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Imagecat 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 does 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.

Half-Life: Uplink was added to the Steam release of Half-Life as an included playable campaign in the 25th anniversary update on November 17, 2023.[1]



The radio antenna.


The activated radio antenna.


The angry Gargantua.

Per the opening caption, the player takes control of the main character, Gordon Freeman, 48 hours after the "containment failure," in the Lambda Reactor Complex. The facility is under heavy bombardment. Gordon 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[]



Black Mesa[]

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


  • HECU Troopers armed with MP5s (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)

Differences from Half-Life[]

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  • The machine gun turrets do greater damage than in the base game and are capable of reducing characters to gibs. However, they are also slower.


  • Uplink includes design elements not present in Half-Life as released.
  • The G-Man is scripted to leave the area with the Gargantua 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 time.
  • If a Half-Life: Day One disc is present with this demo installed, the music tracks "Adrenaline Horror" and "Vague Voices" will play.
  • It is possible to "walk" out of the map from the upper areas of the cargo storage containers without using cheats. This will put Gordon into the "swimming" movement type, even though he is not in water, and allow the player to skip certain areas.
  • There is a bug where the dying scientist will not die when interacted with, causing him to play a death sound, but not die.

Remake development[]

There have been at least eight attempts by third parties to remake Half-Life: Uplink (four of them seemingly abandoned):

  1. The first attempt at a third-party remake, titled Uplink, was under development in 2005.[2]
  2. An extended remake of Half-Life: Uplink, titled Half-Life: Uplink Extended, was released as a user-created, third-party mod for Half-Life on October 21, 2006.[3] This remake of Half-Life: Uplink adds a fight with the Gargantua at the point where the original demo ended.
  3. A following attempt at a remake in the Source engine, re-titled Uplink: Source, was under development from 2007 to 2008.[4]
  4. The next attempt at a remake—also titled Uplink: Source—was under development from 2010 to 2011.[5]
  5. 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 Half-Life: Uplink as an optional add-on.[6] However, development seems to have ceased.
  6. One remake ceased development as of 2012: the developers of the Guard Duty/Operation Black Mesa mod (a recreation in the Source engine of Half-Life: Blue Shift and Half Life: Opposing Force) for Half-Life 2 planned to include a remake of Half-Life: Uplink as an extra chapter, reusing files and recruiting one of the developers from an earlier attempted remake.[7][8]
  7. An independent developer, 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.[9]
  8. A completed recreation of Half-Life: Uplink is available for the fan remake Black Mesa in the form of Further Data, a mod created by Steam Workshop user Chris Bryant. Further Data is a complete and fully voice-acted mod that remakes Uplink using a design in the style of Black Mesa. It can be downloaded from the creator's Steam Workshop page.


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