As you may have figured out from some of my previous posts, rescuing NPC scientists over the course of Black Mesa’s gameplay is a recurring interest of mine, and one of the ones I’ve been particularly interested in is this guy in Office Complex who comes to the doors of the break room and is eaten by a barnacle:
His HL1 counterpart is fairly easy to save provided you don’t go up to the doors before crawling through the vent, but due to a combination of factors including differing room geometry, different player speed, barnacles being more durable, and perhaps most importantly the fact that being touched by a barnacle tongue now causes NPCs to die instantly he is now much more difficult.
So what? A lot of scientists who were savable in HL1 have been made unsavable in BM.
The thing is, this guy seems like he should be possible to rescue- there is no hard kill-condition on him and using cheats to approach from a different position I have been able to kill the barnacle before it can touch him. But I have never been able to do it coming in through the vent- it’s a close thing, but the barnacle always touches him.
The only ranged weapon the player has at that point is the glock (grenades are out of the question because the scientist is right there and I believe it’s impossible to skip through the electrified puddle to get the 357 without going to the breakroom first). After making multiple runs at the barnacle from alternative paths I’ve come to the conclusion that only the right-click rapid fire mode can kill the barnacle- originally I thought this was just because it could get enough damage in during the relatively small window between the ceiling tiles breaking and the tongue lowering to grab the scientist, but on closer inspection I think the barnacle is actually being stunlocked and prevented from lowering. The cone of fire for the rapid mode is pretty large, so you have to be close to right under the barnacle to make sure your shots all hit it and not the ceiling at an angle.
I have only been able to do this by cheating the doors open and rushing the barnacle from the front or noclipping around and rushing it from the back or exiting the vent duct at higher than normal crawling speed to fling myself into position. However, I am also a complete spaz who has trouble moving and aiming at the same time, and it feels like it should be possible to come out of the tunnel, charge at the barnacle and bring your gun up in time to start rapidfiring into it.
Can anyone pull this off legitimately?