Questionable Ethics


{{Chapter Infobox
|image=FileC2a4e lobby.jpg|250px
|designer=Dario Casali{{IA|20010512055424/http//|Interview with Dario Casali|Voltron's Map Workshop (May 1, 2000)}}
|previous=''Residue Processing''
|next=''Surface Tension''

'''''{{PAGENAME}}''''' is the eleventh chapter of ''Half-Life''.

{{See2|story information|the Half-Life storyline article}}

This chapter takes place in the Alien Research Labs.''Half-Life Prima Guide'' The player learns that this is a facility devoted entirely to the study of captured alien creatures. The area is under the military control. The main goal is to find a Black Mesa Science Team|scientist with a retinal scanner access who can open the front door in the lobby, so the player can go outside and escape.

There are sterilization chambers,''Half-Life'' (sentences.txt) which can be used from their booths to trap and kill the enemies by vaporizing them. There is a laser lab upstairs where the player is required to turn on four power sources for a red laser, and use the laser to carve through a wall. This leads to a room (dubbed Psycho Surgery)FileC2a4f plan.png|The level plan for the laser puzzle with three scientists and an out of control surgical unit. The player can have a scientist follow him to the lobby, and have him open the front door.

After opening the door, the scientist warns the player that outside is completely under the military control. He says the player has to fight his way through to reach the Lambda Complex, where the rest of the science team has taken shelter. There is a path outside that leads to the Hydro-Electric Dam.

{{Main|Alien Research Lab}}

The ''Alien Research Lab'' is the predecessor of ''Questionable Ethics'', and is the fourth chapter in the Half-Life Alpha|Alpha version of the game. It was also developed by Dario Casali. The chapter shares the same general premise. While none of the level architecture was reused, the concept of Alien Grunts being stored in containment chambers survived into the final game.

According to Marc Laidlaw, the labs served numerous purposes in the game To deepen the sense of conspiracy and cause the player to question what was actually going on at Black Mesa; to give the player access to a high-powered weapon that's crucial for battling powerful enemies in subsequent levels; and to force a style of puzzle-solving focused on protecting and working with human characters (scientists) rather than simply throwing switches.

Goal This section of the labs is quite non-linear in layout, although judicious use of locked doors again gives it a linear flow the first time through. Non-linear areas tend to work against the usual dramatic virtues of pacing and rhythm and timing, and give rise to plentiful opportunities for boredom and confusion. They also make it easy for the player to miss or forget his goal. When designing the labs on paper, they decided that the player should see  his goal (the exit) immediately upon entering the lobby. There is a scanner next to the locked exist, and by this time the player has been taught that only scientists or other NPCs can operate a scanner. Presumably the player will carry this knowledge with him as he moves away from the exit and fights his way through the other areas of the map, and by the time he encounters a group of hiding scientists, he'll understand that he's supposed to escort one of them through the labyrinthine labs back to the scanner. To further aid the player in understanding the goal, they added a security guard to give a short briefing on the way into the area.

Gameplay Puzzles were built around a variety of enemy encounters, traps, and scientific devices, and assembled from elements that have some logical place in the environment sterilizers, laser equipment, caged monsters. Getting certain weapons is tricky in that it requires exposing oneself to monsters, and then quickly working with the environment to neutralize the threat. The player must open a cage full of sharks, then retreat into a sterilizer control room in order to vaporize them before he is overwhelmed. In addition, the presence of enemy soldiers adds a constant threat and gives contrast to the alien menace. In some circumstances, the canny player choose to wait out battles between aliens and other humans, and then deal with the weakened victor of those battles. In such cases, the player's best strategy is patience. This puts a twist on the unusual action game tactic, where players usually can expect to solve all problems by direct, aggressive attacks.

Atmosphere They selected detail that seemed appropriate to the research environment, and that added to the underlying story. Certain areas were tailored specifically for the study of the alien creatures, which tends to raise questions about how long the researcher at Black Mesa have known about the aliens, and what exactly they were doing with them. As much as possible, the details also provided opportunities for gameplay; for instance, sterilizers that were used by researchers to cleanse room of biohazards turn out to be just as effective at vaporizing pursuing soldiers. Since they wanted a mood of high-tech horror to pervade ''Half-Life'', they avoided a lot of opportunities for wacky comedy, and instead tried to set up situations for suitably dark and ironic humor. The "Tau Cannon", for instance, is given to the player at the end of a macabre sequence. And as a bonus, in addition to the weapon itself, the player is "rewarded" with a unique piece of music that punctuates the action and puts a weird spin on the otherwise relentless mood of horror.''Game Design Secrets of the Sages'' by Marc Saltzman (1999)

===Other versions===
The level code for the chapter is "Regression Brings Progress" in the Half-Life (Dreamcast port)|Dreamcast version.

==Behind the scenes==
The unused sign textures reveals that the facility was originally called the "High Security Research Labs", located in the Central Complex. The original design of the laser lab layout was different. There was to be a second set of stairs in the other side. It can be seen in the FileC2a4f plan.png|level plan. It was to lead to the hall with explosive crates, near the lab where they keep the Alien Grunts. Unused Black Mesa Announcement System Black Mesa Announcement System/Quotes|lines for the chapter can be found in the sentences file used for the speech system. The area is referred to as "Advanced Biological Research Lab" in the document.

There is a logo on the lobby floor featuring the Latin words "Superbus Via Inscientiae", and a WikipediaDNA|DNA WikipediaDouble helix|double helix in the middle. It was created by Karen Laur. According to Karen, she was annoyed with the hubris of some co-workers, and asked a linguist friend of hers for some help with a translation. He was specialized in Germanic languages and said the original phrase was probably incorrect. She was informed that "Superbus Via Inscientiae" meant something close to "arrogance through ignorance", and that was close enough for her.http// Superbus via inscientiae on LatinDiscussion forums (February 19, 2010)

There was to be a security guard waiting in the booth of the first sterilizer chamber. He was to push the button and tell the player to get in the booth immediately.maps/c2a4d.bsp The animations for this scene can be found in the Half-Life SDK|SDK. Another scene was to involve a Bullsquid jumping on a security guard, and both of them falling down (512 units in the level editor) to their death.Half-Life SDK|''Half-Life'' SDK. The height of the scene matches the room behind the destroyed wall in the laser room. It is possible that the destruction was to trigger this sequence.

The scientists mention their colleague Peters switched on the surgical unit, but never made it back. His body is never seen, but his remains can be found in the room. He actually appears in the game, but his body is destroyed by the machine on map load. His character model is randomly selected.


FilePlaceholder noimage.svg|Sterilization chamber.
FileBio lab early.png|The building.


FileC2a4d cage.jpg|The cages.
FileC2a4d grunt.jpg|Containment tube.

FileC2a4d shock.jpg|Sterilization chamber.
FileC2a4e blast01.jpg|Another one, in use.
FileC2a4e blast02.jpg|Ditto, after use.
FileC2a4e grunt.jpg|Alien Grunt.
FileC2a4f mirror01.jpg|The laser lab.
FileC2a4f mirror02.jpg|Ditto.
FileC2a4f laser.jpg|The laser.
FileC2a4e unit.jpg|The surgical unit.
FileC2a4e scan.jpg|Scientist opening the door.
FileBio lab outside.jpg|The building.


FileC2a4f plan.png|The laser lab level plan.
FileC2a4e logo.png|The lobby logo.
FilePlaceholder noimage.svg|The booth animation.{{abbr3|i|As seen in the SDK. The filename is c2a4_sterilizer_Barney_buttonhit.max}}
FilePlaceholder noimage.svg|Ditto.{{abbr3|i|As seen in the SDK. The filename is c2a4_sterilizer_Barney_buttonhit_longer.max}}
FilePlaceholder noimage.svg|Ditto.{{abbr3|i|As seen in the SDK. The filename is c2a4_sterilizer_Barney_idle.max}}
FilePlaceholder noimage.svg|The fall animation.{{abbr3|i|As seen in the SDK. The filename is c2a4_bullsquid_barney_fall/barney(idle).max, also known as barneyfallidle.smd.}}
FilePlaceholder noimage.svg|Ditto.{{abbr3|i|As seen in the SDK. The filename is c2a4_bullsquid_barney_fall/barney(fall).max, also known as barneyfall.smd }}
FilePlaceholder noimage.svg|Ditto.{{abbr3|i|As seen in Half-Life. The filename is squildfallidle.smd}}
FilePlaceholder noimage.svg|Ditto.{{abbr3|i|As seen in Half-Life. The filename is squildfall.smd}}

====''It's a Wonderful Half-Life''====
''It's a Wonderful Half-Life'' is the sixth issue of a web comic ''The New Adventures of Dank and Scud'' created by Michael Houston. Michael was invited to Valve to create a ''Half-Life'' of the comic before the release of the game. The scenes in the comic are staged, and may not reflect the actual state of the levels at the time.


==Associated media==
*{{ImagecatInline|Questionable Ethics images}}
*''Half-Life'' soundtrack, ''Half-Life soundtrack|Nuclear Mission Jam''
*''Half-Life'' soundtrack, ''Half-Life soundtrack|Dark Piano Short''


CategoryHalf-Life chapters