As the game begins, Barney Calhoun rides the tram from the Area 8 Topside Dormitories on the surface, into the underground sector of the Black Mesa Research Facility.
Along the way many new details about Black Mesa are revealed; Calhoun passes a laundromat and several fast food outlets, suggesting that the facility is very self-sufficient and probably houses many of its workers.
While Calhoun is locked outside the door to Area 3 Security Facilities, he is passed by Gordon Freeman riding in another tram heading towards Sector C in a scene that mirrors one in the original game, in which Gordon Freeman sees a guard locked out of a door on the inside of a tunnel.
- A soccer ball that fell from the basketball terrain above can be seen under the tracks at the very start of the ride.
- In the laundromat, a scientist and a security guard are playing a fighting arcade video game, named Prax Wars 2: Dante’s Revenge; the security guard eventually loses the game. A second scientist is reading The Mesa Times while waiting for his laundry to be done. Prax Wars is a nod to Prax War, an actual canceled game by developer Rebel Boat Rocker, on which Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford worked. It was announced at E3 1998 as a very promising game.
- This chapter takes place at the same time as the Half-Life chapter Black Mesa Inbound.
This section is new for TREE. I will ask a couple of questions and see if you know the answers before you play.
- What’s the name of the taco place called?
- Where did Barney go to college?
- What Security Checkpoint Area number does Otis left you down from?
Got all three right? Well done Mr/Mrs/Ms Smartypants!
Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
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.
All text taken from the CombineOverWiki, a fan-supported, editable wiki covering the Half-Life series of games.
On the left is a complete text walkthrough for Half-Life: Blue Shift.
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)
You can purchase Half-Life: Blue Shift directly through Steam and could be playing in within moments, depending on your internet connection.
I just LURV these tram rides. I honestly think if somebody made a 20 minute mod that just featured a tram ride through some cool places I would sit down with some popcorn and play through it.
The living quarters area looked pretty cool.
The canteen area could be fun to play through and the attention to details is gratifying.
Of course, seeing Gordon for the first time and realizing I was the guy banging on the door at the beginning of Half-Life was pretty cool too.
Just looking forward to kicking some alien ass!
Playtime: 7 minutes
I’m sorry to say this, but it is 100% impossible to get a playtime of seven minutes in this level except by counting paused time.
To be honest, I just took the time of my first screenshot and then the last and worked out the difference. I think the actual next level started but I kept going until I go into the security area.
Shorter than HL1 tram ride, Blue-Shift introduction continue with this usual beginning set in a vehicle. You start from “Personnel Dormitories”, where Barney should lives, and reach the Sector C tram line to your post. The travel shows you various place indicating that this area of BM is a little town.
You meet your stinking friend Otis and then Gordon Freeman. When arriving “OK, I’m this guy”
– Tesla Taco. Made with 90% of science.
– Martinson College. And no diploma!
– Checkpoint Area 9. The one which smell digested tacos.
How that scientist have stopped my tram? I’m already in late!
It’s Tesla‘s Tacos 😀
A soccer ball? That was really unexpected. I didn’t know that. I guess It was because I was young and stupid when I played this for the first time.
Anyways. It is really cool that you play THE Barney Calhoun. It is a shame that you don’t get to know more about him though. And when I first saw that guard with a Flashlight, I could not have guessed that it was Barney himself.
The first chapter features some nice “everyday routines” or whatever you want to call it. You can just walk around and soak in how it is to be a guard in Black Mesa.
It is just pure awesomeness that Valve lets us play from different point of views all within the same timespan.
Myself? I can’t stand those tramrides. My fingers starts to itch.
“If I don’t get to shoot someone soon…”
Another of Gearbox’s twists on the original Half-Life tram ride. In Op4 we were on an Osprey; this time we’re on the actual Black Mesa tram, but we’re starting from a different place and at a slightly different time. It was cool to hear the slightly different narration from a familiar voice.
The end of the tram ride is cleverly done, in that you’re set up as the guard that gets locked out of his area from the original game. I’m glad Gearbox didn’t take the reference to Half-Life further than this, it was a nice reminder of the original without going too far down the familiarity path.
Also note that you’re intentionally never identified as “Barney” – just as B. Calhoun.
Mapper’s Corner: A quick nod to the old Goldsource trick of creating a mirrorlike floor. It was all the rage a decade ago, when you had to fake it by creating an upside-down version of the room and making the floor very thin and see-through so it looked like a shiny reflective floor instead. Even seen in high profile mods like Poke646.
On a noclip closeup picture, you can see the upside-down room, and you can see that the scientist is just flipped vertically, not mirrored (notice the nametag).
Playtime: 4 minutes
Makes you wonder if it wouldn’t have been easier to create a reflective texture – and much more versatile too.
I remember the first time I played through Blue Shift that as short as the tram ride was it really caught my attention.
The scientists over the underground entrance.
The sweet looking reflective floored room with the scientists.
The humorous Otis guard.
And Gordon Freeman passing as we wait for the door to open.
Total Playtime: 5 ish Minutes trimmed to 4:41 in the Video below by editing out loading pauses.
LIVING QUARTERS OUTBOUND
A shorter and more condensed version of Black Mesa Inbound.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Random soccer ball.
Barney and the Scientist play Prax Wars 2.
Like Unq mentioned, the mirrored floor.
ZOMG ITS GORDEN FREEMEN!!!111
BUGS AND GLITCHES
During the part where the tram switches tracks, I was floating above the floor.
The tram got stuck multiple times but it fixed itself after I moved.
Again, If anyone only has the Steam version, I highly recommend you play the Blue Shift Unlocked version due to the bugginess and incorrect HUD of the Steam version: http://old.hl-improvement.com/downloads.php
Playtime: 4 minutes
5 words or less: In for a long day
My images for this chapter: http://imgur.com/a/UANBM
Another boring chapter, I didn’t do the sleep thing here. It’s actually a little funny to see the black mesa staff doing something else than dying and shouting at you, but it gets boring very quickly. Noclipping through can be really fun tough.
Are you gonna change the challenges thing for quizzes? I really liked the challenges (even tough I ignored most of them) and if you need help finding some I would love to help.
– What’s the name of the taco place called?
I have no idea.
– Where did Barney go to college?
I have NO IDEA.
– What Security Checkpoint Area number does Otis left you down from?
I HAVE NO IDEA DAMNIT!
seriously I think I’ll suck at this unless the questions are experience related.
Five Words or less review:
This level is so borzzzzzzzz
None. This is the first chapter of the serie where it is completely and 100% impossible to die. Completely fool proof. If you need help on how to die during every other chapter, I’d love to help you *evil grin*
3 minutes 37 seconds 208 milliseconds
Just like Opposing Force’s intro, this time is 100% foolproof and impossible to alter in any legit way. I’d suggest changing everyone’s time to this.
Neat train ride, I love these 😀 My, what a reflective shiny floor, ty Unq for ruining the illusion.. Mmm I noticed “Undecided Major” but can’t remember that no-name college he went to. Where’s that ball!
Here’s a closer look at Freeman, he looks hawt in white suit:
Playtime: 4 m
A great introduction. Just like Half-Life’s one there are various well designed places around the train, and it’s a pleasure to look around.
The pipes on the wall of the tunnel down after the security checkpoint are a nice detail, and it’s good to see familiar areas and Freeman! Although when we recall Half-Life, it turns out that Barney was knocking the door after they’ve already answered him, which makes him look strange.
Five Words or Less Review:
Train ride with great variety.
Playtime: 3 minutes 40 seconds
Another train ride, really by this point I would have preferred some more originality… apart from seeing some more mundane stuff like the dorms, the laundromat and the restaraunts, there’s really not much too it. I thought the “shiny floored” room was interesting from a technical standpoint, but seems a bit out of place when you consider there is never anything shiny in the HL1 universe (excluding the revolver).