Central Transit Hub

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Central Transit Hub
General information

200-, during the Black Mesa Incident


Black Mesa Research Facility


Black Mesa Incident


Black Mesa

The Area 9 Central Transit Hub is a location mentioned in Half-Life and its expansions.


[edit] Overview

The Central Transit Hub is said to serve as a central station for the Black Mesa Transit System. It is only mentioned and never seen in any game.

[edit] Appearances

[edit] Half-Life

In Half-Life, the hub is mentioned during the tram ride at the beginning of the game. It says if the player's intended destination is a high-security area beyond Sector C, he would need to return to the Central Transit Hub in Area 9 and board a high-security tram.

[edit] Half-Life: Blue Shift

In Blue Shift, a tram takes the player through Area 9 Security Checkpoint to reach its destination, Area 3 Security Facilities, at the beginning of the game. This area is believed to be an entrance to the hub. The hub can be seen on a map that shows the tram routes. According to this map, the hub is connected to the Blue Line of the transit system.

[edit] Behind the scenes

While the location has never physically appeared in the series, it was intended to be included in a cut mission in Decay. The original sixth mission (map name ht06hub)[1] was internally called the Central Transit Hub[2] and was to take place there. It was to follow up the events of the previous mission, Domestic Violence. According to Gearbox designer Matthew Armstrong, the idea mostly came from a desire to visit the hub which had been previously mentioned but which had otherwise gone unseen. It was the least complete mission when it was cut and also the least important from a story perspective.[3]

[edit] Plot

Reconstructed security guard dialog.
Reconstructed scientist dialog.

The rescued security guard from the Level 3 Dormitories would lead the players and Dr. Keller to the Central Security Station where they can monitor transmissions, check on the transit lines, open and close all the security gates at the hub, and track the HEV Suit movement. He was able to open any door using his access code in the hub. He was to point to point out the suit signals of the players and Gordon's on a screen at the station.

A scientist from the Lambda Labs was to contact the players here and call for help. The science team wants to close the alien dimensional breach, but something is holding the rift open from the other side, preventing them from doing so. They tried to launch the Omega Satellite to get clean readings on the rift, but the military shut down the launch sequence. This is the same delivery rocket that Gordon Freeman eventually launches in the original game.

While Gordon has currently been sent on his way to launch the rocket, he is unable due to the emergency shutdown in effect. In order to override it, the players need to find the All-Clear codes and enter them into a computer at the Black Mesa Air Control building. The code is kept in the high security file room near the station, while the air traffic systems are located directly over the hub.

The guard was to open all the security gates between the station and the file room on the other side of the hub. He would have to close the gates after the players go through them, so the players have to stick close together. At some point, the guard was to mention that they need to perform some repairs in order to listen in on the military's transmissions, but something is blocking the maintenance access door, so they have to take a detour through the loading dock and storage bay. They soon discover that it is a Gargantua blocking the door.

The players had to work together to bring the creature to the train transfer area in the center of the hub, the major set piece ending for the level. One player would lure it onto a bridge while one operates the bridge controls to destroy it. The bridge mechanism would start to close in and crush the Gargantua.

In the final game, the mission was written out of the story by recording different lines for Keller in the previous mission. Instead of looking for a guard who knows the clearance codes to the Central Security Station, Keller's dialog suggests that the rescued guard actually knows the All-Clear signal necessary to allow the satellite's launch, thus bypassing the need to acquire the code in the Central Transit Hub's file room.

[edit] Other

According to Matthew Armstrong, they made the hallways weirdly wide to accommodate the cooperative combat. He says it felt a bit aesthetically wonky because of this sometimes, which can be seen in the screenshots. The hallways were going to get a texture pass and possibly made narrower.[3] The node data for the map can be extracted from the files.

A bridge with a similar design can be found in Blue Shift in the chapter Insecurity (map ba_maint). The map appears to be created by Matthew Armstrong; his nickname "HellFace" can be found in entities. It is unknown if they recycled the same brushwork for the cut mission.

[edit] Trivia

Big Tony's Pizza, a brand from Blue Shift, was to make an appearance as a slightly broken pizza box in the Central Security Station. The security guard would say if the players were hungry, they could eat the pizza.

[edit] Gallery

[edit] List of appearances

[edit] Notes

[edit] References

  1. Half-Life: Decay (maps/graphs/ht06hub.nod)
  2. Half-Life: Decay (sounds/sentences.txt)
  3. 3.0 3.1 The cut missions of Half-Life: Decay on ValveTime.net (October 27, 2016)
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