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"You ought to be more careful, you'll put an eye out!"
Sam after ripping out a Gnaar's eyeball.[src]

The Gnaar is a bipedal omnivorous mammal from the planet Sirius. Gnaars are not very intelligent or organized, but were trained by Mental to attack opposing forces. They are very common creatures in Mental's army, often serving as close-range assault or as fodder and to give ranged troops the advantage in combat.

Since their debut in Serious Sam: The First Encounter, they have appeared in almost every Serious Sam title except for Serious Sam Advance.


A female Gnaar in Serious Sam 3: BFE.


Native to the planet Sirius, the Gnaar's origins are not well known; they could be the result of genetic experimentation or mutation from ingested toxic waste from the deep sewers of Sky City. Or maybe they quietly arrived from distant space on some cargo ships, made their way through quarantine and settled down in the sewers. When Mental took possession of Sky City, he found Gnaars in huge numbers very close to his residence, so Mental took the Gnaars into his army.


Gnaars are somewhat humanoid in appearance, but with many differences, such as the center of the Gnaar's body, which consists of a large mouth with several crooked rows of sharp teeth. Just above the mouth is a single large eye without eyelids. The large eye catches even subtle light, which allows Gnaars to see perfectly in the dark. Like humanoids, Gnaars have two arms and two legs, but they have neither head nor palms. Gnaars can walk either on two legs or use their arms as another set of legs, enabling them to walk on all fours. There are two types of Gnaars, male and female; females are larger and stronger than the males and are a more greyish-brown color; males are smaller and much weaker in comparison. Both genders have a single large eye in the center of their body, just above the large gaping mouth.

When it comes to movement, the males prefer to walk on two legs, while the females can run on two legs or on all fours. When running on all fours, a Gnaar runs in a manner similar to a chimpanzee. Gnaars are fast and are capable of catching up with an adult human, but a human can easily outrun them by sprinting. The males are faster than the females. Male and female Gnaars can be told apart from their size and coloring; males are purple-skinned and smaller in size than the less common females, whose skin is green. The females are also larger, tougher, and more aggressive than the males. Gnaars usually walk around on two legs, though sometimes they run towards the target on all four in a similar manner to a chimpanzee.


In most games, Gnaars are usually the first enemy the player encounters, and often appear on the first level of every game they are in.

In Serious Sam: The First Encounter, Gnaars are common enemies, with males appearing more frequently in the early levels than females. Nearly-invisible Gnaars and levitating occur quite frequently as well. In Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, females appear more often, though males are very rare, only appearing in the Tower of Babel, along with levitating Gnaars. Nearly-invisible Gnaars are completely absent in The Second Encounter, though they do appear on Serious difficulty. Their final appearance is in The Grand Cathedral.

In Serious Sam: Double D and Serious Sam: Double D: XXL, Gnaars are common enemies, first appearing in In Egyptian Assault either after the player picks up the secret Extra Large Health in the start of the level or after getting the first 12 Gauge Shotgun. Armored Gnaars are much rarer than normal variants, first appearing in Amber Chambers, though they appear in Egyptian Assault as well when playing the game on Serious difficulty.

In Serious Sam 3: BFE and Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE, Gnaars are seen in the first level of the game. Sam first encounters one on a rooftop of a building after falling out of his helicopter, and proceeds to rip its eye out. Throughout the level, more Gnaars appear, either as individuals or in small groups. Later on during the campaign, Gnaars appear more frequently, where they are usually accompanied by tougher enemies, though they are absent in The Guardian of Time, the final level of the game, and instead are replaced by stronger forces like Kleer Skeletons and Juvenile Antaresian Spiders. In the Serious Sam Fusion version of the game, Gnaars have less health at 75 HP but make up for this with the ability to perform a supercharged punch that deals more damage and a lot more knockback than their normal attacks if Serious difficulty is selected. This new attack is signified by the Gnaar's fist glowing as it prepares to hit the player.

In Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter, Gnaars often appear with other weak enemies, such as Kleers and Slugs.

In Serious Sam's Bogus Detour, Gnaars are very common and first appear in Knee Deep in Sand. They usually appear in small to medium-sized groups in the early levels, then in bigger hordes in later levels, with many of them being spawned by Interstellar Tele-Destinations. Elite Gnaars don't appear in any official levels, though they can be used in custom maps.

In Serious Sam: Tormental, Gnaars are fairly rare enemies, and only in Mental Woods in the Mental totem rooms. A baby variant of the Gnaar, called the Gnaaw, appears in the Egypt level.

In Serious Sam 4, Gnaars are very common and appear on almost every level in the game. Similar to The First Encounter, males occur much more frequently than the females, and can be seen in medium to large groups. Females often appear one at a time or in small groups.

In Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem, Gnaars first appear in A Smell Of Petroleum Prevails, and appear in all other levels of the game, often appearing in groups.

Behavior and skills[]

Gnaars are not equipped with any weaponry, unlike most creatures seen in Mental's army. Instead, they rely on the sheer physical force of their strong, clawed hands to attack their opponents. This attack is slow, easy to avoid, and deals very low damage, though it is powerful enough to break through brick walls. Due to their low health, a Gnaar can be easily dispached with the the use of firearms such as a shotgun or assault rifle. Another efficient way to defeat a Gnaar is by ripping its single eye out of its socket, which will instantly kill the creature.

Due to their short digestive tract, Gnaars are always hungry and never stop looking for food. Because of their low intelligence, obtaining food and placing it in their wide mouth is generally the only action that Gnaars can focus their attention on. Their hands are not equipped for anything other than pushing food down the throat. Being omnivores, Gnaars will devour any organic content they can get to, including rotten garbage and corpses, which causes their mouths to smell an unpleasant odor. Their mouths are useless as a weapon, unless they are the floating variety. Despite always being hungry, Gnaars have been trained so as not to try to eat anyone else in Mental's army.

As Mental has tampered with the genetic code of Gnaars, this has granted some Gnaars the ability to retract their limbs and float around, using bites to attack instead of punches. In rare cases, Gnaars can turn almost invisible. If a Gnaar has taken sufficient damage, they will flinch for a moment before continuing to pursue the player aferwards.

In I Hate Running Backwards, while regular Gnaars and their tier 1 variants use melee attacks, the tier 2 Gnaar has a chance to spawn with a rocket on its back. These Gnaars will fly in a straight line at the player from the bottom of the screen. They are relatively easy to avoid, provided that the player strafes in the opposite direction before the rocket Gnaar hits.

Intelligence and culture[]

Little is known about Gnaar culture, as they are mostly seen as wild animals or primitive creatures. They are not very intelligent either, but they are sapient, and a few individual Gnaars have been known to speak, even in English. The first instance of this is George B. Gnaar in Serious Sam 2, who works as a news presenter. The second time a Gnaar speaks is in Serious Sam 3: BFE. The Gnaar that speaks in this installment speaks in a form of inaudible language. She tells Sam that Tah-Um (Mental) is going to "moon" him before Sam cuts her off.


Serious Sam 1[]

  • While an individual Gnaar is relatively easy to dispatch, they often attack in groups.
  • The Gnaar can be easily dispatched with the coach gun, Military Knife, P-LAH Chainsaw, and XOP Flamethrower at close range. The male Gnaar can be killed with one shotgun blast from the pump-action shotgun, but two shells are required for females.
  • Levitating Gnaars are more dangerous in the HD and Fusion versions as their attacks now have enough range such that they can damage the player even if they are simply backing away.
  • Care should be taken with levitating Gnaars as they can appear from any direction and attack without warning. Their telltale grunts and growls are a sign of their presence.
  • Luring Gnaars into the line of fire of other enemies is a useful tactic to kill them, as they can be used to block projectiles like Kleer chainballs, Common or Highlander Aludran Reptiloid fireballs, or Major Bio-mechanoid rockets.
  • With other enemies, Gnaars are a low-priority target. Their attacks do not do much damage and can be easily dodged.

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

  • The Gnaar can be killed with a Melee Grab when it is not throwing a punch. Sam will grab the Gnaar and rip out its eyeball. The eyeball can then be thrown as a weapon to inflict minor damage, or dropped on the ground. The melee grab requires a couple of seconds, making it impractical for groups.
  • To save ammunition, groups of Gnaars can be taken out with the Sirian Mutilator.
  • Against groups, the Sledgehammer is an ideal weapon, as it can kill multiple of them in one hit. Normally moving back and forth while swinging the sledgehammer suffices and is faster than the coach gun.
  • With other enemies, Gnaars are rather low-priority targets as they don't do much damage and can be dodged fairly easily. The exception is if they block more dangerous enemies like Beheaded Kamikazes, Kleer Skeletons, and Scrapjacks, in which case they can become medium or even high-priority targets.
  • Gnaars cannot hit a constantly retreating player.
  • Both types of shotguns or the M29 Infantry Assault Rifle can dispatch a group of Gnaars with ease.
  • In the Serious Sam Fusion version of the game, Gnaars only have 75 HP, which makes them easier to kill than before. However, on Serious difficulty, their supercharged punches must be avoided as much as possible because of the increased damage and knockback that they deal. As soon as a Gnaar's fist glows, either back away from it quickly or kill it ASAP.

Serious Sam: Double D[]

  • The Gnaar's swat attack can be avoided by simply either jumping over them or running away from them. They need to be right next to the player before they use their melee attack, and as long as the player is constantly moving, it will be unable to attack the player.
  • Gnaars are handy for being used as bases for the Jump Pad or for escaping or jumping over pits.
  • Pretty much any type of weapon and gunstack combination will work against the Gnaar because of its low health. The only weapon that can be risky are explosive weapons such as the LM32 Rocket Launcher or MadDog Grenade Launcher, as the Gnaar can get close enough that the explosion from an explosive weapon can harm the player when it kills the Gnaar.
  • The Insane-brand Chainsaw is not a good idea to use against Gnaars if the player wants to use them as platforms, as the Chainsaw will gib them.
  • Multiple Gnaars can be dealt with just like a single Gnaar can. The same weapons can also be used because of their low health.
  • Gnaars are a low-priority threat when paired with other enemies. It is harmless as long as the player is walking and/or jumping, which happens very often as the player needs to be constantly moving in order to dodge other enemy attacks. In addition, the Gnaar's health is low enough that it can be killed in the crossfire between the player and other enemies.

Serious Sam's Bogus Detour[]

  • The Pistols are effective against lone and small groups of Gnaars, as their health is very low.
  • The shotgun and Thompson submachine gun are effective weapons against medium-sized groups of Gnaars. The shotgun can hit multiple of them at medium range, while the Thompson's high rate of fire and decent damage allows it to quickly kill the Gnaars.
  • The XL2 Lasergun and XM214-A Minigun work well against large groups of Gnaars.
  • The sledghammer is also effective against Gnaars, as it can hit several of them at once.
  • Explosive weapons are recommended to use when encountering a very large group of Gnaars. The lasergun is also effective if it has the Overcharged Laser upgrade.
  • Elite Gnaars are more dangerous than their normal counterparts. As such, stronger weapons are recommended for killing them.
  • When encountered with other enemies, Gnaars are low-priority targets, as their attacks can be easily avoided.
  • While Gnaars are easy to avoid, the player should make sure that they don't surround him/her, as their attacks deal a good amount of damage and can kill the player if they are not careful.

I Hate Running Backwards[]

  • As Gnaars have moderate health, their health is just high enough to be able to barely leave it alive from most heavy-hitting secondary weapons. The best ways to deal with Gnaars is to try and get them caught up in the chain reaction explosions of Kamikazes, then finish them off with a primary weapon.
  • It is not recommended to use secondary weapons against Gnaars, as this can be considered a waste of ammunition.
  • Use the hammer against lone Gnaars to knock them back if there are too many of them. It won't kill them outright, but can knock them back far enough to finish them off the next time they come too close.

Serious Sam: Tormental[]

Serious Sam 4/Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem[]

  • Both male and female Gnaars behave differently in this game compared to the previous installments. Females are now faster and their punches deal four times as much damage than the males, making them more dangerous.
  • Just like with previous games, it takes one shot from the pump-action shotgun to kill a male, and two to kill a female.
  • Groups of them can easily be dispatched with strong or rapid-firing weapons like the Autoshotgun, assault rifle, coach gun, pump-action shotgun, or XL2 Lasergun.
  • The combat knife is effective on small groups of both males and females, especially when dual-wielded.
  • As a last resort, the FRPCL can be used to shred through large Gnaar groups.
  • When mixed with other enemies, female Gnaars can be medium priority targets in larger groups due to the speed they chase the player at.
  • In Siberian Mayhem, the XPMR "Burner" Raygun is very effective against large groups of Gnaars, as any of the Gnaars killed with it will explode, which often kills the other Gnaars around it.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Gnaars were very different in the beta version of Serious Sam 1. They were supposed to have one "finger" just for stabbing smaller creatures in nature. They were also supposed to fire some kind of acid slime. They even had different eyes and teeth. There is an extremely rare texture from early 1998 in a red color that might be a leftover from In the Flesh or an earlier version of the male Gnaar.

Related achievements[]

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

Achievement Ophthalmologist.jpg
Ophthalmologist Ps 3 bronze.png
Remove 10 Gnaar eyes.

Serious Sam: Double D: XXL[]

Achievement Ceiling Slaughter.jpg
Ceiling Slaughter
Kill 10 Gnaar on ceiling spikes in Amethystine Depths
Achievement Gnaar-body's Fool.jpg
Gnaar-body's Fool 10 Gscore.png
Kill over 50 Gnaar in a single level

Serious Sam Fusion[]

Achievement Ophthalmologist SSF.jpg
Remove 10 Gnaar eyes.


  • A few Gnaars appear as NPCs or Easter eggs in the series. There are two Gnaars in Serious Sam 2; George B. Gnaar and Johnny Lee Gnaar. George works as a news reporter for GNN Live, while Johnny is a street perfomer. In Serious Sam: Double D, a green Gnaar called Templeton appears in a secret room of Amethystine Depths, and helping him get out of the room allows him to open a door which only he can open, revealing some items. In Serious Sam's Bogus Detour, there is a Gnaar called Mr. Buttersworth, who can be found as a secret.
  • Like flies, Gnaars will feed on pretty much any organic matter they can get to, from rotting garbage to human corpses.
  • Gnaars appear in a cutscene near the end of Valley of the Kings in Serious Sam: Xbox. Here, they can be seen filming Sam multiple times to mess around with him. He eventually kills them and destroys their recording equipment.
  • Serious Sam: Next Encounter and Serious Sam 2 are the only games in the franchise that Gnaars appear in where they do not appear as enemies.



Serious Sam 1[]



Serious Sam 2[]

Serious Sam: Double D[]

Serious Sam: The Random Encounter[]

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter[]

Serious Sam's Bogus Detour[]

I Hate Running Backwards[]

Serious Sam: Tormental[]

Serious Sam 4[]



List of appearances[]

See also[]