Half-Life 2: Episode 2 – “Three-Legged Terror”
August 2011 – December 2011 Engine: (Hammer SDK)
Three--Legged Terror occurs as a side story during the events of Half-Life 2:Episode 2. The player assumes the role of a basic Resistance member, hidden away in an isolated mountain base with a small team of soldiers. This base is discovered by the Combine, who send a Strider to destroy the base.
Gameplay revolves weakening and damaging the Strider throughout the map as it ascends the mountain trail, giving your NPC allies time to fix weapons and provide aid. The idea was inspired by Capcom’s Monster Hunter series, in particular the Lao-Shan Lung and Shen Gaoren fights. All three maps, mine and Monster Hunter’s, feature a massive enemy that must be weakened and defeated before it destroys the player’s base.
The Strider slowly emerges from the cover of fog as it begins its ascent up the mountain toward the Resistance base. The Scanners flying with it drop mines and harass the player with camera flashes to aid the Strider. Giving the Strider such an entrance is one of the first shout outs to Monster Hunter, as well as an indication that this Strider fight will be different from others the player has fought.
The Strider is normally immune to all damage save explosives like the rocket launcher. Heavy scripting allows the players unique ways to injure the tripod, like collapsing a bridge on top of it with proper timing.
Antlion corpses strewn about the second zone the player engages the Strider in. In Monster Hunter, players rarely simply engage the main boss monster one-on-one. There are typically smaller and weaker but more numerous monsters in the area as well, who will attack the player at the same time as the boss. I wanted to preserve that gameplay here, and so Antlions pop up during this section to fight the player while the Strider continues onwards.
In the second combat zone, the NPCs provide barrel bombs. Setting them near the Strider’s legs and detonating them causes minor damage and slows the boss’s walking speed, making it easier to fight. The sparks around the Strider's joints act as an indicator that the legs have been damaged.
The combat between player and Strider wakes up an Antlion nest under the mountain. The NPCs abandon their Strider duties and repairs to keep the Antlions out, and will do so unless the player clears the Antlion cave. This limits the amount of support the player receives during the final stage of the level.
The Antlion cave is home to numerous Antlions, Grubs, and a mini-boss Guard. Slaying the Guard stops other Antlions from spawning, freeing the allied NPCs to return to working on stopping the Strider.
The Strider’s Warp Cannon is its most powerful weapon, literally distorting the space around it. If the Strider fires its Warp Cannon enough in the final zone, the base is destroyed and the level ends in failure.
The most effective way to combat a Strider is the RPG, which is not available until the Strider reaches the last zone. Clearing the Antlion nest lets an NPC replenish your RPG ammo, giving you a chance to win, along with having another NPC fight alongside you.
A screen capture of the Hamer SDK editor. The Cave interior was one of the longest parts involved in making the level. The cave is made of numerous displacement panels, each crafted to change in elevation, and built so the cave was smooth and rounded
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