This subject is related to the Black Mesa Incident era.

Black Ops

From Combine OverWiki, the original Half-Life wiki and Portal wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This subject is related to the Black Mesa Incident era.

For other uses, see Assassin (disambiguation).

Doll2.png Warning! This article has yet to be cleaned up to a higher standard of quality, per our Cleanup Project. It may contain factual errors and nonsense, as well as spelling, grammar and structure issues, or simply structure problems. Reader's discretion is advised until fixing is done.

You can help clean up this page by correcting spelling and grammar, removing factual errors and rewriting sections to ensure they are clear and concise, and moving some elements when appropriate.
Please notify the administrators before removing this template.

Born.png This article would greatly benefit from the addition of one or more new images.

Please upload one or several relevant images (from canonical / official sources) and place it here. Once finished, this notice may be removed.

Black Ops all.jpg
Black Ops
Political information

Assassins/Commandos group

  • Female Assassin
  • Male Assassin

Federal government of the United States[1]

Societal information

Cloaking field

Historical information

Black Mesa Incident

Game information
Voiced by
  • monster_human_assassin
  • monster_male_assassin
  • monster_blkop_apache
  • monster_blkop_osprey
"Why do we always have to clean up a mess the grunts can't handle?"
― Male Assassin[src]

The Black Ops, sometimes hyphenated to Black-Ops[5] and sometimes referred to as Black Operations,[6] are a commando group of trained government assassins[1] briefly seen in Half-Life and later expanded upon and featured in Half-Life: Opposing Force. Soon after the HECU, they invade the Black Mesa Research Facility to conceal any evidence of the Resonance Cascade.

While it is stated that the HECU and the Black Ops are officially known to enter the facility in the event of an emergency and work with the Security Force as "a dangerous and very efficient clean-up crew"[7] (although some employees consider it a rumor[8]), they are shown to work independently, killing all living things inside the base, whether they are Black Mesa employees, HECU soldiers, or alien (Xen and Race X) lifeforms, and eventually destroying Black Mesa altogether through the use of a nuclear weapon.

They are divided into two groups: The Female and Male Assassins.



The Black Ops first appear in Sector E in Half-Life during the chapter Apprehension, and later make one more appearance in Sector F, during the chapter Lambda Core. Only Female Assassins are seen by Gordon Freeman in the game.

Female Assassins are strikingly nimble and agile, able to sprint faster than any other enemy or character and can jump to extreme heights. They wear a black jump suit and use night vision goggles that include a headset with a microphone, although none are ever heard speaking. They are armed with a silenced 9mm Pistol and grenades, along with a cloaking field which they can use to conceal themselves while stationary.

The distinction between the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit and the Black Ops was not made at first in the original Half-Life. Although the two groups never encountered one another in the game, Female Assassins were coded to fight on the same side as the Marines. Many players assumed this meant they were working with the military since assassins had no backstory, and as such, many fan-made maps included them fighting alongside each other. It was not until the release of Opposing Force that more insight regarding the Black Ops was revealed.

Half-Life: Opposing Force[edit]

Male Assassins in Opposing Force.

Black Ops are featured much more prominently in Opposing Force. The reason for their presence at Black Mesa is also explained, something that was never made clear in the original game. Opposing Force explains that, after the initial failure of the HECU's clean-up operation, the Black Ops are sent to cover up the whole incident by destroying the entire facility. To do this, they intend to set off a thermonuclear device within the complex. Adrian Shephard locates the bomb the Black Ops deliver in a parking garage and is able to disarm it, but shortly thereafter it is seen being reactivated by the G-Man. The flash of a nuclear explosion is later witnessed in the epilogue, indicating the successful detonation of this bomb.

Along with the Female Assassins, Opposing Force introduced the group's male variant. Male Assassins wear black combat gear and ski masks that only expose their eyes. Some are seen wearing night vision goggles. Although not visible, they apparently have a communicator in their ear which they are seen listening to whenever they eliminate a target.

They are equipped with submachine guns with a grenade launcher attachment and regular grenades, but some Male Assassins who act as snipers have a M-40A1 Sniper Rifle. They utilize equipment and vehicles, such as the M44 cargo truck, the AH-64 Apache, and the Osprey Heliplane similar to the HECU, but black in color. Male Assassins are significantly less agile than their female counterparts, but still retain a high degree of mobility and swiftness. Unlike Female Assassins, Male Assassins are the only Black Ops members to be heard speaking, albeit rarely.

During gameplay, Black Ops are shown to have utter contempt for the HECU soldiers, considering them incompetent. One assassin angrily remarks to another, "Why do we always have to clean up a mess the grunts can't handle?". The Black Ops are openly hostile towards Marines, killing any who have not yet escaped as part of their mission. While the HECU are aware that the Black Ops group exists, they are confused by their arrival and at first wonder if they were there to assist. However, the Black Ops soon start killing all the non-Black Ops personnel they can find. HECU radio traffic shows that the Marines were totally taken by surprise, much like how the HECU initially overwhelms the Black Mesa personnel. Further evidence of their viciousness can be seen after discovering a Marine engineer who, after being brutally beaten and interrogated by assassins, is simply left for dead, bleeding out, and trapped in a garage.[5]

Black Ops soldiers can run much faster than the Marines, and up close, they use martial arts kicks and punches as melee attacks. They also have a little more health. Also, unlike their Marine counterparts, Black Ops assassins operate in total silence when in combat, refusing to even yell in pain when injured.

Half-Life: Decay[edit]

In Decay, the Black Ops assassins are only featured in the bonus chapter, Xen Attacks. In it they battle against the players' two Vortigaunt characters, X-8973 and R-4913, in the underground parking lot originally featured at the end of Opposing Force, under the largest Ordinance Facility.


Early model, with a crossbow.
  • The Female Assassins originally had the ability to attack their enemies at close range by kicking them. The unused attack animations are still present in the model file.
  • The Female Assassins were originally to be armed with crossbows. The quivers used to hold the crossbow bolts are still featured in the model, attached to the belt.
  • The early Female Assassin’s model features yellow goggles, turned red in the retail model.
  • As seen in the Opposing Force model files, the Male Assassins were originally to use flash grenades.
  • Early concept art for Quiver features special CIA units, one of which is a female. The Black Ops likely stem from it.[2]
  • The Female Assassin’s model's breasts possess a highly exaggerated bounce when walking. This was removed in Opposing Force, the censored German edition, and in the PlayStation 2 console port of the original game.
  • The Half-Life 2 successor and Combine counterpart to the Female Assassin is the cut Combine Assassin.[9][10]
  • When playing in Hard mode, Female Assassins also have a cloaking field, which they use to become partially invisible during combat.
  • In some instances, if a Female Assassin is killed by being shot in the back while running, her night vision goggles flip up, revealing blue (in Half-Life) or brown (in Opposing Force) eyes, and she will pull her legs together and lie dead on her left side. However, in the censored German edition of Half-Life, the Female Assassin’s goggles will always remain down after death.
  • The Female Assassin model featured in Opposing Force has brown eyes, while they are blue in that of Half-Life. The model also does not have grenades attached to the belt. The textures are also of lower resolution and slightly different, such as a different, darker grey for the Pistol's silencer. The overall build is also thinner.
  • A promotional image for Half-Life features a live-action version of the Female Assassin.






List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]



Black Ops
Combine OverWiki has a list of quotes for Black Ops.