"They Hunger 1, 2 & 3" FAQ's and Tech Help

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Don't see your problem covered here? Then write Neil at [email protected] with full details. But please read this page thoroughly first.

Please contact Sierra Tech Help for any problems you may have with Half-Life itself.



IMPORTANT: The "They Hunger" episodes only work with Half-Life versions or higher. Check the version number that appears in the bottom right corner of the Main Menu screen (when you start Half-Life). If your version is older, or if you don't see a version number there, then you need to upgrade! To update Half-Life go to PlanetHalflife's Files Page or use Sierra's AutoUpdate feature (Steam games should be updated automatically).


Running with STEAM: If you want to run They Hunger mod in Steam, all you have to do is install They Hunger in a "hunger" folder inside "C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\<your-steam-account-name>\half-life". If you do it right, "They Hunger" should appear as a Third-party game in the Steam menu.


NOTE: There are some additional problems and answers for TH3 here.


NOTE: There are some unauthorized sites offering old episodes/versions of They Hunger for download. Old versions of They Hunger will NOT work with new versions of Half-Life. Fileplanet is the only site that PC Gamer has authorized to have They Hunger available for download, so please get it there.


'They Hunger Skys are Blank!'

Answer]Valve made a mistake in patch HL Now HL can't read the sky files from inside a PAK file. This change caused a lot of problems with most HL mods including TH3.

Einar has prepared a TH3 patch that fixes this problem. This patch should also fix the skys in TH deathmatch maps. You can get it here. Scroll down the page for the public servers.


'Custom Game Menu'

Question] I am not getting the CUSTOM GAME option when I start up Half-Life. The TH subdirectories and files appear to be arranged as your readme.txt requires. Any ideas?

Answer] The "They Hunger" episodes only work with Half-Life versions or higher. Check the version number that appears in the bottom right corner of the Main Menu screen (when you start Half-Life). If your version is older, or if you don't see a version number there, then you need to upgrade! To update Half-Life go to PlanetHalflife's Files Page or use Sierra's AutoUpdate feature. -Einar


'Cheats Don't Work'

Question] My cheats work in regular halflife but not in They Hunger ..what gives?

Answer] It depends on how you start HL. If you start using the "Team Fortress Classic" icon (before activating TH), HL disables cheats. The solution is to start HL directly using the "Half-Life Console" menu option, then activate TH. This way, HL will keep cheats enabled.

Also, are you using Win2K? There are some incompatibility issues with games running on Win2K. Installing latest version of DirectX may help you in this case.

You can also try to start TH3 directly using a command line like this:

C:\Sierra\Half-Life\hl.exe -console -dev -game hunger



'Could not load library E:\Sierra\Half-Life/Hunger/cl-dlls\client.dll'

Question] When I load They Hunger 2, I get a error message saying, "Could not load library E:\Sierra\Half-Life/Hunger/cl-dlls\client.dll". When I click on "OK", the machine goes back to desktop.

Answer] This error mean you need to upgrade your Halflife game to 'current' version Please see info on the top of this page on how to upgrade Halflife. -Neil


'I get booted out of Half-Life'

Problem] When I attempt to activate the They Hunger mod from the custom games menu, I get booted out of half-life and back to my desktop. I have Half-Life version Any suggestions?

-Ryan Lockhart

Solution] I figured out what the problem was. I had some single player maps that have been compiled into pak files and were in my 'Valve' directory, instead of just being bsp files. The problem was that They Hunger would crash because it executed the wrong pak files. Once I removed all the extra pak files, the program loaded perfectly.

-Ryan Lockhart

NOTE: The ONLY 'pak' file that should be in your Half-Life VALVE folder is pak0.pak! If you see any others there with the pak extension you should delete them. WARNING: DO NOT delete any pak files from your custom game folders and DO NOT delete Valve/pak0.pak! -Neil


'I also get booted out of Half-Life'

Problem] I wanted to try your half life mod, but every time I do, I get booted out of halflife and back to the desktop. This is after choosing "activate" on the custom games menu. I saw a relevant question on your FAQ page but the solution there didn't work for me. There is says I should make sure that there are no pak files in the valve directory other than pak0.pak (which i did - there weren't any other pak files in there). I am running v43/ of halflife (that's what it says in the lower left hand corner of the halflife menu. Running Win2k with a TNT2 card, OpenGL.

Solution] I know there are some incompatibility issues with HL running on Win2K, so this is probably the reason of your problem.

Upgrade to the latest version of DirectX, that improves Win2K compatibility with several games. Also, sometimes inexplicable problems with HL are solved simply by uninstalling HL, manually removing the HL folders that remains, then reinstalling HL and upgrading it again to -Einar


'TH3 Helicopter Ride Choppy as Hell'

Problem] near the end of Th3 I am in the helicopter circling overhead and I see my challenge below, but I think the speeds are killing me. The scene is so choppy that shots are impossible. I have a P233, 96mg of Ram, 16 mg Monster Fusion card. It's a bit dated but I've been able to play all others HL games and mods etc. Any suggestions appreciated.

Solution] The r_speeds in that scene are moderately high but not anything near the recommended maximums for HL. However, combine that with the moving helicopter and it could create probs for a low end machine like yours. The solution would be to lower your screen resolution and get your fps higher and you should be ok. After that scene you could then change back to previous resolution.-Neil


'Trapped in Zork Release Room'

Question] They Hunger 2 is great, I love it, but I have one question. When you get trapped in a room, and Dr. Franklin and Sheriff Rockwell make that large zombie comes alive is it the end of the game after you kill the zombie?

Answer] You have much more of the game to play yet. We call the large zombie a Zork, he is actually more like a Frankenstein type monster than a zombie. Anyways, on to your problem. If more Zorks never came after you killed the first one then you have run into a bug in HL that can show up when your comp happens to slow down too much during a script. You probably did a quicksave during the scripted_sequences that occur during the Zork release scene, doing so can interupt the triggering in HL and cause the scripts to not complete. If you suspect you did that then go to the last 'autosave' game [there was one just before that scene for this very reason] and play the scene again but do not quicksave this time and everything should transpire as it should and you can continue on your way.  -Neil


'Video Driver Incompatabilities'

Question 1] I tried to play TH last night and ran into the same problem consistently. After the part of the intro where the car crosses the train tracks and it starts raining, the game would lock up at the 'loading' screen. I checked the troubleshooting hints on your website and in the 'readme', but nothing seemed to apply to my config. I have the latest version of HalfLife, an Intel 500MHz/Win98 box, 128MB and a MaxiGamer Xentor 32 video card. I also have all of the current drivers as of a month ago. They don't seem to be updated very often. Any help would be appreciated. Keep up the good work.

Question 2] The ONLY reason I bought the PC GAMER with CD was for ... THEY HUNGER! Let me tell you, it ROCKS! I LOVE IT! BUT, I have a problem ... I am at the part when you first see the Zombie Cop & the Helecopter. As soon as he shoots me ... an ERROR message appears ... "SG_Getspace: Overflow without allowoverflow set". When I hit OK ... the game ENDS! HOW Do I stop that?????

Answer] Get the latest reference drivers for your video cards. The reference drivers are the only ones Valve recommends. If you have a Diamond Monster 3D II then you need to get the latest Voodoo2 reference drivers by 3DFX [the Diamond drivers are not fully compatable with HL], if you have TNT2 then get the latest reference drivers by nVidea.

NOTE: I am not familiar with the Xentor 32 but the same solution would apply.

Or easiest is just to play through that one part in software mode and you may be ok rest of the game? Even with latest drivers it doesn't always mean you won't have any probs. This is one reason they keep revising them is not just for better performance, but because of incompatabilities with games. -Neil


'Game Crash!'

Question] I have a game crash ....?

Answer] Try playing through the area that causes your crash in sw [software] mode [not openGL or D3D], this will potentially rule out a problem with your video card. If it works fine in sw mode then get the latest drivers for your video card. The reference drivers are usually preferable. -Neil


'Key Configuration Woes'

Question] I would like to know if the They Hunger custom game allows you to reconfigure the keyboard commands as the original retail version does. If so, how does one do this. I've reconfigured my keyboard commands for the retail version of the game and they work fine. When I do it for the They Hunger it does'nt work. What should I do?

Answer] There is no good reason reconfiguring your keyboard shouldn't work in They Hunger? This seems to be a common little problem in HL itself. Anyway, try configuring your keys in a regular HL map and then, 'without' exiting HL, go to the custom game menu and start the They Hunger game. Then your configuration should be carried over to the TH game successfully. -Neil


'Riva 128' [& possibly some other video cards?]

Question] I just downloaded the level, yet I am having problems running it. I go through the "custom game" procedures, however, once after the "Loading" screen apprears it take a ton of time to start to display the level... once it finally does it does it fram by frame with about 15 seconds in-between each frame. I have to finally escape out of it because I can't play it. I am currently running a Pentium 200 with 64 megs RAM and a Creative Labs nVidia Riva 128 (16 megs). I have also downloaded the lastest update from Valve and am running 1.0 1.0. Do you know what could be the problem?

Answer 1] I believe there is an incompatibility with Half-Life using Riva 128. This problem happens in some circunstances at the first time the game starts. The easiest solution is to start Half-Life normally and start the Hazardous Course (or a new game or even TFC). This is just to make sure the Half-Life graphical routine had started correctly and the framerate is right. Then press ESC, go to the Custom Game menu, activate TH and start a new game.-Einar

Answer 2] I am running a TNT card and I have always had this same problem myself when starting HL in openGL mode. I have found that if I select openGL from configuration everytime before I start a game that HL will usually then start properly for me. If it doesn't, then I will try starting in sw [software] mode and then switch to openGL in-game. If that doesn't work either then I must restart the computer and do all again:[-Neil


'Hard Drive Space'

Question] prob: ... I have ERROR: could not open, then 2 lines, invalid char: w and invalid char: I tried twice reinstalled as per the text file, everything else works fine with my HL. I play TF2 all of the time. I'm at version

Answer] It looks like you don't have enough 'actual' free space available on your hard-disk. I recommend at least 200Mb of free disk space to avoid any problems like this. Try also to delete the "save" sub-directory inside the "hunger" directory ...it may help. Or if you are going to try to install it again first make sure you deleted the entire "hunger" directory (just don't delete "hunger.zip") before reinstalling it. -Einar


'Authentic CD Required'

Question] The game begins to load ... but then ... I get a message to insert the Half-Life CD. Of course it's already in the tray. Even if I remove and reinsert after three tries the game shuts down with a message, "Unable to Verify Half-Life CD". I have no problem playing the game TFC or the Xeno custom game. Only They Hunger presents this problem. Is this a known bug (hopefully w/ workaround) or am I just very unlucky? BTW ... I'm running version

Answer] I am sorry but there is nothing wrong about They Hunger that we could fix for you. I can only suggest to try some different combinations and see if any of them help.

a] Make sure you are using the original Half-Life CD and not a backup and that the protection code is correct (Half-Life,has a very rigorous authentication mechanism).
b] Try patch instead of  [They Hunger 1 Only!]
c]Check if you have enough free disk space available, I would recommend at least 200Mb.
d] Try using both OpenGL mode and Direct3D modes, maybe one of them works.
e] Uninstall and reinstall Half-Life again. -Einar


'Error Message: Bad Surface Extents'

Question] In the intro to the game after the train level ends, the game stops with an error message: Bad surface extents 368/736. I have a P3/500 with a Voodoo3/3000. I reinstalled Windows SE last week. I have updated to the latest voodoo3 drivers. And I even tried the minigl driver from 3dfx. I am also using direct-x 7a. I have the latest half life version installed. I've tried minigl, direct3d and software modes with same problem. I even reinstalled half life with updates. Same error. HELP! I want to play!

Answer] The 'bad surface extents' error can happen if one of the HL game files is corrupted. If you get this error, try to reinstall They Hunger again. Just delete your old HUNGER folder where you installed They Hunger initially and repeat the installation process. This time, pay attention to see if there is no error or warning messages during the unzip process.

If there are no errors but They Hunger still does not work, it is a good idea to test your hard-drive for hardware problems. Follow these instructions provided by the Sierra support:

Run a disk diagnostic utility, such as ScanDisk. Click on START, PROGRAMS, ACCESSORIES, SYSTEM TOOLS and then SCANDISK. ScanDisk will find errors such as lost clusters, truncated files and others. If ScanDisk finds errors, follow the on-screen instructions and fix them. -Einar

Possible Work-Around] At the same area I got the error message Bad surface extents 1024/7. I also have a Voodoo 3 (P3-450, Win 98SE 128Mb, or 1.0.15 I forgot, now) This was a driver problem (with mine), I ran the level though is software and it ran fine, switched back to MiniGL next level.
-Submitted by Adrian Schuurmans

NOTE: Further info on the 'bad surface extents' error can be found at an article at Sierra tech help.


'ED_ALLOC: No free edicts.'

Question] After you meet the guy in the Mansion and he opens the door when it's loading it says ED_ALLOC: No free edicts and it takes me out of the game. I have version and They Hunger version 2.3. What causes the game to lag so much? We have a 433 with 32 ram and a voodoo 3 card.

Answer 1] This error can occur when a player using the -dev or -console command uses the impulse 101 cheat too many times when they already have all the weapons. The only solve I know for this problem is to exit out of the game, start again and either don't use cheats or if you still want to cheat use impulse 101 and then enter ammo cheats (give ammo_pistolclip etc).-Submitted by Michael Ferencz

Answer 2] If the above doesn't help then this error could also be caused by corruption in Halflife itself. Uninstall and then reinstall HL and you should be ok. The fact your game is lagging also indicates something is seriously amiss. It would also be a good idea to upgrade your video drivers. -Neil


'DRAW_CacheGet: not enough space for gfx/loading.lmp in cached.wad'

Possible Solution] After hours of trial and error, I deleted the cached.wad file from the hunger directory and now the game works on the voodoo 3! No more "DRAW_CacheGet: not enough space for gfx/loading.lmp in cached.wad" error. That's all there was to it. -Adam Happ

Note: Deleting cached.wad just means you will not see the custom TH loading screen ...but why you get this error in the first place is beyond me. -Neil


'Error message: "can't load client.dll"'

Solution] This error means you have an old version of Halflife, upgrade to the latest version, you can download the upgrades from Fileplanet.



'Can't get console to work.'

Problem] I know asking how to get the cheats working is bad to ask. But I beat the game and want to go back and goof some ...I can't seem to get the console to work with They Hunger 2 ...Can you tell me how to bring down the console for TH2?

Solution] This is a common glitch in Halflife when running custom games. Do this ...start a regular Halflife game and confirm your console is working, then WITHOUT exiting Halflife start a TH game and you should now have your console ...and it should work in TH from then on. If this doesn't work then delete any files in the Halflife/HUNGER folder that end with the extension *.cfg and redo the above method.



'Host_Error: EV_Precache:file *path/filename* missing from server'

Problem] It says "Host_Error: EV_Precache:file events/sniper.sc missing from server" when I try to start a new game.What do I do?

Solution] This error means some They Hunger files are missing on your computer. I suggest you to download (and install) the full version of "They Hunger 1 & 2" from here.



'Trouble Making Jumps'

Example Problem] Help! For some reason I cannot seem to make the jump onto the hot pipe to get to the next level. I have tried everything, but nothing seem to work. This is a great game and I would like to finish it, but what am I doing wrong?

Solution] You must do a crouch jump! Crouch Jumps are covered in the HL training course part of the HL game ...what they are is that while you are moving forward ...hit the 'jump' key, then hit your 'crouch' key. What this does is pull up your legs up so you can get on a bit higher objects. This is a standard HL manuever.

Strange as it may sound, sometimes things like video cards/drivers can affect jumping ability. If that is the case with you and you can't do the crouch jump no matter what then your only option is to use the HL 'noclip' cheat. The Adrenaline Vault has info on how to impliment cheats in HL. However, you must be careful that you do not use the 'noclip' cheat to get somewheres you aren't meant to go [even though you may think you should be able to make it] this is because you could actually miss many levels and scenarios if you noclip at the wrong places.



'Crashes to Desktop'

Problem] I just received my June issue of PC Gamer, and excitedly installed TH3.. I have previously installed TH1, TH2, Darkstar, etc, and never had a whit of trouble.... Sadly, TH3 causes my HalfLife to totally crash to desktop every time I try to "activate" it from the custom games screen.

I have HalfLife version installed, and have not had this problem with any other installed mods.Any ideas what could be wrong? :(

Sign me: Dissappointed in Washington

Solution] Since you have installed HL mods before they may have been set up wrong and wrote stuff they shouldn't into the valve folder. Look in your halflife/valve folder ...if you have any files [besides pak0.pak] with the pak extension then delete them, but DO NOT delete valve/pak0.pak



'Helicopter Ride From Hell'

Question]In TH3 I have taken off in the helicopter, and I am looking down at the machine gun turret and Dr. Franklin. I can't get a shot off, because the view jumps wildly from perspective to perspective. For example, one second (probably more like a third of a second) I'm looking at the turret, one second I'm looking at Franklin, another flash and I'm looking at the roof of the helicopter pad, etc. If I look out the window on the opposite side instead of the open door, I can usually get a smooth view of the outside of that yard, but usually there's nothing to shoot at and I'm getting blasted from the back waiting for something to shoot at. If I turn back around and look out the view starts jumping again. Can you help me out? Thanks.

I have a Pentium 166 w/ a Creative Labs Blaster Banshee (w/updated drivers, although the authors haven't made any updates in a while), and I use the OpenGL MiniDriver at 800x600.

Answer] I am afraid your problem is because of your low end comp system. When fps drops too low func_train entities [i.e., the helicopter] in HL can start to behave really badly:[ They can even start spinning wildly in circles which sounds like what's happening to you. This is why when you look out the helicopters back window things stabilize ...because the r_speeds in that direction are lower and thus your comp speeds up when you face that direction.

My suggestion is for that section to run in openGL [since that should be the fastest] but lower your screen resolution to the lowest possible. That should speed you up enough. Trying to run HL in 800x600 on your system is really pushing it. After you kill franklin you should be able to chnage your screen resolution back to what it was for the last TH scenario. -Neil


'Kicked To Desktop'

Question]Question] I followed the self extracting file instructions and TH3 was put into the Halflife folder as the text shows. When I go to the custom games selection and select They Hunger and click on activate,the screen returns to the desktop.I tried the same action with some of my other custom games and they responded in the correct fashion. Can you tell me what the problem may be?

Answer]Question] There must be something wrong with your Halflife installation. Try this:

1) Make a backup copy of any savegames and mods you want to keep
2) Uninstall Halflife;
3) Delete manually the remaining folder C:\Sierra\Half-life
4) Install Halflife again
5) Install Halflife patch 1104
6) Install TH3

If it still doesn't work, send me more information about your computer. How much free disk space does it have? How much memory? Are you running Halflife in OpenGL, Direct3D or Software mode? What's your 3D video card?



'SZ_Getspace: Overflow without allow overflow set!'

Question] I have been playing They Hunger and got to the part where the helicopter is firing at me in the swamp. I have been getting that "SG_getspace:overflow without allow overflow set" error. I have the Ati Rage Pro AGP video card. I have downloaded the most recent drivers. I have tried the game in open Gl, Direct 3D and in software for this particular area. I still cannot get past here without the game stopping with the error message. I have a PII - 300 with 64 megs of memory running Win 98 SE as my OS. I am using an Apex sound card. I have also tried it in several different resolutions to see if that makes any difference. It doesn't. Is there anyway that I am going to be able to continue to play your fine game. I have really enjoyed it so far. It is the type of game I would be very interested in purchasing if it will run on my machine.

Answer] Sorry but I don't really know what is the problem here. Changing the video mode and resolution is something that worked for several other people.

Did you try to upgrade Half-Life to version Are you sure that, when you unzipped hunger.zip to install it, there was no error message? Maybe it is a good idea to reinstall Half-Life, reinstall the Half-Life patch and then reinstall "They Hunger" again.

If nothing else works, the only thing I can imagine is that your savegame file was corrupted somehow. Maybe some Half-Life error happened when you saved it. If you still have your previous savegames from some place before the swamp, you can try to load one of them and play again this part of the game. -Einar

A Possible Solution] I just finished playing THEY HUNGER ...Totally awesome! I also got the SZ_Getspace: Overflow without allow overflow set error at the point in the game where you first fight it out with the zombie cop and helicopter.
Just add -zone 1024 to the halflife shortcut. i.e.
C:\Halflife\hl.exe -zone 1024

It worked for me, and had no more problems.
All I have is a P133 with voodoo 1, but the game still rocks and is fully playable.

Thanks for a great level...I look forward to They Hunger part 2
-Submitted by Neil Walls

Another Possible Solution] I have not confirmed whether the following would work but it's worth trying. Add -allowoverflow to the halflife shortcut. i.e.
C:\Halflife\hl.exe -allowoverflow

A Possible Work-Around] I have also experienced this error, but I have found a way around it. The problem occurs when you actually look at the cop on the log raft with the helicopter in the backround. So what I did was I didn't get out of the water at all, instead I swam under the cop, and then popped right in front of the copter and quickly ran behind it for cover. It takes a couple of tries, but I did it, killed off all the zombies, and then faced the cop and killed him. So the only real thing players have to do to avoid this error is actually not look at the cop while still in the water. This situation makes it a lot harder, but at least it gives u chance to continue on with the game. I hope this has been a help to you, and to any frustrated "They Hunger" fans out there. Great job Neil! :)
-Submitted by Spider

A Player's Comment on Spider's Work-Around] I also want to make a comment on the "SZ_Getspace: Overflow without allow overflow set!" error that plagues some players. An individual named Spider mentioned in your FAQ about a possible work-around. His solution worked for me perfectly. The key is to prevent the helicopter gunner from firing at you while you are still in the water. I found it was easier to use the approach to the helicopter on the left. From here you are shielded from the copter and you can pick off the cop on the floating logs. Once that is done, one should pop out of the water right next to that barrel by the waterline.
Once again Neil great job and keep up the good work.
-Erwin Tang

NOTE: I have written Sierra tech help three times asking for info on this problem and they have never replied ...do they actually have any tech help people, or is that just a vicious rumour? -Neil


'Any Strange and Unsolveable Errors'

Most people who have had strange unexplainable problems cured them by reinstalling HL. Such problems are usually caused by some corrupted files in Half-Life itself. You should uninstall and then reinstall Half-Life and They Hunger again. But after uninstalling HL make sure you manually delete the Half-Life folder and any remaining contents before installing it again (just keep a copy of files inside folder HUNGER\SAVE so you won't loose your savegames). Also, check if your Half-Life says "v43/" in the bottom right corner. If not, you better upgrade it.


'If All Else Fails'

If everything else fails and you don't know how to solve your problem, before asking for help please try to get some additional information to help identifying your problem. When you installed the new Half-Life patch, the installer should have created a "Team Fortress Classic" icon in your desktop. So you can do this: when the instructions say "Now start HL normally", instead of double-clicking in the Half-Life icon in your desktop, you should double-click in the "Team Fortress Classic" icon. Then Half-Life will start showing the Team Fortress Classic logo but that's fine, just ignore this. Now from the main menu, click on "Custom game" and activate They Hunger, following the rest of the instructions as before. The difference is that, this time, if something goes wrong, there will be an error message in the screen that should give some clues to explain what is wrong.