Why hello there ladies and gents. Bet you thought I was dead, didn’t you? Well, I’m not, I’ve just been completely wrapped up in my Half-Life LP in the spare moments of time I’m able to snatch. But! My computer is on the fritz, and with it all my games and recording capability. The prognosis is I won’t get it back for at least a few weeks, so that leaves me time to review comics, and write here again. I’m taking this as an opportunity to stop neglecting my poor blog too, so stay tuned.
When I first sat down to write this, it was going to be a bit of a Half-Life retrospective. My YouTube fans tell me I’ve reached what is widely accepted as the halfway mark, so this seemed like a good time to look back at what we’ve seen, experienced and learned so far. However, this being Halloween, I’ve decided to do something a little different. The full HL retrospective will come later next week. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of my favorite Half-Life monsters instead!
The Tentacle Creature
Anyone who’s seen the episode of my LP in which I first encounter this guy won’t be surprised by this selection. It is absolutely fascinating to watch, and has one of the most vivid ‘personalities’ of any monster I’ve ever seen in a game. If you watch it long enough–listening to its whale-like calls, and the gentle, almost curious way it feels around with its beaks–it’s almost possible to forget that your first experience with the thing was watching it burst through a window and devour a scientist.
The way you interact with it only leads to a deeper understanding of the creature, too. It’s far too big and dangerous to tackle head-on, and so you’re forced to use its one weakness–its dependence on sound to locate prey–against it. I, at least, found myself admiring the resourcefulness with which the creature was able to overcome its lack of sight…and in spite of the damage it inflicted on me while trying to avoid it, it’s pitiful shrieks of pain as I roasted the thing with a shuttle engine make me feel bad to this day.
This might be my single favorite Half-Life monster of all, in terms of pure design. It’s such a freakish amalgamation of already freakish Earth animals (the alligator and the star mole.) Add that to the fact that they are (apparently) radiation proof, can sneak up on your from anywhere, and spit acid-like globs that have an insane range, and you make the makings of one mean creature.
Ah, what can I say about my good friend the barnacle? I’ve never been killed by one (except due to a glitch–see episode “I Quit” below), but they have made quite the nuisance of themselves, and eat pistol ammo like no other. Of course, my first encounter with them was quite entertaining, both to my viewers and to myself after I realized what I had done. I’ve also heard that you can lure your enemies into the barnacle’s trap and–as much fun as that would be–I have yet to be able to execute that particular maneuver.
This is a bit of a misnomer, since I don’t actually “like” these little bastards. No list would be complete without them, especially considering the amount of times I’ve been attacked, surprised, scared, or just plain had my ass handed to me by them. Even single ones can be difficult to deal with since they’re so fast, but when they decide to gang up on you…man oh man look out. Also: the headcrab in the ductwork trick SUCKS, and I hate it.
In spite of everything though, I still want one of those adorable headcrab plushie hats from the Valve store.