Questionable Ethics - two plot oddities

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    • Questionable Ethics - two plot oddities

      These two things about level design in this chapter always bugged me.

      1. At the very beginning, you land in a houndeye mini observation zone, separated by electrified iron bars from the man-walking zone. While those bars do keep the houndeyes from escaping, they still expose the scientists to their sonic wave effect - it passes through the bars easily.

      2. The laser-activating sequence... well, after going through the hole in a wall created by the laser beam, you land in a room on the opposite side of the wire fence, while the other side was accessible by you even before going upstairs. Now why in hell would Gordon make a big freaking hole in the wall, and go through all that laser-activating mess, if he could easily get past that wire fence, by cutting it with a knife or detonating a grenade nearby? A good solution would be to replace the fence with bulletproof glass.

      What do you think about it?
    • Xeoxer wrote:

      These two things about level design in this chapter always bugged me.

      1. At the very beginning, you land in a houndeye mini observation zone, separated by electrified iron bars from the man-walking zone. While those bars do keep the houndeyes from escaping, they still expose the scientists to their sonic wave effect - it passes through the bars easily.


      I'll pass this thread a long to my esteemed colleague Dr Horn, he might be able to shed a greater light on both of these points.

      As for myself. When re-making the first room I always saw it as a normal storage area being used to temporarily house the houndeyes in their cages while they were in a sedated state and would be of no great danger while like that. But following the resonance cascade the houndeyes had been set fire/awoken in the ensuing chaos, a long with the dead scientist that lays beyond the fence having jerry rigged it to be electrified in the hopes of containment following the incident.

      Just my thoughts on it.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Cpl.1nsane ().

    • Perhaps electrifying whatever type of metal the fence is made of somehow blocks the houndeye attack. I dunno man, I never really thought about it and I don't think the level designers did either.

      As for the laser thing... it's a lot more awesome to explode a wall with laser beams than to make a hole in a fence. Just sayin'
    • I really like QE chapter...Theres a dew things I will suggest and you can take it or leave it...

      When going up to the laser puzzles upstairs... I had issues because I loaded back to the last area and this caused the puzzle to break and the laser was not able to fire... I suggest locking the door after you enter the area with the laser puzzle.

      I hope we get to see the tau canon scientist do his thing!?!

      expansion ideas.

      A room with a tank full of leaches which you simply flush... this explains how they are so numerous in the sea in the sequals

      A Room that is a botanical garden.



      It would make sense that they would have a growing area and the simply are not enough trees in Black Mesa so it is an excuse because I like the plants in the foyer area. and would mix things up nicely. It also juxtaposes earth life against the alien life and is one of the only opportunities to do so.

      That was a little confusing the electric fence puzzle.... But I think it is a nice variation on simply flicking a switch.

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Ronster ().

    • Xeoxer wrote:

      These two things about level design in this chapter always bugged me.

      1. At the very beginning, you land in a houndeye mini observation zone, separated by electrified iron bars from the man-walking zone. While those bars do keep the houndeyes from escaping, they still expose the scientists to their sonic wave effect - it passes through the bars easily.


      The area you start in for Questionable Ethics, as John said, is a Storage area, as demonstrated by the boxes here. Inside it are stored some broken cages etc, the houndeyes teleported into that section during the incident, it was never used for observing them in our version, unlike the HL version.

      I decided to write it out as an observation area due to the strange positioning to the other labs. As such, the fencing is not meant to protect against sonic attacks, as demonstrated by the dead scientist who managed to jam on the electrics just in time to secure them out of the main labs (a simple defence for this less secured area of the laboratory).

      Xeoxer wrote:


      2. The laser-activating sequence... well, after going through the hole in a wall created by the laser beam, you land in a room on the opposite side of the wire fence, while the other side was accessible by you even before going upstairs. Now why in hell would Gordon make a big freaking hole in the wall, and go through all that laser-activating mess, if he could easily get past that wire fence, by cutting it with a knife or detonating a grenade nearby? A good solution would be to replace the fence with bulletproof glass.

      What do you think about it?


      All fences within the Black Mesa facility, especially in Level 4 bio-containment areas like the ABRF, are made from an undisclosed Neutronium Alloy, upon which normal weapons or cutters etc have no effect.

      Ronster wrote:


      A room with a tank full of leaches which you simply flush... this explains how they are so numerous in the sea in the sequels


      Originally we had something similar, but had to cut it for technical reasons.
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      The post was edited 2 times, last by stormseeker ().

    • Swaggless wrote:

      Question, if it can be answered: In the original HL, you had to block the lazer-shield on the second floor with a box, and in BM, you have to pull a plug. Any insight as to why this change was made? The "pull the plug" puzzle was done a lot in BM (not too much, but a lot). It would've been nice to see that variety.

      I think it makes more sense than the laser shield just bouncing off the first obstruction and then no safeguards cutting the laser's power. I imagine it has something to do with the physics system too, crushing things don't usually make them react well.
      Oh, and the laser now vaporizes physics objects once it boots.


      That's my opinion on the change, though, not fact.

      The Javid wrote:

      I can't wait til we ditch that pattern too. It only blends in with gravel and shitty couches.
    • stormseeker wrote:



      Originally we had something similar, but had to cut it for technical reasons.


      That is a nice insight into an area that got cut... Any chance of finding another use for that room now? Looked like an Ichy pool....Electric water probably?

      Or do the technical reasons still apply? (over the limit?)

      Basically I think the more you can do here to fill in any possible blanks for the sequels the better.... i.e. Leech pool... or tank one instance only... Not affecting gameplay in stupid annoying ways. But explains why they are in the sea in HL2

      It's a continuity thing not really that I so desperately want to see the leeches... And it's a bit funny if you treat it like it's Gordon's fault for flushing the pool.

      Leeches use trees to drop down on you sensing vibration of passing mammals

      But the pool does not need to be that big as the one you have in the cut area... probably about 1/8th the size. If you like the idea that is. to be honest I actually imagined a tank like this...



      I think that cut area would make a nice botanical garden though....

      The post was edited 7 times, last by Ronster ().

    • JeffMOD wrote:

      I think it makes more sense than the laser shield just bouncing off the first obstruction and then no safeguards cutting the laser's power. I imagine it has something to do with the physics system too, crushing things don't usually make them react well.
      Oh, and the laser now vaporizes physics objects once it boots.


      That's my opinion on the change, though, not fact.


      Yeah, the physics objects vaporizing would be a problem, wouldn't it?

      But, while unplugging a plug certainly makes more sense, it'd be nice to see more variety. I felt kinda clever figuring that out in the original Half-Life (which I played after beating Half-Life 2 and the episodes, by the way.) The whole plug thing feels... overplayed by that point in the game.

      Well, if they can't make you block it, I do suggest some other way of stopping the shield. Something more... out of the box. Just a suggestion!
    • I'm wondering if the reason they didn't make it so you would place a crate under the shield to make it retract would be physics-related. I know when you have something programmed to move and it hits a physics object, the thing that's moving will not stop and the physics object will either get launched away or get embedded in the floor or the thing that's moving.

      I don't know if this is the reason they decided on using a plug instead or not, though.
      "A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have." --Roger Rabbit
    • What if instead of pulling the plug on the shield, players climb up on a stool or something (if they chose to use the crowbar rather than a gun) and break off hinges or a wire or whatever is holding the shield in place. Then the thing would simply fall off out of the way, allowing the laser to blow open the wall.

      Maybe as a hint there can be a memo on the board saying to get a replacement wire for the shield because the one currently there is easy enough to "snap with blunt object like a wrench or crowbar."
    • sgtpieman wrote:

      What if instead of pulling the plug on the shield, players climb up on a stool or something (if they chose to use the crowbar rather than a gun) and break off hinges or a wire or whatever is holding the shield in place. Then the thing would simply fall off out of the way, allowing the laser to blow open the wall.

      Maybe as a hint there can be a memo on the board saying to get a replacement wire for the shield because the one currently there is easy enough to "snap with blunt object like a wrench or crowbar."


      I think changing the trajectory of the laser would have been better so that it burns that hole in the wall ... But the puzzle is fine perhaps it needs a text indicator of some kind about the blast shields operation.