Half-Life Mods Brutalization Guide

A Tutorial for Brutal Half-Life


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A simple guide to convert some Half-Life mods into its brutalized version.

This guide will show you how to convert a Half-Life mod into its brutalized version, powered by Brutal Half-Life. The steps taken is shown in a straightforward manner, so hopefully anyone who is unfamiliar with Half-Life modding will be able to do the conversion themselves.

WARNING: Please DO NOT expect that you will be able to play brutalized version of ANY mods! The steps showed here ONLY WORKS with simple mods, that consists mostly of custom maps. Or, in other words, it doesn't have any new weapons/enemies/etc.

If you want to follow the guide, but don't have any mods to convert, you can try this mod: MINIMICUS (by SlayerA). This is the mod that I've tried myself, and most importantly, it works. Alright, let's get started.

Install Brutal Half-Life

I'm pretty sure you have already done this before. ;)

Install The Mod

Do a fresh install on a mod that you want to convert. You know the drill.

Check Feasibility

Next, we need to check whether the mod is convertible at all.

Open the mod folder. If the mod folder contains cl_dlls or dlls folder (and they are not empty/contain some DLL files), then the mod is NOT convertible. Tough luck.

Also, if the mod folder has models or sound or sprites folder, or it has a PAK file (typically named pak0.pak), then the conversion is still possible, but with a downside: some of the custom contents of the mod may be replaced.

For instance, all of the custom NPCs will be replaced by standard Half-Life NPCs. Unfortunately, unless someone makes a "brutal" version of the custom NPCs, there's no way around this fact. One has to use the standard NPCs.

Copy Brutal Half-Life Files

After we found out that the mod is convertible, we start to copy contents from Brutal Half-Life to the mod folder:

  1. Copy these folders from Brutal Half-Life mod folder (named bhl in Half-Life main directory). Paste and replace to the mod folder:
  2. cl_dlls
  3. Copy config.cfg and decals.wad from BHL folder; paste and replace them to the mod folder.
  4. Open any text editor (for example, Notepad)
  5. Using the editor, open liblist.gam file located in the mod folder.
  6. Replace this line:
  7. gamedll "..\valve\dlls\hl.dll"
    with this:
    gamedll "dlls\bhl.dll"
  8. Save the file.
  9. Playtest the mod! Hopefully you will get a bug-free, brutalized version of the mod.
So yeah, that's it! If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section.

Good luck and have fun!

UPDATE: List of Compatible Mods

Due to rarity of (well-made) convertible mods, I've decided to compile a list of compatible mods that I've playtested myself. I will update the list from time to time.

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  • Will this work with official stuff like Blue Shift and Opposing Force?
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  • edberd avatar
    edberd Joined 3y ago
    Posted by Mugen_Infinity8

    Nice work! Only thing is I can't find but like 2 mods without dll's... If there are a couple more you know off the top of your head that work with it, that'd be a great help. Thanks for the tut!
    Thanks! Unfortunately, I believe there's nothing we can do about them. Basically, each of the mod developers with custom dlls must implement the "brutalized" version themselves into their dlls. And before that happen, source code of BHL must be made publicly available, which currently is not. So yeah, it's still a long way to go.

    How about this: I have played some more mods using the technique since I wrote this guide. I think I will compile list of mods that are "brutalizable" from time to time.
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  • Nice work! Only thing is I can't find but like 2 mods without dll's... If there are a couple more you know off the top of your head that work with it, that'd be a great help. Thanks for the tut!


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edberd Joined 3y ago
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Zoonyarts Joined 4y ago
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