Following the events of Half-Life 2, Episode One starts out with Gordon experiencing some kind of vision or flashback that shows the explosion of the Citadel’s Dark Fusion Reactor. As time stops, several purple glowing Vortigaunts appear and rescue Alyx Vance. The G-Man is then seen walking through the door made of light toward Gordon Freeman.
As he opens his mouth to say something, he is distracted by blue lights and is separated from Gordon by another group of Vortigaunts. Several of them surround the G-Man and block him off from Gordon with a blue energy shield. Obviously angered, he straightens his tie and looks at Gordon while saying in an irritated tone: “We’ll see…about that.” More Vortigaunts then surround and teleport Gordon, in the same manner as Alyx, removing them both from stasis.
Gordon wakes up outside the Citadel, buried under a pile of rubble. Dog digs Gordon out and he is reunited with Alyx, who embraces him. She contacts her father, Eli Vance, and Dr. Kleiner to inform them that Gordon is safe. Kleiner tells Alyx that the Citadel Core is at risk of exploding at any moment.
Kleiner states that the explosion could be large enough to level the whole of City 17, and that the only possible way to survive would be to re-enter the Citadel and slow the core’s progression toward meltdown. Eli interrupts, showing distress at placing his daughter in further danger, but reluctantly agrees when he sees no other option. Alyx and Gordon re-enter the Citadel to try to reactivate the stabilization mechanism for the core in order to avert disaster.
During the pair’s time in the Citadel they discover a recording of the discussion between a Combine Advisor and Dr. Breen before his confrontation with Gordon in Half-Life 2. Breen reprises his words, saying:
“It’s me you should be worrying about. I can still deliver Earth, but not without your help… The portal destination is untenable, surely you can set the relay elsewhere. There’s no way I can survive in that environment… A host body?! You must be joking! I can’t possibly- Oh alright, damn it! If that’s what it takes. Just hurry, he’s right behind me! Oh shit!”
The recording ends, interrupted by a brief image of a Combine Advisor. Alyx and Gordon are then subject to psychic blasts as an Advisor Pod is transported through a tube in the control room. They then proceed down a glass elevator to the Citadel Core.
No known trivia for this chapter.
Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
I won’t be covering the Episode One achievements in the same way as I did in the Half-Life 2 TREE event, because they are less chapter based. However, HLFallout.Net has an excellent guide that I can highly recommend.
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.
The intro and trivia text are 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 2: Episode One.
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 2: Episode One directly through Steam and could be playing in within moments, depending on your internet connection.
Ooooh, here we go.I only have a few memories of EP1, well, that’;s not strictly true, it’s just one really and that’s the few minutes from being found by do to the van-throw and ride. After that, the whole game is a blank. I *think* there’s a really cool part right at the end, but I might be confusing that with a mod.
So, in many ways this isn’t strictly a replay experience for me as it’s all pretty much new. yes, my memory is really that bad.
Enough deflecting, let’s talk about this chapter. I’m still a little unclear how I came to be in the rubble – I would have though the Gman might have put me down somewhere else, but who knows what he had in mind.
Anyway, we are given a quick puzzle right at the start to get us familiar with the gravity gun and the story so far is updated by Eli and “Izzy”. The throw across the canyon is pretty cool and the whole feel of destruction and escape is very well done within the Citadel.
And let’s no forget the encounter with the Advisor, which is pretty strange at the time.
This is a ell constructed and planned level that had me feeling I was back in the action as if no time had gone by. Everything seems familiar and I know that I have a lot of action ahead of me.
From image 75 you will notice I don’t have a weapon or HUD. I was playing and turned around and had what I thought was a beautiful view, so I got rid of them and played like that until I picked up another weapon. I might bind the commands to a key because playing without them (you can still “use” weapons) gives it a cinematic feel – try it.
Playtime: 32 minutes
You don’t have a bad memory, Phillip, I don’t think Episode 1 was that memorable.
What’s interesting is that I remember parts of it:
– Being tossed into the Citadel by Dog.
– The big singularity “ball.”
– The parking garage.
– The hospital.
– The train ride at the end.
But those are all locations. In terms of gameplay, there’s very little that stands out, and what does is born from negative emotions. I only have memories of being annoyed at all the “push the car over the Antlion hole” situations and the tedious ferrying-the-civilians scenario at the end.
One thing worth considering is that the entire episode takes place in City 17, but more specifically, the downtown core. Unlike HL2 itself, you don’t get the visual variety of canals, the train yards, town squares, etc. It’s all the same nondescript buildings, glazed with the same amber-colored apocalyptic lighting the whole way through.
I’m getting lots of errors trying to play some hl_episodes maps/mods after “updating” them both yesterday on steam. My shock is that even “Research & Development” mod is not starting but hanging, and I get this error message: Can’t find background image materials/console/startup_loading.vtf
Any help with this?
Sorry for off topic!!!
I think you have just updated to SteamPipe Beta. It change all files locations.
Maps must be placed in SteamApps\common\Half-Life 2\hl2/episodic/ep2\maps
Mods can be placed in a “custom” folder you must create in the hl2/episodic/ep2 folders. Then run the game, it will start being the mod. Remove or rename the custom folder to restore the original game.
You also can find many info on many forums.
I’v been searching everywhere, with lame solutions. I’ll try yours, and see. Thanks for the tip:)
Some maps, mods work though. Strange…
Undue Alarm is a very good chapter, probably because of decor, that what I believe at least. Even now I still being impressed by this superb intro.
By an unbelievable chance, or thanks to Vorts, Gordon is extracted from the ruins by Dog and Alyx. Who could think that he was there?
The first part of the chapter, up to the entrance in Citadel define the game scenario. It is necessary to enter the Citadel to prevent it from blowing up. Of course Gordon is recommended without consultation of his advice for this dangerous mission. It reminds me of Uplink.
As in “Our Benefactors” the mapping is superb,when it’s not the same, but this time we cross devastated zones livened up with numerous special effects like the gravitational crusher.
The enemies are not much present despite of the super Gravity-Gun, but their occurring during the puzzles is interesting, as it is also necessary to protect Alyx. In this chapter we also learn about Stalkers who are not really our enemies.
The last stage in the elevator is without doubt the most difficult of all game, if not all Half-Life saga. No matter the level of difficulty here, in 5 minutes I should be killed more times than in all Half-Life 2.
CAUGHT MY EYES
Ouch! I have broken my neck in that van!
One at the first puzzles with rollerballs, and eleven (yes 11 times!) in the elevator.
MY FRENCH LET’s PLAY
I “was” going to play The HL2 series again using FakeFactory’s 12.21 mod, BUT since Steam was so gracious to “UPDATE” my files!! 🙁 It don’t work now!!! Yes they did a grand job!! I wonder what else won’t work now??? 😀
Well… the same happened to me. “FAILED TO START GAME (MISSING EXECUTABLE)”. The only game that still works is HL1. And I spent a few hours to erase-reinstall-download all…
A few years ago I had some problems and asked Valve if there is something I could do. What do you think they answered??? NOTHING!
I’ve payed for the game though…
“You’ll not be speaking to anyyy-body, and you’ll LIKE it that way!!”
(Super Size Me)
I’ve managed somehow to make it work. About the mods – obviously there’s only one who’s still starting: “Deep Down”
But spending another hour on the internet.. Voila! James’s mod is the key.
It’s all about gameinfo.txt: replace from SearcPaths all of the file with the text from Deep Down gameinfo. E.G. the gameinfo of Strider Mountain is:
game “Strider Mountain”
developer “SPY Baltic TB Cubedude89”
// First, mount all user customizations. This will search for VPKs and subfolders
// and mount them in alphabetical order. The easiest way to distribute a mod is to
// pack up the custom content into a VPK. To “install” a mod, just drop it in this
// Note that this folder is scanned only when the game is booted.
// We search VPK files before ordinary folders, because most files will be found in
// VPK and we can avoid making thousands of file system calls to attempt to open files
// in folders where they don’t exist. (Searching a VPK is much faster than making an operating
// system call.)
// Now search loose files. We’ll set the directory containing the gameinfo.txt file
// as the first “mod” search path (after any user customizations). This is also the one
// that’s used when writing to the “mod” path.
// Add the HL2 directory as a game search path. This is also where where writes
// to the “game” path go.
// Where the game’s binaries are
// Last, mount in shared HL2 loose files
Sorry Phillip, I know that is completely off-topic but it seems that Sparks and me we are both thinking the same way.
Very nice research, A+ for effort. When I get time I’ll try it out. If Users can formulate a workable fix, it will be a joyous day indeed. This sounds very promising, if the turdpipe only changes locational pointers, a fix might be feasible. My worry is that the damage is more fundamental, worse than pink checkerboards, more along the perma-crash lines. Then we’re screwed. But good going so far, anyway! 🙂
That’s the link:
Right away we have something different in Episode 1 – it picks up right where we left off in Half-Life 2. For once, we get some answers instead of just questions. We see how Alyx lives through the reactor explosion.
The important part of this first chapter of Episode 1 is that it supplants the Gman as the main antagonist of our story. The vortigaunts interfere with his plans, and for the first time we see some anger and perhaps vulnerability from him. Soon to be introduced are the Combine advisors, who really become the “big bad” in the next episode. On second thought, I think the Gman certainly remains the main antagonist of the overall story, just perhaps not the main villain. It’s also interesting to note that he’s not heard from again until the key part in Episode 2 when he again rudely interrupts you.
As for the chapter content itself, I’m a bit wishy-washy on it. Yes, it’s a little fun with Dog and getting back into the Citadel, but overall the gameplay here is a bit mundane. It’s excusable though, it’s a nice way to continue the action while still allowing the player to ease into the combat fairly gently. This first chapter is puzzle-heavy as well which also helps you get back into the flow of things without too much of a challenge. That said, I had a grenade go off right next to me and had to spend a tense several minutes at 6 health. But things worked out, you’ll be glad to know.
Also interesting to see how Valve first gets around the age old problem of how to get the player to look up – as soon as Dog grabs you and gets out of your field of vision, you’re staring straight up into the awesome storm at the top of the Citadel.
Playtime: 30 minutes
I’m just waiting for my lets play vid to upload.
But in the mean time I thought I’d just share my general opinion of Episode 1. I think it gets a bit more flak than it deserves.
Basically, Valve took what they had created with HL2 and perfected it giving us simply more of the same. Alyx’s AI is far more improved, graphics improved, better level design and some memorable moments along the way.
This time we move backwards from the citadel out through C17.
It seems odd to think that Zombine weren’t in HL2 but it just shows how much Ep1 works well as an extension of the original game. It’s hard for many people to separate HL2 and Ep1 in their minds. Not for lack of memorable moments but due to the fact the environments don’t change and the gameplay is much the same.
But just because it’s more of the same, doesn’t mean we should write off Ep1. I think it has a lot to offer some of my most memorable moments from the whole cannon can be found here.
Its also telling that many mods have mirrored Ep1’s structure and puzzles as to what an impact it has had.
Ep2 really expanded the HL2 universe but Ep1 showed us how HL2 classic gameplay should be done.
Episode 1 is starting? here’s a little trailer I made about My upcoming videos 😀
And here is Undue Alarm.
Episode 1 picks up where Half-Life two left us. It’s pretty obvious that things aren’t going as gman planned. I don’t know how long he intended to put Gordon in stasis for this time, but the vortigaunts saved us and brought us right back in the action with less than a day missed. They also saved Alyx, who was probably going to get killed by the explosion. For the first time in the serie, something actually looks like it affected the gman, and that’s pretty cool.
Anyway, Dog finds us buried under some debris, then Kleiner informs us that the core will explode really soon and we need to stabilize it before leaving. Okay then, who’s got the hazard suit?
A pretty majestic flight in a car, then we move around the citadel and the soldiers don’t seem to care about us at first. At some point, they decide to act, as if someone (or something?) told them to stop us. Well they can’t really fight against the dark energy gravity gun 😛
Then a really slow descent on a dangerous elevator, and we’re off to the next chapter ^^
I’ll go with mine I guess
– Skip the rollermine challenges/tutorial
– Do not get caught by the confiscation field
Pretty useless, and I didn’t do it. You would still get the super gravity gun
– Fall out of a map
Almost did it by accident, but I managed not to
Five words or less review
The action starts really slowly
none. I hope I won’t die throughout the game, it’s pretty short :3
14 minutes 46 seconds 42 milliseconds
Where’s prologue? I see it mentioned in the TREE section, I’m guessing it doesn’t come up as a title, but it’s right before Undue Alarm, right?
Alyx seems changed a bit as a model, imo. The first encounter with an advisor is interesting, but weird. We never get an explanation as to how the ggun was back to normal but we get another super charge.. odd.
Any1 else spawned crouched in ep1_citadel_02b? lol
Playtime: 28 minutes