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Travel imperial blackishButte icon@2x
Frozen Wasteland
Location level 20
Assistable No
Attackable Yes
Spawns No
Gold Gold
Stone Stone
Oil Oil
Notes Only accessible during special events.

"It's cold, and it's a wasteland. Truth in advertising folks."
— In-game Description


The Frozen Wasteland, once the medical research facility called Blackish Butte, is the birthplace of The Infected hordes that players occasionally encounter on the World Map. There is an increase of Infected encounters every Halloween season.

Blackish Butte's origins can be traced back to the Level 9 mission "The Emperor Wants Wood", where, as stated by the mission title, Emperor Hendrik II requests Wood from the player's Outpost as well as other Outposts from around The Empire. He adds to this request, along with several gallons of lighter fluid, by saying not to venture within 100 miles of Blackish Butte, implying an incident had happened in the medical research facility.

This incident, players later find out, is the Infected. Although not clear how exactly the occasion came to rise, in the 2014 Infected mission "Evil Residents", Floyd stated that, "They're the Infected not 'zombies'. They're simply the unfortunate side effect of trying to make nanopods go a bit further. In hindsight, creating the Black Nanopods and attempting to heal Imperial troops with them was a bit… misguided." From this information, players are able to conclude that the Medical Researchers assigned at Black Butte by the Emperor were tasked in finding a way to make nanopods able to heal wounded soldiers. This research gave birth to the Black Nanopod, a blackened version of the Nanopod. This medical research could have made the Empire "unstoppable" and able to crush the Rebel threat once and for all. Unfortunately, the medical experiment, as seen from the Infected hordes, had the opposite effect and turned stable-minded, wounded soldiers into mindless, killing organisms whom had turned against their own.

See also:


  • After completing the mission "The Emperor Wants Wood", Lt. Morgan puzzles over the address where the Wood is being sent, saying, "Wait... the shipping address says 'Attn: Imperial Scientific Recovery Ops.' Isn't that where she's assigned...? Ahem. Never mind." Although curious and hinting of continuation, the "she" which Lt. Morgan mentions is never mentioned again in any mission.
  • Blackish Butte has a name similar to that of Black Mesa, a fictional research facility in the Half-Life universe that was home to a catastrophic event in which all personnel in the facility also fell victim to an experiment gone wrong. Furthermore, the land forms "mesa" and "butte" resemble each other quite closely, with the only difference being that a mesa is much larger, helping support this possible nod.
  • The frozen-over island in Blackish Butte resembles that of a moon, but also as a Black Mesa logo turned slightly to the right.
  • In the 2013 Infected missions, the Frozen Wasteland location icon was changed. An image of the Infection Test Facility replaced that of the Research Hospital.