🐳 How many games has Beethoven been credited on? (answer)


aka: Bantiao Ming, HL, Hλlf-Life, Quiver
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Description official descriptions

The Black Mesa Research Facility is an ultra-secret laboratory under a government contract to conduct top-secret and extremely volatile experiments. The scientist Gordon Freeman is a Black Mesa employee. One morning, as usual, he pits his way to the research facility for a run-of-the-mill experiment. However, Gordon comes to realize that it might not be as ordinary as he thought. Odd things happen as he makes his way to one of the Black Mesa test chambers. Even stranger things happen when he begins to move the test sample towards the anti-mass spectrometer.

At that moment, everything goes horribly wrong. Aliens from the dimension Xen suddenly invade the facility, injuring or killing many of the employees. Soon afterwards, marines arrive to contain the situation by killing the aliens as well as the surviving human witnesses. Gordon understands what that means: he will have to fight his way through both aliens and marines to get to the top of the Black Mesa complex and to freedom.

The story of Half-Life is told entirely in-game: everything is seen through the eyes of the protagonist. Most story elements unfold via scripted sequences, triggered by the player reaching a certain area. If other characters have information to reveal, they address Gordon directly. The Black Mesa complex in the game is made up of both distinct levels which progress in a linear fashion as well as hubs where backtracking may be required to unlock further areas.

The game's weapon arsenal mostly consists of realistic weapons like pistols, machine guns and explosives, but there are also futuristic energy weapons developed at Black Mesa as well as organic weapons acquired from the invading aliens. Most weapons feature an alternate firing mode.

Enemies fall into two categories: aliens and human soldiers. While most of the aliens are not very bright, the humans display some relatively advanced artificial intelligence: they seek cover, retreat when hit and try to drive the player from his cover by throwing grenades. Some of the alien enemies cannot be killed by normal means. The environment must be used against them instead, going with a general tendency of the game to alternate the combat with environmental puzzles.


  • 半条命 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 戰慄時空 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

79 People (57 developers, 22 thanks) · View all



Average score: 94% (based on 59 ratings)


Average score: 4.3 out of 5 (based on 512 ratings with 30 reviews)

Hello Anyone??? Did you actually played this junk???

The Good
OK, I am a late bloomer, I know it. So after about 7 years that I have the Game of the year edition of Half Life, I decided to see what the hype is all about.

I don't mind games with past graphics, what I really like about a game is a story and a good design that let me blend in the game world effortlessly.

With Half Life what I liked is the promise of a great story and great setting. The good stuff is here.

Also, the scripted events are cool and add to the atmosphere of the game.

OK, that is about it, But Half Life is like a cake that looks great from a distance and turns out to be plastic when you get closer...

The Bad
For some reason everything that I am about to say has already been said in the past but people chose to ignore it when they gave the game the final scoring. So here is the full list:

Design: Really sucks. This is a FSP, not an adventure game where you have to guess what you need to do next or what valve needs to be opened. It is not Tomb Raider where you have to jump from platform to platform. At times I had to reload 15 times to go past one of those jumping puzzles. Totally out of place.

AI: I guess for 1998 it was great, but by today's games, the AI sucks.

Weapons: Not cool, you have a crowbar, a pistol, machine gun, and some other not very exciting weapons. I have completed 40% of the game and no weapon was really cool.

Monsters: Stupid and not scary at all. Take the zombies for example, they walk slow and simply try to get to you so you should them and they are gone. Or the crab head. Totally annoying. Compare it to Doom's monsters and you get my point. I recently re-played Doom and it was 1000% more fun than this crap.

Bugs: Yes, annoying bugs that prevent you from finishing. Like the one that does not let you leave an elevator and then kills you since you can not move.

I could go on and on. But this game feels half baked and with lots of bugs. I am puzzled what all the hype was about.

The Bottom Line
Life is too short to waste on this crap, go spend time with you family or better still with Halo.

Windows · by The Gay Elf (12) · 2006

We'll make an excellent team

The Good
A modern classic, this is an finely-honed first person shooter with a compelling story, some excellent action set-pieces, great presentation, and a ground-breakingly perfect musical score. It reeks of quality, and stinks of class - the creators obviously cared about making a good game, and that simple fact sets 'Half-Life' apart from everything else. Now almost two years old, 'Half-Life' is still just as good as it was, and it could be released tomorrow and still make the same impact. It's an embarrassment of riches, with too many good things to count - in amongst the seemingly-intelligent soldiers, giant tentacles, amusingly jingoistic security guards and radioactive water the game almost off-handedly solves the problem of how to tell a story with a computer game - and it's extremely immersive. You really need to play it with headphones, or an expensive stereo. Everything from the plausible, gloomy environments, to the metallic chatter of your machine-pistol, fits the atmosphere perfectly, and there's a sparse, scary set of musical cues which mix ambient techno with noisemusic. It's even excellent fun as a multiplayer game, or even in related 'Team Fortress' form. It's rock-hard, too, but in a way that makes you want certain bits again and again. All told, it's a classic, and you should own it already (plus the mission pack).

The Bad
It's not perfect, though, although familiarity has no bred contempt. The narrative flow breaks down in the final, alien-bound levels, which are a disappointment after the recognisably real-world environments in the rest of the game. On the alien world there are a couple of places where you can be inextricably stuck, too, which seems unfair. Some of the creature designs don't seem to fit, either - whilst the mutated scientists and head-crabs are fantastically hateable, the hulking, wasp-firing alien 'sergeants' seem to belong to another game entirely. Play it in the dark, for the first time, and you'll be scared to death, too.

The Bottom Line
It makes 'Blood 2' look amazingly, implausibly bad.

Windows · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2000

Pleased to make your acquaintance Mr. Half-Life, but haven't we met before?

The Good
Interesting weapons with good variety, great sound and graphics, some impressive stages and good ballistics for an arcade game. Also there's great interaction in the game and there are some truly excellent action sequences, like a whole episode where you are on a little train and one where you have to sneak past a giant tentacle. The game also can create one hell of an atmosphere.

The Bad
Well, the npcs look like the same two guys all through the game, and the AI in the game looks amazing, but that's because it merely follows some clever pre-programmed steps, you'll quickly learn it's "holes" and how to take advantage of them. Also the final boss sucks, it is merely a puzzle-like exercise with zero challenge to it.

But the real bad thing in Half-Life is that it is completely over-rated. Half-life is a great game, but let's not confuse the issues, that doesn't mean it does anything new or innovative, it merely does everything we have seen before better. For instance, the storyline is a piece of crap, it's the usual "bad aliens come to kick ass" thing but updated to our current times (cue in the government cover-ups and X-files references). Why does it seem better then? Because it is made a part of the game. In previous games you played through a level/mission and then you sat back to watch the story unfold in cutscenes, on Half-Life the story unveils before your eyes in the game!! Revolutionary you say? I say System Shock, just because it's the first one that comes to mind. The gameplay itself is also unninspired, and shows the true nature of the game, for instance: take the giant tentacle sequence: what's it really about? flipping switches, and shooting anything in the way... However by lots of inventive designs and atmosphere tricks, we get duped into thinking it's actually a deep non-linear affair, millions of times I was fooled into thinking "wow, there must be hundreds of possible ways to finish this game" Wrong, Half-Life is a shooter pure and simple, and though it may seem deep it is actually Doom Redux: kill everything in the room, flip the switch, move on... ad infinitum.

As such, it is very easy to understand the reason Half-Life is so successful. Half-Life is nothing but a sophisticated Doom, yet everyone hails it as the next coming in terms of level design, storyline, etc... Don't get me wrong, like Doom, I love Half-Life! But I know what the game is REALLY about. In the end it is all about illusions really, you may say that I'm being overly cynical, and that illusions is what gaming is all about anyway.... but still, I can't help but think that the gaming industry can provide something different that just newer, better versions of Doom. I'd like to think that they can provide original storylines and true depth of gameplay instead of pulling quarters out of our ears, showing us a series of nifty tricks and making us believe we have had the time of our lives

The Bottom Line
To be fair let me state that Half-Life really IS an atmospheric rollercoaster ride to remember. It is one helluva game and I loved playing it. But does it deserve it's success? I can't help but feel outraged when people that have been in the business for years get the shaft because they refuse to do the same stupid things over and over and try to be innovative, while along comes Valve, rehashes Doom, and suddenly they get considered the next design gods of the century... No, something must be wrong...

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2011

[ View all 30 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Narrative, wait what? Donatello (453) Jul 15th, 2012
Sorry, Valve xroox (3892) Feb 12th, 2009


1001 Video Games

Half-Life appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Very early beta footage of the game, as well as interviews with some of the programmers, is available on the Diablo expansion pack Hellfire, released by Sierra a full year before the game ever shipped. Sierra already had advertisements for Half-Life in many of their products back then.

Cancelled ports

  • Half-Life, at one point, was completely finished for the Dreamcast console. Prima (the Official Strategy Guide folks) even had a Dreamcast-exclusive guide published. Unfortunately, the game wasn't published - probably due to the fact that SEGA announced that they would no longer produce new Dreamcasts. In certain circles of the Internet, a leaked copy can still be found and ran on a Dreamcast.
  • A Macintosh port was in the works from Westlake interactive and reached beta before being cancelled because of concerns about responsibility for tech support.


In its first finalized form, as it would have been published if the original release date was kept, Half-Life was nothing more than a total conversion of Quake with new enemies and levels. In the one additional year spent on development the game transformed into the form that led it to critical and commercial success.


Half-Life was released a full year after Quake II and it's a common belief that it was based on the Quake II engine. This is not true. It is based on the original Quake engine and it's more than fair to say that it was modified beyond recognition by the Valve team. Amongst the additions were built-in 3D accelerator support, skeletal systems and shadow casting (the latter didn't make it into the game). Valve now refers to this engine as "GoldSrc". This is probably how the "Source" engine from Half-Life 2 got its name.

German version

There is a special German version which features robots as enemies, green blood instead of red and innocent people cannot be killed any longer. The robot design was outlined by Sierra's Germany division, then sent to Valve in Seattle, where the artists created and implemented the tin soldiers. The changes in the game's code and art, together with the text and speech localization, served to delay the German version by full four months. By then, even casual gamers had already purchased the original version, which was freely for sale up to its ban. However, Half-Life proved to be so immensely popular that the German robo-version still sold over 50,000 copies, so the venture was ultimately successful for Sierra.

On December 16, 1998, the US version of Half-Life was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

Gina Freeman

Apparently, Valve had written a part for Gordon's wife, Gina, to appear in the game, this idea got scrapped but she still made it to the game, her model was the one used for the holographic trainer.

id Software

When id Software saw what Valve was doing with their engine, they were reminded of their original idea for a seamless, story-based DOOM and thought it would fail. It didn't.


Half-Life was influential in many little ways, popularising several gameplay devices which have subsequently become standards, such as: * The between-episode text which appears, overlaid on the screen, before slowly fading out (adopted not just in other computer games, but in several different Linux windowing systems too) * A training segment which is presented as an integral part of the storyline * The practice of rendering cut-scenes with the in-game engine * Blood-splatters and other persistent stains * Semi-random NPC speech and 'interaction' in an otherwise straightforward action game * Weaponry which needs to be manually reloaded between magazine changes * Constant playflow: the levels directly connect to each other


According to Valve's Gabe Newell, originally Half-Life was inspired by Stephen King's novella The Mist. However the game evolved so much from the preliminary concepts that the only things that remained were the horror/technology combination and the designs for the Bull Squid and the blind tentacle.


Half-Life's lambda symbol is not the scientific symbol for half-life, but is instead the decay constant in the differential equation for exponential decay. The actual scientific symbol used for half-life is t1/2.


Counter-Strike was not a freak occurrence. Valve made the game editor immediately available, produced the mod Team Fortress Classic as an example of a finished mod, and also sponsored "Mod Expos", events where modders could present their work to other gamers and the press.


According to planethalflife.com: "the material that makes up the three green triangles protecting Nihilanth is the same as the crystal sample which you pushed into the beams to start this whole mess in the first place. Valve Software originally intended to make this connection more obvious but never did."


  • The security office is in sector 7G. Homer Simpson works in a sector with the same name.
  • The Gluon Gun was nicknamed "The Egon" after the Ghostbusters Character Egon Spengler. The Gluon gun projects a plasma stream similar to the ones used by the Ghostbusters.
  • The surnames on the lockers where Gordon goes to collect his HEV suit are of people from the development team. Gordon also has a book by Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw in his locker.

References to the game

The game makes an appearance in season 1, episode 22 of Lost, a popular TV series. Some in-game action is shown, and the characters shortly discuss the use and the effectiveness of the crowbar as a weapon.


  • In 2004, Valve released a re-mastered version using Half Life 2's Source engine, called Half-Life: Source.
  • In 2012, a group of fans released a remake of their own, called Black Mesa. The team's goal was to provide a completely new and more modern version of the original experience, since according to them, Valve's remake "didn't fully live up to the potential of a Source engine port of Half-Life". In fact, most of the game's content remained unchanged: Half-Life: Source mainly added new water and physics effects, but didn't upgrade the game's textures or character models.


As of 2007, the game sold of over eight million since its release. (source)


There's a minor technical error with the shotgun. It's presented in the game as a double-barreled weapon, and the alternative fire mode shoots two shells at half the speed. However, the shotgun is modeled on a single-barreled weapon, the popular Franchi SPAS-12, which appears in several computer games. What looks like a second barrel is actually the under-barrel tubular magazine, which holds the shells.

Sound engine

Half-Life was one of the first games to utilize a software-driven environmental sound engine. Effects are applied in context of room size and surfaces of reflection. Reverb effects are calculated in realtime and applied on the fly as sounds are triggered.

University of Innsbruck

In the game manual, the first two pages contain a fictional letter from the administrative offices of the Black Mesa Research Facility to Dr. Gordon Freeman, concerning his upcoming employment. The address on the letter indicates that Freeman was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Innsbruck, before moving to Black Mesa. In contrast to the common practice of using fictitious addresses for storytelling purposes, the listed address is actually real. As confirmed by the official university website, "Technikerstraße 25, A-6020 Innsbruck" is the real-world location of Innsbruck University's Institute for Experimental Physics.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 1999 (Issue #177) – Game of the Year
    • January 2001 (Issue #199) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • March 2001 (Issue #200) - #1 Game of All Time (Readers' Choice)
    • March 2001 (Issue #200) - #2 Game of All Time (Editors' Choice)
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #2 Top Game of All Time
    • 2012 – #1 Top PC Gaming Intro
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #17 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #1 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" poll
    • October 2001 - #1 in the "Top 50 Best Games of All Time" list
    • April 2005 - #1 in the "Top 50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1999 - Best Game in 1998
    • Issue 01/1999 - Best Shooter in 1998
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1999 – Best Action Shooter in 1998
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #38 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by doj.

Macintosh added by Sciere. Linux added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Tomer Gabel, Adam Baratz, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Zack Green, Apogee IV, Daniel Saner, DreinIX, Paulus18950, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Plok, lethal_guitar, MrFlibble, FatherJack.

Game added June 6th, 1999. Last modified August 14th, 2023.