For other uses, see Mine (disambiguation).
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The Hopper, also known as the Hopper Mine, is a Combine anti-personnel proximity mine that hops into the air towards the target explodes, much like a bouncing betty. These mines are carried and deployed by Shield Scanners. They are vaguely dome-shaped with three sharp "legs" which, when dropped, are used to bounce around until the mine land facing up on a smooth surface before then jamming themselves into the ground, attaching the Hoppers very firmly.
When an enemy target comes close, the mines light up and give off a warning chirp. If the enemy target gets too close, the mines will toss themselves nearly two meters (six feet) into the air in the direction of the threat and explode upon contact with whatever they happen to hit on the way down. They also detonate if smashed too violently. Otherwise, they are impervious to nearly all forms of handheld weaponry, save for the Gravity Gun, which can uproot embedded Hoppers and throw them with sheer force. Gordon Freeman took this to his advantage, using the Gravity Gun as a makeshift launcher and the Hoppers as projectiles.
Because of their lethality, immobility and extreme durability, Hoppers are impossible for most non-player characters to dispose of. Thus, they are used by the Combine extensively to deter attacking enemy personnel, creating makeshift but often impassable barriers in seconds. They are used both indoors and outdoors, mostly placed in clusters at vital choke-points or occasionally concealed as traps.
Hoppers use a friendly fire identification system which resets whenever they are picked up. The mines interpret a "friendly" unit as whichever faction placed it last. Thus, a mine placed by a Citizen with a Gravity Gun will attack Combine, and a mine dropped by a shield scanner will attack Citizens. This system is signaled through a color-coded light at the top of the device:
- Green: The mine is armed and there is nothing it considers an enemy nearby.
- Red: The mine is armed and has spotted an enemy, beginning the detonation sequence.
- Blue: The mine is neutral and has not yet armed itself.
- Orange: The mine is in panic mode, having been rooted from the ground (with the Gravity Gun) and is uncontrollably attempting to re-grip the ground.
- No light: The mine has not yet been activated.
The ability to be turned against the Combine is most likely not an intentional feature of the mine or, instead, a reprogramming function built into the Gravity Gun, which may have been designed with mine removal in mind. When the Gravity Gun is first given to Gordon by Alyx, she mentions that she found the gun useful for clearing mine fields. Players have also theorized that this is because of a programming mistake by the Combine and that a Hopper will consider whatever placed it last to be an ally. Based on what Alyx said, this makes more sense. In any case, the mines are unlikely to be placed by anything other than the Combine's shield scanners. If thrown using the Gravity Gun's primary fire, the mine explodes on contact with whatever it hits first, effectively doubling as an improvised grenade. Alternatively, as a last-chance effort, as a mine hops in the air it may be shot away using the Gravity Gun's primary fire. This is particularly useful if a mine remains unnoticed until after it has hopped. In addition, if the mine can be caught by the Gravity Gun before hitting something, it will not explode. The legs will flail in an attempt to jump, thinking it must still be grounded. After being dropped, the mine will reset itself and become friendly.
|Any Half-Life 2 game|
|Deadly Harvest (5G)|
|Kill an enemy by planting a hopper mine.|
- In Half-Life 2: Episode Two, several mines are found in Resistance areas, and can be told apart from regular mines due to an orange "smiley face" or Lambda symbol painted on their underside as well as yellow or orange paint coating on top.
- Sometimes the A.I. of the Hopper has a hostile relationship with the Manhack.
- If the player fires the Hopper into the air, then sends an ally to its estimated landing position, the explosion will hurt or kill the ally. Firing it directly at the ally, however, won't hurt them at all. This is because direct friendly fire will not hurt the ally, due to it being cut in the development of the game. This also applies to explosive barrels.
- Hoppers appear to be waterproof; they function normally when placed underwater.
- A skilled player can "launch" Hoppers by dropping them with the Gravity Gun, then punting it before it can lock onto the ground. This can allow the mines to be placed on higher ground.
- In Half-Life 2, Barnacles will simply drop any Hopper accidentally caught on their tongue. However, in Episode One and Episode Two, Hoppers will explode when Barnacles touch them.
Hoppers near caged Combine Sentry Guns in the Hospital.
Shield Scanners about to drop Hoppers near the Technical Trainstation.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2 (First appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Episode One
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two
- ↑ Half-Life 2 Prima Guide