Half-Life Wiki
Half-Life Wiki
This subject is from the Black Mesa Incident era.This is a safe article.

"H-help! Help me! Somebody, please help me, I'm-I'm dying out here! Please, help me!"
Security guard shot by HECU Snipers[src]

The Hazardous Environment Combat Unit Sniper, commonly referred to as the HECU Sniper, is a HECU class featured in the Half-Life chapters On A Rail and Surface Tension. Gameplay wise, it precedes the Overwatch Sniper featured in Half-Life 2 and its episodes.


The first Sniper, in the chapter On A Rail.

Mostly hiding behind camouflage covers in windows of buildings located on the surface of the Black Mesa Research Facility, HECU Snipers are very hostile, and able to drain a player's health in 16 point per hits. Usually concealed in a window, they will hide around a corner in a sniper nest, ready to shoot someone when their guard is down.

The HECU Sniper is first introduced near the end of the Half-Life chapter On A Rail in Sector E Materials Transport, right before the High Altitude Launch Center. He will not shoot until the player reaches for nearby supplies, which are closer to him. In the chapter Surface Tension, two Snipers are spread around the Ordinance Storage Facility in the Topside Motorpool, and have shot a security guard who dies when Freeman reaches him. They add to the threat that the Land Mines and the Tripmine spread around the building already pose. The fourth and last HECU Sniper to be seen is found in the next map, in the same chapter, located beside the barracks.

An effective weapon against the Sniper is the grenade, which can be thrown into their nest to take them out in one go. Whilst it is effective, it is often difficult to get a grenade in. The RPG is often effective as well, as the rocket can be easily directed. The MP5's grenade will also provide satisfying results. Finally, the Tau Cannon's secondary fire can easily destroy the Sniper with the same results of that of explosive weaponry. Trails of blood around the nest will confirm the Sniper's death to the player.

Behind the scenes

  • Rather than having an actual, full human model, the HECU Sniper simply consists of a brush shaped as a human shooting target, presumably to suggest the silhouette of a person, although it is very difficult to see it, especially when being shot at. Using the entity "func_breakable", it will stop the rifle shooting at the player when destroyed, making disappear both silhouette and rifle brushes, leaving only a blood stain on the outside wall. The rifle itself is a brush using the "func_tank" entity, not affected by the console code "notarget".
  • In Half-Life and in Half-Life: Source, it is possible to kill the sniper with small arms by firing at the silhouette . However, it is generally not advised unless the player is close enough to where the sniper cannot hit the player, as the sniper has good accuracy even at close range.


List of appearances