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Half-Life: Source

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HL Source header
Half-Life: Source


Release date(s)

June 1, 2004


First-person shooter




Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X


ESRB: M (Mature)




Keyboard, mouse, and gamepad






Marc Laidlaw


Kelly Bailey

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Half-Life: Source is a direct port of the original Half-Life game to Half-Life 2's Source engine, introducing improved water and atmospheric effects, as well as better lighting. Generally, all of the same assets are used. It was included in the collector's edition of Half-Life 2 and is also sold separately on Steam. Players that purchase the game on Steam are given Half-Life Deathmatch: Source for free as part of the purchase.


Black Mesa valley goldsrc

View of the Surface Tension canyon from the cliff in Half-Life.

Black Mesa valley source

The same spot in Half-Life: Source.

As opposed to an actual remake of the game, it is simply a direct copy of the game's contents. All of the same assets are used, more or less, and most of the differences are due to the fundamental features of the new engine (more detailed lighting and water effects, for example). Some additional optimizations have been made, however, such as increased quality textures, the replacement of drawn bitmap skies with 3D skyboxes, and the addition of new or improved atmospheric effects in some areas. The game's front-end user interface has also been overhauled to resemble that of Half-Life 2, with a chapter selection and dynamic menu backgrounds featuring scenes from the game. In addition, all chapters can be selected upon starting the game for the first time, unlike Half-Life. It is not compatible with any GoldSrc or Source mods.

Some noticeable differences in gameplay include the ability to see into the water from above the surface, making it considerably easier to defeat the Ichthyosaur where before it was necessary to be submerged.

Differences from the GoldSrc VersionEdit


  • Environment subtitles are supported; however, they are presented below the health HUD.


  • Most maps are a lot brighter.
  • The canyon in the chapter Surface Tension is changed.
  • The water is always visible/clean, so defeating the Ichtyosaur is easier.
  • Pressing the "USE" key through a wall is no longer possible. A good example is in the chapter Questionable Ethics, where the player could skip the surgical unit and laser event.
  • Bullet can penetrate through breakable glasses without breaking it.


  • Most interaction sounds, such as buttons, doors, and breakable objects, are reused from Half-Life 2.


  • The Crowbar deals double damage, so it kills a Headcrab in a single hit in Easy and Normal difficulty.
  • The Glock 17 holds 18 rounds per magazine instead of 17.
  • It is possible to increase the Colt Python's rate of fire by quick switching after each shot. However, this is only useful at close to medium range.
    • The Colt Python's scope can be used in singleplayer mode, which makes more useful for sniping compared to the Crossbow, unlike the original Half-Life, where it was multiplayer-exclusive.
    • The SPAS-12's fire rate can also be increased, which makes the shotgun more useful at close range.
  • The MP5 deals more damage, the same amount as the Glock 17 (8 instead of 5 per bullet).
    • The MP5 has increased recoil, so it is mostly effective at close range.
      • The Glock 17 also has increased recoil, so the player should fire slower shots at longer ranges.
  • The Crossbow's bolt is affected by gravity, so users firing over long distances must account for this drop by aiming slightly above the target.
    • Crossbow bolts can pin enemies to walls.
  • The Gluon Gun's firing sound is at a lower frequency than the original Half-Life.
  • The effects of Rocket and Grenade jumping are much more effective than in the original Half-Life.
  • The Satchel Charge has a shorter throw distance.
  • Laser Tripmines are placed at a slower rate, and, unlike the original Half-Life, it is not possible to jump on them.


Basic differencesEdit

  • When an NPC is killed, the bodies will turn into ragdolls instead of using a dying animation.
    • When an NPC is killed without being gibbed, it will become a permanent ragdoll and cannot be gibbed with the Crowbar or explosive weapons.
  • NPCs can be killed while performing a script (e.g., the scientist hanging from a ladder in the chapter Office Complex).
  • The gibs act more like plastic, as evidenced when a gib hits a wall or the ground. Also, when a gib hits a wall or the ground, it will not leave blood behind.
  • It is possible to sneak behind enemies, unlike in the original Half-Life where they will turn around and notice the player.


  • When a scientist sees an enemy, he will run away rather than "dance" in front of the enemy.
  • When running away from enemies, the scientists no longer raise their hands. Instead, they run like a Citizen in Half-Life 2 would.
  • When the player has a scientist set to follow them, the leaving distance is longer, so they are less likely to stay behind.
    • There is a bug, after the scientist opens a door that will provide access to the player, in which the scientist will keep following the player even after pressing "USE" key.

Security GuardEdit

  • Security Guards are less aggressive than in Half-Life. Instead of chasing the enemy permanently, they will regroup to the player's position when they are up to 2 meters away while they are ordered to follow the player.
  • If the player shoot the guard helmet while they are friendly toward him, guard will die instantly. However if he is hostile to the player, his helmet will be bulletproof from 9mm rounds and shotgun buckshot.
  • When the guard is shooting at the player, he fires his pistol in automatic mode rather than in semi-auto. However, if he shoots NPCs, he fires in semi-auto.
    • If the HD pack is installed, Security Guards will always fire their pistol in automatic mode without accuracy being affected.
    • When a Guard takes damage, his rate of fire will increase.
  • Security Guards will attack Barnacles when they make visual contact, while they ignore them in Half-Life.
  • Security officers no longer attack the player if they see the player kill Black Mesa personnel. Security guards will only attack the player if they are provoked. However, they will still say their scripted lines when the player kills allies.

HECU MarinesEdit

  • Grunts have a higher rate of fire than in Half-Life, especially the soldiers carrying the SPAS-12.
  • Grunts are less aggressive, so they tend to take more cover than in the older version.
  • Grunts will instantly notice the Grenade and attempt to move away from the explosives when thrown, so using grenades is not recommended.
  • Voices are slower than in the original Half-Life.
  • Gas mask soldiers' helmets are vulnerable to Crowbar attacks, but they are still bulletproof to 9mm bullets and shotgun pellets.


  • When a Vortigaunt hits the player with their beam attack, it has a different hit sound. Occasionally, sparks will appear on their head.


  • When a player dies, the camera is no longer fixed laying on the right side, and their currently equipped weapon will be visibly dropped.
    • If the player dies from falling from a great height the screen will fade to black.
  • If the player is killed with a weapon that inflicts high damage, they will not be gibbed upon being killed.


  • If the player hits G-Man with a weapon, he will make a plastic sound instead of a bullet deflection sound and effect.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit

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