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Xen Cougher

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This article is about the infectious Xen fungus. For the similarly named Xen flora, see Xen Spore.

Xen Cougher
General information

Xen flora



Game information


The Xen Cougher,[1] also known as the Xen Fungus,[2] is a type of Xen fungus that first appears in Half-Life: Alyx.


The fungi thrives on organic hosts, infecting and mutating them by producing infectious spores. When a host becomes infected by these spores through inhalation or otherwise, they transform into a monstrous creature riddled with fungal growths. Jeff, a former Combine Hazmat Worker, is currently the only known victim of this. Although parasitic, the fungus is not entirely dependent on a host for survival, being seen attached to walls and other parts of the environment. It is commonly seen in the City 17 Quarantine Zone. Alyx Vance came into contact with this type of alien flora, but was spared from mutation due to her covering her mouth when in close proximity.


The fungus is similar to the Cordyceps Brain Infection [1] from The Last of Us.

List of appearances[edit]


  1. Half-Life: Alyx game files, particle name xen_cougher.vpcf and numerous map names, e.g. blind_zombie_xen_cougher_track_start.vmap
  2. Half-Life: Alyx game files, model name xen_v2_fungus.vmdl