The Arena is a sub-location featured in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl.
Arena itself is located in Rostok and run by Arnie. As the name implies, it is a place where Stalkers fight against each other for reputation and money. Every fight is to the death and the number of combatants varies. In Shadow of Chernobyl the player can choose to participate in the arena, fighting increasingly larger groups of opponents for increasingly larger sums of cash.
The arena is located in the Duty Base, inside a roofless warehouse with 'DANGER: ARENA' painted on the side. If you start a conversation with the Duty guard chief as you enter the base, he will mark the location of the arena on your map for you.
There are 8 different rounds and when a match is started, all of your equipment except your knife is taken from you and put into a box near Arnie. For each fight, you are given a new inventory with weapons, armour, and other equipment appropriate to the battle. After each successful match, the inventory you have been provided for that match is taken away, including any items that you collected from your allies and foes.
If you are not experienced enough, Arnie will not permit you to enter the next fight until your reputation has been raised high enough. In this case, you will have to leave the Arena and continue adventuring until you have a high enough reputation for Arnie to allow you to continue entering the matches.
- Equipment: PMm with 48 bullets
- Opponent: One with the same equipment as above
- Reward: 1000 RU
- So, your first fight? Your opponent is a piece of meat just like you. He's here because of debts and he only has two options: to come out and fight or to land himself in the nearest anomaly. He's gonna fight like a cornered animal. Equipment for today... lemme think... OK! Why don't you two use PMm's... two clips each should be plenty. Either you kick his arse or we feed you to the dogs - not much of a choice. Go on now.
- Equipment: Viper 5 with 50 bullets
- Opponent: One with a Stalker suit and weapons as above
- Reward: 2000 RU
- Your last fight didn't mean shit. You're still the same piece of meat you were before and no self-respecting person will bet a single mag on you. If you wanna earn some proper cash you're gonna have to make a few more appearances in the arena. Your new opponent also got through the first round and his fight was a lot harder than yours. I don't like him, to be honest - he kills too quickly and the crowd doesn't like that. So, go and show us what you can do! The stakes will increase after this fight - all you gotta do is stay alive. Move it!
- Equipment: Sawn-off shotgun, 22 shells
- Opponent: Two wearing stalker suits and same weapons as above
- Reward: 3000 RU
- Well, well... You're not as much of a pussy as you first seemed. Now it's time to test you out in a real fight. You're up against two guys. The first one's called Swede and I don't remember the second one's name. They were paired up intentionally as they hate each other's guts so don't worry about them working as a team - they're more likely to shoot each other. Today is rifle day so don't let them get too close or we'll have to pick you up piece by piece. The odds are 10:1 so if you win you'll make a fair amount. Off you go!
- Equipment: Akm-74/2, 90 bullets
- Opponent: Three, two wearing a stalker suit and the third wearing a SEVA suit
- Assistance: Two rookies with a Sawn-off shotgun and an Akm-74/2U
- Reward: 4000 RU
- Well, now I can safely say that you're a fighter, a real fighter. Now it's time for a team fight. You get to fight with two rookies - two brothers - on your side. They haven't fought yet but they're brothers, so I had to put them into a team fight. I wouldn't expect any real help from them if I were you. You're fighting an experienced team, they're contenders for the final this season. A dangerous lot. They use different weapons but one has an automatic shotgun - be very careful with him. Good luck, pal... you're gonna need it.
- Equipment: AC96/2, 120 bullets, Wind of Freedom Suit, bandage, medkit
- Opponent: Two soldiers wearing SKAT-9M Military Armored Suit, one with a Tunder S14 and the other with a AS VAL
- Reward: 6000 RU
- You've got a special fight today. Even the army has heard about you! Don't be surprised, they fight here too - there's even a general in the crowd. These guys are from the Spetsnaz or from OMON. They're well armed and their armour is good as you'd expect. Don't worry too much, I ain't gonna leave you out in the rain, either. You'll get a vest used by Freedom - it's light so it won't slow you down. Go on, show them that stalkers ain't no whipping boys. Good luck!
- note: this is by far the hardest match
- Equipment: Tunder S14, 110 bullets, Berill-5M Armored Suit
- Opponent: Six bandits carrying either a PMm or a sawn-off shotgun
- Reward: 8000 RU
- Time for you to show what you can do. Duty captured a group of bandits that had been causing problems for stalkers near Rostok. Duty took'em at night so most of the bandits were taken alive. They were all gonna be executed anyway so I conviced Duty to give them a chance. If any of them survive, they'll go in the can outside the Zone, which is better than dying here. They're not well-armed - just a few pistols and sawn-offs - but there's six of them so watch yourself. Go on now!
- Equipment: 4 F1 grenades, bandage
- Opponent: One stalker with a FT-200m and an Exoskeleton.
- Reward: 10000 RU
- Well, you're almost in the final. Now you'll be fighting a real stalker. He's alone but he's got an FT 200M and he's inside an exoskeleton. Catch one burst and you're toast. There will be a surprise that I can't tell you about too... Here's my advice: be prepared, it's gonna be tough. The winner makes it through to the final. Fight to the death, go!
- Equipment: GP-37, 150 Bullets
- Opponent: Four stalkers, all with an Exoskeleton and the same weapon as you.
- Reward: 10000 RU
- Congratulations, you're in the final! One more to go and this one is to the death, every man for himself. There will be 4 other stalkers in the arena: all real pros in exoskeletons with GP-37s but it's a fair deal this time - you'll get exactly what they have. The only thing is, you don't get medkits or bandages in a fight to the death. Ready? Go prove you're the best, GO!
- In the gamedata there are files for mutants that were meant to be fought in the Arena, why this was changed is unknown. This was removed, most likely due to the fact that the player could simply go up of one of the numerous stacks of crates and shoot at the mutants at a safe height.
- In the final round, many of the opponents can die at the very start since they are all hostile towards each other, yet start in a line-up next to each other. This can also make it much easier for the player since even if none of them die, they will be preoccupied with each other, allowing the player to get easy headshots with the accurate GP37.
- It is possible to kill the spectators, and it has no negative repurcussions. This may help you to raise your reputation.
- All fighters in the Arena which are hostile to the player will be of either Mercenary, Bandit, or Monolith alignment - this is perhaps done so killing someone will not have a negative affect on one's reputation. None of them will belong to the military faction (the two military stalkers in Round Five are classified as Mercenaries).
- There is a bug that allows you to enter the factory in which the Arena is placed in, similar to the bug that alows you to open the door in the Sarcophagus without having the decoder. However, there is nothing inside it, as the Arena is actually in other place (physically). In some trailers not just this place, but the whole factory is abandoned and there is no Duty base or bar.