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Half-Life Alpha

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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.

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Half-Life Alpha

Valve Corporation

Release date(s)

January 8, 2013[1]


First-person shooter




Valve Corporation


Keyboard and mouse


GoldSrc (early)



Half-Life version 0.52, simply referred to as the Half-Life Alpha in its documents, is a leaked build of Half-Life dated September 8, 1997. Originally intended for game publications, the build was released to the public in early 2013.


On December 31, 2012, a Reddit user, jackaljayzer, showed a photo of the CD-ROM of an alpha build of Half-Life, version v0.52, dated September 8, 1997, intended at the time for game journalists. On January 8, 2013, the contents of the disc were released.[1] It contains an early and simplified build of the game consisting of six chapters, a technology demonstration spanning across three maps, and one multiplayer map, an early iteration of Stalkyard.

The CD-ROM image also contains an early 11-track version of the soundtrack, including different versions of "Diabolical Adrenaline Guitar" and "Hurricane Strings".

Playable chapters[edit]

Notable characters[edit]

Technology demos[edit]

Behind the scenes[edit]

There is a glowing texture system used for animated surfaces, similar to the one used in Half-Life 2. These textures glow in the dark, and does not require another form of light to be lit up. They only work in the software mode. It is believed that this is done by use of an alpha map as a second layer. Furthermore, some textures in the final game appear to carry the extra data used for this technology. It is not possible to create a glowing texture using the tools provided in the SDK. The glowing textures don't work when the texture files are edited in any way.



Half-Life Alpha
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