Half-Rats: A Fever Dream

for Half-Life

July the fourteenth, 1883: Being rather rudely awakened after a night of drunken revelry; Half-Rats is thrust into a rather dire situation.

Utter calamity has erupted in the streets outside of the general store which he calls home – calamity of the most unnatural and horrific kind, that is.

Now he and the shop keeper, Mr. Trask, must hold out against this infernal host of creatures together. Will they survive the night?

Basic Details
  • Title: Half-Rats: A Fever Dream
  • Filename: hl1-sp-half-rats-a-fever-dream.7z
  • Size : 34.5MB
  • Author: Half-Rats
  • Date Released: 31 October 2015
Bestiary and more details

Half-Rats has taken the time to create a bestiary and it also includes background information, inclduing Easter Egss and other secrets. As with the mod, it’s well-written, but pretty wordy. Well worth a read for those who like this sort of stuff.

This is a PDF file and requires a modern browser or specific software to open.
Right click to save to your HDD or left click to open in your browser [1.2MB]

MapTap Users

Download directly into MapTap [34.5MB]

You MUST have MapTap installed before using this link.

Download Options

Download to your HDD [34.5MB]
You can still use it with MapTap once you have downloaded it.

Manual Installation Instructions

Did you know that MapTap can install this mod and you can play it without having to restart Steam?

  • Copy the hrafd folder into your …\Steam\SteamApps\common\Half-Life\ folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • Half-Rats: A Fever Dream should now be listed in your Library tab.

If you require more help, please visit the Technical Help page.

Videos

The playthrough/walkthrough below is provided by PlanetPhillip. See more of my playthroughs on this site: VP: PlanetPhillip.

Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

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Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Maybe
Play It Later
Play It Now!

10 recommendations, average score: 4.4 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.64 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
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    Overall
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 12 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: 4 Users
Manually: 8 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 1 Hours, 45 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 44 Mins by CK_The_Boss
Longest: 3 Hours by Gman Butler 85
Total Time Played: 21 Hours
Jump to a review
Phillip says Play It!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Maybe?Play It Now!Play It LaterMaybe?Play It LaterPlay It Now!

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25 Comments

  1. Phillip says Play It!

    It’s not often we get a partial-conversion and they always generate plenty of interest. This one is set in the 1880s and has managed to pack a lot into a small download.

    The gameplay is standard HL because there’s not much you can change from that but the new models and sounds keep it feeling fresh – if you can call 1880s fresh!

    My initial problems were spawning enemies (a HUGE no no for any mod) and a lack of direction. As always this review will contain spoilers, so be aware. At the beginning, you need to collect some wood from a shed behind a shop. That’s easy but I didn’t really know what to do with it. Maybe Mr. Trask told me but I must have missed it. Anyway, you are supposed to nail it to the open doorway – which makes sense, but that could have been made clearer, perhaps in the training room.

    As with many mods, this didn’t get enough beta test (you can NEVER get too much) and Qwertus is a great tester but one person is not enough. Don AKA Unq boarded the shop from the outside and had to restart.

    It might seem like I am focusing on such a small area but for me this was the big let down of the mod – the gameplay design. The textures, sounds, story, script, voice acting and models etc are great but if they don’t add up to a fun-to-play mod they are wasted.

    I’m not saying this mod is not fun to play becasue it is, but some little things could ahve been much better. I think I found a door that couldn’t be opened when holding the gun for instance. If that is the case, that’s a HUGE issue. Also, the final two battles were really quite hard and even though my companion was suppsoed to die, if he died too early the mod ended.

    Alos, the text is just too much. It’s bordering on boring and often unnecessary. I understand that when an author has gone to a lot of trouble to create a realistic world, he or she wants to make sure the player knows. But I don’t. I wanna play a game, not read text.

    Okay, enough complaining (for now).

    I have no hesitation in recommending you play this mod, it’s fairly well-designed, fun to play and a nice change for the usual HL mods we play. However, let’s hope the second part is beta testers to hell and back and the game is as well-planned as the backstory.

  2. Play It Now!

    While Phillip is correct regarding the early spawns I think it wasn’t much of a big deal in fact it just encouraged the player to head out and find those wood boards. Mr. Trask indeed informed the player about the shed behind the house and to nail these boards onto the door to barricade themselves of the creatures outside. It is true though that this minor part could’ve been solved a little bit better. Also the voice acting was a little quite once all those monsters were on the field so it’s easy to miss. Might be worth to go over that part again in a potential patch.

    Anyway For the remainder of the mod I didn’t encounter any bugs and I suspect everything played out as it was intended to be. The first end fight went also rather smooth though I read that some people just like for Phillip either had Barnabe or the Garg getting stuck. Thankfully I didn’t encounter that glitch but truthfully the author is not to blame. It happened to be as well in my own mod. Sometimes monsters can’t find a proper path even though the way appears clear for the human eye. In my case it also caused my garg to get stuck or playing scripts without playing it’s actual animations.

    Spoiler:
    But I’m slipping in the 1st end fight is a lovely cannon hidden in one box on the train which toasts the garg fairly easy and for the other monsters around is a mounted ancient mg available – again on the train.

    It truly gets tough in the 2nd end fight which requires the player to conduct time based actions. Once that’s over a nice outro awaits which reveals a plot I didn’t really expect but it sets the mood for the authors 2nd mod concluding the events of part1.

    Pro:
    +Custom Voice acting
    +Custom model skins (npcs & weapons)
    +New story set few centuries back
    +New textures
    +Nice music
    +Medium sized mod length (1 hour plus)

    Contra:
    -Apparently few bugs remaining
    -Only 7 Monster types to encounter two of them friendly
    -Sometimes blurry low definition textures in use
    -Low definition models in use (depends on your personal liking)

    1. While Phillip is correct regarding the early spawns I think it wasn’t much of a big deal in fact it just encouraged the player to head out and find those wood boards.

      I disagree. Firstly, it speaks to the author focus: the story and setting more than the gameplay. It’s really not hard to avoid enemies spawning in front of a player. Secondly, it didn’t encourage me to find the wooden boards. What did encourage me was the strength of the hit I got from each enemy.

  3. Play It Now!

    This mod isn’t perfect, but it has enough good things to make it a PIN.

    First off, I am always impressed when a mod has a training course. Even if it is an extremely simple training course (like this one) it still feels like an Easter Egg to me.

    I liked the theme of the mod and the fact that the protagonist is down on his luck. I absolutely loved the mechanism for restoring your health and your suit power. The sounds your character makes when you get food is classic. Weapons-wise, the revolver is a very suitable weapon for this mod. I found the sword to be less useful though.

    The gameplay in the mod suffers from 4 main flaws:

    1 – the spawning at the beginning is unnecessary and frustrating
    2 – the characters talk too much. I guess the author wanted a lot of “period” dialogue but there was too much standing around and listening for my liking
    3 – there were invisible walls preventing you from going places which I found frustrating. For example when you first see the garg there is a gattling gun at the bridge but an invisible wall prevents you from getting to it
    4 – the weapon you need to use in the train yard is hard to control. I struggled to get the thing to respond and move where I wanted it. This meant I died a lot.

    Despite the flaws, the story is actually pretty good and there are a lot of nice touches everywhere, like a vintage music player that actually works.

    I played this mod a second time and was able to skip the frustrating bits which made it a lot more enjoyable. It’s worth playing, but you might need to spend some time working your way through it.

  4. Wesp5

    An intersting total conversion but with a little too many bugs and problems for my taste.

    It starts in the training course where there is no reaction when shooting the trainer or the horses and you need to jump all around the gatling gun and cannon area because the door blocks the former when open. This had to be found and fixed during beta testing!

    In the main mod there is too little health, whiskey and ammo around. When more and more of the assassins appeared I was so annoyed that I turned godmode on. These are already some of the worst enemies of the original game and no fun with only a revolver!

    Then in the first boss fight against the Garg I couldn’t find the cannon. When I read about it here, I managed to fire it out of the box through the steel hull which makes no sense. Was this supposed to be opened somehow? If so, this was not triggered when I played!

    As for the huge monologues, it would probably have been better to split them…

  5. Play It Now!

    I first heard about this on What The Headcrab and I didn’t know what to think of it. Now that I finished it, I’m glad to say I was pleasantly surprised.

    Mapping-wise it could have been a bit better, due to some slightly annoying issues (like spawning enemies, only 1 gun), but I didn’t mind those that much. Though, there were a few times where the doors wouldn’t open properly, like in the powerhouse for example. Those and the beginning too were quite annoying.

    The characters were really memorable, however I do think that the protagonist talks way too much sometimes, leading to some conversations taking forever to end.

    The 1880’s feel is captured pretty nicely here, and the atmosphere is really well done.

    Overall, I definitely recommend this mod. If you’re into Western movies or HL, then you should definitely play this.

  6. Maybe?

    Whilst I haven’t completed this mod, the amount I have played of it has given me enough to write this review.

    I did not play this mod on hard, but even on medium I found it too challenging for someone who doesn’t play HL1 often. I did like the environmental puzzles, but as I take 10 minutes until I remember that HL1 has a physic mechanics of sorts it would minimise the niggles with them if it was obvious which props moved. I’m not even sure I did the puzzles right (e.g. on the rickety bridge I put a barrel on top so it did collapses with me on). I also found that despite having a computer that can play Assassins Creed 2, there were parts that gave me a low frame rate (I’m surprised that some mods cause this).

    On the combat, what the modder needs to do is TWEAK THE WEAPONS AND ENEMIES. I have to rely on my pistol 90% of the time because the sword takes too long in killing anything. The zombies, in my opinion, would be better in this mod if they were weaker but fasted. And there were plenty of place where there were too many vortagaunts in open spaces (and some props don’t block their rays!).

    To give the mod credit however, I like the voice acting (although Half-Rat sounded a bit too much like the voice actor for Half-Mind). I also like the idea of a 19th century environment, but it just needed to be defined from HL1 areas (e.g. the sewer).

    I am now stuck between the factory and a lake full of sharks. How do I continue?

    1. Half-Rats

      Jump in, fellow. And swim. Surprisingly, the candle works under water.

  7. Okay, got past that bit (fighting my urge to screen like a girl). Now I’m past the cellar and stuck again. How do you get out of the shallow pool area? Cause destroying the grate doesn’t work. (P.S. loved the piano zombie!)

    1. Why not check the gameplay videos in the main post.

  8. Hec
    Play It Now!

    I have said many, many times that these kind of mods are a lot of my kind. You know, my favorite one of all times in the whole HL modding scene, is Heart of Evil, that is just a master TC piece!! And here I see some parallels of that one, but here in a western scenario. Which by the way is a very cool concept I liked.

    I have also reminded the super awesome and also PF “Wanted” mod, also located in a western scenario. I also like the MP mod “Fistful of Frags”, you know, overall all of those western concepts I think for some reason in HL modding scene fits just nice.

    Now here I like as I said the concept but the gameplay of this mod was quite badly executed, and the ammo, was very scarce, and those health kits too, It’s nice to have some whisky replacing the HEV batteries. My whole impression is that this medium size mod, could have been better perhaps with some more ammo, and some more guidance on what to do specially at the beginning of the mod, which it was quite confusing and quite a mess!! Also the ending is very difficult so I have to go in “god” mode just to finish the mod.

    The textures of the new enemies, which follow the same dynamic as HL1 are also pretty awesome and quite scary.

    Overall It was a mod I liked but due to those gameplay issues, was quite hard to cope with in some parts. But I definitely recommend it as it’s just a different spin of the random and classic HL-BM mods we’re used to play.

    1. Half-Rats

      You’ve got to dig for that ammo! 90% of the time, it isn’t going to be in plain sight.

      1. Hec

        Well at least I hope in the next episode we have some more weapons and enemies…

        1. Half-Rats

          Oh, you will! These things take considerable time and manpower, though. I’m hunting for talent all the time!

  9. Play It Later

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emUJksOF5wc

    This mod is certanly interesting. It’s 1883, and our main character has to wake up early, cause there are wierd things happening outside. Turns out, it’s sort of a zombie/demon invasion. Our hero gets his revolver and a few bottles of rum (rum gives armor ofc), and starts shooting.

    But lets not spoil the mod (much). Thing is, it has a really good voiceacting, not professional, but does the job more than the usual mod voiceacters. Visually, the enemies are sort of reskins of the fedault hl1 creatures. However…and this is a big flaw: I had a lot of trouble with the first part. (and spoiler) The first few minutes are about defending the shop. However you dont get additinal ammo until the 3rd section. This means if you shoot all of your ammo away defending the shopkeeper, you wont have enough to defend yourself in the sewer.

    The other major flaw is…YOU GUESSED IT FOLKS: FREAKIN HL1 NPC AI! It took me around 20 minutes to make the old guy open the door. I pushed him, ive shot him, ive reloaded the savegame over and over. He was just standing there, not even responding to my orders.

  10. This is easily in my top 3 favorite HL1 mods. Great voice acting, great re-textures, excellent innocent start-out, everything was to perfection. I don’t know why, but just from hearing his voice, I really like Half-Rats (Himself), terrifying, stunning, amazing plot twists. Reminded me A LOT OF They Hunger which was also awesome. The mystery and suspense kept me playing. I actually marathon-ed it in one run! Can’t wait to see his other adventures in the future…

    To sum up, a mini Underhell. It has everything Underhell does, but simplified and not as long.

    10/10.

  11. Zekiran

    This installed into my C drive’s root, for whatever reason. I tried playing, couldn’t get past the first fight and uninstalled. :/ I don’t want to give up on it so easily, because it looked pretty awesome, but with that flaw in mind, getting past one scene so early on sets a tone for the mod that I don’t care for at all. I want to enjoy it, not be flummoxed within minutes.

    1. When you say “installed”, do you mean from an executable? Did you use MapTap?

      1. Zekiran

        Unless you changed the download-to-maptap link after it was first uploaded here, I used maptap because it’s been convenient. That’s why I was rather surprised to see it where it was. I had to manually delete the file folders, as ‘uninstall’ didn’t do anything to those. I might try again to see if I did something wrong or if maybe I installed the wrong thing somewhere. But it was in maptap and that’s where I launched from, so I’m really not sure why the files were where they were.

        I may try again, though my first impression has left a pretty weak desire.

    2. Unq

      I also found the opening battle to be frustrating and an exercise in futility, and then I promptly got locked out of the building that I just boarded up. That was enough to make me quit this mod for a couple weeks.

      Once you realize that the opening isn’t a battle as much as it is a mission to find something specific, it gets easier. And yes, the mod gets better after that.

  12. Unq
    Maybe?

    I like the idea of this type of mod a lot: totally different location, characters, and even time period than HL and most of the mods out there. I respect the author’s vision and the consistency of the feel of the mod. It just doesn’t really hit the sweet spot for me in the gameplay.

    As mentioned above, the opening scene of the mod almost turned me off from it completely. First, I didn’t clearly hear the shopkeeper’s instructions since I was fighting a zombie – and they are crucial. You’re on a mission to grab some boards, which I didn’t know. So I was trying to fight off the zombies and slaves that spawn – but unfortunately, they infinitely spawn (second) and are inconsiderate enough to do it right in front of you. Third, after restarting the mod so I could hear the instructions again, I recovered the boards, returned to the shop – and promptly got locked out of the building since somehow I triggered the boards to be put over the windows and door while I was outside on the street. Very frustrating – it felt as if there was just no playtesting done on this mod.

    But from there, things get much better. There is a good mix of indoor and outdoor areas that all nicely fit into the world setting.

    Clearly there was a lot of work put in to make the mod look and feel the way it does. For the most part, the custom textures were excellent and overall the mapping is decent, although I think the maps could make better use of height differences, perhaps in the sequel. The voice acting is also superb – although Barney’s voice was consistently fuzzy which was troubling, even though the voice acting for him is solid. I do also agree that in general things were a bit over-written.

    Overall, even though I understand the weapons fit the world and time period well, I found the combat pretty dull. There was only one section that I found challenging, but mostly it comes back to only having the pistol and sword (crowbar), so there just isn’t a lot of ways to approach the encounters.

    The finale was clever and challenging. I do look forward to seeing what comes next in the Half-Rats world.

  13. Play It Later

    Half-Rats is pretty good, it has some better than average Half-Life mods voice acting, and has a interesting writing, the characters are always talking in very weird old ways which keeps the dialogue, story and characters pretty interesting. Gameplay wise it is too simple and can be quite difficult at times, you better check every breakable box for items and you better save ammo, there are only two weapons throughout the mod, both of which you grab at the very start, the lack of weapons can be a little boring but I didn’t feel that the mod needed much more in that regard considering most of the interesting fights occur with some kind of gimmick and the focus being the story. The enemies received an interesting re-skin and had some very creepy audio to go with it, reminded me a lot of “They Hunger”, entering a dark room and hearing a pack of enemies screaming scared me more than a little bit. Some of the environmental puzzles can be a little confusing but nothing that would stop your progress for too long, and sometimes some objects like doors and such can be a little finicky to handle but those bugs aren’t frequent.
    PS: There are NPCs that will need to be carried around to objectives to progress, I’m sure you know what to expect from Half-Life Scientists NPC AI.

    The mod is pretty great, and I think the only things that hold it back is the lack of guns and more interesting fights, the boss fights are decent but show bugs and other gameplay problems, you should definitively give it a try.

    Definitively looking forward for more story centered mods from the developer, more weird dialogue please!

  14. Play It Now!

    !!This review may contain spoilers!!

    Half-Rats: A Fever dream is an unusual mod in that it takes place in a setting that Half-Life mods rarely go: late 1880’s America. It features the usual objective of killing everything in your path until you reach the end, set in a world that was obviously painfully recreated to resemble its real-world inspiration.
    Being a history buff myself I enjoyed the detail with which the creator used to bring the 1880’s to life. Of course, its a Half-Life mod so it doesn’t look the greatest but the custom models and maps serve their purpose to remind you of what time period you are in. NPCs and the main character speak in an old slang, your weaponry is modeled on the real world counterparts, and the creator even modeled several real world locations in to the mod such as The Bruce Mansion and the Detroit Stove Works. The main weapon, a Colt .45 SAA, even has a firing sound taken from a real .45 SAA.

    Another oddity that the mod features is extensive voice acting. The quality and length of the voice acting is drastically less than a modern day AAA game but a lot more than what you would usually find in a Half-Life mod. I found the voice acting to be enjoyable in its use of old slang and other manners of speech. However, the audio does get repetitive and overly long and complicated at some points, and it appears that creator deliberately chose some words that almost nobody knows in order to appear witty.

    The game does include a few puzzles and although they are typically not very hard to complete, a certain puzzle was incredibly poorly thought out and almost impossible to figure out without sheer dumb luck. Without divulging much about the puzzle, I spent maybe 20 minutes simply trying to understand what exactly I was supposed to do. I ended up randomly pressing the use button until the puzzle worked. This was incredibly frustrating as it breaks up the pace of the mod and makes you go “What? Really? THATS the answer?!” I also noted that the surplus of “Teddymen” (zombies) made me resort to using my Saber (crowbar) for the majority of the game, which became annoying as it takes 10-15 seconds to defeat a single one on Normal difficulty.

    As far as glitches go this mod had a few noticeable bugs but nothing too frustrating or serious. Barn(ey)aby would sometimes stop in his tracks and refuse to open gates for me, requiring that I restart my last current quick save until the animation went through and he opened the gate. I did notice one instance of where a house was improperly modeled and a crack in the model was visible, allowing you to peer into the nothingness of the skybox. There were also multiple times where Barnaby or Mr.Trask would refuse to follow me, requiring me to constantly keep going back and forth and using my follow command on them just to progress in the game.

    Since this is a Half-Life mod you should be able to run it on any device you own, unless you are using a potato to browse the internet. Using the Steam overlay’s FPS counter I noted that during normal game play the mod would run at the GoldSource engine’s default max FPS of 100. While swimming the FPS would drop down to around 70-60 FPS. Turning on the flashlight may reduce it to 80 FPS, while turning it on in rooms with other light sources may reduce it to 40 FPS. These drops in FPS only occur for a fraction of a second and do not impact the play ability of the mod, and the experience in general is very smooth. I ran this mod at 1920×1080 resolution with an Intel Core i5-4460S processor, a Intel HD Graphics 4600 graphics card, and 12 gigabytes of RAM.

    Despite some of the mod’s shortcomings I found it to be of a high quality that was challenging and rewarding at the same time. The game’s story is also more thought out than many other Half-Life mods and the main character’s unique personality gave me a few laughs here and there. My final score of this mod is 7.7/10.
    P.S: I recommend checking out the bestiary that the author wrote for this mod as well! Its an interesting look into the backstory of just what the heck you are shooting at through the entirety of the game.

  15. Play it

  16. *Possible minor spoilers*

    Pros:
    -The setting (19th Century America!)
    -New demonic monster models and sounds
    -New weapon models and sounds!
    -Maps are both fun to look at and play in
    -Enjoyable story
    -Decent length

    Cons:
    -The monsters are LOUD and obnoxious in some areas
    -Female Assassins ._.
    -Garg boss was a bit too tanky, even with the cannon, but that’s just nitpicking on my part

    Other:
    -Voice acting was a bit long-winded at points, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

    Closing:
    This mod is a great addition to the ranks of the best Half-Life mods. I’m sure it will be viewed as a classic in the coming years. PLAY IT NOW!

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