For the most part, the Armored Headcrab resembles a Standard Headcrab. However, the dorsal part of the Armored Headcrab's body is covered by hard, dark-green plum-sized growths that protect it from being shot from most angles. However, their ventral side is quite vulnerable – when shot to the belly, Armored Headcrabs shatter to pieces.
Armored Headcrabs differ from normal Headcrabs in that they are coated in a carapace that offers them protection against small arms fire. Said carapace appears to be made up from Xen flora growing on walls and floors in the same environments as they are encountered in. Additionally, there are smaller, vestigial growths around the legs and fore, making up a scaly surface.
Armored Headcrabs will growl at their prey and stand up on their hind legs prior to leaping, revealing a glowing heart, which is not unique to armored variants, as a Standard Headcrab can be witnessed having its heart removed by the Quarantine Zone Vortigaunt, albeit through some tissue. From the protrusion and engorgement of this organ, it can be assumed that the presence of the armor has some anatomical effects on Headcrabs, similar to the effects Headcrabs themselves have on the human body.
Shooting this aforementioned organ is the most effective way to kill the Armored Headcrab, and doing so will cause the creature to burst into multiple giblets. It is possible to kill the creature via shooting its exposed parts along the sides, but will require much more ammunition and effort. This method will result in the Headcrab remaining intact, with the heart losing its glow, as well as its explosive properties.
It is assumed that the nature of these growths is parasitic, due to the exposed internal organ that Armored Headcrabs posess, as well as their general lessened agility. From this, it can be further inferred that the Xen flora poses a similar strategy to that of cordyceps: using the motility of the Headcrab to spread its offspring, further spreading after the Headcrab is blown to pieces.
Behavior and skills
- The most effective method to kill this Headcrab, is by waiting for it to either present its heart while preparing an attack, or by dodging the attack and shooting it while its down.
- It is possible to kill the Headcrab without shooting the heart, but it is highly not recommended, due to it requiring much more effort and ammunition.
- Killing its Zombie form requires shooting the Zombie body, followed by the tactic above.
- It is not possible to kill the Armored Headcrab while it is on the Zombies' head.
List of appearances
- Half-Life: Alyx (First appearance)