Poll Question 140 – How did you play Strider Mountain?

26th September 2009

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

Strider Mountain has to be the longest/largest/biggest mod ever made, don’t you think?

As you can see from the comments, it’s received a mixed reception, with most giving it a Personal Favourite recommendation image.

This poll isn’t about the mod itself, but about how you played it.

I have trouble playing games for more than a few hours at a time. It’s not really a problem with the games or mods, more me having too many things going on in my head at once.

The idea that people play for hours on end is almost impossible for me to think about, but players do. Of course, when I was younger I probably did the same, but not any more.

So the question is really about how long and how often did you play Strider Mountain until you finished it?

I am really curious to see if somebody played it from beginning to end without stopping (except for toilet breaks etc).

The Poll


  1. TB Biggs

    Since there is no choice for many, many, many times over a 2.5 year period, I can’t submit a vote 🙂

    Interesting poll Phillip.

    1. Use the last option. I can’t claim credit for the poll idea, it was Stuart C. Wardlaw’s suggestion.

  2. Senator33

    Just played SM for about the 10th time, till Gordon got thrown in the slammer……

    Will spring Gordon and play at least another 10 sessions to find all of the download locations…..after a brief respite.

    Am savoring this one.

    1. see, i can’t get all the downloads, coz the map “Ascent” doesn’t load, it just crashes -_-

  3. tattie

    I am still playing it!

    1. Yeah, me too, but how you play has probably already been fixed.

  4. Grey Acumen

    I always start on Normal difficulty and adapt to whatever the difficulty of battles provide. I found myself mildly surprised at how fast my health was dropping with each enemy encounter and often restarted a few times after each encounter to see if I could improve my technique.
    My main priority is on problems solving though. I’m not a CS or CS:S player, I’m a HL, HL2 and Portal player. I want to have my path blocked, or cut off, or damaged in some way that I need to figure out how to fix or get around it. I want to THINK, to interact and manipulate my environment to my advantage. Those are integral aspects to HL2, and by association, any mod that associates itself directly with the HL2 universe and Gordon Freeman.

    About 2 or 3 chapters in, it was getting more and more obvious that Strider Mountain lacked these non-combat aspects that I had come to expect in the Mods that were based in the HL2 universe. After the battle with the Strider, the Fast Zombies, and Antlions, I realized that it wasn’t just the combine that I was getting tired of, I had grown tired of the combat in general. Since all Strider Mountain really HAS is combat, there was nothing making it worth playing anymore.

    1. Grey Acumen

      hrmm.. I thought Phillip was essentially asking what is our focus of gameplay, but boiling it down to simple how much time per session would give an answer of about 1-5 hours per session with an amount of break time following it of correlating amount.

      1 hour gaming = 15 mins to 1 hour break.
      2 hour gaming = 30 mins to 2 hour break
      3 hour = 90 min to 3 hour break
      This also depends on how well paced the mod itself is. I can play through a mod like Research and Development beginning to end without stopping just simply because of the variety of puzzles and even how combat took place. Playing Strider Mountain for an equal amount of time would require numerous breaks due to how (sorry) monotonous all the combat is and the lack of any noncombat gameplay to break things up.

      1. That’s a very good point; the type of gameplay effects how long we play it.

  5. andyb

    I took about a week to play it.I do a few hours a day as I’m sorta busy.If it had been winter well I woulda done it in 1 or 2 sittings.Depending on how drunk I got while playing.

  6. Mel

    I have learnt to play through Leon’s mods first time on easy mode, so saving more intense harder onslaughts for future repeat plays having first learnt the terrain.

    I am not one of those players that are easy put-off by the longevity of a game, if it keeps me entertained then the longer the better. I prefer to play an hour or two a night always saving something for tomorrow night, so this mod match my playing likes exactly keeping me enthralled for a week of more, an experience not encounter much of late with the now common trend of short sharp release being the norm.

  7. In easy about 10 sittings. It’s important to get the geography sorted and start thinking about your strategy for the next skill.
    About the same in normal when you have to nail your tactics down and glad I did because:
    In Hard – wow. About 5 sessions in about 5 hours and I’ve only just arrived at Propaganda!
    This is going to take a while.

  8. Badfrog

    I found the beta to be just another very large map, then I started to play this final version. Although it’s not really different yet (I’m past the gravel dump), I’m beginning to grasp the atmosphere. I’m enjoying it much more this time. Will it last with what comes next ?

    Nothing to say about the realisation: plain perfect. just a locking bug in the red corridor. Disappears if you restart and stay clear of the walls when saving.

  9. Rolando

    I didn’t played it because my computer can’t handle it. But if I would have played it, I would have chosen the first or second option. Do I speak a good English?

    1. That’s surprising because if your PC runs HL2 then it should run SM.

    2. Very good English except replace

      I didn’t played it…


      I didn’t play it…

  10. Armageddon

    Too many to count. I still haven’t finished it…

  11. Barnz

    One sitting. What can I say, it was a long day.

    1. WOW, can you remember how many hours it was?

    2. TB Biggs

      Barnz played SM in one setting and posted quite a detailed review as well.

  12. I checked my save game folder to see the stats.

    1-2 hours a night except for two nights with no playtime at all.

    prerelease was played on 2/20, 2/22-23.

    Started on remainder on 9/12 and ended on 9/23.

    Also checked Offshore and found I took the same number of days.

  13. staberas

    i didnt finished , I closed it after the second level , very low fps for me.It needed more optimization

  14. AnonEntity

    Does SM end with the KeyCard?
    If yes, then I’ve completed it. Otherwise…????
    No crosshair though!

    1. AnonEntity

      It was just a hang. Loaded PROPAGANDA correctly today.

  15. Pingback: C:16937 » Podcast17

  16. Robspace1

    Hey Rolando-Try installing this free program to your computer. It shuts down background programs while you play games and diverts all resources to your game-

  17. Robspace1

    I played SM in fairly short sessions. With a game this big, there’s no reason to rush it. I treated it like any other full length game. I take a week or more to go through it. In this one I made a mistake and forgot to download one of the portals and now I need to start it over. I made it to the end just to be told I cannot play the bonus without the missing download. Fine-I can handle going through it again. It’s a great game!

    1. TB Biggs

      @ Robspace1. ***semi-spoiler***

      We decided not to “rob” anyone if map16 told them they had missed an Easter Egg. So we decided at the last minute to unlock chapter17 once the player had completed map16.
      Just go to menu, New Game, and look through the chapters to the last one, the bonus map. You will see that map 17 is now “open’. Just double click on it and 17 will start.

  18. paddyL

    I stayed up late to download it and then fell asleep playing the first level 🙂
    Played in approx. 2/3 hour sessions over a week. Used the walkthrough on three occasions though two of them I shouldn’t have needed to – it was obvious when I saw it. Did anyone else use the walkthrough?
    My divorce papers are in the mail.

  19. Armageddon

    This mod wasn’t very good. The pictures looked better. But in-game it was crap. And the FPSBanana content was even worse… It was to long. That’s why I didn’t finish it.

  20. Da Fat Cat

    I didn’t finish it and I dont plan to. It isn’t a very good mod.

  21. SPY-maps

    let me start with telling that I am o so glad that this question is the poll this time ! because ofcourse are we too interested in this, I know I am for sure. when my brother tested SM (he played about 12 maps while I did sit next to him) it took him around 6+ hours to play 5 maps. based on that I always counted on that it would take around 20+ hours raughly for someone to play SM for the first time on setting Normal. as allready is said above is the amount of time needed different when you play on Easy or Hard.
    i too do believe that gameplay of a game or mod will indeed decide how long and often you will need to finish a game or mod. above is suggested by some that because of the lack of many puzzels in SM they couldn’t play many hours after each other. personaly as you now probebly will well know do I not like puzzels, should I therefore play a mod with many in them I too wouldn’t play many hours behind each other.

    i play about 2 to 5 hours each day I guess, during the day a bit, and late at night before bedtime I like to play for another 2 hours in generel. for those late night hours I always save a special game or mod. there are games that are “just” ok to play, and there are that are really liked very much by the player. these last game sort I keep for late at night, I then like to sit behind a screen in a fully dark room to enjoy it at the most. after 2+ hours I always notice that the fun starts to go a bit away, the fun is not that big anymore as it was in the first hour. then is stop, because I don’t like to rush through a mod or game that I do like very much.

    thanks for this poll Phillip and Stuart C. Wardlaw’s !
    the outcome till now of this poll is what I raughly expected would be the case, although it does really surprice me that there are still so many people that do play it in one take !!


  22. Sirocco

    A lot of players have bagged SM for having more combat than they prefer. That’s fine, it’s individual preference after all. For me, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I played it on normal first time in about 4 or 5 long sittings depending on the time I had available. I would make sure I had at least 2 or more hours to play each time. I would play each map or level and get inevitably get killed a few times while working out the layout and best path to take or best strategy for getting through with maximum health and energy remaining. I got thru the first 5 maps fairly quickly as I had played them when they were released a few months ago and knew where to go and what to do. That didn’t detract from the experience at all. The anticipation of what was to follow kept me interested.
    As I am a part time mapper as well as a player, I always like to check out the construction of the maps and the elements used to create the scripted sequences so tend to linger when something grabs my attention. I like Leons maps for the detail and efficient use of space.
    I will play it again on hard sometime in the near future when I get time. The only problem will be that Assassins Creed Two will be out in November when I foresee having some spare time.

  23. I played it as a free time diversion for my “down time”.I work on average,60-70 hrs. a week and often travel in the course of my work too.White slavery is very real my friends.
    Had I been able,I probably would have sat and knocked in out in 3 sittings.I really enjoy getting caught up in the atmosphere and storyline (which were both done well in the mod) same as in a good book.
    I’m currently having a second run on hard and it’s still working for me.Kudos to the entire team!Great Mod!

  24. SPY-maps

    i hardly ever, or better say never play on Hard, for me its always Normal, (easy is way to easy). and I don’t know why but I never thought about playing my own maps on hard.
    just today I have started playing SM on hard, to see how that is and it amazes me that it isn’t even that hard, (although I don’t play these maps ofcourse for the first time, by now I know each npc’s to find blindly).

    thanks for the nice comments!


  25. Andrew

    I turned 60 years old this year and finished this in two sittings, so I’m guessing around 16 hours ish. It’s like taking a trip somewhere and you don’t want to stop until you reach the destination. It helps to be on the obsessive-compulsive side of the spectrum too :). It’s a real drag to get off the train (which is how HL2 started anyway).

    What kept things moving was the consistently decent framerate, and the also decent load times for levels. Either of these being poorly designed might have caused me to stand up and walk away for a bit.

    [ Side note: I can imagine a sequel to this where all the remaining striders gang up in an epic finale, and of course get exterminated if all goes well. ]

  26. Rikersbeard

    The opening movie stuttered on my old Dell PC quite badly, but I struggled on until the first water hazard. I spent five or six sessions trying to get through alive! Then my PC died!
    Two months later, after building my first PC, I was back on ” Strider Mountain” playing in 1280×1024, everything on and no stutter. It still took five sessions to get past the first water hazard!
    About 15 or so sessions later I reached the end portal and ended up in the clink! I was one portal download short.
    I went back to a game save in ” The Source” level, invoked ” god” mode and went on the hunt. I found the portal data point that I had downloaded before, but I guess I must have died the first time and gone back to an earlier save point and then missed it.
    So I replayed the whole level again and the remaining ones until I reached the final portal and escaped, taking another four or five sessions.
    I did the great bonus level in three long sessions. It was worth the hassle of repeating the last five levels.
    I played this epic mod on easy, which it was not!

  27. Oh my god, this is like Coastline to Atmosphere… the overall quality (with many cutscenes, voice acting, etc etc…) has increased but overall it is the SAME annoying defaults :

    1) The vehicle only SLOW YOU DOWN, like in Coastline… There are ZERO moments of high speed, just going five or ten meters, then you make a biiig turn and then a door and/or Combine…

    2) The system of going from point A to point B : you have to wait the hundredth rush of 100 Combine and/or Manhacks for this door to open, sometimes you have to go to point C (you don’t know why you have to go there, but still…) for Combine to go through the blocked door…

    This starts to really to piss me off… I’m at level 5, Outpost, it’s the 20th time I open the game, and it’s exactly the same as Coastline, not counting the ameliorations of designs… I think I will go to the end, but this is gonna take me the whole month as I’m busy all day…

    In fact, the whole point is : for a “simple” mod which tell us a simple side-story, why giving the mod a lifetime as long as HL1, OpFor, HL2, Ep1, Ep2, all at once???

    I think the some excellent moments dispersed throughout the mod should be condensed in something more short… Seriously…

Leave a Reply

Comment Formatting Guide

Well formatted comments are much easier to read. Please copy and paste the HTML Tags to use in your comment

  • HEADER: <div class="fix"></div><div class="sbe3">TEXT HERE</div>
  • BOLD: <strong>TEXT HERE</strong>
  • ITALIC: <em>TEXT HERE</em>
  • SPOILER: <span class="spoiler">TEXT HERE</span>