Gordon Freeman’s Legendary Air Duct Crawling Skills

Hopefully this might be one of my last Half Life themed posts. If you are bored or annoyed by these, I apologize, but in the last few weeks I played Portal, Episode One and Episode Two straight through, back to back and now I’m impatiently waiting for Episode Three. So bear with me for a bit while I get this stuff out of my system.

Anyways, every single Half Life game involves a fair amount crawling through air ducts, or some other tight places. In fact, Valve even decided to make fun of their love for air-duct sequences, by having Alyx make references to Gordon’s formidable crawling skills in Episode One. At one point, when I was doing all the crawling it hit me. How the hell do you fit in these tight ducts with the HEV suit and all your weapons? I mean, let’s think about it – on your average day, Gordon can be seen carrying:

  1. standard crowbar
  2. USP Match Pistol, with around 8 spare magazines
  3. .357 Magnum revolver with 12 spare rounds
  4. MP7 Submachine gun with 5 spare ammo clips, and 3 grenades for the built in launcher
  5. SPAS-12 pump action shotgun with around 30 spare cartridges
  6. Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rifle with 60 spare rounds
  7. mechanical crossbow with 10 bolts
  8. AT4 Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher (RPG) with 3 rockets
  9. three fragmentation grenades
  10. Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator (aka the Gravity Gun)

That’s two machine guns, a crossbow, a rocket launcher tube, a unwieldy crowbar and a very bulky and heavy gravity gun. Seriously, check out the scenes when it used by Alyx or Dr. Breen. It’s so heavy that they can hardly lift it into the upright firing position without the HEV suit. Actually, Alyx seems to be barely able to lift the damn thing at all.

Note that I’m not even mentioning the HEV suit itself here. Ok, so I just mentioned it. Look at it though. From the way it looks on concept art sketches, and that brief moment you see it in the game, it looks big and bulky. I think that it actually has rigid plate components that protect you from “blunt trauma”, a hardened collar and chest plate and etc. It’s not really a good outfit for ventilation duct crawling to begin with.

So next time you are crawling through an air duct in Half Life think about this: you are actually have a dozen bulky weapons strapped to your suit. How is it possible? Gordon Freeman is just that awesome. This is why Vortigaunts are always so nice to him! Cause, dude – if you can fit into a tiny duct in a big suit, with weapons strapped all over your body, you must be fucking unconsciously using vortesence to bend reality or something. ;)

[tags]half life, half life weapons, hev suit, half life 2, valve, ventilation duct[/tags]

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5 Responses to Gordon Freeman’s Legendary Air Duct Crawling Skills

  1. Kevin Benko UNITED STATES Konqueror Debian GNU/Linux says:

    I particularly like your postings on Half Life.

    I’m forty-something years-old and have been playing Half Life 1 (and now Half Life 2) regularly since 1999. Hell, the Half Life series are the only PC games I play anymore, and the only reason I have a (small) windows partition on one of my computers.

    Some may consider me a bit odd in that I can replay the hell out of a game long after most people have lost interest in it.

    I’m right there with you, impatiently waiting for episode 3.

    Some might disagree with me, but I think Valve made a good move in focusing more on the larger backstory of the game. I *love* not knowing what is going on, and trying to gather bits of information by listening to NPC interactions… sort of reminds me of the old “The Prisoner” television show from the 1960′s… like watching the second act of a three act play and trying to make sense of it.

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  2. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Heh, funny cause I have some sort of gaming ADD. I sometime get bored with a game before I even finish it. Then it usually sits on my hard drive for 3-4 months before I find it interesting again. Go figure.

    And yeah, the mystery is cool. Actually, this is a brilliant storytelling device – the less you actually say, the better. It’s funny, but I noticed that most of the shows, movies, books and games that I enjoy have this element of mystery – where characters refer to certain events, or concepts but they are never fully explained. This sort of thing just gets your imagination working and makes these things have so much more depth than if you would just explain things in detail.

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  3. Teague UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I’m a little late to this party, but I wanted to chime in.

    I’ve thought about this since the days of Wolf3D and Duke Nuke’em 3D. How do these guys move at all with all that hardware, much less jump over gaps or crawl through tight spaces. And how quickly they can switch weapons is amazing! Are they all hung on little shoulder clips? And what a racket they must make! How come I can hear footsteps, but not the cacophany of clanging and jingling that would accompany such a loadout?!

    Oh, and military hardware OCD comment: AT4s are one-shot disposables like their predecessors, the LAWs. So how can you reload it?

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  4. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    In the apocalyptic future of HL2, the AT4 reloads you. ;)

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  5. Melillo UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I’m personally loving the HL posts. I love half-life and all the mysteries and I love talking about what other people think of the game.

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