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The Snark, also known as the Squeak Grenade, is an enemy which doubles as a biological weapon. It can be found in Snark Eggs, and will attack the player when these are tripped. However, the nests can be picked up and snarks can be used as weapons and be thrown towards enemies.
Snarks are small, beetle-like creatures with four legs, a single bright glowing green eye, and a thick, dark red, segmented shell. They are social and highly territorial, making nests and protecting them at all costs. The fleshy nests themselves are about the size and shape of a road sign, and dark green with translucent red pods and four claw-like branches on each corner.
When their nest is threatened, Snarks will leap out and charge at their intruder, bouncing around madly and biting with their sharp beaks. These bites are powerful, doing as much as 10 points of damage each and easily crippling the player if they are not careful. To add insult to injury, a snark will explode about twenty seconds after they start attacking, spraying acid everywhere.
The Snark emits a high-pitched squeak with each bite, which gets higher and higher in pitch the longer it stays in its "attack mode" before finally exploding.
The player can obtain an egg sack containing 5 Snarks which can be used as weapons. While held, Snarks have an unlimited lifespan, but still show aggressive tendencies (as two comical idle animations show one animation with the Snark struggling in Gordon's hand, and the other with it snapping at Gordon as he teases it with his finger). Once thrown, the Snark's twenty-second "attack mode" begins, and it will immediately charge at the nearest living thing and attack it. If there is nothing for them to attack, they will turn around and attack Gordon instead (which is why the player should always be sure to throw them from a higher vantage point).
In multiplayer deathmatch games, Snarks provide a useful way of distracting other players (particularly multiple players), facilitating escape or a means of a more leisurely kill. It is not uncommon for a player to be seen running through the map while being chased by a pack of Snarks.
Xen forces have learned to use Snarks to their advantage. In the chapter "Forget About Freeman", there are Snark Eggs that hang in the air with the use of webbing. When shot or tripped, the lasers on them will release snarks to attack Gordon and slow down his progress, acting like biological tripmines.
- In third person mode, the player can be seen petting the Snark.
Behind the scenes
- The Snarks could blink. The unused eyelid textures can be found in Half-Life SDK.
- The Snark nest has unused "walking" animations.
- An item similar to that of the Snark was to appear in Half-Life 2, but instead of a Snark, the player could use the Brickbat to throw Headcrabs.
- The Snark was used for the Dynamic Environmental Interaction demo of The Orange Box branch of the Source engine as, probably, "npc_blob" entity, which can be spawned in the Source Particle Benchmark.
Dynamic Environmental Interaction demonstrational room
List of appearances
- Half-Life (First appearance)
- Half-Life: Opposing Force
- Half-Life: Blue Shift
- Half-Life: Decay'
- Half-Life: Alyx'