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Overview

Black Mesa Test-chamber C-33/a

The Black Mesa Research Facility is a private research and defense contractor comprised of a massive complex built within the mountains of New Mexico, and is the setting of the original Half-Life, as well as Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life: Blue Shift, and Half-Life: Decay. Built into and over several decommissioned nuclear missile silos, Black Mesa is the site of broad scientific research relating to theoretical, quantum, and particle physics, applied mathematics, robotics, genetics, biotechnology, trans-dimensional travel, teleportation, and other classified subjects.

In Half-Life, a teleportation experiment at Black Mesa accidentally initiates a dimensional resonance cascade which devastates the complex and leads Gordon Freeman to inadvertently bring Earth to the attention of the Combine Empire.

Structure

Black Mesa is a large facility, and the fastest way of moving between its various sectors is by tram, a small part of which the player (as Gordon Freeman) experiences in the opening sequence of Half-Life. While the majority of the facility is built around some of the most advanced technology on the planet, other parts are shown to be in disrepair, again hinting at the incredible size of the complex. The majority of the facility is composed of test chambers, storage facilities, administrative offices and laboratories, and due to the sensitive nature of the research being conducted, the indoor sections of the complex are maintained at 68 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. Additionally, while players are not able to access the entire facility, they are presented with many key locations, grouped roughly into eight sectors:

Black Mesa Central Complex

  • Central Command and Communication Centers
  • Mechanized Infantry Repair Bay
  • Facilities Management Robotics

Sector A

  • Hazard Courses
  • Satellite Communications Centre
  • Area 4 Personnel Dormitories

Sector B

  • Coolant Reserve (formerly the Section A-17 Prototype Laboratories)
  • Decommissioned Displacement Field Laboratory
  • Auxiliary Generator Facility
  • Surface level of Train Yard
  • Area 2 Administration Offices

Sector C

Sector C
  • Anomalous Materials Laboratories
  • Anti-mass spectrometer testing chamber
  • High-Energy Particle Laboratories
  • Supercooled Laser Laboratory
  • Area 3 Security Facilities
  • Level 3 Dormitories

Sector D

  • Administration Offices
  • High Security Storage Facility
  • Silo D Experimental Propulsion Laboratories

Sector E

  • Biodome Complex
  • Hydrofauna Studies Laboratory
  • Advanced Biological Research Lab
  • Ordinance Storage Facility w
  • Storage Unit 04
  • Helicopter Hangars
  • Topside Armory
  • Topside Barracks
  • Silo E High Altitude Launch Center
  • Biological Waste Processing Plant
  • Waste Processing Area 3
  • Decommissioned Sector E Materials Transport System
  • Sector E Track Control

Sector F

  • Lambda Reactor Complex
  • Lambda Reactor Main Coolant System
  • Lambda Reactor Core
  • Gamma Laboratories
  • Secured Access Lambda Sector Transport

Sector G

  • Drainage Canal
  • Topside Hydro Plant

Destruction

During the final level of Opposing Force, the G-Man can be seen re-arming a nuclear bomb which has just been disarmed by the player. Once the player defeats the final boss, the Gene Worm, Adrian Shephard is taken by the G-Man and sees the nuclear bomb go off. It is assumed the facility was completely destroyed. However some escaped, most notably Eli Vance who starts Black Mesa East, the successor to Black Mesa on the outskirts of City 17.

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