For other uses, see Black Mesa (disambiguation).
- "Work safe, work smart. Your future depends on it!"
- ―Black Mesa slogan[src]
Black Mesa employs in its facility two main groups of civilian employees: a science personnel and a security personnel, along with various other inhabitants including administrative personnel, service personnel and occasionally the employees' families. The base also keeps a small military presence.
All facility personnel wear identity badges that must be displayed at all times, and are required to undergo a series of rigorous security checks to access most areas. All employees working with regular radiation and biohazard screenings must also undertake regular urinalysis or radiation check-ups and will be made redundant if missing a check-up. Ironically, this information is given during the tram ride through the Black Mesa Transit System as the tram passes over a robotic loader wading through a pool of some green, likely toxic, material having spilled out of a broken container nearby.
When several members of the Black Mesa personnel are seen together, they can become very useful allies, as well as providing conversations, together or towards the player, that reveal small details of the story.
The overwhelming majority of Black Mesa's population, the Black Mesa Science Team consists of scientists only.
The Black Mesa Security Force is the main component of Black Mesa's support personnel force.
- Administration personnel - Serving the Office of the Administrator, administration personnel handle the bureaucracy for the facility, including recruiting civilians (Civilian Recruitment Division) and assigning personnel (Support Personnel Division). Known Administrative Personnel include Wallace Breen and L.M..
- Service personnel - Service personnel are rarely seen in the Half-Life games, but can sometimes be spotted driving forklifts along the Black Mesa Transit System, wearing a green overall and a yellow helmet, and nicknamed "Gus". Some other tasks impossible to achieve by a human being (such as holding heavy crates or having to go through toxic materials) are also performed by robotic loaders.
- Military personnel - Although the facility maintains a small military presence, the bulk of the facility's military personnel are the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit who are kept off-site and only sent in as a clean-up crew in case of extreme circumstances.
- Residents - Mostly the relatives of the corporation's employees, they live together with their families in the dormitories. Known residents are Azian and Alyx Vance.
Behind the scenes
- Originally, all Black Mesa employees were to be hostile to the player. The Barney NPC was then used by Valve's Al programmer Steve Bond to run experiments in enemy squad behavior. By putting the player in the role of squad leader, and forcing Barney to follow instead of fight the player, Bond hoped for an easy way to test navigation rules. The unexpected result of this experiment was a working companion character, which instantly appealed to every playtester who saw Barney in action. This caused the team to rethink large portions of the story and Gordon's role in it, and the game was completely overhauled in late 1997. In that process of converting enemies to allies, the team also came to think about characters that were neither allies nor enemies to the player, leading to the creation of the G-Man.
- Even when there are multiple places in-game where there can be radioactive or other kinds of hazards, you never find scientists wearing HAZMAT (or clean suits) in Half Life, when it doesn’t make sense. However, they were later implemented in the expansion Half Life: Opposing Force
- Security cards were originally to be picked up in offices or the corpses on Black Mesa's employees, which was replaced by the retinal scanner.
- By using cheats, it is possible to kill "Gus" workers. Bizarrely, the entire forklift is converted into gibs when the aforementioned NPC is killed.
- A cut model, named "construction.mdl", possibly a construction worker, was apparently to be seen in several areas. Mostly based on an early Military Police Barney model, and with yellow outfit and white helmet, its animations suggest it was to be seen in an early version of the Half-Life map "
c1a4", inspecting the floor then fleeing from something, apparently climbing on crates. It can be found in the Half-Life and Blue Shift models. It was later to be implemented in the Black Mesa Source remake of the game but it was again cut from the final game. A fully working model was made but is now unused, and it can be found in the On a Rain chapter
List of appearances
- Half-Life: Day One (First appearance)
- Half-Life: Uplink (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life: Opposing Force
- Half-Life: Blue Shift
- Half-Life: Decay
- Half-Life 2 (As former members)
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- Half-Life 2: Lost Coast (As former member Gordon Freeman) (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Episode One (As former members)
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two (As former members)