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Proto:Half-Life (Windows)/Half-Life: Day One

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Half-Life (Windows).

HL DayOne MainMenu.png

A pre-release demo for Half-Life called Day One was bundled with graphics cards, and was designed exclusively for OEM partnerships. The demo found its way onto the internet, and it is available for download to anyone.

The prototype was compiled on August 31st and September 1st, 1998, almost two and a half months before the final game was released.


Early Chapter Titles

titles.txt contains some different names for chapters that are not seen on the demo.

Day One chapter name Final chapter name

Reloading Bug

The ammo count when reloading appears to be slightly bugged in Day One. When the player starts a reload, the total amount of ammo that will be added to the magazine is subtracted, but the magazine ammo count is not updated until the animation is finished, making it look like the player is mysteriously losing ammo for a second while reloading.

This strange bug is fixed in the final game.

Looking Up

Like the September 1997 prototype, the player cannot look up all the way, a behavior inherited from Quake. This makes Barnacles extremely difficult to kill once ensnared by one, as the player can't look up all the way to kill one before getting very close to it.

The final game lets the player look straight up.

Prototype Final
Hldayone lookup.png Hlfinal lookup.png

Developer's Console

The developer's console cannot be activated by default in this prototype.

However, it's possible to activate the console by force. To do this, use a hex editor and replace the 4th to the last byte from 01 to 00

Software (SW.DLL) OpenGL (HW.DLL)
[0x1c6df] c7 05 38 5f 0a 10 01 00 00 00 [0x07853] c7 05 00 f9 0b 10 01 00 00 00

There are some things to keep aware of, however:

You will not be able to use the console after starting a game, as the toggleconsole command is not registered.

Many commands are not registered, for example: sv_cheats

Going back to the pause menu will crash the game.

OpenGL Issues

The OpenGL renderer in this prototype has some small issues with modern drivers. Weapons will randomly become semi-transparent and decals will flicker. The game is still perfectly playable.


The prototype has autoaim enabled by default and it cannot be disabled.

Screenshot Command Bug

The "screenshot" command saves screenshots in broken 8-bit PCX files, while the final version saves them in TGA format. "snapshot" command works the same way as in the final version.

PAK Priority

Day One has the files in the .pak files take priority over ones in folders, making it impossible to mod Day One without a PAK files editor like PakScape.


This prototype uses a completely different system for save files. Day One creates a profile when the game is first started that saves are stored in. There doesn't seem to be any way to change profiles, but the presence of a profile system indicated they either disabled it or it had it at one point, but in the process of being removed when Day One was compiled.

The final game gets rid of this in favor of storing saves in a single folder accessed from the root "valve" folder.

Office Complex Crash

If the player saves at the start of Office Complex, then loads the save at any point, the game will crash with a "Tried to create NULL entity!" error. This was fixed in the final game.

Lack of Direct3D Support

Day One does not have a Direct3D renderer option available.

Automatic Reload

Guns will only reload once the player has let go of the fire key, then pressed it again.


Main Menu

Prototype Final
Several options omitted, Day One text below the Half-Life logo. Custom game, Multiplayer, and a few other options added.

There are several options missing in this build (including Custom Game and Multiplayer), and "Day One" text is present below the logo. Also, there are no minimize or exit buttons in Day One.



The prototype contains a skybox named "dawn" that is not used in the prototype and does not appear in the final game. Based on its looks, it appears to be an early version of the "morning" desert skybox, but this one is 3D-rendered and looks completely different from the morning skybox used in the final game.


A unique sunny desert skybox, more closely within the style of the final game's skyboxes. Used in a single map, C1A3B. It does not appear anywhere in the final game.

Earlier Menu Background

Hldayone splash8bit.png

The file named "splash8bit.bmp" contains an image of a scientist with a Gonarch. The scientist is similar to the one seen in the September 1997 prototype, suggesting this comes from an earlier point in development and was never removed or updated.

The file "splash.bmp" is used for the menu's background, which suggests this image was used for an earlier background.

Ammo Pickup

Day One does not show how much nor what kind of ammo the player has picked up. The HUD graphics for the ammo icons are in the game.

Loading Background Texture

The "loading" graphic that plays when a savegame is loading is different in Day One. The prototype has a black background with the lambda logo, while the final mixes the boxart with art of Gordon Freeman.

Prototype Final
Hldayone loadingscreen.png Hlfinal loadingscreen.png

320px HUD Graphics

The final game separates the train HUD and status effects graphics into two separate files, while the prototype keeps them in the first two 320px HUD graphic files.

Battery HUD Image

Hldayone oldarmorhud.png

The prototype's HUD graphics contains graphics for a battery and a charge meter inside it, which were removed from the final game.

Several pre-release images have a very similar battery icon on the HUD. Considering that the game uses batteries to restore armor points, it's likely that the battery graphic was a way to represent how much armor the player had left.

Prototype Pre-release image
Hldayone oldarmorhud.png Hl Early rpg and heavy.jpg


Hldayone palette.png

This image found in the Pak0.pak file of the Day One release in the "gfx" folder inside is an image called palette.bmp which is of a crudely drawn face.



Hldayone zombie.png

The Zombie has animations that do not appear in the final game.


Hlfinal bullsquid1.png

The Bullsquid has some animations that were removed from the final game.

Alien Slave

Hlfinal islave1.png

The Day One Alien Slave has some unique animations missing from the final game, including some that suggest that the Alien Slave could be grabbed by Barnacles at one point.

Human Grunt

Hlfinal hgrunt1.png

Human Grunts only have the gas mask head and the white beret heads in Day One.

In Day One, Human Grunts do not use the Shotgun, and don't even have it in their model file.

Generally, Human Grunts are more interested in killing the player than killing scientists. This can cause some issues, such as during the first Human Grunt the player encounters.



Hldayone gman.png

The G-Man is in Day One, but he has an odd behavior that was cut from the final game. When shot enough, he will run away very fast with a running animation removed from the final game.

While this sounds funny and harmless, it causes a problem in the middle of Unforeseen Consequences: shooting G-Man to the point where he starts to run during his Unforeseen Consequences appearance will prevent him from despawning. This prevents the player from leading the scientist near G-Man's location to the ammo-filled room to unlock it because G-Man is in the way.

Security Guard

Hlfinal barney1.png

The Security Guard has many animations that cannot be found in the final's Security Guard model.


Hlfinal scientistwalter1.png

The Day One Scientist has several animations that the final Scientist model does not have.



Hlfinal crowbar.png

The Crowbar is the same as it is in the final game.


Hldayone 9mmpistol.png

The prototype Pistol uses larger textures for the side, back, and top.

This weapon has an unusual glitch that was fixed in the final game. If the player picks up a Pistol and has no reserve ammo, then switches to another weapon, he can't take the Pistol out again until he picks up ammo for it.

The Day One Pistol has the same magazine system that it does in early versions of the final game (before it was patched out).

The game does not play reloading sounds when reloading the Pistol in Day One.

Prototype Final
Hldayone glockside.png Hlfinal glockside.png
Prototype Final
Hldayone glocktop.png Hlfinal glocktop.png
Prototype Final
Hldayone glockback.png Hlfinal glockback.png


Hldayone shotgun.png

When picked up for the first time, the Shotgun does not have any extra shells. The final game gives the player four extra shells in reserve when picking one up. This seems to be because Shotgun pickups give the player 8 shells in Day One.

The Shotgun's world model has much larger textures than it does in the final game.

The pump sound and animation are synchronized, unlike the final game.

Prototype Final
Hldayone shotside.png Hlfinal shotside.png
Prototype Final
Hldayone shottop.png Hlfinal shottop.png
Prototype Final
Hldayone shothole.png Hlfinal shothole.png
Prototype Final
Hldayone shotdark.png Hlfinal shotdark.png

Submachine Gun (MP5)

Hlfinal mp5.png

The prototype SMG has 50 rounds in its magazine when the player picks it up. In the final game, an SMG picked up for the first time will have 25 rounds in its magazine, which can be changed to the standard 50 by reloading.

All MP5s picked up give the player 50 rounds, while the final game reduces it to 25.

The "longidle" animation is missing in Day One.

The SMG's world model textures are noticeably larger in Day One. The world model also has a slight bug on the grenade model that was fixed in the final game.

Like the Pistol, the SMG's reload sounds do not play when reloading.

Prototype Final
Hldayone mp5worldmodeltexture.png Hlfinal mp5worldmodeltexture.png
Prototype Final
Hldayone m203.png Hlfinal m203.png
Prototype Final
Hldayone mp5w.png Hlfinal mp5w.png


Hldayone grenade.png

The Grenade has quite a few differences compared to the final game.

The player can hold 25 Grenades in the prototype, but is limited to 10 in the final game. This explains why there are often more than 10 Grenades bundled up together in Unforeseen Consequences and Office Complex: they were added to maps when the game let the player hold 25 Grenades, but the drops weren't adjusted later when the amount of Grenades that could be held was reduced.

Grenades can be throw much farther than they can in the final game, making it much easier to hit distant enemies.

In Day One, Grenades cannot be cooked, making them much less likely to kill an enemy. The extra capacity does make it easy to carpet bomb an area with Grenades, which helps make up for the lack of cooking.

Grenades use the Satchel's hitting the ground sounds. The final's hitting the ground sounds do not exist in Day One.

Tripwire Mine

Hldayone tripmine.png

The Tripwire Mine cannot be used, but its model is in the prototype because it is used during We've Got Hostiles.

The texture on it has a lot more green and is much smaller than the one used in the final game. This Tripwire Mine texture appears during one of the E3 1998 presentations.

It lacks the "place" animation but has an animation unseen in the final game, "arm2", where Gordon presses a button on the top of it and places it on a wall.

Prototype Final
Hldayone tripmine.png Hlfinal tripmine.png
Prototype E3 1998 footage
Hldayone tripmine.png Hle31998 tripmine.png


Hldayone rpgicon.png

The RPG is not in the game, but an earlier HUD graphic for it is in Day One's files.

The design on the HUD graphic resembles an old RPG design found in some pre-release images.

Prototype Final
Hldayone rpgicon.png Hlfinal rpgicon.png
Prototype Final
Hldayone rpgiconselect.png Hlfinal rpgiconselect.png
Prototype Pre-release RPG
Hldayone rpgicon.png Hl Early rpg and heavy.jpg

357 Magnum Revolver

The .357 cannot be picked up in this prototype, but there is a HUD image placement text file included in Day One's files.

Zero Point Generator

The prototype's skill.cfg file has a listing for a weapon called "Zero Point Generator", which does not appear anywhere in the final game. It is unknown what it would do, but skill.cfg states that it would do 1 damage in each difficulty.

The name of its damage variable, sk_plr_zpg1, suggests that the player would use it, as "plr" is an abbreviated version of "player".



Hldayone battery.png

The Battery uses a completely different design in Day One. It is an octagonal shape with a connector thing at the top and blue shapes on its sides.

The game does not play a sound when picking up a Battery in Day One, but does in the final game.

Prototype Final
Hldayone battery.png Hl1 battery.png

Long Jump Module

Hldayone longjump.png

The Long Jump Module uses a red version of Day One's battery in Day One. The final game gives it its own unique model.

Prototype Final
Hldayone longjump.png Hlfinal longjump.png

9mm Pistol magazine

Hldayone pistolmag.png

In Day One, the 9mm Pistol magazine pickup gives the player 30 rounds instead of the final's 17.

Shotgun Shell Box

Hldayone shellmag.png

Shotgun shell boxes give the player 30 shells instead of 12 in Day One.



Meeting the Alien Slaves

The area seen during the Resonance Cascade in which Alien Slaves surround the player is brighter, its walls can be seen with a flashlight and the player's movement is not blocked.


Path to the Storage Room

The path to the storage room and the door the Zombie breaks down are both on the same path in the prototype. The final game splits them into two separate paths.

Prototype Final
Hldayone c1a2 1.png Hlfinal c1a2 1.png

Missing Boxes

The corridor to what is C1a2d in the final game does not have any boxes and is much shorter in Day One.

Prototype Final
Hldayone c1a2 2.png Hlfinal c1a2 2.png


C1a2d is merged with C1a2 in Day One.


Invincible Scientist

The scientist that bangs on the window, then runs into the Tripwire Mine behaves differently in Day One. He will only die after leaving the SMG room. He'll run through the Tripwire Mine without a problem, then stand in front of a chain-link fence and absorb Sentry Gun bullets without any problem until the player leaves the SMG room.

The final game fixes this by having him automatically die soon after he runs past the Tripwire Mine or soon after he stops in front of the chain link fence.

First SMG

In Day One, a dead security guard can be found next to the SMG at the start of We've Got Hostiles. The final game changes it to a dead Human Grunt, likely because security guards are never seen using SMGs and a dead Human Grunt lets the player see one before they start appearing in full.

Prototype Final
Hldayone c1a3 2.png Hlfinal c1a3 2.png

Vents in SMG Room

The SMG room has two unbreakable vents that were removed in the final game.

Prototype Final
Hldayone c1a3 4.png Hlfinal c1a3 4.png
Prototype Final
Hldayone c1a3 3.png Hlfinal c1a3 3.png

Cafeteria Table

The table in the prototype will break into two pieces if the player jumps on it. After destroying it, the sides are not fully flattened, which can be fixed by jumping on it again.

The final keeps the table, but moves it slightly and the player cannot jump on it to break it in half.


First Human Grunt

In Day One, the first Human Grunt the player encounters will begin attacking the player as soon as the player comes into sight, ignoring the scientist running down. The final game fixes this by having the Human Grunt wait for the scientist and attack him, then go for the player once the player gets closer.

Strangely, Half-Life: Source undoes this fix and has the Human Grunt attack the player while ignoring the scientist.

Prototype Final
Hldayone c1a3a 1.png Hlfinal c1a3a 1.png


Time of Day

The Day One C1a3c takes place during the day, while the final one takes place at dusk.

This is kept for C1a3d as well.

Prototype Final
Hldayone c1a3c 1.png Hlfinal c1a3c 1.png
Prototype Final
Hldayone c1a3c 2.png Hlfinal c1a3c 2.png



The large vent at the bottom of the map has a large grate in front of it, preventing the player from continuing. This marks the end of Day One.

Oddly, the game will only begin the fade out/ending sequence if the player starts climbing down the yellow ladder that leads to the bottom of the air shaft. If the player jumps directly to the bottom catwalk, the game will keep on going until the player goes to the top of the yellow ladder.

Prototype Final
Hldayone c1a3d 1.png Hlfinal c1a3d 1.png


Day One comes with two videos removed from the final game. They show either Gordon Freeman or Gina's models rotated 360 degrees.



Difficulty Differences

The prototype has some differences in how much damage enemies do and how much health they have in each difficulty.

Of note is that the Gonarch and Alien Controller are not listed in the skill.cfg file at all. The Day One version of the file also lacks listings for medkits, batteries, health and HEV chargers, and the amount of damage the Nihilanth does.


Parameter Day One Final
Alien Grunt Health 100 60
Alien Grunt Hornet damage 4 5
Alien Grunt Hornet damage 4 5
Gargantua Health 2000 800
Gargantua stomp damage 25 50
Female Assassin health 50 30
Human Grunt damage 3 4
Icthyosaur Health 80 200
Icthyosaur melee 10 20
Nihilanth Health 200 800
Scientist Health 8 20


Parameter Day One Final
Alien Grunt Health 100 90
Gargantua Health 2000 800
Gargantua stomp damage 25 100
Icthyosaur Health 80 200
Icthyosaur melee 15 35
Nihilanth Health 200 800
Scientist Health 8 20


Parameter Day One Final
Alien Grunt Health 100 120
Alien Grunt Hornet damage 4 5
Alien Grunt Hornet damage 5 8
Bullsquid Health 80 120
Female Assassin and Security Guard damage 5 8
Gargantua Health 2000 1000
Gargantua stomp damage 25 50
Human Grunt damage 4 5
Icthyosaur Health 80 400
Icthyosaur melee 15 50
Nihilanth Health 200 1000
Scientist Health 8 20