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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) is a stronger variation of the Antlion Guard encountered in Half-Life 2: Episode Two.


Antlion Guardians are physically identical to Antlion Guards, but have a dark green coloration as opposed to the brown and blue color of the Antlion Guard and are capable of bioluminescence. The Guardian is also equipped with a potent neurotoxin similar to the Poison Headcrab. According to the Victory Mine Vortigaunt, an Antlion hive has one Guardian who patrols the "Nectarium" (center of the nest) where the eggs are located. Guardians are extremely protective of Antlion Grubs and these eggs, the extract of which is used by Vortigaunts to manipulate the Vortessence, and will ferociously attack and pursue intruders in order to protect the larvae. Due to their highly specific role, Antlion Guardians rarely venture out into the surface compared to the Antlion Guards who often work on the surface supporting Antlion soldiers. However, if an intruder succeeds in harming or tampering with the eggs in some way, the Guardian will aggresively pursue the intruder even to the surface.


When the Guardian chases the player through the hive tunnels, one should not attempt to fight it as it is invincible. The Guardian's 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 or launched into a chasm. The Guardian also has an added venomous damage to it's attack which will invariably reduce the player's health to 12. The narrow tunnels do not offer much room to dodge around the Guardian and avoid its charge and the only way to lose the Guardian is by entering the small tunnels filled with Antlion grubs, so the player will have to sprint from one tunnel to another quickly in order to avoid the Guardian. Each grub tunnel will lead to the next area with increasingly challenging terrain between each tunnel, so the player must be quick. 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.

On the surface, the Guardian will not be invincible but will be accompanied by an Antlion Guard, Antlion soldiers, and Antlion workers. The two guards will not approach the player while they are inside the Thumper's makeshift barrier which gives the player shelter from their melee attacks. However, they will launch nearby debris at the player that can deal damage to the player. Make use of the thumper's cover to avoid these projectiles.The Gravity Gun can prove particularly useful here, as the player can catch these projectiles and then launch them back to the Guards to deal damage to them. This will essentially make the guards to the work of bringing debris too far away for the player to pull to them. The Guards will encircle the player so try to keep an eye on both their positions. Also, keep in mind the presence of Antlion Workers and watch for their telltale acid attack. Focus on taking one guard out first, which will make it easier to deal with the other.

Antlion Guardian trailer

The original Antlion Guardian with blue skin.

Behind the scenes[]

  • 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 Orange Box Prima Guide states that Antlion Guardians are Antlion Guards that have been mutated. However, this seems unlikely due to their specific role within the Antlion nest.
  • 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 Antlion Guardian is unkillable in the tunnel sequence due to the NPC regenerating health. 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