Black Mesa: How to Get items through the Teleporter Maze in Lambda

The method for getting the hat and pizza through the vertical teleporter section in Lambda Core that I’ve found works best.

 

Introduction

As I’m sure many others have, while escorting some particular items to the space baby I found myself stuck a bit towards the end of Lambda Core. This section features a tall reactor pillar thingy with platforms rotating around it at various altitudes, and requires you to time your entry into various teleporters in order to ascend to the platform at the next level. This part can be challenging on its own, but an extra layer of frustration is added when trying to bring an item with you, not just because of the general finickiness of physics objects in Source, but because of how they interact with the teleporters. Very often you will find yourself separated from your beloved after going through one, and this can make this section very irritating to get through. I found various strategies for this section suggested: going through the teleporters at an angle, jumping into them backwards, trying to catch them on the other side, etc. However, I didn’t find any of these to work, and I was largely left to my own wits to get through. Fortunately, I’ve managed to find a method that at least seems to work consistently and should make getting through much less of a hassle.

The Nature of the Teleporters

The key to getting through here successfully is to fully understand just how these teleporters work and how they interact with you in different situations. I’m sure most of you are familiar with their general function, but some specific details are important to know:

  • You and the item you are carrying are considered seperate entities. This means that going through the teleporter while looking forward will cause it to go in first—as it is ahead of you—and going through backwards will often lead to it not coming through at all—as it will fall after you disappear and are no longer there to provide it your compassionate embrace. Sometimes, I’ve found, you may be able to get yourself and the item through at the same time, and come out the other end still holding it. However, this is far from consistent and, in my efforts, proved to be a poor method of reaching the top.
  • Objects’ positions are reset when being teleported. What this means is that and item that goes through a teleporter will be reset to its normal, upright orientation.

And, the most important detail that allows this method to work:

  • Momentum is completely reset on teleportation.

Basically, what this means is that as soon as something touches a teleporter, it instantly stops existing in that location and is born anew on the other side, as if it had just been spawned there (I don’t know if this is how it actually functions under the hood but this description works for our purposes).
With this in mind, escorting our gnome successors (or perhaps predecessors, if you look at things chronologically) through this area goes from a gruelling task of trial and error to something that can actually be done with reasonable confidence.

How To Do The Thing

We’re finally here, the climax of the guide. This is where you will obtain the knowledge that will allow you to progress. Are you ready? It’s ok to be nervous, there’s been a lot leading up to this. But I know you can do it, and when you come out on the other side you’ll be stronger and wiser than ever before.

Basically, the trick is to just ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ throw it.

Since the objects’ positions and, more importantly, momentum are reset when they are teleported, you don’t need to worry about them flying out and falling to the bottom when they come out the other end. Additionally, the rotating platforms are surprisingly good at not dropping the items through them or launching them away on their own, so all you need to do it throw the item in with the timing for it to land on the platform as it passes through, confirm if it worked, and then you can head up yourself on another rotation. To make things even better, because of Gordon’s impressively strong arm in this game, you can throw your items in from quite a distance, which allows you some greater ease in timing it properly (for example, I recommend throwing your item from the first to second level directly from the first rotating platform, since the platform and teleporter above align with it perfectly).

Additional Notes

Finally, here are some additional notes and tips that may help you on your journey.

For people who are crazy and bringing the hat and pizza at the same time (like me): I myself brought the two separately, and can’t comment much on the viability of trying to bring them both at the same time (but why would you?). Once you reach the final level, make sure you throw your item into the last teleporter and then take the other teleporter (the one that doesn’t kill you) back to the bottom. If you go through the final teleporter you’ll be brought to the next section and unable to return, which means you’ll have to load a previous save. Not that this really matters too much, because as always…

You should be saving often!
Even though I believe this method to be reasonably consistent and reliable, as with the entirety of an escort playthrough you should be making quicksaves frequently in case of a mistake or jank. Wouldn’t want to lose all those precious minutes of your time.

For the pizza: After you teleport through the final gate, you’ll find yourself stuck and unable to move if you sent the pizza through. This is no big deal, just wack the lid with the crowbar a time or two and you should be good. (The crowbar is also very handy for getting the pizza up very tight ladders where it keeps escaping your clutches, that thing goes flying.)

Bonus:
Finally, here’s a little bonus tip for the final room where you go through the portal to Xen. You can see the items you sent through in the little cutscene that plays when you jump in, which lets you confirm they really got through. May this knowledge save you from a potential trip through the first part of Xen only to not find your item in its little cave, or from a premature reset out of paranoia it didn’t go through and desire to avoid the aforementioned scenario.

By Adre

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