The Shock Trooper is the most intelligent species of the Race X Aliens. Physically, they are bipedal with four arms and have a posture that vaguely makes them resembles that of a Vortigaunt but with many key differences which show that they behave more like Alien Grunts. Their bodies are covered in plate-like sections similar in appearance to insect exoskeletons. Their skin is pale blue and is not mottled or patchy like the skin of Xen creatures. They are relatively large, standing roughly nine feet tall, though their overall proportions are somewhat leaner than the Alien Grunt's.
Their eye is apparently part of a common morphology between Race X creatures - every Race X Alien with a large eye (including the Pit Worm) has two eyelids which regularly blink horizontally across the eyeball and what appears to be "tentacles" surrounding their mouth (which is under the head).
Shock Troopers, as their name suggests, primarily use electrical attacks through the use of a weapon known as the Shock Roach - a living creature, similar to the Alien Grunt's Hivehand. The Shock Roach fires bolts of electricity, which it constantly recharges on its own just like the Hivehand. The Shock Roach cannot survive without a living host for very long; if its Shock Trooper dies, it will detach itself and pursue a new host. If it nears a player that already has a Shock Roach, it will attack in a similar way to a Headcrab before dying.
Shock Troopers also have the ability to regurgitate and throw spore grenades, which they tend to use against distant or concealed enemies. Infant Shock Troopers will forcibly launch the same type of spore when squeezed, and can thus be used as a Spore Launcher weapon. Their 3rd, least used attack, only when approached, is scratching Shephard with their 3 remaining arms, much like what Alien Grunts do to Freeman when touched.
Baby Shock Troopers (named Spore Launchers in-game) are effectively tadpoles, an earlier stage that is only a head and torso, with tentacles trailing behind. Beyond the small size, Baby Shock Troopers are also notable for having gills, one or two stubby arms, thin spikes, and two small eyes instead of the adults' single large one.
They are amphibious, although immobile outside of water. Baby Shock Troopers are first found kept in a tank in the Sector E Biodome Complex of Black Mesa. How they appeared there is unknown, but given the design, it appears that the Black Mesa Science Team had been in slight interest with Race X in addition to Xen creatures. However, this leaves questions for why the scientist who saw an adult Shock Trooper claimed that he had never seen anything like it. It might be that they were only recently acquired, or that the scientist simply never worked in the labs which studied alien wildlife.
These aliens can actually be used as a weapon, with a small pair of legs used as a handle, capable of only firing spore blobs collected from around the rest of the Black Mesa Facility in small buds, both used as "bullets" and grenades, both very toxic to enemies. Adrian Shephard seems to have some fondness for this creature, as, during one of his idle animations, it emits an amphibious purr, which is followed by Shephard's hand stroking its back gently.
Ironically, the Spore Launcher is very effective against Shock Troopers despite it being one of their own.
Behavior and skills
Shock Troopers are usually encountered in small groups, and often fight together with other Race X aliens, whom they seem to be allied with. Shock Troopers also possess a verbal form of communication, uttering strange electronic-sounding noises to each other.
Similar to Alien Grunts, Shock Troopers use infantry tactics in battle, maneuvering intelligently, flanking, and using spore grenades to flush out concealed enemies. They are quite hardy opponents, having very high health compared to most other combatants, having about 2.5 times as much health as a Marine or Black Ops, and roughly 40% to 60% more health than an Alien Grunt (varying somewhat based on difficulty setting) and are tough enough to survive a direct hit from a grenade even on the lower difficulties.
Shock Troopers have mastered teleportation technology and use it to travel in and out of combat. It is interesting to note that at one point, the player observes a Shock Trooper grab a Black Mesa scientist prior to teleporting away; effectively kidnapping him. One of the security guards, if Adrian chooses for him to follow, observes this and mutters, "Those poor bastards."
At another point in the game, after witnessing The G-Man holding a cell phone in front of a sprite-powered portal, Shock Troopers teleport to a caved-in wall at the end of a hydroelectric dam and shoot at the Gargantua instead of the player and his soldiers.
- The Shock Trooper's projectiles are fast and can be hard to dodge, even when strafing. The best way to avoid them is by hiding behind cover.
- The Spore Grenade it fires can be avoided by moving away from its explosion range.
- The Desert Eagle, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, HECU SPAS-12, and MP5 are effective weapons against the Shock Trooper. The Desert Eagle and M249 can kill it quickly, and the SPAS-12's secondary fire can instantly kill it should all of them hit it at close range. For the MP5, the player can fire a grenade at the Shock Trooper, then finish it off with the primary fire.
- Shock Troopers can be killed with two quick shots from the Spore Launcher (three shots on Hard difficulty).
- Because the Shock Trooper's weaponry is not hit-scan, they are best engaged at longer range, where their projectiles can be more easily evaded. Likewise, dodging in and out of cover while firing at them is a good way to evade their shots.
- If the player has low health and cannot quickly attack the Shock Trooper, the Displacer Cannon can be used to teleport it away.
- When appearing with other enemies, Shock Troopers are considered medium-high priority targets, therefore the player should try to kill them quickly.
- During development, Shock Troopers had a dark green color. They also had orange color in one of the screenshots.
- The name "Shock Trooper" refers to the military tactic of being trained for sudden attack.
- Along with the Pit Drone, the Shock Trooper has its own unique gibs.
Shock Troopers inherit the same artificial intelligence behavior and tactics used by the HECU Marines from the original Half-Life. They were modified not to recognize the aliens from Xen. However, they will still attack Alien Grunts and Gargantuas on sight. This is believed to be an error in the code as the developers did not disable the Marines' "nemesis" function which overrides their AI. This function makes Shock Troopers ignore the player and solely target their specified nemeses, in this case, the ones attributed to the Marines.
List of appearances
- Half-Life: Opposing Force (First appearance)
|The Race X|
|Creatures||Gene Worm • Pit Drone • Pit Worm • Shock Trooper • Sprite • Voltigore|
|Weapons||Shock Roach • Spore Launcher|