The Sarcophagus is the name of the steel and concrete structure built around the destroyed reactor unit 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It serves as one of the final levels in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, and makes a brief appearance in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky.
The Sarcophagus is the name given to a massive steel and concrete structure covering the nuclear reactor #4 building of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It was designed to limit radioactive contamination of the environment following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, by encasing the most dangerous area and protecting it from climate exposure. The sarcophagus locked in 200 tons of radioactive corium, 30 tons of highly contaminated dust and 16 tons of uranium and plutonium. Due to the impossibility to repair the inside of the ageing structure, as the levels of radiation are massive, a decision to replace the sarcophagus with the New Safe Confinement was taken, and a project to construct the enclosure is underway, to be completed in 2017.
In the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe, it is deemed as the very heart of the Zone. It is rumoured that the legendary Wish Granter is located inside the ruins of the reactor. Many stalkers attempted to reach the CNPP, though they all failed, either due to the Monolith faction that guards all the roads to the CNPP, or due to the Brain Scorcher.
Shadow of ChernobylEdit
The Sarcopaghus is one of the final levels of Shadow of Chernobyl. It is the final level if one decides to use the Wish Granter, the penultimate level if the player decides to merge with Common Consciousness, and the antepenultimate level if one decides to refuse C-Consciousness. In-game, the Sarcopaghus name applies not only to the destroyed reactor, but also to a series of tunnels that run below and around the reactor itself.
The Sarcopaghus is visited by Strelok as part of the quest that requires the player to reach the Wish Granter, even though this quest is optional and can be failed if one decides to use the Decoder instead. As of 2012 and Strelok's visit, the inside of the reactor is guarded by the Monolith's finest Experts, all using powerful weapons (VLA Special Assault Rifles, Tunder S14s, GP37s, FT-200Ms, SPSA-14s and Gauss guns).
Being one of the final levels, the Sarcopaghus is one of the most intense firefights of the game. Most of the opposition will be using Exoskeletons or classic Monolith suits with gas masks, with a few Scientific Monolith suits, and they'll all be equipped with powerful weapons. Strong armour (an Exoskeleton or a Skat-9M military armoured suit like the one found in Strelok's stash in Pripyat) is strongly recommended. Artifacts that increase resistance to bullets are also a must-have. Due to the setting of the level, most if not all parts of the level are radioactive in varying degrees, therefore be sure to bring a suitable amount of Anti-rads before entering the CNPP (however anti-rads can also be looted quite commonly from Monolithians).
There are two levels of tunnels. After going through the upper level, the player can either go up the rubble to reach the destroyed reactor and the Wish Granter (using a Teleport anomaly). Otherwise, there is a ladder that leads to the door requiring the Decoder to open, and that leads to the Monolith Control Center.
The outside of the Sarcophagus can be seen if the player refuses to join C-Consciousness. At some point, one of several Teleport anomalies takes the player to the top of the structure as part of the final 'running game'.
The Sarcophagus makes a short appearance in Clear Sky. It can be seen in the Chernobyl NPP level. Its inside is, however, inaccessible.
- If you have decided to open the secret door using the Decoder, be sure to look closely on a crate in the corridor for an Exoskeleton, a very nice armour to use for the Monolith Control Center level.
- When wandering inside the Sarcophagus, you will hear an alluring voice speaking to you in Russian. This voice is the Wish Granter luring the player closer to it, confirming that the Wish Granter was developed to distract stalkers on their way to the site of C-Consciousness.
- The player being able to visit the inside of the destroyed the reactor is highly unrealistic. The level of radiation inside the Sarcophagus was estimated to be as high as 10,000 röntgens per hour in 1996, far more than the lethal dose, and is potent enough to corrode the life support apparatus of HAZMAT suits. Either the C-Consciousness managed to neutralize the radiation within the Sarcophagus or simply an oversight on the developer's part is not clearly explained or who maybe it is on purpose to kill those trying to reach the C-consciousness. While standing on the NPP roof, there are gaps in the Sarcophagus that spew incredibly potent amounts of radiation, capable of fully irradiating the player instantly. The radiation escaping through these gaps may allow the interior to be slightly more survivable for a well-equipped Stalker. It may also be that the many Noosphere emissions and the "rift" described by C-Consciousness, which effectively had breaks reality's boundaries, may have purged the sarcophagus of the majority of the radioactivity.
- Much like the Chernobyl NPP level, there are no mutants whatsoever in the Sarcophagus, likely due to the heavy Monolith presence within the tunnels.
- The standing circular concrete plate inside the Wish Granter's room is the former "Biological shield" of the destroyed reactor. The initial steam explosion of the Chernobyl disaster was so powerful that it lifted the 1,000 ton plate and sent it through the roof of the reactor room. The twisted fuel rods still attached at the bottom of the shield are known as "Elena's hair", "Elena" being the nickname of the object.