Last time in Half-Life I had finally made it to the point of seeing the sky and was immediately forced underground into the facility again with the military on my heels and a target on my back. I am a wanted man, along with any living employee in the facility, too. Ventilation ducts and giant missile silos are the order of the day, tropes of pretty much any sci-fi shooter of it’s time.
Wait… missile silos? Is this Black Mesa group the backbone of some supervillain lair? Are they cutting secret agents in half with lasers in this place, too? Is this like a secret SpaceX facility? Maybe all that’s a little further in. It’s not long, maybe a few hops over some underground rivers of toxic waste (Black Mesa: Environmentally Friendly), before I hit this:
Ahhhhhh, the first boss. I was wondering when I was going to fight one. Seemed a little long in coming, really. I like the surprise of it, though, with the fluidity this game has. Going from one point to the next without stopping there was no pause to suddenly say “Hey! Boss time!” This is a very good thing, though. I love the non-stop pace.
Anyway, I fire off some rounds at the claw monster, and it seems to have very little effect. Some squint nearby (sorry, the wife just finished a pretty big Bones marathon. Great show.) tells me I have to activate the conveniently placed rocket booster right above him. Gotcha. So, to fight the monster, I have to sneak by him and then… explore the surrounding level. Alright.
After jumping from a falling elevator above a toxic waste pool, crawling through more ventilation ducts, and beating on some aliens along the way, I activate the power generators (Where is this place’s backup generators?! You think one generator is enough for this facility?!), the fuel lines, and the oxygen lines. Hey! They got it right! Science! Usually rocket fuel is a combination of some liquid fuel, mostly a hydrocarbon and liquid hydrogen, then mixed with liquid oxygen. So they got it, at least in a basic sense. After getting all the lines primed and the power flowing there’s only one thing left to do.
With the green-clawed baddie out of the way, I follow the tunnels he made to infiltrate the silo in the first place. After a small swim I wind up face to face with THIS guy.
Wait… is that the Smoking Man in the background again?! What is this punk’s deal?
I take a few pot shots at the beast, but to no avail and just run around him to the surrounding tunnels, making my way up to where the Smoking Man was chilling. In here there’s a giant switch and a six-shooter. Well alright, pardner. Time to mosy on down to that big galoot and darn figure out a way to put him six feet in the ground… but that’ll just have to wait for next time.