Black Mesa Science Team
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|Black Mesa Science Team|
Corporate science team
- "Why do we all have to wear these ridiculous ties?"
- ― Black Mesa scientist[src]
- 1 Overview
- 2 Positions
- 3 Notable members
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Gallery
- 7 List of appearances
- 8 References
Each scientist is granted a different security clearance specific to his or her duty, with an average clearance of Level 5. Like other employees, scientists have an assigned uniform, consisting of a blue shirt, white lab coat, red striped tie and white (or beige) slacks. In Opposing Force, a cleansuit-wearing variation of the normal scientist appears in limited areas. Some scientists are trained in the use of the Submachine Gun as part of Hazard Course training, but most have little or no combat skills or experience.
Although cowardly and clumsy at times, scientists can assist the player with certain tasks such as using retinal scanners to open doors, but they also tend to be physically weak, dying within a few shots, as well as having no combat capabilities. Scientists have some first aid skills and will administer a 25-point medicine boost to a wounded player with a health level under 50. Cleansuit scientists do not have this ability.
- Research and Development - The largest portion of the scientists are assigned to research and development positions, where they conduct experiments and create new technologies. The research conducted ranges in focus from particle physics to biological study to space travel. Most R&D scientists have a limited knowledge of first aid, and can heal some wounds.
- Research Associate - Research Associates work alongside R&D scientists, but with a lower status in the employment hierarchy. They are usually required to conduct the more mundane or less desirable portions of a given experiment. Dr. Gordon Freeman and Dr. Colette Green are notable research associates.
- Hazardous Environment Supervisor - Supervisors act in a similar role to research associates in that they assist in experiments, but they are primarily concerned with maintaining a safe work environment. Dr. Gina Cross works in this position.
- Instructor - Scientists will often take on additional work training employees and conducting simulations in the Sector A, as themselves or their hologram counterparts.
- Survey Team - Survey Teams were organized soon after the first teleportation labs were constructed in Black Mesa. Their assignment is the most dangerous, as they are tasked with entering the borderworld Xen to collect samples and conduct experiments. Because of the danger, Survey Team members are highly trained in the use of the HEV Suit and a variety of weapons. Many Survey Team scientists have died on Xen.
- Gordon Freeman
- Richard Keller
- Gina Cross
- Colette Green
- Wallace Breen (Administrator)
- Isaac Kleiner
- Eli Vance
- Arne Magnusson
- Complete list
Behind the scenes
Originally, the four original scientist types were simply named from 01 to 04 in the Half-Life textures files. When the Half-Life High Definition Pack was released, they were given actual names. "Scientist 01" was named "Walter", a nod to Walter's World, a popular fan fiction set in the Half-Life universe created by Kevin "Fragmaster" Bowen on Planet Half-Life. It had been previously nodded to in Opposing Force, when a scientist using the same model, Walter Bennet, was mentioned, before appearing at the end of Blue Shift. "Scientist 02" was named "Einstein", for his likeliness to Albert Einstein. "Scientist 03" was named "Luther", probably a nod to Martin Luther King. "Scientist 04" was named "Slick", referring to his slicked back hair.
- In the Half-Life introduction, Black Mesa is said to be an equal opportunity employer, while no women other than the Holographic Assistant are seen during the game. Marc Laidlaw stated they all stayed at home that day; they knew there was something going on. This may be a tongue-in-cheek comment, as the real reason is that while the Half-Life team wanted the game to feature a wider range of characters, such as female scientists that would be found scarcely along the journey, they simply didn't have the needed texture read memory. The texture files for the female scientist model can be found in the folder "f_science" in the Half-Life: Source texture folder, but not in that of the original Half-Life.
- Gearbox fixed the "equal opportunity employer" issue in Decay by introducing the first female scientists as Gina Cross and Colette Green and a disabled scientist as Richard Keller (although Cross gave her likeness to the Holographic Assistant and is mentioned in a Black Mesa Announcement System message at the start of Half-Life).
- In Half-Life 2, Valve was able to finally introduce a female scientist the way they wanted to in Half-Life (in a chapter called Communications Center), as Judith Mossman. The whole relationship with her in Half-Life 2 is a scene they tried to do in Half-Life: they had done a lot for this scene where there was a betrayal by a woman scientist; at that point in the story Freeman was being hunted and the player would think that the scientists were all friends, so this scientist would say she is going to get help and would tell Gordon to stay in the room he was in - and then she would call the guards. They were unable to do that properly in Half-Life - they didn't really have characters on that level, and Half-Life 2 was a good opportunity to finally implement the traitor female scientist concept.
- Half-Life 2 also features another yet unidentified female scientist, seen in the photograph in Kleiner's Lab.
Through a security camera in the Blue Shift chapter Insecurity can be seen a scientist briefly dancing to himself, while another is watching, skeptical. The dancing animation was originally in the Gonome model, under the name "veryhappy" in the original model, and "sohappy" in the Steam version. In the original scientist model, it is named "sohappy", and "hambone" in the Steam version.
Scientist buying a soda.
Scientist and security guard in the Anomalous Materials lobby.
Scientists in the upper Anti-Mass Spectrometer Control Room.
Eli Vance helping a wounded scientist up after the Resonance Cascade.
The shotgun scientist and a security guard, mirrored in Half-Life 2.
Half-Life: Opposing Force
Shock Trooper grabbing a scientist and teleporting away.
Half-Life: Blue Shift
Security guard and scientist playing Prax Wars 2: Dante's Revenge in a laundromat along the Transit System.
Ditto, with crystal being studied.
List of appearances
- Half-Life: Opposing Force
- Half-Life: Blue Shift
- Half-Life: Decay
- Half-Life 2 (As former members)
- Half-Life 2: Episode One (As former members)
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two (As former members)
- Half-Life: Day One (First appearance)
- Half-Life: Uplink (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- Half-Life 2: Lost Coast (As former member Gordon Freeman) (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 34
- Tweet: "First, jowly one is Mike Shapiro (Barney, Gman). The second and terrible one is me." @MarcLaidlaw on Twitter
- Half-Life Audio Script
- PC Interview: Marc Laidlaw - Valve Software's plot man and the guy who puts story in front of the crowbar on ComputerAndVideoGames.com
- Old Half-Life section on GameSpot