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| HEV Suit
| General information
| Used by
| Game information
| Entity / spawn codes
| Voiced by
- "Well, Gordon, I see your HEV Suit still fits you like a glove. At least the glove parts do."
- ―Isaac Kleiner
The HEV Suit,, or Hazardous Environment suit, often called the "hazard suit" for sake of convenience, is a full-body hazardous materials suit developed at the Black Mesa Research Facility, designed for Black Mesa scientists to protect them from radiation, energy discharges, and blunt-force trauma during the handling of hazardous materials and to protect them from the effects of traveling to Xen as part of Survey Teams.
It is predominantly worn by Gordon Freeman during much of the Half-Life series - first as the Mark IV suit in Half-Life, then as the upgraded Mark V suit in Half-Life 2. It allows him to sustain many injuries that would normally fatally wound him.
The HEV Suit is related to both the Powered Combat Vest (PCV) used by the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit (HECU), and the armored vest and helmet used by the Black Mesa Security Force.
 Mark IV
Gordon Freeman in his HEV Suit.
The HEV Mark IV suit worn by Freeman in Half-Life has a built-in flashlight, Geiger counter, morphine administrator (which allows Gordon to function normally even after serious injury), an optional Long Jump Module which allows jumps over large distances (greatly increased horizontal range; vertical distance is elevated only slightly), a radio, tracking devices, and a heads-up display (HUD) which tracks health status and weapon ammunition usage, as well as including a weapons management system. The suit contains an on-board computer system that constantly monitors the user's health and vital signs, and reacts to any changes in the user's condition with activations in the aforementioned apparatus, and a soothing female-computer voice. It also contains a built in tracking system allowing targets to be locked on so they can be dealt with easier (PS2 version only).
Additionally, the suit has an electrically hardened armor system that can be charged by power modules throughout Black Mesa. While charged, the suit provides greater protection from injury as the charge absorbs more than two-thirds of any damage or trauma experienced by the wearer, with the exception of fall damage, which is absorbed directly into body-integrity, and oxygen deprivation, caused by swimming without surfacing for long periods of time. With a fully charged suit, Freeman can survive several dozen bullets of small arms fire, continuous fire from Combine energy weapons or even a direct hit from a rocket propelled grenade (but suffering about sixty percent damage). The suit also features an optional helmet, as seen on various HEV-enclosed corpses dotted around Xen, mainly at the ruined research camp seen in Blue Shift.
Freeman dons the suit at the beginning of the first game, and is allowed to keep it at the end of the game by the G-Man. It has been debated on countless forums as to whether Gordon's HEV suit has a helmet as he is usually depicted without one yet is able to survive in hazardous environments, meriting its presence. Although, when Freeman is spotted through Opposing Force, he enters Xen through the portal without wearing a helmet, such being the situation he would need it the most. Admittedly however, it could have been removed when Gordon was captured by Marines before this. Headcrabs never attempt to attach directly to Freeman's head either (although strictly speaking, in the official Half-Life storyline Freeman never allows a headcrab to attempt to). One version of Half-Life's box-art, however, depicts Gordon holding a helmet, which suggests that he may have worn one during at least certain parts of the series.
The HEV Suit is not exclusive to Freeman. Many can be seen worn by slain Black Mesa research members on Xen. Two additional (empty) HEV storage units are seen near the start of the game in Sector C, which are used by the main protagonists of Decay, Gina Cross and Colette Green, and three empty HEV storage units can be seen near the end of Lambda Core. The suits also come in different colors; although many, including Gordon's and ones belonging to the corpses seen on Xen, are orange, Gina wears a tan suit, while Colette wears a maroon suit.
 Mark V
The Mark V HEV Suit in Dr.Kleiner's Lab.
In Half-Life 2, despite being allowed to keep it in the previous game, Freeman starts without the suit, and with a Citizen attire instead. Upon reaching Kleiner's Lab after meeting Barney, Alyx and Kleiner, Freeman receives an upgraded HEV suit, the Mark V. Kleiner, as well as other characters, occasionally refer to this suit as Gordon's "old suit," indicating that it is upgraded from his old Mark IV suit; it isn't explained how Kleiner acquired it as Gordon was placed in stasis wearing it. However, the G-Man releases Gordon wearing "civies" (presumably the blue 'prison' uniform) in Half-Life 2 so it is likely that he 'arranged' it somehow.
New features include a visual zooming capability, limited enhanced running (sprint) capability, an injector to administer antidote for neurotoxins such as Poison Headcrab venom, an optional ammo and health counter on the crosshair (enabled by the player in the game's "Mouse" options), and the capability to use Combine power nodes to charge the suit. This design feature would have an unexpected effect later on in the game, when the suit appears to be infused with "Dark Energy" from a Combine weapon confiscation field, allowing the suit to store twice as much energy as normal, with maximum power at 200 power units, and will heal Gordon's health back to 100%. At this point, the suit also charges much faster and efficiently, capable of going from 0 to 200, without even depleting a single charger to half capacity (normally, a charger can only give the suit 75 power units). Unlike the Mark IV, the Mark V uses only one auxiliary power source for the flashlight, enhanced running and oxygen supply (though, as of the events of Episode 2, the flashlight now has a separate charge meter). In addition, the Long Jump Module is no longer an available upgrade found in the environment.
Gina Cross is said to have tested a Mark V prototype under the supervision of Richard Keller before the Black Mesa Incident, but it is unknown how this is related, if at all, to the Mark V suit featured in Half-Life 2.
 Detailed analysis
HEV Suit room in Black Mesa's Sector C
. There is stored Freeman's suit, while Cross' and Green's suits are already gone.
In Black Mesa's Lambda Complex
there were stored suits used by various members of the Xen survey teams.
It should be noted that HEV energy chargers in Half-Life have the trademark (tm) symbol added after the HEV letters, which suggests that the chargers, HEV suit, or both, are produced by a non-government company. An Easter egg in Half-Life 2, however, reveals an old cover of an HEV charger lacking the trademark logo. However, this could be worn off like most of the HEV lettering on the faceplate.
The HEV suit is unusual compared to conventional hazard suits like Hazmat; specifically, that it was designed with combat in mind (where the environment actively fights back against trespassers), as the suit possesses the ability to track weapons in hand (along with their ammunition). In addition, the suit possesses the ability to store multiple weapons and tools, though the method by which this is accomplished is unknown. The suit apparently has radio-tracking devices that can tell its location via transmitters located around it, which explains how the suit could have been reached by the Resistance in Half-Life 2 and how the military got hold of Gordon Freeman into the Apprehension chapter of the Half-Life. The only time that the player is directly informed of this feature is during the events of Half-Life, when a scientist inside a freezer tells Gordon about his suits tracking devices, which he describes as "numerous". These combat-oriented features may be explained by the visits many Black Mesa personnel made to the border world of Xen, which contains many dangerous and hostile forms of life. It is notable that the Powered Combat Vest worn by the player in Opposing Force apparently uses similar technology, as it is also able to replenish its power from Black Mesa HEV chargers. It is unclear which technology was invented first, though it would be reasonable to assume that, since the PCV lacked a "mark" designation, the HEV suit was developed first and the design specifications sold to the government.
The symbol on Gordon's HEV suit is the lower case Greek letter Lambda, λ. This symbol is used by scientists to denote the decay constant of radioactive elements (related to the half-life of an element). As well as appearing on Gordon's suit, the symbol replaces the letter "a" in the game title, Hλlf-Life, and is the name of the complex in the Black Mesa Research Facility where teleportation experiments are conducted. The Lambda symbol is also seen in Half-Life 2 as a marking of the human resistance, seen close to hidden supplies and on the arm bands of better equipped resistance fighters.
 HEV Suit voice
Kathy Levin recorded the HEV Suit informations and warnings. They were recorded only once for Half-Life and reused in the subsequent games featuring it.
- In a Half-Life new game, when the player obtains the HEV suit for the first time, the HEV suit voice will say 9 statements:
- Welcome to the H.E.V mark IV protective system, for use in hazardous environments conditions.
- High impact reactive armor activated
- Atmospheric contaminant sensors activated
- Vital signs monitoring activated
- Automatic medical systems engaged
- Defensive weapon selection system activated
- Munition level monitoring online
- Communication interface online
- Have a very safe day !
- When the player obtains a battery, the HEV suit will say:
- Power # percent. (# standing for the suit power after picking up the battery, rounded down to the nearest multiple of five.)
- When the player gets 100% power, the HEV suit says the above line with a higher, "happier" sounding voice, and it says "power level is one hundred percent" instead of shorter "power one hundred percent".
- The above only happen if the power is achieved with batteries; if the power is filled up with a charger, the suit will not say anything.
- When the player has dropped from a fairly high place, and the health reaches 26 or above, the HEV suit voice will say:
- Major fracture detected
- Automatic medical system engaged
- Morphine administered
- When the player health reaches 25 or below:
- Vital signs critical
- Seek medical attention
- When the player health reaches 9 or below:
- Emergency! User death imminent
- Seek medical attention
- When the player's gun is out of ammo:
- When the player obtains a Long-Jump Module, the HEV suit voice will say:
- Power-assisted movement activated
- When the player is exposed to radioactive waste or enters the Citadel Core in Half-Life 2: Episode One, the HEV suit will say:
- Warning! Hazardous radiation levels detected!
- If the player is damaged by heat, the HEV suit will say:
- Warning! Extreme heat damage detected!
- If the player is exposed to chemical waste, the HEV suit will briefly say:
- Warning! Hazardous chemical detected!
- If the player is damaged by the Gargantua stomp attack, or the Houndeye sonic attack, the HEV suit will say:
- Internal bleeding detected!
 Behind the scenes
Right arm of the leather HEV Suit holding the Flare Gun.
- Many sounds were recorded for the Half-Life HEV Suit but were never used, mostly of a medical nature - for instance, "local tourniquet applied". These are included in the game files but were presumably cut due to the lack of an actual purpose within the game, since the HEV Suit is mostly aesthetic.
- In Half-Life, the suit power was originally displayed with battery instead of man and number. The battery sprite remained in Half-Life: Day One.
- The Half-Life 2 HEV Suit was originally drastically different from the original suit, referred to by Marc Laidlaw as a "black leather HEV torture suit like something out of a Clive Barker film". This is evidenced in the texture folder for the cut Flare Gun found in the playable Half-Life 2 leak files, which contains 3 textures files for the right arm of a leather HEV Suit that was to be used for the weapon's viewmodel.
- The HEV Suit charger front panel may be seen in the junkyard of Black Mesa East. Finding it earns the Blast From the Past achievement. Instead of taking barrels from where Alyx asks, stack crates and climb up to the top then pick it up with the Gravity gun. It can be also found in the White Forest base, in the room with the giant TV showing the video of Judith Mossman and the Borealis: it is hidden behind a few crates.
- In the original Half Life, the HEV Suit's armor not only absorbed 66% of all damage received, it also reduced the total amount of damage any given attack would inflict on the player (i.e. enemy melee attacks would do a total of 6 damage instead of 10 if the suit had power). This changes in Half Life 2, where the player receives the same amount of damage whether or not the HEV suit has any armor energy. To compensate, the HEV suit armor is more effective in Half Life 2, absorbing 80% of all damage received instead of 66%.
- In the texture of the HEV Suit's back in Half-Life, the word Valve can be faintly seen. This applies only to player models that use HEV Suits, not to the HEV Suit's worldmodel.
- In the original Half Life, in an area of the Lambda Complex where a scientist with a shotgun greets Gordon, there are no HEV Suits in storage areas. However, in Half-Life: Source it can be seen that there are three HEV suits inside the room.
- In the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Old World Blues the Stealth suit MK II. features a similar system as the HEV suit injecting analgesics and stimpacks when needed and has also an onboard computer system supervising the players health by voice response.
Batteries capable of powering the HEV Suit such as the one shown here may occasionally be found.
Half-Life 2 (Combine) version.
Other than batteries, the main means of charging a HEV Suit (or PCV) is by means of a HEV Charger such as this Half-Life version.
Half-Life 2 (Combine) version.
Early Gordon Freeman in an early HEV Suit.
Early Gordon Freeman model with red HEV Suit.
Red HEV Suit render, with helmet.
The Mark IV HEV, complete with helmet.
Ditto, Playstation 2 version.
Early Day One model render, with helmet.
Holographic Assistant, PlayStation 2 version of Half-Life and Decay version.
Ditto, from the canceled Dreamcast version.
Gordon Freeman model from Opposing Force.
The full Mark IV HEV suit on a deceased scientist in Xen.
The Mark IV HEV Suit's world model from Half-Life, different sides.
Ditto, Dreamcast version.
Ditto, Playstation 2 version.
The Mark V HEV Suit's world model from Half-Life 2, different sides, playable Half-Life leak version, with a partially detailed back. Note the backward Lambda logo.
The Mark V HEV Suit's world model from Half-Life 2, different sides.
Admiring the suit (viewmodel used only once when donning the suit at Kleiner's Lab).
Texture for the right forearm of the early Half-Life 2 leather HEV Suit.
Texture for the right hand of the leather suit.
March 2010 image of Gordon Freeman and his crowbar promoting the arrival of Steam on Mac, sent by Valve to MacRumors. The Apple logo can be seen in place of the Lambda logo on the HEV Suit.
 List of appearances
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