By Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers on January 25, 2019
Aaaah, its finally time to stretch those time traveling muscles again! Welcome, welcome, ladies and gentlemen boys and girls, to our new and improved BRT Headquarters. Since your last visit our hyper futuristic security system has been installed and pen-tested by dozens of daredevils. Strangely enough, these pen-testers were never heard of again somehow, so that might be something to keep in mind. But the completion of this system makes it possible for us to share our location with you guys.
If you want to pay us a visit or send us a letter, just send it to 19R 298154.04648006 2766436.983905. However, for visitors it might be smart to send us a message before actually stopping by and stay a safe distance away until one of us has given you the go ahead. This precaution is mainly because our security system works well... perhaps a bit too well. But we promise that we're working hard on being able to bring back the people who have vanished while trying to enter our base without proper authorization.
Aaaaaaanyway, it's been a really long time since I myself took the helm of our magnificent time travelling machine and now that my warmup is done in our shiny new gym........ what's that Sadhonker? ok ok, I should say nice and shiny new "gym". I mean, it's basically just a huge walk-in fridge stocked with all kinds of adult refreshments.
But now the question of which year to choose arises. To which age should we travel, hmmm so many options... Oh wait, I have just the thing! I'm going to put up a poll and wait in the gym for you guys to come up with suggestions... Yes, what is it now Sadhonker?!?!?! What do you mean "we can't wait for that?" Ooohh, come on; I just want to be in our gym a little longer... Alright, alright, don't get your panties in a twist. I'll get going, you whiny half life of... Say, that's a great idea! Alright guys, let's do this. Setting the dial to 1998. Let's put on our orange hazmat suit and get ready to step into the skin of Gordon Freeman.
*Welcome to Black Mesa Research Facility*
HEY THAT'S MY LINE... damn computers taking our jobs! Anyway, as I wanted to say, we just entered the Black Mesa research facility and we have some work to do, namely a super secret experiment. Let's go to Sector C where the Anomalous Materials department is housed. Alright, for such a futuristic building, there's a whole load of walking involved. This place can definitely learn something from Sadhonker and me on how to do in-facility human travel! Anyhow, now that we have arrived, let's put this strange and unknown material into the Anti-mass Spectrometer, shall we?
Eeeeeuhm... guys?... GUYS?!... RUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!
Wait, what's this? Where am I??? I seem to have been teleported to some strange dimension... and who are those aliens walking towards me? Well, let's see what they have to say. And hey, at least they are better looking than Sadhonker. Alright, they just uttered some garbled language nobody has a chance in hell of understanding.
AAAAAHHHHH my head... Oh my god, the spectrometer caused a resonance cascade. What that actually means is... well, nobody actually knows. Let's just say that it created a hot mess and it seems that this whole facility is in trouble due to it. Luckily, my dear readers, I have extensive experience in large facilities that are in disarray. The only difference, however, are these pesky aliens running about.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a broad description of the start of the legendary game Half-life. I personally have but a snowball's chance in hell to do it justice with just a write up, but I will try to do my very best. During the campaign of the game you find out that that resonance cascade created a portal to a dimension called Xen. The fate of Black Mesa, as well as the entire world, is at stake here and it is up to Gordon to save everyone and everything.
What can we say about Half-Life? Well, for one, we can say that it was the biggest surprise of the nineties. This futuristic first person shooter was developed by Valve and published by Sierra Studios in 1998 and has since gathered a huge community of fans. When it was made, Half-Life was only expected to sell about 180 thousand units but, as most of us know by now, it went viral in a time where viral just meant something that could probably make you sick (come to think of it, most things that go viral nowadays still make me feel queasy nine out of ten times). Whatever the case may be, the game sold over 9 million times as of December 2008. Not bad for a game that was expected to sell just short of two-hundred-thousand copies, don't you agree? The sci-fi story it creates, the universe that it sets up, which is also used in the later released Portal games, if you look at multiple Easter eggs or even the storyline of both these games.
Over the course of the game, we fight our way through the Black Mesa facility, but it still manages to stay thoroughly overrun. No matter how many of these damn headcrabs we kill, they just keep coming for more. Something needs to be done here! That something turns out to be us, Gordon, being sent to the alien home dimension, Xen, in an attempt to try and stop this invasion at its source.
Apparently, we weren't the first ones to use this teleporter... How do I know this? Well, I think the broken bodies of other researcher scattered about the place was my first clue. Not too long after arriving, we reach Gonarch, A huge egg laying headcrab which is basically a living soldier factory. Well, there's only one possible course of action, isn't there? Indeed, let's hand this monstrosity its own guts and see how it likes them apples! Now, with the soldier crapping alien in tatters, let's go and find the thing that is maintaining the rift between our dimensions... Holy balls, is that a huge malformed baby?!?!?!
Half-Life was one of those games that rocked the world of gaming to its very core. No one, not even the people at Valve could have predicted that the game would be as huge a success as it clearly has become over the years. Valve even released a few sequels and side stories, but then things went quiet on the alien front... The only thing that can still be heard, is the frantic screaming of Half-Life fans from all over the world. What do they want? Well, that's simple; they want what they have been wanting for quite some time now. They want Valve to DEVELOP AND RELEASE HALF-LIFE 3 ALREADY!
WWOOOOOOHHHH what a rush, boys and girls! Giant baby aliens, crabs that like to attach to your head and control your mind... my god, how do people come up with this? Alas, that is all we have time for right now. It's bye bye futuristic fantasy and back to the reality of owning and operating a multi-trillion dollar time traveling operation with just two people. Well, one-and-a-half people, actually, but let's not let Sadhonker hear that. He's going through a difficult phase as it is. He keeps messaging me about that Nuclear Espresso Machine, which is long finished by the way. He just doesn't seem able to remember how to use it. Hmm, hold on; he also forgot where he put that camera with our holiday pictures... Something might be wrong with him; he might have hit is head a bit too hard when that bouncy castle exploded... more research is required! In any case, I hope to see you guys again in two weeks and, don't forget, no soliciting at the door of our Big Red HQ!
Valve & Sierra Studios