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Follow the dark path or use the light
Black Mesa Pack Shot

Black Mesa


Hints and Tips

by sdunigan



The Essential Hints and Tips Guide for Black Mesa


This FAQ is copyright 2012 by Stanley E. Dunigan ([email protected]).

Always check one of the official host websites listed below for the latest
version of this FAQ.

GameFAQs (  -- always the first site updated
Neoseeker (
SuperCheats (

Be sure to check the PlanetPhillip.Com website's TREE event for chapter-by-
chapter coverage of Black Mesa that will include an overall description of each
chapter, interesting bits of trivia, polls, challenges, downloadable saved
games, screenshots, and reader-submitted comments that often include tips and
links to playthru videos. Soon after the TREE for Black Mesa is finished,
there'll also be a complete PDF walkthru written by me available to view and


This FAQ isn't a walkthru of any sort, but mainly contains details on special
secret areas, useful shortcuts, and inobvious strategies for tough fights. It's
assumed that you're playing the game on "hard" difficulty without any cheats,
since that makes so many parts of the game significantly harder. For instance,
strategies for all combats with tanks and choppers are included.

There are also many tips on not-so-hard things that are very different from the
original Half-Life. I put those in for people who are new to Black Mesa, since
they may get stuck on that sort of thing. (Note that a familiarity with Half-
Life 2 will help a lot.)

If you have a special secret or strategy that I don't, or if you have an
improvement for one that I have, send me an e-mail at the address listed above
in the copyright section.


This release completes the FAQ up through the end of the "Lambda Core" chapter,
which is all there is for now.


Since this is the original release of this file, I have no one to credit yet
except for William of Podcast 17, whose "Let's Play" videos for Black Mesa gave
me several neat ideas as I watched them.


***************************  STARTING TIPS AND NOTES  **************************

This guide is organized around the same major chapter divisions that the game
is, with these starting tips and notes put in at the beginning. If you're
wanting to see what all tips are provided for a specific chapter, do a search on
the chapter's name.

Each chapter's info is divided up into sections that correspond to the chunks
that the game itself is divided into. Whenever you move from one section to
another, you'll see the word "LOADING" in the middle of the screen while the
section you're moving into loads up. Each section has an internal codename, and
you can use the console to see what section you're in. Enable the console by
going to the Options menu's "Keyboard" tab, clicking on the "Advanced..."
button, and then clicking on the box next to "Enable developer console (~)." The
current section code is displayed in the top right corner of the screen whenever
the console window is up.

In many places in these tips, I refer to the quicksave and quickrestore keys. If
you're not already intimately familiar with them, get that way at once! To find
out (and/or change) what keys are defined for those functions, go to the Options
menu and click on the "Keyboard" tab. I strongly advise you to redefine
quicksave to be F5 and quickrestore to be F8 or F9. That way, the two keys won't
be too close together. (That's practically an industry standard by now, anyway.)

Another thing you should do is go to the Options menu's "Video" tab, then click
on the "Adjust brightness levels..." button and move the slider all the way to
the left. That'll make all the game areas much easier to see in, and it won't
blind you or wash out all the colors like some games' full-gamma settings do.

I mention crouch-walking a lot, but what I'm really referring to is crouch-
running, meaning you're moving around while using the "Duck" key, but not the
"Walk" key. True crouch-walking involves using the "Duck" and "Walk" keys at the
same time, and in theory would make you move extremely slowly. However, the
"Walk" key in this game doesn't seem to have any effect at all, whether you're
crouching or not. They need to fix that, since true crouch-walking can often be
useful when getting into position to sneak-shoot an enemy (see next paragraph).

A favorite tactic of mine is sneak-shooting. That's when you sneak up on an
enemy who's unaware of your presence and position yourself so that you can see
only a small part of him, such as an arm or a leg. When you shoot that part, the
enemy will often just turn in place to face you. If he still can't see you due
to an obstruction to his view, you can keep sneak-shooting exposed parts until
he's dead. Some enemies will move around a bit when sneak-shot, but they still
won't be aware of you unless they get a clear look at you while moving around.
If you're afraid that will happen, quickly strafe to where you'll be out of
sight right after taking a sneaky shot. Once you get the hornet gun in the
"Surface Tension" chapter, you can often use it to sneak-shoot enemies around
corners without having to see any part of them at all.

There's a cool new tactic that you can use in Black Mesa that no version of the
original Half-Life game allowed, and that's supply transporting. You can pick up
small supply items that you don't currently need -- such as spare ammo boxes,
first aid kits, and armor batteries -- and carry them along or throw them across
gaps. You can often carry or throw supply items past points of no return, and
thereby have access to them later on. These tips usually won't specifically say
to do this, so keep it constantly in mind and make your own decisions about when
it's worth the trouble.

Ladders in this game work similarly to the ones in Half-Life and Half-Life 2.
You can usually walk into to a ladder to automatically grab onto it, but
sometimes it may be helpful to use the "Use item" key to grab onto it,
especially if you're approaching the ladder from the side. After you climb up or
down a ladder, you can usually let go of it by either jumping or hitting the
"Use item" key, but be careful that you land where you want to. It's best to
turn and face the way you want to go, then hit the "Use item" key or do a
crouch-jump. That's especially useful when you climb to the top of a long ladder
and need to get off of it without falling all the way back down. When you're
carrying supplies up ladders, it can be useful to turn your view away from the
ladder as you go up it so your carried item won't be knocked out of your hands.
Also, always use crouch-jumps instead of the "Use item" key to get off of

***************************  UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES  **************************

--- Section bm_c1a1b ---

The security guard you find is unkillable, so let him do all the combat while
you dodge around and avoid damage. You can pick up flares and throw them at
zombies to set them on fire them for fun (just like in Half-Life 2), but that's
purely optional.

When you reach the airlock where a guard and a zombie are both in the process of
dying, you'll need to pick up the retinal scan device from the floor and push or
throw it back into its slot to the right of the closed doors in order to open
them. (Watch for more stuff like this in later parts of the game.)

--- Section bm_c1a1c ---

After you get past the wooden crate blockade by bashing only the non-explosive
ones with the crowbar, look along the left side of the hall for some jammed-open
elevator doors that you can crouch-walk through. Look up to see a grating in the
elevator's ceiling, then stand under it and wait for the elevator to fall into
some water. Swim up through the hole the grating was on, then jump if necessary
to get onto the top of the elevator.

After you kill the game's first houndeye, go through a nearby automatic door and
kill a headcrab, then go up some stairs and kill a headcrab and a zombie. Go
through a doorway and move up to the large red wheel. Lean on the "Use item" key
until the wheel stops turning, then turn left and go down the walkway until you
find an identical wheel that you can also turn. Doing this will open a couple of
doors down near the houndeye's area that'll let you proceed to the next area.
Before you go, find the scientist in the area past the first red wheel and lead
him down to the retinal-scan door that's near the second red wheel so you can
finally get a pistol and some grenades.

--- Section bm_c1a1d ---

Before you can use the big platform lift, you'll have to activate it. Look
around for a high-up red-lit vent shaft opening, and shoot the headcrab that
teleports in near it. Look to the left of the crab's crate stack to find some
crates you can use to jump-crouch your way up to where you can crouch-jump into
the vent shaft. Follow it along until you drop into the security office, then
look on the wall near where you dropped down to find an open control box. Use it
to activate the lift and open the office's locked doors.

Get on the platform lift and quicksave. Use its activation button, then
immediately turn around and run off of the lift, jumping if necessary to get
onto the floor. Wait until the lift has gone down a ways, then start sliding
down toward it, using the "Move back" key frequently to keep you from hitting
the lift hard enough to cause you damage. Doing that should prevent the big
headcrab drop-down attack from happening. Once you're on the lift, stand near
the left end of its railing and watch for an opportunity to move onto a side
ledge as the lift goes past it. That'll get you access to a security room with
an HEV charger and a couple of pistols in it. When you're done there, exit the
security room and go straight forward to find a spot where you can crouch-drop
down to a crate and then the floor without taking any damage.

--- Section bm_c1a1e ---

In the big crate-jumping room, go over to the security office's locked door,
then jump-crouch onto the railing so you can run onto the crate that's directly
across from the door. Jump over to the next crate and quicksave, then sprint
over to the next crate without jumping. (You may have to wait until your crate
is swinging toward it.) Once you make it, sprint to the next crate, then look a
bit to the right for the next crate that you need to sprint onto. You can just
run onto the crate next to it without sprinting. Turn to face the final crate,
then quicksave. Back up as much as you can, then sprint over to that crate when
your crate is swinging toward it. You can then sprint onto the nearby ledge.

Go through the door on that ledge, down some steps, and up a ladder. After you
go through another door, get out the crowbar and quicksave. As soon as you go
around the next corner, sprint forward and look down so you can quickly whack
the houndeye that teleports in. Go through the door at the end of that hallway
and turn right, then move slowly forward until you can bash a tall wooden crate
at the corner. Quicksave, then sprint for a spot to the right of the nearby
explosive wooden crate. Crouch down and get out the pistol, then sneak carefully
around the explosive crate to where you can sneak-shoot the two houndeyes that
teleported in one at a time.

*******************************  OFFICE COMPLEX  *******************************

--- Section bm_c1a2a ---

After going through the red-lit zombie hallway, quicksave just past the red
doors at the end of the hallway. Get your pistol out, then sprint over to the
security cage and watch through its back doorway for a zombie to stumble into
view. Immediately start rapidly head-shotting the zombie, since it can be very
difficult to kill before it kills the security guard. Quickrestore and try again
if necessary until you save the guard, since letting him get killed will prevent
you from entering the cage area and getting the .357 Magnum from its back room.
Get out the crowbar and quicksave before you leave the cage, then sprint forward
and whack the vort that appears in front of you to death. Quickly strafe left
and crouch down, then use the pistol to help your new guard pal kill the two
vorts that appears in the lower-floor area to the right.

After bashing off the vent grating that leads into the room with the autoturret,
wait and watch as it kills a scientist and some headcrabs, then wait until it
stops scanning the room. Quicksave, then drop down to the floor, turn right, and
sprint over to the tall gray metal crate. (Try not to get snagged on the blue
crate on the way.) Get out the pistol and start watching for more headcrabs to
come into the room from the side hallway. When the autoturret stops scanning
again, make a quick run over to the tall wooden crate. Do another quick headcrab
scan while waiting for the autoturret to stop its scanning, then run past the
right side of the wooden crate. Keep going past the right side of a tall metal
crate until you reach the back wall, where you'll be safe from the autoturret.
Use the button panel that's next to the forklift to raise yourself up to where
you can crowbar-whack the autoturret while jumping up and down.

--- Section bm_c1a2b ---

When you enter the office area that three vorts teleport into, quickly back up
and take cover behind the copy machine while helping your guard pals shoot them.
After that, go straight forward past the copy machine until you go through a
doorway to a room with an open hatch just above a couch. Exit the room and turn
right to find two red doors you can open, then go through two already-open red
doors to get two vorts to teleport in over on the right. Back up and hide in a
corner while your guards deal with them, then go back and explore the rest of
the office area if you want to. When you're ready to go, return to the room with
the open hatch and climb up its rungs, bashing some weak ceiling tiles as you
go. Deal with the headcrab that's up there, then crouch-walk through the vent
shaft until the next section loads. After it does, go through an elevator shaft
and into a room with an autoturret you can deactivate. Drop down from its window
after shooting the headcrabs that are below, then go down the stairs to return
to this section and get all of your followers back.

--- Section bm_c1a2c ---

After you kill the bullsquid in the meat locker, look near where it was to find
a red metal circle on the wall. Look around to find a loose red wheel, then pick
it up and go push it into the red metal circle. Go down the nearby hallway while
looking up until you see two vent shaft openings with red lights next to them.
Go back and use the red wheel while standing to where you can see down the
hallway. You need to keep the wheel turning until the overhead crane device that
it moves is in a spot directly between those two vent openings. When it looks
right, go down the hall to get a closer look, then go use the wheel to adjust
the crane device if necessary. When it looks right, return to the locker's entry
room and use the stacks of boxes to get up onto the shelves, from which you can
move along until you reach one of those vent shaft openings. If you can't cross
the crane device to the other opening, drop down and adjust its position before
trying again.

****************************  "WE'VE GOT HOSTILES!"  ***************************

--- Section bm_c1a3a ---

As in Half-Life, you can use the pistol to shoot out laser tripmines from a safe
distance. In this game, you can also pick up loose items (barrels, paint cans,
dead headcrabs, etc.) and throw them through a tripmine's laser to detonate it
from a safe distance without using up any ammo. With tripmines that you can't
crouch-walk under, you could jump-crouch over their laser beams instead of
detonating them, but that's a very tricky  maneuver to pull off, and it usually
isn't worth the trouble.

If you're careful not to damage all of the floor turrets you encounter on your
way to the big lift that leads to the next chapter section, you could carry some
of them onto that lift and take them with you to help you fight the game's first
three-man marine squad. However, you may not find that to be worth all the
trouble, especially since the turrets run out of ammo quickly and are very easy
to knock over.

--- Section bm_c1a3b ---

When the big lift arrives at the three-marine area, quicksave and stay on the
lift. Use the assault rifle to quickly kill the nearest marine, then switch to
the .357 Magnum and sharp-shoot the other two marines while they're still off in
the distance. If you're accurate, you can take them both down without having to
reload. Otherwise, switch to the pistol as soon as the Magnum starts reloading.

When you reach the large room with the fast-moving conveyor belt and several
barnacles, look next to the higher railed floor to see a stack of green crates.
Check around to find some metal barrels, then carefully set two of them side-by-
side on the highest green crates. Jump-crouch onto those crates while carrying a
third barrel, then set it on top of one of the other two barrels. Use the
barrels to jump-crouch your way over the railing and onto the higher floor,
thereby skipping two big marine combats (and one small one). If you go up to the
upper walkway in search of supplies, you can go through the red-lit doorway and
down a ramp to find some bullets and .357 ammo on a green crate, but go no
farther. Return to the floor you jump-crouched onto and use its big lift to move
on to the next chapter section.

--- Section bm_c1a3c ---

After the lift stops, stand and wait for the area's musical theme to stop
playing, which will give the two nearby marines plenty of time to wander
outside. Get out the pistol and quicksave, then exit the lift, turn left, and
sprint down to a first aid station that's just to the left of a large doorway.
As soon as you arrive, look through the doorway and shoot the explosive barrel
that's just to the left of the base of a lookout tower. Strafe into the corner
to the left of the doorway and get out the assault rifle, ready to quickly shoot
down any marines that come after you. After that, get the pistol back out and
blow up the crate that's on the lookout tower when a marine is next to it, then
use the pistol and/or .357 to shoot down the last two marines who aren't on the
other side of an uncrossable fence. You can then return to the lift and use it
to revisit the previous chapter section (and the one before it) for supplies
before making the run to the concrete bunker with the ladder in it.

**********************************  BLAST PIT  *********************************

--- Section bm_c1a4a ---

When you reach the start of the long track area, it's best to go along the track
on foot without using the rail car, since riding it will provoke several
houndeyes and bullsquids into teleporting in. You can run over some of them, but
the others can be a nuisance, especially if you want to stop next to the wrecked
rail car and bash its wooden crates for supplies. When you reach the end of the
track, jump-crouch onto the crashed railcar, then jump-crouch your way over the
railing and onto the walkway.

In the big green toxic waste area with the hard-to-get-to elevator in the
center, quicksave after you get to the end of the encaged pipe. Instead of
sprinting over to the top of the nearest storage container and then over to the
elevator, drop off the very end of the pipe's cage and move along the slanty
surface until you come to a raised black surface. Get onto it and move up as far
as you can, then quicksave before attempting a difficult sprint-jump onto the
nearest large storage container. Once you make it, jump over to the other
storage container, then sprint-jump onto the top of the forklift. From there,
sprint-jump onto the top of the shortest of the two nearby vertical pipes, then
jump-crouch onto the walkway and head left to find some first aid kits and armor
batteries. Climb the ladder that's past them, then drop down on the other side.
You can then go back to where you can jump across to the elevator.

--- Section bm_c1a4b ---

After the lift stops, get out the pistol and quicksave. Crouch-walk up to the
gray metal crate you can see ahead and on the right, then move past it and
toward the wooden crate very slowly while looking to the left. As soon as you
can see part of a houndeye past a corner, sneak-shoot it. After that, crouch-
walk the rest of the way to the wooden crate, then turn right and crouch-walk
over to the wall. Pick up the two explosive barrels that are on a wooden pallet
and set them carefully aside, then do the same with the pallet. Crouch-walk up
to the white light that's at the corner, then quicksave before slowly edging
over to where you can sneak-shoot a houndeye that's on a bridge a ways ahead.
Back up after it's dead and wait for the headcrabs to come after you so you can
shoot them. Get the explosive barrels you set aside earlier and toss them out
onto the walkway without letting any houndeyes see you, then get out the shotgun
and go around to a spot where they will see you. Quickly sprint away from the
barrels, since the first houndeye to whine up a charge near them will blow them
up. Keep retreating and blasting houndeyes as they run up to you until they're
all dead.

After you go through a small airlock and kill a zombie, look past the dying
scientist for a barnacle. Get out the shotgun and walk into the barnacle's
tongue, then look up and wait until it pulls you in close. Blast it, then
immediately start leaning on the "Move back" key. If you do it right, you'll
land on a secret area's floor. Bash the crates to find lots of pistol ammo, then
use the first aid station and HEV charger if needed before dropping back down to
the walkway.

--- Section bm_c1a4d ---

After killing three sleeping houndeyes by rolling a hand grenade at them, enter
the big room with the bullsquid and all the barnacles. Avoid barnacle tongues
while checking the side area for supplies, then locate the button on the wall
that activates the elevator. Don't press it, but instead stack three wooden
crates next to it so that you can use them to jump-crouch your way up to some
boards. Go along them to reach some rungs that you can climb all the way down to
the bottom of the elevator shaft.

**********************************  POWER UP  **********************************

--- Section bm_c2a1b ---

Quicksave after this section finishes loading, then get out the .357 and sneak
forward to where you can shoot out a floor turret before it starts firing at
you. Around the corner and past the first aid station are two marines that you
can sneak-shoot with the pistol if you're very careful. When you approach the
entrance to the large marine-occupied area, leave the explosive crates and
barrel you can see in a corner ahead alone, and sneak over to where you can see
an explosive barrel next to a railing in the room over to the right. Shoot it to
blow up the marines' lookout, then go up the first set of steps that are in the
back of the area. Move around to where you can sneak-shoot a marine through the
doorway that's past the second set of steps, then look around for three knocked-
over non-explosive barrels that you can set upright using the nearby railing.
(Pick up a barrel by one end, move it so that its other end is over the railing,
then drop it.) You can then use those barrels to get up onto the two small
balconies and sneak-shoot the rest of the marines in the area.

You can't take the lift down to the houndeye-infested area, but instead have to
drop down some broken stairs. Before you do, set up three laser tripmines. Put
one on the side of the explosive barrel that's near the beginning of the area so
that its laser beam "points" back down the corridor, put one on the wall to the
left of the big doorway that's past the stairs (after going through the doorway
and turning to face it), and put the other one on the vertical black-and-yellow
stripe that's on a wall corner near the small balcony that's past the HEV
charger. When you reach the broken-off stairs, crouch-drop carefully down, then
try to sneak-shoot one or both of the houndeyes that are hiding around corners
in the room ahead. Be ready to blast any houndeyes that run up to you with the
shotgun. There's a total of five houndeyes in the area.

--- Section bm_c2a1a (again) ---

When you get back to this section, carefully sneak-shoot the four marines who
are in the area where the vorts blew themselves up earlier, then return to the
track control room with the injured security guard. Go over to the leftmost
window and wait if necessary for the gargantua to stomp over to the right
somewhere, then use the blinking green console that's under the window. Quickly
jump-crouch onto the console and move through the window to drop down. Sprint
forward and follow the track until it splits, then follow its left branch until
it splits again. Sprint over the rubble to enter a small room, then quickly hide
in either its left or right corner. Pick up the big plug and put it back into
its socket, then sprint over to the room's other corner and do the same. Hurry
up the ladder when the gargantua isn't firing at you, then crouch-walk over to
the console and use its central button to blow the gargantua up.

**********************************  ON A RAIL  *********************************

--- Section bm_c2a2a ---

When you come to the track gap with the electrified water underneath it, look on
the wall to the right of that area to find an open control box. Use it to turn
the power off, then dive into the water and look next to the metal pillars for a
plug attached to a cable. Pick up the plug and surface, then swim over to a
ladder that leads to a small platform where another plug is already plugged in.
Climb up and plug this one in, then reenter the water. Go up a longer ladder to
get back to where you can go use the control box again to turn the power back
on. Go back to the console you passed on your way to the control box, then
quicksave before you use it. Kill off the vort and headcrabs that teleport in,
then go through the doors to the right of the control box to find a bullsquid in
a side room. Blow it away with the shotgun, then use the green button on the
room's console to lower the missing track section. After that, you can ride the
rail car across it.

When you come close to a rail car elevator, stop the car and look along the left
ledge for a ladder alcove. Climb the ladder until you can get off on the next
floor, then use the shotgun or a hand grenade to knock over the floor turret
that's behind a fence. Climb up two more floors to find some supplies, then go
up to the top floor, but don't get off the ladder yet. First, get out your hand
grenades and quicksave. Toss a grenade so that it lands between the two turrets
that you can see, then quickrestore and try again if it doesn't knock them both
over. Wait until the turret that you can't see over to the left stops scanning,
then get out the shotgun, jump onto the floor, and quickly double-barrel the
turret. Look around for supplies, then go back down the ladder and ride your
rail car up the elevator.

--- Section bm_c2a2b ---

After you go past a floor turret and a small supply area guarded by two marines,
you'll come to some open doors that lead to an area where a bunch of marines are
fighting vorts. Quicksave before approaching those doors, then wait until the
combat is over. See if you can sneak-shoot any of the surviving marines. If not,
you may want to quickrestore and try again, since they won't always end up in
the same positions. Once you get all the ones you can see from the doorway,
crouch-walk through the doors and keep left while looking for more. Past some
leaning shelves, sneak along next to the row of desks until you can see a gray
metal crate in a narrow passage that connects to another marine-filled area.
Sneak over to where you can set a laser tripmine on the left wall near the
crate, then sneak back to where you can set a tripmine on the nearest desk's
left set of drawers, plus another one around the corner on the same desk.

Sneak back to the leaning shelves, then stand up and quicksave. Go over to a
spot near your last tripmine and move around without detonating it until one of
the marines sees you, then retreat and be ready to blast any of them that
survive your tripmines. After that, find the guard who's hiding in the side room
and position him near the open doors that lead into the area. Get the barrel
that's across from his side room, then crouch-walk over to the gray crate in the
connecting passage. Slowly crouch-walk past it until you hear vorts teleporting
in, then quickly toss your barrel and sprint back to where you left your guard.
After helping him finish off any pursuers, sprint over to the back side of the
fallen-over metal cabinet that's in the middle of the area. From there, you can
use the .357 to snipe the marine who's manning a mounted gun in the next room.
When you enter that room, sprint over to the mounted gun and use it to quickly
kill the marines who magically appear behind you.

After you climb all the way up to the top of the rocket silo and kill off all
the marines who are in it, you'll need to climb back down to the starting
walkway. Look to the right of the doorway that's near the ladder for a green
button, then press it before climbing up to the next walkway. Go through its two
doorways to find another green button to press, then climb up to the third
walkway and repeat. After you've used all three of those buttons, you can use
the big console on the top walkway to elevate the rocket to its launch position.

--- Section bm_c2a2c ---

As soon as this section finishes loading, abandon the rail car and use a ladder
to climb up to the top of the rail car elevator shaft. Follow the track along
until you get near the point where it curves right, then jump-crouch onto the
right ledge and quicksave. There are four marines in the area to the right, one
of which is manning a mounted gun, and another of which has a one-shot rocket
launcher. You'll want to very carefully sneak-shoot all of them without letting
any of them see you. (Note that after you sneak-shoot the one who's on the
mounted gun, wait for the final marine to run up and replace him, then sneak-
shoot him the same way.) When you go down there, quickly jump-crouch onto the
mounted gun's rail car so you can use it to mow down the two marines who appear
on the right ledge.

In the area to the right of the mounted gun's rail car is a red door that leads
to a large outdoor area full of marines. Use a satchel bomb or pistol sneak-
shooting to kill the two nearest ones, then put a laser tripmine on the wall to
the right of the door. Move around on the steps until one of the outdoor marines
sees you, then quickly back up and place a second tripmine on the wall to the
left of the steps. Run through the nearby open doors, then turn right to find a
good place to hide. Wait with the shotgun out in case any marines get past your
tripmines, then go open the red door again and see if there's a red-beret marine
standing way off in the distance. If so, shoot him down with the pistol, then go
through the door and down the steps on the right. Turn left and go up to the big
fence opening, then look to the right for a marine head you can shoot between a
brown rock and a spotlight beam. Quicksave and use the .357, quickrestoring and
trying again until you get a one-shot kill. It's possible to sneak-shoot the
last two marines, but it's probably more trouble than it's worth, so go get them
with the shotgun or assault rifle.

When you reach the area with the ugly old rail car, jump-crouch onto it, but
don't start it up. Instead, jump-crouch onto its front end, then move forward
and drop down onto the track. Follow it along (optionally carrying a leftover
supply item with you) until the next chapter loads.

********************************  APPREHENSION  ********************************

--- Section bm_c2a3a ---

Even if you didn't ride the cruddy old rail car into this chapter, the walkway
that it's supposed to crash into will still be broken. Dive down and look under
the broken walkway section to see a cage with some red containers in it. What
you need to do is find some loose red containers and swim down to where you can
release them under a spot near the right end of the cage, thereby boosting up
the part of the walkway that dips down into the water. For best results, find
and use all four of the loose red containers. One is next to the broken walkway
section, one is back in the room with the stairs that lead out of the water, and
the other two are past the two underwater doorways that are across from the
broken walkway section. After all four containers are put under the walkway near
its low end, go back to where you can use the stairs to exit the water, then get
onto the walkway and sprint-jump across to the other side, crouching right
before you land.

In the area with the first ichthyosaur pool, go carefully along the walkway
while avoiding barnacle tongues until you can enter a side area and climb up a
ladder. Go through the doorway that's to the right of the large window in the
scientist's room, then make your way across the beams to where you can carefully
crouch-drop onto the top rim of the hanging cage. Move along the rim if
necessary until you're directly over the small shelf with the crossbow on it,
then quicksave. Turn and drop past the outside of the cage and into the water,
automatically picking up the crossbow as you go. Quickly turn left and swim for
the underwater doorway, then go along the passage until you return to the
slippery walkway. Go along it until you're near the entrance to the side area,
then look across the pool to see some barnacle tongues, one of which is hanging
very close to the end of a broken-off walkway. Get out the shotgun and
quicksave, then "hop" across the water and let that barnacle nab you. Blast it
when it pulls you in close, then lean on the "Move forward" key to land on the
walkway. Edge past another barnacle tongue to reach the door that'll let you
move on to the next area.

--- Section bm_c2a3b ---

To get onto the back walkway in the generator room without using the three huge
pistons, drop down to the lower floor and go to the back left corner to find a
tall gray metal crate. Move a wooden crate up next to the gray metal crate, then
find an upright barrel and carry it with you as you jump-crouch onto the wooden
crate and then onto the gray metal crate. Set the barrel down next to the metal
crate's back right corner, then move onto its back left corner and quicksave.
Jump-crouch carefully onto the barrel without knocking it off, then jump-crouch
onto the walkway.

--- Section bm_c2a3c ---

Get out the assault rifle after the assassin kills the security guard, then move
forward a bit until the assassin runs in again briefly. Kill her with a quick AR
grenade, then go through the huge doorway that's ahead and on the right. Crouch-
walk along next to the right wall until you come even with a large metal pillar
on your left. Get out the crossbow and quicksave, then crouch-strafe slowly to
the right while facing the metal pillar with the sniper scope on. When you get
to where you can see the hands of an assassin, hit them with a dart to score an
instant kill. Turn the scope off and crouch-walk past the metal pillar and a
forklift, then turn right at a concrete pillar. Past another forklift, go up
some stairs and turn right. You should see the final assassin with her back
turned, and you can easily shoot her with a crossbow dart.

*****************************  RESIDUE PROCESSING  *****************************

--- Section bm_c2a4a ---

When you come to the room with the big fallen-down walkway segment and the two
rows of big gunk-mashing vats, drop down and go left to find a couple of
barrels. Pick up one of the barrels and jump-crouch your way back onto the
fallen walkway segment, then go down to its other end and set the barrel down
where you can use it to jump-crouch onto the other end of the walkway.

--- Section bm_c2a4c ---

After going past two sets of mashers, drop onto another conveyor belt and follow
it along until you can drop onto another one. Turn around and sprint against its
direction of flow, using repeated crouch-jumping to get past crouch-only spots.
When you get near two conveyors that are on a lower level, turn left and drop
onto the first one. Get off onto the small bit of flooring that's between it and
the other conveyor, then pick up a barrel and set it on the other conveyor. Wait
until it goes down a ways, then get on that conveyor and follow it along at a
distance. It should take out two laser tripmines for you. If not, use your
pistol to shoot out what it misses. Past the second tripmine's position, turn
left and drop onto a metal beam or the pipes that go along under it, then turn
right and go along the pipes, jump-crouching and crouch-walking whenever
necessary, until you get to a spot past the left conveyor's big grinder. Jump-
crouch onto that conveyor from on a metal beam, then let it carry you onward.

--- Section bm_c2a4e ---

After climbing the ladder, crouch-walk forward until you can turn right and see
three sleeping houndeyes. Crouch-walk forward until you can turn right and move
into the area between the first two sets of storage shelves. Go down to a spot
near the wall and turn left, then jump-crouch your way onto the gray metal crate
on the top shelf. Crouch-walk onto the large wooden crate, then jump across to
the gray metal crate that's on top of the next set of shelves. Do a running jump
across to the wooden crate on the next set of shelves, then carefully drop onto
one of the shelves' metal beams and move along it until you can jump-crouch onto
the wooden crate that's near the wall. Turn to face the gray metal crate on the
final set of shelves, then sprint over there and jump-crouch onto it to get
three hand grenades. Crouch-walk onto the pipes that go along the wall, then
turn left and move along those pipes until you can drop down onto the shelves in
the area past the electrified fence. You can then drop to the floor and go
through the automatic door to move on.

*****************************  QUESTIONABLE ETHICS  ****************************

--- Section bm_c2a4f ---

After you kill off the three marines in the lobby area, you should start
preparing for the big ambush that's going to happen there later in the chapter.
Go back to the previous chapter section to use the first aid station if your
health is less than 100, then locate the large closed door with a "LAB B" sign
over it. Put the lobby's two first aid kits on the floor next to the right side
of that door. When you find an armor battery on a small bench later on, return
to the lobby and use its HEV charger if your armor is less than 100, then go get
the battery and drop it next to the two first aid kits.

--- Section bm_c2a4g ---

Your lobby ambush preparations should continue in this section. There are a
total of four armor batteries scattered about the area, and you'll want to save
all four of them. Do all of the combats in the area without activating any of
the laser-powering devices, then return to the previous chapter section and go
use the HEV charger that's down the hallway to the left. Come back here and
gather all four armor batteries in the primary laser room, then activate all the
powering devices and fire the primary laser after unplugging the shield's power
cord. Drop the batteries down to the floor of the room past the big wall hole
before you drop down there yourself using some pipes.

--- Section bm_c2a4f (again) ---

After you deactivate the surgical unit and follow the scientists down to a large
door that one of them opens, use the first aid station and HEV charger in a side
area if necessary. Carry all four of the armor batteries you imported from the
previous section (plus the one in the scientists' room) through the door and
drop them with your other stashed items on the left. When that's done, make a
regular save, then go through the door and up the right side of the steps until
you hear the door closing behind you. Quickly back up and crouch down in the
corner, and stay crouched while watching for two marines to rappel down directly
ahead of you. Get out your hand grenades and throw one so that it goes over the
crates you can see ahead. Switch to the gauss gun and wait for one or two
marines to run into range. Kill them as quickly as you can, then turn right and
stand up so you can see two more marines a ways past the railing.

Quickly gauss-blast one of them to death, then crouch down and wait for the
other one to run over to where you can blast him, too. Stay crouched while
waiting for two more marines to run into view, then blast them. Crouch-walk over
to your armor battery stash to pick some of them up, then crouch-walk back to
your corner and wait a few seconds. Stand up and see if any marines can see you,
then quicksave if they can't. Use the crossbow to snipe the marine you can see
up on the roof, then strafe left and use the .357 to take down the marine who's
in the back of the room, near the HEV charger. Quickly strafe right, crouch
down, and get out the gauss gun so you can quickly blast the two marines who
come after you. You'll then only have two marines left to kill, one of which is
up on the roof, and the other of which is over on the lower-floor section with
the vending machine. They're both stationary, and pretty easy to kill.

--- Section bm_c2a4h ---

After the scientist is killed, get out the pistol and carefully edge up to where
you can sneak-shoot a marine who's past a green military truck over to the
right. Quicksave, then use the zoom feature to spot an explosive crate over near
where he was. If you shoot that crate fast enough, it'll explode before the
other marine over there can run away from it. Crouch-walk through the doorway
and turn right, then get out the shotgun and charge the two marines who are
hiding around the corner. After they're down, use the shotgun to blast the two
turrets that are up on the roof.

Look all around the area for supplies, then go over to the start of a large
tunnel. Look to the right of it for a door you can go through, then move over
next to the railing and quicksave. Sneak forward to where you can sneak-shoot
the marine who's manning a mounted gun, then get out the assault rifle and move
along the railing slowly until some more marines appear in the area ahead.
Quickly AR-grenade them, then watch for a survivor to run over to the mounted
gun. If one does, back up quickly and sneak-shoot him like you did the previous

*******************************  SURFACE TENSION  ******************************

--- Section bm_c2a5a ---

As soon as this chapter section finishes loading, quickly stafe up against the
left wall and move back a bit. That way, the marines outside won't see you, and
you can sneak-shoot the first three while carefully crouch-walking along the
left wall. The fourth and final one is really hard to sneak-shoot, so just go
assault him with the assault rifle, or something. (But don't blow up any of the
explosive barrels!) The big door you came in through will have closed, but you
may be able to get it to reopen by going up to it, quicksaving, and then
quickrestoring. If that works, you can go back to the previous chapter section
for leftover supplies.

After you go down the road and finish off a traveling marine group, go over to
the fence that's to the left of the large gray platform and get out the
crossbow. Use its scope to see that two marines are patrolling the dam, but
don't kill either of them yet. Go back to where all the explosive barrels are,
then put them in groups near the security vehicle and the nearby large brown
rock. Try to space them out so that one group exploding won't detonate another
group. Once that's set up, go snipe one of the marines on the dam, then sprint
back to the area where you got the barrels and wait for the marines to come
after you. Use the pistol and .357 to shoot the marines, and to detonate
explosive barrels when they get close to them.

Go down to the fenced-in compound that's next to the dam, then stay back and
shoot down any leftover marines. Enter the big warehouse on the right and fill
up on gauss gun ammo, then go over to a spot near the explosive barrel that's
close to the front of a green military truck. Get out the gauss gun and
quicksave, then move forward slowly until the Apache chopper appears in the
distance. Quickrestore and build up a full altfire charge, then move forward to
get the chopper to appear again. Quickly blast it with the altfire charge, then
turn around and sprint back into the warehouse for cover. You'll need to hit the
chopper with another full altfire charge to chase it off, and there's no easy
way to do it. Quicksave and keep trying until you can do it without taking too
much damage.

--- Section bm_c2a5c ---

After you make it to the metal walkway that goes around a structure that
connects to a huge slanting pipe, locate the supply shed, but don't go inside
and pick anything up yet. Move on down to where there are four marines in a
camp, then kill them off and open up the rocket crate to get a full load of
rockets. You can then pick up the four loose rockets that are scattered about
the camp and carry them back to the supply shed one at a time. Open up the big
storage building in the back of the marine camp, then use the shotgun and the
explosives in the building to knock over the two floor turrets. Don't get the
RPG from the building's little shed yet, but do bash out its window so you can
pick up the two loose rockets that are in there and take them back to the supply
shed in the previous area. Go around on the supply shed's walkway until you find
some rungs, then go up them and look to the left for two more rockets. In all,
you should have twelve spare rockets in the shed when you're done.

Get one of the non-explosive barrels that's near the shed and carry it over to
the end of the metal walkway that leads to the path to the marine camp, then
drop it without letting it fall over. Return to the storage building and get the
RPG, then exit the building and quicksave. Sprint all the way back to where you
left the barrel, then pick it up and hold it between you and the chopper as you
strafe left to get back to the supply shed. Toss the barrel aside once you make
it, then use the shed as cover while rocketing the chopper. It'll make itself a
bit harder to hit after it takes serious damage, so keep quicksaving after every
hit and quickrestoring after every miss until you destroy it. (Note that using
the gauss gun to do the last bits of damage may be easier than using rockets.)

--- Section bm_c2a5d ---

After you pass some first aid kits and armor batteries in the wet alley, crouch-
walk through a pipe segment to enter a canal area. Crouch-walk along the left
wall until some explosive barrels get dropped into the canal ahead of you, then
wait until after they all explode before sprinting down to where you can jump-
crouch into another pipe segment. Past it, turn right and go down to where you
can climb up some rungs. As soon as the tank that's covering the manhole moves
off of it, climb up behind it and sprint over to the wall you can see ahead and
on the right. Move along the wall to a corner, then wait there until the tank
blows a hole in the wall. Crouch-walk back and forth in front of that hole to
hopefully get the tank to fire several more times, which will kill some of the
marines who are over there near it.

Return to your safe corner and quicksave, then crouch-walk back past the wall
hole and over to the yellow metal post. See if you can sneak-shoot any marines
in the area over to the right, and quickrestore if you're seen. Once you've
sneak-shot all you can, sprint back for the manhole you climbed out of and climb
about halfway down the rungs. Get out the shotgun and look up, ready to double-
barrel any marines who appear above you. Hopefully, most of them will be killed
by the tank firing at you. Climb down to the bottom of the rungs and wait until
the tank stops firing, then quickly climb back up and sprint over to a spot
between the yellow metal post and the wall hole. Get out the RPG and left-strafe
until you can easily blast the bank of the tank without it shooting back. When
you run out of rockets, go back to your safe corner, then turn right and look
for an RPG and three spare rockets on green crates.

After you open two sets of large doors in the tank's area, go past the second
set, get out the RPG, and quicksave. Turn right and sprint past one big rock and
up to another one, then crouch down and slowly right-strafe until you can see
part of another tank to the right of a lamp post. Fire rockets at that until the
tank explodes.

--- Section bm_c2a5e ---

To get past the first tripmine in the super-rigged building, either jump-crouch
over it or get the large cardboard box from the scientist's room and use it to
jump over it. Crouch-jump onto the nearest explosive crate, then jump-crouch
onto the top crate. Shoot the lone explosive crate that's ahead in the hallway
to kill a couple of headcrabs, then go down that way and crouch-walk under a
tripmine. Jump-crouch over some fallen shelves, then crouch-walk under the left
end of the next tripmine. Jump-crouch your way over the railing, then go past
the two doors on the left and jump-crouch over another tripmine. Go down the
ramp to the left and jump-crouch over another tripmine to enter the main
tripmined storage area.

Go straight ahead to a forklift, then turn left and crouch-walk under a
tripmine. Turn right and move into the space between storage shelves, then
crouch-jump onto one of the empty wooden pallets on the left set of shelves.
Move up to the tall wooden crate and bash it, then go past it and turn left.
Crouch-walk under a laser beam, then go to where you can crouch-walk under
another beam on the right to get onto a large lift. Bash the wooden crate, then
go up next to the wall that's underneath one of the lift's two button panels.
Jump up and use the panel to raise the lift, then crouch-walk as close as you
can to the laser beam that goes across the lift. Turn and face the lower lift
with the dead alien grunt on it, then quicksave before making a sprint-jump over
to that lift. After you get the hornet gun "installed," use the lift's button
panel to leave the mega-rigged building behind.

--- Section bm_c2a5f ---

Move up next to the green truck that's on the road, then use the hornet gun to
knock over the turret that's in the back of it. Jump-crouch into the back and
pick up the turret, then back out and turn right. Go up to the right corner of
the large open door, then wait while some alien grunts get bombed. Pick up the
turret and stay to the right as you move it through the doorway so it can shoot
at the marines who are over to the right. Finish off the marines with hornet gun
fire, then get out the RPG. Move into the doorway to where you can see and
rocket the tank while its view of you is obstructed by a yellow road sign.

After you make your way through the bombed-out building to where you're about to
drop into a new area through a big floor hole, get out the hornet gun and move
up to the edge of the hole. Fire a bunch of hornets so they'll go under the open
door you can see through the hole. After you've fired a whole bunch of hornets
that way, quicksave and drop down to see if either of the vorts or the alien
grunt are still alive, then quickrestore. If any of them are still alive, fire a
bunch more hornets under the door, then repeat the process of quicksaving and
checking. Once you verify they're all dead, get out the RPG and drop down, then
go past the door and look up and to the left. Rocket the Osprey chopper as soon
as it appears, then sprint up to the top of the ramp and continue rocketing it
until it blows up. You should be able to do that before it can drop any marines.
Move up to the nearest end of the large blue storage container and sneak-shoot
the two alien grunts in the back right corner of the area with hornets from

After you enter the room with the missile launcher emplacement, quickly use it
to blast the tank that rolls into the area ahead, then sprint back for the door
that leads out of the room. Keep left as you go down the street to the open
garage door, then keep the right side of it between you and the tank's turret as
you blast it with RPG rockets and/or gauss altfire blasts. That's a lot safer
than reloading the missile launcher and using it to finish off the tank, though
it does use up a bit more ammo.

--- Section bm_c2a5g ---

After you pick up the snark packs, crouch-walk down the vent shaft until you
come to a spot where you can drop down to a lower shaft. Do so, then turn left
and crouch-walk a short way forward, then turn right and wait to be dropped down
to the street. Immediately start sprinting, and don't stop for anything. Sprint
around vehicles until you reach some jammed-open doors, then squeeze through
them and sprint over to the ladder on the silo that's over to the right. Climb
up it and quicksave, then turn right and run over to the military targeting
display. Look directly at it, then move your view around to move the thing's
targeting reticule around. (Hopefully, it'll display properly and not just
flicker intermittently.) Quickly click to mark a target zone a bit to the left
of your silo, then click on the "FIRE" button that's on the bottom middle of the
screen. Move to the other side of the silo and see if the air strike will kill
the gargantua. If not, quickrestore and try again, moving as fast as you can.
(Note that if the targeting display is screwy, like it was for me, it can take a
lot of trial and error to get it right. They really need to fix that!)

***************************  "FORGET ABOUT FREEMAN!"  **************************

--- Section bm_c3a1b ---

After you climb outside, go through the doorway in the fence and look over to
the left to see a large, flat rock with some brush to the right of it. One way
to trigger the tank attack is to run over to that rock, or most of the way. Do
so, then sprint back through the fence doorway and into the left-side niche area
with a wooden crate. Get out the hornet gun and wait a few seconds, then left-
strafe while facing the fence until you can fire some hornets through its
doorway. Stay as far right as possible at first, then move left slowly as you
continue firing hornets. Eventually, you'll have to move through the fence and
look to the right for your last few horneting victims, but make sure the tank
can't see you as you do that. Once the marines are all dead, quicksave, then
face the tall rocks that are between you and the tank. Left-strafe slowly until
you can shoot the tank with RPG rockets and/or the gauss gun without it firing
back. There are several replacement rockets in the area behind the fence, plus
some gauss ammo packs in the areas ahead.

The other tank combat in this section is much easier, and I'm only including it
for the sake of completeness. Crouch-walk up to the closed doors that lead to
its area so that no one inside can see you through the doors' windows, then
crouch-walk back out of sight of the doors and wait until the sounds of combat
stop. Get out the hornet gun and crouch-walk over to where you can open the
doors, then fire hornets through them to finish off any surviving marines. The
tank can't rotate far enough to blast you in the doorway, so you can take your
time horneting marines and then blasting the tank with the RPG or gauss gun.

*********************************  LAMBDA CORE  ********************************

--- Section bm_c3a2a ---

Crouch-walk through the automatic door that leads to the big hazardous materials
bay, then left-strafe over to the railing. Slowly crouch-walk forward until you
can use the pistol to sneak-shoot an assassin who's up next to the large red
storage container ahead, then go to the end of the railing and jump-crouch onto
the small machine. Turn right and edge over to where you can use the crossbow to
snipe an assassin who's to the left of a large high-up yellow container, then
drop to the floor and crouch-walk along the right side of the nearby green
container. Past its end, look to the left for an assassin who's on the floor,
behind a red container. After sneak-shooting her with altfire hornets, move
slowly along the side of the blue container on the left until you can use the
pistol to sneak-shoot the assassin who's on a green container over to the right.
Go past that container's end and into the nearest corner, then turn around and
right-strafe slowly until you can see an assassin's hands up high, then jump-
shoot some altfire hornets at her. The final assassin is up on the stairs that
are past two rows of wooden crates, and is easy to sneak-shoot with the pistol.

--- Section bm_c3a2b ---

After you go through a large tunnel and approach the top of a ramp, turn left
and go around to a spot next to two tall wooden crates. Quicksave, then sprint-
jump across to the top of a large green container. Turn left and jump over the
small green containers so you can drop to the floor behind the large one. From
back there, you can use the pistol and hornet gun to sneak-shoot the alien
grunts and vortigaunts that teleported in. Note that the grunts will probably
run around in the area you jumped over from, and the vorts will be off to the
left. Get all of them, then wait if necessary for the next batch to teleport in.
Be sure to stay near the green container and use plenty of hornets to sneak-
shoot them all safely. You'll know when they're all dead because a scientist
will lower the ladder that's near the back right corner of the area.

--- Section bm_c3a2e ---

After you open the two fire doors that lead into the pump room, hornet-shoot any
headcrabs that come through them, then go over to the left fire door. Get out
the crossbow and quicksave, then move through the door and quickly back up.
Shoot the vort that teleports in directly ahead, then use hornets to kill the
one that's on the lower floor over to the right. Go over to where the crossbow-
killed vort is, then quickly sprint back through the fire door. Wait for a vort
to come after you, then kill it and the one that's standing on top of the large
machine in the back of the pump room. Quickly crouch down after the one on the
machine dies, then move into the doorway and fire hornets so they'll swerve
right and take down the last two teleport-in vorts.

--- Section bm_c3a2d ---

After climbing out of the coolant tank in the pump room, go up the steps near
the top of the second ladder and hornet-kill the headcrab that's over near the
big "PUMP STATION 02" sign. Look around with the flashlight on and kill all the
barnacles you can see, then go back down the steps, turn right, and quicksave.
Sprint straight ahead until you reach a gray metal crate, then turn right and
sprint over to a spot behind a two-crate stack. Hornet the two teleport-in vorts
from there, then use the nearby open control box. Go back to a spot next to the
crate stack and quicksave, since going past the stack's right side will get two
more vorts to teleport in. Use the crate stack as cover while horneting them,
then go a short way up the nearby steps to get two more vorts to materialize.
Sprint back behind the crate stack for cover while taking them down, then go up
to the room's right-side fire door. Open it, then slowly crouch-walk through it
until three vorts teleport in over to the left. Back up a bit and use hornets to
sneak-shoot them all.

--- Section bm_c3a2c (third time) ---

As soon as you open the door to the auxiliary coolant tank room, sprint forward
to the railing, then jump-crouch onto it and drop down into the coolant. Swim
forward until you can turn right to find a large closed hatch, then look on the
wall to the right of it for a switch you can use. Surface and wait for the hatch
to open, then dive down and swim through the tunnel past it.

--- Section bm_c3a2h ---

When you enter the big lambda teleporter chamber, head right to find the start
of the metal walkway that you'll be running down to enter the teleporter when
it's ready later on. Look for the top of a ladder to the right of that walkway,
then wait until the scientist starts the long and noisy process of opening the
portal. Climb down the ladder and move forward to find a doorway, then turn
around and move up against the small bit of flat wall that's directly across
from the doorway. Get out the gluon gun and wait until the scientist says to get
yourself into position, then quicksave. Run back up the ladder and quickly blow
away the two nearby alien grunts with the gluon gun, then sprint down the metal
walkway and into the teleporter.

While you're waiting for the rest of the game to be finished and released, you
can replay what there is in some fun and interesting ways. My favorite way is to
use the "impulse 101" cheat code to give myself a gluon gun at the very
beginning of the game. Bind that command to the G key so you can press it to get
more gluon ammo whenever you need it (bind g "impulse 101"). You can then go
around and use the gluon gun to blow away everything and everyone everywhere
(except for "mission-critical personnel"). You could instead bind the "impulse
76" code to the G key to summon marines to do all your combat for you (use
"notarget" so they won't target you), or bind "npc_create npc_vortigaunt" to the
G key to summon vorts.