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Bullsquid

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Bullsquid hl1
Bullsquid
General information
Affiliation

Xen

Type

Wildlife

Individual information
Health
  • 40 (Easy, Medium)
  • 120 (Hard)
Weapon(s)
  • Toxic spit
  • Teeth
  • Tail whip
Game information
Entity / spawn codes
  • monster_bullchicken (HL)
  • npc_bullsquid (HL2) (cut)[1]
Designer(s)

Ted Backman[2]

 
"Why, just look at those peculiar markings..."
Black Mesa scientist[src]
 

Bullsquids (Taxonomic designation Gastropolypus toxophlegmata,[3] or "Phlegm-shooting Many-legged-mouth") are highly aggressive, bipedal creatures that appear throughout the Black Mesa Research Facility due to the dimensional rift caused by the Resonance Cascade. Bullsquids are able to survive, if not thrive, in environments that are unfriendly or even toxic to humans, including sewers and pools of radioactive chemicals or biological waste. On Xen, Bullsquids are found drinking from Healing Pools.

DescriptionEdit

Bullsquids drinking on Xen

Two Bullsquids drinking on Xen, as seen during the Resonance Cascade, with a Protozoan orbiting behind.

The body of a Bullsquid is vaguely similar in appearance to that of a small Theropod, with two short, muscular legs and a thick tail that tapers to a point. The thorax abruptly joins the creature's head with no neck or other visible separation. A typical specimen stands roughly one meter tall and about two meters in length. Two slit-pupiled, black and glossy eyes are mounted on either side of its head. The tail had a hooked claw at its tip, which explains the large amount of damage caused by the Bullsquid's spin attack.

The Bullsquid's most striking feature however, is a collection of bright red, Cthulhu-esque, tentacles surrounding its mouth and allowing it to grasp prey. The Bullsquid can also charge an opponent with surprising speed and force; these two attributes are likely the cause of its portmanteau name.

The Bullsquid's overall coloration is roughly comparable to that of a spotted cat: its skin is sandy brown and its upper surfaces has dark spots. The creature's skin appears to be slimy, similar to that of a terrestrial amphibian such as the frog.

Like most of the creatures found on Xen, Bullsquids are studied in Black Mesa's Sector E.

Behavior and skillsEdit

Bullsquid headcrab attack1

Bullsquid gibbing a Headcrab with a tail swing.

The Bullsquid has an array of offensive capabilities. They display a very territorial disposition, as they have often been seen attacking other creatures and even members of their own species. They viciously attack Headcrabs, not stopping until all Headcrabs in their sight are eliminated, while they do not harm Houndeyes. They however do not attack, even when attacked themselves, when encountered during the Resonance Cascade in Half-Life and in the same map in Opposing Force. They are drinking from a Healing Pool both times, however, so it is likely that they are simply not aggressive while feeding or drinking or that they cannot see the player somehow.

At close range, a hostile Bullsquid will either maul its victim with its teeth, or suddenly spin around, delivering a powerful strike with its tail, often causing gibbing. At long range, the Bullsquid is able to spit a toxic, bile-colored substance from its mouth, like the Antlion Worker, the Archer or the Charger. While not particularly accurate or fast, it causes moderate damage, even at very long range.

Eli Vance's leg was lost when he was attacked by a Bullsquid while helping Isaac Kleiner climb over a barrier to get into a Combine city.[2][4]

Behind the scenesEdit

Early bullsquid

Second, yellow version.

  • The Bullsquid is a reminiscence of a creature originally created by Chuck Jones for Quiver, the "Land Squid".[2][5]
  • The Bullsquid was originally called "Bullchicken". It is still referred to as bullchicken in the console (i.e. "monster_bullchicken").
  • The very first Bullsquid was white. Its second iteration was a bright yellow.

TriviaEdit

  • Bullsquids only attack with their tail when its objective is very wounded.
  • In the chapter Lambda Core there is a bullsquid in an observation case, when the case is opened the bullsquid remains idle and will not attack unless it is attacked first.
  • The Bullsquid was originally to appear in Half-Life 2. Like the Houndeye, also cut from Half-Life 2, it was to be glimpsed during the original train ride to City 17[2] and appear in the Canals. It can be found in playable Beta, in the map "d1_canals_02", although the sprite of its toxic spit, now appearing green, does not show properly.[6][7]
  • In Half-Life 2, its skin color was changed to a deep maroon, while another alternate texture made them pale green.[7]
  • A slideshow revealing the events between Half-Life and Half-Life 2 was to be shown to Gordon at Eli's lab. In one of the images, Bullsquids were seen chasing a family from a suburban house.[2]
  • In the playable Half-Life 2 Beta texture folder for the Bullsquid can be found a texture file named "NewBullsquidSheet.vtf", which is actually an alternate skin for the Ichthyosaur. It is also signed by Ted Backman and dated 2003, in his stylized signature.[1]
  • According to series' writer Marc Laidlaw, it still exists in the Half-Life 2 continuity, being "around here somewhere".[8]
  • The death animation of the Bullsquid has changed from Half life: Day One. The original animation displayed the Bullsquid as flipping over, similar to the headcrab, and emitting a cry. (This reveals that a Bullsquid has a white underbelly.) In the retail version, the animation shows the creature as struggling and then collapsing.

GalleryEdit

Half-LifeEdit

Pre-releaseEdit

RetailEdit

Half-Life 2 (cut)Edit

List of appearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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