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|This article is about the town. For the chapter, see "We Don't Go To Ravenholm..." (chapter).|
Ravenholm is a former mining town and, later, a Resistance stronghold located in the Wasteland. It was previously inhabited by refugees who escaped from the Combine-controlled City 17 to join the Resistance, but is largely deserted and infested with Zombies and Headcrabs by the time Gordon Freeman passes through.
The town of Ravenholm mainly consists of small to medium-sized houses that are mostly traditionally built, being made from concrete and wood. Several high-rise apartment buildings can also be seen in some sections of the town such as the area near the Coast and the area near the room with the dismembered zombies inside. These buildings, along with the streets, appear vaguely Eastern European, complying with the style of buildings seen throughout Half-Life 2.
It would seem that Ravenholm remained "under the radar" for some time, but was eventually discovered by the Combine, which led to its destruction via a massive Headcrab Shell bombardment, causing the town to become completely overrun with Headcrabs and Zombies. Being linked to Black Mesa East via a tunnel, the entrance to Ravenholm was sealed shortly after the bombardment using a heavy gate, two barricades of crates, and guarded by stolen Sentry Guns to prevent Zombies from reaching Black Mesa East. Alyx Vance points the gate to Ravenholm out to Gordon Freeman during his tour of the lab, and explains (with a hint of fear in her voice; thus hinting that she was either there before or heard about what had happened to the citizens) where it leads and that it was "sealed for a reason." Later, Gordon is forced to escape through Ravenholm when the Combine raid Black Mesa East, during the chapter "We Don't Go To Ravenholm...".
Many areas of Ravenholm are littered with large saw-blades, propane cylinders, barrels of flammable material and booby traps which have been contrived by Father Grigori. The entire town is also littered with humans and Standard Zombies that have been hanged, burned, sliced and suffered other horrific fates by Grigori's traps. Due to the relative lack of ammunition in the area, Gordon must rely on traps and the Gravity Gun (with which he can launch blades and other projectiles) to destroy Zombies.
Father Grigori set up many traps and structures in order to dispose of Zombies more efficiently. The traps are engineered so that Zombies can randomly stumble into them but they can be easily circumvented by normal humans. In addition to traps, Grigori separated Ravenholm into districts using wooden barricades (so Zombies can be found in a more organized manner).
- Car traps are makeshift traps created from a rope, a pulley, a car and an engine. The car is tied with a rope from a pulley to the engine. When activated, a lever on the engine removes the tension on the rope, causing the car to drop and crush anything beneath it, after which the engine immediately pulls the car back up again.
- Electric traps simply shock and repel Zombie trespassers. (Only one of these can be found in the chapter, and the player has to deactivate it to progress onwards.)
- Propane traps are attached to irrigation sprinklers that, when released, fill a small area with flammable propane vapor. The gas can be ignited with a gunshot or an electric spark (from the red switches stationed near the propane tanks) to create a large fire which will quickly incinerate any enemies in that area.
- Propeller traps are found all over the town. They are created from engines and long, makeshift blades that appear to be made of steel sheets. The engine rotates the steel sheet, and uses it as a horizontal rotor. The blade spins in a waist high arc, and will dismember any passing target. Humans can easily avoid this trap by crawling or ducking. Standard Zombies, however, are unaware of the dangers and proceed unaware into the range of this deadly contraption. Poison Zombies are capable of decommissioning working propeller traps. At least one propeller trap encountered blade will detach when activated, and when picked up, will automatically position itself horizontally (much like the circular saw blades). It can then be thrown with the Gravity Gun.
After being separated from Alyx during the Combine's attack on Black Mesa East, Gordon Freeman is forced to travel through Ravenholm. Armed with his newly acquired Gravity Gun and an assortment of weapons, Gordon traverses the desolate, Zombie-infested town, all-the-while utilizing bizarre traps. While fighting off hordes of Zombies, Gordon meets the last known human occupant of Ravenholm, Father Grigori. Grigori provides some assistance and advice to Gordon, such as arming him with a shotgun, and eventually leading him to an abandoned mine to escape the town.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Before being named "Ravenholm," the town has had several nicknames during the game development. They include "Quarry," "Quarrytown," "Traptown," "Phystown," "Zombie Town" and simply "Town."
- At one point, Ravenholm was to feature both Combine Soldiers and Zombies, as seen in the E3 2003 demo, "Traptown." The way the player was introduced into Ravenholm was also different; the player was to discover the town at the end of the canals, above a lake filled with at least one Ichthyosaur, and enter the town through its docks. Eli's lab was to come after.
- The E3 demo also shows that it was possible to shoot any gun while using the HEV Suit's zoom function and that the player could discard weapons, indicating they could only carry a specified amount of firearms at a time. Also shown was the Overwatch Soldier's ability to break open doors when blocked by objects, which was removed in the retail version of Half-Life 2.
- The earliest maps of the town have it filled only with traps and set before Eli's lab. However, in the retail version, Ravenholm is placed after Eli's lab, thus being a playground for the newly acquired Gravity Gun.
- The playable Beta also shows that the player was to use a vehicle called the Digger to destroy a Combine Big Momma Pod to proceed through mines.
- According to early concept art, the Combine Big Momma Pod was originally to be seen in a double hangar located around the building where Father Grigori is first seen in the retail game.
- According to early concept art, the apartment building was to feature the corpse of a child on the ground floor.
- Ravenholm was to be the setting of the cancelled Half-life 2 spin-off, Return to Ravenholm, set shortly before the end of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, co-developed by Valve and Arkane studios, set for release in 2007. However, the spin-off was cancelled when the developers realized that the staples of Ravenholm, such as headcrabs and zombies, had been played completely out, and the fact that they had it taking place before Episode Two, gave them a creative constraint, leading them to cancel the project.
The Sealed Section of the Old Quarter of Thief: The Dark Project, is a possible influence for the town of Ravenholm. A portion of the Old Quarter was walled off about 50 years prior to the first game, due to an outbreak of the undead. The undead spilled from a Haunted Cathedral, and began to infest the city until they were safely contained behind thick, high stone walls. At the time of The Dark Project, maps of the area were not very hard to find, and the people still tell stories about The Cataclysm, and no one dares enter the Sealed Section. When Garrett, the protagonist, visits this place, it is a desolate and lonely, covered with decades of dead leaves, decaying buildings, and populated by zombies, ghosts, and an infestation of beasts. Backing this theory up is the fact that Marc Laidlaw, the primary writer for the Half-Life series, has named Thief as his favorite PC game of all time.
- It can be noted that when standing still long enough, above the actual sounds one can hear voices, screams, breathing, and crying. These are said to be the survivors of Ravenholm. A child can be heard among the voices.
- The Half-Life 2: Deathmatch map "dm_resistance" appears to be located in Ravenholm.
- Ravenholm's Russian name is Рейвенхолм and if translated to English, Ravenholm's name is spelled Reyvenholm.
- The church in Ravenholm doesn't have a crest on the top of its dome. It may be a reference to the Soviet politics in early years when all churches were made over into warehouses and had its crests removed from the dome.
List of appearancesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Playable Half-Life 2 Beta
- ↑ Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- ↑ WC mappack
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Half-Life 2
- ↑ The Half-Life 2 chapter Black Mesa East
- ↑ File:Ravenholm overview2.jpg
- ↑ File:Ravenholm overview1.jpg
- ↑ Valve Software Interview: Marc Laidlaw (page 2) on Gaming Nexus
- Fixed prototype map of Ravenholm used in concept art seen in Raising the Bar (requires Episode Two and Missing Information 1.5)
- Ravenholm design document
Black Mesa East
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