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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Tarkovsky


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*All* the coverage of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I've seen has bought the developers' line that it's "inspired from" the Chernobyl disaster - and nothing else.

The concept of scavenging artifacts from a zone full of deadly anomalies reminded me of something else, though, and I've finally clicked what it is.

There's an old Russian SF novel called "Roadside Picnic". It revolves around scavengers entering a bizarre Zone filled with lethal, alien entities that go by names like "witches' jelly" (it's never quite clear if they're organisms or artifacts or what). It was filmed by Tarkovsky as Stalker:


I've not actually seen the film, mind, but I wonder how much of an influence it was on the game. Am I being cynical in thinking the naff capitalisation of the game's title is there because they couldn't secure the licence?

I've not seen Stalker or Roadside Picnic mentioned in any S.T.A.L.K.E.R. previews, even in passing. Lazy, ignorant hacks?

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Of course, just after I posted that, I found the games official FAQ says:

'The Zone's atmosphere is based on Strugatsky brothers' book "Roadside Picnic", and the movie "Stalker", directed by Tarkovsky, based on the Strugatsky brothers' script.'

Lazy, ignorant me.

The book is quite good, and the film is apparently a bit "challenging" but rated highly by some.

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