I started a new game of Half Life a week or so ago and have been playing my way through it. I’d totally forgotten
how long it takes to get to the damn surface that it is the most fantastic game on the planet.
10 reasons why this game is awesome:
10. It’s Black Mesa! I’d totally want to work there if it actually existed. I have a mug (available from the Valve store).
9. “Start the rotors” is a running joke with me (mostly just in my head). Anytime I do something that I know is going to cause catastrophe later, I say to myself “I just started the rotors, didn’t I?”
8. Watching Stephen King’s “The Mist” with my dad like a decade ago (old Claudia is old) I thought, “holy crap, this is a total rip-off of Half Life!” Turns out Half-Life itself is based partially on “The Mist.” Oops.
7. Gordon’s 27 years old and all the other scientists are geezermobiles. I just find that hilarious.
6. This game is my late childhood-early adolescence. I think my mom’s old friend got some sort of bootleg copy for me to play (‘cause that’s what he did with everything) and then we went out and got a legit copy ‘cause we thought it was so awesome.
5. I really like the fact that two expansion games to the original, Opposing Force and Blue Shift, allowed you to play the game from two perspectives other than Gordon’s—as a soldier (Opposing Force) and as one of the security guards (Blue Shift).
4. I know it’s not directly related to Half Life gameplay itself, but when I found the Half Life references while playing Portal, I had a little squee. Okay, a major squee. Good video of the “Competing with Black Mesa” slideshow.
3. Cheating. Is. Hilarious. Activate god mode, noclip, and impulse 101 when you’re going through the tram system during the opening credits and you can go screw with all the scientists in the scenes you pass. I like to throw snarks at the security guards then sprint in the opposite direction.
2. Speaking of snarks…
You can have your overly-fancy graphics, intelligent enemies, experience points, and dynamic environments. Just give me Gordon Freeman.
So I spent the better part of this afternoon searching the MIT class listings, and nowhere could I find a class in which one is taught how to wield a crowbar. I guess Gordon took that as a correspondence class at Harvard or something.
CWBR 101: Research Facility Disaster Training
CWBR 101 Lab: Headcrab Defense Theory
Prerequisites: a PhD in Theoretical Physics
Also, how the hell do you get a PhD in Theoretical Physics by age 27? EXPLAIN THAT, GORDON!
I always used to hate how all the other scientists treated him like crap until the resonance cascade. I guess they’re pissed that they’re all geezers and he’s 27. I bet he had some rivalries going down, too.
Old Scientist Ted: Oh man, I’m totally going for that Anomalous Materials Lab assistant position.
Old Scientist Gary: Go for it, dude!
Old Scientist Ted: I can push that non-standard specimen SO PRECISELY…I’ve been practicing!
Old Scientist Gary: You’re totally going to get that position!
Gordon: Hey Ted, Gary. There’s this thing going down at the Anomalous Materials Lab and I guess they want me to assist with some non-standard specimen or something. Pretty cool, huh?
Old Scientist Ted: …I will destroy you, Gordon Freeman.
Also, this description of him from his Wiki page is freaking fantastic:
“Gordon is a native of Seattle who exhibited an early interest in theoretical physics, especially quantum mechanics and the theory of general relativity. His childhood heroes were Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Richard Feynman. After observing a series of teleportation experiments conducted by the Institute for Experimental Physics in Innsbruck, Austria, the transmission of matter became Gordon’s obsession. Gordon has no known dependents. He graduated from MIT with a Ph.D. degree in Theoretical Physics. His doctoral thesis on the teleportation of matter through extremely dense elements was titled Observation of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Entanglement on Supraquantum Structures by Induction Through Nonlinear Transuranic Crystal of Extremely Long Wavelength (ELW) Pulse from Mode-Locked Source Array.”
I’m half-tempted to edit with this addition: “At an early age, Gordon exhibited several violent tendencies, with one instance involving a crowbar and his father’s pet crab standing out above all others. Had his father not overlooked this incident, passing it off as mere childhood buffoonery, Freeman may not have retained the crowbar-wielding, crab-like-creature-killing skills that helped save the universe from Xen following the resonance cascade at Black Mesa.”
Also: holy crap, Half-Life is twelve years old now.
Today’s song: Creepy (Mightyfools Remix) by Boltan (this song gets insanely eargasmic at approximately 2 minutes in, it’s great)