They Hunger: Lost Souls (found builds of unreleased sequel to "Half-Life" game mod; 2005-2008)
They Hunger is a video game mod based on Half-Life’s GoldSrc Engine developed by Black Widow Studios, with its first episode being released in 1999, followed by the second and third episodes, which were released in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Notable for its horror-themed atmosphere and gameplay, the mod received critical praise at the time and remains one of the most acclaimed single-player GoldSrc mods of all time.
With the release of Half-Life 2, Black Widow Games started working on a sequel titled They Hunger: Lost Souls, using the then-recent Source Engine. On April 6th, 2006, Black Widow Games announced that Lost Souls would soon get an alpha release, stating that its level design was almost complete at the time of the news posting. This, however, would be the only update from the development team.
With the lack of updates throughout the years, many fans of the mod have speculated that the mod's development halted due to project leader Neil Manke being seriously ill or had passed away. However, those rumors were proven false by a former member of Black Widow Games, who on January 2015 went to the MapCore forums stating that he had spoken with Einar Saukas, the mod’s lead programmer. Einar confirmed that Manke was alive and well, though he has been unable to keep in touch with him. He had also stated that the mod was not cancelled, despite nearly a decade without updates.
On February 3rd, 2019, an anonymous user uploaded two alpha builds of They Hunger: Lost Souls onto the Valve Archive repository. The builds have since been removed, however they were uploaded on ModDB, later in May. The builds are dated November 30th, 2006 and April 2nd, 2008. As with several Source mods early in development, both builds make heavy use of assets borrowed from Half-Life 2, though the 2008 build includes several original assets.
- Link to the leaked builds of They Hunger: Lost Souls on ModDB. Retrieved 04 May '20
- Valve Developer Wiki's page about the mod. Retrieved 04 May '20
- Steam news article about the announcement of the mod. Retrieved 04 May '20
- IGN article about the announcement of the mod. Retrieved 04 May '20
- Black Widow Games' update article on ModDB. Retrieved 04 May '20
- MapCore forums thread about They Hunger: Lost Souls, where a former developer at Black Widow Games talks about the state of the mod and its lead developers. Retrieved 04 May '20
- Valve Archive's directory of the mod, which includes an empty folder titled "builds". Retrieved 04 May '20