Spoiler Warning Half Life 2 Special EP11: The Bug Whisperer

By Shamus
on Oct 28, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

116 comments


Link (YouTube)

The management would like to apologize for the puns in this episode. However, management is precluded from doing so by the fact that the management is not in the least bit sorry.

Thank you for your patronage,
The Spoiler Warning Team

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  1. Vipermagi says:

    The sound is pretty noticably desynchronised. My OCD senses are spazzing.
    “Oh shit, I missed” -> Josh walks around corner, guns down one Combine, then misses the shot.

  2. Tobias says:

    I hate the antlion weapon. The Antlions annoyed me so much that I always only want to kill them. And inside nova-prospect, they always stand in my way.

    But I still love nova prospect. But unless you play ludicrously slow, and let the antlions do all the work, it is very hard.
    I also stood there, listening to the whole speech several times, to make sure I got all of it. I had to kill some of my antlions first, to make them shut up.

  3. Meredith says:

    I always, always shoot the first antlion that pops up after the boss fight right in the face (it startles me). I always feel really bad about it, too. Those guys do a great job clearing out the prison.

  4. X2-Eliah says:

    Aye, Nova Prospect is a nice location.. but Imo the citadel was better – mostly because of the sheer alien-ness of it. NP still has a very strong similarity to the other industrial areas of the game – not that it’s a bad thing, mind.

    • swenson says:

      Although that’s kind of the point, as the first part of NP is supposed to be an old human-built prison from before the invasion. The newer part is kinda Citadel-esque.

      I agree, though, the Citadel is by far the coolest location in the game.

  5. JPH says:

    Latent Vortigaunt Awesomeness sounds like a solid band name.

    Also, yeah, that scene outside Nova Prospekt was a bitch on my crowbar/pistol/gravgun playthrough. Probably one of the hardest parts of the game. That may have been one of the only spots where I actually ran out of pistol ammo, or at least came close.

  6. swenson says:

    Ugh, Nova Prospekt. It’s a really cool area with neat new gameplay things, buuut… it’s just so hard in many areas! And healthpacks are just NOT close enough together for my liking!

    At least you get antlions. And they make up for a multitude of sins.

    Also, Josh, you’re reading Snuff? I just got my copy and finished it a few days ago! I loved it! Vimes is pretty much one of the best inhabitants of the entire Disc.

    Also also, Shamus, I always assumed Antlion Guards were female until I played Episode Two. Then I figured the Guardians were the mommy ones, and Guards were the daddy ones. But I’m fairly certain insect physiology doesn’t work that way. Probably both kinds are supposed to be female.

  7. GM says:

    heh Bug Hunt.

    and yeah that last bit was not even a pun.

  8. Paul Spooner says:

    You know, I never noticed that we didn’t have doorknobs in CA. Probably because, we actually do have doorknobs! What’s wrong with you? Did you grow up in a prison or something?

  9. Chris B Chikin says:

    Rutskarn, I’m so sink of your puns!

  10. The Hokey Pokey says:

    16:30: I played this on the 360 the first time (I didn’t have a gaming pc) and when I pressed that button nothing happened because some physics object had merged with the door. I wandered around for about 30 minutes trying to figure out where I was supposed to go. I finally looked up a faq and figured out what was supposed to happen and reloaded the last save. I pressed the button and experienced the same glitch. I had to start a new game at Nova Prospekt to get through.

    It might just be my Silent Hill training but I find the best way to kill the antlion boss is to circle strafe with the crowbar. If you are close enough the antlion will only ever use its headbutt attack. It’s amusing to watch it repeatedly headbutt the air beside you and then just crumple ineffectually.

  11. Michael says:

    Well played, Rutskarn, well played. That last pun had me laughing like a drain. You really plumbed the depths of bad punning there.

    Incidentally, when I start my own LP series I’ll be basin my style on Spoiler Warning.

  12. Hitch says:

    Guys, you don’t need to stop talking just because there’s a loading screen. We can appreciate the loading screen effect even without absolute silence on the part of the commentators.

  13. Eärlindor says:

    The management would like to apologize for the puns in this episode. However, management is precluded from doing so by the fact that the management is not in the least bit sorry.

    Thank you for your patronage,
    The Spoiler Warning Team

    You guys suck.

  14. Methermeneus says:

    So, Shamus, just how many “favorite parts” do you have in this game? First Ravenholm, now Nova Prospekt. What’s next, the Citadel? Aperture Labs? (‘Cause that’s my favorite part of the Half Life universe.) In HL, it seems that you love everything but the kitchen sink. (And, no, that wasn’t meant to be a pun. I try not to faucet like that.)

  15. klasbo says:

    I can’t think of a single area in HL2 that is actually hard. All the areas have some way that make the solvable with minimal effort if you just apply the correct technique.

    The double gunship fight is easy if you hide around the containers at 2:55 and 3:02, and use the antlions to take out the guards on the balcony. The gunships can’t hit you, the guards can’t hit you, and you have infinite rockets. It just requires the correct timing on when to move out, aka your ability to use your ears to hear where the gunships are.

    Inside Nova Prospekt, the antlions are both useful and extremely annoying. Don’t try to rush into an area where there are enemies, because the antlions will block your retreat path. Just camp it out; there’s no time limit.

    Basically: to make your life easier, focus on taking as little damage as possible, instead of doing as much damage as possible. This is clearly not compatible with Josh’s playstyle.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Strider battles near the finale are hard.At least on hard they are because those machine guns shred you to pieces.And infinite soldiers dont make it any easier.

      • klasbo says:

        The strider battles I remember are:
        Follow Freeman!: Outside the Overwatch Nexus
        Inside a blown-out concrete building with a lot of flying flash-bang-esque critters
        Inside a heavily fortified destroyed building, right before dog lets you in to the citadel
        Inside the Citadel (which you defeat with the energy spheres)
        End of Ep 1: Train station
        End of Ep 2: strider + hunter battle

        The hardest one is the one at the end of Ep 2, because you have little to no cover. Then again, you have a car and can run over the hunters, then magnusson the strider without any problems. At least that’s how I did it. And yes, this was on hard difficulty. I haven’t actually done Ep 2 on any other difficulty setting than hard..

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          I had little problem with the episode 2 one because,like youve said,you can just run over the hunters.And,unlike rockets,you only need one magnusson to bring the beasts down.

          The hardest one for me was near the nexus,the third one youve mentioned,because you have to run all around this complex to find the rockets,while constantly getting shot at by both striders and the combine.Though I did end that one with much more health than the previous two(which Ive just rushed through),it still took me much more time to slog from cover to cover,waiting for the perfect opportunity to rush out,hence I think of it as a more difficult one.

          • swenson says:

            There’s an infinite ammo crate across the street, near where you first approached the Nexus. Took me forever to realize that!

            • klasbo says:

              This is the trick. Sprint from cover to cover while avoiding the big blasts from the striders, and then you have perfect cover and infinite rockets. There’s also a large amount of health packs all around the place, I think there’s 3 large packs in the centre bunker-esque room, 4 small packs drainage pipe that leads to the main road, and 3 large packs in an overturned container on the main road.

          • decius says:

            If you can run over the hunters, or take them out with a log, then the strider is easy. If you can’t, then the resistance soldiers with rocket launchers at the base can help quite a bit. It helps take the DIAS aspect out, while the many intermediate buildings and resistance soldiers give plenty of “You are failing” to the scene.

  16. River says:

    I have a sink-ing feeling that all the comments on this episode are gonna be made of terrible puns

  17. Destrustor says:

    The guards in the towers outside are fairly easy to take out with the crossbow if you stay in the sewers and use the conveniently-placed grates. Only one tower can detect you at any given time down there, even if you use the very loud magnum.

  18. scott says:

    I gotta say (not to knock your music picks) but i enjoy these cold opens with the game audio over the logo over the series logo of the half life episodes over the full themes of other series.

    • Viktor says:

      I usually like the openings. The only one I dislike is AC2, and that’s more because it’s a full minute long than because of any quality issues. The opening here, meanwhile, seems too lightweight. I love the captions too much to enjoy an opening without them.

  19. Slothful says:

    It’s really nice from a stylistic standpoint that this game takes place in eastern europe, but there’s still the question of how all these Black Mesa employees managed to move all the way to the other side of the world.

  20. Cerapa says:

    Havent watched it till the end, but…doorknobs.

    I dont believe I have ever seen a doorknob. I am serious, ever. If I saw one it would feel completely unnatural to open the door.

    • Milos says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever operated a doorknob in my life and I only know of one house in the general area that has one on the front door. That’s just not how we roll around here.

      • Tse says:

        I’m in Eastern Europe and we have both, though door knobs are less common.Door levers just feel more practical.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Indeed.I dont see how youd be able to open a door knob with your feet or elbows.It can be crucial at times.

        • Chris says:

          I’m in the UK, and we also have both. Though in my experience, doorknobs are restricted to doors that don’t have a catch (or else have a Yale-lock as a catch).

          They largely don’t even twist. It’s just something to hold on to when closing the door (heck: my last house didn’t even have that. The “doors” in HL2 you can’t open that lack door-opening devices of any kind? Yeah, my house looked like that. Had to grab the letterbox to close it. Opened by sticking a key in the lock and pushing).

    • Jordan says:

      As a Brit I find your lack of doorknobs, radiators, and washing lines highly disturbing. You do have kettles, right? O_o

      • Scott (Duneyrr) says:

        What’s a kettle? Is that like a pot? If so, yes.

      • Cerapa says:

        Who said we dont have radiators? Plenty of radiators in here.
        We have washing lines too.
        Hell, we even have kettles.

        Assumptions FTW.

        • Shatterer says:

          So about this radiator thing… how do people keep their house warm without using radiators? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a house without a radiator.

          • Chuck says:

            Ventilation system using heating ducts and vents in the walls and floor.

            Generally their not large enough to crawl through, at least not the ones in your home.

            • decius says:

              Generally the ductwork in major buildings, even where it is large enough to crawl through (worm-style, not crouch-style), it has sheet metal screws protruding through it, holding sections together. The supports for it may or may not be able to handle the additional dynamic load. Also, fiberglass insulation all around, so keep some soapy water, eyedrops and tissues in separate sealed metal containers- once you get out, wash your hands, then use your newly cleaned hands to clean the glass fibers out of your eyes. The assumed protection of the HEV suit should also work, since I assume that it has some magical way of protecting the eyes and mucous membranes from the airborne hazards associated with vaporizing crystals from another dimension.

            • Zukhramm says:

              Sounds inefficient. Water’s got to be more useful for transporting heat around your house than air could ever be.

  21. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I love this level.Too bad that youve skipped the intro,since its quite fun to lead your endless minion army against the combine in the open.Still,they are fun to use even inside,though they can be a bit annoying at times.Also,I think this is the only level where you get combine,headcrabs and antlions in one place.

  22. Don’t know what you’re talking about Ruts. I’ve been life long in the Central Valley and it’s knobs on every door of all the houses I’ve ever lived in.

  23. noahpocalypse says:

    Wow. I played this level so, so wrong. At the beginning I figured “oh sweet! a stealth section!” and spent forever and many loads trying to stealth past the towers. After being discovered (inevitably) I wasted more than half of my ammo trying to kill the guards on top. Not once did I even consider throwing the pods up there, though in my defense, how the heck can they jump that high? I would feel ridiculous even trying that. So, instead of rushing the staircase, shotgun in hand, I killed every guard before even heading up the stairs in the plaza.

    Later on, when you encountered the boss, I ran around for 20 minutes, frantically trying to find some sort of environmental weapon to kill it with. I was occasionally shooting it as I ran, and I ended up killing it with luck rather than skill. Skill to survive that long, but it wasn’t very smart to not try, I don’t know, shooting it. It’s not like this is a first-person shooter or anything.

    The room right after you regain your antlion minions took me even longer. I didn’t think I would live long with three turrets after me, so I tried to bomb the room with the pods. I spent half an hour watching my antlions fall dead halfway between me and my enemies. I eventually used them as a distraction and approached the way you’re supposed to, through that alcove. I really started trying to play it safe that mission, didn’t I?

    Also: I sink puns are stupid. They drain your intelligence. Water you going to do then? Don’t be a washed-out liberal arts major. Dig deep into your well of intelligence and unclog that waste. Create a clear flow; don’t let anything leak. Then flush my remaining dignity down the pipes and burn me at the stake because boy, do I deserve it. Hard work does mean I get steak, right?

  24. Ateius says:

    So, for me the creepiest thing about Nova Prospekt was how empty it was. Not just for the general isolation-horror element, but because you’re specifically told Nova Prospekt is where they’ve been sending all their prisoners, all the dissidents, everyone in and around City 17 that they round up for whatever reason. They all go to Nova Prospekt, so Nova Prospekt should be teeming with people.

    But it isn’t.

    And, brilliantly, rather than making you watch a cutscene of them doing something horrific to an assembly-line of prisoners, you instead can piece together on your own why no-one is there. What they’ve said about the creation of the Combine soldiers, and the creepy gaunt metal-plate-eyed dudes you see from a distance here and there… then you can understand why there’s no-one in the cells.

  25. fdsafdsafsadfasdfasdf says:

    Oh geez, I forgot that HL2 turrets use the same sounds as the Portal ones. And that their startup sound is the first few notes of that song that the easter egg choir in P2 sings. Which keeps making me think my cell phone is ringing.

  26. Ravens Cry says:

    I rather liked the Heat-sink pun, but the rest left me drained. Surely there is other sources untapped? Other streams to follow? All the good will from that first pun was just washed away, sinking like a stone.

  27. Fishminer says:

    Was I the only one who was really protective of his insectoid followers? I always feel really bad when one of them dies needlessly, hell I even will take a bit of damage to make sure they aren’t pointlessly throwing themselves into a hail of gunfire. Watching Josh use them like a soviet general was just a smidgen annoying. I mean he doesn’t seem to treat his Total War troops quite so badly.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Thats because troops in total war cost precious resources.These are free minions.And I treat them even worse,as I dont even stick my nose out of the cover before the antlions clear out everything.

  28. Helgi H says:

    Oh man that sink pun made me laugh out loud.

  29. Johan says:

    Aw man, I really liked Sandtraps when I played (the part you sort of skipped), and couldn’t really stand Nova Prospekt.

    Well, there was one part I really thought was a nice touch, when you get to see what’s happening in the rest of the areas on the screens. I liked that.

  30. Gilf says:

    Watching this with closed captions has me bursting into laughter far more than it really should.

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