Strider Mountain

for Half-Life 2

13th September 2009

AT 30,000 FEET… you are almost 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) above sea level. The human body is not made for these conditions.

Temperatures are can plummet to -60F (-51C), the brain is starved for oxygen and each step is a new experience in pure agony.

It’s difficult to breathe. It’s difficult to think. It’s difficult to move. And you still have to endure another 444 feet (0.14 kilometers) to get to the peak.

So much for the good news.

The rebels are losing the battle against the strider onslaught that keeps growing. To help turn the tide of war you need to destroy the source of the Striders. That source is at the summit of what the rebels call, Strider Mountain. There is only one way to get into the mountain geography and it’s extremely dangerous terrain. The danger proves to be too much and you are forced way off target. Now, you must fight your way through the Combine Mountain Base Camp because it’s the only entry to the mountain. As Gordon Freeman, you must survive the summit and destroy the source of the Striders.

Basic Details
  • Title: Strider Mountain
  • File Name: hl2-sp-strider-mountain-v3-patched
  • Size : 296.10MB
  • Author: Strider Mountain Team
  • Date Released: 13 September 2009
Important Note

If you have issues with the wheels disappearing, just delete the entire vehicle folder from strider_mountain/scripts/vehicles with everything in it.

Download Options

Download to your HDD [296MB]

Installation Instructions
  • Copy the Strider_Mountain folder into your SourceMods folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • Strider Mountain should now be listed in your Library tab.

Playthrough Videos

The playthrough below is part of the Source of Fame Event, run by Dan Jordan AKA The Rabbit.


Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

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

66 recommendations, average score: 4.26 (out of 5), standard deviation: 1.59 (what's that?)
Total Downloads

Please note: These statistics are valid from December 2010

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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 9 comment(s) with meta review data.

Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 9 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 12 Hours, 8 Mins
Shortest: 1 Hours, 20 Mins by CPripyatUit
Longest: 39 Hours by ivorybow
Total Time Played: 109 Hours, 12 Mins
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  1. Sweet, thanks for staying up and uploading this Phillip. You rock! 🙂

    1. You are welcome. I’m off to bed now (it’s 3:31AM), so if there is a problem I am afraid it will have to wait until I get up. Enjoy.

    2. -_-

      Hi,I play this game in last few days but today game won’t load.Anyone know how to fix it?

  2. Joe

    Isn’t it a common convention on PlanetPhillip for Phillip to have the first comment? Something tells me he’s gonna delete us and put his comment first. If he ever finishes the mod.

    Anyways, thanks for the link, since the mod team hasn’t even uploaded it on Mod DB yet.

    1. Of course I am not going to delete you. I am normally the first to comment simply because I post a mpa or mod and then post my review, but not all the time.

      The SM Team has uploaded it to ModDB but for some reason it’s not showing in their downloads section.

      While I am commenting I’d like to mention that I probably won’t upload it to the direct servers for quite some time. This mod is obviosuly very popular and lost of players downloading 350Mb will put a huge load on any server. FileFront is obviously best placed for that kind of load. I’ll try and upload it to some other bigs sites so that PP readers have some choice.

      Also, if anybody notices a difference in file sizes between mine and ModDB, it’s because I use Winrar to compress and I also use the best compression. My file also includes a 3% recovery record which should help if there is a problem with the file.

  3. Geez, gonna have to download this tomorrow as the clock is ticking away.

  4. I’ve added a link to the walkthrough for that need it.

  5. this is only a small detail but why do the chapters and weapon names still have their default #hl2_ names ?

  6. cubedude89

    From what I hear Baltic forgot to include the folder “StriderMounain” and then the mod files in it which means you have to make the folder that’s in your sourcemods directory. If that folder isnt named right then the scripts that control the names of the chapers, weapons, ect doesnt work.

    🙁 Maybe we can get an updated download tomorrow!

    Sorry for the inconvenience

    1. grabbie

      I renamed the mod “Strider_mountain” in the sourcemod folder and restarted steam. Everything was correctly labeled after that.

      My saves still worked too. =)

  7. AI

    I DL’d, the mod, and it unRar’d to the proper folder as “grabbie” mentioned above!! I didn’t have to rename it at all, all installed setup and ready to go tomorrow (after my coffee!) Thanks guys for the work involved!!! 😉

  8. Renaming the mod folder to “Strider_mountain” fixed the names problem, thanks.

    But now I just encountered another bug. In the “Ascension” chapter (7_sm_ascent), not far after the K.E.A.N. building, you see a cutscene showing 4 combine guys going down some stairs, heading towards the player’s position.

    well when the game “switches” back to me, my HUD and crosshair just disappear. The only way I can get the HUD back is by quitting and restarting the game…

    1. Darth_Sylph

      i can’t even play that map, 7_sm_ascension crashes immediately when it tries to switch, gives me some undecipherable error message first though, i’ll post that when i reach it in my current play through (dropped the Strider Mountain files into LiberationVille, and am playing it that way, since it normally won’t launch for me)

      1. Darth_Sylph

        here’s the error i get for map 7 : “bad surface extents on texture nature/blendrockdirt006a”
        what the heck does that mean, aside from the texture in question being messed up

        1. A quick web search seems to suggest it’s an error with the map and can’t be fixed by players.

        2. Anon_1442989

          If you decompile the map and replace it with something else then will it work?
          This is the texture with the error

          1. could someone do that? i’m on a Mac, so Hammer is out of the question, xP

  9. Looks and plays great!

    I did run into some install problems, but worked it out by pasting the unzipped folder into the proper location.

    Had the same problem as megaman951, but I just hit escape and then resume, and everything was fine.

    No more tonight, but back to this great mod ASAP.

  10. SourceMod Naming Issue
    SourceMod Naming Issue

    Please rename the “StriderMountain” folder to “strider_mountain”

    This will ensure the chapter names and autosaves are correct.

  11. Herasy

    So after playing all the way up to where the “easter eggs” get introduced I can’t really say I am going to enjoy playing through the rest of this mod.
    This is essentially Coastline to Atmosphere all over again. The objective is never clear, you are ALWAYS killing combine after combine after combine, the save spots are very few (although that can be fixed through saving yourself) the difficulty is stupidly high mainly due to constantly respawning enemies or enemies that are far too far away for you to do anything about (yet they can still hit you).

    Also what was the point of replacing the weapon graphics? The only slightly changed weapon was the SMG and it actually feels weaker and alot less accurate. The RPG looks godawful, the sniper rifle doesn’t even work like a sniper rifle (still shoots crossbow bolts) and the rest of the weapons are just weaker to make things needlessly annoying. I like it when modders change how the weapons work but switching the graphics around and calling it a new weapon is just lazy.

    The story telling is a bit of an improvement to Coastline but even then I can’t say I enjoy the story. Several times do you have moments where the player is forced to listen to the same cutscene we heard earlier.

    I can’t really say more since I haven’t quite finished this mod yet (I am stuck at a gate that asks me to bring the jeep to it, but when I do the gate still doesn’t open) but I really don’t think I am going to enjoy finishing this.

  12. Anon-00038
    Avoid It!

    ill be trully, I dont like this mod, bugs, scripts errors, the conversation parts theres no voice, the soldiers of nova prospekt are there?, if you click a lot of times one button repeats the same part, for example, you click and then someone say you something, then if you click again he say you the same thing , the effort of the level design is a 10/10 but without meaning, textures of doom 3?, musics of F.E.A.R., the models are awesome, but in this mod I dont like it, stuck parts, and you need to load the last save file, well, im sry because I see an incredible effort, to make this mod, but theres a lot of things that no make sense (like my English vocabulary). This mod for me is FAIL, im sry for those who did all posible to make it, but its my opinion, im not saying that the mod is horrible but it need a lot of fixes, and for example theres a lot of frustating scenes with the cam, because you wanna play and then the camera took the control. sry

    1. Leck

      sry I appeared like: anonymous , im Leck

    2. Leck

      forgot to say that I dont like the textures of doom 3 because appear the sign of UAC (Union Aerospace) and some textures are the doors of delta labs (you can see the sign of Delta labs when is just an storage)

      1. Kyouryuu

        This was something that was called out back in the Pre-Release, and apparently the authors didn’t have the common decency toward the original developers to remove them in the final build.

        While I doubt iD or Monolith would hunt someone down for it, the overall effect is just tacky.

  13. Tony

    Is anyone else having trouble with the sound ?
    When installing I’m getting a data error in :
    stridermountain\sound\music\sm\sm6BLENDER_GEAR_LOOP.WAV it says the file is broken

    Also on the new part of the game other WAV files are missing according to the console.

  14. Gradius
    Think Twice

    I can appreciate alot of effort went into this but overall I don’t think it works. It feels like a CSS mod, not a HL2 one. The levels involve huge amounts of back tracking and are really too non-linear for their own good at times, the textures are often ripped from CSS and Doom3 and this gives it a very mismatched feeling. The enemy placement also leaves something to be desired with enemies seemingly only popping up in huge groups, making it rather hard to take them out when no cover is available and all you have is an SMG and a Pistol. I enjoyed the rather cinematic intro and the fact that Combine-Balls had a reload period before being able to fire again, these were refreshing twists. But really they felt like the only thing refreshing about this mod, I would have honestly prefered it if it was a quarter of the size (it feels too long, others may feel differently, but I prefer mods that can be finished in a couple sittings) and the map/enemy layouts were improved.

  15. tungsten

    am I being thick where are the crosshairs??? I am running out of bullets all the time as the combines are always in the dark & without crosshairs its twice as hard

    1. Joe

      At various points in this mod, the cinematic cutscenes will hide the HUD and the crosshairs to show you something. If they do not return, here’s how to get them back…

      first type in “sv_cheats 1”
      for a missing HUD, type “cl_drawhud 1”
      for a missind crosshair, “crosshair 1”

      it’s just the modder’s inability to handle cutscenes properly. I died during a cutscene once in this mod.

  16. Joe

    well said, my man.

  17. fasteddie

    I loaded the 398 mb from Strider Mountain. I’ve already played the first five levels, but it does not let me start at the sixth level as it seems greyed out. How do I just start at the sixth level? Thanks

    1. Baltic Forever

      Sorry I didn’t reply sooner to your question, but I’ve been very busy.

      You should have been able to start the mod from chapter 6 because that chapter should have been unlocked. But you can still start from chapter 6 by typing the following into the console;

      map 6_sm_garrison

  18. yeah, the crosshair wasn’t there for me either. just open the console, and type in “crosshair 1” to enable the crosshair

  19. Play It Now!

    Well, I gave it a play it now. I enjoyed the mod for the most part, the mapping was great, but there were a few things that nagged at me throughout the game. The weapons were pretty awful. First off, the pistol model was nice, but the old Hl2 pistol sound kinda killed it. The smg was alright, but the G3 Pulse rifle replacement was kinda lacking. They should have at least replaced the sounds. I mean, the reloading was ridiculous, they could have used even the Counter-Strike sounds as a replacement. If they are going to use other models like that, I’m pretty sure most come with their own sounds. Now aside from all of that, it is a great mod. You should definitely give it a try.

  20. john

    Thank you Phillip and Leon for getting the mod online for a download.

    There I was surrounded by Antlions with no where to go. Now I feel my life has a purpose again. To the top and nothing shall stop me. Except what Leon and bud’s have placed in my way. Hehe.
    Thanks guys.

    1. I don’t deserve any thanks, it was Leon, Baltic, CubeDude89 and TBB (The SM Team) who deserve all the thanks.

  21. Baltic Forever

    I’m currently uploading a fixed version of Strider Mountain which will create the correct SourceMods directory, but it will probably be tomorrow before Phillip can repackage it and have it ready for download.

    This is a new FULL version of the mod but I will also be uploading a patch tomorrow evening which fixes a couple of bugs in map8.

    1. Joe

      Perhaps you can do some touch-up mapping fixes as well, and some sound effect fixing as well. Someone mentioned you could have even used CS:S sounds to replace the AR2’s Combine-like reload sound. You really should change that one, if nothing else lol

  22. anonymous
    Avoid It!

    Uninspired, repetitive, boring.

  23. Chuck
    Personal Favourite

    To the SM Team…thanks for this epic release! I’m not going to sit here and be overly critical on the little things. Is the thing perfect? No. Is is merely OK? No.
    Is it really good, fun to play, long, difficult and worth playing? Hell Yes!
    Is it free? YES! You guys did a great job and I think this is a worthy addition to the PP Hall Of Fame for 2009.

  24. Ag3nt-X
    Think Twice

    So much party for a not so nice mod.

    First of all, the lack of organization on the archive, feels like a rushed release, I always test the archive in various computers before releasing it on the internet, to see if everything is right, the titles are all bugged, with the #blablabla stuff, because of bad name on the folder. Missing sounds, there’s no sound for the speech of the intro guy, the weapons uses the original HL2 sounds, making that AS50 sniper rifle even more ridiculous to sound like an crossbow and etc.

    Second, gameplay, boring and way too hard, basically “press-the-button-or-take-keycard” all the game, and everytime you do that, you need expect a lot of combines to fill the area. When I saw the car I said “Finally, I’ll escape of this combine fest”, but no, I drove like 5 minutes and there was me again, on foot shooting thousand of combines.

    Third, as mentioned by almost everyone, the weapon models aren’t nice, that M4 shooting out of the grenade launcher isn’t nice, the AS50 sniper have a nice model and texture, but bad animations and its holding on the left side, also it looks so ridiculous replacing the crossbow, you guys should have coded a new weapon instead of replacing. The icepick was a nice idea but could have used another model (Like the HL2 Beta one), everyone can see that the model is from CSS, you re-textured the hands with HL2 colors, but you still can see the finger nails. The shotgun and the other weapons are ok, but majority of them was just a copy pasta job, they’re all free to download on sites like FPSBanana etc.

    Also there’s some things which doesn’t need so much attention but always can improve the quality, such as the grammar, very, very bad in this mod.

    Now the good things…

    The maps, as I said somewhere, this is the only part where the mod worth the download, the level design here is very professional, beautifull horizons and etc, very nice.

    The portal data thing was an improvement on the gameplay, I liked it.

    The cutscenes, altought most of them was bugged with missing sounds, was a nice ‘rest” for the combats.

    The lenght, very big mod, it took me almost 20 hours of gameplay, it’s more big than the original HL2 I think.

    I gave a “Think Twice” rating because I think this mod feels rushed, the gameplay is boring and I almost had no fun playing it. Don’t get impressed by the looks, think twice before downloading.

  25. Neoka
    Think Twice

    To be honest, one of the worst mods I have EVER played.

  26. Updated File
    Updated File

    An updated file is now available

    I am uploading this to FileFront as I type and will post that link as soon as possible.

  27. Pingback: HL2 & HL1 SP Maps & Mods - polska baza map I modyfikacji single player dla Half-Life 2 & Half-Life 1 » Garść informacji…

  28. New version of the file is now available from FileFront (see the main post).

  29. Raven

    Hmm… Well, it was long.
    An epic labour of love through awesome effort and patience that dances circles around anything I might ever possibly hope to know about building a map.

    I was anticipating this mod soooo much and I wanted to be able to say that I absolutely loved it.
    I’m sorry guys, but I have to say I didn’t.

    I really liked the way it started off (map 6) and threw you in with the action, right away, by fighting a strider.
    And I loved being able to take out all the bad guys with the RPG in that opening sequence. Most mappers are afraid to let you play with that little toy for very long 🙂

    From there, it all kind of became unchangingly tedious combat, with no real sense of “fun”, or being engrossed in the storyline; – which is something I look forward to in being suspended from reality for a short time when I play.

    Despite its title and its write up about the altitude and horrific weather being 60 below or whatever, aside from the ground being white, it really didn’t give me that impression at all, and the only thing that felt “never-ending” was getting shot at by combine moving around in the dark from ‘somewhere” behind a screen of metal catwalk beams.

    And for being called “Strider Mountain”, I almost anticipated having to fight off an onslaught of striders. – I fought TWO in the entire game. One at the start and one in the factory…

    By the end of the game, I ended up getting lost twice and getting ripped off for the data info for map 11. With all that huge amount of backtracking, there was no way I was going to go back and play through all that again just so I could play the bonus map, so I just manually loaded the bonus map.
    With that map, I ended up on a roof shooting down an airship, with no route down from the roof except to run around in a loop, so along with the single “baltic bomb for something” I never did hear clearly, I never did get to finish the bonus map, either.
    I don’t mind a puzzle, but I hate abject obscurity. It’s just frustrating to waste that much time looking for who knows what.

    But that’s not to say there isn’t a hundred positive things to say about the mod, including the fun you get to have with the crane. There were positives throughout the game. Just not enough to keep me interested.
    It was great to have someone finally give some time endurance to the flashlight, but wow, there’s just way too much darkness covering things up.

    Sad to say; I’m really starting to think it’s time to drop HL and go to something with some actual life going for it.
    This sitting around waiting for months on end for anti-climactic peanuts, just isn’t getting it.

    Thanks Phillip. You are definitely our all-time fave guy for providing all the free effort you give to keep us entertained through your site.
    And thanks to the modders, without whom, there would be no mods 🙂
    Hopefully the builders of SM will not take my critique too harshly, but instead look to address those areas, because there is without a doubt a huge abundance of talent behind the building of this mod. Thanks for your effort.

    1. hl2-fan

      I both agree and disagree with Raven.

      HL2 (and its episodes) will always remain in my book one of the greatest FPS pc games ever made. Not only for its incredible realistic graphics, environment and physics, but also because its creative Sci-fi storyline is really interesting.

      It is also great because the Valve people designed it to run well on even relatively low-powered pcs (for example, I have an old P4 3Ghz with an ATI Radeon 9550, and it runs super at 1024×768 resolution & 2x antialiasing. I can’t even run F.E.A.R. or Biosphere though on any settings.)

      Perhaps one of the main reason I stay loyal to HL2 is because it runs so well and because Valve lets you design mods for it. The mods have kept me interested in the series since 2005, and allows me to rationalize not buying a new pc–yet. Mods are what make HL2 so different and extends the user-value of the game, that is, if they are fun creative mods.

      here lies its limitations though. Short mods, well made, are quite enjoyable (“Nightmare House 2”, the one that starts at night with a broken-down pickup truck, comes to mind). On the other hand, long mods, even though well made, can start to feel tedious if there is no real story except –kill combines, kill combines. Sorry, but it does get boring, and sometimes I simply quit halfway.

      If the creative content (in both story and environment) is absent, the enjoyment of playing is lost. This is a general comment about how mods can become tiresome to play. And you are right that these types are almost not worth ones time.

      As for “Strider Mountain”, I’ve only played through 4 levels before stopping (for today). There does seem to be some repetitive combine encounters. But it may be different as it progresses. Don’t know. Leon, who made “Coastline to Atmosphere” certainly is a great modder, and don’t wish to denigrate he efforts.

      You hint though at what I hope is not true (yet). That HL2 mods are becoming stale and boring. I hope to see many crerative stories and uses of the game engine for new mods that run in HL2. Of course “Research & Development” comes to mind, and “Curse” as well as the upcoming “Black Mesa” remake of HL1. “Offshore” and “Riot Act” also were really good. Many more deserve mention, but can’t remeber titles off hand.

      There are also quirky mods being made like “Dear Esther” (where you just explore a place). How about a post-acoplypse world where you drive alot with zombies but no combines? Maybe on a quest? New creative uses of the HL2 engine may surprise you.

      This is just my opinion, you may be right, I may be wrong. Let us hope HL2, in all its possible incarnations, contines strong.

  30. Polo
    Personal Favourite

    Kudos to all those involved in this mod.
    You have my thanks and appreciation.I try to make it a rule of mine not to comment on “good, bad or indifferent’, as it is all subjective. After all, what I find entertaining, another may well hate.
    So, I have gone against my rules and given a personal rating.

    I had no trouble installing and playing. There were a few “choppy” areas, but that is my ancient set-up dragging its ass.

    I will give it a few more days, and play it again from the very start.
    Once again, thanks to all involved for this.

  31. Maybe?

    Appreciate the effort guys, I applaud your skills and patience in finishing the mod; really couldn’t be easy with 17 large maps.

    However, as been mentioned many times by previous posters here and elsewhere the mod is barely above average in terms of being fun to play while also being very repetitive and tedious. You’re doing basically the same exact thing for the entire mod; it never breaks up the monotonous gameplay of “open the door, kill the spawning group Combines that’s about to come around the corner, open another door, load map, rinse repeat” – you did offer some neat points with the crane for an example but those moments were extremely rare and didn’t do much to keep it fresh throughout the maps.
    Also, the maps were certainly beautiful to look at but not really fun to be in.

    It’s definitely not a bad mod, no, far from it but it could’ve been so much better. Personally I feel that there were far too many maps; you could’ve had half the amount of maps – it would certainly get rid quite a bit of the monotone gameplay. Furthermore, with less maps you could’ve easily spent more time testing them compared to what you have now.

    Anyway, I’m glad that I downloaded and played through it. I’m so glad that there’s guys out there who spend their free time to give us mods to play – without you the Half-Life games wouldn’t even be near the popularity that it is at.
    Thanks and good luck in any current or future maps and mods that you guys are doing or planning.

  32. Willy
    Personal Favourite

    This mod is great fun. I am halfway through and I am grinning from ear to ear! My compliments to the folks that worked so hard to give us such a good mod! To those of you that don’t like it, well, don’t play it. I myself have payed money for games that were not this much fun.

    1. TB Biggs

      Thanks Willy. Let us know what you think when it’s finished.

  33. paddyL

    Just finished level 6 and starting the ascent proper. This is a tough environment with lots of enemies well placed – I wouldn’t expect anything else given the location. I’ve been killed several times trying to get through the open area in level 6. It feels harder than the first five levels – my imagination? – personally I like having to replay fight seqeuences with different tactics. I fought two striders so far so I presume there are more ahead. Lots of searching for the way on, the cutscenes are very useful. Looks good and plays hard. It’s great so far! Onwards and upwards.

  34. SPY-maps

    i couldn’t reply more soon because of a tecnical error in my computer.
    its clear that as we expected up front that there are people who don’t like SM, for the obvious reasons that we expected.

    when I started (sp-)mapping about 8 years ago I tried to make what everyone wanted, what is ofcourse impossible. and soon I just made maps that I would like to have played.
    therefore you will find that most of the enemies are combines, (this because I love firefights, can’t have enough of them). puzzels I hate, that I still tried to put some in to SM is because I know that without any people wouldn’t like it so much. about that there are so many maps, I never thought people would see that as a bad thing. it prooves again, that what is liked by some is hated by others. and myself, I like as many maps as possible. quality and quantity, that’s what it is all about with the maps I make, (together with Baltic Forever). I rather play and make 10 maps that have a value of 7/10, as that I make 3 10 out of 10 maps. then the bit old school sort of gaming, find a key hear, look for a door to open, a little bit of backtracking. those are the things I like, I am 45 and did grew up with duke nukem, quake2, shadow warrior, napalm, etc.
    SM is never ment to be something new that was never made before, all I wanted to do with the maps was to give those players who do like nice firefights in different settings 17 maps to fight there way through. and there are many people that do like exactly that, and ofcourse are there also many people who do not like this kind of gaming. for them I can only say sorry, I would have loved it that you too liked SM, but its just not ment to be. we have clearly a different taste, and that is just a good thing to.
    for those who do comment on the weapons used in SM, we mentioned it many times before but I will say it here again.
    all we did was using a allready excisting weapon mod, with persmissions ofcourse!! so, complains about the weapons should be made by the makers of them, we only used the weapon mod. should you really not like them then please delete this weapon mod from SM and play SM with the original HL2 weapons, or do install your own weaponmod of choise.
    its all up to you to use these weapons or not, but please don’t say SM is a bad mod because of the weapons, that wouldn’t be fair. we did add them because we ourselves did like them very much. but again, like with everything else, we all like different things, and that is just a good thing. it doesn’t say that something is bad, just because you don’t like it.
    and like said by others, SM is free, its made by only a hand full of people, so expecting to see 17 bugfree highly professional maps is just not realistic and fair to us. we are honny modders and do this for our hobby. and again, to me mapping is all about quality and quantity. we all live in a free world and may like what we like, and make what we like to make. and its up to you to like to play it or not.
    all in all, ofcourse do I want you to like it, …
    thanks for commenting you all !!


  35. Clunkfish
    Personal Favourite

    I am very surprised at some of the negative comments about SM above. I am about 2/3 of the way through and really loving it. The scale and scope of the mod, the superb and varied environments, the need to play very carefully to avoid being gunned down by hordes of Combine, all are excellent and make for a terrific FPS experience. I like also the thoughtful touches – the warnings of level changes, the reminders to download the data, the flashlight that doesn’t cut out every few seconds, the informative (rather than wannabe film director) cutscenes. The music is really good too, and how many mods can you say that about? Great work, thank you for providing so much immersive fun.

  36. AI

    Haven’t finnished yet, just started the last map “ExitPortal”, the ONLY problem was with the sound, it cut out numerous times! I run a “Creative Extreme Gamer” sound board and the drivers are up to date! I love the driving parts, the switch back on the moutain is like driving on “Pikes Peak” here in the USA!! I do agree with “Clunkfish”,I couldn’t say it any better!! this has been a good workout for this old man, and let’s see a sequal to this mod!! BTW, Phillip, you sounded just fine! 😉

  37. Da Fat Cat
    Think Twice

    Buggy, crashes, unfair design, spams npc’s. Overrated.

    1. Joe

      Agreed. However, I have taken Leon’s explanation of his motives into account, and I respect what he was trying to do. His cut scenes were, for the most part, entertaining and informational to the gameplay.

  38. A wise man once said ” If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.

    Thank you! Leon,Baltic Forever,cubedude89,TB Biggs and last but not least Phillip. 🙂

  39. Pablo

    I’m halfway through the bonus map and I can only agree with many of Raven’s comments, although I do recommend Strider Mountain. I know I’ll play it again soon.

    I, too, was expecting a strider sh*tstorm that never came, something like the final battle in HL2 Episode 2. I’d be interested to know whether a large area with multiple striders poses a difficult technical challenge for mappers.

    The monotony of the combat set in from time to time; particularly, as Raven put it, “getting shot at by combine moving around in the dark from “somewhere” behind a screen of metal catwalk beams”. God bless that sniper rifle.

    I’m generally not a fan of cut scenes, however those in SM were brief and worthwhile. One small irritation, perhaps only for me, was the handful of instances where health/HEV suit protection was lost during and immediately after cut-scenes. As ridiculous as this may be, I attempted to complete the mod with perfect health/HEV score (100/200) and it proved impossible. For any other perfectionists, 100/157 is about the best you can achieve without invoking God mode.

    Nevertheless, and in spite of all the well-founded criticisms that have been posted, I regard SM as a towering achievement. Many thanks to the team for your great work.

  40. ALex

    Still no review from Phillip? Whats the matter your scared to say anything bad about this mod? And this is the guy that’s suppose to review mods first even though he hasn’t reviewed this one or Curse yet!

    1. I haven’t played it. To be perfectly honest there are a number of things going on here.
      1. I don’t believe it has recieved enough beta testing and I was waiting for any potential bugs to be fixed.
      2. I am really slow player, so even if I had started playing I still wouldn’t be finished. Factor in that I have to keep the site running and that makes a review even later.
      3. I didn’t enjoy Coastline to Atmosphere, so I am a little scared of playing this and not liking it. Normally that wouldn’t matter, but being close to the team makes a difference.

      I’m NOT the guy that is supposed to review mods first, I just mostly am because I post them. If you look back to 2006 you’ll see I haven’t reviewed any of the maps and mods because they date back to the time when I just added the maps and mods to the site (I was covering about 15 other games at the time!)

      Curse isn’t even on the site becasue it doesn’t fit the site’s criteria. That said I did plan to add it but never got around to it.

      1. You have to play it Phillip. See my post below.
        The trouble with Beta testing is when is enough, enough? You can bet your life that someone will play in a way that could not be reasonably predicted. The usual problems of ladders not working or sticking or dying for no apparent reason do not occur in this mod. It is hard and you have to take your time.

        1. Yes, some one will always find a way to break it, but SM only had about 5 beat testers and I don’t believe that’s enough even from a technical point of view. Clearly you can’t test every configuration but more would ahve been better.

          That said the number of issues seem to have been very few.

          1. ALex

            I still think Curse should have been added cause of the fact it was made on the Half-Life 2 engine!

            1. Joe

              But it’s not in the Half-Life universe, dude. So have a Coke and a smile.

          2. Baltic Forever

            I agree that we should have had more testers Phillip so I don’t have any argument with you there. But the reason why this mod wasn’t beta tested by more than 5 people was because a beta tester uploaded a previous mod which SPY gave to him to test. That resulted in a mass download of a mod which wasn’t even finished.
            There was a bit more to it than that, but I think you get the general idea as to why we didn’t use more people to test the mod. We just couldn’t take the risk of the mod being uploaded months before it was finished. Especially after the amount of time we have put into creating it.

  41. Personal Favourite

    Absolutely magnificent, awesome in concept, truly staggering in execution.
    The combat was hard and very satisfying but you have to know when to cut and run – end of Chapter 6 in particular where the authors have quite deliberately made it impossible to wipe out the Combine in that area – armies do this by leaving hardcore pockets of resistance behind so as to pursue the main objective – winning the war.
    There is a depth this mod that many are missing.
    Even the puzzles were good needing a little thought but not being frustratingly obscure.
    Citizen 2 will find this hard to beat (but hope it does).

    I had but 2 minor hitches which were sorted after reloading and changing tactics.

    To those with problems installing/playing. I always download to a dummy file first before transferring maps and mods to Steam. For mods it’s a good idea to at least check the “gameinfo text” which will tell you the proper name of the mod so that you can create a properly named folder. I downloaded from Baltic Forever’s site within minutes of release that night, spotted the mod name was missing and created a Strider Mountain folder (no hyphen or under score) in the Steam mods folder, transferred all the files to it and it played smoothly apart from the 2 very minor hitches mentioned. This is probably history now but those that read this might find it useful in the future.

    I have been honoured to be allowed to play this and I am stunned and sorely disappointed at the detractors of this mod which is HL2 at it’s supreme best. One in particular caught my eye having awarded a ‘maybe” recommendation but owning up to having only come across 2 Striders; this commenter did not finish the game.

    I would not have minded a lot more Striders but this was made up for (a bit) by 2 of the Striders being particularly aggressive and very very fast.

    Superb and brilliant, for the hard SP FPS HL2 gamer who likes to think and find the right strategy to get it done, absolutely my kind of game.

  42. jeter123

    a little help please,game starts fine all options ok but get to the point when the fast zombies come out off the red container,to go to the next loading point and game just crashes.have downloaded from both sites to try and rectify…………….?
    any help anyone
    thanks jeter123

    1. Baltic Forever

      Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, but I’ve been extremely busy.

      I’m assuming that the game crashes when you walk through the door next to the red crate. If that is the case then you could try walking very slowly through the door and see if that helps.
      There are two triggers right next to each other which I think may be causing the problem.

      If you were referring to another part of the map then please reply to this post.

      1. jeter123

        to baltic
        its the part when the red container is lifted from the the courtyard to the roof………….any help please

  43. Anon-00039
    Play It Now!

    Verry cool, well worth the wait! Thanks guys.

  44. Zeeek
    Personal Favourite

    Simply the best mod for HL2, a great achievment by the SM Team, hours of free challenging gameplay in a variety of environments.

  45. Mel

    jeter123 , I have had 3 or 4 crashes so far, at times needing to re-boot my machine, two have been at level changes, however so far all has been ok when restarting the game with the last save, so the crashes dont seem repeatable.

  46. fasteddie

    I cannot find the easter egg in the level “Underground. Could someone help me please. Thanks in advance.

    1. Baltic Forever

      There is a link at the top of this page where you can find the walkthrough. Just click on the map name and that will bring up the walkthrough for that map.

  47. fasteddie

    Thanks Baltic: I’m aware of the walkthrough, but the picture does not indicate where this vent is, or how to gain access to it.

  48. fasteddie

    I finally found it. It wasn’t where the picture in the walkthrough indicated it was a little further on in the level. Doh!

  49. SPY-maps

    let me strat with asnwering Fast Eddy, when you look in the walkthrough of this map Underground you see on the 6th screen, exactly in the middle of the screen a vent were you have to climb/croutch in. just follow the ventshaft and you find the EE download place, its really that easy. but, if you still have troubles with it the please let me know and I will help further.

    that said I have to apolotiace for my abcence here for a while. but, I simply coulnd’t help it. this never happend before, and it made the release of SM a said experience instead of a happy one. because just 10 min before release my pc broke down, screen went all crazy. diep into the night I tried to find the problem and now I know it was my NVidea 8800 GTX 768 MB videocard, were I was o so sproud on, that died on me!
    so, the last 5 days or so I can’t use my pc anymore, I can internet and type a worddoc. but that’s it, and even then with a screen that shocks like crazy.

    i am glad that many people like Sm so much, and that they do see all the effort it took us as a 4 man group to make this huge project. that there are also severel people who don’t like it for different reasons can’t be helped. its simply impossible to please everyone. what I tried to do with the maps of SM is to make them so as if I would like to play them. so, some can find them way to crowded with only combines, or can find the leveldesign uggly, or whatever. but, it’s what I do like to play.ofcourse did we listen very well to all comment we did get on the pre release, and our last project Coastline to Atmosphere. and those we did like we did try to use for SM.

    to those who don’t like the weapon mod we did use in SM, (we did use this one with permission of the makers, instead of what some people suggest) I want to say, you don’t need to make us of the weapon mod in SM. you can simply take them out and play SM with the original ones, or add whatever weapon mod you want. we did add this weapon mod because we did like it, the more so because we just finished our last HL2 sp-mod with 16 large maps, and we had seen and used the original HL2 weapons for so long that we finally wanted some new firepower. I hope this explaines well enough why we did make use of this allready excisting weapon mod, (with exception of the sniper rifle who was made by Cubedude89, and the one mountained lasergun, who was done by Baltic.Forever).


    1. Kasperg

      While I agree with mostly everything you’ve said, and I’m myself a defender of “Mapper has to be pleased with the process and result, public approval is a bonus”, I can’t agree with your dismissal of everything people question about maps and mods being strictly personal taste and things which can’t be helped.
      As I wrote earlier, with a more precise look, more realistic, recognizeable and defined places, a lot of other people would enjoy these and the rest of your maps even more.
      I can’t argue against the fact that pacing and combat density can be done in a lot of ways and there are people who will feel comfortable with it. Be it sparse encounters like the Tomb Raider games or a continous rampage like Painkiller.
      Other aspects, such as texturing, proportions, coherence of themes etc are subject to more strict rules if they want to be considered quality work. It might be because of my 6 years (so far) in an architecture uni, but for me it’s clear that some of those things DO matter and can improved if the priorities in the design process are clear from the start.
      However, I understand that as a mapper you apply your needs as a player, which are geared towards the gameplay aspect as well as the quantity of playtime.

      Regardless of anything bad people might tell you about this mod, it’s an incredible achievement at the reach of very few people, and an example of what an honest dedication to a hobby can accomplish.

  50. Ducky
    Personal Favourite

    Dudes, this thing rules completely! I’ll admit the first few chapters get tedious, but the last few are simply amazing. This has the whole look and feel for the HL universe down pat. Truly spectacular levels, and the combat is unreal. There were several “holy Sh*t!” moments for me. I neglected to get the download on Map 9 which led to a nice surprise once I completed the entire thing…now I have to go back and replay the entire mod again, and I CAN’t WAIT! Bravo SM Team! Between this and Res & Dev, 2009 has been awesome.

    1. TB Biggs

      We’re glad it’s a personal favorite for you. Feel free to let us know what some of those “holy Sh*t!” moments might have been.

  51. [OFC]Petrick

    I dont know what to say. No time to relax, combines coming from here and there. I’m tired.

  52. fasteddie
    Personal Favourite

    Thanks Spy maps: I feel a little silly as I was trying to find the vent based on the picture above the proper one, which was so obvious, Fantastic work though.

    1. TB Biggs

      fasteddie.We’re glad it’s a personal favorite for you. We appreciate all of the positive posts you have left on SM.

  53. andyb
    Personal Favourite

    Loved it.A fantastic mod with lots of enemies.I encountered a few bugs with the buggy but nothing that hindered play.I got stuck after playing with that canon cause I didn’t see where to go so I looked at the walkthrough.I really like the amount of time the flashlite stays lite also.I hate it when some mods only let you have it on for a very short time.
    In the bonus map I gave up trying to get the buggy over the water.The bridge is to skinny,so I just spawned one on the other side.I really liked the environment in the bonus map as well.The architecture is great.

    1. TB Biggs

      andyb. I was getting nervous that we hadn’t heard from you. We’re glad it’s a personal favorite for you.
      Bugs in the buggy, eh. Is that a pun?
      Kudos for cubedude who coded the flashlite to stay on longer.

  54. SPY-maps

    thanks for the nice compliments Andyb !!
    its clear we still have a few minor bugs in SM, and we are working hard on them to fix them. and that SM is not everyones favorite can’t be helped. we made what we personaly like, and that is a lot of fighting and action.

  55. SPY-maps

    sorry for the double posting, but I just read Duckies comment and I want to thank him to and also wanted to ask him what those moments were. glad there are more people like us out there who like so much combat and action!!

  56. Len
    Personal Favourite

    Terrific job, Leon & Co. (this is my first “Personal Favourite” rating, which I would’ve also given to Minerva had it been available when M was released). It appears that you’ve toned down your habit of continuously spawning enemies, and made the combat more fun by having fewer enemies spawn from more than one location.

    Your mixture of puzzles, scenery, story-line, enemy placement, and the length of the game, makes this a must-play and a keeper.

    Excellent work, guys! I can hardly wait for your next one.

    1. TB Biggs

      Len – certainly glad you liked SM and appreciate earning your first “Personal Favourite” rating. Thanks for the post.

  57. SPY-maps

    yes Len, thanks !!!
    and I am very glad that you notice it, that I have toned down on the placing of enemies. and that they do come from different directions, etc. quit some comments on different sites and forums asume that SM is full of endless spawning enemies, when this really isn’t the case.

    glad you liked it even so much to call it your favorite !!!


  58. Personal Favourite

    It had a few bug’s but nothing that took away from the game. Two things that I DID NOT LIKE! I wish it was longer and it left me wanting more.
    This game was AWESOME!

    1. Hi, Black Dog, we meet on this site/forum as well as SM.
      Smack on fellow hard SP FPS combat gamer who thinks about the tactics required.
      I started on “easy” to get the geography nailed down. I’ve just finished ‘source” on normal. Flippin heck, it’s been hard so far.
      But, as you already know, there are hidden depths to this Mod, that make it do-able. Placement of Combine, power-ups, ammo and cover is extraordinarily brilliant if you are prepared to employ strategy like you and I. The “charge and shoot” players are losing out on a delight.

  59. SPY-maps

    I wish it was longer ..

    hahaha, thanks guys for the nice compliments and playing!!


  60. Play It Now!

    Thank You for this mod!
    I played it from the start again, and Yes, sometimes it was very hard! You can’t always just blaze through and shoot everything and survive. Sometimes you need a strategy!
    Yes it was long. Again Thank You! If I am going to take the time to download, and install a mod on my limited computer real estate I want to have some play time! It’s true the combine are much better shots than I most of the time, But I have to say I pulled off more than a few really long shots with the sniper rifle/crossbow.” I don’t care what it’s called, it’s effective”.
    Please make more!

  61. Senator33
    Personal Favourite

    Am in awe and amazed. A masterpiece. Thank You.

  62. As I said in an earlier post, great mod. Now that I’ve played most of the game, my opinion is still the same.

    I’m at the bonus level now and I’m stuck. The airship attack doesn’t occur. I’ve walked around all over the lower and upper levels of the roof and nothing happens.

    I checked the walkthrough and didn’t find any help. Any ideas?

    1. You are not alone! It took me ages and a lot of no-clipping to find the blindingly obvious.
      Not quite a spoiler but a very loud hint:
      Remember Ravenholme after Father Grigori throws you the shotgun?
      Top roof, down the ladder to the ammo box.
      See the Alpha sign?
      The water is cool and the reception hot.
      After this little arena, the map gets very tough indeed. Brilliant.

      1. Thanks, Jasper

        I think I know what you mean. I thought that would be next after the airship fight.

        I was really sleepy and headed for bed, but I’ve got to try it now. Can’t wait until tomorrow.

  63. Anonymous

    Just finished Strider Mountain the other nite. I am a half-life nut since hl 1 and I must to say 2 things, # 1 its as good as Minivera and the Most satisifing mod I have ever played. #2 Thank you and your team for all of your work on an Excellent mod. PS Valve Needs YOU Guys , I mean they hired the Minivera guy , duh…………….. PS: I Really can not say enough.

  64. SPY-maps

    thanks guys for all the nice words.
    about beging on the roof, the gunship only apears when you take out the RPG weapon from one of the ammo crates (not the small wooden ones, but the metal larger ones). as soon as you pick the weapon up the gunship apears.
    check for screens please the walkthrough of map17, (on the 3th screen you see the crate were the RPG can be found);


    1. Anonymous

      Thanks, Leon

      I thought there must be a battle up there. I even had health packs and ammo strategically placed.

      Since I had my RPG all loaded before I stepped out on the roof, I didn’t bother going to the crate. It’s late now, so I’ll go back and fight that battle tomorrow.

      I finished the bonus map tonight. Kudos to your team. Excellent work. Thanks for all your effort!

    2. My problem was that I had my RPG from a previous segment. The only way to trigger the gunship was to fire all three grenades. Only then was I able to pick up the new RPG and the gunship attacked.

  65. turbo13
    Personal Favourite

    Fantastic mod. I had no problem with this one.

  66. ronnyrun

    very good…i played many mods but this one was the best of all

  67. Jeff
    Think Twice

    There are so many good ideas here, but the crazy camera grabs, invisible walls that keep you on the “path”, painfully obvious yet inexplicable script triggers and insanely respawning combine just drove me crazy! The maps are beautiful, but the gameplay is infuriating!

  68. Mel
    Personal Favourite

    If you have played Leon’s previous HL mods and maps, then you have an idea of what maybe in store with Strider Mounting. He has a love for hard hitting Combine encounters and never missing the opportunity to unleash their power, often the player needs to back-off, regroup and try a modified approach, and as such I have learnt to play through first time on easy mode, so saving more intense harder onslaughts for future repeat plays having first learnt the terrain.

    Along with the high frequency of Combine encounters is the use of Manhacks, these are always launched in swarms being great for shot-gun practice. Structurally we see the frequent use of open metallic stairways and gantries, often used and designed in such a way to turn this basically linear structured mod into a more complex layout, so adding an element of puzzle solving in the form of path finding.

    We are frequently ambushed by Combine taking up the high points, so being exposed to 3 dimensional fires from all sides and above, such encounters are normally fatal requiring repeat play-through in an attempt to limit damage. Another common theme is the staging of roof-top encounters; Strider Mountain is no exception to the rule with varying roof-top action and one puzzling route to ground level.

    The point of my long winded opening is to establish the now formally format employed by Leon which is common to all his HL releases, and thus raises the question: is the approach dated, predictable and do I care?

    To some extent the mod is both dated and predictable, do I care, no. Most HL mods by now are going to be predictable certainly on combat side of things, it’s going to be the same enemy and foe that the HL universe is restricted to, the story line will always follow the same basic pattern of one man’s fight to save mankind. The overall environment maybe different depending on the ability of the author and his team, however, much of the micro environment is same throughout most mods, i.e. the ducts, rooms and passageways, incidental details and textures.

    So what if anything set Strider Mountain aside from other mods, in a few word not much, first off I don’t believe the mod ever intend to set it self above others, nor do I believe that the team embarked on the project to produce a unique classic, the driving force here is what Leon likes, what he enjoys mapping and a belief and hope what he likes we will like. On scanning the post here on PP one must conclude he and the team have got it right, with the majority making this one of their favorites. What we have is a mod to please the fan base, of which I am one; I don’t see any attempt to appease his critics, the author has his way of working, knows what he wants and is very singularly with his goals.

    Having said so much, I am not sure that I have fully comment my playing views, first off let me say I play for fun, If whilst having fun the mod can entertain, enthrall and capture ones imagination then all the better. For me Strider Mountain was fun and entertaining while it never amazed me, it did however have some uniqueness in its approach with the downloading sequences keeping the thread of the plot, pleasing cut scenes of Gordon Freeman giving the mod distinction. I also like the prompt that kept me on track by indication I had missed a download station, also the cut scenes of impending doom and attacks were effective but not over utilized.

    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.

    Much comment has been made of the weapons of choice, I never put much score on weapons, they are a means to an end, and it’s the end I more concerned with. I played the mod from the beginning being some time since a played the 6 first levels with the pre-release, I wanted to make sure I kept continuity and in doing so detected that this time the first levels played better without one or two hung-ups I encounter with the first release. Not sure what if any thing the team changed but these levels flowed better, other then repeating the view that the change in wall textures was far too frequent, these levels served has a good introduction for the more robust structure and open environments to come.

    In the end you will take from this mod what you will, most comments are very positive, weather Phillip finishes playing it or not, it should be a HOF entry due to more then one reason which in the main are obvious from the postings. I find it difficult to imagine anyone not liking something about this mod; there will be those that won’t like the mod, some of these will be people that did not like it before they even played it. On a more realistic side of criticism there will be those that consider the mod is not progressive, that it does not give us anything new, that the gameplay is dated and no new level of mapping achievement has been reach. This maybe entire true, it is certainly valid, but I don’t believe the mod ever intended to achieve such goals and as such was never meant to satisfy the more technical bias; this is a mod for Leon fans not Leon critics.

    I believe in having fun, saying thank-you and moving on.

    If I am allowed one negative remark to would the fact that I experienced some 5 or 6 crashes, two at level change that dumped me at of the game, three or four at random locations that dumped me out of my computer. There was no pattern to these crashes they were not repeatable and being evenly dispersed throughout the game.

    However, as with C to A I have no doubt that most players will not experience such crashes; it seems that my system has a nerves reaction to Leon’s work.

    My final recommendation is that if you enjoy action packed adventures then go for this now.

    1. clunkfish

      Absolutely spot-on Mel, I agree with you 100%. One thing I would add to your comment that there is only so much you can do with the tools at your disposal is that the best mods use these to create breathtaking environments. For the first few levels of SM I was worried that this was going to be 20 hours of tunnels and corridors, but the swinging chute thing was the first taste of what was in store, and a good example of what can be done with games – an impossible but beautifully realised world, with engineering marvels and geographic features that immerse you and awe you at the same time. The SM levels in the strider factory itself are absolutely stunning – the combination of supreme eye candy with unforgiving game play is what keeps me coming back for more, and SM delivers in every way. I am so grateful to the team for all their hard work to deliver such stunningly good entertainment.

    2. TB Biggs

      Great review Mel. One of the most accurate descriptions of Leon’s style & the SM gameplay that I’ve read. Thanks for taking the time to post.

  69. SPY-maps

    wauw Mel, thank you very much for the long review, and the nice words.
    and I have to say, I can only agree with you. its exactly how you say it is. we never intended to do anything new or not seen before. this was also impossible, because we only could use some old not bumpmapped textures and about 20+ custom made models. we didn’t had a scripter and or coder, so all we could do was make use of HL2, again. and then its very hard to make new things, also because like you allready said, are there so many Hl2 mods out there now, that we all have seen it many times before. all I intended to do was to make a new series of sp-maps how I myself like to play them. that’s all. therefore you’re compleatly right when you say this SM was made for our fans, and not for our critics. couldn’t have said it better. its not that I don’t want to try something new, or try to make what my critics probebly will like. its just that making a project like this takes up ALL of our free time, year after year. and as we all know is it just a hobby, not payed. to be able to stick with it all this time is ONLY possible when you do what you like. should it be so that all that time is put in doing things we outselves don’t like, then we never finish such a project.
    we liked making SM, like we did making CtoA, but, SM did grow to big over time. specialy the last year or so there were many times moments that I really didn’t had fun anymore in making it. it all started to look more and more like normal boring work, and that can’t be the meaning of this.
    about the bugs, its very strange because after the release of SM suddenly people started to have problems or crashes with maps, were we never had problems with. we did test and fix numerous bugs the last 4 months or so. so we were very surpriced to hear that there were so many problems with some issues. Baltic has worked very hard the last 2 weeks to fix everything and very soon most bugs will be gone in the final version .

    thanks again Mel,

  70. Grey Acumen
    Think Twice

    I haven’t found anything technically wrong with the maps yet, but I have to agree that nearly every less than favorable review of this game so far have been almost perfectly parallel to my own thoughts. It is technically a very good game, the environment is compelling, the combine act as a properly organized military force, making combat a challenge, and the cut scenes are by themselves fairly decent.
    But that’s ALL IT HAS. I have progressed as far as the Ant Lions and so far the game has consisted of:

    Fight combine.
    Fight more combine.
    Wonder what the hell you’re doing.
    Fight MORE combine.
    CUTSCENE! It tells you what the hell you’re doing!
    Go back to fighting combine.
    Dead end. Where do I go?
    Cutscene! New path open!
    Fight some manhacks.
    Get shot at by turrets.
    Pick up a keycard.
    Dead end. Now where do I go?
    Cutscene! New path open again!
    More combine again!
    CUTSCENE! Save Barne- oh… nevermind.
    Drive a car! Whee!
    Get out of car. Wait, what? That’s it?
    Help some rebels!
    Fight some combine.
    The rebels all died.
    Fight some more combine.
    Tiny Strider! oh, it left.
    Fight some more combine.
    Dead end… again. Okay, which of these stupid paths activates the cutscene?
    Oh, this one. Cutscene! New path open… again…

    Come on, where are the PUZZLES? I mean ANYTHING more than just press the button to open the door or lower the drawbridge(even those were pretty sparse) I want to be the one to open the path ahead, not just have the cutscene do it because I happened to go to the correct dead end.
    I can’t even remember the last place that I came across an object other than a button that you could interact with in order to further your progress. No wait. I do. There were barrels right before the security gate that activated the turrets, most of them blew up, but I took the two that were left and stacked them and used that to jump over the fence, then knocked all the turrets over while they were still deactivated. I got the distinct impression that I wasn’t supposed to have been able to do that.
    I’m not asking for much here, but just that single barrel thing was about the most thought I put into the entire game so far. The rest was just the endless mindless task of figuring out where the things I was shooting at were while I stayed behind cover between shooting at them.
    I think it was really the giant container with the fast zombies in it that was the last straw. I spent about half an hour trying to figure out how to get down to that thing to raise it up so I could use it to get across the big gap (all the while thinking; “Hey, did I actually find-” glee! “-a PUZZLE!?”)
    Instead, I find out that I needed to TRY UNSUCCESSFULLY to open the locked gate so that a window would be broken by combine coming to kill me(which you couldn’t get through on your own before, the combine had to first break it for you) I then needed to go in that window and TRY UNSUCCESSFULLY to open ANOTHER locked gate inside and then go back out the window I came in through in order to activate a CUTSCENE in which the COMBINE both opened the original locked gate AND raised the giant container with the fast zombies.
    What did I actually accomplish through all that? Nothing more than shooting some combine and rattling some bars. The giant container didn’t even do anything to help you get across.

    Bottom line: A lot of effort went into making this game look polished and challenging. Not nearly enough went into making it FUN.
    If you like to shoot at combine and manhacks and antlions while they try to slice or shoot you back over and over and over… and over and over and over… AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again, then this is the mod for you. If you are looking for any type of content beyond “Shoot that stuff and don’t get shot or eaten and die!” then this is not the mod for you. Just don’t. I tried, and I might still be grinding through it if I hadn’t written this review and realized that I’m just not having fun playing this mod.

  71. AI
    Personal Favourite

    Well I got thru this for the “third” time!! Still thought this is a well done mod!! This time I played it on “HARD”, I love it!! It’s too bad it dosen’t have an “Insane” diff. Tried that “Game Booster” that was mentioned in the forum and it seemed to help a bit! As for game play my complements to you all, the third time was the charm, didn’t get killed too many times! (haha) I guess my old military trainning does come in handy, even in the games! I realy liked the “sniper rifle” ooh, shades of bygone days!! To “Grey Acumen” above, the real enemy dosen’t cut you any slack, and they “DO” keep comming, over and over and over!! 😉

    1. TB Biggs

      Thank AI. I haven’t even played SM on Hard! Congrats and really glad you liked the mod.

      1. AI

        As one of my old advisors (US Army) liked to quote an American actor by the name of Robert Blake who stared in a TV show called “Barretta” it was “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!!” Looking forward to a sequal!!

    2. Grey Acumen

      Like I said. My problems wasn’t the “over and over again” part so much as it was the “nothing else” part.

  72. SPY-maps

    i am very sorry you didn’t like SM that much Grey Acumen, its just that we have a different taste. I made the maps like how I would like to play them, and because I personaly DON’t like puzzels, therefore you also will not find much of them, or any at all to stay in your words. I did add a few small ones, but my personal favotire is fpshooting all the way. and that is what SM is about, sorry,

    (i too haven’t played SM yet on hard, maybe I should try it ones, just to see if I get killed much, lol)

  73. paddyL
    Personal Favourite

    Here’s a funny thing, at the part in Depth Charge when you meet the Antlion Guard and a container opens above you with two combines in it I wanted to use the explosive barrels nearby as part of killing the AG but no matter where I placed them once the container with the combines opened the barrels exploded anyway.
    The journey upwards and then back is full of tactical moments that I loved and seeing the stider being assembled was really cool. The music is also a highlight and really well arranged.
    I can only use a four letter word to describe this mod – Epic.
    It is one of an elite number of mods in length and design and achievement and replay potential so congratulations and many thanks.
    It’s a free HL2 adventure – brilliant.

    1. TB Biggs

      Thanks PaddyL. If you’re going to use a four letter word…Epic is a good one 😉
      I remember that we had some issues with the barrels early in development within map 1 Off Course at the water/turret puzzle. I’ll replay Depth Charged.
      We appreciate the post.

  74. Strider Mountain. That name has been in our minds for about 2 years now and unlike a lot of mods it was actually released. I have little doubt that many thought it wouldn’t make the light of day but I wasn’t one of them. When Leon and Peter say they will finish something they mean it.

    If we look at Leon’s work we can see he is a prodigious mapper. Has any one person created so much playtime? I doubt it. Peter is behind the scenes toiling away but still cranking out the work. They make a great team. That’s not to diminish the work of CubeDude89 and TB Biggs, but we need to recognize that Leon and Peter are the engine of the SM Team.

    Strider Mountain is a tremendous piece of work and should be played by every SP FPS fan. I am breaking my own rule now because I am writing this when I haven’t finished the mod. But my review is different in two ways. Firstly, I am making it a Hall Of Fame entry (which is a bit of a no brainer but I need to make that point) and secondly because I am about to tell you why I don’t like it.

    This is the hardest “review” I have ever had to write. It’s hard because I both like and respect Leon. The problem is that I don’t like his mods. I don’t like them for a number of reason and the main two are that his objective is “gameplay” and he doesn’t beta test the mods enough. Leon and I have “fought” over this issues for nearly 5 years.

    I remember beta testing one level from Coastline to Atmosphere and finding a pretty big problem. I can’t seem to get the idea across that different players MUST play something because no matter how many times a dev teams plays and replays something they are seeing it from a different perspective than new players.

    I have the impression that Leon thinks that beta testing is about bugs, but it’s not; it’s about many other things. Anyway, I apologize for seeming to rant but I am very passionate about this issue.

    Instead of taking an overview of the mod and reviewing that I am going to do the very unusual thing and explain with just one particular section why I don’t like Strider Mountain.

    Before I get into the details, I want to re-iterate that EVERYBODY MUST play Strider Mountain. It’s an incredible mod, with some fantastic sections and great gameplay. The point is that it is very focused on one style of gameplay and if you like that style then you will love it, if not then you are maybe like me and want more details.

    Onto the section. It’s the roof section from basecamp.

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

    After you pass the turret and go through the metal door that closes behind you, you walk up the stairs and see this. A hole in the wall and a door. No problem so far.

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

    That is until you go outside and see a brick wall. Now many reading this will say that “nit-picking” like this is not helpful but I disagree. I like to feel I am playing in a real world and points like this ruin that feeling. Sure, the door could have been bricked up but why would the metal gate at the bottom of the stairs still allow access?

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

    As we go around the corner, suddenly metal starts to grind and the metal covers fly off and manhacks pour out. Remember manhacks are thrown by Metrocops and 5 just happen to be waiting for somebody to come by. They then have the strength to “throw” the heavy metals covers but can’t do the same to me.

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

    Now go to the orange roof and jump onto the white fence. It will lead you to the little flat roof higher up. This is the view from there. Clearly not been tested properly. And before you say that there’s nothing up there you clearly don’t understand the playing style of many players. They try and reach those out of the way places to see if there are any hidden resources available.

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

    Next, go onto the orange roof and work you way to here. It’s very easy, just stand on the metal railing and sprint and jump.

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

    Walk along the little ledge, that looks it’s been designed for such a purpose and here’s what you see. I haven’t documented every one but I have found this view time and time again.

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

    Now go back to the main area, kill everything in your way and work your way to the edge of the building. Look down and you will see a container (which we will come back to). It looks interesting and I must be able to go down there or else there would be a metal rail stopping me, right? Wrong. Behind you there’s a metal rail stopping you from falling 5 feet but not one to stop you killing yourself. But wait, there’s more. I manged to jump onto the container without killing myself and then onto the floor only to find I was stuck. Leon teased me into thinking there was something down here and then just left me to starve to death!

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

    Go here and replenish your HEV suit and stock up on some ammo. It’s a strange corridor with just a big window at the end, but fine, some buildings are strange.

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

    Okay, so back to the container. WHAT THE FREAK is it doing there anyway? There’s no remote reason for that to be there, let alone that it “happens” to have a bunch of hungry fast zombies looking for lunch – me! What triggered it anyway? Sure, it was fun to play but that’s not what this mini-review is highlighting.

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

    So, the gate has opened and you work your way around to the data portal and get what you need. I don’t have a screenshot but the mounted turret gun is another anomaly. Exactly why is it there? And just as importantly, why can’t I use it?

    I could continue with points like that and I think it was William who said on Podcast 17 Transmission 16769 that those little things added up to a big thing in the end and I agree. Normally I don’t mind so much but in this case I do, I really do.

    There’s the long and many cut-scenes and most amazingly the fact they had Gordon speak! That’s sacrilege. I will definitely be asking them about that.

    Yes, you HAVE to play it, but it’s not Research and Development in its use of details. It’s also too long. Now that’s a strange statement because the more the better, right? No, because in this case things have changed. We have come to expect beautiful looking mods, like the previously mentioned R and D, Improbable Mission and Eye Of The Storm and a bunch of others. For one main mapper, two and a half years is too long.

    If you knew how bad I felt about having to say these things, especially after knowing Leon and Peter for so long, and the fact I was originally on the SM team, you would feel as bad as I do. But I say these things because I have to be honest. Not everybody will like SM and I am one of those people.

    Personally I give this a Maybe, but as I said I will add it to the Hall Of Fame because everybody should at least play it and decide for themselves.

    I expect a fairly hard backlash from my comments but this is my Tough Love.

    1. “seeming to rant”
      You haven’t. An honest opinion constructively put.
      I and others love hard gameplay mods and SM reigns supreme. If we were all the same, this would be a very boring world indeed.

    2. Jeff?

      A long, long time ago I went to boot camp. I really hated it more than I can say, but it taught me many important lessons about life, so I’m glad I went. Here’s the important part. I’m not telling everyone they HAVE to go to boot camp because it was important to ME.

      If you don’t like being told how to play a map, getting stuck with non-standard weapons, or hate it when you clear an area, then turn around to find it — for no reason at all — crawling with enemies again …. DON’t play Strider Mountain!

      There were at least 6-8 very good scenarios that could have been excellent, but eventually got bogged down by the need for constant backtracking in search of a lever, button or invisible script trigger.

      The team that made Strider Mountain has a great deal of talent, but in the end… I just didn’t enjoy the experience.

      My final bit of advice for any team looking to develop a monster mod is to release it in episodes. I might have enjoyed these maps more if I was encouraged to take a break after 4 or 5 of them, instead of heeding my need to get it over with.

    3. Grey Acumen

      THIS! You nailed it, Phillip. I too got to that ledge there only to see behind the scenery. the only reason that it wasn’t a bigger deal to me was because I was already getting tired of the mod.

      Also, thank you for giving a visual documentation of the “Last Straw” I mentioned. This was the exact scene I was talking about.

  75. paddyL

    I think it’s brave of you to share you opinion and as Jasper said “an honest opinion constructively put”.
    I remember playing through this part several times and trying different tactics to get through it. I was frustrated and stuck for a while but thats part of the challenge presented by the team. To be honest I never realised any of the points you saw my attention was very much on finding a way through and I suspect I had a different experience in finishing that section than perhaps you did. I haven’t gone through the posts looking for a pattern in how people approach what they see but that might be an interesting thing to do. Perhaps there are specific approaches to actually playing becoming evident?

  76. Mel

    I read Phillips review above very carefully, to be honest if these are the nature of faults you dislike about the game then to me they do not amount to much.

    I don’t think there is a mod out there that does not suffer with the same faults, the longer the mod the more likely these types of faults will occur. I have no doubt that most players experience similar circumstances, I certainly did and recall the roof top encounter where you need to find a safe landing, had me climbing all over the roof in places that I was not meant to be. Not all players leave the design path to see what they can find; I do but do not mark down the mod just because the structure of a set is not perfect.

    As for the nature of the gameplay, I am not sure what you have in mind, what was missing? Surly the gameplay is very parallel to the original HL2 game which we all love otherwise we would not be here. If you are comparing the gameplay of HL2 EP1 and EP2 with SM then you may have a point, without Aylx things are bound to be different.

    For sure this is not a puzzle lovers mod, thank goodness, but neither where the original Valve games, puzzle orientate mods are the creation of the custom mod community and are very singular in gameplay.

    So if you love only short mods full of brain damaging puzzles then there is not much point in playing SM.

    SM achieves what its makers intended, an action packed adventure along the lines of the original HL2, what else did you expect from Leon.

    For sure SM is not the greatest mod every released, to many people it gives them nothing new and Leon’s work does not span the progress of time. Time wise you could switch C to A with SM they are both in the same time frame as the original HL2 valve release. I am happy to let Leon do his thing, many of us find his work very playable, on the other hand they are many great custom mappers and teams giving us more progressive mods which are equally very playable.

    I find it hard that people can not find some thing to praise with SM, please lets have balanced reviews.

    1. These are not the only things at fault (for me) with SM, I just chose to highlight them. You are welcome to your opinion but I have noticed recently that if somebody doesn’t agree with you then you dismiss them. I chose one short section of a mod and that section alone demonstrated plenty of issues. Yes, longer mods will have more faults but 99% of these could have been avoided with proper testing.

      Yes, Leon did build what he wanted and I don’t have a problem with that, just don’t expect me to like it. I want details, story elements (not just cut scenes), interesting gameplay, to name a few. I do mark this mod down because the set is not perfect, probably because I was so close to its development.

      I don’t think the gameplay is parallel to HL2, and just because you couldn’t find the answer to a puzzle it’s “brain damaging”?

      Just after the area I used for my comment I went into an area where a group of 15 or more Combine just came rushing at me directly in front of me. No subtlety, no build up just a bunch of Combine running at me.

      I don’t have a problem with Leon not giving me anything new but honestly a mod is more than just gameplay. With a lot of Leon’s area you could replace everything with orange textures and it wouldn’t make it worse. I don’t think that’s a good thing.

      I also think that the fact that you could play SM and CtA and not know which came first is a bad thing. It doesn’t seem that Leon has improved.

      I did praise SM but obviously not enough for you. No, let’s not have balanced reviews – let’s have honest reviews.

      Seriously Mel, stop dismissing other peoples” comments. You like it I am truly happy for you. I am happy for everybody who loves Leon’s work. Just don’t assume that if others don’t they have no validity to their points.

  77. Mel

    I am not aware that I have been dismissive of anyone constructed views, I may have been to views that just rubbished the game, certainly I have disagreed with views yours included, but that is my right as much as it is yours.

    I have gone to length stating that there are short falls with Leon’s work and stating what, I just find it difficult to believe that others can’t find some thing to praise with the mod.

    You make me out has someone speaking in isolation, which can not be true with so many favorable comments posted.

    Yours is the first negative review that I have responded too in respect to the final release, so you can hardly state that I have been dismissive of all that don’t agree with me. My views of puzzle only mods are well known and it not just that they hurt my brain, I find them boring just has I find zombie only mods boring and think neither up hold what I love about HL.

    I think a balance view is about has honest a view you can get, no mod is prefect it most have both negative and positive elements, equally there are only a few mods that are completely bad, in most cases reviews should find good and bad in all.

    1. Kasperg

      The reviewing system comes into question again. Should we review mods with many maps by sections, if some are good and some are bad?
      If a map has an excellent area and a really bad one, should they have two different reviews?
      I think Phillip has geared his review to the overall experience, which is both objective and subjective.
      -The objective part is the faults he has pointed out. This part is the same for any player playing any mod. It doesn’t change unless you’re talking about different versions of the mod.
      -The subjective part is how the above affects the playing experience. Depending on the player, an objective and technical presentation with faults can totally break the experience. Other players (like you for example) might be much more forgiving. That is subjective.
      The whole problem here, which Leon and I have talked about, is that SM both IS and ISN’t HL2. You can’t start playing expecting the same pacing as the original game, the same combat situations, the same type of visual sets and coherence (read PP’s analysis). After all, that’s why we call these “modifications”.

  78. Mel

    Kasperg said;
    The whole problem here, which Leon and I have talked about, is that SM both IS and ISn’t HL2. You can’t start playing expecting the same pacing as the original game, the same combat situations, the same type of visual sets and coherence (read PP’s analysis). After all, that’s why we call these “modifications”.


    The point here is that lots of players are happy playing the same format, just has many people repeatedly replay HL2, EP1 and EP2. I don’t consider myself within that group but certainly understand their love for Leon’s work, which I for one enjoy playing.

    It good that not all mappers are driven by the same goals, I personally preferred a more progressive approach, admiring mods with new content, different approach to story telling and new visuals plus challenging sequences. However, I don’t think I would mark down a mod below Play it Later just because it does not contain all these features.

    I still maintain that the guiding facture is whether you enjoyed the experience or not, with the differing and opposing views appear to be ” what stop one from enjoying the mod” .

    I can’t bring myself to mark down a mod just because it comes from Leon, equally I can’t significantly mark down I mod just because it keeps to a tried and successful format. What ever you say about SM you can not hide the fact that it is giving the majority of players using this site What They Want.

    1. Kasperg

      Mel said:
      It’s good that not all mappers are driven by the same goals, I personally preferred a more progressive approach, admiring mods with new content, different approach to story telling and new visuals plus challenging sequences. However, I don’t think I would mark down a mod below Play it Later just because it does not contain all these features.
      I don’t think the new features are the issue. Minerva uses no custom materials or models. Riot Act has a theme we’ve all seen before. Yet they score very high in most sites. What is it they are doing that SM does differently?

      Like Phillip and William at Podcast17 said, it’s all in the details: I’d say there are two main ways to get the feeling of an area for a map wrong in terms of design.
      1)Having an underdetailed area might not get the point across of what that place really is. Detail makes it distinct.
      2)Having a detailed area in which there are conceptual errors. In this case, it doesn’t fall short of looking believable, it might actually look unbelievable! While some players can overlook those mistakes, as a would-be architect I’m affected more by them (in retail games too!).

      Now there’s an interesting theory we could discuss in the “Recommendation images” thread concerning the act of ‘taking away points” when rating.
      Marking down a mod is taking for granted that your rating begins at perfection or at least what you deem perfect enough for your enjoyment.
      If some of us on the other hand need extra conditions to be met in order to reach that perfect score, the final result after taking away points will always be lower than yours.
      For some players length will add a lot of points, and for others it won’t. For some players hardcore combat will add points, and for others it won’t. For some players the absence of ‘thinking puzzles” will be a positive thing while the lack of it will be negative for others.

      In any case, both your review and Phillip’s are correct because you have a foundation for it which is argued well enough.

  79. BluncheonMeat
    Personal Favourite

    Been following this mod for a while and finally managed to beat it today. Honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed the mod and I don’t understand why everyone else is complaining.

    First of all, the mapping is brilliant. There’s some very original architecture in many of the places and the way that things were laid out was flawless.

    Although I tend to dislike most mods that center around shooting combine, I actually found this mod fun (probably one of the most fun when it comes to this category). It’s probably because the enemies were placed so well, and because you need a good amount of strategy to not get damaged. I found that the devs really got the right balance with the difficulty level. It wasn’t too easy (especially on hard) and it wasn’t blindingly difficult (like the latter levels of coastline to atmosphere).

    What I respect a lot in mods is creativity. Leon and his team really did a good job with that using the weird cut-scenes, portal-data collection “eastereggs”, storyline, and all the other wacky stuff to enhance the character of the mod. Some people didn’t like the extra stuff, but I personally found it a great plus.

    In a technical standpoint, I was impressed at how much scripting would have been needed to pull off some of the parts, especially the cutscenes. Also I noticed that the size of the maps were exceptionally large. It would have needed some pretty good optimization. Of course the biggest feat of all is simply producing the 17 maps. From what I know, the only mod that is (or felt) longer is coastline to atmosphere. I’m an extremely slow mapper, and it would probably take a decade for me to make a mod of this caliber.

    Awesome mod. It should have been on the hall of fame at least!

    1. TB Biggs

      @ BluncheonMeat (nice name!). Thank you for the taking the time to write the review. Interestingly, we NEVER intended SM to be so big. It was originally a 4-5 map project. So theproject really kind of unfolded as time went on. We’re quite proud of the accomplishment and it’s great to read a your review.

  80. Robspace1
    Personal Favourite

    I consider this mod to be in the top 3 of the best of all time. This one sits right next to Minerva!

    Perhaps, the best mod ever made, but if I could make a few changes to it, I would. I would remove the whole idea of chasing down secret rooms to download data. I have never liked the hidden key or secret whatever in a game. Reason being is that as a retired trucker, I spent many years going forward and truckers never go back the same way unless there is no other way forward. We like change and the cost of fuel makes it a big waste of time and money.

    So, I would never have a player backtrack for anything and the other change would be alot more people speaking to one another. One of the things I really like in the original games is the communication between the principle people like Gordon and the Dr. or Barney or Alyx. The talking makes the game more realistic and human.

    Now, I did not cheat other then to add more ammo to the sniper rifle as that’s the main weapon I used throughout. I did not want to use the walkthrough so I didn’t and I somehow skipped one of the downloads. I made it to the end and then it said I missed one but it didn’t say which one. It was not written on the screen this time but a verbal comment by the guy at the very end. So, if I knew which one it was I could go back and get it but I don’t know so I can’t play the extra bonus part until I get the lost download.
    That’s fine, this mod is so good I don’t mind starting over. I hardly ever replay these but this one is so well made it’s well worth it.

    I’ve already talked to Leon and said that this thing is so good it should be on store shelves. I feel we area all very lucky to be playing a mod of this quality for nothing. Leon and their team have created a masterpiece here and deserve alot of credit and with so much time involved they should find some investors to help launch their own company and take the next logical step to making a living with these.
    Giving these away is great but at some point, I think their work should be compensated and I really hope they can take their talents and make a living with them. For now, I’ll just say thanks and I’m real glad these are here for us to enjoy-Great work guys and thnks for all those hours you all put in. It shows all through this one!

  81. SPY-maps

    let me start with thanking you all for commenting, and saying sorry for my late reply. but this coulnd’t be helped, I have some serieus computer problems right now, (broken video card) and wasn’t able to visit sooner.
    i always read each comment serieusly and apriciate them. that said I want to add extra that I do apriciate your comment to PP, and I really don’t mind that some is a bit negative. in fact, most of what is said the last days I really do agree with. it is to much to comment on everything that is said, and I really would like to do so, but that would make a ridiculeus long text that probebly will not be read by anyone.
    therefore I would like to say some things in general and then take out a few things that are said.

    let me start with explaining the intension that I had with these maps. to me mapping is all about fun, it s not payed and it does take me on average about 4 to 8 hours a day, sometimes even more as 10. (i know, I hear you think get a life, haha. but I really do have one beside mapping, although mapping is a big part of me). that said, I am the first one to say that SM is long from perfect. in fact, there are many things I would have done differently should I do them now again.
    when Coastline to Atmosphere (CtoA) was released Baltic wanted to make a few extra HL2 sp-maps, as adverticement material for his new mappingforum site. I have to agree I didn’t feel anything for it, we just finished CtoA, what was also a huge project. but because we work so long together I agreed to a new HL2 small project, as long as it would mean something that is a total concertion (TC) or that gets close to it. I couldn’t bare the thought of having to work again for months with HL2 stuff. and so SM was born, but pretty soon we had to realise that a TC was never to happen. we didn’t had a coder, a texture artist, a scripter. you name it and we didn’t had it.
    still the map amount allready started to grow, and to not have to use HL2 stuff again I started to use textures from older games like Cod and Doom3, (but without the bumpmapping). something I now never would do again.
    but I get lost of track, or what I wanted to say.
    what started out as just a small project pretty soon did grow into more and more maps, we went from 4 to 7 to 11 to 15 to 17. I have to agree, the planning was terrible, better said, there was none. sometimes I mapped 2 maps without even having a story, other then player has to blow up strider factory. in fact, the whole portal data download easteregg thingy was implemented the last year or so.
    like I said, mapping for me is all about fun. as long as I enjoy myself with it I am glad, and hopefully people do like what I make, but its not the most importent thing. should I work as mapper in the industry, then ofcourse other criteria are of order. still, this doesn’t mean that quality is not importent. to me its the second most importent issue. its to me all about quantity and quality, (again, when I map as a hobby!).
    personaly I like to play as many maps as possible, that are good or ok enough. with lots of enemies, here and there some backtracking, keycards, etc. I love games like Fear, Doom3, Quake2 + 4, Cod, Mohaa. and with that kind of game material I would like to be compared. someone said I never should have choosen HL2 as game to map with, and I do understand why that is been said. I do not follow the ” ruels ” of the HL2 world, when it was up to me Gordon would have spoken throughout SM all the time !! (just to give a example, TB had to explain to me that this was “not done”).

    beta testing, PP is right, we have “battled” quit some discussions about that in the last few years. and it can be that I have been a bit strong about not wanting to be tested in the passt, saying it wouldn’t be needed. I really am not sure anymore what I have said about it over the years.
    i now do know that testing of maps is a nessesarely issue to get well working maps. and SM is tested thoughrowly by the SM team itself. I know, this is indeed different from letting it be tested by compleat outsiders. still, Cubedude and TB can be in this case seen like that, because they haven’t mapped on SM. Cubedude did do some mapping bug fixing, but this was in a much later stage. they always played a map ones its was done for 80 to 90 %. so they can be seen as “fresh” players. still, ofcourse it would have been best to let it be played by another 5 players or so, that are “fresh” too to the maps. but, I do have a trust issue with giving maps away for testing, I have burned myself quit hard in this matter long ago, (one showed it to all kind of other people, and another even changed some stuff and released it under his name). that said, there was also the time issue. I have to be honest, and the 6 months or so wasn’t really much fun anymore. SM was grown to big, and we did fix for months and months bugs and issues. believe me when I say that we did fix LOADS and LOADS of issues. Baltic and I did put in ALL our time over the last 2,5+ years. and finally we had to put a stop to it. when it was up to Baltic he would have bugfixed and tested a whole lot more, months probebly. it was me who said, enough is enough. I couldn’t stand working on SM anymore, the fun was gone, it wasn’t even work anymore, it really started to anoy me compleatly. going on was no option, quiting too, because its like PP said. when we start a project, we do finish it, always. and SM was finished enough to be released I thought, and still think.
    this doesn’t mean that I think its great, each error and bug does hurt me ! but, it was simply enough. its indeed like PP said, Baltic and I can be seen as the motor behind the actual mapping work, and when you considder SM as actualy made by 2 men in 2 years and 8 months, then I don’t think its that bad. and therefore please do see it in this light, (with this I don’t say the influence and work of Cubedude and TB can be neglegted. they have worked also hard and long on SM and without there work SM coulnd’t have been made to.) should we have made SM as payed professionals it would have been much more balanced and what not all.

    now about the gameplay, there is to much said to comment on as I said earlier. but there are some issues I would like to point out or comment on.
    somewere above I agreed with someone that SM didn’t had any puzzels at all, but when I later thought about it I had to take that back. there are a few puzzels here and there, added just to please some people who like them, personaly I dislike them quit a lot). I think of the crain puzzel, and the water/turret puzzel in map1, then there is the bomp puzzel at the end in map16 and some other minor ones. as I said before, personaly I do like a bit of backtracking and searching for keycards to then look for the lock that it opens. so, that this can be found in SM is only logical I think. a lot of people don’t like this, and I do understand that, really. specialy to much backtracking is no fun at all, and maybe this does happen a bit to much in the first few maps. but to say that SM is all about tidius backtracking all the time like some people complained (in comments from a week old or longer, not you Rob, lol) is simply not true. specialy the second half of SM there is not much or maybe even any backtracking. another comment that is made over the weeks was that SM was like CtoA full with inviseble walls, that blocked the player from reaching some areas. that too is simply not true, I always listen to comments, and try to learn from them. and one thing I learned from all the CtoA comments we did get was that people don’t like inviseble walls, and I do understand them because I too dispice them. why then add them, well, probebly a case of lazy mapping. so, this I really haven’t done in SM, other then in map7, the road up to the mountain map. there indeed I did clip some inviseble walls beside ther road. but that just needed to be done like that, other then 7 there are no maps to be found in SM were inviseble walls really block the player to get to some areas, that should have been open otherwise.
    and then comes the amount of combines in SM. again, in CtoA there were some places were indeed probebly to much combines did attack (at ones), or places were you were before just to get back to and find them full of enemies. but, in SM is this not the case. I did my utmost best to make each enemy attack from a different place, and no more then 3 in one wave. and never, never enemies in a place were they weren’t before, and therefore not able to suddenly apear.
    so, with most of your comments I do agree PP, but the one that said that you did find 15 or more (!!) combines behind you suddenly is simply not true. in fact, nowere in all SM there are 15 or more combines fighting at ones with you, they are come in groups of 1 to 3, and in only 2 places there are more then 5 at one time. and also the comment of that even when each texture would have been orange it all would look the same is a bit odd to me. but, this is something that has to do with taste. there are quit a lot of people that compliment us about the use of textures and the layout and pistioning of the maps. that doesn’t mean that I have to agree fully with the comment of that in some maps things can be seen that are simply not logical. I really do try to keep consistent, and to make things that are logical and realistic. but sometimes I just don’t notice some things. it all has to do again with the time I want to spent on one map. I rather make 3 maps that are ok enough, as one very good map. what doesn’t mean its ok to make a door somewere, just to find a wall at the other side of this door, that’s not ok. but in this particular case I can explain this error. in SM we had 2 maps that were to big, there enddata was far above 100% what could mean crashing of SM for some pc’s. so we had to cut those maps in 2 parts. and exactly at that spot, were the door is at one side of that wall that you showed on screen above PP, there we did cut that map in 2. and took out the outside behind that door into another map, and rebuild that part. and there I did make the mistake of not making adoor fully through the wall. and never its ok to be able to look into the skybox, as you showed in that other screen. and indeed would that have been solved with extensive testing, but I explained allready my problems with testing. it may sound strange, but personaly I am a bad jumper. time and time again I have receeved mails from people who told me they reached places in my maps by jumping that I thought would be impossible. so it can indeed happen from time to time that you can reach a certain point that you were not ment to reach. personaly I don’t mind this that much. it shouldn’t be possible, but when it is sometimes then I don’t mind that much.
    again, its all about is it fun to make. and I LOVE mapping, but hate to have to work for months on one map. most maps I make I do make in 1 to 2 maps, and with SM we did put in another 1 to 2 maps in each map qua testing and bug fixing. and that is enough for me, when mapping starts to look and feel like work I don’t mind, but then I would like to get payed for it to. and when this isn’t the case I will continu making maps that are fun for me to make, and play. that there are not perfect is ok, that can’t be helped. that they are not liked by everyone is also ok, now. years ago I really was hurt when someone didn’t like something. but I am glad to say that this time has passt. ofcourse is it not nice to hear that someone doesn’t like your work, but it simply can’t be helped. to be honest am I each time very pleased to see that a new project is receeved as ok or even good (and for some even personal favorites!!)by so many people. and as long as the group that does like the maps is bigger as the one who doesn’t like it, am I pleased with it. the more people the better ofcourse, and the maps can be made much better. but, with the time and effort that we put in it I really think we don’t do so bad. to me SM was finished, I want to start with a new game/project.

    thank you all for your comments, and no hart feelings at all !! as long as the comments are seriesly and constructive I am pleased, and that they were. thank you, and hopefully next project will be better for you when SM wasn’t what you had hoped it would be. we really did our best to make the best we could, in 17 large maps, in 2,8 years.


    1. Leon,

      I am sorry to hear about your PC problems, after all your hard work it must be very frustrating. I have started a Help buy Leon a new video Card fund. If that guy can get 3000 dollars for the “Fly Gabe Fun” we should be able to get you some cash.

      Thank you for your detailed comment. I’d like to clarify a few points, some argue against yours, some agree.

      Firstly, I believe the basic idea for starting the mod was mine. I suggested it because I wanted somebody to make a series of tutorials linked to a finished mod. That had never been done before and I still believe it would be an awesome idea. Strider Mountain became that mod, but as you said it just got bigger and bigger. Peter wanted some content for his mapping site idea and this was mine.

      Secondly, I really don’t have a problem with your general mapping style. I don’t like it but that is a personal preference. It doesn’t mean I don’t respect what you do and acknowledge your skill and commitment. In the same way I don’t like Deathmatch maps, I can still see the work and dedication that goes into them.

      I am completely happy you build maps the way you want to play them and much prefer that approach than making something that “most” people will like. You only need to look at the recommendation images to see that most people LOVE your work. You can’t please everybody, so it’s best to enjoy what you are doing.

      With regard to the beat testing points. I understand that when you have a huge mod beta testing only increases your workload, but I think you are viewing it from the wrong point of view. Instead of waiting until something is nearly finished, if you had let a few trusted people play each map before you think of it as “finished” it wouldn’t have been so bad. You could have trusted me and a few of my friends to test it. Beta testing should be part of the process not something to do at the end.

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

      On the left is a screenshot of the area with the Combine. Perhaps I exaggerated when I said 15 but you can see it’s much more than 2 or 3. Just around the corner are another 3 or 4. I don’t have a problem with lots of Combine but all at once, from one direction is too much for me – sorry.

      My comment about orange textures is a little harder to explain, but I’ll try. My general point is that for you gameplay is THE most important thing. At least it seems that way, based on your mods and comments like “you made two maps without a story“. I like the gameplay to be somehow related to the story and situation.

      I’ll try and give you a real example from SM. I played the garrison section, where the Strider appears. It comes through a huge archway into the area with the trains. Why is this archway there? There’s no reason for the strider to come there, except for gameplay. I bet that most players didn’t even notice or if they did even care. I do. Go through the arch and you come to a really beautiful open area. It’s great, I loved it but the battle was just spawning Combine shooting at me from all directions. If you changed all the textures to orange it would have been exactly the same. The area didn’t connect me to the story in anyway. Yes, I got tot he room and received the message from the rebel but I feel the area itself should be part of the story.

      This should have been (imho) a mini boss area where after a slow build finished in a frantic fight with the Strider and occasional combine. Similar, I suppose to the earlier indoor area, but the difference would have been I could have enjoyed the vista after the battle.

      I can’t give specific examples but many times I remember playing mods where are a huge battle I have “calmed down” by exploring and relishing the scene, especially if there is plenty of carnage to admire.

      I don’t know if I have explained myself properly but hope so. Perhaps other people can put my point across better – that is they see it!

      I don’t doubt that I am being harder on you than I would be on anybody but it’s because I care, I really do. If somebody makes a mod I don’t like, I review it and move on.

      I can’t stress it enough that I understand your point of view and don’t mind you build mods your way. But I often wonder why you bother with the pretence of having a story. Take out the information about the mountain, take the cutscenes and the data collection points, take out the voice acting (BTW, mine was terrible, how did you let me get away with that!), take out any other story related element and I truly believe SM would have received the same number of Personal Favourite Recommendation Images it did. Why? Because of the gameplay and general design. Clearly people love that and whatever game you decide to move onto (I assume this will be your last Half-Life mod!) go with a simple point A and reach point B design.

      I think that the story gives players like me expectation. For example, I haven’t got to the top of the mountain yet but from the description of Sm I am expecting to have some gameplay features related to the cold and lack of oxygen. If I don’t then I will feel cheated because that particular story element could be directly connect to the gameplay. By having voice acting and a story you are giving the player certain expectations.

      If we take The Citizen as an example. This is very story based and if you removed the story elements from the mod it would make a huge difference. The actions of characters and even the player is based around the story. In SM, it’s just reaching the top of the mountain and then escaping. Remember, that’s not a criticism, just my assessment of SM.

      For your next mod just keep the premise simple, as I said, just get from A to B.

      Anyway, I seemed to have ranted again and I apologize. It wasn’t my intention.

      To summarise my points:
      If you have a story then the details really matter to some.
      Keep doing what you are doing because thousands of players love it.
      Please, please, please beta test early and often.
      Next time forget a story and just make a great gameplay mod.

  82. Mel

    Keep up the good work Leon, it is much admired by many.

  83. Robspace1

    I think the enemy placement in this was perfect! That’s one big difference I noticed between this one and CTA. The enemies are more visible and accessable. They don’t come in big waves but small groups like you said and they are all manageable. I like that they don’t keep coming on and on nonstop like CTA.
    As for bugs, I only found one or two and for a project this big, that’s a big accomplisment. So, I have started it from the start now and will be sure to “touch all bases” or download all files before moving on. My computer is running this mod just fine with all the settings at max level. The colors are brilliant at times and the extensive work you guys put into some of the rooms is great. So much detail that this really does need to be played a few times to see it all.

    Thanks again Leon for such a massive piece of work and please don’t stop or go Hollywood on us! You guys do deserve some kind of award for this and I think it may be time that we give out awards for these works of art. Something you can put on the mantle or wall and look back some day and be proud of, just like any other art work.

    I know how you feel about getting sick of the whole thing. The same thing happens to musicians. When I played for a living I too would sometimes do it for free, for fun and just for the enjoyment but then after you play the same song a thousand times for people, you get real sick of it and then the only way you feel good about playing it is because your getting paid to do it. Sounds like you hit that same spot a few times and that’s real normal with any artist. The labor of love turns into a pain in the u-no-what and the “thrill is gone”. But, fortunetley, it comes back around on the next song/map! (but getting paid is nice-lol)

  84. Robspace1

    One more thing I want to add. This mod is not polished at all and it does have errors in it. But so what? That’s why it’s a mod and not a multi million dollar selling game like Halo. If I want perfection in a game I’ll play Halo or Bioshock, which comes as close to a perfect made game as there is. Or I can get out HL2 and know that there will be no errors or crashing in the game. These games are made by a whole big team of people that spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours to perfect.

    I just played a game that lets the player not only fly planes but drive submarines and tanks and use their rockets. These games are huge and take alot to make. SM is made by just a couple people and they are on a low budget. One of them can’t afford to fix his computer yet he was able to finish this mod for us. Imagine what they could do with unlimited resources like Valve or any of these other big conglomerate game makers.

    I kind of like the home made feeling to SM. It does have errors and bugs and if you look hard enough you can find areas that are not finished. But, that’s part of the charm of playing these “garage band” type games. We get to watch as these mod makers get better and better and perfect their crafts. It’s kind of like watching a new band start out in their garage. Until their together a while they make alot of mistakes.
    Well, all mod makers are still learning and some like Leon have their skill level up to that of the big name game makers. The only think he’s lacking is the money and time to make a new, perfect ( if there is such a thing) game. If Leon and their team had all they need to do these, like more money and a larger crew, I have no doubt that they could make some very incredible new games. Not Half Life based but all new ones. The skill is there but they lack resources. Again, I have known many great musicians that have never “made it” as they just didn’t have the right connections or they had to quit playing music to take a “real” job to be able to eat. Many artists are forced to do this to survive and I’m sure this is happening with this team. If I had it to give, I would invest in these guys and turn them loose to develop a whole new game.
    Sadly, I’m not able to do that so, we may never know, what they are all really capable of creating. If only they could find one of those guys from the Dragons Den to invest in their new game company. And I’m sure Leon and the crew would give all of us loyal players of his work a big discount on their first game! Talent this good should never go to waste but be expanded on.

    1. Kasperg

      Robspace1 said:
      These games are made by a whole big team of people that spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours to perfect.
      Still, Adam Foster didn’t have a whole big team of people that spent millions of dollars to make Minerva: Metastasis.
      The fact that we as mappers aren’t spending the same resources as big companies doesn’t mean we can’t reach the same (sometimes better) results if the priorities are set right.
      I understand Phillip’s defense of playtesting, which really doesn’t cost millions of dollars. Other little problems don’t even have to exist if you give yourself certain rules from the start (example: a door on a wall means there has to be a door on the other side of that wall).
      At the same time, I understand the team’s reluctancy to distribute a mod as big as this for playtesting, more so if we remember Leon had someone take his unreleased maps long ago and uploading them somewhere. A lot of trust is needed for that kind of playtesting to work efficiently.

  85. SPY-maps

    again PP, I can only agree with you here. I am glad you did review SM as you would have done with any other mod, I really wouldn’t have liked it any other way. only serieus comments I can work with. so, please always keep telling me exactly what you really think of the work we do.

    let me start with the or a story, I do agree that the story of SM is paper thin, its indeed Go up mountain, kill everyone you see and get out of there again. very simply said, but basicly that is it, indeed.
    and, I for one don’t mind this. for me story is something to connect the fightingscenes with. to much story would get in the way of the shooting that I myself like so much. but, when you like to have a big story like you do, then SM is indeed not much. but, to take a (even paper thin) story out of a mod is I think, a bad idea. a good mod (to me) needs a bit of a small story line to tell you why you need to fight your way from a to b.
    although this is not compleatly true. in fact, only CtoA and SM are the only mods I ever made. before that I only made sp-mappacks. and with that I mean indeed maps that are linked together and have no story at all, other then to get from a to b. in fact, I never called CtoA a mod, I see it as a large sp-mappack. only when other people started to call it a mod we started to name it like that too.
    so, my passt does proove indeed that I make more sp-mappacks as story driven sp-mods. not that I hate good stories, but it just takes up fighting time, lol.

    beta testing, its true that we do need to get better in that in the future, and therefore I will see to it that this does happen earlier in the mapping stage. it just takes up a lot of the time of the testers to, and its hard to find good testers at first, that also like to put in numerous hours of time in to the actual testing and retesting, etc.
    but, we will keep this in mind. like with CtoA do I listen very very well to all comments that are made, and I really try to learn from them and to use them in a next project.
    about HL2 mapping, you’re indeed right with that SM is the last HL project for now, from me at least. Baltic still wants to see if he will make HL2tutorials and therefore maps of some sort. maybe I will even help him, but, going on with HL2 like I have done the last 5 years, that does indeed stop here. should Valve make another HL, a HL3. then I am pretty sure I will start again, haha.

    about the place you showed above on screen PP, that place I did overlook, there are indeed quit a lot combines attacking there. they do come in 3 waves and are not spawned all at the same time, you need to trigger 3 triggers for them that are placed throughout that whole place there, but, there are quit many of them, that’s true, (even when they have not such powerfull weapons there). please don’t forget that I made that map about nearly 2 years ago. hopefully you will think the later maps are better as the first ones. many people seems to think this and I am glad about that.

    RobSpace, thank you again for the nice words !!!
    and your right about that game companies do have much bigger recourses and people, what makes things much easier.
    to compair SM with Minerva is not very honest Kasperg. I am not sure anymore, but I believe Minerva exitst out of 3 maps, and the maker (one mapper) did need the same amount of time or I believe even longer to make these 3 maps as I did for 17 maps. I have to atmit that I did work together with Baltic on the maps, he did the optimization of all maps, most bug fixing and a crapload of technical mapping, read; getting things to work that I couldn’t get working, what was in most cases entitie work (he did a great job with that, so the comment of someone above that he couldn’t play SM due to bad optimization is something I really protest against. when you can’t play SM you’re pc is probebly not that strong. SM is actualy very very well optimazed !!)


    1. Kasperg

      You are right in that. Minerva is a bit short and offers little new content for the time it was in the making (although it’s a master class on how to effectively use existing content!), but that itself is another philosophy: shorter gameplay time and more polished visuals vs more length.
      Now I wasn’t really speaking about polish in the sense of optimization, but more in the visual or gameplay bits that Phillip or for example Chris Fox pointed out here or in the Pre-release thread.
      The only thing that comes to mind is that the indefinition of some of the themes you usually work with might not motivate you enough to work on the visual aspect as much as you do on the gameplay. I know the feeling because I’ve abandoned several SP and MP maps in the past for the same reason. I felt that I didn’t really like the theme (industrial most of the time) and wasn’t willing to spend the time needed to make it look right. You might feel the need to move on to the next map with a fresh and motivating idea than stay with the same thing until it bores you.
      That’s perfectly understandable, but has the side effect of a group of players not being able to fully enjoy the maps.
      The 16 maps of The Citizen v 1.o were 7 months in the making (11 months for the 1.1 version that is playable now). Research & Development was supposedly 6 months in the making. I am certainly not claiming Chris Fox’s mod and mine is anything near perfect (R&D is much much closer to visual perfection) but it’s just an example of how little months and years really mean. It’s about the amount of hours and where they’ve been spent. Did Adam Foster spend more hours for far less gameplay time than you and I have made with our mods?
      Sure, but he works at Valve now and we don’t 😉

  86. SPY-maps

    that” true, can’t argu with that, lol!
    about the optimization, that was not ment for you. someone else said above it was porely done, and Baltic has done like always a very great job with the optimization. that” all I wanted to say to that other person.

    it will surprice you very much probebly, but I myself didn’t like Minerva at all !!! in fact, the first map I played when it was released untill I reached the indoor part. people do complain often that my maps are dark, but this first map of Minerva I thought was really dark ! so dark in fact that it frustrated me dearly, the more so because it was very hard to find your way through it with all the fences and small hallways.
    i stopped playing and ones the second map was released I tried map 1 again and played it through till the end and played map2. but same effect, it was all very dark and I kept backtracking all the time, really didn’t know were to go next. so I stopped again.
    when later people told me that Minerva was so much better I really was surpriced, and when I read that Valve contracted the maker I did fall from my chair. did I miss something or what?
    ofcourse, the outdoors was great !!! really well done, but most of minerva is indoors when i’m right, and that part I couldn’t apriciate at all.

    i’m now probebly making a lot of people mad, because telling that you think Minerva is not that good, or even bad is the same like shouting at God. but I can’t help it, its just my personal opinion. till this day I am really surpriced that its liked so much by so many people.
    but that shows christal clear again that taste is different, what is liked by some is not liked by others.
    still, I hardly ever heart the comment that it was to dark indoors, and that it was not clear were to go, what made you had to backtrack all the time. and I can’t imagen people not thinking it was to dark, or that backtracking a lot was not the case.

    but, lets not start a whole argument about Minerva here. again, the outdoor part of it was the best I ever did see in a mod!!


    1. Kasperg

      You could’ve tweaked your gamma settings to make it brighter, it’s been a while but I don’t remember it being too dark. In fact the lighting was one of the best things about it, making the sometimes overly symmetrical structures look much more interesting than they really were.
      What we can’t argue against is that is very carefully tailored, and even the smallest area in each map has been treated with some importance. To some players that’s a symptom of great level design. Other players aren’t really born explorers and the action is what will matter to them more. I thought the combat was quite good (nothing new) but like you I often had problems with backtracking and non-intuitive paths.
      I think the huge indoors were miles better than the outside, another example of how much tastes can differ!

      Honestly, it’d be worth some research (Poll questions etc) knowing what importance players give to the different aspects that make up a mod. Polished visuals? Innovative gameplay? Pure fun? Custom content? Narration? Length?
      Not that our goal as modders is cattering to what others want from us, but it’d be interesting as a curiosity to see the results.

  87. geekofalltrades

    Well, I’m stuck. I’ve made it up to the cutscene wherein Gordon uses the buggy to knock down a gate. When he starts the buggy, it just revs and jiggles in place without moving, and the gate explodes as if by magic. Then the buggy continues to rev and jiggle, and the cutscene never ends: revjigglerevjigglegordonlooksaroundrinserepeat. If there’s a way past this point, it would be great to know about.

    1. Woja

      Have you tried using the gravity gun to free the buggy?

    2. Clunkfish

      I had that bug too – I went back to my last save before that cutscene and this time the cutscene went without a hitch. All I can suggest is to try going back to a convenient save point and trying again.

  88. Ol" Scratch

    I haven’t played the second installment, but I am downloading it as we speak–since I work for a major US home-improvement chain (no, the OTHER one!), my online time is rather limited these days, and playing time even moreso.

    So, having disclaimered myself, here I go:

    Phillip, you’re right: the damn thing is rough. Sorry, Leon, I have all the respect in the world for you, but I gotta be honest here. You’ve already read my comments in the first SM installment, and I enjoyed it immensely despite the issues, so you know I do this out of love(!). 😉

    I think it really comes down to a batch of guys who really should be working for Valve, and given enough rein to create stuff that we would pay for–because, I believe, the talent and the desire are there, and had SM been created with THOSE resources, Leon et al would have created a masterpiece–especially since someone at Valve would have redirected some of the mistakes and/or some of the oddball stuff into something more coherent and useful for the story.

    And that brings me to a direct comment to Leon et al:

    Dudes! Quality over quantity!! If you had to make it into 17 different sections, so you could get the layouts and quality right, then do so. This was a majorly-ambitious project, HUGE in scope, along the lines of HL2 itself. Something like this needs to be broken up into sections, and each section polished properly (anyone know what “the labor of the file” means?) before it was released. And you really should have beta-tested better. You have a helluva resource right here, starting with Phillip, and continuing with the regulars at this joint. *I*, for one, would NOT release this into the wild (ask Phillip about that one mod he told me about).

    The important thing is to do it right. Honestly, I think it is mostly right, it has its little niggles that can be exceptionally frustrating; again, take into account who did it and what they were working against, it’s forgivable.

    Honestly, as long as it’s playable and (mostly) enjoyable, and gives one satisfaction in playing it, then it’s worth the effort.

    But I think Leon and company need to go back through it and fix some of the worse problems that are coming to light now that it’s out in the wild. Fix it, polish it, labor it with the file, and then put it together in one big download and release it. Yes, it’ll take more of your precious time (no sarcasm intended), but I think you and your audience will be happier with it in the end.

    Oh, and Phillip: haven’t you ever seen a DEAD-END DOOR??? Sheesh, they happen all the time in older areas of the US, and Europe as well. Especially Eastern Europe (as the whole HL2 world seems to be set in). So let that one go… I didn’t even notice it, and I tend to catch stuff like that.

    1. Mel

      I would say that for the majority of players SM does not need to be polished-up or fixed, so I am not completely sure what you are talking about? In its current state I have played through once and intend to play through at least once more. If you read all the posts you will see that many players have or are playing SM a second time.

      No amount of polishing-up is going to make any difference to who plays the mod, nor do I believe that many of those that dislike the mod will ever change their minds no matter what the team fix.

      There most be limit to what we can expect from a team of this nature that have given so much without reward, we all support progress and improvement and I would be happy if Leon and team do improve the playing experience as they did with C to A.

      However, I see any improvement only benefiting those that already like the game and will replay the mod; I honestly can’t see most that dislike the mod giving it a second thought let alone a second play through. I am sure the ratio of positive to negative reviews will be much the same before and after any such fixes.

      This not to say that I disagree with your point of view, just questing what propose it would now serve the HL community. I would sooner see the team take what good feed back they receive, be it positive or negative, and put it in to good use with any future projects they may embark on.

  89. Woja
    Personal Favourite

    Epic, Strider Mountain is indeed – and to paraphrase that said of Wilbur Smith – this is the work of a team “at the height of their powers”

    There is no doubt in my mind, that if this had been released with no pre-conception or hype, this would have been a “Wow” – “Hall of Fame” – “Personal Favourite” all over the place – and Philip – in no way detracting form what you do for the community, if you hadn’t been so close to the project from inception, I don’t believe you would have given these details such close attention.

    For the Spy team, my congratulations………….

    For those that don’t like hectic combat situations, go chill……..

    For Valve if you don’t (at least) contract these guys, you’re losing out………..

    Oh – and last but not least, for Philip – for the best HL2 site on the planet!

  90. SPY-maps

    we will not go back in SM and work on it again, and I do have to agree full with Mel when he says;

    “No amount of polishing-up is going to make any difference to who plays the mod, nor do I believe that many of those that dislike the mod will ever change their minds no matter what the team fix.”

    that said this is not the mean reason why we will not work again on SM, its stimply because SM took allready way to much time of us all, and new projects are waiting to start with.
    although this is not compleatly true, Baltic has worked the last weeks hard on severel issues that came up after the first release of SM. the big bugs are fixed by him, like for instance the trouble with the jeep in map 5 I believe it was.
    going over SM and redo things would take at least a few months again, and I rather kill myself as going over it again. working on SM for nearly 3 years was a HUGE task, and we are allready pleased with how SM looks now. ok, ofcourse could things be made better, this is always the case. its just like I said many times before. my mapping is all about quantity and quality, not that quality is not importent but I rather like to make 17 maps that are ok as 5 maps that are really super. most people that do play our maps and mods do like the lenght of them as well as the quality. to often we hear the comments about other short super looking mods like; it was great, but much to short. we only have so much time and effort to work on a project. and personaly I think Sm was and is good enough to be released, looking at the time it was made in, and the amount of people that were needed to make it. looking at Sm in that way I really do think we did a hell of a job !!!

  91. Filthy McNasty
    Personal Favourite

    Message to the author. This by far and wide the best Half-Life 2 map that I have ever played. I had everything except a boat driving scene. But, that’s aright. I have not had as much fun play a map in a long time. I will be watching for your next project. Keep up the good work.

  92. SPY-maps

    thanks Filthy McNasty ,
    we made “Coastline to Atmosphere” also, what is also a HL2 sp-mods, with 15 sp-maps. when you liked SM, then you will like CtoA to. you can find it here on PP, let me know when you need help to find it.


  93. Personal Favourite

    I finally played through that mod and I really enjoyed it heavily.
    The levels are really long, full with exciting and diversified fights and a horrible good gameplay.
    Especially the bonus map is one of the best maps I’ve ever played.
    For sure there are some things I also didn’t like, like those cutscenes where you gordon, I don’t want to see gordon, I wanna be Gordon! (Especially because the gordon model looked somehow silly)
    Also I was a bit disappointed by the end, I hoped for a really fantastic fight but I only got a decent one.
    There were also much too less strides for a mod calling himself strider mountain 😛
    Nethertheless this is a fantastic mod and a highlight of 2009 which everyone should play.

  94. AnonEntity

    It’s a waste of talent and time, Strider Mountain, that is. Ressurecting enemies? There should be a limit on how many times an enemy should be replicated. They seem to emerge from nowhere, and then attack you again after they’ve be neutralized. Silly!
    “thanks, but no thanks”………………!

  95. SPY-maps

    thanks SolidFake for the nice comment, and to AnonEntity I would like to say that I am a bit amazed to hear this comment again, of endless spawning combines. some other people said it to. still, I can asure you that only in map 6 there are 2 spawn points were combines do keep spawning from, but only for a specific time, (untill you have reached another trigger). in our sp-mod that we made before SM, called Coastline to Atmosphere( CtoA) there were more points were endless spawning was done.
    but, in SM there is really only in map6 for some time never ending spawning. in all the 16 other maps the combines do spawn only ones, I know this so sure because I have tried to learn from all comments that we did get after releasing CtoA, and one of those was that people didn’t like this never ending spawning, therefore I did it only ones in map6.
    and about enemies that ressurrect, that I can’t place. could you please be more preciese, because nowere in SM are enemies that die and come to life again, that would indeed look silly. its a shame that you didn’t like SM, and I am sorry for that. as you can see do others like it what proves that it is impossible to make maps that are liked by everyone. so, i’m sorry that you “belong” to the group that didn’t liked it, we did our best to make SM as good as possible.

    1. AnonEntity

      Your Mod, SM is great. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just my frustration….lol!
      If what you call respawning, and what I call ressurection conflict, so be it. HL/HL2 is the best game ever and I’ve been on it from the very very beginning. Yes.
      I wouldn’t mind Zombies respawning for ever, but adversaries with some artifix logic, in a SP Mod, popping up right in your face. “God” mode is not my taste. Up to this point/level (strider at railway station, and then huge compound), I swear, SM was challenging to me. After a week of trials and tribulations, at same level, I went “God”, just to see what’s up. Enemies popping up right under my nose, with millions of their wasted replacants covering the ground. I was “God” though. Why my term Silly. But no hard feelings. I like the environment very much. But I’m stuck!!!!!!!!!

  96. msage

    Waaaahhh!! I can’t play it!!!

    I installed it where it was supposed to go. When I launch it, a window pops up and tells me that it’s “not ready for offline mode.”

    My internet connection is down (I d/l’d it from work…shhh) and it’s likely to be down for a long time.

    Anyone know of a way to get around this problem? I have a handful of other mods that generate the same message.

    1. Sortie

      You need to launch HL2 and Strider Mountain in Online mode of Steam before it can be played in Offline mode. Get an Internet Connection to take your computer to work.

  97. Gypsy_Jim
    Personal Favourite

    This is a truly fantastic “must-play” Mod, possibly the best there is. What a journey!I’m sure somebody else has already said it, (but I’m not going to go back & re-read all 150 posts….) but if this one doesn’t get Valve knocking at your collective doors, the way they did with Adam Foster, then there’s no justice in this world!My only (minor) gripe is that even though it’s consistently way above average, superb in places, and extremely playable, though very very challenging for a “moderate” level player like me, has beautiful design and incredibly well thought out scenarios and set pieces, it is a perfect example of a Mod that should have been cut up and released in several chapters.That is only my opinion, but having just completed it, in many many sittings, I am fairly unlikely (though it could happen) to go back and fire it up again from the start. If it was a series of 1-2 hour maps/mods then I would find my favorite and re-play
    again and again, but it’s simply too big.

    Having said that, it towers above very other Mod as far as I’m concerned and the creators should be rightly proud of their accomplishments. Anyone who didn’t like it is wrong!

    1. “Anyone who didn’t like it is wrong!”
      It’s comments like that that anger me. Why can’t somebody not like something and have that view accepted as simply different from theirs?

      1. Gypsy_Jim

        Ok, sorry, maybe it was a bit of hyperbole, a way of saying how much I liked it rather than a direct, or indirect attack on any of the mod’s detractors…..

        Since writing my initial comment I have now re-read the last page of posts, and understand the issues more fully than before. But, they have come up before in other mods.

        A bit of a thin story, masses of enemies, unfeasible architecture, giant striders that exist for no discernible reason and a hall to put them in that exists for no other purpose other than gameplay….

        It’s a science-fiction world that HL2 is set in, does it have to be feasible too?

        It wasn’t a personal dig btw, your comments, as ever, show how much thought you have put into the reasoning critiques on many of the aspects of the mod. Which I admit I haven’t.

        I just wanted to heap praise on the Modders, not slam down the critics.

        Of course people don’t have to like this mod, I’m just surprised that they don’t….that’s all.

        This comment is by way of an apology to all those who don’t.

        Sorry Phillip if I upset you, I do try to put a bit of thought into my occasional comments too you know? This one just came over as a bit simplistic, perhaps.

        1. Gypsy_Jim,

          No need to apologize because I knew it wasn’t a dig at anybody. It’s just that SM has really polarized readers and I wanted to stand up for the “Nah sayers”. I am truly happy that a lot of people love Leon’s work and hope he makes lots more.

          Anyway, no hard feelings and thanks for the apology.

  98. SPY-maps

    thanks GypsyJim, for the nice words. about Valve, we, or at least I don’t expect any mails of them at all. when we released our last HL2 sp-mod Coastline to Atmosphere (that also can be found here on PP), with 15 large sp-maps, we did mail Valve 3 times, just to show our mod. but we never did receeve one mail of them, not even a standart mail that said they were to bussy to asnwer any mails. so, it would really surprice me when they suddenly do comment on SM themselves. still, this doesn’t matter. we were glad to make another large HL2 sp-mod, and we are very glad that so many people do like it.

    and about the comment of that Anyone who didn’t like it is wrong, I did understand that as how you ment it, like Phillip did too. but ofcourse does he need to correct it a bit, but that’s all said.
    should you not be familiar with our last sp-mod CtoA, then please do look here if you like, because CtoA is quit simular to SM in a lot of ways;

    and to Msage I would like to say that its probebly because you don’t have an internet connection right now. please do try the option of starting Steam in off line mode, this should solve all problems.


  99. KingDaniel

    A decent mod, which could have been great (i.e. one of the best ever)if it weren’t for a couple of terrible design decisions.

    I played on hard, as I must all the time just because.

    I’ve hated all of Leon’s previous work. I just see endless slogs though unfair maps with no variety and no decent pay-off at the end. Leon loves unending soldier combat, and thus his maps are going to reflect that. That’s fine — you make the sort of stuff you enjoy, but it’s usually not for me. I prefer maps with a balance of combat, puzzles and adventure.

    Strider Mountain was a massive improvement over his previous stuff. It was 90% combat, but there was plenty of adventure and even a couple of puzzles. I had lots of fun playing though it. “21 hours of play” is rubbish, btw: try 9 (which is still more than most games these days!)

    Here are the bits I *really* hated, and they ruined it for me somewhat:

    The antlion bit (where they spawn endlessly and you have to push buttons to open an exit) was extremely ill-conceived. Even on second play-though (after the demo) this was the only bit of the game I had to cheat to pass.

    The helicopter battles (the black ” copters, not the gunships) were tedious and frustrating. Six rockets is what it takes in HL2 to bring them down (the entities are easy to set up, too). 15+ is just stupid.

    The last level (the bonus one) was a disaster. It was great until after the car-jump when it degenerated into a deeply frustrating and unfair mess, and everything I hated about Coastline to Atmosphere and Leon’s first HL2 mappack.

    The driving sections weren’t too good. With an unarmed car I just kept being cut down by soldiers. The car didn’t seem bulletproof like it is in HL2, and it was impossible to use as cover. I ended up going on foot, killing the soldiers and then driving though afterwards.

    Here are the bits I loved:

    That it worked fine on my ancient system. Many thanks!

    The big articulated chute near the start was great.

    The bit where you shoot the little maintenance droid and it wrecks the area with lasers was fun.

    The Strider machine was impressive (although personally I always assumed they were grown not built)

    Looking down the mountain and seeing how far you’ve come, and seeing bits like the town you fought though, was really cool.

    Most of the combat (with exceptions, like the end of the last level and a few other bits), although rock hard, was fun and (mostly) fair. There was always plenty of ammo lying around and healthkits when you needed them.

    Here’s a few other random things that occurred to me while playing:

    Where were the mini and huge Striders? You spend the first few levels teasing them and they never show up! it’s like playing HL2 and discovering they edited the gravity gun out of the game before releasing it. ” Upgrading” the mod to Episode Two would at least have given us the Hunters to fight.

    The early levels with the (entire) mountain in the background would have looked a lot better with a 2D cardboard mountain (photo) in the background. The 3D ” terrain” version was less than convincing.

    I liked the 2D antenna clusters up the mountain. It sounds silly, but I’ve always had a fondness for “fake” versions of complex objects in the background of maps (going way back to when I had my N64)

    The story was pretty much nonexistent. It was just “go in, kill everything that moves and get out”. The adventure easily made up for that.

    I’m glad G-man wasn’t in it. I like Mr G, but him talking with Phillip’s voice would have been too much for me.

    Overall I enjoyed Strider Mountain, but it could have much better.

  100. Filthy McNasty

    Hey Leon, thanx for your response. I have already played “Coastline to Atmosphere” and it was good too. However, if you and when you come with anything new, I’ll find it @ PP. I really look forward to that. Thanx again.

  101. SPY-maps

    thanks KingDaniel for your review of SM and I am glad that you liked parts of it. that it could be made better I agree with fully, but we allready worked for so long on it that we needed to end it. it was releasing SM as how it was now, or stop deveoping it.
    that you could play it in 9 hours really does amaze me !!
    its true that I said it will raughly take around 20+ hours to play it, and I do think most people will need that time to finish it. even I who did play it ofcourse many many times till do need at least 6 to 9 hours to compleat it, (without cheating ofcourse). so that you can do so in the same time is really very amazing. over the last weeks I have read severel times how much time people did need to finish SM, and most of them did need around 16 to 20 at least. so considder yourself a real hard core gamer when you can finish SM for the first time in 9 hours, again, that is simply amazing !!!


  102. Robspace1

    I agree with Mel. This great mod lacks nothing! If you hit a bug or it freezes up, just noclip through it. For all their work this thing is nearly perfect and I can’t see any mod this big being this close to flawless.
    If this team (of just a couple people) decides to make another game and not a mod, it will take alot of money and many more people to do. Mods are alot easier to make then new games and I really hope that Leon and crew can start their own company and come out with a brand new game. I’m real sure we would all get a discount, eh Leon?
    They have proven they have what it takes to make these games rock and they need to make more. Just too good to stop now! Thanks again for the mod-I’m on the 3rd time around.

  103. Andrew
    Personal Favourite

    This is one of the very best mods I’ve ever played. For HL2 it’s probably the very best. I had a blast, playing on medium difficulty. No glitches or bugs that disturbed my gameplay. Continuous action and challenges to finding workable tactics throughout. And totally gorgeous maps. I have a 23″ CRT with a fairly high-end video card and the outside scenes looked fabulous. The highlight for me was the final bonus map; really well thought out, and great gameplay.

    I thought the big courtyard fight, when we meet the “small, fast and vicious” strider for the first time, particularly complex and interesting, with many factors influencing the play traded off intelligently. My impression is that this was professional quality level design – i.e. I can’t imagine it having been done that much better. Except for one thing – I wish it hadn’t been so easy for me to defeat this by using the simple ruse of running off back around the corner where we first enter, and where an everlasting rocket supply exists there by the truck parked in the archway. In that way I was able to take out the mini-strider without suffering any attacks at all, at my leisure. The heat in that central shack proved too much for me.

    Kudos to Leon, Baltic and cubedude for an outstanding effort. This should be on store shelves, earning money for you guys. Valve should offer you all jobs. Perhaps neither will happen, but I think them fair nonetheless in a perfect world. Which, of course, it isn’t; but we can dream.

  104. SPY-maps

    wow, well said Andrew and I am glad you liked it so much. funny how I learn each time something new of these reviews and comments. for instance how you killed the first strider in SM, by going back to the main entrance of that big open place, and used the ammo box there with rockets to kill the strider. never thought someone would do this, never even knew it was possible. personaly I always keep inside the small house in the center, there is enough ammo and health there to stay there untill you have killed each and everyone. but its easier to go back indeed. nice idea !!!

    thanks again Andrew!


  105. KingDaniel

    It may have taken a little more than 9 hours for me to complete Strider Mountain — I was just estimating. I didn’t time myself or anything like that. It definitely wouldn’t have been more than about 12, though.

    I’m no hardcore gamer! I die every 30 seconds!

  106. Personal Favourite

    This mod is positively brilliant! I had to check the walkthrough once during the normal game (which did help) and also for the bonus map (which didn’t help).

    The only glitch I found was in the bonus map, as I managed somehow not to trigger a strider anywhere, yet got a heli that wouldn’t die despite exhausting all the extra rockets. By that time I’m at what appears to be the end of the map with a closed gate.

    I strongly recommend everybody drop everything and play this!!!

    1. You have not finished dougjp !!
      More glorious combat to follow.
      I think you must be at the gate by the side of the house.
      SPOILER. In the house is an RPG ammo” box. In the ceiling is a square manhole – go plumbing.
      Finish off the helicopter else you’ll leave the place untidy.
      Strider follows in the last arena.
      Good luck!

  107. SPY-maps

    for weeks now I see this polish ( ? ) comment above, and asking myself;
    what is he saying ??
    and I get more and more interested by it, does someone else speak polish AND english here?


    1. I’ve just sent you a PM at your Strider Mountain site about this.
      Yes, in Polish. In short. it just says that Strider Mountain is ready to download and play.
      No, do not speak Polish – had Google do it for me.

  108. Personal Favourite

    Without an exhaustive review, I’m content to say that this epically wonderful piece of work has earned a spot in my permanent top 10 !

    It supplied everything I could ask for and more from any developer of a Half Life 2 universe mod and could serve as a fine reference to others.

  109. nothing was broken (did not have to use noclip) it was not short; in game spoiler movie clips are very undesirable

  110. Play It Later

    This mod has an incredible amount of effort put in and that I respect. However, I sometimes had difficulties knowing what to do and knwoing where to go. After finding the first few portal datas without help (after about map 8 ) I had less problems..

    The maps really are very beautiful, but still have a sort of standard quality. Overall it as very similar to Coastline to Atmosphere (except the theme of course). By this I unfortunately also mean, mostly the maps had this very blocky thing about them. And then in the deep part of the mountain I had this feeling, Combine Soldiers don’t belong here…

    The weapon skins I thought were a bit unnecessary, but they were okay. The puzzles were very well thought through and I like that.

    In the end, I was more aiming for finishing the game, than for destroying Strider Mountain and escaping, but I still think this is a must-play mod.

    Good job!

    1. Another thing lol:

      I LOVED the bridge and the crane part. Looking down from the mountain and seeing nothing but clouds is very scary and amazingly intense! 😀

  111. Play It Now!

    It’s been awhile since I played this, so I’m sure I’ll leave out some things, but…

    It’s a long mod. If you don’t want to play a long mod now, definitely play it later.

    There were a couple of things I didn’t like about it, the first being the almost constant combat. I never really noticed breaks in combat before, until I got to this mod and found almost none. The other thing was, it seems like they went, “when the player comes up the stairs, they’ll probably be looking in that direction” and made the enemies spawn in the other direction. Okay, maybe not, but it seemed that way.

    I liked the circular maps, and the bonus level was fun, too. And the epic battle–right before you get the buggy–was EPIC. I loved it! (Well, after it was over. :)) The only problem there was that I couldn’t find the second button without the walkthrough. It doesn’t help that blood had splattered the wall and it’s hard to see an unlit red button through blood spatter… (No, don’t light it.)

  112. SPY-maps

    thank you all for the nice comments, and I am glad that most of you still liked it, even when you had some concerns.

    should you want to play more of the HL2 sp-maps/mods that I made then please check my site, I made a whole lot of other sp-maps in 3 different other sp-mods.

  113. Rikersbeard

    I have just finished “Strider Mountain” and must say it is one of the best mods around.
    I played it on ” easy” as I do like to look around the scenery, but a fenced yard full of sentry guns was a very hard obstacle so early in a game!
    I only had two problems, involving a very buggy, buggy cut scene at the start of “Base Camp” and a missing gunship in the bonus level. Both of which were remedied by reloading from a save point. QUICKSAVE IS YOUR FRIEND!
    Lastly, a big thank you to all those involved in me, playing the much maligned Gordon Freeman, being shoot at by so, so, so many Combine soldiers. And I was playing it on easy!
    Lastly I will say that getting to the main portal room and having someone tell you that a missing portal data point is really going to mess up your day, is very frustrating in the least! And the only level that let me advance without collecting that data, happened to be the one where I was very busy blowing stuff up in sequence, being shoot a lot, manhacked and showered by falling debris! Not to mention chased by an enraged strider! But I went back to a save point found the data and travelled on to the exit again…………
    A fantastic story to add to Freeman’s expanding universe and a great mod. Fun, challenging and some humorous touches too. And it was fascinatingly creepy to see how striders are put together. I give this mod Two thumbs!

    After playing this I have one requested. How about a bonus level where Gordon walks along a bubbling brook on a sunny day, sits down, has a nice hot cuppa and a cucumber sandwich…………

  114. Personal Favourite

    In My Opinion, this was a superb mod, thank you to the entire Spy team, leon,baltic cube,tb,david and all. playing for an hour here and there I had almost 2 weeks of gameplay. I admit on certain areas I needed god mode the first play thru before I discovered what I needed to do, courtyard battle for one. but on my 2nd play thru I was able to accomplish the task at hand. the enemies were very well placed and with a little thought to each move I found there was enough health and supplies placed in great locations to make it very enjoyable. other posters have used the word “epic” in their descriptions and I certainly agree. the cut scenes were exceptional in both giving me a peek at was was coming and a look at where supplies might be, fantastic! As Phillip and other have noted maybe a little more player testing could have polished up some areas as I too love to explore areas as much as I can and I ended up in places I shouldn’t have but that didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment, “quick save” is truly your friend, I have learned thru the years to use it often, especially when I “think” I may venture to the unknown. I applaud the team in making a mod which they themselves like to play, if I were to invest my time and effort I would do the same. with Leon you know from previous work what to expect in combine battles. There was some very terrific work done here and I look forward to more future releases from this group. Thank You to Spy, Phillip for this site and to all who post about all the mods both positive and negative. it makes my love of the half life series of games that much more enjoyable

  115. TB Biggs

    Rikersbeard & tommiezat- thanks for taking the time to post. We appreciate the positive review on SM. Really glad you enjoyed playing it. Now about that cucumber sandwich..!

  116. SPY

    Rikersbeard and tommiezat, thanks indeed for the nice words !!!
    always good to hear when people like maps exactly like I like to play and make them. and maybe you are interested to hear that a new project (sp-mods) is allready in the making. better said, it is even near completion! it’s called Final Project and should like to read more about it for now then please visit here on PP’s forum;

    as soon as it is done it will be avaleble on Planet Phillip!!


  117. Personal Favourite

    Terrific mod. Just nothing more to be said, this is a fun, complete, and well thought out piece of work.

    I think the one thing I’d suggest though, is that the number of times we see the “flashback” discussion with the rebel leader… I’d remove most of them. Once we’re told, generally, we get the picture, and with the text reminder to get data, I don’t really think it’s needed more than once. That and the voice control on the data downloads took *forever* to speak. Not really sure why it was needed at all. It was also a tad unnerving the first couple times I died, seeing the ragdoll flop down 😉

    The ambiance in the snow areas really was amazing. Exiting the inner caverns and seeing and hearing the snowy wind… Gave me chills.

    The driving portions were highly reminiscent of the Coastline in Coastline to Atmosphere, they were both of a great caliber.

    I’m not certain why the Strider facility needed to *make* a strider… since it seems to me they’re organic with a touch of weapon. But hey. 🙂 I want a baby strider. And, it occurred to me that the little one we see might not be a “baby” so much as a “prototype’?

    Anyway – great mod. Excellent work on all the maps, good balance of action and thought. Clever, new puzzles (the steam vents were good). All in all, I’m probably going to play it again (played twice already), so … fun!

  118. Personal Favourite

    I needed to compare this with Offshore.
    The combat in both was equally brilliant. I had no problems with Offshore but did see the occasional oddness in Strider Mountain.
    For replayability, Strider Mountain shades it.
    Which one’s best? I can’t pick so equal first.
    I’ve played twice before. I’ll play again someday.

  119. Think Twice.
    Think really twice about playing more than 20 hours in 17 chapters with the same problems as Coastline to the Atmosphere…
    The mapping is really great, the cutscenes are good, overall I think Leon and his team are masters of mapping…. However, not of gameplay…

    1) Boring and veryyyy slow sequences of vehicles…
    2) The always bizarre system of waythrough, with rush of combine every time when a door open.
    3) Countless rush of manhacks…

    Etc. etc… This is really beautiful first, but when I advanced, it became more and more boring, more and more Coastline-like…

    Definitly not my type of mod, sorry…

  120. Personal Favourite

    Well, it is curious to pass from “think twice” to a PF…

    Well, let me explain…

    From “off course” to “garrison”, it was like Coastline to Atmosphere, TOO MUCH… The system of “you go back, and oh! Combine open the door”, the countless waves of manhacks, the countless rush of combine, and also, a poor, so poor vehicle sequence (like in Coastline…).

    And then, from “garrison” included, it was better and better!
    Garrison got good fights, good battles, and enough health/energy/ammo everywhere… The challenge with getting all the datas for the bonus map was interesting, too!

    Ascent got FINALLY what I’ve stopped to hope : a GOOD vehicle sequence, yes, with not too many combine barrages, but also simple, like I’m fond of, driving sequences on the road, some good scripted sequences (the falling, meh!), it was good…

    The summit was a masterpiece, the map was beautiful and the exteriors with the clouds, magnificent, and also a good idea to put the crane at this place… There were also some good fights.

    from summit to source, I like the mini-train sequence, it was really dynamic, a new challenge…
    And the source was also a masterpiece, a good challenge but again, not too difficult (for example, in Coastline, the fight to destroy the reactor was nearly impossible…), epic cutscenes, and epic destruction sequence…

    After that, the maps were pretty, some fights against Combine and Zombie, until the end, where I think you should have used the cloaked Elite earlier in the mod…. This was some interesting and difficult enemies…

    After that, the bonus map was more difficult than I thought… But the map with the castle was beautiful, and the final fight was great!!! Difficult but, again, not impossible.

    You really get some maturity since Coastline, less manhacks, less difficult fights, using custom voice acting, using cutscene, using new content of gameplay, or using content not many used in mods (like the Crane)…

    Well, after all, a magnificent mod, maybe TOO long… but there is enough entertainment in each map (once passed “garrison”), to go to the end, without getting bored.

  121. Personal Favourite

    what can I say… wow.. I came to the mountain, destroyed it. and left. I look forward to the next installment from leon and baltic.
    4 gold crowbars for this one. man mod was hard, great game play, fun puzzles, awesome scenic views. thanks again.
    ok, now…. whats next. hehe.

  122. beachside777

    The most impressive mod I’ve ever played. Longer and better than many $50 games. Since I’ve played all the Half Life games multiple times, I played this mod on “Hard” difficulty. I ended up eating it many times. It probably took me 20 hours to complete (I didn’t keep track). Highly recommended for fans of the Half Life series.

  123. and play it NOW!.. This one is a real hair puller. I’ve tried to beat it 8 times now and haven’t yet. Always missing one of them stupid downloads you’re supposed to pick up along the
    But FUN?
    This game is a HOOT… Well made, no bugs that I’ve encountered and for you buggy lovers, “it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock-n-roll” Strider Mtn is one of those games you save and walk away from now and But it’s hellafun.
    Down load it. If you don’t like it..go to the the SourceMods folder ( I have a shortcut to my sourcemods folder) select and pluck into the recycle bin.

    If you play it try not to drive off a cliff on the way up…there’s lots of places you can fork yourself but good!.SPLAT! .lol

  124. SPY

    many many thanks to all the kind words that have been said after my last visit and comment here. and for those who didn’t liked it, and did find it and found the gameplay to much as the mod we released before this one, Coastline to Atmosphere. I can only say that it is a shame you didn’t liked it, but I just like maps and mods like this myself, and that is why I make them like this. and I am very glad that most people do seem to share this kind of game taste as I have.

    and I can tell you the good news that I haven’t stopped mapping after this huge mod, in fact, the new HL2 (ep2) sp-mod is already finished. its called Final Project and has 10 large maps that will be good for 10 hours of gameplay.

    good news for those who thought that my previous mods where to hard, this new mod that very soon will be released (here on PP!) will be just as hard, and…. easier!!
    i implemented a system in this new mod where you can choose between just a few enemies, or many, just a little bit of health and batteries, and much.

    but, just read more about that in the Final Project page …


  125. Personal Favourite

    I’ve borrowed a term from Phillip and named a mod folder : ” Hall of fame”.

    Strider mountain is well inside that folder among Rock 24, Minerva Metastasis, Mission Improbable and a few more…

    SPY is my favourite mapper as you’ve already figured out.

    Strider Mountain is, in my eyes, a great step forward compared to Coastline to Atmosphere.
    The mod is floating smooth as guacamole and I’m never bored.
    Scripted scenes are outstanding.

    Only drawback is quite a lot of misaligned textures. But what the heck; This is a massive mod and if every little detail should have been ironed out it would have taken ages.

    I can’t wait for Leons next release…

  126. Personal Favourite

    Strider Mountain is a royal pain in the arse!.. I love this game. It by far is the most challenging mods I have ever encountered! I still haven’t beat it. If you truly want a challenge this is your mod!.. Get it today and good luck soldier!..

  127. SPY

    thanks guys, for all the nice words again. even when this mod is already getting a little bit old (in my eyes that is), it still pleases me a whole lot when people do like this one so much.

  128. Hec
    Personal Favourite

    I don’t remember if I have alredy put a recomendation review on this mod, but I could say this is surely on my list of “counted with my hand fingers” personal favourites mods!,

    So im goin to be brief, this is the top of the top achieve in Leon’s carrer as a mod designer, so is good you won’t regret, I loved new weaponery just amazing I love mods with new weapons, is inovative original and very creative, altough could be kind of annoying for some hard-to-please players, but it was so good for me!.

    Amazing and lovely views great and amazing hights too!, wow, and it’s been like almost 2 years that I played this mod and I still remember, many parts of it! so that means is good, altough I wouldn’t play it agian cause like phillip I never replay mods.

    so finally waht makes this mod brilliant is that 1.- is set into the HL universe related to strikers, 2.-simple and brillliant path way, sart at the bottom of a factory-mountain, go to the top, descent in the deeps, and geta heck outta there boy!!!!, in the way find some info to collect and kill those hated CMB on the way, wow so good!; I love to see hunter mountain or something like that, but well hope that leon conssider it in the future if he returns to the HL mods, so anyway, this is one of my bests personal favourites for sure so hope u won’t regret playing it!!!!

  129. Personal Favourite

    This mod is one of the funnest mods I’ve ever played! But I have some complains. You fight Combine Soldiers WAAAAY to much. How about a break from those guys? Wasn’t enough Striders to fight, there were only like 4-6 Striders we’re fighting. I thought in Strider Mountain, we’d fight over 15 Striders! Great mod though, and I still love using music from other video games into your mods, way more mods should do that! I’m tired of Half-Life music already. Why do people use HL Music in their mods, when they can use some in other games? Weapon reskins were alright, and the new Snow Combine was pretty awesome.

  130. Personal Favourite

    I give this one a “Personal Favourite“, because,…well,…it is. I really enjoyed it.

    This does not mean it does not have faults, which it does. Just read the previous three pages of comments from people who gave it a “Avoid It” or “Think Twice” rating. The consistent reasons among their reviews were; “it felt rushed” and “the weapons were not done well”. I felt the same way. (I even have a screenshot of a Combine soldier suspended in mid air,…about 100ft above the “crane”. He was the last one left still shooting at me,…I was puzzled at first as to where the heck those shot were coming from, when I happened to look up,…and there he was, just hovering there. A couple of well placed pistol shots and he fell to earth with a satisfying “thud”. hmm,… Interesting “tactical” position.)

    BUT. It was still fun to play. I liked the story, even with a couple of inconsistencies. (baby striders?, and Gorden Freeman talks?) I could see that a lot of work was put into this mod. C’mon, 2 years is a lot of time to work on a single project as a hobby.

    Was it polished to a commercial shine? No, it wasn’t. Then again, the team didn’t get a dime for their hard work and effort either. They just wanted to make a fun to play mod, and they succeeded.

    I really liked the soundtrack even though bits of it came from elsewhere. I didn’t care. It fit the mood very well and the music at the end of the bonus map made me feel like I kicked Strider Butt. (I really hate Striders and I was happy to destroy a source of those evil things.)

    I did get through all 14 data nodes and played the bonus map,…three times. So, for me, because of it’s high “re-playability” factor, it’s one of my personal favourites.

  131. Personal Favourite

    Well, FINALLY.

    I finished it.

    Hell, I PLAYED it!

    I got it when the first 6 chapters were released, and I liked it, tho I wanted to run thru it like an utter madman, and couldn’t figure out how to slow myself down! And when done with that first 6, I wanted the rest so badly I nearly lost my mind!

    That was in 2009.

    Today (well, couple months ago), I lost my OS, and had to do a complete wipe/reimage, and reinstall of all the HL2/Steam stuff, including all my mods. I replayed HL2:Ep2, and liked it again, tho it was just TOO SHORT (and the damned Strider swarm at the end was just IMPOSSIBLE, I can NEVER find a good strategy to kill them!).

    Then SM.

    Oh. Em. Efffffff. Gee!!!


    Damn skippy, and for all the reasons listed before, and on “Final Project”: these boys are good!

    I never had any real issues, except for some lag with the HUGE spaces and massive amounts of just sheer scenery to render, but dialing back on the AA/AF took care of that.

    Gameplay was excellent, with a few oddities in there, but nothing was really beyond what one could expect of an army pretty much stranded on the planet trying to stop the rebels any way they can. I think the computer scenes could have been done better, with a PDA instead of a laptop (or, better yet, the suit itself, since it IS a computing device all on its own), and maybe a niggling nit or two as well; but overall the mod was excellent.

    I’ll replay this one a few times, for sure!

  132. Maybe?

    Hmm, I don’t really know what to say about this mod. Most of it was fun to play but there wasn’t really anything special about it. The cutscenes looked awful, like something a kid would make on gmod, and the text over the screen often looked unprofessional as well, and the poor English didn’t help. Also, you’re provided with plenty of ammo for the best gun pretty much from the start of the map, which ruins the great variety of having to use different weapons, which HL2 is known for. I also found that the map was drawn out a lot and perhaps only the best bits were needed; I’m always in favour of quality over quantity. I would have liked a greater sense that I was climbing a great mountain also; in the first few maps, it could be something in a distance in the skybox, which would get bigger as maps progress until you’re on it, and you always feel like you’re going up, like you’re accomplishing something big. I feel like this opportunity was missed, unfortunately.

    Having said all this though, the mod was certainly fun, and it is considered by some to be a classic, so by all means, give it a go, but don’t expect it to be the best mod ever.

    1. Best. Mod. Ever.

      You are being quite unfair, the cutscenes weren’t childish – in fact some of them were excellent! Ok text on screen is what it is – it’s never a thing of beauty, but I for one am grateful that Leon speaks English as well as his native Dutch (presumably) because if the mod was all it Dutch it would be a significant problem for many. I think you should make allowances for second-language anomalies in the text; it was all perfectly comprehensible.
      Yes, it could have been condensed a bit, that’s the only point I agree with.

  133. Play It Now!

    Excellent professional quality Mod.

  134. Play It Later

    It was a nice mod but it could have been better in some ways. It was long(almost as long as hl2 in my opinion).

    Pros: Nice and lovely music. Good level design. Ok voice acting. Long mod. Custom weapons.

    Cons. First of all in a lot of places its hard to tell where to go. I’m mostly speaking in the strider factory and in the antlion puzzle room. Also a lot of times on map changes I will be stuck in a wall witch requires for me to cheat my way out.

    Also the map says you need 15 portal datas. I got all but one and then the 16th one, so shouldn’t that count? Also I had the problem of dying a lot. I feel like you have too many enemies in your map. I also see floating guns of when enemies should be spawning but don’t.

    Improvements: if you fail the 15 datas let the people still play the bonus. Fix glitches and broken areas. Make more maps

    Overall A nice and well done map.

    1. Strider Mountain is one of my all time favourites, I have replayed it many times and I think it holds its place as a true classic, it has everything a perfect mod should have, excellent mapping, a smashing custom score, hard combat, a decent storyline, puzzles (ish) and linear progression.

      It is full of hard combat, but that’s to be expected from Leon, but so long as you don’t try and rush it it’s easy enough – if you’re dying too often try leading them on into tight spots & picking them off, as headlong-piling in will fail often as not.

      No, if you don’t get the downloads, you shouldn’t get the bonus. Otherwise what’s the point? It’s not a bonus if you don’t work for it, and the downloads are easy enough to find – Leon even tells you if you have forgotten to find it!

      I last played Strider Mountain before valve’s evil steampipe was forced upon us, and at that time I had none of the problems you mention, it all worked perfectly, no no-clip required. However immediately after steampipe, floating guns and non-spawning Combine were a regular problem in my mods, so it’s not Leon’s fault that those duffers at vlavle have broken his mod, and sadly I think it unlikely that it will be remade now.

  135. What has Steam/Valve done? – I can’t play Strider Mountain anymore. Are there any fixes out there? When I try and launch it, I get an error saying that the registry is already in use.

  136. Interesting mod I liked.

  137. Personal Favourite

    This mod was a very nice surprise and I was really pleased with the high quality maps and gameplay. The goal of the game is unique – take out the source of the striders. I played on hard so it took me a long time, probably 30 hours. It has everything in it that you love about HL 2. There were a couple of places where my ammo and life were so low and the fighting was so intense I had to use God mode for a few moves to get through, but that didn’t bother me. Many times I got down to 1 life point…very challenging! What I enjoyed the most was the unusual length of the game…it goes on and on as you make your way up through the mountain. Congratulations to the programmers for a beautifully crafted mod that completely respects the game.

  138. Personal Favourite

    Oh my, what an adventure this mod was for me! This is probably one of the longest Half-Life 2 mods ever besides Black Mesa and Underhell!

    The level design is truly amazing! At some points in the Summit chapter, I had to stop and admire the scenery for a few minuets.

    The voice acting could have been better, there some points where the characters were a little too quiet. I thought the weapon re-skins were unnecessary, but they were well modeled and had some decent animations, so I didn’t mind as much.

    The one problem I really had was that the Gravity Gun wasn’t really noticeable enough at the beginning, so when I got to the last chapter where I had to bomb the complex, I had to pick up the bombs with the Grav Gun which I didn’t have, so I had no choice but to type in “impulse 101” in the console just to get the Grav Gun!

    Another problem I had was the constant rushing of Combine Soldiers! There were some parts in the mod where there was just WAY too many Soldiers and I could barely get past a segment without constantly being rushed by AR2’s and Shotgunners!

    Overall, I had a ton of fun playing through this mod and if you haven’t played this one yet, I HIGHLY recommend it!

  139. Maybe?

    I decided to play and review this mod because I’ve seen it mentioned so many times. When I read the description I remember thinking: “This sounds like Minerva but upside down…”; Here you go up and then down again, while Minerva has you going downwards fighting, and struggling to reach the surface again.

    I understand Minerva is a high benchmark however, but I am quite sure that my recommendation (Maybe?) would not have changed without the association with Adam Foster’s work. I will try to explain why I chose “Maybe?” instead of the recommendations above or below it.

    I played this over the course of several weeks and I have no idea how many hours I put into this. Suffices to say that it was a lot because this mod makes you work hard. It is clear from map one that you are going to have to fight, hard, without much pause, and often without knowing if you are going in the right direction. There was ample ammunition and health strewn about though… if playing on easy with the limited gaming skill I have….

    Though the maps are usually laid out well enough so you know where to go, there are times where either the layout or the cutscenes actually are unclear. Several times I had to refer to a video walk-through to progress, because I got stuck. As the mod was almost exclusively focussed on providing combat situations, I am sure these puzzles were unintentional.

    In contrast to Minerva, I did not have the impression I was moving vertically very much. The sense of being on a mountain wasn’t conveyed very effectively in most of the maps. I would have expected stairs stuck against sheer cliffs, steeply inclined mountains paths, similarly positioned, with no banisters (good ambush points both).
    The use of snow-covered and icy environments did have effect but only very limitedly so.

    The gameplay was very repetitive though it did not bother me as much as it did to some reviewers. I apparently was in the mood for some combat but the repetitive backtracking, switch flipping and key-card searching got a little boring after a while.
    In the end I think I did miss some kind of backstory, which was only rudimentary there. The use of the buggy didn’t help here either as it seemed a bit out of place. This didn’t help with the lack of “being on a mountain”.

    All in all this is a mod that you should play if you are in for a long fight and don’t really need much of a story for it, and don’t mind cutscenes that take your control away. Making it must have been a huge job that was admirably done and works well enough.

  140. Personal Favourite

    Having played Strider Mountain many times, I thought I would give it another go. It has once more been challenging, demanding, and fun, but I have come across an unusual issue. When I collected the buggy, there are no front wheels, so trying to drive and negotiate turns is near impossible, so I have stopped to enquire. Has anyone else had this problem? This is still one of my personal favourites, but this play through is less than brilliant with the lack of wheels. Any thoughts welcome.

    Many thanks.

  141. Tex

    Anyone tried this mod recently? It won’t run, I just DL’d the latest version and installed it, and it still crashes before it begins.

    Any help will be most appreciated.


    1. PhillipInTheUK

      I tested it a couple of months ago and it worked perfectly. Do you have the source ask base 2013 installed as upcoming?

      Also check inside the archive for more detailed installation instructions.

      1. Tex

        I played it about three weeks ago, with no problems. Tried yesterday, got the “Can’t find background image materials/console/startup_loading.vtf” message. Downloaded the freshest version I could find (off your site), replaced the old one with the new one, both of which were patched, and now it starts the load screen, but then crashes.

        Between three weeks ago and yesterday, Steam updated itself, so I’m thinking they broke the mods yet again, but I”m not finding anything in the usual locations (tho I think the Strider Mountain site is down).

        Again, thanks for any help. I’m an old member here (Old Scratch), but I can’t remember my login, password, or email I used. :-\ (it’s been tooooo long, and I”m getting old, dammit!) We are friends on Steam (old_scratch_666).

    2. I had to apply the patch in order to play on my Mac :
      Plus I also had to place the bin files into the mod’s folder… but I imagine this is just a Mac issue. (client.dylib + server.dylib)

  142. Personal Favourite

    Well, what a journey!! I’m not so sure it’s worthwhile waffling on about the same things people have already mentioned over the years but needless to say, I absolutely adored this fantastic mod. It’s such a massive adventure through a series of amazing maps which never become frustrating with impossible situations were a mapper normally ruins things with OTT action or stupid overly dark places. Never does this become boring.

    I’ve taken several days to complete this. Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever taken so long to play anything!!! But this isn’t a bad thing – it never bored and always intrigued because like Coastline 2 Atmos the emphasis is on the journey and I love exploring everywhere. Always interesting and I admire the use of so many industrial places and outdoor areas. This is another mod that shall remain on my hard drive.

    In fact, I’ve JUST this moment completed it and I’m extremely tempted to replay all over again. Now, I rate this 10/10 🙂

    However . . .
    I admit that there are two things I didn’t care for. One was the overuse of cutscenes etc… it wasn’t necessary much of the time and spoiled the flow. Hardly a big deal, I know. But I just don’t think many was needed. Also, there was one area on one map that I did NOT like. I forget the map’s name but it was the one with the antlions. This was in a terribly designed place which was too awkward to navigate through whilst suffering those annoying critters!! Plus, it didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of this entire mod’s style. I admit, that onslaught of antlions really p*ssed me off so I cheated. I turned on the noclip and zoomed over to the platform. Then turned off noclip and enjoyed the rest of the mod 100%. It’s just this one area that sucked. Shame.

    The ‘bonus’ map was a nice feature, if very obscure when on the roof. This took me (ahem) quite a while to figure out! It’s a good (and large map) but weaker than the rest of the game.

    Okay, I’m ignoring that constant Antlion part because I rate Strider Mountain 10/10

  143. Avoid It!

    I remember playing this mod a couple years back, so I gave it another go.

    The mod’s story / setting (“strider production + mountain base”) has the potential to be great, but it is barely used. I played through the first two and a half chapters before I quit out of frustration, and the “story” is barely mentioned.

    The game is a Half-Life² mod, but gameplay-wise, it couldn’t be more different from Half-Life².

    First of all, it deviates from Half-Life²’s well-established visual style. Textures ripped from various other games are used. The weapons resemble a “best of”-collection of gamebanana skins, where as health kits use a cheap, low-poly and lazily textured reskin, making them unrecognisable and thus confusing me. They are also played within boxes or cabinets, making them easy to miss.

    Although the base is said to be Combine, it barely uses any Combine textures, models or mechanics. Resembling a Counter-Strike map rather than a Combine fortress, the setting does not fit the narrative at all. The combine are partially reskinned, making it hard to recognise what kind of soldiers I was fighting.

    The battles were badly made, trying to make up for the lack of challenges by hopelessly outnumbering the player, with dozens of soldiers firing from behind cover, making me a bullseye on legs. Where Half-Life² sports a good balance between challenging and intense battles, Strider Mountain lacks any puzzles beyond simple button pushing and consists almost entirely of a nonstop fight, which Gordon miraculously wins (or loses, forcing me to reload far more often than during Half-Life²’s campaign). The player is almost always surrounded, with little to no cover provided.

    There is no consistent visual style throughout the game. The textures change from map to map, hallway to hallway, even room to room. A vast variety of textures is used, only for me to stare at the screen in confusion, wondering how anybody can fit twenty different materials into two rooms and a corridor. This amplifies the impression of not being in a Combine outpost, as Combine usually rely on a small selection of materials. In addition, most props are static, forcing me to adjust my brain to a mostly static world whereas in HL2 almost every prop can be touched, moved, shot or thrown.

    The maps are badly built in regards of gameplay. Usually, no indication is given as to where players are supposed to go next. HL2 often uses scripted events – screaming citizens, rising zombies, suddenly appearing headcrabs – to draw the players attention. To contrast this, Strider Mountain put me under pressure by throwing a gazillon soldiers at me while I was frantically looking for an exit. Often, I would try all available doors before accidentally triggering the next event, just to suddenly find a previously locked door open. Also, the maps are quite obviously only built as arenas for the endless battle. More often than not, a door would open to release a squad of Combine soldiers unto me, and turn out to lead to an empty room with no exit or purpose. Some spaces resembling the infamous air ducts from Half-Life² are implemented as well – usually hidden in places I never would’ve searched if not by accident, and with textures for similar air shafts changing between two maps.

    The gameplay is often interrupted by cutscenes. Not only this violates the number one rule of Half-Life games – to never break immersion -, these cutscenes are also repetitive, extensively used, quite long, and an annoying interruption to gameplay, especially when starting in the middle of a fight because I accidentally found out where to go while seeking cover.

    The scriptwork is often of bad quality. Right at the start, an APC missing to wheels is seen. NPCs or the player model move in weird, twitchy ways, walking without moving their legs or moving like puppets on strings. In some places, it was obvious the modders wanted to show off their skills, building scripted sequences that made no sense and had no purpose.

    Although this mod is aimed at Half-Life² players, it basically tears apart Half-Life²’s well-balanced gameplay and well-planned map-making by presenting poor-quality maps, repetitive and unnecessarily hard but still unchallenging combat and ruining the immersion by spitting into the face of Half-Life²’s visual style by incoherently mixing up hundreds of textures taken from other games. I’m sorry to say this, but this is some of the poorest map and gameplay design I have seen in a long time.

    Oh, and the sentence “the human body is not made for such conditions” is misleading – for one, the fact that Gordon is almost ten kilometres above sea level doesn’t affect the gameplay at all, and also, judging by the lighting and the horizontal size of the maps, this is set in a sunny Mediterranean town rather than a snowy mountain.

    0/10. Wasted time & effort.

  144. Unknown


    Big Maps: I have noticed with Strider Mountain Leon Brinkmann has kind of “stitched” several maps together usually using the Auto-Save Feature which is “Good Utilization” in order to make the mod appear bigger than what it is.

    Big Fights: If you like being pretty well “swarmed” by combine this mod is for you. During most of the levels you will typically fight at least 10 or more combine so, if you prefer lots of enemies coming towards you constantly I think Strider Mountain is a good choice.

    Mission Plot: You are given a mission as to what to do so, you aren’t completely in the dark in the sense you are told where you are going and what you are doing.


    Enemies: Some of the more difficult enemies were more “strategically placed” making the mod feel like it was more thought out. Although, I would have liked to see more difficult enemies there was a crazy abundance of them.

    Cut-Scenes: The cut-scenes aren’t for everyone however, I guess they are apart of Leon’s style which you really can’t find in most other mods. I just wish that their was either a skip function or you can dis-able them in the menu at the beginning of the mod.

    Long Game Length: This mod if you play it slow is at least a 3 hour modification over-all. For some the mod feels like it really drags on, but for those who generally enjoy the mod it is one of the longer ones you will play.


    Linear: This mod didn’t have anything that was all that new except maybe the health rechargers. The enemies were more or less the same their was a slight change with weapons, but nothing that really stood out.

    Un-Finished: Although, this mod is technically finished the final test for it “fell flat.” Certain models in some of the maps such as the jeep have duplicates. Duplicate models make a model look “cluttered.” Many of the enemy spawns are late and will spawn a whole 5 seconds after you walk say up the stairs and an enemy will randomly generate.

    Hand Holder: Strider Mountain in certain areas almost gives you too much health or armor, but that could differ depending on the setting you choose.

    Too Much Of One: There didn’t seem to be a nice balanced contrast of headcrabs too combine. I am aware that trying to get this contrast is one of the most difficult things to achieve in a mod however, you were mostly left to fight mainly combine which got a little bit boring after awhile.

    Data Portal Reward: I won’t spoil what the reward is, but I felt the effort to get it wasn’t worth the time given. This is a subjective opinion, but others may feel different about it. I can still appreciate the extra effort put into the mod using secrets.

    Speaking During Cut-Scenes: I found that rebel citizens in some maps tend talk during cut-scenes. I think if an important bit of information is being discussed having NPC’s talk during those scenes is rather annoying. I also found during cut-scenes there appears to be a few small frames of First Person View and then it cuts back to whomever is speaking. It’s not a huge issue, but it still looks out of place.

    During one of the battles you can even see the widget or whatever still attached to Gordon Freeman.

  145. Personal Favourite

    I have played Strider Mountain many times over the years and still find it to be one of my all time favorites that I come back to often. I’ll have to play it again, now that I have it reinstalled on a new computer, to see what glitches there may be now, as mentioned before mine above.

  146. If you have issues with the wheels disappearing, just delete the entire vehicle folder from strider_mountain/scripts/vehicles with everything in it.

  147. To those that have trouble with launching the game, make sure your “Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer” is set to upcoming

  148. Think Twice

    It’s not the worst mod, but it has many major flaws such as quantity over quality.
    Definitively doesn’t deserve Hall of Fame.

  149. I played Strider when it came out. Then I remembered something Valve did that wouldn’t make it play. I just downloaded it again and steam brings up the first blurry screen and goes back to steam. I saw in the comments to change the file name to Strider_mountain that didn’t help either.
    Is the mod playable now?

    1. Okay, I got it. For a more detailed ‘help’ you need to go into properties of your Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer then Beta tab then select upcoming. Game loads and I’m off to Strider mountain.

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