Awesome Music: Half-Life
Black Mesa (Half Life 1, Opposing Force, Blue Shift, Decay)
- Half-Life's credits theme and its remix in Half-Life 2. Both tracks are still fairly oddball, but actually have a somewhat jovial mood and, uniquely, human vocals. It's the perfect way to celebrate Gordon's accomplishments and cast a hopeful light on the state of humanity, which offsets the weight of each game's suspenseful and ambiguous endings.
- The final boss theme for Opposing Force, Alien Forces, has a lot of stopping power. The alien things have mustered a huge portal underneath Black Mesa, there's a titanic living WMD about to crawl through to our world and it hinges on you to stop it. Now put on your war face and march, Corporal. You have an alien god to punish.
- The VALVe theme song, also known as "Hazardous Materials", is especially awesome when the extended version is played when Gordon gets his HEV Suit back in Half-Life 2.
- Its first appearance was in a psuedo-boss in Surface Tension, in which you must scale a thin cliffside while facing off against a turret, HECU, and an Apache.
- The army's bombing the crap out of your place, and the way back is locked out. Better start runnin'.
- Military Precision. Bonus points for being adopted as the theme tune of Freeman's Mind.
- Nuclear Mission Jam. Which proceeds (like a few other memorable tracks) to make a return in the sequel.
City 17 (Half Life 2, Episode One, Episode Two)
- Two Words: Vortal Combat from Half-Life 2: Episode 2. Not to mention it's coupled with a Moment of Awesome.
- The short but sweet "Triage at Dawn."
- The remixes trump the original version many times over.
- Also, it was featured on Lambda Generation. See the top 5 remixes here.
- The moment this song was played was made especially unforgettable by the fact that it is the first time you see allies after long, dark and gory adventure through ghost town and demon mine.
- "LG Orbifold," the music for the chapter Follow Freeman, when our crowbar-happy hero is back and leading the revolution.
- "Apprehension and Evasion," for when you're being chased by bullets through a train yard, armed with only a crowbar. Always just as tight, no matter how many times that one scene is played.
- Even better, it plays again when you and a swarm of antlions raid Nova Prospekt.
- Last Legs for the final boss battle song! Autobots, Rock Out!!
- Nothing says "the vehicle sections in Episode Two are so much more awesome than Highway 17 was" than Sector Sweep.
- The awesomeness of the obligatory strider battle of Episode One is multiplied by Penultimatum.
- Not to mention the little signature Half-Life motive which appears when you regain your crowbar from Barney. Goosebumps right there.
- Episode 1 had its own share of awesome themes: Disrupted Original, What Kind of Hospital is This and Episode 2's Abandoned in Place.
- How about some CP Violation? It's not head-rockingly awesome, but it aptly reflects how the CP units (and by extension, the trans-humans in the games) are a fusion of familiar and alien concepts.
- You're Not Supposed To Be Here, a very fitting track once you get the chopper gun mounted on your airboat. The track itself sounds like something both Kelly Bailey and Rom Di Prisco would compose together.
- Guard Down happens as soon as you kill the Antlion Guard after escaping the Hospital. And then, the music leaves you feeling like you literally let your guard down, and that this moment of calm will only be met with more firefights.
- Ravenholm reprise. Short but sweet.
- ...And even after you're about to leave the condemned Ravenholm, Requiem for Ravenholm will ensure it never leaves you.
- Dark Interval from Half-Life 2: Episode Two. The first half makes the Combine Advisors' unexpected attack seem all the more terrifying... and then, halfway through, it punches you in the gut with a haunting, mournful melody that plays over the credits.
- Neotokyo, a mod for Half-Life, has some great original songs composed by Ed Harrison.
- The main theme for Black Mesa. It's very different from the usual electronic music you listen in the games, but it fits perfectly when you think how bleak Gordon's situation during the resonance cascade incident is - he doesn't know if his friends are alive, he has to fight constantly and even against those who were supposed to be the survivors' saviors, and things just get worse no matter what he does. It just pictures him having time to take a break, sit down, and think of everything that has happened, and still is.
- The gorgeous second part of the credits, the music that plays as soldiers bust in through the ceiling in Questionable Ethics (though you might be hearing that one over and over again...) and the eerie Inbound suite that plays on the tram ride through the facility. Joel Nielsen did a fantastic job of keeping the spirit of the music of the main series while adding some great atmosphere and some really great tunes as well. You might notice more than a bit of influence from the Halo soundtracks.
- Blast Pit 2 and On A Rail 1, a pair of eerie yet soothingly beautiful piano pieces.
- Blast Pit 3, which is a little too good. For a part of the game where you are required to be slow and quiet, when this song kicks in, you are filled with the overwhelming urge to throw caution to the wind and run out into the blast pit bellowing a battle cry with guns blazing. The piano parts at the opening and close are both very beautiful as well.
- Surface Tension 3, which perfectly sets the mood. When it opens slowly and mysteriously, you know something is waiting for you at the end of that air vent... and once the hard rock kicks in as the Gargantua makes its entrance, you know that it's time to run like you've never run before! Also made for a great soundtrack in the mod's first trailer.
- Surface Tension 4. That laser tripmine room may be frustratingly difficult, but this song makes it worth it.
- We've Got Hostiles is another track that, like Surface Tension 3, is perfect for setting the mood. When the song begins, you just know that something is waiting for you at the top of the elevator lift... then, like Blast Pit 3, the rock kicks in and you find yourself charging out into the battlefield guns blazing. This song becomes even more effective if you go into the bunker just as the song gets quiet again, because then it intensifies one more time just as soldiers start dropping into the bunker. Considering that the soundtrack of Black Mesa is not a Variable Mix, it can be very exciting to the gamer when the music syncs up so well like that.
- Forget About Freeman plays during the last big time confrontation Gordon has with the HECU, which takes place during a gorgeous sunset overlooking the desert, with Harrier jets being chased by Xen Mantas in a close dogfight. The song is a crescendo that starts off energetic and only gets more frantic from there, in tune with coming out of the sewer drain, picking up supplies and moving to the open area to meet up with the Marines and their fully operational M1 Abrams, showing that while the military failed completely to meet their objectives in the facility and are in full retreat, they're still very much dangerous. This is a big example of the mod's Adaptation Expansion: the correspondent area in the original game was the bottom of a simple rocky gorge, run through with an asphalt road connecting two base doors, where the one leading to progress is guarded by two troopers and a much weaker, stationary tank. There wasn't even an aerial fight, and the sky was the regular blue texture.