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The Garden Gnome, also known as Gnome Chompski, is an object from Half-Life 2: Episode Two. While seeming insignificant at first, it is in fact part of a popular achievement which requires the player to carry the gnome to the final location of the game (White Forest) and place it within a Rocket - hence the achievement name: Little Rocket Man.
It can be found in the first area of Chapter One, To The White Forest, next to the door when you leave under a wooden panel with some glass bottles in the communications building.
This Vortal Coil
The Gnome can be left in the chamber with Alyx and the Vortigaunts.
Do not leave the Gnome in the room overlooking the settlement with the monitor and sniper rifle. This room cannot be returned to after descending into the settlement. However, if the gnome is placed leaning against the door facing the bridge, it will fall through once the door is opened from the far side. Alternatively, rather than carry the gnome through the infested settlement, it is possible to pick up the gnome and throw it with the Use key onto the near side of the bridge and retrieve it once the Muscle Car is reached.
The Garden Gnome is difficult to transport in the Muscle Car, so drive slowly. When the Hunter-Chopper attacks, destroy it by firing its mines back at it with the Gravity Gun. Another Chopper will appear in the next section. Do not leave the gnome in the car when entering the barn. The Muscle Car may be moved to make room for the Combine APC that arrives after the barn encounter, and the gnome may be lost.
It is possible to leave the gnome on the ground at the barn when escaping the Hunter-Chopper. Proceed to the next loading point in the train tunnel, then reverse to the previous stage. Drive back to the barn and pick up the gnome. The Chopper will not be present, making it easier to transport the gnome through this section.
A possible way to carry the gnome is to shove it under the back covers of the car. Putting the gnome there will prove to be a small challenge, but once in, the gnome will not be easily removed by sudden jerks and braking. The gravity gun is required to shove the gnome in as well as extract it.
Alternatively, place the gnome behind the passenger seat so that it will only drop out of the car if the brakes are slammed hard enough. Do not leave the gnome when the car's engine catches fire.
Under the Radar
The gnome can be left in the garage with Alyx and the rebels. It will be there after you destroy the Autogun. When you have to hit the road again, you can ignore the item caches that appear on the radar (if you want to or already got the achievement for them). During the Combine ambush at the White Forest Inn, leave the gnome in the house while you disable the shields. Don't forget to pick it up again when you leave. You may also want to drop the gnome down the hill before driving down it. Once this is all done, you can drive further and leave the gnome near the start of the race against DØG to the base and then come back there and retrieve it.
Our Mutual Fiend
The achievement can only be earned by placing the Gnome inside the rocket's hatch and closing the hatch door. Another way of achieving it is by using "ent_setname gnome" on any pickable entity (e.g. a bucket).
- The gnome motif is based on a famed prank in which a real gnome statue is stolen from a house's yard and then returned some time later with photographs showing it in front of various tourist landmarks.
- The gnome can also be seen in ApertureScience.com on top of the mantelpiece and it may move randomly on its own.
- The gnome also makes an appearance in Left 4 Dead 2, known as Gnome Chompski. An achievement requires the Gnome, like in Episode Two, to be carried all the way to the rescue vehicle in the Dark Carnival campaign. Doing so gives the player the achievement "Guardin' Gnome" and unlocks the Rochelle's Depeche Mode t-shirt for the player's avatar on the Xbox 360 version.
- Using cheats will not prevent the player from earning the achievement as long as the
sv_cheatscommand is set to 0 before dropping the gnome into the rocket. The Xbox 360 version can be achieved with cheats turned on or off.
- Hunter-Choppers, Hunters and Combine Soldiers will sometimes target the gnome if the player is carrying it with the gravity gun. They act as if the player is carrying a Manhack or a Magnusson Device.
List of appearances
- ApertureScience.com (Not before Christmas 2007)
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two (First appearance)
- The Final Hours of Portal 2