HALF-LIFE 2: EPISODE ONE “THE ONE FREE BULLET” ACHIEVEMENT FAQ By Thundaka (firstname.lastname@example.org) Copyright 2012 Thundaka. This guide is solely for private use. If you wish to host this guide on your website, contact me for permission before doing so. Any profitable use is strictly prohibited. ============================================================================= VERSION HISTORY ============================================================================= v1.00: First version. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions or corrections. ============================================================================= INTRODUCTION ============================================================================= Welcome, brave player, to “The One Free Bullet” achievement guide. This is arguably the most difficult achievement in the entire Half-Life series, as it fundamentally alters the way the entire game is played. Put simply, this achievement requires you to give up your guns for an entire playthrough. With the exception of the titular bullet (to shoot open a lock at the start of Chapter 3), you must rely on your crowbar, explosives, and especially the Gravity Gun to get Gordon Freeman safely out of City 17. While the opening and closing battles aren’t particularly terrible, the middle chapters make for some of the most taxing battles in the series. Effective use of the environment, good reflexes, and thorough preparation are all important to your survival. With that in mind, I urge anyone pursuing this achievement to REDUCE THE DIFFICULTY TO EASY. Gordon loses health and Suit Power at an alarming rate even on the lowest setting, due to his cumbersome “ammunition” and reliance on explosives, but the greatest danger is Alyx. Her regenerating health makes her essentially invulnerable on Easy, but at the higher difficulties she can quickly get overwhelmed and killed by mobs of Antlions or Zombines-- and with explosive barrels and the like as your main weapons (especially during the infamous elevator battle), Gordon can’t do a lot to prevent it. Every achievement can be earned at any difficulty, so don’t make things more difficult than they already are. THE ONE FREE ARSENAL --GRAVITY GUN: I hope you love the Zero-Point Energy Field Manipulator, because for most of the game it is the only weapon available. The burst from the primary trigger can directly damage Headcrabs, killing them in three hits if no physics objects are available. It can also flip over Antlions--a valuable ability when they attempt to mob you--though they do not take damage. Against larger enemies, the Gravity Gun is only as good as the objects it can throw at them. Your battle strategy is heavily dependent on the objects scattered throughout each arena, and so those objects deserve a more detailed discussion. *ROCKS/CINDER BLOCKS/MISCELLANEOUS OBJECTS: The beauty of the Gravity Gun is that it can turn nearly anything in the environment into a projectile. Not every object is made equal, though. Small objects like rocks can kill a Headcrab or finish a common Zombie with a well-aimed headshot, but do little damage to tougher enemies and are worthless in a mob situation. Heavier objects have much more stopping power, but their bulk often obscures your vision and makes aiming difficult. (On the flip side, this same factor makes them decent shields against gunfire.) In all cases ricochets are a major issue; even a successful kill will send the object bouncing in a random direction, forcing you to run after it and aim at your next target while the other enemies are free to attack you. You will spend as much time running as you do attacking, so conserving your energy for a well-timed dash is a constant tactical consideration. *OIL DRUMS: The rusted metal barrels found throughout Chapters 3 and 4. Since they are both common and do good damage, they are one of the best weapons for a big portion of the game. *EXPLOSIVE BARRELS: These red-and-white barrels explode on impact, heavily damaging every enemy within a wide radius, and are great for thinning out a crowd. Unfortunately, playing with explosives can be dangerous: the blast will ignite any nearby barrels (sometimes launching them at you just before they detonate), a charging enemy can catch you in the blast, and a few stray bullets or a Zombine’s grenade could lead to premature detonation. While they are too powerful to ignore, you must handle these weapons with care. *GAS TANKS: Orange canisters that detonate on impact like the explosive barrels, and also light any survivors on fire. Many of the barrels’ problems apply here, though the smaller blast radius and lower damage do lower the risk. *FLARES: These glowsticks are valuable for setting zombies on fire, which also helps save the flashlight battery, and--if the player is fast and accurate--can be reused to kill two or three per flare. Earning the Zombie-que achievement (see below) is heavily dependent on such reuse. The catch is that flares have a severe time limit: the moment one is picked up, you have a limited time to toss it before it burns out. *HOPPER MINES: Probably the best “ammunition” the Gravity Gun gets. If picked up and thrown, they serve as powerful explosives which cannot prematurely detonate. If set back down, they can form a perimeter that eliminates your enemies while you stay at a safe distance. --GRENADES: These explosives are very powerful in mob situations or tight corridors, but due to limited numbers you need to be very careful how you use them. (Sadly there are no infinite Grenade crates in this game.) The location of each grenade will be noted in the walkthrough, as well as the best battles in which to use them. --CROWBAR: While still useful, Gordon’s trusty melee weapon will see little action. It arrives late in the game, about the same time you earn the rocket launcher, so the rest of your arsenal renders it mostly obsolete. It is still needed for one hit kills vs. headcrabs and barnacles, but don’t expect much use beyond that. --ROCKET LAUNCHER: This weapon single-handedly makes the game a dozen times easier. The rocket launcher provides both range and high damage, allowing you to kill clusters of enemies well before they can reach you, and thanks to the numerous infinite rocket crates your ammo is rarely a concern. Add in that two of the game’s three bosses are only vulnerable to rockets, and this weapon stands head and shoulders over all others. THE “ZOMBIE-QUE” ACHIEVEMENT The observant player will note that this achievement relies heavily on thrown explosives and physics objects, a playstyle that meshes well with the “Zombie-que” achievement. Since there are only 13 flares in the game, and you are required to light 15 zombies on fire, reuse of your flares is mandatory. This guide will point out the location of every flare in the game, as well as tactical advice to get the most mileage out of each one. As a rule of thumb, the slow-moving common zombies and Poison Zombies make the best targets. Keep in mind that only living zombies count toward the total (headcrabs and corpses do not), and that gas tanks and other flammables do not count. All but two of the flares appear in Chapter 3, so plan accordingly. ============================================================================= WALKTHROUGH ============================================================================= --CHAPTER 1: UNDUE ALARM-- --CHAPTER 2: DIRECT INTERVENTION-- Little needs to be said about the first two chapters. The supercharged Gravity Gun turns every battle into a cakewalk, and with no other weapons your playstyle is unchanged. The only object of note in this section is the Suit Power station at the start of Chapter 2, just before Alyx sends you down the elevator into the Core. Do not use that station when you first arrive. Wait until the Core is stablized and drains your HEV Suit Power, and you can enter the third chapter with 30 Suit Power instead of zero. Do your best to avoid taking damage from the roller mines by the train station, and you should be in decent shape when you exit the Citadel and enter the difficult part of the game. --CHAPTER 3: LOWLIFE-- *Part 1: A Walk in the Dark* -Flares: 5 -Batteries: 5 After catching your breath, you will head into a hallway littered with zombies, headcrabs, and Hopper Mines. Alyx can finish most of them by herself, though there are plenty of oil drums and rocks for you to throw. Clear out any unexploded Hoppers, enter the pitch-black tunnel, and collect the BATTERY next to the vent on the floor. You will need the flashlight to guide you through the vents and into the next room, though you can save the battery by grabbing the first FLARE across a gap with the Gravity Gun. This one won’t last long enough to burn any zombies, so just use it for light. Pretty soon you will drop into the next room, crushing a headcrab in the process. To proceed you must grab the pistol inside the cage, by gripping it with the Gravity Gun and lifting it through the gap. Gordon’s one bullet is used here, to break the lock on the door between yourself and the fuse box. It should go without saying, but DO NOT MISS this shot. Flip the fuse box to open both doors, then blast the car to open the way forward. There are four BATTERIES in this room, plus a second FLARE in the gun cage. If you save the flare until the path is cleared, you can light up your first two zombies for “Zombie-que.” Shine your flashlight on the enemies to help Alyx gun them down. Remember that you can flip the antlions with a Gravity Gun burst, making them easier targets and stopping their attacks. There is a BATTERY next to a dead rebel left of the entrance, a little health in the car before you pass through the rubble, and two gas tanks on the path. Up ahead is a lit train car, containing the first of the hateful Zombines. They are a lot tougher than common zombies (it takes a direct hit from an explosive barrel or two from an oil drum to kill them), and they run fast and hit hard, but they are at their worst when they pull out a grenade for their suicide rush. I recommend dashing back into the train and letting Alyx deal with them, either gunning them down or triggering the suicide attack while you are at a safe distance. There are three explosive barrels which can be tossed at them, plus a third FLARE (inside a van at the very end of the tunnel) with which you can burn one or two Zombines, but I don’t recommend it: your accuracy is very poor in the darkness, and the combination of rushing enemies and grenades make the barrels very dangerous. You will meet your first Barnacle on the path ahead. With no crowbar and no guns, you will die if it catches you; shine your flashlight to have Alyx kill it, and avoid the tongue at all costs. To open the door to the next area, activate the fuse box in the alcove just beyond. There are two more FLARES, one outside the alcove and another next to the door, which you can use to light up the four zombies that arrive once the power is switched on. *Part 2: Antlion Wrangling* -Grenades: 1 -Batteries: 3 -Med Kits: 5 Up the stairs is a pack of three slow but deadly Poison Headcrabs. You can kill them directly with a few Gravity Gun bursts, though it is safer to grab an oil drum and toss it for an instant kill. There is a MED KIT at the top of the stairs, a BATTERY in the corner with the generator, and another BATTERY inside a locker to your right. You won’t go far before discovering the first antlion burrow. Push the nearby car over the burrow to seal it. If this doesn’t kill the antlion outright, a burst from the Gravity Gun and a few bullets from Alyx will do the job. Two more Poison Headcrabs will enter while you raise the gate. Exterminate them, then finish raising the gate and continue ahead. The area ahead holds a long, dark tunnel that is infested with Barnacles. Shine your light straight up to kill the nearest ones, but leave the rest alive. Two waves of zombies will approach once you enter the tunnel. The Barnacles at the far end will grab them one by one, killing them long before they can reach you. Once all the zombies are eliminated, have Alyx finish the Barnacles. (Again, avoid their tongues at all costs.) Three more Zombines will attack when you reach the end of the tunnel. The Alyx- centered strategy from earlier works well, though if any of them focus on you it will be necessary to start running. There are plenty of oil drums around, so be sure to toss them to help eliminate the Zombines. There is a final Zombine in the dark corner near the doors, though you can eliminate it by tossing an explosive barrel from a distance. Don’t forget to grab a MED KIT from the antlion burrow before continuing on. The three-story parking lot ahead is the first really nasty section of the game, and a good reminder of why Easy mode is recommended. Some Zombines and antlions are fighting when you arrive, though pretty soon both parties will notice you and come charging down the hall. Stay behind Alyx while the Zombines attack, and flip over the antlions to help her finish them. Once inside the lot all three burrows will erupt with antlions, and you will need to block all three with cars to proceed. Only one car is available at first; sprint toward it, then push it until it covers the most distant burrow (directly below the second level). While you can knock back some antlions with the Gravity Gun, don’t expect to do this without taking a few hits. Once the burrow is sealed, you must sprint up the ramp to the second level. Inside the alcove straight ahead is the first and only GRENADE in this chapter. Do not miss it, or you will suffer later. Punt the second car down to the lower level, and seal off the nearby second burrow. Only one car remains, but it is a nasty one. You must travel to the upper level, then drop into the closed-off parking space with a Zombine. With no objects to toss and no support from Alyx, you have no choice but to stand on the car and wait for its suicide attack, then crouch behind the car to reduce the damage. (Thankfully there is a MED KIT to help you recover.) Open the gate, push the car down to the ground floor, and seal the final burrow. Once you and Alyx have killed the final antlion, you can open the gate on the third floor and finally claim the BATTERY and two MED KITS up there. I suggest taking a breather, because it only gets more intense from here. *Part 3: Hell’s Elevator* -Flares: 6 -Batteries: 4 -Med Kits: 9 Descend the stairs into a fenced-off sewer area. There is no safe way to use the explosive barrels, so rely on oil drums for your damage. One Zombine will charge at you near the beginning, then a few more when you reach the second room. The narrow quarters make the Zombines easy to hit, but also make the suicide charge very dangerous. I suggest doubling back after entering the middle area (which will draw out the Zombines near the far door), and dashing back up the stairs if any of them pull out a grenade. A final group will pursue you as you exit, but you have plenty of time to run ahead and shut the door behind you. Up the stairs is a large arena, containing the elevator that will finally carry you to the surface. However, to ride it you must survive one of the toughest brawls in Half-Life history. Since the objects in the environment are so important, a quick survey is in order: -FLARES: In the corner near the entrance, 2 next to the elevator itself, on the path to the fuse box (on the left next to an explosive barrel), in the second cage on the path, and inside the fuse room. You can easily earn Zombie-que here if you use all of them--there will be no shortage of targets to burn, and often they crowd closely enough to ignite 2 or 3 with a single toss. Just be aware that the first and last flares require major detours, while the one in the cage needs to be used on the way to the fuse room (you won’t have time to pull it out of the cage when they arrive en masse). -GAS TANKS: In the corner near the entrance, 2 next to the elevator, 2 behind the cage next to the elevator, and in the dead-end room a bit beyond that. They are great weapons, but keep them spaced out; they really hurt if the Zombines detonate them, especially if explosive barrels are nearby. -EXPLOSIVE BARRELS: On the path toward the fuse box, and at the corner where the two paths meet. Keep them far from each other, and from the gas tanks. -OIL DRUMS: Right next to the explosive barrels. -BATTERIES: Next to the elevator, in the first cage on the way to the fuse room, outside the fuse room, and in a corner room past the fuse room. Be careful with the last one: that room holds a Zombine and lots of explosives, killing or seriously hurting you unless you can dash away fast enough. -MED KITS: In the corner room past the elevator, 2 on the path to the fuse box, in the first cage, 2 in the second cage, 2 inside the fuse shed, and in the explosive-filled corner room. It’s a good idea to toss them toward the elevator, because you will really need them once the fight starts. While they don’t attack in force until the power is on, the zombies will still arrive one or two at a time on the path to the fuse shed. You cannot fight back without the flashlight, so keep a close eye on the suit’s battery power. (The flares provide some illumination, but not enough to see the zombies coming from a distance.) I suggest switching it off at the halfway mark, then waiting for the power to recharge--unless you hear a zombie coming, in which case you must keep it on until the beast is dead. You will need to dash a lot to survive the Zombines, so conservation is critical. Let your batteries recharge before opening the fuse shed, as a Zombine will come charging out with a grenade. Exterminate the headcrab that waits inside, and you can turn on the power. The zombie hordes will arrive on the way back to the elevator. The epic brawl that follows boils down to battery management, which you will badly need for light and to dash away from the Zombines and especially the Fast Zombies. Both the gas tanks and flares provide light to see by (in a pretty small range), but they are limited, and you need to refrain from dashing as well in order to recover your flashlight power. While the explosive barrels and gas tanks are most powerful, the oil drums are the most reliable projectiles: they are infinitely reusable and cannot damage you, and the only easy way to kill Fast Zombies (though you will need to chase after the barrel each time it is thrown). No matter what you are using, remember to DROP THE OBJECT and run when a Zombine pulls out a grenade. You can’t dash while using the Gravity Gun, and even on Easy mode this does a ton of damage at close range. When Alyx finally announces that the elevator has arrived, hurry in ASAP. The hard part is by no means over, but at least the very worst is behind you. --CHAPTER 4: URBAN FLIGHT— *Part 1: Return of the Combine* -Batteries: 2 -Med Kits: 4 Once you have recovered, hunt in the side room for the crank that opens the gate to the surface. There is a MED KIT and BATTERY in here as well, both surely welcome after the beating you took. Take a look around, listen to Dr. Kleiner, and stretch your legs a bit before you tackle the next combat section. Some observation drones will appear up ahead, which you can grab and smash for an additional battery or two. Keep the Grenade in hand as you walk forward. Four Combine soldiers will rappel down from the roofs, then start firing at you. They take and deal a lot of damage, and the only nearby object (a trash can) is too light to even make them flinch. However, a perfectly thrown grenade can kill several of them as they touch down. To deal with the survivors, I suggest doubling back and grabbing one of the metal panels that blocked your path earlier. They are heavy enough to kill a soldier in one toss, though the wild ricochets make them difficult to use more than once. Odds are Alyx will do most of the damage. When the soldiers are cleared you can move into the street ahead, where a few Combine and a whole mess of antlions duke it out. There are several MED KITS in the starting area, if you need it. Hang back until the antlions finish off the soldiers, then start sealing up the burrows with cars. A few more Combine wait behind the door at the street’s end, ready to ambush you, but the trap to the left of the door provides an easy way to clear them. Grabbing the nearby chair with the Gravity Gun should trigger the traps, and if you back up quickly you won’t be hurt. The downside is that a raging fire blocks the way forward, forcing you to solve a platforming puzzle before you can continue. Collect the BATTERY in this room, then take the stairs. *Part 2: Headshots* -Grenades: 8 -Batteries: 8 -Med Kits: 4 The zombies on the top floor are not a concern, as the traps and roller mine make quick work of them. Catch it with the Gravity Gun once they are dead, and Alyx will turn it to your side. Grab the MED KIT and BATTERY up here. The sniper outside will make your life difficult, so proceed with caution. The hacked roller mine can hold off the still-hostile one in the street, but pretty soon you will have to grab that one and hack it as well. Make a mad dash to the wall on the right, dodging fire from the soldier at the mounted gun as well as the sniper. To take out the sniper you’ll first need to get behind the second car in the street, hiding behind cover to get there. Rather than wasting a Grenade, grab one of the roller mines and toss it into the sniper’s nest to take him out. Toss the other at the Combine on the ground, then stand back until they explode and Alyx takes the sniper rifle. Don’t forget to grab the three GRENADES behind the mounted gun and the MED KIT behind the car. The area ahead is infested with zombies, but thanks to Alyx and her impeccable aim you can focus on avoiding damage while she eliminates them. Climb over the fence and draw them out of their hiding place in the alley. The common zombies aren’t much threat, so focus on keeping your distance from the Zombines and Fast Zombies. Head inside the building, and up the stairs you will find a boarded-up set of windows that looks down on the street below. Knock out these boards to expose this corridor to Alyx, allowing her to pick off the zombies that come shambling down it. She probably won’t take out the Zombine that runs after you, so just try to stay out of reach until it commits suicide. Past this area you will find two more GRENADES and three BATTERIES in crates. Antlions spawn in the street ahead, though the Combine cut them down from two different directions. First you will need to eliminate the Combine who covers the path ahead, by taking the back panel to give Alyx a clear shot. Next on the list is the antlion burrow, which must once again be sealed with a car. That just leaves the Combine at the end of the street, who keep the gate shut except to rush out three at a time. Alyx can make short work of them, but until you sneak past the gate they will keep respawning. The panel from the mounted-gun Combine works well as both a shield and a heavy projectile, so carry it with you as you approach the gate. When the Combine are gone Alyx will come to you, followed by a few antlions; flip them over as usual to help her finish them. Pick up the MED KIT right after the loading screen. The building ahead has lots of tight corridors with plenty of Combine, making Grenades especially powerful. You probably have five of them already, so feel free to use them all to thin their numbers. There is another GRENADE in the side hall next to the first cluster of them, and another 2 GRENADES by the sealed-off doors. Those doors don’t stay sealed for long, though, so start tossing Grenades as soon as they explode to take down the strike force. This room contains a Suit Power recharge station--the only one in the game outside the Citadel--as well as a Health Station and two BATTERIES, so fill up. Grab the radiator on the wall up ahead. It is remarkably damaging for such a small object, and the perfect way to take out the final shotgun-wielding Combine up ahead. At the top of the stairs are two MED KITS and two BATTERIES. Your health and Suit Power are probably full, so drop them into the garage to help you recover after the next fight. *Part 3: Boom!* -Grenades: 4 -Batteries: 5 -Med Kits: 10 You will drop into the game’s first boss battle, a brawl between the Combine and an Antlion Guard which quickly becomes you vs. the Guard and its antlion allies. There are seven explosive barrels and several more oil drums around the arena, though safely using them can be difficult. Make a mad dash for the explosive barrel in the upper-left corner, and you can hit the Guard while it’s still attacking the Combine tank. With any luck you can grab and throw a second barrel before the Guard has finished the Combine and turned its attention toward you. It only takes one more explosive barrel (or two solid tosses from an oil drum) to finish the Guard, but tossing it while the Guard is galloping toward you and its brothers try to mob you is no simple feat. Whenever possible, try to trick it into running into the walls; this will stun it for a few seconds, giving you time to recover your suit battery and move far enough to safely toss an explosive barrel. When the Guard dies Alyx will hop down to join you, providing cover fire while you seal the three antlion burrows. After that you can recover your health (and Suit Power, if you remembered to drop the batteries), before more drones arrive and the Combine start shooting from the rooftops. You have nothing to contribute here, so just stay in a corner while Alyx eliminates them with the mounted gun. A few more Combine are sitting in the trench just ahead; you could carry an explosive barrel over or toss a Grenade to try and eliminate them, but Alyx and the rebel on the roof will probably do most of the damage. Be sure to pick up the GRENADE in the trench, which you will need up ahead. The next few rooms are light on combat, but full of deadly explosives which make navigation difficult. Pull out the Hopper Mine by the door and climb into the vent, taking the ladder up the side path and collecting two BATTERIES with the Gravity Gun. Go far enough and the vent will collapse, trapping you in a room criss-crossed with tripmines and explosive barrels. At that point you would need to carefully maneuver to the exit, jumping on top of barrels and praying that you don’t tip them over while you cross. However, you can eliminate the danger by tossing a Grenade out the end of the vent, detonating all the explosives and letting you walk straight to the elevator. In typical Half-Life tradition, once you enter the elevator will plunge into the water below. Knock out the roof escape with the Gravity Gun, then climb onto the ledge with the MED KIT. This room is very hard to navigate while the explosives are there, but by grabbing and tossing an explosive barrel you can eliminate them at no risk. Watch out for the Barnacles on the ceiling. They take some time to extend their tongues and can be distracted by the explosion debris, but if you are caught you will absolutely die. Kill the Poison Headcrab inside the lower room, collect the two MED KITS, and crawl through the vent to the upper level. Hop around the outside of the shaft, taking care to avoid the Barnacles, and you can climb a ladder all the way to the vent near the top. A Barnacle stands between you and the final jump to the vent, though you can pull the vent cover toward you to keep the tongue occupied. A final booby-trapped room waits at the end of the vent, so gently drop the vent cover into the room below to clear the way. Watch out for the Hopper Mines, which are still standing and must be pulled out one at a time. Activate the fuse box to open the door forward, and grab a Hopper before heading to the next area. (You could bring all four Hoppers to add to your ammo stockpile, though honestly it’s not worth the six extra trips back and forth across the loading screen.) Set down the Hopper, then peek forward into the room ahead. A zombie will come crawling toward you, which Alyx will quickly kill if you move out of her way. Rather than exploding everything now, you should carefully move the explosive barrels out of the room and back through the corridor. This will allow you to set off the tripmines without wasting projectiles that you can use against the Combine. Remember to pull out the Hopper Mine, which could easily cause a fatal chain explosion. Once the room is clear, collect a BATTERY and health from the locker and two GRENADES from a supply crate; you can bring back the explosive barrels as well, provided that you keep them near the locker. A Combine assault team enters after you approach the sealed-off exit, exploding the door and dropping a burning barrel before they enter in force. It only takes two good explosions to eliminate them, so fire away. After they are dead you can pick up another BATTERY from the stairs, then pull the plug to remove the force field. There is one more Combine battle before the game gives you a break. Unfortunately it’s a hard one, as it takes place in a wide-open street that gives the Combine a huge range advantage and enough room to dodge your projectiles. Before facing them head-on, move the enemy Hopper to the bottom of the stairs and lure in the Combine to thin their ranks. You shouldn’t set more than one Hopper at a time (they will all explode when a soldier approaches, even from the other side of the wall), but you can hold a second Hopper and drop it in the same spot when the first one explodes. You probably won’t kill them all, but finishing two or three this way can really curb the damage you will suffer. Once in the street you should focus on clearing the distance to the soldiers; Grenades and oil drums are your best weapons (and the latter is helpful as a shield), though once again Alyx tends to do more damage. The Combine do throw Grenades of their own, which can be thrown back if you’re quick enough with the Gravity Gun. Things get a lot easier after you pass the first car, when a rocket- firing Resistance member joins the fight. You can afford to hang back a bit here: his rockets will quickly blow away the Combine, and if they do kill him Gordon will gain the godly ROCKET LAUNCHER a bit early (plus three free rockets, which can be a huge help on the path to the hospital). A big group of them will blow open a door at the end, so you might want to prime a Grenade (or collect the explosive barrel by the exit) and toss it at them after the explosion. The action lets up for a bit, giving you the opportunity to catch your breath and collect the two MED KITS in the street. Don’t forget to collect the BATTERY in plain view and the GRENADE in a supply crate before entering the apartment complex. *Part 4: The Rocket Doctor* -Grenades: 3 -Batteries: 10 -Med Kits: 11 After hanging out with the Resistance for a bit, pick up the MED KIT behind the marked door and head up the stairs. The first door is blocked, while the second has two Zombines who will charge once it is opened. Try to roll in a grenade before Alyx fires, then close the door again; this can take out one of them right away, making it much easier for Alyx to finish the other. As before, backpedal down the stairs if they use the suicide attack. There are no good projectiles around, so you’ll need her to finish the next Zombine as well. Stick to the left in the next room, or you’ll be sorry: the floor will collapse, dropping you into a room full of zombies. You can take them out pretty quickly by tossing furniture, but the Zombine in the hall outside is very difficult to kill and almost impossible to slip past. The top floor has a BATTERY and two MED KITS, while the room below only has MED KITS. Upstairs you meet Barney, who reunites you with another old friend: the CROWBAR! This isn’t as exciting a reunion as you might hope, since it’s so late in the game, but it’s still pretty helpful: Barnacles are no longer a death sentence, and headcrabs will go down in one hit. Straight ahead are a BATTERY and MED KIT, guarded by a headcrab. Up the stairs are some Poison Headcrabs, whose slow reflexes make them easy crowbar targets. Pick up the GRENADE in a supply crate, lure the two Zombines to you, and then back up while Alyx kills them. (The crowbar’s damage is too low, and in any case fighting them in such an enclosed space is a very bad idea.) After that, head outside and smash the board blocking the bridge to draw the Combine toward you. I recommend Grenades for the two who cross the bridge, and the explosive barrel to take out the one on the roof. Spend as little time as possible in the open, since the gunship is still on the prowl. Cross the bridge to enter the next indoor area, a long hallway crowded with zombies, tripmines, and eventually a squad of Combine. The gunship shoots at you through the windows, so make a point of staying low and near the wall the whole time. The crowbar is pretty useful against the common zombies (if you have good reflexes and can pull back quickly), but for the Zombines you’ll still want to rely on the Gravity Gun, Combine traps, and maybe Grenades. Since the Combine will be firing at them the whole time, it’s a good idea to hang back until the zombies are dead. Use any remaining Grenades to eliminate the Combine; if you already have the rocket launcher, this is the ideal place to use it. There is a MED KIT in a locker near the beginning of the hall, and a GRENADE in a crate at the end. The gunship finally catches up to you up ahead, setting the stage for the second boss fight. The ROCKET LAUNCHER is downstairs next to a Resistance corpse; you will need it to win the battle. On Easy mode it takes three rockets to kill the gunship. While you could theoretically do this without reloading, in practice the gunship’s defenses and the bits of building in the way will probably cause several to miss. The key to this battle is reaching the infinite rocket crate in the center without leaving yourself totally exposed. My strategy is to hang out near the entrance, dodging behind the left wall while it fires, then sprint out to fire a rocket right after. You can’t just stand there and fire, as its guns cut through your Suit Power and health very quickly even on Easy mode. (There are 4 MED KITS downstairs to help with the latter, but no batteries.) Remember to fire the rockets in a spiral path, to outmaneuver its anti-missile guns and close in on the gunship for the kill. After three rockets you must sprint back to the crate, quickly but carefully: the path to the crate is narrow and has a sharp turn, and it’s easy to fall down and be forced to repeat the journey. Once there you should hop downstairs (the floor above makes decent cover), then sprint up the stairs and back to the entrance. Throughout the battle pieces of the building will break off as the gunship and your rockets hit them, rapidly destroying cover and making both of you easier targets. You could spend a round destroying the roof in order to clear your field of view, though since the most inconvenient bits are quickly destroyed anyway I wouldn’t bother. Reload on rockets when it dies, then pick up any Med Kits you missed. Some clueless Combine will blow the door, only to be blasted to smithereens by your rockets. Pick up the GRENADE near their bodies, use the Gravity Gun to set off the tripmines down the hall, pull out the Hopper Mine hidden in the corner, and pick up two BATTERIES from the locker. The next section is perhaps the most satisfying part of the challenge, and certainly the easiest. You will walk through a Combine- and zombie-infested hospital, with an infinite supply of ammo for Gordon’s instant-kill weapon. It may be a long walk in places, but there is not a single loading screen between Gordon and the crate during this section. Better still, Alyx’s new shotgun can kill most enemies in one or two shots, and there are lots of Hopper Mines for even more instant kills. While you should always use the nearby explosives first and let the two sides kill each other before intervening, there is no need to hoard your resources like you have for most of the game. The first side room to your left has a BATTERY, though you will need to escape the zombie that hides in the bathroom. There are more BATTERIES around the bend (in the first room on the right), at the end of the same hallway (behind the door which a zombie breaks down), and inside the operating room that links to the third hallway. The Combine Elites and their energy balls make their debut in the next hall, though more often than not they will die before they ever get the chance to attack you. The fourth and final hallway has two more BATTERIES, one in plain sight and another in the TV room with two zombies. Take them out with the Gravity Gun, then open the door holding back the zombie crowd and get ready to back away. These guys are pretty tough--especially the Poison Zombie, who can survive a direct rocket hit--so don’t be surprised if takes all three rockets and even a grenade or two to finish them. Make sure that the rocket launcher is full before you jump down, as you can’t return to the crate after this. *Part 5: Emergency Checkout* -Flares: 2 -Batteries: 7 -Med Kits: 1 The floor collapses below Gordon, dropping him into the flooded basement. **WAIT FOR ALYX TO CHECK ON YOU BEFORE YOU CONTINUE**. If you swim away before she arrives, the game’s programming gets screwed up and she will not rejoin you upstairs. (She will reappear at the next loading screen when Chapter 5 starts, but there are two tough battles in the meantime which become much tougher without her help.) After she says her piece you can swim down, then move up onto the ledge. There is a Poison Headcrab in the shed; kill it with the crowbar, then collect the two BATTERIES. There are another two BATTERIES next to the door, which you must power up before exiting. Keep the crowbar handy in the water, as there are lots of Barnacles for you to kill. There is one by the alcove with the floating canister, one by the platform near the electric switch, and two near the stairs, all of which must die right away. There are two more near the shed, but you cannot reach them yet. Move the canister under the platform next to the switch, so you don’t electrocute yourself in the water, then turn on the power. From here it takes two careful jumps to reach the ledge adjacent to the shed--at which point the final two Barnacles arrive, blocking your path with their tongues. Carefully backtrack to the switch, turn it off, and you can safely kill them with your crowbar. From there you only need to reactivate the power, tread the same path, and this time jump to the shed and through the window to safely reach the door. Upstairs Alyx will join you, having ditched the shotgun and returned to her automatic pistol. Not too far ahead is another zombie fight, this time in an enclosed arena just below you. Two Fast Headcrabs are running around on the floor; either wait for Alyx to finish them, or just jump down with the crowbar and take the damage. The final two FLARES are down here on the shelves. If you’re not worried about “Zombie-que,” use one to burn the tough Poison Zombie to death. Otherwise you should dodge the Poison Headcrabs as he throws them (they are much easier to kill after they detach from his body) and kill him with the crowbar once it’s just him. The same goes for the Poison Zombie outside the broken window, which is harmless once his headcrabs are gone. Pretty soon a crowd of zombies will start banging on the doors. Set a Hopper Mine near both doors, and pick up the third as ammunition. It will take all three rockets and possibly some grenades to thin out the horde, though they are clustered tightly enough that you can easily light two or three at a time with a single tossed flare. Concentrate on killing the Zombines first, and with luck you should escape with only minor damage. Pick up the two BATTERIES after the battle, then continue on. There is a MED KIT and a BATTERY in the next operating room. There is one more obstacle before you leave the hospital, a hallway that is scattered with Hopper Mines and guarded by two turrets. Pull the first Hopper before you continue, then move down a little to trigger a wave of zombies, including some Zombines and a scary Fast Zombie. Dash out of the hall and close the doors behind you, and hopefully Alyx and the turrets will finish the zombies before they can reach you. Some more zombies arrive as you enter the first door on your left, though if you hide Alyx and the turrets should take out all of them. Sprint to the room on the opposite side, pulling out any Hoppers which didn’t already detonate, and you are nearly home. Now you only need to remove the Hoppers just behind the force field, pull the plug that powers the force field, and run on to finally leave the building and get a taste of fresh air. --CHAPTER 5: EXIT 17— *Part 1: The Battle of the Trainyard* -Grenades: 2 -Batteries: 1 -Med Kits: 3 Pick up the BATTERY in the locker, then break the boards to get outside. You will meet up with Barney, who explains the plan to you while you collect the two GRENADES in the truck to the right. This next battle is an endurance test, but thanks to the infinite rocket crate behind the dumpster it’s not terribly difficult. Different waves of enemies will spawn with each group of citizens you escort, as well as on each return trip, and each requires its own strategy. -Group 1: There is no combat during the first trip, so take your time and note your surroundings. There is a lot of health on this path-- three Health Stations, several MED KITS near the citizen waiting area, and a small crate full of health--but no batteries, so don’t be surprised if you end this marathon with no Suit Power. Alyx takes over the mounted gun when you reach the end, providing cover fire and an easy way to finish the Combine who try to follow you to the trains. -Return 1: Some Manhacks arrive in the station. They are easy enough to kill with the Gravity Gun, but their small size and numbers make them a real pain. There are more Manhacks outside, which you should lure through the door for an easier kill, and three Hopper Mines are dropped from the sky. As long as you pull them up first, the Hoppers are great tools for keeping the Combine at bay. There are only two paths the Combine can take through the trainyard; by planting both with Hopper Mines you can take out lots of them before they can ever reach you. To make them even better, gather the three explosive barrels and place them directly behind the Hoppers. Once your perimeter is prepared, collect the next group. -Group 2: The Combine start to arrive now, but pretty slowly. You can easily sprint into the station and to the trains before they can land a shot, and Alyx will eliminate the soldiers on your tail. As a rule, you should always sprint through the trainyard while you have citizens in tow. -Return 2: Assuming that Alyx killed the soldiers who followed you, your first combat will be with a sniper who fires from the building across the street. (Don’t forget to pull up any Hoppers between you and the rocket crate.) One well-placed rocket will smoke him out, after which you can pick off the soldiers who rappel down the buildings for a while. Place your three new Hopper Mines now, including one between the crate and the station entrance, then bring out the next group. -Group 3: Here’s where it gets tricky. Inside the station a Combine Elite will knock down the first train with an energy ball, stopping your progress. Kill him with a rocket, then lead them up the newly created upper path. Another Elite and soldier will land on the second train. A well-placed rocket can kill both of them, though you can spare a third rocket if necessary. -Return 3: Once outside, large numbers of Combine will approach you on foot and get blown up by your Hoppers. On the far side is a tank, which fires guided missiles at you until it is destroyed. It takes four rockets to do this; use the dumpster as a shield, and otherwise stay out of sight as much as possible. Finish off the troops who accompany the tank, and you can collect the next group. -Group 4: This time the Combine will blow the lower door, then stream into the station through it. One rocket should be enough for this group, though once you climb the ramp you will have to kill two more who jump through the window. -Return 4: This one is a pure manpower rush: first a wave of Civil Protection police, then a whole ton of Manhacks, and finally a large Combine squadron. The Hoppers can do a lot of the work, but you will still get plenty of use out of your rocket launcher. -Group 5: Barney joins the final group. Two more Combine land on the roof of the train, and due to their spacing you will need a rocket for each of them. Refill your health before the doors are sealed. If you like you can refill your rockets one last time after dropping off the last group, dodging bullets from the last few Combine, though it is by no means necessary. *Part 2: Gordon the Giant Killer* -Batteries: 8 -Med Kits: 4 Barney says farewell, and you and Alyx set off to look for your own train out of the city. You will pick up two BATTERIES on the way forward. Turn the crank to let Alyx through, and the game’s final boss stalks toward you at high speed. Try to remain out of the Strider’s line of sight until its second blast, which opens the path forward. Two soldiers will arrive up ahead. Since you probably only have one rocket (and you need to save it for later), kill them by tossing grenades. From here you must make your way across the trainyard to higher ground, while dodging the Strider’s guns and the destructive effects of its shockwave blast. There is a Health Station at ground level, as well as a BATTERY on top of the first layer of containers. There is a pod of Poison Headcrabs on the way up. Wait for a blast to crack it open, then crowbar both headcrabs when they come out. The next bit can take a few tries: you have to leap from a shipping container to the walkway upstairs, a somewhat tricky jump that also leaves you exposed to the Strider’s guns. You can count on taking damage here, so just try to get behind cover as quickly as possible. Once up there, immediately grab the nearby explosive barrel and toss it far away. Pretty soon the Strider will fire a blast at the catwalks which will launch the burning barrel toward you, which is obviously bad news. After that is done you can recover at the Health Station if necessary. Your next trial is to sneak behind the panels for cover without setting off the Hopper Mines. While it takes some practice to do correctly, there is a safe spot at the very edge of the panel which gives you time to safely pull the Hopper out. Another Soldier will fire at you from the roof as you pull out the second Hopper; quickly toss it to kill him. Move quickly between the panels when the Strider stops firing, picking up the two BATTERIES in crates as you go. There is another BATTERY and a MED KIT once you leap off the walkway, though you only have a short time before the Strider’s blasts end up crushing you. Hop downstairs onto a fenced-off path, and a final pair of soldiers will arrive. Kill them with a rocket, then back up to escape the burning barrels that come rolling out of the shipping container behind them. Pick up the BATTERY next to their bodies, pull out the final two Hoppers, then dash between the train cars to duck and pick up one last MED KIT and BATTERY next to the fence. If you can survive the climb up the ladder, you’ve basically won the game. Stay near the infinite rocket crate and behind cover, dash out to fire between salvos, and after four rockets the infernal giant will finally fall. Head down the other ladder to meet up with Alyx, who gives you some well-deserved praise before inviting you onto the train. Step inside, wait for Alyx to start the thing, and after a few seconds the Achievement will finally appear on your screen. Sit back, pat yourself on the back, and enjoy the spectacular trip out of the city. Your hard journey is finally at an end, though Gordon’s is just beginning. ============================================================================= ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ============================================================================= -bumcheekcity: The Gravity Gun Challenge FAQ he wrote for Half-Life 2 was an excellent primer on the varied powers of the Gravity Gun (not to mention the key to my successful completion of “Zombie Chopper”), and was a big inspiration for this guide. -Valve Software: These guys have created some of the best-designed and most fun games in recent history, and this one is no exception. Here’s hoping that they maintain that standard for many years to come.