"Repeat! If you weren't already you are now f-----"
I like to create Goldsrc maps, especially love the not so detailed, old-school style. Feel free to browse my images to see various unfinished projects of mine, meant for Half-Life.
If you ever played S.T.A.L.K.E.R. you know how different and special the series is. In many years of playing games I have never came across a more atmospheric and immersive game than S.T.A.L.K.E.R. It is my favorite game alongside Half-Life and a game I have been a fan of since 2007. Nowadays I am expecting S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 with great anticipation and always looking out for more great story mods from our fellow stalker friends from all over the globe. In this post I will talk about an event that still baffles me to this day, before starting I will say this: Nothing I talk about this thread is a lie. You may and should doubt me but know that, even if you don't believe a word of what I say, this is something that really happened to me:
The year was late 2007, I had just bought Shadow of Chernobyl and was having a blast playing it. At the time I knew nothing about the game except the basics, the premise and such. I had seen the trailers online and screenshots in various gaming magazines and fell in love with the idea. Long story short, I was a first time player who had some idea about what the game was like. Moving on...
I had it installed and started, no patches and naturally, no mods, nothing. I remember everything very clearly:
I started the game on Stalker difficulty, left the Rookie Village, tried half an hour to get past the Electra in the tunnel and barely made it, saved Fox, helped Bes and Hangar stalkers and moved on to Agroprom. As I said, I was having a blast and after the firefight with the military I was very happy to hear about heading down to the dark and scary Agroprom Underground, I simply love locations like that.
I remember chuckling when first seeing the place, a long dark tunnel, a dead stalker on the ground with an emergency light constantly spinning on the ceiling. It was a perfect atmosphere and everything I had hoped it would be.
I quickly noticed the bandits and not so quickly dealt with them, you see, at the time, playing SoC with a low end PC without patches was like torture. Everytime I died I waited 30-40 seconds just for the game to quickload, only to die seconds later, rinse and repeat. There were no 64bit engines or SSDs used as everyday hardware back then :)
Anyway, I killed the bandits and decided to take the closer path, which was the Electra corridor to the left. Because I spent many minutes struggling with the anomaly in Cordon, I knew what it was and tried to find a way around it.
This is where the interesting things happen:
I tried moving around the anomaly without throwing a bolt and naturally got zapped. I quickly bolted back, and was about to use a medkit when I heard the laughter. It wasn't a particularly scary or ominous laugh, the best way I can describe it is: Imagine the English voice actor for Bourbon from Metro 2023 video game doing a forced HAHAHAHAHA sound with his forced, gravelly voice. The laugh was over in a second and that is when I noticed the flashing notification of the PDA icon, top left. I loved reading about the game world and especially mutants so I quickly checked to see what information was unlocked and saw it was for the mutant "Poltergeist".
To recap: I got hit by an Electra anomaly in Agroprom Underground, after a couple of seconds heard a laugh and after that the PDA information for the mutant Poltergeist was unlocked.
Because I was a first time player, I didn't think much about it. The one thing puzzling me was the mutant Poltergeist. I wanted to see it, fight it. Was the anomaly holding the mutant or was the mutant the anomaly itself? You must understand, at the time I didn't know the difference between anomalies or artifacts and kept mixing them up, I was that green. So I quickloaded my game, waited another 30 seconds and tried touching the anomaly again, no laugh and no PDA information this time. Tried it again, no laugh, no info. I decided to try one more time because I was kind of fed up having to wait that long on the loading screen and again, no laugh, no info. I decided to move on...
Now, I know what I told here sounds like a badly written Creepypasta but I swear I am not making any of it up. As I am writing this sentence the year is 31-12-2020 and the time is 21:36, only a couple of hours left for the new year, 2021. Throughout the years me and many other people become Stalkers themselves, played every game of the trilogy countless of times, played countless mods, even modded the game a couple of times, talked about it and much more. What I am getting at is that now, I know how the game works, what can or can't happen etc. and if I read my story here, today with my experience, I would simply ignore it and label it as a lie, plain and simple. But, It is not so easy to do so when the story in question is mine. I though about it over the years and come up with a few ideas as to why it happened:
One other reason for me to write this here is because I also heard a similar, maybe even the same, laugh in either StalkerSoup or some other Solyanka variant a couple of months ago. I was playing the mod and at one point I heard a laugh that reminded me the event from 2007. I didn't find the sound in the SoC game files when I checked a couple of years ago, but also hadn't done a thorough check.
My personal theory is that the laugh is in the game files since SoC, maybe unused, and got repurposed in the mod. Just like that one, irrelevant laugh you hear in every single S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod that has horror sections, you know the one, a male voice doing an echoey laugh.
And this is it Stalkers, a memory of mine from Agroprom Underground in 2007. I never forgot about the laugh to this day and decided to write about it as to never do so, and maybe to find an explanation for it someday.
Thank you for reading.
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