Headcrabs are cat-sized, crab-like (or perhaps tick-like) creatures. They come from Xen, but there are some subspecies that are not indigenous to that region.; rather, most of these subspecies live on Earth. All headcrabs have the ability to infect hosts by opening the host's head and driving its spinal cord through the victim's head, connecting it to the victim's spine, which allows the headcrab to control the victim. If the host is still partially alive and half aware to what has happened to him, less it be combine, played backwards the standard headcrab zombie's screams of pain are interpreted correctly as him calling for help.
Forms of Headcrabs Edit
Ordinary Headcrabs Edit
The most common headcrab to be located is the "ordinary" headcrab. This variant has pale tan skin and dark red legs. When threatened it will lift up its front legs in a way reminiscent of a tarantula. It attacks by leaping at an enemy's head and biting with its beak-like jaws. As per nearly all "most common subspecies", this group is also the weakest subspecies of headcrab, and a whack with a blunt object will usually bring it down. It walks around using its teeth and when it stands still, it will use its talon like front legs, which are also used for propelling it forward during an attack. Headcrabs are used as a biological weapon by the Combine.
Fast Headcrabs Edit
As their name implies, these headcrabs have longer legs, increasing their speed and making them difficult to hit at close range. This headcrab variety also employ better tactics, weaving around their opponent to strike from behind. Fast headcrabs have never been encountered on Xen, only on Earth, suggesting they may have been created by the Combine purely for use as biological weaponry. They seem to possess the ability to cling to walls.
Poison Headcrab Edit
Poison headcrabs are stronger then the other headcrabs. They have black skin and many hairs on their body, heavily resembling a four legged spider. Instead of biting and damaging their opponents, these headcrabs deliver a potent neurotoxin to their victims, making them easy prey for other enemies. They are very slow, more so than even ordinary headcrabs. Like the fast headcrab, they're a new subspecies, complimenting their swift brethren nicely. It emits a very distinctive chittering noise that is similar to a rattlesnake rattling it's tail.
Headcrab Infected Hosts Edit
Once a headcrab gets a firm grip on a victim's head, it will infect and take over the new host's nervous system, turning it into a headcrab zombie. The type of headcrab determines the type of zombie, each having different abilities.
Ordinary Zombies Edit
The ordinary zombies use elongated claws to strike at their victim, their halfway-rotting corpse is split open and is proven to be a mouth as it was shown to be revealed within the Black Mesa Research Facility.
The Gonome is evolved from the standard zombie. It can toss gobs of explosive slime at its opponents, and has grown longer claws. It sits somewhere between normal and fast zombies in terms of speed.
Fast Zombies Edit
To increase their speed and mobility, fast zombies have done away with their skin and organs. They are very fast, bounding on all fours to their target, and can easily jump 2 meters (6 and a half feet). With these abilities, they are obviously more deadly then the ordinary zombies. This is an example of a headcrab that has more control over the host.
Poison Zombie Edit
Poison zombies are the strongest of all zombies. They can carry up to four other poison headcrabs on their back, which they throw at potential hosts. They can withstand many gunshots, but they however, are very slow.
A combine whose biological weapon backfired and took over the host body, they are capable of short sprints, yet have no elongated claws. It is not unheard of for them to equip a grenade, although in their zombified state, they know not of the danger but are still familiar with its use. Because of this, they kamikaze. These are not natural zombies, and none are seen as such, as headcrabs are taken from another Xen where they usually feast on Vortigaunts, Chumtoads, or anything else from their natural realm. They can be murmuring through their vocoders lines such as "sector is...(deep breath) not secure" or "necrotics... inbound", suggesting that they are consciece of their status as zombies, and may also be why they kamikaze, attacking potential threats such as Resistance members and themselves.