Hunter-Chopper
images.jpeg"The hideout is here, a stones throw away from the apron and nestled in the old hydro plant. But getting there, with that Hunter-Chopper on your ass, next to impossible."
―Citizen[src]
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The Hunter-Chopper is a Combine aircraft used to provide heavy fire support for Combine Overwatch forces. Like the Combine APC, this vehicle is a conventional human design re-engineered by the Combine using their technology.
Contents
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OverviewEdit
Hunter chopper canalsA Hunter-Chopper in the Canals.
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The Hunter-Chopper is essentially the Combine's re-imagining of a human attack helicopter, retaining many features found in modern attack helicopters but having been augmented with Combine technology and redesigned for greater efficiency and lethality. Most notably, the Chopper includes a drive engine, similar to those found on Combine Gunships, as well as an additional vertical rotor at the front of the craft. The rear section of the Chopper's tail is mounted on a pivot, so that the tail rotor can angle itself and provide greater maneuverability. The Hunter-Chopper is crewed by two Overwatch Soldiers, a pilot and a gunner. Hunter Choppers also have infrared viewing systems, allowing them to sight concealed targets.

The Hunter-Chopper armed with a powerful pulse turret which, while lacking in accuracy, allows the chopper to attack and damage multiple targets at once. The pulse has 3 or 4 firing settings or modes (two of them may be the same). One requires a brief charging period and fires a 3 second burst, the second requires charging and fires a 6-7 second burst, the third requires no charging and fires a very long burst, and the fourth fires instantly with the rounds recharging quickly over time.
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The Hunter-Chopper can also drop spherical contact mines which detonate after a set timer or on contact with the target. The chopper also fires guided rockets for more accurate and powerful strikes on stationary targets, this is only seen once and never used against the player. The Hunter-Chopper can be seen firing these rockets into a ventilation tunnel opening near the end of the "Black Mesa East".

Hunter-Choppers use the Hunter-Chopper.jpgexplosive mines as an offensive attack by dropping them directly in front of moving targets and on top of weak structures. The mines are also buoyant, making them quite effective against watercraft. Although it is unclear where or if they are stored in the vehicle, Hunter-Choppers seem to have a large supply of mines and they can be dropped either one at a time or very rapidly, effectively carpet-bombing an entire area.

The Hunter-Chopper is capable of releasing an enormous number of mines without having to resupply; indeed, it is unclear how the Chopper has enough storage space for the vast number of mines it can drop. It is possible that the mines are collapsible, and inflate/assemble as they leave the vehicle. Another theory is that there is some sort of teleportation device stored inside the chopper to constantly provide a steady stream of mines, although this is unlikely bearing in mind the Combine do not have the technology for local teleportation (unlike the Resistance).

On the body can be seen the alphanumerics "V952", also featured on other Combine devices.
UseEdit

The Hunter-Choppers are most often seen in and around City 17 and the Canals searching for refugees attempting to escape the city. On the coast, however, Hunter-Choppers are rare, where they have been supplanted by Gunships.

In Episode Two, Hunter-Choppers are seen near White Forest. It is unknown whether they originally patrolled these areas or if they were called in from elsewhere after the Citadel's destruction.
TacticsEdit

Hunter-Choppers takes 55 RPG hits to destroy if spawned with the console (it was never meant to be fought with the RPG besides in Lost Coast), the best advised item to use is the Airboat's gun.

The Hunter-Chopper is a powerful enemy that's tough to defeat. Keep firing at it. Pieces of the chopper will continue to break off and even an occasional dead Overwatch Soldier will fly out until it crashes.

After being severely damaged, the Hunter-Chopper will attempt to kill its attacker by releasing its entire payload of mines as a last-ditch effort.

Much of the time, items with which to take the Chopper down will be incidental: for instance, the Hunter-Chopper's own bombs in Episode Two.
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Behind the scenesEdit
Chopper attackThe original Hunter-Chopper, a Ka-27.

As the Combine were originally to recycle existing human technology, the original helicopter model was a human one, based on the Soviet military helicopter Ka-27. Another Russian helicopter, the Mil Mi-8, is featured at the end of Episode Two, in White Forest.

If one is to go to the Half-Life 2 beta canals, the chopper is flying and will shoot at the player, but it will not give chase.[2]

The game-play mechanic of the Hunter-Chopper dropping more bombs than it can seemingly hold came from a bug during development. Programmer Brian Jacobson accidentally set the unit to drop so many bombs, system instability occurred. However during play testing, he liked it so much that he decided to make that a feature in game. (Albeit altered to run under realistic processing parameters.)[1]

The Hunter Chopper has a variant called "Electrical drone" which is partially functional. Although it is never seen in any official game, it can be created in Hammer. The electrical drone behaves similarly to a normal Hunter Chopper, producing the same sounds and the same rotorwash effect, but it will appear as a helicopter mine in-game (which is probably a placeholder for an appropriate model which was never completed), and won't fire directly at the player, instead, it will cause minor electrical damage to anything which stands directly beneath it.

TriviaEdit

Other than in Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, no Hunter-Choppers are fought with the RPG in the series.
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In the Half-Life 2 chapter Water Hazard, two manned pulse turrets are mounted in the windows of a control tower near a Civil Protection outpost. These weapons appear to be of the same type as the pulse turret on the chopper, but do not need to 'charge up' before firing. Gordon uses these to drive off a Hunter-Chopper. Oddly enough, the Civil Protection officers guarding that tower do not use these turrets, most likely because they cannot see Freeman down in the canals or they were not in the tower at the time.

It's possible to destroy a Hunter-Chopper with these turrets. When original pursuer flies off for repair, Freeman could advance with airboat through the Gate 5, to hear and see the next chopper ahead, but not far enough for gate to close. When the next chopper starts pursuing, Freeman would retreat to tower with pulse turrets. It is possible to utterly destroy a chopper this time, because it does not flee. As after a while next chopper appears, it could be the one originally damaged, which leads to conclusion that Freeman was chased by 2 Hunter-Choppers.

In order to destroy the Hunter-Chopper in Episode Two, the player must use its balloon mines via the Gravity Gun and punt them at the Chopper itself.

When the Hunter-Chopper's mines - even inactive ones underneath structures - are taken by the Gravity Gun, they beep much louder and flash. Closed Captions mark it as "Mine captured."
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In Lost Coast, the Chopper acts like (and sounds like) a gunship, and has a gunship's capabilities, such as the ability to shoot down incoming rockets with the gunship-style pulse turret.

The Chopper gun mounted on the Airboat looks identical to the one used by the chopper, but sounds completely different.

During the final fight with the chopper at the end of Water Hazard and Riding Shotgun, it is possible to see the corpse of a crewmember fall out of the chopper after it has taken enough damage. However, this is entirely cosmetic. It has no effect on the actions of the chopper itself - the gun does not stop firing nor does the aircraft fall to the ground.

After acquiring the pulse rifle on the Airboat, it is possible (although tricky) to drive it past the barricade at the start of the level and return to the previous map (where the Chopper was seen chasing the player), and destroy the Chopper with the newly installed weapon there. However, since the chase spans several maps, the player will find that each map actually contains its own Hunter-Chopper; each of them can be destroyed to allow the player to explore the levels more thoroughly.

When the helicopter is damaged enough, it makes a warning sound that sounds like the "Autopilot disengaged" warning from a Boeing 767.
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