This subject is related to the Combine era.

Crab Synth

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This subject is related to the Combine era.

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Crab Synth1.jpg
Crab Synth
General information




Individual information



Gatling gun

Game information
  • monster_generic
  • generic_actor

The Crab Synth is an incomplete Half-Life 2 Combine Synth enemy.


Concept art, with two unnamed Synths.

Crab Synths are only glimpsed toward the end of the game, during Gordon Freeman's second pod ride in the Citadel, where they are seen on conveyor belts along with several Mortar Synths. It is unknown where they were transported to, as they are never encountered in combat anywhere during the game or its episodes. Along with the Mortar Synth, they are said to be "the backbone of the Combine's subsequent armies".[1]

The Crab Synth has a greenish brown carapace and two pairs of arthropod legs, with many spiked protrusions and various glowing blue mechanical systems on its front and rear. It bears no visible Combine markings except for a red line on its back. According to its model animations, it can charge at targets like the Antlion Guard, likely able to deal more damage due to its immense size. As its walking animation and concept arts imply, it can also use a Gatling gun-like weapon while walking, which is stored behind a plate under its belly when idle.

Unlike the Mortar Synth, the Crab Synth can be hurt and killed if spawned. Upon being damaged, it will leak red body fluids, presumably blood, in the same manner as the Half-Life 2 version of the Ichthyosaur, another incomplete NPC.

Behind the scenes[edit]

Designed by Dhabih Eng,[2] the Crab Synth and the Mortar Synth are two of the earliest created Synths. Like the original Dropship, they were to feature a more red-and-yellow color scheme without any Combine logos. Ted Backman subsequently defined the current design with more blue colors added. Concept art shows the Crab Synth with what seems to be the numbers "31-17" on its leg.

The uncorrected proof of Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar includes two early sketches for "attack" and "tank" Synths which are said to have become the final Crab Synth model.[3]


List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]