You are sent to an underwater base.
Your objective is to reach and destroy the “machine”.
Don’t expect an easy time!
This was September 2016’s Classic of the Month mod.
- Title: Smart Decoy
- File Name: hl1-sp-smart-decoy.7z
- Original File Name: Decoy.zip
- Size : 3.54MB
- Author: Joe Hunter
- Date Released: 07 January 2001 / Updated 06 April 2002
- Copy the Decoy folder into your Half-Life folder.
- Restart or start Steam.
- Smart Decoy should now be listed in your Library tab.
If you require more help, please visit the Help page.
The playthrough below is part of the Classic of the Month Event, run by Don AKA Unq.
Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
Play It Later
Play It Now!
23 recommendations, average score: 4.61 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.5 (what's that?)
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 9 comment(s) with meta review data.
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 9 Users
Average: 1 Hours, 45 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 50 Mins by MattLife
Longest: 4 Hours by DREDDY
Total Time Played: 15 Hours, 41 Mins
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 9 Users
Average: 1 Hours, 45 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 50 Mins by MattLife
Longest: 4 Hours by DREDDY
Total Time Played: 15 Hours, 41 Mins
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nice mod, got plenty of action. I didn’t get bored and finished it faster than I thought in medium mode, so do try it in hard mode, as you are challenged at the outro. didn’t quite appreciate all the cutscenes in the intro, what’s the point if I don’t get to ride a submarine myself?..
This mod is all about action! Great level design & enemy placement makes this mod pleasantly challenging not frustrating. Not the greatest mod ever, but one of the best action mods around… for any game 🙂
Game crashes exiting to special machine area? looks like your on 2 floors?when taking the elevator
This is a good game, not much in the way of comments posted here, which is strange. I guess Phillip would know the number of downloads. I played this through a few time and found it played better for me on hard setting.
Haven’t played this one in a while, but it is one of my all-time favorite packs for Half-Life. Definitely a sleeper hit.
Yes I agree, definitely a sleeper hit, so sleep that I even didn’t know it exist, if it not were because of 100 DoN I wouldn’t even play it, and I wonder how many more sleeper hits do we have in HL mod universe??, do u know about some more??, hey appart from the question what do u think about Heart of Evil Total conv.
I always look forward to releases from accomplished mappers. This is one I didn’t even know about till it was pointed out to me on our forum. And boy am I glad it was brought to my attention. Smart Decoy, by Joe Hunter, is a gem of a Half-Life level that I really think you’ll enjoy playing.
Joe already has a number of maps to his name – he has produced maps for Quake and Quake II. In addition, Joe has a significant amount of work with Half-Life levels, for deathmatch and Counter-Strike. Judging by his website, his only single-player episode was the well-received Last Day on Stroggos. His experience in HL map design and single-player mapping really show in Smart Decoy.
Though no background is supplied, the superb introduction conveys the situation to you through the skillful use of cutscenes. Without giving away too much, let me just say that your mission is to fight your way through an underwater research lab to foil some evil plans. But, unlike other unsuccessful attempts at this setting (ahem, Challenger Deep, I’m looking in your direction), Smart Decoy really conveys the ‘feel’ of an underwater base, plus it doesn’t involve loads of areas where you end up underwater for an eternity.
The architecture in this episode is simply outstanding. Smart Decoy is just chock full of nice-looking areas, and sports quite a few memorable sections throughout the map. The mini-sub docking bays really stood out in my mind, but there are a number of visually impressive areas here. Most of the level is of the lab/base style, and is a bit claustrophobic, but then again it is an underwater base, after all. Even with all the nice architecture, r_speeds stayed perfectly acceptable throughout the map, another result of the author’s skill in mapmaking.
The gameplay is also top-notch. You face a variety of enemies, both alien and human, and often the enemy placement is well-conceived and challenging. Your arsenal mostly consists of the more mundane weapons, but at least there is plenty of ammo. The gameflow is excellent as well – after the thorough intro, the pace of this level is great, with rarely a lull in the action, unless you are trying to solve one of the puzzles. The puzzles, while a bit ordinary, are well-planned and integral to the progression of Smart Decoy.
There are no real drawbacks that I could come up with, only a couple of suggested improvements to an already excellent episode. First, I would have liked to have seen some more sequences, as these can truly draw a player in and create a really memorable experience. To be fair, there are actually a lot of sequences in Smart Decoy, but most are packed into the long (but interesting) introduction – a few in-game ones would have been nice. Second, in my opinion the balance of the pack could be improved. As a fairly cautious player, I found there to be a bit too much health and armor available on the medium skill setting; I suggest the difficult setting if you are an experienced player, as the balance and challenge will be improved. See? There I go nitpicking again.
Bottom line? Get this pack. Featuring an interesting setting, good combat, and great design, Smart Decoy is a must-have for any Half-Life single player fan.
This review is republished here by permission and was originally published Thursday, 18th January 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.
HOLY HEADCRABS! What a great mod. The introduction sequences were a little long for my liking but very well made. The first thing that struck me was the quality of lighting.
The whole thing oozes quality, wonder where the author is now and if he is still mapping.
According to the readme this was made in a month. Incredible work.
So, the story is basic HL stuff: once in the base, get to the machine and destroy it, then escape. Nothing new there.
The reason this is such a good mod is how well everything is made and the little details: the claw along the track, the water detail on some crates, the remote control in the water.
The only problem I had was with the last lift. The double doors wouldn’t work properly; as one opened the others closed.
This mod took me about an hour to play and is definitely in the top 5 HL mods I have ever played.
PLAY IT, and PLAY IT NOW!
it’s fair to say this looks very good, but looks are not everything. This was fun, this was enjoyable, this compared to releases of the same vintage is close to great! BUT.
There’s no question about it, based on when this came out, looks wise this was head and shoulders above the competition, however the gameplay was not equal to the looks. Yeah, it was a lot of fun but nothing challenging beyond normal BM fare!
For what it’s worth from someone who is neither a modder/mapper, I cant fault this based on looks, but the gameplay was a little too easy.
At the end of the day, WAS IT FUN?
Yes, but don’t expect something as special as it might seem.
As evidenced by my previous comment and of course my old review, this is one of my favorite Half-Life packs ever. I call it a sleeper hit because it never seemed to get the attention of higher-profile mods out there like Neil Manke’s stuff, Poke646, DAV’s stuff, etc. but I think it stacks up really well next to the best of the best out there.
While the opening does run a bit long, and in general I don’t like cutscenes, Smart Decoy’s is well done. And the rest of the pack maintains the polish and high quality of the opening. I love the underwater base theme and it’s pretty well conveyed even with minimal use of custom textures.
My only knock against it is that it’s terribly easy until the last couple of battles, which are a bunch of interconnected areas filled with grunts that hardly let you catch your breath. The final elevator was a bit wonky for me as well. It didn’t malfunction but if you jump outside it while the doors are open, you’ll end up in the next level but outside the elevator. But these are minor issues – just play on hard and be patient with the elevator.
If you’ve never heard of this or played this, do it now.
Hey Unq, are u reffering to “DAV Train” and “DAV sub”, mods?? i’ve been trying to play those quite a bit ago, but I think most downloadable links are out of date or just dead, do you know where I could get those 2 mods to try them out????
Don’t worry, I hope to post both of those in the next few days.
Oh I see them now thank u Phillip, im gonna play them!
Well, yes I meant those but I was really talking more about Azure Sheep and Point of View (DAV mapped for both) because they were very well-known, well-publicized mods.
Oh ok, thank u, I forgot DAV also was the author of Azure Sheep and POV, yep, so well published and get in marketing mod community I think.
While the intro was interesting, it was way too long for my liking. Aside from that the mod played well and I had no problems with bugs. Lots of health and ammo which I always like.
I’m stuck! In image 36 it says “electrical system engaged’. How?!
[spoiler]I’ve explored the entire map, turned off the steam vent and clicked on buttons – not sure what one of them did. The button in the lab where 2 scientists are standing did nothing, that I could tell? Then another on a wall that turns the wall-fan on and off. Do you have to do something with that screen panel in the hallway just past the doors? (image 28)[/spoiler]
Oh good lord, never mind. >_> Apparently clicking on something for the ninth time works.
It starts with a well directed intro cutscene about the soldiers attacking the underwater base. The design is not bad, but the environment looks flat sometimes. The underwater vehicles look excellent. As we get deeper in the base, the design gets better. We will see impressive corridors and pipings.
We play as one of the scientists who arrived at port 01. The soldiers still didn’t get there, so they won’t take us by surprise like those who arrived at port 02. It is fun to take soldiers by surprise. But the remaining soldiers didn’t panic. They found good battle positions, and suddenly it won’t be so easy to drop the turret by a grenade. Here we will have to work hard until we find an Alien Grunt’s Hand, then we’ll be able to launch its flies at them from a safe place. But soon we’ll be in trouble again: Alien Grunts will arrive, and launch their flies at us from safe places.
There is a puzzle when we press the button at the end of a level and then the door at the previous level will open. But thankfully, arriving monsters will hint where to go.
The electrically blocked lift opened when I loaded a saved game. One time the game crashed when I tried to load a saved game. Good that it at least loaded when I launched the game again. One time I jumped and got stuck in the ceiling after the level change.
The mod ends with another well directed cutscene which implies that we might meet that man from government again in the future.
As Phillip said this mod oozes quality, I mean there’s quality everyhwere, every detail you look, is great full of dynamic gameplay and excellent amount of combat in the right time and in the right place. Those cutscenes at the beggining indeed quite long, add a perfect pre-environment to this excellent mod, and now conssider that im putting this at the top of the pops, because of quality terms,and not only because there’s a great story, I mean indeed the story is quite simple but right for the type of mod the typical search and destroy one.
Maybe i’m going to say something crazy or risky but I don’t care, if someday exists a kraken base mod or eventual official game, i’d love that this guys were conssider for that project, I mean to me I think this is the closest mod you can play in those conditions, I know Kraken is a rebel base, but I just love to play in an underwater base location in the Combine hl2 world!, actually we don’t know where the guuys that made this mod possible are, but i’d love to hear a classic PP interview with them if it’s possible, I mean i’d love to see more work for this team or his main developer, and I know is only a good wish but I think they could work perfectly in something related to Kraken base or something like that in the HL2 enviroments. I have the nerve to go further if this mod and it’s set of maps were turned into HL2 source engine, i’d love that place full of CMB’s were the enigmatic Kraken base, just imagine that, I mean would seriously rock!
If someone know if there’s a mod realted to Kraken Base for HL2 please tell me.
Ok so that’s all, play it now and enjoy tons of quality!
Okay, aside from my derpity derp idiocy earlier, I liked this mod a lot. Since I *did* wind up having some issues (apparently I didn’t click the RIGHT SPOT on one item, half a dozen times…) and there being little in the way of actual informative direction, it’s not going to be a PF for me.
That said, I really liked everything else about this compact-mapped mod. I did wind up god-moding through a small portion when I was left with 6 hp and *no* sign of any health anywhere… But after I charged up that cheat got disabled. 🙂
Loved the new skin on Gman (agent Smith heheh). The layout of the area felt well-designed, no ridiculous bottomless pits and random weird rooms filled with dangerous things. (Well, aside from things that inhabited rooms that were otherwise innocuous!)
It gave a very good impression of being set in the HL universe, at the same time as having its own spin and unique aspects. Certainly well worth the download and play!
I’m not sure whether I am over rating this because of the average/poor mods we’ve had in the last few days, but this is as good as Brave Brain, in my opinion.
This was a near perfect mod, and actually felt like it was made by a true professional. The only flaw I found was that it was way too easy, among the easiest in the 100SDoN so far. There were no bugs that I remember seeing in this, and the maps were well created and served their purpose well. The combat was brilliant although the few puzzles were pretty ordinary. There are many paths to choose form but you’ll enter all of them eventually anyway. The intro was a little too long, but it was well made.
Definitely worth playing and one of the best in the 100SDoN.
I’ve made a video so everyone can download this 😛
Already everything important mentioned here in the comments / reviews above but also my humble little person wants to throw in one or two lines.
First, if you still can’t decide whether to play it or not: GO PLAY IT DAMMIT! xD
There’s very high quality everywhere! Mapping, graphics, story etc.
Hmmm.. dunno why I haven’t reviewed this here earlier as I played it long time ago already..meh! 😉
I’ll just make it short, so here are the…
-Neat, detailed maps, very good architecture, lighting, models, prefabs etc.
-A good story with an cinematic intro …and outro! (end is maybe a lil disappointing)
-Excellent combat action around every corner, lots of weapons and ammo – also good enemy placement
-A few not-that-obvious puzzles
-Some good scripts
-Quality all in all could be almost compete with the original HL
-No music (?) but some atmospheric sound if I’m right
-Maybe a bit too easy cause of plenty of weapons, ammo, health
-No sequel (?)
-There was some more but I can’t remember now, however it’s definetely worth playing!
I recently found this page while searching for some info about my mod, Smart Decoy! Yes, I am the autor of SD 😀 (actualy about 70%, because my brother helped my with some level parts).
It was long time ago, meanwhile I worked on some game projects like Chaser or Elveon, but now building community around our game, Tunnelers!
It’s free multiplayer online game, a top-down shooter. I am working on this game as graphic designer, game designer and technical support.
Check out the Tunnelers and we may meet on the battlefield 😉
not too easy, fun to play, great design!
This is one of the best mods I’ve ever played.
The story is that you have to destroy a machine, which is nothing new, but is presented so bloody good that I couldn’t stop playing it.
The atmosphere is fantastic, the combat is perfect and the cutscenes are very entertaining.
PLAY IT NOW!!
Thank you for a very interesting game.
A long mod also known as a “classic” but I was a bit disappointed as I expected something “more”, the setting with that submarine base is a nice change for us players, but overall I wanted something else, I don’t know, perhaps it was too much “vanilla” despite the localisation.
This was a fun little mod. Nothing super to write home about, but fun. It had some neat cinematic elements and clever mapping, and a lot of good firefights.
I think this is good kind of a “palette cleanser” mod to play between larger, more intensive mods. If you’ve just finished a big long mod, and need something short and sweet before you move on to your next big adventure, I’d recommend this.
The map looks nice and well designed. The combats are fun. Nice map!
This was great! action packed and no obtuse progression.
Smart Decoy is a mod with a good concept and not boring gameplay.
I definitely advise you, it will not be a pity to lose an extra hour.
Really like the gunfights and environment
Such a smart, short mod. I absolutely love it!
I think the highlight and show-stealer is the level design and enemy placement. The way it’s made gives you a ton of freedom with combat. “Toxic Area” has a great example of this, where this little battle arena has around 3 entrances. You can really choose how you want to handle that situation. The mod consistently gives you this type of design, making it great for replay. I haven’t had this much fun with Half Life’s combat in a good while!
Environment is great as well. Despite using mostly the standard half life textures and models, it really sells the “underwater base” environment. Flooded rooms, docks for submarines, etc! I love underwater stations so I’m pretty happy with this! Atmosphere and lighting are great as well. Dark and murky.
Only complaints is I wished for a shorter opening cut-scene & a more climatic. However, I’m not too fussed about either; the ending does have some pretty cool scripting.
Its a very vanilla mod, but its very, very refreshing. Left me in a great mood! Planning on replaying it, highly recommended!
The story was a bit confusing, and the game was difficult and short, but I had a good time regardless, so… maybe you’ll like it too, maybe you won’t because of what I said. It depends on the person playing the mod
I played this a long time ago and i didnt like it much, the intro was long( ok absolute redemption is longer but has great gman voice which isnt boring to hear).
The intro was good, as was the combat and mapping, but it’s kinda boring (and for me most of the mods aren’t boring but this one was).