This subject is related to the Black Mesa Incident era.
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This subject is related to the Black Mesa Incident era.
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The subject matter of this article contains in-development information that was cut from the final version of an official and/or canonical source and appears in no other canonical source. It may also contain incomplete information since not all cut material is publicly known.

Early reactor core.jpg
General information

Black Mesa Research Facility


Black Mesa Incident


Black Mesa


Brett Johnson[1]

The X-Lab is a location that was cut from Half-Life.


The X-Lab is believed to be the predecessor of the Lambda Complex. The Reactor Lab (c3a2) maps in the Alpha version use "Xlab1 - Energy" as their level titles. The area is described as one of the first of several research labs. The player was to flood the reactor core to reach the inaccessible areas above.[2] There is an elevator next to a locker room that could be for going to the map c3a3, described as being an area behind the main labs,[3] but the map file itself is not present in the build. It is unknown if the Communications Center (c3a1) was intended to be part of the X-Lab or not. The head scientist was to have "X_Lab" written on the back of her lab coat.

In the map c3a3c,[4] there was to be an audio lab used for sonic weapon research. Here, a blast-proof glass door was to prevent further progress. The player was to play with the sound equipment (nicknamed Equivocator) in the room and accidentally burst a scientist below. The goal was to configure the speakers from the room below and adjust the equipment to shatter the door with the power of sound.[5] The textures for the equipment can be found in the Alpha files.[i]

There is a lobby featured in some of the pre-release screenshots. The filename for one of these screenshots is "xlab3c00".[6] The built-in screenshot tool names the files after the maps, which means the name of the map was "xlab3c". A modified version of the lobby can be found in one of the technology demos (map maindemo) in the Alpha. It is speculated that the stairs behind the reception area of the Communications Center was to lead to the lobby as both areas look similar.


The X-Lab maps were cut following the game's significant reworking in late 1997. The Reactor Labs maps eventually evolved into the Lambda Reactor Core featured in the chapter Lambda Core which shares the same general premise.





  1. Questions? by brettjdzn on TikTok (July 14, 2021)
  2. Half-Life Alpha (version 0.52) Walkthrough (WalkThru.doc) (September 4, 1997)
  3. Half-Life Prototype 001 by brettjdzn on TikTok (July 7, 2021)
  4. Half-Life Alpha (version .61) Notes (Half Life Main v6.doc) (August 26, 1998)
  5. PC Gamer (UK), Issue 45 (July 1997), page 49
  6. Half-Life - E3 1997 Press Pack