>) HQ not always means HeadQuaters? (<

Welp, today I want to write something else but not the story or ideas for something. Today, I want to write a short review on the game(or should I call it game series?) called “Half-Quake”.

The one quite enjoyable thing, I should say. To clarify a bit what I’m talking about, as you may not know what it is – Half-Quake is game modification, originally planned as mod, made on original Half-Life engine with usage of Quake textures and early Quake games atmosphere. At least that’s how I get it. Made by person known as muddasheep, this game modification eventually grown into something bigger and, in the process, into something more than just a mod.

Right now, Half-Quake is finished mod trilogy, with its own story, mechanics… I might even say – even if it made as Half-Life mod, it ended up being a completely new game, unique in its own fashion.

And the main part of this game is… players death. It’s been designed the way that you’re going to die, many and many times, going through all the traps and puzzles and everything, dying and getting trapped and forced to use quick save and quick load multiple times. Just to keep pushing forward and reach the end… spoilers: and in the end you’ll die anyways.

And that’s what actually made this game unique. All the levels designed that you going to fight for your life, attempting to go through the same trap many times, getting stuck on one same puzzle and making decisions one after another, failing not a single time just to try and get through seemingly easy but incredibly tough point on the map.

That’s how Half-Quake evolved – first mod been pretty much jumping though tricks and shooting the things. In Half-Quake Amen, there’s much less of shooting, and much more of puzzles. And in Sunrise, it’s just the traps. The game became to be the huge puzzle, evolved into something it suppose to be, something absolutely new. For you to see how it crumbles into little pieces, as it’s the final part of the trilogy, all in one and nothing of what you seen before.

And by constantly dying… you starts to think differently of this game. It’s not hard. It’s made the way that you unlikely going to beat it at one attempt, with no failures, and get to the end in just one rush. And the game constantly questions you – “how far can you go until you going to give up? How far can you challenge me? It’s Academy of Sadism, there’s nothing that awaits you but death. Hopelessness. Torture. And you going to do the things the way I want – just try to do step back or in sides from marked way, and you’ll die, you’ll be forced to do everything all over again. And you better not forget to press F9 sometimes – I have no dignity, nor shame. I going to kill you as many times as I want, and this little button is the only thing that can save you from your own madness”.

It’s such a game. About death. About human inner darkness. First made in Quake colors, and then turned just into dark, white, green and little bit of red. And it’s been talking about death… with humor! You see how you dies from same mistake several times. And you start laughing eventually. You listen to audio comments going sometimes other the game. You’re laughing. And even if after one of them you just getting exploded – you still laughing. You got distracted by something like that, and you’re laughing. Because you’re dead now, and you starting again from the point where you stopped. Where you pressed the button last time. And you think “Hey. It would be actually quite nice to have something like F9 in real life. Someone kills you, you load from last checkpoint and trying to avoid that death. So you maybe can get killed somewhere else”. Weird thoughts, huh?

And no matter how weird it sounds. If you’ll be able to go through all this, to the very end, starting from Half-Quake and ending with Sunrise… you may understand. No matter how tough this game is, no matter how depressive it may feel, how weird it can be compared to any other games… it’s worth a shot. Your perception of the world might even change for some time. On many other things that you may look in the future, you may start thinking of them quite differently. Can’t say how it may work out on you… but that whole game, actually made me look on the world more positively. Because I can see now – if that sadistic game would be my life, and then I’d get into the normal world… maybe I would be the most happiest person in the universe. Because here, in our real life, we’ll die only once. We’re able to see something else aside of grey colors, endless traps and own deaths. We can experience so much more in that only life. And if we’ll get into Institute of Sadism, with life never ending… would we be happy? Our current life is better than that, so why think about bad things then you can enjoy the good ones? And don’t tell me it’s obvious – look at yourself. Just look. Getting stressed from something that others can think of as just a little thing. You can start crying from getting a little scar on your body, get in deep depression because of broken friendship or abandoned love, getting heartbreak because of death of someone who always been close to you, be it your pet or family member. Even ice cream can make you cry, as soon as it falls on the ground from your hand. It’s just a little that needs to be done to break a human thing mentally, and for everyone it’s a different little thing, and we’re ending up concentrated on protecting that thing, afraid of getting harm. And we end up not seeing anything around us, we can see only a scar. And what gives us Half-Quake?

It gives us the view on our world. On our over concentrated depression, torturing ourselves, while we don’t want to see anything else. As our scars getting touched by just a bit, we can see only things that can cause us harm, everything turns black and white with shades of gray, and white not always mean “good” – mainly it’s just to make more contrast with black. Look at the game, and then look somewhere else – a huge world of possibilities and life, which you ready to exchange on your own darkness. That’s how I feel Half-Quake. I played it, and then decided that I actually should enjoy my own life more, not getting concentrated on bad things, as most of people do. Bad feelings won’t pass on their own, unless you’ll let them go. And peoples holds their pain near their heart for a bit too long, and it ends up growing inside them…

…huh. Looks like I went a bit too far on my own thoughts. But guess that’s fine. It’s all mine anyways, and you have freedom to read it or not, to decide if I’m right or wrong for you. You see… even those words made by “black inks” on “white paper”, but does it means that all my words made out of darkness? Think of it, if you been able to read everything mentioned here. And try out Half-Quake. It’s not so hard to find, just look after Muddasheep’s Farm, I doubt it’s possible to miss this interesting place.

Cheers,

TLN

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