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Alt.Games.Half-Life FAQ


[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Forum archive ]
Archive-name: games/half-life
Posting-Frequency: Weekly
Last-modified: 4th October 1999
Version: 1.4
URL: http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/index.html

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
        The Unofficially Official Looking Alt.Games.Half-Life FAQ

                    v1.4 (Updated 4th October 1999)

             Compiled by Guy Incognito <guy_incog@yahoo.com>


Introduction:

This FAQ is an attempt to cut down on the repetition of questions in
the alt.games.half-life newsgroup. You should read this first before
posting a question to AGHL. It is not intended to answer every
question about the Half-Life game itself. For that you should read
HQH's Unofficial Half-Life FAQ, available from:

http://members.xoom.com/HQH51/index.htm

At the time of writing, the HLFAQ is at version 9.4.1999.
All references to the HLFAQ apply to that version only.

This FAQ will be posted to the AGHL newsgroup every 7 days.
The latest version will always be available from:

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/index.html

For Team Fortress Classic questions, read the AGHLTFC FAQ at 
http://www.halflifehq.com/independent/tfc/Official.html

========
CONTENTS
========

N = New since last version
U = Updated since last version

[1] The Newsgroup

  [1.1] What are the Half-Life newsgroups? What are they for?
  [1.2] I've got a question! I'm gonna post it right away!
  [1.3] Suggested posting format.
  [1.4] Can I post binaries in alt.games.half-life?
  [1.5] I broke the rules and got flamed. It's not fair!
U [1.6] I don't understand these terms people use. What are they?

[2] The FAQs

[2.1] General

  [2.1.1] What's the latest patch, and where can I get it?
  [2.1.2] OK, I've got the latest patch, but when I try to install it 
          says: "Corrupt installation detected" or similar. What do I do?
U [2.1.3] What is TFC? Where can I get it?
  [2.1.4] How do I fix <insert graphics or sound problem here>?
  [2.1.5] I get sound stuttering in the game.
  [2.1.6] I can't see underwater.
  [2.1.7] Are there any bots yet?
  [2.1.8] How do I long jump?
  [2.1.9] How do I get the darn console?
  [2.1.10] Is there a list of console commands for HL/TFC?
U [2.1.11] Is there a walkthrough? Where can I get it?
  [2.1.12] Single player cheats don't work!
  [2.1.13] My savegames got deleted. I need a savegame for <level>
  [2.1.14] Is there a no-cd crack for HL? Where can I get it?
  [2.1.15] Where can I find new single and multiplayer maps?
  [2.1.16] Is there a .pak file editor available?
  [2.1.17] "Found Hungry but can't play" message
           "File Mechwine not on server" message
  [2.1.18] How do I measure my framerate?
  [2.1.19] "Could not open MCI file for playback: MMSYSTEM" Error
  [2.1.20] "Keyboard bindings file 'kb_keys.lst' is empty" Error
           "Could not open bitmap file 'gfx/shell/btns_main.bmp'" Error
  [2.1.21] "A required .DLL file, WONAU_W95.DLL was not found" Error
  [2.1.22] Half-Life tries to dial my ISP when I start a game.
  [2.1.23] Is there a version of Half-Life for Linux?
  [2.1.24] Can I play Half-Life in 32 bit colour?

[2.2] Single player

  [2.2.1] I can't reach the ladder in the lift shaft at the end of 
          "Office Complex"
  [2.2.2] Stuck in Blast Pit.
  [2.2.3] Stuck in On A Rail.
  [2.2.4] Stuck in Gonarch's Lair.
  [2.2.5] Stuck in Xen.
  [2.2.6] Stuck anywhere else.
  [2.2.7] The Barney at the beginning dies, I can't get out of
          the train...
  [2.2.8] After getting captured, I end up in a dark room and I
          can't move.
  [2.2.9] I get in the elevator at the end of "We've Got Hostiles", 
          and I die...
  [2.2.10] Power won't turn on in "Power Up"
  [2.2.11] Big Spider (Gonarch) won't fall through web.
  [2.2.12] Big baby (Nihilanth) just spins and shoots lightning at the
           end of the game...

[2.3] Online Games

  [2.3.1] How do I make custom decals for multi-player?
  [2.3.2] While playing online, I get "U_Remove on full update"
          messages. What does this mean?
  [2.3.3] What's that progress bar that appears on the bottom left
          when I join a game online?
U [2.3.4] My dog/cat/monkey ate my cd-key. Please send me yours....
  [2.3.5] But I bought the game and my cd-key doesn't work! What do I do?
  [2.3.6] How do I cheat in multi-player?
U [2.3.7] How do I know if someone else is cheating in multi-player?
  [2.3.8] How do I get Half-Life to work through a proxy server?
  [2.3.9] How do I play modem to modem?
  [2.3.10] Can I play Half-Life co-operatively with other people?
U [2.3.11] Where can I download mods for Half-Life?

[3] Resources

[4] Misc

  [4.1] Credits
  [4.2] Copyright
  [4.3] Comments

=========

[1] The Newsgroup

[1.1] What are the Half-Life newsgroups? What are they for?

   At present there are five Half-Life newsgroups:

   alt.games.half-life
   (Main group, for discussion and questions relating to 
   Half-Life)

   alt.games.half-life.editing
   (For discussion and questions relating to Half-Life level
   editing, mods, etc)

   alt.games.half-life.tfclassic
   (For discussion and questions relating to Team Fortress Classic,
   the free add-on for HL that comes with the 1.0.0.9 patch)

   alt.binaries.games.half-life
   (For posting HL related binary files, i.e. screenshots, crosshair
   files, etc)

   alt.games.half-life.modifications
   (For discussion and questions relating to Half-Life mods (Jailbreak,
   Counterstrike, etc)

   Not all ISPs carry all these groups. If you find yours doesn't, you
   should mail them and ask them to add it.

[1.2] I've got a question! I'm gonna post it right away!

   Stop! Don't post yet! Do the following before posting your
   question:

   1. Read the readme.txt file that comes with Half-Life. It answers
   many common questions.
   2. Read the FAQs! This one and HQH's.
   3. Lurk (i.e. read the newsgroup for a while to see what's an
   acceptable post)
   4. Do a Dejanews search at http://www.deja.com. You may find an
   answer there.

[1.3] Suggested posting format.

   The following things will lessen your chance of getting an answer:

   1. No content messages with the question entirely on the
   subject line.
   2. Posting entirely in CAPITALS.
   3. Posting in these stupid UpPy DoWnY lEtTErS.
   4. Posting in HTML (which many newsreaders cannot read)

   The following things will earn you a snark up the backside:

   1. Not bothering to <snip> long messages when you reply.
   2. Setting your system clock forward when posting in order to keep
   your message at the top.
   3. Asking for a cd-key.
   4. Posting binaries. See below.

[1.4] Can I post binaries in alt.games.half-life?

   No! Do so and be flamed to within an inch of your life. Binary
   files belong in alt.binaries.games.half-life. Nowhere else. It's 
   possible your ISP may not carry the binary group, in which case you
   should upload your binary file to some webspace somewhere, and post
   a link to it instead. Note that text files, if posted as an 
   attachment, still count as a binary. The correct way to post .cfg 
   files and similar, is to cut and paste them into your message using 
   a text editor such as notepad.

[1.5] I broke the rules and got flamed. It's not fair!

   Yes it is. None of these rules are compulsory, but if you choose to
   break them, don't be surprised if a whole load of people toast you
   over a hot grill.

[1.6] I don't understand these terms people use. What are they?

   AGHL - alt.games.half-life

   Barney - Nickname for the security guards in Half-Life

   Bot - A computer controlled player, used for practicing Deathmatch
   offline. See 2.1.7

   Camper - Someone who camps. See below.

   Camping - Term for staying in one safe place in Deathmatch, and
   killing other players without giving them a chance.

   Clan - Term for a group of players who play as a team.

   CS - Counterstrike. A teamplay mod for Half-Life.

   CTF - Capture The Flag - A type of level in which you work as a
   team to steal the opponent's flag and return it to your base.

   DM - Deathmatch - A style of multi-player, in which players fight
   against other players.

   FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions.

   Frag - Term for a kill in multi-player

   Gibs - What you get when you blow someone to bits.

   Gordon - The guy you play as in single player. Also the default
   model in DM.

   HL - Half-Life - You know what this is.

   HPB - High Ping Bastard - A person with a high ping in multi-player.

   Lag - Slowdown in multi-player caused by high ping.

   LAN - Local Area Network - Computers linked together locally.

   Latency - Similar to ping.

   LPB - Low Ping Bastard - A person with a low ping in multi-player

   MP - Multi-Player - Half-Life played against other people over the
   internet or a LAN.

   NG - Newsgroup

   Ping - The time it takes for data to travel from your computer to
   the server you are playing on.

   Spam - In TFC, used to mean the indiscriminate throwing of grenades
   to get kills - Considered by most to be lame.

   TFC - Team Fortress Classic - Add-on for Half-Life.

========

[2] The FAQs

[2.1] General

[2.1.1] What's the latest patch, and where can I get it?

   The latest patch is 1.0.1.3. Connect to the internet, run Sierra
   Utilities and choose Auto-Update to download the latest patch.

   Alternatively, download via ftp from:

   ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/planetquake/planethalflife/patches/

   ftp://ftp.sierra.com/ (West coast USA)
   ftp://ftp2.sierra.com/ (East coast USA)

   ftp://ftp.barrysworld.com/HalfLife (UK)

   I also have links to the patches in the downloads section of
   my site.

[2.1.2] OK, I've got the latest patch, but when I try to install it
        says: "Corrupt installation detected" or similar.
        What do I do?

   See HQH's FAQ section 6.2.5 for possible reasons and solutions.

[2.1.3] What is TFC? Where can I get it?

   TFC is a free add-on for Half-Life that comes as part of the
   1.0.0.9 patch. This description is taken from the manual that
   comes with TFC:

   "Team Fortress Classic (TFC) is Valve's new add-on for Half-Life
   that combines the thrilling first-person multiplayer gameplay of
   the original Team Fortress with Half-Life's leading edge
   technology. In Team Fortress Classic, you play one of nine roles or
   classes, such as Medic, Soldier, or Engineer, and then join your
   teammates online or over a LAN to battle against enemy teams.
   Each class has unique weapons, items, abilities, and style of
   play."

   Read the Alt.Games.Half-Life.Tfclassic FAQ for more info:

   http://www.halflifehq.com/independent/tfc/Official.html

[2.1.4] How do I fix <insert graphics or sound problem here>?

   Make sure you are using the latest drivers for everything. Read
   section 6.6 of HQH's FAQ for details of the common problems. If
   that doesn't fix it, post a message here. Give as much info as
   possible about the problem and your setup.

[2.1.5] I get sound stuttering in the game.

   See the readme for solutions to this problem. Also see HQH's
   FAQ section 6.6.5.

[2.1.6] I can't see underwater.

   This happens on some video cards in D3D mode. Try the latest
   drivers for your card. If that doesn't work, use OpenGL or
   Software mode to get past underwater sections.

[2.1.7] Are there any bots yet?

   Yes! Now that the 1.0.1.3 patch is out, the bugs which were
   preventing bots from working properly have been fixed. The two
   main bots available at the moment are:

   The Jumbot - http://www.telefragged.com/thefatal/jumblow.shtml

   Phineas Bot - http://www.planethalflife.com/phineas/

   For general bot info, go here:

   http://www.botepidemic.com/bots/halflife.shtml

   I also have bots and bot related files available in the downloads
   section of my site: http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/index.html

   NOTE: There are no bots for TFC, these are for DM ONLY.

[2.1.8] How do I long jump?

   Do the Hazard Course.

[2.1.9] How do I get the darn console?

   Add -console to the end of your Half-Life command line. Or, with
   the 1.0.0.9 or above patch, just run the shortcut called
   "Half-Life Console".

   Then, to get to the console, press the ~ key (or the key left of
   the "1" key for non-US keyboards). If that doesn't work, you've
   probably bound ~ to something else. To fix this, you have to go
   to configuration => controls and click "Use Defaults".

[2.1.10] Is there a list of console commands for HL/TFC?

   Yep, there sure is:

   http://pcgame.svwh.net/randy/tfc/console/index.html

[2.1.11] Is there a walkthrough? Where can I get it?

   http://www.won.net/guides/prima/halflife/

   And...

   http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/walkthrough.html

   And....

   http://www.pcgame.com/randy/newwalkthru.htm

[2.1.12] Single player cheats don't work!

   Yes they do. Try this:

   1. Start HL with the -console switch.
   2. Start/Load a game.
   3. Play till it autosaves.
   4. Bring down the console (~)
   5. Type sv_cheats 1
   6. Type restart
   7. Exit console
   8. Now you should be able to use cheats.

   See HQH's FAQ section 2.3.4 for a list of cheats.

[2.1.13] My savegames got deleted. I need a savegame for <level>

   There is a savegame for every level available in the downloads
   section of my site:

   http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/index.html

   Alternatively, you could use the map <mapname> cheat to warp
   straight to a level. See HQH's FAQ section 2.3.4 for a list
   of mapnames.

[2.1.14] Is there a no-cd crack for HL? Where can I get it?

   Yep, there is. Since Necro's site is no longer being updated,
   I have put a copy of the 1.0.1.3 cd-crack in the downloads section
   of my site:

   http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/index.html

[2.1.15] Where can I find new single and multiplayer maps?

   http://contaminated.net/radium/ (for DM and SP maps)

   http://www.planetfortress.com/radium/ (for TFC maps)

[2.1.16] Is there a .pak file editor available?

   Yes, PakExplorer. Download from here:

   http://www.pcgame.com/randy/misc.htm

[2.1.17] "Found Hungry but can't play" message
         "File Mechwine not on server" message

   These are just debugging messages intended for developers.
   Remove -dev from your HL command line to get rid of the former.
   The latter occurs when loading the "doublecross" map, and
   should just be ignored.

[2.1.18] How do I measure my framerate?

   Bring down the console and type:

   developer 1
   r_speeds 1

   This will give you a real-time fps readout.

   Or....

   Record a demo with the command: record <filename>
   Then type: timedemo <filename>

   This will give you the average fps for that demo.

[2.1.19] "Could not open MCI file for playback: MMSYSTEM" Error

   See HQH's FAQ section 6.2.2.13

[2.1.20] "Keyboard bindings file 'kb_keys.lst' is empty" Error
         "Could not open bitmap file 'gfx/shell/btns_main.bmp'" Error

   If you get one of these errors after installing, it almost
   certainly means that you don't have enough free space left on your
   hard disc. Remember that you need about 500MB free to install.

[2.1.21] "A required .DLL file, WONAU_W95.DLL was not found" Error

   This error may occur after updating to the latest patch. If
   it does, all you need to do is rename the following files, 
   which are found in your half-life directory:

   "wonau_~1.dll" should be renamed to "wonau_w95.dll"
   "woncr_~1.dll should be renamed to "woncr_w95.dll"

[2.1.22] Half-Life tries to dial my ISP when I start a game.

   See HQH's FAQ section 6.2.2.7

[2.1.23] Is there a version of Half-Life for Linux?

   Nope and there probably never will be. But there is a Linux
   version of the Half-Life *server*. Download from:

   ftp://ftp.won.net/pub/half-life/

[2.1.24] Can I play Half-Life in 32 bit colour?

   If your video card supports it, then yes (3dfx cards don't).
   You also need the 1.0.0.9 patch or above.

   All you have to do is this:

   Add the -32bpp switch to your HL command line, and put the
   command: gl_dither 0 into your autoexec.cfg file.


[2.2] Single Player

[2.2.1] I can't reach the ladder in the lift shaft at the end of 
        "Office Complex"

   Stand back from the edge, and do a running jump. You have to time
   it so that you jump at the last possible second. Also, release
   the jump key before you reach the ladder. Otherwise you won't be
   able to grab onto it.

[2.2.2] Stuck in Blast Pit.

   See http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/walkthrough/blastpit.htm

[2.2.3] Stuck in On A Rail.

   See http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/walkthrough/onarail.htm

[2.2.4] Stuck in Gonarch's Lair.

   See http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/walkthrough/gonarchslair.htm

[2.2.5] Stuck in Xen.

   See http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/walkthrough/xen.htm

[2.2.6] Stuck anywhere else.

   See http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/walkthrough.html

[2.2.7] The Barney at the beginning dies, I can't get out of the train...

   *Bug* To fix it, add a blank line to the end of your
   d3d.cfg/opengl.cfg files.

[2.2.8] After getting captured, I end up in a dark room and I can't move.

   *Bug* Reload a previous savegame. You _should_ have appeared in
   a Star Wars style trash compactor.

[2.2.9] I get in the elevator at the end of "We've Got Hostiles", 
        and I die...

   *Bug* Try crouching while the elevator goes up. You may
   have to reload several times and crouch in different places
   before it works.

[2.2.10] Power won't turn on in "Power Up"

   *Bug* Sometimes hitting the power switch doesn't turn on the
   power. You'll have to reload a previous savegame(possibly as
   far back as the start of the level).

[2.2.11] Big Spider (Gonarch) won't fall through web.

   *Bug* Reload a previous savegame. You may have to do this
   multiple times until the problem goes away.

[2.2.12] Big baby (Nihilanth) just spins and shoots lightning at
         the end of the game...

   *Bug* This happens sometimes. Only fix is to reload a savegame
   and try again.

   Some people have reported that reloading a savegame doesn't
   help, in which case the best thing to do is bring down the
   console and type:

   map c5a1

   This will take you directly to the end sequence.


[2.3] Online Games  

[2.3.1] How do I make custom decals for multi-player?

   Click on "View readme.txt" in the Half-Life main menu. It's in
   there.

[2.3.2] While playing online, I get "U_Remove on full update"
        messages. What does this mean?

   This is caused by corrupt or lost data packets. It may be due to
   noise on your phone line, call waiting, modem retrains or your
   ISP. Typing cl_nodelta 1 into the console may stop these errors,
   but will increase your latency.

   If this happens often, you should consider trying a different ISP.
   Otherwise just live with it.

[2.3.3] What's that progress bar that appears on the bottom left
        when I join a game online?

   This appears when your computer is downloading other people's
   custom decals from the server.

[2.3.4] My dog/cat/monkey ate my cd-key. Please send me yours....

   No. Cd-keys are used for validation when playing Half-Life over the
   Internet. Only one person may use a cd-key at the same time.
   Therefore, if you give someone your key, you won't be able to play
   at the same time as them. Nobody here is going to give you their
   key. Asking for one will get you nothing but flames.

[2.3.5] But I bought the game and my cd-key doesn't work! What do I do?

   *If* you bought the game, and assuming you didn't lend it to
   anyone, it's possible that somebody used a key-generator that came
   up with your key. It's freaky, but it happens. See section 6.3 of
   HQH's FAQ for advice on how to get a new cd-key.

[2.3.6] How do I cheat in multi-player?

   Not by asking here. Think about it, most of the people here play
   online. We want to play a fair game. We don't want to play against
   cheaters. So are we going to tell you how to cheat? No.

[2.3.7] How do I know if someone else is cheating in multi-player?

   Type impulse 101 into the console during the game. If cheats
   are on, you should get all weapons.

   Note that this only applies to DM. Other mods may have bugs which
   can allow people to cheat.

[2.3.8] How do I get Half-Life to work through a proxy server?

   Try Lars M. Hansen's site at:

   http://lmhansen.tzo.com/HalfLife/proxy1.html

   Or....

   http://people.ne.mediaone.net/lmhansen/Games/HalfLife

[2.3.9] How do I play modem to modem?

   ObiWan[TiT] wrote this guide:

   http://www.lbctyler.org/rabtech/dun/index.html

   Also see:

   http://www.zipworld.com.au/~otser/

[2.3.10] Can I play Half-Life co-operatively with other people?

   Half-Life does not support co-op play, but there is a (not
   very good) way to do it. See:

   http://www.halflife.net/coop/

   There is also a mod called "svencoop". Go here for more
   information on that: 

   http://www.planethalflife.com/aftershock/coop/

[2.3.11] Where can I download mods for Half-Life?

   Some of the more popular ones are:

   Counterstrike:
   http://www.counter-strike.net/

   Action Half-Life:
   http://ahl.telefragged.com/

   Science and Industry:
   http://www.planethalflife.com/si/

   OZ DM:
   http://www.planethalflife.com/aftershock/oz/

   Jailbreak:
   http://www.planethalflife.com/jailbreak/

   
   Mod Central also has links to most mods:

   http://www.planethalflife.com/modcentral/


========

[3] Resources

   AGHL FAQ Page (my site):
   http://web.ukonline.co.uk/aghl-faq/index.html

   Unofficial Half-Life FAQ:
   http://members.xoom.com/HQH51/index.htm

   Alt.Games.Half-Life.Tfclassic FAQ:
   http://www.halflifehq.com/independent/tfc/Official.html

   Planet Half-Life:
   http://www.planethalflife.com/

   Radium Half-Life Map Center:
   http://contaminated.net/radium/

   TFC Map Center
   http://www.planetfortress.com/radium/

   I AM HALF-LIFE:
   http://half-life.pcgame.com/

========

[4] Misc

[4.1] Credits

   Credit for the answers in this FAQ must go to the people in
   AGHL, and the authors of the websites listed in Section 3.

   Thanks to HQH and Necro for proof-reading this FAQ.
   (So err, if there's any mistakes, it's their fault, not mine)

[4.2] Copyright

   Copyright (C) 1999 Guy Incognito, all rights reserved.

   This FAQ may be posted to any newsgroup, ftp or web site,
   as long as it is posted unaltered and in its entirety.

   This FAQ may not be distributed for financial gain.

[4.3] Comments

   FAQ corrections, additions, etc to guy_incog@yahoo.com
   (Please, no questions about HL via email)

========

End of FAQ.

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