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FAQ TITLE:

The Special Secrets and Strategies Guide for Half-Life 2 (PC version)

COPYRIGHT INFO:

This FAQ is copyright 2004-2010 by Stanley E. Dunigan (dunigase@yahoo.com).

This FAQ may be posted and used anywhere by anyone as long as it's unaltered,
but always check one of these official host sites for the latest version:

GameFAQs.com  (always the first one updated)
Neoseeker.com
Gamershell.com
Supercheats.com
Thegenie.net
Cheathappens.com

Also, check the Universal Hint System website (www.uhs-hints.com) for my
complete Half-Life 2 hint file. It's not a FAQ-style walkthru, but it includes a
lot more game details than this FAQ does.

FAQ DESCRIPTION:

This FAQ isn't a walkthru of any sort, but only contains details on super-
special secret areas, big shortcuts, and inobvious strategies for tough fights.
I thought of making it while playing through the game on Hard difficulty without
any cheats, and that's the sort of thing that it's most useful for, since so
many parts of the game are significantly harder when played that way. For
instance, most gunship fights and all three antlion guard encounters are in
here. Hopefully, this FAQ will be useful to those who don't want to use
walkthrus but sometimes get stuck in very tough areas.

If you have a super-special secret or strategy that I don't (or if you have an
improvement for one that I have), send me an e-mail at the address listed above
in the copyright section.

VERSION 3.3 (7/10/2010) NOTES AND CREDITS:

After nearly nearly four years, I *finally* have something new to add to this
file, namely Dave's cool tip on skipping the barrel-rolling cop ambush in the
Ch. 4 area that's between the high-up secret area and the two-APC area.

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NOTE: In many of these tips, I refer to the quicksave and quickrestore keys. If
you're not already intimately familiar with them, get that way at once! To find
out (and/or change) what keys are defined for those functions, go under
"Options" on the game's main menu, choose the "Keyboard" tab, and scroll down to
the "Miscellaneous" section.


*** Chapter 3: Route Kanal
^^^ Way to skip four cops at beginning of huge steam pipe

Not too long before you reach the secret area that's covered in the next tip,
you have to swim through some water and then get out in an area with a huge
steam pipe that you need to get up on and walk across to get to the next area
with water to swim through. To get onto the pipe, you're supposed to go up onto
the grassy hill, kill the four cops that appear, and then get on the pipe from
there and go along it.

However, you can shortcut the area and skip fighting those four cops if you
bring a barrel with you from the area right before you dove into the water and
swam here. (In other words, from the area where you got your very first SMG.)
When you emerge from the water, don't go toward the grassy hill, but instead
take your barrel in the other direction and drop it on the ground next to the
wall that the pipe goes into. That way, you can use the barrel to jump onto the
wall and then onto the pipe.


*** Chapter 3: Route Kanal
^^^ Hard-to-get-to secret area

In the big room with all the explosive barrels and manhacks in the fourth
chapter section, the manhacks all come out of one certain vent shaft near the
top of the room. You can get into that shaft and claim an armor battery if you
can manage to carry an item with you up the big ladder and onto the big light-
blue pipe. Drop the item on the light-blue pipe next to the large metal beam
that's next to the manhacks' shaft opening. Jump onto your item and then the
beam, and then across to the shaft opening (not forgetting to hit the Crouch key
before you land in the shaft).

The best way I've found to handle this whole situation is to not blow up the
explosive barrels at all. As soon as you drop into the room, head down the
ladder and drop into the shallow water below. It's very hard for manhacks to
hack you if you're crouched in the water, and it's easy enough to whack them
with the crowbar when they approach. Stay down there and whack manhacks until
they're all destroyed, not forgetting to jump up every now and then to get a
quick breath of air when you need to. (NOTE: This strategy works with some other
manhack attacks earlier in the chapter. If the manhacks don't appear near water,
lead them back to water!)

Then climb up the ladder and move along the pipe until you get to where you need
an item to jump onto. Look down and to the right to see an explosive barrel
that's within reach if you crouch down and carefully pick it up. Once you have
ahold of it, carefully swing it around the end of the big pipe where it curves
downward, then set it gently in the right spot on the pipe, then use it to jump
to the vent shaft.

CONTRIB NOTE: GoldenWyrm wrote in saying that he found it much easier to blow up
the barrels and then use a wooden supply crate to jump onto in order to get into
the vent shaft. If you didn't bring an unbroken supply crate with you from the
previous area, you can get the one that's floating in the water in the tall pipe
room with the valve wheel, but you have to make a lot of long, hard trips up
ladders with it.


*** Chapter 4: Water Hazard
^^^ Big shortcut at the closed gate that's opened by swinging beams

NOTE: This is the first situation you encounter in the second chapter section.

You know if you've played through this part before that the gate is opened by a
bundle of large metal beams that are attached to the big crane that you can
easily see towering up over the gate. Also, the beams are resting on a rather
flimsy wooden platform on the side of the canal opposite the crane, and you get
the beams to bash open the gate by blowing up some explosive barrels that are
near the base of the platform the beams are on.

Here's the shortcut, courtesy of contributor Kusanagi: you don't have to go all
the way through the building and fight all the soldiers and manhacks to get to
where you can blow up the barrels. Instead, stop and exit the airboat somewhere
near the gate, then move to where you can lob an SMG grenade high into the air
so that it drops near enough to the explosive barrels to detonate them. (Yes,
you can have one SMG grenade by now if you got it from a certain lambda-marked
secret stash in Route Kanal and didn't use it.) You need to stand in just the
right spot and look up just the right amount to get it to work. Quicksave before
you try and keep quickrestoring and trying until you get it.

Some alternatives that I came up with include using frag grenades and the
pistol. You can sneak carefully into the building and fill up on frag grenades
from the first infinite grenade crate in there without having to fight anything.
Then you can come back out here and toss frag grenades instead of the much rarer
SMG grenades to send those metal beams swinging. Or you can walk up near the
gate and use the HEV suit's zoom feature to spot the platform the metal beams
are resting on, then back up to where you can see the vertical wooden supports
for that platform. Use zoom mode to help you decide exactly where to aim, then
de-zoom and use the pistol to shoot out the wooden supports. (Note that you'll
be shooting through a large hole near the top of the gate.)

GoldenWyrm and Brendan wrote in at the *exact* same time with another tip on
doing this. If you climb up the ladder that leads to the building's door and
then stand on the tiny balcony where you can see the gate and crane off in the
distance, you can target the explosive barrels directly with your pistol. As in
the above pistol tip, use the HEV zoom feature to see exactly where you need to
shoot. (Note that blowing up the nearest barrel won't work -- you need to
carefully maneuver to where you can zoom-see the barrel that's behind it, then
shoot that one.) If you do it right, you'll only use 2 or 3 bullets instead of
the 18 or so needed to shoot out the wooden platform's support beams.

NOTE: To get a bit closer to the target, get up on the balcony's rail and make a
running jump toward the small semi-circular concrete ledge that's in front of
the balcony.


*** Chapter 4: Water Hazard
^^^ Big shortcut at Gate 5, including total hunter-chopper avoidance

In the third chapter segment, where Gate 5 is closed before you can get through
it, look at the structures to the right of the gate to find a white handrail
going along a raised cement walkway near the water. Find the small gap in the
handrail near the right end of it. You can jump through that gap if you park
your airboat next to it, exit the boat, and jump up onto the boat and then
through the handrail gap. This is easier now thanks to Josh "Stigma"'s tip,
which is to back the airboat up to the rail gap instead of parking parallel to
it. It's a bit tricky to get the airboat backed up to the right spot, but it's
not too hard, and once it's in position, it's pretty easy to go around to its
front and jump on up over the rail.

If you can make it, it's just a short jog along the walkway to reach the ladder
that leads up to Gate 5's control room. The only problem is that you'll be
skipping your first opportunity to get the .357 Magnum and a bunch of ammo for
it.

NOTE: After you open Gate 5, you could move on past the gate control tower to
get to some of the areas you were supposed to come through from the other way
and get stuff without having to worry about the helicopter showing up (just a
few cops).

NOTE: If you avoid "activating" the chopper here, you won't have to deal with it
again until the next chapter section loads. That'll make the canal run that
immediately follows Gate 5 nice and easy!

CONTRIB NOTE: GoldenWyrm wrote in with another good shortcut for this area.
Instead of messing with the rail-hopping routine, go through the padlocked door
that you're "supposed" to go through, get the .357 Magnum and shoot up the cops,
and then head up the stairs that lead to the large outdoor crate storage area.
Shoot the cop who's out there, then find the nearby spot where you can use
several wooden crates to hop up onto a large blue storage container. Once on top
of it, you can run across and jump over the fence and land in the same spot that
my rail-jumping tip gets you to. Unfortunately, you'll be under chopper fire as
you do this, and the chopper will be active in the area past Gate 5, too. But
you do at least get to skip a lot of combat in the container area and large
warehouse. (And you can go for the nearby health and armor rechargers after
scaring the chopper off with the control tower's window guns.)


*** Chapter 4: Water Hazard
^^^ High-up secret area near Gate 5

I never thought it was possible to get up onto the upper dock structures that
you can see near Gate 5, but DarkLordSkippy wrote in with a tip that helped me
figure out how you can. After you go through the padlocked door and get the .357
Magnum, move on until you're outside again, but don't go up the steps that
trigger the appearance of the enemy chopper. Instead, look for a spot near the
doorway that leads back into the building where the dock structure is right
above you. To get up to it and over the chain-link fence, push the nearby large
crate over to the fence under the walkway you're trying to get to, then stack
the boxes from the .357 Magnum's room on top of it so you can climb the boxes
and jump over the top of the fence. (If you destroyed some of the boxes, such
as the supply boxes, you can use barrels instead, but it's harder.) The thing
that makes this a secret area instead of just a tricky place to get to is the
large blue trash bin in the back corner past a small ramp. You'll have to carry
over and stack up some barrels to get into the bin. Inside it, you'll find a
watermelon to slush with the crowbar (what fun!) and a frag grenade.

Of course, you're probably all full up on fraggies from the infinite grenade
crates earlier, so you figure "Why bother?" I'll tell you why! It's because you
can easily bypass the chopper-activating stairs from here. Just take one upright
barrel and carry it up the ramp with you, then turn left and set the barrel down
near the edge of the concrete so that you can use it to jump up onto the nearby
wooden beam structure. From there, you can easily jump over the nearby fence and
end up in the warehouse's freight container yard. Sure, you'll still have to
deal with all the soldiers in and around the warehouse, but the chopper won't
make an appearance until you've passed Gate 5 and moved on to the next chapter
section. (Some people may find this a bit easier to do than the above chopper-
avoiding method.)


*** Chapter 4: Water Hazard
^^^ Way to ensnare the chopper at Gate 5 if you didn't avoid activating it

As you may have noticed, the chopper appears and Gate 5 closes behind you soon
after you go through the gate. However, those two things don't happen at the
same time -- the chopper appears first. The instant it does, zoom back through
the gate and on a ways. The chopper will try to follow you, but if you were fast
enough, it'll instead get caught in an invisible snare that's right above the
gate. It won't be able to follow you, fire at you, or drop any bombs no matter
what you do from then on!

If the chopper misses the snare, it'll start firing at you and dropping bombs.
You can then either restore a save and try to get back through the gate faster
so the chopper gets ensnared, or you can go back through the whole warehouse
area again to reach the gate control tower and use the window guns to destroy
the chopper. (That's fun, but it's a real pain to run all the way back there
while under chopper fire.)


*** Chapter 4: Water Hazard
^^^ Another high-up secret area

This secret area is near the beginning of the seventh chapter section. It's in
the small side alley that's just past the two covered bridges (one of which has
a G-Man sighting on it). The alley has a cop that shoots at you from behind a
pitiful tire blockade at its entrance, a windmill up high on the right, and a
zombie in the back plus a bunch of headcrabs that drop down and attack. Found
it? Good! Locate the white van near the alley's entrance that's been turned on
its side and set an upright barrel next to its underside so you can easily jump
up onto it. (You could park the airboat next to the van and jump onto it that
way, but using the barrel is easier.)

Now you need to stack stuff up on top of the van so that you can jump up onto
the concrete ledge that's next to it. The easiest way is to get the two large
wooden crates that are small enough to carry up there and stack one on top of
the other, then set an upright barrel next to them. That's not quite tall
enough, so get something small to set on top of the top wooden crate. I usually
use either the basket or the small shelf item that's in the room you have to
climb a short ladder to get to. Set your chosen item on the left side of the top
crate while standing on the van, then jump up onto the barrel, then the top
crate, then the item that's on the crate, and then onto the ledge. Running along
it, you'll find a box of Magnum .357 ammo setting next to a single boot (the
significance of which eludes me).


*** Chapter 4: Water Hazard
^^^ Shortcut through the barrel-rolling ambush

Past the above high-up secret area and a tunnel with zombies in it is yet
another cop ambush. This one isn't too much trouble, but Dave wrote in with a
cool way to skip the whole ambush, so I decided to add it in. As you exit the
tunnel, move forward very slowly until you can see into the ambush area. Shoot
down the two cops you can see on a cement ledge, then run the airboat up onto
that ledge. It may take a couple of tries, but it isn't hard. Once you're on it,
you've skipped the ambush, and can move on to the next area.


*** Chapter 4: Water Hazard
^^^ Safe way to destroy the two APCs in one area

Right before you get to the area where you can shoot down the chopper once and
for all, you'll come to a place where there are two elevated APCs (black rocket-
firing tanks) near a ramp you have to take. There's a way to carefully shoot
both of the APCs without them being able to fire one rocket at you.

Notice that to get to where you can see either of them, you have to pass a huge
red-and-brown beached boat to your left. Get up on the narrow slanty bit of land
between the boat and the water and slowly edge forward until you can see a small
part of the first APC to the right of the wooden plank ramp that's just past the
boat. If you do it just right, you can shoot that APC into scrap without it even
seeing you, then reposition yourself carefully for the next one.

For the second APC, back up and then approach slowly on the land to the right of
the water (the side opposite the one you were on before). Slowly sneak forward
until you can see a small part of the APC above the wood ramp and to the right
of the ship's big rudder, then blast it!

NOTE: It's hard to slowly maneuver the airboat into just the right position, and
even harder to make it stay exactly there while you shoot. You'll have to
quickly retreat behind the big red-and-brown boat (or quickrestore) if you
accidentally go out too far and start taking fire from the APCs.


*** Chapter 4: Water Hazard
^^^ Another way to handle the APCs in the same area

Brecht Claeys wrote in again to tell me that once you get the gauss gun on the
airboat, the APCs start acting a little funny. If you can't see them, they can't
(usually) see you! Dumb, but true. So approach them while driving backward (or
looking off to the side) so that you can pass them without seeing them. You can
start doing this with the first APC in the seventh chapter section, but even if
the APC isn't firing at you as you go toward the bridge backwards, the cop on
the side will, and it's way too easy to back up into something that you can't
get past without slow and careful maneuvering before you can get under the
bridge. However, if you're familiar enough with the terrain there that you can
back all the way up to the bridge without hitting anything, you can quickly
blast the cop, turn around, and head on down the "road." The APC will start
firing at you after you pass under its bridge, but it'll be very easy to zoom
around the corner before it can hit you with much (or you can carefully move
back out to where you can see a part of the APC and shoot it without it shooting
you).

A similar no-look technique can be used with the two APCs in one area mentioned
in the previous Chapter 4 tip. You can drive into their area going forward as
long as you keep looking to the right so they never come into your view. Drive
all the way to the back and then make your way along until you're right along-
side the vertical logs that hold up the ledge that the first APC is on. While
facing away from the second one, slowly maneuver to where you can see a small
part of the first one and shoot it to pieces. Then back up until you're against
the bottom of the ledge that the second one is on and maneuver to get a shot at
it. If you're careful, you can pull it off without ever coming under fire.
(However, I still think my other way of using the big boat for cover is easier,
just because I can always see where I'm going!)


*** Chapter 4: Water Hazard
^^^ Safe and easy way to finish off the hunter-chopper

In the final chapter segment, where you're supposed to fight the chopper to the
death in a big arena-like area near the dam, there's a great alternative way to
do it. First, do *not* take the airboat out of the tunnel you go through to
enter the large area where you fight the chopper. See all those logs strewn
about the tunnel exit? They make it very difficult (though not impossible) to
get the airboat back into the tunnel later. (If you want to do this, you need to
hit the logs just right on their left side and keep pressing forward.)

Park the airboat a ways back in the tunnel, then head out to the outdoor arena
on foot. Go over to the right where you see a large red-and-brown boat lying
around and find the partially buried concrete pipe near it. Crawl into the
pipe's open end to find two health kits and an armor battery. What the nearby
supply crates have depends on what your health and armor values are. If either
is low, you'll get recharging items -- otherwise, just ammo. (Thanks to Fang
Xianfu for confirming this.) Anyhow, pick up and carry every health pack and
armor battery that you can't use now back to your hidey-hole one at a time. It's
a good idea to drop the items on dry ground a ways back from the tunnel exit.
This is so you can heal up if you take damage later without having to leave the
safety of the tunnel. (Note that this step can be slow and time-consuming, and
isn't really necessary if you're careful later on. But better safe than sorry!)

Now walk out toward the dam area until the alarm sounds, alerting the chopper to
your presence. Immediately turn around and sprint back for the tunnel. Your
auxiliary power will deplete very rapidly on this run, so seek cover (like
inside the big cement pipe and next to the larger rock formations) to use while
waiting for auxiliary power to recharge. When you're nearing the tunnel
entrance, use the cement ledge along the right to get in more quickly and easily
than log-hopping.

Get back into your airboat and start shooting that chopper. Note that if you're
sitting in the tunnel entrance, the chopper will often hover nearby and shoot
you with its cannon, so you'll want to move back to just out of its range so
you'll be safe while it's doing that. As soon as it stops, move forward to where
you can shoot it as it flies by dropping mines (but be careful not to go over
the logs, since it'll be a pain to get back into the tunnel if you do). Keep
shooting the chopper as it flies by (and retreating when it shoots back) until
it goes down. Nice and easy, huh?

NOTE: Sometimes the chopper will hover and fire its cannon continuously at the
tunnel entrance for a very long time. When this happens, try moving way back in
the tunnel and then forward again. If that doesn't work, just wait it out.


*** Chapter 5: Black Mesa East
^^^ How to use your new gravity gun to set fallen-over things upright

Before you get the gravity gun, the best way to set things (like a fallen-over
barrel) upright is to grab the item while looking down at one end of it, then
lift it up and drop it so that its top hits the edge of a table or railing and
its bottom falls all the way to the floor. Then you sometimes have to pick it up
and hold it against a wall and drop it in order to get it fully upright again.

After you get the gravity gun, there's an easier way. Use the gravity gun to
pick the item up from the bottom as before, but then look straight up in order
to hold the item almost directly above your head -- this will straighten it out,
with its top side up. Release the item from the gravity gun's hold, then quickly
grab it again (preferably with the Use key) before it hits the floor. It should
now be upright and easy to set down without it falling over. This can be very
useful with overturned barrels and enemy sentry guns. (Remember that all you
have to do with friendly sentry guns is pick them up and give them a shake or
two, and they'll automatically right themselves.)


*** Chapter 6: "We Don't Go to Ravenholm..."
^^^ Fun tip for using Dog's ball in Ravenholm

Skys_end wrote in with a fun thing you can do with Dog's ball. After Alyx tells
Dog to throw something bigger when you're still in the Chapter 5 outdoor
scrapyard area, pick up the rollermine ball with the gravity gun and start for
the exit. Keep ahold of it as the Combine attacks and you are sent down the
tunnel to Ravenholm. It's a bit of a pain to climb the long ladder with, and I
advise you to drop the mine, start up the ladder, then turn around and face down
and suck it in with the gravity gun, then make your way the rest of the way up
the ladder while facing down. At the top, turn around and drop the mine on the
nearby floor before getting off the ladder.

Once in Ravenholm, you can fire the mine at zombies to kill them in one shot, or
you can have fun letting it roam around and distract zombies and kill headcrabs
for you. It can't actually hurt zombies on its own, but they can't hurt it
either, and it'll serve as a distraction while you casually crowbar-whack or
shoot the zombies to death (or throw things at them with the gravity gun). In
other words, the mine gives you a lot more time to decide how to dispose of
zombies and to do it without rushing. This can be exceptionally useful in the
areas where you're attacked by several fast zombies at once -- stand back and
carefully pick them off one by one as they cluster around the mine.

WARNINGS: You need to be very careful not to let anything explode next to the
mine, or it'll blow up, too. Also keep it away from fire. A small amount of
water won't hurt it, but it'll blow up if you submerge it too far (like if you
drop it into the big underwater passage in the mineshaft area). Alexander
Waldmann wrote in to say that the game will crash if a barnacle (like the one in
the mine's underwater passage) gets ahold of it. I haven't tested that out, but
it's something to watch out for.

NOTE: It can often be easier to throw the mine ahead to where you know you're
going to go rather than trying to carry it there. The car-crusher area is one
example -- just toss the mine through the window you know you're going for, then
take the car-crusher ride to get up there yourself. The part where you ride
Grigori's lift across is even more important. You can't carry the mine across
with you on the lift due to invisible barriers that it can't pass through. What
you need to do is stand next to the lift and fire the mine toward the church at
a very steep angle (nearly straight up) so that it goes over the invisible
barriers and lands in the church yard. That way you can take the mine with you
all the way to the mineshaft area.

TIP: In the big headcrab-infested room at the bottom of the first mineshaft, you
can drop your rollermine to the floor to let it slowly but surely finish off all
the headcrabs for you. You could also use it to distract all the headcrabs while
you make a run for the exit. (You probably won't want to go to the trouble of
taking it past the water-filled shaft that's just ahead, anyway.)

CONTRIB NOTE: Stealth-X wrote in with several tips on taking the rollermine
further along in the game. To get it past the underwater tunnel, you have to use
the gravity gun to toss it high into the air as you're falling into the water,
then quickly surface and nab the mine before it falls into the water, too.
Carefully hold onto it while skimming along the top of the flooded shaft so that
it doesn't go too far underwater and blow up. This works, but I found that it
wasn't *nearly* worth all the trouble. Most of your enemies for awhile ahead
will be Combine soldiers, and they and the rollermine ignore each other (and
it's too easy for the mine to get blown up by a soldier's grenade). Also, try
and imagine what a pain it is to take the mine along during the entire jeep run
in Chapter 7 and early Chapter 8. Sure, you can set it on top of the jeep and
get in quick in order to trick it into sticking, but it'll keep zapping the jeep
constantly even though it doesn't have any electrical charge! And that's not to
mention all the invisible barriers that you have to toss it around or over. I've
heard that you can take the rollermine all the way to the third and final
antlion guard encounter in Chapter 9, but I didn't take it past Chapter 8
because it just got to be *way* more trouble than it could ever possibly be
worth (especially since it's such a distraction for your antlion army as you
assault Nova Prospekt).


*** Chapter 6: "We Don't Go to Ravenholm..."
^^^ Shortcut for the area with the electrified fence

John "d j" suggested that instead of entering the main building and finding the
lever that turns off the power to the electrified fence, head up the slanty side
street until two zombies break out of a butcher shop on the right. Kill them,
then use the gravity gun to take one of the tables out of the shop and set it
down next to the raised grassy ledge that's just past the shop door. The point
is to set the table so that you can use it to jump up onto that grassy ledge.

Once you accomplish that, you're going to need three upright barrels to take up
onto that ledge and stack next to the wooden structure so that you can use them
to jump up onto the board walkway that you can see up above you. This requires a
bit of planning ahead, as the only way you can have three barrels is if you
saved a few explosive barrels from previous areas and brought some of them
along. If not, you can try using other stuff to make your "staircase" up onto
the board walkway, but barrels are the easiest to deal with. (Note that you can
find some inside the main building, but one of the points of this shortcut is
that you never have to enter that building at all.) Once you're up on the board
walkway, don't follow it along, but instead turn and go through the nearby
window.


*** Chapter 6: "We Don't Go to Ravenholm..."
^^^ Blocking some of the fast zombies near the elevator

In the third chapter section, soon after Father Grigori gives you your very
first shotgun, you'll jump into a water tank and then climb two ladders to get
to an area where a bunch of fast zombies converge on your position. Before you
climb those ladders and attract the zombies, first look around for any red drain
pipes that you can get to -- those are what zombies love to climb.

You'll find that you can get to two red drain pipes from the lower areas that
you explored prior to jumping in the water tank. The first one is down on the
lowest ground level, between a bunch of white pipes and a fence. (And no, you
can't build a box staircase to get over the fence. I've tried.) The second one
is behind the building that you enter that has all the stairs you climb. What
you want to do is find all the boxes in that building and stack several of them
around the base of each drain pipe. That way the zombies can't use those drain
pipes to come at you from all directions.

When those two drain pipes are box-blocked, go on back up the stairs in the
building and on across to the water tank and then climb the ladders to get to
the zombie attack area. Now all you have to do is stand near the drain pipe
that's attached to the platform you're on and shoot down at zombies as they
climb it -- there's no danger of any of them leaping up behind you. (Remember
that a couple more appear and climb the drain pipe after you summon the
elevator.)

NOTE: A much simpler way to block the zombies is not to mess with the drain
pipes at all. Once you get up to where they attack, run into the room with the
elevator, close its door, and summon the elevator. Then quickly use your gravity
gun to move the crates in the area to blockade you into the corner with the
elevator. If you do it right, the fast zombies who crash down into the room
through the ceiling windows won't be able to get to you, and you can duck into
the elevator and take it down as soon as it arrives. Unfortunately, some of them
may jump down into the area at the bottom of the elevator and attack you there
(though you can try quickly running up the "car ramp" to avoid them).


*** Chapter 6: "We Don't Go to Ravenholm..."
^^^ Another way to handle the fast zombies that attack after you get a shotgun

As soon as you get the shotgun from Father Grigori, jump into the nearby water
tank and climb up its ladder, then carefully crouch-walk along the tank's rim
until you're standing on the side opposite the ladder. It's *very* hard for fast
zombies to attack you there, and most of them will fall into the water tank
while trying (which makes them very easy targets). It's rare, but a zombie may
land on the wooden boards near the top of the water tank's ladder and then leap
at you, knocking you off the tank. To prevent this, immediately shoot down any
zombie that lands there. (Or, as contributor Koji suggested, stay crouched so
the fast zombies can't leap at you and knock you off.)

This strategy is also good for when the fast zombies attack you on the rooftop
ledge near the elevator. As soon as you get onto that ledge and hear the zombies
in the distance, climb back down the ladder and crouch-walk along the water
tank's rim as before.

CONTRIB NOTE: Dorian wrote in to say that if you position yourself just right at
the top of a ladder, fast zombies will be unable to hit you, but will instead
"freeze" and give you extremely easy head shots. That is true, but it doesn't
always quite work. If the ladder's too short, a fast zombie can attack you from
below. I found that staying right at the top of the ladder leading out of the
water tank works best in that area.


*** Chapter 6: "We Don't Go to Ravenholm..."
^^^ How to completely bypass the elevator and poison zombie area

After you finish off the fast zombies that attack you on the rooftop ledge that
has the door that leads to the elevator, don't go inside (unless you want to
look for supplies). Instead, look down over the edge of the roof with the drain
pipe on it to see down into the poison zombie's area. Now look to the left at
the fence that you need to get over from down in that area. Don't you see? You
could jump over that fence from way up here! You can even do it without taking
any damage if you aim for the parasite rocket that's on the other side of the
fence (to the left of the telephone pole). However, you may want to first use
the gravity gun to throw health packs over the fence just in case you do take
damage and need them. Also, quicksave before you jump, because you might get
hopelessly stuck between the parasite rocket and the wall.


*** Chapter 6: "We Don't Go to Ravenholm..."
^^^ Big shortcut for the street/rooftop area with tons of respawning zombies

John "d j" suggested that in the area past the above-mentioned elevator and "car
ramp," you don't have to go to all the trouble of getting up onto the rooftop
ledges and running along them to the doorway that leads to the next area.
Instead, use the three explosive barrels that the fast zombies knock down when
you first enter the street area to make yourself another barrel staircase. (Note
that if the zombies don't knock all three barrels down, you should be able to
pull the rest down with the gravity gun. If not, you can make do with two
barrels, though it's hard.)

The place to make the "staircase" is just a short way down the street, near a
drain pipe and where the wall turns a rusty green color. There's light shining
on that particular area, as if encouraging you to think about what you can do
there! Use the Chapter 5 gravity gun trick to set each of the three barrels
upright, then stack them into a standard barrel staircase right at the rusty
green wall corner that's near the drain pipe. After saving your game, hop up
your staircase and turn right and go up a ladder. Fast zombies will now start
appearing, so quickly run forward and go up another short ladder and then jump
across to the walkway with the doorway. Quickly run through it, and you'll be
safe!


*** Chapter 6: "We Don't Go to Ravenholm..."
^^^ Many good ways to handle the zombie attack while waiting for Grigori's lift

For the area where you'll be on a rooftop platform waiting for Father Grigori to
send you his lift, you can do the same sort of thing as in an earlier tip.
You'll have to pick up some furniture and/or boxes from the room with all the
headcrabs (and the rooms before, which you can still reach) and carry it across
the roofs with you one piece at a time and drop it down into the area you're
going to. Be sure to drop at least six things down there before you drop down
yourself. One red drain pipe you want to stack stuff at the base of is near the
small rail fence with the break in it, and you can find the other one by going
around behind the buildings. Be sure to stack at least two large things side-by-
side at each drain pipe base and then put one more large thing on top of your
stack. You need a tall, sturdy barricade that the zombies can't easily knock
over or push aside. When you get up to the rooftop, your blockades should stop
the first two fast zombies, and the others won't even appear! (If the zombies do
manage to push your stuff aside and start climbing the drain pipes, you can
restore your save and see if it happens again -- maybe they just got lucky
once.)

CONTRIB NOTE: GoldenWyrm suggested that if you have Dog's rollermine "ball" with
you, you can skip the barricading of those drain pipes and simply drop the
rollermine down to the base of one of them from up on the roof. It'll distract
the first two zombies, and no more should appear. This is only advisable,
though, if you don't want to get the rollermine back for future use.

CONTRIB NOTE: Owen Graupman wrote in with another interesting way to handle this
area. Don't bother blocking any drain pipes -- just head for the roof where the
lift will arrive. Once there, find where Father Grigori is standing to talk to
you and jump over there. You can't get over the fence, but you can land on a
rocky ledge next to it. The advantage of this is that none of the fast zombies
can get to you over there, and you can pick them off at your leisure. When
they're all down, drop down carefully to the ground and make your way up to the
rooftop again. (The only disadvantage is that you have to use a lot of ammo
shooting the zombies if you do things this way.)

Another way that I found to be very easy and ammo-conservative is to use the
ledge mentioned in the above paragraph and the things below it to drop safely
down to the street right before the zombie attack starts, and then back up into
the nearby dead-end corner. You need to have a large item with you (radiator,
rollermine ball, sawblade, whatever) that you can throw at the zombies with the
gravity gun as they appear ahead of you. This is easy to handle because they can
only come at you from one direction, and it's easy to quickly suck up your
throwing item between zombies. Once they're all dead, head all the way back up
to the rooftop and take the lift. (NOTE: The rollermine ball of Dog's is the
best to do this with because it can be used to distract the fast zombies as well
as crush them. See an earlier Chapter 6 tip for all the details.)

CONTRIB NOTE: John "d j" came up with a variation on the above tips which is
almost as good as James Thorpe's tip below. As soon as you get up on the roof
and grab ammo, jump over to the rocky ledge near Grigori, then drop down to the
street. Don't stay there, but run back to the poison zombie's area and up the
stairs and enter the building again (closing the door behind you). Go over to
the ladder that leads to the roof and wait at its bottom until you hear Grigori
say to step into the lift. Then run up the ladder and across the roof to the
lift. The area will most likely be zombie-free!

CONTRIB NOTE: Brecht Claeys wrote in to remind me of how easy the "standard"
method of handling this fast zombie attack is, so I thought I'd go ahead and put
it in. Stay on the rooftop and find the drain pipe (the one furthest from the
lift's release brake handle) that the zombies will start climbing. As they
climb, shoot them when they near the top of the pipe with either the shotgun or
Magnum .357. All of the zombies that arrive before the lift does will come up
that one drain pipe as long as you stand next to it the whole time.

CONTRIB NOTE: The absolute last word for this combat has to go to James Thorpe,
who discovered a way to keep the zombies from even trying to climb up onto the
roof at all! When you go through the trap door, look around on the roof for
supplies, then look at Father Grigori to get him to start talking to you. As
soon as he does, return to the little fence niche with the closed trap door in
it and scrunch yourself into the corner where a box of shotgun ammo is (or was,
if you picked it up). Stay very still in that exact spot, and no fast zombies
will climb up drain pipes during the long wait for the lift. They might start
climbing when you go for the lift after it arrives, but it's easy to make it
inside and hit the yellow-handled lever before any zombies can reach you.


*** Chapter 7: Highway 17
^^^ Shortcut for entering first optional house

At the first house with a thumper next to it that you come to in the second
chapter section, you're supposed to enter it through the cellar door and then
figure out how to get up onto the house's main floor. However, you can open the
front door without ever entering the cellar. Go around the side of the house
left of the front door and break out the small window there with the crowbar.
Then throw a frag grenade in through that window so that it bounces off an
inside wall and goes toward the door. That'll destroy the board that's holding
the door closed. (If you then enter through the front door instead of the
cellar, the poison zombie won't even appear in the bedroom at all!)


*** Chapter 7: Highway 17
^^^ Best way to approach Northern Petrol and activate the thumper

To start with, when you come to where you drive under the large bridge, head
through one of the two central arches and drive straight into the water. The
jeep will stall, so get out and move around in the water to avoid any antlions
that fly at you. Any antlion that lands in the water will die as quickly as a
human bathing in molten lava, and no antlions will spawn while you're walking
around in the water.

After all the nearby antlions have drowned trying to get to you, run along the
middle of the pond and toward where an APC is parked on the sand way up ahead.
When you see the two soldiers appear near it, back off a bit and watch as they
make a run for the safety of the dock structure. Once they make it, you can
shoot down all three soldiers with the pistol from far enough away that they
can't return fire.

Then find the beached boat that's near the dock structures and jump up onto its
lowest point. You do have to cross a small amount of dry sand to get there, but
no antlions should spawn. Move along the boat's right (starboard) side as it
slants upward, and then make a running jump from the bow to the nearby wooden
walkway. Go halfway down the wooden ramps that lead down to the sand, then make
a running jump straight at the thumper. As soon as you activate it, get out the
gravity gun and knock away any antlions that approach you before the thumper
really gets going.

Then run back into the water and all the way back to where you left your jeep.
Use the gravity gun to knock the jeep all the way across the pond and onto the
sand near the thumper. (That avoids a long antlion-provoking drive across the
sand.) Now you're ready to head up onto the dock structure (via wooden ramps
this time) and finish off the rest of the soldiers up there.


*** Chapter 7: Highway 17
^^^ Secret stash at Northern Petrol

After you park your jeep near the Northern Petrol buildings, activate the
thumper, run up the little ramp, and kill all the nearby guards, take the time
to go for a secret stash that includes a health kit, an SMG grenade, and an
energy orb for the pulse rifle (which is a very rare item at this point in the
game). Look for a red shed over to the right of the ramp that leads up from the
sand -- it has the words LOADING ZONE in the middle of its door. You can't open
the door, but you can pile up some crates and/or barrels at its roof's low point
in order to get up on the roof. Once you're up there, walk over to the other
side and look down from the very edge. There's your stuff, which you can suck in
with the gravity gun. When you're done, simply head back over to the side of the
roof you came up on and drop off. (NOTE: This same secret stash can be accessed
later on after you get the jeep onto the road behind the buildings and are ready
to move on -- look around behind the buildings until you find it.)


*** Chapter 7: Highway 17
^^^ Shortcut for gunship battle just past Northern Petrol

Right after you get past the big Northern Petrol area and are heading up the
highway once again, a gunship will appear and attack. If you're on Easy
difficulty and have three RPG rockets, you can retreat back to the Northern
Petrol buildings and take cover there. You'll have to quicksave after every
rocket hit and quickrestore after every miss to make sure you destroy the
gunship. If you're on Normal or Hard difficulty, read on.

Quicksave your game after you make the ramp jump and can see the left turn in
the highway ahead that's blocked with car debris. What you want to do is ram
your way through the debris without stopping. Getting out of the jeep to shoot
down the gunship or to use the gravity gun to clear the wreckage is time-
consuming and will get you badly shot up, especially on Hard difficulty. The
wrecked cars provide little cover from the gunship, since it can constantly
circle around to where it can shoot you no matter where you're crouched.

What you want to do as you approach the wreckage is steer to the right around
the first two wrecked cars that are in the road, then hit the blue car straight-
on. (NOTE: The blue car is just to the right of the white van with the infinite
rocket crate.) It's a difficult maneuver, and you'll probably have to
quickrestore and try again several times. If you hit the main wreckage area
wrong, you could overturn the jeep or get it stuck on top of a car to where you
can't go forward or backward. But if you hit the blue car just right, you can
push it forward and then get around the last of the wreckage. (You may have to
stop, go back a little, and then push forward in turbo mode after you hit the
blue car.)

NOTE: If you overturn the jeep when it's totally or nearly past the wreckage,
get out and turn it back upright with the gravity gun and try to continue on
without quickrestoring. You may still be able to make it without taking too much
damage.


*** Chapter 7: Highway 17
^^^ Way to avoid the gunship entirely just past Northern Petrol

During my latest experiments in manipulating trigger points, I discovered that
the gunship that assaults you on the road past the Northern Petrol facility only
shows up if you drive past a certain point while in the jeep. That point is just
past where the road starts curving upward, so park the jeep before you get to
that point, then get out and shove the jeep ahead of you with the gravity gun.
When you're well past the road's curving-up point, get back in the jeep and
drive on, gunship-free!


*** Chapter 7: Highway 17
^^^ Shortcut for the third ambush area in the fourth chapter section

As you know, you need to get out on foot and kill off all the soldiers near the
gas station and then knock their APC loose so the force field that's blocking
the jeep from going down the road will drop. Well, you can remove the APC before
you go anywhere near that gas station, and then you can speed on through the
area without fighting any of the soldiers.

Before you get to the junk-blocked part of the road (near the grassy knoll with
the crossbow), stop the jeep so that you're facing the gas station across the
way. Using zoom mode, you should be able to see the back end of the APC and the
two little blocks that are keeping it from rolling into the ocean. While in zoom
mode, shoot those blocks with the tau cannon until they move aside enough to
allow the APC to roll. The tau cannon isn't perfectly accurate at that distance,
so aim carefully at each block and hit it with a couple of minutes of
continuous fire (or hit each block once with a charged-up secondary blast).


*** Chapter 7: Highway 17
^^^ Making the gunship battle at the bridge easier

When you deactivate the train tracks' force fields and the gunship shows up,
stay in the small downstairs room near the force field control room and shoot
the gunship from there. The two windows in the room are indestructible, and the
doorway is a great place to shoot rockets at the gunship from since it flies
right by there and you can quickly duck into cover when needed. This is a lot
better than trying to get all the way back to the nearest infinite rocket crate
while the gunship is swooping around and shooting at you. The only problem is
that unless you're on Easy difficulty and never miss, you'll run out of rockets
before the gunship can be destroyed.

The way to solve this problem is to import the five loose rockets that are lying
around next to the nearest infinite rocket crate before you shut off the train
tracks' force field. After blasting all the soldiers in the entire area,
including in the force field control room, carefully make your way back along
the bridge's structure to the supply hut with the infinite rocket crate. This is
very time-consuming and tedious, but you'll need to pick up and carry one spare
rocket at a time all the way back to the room you're going to shoot the gunship
from. It'll be worth the trouble, especially if you're on Hard difficulty.

NOTE: If you're playing on Normal difficulty, you'll only need to carry over two
rockets to use as spares. If you're on Hard, you'll need to carry along four
extra rockets. Also, remember to quicksave after every successful rocket hit on
the gunship and quickrestore after every miss.


*** Chapter 7: Highway 17
^^^ Skipping the entire bridge area

Technically, you don't actually *need* the jeep after you jump the bridge ramp
past Northern Petrol. You could abandon it at any time after that and proceed on
foot. That fact can be really handy when you reach the clifftop lookout area
where you need to drop the bridge's train track force fields before driving on.
Instead of crossing under the bridge and turning the force fields off, why not
pile up stuff to get over them and leave the jeep behind? You'll lose it fairly
soon, anyway.

The way I pulled this off was to kill off all the soldiers in the clifftop
lookout area, then gather six barrels and one brown wooden wardrobe and carry
them one at a time up to the first force field on the tracks. (Note that to make
all this tedious item-carrying go quicker, throw items ahead of you with the
gravity gun and then sprint to catch up with them.)

Once you have all that junk on the tracks, set the six barrels up next to the
first force field in 3-2-1 staircase formation (three barrels in a stack next to
the force field, two barrels in a stack next to that -- you know). After jumping
to the highest barrel, turn around and use the gravity gun to get the wardrobe
and drop it on the other side of the force field, then do the same with two of
the barrels that aren't in the stack of three that you're standing on. Then jump
over the force field.

Make sure none of the items you took over the force field with you are on the
train tracks, then head down the right track until the Combine train (or tren,
or whatever) zooms by. After it's gone, take your wardrobe and two barrels down
to the next force field and set them up. You'll want to set the wardrobe upright
next to the force field, then put one upright barrel on top of it, and the other
on the ground next to it. That way you can jump onto the lower barrel, then onto
the wardrobe, then onto the upper barrel, and then over the force field. Now
you've got a clear path to Chapter 8!


*** Chapter 8: Sandtraps
^^^ Neat alternative way to get the jeep past the battery-operated gate

SorrowPsychosis wrote in with an interesting alternative to hunting up batteries
for the gadget that opens the gate. Instead, find the large metal door that's
leaning up against the fence a short way to the left of the gate and use the
gravity gun to knock away the large tire that's in front of it. Then get back in
the jeep and drive straight toward that door and hit it at full speed (but not
turbo speed). The jeep should get stuck with its front wheels caught on top of
the fence. Exit the jeep and hit its rear end with the gravity gun until it goes
over the fence, then find the fence hole a ways to the left so you can get back
in the jeep and continue on. Note that even if the jeep doesn't get caught on
the fence just right, it's fairly easy to grav-blast it over the fence by
hitting it with continuous gravity gun blasts. (This is not at all easier than
using the battery gimmick to open the gate, but it can be a lot funner,
especially if you're a major gravity gun addict.)


*** Chapter 8: Sandtraps
^^^ Getting into position for the gunship battle early

In the second chapter section, as soon as you park your jeep in the resistance
base's garage, head straight for the lighthouse. When you get inside, use the
gravity gun to move the two large wooden crates so that they block the doorway.
That way no soldiers can run into the lighthouse after you. Then run up the
stairs to the top floor where the infinite RPG and SMG ammo crates are. Fill up
on rockets, then get up on the lighthouse roof and fire rockets at the soldiers
down below as they're dropped off. This is a much easier way to deal with the
soldiers, plus you'll be right next to the infinite rocket crate when the
gunship shows up.

CONTRIB NOTE: Madcow11 (The True Scou) wrote in to say that it's possible to use
RPG rockets to blow up the large black troop-carrying containers that the
dropships fly in with before they land and release the troops. That's true, but
it takes 4 rockets to do this no matter what difficulty you're playing on, so be
sure to get up to the infinite rocket crate ASAP! (See Dorian's contrib note
below for the best way to do that.)

CONTRIB NOTE: GoldenWyrm wrote in to point out that if you can find a safe spot
near each dropship's landing zone to stand and wait for it to land, it's then
easy to run up alongside it and blast soldiers in the head with the .357 or a
double-barrel shotgun blast as soon as they hop out. For the first dropship, go
stand right next to the rocky "wall" that's more or less directly across from
the blue truck which is behind the garage you parked in. *Immediately* after
that dropship takes off, sprint along the rocky wall toward the next dropship
point. If you're fast enough, it won't get very many shots off at you before you
get past its gun's range (or use the brick wall near the road for cover until
the dropship comes in for a landing, then run quickly past it). After that, run
toward the third dropship, going left around the house for cover, but note that
you can't flank it like the first two, so take cover behind the nearby large
rocks and shoot soldiers as they run by you. When that's over, you're already
near the lighthouse, so quickly run for it. Hide behind it until you know the
last dropship is about to land, then get up on the railing and make your way
around to the dropship's right side. Blast the last few troops, then it's over.

CONTRIB NOTE: Dorian recently came up with a great way to get to the top of the
lighthouse before the first dropship even appears on the horizon. What you do is
drive the jeep almost all the way into the garage, then park it and get out.
You'll have to squeeze past the jeep and go out the open garage door, but you
can then go to the lighthouse, box-block its doorway (just in case), check out
all the supplies, and go up to its roof at your leisure. Once you're up there,
use RPG rockets to knock the jeep the rest of the way into the garage. Quickly
refill on rockets, then be ready to blast the first dropship as soon as it
appears. Dorian also came up with some shortcuts that make destroying dropship
containers faster. (Remember that each one takes four rockets to destroy.)

1) Memorize exactly where each dropship first appears. If you time it right, you
can fire a rocket before the dropship appears (at least with the first one) and
then steer it into the dropship right after it appears.

2) When you have to go back downstairs for more rockets, note that you just have
to open the rocket crate in order to get them -- you don't have to stand still
next to the crate until they appear in your inventory. So as soon as you open
the crate, start running back to the roof. Also, while still on the stairs, you
can fire a rocket up toward the sky so that it'll already be in the air when you
get to where you can see a dropship to steer it into.

3) When the last two dropships are in a position to shoot you, don't retreat
back down the stairs and wait for them to go by. You can usually avoid their
fire by just crouching at or near the top of the stairs. That way, you can keep
firing rockets and steering them into the dropships.

When the gunship shows up, stay crouched on the eighth step up (or real close
to it) on the stairs that lead from the lighthouse's top floor to the roof. The
gunship can't shoot you there when you're crouched, and you can easily stand up
and rocket it when it flies right by you. (You'll know when it is because of the
air-whooshing sound, plus you can see its back end sticking up over the wall if
you're facing the right direction.)


*** Chapter 8: Sandtraps
^^^ Deactivating the antlions in the large sandy area

Brecht Claeys sent in a tip for dealing with the large sandy area where you have
to make your way around without touching the sand to avoid antlion attacks. What
you do is make your way as quickly as you can to where you're near the two
elevated buildings. Don't bother trying to get to them yet -- just head down the
slanty log and then use the gravity gun with junk to make your way along the
sand past the thumper and to the ledge that leads over to the antlion guard's
area. Once you're up on that ledge, look back toward the thumper and locate some
crates that are close enough to draw in with the gravity gun. You'll want a
large crate and a small one (an unopened supply crate will do). Drop both crates
down onto the first grassy ledge in the series that leads down to the antlion
guard's area, then drop down onto that ledge. The idea is that you've now gone
through a trigger point that disables the antlions in the previous area, so use
the boxes to climb back up so that you can go back through the entire area and
loot it at your leisure. That's sure a *lot* easier than trying to carefully get
to all the supply boxes and houses with the constant antlion threat.

NOTE: In my most recent playthru, I discovered that you don't really have to
drop down onto the first small grassy ledge in order to hit the trigger point.
Instead, just crouch-walk carefully along the very edge of the upper ledge, and
that should do the trick (but quicksave before you return to the sand just in
case it didn't work).


*** Chapter 8: Sandtraps
^^^ Dealing with the huge antlion guard

There are two non-standard ways to deal with the antlion guard, one of which is
a real pain. It involves bringing the large wooden plank you can find on a
grassy hilltop near the sheds all the way to the antlion guard's area and
carefully setting it up so that it can be used as a ramp to return to one of the
grassy ledges that you drop down to get to the antlion guard. I only mention it
because I went to a lot of trouble to devise this solution before I thought up
the second one.

After making sure your suit's auxiliary power is at max charge (the meter isn't
showing), drop down to the ground and sprint past the spot where the antlion
guard rises up. Your suit power should last until you're almost to the locked
door with the mounted gun above it. Continue past the door, jumping over the
large branch tangle, and hide behind the big rock in the corner. The antlion
guard and most or all of his summoned drones should be kept busy by the
resistance guy at the machine gun, so all you have to do is just wait under
cover of the rock until the antlion guard is dead.


*** Chapter 8: Sandtraps
^^^ Some advice for the big Nova Prospekt entry area battle with two gunships

Unfortunately, there's no way-easy way to handle these gunships, but I do have a
few very important tips. First, use a combination of bugbombs and crossbow darts
to deal with all the soldiers on the three guard towers before you climb up the
steps and thereby trigger the appearance of the first gunship. There are also
two soldiers on a guard tower a ways past the stairs that you can kill early.

When you're ready, quicksave your game and then run up the stairs. Let your
antlions deal with the two soldiers who magically appear to your left, and keep
running until you reach the left turn in the road. At that point, look for a
small guardhouse with two soldiers in it and a lot of breakable windows. This is
a good spot to hole up and start firing at the first gunship.

NOTE: There's a rocket setting on a supply crate near the corner with the
guardhouse. Nab the rocket and carry it into the guardhouse with you so you'll
have another spare.

First, use the gravity gun to move the desk out of the corner near the armor
recharger. That corner is a good safe place to stand where the gunship can't
shoot you through the windows. Use it as cover after you fire a rocket at the
gunship from the doorway (wait for the gunship to fly right by to give you an
easy shot). For maximum results, observe the usual quicksave-after-hit-and-
quickrestore-after-miss rule until you run out of rockets. On every difficulty
but Hard, you should be able to take down the first gunship from here. (If you
can remember which is the first one after the second one shows up, that is.)

NOTE: Before you leave the safety of the guardhouse, shoot out the windows of
the elevated guardhouse that you can see across the street from the doorway and
then use bugbait to send your antlions over there to tear up the soldiers (or
shoot them through the broken windows).

Next, run back the way you came to the big overhang area near the steps where
the two soldiers magically appeared before. You can grab another rocket there
and use the overhang as cover while using it on a gunship. Then you need to run
and dodge back to the guardhouse. After catching your breath (letting your suit
recharge its auxiliary power, that is), quicksave again and then make a run for
the area with the infinite rocket crate. On the way, duck into the large trash
bin that's turned on its side and has two health packs in it. This is another
spot that's safe to stand and rest in.

Before you make the run from there to the stairs that lead up to the infinite
rocket crate, you'll want to deal with the two soldiers who are up on a raised
catwalk across from where you are now. To do that, duck out of your cover long
enough to toss bugbait toward the soldiers, then duck quickly back in. Repeat if
necessary. When the soldiers are confirmed kills, it's time to run for the
safety of the little niche in the corner that's directly underneath their
catwalk and conveniently close to the rocket crate.

That niche isn't perfect cover, since the gunships can fly to where they can
shoot you, but you have a little room to move back and forth, so use that to
dodge gunship fire while waiting for your shots. (Also, toss bugbait whenever an
antlion comes near you to use him as a distraction.) As always, wait for a
gunship to fly into range, then let loose with a rocket and duck back into cover
as soon as it connects. Even on Hard difficulty, it shouldn't take too long for
you to down both gunships since they were softened up by your earlier attacks.

BUG NOTE: In a recent playthru of this section of the game, the exit was opened
up when the *first* gunship was destroyed, and I was able to move on to Chapter
9 without shooting down the second gunship. This is probably a game glitch, so
don't count on it (but watch for it in case it happens).


*** Chapter 9: Nova Prospekt
^^^ Another antlion guard

There are two good ways to deal with the antlion guard that appears when you
drop down into the shower area at the beginning of the second chapter section.
The easiest is probably to drop down to the floor and then run for the wall hole
you see in the distance, with your gravity gun ready to blast junk out of your
way. Make your way through two wall holes and then on to the back of the area,
where the exit doors are partially blocked by debris. The good news is that the
doors open outward, so hop up onto the debris, open the doors, and crouch-walk
through them. As soon as you land on the other side, close the doors again if
possible. 

NOTE: The antlion guard probably won't follow you out through the doors, but
I've seen him do it once, so why risk it? Use the gravity gun to blast junk back
into the shower area if you need to in order to close the doors.

The other way to deal with the antlion guard is a bit more time-consuming and
ammo-consuming, but it can be fun for those who have just *got* to kill the
freak. Before you jump down to the floor of the shower area, look to the right
to see three large wooden crates stacked nearby. Using the gravity gun, pull two
of them over to you and set them down, one on top of the other, on the floor
near the left end of the railing (left as you face it). Set them so that the
boxes are sticking out lengthwise. Then, after saving your game, carefully hop
the railing and crouch-walk slowly outwards on the top box. Your goal is to get
the antlion guard to see you and charge in while you're still able to jump back
over the railing to the safety of the walkway beyond it. If you make it, back up
against the wall so the antlion guard can't head-butt you, then let him have it
with crossbow darts, bullets, or whatever. (Just be careful with explosives
since he's so close to you.)

CONTRIB NOTE: Bernd Wolffgramm wrote in with an easier way to kill this antlion
guard. To get him to spawn in his starting area, just jump up onto the railing
and move around a little on its left side (don't mess with any boxes), then drop
down safely back on the walkway. Head back along the corridor until you can see
(and shoot) the antlion guard through the fence-mesh-covered window. The best
way to do this (inspired by a tip from John Richie for the third antlion guard)
is to go back to the previous area and grab one of the two sentry guns and set
it upright again using the earlier Chapter 5 tip on how to do so. Once you've
got the gun upright, carry it to where it can see the antlion guard through the
fence mesh, then wait until it shoots the big beast to death.

NOTE: Even if you don't kill the antlion guard, you can still raid his shower
area for supplies. After you move on a ways past that area, you can return to it
and find that the antlion guard has mysteriously vanished.


*** Chapter 9: Nova Prospekt
^^^ Third and final antlion guard

This one isn't too hard to deal with if you start hitting it with RPG rockets,
SMG grenades, and/or crossbow darts as soon as it appears, but it's much easier
and more ammo-conservative to immediately run for the junk-blocked exit hole as
soon as you drop down into the room (it's a ways along the wall to your left).
Jump up onto the green dumpster, then crouch-walk your way over it and through
the hole, blasting the other green dumpster with the gravity gun to get it out
of your way. Safe!

John Richie wrote in with a tip on rat-tat-tatting this antlion guard with a
sentry gun. The way to do that is first kill off all the soldiers in the area,
then take a fallen-over sentry gun up to the control room with the broken window
where you drop down to the antlion guard's area. Drop the sentry gun and then
block the stairs with all the loose junk in the room so that your loyal antlions
won't be able to get to where they can knock your gun over. Carefully set the
sentry gun upright by using the Chapter 5 tip, then put it so that it's near the
left end of the window hole and facing straight outward. Then quickly go through
the window hole to the right of the turret (don't let it shoot you in the back).
Run for the exit hole and wait safely past it for the sentry gun to shoot down
the antlion guard. If the sounds of shooting stop before you hear the antlion
guard die, move around a little and maybe peek out into his room to stir him up.
After he's dead, you can go back and pick up all the dead soldiers' dropped guns
(but watch out for your sentry gun shooting you -- maybe throw an explosive
barrel through the window hole to knock it over).


*** Chapter 10: Entanglement
^^^ Sentry gun fun

After you get through using your two sentry guns in the control room and Alyx
drops the nearby force fields for you, take *both* of your sentry guns along!
It's a pain, but you can use the gravity gun to pick up the sentry guns one at a
time and throw them ahead of you. This is particularly useful in the big room
with the electrified water -- just toss the sentry guns over to the other side
and then go about getting over there yourself. Also, since it's hard if not
impossible to get back across the electro-water room, toss across any portable
supplies that you might need later before you cross.

If you go to the trouble of taking both sentry guns with you all the way to cell
block D8, you'll then have *five* sentry guns you can set up for the big siege
there. That should make things considerably easier (especially in combination
with the following tips for that combat).

You know what I'm going to say now, right? Okay, here goes: after the big cell
block D8 battle is over, take *all five* sentry guns with you when you leave.
Big pain, but very cool when you get to the big teleporter chamber. However, be
very careful when leaving cell block D8. As you go down a hallway with Alyx, a
"LOADING" sign will come up and the next chapter section will load. ALL SENTRY
GUNS STILL IN THE PREVIOUS SECTION WILL TURN HOSTILE TO YOU!!! This is very,
very bad, so be sure to use the gravity gun to shoot all five sentry guns down
to the doors that are past the "LOADING" hotspot before you cross it and the
next area loads.

Also, further on are several doors that permanently close behind you the moment
you go through them. Be sure to toss your sentry guns ahead of you in those
cases, too. If you do, you'll be able to set up a whopping *eight* sentry guns
in the big teleporter chamber! You can easily arrange them to handle all
incoming soldiers, plus you'll have the very great pleasure of watching them cut
down all of the Combine elite who rush in right after you enter the safety of
the teleporter field.

CONTRIB NOTE: Jon A. Bell wrote in to warn me about setting up imported sentry
guns in the teleporter chamber too early. At least one of them may target and
kill Dr. Vance when he's brought in, and that will totally stall the game,
forcing you to resort to a save. So don't let your imported sentry guns see Dr.
Vance!


*** Chapter 10: Entanglement
^^^ Siege of Cell Block D8 strategy #1: Barricading

The key to doing this right is to toss lots of stuff down to the lower cell
block floor where the battle will take place *before* you go down there
yourself. Start by tossing down the sentry gun(s) you brought with you, then
raid the small office on the upper floor for some furniture. Even though it's
hard to get out through the office door, you do want the big desk down there for
barricade material. The chair isn't very useful, but all the green file cabinets
are. Once all that's down in the siege area, go back the way you came -- all the
way back to the electrified-water room -- and look for other things you can use
for barricade material or supplies. Take any medkits and armor batteries you
find, as well as ammo. There's also a large loose door at one point that could
serve as barricade material (though I never used it).

Once all that's tossed down to the siege area, drop down there yourself and
round up all the supplies and barrels you can find. Then choose yourself a spot
to fortify. The two short hallways are the best, and the one with the infinite
SMG ammo crate is my favorite because you can crouch next to the crate for cover
and you can resupply your SMG from it. (On the other hand, you can stand in a
sentry storage slot in the other hallway, and have easy access to health and
armor rechargers.) I always set the desk to block one end of the hallway and the
two large file cabinets lying on the floor to block the other end. Then I start
setting up sentry guns, using wooden crates and barrels to "nestle" them into
their slots and make it harder for the soldiers to knock them over.

NOTE: Placing the last sentry gun from the local storage cases will immediately
start the siege, so get everything else in place before you pick this gun up and
place it.

If you do everything right and the soldiers don't get any grenades tossed into
your little fortified area (which they usually don't), you should just be able
to crouch under cover and wait it out (though you may have to take care of a
manhack or two).


*** Chapter 10: Entanglement
^^^ Siege of Cell Block D8 strategy #2: Safe Balcony

There are just enough wooden crates in the siege area (if you don't break any)
to build a 3-2-1 crate "staircase" up to one of the balconies. That means you
pile three crates in a stack next to the balcony, two crates in a stack next to
that, and then one crate by itself next to the two-crate stack. Then you can
carefully jump your way up onto the balcony. (DJKnugget suggested making a 2-1
pile of crates and carefully setting an upright barrel on top of the 2 pile.
This could be handy if any of the six starting crates got smashed.)

NOTE: Choose a side balcony that you know soldiers won't be entering, like the
one that's right above the gate that Alyx opens after the siege is over.

Of course, before you go up there, you'll need to use the gravity gun to shoot
all your sentry guns and whatever supplies you want up there. You won't need any
barricade material, but you might want to toss up a few barrels to set next to
your sentry guns to make them harder to knock over. Soldiers will be throwing
grenades up there. (Or instead of using barrels, just set up your guns and wait
safely at the back of the balcony until they're knocked over, then use the
gravity gun to pull them to you and crouch-walk forward to set them back up
again.)

Remember that placing the last sentry gun from the local storage cases is what
starts the battle, so get everything else done before you do that. Due to the
difficulty of climbing your crate "staircase" while carrying the sentry gun, you
can either set it on the ground nearby to cover you as you ascend, or toss it up
to the balcony and then quickly hop up there before the soldiers can start
shooting you.

CONTRIB NOTE: DJKnugget wrote in with a slightly better way to handle things
once you're up on the balcony. Only have one sentry gun up there with you, and
hold it high in the air (at about a 45-degree angle) while standing (or
crouching) back a ways from the railing. This works pretty well, though I got
injured a bit doing it, and had to dodge a few grenades. (If you only have one
turret up there with you, why not set up the other ones as described in the next
strategy before getting up on the balcony?)


*** Chapter 10: Entanglement
^^^ Siege of Cell Block D8 strategy #3: Stand in the Storage Cases

John Ritchie wrote in with the idea of using the sentry gun storage containers
to remove the need for barricading a hallway. What you do is take the three
sentry guns from their storage containers and then put them right back in, but
facing outward so they'll shoot any soldiers who come near the containers. (I do
this by dropping the sentry guns outside the containers, then walking around so
that I'm standing directly in front of them before I pick them up again.) You'll
want to set the guns in the leftmost and rightmost containers plus either of the
ones in the middle. You'll be standing in the other middle container with the
pulse rifle or something like that ready. This works pretty well because the
soldiers can't knock over the sentry guns, plus even if a soldier does stand
right in front of your container and shoot you, your turrets on either side will
take him down fairly quickly if you don't. You won't need to worry about
grenades or manhacks unless they appear right in front of you, in which case you
can quickly dispose of them with the gravity gun. This process is nearly as safe
as good barricading, and it's a lot easier to set up!

NOTE: If you brought one or both of the sentry guns from the control room with
you, *do not* hold one of them with the gravity gun while standing in a storage
container. I know I advised you to in previous versions of this FAQ, but doing
this makes the sentry gun (and therefore you) way too much of a grenade magnet.
Instead, either hold an upright metal barrel in front of you while crouching or
have the pheropods ready to toss at any soldier who appears in front of you.


*** Chapter 10: Entanglement
^^^ Siege of Cell Block D8 strategy #4: Hide!

If you're a bit of a chicken, you can just hide from the soldiers and wait the
whole mess out. Either use strategy #2 to get up on a balcony so you can hide,
or hide in an open prison cell by crouching behind a stack of two crates in the
doorway, or whatever. It's important that the soldiers never see you and that
they never get shot by anything (including sentry guns). Just wait in hiding
until Alyx says that she's going to catch up with you, then emerge and kill the
only two soldiers who bothered to show up.


*** Chapter 11: Anticitizen One
^^^ Area where cops have two mounted guns in one place

In the fifth section of this chapter, you'll go through a large underground
tunnel where dozens of manhacks descend through a hole in the tunnel ceiling and
attack. Past that is a narrow room with large breakable windows where a few more
manhacks fly in and attack. Past that is the place where cops have two mounted
guns set up. In order to take care of them without any casualties, jump out
through the large breakable window furthest from the exit door. Use the pistol
to blow up all the explosive barrels you see (using the HEV suit's zoom feature
to help spot them), then use the crossbow to snipe the remaining cops, including
the ones manning the machine guns.

Later, when you're fighting off a bunch of soldiers and manhacks while waiting
for the guy on the other side of the rubble to plant his charges, don't go for
the mounted guns. Instead, hide with your squad behind the nearby tank and only
deal with the manhacks who fly over the tank to get you.


*** Chapter 11: Anticitizen One
^^^ Shortcut at the "password" door

There's a spot in the sixth chapter section where a resistance guy gets a door
open for you by giving the password of "password." GoldenWyrm wrote in with a
neat trick for getting over the nearby fence instead of going through the door,
thereby bypassing several tedious combats and such. First thing to do is use the
"Send/Recall Squad" key to send your followers past the password door and then
close the door to help keep them out of your way. Then take two of the nearby
upright blue recycling bins and put them in a stack next to the fence. Put the
third blue bin in front of that stack, then pick up one of the knocked-over
paint cans. Jump onto the first blue bin, drop the paint can on top of the two-
bin stack, then jump (or jump-crouch) up onto the top blue bin, then the paint
can, and then over the fence! Of course, your nitwit followers won't be able to
follow you over the fence, but you'll be able to pick up three more real soon,
so it doesn't really matter much.

NOTE: If you go into the room with all the supply crates that you would've come
through on the "regular" route to this area, more soldiers will spawn, so
instead use the gravity gun to draw the supply crates to you without going
through the doorway.


*** Chapter 11: Anticitizen One
^^^ Going back to get stuff before dropping down the Big Hole

In the sixth chapter section, which is the one right before the area where you
have to protect Alyx (see next tip), it pays to go back and pick up new stuff
before you proceed past a certain point. After you get to the area where you
have to use a lever to lower a bridge, the next building has a large floor hole
in it. Before you drop down there, kill all the Combine soldiers that you can
see down in the hole, then head back across the bridge. Using a side door in one
particular room a ways back (the dimly lit one that had lots of supply crates
and fast headcrabs in it), you can get all the way back to the "password" door
that's mentioned in the previous tip. This is useful because you can get some
ammo and items you didn't need before, plus you can pick up new resistance
fighters to replace any that got killed, thereby increasing your chances of
making it to the Alyx-generator section with four guys.


*** Chapter 11: Anticitizen One
^^^ The big fight where you're protecting Alyx while she lowers the generator's
    shielding

This fight is really hard, especially on Hard difficulty. Fortunately, I've come
up with some new tactics for it. See the NOTEs after the standard tactics for
all the details. (Unfortunately, they *still* don't make it easy.)

First, try your best to make it to this area with three or four resistance
members still on your team. As soon as you get outside, find all the unset
hoppers and set them up around the central area (where Alyx and her generator
control room is) and quickly bust open the supply crates. That's about all you
can do for preparation. Once the soldiers start arriving, stay with Alyx in her
protected control booth, which also has health and armor rechargers.

Don't just hide there, though, or you'll eventually be overrun. Frequently peek
out long enough to shoot at soldiers as they approach. Don't waste too much ammo
on long-distance shooting, or you'll run out of ammo. Use RPG rockets and
grenades for distance killing, but save all your pulse rifle orbs for the end
when several Combine elite show up. As soon as Alyx says to use the gravity gun
to blast the generator core, do so and then run past it, through the gate, and
duck behind cover until Alyx gets the gate closed.

NOTE: There are several barricading possibilities here that might help if you're
willing to go to the trouble to do them. Some of the best barricade material
includes the large green filing cabinet in the room with the exit to the outside
and the many large bed frames in the upstairs rooms. Grab those and whatever
else you want to use and shoot them outside with the gravity gun before you go
out there. Once you're out, you can do one of three things with your barricade
material:

1) As soon as Alyx starts working at her control panel, totally barricade her in
   so that you're free to run around, fight, hide, and so on without having to
   worry about her getting surrounded and killed. The main problem there is that
   you'll be blocking your access to the health and armor rechargers. Also, your
   barricade has to be *really* good, with junk strewn and stacked all over to
   prevent soldiers from just standing nearby and shooting Alyx.

   Note that you can run back in the door you exited through, block it with
   something big that you can shoot over (like a bed frame turned on its side),
   then stand there and blast any soldiers who come into view. However, you'll
   be unable to help Alyx if she needs it, and soldiers tend to cluster around
   you and toss lots of grenades in. It's probably better to stay mobile, though
   you might want to try the barricaded-in method once just to see how it works
   for you.

2) Barricade yourself in with Alyx so that soldiers can't run right up to you
   and start shooting you from all angles. Do try to leave yourself room to
   shoot at nearby soldiers through the barricade material, and watch out for
   grenades. As in the #1 suggestion, you can easily get swarmed and killed,
   especially near the end.

3) Use the barricade material to partially or totally block the two blue force
   fields that soldiers will be coming in through. If you can keep them from
   ever approaching Alyx's control booth, you won't ever have to fight them. The
   main problem with this method is in getting enough material to block both
   force field entry points and getting it all set up before the soldiers start
   appearing. (Totally blocking both points is probably too hard, so concentrate
   on blocking one of them -- that would be a huge help by itself.)

NOTE: I've found in recent playthrus that the best way to ensure success here is
to remain mobile throughout the battle, running up to a soldier entry point and
blasting the soldiers at fairly close range (but not too close, since you don't
want the shotgun soldiers to damage you too quickly). After you finish off all
the soldiers at one point, run back to Alyx's booth to heal up, then hit the
other soldier point. This works pretty well, even on Hard difficulty, though you
may have to try more than once. "First Last" sent in a tip that can make it even
easier. It seems that killing off *all* the soldiers at a soldier entry point
will immediately provoke another dropship to arrive and deposit more soldiers.
What you could do is kill all of the soldiers at both entry points except one at
each, and then wound those two so they'll be more timid about charging the
booth. Your support troops will eventually shoot your straggler soldiers down,
but you'll have bought some valuable time, and will end up fighting fewer
soldiers while waiting for the generator's core to become vulnerable.


*** Chapter 12: "Follow Freeman!"
^^^ Ground turret advice

In the third chapter section, where you and Barney are running around the nexus
building blasting orbs from three generators, you come across several turrets
that pop up out of the ground when you pass through their blue alert lasers.
There are several ways to deal with these turrets, and here are my suggestions
for each one:

1) This first one is really easy. Just walk up to it and gently lob a frag
   grenade into its little niche. As long as you don't stand in its line of
   "sight," it won't shoot you.

2&3) The next two are together, with the second of the two covering the first
     one to prevent an easy sidestep-and-grenade-roll maneuver. I suggest
     tossing a frag grenade (or SMG grenade, better yet) at the first turret as
     soon as you activate it, then sidestep quickly to avoid getting shot. Wait
     in the small area past the blue laser alerts for the second turret to
     deactivate, then run over next to it and roll a frag grenade into its floor
     niche when your squad runs through the laser alerts to follow you. (As soon
     as your grenade is rolled, switch to the pulse rifle and start shooting the
     two soldiers who appear at the end of the dark hallway ahead.)

4&5) These two turrets, which are near the first generator room you come to, are
     much easier. Tell your team to stay on the staircase, then pass through the
     laser alerts and stand to the side while rolling grenades into the turrets'
     niches. (Or run in between them to make getting them both quickly much
     easier.)

6) The next turret is in an optional little side room with supplies. Use the
   gravity gun to pick up the large desk nearby and hold it in front of you as
   you crouch-walk toward the turret. Press the desk up against it and then drop
   it to totally block the turret. You can then easily grenade-roll it or just
   leave it.

7&8) These last two turrets are set up between the trap room with all the holes
     in the walls and one of the generator rooms. You could get the desk from
     turret #6's area and use it in the same way here, but it's a lot quicker
     and easier to just run past the turrets and into the generator room. You'll
     take a little damage, but *all* surviving turrets will be deactivated when
     you blow the generator core (if this is the last generator you do).


*** Chapter 12: "Follow Freeman!"
^^^ Strategy for the trap room with all the holes in the walls

In the same chapter section where you encounter all the ground turrets is a room
where the two doors are closed and sealed when you try to cross to the other
side. Soldiers then start appearing in large quantities outside the room and
running around to stand behind one door or the other, both of which will be cut
open before long. I've found that the best strategy here is to stand next to the
large hole in the wall that's just to the left of the room's far door (the first
one that gets cut open) with the shotgun ready and double-barrel any soldier who
runs by. Several will get by as you're reloading, so toss some frag grenades
through the wall hole so that they bounce over to the right. That'll stir up
some of the soldiers there, giving you another chance to shoot them. You should
be able to finish off a lot of them before they get the door cut down. Then when
the door does fall, be ready to throw hoppers at the survivors (this is *much*
more effective than setting hoppers anywhere).


*** Chapter 12: "Follow Freeman!"
^^^ Best way to approach the EXIT corridor after trashing the third generator

There are a lot of soldiers waiting for you in the rotunda room down near the
EXIT corridor, so you need to sneak up on them and surprise them instead of just
following Barney. From whichever generator you did last, return to the stairwell
that's near the first generator room and climb back down the stairs. Get out the
pulse rifle and go past the two inactive floor turrets and through the doorway
to reach the EXIT corridor. There should be four soldiers all lined up in a nice
row for you to quickly blow away with a pulse rifle energy orb. As soon as
they're down, run over to where you can see down the EXIT corridor and use more
energy orbs to disintegrate the last few soldiers. Fun and easy!


*** Chapter 12: "Follow Freeman!"
^^^ Rooftop combats after you and Barney scrag all three generator cores in the
    "nexus" building

The rooftop can be brutal, as Alyx would say. The #1 most important thing to
remember is that you can and should always retreat to the stairwell you came up
for cover. The #2 most important thing is that there's an infinite rocket crate
fairly near the door to the stairs. Keeping those things in mind, you shouldn't
have much trouble on the roof.

For starters, stay under cover while your team takes care of the nearby soldiers
when you first exit to the roof. Then use the crossbow to shoot the soldier
who's on the lookout tower way over on the other side of the area. Then, after
you've filled up on rockets from the crate (and optionally moved the spare
launcher that's near the crate to the ledge just behind the stairwell door),
move along the roof far enough to activate the gunship. Hit it with one quick
rocket as it rises into view, then run all the way back to the stairwell door.
Stand in the doorway and wait for the gunship to fly by right in front of you,
an easy target! Keep rocketing it as it flies past until it's down. (You'll
probably have to run out to the infinite rocket crate a couple of times,
especially if you didn't stash the spare launcher in the stairwell. Note that
there's also a spare launcher at the bottom of the stairs if you didn't get it
earlier.)

NOTE: As the gunship flies over the nearby courtyard that's full of soldiers and
striders, it gets distracted and starts shooting down into the courtyard. That's
a good time to resupply on rockets, and is also a fairly good time to hit the
gunship with a rocket or two. This can be faster than waiting in the doorway all
the time, but it's a bit more dangerous.

After the gunship is down, run along the roof to where there are two unset
hopper mines. Quickly set them up (anywhere in or near the area you find them)
and run back to the infinite rocket crate. A dropship will be dropping soldiers
nearby, and they'll come after you if you wait long enough. Rocket the ones that
get past the hoppers, then fill up on rockets again and head on across to the
skybridge area. When you reach it, quickly activate its control panel and then
take cover nearby while the bridge gets settled. As soon as its gates open, run
over and empty your RPG into the soldiers at the other end of the bridge, then
retreat back to the infinite rocket crate to reload. Repeat as necessary. (There
are a *lot* of soldiers over there!)

NOTE: You could also fire a few pulse rifle energy orbs at them, since there are
plenty around to restock with. Also, if you're partial to SMG grenades, there
are some in a supply crate near the skybridge's control panel.


*** Chapter 12: "Follow Freeman!"
^^^ Armor tip for the strider-avoidance area

In the chapter section where you have to climb up in a ruined building while
avoiding fire from a strider, it's worth noting that the scanners that harass
you in this area never stop coming. Since destroyed scanners often drop armor
batteries, you can just sit and wait in a safe spot for scanners to come to you.
Keep destroying them with the gravity gun until your armor rating is 100!

After you get to the infinite rocket crate and are ready to move on to the next
area, make sure your armor is 100 and then maybe destroy a few more scanners to
get a couple more armor batteries that you can throw ahead of you in the next
area. There are several armor batteries already in the van in the underground
parking area, though, so don't waste your time taking too many along.


*** Chapter 12: "Follow Freeman!"
^^^ Tip for rocketing the two striders near the end of the chapter

The roof area where the infinite rocket crate is has lousy cover, and there are
two striders circling the area plus enemy soldiers in nearby buildings. Due to
this, you should fill up on rockets and immediately run back down the stairs to
the area with the two health chargers and one armor charger on one wall. You've
got better cover there, so carefully rocket the striders and hide when they
start shooting. (Another advantage of being down there is that you'll rarely
have both striders targeting you at once. Also, you won't be in danger from the
warp cannon blast that the second strider fires at the rooftop when the first
strider goes down.)


*** Chapter 13: Our Benefactors
^^^ Tip for dealing with the big "elevator" room

At the beginning of the fourth chapter section, you'll quickly come to a large
room with a big shaft in the middle and a red-light-green-light control panel on
one of the railings around it. Using the panel to summon the elevator will also
summon many soldiers, so before you do that, use the gravity gun to yank some
vid consoles and set them next to the little drop-off that prevents you from
going back down the hallway you came to this room from. That way, when you press
the control to summon the elevator, you can quickly run back, jump up using the
debris, and take cover in a hallway that the soldiers can't get to. (Also,
there's a Combine recharger on the wall nearby.)

As for going up the big elevator, my favorite way is to use the gravity gun to
grab up every vid console and screen I can get to and pile them in a nearly
complete circle in the center of the elevator platform. (Remember that if you
took the advice in the previous paragraph, you can go back a room or two to get
more barrier material.) Be careful not to activate the elevator while you're
still arranging your cover. When you're ready, there should be one open end to
the "circle" of debris and one more large console. Grab onto that console and
back into the center of the debris circle and crouch there, holding the console
with the gravity gun. You could drop it right in front of you, but if you're
holding onto it the whole trip up, you can move it quickly to block incoming
fire from soldiers who appear on ledges above you.


*** Chapter 13: Our Benefactors
^^^ Tip for scragging the last strider of the game

Use the gravity gun to hold one of the empty transport capsules in front of you
as a shield (and as a projectile) as you make your way down the long, huge
corridor that has the strider at the end. When you're nearing the strider area,
make a left down a short dead-end path. After the strider moves forward a bit,
make sure you're standing so that a huge metal column and an energy orb conduit
are directly between you and the strider. After the soldiers are all down, you
can just relax. Grab energy orbs from the conduit and fire them at the strider's
exposed legs until it falls over in a heap.


*** Chapter 14: Dark Energy
^^^ Final battle at the top of the dark fusion reactor

As soon as you hop off the lift onto the top reactor platform, quickly move to
where you can start tossing energy orbs at the blue-white spherical core of the
reactor. You'll have time to hit it once and then destroy a couple of the
shields before the gunships show up. When you hear them approaching, quicksave
your game and move so that only the one over on the right side has a very clear
shot at you (try to keep a metal pillar between you and the other one).

No matter what difficulty you're playing at, you'll want to quickly destroy the
gunship nearest you. It only takes two orb hits to do it, but it can be hard
because the gunship is not a stationary target. Keep quickrestoring and
practicing until you can hit the gunship twice out of your first three or four
throws. Then go back to pummeling the reactor core and its shields while staying
under cover. The other gunship tends to hover over on the other side of the
area, so it shouldn't be much of a problem (and it'll instantly die when you
blow up the core, anyway).

CONTRIB NOTE: James Wyatt pointed out that if you fire an orb at a gunship and
can immediately see that it's going to miss, you can pull the orb back in before
it gets too far away. This can be faster than waiting for another orb to appear
in the nearest energy conduit.


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VERSION 3.2 (8/19/06) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This update includes Dorian's useful tips about the lighthouse combats and how
to confuse fast zombies in Ravenholm by staying on a ladder. I also put in a tip
from John "d j" for the waiting-for-the-lift routine in Ravenholm that he'd sent
me a long time ago and that I'd forgotten about until now.

VERSION 3.1 (3/4/06) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This update includes:

* New tip for ensnaring the chopper at Gate 5 in Chapter 4
* Koji's tip for ducking while on the water tank's rim to avoid fast zombie
  leaps in Chapter 6
* Jon A. Bell's warning about sentry guns killing Dr. Vance in the Combine
  teleporter chamber near the end of Chapter 10
* James Wyatt's pull-back-the-orb tip for the endgame gunship combat

VERSION 3.0 (2/8/06) NOTES AND CREDITS:

I've played all the way through the game again recently in order to rewrite and
improve my UHS hint file for Half-Life 2, and I've included all of my best new
finds in this version of the FAQ.

* cop-skipping tips for Route Kanal near the huge steam pipe
* note at the bottom of the gate-opening strategy for Ch. 4's 2nd section
* improved the last part of the big shortcut at Gate 5 strategy for Ch. 4
* new tip for the fast zombie attacks in Ch. 6 after getting the shotgun
* way of skipping the poison zombie area just past those fast zombie attacks
* James Thorpe's zombie-avoiding trick while waiting for Grigori's lift
* water-walkin' strategy for approaching Northern Petrol in Ch. 7
* trick for preventing the gunship just past Northern Petrol from appearing
* trick for ambush #3 in Ch. 7's 4th section
* shortcut for going over the train tracks' force fields in Ch. 7's 5th section
* improved the note about the gunship battle for the lighthouse in Ch. 8
* improved way to "deactivate" the antlions in Ch. 8's 3rd section
* improved the Ch. 11 tip for the area in the tunnel with two mounted guns
* improved the Ch. 12 ground turret advice
* improved the Ch. 12 tip for the room with all the holes in its walls
* best way to handle the last soldier battle in Ch. 12's third section

VERSION 2.65 (10/5/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version adds the secret area in the seventh chapter section of Water
Hazard.

VERSION 2.6 (9/8/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

I finally got around to reinstalling Half-Life 2 on my computer and getting it
and that lousy Steam nonsense to work, so I'm finally able to add in the tips
that some of you sent me during the past couple of months, including:

* Josh "Stigma"'s improvement to my original Gate 5 rail-hopping strategy
* Alexander Waldmann's warning about letting barnacles grab onto Dog's "ball"
* the secret stash at Northern Petrol which includes a rare energy orb
* SorrowPsychosis' tip on getting the jeep over the wall with the gravity gun in
  the battery-operated gate area
* the best time to return to previous areas and pick up new stuff in the sixth
  chapter section of Anticitizen One
* note about the gunship in the nexus building rooftop combats getting
  distracted as it flies over the nearby strider-infested courtyard

VERSION 2.5 (6/20/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

Added in a couple of shortcuts for Chapter 6 that were suggested by John "d j".

VERSION 2.4 (6/7/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version adds in a secret area near Gate 5 in Chapter 4 that DarkLordSkippy
helped me find.

VERSION 2.3 (4/18/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

* added in a Chapter 5 tip on using the gravity gun to set fallen-over things
  (like barrels and enemy sentry guns) back upright
* improved the note on strategy #3 for the Siege of Cell Block D8 in Chapter 10
* added Thegenie.net to the list of official websites for this FAQ
* moved all old version notes to the bottom of the file to make the file header
  much smaller and quicker to scan through
* reproofed the whole file and reworded a few things to make them clearer

VERSION 2.2 (3/31/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version adds:

* my tip on using no ammo on fighting fast zombies while waiting for the
  elevator in a certain area in Chapter 6
* GoldenWyrm's tip on using Dog's ball to distract the fast zombies at Father
  Grigori's lift in Chapter 6
* my tip on hiding from the soldiers in Chapter 10's Siege of Cell Block D8
* GoldenWyrm's tip on getting over the fence near the "password" door in Chapter
  11

VERSION 2.1 (3/21/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

Added in several new tips from GoldenWyrm.

VERSION 2.01 (3/11/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version adds Gamershell.com and Supercheats.com to the list of official
websites for this FAQ.

VERSION 2.0 (3/2/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

I've added in two improvements sent in by DJKnugget for the cell block D8 battle
tip that has you making a crate staircase to get up onto a safe balcony.

VERSION 1.95 (2/18/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version adds in another tip for the big fight near the end of Anticitizen
One where you need to protect Alyx while she lowers the generator's shielding.
This tip is my own, but was enhanced by a tip sent in by "First Last".

VERSION 1.9 (2/3/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

Stealth-X wrote in with some tips on taking Dog's "ball" a lot further in the
game than the flooded mineshaft. Also, Brecht Claeys sent in some more tips,
including one about keeping certain APCs in Chapter 4 from firing on you by
ignoring them.

VERSION 1.8 (1/24/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

In this version, I added Skys_end's Chapter 6 tip about getting Dog's rollermine
"ball" from Chapter 5 and carrying it into Ravenholm and using it to distract
zombies. Also, I made a separate Chapter 6 tip for dealing with the fast zombies
while waiting for Grigori's lift. It has three different strategies, including
my drain-pipe-blocking strategy, Owen Graupman's nearby-ledge strategy, and a
new strategy of mine that may be the best of all.

VERSION 1.7 (1/17/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version added Brecht Claeys' Chapter 8 tip about deactivating the antlions
in the sandy area before looting it.

VERSION 1.6 (1/09/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version included:

* improved Chapter 3 tip on the manhack/explosive barrel room's secret area
* added Fang Xianfu's info to the Chapter 4 hunter-chopper takedown strategy
* added note about holding sentry gun in cell block D8 battle (3rd strategy)

VERSION 1.5 (1/02/05) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version added Owen Graupman's Ravenholm fast zombie tip as a contributor
note to my tip on blocking fast zombies. Also in those tips, I had to correct my
advice on blocking the drain pipes for the final area where Grigori sends the
lift across to you.

VERSION 1.4 (12/24/04) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version mainly had two contributions by John Richie plus something I
thought up based on his ideas. Check the two Chapter 9 tips on dealing with the
antlion guards in Nova Prospekt and the new Chapter 10 tip on dealing with the
Siege of Cell Block D8.

Also, note that my complete Half-Life 2 hint file is now available for online
viewing and downloading at www.uhs-hints.com (the Universal Hint System main
website).

VERSION 1.3 (12/20/04) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version included the following changes:

* changed contributor name "FlexibleRP" to "Kusanagi" by request of contributor
* added tip about using stuff to block pipe-climbing fast zombies in Chapter 6
* added Bernd Wolffgramm's tip on the second antlion guard in Chapter 9

VERSION 1.2 (12/19/04) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This version of the FAQ was created solely to incorporate a great tip sent in by
Kusanagi. It's now the first Chapter 4 tip, so check it out!

VERSION 1.1 (12/15/04) NOTES AND CREDITS:

Besides correcting a dumb spelling error and expanding on the FAQ description a
little, I've added the following:

* Neoseeker.com to the list of official websites for this FAQ
* note about the quicksave and quickrestore keys
* Madcow11's tip for Chapter 8's lighthouse gunship battle
* bug note for Chapter 8's big two-gunship battle at Nova Prospekt
* note about barricade possibilities in the Chapter 11 generator area
* strategies for dealing with the ground turrets in Chapter 12
* strategy for the trap room with holes in the walls in Chapter 12
* tip about the lookout tower guard in the Chapter 12 rooftop battles tips
* note at the end of the Chapter 12 rooftop battles tips
* armor-restoring strategy for the strider-avoidance area in Chapter 12
* debris-cover strategy for going up the big, slow elevator in Chapter 13
* strategy for handling the final battle in Chapter 14

I'd like to thank:

* GameFAQs for posting version 1.0 of this FAQ so quickly
* rorschach16 for being the first one to e-mail me about this FAQ
* Neoseeker.com for being the first other website to request permission to post
  this FAQ
* Madcow11 (The True Scou) for being the first one to write in with suggested
  improvements

VERSION 1.0 (12/12/04) NOTES AND CREDITS:

As of now, all of these secrets and strategies are ones I came up with on my
own. I have noticed that some of them are in other FAQs, but I didn't get them
from those FAQs originally, so I don't have anyone to credit right now but me.

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