As excited as I was to play another round of Half-Life this week, I was thankful it was a short mission. I had a busy day doing responsible grownup stuff, so I got a late start and didn't have a lot of time to play. And even though it was a short round - not a lot of combat - it was an interesting level due to what I believe to be a Star Wars reference and a few other cool little features. I suppose we might as well just jump right in and get to it.

Chapter 9: Pit Worm's Nest

"Details Adrian Shephard's battle with the monstrous Pit Worm blocking his progress in Waste Processing Area 3. Working his way through the surrounding area (littered with the corpses of the Marines who sent the distress signal in the previous chapter), Shephard manages to dump toxic waste on the Pit Worm, killing it and allowing him to access the next area." (SOURCE: Half-Life Wiki)

Any level named after a monster can't be good, right? I remember the pit worm from my time in the original Half-Life when Gordon Freeman faced a pit worm. The fact you find all sorts of dead soldiers is another indicator you're in for trouble. It doesn't take long to find the Pit Worm's Nest (and the Pit Worm for that matter). After looking at the control panel it's obvious what you're supposed to do. Something with a Gearbox and something with a Valve. Clever, huh. I thought so too. If you're familiar with the game you know it was developed by Gearbox and Valve. So that was a nice reference. There is also a label plate that says Steam. I don't know that Steam was out when this game was out, but it is a little curious don't you think. Anyway, activate the gearbox and the valve and you dump a huge amount of toxic sludge on the pit worm.

In the intro I mentioned a Star Wars reference. Well, there is a part of the map that is full of crates. They're not the kind you can destroy with your crowbar, but this room is just full of them. So it is a bit odd. Until you find a little room with a window looking down at the crates, and a control panel. When you flip a switch on the panel, you see the walls move in and crush the crates. It immediately reminded me of a the trash compactor scene from the original Star Wars. Once you get back to this area, you discover a grate in the floor you now have access to.

But perhaps the coolest feature I discovered (as I'm sure many others did too) in this level is there is actually a way to completely bypass the Pit Worm and the tasks you have to complete in order to kill him. If you do it the right way (which I also did) a bridge will extend once the Pit Worm is dead and no longer blocking it, and you can proceed to the next level. But...BUT...if you go up to the upper level, shoot the Pit Worm in the eye a few times until he flinches, you have a second or two where you can run along a handrail and jump a small gap and land where the bridge takes you. And you can go to the next level. That was a nice little find. Either way, you're to the next level in no time! Next up - Foxtrot Uniform.

As always, I took some screen shots...

(Toxic Disposal - That's my specialty.)


(We have a wet spill on aisle 3.)


(Guys. Guys? Are you okay? Guys?)


(Hah, a "Steam" vent. Nice.)


(Gearbox? Valve? I see what you did there.)


(You ever get that feeling like you're being watched.)


(I don't think he's camping.)


(Hmm, what are all these boxes for?)


(The door...the door is out of order?)


(Into the garbage shoot flyboy.)


(Hey...look what was under all that garbage. A quarter. Oh, and a way out.)


(Hey, I bet that's the *ahem* gear box.)


(What happens when I push this button?)


(The EPA would not approve of this arrangement, I'm sure of it.)


(Eye spy with my great big huge eye...)


(Aw, I almost feel bad for the poor little guy.)


(Ew, creepy...there is that eye again.)


(Next up, Foxtrot Uniform.)


See you back next week where I will take on Foxtrot Uniform. I have a few ideas what that's supposed to mean. You probably do to.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.