S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a series of survival horror first-person shooters set in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone encompassing the Nuclear Power Plant and town Pripyat, as well as the surrounding areas. Developed by GSC Game World, each entry has different protagonists with varying goals but it all takes place in a very unforgiving patch of Ukraine.
If you find yourself a fan of late cold war aesthetics or enjoy post-apocalyptic settings, as well as a challenge that is unfair at times, the Zone is for you. Experience the journey of a lifetime: emission storms, wildlife, soldiers, cultists, derelict buildings, incredible vistas, and trench coat enthusiasts.
Please can you write something angsty about Scar/Strelok ? I'm d y i n g for that ship sorry to bother
Charon’s head whipped around towards the voice, pale eyes hardening. Novikov didn’t flinch from his gaze, but he went still, and his hands came to rest on the counter where the ex-Monolithian could see that they were empty.
“Scar?” Novikov repeated slowly. “Do you remember me?”
Charon looked at him. “Who’s Scar?”
“A mercenary I knew a few years ago. You look a lot like him.”
Charon rubbed his thumb along the stock of his Vintar, thinking.
“He had that habit, too.”
What was left of his mind was made up. “Where did you know this merc?”
“In the old Clear Sky base in the Great Swam—”
Charon was already leaving the mobile lab, the door slamming shut behind him.
He walked, and Yanov and the more distant Pripyat fell further and further behind. They were the only parts of the Zone he knew (or at least, could remember knowing). He progressed slowly, avoiding other stalkers. The ones he had the bad luck to run into edged away from his cold, pale eyes and found reasons to leave him be, or else died in the sights of his Vintar. Days passed. It rained, then stopped raining, then rained again.
Charon took shelter beneath what was left of the roof of a farmhouse, mechanically chewing and swallowing spoonfuls of Tourist’s Delight. What was the point of pursuing his past? What was the point of, well, anything? The Monolith had taken his memories, but also given him purpose. Now the Monolith was gone, and he was… lost. What was he supposed to do? What was his goal? He wasn’t like Preacher; he couldn’t defend the husk of a false god. He had left Pripyat, and now…
He left the farmhouse when the dawn showed itself clear and cloudless, and arrived in the Great Swamps as the following dawn bled out across the eastern horizon. The air reeked of organic decay. Reeds rustled in the fitful wind, and insects whined. Charon proceeded slowly, avoiding radiation and anomalies, dispatching whatever mutant decided to rush him out of the tall grass.
It took him less than an hour to realize that the Great Swamps was a graveyard. Not in the sense that there were bodies everywhere—far from it; he hadn’t seen, heard, or smelled the slightest trace of a living human’s presence—but in that there was… nothing. No anomaly-clusters strong enough to produce many or even good artifacts, no relics of the Before that hadn’t already been looted of everything valuable… just treacherous, squelching terrain that leaked into his boots and lots of mutants. A graveyard. Small wonder there weren’t any stalkers to be found here.
The Clear Sky base was both more and less than Charon had hoped. More, because it was actually there, and less, because it was just as dead as everything else in the Swamps. He stumped in through the broken gate, glaring at the broken-down buildings and the crosses that had been planted in front of the short line of graves. He searched through the base, but nothing sparked even the faintest hint of recognition. The place had been looted before; there was no food, no money, no documents, nothing of value at all.
He had come all this way, and found… nothing.
Charon sat on the stoop of one of the buildings for a time, watching the sun sink lower and ruddier into the west, feeling just as lost as he’d been before Novikov had called him by a name he no longer remember and just as dead as his surroundings. He cradled the Vintar in his arms the way a mother would cradle her infant; his skill with the gun gave him value if not purpose, and he could always go back to Yanov, join one of the factions in the old train station, and adopt their goals. It would give him something to do until he died, at least.
But that could wait until tomorrow’s dawn. Charon took one last look around the Clear Sky base, then left—there were too many ghosts here for him to be able to sleep, even if he couldn’t remember their faces. He sighted a church spire in the distance and made his way towards it.
Inside, someone had erected a crude wooden cross against the wall opposite the door, and set a plastic Madonna-figure next to its base. Charon hunkered down in front of it. The paint had rubbed away from the face, leaving her featureless aside from the two sky-blue specks of her eyes. Charon looked at her for a moment, thinking and wondering. The Monolith had never had a face or eyes, and the prayers he had prayed in the depths of brainwashed fanaticism had never requested protection or love. Such strange religions.
Charon made his way into the rafters to sleep, his arthritis twinging at the climb, and through a chink in the roof watched as the sky darkened from red, to purple, to indigo, and then as the first stars revealed themselves. He fell asleep before moonrise.
Dawn came as the nighttime insects gave way to the daylight ones, and the first birds began to sing—crows, mostly, but somewhere else in the church rafters he could hear a family of squabbling starlings, and a little ways into the Swamps there was a heron stalking frogs and minnows through the shallows. It was mutated and lopsided, but apparently healthy enough to survive to adulthood and feed itself. Charon watched it for several minutes before climbing down from the rafters.
There was a stalker squatting next to the wooden cross, waiting for him with a book in his hands. Charon watched him warily, holding his Vintar.
The stalker stood up and offered the book. He was very short, with deep, tired eyes and a receding hairline. “You want this,” he said.
Charon said nothing, waiting, expecting the stalker to follow up with a price of some kind, but he didn’t—he simply stood there, holding out the book. Charon took it, opened it, and looked at the name that had been handwritten on the inside cover.
“Who is N. Lebedev?”
“The Clear Sky leader. He’s dead now. Go to page 56.”
Today we found a mercenary who can survive the emissions. He calls himself Scar.
Charon looked up. “How did you find this?”
“It was under a mattress. I thought you might want it.”
“Who are you?”
Charon kept reading. He watched the small stalker out of the corner of his eye as he did so, but the man neither spoke nor moved. He simply waited, and after half a minute Charon felt safe enough to devote the majority of his attention to the journal. The writing was small but surprisingly neat, filled with scientific terms, guilt, and frustration. This Lebedev… he had had a hand in the making of the Zone, and had been attempting to understand and pacify the monster he’d helped create. He had died unsuccessfully, his efforts undone by the small stalker standing in front of him.
Charon looked up at Strelok. “I hunted you down.”
“I tried to kill you.”
Strelok’s weapon was propped against the wall next to him. Charon’s Vintar was slung over his shoulder. It would take less than three seconds to end this stalker’s life and complete the mission Lebedev had given to the mercenary named Scar.
But the Monolith had killed Scar, and all that was left of that merc was now called Charon.
“It happened to me too,” Strelok said, breaking the silence that hung between them in the ruined church. He tapped his temple with one finger. “The C-Con… the Monolith… it did that. To me. I came here looking for answers, and when I found that diary…” he gave a short, bitter huff of laughter, “I fucked the whole Zone, first in going north just to find out what was there, and then in going north again to destroy… it.”
“It was already pretty fucked.”
Strelok’s mouth twisted into a tight, momentary grimace. “Yeah. Probably always will be.”
“So,” Charon said, slowly closing the journal. “What now?”
“We pick up the pieces,” Strelok answered. “We stay alive. We keep moving.”
The legendary stalker shrugged. “That’s the big question, isn’t it? You have to decide for yourself.”
Do you like my writing? Would you like me to write you a 100-300 (though often longer)
topic, scenario, 1 or 2 OCs, or 1 or 2 S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or Darkest Dungeon characters of your choice? Buy me a coffee so that I can have a warm drink while I write.
(Dunno if you're up for answering any more game character questions, but here's another): Strelok from S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?
For Strelok, I’ll do one more response! :D
First impression: “…who?”
Impression now: everyone please look at this small, sad eyed nerd; he’s the best kind of legendary badass and I love him.
Favorite moment: the “true” / destroy the C-Consciousness ending to the game, wherein a very tired Strelok just up and decides it’s naptime now. I mean, that’s fair.
(Although my personal favorite moment in Shadow of Chernobyl has to be the time I was meandering through the industrial area near the Duty base–Wild Territory, I think? It was getting dark, but I’d already planned to crash at a campfire I knew was in the area. Except then the stalkers there got murdered by a horde of rats just as I arrived, and it’s dark now, and raining, and too far to safely run back to Duty, and oh yeah there’s bloodsuckers everywhere. And I’m terrified of bloodsuckers.
And that, friends, is the story of the time Strelok spent a night crouched on top of a dumpster, swatting at bloodsuckers and dogs in between eating sausages. Such is life in the Zone.)
Idea for a story: I’d love another S.T.A.L.K.E.R title with Strelok as the protagonist. (I actually haven’t played the other two games yet, just watched an LP of Call of Pripyat; part of the reason I’m stalling is I’d rather play as Strelok.) Actually, wasn’t he meant to be the protagonist in S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2, which ended up getting canceled? …brb, crying.
Failing that, I could do with a story about what he got up to between the end of SoC and when he reappears in CoP insisting that the Zone be destroyed.
Unpopular opinion: I head canon Strelok as asexual and don’t ship him with anyone. Which is probably an unpopular opinion, since I’ve seen him shipped with everyone from Degtyarev to Kruglov.
Favorite relationship: I barely remember Strelok’s group from the pre-SoC days, so…eh. I guess my favorite relationship would have to be the one between Strelok and the Zone itself. I count the Zone as its own character, anyway.
Favorite headcanon:listen. I adore the fanon that Strelok is this small, extremely Tired™ man who the rest of the stalkers routinely underestimate because look. This is the least intimidating person they’ve ever seen. Most stalkers know Strelok only by reputation, so that guy in the corner? With the sad puppy eyes and the receding hairline? Who looks like he needs about 10 naps? That can’t possiblybe the Strelok.
I feel like he wins a lot of fights that way. He’s the very definition of small but scrappy.
Also, I have a head canon that Strelok is like a cat. He’ll sleep anywhere, the stranger the better. If you invited him into your house, you’d find him later asleep on top of a bookcase. Or under the kitchen table. Strelok does not understand the concept of mattresses.
Enough of us have seen this meme floating around image boards, but most people don’t know where it’s from.
Back in about 2012, a friend and I created a group for ArmA 2 that replicated the ISAF. We even had a few videos recorded. Poorly, might I add. The resulting complication of images are inside jokes from inside the shortly-lived group.
^This was from our insurgent missions, affectionately known as “Ackbar Ops”
We even came up with our own homebrew S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod for ArmA 2 using the Namalsk map. We had working blowouts and a few enemies, even S.T.A.L.K.E.R. skins that we used in conjunction with the RH weapons packs. It was named Horizion, and it never really took off. The following is basically a screenshot from the server.