On A Rail

Does anyone else miss the old epic and long On A Rail? Where you spend hours exploring huge interconnected maps and hidden areas (that aren’t essential to progress but you might just pass through when figuring out where to go)?

The remake started off so promising, but it wasn’t long before I realised it was going to be a nerfed shorter version because I was getting to certain areas sooner than expected. It’s a shame because the parts that were in there were masterfully done.

I’m holding out on the hope that the parts that were cut, was because they wanted to release the mod sooner, and the mapper still has some more unfinished stuff that we might see as a ‘Directors Cut’ version someday. If not, maybe someone will make a huge BM level set in tunnels.

I did, I was looking for all the side paths and other puzzles before I took the tram ahead. But I do love the fail safe they added for the trains.

I miss the big area with all the marines and the mounted gun. I miss the guy with dynamite. I miss the “yore dead” freeman room, and the rocket turret guys.

I wish we had all of those back :frowning:

Yes, I personally loved it too in the original. Lots of fun to be had in there. I don’t understand why it was cut. A uniquely interesting portion of the game gone.

Oh, and the track junctions you could control by whacking the sign with a crowbar as you went pass. That level of interactivity in a game just blew my mind in 1998. Might seem a bit goofy and unrealistic now though, maybe they could introduce a more believable track controlling mechanic like somehow control it from the train itself (but the signs still change to show you which way your going).

Actually if you mean the text on the wall “youre dead freeman” it was in BMS. Location looked very similar too. I don’t miss rocket turret guys. :stuck_out_tongue: On A Rail and Surface Tension are missing few bigger parts, still it is a great remake.


I just hope one day someone makes a series of maps we can substitute into our black mesa installation, which are up to the same level of quality as the BM maps, which contain the extra areas, so that the whole thing flows seamlessly from the vanilla maps to the modded maps

I much, much prefer the new ON A RAIL. I only wish those kind of changes had extended to RESIDUE PROCESSING, because with the current jumping methods its actually worse in BMS than it was in HL1.

Suggestion: keep the “train on a rail” as it is, BUT make an optional on-foot path that’s a combination of all the cut areas together.

I was kind of dreading On A Rail because it was basically a maze for me back in the day. I actually like the Black Mesa version, saved me some hair pulling. :smiley:

They already designed a more faithful version, but due to frustrations with the maze nature of it, they cut it down. I loved the new one, but having an option to go back to the earlier style would be great.

I love some of the changes to On A Rail — I think it’s one of my favourite chapters —, but at the same time I miss the stuff that was cut. I think I really just want more Black Mesa On A Rail because they made the chapter so amazing, and if that new stuff mirrored the original Half-Life then that would be nice.

Raising the rocket at the end was inspired. It’s a cool sequence and it provides a really clear sense of place. I remember playing HL1 and thinking at one point that I needed to launch the same rocket I had just used to kill the tentacle guy in Blast Pit, and it almost seemed to make sense because by then I had forgotten what direction the train was supposed to be going in. I also remember thinking it was silly that the launch consisted of just a ten second countdown. That extra step made putting a satellite in orbit seem a little less like making toast.

i miss the old version. also miss parts like the vent with the marines throwing a satchel into it from surface tension.

some parts were better then the original, but some parts i can’t see why they cut. on a rail is one of the most famous half life levels. to turn a really long level into a 10 minute one is a big mistake, imo.

Nope :slight_smile:

I sat there mentally checking off every map and sequence up until this point. I was all like “Now wait a damned minute! Where is that bit with the moving boxes and the red lasers!”. Then it dawned on me that that small scene and the dozens like it were pretty lifeless, and that On a Rail was insanely overlong. In fact, it’s the same length as Surface Tension in HL1. Surface Tension is iconic. On a Rail really isn’t.

Alright, it wouldn’t have hurt to have had at least one more map and a little more train time.

I liked the new puzzle that they put in there. Actually, I liked both of the new puzzles. But it ended up being really short either way. Could’ve been a tad longer, I guess.

One of the most famous Half-Life levels?

Infamous, maybe. It is a generally dreaded chapter, along with Xen. I’d have loved to see more side rooms with goodies and easter eggs, as in Residue Processing, but I’m very happy they cut down its maze-like elements.

I hope they follow the same philosophy with Xen and cut down on low-gravity platforming, substituting it with some actually good level design and gameplay. They could design some crazy shit for those Xen factories, some actually interesting gunplay. And the natural parts of Xen could be redesigned as most of Questionable Ethics was, which is more of a backstory-telling tour of what is going on there, with less fights.

Dunno, whatever they do, I hope they are as bold with their redesign.

I wish they didn’t take out the HECU throwing the satchel in the pipe. That was so cool in HL1.

The game felt short because of no Xen.

Yup, that’s the thing I miss the most as well.

But cmon, this mod is still amazing when you take it for what it is. I had so much fun playing it and I already started a second playthrough.

I always hated On A Rail with a passion - overlong and tedious rather than difficult or interesting, so I was glad it was substantially cut. However they did take it a little far; they could have had a little more tram action in there. Actually having to change the tram’s direction a couple of times wouldn’t have been amiss either.