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Dweller Dark

Big Half-Life Update

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To be fair, I recently revisited Classic Xen and it was not as obnoxious as I remembered it to be.

 

Even the Nihilanth battle becomes a lot more manageable once you figure out that you can just shoot through the forehead skin once the yellow crystals have been taken care of; no need for all the bouncing pad acrobatics that make you a sitting duck.

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Xen is fairly easy if you know exactly what to do. Also, it can be completed quite fast thanks to the Long Jump Module.

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Certain parts do feel reminiscent of Plutonia in the sense that they involve lots of Vortigaunts and little cover. I read that Vortigaunts originally had the ability to revive dead enemies, which in a way makes them lesser Arch-Viles. I argued elsewhere that Quake 1 could have been easily repurposed as Doom 3 (Doom 3D?), but I guess the same could be said about Half-Life! :P

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35 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

To be fair, I recently revisited Classic Xen and it was not as obnoxious as I remembered it to be.

 

Even the Nihilanth battle becomes a lot more manageable once you figure out that you can just shoot through the forehead skin once the yellow crystals have been taken care of; no need for all the bouncing pad acrobatics that make you a sitting duck.

the what skin

 

Edit: I actually read foreskin, sorry for my illiteracy.

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9 hours ago, spineapple tea said:

Because of this update I actually sat down and finished Half Life for the first time and as long as this thread is here I'll just say that Xen is actually the least amount of fun I've had playing any video game ever. I'd rather just jump into the portal and get a text pop-up that says "go fuck yourself" followed by the strip club credits music.

 

Actually related to the update, I really gotta hand it to Valve for making an update this big while also being completely seemless to the average player. Similar restoration updates like those for Quake and its sequel (in my opinion) modernized those games to the point of losing just a bit of their charm. If you showed someone who had never played Half Life before in its current form they'd probably just think that it runs surprisingly well for being such an old game, which is kind of funny because that's probably the same reaction you'd get if you showed them the game before the update too.

Have you played the black mesa version? Huge overhaul IMO, though some parts feel a bit out of place. 

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4 minutes ago, DoomGappy said:

the what skin

Well, I do not know how else to describe it: once the yellow crystals are destroyed, Nihilanth is no longer immune to your shots and you can actually hit the glowing orb that acts as its brain by shooting at its forehead rather than having to use the bouncing pads to jump above Nihilanth and fire a rocket at the exposed brain - something that I have always struggled with, given how unreliable Half-Life's bouncing pads can be - sometimes, you step on them and the boucing pad will just recede without sending you into the air - and how Nihilanth loves to fire homing projectiles at you.

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19 hours ago, Dweller said:

Looks like Blue Shift kinda works now, it boots up but the server options aren't there (don't know if that's normal or not) and the logo at the bottom is cut off like OpFor's is. Not sure about the actual game itself, though.

Blue Shift does not have of its own multiplayer content, so they disable those options on the menu. The original retail release packed in a multiplayer-only version of Opposing Force to cover that base (the US version included a full-standalone version of OpFor instead!)

 

I did a quick test (just checking the training areas, nothing too extensive) and it looks like support for old games and mods has improved - I was able to get Opposing Force, Blue Shift, Counter-Strike Condition Zero Deleted Scenes and the port-to-mod-format of Gunman Chronicles running just fine.

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1 minute ago, Rudolph said:

Well, I do not know how else to describe it: once the yellow crystals are destroyed, Nihilanth is no longer immune to your shots and you can actually hit its "brain" by shooting at its forehead rather than having to use the bouncing pads to jump above Nihilanth and fire a rocket at the exposed brain - something that I have always struggled with, given how unreliable Half-Life's bouncing pads can be and how Nihilanth loves to fire homing projectiles at you.

Never knew it was passable after the first phase, always did the boncy thing. It's hard but very rewarding. 

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Not sure if it is a bug, but once I realized that I did not have to leave cover and risk getting teleported to alternate areas and run the gauntlet through them again and again, I decided to take advantage of it. If I recall right, bullets can go through the skin as well.

 

Basically, what I do is immediately jump to the lowest ledge with the healing pool, where I do not have to worry about Nihilanth's ground troops and I can take cover behind the spike structure whenever Nihilanth starts shooting at me. The only trick is to not accidentally step back on the bouncing pad, which can happen when you have to deal with the occasional Alien Controllers harassing you.

Edited by Rudolph

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8 minutes ago, DoomGappy said:

I actually read foreskin, sorry for my illiteracy.

 

To defeat the Nihilanth circumcise it until it dies.

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2 minutes ago, Lila Feuer said:

 

To defeat the Nihilanth circumcise it until it dies.

It would not be unfitting since he is a giant floating baby. Man, that shit was scary as a kid.

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10 minutes ago, DoomGappy said:

Have you played the black mesa version? Huge overhaul IMO, though some parts feel a bit out of place. 

I've played Black Mesa but never got passed Surface Tension(?), probably because I felt like it'd be weird to finish the remake before the original. Maybe soon I'll go back to check it out because I've heard that this version is way better from a few different people now (it's also absolutely beautiful from what I've seen).

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9 minutes ago, spineapple tea said:

I've played Black Mesa but never got passed Surface Tension(?), probably because I felt like it'd be weird to finish the remake before the original. Maybe soon I'll go back to check it out because I've heard that this version is way better from a few different people now (it's also absolutely beautiful from what I've seen).

I wouldn't say it's better, it just has more depth to it. The world feels more like half life 2, since they're on the same engine, and that helps to tie the stories better In general. There are also many tidbits of lore and storytelling that people who have been long standing fans enjoy seeing. And Xen has been overhauled and feels much bigger now, though the original game's xen felt more silent and Eerie.

Edited by DoomGappy

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10 minutes ago, DoomGappy said:

It would not be unfitting since he is a giant floating baby. Man, that shit was scary as a kid.

In many ways, it is basically an improvement over Doom II's Icon of Sin, which is yet another parallel to be drawn between the two games.

 

I mean, it is a giant monster that keeps spawning common enemies and is intended to be taken down by shooting rockets from a specific position that can only be reached through platforming - in Half-Life's case, using bouncing pads; in Doom II's, hitting a switch to briefly lower a narrow platform... Thankfully, it turns out that there are more than one way to defeat the former than the latter.

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3 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

In many ways, it is basically an improvement over Doom II's Icon of Sin, which is yet another parallel to be drawn between the two games.

 

I mean, it is a giant monster that keeps spawning common enemies and is intended to be taken down by shooting rockets from a specific position that can only be reached through platforming - in Half-Life's case, using bouncing pads; in Doom II's, hitting a switch and running at a lowering platform... Thankfully, it turns out that there are more than one way to defeat the former than the latter.

The nihilanth is an impeoved icon of Sin is not something that I was expecting to read today, but it's true actually. Especially since you generally use a lot of rockets to hit his brain. Now I want to see Gabe Newell's head on a pike.

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8 minutes ago, DoomGappy said:

And Xen has been overhauled and feels much bigger now, though the original game's xen felt more silent and Eerie.

Yeah, I have to admit, Classic Xen feels like a dying alien world that has been stripped bare by an industrial military power whereas Black Mesa's Xen feels more like playing a first-person cross between Another World/Out Of This World and Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee.

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Classic Xen has heavy Giger influence, which gives it a certain charm that Black Mesa Xen is missing. It is pretty though.

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On 11/17/2023 at 2:50 PM, URROVA said:

they also gave it for free until November 20, if someone doesnt have it already.

Thanks for the heads up.  I saw this at 10 AM on the 20th.  Just in time to pick it up for free.

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On 11/20/2023 at 6:40 AM, Lila Feuer said:

Classic Xen has heavy Giger influence, which gives it a certain charm that Black Mesa Xen is missing. It is pretty though.

 

Playing Xen for the first time some years back, the abstract art style reminded me of playing Ocarina of Time as a kid. Of course the graphics are of the same era, but there's something to be said about the more hallucinogenic vibes of the original alien world that are imo more fitting. The Black Mesa Xen, from what I've seen, is more like the worlds in Halo, which I think is a little more friendly than the hostile world Valve was going for.

Edited by QuaketallicA

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@QuaketallicA Well that's the thing, the alien enemies, at least the Vortigaunts and Grunts, aren't evil, but they are alien, and their world reflects that, what is unpleasant to us is normal for them, they probably found our world strange and unpleasant too. The other Xen creatures are just their natural fauna that includes a common parasite (headcrab) a predator (bullsquid) and some others (houndeye).

It's actually refreshing that Half-Life doesn't initially have a true antagonist outside of Breen behind the scenes and the Combine reveal later on, the marines aren't evil, they're just following orders, everybody be it human or nonhuman is effectively coerced into a bloody battle for control of their worlds and their situation.

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5 hours ago, Lila Feuer said:

the marines aren't evil

Oh no, they are definitely evil if some of their dialogues are any indication:

 

"I killed twelve dumb ass scientists and not one of them fought back. This sucks!"

 

It is only in Opposing Force and later Black Mesa that they get reinterpreted as more neutral figures. If you remember, in the former, the worst you get to see is a HECU Marine hold a scientist at gunpoint and in the latter, dialogues between Marines suggest that the Black Mesa staff went rogue and sort of had it coming, and as such the government had legitimate reasons to send in the troops.

Edited by Rudolph

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@Rudolph It varies by personality, which I liked as it gives otherwise faceless grunts some character. That gungho one wanted more people to fight back, those two who carry Gordon out want to kill him despite orders to retrieve him for questioning, but they're understandably PO'd because of two other Marines who recognize a large number of their casualties are a result of Gordon, causing some of them to form a grudge.

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That is true and it is one of the many reasons why I ultimately prefer Half-Life 1 to Half-Life 2.

 

While visually striking and memorable, the Combine is ultimately not a very interesting enemy.

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Xen is awful and saying otherwise is just the nostalgia goggles fusing to your skull. Black Mesa fixed Xen into an actually interesting location, but overshot their goal and made Xen take three hours to beat. 

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14 minutes ago, Mr. Freeze said:

Black Mesa fixed Xen into an actually interesting location, but overshot their goal and made Xen take three hours to beat. 

 

Well tbf it feels like three hours just to get past the chapter that is fucking Interloper in the original.

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so I finally had the chance to try this and man, how did they miss this opportunity to add a chapter selection feature to the main menu?

 

I love HL but.. Valve, you can't expect me to go through the train intro sequence again and again every time I dust off the game..

 

(yeah I know the "map" ccmd exist but I never bothered to memorize the names of each chapter starting map)

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1 hour ago, Mr. Freeze said:

Black Mesa fixed Xen into an actually interesting location, but overshot their goal and made Xen take three hours to beat.  

1 hour ago, Lila Feuer said:

Well tbf it feels like three hours just to get past the chapter that is fucking Interloper in the original.

 

Since Black Mesa is commercialized, i play this one and not Half-Life yet. The Remake is absolutely excellent, Xen included. Some gamers says that the chapter Interloper is too long, for me it is fantastic.

 

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11 minutes ago, liPillON said:

so I finally had the chance to try this and man, how did they miss this opportunity to add a chapter selection feature to the main menu?

 

I love HL but.. Valve, you can't expect me to go through the train intro sequence again and again every time I dust off the game..

 

(yeah I know the "map" ccmd exist but I never bothered to memorize the names of each chapter starting map)


I think it’s these:

Start of “Anomalous Materials” - c1a0

Start of “Unforeseen Consequences” - c1a1a

 

I think if you simply “map” to one of these you’ll be suitless, so you’ll also have to enter “sv_cheats 1”, “give item_suit”, then disable the cheats via “sv_cheats 0”.

 

I commonly revisit HL2 so I know your pain: It’s got a cool start but I can’t recall the last time I wanted to sit through it…! You may have already had your fun in a replay but maybe this will help some others.

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