HL1 article HL2 article
Wiki cleanup
This article has yet to be cleaned up to a higher standard of quality.
You can help by correcting spelling and grammar, removing factual errors and rewriting sections to ensure they are clear and concise. Visit our Cleanup Project for more details.
Wiki conjecture
The title of this article is conjectural.
Although this article is based on official information, the actual name of this subject is pure conjecture.
"What the hell are these things, and why are they wearing science team uniforms!?"
Black Mesa Security Guard[src]

The Standard Zombie is the most common Zombie form seen in the Half-Life series. They are the manifestation of a standard Headcrab attaching to a victim's cranium and taking over their nervous system.


Zombie Scientist

The original Zombie scientist from Half-Life.

Once a Headcrab successfully attaches to a host, the Headcrab will assume control of all their motor functions, able to walk and attack with the host's arms and legs. Through some unknown biological process, the host's hands turn into long, skeletal claws and a massive hole appears in their chest lined with the hosts' ribs, becoming a makeshift "mouth," with their ribs serving as teeth (Zombies have been observed to feed by ripping chunks of flesh off of corpses and stuffing them into this maw) Removal of the Headcrab reveals that the host's head is bent abnormally upwards, their hair is matted with blood, and their face is pale, with their eyes shut and mouth open in a frozen scream.

Occasionally, Headcrab Zombies may survive losing both legs and their lower torso, and continue to crawl along using their arms, in this state the Zombie is more dangerous if allowed to get close as they swipe at a faster rate with their claws. In most cases, a Headcrab remains attached to their host until the Zombie is destroyed, although in Half-Life 2, they will occasionally detach from the host if they are rendered immobile by their injuries.


  • Standard Zombies do not pose much of a threat when they appear at a distance since they cannot attack at longer ranges. Standard Zombies can be easily taken out from a distance with any firearms. However, they can pose as a major threat when they are at point blank range to the player or have surrounded with other type of Zombies. Due to this, it is best to fall back when they are close to the player as their attack can cause the player to flinch which will be harder to aim the weapon. On the other hand, it is possible to engage a Zombie with a Crowbar without taking damage from the Zombie by hitting them and then backing up to dodge the swing and then repeating the process until the Zombie dies. This is possible because the attack rate of a standard zombie is very slow. To kill a Standard Zombie with a Crowbar will take 5 hits.
  • If a Standard Zombie is in the group with other type of Zombies, it is best to attack the other type first before focusing on this Zombie, unless they are too close to the player. It is also possible to throw a Grenade at the Zombies as one grenade can kill most of them. Note that sometimes in Half-Life 2, Zombies can survive the grenade blast and only the lower torso is blown off. If not, they will catch fire.
  • When dealing with one, it is best to use lighter weaponry such as a Pistol or SMG.To kill a Standard Zombie with a Pistol will take up to 5-4 hits in the head and 20-21 hits in the body.The SMG will take up to 7-6 hits in the head and 25-26 hits in the body to kill a Standard Zombie. A Shotgun can also be used against them due to high damage up close. When engaging, it is best to aim for the Headcrab.The Shotgun will instantly kill a Zombie in a one head-shot if all pellets hit the Zombie's head.
  • Zombies can be sometimes seen attacking other enemies, like Combine soldiers and Antlions. If they do, it is best to wait until they finish attacking. The fight will be much easier.
  • In Half-Life 2, Zombies are given the ability to punch objects from a distance. If they do, the player can move left or right to dodge them; alternatively, they can use the Gravity Gun to grab it and punt it back to the Zombie without using ammunition.
    • If there's explosive barrels or gas canisters around. One may either shoot these items or grab and launch it with the Gravity Gun for spearing ammunition. Occasionally, a saw blade are effective as well as they can kill multiple zombies behind as well.


  • In Half-Life, Zombies are seen "feeding" from dead scientists and soldiers by taking flesh from corpses and stuffing it into their chest maw.
  • In the non-HD variant of Half-Life and its expansions, a Zombie's Headcrab appears to be "fastened" tighter to the victim's face, revealing the eerie outline of a human skull.
  • In the 1998 version of the Half-Life Prima Guide, Headcrab Zombies are referred to as "Mawmen," likely due to their chest cavities.
  • In the WC mappack, a map named "boxing" can be found. It consists of a small dark room with a boxing ring in the middle, lit by a single lamp. There, two Zombies start fighting each other once a bell rings. When the first one is killed, the bell rings again and the remaining Zombie remains still.
  • Playing parts of a Half-Life 2 Zombie's sound files backwards will produce yells of pain. The reversed cries have been interpreted as "Oh, God help! Help me!" and "Get it off me!" If set on fire, the victims may say things interpreted as "Why, why, why!?," "Help, God... help! Help me!," "Gaaah!," "Gaaaah, I'm on fire! Gaaaaah!," "My life's fading!," "My eyes sting! Gaaah!," "Put it out!" and even heard as "Yabba, put it out please! GRAAAAGH!"
  • The screams of the Half-Life 2 Zombies are heard muffled in-game. Speeding up the sound file to the screams shows that the muffled effect is caused by the slowing down of the file. The muffled voice effect is also enhanced by the ambiance of the game.
  • In the book The Zombie Recognition Guide, the Headcrab Zombies appear under the name of Crabheads and are mentioned to have come to earth in a meteor.


Half-Life and its expansions

Half-Life 2 and its episodes



List of appearances


Half-Life Wiki has more images related to Standard Zombie.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.