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"Ah, the ancient guardian! Retrieving the extract may not be unchallenging."

The Antlion Guardian (referred to as "Ancient Guardian" by the Vortigaunts) and a stronger variation of the Antlion Guard encountered in Half-Life 2: Episode Two.


Antlion Guardians appear physically identical to Antlion Guards, but have a different coloration and are capable of bioluminescence.

Apparently, each Antlion hive has one Guardian that lurks near the larval clusters. The Guardian patrols the "Nectarium" (center of the nest), keeping watch for nest raiders. Guardians are extremely protective of Antlion Grubs, the extract of which is used by Vortigaunts to manipulate the Vortessence, and will ferociously attack intruders in order to protect them.

Should someone enter the "Nectarium" for larval extract, the Guardian will attack and may pursue the thieves for some distance (in Episode Two, a Guardian follows Gordon Freeman (whose Vortigaunt companion had taken the extract outside) and battles him).

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

Behavior and skills

Guardians have basically the same capabilities as an Antlion Guard, but with the added effect of a deadly neurotoxin somewhat like that of the Poison Headcrab. However, when fought on the surface in the chapter Freeman Pontifex, the Guardian doesn't have its neurotoxin effect. The Guardian will never perform a running charge inside the cave (see "Behind the scenes" below for details).


When fighting the Guardian, be sure to keep a good distance away from it. Its headbutt attack is quite powerful, and can send the player flying quite a distance — or result in instant death if they should happen to be pinned against a wall. These attacks also have a poisonous side effect, which reduces the player's health, regardless of the current amount, to 12 .

When the Guardian chases the player through the hive tunnels, one should not attempt to fight it as it is invincible. The narrow tunnels do not offer much room to dodge around the Guard and avoid its charge, so it is advisable to take cover in the 'grub tunnels' instead. This has another added benefit as the grub tunnels lead to the next part of the chase, and it is impossible to succeed without using them.

Be aware that the Guardian is able to move much faster than the player, even while sprinting. If necessary, the player can try to use the MP7's grenade launcher to stun the creature for a few seconds if it is hit it in the midsection.

Behind the scenes

Antlion Guardian trailer

The original Antlion Guardian with blue skin.

  • The Antlion Guardian is a recycled and completed version of the Antlion King, originally intended to appear in Half-Life 2.
  • As seen in the first Episode Two teaser released with Episode One, the Antlion Guardian originally had a blue skin.[1] This skin can be found as a leftover in the Episode One files, as it was already finished when Episode One released.
  • In the Hammer Editor, when spawning an "npc_antlionguard" there is an option called "Use Inside-Cavern Behavior" which is set to "Yes" while the Guardian is chasing the player inside the caverns. This option changes the charge attack to a neurotoxin attack, similar to that of a Poison Headcrab. This is why when the Guardian isn't in the caves it cannot poison the player due to cavern behavior being set to "No" and can only charge instead.


  • The Antlion Guardian is essentially the same as the Antlion Guard, albeit with a different skin and a poison attack.
  • The Orange Box Prima Guide states that Antlion Guardians are Antlion Guards that have been mutated.
  • The Guardian's running speed has been decreased since the game released, giving players an easier chance to run away from it. However, because it has more hit points than a normal Antlion Guard and its attack is higher, it is technically the strongest Antlion out of the species.
  • The Victory Mine Vortigaunt claims that if the Guardian is killed, they emit an odor that affects the larvae in some unspecified way that renders them useless for extracting.
  • The Antlion Guardian is mostly immune to damage in the tunnel sequence. A shot will stun it temporarily, but even with infinite ammunition, it is impossible to kill the Guardian in the tunnel with most guns. The only way to kill it in the tunnel is to acquire the supercharged Gravity Gun with the console, which will result in an instant kill if used on the Guardian. However, contrary to the Victory Mine Vortigaunt's claims, there is no programming in place to "render the extract useless," allowing players to continue the game as normal if the Guardian is killed.
  • The Antlion Guardian cannot be spawned through the console command "Npc_Create" due to it sharing the same entity with the Antlion Guard. However, it CAN be spawned through the command "ent_Create npc_antlionguard InCavern 1 CavernBreed 1".
  • From the above command, you can remove "InCavern 1" to allow the guardian to charge, but loses its incredible speed and poison attack.
  • Like Antlion Guards, the Antlion Guardian can "Bark" to summon antlions if "InCavern" is not enabled. However this does not appear to happen during the fight against it in Freeman Pontifex.

List of appearances


  1. Half-Life 2: Episode Two Teaser 1 on Combine OverWiki's YouTube channel
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