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This subject is related to the Black Mesa Incident era.
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Sprites fly.jpg
General information

Race X


Light ball[1]

Individual information

N/A (cannot be killed)



Game information



The Sprite[1] is a harmless Race X entity that can be seen floating through the Black Mesa Research Facility during the later stages of the Black Mesa Incident. It only appears in Half-Life: Opposing Force.


Taking on the appearance of a flying ball of light, Sprites are creatures that are seen by Adrian Shephard floating through the facility on numerous occasions, becoming more and more frequent in later stages of the incident. However, they cannot be harmed and they do not hurt Shephard in any way. In certain instances, they even seem to be guiding him,[1] such as in the Biodome Complex. It is not clear if they are biological or technological beings.[1]

Sprites are first witnessed in Xen where they arrive through a purple portal and leave through one leading back to Earth. In the chapter Foxtrot Uniform where a Gargantua is tied to Sector G's Hydro-Electric Dam, the G-Man stands on the inaccessible control tower speaking on a cell phone while Sprites fly into a portal behind him, after which he steps through himself and vanishes. They eventually all lead to the portal that brings in the Gene Worm, apparently acting as energy conduits to construct the gates to the border worlds.[1]

At the end of the game, as the G-Man teleports Adrian through multiple dimensions while aboard an Osprey, the final scene shows streams of unique looking Sprites passing by in the darkness outside of the aircraft.

Behind the scenes[edit]

The entity only consists of an animated sprite that travels along a defined path as it has no AI. The game files contain three unused variations of the Sprite including one depicting a cartoon fairy, presumably a joke referencing the supernatural creatures of its namesake. The final chosen graphic, named sprite_c_1, used in Opposing Force is based on a similar animated effect present in the original Half-Life used to represent light glimmers on certain objects. Of the two unique variations which only appear in the ending cutscene, one matches the unused sprite_b_1 graphic.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Half-Life: Opposing Force Prima Guide
  2. Stephen Bahl's Profile on the official Gearbox Software website (archived)
  3. Audio Interview with Gearbox Software on Run Think Shoot Live (November 3, 2012) (archived)