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"A scientist! Thank God! Get us out of here before those military drones figure out where we're hiding!"

The Advanced Biological Research Lab is Black Mesa Research Facility area located near Sector G's Hydro-Electric Dam and partially above the Biological Waste Processing Plant. Controlled by the HECU, it covers the Half-Life chapter Questionable Ethics.


Sterilizer 2 end

Headcrabs being disintegrated in one of the Sterilization Chambers.

The Advanced Biological Research Lab ground floor features a large lobby that gives access, through a revolving door, to a road passing by the Hydro-Electric Dam and leading to freight hangars (this is the road partly taken by Gordon Freeman during his journey to the Lambda Complex). As seen by Adrian Shephard later in the Black Mesa Incident, the road is obstructed by Race X moss, blocking the access to the dam. It can be reached from the Biological Waste Processing Plant through a drain located in a small room where Houndeyes are being kept in captivity. There Freeman mostly has to find a scientist to operate the retinal scanner located in the main lobby, allowing him to continue his journey.

Spread on two levels, the ground floor features two Sterilization Chambers, rooms that disintegrate any biological form they contain with their Biological Sterilization System using electrical current, primarily used in case of alien containment system failure (they can be used either to kill Headcrabs or HECU soldiers easily, as they seal themselves from the outside when operated). The ground floor also features a surgical unit that can apparently perform surgical operations on two beds at a time, several Alien Grunts kept alive in large tanks, and Headcrabs contained in glass cases. Near the surgical unit, Freeman finds three scientists hiding from the grunts, and one of them explains that their colleague Peters turned it on, but was likely killed by it. Freeman has then to turn it off so that a scientist can follow him to the main lobby.

The second floor is dedicated to testing a large high-powered laser. There HECU soldiers are fighting Bullsquids and Houndeyes. The Tau Cannon is also found in one room, after a security guard overcharges it and kills himself and a nearby scientist who were barricaded in a room.

Behind the scenes

  • The name of that area is given in one of the numerous Black Mesa Announcement System announcements not heard in-game, and found in the file "sentences.txt" located in the Half-Life sound folder. There the name is found near the map name prefix "C2A4", which concerns its maps and that of the Biological Waste Processing Plant, whose name is also given there.
  • On the main lobby floor can be seen a logo featuring the Latin words "Superbus Via Inscientiæ", and a DNA double helix in the middle, designed by Karen Laur.[3] (textures) The best translation for that sentence would be "Proud by way of ignorance", although the phrasing is not common.
  • In Half-Life, only blood stains and gibs remain of Peters' corpse in the surgical unit. In Half-Life: Source, his body was added as a retcon.


  • It's possible to skip the laser and the surgical unit by pressing 'USE' key through a wall where the button are normally located, at cost of missing Tau Cannon. This is no longer possble in Source as the engine no longer allow to press through a wall.
    • In the GoldSrc version of Half-Life, the surgical unit will stop instantly when the button is pressed. However in Source, it will stop slowly, so take care not to run into the units while it's moving, as it can heavily injure or even kill the player.




List of appearances


External links

Preceded by
Biological Waste Processing Plant
Half-Life story arc journey Succeeded by
Topside Hydro Plant
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