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"My chair is powered, I did not need a push."
―Richard Keller[src]

Dr. Richard Keller is a 55-year old,[1] wheelchair-user scientist working in the Black Mesa Research Facility with a Level 5 security clearance, appearing in Half-Life: Decay.



As seen in the Hazard Course Training schedule from the Half-Life PlayStation 2 instruction manual, Gina Cross tests a Mark V HEV Suit prototype under Keller's supervision on May 15, 200- at 20:00.[1]


Keller and Rosenberg right after the Resonance Cascade.

Half-Life: Decay

Before the Black Mesa Incident occurs, Keller monitors Gina Cross and Colette Green's preparations for the experiment from his computer terminal. He is partially responsible for allowing the Anti-Mass Spectrometer to run at a greater intensity than it is designed for, something that Rosenberg warns him of, although Keller then mentions that it is the Administrator who ordered this. After the Resonance Cascade, Keller assists Dr. Cross and Dr. Green by communicating with them through their HEV Suits' audio systems to help them stop the effects of the dimensional rift. They are successful in starting a resonance reversal with his assistance, but their fates remain unknown to the other Black Mesa survivors.[2]

Personality and skills

Keller and a fellow scientist in the Gamma Labs.

Keller is portrayed as being a temperamental and somewhat contemptuous person in the game. At the start of the game, Keller has a quite harsh temperament. He tends to mock or blame people with ironic remarks. Before the Resonance Cascade, he gives his views about Gordon Freeman's frequent late arrivals, then questions his skills, stating he does not understand what Isaac Kleiner sees "in that boy". It is also hinted that he carries a grudge against his colleague Rosenberg; he mocks him and his "little labs by the trainyard" when the latter expresses his concerns about running the Anti-Mass Spectrometer at too high of an intensity, and answers him harshly most of the time. After the Resonance Cascade and for the remainder of the game, his attitude is softer somehow, although he is still very tough if the players fail a mission. At the end of the chapter Resonance, he shows himself to be suspicious about what or who is behind the events, saying "[the] aliens may not all be here by accident".

On Keller's wheelchair is a remote that is possibly connected to the Black Mesa network, as he is seen to open doors with it, among others.

Behind the scenes

Keller's wheelchair.

  • Richard Keller is the first of two disabled persons to be seen in the series (the other being Eli Vance after he loses his leg), along with the first female employees, Gina Cross and Colette Green. In the three games preceding Half-Life: Decay, the only hint of disabled persons working at or visiting Black Mesa was a wheelchair emplacement in the Black Mesa Transit System monorail, a Black Mesa Announcement System note about disabled personnel during the Half-Life and Blue Shift tram rides along the Transit System, and parking spaces for disabled persons in the underground parking lots in Opposing Force. In Decay, this emplacement is used by Keller. Other examples include two wheelchair ramps in the North Wing of the Level 3 Dormitories, and a wheelchair elevator in the Gamma Labs. The brand of Keller's motorized wheelchair is Invacare, an actual manufacturer and distributor of non-acute medical equipments, including wheelchairs.
  • In the game sound files for Keller, an unused sound, "dk_furher.wav", has him screaming "Mein Führer!... I can walk!" with a German accent, a reference to a scene from Stanley Kubrick's film Dr. Strangelove, where Dr. Strangelove, in a wheelchair, suddenly rises and walks. The animation, named "surprise", can also be found in the model, and has him standing up, scrubbing his thighs and walking away in a half circle.[3]


  • Except for the tie and the badge, Keller is the only scientist to be seen not wearing standard scientist outfit (thus a lab coat or a HEV Suit).
  • Almost all of Keller's texture files are prefixed with the name "Kleiner", except for the wheelchair. That suggests Keller was originally to be named Kleiner, or was to be the Kleiner originally appearing in Freeman's job letter.
  • If an enemy is to encounter Keller, he will drive into it, suggesting that he is attacking the enemy.


List of appearances