Half-Life 2 : Episode One Walkthrough

HL2_EP1_logo


Chapter: Urban Flight
Map: ep1_c17_01
Fun fact: The laser trip-mine was a weapon you could deploy yourself in the original Half-life. It was cut from Half-life 2 during its development but was reinstated as the S.L.A.M mine in Half-life 2: Deathmatch some time after its original release

Exit the lift, try not to cringe as Alyx starts whining like a little girl, and save the day again by finding a turn-wheel in the box-filled room behind a wheel-operated grate, directly on your left when exiting the lift.
Smash all the boxes while chuckling childishly and bring the wheel to the gate Alyx is standing in front of. Set it in the obvious orange protrusion on the wall and turn it. Finding yourself in the open air, enjoy the view and listen to Dr. Kleiner's speech on the big screen.

After you've had enough of him, walk to your back-left and remove the corrugated iron sheets blocking the way. Three scanners will appear, blinding you with their flashes, but they're no real threat, use your gravity gun to crush them, remove some more iron sheets and proceed.

Combine troopers will rappel down the walls flanking the narrow street you need to traverse. Take the first ones out at long range with the nearby explosive canister, trash cans and cinder block and finish the rest off with your trusty shotty.
Finally you find your first medium-range weapon on the corpses you have just produced: the MP7 submachine gun.

Moving along, turn right at the end of the street and run under the combine metal wall trying to crush you. What do we have here? More antlion pits and car wrecks lying around? Well you know what to do here, avoid enemy fire and plug the antlion spawning holes with the car wrecks. There are more than enough cars to go around, the first pit is located a short way to your front right, the second one is directly across the street from it, and the last one in this area is a few decametres further down the road.
Note: this is a good spot to squish antlions with the cars and unlock the "Car Crusher" achievement; you need 15 such kills over the course of the game.

Incidentally, you will encounter your first member of the resistance here, a medic. She can heal you but will not follow you at this time.
You can also use the combine troopers to your advantage, as they not only will fire upon but but at the antlions as well. Your SMG is the most adequate weapon to use against them.

When all various opposing forces are lying dead on the ground or blocked underground, pass through the blue door at the end of the street, barricaded by a plank.
In this room, two combine troopers are setting laser trip-mines for you; you can simply shoot one of the mines they're currently working on to blow them to kingdom come. But this starts a chain reaction which sets most of the place on fire...oops. On the left side of the room, there are supplies protected by a laser trip-mine, simply shoot one of the mines to free the way.

Pass through a doorway near those supplies to find what looks like a simple physics see-saw puzzle. It's hard to find enough material to act as a counterweight, so the easiest way to cross this makeshift pipe bridge is to steady it by putting something, like a crate, underneath it. Cross the pipe bridge and close the gas valve to stop the fire.
Go back to where the trip-mines were and head upstairs through the other side of the room.

A handful of regular zombies will efficiently kill themselves with the trip- and roller-mines here, but be careful to avoid any objects they may fling at you, not to mention the sniper's blue aiming ray of death through the missing wall chunks. When the roller-mine has zapped the last of them on this floor, pick it up and let Alyx convert it to your cause. Another roller-mine is idling down the stairs at the other end of the room. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Armed with your two yellow roller-mines, enter the small courtyard. If you're good enough with the gravity gun, you can chuck one of the mines directly into the sniper's nest from the doorway you're standing in.
If you're not supremely confident in your gravity gun skills, sprint behind cover closer to the sniper's nest before taking him out. The roller-mine(s) will also electrocute the combine trooper manning a sentry-gun in the courtyard, but will soon thereafter turn red and explode. If you miss the sniper's nest with the roller-mines, simply toss a grenade in there at close range (they can be found in boxes at the bottom guard's cage).

Fight a few antlions; pick up grenades from the sentry cage on the ground floor where the trooper's fresh corpse is starting to rot.

Alyx once again gushes with affection for your killer skills, after which she climbs up to operate the sniper rifle and lower a ladder so you may proceed with your quest.
Dropping down, various zombies will start shuffling towards you; take them out with Alyx's sniping skills. There is a supply crate in the small room on the left side, and the exit is at the back-right end of the opening.
Note: If you want to earn the "Live Bait" achievement, I direct you to the proper guide.

A Poison headcrab is waiting for you behind a small corner on the right upon entering; shoot it, grab supplies, and carry on forwards. Up the stairs you go, to a skyway. Gravity-Blast the planks covering the windows so Alyx can take the zombies out, and kill any that get too close you. Go across the sky-bridge and down the broken stairs, under which a couple of supply crates are waiting for you. Down a few more steps with more boxes and supply crates, and back in the open.

A combine outpost is visible on the far-end of the street, along with a pit spawning antlions. But more immediately, a combine trooper is manning a turret on the top-right side of the street. Remove the back corrugated iron sheet so Alyx can take him out, and proceed forward. Wait for Alyx to shoot some soldiers and/or antlions, and condemn the antlion spawning hole with the nearby car wreck.

Combine troopers will come pouring out of their outpost; evidently much to their demise, as you quickly destroy their forces with a well-placed grenade, SMG fire or jerrycan. As you enter the combine outpost, Alyx will desert her sniper perch and run towards you to disable the combine energy field hindering your progress. She will be attacked by a few antlions along the way, but she's a big girl, so you can just sit back and watch.
The citadel gives out an uneasy lurch, confirming that you really need to get out of the city as soon as possible.

LOADING
Map: ep1_c17_02

Fun fact: Antlions, like headcrabs are creatures from another dimension called Xen, to which Gordon Freeman opened a doorway to in the beginning of the original Half-Life. However, the Combine has (yes, singular) a much murkier provenance

Grab some supplies and move through the left corridor. As enemy troops start flooding in, I suggest taking them out with a combination of shotgun secondary-fire blasts to the head and heavy objects flung at high velocity; the radiators are always a crowd favourite.
When you reach a room with lots of supplies (immediately grab a pulse rifle from the shelf in the left corner) and two locked doors; the locks on the doors will star beeping and blinking, meaning they're going to get breached at any second. If you're not too confident in your warrior skills, fall back to the earlier room where you can pick the enemies up one at a time; or stand ground in the supply room, throwing grenades just in front of the doors a second before they're blasted open, and shooting the troopers with whatever you have at hand.

After the room's been cleared, proceed through the left door to another trooper standing next to an explosive barrel. ...poor boy never stood a chance. Climb up the steps and drop down into an open garage, beyond which combine troopers are battling antlions and *gulp* an antlion guard (big reddish insectoid scaly thing).

This is statistically the hardest and deadliest battle in the entire game, so observe your surroundings for a few seconds: there are a bunch of medpacks on the table on the right side of the garage, and an infinite SMG ammo crate on the opposite side.
Explosive barrels can be found just outside the garage door; in a small recess on the left side of the open area, along with some medpacks; and on the far-end of the courtyard, behind the low combine wall and sentry-gun.

Prepare for battle! Disregard the combine soldiers unless they fire directly at you, as they will mostly be fighting your common enemy. Sadly, it doesn't have a weak spot you can attack for massive damage, so you'll just have to fling whatever you can get your mitts on at it, prioritizing with explosive barrels.
Keep running around, sprinting when needed, to keep out of range of the beast. Don't focus too much on the small antlions, simply gravity-blast them out of the way if they're blocking you. By the time you've thrown a few barrels at the antlion guard, the Combine soldiers will all have succumbed under it's mighty charge and you'll be on your own against the creatures.
Continue running and circle-strafing around the monster, and whip out your conventional weapons in decreasing order of firepower if you run out of explosive barrels. If you feel the antlions are becoming too much of a hassle, you can block their spawning pits off with cars, as you've done many times by now. However, I prefer to leave them be, up until the antlion guard is defeated; as they are in the furthest part of the opening, with no Gravity Gun ammunition, and the guard can toss the cars away, nullifying your work.

Ah yes! It's bleeding! Come on! Just a little bit more effort! Yes, nicely done! The antlion guard lies dead in the courtyard which would probably be renamed "Freeman plaza" in honour of your accomplishment if the entire City wasn't awaiting imminent obliteration.

Alyx (wo)mans the turret as soon as the beast lies crumpled on the ground, making plugging the antlion spawning pits much easier. Backtrack a bit to find any remaining medical and/or energy packs and return to Alyx as combine troopers start rappelling from the roofs, and gathering for an offensive from behind that nearby combine wall. Ambush the troopers as they open the door and break on through to the other side, meeting minimal resistance from the rooftops. A resistance fighter armed with an RPG will come to your aid.
By now, you've really earned a breather from all the fighting and killing, so heal up near the combine wall, and enter the front-left house through the opening in the ground. But beware! Hear that sound? It's a hopper mine hidden behind the explosive barrels! Sprint towards it and grab it from the ground or in mid-air before it explodes. Good, it's friendly and harmless to you now. If you have anger to vent, explode the entire room after having stepped back, and reveal an air-vent next to the explosive barrels. If you're in a calmer mood, simply walk towards the barrels and crouch into the vent without destroying anything superfluous.
Hang in the air duct. If you need suit energy, take another right, up the ladder and crash back into the room where Alyx is waiting. If not, continue on the same duct level until an entire section of the duct falls down into a room full of laser trip-mines...Is it just me or could Gordon do with losing some weight?

Here, carefully remove the grating in the middle of the air shaft you're in and exit. You can walk and jump on the explosive barrels, or hug the left wall, crouching and jumping around the beams. You need to touch but one of them to be blow into kingdom come, so step lightly. Walk into the elevator and immediately pull back into the room, because if you plummet with it, you will drown.
After it has fallen into the water below, jump after it and emerge from the water in the room beneath. Crouch-walk across the room to a broken window, behind which a poison headcrab will try to ambush you. Find a vent entrance in the room, and as you climb a ladder, there is a hidden medpack to grab above your head, in an unreachable side vent.

You're back in the elevator shaft, jump and walk your way to the ladder on the other side, and enter a vent above the rooms. After a few turns, a grate on the bottom side of the duct will lead you to another room.
However, don't drop down just yet, make the grate fall in order to trigger the explosives below, and stay in the duct to avoid getting hurt. When the fireworks have calmed down, drop into the room and pick up the hopper mines with your Gravity Gun to disable them.

Activate the electric panel on the wall, invite Alyx in and exit through the other door.

LOADING
Map: ep1_c17_02b

Fun fact: In the original Half-Life, Barney Calhoun was a security Guard in Black Mesa. Gordon came across many of his colleagues (all using the same 3D "barney" model) who often offered to buy Gordon a beer, After decades of inflation, the amount of beer owed is probably in the hectolitres

Immediately shoot the explosive barrel in order to set it on fire and take a few steps back. The room is filled with traps, so clearing them all off before proceeding is the safest option.

Trigger any remaining laser trip-mines from a safe distance with your pistol or by throwing garbage across the beam, beware of the hopper mine in one of the corners, and collect all of the supply goodies you can find.
Moving out of the room, you hear a beeping sound coming from atop the stairs on your right, meaning the door is about to be breached and combine troopers are going to storm in, throwing a flaming explosive barrel before they advance. Don't panic, and shoot the barrel before it gets down the stairs at you. HAH! You outwitted a video-game, congratulations! Stand on the stairs, using them for cover and shoot the surviving soldiers with the hopper mine you found and your automatic weapons.

Entering the metal-plated room, after collecting the crossbow (hooray!) and ammunition, use your Gravity Gun to remove the plug (lit in green, you can't miss it) from the wall. The energy field blocking your way on the other side of the stairs has now been removed, enabling you to step once more into the bleak dystopian streets of the city.

This street section may look dangerous, but it's much easier than it seems. Still, sharpen your senses and heighten your nerves. Climbing the stairs, ready your shotgun and use the hopper mine you find to take out the soldiers rappelling in. You can heal up by breaking the boxes and passing the ammo and/or health over the chain-link fence to your right.

Moving further into the guerrilla zone, a handful of resistance fighters will assist you in defeating the enemies attacking from the rooftops; from behind the far front-left house; rappelling in from the far left corner; and eventually breaking through the faraway door at the end of the street.

This is no time to conserve ammunition. Pick off stationary targets at long range with your crossbow, use your SMG and AR2 rifle at medium range against moving targets, throw enemy grenades back with your Gravity Gun, and try surprising the squad breaking through the door with hand-grenades or SMG-launched grenades.

If the resistance member carrying a rocket launcher dies, there is no time to mourn his brave loss and cry on his corpse, instead, add his weapon to your arsenal. Who doesn't like big things shooting stuff that goes boom?

After surviving this encounter, a citizen will open a way out on the right side. Follow him to a nearby resistance hideout (there are supplies on your left, before crossing the chain-link fence), hang out here for a while if you crave watching TV, and then exit through the next door, there is a medpack in the nearby room, indicated by a lambda symbol.

Climb all the way up the stairs, until a combine headcrab grenade blocks your way in an explosive fashion, and exit through the nearby door.

ZOMBINE! (seriously, who came up with this ludicrous headcrab rocket idea and thought it'd be a good plan?). You should be an expert at dealing with them by now, select your shotgun, apply to the head(crab), directly and liberally. As you enter a room containing two couches, stop. The floor here seems pretty rickety, so only walk while hugging the left wall. If you need supplies, shoot the floor to make an opening, throw a grenade down below, clear out all the shuffling undead, and jump down.
In the event you do fall by accident and are attacked by zombies, use your shotgun and throw the nearby radiator around.
Collect all the supplies, unblock a couple of doors, and make your way back up the stairs.
Another zombine is waiting for you in the following room; he may break through and attack before you come into his room, so beware.

Climb a few steps, cross a few corners and arrive at a locked door to be greeted by your old pal, Barney Calhoun. Hey old buddy! After a short dialogue between him and Alyx, he will give you a new crowbar. Emblematic!

Cross the bridge, across some rubble, and look for supply crates in every nook and cranny before using the staircase. Watch out for ambushing headcrabs and ready the best-suited weapon to dispatch them: the crowbar, which kills any kind of headcrab in one swift strike.

After dealing with a roomful of poison headcrabs, swiftly turn around and shoot the explosive barrel before two zombines rush upon you.
Returning to the open air, use your crowbar to break the wooden plank in the rusty wheel which is preventing the bridge from descending. Nicely done, truly you are the one Free Man.

Snipe the rooftop guard and cross the bridge into the hospital.

LOADING
Map: ep1_c17_02a

Fun fact: It is theorised that the combine gunship's cannon is much like the cannon attached to Gordon's hovercraft in Half-life 2, so it needs to cool down between firing salvos, making very opportune openings during which a well-armed opponent can destroy it without risking a bullet. Such a weakness does not exist in real life combat helicopters or planes

Traverse the hallway and pass through the door in the far right corner. A few cardboard boxes later; you enter a long, linear succession of room populated by trans-human soldiers fighting zombies, with a combine gunship shooting through the windows.
Keep hugging the right-hand wall to avoid fire from the gunship, and beware of the zombies waking up as you walk past them. Shoot your way through (I suggest using your pulse rifle), throw a bench into the trip-mines to clear the way and arrive into a dark room containing two supply crates.

Carry on to find yourself in an attic, a large room whose roof is being destroyed by the combine gunship. Run across the weak-looking floor to get to an infinite supply (rocket) crate.

If you don't have a rocket launcher yet, grab one from the warm corpse of the resistance fighter who got killed just as you entered the attic.
Now you are prepared to fight. Alyx won't be of any use here, cowering by the door like a scared puppy, so show her what MIT graduates are capable of! This fight is procentually much harder than other fights on the harder difficulty setting, so if you keep dying, I suggest lowering your game's difficulty (it's OK, I won't tell anyone of your weakness and lowly cowardice).

In order to defeat the gunship, take cover when you periodically hear or see it firing. Try to stay near the ammunition crate and fire rockets at it when it's not too actively engaging you. The gunship doesn't possess any particular weak area and is capable of shooting your rockets out of the sky, so try to hit it by guiding the rocket in erratic trajectories around it before finally homing in on it.
The longer this fight goes on, the more damage the roof and floor will sustain, making it easier for you to take aim at the gunship but also vice-versa. If the floor beneath your feet is destroyed, simply walk back to the crate of rockets over the crossbeams.

After enough perseverance, the gunship will more often than not crash directly into the attic, where you can admire its combine synth construction and strike a heroic pose in front of it.

Achievement unlocked:


Climbing back down to Alyx, her admiration is beyond words. But there is no time for a respite, as the double doors start opening. At this point, you may chuckle lightly at the idea of anything or anyone about to break through this door, as your nearby infinite supply of rockets will mean a very nasty surprise for them.

After refilling your RPG ammunition one last time, proceed through the trip-mined corridor. Watch out for the hopper mine hidden on the left side, just at the turn, and find a combine outpost where Alyx will grab a shotgun.
Now we all know that shotgun means zombies. That is, after all, why the shotgun was invented in video-games, and later reverse-engineered into the real world.

So proceed through yet another corridor (will they ever end?), peeking in the side rooms if you need ammunition or health. Keep at least one of the hopper mines for the end of the hospital corridor, where several combine soldiers are behind a door, battling zombies; let them fight amongst themselves for a bit, and defeat the weakened victor.
As Sun Tzu said, "a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease."

Breeze through this new hallway, only stopping to gather supplies, and defeat a small nest of enemies huddled in the recess on the left of the room. At the end of this hallway, turn right, into a light room containing a large number of glass cupboards, but beware of the zombie breaking through the door opposite of this entrance.
In the following corridor, more combine troopers of all kinds will be fighting more zombies. Shoot a few combines yourself to make the job easier for the zombies, as the latter are much less of a threat to you at range. After all is deathly still once again, grab supplies, and if you need more, ready your crowbar or a grenade and enter through the red door whereupon you will be ambushed by headcrabs and poison headcrabs...brrr...nasty things.

Move along towards the recovery rooms; toss a grenade into the zombie nest in a recess on your left side. More zombies are clawing at the double doors, but it will take them a while to break through, giving you ample time to look for more loot. The door at right end of the hallway leads to more soldiers in an enclosed space, where your SMG's or pulse rifle's secondary fire will come in handy.

By now, the double doors will have broken down. If you're quick enough, target the poison zombie carrying several poison headcrabs on his back, with your pulse rifle's secondary fire, instantly disintegrating a normally formidable foe along with several of his companions. Enter the room the zombies broke out of and drop down one level, where the floor will give way under you (With all those weapons he's carrying, Gordon must weigh two tons by now) and you'll fall into a flooded room.

After all this fighting, it's once again time for some puzzle solving.

Dive under and swim beneath the room on your right. Upon emerging, a zombie headcrab will attack you, and another one is waiting in the room you just swam under.
Jump-crouch into it through the window (or step into the water by the blue door if your jumping skills are insufficient), and move across the water while destroying all barnacles hanging from the roof, not forgetting the ones that are hiding within the ceiling recesses.
Climbing the steps on the far side of the room, you will find a switch used to open the exit door and electrify the water. But do not touch it yet.

As you walk across the broken metal walkway, your weight makes it sink into the water. If you want to cross safely, you'll need to support it with something, and the solution is staring you right in the face: Blue barrels are notable for being very buoyant. So grab the blue barrel you see right in front of you, in a recess near the blue exit door; and release it underwater, beneath the broken edge of the metal walkway.

You may now flip the switch, sprint and jump your way across the room without touching the water while being wary of any barnacles you may have missed earlier, onto a platform near the blue electrical discharges, onto the pipes on your right, into the room where you fought a headcrab, out the window, and finally walk out of this whole mess of a room.

*phew* Deadly, deadly traps, will they ever end? Why can't Gordon enjoy a nice, carefree day off once in a while? Oh wait, he does: during the years separating the release of his adventures.

Moving along, you reach the room directly above the flooded one where Alyx joins up with you. Cross a hallway riddled with combine cadavers, up to the point where you're in a dilapidated room, above a poison zombie. Avoid any poison headcrabs it throws at you, and re-kill the undead & it's headcrabs from your vantage point.
Dropping down, get ready to hold your ground against a dozen or so zombies. Mine the doorways with hopper mines (but not too many at once), and grab all the ammunition you can find. Keep in mind you can use flares to light enemies ablaze.

After this 34,715th desperate fight for your survival, exit through the passage near the smouldering pile of rubble, through a creepy hospital room with a charred corpse on a bed, and come across a deadly hallway with automatic sentry guns at the other end. Being protected by a force field and snugly tucked away into racks, these sentries cannot simply be knocked over as the ones in Half-Life 2 were.

Sprint to cover behind one of the pillar protrusions in the wall and deactivate the first hopper mine. Waves of zombies will pour out of the side rooms, drawing sentry fire away from you, allowing you to use this distraction to your advantage, sprinting from cover to cover.
Zombies will keep walking in on you, triggering the two remaining hopper mines. Do not walk out of cover unless you already know where you want to sprint next, and eventually reach the room on the right. Once all the zombies lay bloody and motionless on the floor, clear possible remaining hopper mines from the safety of the right-side room, sprint towards the leftmost corner nearest the sentries, unplugging the green-lit electrical wire from the wall above your head as you go.

The sentries are now behind an impenetrable metal shield and cannot harm you any further. Remove the two last hopper mines in front of the sentries and move on past them.



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