Beyond Black Mesa Is Half-Life: Origins

Someone give this guy the budget to make a movie, please.

Being the dedicated RPS reader that you are, you’ll remember that Alec posted about the short film Beyond Black Mesa back in January. The mini-epic took place five years after the events of Half-Life, featuring independence fighters in the battle against the Combine invasion. Well, director Brian Curtin is back with an even shorter short, an utterly gorgeous live action version of the opening moments of the original game. It’s below.

See, I know I’ve protested against the use of live action trailers for forthcoming games, but it turns out I’m all in favour of the same for older games, made by people outside the publisher. Then it’s magically okay in my brain. So you’re now cleared to enjoy this utterly splendid thing:

You can see the rest of the InfectiousDesigner movies at the official channel.


  1. Berzee says:


    The end after the end shows what a…uniquely talented…scientists Freeman truly is.

  2. gganate says:

    Was that Gordon Freeman or Alex Jenson?

  3. atticus says:

    Loved the microwave-buttons.

  4. qrter says:

    Very, very nice.

    Am I the only one who still gets a tiny chill when he hears the HEV suit’s introduction?

    • CMaster says:

      Welcome to the H.E.V. mark 4 protective system. For use in hazardous environment conditions. High-impact reactive armour activated. Atmospheric contaminant sensors activated. Vital sign monitoring activated. Automatic medical systems engaged. Weapon selection system activated. Munition level monitoring activated. Communications interface online. Have a very safe day.

    • Harlander says:

      Isn’t it “Defensive weapon selection system”?

    • deenmeister says:

      *gets goosebumps*

    • Network Crayon says:

      I literally feel safer already.

    • smokemeansfire says:

      I always thought the voice for the HEV suit was really unsettling because it was so deliberate and weird. Still haven’t heard anything like it. So, yeah, shivers :D

    • d32 says:

      Warning! User death imminent.

  5. Koozer says:

    SERIOUS. I always imagine him as being pretty neutral and just getting on with his day’s work. Up until the point when things go bonkers that is..

    • Josh W says:

      Yeah I think it’s a consequence of the format, I imagine a longer film of half life would start out more like district 9 in pacing.

      With a small timeslot to work with, you have things like the bit with the microwave getting smushed into an example of the crowbar, in a way that doesn’t quite make sense, just to fit in the neccesary elements. I imagine if there was a proper thing they’d devide ut the moods a bit better, and you’d have the “serious business” later on.

  6. YanDaik says:

    i dont know how can you call it live action when everything is cg except people. I guess it is half-live-action.

    • StranaMente says:

      Why call it live action when everybody knows that its name is Timothy?
      OT: I think that it is more about “in game (i.e.: in game engine) scenes” against “people pretending to be in a game scenes”.

    • caddyB says:

      It’s mostly live action?

    • SooSiaal says:

      So a move like, lets say 300, could be called an animated movie or even cartoon?

    • deenmeister says:


      I dunno about the rest of you, but Half Life Episode 3 is not coming fast enough. They should say something. Atleast tease us…

    • Wulf says:

      We all know by now that Half-Life: Episode 3 is never going to happen.

      They’re going to wait a bit longer, then they’re just going to drop an ARG on us via Portal 2 that will tease the potential existence of Half-Life 3, and it’ll go from there.

  7. says:


  8. Suits says:

    Where is Hugh Laurie? :)

  9. JackShandy says:

    Beautiful, but over-acted. Tapping the watch was a bit much.

  10. Tuor says:

    They’re waiting for you, Gordon, in the *test chamber*.

    • Harlander says:

      I’ve already assured the Administrator that nothing will go wrong.

    • dragonhunter21 says:

      Although I will admit that the chances of a resonance cascade scenario are highly unlikely…

    • bonuswavepilot says:

      “Resonance Cascade” is one of my very favouritest bits of technobabble ever.

  11. SirKicksalot says:

    So much talent wasted on these things.

  12. caddyB says:

    Mesa like this.

    Yes I’m “that” terrible.

  13. Poppis says:

    Black Mesa Source, where are you?

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I’m sure they’ll be done before 2016. On a plus note, I was snooping around there the other day, and the overhauls they’ve done to the art design are pretty awesome. You can see where the time between 2009 and now went.

    • Gnoupi says:

      The risk is that Half Life 3 releases before. Of course.

    • mod the world says:

      Coming soon.

  14. Revolve says:

    Anyone else think this would have been even better without music?

    Made it feel almost like a parody somehow to me. Still awesome though.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      With you there. Seemed to make everything overblown. Mind you, I have no idea what HL’s music is like so this may be a faithful recreation; I generally give a game about a minute to impress and interest me with its music and if it fails, music is off after that.

  15. maninahat says:

    I’m going to be the odd one out and say I didn’t like it. I didn’t see any point to it, I thought it was over dramatic and I found the CGI effects and Abrams glare obnoxious.

    A lot of talent and time obviously went into this, so I feel bad about bad mouthing it. But I think it was a waste by not actually having anything happen. It didn’t tell a story, it didn’t establish a character, it didn’t do anything.

  16. Zarunil says:

    Lovely dialogue.

  17. Fitzmogwai says:

    A Resonance Cascade? We’re done here.

  18. Sigvatr says:

    Does Gordon speak? Please tell me he does not say anything.

  19. Armante says:

    ZOMG VaLvE are making HALF LIFE the MOVIE??!?!!
    oh – wait..

    Actually, I’d watch that, but would probably find it lacking in interactivity :)

    nicely done, I thought.

  20. Synesthesia says:

    Hey, this is nice. The 3d needs a lot of work, but the first composite works were great. And i fucking love anything that has to do with Cave Johnson. If you have not read his entire timeline, go do it now. And never buy shower curtains from him again.

  21. Contrafibularity says:

    Well done. Reminds me to have a look at some of the last fan films. “What’s in the box?” is still the best of the HL inspired films imo.