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- "Dr. Rosenberg, thank God you made it!"
- ―Walter Bennet[src]
Walter Bennet is a scientist at the Black Mesa Research Facility first mentioned in Half-Life: Opposing Force. He then appears in Half-Life: Blue Shift where he is an assistant to Rosenberg with Simmons.
Half-Life: Opposing Force
Walter received his first acknowledgment in Opposing Force in the chapter Vicarious Reality. In the Biodome Complex of Sector E, a holographic recording left by another scientist was intended for him. Adrian Shephard plays that message in which a colleague explains to Walter that they had been able to successfully detach a Barnacle from its point of gestation but were still only able to coerce the creature into latching onto organic materials. The scientist then states he has to end his examination of the creature as the Administrator had called him down to the Anomalous Materials lab for an important experiment, instructing Walter to continue studying specimen 1176, the Barnacle Grapple which Adrian then takes possession of.
Walter is also a selectable character in the Capture The Flag multiplayer game mode. He is presented with a biography description that states: "After being at ground zero during the accident, Walter managed to survive long enough to arm himself. When the soldiers came, Walter became a valuable fighter for the Black Mesa team."
Half-Life: Blue Shift
In Blue Shift, it is learned that when the Resonance Cascade occurred, Rosenberg and a colleague named Harold formulated a plan of escape: They would make their way to the disused Prototype Labs and use its old teleporter equipment to transport themselves to safety outside of the facility. Along with Simmons and Walter, they set out to accomplish this goal, but the arrival of the HECU cut their plan short. Harold was killed and Rosenberg was captured, but Walter and Simmons managed to reach the Prototype Labs and piece together the larger equipment in preparation for the teleportation sequence.
When Rosenberg is able to return with help of a security guard named Barney Calhoun, Walter is extremely relieved and briefs him on the situation. After the teleport is powered up, Walter is the first to enter, arriving outside the Black Mesa South Access Tunnel. Simmons soon goes through as well and obtains a Black Mesa SUV ready for their escape, while Walter attempts to forcefully open the exit gate with a crowbar. Rosenberg and Calhoun shortly follow, and they all depart in the SUV. As with Rosenberg and Simmons, Walter's fate afterwards remains unknown.
Behind the scenes
Walter's name is an homage to Walter Bennett, the titular character of Walter's World (archived version), a mailbag column on Planet Half-Life set in the Half-Life universe written by site founder Kevin "Fragmaster" Bowen. The column featured responses from the fictional biochemist depicted as one of the common "Glasses" scientist variations, providing a humorous take on the inner workings of Black Mesa. Walter's World quickly rose to great acclaim within the community, leading to a crossover cameo appearance of the character in the mod USS Darkstar. "Walter" soon became the chosen fan name for the original Glasses scientist variation, commonly being used in other mods such as Sven Co-op.
The popularity of this fan creation culminated in numerous official references to the character by Gearbox Software in their expansions, first simply being mentions of Walter's name and eventually appearing in person in Blue Shift. "Walter" also replaced the internal name of the Glasses scientist in the High Definition Pack. In Half-Life 2, the face texture for Dr. Kleiner is named "walter_face" as a tribute.
In Gearbox's expansions, some of the scripted Glasses scientists use Walter's name as their internal entity designations. In the chapter Insecurity of Blue Shift, the scientist repairing a computer console is named "walter". In the Dual Access mission of Half-Life: Decay, the first scientist who greets Gina Cross and Colette Green and grants them access to the register station is named "walter_1".
The spelling of Walter's last name can be seen in the Half-Life PlayStation 2 instruction manual in the Hazard Course training schedule. Of note is that his last name is spelled "Bennet" while the fan character is known as "Bennett".
List of appearances
- Half-Life (PlayStation 2 instruction manual only)
- Half-Life: Opposing Force (First appearance) (Mentioned only)
- Half-Life: Blue Shift
- Half-Life: Blue Shift texture files
- Half-Life PlayStation 2 instruction manual
- "Players can become any of several classic Half-Life characters, including Gordon Freeman, Gina Cross, Colette Green, Barney Calhoun, Dr. Walter or soldier Adrian Shephard." Randy Pitchford discusses the PS2 port on ComputerAndVideoGames (November 19, 2001).