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Squad Following or known as Following is a function featured in every Half-Life Series where the player can recruit friendly NPCs to follow them to assist the player.
Half-Life and its expansion packEdit
- "Let's gotta hell out of here!"
- ―Security Guard
Half-Life, Blue Shift and DecayEdit
Prior to the Resonance Cascade, all Black Mesa Personnels cannot interact with the player. Depends what the game the player plays, when "USE" key is pressed on scientist or guard in Half-Life, the scientist may say "Please, leave me alone and go after the experiment" and the guard may say "Hey! Catch me later, I'll buy you a beer!".
During the Resonance Cascade the player can lead any Scientists, Security guards.
In some chapters, leading NPCs is required to continue the storyline, if the important NPC that the player must escorting is killed, the game ends with a message stating that the player failed to protect the NPC and the game reloads from the last save point (i.e. Barney must lead Rosenberg safely to the Teleport Lab while fending off HECU soldiers).
Leading Scientists will not only allow the player to use them to open locked doors but they can also heal the player for 25 Health with syringes if the player's health is below 50. Moving too far of them will causes them to refuse to go any further until you go back and recruit them again.
Leading Security Guard Barney and Otis uses same tactics with Scientists. However, instead of healing the player they will provide backup fire for the player with their side arm. Each guard carries a handgun. The guards are usually fine with dealing enemies at long range, but are not effective against enemies at close range.
In firefight, when the guard sees an enemy, he will pull out his Glock 17 out of his holster and will shoot the target constantly until they are dead,and if the enemy hides, the guard will flank the enemy in order to kill them. For the Scientist, they will run and hide from enemies, when followed by the player while having firefight, they will be panicking but still following the player. But when the scientist is injured while following, he will stop following the player and will attempt to run away from enemies. When a grenade is throw at his position, they will run away from it.
In Opposing Force it's unique since the player is a part of Hazardous Environment Combat Unit, and other Soldiers assist the player by killing Xen aliens, Race X aliens and Black Operators. The Marines use same tactics as Security Guard but they carry powerful weapons instead of simply a 9mm handgun, they are usually armed with the MP5 and the SPAS-12, but some may even be armed with M249 and grenade. Unlike Guards, the Marine will reload his weapons and they are somewhat less effective and less aggressive compared to cooperated Guards when engaging groups of enemies. Unlike in Half-Life, the soldiers will speak to the player directly instead of using the radio due of begin alley to them.
Other than standard Marines, there is also the HECU Medic and HECU Engineer who provide additional support. The Engineer uses a Welding Torch to break down locked doors and when they appear, there is often a door nearby they're needed for to gain access to reach supplies or continue to proceed the story. The Engineer is always armed with a Desert Eagle which is very useful in firefight. However, the Engineer always carries a gas 'canister' on his back, if shot, it will explode. The Medic carries health supplies and use syringes to heal any wounded Marines when not followed by the player, when not followed, a wounded Marine will often yell "Medic!" and the Medic will heal the wounded Marine. For the Marine, if the Marine is heavily wounded, they will hold left hand to the leg and another hand to the weapon which is useful to know that marine is close to dying. And for the player, the player must approach the Medic and hold "USE" key to restore health. Like the Engineer, the Medic can also assist the player by fighting enemies with his Glock 17 but it not advised due of low firepower and low damage. Despite the Medic seen carrying a Desert Eagle in Military base. However during Black Mesa Incident, he is seen carrying a 9mm pistol instead. Like the Health Charger, he has limited health supplies. If the Medic uses health supplies repeatedly, he cannot heal the player anymore or the rest of the squad anymore, but he can still provide minimal support for the player.
In firefight, soldiers use a variety of squad tactics when engaging hostile targets. These tactics include flanking, providing each other with covering fire, and effective use of grenades. When shooting, soldiers are almost always in crouched position to engage the enemies, when the enemies hide, the soldiers will either flank, throw a hand grenade or launch a grenade from the MP5 to kill or flush an enemy out. If the enemy is at the point blank range, the Soldiers will use kick as a melee attack. When the player is injured by the enemies, while soldiers are following the player or one soldier sees a enemy, all soldiers that follow by player will be alerted and will start to fire at the attacker, expect the Medic where he will only be alerted when he sees a enemy. When a grenade is thrown at his position or someone else: (whether it's an ally or an enemy) the Soldier launches a grenade, they will run or be in cover position.
The new security guard, Otis. Is introduced in this game, instead of using Barney's Glock, he uses a Desert Eagle. It's far more effective than Barney's counterpart. Unlike Barney, Otis won't attack the player if he sees the player kill another Guard or a Scientist he'll just simply comment about it, Otis also makes up some jokes like "My mom will be worried when i'm not at her house tonight" and if the player injure Otis he will say "I don't wanna die like a virgin".
- In all of the Half-Life games, shooting and killing Scientists, Security Guards or Grunts will cause them to either flee (Scientist) or shoot at the player constantly (Security Guard and Grunts). This is also the case when the player kills friendly NPCs while in the sight of another friendly NPC, expect in Half-Life: Source, where only the target NPC will be hostile to the player.
- The maximum numbers of the NPCs can follow the player is two. However in Opposing Force, up to four soldiers can be recruited. However, the Black Mesa NPCs is still limited up to two.
- In Half-Life: Source, there is no limit of how many Security Guards the player can recruit the NPCs, so the player can recruit as much they like. Also, the NPC's are improved, the Guard stops chasing the enemy and return to the player when he is ten feet away from the player. And with the High Definition Pack, Half-Life: Source, the guards have better firing rate.
- All of the Half-Life games have their own unique quotes when approaching or spawning Scientist or Security Guard. For example: In Opposing Force the security guard; 'barney' will say: "Wow, a soldier, great!" and in Blue Shift, security guard will say:"How it going, Calhoun?"
- The Soldiers are still coded to fight Black Mesa Personnel in Opposing Force. However, this can only be seen via console command.
In the chapter Unforeseen Consequences, there are three members that can be 'recruited'. The first member that the player must 'recruit' is Eli, he will open the locked door using the scanner to the Anti-Mass Spectrometer control room. The second member is a security guard at the elevator. Upon approaching, he will comment what the zombie wear scientist uniform are. The player can recruit the guard to assist the player to kill zombies and headcrabs, as the player doesn't have any weapons. The third member that can be recruited is a scientist, he can be found near the secret office as he hides from the zombies and headcrabs, he will open a semi-secret office that contain 15 hand grenades and 3 Glock 17 magazines along with a Health Charger in the Chapter Unforeseen Consequences, this scientist is optimal.
In the chapter Office Complex, there are four security guards that can be found and recruited. The first guard can be found at the end of the hallway where the Shotgun is first found, a Zombie will approach. If the player can save him, he will open the door allowing Freeman to get supplies and more Shells. The second guard can be found at the stairs who was fighting the headcrabs. The third guard can be found at the cafeteria who is telling the soldiers that arrived to rescue them. And the last one, can be found at the stairs who was looking at the dying guard.
In the Chapter Questionable Ethics. There are four members that can be recruited, one guard and three scientists. Here, there's a security guard the player meets early in the Chapter, who can help to fight against some HECU Soldiers and Alien Grunt. Further on, after activating the Tripmines and blowing up the wall in the testing room, the player comes to a small room with three scientists. The player must then turn off the surgical unit, and then the player must lead one or more of the scientists to the lobby, where they will open the doors that lead outside. Before going outside, the scientist tells Gordon to be careful outside.
In the Chapter Surface Tension, there are three security guards that can be recruited. The first security guard is seen after the player passed through the room that is fully loaded with Tripmines. Upon approaching the guard, the guard will run away from HECU soldiers. However, the player can still recruit the guard to fight back. The second Guard is hiding in the dorms. He will open the storage room if you lead him to it, where a large supply of ammo is kept. If the player can lead them to the door under the M198 Howitzer, the semi-storage door will also be opened, both security guards are optional and both can open any storage door, which means if one or all dies, the game will not reload but it also means player cannot enter the storage room. The player can lead them until at the point where the M2 machine gun can be found. At that point, Large group of Vortigaunts will start coming from the portal. The security guard will defend Gordon until the Vortigaunts stop spawning. The third member is another security guard, this guard is found in a damaged building near a garage, when approaching, the guard was about to shoot the player. After that, the player must lead this guard to the garage door in order to open to continue the story.
In the chapter Forget About Freeman, there is only one security guard that can be recruited. He can be found in the parking lot under the Ceiling turret, if the player wants to use this turret, the player must kill the guard, and if the player wants to keep the guard, the player must ignore the turret. He can assist the player until the player enters the sewers.
In the chapter Lambda Core, there are three security guards that can be recruited. The first one can be found at the Maintenance Station at the Lambda Reactor Coolant System. The second one can be found in one of the checkpoints, the player can recruit him to assist the player to kill some Vortigaunts and Alien Grunts, the player can lead them until they get to the Teleportation zone. The third guard is at the supply depot in the teleportation chamber, the player can recruit a guard to assist the scientist and the player from Alien Controllers.
Appearances in Half-Life: Opposing ForceEdit
- "Alright Corporal, I'll be right behind you!"
- ―HECU Marine
In the Chapter Welcome to Black Mesa. There is a security guard Otis that must be recruited in order to open the door that is secured with Retinal scanner. However, he only open the door when the player have acquired the PCV suit and he won't assist the player to kill any enemies anyway.
In the chapter We Are Pulling Out, there is a security guard Otis that can be recruited to assist the player to kill some of the Houndeyes, Zombies and Vortigaunts. As well as opening a mini-storage door that is located near the lift, the guard can follow the player until they get to the elevator.
In the chapter Missing in Action, there is an Engineer and a Soldier armed with Shotgun, they appear when the player uses the radio, there is a door that leads to the elevator, the Engineer use his Welding Torch to cut that door and all three use the elevator to get to higher levels. After the elevator, there is a door that's locked nearby that leads to the surface and to a mini-storage room. After they go through the door, there is no other door that can be cut. The player can lead the Marines until at the office where the picture of Gordon Freeman can be found.
In the chapter Friendly Fire, there are four Marines that can be recruited. the first Marine that the player can be recruited is a Medic, he'll stand next to a locked door, the Medic informs the player that he need an Engineer to cut that door. The Engineer can be found in the warehouse where the Rocket can be found. After killing all the Black Ops inside. The player discovers the Engineer is badly injured and needs medical attention. The player must lead the Medic to the Engineer. After the Engineer is healed, the player must lead both Marines to the locked door so the Engineer can cut the door. After that, the player meets yet another two Marines, one armed with Shotgun and another with M249, and they talk about that sector that's fully guarded by Black Ops. The player can lead them until all Black Ops are eliminated, at that point the player must use the Black Mesa Tram and he must leave the Marines behind. Note: Sometimes, there is a glitch where the Engineer cannot pull his Desert Eagle out, if this happened, the Engineer can only attack enemies by kicking them.
In the chapter Crush Depth, there is one Scientist that wears a cleansuit that has to be recruited. He tells the Player that there are some Pit Drones attempting to kill him so he uses teleporter to trap himself. The player must now kill all the Pit Drones and rescue the scientist in order to advance in the story, the player can lead this scientist until at the second scanner, at this point, he will be killed by getting shocked by electricity when he attempts to use the second scanner.
In the chapter Foxtrot Uniform, there are five Marines that can be recruited. prior to the explosion, two Marines can be found in a supply room, one armed with an MP5 and one with a SPAS-12. Upon approaching they will say about the area being fully controlled by hostile Black Ops. They can follow the player until at the ladder where it leads to the canals that is filled with Voltigores. After the player leaves the canals, three soldiers can be found above the barrier, when spotted, the Engineer will break the barrier allowing Adrian go trough to the surface. One is a normal soldier armed with M249 and one Engineer and one is Medic. The player can lead them until at the blast door at the Hydro dam.
In the chapter The Package, there are two Marines (armed with MP5s) that can be recruited. Upon approaching, they say again, the area is fully guarded by Black Ops. The player can lead him until at the point where the Black Ops Apache appears.
Appearance in Half-Life: Blue ShiftEdit
In Blue Shift only three Scientists and no other security guards are seen. All scientist are found in the chapter Captive Freight. The First one is found inside the boxcar inside the warehouse. The other one is outside. Though they are useless, they can only heal the player or draw the attention to force the Marines to focus on the scientist first. Then, Dr. Rosenberg can be found in another section of the freight yard, where the player must first let the boxcar hit the wall and the door opens, allowing the player to see him. But when inside, the doors are locked by hostile Marines, but the Dr. Rosenberg first tells about himself first and then give Calhoun a hand to allowing escaping the boxcar via ceiling. Later the player must clear the patch to the lab, when arriving at the Old lab he use his old hand scanner to opens the door. Dr. Rosenberg must be protected at all times, or the mission will fail when killed.
Appearance in Half-Life: DecayEdit
Overview (Half-Life 2 and its Episodes)Edit
The Squad Following members are Resistance Soldiers, some of which are trained as medics. They are usually armed with a MP7, and will replace it with a Shotgun or a Pulse Rifle if they find these weapons on the ground.
Like Security guards in Half-Life, they will provide backup fire.
Like the HECU Medic, the Medic member will automatically heal themselves and the player can "use" them like a Health Charger since they can carry unlimited supplies. Wounded regular soldiers will pick up the Medkit or healthvial if medics are not around.
The HUD icon also appear to make useful to check you team, Each of the HUD icon display the member with medic or standard:
- Yellow color without "+" logo= Standard Soldier
- Yellow Color with "+" logo= Medic
- Red Color and disappear after 5 second= Soldier killed
If the words SQUAD FOLLOWING do not appear on the HUD will mean the group of citizens will stay in the location were the cross hair is pointed.
In Half-Life 2 and its Episodes, up to four members can join a player's squad. They can be sent to a specific location by pressing the C (by default) key to tells them to go to where your cross hair is pointed. Alyx and Barney do not count as a squad members since it uses scripted entities to follow the player.
Resistance Members will automatically follow the player after the City 17 uprising.
Unlike Half-Life and its series, friendly-fire has been disabled in Half-Life 2 and its Episodes, making it easier to attack enemies without injuring your members.
Unlike Half-Life, in Half-Life 2, none of the Resistance members are vital and the player doesn't have to worry if they lose them. However, if Alyx or Barney are killed, the game ends and restarts from the last save.
In Half-Life 2, during the City 17 uprising, if the player does not have any followers, it will spawn several at certain points, but if the player has 4 resistance Member, no one will spawn at other buildings or checkpoint.
Appearance in Half-Life 2Edit
The first member is attacking two Shield Scanners, and another three are attempting destroy a Breencast screen, the other will spawn in some area if the player's maximum is not reached. Player can lead the members until at the point were the Alyx is kidnapped, when the player jumps down the broken bridge, the citizens stops follow player.
After The Underground, one of the members tells Gordon that Snipers have pinned down Barney in some warehouse. The player is now able to lead the Resistance Members again. The Resistance Members will spawn faster than in the larger combat area's. The player can lead the resistance members until all Striders are defeated, and the player will lose all his members when they jump down into the bombed building, however another two soldiers will briefly join player's squad until the player meets Barney and Dog.
Appearance in Episode OneEdit
In chapter Urban Flight, one resistance soldier is armed with a RPG on the street, he will briefly join player's squad. When the player enter the Resistance safehouse, he will leave the player's squad.
In chapter Exit 17 player it is required to escort four groups of citizens, a combination of unarmed civilians and armed Resistance members, carrying MP7s, across a courtyard to the Technical Trainstation to board an escape train. Unlike the soldiers in Half-Life 2, the player cannot command them. If one citizen dies another citizen may use some unique quotes that is not used in Half-Life 2. There is at least one armed soldier and one medic that has the same weapon in each group. In each wave (expect the first one) Combine Soldiers and Civil Protection will spawn and they may be armed with better guns like the AR2 or Shotguns, with means citizens have rely on the player to defeat these enemies especially the soldiers armed with shotguns since he can fire in semi-auto and does high damage to citizens as well to the player. Every waves contain different citizens:
- First wave: Two unarmed citizens, one soldier and a medic. No enemies are present.
- Second wave: One soldier and one medic.
- Third wave: Same as first one, but with enemies.
- Fourth wave: same as second one expect Barney will leave the for the train station as well.
Appearance in Half-Life 2: Episode TwoEdit
During the attack in White Forest there are at least three Resistance members that are attacking Hunters. If the player is fast enough, they may able to save them. They only assist the player for a brief period, when the player climbs up the ladder, they will stay down.