|“|| Got a little something... Last night stalkers saw some kind of weird glow at the dredge station... Too weird even for these parts. Why don't you check it out? Make sure to watch yourself there. I'm warning you, that place is full of radiation. Don't forget your meds — you'll thank me later.|
Strange Phenomenon is an optional mission featured in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat.
Beard tells the player stalkers spotted a glowing light at the Dredge Station not far, and wants the player to investigate.
To complete the mission, the player must go to the Dredge Station, and enter the old ship. The only danger here is the large amount of springboards around the station. The entrance to the ship is the ladder behind - it can be accessed by walking onto the side of the ship (at the risk of being hit by a springboard), or by the pipes behind. Once the player climbs up the ladder, they can walk onto the fallen iron bars and go inside the ship. Going to the top deck reveals that the said glowing light comes from a strange Altered Wheel.
On the surface, this is a simple fetch-the-artifact-mission, but there is a surprise waiting for the player. As soon as they pick up the artifact and exit the tug, a Loner named Tuna will confront Degtyarev and ask for the artifact. He claims that it has healing properties (which is false) and that his friend needs it. If the player refuses, he will ask them again a second time. The choice is left to the player.
Surrendering the artifactEdit
If the player gives him the artifact, he'll sprint to the Skadovsk and sell it to Beard. If the player meets him at the Skadovsk and doesn't threaten him, he'll give them 1500 RU to calm the player down. This is likely the worst choice as it makes the potential reward much lower, and the Pioneer achievement cannot be acquired.
Refuse to give the artifact Edit
If the player refuses to give the artifact by telling him they need it, it seems that he will let them go, only to be ambushed by his two buddies seconds later, when he demands again to turn over the artifact. The player can either give it up (holster any weapon and wait), which results the - or fight their way out, which can be very dangerous, especially at higher difficulty levels. Tuna will melee hit Degtyarev with his weapon, stunning the player for seconds which always results in death. The strategy here is to turn around and run towards Tuna, firing quickly before he has a chance to react, and immediately hide back inside the tug. Wait a little while, and two other loners will move out of cover, giving the player an opportunity to take them out.
If the player denies all knowledge of the artifact's existence and state that they haven't seen it, then he'll lean back against the tug and let the player pass by untouched, later to ambush them as well. This is a brilliant opportunity to shoot him in the head and back up into the tug, long enough for the hidden stalkers to come into range. The fight is thus simplified into three headshots. If the player is quick enough, they can also land a head shot on one of Tuna's goons that tells them to holster their weapon. Then turning around quickly to go back to the tug, take Tuna out. Since Tuna is in the open and is wearing poor armor, it will be easy using the starting AKM-74/2U. This leaves the player with the one loner to deal with. Although, note that doing this, the player will inevitably take some hits, while getting to cover since Tuna and his squad has thel in a kill-zone. Along with that, the interior of the barge, which is the nearest cover available, is irradiated, so one cannot stay there for too long unless they have a good supply of anti-rad, or a radiation-neutralizing artifact on hand.
If one is very lucky, some of the mutants may attack Tuna's goons (if they reveal themselves) in which the fight will be much easier to handle.
Another simple way to stop the ambush from a more defended position is to simply lean out of the windows of the ship's cabin. With the right angle, the player can see Tuna's two companions and open fire on them. With or without a suppressor this immediately causes them to retreat, which usually means wandering into the player's field of view and giving them ample time to gun them down from the safety of the cabin. If the squad survives, they will continue to harass the player throughout Zaton.
Another way to do this is to throw a grenade from the bridge and into or near the shed at the bottom left of the bridge's view. This will damage, or kill, one of Tuna's cohorts hiding inside the shed and force the rest of them to do a fighting retreat within full view. The bridge of the barge provides a perfect overwatch position which allows one to gun down Tuna's squad with impunity. This is a bit dangerous for new players since there is a chance one can miscalculate the throw and cause the grenade to bounce back into the bridge, utterly killing or severely injuring the player, so caution is advised to those attempting this to quick-save before trying.
Let him have the artifact and then kill himEdit
If the player not fit to start a firefight with 3 stalkers, this is the other option. First give Tuna the artifact when he asks for it, this will make the rest of his squad neutral. As he's sprinting off along to the Skadovsk, gain some distance from his squad where one cannot be seen and gun Tuna down, afterwards loot his corpse and present the artifact to Beard for the full reward. If the player is successful in gaining enough distance, his squad will still remain neutral, unaware thry killed him, if not they become hostile and attack the player on sight - they stay for the whole time at the station, therefore making them generally not problematic unless the player visits the area. The player must also be careful not to gun down Tuna too close to the Skadovsk, otherwise the ship will go under lockdown for 4 hours, preventing the player to give Beard the artifact until it opens again.
- 3000 RU
- Stash Location
- After completing this quest, regardless of the outcome, Beard will offer quests to find specific artifacts.
- For some reason, having the weapon in first slot out as they ambush the player makes them shoot as soon as the cut-scene ends. This is yet another reason not to trigger the ambush.
- A lot of the tugboat's areas are irradiated, including the only corridor one can use as cover in the event they start a shootout. It is strongly advised to bring some vodka, anti-rad, or if possible Radioprotectant drugs.
- There seems to be no way to avoid the encounter with Tuna, as the only way out is where Tuna waits for the player. It IS possible, however, to be lucky enough to have Tuna attacked by some wandering mutants, allowing the player to quickly escape and give Beard the artifact without having to deal with Tuna. As well, if the player throws a grenade close to Tuna, he will run away from the grenade, and if he is far away, the player can quickly escape the area.
- A noteworthy thing is that, if the player managed to escape the station wihtout being confronted by Tuna, they must be careful as if the player approaches him again, the same conversation will trigger. However, if the player "gives" him the artefact, the game will crash once Tuna arrives to the Skadovsk, as he will not be able to show the artefact to Beard (considering he does not have it). In order to deal with Tuna without crashing the game, the player can simply avoid him or kill him at distance. Also, the player can 1 - give Tuna the artifact and kill him before he reaches the Skadovsk, and 2 - refuse to give him the artifact and take down his team.
- The strange artifact is more or less useless since all it does give the player is radiation. It can't even be used as a flashlight, despite the fact it's supposed to emit a lot of light.
- One alternative method in doing this quest is to find the unaltered wheel without being informed by Beard. Tuna will still appear nevertheless.