Standard Headcrab

{{Headcrab Infobox
| image=FileHeadcrab model.jpg|165pxFileHeadcrab Standard.jpg|140px
| image2=
| name=Standard Headcrab
| affiliation=Xen wildlife
| type=Parasite
| health=10
| weapons=Bite (5)
| entity=*monster_headcrab (HL)
*npc_headcrab (HL2)
| designer=Ted Backman''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar''
{{Quote|These crab creatures have a unique parasitic strategy, don't you think?|Black Mesa Scientist|Half-Life}}

The '''Standard Headcrab''', or simply the '''Headcrab''', is the most common Headcrab subspecies, having teleported to Earth in abundant numbers during the Black Mesa Incident.

FileHeadcrab run.jpg|200px|left|thumb|While walking, a Headcrab can be seen lifting its larger claws upward, leaving two of its stubby legs to provide frontal support.

Headcrabs are fairly small creatures, about two feet long from front leg to back and a foot wide. They have round, smooth, tan-colored bodies and four legs, two long clawed ones on the front and two thick, stubby ones in the back.  Despite their small size, the Headcrab's back legs can support its entire body, allowing it to "tiptoe" across the ground and leap several feet into the air at its prey. Four "mouthparts" can be seen on their front that end in sharp fangs, possibly used to either hang onto a host or inject them with a sedative or some other chemical used in the zombification process. Under the body is a round, lipless mouth containing a sharp "beak" used to burrow through the host's skull. A Headcrab may weigh up to eight and a half pounds, although this is the weight of Lamarr, a well-fed Headcrab.''Half-Life 2 Episode Two''

Headcrabs can produce a variety of vocalizations. When they are not hunting, Headcrabs usually emit squeaks and fairly quiet, repetitive calls while gently swaying their bodies back and forth. When attacking, Headcrabs emit a sharp, shrill shriek as they leap towards their victims.

In ''Half-Life'', Headcrabs are found to have originated from a giant creature known as a Gonarch which shares similar physical qualities with Headcrabs. Underdeveloped "baby" Headcrabs spawn at a rapid rate from a sac that dangles beneath the creature. FileHeadcrab baby.jpg|Baby Headcrabs look similar to baby scorpions, being very tiny creatures with soft, translucent white bodies.

==Behavior and skills==

The Headcrab can appear harmless at a glance it is small and slow-moving with its tiptoe-like gait. Although it can quickly leap long distances using its hind legs, tilting its body upwards to turn its mouth towards its target, such an assault can only inflict minor injuries with the claws, legs and teeth. However, the Headcrab's main goal is not to kill, but to attach itself onto an appropriate host's head. Using its leaping ability, it can reach a host's head and attempt to burrow its beak through the skull. Once successful, the Headcrab takes control of the host's nervous system and causes physical alterations to the host's body, such as causing its fingers to grow into claws, via an unknown biological process. The host then rips open its own torso, revealing the stomach and other organs, for feeding purposes. Such a Headcrab-controlled host is called a Standard Zombie (distinct from Zombies created by other Headcrab|Headcrab subspecies, which have different characteristics).

A Headcrab will frequently lie in wait in dark corners or ventilation shafts for unsuspecting prey to walk by. In more open environments, the creatures are known to bury themselves in the ground to hide, then climb out to the surface and attack when a possible host draws near. Headcrabs appear to be fairly unintelligent creatures and will pursue their prey under very dangerous conditions, moving through dangerous areas or towards hostile prey, even as fellow Headcrabs die in front of them.

Headcrabs have been observed to be prey for Bullsquids, Vortigaunts, and Barnacles. Isaac Kleiner's pet Headcrab, Lamarr, seems to have a taste for watermelons, suggesting that Headcrabs are actually WikipediaOmnivore|omnivorous, or possibly scavengers when not looking for a host. Headcrabs have also been seen cooked and eaten by humans in Black Mesa East, which suggest that they are used as a common food source after the extinction of most of Earth's species. Citizens in ''Half-Life 2 Episode One'' comment that "They don't taste like crab."

It is also apparently possible to "tame" a Headcrab to some extent, as demonstrated by Lamarr.


*Standard Headcrabs do not pose much of a threat to Gordon Freeman|Gordon on their own. They are easily taken out, and their bite does little damage. However, they can be very irritating in combination with other enemies or in groups. Focusing on the more dangerous enemies, the player might not notice Standard Headcrabs leaping at them. In order to avoid those situations, it is preferable to keep moving at all times when Headcrabs are present. Furthermore, a crowbar to the Headcrab's underside while it is leaping will kill it in one swing, and it is fairly simple to hit the Headcrab with Gravity Gun bursts.

*The main threat that Headcrabs pose is their numbers. It is common to find many Standard Headcrabs, often mixed in with other types of Headcrabs. In a case involving Poison Headcrabs, the Poison Headcrabs should be killed first, as their bite will drain a player's health to 1, leaving them extremely vulnerable. In smaller groups, the 9mm Pistol is ideal against Headcrabs, since its ammunition is plentiful, but the SPAS-12 (disambiguation)|shotgun can easily replace its role in short to medium ranges. In large groups, or when mixed with other types of Headcrabs, a weapon with a larger ammo capacity, such as the SMG (disambiguation)|SMG, is a better choice. The shotgun is also a formidable weapon against tight groups of Headcrabs due to its spread.

==Behind the scenes==

*The Headcrab was originally to be used as a weapon in ''Half-Life 2'', mirroring the Snark from ''Half-Life'', as part of the Brickbat weapon. This weapon was to include other props that could be picked up and thrown on enemies by the player (spawning the Molotov cocktail in the playable Half-Life 2 Beta|''Half-Life 2'' Beta will show Freeman holding a Headcrab, while it appears as a regular Molotov when thrown).

*The Alien Assassin cut from ''Half-Life 2'' was also to have its own zombie version.Playable Half-Life 2 Beta|''Half-Life 2'' Beta files

*Textures for an early ''Half-Life'' model can be found in ''Half-Life Source'' files.


*In the mod Half-Life Zombie Edition, the player is a headcrab or a zombie. Starting as a headcrab at beginning of the game, the player must find a living body so that they can become a zombie. However, if zombie body is destroyed, the headcrab will automatically detach the body, same as in ''Half-Life 2''.

*In ''Half-Life 2'', the Headcrab has a minimum distance for an attack. If the player is touching it, then it will not attack but instead crawl away to reach the minimum distance. However, this is not the same in Half-Life, as Headcrab will still attack if player touching it.

*There is an unused audio file in Half-Life 1 regarding these Xen creatures. Unlike other files, a scientist literally calls them "Headcrabs" instead of "crab" creatures.



FileHeadcrab hl1 beta.jpg|Early Headcrab.
FileHeadcrab hl1 beta jumping.jpg|Ditto, jumping.
FileHeadcrab2.jpg|Early Headcrab in an early map.
FileThree headcrabs.jpg
FileHeadcrabs hecu.jpg|Standard Headcrabs and Zombies attacking Hazardous Environment Combat Unit|HECU soldiers.
FileHeadcrab standard Beta.jpg|''Half-Life 2'' Beta version.
FileBrickbat Headcrab.jpg|The Molotov cocktail appearing as the Brickbat Headcrab.


FileHeadcrab model.jpg|''Half-Life'' model.
FileHeadcrab underbelly hl1.jpg|Underbelly.
FileHeadcrab eyes.jpg|Detail of the 6 eyes.
FileHeadcrab decay model.jpg|''Half-Life Decay|Decay'' model.
FileHeadcrab baby.jpg|Baby Headcrab model laid by the Gonarch on Xen.
FileDissected headcrab.jpg|''Decay'' model of a Headcrab being dissected.
FileOf1a10005.jpg|A Headcrab on an HECU soldier, mirroring a scene from the movie ''Aliens''
FileSpray head.png|''Half-Life 2 Deathmatch'' "Head Humper" spray. 
FileHeadcrab Standard.jpg|''Half-Life 2'' model, updated with phong for ''The Orange Box''.
FileHeadcrab underbelly.jpg|View of the Headcrab underbelly from ''Half-Life 2''.
FileStation 6 rebel headcrab.jpg|Rebel being turned into a Zombie in Station 6.

==List of appearances==

*''Half-Life Day One'' {{1st}}
*''Half-Life Uplink'' {{Nc}}
*''Half-Life Opposing Force''
*''Half-Life Blue Shift''
*''Half-Life Decay''
*''Half-Life 2''
*''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar''
*''Half-Life 2 Episode One''
*Source Particle Benchmark {{Nc}}
*''Half-Life 2 Episode Two''

{{Imagecat|Standard Headcrab images}}

CategoryHalf-Life Opposing Force
CategoryHalf-Life Blue Shift
CategoryHalf-Life Decay
CategoryHalf-Life Uplink
CategoryHalf-Life 2
CategoryHalf-Life 2 Episode One
CategoryHalf-Life 2 Episode Two
CategoryRecurring themes
CategoryTed Backman designs
CategoryXen creatures