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Why do we always have to clean up a mess the grunts can't handle?
~ A male operative in Half-Life: Opposing Force.

The Black Operatives are supporting antagonists in the first-person shooter video game Half-Life, and later the secondary antagonists of its expansion pack, Half-Life: Opposing Force. They are divided into two groups: female operatives and male operatives.


They are sent by the US Government to place a thermonuclear bomb inside the parking garage of the Black Mesa Compound. The bomb's detonation is activated during the final cut scene in Half Life: Opposing Force.


Every black operative is covered in a black suit from head to toe. Each gender can be distinguished by the types of clothes that they wear. Female operatives wear black spandex jumpsuits and carry microphones as headsets. All of them wear night vision goggles. Male operatives wear black combat gear and balaclavas. Some of them wear night vision goggles whereas the rest have exposed eyes. Unlike the female counterparts, male operatives wear earpieces inside their masks.


Black operatives rely on stealth instead of brute force. They are almost completely silent during combat, refusing to yell whenever injured. They are also quick and able to jump very high. Most of the black operatives are equipped with SMG's with grenade attachments. Some male operatives use sniper rifles as an alternative weapon. Female operatives have cloaking devices that can enable them to become partially invisible. Up close, black operatives use punches and martial arts kicks as melee attacks.



The black operatives have an unstable relationship with the HECU. Both sides seem to be allied in the first Half Life game. The black operatives' existence and role are expanded in Half Life: Opposing Force. They are sent to destroy the Black Mesa compound after the HECU fail to contain the Resonance Cascade incident. Upon arrival, every black operative either kills or interrogates a HECU soldier. They consider the HECU to be incompetent and inept. A male operative even states resentment for taking care of the HECU's responsibility.

Gordon Freeman

Although Gordon Freeman has relatively few encounters with them, female operatives respond with hostility towards him. This is due to the females' protocol, prompting Gordon to fight back and kill several of them.



  • Although no official expansion pack was released to give the player the ability to play a black operative, a Half-Life mod was made to allow players to do just that. The mod deals with a black operative being sent to a city that has been overrun with aliens during the Black Mesa Incident, and to help cover up the events whilst facing HECU marines. The game's ending ties with Half-Life: Opposing Force, in which the player arms the nuclear warhead that is responsible for destroying Black Mesa.
  • Female operatives appear both in the original Half-Life game and its expansion, Opposing Force. Male operatives appear only in Opposing Force.
  • Compared to the HECU, black operatives have little dialogue.


           Halflifenavbox.png/ Portalnavbox.png Villains

Half-Life: Nihilanth | Zombies | Hazardous Environment Combat Unit | G-Man | Employers

Half-Life: Opposing Force: Gene Worm | Race X | Black Operatives | United States Government | G-Man | Employers

Half-Life 2: Wallace Breen | The Combine | Combine Advisors | Overwatch Elite | Combine Overwatch | Civil Protection | Stalkers | Zombies

Half-Life 2: Episode Two: Combine Advisors | Barn Advisor | The Combine | Zombies

Half-Life: Alyx: G-Man | Combine Overwatch | Zombies | Jeff | Scientist | Combine Advisors | Employers

Portal: GLaDOS | Turrets | Aperture Science

Portal 2: Wheatley | Cave Johnson

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