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The meaning of the word "stalker" was derived from its use by the Strugatsky brothers in their novel Roadside Picnic, upon which the movie is based. In Roadside Picnic, "Stalker" was a common nickname for men engaged in the illegal enterprise of prospecting for and smuggling alien artifacts out of the "Zone". According to author Boris Strugatsky, "prospectors" and "trappers" were potential word choices before "stalker" was decided on, which was at least partially inspired by Rudyard Kipling's character "Stalky" in his Stalky & Co. stories, of which both authors were fans. Their adaptation of the English word into Russian is pronounced slightly differently as "Stullker", and it came into common usage after being "coined" by the authors.[7]


The film's mysterious Zone has drawn comparisons with the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone that was established in 1986 (seven years after the release of the film) in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster,[12] and some of the people employed to take care of the abandoned Chernobyl power plant referred to themselves as "stalkers".[13] Though the film does not specify the origin of the Zone, near the end, in a shot of the Stalker with his family outside the Zone, what appears to be a power plant is visible in the background. The themes of nuclear radiation and environmental degradation would be revisited by Tarkovsky in his final film, The Sacrifice.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a first-person-shooter survival horror video game series developed by GSC Game World. The series is set in an alternate version of the present-day Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine, where, according to the series' backstory, a mysterious second Chernobyl disaster took place in 2006. As a result, the physical, chemical, and biological processes in the area were altered, spawning numerous nature-defying anomalies, artifacts, and mutants. The player takes the role of a "stalker" - a name given to trespassers and adventurers who have come to explore the exclusion zone and its strange phenomena.

The anomalies are causing artifacts to appear, which are items with unique and extraordinary properties such as anti-gravity or radioactivity absorption.[4] People who have come to explore the Zone in search of personal enrichment such as artifacts are known as "stalkers". Many of them are working on their own, though there are also several organized factions present. The Duty are a paramilitary organization that believes the Zone is a threat to humanity that must be destroyed. Conversely, members of the Freedom faction believe the Zone is a gift that should be freely accessible to all people. Bandits are wanted criminals and outlaws that have come to the Zone to hide from authorities, while the Clear Sky seek to understand the origins of the Zone.

To protect the Zone from intruders, a military checkpoint known as the Cordon was established by the Ukrainian Military Forces. The military have an uneasy relationship with stalkers - while official orders are to shoot any trespassers on sight, military personnel are often bribed to look the other way. Additionally, military squads carry out operations in the Zone, such as elimination missions or securing strategic points. The most dangerous of the Zone dwellers are other stalkers, particularly a fanatical sect called the Monolith that protects the center of the Zone, and mutants, some of which possess psionic powers.

In the first game of the series, the player takes on the role of an amnesiac stalker referred to as the "Marked One", tasked with killing another stalker named Strelok. During the game, the protagonist uncovers clues to his past and true identity while helping other stalkers and encountering dangerous mutants. He also learns about the nature and origins of the Zone by exploring mysterious underground laboratories in the area. Shadow of Chernobyl features seven endings which are dependent on multiple factors such as money earned during the game, supporting certain factions, or how much of the protagonist's memory was pieced together.

The third game in the series, Call of Pripyat, takes place shortly after the events of Shadow of Chernobyl. Having discovered the open path to the center of the Zone, the government decides to establish control of the situation through "Operation Fairway". This includes sending a number of reconnaissance helicopters into the Zone before dispatching the main military force thoroughly. Despite these preparations, the military operation fails, with all helicopters mysteriously crashing. As a result, the Security Service of Ukraine deploys former stalker turned military operative Major Alexander Degtyarev into the Zone to investigate.

In 2019, Alexey Sityanov, former game designer and story writer of Shadow of Chernobyl, Survarium and Sketch Tales, teamed up with The Farm 51 to work on their Kickstarter project, Chernobylite. The game features similar gameplay and themes to S.T.A.L.K.E.R, and the environment is based on the real Chernobyl exclusion zone, done by utilizing photogrammetry measurements.[32][33] A stalker is introduced in the game as an antagonist, known as Black Stalker. Chernobylite released the first early access version of the game on 16 October 2019, on Steam.[34]

In every one of its incarnations: the SVDm-2 is depicted as one of the most powerful and accurate weapons in the game. The weapon's high damage rating, coupled with its cartridge's large profile and armor penetration characteristics; allows it to tear through virtually every type of body armor located in the Zone, ensuring that even the most heavily armored stalkers are not safe from this weapon.

Stalker micro usually involves using Blink to climb cliffs, stutter stepping to use the Stalker's fast speed compared to most T1 units, and using blink to recharge the shields of stalkers at the front of the battle by blinking behind the army and losing attack priority.

But Infeld's case was further complicated by the nature of her stalker, a complete stranger who apparently had fallen through the cracks of the mental health system after suffering a head injury that made him a stranger even to his friends and relatives.

The fall of Aiur demonstrated to the Dark Templar that more than just stealth and guile were required to defeat the zerg. Hence, the Dark Templar developed the stalker, a war machine inspired by the Khalai dragoon. While dragoons were piloted by crippled protoss warriors, the stalker is controlled by the shadow-essence of a Dark Templar warrior fused into a metal body.[2] Nerazim who control stalkers undergo this process voluntarily,[3] said process involving a Void-powered ritual[1] which fuses their shadow essence to the machine. This gives them a preternatural degree of control over their new bodies. The process cannot be reversed.[3]

Stalkers were in use by the Daelaam as early as 2502,[4][5] and were in use by the Tal'darim by 2504.[6] Some voluntarily chose to become stalkers in order to better hunt and kill their foes because they only wished to sharpen their combat skills and serve their Highlord, as not all Tal'darim seek ascension.[7]

Stalkers have been credited with many fantastic powers since their battlefield début. However, only one is witnessed consistently: an ability to instantly teleport, or "blink," from one spot to another.[2] This ability requires augmentation to a stalker,[9] through the implementation of a device called a Void displacer. When enabled, the displacer grants stalkers the ability to fade and materialize instantly at a different location, affording them an unprecedented degree of mobility, perfect for quick strikes against the enemy.[3] The improved mobility allows stalkers to conduct ambushes, catch fleeing foes, and generally engage on their own terms,[2] making the stalker the perfect warrior for raiding enemy supply lines and teleporting away before reinforcements can arrive.[1] However, each "blink" generates a flux that taxes the stalker's systems. It must go through a brief recharge period before initiating another displacement.[3] When the Daelaam retrieved the Spear of Adun, stalkers were outfitted with reactors technology linked to the solar core, allowing rapid shield regeneration upon using its displacement abilities.[10]

Years after its conception, Nerazim stalker technology benefited from Khalai engineering, and attempts were made to integrate dragoon chassis reinforcement into the battle strider's frame.[11] At least some of these stalkers utilized the telltale golden Khalai color scheme, as opposed to the stalker's standard platinum.[12] Purifier stalkers were fully automated, and were able to draw from a complex log of battle interactions. Ihan-rii stalkers were inscribed with sacred runes, meant to safeguard the animated armor.

After the End War, a movement back to the artistic style of the Golden Age of Expansion lead Khalai phase-smiths to redesign several stalkers in the style of the ancient Templar. This elicited offense from many Nerazim.[11]

Stalkers are effective against units with low damage per second, especially with Blink micro.[15] The reverse is true for offensive units, especially those with attack bonuses against armored units.[16] zerglings are cost effective counters to stalkers; the Blink cooldown is too slow to ensure escape.[15]

In the campaign of Legacy of the Void, stalkers have an additional passive ability once selected at the War Council, their Blinking causes them to rapidly regenerate shields for a brief period, in addition selecting the stalker also changes its voice lines to have a deeper pitch. The stalker is one of three ranged attacker role available to the player in the campaign, the other two being dragoon and adept. The stalker is the most flexible of the three options in terms of mobility, as its Blink allows for critical mobility when moving up and down cliffs and finding hidden resource pallets, and the shield regeneration and mobility allows them to focus fire key targets while maintaining situational durability. Given their bonus damage to Armored targets they compare more to the dragoon than the Light-enhanced adept. Their damage per shot is lower than the dragoon's but they have a faster firing rate that makes up for it, and as long as they don't get hit by overwhelming damage quickly so they can do one or two Blinks their shield regeneration can be comparable to the enhanced health of the dragoon. 041b061a72


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