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Kay and Spike play S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Gulp!
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xtal
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May 11, 2011 - 4:18 pm
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Regarding that last bit mentioned by Scout, quoted by Armand… maybe what I am thinking is irrelevant, perhaps Steerpike can agree or disagree with me… but having the knowledge that STALKER the computer game is partially based on the fiction dually created by the novel Roadside Picnic and the film Stalker … well, it lends additional light. You may better understand what kind of people the stalkers are.

Spoilers below partially regard what I assume is generally the end portion of the video game; but definitely totally talk about the climax of the film too… so you're warned.

>>>

 

The nature of the Room, or the wish granter… I'm not sure I fully understand it, the film is very vague and the final "revelations" seem more of a meditation on the nature of the self of the characters than any plot detail the audience was previously blind to. It seems to me that not one of them entered the Room because they realized (or feared?) that their deepest desires should not be granted. Was this due to Porcupine's story? I'm not sure. Or was it fear of disappointment?

Anyway, what I gather about STALKER the video game's fiction from all of this babbling is two things. One, that any person who enters the Zone is a desperate, wrecked individual, and the Zone is a place where maybe they feel they are wanted. Needed even, maybe? This could be why they see leaving as pointless. Two, the nature of a wish granter seems dubious; that kind of entity seems like it could only exist for unwholesome reasons. Anyone who would seek out such a thing surely is not a kind of person that should be granted power.

That second line of thinking is also nicely summarized by a line in Steerpike's wordy and pretentious text: "[the] Wish Granter is its own self-correcting mechanism … the Wish Granter exists to destroy the men who would use it."

Yeah, wow, that sums up way beter what I was trying to say. Self-correcting. And denfensive, like it is defensive of the entire Zone. Good stuff! But hey, I'm glad I came up with what I did before I had to refer directly to that novel for the direct quote.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Armand
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May 11, 2011 - 5:07 pm
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My final thoughts on this game lest I go into an angry rant:

In Russia, video game beats you!

I've been soundly beaten by Stalker.

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Scout
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May 11, 2011 - 5:18 pm
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I admit I haven't read Roadside Picnic though I think I understand the underlying theme of crumbs and ants and gods.

I've watched the film as well. Not much to say about it though I might watch it again if I ever get through this game.

Video game beat you…indeed.

 

EDIT: The more I think about it the more I think the theme of insects is a valid one in this game.

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xtal
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May 12, 2011 - 1:19 am
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Well, I've been through the Agroprom underground. Can anyone spare a clean pair of pants? Truly unnerving.

Running on the adrenaline from that experience, and with my new Fast-shooting Akm74, I obliterated the research base above ground, stole some documents and finally the Duty have let me through their blockade to Rostok.

I am very close to finally meeting the Barkeep. I have saved progress for the night. As I looked down the road ahead I saw mutant dogs. Just great...

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Scout
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May 12, 2011 - 1:58 am
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It's such small steps in this game. I managed to finish one side quest today. Back to the Wild Territory for  the  Find the Family Rifle quest for Hunter at the Bar. It exhausted me.

I want to go back to the Wild Territory and see if I can find the SEVA suit armor before I head back to the Dark Valley for the Barkeep quest I keep putting off.

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Spike
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May 12, 2011 - 2:15 am
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I didn't have much time to play today, so it was a shopping day. 

I love the fast travel function.  I had stuff in blue trunks in Wolf's camp in Cordon, at Bes's camp, and in Serity's hangar.  From Serity I fast traveled to the Cordon checkpoint (Do you want to enter new area?)  From there I fast traveled directly to Sidorovich.  I was able to do much the same on the way back north.  This certainly saved me from much walking as well as much getting-shot-at.  Emptied trunks and sold or traded anything I didn't need.  I don't feel as if I have enough ammo for what you guys make sound like a bloodbath at Agroprom, but I guess tomorrow I'll head that way if only to meet Mole.  But I bet that just meeting him triggers lots o' mayhem. 

Also picked up 3 small jobs from Sidorovich.  An artifact, a dog tail (I think it's a dog tail), and kill 2 bandits at Bes's.  Work to do tomorrow, I think.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Spike
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May 12, 2011 - 2:16 am
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xtal said:

Well, I've been through the Agroprom underground. Can anyone spare a clean pair of pants? Truly unnerving.


Ok, xtal, how bad was it really???????  I head there tomorrow feeling quite unprepared.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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geggis
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May 12, 2011 - 6:10 am
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Armand said:

I keep thinking to myself, "why don't I just leave, go home and start a fmaily maybe?" I don't know if any other game has inspired such feelings in me.


Coincimentally I finally got round to watching the film last night for the first time (after having it for several months) and there are a great many parallels with the game despite it taking certain liberties to 'action-up' the premise. I'm still digesting it but I found the film utterly compelling and really quite beautiful. I was a bit worried because I found Solaris to be too meandering considering how little essentially happens. In Stalker the meditative, contemplative pacing works perfectly with the enigmatic Zone. The stalkers' condition is also explored much more thoroughly (obviously) and even after the opening scene you've got a pretty solid idea of what they're like as well as the 'visitors' who wish to go there:

Stalker: I'll be back soon.

Wife: You'll be back to prison! Though this time you'll get ten years, not five! And for ten years you will have neither your Zone, nor anything! And I'll be dead in the meantime.

Stalker: Oh God, for me it's prison everywhere!

They're not family men. And after you've been to the Zone you'll definitely not be wanting to have a child Armand…

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Steerpike
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May 12, 2011 - 8:28 am
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I loved the film and disliked Solaris as well. Lots to ponder in it. I keep hoping someone will release a remastered, re-subbed copy, because I read somewhere that the English subtitles are not very good. They made sense, though (insofar as any Tarkovsky film can make sense) so I shouldn't complain.

Spike, Agroprom is a bloodbath of sorts, but it doesn't need to be your blood. Avoid talking to Mole until the firefight at the big factory complex is over, so you can loot all the soldiers for their AK ammo. Then you probably should go straight where he tells you, because speaking to him activates the military sending in reinforcements by helicopter. Then comes the part where you'll need new pants. Trousers. Whichever.

Then you've got the research facility that contains the papers Sidorovich wants. Because STALKER is STALKER, despite all its quirks, you can expect real-life activities at the facility, like guard changes at set times and more activity during the day. If you go in at night you should encounter low resistance. Then get the crap out of there.

I'm dawdling in Wild Territory, because my alternative is the X18 lab. That place is scary.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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May 12, 2011 - 2:36 pm
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Spike, it was pretty messed up. If you normally play with headphones you might do well to put them aside and just turn on the speakers... to save yourself the agony.

First, the invisible guy... I saw running around and heard someone firing at him... and the gunfire stopped and I just stood there, shitting all over myself in fear. Then I saw it lurching towards me until it was right in my face. I emptied an entire clip to bring it down.

The second scare down there... I think that might have been even more fucked. I hate when things appear behind me... it undermines the already fragile sense of security I have... and this guy... I saw him just lumber slowly into view, naturally I just started shooting, but before I could even reload my rifle for a second go this... thing... this... psychokinetic mind-rapist was traumtizing the hell out of me.

 

I'm never going underground again. Fuck anyone who wants their artifacts or what have you. Get it yourself. I'll slaughter everyone on the surface if I have to and make up my own ending to the game. NEVER AGAIN.

Agroprom was about as demented as anything I experienced in the 45 minutes I've played of Amnesia  [Image Can Not Be Found]

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Scout
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May 12, 2011 - 2:58 pm
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So xtal…..umm have you been to the Wild Territory yet? Since you so love insane freaky mutants sneaking up behind you and JUMPING into your face… just saying, Agroprom might not be the worst of it.

Not at all.

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Spike
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May 12, 2011 - 3:23 pm
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Steerpike said:

 like guard changes at set times and more activity during the day. If you go in at night you should encounter low resistance. T


Well then I wish there was a "wait" function as in F3.   If'n I'm gonna have to wait on shift changes....  But as this is only a game, I really don't have to worry too much.  If I get a result that I don't much like I can always reload.  I save often - full saves, not quick.  I lose nothing.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Helmut
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May 12, 2011 - 6:23 pm
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I forgot how much this game likes the headshot. I think either the collision detection is borken or the armour is really super effective. At any rate the headshot is really the only way to go and in keeping with that, I trust we are all in single shot mode? '0' key toggles between automatic and single shot (and sometimes groups of three shots). It's the only way to avoid wasting a whole lot of bullets. Put your reticule near their head, and let the Gaussian distribution madness ensue!

I have been finding this game so much better than the latter two. I'm trying to figure out why. I think the warty presentation is a positive thing in that it changes the game from 'Just Another Shooter' into something somehow more. Can't say everyone should try this, or you'd have Just Another Warty Shooter.

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Spike
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May 12, 2011 - 6:28 pm
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[Image Can Not Be Found]    I just finished 2 side quests for Sidorovich.  I couldn't figure out how to tell him that when I went for my reward.  By trying different things I got  to the "I'm here for the job" options, and darned if that isn't how you complete a quest like this.  I assumed that that option meant that I was asking for more work.  That explains why I couldn't finish the "boar" quest for Wolf.  He's now dead, so it's moot.  Learn something new every day.  [Image Can Not Be Found]

I just don't have enough ammo to feel comfortable going to Agroprom yet.  I'm gonna attack the military at the railway crossing, as xtal did.  I need either to loot more ammo, or get stuff to sell for ammo.  I'll keep reloading a good game each time they wipe me out.  But I could be lucky and get them first.  Got grenades!!

Is it just me, or do weapons deteriorate faster, or misfire more often, once you get into the game a bit?  Mine seem to do just that.  That means more weapons needed for me, and fewer to sell.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Armand
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May 12, 2011 - 7:38 pm
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Spike said:

Steerpike said:

 like guard changes at set times and more activity during the day. If you go in at night you should encounter low resistance. T


Well then I wish there was a "wait" function as in F3.   If'n I'm gonna have to wait on shift changes....  But as this is only a game, I really don't have to worry too much.  If I get a result that I don't much like I can always reload.  I save often - full saves, not quick.  I lose nothing.
 

You should have a sleeping bag in your inventory that works as a wait funtion. just double click it, and you can wait 1, 3, or 9 hours. Not sure if it's part of the base game or complete mod though.
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Steerpike
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May 12, 2011 - 9:53 pm
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It's in the Complete mod, a very nice addition.

Don't worry too much about shift changes, Spike, though they do happen at the Agroprom facility. The best way is to come up from underground, which will make more sense when you get there. Nighttime is also important.

Xtal, Gregg and I have often waxed rhapsodic to one another about the moments you described. Is it the scariest moment in STALKER? I'm not certain... other horrors lie ahead... but it may go down in history for most soiled undergarments.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Spike
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May 12, 2011 - 10:07 pm
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I played for a bit this afternoon.  Went to take out the Military at the railway bridge.  Kinda easy.  There were only 5 guys alive around the south entrance.  Took out 2 with a grenade from up on the embankment, then went down and got the other 3 with gun.  There were 3 more dead bodies under embankment that I didn't kill.  I didn't get a ton of loot, but I did get one of the blue military health kits.  And a repair kit.  There is quite a lot of vodka, bread and other food, but I've got enough of those.  Hope to get to Agroprom later tonight.  And NOT talk to Mole until the worst of it is over and I've looted and carted my booty to a safe location for later trade.

@Armand:  thanks for the sleeping bag tip.  I hadn't thought of that as a "wait" feature, but it will work well.

@Steerpike:  underground at Agroprom...got it.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Scout
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May 13, 2011 - 11:59 am
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Got my SEVA suit finally. Spent a lovely evening trapped on a rooftop in the Wild Territory dropping grenades on Bloodsuckers and Snorks and blasting away at Mercs in the distance. I finally realized I could escape using fast travel and it worked! Dropped me in the Bar just past all the Wild Territory madness. I'm trying to discipline myself ammo wise and try and pick them off with head shots but sometimes you just have to rush them while dispensing a hail of bullets in the red dot's general direction. Now it's off to the Dark Valley.

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xtal
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May 13, 2011 - 12:01 pm
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Helmut is right, headshots are key if you can pull them off. In the few cases I've been lucky enough to sneak up on military personnel it just takes one well placed bullet to the skull to end them. Whereas if you get in a bullet pissing contest it can ravage your ammo reserves.

I actually didn't know you could change the rate of fire on any weapons (unless this is a feature of some mod?). Definitely single shot would be the way to go … I'll have to look into that going forward.

Although I must say, since finding the Strelok stash below Agroprom and lifting the Fast-shooting Akm74, I'm having a lot less trouble dispatching enemies. I tried sneaking toward the documents in the facility for about 2 minutes until I was seen. I thought about hitting F9 to reload but sometimes when you do something unwanted you just keep going forward to experiment, right? Well I ran into the main building, hid in a very safe corner and waited till about 8 or 9 guys walked into my sights. I destroyed them.

A tip: guns seemingly fire more accurately when you do not look down your iron sights. That or this new Ak is just much more effective. Indeed, the accuracy meter went way up when I switched guns, and the damage meter also a tad.

I feel almost overpowered right now. As I marched out of Agroprom more military were called in via helicopter (I did not know if this was a scripted sequence or if it happened because on my way out of the compound I tripped the alarm), but I waltzed down the exit road and took care of them without allowing much tension to build up.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Spike
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May 13, 2011 - 1:41 pm
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Terrific, xtal.  It's always nice to have something go relatively easily after the stress of short-on-ammo, wimpy guns and armor, death.

 

Instead of heading to Agroprom last night  (couldn't play until almost midnight, then didn't think I could last long enough to get through it) I finished a couple of the side quests for Mr. Sid, henceforth known as Sid.  then I went north from Serity's.  Found several artifacts that allowed me to get some good ammo when I entered the Duty camp north of Serity's.  The don't seem to like me much, even with gun holstered, but they did trade and had some good stuff.  I found 10 rad treatment kits in a blue trunk in their bunkhouse, where I slept for the night.

Agroprom today.  Really!  I am having fun, and I'm much better prepared today than I was yesterday.

 

Has anyone been successful at getting the roof stash in Wolf's camp?  I've tried, and tried....

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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