Half-Life 2 Walkthrough for Chapter 3 - An Overview of the Level

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It’s time for the first real fighting chapter. You will also finally get a gun. Your objective is to head into the main canals so that you can get to Dr. Vance at Black Mesa East. Needless to say, you’ll be doing a whole lot of fighting in the sewers. Time to get good at landing headshots.

Key Objectives

Clear the Railroad – You’ll just be running and gunning for a bit. Look inside for directions.

Clear the Underground Railroad Station - A lot of fighting and you’ll have to take out a machine gunner. Look inside for tips.

Barnacle Puzzles - There are two barnacle puzzles you have to solve. You’ll need to use the barrels to get past them.

Avoid the Helicopter - You’ll need to run and hide to survive this encounter. Better instructions through the link.

Go Through the Underground Railroad - You’ll need to fight manhacks and pass through a steam puzzle if you want to survive. Better instructions through the link.

Solve the Water Puzzle in the Sewer - You’ll need to flood a few rooms if you want to escape from the sewers. Full instructions inside.

Get Through the Chemical Wastes - You’ll be fighting zombies and dodging the toxic spills. Better instructions inside.


Rebels - You’ll get some aid from the rebels manning the underground railroad.


Civil Protection - These are just the basic police officers for the Combine. They don’t have much health and they will only carry pistols or submachine guns. Aim for the upper mass and try for headshots to bring them down quickly. Your pistol is very accurate.

Barnacles - Little annoying traps. Keep an eye out for their tongues and avoid them as best as possible. You can also stick something onto the tongue so that you can pass under safely. If one grabs you, then just look up and shoot it before it gets within biting range.

Armored Cars - Really tough vehicles that will destroy you with a barrage of rockets. You’ll have to run for cover when they come around.

Combine Helicopter - This armored helicopter will chase you and keep firing. You’ll need to stay behind cover until you can escape.

Man Hacks - These little robots will flood the sewers and try to chop you to pieces. Just hit them with a crowbar when they get close. Put your back against a wall to help keep them in front of you.

Zombies - These few zombies at the end aren’t much of a threat. Shot them in the head to ensure that their headcrab doesn’t pop off and start to attack you.

Headcrabs - These normal headcrabs aren’t much of a threat either. Just smack them with the crowbar when they jump at you.

New Weapons

Pistol - You’ll get your first pistol in this chapter. It’s just a basic handgun without much firepower. It does have a large ammo clip and you can carry a lot of ammo for it. This makes it a good backup weapon later in the game. For now, it’s the only gun you got.

Submachine Gun - You’ll get your first submachine gun near the middle of the chapter. It’s not accurate, but it can put out a lot more gunfire quickly. Ammo might be a bit scarce for now though.

Basic Tips

  • This is your first combat chapter. Take it easy and get used to the game’s AI and combat.
  • Get used to the pistol and try to get really good at landing headshots. That will really help you out later in the game.
  • Always check for explosive barrels there are a lot of them around this level and they’ll make fights much easier.
  • Always keep man hacks in front of you. They won’t even scratch you if you can keep them at bay with the crowbar.
  • Use the crowbar to get quick kills on man hacks and headcrabs. Gunfire just isn’t that effective on them right now.

This post is part of the series: Half-Life 2 Walkthrough - Chapter 3: Route Kanal

This guide will lead you through all of the fighting and running that you’ll have to do inside the canals in the third chapter of Half-Life 2. Read along if you really need help.

  1. Half-Life 2 Walkthrough - Chapter 3: Route Kanal - Table of Contents
  2. Half-Life 2 Walkthrough - Chapter 3: Route Kanal - The Railroad
  3. Half-Life 2 Walkthrough - Chapter 3: Route Kanal - Riding the Underground Railroad
  4. Half-Life 2 Walkthrough - Chapter 3: Route Kanal - Barnacles and Helicopters
  5. Half-Life 2 Walkthrough - Chapter 3: Route Kanal - Man Hacks and a Steam Puzzle
  6. Half-Life 2 Walkthrough - Chapter 3: Route Kanal - Water Puzzles and Zombies