Poll Question 001 – Have you Crowbarred Barney for his ammo?

20th October 2006

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

The very first poll question was suggested by PasserbywhoplaysHL. His question: “Have you Crowbarred Barney for his ammo?”

The question may reveal a number of things about you but I’m no psychologist. Here’s my interpretation:

Firstly, I answered NO because I could never do that in real life, or at least I truely believe I could never do that, who knows for sure until we are put in that situation. I never killed any scientists either because I didn’t get my pleasure from killing things, I got my pleasure from reaching the objective. If the enemy were in the way then they had to be removed.

Sure I enjoy the balance of shooting skill and tactics but killing either Barney or the scientists didn’t involve either. I’m half embarrassed and half please to admit that it didn’t occur to me to kill Barney to get his ammo. I wonder how many people killed him for the fun of it and then found out about the ammo?

There could be deeper moral questions here. For example, would you kill an innocent person to save yourslef? Would you kill an innocent person to save two people? I believe there is a recognised list of these types of questions that each delve deeper into the point. I can’t seem to find the link at the moment but I remember reading one questions which was related to how easy it was to kill this one person used to save the others. If it was pressing abutton more people would do it than having to kill them manually (Shooting them, for example).

I accept that we are just talking about a video game but feel there is a lot to learn about ourselves THROUGH these games.

Your thoughts?


This poll is now closed. 238 votes.

59.66% 142 Votes: YES

40.24% 96 Votes: NO


  1. el_espaniol

    Yes…!!! I need more ammo for the Beretta…!…;-)

  2. I just tried to edit the title of the question and it seems to have reset the results!!

    I sincerely apologise for this. I think I have recovered the results but can’t find a way to add them.

    Once the poll finishes I will add them. Please don’t vote again.

  3. I did it purely to see what would happen.I generally dont run out of ammo as I have developed a feeling for the crowbar so that I can kill most things with it without barely a scratch.If I need to kill something thats not easy to kill I wouldn’t use Barneys pea shooter anyway.I like the shotgun.

  4. Ezequielhl

    It was my fisrt time playing Half Life.

    It was so tactic for this Quake-sick boy (ie me, but now the hl is in my name ^^) the first time: ammo only can be found in realistic places and not stocked in a special part on a room.

    I hope God can forgive me.


    Hey I just voted “whoes barney because I think its pretty damn funny to figure out whoes teh wise guy.

  6. shungokusatsu

    in opposing force, I like to wrench otis for his ammo, cause he has .357 bullets!

  7. PasserbywhoplaysHL

    It was better to have Otis follow you as far as possible, as (like all other HL NPCs) he had a nifty stock of infinate ammo for his desert eagle…

    When you reached an NPC-proof obstacle however (like a duct or a ladder) it very soon was “Look Otis, there’s a donut over there!”, “Where!?” , , …

    As concerns the-ethics-of-Barney-bashing debate, one of the funnest aspects of exploring a virtual world is its interactability. NPCs add greatly to this, and it is surprising how you are sometimes tricked into really caring for them – to the extent that you view them as persons.

    (And this despite the most moronic AI in places: “That’s it. I’m not taking another step!” when it should be “Yes sirree I will press that button for you that you inexplicably cannot operate yourself – rightaway!” – Crowbar and F6 for you it is Mr smartypants Einsteinlookalike- whocannotevenclimeaflightoffrickingstairs.. … loading… )

    I see Barney-bashing as part of exploring the interactivity of the virtual world. I agree with PP in the sense that I do not want my FPS to be homicide simulators (as he put it somewhere on this site), but then again, Barney is not a person – he is a computer game character with rather poor AI who carries around free ammo and sometimes cannot get past the simplest obstacles.

    If I had to feel guilty about Barney and Otis I’d have to feel guilty about quite a lot of pixels 😉


  8. groza

    Yes, I did crowbar him a few times.

    He says “Aim for the head” but fires at the torso… so his ammo is better value in my gun.

  9. Aniline

    I found it much more useful to have him take out a few enemies first and save my ammo. At least he died an honorable death.


  10. zeroth404

    Its fun to do things you’re not supposed to!

    and its a better idea is to shove the barney into the enemy’s sight so he can use his infinite pistol ammo until he dies, and THEN you can pick up his ammo. This obviously doesn’t work when he can’t follow you through vents. AI that dumb deserves to die for the sake of your survival 🙂

  11. zeroth404

    And there’s nothing wrong with homicide-simulators. thats what games are for: going where you otherwise can’t (or just plain shouldn’t)

    interactivity above all else. if a game can be all that it was intended, PLUS an *optional* homicide-simulator, then it’s a better game.

    Players should *choose* their moral paths in games, not be limited by what developers and mothers thing is “appropriate”

  12. Funny, I must be moral because I’ve never even thought of whacking Barney for ammo.

    Usually, when I’ve got him (or a squad, like in HL2), I put them to use helping me clear a map, but I try to keep them alive as long as possible, at least ’til I *can’t* do so any longer.

    I wonder if the AIs are set up to take that fact into account, and branch to another game outcome; if not, that would be an interesting way to liven things up a bit.

  13. I crowbared every breakable object, every barney. Scientists were kept in reserver for their healing powers and use as diversions.
    When moving to an unreturnable level I back tracked and killed them all !!!! :-)))

  14. Oh Yes! Seems such a waste when you have to leave him behind with that lovely ammo. First time was in the original HL near the beginning. Barney helps you kill off the first zombies, then you have to enter a computer room through a vent. Well, He can’t come too, so there’s only one thing for it… the first of many.
    Seems so long ago now.

  15. Hell yes!Sacrifices have to be made!

  16. I’ve crowbarred barney cause he irritated me, but never for his ammo. There’s really no need for it. It’s only ever pistol ammo. It’s not like he carries RPGs or energy packs for gauss or HEV suit batteries. Those could get him killed pretty quick.

    1. Chris

      @Grey Acumen:
      I have, its the way to get the pistol earlier in the game than usual, just crowbar him and then you got the pistol

      Yes you need more ammo!
      But I hate when people refer to the HD Pack instead of the original bloody game, in the HD pack it is a Beretta, but in the original game it is a Glock…

      1. Yeah, but get his pistol early to accomplish what? At that point in the game he can just as easily shoot the few zombies that there are as you can, and he won’t burn through any actual ammo doing it. Just have him follow you down the hall and stay out of his way.
        After that, you already have the pistol, and if you can get barney to shoot at things himself it actually does a far better job of conserving ammo, again because his ammo never runs out.

  17. esswok

    never I crowbar him because it is not illegal,,,

  18. Frosty

    You know once
    I had to go through a sentry and well I had very low ammo
    so I had barney follow me and I made him follow me to the sentry
    Once it started shooting I ran away
    i watched him from a distance shooting it
    and you know what
    the surprising thing is he survived
    A pea shooter against an automatic minigun
    who new? O_O

  19. Joe

    I certainly have! Every time he chickens out or reaches a point where he says “you go on without me” I crowbar him to death. You may as well get maximum use out of him, right? Its not as if he was going to make it out anyway.
    Though, the first time I played HL I never killed a poor innocent sole. I like to think Gordons a nice guy. most of the time…

  20. Green

    i said yes, I usual crowbar him when he can follow me any more.
    (same idea as Joe) 😛

  21. Dusty

    Crowbar Barn for his ammo???!! NEVER!.. The 68% that said yes.. there is a command impulse 101 or 9 depending on which HL you are playing that will give you EVERYTHING if you must..lol..

    Never been a taker Leon.. I agree there are A LOT of things you can learn about yourself gaming. I RARELY use cheats, times I do is if like I am almost dead or totally out of everything and crowbar just won’t cut it against too many zombies or other hostiles. Seems fair to me then, they have inexhaustible ammo, so… there you go

  22. I said no.
    First Reason: I might need him to open something for me
    Second Reason: Two people shooting aliens is better than one
    Third Reason: Never really needed more ammo
    Four Reason: I am too humane to do that I guess

  23. Hi, The first time I played Half Life was with a friend. We both had played Half Life 2 and the episodes before but never the original. Since we knew I knew you couldn’t kill your friends I got into a habit of hitting them when I was looking at them. So me and him played though the beginning (him watching me) without hitting anybody. But the first security guard that starts following me after the attack starts to stop and I hit him and killed him… So me and my friend we are both just laughing and yet terrified at the same time. After that I wouldn’t unless they were getting in my way or getting annoying. I just found them more useful alive. Thanks, bye.

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