|“|| 'People are mistaken in their belief that they understand the essence of what the Zone truly is. Some consider it a universal evil, others - a wonder sent down to humanity, and others still consider it no more than a source of riches....They are all wrong. The Zone is impossible to understand when viewed through the prism of human perception; moreover it is far too early for humans to even try. Ergo, the actions of both the Zone and the government with the respect to the Zone are misguided and I fear that the potential consequences may be...or indeed, are, completely unpredictable. Naturally this presents a terrible danger.'|
- Professor Beanpolev
There are many different beliefs concerning the Zone's origin, nature and whether it poses a threat to the world at large. Distinct belief systems are usually tied to certain factions. This is a list of the major beliefs.
Gift to mankind/scientific gold mine Edit
There are many who believe the Zone was put on Earth as a gift to mankind and that it is the most wondrous source of knowledge ever to exist as none of the unique objects in the Zone, like artifacts and anomalies, could ever possibly be created in a laboratory or other artificial conditions. Notable adherents of this belief are Freedom, Clear Sky and the Ecologists, all of whom research and analyze the Zone in order to better understand it. The different factions do differ at certain view points, however. For example, Freedom believe that the Zone should be shared by all of humanity, Clear Sky has as its goal to achieve equilibrium between Zone and Man (basically treating the Zone as a conscious entity), and the Ecologists are traditional scientists with traditional methods.
Enemy of the World Edit
Duty, and possibly the military, have adopted a policy of "fighting the Zone". Basically, the idea is to keep the dangers of the Zone inside the cordon and to ensure that the corrupting influence of the Zone are not let outside its current borders, fearing that one day anomalies and mutants will spread to effect, and possibly attack, the outside populace. To this end, Duty are fiercely trying to achieve control and order by killing mutants and collecting artifacts which are handed over to government-funded scientists. Loud-speaker announcements in Duty-controlled areas voice the faction's beliefs. An example:
"Chernobyl veterans, join the Duty ranks! A grand responsibility lies on our shoulders. If we do not protect the world from the expanding zone, who will?"
To some, the Zone and its wonders are little more than an opportunity to fill one's wallet. The loners are the most obvious example of this, though it can be assumed that such groups as the mercenaries and bandits also view the Zone as a source of amazing riches. "Opportunism" is seemingly the most wide-spread of the Zone beliefs and also the driving force behind activities such as trading.
Monolith/Wish granter Edit
The belief in the Wish Granter at the heart of the Zone has led many to their doom. However, there are no more fierce believers in the Monolith than the faction with the same name. While outsiders think of the Wish Granter as either a flimsy story or the ultimate goal, the Monolithians actually worship the great crystal which supposedly rests in the Sarcophagus. They guard the Chernobyl NPP with their lives and seemingly hold rituals at shrines that are built in the likeness of the Monolith.
Some Stalkers believe that within the centre of the Zone lies a place called Oasis .
Beliefs about Oasis vary from Stalker to Stalker and bandit to bandit. It all depends on who you ask. Some Stalkers believe that within Oasis is a pool of healing water, instantly curing disease and mending wounds. Others believe that Oasis is a trove of artifacts. Some bandits claim that their friends were the people who set up Oasis as a giant scam for money. Most simply believe that it doesn't exist.