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Crossfire (multiplayer map)

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For other uses, see Crossfire (disambiguation).

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The subject matter of this article does not take place in the "real" Half-Life and Portal universe and is considered non-canon.

Hl crossfire01.jpg

Dario Casali[1]

Game mode(s)
  • Deathmatch
  • Teamplay
  • crossfire
  • op4_crossfire

Crossfire is a map in the multiplayer mode of Half-Life. It was added to the game in patch version[2] which was released on January 13, 1999.[3] The official Opposing Force version of the map was released on December 6, 1999.[4]


The building complex around the central yard.

Crossfire is meant for large groups of players.[2] The map is composed of two main areas: the building compound with a central yard and the "Satellite Operations" bunker near a double helipad. They are connected by several passageways including a long underground tunnel the middle of the map. The former area puts emphasis on vertical play featuring three distinct planes, while combat in the latter location is more heavily focused on a level playing field. The map's hallmark is a button inside the bunker that launches an airstrike killing everyone caught outside it. With spawn points located entirely within the building complex, Crossfire incentivizes venturing out of the initial area.

Comprised of numerous rooms and hallways, the building compound revolves around close quarters combat with the only open area being the central yard from which most of the passageways to the bunker can be accessed. This location offers a very large assortment of weapons as well as health and Suit Chargers, Medkits, Batteries, and Long Jump Modules, but the ammunition for them is somewhat limited. Lifts are the primary mean of ascending in the buildings, while balconies and large windows allow for a quick getaway from the higher floors. The side of the complex facing the bunker features numerous exits from the area and provides plenty of cover against the bunker's defenses.

The largest open area in the map, the raised double helipad, is accessible by two ladders and two ramps on the low ground and by jumping from the upper level of the complex on the high ground. The helipad connects to the entrance of the bunker and its two cannon towers that can be climbed up into. The cannons can be manned by players, firing large explosive rounds at a slow rate. The lights in these towers indicate if the airstrike button inside the bunker is open. Red lights mean it's still locked, while green lights mean it's available. At the base of each tower is a pillbox that houses a supply of Crossbow belts. These enclosures are directly connected to to the cannon emplacements above by a vertical shaft. The bunker's entrance lobby is equipped with four health Chargers, the use of which requires turning one's back to the helipad area. Hallways leading from the lobby provide access to the guard posts as well as two supply rooms with large quantities of ammunition for various weaponry. The computer console with the airstrike button is situated at the back of the bunker.

When the airstrike button is pressed, it retracts into the console as sirens located throughout the map start sounding. Soon, the windows of the pillbox enclosures slam shut, and the bunker's main entrance door slowly begins to close. Once it is sealed, the shafts in the towers also close, blocking off the last avenues of entry. After a few seconds, the airstrike commences, and anyone caught outside the bunker is instantly killed as every player's screen flashes white. There is then a three minute waiting period until the next airstrike can be called, at which point the button will reveal itself again from the console.

Half-Life Deathmatch: Source[edit]

Crossfire was updated for Half-Life Deathmatch: Source and had number of changes implemented. Among the features brought with the engine upgrade were improved lighting, a 3D skybox, breakable glass windows, as well as reflective and displacement surfaces. This version of the map is also more detailed, being made out of more brushes and utilizing more textures. As such, tridimensional characteristics of the buildings' ceilings were brought out, baseboards along the bottom of some walls and warning stripes near lifts were added, an antenna and what appears to be an air-conditioning unit were placed on a rooftop, two sirens were connected by a wire, and the appearance of the tower cannons was overhauled.

There are, however, a number of issues present in this version of the map. For example, the cannons can't be used, and the tower lights indicating the status of the airstrike button don't change their color. Furthermore, the waiting period until the next airstrike can be called is nonconstant and variable, so much so as to allow for launching a second one before the first one commences. The secret blue room is also accessible in Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, albeit with its characteristic lighting altered and the sliding entrance door duplicated.

Behind the scenes[edit]

The secret room.

Dario Casali, the creator of Crossfire, based the map on a concept of having a location with defense capabilities that players would fight over, with the airstrike being a deterrent to not be caught outside of it. Starting its life as a modification of an area featured in the Surface Tension map c2a5e, Crossfire initially didn't include the cannons in the guard towers. They were added following a suggestion from Brett Johnson. The building compound was intended to be a place where players could stack up on weapons and then rush towards the bunker. In Casali's opinion, "the best way to successfully hold the bunker is by co-ordinating a team of people, some operating the big guns, some picking off enemy snipers." This kind of teamplay is what he aimed to encourage in the map.[5] Casali considers Crossfire to be his proudest gameplay accomplishment in Half-Life's multiplayer,[6] while Valve has regarded the level as their favorite teamplay map.[7]

An inaccessible room illuminated by blue lights with a Crossbow, Medkits, and Batteries can be found in the northwestern-most building. A portion of the wall in the room on the ground floor was meant to slide open and allow entrance. This secret room could be entered up until the last minute before Crossfire's public release. By the time the decision to remove it was made, only a very minor change to the level was permitted. The solution was to disable access to the room rather than completely deleting it.[6] Dario Casali's signature written in brushes can also be found hidden outside of the map under the double helipad.

Three security guards are placed around the map, possibly for the purposes of testing the airstrike's damage zones. They are normally not visible unless the level is run in singleplayer mode or monsters are enabled in multiplayer. As the sky texture is improperly defined in the map settings, Crossfire uses either the one from the last loaded map or the default "desert" texture.[8]

Crossfire spawned a sequel map in Half-Life called DoubleCross,[9] also created by Casali, and inspired the Half-Life 2: Deathmatch map Run Off.[10]



  1. Interview with Dario Casali on Planet Half-Life (July 15, 2004) (archived)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Half-Life News on Sierra Studios' official website (January 15, 1999) (archived)
  3. Half-Life Version on Blue's News (January 13, 1999)
  4. 'Tis the Season: New Op For Maps on Official Half-Life: Opposing Force website (December 6, 1999) (archived)
  5. An Interview with Dario Casali on Voltron's Map Workshop (May 1, 2000) (archived)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Interview with Dario Casali on Planet Half-Life (July 15, 2004) (archived)
  7. Exclusive New Half-Life Level on IGN (January 13, 1999)
  8. Crossfire map file
  9. DoubleCross map file
  10. News entry on Steam (April 22, 2004) (archived)