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This article is about the demo. For the short film, see Half-Life: Uplink (film).
Half-Life: Uplink is a demo version of Valve Software's 1998 first-person shooter computer game Half-Life, released on February 12, 1999. Uplink features many of the common enemies, characters, and weapons from the full game, but unlike the first Half-Life demo (Half-Life: Day One) and the Half-Life 2 demo, the location and scenario in this demonstration do not appear in Half-Life. Day One is an OEM version that features roughly the first fifth of the entire game. The Half-Life 2 demo features two selectable chapters taken directly from the game. Like its successor's demo, however, Uplink was made available for download after the release of the full retail version of the game.
The Uplink chapters were cut during Half-Life's development phase, and roughly fit in prior to or during the Lambda Core chapter. They were, however, strongly revised for the demo release. Uplink also includes the same Hazard Course from the full release of Half-Life.
Uplink was included with the Game of the Year Edition of Half-Life as a mod, and was included with all subsequent releases. While absent from Steam, Uplink can still be installed if the user has access to the Uplink files from a previous Half-Life install, through several methods:
- SteamLink is an installer package that installs Uplink as a Steam Half-Life mod.
- Uplink Lite contains the same content but must be manually copied into place.
- Uplink Addon seamlessly adds the Uplink levels into the gameflow of Half-Life itself, along with some minor content additions.
The player takes control of Gordon Freeman 48 hours after the "containment failure," and in the Lambda Reactor Complex, according to the caption. The facility that Freeman is in is under heavy bombing. He soon meets a scientist and a security guard who wish to enter the Lambda complex and escape, but they cannot open the reactor door until a signal is sent to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), and the radio antenna must be reconfigured manually. To this end, they enlist Gordon Freeman's aid. He moves through an area populated by Headcrabs, zombies, and Vortigaunts with the help of another security guard, and then battles HECU personnel, who are executing scientists. He then moves through an HECU camp, battling many soldiers and a few military turrets. Gordon soon arrives at the building containing the radio antenna, and sends a message to the USNRC. After an ambush by HECU personnel busting through the roof and door of the building, Gordon passes through a maze-like area containing numerous radiation leaks, as well as a dying scientist due to radiation poisoning. Gordon also encounters zombies and barnacles, who are killing the last few HECU troops in the building. Freeman climbs out and arrives back at the HECU camp, where more HECU soldiers have arrived, although they are preoccupied with fighting Vortigaunts.
Upon defeating the Vortigaunts, the remaining soldiers attack Gordon, who defeats them. He meets the security guard who helped him through the area the first time he was there, but (unless the player ordered him to wait for him at another place) the guard is ambushed and killed by Vortigaunts. Gordon presses through the area, battling Vortigaunts, Headcrabs, and zombies. He soon arrives at the area where the scientist and security guard waited for him. Headcrabs have found their way into the area, but the security guard defeats them. The three men open the reactor door and push towards the Lambda complex.
Gordon, the security guard, and the scientist push towards the Lambda complex and battle Xen creatures. They encounter a still-conscious scientist being infested by a Headcrab, and Gordon may mercy-kill him. After battling a pack of houndeyes, part of the building collapses, which does not harm the security, Gordon, or the scientist, but separates Gordon from the security guard and the scientist. He continues to press on towards the Lambda complex, and finds his way in after a vent collapses due to a Gargantua's roar.
Gordon enters the Lambda complex, and three scientists (one wounded) and a guard are there as well. Soon, the Gargantua heard before attacks and kills all four people in the room, and traps Gordon, who cannot defeat it without explosives, and cannot escape. As the Gargantua closes in on Gordon, the G-Man is seen watching from a window, straightening his tie, and walking away. The screen then fades to black, accompanied by the caption: Current evaluation: uplink completed. Require further data.
- Firing Range Targets (7)
- Security Guard (Only if Gordon shoots at them) (5)
- Ceiling Turret (2)
- HECU Troopers armed with MP5's (29)
- HECU Troopers armed with Franchi SPAS-12 Assault Shotguns (1)
- Rocket Sentry (1)
- Black Mesa Security Force (3)
- Firing Range Targets (7)
- Ceiling Turret (2)
- HECU Trooper armed with MP5 (29)
- HECU Trooper armed with Franchi SPAS-12 Assault Shotgun (1)
- Rocket Sentry (1)
- Uplink included several ideas that were removed from the finished game. The machine gun turrets were much more powerful, and could gib people and were also a bit slower. It had executions and piles of burning Vortigaunts. It also had a scene where the player could hide in the shadows from a group of soldiers and remain hidden.
- An extended remake of Uplink was released on October 21, 2006 called Half-Life: Uplink Extended. This extended version of Uplink adds the fight with the Gargantua that ended the demo.
- The G-Man is scripted to leave the area, where the Gargantua lays havoc, when the windows are broken. If the player breaks any of those windows before the Gargantua does so, the G-Man will leave at an earlier rate.
- If a Half-Life: Day One disc has been inserted into a computer with this demo installed, the music soundtracks "Adrenaline Horror" and "Black Mesa Inbound" will play.
- It is possible to "walk" out of the map without using cheats from the upper areas of the cargo storage containers. This will cause the player to "swim" and skip certain areas.
- There have been at least six attempts—four of them seemingly abandoned—by third-parties at remaking Uplink for Source:
- The first attempt, simply titled Uplink, was under development in 2005.
- The second attempt, now titled Uplink: Source, was under development from 2007 to 2008.
- The third attempt—also titled Uplink: Source—was under development from 2010 to 2011.
- The developers the mod Half Life: Source Enhanced—which replaces nearly all textures, models, and sounds in the game with higher definition ones—were working on a remake of Uplink as an optional add-on. However, development seems to have ceased.
- There is one remake under active development as of 2012: the developers of the Guard Duty (Half-Life: Blue Shift Source) mod for Half-Life 2 will include a remake Uplink as an extra chapter, reusing files from and recruiting one of the developers of the 2007-2008 attempt.
- A community member named Hezus has created a remake/re-imagining of Half-Life: Uplink as an add-on for the Black Mesa mod, it has been released as of December 17, 2012 and can be downloaded from ModDB. 
- ↑ SteamLink - Half-Life: Uplink for Steam
- ↑ Uplink Lite Plus Demo on FilePlanet
- ↑ Half-Life Uplink Addon 1.2 on FilePlanet
- ↑ Half-Life: Uplink Extended on PlanetPhilip.Com
- ↑ Uplink on ModDB
- ↑ Uplink Source on Valve Developer Community
- ↑ Uplink: Source on ModDB
- ↑ Half-Life: Source Enhanced — New Years News
- ↑ Guard Duty (Blue Shift: Source) — Official statement
- ↑ Guard Duty (Blue Shift: Source) — DEV.Blog. Uplink remake
- ↑ Black Mesa: Uplink on ModDB