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Pit Worm

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Pit Worm model.jpg
Pit Worm
General information

Race X



Individual information
  • Front claws
  • Energy beam from eye
Game information


"X-Ray Zulu, are you there? We need backup in the waste sector! It's some sort of worm creature. Tower and Eddy are down, and I've lost contact with the rest of the squad. We need backup now! Now, damn it, now!"
― HECU Marine[src]

The Pit Worm is a Race X creature found in the Waste Processing Area 3 of Black Mesa during Opposing Force’s eighth chapter, Pit Worm's Nest, as the game's first boss.


The Pit Worm's caterpillar-like segmented body supports a head dominated by a single large eye with two vertical eyelids, and a twelve teeth mouth under it. It is found in the Waste Processing Area 3's Toxic Disposal Basin, a large room partially flooded with water, where the creature came from the ground (like an earthworm, hence its name). Its body is likely longer than seen, although it is unknown how much.

Behavior and skills[edit]

The Pit Worm's eye is its primary weapon, capable of firing a searing energy beam at nearby enemies. If enemies get too close, the worm also has large claws to strike out with. If it is shot in the eye, it will recoil, shielding it with its claws for a few seconds before striking aggressively at the player. The Pit Worm makes bird-like vocalizations. Like the Gene Worm, only one individual of that species is ever seen in-game.

If one manages to run into one of the many passages leading into other rooms, the Pit Worm will screech angrily and swipe viciously at the entrance of the passage taken.


In Opposing Force's seventh chapter, Vicarious Reality, Shephard picks up a radio transmission from a group of HECU Marines fighting the Pit Worm. In the next chapter, Pit Worm's Nest, Shephard reaches the Waste Processing Area 3 and finds all the soldiers dead (although many were likely killed by Pit Drones infesting the area), and the Pit Worm standing in the Toxic Disposal Basin. As traditional weapons only upset the creature without killing it, Shephard must use toxic waste to defeat it. To do so, he must activate the steam vent (located near the creature), the main pressure valve (also located near the creature, and to be accessed thanks to the hand-held Barnacle and Spore Launcher spores on the wall, since the ladder to access the valve is broken) and the primary pump gearbox (located in Waste Station 02, another area, and by using an emergency override button) to unlock the toxic waste arrival, then release the toxic waste with the waste flush button, flooding the room with toxic waste and killing the creature. After that, Shephard merely has to activate the bridge previously blocked by the Pit Worm, and cross the Toxic Disposal Basin room to proceed further, in sewers leading to ruined hangars in Sector G.

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • The Pit Worm obstacle is similar - albeit less challenging - to the Tentacle puzzle in the Half-Life chapter Blast Pit, in that the player cannot simply use his weapons to defeat the creature, but must use the surrounding environment.
  • The valve and the gearbox to be activated are obvious references to Valve Software and Gearbox Software, left there as Easter eggs. The reference to Steam is likely a coincidence, as it did not exist back then.
  • The Pit Worm's screams appear to be based on vulture sounds, while its other idle sound resembles certain vocalizations produced by red foxes.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. .plan file of Brian Martel on Blue's News (September 7, 1999)
  2. Stephen Bahl's Profile on the official Gearbox Software website (archived)
  3. Stephen Bahl on his video game work (November 13, 2009)
  4. YouTube favicon.png Unforeseen Consequences: A Half-Life Documentary on YouTube