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"You're heading for the Lambda Complex, aren't you? I was heading there myself until I wound up here, and, well, simply lost my nerve. Take one look through that door and you'll see what I mean!... I'm just going to wait out the catastrophe in here. If you intend to go on, then I beg of you: proceed with extreme caution!"
Scientist found in the Ordinance Storage Facility[src]

The Topside Motorpool is a Black Mesa Research Facility area located on the surface of the compound. It is visited by Gordon Freeman during the Half-Life chapter Surface Tension.



Detonated Land Mines around the Ordinance Storage Facility.

This area features the bulk of Black Mesa's still-functional military facilities, as well as maintenance and storage areas for the Black Mesa SUVs. Connected by a sewer system to a large cliff and located not far from the Topside Hydro Plant, it includes, among others, an Ordinance Storage Facility surrounded by two HECU Snipers and Land Mines, and containing two rockets topped by nuclear warheads and trapped by Laser Tripmines, a barracks building including the Topside Armory (containing grenades, SPAS-12s, MP5s, Glock 17s, RPGs and their ammo, Tau Cannon / Gluon Gun ammo, .357 ammo, Tripmines, and finally Satchel Charges), a double helipad where an Osprey continually unloads HECU troops, at least three Helicopter Hangars (Hangar 16, seen in-game, and Hangar 1 and Hangar 4, only mentioned by the Black Mesa Announcement System), a garage with three Black Mesa SUVs, a small indoor parking lot where a Gargantua fights HECU soldiers and destroys Black Mesa SUVs, and other ruined buildings. The indoor parking lot leads to the Waste Processing Area 3, where the Gargantua is destroyed by Freeman thanks to the Tactical Map installed there.

The area is swarming with Alien Grunts and Vortigaunts, and Freeman is caught in the crossfire between them and the overwhelmed HECU soldiers, who set up several M198 Howitzer and M2 Browning Machine Gun in the area. There Freeman also first witnesses the Alien Aircrafts that unload Alien Grunts in the area, at some point bombarded by an F-16, first acquires the Hivehand, and is first confronted by the two HECU armored vehicles, the M1A1 Abrams and the M2A3 Bradley.

Behind the scenes

  • The name of that area is given in Black Mesa Announcement System announcements heard and not heard in-game.
  • One unused scientist sound indicates that a Gargantua was apparently to be fought on the helipads instead of later in the parking lot / Waste Processing Area 3.[3]
  • Early Half-Life screenshots indicate this area was at some point to be visited during nighttime, starting in the previous area, the desert. There is also some explosive barrels at the area where the Osprey appears.


The map where the Topside Armory is located was turned into a Team Fortress Classic map, with minimal modifications, named "Hunted".


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List of appearances


Preceded by
Black Mesa desert
Half-Life story arc journey Succeeded by
Waste Processing Area 3
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