This subject is related to the Black Mesa Incident era.
This subject is related to the Combine era.


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This subject is related to the Black Mesa Incident era.
This subject is related to the Combine era.

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General information

Xen wildlife



Game information
  • monster_zombie (HL)
  • monster_zombie_soldier (OpFor)
  • monster_zombie_soldier
    _dead (OpFor)
  • monster_zombie_barney (OpFor)
  • monster_gonome
  • npc_zombie (HL2 standard)
  • npc_zombie_torso (HL2 torso)
  • npc_fastzombie
  • npc_fastzombie_torso
  • npc_poisonzombie
  • npc_zombine
Voiced by
"Ugh... that smell can only mean zombies."
Alyx Vance[src]

The Zombie, referred to as necrotic in Combine terminology, is a common enemy featured in the Half-Life series. It is created when a Headcrab attaches to the head of a suitable host and takes control of its victim's body, rendering the host zombified. They are only seen on Earth, usually in remote or deserted areas.


Ordinary Zombies are referred to as the Classic Zombie to distinguish them from the other types of Zombies, such as the Gonome, the Fast Zombie, the Poison Zombie, the Zombine, and the Revived Zombie.

As their name suggests, Zombies do not appear to retain much of their former intelligence and, like Headcrabs, will blindly pursue their prey, oblivious to danger (such as the propeller traps seen in Ravenholm). Zombies do not respond to the presence of fire and will walk blindly into it, though they will notice and cry out in pain if they are set alight. However, Zombies have displayed a moderate amount of intelligence on certain occasions, such as when a Zombie HECU soldier in Half-Life: Opposing Force throws a dead scientist that it had just killed through a window in order to get to Adrian Shephard. In addition, in Half-Life 2: Episode Two, a Fast Zombie can be seen digging through boxes in a dumpster. Throwing a grenade inside will make the Zombie throw it back out towards Gordon Freeman.

Zombies mainly attack with swipes from their claws, but in Half-Life 2, they gain the ability to forcefully punt objects toward the player. Also in Half-Life 2, certain Zombies can be found "sleeping" and will stand up to attack the player if the player alerts them by getting too close or attacking them.

Zombification is one of the methods used by the Combine to subjugate and intimidate the human race. Headcrab Shells will often be sent to Resistance camps to dismantle them, turning the Rebels stationed there into Zombies with the use of Headcrabs. This is notable for the Rebel stations along the City 17 Canals (in and beyond the Underground Railroad) and Ravenholm.

A Headcrab's attack does little damage (with the exception of Poison Headcrabs), and it also takes some time for Headcrabs to take over their hosts, who are initially still in control; however, Headcrabs both attack very swiftly and (should they succeed) latch onto the head very firmly, so that any attempt by a struggling victim to remove the parasite with their hands is largely futile. (Alyx's ability to remove headcrabs from her face in Half-Life: Alyx can, for now, be explained as an anti-frustration measure, as being killed by a single headcrab would be very irritating to players, and no other human has been seen fending off a latched headcrab.) Coupled with disorientation and the imminent loss of consciousness from suffocation, this ensures that most victims nonetheless succumb very quickly, explaining the exceptional effectiveness of the Headcrabs' use by the Combine.

It is not known for sure if a victim of a Headcrab attack can still be rescued once a Headcrab has attached itself to its head. If Gordon Freeman tries to prevent a Headcrab at the infested Station 6 from attaching itself to a Citizen, the attempt seemingly fails, killing both the Headcrab and its victim.

Behind the scenes[edit]

Hostile Takeover, a cancelled expansion pack for Half-Life, was to feature Zombie Monkeys. They were the result of Headcrabs zombifying the test monkeys kept in the labs of Allied Processing. They were to be very fast and deal massive amounts of melee damage and behave similarly to the Fast Zombies found in Half-Life 2. This Zombie type would have been employed to create horror moments, like those in the movie Aliens, potentially seen crawling through air ducts or prowling in dark areas such as sub-basements of the facility. A similar concept was used for the cancelled Half-Life 2 spinoff Ravenholm, which featured Zombie Monkeys that recoiled when the player shone a light on them.


  • When a Classic Zombie is eaten by a Barnacle in Half-Life 2, the Barnacle will eat the Headcrab and drop the host body, killing it. This behavior continues in Half-Life: Alyx.


Half-Life and its expansions[edit]

Half-Life 2 and its episodes[edit]

Half-Life Alyx[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]



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