Black Mesa desert

{{Location Infobox
|image=FileC1A0 FLIPSIGN8.png|192px
|name=Black Mesa desert
|location=Black Mesa Research Facility / WikipediaNew Mexico|New Mexico
|era=Black Mesa Incident
|affiliation=Black Mesa / USA
|maps=*c2a5a, c2a5w, c2a5x (HL - ''Surface Tension'')
*of0a0 (Op4 - ''Incoming'')
*of6a1 (Op4 - ''"The Package"'')
*of7a0 (Op4 - ''Conclusion'')
|designer=*Karen Laurhttp// ''Half-Life'' section on Karen Laur's official website (HL textures)
*Brett Johnsonhttp// ''Half-Life'' section on Brett Johnson's official website (HL mapping)
*http//,22343/ Dario Casali{{Wikipedia|Casali_brothers|Casali brothers}} (HL mapping)
The '''Black Mesa desert''' is an area featured within and outside the Black Mesa Research Facility compound, where it is seen among others between Sector G's Hydro-Electric Dam and the Topside Motorpool, and first seen in the ''Half-Life'' chapter ''Half-Life storyline Tension|Surface Tension''.

The proper desert part includes several sandy areas with Land Mines, cacti and rocks, several small Hazardous Environment Combat Unit|HECU camps, some Xen creatures such as Standard Headcrab|Headcrabs, Houndeyes, and a Tentacle, as well as terrestrial birds such as hawks and quails and some insects such as crickets, according to the sound file names. There, Gordon Freeman is chased by the AH-64 Apache that started attacking him at the dam.

FileCliffs HECU.jpg|View of the canyon from the cliff where a HECU soldier is waiting for Freeman.|right|thumb|200px

After a small sewer section, Freeman reaches a steep cliff in front of a large WikipediaMesa|mesa valley with a river, and sees an F-16 passing by. On the cliff are several HECU soldiers and a HECU Sentry Gun|Sentry Gun. After reaching the other side of the cliff, the Apache reappears, and Freeman finally defeats it when first finding the HECU RPG|RPG in  small cave, at the climax of the chapter.

This canyon is seen again in the ''Opposing Force'' introduction, from the Osprey that passes by it. As the crash occurs shortly after, it is possible that the Black Mesa Medical Lab|Infirmary where Adrian Shephard wakes up is close to the canyon.

==Behind the scenes==
*Early ''Half-Life'' screenshots indicate that the rock color in the skybox for the daytime exteriors was browner, while the retail skybox has pinker rocks. A segment of the original skybox with browner rocks can still be found in one of the ads seen in Sector C and other locations.
*Early ''Half-Life'' screenshots indicate that they were to be two Apaches instead of one chasing the player.
*Early ''Half-Life'' screenshots also indicate this area was at some point to be visited during nighttime.
*Along the cliff are located two large pipes that are supposed to extend to the root of the cliff below, but stop before, due to the game limitations of that time. In ''Half-Life Source'', they have been extended to the bottom and finally the river below, for more realism.
*The cliff area is mirrored in ''Half-Life 2'', when ascending the Nova Prospekt cliff. Here the Headcrab waiting for Freeman at the entrance of the second pipe has been replaced by a Fast Zombie.
*The cliff area was again mirrored in ''Half-Life 2 Lost Coast'', in the ascension of the cliff leading to the monastery and the battle against the Hunter-Chopper at the end of the game.


FileSurface tension plan.jpg|Concept art of a large HECU camp in the area.
FileDesert choppers2.jpg|Two Apaches flying above the desert in an early screenshot.
FileDesert choppers.jpg|Ditto.
FileChopper desert 2.jpg|Ditto.
FileSurface D1 ordering.jpg|An Apache flying above the desert in an early screenshot.
FileEarly desert view.jpg|Early view of the desert.
FileEarly desert view2.jpg|Ditto.
FileEarly Black Mesa desert view3 Half Life.jpg|Ditto, at night.
FileEarly desert view4.jpg|Ditto.
FileMine field.jpg|A mine field.
FileLand mine explode.jpg|A Land Mine exploding.


FileApache cliffs.jpg|Early screenshot with the Apache and an early Tau Cannon viewmodel.
FileEarly cliffside chopper.jpg|The AH-64 Apache in an early screenshot. 
FileSurface tension scripted.jpg|Early screenshot featuring an Osprey, not present there in the final game.
FileC1A0 FLIPSIGN8.png|Retail ad featuring the skybox.
FileBlack Mesa valley goldsrc.jpg|View of the canyon from the cliff. 
FileBlack Mesa valley source.jpg|Ditto, in ''Half-Life Source''.
FileOpposing Force intro.jpg|Alien Aircrafts attacking the Ospreys above the canyons at the start of ''Opposing Force''. 

==List of appearances==

*''Half-Life'' {{1st}}
*''Half-Life Opposing Force''
*''Half-Life Decay'' {{C|Ad only}}


|title=''Half-Life'' story arc journey
|before=Sector G Hydro Electric Hydro Plant|Topside Hydro Plant
|after=Topside Motorpool
|title=''Half-Life Opposing Force'' story arc journey
|before=Santego Military Base
|after=Black Mesa Medical Lab
{{Black Mesa}}
CategoryBlack Mesa Research Facility locations
CategoryHalf-Life Opposing Force