, where his first post-accident encounter with the G-Man takes place. There’s some other note-worthy moments: such as the moment a Vortigaunt breaks down a heavy steel door right before our eyes, and the cargo elevator ride into the lower levels.

    After that, it’s straight through the sewers, as Gordon encounters new alien species after species – first the Houndeyes, then the Barnacles, and then the Bullsquid. By now, Gordon’s skill in dispatching his extra-dimensional foes typically starts to confuse most newbie players – and, to be honest, with good reason. Can you imagine that prior to the Incident, Gordon had never handled a firearm (the non-canon Hazard Course doesn’t count), only a butane-powered tennis ball cannon he built at the wee age of 6? I sure can’t!

    These canals themselves, towards the end of the chapter, feature some pretty illogical and bizarre level design. Take, for instance, the infamous crate jumping puzzle room just before the exit elevator. What purpose could this chamber possibly serve? How are the crates supposed to get out?

    And there’s more – I encourage you to get out your magnifying glass and really analyze the level design, and see what else you can discover. I assure you there’s far more to it than meets the naked eye! Thankfully, this is one of the few areas in Half-Life where the mapping gets this bad.

    But for the most part, Unforeseen Consequences is one of Half-Life’s finest chapters, with smooth progression and pacing, and a wide variety of gameplay options that offer a surprising amount of replay value.

    Play time: 34 minutes

  15. Kaito Kid

    So the real game begins at last.

    As usual, I will talk about my first playthrough more than about this video, since the video is too fast 😀

    At the beginning, in the broken test chamber, you just had a few black-outs and saw some aliens (usually :P) and you know SOMETHING is really wrong. just run a round a little and a piece of ceiling crushes on the ground next to you, showing any player that the environment is now a threat. actually that piece of ceiling CANNOT kill you, but it give the feeling it could have fallen on you. you finally escape the chamber, just to get stuck in the chamberlock. You already tried some scanners, and you know you can’t use them. This one is different, it’s broken. if you try it, it makes strange noises and explodes, but the door opens. this was probably the developper’s technique to make us understand that even tough we can’t use all of them, we’d need to use some scanners sometimes. This wish never came to his end since we don’t use another scanner in the game. we already saw our first dead guy, and now we encounter a scientist giving CPR to a guard. if you’re very patient, he will eventually be saved and stand up, and can shoot stuff. next is the eli room, where we know exactly what we need to do, but it doesn’t make such a big difference since the game is so linear anyway xD we get eli to open the door, as the hazard course taught us. the next room teaches us that the environment can be dangerous, but also useful, as the green laser breaks the locked door. then, the first monster, we don’t have a weapon. I remember my first time, I thought all monsters needed to be killed so I spent at least half an hour trying to kill this headcrab. I eventually lead him all the way back to the barney that received CPR and got tha mothafucka killed. I think it’s the hardest puzzle i’ve ever gone through during the series, even thought it wasn’t really one. then the laser room, it’s incredible how hard it was back in the days and how easy it is right now…. we get our first weapon, break through a locked door, then another one and get some scientists killed. This is also Valve’s way of teaching us that we will NEED to kill allies for our own survival later on, by making this elevator fall if we try to get through. Then the barney, shooting a zombie. if we don’t bother him, he’ll win, but not against the second one. This teaches us that barney knows how to defend himself (first zombie) but also needs our help (second zombie). if we save the zombie and bring him with us, we can clearly see barney doesn’t need ammo for his gun, but owns a 17 bullets clip anyway (that explains why he can shoot forever and always drops 17 bullets). next, the vent, which clearly teaches us that barney and his colleagues CANNOT duck, making us all wonder “aren’t they supposed to have all completed the same hazard course as barney?”

    Then we get to the location we couldn’t go before the cascade, so we stop exploring known land. we encounter another kind of monster, pretty weak but dangerous in groups: the houndeye. we can bring a scientist to some grenades showing that most allies can be useful to get bonuses. we then solve the first mecanics puzzle: the water sewer. then the elevator which made me play baseball with headcrabs, and when I watched freeman’s mind I was so happy to see that I wasn’t the only one who thought of that 😀

    then the broken ramp, that damn bullsquid was too heavy. The jump I did there in my vid is actually not that hard if you know how to do it, but mastering it the first time is pretty hard. then another broken catwalk, obviously made in the same material than the last one, and COINCIDENCE! there is a bullsquid down there too, so the same thing may have happened o.O

    the object boost I did there is super useful, skips a lot of gameplay. next the elevator that leads to office complex, which I decided not to skip from outside to give a chance to other players 😀

    You may have noticed, but I didn’t kill nor attack ANY monster or ally during my video. It’s because freeman’s min once said “give peace a chance! or at least stand still!”. Since im not exactly standing still inmy vid, I decided to give peace a chance. and as a proof that it works, no monster attacked me either.
    I see the beginning of a great relationship 😀

    Playtime: 2 minutes 50 seconds 167 milliseconds

  16. Finally things calm down and you see the doors to the chamber hanging open so maybe its time to GTF outta there! And the real action starts.

    You get back to the exit door and it’s broken and use the retinal scanner to open it, as you leave a scientist is trying to resus a guard. Making your way back up and through the early devastation you encounter your first loose headcrab (I wonder if they taste like chicken?) and get your first weapon, the now de rigueur crowbar.
    http://i.imgur.com/KFRUo.jpg
    As you make your way back up the whole place is in chaos, although I don’t normally like backtracking, here it makes some sense.

    Once you get back to the floor you began on, zombies are encountered for the first time and a guard is still on his feet and fighting back (hands up all those who whacked him for his gun in subsequent playthroughs?). Personally I prefer to keep him until he can’t go any further, because however many shots he fires you still get the full 17 rounds.

    Back in the reception area another first is going through the air-vent. You’re now in the computer room you were able to visit before it all kicked off, if you’ve not been flattened by the falling computer the exit stage (computer room) left through another vent. Again it’s an area you’ve been in before, but now to the left you can see a scientist being ambushed by a headcrab and to the right a zombie in a chair in front of a computer apparently having some kind of fit (maybe he’s P!$$3d off at not beating a boss level in Doom?). So up to the corner and turn left, the guard who wouldn’t let you through is dying. When I played Half Life for the first time this is where I got my first gun, but nowadays its extra ammo.

    Well the doors ahead lead to uncharted territory! Once through another new enemy, the houndeye (sonic-dog) is encountered, I think once trained they’d make excellent pets. There’s a scientist round to the right, if you are quick enough you can save him if you want to but he’s not much use if you do! Around a few corners and more houndeyes. When the area is cleared you find the door that leads to the walkway you saw on the way in, suffice to say after a couple of headcrab’s and zombies you need to lead a scientist to a retinal scanner to open a door to an arms cache where you get some grenades. Back downstairs you continue towards a metal door, once you get close enough something on the other side is smashing the door and behold your first alien slave (vortigaunt). I don’t recall, in the rest of the game or in a Mod/Map a Vort strong enough to break a metal door!
    http://i.imgur.com/ZVknV.jpg
    Shoot him before he (is it a he? Or do they have equal rights on Xen?) and get the ammo in the small room.

    Next is a barrier with D-475KL written above it but it doesn’t appear to be a door or movable! If you are looking at the door there’s a scientist hiding in a waste bin, I suspect it was an attempt at humour. So anyway shoot the zombie on the other side of the barrier, chuck a grenade down the hatch to frag the headcrab (you can go back to the cache and get another one if you want to), jump down, find the valve, flood the chamber and swim up through the hatch. All of that to go about 3 yards/metres!!

    A left turn at the end of the corridor opens into a room with a large angled lift and a dead guard. Get the guards ammo pull the lever, shoot some head crabs and head for the descending lift and enjoy the ride. At the bottom take out the remaining headcrabs, recharge your HEV suit and break the crates to get some, Oh! And by the way kill the houndeye that ports in on top of a crate. Around the next corner and you meet (briefly) your first hostile Bullsquid and his Toxic Snot, fortunately he’s not been on a diet and crashes through the walkway, leaving you to try a little Parkour around the room to get to an airvent.
    http://i.imgur.com/iFUYG.jpg

    Here for the first time you get to crawl through air ducts, not just the vents. AND for the first time the suggestion of alternate routes to a destination. Smash the grill and crawl through the duct, the first grill inside is above a shaft with a ladder, if you break it and drop down you can miss out a bit of this section (if you don’t miss the ladder, Ouch!), but if you go through the second one you can collect batteries and snipe the awaiting bullsquid and headcrabs from a distance. Then either jump down into the water (avoiding the barnacles, in their first appearance) or go back and climb down the ladder and into the water. Once you’ve worked out which end of the water to exit from you go through a door to the side of the water with the now dead (hopefully) bullsquid and through another door, along some narrow corridors and into a chamber with small suspended containers. As pointless as the containers seem, they are good practice for when you get to Xen later on.

    After a Mario style platform jump over the containers you are on the other side, a run through some more corridors and up a ladder leads you to the other side of the water/broken bridge, in the other direction and a left turn you are at the lift that ends the chapter.

    Despite the questions below, Unforeseen Circumstances is an introduction to some of the more common enemies and some gameplay dynamics not covered in the Hazard Course.

    BUT!

    As I replay this there some thoughts and questions?

    WTF is a crowbar doing among all the delicate electronic equipment?

    I’d love to find a building where air-vents are big enough for a grown human to crawl through!

    OK. Even though these are Unforeseen Circumstances why is there an arms cache in a scientific facility? Unless someone foresaw the unforeseen! Even if there was a reason what are grenades doing there?

    The barrier with D-475KL written above it, there was no visible opening/locking mechanism, so what’s it doing there?

    The room with the angled lift is a bit strange in that at the top and bottom, there is no way to bring in or take out anything as large as it can accommodate? Also it’s started with a big lever up some steps, why can’t it be operated by a simple switch on or next to it like any other lift?

    The people who pack crates around here must have worked for companies that design packaging for supermarkets! A whole crate for one magazine of ammo?

    Just like the angled lift the containers have no apparent way in or out!

    Playtime: 19 minutes

  17. So many great and detailed reviews, far more detailed than I have time or inclination to get into.

    What I remember, is getting the game at HalfPrice Books for $5, which included BlueShift and CounterStrike. At the time (2001? 2002? Maybe even 2003?), I had played DukeNukem3D, RedneckRampage, along with the raft of DOOM titles, including American McGee’s Alice, on my desktop. I had a Sony laptop running an Athlon 800Mhz processor, with 512k RAM, 15″ display, and a 20gig HD; and it was plenty strong enough to run the HL stuff. I had just finished Caesar III, and was spending my evenings sitting with my wife while she read & watched TV, I played games on that laptop.

    Even after “upgrading” to a 13″ Sony mini-laptop with a PIII Celeron 1.2 Ghz, I kept playing and playing HL1 and a bunch of mods (I still have this laptop, I may have to dig out the old install discs).

    Like everyone has said: the level design was absolutely awesome, the spaces were spectacular and breathtaking–my wife was watching me play “We’ve Got Hostiles” and “Blast Pit” last night, and even she (no gamer by ANY means!) was commenting on the suspense, layout, and sheer scale of the designs; she’s already laughed at the goofy cartoon characters and beasties, but that’s 1998 design and graphics for ya.

    The gameplay is unparalleled; the storyline outstanding. The reply value, even now, is great, despite my extreme unwillingness to actually play it again before BlackMesa:Source comes (yes, HL2 has spoiled the ever-livin” FVCK out of me!!).

    But Phillip’s challenge has me knee-deep in the game yet again, and I find myself unable to stop myself from racing for the end. Yet again, the story has gripped me by the throat, and plunged me headlong into one of the greatest gaming stories and universes ever created.

    I really wish I could slow this damn game down, tho: played on my i7-920 rig, it’s lightning-fast, and is playing so quickly that it’s almost too fast for me to keep up (this might explain my headlong afterburner-fired rush to the end)!! Watching the counter-strike forces (black ops?) run around like someone double-cranked the projector to make them look like those old films from the 1910’s that make everyone look unnatural and silly, make them damn hard to hit.

    Otherwise, it’s a fun return to the origin; now if Valve would get off their collective butts, and make HL3…

    Playtime: no friggin” idea, I’m too busy trying to stay alive and find my way out. I may remember this game, but I cannot retain the level layouts, and at some time jettison the memories to make room for more pressing info. 😉

  18. k00pa

    This is the first level where something really starts to happen. The pacing to the action is nice. One major difference in the HL:Source version I have also played was the crates. In source version they moved around and made jumping bit harder.

    This section also contains lots of interactivity and even some secrets you can’t get if you shoot the professors like I did accidentally…

    Playtime: 12min

  19. here I am…I really like to replay this game but it will take a while since I don’t find a lot of time…

    My adding value will be quite limited regarding the huge amount of experience already exchange here…i that tooks me age to read (thanks guys 🙂 )
    perhaps it was already mentioned in the anomalous material episode but what really catch my attention was the baby picture in gordon’s cabinet (picture 14) is gordon father before being a memorable scientist? or is he/her a nephew..god daughter/son ?

    The way we play is also really involve by what? our gaming experience or simply or character, for myself I have always doubt when I enter a room so I don’t like to wait especially when there are tricks (I realy hate to get stuck in the corner and died just because I waited to see what is going to happened) So I mosly rush and…die too sadly 🙁

    Playtime: arround 30min 1 or 2 min less or more died I few time didn’t really encounter special things and find all classic things that were mentioned…

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