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Magnetic crane.jpg
General information



Lifting machine

Used by

Laura Dubuk[1]

"Hello, Dr. Freeman. The car's all ready for you. Hop in and I'll lower you down to the beach."

Humanity, and along with it - the Resistance, uses cranes to lift and lower heavy objects and transport them to another place.


Cranes most commonly appear as scenic objects, however two are equipped with electromagnets and play a role in the player's progress. The cranes are supported by metal frames and include one or more ladders for easier access, as well as a retractable and extendable arm. The main body can turn 360° thanks to the use of rail wheels, and features a seat along with a set of buttons and control sticks. The magnet can be lowered and raised, allowing it to pick up metal objects such as containers, vehicles, barrels, dumpsters or clusters of I-beams, which can then be manually dropped by turning off the magnet.


Half-Life 2[edit]

Cranes can sometimes be seen in the background during the course of Water Hazard.

After escaping Ravenholm, Gordon Freeman arrives at Shorepoint, a major Resistance base. In order to reach Nova Prospekt sooner, he is given the Scout Car. When he enters the vehicle, Noriko uses the magnetic crane to lower him down to the beach. However, the magnet fails during the sequence and the car lands upside down.

Another electromagnetic crane can be seen again near Dock 137. It is the first and the only crane that can be operated by Gordon, and must be used to lift and transport the Scout Car onto the pier and knock down the raised foot bridge. The crane can optionally be used to kill a group of Overwatch Soldiers by dropping heavy cargo onto them, netting the player an achievement.

Half-Life 2: Episode One[edit]

A crane can be seen outside the Technical Trainstation.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two[edit]

In the northwestern part of the White Forest valley, near a sawmill, two rusty cranes can be found, acting as merely a landmark indications for the Strider progression, like the water tower. Pieces of lumber hang from them.

Portal 2[edit]

Multiple red cranes using a modified Half-Life 2 model can be seen in the "Tartaros" area below the Enrichment Center, near Test Shaft 09. Dozens more are visible as a part of the skybox textures for the level. An unused 3D skybox model also exists, with incorrectly applied textures.

Related Achievements[edit]

Half-Life 2
Hl2 kill enemies withcrane.png OSHA Violation (5G)
Kill 3 enemies using the crane.

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • In Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, Laura Dubuk reveals that "when it came time to gather reference for the magnetic crane, I got my camera and a friend and I drove down to west Seattle where there are a number of them. For the crane interior, I used the inside of a bulldozer and the reference was complete."[1]
  • An earlier version of the current crane model had a more complex appearance, featuring details such as hooks and ropes missing in the final version. The cranes were apparently to be seen more often, having a 3D skybox version of the model not appearing in the final game.[2]




Half-Life 2[edit]

Half-Life 2: Episode Two[edit]

Portal 2[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]