Three types of Bloodsuckers. From top: Forest, Marsh, Underground.
Bloodsucker Tentacles (SoC)
Shadow of Chernobyl
Call of Pripyat
Bloodsuckers are a type of rare mutant usually found in the deeper areas of the Zone, often underground. They seem vaguely humanoid, with a hunched stance and height similar to that of an average person. Their eyes are lambent and their mouths are surrounded by several powerful tentacles used for feeding on blood.
General Information Edit
The Bloodsucker is a semi-legendary creature, often used by Stalkers as a symbol of both the dangers and corruption of the Zone. This status has been achieved both thanks to the species’ relative rarity, as well as the fact that few humans who encounter Bloodsuckers survive to tell of it.
Bloodsuckers often make lairs in which they will dwell while resting or storing their kill for later consumption. They also sleep standing up but aren't known to do so heavily, as even something as quiet as a light footstep will instantly awaken them.
Bloodsuckers are incredibly strong mutants, and they usually rely on their armor-puncturing claws to shred their prey. Very few types of body armor are capable of protecting a stalker from more than a few powerful strikes.
Perhaps the most peculiar thing about Bloodsuckers is their optic camouflage, which allows them to temporarily become almost invisible to the naked eye. However, Bloodsuckers are at their weakest when cloaked. Bloodsuckers will often engage their camouflage upon discovering prey, and then become visible again when they are close enough to attack. Bloodsuckers have thick skin and are very durable, being able to sustain large amounts of damage before dying. After killing an enemy, Bloodsuckers will usually bite into the corpse to drain it of blood, which is what gave them their name.
The most effective tactic for destroying these creatures in any of the games is to use a knife and quickly slash at the Bloodsucker while it runs circles around the player, or the use of shotguns. Shotguns are by far the more effective choice between the two in Clear Sky, the best tactic is to unload Scattergun fire into its head at point-blank range whilst it is close. Weapons with a high rate of fire are strongly recommended due to the likelihood of missing most of the shots you fire with any weapon in this scenario. Additionally, much like most mutants; should enough damage be dealt to a bloodsucker, it will start limping and move at a largely reduced speed, which is referenced with the mutant clutching his stomach and moving in staggered fashion, making it easy to get away to deliver the killing blow to one. Gravely wounded Bloodsuckers are also more susceptible to retreating from a fight.
Another effective way to eliminate Bloodsuckers is to attack them while they are camouflaged. A great way to do this is to wait in a corner until you can see them in their camouflage. Up close, the camouflage does not work as well, so the player can easily see the Bloodsucker. Once it is close, but still cloaked, slash at it quickly with your knife. Usualy one hit will kill them. It may take more than one try, as it is a difficult skill to master, but when it is mastered, it is extremely effective. Note- this strategy is not recommended if you do not have good enough armor, and should only be attempted without armor when you have mastered the skill, as you may fail several times at first. It is recommended that you practice while wearing an Exosuit, as one will protect the player from the bites quite well.
Early on in the game Bloodsuckers can be immensely difficult to defeat due to both the low rate of fire of most weapons and the lack of high-damage weaponry available. Bloodsuckers can be one hit killed if shot in the back of the head whilst unaware; this can be extremely risky to pull off, but very gratifying. A very short burst of approximately 4 rounds from a machine gun (RP-74) will instantly put down a Bloodsucker. In Shadow of Chernobyl, the Bloodsucker can actually be spotted with a snappy perception, if you are prepared to meet it (try it out at Strelok´s stash). When seen through a cloaked bloodsucker the background is blurred in an almost water-like reflection which is highly visible when they move. Also, two glowing white spots can be seen in the air – which are obviously their eyes. Do not doubt yourself upon seeing them, as believing it to be a mirage will often result in your premature demise. Instead, take the safer route and fire in that direction, preferably just above the eyes for maximum damage per shot.
A single well placed shotgun blast to the head at point-blank range can also do the trick, but it is advised to wait until the moment a Bloodsucker "de-cloaks". Slug ammunition is also effective at taking down Bloodsuckers from a relatively safe distance, though buckshot is preferable at close range.
Curiously, each species has evidence of severe decomposing – bits of flesh appear to be rotting off the body. All specimens seem to lack skulls as the skin on their heads peels away in areas to expose the brain underneath, perhaps explaining their lack of any sign of sentient intelligence or reason. This isn't present in most of the Bloodsuckers in the Clear Sky, and only in a handful in Shadow of Chernobyl before becoming a global trait in Call of Pripyat, perhaps suggesting that the Bloodsuckers in the area are evolving, or that the species as a whole is afflicted with a genetic disorder. However, it may also be a sign of aging.
How exactly Bloodsuckers reproduce – and how there are so many only a few years after the first Emissions – is one of the larger mysteries of the Zone.
Shadow of ChernobylEdit
Bloodsuckers are first encountered in the Agroprom underground, where one will attack the player during his first trip to infiltrate the military outpost. After that, they make rare appearances above ground, but tend to avoid confrontation – fortunate for Stalkers, as aside from a Pseudogiant, they are easily the most dangerous mutant in the original game. They can be shot and damaged at any time, unlike the variants that appear in Clear Sky, and like many other mutants, their greatest weakness is the inability to climb over even a knee high barricade. On later stages of the game, bloodsuckers commonly appear at the Wild Territory (Rostok), Military Warehouses, Dark Valley, and can be rarely seen in Cordon during later parts of the game. Strangely, there is one particular bloodsucker at the Dark Valley which is in the middle of nowhere, near the east end of the map. There is a quest availiable to kill this particularly unusually situated mutant.
Bloodsuckers are almost identical in both appearance and behavior. The only notable difference is that they do not take damage from attacks while invisible in Clear Sky. In Clear Sky, they have a tendency to travel in packs, making them even more lethal and all the more frightening. A second 'species' of Bloodsucker, known as the Marsh Bloodsucker, makes appearances throughout the Great Swamps – they work alone and tend to be extremely disruptive during the faction war, as one hit from them will bring down a squad member, before the bloodsucker tosses the corpse into the swamps to feed. The rest of the squad will normally go stationary expecting an encounter, and because of this, the Marsh Bloodsucker can often wipe out a whole squad because they refuse to get out of the area.
Also, in Clear Sky, they may sometimes threaten the player if the player gets too close – they will roar and they also normally do this after wounding their victim.
Call of PripyatEdit
In Call of Pripyat, Bloodsuckers are most prevalent in Zaton as all three types can spawn, and Marsh Bloodsuckers appear in Yanov usually near the swamp rim. Very rarely, a third, much more dangerous variant may appear in either level (or in Pripyat itself). This new third species is significantly more powerful, and has more resistance to damage. While this new species still possesses the ability to cloak, it is often shoddy and obtrusive compared to the Forest or Marsh Bloodsuckers, making them stand out – for example, appearing as bricks on grass or dirt. Unlike Clear Sky and like Shadow of Chernobyl, Bloodsuckers can be damaged even while cloaked, and aside from the new species are not nearly as dangerous to regular stalkers, who can sometimes fare well against a pair of them. To compensate, Bloodsuckers have gained improved optic camouflage. A cloaked Bloodsucker's outline can no longer be seen at long range and their eyes can only be seen when they're at close range, prompting the player to be extremely alert and use lightning reflexes to overpower a bloodsucker. The terrain can also be used to detect bloodsuckers as they will splash water when walking on it. The crosshair, if enabled and dynamic, may turn red to indicate the presence of an enemy when aimed at a hostile bloodsucker, even if it is invisible.
They are one of the creatures scripted with a new attack, one which automatically activates if the player exposes their back to the bloodsucker, but can also happen if the player is struck full-on by a charging one in the front. The mutant grapples onto the player, and sucks blood from the player while other mutants get free shots – in a pack this often leads to death. The player loses health and a significant portion of their stamina bar to the Bloodsucker, who gains a small amount of health in return.
Unsurprisingly Bloodsuckers feature heavily in the mission Bloodsucker Lair, in which the player must find a way to wipe out a nest of Bloodsuckers that have been preying on Stalkers in the Zaton region. They can also occasionally be seen in the distance whilst travelling in Zaton and Yanov.
Like many other creatures, Bloodsuckers now have a changed behavior when attacking. Instead of recklessly charging like in the other games, it will cloak when threatened and try to gain proximity while invisible on a victim. A bloodsucker will then briefly reveal itself before slashing or even grappling the player with its tentacles. It often uses "guerrilla" attacks by circling around before attacking once every couple of seconds to which it repeats. The only way to pinpoint on a bloodsucker's position when cloaked is its heavy breathing or, in one instance, its position on the minimap.
- In SoC and CS, there is another variation of the standard bloodsucker. However, this variation, called "sub bloodsucker" in the PDA, has only aesthetic differences. The sub bloodsucker has a different PDA image, darker skin, and larger pores on its face. These kinds of bloodsuckers don't appear as common as the other variant. A stuffed sub bloodsucker can be seen in Clear Sky in the Inquisitor's zoo, which is the one next to the wall opposite of the windows.
- Occasionally in Clear Sky one can find a Night Star artifact on a bloodsucker.
- In earlier builds the Bloodsuckers used sounds borrowed from the zombies in Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
- In Call of Pripyat, there is one blooducker that is friendly and can actually be traded with, it's appearence occurs in Pripyat, it's a bug however and it's appearence is questionable as it happens at random.
See also Edit