Race X their invasion and worlds collide.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More details

  • Race X their invasion and worlds collide.

    Since its very likely that we will never see Race X make further apprances in the Half-Life series remaking Opposing Force gives us a great opportunity to further explore Race X and better present their motives and invasion of Black Mesa. So what do we know about Race X? We know that they were attracted to Black Mesa and wanted to invade earth for its resources and had a Gene Worm that could terriform material plus were pretty much a bio-organic species.

    Perhaps Race X is a semi nomadic species that travels to different worlds to harvest different material and then move on to the next. Pit Drones and Voltigore's are their war dogs and war elephants. The Pitworm perhaps being a creature that spawns shock roaches? Both have centipede like bodies after all. They establish a forward base in black mesa so they can bring the rest of their race over along with the Gene worm and harvest earth.

    So in this remake we show more of that. Show that the shock troopers are working towards actual goals just like the black ops. Perhaps we have other appearances of the shock troopers abducting other things. earlier in the game. perhaps some machines, weapons, maybe even a HECU trooper. Perhaps to study or to retrofit for their own means. Maybe they take some xen crystals to help construct the purple portal to summon the gene worm along with some bits and pieces of black mesa's hardware.

    later on in the game (in chapters 5, 6, and/or 7) when they start becoming more regular foes perhaps the first few encounters are more to test the strength and weaknesses of the human and xen forces occupying black mesa. before they start their next phase. All in all a slow but logical progression of their invasion.

    Then about chapter 8 or 9 is when they actually start their assault on Black Mesa. attempting to take out the remaining forces of both human and xen and eastablish black mesa as the base for their own and make it safe enough to bring forth their worms (Gene and Pit). the shock troopers are organized in their attacks and try to encircle and wipe out the remaining pockets of resistance in black mesa. All while constructing a base to operating from in sector E. Perhaps at this time the Black Ops are given additional orders to counter this invasion while the bomb is being set up. (might explain why they don't seem to evacuate after setting up the bomb in The Package chapter.)

    All this stuff can be better demonstrated in game through animations and how Race X seems to operate and appear in the campaign. Show not tell so to speak.

    This all leads to the final chapter of the game Worlds Collide. it's a painfully short chapter for what should be the climax of the whole game. While deviating from the original I would like to see this chapter redone mayhaps as extensively as Crowbar Collective is doing with Xen. The chapter could start the same as before in the warehouse but have it look more like a warzone. perhaps a place where it has switched hands multiple times between the marines that came here, the black ops, remaining xen forces and race x. Have multiple cargo containers blown apart or knocked over. bodies from all factions here and there. All while the Black ops and shock troopers still battle each other while the player fights past.

    then after meeting barney this is where the changes should begin. The area after the elevator should be longer with more of a buildup to the purple portal. It's clearly a blending of organic and earth. perhaps fleshy tunnels have been carved through the walls or human and xen tech hooked up to strange organic mechanisms. Incubation racks for Spore Launchers and Shock Troopers. Maybe some chamber where a Xen Alien Grunt has been crudely dissected with Race X trying to study the hive hand for their own incorporation of it or perhaps they are studying barnacles to create their own barnacle gun since they've seen Adrian using one. Maybe there's another fleshy room with human meat being fed to baby vortigores and pit drones in a nursery type chamber. The place looks alien and different to anything the players have seen so far on earth or xen and helps demonstrate how much of a threat Race X could be if not stopped if they managed to make all this in a day.

    This should provide better pace and world building, giving more hints to Race X and who they are as people. If the Combine is a technological empire then Race X is a bio-organic mongol hoard.

    Post was edited 2 times, last by Summerset Banjo ().

  • This final area could be more maze like in design, as perhaps a callback to the old quake games that inspired the HL series, with the sprites heading towards the purple portal serving as a guide to the players on which way to go. You all may also want to look at the Body of the Many from System Shock 2 or Hive of the Mantids from Turok 2 for inspiration in design and look for the Race X base.

    Extending this chapter and creating a Race X base would also be in the spirit of HL 1 and 2. As both games had a final area that was very different from the rest of the game and served as a window into their game's respective foes. (Xen in hl 1 and the Citadel in hl2)

    Post was edited 1 time, last by Summerset Banjo ().

  • I think there is a progression of the Race X invasion that can be followed through the levels. The first kidnapping of a scientist in We Are Pulling Out are the advanced scouts sussing out the situation and how tenable it is. The appearance of the Pit Drones in Missing in Action is them attempting to destabilise the enemy positions through their servitor species; I imagine the Voltigores and Pit Worm were introduced to the facility around this time too. In Crush Depth the first proper "landing parties" are made by the Shock Troopers, who over the next few levels are attempting to location a suitable location to build the Gene Worm portal. As of Foxtrot Uniform the invasion begins in earnest, having located a suitable location to bring in the Gene Worm and are now attempting to cull enemies near this beachhead.


    As for Race X's origin, I imagine they are a small inter-dimensional empire. I don't think they're semi-nomadic, but hostile terraformers linked to the Gene Worm's ecology that continually add assimilated worlds to their empire. I also don't like the idea of them fleeing the Combine, since that's the Nihilanth's backstory and we want Race X to be narratively unique, don't we? I think they and the Combine are aware of each other though: the Combine desires Race X's teleporation powers, while Race X is terrified of the Combine which is why they didn't try and launch a second Gene Worm.
  • Race X is very vague in my eyes. It´s clear that Gearbox added them to not break "consistency" of Xen race created by Valve. It´s not known much about them so far, but on the other hand, I think that´s not bad in the end. Liquidlnk, I can say I share your idea of RaceX. Operation Black Mesa might expand some ideas of RaceX , but it will be better to not overdo it. There is something on letting players to come up with their own theories. Half-Life pretty much work with this kind of storytelling.
  • I do agree that there is a progression in original game. But I was expressing that more could be done to show that progression as it can be easily missed If one doesn't think much of it.

    But wouldn't making them seem like a small inter-dimensional empire would make them once again narratively like the combine? But yes the refugee backstory is a little too similar to Xen's which is why I suggested it as a alternative interpretation. Making them be like semi-nomadic invaders, an invasive species, makes them unique from both the Combine and Xen forces.

    But the core problem is outside of a tiny blurb in old strategy guides the Race X are more or less blank slates. Any and all of our interpretations of who and what they are could be valid.

    What do you think of having the final part of the game be a Race X base crafted within this sector of Black Mesa though?
  • Mr.sugar wrote:

    Race X is very vague in my eyes. It´s clear that Gearbox added them to not break "consistency" of Xen race created by Valve. It´s not known much about them so far, but on the other hand, I think that´s not bad in the end. Liquidlnk, I can say I share your idea of RaceX. Operation Black Mesa might expand some ideas of RaceX , but it will be better to not overdo it. There is something on letting players to come up with their own theories. Half-Life pretty much work with this kind of storytelling.

    Oh I'm not saying we should explain away the entire motivations of Race X. I'm in favor of leaving things up to player speculation. I'm just saying that in this remake we have the chance to lay down more hints than the original did. As we are given a lot of room to work with.

    So what do you think of the idea of making the last chapter long with a whole new section before the final boss? I think it could make the level more memorable and less "take elevator to a room and then suddenly final boss." plus again we can make this section feel truly different to what players have seen so far in the game.

    Post was edited 1 time, last by Summerset Banjo ().

  • Summerset Banjo wrote:

    Mr.sugar wrote:

    Race X is very vague in my eyes. It´s clear that Gearbox added them to not break "consistency" of Xen race created by Valve. It´s not known much about them so far, but on the other hand, I think that´s not bad in the end. Liquidlnk, I can say I share your idea of RaceX. Operation Black Mesa might expand some ideas of RaceX , but it will be better to not overdo it. There is something on letting players to come up with their own theories. Half-Life pretty much work with this kind of storytelling.
    Oh I'm not saying we should explain away the entire motivations of Race X. I'm in favor of leaving things up to player speculation. I'm just saying that in this remake we have the chance to lay down more hints than the original did. As we are given a lot of room to work with.

    So what do you think of the idea of making the last chapter long with a whole new section before the final boss? I think it could make the level more memorable and less "take elevator to a room and then suddenly final boss." plus again we can make this section feel truly different to what players have seen so far in the game.
    I agree, that´s what we are doing with final two chapters. There, you shouldn´t expect exact copy of the original and even the Boss fight might be different somehow. How exactly? You will have to wait for the final release :)

© 2018 Tripmine Studios. Valve, Steam, Gearbox, Half-Life Trademarks of Valve.