Best Half-Life Chapter Tournament Created 7 months ago2018-04-03 02:09:53 UTC by Jessie Jessie

Created 7 months ago2018-04-03 02:09:53 UTC by Jessie Jessie

Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 02:13:40 UTC Post #339151
User posted image
I've got too much time on my hands, so let's do a thing! We're going to use "science" to figure out what the best Half-Life chapter is. Which is to say, I'm going to present pairs of chapters to y'all and you'll vote on which is better. How you qualify which is "better" is completely up to you. Feel free to discuss your reasoning! Discourse is good!

Every day (roughly), I'll come back here and put up the next round. All you have to do is name your choice. No backsies if you miss out!

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First up is Power Up vs. Endgame! Which is better, getting the generator going to kill a Garg and head off on the train, or being stuck in an interactive cutscene while the G-man gives you an enigmatic speech?
Jessie JessieLadytype
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 02:17:32 UTC Post #339152
Power Up, easily!
Strider StriderTuned to a dead channel.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 02:49:41 UTC Post #339153
Power Up. Endgame is important to the story but has no gameplay. In Power Up you get to fight a garg, and it's also the source of my first memories of ever seeing Half-Life.
JeffMOD JeffMODCall 141.12
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 03:53:23 UTC Post #339154
No contest with power up!
Penguinboy PenguinboyHaha, I died again!
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 03:58:13 UTC Post #339155
Definitely Power Up. Awesome chapter (which I always skip with tripmines).
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 04:01:51 UTC Post #339156
Power up.

(But we all know the final winner of this is going to be Surface Tension)
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 06:01:11 UTC Post #339157
i like the part in power up where i can just skip it using a trip mine
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 06:23:12 UTC Post #339158
Power Up, even though it felt a lot like a bit less tedious Blast Pit. Endgame was cool but had no gameplay.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 09:41:45 UTC Post #339160
Surface Tension
:trollface:
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 10:53:08 UTC Post #339161
Power Up wins this round
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 11:03:38 UTC Post #339162
edit
yup, it's Power Up for me too. Didn't read the whole post in a hury :)
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 11:51:27 UTC Post #339163
power up 4 defs; endgame is an art peice rather than exciting bit of gameplay
Instant Mix Instant MixTitle commitment issues
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 14:43:55 UTC Post #339164
Power Up, that's a no-brainer.
The Mad Carrot The Mad CarrotMad Carrot
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 15:03:00 UTC Post #339165
Power Up.
Suparsonik Suparsonik#fartbag
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 19:21:55 UTC Post #339167
[blue]POWER UP[/blue]
Tetsu0 Tetsu0Original Cowboy
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 20:00:22 UTC Post #339168
I actually really enjoyed the different scenes in ENDGAME... but [m]POWER UP[/m] had gameplay.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulamonster_urby
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 20:14:56 UTC Post #339169
Power Up, becuase you can trigger the scripted stuff at your own pace. Then again, Endgame had boids...
Dr. Orange Dr. OrangeBoth a fruit and a color
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 20:28:32 UTC Post #339170
The first time I played Half-Life I killed the Gargantua with grenades. Then the rest of the chapter I thought the facility was collapsing and figured I was nearing the end of the game.

I was pleasantly surprised a when I realised otherwise.

So yeah, I was just as dumb then as I am now. Go figure.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulamonster_urby
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 20:44:56 UTC Post #339171
Well, I count that as a pretty definitive 15 - 0 to Power Up. Which, y'know, as much as I like that G-man speech, it wasn't much of a contest. For the record, the order these chapters are appearing in was randomized, so it's a shame a one-sided matchup like that came first. Anyway, onto the next round, which could be a little more balanced...

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User posted image
Hazard Course vs. Questionable Ethics! Which is better — the classic tutorial that was likely the first bit of Half-Life many of us played, or the classy lab with caged monsters, laser shields, surgical machines and... whatd'ya mean, "overcharge"?
Jessie JessieLadytype
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 20:54:48 UTC Post #339172
Questionable Ethics.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-03 23:19:15 UTC Post #339173
I really like the Hazard Course in that it is made to look like an older part of the complex that has been re-purposed.

[m]Questionable Ethics[/m] has the edge though. Some really cool moments where you get to see the grunts fighting the alien grunts, houndeyes and bullsquids. You also get to trash a bunch of stuff and the whole map eventually loops back on itself. Surprising it was never made into a deathmatch map.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulamonster_urby
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 00:39:33 UTC Post #339174
This one is tougher, because the Hazard Course is great, but Questionable Ethics wins for Urby's reasons above. Also illogical death lasers and an out of control "surgery" machine are just too much fun.
Strider StriderTuned to a dead channel.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 02:16:09 UTC Post #339175
Hazard Course because it's well-designed.

A large portion of Questionable Ethics can be skipped by pressing a button through the wall. Messy design.
Dimbeak DimbeakRotten Bastard
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 02:21:54 UTC Post #339176
While I do love the Hazard Course and it has a special place in my heart since I remade it, I gotta say Questionable Ethics wins by a small margin. That feeling of sneaking around the labs while you're slowly building your arsenal up again after the previous two chapters... It's a good feel.
JeffMOD JeffMODCall 141.12
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 06:04:31 UTC Post #339177
Questionable Ethics
Design fits the title quite well.
rufee rufeeSledge fanboy
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 06:46:37 UTC Post #339178
I love Hazard Course, but Questionable Ethics wins this one. Those labs were amazing!
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 07:25:27 UTC Post #339179
⬆️ What they said. Except Dimbeak, never what he says.
Penguinboy PenguinboyHaha, I died again!
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 08:10:06 UTC Post #339180
ya ya Hazard Course was pretty fun but Questionable Ethics only slightly better

Overcharge? What do you mean "overcharge"!?

Also how much of a workplace hazard was that surgical device, what kind of surgery would you even do with it!
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 10:05:44 UTC Post #339181
Also how much of a workplace hazard was that surgical device, what kind of surgery would you even do with it!
X-TREME SURGERY
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulamonster_urby
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 10:14:52 UTC Post #339182
Questionable Ethics. Fantastic loopback design, nice texture set, nifty looking lobby. And it develops the mystery of what the Black Mesa guys knew and when.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 14:23:59 UTC Post #339183
Questionable Ethics. It's one of my favorite chapters.
The Mad Carrot The Mad CarrotMad Carrot
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 15:26:18 UTC Post #339184
Questionable Ethics.
Suparsonik Suparsonik#fartbag
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 21:22:49 UTC Post #339186
Alright, once again, a pretty one sided 'bout; I was sure there'd be more people batting for Hazard Course! But Questionable Ethics takes it 11-1. Something tells me this streak will continue with...

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User posted image
Black Mesa Inbound vs. Xen! Which is better, the timeless (yet lengthy) transit system ride, or the player's first proper trip into the borderworld, with long jumping and strange laser crystals?
Jessie JessieLadytype
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 21:45:56 UTC Post #339187
Black Mesa Inbound sets the mood just perfectly. Definitely gets my vote. The music still gives me a chill when it starts.

That said, I never minded Xen. The Xen chapter proper is only a single map - the meat of Xen is really Interloper which I've become fond of actually.

Q for Jessie - it'd be awesome if you updated the image at the top of the page (your first post) as well, if possible. Then at a glance we can see the current bracket.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-04 23:10:53 UTC Post #339188
Inbound definitely
Penguinboy PenguinboyHaha, I died again!
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 00:06:08 UTC Post #339189
@Unq: I don't think I can replace that specific image where it's hosted, and without freaky moderator powers, I can't change the link itself. One of the higher-ups might be able to do it, but I won't bother them to care deeply about this thread.

Also, since Unq mentioned it, I will remind people that the Xen chapter is indeed only the first level set in Xen. The rest of that part of the game falls under other chapters.
Jessie JessieLadytype
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 03:00:32 UTC Post #339190
Inbound.
Suparsonik Suparsonik#fartbag
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 03:05:39 UTC Post #339191
Never really liked any of the Xen chapters, including the first one. Yeah, the borderworld may look fantastic and unusual but the levels feel rather, uhm, dull.

Black Mesa Inbound is probably the most memorable chapter for me, the accompanying track fits the map perfectly. Still remember how I enjoyed all the details and scenes during the ride when I played HL the first time.

So, Black Mesa Inbound.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 04:59:28 UTC Post #339192
I guess I'm going to be the loon who votes for Xen.

Inbound is great for establishing mood, but Xen's a hands-on chapter that changes the whole game. You're on the alien's turf now, and it's not welcoming. It helps that I love platforming in Half-Life, and all that precarious ledge-crawling you've been doing is about to be put to the test.

Xen (the place) doesn't suck until the alien factory at the end of Interlopers, but Xen (the chapter) is a great introduction.
Strider StriderTuned to a dead channel.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 05:59:44 UTC Post #339193
Inbound hands down.

Xen was always just weird for me, I guess its supposed to be, but nevertheless organic shapes were not a thing the engine (everyones PC's) could handle back then and a lot was left for the head to filter and make pretty.
rufee rufeeSledge fanboy
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 06:33:43 UTC Post #339194
Xen because it's actually the first level i played. My dad was having issues with the longjumps between platforms and let me have a shot at it.
Tetsu0 Tetsu0Original Cowboy
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 13:13:06 UTC Post #339202
My vote's on Xen. It was such an otherworldly level that it literally made my jaw drop.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 13:34:57 UTC Post #339203
Xen was always a little heavy on the platforming for my tastes. The Xen maps in Blue-Shift were a much better experience in my opinion.

[m]Inbound[/m] sets the mood, has incredible music, and does an excellent job of defining the setting. Even without the text prompts on screen, you can see that Black Mesa is enormous and old, the sheer scale of the areas you pass through, the alternate tram lines in the distance, the blend of old industrial areas and new labs. I love it. It was once my favorite kind of thing to replicate in Hammer.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulamonster_urby
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 20:33:37 UTC Post #339212
Apparently I can't guess for toffee when it comes to which of these are going to be close, so I'm going to stop doing that! Black Mesa Inbound takes this one by a considerably more balanced 6-3. Also the votes are dropping at a steady rate of 3 per round, so this bracket could become defunct in 3 more rounds! Next up, we've got consecutive chapters with...

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User posted image
Unforeseen Consequences vs. Office Complex! Which is better, the player's first-hand look at the devastation of the resonance cascade on the previously pristine labs, or the romp around the office area, replete with vent-crawling, freezer meats and elevator-shaft-climbing?
Jessie JessieLadytype
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 20:53:33 UTC Post #339214
Unforeseen Consequences.

Office Complex is deliberately drab and mundane and it plays a part in the development of the first section of the game, but Unforeseen is really where things are turned around and you get the first sense of how the rest of the game might unfold. It's a brilliant backtrack through areas you just saw.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 20:55:02 UTC Post #339215
Definitely Unforeseen Consequences! - chaos, destruction, first alien encounters, the scientist head humped by a headcrab, or the one that you can send down the abyss... This chapter gives a heavy "Shit, I fucked up!" feeling after the experiment.

Vent crawling in office complex felt dull, though freezers were quite interesting. Still, Office Complex loses this one.
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 21:19:09 UTC Post #339216
I'm voting Unforeseen Consequences. What people said.
The Mad Carrot The Mad CarrotMad Carrot
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 21:31:00 UTC Post #339217
I don't have anything negative to say about Office Complex really. I quite like that the chapter revolves around bypassing the locked doors. When you're done and you backtrack, you realise that it has taken a lot of effort to essentially get from one end of a corridor to the other.

However, [m]Unforeseen Consequences[/m] is obviously one of my earliest memories of Half-Life. Backtracking though areas that were previously brightly lit and full of staff going about their business. It freaked me out when I was younger, and it goes to show how diverse the gameplay is throughout the campaign.

It does a wonderful job of teaching you how the game world works, should you have skipped the Hazard Course for whatever reason. It's something I have considered making a video about a couple of times.
UrbaNebula UrbaNebulamonster_urby
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 22:21:54 UTC Post #339218
This is a tricky one! I loved Office Complex because of its build up into We've Got Hosptiles and its cool environment.

But yeah I'm going UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES because, similar to Black Mesa Inbound it was just different to other games at the time. Backtracking through an area that was all calm and peaceful first time but now all chaos was just awesome - I wasn't familiar with any other games back then did any kind of thing, it made the world very believable.
It does a wonderful job of teaching you how the game world works, should you have skipped the Hazard Course for whatever reason
I had never thought of that!
Posted 7 months ago2018-04-05 23:04:50 UTC Post #339220
Gonna have to go against the grain with this one and vote for Office Complex, because it teases the arrival of the HECU and shows you how far-flung the effects of the resonance cascade have become within the facility.
JeffMOD JeffMODCall 141.12
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