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The Annabelle's characteristics and capabilities bear a resemblance to not one, but two kinds of firearms: a lever-action rifle and an over-under slug gun. The lever-action and the fact that the weapon uses .357 Magnum ammunition suggest it to be a rifle. However, the Annabelle acts much like a shotgun, as it isn't cocked between shots and only holds two rounds. This may be due to Valve simply not wanting to take the time to produce a custom animation, and figuring the dark setting it is used in would make this omission unnoticeable. Real-life lever action rifles can be operated very rapidly, and this would thus be a barely visible operation even if it were included. Indeed, Grigori's brief pause between shots does suggest operation of the lever, and would be more than sufficient time to cycle an actual lever gun. More than likely the low magazine capacity was simply Valve's means of balancing Father Grigori so he would not appear too powerful.
Father Grigori is the only NPC that uses the Annabelle, and it is his signature weapon. In combat, Grigori wields the weapon with great skill and accuracy, and he usually manages to hit Zombies in the head for an instant kill.
The Annabelle can only house two rounds at a time (as mentioned above), so Grigori has to reload frequently. While at first this isn't a problem when he spends his time on the rooftops of buildings, this can become a problem when facing a large number of Zombies up close. Therefore, try not to leave Grigori to kill all the Zombies himself, he'll most likely become overwhelmed.
Freeman is not intended to use the Annabelle, but the weapon can be spawned in the console or picked up briefly if Grigori dies. There is no viewmodel for the weapon, so it takes the form of the player's pump-action shotgun (although there is a mod on PC that gives it a "proper" viewmodel). It should be noted that the Annabelle fires a single bullet rather than shotgun shells, as the Annabelle is loaded with .357 rounds and does identical damage to the .357 Magnum.
- Annabelle can be wielded by typing "give weapon_annabelle" in the console.
- The player can pick up the Annabelle if Father Grigori is killed, but can only use it briefly as the screen fades to black when the game ends.
- It may permanently be obtained just before Father Grigori gives Gordon the shotgun on the roof of a building. Running towards the edge of the roof while sprinting, fire a grenade from the Submachine Gun at the ground whilst jumping (grenade jump) and hit the bottom of the catwalk that Father Grigori is standing on. The Annabelle is lying inside on the wall.
- After the player gets Annabelle, the OSIPR can be equipped only using slot key - scrolling through entire inventory will give no result.
Behind the scenes
Annabelle appears to be inspired by the Winchester Model 1892, a rifle popular in Western film and TV series, and often used by actor John Wayne. Winchesters are available in a number of chamberings, including .357, and a shorter version also exists that matches the one used in the game. Actual Winchester rifles have a 15-round tubular magazine. Grigori's small, 2-round clip and break-action design was likely implemented for game balance.
- On the PC version of Half-Life 2, Annabelle uses the same slot as the AR2. Wielding Annabelle creates a few minor weapon selection glitches after obtaining the AR2. After obtaining the AR2, the player cannot select the AR2 through mouse scrolling through the weapons selection. The Annabelle appears instead and is selected when clicked. The AR2 can, however, still be selected by pressing the rifle hotkey, 3 by default, twice on the keyboard (If you have fast weapon switch on you will not need to left-click).
- In the Xbox version the Annabelle takes the empty slot below the Gravity Gun with a "shotgun" label permanently above the image. When selected, the outline lights up differently from the other weapons in the menu.
- In the Xbox 360 version, the weapon is unselectable once any other weapon is drawn, as there is no icon for it in the weapon select menu.
- If the player has enough .357 ammunition and has the Annabelle wielded, they can hold both the "reload" button and "primary fire" button to fire the Annabelle at an automatic rate.
- Grigori does not pull the lever beneath the trigger down after each shot to put the second bullet into the chamber, he just pauses after each shot, and then fires again.
- Shooting to the body does not deal much damage, unless trying to shoot non-combat characters, like Breen or Dr. Kleiner. However they will only die if you do a headshot on them.
- Reloading with the Annabelle results in the console saying "ERROR: Shotgun reload called incorrectly!".
- If the Annabelle is used by Grigori and other NPC's (through the console command), it deals 30 damage per bullet (90 if headshot). However NPC's will only shoot when the enemy is at close range.
- In the PC version of Episode One and Episode Two, Annabelle is in the sixth weapon slot, alhough the HUD icon and the weapon name is not shown.
- When picking up the Annabelle's ammo in Episode Two, the HUD icon will read 2 .357 bullet for Colt Python instead.
- If the player picks up the .357 ammo box without the Colt Python, the leak HUD icon for the shotgun shell will appear.
Ditto, leak version.