The MTM 8, also known as the Loader, is a robotic power loader used in the Black Mesa Research Facility to handle heavy-duty tasks.
Powered by a number of hydraulic joints, the Loader is a yellow quadruped robot that is crab-like in appearance with two pincer-like claws used to clasp onto objects. It has the text "MTM 8" and "No Entry" written on the side of its body. The Loader is seen handling crates and performing other maintenance tasks in the facility, particularly in locations with hazardous conditions. The robot acts autonomously, although it has a suspended cockpit with controls at the rear of the machine.
Two Loaders are seen by Gordon Freeman during his tram ride to Sector C along the Sector C Line. The first one is transporting a wooden crate, while the second prepares to work on a radioactive spill leaking from a nearby storage tank, temporarily obstructing Gordon's tram in the process.
In the chapter Welcome to Black Mesa, Adrian Shephard finds himself above a loader bay flooded with radioactive waste. Access to the room is forbidden as long as the Loader below is operating. The Loader, carrying a green metal crate, is blocked by the rest of the crates in the vicinity that Shephard must destroy. Once the obstructions are removed, the Loader proceeds along its designated path and exits, leaving behind the green crate which Shephard uses as a platform to safely cross the toxic materials.
As the elevator adjacent to this room leads up to the same section of the Sector C Line where the second Loader was witnessed in Half-Life, it is likely these two Loaders are one and the same. Between Freeman's and Shephard's passing through the area, the previously seen leak has since been repaired.
Behind the scenes
The original Loader model in Half-Life was designed, modeled, textured, and animated by Valve artist Steve Theodore. The Loader was one of the models that Valve used at the European Computer Trade Show to demonstrate the flexibility of the GoldSrc engine's skeletal animation system.
The model had actually been created for a series of planned puzzles in the game, but these were all later cut. The final model possesses several unused animations: "
heroidle", and "
herodie", the last of which depicts the machine running forward, collapsing, and subsequently falling apart.
In Opposing Force, Gearbox originally planned for the player to be able to commandeer the Loader as a drivable vehicle. However, as this plan failed to culminate, designer Randy Pitchford worked with level designer Rob Heironimus to create the blocked Loader puzzle featured in the finished expansion. Landon Montgomery made the animations for this sequence. This puzzle was a last minute addition and was developed in two days within the last week of the game's production.
List of appearances
- Half-Life: Day One (First appearance)
- Half-Life: Opposing Force
- Half-Life: Decay (Ad only)