To The Death! | Video Games

To The Death! (Match One, Round One)

Every so often, I’ll start up Garry’s Mod and foolishly load the gm_construct map. It’s a nice big arena, plenty of room to build things and play around, but productive building quickly devolves into spending hours upon hours spawning monsters, Combine soldiers, human rebels, and other NPCs to do glorious, bloody battle with one another while I watch.

Since I’m spending hours in there anyway, I thought I’d at least try to turn it into something useful, like a feature. And so, I present the first installment of “To The Death!”, wherein I will match various combatants against each other to see who comes out on top. (Just to be clear, none of this is done with posing, these are all action shots of the characters doing real battle. I am merely an imbedded cameraman.)

I thought I’d start off with some of the most durable, hard-to-kill characters in the game. In this corner:

Alyx, Monk, Barney
We’ve got Alyx, armed with her special pistol, Father Grigori with his shotgun (named Anabelle), Barney Calhoun, armed with an Overwatch Pulse Rifle (or AR2) and Dog, backing them up, with a, um… banana.

Dog with Banana
See, Dog doesn’t fight outside of the actual game (his in-game fighting is scripted), and all he does in G-Mod is look for objects to pick up and play catch with. I’d been messing around with props and objects earlier, and thought I’d cleaned everything up, but I apparently missed the banana, which he immediately ran over and picked up. Sigh. Anyway, though Dog won’t fight, I figure he can at least provide another target, because our three heroes are about to go up against the toughest monster in the game:

Antlion Guard
The formidable Antlion Guard, also known as the Myrmidont. These huge, heavily-armored creatures attack by rushing their targets and headbutting them, and are very difficult to take down without grenades or explosive rounds, neither of which our other combatants have. Though, they’re the toughest NPCs in the game, and they have a robot with a banana. So, who knows what will happen? Everyone ready?

With lots of ground to cover, the Antlion Guard takes a lot of fire before he closes the distance, but soon enough, he’s reached his enemies and begins viciously headbutting them.

headbutting continues
Alyx smartly runs a hook pattern to fire upon the Guard from behind, while Grigori and Barney take the brunt of the assault. Barney crouches to avoid being headbutted, yet it does him no good, as he is knocked through the air (still crouching, impressively). Dog helps out by standing there impassively with the banana.

Grigori falls
Even with Alyx providing fire from a flanking position, Grigori is tragically headbutted to death. Dog, meanwhile, wishes he had someone to throw his banana to, while Alyx shoots the seemingly unstoppable creature in the butt.

Dog dies
Barney is the next to die, followed shortly after by Dog, who leaves behind only the banana, the ghostly imprint of his zero-point energy field, and a huge metal corpse. At least it sort of looks like his energy field is attacking the Guard. But it’s not.

guard and alyx
Now it’s one-on-one! The Guard charges his remaining enemy. Will Alyx’s pinpoint accuracy and plucky tenaciousness be able to hold the beast at bay?

guard and alyx
Apparently not. Adopting Barney’s “Crouch and Don’t Shoot” strategy, she is repeatedly knocked through the air by the bullet-riddled, yet still feisty, Antlion Guard.

guard and alyx
Backed into a corner, it’s Do-Or-Die Time for Alyx Vance…

guard and alyx
… but mostly Die Time. And so, this match goes, quite easily, to the Antlion Guard. I think we might do with a rematch, though, and a little evening of the odds. So, next time, we’ll try giving the human trio some cover against the Myrmidont’s deadly charges, by placing them inside the structure that is part of the map.

everyone inside
That’s for next time, though! Tune in Thursday for Match One, Round Two!