"The Zone" is the location of an alternate reality version of the Zone of alienation surrounding the Chernobyl Power Plant after a second fictitious meltdown, which further contaminated the surrounding area with radiation, and caused strange otherworldly changes in local fauna, flora, and the laws of physics. The background and some terminology of the game are borrowed from the popular science fiction novella Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky and the 1979 Andrei Tarkovsky film Stalker that was loosely based on it, as well as Stalker, the film's subsequent novelization by the original authors. takes place in an area called "The Zone", which is based on the real-life Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and partly on the settings of the source novel and film. However, in 2006, almost 20 years after the first incident, a second disaster occurred, caused by the C-consciousness (rus. Snorks are the most human of the four; they are nicknamed "Snorks" as a reference to the cartoon of the same name, and in-universe for their gas masks, which resemble a snorkel. Artificial Intelligence of wildlife is highly developed and presents many realistic behaviors, such as fights over food and pack mentality, which can be observed in non-scripted events.
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