Black Mesa Announcement System
For other uses, see Black Mesa (disambiguation).
|Black Mesa Announcement System|
- "Attention. Black Mesa Announcement System now under military command."
- ― Black Mesa Announcement System[src]
The Black Mesa Announcement System, also referred to as Vox ("Voice" in Latin) and Base Computer in the game files, is the public address system used throughout the Black Mesa Research Facility, relaying audible messages and announcements across the facility with a male voice through unseen intercoms, most of the time starting with notification sounds. Often it is operated by actual people, depending on the needs of the personnel, and can act on its own as a basic A.I. Additionally, a similar but automatic announcement system is mounted on the Black Mesa Transit System trams.
Behind the scenes
While referred to several times as the "Black Mesa Announcement System", it was originally known as "Automatic Diagnostic and Announcement System", as heard in an unused sound file,
vox_login.wav. An older version of the system, with a more robotic voice, can be found in the unofficial desktop theme for Half-Life. The sound files were provided by Valve.
Many announcements were cut from Half-Life, only to be found in the file
sentences.txt located in the game's sound folder. They include area-related announcements, such as Sector D's Administration Center, the Advanced Biological Research Lab or Sector F's Central Command and Communication Center. Out of the 11 series of area-related announcements created for the game, only 4 are used. Cut announcements also include door-related messages, various warnings and danger notices or turret activity warnings.
The system's robotic voice was achieved through a vocoder, not an actual voice actor. Foreign language versions of Half-Life use fully recorded sentences instead of combined words. In French and German, the announcements appear to be spoken by an actual human being, while the Italian, Spanish, Chinese (both traditional and simplified) and Korean versions use a robotic voice similar to the English release. In French, the door-related messages are delivered by a female voice.