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Barnacle Grapple

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This article is about the weapon. For the enemy, see Barnacle.

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Barnacle Grapple
Production information

Organic weapon/grapple

Technical specifications

25 (per bite)

Weapon category

1: Low-tech


Shoots out tongue to latch onto organic objects

Used by

Adrian Shephard

Game information



Patrick Deupree[1]

"Ah, yes, Walter. We were finally able to successfully detach one of the Barnacle creatures from its point of gestation. As before, we were still only able to coerce the creature into latching onto organic materials. Unfortunately, the Administrator has called me down to the Anomalous Materials lab this morning for an important experiment, so I don't have any time to further my analysis. Take specimen number 1176 and log anything else you can find."
Black Mesa scientist[src]

The Barnacle Grapple, also known as Specimen 1176, is a detached Barnacle which can be used as both a weapon and a grappling hook. Its tongue can be shot out to latch onto organic objects, such as enemies or Spore Launcher spores.


The Barnacle Grapple is most useful for latching onto Spore Launcher spores attached to Race X moss, occasionally bearing ammunition for the Spore Launcher weapon, and pulling the player to otherwise inaccessible places. It is also useful as a handy melee tool to devour Headcrabs and Shock Roaches.

When latching to a larger creature, the user will be pulled along with the gun instead of the creature pulled towards the user, but may nonetheless be eaten the same way as smaller enemies.


Half-Life: Opposing Force[edit]

In Opposing Force, it is learned that the Black Mesa scientists working in the Biodome Complex have been able to successfully detach a Barnacle (named "Specimen 1176") from its point of gestation, in good health, and were able to coerce it into latching onto organic materials, such as creatures, fungi and moss, and convert it into a portable weapon.

In the Specimen Testing Lab within the Biodome Complex, Adrian Shephard watches a holographic message from a scientist to Walter Bennet explaining the work achieved on Specimen 1176. He then proceeds to the Specimen Containment Room where the creature can be found in a case near other Xen flora specimen in other cases, and equips the unique creature as a weapon. He then can test the weapon in Testing Lab BDRC-101 on several things: a Headcrab, a Houndeye and a crate and rocks, the latter being there to show the weapon's inefficiency against non-organic materials. In the Specimen Cultivation Rooms nearby it is also learned how to use the Barnacle Gun on Spore Launcher spores to cross deep pits.

Shephard then carries the Barnacle with him on his quest through Black Mesa until finally reaching the Gene Worm, against which the weapon is instrumental in defeating the creature, as it helps bridging a gap to reach the second of the two cannons Shephard uses to defeat the creature.

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • The Barnacle Grapple seems to be inspired by Michael Anzulovic's grappling hook addon for Quake, best known for its appearance in David Kirch's Threewave CTF for Quake. When asked, Michael cited Bionic Commando and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past as his inspirations.[2]
  • In the Capture The Flag mode, the Barnacle Grapple has an alternate fire mode, which allows the player to rappel down walls and cliffs.
  • Its specimen number in Opposing Force, "1176", may be a thinly veiled reference to the film THX 1138, one of many Lucasfilm references hidden in the game.


List of appearances[edit]