Lamarr is a Headcrab who has been debeaked, preventing her from latching onto and controlling a host. It is unknown when or why Kleiner captured Lamarr, though he has since tamed her (at least to an extent) and keeps her as a pet.
Lamarr's first appearance is in the Half-Life 2 chapter A Red Letter Day, when Kleiner gives Barney the honor of presenting the famed HEV Suit to Gordon. As Barney opens the door to the suit, Lamarr jumps down from the holder, attempts to latch onto Barney's head, and after being removed, crawls around, observing the area. She then jumps up on a locker and into a vent. Kleiner remarks that "It'll be another week before I can coax her out of there". Later, while Gordon is about to teleport to Eli's lab, Lamarr jumps out of the vent and into the teleporter, causing Gordon to teleport randomly to various areas around City 17 and eventually directly outside Kleiner's lab. This forces Gordon to travel to Black Mesa East on foot. Lamarr can be seen briefly in one of the teleported locations, in what looks like a sandy wasteland with a destroyed car. Lamarr jumps away from Gordon (apparently escaping the reflux) to chase after some crows. Gordon then teleports away, Lamarr being too far away to teleport with him. It's possible she transitioned to several other areas like Gordon did, albeit separate from him.
Through whatever means, Lamarr eventually found her way back to Kleiner. She is seen peeking out of the door with Kleiner when Gordon and Alyx appear in the teleportation chamber before scurrying off to hide from the group, presumably frightened, as Kleiner suggests, by Gordon's crowbar.
In her last appearance, she drops from the top of the screen after the ending credits and jumps toward the player.
Half-Life 2: Episode One
Lamarr is safe and sound in Half-Life 2: Episode One, where she makes a brief cameo appearance, causing further mischief to Dr. Kleiner during his live and unedited evacuation broadcast in City 17 (though the question of how she found her way back to Dr. Kleiner is left unanswered). In this cameo, she is wandering aimlessly around Kleiner's lab, while he warns her to stay away from hot lamps. It is revealed that many Resistance troops are full of disdain for Kleiner (and Lamarr), as the man in the Consoling Couple states: "We're all starving, and Kleiner's Headcrab is probably eating grade-A head!".
Half-Life 2: Episode Two
In Half-Life 2: Episode Two Lamarr goes to sleep inside Arne Magnusson's rocket whilst the door to it is open. If the player chooses to close the rocket's hatch, Kleiner notices a "payload anomaly of an extra eight and a half pounds" directly before the launch. Not realizing the significance, he and Magnusson dismiss this and decide to launch anyway, sending Lamarr into space. It would seem unlikely that Lamarr survived.
To accomplish the Little Rocket Man achievement, the gnome found in the first chapter of Episode Two must be placed in the rocket next to Lamarr, so that (according to the Prima guide) "she can have a companion on her voyage."
Lamarr differs from the Standard Headcrab in that the typical black "teeth" are missing. Otherwise, she is virtually indistinguishable from a normal Headcrab. Although Kleiner refers to Lamarr as a female, Headcrabs have never actually been established to have multiple genders in any clear way. Lamarr also seems to lack the reproductive housing sack that a Gonarch possesses (a Gonarch is considered to be a female headcrab). Lamarr appears to be unable to draw nutrients as a normal Headcrab does, instead subsisting on a diet of watermelons—this is indicated by a post-it note posted on a board in Kleiner's laboratory, serving as a reminder to find more watermelon (presumably a favorite for its general resemblance to a human head).
Lamarr's behavior may be proof of the ability to "tame" a Headcrab. Simply being debeaked does not suppress the aggressive, parasitic nature found in all Headcrabs. Kleiner states that she may attempt to "couple with your head... fruitlessly, of course." Though Lamarr is somewhat wild as shown when she is first met — lunging at Barney, attacking a bird on the rafters, and then escaping into a ventilation shaft — she can also be seen walking beside Dr. Kleiner and peeking curiously around a corner, behavior that predatory Headcrabs do not share.
Behind the scenes
- Lamarr was named after the late 1930s actress and scientist Hedy Lamarr, who co-invented an early form of spread spectrum communications technology.
- In the beta files, Barney asks Kleiner how he can keep "that pest", after "what it did to your buddies". It is unknown if he is referring to Lamarr directly as harming people, or Headcrabs in general. He may be referring to the fact that the majority of Headcrab victims were scientists during the Black Mesa Incident.
- In Kleiner's Lab, one of the notes on the wall reads, "Find more watermelons for Lamarr", suggesting that Headcrabs are omnivores, although during the Black Mesa Incident, several Headcrab Zombies can be seen shoveling meat from a dead scientist into their "mouths".
- In the Episode Two menu screen for White Forest, Lamarr can occasionally be seen.
- In the Half-Life 2 chapter A Red Letter Day, Lamarr can be killed by using the "Impulse 101" cheat. It will reveal red blood instead of yellow. In addition, Kleiner will still follow his AI scripting and talk to her as if she was still alive, also the following "teleporter incident" will still occur. However it is not possible to harm Lamarr after the player has come back from Nova Prospekt.
- In the Episode Two chapter Our Mutual Fiend, Lamarr can be seen lunging into the white forest rocket. The hatch can be closed to trap Lamarr inside, and Kleiner will notice a "payload anomaly of eight and a half pounds" but the rocket launch will go ahead anyway. It is unlikely, given the task of the White Forest rocket, that Lamarr survived.
- When revisiting Kleiner's Lab after leaving Nova Prospekt, if the player waits long enough after being told to go with Dog, Kleiner will say to Gordon "Lamarr is extremely wary of your crowbar", a reference to the fact that the crowbar is a commonly used weapon to kill Headcrabs with.
- At the end of the Half-Life 2 credits, Lamarr enters the screen through a hidden entryway while Kleiner searches for her and jumps at the camera.
- During Episode One, Lamarr's model has teeth.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2 (First appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- Half-Life 2: Episode One (Video only)
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two