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The Flare Gun is a weapon used by CPs, Overwatch Soldiers, and Nova Prospekt Prison Guards in Half-Life 2. Apart from the flare itself, it has no model.


Sometime after Freeman has left Kleiner's Lab, a Metrocop fires a flare in the Canals to summon his colleagues. Another Metrocop fires one when Freeman assaults a power generator during the City 17 uprising.

Overwatch Soldiers shoot flares along the Coast to summon a Gunship and to light cell block D8 in Nova Prospekt after turning off the lights. When the lights turn off, they will quickly count down from six and call out, "Flash! Flash! Flash!" The flares are then shot and they will proceed towards the player.

Behind the scenes

  • Each time a flare is shot, the shooter is invariably out of the player's reach to prevent them from seeing any flare gun. When looking closely, it appears that no flare gun model is used, nor is in the game files. When observed carefully on a Metrocop, he only fires a 9mm pistol into the air one handed.
  • The weapon was originally to be used by the player to ignite targets, and can be found and used in the playable Half-Life 2 Beta. When shot, the flare sticks to the player when approached and can damage their health.[1] It was likely to be found only in the Arctic levels, and at least on the Borealis and in Kraken Base, always stored in "pyrotechnic lockers".[2] Disposable emergency flares were also originally to appear in Half-Life, and were finally introduced in Episode One.
  • Probably due to general ineffectiveness and redundancy as a weapon, its use by the player was apparently cut early in the game's development process.
  • The Beta flare gun handle was originally to be red, and be used by a female NPC, as evidenced by textures files found in the playable Half-Life 2 Beta texture files for the flare gun.[3] This probably refers to a very early version of Alyx, the "I.A. Latham" concept, although the arm texture appears in the orientation of a player texture.[4]
  • Also cut from Half-Life 2, the Incendiary Rifle was essentially to work as a multishot flare gun.
  • The box of flare rounds can still be spawned via the console command "ent_create item_box_flare_rounds", but they can't be picked up since the engine doesn't recognize the ammo.


  • In the Half-Life 2 files, several texture files for HUD weapon icons can be found, most of which still containing the icons for almost all of the cut weapons. The flare gun is among them.
  • The flare gun concept was reused in Team Fortress 2 as an unlockable weapon for the Pyro, used to ignite enemies from long range.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 also used the flare gun for a time during development. The game features a campaign called "Hard Rain"; for a time, the finale of "Hard Rain" involved firing a flare gun to call for the rescue boat. Later, the concept was cut from the game.




List of appearances


External links