To: Gordon Freeman
Subject: Mission 1
From: G-Man, United States Government
“Hope you are enjoying your short rest, Mr Freeman. I trust the new apartment is to your liking. Please do not try to escape again, we are watching you.
We have received information that a squad of maverick soldiers at a military base near your previous place of employment has a small number of Xen specimens’ capture and are planning to go public with them, we cannot allow this to happen.
As you have proved yourself such an effective ‘pest controller’ in the past we have decided to use this as an opportunity for your first mission with us.
Your task is quite simple, we will drop you off close to the edge of the base compound and you are to locate a HEV suit and suitable weapons and make your way to the research labs which are situated in a large observation tower by a water storage system. Only military personnel have access to this tower, if you see any military entering a security door, do not kill them until you have gained access.
The outer areas of the base are heavily defended by troops and sentry guns; there is also a rumour of some sort of disease which is killing both research staff and soldiers. After finding the labs and destroying all Xen life forms and personnel you must make your way to the helipad at the top of the tower where the screen will fade to black in that annoying way.
- Title: The Hill
- File Name: hl1-sp-the-hill.7z
- Original File Name: thehill.zip
- Size : 932.08kB
- Author: Ben Cousins
- Date Released: 23 May 1999
Download directly into MapTap [932kB]
You MUST have MapTap installed before using this link.
You can still use it with MapTap once you have downloaded it.
- Copy thehill.bsp, thesequel.bsp, thetower.bsp and thetower2.bsp into your Half-Life 1 Maps folder.
- Launch Half-Life 1
- Open the console and type map thehill.
- Press enter/return or click the Submit button.
- Play and Enjoy.
If you require more help, please visit the Help page.
Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
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Good but short.
I know I’ve said this a few times already in the last ten days, but I really enjoyed this. AT least twice I found multiple paths to get to places, so that was nice and the general feel is one of basic and boxy, but the combat situations are well planned.
I died quite a few times and that makes me happy – if you know what I mean!
BTW: READ THE MESSAGE FROM GMAN – it’s important. If you don’t you’ll get stuck like I did and have to noclip, which is my own fault.
There are no particular amazing sections and the design is ordinary, but as I said the gameplay is fun.
Considering that Ben made this to publicize the fact his team needed a coder, I think he did a good job.
Difficulty is extreme in some places with too many turrets for my taste. I liked the layout but found things like elevators a bit buggy. If you don’t exit an elevator immediately you seem to get stuck and have to noclip.
This set of maps still plays well today and that is basically due to a combination of two factors, layout and enemy placement. This makes for some tough encounters which are worth repeating just for the fun of it, one sequence in particularly is challenging and unique in concept.
The set design is a mixture of fairly open surrounds on one hand, and tight crump situations on the other, thankfully all the intense action takes place top side. The level of mapping appears more then adequate without ever reaching any real peak of achievement. The reservoir setting seemed a bit over the top in terms of size and scale, more could have been made of the mass of water be introducing some under water action.
The maps have a few dead ends that seemed to serve no purpose, but overall it’s a fun set of maps to play.
The creator of this diabolical abomination has a sadistic soul that it’s almost inhuman. Seriously though, this isn’t what I’d call fun, as a matter of fact I’d say it’s quite possible one of the most frustratingly and, for the lack of a better word, crappiest map pack I’ve played in a long time. It shows that this was made not long after Half-Life was released and hasn’t aged well, at all.
There’s NOTHING fun to have here. You start out in a incredible narrow and dull corridor and have to hack away at a barely visible crack in the wall because, oddly enough, the door won’t open. Conveniently enough there’s a HUD suit stocked away in a box that you have to use. It’s here your real mission begins and, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t get any better from here on out.
Most of your enemies are the standard human soldiers and turrets and the majority of these encounters are unfair and will most likely frustrate you due to the lack of health and power supplies along the way.
The only weapons, at least those that I found, that you’ll use are the crowbar, shotgun, mp5 and grenades. Of course many of the fire fights you’ll have with the soldiers are long range fighting so due to the lack of handguns, like the 9mm and revolver, it’ll make the fights unnecessarily difficult due to the inaccuracy of the mp5. Your best tactic is most likely to try and find grenades for the mp5 or just regular hand grenades and lob them over a distance to efficiently kill the soldiers. Trying to tear them down with the mp5 over a distance will just drastically decrease your health and due to the lack of health it can make some of these fights ridiculously hard if not impossible to win.
Towards the end you’ll be required to fight a squad of marines, and alien grunts, with no resupply of ammo or health so if you’re near death you might as well give up or use cheats.
A serious map flaw due to a total lack of coherent testing on the author’s part and as such this map pack mostly consists of trial and error with tons of quick saving and loading over and over again until the end.
And lastly, another serious game breaker that I encountered is that one door near the end will not open and as such you are required to use noclip. I also encountered that if you don’t move out of the elevators until the doors close you’ll be stuck forever and will have to either reload a previous save or just noclip through it.
For sure all the combat is hard, but it’s a challenge and very doable without cheats, whilst the maps do have many drawback which you and others have mentioned, the Grunt encounters are a good test for the player. I found each sequence challenging and worthy of thinking about tactics, in each case there is a solution and approach that will see the player through, yes, you may have to get killed a few times for the learning curve, but surely that’s better then ambling through a game without any effort.
Or you could use the crates and jump over the wall.
That’s because you didn’t read the description. It says don’t kill the guard until the door is open.
Uh, that’s exactly what I did. Do you think I just ran through it without reading the txt. even though you specifically said to read it? There’s no denying that this map pack could’ve used a lot more testing, not only in the balance department but also due to the fatal map breaks such as those I described.
Meh, it’s not like I’m going to play it ever again anyway. Thanks for the upload though.
Sorry, but yes I did think that. No offence meant. I doubt 95% of readers follow my instructions.
This was hard.
Is what everyone else seems to say. I can’t even finish it due to some screwy level transition.
Although this pack sports some good combat and some tricky areas (particularly in the second and third maps) overall it felt like a chore to play through. There are some good ideas here but the attention to detail is pretty low.
I personally think it’s a sin of Half-Life maps to basically require the player to read the text file accompanying the maps. You must do so in this case because…[spoiler]you have to wait for a certain marine to open a doorway before you kill him, even though he’s only about 10 feet from you when you encounter him.[/spoiler]
If this review were on Hangar 16 the Annoyance Rating would be really really high. The worst offender I’ve already mentioned. But there’s also things like the bridge retracting when I already killed the grunt who hits the button to retract the bridge, elevator doors that close permanently if you don’t move through them fast enough, and forcing the player to take some fall damage after a really tough fight. Don’t even get me started on underwater tunnels that you have to crouch to move through, so you move oh-so-painfully slowly.
Only worth playing if you’re really really hungry for early Half-Life style action.
Agreed. Everything that the player needs should be in the maps themselves.
Im not sure what to say really. Didnt like that at all, boxy boring mapping, too difficult, didnt offer any entertaiment.
Having challenging maps is good, but not this way. I should get some rewards after a hard battle until going for next one. Gimme xbow and lots of ammos please, lol 🙂
Well I have too many issues on this one, it was an ok mapping, but I think it didn’t behave correctly for me, 1st of all, I never had any txt in the screen all the gameplay, so I was so confussing, I reached the end, but the ending was a just fadeblack screen in with u can still running there!, so I run I think to the clift and I got killed, so that was really odd, and yep defently this is not the best map for me, but have some cool action and I have to say u need to use some strategic skills in order to pass some crussial areaas like the one at the beggining where also is really hard to find the HEV suit, for me the 1st time I tried I get outta there with out HEV at all, then the 2nd time I tried it was right next to the wall that u have to crumble, so that’s probably a bad layout, the part in the trenches and all the way sourrounded with turrrets is also hard, so dont waste ur granades, they are pretty important for all the course of the maps.
Some personalities caught some Xen monsters during the incident and now they are going to show them to everyone. This has to be prevented, otherwise there will be panic and chaos! Let the world be calm for at least a little longer.
So we get into the base of these personalities and take HEVsuit and weapons, which they put near the entrance, to make any entered thief armed to the teeth…
The design is boring and unrealistic. I can only note the sniper rifle, which looks very good despite being made from bruhes. Just like in Total Evasion, the Z-Fighting is frequent. We need to get through the obstacle course. Some obstacles are original – for example, the puzzle where we need to move the crate which blocks the exit. Another original moment – where we need to sneak behind the soldier as he is the only one who can open the doors.
And again, there’s no ending.
It has challenging fights and puzzles. Play it if you don’t mind bad design and bugs.
Difficult but good, some areas require multiple replays after dying to determine how to proceed. A number of areas are not intuitive to the extreme, making the game frustrating in places without enjoyment, however there are some really good battles and challenges too.
Another great map pack, but a very hard one at that!
I know it’s already been mentioned by PlanetPhillip, but one thing that I really liked about this map were the multiple ways of getting to areas. I found three ways of getting over the wall at the start, and another three of getting to the red door near the end.
The action was really fun but hard. You have to think about what your going to do and I kept bashing my quick save and load quite a lot. The inaccuracy of the AR was really annoying but it is a very possible map providing you think about what your going to do before you do it.
The grunt opening the door thing shouldn’t have been in it. I’m pretty sure everyone killed him even if they had properly read the text. There was no point in that at all, especially when you have just killed lots of them to get there in the first place.
If you like hard action maps, then this is a must.
Ok! after a week or so away from playing I’m back.
Although not the worst so far by a long chalk, this was not enjoyable as some parts were just plain dumb or just unnecessary with the main offender being in the section with the pool, the grunt is standing back from the sniper rifle holding his MP5, not the rifle and yet when you top him the rifle stops. The way this looks to me, is that the author made this up as he went along and included ideas but not always following them through. The whole thing seems so disjointed that I just wanted to get it over with.
Possibly for me the only saving grace is the part with the grunts and the turrets, it was almost medieval, just like you would defend the entrance to a castle, replacing the archers slots in the wall with gun turrets in low towers and grunts instead of Yeomen. However, the end unless I missed something was stand on the helipad scratching you bum and looking at the scenery!
I can’t say that I enjoyed this one. I found the combat relatively engaging but a host of bugs and just a poor to mediocre quality held it down.
The level layout was interesting because I found that there were multiple ways to move through the maps, which was gave me some options on how to play. There were also some interesting areas to play though that I thought were genuinely fun. The problem was that the levels felt pretty bland when it came to detailing. It seemed to have the hallmarks of many early mapper, with claustrophobic hallways and room and wide open and empty outside areas.
Most of the combat seemed to be well implemented. Though, it did have its fair share of hidden turrets and snipers, which are fine in moderation but outright annoying if overused. There is the usual mix of aliens and humans to deal with but there is little health around so you need to be cautious.
Overall, I would say that this probably isn’t worth the time and frustration to play but if you want some interesting multi-path combat situations then it might be worth a look at.
4 map mini mod about you being once again Gordon Freeman, receiving a job from the mysterious Gman. Your mission is to infiltrate a base, preventing soldiers to make the alien job story public.
Also kill all living evidence. And then get the hell out of there!
As for the odd story, it has been used often but at least there is one. The mod itself started interesting as there is tactics required to kill the grunts and destroy turrets.
There were a few puzzles and like “semi-puzzles” which are pretty fresh as I haven’t seen them anywhere else. The design is sometimes a bit odd, sometimes poor and unfortunately never a joy for the eye – this could have been a lot better!
All in all it was fun at first but than gets a bit frustrating and boring.
-Some good leveldesign ideas, but far away from high quality – at least average I’d say
-Good balanced combat action
-A few nice puzzles
-Mostly boring design, colors – odd architecture sometimes
-“Unfair” situations (start map 3) incl. dead end
-Bugs (mapchange, graphics)
-Always obvious what will happen
With Ben’s first showing in the Half-Life SP category, I can say he’s not the most accomplished mapper, but I’ve seen much worse.
The Hill takes place after you’ve been hired by the G-man and now you have a tough little assignement from him. I hear working conditions are really unfair over at the government these days… You need to kill an entire army of bad guys and all they give you is a crowbar with no HEV suit? Damn that sucks 🙂
Fortunately, you’ll get the HEV suit before the first part of the level is over; unfortunately, the first part of the level is one of the hardest in these set of maps. The Hill, generally speaking, is a thoroughly tough experience, but it was the beginning that had me particularily boggled and slightly ticked. You’ll see what I mean if you choose to get this map, but figure it out, and you’ll be rewarded with some cool fights later on.
One thing nice about the Hill is the author manages to squeeze in all the aspects that you’d expect to see in a good map: a story, creative fights, some puzzles, some special effects and so on. However, the Hill is not really what I’d call a good map, the overall quality still left something to be desired. Architecture, although cramped and detailed just did not feel right and often created some slowdown. Texturing wasn’t too ugly, but once again, it was not spotless, and there were some HOM-type problems in more wide open areas as well as a few misalignments and oddities of such sort. All in all, there were a few things that slightly threw you off of enjoying what makes this map enjoyable.
The challenging fights presented in the Hill may have caused me to die many times, but it was also fun… I don’t know how people come to that conclusion, but there are people like that! 🙂 The Hill is a Grunt-fest and I know many people love those! There’s marines in bunkers, in ditches, behind sand bags, behind sniper rifles etc. The fighting was strategic, surprising and very tough but adequetly satisfying.
Despite the Hill being pretty fun, one cannot ignore that this map was slightly buggy. I got permanently stuck in one area (had to use noclip) and it is possible to miss a level-changing trigger (really troublesome if missed). Simply put, the Hill required some more polishing. Will still be entertaining if you’re yearning for some entertainment.
This review is republished here by permission and was originally published Sunday, 11th July, 1999 by Jiang.
This review was originally posted on the Ten Four Website, which is now offline. Permission has been granted to republish the full review and more details can be found on the About page.
The Hill for Half-Life
Another decent action mappack.
There isn’t a lot to say about the enemies you encounter, though one thing that’s been said before is that there’s an enemy which you have to wait to open a door before you kill him. If you kill him, you have to noclip. It’s an interesting concept, but it could have been better if it was at least a bit obvious.
The level design at first is blocky and (yet again) it reminds me of those forts people in Garry’s Mod make. Fortunately though, it gets better later.
Something I had to say from earlier is that this mod is HARD. As Whatever You Want said, the inaccuracy of the AR is really annoying and a crossbow would have been nice.
Overall, it’s a great gruntfest, and for Ben’s first mod, it’s much better than expected. There are a few issues, but again, for a first attempt, it’s really good.
Play It Later.