Beyond Black Mesa
|This article is non-canon.|
The subject matter of this article does not take place in the "real" Half-Life and Portal universe and is considered non-canon.
|This article would greatly benefit from the addition of one or more new images.|
Beyond Black Mesa is a short independent fan film inspired by the Half-Life series, produced by Infectious Designer, creators of Half-Life Origins and co-creators of The Freeman Chronicles. It was released on January 21, 2011.
Five years after the Black Mesa Incident, Adrian Shephard finds himself once again fighting for his life. Much like teaming up with the scientists at Black Mesa to survive, he has joined the Resistance to preserve what little remains of the world they once knew.
The firms starts as Shephard flees from a large force of Combine Soldiers. According to him, nobody knows from whence the Combine came, and that, to the Combine, humans are "nothing but a race bent on self-destruction". Shephard makes his way through a steel manufacturing facility, encountering another (male) Rebel, who then attempts to broadcast a warning about the upcoming invasion through a small, high-tech communication device; however the signal is not strong enough. At that point, another (female) Resistance fighter runs past Shephard and the male Rebel, followed by Zombies (with no Headcrabs). They all fight and flee the Zombies until they reach a Resistance safe room, abandoned save for the corpse of a Rebel. They stock up on the weapons and medical supplies left in the room. They then take a back exit as they are pursued by Overwatch forces. The two Resistance fighters flee as Shephard engages the soldiers to buy time for them. He is separated from them and gets in a close-quarters fight with a skilled Combine soldier, and kills him.
While Shephard fights the Combine, the two Rebels make their way to higher ground to find a better signal for their broadcast. The broadcast is sent just as the male Rebel is shot in the head and the female Rebel is captured. Just as about to be executed, the executioner turns on the other soldiers and shoots them. The executioner reveals himself to be Shephard wearing a Combine soldier uniform. The two flee once again and are met in an open street by ten Combine soldiers and an APC. Shephard announces that his story ends there so that the world beyond Black Mesa can have a chance. Unable to flee any further or fight, the two join hands and Shephard arms a grenade he drops at his feet as the soldiers approach. The film ends as an explosion is heard.
Beyond Black Mesa, with a $1,200 (USD) budget, was made by Brian Curtin, creator of Infectious Designer, and six of his friends. The funds came from the jobs of the creators, while the film was developed during their spare time. The money was used for gear, costumes, smoke grenades, lights and music, not the camera or software. The film took two years to complete, with "countless hours of post-production".
The film parts from the canon and was developed with artistic liberties, such as Zombies with no Headcrabs. The creators originally wished the film to stay close to the Half-Life universe, but technical difficulties inhibited them from achieving complete authenticity.
Beyond Black Mesa won the Best Science Fiction award at the AOF festival. The initial release went viral with over 200,000 views in the first day and a half. The video was also favorited by Valve on their official YouTube channel.