Half-Life 2: Episode 2 Just Got a New Achievement, Because Gabe Newell Is Shooting A Gnome Into Space

Half-Life 2: Episode 2 Just Got a New Achievement, Because Gabe Newell Is Shooting A Gnome Into Space
Gnome Chompski, as he appears in Half-Life 2: Episode 2 (Screenshot: Valve)
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That’s a headline.

In case you weren’t already aware, Valve Software boss Gabe Newell has been hunkered down in New Zealand for most of the year after the country closed its borders to help stop the spread of Covid.

While there, he’s been working, but also doing other stuff, the latest of which is teaming up with WETA (the special effects/art guys), Rocket Lab and a local charity to fire…a small garden gnome into space.

It’s not just any gnome, of course. It’s a recreation of Gnome Chompski, a garden accessory found in Half-Life: Episode 2 (and later Half-Life: Alyx) that you can carry for most of the game and earn a bullshit achievement with if you can have it launched into space on a rocket, which leads us nicely to the real video game news of all this, in that to coincide with the launch Valve also added a new achievement to Half-Life: Episode 2, called Gnome Alone.

A game that’s 13 years old.

It looks like there’ll also be a second one added should be launch prove successful, called Manufacturing Ascent.

If you’ve got nothing to do later this afternoon, you should tune into the launch, which is scheduled for 3:44 p.m. AEDT. Not only is it cool seeing things fired into space from the surface of the planet, but Newell — a very wealthy man — is going to be donating $US1 ($1.40) to charity for every person who tunes in.


  • I disagree totally that it’s a bullshit achievement. In my eyes it’s what achievements should be – something that forces you to interact with a game and its systems in a way you wouldn’t normally, making you learn things about how the game works in the process.

    It’s a hard one to get, sure, but once you get it you appreciate a lot of what they managed to do in episode two a whole lot more.

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