There is something very wrong with Adrian Shephard

With the recent release of Prospekt I wanted to talk about Adrian Shephard, our favourite Hazardous Environment Combat Unit marine. Frankly there is something wrong with that boy.

Images taken from Combine Overwiki

It makes sense that Adrian would be a bit more of a gun nut than Gordon but I find some of his weapon choices questionable. Adrian collects biological “weapons” throughout his journey. One of them, the Shock Roach pictured above, I take no issue with. Similar to Gordon’s Hive Hand Adrian sees alien soldiers using them as weapons before he is able to obtain one himself. He already knows it’s a weapon. In fact, Adrian may not even be choosing it himself - one will crawl towards him and latch on of its own accord.

But moving on to his second piece of biological equipment. What on earth possessed Adrian to stick his hand up a barnacle’s backside? Like ok. He listens to a recording saying that some of the researchers have managed to detach one of the deadly, man eating, alien barnacles from the point it latched on to. And he goes into the next room and it has a few alien specimens: one of those antenna light things, one of those legged fungus things I always associate with headcrabs for some reason, and finally the detached barnacle. And the moment the player approaches it Adrian will just immediately pick it up and shove his hand right up there and start using it as as a disgusting grappling hook. WHAT MADE HIM THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? Seriously. What is going through this boy’s mind?

The most fucked up one though is the “spore launcher”. Adrian finds this one in another specimen storage room. Three tubes hold similar alien specimens. One has fallen over, leaving a small green alien tentacle-tailed alien lying on the floor. Adrian without any hesitation decides to pick up and start carrying around this bizarre alien specimen. For no discernible reason he decides to hold it like a gun, pushing its backside into his shoulder and gripping its little arm in his left hand. When the player clicks their mouse he does…something that causes the creature to spit out a bright green exploding spore ball. Adrian, pleased with himself that picking up random aliens and yanking their limbs has lead him to the discovery of a new weapon instead of a him being horribly mutilated, starts to feed it the huge green alien spores he has been collecting for no reason whatsoever because he’s sure that is not only the same spore as the thing just spat out but also that if he feeds them to this thing it can immediately spit them out again as more explosives. He is completely correct in all of these assumptions.

And that’s not even the worst part. If you’re observant you’ll notice that the alien Shock Troopers throw the same spore grenades and spit them out of their mouth before throwing. Investigating the files for the game reveals that the spore launcher’s model is referred to as baby_strooper in the model files. Adrian is going around using an infant of the sentient, intelligent species he is fighting and killing as a gun. Think about what this is like for the Race X soldiers. They are being slaughtered by what is, to them, this: