Half-Life: Echoes

for Half-Life

10th August 2018

Return to Black Mesa in this brand new mod for the 20-year old Half-Life. You think it’s just another day at work – but of course it’s that fateful day of the resonance cascade. Run, think, and shoot your way through the Black Mesa Research Facility as you’ve never seen it before, so you may live another day!

This Half-Life mod will let you experience the Black Mesa incident from a different perspective, with some insights into mysterious events which Gordon Freeman was not present for.

RE: EVALUATION
DATE: 05 / 16 / (REDACTED)
TIME: 06:30

> GG-3883 SUBMITTED FOR ANALYSIS
> SUITABLE CANDIDATES SELECTED FOR EVALUATION
> OBSERVATION OF CANDIDATE #12 AUTHORIZED

PERMISSION TO PROCEED : GRANTED
RETRIEVAL OF CANDIDATE #12's SUBMISSION: COMPLETE

Author’s Notes

After 20 years of enjoying everything that the Half-Life community has had to offer, I am incredibly happy to finally release my own contribution to you all. This Half-Life mod will let you experience the Black Mesa incident from a different perspective, with some insights into mysterious events which Gordon Freeman was not present for.

This is my first real modding effort, which I began around 5 years ago. I initially had just hoped to make a short and simple campaign that I myself would enjoy, working on it sporadically over the years in my spare time. I never expected it to be as large an undertaking as it turned out to be, and I also could have never anticipated that I would get married and become a father in the time I worked on this project! It has been a long journey, but very much worth it.

This mod has been created and tested for the Windows version of Half-Life on Steam, and it is not compatible with Half-Life Source or the old WON version of Half-Life. Music is integral to this mod, and the soundtrack may not work if this is played any other way. Lastly, due to the detail in some areas, I would recommend running this on a more modern computer than what Half-Life was designed for originally.

Basic Details
  • Title: Half-Life: Echoes
  • Filename: hl1-sp-hl-echoes-v1.3.7z
  • Size : 223MB
  • Author: MrGnang
  • Date Released: 10 August 2018

Download Options

Download version 1.3 to your HDD [223MB]

Installation Instructions
  • Unzip the downloaded 7z file.
  • Copy the “echoes” folder and the cg.dll and cgGL.dll files into your “steamapps\common\half-life” folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • Half-Life: Echoes should now be listed in your “Library” tab.

Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

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

13 recommendations, average score: 5 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0 (what's that?)
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 14 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 14 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 3 Hours, 13 Mins
Shortest: 1 Hours by Anhiro
Longest: 5 Hours, 20 Mins by NotFreeman
Total Time Played: 45 Hours, 5 Mins
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53 Comments

  1. Unq
    Play It Now!

    Well, Echoes has been long anticipated – at least by me. More than 4 years ago MrGnang shared the opening 1/3 or so of Echoes with me to test. I was impressed by the scale and polish of the maps, and all it did was leave me with the taste for a full-blown mod. At long last the full Echoes has been released, and it’s even better than the quick teaser I got in 2014.

    The representation of the Black Mesa Research Facility is superb, it’s right up there with Focalpoint for my favorite version of BMRF. Echoes really captures what makes Black Mesa a memorable location for me – the grandness and the scale. There are some truly breathtaking areas in Echoes, and they’re not just for show – you spend a good amount of time in these areas and you’re usually doing something (fighting, running for your life, solving puzzles, etc.).

    Echoes stands out for me because of the ‘feel’. Everything feels alive around you. The mod is chock full of awesome sequences and setpieces, and all the locations in between don’t just feel like filler material. There are some great returns to previously-visited areas and some fantastic tension set up with a couple of enemies throughout the game. Playing through again today to grab screenshots still had me smiling in a couple spots, the sequences are just that damn entertaining.

    If I had to nitpick, I would say some of the early cutscenes run a little too long for my taste. Thankfully they’re not used too much and thus don’t overstay their welcome. As a HL mapper myself I’m averse to cutscenes – although done right they are acceptable in mods. Echoes falls just short of the annoyance limit in its cutscenes, and soon you’re right into the action thankfully.

    Overall, Echoes is a finely polished experience that should absolutely not be missed. Its sharp sequences, grand level design, and how it weaves into the HL lore make it an absolute standout.

    Usual disclaimer: I tested and provided comments to MrGnang both on the early truncated alpha version and on the final release candidate.

  2. Play It Now!

    I only knew a bit about Echoes before going in, and me even knowing about the mod’s existence came about 2 weeks ago.

    However, looking at the screenshots, I saw a mod with a lot of potential, and playing through it in one long session, I can say very much that that potential is fulfilled. The story is vague, and not really important until the end, but the experience in-between is fantastic.

    Going from sneaking, running and crawling your way through the facility with little to arm yourself with, to scaling up to huge-scale battles, pushing one’s limits on what they can do.

    Some parts of this mod are hard, and I love it. Many battles towards the latter half had me surviving by the skin of my teeth. The battles are excellent, but the environments are what really sold me.

    The atmosphere, set-pieces and areas you go through are wonderfully detailed and numerous, and you can really see the progression of the situation spiral downwards as you progress, as the military begins to fail, and Xen begins to intrude into our own world, twisting corridors into fleshy caverns.

    The use of low-poly HL2 models was… interesting, to say the least, though it can look a bit unnerving at times, especially with the G-Man.

    Which leads into the story, in which I can say I don’t get fully whatsoever. Regardless, it doesn’t spoil the experience at all, just leaving me a touch confused towards the end.

    To the point, this is an excellent piece of Half-Life content, and I highly recommend it. I’d honestly even recommend this as HoF material.

  3. iI crashed on me in map 9b, i noclipped around the problem, and then it started crashing again in map 12. It crashes everytime i save teh game or i near a certain point. I gave it up then. From what is saw until then, it looks like a very good mod.

    1. The map echoes12 crashes each time I get to the hidden vent ladder or to the lift control at the end of the bridge. I tried not to hurry up there but it didn’t help me. After the tenth time I gave up.

      1. Unq

        Something for you guys to try to get around this problem: open liblist.gam in the echoes folder, and add this line at the bottom:
        edicts 2048

        Then save the file and re-start Echoes.

        1. Neither “-num_edicts 2048” nor “4096” works. I found out that the game crashes ONLY if a player breaks a sequence of the walkthrough. At the map echoes12 a player hasn’t to dive into the side vent until the main game scenario is completed. I could walk through the map only when I load autosave and start it again as I described.

          1. Sorry, you should read loaded* and started*.

      2. Roy

        The only way I could get past the echos12 map crashing was to noclip around the other side of the elevator and not trigger the autosave. I was then able to ride the elevator.

  4. Personal Favourite

    This has surpassed my expectations time and time again the longer I’ve played it.
    It’s now my favorite mod, despite being so modern in presentation and story telling in my book it’s even overtaking the classics.

    The graphics of this mod are simply unparalelled, maybe the Core or a couple of gallery maps from twhl come close but this is polished and chiseled throughout it’s entirety!
    Albeit it’s gorgeous, it’s pushing GoldSrc engine to it’s limits, and it runs like some kind of new system destroyer game, even on a top of the line system with Ryzen 7 CPU with Vega 64 GPU.

    The weapons sound punchy and are well spaced on different levels, ammo is a bit limited for gungho style playing on ‘Conventional’ difficulty. It’s the only hl1 mod I’ve had to make use of 9mm pistol’s secondary fire more often. The close encounters with aliens are all terrifying, not too fond of all the incompetech soundtracks but the intro is very good.
    Scripted sequences are masterfully done, even helping you out through triggers with the clunky
    guard & scientist AI. You will still get them stuck in corners or at doors but the hallways are large enough.
    Aside from the level geometry, there’s a lot of nice graphics to behold – lighting tricks and even animated brushes – these really make the Gargantua a lot more fearsome here than in HL1.

    6/5 Personal favorite!
    It’s a work of love, a work of art, better than Valve.

    1. lj4linux

      I thought I was the only one having kinda jerky gameplay (running Steam for Windows on Wine with Radeon R7 2GB video and a quad 1.9 GB AMD A-10 processor, 8GB RAM). Indeed a “system destroyer”… 🙂
      Valve should hire the author! All of us are still waiting for Episode Three and that kind of genius is quite rare.
      Personal favourite too.
      Mod Of The Year for sure!

  5. Personal Favourite

    As unexpected as it is, ECHOES is maybe the greatest vanilla HL1 mod of all time.

    Developed for 5 years by a “one man army”, MrGnang, a fellow HL1 and mod fan who wanted to create a mod to thank VALVe and the community for 20 years of good services, for 5 years, informations were scarce and basically it look like another “survivor in Black Mesa post Resonance Cascade” as we’ve seen countless times already, like VISITORS, CASE CLOSED, OPERATION NOVA, but also OPPOSING FORCE, BLUE SHIFT (duh), etc….

    In the end, from the teaser trailer a few weeks ago, to the first minutes of gameplay, it turned out to be an incredible experience, the ultimate project born out from 20 years of intense HL1 games and mod’s.

    First of all, it has upgraded graphics to the point of being very “Source-Like”, giant map’s in the likes of FOCAL POINT, you will visit and enjoy Black Mesa like you’ve never seen before, be in from the inside or the outside. Very interesting also, those Black Mesa rooms where Xen fauna has invaded everything, etc.

    Then, it has numerous, intense, varied, sometimes funny, sometimes scary, scripted sequences where Black Mesa has never felt that “alive”, you’ll have some buddies here and there to help you, some will live, many will die…

    And then, it has a very varied gameplay, “harder” than average of course, we’ve all 20 years of playing isn’t it? We want challenges!! But it’s not “unfair”, and it takes the shape of puzzles, more and more intense fights, with some “boss” fights where STRAFE is the rule, the final 2 chapters “ASHES” and “DUST” are a complete Pandemonium where every hostile forces, be it Xen or HECU, will get to you in a maelstrom of blood, explosions, and complete mass destruction, to the point or you won’t be able to take your breath.
    It’s not only “puzzles” nor “fights”, it’s also a “survival horror” trip where sometimes you’ll have to flee undestructible horrors, be it your ‘nemesis’, a Garg from the beginning to the end of the mod which will stalk you here and there, wreak havoc and disappear until your next battle, or that insane part with “Mr Friendly”, that cut enemy which is back here for a few thrills.

    Finally, after all of this, be it graphics, map’s, gameplay… What can I add as the cherry on the cake?
    Ah, it’s the story. The story of that BM survivor you play, in the end, you see, there is a twist for that story, you are closely followed by the Gman, you’ll see him many times, but why?

    In the end, the last chapter ECHOES answer it all From the beginning, who you are playing is… Azian Vance, Alyx Vance’s mother… In the end, her baby is taken away from BM’s nuke by Gman but she is left there to die ,

    and what was overall one of the biggest projects ever made for HL1, turned out really to be the “missing link”, the lost adventure of one of the biggest yet unseen characters of HL lore, I really wanted to cry tears of mixed joy, and sadness, for such a marvelous project to come to us after 20 years of mod’s and hundreds of projects played.

    And also, it’s full of easter eggs and links to the HL lore such as Gordon, Shephard, but also Epistle3, etc… Because, in the end, it’s the story about a battle never to be resolved, of those survivors put against an unstoppable invasion, and manipulated by an unconceivable and out-of-time-and-space character which is the Gman, the mastermind of it all, which will never be truly unterstood, nor that is the will of VALVe’s writers and dev’s, indeed.

    The greatest, simply the greatest. It turned out to be the “Episode Three” of HL1/GoldSrc story.

  6. Personal Favourite

    The most wonderful and outstanding community-made mod we always have wished for – in GoldSrc!

    Man. What should I say about this? It’s just wow. It’s amazing. It’s exciting and overwhelming good to play. The author really puts effort making every detail count in each model and texture in the mod. Everything has a little back story, a small commentary, a secret, a dedication, which makes the atmosphere more alive than ever in a video game. If this was made as an expansion back in 2003, I would freaking insta buy it. It shows how great things you can still make in an outdated Engine like GoldSrc.

    I’m surprised to see such a mod, being developed just by one guy. You rock man! You managed to collect and cut every possible voice-lines from HL1 and HL2, and mash it together in determined placed with specific NPCs on the levels. It was just amazing! The pacing is really good with a creepy atmosphere at the start as of how every Black Mesa staff would face in their way during the Resonance Cascade.

    Go play it right now. It’s worth your time!

  7. Personal Favourite

    As best i can remember, this is one of the best mods of any HL game I’ve ever played. Sure, HL2, Ep 1 and 2 brought more stunning graphics but this mod, despite being HL, isn’t that far behind.

    An excellent mod like this immerses oneself into the game like a good book. You have to stop to do other things, but can’t wait to get back into it. The game’s frustrations make us try again rather than quit out of anger at the design (like another one currently being played).

    The amount of work that went into this was astounding, a labor of love obviously. Many thanks for making this! There was no question in my mind about giving this a Personal Favorite.

  8. I cant even open the map with gauge it keeps opening the original half life instead of the mod please help (Im new to this pls dont hate me)

    1. Of course we won’t hate you. I would suggest uninstalling via Gauge and then installing manually – it’s not too hard. Gauge sometimes has trouble with some mods and this could be one of them.

      1. How do i do that? Thanks for responding (and not hating me)

        1. Full manual installation instruction are in the post. If after you have followed them, you still have trouble, get back to me.

          1. https://steamcommunity.com/id/Amsung/screenshot/946206517765036814 I was able to play it fine but then i changed one of the settings and it turned into that

            1. Which setting did you change?

              1. I think it might have been the opengl setting to change it to something else

  9. Roy
    Personal Favourite
    The Best Half-Life 1 Mod Bar None

    This one was hyped up and I was not sure about playing it. I did not want to be disappointed.

    Almost everything is great. The level of detail is wonderful. The story is wonderful. At first you are wondering who am I playing, then it doesn’t matter. Of course you find out in the end and what a twist! Now you know where Alex gets it from.

    Everywhere something is going on. Things to look at and it’s a new story to boot.

    Now Black Mesa is the best Half-Life 1 as a remake. The graphics are the best. This mod is different than that. This story is going on elsewhere in the same universe using the Gold Source engine with additions. At first I wanted better graphics like Black Mesa, but the story and layout pull you in and you forget about all of that.

    The only con was a couple of places would crash if you saved or autosave kicked in. The way I bypassed that was to noclip around the autosave trigger and come back in after it. There are probably better ways, but this worked for me.

    So there was no need for me to be worried, this mod lives up to the hype and more.

  10. I could spend minutes talking about what made this mod so great but i feel like you should experience it for yourself, wait till night, turn the lights off, put the mp3 volume to max and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere this mod has to offer.
    Oh yeah there are also spoilers for Epistle 3, so if you don’t want that skip the ending

    1. I have removed the Recommendation image as the review is too generic to represent the image. It’s also too short for 5 hours of play to have an image..

  11. I’d have given this a personal favourite….but alas, I have the same crashing problems that others seem to have…damn, I was really getting into it but after 5 attempts, I’ve given up…

    1. Wesp5

      Playing the Steam version I had no crashes except for the encounter with the guy with the shotgun in the toilet which can be avoided.

  12. Wesp5

    Indeed one of the best HL1 mods if not the best. I was only a bit dissappointing with the ending, what does it imply? Could someone explain this to me?

    1. you play as a random scientist who witness in the end what happened to Alyx Vance and her mother just before the nuke : Azian is dead and Alyx as a baby is teleported away

      1. Roy

        I thought you were playing as Azian, but now I’m not so sure.

  13. Personal Favourite

    WOW. Just WOW. I have nothing more to say other then the fact that this is my absolute favorite vanilla non-TC HL mod out there.

    I honestly have nothing negative to say about this mod. And it’s not just good because of the visuals; the mapping is EXCELLENT, everything is well designed, there are many, many awesome scripted sequences and it’s just very fun. It’s amazing what people could do with a now-20(!!) year old engine! At first, I didn’t understand the ending, but then it got to me and realized how great it actually is.

    Overall, if you like Half-Life – hell, any game ever, then TRY THIS MOD OUT.

    Bravo to MrGnang for spending countless years of his life working on this mod. I think it’s safe to say that they were definitely worth it.

  14. AI

    I’ve been playing these mods for along time, and I’ve never had one crash so much as this one!!
    I thought this was very good at the start , but as time went on —- well others have had the same issue’s! I checked my PC, no problems there, so I hope someone can come up with a solution!
    I’ve even tried clipping thru some spots to no avail! I still am looking forward to play this thru.

  15. AI

    MrGnang released v1.2 today of Echoes which seams to take care of the crashes! It plays fine now (so far) Give it a shot!!

  16. I have updated to version 1.2.

  17. Hi Phillip, thank you very much for hosting my mod on your site. This site is a fantastic resource and I am so happy someone is taking effort to host and archive all of this Half-Life content. I grew up on Half-Life mods, and played them more than most games!

    I am cross-posting the rest of this message from my page at moddb.com as a blanket statement to everyone who has commented, enjoyed, and provided feedback on my mod 🙂

    —————-

    This has all been so overwhelming, the reaction to my work has much more incredible than I could ever have anticipated.

    My intention was to make something that would reflect what Half-Life meant to me – the horror, the comedy, the action, and the realism of the world around you. Half-Life and it’s many community made mods have stuck with me my entire life since I was young and changed the way I looked at games. A lot of the feedback from you all so far seems to show that I might have made some other people remember the same feelings Half-Life brought us when it was first released.

    You are all brilliant. All the feedback, videos, reviews, comments have all meant the world to me. Thank you. I dabbled in Half-Life level editing when I was a teenager (sometime around 2000/2001), and never went back to it, but I decided to try my hand at making something worthwhile to release, around five years ago – perhaps spurred on by a lack of Episode 3. A lot has happened in this time – and releasing this marks the end of a long journey for me. The reception I have received has definitely made it all worth while.

    I have just released v1.2 – which I hope should fix the last few crashes. A couple of minor bugs may remain, but I no longer have any real time to spend on this aside from fixing issues that prevent it from working – but please do not hesitate to send any issues to me.

    On a personal note – I have something to ask. A few months ago, I became a father to the most wonderful little boy in the world. However, when he was born, we found out moments later he had an un-diagnosed heart condition which meant he would not live without immediate open heart surgery. For my wife and I, this was the hardest and most difficult time of our lives, but thanks to the incredible team at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow – he has made a full recovery after surgery and is expected to lead a normal healthy life. There is nothing that can prepare you for this kind of situation, and not everyone is as fortunate as we were.

    I would like to ask – if you enjoyed my work and have the means or the inclination – please make a donation to the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity to support these wonderful people who saved my son’s life. Donations will help save, help and enrich the lives of other children.
    http://www.glasgowchildrenshospitalcharity.org/
    https://www.justgiving.com/glasgowchildrenshospitalcharity

    Thank you, James

  18. I’m not able to download this for some reason. Every time I try, I get the “Files cannot be accessed directly” message. It only seems to happen with this file, too.

  19. Hello Phillip – I’ve added v1.3 – this fixes a major bug in v1.2!

    Thanks, James

    1. I have updated my file. I have to say I think it’s unfair of you not to release patches. Forcing people to re-download 223MB seems inconsiderate. Also, it’s a real shame that the new versions aren’t compatible with older saves. That might not be your fault, but it means people have to completely replay the mod to get the benefits of the new versions.

      1. Hi Philip – this is just how GoldSrc works. If a map is recompiled, an old save will not work correctly on the newly compiled one and will lead to more issues.
        Loading a save from a previous map may work – but I cannot guarantee it as bugs could be introduced, as some levels pass information to each other through the use of global entities.
        The safest bet is to start again and not rely on old saves.

        To add to this – introducing patches could lead to more issues and it is easier for me to release a new version entirely – besides, 223MB is not an issue in this day and age, but I understand your concerns about starting the game again. Unfortunately this is just a one man project on an old old engine, and some compromises have to be made. I hope you understand!

        James

        1. Well, if that’s the way it has to be, then that’s fine, although if you don’t, you should explain that in the readme.

          I disagree with the point about “not an issue in today’s day and age”. Some of my viewers do tell me they are still on limited bandwidth per month and there’s also the psychology effect of feeling it’s wasted time.

          One question: if I am on a map that hasn’t been updated in any of the patches *don’t know if that’s possible), could I install the new version without breaking that save?

          1. That is a valid point about bandwidth – I suppose I am just used to even minor Steam updates being in the gigabytes nowadays.

            I mark every map that has been updated in the changelogs. Technically, you may be able to load a save from a map that has not been altered. I “officially” would not endorse this on my mod page, as being a new father means I have limited time to troubleshoot anything but the most major issues at the moment, but you should be fine really.

            From your stream – which I had a quick look at, you got past the map that had the error fixed in v1.3 (echoes09b – with the friendly in the vents). You would not gain or lose anything by updating the mod for the next half of your stream. Best of luck with the rest of the mod!

            James

  20. AI

    Phillip, there must be an error with the file you have listed (223 m) I dl (13 sec) but when I use 7z it would not extract! I went to Mod DB the file size shows (255 m) and it extracts just fine! Anyway
    I tried my saves from v1.2 and they work very well with no errors! I was up late last nite and played this thru v1.2 with no probs at all! Can’t say the old saves will work for anyone else tho! MrGnang
    thank you for a fine HL mod very refreshing to play, and I found I’m still a good shot with a weapon
    just like in the military (U.S. Army)

    1. I just tested it and it downloaded for me and extracted. It’s a different size from the one on ModDB because I use different compressing settings.

  21. Personal Favourite

    Although a short experience for a project that supposedly took 5 years to complete, and a preponderance for combat in tight hallway environments, Half-Life: Echoes is packed with great attention to details… Basically a prime example of how map-making should be done today, in 2018.

    The start of the mod is rather focused on survival-horror. That is, with limited weapons, puzzle solving and unsettling environments to scare the player, which is a nice change from the usual go-in-guns-blazing SP mods. By the 2/3 part the player starts picking up more weapons and the action goes back to its usual alien-blasting self that we’re all accustomed to, sprinkled with the occasional item hunt in little side rooms.

    My main criticism of this mod would be the headcrab placement in general, which is very aggressive to the point of being unnatural, going on the verge of being predictable. The most notable parts for me if this headcrab abuse were:

    1. Crawling in a vent, and suddenly had 2 headcrabs teleport in (one to the front and one to the back of the player), ready to pounce.
    2. Landing in the middle of a cross-shaped ventilation duct and being surrounded by 4 headcrabs, one on each side.
    3. A tight dark hallway interspaced with crates, with one headcrab behind each crate (3 in total).

    You won’t rush into a room or ventilation duct ever again after playing this mod, for sure. Besides that, the enemy placement was great, and helped serve to complement the setting. I particularly liked coming face-to-face with that lone grunt in one of the restrooms (presumably wanting to escape the chaos of fighting?) after that one turret sequence.

    Several map-making oddities were also present… There was a part with a burning truck in a collapsed tunnel, but the player could pass (noclip) through it without taking any damage. Probably an oversight from the beta testers, since their first reflex is probably to not touch a flaming wreckage, but still something to note nonetheless. Another one involved going twice through a glass tube in plain view of an entire HECV armored column and none of them reacting to you or the NPC’s. I’ve found that quite weird from a storyline perspective.

    Another weak point would be the voice acting, which is a collection of patchwork HL clips. For a standard SP mod it would be considered okay, but for a set of maps of this caliber I’ve found out it stuck out like a sore thumb. But that’s just another minor nitpick from me… It doesn’t necessarily detract from the gameplay at all.

    Overall this mod is a great piece of map-making art that shouldn’t be overlooked by any self-respecting Half-Life SP fan. It’s not only a treat for the eyes of the player, but it also pays tribute to the Half-Life lore which the player has been no doubt following for twenty years now; a streak that has ended with the recent publishing of Epistle 3, the conclusion of which is re-imagined in the author’s mind and made into an ending scene as an homage to the trilogy we never got to complete (and probably never will either). So, if you want to (slightly) fill that void in your soul, definitely check this SP campaign out.

    1. An additional note concerning who you play as the protagonist:
      I don’t believe you play as Azian Vance. This is reinforced by the male view models, plus a nearby Gus commenting “You are completely wrong” when you enter the women’s restrooms in one of the intro levels. Plus, whose pile of gore was it in the closet in Alyx’s room, if not Azian’s?

    2. Did you really finish this in 1 hour?

      1. Maybe a little bit more than 2 hours, if you include the time spent watching the cutscenes and stopping to look at the level design. I don’t know exactly, since I don’t exactly clock my time played and Steam doesn’t seem to record it for HLSP mods, so it’s just a number I’ve put there off-handedly.

  22. Play It Now!

    Now, I haven’t played many HL mods, but this sure seems like one that you just have to recommend to someone who just got into Half-Life, or FPS games in fact.

    The quality of Echoes is reminiscing of the official expansion packs. Very though out map layouts, and a great attention to detail. This mod really gives Black Mesa a more humane feeling than the original. The gameplay is very tight, although there were some instances where the enemies felt a bit “spammy” really, and I had to quicksave/quickload a couple of times, but nothing out of the ordinary.

    All in all, a very good Half-Life mod which could be very well considered a late expansion.

  23. Personal Favourite

    A terrific old-school HL1 mod. Great design and voice acting throughout. I did experience the crashing in 2 sections like others have mentioned, but was able to work around that by altering the sequence that I did things.

    I’ll be replaying this one in the future for sure.

  24. Personal Favourite

    Words fail me for this. Before I say anything else, I’m just gonna say it’s amazing and play it now. This is one of the best- if not THE best -mod for Half-Life I’ve ever played But if you want more detailed reasons why, I’ll go on.

    The mapping is gorgeous. The mod maker did stuff with this old engine I didn’t think was possible. The textures are gorgeous too, used with permission from the discontinued Nightwatch mod which I think is a great way to keep the spirit of that discontinued project alive.

    The scripting of sequences, scenes, and encounters is amazing and honestly better than anything I think you can find in vanilla Half-Life or any of the expansions. The suspense was real, and with the dim lighting, the atmosphere was delightfully creepy. All the enemy encounters and fights feel well balanced and executed too.

    Overall, this feels like a love letter to Half-Life and its community and I think it does it wonderfully. It shows me how much life this twenty year old game still has and reminds me why I love it so much. My only regret is that it had to end so soon (don’t get me wrong though, it’s a good length). I’m definitely gonna be replaying again in the future, believe me.

  25. I find it too bad that this mod can’t be played on the old won version. I never use steam and don’t have a legal copy of half-life to register with them. I run a won installation with the Xash3d engine installed in it. Sure made the graphics much better than the old source engine. This game looks interesting, wish there was some way to make it work with the original version.

    1. I’m sorry, but why is it that quite a few people can’t be bothered to get the Steam version? Nowadays you can get this as cheep as 1-2$. I think it’s only natural by now that Half-Life mods only support the latest up-to-date version instead of the old WON.

  26. Play It Now!

    Half-Life Echoes is a supremely detailed mod that gives you about 4 hours worth of excellent Half-Life 1 action. The mod’s greatest accomplishment is that it feels like it convincingly fits into the world of Half-Life 1’s Black Mesa, and yet every aspect of it’s production pushes this classic environment further than in the base game. The level architecture is stunning and I’m pretty sure every single texture is new compared to what the original game has, creating something that feels extremely fresh yet very familiar at the same time.

    This devotion to keeping the flavor of Half-Life while also expanding it seeps into smaller aspects as well. There are now headcrab zombies for every type of human, which feels logically like something you’d naturally see but has always been a strange oversight even in the newer Half-Life games. There’s also a nice detail that the only armor that actually counts is the guard helmets you find lying around, since you’re not wearing an HEV suit and therefore can’t use chargers. This again feels very internally consistent and that the developers considered such things really shows you how much care and effort was put into this mod.

    If course, these details wouldn’t mean all that much if the mod wasn’t fun to play, and thankfully Echoes is very enjoyable to shoot your way through. The focus is largely on monster based combat, and the enemies are well utilized. The level design makes for some very interesting encounters and there are good combinations of enemies used to keep you on your toes. One thing I found particularly enjoyable was that the mod has several moments that mix in HECU enemies with the Xen enemies. We don’t see a ton of that crossover in the main Half-Life games and echoes creates some particularly interesting scenarios. I particularly enjoyed one area where the marines are trying to come at you, but there are several barnacles that both you and your foes have to avoid. The bits that are purely HECU do a great job of using Half-Life 1’s famously great AI and there’s tons of hiding places to pop out of and be flushed out from. I do wish there was a bit more HECU combat in general, it is a very xen alien focused mod, but really the combat is excellent.

    The mod also does an excellent job with it’s setpieces. There are several cutscenes, particularly at the beginning, and I found that some of the early stuff went on perhaps a bit too long before getting into the meat of the game, but once you’re in there is some truly brilliant stuff that elevates Echoes beyond a simple level pack. The designers clearly have a good knowledge of buildup and payoff, as there were several areas which were genuinely frightening, including one very tense segment where you’re being hunted by a certain creature and you don’t know when it’s going to pop up. Other segments, some gameplay oriented and some purely storytelling, are equally surreal and scary. My personal favorite though, had to be the very entertaining riff on the typical escort mission scenario which I found hilarious but also completely fitting.

    If I did have to gripe, I would say that there are some areas that feel a little cheap. Every now and then the game will spawn a monster behind you and they can take a cheap shot, and I didn’t really care for the bit with the snarks. There were a couple issues with getting stuck on geometry here and there, and as I mentioned before there are some pacing issues at the beginning, I felt it took a little too long to get into the actual meat of things, but I don’t think any of these are enough to bump down my rating. Half-Life Echoes is a detailed labor of love that creates some thrilling and unique scenarios. Play it now!

  27. I’d love to play this game but I’m going through hell trying to get the controls set up. I use a joystick and mouse, and it works in regular half life but in echoes I can never get strafe to work of the X axis of the joystick, it turns instead but I use mouse to turn. Y axis moves forward and back but there’s no analog control, just full speed. it sees Y as a button and I can bind it but its never analog.

    What the hell is screwing up all the key mapping?

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