November 27, 2020

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Notorious Half-Life 2 achievement recalled as Gabe Newell fires garden gnome into space

Half-Life 2: Episode 2’s Little Rocket Man achievement – still one of the finest achievements...

Half-Life 2: Episode 2’s Little Rocket Man achievement – still one of the finest achievements ever created, if you ask me – is poised to become reality, as Valve’s Gabe Newell prepares to launch a garden gnome into space for charity.

Little Rocket Man was a notoriously tricksy achievement to secure, forcing players to carry an entirely innocuous garden gnome – dubbed Gnome Chompski – from the start of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 to a rocket ship toward the end of the game.

It’s the stuff of legend, in large part thanks to Chompski’s casual disregard for the laws of physics – which would often, infuriatingly, result in the gnome’s impromptu high-velocity launch from the back of your open-top vehicle whenever it reached speeds higher than single digits – and Newell will be commemorating it as part of a drive to raise money for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of children’s hospital Starship, in Auckland, New Zealand.

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