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Gluon Gun

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W egon.png
W egon hd.png
Gluon Gun
Production information

Black Mesa


Experimental weapon

Technical specifications

14 per cell



Max ammo



Continuous beam

HUD category

4: High-energy experimental weapons

Ammo type

Depleted Uranium-235





Usable underwater


Used by

Gordon Freeman

Game information


"I built the Gluon Gun, but I just can't bring myself to use it on a living creature. You don't look as if you have any trouble killing things."
Black Mesa scientist[src]

The Gluon Gun is an experimental energy weapon featured in Half-Life.


The Gluon Gun fires a constant vortex of spiraling energy beams capable of destroying anything that it connects with in seconds. The beam deals massive damage with considerable radial damage at the point of impact and is highly accurate at long range. It is able to strike through bulletproof armor materials, completely bypassing their protection. The weapon's major drawback is its fast ammunition consumption. In appearance, the gun looks and acts like a fire hose which consists of a nozzle with several controls and a display panel affixed to it. This piece is attached to a thick hose that is then connected to a wearable backpack unit. It uses Depleted Uranium-235 for ammunition which it shares with the Tau Cannon and Displacer Cannon.


Testing the Gluon Gun on alien creatures.

The Gluon Gun is the last weapon found in Half-Life. It is acquired in the chapter Lambda Core in the Test Firing Chamber at Hazardous Materials Bay B, right before Gordon Freeman enters the Lambda Reactor Coolant System. When the player enters the room, a scientist introduces himself as being part of the weapons research division and states that he is the creator of the gun. Unwilling to use it himself on living creatures, he allows Gordon to take the device. The accompanying firing chambers feature several Headcrabs and a Bullsquid that can be used as target practice. The second and only other Gluon Gun in the series is found by the Lambda Reactor in the supply depot belonging to the first Xen survey team.

The Gluon Gun cannot be obtained in the Opposing Force campaign, but it is available in the expansion's multiplayer maps. The weapon is also not present in the Blue Shift or Decay expansions, but it can be acquired by using cheats.

Behind the scenes[edit]

The Gluon Gun was designed by Steve Theodore.[1] The High Definition version was created by Gearbox's Stephen Bahl.[2]

The weapon originally featured two firing modes, "wide" and "narrow", which the player could switch between by turning the handle at the base of the nozzle. In wide mode, the beam would do more damage but use more ammo, while narrow mode's beam would do less damage with no splash damage but consume less ammo. The final game only uses wide mode.[3] In the game's initial release, the gun's beam color was pure blue and would leave a small cloud behind at the point of the beam's impact.[4] This color was changed and the cloud effect removed in later updated versions.[5]

Unused HEV Suit lines refer to Gluon Gun as an "experimental energy weapon." The weapon has its own unused ammo entity, ammo_egonclip, which was to be called an "energy recharge unit" by the suit. This item lacks a unique model and uses the chain gun ammo box as a placeholder. Early world and viewmodels of the Gluon Gun can be found in early versions of the SDK.

The Gluon Gun is available for use in the multiplayer portion of Opposing Force but does not appear in the singleplayer portion of the game or any of the other expansions. However, it can still be spawned using the console. There are indications the Gluon Gun was used during the development of Half-Life 2: Episode Three. Entities related to the weapon, including weapon_egon and item_ammo_uranium, can be seen in several leaked files.[6]


The weapon's name refers to gluons, subatomic particles that bind quarks together. During the game's development, series writer Marc Laidlaw jokingly wished to the call the device the "Quantum Flux Cannon", abbreviated to QFC, because the team frequently ordered meals from the local Quality Food Centers supermarket.[7] It is internally named the "Egon Gun" because of its resemblance and visually similar function to the proton pack, a weapon designed by the character Egon Spengler in the film Ghostbusters.[8] "Egon" was also the nickname of one of the early scientist variants who resembled Spengler.[9]

In other media[edit]

The Flamethrower featured in Team Fortress Classic uses a modified version of the Gluon Gun's model.




Half-Life SDK[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Steve Theodore's personal website (archived)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stephen Bahl on on his video game work (November 13, 2009)
  3. Half-Life SDK
  4. A screenshot demonstrating the original beam effect
  5. A screenshot demonstrating the updated beam effect
  6. Episode 3 and SOB FGDs leaked! on ValveLeakware (February 18, 2013) (archived)
  7. Tweet: "During the making of HL1, so many meals came from the QFC supermarket that my original name for the Gluon Gun was the "Quantum Flux Cannon."" @MarcLaidlaw (Marc Laidlaw) on Twitter (October 7, 2013) (archived)
  8. GB fans found at Valve Software on Proton Charging (January 10, 1999) (archived)
  9. Half-Life Alpha game data file (halflife.fgd)