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The Antlion Guard (also called Myrmidonts by Vortigaunts) is much larger and stronger than the Antlion Soldier, and is a very formidable foe. Within the Antlion society, the Guards defend the Antlion nests' outer perimeter and entrances, and they control and keep order within the Antlion colony. Vortigaunts can also harvest Bugbait from slain Antlion Guards.
Antlion Guards resemble a considerably larger and more powerful Antlion, with a similar skin color and insectoid features. The most differentiating feature, by far, is the Guard's protected carapace, which acts as both a battering ram and a deadly weapon. Their dark-red tint and radiant blue "feathers" which adorn its back make it clearly distinguishable.
In the Half-Life 2 chapter "Sandtraps", a Vortigaunt will collect a Guard's Pheropods, which are its way of communicating with and controlling the Antlion soldiers. When collected, these pheropods give their user control of the Antlion soldiers. However, when in the vicinity of another Guard, these pods will lose their effect over the soldiers, presumably due to their higher potency.
It is notable that the Guard is very similar to the Guardian, both in name and appearance, but there are numerous differences: the Guardian often lives deeper within the nests, protecting and ruling over the Antlions and eggs within. Comparatively, the Guard will work nearer to the surface, protecting nest entrances and offering backup for Soldiers. Also notable is the Guardian's natural bio-luminescence, which is presumably caused by it living in deeper darkness. The Guard also has a very different coloration, consisting of more varied and contrasting colors.
Similar to a very aggressive bullock, these creatures will viciously protect their nests, and are very unappreciative of anyone or anything that goes even remotely close them.
Behavior and skills
Much like a bull from Earth, the Antlion Guard is able to bash into objects with great force in a combination charging head-butt attack, thanks to its size. The power of the Antlion Guards' strikes can easily knock aside anything or anyone unfortunate enough to be in their way. When they confront the player, they often try to strike him with their heads. However, they will utilize environmental objects as projectiles by ramming them with full velocity. Antlion Guards can take a lot of damage, and it normally requires a large amount of damage to bring one down. Antlion Guards are known to smash through walls and even fellow Antlions to kill enemies it is pursuing.
Antlion Guards tend to target enemies they recognise and/or remember first, demonstrated during the battle with the Guard at the end of the Nova Prospekt chapter in Half-Life 2, where the Guard will attack the soldiers before moving on Freeman, as it is aware that the Combine soldiers have killed a Guard and many antlions, enraging it. In addition, the Antlion Guardian (who is very similar to the Guard) in Episode Two recognises Freeman and the Victory Mine Vortigaunt as the people who stole the extract, further demonstrating this idea of revenge and recognisance.
A good thing to know for new players is Antlion Guards are not controlled by bugbait. Also of note is any Antlions in the vicinity will follow the constant pheromones coming from the Guard, though they may be confused briefly by the player constantly throwing pheropods.
The Antlion Guard is limited only to melee attacks, so attacking from range is the best way to down this large foe. Another strategy is luring it to smash into walls, which stuns it for a while buying some time to shoot it. Usually the area where they are fought is very hard to escape, requiring the player to kill it. Its attack can be easily avoided by strafing constantly. The best weapon for it is the crossbow. 6-7 hits to the lower body will usually kill it on Normal difficulty, and if it survives, it can be finished off with the .357 Magnum. Another good way of killing these beasts is to launch a few grenades at it with the MP-7s grenade launcher.
During the first encounter (in Sandtraps), the player can easily run around the large rock in the center of the area, avoiding the attacks of the guard, while firing his weapon. In the bathroom in Nova Prospekt, he can do the same thing around the wall just before the exit.
Another idea is to use the Gravity Gun to throw objects like explosive drums and sinks while dodging the Antlion Guard constantly. Flammable drums are typically found in all areas where the player has to confront an Antlion Guard. Throwing conventional (non-explosive) barrels using the Gravity Gun can also render the Antlion Guards stunned for a second or two. Interestingly, spawning the harpoon item via console, can be used as a one shot kill on an Antlion Guard when fired from the Gravity Gun.
It is possible to run from both Guards in Nova Prospekt, though it is still very hard to escape the one in the bathroom. This is possible because the "barriers" are simply piles of physics objects that can be cleared with the Gravity Gun and explosives. It is especially easy to escape the second by jumping down while it is distracted.
The Guard in the Nova Prospekt bathroom can be shot from a safe position by jumping onto the catwalk railing rather than over it, then going back to the fence overlooking the room.
|Half-Life 2: Episode Two|
|Defeat both Antlion Guards outside the White Forest.|
Behind the scenes
- The Antlion Guard's skin was originally a dark brown. The image preview for the current model still has this brown skin.
- Like the Bullsquid, the Antlion Guard was originally going to throw small, noxious pods at the player. This concept was reused for the Pheropod and the Antlion Worker.
- The Antlion Guard sounds appear to be slightly modified wolf sounds. The Half-Life series uses many stock sounds heard in many other video games and films.
- Early in the Antlion Guard's development, it was intended to be entirely bulletproof.
- The Guard has several unused animations, including sprinting (not charging), sneaking, covering, crawling, and even one for a flamethrower attack.
- When idle, the Guard moves his head left and right and surveys the area. This can be seen at the end of the Nova Prospekt chapter if the player escapes the second encounter without killing the Guard; they can look into the room and see it in the corner and even creep up behind it, only being noticed if they get very close.
- The security guards in the second Guard battle in Nova Prospekt will completely ignore the player and focus on the Guard instead. In the Guard battle in Episode One, the soldiers will ignore the player unless he gets close.
- In Nova Prospekt, a Guard can be seen on a monitor fighting Combine, killing many soldiers before being overwhelmed and dying. His dead body can be seen later in that level.
- On Hard difficulty, the Guard will survive long enough for the Soldiers to stop spawning. When this happens, the Guard just stands idle. However, when the player reaches the area later, the Guard will be dead.
- The Antlion Guard's charge attack will instantly kill a Hunter.
- Conversley, the Hunter's charge will instantly kill a Guard. This is usually not the case, though, since a Hunter's first incentive is to use its flechettes while the guard usually starts by charging. Adding that to the Antlion Soldier's instant kill on Overwatch Soldiers makes any Antlion swarm more powerful than a Combine force.
Early official screenshot, including several Coast elements.
List of appearances
|Castes||Antlion Grub · Antlion Guard · Antlion Guardian · Antlion Soldier · Antlion Worker|
|Other||Antlion Detector · Pheropods · Restrictor · Victory Mine|
|Castes (cut)||Antlion King|