From Sega Retro


System(s): Sega Dreamcast
Publisher: Sierra On-Line (US), Havas Interactive (EU)
Developer: PyroTechnix[1], Captivation Digital Laboratories[1][2], Gearbox Software[2]
Licensor: Sierra On-Line[3], Valve Corporation‏‎[3]
Developer(s) of original games: Valve Corporation‏‎, Gearbox Software
Planned release date(s): 2000-09[4][5], 2000-10[6], 2000-11-01[7], 2000-11-22[8], 2000-11-24[9], 2000-11-29[10], 2001-01[11][12], 2001-04[13], 2001-06-01[14], 2001-06-29[15]
Genre: Shoot-'em-Up
Number of players: 1
State before cancellation: Late in development
Status of prototype(s): Prototype dumped
Peripheral(s): Dreamcast Mouse, Dreamcast Keyboard

This short article is in need of work. You can help Sega Retro by adding to it.

Half-Life is an unreleased Sega Dreamcast first-person shooter developed by Captivation Digital Laboratories and Gearbox Software. The highly-anticipated port of Valve Software's popular Half-Life, it was originally scheduled to be published Sierra On-Line in late 2000[4][7][10] - a date which would eventually be pushed back to June 2001.[14][15] With Sega's official discontinuing of the Dreamcast in March 2001, Sierra On-Line announced the port's cancellation on July 31, 2001, citing "changing market conditions".[16]

By then, Half-Life's Dreamcast version had already received a significant amount of both advertising and public awareness. Virtually every part of the game's production had been completed, from promotional kiosks to magazine reviews, and its official strategy guide had even been shipped to a small number of retailers for sale to consumers.[2] With such a high-profile title seeing a very late cancellation, Half-Life has since developed a reputation as one of the Dreamcast's most infamous unreleased games.


Half-Life would have featured identical gameplay to that of the Windows PC original, but with minor differences. Most notable are the game's updated graphics, which was touted as one of the Dreamcast version's unique selling points. When the game was cancelled, these graphics were ported over to Windows PCs, where they were further updated and released for free alongside Half-Life: Blue Shift as 2001's Half-Life High Definition Pack.

Due to its unoptimized nature, the game's framerate can frequently sink into the single digits during particularly-intensive scenes. Besides this, and the use of a Dreamcast Controller instead of a keyboard and mouse, Half-Life largely plays as it does in its original release. A minor addition is the inclusion of small cameos of Sega products in the game's breakable crates: two of the crate's debris models were replaced with a VMU and the game's Dreamcast disc. In early builds of the Japanese version, this disc is replaced with that of Sonic Adventure.

Half-Life: Blue Shift

Gearbox had developed an extra gameplay campaign which was intended to ship with the game, titled Half-Life: Blue Shift. While the main game's Dreamcast port failed to materialize, Blue Shift was later moved over to Windows PCs and released as a standalone expansion pack on June 12, 2001.


Main article: Half-Life/History.

The Dreamcast port of Half-Life was hugely anticipated, and despite being virtually finished, would eventually see its release cancelled at the last minute by publisher Sierra On-Line. By this time, it had already received substantial advertising and public awareness, ensuring Half-Life's legacy as one of the Dreamcast's most infamous unreleased games.

Magazine articles

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
Computer & Video Games (UK)
Dreamcast Monthly (UK) PAL
Dreamcast Magazine (UK) PAL
GamePro (US) NTSC-U
SuperGamePower (BR)
Sega Dreamcast
Based on
6 reviews


Main article: Half-Life/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Main article: Half-Life/Promotional material.

Technical information

Main article: Half-Life/Technical information.


ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Dreamcast
2001-05-11 GD-ROM V0.900 Page

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 @UrDailyHalfLife on Twitter
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Cutting Room Floor: Half-Life (Dreamcast)
  3. 3.0 3.1 File:HalflifeDreamcastTitle.png
  4. 4.0 4.1 Electronic Gaming Monthly, "September 2000" (US; 2000-08-08), page 50
  5. DC-UK, "May 2000" (UK; 2000-04-xx), page 62
  6. Official Dreamcast Magazine, "December 2000" (US; 2000-10-31), page 73
  7. 7.0 7.1 Press release: 2000-08-29: SIERRA STUDIOS(tm) ANNOUNCES HALF-LIFE: BLUE SHIFT
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dreamcast Magazine, "No. 15" (UK; 2000-11-02), page 56
  9. Dreamcast Magazine, "No. 15" (UK; 2000-11-02), page 10
  10. 10.0 10.1 Official Dreamcast Magazine, "November 2000" (UK; 2000-10-05), page 21
  11. Dreamcast Magazine, "No. 17" (UK; 2000-12-28), page 15
  12. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "February 2001" (US; 2001-01-09), page 48
  13. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "May 2001" (US; 2001-04-03), page 38
  14. 14.0 14.1 Official Dreamcast Magazine, "June 2001" (UK; 2001-05-24), page 28
  15. 15.0 15.1 http://www.whsmith.co.uk:80/whs/Go.ASP?menu=Games&pagedef=/games/comingsoon/index.htm (Wayback Machine: 2001-05-31 13:34)
  16. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/half-life-for-the-dreamcast-officially-cancelled/1100-2776155/ (Wayback Machine: 2021-07-16 06:56)
  17. Computer & Video Games, "November 2000" (UK; 2000-10-11), page 82
  18. Dreamcast Monthly, "November 2000" (UK; 2000-09-28), page 62
  19. DC-UK, "December 2000" (UK; 2000-10-23), page 58
  20. GamePro, "June 2001" (US; 2001-0x-xx), page 109
  21. SuperGamePower, "Junho 2001" (BR; 2001-xx-xx), page 34



Main page | Comparisons | History | Hidden content | Bugs | Development | Magazine articles | Reception | Promotional material | Technical information | Bootlegs

Books: Prima's Official Strategy Guide: Half-Life (2000)
Sega Dreamcast
Prototypes: 1659 prototype