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Questions on Freeman's Durability

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In this series, 9mm rounds and buckshot just bounce off Freeman's suit. High caliber rounds are a threat but low caliber ones are like playing paintball. Okay, I get that; what I don't get is his seeming invulnerability to alien attacks (aside from Barnacles). A Bullsquid spits poison right into his face and it just smells/tastes bad; Vort shocks just hurt; he doesn't even notice the Alien Grunt's living bullet thornets. I get that the suit would protect against firearms, but why this stuff? If he got poison in his face, shouldn't he die? Shouldn't the thornets seek out his head, which should at least mildly worry him? Shouldn't the blasts the vorts shoot exit out of his head, causing the effect he described when faced with that malfunctioning power generator in "Power Up"?

 

Another thing that bugs me: if Ross was going for making things look less video gamey, as he implied in an old interview, why does he have stuff like Freeman blowing up a tank with a grenade round?

 

One last thing: soldiers get taken down in like three 9mm rounds each, even with armor. Could someone who knows more about modern body armor tell me about how plausible this is?

 

Seems like something minor to nitpick about, but... still. It's always bugged me.

Edited by Guest (see edit history)

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I'll let someone else try and deal with the other stuff you asked about, I'll cover these...

 

Another thing that bugs me: if Ross was going for making things look less video gamey, as he implied in an old interview, why does he have stuff like Freeman blowing up a tank with a grenade round?

He actually mentions just how implausible that is when he ends up getting a tank to explode by shooting it with an MP5... Watch the newest episodes to see it. The thing is, there are real grenade rounds right now that could theoretically destroy a tank.

 

One last thing: soldiers get taken down in two to three 9mm rounds each, even with armor. Could someone who knows more about modern body armor tell me about how plausible this is?

Honestly not likely, even if they were unarmored and were hollow-point rounds. It usually takes 3-4 rounds of 9mm hollow-point to stop the shooting if you're not hit in the brain-stem. 2-3 if you're using .40 or .45 caliber rounds. If the H.E.C.U. guys are armored (which is not specified either way by Valve) then there would have to be significantly more rounds (AP rounds of course, since regular and hollow-point will just feel like high velocity paintball on bare skin through standard armor) into each soldier to get them to stop... 15 or more unless you're hitting vital organs and waiting for bleedout. (or of course the brain-stem) If you're talking standard military plate armor, 9mm rounds can't penetrate, no matter what kind they are, and at most the enemy will get the wind knocked out of them.

 

Video games are nowhere near real life, and anyone who thinks they are needs a swift kick to the head with a .50 BMG round.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Video games are nowhere near real life, and anyone who thinks they are needs a swift kick to the head with a .50 BMG round.

 

Yeah, I know, I was just wondering if the changes Ross made to damage values et cetera made it more or less realistic. I'm guessing less, since you said that the soldiers should be able to take a lot more punishment.

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If he got poison in his face, shouldn't he die?
We don't know what that stuff actually is, besides the fact that it harms the player in the game.

 

Define "poison". People call lots and lots of stuff "poison" and that doesn't mean it instantly kills you, or even harms you at all (for instance, I have a mushroom book around here that calls lots of things "toxic" that actually just do funny things with your mind), but before somebody starts arguing about that, there is an LD50 dose for everything, according to the Wikipedia article about NaCl, it has an LD50 of about 3000 mg/kg (i.e. if I somehow managed to eat 225 kg of salt at once, I would most likely die).

 

Shouldn't the blasts the vorts shoot exit out of his head, causing the effect he described when faced with that malfunctioning power generator in "Power Up"?
Actually that's a thing that buggs me a little every time. If you wear a fully conductive suit, you could get hit by a bolt of lightning and not feel a thing (besides, of course, the extreme heat above your head and the loud bang that probably damages your eardrums). If Gordons suit is fully conductive it acts as a faraday cage, however if he is not wearing his helmet, there might be sparks around the collar, burning his skin (depending on the current). However since both the Vort and Gordon stand on a propperly grounded steel-concrete corridor, they are connected via a common ground and the current would probably use the floor to return to the source.

 

This is just my initial guess, I would need to conduct a few test first tough. Anyhow, something like the aimed Vort-jolts as shown in the game could not be possible in the first place without the help of a strong magnetic field, you would have to factor in.

 

Regarding the two generators in "Power-Up", where Gordon was afraight about getting his head exploded, if he stood right between them, wearing a full body metal suit, it would probably be safe. From the sparks we can tell, that there is a huge potential difference between the two, so the jolt would most likely exit the suit on the other side to hit the other generator. The only other likely case would be the jolt exiting throgh the bottom (metal-concrete floor again, the generator also stands on it).

 

If a high current runns through the suit and exits through feet, we can only hope that the suit doesn't have any gaps. However, on the cover of the HL2 CD, Gordons MK V suit has a huge nonmetallic gap above the waist line, that a sparc would have to cross, turning "Gordon Freeman" into "Cordon Bleu".

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Yeah, I know, I was just wondering if the changes Ross made to damage values et cetera made it more or less realistic. I'm guessing less, since you said that the soldiers should be able to take a lot more punishment.

Actually, it's as close as it can get when you take into account the other enemies in the game. A headcrab should NEVER take more than 1 hit to kill, (even an FMJ would have a hard time not disabling one) and that was where Ross put it. It just happens to be that the rest of the enemies that we've seen in the game are weaker than they should be by about 40%.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Yeah, I know, I was just wondering if the changes Ross made to damage values et cetera made it more or less realistic. I'm guessing less, since you said that the soldiers should be able to take a lot more punishment.

Actually, it's as close as it can get when you take into account the other enemies in the game. A headcrab should NEVER take more than 1 hit to kill, (even an FMJ would have a hard time not disabling one) and that was where Ross put it. It just happens to be that the rest of the enemies that we've seen in the game are weaker than they should be by about 40%.

 

But I recall Ross saying in an old podcast that he primarily made these changes because of the marine enemies. Bah, this would all make more sense with the HD pack...

 

I also remember him saying he changed enemy health values, not his weapon damage values, making the HECU's fragility even weirder.

 

And I still don't understand Freeman's immunity to attacks from vorts and Alien Grunts.

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It's just dumb luck that nobody has hit his exposed head (one of the HECU's bullets ricochet's off the HEV suit's collar). Beyond that, apparently the HEV suit provides virtual invulnerability....except for gravity ("This suit does not protected against gravity.") and possibly long term exposure to radiation.

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It's just dumb luck that nobody has hit his exposed head (one of the HECU's bullets ricochet's off the HEV suit's collar). Beyond that, apparently the HEV suit provides virtual invulnerability....except for gravity ("This suit does not protected against gravity.") and possibly long term exposure to radiation.

 

Many things can kill right through the suit (explosives, large caliber rounds, barnacles, giant monsters, etc.) I just don't know why vorts aren't on that list given his later tangent on that generator.

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Remember that the game and Freeman's Mind are a bit different. After all, in the game, Gordon cannot climb things and it would kind of suck for Ross's Freeman to constantly die all the time so most of the damage dealt by enemies is handwaved away unless it's intended as a joke, such as the turret gun that shot Gordon's ear or when he uses the health charger (Guard: "I'll bet that stings a bit." "Yeah, no shit, Skippy. I've got more blood on me than an ax murderer. I'd be arrested if I were to approach a child looking like this.").

 

Let's just say that there are things that Ross's Freeman can do that the game's Freeman cannot.

The Official Accursed Farms Subtitles Compendium: https://goo.gl/aTBvzj

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Project Manager for Ross's Movie

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Remember that the game and Freeman's Mind are a bit different. After all, in the game, Gordon cannot climb things and it would kind of suck for Ross's Freeman to constantly die all the time so most of the damage dealt by enemies is handwaved away unless it's intended as a joke, such as the turret gun that shot Gordon's ear or when he uses the health charger (Guard: "I'll bet that stings a bit." "Yeah, no shit, Skippy. I've got more blood on me than an ax murderer. I'd be arrested if I were to approach a child looking like this.").

 

Let's just say that there are things that Ross's Freeman can do that the game's Freeman cannot.

 

I know that; that's why 9mm rounds and buckshot bounce off his suit. I was just wondering how some of these things made sense with the in-universe logic Ross established; mainly the Vortigaunt shocks not even injuring Freeman and soldiers in body armor folding after a few shots from a 9mm submachine gun.

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Repeat to yourself: "It's just a show, I really should calm down."

 

But seriously, most of Freeman's invulnerability is believable enough for the show. Bullets don't penetrate through his heavily padded, insulated plate mail, neither do shrapnel or animal teeth/claws. Electricity can't go through the suit because it has first a highly conductive outer layer then a highly insulative inner layer, which causes the electricity to go any way but through it. Heat has the same issue. Poison should work, except his suit has an automatic medical system that has been canonically proven to work against poison, and even without that who's to say alien poison even works on terrestrial biology?

 

The only things in the game that really could kill Freeman are:

Blunt force. Fractures, ruptured organs and internal bleeding can all be caused without penetrating his armour.

Concussive pressure waves. Once again, ruptured organs and internal bleeding can result.

Radiation. His suit would probably block radiation just fine, but he doesn't have a helmet.

Head wounds. His head is unprotected, he could certainly be killed by physical wound to his head, although not poison.

Overwhelming force. A powerful enough firearm, a big enough bomb, a strong enough claw, whatever. Anything can be destroyed if you hit it hard enough.

 

Now tell me, on the "Freeman's Durability" end, how different is that from the show thus far?

 

Although on the other end, where Freeman kills everything super fast, it's total hogwash. Especially the HECU marines, who should be basically immune to most in-game hazards along with Freeman, and the Black Ops, who should be rather less durable but still more or less immune to shotguns and highly resistant to 9mm rounds. (NOT the other way around. Buckshot is LESS effective against armour than pistol ammunition. Freeman, I'm looking at you.)

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." -Stephen Colbert.

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The bullsquid snot thing....well, i once splattered some cleaning stuff in my face and aside from my eye and getting an awful red rash thing i was fine. I guess its something like that. Maybe i was lucky though.

 

As for the game being implausible: in the original version its possible for the big fish to destroy a helicopter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpADBNlyYhQ

I forget things a lot and I like chumtoads.

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Buckshot is LESS effective against armour than pistol ammunition.

Unless the armor does not use trauma plates, and you're using flechette ammo.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Buckshot is LESS effective against armour than pistol ammunition.

Unless the armor does not use trauma plates, and you're using flechette ammo.

 

Then we'd have to compare it to armour piercing pistol ammo.

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." -Stephen Colbert.

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Probly all AP rounds they use anyways... Less damaging, but better penetration.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Probly all AP rounds they use anyways... Less damaging, but better penetration.

 

Unless they know they're against unarmoured civilians and aliens. Then they'd likely use either regular rounds or hollow points. Probably regular rounds to be on the safe side.

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." -Stephen Colbert.

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Yeah, but in-game...

 

In-game you can see the rounds in the magazine are regular jacketed rounds. The shotgun, according to the game files, also fires buckshot. Balls that would put AC/DC to shame (#000, since it's a 12-gauge with six balls), but still just buckshot. 2.5" shells, if the models proportionate. The .357 is also a jacketed round, the crossbow is a tranquilizer dart. Ammo used is not really up for debate. The rocket launcher is up for the most debate, but its warhead design suggests a precision HEAT round.

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." -Stephen Colbert.

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Are we forgetting that Freeman's gun knowledge is mostly based on watching Die Hard a bunch of times? All he knows is that the shotgun seems to make things dead.

"That which you do not know, is not a moral charge against you; but that which you refuse to know, is an account of infamy growing in your soul. Make every allowance for errors of knowledge; do not forgive or accept any breach of morality."

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Are we forgetting that Freeman's gun knowledge is mostly based on watching Die Hard a bunch of times? All he knows is that the shotgun seems to make things dead.

 

As a physicist he should know better. Smaller projectiles (similar width, but shorter) with lower velocity and a less aerodynamic design shouldn't penetrate as deeply. Less momentum applied less efficiently.

 

And besides, I'm mostly just mocking Freeman's lack of knowledge, nothing else.

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." -Stephen Colbert.

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