BM: Quarantine

for Black Mesa

26th July 2016

Gordon’s misadventures in the Black Mesa ventilation system left him trapped within Sector C’s chemical research wing.

Like many areas of the facility, the wing had gone into quarantine following the resonance cascade in a vain attempt to contain the invading organisms.

Gordon would have to find someway, or someone, to lift the lock down if he was to escape.

Basic Details
  • Title: quarantine
  • Filename: bm-sp-quarantine.7z
  • Size : 2.92MB
  • Author: JamaicanDave
  • Date Released: 26 July 2016

Download Options

Download to your HDD [2.92MB]

Manual Installation Instructions
  • Copy the bm_quarantine.bsp file into your …steamapps\common\Black Mesa\bms\maps\ folder.
  • Launch Black Mesa
  • Open the console and type map bm_quarantine and now press ENTER.

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


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


WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

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

14 recommendations, average score: 4.64 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.37 (what's that?)
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 16 comment(s) with meta review data.

Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 16 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 1 Hours, 16 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 10 Mins by crowbar
Longest: 16 Hours by RobosergTV
Total Time Played: 20 Hours, 22 Mins
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Phillip says Play It!Play It Now!Maybe?Play It LaterPlay It Now!Play It LaterPlay It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Later


  1. Phillip says Play It!

    Well, it’s certainly nice to see a new map and even more welcome is a Black Mesa map.

    Overall, I enjoyed this, as the video above shows, but felt the areas were a little repetitive. Of course, the reality is that areas like this ARE repetitive, but the key for maps is to make them feel fresh. It’s hard, really hard.

    Being a shortish map, 20 minutes, modders don’t have as much scope for building things up and creating tension, so what we have here is fairly even level of excitement throughout.

    It’s probably worth at least one playthrough and I feel as though I have explored pretty well, I also feel as though I might have missed something. Don’t ask me what makes me think that.

    Looking back, there wasn’t enough vertical gameplay as everything was on the same level and the enemies appeared exactly when I expected them to.

    All in all, a competent release but one lacking a moment of particular spark.

    1. JamaicanDave

      Glad you enjoyed it. The overall feedbacks been a lot more positive than I was expecting. Just to give a little context to those who didn’t view the readme (I confess I rarely do), this is the first map I’ve managed to finish building. Previously attempts have been too ambitious and I lost interest. This time I kept it short and simple. It was certainly a learning experience and if repeated I would do some things differently.

      I wanted to create an environment that felt like it could exist, and it’s loosely based on how real laboratory areas are laid out. It’s why, as you correctly pointed out, it feels a bit repetitive and has no verticality.

      I have watched the various videos and is was really interesting to see how people approached the situations. Some things I simply could not envisage, especially the way you play Phillip!

  2. finally a new Black Mesa map!! 😀 Will play this immediately

  3. Huh, you don’t see Black Mesa maps too often !

    Can I play these kind of maps even though I’m not using the Steam version, but instead the mod version which can be found over at ModDB?

    1. No, I believe all the custom maps can only be played with the retail version.

  4. RobosergTV

    I wish people would make more mods for BM. HL2 is getting tire

    1. I might have something interesting to tell you soon.

      1. BlackMesaVille incoming … I mean a Ville for Black Mesa

          1. RobosergTV

            That would be awesome! I am absolutely in love with BM and HL1 universe. Not to say I dont like HL2, but somehow BM is my love

    2. So, I just beat BM lately for a second time, non-steam version.
      And as you told that, I started to think why there is not so many BM maps.
      And I came to some conclusions:

      1. The price – that’s the most basic problem. In order to map for BM, you have to buy it. It’s not really that big deal, the game was preety cheap during the steam sale. But price isn’t really the problem here. Lack of updates, focusing on wrong things: multiplayer, Surface Tension, fancy shadows. People wanted co-op, that was canceled, and Xen, that is almost mythical now like HL3.

      2. The knowledge – you have to know how to map in Source. But you need the BM also (look 1st paragraph). So there is smaller pool of possible mappers. But why would you want to map for a game that is not very popular?

      3. The Combat – combat in Black Mesa sucks. To be honest I completly forgot how bad it is. In second part of the mod it’s really significant. Especially with HECU soldiers. It’s just not fun at all. They have super accuracy aim, and super vision, always know where you are. They see through the walls, doors, under the water. They are using covers, but sometimes they just rush at you like mindless zombies. The chopper on the dam was the worst. Not to mention that almost broken part with looped “heli-plane” and a rocket gun.
      So what’s the point of making new maps, when combat (basic element of FPS game) is not fun? Puzzles? You don’t need BM, for this, and there is no gravity-gun.

      1. For me, it’s really the third point. In my experience, most HL2 modders just aren’t that enamored with Black Mesa’s gameplay. That’s why you’ve seen virtually no crossover.

  5. This map was very well made. Ammo was nicely placed throughout the map. Lighting was perfect.

    After I got to the guard I didn’t know where to go so I assumed backwards and I loved how it showed you have to go backwards by doing a Vortigaunt ambush.

    The thing I didn’t like was the barnacles. They were very annoying in some situations. And as Phillip said in his review some areas were repetitive.

  6. RobosergTV

    Can someone please tell me the name of the song that is playing during the last section of the mod? I know its from BM. That moment got chills on my skin. Awesome!

    1. It’s “Questionable Ethics 1” in the Black Mesa Soundtrack.

      1. Thanks! Will you return to BM some day? Really enjoyed your HL2 mods!

  7. lj4linux

    Well… BM crashes when loading the map. Anyone in the same sssituation ?

    1. are you using the Steam version?

      1. lj4linux

        No, it’s the first version, I realised that later yesterday. Thanx.

      2. Duke

        Crashes for me too…bsp in the right place, ain in the right place….for gods sake, will someone just make something that works…self executable even better….I’m getting really bored with this…

        1. Do you have the retail version of Black Mesa? Just to let you know that if there is an error with the map, having a self executable won’t help at all.

  8. Great mod! It captures the essence of HL1 and BM – dark atmosphere, zombies and headcrabs. While the mod is short its better than no mod at all. The ending battle with the beautiful song made this mod for me. I wish people would do more BM mods.

    ps. cant edit the playtime, its 16 minutes of course =)

    1. Duke

      Not sure, it was just something I downloaded, so maybe not. I think though that we just have to accept that Half -Life is an old game now that’s run it’s’s DEAD..nada, nishto…nyama, a shame you’ve based a whole thing on it though, but really, it seems it’s time to move on. Nothing new, same weapons, story lines and old plots. It’s been fun though. I wonder what’s next.

  9. Play It Now!

    I really enjoyed this map. Office Complex and Questionable Ethics, both in Half-Life 1 and Black Mesa, are my two favorite chapters in the games. So this map, which plays and looks like a combination of the two, was right up my alley.

    This map feels plausible with wonderful attention to detail and lighting. It does the Questionable Ethics look so well, with the bluish walls and contrasting concrete support beams. Not to mention the planter boxes. I also enjoyed how restrained it is in terms of enemies, with Vortigaunt ambushes being the worst you have to face. A lot of Black Mesa maps try to cram every kind of enemy into them and mess up the balance as a result. No such problem here.

    Escorting the guard back to the start was also a refreshing objective, since we rarely see that in Half-Life 2. I think a nice bit of polish would have been introducing this goal earlier on. When we start the level, we’re staring at a locked door and it feels like a somewhat clumsy way to say “Hey, you’ll need to get through this door somehow.” If we walked into this situation, and maybe saw the guard flee his control room, or if he told us that he wasn’t coming out until the Zombies were dealt with, it would give the player some motivation for their actions.

    The gameplay is missing a bit of a spark. I think having a closed-in battle toward the end, like the end of Office Complex, would have been a punctuating moment. But as it stands, I really can’t complain.

    1. JamaicanDave

      Thanks. Your spot on, I didn’t want to just directly reproduce a map style from the main game so combined aspects of the two chapters I’ve endlessly replayed to try and get something slightly original but still feeling like BM. I love the atmosphere and authentic feel to OC and QE. I can poke around those maps just looking at stuff (much like Fallout games). This is something I’ve tried to capture myself, though I acknowledge it’s not everyones cup of tea.

      The goal presentation was blunt, but short of onscreen text, it was the best I could do (Big exit door and little green button visible together from the start and a light shining on the retinal scanner). Ideally when you found the guard he’d have said something like “if we can get back to the entrance I can unlock the door and we can escape” but I haven’t learnt choreography or custom voicing.

      There was originally a final fight after opening the security door (its why there’s health and ammo in the security office), but it felt too close to the vort fighting so I maybe unwisely dropped it. That and what I had in place D E S T R O Y E D me during testing. Even with complete foresight and max health/suit I never survived.

      I will say Bravado helped enormously learning the technical stuff, and provided motivation to keep trying until I eventually finished a map of my own.

      1. I am happy you found Bravado of use.

        As far as I know, we can’t do custom choreography in Black Mesa, so it wouldn’t have helped here. Custom audio is the best you could have done on that front. What’s there isn’t that bad though and the surprise of finding another survivor is its own reward. But, as you can tell from Dolmo and Phillip’s playthroughs, the desire to backtrack isn’t that obvious. Perhaps if the security guard used an ai_goal_lead to tug the player toward the exit, instead of following the player…

  10. Darth_Sylph

    if only i could play Black Mesa….but my web filter blocks pretty much anything associated with it, (this is the first time it hasn’t)
    not to mention that as of now, Black Mesa isn’t OS X/Linux compatible

  11. Maybe?

    Very underwhelmed by this map. Visually it was gorgeous. If the author built all this from scratch, then HUGE respect to you. Problem is that the visuals are extremely repetitive. Phillip talks in his review about how areas like this are just like this in reality, but I disagree. Even the base game shows that that is not true and the author could easily vary things up a bit, maybe an outdoor section, I don’t know. But again, what is there is of extremely high quality.

    The gameplay is what was so underwhelming. Honestly the map was very boring to play, and it was very short anyway. Fighting the zombies at the start was tedious. Exploration wasn’t fun, because of the lack of variety in the enviroment and lack of landmarks. Later you fight Vortigaunts which is a bit more fun to fight, but the encounters weren’t setup that well in my opinion. Some problems are not the author’s fault maybe, the developers of Black Mesa tend to do weird balance changes every now and then.

    What annoyed me was the final fight, because of the choice of music. This is something I criticise in so many mods, because it just doesn’t fit at all. You don’t make a fight epic by choosing the most epic music in the game. When the music fits the fight, fits its pace and rythm, then the player will get into a flow and it will be much more intense, even if the fight itself isn’t that spectacular.

    Maybe I should give this a higher rating simply because it’s a Black Mesa map, I don’t know.

  12. Play It Later

    It’s great to see a new Black Mesa map on the site. I think it would be good to see more of them. I did a play through of this map on my YouTube channel and I’m sure I explain my thoughts better on that.

    To start off, the map looks good. It has been well designed aesthetically and it feels 100% like you are in Black Mesa. There has been a lot of care and attention that went into this. Good job!

    There was a lack of direction in the map as it was never clear what was going on or what situation you were in. I do like the fact you fell down the vent and faced the door showing you it was there. This was a smart move. Aside from that, all you had was moving through the level, to then collect a guard to let you through the door for you to climb in the elevator. It did make the map somewhat dry but with a map on this scale, it did not matter too much.

    Even though the map in itself appeared small, there was still a lot of depth in where to go and there were rooms you could go in that didn’t serve a purpose except to make the surroundings more believable. This is a really good thing.

    The map had combat but it lacked in thinking. If it had a few more puzzles or what not, it would of been much more enjoyable. Just simple things that gave the player something to do and something to think about. (Vent crawling? 😀 )

    Most of the combat was against Vortigaunts, zombies and headcrabs which is absolutely fine. My criticism of the Vortigaunts would be that there was too many of them in such a small space. There was certainly not a lack of cover but rather not enough time to get to the cover or realise it is there sometimes. I would suggest having fewer spawn in over a longer period of time. This would allow a lot more of the map to be used as cover and limit the player allot less.

    Over all, the map looked great and the game play was decent. A nice and short map that looked great but could of had more puzzles.

    1. JamaicanDave

      Thanks for posting the video, it was really helpful. The vortigaunt timings and triggers could do with some work. The plan was players would only fight a couple at a time, with more spawning in to keep the pressure on. I think you found the fight tough the first time round because you managed to trigger the final wave before dealing with the second. That’s why there were waaay to many vorts waiting for you, instead of them steadily appearing over time. I think your other points came up in earlier posters comments, so I’ve replied there.

      1. One of my favorite aspects of this map is how the battles unravel. The first time you see the Zombies, you see one and think you’re fine, but then another one comes from the door on the left, and a couple more from ahead, and the one to your right behind you.

  13. Play It Now!

    Had no problems getting this to work on the NON Steam version.

    It’s a very basic map, but looks good mainly thanks to it being a Black Mesa Source map, but it’s enjoyable to play. It’s very short – recorded a Walkthrough for my channel (will be published tomorrow) and it’s a whole 6 minutes.

    Well worth checking out, will entertain you for 15-20 minutes.

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be for the retail Black Mesa. From what I understand, there is currently some issue with the Steam Workshop tool (again) that prevents uploading it to the store.

      1. It’s just a map file.. copy and paste into the maps folder and you’re done. This steam workshop thingy – meh, rubbish 😛

        1. Duke

          It doesn’t work…and according to the text included, (sorry Phillip) you also have to put the ain in the right place…but it still doesn’t work…jeez….how hard do you have to work to play a little map ?…so for that reason, I’m out.

  14. Play It Later

    It’s a fun 20 minutes of play time. The environment is nice but there are too many empty offices for my liking. The enemies are fairly predictable and overall there aren’t a lot of surprises.

  15. Play It Now!

    It´s a very short, but well polished singleplayer map.
    It doesn´t really offer a lot of variety in location, enemies and guns due to it´s length, which isn´t necessarily a bad thing, because it does it´s pistol/shotgun/sub-machine gun gameplay in it´s “questionable ethics offices” style pretty well.

    It´s fun, but short.
    You should play it, it´s definetly worth it for what it is.

  16. Anon_1448121

    I know BM is fairly new (at least the retail Steam version is), but I think it’s time we started to see (and play) bigger and more interesting mods instead of single (and rather small) maps.

  17. Play It Now!

    Been a while since I played BMS, and I think this map has made me fall back in love with it.

    Telegraphed from the get-go that there will be backtracking, this linear adventure you will take keeps you on your toes with a scarce ration of ammo and beautifully constructed zombie ambushes. This makes up for the simple area design and works well to create dynamic encounters in tight spaces.

    My only slight grumble is that the pacing feels closer to Quake. This isn’t a bad thing, it just makes the experience with Freeman that little less immersive. I also find missed opportunity with the waves of vorts at the end; there needed to be more leg room some flank routes to make the final stand more than a bob-and-weave corridor shootout.

    If you love levels that have a constant engagement of difficulty, or even if you don’t, give it a spin. Just remember to save up ammo by bashing some brains in with your crowbar.

  18. Play It Now!

    Nice mod. I always most enjoyed the Office Complex/Questionable Ethics maps for both HL1 and BMS, and Quarantine continues in that spirit. That said, this map doesn’t include anything quite original. Nonetheless, the level design is well done, the zombies and vorts are decently challenging, and of course, there aren’t many mods out there for BMS; so this one is well appreciated.

  19. Play It Now!

    I really liked the map. There were some minor visual issues on the map, but these were very minor and I do not believe they would have to be taken care of. Like everyone has felt, it needed more hints for backtracking when you meet the guard. Also, it was very confusing when the guard just ran into the room simply screaming. What was he scared of – me? I’m on his side! Why couldn’t he unlock the door? Scared of the barnacles? Was there some threat I did not realize? Some more hints on why he ran away without opening the door would have been nice.

    I really liked the placement of certain explosive items, these are usually neglected but it was a clever use of them. I felt empty offices to be somewhat boring, I enter them to find items and things and there are nothing. I think locking the doors would give better hints for players on telling “this office has something” and “this office don’t serve purposes – don’t mind it!”. But I see comments saying such empty rooms actually make things better and I can see why. Maybe mix things up, then?

    There were certain foliages creating bad shadows – disable them! Instead of having a camera stuck on the corner making camera look like its supported dangerously on the side, make a 45 degrees diagonal walls on these corners and place cameras there.

    Unlike some people, I didn’t really feel it was repetitive. I think the theme was OK. But that most likely is my personal preference.

    The ammo placement was okay, but I felt shotgun was a bit scarce. Especially in the later battle where you have tons of SMG/glock ammunitions but little to no shotgun. It sort of made me discourage using shotgun and only rely on glock, which I believe isn’t what you intended.

    The final battle was kinda disappointing, but not too much. Especially, I felt the music choice was inappropriate. Maybe change it to something else? You don’t create the adrenaline by simply choosing an awesome music – they are just helper. The kicker is the combat itself. A tip: try make a battle without the music first and then see if they create interesting gameplay on their own. If so, then add the music, which will boost up everything. For me, having a few vortigaunts did not create tension at all – hence the lack of the “vibe” of the final battle. Honestely, if there wasn’t music, I wouldn’t even have thought this was final battle!

    Please don’t take all the “bad things” I said as a sort of threat. I am not to say it was terrible – it was still enjoyable! I really liked and enjoying playing the map. These are simply my thoughts and I can see your effort – and that comes because I’m also making a Black Mesa map and hopefully release it soon too, so I’m kinda saying it as a fellow mapper! Overall, I think everything was great.

    1. Jamaicandave

      Happy you enjoyed it and thanks for the feedback. Many of your points I debated whilst building the map. Some decisions were for technical reasons, but most ultimately came down to personal preference. I can give brief explanations if you interested.

      Hope you manage to release your BM map soon. I certainly look forward to trying it out! Part of the reason I put Quarantine out was the shortage of custom single player BM maps.

  20. Hec
    Play It Now!

    Ok so it’s been a while since I haven’t played a good HL mod. And this was a good map.

    Much in the style of doing “backtrack” map which is kind of normal in BM modifications. The whole layout of the map felt ok, and the combat against xenian was nicely done.

    Though I miss a combat against some marines. I hope the author of this continue the story left in here.

    Is a great quick map to have fun.

  21. Play It Now!

    This map stands apart by feeling like it takes place in an area of black mesa that the original campaign doesn’t visit.

    The lighting as well as good gameplay (plenty of baddies to shoot and well paced item pickups) help to tie this together.

  22. Play It Now!

    Quarantine is a solid, well designed map for the Black mesa standalone game.

    – Gameplay –
    The gameplay is very solid. I never felt stuck or had the feeling that the combat was unfair.
    At the end of the map (Which is actually pretty short, about 15-20 minutes long) you go back through the same halls, but now with alot of vortigaunts. This is probably the only part in the mod which I disliked, but that is just because I hate to fight vortigaunts (especially in close quarters). But even then, it wasn’t frustrating or annoying.

    The map takes place in a office complex (designed after the Questionable Ethics chapter). The problem I have with the aesthetic is that every room looks alot like the one before. I will not give this map a lower rating for that, because it still was well detailed and the map maker put enought effort in making every room a little bit different, primarily using geometry.

    Overall a great map!

  23. Play It Later

    Well, that was a nice one. A couple oddities stood out, but nothing too big.

    As per usual, visuals first. And I must say, this map is really easy on the eyes. Beautifully detailed, evenly lit, very nicely. Good use of soundscapes as well, the whole environment certainly feels alive.

    Alas, some odd things strike me about this. The first I noticed was doors. Vertically openeing doors, as well as double doors made up of these security-slide-things struck me as unfitting, as these work different in the campaign. But that’s just a detail.

    What’s less of a detail is that the entire map feels rather linear. What makes the QE theme for me is exploration – QE may be just a big, big loop, but it certainly feels like you get to explore every corner, while this map felt very “guided” – enter a section, shoot every undead or alive being until it’s dead for sure, proceed to the next door, rinse and repeat.

    That aside, however, the map is certainly a solid piece of work. No surprises, nothing breathtaking, but the 15 minutes I spent on it certainly entertained me and that’s what counts. Nice work, buddy.

  24. An interesting and elaborate map, only a short one.

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