for Half-Life

1st January 1998

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

Basic Details
  • Title: Dwell
  • File Name: hl1-sp-dwell.7z
  • Original File Name: dwellsp.zip
  • Size : 7.80Mb
  • Author: Brenda Ellen Perdion
  • Date Released: 15 March 2000
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Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3
Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Play It Later
Play It Now!

8 recommendations, average score: 3.75 (out of 5), standard deviation: 1.19 (what's that?)
Total Downloads

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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 4 comment(s) with meta review data.

Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 4 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 1 Hours, 2 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 35 Mins by Dmitry
Longest: 1 Hours, 17 Mins by monster_urby
Total Time Played: 4 Hours, 7 Mins
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Maybe?Maybe?Think TwicePlay It LaterMaybe?Personal FavouritePlay It Now!Play It Now!


  1. wilheim6

    Any walkthrough to this mod? I can’t figure out for the life of me how to get past the section w/the tentacle, even after having enabled the noclip cheat & explored around a little. I have a bad feeling the solution is pathetically obvious, but can anyone throw a hint my way? Would be much appreciated.

  2. Wilheim6, I just finished this mod yesterday. The tentacle is at the bottom of the pit you crossed earlier via rope bridge. It is only there for decoration (nothing to get past). After you have visited the room with the 4 flaming urns (with video displays) and the room next to it, retrace your steps. Go back to where the 2 alien grunts are at. There is a blocked passage. Beat on it with your crowbar until the passage clears, or just noclip past the rock. At this point, you are only about halfway through the mod.

    I originally thought the mod ended at the room with the urns, but I was able to manually load a map past that, so I kept hunting around until I figured out how it connects. The blocked passage will eventually unblock, but you’ll nearly get killed trying to break the rock. A walkthru would have been really nice.

    Good luck.

  3. wilheim6

    David_OSU, Many thanks for the guidance. I like non-linear levels, but hate it when a section of a map actually has to load, only to turn out to be a kind of dead-end or cul de sac. Throws me off, dagnabbit. Still, a beautiful & well-desgned level.

  4. What a strange experience. This is the first one I’ve played that I had to quit because it was making me feel sick. I can’t take that little flashlight beam in so much darkness & all those steep stairs down. Not only did I start feeling claustrophobic, I felt I didn’t have my wits about me & was going every which way … like falling down a black hole or something.

  5. geekofalltrades

    ***DISCLAIMER:*** This mod falls somewhere it between “Play It Now!” and “Consider It,” but I guess it’s ultimately closer to this one.

    I found this mappack intriguing. It’s set in the desert outside the Black Mesa facility, where you explore a series of Native American ruins that the author manages to tie into the Half-Life storyline. I very much liked it the first time around, but it doesn’t have much replay value. Several enemies have been reskinned so as to fit their environment better, which I thought was a very nice touch. Ultimately, this map suffers in that it’s far too dark. While this darkness is realistic, it isn’t any fun in game, and makes for some eyestrain and even some queasiness (yes, I felt it too, Goddess). The abundance of barnacles is also something of a pain. Finally, I would say that while the meat of the game in very satisfying, the intro and conclusion are less than so. The game starts with a panning view of a cafe on an indian reservation, where you’re apparently being briefed by an Indian on the goings-on in the ruins below. The voice of the Indian is of very poor quality, is done with a stereotypical Indian accent, and is spoken very quickly; the combination of these effects renders it mostly illegible. The are the game ends in is supposed to bethe entry to the Black Mesa Hazard Course, but it seems nothing like what you would imagine: much to remote. Still, this is definitely worth a play; just be prepared to fiddle with your monitor brightness settings.

  6. mcrip

    Good installation hints, no gaming problems. You drunk too much and are in or from an Indian Reservation. Dark levels in (except monsters) empty caves, less weapons, a few stops for a talking voice and inbound text. Testing time two hours to get to the urns, then byebye for me. I favorise black mesa design and more brightness.

  7. Think Twice

    Start is interesting, story is a different, unsual “BM” story. But most of the times you’ll be in dark caves killing houndeyes and alien grunts, headcrabs and zombies. At the end, near BM, there are human grunts waiting.
    Sorry, but that doesn’t make much sense to me at all.. no fun.

    -Unsual story
    -Some combat – but like every encounter can be avoided, even the human grunts
    -Good balancing
    -Some decent mapping, new textures and customized enemy models – but not that good like the author promised

    -Story is neglectable
    -No puzzles
    -Design oddities
    -Short playtime (~15-45 mins max.)
    -Mostly running through dark cave maze…yawn!
    -Many dark places (large cave area, 4 maps long)
    -Quite long walkways
    -No atmosphere – altho it should be great, according to the author
    -Rocket launcher? For what?

  8. Ten Four Reviews

    This Half-Life episode, released in March of 2000, is by experienced mapper Brenda Perdion (aka Brenda EP), who has also mapped for Quake, Q2, and now Q3. This pack is also known as DwellSP and Dwell Single Player, to distinguish it from the multiplayer deathmatch version available. Judging by the opinions on Brenda’s Q2 map Nike, Dwell is in exactly the same vein.

    The rambling and incoherent story provided was the first source of confusion. It was repeated apparently verbatim as a monologue in the introductory map of Dwell, just in case you didn’t take the time to read it. On second thought, after multiple readings, I was able to extract a decent background story out of said incoherent ramblings. You have stolen a gun and some “equipment”, and decide to go spelunking in a cave/underground complex after an encounter with some Black Mesa “freaks” that are working there and look really worried about something. So off you go, already wearing an HEV and carrying a Glock.

    Brenda’s concentration in Dwell was certainly on building a realistic environment with a Native American flavor, and creating catchy visuals. Basically, the gameplay and challenge in this pack are really lacking, and are afterthoughts at best. In the cave, the enemies for the most part are the wimps of Half-Life – zombies, headcrabs, barnacles, and heaps upon heaps of houndeyes. You also face a couple more serious foes, among them alien grunts and the most dreaded, most hated of all Half-Life baddies: baby headcrabs. The catch is that you will be armed only with the Glock until the very last section. That’s why this map has tough spots – while there is plenty of ammo and health available, taking down an alien grunt at close range with only a pistol can be severely detrimental to your health.

    But the dull combat is not the only reason that the gameplay is sub-par here. There are not really any minor puzzles included, and the major puzzle that you need to solve to continue on the map is not intuitive. In fact, I’m not sure exactly what I did to get by it. I did end up exploring every last area in depth, and somewhere along the way I triggered the right spot to allow me to continue. By the way, there are a lot of off-the-beaten path places in Dwell, and I recommend you explore all of them.

    The part where Dwell shines, and the reason that I hesitantly recommend this map, is the design. While the maps were not made for speed (r_speeds shoot well into the thousands in a few spots), there is really nice architecture throughout. Starting with the very detailed house and ending with the Black Mesa entrance, Dwell contains some really attractive areas, in terms of architecture. However, the lighting overall was too dark for my taste, as I ended up using my flashlight a lot, but I guess that’s what’s expected when you’re in a cave. But at least the dark affords plenty of opportunities for surprise attacks. Though you can usually hear those evil houndeyes before you see them.

    For some reason I find Dwell akin to The Blair Witch Project: the experience can be effective if you put yourself in the character’s place. That is, if you were the one stealing a gun and exploring a foreboding cave, the situation is probably much closer to the author’s intended effect. However, as compared to other Half-Life levels, Dwell is really a turkey when it comes to gameplay (though I do give Brenda credit for the clever plot and ending, which you’ll discover in the game). My bet is most gamers would not like this map.

    I still recommend this map with reservations (no pun intended, really), but only to those looking for some examples of nice architecture (including a great waterfall and possibly the best tree I’ve seen in Half-Life). Those hoping for great gameplay and good r_speeds should keep looking.

    This review is republished here by permission and was originally published Tuesday, 27th February, 2001 by Unquenque.

    This review was originally posted on the Ten Four Website, which is now offline. Permission has been granted to republish the full review and more details can be found on the About page.

  9. Play It Later

    Very dark, but atmospheric. If you like a horror, there is a something for you. The lack is a bit abrupted end + long way only with pistol and crowbar. Small spoiler: after visiting a tomb you should do a backtracking to the previous map to find an opened pathway (stick to the left side after you go upstairs).

  10. Maybe?

    Now this is a really strange one that was surprised to have never had heard of. While the environment design throughout this mod is nothing short of incredible, it doesn’t really lend itself well to Half-Life’s gameplay. While the house, cave system and outdoor finale are indeed vast spaces with endless winding paths, I spent a lot of my time trying to work out where I should be going and what I was supposed to be doing.

    The combat throughout was rather dull, with far too many houndeyes, headcrabs and zombies, as well as the occasional alien grunt that you’d have to take on with a glock. Not fun on the hardest setting. Things ramp up towards the end and the HECU are able to flank you really well in the area under the freeway, to an almost frustrating degree.

    The story is just really strange. The intro suggests that we stole some gear from some Black Mesa “freaks” and then decided to sneak into the facility through an underground cave system. What I don’t really understand is why there are aliens in the caves and why the grunts under the freeway open fire on us. It just feels so unusual.

    The environments are certainly impressive, even if the house is a little bare and the scaling feels off in a lot of places. Honestly I couldn’t give this more than a Maybe.

  11. Personal Favourite

    Dwell is a map set with a heavy focus on environmental story telling, detailed levels and a sense of plot.

    From the opening cinematic and voice over you can tell a lot of work and heart has gone into this set. This is doubly evident if you check the readme before hand. There’s even attention to detail in the readme where it’s highlighted that the story text will be shown in game – this saved me from reading it then hearing VO for it a minute later.

    The first map starts of with a bang. Seeing the ornate house which is immediately trashed by houndeyes – great use of breaking glass throughout – builds the desire for exploration. The house is wonderfully detailed with a mix of brushes and sprites. The bike in the basement had to be my favorite, it was so deliberately designed, I very much enjoyed it.

    The gameplay feels not like Half-life. It’s more like Lara Croft was smushed into Gordon’s body. For most of the set you only have a pistol which reinforces this association (I definitely would have appreciated akimbo pistols for this section.

    The cave system did get confusing and I had to look up a breakthrough to see where to go. If you get stuck, chances are you need to break a rock blocking a path. This isn’t very good design since the rock blocking you has the same texture as the cave walls and you haven’t destroyed any rocks with that texture before.

    After finding where to go and mopping up some grunts the map was over. The switch into higher gear via fights with grunts worked reasonably well. If it was longer or had a better set piece it would have had more impact.

    This map set would be worth playing even without any monsters – just to see the maps themselves. I really enjoyed exploring and soaking in the environment. I’m honestly quite surprised the other reviews are so negative.

    I really liked Dwell and it definitely deserves either a ‘play it now’ or ‘play it later’. Don’t sleep on Dwell, it’s worth the romp!

  12. Play It Now!

    Surprisingly interesting mod for me. It has an intriguing story, mapping that making gameplay Tomb Rider like, and I think this mod a little underrated.

  13. Play It Now!

    This mod is generally dark, there’s lack of lightning, I hope you don’t crash against the wall and say ouch. There’s a cave in there, there’s no bats and shood be, I hope they don’t bite you and you say ouch again until get pissed off. There’s some lack of ammo on hard. And there’s no ammo to kill both Ichthyosaurs. He could lower their HP, add more ammo and surprise both of them killed in the water. Later on we bring some picnic and take a swim in the pool it’s quite big. I still don’t understand why should I crawl like a rat and after exiting kill and army of HECU without armor.

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