Chapter: Exit 17
Fun fact: The resistance members worship Gordon Freeman so much they would gladly lay down their lives just to help him across a puddle of mud; so why do you need to save them?
As soon as you open the door, a combine wall-mounted camera will take pictures of you, so smile. You can be sure all the remaining Combine forces will now know the exact whereabouts of anti-citizen one (meaning you) now, so stay on your toes.
Get the dead zombie and planks out of the way, exit into a courtyard (you'll see a lot in the next few minutes), and grab some supplies from the upturned truck on your front-left.
Hello there Barney! About that beer you owed me...oh, okay, apocalypse, world to save, citizens to protect, gotcha, Never-mind.
Note: If you intend to unlock the "Citizen Escort" achievement, carefully follow this walkthrough, or watch the pertaining video guide here.
You are tasked with escorting four groups of resistance fighters to the train station.
Lead the first batch of refugees across the field of car wrecks, through a corrugated iron entrance room, under two trains and to a green exit sign near an unmanned static defence gun.
On this first voyage, you'll need to take them all the way to the end. When the escort list in the bottom right of your HUD is clear, everyone in your group has been delivered safely (or is dead). In subsequent trips, you won't need to take them any further than the sentry gun Alyx is manning.
Put this first voyage to good use and learn your surroundings well. Points of interest are: the health dispensers located at the beginning, middle point, and end of your journey; the literal truckload of supply crates near Barney; the rocket crate in the parking lot; the double doors and two high-up windows in the train depot; as well as various stairs and causeways.
Making your way back for the second group of survivors, use your Gravity Gun to easily dispatch a handful of manhacks, and scanners will drop hopper mines in the parking area.
Pick the hopper mines up and place them along your path, they will have their use later on.
This signals the opening of the hostilities.
As the second group gathers around you, combine troopers will attack you from the rooftops of the building you entered into this courtyard from in the first place. Pay no heed to them at this time but rather concentrate on the hopper mines lodged between the crushed cars. Moving into the train yard, soldiers will enter through the high windows. Ignore them as well for now; your followers will take very little damage if you keep moving forward.
After having easily escorted the second batch of citizens, take out any hostile forces you encounter on your way back with your submachine gun.
Near the wrecked cars, a sniper will greet you with his blue beam of death, but sadly for him, tracers work both ways. Simply fire a rocket into his hiding place, a window on the top floor of the building to your far left. Also pick up the newly-planted hopper mines.
Taking the third group of refugees under your wing, once again simply run through the car lot, making sure there are no enemy hopper mines around. A dastardly combine elite soldier will shoot down one of the trains in the yard, so quickly take out your anger on his soon-to-be corpse using your crossbow.
The train blocking the way, you'll have to take the scenic route, climbing up the ramp that just dropped on the right edge of the room. Two soldiers will attack you from atop the second train, take them out with an SMG grenade, a pulse rifle energy orb, or a rocket; drop down to ground level and lead them to Alyx. Ignore the freshly arrived soldiers from the top window, as Alyx can take care of them, and walk back to get the fourth batch of civilians.
Several troopers are waiting for you in the parking lot, and a combine armoured personnel carrier will arrive a few seconds later. If you left the friendly hopper mines in place where you converted them, the troopers in the parking lots will cause you little trouble.
The APC, on the other hand, is another matter. But since you have an infinite supply of rockets nearby, there is no reason not to use them.Fire a rocket at the APC, guide it all the way until it explodes on target, and take cover behind the corrugated iron room while you reload. Lather, rinse and repeat until victory is achieved. More troopers will appear on top of the building and start rappelling down, and you might as well use your supply of rockets to take them out at long range while they're rappelling.
Meeting up with the penultimate huddle of survivors, skip through the field of car wrecks. I suggest equipping your rocket launcher and pulse rifle to deal with the troopers breaking through the door in the train depot. Pass over the trains once more and deliver your human cargo to safety.
Making your way back, the combine are getting desperate, they're down to using the weak, human, white-helmeted civil protection, while throwing manhacks at you. Swiftly send them to oblivion with your crossbow or rocket launcher, and use the Gravity Gun on the manhacks.
One last time, grab the refugees with Barney and run through the parking lot without a care in the world. Entering the train yard, drop the two combines soldiers to your far left, atop the train, with your crossbow, watch out for troops pouring out of the rightmost top window, and deliver the last refugees to safety.
This time, follow them past Alyx, all the way through to the train station. When everyone is safely there, Alyx will zap the door closed behind you.
Fun fact: the strider can impale enemies, including the player on its sharp legs, but it is a rare occurrence in Half-Life 2 and can never happen in Episode One
Alyx tells Barney to take a train out with the refugees and that you two will catch up later, allowing her to spend more time alone with the mute-meister himself, Gordon. Oh boy.
Proceed through the door and force-field she opens for you, and turn right at the end of the long corridor. Another wheel to turn. Joy to the world!
You'd really think someone with a doctorate in theoretical physics would find more challenging tasks than to turn orange whee-...HOLY CRAP WHAT WAS THAT?
Okay, plan B, the turn-wheel was just blasted apart by a strider. Careful what you wish for...
Run like hell behind the blue metal combine wall to your front-right as soon as the strider comes into your field of view, you can't prevent it from destroying the turn-wheel, but you can stop it from killing you.
It will fire two large blasts, one at the wheel you were standing in front just a second ago (*phew*) and one at the container at the right of the wheel, opening an exit for you. How very convenient.
Pass through the new opening, to a chain link fence whose doorway is blocked by a wooden pallet. Dispatch the two soldiers by any means necessary, and don't bother conserving ammunition as you'll have no use for your weapons except the rocket launcher soon.
Beware the two exploding barrels getting thrown on the other side of the fence (you can also let these barrels take care of the soldiers for you), and proceed through an open shipping container holding a harmless headcrab rocket and a few wooden boxes.
Moving through another container at an incline, you find yet another container with headcrab rockets and boxes, which will soon be blasted open by the strider, releasing their poison headcrabs.
Crowbar the head-humpers and sprint over the next few container-tops, turning for cover between a red container and a wall. Jump forward and move along the top of the slanted container you crossed through earlier.
Yet one level higher, sprint forward and jump onto the metal walkway on the wall and immediately shoot the explosive barrel nearest to you, lest it be launched towards you as the others explode.
From here, you may shoot whatever rockets you hold at the strider, or you can wait to find a rocket stockpile later on. Either way, heal up and move on. Near the corner is a hopper mine which you can easily disarm by grabbing it while crouching behind the low unbreakable wall.
As luck would have it, a combine soldier will run into your field of view just above you, an opportune target for your hopper mine.
Turning left, you are protected by sheets of corrugated iron, and two more hopper mines will impede your progress, disarm them quickly before the iron sheets are destroyed, and fall down behind a blue-grey shipping container. Don't linger there too long, as the strider's gunfire will start pushing the container towards the wall, attempting to crush you. After the strider has fired once, grab the supplies from the burst crates and sprint away, falling down next to the railroad tracks, in a fenced-off area.
You're not out of the woods just yet, though, as combine soldiers will attack you. The easiest way to deal with them is to shoot the explosive barrels near them, and as the container over their heads starts spilling its contents, shoot the barrels falling out of it too for good measure.
Remember to stay behind the indestructible walls as you disarm the hopper mines, and go to the end of the chain-link corridor. You may toss the hopper mines over the fence at the strider if you so wish, but very soon you'll get enough rockets to last you a lifetime.
Step across the train, grab some supplies, and when you see an opening in the strider's firing pattern, climb up the ladder on the brick wall.
Up here, you'll find unbreakable wall sections you can use for cover, as well as four fragile corrugated iron sheets, several rockets scattered on the floor, and one infinite rocket crate. Now the battle proper can begin!
If you haven't learned the strider's firing pattern by now, let me spell it out for you: it's very similar to the combine gunship; meaning it will fire a short burst, hold fire for a few seconds and repeat, and its secondary, much more powerful attack is always preceded by a loud alarm-like noise.
Fully loaded with rockets, stand behind one of the walls, and as soon as the strider has finished firing off a salvo, walk out of cover, fire a rocket and retreat to reload. If the metal sheets you're hiding behind break down, find new cover. Repeat this procedure until you hear the strider's screams of agony, which should be followed by shrieks of victory from you.
At long last, climb down the ladder on the other side of the platform, and meet up with Alyx, whereupon you may finally embark on a train out of the city. (Who is driving it? who cares!)
Sit back, pat yourself on the back and enjoy the pretty ending as the citadel's explosion wipes out the entirety of City 17.
Fun fact: the Half-Life 2: Episode Two trailer shown at the end of Episode One bears little resemblance to the actual game, this is one of the reasons there is no trailer for Episode Three shown at the end of Episode Two
Hopefully this guide has been an enlightening and at least somewhat enjoyable read for you, thank you for your time. Perhaps we will meet again for Gordon Freeman's future endeavours.
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