STALKER characters in the game and in life

Thoughts about such an article arose a long time ago. Every now and then on the Internet, on profile stalker sites, one can find erroneous assumptions about which real-life people became the prototypes of the characters in the STALKER game series. Some accept Sergei Grigorovich, the general director of GSC Game World, for Strelka, others quite seriously say that from the creator of A-Life, Dmitry Yasenev, Professor Kalancha was made (from the Russian Stalker-Wiki taken, by the way!). Others are confident that the merchant Beard on Skadovsk is none other than science fiction writer Roman Glushkov himself. Naturally, such a volume of false information circulating in the web space is increasingly pushing us to actually get to the truth. And that, as you know - somewhere nearby. It is only necessary to take a shovel of the necessary dimensions, and dig in the right direction.

This is what I decided to do closely. It's time. Before you, dear readers, a unique material of its kind, which has no analogues today in the "stalker" community. This publication is intended to put all the dots on the "i" in the history of the unique characters of the post-apocalyptic epic from GSC.

And we will start in order. Yes, I would like to warn you in advance: if it seems to you that some facts look too obvious and widely known, you should not blame the author of these lines for trying to "scramble". Even such things can be outside of doing a fairly wide stalk of stalker fans. So reviews a la "Thank you, cap!" can keep with you.

After a brief explanation, we return to our topic of conversation. I would like to start, of course, with the center of the personality of the entire STALKER series. Speech, as you might guess, about Strelka aka Mecheno. Only the blind man did not notice that the game model of the protagonist in “The Shadow of Chernobyl” and its appearance in the animated plot rollers are radically different from each other. The answer is simple. Above CG-video for the game worked Australian studio Plastic Wax. During the work on the rollers, they needed a person who would serve as a prototype for the Arrow - apparently, the in-game character model did not meet the necessary requirements. There was no need to go far - the guys from Plastic Wax invited their compatriot, actor Vincent Stone, to their place. Subsequently, it was with his face that the Shooter began to flaunt in the plot video sequences, and it was this image that entrenched itself for the character: we see him in the final of “Clear Sky”, as well as in “The Call of Pripyat”, where he finally entrenched on the game model of the hero. Vincent Stone (real name Vincent McManus) mainly starred in low-budget Australian films. But he can be seen, for example, in a cameo in Brian Singer’s Superman Returns. He is also the creative director of the Short Black Films film company and the songwriter for his own band STONE.

He is also the creative director of the Short Black Films film company and the songwriter for his own band STONE

In the army warehouses, where the group "Freedom" is based, you can find a merchant named Skryag. Few people know, but he has a real prototype. This is the creator of the famous weapons site Maxim Popenker. It seems that the developers used the information from the resource, and thus decided to mark its author.
In the army warehouses, where the group Freedom is based, you can find a merchant named Skryag
In general, there are no more characters in "Shadow of Chernobyl" with the physiognomies of real people. All other actors are collective images: Sidorovich, Barman, Doctor, and Ghost, and others. They do not have prototypes. However, in the presence of several characters with an individual appearance, the cloned population in the Zone could not be avoided - it turned out that there were too many similar NPCs made with a carbon copy, which spoiled the impression somewhat. In the development of the next project, GSC attempted to take this into account, and a shy, small, but still a step forward in this area was made in Clear Sky.

As everyone knows, the realism of the picture in STALKER was achieved through the use of photo-textures. Artists GSC Game World decided to apply photorealism and in relation to the characters. Ilya Tolmachyov, who previously worked at GSC as an art director, in an interview for our site, explained how a person’s face was “transferred” to the game:
"To reproduce the face of a person in the game, we need seven photos from seven different angles. We need to shoot with the most even lighting with minimum shadows and with the maximum possible magnification, so as to reduce perspective distortions. For such a shooting, we use telephoto lenses with multiple magnification, and we shoot from a long distance. From the photos we build a low-poly model of the face with a special mesh topology for working in the 3D-sculpturing program and make a detailed face model based on this With the resulting geometry, we remove the normal map and build the low-poly grid again, but with a completely different topology - suitable for the game engine. After that, we project those photos onto the resulting model, draw the seams at the junction of the projections and get a photorealistic texture. "

Let's see what kind of special characters you can meet in "Clear Sky".

In the prequel to the original game, we play as the hired stalker Scar, whose task is to stop another Arrow's hike in the center of the Zone in order to prevent an unprecedented cataclysm. When creating the concept of the protagonist, Alexander Kaidanovsky, famous for his main role in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film “Stalker”, was taken as the basis. Such a tribute, one might say.

The first person to be seen miraculously saved by Scar after an awakening — the leader of the Clear Sky group, Lebedev. The developers tried to take on the role of the guard of the GSC office, and did not lose - it turned out interesting and colorful. By the way, the guard didn’t even know what the hero of the game would do with him - he naively considered the process of photography as the need to create photographs for documents.
. The first person to be seen miraculously saved by Scar after an awakening — the leader of the Clear Sky group, Lebedev
Professor Kalancha at a meeting with Scar will talk about everything that happened to the mercenary during the overdraft. This character corresponds in its image and likeness to the programmer of physics of the entire STALKER series Konstantin Slipchenko.

The bar at the location of the deployment of "Clear Sky" runs the cold. As a prototype for him attracted animator Yevgeny Yablonya. It is worth mentioning that Chill is not the only character with Eugene's appearance: the good-natured stalker Vano in The Call of Pripyat is also him, but with altered facial features. At the moment, Apple is the lead animator in Vostok Games.

There is on the basis of grouping and a technician who "is all over the blue tape." His name is Novikov, and his prototype bears the same last name. They are Alexander Novikov, Deputy Technical Director for Nuclear Safety of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and a longtime friend of the Stalker developers. Traveling across the expanses of the Yanov station in the “Call of Pripyat”, we will again find him, this time in the bunker of the scientists who are engaged in the research of the Zone. By the way, Novikov was planned to be introduced in Shadow of Chernobyl, but he was ruthlessly removed from the game by Dean Sharp, the producer of THQ.

We are not lucky to see other unique characters in "Clear Sky", everything is limited only to the above-mentioned characters. However, after this experiment, the developers were convinced of the urgent need to implement a sufficient number of individual NPCs that were not made as carbon copies. This was done in the second addon to STALKER - "Call of Pripyat".

The new protagonist in the next project was the major of the Security Service of Ukraine Alexander Degtyarev, once a seasoned stalker, and at the time of the game’s action he was an intelligence officer sent to the Zone to investigate the reasons for the failure of Operation Fairway organized immediately after turning off the Brainer Shooter. Externally, Degtyarev is identical to Alexander Poshtaruk (a year ago he told us about his participation in a photo shoot for the Call of Pripyat).

After arriving at the Skadovsk cargo ship, forever frozen in the backwaters of the Zaton, the major begins to get acquainted with the inhabitants of the “swamp icebreaker”. The local bartender here is called the Beard, the first quest in the game we get from him. One of the organizers of the airsoft-role-playing game STALKER RealPlayer, the master of the monster, a big fan of "Stalker", presented his character to this character, as well as hegumen Valerian Golovchenko, also known under the nickname oVal. By the way, Valerian's father is not the only airsoft player who has been honored to be immortalized as a STALKER hero, but we will definitely indicate this later.
After arriving at the Skadovsk cargo ship, forever frozen in the backwaters of the Zaton, the major begins to get acquainted with the inhabitants of the “swamp icebreaker”
Look around and see who else can be found on the "Skadovsk", in addition to ordinary stalkers and gangsters.

In the opposite side of the Beard’s stand, Sultan, the leader of the gangsters, who had established a fragile neutrality with stalkers on a rusty vessel, settled freely. The prototype for the authoritative chieftain was Konstantin Kryuchkov, an airsoft player and a regular member of STALKER RealPlayer.

Order in the stalker camp is vigilantly followed by Beard's friend - Capercaillie, a former investigator. Later, along with him, the major will investigate the reasons for the disappearance of stalkers on the Zaton and at the same time eliminate the whole den of bloodsuckers ... The person who became the visual prototype for the Capercaillie is the Alexander Zachatypy 3D modeler, Alexander Kachanyuk.
Order in the stalker camp is vigilantly followed by Beard's friend - Capercaillie, a former investigator
One of the stalkers will ask Degtyarev for help in finding a traitor with the nickname Soroka. And in the future Gonta - so his name is - will offer to hunt the chimera. In real life, “Gont” is called Cyril Koval, he worked on Clear Sky as a tester, then as a game designer for the Call of Pripyat. He is currently a game designer at 4A Games.

Perhaps the most colorful character on "Skadovsk" is a talented technician Cardan. Unfortunately, he is a big fan of attaching to a bottle, so until a certain moment the major finds him in a state of intoxication. However, unlike his incarnation, Konstantin Stupivtsev is not even an alcoholic. The interface of the Call of Pripyat interface, as well as the well-known box art for the cover, belong to its authorship. Now Konstantin works as an artist in the company Vostok Games.
Perhaps the most colorful character on Skadovsk is a talented technician Cardan

The author: Vyacheslav Murygin

Illustration on preview: Iskandar Mirzoganiev

The rest found on the Internet

Rare trailer of 2005, showing some game aspects (AI, physics, lighting, interaction with transport, etc.) ..

That's all. Hold the tail with a gun and remember

The creation belongs to Comrade Pilate and is the folk art of PG himself.

What a special thanks to him.