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Half-Life: Decay

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Half-Life: Decay is an add-on included in the PlayStation 2 port of the first-person shooter game Half-Life, developed by Gearbox Software and published in 2001. A PC version of this game was released September 23, 2008, developed and released by independent Ukrainian developers with the help of other European developers/fans.

Like Gearbox's other expansion packs Opposing Force and Blue Shift, Decay returns to the setting and timeline of the original story, but with different player characters: two female colleagues of Gordon Freeman, named Gina Cross and Colette Green. Dr. Cross is the model for the Hazard Course hologram, and can be seen at a point in Blue Shift. Dr. Green is a new character invented for Decay.

Although Gearbox completed a PC port of the game, Decay was never released "due to powers beyond [Gearbox's] control."[1] As such most Half-Life players never got a chance to play through it. Decay is also not available through Valve's Steam service. As of September 23, 2008, Decay has been successfully ported by a fan-based team for the Half-Life engine.[2]

A third-party remake of Decay for Source, initially called Anomalous Materials but later renamed to Hazard Team, was under development, but has been canceled.[3]


See also: Gearbox Software#Canonicity of the Half-Life expansions




The player is able to obtain most of the weaponry found in Half-Life excluding the Tau Cannon, the Gluon Gun, and the Crossbow. Also, in "Xen Attacks" the player gets the opportunity to play as a pair of Vortigaunt Slaves, thereby giving them the ability to fire energy bolts and hit other NPCs with their claws.


Decay fighting Vortigaunts

Dr. Cross and Dr. Green fighting a Vortigaunt.

Decay menu

The game's main menu.

Unlike the other narrative-based Half-Life games, which are single player only, Decay is designed for co-operative play. While it can be played by one person, swapping between the roles of Dr. Cross and Dr. Green, the game is intended to be played by two players in split-screen. Various puzzles and combat situations throughout the game require the co-operation of the two characters.

The game is also unique in the context of the Half-Life series by being the only game divided into separate missions, instead of a single unbroken narrative.

Decay has a ranking system for all of its nine missions, ranging from F (worst) to A (best), based on accuracy, number of enemies killed, and damage taken. If all nine missions are achieved with an A level, a bonus mission, Xen Attacks, can be played as a pair of Vortigaunts, R-4913 and X-8973. An Easter Egg hunt found in Domestic Violence can also unlock this mission in the PC port.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Half-Life: Decay

  • What is a "Harmonic Reflux"?

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    • What exactly is the strange phenomena Doctors Cross and Green become ensnared in during the teleportation? Is it perhaps related to what happe...
    • I just looked up the phrases separately, and from what I understand of it, it means that they are somehow connected to something, either they...

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