Posted 3 months ago2024-04-06 03:54:22 UTC
One of these days I was doing my yearly pilgrimage to the Hazard Course when, for no particular reason, I decided to examine the more overlooked corners of those maps. So I took the HEV suit, went into the next room, and noclipped up to the pipes along the ceiling.
That's when I found this lil' guy:
🐀 #1 - a rat patrols the ledge above the second hologram (t0a0)🐀 #1 - a rat patrols the ledge above the second hologram (t0a0)
I had never seen this rat before. I had never heard any mention of this rat before. Has it always been there?

After this earth-shattering discovery, I realized that, though I knew the Hazard Course was the only place in the game rats could be found, I did not know how many. So I decided it was time to take a rat census.
🐀 #2 - on the pipes before the jumping section (t0a0)🐀 #2 - on the pipes before the jumping section (t0a0)
🐀 #4 - ditto🐀 #4 - ditto
🐀 #3 - target range floor (t0a0b2)🐀 #3 - target range floor (t0a0b2)
🐀 #5 - ditto🐀 #5 - ditto
#3, #4 and #5 eventually gather around the pipe and stay there forever#3, #4 and #5 eventually gather around the pipe and stay there forever
I looked on every nook and cranny I could think of, but didn't find any more, so for now, this should be the definitive answer: there are 5 rats in all of Half-Life.

Why did I do all of this? ...I don't know! I just think it's amazing how it's possible to keep learning new things about this game, even after you think you've seen everything. Now, what I want to know is: did YOU know about 🐀 #1?


Commented 3 months ago2024-04-06 20:51:17 UTC Comment #106113
Yup, I've known about the rats in the Hazard Course for a looong time now. Not sure when I first learned about them. I didn't know there was even a rat model until I played Drug Barons, the first custom campaign I played for Half-Life back in 1999.
Commented 3 months ago2024-04-07 00:22:39 UTC Comment #106114
Yeah, the rats weren't news to me either, but that particular rat above the hologram took me completely by surprise. The OverWiki says rats only exist in Hazard Course but doesn't say how many. The Fandom Wiki says there's four, and "none have been found elsewhere"...! I just think it's weird this one inconsequential detail has escaped the very wikis dedicated to documenting these inconsequential details.

Also, Drug Barons seems interesting, I'll check it out. Thanks!
Commented 3 months ago2024-04-07 00:41:46 UTC Comment #106115
I suppose we could do a search for "monster_rat" in the vanilla maps to get a correct count, and to make sure it really is only within the Hazard Course.
Wikis are community driven, so information isn't guaranteed to be correct. Someone might have made a guesstimate without checking, and the number was never fact-checked. That happens all the time :p
Commented 3 months ago2024-04-07 10:18:39 UTC Comment #106116
Yup, five is the total. t0a0b and t0a0b2 appear to be duplicates of the firing range map with the former being a little larger, including the flashlight area.
User posted image
Commented 3 months ago2024-04-07 13:12:31 UTC Comment #106117
That's adorable!
Commented 3 months ago2024-04-07 19:52:21 UTC Comment #106118
Huh, didn't realise that about t0a0b and t0a0b2. Is one actually unused in the game?
Commented 3 months ago2024-04-08 04:20:45 UTC Comment #106119
Yes, apparently Valve chose to split t0a0b into t0a0b1 and t0a0b2, but forgot to remove the original.
It's exactly the same except there isn't a loading screen before the target rangeIt's exactly the same except there isn't a loading screen before the target range
There is a level transition from t0a0b back to t0a0a, but it's broken. However, turns out it's possible to go from t0a0c to t0a0b by swimming back towards the underwater gate right before the HEV charger section. Whether this means the rats in t0a0b should be counted as well or not, I have no idea. Same goes for the ones in the Blue Shift, Dreamcast port and PS2 port iterations of the Hazard Course.

Who knew chasing rats would lead down a rabbit hole?

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