Crawl Turns Gabe Newell Into The Enemy Boss From Hell

There’s the Mona Lisa and there’s the Venus de Milo, and then there’s this beauty. The kindly Australians of indie outfit Powerhoof have turned Valve’s very own high priest Gabe Newell into an enemy boss for their asymmetrical dungeon crawler Crawl [official site]. Take a look at this thing, in all the technicolour glory of an animated gif.

“I’ve been wanting to animate this for soooo long,” developer Barney Cumming typed typingly in a recent blog post.

According to Cumming, there was a bit of confusion over whether Gaben Boss was in fact an April Fools one-off. It ain’t. He’s coming to the game’s next update, says Cumming: “He’s all implemented, just needs final playtesting/tweaks.”

In fact, Powerhoof has a track record for taking comedy seriously. Last year they added in tax agents to Crawl, a tongue-firmly-in-cheek reference to the tedious bureaucratic red tape that made them delay the game’s release last year.

“The consistent tone is something I’ve been very serious about for Crawl, and with the silly joke gods I was able to hide them all behind special codes, making it so you can have silly ones but you have to specifically ‘opt in’ or else the tone is unbroken which I think is ideal,” Cumming explained. “I’ll have a think and see if there is some equivalent for the gag statue monsters.”

Crawl is out on Steam Early Access right now for £6.99. In it, up to five players take turns playing as the hero while the rest controls the baddies.


  1. liquidsoap89 says:

    I love the animations in this game, there’s so much energy to everything’s movements!

  2. Synesthesia says:

    Jesus, the animators from this team should get a medal, a raise, and a trip to the ISS. Absolutely top notch stuff, every time.
    Who are they? What else have they done? I want to see more of their work.

    • CrandugateBinder says:

      There is one Animator! :) His name is Barney. You probably already know that if you watched the video that was posted below.

  3. eggy toast says:

    I would love to know more about these opt in sillyness cheat codes

  4. jezcentral says:

    Oh, I see. It’s considered “infra dig” to threaten to kill someone on launch day, but actually giving players the chance to kill him *repeatedly* is okay? That’s the way things are. Will this hypocracy never cease?

    Eh? EH?

    • eggy toast says:

      Apparently lots of people had that reaction, and we not joking!

      link to

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I love how the Crawl dev sent Gabe a picture of himself. Imagine if he wound up a zombie in the next Left 4 Dead or a grisly bit of set dressing in Half-Life.

        I also don’t see anyone making the connection between this and the Paranautical Activity threat in that link.

    • LogicalDash says:

      Uh, yeah, threatening to kill someone IRL is different from killing them in a video game.

      Are we…do we need to have that discussion again?

      • jezcentral says:

        Sorry, LogicalDash, your irony detector is malfunctioning. :)

    • April March says:

      As long as no one makes “and in the game” jokes we’ll be fine.


  5. Shadow says:

    Hilarious. This reminds me of Wolfenstein 3D’s big chubby bosses.

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I wonder if we’ll get to see what Gabe’s innards look like?

  6. Retrofrank says:

    Do you remember that Indie-Game maker who onyl threatend to kill him on facebook.

    Now imagine, what will happpen to your Steam-Account, if you actually manage to defeat him.

  7. metric day says:

    Shrug. “Hilarious,” I guess.

  8. thedosbox says:

    It almost looks like Gabe isn’t wearing pants/trousers.

  9. pepperfez says:

    I continue to want shake the developers of this game for giving it that name. THERE’S ALREADY A GAME CALLED CRAWL.

    • CrandugateBinder says:

      Can you link us to some information for that game? ‘Cause Google is flooded with Powerhoof’s Crawl.

    • April March says:

      Do you mean Dungeon Crawl?

    • ensor says:

      Let’s be real: the game isn’t really named Crawl – it’s Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. Even its original incarnation was Linley’s Dungeon Crawl (which itself is a massively different game called by the same name). Sure, a lot of people refer to it as Crawl, but many people call it DCSS as well, which is actually correct. And this sort of thing happens in movies and literature all the time – fortunately, we have a little thing called the internet these days, where people can look up things that confuse us.

      (Though I would appreciate a tip of the cap somewhere in the game to DCSS – maybe have a Sigmund in there somewhere?)

      • pepperfez says:

        Yeah, to be clear, I don’t actually think they did anything wrong. My aging brain is just too used to reading “Crawl” as “Linley’s Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup” and I want the world to cater to my disability.

        (Most games really ought to include Sigmund, though.)

        • Harlander says:

          This game turned out to be good enough that I could overlook the namespace collision.

  10. Michael Fogg says:

    In case anyone objected they could have just claimed it was a giant Family Guy guy

  11. April March says:

    I’m not enough of a Steam fanboy to find this enjoyable by itself, but I love that old-style Newman ‘levels up’ into modern beardy Newman.

    Also, Beardy Newman is an excellent character name for an RPG. Imma jot that down.

    • Jackablade says:

      Now I’m imagining a games development based sitcom where Newell plays the antagonistic neighbouring studio head.

    • Nintyuk says:

      Plus the knives! Everyone forgets he collects Knives.

    • ensor says:

      Hello, deadline.

  12. Philomelle says:

    I sincerely hope that Gaben has an ability to make his opponent instantly die from heartbreak by producing a copy of Half-Life 3 from a pocket and crushing it to dust in a meaty fist.

    Maybe have it as a response to frustratingly long fights? For example, as soon as the timer reaches 3:33.

    • Geebs says:

      I’d give him the power “Valve Time”, which slows the game to 1/4096 of normal. Valve time can only be defeated by the player going to play HL2 again and shedding a single nostalgic tear into Valve’s new, perpetually in beta, lacrimally-operated controller.

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  14. unraveler says:

    Will he drop HL3 after you beat him?

  15. Voqar says:

    The thought of gabe chasing you around trying to beat money out of you via games from 1990 or mobile ports or console ports or $60 DLC fests or early access money grabs is pretty terrifying.