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This article is about the town. For the chapter, see "We Don't Go To Ravenholm..." (chapter).
Ravenholm is a former mining town and later, a Resistance stronghold located in the Wasteland. It was previously inhabited by refugees who escaped from the Combine-controlled City 17 to join the resistance but is largely deserted and infested with Zombies and Headcrabs by the time Gordon Freeman passes through.
The town of Ravenholm mainly consists of small to medium-sized houses that are mostly traditionally built, being made from concrete, brick, and wood. Several high-rise apartment buildings can also be seen in some sections of the town such as the area near the coastline and the area near the room with dismembered zombies inside. These buildings, along with the streets, appear in an eastern European style, complying with the style of buildings seen throughout Half-Life 2.
The town remained hidden from the Combine for some time, however it was eventually discovered and attacked with a massive bombardment of Headcrab Shells, slaughtering the town's inhabitants by turning them into Zombies. The massacre resulted in the annihilation of the settlement and it was consequently abandoned. As it was linked to Black Mesa East via a tunnel, the entrance to the town was sealed shortly after the bombardment using makeshift barricades and stolen Sentry Guns to prevent zombies and headcrabs from reaching the facility.
Later, Gordon is forced to escape through the town when Overwatch forces raid Black Mesa East, during the chapter "We Don't Go To Ravenholm...". Many areas of the town are littered with propane cylinders, barrels of flammable materials and Booby traps which had been laid by a lone survivor, Father Grigori. The entire town is also littered with dead refugees and Standard Zombies that had been hanged, burned and sliced by Grigori's traps or killed by the surviving refugees of the town. Due to the relative lack of ammunition in the area, Gordon must rely on Grigori's traps and the Gravity Gun from which he could launch blades, barrels and other props to use as projectiles to kill the zombies. In addition to the traps, other structures such as makeshift wooden barricades can be seen around Ravenholm, possibly to limit the herd's movement or kill them more efficiently. The traps were engineered so that zombies could easily stumble into them and could be easily avoided by normal humans.
- Car traps are makeshift traps created from a rope, a pulley, a car and an engine. The car is tied with a rope from a pulley to the engine. When activated, a lever on the engine removes the tension on the rope, causing the car to drop and crush anything beneath it after which the engine immediately pulls the car back up again.
- Electric traps simply shock and repel the zombie trespassers. Only one of these can be found in the chapter and the player has to deactivate it to proceed onwards.
- Propane traps are attached to irrigation sprinklers that when opened and released, fills a small area with flammable propane gas. The gas could be ignited with a gunshot or an electric spark from the red switches stationed near the propane tanks to create a large fire that quickly incinerated any enemies in the area.
- Propeller traps are found all over the town. They are constructed with car engines and long, makeshift serrated blades that appear to be made of steel sheets and scrap metal. The engine rotates the sheet and uses it as a horizontal rotor. The rudimentary blade spins in a waist-high arc and will immediately dismember any passing enemy. Humans can easily avoid this trap by ducking and crawling underneath the blade. Standard Zombies, however, are unaware of the dangers and proceed unaware into the range of this deadly contraption. Poison Zombies are capable of decommissioning the working propeller traps. The blade of at least one of the propeller traps will detach when activated and when picked up, it will automatically position itself horizontally, much like the circular saw blades, it can then be thrown with the Gravity Gun.
After being separated from Alyx during the Combine's raid on Black Mesa East, Gordon Freeman is forced to travel through Ravenholm. Armed with his newly-acquired Gravity Gun and an assortment of weapons, Gordon traverses the desolate, zombie and headcrab-infested town, all-the-while utilizing bizarre traps. While fighting off hordes of zombies and headcrabs, Gordon meets the last known human occupant of Ravenholm, Father Grigori. Grigori provides some assistance and advice to Gordon, such as arming him with a shotgun and eventually leading him to an abandoned mine to escape the town.
Behind the scenes
- Before being named "Ravenholm," the town has had several nicknames during the game development. They include "Quarry," "Quarrytown," "Traptown," "Phystown," "Zombie Town" and simply "Town."
- At one point, Ravenholm was to feature both Combine Soldiers and Zombies, as seen in the E3 2003 demo, "Traptown." The way the player was introduced into Ravenholm was also different; the player was to discover the town at the end of the canals, above a lake filled with at least one Ichthyosaur, and enter the town through its docks. Eli's lab was to come after.
- The E3 demo also shows that it was possible to shoot any gun while using the HEV Suit's zoom function and that the player could discard weapons, indicating they could only carry a specified amount of firearms at a time. Also shown was the Overwatch Soldier's ability to break open doors when blocked by objects, which was removed in the retail version of Half-Life 2.
- The earliest maps of the town have it filled only with traps and set before Eli's lab. However, in the retail version, Ravenholm is placed after Eli's lab, thus being a playground for the newly acquired Gravity Gun.
- The playable Beta also shows that the player was to use a vehicle called the Digger to destroy a Combine Big Momma Pod to proceed through mines.
- According to early concept art, the Combine Big Momma Pod was originally to be seen in a double hangar located around the building where Father Grigori is first seen in the retail game.
- According to early concept art, the apartment building was to feature the corpse of a child on the ground floor.
- Ravenholm was to be the setting of the canceled Half-life 2 spin-off, Return to Ravenholm, set shortly before the end of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, co-developed by Valve and Arkane Studios, set for release in 2007. However, the spin-off was canceled when the developers realized that the staples of Ravenholm, such as headcrabs and zombies, had been played completely out, and the fact that they had it taking place before Episode Two, gave them a creative constraint, leading them to cancel the project.
- Players can throw paint cans at walls at the start of the town and leave white splatters on the walls.
The Sealed Section of the Old Quarter of Thief: The Dark Project, is a possible influence for the town of Ravenholm. A portion of the Old Quarter was walled off about 50 years prior to the first game, due to an outbreak of the undead. The undead spilled from a Haunted Cathedral and began to infest the city until they were safely contained behind thick, high stone walls. At the time of The Dark Project, maps of the area were not very hard to find, and the people still tell stories about The Cataclysm, and no one dares enter the Sealed Section. When Garrett, the protagonist, visits this place, it is a desolate and lonely, covered with decades of dead leaves, decaying buildings, and populated by zombies, ghosts, and an infestation of beasts. Backing this theory up is the fact that Marc Laidlaw, the primary writer for the Half-Life series, has named Thief as his favorite PC game of all time.
|Hallowed Ground (5G)|
|Escort Grigori safely through the church cemetery.|
|Zombie Chopper (25G)|
|Play through Ravenholm using only the Gravity Gun.|
- It can be noted that when standing still long enough, above the actual sounds one can hear voices, screams, breathing, and crying. These are said to be the survivors of Ravenholm. A child can be heard among the voices.
- The Half-Life 2: Deathmatch map "dm_resistance" appears to be located in Ravenholm.
- Ravenholm's Russian name is Рейвенхолм and if translated to English, Ravenholm's name is spelled Reyvenholm.
- The church in Ravenholm doesn't have a crest on the top of its dome. It may be a reference to the Soviet politics in the early years when all churches were made over into warehouses and had their crests removed from the dome.
- Near the car trap section of Ravenholm, there is a Combine propaganda poster on the wall. This is most likely a developer oversight, as there is no Combine presence in the town.
- Ravenholm can be seen in the distance on the final section of Water Hazard, at the observation deck.
List of appearances
Half-Life Wiki has more images related to Ravenholm.
- Fixed prototype map of Ravenholm used in concept art seen in Raising the Bar (requires Episode Two and Missing Information 1.5)
- Ravenholm design document
Black Mesa East
|Half-Life 2 story arc journey||Succeeded by|
|Half-Life 2 original storyline||Succeeded by|