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Standard Zombie

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Zombie HL2
Standard Zombie
General information

Xen wildlife



Personal information
  • 50 (HL1 on easy and medium, HL2)
  • 100 (HL1 on Hard)
  • 60 (Zombie Grunt on easy and medium)
  • 120 (Zombie Grunt on hard)
  • Claw swipe (10)
  • Double slash (20)
Game information
Entity / spawn codes
  • monster_zombie (HL1)
  • monster_zombie_soldier (Op4)
  • monster_zombie_soldier_dead (Op4)
  • monster_zombie_barney (Op4)
  • npc_zombie (HL2 standard)
  • npc_zombie_torso (HL2 torso)

Ted Backman[1]

"What the hell are these things, and why are they wearing science team uniforms!?"
Black Mesa Security Guard[src]

The Standard Zombie is the most common Zombie form seen in the Half-Life series. It is the manifestation of a standard Headcrab attaching to a victim's cranium and taking over their nervous system.


Zombie Scientist

The original Zombie scientist from Half-Life.

Once a Headcrab successfully attaches to a host, the Headcrab will assume control of all their motor functions, able to walk and attack with the host's arms and legs. Through some unknown biological process, the host's hands turn into long, skeletal claws and a massive hole appears in their chest lined with the hosts' ribs, becoming a makeshift "mouth," with their ribs serving as teeth (zombies have been observed to feed by ripping chunks of flesh off of corpses and stuffing them into this maw) Removal of the Headcrab reveals that the host's head is bent abnormally upwards, their hair is matted with blood, and their face is pale, with their eyes shut and mouth open in a frozen scream. In Half-Life 2, the muffled pleas and screams coming from the zombies indicates that the victim may be somewhat aware of their zombified state.

Occasionally, Headcrab zombies may survive losing both legs and their lower torso, and continue to crawl along using their arms, in this state the zombie is more dangerous if allowed to get close as they swipe at a faster rate with their claws. In most cases, a Headcrab remains attached to its host until the zombie is destroyed, although in Half-Life 2, they will occasionally detach from the host if it is rendered immobile by its injuries.


  • Standard Zombie does not pose much of threat when they appear at distance since they cannot attack at longer ranges. Standard zombies can be easily taken out from a distance with any firearms. However, they can pose as a major threat when they are at point blank range to the player or have surrounded with other type of Zombies. Due to this, it is best to fall back when they are close to the player as their attack can cause the player to flinch which will be harder to aim the weapon. On the other hand, it is possible to engage a Zombie with a Crowbar without dealing any damage by keep dodging its claw attack since their attacks can be easily avoided due to their slow swing rate.
  • If a Standard Zombie is in the group with other type of Zombies, it is best to attack the other type first before focusing on this zombie, unless they are too close to the player. It is also possible to throw a Grenade at the Zombies as one grenade can kill most of them. Note that sometimes in Half-Life 2, Zombies can survive the grenade blast and only the lower torso is blown off. If not, they will catch fire.
  • When dealing with one, it is best to use lighter weaponry such as a Pistol or SMG. A Shotgun can also be used against them due to high damage up close. When engaging, it is best to aim for the Headcrab. Four to six shots will kill a zombie without releasing the Headcrab and a Shotgun will instantly kill a Zombie in one headshot if all pellets hit the zombie's head.
  • Zombies can be sometimes seen attacking other enemies, like Combine soldiers and Antlions. If they do, it is best to wait until they finish attacking, and the latter fight will be much easier.
  • In Half-Life 2, Zombies are given ability to punch objects from distance, if they do, it best to move left or right. Alternatively, one can use Gravity Gun to grab it and punt it back to a zombie without use of ammunition.


  • When a zombie lunges at an opponent in all games of the series, their arm appears to stretch out slightly when they swing. This could just be a graphical embellishment, however.
  • In Half-Life and its expansions, standard zombies have a (mostly) human walk. They also have their "claws" up in what could be considered as a "battle-ready position." In Half-Life 2 and its episodes, the standard zombie walk has become a slow, awkward shamble. Their claws are also seen being held up closely against their bodies.
  • Oddly, Half-Life 2 Zombies wear refugee clothing, even in City 17 where they should be blue like civilian clothing, and at resistance outposts where they should be wearing the resistance standard attire. However, the earlier zombie model had blue clothing.
  • Playing parts of a Half-Life 2 zombie's sound files backwards will produce extremely disturbing yells of pain. The reversed cries have been interpreted as "Oh, God help! Help me!" and "Get it off me!" If set on fire, the victims may say things that might be interpreted as "Why, why, why!?," "Help, God... help! Help me!," "Gaaah!," "Gaaaah, I'm on fire! Gaaaaah!," "My life's fading!," "My eyes sting! Gaaah!," "Put it out!" and even heard as "Yabba, put it out please! GRAAAAGH!"
  • The screams of the Half-Life 2 zombies are heard muffled in-game. Speeding up the sound file to the screams shows that the muffled effect is caused by the slowing down of the file. The muffled voice effect is also enhanced by the ambiance of the game.
  • In Half-Life 2, the zombies have the same "attacking" growl as the zombies of Half-Life.
  • In Half-Life, zombies are seen "feeding" from dead scientists and soldiers by taking flesh from corpses and stuffing it into their chest "mouth." However, this is not seen in Half-Life 2. This behavior might have been scrapped or simply overlooked and not programmed. Another theory is that they put the "food" directly into their stomach.
  • In the non-HD variant of Half-Life and its expansions, a zombie's headcrab appears to be "fastened" tighter to the victim's face, revealing the eerie outline of a human skull.
  • Two Standard Zombie growls can be heard in the film Drag Me to Hell. The Half-Life series uses many stock sounds heard in many other video games and films.
  • As well as being in the movie Drag Me to Hell the Zombie sounds are used in Valve's Left 4 Dead series.
  • In Half-Life: Opposing Force, spawning the dead soldier zombie will reveal its pose as that of spawned dead HECU grunt.
  • Standard zombies move slower than the player and take some time to swing back. This means that, with enough room, you can run up to a standard zombie, hit it with the crowbar, quickly backtrack a few steps, and repeat this indefinitely, if you need to save ammo.
  • In the 1998 version of the Half-Life Prima Guide, Headcrab Zombies are referred to as "Mawmen," most likely because of the mouth made in their chest out of their ribcage.
  • In the WC mappack can be found a map named "boxing." It consists of a small dark room with a boxing ring in the middle, lit by a single lamp. There two Zombies start fighting each other once a bell rings. When the first one is killed, the bell rings again and the remaining Zombie remains still.
  • The security guard and HECU zombie models seen in Opposing Force have no HD model.
  • In the book The Zombie Recognition Guide, the Head Crab Zombies appear under the name of Crabheads and are mentioned to have come to earth in a meteor.
  • In Half-Life 2: Episode Two, in the chapter Freeman Pontifex, after going through the toxic trench and when you get up to the ledge overlooking it, if you look back down, you will see two Zombies spawn out of nowhere and fight each other.
  • There is a cut Half-Life audio file (named c1a2_sci_6zomb) in which a scientist frantically orders Gordon to pick a gun, most likely the Glock 17, and probably shoot a zombie. To be exact, the scientist says: "Don't just stand there, pick up that gun and shoot it!"


Half-Life and its expansionsEdit

Half-Life 2 and its episodesEdit



List of appearancesEdit


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