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The Antlion Guards (also called Myrmidonts by Vortigaunts) are a much larger and robust variant of the Antlion Soldier, and are a very formidable foe. Within the Antlion society, the Guards defend the Antlion nests' outer perimeter and entrances, and they keep order within the Antlion colony. Vortigaunts harvest Bugbait from slain Antlion Guards.

Overview

Antlion Guards resemble a considerably larger and more powerful Antlion, with a similar skin color and insectoid features. The most differentiating feature, by far, is the Guard's protective carapace, which acts as a deadly battering ram. Their dark-red tint and radiant blue "feathers" which adorn their backs make them clearly distinguishable.

In the Half-Life 2 chapter "Sandtraps", a Vortigaunt will collect a Guard's Pheropods, which are its way of communicating with, as well as controlling the Antlion soldiers. When collected, these pheropods will grant their user control over the Antlions, lest another Guard is nearby, in which case the pheropods' effects are nullified.

It is notable that the Guard is very similar to the Antlion Guardian, both in name and appearance, but there are numerous differences: the Guardian lies deeper within the nests, protecting and ruling over the Antlions and eggs within. Comparatively, the Guard will work nearer to the surface, protecting nest entrances and offering backup for Workers. Also notable is the Guardian's natural bioluminescence, which is presumably caused by it living in deeper darkness. The Guard also has a very different coloration, consisting of more varied and contrasting colors.

Similar to a very aggressive bullock, these creatures will viciously protect their nests, and are very unappreciative of anyone or anything that goes even remotely close to them.

Behavior and skills

Much like a rhino from Earth, the Antlion Guard is able to bash into objects with great force and deal considerable damage, thanks to its size. The power of the Antlion Guard's strikes can knock aside anything or anyone unfortunate enough to be in their way. When confronting the player, the Guard will strike using its armored head. They also tend to utilize environmental objects, launching them as deadly projectiles. Antlion Guards can take a lot of damage, and will chew through ammunition quickly. Antlion Guards are known to smash through walls and even fellow Antlions to kill enemies they are pursuing.

Antlion Guards tend to target enemies they recognize and/or remember first, demonstrated during the battle with the Guard at the end of the Nova Prospekt chapter in Half-Life 2. There, the Guard will attack the soldiers before moving on to Freeman, as it is aware the Combine have killed a Guard and countless Antlions, enraging it. In addition, the Antlion Guardian (which is very similar to the Guard) in Episode Two recognizes Freeman and the Victory Mine Vortigaunt as the people who stole the extract, further demonstrating this idea of revenge and recognizance.

The Antlion Guardian is first revealed in Episode Two.

Tactics

Soldiers antlion guard fight

Nova Prospekt Guards fighting an Antlion Guard in the Nova Prospekt cafeteria.

Antlion Guards are immune to the Bugbait's effects, and they share this immunity with any Antlions close to them.

The Antlion Guard is limited to only melee attacks, so attacking from range is one of the best ways to fell it. Another strategy is luring it into smashing into walls, which stuns it for a while, buying the player some time to shoot it. Usually the area where they are fought in is impossible to escape, forcing the player to kill it. Its attack can be easily avoided by strafing constantly. The best weapons against it are the Crossbow and RPG. 6-7 hits to the lower body with the Crossbow will usually kill it on Normal difficulty, and if it survives, can be finished off with the Colt Python. Another good way of killing these beasts is launching a few grenades at them with the MP-7s secondary fire. The RPG can also be used, as it will kill the Guard in 2-3 hits, depending on difficulty. It is, however, advised to conserve RPG ammo for tougher enemies.

Additionally, the Shotgun is extremely effective against the Guard, as its big size makes it an easy target and thus absorbs the entirety of the shotgun's blast. 12 shots from the shotgun will usually be enough to kill a Guard.

During the first encounter (in Sandtraps), the player can easily run around the large rock in the center of the area, avoiding the attacks of the guard, while firing his weapon. In the bathroom in Nova Prospekt, he can do the same thing around the wall just before the exit.

Another idea is to use the Gravity Gun to throw objects such as explosive drums and sinks while dodging the Guard constantly. Flammable drums are typically found in all areas where the player has to confront an Antlion Guard. Throwing conventional (non-explosive) barrels or a car engine using the Gravity Gun can also stun the Antlion Guard for a few seconds. Interestingly, the Harpoon can kill a Guard in a single hit, when launched from the Gravity Gun.

It is possible to run from both Guards in Nova Prospekt, though it is still very hard to escape the one in the bathroom. This is possible because the "barriers" are simply piles of physics objects that can be cleared with the Gravity Gun and explosives. It is especially easy to escape the second by jumping down while it is distracted.

The Guard in the Nova Prospekt bathroom can be shot from a safe position by jumping onto the catwalk railing rather than over it, then going back to the fence overlooking the room.

It is possible to kill the Antlion Guard with the Crowbar or a Stunstick, since it has poor turning speed making it easier to dodge the attacks. This is recommended only for experienced players, but successfully pulling it off can save large amounts of ammunition.

The Pulse Rifle's secondary fire will not disintegrate the Guard, but will heavily damage it.

Appearances

In Half-Life 2: Episode One, the Antlion Guard is encountered in an open area in the city, where an active combine APC and several Shotgun Combine Soldiers are fighting Antlion Soldiers.

In Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the Antlion Guard is encountered alongside the Antlion Guardian, they are blocking the passage to the Resistance outpost near the Victory Mine.

Trivia

  • When idle, the Guard moves his head left and right and surveys the area. This can be seen at the end of the Nova Prospekt chapter if the player escapes the second encounter without killing the Guard; they can look into the room and see it in the corner and even creep up behind it, only being noticed if they get very close.
  • The prison security in the second Guard battle in Nova Prospekt will completely ignore the player and focus on the Guard instead. In the Guard battle in Episode One, the soldiers will ignore the player unless he gets close.
  • In Nova Prospekt, a Guard can be seen on a Monitor fighting Combine, killing many soldiers before being overwhelmed and dying. His dead body can be seen later in that level.
    • Occasionally the Guard will survive long enough for the Soldiers to stop spawning. When this happens, the Guard just stands idle. However, when the player reaches the area later, the Guard will be dead.
  • The Antlion Guard's charge attack will instantly kill a Hunter.
    • Conversely, the Hunter's charge will instantly kill a Guard. This is usually not the case, though, since a Hunter's first tactic is to use its flechettes while the guard usually starts by charging. Adding that to the Antlion Soldier's instant kill on Overwatch Soldiers makes any Antlion swarm more powerful than a Combine force.
  • The Antlion Guard can instantly kill all Combine and Rebels but only Freeman can survive many hits, the Antlion Guard can kill Alyx and Barney in 3-5 hits without cover, but this only happens if spawned in console.
    • The Antlion Guard can also instantly kill Gordon if they punch heavy objects, such as an APC, trash container and mine cart, even when he has full health, but it only happens if spawned in City 17 or engaging outside Victory Mine near a Restrictor .
  • If the Antlion Guard knocks down a Strider, the Strider will fly away from the map.
  • In Half-Life 2, there is a bug where if an Antlion Guard touches another Antlion Guard, it will cause one of the guards to immediately die. However, this has been fixed after Half-Life 2: Episode One.
  • In Episode Two, if the guard dies, it will turn immediately into a ragdoll, while in Half-Life 2 and Episode One, the dying animation is first played before it turns into a ragdoll.
  • A myrmidon is "a loyal follower". This word is similar to the Vortigaunts' word for the Guard, "Myrmidont".

Behind the scenes

  • The Antlion Guard's skin was originally a dark brown.[1] The image preview for the current model still has this brown skin.
  • Like the Bullsquid, the Antlion Guard was originally going to throw small, noxious pods at the player. This concept was reused for the Pheropod and the Antlion Worker.[2]
  • The Antlion Guard sounds appear to be slightly modified wolf sounds. The Half-Life series uses many stock sounds heard in many other video games and films.
  • Early in the Antlion Guard's development, it was intended to be entirely bulletproof, except for explosions.
  • The Guard has several unused animations, including sprinting (not charging), sneaking, covering, crawling, and even one for a flamethrower attack.

Gallery

Pre-release

Retail

List of appearances

References

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