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Half-Life 2: Survivor (Story Mode)

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Menu images of the Story mode.

The Story Mode is one of the three game modes of Half-Life 2: Survivor, featuring the arcade machine adaptation of the original Half-Life 2.


The Story Mode follows the Half-Life 2's storyline, in which the player takes control of Gordon Freeman in his battle to save mankind from the Combine empire. Numerous changes were made to the game in order to make it more suitable for playing on arcade machines and easy to operate by the players unfamiliar with first-person shooters.

Survivor Gold could be earned when playing with NESYS card for the use in other game modes, the card was also initially required to advance past the third chapter, however this requirement was removed in update 2.07.[1] Apart from Survivor Gold acquisition, the Story Mode remains fully functional after the network service shutdown on February 1 of 2010.


Game interface and hit indicators.
  • The most significant changes were made to the game's levels:
    • All of the puzzles, character interaction and exploration sections were removed, several chapters (Point Insertion, "A Red Letter Day", Black Mesa East and Highway 17) getting completely cut out. As a result, the game almost entirely consists of combat. Some of the main plot elements and Gordon's actions are outlined in cutscenes, which can be skipped.
    • The remaining levels were made easier to navigate: most of the platforming and exploration was removed, arrow signs were added to guide the player where to go, who to attack and what to be aware of.
    • Every chapter is divided into several discrete sections called "scenes", each occurring on a separate map. The levels are no longer switched seamlessly, in order to proceed to the next scene the player must complete a certain goal, which is indicated by red arrows and can be either to kill specific enemies or to reach the destination. The last scene of a chapter usually consists of a boss battle.
  • The game's interface was heavily redesigned with completely different visual appearance and additional information now displayed, including the player's score, progress through the chapter and health of the boss(es) during the boss battles.
  • A certain time limit exists during which a scene has to be completed. Most commonly about 5 minutes are given when starting a chapter and additional 100 seconds are added after the completion of each scene, but the exact numbers vary between chapters. The remaining time does not get transfered to the next chapter.
  • The player's inventory is handled differently:
    • In each scene the player is given a set of weapons which remains fixed throughout the scene, as no weapons are placed in the game world and those dropped by the killed enemies can not be picked up.
    • The ammunition therefore can only be obtained from Supply Crates.
    • The weapons are acquired in a slightly different order compared to the original game, most notably the Gravity Gun does not appear until Anticitizen One when Hoppers are introduced.
    • Weapons may also get removed from the inventory, for instance the Pheropods are removed after Nova Prospekt, since they are no longer needed.
  • The game controls were heavily simplified, such features as the flashlight, suit zoom and manual reloading are not available due to the lack of dedicated buttons. The use key is also not present, making the player unable pick up random objects by hand, however most of the necessary interactions are performed automatically by walking up to the object, some buttons and levers were also changed to activate from attacks.
  • The shotgun can only fire from a single barrel. Double-barreled shotgun is only available in the Battle Mode as a separate weapon.
  • The health and suit chargers are not present throughout most of the game and are only encountered once near the end at the dark fusion reactor. Instead of the special charger commonly found in the Citadel, which restores both health and suit charge to 200%, both regular chargers are installed.
  • The Airboat's speed has been reduced from 55 km/h (34 mph) to 32 km/h (20 mph). Its pulse cannon is installed from the beginning and does not run out of ammunition.
  • Some aspects of the game were censored: human blood color was changed to brown, the hole in the Classic Zombie's chest was removed and the blood on its texture changed to yellow. It is also no longer possible to cut off zombie's legs, however zombie torsos are still encountered in the game.


Behind the scenes[edit]

The Molotov cocktail, a weapon cut from Half-Life 2 and available in Half-Life 2 leak, is also present in the Story Mode. It can only be obtained with cheats (impulse 101 or give weapon_molotov) and is unfinished, using the Pheropod's HUD icon and name and grenade's models. It is possible that the Molotov cocktail eventually evolved to the Fire Grenade available in the Battle Mode.


A model of Gordon Freeman is present in the game files. While not used in the game directly, it can be seen in some of the pre-recorded cutscenes.



  1. Version history on the official Survivor website (archived)

External links[edit]