Poll Question 076 – What HL game has the best final fight level?

31st March 2008

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

I was planning to write an in depth description of each HL game’s ending but since I am 3 days late yet again I have decide to simply post the question and let readers fight it out with their descriptions.

So, this week’s Poll Question is:
What HL game has the best final fight level?


I need to clarify I am not talking about any story ending cut-scene or final images, just the last level where there is combat.

The Poll



    For me it was HL2: Ep1, whilst I didn’t particularly feel that the Episodes was as good as HL1 or HL2 I felt that the last level was fantastic. Hard enough for me to die a few times but easy enough to see exactly what I needed to do to beat it.

    Clearly the final battle in HL2: Ep 2 was a beautiful piece of work I always felt that it was too big. I know that sounds crazy but I like something a little more intimate.

    The ending of Hl1 almost put me off the series forever and Hl2 was great for extending the vertical gameplay.

    To be perfectly honest I can’t remember much about the endings of BS and OP, which in itself tell me that it wasn’t that great. Probably just more big boss endings.

    Since I have started replaying the games again I am really looking forward to replaying the last level in Ep 1 moire than any other level, so let’s hope it’s as good as I remember it!

    Now, what about you?

  2. For me it was Opposing Force. I did not like the end fight in Ep 1 that much, and the end fight in Ep 2 was just too much for me.

    I also liked the boss battle for HL1, but I still liked Opposing force better.

    Blue Shift did not have a vary good ending in my eyes.

    I also did not like the ending for Half life 2. It was too easy for me.

  3. Episode 1 for me. When you compare it with Episode 2 it becomes clear that Striders work really well as tough boss enemies (opposed to legions of one-hit-kill wonders). Don’t get me wrong, I liked Ep2’s climax but I preferred being helpless against Ep1’s lone Strider until you finally reach the rocket cache and take it down. Fantastic level design too!

  4. feckineejit

    Yeah ep1 excellent end boss level design was great, I did like ep2 ending but to go back and play it now it would be tough because I know what happens right afterwards which is really sad because there’s nothing you can do about it.

  5. Aniline

    HL1 – it’s personal! It was my first truly immersive FPS and the Zen-bound lead up was just overwhelming. Of course we’ve moved on and it seems tame now but at the time..
    I found HL2:Ep2 the worst – frantic yes but annoyingly mindless.

  6. Mel

    I must be honest and say that non stick in my memory as being that good such that I wanted to repeat the scene. I am not a great lover of the big end battle or encounter, I like the ending where you feel you have escape as opposed to have survived, you know sailing away in the sunset.

  7. Mman

    Looking back on the HL final bosses makes me realise how lackluster I found them all in comparison to the rest of their respective games.

    I voted Episode 2, but even that somehow didn’t click with me in the way the rest of the game did.

    As for the others, well, I found the HL1 end a pretty weak gimmick boss fight. The HL2 ending battle just felt dull to me (along with the entire ending section as a whole). The Episode 1 boss was enjoyable, but doesn’t really stick out much for me. I liked the Opposing Force end boss better than HL1’s, but what you had to shoot to kill it was too vague (I had to use a guide in the end), and Blue Shift didn’t really have a final boss, although the end was enjoyable enough.

  8. your evil twin

    Huh… 3 people here say Ep1, and I also say Ep1, that should mean at least 4, yet with my vote Ep1 has still only gotten 3 votes. Looks like some people commented without actually voting!

    Having the poll in the footer beneath the comments is a bit counter-intuitive.

    I’ll go through my thoughts on all the final fights…

    Half-Life 1: I remember when I first played Half-Life I hated the Nihilanth boss fight, because it would teleport you away to side-rooms where you had to jump up platforms just to get into the fight again. Not so much a problem for me now, I’m far more skilled and Nihilanth isn’t much of a challenge, but when I first played Half-Life it was very challenging.

    Opposing Force: I preferred this boss fight because if you messed up you were just plain dead, no getting teleported to irritating jumping rooms! And it was cool how when the boss monster’s chest opened it would emit a portal and a shock trooper would teleport in. Got across the idea that this boss monster was like a living organic teleporter, and that if it fully came through the big purple stargate-like portal then there would be no stopping the Race X army, even if the Black Mesa dimensional rift was closed. It was clever how as the battle went on the area became damaged you had to use the barnacle grapple to get around. The laser turret guns (powered by tiny yellow Xen crystals) were a nice touch, but it was a bit baffling how they got there. The security guard does mention “some of your buddies went down earlier” but surely there should have been mention of some scientists, or some scientist corpses lying aroud?

    Blue Shift didn’t really have a proper boss fight. It was easy to escape if you used satchel charges or other explosives to blow up the grunts as they came through the doors. If you didn’t though and just relied on bullets then it was pretty cool. Grunts would burn through door, then run to the window above the teleport control area you are standing in and one grunt would smash the window and then fire down on you. Nice touch. Then when you climbed back up, more grunts would come in through the lab main entrance – some would blast through the front doors, others would come up the elevator from the basement power station areas. It was cool how they all converged. Wasn’t a touch final fight, but it was a nice final sequence that got across the idea of escaping in the nick of time.

    Half-Life 2’s final fight was OK, but it would have been cool if got to fight some Combine synths of some sort, or if the top area had an extra large tough gunship. Rather than just the same old regular troops, and two gunships that were not much of a threat and not required to be killed. Still, the entire last two chapters of Half-Life 2 counted as one big awesome final fight, so was still cool.

    Episode 1 was my favourite – making your way through that train area, avoiding being killed by the strider, being ambushed by soldiers dropping in and throwing explosive stuff, then finally getting to use the rocket launcher and get paypack and kill the Strider. The rocket ammo location was a bit contrived though… would have been better if there had already been some rebels there, one armed with rocket launcher. He could have attacked the strider but then been killed, and then it would make sense that you were trying to get to his stash of ammo to finish what he started.

    Episode 2’s final battle was very cool, but I was dissapointed by the lack of Combine soldiers. The preview videos showed the final battle also had soldiers all over the place, with the player firing the crossbow at them and running them over etc. In the commentary Valve explained they removed them because it was too much for some players… er, excuse me, I seem to remember in the good old days computer games ended in a TOUGH boss battle where you’d expect to fail several times. The Hunters were quite easy to defeat, could simply run them over like regular soldiers, and once hunters were killed it was piece of cake to eliminate each strider. Having soldiers coming over the hills or something would have spiced that up, as with good enemy positioning could ensure that then not all enemies could be run over with the car.

    I wasn’t expecting masses of Combine soldiers, don’t want to overwhelm the player, but I figured I’d see a few squads inbetween the waves of hunters and striders, or a few minutes break where there would be no hunter/strider attacks and just soldiers instead. That way challenge level would remain the same, but there would be enemy variety. Didn’t seem likely that the Combine would just send in striders and hunters with no support from regular soldiers.

    So yeah, Episode 1 gets my vote. Episode 1 and Opposing Force were the closest things to what I’d consider a “proper boss fight”. Half-Life 1’s Nihilanth gets credit for being the toughest, but unfortunately his ability to telpeort the player caused irritation rather than excitement.

  9. Berrie

    I have to agree, that the final fight in Episode 1 was the best. Having you run around trying not to get shot, untill you get the chance to fight back, made it intense. The pay-off riding out of the city as the citadel goes nova, is also worth it.

    Next is HL 2’s finale. It gives you a more puzzle like final fight, by letting you stop someone from escaping rather just having a some thing that takes extreme amounts of damage and is able deal it as well. I liked this change from convention.

    Episode 2’s can be quite intense, but seems to go for a more conventional overwhelming odds approach.

    I liked BS’s as well. It’s not really a final fight, but the entire sequence seems to fit so well with the overall objective in the game (escaping).

  10. Having the poll in the footer beneath the comments is a bit counter-intuitive.

    I’ve added the poll to the post. I didn’t used to do it because Poll Daddy had a problem with 2 polls being visible on the same page.

  11. geekofalltrades

    Episode 2 is the only Half-Life saga boss battle that has ever actually provided me with something of a challenge, so my vote goes to that one.

  12. Bema

    Half-Life 2 for me.

    Episode One was a brilliant map but I got lost more than once.
    Episode Two was brilliant, but I died a good 10 times trying to do that. Got frustrating in the end.

    But with Half-Life 2, as someone else said, the last two or so chapters basically count as the final fight. Fighting through the combine to the Citadael and then blowing that thing sky high…! It just means all that much more considering how you’ve fought through the rest of the game to this final moment.

    And isn’t the Gman there? Or is that in a cutscene the start of Ep1? I fail to remember, but whatever it is he’s awesome. Thus making that ending awesome!

  13. Caster

    episode one is my favorite
    Even the whole ep1 is somehow lowlife to me.
    The Last Leg is better than The Last Legs.
    I would proudly say that.

    Too many legs in ep2 for me.
    Striders…..Hunters……… Especially their groups are too repetitive the same. 1+2
    Combines loves three, don’t they?
    In the same time ,where are the soldiers we saw on the bridge?
    Beautiful drama but not half-life.

    HL2 charms the story but not enjoyable to me.

  14. Memobot

    I was going to say Episode 2 but decided to go for HL2. Episode 2 wasn’t a “boss fight” as such, just a really awesome battle scene.

  15. Hoyy

    I prefer the hl2 part with two choppers

  16. Tycell

    Half-Life Blue shift had the best final fight ending in my eyes. As with any battle it could have been improved depending on your point of view, different people liking different things.

    I loved defending the teleporter room from the advancing millitary to give the scientists a chance to escape. It was somthing realistic which I could relate too. I really liked the way the millitary blasted their way in from all sides slowly crushing the last stronghold in the area. Finally ending with a desperate sprint for the teleporter as the Marines finally flooded into the room.

    Thinking about it now tempts me to make a HL2 Ep2 map with a similar setup. Protect the citizens as they escape through one of the resistance teleporters while the combine slowly break down the defenses and pour into the area in greater and greater numbers. Could be awesome.

  17. I agree that the big final battle in Ep2 merely annoyed me. I didn’t mind using the magnasons to kill the striders, but it was just figuring out where the striders were and which one to go after to make sure you got them all before they blew shit up annoyed the hell out of me.

    I do agree that Episode 1 managed a very good final battle. You against a strider. Even though you went up against some 3 – 5 of them in HL2, this one still felt special cause it’s only focus was you, and your only focus was it.

    Breen was satisfying to finish off but the first time I played I didn’t realize that it was actually a timed sequence. I ended up saving almsot right before I ran out of time and it made it impossible to win from that savepoint, I had to backtrack to an older save that was back at the beginning of the entire cutscene leading up to that level.

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