How you spend your Saturday probably varies week to week, but for the last few weeks or so I've been playing through Half-Life (the first one) and recording my thoughts about it, in an effort to see how well the game has aged. Tonight was a successful night and I'm getting close to the end. I managed to work my way through two and a half levels. Two very lucid and freaky levels akin to what you might expect to see at a Pink Floyd concert. With names like Xen, Gonarch's Lair and Interloper...these final few levels are literally out of this world.


On the strange borderworld, Gordon encounters many of the aliens that had been teleported into Black Mesa in their natural habitats, as well as the remains of some HEV-wearing researchers who came before him. In order to progress, he needs to re-activate a portal inside one of the islands in order to venture more of Xen's perimeters.

Gonarch's Lair

Freeman is made to face one of the Nihilanth's most powerful minions: the Gonarch in her lair.


Gordon's journey across Xen continues, but his supplies are running short, spent on destroying the Gonarch. He also comes across the Xen army's Alien Grunt cloning facility, where the army is created. It can be noted that the Vortigaunts in one of the factories are not hostile towards the player, and will ignore him unless attacked. The final map of this level takes place in a pitch-black void with floating rocks and an ominous-looking red portal at the end.

Xen was a short level and with the exception of a puzzle or two, wasn't all that challenging. The Gonarch's Lair was a lot tougher. The Gonarch was definitely one of the most challenging foes in the game - not that the creature is all that tough, rather, at this point you don't have a lot of ammo. So, you damage the Gonarch and the creature runs off. You chase the beast down and attack it again. This goes on a time or two before you finally defeat this odd creature. I only made it a little way through the Interloper level before I shut it down. I think I have two levels left and I'll finish the game. One of the most unusual elements I found in today's play through is the number of  scientists I found wearing HEV suits - who looked a lot like me. My question is - who are they and how long have they been there. Did they teleport here when I caused the incident at the beginning of the game, or did they come here under some other science project gone awry.

As always, I have pictures to illustrate tonight's travels.

(Sunrise on planet...?)

(I don't know what that shiny thing hanging there is, but it'll tear you up!)

(Maybe not the Fountain of Youth, but it will restore your health.)

(What lurks beyond. Danger.)

(This mushroom looking thing is actually some sort of switch.)

(A Pink Floyd worthy laser show.)

(I'm feeling a little ill.)

(Any second that Gonarch is going to fall down into the same room as me.)

(This actually took me a little bit to figure out.)

(I hate caves.)

(Hey, that guy looks oddly familiar.)

(I suppose you want me to walk into the middle of this thing?)

(A little butter sauce, I bet these things are delicious.)

(Oh my...that's never a good sign.)

(I don't usually snipe, but when I do...I like to take on the big boys.)

(An alien oil rig?)

(I don't have a good feeling about this place.)



Previous Episodes:

Blog 1

Blog 2

Blog 3

Blog 4

Blog 5

Blog 6

Blog 7

Blog 8

Blog 9

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the rest of it.