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Imagecat.png This article is about the demo. For the short film, see Half-Life: Uplink (film).

Half-Life: Uplink is a demo version of Valve's 1998 first-person shooter computer game Half-Life, released on February 12, 1999.

Uplink features many of the common enemies, characters, and weapons from the full game, but unlike the first Half-Life demo and the Half-Life 2 demo, the location and scenario in this demonstration do not appear in Half-Life. The Uplink chapters were cut during Half-Life's development phase and roughly fit in prior to or during the Lambda Core chapter; they were, however, strongly revised for the demo release. Uplink also includes the same Hazard Course from the full release of Half-Life.

While absent from Steam, Uplink can still be installed if the user has access to the Uplink files from a previous Half-Life install, through several methods:

  • HL!UL!SL (Formerly SteamLink) is an installer package that installs Uplink as a Steam Half-Life mod.[1]
  • Uplink Lite contains the same content but must be manually copied into place.[2]
  • Uplink Addon seamlessly adds the Uplink levels into the game flow of Half-Life itself, along with some minor content additions.[3]


The radio antenna.

The activated radio antenna.

The angry Gargantua.

The player takes control of the main character, Gordon Freeman 48 hours after the "containment failure," and in the Lambda Reactor Complex, according to the caption. The facility that Freeman is in, is under a heavy bombing. He soon meets a scientist and a security guard who wish to enter the Lambda complex and escape, but they cannot open the reactor door until a signal is sent to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), and the radio antenna must be reconfigured manually. To this end, they enlist Gordon Freeman's aid. He moves through an area populated by headcrabs, zombies, and vortigaunts with the help of another security guard, and then battles HECU personnel, who are executing scientists. He then moves through a HECU camp, battling many soldiers and a few military turrets. Gordon soon arrives at the building containing the radio antenna and sends a message to the USNRC. After an ambush by HECU personnel busting through the roof and door of the building, Gordon passes through a maze-like area containing numerous radiation leaks, as well as a dying scientist due to radiation poisoning. Gordon also encounters zombies and barnacles, who are killing the last few HECU troops in the building. Freeman climbs out and arrives back at the HECU camp, where more HECU soldiers have arrived, although they are preoccupied with fighting vortigaunts.

Upon defeating the Vortigaunts, the remaining soldiers attack Gordon, who defeats them. He meets the security guard who helped him through the area the first time he was there, but (unless the player ordered him to wait for him at another place) the guard is ambushed and killed by Vortigaunts. Gordon presses through the area, battling vortigaunts, headcrabs, and zombies. He soon arrives at the area where the scientist and security guard waited for him. Headcrabs have found their way into the area, but the security guard defeats them. The three men open the reactor door and push towards the Lambda complex.

Gordon, the security guard, and the scientist push towards the Lambda complex and battle Xen creatures. They encounter a still-conscious scientist being infested by a Headcrab, and Gordon may mercy-kill him. After battling a pack of houndeyes, part of the building collapses, which does not harm the security, Gordon, or the scientist, but separates Gordon from the security guard and the scientist. He continues to press on towards the Lambda complex and finds his way in after a vent collapses due to a gargantua's roar.

Gordon enters the Lambda complex, and three scientists (one wounded) and a guard are there as well. Soon, the Gargantua heard before attacks and kills all four people in the room, and traps Gordon, who cannot defeat it without explosives, and cannot escape. As the Gargantua closes in on Gordon, the G-Man is seen watching from a window, straightening his tie, and walking away. The screen then fades to black, accompanied by the caption: Current evaluation: uplink completed. Require further data.


Whole game

Per level

Hazard Course



Whole game

Black Mesa

  • Firing Range Targets (7)
  • Security Guard (Only if Gordon shoots at them) (5)
  • Ceiling Turret (2)


  • HECU Troopers armed with MP5's (29)
  • HECU Troopers armed with Franchi SPAS-12 Assault Shotguns (1)
  • Rocket Sentry (1)


Per level

Hazard Course

Black Mesa


Black Mesa
  • HECU Trooper armed with MP5 (29)
  • HECU Trooper armed with Franchi SPAS-12 Assault Shotgun (1)
  • Rocket Sentry (1)


  • Uplink included several ideas that were removed from the finished game.
  • The machine gun turrets are much more powerful, and could gib people and were also a bit slower.
  • An extended remake of Uplink was released on October 21, 2006, called Half-Life: Uplink Extended.[4] This extended version of Uplink adds the fight with the Gargantua that ended the demo.
  • The G-Man is scripted to leave the area, where the Gargantua lays havoc, when the windows are broken. If the player breaks any of those windows before the Gargantua does so, the G-Man will leave at an earlier rate.
  • If a Half-Life: Day One disc has been inserted into a computer with this demo installed, the music soundtracks "Adrenaline Horror" and "Black Mesa Inbound" will play.
  • It is possible to "walk" out of the map without using cheats from the upper areas of the cargo storage containers. This will cause the player to "swim" and skip certain areas.

Attempted Remakes

  • There have been at least seven attempts—four of them seemingly abandoned—by third-parties at remaking Uplink for Source:
    • The first attempt, simply titled Uplink, was under development in 2005.[5]
    • The second attempt, now titled Uplink: Source, was under development from 2007 to 2008.[6]
    • The third attempt—also titled Uplink: Source—was under development from 2010 to 2011.[7]
    • The developers of the mod Half-Life: Source Enhanced—which replaces nearly all textures, models, and sounds in the game with higher definition ones—were working on a remake of Uplink as an optional add-on.[8] However, development seems to have ceased.
  • There was one remake that ceased development as of 2012: the developers of the Guard Duty/Operation Black Mesa (Half-Life: Blue Shift Source, Half Life: Opposing Force Source) mod for Half-Life 2 was going to include a remake of Uplink as an extra chapter, reusing files and recruiting one of the developers from an earlier attempt.[9][10]
  • A community member named Hezus has created a remake/re-imagining of Half-Life: Uplink as an add-on for the Black Mesa mod, it has been released as of December 17, 2012, and can be downloaded from ModDB.[11]
  • A completed recreation of Uplink is available for the fan remake Black Mesa in the form of Further Data by Steam workshop user Chris Bryant. Further Data is a completed and fully voice acted mod that follows in the style of Black Mesa adapting the level to a modern design, and can be downloaded from the creator's steam workshop page.


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