Talk:Sector A

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To do[edit]

Nothing! Klow 14:47, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Playstation 2[edit]

This is the beginning of the training-course in the Half-Life Playstation 2 version. Video we can add to the article??? :P TuningBEB2008 05:18, March 6, 2011 (UTC)

1 year later... Hell yeah! Klow 21:03, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

More "holo" lines[edit]

The folder "sound/holo" of the German version of Half-Life (maybe other language versions too) contains 17 more files than the English version. These are alternate lines for the holographic assistant which were probably from the beta. Differences to lines in retail are:

  • "holointro" does not ask you to put on your suit, but also says that pressing buttons will demonstrate moves
  • "holostn1" talks about chargers, but no mention of batteries
  • "holostn2" suggests two easy jumps, then two duck-jumps in a row
  • "holostn3" talks about an additional place to train duck-jumping
  • "holostn4" kinda suggests that there is more than one long-jump challenge
  • "holostn5" just explains the long-jump demonstration
  • "holostn6" explains that medkits (activated with the USE-key) can only be used once
  • "holostn7" says that you can continue training here or continue through the door
  • "holostn8" says that in the climbing tower you will learn how to climb ladders, break grates and use elevators and that she'll then leave you on your own
  • "holostn9" says something about your suits strength-amplifier or whatever and tells you to break through a wall, then either go to the climbing tower or continue to the next training area
  • "holostn10" tells you that everything in this room can be pushed, pulled or broken
  • "holostn10a" explains how to push and pull crates
  • "holostn11" tells you to go through a door after breaking things
  • "holostn13" welcomes you to the water training centre
  • "holostn14" explains that you can avoid drowning by swimming to an oxygen bubble and breathing. no really.
  • "holostn15" tells you to go through the main training room to the shooting range
  • "holostn16" says the shooting range is right around the corner, first door on the right

Pete (talk) 19:23, 29 December 2014 (GMT)

Nice find, Pete. I remember checking them a while ago to see if there were any differences. I must have missed them.--Barnz (talk) 19:55, 29 December 2014 (GMT)

Regarding there being two courses[edit]

Laidlaw did not state that there were two hazard courses. The question as posed to him was loaded as it already assumed there were two hazard courses. This is the point of contention (of which a vast amount of evidence points to the opposite), but in regards to Laidlaw's statement at hand, he outright stated that this is something they never considered. His only relevant remark is a supposition, not a declaration of fact, and that declaration was not to affirm that two hazard courses are in existence. Marphy (talk) 07:58, 15 August 2015 (BST)

What evidence points do you have in mind? Pixeled sandvich.png18 (Commentary node transparent.png) 11:12, 15 August 2015 (BST)
The fact that no where has it ever been stated there are two courses is the most damning. Literally not once has this notion ever been alluded to. The only flimsy support for this idea is the claim that the PS2 lobby has two elevators that "link both the scientist and security guard hazard courses together". This is, of course, complete and bald-faced speculation bordering on nonsense. There are two elevators, and we know one goes to the hazard course. We don't know where the other one goes. That's every possible fact that can be gleaned from this setup. This is why I have marked every instance of this claim on the current page to prepare for their removal come cleanup time.
The second most damning piece is the fact that the "two" hazard courses are identical. They're identical because they're the same course. That a few spots were modified in Blue Shift for gameplay purposes is not an invitation to speculate wildly. It's a game, and the levels were changed to suit the game, and we know the very established development history behind Blue Shift that lead to these changes. Marphy (talk) 20:36, 15 August 2015 (BST)
The Half-Life series is known for not stating many things directly. We don't need any official information to deduct that there are two different hazard courses. Even Marc notes that it makes sense for them to be located near each other, and that should end all discussion. He states that the developers didn't give a thought about the in-universe appearances during the development of the games. That's where we come in - the audience. It's "bald-faced speculation" to claim that the Half-Life and Blue Shift courses take place in the same location, completely ignoring the game universe - that's laziness. They aren't identical. There is no reason to suspect that the rooms can be modified or moved at will. There are two known course names, two doors at the lobby, one of which leads to a course for scientists, and two different testing tracks. I see no reasonable evidence points. Pixeled sandvich.png18 (Commentary node transparent.png) 21:16, 15 August 2015 (BST)
The rooms can be modified and moved at will because it's a video game. None of the in-game locations in any of the games obey real world rules or space occupations because that's not what they were intended to do. They're levels made to serve gameplay. It is not our role to create a narrative where there is none.
Please do not cite the Laidlaw email as being pertinent as the questioning was inherently flawed and the received response is actually contradictory to your claim. The inquiry as originally worded was loaded as it made a grave number of ill-conceived assumptions ("different stances in the community"? Who holds these stances?) and presented the situation without appropriate context, not to mention that the line of questioning took the premature belief that Laidlaw would have a conclusive answer. He outright stated that they "didn't give it any thought." He was asked whether or not there were two courses, and he neither said yes or no because he doesn't know.
For the record, the courses are indeed identical, right down to the HEV charger which is even stated to have no use to a security guard. Of course, it's there because it's the same course Gordon went through, hence their being identical.
If you wish to substantiate this argument, then you're going to have to provide actual verifiable facts. On my part, I direct you to this interview with Randy Pitchford in which he plainly states that the security guard training was only made for the standalone PC version of Blue Shift as the Dreamcast version already presented the identical hazard course for Gordon. The security guard training was not created to add to the game's lore or establish a new location. It was made to fill in a missing technical gap in a specific port of the game, hence why it is identical. Compare this to Opposing Force interviews in which Boot Camp is explicitly called a "new hazard course" by Pitchford. There's a reason for the distinction, and it's not just because they're two different locations. Marphy (talk) 22:43, 15 August 2015 (BST)
It is our role, however, to perceive a narrative when only hints were provided by the developers. The whole wiki aims to write articles from an in-universe point of view, and therefore we shouldn't state that "it's a video game," and claim that anything was created purely for gameplay purposes when only a minor assumption (which is more a deducted fact in this case) would make everything clear and connected. I understand that you may aim to remove anything that's not properly sourced from the wiki (i.e. the mention that the other doors may lead to the second course) but if you come as far as to rewrite existing and plausible explanations in favor of plain, technical reasoning, then I will not support you in your endeavors unless you provide incontrovertible facts, which say that the security guard course doesn't exist in the Half-Life word, or retcon the testing track changes (the armor room and one of the jumping tests are different, no Long Jump module training room) as being irrelevant to the world, and are merely the result of map development simplicity.
Regarding your second paragraph - the first (HEV suit/armor and helmet) rooms are different.
There's no reason not to bring up the Laidlaw email, unless he writes another, denying the existence of two hazard courses. The "different stances in the community" part you cited was only a figure of speech. I (and possibly more members of the community) hold the stance that there are two hazard courses, and you (and possibly more members of the community) hold the stance that what you see is not relevant and only a matter of gameplay. I don't think you had trouble including Marc's thoughts (and not facts only) in this or this edit. I also don't think that words "perhaps", "may", and "I guess" mean different things. If you wish, you may send another e-mail to Marc Laidlaw, only with a "one and only course" bias of yours. If you are citing the "didn't give it any thought" part, I suppose this also is in favor of my thinking - Marc impulsively stated what seems almost too reasonable to me - one course would be located near the other. I don't think that "near" means "inside".
Randy Pitchford doesn't say that the "security guard training was not created to add to the game's lore or establish a new location." He says that the PC version offers an additional level - a course for security guards. Before that sentence, he states that "from a narrative perspective, Blue Shift for the PC and Blue Shift for the Dreamcast are very similar." Not identical - very similar. Not only the "secrets" make a difference, but also the course - a difference from a narrative perspective, as he stated, not a gameplay or a technological one. This is not the case of Half-Life 2 on Xbox, as the developers precisely stated that the differences between these two versions are purely technical as Xbox's specifics are different from those of a PC. I don't need Randy to state that the course is "new", when I know myself that is it, as it wasn't featured in the previous game. The security guard course indeed "wasn't necessary in the Dreamcast version" as, I suspect, the game already features one such level. This is merely a simplification of the Dreamcast game, and does not mean that the course wouldn't exist in the Half-Life universe if not for the PC port. This is also not the case of the PS2 version of Half-Life, where a level was added to show the aim-lock function, as that was indeed made to fill a technical gap in that port of the game, but even then it could be perceived as a retcon in-universe wise. If it's possible to explain what the developers didn't, using reason, and therefore make everything connected and clear to the reader, why not do it? We can even make a paragraph about this very argument of ours, providing points for and against our thinking. Pixeled sandvich.png18 (Commentary node transparent.png) 12:53, 16 August 2015 (BST)
It is not our role to fabricate facts where there are none. That is speculation, and baseless and unjustified speculation is what lead to this mess to begin with. This would never happened had the article been appropriately cited and verified long ago.
The maps are identical. This is hardly a matter up for debate. We can objectively boil this down to the precise entity and even brush vertex placements. As I said, that a few rooms were modified for gameplay purposes is not an invitation to speculate wildly. The developers can and have freely altered existing locations on a whim to suit their needs, and this has been greatly established in the past.
You are confusing what exactly needs to be demonstrated in this contention. I need provide nothing. The burden of proof lies on you as you are making the claim that there are two hazard courses. Every point you have presented is either irrelevant or requires an egregious amount of groundless assumptions.
  • You say there are two names. These two names are "The Black Mesa Hazard Course" and "The Black Mesa Hazard Course for security guard training". You are making the unwarranted inference that these two designations somehow indicate two locations. That is a baseless assumption, and one that flies in the face of the fact that both are simply referred to as "The Black Mesa Hazard Course".
  • You say there are two doors in the lobby. That literally means nothing by itself, but you suggest that because one door leads to the hazard course, the other door must also lead to a different hazard course. That is a baseless assumption, and it makes a circular argument as your claim must assume that there are two hazard courses to begin with. You can't include your conclusion in the premise for your argument.
  • You say there are two testing tracks. Again, this is a circular argument as it assumes there are two hazard courses to begin with. However, this point can nonetheless be easily verified false by technical and even casual map comparisons.
  • You cite Laidlaw's word as received in his email response. However, you made the assumption that he would provide a definitive answer, and you continue to work on the assumption that his response is conclusive on the matter. We are not deaf and blind. We can plainly see from his wording that he is not knowledgeable of this situation (again, the original questioning was loaded and lacking context). It is no surprise he is not knowledgeable of this situation as we know he wasn't the one who made the decision. It was Gearbox's doing to create the PC port version of the hazard course for Blue Shift. For the same reason we wouldn't contact Randy Pitchford regarding the development of HL2, it was a mistake to reach out to Laidlaw regarding this. We're dealing with real people here, not omniscient tomes of wisdom. This is just a matter of common sense.
I see you are now questioning the validity of my previous contributions bordering on ad hominem. Do note that I cite Laidlaw in matters in which Laidlaw was directly and verifiably involved in. That's why I emailed Pitchford ages ago with my questions about Race X, not Laidlaw.
For the record, I request that you do not bombard Laidlaw with trivial matters. He has been kind enough to put up with fan questions for years on end now. Do not tax him with petty concerns just because he's the credited writer on the series. Marphy (talk) 21:30, 16 August 2015 (BST)
I'm sorry if I offended you, I've never meant to. I see some inconsistency regarding the way you think, or at least the way I understand it. As Marc can be said to be the mastermind of Half-Life's lore, since not only has he created the world for Valve's games, but also collaborated on Gearbox's expansions, I don't understand why his opinions can be included in articles like Race X or Alien Controller, or the Isabel Teasley section, but not here. If you feel that his e-mail does not give enough information, why not contact the creator of the PS2 lobby, the BS hazard course, or Randy Pitchford? Or, again, Marc, but with the bias of yours?
Please, don't use the word "bombard". In the last 2 years and 4 months, I sent six e-mails to Laidlaw, three of which can be perceived as regarding "petty concerns". If you knew me, you would know that I try to minimize the number of sent mails. Again, if you gained any indisputable information regarding the existence of Blue Shift's hazard course, I would gladly assist you, and apologize.
Regarding there being two names: I may be making assumptions from your point of view, but so are you from that of mine. You cannot found your theory on a common part of a name. The fact that they are both referred to as "The Black Mesa Hazard Course" once again proves nothing, as it is merely a simplification of the game.
Regarding there being two doors: as I said in my previous message ("I understand that you may aim to remove anything that's not properly sourced from the wiki (i.e. the mention that the other doors may lead to the second course)"), I recognize that you may want to get rid of that part, and I can agree on doing that. This is merely a "fabricated fact," that doesn't need to be included in the article but a mention of it could benefit the page until more information is gained.
Regarding there being two testing tracks: they are different, and I cannot understand why you insist on telling me otherwise. The hazard course featured in Blue Shift is different than the one featured in Half-Life. You can see it for yourself, and I've already presented some differences. This is not a matter of retcons, as this is not the case of the PS2 version. The changes made in that port make perfect sense within the HL universe. The Blue Shift hazard course couldn't have been retconned, as this would mean that the Half-Life course as it looks in the game shouldn't be taken into account while describing the game world, and that would be wrong, since the HL course exist outside the training level.
Apart from the "second door" narration, the existence of two hazard courses is not only plausible, but also reasonable. It's not me who claims that there are two, it's the games - I just read off the information from them. The proof you want to see can be found inside them. I won't tell the reader that what he sees is irrelevant, and make assumptions based on level design, ignoring the game world itself. Pixeled sandvich.png18 (Commentary node transparent.png) 12:04, 17 August 2015 (BST)
Laidlaw collaborated with Gearbox, but he didn't lord over their shoulders scrutinizing every action they made. Other people have made decisions regarding these games as well. He didn't personally oversee Gearbox and their expansions and he didn't personally oversee Portal's development team. No one should expect him to have the answer for every conceivable question. This is common sense. If he has an answer to offer, he will, but in this case, we can plainly see he does not.
You say I am making assumptions, but again, I remind you that you are making the claims that require substantiation. The burden of proof lies on you. Absence of evidence is not in your favor.
The games never state there are two hazard courses. They even go as far as to refer to "the" hazard course, deliberately singular in nature, in dialog, physical depiction, and menu and chapter names. This not true in just the games but also the guides, developer interviews, and everything else. You have yet to provide the barest foundation to support even the most basic point that there is more than one hazard course. We don't have distinct names, we don't have two different locations, we don't even have a single use of the plural term "courses". I continue waiting for anything that doesn't rely on baseless assumptions and speculation, but I know nothing of that nature exists. This article has been shamefully wrong for years, and it will be appropriately cleaned up soon. Marphy (talk) 18:28, 17 August 2015 (BST)