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Black Mesa Training Facility

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Black Mesa Training Facility
General information
Destroyed

200-, during the Black Mesa Incident

Location

Black Mesa Research Facility

Usage
Era(s)

Black Mesa Incident

Faction

Black Mesa

Designer(s)

Karl Deckard[1]
Dave Riller[2]
Rob Heironimus[3]

"Hello and welcome to the Black Mesa Hazard Course, where you'll be trained in the use of a hazardous environment suit. I am your holographic assistant."
Gina Cross' Holographic Assistant counterpart[src]

The Black Mesa Training Facility, also known as the Hazard Course, is a recurring location featured in Half-Life and its expansions. It is used for training the Black Mesa personnel. It also serve as an in-game training for the games.

Overview[edit]

The Training Facility is located in Sector A section of the Black Mesa Research Facility.[4] The training is given to perfect maneuvers like jumping and crouching, using objects, and firing weapons. The player can access the course from the main menu of the game. The course is divided into stations. A Holographic Assistant guides the player and demonstrates certain moves through the training.

Appearances[edit]

Half-Life[edit]

In Half-Life, Gordon Freeman is sent here for the Hazardous Environment Suit training. Gordon also visits the course on May 16 at 07:30, the day of the Black Mesa Incident, before the experiment. There are Automatic Turrets that attack the player if the player kills the civilians in the last map. As heard during the tram ride, the Hazard Course decathlon was to commence on May 16 at 19:00 in the Level 3 facility. This never happened due to the incident.

There are some minor changes in the Dreamcast version. These changes were carried over to the Blue Shift version of the course. The cheat code for the slow motion mode is given when the course is completed. The course was updated for the PlayStation 2 version. The player starts in a lobby connected to the Black Mesa Transit System. He is greeted by two scientists before he enters the course. The Target Range was also expanded to allow introducing the new lock-on feature, an automatic targeting system for the suit. It is impossible to die during the course.

Opposing Force[edit]

In Opposing Force, Adrian Shephard can teleport himself to a damaged version of the course by using the Displacer Cannon in the chapter We Are Not Alone. Here, a Vortigaunt is seen attacking the Hologram Assistant, mistaking it for an actual human.

Blue Shift[edit]

In Blue Shift, Barney Calhoun is scheduled for a two-day training course that will prepare him for his new assignment. He attends the course on May 12 at 08:00.[5] The course is identical to its Half-Life counterpart with minor changes. It is only available on the PC version.

Decay[edit]

In Decay, the protagonists Gina Cross and Colette Green have to escort Rosenberg through the course to the surface and call for help after the incident in the mission Hazardous Course. These areas include maintenance tunnels, as well as some familiar areas from the original course. The entrance to the course can be seen in the next mission, Surface Call. It is located near the Satellite Communications Center.

Behind the scenes[edit]

The Training Facility was designed and built by Karl Deckard.[1] It was internally named the training room. According to Jay Stelly, he created the "door hack" flag for the "momentary_rot_button" entity, so Dave Riller could build the spinning bridge in the course.[2] The Opposing Force version was created by Rob Heironimus.[3] It was Joe Kennebec's idea for the player to revisit the destroyed version of the facility.[6] The rats only appear in the training portion of the game.

As an Easter egg in Half-Life, repeatedly attempting to enter the locked security doors at the end of the course triggers a unique set of Black Mesa Announcement System lines. The constant yet fruitless attempts will eventually perturb the computerized voice, leading to some humorous responses directed at the player. In the course's Opposing Force rendition, a photo of Rob with Easter eggs in his eye sockets can be found in the observation room. It was taken by his co-worker John Faulkenbury in Easter 1998.[7]

Gallery[edit]

Half-Life[edit]

Half-Life (Playstation 2 port)[edit]

Opposing Force[edit]

Blue Shift[edit]

Decay[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]

Other[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Karl Deckard on LinkedIn
  2. 2.0 2.1 momentary_rot_button description on Half-Life Editing Resource Center (archived)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Randy Pitchford's .plan update on Blue's News (March 23, 2000)
  4. Black Mesa Transit System map
  5. Half-Life PlayStation 2 instruction manual
  6. Joe Kennebec on his video game work (August 16, 2016)
  7. John Faulkenbury's comment on The Easter Egg Archive