Black Mesa (corporation)
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Black Mesa, New Mexico, USA (Black Mesa Research Facility)
Working to make a better tomorrow for all mankind
|Date of establishment|
|Date of fragmentation||
after the Black Mesa Incident
- "Do you have a friend or relative who would make a valuable addition to the Black Mesa team? Immediate openings are available in the areas of Materials Handling and Low-Clearance Security. Please contact Black Mesa Personnel for further information. If you have an associate with a background in the areas of theoretical physics, biotechnology or other high tech disciplines, please contact our Civilian Recruitment Division. The Black Mesa Research Facility is an equal opportunity employer."
- ―Black Mesa Transit System[src]
Black Mesa is apparently helmed by the United States government, as the Great Seal can be seen on the ground of several lobbies of the Black Mesa Research Facility, and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as seen on several comlink status screens.
Black Mesa undertakes research in various fields from standard scientific research to radiation, rocketry, theoretical physics, lasers, experimental propulsion, hydraulics, robotics, hydroelectricity, genetics, zoology, applied mathematics and a very wide spectrum of research into chemistry and all manner of physics research. The research is mostly conducted in the Black Mesa Research Facility and includes both pure research and applied science.
In addition to this legitimate research, several secret projects are also carried out at Black Mesa, which are deliberately left vague. A large amount of classified research is carried out, including the development of high-tech weapons and defense systems, research into extra-dimensional travel, teleportation, and the study of Xen. During the tram ride into the Black Mesa Facility that opens Half-Life, an announcement on the public address system states that the facility is seeking employees with backgrounds in theoretical physics, biotechnology, and various other high-tech scientific disciplines. It is also said that jobs in low-clearance security and materials handling are available. Black Mesa, as the same announcement states, is an equal opportunity employer.
Black Mesa employs in its facility two main groups of civilian employees: science personnel and security personnel, along with various other inhabitants including administrative personnel, service personnel and occasionally the employees' families. The base also keeps a small military presence.
Little is known about Black Mesa's competitors. It is known that Aperture Science was competing with Black Mesa on various government contracts, including the development of portal technology. In addition, according to potentially biased information from Aperture Science, Black Mesa received a much larger percentage of contracts than average. The effect that the Xen invasion had on Aperture Science or any of Black Mesa's unnamed competitors is unknown as of now.
Behind the scenes
- Series' writer Marc Laidlaw coined the name "Black Mesa Research Facility". He came up with other names during his brainstorming, including "Black Butte, Nuclear Missile Base" (located in Montana instead of New Mexico), "Sand Basin", "Diablo Mesa", "Mesa Diablo", "Diablo Plains", or "Fertile Plains". He states it is great fun for Valve to invent names for their creations, and then see them go out into the world and take on lives of their own. He also states he is very glad he decided to go with "Black Mesa Research Facility" rather than "Black Butte".
- As with Aperture Science, the Black Mesa logo is directly based on the company's name, appearing as a stylized mesa mountain against the sky.
- In the ending song of Portal, "Still Alive", GLaDOS mentions Black Mesa, asking Chell who she thinks will help her deal with situations: Maybe you'll find someone else to help you. / Maybe Black Mesa... / THAT WAS A JOKE. HA HA. FAT CHANCE.
- Portal series' writers Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw sees the rivalry between Aperture Science and Black Mesa as "snobs versus slobs", Black Mesa being the snobs and Aperture Science "the slobs, the loveable goofballs".
The Black Mesa logo as seen on documents.
The Black Mesa logo as seen on the SUVs, different from the common logo.
The Black Mesa logo featured in the Portal end credits, appearing when mentioned in the "Still Alive" lyrics.
The Black Mesa logo on G-Man's briefcase in the GoldSrc models.
Black Mesa tattoo as seen during the "Portal is Free" video.
Logo seen on the ground of the Alien Research Labs lobby, featuring the Latin words "Superbus Via Inscientiæ", and a DNA double helix in the middle. The best translation would be "Proud by way of ignorance", although the phrasing is not common.
Ditto (unused texture) (original image).
List of appearances
- Half-Life: Opposing Force
- Half-Life: Blue Shift
- Half-Life: Decay
- Half-Life 2 (Mentioned only) (Appears in flashback(s)) (Picture only)
- Half-Life 2: Episode One (Mentioned only)
- Portal (Picture only) (Mentioned in Still Alive)
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two (Mentioned only) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Portal 2 (Mentioned only)
- Half-Life: Day One (First appearance)
- Half-Life: Uplink
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- Lego Dimensions (Mentioned only) (Non-canonical appearance)
|Retail||Aperture Science · Black Mesa · Black Ops · Combine · Hazardous Environment Combat Unit · Race X · Resistance · Xen|
|Cut||Central Intelligence Agency · Agents|