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"There was like a dog-looking… lightning thing."
Alyx Vance[src]

Revivers, also known as Runners and mostly called Lightning Dog by Alyx Vance, are hostile creatures that inhabit the Quarantine Zone in City 17. They spit electrically charged liquid which can cause power failures in electrical equipment, which also deals minor damage to living creatures. Revivers can reanimate and control corpses, turning them into electric zombies.


Revivers, are small creatures, akin to but slightly larger than a Headcrab. They have a triple-jawed maw at the front, four claw-like limbs (two either side of the body) and a single, long tail-like tentacle at the rear. Each pair of limbs are connected by a patagium, a thin sheet of tissue similar to that of flying squirrels and sugar gliders. The skin is reminiscent of sharks & other sea creatures, sporting bioluminescent spots on a translucent skin. Finally, a cluster of arthropodal ocelli are present at the end of the tail, allowing for rudimentary sight.

Whilst the Reviver appears superficially related to headcrabs by virtue of its general appearance, form and abilities, the asymmetric mouth, extended tail and unusual pigmentation point to a relatively distant genetic relationship when compared to other similar creatures.

Behavior and skills[]

Despite their diminutive size and skittish behavior, Revivers can withstand heavy physical punishment, often taking entire shotgun clips before succumbing to their wounds. When heavily wounded the Reviver will audibly whine and try to limp away from their assailant. When cornered they will fire a short burst of electricity into the local area, causing a blinding flash of light and a cloud of smoke; this smokescreen serves to distract and disorient their opponent, providing an opportunity to escape.

Revivers attack by spitting at their target, similar to the Bullsquid, Gonome and Gonarch. However, whilst these others utilize a corrosive fluid, Reviver's spit is highly conductive, allowing it to project an electrical charge to an opponent with a reasonably high degree of accuracy. This attack has the ability to temporarily stun an opponent and disable the indicators on the Gravity Gloves, however, it is limited by dealing minor damage to organic targets.

Revivers can crawl into the chest cavity of a deceased Headcrab Zombie; once inside the corpse they reanimate it under their control. These electrically-charged zombies can eject a highly conductive "string" to connect them to their target, allowing an electrical charge to quickly and efficiently incapacitate their foe. When the zombie form is damaged enough, the Reviver will abandon its host before desperately lunging at its attacker. This is when the Reviver is at its most vulnerable, so it will seek a new host as quickly as possible. It is unclear whether or not the creature regenerates health or is damaged by this process.

When killed, the Reviver drops an electric orb which can be used in place of Combine batteries.


  • It takes approximately five point-blank shots from the shotgun to kill the Reviver.
  • The "electric zombie" form of the Reviver has a weak spot which glows bright blue whenever it's vulnerable to attack. To conserve ammunition while the Reviver is sheltered within a corpse, the player should concentrate their attacks on this area, eventually forcing it out into the open.
  • Although it is difficult to see through its smokescreen, the Reviver moves relatively slowly after using this ability, so it should be located quickly.
  • The Reviver is particularly vulnerable whilst preoccupied with exiting and entering a corpse, allowing for multiple shotgun blasts to be dealt.
  • Avoid close range encounters with reanimated zombies, as the electric pulse generated during an attack paralyses the player and renders them vulnerable to a follow-up attack.

Related achievements[]

Achievement Heart-Breaker Hotel
Heart-Breaker Hotel
Story-related. Earned after using Reviver hearts to power Combine Heavy Doors.




List of appearances[]


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