Half Life 2: Launching the Garden Gnome Into Space

I admit it. I’m a Half Life addict. Half Life was the first (real) first-person shooter I ever bought and played (save for the old original Wolfenstein 3D) and I was instantly hooked.

I also purchased most of the add-ons: Opposing Force and Blue Shift. I had to wait several years for Half Life 2 to come out, but I purchased it right away when it did release, then did the same when Episode 1 and Episode 2 came out.

There is a new character in Episode 2: a garden gnome. If you do any searches for the Half Life garden gnome, you’ll quickly find that he may very well be the most hated character in the Half Life universe.

Why is he such a hated character? Because he is so hard to kill? Because he insults your heritage in the game?

Garden gnome chats with Alyx and Vortigaunt

With the release of Episode 2, Valve (the publisher) added some optional challenges to the game. I didn’t notice them until after I had played through it once. The challenge that most interested me was launching the garden gnome into space.

I had remembered seeing the garden gnome the first time I played it through and thought to myself, “Hey, that’s an interesting thing to stick there.” The gnome appears near the beginning of the game.

At the end of the game, a rocket is launched into space to plant a satellite. That’s the rocket you must place the gnome on. So, yeah, you have to carry that stupid gnome through the entire game to accomplish the challenge.

I am currently attempting to complete the challenge. I’m at the part where you have to drive a car for quite awhile. This is a problem because that stupid gnome, which you are not able to carry and drive at the same time, keeps flying out of the car every time you accelerate, brake, or turn too quickly. It sucks!

Driving carefully when a bunch of bad guys are trying to kill you is no easy task!

I thought to myself, “There has got to be an easier way to get this gnome to his destination!”

So I did a quick searching on Google and, after reading several blogs, I found somebody who has figured out how to safely secure that piece-of-garbage gnome to the car. So if you, like many many other Half Life geeks, have been pulling your hair out trying to drive the car without losing the gnome, you’ll want to check it out.

True Half Life geeks seem to be able to complete the gnome challenge in as little as 3 hours. Me? I have a life, so it’ll take me a few weeks. You know… trying to make the $30 I paid for this game worth something more than 3 hours of enjoyment ;)

14 thoughts on “Half Life 2: Launching the Garden Gnome Into Space

  1. Stu


    I just tried the gnome-in-the-car trick. Apparently it doesn’t work with the PC version… either that or Valve sent through an update to prevent it.


  2. Johnny Bravo

    Dude! I have played all three episodes that came with the Orange Box. What in the heck are you talking about? LOL

  3. Johnny Bravo

    Oh and have you played Portal? Did you know you can use the portal gun in Half life?? WO! Yes I know it is too much to grasp!

  4. Stu

    Ah, see, you were smart by waiting for Orange Box. You got Half Life 2 plus Episodes 1 and 2 AND Portal all for probably the same price I paid for just Half Life 2 when it first came out (which was $50).

    Then I paid $30 for Episode One, and another $30 for Episode Two. Portal is another $20… doh! Then, when Episode 3 comes out, that’ll be another $30 down the drain.

    I haven’t played Portal. It doesn’t seem that important to the Half Life story, so I’ve decided to save the $20 it would cost me. What would you say? Is it worth it?

  5. Walt Snider

    Thanks for the link securing the gnome in the car. I found the gnome by accident on my first attempt through HL2 then started searching the ‘net for anything on it and realized there’s an achievement for it. Now I’ll be able to transfer my new best friend with me securely!

  6. Stu

    You’re welcome Walt! I hope the trick works for you. It didn’t for me and I had to get the gnome onto the rocket the old fashioned way.

  7. Rebecca

    Some people try shooting the gnome far infront of the car, then driving up to it and repeating the process. However this can be just as tedious as stopping to pick up the gnome whenever it falls out of the car. I’ve tried both processes but now I think I’ll have a shot at this new one. Hopefully it’ll make my Half Life a lot easier. Tah!

  8. Stu

    Hi Rebecca! Shooting the gnome ahead seemed to work best for me. At least for the times that I’m under attack. That way, I know exactly where the little bugger is, and don’t have to worry about it falling out of the car without my knowledge.

  9. Mike

    Hey, i dont know for sure because ive JUST started episode 2, but i found a garden gnome BEFORE the one you are talking about (was super hidden, under a wood board when u first contact Alyx’s father and meet that new doctor and alyx tells em about the info you stole from the citadel) -> or maybe im wrong and you found that gnome there and just put it there to make it cute OR that gnome is specifically the one you must send -> but maybe theres a gnome that will work thats actually closer to the end because doing the gocart with the gnome sucks. Shrug.

  10. Mike

    Awww **** my mistake… yea thats the gnome i found -> i just got to the part displayed in your picture and u just happened to put it there (thought u found it there lol)…. so yea… thats the only gnome…. good luck. XD

  11. Pingback: Half-Life 2: Episode 2: The Lawn Statue of Frustration « The Videogame Addict

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