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Nightmare Fuel / Black Mesa

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  • If you thought that Gargantuas were scary in the original Half-Life, you'll be absolutely terrified by how they look now (see the page image).
    • If that doesn't get to you, their new Artificial Brilliance will. The one you meet in "Power Up" will actually check the doorways as it patrols. If it sees you, it camps at the door and waits for you to come out or leave. If you approach the door, it reaches in and tries to fry you with its flamethrowers. If you watch it through the windows from the control room, it will pause every so often to glare back at you as it lumbers past. If you scramble onto the tower to away from the one in "Surface Tension", it will try to shake you back off the tower by attacking it.
    • One of the levels from Interloper ups it even further — as you make your way to the Nihilanth's base, you are forced to flee from not one, not two, but EIGHT of these monsters! They're pack animals!
  • The G-Man encounters are more disturbing in Source, due to his more detailed model and the retention of the original engine's short distance between him and the player. A special mention goes out to the encounter in Office Complex, where he appears behind a door no more than 3 yards away from the player.
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  • Good gravy, the falling elevator in "Unforeseen Consequences". What was once a relatively Narmy scene in the original Half-Life is now horrifyingly realistic in its portrayal.note 
  • Remember the Half-Life 2 zombies' shrieks of pain and sheer horror whenever they were set alight? Black Mesa managed to make them sound ''worse''...
  • Remember your first encounter with the Ichthyosaur in the original game, where it throws some unfortunate scientist into the air and lets it fall into its gaping maw? Yep, that's worse. This time, the scientist is still on land, and the creature pops out of the water and chomps down on his victim. You can still hear the poor sod's muffled screaming as the creature lingers on land for a second (looking at you) before going back into the water.
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  • And that guard who got gunned down by a Black Ops chick? This time you can hear him gurgling on his own blood before he dies.
  • We were just given a hint of what will be expected in the finished product in the form of an Emergency Broadcast System.
  • The main site itself has been updated to show a flickering CRT TV. And if you go and click on it, you are greeted with a countdown clock, in days, hours, and minutes. What is clear is that something is about to happen, but what isn't known...
    • And now it has been updated with a new Emergency Broadcast System... and it appears to be from after Black Mesa is nuked, especially given the symptoms the broadcast talks about, which include muscle ache, fever, hair loss, and more...all of which are signs of radiation sickness.
    • If you want to hear all 3 of them, here is a link to the broadcasts.
    • Since the game was launched on Steam, the site plays a VHS-style trailer that flickers at times and ends with brief jump cuts of the test chamber before and after the Resonance Cascade.
  • Very early on there's a bit where you find a zombie attacking a scientist and, apparently, eating his face. If you kill the zombie and then examine the scientist with your flashlight, you'll see that his eyes are still moving.
  • The "Surface Tenstion: Uncut" update brings a few more terrifying events that weren't even present in the original mod:
    • Remember the Black Mesa Emergency Alerts? There's a new one during Surface Tension, and it seems that shit has hit the fan:
    Emergency Broadcast System: The following message has been transmitted by the United States Department of Defense. This is not a test. Today at 4:16 PM Mountain Time, a state of emergency was declared by the President of the United States. An unknown hostile force was declared present at the Black Mesa Research Facility, and several other locations in the surrounding areas of Black Mesa, New Mexico. As of 5:42 PM Mountain Time, the President has issued executive orders to withdraw all ground forces, and begin immediate air strikes over the Black Mesa Research Facility and surrounding areas beginning no later than 6:42 PM, this evening. For your own safety, an immediate evacuation order has been issued to the entire state of New Mexico. To all residents of New Mexico and surrounding areas, leave all your personal belongings, take a battery powered radio, and only essential supplies with you. Do not remain in your homes, seek shelter at your nearest military zone outside the state of New Mexico and await further instructions. If you cannot find your nearest evacuation route, seek assistance from local authorities immediately. If you have military training, firearms training, or any similar weapons training, contact your nearest military officer immediately. Stay tuned to frequency 740 AM for further updates on this emergency.
    • In an epic fight between the Xen forces and the HECU, it looks like the marines are getting the better of the exchange, thanks to the tank they are using on the alien horde. Then a nearby radio calls in an alert of "enemy air support" and you get to see a Xen Manta Ray, harmless flying pods in the original game (to the player and only before Interloper), shooting out a gigantic plasma ray from its underside that utterly obliterates the tank and even leaves a still present trail in the pavement. Even worse, you get to hear the tank pilot's frantic screams of "BACK UP! BACK UP! BACK THE FU--!" over the radio as the beam plows straight toward him.
    • Shortly after that, you have the harrowing task of escorting a security guard to a locked Lambda Complex entrance. As you get to the gate and go on first, he comments on how the whole affair could've gone a lot worse. Then an Alien Grunt teleports behind him, the door closes, and the alien proceeds to brutally maul the guard to death.
      • And shortly after that you stumble through an abandoned, makeshift field hospital, while in near total darkness and with bodies everywhere. Although you'd expect to be swarmed by enemies at any moment, you only encounter scattered headcrabs and a few fresh zombies. Your relief quickly turns to horror when you realize the headcrabs must have been drawn there by the incapacitated men and the prospect of easy prey. It's all too easy too imagine what the WIA soldiers must have gone through; trapped in the dark, unable to move or fight, in intense pain, and all alone except for the barely audible skittering and moans at the edge of your hearing, your only remaining hope being that you die from your injuries before they reach you...
  • As for the upcoming Xen update, one of its assets available in the public beta branch features the HEV Headcrab Zombie, notable for featuring an Infinite Flashlight just like the player. The bastards can take A LOT of damage when being attacked via bodyshots. When you encounter one once you arrive on Xen, make sure you aim for the head.
    • Even worse: whenever you get too close to one, you can hear its HEV suit's voice module still active, even though it's glitching out and going haywire. Already bad enough, since it means whatever headcrabs do to their victims is strong enough to affect even the HEV suit's AI. However, if you listen past all the garbled lines, you'll find out the suit is begging the now-dead wearer to seek immediate medical attention.
      HEV Suit: Warning! Warning! Wa-a-a-a-rning! A-a-anti-toxin de-e-e-pleted! Power. Level. I-is-is. Seek. Medical. Attention!
    • At first glance, you might be confused about why all those HEV-clad scientists took off their helmets and left themselves vulnerable to headcrabs, right? Well, if you kill one, take a closer look at a dead HEV Zombie's head, especially if you manage to knock the headcrab off of its corpse. You'll find a HEV helmet's remains, with its top side completely busted and torn off with a lovely view of the victim's exposed brain. That's right, not even a HEV suit's helmet can save you from a headcrab's zombifying latch.
      • On a related note, the helmets and gas masks of zombified HECU soldiers as featured in "Surface Tension Uncut" didn't save them either. Upon closer inspection of said zombies' corpses, distorted gas masks and helmet fragments are shown where these soldiers' heads once were.
  • The Xen trailer shows just how terrifying the local fauna are; the plant tentacles are capable of impaling anything that steps too close, the ichthyosaurs can launch themselves out of the water, houndeyes now glow red when they notice you and one in particular has grown so large that it tackles a bullsquid and sends it flying. In the levels themselves, there are also underwater barnacles that can grab you as you try to jump over them and suck you underwater, which can be especially terrifying if there happen to be ichthyosaurs in the area too.
  • In Half-Life, Gonarch's Lair was a sort of generic arena where you fought the giant headcrab one-on-one (plus some small headcrabs in its side). Now, the huge headcrab of death throws big stuff at you, can ram you even through objects (breaking them in the process), can spit big globs of acid that explode after a few seconds (with a lot of reach), can dump a motherlode of small, fast baby headcrabs on your head, takes a lot of your health and suit energy each time it impales you with its feet, its way more aggresive, and actively hunts you instead of being all timid and knightly. And it can take a lot of damage; not even a fully charged Gluon Gun can kill it. So turns oput that Gonarch got upgraded to a very nice mid boss.
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