The Garden Gnome has become an iconic element and long running joke within the series and commonly appears in cameos throughout Valve's other titles. It was originally featured in the two security camera feeds featured on the ApertureScience.com promotional website for Portal. He stands on the mantelpiece in the first video, and in the second video, he sits right in front of the camera. Following the release of Portal 2, he was removed from the mantelpiece in the first video and replaced by P-body in the second. The gnome is also featured in the Two Bots, One Wrench game experiment in a sequence during which the masculine robot mistakes it for a live leprechaun.
In the acknowledgements section of the Half-Life 2 (Orange Box): Prima Official Game Guide, author David Hodgson thanks Episode Two level designer Phil Co "for his gnome-herding skills."
The traveling gnome prank is when people steal a garden gnome from someone's lawn, often with the intention of bringing it on a trip and taking pictures of it to send back to the owner before returning it. The concept of the travelling gnome dates back to the 1970s and 1980s, with the prank made popular by the 2001 French film Amélie.
The Gnome makes an appearance in the Left 4 Dead 2 campaign Dark Carnival, where it is known as "Gnome Chompski", with higher-res textures of the upper part of his body, phong and and a much bigger size. Similar to Episode Two, an achievement requires the Gnome to be carried all the way to the rescue vehicle. Doing so gives the player the achievement "Guardin' Gnome" and unlocks Rochelle's shirt for the player's avatar on the Xbox 360 version. Furthermore, the Mutation "Last Gnome on Earth" will have the player holding the gnome being chased by Common and Uncommon Infected, as if they were splashed with Boomer bile.
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.
The whole enterprise is a collaboration between Newell, design and manufacturing company Weta Workshop (who'll be building the 6-inch Chompski from titanium) and Rocket Lab, who'll be launching the gnome into space as part of its "rideshare mission" Flight 16, which takes off from Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand, within 14 days of November 15 UTC.
Flight 16's primary objective is to launch 30 satellites into a sun-synchronous orbit, but Gnome Chompski will be onboard for more than just kicks. He's the focus of a mission to "test and qualify a novel 3D printing technique that could be employed for future spacecraft components" - one that will, regrettably, see the gnome burn up upon re-entry into Earth's atmosphere during the de-orbiting process by design.
Rocket Lab calls the mission a "homage to the innovation and creativity of gamers worldwide", and Newell will be donating $1 to Starship for every person that watches the gnome make its ascent into space online, either live or within 24 hours of blast-off. Rocket Lab will be hosting the livestream as soon as a launch day is solidified.
Chompski will be familiar to Half-Life fans. In Half-Life 2: Episode Two, carrying the gnome from its hiding spot in the communications building to a rocket earns the achievement Little Rocket Man. Fitting, then. Weirdly, to celebrate the flight, Valve updated the achievements for Half-Life 2: Episode Two, a game that's now 13 years old.
And real-world Chompski isn't just a fancy weight to attach to a rocket booster. It's performing science. The gnome was created with a novel 3D printing technique, with support of New Zealand's Weta Workshop, that will be put to the test on its way into the great beyond.
Gnome Chompski is a garden gnome and improvised weapon exclusive to the "Dark Carnival" campaign. He made his debut in Valve's Half-Life 2: Episode Two as the Garden Gnome and is infamous for earning players the achievement "Little Rocket Man".
This is a sourcemod that uses the Source 2013 Singleplayer SDK. To install, place the "gnome" folder inside your "sourcemods" folder which can be found under "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\sourcemods" if you are using the default steam install path.
You may have completed the difficult task of launching Gnome Chompski the garden gnome into space in Half-Life 2: Episode 2, but now the little fella will head to space IRL. Newell is working with Weta Workshop, a collectible design and manufacturing company, and Rocket Lab, a small satellite launch company to send the Gnome into the stratosphere.
Chompski will be launched as part of a "rideshare mission" Kick Stage from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. Kick Stage can reorient and deorbit itself post launch, which means it can re-enter the atmosphere and burn up without a trace. Environmentally friendly, but definitely not gnome friendly - Newell admits Gnome Chompski's chances of survival are "grim."
Gnome Chompski was originally introduced to the world as a garden gnome prop in Half-Life 2: Episode Two. If you carry him all the way to the end of the game (no easy task) and then launch him into space, you'll earn the "Little Rocket Man" achievement. But now, Gnome Chompski is getting a chance to go into space for real, although he'll likely die during the mission.
Now that you know how this episode plays out, it's time to grab the gnome and carry him throughout the entire episode. It may be silly, but at least it's not something ridiculous like a purple top hat.
This run should be somewhat faster than the previous; not only do you not have to play more than five minutes of Chapter 6, but you don't have to deal with hunting down hundreds of antlion grubs or any of the other things you should've already done before. Although those elements are gone, you will be carrying around a garden gnome everywhere, so the time tradeoff may not be overly significant at first glance. It also goes without saying that you should be saving very frequently. The achievement personally took me less than 2.5 hours with cheats, so it's really more scary before you start than when you get used to it.
Head out of the train as you did before, then get to the terminal past the good view of the Citadel. This is where you'll find the gnome. Look underneath the wooden platform by the door out of here and pick it up. Take a good look at that smug face of his. He knows exactly what you're going to be going through, and he knows you're going to be looking at him for a lot of the game.
Take the gnome with you all the way to the place Alyx is attacked by a hunter. Leave it at the gate and go through the hunter sequence so that when the vortigaunt busts you out you'll easily be able to get to the gnome again. When you get through to the lift with the crowbar in it, take it down the lift with you, then take it up the lift with the orange handle as well. When you drop down into the first place you fight an acid antlion, leave it somewhere you'll remember and take care of the antlions. Then look around the fencing on the right for a tiny opening which will allow you to place the gnome on a barrel. Leave it there so you don't have to carry it through the grub tunnel underneath you.
Leave it somewhere once again so you can deal with more antlions, then do the same with the antlions and barnacles you encounter after swimming through a small tunnel underwater. It's pretty much just a matter of setting the gnome down and picking it back up again until you finish the chapter.
Leave the gnome in the corner of the room by the vortigaunt as you go through the entire antlion-turret-vortigaunt defense sequence. Check to make sure that it's still there before you leave and make a save before you leave with the vortigaunt to retrieve the larva extract. Now you can sprint through the entire preliminary antlion segment.
When you get to the lift that needs to be weighed down with three metal objects, you are now free to know that you can actually pull the metal things out from underneath the lift without sending it upwards first. This was omitted in the previous run to let the gameplay flow properly, but in the gnome run that doesn't matter so much. The rest of the underground leading up to the fight against zombies and antlions is pretty straight-forward. When you both meet up at the generator at the top of the lift, continue with the vortigaunt to the elevator that has a large fan next to it, which you fixed on your previous run in order to break it again.
Assuming you've been playing with invincibility, drop straight down the elevator shaft. This will allow you to skip a massive portion of the chapter; the grub caves, the antlion guardian, and everything in-between is now gone thanks to a simple drop downward. Now all you've got to do is repair the elevator, watch the vortigaunts heal Alyx, and then pick up the gnome before you take the elevator up to the surface. Now just carry it through to start Chapter 3.
When the antlions attack, put the gnome somewhere safe. My personal spot was between the two concrete cubes to the left of the generator for the next elevator. Fix it, then pick up the gnome and take it up with you to the top. Save when Alyx and the vortigaunt have stopped talking and you're tasked with going to the car. When this happens, save the game and look for the red bridge that you'll be driving the car across. You'll want to chuck the gnome all the way over there, which is what the save you made was for just in case you mess up. 2b1af7f3a8