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TOM FRANCIS
REGRETS THIS ALREADY

Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.

Theme

By me. Uses Adaptive Images by Matt Wilcox.

Projects

What I’m Working On And What I’ve Done

Murder, She Wrote

The Formula For An Episode Of Murder, She Wrote

Heat Signature Wide 2

Heat Signature Needs An Artist And A Composer

Heat Signature Floorplans Header

Improving Heat Signature’s Randomly Generated Ships, Inside And Out

Gunpoint Steam Workshop

Gunpoint Patch: New Engine, Steam Workshop, And More

Distance Header

Distance: A Visual Short Story For The Space Cowboy Game Jam

The Magic Circle

Raising An Army Of Flying Dogs In The Magic Circle

Floating Point Blog Launch

Floating Point Is Out! And Free! On Steam! Watch A Trailer!

Floating Sine

Drawing With Gravity In Floating Point

Fault

What’s Your Fault?

Hoplite banner

The Randomised Tactical Elegance Of Hoplite

Gone Point

Here I Am Being Interviewed By Steve Gaynor For Tone Control

Heat Signature Thumbnail

Heat Signature: A Game About Sneaking Aboard Randomly Generated Spaceships

GRappling Hook Thumbnail

The Grappling Hook Game, Dev Log 6: The Accomplice

Alien Swarm Heroics

A Story Of Heroism In Alien Swarm

FTL Story

One Desperate Battle In FTL

Spelunky Banner

To Hell And Back In Spelunky

Game vs story graph

Games Vs Story 2

Gunpoint Breakdown

Gunpoint Development Breakdown

Max Payne 3

Five Things I Learned About Game Criticism In Nine Years At PC Gamer

This is how you die

My Short Story For The Second Machine Of Death Collection

Clouds

Not Being An Asshole In An Argument

Skyrim Diary - Frostmere

Playing Skyrim With Nothing But Illusion

Mainstream Games

How Mainstream Games Butchered Themselves, And Why It’s My Fault

A-Rock-and-a-Hard-Place-Trio-Jan

A Short Script For An Animated 60s Heist Movie

Dark Messiah

The Magical Logic Of Dark Messiah’s Boot

Arguing

Arguing On The Internet

Stealth Games

Why Are Stealth Games Cool?

Violence

E3’s Violence Overload, Versus Gaming’s Usual Violence Overload

Suspicious Manifesto

The Suspicious Developments manifesto

GDC

GDC Talk: How To Explain Your Game To An Asshole

Crosslink

Listening To Your Sound Effects For Gunpoint

Happiness

Understanding Your Brain

What Makes Games Good

What Makes Games Good

Seat Quest

A Story Of Plane Seats And Class

Beneath Suspicion

Avoiding Suspicion At The US Embassy

Open Worlds

An Idea For A Better Open World Game

Level Up

A Different Way To Level Up

BioShock Ending

How I Would Have Ended BioShock

Meet the Spy

My Script For A Team Fortress 2 Short About The Spy

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 Unlockable Weapon Ideas

Football Manager

Don’t Make Me Play Football Manager

EVE Assassins

EVE’s Assassins And The Kill That Shocked A Galaxy

GalCiv 2

My Galactic Civilizations 2 War Diary

Gnome

I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

Machine of Death

My Short Story For The Machine Of Death Collection

AOL

A Woman’s Life In Search Queries

Second Life

First Night, Second Life

SWAT 4

SWAT 4: The Movie Script

Gnome

I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome

Halfway through reviewing Half-Life 2: Episode Two for PC Gamer about a month ago, Valve PR Doug Lombardi asks me if I know about the gnome achievement.

“No?”
“Did you find the gnome near the start?”
“Yeah.”
“You have to put him in the rocket before it launches.”
“But isn’t that right near the end of the game?”
“Yeah.”
“Doesn’t that mean you have to-“
“Yeah.”
“Oh I’m so doing that.”

A month or so later, I have.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 11-49-02-93

Obviously any time you know you’re going to be coming back to an area, you can set him down there and go off on your own. My tendancy to put him in areas where I knew something dramatic was going to happen cost me my gnome once or twice.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 12-32-36-70

You’d think the defense section in the mines would be an easy spot – just leave him there and come back. Yes. But don’t leave him near the people you’re protecting. It turns out there’s a bottomless chasm directly behind them with inadequate safety railings, and antlion swipes send the little guy flying.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 13-03-47-92

The gnome adds poignancy to any scene.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 13-22-59-59

But he’s a liability in lifts – put him on the floor and he sometimes gets stuck, jamming part of the lift but letting the rest move up, fatally crushing everyone inside. Except the gnome. The gnome, I discovered after a quick save-and-load test, is indestructable.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 13-35-17-87

Like The Freeman, he’s a good listener during exposition.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 13-45-12-35

He managed to fall out of this lift while it was going up, meaning I had to throw myself off a cliff with 3 health to get back down and retrieve him, and pray that the lift was summonable again from the gound floor. It was.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 14-16-25-43

Ah, how easy all this would have been if Alyx really did hold him on her lap. And an extra 3% onto the score, by the way, Valve. But no, he clips through her, and half-rests within the chassis of the car, sliding around it wildly with the slightest acceleration and hurling himself dramatically out of it at even the gentlest turns.

You get the car after a long trek through some sludge and abandoned buildings infested with zombies. I left the gnome with Alyx and the Vortigaunt, because I knew you come back to that area once you get the car. But then I remembered with some degree of horror that you don’t actually get back into that room again – you have to open the door to it for the two of them using a switch in another room, and it only stays open for a few seconds.

Could I, if I pulled the switch from as far away as it was usable, then spun one-eighty, jumped off the ladder, dashed up the stairs and barged my way past Alyx and the alien, get back in there and grab the gnome?

No.

I could, however, pull the switch, spin one-eighty, leap off the ledge, dash up the stairs, barge past the NPCs and suck him to me with the Gravity Gun just microseconds before the door slammed back shut. If I’d left him a few feet further from the exit, I would have had to repeat the whole section. Holding a fucking gnome.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 14-31-38-01

Strapping him to the bonnet does not work.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 23-41-53-48

Here’s the gnome at the end of the Hunter-Chopper pursuit section. That section is tricky for a few reasons.

1) If you steer at all, the gnome falls out of your car. If you don’t steer at all, you run straight into the Chopper’s mines and die.
2) If you go fast, he falls out. If you go slow, the Chopper switches to direct-fire mode, hovers in front of you and fires directly in your face, killing you.
3) If you stop to pick up the gnome when he falls out, the Chopper swings down low over your vehicle, and the downdraft sends the gnome flying. It’s impossible to put him back in the car under these conditions, or predict where he’ll go if you fire him into that downdraft with the gravity gun, or survive for more than a few seconds because of all the gunfire.

So it plays a little like a nightmarish version of Speed – you have to keep your velocity above a certain margin to avoid certain death, but at the same time drive as slowly as possible and incredibly carefully.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 23-51-03-78

Alyx sometimes gives the gnome funny looks.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 23-51-34-09

He is also more photogenic in bright lighting conditions, and prefers studio lighting where available.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-14 23-51-51-78

I could have left the little guy here while I dealt with the Autogun, but I couldn’t remember if you go back into the garage after the rebels have fixed your car, or if they take it out to you and the garage is shut. I left it on the road outside instead.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-15 00-15-11-26

I’m not really sure what happened here. I left him to stand sentry on the high wall outside the Inn, and after the Hunter fight he was face-down in the dirt at the scene of what looks like it must have been a fairly serious explosion.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-15 00-26-22-66

The gnome knows no fear. He knows nothing.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-15 00-30-06-87

White Forest, at freaking last.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-15 00-32-54-55

The gnome is keen to learn of your ‘AR3’s.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-15 00-33-34-51

Who watches the watchers? The gnome does. He watches everyone, unblinkingly.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-15 00-34-37-04

His presence starts to get a little creepy during the more personal moments.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-15 00-36-16-93

Ah, his chariot at long last. Lamarr is permitted to enter first, being named after a female.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-15 00-36-17-87

Farewell, brave traveller! May I never, ever set eyes on your stupid fucking face again.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-15 00-37-23-94

The hatch is sealed, the deal is done. The achievement is not unlocked. The worry begins here, and does not end until after the credits roll – the achievement never actually pops up.

Gnome hl2 2007-10-15 15-04-06-72

But there he goes, exploding in space alongside everyone’s favourite headcrab eunoch. I’m guessing Kleiner won’t have time to grieve in the rather more serious context of Episode Three.

Little Rocket Man

It had indeed registered the Achievement. It’s nice to have a permanent record of the insanity Valve have inexplicably put me through, but by the end of it the satisfaction of doing something really, really difficult and really, really pointless was enough.

Update! Trey The Gnome is going even more in-depth on this, since he, you know, is the gnome. He’s started his own blog about it, and he’s taken a load of shots I wish I’d thought to get.

Up-update! Chris Livingston, author of the superb webcomic Concerned, had a much, much better idea. He’s screenshotting the gnome as if he is Gordon Freeman, and it’s already produced three completely priceless images. The rest are here.

Up-up-update! Er, a few things seem to need clarifying. In descending order of obviousness:

  • This is not Halo (!). It’s Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
  • This isn’t a review (!?). My Episode Two review is online here, along with my Portal and Team Fortress 2 ones.
  • There isn’t really a Gnome Supply Closet in the silo at White Forest (!??). I was joking in the comments.
  • There isn’t a second gnome near the rocket launcher cache – Kotaku commenter Thorn thought he saw one there, but later realised he was thinking of the same place we all got it from near the start.
  • I was playing on PC. Steam has an Achievements system just like Xbox Live.
  • It has been established that due to its design the gnome is probably, but not definitely, an Amelie reference.
  • My screenshots are definitely Amelie references.
  • This run through actually took less time than my first, gnome-free play-through of the game. It’s harder, but it’s not significantly slower.
  • ‘Pentadact’ in the comments is me, Tom Francis, master of stealth. I don’t know why that’s not made clear anywhere on this site.

Tip! If you’re trying for the Grubs achievement, you’re insane, but commenter Escobard points out a guide by bdmason over at the Steam forums that will help. It tells you how many you should have killed at the end of each section.

Lastly: Garry has more gnomes than you or I:

GNOME

More

Mark (AKA Delphi): Pain in the ass or what?
It took me about 17 goes to get thru that hunter-chopper bit.
But it is done!
And what d'you think of the thing turning up in Episode 3 after the explosion catapulting it far enough? :P

Tom Francis: Man, that has to happen. That'd be an extra 5% onto whatever score it gets if I reviewed it. Even if it's already on 96%.

The_B: Wait, doesn't that make you PCG's community player of the week/month?

Ayan: Surely an Amelie rip off? :)
Still brilliant.

Jonty: I KNEW IT. I got as far as, ooh, the train yard where Alyx gets hit by the Hunter before Walker came in and said "doesn't that mean you've just got to fire him in the air?"

So I tried and lost him and gave up. Heroic.

Tom Francis: B: No, I didn't e-mail myself to claim my prize. Mark did.

Tony Ellis: Wait a sec... are you saying you don't *have* to fire the gnome into space to close the super-portal?

Iain McC: It's this kind of thing they invented the phrase "mad props" for.

Richard: Mad, anyway.

Tom Francis: And he's a prop?

Edcrab: When I heard people were *actually doing this*, I didn't know whether prolonged mocking or major kudos was in order.
I bet someone at Valve sat down and thought "let's put in an incredibly bizzare achievement and see who's prepared to torture themselves just so they can say they did it". You did it, and it was hilarious.
So kudos. And a little mockery on the side.

Trey The Gnome: Your biography of my travels is fairly inaccurate, and puts me in quite an awful light. I do appreciate your attempt, but the liberties you took in telling my story are nearly flagerant!

You can read my true stories here, straight from the lion's mouth. http://treygnome.blo... ...gspot.com/

Trey The Gnome

Man Raised By Puffins: I left the gnome in the same place you did, but it was just out of reach of the gravity gun when I tried to retrieve it. I ended up having to replay the section, but I chucked the gnome over beforehand and made sure he landed on the other side (http://snipurl.com/1s9w2).

That chopper bit is a nightmare, although I almost finished it last night (had to stop before I drove myself insane, natch).

Sindre: Congratulations on hitting Waxy's link list! The minute I saw this post I just thought that this deserved major attention, and now it has

Tom Francis: OH MY GOD. But Waxy is how I know when something is cool! It's also where I steal all my links from and make it look like I found them! ANDY BAIO WILL KNOW.

It's really weird having yourself pop up in your feed reader. "Ooh, that sounds like my kind of thing. Wait, it is my thing."

Phil Nelson: Also via The Lately Infrequent Links Of Andy Baio. Fun post. Also, there is no way in hell I'm going to try this, ever.

Andy Baio: Aww, you guys are too nice. And don't worry, I'll be back soon. Stay tuned.

Anonymous: Lamarr is a male name.

Gilla: traveloctiy wants there fucking gnome back.

Onion: Lamarr IS a male name, but that headcrab is named after the famous scientist, Hedy Lamarr - http://en.wikipedia.... ...edy_Lamarr

The More You Know...

don: "A month or so later, I have."

If it took you over a month to accomplish this, how can you be posting the results less than 8 days after Episode 2 was released?

Anonymous: Umm no, Lamarr is the last name of Hedy Lamarr, an actress. . . DORK MOBILE AWAY!!!

Matt: For the bridge scene I had to do it over because i put it in the inside corner and I realized I couldn't get it. But you don't have to carry it with you through that whole section. You can launch it over the door and onto the bridge and pick it up again when you jump the gap.

Chopper scene was a pain in the ass. Good job finishing it though.

Thorn: While this is very amusing, what's hilarious is the fact you completely missed the gnome near the rocket launcher cache... which makes getting this achievement far, far easier than you detail. Good job, though! :D

Ryland: Holy crap, this might explain the dialog between Magnusson and Kleiner during the launch prep... Kleiner says (if memory serves) something about a weight discrepancy of 8 1/2 lbs, and Magnusson says it doesn't matter. How much does the gnome weigh?

Chad: Awesome.. I don't think I could do it...

And Ryland, that says that because the head crab is inside the rocket at launch.

Anonymous: They're referring to Lamarr.

jabroni: I also left him on the wrong side of that quick closing door... So I stacked a bunch of shit up in front of the door (pallets, crates, etc), flipped the switch, and ran. Alyx and the Vort got stuck trying to walk through the stuff, and the door remained open until they were clear, which gave me enough time to suck him on through. What a moment of triumph.

Of course, it was all thrown away when I just flat gave up on the helicopter chase.

Sicksikmans: Maybe you didn't know, but that Gnome is actualy a reference to the French movie 'Le Fabuleux destin d'Amelié Poulet' from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the guy who also made Alien 4. In that movie, there's the same Rien Poortvliet-design gnome (the guy who did also the design for the David the Gnome animation series) which is sent around the world to encourage Amelié's father to see more of the world. Really, you should watch that movie. It's one of the best European productions there is (and as me being Dutch, I know a lot of European productions. And they mostly suck ass. But not this one).

blknite: Anonymous, you are both right and wrong about Hedy Lamarr. She was both an actress and a scientist/inventor. During world war two, she invented spread spectrum radar jamming used by american and british bombers to defeat german radar installations.

Redd: I'm soon to get this game and I want this achievement too! I'm gonna use your tips, hehe.

Craigp: Don "If it took you over a month to accomplish this, how can you be posting the results less than 8 days after Episode 2 was released?"

Because Tom reviewed the game for PC Gamer UK, and so had access to the game a while ago.

Man Raised By Puffins: screenz plz Thorn.

Tom Francis: Trey - in deference to the fact that your screenshots are way better than mine, I've added a link to your travels in the main post.

Don - I did it in one evening, but it had been a month since Valve told me about the achievement while I was reviewing the game.

Jabroni - that's genius, I'd like to think I would have thought of that if my mad dash hadn't worked.

Sicksikmans - yeah, I posed these shots with Amelie in mind. Do you mean that the specific gnome used in Ep2 is modeled after the one in Amelie? If so, that's awesome. If not, it may not be an Amelie reference - Amelie wasn't the first to do the postcard prank.

Thorn - ha ha. I was going to include a disclaimer to the effect of "The first comment is probably going to be 'Why didn't you just get one from the Gnome Supply Closet at White Forest?'" Even if what you say were true, it would rather defeat the point of the achievement. Which is, as I say, to do something really, really difficult and really, really pointless, yet strangely fun.

Anonymous: http://www.buycoolsh... ...mofub.html

bad to the gnome baby

Captain John: Dude, those screenshots are teh hilarity. Thanks for posting this, it made my morning today! Incidently, where is this "Gnome supply closet" in White Forest? Maybe a screencap of that would complete the tale of absurdity. Nice work =)

DT: Is he breakeable? - or can you handle him "hard handedly"?
This is seriously funny....

Nate: haha that is awesome, great placement in the photos

Trey The Gnome: I do appreciate the mention, my good man! More from my adventures in a bit.

aaron: congratulations on a huge waste of time.

Eric Monse: Didn't know you could do that with gnomes.

Sicksikmans: Pentadact - I've looked it up for you by the magic of the internets. The gnome in Amelie is posing in some hitch-hiking manner, instead of the lazy ass, hands in his pocket Half Life brother. But their both Rien Poortvliet design gnomes, with the same colors, same height and same faces. Trust me, I know my gnomes.

Justin P.: When your driving the car stuff the gnome through the back window. Most of the time he will get stuck, some times only temporarily, and any impact with anything other than an enemy will dislodge him, but it made the helicopter chase so much easier.

BigBoy+-: Could be someone kill that gnome, please?

Lance: vote for lance!

andrew: i just want to comment to guy number 3 up there on the top "Ayan"

surely an amelie rip-off?

it's called homage. it's not meant to be ground breaking and calling it a rip-off just shows that you don't really get satire.

now go kill yourself.

mnt: When i read this i found it hard to believe, and i put it off as a hoax. But after a minute or so i just had to start HL2 and look at the achivement-section. It was like seeing Elvis.

Derk: Hey, is it possible to leave the gnome by say, the table where the vorts are healing and just come back to that scene later on and find it there? Or are you trying to tell me that I have to take this guy all throughout the chase down with the giant underground antlion guard?

Dave Greiman: Gnomes are destroying America.

Anonymous: Derk,

You can leave it there. Itll be there when you come back...just dont forget about it like I did.

dzimmerm: I also managed to unlock the "Little Rocketman" achievement.

Things I noticed.

1) If the gnome falls into radioactive sludge you usually cannot pull him back with the gravity gun unless you know exactly where he went.

2) To wedge the gnome in the back window you need to sit him on the trunk, as close to the window as possible in a prone position. Centered is better due to there being less chance of dislodging him when you get in and out of the car. Once he is positioned as specified you gently accelerate and then slam on the brakes. Inertia will cause the gnome to fly forward and get wedged in a horizontal position suspended over what would be the back seat.
This position is by no means secure but he does not roll around as much and can withstand gentle pressures sideways better than just leaving him in the main body of the car.

3) The chopper actually aims at the gnome!

4) If you leave the gnome in the car while doing the hatching adviser scene the car will have moved to sitting in front of the combine troop transport after the adviser escapes. The gnome may have been present somewhere but I could not find him and had to redo the scene with him sitting in a building.

5) Don't ever sit the gnome down on a object that may move or be shot at. While the gnome is indestructible, he can be accelerated by fire to places unknown or unreachable. The gnome seems to be the preferred target of any enemy that is shooting at you.

6) The gnome makes a fairly decent projectile against smaller enemies.

7) I found a possible bug that allows the first segment of the helicopter chase to be a bit easier.

If you let the gnome fall out of the car at the beginning of the helicopter chase and make your way to the twin tunnels and go just past the loading screen into the next segment you can then get out of the car and walk back through the segment transition. At this point the loading screen starts and the game locks up. I had to reset the computer and reboot, restart the game, and when I came back to the last autosave game there I was in the initial train yard by the twin tunnels with no car, no Alyx, and more importantly, no chopper. I walked back to where the gnome had fallen, picked him up, and carried him all the way back to the tunnel. Once I transitioned the loading screen there was the car, with Alyx, and the ever present chopper waiting outside to greet me.

I had to do this twice as I lost the gnome when I left him with the car after the engine exploded. He does not stay with the car when they repair it. Doing it twice tends to put more credence with this being a bug rather than a random occurrence.

8) The second half of the chopper chase was more doable as there is more cover for going back and getting the gnome when he falls out. The chopper tends to stay hovering over the car so as soon as you get out of range you have time to retrieve the gnome as well as take care of the zombies and zombine you missed during your initial drive through.

I think the achievement system really helps flesh out this episode.

Joel: The attack chopper scene is MUCH easier if you drive WITHOUT the gnome to the base where you fight the attack chopper, but don't go into the base. Once the attack chopper gets near to the base, the attack chopper will not follow you back to get the gnome. My memory is a little fuzzy on it, but I seem to recall a ramp that you are forced to jump somewhere in the middle of the chase area. So obviously you'll have to drive the damn gnome to to the ramp area OR hoof it on foot back to get him. It certainly might be better to hoof it.

dzimmerm: Joel,

I had to replay one section of the game as when I tried to go back and get the gnome, it said I had failed my mission as I was not with Alyx.

If I recall correctly it was the scene where you bust through the gate and your engine catches on fire.

I think you have to go rescue the gnome in the second half of the chopper chase before you break through the gate into the chopper kill scene segment. The busting of the gate seems to be the point between where you can or can not leave Alyx alone for a time.

I am playing the PC Steam version of HL2 EP2, BTW.

dzimmerm

ZiNoX: yxaxaxaxaaaa!!!

ZiNoX: ???a gde ego dosta'???

Tom Francis: No.

Dewes: ehehe, totally Amelie! One day I'll try it too!

Hairy Furnace: Garden centres should be told - its a USP

The_B: Hello PCGamer US Podcast people!

You do remember you're supposed to be playing against Tom when you play TF2 right? He'll be the one stabbing you guys in the back.

keoskey: episode 3 achevment find your long lost gnome buddy

Kip: http://www.internet-... .../gnome.jpg

yeah i kinda forgot to put it in the rocket.... :(

Tom Francis: Noooo! Do you have a save you can go back to?

Kip: Yeah, it was a bit further back than I had hoped, but I did it :)

Joel: dzimmerm: Yes, that's true. Do NOT bust through the gate where your engine catches fire, else you're screwed. But maybe not...it's possible to kill off the chopper and THEN hoof it back to where you left him, but I have my doubts.

daxuznoir: who knew engineers could be so demonic lol!

Viridus: just did the rocket man thing.... looooooooooooooldidn'tgetcreditouch
no sv cheats wasn't enabled
no commentary wasn't enabled
it just didn't give me credit... goddamn gnome

as for the helicopter part, i reccomend just driving alex to the objective* (see below). then running back and grabbing the gnome, walking him up using the trains as cover, you can duck underneath them.

if you are a "creative use of game mechanincs" type of person, i noticed that if you leave the car at the advisor's place, and walk to the checkpoint, it will teleport the car and alex to you. i'm assuming if you put the gnome in the car before you do this it will teleport with it, although i didn't get to check this out (i wanted the real hurt baby)

*during the chopper chase, segment 1, you can drive alex all the way to the checkpoint and then go back for the gnome. However during the second segment, right before the part where you kill the chopper, you have to do it in increments, if you get to far away from the car or alex it fails you.

i'm assuming the reason i didn't get credit might have been because i was saving games too frequently. this sounds iffy, more likely it's just because Valve wanted me to be the ubernerd and do little rocketman twice

Snidely: Forgot to seal the rocket door, achievement not obtained. D: Made a save at that point, thankfully, but still a pain.

Roger: Here's a shortcut when you have to get the car. You can blast the gnome onto bridge (the part where you will land the car) if you lean out the opening that's close to the sniper rifle Alyx uses. Be sure to save as it took me a couple tries.

Dakota: titty! ( o Y o )

The Confused One: I would of used that Gnome for anything, such as a stepping stone, scenery, bashing the zombies with it via Gravity Gun, blocking bullets, distract the enemy with his grand stare. What I thought was weird was that you never get to see Barney throughout the entire Episode Two, it makes it look like Barney was unimportant in Episode One.

IForgotWhoIAm: lol.... "this is not Halo (!)"
uh who could be as dumb as to think it was halo? here is the name of this article:
"I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome"
yeah. it aint halo.
also, i wish there was a gnome supply closet at white forest. it would make things so much easier.

Viridus: ...you have to seal the door? well that explains why i didn't get credit, too bad it wasn't saved... oh well, Little Rocket Man, attempt 2. See you guys in about 7 hours!

Ninja dog: I started on this yesterday and it's all pretty fine and dandy until it comes time to drive.
http://www.hobbes-fo... ...l=&s= contains the chronicles of my journey thus far. Hopefully I can maintain my motivation and level of quality to do the rest of it.

Filip: Hehe I have been flying with the rocket ;)

After pressing the red button to lounch the rocket --console--noclip 1 and go on the rocket :D :D :D
or spawn stalkers or better vortigaunts on the rocket (bind 7 "npc_create_aimed npc_vortigaunt") and stop the rocket then game ends like the rocket actually flew away :D
It is really interesting-looking fight between vortigaunts and stalkers if you spawn them above the rocket on the radar(antena) construction (best to spawn them one on another hihi)
If they fall 100m down they dont die! LOL
Dog is mortal if you let 4 zombies on hom :D hihi (spawn dog and zombies in closed room)
Or go to the room that is shown on the monitors in the controll room where you lounch rocket and spawn a few stalkers you will see some funny stuff on "TV" :D
Vortigounts(if you spawn them) dont shoot advisors in the bare end? :D lol

Nkon: Lol, did anyone notice that this is a vampire gnome?
he has no shadow!!! :PPP

tyler: Did you ever end up having to kill something with the gnome?

Pudgehuffr: I just got this achievement myself last night. Curses and pox upon the staff of Valve for not putting some sort of compartment in the car for Trey to ride in. The helicopter part was truly a bitch.

During my trip, Trey was often used as a projectile, at least a hundred times, responsible for at least 50 killing blows. Covered in gore, he was then blown up, shot, launched across a bridge, shot some more, then blown up a few more times. He then bore witness to several plot-essential conversations then got shoved in the rocket w/ some choice words to follow him and lamarr into oblivion.

I would like to say that the helicopter does indeed aim for the gnome. If you are in the unfortunate spot to have to jump out and recover his smug little face (again) and you hear the gun warming up, drop him, hide him, do what you need to do to survive the barrage. If you are holding him, every single time the very first bullet fired will knock him out of your hands (or away from your gravity gun) and the resulting volley will kick him dozens of feet away.

MeinKamphyChair: Yes! I did it! Only part I had trouble with was obviously the helicopter part. But I did find a way to keep him under control a little better in the car. You can wedge him into the back seat, and he'll only come out if you change direction violently (which is usually often, unfortunately), but its better than having him fall off every 10 feet. It was good that I remember how everything went in the game, so I didnt feel led to take him underground for the Guardian part. Leaving him at the elevator near Alyx and the 'Gaunts is so much easier. Just, like the other man said, dont forget what you're replaying the game for when you come back up! xD So epic coming up that elevator after a hard night underground, and seeing that darned thing standing there looking at you when you come up. Sorry Alyx, I was more glad to see the gnome safe, than see you back alive. =O

Other than the chopper part, man, it was great! There's just something really absurdly funny about your self-imposed mission. You're running around killing stuff and saving the world..... with a gnome. The relief you feel when you pull up outside White Forest with the Gnome safe in hand is just indescribable.

jonny: there is a second gnome cache, well after your first screenshots, as far as i remember it is right before you get the car. you have the gnome when alex gets hurt by the hunter, but the gnome cache i am talking about is WELL after that

Ninja dog: ss or it doesn't exist

MeinKamphyChair: It doesnt exist kthx. I'm darned well tired of hearing about it. Mostly because I so dont want my 4 hour trek back through the game holding that darned ugly son-of-a-gun to be all for naught if there's an easier method.

Bairdk: Fuck that shit, I didn't close the hatch so I didn't get the achievement. And all my autosaves are to far ahead to go back and shut the door. Fuck my life, I'm not starting over again.

Tom Francis: So far we're loosely conforming to the rule that the longer after the original post a comment comes, the scarier it will be. See also the last comment on "Dexter Again": http://www.pentadact... ...xter-again

Probydoby: did anyone else had the same problem, that if u drop ur gnome out of the car, and u exit your car, you fly like 1000 feet into the air........

it was amusing at first,

annabel: Has anyone else noticed that if you step on the gnome, you trip over and die?

Spidery_Yoda: I also didn't shut the rocket door. I didn't even know you could. My last saves are all during the strider fight, except, oddly, one right before the car section. Although i really don't feel up to going through all that with the gnome again.

Its really stingy the way you have to shut the door :(.

Brendan N.: i found a way to stick the gnome on the car for it stay.. but it falls out if you hit something.

Nicole: The chopper pursuit makes me cry. Stupid fucking gnome.

Jake T: Thanks your this page, it helped me out a lot while bringing that damn gnome around. I think i might have been a bit too ambitious, realizing that if I keep that damn gnome in the car, there is no way I'm beating DOG in a race... they have a Magnussen Device rack, where's the gnome rack?

detard: Well I did it... and OMG. I didn't think that this achievement would be the hardest to finally complete when I got started. I never even thought of the driving part until I was in the middle of it. I'll admit, I didn't do it quite as intended... I RAN it to the tunnel on the first part of the chopper chase. I didn't take the car with me, it was just too insane to, and it only took me like 2 tries. But anyhow.... all HL2:EP2 achievements completed. :D

http://steamcommunit... .../id/detard

detard: Oh.... lol and forgot to mention.

I tried to wedge the gnome into behind my seat and somehow I got it SUPER wedged and the game didn't like it too well. It was so stuck that the car refused to move because it treated it like an unmoveable object... and when I went to pick it back up, I got HIT by the gnome!! lol! I took a hit that brought me from about 85 to 8 hp. The gnome about kicked my ass!

nulll: I'm working on going through with the gnome in a clever way. Basically the achievements system doesn't recognize achievements if any cheats are enabled. However achievements still seem to work if you're just using the console to alter the helicopter's settings.

I set it so the it's movement speed was really slow, it's explosives had no effect, and it's main gun could only fire for 0.1 seconds, which only lets it get 2 shotsoff, and I set the "cone" pattern of the gun's spray to be really wide. Basically the 'copter hit me only once or twice.

Doing it that way gave me all the time in the world to keep the gnome in the car. Not that a great deal of time was necessary since the gnome wasn't being blown away anymore. Oh and setting the 'copters explosives to have no effect doesn't affect your ability to bring it down at the end of the level.

We'll see if I can get the achievement this way. It shouldn't be a problem since it doesn't require turning on cheats.

Andrew: I did this whole thing but didn't know to close the door when i put the gnome in so to everyone about to do this CLOSE THE FUCKING ROCKET DOOR

Pete: I left Trey (hehe) outside one of the huts just before the chopper bit. I then drove back and forth through the train yard at a steady pace, and each time the chopper dropped its bombs I'd jump out the car and use the grav gun to return the bombs back to the chopper - you only need to hit it three times to take it out:) However, the chopper does return once you get to the base, but the job is as good as done by then. Unfortunately for me though, I didn't close the rocket hatch meening no achievement was awarded. I'd also written over all my save games when going for the "neighbourhood watch" achievement. I could of fucking cried, lol.

Josh G.: Hey man,
I came across this page while searching for Episode Two/Orange Box achievement guides. I absolutely loved this :) I saw the gnome at the start of the game and noticed the achievement, but didn't know what I had to do. After reading through your hilarious article i'm now taking the little guy along with me for the ride and finding it a little tedious yet simultaneously hilarious.

Romul: Неплохо!Вполне!

Lex: I'm not even half way the chopper chase and I already deeply hate the gnome. When I've unlocked that achievement, I'm going to spend an hour just pounding him with the crowbar and emptying all my guns in his face.

The_B: (All together now)

...and in the game!

nulll: In the level when you get the car, if you place the gnome on top of the half-corpse and against the door that you open from the other side at the end of the level, the gnome will fall clear of the door.

http://i102.photobuc... .../gnome.jpg

JiggaWagga: Anyone catch the innuendo when Dr. Magnesson is yelling about his rocket working. HAHA.

Anyway, as far as this Gnome goes, I actually carried it through the whole game just to doccument its journey, and didn't realize that there was an actual achievement associated with it. lol. So Then after I beat the game with the damn thing I tried to go back to one of my save points to get it to the rocket again. Of course there was only one that wasn't overwritten and it is when you are driving. Then I accidentally left the thing behind and my save point got overwritten without it. Then my hard drive died, so needless to say, I am still Little Rocket Manless. :( However my screenshots can be viewed here) they are a bit out of order because of the way that myspace organizes them, but still some of them are funny.

SCorpion: Lol i found it and i heard that it would unblovk something, i'm on the car part of the game it's very hard to keep up with the gnome, very hard really... Good game for all!

OMG i was dumb..: To anyone that also wants to do this. Take note that you can leave him in some places and come back for him. I took him ALL the way through the antlion tunnels, even with that big ass guardian chasing me and you cant sprint while holding the gnome. And then again ALL the way through that toxic stuff before you get the car.

Oh my god. It could have been so much easier for me.
But still, the car parts were ANNOYING... he just will not stay in there!!

PS: Make sure you CLOSE THE ROCKET DOOR when you put him in, otherwise it does not count as completed!!

vjeko: the gnome can get stuck in the back car window. he stayed for a while and i drove like crazy.

Frag.Stag: I got lucky; my first play-through, (sans-gnome) I accidentally shut the rocket door on Lamarr. So I knew about that part. Funny thing is, after I put the gnome in the rocket and closed the door, I somehow "grabbed" him and pulled him out of the rocket through the door, then put him back in (through the door) when I realized what had happened. Still got the achievement.

In addition to leaving the gnome by the door where you get the car (per nulll's post) you can also leave him in the room where you hold off the Antlion's while you get the larval extract. You can also leave the gnome in the garage while you take out the big gun (right after the chopper battle.)

During the car chase, I used the trains to cover against the chopper's guns when retrieving the gnome. Recovery goes: Lose gnome, jump out, hide (looking for gnome while chopper attacks), grab gnome, hide again (if necessary), throw gnome in car and go!

Josh G.: Yeah for everyone who is having trouble with the Hunter-Chopper section, as someone mentioned above, the best place to put your gnome is squeeze him into the back of the car through the rear window so hes kinda floating in mid air.

This will make him pretty safe when accelerating and reversing, and he even seems to stay put when turning harshly, but one thing that dislodges him really quickly is any large collision. It worked fine for me, the gnome stayed put most of the time.

Be warned though that sometimes using this method the gnome can freak out and cause the car to become totally static and undrivable, if that happens you'll have to pull the gnome out and shove him back in.

Annoying bugger he is.

Nemo1024: I am going to do the Gnome self-torture run now and would like to say thanks to everyone who posted here - many useful hints, especially the one about closing the rocket door :) I am going to try some alternative approaches to several gnomic problems and will post here later. In the meantime, here is one amusing quotation I found in Terry Pratchett's "Death's Domain: The Discworld Mapp":

"But no amount of wistful thinking will do away with the garden gnomes, unfortunately. Again, these are one of the things which Death saw as he went on his rounds, and thought were part of normal garden practice instead of the dangerous illness we know them to be. They ara, of course, skeletal, with hoods and robes, but are in the same position of igratiating cheerfulmess as their rosy-cheecked brethren, except that common gnomes don't carry scythes. There is, as yet, no Death of Garden Gnomes. But it can only be a matter of time."

Nemo1024: Was it you, who did this video on YouTube, or did someone use your screenshots?

http://www.youtube.c... ...d2RILvYlNs

Tom Francis: Ha! No, that wasn't me. How bizarre. He even added a little 'Achievement Unlocked' Xbox logo at the end, even though I played on PC. And set it to a slightly annoying Wolf Parade song. Still, not complaining - I don't imagine anything else I've done has had a tribute video before.

pagettypol: I completed this quest recently, and I must say it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The car driving bit isn't as bad, you can get away with driving like an old woman and he'll only pop out a few times. The only bit I found to be a bigger was being chased about by the Antlion Guardian in the tunnels before you go for the hive sample (which I later realised you didn't have to do).

Unfortunately my achievement box hasn't changed yet, dunno why. Definitely shut the door properly and everything and replyed the ending as well so something has gone awry. At least I know I've done it.

Caleb: All you have to do during the chopper chase is get out and shoot the gnome as far as you can, drive up, shoot, until the chase is done. You will have to do it a couple times, but it is much easier than taking him with you.

IForgotWhoIAm: I have an idea for those who have Gary's mod that I think you might want to try......
Someone joked about a Gnome Supply closet in White Forest and I got an idea, something that was also helped by the modded pic of a zillion gnomes. Use Gary's mod. Make a Gnome Supply Closet. Several shots so we can see the outside and inside. Also consider making an Infinate Ammo Crate for gnomes. Maybe even make a rocket launcher that fires gnomes while you're at it! Have fun!

annabel: Am part way through re-doing the gnome quest, cos first time I tried it, I was playing through with the developer commentaries. The game seems to treat these as cheats (makes sense, invulnerability while commentary playing), so I didn't get any achievements. Barg barg barg. But it definitely works to leave the gnome behind just before the helicopter race, drive into the tunnel, wait for the loading screen then leave the car and run back for the gnome. Similarly for the race with Dog.

Tom Francis: Heh. Must remember to say "Barg barg barg" the next time something frustrates me.

I'm amazed at the number of people prepared to do this twice, either because of the dev commentary or because they didn't know to close the shuttle door.

Dahl: ZOMFG! I did this aswell. Really hated the chopper part, but thanks for the advise with the backseat.

Sanctus: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I did the entire achievement, the entire game twice, put the stupide gnome in the rocket, played the rest of the game, killed those striders again (managed to get no building destroyed this time), rocket launched, credits, and guess what... GUESS WHAT! I didn't get the achievement! I'm soooo pissed now :( I kept quick saving, so guess what, I'll have to replay my last 2-3 hours, hoping to get the achievement this time. If I don't get it.... I'll be realllllly mad.

Sanctus: Did I just read "didn't know to close the shuttle door"? Dammit!!! :P

Max Grant: Just starting the chopper chase with the gnome. Will try shoving him onto the deck behind me, as that worked for awhile.

When I went through the Zombie Yard to get the car, I left the gnome right next to the door. Alyx and the Vort came through and the door shut, with my gnome on the other side. So I stacked (after MANY trials and errors) the folding chair that's sitting there on top of the supply box in such a way that it would fall across the threshold, then ran back and sucked the gnome out under the door. First time I did it the gap was too tiny and the door eventually kicked the chair out (fortunately on my side of the threshold).

And when I left Alyx with the Vorts to go get the Extract, I left Trey sitting behind the rail where the two rebel guys were.

Started on the helicopter chase, btw. It sucks.

ToxicCookie: This only took me 3 hours and 21 minutes, what actually took longer was FINDING the Gnome, since 29 out of the 30 websites I visited just said the "very beginning" of the game, I assumed it would be found at the very beginning, not 13 minutes into the game, thankfully one website actually told you were to find it. So anyway, yeah, not as hard as some would have you believe.

John: I just want to say one thing: Brilliant. I will now be a frequent visitor to your site :).

nulll: Kinda late in posting this but my helo-altering trick works!

That and the trick to jam the gnome in the back of the car makes dealing with the driving portion a breeze.

Did I cheat? Yes, but I'm the type to dodge around things that are unnecessarily a pain in the ass.

What I find weird about this achievement is that if you don't close the door on the rocket, you don't get an achievement but during the rocket launch sequence Dr. Kleiner remarks about a payload abnormality of eight pounds. When you don't put Trey in there, Kleiner notes a difference of 3 pounds. The game knows you put the gnome in there even if you don't close the door. Why don't you get the achievement?

MGSmike: i did this shit in less than a day lol was easy

pantsburgh: So, nobody seems to have dealt with the helicopter like I did...I just blew it up. Made the drive simple enough. If you do kill it, it'll come back a bit later so you can blow it up at the resistance base, but at that point the rest of the drive is a breeze with the gnome in the car. Didn't know about wedging it in the backseat however, that probably would've been easier.

Trey Gnome: Just a note to everyone: Some of my transmissions were delayed, and are just updating now.

I'm also glad to hear how you all solved the many issues on my voyage.

nobody: holy crap. all you guys are effin nuts. lol.

MADMAXGAMER: Very nice , did not know about this. But valve should give some sort of prize for this. Its insane to do it just to do it.

PurpleXVI: I got the 8 pound payload abnormality even without putting the gnome in there, in fact, I got it on two playthroughs where I didn't. What the hell? I also got SOME achievements while "cheating," such as the various story-related ones, finding stashes, etc., but not combat ones such as squishing grubs or murdering with physics.

Could it be possible to get to the rocket, use the console to spawn a gnome, disable cheats, put him inside, close the hatch, play through, get the achievement?

Dbob1819: My gnome knows how to bend the laws of physics. I think he might be glitched. Every time I walk on top of him, I get sent flying far away in a random direction. 'Outside the map boundaries' far.

Anyone else ever see anything like this? I am playing the 360 version of the Orange Box, as if that would have anything to do with it..

Detorio: When i saw this achievement, i thought 'Hey, it wont be that hard. Just sit him in the car and it shall be a breeze.' like mentioned earlier, if only Alyx had help it in her lap :D

The thing that annoyed me most about this achievement was the fact that he couldnt be in the car cos during the Hunter Chopper scene i had to keep getting out of the car, using the Gravity Gun to propel that gnome ahead of the car, zoom in to make sure he was there and then get drive after it, only to stop and repeat the process again. It was great that Alyx was so patient :D

[quote]"If I’d left him a few feet further from the exit, I would have had to repeat the whole section. Holding a fucking gnome."[/quote]

I fought the same and left him a fair distance away from that door. After realising that the amount of time that door was open for was too short, i luckily saw a chair nearby and put it next to the gate. LUCKILY, the chair held the door open and i just managed to suck him in to safety.

This achievement was bittersweet. Almost drove me nuts but one hell of a ride all for an achievement. STILL, never doing it again :D :D

Matt: The zombie sludge part where you get the car... you people came up with some pretty complicated solutions as to how to get the gnome through the door before it closed. Why? I came up with something far more simple.

1. While vortigaunt charges up sniper rifle, grab gnome with gravity gun and fire it OVER the building.

2. It'll hit a wall on the other side if you aim correctly and it'll fall down onto the road.

3. Pick gnome up when you jump over the bridge when you get the car.

soldier: do u u get the achievement when u close the door or until u beat the game

soldier: do u u get the achievement when u close the door or after u beat the game

P.Diddy: I got the achievement as soon as the door was closed but it doesn't have a pop up message in the corner.

Binky: Bugger... I carried the gnome for ages, just because using him to bludgeon badguys to death seemed like a fun thing to do. I finally lost him in some toxic waste after a particularly impressive richocet off a Zombines head.

Now I find out about the rocket... :( *restarts Ep2*

thatTUnut: As of Nov 17th... Steam stats for HL2 achievements shows...

Little Rocket Man-Send the garden gnome into space. 1.1%

And yes I was silly enough to get that done.

Kimbja98: I completed the game with the gnome, only to realise I forgot to shut the door on the rocket so the achievement doesn't count! That means doing silo2 and strider parts again!
So remember, SHUT THE DOOR!

wario2295: i played the xbox 360 and whenever i step on it to long it sends me flying out of the map lol(and death)

xenoangelface: What a wonderful,funny discussion - helpful too in regard to the gnome. Just another bit of info - if you're stuck with the chopper, I flung the gnome as far as possible where the chopper first picks you up. Then, drove up to it, flung it behind the set of trains that are on the right past the first zombies - the two trains are half-out of tunnel. Hop back into car and drive like hell into the first tunnel - allow the next section to load. When it does, edge out of the tunnel, do a quick u-turn and head back the way you came and let the previous section reload. The chopper does not follow you back. I then had time to gain all health packs, collect the dastardly chap and drive real slow through the next sets of zombies, jumps and barnacles. Get the gnome as close to the yard where the chopper atttacks as you can. Take the car into the yard where the engine blows but do not follow Alyx and the guy through,go back and get the gnome BEFORE you enter the yard.

mavrick BROWN: nomes will tack over

Dbob1819: The "Kicking Gnome" seems to only happen with the Xbox 360 version of The Orange Box... I've heard a few people complain about being sent flying when standing on top of the gnome.

Ichneumon: I don't know why everyone's trying to leave the gnome in the "sniper nest" when they traverse under (and then back over) the bridge... Not knowing any better, I just took him with me. I even managed to recover him from the sludge a few times. I laid him on the floorboard of the car as I jumped the broken bridge, and tried not to veer too far left/right as I did it so he wouldn't roll out. He bounced out on the final ramp jump, but slid to a stop by the garage door. Piece of cake.

lloyd christmas: on freeman pontifex i left the gnome in the corner next to the gate. i couldnt get there in time to reach him for the gravity gun so this is what i did.

1. put a chair up against the gate
2. push the button and run like hell
3. while alyx and vort are walking out i push the chair in so the gate is stuck
4. while the gate is stuck i have more time to try again and again with the gravity gun and possibly use a grenade to move his spot.

westpuppets: Finished it and closed the door but still no achievement. It must have to be sitting in some special position in the rocket. Bummer, not worth it to do it all again! ;-(

Inferno: This is incredible. *Bows down to you all*

I must accomplish this myself... someday.

geezerpop: I didn't read all the posts, so someone else may have mentioned it, but Gnomie makes an excellent projectile weapon with the grav gun. Because he is small he's easier to aim, but he still packs plenty of kill power, easily shatttering antlions and acid spitters, blowing up barrels, mowing down zombines, etc. I have even used him effectively against hunters.

He seems to be indestructible, although his pointy hat seemed to lose a bit of sharpness over time. He CAN be hard to find after this sort of use.

Dravean: props.

dethincarn: couldnt u have just typed in sv_cheats 1 and went to rocket then typed in the spawn code for the gnome and then turned sv_cheats off and saved then loaded?

Tom Francis: Nope. Cheating disables all Achievement progress from that point on, as an earlier commenter discovered.

staberas: Thanks guys giving me hint to win the achivement as easy it can gets..
a picture from me
http://img405.images... ...008xe6.jpg

Tim: Freaking awesome - nice work. And nice title.

Gallagher: So completing all achievements dont give you anything special like an exclusive preview of episode 3??

Kmo: "No.

I could, however, pull the switch, spin one-eighty, leap off the ledge, dash up the stairs, barge past the NPCs and suck him to me with the Gravity Gun just microseconds before the door slammed back shut. If I’d left him a few feet further from the exit, I would have had to repeat the whole section. Holding a fucking gnome."

Actually I did thew same thing and after a little thinking i noticed that there is a pallet jack that u can lean against the door. When you open the door it will block its immediate closure and u can crawl through a grab the gnome ^^

Pallet jack
http://freegeekvanco... ...pallet.jpg
I has to ask my buddy what this thing was called

CB: I tried the pallet jack, but the door still closed over it, and it sat there vibrating and throwing up dust. I ended up reloading and playing that level again, carrying the gnome with me.

The real pisser for me is that I don't seem to have gotten the achievement, which I'm just reading now must be due to having developer commentary enabled. Sigh.

RGK: [quote]Farewell, brave traveller! May I never, ever set eyes on your stupid fucking face again. [/quiote]

LOLLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Warlord: is there any point of doing achievements once so ever, especialy the gnome thing? Cause from what I heard is that in the end you geta msg stating that your an idiot who just wasted god knows how much time for no reason.

artyfichial intalijance: umm acheivements dont work on my dialup sooo that sucks

Nemo1024: Done with this achievment. It was counted as soon as I closed the rocket door, though no message came up.

Gunfood: When i discovered the gnome on my second play-through, i didnt know it had any "purpose", but i immediately took him with me for hilarious reasons. i thought of making an online story of it - but discovered this report. anyway, i could have never made it so funny as this one ;)

for those who haven't seen it yet, here's another hilarious video, look from 1:00 :þ
http://www.youtube.c... ...CBYyL_DgSk

Ryan: Fuck, finished the game with the gnome, but it didn't register for some reason. I remember sealing the door too.

Warlord: OFMG 332/333 grubs!!! Where the F*** is the last one?

DamianChapsfield: Jesus christ, the helicopter part sounds intense. I'm saving every few seconds though, just to make sure I have the gnome every time.

Also what commands do you use in the console to disable the chopper/trim its weapons down?

Tamacula: Grubs: Do you remember opening a locker to kill one that was wedged in there?

spraktes: so whoever reccomended shooting the chopper down, thank you. that pint sized fuck would not stay in. btw it takes 5 hits to kill it

KillapleX: What the hell!
i just did it and put him in the rocket played the rest and it didnt give me the achievement!

Da_Nick: Bah, i'm up to the car chase bit. I have the xbox 360 version so it's a little hard to check the status of the gnome and drive at the same time (joysticks aren't as fast as mice). The thing i hate about the xbox 360 version is that all the nearly impossible achievements give me barely any gamerscore (this is due to there being 5 games in the orange box and there have to be a fair amount of achievements for each game (most xbox games have a total gamerscore that you can earn out of achievements of 1000)).

I'll be happy when I never see that goddamn fucking gnomes expression or unshaven beard again!


Also, in response to Warlord: The last grub is just after where alyx is revived and you continue down that tunnel. The grub is in the tannel that branches off where the antlion guardian attempts to break through some boards (haven't been able to confirm this as the last one yet as I only had 324 grubs at that point. Must have missed some :( )

Da_Nick: UPDATE: Ok, I got the gnome into the rocket and CLOSED THE DOOR. I was notified a few seconds later that I had earned the achievement (HURRAY! :D ).

Some things I noticed on the car journey:

The car journey is about an hour long with the gnome in tow but the chopper part is only about 5-15 minutes long. The best idea to pass through this is to leave the gnome behind some of the trains you see shortly after you are confronted with the chopper; you then continue untill you get to the next loading screen. Then slowly head for the exit of the tunnel untill the chopper flys overhead, then head back the way you came and grab the gnome.

From then on a combination if chucking the gnome and stuffing it in the back is your best bet to success. Basically put it in the back when the chopper isn't showering you with bullets and throwing it when the chopper is.

RandomGiantGryphon: I think this has the potential for a great mock Travelocity advertisement.

Evilsod: Omfg... i can't believe they made you do this for the achievement... i also can't believe i'll probably end up trying to do it tomorrow :D

Those bastard Antlion grubs are annoying me too, i'm lacking the Gnome and the Grub achievements now, missed 12 of the buggers last time. At least i killed me a Hunter with radiator propelled fletchettes (perhaps Trey can be used to kill Hunters?).

Its just a shame that they haven't put Achievements onto the pc version of HL2 and HL2:Ep1 yet. Or maybe even put them onto the original Half Lifes.

Escobard: I got past the Helicopter area by shooting the little bugger ahead, jumping in the car, driving to him then either immediatley shooting him ahead again or hide under the box cars until it is safe to do so. Rinse then repeat.

Popinjay: Thanks for the tips and a very enjoyable, funny article. I'm going to start the Gnome quest right away.

Tommy Gun: Thanks for this post! I just completed the achievement, and wrote some more tips on where you can leave him safely:

http://crackedrabbit... ...ment-tips/

Escobard: Oh what a feeling. What a rush. I will miss my dear traveling companion now that he is on his way to the stars. However, now I can have Alyx all to myself. He was constantly hitting on her and as you can see by the first screen shot in this article he even attempted to gangbang her doggy style. When I saw that I knew he had to go.

Now it is back to the tunnels to hunt down the last three grubs.

Evilsod: Finally got this last night... damn the little bugger.

Ended up leaving him in the house, going through the tunnels loading screen and then going back on foot to get him. Got him halfway through the next bit but thsoe jumps send him flying, ditched the car outside the gate where the engine breaks and ran back to get him, chopper doesn't move and tends to aim at the car, but the moment you move into the open it changes target for you instantly so you just have to keep hidden behind the trains.

Now its back to the grub... could really use some stats on how many grub you should've killed at certain points so i know if i've screwed up.

Escobard: Hi Evilsod.

I found a grub count at the following URL.

http://forums.gamern... ...38;t=17051

Have not tried it yet but I will let you all know how it worked.

Evilsod: Hehe, thanks but i got it last night. 100% achievements (hurray), i'm just surprised that more people have the Gnome achievement than they do the Grub achievement, going by the stats on the homepage.

Solway: have made a website for all achievements
http://www.solwayuk.... ...k/hl2-ep2/

feel free to post comments on
http://forums.steamp... ...p?t=638312

Kevin Walker: I never closed the door either no acheivment. To get past the chopper part i left the gnome in a safe place drove on then drove back. there is 2 sections after each section the chopper wont bother you again. also it is impossible to keep him in the car I beleive anyway im sure someone has managed it but what i did was pick him up lauch him as far as you can. get in the car drive to him launch him repeat until your at the destination

Da_Nick: I'll soon be making a parody of the Halo 3 believe add with our dear old friend, Trey. I'll record the piano piece myself as I am already a confident performer of the piano piece played in the add. The only problem is: I have the orange box on the 360 only! So basically, I have to go now and buy the thing for the pc! If i do get this done this'll be the first place I post a link for it.

Btw Halo believe add is here: http://www.youtube.c... ...3zqdM9TL1E

John: I took the gnome with me when you first get the car on the bridge. after about 20 minutes of figuring how the fuck i was goin to drive with this thing in the car i did the jump across the bridge and the gnome fuckin launched to who knows where i just saw him fly off to the side. Then i figured there has got to be a gnome at white forest cause it seemed impossible to drive with it in the car. After i spent hours searchin through every part of white forest i concluded i just have to learn to drive with it and i havent bothered tryin since. But now seeing how it has been done by someone i shall try it again.

Kyle: the best way to get past the chopper part where it first comes is to destroy the chopper! its hard but you can do it if you use the gravity gun and hit it with its own mines! he wont respond until you go through the tunnel then its smooth sailing!

Mantorkel: i will bet a cookie on that you will see the gnome again in episode 3 ;)

Tommy: Couple of little tips:

a) When retrieving the car, as mentioned by a few people, just stand out on the edge of the ledge and fling the gnome to the end of the bridge next to the door you'll eventually have to go through. Then forget about him till after you've jumped the bridge.

b) On the chopper chase, almost the entire course is lined with trains that you can hide under. The easiest method for me was just to fire the gnome as far along the tracks as possible, drive to meet him, and repeat. Alyx is perfectly safe no matter where you leave the car at this point, as the chopper only focuses on you (however, if you're holding the gnome while standing in the open, it will endeavour to shoot it out of your grip). Wait for pauses in the shooting to launch the gnome and get back in the car, and you'll be fine. Just make sure you don't leave the gnome just past the door you blast through but somewhere safe inside the actual chopper fight arena, as crashed containers mean you can't get back to the door once you've taken the chopper down with the mines.

KJ: I screwed up. I took the Gnome into the mines, instead of leaving him near Alyx and the Vortigaunts. Then I had to abandon him to get away from the big antlion. Also, about the grub achievement, I tried it on my own and missed 3.

Charlie: ummmmm, i did this in like 4-5 hours...
how could it possibly take you a month?

Anonymous: i missed 11

i was wondering 2, is the gnome achievement doable in hard setting or do you guys take the easy choice

Tom Francis: It didn't, it took me about three hours. The game wasn't out for the month between me reviewing it and trying for this achievement.

Jim_McJim: I've been trying this, and you CAN get achievements whilst cheating, but you have to be subtle. I bound 'sv_cheats 1; god' to my 'u' key and 'god; sv_cheats 0' to 'i'. You can then switch back and forth easily and as long as cheats are off when the deed is done it registers them.
This might help speed up the gnome quest. I'm about to try it using noclip and god to get everything done as fast as possible and see if turning off the cheats just before gnome insertion into the rocket works...
wish me luck

A C R O: You CAN drive with the gnome in the car. Speeds things up ALOT.

http://www.gametrail... ...17608.html

Jim_McJim: Success! As long as you turn off the cheats before putting him in the rocket and shutting the door, it counts it (and it did come up straight away for me).
You can also cheat to complete 'neighbourhood watch' by staying invulnerable until you shoot the last Magnusson device...and if you turn god mode on, tool up then turn cheats off it lets you do all the achievements whilst indestructible. But then, where's the fun in that?

wolfo: i put the gnome in the f#@%ing rocket and shut the door
and after the credits i look in the achievements section and its
says that i still haven't done it
any ideas?

n00bletsRu: turn off cheats?

Ayrton: Haha, I tried for the grubs achievement and got every single one (I counted myself) but I cheated during the cave fight where you have to run away from the big antlion (What, I had headache and it was confusing me) so, to my horror, it didn't give me the achievement (It doesn't count any if you have sv_cheats set to one when you step on one)

Tom Francis: Nooo! That's so harsh. I think this comments thread pretty emphatically demonstrates that Valve need to make it much, much clearer that dev commentary and cheats disable achievements.

temp: aarghh. i just played the game the secound time WITH GNOME. and again, the achivment didn't acitvate *grmmll*. the fist time i hade comment-mode activated, ok, my failure. but the second time there was no commentmode activated, nothing.. an other achivment (the chopper-one) was activated this run, but not the fucking gnome-one :-( anyone an idea what went wrong? i put the gnome in the rocket near lama..

Tom Francis: Did you close the hatch door after putting him in there? You need to close the door.

temp: i tried to do something with the door.. but i didn't close it :-( i hope i still have the savegame short befor this point ^^

Anon: Why don't you all try for the "Gnome Breaker" achievement: every enemy must be killed by the gnome.

matthew andrews: i just finished the game and got this achievment. it was a pain in the ass. however i found out that during the helicopter part (the first time) if you just ignore the gnome once you get on the tracks. you keep going to the end of the tracks continue to the load screen. Then you back through the load screen the helicopter has disappered and you can go back and pick up the gnome and move on to the next part. still a pain in the ass to do though but well worth it

Purpleeggguy: I carried the damn gnome with me all the way through the game, took me a couple hours and a restart or two. I put him in the rocket, closed the door, watched it launch and thought "Yess...about time"!


I was in offline mode.

Nick: My friends and i accomplished this feat about a month ago. We grew so fond of our lil gnome friend we named it depaul

Peter Hosey: I just played through HL2:E2 myself, and got the gnome achievement.

For me, at least, I got the gnome achievement a few seconds after closing the door. I don't know whether this was related to me having already launched the rocket in another saved game (I had forgotten to close the door, so I had to go back to an earlier saved game).

Also, I did get the achievement pop-up (perhaps they fixed that since Nemo1024's comment).

Greek Medicine: Tried this on the 360 and felt rather tenacious and confident about the whole thing. Unfortunately that faded when I decided to leave the gnome by the second lift shaft the vort states will take us back to Alyxx.

"Oh that's good. I'll get it on the way back up!" he says, relieved at not having to face a guardian, holding a gnome.

Cue the mad dash to the lift shaft and the . . . lift . . . doesn't stop at the gnome's floor.

How infuriating.

Winter: Just finished the achievement. Didn't take me that long, really... When the bit with the helicopter was up, I just left my car, launched the gnome with the gravity gun as far as I could, got back in the car, and so on 'till the end.

dalek: I put the gnome in the rocket and never got the achivement! EVEN AFTER it launched :'( i worked so hard of getting it! IT TOOK ME DAYS

Ben: This is as hilarious as awesome! AWESOME!

serge: hey can you get the achievment if you have cheats on the 360 version

Seruki: 1. this took me 4 hours on the 360, and for the first hut your in, shoot him through the roof towards the place alyx gets killed. he lands safe, and easy.
2. When your in the tunnel defense, stash him under he table, lying down.
3.while by the place where the vortigaunt snipes, jump off the ledge WITH the gnome and land on the red box, then walk towards the bridge on the buildings. saves you soo much time.
4. With the car, stash him in the black loopy thing with this hat facing foreward, check every 15 secs or so, go slow.
5. You can leapfrog him when the chopper is there.
Well those are my hints. I wish I could take some pictures on the 360, like when Trey Slayed the antlion guards.

[SS] Tick | RUS: I completed the Gnome achievement and it was indeed hard. I discovered a mistake in the Hunter-Chopper pursuit portion of the game. I left the Gnome near the deserted building and began to drive towards the railroad tracks as the chopper began to shoot and chase me. I continued to drive back and forth from the railroad, back towards the abandoned houses. While doing this the chopper continued shooting and dropping mines. I would then hop out of the car, throw a mine at the chopper, get back in and repeat... I did this until I blew up the chopper (I loaded the game and did this until I hit the chopper without missing once). In the end I blew up the chopper without missing but this did not unlock the "Puttin' On a Clinic" achievement. Finally when I brought the Gnome to the rebel hideout, a new chopper re-appeared and I had to destroy this one up too lol and at last unlocked the "Puttin' On a Clinic" achievement. Wtf?!

Tom Francis: Wow, you did Puttin' On A Clinic twice? That's impressive. I'm never going to get that one - I utterly suck at the throwback thing.

Jason L: Really! I would never have guessed that from the HL2 deathmatch/gravity Jedi post. Is it just the differing range?

Tom Francis: It's the age-old gaming challenge of guessing where a helicopter will be in 0.75 second's time. If Futurama's Lurr were aboard, he would get to say "You should have shot at where I was going to be, not where I was!" a lot. I can never tell when they're just pausing slightly, and when they're actually settling in for a nice long hover.

80swaffleguy: No offence Pentadact, but I somewhat doubt your abilities at ep2. I got the gnome one in a few hours. But I admit I had to quicksave every time I hit the damn chopper for Clinic.

Tom Francis: Oh yeah? Well so's your mother!

I did it in a few hours too. When I say "A month or so later" I mean that after a month or so, I went back and did it.

someone unimportant: all you people complaining about having no saves left, why do you write over them? i just make a new save game every time.

80swaffleguy: By the way, my condolences at the fact that your favourite tf2 class will be useless for 2 weeks or so as everyone tries to get the pyro pack.

80swaffleguy: Dalek! If you read this, I had the same problem.

Go back, and close the door to the rocket. That's all.

Matt: there's a box on the back of the car...

Syzygy: Nearly finished EPS 2 but wanted to get some info about the gnome for a friend and found this page. Lucky really as I had forgot to shut the rocket door!! Lucky I left a save stood in front of the door incase I had the wrong rocket or suchlike. I think I'll finish the game from where I am (midway through strider fight trying to save all the buildings) and then reload from rocket and rush to the end of the game. Hopefully just closing the door will be enough though!

As for the Hunter-Chopper sections I resorted to driving to the end then running all the way back - ducking under trains all the way there and back - bonkers but successful!

Dame the gnome - is doubling the length of EPS 2 worth it for 35 gamer points!? Probably not but I did it anyway - sucker!

I'm also very annoyed at missing only 3 of 333 grubs and I'm sure I didn't step on the sand in HL2 but I didn't get those two! Finally - with regards to Puttin' on a Clinic just save and load repeatedly so you don't miss any shots. Also, if you pick one up but can't make the shot just let it explode in your hands - this doesn't count as a missed shot.

Somegamer: lol... i wanna find some sort of physics object that will allow me to jam the fucking gnome in the car. GIVE US A GNOME SEAT GOD DAMN IT

MISTERAMD: I have replayed the whole game 10 times, maybe more, still no luck to get the Gnome Achievement. I place him in the rocket with lamarr and I play further, yet no luck :(

Tom Francis: Did you shut the door? You need to shut the door.

Oh My God What The Fuck Barbecue, by Pentadact, who is secretly Tom Francis: [...] sense of triumph is ridiculous - even more so than the last utterly moronic thing Valve made me do by calling it an ‘achievement’. Perhaps because this victory was unique, and over a real person, and I really, really [...]

freeman: i just threw gnome over two left section of bridge before you go about getting the car! he was right where i threw him when i jumped the bridge, just be carful of throwing him too far.

Gnome Achievement « zwieracz: [...] ten wyczyn. Np Tom Francis, z bloga ‘Pentadact’, który prezentuje swoj? podró? tutaj. Krasnal doczeka? si? nawet swojego bloga, gdzie prezentowane s? screenshoty z jego postaci?, [...]

Winter-Een-Mas Game List 2/4 - FPS « Makt: [...] and didn’t have any ammo left) and HL2 two or three times now (and I am considering doing the gnome quest). It still amazes me every time I play it, even when I know where the enemy is located. Actually, [...]

Arduin: Decided to go for this achievement, but after placing the Gnome in the rocket, and completing the game, no Achievement update... So I ended up on this page and read I needed to close the door on the rocket. Sjeesj, how the hell am I suppose to know?

Luckily I had saved my game right at the point were you insert the Gnome in the rocket. So I loaded the savegame, close the door... *pop* Achievement Unlocked! Little Rocket Man! Don't know why this happened, probably because I already completed the game once, but I'm not complaining.

Nice screenshot diary from your travels with the Gnome!

Sawyer: I tried doing this achievement. Now, I don't know if anyone has pointed it out yet, but there's a much easier way to transport the gnome in the "Get to the car"-part: At the beginning you can easily catapult the gnome on the bride, using the gravity gun. After you got the car you can easily grab him, without having to transport it through the whole zombie infested area :)

True Tales of Gaming Obsession - Nerd World – TIME.com: [...] out for example this dude, who got the Little Rocket Man achievement in Half-Life 2: Episode 2, which means he found the garden gnome at the beginning of the episode, hung on to him for the whole [...]

Over-Achievers | Afrogamer: [...] See it done. [...]

Chris: ARGH

I spent a full day doing nothing but trying to get this achievement. I did it but it never registered at all. Played the game all the way through the closing credits and it still doesn't show up in my profile. This supremely disappoints me.

Upsilon: Did you close the hatch door on the rocket, like so many people didn't?

crazy konrad: i think i will try taking the gnome with me too even though i know i will end up wanting to smash everyone that helped making this game in the face with my computer :P

t: if u shoot the gnome up in the air right out side of where you get it you get the achievement

I Played Through Left 4 Dead 2 Holding A Goddamn Gnome, by Tom Francis: [...] – and there’s an achievement for carrying it all the way to the end. It is, in fact, the same goddamn gnome I carried through Episode goddamn Two, for the same goddamn reason: there was an achievement for [...]

Velvet Fist, Iron Glove: A little more than two years after the game is released, I sat down to replay it, this time holding a goddamn gnome and squashing every single goddamn grub. The sense of relief with the last grub, and when you finally close the door on the gnome is amazing.

Now I just need to save every goddamn building from the goddamn striders!

tickticktickboom | der rest aus dem netz: [...] eine sehr anrührende amüsante Geschichte von “Pentadact”, welcher mich schon einmal dazu verführt hat, mir den selben Wahnsinn anzutun (Trage den bescheuerten Gnom durch Halflife 2 [...]

bob: pentadact what is half life episode 2 for

The Player: old games, new approach | ArcadePortal: [...] alien slavemasters, while carrying a garden gnome. Reviewer Tom Francis and ­others have created images of this ­exploit, which turns the game from a sci-fi shooter to dadaist [...]

The Second Game « Electron Dance: [...] I was also starting to shirk my duty as a game completionist. I just didn't have time to waste on completing something which was anything less than total fun. And the new plague of badges and achievements were meaningless to me, nothing more than another vampire drain on my time. Get the gnome in the rocket in Half-Life: Episode Two? Are you insane? [...]

demotivator: You could have spawned him with a console command. Not saying you did but you got no proof you didn't.

me: lolololololololololololololololololololololol its gnome chomsky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nornal: i got the gnome to the rocket but didn't shut the door so i lost the achievment

nornal: the gamer score was really stingy for how difficult it was to get. I mean in fable they gave 100G or mabey it was 50G for finding a hero a strength. To be fair though they did have to devide up the gamer score between 5 games. Either way i'm starting from my last save in riding shotgun to get it again (this time i'm closing the door though)!

ShpioOn: Man this has to be the greatest achievement I'm going for, yet. I finished HL2, Episode 1 and 2, and now I'm set for the gnome baby! The only part I fear through the damn thing is the one with the chopper. Hope it doesn't get that worse in makin me quit.

Gnome Chompski Rides Again | Rock, Paper, Shotgun: [...] Chompski Rides AgainPosted by Jim Rossignol on March 29th, 2011 at 10:26 am. Remember this? Well, now there’s… this. Just watch the video. [...]

The Sunday Video Pwn | I like video games. Can you tell?: [...] may or may not know, but back when Half-Life 2: Episode 2 launched, our own Tom Francis set himself a little challenge. When Valve PR master Doug Lombardi told him about the gnome achievement, he became obsessed with [...]

Post 500, by Tom Francis: [...] I Played Through Episode Two Holding A Goddamn Gnome My SEO seminar is entitled Goddamn Gnomes and How Holding Them Can Grow Your [...]

Gentleman of negotiable accomplishment « Talking to yourself: [...] on loading screens and that only happened once per level. Oh, some achievements are just a bizarre way of making the game annoying and frustrating to play. But at least those ones might be considered an actual [...]

Shaun CArr: Tom!

You have inspired me to record my own account of how I sent a lowly garden gnome into the heavens.
Feel free to have a look, and keep up the good work!

http://shauncarrblog... ...ching.html

Shaun.

Ensignra: I played through the game holding the reakin gnome. It was aweful.
For mysterious technical? reasons after completing about 2/3 of the game, the game stopped of registering my achivements! So, at the end, the scientist mentioned that "we have some weight anomaly about 800 grams in the satellite" but that was it. It was all useless.
I feel raped! :(((

Gunpoint Steam Achievements - The Gunpoint Blog: [...] don’t usually care about achievements in games, but I like it when my crazy behaviour is acknowledged, so I saw them more as another channel for you and I to have a conversation, as [...]

xbox 360 controller wireless: I am genuinely thankful to the holder of this website who has shared this wonderful
article at at this time.

Saavutus saavutettu, saatanan saatana | Luku- ja kirjoitusoikeus: […] tietenkään koske oikeita saavutuksia, joita edustaa esimerkiksi Half Life 2 episodi 2:sta tuttu Little Rocketman. Pelimekaniikan kannalta täysin turhan pihatontun raahaaminen läpi pelin on teko jolla jo kelpaa […]

Champsie: Gotta love it! no matter how many times it needs to be done!

michael Kors Schweiz: Hi, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this post. It was helpful.
Keep on posting!

bbb: GNOME!

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For questions about what tools I used and when things are out and what platforms they're coming to, see here.

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