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Soundtrack

Black Mesa Soundtrack cover art

The Black Mesa Soundtrack features 30 tracks (50 min. in length) of music created for Black Mesa. It was composed by Joel Nielsen, and was released on September 2, 2012 [1], two weeks prior the mod release. The soundtrack can be downloaded at the composer's website, or at the Black Mesa homepage.


"After seven years, hundreds of hours and too many song revisions to count, the Black Mesa Soundtrack is finally released. Faced with the impossible task of creating a soundtrack that will pay homage to Half Life 1 and the millions of fans worldwide, I have made production choices that some will most likely question. From a slightly different perspective, I have tried to bring what I feel is the essence of Half Life, to Black Mesa.

I had no prior experience composing soundtracks. Creating the sound effects was a challenge all on its own, but the music was a far greater task than I initially anticipated. Luckily for me, the lengthy development cycle gave me time to learn and experiment with a lot of different ideas.

I wanted to try new musical genres and styles in Black Mesa, while still maintaining a Half Life "feel". A few song re-makes were attempted, but there is no point in re-making something that is already a classic. I know I risk much composing a soundtrack so different, but I am hoping the community will come to like it almost as much as the original." (Joel Nielsen) [2]

Track List

  # Track Name Length In-game Location / Composer Comments  
1 Black Mesa Theme 0:54 Not used in-game.
2 Black Mesa Theme (Mesa Remix) 1:19 At the start of the chapter Unforeseen Consequences, after the resonance cascade.
3 Inbound Part 1 1:50 During the first map of Black Mesa Inbound.
4 Inbound Part 2 4:00 During the second map of Black Mesa Inbound.
5 Inbound Part 3 3:08 During the third map of Black Mesa Inbound.
6 Anomalous Materials 0:59 Upon wearing the HEV Suit.
7 Unforeseen Consequences 1:07 While descending on the platform with headcrabs sliding down.
8 Office Complex 1:21 Not used in-game.
9 Office Complex (Mesa Remix) 1:38 Upon entering the freezer area.
10 We've Got Hostiles 1:59 While riding the lift ascending to the surface, and then fighting the soldiers.
11 Blast Pit 1 1:04 Upon first witnessing the silo.
12 Blast Pit 2 1:30 Not used in-game.
13 Blast Pit 2 (Mesa Remix) 1:59 Upon turning on the power generator.
14 Blast Pit 3 1:33 While returning to the tentacles area after turning on the power, fuel and oxygen.
15 Power Up 0:50 Upon killing the Gargantua.
16 On a Rail 1 2:15 While descending into the tunnels on the first turntable.
17 On a Rail 2 1:08 While battling the soldiers at the rocket launch pad.
18 Apprehension 1:47 While being dragged by the soldiers, after being knocked out. Only the beginning of the track is heard.
19 Apprehension (Mesa Remix) 1:28 First instance - at the piston area.

Second instance - upon being knocked out by the soldiers. Only the beginning of the track is heard.

20 Residue Processing 1:01 At the convertor belt area.
21 Questionable Ethics 1 1:23 During the soldiers' ambush at the lobby.
22 Questionable Ethics 2 0:55 Upon obtaining the Tau Cannon.
23 Surface Tension 1 2:30 First half - while fighting the soldiers at the dam.

Second half - during the chopper battle on the cliffside.

24 Surface Tension 2 2:01 Upon entering the cliffside area.
25 Surface Tension 3 1:40 First half - while inside the snark vents.

Second half - while being chased by the Gargantua.

Was mixed in 2008 and featured in the Official Trailer. "It's been a very busy last couple months, but finally our Black Mesa team has released a brand new trailer. I mixed together a new music track and a bunch of the ingame sound effects to give everyone a bit of a taste of what it will be like." [3]||

26 Surface Tension 4 1:31 Upon entering the warehouse filled with explosive barrels and tripmines.
27 Forget About Freeman 2:30 Upon ascending from the sewers to the battle with the M1A1 Abrams.
28 Lambda Core 1:15 While descending on the platform with the truck.
29 End Credits Part 1 1:28 During the end credits.
30 End Credits Part 2 1:57 During the end credits.

Early/Cut Music

Some early renditions of the Black Mesa Soundtrack:

  • Demo 5 (2005 - 2006): A short piece that was later remade into We've Got Hostiles. [4]
  • WGH Topside: Another early version of We've Got Hostiles, this one being closer to the final mix.
  • Blast Pit: Was renamed to Office Complex in the final mix, but was never used in-game.
  • Black Mesa Teaser Trailer (2006): An early mix of Residue Proscessing with very subtle differences to the final mix. It was featured in the Teaser. "The Black Mesa ModDB teaser trailer in all its high res glory."[7].

Sound Effects

  • Joel Nielsen replaced most if not all hit sounds [8]
  • The ambient/environment sound folder alone is about 1 GB. [9]
  • Jumping and landing on surfaces sound different for different materials (jumping on a solid metal box will sound different than a hollow box). Many of the foot step sounds are also being replaced. [10]


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