This article is about the town. For the chapter, see "We Don't Go To Ravenholm..." (chapter).
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Ravenholm is a former mining town and, later, Resistance stronghold located in the Wasteland, between Black Mesa East and the Coast. Following the Combine invasion, it started being occupied by refugees who were escaping from the Combine-controlled City 17 to join the Resistance, but following a shelling by the Combine, it became largely deserted and infested with Zombies, as witnessed by Gordon Freeman during his journey through the town. It is covered in Half-Life 2’s sixth chapter "We Don't Go To Ravenholm...".
- 1 Overview
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Related Achievements
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Gallery
- 6 List of appearances
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The town of Ravenholm mainly consists of small to medium-sized houses that are mostly traditionally built, being made from wood, stone and concrete. Several high-rise apartment buildings can also be seen in some sections of the town. These buildings, along with the streets, appear vaguely Eastern European, complying with the style of buildings seen throughout the game.
It would seem that Ravenholm remained "under the radar" for some time, but was eventually discovered by the Combine, which led to its destruction via a massive Headcrab Shell bombardment, causing the town to become completely overrun with Headcrabs and Zombies. Being linked to Black Mesa East via a tunnel, the entrance to Ravenholm was sealed shortly after the bombardment using a heavy gate, two barricades of crates, and guarded by stolen Sentry Guns to prevent Zombies from reaching Black Mesa East. Alyx Vance points the gate to Ravenholm out to Gordon Freeman during his tour of the lab, and explains (with a hint of fear in her voice; thus hinting that she was either there before or heard about what had happened to the citizens) where it leads and that it was "sealed for a reason." Later, Gordon is forced to escape through Ravenholm when the Combine raid Black Mesa East, during the chapter "We Don't Go To Ravenholm...".
Many areas of Ravenholm are littered with large saw-blades, propane cylinders, barrels of flammable material, and booby traps which have been contrived by Father Grigori. The entire town is also littered with humans and Classic Zombies that have been hanged, burned, sliced, and have suffered other horrific fates by Grigori's traps. Due to the relative lack of ammunition in the area, Gordon must rely on traps and the Gravity Gun (with which he can launch blades and other projectiles) to kill the Zombies.
As one of the survivors in Ravenholm (female screams can occasionally be heard in the ambient noise, implying there still are other survivors), Father Grigori set up many traps and structures in order to dispose of Zombies more efficiently. The traps are engineered so that Zombies can randomly stumble into them but they can be easily circumvented by normal humans. In addition to traps, Grigori separated Ravenholm into districts using wooden barricades (so Zombies can be found in a more organized manner).
- Car traps are created from a rope, a pulley, a car, and an engine. The car is tied with a rope from a pulley to the engine. It is held in the air by an extremely makeshift looking contraption, and a lever on the engine removes the pressure on the rope to drop the car (crushing anything beneath it), then the engine immediately pulls the car back up again.
- Electric traps simply shock Zombie trespassers. (Only one of these can be found in the chapter, and the player has to deactivate it to progress onwards.)
- Propane traps are attached to irrigation sprinklers that, when released, fill a small area with propane. The gas can be ignited with a gunshot or an electric spark (from the red switches stationed near the propane tanks) to create a large fire which will quickly incinerate any enemies in that area.
- Propeller traps are found all over the town. They are created from engines and long, makeshift blades that appear to be made of steel sheets. The engine rotates the steel sheet, and uses it as a horizontal rotor. The blade is encircled waist high and any target passing by would be dismembered. Humans can easily avoid this trap by crawling or ducking. Classic Zombies, however, are unaware of the dangers and proceed. Poison Zombies, on the other hand, can decommission the trap. At least one propeller trap's blade will detach when activated, and when picked up, will automatically position itself horizontally (much like the saw blades). It can then be thrown with the Gravity Gun.
After being separated from Alyx during the Combine's attack on Black Mesa East, Gordon Freeman is forced to travel through Ravenholm. Armed with his newly acquired Gravity Gun and an assortment of weapons, Gordon traverses the desolate, Zombie-infested town, all-the-while utilizing bizarre traps. While fighting off hordes of Zombies, Gordon meets the last known human occupant of Ravenholm, Father Grigori (although there may be other survivors since a female scream and other human sounds such as sobbing can be heard in the distance from time to time). Grigori provides some assistance and advice to Gordon, such as arming him with a shotgun, and eventually leading him to an abandoned mine to escape the town.
|Zombie Chopper (25G)|
|Play through Ravenholm using only the Gravity Gun.|
|Hallowed Ground (5G)|
|Escort Grigori safely through the church cemetery.|
Behind the scenes
- Before being named "Ravenholm", the town has had several nicknames during Half-Life 2's development: "Quarry", "Quarrytown", "Traptown", "Phystown", "Zombie Town", and simply "Town".
- Early concepts for Ravenholm had it set on daytime, later moving to sunset, and the general aesthetic of the town had a noticeably more industrial feeling to it. The old mining town theme is still present in the retail Ravenholm. Despite the various different iterations of the city, the actual layout of the levels hasn't changed much during the development.
- At one point, Ravenholm was to feature both Combine Soldiers and Zombies, as seen in the E3 2003 demo "Traptown". The way the player was introduced into Ravenholm was also different; the player was to discover the town at the end of the canals, above a lake filled with at least one Ichthyosaur, and enter the town through its docks. Eli's lab was to come after.
- The E3 demo also shows that it was possible to shoot any gun while using the HEV Suit's zoom function and that the player could discard weapons, indicating they could only carry a specified amount of firearms at a time. Also shown was the Overwatch Soldier's ability to break open doors when blocked by objects, which was removed in the retail version of Half-Life 2.
- The earliest maps of the town have Ravenholm filled only with traps and set before Eli's lab. However, in the retail version, it is placed after Eli's lab, thus being a playground for the newly acquired Gravity Gun.
- The playable leak also shows that the player was to use a vehicle called the Digger to destroy a Combine Big Momma Pod to proceed through mines.
- According to early concept art, the Combine Big Momma Pod was originally to be seen in a double hangar located around the building where Father Grigori is first seen in the retail game.
- Also according to early concept art, the apartment building was to feature the corpse of a child on the ground floor.
- Ravenholm was to be the setting of the cancelled Half-life 2 spin-off, Return to Ravenholm, set shortly before the end of Half-Life 2: Episode Two, co-developed by Valve and Arkane studios, set for release in 2007. However, the spin-off was cancelled when the developers realized that the staples of Ravenholm, such as headcrabs and zombies, had been played completely out, and the fact that they had it taking place before Episode Two, gave them a creative constraint, leading them to cancel the project.
- Main Half-Life series series' writer Marc Laidlaw has named Thief: The Dark Project as his favorite PC game of all time. Indeed, there may be influences from that game in the design of Ravenholm: A portion of the Old Quarter of the City, now known as the Sealed Section, was walled off about 50 years prior to the events of the game, due to an outbreak of the undead. The undead spilled from the Haunted Cathedral, and began to infest the City until they were safely contained behind thick, high stone walls. At the time of the game, maps of the area were not very hard to find, and the people still tell stories about the Incident, and no one dares enter the Sealed Section. When Garrett, the protagonist, visits this place, it is a desolate and lonely, covered with decades of dead leaves, decaying buildings, and populated by zombies, ghosts, and an infestation of beasts. Thief similarities can be found again in the Victory Mine, which resembles some aspects of Cragscleft Prison visited earlier in the game.
Concept art of the apartment building, including the corpse of a child on the ground floor.
Concept art of an early journey, including the G-Man and the Big Momma Pod.
Concept art of the Ravenholm traps.
Concept art of the propeller trap.
The entrance to Ravenholm at Black Mesa East.
The cart allowing Gordon to leave Ravenholm.
The propeller trap.
The propane trap.
The car trap.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2 (First appearance)
- Half-Life 2 leak
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 210
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, page 212
- WC map pack
- The finals hours of Half-Life 2
- The Half-Life 2 chapter Black Mesa East
- File:Ravenholm overview2.jpg
- File:Ravenholm overview1.jpg
- Valve Software Interview : Marc Laidlaw at Gaming Nexus
- Fixed prototype map of Ravenholm used in concept art seen in Raising the Bar (requires Episode Two and Missing Information 1.5)
Black Mesa East
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