It's hard to believe it's been about a month since I started replaying all of the Half-Life games. I've devoted Saturdays as my play Half-Life and blog about it day. If you've been reading along, you know I'm about a quarter of the way through the first Half-Life. And well, tonight I knocked out another level. Last week I finished off Blast Pit and this week I was faced with more other-worldly creatures in the Power Up level.

As the level starts you watch this beast of a creature take on a couple HECU soldiers. If you read the Wiki like I did, you discover this creature is called a Gargantua.

The Gargantua is approximately six meters (20 feet) tall, mostly blue in color, and has one yellow eye that glows red when it perceives a hostile unit. Instead of hands, it sports two massive pincers that can be opened to emit jets of intense heat (the Alien Grunt hands are also similar), as well as a pair of vestigial legs below the trunk, a common trait in most bipedal Xen creatures.

The creature has a thick shell or carapace that renders it completely bulletproof and normal bullets just do minimal damage. It requires a large amount of explosive, electrical, or energy damage before being destroyed and it can rarely be defeated with conventional methods .(Half-Life Wiki)

(The Gargantua roasting a HECU Soldier)

(The last thing you'll see if you get too close to the Gargantua)

It was pretty obvious I needed to use the rail car to ram into a barricade on the track, but the rail car wasn't energized. Well, with the level name being Power Up, it was fairly obvious what I was supposed to do - find the power generator and restore power to the rail. Besides encountering the alien creatures, I ran into a ton more HECU soldiers who were located...yep, you guessed it - at the power generator. They were easy enough to eliminate. And once they were gone, all I had to do was flip a few switches and the power was restored.

But what about Gargantua?

Ah, well you know what they say...the bigger they are...the more electricity you need to fry a Gargantua. The silly creature followed me into this dark tunnel and just happened to be standing in between two huge power transformers when I flipped another switch to turn the power on. I ran for cover and after a few seconds when I checked to see what happened to the Gargantua, the only thing that was left was a spot on the floor. Too easy.

(All that's left of the Gargantua - a pile of white stuff)

Overall this level wasn't all that challenging. It's funny reading the Wiki after I played the level, because apparently you can essentially bypass the whole level by using some trip mines to create stepping stones to climb over the barricade. Sneaky. Clever. But why would I want to bypass the level? Nope, not me. I'm trying to play through it all.

At the end of the level, I was greeted by another Barney security guard who filled me in on my next assignment. Should be a good one.

(The end of the line - and the end of the mission)

A couple final notes.

I did not see the G-Man this level. Doesn't mean he wasn't there. I just didn't notice him.

There is a spot where there is a hole in the wall. When you enter, something is dragging one of the HECU soldiers into the hole. Naturally, I walked over there and peered into the hole. Expecting to see eyes looking back at me, I waited and waited and waited. Something lunged for me. I don't know what it was or if it could even harm me. I had my revolver at the ready and fired as soon as I saw movement. But...BUT... This thing scared me half to death and I jumped so hard I almost fell out of my chair. I'm sure if anyone would've saw it they would've laughed and pointed.

(Whatever is in that hole made this soldier fit - leg and all)

(Don't sit and stare too long or else something will jump out at you)

(What the heck is that?)

(Doesn't take a Research Assistant to know to stay clear of that)

(This schematic offers zero assistance...neither does the radio)

(Hey, there's the power generator I've been looking for)

(Ta Da - we're at max power now)

(Hey wait - the power generator is on, why isn't the track ready to go?)

Okay, well that's about it for this week's episode. While I'm still having fun with the game and think it has done a great job of withstanding the test of time, I did notice some really bad AI issues with the HECU soldiers in tonight's play through. Not enough to influence my feelings towards the game, but enough to make me chuckle. We've come so far, heh heh.

Previous Episodes:

Blog 1

Blog 2

Blog 3

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the rest of it.