Monday, December 13, 2004


I've been playing Half Life on my computer. Yes, we've travelled back in time to 1998, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Half Life was at the cutting edge of game design. I'm poor and my computer is weak, and it's taken six years for the price to drop to $20, dammit. So sue me.

For anyone who's been Amish or something for the last six years, the scenario of Half Life is as follows. You are Dr Gordon Freeman, a scientist working in an underground research base which, as underground research bases are wont to do, opens up a portal to another dimension and gets swamped by marauding aliens. It's an old story - funny how these portals never flood your research installation with bunnies, fawns and shy, elderly librarians.

In any case, you were the only one wearing a cybernetic envirohazard suit when the accident occured, so you're the only one who stands a chance against the monsters. You can expect a little help from a few scientists and security guards who've survived, but their attitudes leave something to be desired. Despite seeing their colleagues being turned into sashimi or, worse yet, parasite-infested zombies, the scientists tend to babble about wanting to get alien blood samples back to their labs. The security guards just crow about their mediocre kills and make sub-Arnie puns about the bloody gore gurgling around their ankles. Frankly, it's tempting to blow them away and take their ammunition.

Being a sensitive soul, I feel sorry for those fellow scientists who have been turned into the aforementioned parasite-infested zombies. There are these aliens who look like animated Thanksgiving turkeys who've got ideas above their station. They latch onto someone's head and before you can say "George Romero" they're staggering around the corridors on their new human legs making a nuisance of themselves. These scientists were so nice and friendly when I showed up for work in the introduction. I feel for them. I wonder if they're still alive somewhere under their new Insane Turkey Heads, no doubt thinking, "I wonder if I can wrest control of my body back long enough to steer it to the lab and stick this thing in the MRI scanner?"


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