Half-Life 2: Lost Coast: Saint Olga

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

Half-Life 2: Lost Coast is a technology demo showing off the Source engine’s HDR rendering capabilities.

The town of St. Olga, where the game is set, was originally slated to take place between the levels Highway 17 and Sandtraps, but was dropped.

Lost Coast was released on October 27, 2005 as a free download to all owners of Half-Life 2.

Plot

The level begins with Gordon Freeman waking up, after having apparently fallen close to several decaying piers underneath the shadow of a large Byzantine-style church (a large splash can be heard shortly before Gordon awakes). The church is set up on a large outcrop of rock overlooking the coastal town of St. Olga.

An unnamed man (referred to in the commentary as “The Fisherman”) standing on a dock recognizes the player as Gordon, although he cannot accurately remember his last name, and tells him that the Combine have made a base in the area. He lets Gordon through a gate and tells him to “take out that gun”.

The gate leads to a winding path along the side of the outcrop the church is located. The player soon encounters resistance in the form of Overwatch Soldiers, some of whom rappel from the cliffs above.

As he proceeds up the cliff, a launcher based in the church at the top begins bombarding the nearby town with headcrab shells. Upon reaching the top of the cliff, the player finds the church and its courtyard unguarded.

The church itself is relatively undamaged except for the religious paintings on the walls, the faces of all but a few of the characters having been rubbed away.

On one wall of the structure, the Combine have constructed the shell launcher. At a regular interval shells are loaded into the chamber and launched at the town. Gordon destroys the launcher by jamming the mechanism with debris, and an alarm is triggered, prompting the Combine to launch a second attack on the church itself, with a Hunter-Chopper acting as air support.

Gordon fights his way out of the church. and shoots down the Hunter-Chopper with an RPG. After completing the task, Gordon rides an elevator back down to the dock. Gordon meets up with the Fisherman again, at which point the level fades to black, with the Fisherman commenting that Gordon is ‘getting fuzzy around the edges’.

Developer commentary

Aside from visual fidelity and HDR, Lost Coast also acted as a testbed for a commentary system where, when the option is enabled, additional items appear in-game that can be interacted with to play audio commentary, each piece ranging anywhere from ten seconds to a minute of commentary.

Players will hear the developers talk about what they are seeing, what is happening, why the team chose to do what they did, what kind of challenges they faced, and so on.

Commentary tracks are represented by floating speech bubbles known as commentary nodes. To listen to a commentary track, the player must place the crosshairs over it, and presses the USE key. Doing the same again will stop the commentary track. Commands can be run when a commentary track starts and stops; in Lost Coast, this is used to completely disable the AI while the track plays.

However, in Half-Life 2: Episode One, running a commentary track renders the player invulnerable to in-game damage for the time being rather than disabling the AI.
Valve has added the commentary system to all subsequent games.

Behind the scenes

The subtitles file indicates that the game was intended to be longer, with The Fisherman staying with the player for a longer time and mentioning Bullsquids.

Trivia
  • The Fisherman does not have a physics model and, if killed, he will either crash the game or he will do a reference pose.
  • The Combine Gunship can be found by no-clipping before the Hunter Chopper attacks.
  • The Hunter-Chopper that opposes the player towards the end of the demo behaves and even sounds like the Combine Gunship; it shoots down incoming rockets and its pulse gun is much more accurate.
  • The Fisherman is the first Source character whose face was made from scratch without a real-life model.
  • In the Source SDK Base, a flyby of this level can be launched as a video stress test.
  • The shell launcher, despite its printed warning sign stating that its moving parts can crush objects, can be disabled with any available physics object small enough to pick up and fit into it. Oddly enough, it cannot be destroyed with a grenade or any other weapon.
  • Half-Life 2: Lost Coast is currently the only game to not get updated to use Source Engine version 15.

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
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.

Help me create more and better content - please support me on Patreon

Help me create more and better content - please support me on Patreon

17 Comments

  1. I’m sorry to say that I had a lot of stuttering when playing this and died a few times simply because I was killed before I could even aim or turn around. Once that happened, everything was fine until I entered a new area and just before getting to the top was the worst.

    Okay, enough complaining.

    I definitely enjoyed this level/chapter/demo, whatever you want to call it, and in fact, I wish Valve had released something like this every year as a sort of “Sorry, for the delay, here is something to keep you interested.

    The start is pretty cool in that you get to meet a new character and he starts you off on your journey to the top. You get some pretty impressive views on the way up. Once there you have to stop the cannister launcher and of course, once that happens, the shit hits the fan. You need to destroy the helicopter and of course, there are plenty of Combine soldiers who get in your way.

    The final battle continues with the “copter and the result is a ride down back to the Fisherman.

    The ending is very nicely done.

    You may notice that the final 5 screenshots are from the other side of the bay. Image 29 is where you can run and jump into the water and rush to the side beach. From there you can run around the edge and get to the other side.

    There’s nothing to do there except look.

    All in all, a nice addition to the Half-Life family, with enough details to make it feel special. If you have never played it, I highly recommend it.

    Playtime: 31 minutes

  2. Lost Coast comes out some times after Half-Life 2. It is neither a sequel nor a true additional level but a technical demo. It present HDR, commentary system and some novelty used in Episode 1.

    The level itself consists as destroying a headcrab shells launcher. St Olga seems to be in the same situation Ravenholm was before HL2 events.
    The climbing of the cliff gives an interesting vertical gameplay, forcing players to move carefully while the enemies arrives by above. The introduction of the soldiers going down with ropes is perfect in this situation.

    In the old village, after the sabotage of the weapon, we are trapped in an arena before fighting against a chopper. Although I notice that this sequence is a little too much scripted, in fact the catapult stop moving when we approach an object.

    Finally we go back down by a very practical elevator to find the fisherman. This curious and friendly character does not seems to be surprised by the appearance of Freeman nor even by his disappearing.

    I still enjoy this level, despite I can’t replaced it in Half-Life 2 scenario. I consider it as a professional mod rather than a game. It also still have the ” Old Source Engine ” charm. (Quoique, avec les conduits de vapeur…)

    CAUGHT MY EYES

    A well at the summit of a cliff ?

    G-MAN SIGHTING

    He seems to be absent.

    DEATHS

    None.

    PLAYTIME

    12 minutes

    MY FRENCH LET’s PLAY

    1. Your observation of the well location is very “well” made! It is rather absurd.

  3. AI

    It’s realy too bad they (Valve) didn’t do more with this! I thought it was quite enjoyable when it first came out!

  4. SPY

    It is a very long time ago that I played Lost Coast, believe it was when it was released. Personally I had no trouble playing qua low fps, maybe your graphic settings were to high Phillip, can’t believe your computer couldn’t handle it due to being a low end pc. I liked it but I wasn’t pleased at all with the HD lightning. Don’t know what it is but I think it makes it look worse and not better or prettier, but that is just personal.
    Other then that I ofcourse liked it a lot, it was a clear master piece of Valve.
    That they haven’t released more of this kind of “add ons” or how you want to call it is ofcours because they worked on Team Fortres, Left for Death games and Dota games. All of which I haven’t played because they are MP games or not fps games.
    I do believe that we (hopefully) soon will see and hear something about HL3, as many of us do. BUt that is another dicussion that is getting quit old by now, lol. Like always will drop Valve suddenly the big bom on us, although I really do hope this will not mean loads of new troubles with updates that make that HL2 (ep1+2) mods will have huge troubles or not even play again, (like the case in with this last update (beta).

  5. Some Guy

    IIRC the place where this was to take place in was d2_coast2 as that map does not appear when you scroll through the Developer Console’s list of maps it just skips from d2_coast1 to d2_coast2 and the name of the lost coast map is d2_lostcoast.

    1. Anon_804054

      You just said d2_coast2 doesn’t appear but then you said it just skips from d2_coast1 to d2_coast2. That makes no sense.

      1. Wesp5

        He probably meant d2_coast3 and it was just a typo. What bothers me is that while Valve keeps updating their multiplayer games all the time, they never care enough about their singleplayer games, otherwise they could have inserted this level in later HL2 versions, e.g. in the Orange Box. The same is valid for HL1 Uplink, which I myself inserted into the rest of the game because I really like to have my Half-Life experience complete :)!

        1. Absolutely. Single player is a dead market for valve. Since they made the amazing discovery that vast hordes of 11-year-olds will happily part with fist-fulls of their parent’s cash for hats and other such intrinsically worthless “plastic souvenir” crap, that’s all they’re going to churn out. You can’t really blame them for such greedy exploitation of the gullible, after all it’s vastly easier to churn out this short of quick, cheap junk for multi-players than to craft something worthwhile (say, HL3) and they can only sell HL3 the once whereas all these trinkets just need a quick reskin and look, they’re all new again! Whee!
          Certainly a depressing thought for the single players.

  6. i still run “lost coast” every so often.. its a shame it was dropped from hl2 since it would of been a good addition to the game …
    the map itself is suprisingly small … and this is acheived by building it upwards … and most of the action is static ( eg ..in the monastery and cliffside paths ) ….
    I recently ran the video stress test which is included in lost coast and with my core i3 and 2 x GTX550ti,s I acheived a average of 213fps(max detail ) … that will do me …
    good old “lost coast” !

  7. lj4linux

    I could not say better. Totally agree with Sparks.

    1. I really wish valve would prove me wrong, nothing would please me more. Even if they would just SAY something, it would help! We loyal single-players were a major part in making valve what they are today, but now they’re big & greasy & fat they show us the FINGER. Thanks for that, GABEN. Just remember – the higher you climb, the further it is to fall! Don’t you come knocking on my door someday, hawking a carrier bag full of tatty old 1986 cover discs; you’ll most certainly get the bum’s rush.

      Yeah, “As If!” I know – but still, I like to imagine it.. 🙂

  8. Greenman

    What’s with the ugly full bright thumbnail?

    1. That’s the view you get from the other side. I thought readers might be curious.

  9. Unq

    I really liked this. If you take Lost Coast for what it is, i.e. an experiment by Valve to try out the developer commentary and HDR, polished a bit and released as a playable map, then it ends up as a nice short add-on map that wouldn’t be out of place as part of Highway 17.

    I loved the vertical ascent and the combat on the slopes of the hill. It reminded me a lot of the fantastic part of Sandtraps, where you’re about to enter Nova Prospekt from the beaches. The path is pretty straightforward but there’s still a handful of areas that are out of the way and you’re usually rewarded for exploring.

    I also liked the challenge here. I played this one on Hard, and honestly got my butt kicked about a dozen times before breaking through and making it to the top. Valve made good use of the height of the map and there’s good variety of vertical combat, both upward and downward as you make your way. And at the end there’s a decent faceoff with a “boss” in the form of a Combine helicopter.

    It’s not perfect and perhaps it would have been out of place in Half-Life 2, but as a free map it’s quite fun.

    Playtime: 26 minutes

  10. Yeah I know I’m late. good news is: I’m done with all the episode one videos, so if I’m not too lazy I will upload them and review them real soon.

    So, Lost Coast. The “lost” chapter of Half-Life 2. I am still unsure as to where exactly it would have been put during Highway 17, but we would obviously require that old fisherman’s help to move on.

    We meet him, he tells us his town needs help, the combine is building some weapon, and we need to do something about it. Okay cool. then we climb the mountain while fighting combine soldiers, we get to the top, visit the church, disobey a safety warning (deja vu?) and it’s done. then we wait for the combine to bust in so we can leave, we fight a chopper, then climb back down and it’s over. That would have been a nice chapter. But it shouldn’t be bought as a complete game. That’s not even close to an expansion pack.

    Challenges:
    none?

    my challenges:

    – Kill the fisherman
    didn’t do it
    – Complete the chapter without entering the church
    That would have actually been a lot faster (less than a minute for the whole chapter) but it’s extremely risky. just look up any Lost Coast speedrun
    – Reach the other side of the lake
    You can also discover how to do that on youtube.

    Five words or less review
    Well, that was short.

    Deaths
    None, obviously

    Playtime:
    3 minutes 58 seconds 917 milliseconds. still longer than I expected

  11. Ade

    What’s that extra rpg for? The one we find as we finish the ascent.
    For me the ceiling was lit on and off from diff angles, even during the stress test.
    I remember this as a very hard map and never noticed the chopper acting as a gunship til I read the trivia and played it now as part of the event.

    Playtime: 11 minutes

Leave a Reply