This subject is related to the Black Mesa Incident era.

Half-Life: Opposing Force storyline

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This subject is related to the Black Mesa Incident era.

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Adrian Shephard on the Opposing Force cover.
"Government cover ups were not in my job description."
HECU Marine[src]

This article describes the Half-Life: Opposing Force storyline, chapter by chapter.

The story of Opposing Force follows Adrian Shephard, one of the soldiers sent to the Black Mesa Research Facility, which interweaves with the events of Half-Life so that the player catches a glimpse of Gordon Freeman, the main character from the original game. Other events and recognizable locations from the original game are encountered throughout.

In the original Half-Life, a Resonance Cascade opens an extra-dimensional rift, which cause Xen aliens to teleport into Black Mesa. The surviving scientists and security guards at the facility struggle to escape. Responding swiftly, the United States military initiates a massive "clean-up" operation to eradicate the alien presence at Black Mesa as well as "silence" any witnesses.

Boot Camp (optional)[edit]

Adrian Shephard observes the G-Man and two of his fellow Marines training.

The training chapter of Opposing Force. Adrian Shephard is “mysteriously bumped” to the top of the Advanced Training list. Adrian and his comrades are trained by Instructor Barnes and Instructor Sharp in Santego Military Base, Arizona. He works his way through the training exercises until he is ready for the field.

Chapter 1: Incoming[edit]

Goose 3 under attack by an Alien Craft.

As the game begins, Adrian is part of the clean-up operation. After his transport aircraft is taken down by an Alien Craft and he is cut off from the rest of his unit, the "clean-up" mission is abandoned and Adrian joins forces with the scattered survivors seeking escape.

Before the first chapter of Half-Life: Opposing Force, a short introduction is shown. As Adrian and his fellow HECU comrades are approaching the LZ (Landing Zone 117) at the Black Mesa Research Facility, his plane (codenamed Goose 7) is shot down by Alien Crafts, along with several other Osprey Heliplanes (the first one is codenamed Goose 3). The rest of the opening sequence consists of Adrian continually losing and regaining consciousness, seeing conflict between the Xen aliens and the Marines who survived the crash.


  • The canyon wall from the first part of the Half-Life chapter Surface Tension, which Gordon used to get to the Lambda Complex, can be seen.
  • The chapter name "Incoming" is given in the titles.txt file.

Chapter 2: Welcome To Black Mesa[edit]

Main article: Welcome To Black Mesa

After the crash of his Osprey Heliplane, Adrian regains consciousness completely in an infirmary, not too far off from the crash site. He leaves the infirmary, learning that the other Marines who had survived the crash had been killed by the aliens. He makes his way towards the extraction point, where he is told via radio that the military forces are pulling out of the facility.

Chapter 3: "We Are Pulling Out"[edit]

As the battle begins to favor the Xen aliens, Adrian realizes the military forces have been ordered to pull out.

Details Adrian's attempt to reach the HECU's extraction point to escape Black Mesa. He has first eye contact with the mysterious Race X that seems to be collecting humans for study in their world. Adrian reaches the extraction point, but is deliberately left behind due to the G-Man's actions.


  • This chapter takes place near the end of the Half-Life chapter Surface Tension.
  • The radio operator heard at the end of Surface Tension appears just before the end of the level, meaning that Gordon reaches the Tactical Map by the time Adrian arrives at the operator's room making the announcement.

Chapter 4: Missing in Action[edit]

Xen flora invading Black Mesa.

Details Adrian's continued journey through Black Mesa in search of both his comrades and an alternative escape route after being abandoned at the extraction point. After traveling through a zombie-infested blast furnace, Adrian meets several other Marines from his company who have also been left behind. He joins forces with them as they try to escape from the facility. At this point, Race X have begun their own invasion amidst the chaos, slaughtering the stragglers.

Chapter 5: Friendly Fire[edit]

Gordon Freeman's "employee of the month" picture.
A rocket found near the nuclear warhead capable of launching said warhead.

Details Adrian and other HECU soldiers' attempt to find and use an old transit system to escape to the Lambda Core, after battling through an office complex filled with aliens. It is also the chapter in which the Black Ops are first introduced. Adrian comes across them in a hangar where they are loading a nuclear warhead into the back of a truck. This is where the player learns that the Black Ops soldiers have been sent to kill the remaining HECU Marines and cover up the Black Mesa incident. Adrian meets up with several other surviving marines and fights the Black Ops, eventually reaching an underground railway system that leads to the Lambda complex.


  • In an office, two dead scientists can be seen lying in front of their desks. Their names are S. Reardon and S. Jones, a nod to Gearbox employees Sean Reardon and Steven Jones.
  • In another office is a picture of Gordon Freeman labeled "Employee of the Month".
  • At the very start of the chapter, noclipping out of the map will reveal an empty room with the phrase "What are you doing in my entity room?" sprayed on the wall.
  • This chapter takes place near the end of the Half-Life chapter Lambda Core.

Chapter 6: We Are Not Alone[edit]

Adrian's first view of Xen.

It serves as a short interlude in the game with reminders of events from the original Half-Life. Arrived at the Lambda complex, Adrian sees Gordon Freeman teleported to Xen. Adrian is also forced to travel through Xen to find a way out of the Lambda complex.


  • A Chumtoad is hidden in a vent towards the beginning.
  • If you run quick enough, you can follow Freeman through the portal, but you will end up falling to your death in Xen and get the message that you were eliminated to prevent creating a paradox. Also, when entering to Xen, this title will appear "C4A1TITLE". This is referring to Xen's map name, c4a1.


Chapter 7: Crush Depth[edit]

In it, Adrian finds himself in underwater laboratories where several Ichthyosaurs are being held. After making his way through the labs and freeing a scientist who provides him with information on the area, Adrian is again forced to teleport to Xen and back again to reach a new part of Black Mesa.


  • In fluid physics, the term "crush depth" is the depth at which the pressure will be strong enough to crush a mentioned object. Therefore the name is a pun to the design of the level itself, which contains a considerable amount of water.

Chapter 8: Vicarious Reality[edit]

The Barnacle Grapple is explained.

Adrian is traveling between various biosphere chambers and laboratories featuring massive terrariums used to house Xen fauna being studied by the scientists deep within the Sector E. Eventually, he reaches an older industrial area, and picks up a radio transmission from a group of Marines fighting some kind of massive creature.

Chapter 9: Pit Worm's Nest[edit]

The Pit Worm is defeated.

Details Adrian's battle with the monstrous Pit Worm blocking his progress in Waste Processing Area 3. Working his way through the surrounding area (littered with the corpses of the Marines who sent the distress signal in the previous chapter), Adrian manages to dump toxic waste on the Pit Worm, killing it and allowing him to access the next area.


  • This chapter mirrors the chapter Blast Pit from the original Half-Life, though it is much smaller.
  • The puzzle to kill the Pit Worm involves both a "valve" and a "gearbox" to be used, which are obvious references to the game's developers as an Easter egg.
  • Another Easter egg are the garbage compactors, especially the flooded one, which are directly designed after the Death Star's garbage compactor seen in the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
  • In the first map, a flooded Xen area where one can be brought by the Displacer features two dead scientists. In the second map, another scientist can be found clinging to the edge of an island with another Displacer (that brought him there) still on the island.


Chapter 10: Foxtrot Uniform[edit]

Two Shock Troopers and a Voltigore attacking Adrian and his comrades.
Adrian encountering a Baby Voltigore in the darkened canals of Black Mesa.

Details the fierce battle raging between the Race X creatures, the Black Ops contingent, including several snipers, and the remnants of the HECU in the last hours of the Black Mesa Incident. Adrian makes his way through the underground canals and sewers of Black Mesa, fighting through a Voltigore nest, and arrives at the hydroelectric dam featured in the first game. Here, a Gargantua has been trapped on top of the dam and several Marines are attempting to kill it. Adrian uses explosives to destroy the creature and leaves the area through the dam's exposed water pipes.


  • The chapter name Foxtrot Uniform is derived from the NATO phonetic alphabet, referring to letters "F" and "U". It is a military euphemism for "fucked up," sometimes preceded by "Alpha" (for "all", represented by "A").*

Chapter 11: "The Package"[edit]

A Black Ops Apache.

This chapter details Adrian's discovery of the mysterious Black Ops' plan for Black Mesa. He finds them in an underground parking garage, activating the thermonuclear warhead with the intent of destroying the facility. Adrian kills them and deactivates the nuclear bomb, but later sees the G-Man reactivating it. Adding to the Black Ops, Adrian must face heavy artillery, a black AH-64 Apache and Shock Troopers.

Chapter 12: Worlds Collide[edit]

The Gene Worm is defeated.

After making his way through warehouses filled with Race X creatures and Black Ops fighting, Adrian arrives at an old industrial area of Black Mesa where an enormous Gene Worm is attempting to come through a portal from the Race X homeworld. Adrian uses mounted laser weapons to blind and kill it; in its death throes, an enormous teleportation portal spreads outwards and envelops him.


The G-Man talking to Adrian in the Osprey.

Adrian regains consciousness inside an Osprey Heliplane, confronted by the mysterious G-Man. As the G-Man talks to Adrian, a white flash occurs in the distance, indicating that Black Mesa has been destroyed by the nuclear warhead. The G-Man then informs Adrian that he will be detained "in a place where you can do no possible harm, and where no harm can come to you." He explains this is done since Adrian reminds him of himself, but is still a dangerous witness. The G-Man walks into a portal, Adrian is detained and the end credits roll.

See also[edit]