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The Antlion Guards (also called Myrmidonts by Vortigaunts) are a much larger and robust variant of the Antlion Soldier, and are a very formidable foe. Within the Antlion society, the Guards defend the Antlion nests' outer perimeter and entrances, and they keep order within the Antlion colony.

Overview

Antlion Guards resemble a considerably larger and more powerful Antlion, with a similar skin color and insectoid features. The most differentiating feature, by far, is the Guard's protective carapace, which acts as a deadly battering ram. Their dark-red tint and radiant blue "feathers" adorning their backs make them clearly distinguishable.

Vortigaunts collect a Guard's Pheropods,[1] which are its way of communicating with, as well as controlling the Antlion soldiers. When collected, these pheropods will grant their carrier control over the Antlions, lest another Guard is nearby, in which case the pheropods' effects are nullified.

D2 coast 110007 bugbait vort

A Vortigaunt retrieving Bugbait from an Antlion Guard near the Vortigaunt Camp, by shooting it with lightning.

It is notable that the Guard is very similar to the Antlion Guardian, both in name and appearance, but there are numerous differences: the Guardian lies deeper within the nests, protecting and ruling over the Antlions and eggs within. Comparatively, the Guard will work nearer to the surface, protecting nest entrances and offering backup for Workers. Also notable is the Guardian's natural bioluminescence, as well as its very different coloration, consisting of more varied and contrasting colors, which are presumably caused by it living in deeper darkness.

Similar to a very aggressive bullock, these creatures will viciously protect their nests, and are very unappreciative of anyone or anything that goes even remotely close to them.

Behavior and skills

Soldiers antlion guard fight

Nova Prospekt Guards fighting an Antlion Guard in the Nova Prospekt cafeteria.

Antlion Guards can take a lot of damage, and will chew through ammunition quickly. Much like a rhino from Earth, the Antlion Guard is able to bash into objects with great force and deal considerable damage, thanks to its size. The power of the Antlion Guard's strikes can knock aside anything or anyone unfortunate enough to be in their way, they are known to smash through walls and even fellow Antlions to kill enemies they are pursuing. When confronting their attackers, the Guard will strike using its armored head. They also tend to utilize environmental objects, launching them as deadly projectiles.

Antlion Guards tend to target enemies they recognize and/or remember first, demonstrated during the battle with the Guard in the Nova Prospekt cafeteria. There, the Guard attacks the soldiers before moving on to Freeman, as it is aware that the Combine Soldiers have killed a Guard and countless Antlions, enraging it. In addition, the Antlion Guardian (which is very similar to the Guard) in the Victory Mine recognizes Freeman and the vortigaunt as those who stole the extract, further demonstrating this idea of revenge and recognizance.

Appearances

Half-Life 2

The Antlion Guard is encountered for the first time in an open area outside the Vortigaunt camp near The Coast.

In Nova Prospekt, a Guard can be seen on a Monitor fighting Combine Soldiers, killing many of them before being overwhelmed and dying. Another Guard is fought in the bathroom sector.

Half-Life 2: Episode One

The Antlion Guard is encountered in an open area in the city, where an active combine APC and several Shotgun Combine Soldiers are fighting Antlion Soldiers.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

The Antlion Guard is encountered alongside the Antlion Guardian, they are blocking the passage to the Resistance outpost near the Victory Mine.

Tactics

D2 coast 110012 guard

An Antlion Guard attacking Gordon near the Vortigaunt Camp.

The Antlion Guard is limited to only melee attacks, so attacking from range is one of the best ways to defeat it. Its attacks can be easily avoided by strafing constantly.

Luring it into smashing into walls will stun it for a few seconds, buying the attacker some time to shoot it. The same can be achieved by throwing conventional (non-explosive) barrels or a car engine using the Gravity Gun while dodging the Guard constantly. Interestingly, the Harpoon can kill a Guard in a single hit, when launched with the Gravity Gun.

The best weapons against it are the Crossbow and the RPG. The Pulse Rifle's secondary fire will not disintegrate the Guard, but will heavily damage it. Another good way of killing these beasts is launching a few grenades at them with the MP7's secondary fire. Additionally, the SPAS-12 is extremely effective against the Guard, as its big size makes it an easy target and thus absorbs the entirety of the shotgun's blast.

It is possible to run from both Guards in Nova Prospekt, though it is still very hard to escape the one in the bathroom. This is possible because the "barriers" are simply piles of physics objects that can be cleared with the Gravity Gun and explosives. It is especially easy to escape the second by jumping down while it is distracted.

Behind the scenes

Antlion guard scratch

The Guard's scratch animation.

  • The Antlion Guard's skin was originally a dark brown.[2] The image preview for the current model still has this brown skin.
  • Like the Bullsquid, the Antlion Guard was originally going to throw small, noxious pods at the player. This concept was reused for the Pheropod and the Antlion Worker.[3]
  • The Antlion Guard sounds appear to be slightly modified wolf sounds. The Half-Life series uses many stock sounds heard in many other video games and films.
  • Early in the Antlion Guard's development, it was intended to be entirely bulletproof, except for explosions.
  • The Guard has several unused animations, including sprinting (not charging), sneaking, covering, crawling, and even one for a flamethrower attack.

Trivia

  • In Greek mythology, "Myrmidons" were ants turned into humans by the gods to repopulate the city of Aegnia after it was devastated by a plague. Later, they followed Achilles into the Trojan War and were notorious for carrying out any order, no matter how cruel, without question.
  • When idle, the Guard moves his head left and right and surveys the area. This can be seen at the end of the Nova Prospekt chapter if the player escapes the second encounter without killing the Guard; they can look into the room and see it in the corner and even creep up behind it, only being noticed if they get very close.
  • The Antlion Guard's charge attack will instantly kill a Hunter. Conversely, the Hunter's charge will instantly kill a Guard. This is usually not the case, though, since a Hunter's first tactic is to use its flechettes while the Guard usually starts by charging. Adding that to the Antlion Soldier's instant kill on Overwatch Soldiers makes any Antlion swarm more powerful than a Combine force.
  • It is possible to kill the Antlion Guard with the Crowbar, since it has poor turning speed making it easier to dodge the attacks. This is recommended only for experienced players, but successfully pulling it off can save large amounts of ammunition.
  • In Episode Two, if the Guard dies, it will turn immediately into a ragdoll, while in Half-Life 2 and Episode One, the dying animation is played before it turns into a ragdoll.

Gallery

Pre-release

Release

Antlion Guard Animations

Antlion Guard Animations

Antlion Guard animations.

Those animations are used in Nova Prospekt and the Coast maps.

Some are unique to Half-Life 2, some are used in Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

Plenty of animations are beta leftovers, they are unused.

List of appearances

References

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