Instant kill against Striders
Launched by Gravity Gun, detonates when shot
Magnusson designed his self-titled device with the specific aim of neutralizing Striders, whose deadly armaments had confronted the Resistance with a near-insurmountable opponent. In City 17, Striders slaughtered large numbers of Resistance fighters and Citizens, despite the Resistance's use of RPGs, the most powerful weapon at their disposal. Doctor Magnusson struggled to develop a successful launching system for the rugby-ball shaped device, as the weapon needed to be attached to the towering Striders' body to be effective; however, this problem was immediately solved with the arrival of Gordon Freeman and his Gravity Gun to White Forest.
Due to the limited available resources during the Combine's rulership over the Earth, the device had to use simple and conventional materials and technology found in the wreckage of pre-Resonance Cascade society. Unsurprisingly, the most effective way of ensuring that the Buster can stay attached onto a Strider is by the two rings of nails welded onto the metal frame. If the Magnusson Device utilizes conduction to weaken Striders, the nails would still conduct energy regardless of which way it flows.
The Magnusson Device can be taken from small portable teleports found around White Forest, which are connected to deployment units within White Forest's missile base. The Buster arrives at a receiver unit suspended in midair, held within the magnetic field emitted by the teleport until it is removed manually.
The Magnusson Device is very effective at destroying Striders; however, the user must have precise aim with the Gravity Gun in order to attach it.
During the large assault on White Forest, Striders are always accompanied by Hunters, who will fire upon a readied Magnusson Device as soon as possible. Therefore, it's advised to destroy all nearby Hunters before attempting to launch the Magnusson Device at a Strider. As a last resort, Busters can also be used to damage Hunters.
As soon as a Device is attached to a Strider, the Synth will immediately turn to attack the person who launched it. Any weapon can be used to hit the Buster, exploding it violently and completely shredding the Strider.
Behind the scenes
- As seen in the Half-Life 2 leak source code, the Hopwire Grenade was originally to be the weapon of choice against Striders, replaced in Episode Two by the Magnusson Device. This is confirmed in the Episode Two commentary, in which Valve's Joshua Weier states that the Magnusson Device "started life as a Half-Life 2 weapon called the Hopwire".
- In Episode 2's closecaption_english.txt file, a cut line (
ep_02.complaint02) shows that the personnel of White Forest call them "Magnussons" because "it doesn't take much to set em off".
- Originally, Gordon Freeman was to be able to throw a smaller Magnusson Device with his hands like a regular grenade, which entity was to be "weapon_magnade".
- A pumpkin was used as a placeholder model for the Magnusson Device in development.
- According to Richard Lord, the diagram explaining how to use the Magnusson Device against Striders went through several iterations, from highly stylized, to absurd, to something the team believed they could ship.
- A cut weapon, the Sticky Launcher, bears similarities.
- The Magnusson Device does not have its own gib models, and instead uses the Manhack's gibs.