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The Garden Gnome is a prop appearing in Half-Life 2: Episode Two. Whilst seeming insignificant at first, it is in fact part of the popular Achievement "Little Rocket Man", which requires the player to carry the gnome to the final location of the game (White Forest) and place it within the rocket.
What follows is instructions to get the gnome to White Forest, described chapter by chapter.
The Gnome can be left in the chamber with Alyx and the Vortigaunts.
The Gnome must not be left in the area overlooking the settlement with the monitor and the Overwatch Sniper Rifle, as it cannot be returned to after descending into the settlement. However, if the gnome is placed leaning against the door facing the bridge, it will fall through once the door is opened from the far side. Alternatively, rather than carry the gnome through the infested settlement, it is possible to pick it up and throw it with the Use key onto the near side of the bridge and retrieve it once the Muscle Car is reached. It can also be brought only half of the way through the zombies by dropping it from the sniper rifle room down onto the warehouse roof as it will not break.
The Garden Gnome is difficult to transport in the Muscle Car, thus driving slowly and dealing with the first Hunter-Chopper as soon as possible is advised. The Gnome shouldn't be left in the car when entering the barn, as the Muscle Car may be moved to make room for the APC that arrives after the barn encounter, and the Gnome may be lost.
It is possible to leave the Gnome on the ground at the barn when escaping the Hunter-Chopper. The first step is proceed to the next loading point in the train tunnel, then reverse to the previous stage. The second step is to drive back to the barn and pick up the Gnome. The Chopper will not be present, making it easier to transport it through this section.
It can also be left underneath a train car, followed by driving the Muscle Car to the next train car, then hiding underneath the carriage the gnome is under, quickly moving to the next car with the gnome, and so on; moving the gnome and Muscle Car small steps at a time.
A possible way to carry the Gnome is to shove it under the back covers of the car. Putting the Gnome there will prove to be a small challenge, but once in, it will not be easily removed by sudden jerks and braking. The Gravity Gun is required to shove the Gnome in as well as extract it.
Alternatively, the Gnome can be placed behind the passenger seat so that it will only drop out of the car if the brakes are slammed hard enough. When the car's engine catches fire, is is very important to retrieve the Gnome and take it into the yard for the Chopper fight. It can be placed under a boxcar for safekeeping for the duration of the fight.
The Gnome can be left in the garage with Alyx and the Rebels while going to the Autogun to destroy it. During the Combine ambush at the White Forest Inn that follows, the Gnome should be left in the house while the Force Fields are disabled, then picked up again. The Gnome should also be dropped down the following hill before driving down it. Later after the battle between Dog and the Strider, the Gnome can be left near the start of the race against Dog to the base and retrieved afterward.
The achievement can only be earned by placing the Gnome inside the rocket's hatch and, above all, closing the hatch door.
|Half-Life 2: Episode Two|
|Little Rocket Man (30G)|
|Send the Garden Gnome into space.|
Behind the scenes
- The Garden Gnome was originally featured in the two security camera feeds featured on ApertureScience.com. In the first video, he was standing on the mantelpiece, and was right in front of the camera in the second video. Following the release of Portal 2, he was removed from the mantelpiece in the first video and replaced by P-body in the second.
- The Gnome also makes an appearance in the Left 4 Dead 2 campaign Dark Carnival, where it is known as "Gnome Chompski", with higher-res textures, phong and and a much bigger size. Similar to Episode Two, an achievement requires the Gnome to be carried all the way to the rescue vehicle. Doing so gives the player the achievement "Guardin' Gnome" and unlocks Rochelle's shirt for the player's avatar on the Xbox 360 version. Furthermore, the Mutation "Last Gnome on Earth" will have the player holding the gnome being chased by Common and Uncommon Infected, as if they were splashed with Boomer bile.
- Designer Matt Wright appears to have based the model on an actual garden gnome model named "Jim With Hands in Pockets".
- The gnome is featured in the Two Bots, One Wrench game experiment in a sequence during which the masculine robot mistakes it for a live leprechaun.
- The Achievement can be unlocked without carrying the Gnome through the entire game. Near the rocket in White Forest, all it takes is entering in the console
prop_physics_create props_junk/gnome.mdlto create the Gnome then
ent_setname gnomewhile targeting the Gnome to give it the Gnome properties, then putting it in the rocket and close the door. However
sv_cheatsmust always be set to "0" before putting the Gnome into the rocket. The cheat will work on any other prop, as long as the code
ent_setname gnomeis entered while targeting it.
- Stepping on the Gnome can cause a glitch which launches Gordon high into the air, resulting in death or high damage after hitting the ground.
- Hunter-Choppers and Hunters will sometimes target the Gnome if Gordon carries it with the Gravity Gun.
- The Gnome may be a nod to the traveling gnome prank, where people steal garden gnomes often with the intention of taking pictures with/of it to send them back to the owner, made popular by the 2001 French film Amélie.
- Having to transport a gnome may also be a reference to CBS reality show The Amazing Race, where sometimes teams must take a Travelocity Roaming Gnome with them for the duration of a race leg.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two (First appearance)
- ApertureScience.com (Not before Christmas 2007, removed for Christmas 2010)
- The Final Hours of Portal 2