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The Antlion Guards (also called Myrmidonts by Vortigaunts) are a large robust variant of the Antlion species. The Guards defend the Antlion nests' outer perimeter and entrances, and assist Antlion soldiers in attacking enemies on the surface.


Antlion Guards are a considerably large (8.6 feet in height.) and powerful Antlions. They have a hard carapace with a dark-red tint and radiant blue feather-like protrusions adorning their backs. Their bodies are divided into three main sections:

On the top is its head, which is a large bulky mass divided into two sections: a robust center and a beak-like structure at the tip. This head is highly durable and is the Antlion Guards' main weapon. They are able to swing their head upwards with great force or charge forward using their head as a battering ram.

Below their heads lie their thorax, which is a bulky mass sporting the feather protrusions from the back and it's long front legs. These legs resemble a larger version of the Antlion soldier's legs, but are not used for attacking. Rather, they help the Guard navigate and support the large mass of it's chest and head.

Further down, it's body tapers down into it's abdomen, where two more pairs of limbs are attached. Two smaller limbs are located at the front that resemble pedipalps. These limbs are only seen being used when the Guard scratches it's head so it's unknown if they serve any other function. More obvious in it's function is the hind legs which protude our from it's behind. These jointed legs are fixed facing backwards and are the Antlion Guard's main method of motion. These hind legs can move forward by pushing against the ground or sideways like a crab while the front legs assist and stabilize it's movement. When running, the hind legs propel the Antlion Guard forward from behind while the front legs swivel forward to help buld up speed the Guard forward in great speed.

A notable variant of the Antlion Guard is the Antlion Guardian, which sport the same physiology and strength but have a few notable differences. The most obvious is their color scheme, with the Guardian sporting a dark-green colored carapace with patches of bio-luminescent bright green. Their roles are also quite different, as the Guardian protects the eggs contained within the center of the Hive and rarely venture out to the surface compared to the Guard. Most notably, the Guardian possesses a neurotoxin similar to that of a Poison Headcrab, which add an extra layer of offense on top of their physical strength.

Behaviors and Skills[]

Soldiers antlion guard fight

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

Antlion Guards are extremely aggresive and will relentlessly pursue and attack anything it perceives as a threat regardless of what's in it's way, even it's fellow Antlions. They will typically try to get near a threat and hit it with their large heads. If the target is some distance away, they will charge forward and try to ram their massive weight against a target. If there are any objects around, the Guard may also fling these objects with great velocity towards a target, causing massive trauma or even death. Antlion Guards are resilient creatures with tremendous strength. Their headbutts are strong enough to kill most creatures or even destroy armored vehicles, and their tough exoskeleton also make them very hard to take down. This combination of high offense and defense make Antlion Guards formidable creatures that can take down a huge number of enemies before it is killed.

D2 coast 110007 bugbait vort

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

While they are dangerous enough on their own, Antlion Guards are typically accompanied by Antlion Soldiers. The Guards are able to control the Soldiers through the secretion of pheromones, which are produced in their bodies by organs called pheropods. Vortigaunts and rebels of the Vortigaunt Camp replicate this biological mechanism by collecting these pheropods and using them to control Antlion soldiers, a method which they later teach to Gordon Freeman. However, Guards will not be fooled by this method and treat the wielder like they would an enemy, showing they are able to distinguish them between from a fellow Guard.


Half-Life 2[]

The Antlion Guard is encountered by Gordon Freeman for the first time in an open area outside the Vortigaunt camp near The Coast. After killing this Guard, a Vortigaunt harvests it's pheropods and gives them to Gordon so he can control the Antlion Soldiers.

In Nova Prospekt, a Guard is first encountered in an abandoned shower. Another one can be seen later on a Monitor fighting and killing many Nova Prospekt soldiers before being overwhelmed and dying. It's body can be seen as Freeman progresses further into the prison complex. Another Guard is later seen fighting soldiers in what was formerly a mess hall leading into the Depot.

Half-Life 2: Episode One[]

The Antlion Guard is encountered in an open area in the city, where it leads a swarm of Antlion Soldiers against a combine APC and several Combine Soldiers. The Guard destroys the APC and after removing the rest of the Combine soldiers, turns it's attention to Gordon Freeman.

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. This is the only instance where two guards are seen fighting together.


D2 coast 110012 guard

An Antlion Guard attacking Gordon near the Vortigaunt Camp.

The Antlion Guard is mostly limited to melee attacks, so attacking from range is one of the best ways to defeat it. Its attacks can be easily avoided by strafing constantly as the Guard is slower when it is turning. It's distinctive growls can also cue the player in when it's about to attack. When at a distance, they will try to ram into the player. Luring it into smashing into walls will stun it for a few seconds, buying the attacker some time to shoot it. Be careful when the Guard spawns in with Antlion Soldiers, as the latter can easily swarm you and impede your movement. Kill any that get in your way but keep track of the Guard.

It can take a significant amount of ammunition to take down a Guard. High-damage weapons such as the Crossbow and the RPG can shorten the amount of time required to take one down. The Pulse Rifle's secondary fire will not disintegrate the Guard, but will heavily damage it. Another good alternative is using the grenade launcher on with the MP7. 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. Cycling between weapons is a good way of dealing damage to a Guard continously without pausing to reload and spreading out ammo usage. Alternatively, launching explosive barrels or weighty objects like a car engine using the Gravity Gun can also deal significant damage to a Guard while conserving ammo. Keep in mind that the Guard can do the same thing to you at times, so be prepared to avoid their projectile or catch it and counter-throw with the Gravity Gun.

Behind the scenes[]

Antlion guard scratch

The Guard's scratch animation.

  • The Antlion Guard's skin was originally a dark brown.[1] 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.[2]
  • 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.


  • 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. Since there are no encounters between the two, this confrontation can only be seen through console commands.
  • 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.
  • 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 by the Nova Prospekt soldiers.



List of appearances[]