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    Hints and Tips by sdunigan

    Version: 3.3 | Updated: 07/10/10 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    The Special Secrets and Strategies Guide for Half-Life 2 (PC version)
    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)
    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.
    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.
    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
    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
    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
    *** 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
    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
    *** 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
    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
    *** 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
    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
    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.
    *** 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  OLD VERSION NOTES  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    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.
    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
    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
    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".
    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
    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.
    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".
    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
    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
    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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