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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 Ichtyosaur is easier.
  • Pressing "USE" key through a wall is no longer possible. A good example is in the chapter Questionable Ethics where the player can skip the surgical unit and laser event.


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


  • The Crowbar deals double damage so it instantly kills a Headcrab in a single hit in easy and regular 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 same can be done with the SPAS-12, 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 with 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/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 the usual 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 they 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 ground, it won't 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" infront of the enemy.
  • When running away from enemies, the scientist no longer rises his hand. Instead, they run like a Citizen in Half-Life 2 would.
  • In a scientists squad 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, 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 2 meters away while they are ordered to follow the player, unless they are not following the player.
  • The Guard's helmet is no longer bulletproof to 9mm bullets and shotgun pellets.
  • When the guard is shooting at the player, he fires his pistol in automatic mode rather than in semi-auto. However, if they shoot 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 Barnacle when they makes visual contact while they ignore it in Half-Life.
  • Security officers no longer attack the player if they see the player kill Black Mesa personal. Security guards will only attack the player if they were 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 soldier 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 are not recommended.
  • Voices are slower than in the original Half-Life.
  • Gasmask soldier's helmet 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 the their head.


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