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Video Game / Atom RPG

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Города, где я бывал, по которым тосковал, Мне знакомы от стен и до крыш...note note 

ATOM RPG is an indie, survival-horror RPG set in an Alternate Timeline, post-apocalyptic Soviet Russia. The game was released on December 19th, 2018. Unlike in our world, the Cold War ended up turning hot in 1986, drowning the world in atomic fire. Civilization collapsed almost entirely, outside of a few small pockets, with the vast majority of humanity falling into amoral infighting.

When the bombs dropped, however, an organization sheltered itself from the carnage, and maintained a strong, if discreet, presence. This organization, ATOM, began a long, covert mission to rebuild pre-war society from the shadows. You are a cadet in this organization, about to be sent out to find a lost expedition, led by one General Morozov, which was last seen heading to a mysterious bunker, numbered 317...

You'll have to meet locals and learn to live in this new world while your mission unfolds, and hopefully you'll be able to get in contact with the ally they order you to seek out in Krasnoznamenny, the large settlement nested on a river in the southeastern section of the region.


A sequel, ATOM RPG: Trudograd, was released in September 13, 2021.

ATOM RPG contains examples of these tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: Equal parts this and Homage to Fallout. A large number of the quests are even ripped straight from the first two games, from the first village suffering from bandits lording over them, to making a porno, to stopping an organization devoted to "unifying" humanity by voiding individuality.
  • After the End: 19 years after, to be specific.
  • A.K.A.-47: Averted! Every gun is specifically named and detailed on in its description. On the other hand, there are a few guns that are chambered in the wrong caliber for their class, such as the M-16, HK33, and FN Minimi, which are chambered in 5.45x39mm instead of the 5.56x45mm caliber in Real Life.
  • All for Nothing: Kovalev's project to rebuild a car quickly bursts into flames when the man you sought help from in getting the parts for it orders a hit on the good comrade for bad blood. You lose your shot at a car after several quests for it, and Kovalev dies.
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  • All Jews Are Cheapskates: Abraham, the bookseller. His dialog is peppered with stereotypical Yiddish phrases, and he has the highest bargaining skill in the game (thanks to his Kippah providing +10 to bargaining). For bonus Greedy Jew points, he explicitly adopts the Happy Merchant pose (hunched over and rubbing his hands together) upon getting paid.
  • Alternate History: One in which the Cold War turned hot. A protest at the Berlin Wall escalated into a battle between NATO and USSR forces, with machinations attempting to scapegoat the conflict onto Russia. The resulting tensions boiled over in 1986, and the world was consumed with atomic fire.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Army of Death is a handful of roving bands of marauders that butcher people in the name of darwinism. They have no redeeming qualities and, while they can be talked out of fighting you or tricked into fleeing, will otherwise be utterly ruthless and bloodthirsty.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: General Morozov and almost all of his expedition have either been killed, assimilated into Mycelium or possessed by the Mushroom Mind. Morozov himself appears to be an egregious case of possession, for his eyes glow extremely brightly compared to other victims, and he even has crackles on his face when you meet him!
  • Arc Symbol: Mushrooms. In Otradnoye, your very first quest can potentially be to go pick mushrooms for Katya. In Bunker 317, you find several amulets with Mushroom-symbols on some of the dead expedition members. In Krasnoznamenny, Mycelium embraces mushroom symbolism in order to work towards their goal of achieving symbolic unity between people.
  • Archaeological Arms Race: ATOM and Mycelium both seek and try to control and impose on Soviet advanced technologies pre-nuclear war, to become stronger and more powerful and to dominate what remains of the Soviet Union after the atomic conflict.
  • Assimilation Plot: This is Mycelium's end-goal. On the surface, it appears to be mere symbolism, with humanitarian and scientific efforts being their forefront activities. In reality, they seek to contaminate the water supplies of local settlements with the spores of a sentient mushroom, forming a Hive Mind.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Vintorez. It's both an assault rifle and a sniper rifle. All three types of shots you can take with itnote  cost 4 AP, and it's silenced, allowing you to assassinate people left and right from afar. All of this said, burst shots are extremely tempting in close quarters, and the ammo isn't exactly common. Good luck restocking.
  • The Barnum: There's a shady car dealer in Peregon who supposedly sells factory-made cars of different varieties. If you agree to purchase any one of the cars he's offering, he'll tell you to wait a week in order to have your car ready, After waiting one in-game week, once you come back to him, the car is not there and when you complain to him about the deal, he explains that there have been difficulties in the shipment and he offers you to wait another two weeks. If you agree to his offer, after waiting another two in-game weeks, you find out once again that the car you're asking for has still not arrived and when you come back to him again, he suspiciously is not present either in his usual stall. You eventually find out that he fled to Krasnoznamenny where he's seen gambling at a casino with your money, thereby completely reneging on his promise and proving him as a bonafide scammer. What makes this whole ordeal ridiculous is that you can actually find a genuinely drivable car at the Old Scrapyard and claim it as your own but only after dealing with a band of unfriendly mutants in a difficult side quest and have the appropriately sufficient number of Technology skill points to get it in working condition, making the whole quest with the shady car dealer pointless.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: Characters in the game are by no means above pointing out cRPG tropes. Of particular note is that at the very beginning of the game, your character's standard queries of "who are you" and "what is your name" are immediately met with acknowledgement; apparently these are the standard introductory protocol taught to ATOM cadets, and you are praised for practicing it before your mission.
  • BFG: There are several toned-down, but prominent examples in the game: The PTRD, VVE, RPD, FN Minimi, and the Pulemyot Kalashnikova (PK). Almost all of these are end-game weapons.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All endings of Krasnoznamenny. If the player stop the Mushroom Mind, even if they protest to the ATOM squadron that entered Krasnoznamenny, they will annex the city, placing it under martial law. While "redevelopment" accelerates with their rule, the game notes that many of the personal freedoms people enjoyed in the city are stripped bare.If you were able to defend the independence of the city from the ATOM, then it will retain its freedoms, but will fall into stagnation. Mycelium ending will lead to peace, prosperity and progress in the city, but at the cost of the complete destruction of the individuality of citizens through their Assimilation Plot.
    • Fidel continues his service at ATOM and will heroically die after the events of the game an unspecified time after his travels with you, fighting in another region of wasteland against a local tyrant.
    • If Dan and his gang are facilitated and their opposition defeated/diverted, they continue to lord over small local settlements like thugs. Despite this, however, they develop from a gang into a respected Mercenary army, much like how the Wolves (and Guards) of Peregon did.
  • Boring, but Practical: Pistols. They're lightweight, their ammo is plentiful, and as you progress through the game there's usually a decent pistol around that can be swapped out if your skill is high enough. Their attacks have extremely low AP costs, which only go down further if you invest in pistol perks! And the final cherry on top? Being one-handed weapons, you can equip shields with them!
  • Break the Cutie: Katya suffers this if you tell her about Kovalev's real fate. After first angrily denying what you're saying, breaks down into inconsolable sobbing. If you return after that point, she's immersed in her work and won't give you the time of day; not out of malice, but just because she's worn down and broken. The game even says point-blank that something broke inside of her because of this.
  • Cannibal Larder: In Peregon, a "slaughterhouse" of human flesh can be found, reached by a shipping container with stairs inside. It leads down to a small cave with multiple rooms; one small sleeping quarter area, a shooting range for crossbows with crucifixes, and a meeting room with a projector showing off Communist propaganda, with a restraining chair at the far end of the table facing it. In the middle of all of this is a central room with a Brazen Bull in the middle.
    • And in the Wastelands, the consumption of human meat has become common and widespread, with slave traders selling abducted and enslaved humans specifically to eat their meat...
  • Cassette Futurism: The few and scarce technologies left in the Wastelands and the graphic and aesthetic style, are based on the 1980s Retro-Futurism and on 1970-1980 technologies, with things like VHS and Cathode-ray tube TV's, LCD Displays, and Floppy Disks.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land: The wastes are full of nutjobs, ranging from Doomsday Cults, to Talkative Loons whose brains are rotting from mutation, to a circus full of mutants using their mutations to gain money! But Krasnoznamenny truly takes the cake. Citizens in the city, when not cranky, corrupt or otherwise preoccupied, are generally spouting complete nonsense!
    • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Hexogen. Good lord, Hexogen. You meet the guy holed up inside an abandoned house, sniping at giant spiders. When you finally get his barricades down to talk to him, he goes on a continuous tirade about the glory of Communism, referring to your character as his son/daughter.
  • Cool Car: The GAZ-20-SG1 Pobeda, an obscure and extremely rare 1950s-era prototype sports car whose design reeks of Zeerust that is available from a garage in the Old Scrapyard which is drivable yet has its parts in disrepair. You must have a sufficiently high level of Technology skills to get it back into working condition, otherwise attempting to start up its engine too many times without the proper number of Technology skills can cause the car to explode in your face and kill you instantly. It is guarded by a large band of unfriendly mutants who are not willing to converse with regular humans. There are two ways to obtain the car: either pay the leader of the mutants a very hefty fee of 120,000 rubles or attack him and his gang for the free rights to ownership. Doing the latter is rather difficult since they're armed with pretty dangerous weaponry and sport some pretty decent armor. You will have to bring a high-leveled party or wait for a quest that will provide ample backup to deal with them if you want to get the car for free. And after you finally get your car, you must constantly fill it up with bottles of Gasoline every time you use it on the map and stocks of Gasoline are at a premium since they usually can only be bought from random caravaneers.
  • Cool Old Guy: Comrade Kovalev, the head of Otradnoye.
  • Crapsack World: The Wastelands of the USSR are a variety of arid, dry, toxic or otherwise hostile places, occupied by many-a fanatical people. Mutated animals and humans rampage around in tandem with marauders, there's an avid and active slave trade, and even though there are several settlements which are safe to live in, the larger ones are a Wretched Hive in some form or another and the smaller ones are left to struggle against the thugs and marauders. And all this is happening in a region that is considered more or less prosperous. In other regions, things are much worse.
  • Crazy Survivalist: In one of the random encounters you can meet a crazy neo-nazi survivalist who believes that the pre-war Soviet government was being manipulated by a lobby of Jews and Freemasons. You can even meet an American saboteur whose squad was sent to the Soviet Union shortly before the war. And although all his former co-workers either died or assimilated with the local population, he continues his senseless war against the Communists.
  • The Cult: There's several cults in the area around Krasnoznamenny and Peregon, to name a few:
    • Davy Krist's Sect, led by religious preacher Varna Banana Devi Christu, a sect that forbids its followers to drink alcohol and forbids them to wash and take care of their personal hygiene.
    • The Cult of Saint Slavik, a mysterious religious sect spread in the Wastelands, a fusion of Russian-Slavic Paganism and Russian Orthodox Christianity.
    • Mycelium, despite their assurances that they are not, are in essence pseudo-religious secular cult.
    • Black Goat, who live in Krasnoznamenny's sewers.
  • Deconstruction: Of many of Fallout's recurring themes and ideas. To name a few:
    • Bottlecaps as currency. The description for Rubles states that bottlecaps as currency were poked at as an idea once, but quickly discarded.
    • Couriers in the Wastes seem to not be as lucky, determined or durable as a certain Courier that longtime Fallout fans might be accustomed to.
    • While ATOM RPG has a near-identical equivalent to Feral Ghouls in the form of Shadows, non-feral mutants are marginally different, not just from their feral counterparts, but from each-other. The mutations you encounter in the game are incredibly diverse; some people turn into repugnant cavities oozing green fluids out of their nose and ears, some develop the ability to lay fertilized eggs, containing human fetuses. Not only that, but unlike in Fallout, where there are plenty of settlements that accept ghouls into their folds, you almost never see any more than 1 mutant per human settlement, and in general, mutants are considered a footnote at best in conversations or something to be shot on sight at worst.
  • Developer's Foresight: During the Coal Shipments quest, on your way to Krasnoznamenny with the coal supply truck, you'll be ambushed by the same band of robbers who extorted you from the very beginning of the game. However, if you manage to kill them at the beginning without dying to them, which is very difficult to do without putting in the right attribute points for your character, or by performing this one trick shown in this video, they will be replaced by a generic faceless band of bandits without special dialogue upon meeting you.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Automatic Firearms. In most cases, they're heavy, and short of surviving the bandits that mug you at the beginning, you're hard-pressed to find one that isn't rusted out until you reach Krasnoznamenny, or scrape up enough money to buy one off the caravans. Even then, they tend to have high Strength requirements, and a high Dexterity to ensure you'll have enough AP to use the damn things. But once you get through the skill tree for them, you'll eventually get a perk that nulls Strength requirements for these weapons, allowing, with proper planning on character creation, for you to have a BFG in your hands that shreds everything in it's path.
  • Dirty Communists / Chummy Commies: Both tropes and something between them often meet in game. Even though the game is set in a post-apocalyptic USSR, the game shows not only flaws of the Soviet Union, but also virtues. Several characters tell their views on communism and the USSR, including some rather unusual ones. Things like Dan, a former KGB agent who founded a gang of thieves and thugs to extort money out of protection rackets, is very much Truth in Television in post-USSR countries with minimal revenue. Fidel, is one of kindest and most altruistic characters in the game. The ATOM organization itself is an example of good communists. They seek lost technology and knowledge and secretly distribute them in the wasteland to restore civilization and do not seek power. Maybe subverted. One group of ATOM soldiers sent to Krasnoznamenny to capture members of Mycelium the may try to seize power in the city if the player does not stop them. Hexogen is easily the biggest example of both tropes view on the Soviet Union; yes, they were oppressive, brutal and authoritarian, but at the end of the day, the cause that it was originally for, the extermination of class, wealthy disparity and so on, was nevertheless a noble goal.
  • Eagleland: Both types. In the game you can meet two surviving American saboteurs, whose detachment carried out a subversive mission shortly before the war. The first American simply reconciled to the fact that the old world is destroyed and simply wants to live an ordinary life, being assimilated into the local population. The second American went crazy and, being all alone, continues his senseless war against the communists.
  • The Evils of Free Will: This is the primary thing the Mushroom Mind wants to stop, as it believes this is what keeps humanity from re-developing itself at the speed necessary to be able to deal with the Hesperus Star.
  • Expy: Being a game based on Fallout, there's quite a few:
    • ATOM is a pre-war military organization dedicated to collecting pre-war technology and using it to rebuild civilization via redistribution, all the while focused on maintaining absolute secrecy, to the point that they're regarded as a myth. Wait, are we talking about ATOM or the Brotherhood of Steel?
    • Morlocks are the game's answer to Deathclaws; incredibly durable, incredibly quick, and hugging high-radiation areas. But fear not! Aim for their eyes!
    • Shadows in the Dead City are Feral Ghouls: Fragile Speedsters on their own, but form zombie-like packs and rush parties of people.
    • Arachnids are ATOM's resident Radscorpions.
    • Otradnoye is a Shout-Out to Shady Sands in Fallout, and you can even continue the similarities, if you get them to vote Katya into the position of village head!
    • The GAZ-20-SG1 Pobeda is the game's version of the Highwayman from Fallout 2, only it requires regular gasoline instead of energy cells.
    • Sergey Maslov, the fake Berlin Wall conflict veteran, shares his name with a fake Red Army veteran who actually fought for the Nazis during WWII.
    • Dzhulbars is essentially the game's equivalent of Dogmeat.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Dan is a borderline tyrant, but endings in which he's dead reveal his gang was indeed integral to protecting settlements like Otradnoye from being overrun by psychopaths.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: You get Dzhulbars as a companion during a random encounter; a man and his dog are attacked by bandits, and you have to intervene. To get him as a companion the man needs to die. If you intervene too quickly and save him, Dzhulbars is locked out of your party.
  • Faking Another Person's Illness: The front gate guard of Krasnoznamenny pulls a particularly annoying example of this. He claims you have a disease called Krasnov's Syndrome, which is largely regarded as a hoax, and uses that as an excuse to demand a bribe to let you into the city. The best you can do is either convince him to lower the price or circumvent the front gates entirely by entering through the tunnels and sewers.
  • Famed In-Story: You become this if you give out your name to people when talking to them. Or you can avert this by giving fake, often outrageous names.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans are prejudiced towards mutants. It's both more and less Justified, given how unpredictable and downright crazy mutants can be.
    • Case in point: there's a visibly unstable mutant who oozes green sludge from his ears and nose in the sewers of Krasnoznamenny who has you perform a staged kidnapping as a wedding proposal. The only thing that's even more jarring about it is the girl in question is not only completely aware but fine with it.
  • Five-Man Band: A complete party has:
    • The Cadet: The Leader - This is reinforced by your companions refusing to allow some of their skills to be accessed, such as barter, speechcraft, pickpocketing, etc. They expect you to handle a lot of those things as you're calling the shots.
    • Fidel: The Lancer - He is constantly urging you to make certain decisions, is a more experienced and integrated agent than you, the rookie, and will go down fighting if you side with the Mushroom Mind.
    • Hexogen: The Smart Guy - Despite his being bonkers, he's got the highest intelligence of your companions, only being potentially topped by you. On top of this, he claims to be an accomplished writer. As you travel with him, this is revealed to be true.
    • Alexander: The Big Guy - He's got the highest Strength and Endurance of all your companions, and starts off with a proficiency in Martial Arts.
    • Dzuhlbars: Team Pet - Your faithful companion in a cruel, unforgiving world.
  • The Freakshow: The Circus is a fine example of this, and then some! The most tame person there, apart from the Wasteland Elder leading the show, is both a Bearded Lady and a Fortune Teller. The guards are clowns - one whom is The Grotesque who has a mouth on his stomach - a Contortionist who has a voice in her spleen that shouts lewd things, a man with a beak, and a woman who can lay actual, fertilized human eggs!
  • Future Imperfect: Many people in post-apocalyptic Russia seem to have a different view of Lenin than history details. In their view, Lenin was a deity of sorts whom slayed mutant ants before ascending to a divine realm.
  • Gangbangers: One of the common random encounters in the main wasteland map involves bandits who will try to kill you for your loot. As the setting takes place in the post-apocalyptic Soviet Union, these bandits are gopniki and may or may not have affiliations with The Mafiya.
  • Glorious Mother Russia: Post-apocalyptic version of USSR of The '80s.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Hesperus Star, albeit it's more of a looming threat than a villain. The Mushroom Mind claims to only wish to achieve Unity so that it can rebuild civilization in time to properly dispose of the asteroid.
    • On a more grounded note, the area in which the game takes place is regarded in-lore as being extremely well-off compared to its neighboring territories, which are overrun and teeming with marauders and misery. If you kill Dan and disband the factory gang, the ending will reveal that Otradnoye, for all the chafing they suffer from their bullying, get overrun by these marauders with no real military protecting them.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Similar to Fallout, your actions and choices influence how others think of you. Choosing the wrong choices, even once when involving certain characters you meet in the game, can lead to grim consequences if you're not careful. For example, simply attacking anybody in a settlement without reason can turn the entire settlement hostile to you and it will stay that way no matter how many days you let pass either by resting or travelling aimlessly in the main wasteland map. Goodness forbid if you unwarrantedly attack someone in a settlement where the main plot requires you to complete missions there such as Krasnoznamenny, in which case the main plot will be locked out from you forever and thus the game becomes Unintentionally Unwinnable.
  • Heroic Willpower: What can only be described as this allows you to power through several attempts from The Mushroom Mind to overwhelm your consciousness. Depending on your choices, though...
  • The Horde: The Army of Barzhukan, a horde of barbarous and brutal people coming from the Wastelands are led by Barzhukhan, a religious and martial leader. He created a Cult of Personality to control his vast horde of fanatical barbarians who are devastating the Wastelands; his mythos even has its own sacred text that's read and studied by his followers prudently.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: True to its spiritual predecessor, with some godly levels of Speechcraft the game allows you to win the final fight without, you know, a fight. Unlike the Fallout series however, it's played this way rather than by pointing holes in villain's logic.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The barbecue vendors in Peregon are revealed to be this, kidnapping and torturing slaves before butchering them for meat.
  • Improperly Paranoid: In Krasnoznamenny, there's a hysterically disgruntled citizen hanging around in the local inn during daytime where Fidel resides in. He constantly rambles about how everything has gone down the crapper and that somebody is out to get him. It is unknown whether if he's drunk, stoned on drugs, suffering from some mental disorder, or other bad causes that are afflicting him, but either way you can tell he's obviously insanely paranoiac. It is not a good idea at all to simply just strike a conversation with him, as he's in an unreasonably belligerent mood and curses adventurers like you. If you decide to attack him just to put him out of his misery, however, the entire town will turn against you even if you're trying to do a favor to just shut him up for good. This is especially frustrating since Krasnoznamenny is a settlement that is critical to the game's main plot.
  • In-Game Novel: The science fiction novel "the Adventures of Dick Popov", written by Gubtsov, a resident of the city of Krasnoznamenny. There's a quest by the man to get this story published by the local city's editor; the latter resides in a relatively small hotel in the inner part of the city.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • The Stechkin Automatic Pistol and the Skorpion SMG. They both utilize relatively common 9mm ammo and have relatively low AP costs for semi-auto (for the former), aimed shots, and burst fire as well as reloading. Since the Pistol/SMG skill is perhaps the most useful weapon skill in the game, chances are, when you do come across either of those two guns, they will be your most used firearms in the game.
    • Among Automatic Firearms, the AKS-74U. Unlike the other guns of its class, the 74U only requires a Strength Attribute requirement of 4 and has the lowest AP cost of any Automatic Firearm in the game, costing only 3 AP for single shot fire, 4 AP for aimed shots, 5 AP for burst fire, and 3 AP for reloading. It utilizes 5.45mm ammo, which is relatively common in the game if you have the rubles to spend for them. Hence, the 74U could be the only viable gun of the Automatic Firearms class to use in combat.
  • Lost Technology: Soviet advanced technologies prior to the 1986 nuclear war are highly valuable and prized treasures for Stalkers to seek out.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Shields are a thing in the lands of ATOM RPG! They act as a bonus to armor and defense against melee attacks. The downside of this, however, is that you can't equip shields and backpacks simultaneously, meaning you'll miss out on a big carry weight bonus.
  • The Man Behind the Man: ATOM is a more benign example of this. They scatter agents across the wastes to work covertly in restoring civilization, be it by founding settlements or reintroducing technologies lost to the world. It's implied they more or less founded Krasnoznamenny.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: On several occasions, the Cadet can encounter happenings that can be explained as mundane, yet stretch the boundaries of mundanity. In some cases it can be as simple as drugs, in others... well, these two people who seem to be oblivious to each other don't have to be parallel universe versions of themselves...
  • Modern Stasis: The nuclear war of 1986 has completely blocked and paralyzed the scientific-technological progress of civilization, causing social stagnation. The most advanced technologies are all from prior to 1986.
  • Mushroom Samba: Hoo boy. Literally. Eat a mushroom and see what happens. In fact, a few quests actively involve doing just that.
  • Nice Guy: Fidel is one of the most polite, kindhearted and altruistic characters in the game.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Killing Dan and the Factory Gang are revealed to be incredibly disastrous for Otradnoye, as even with Katya in charge, the village will get razed to the ground, as they're woefully underequipped to deal with the swarms of raiders and psychos running around the wastes.
  • Player Headquarters: In the Red Fighter settlement, there's a small house that contains an old KGB bunker which can be acquired by the player after eliminating all of the Arachnids infesting the settlement and speaking to Gozhin in Krasnoznamenny's main hospital. The house's bunker can be renovated to have a working ammo workshop, bedroom and bathroom, kitchen, and recreational resting area. The resident handyman, Pasha, who will appear in the house after clearing the Arachnids, will ask for a large amount of rubles to renovate the bunker and depending on the project, it will take a day or so to complete the renovations. You can alternately do some of the projects yourself if you wish but they require you to have a certain amount of items or skills to be done. After all of the bunker's renovation projects are complete, the player can use the bunker as a well-built safehouse.
  • Random Encounter: When you are traveling around the world and when you are traveling around the Wastelands, where there are random encounters of all kinds, both peaceful encounters and hostile encounters: from packs of ferocious wolves to bandits, to caravans of merchants or Stalkers with whom you can trade or do business
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Fallout... IN SOVIET UNION!
  • Retired Monster: An old man living in Krasnoznamenny turns out to be a former bandit who founded the Death gang. He's quite My God, What Have I Done? about his past and asks you to deal with his former lieutenants.
    • There's also Kostya the Yob, the founder of Foglevka.
  • Scavenger World: To be expected, given its setting. People live and survive by scavenging and refurbishing pre-war Soviet technology, when not turning to agriculture.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In the Tunnel of Death's hidden nuclear silo control center, it's revealed that the missiles inside are unfired, as the officer in charge refused to fire them. Even after being reminded that doing so is treason, and he'd be executed, he persisted, and barricaded himself in one of the rooms with the access codes. You can potentially make it All for Nothing if you're really hungry for XP.
  • Seemingly Hopeless Boss Fight: At the very beginning of the game, no less! You're sitting at a campfire, alone at night, when suddenly, a group of bandits surrounds your camp. They attempt to mug you; if you try to talk them down and have a high enough sequence, or choose to defend yourself, you can hurry to your AK-47, then rush away to put some distance between you and them before spraying them down. Succeeding this gives you the hefty starting bonus of extra ammo and the AK.
  • Shout-Out: There's quite a few:
  • Shown Their Work / Truth in Television: The developers behind the game were very eager to demonstrate how an apocalypse would affect the Soviet Union.
    • Dan was a former agent of the KGB, who meticulously built up power until he became leader of a large gang taking residence in an abandoned factory. This gang extorts local villages for taxes in exchange for protection against marauders from outside the area around Krasnoznamenny. This may sound like a cool backstory at first, but this is actually what happened in a lot of post-Soviet states. Former KGB agents have been known for infiltrating various facets of societies to build up power bases for themselves, the absolute most prominent example being Vladimir Putin.
  • Soviet Superscience: The advanced Soviet technologies of the pre-nuclear war world ended up dispersed after the nuclear war, locked up or confined to research laboratories, Naukograd, and underground military bunkers, all of which are sought after by both ATOM and Mycelium.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, humanity would be even more helpless against a cosmic phenomena, such as an asteroid striking the planet, causing untold destruction beyond atomic bombs.
    • Getting rid of a tyrannical power with a large armed presence without actually replacing the military force will only create a power vacuum, often leading to worse, more chaotic forces taking hold of the area.
    • After finally getting the only drivable car in the Soviet wastelands after fending off a band of unfriendly mutants, you soon learn that since it is a pre-War vehicle, it has its parts in disrepair and you need the proper skills to get it back in working condition again. Then after it's been finally restored to drive like it was fresh out of a legitimate car dealership, you learn once more that it requires gasoline to keep the engine running and bottles of gasoline are a rarity in the wasteland since they usually can only be bought from random traveling caravans and some caravans aren't likely to share...
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: In Krasnoznamenny, there are two instances that this can happen. One involves one of the armed town guards in the inner part of the city past the gate; if you refuse to comply about his questioning you for a town permit required for the city (which you can't actually obtain in the game and in reality, he's asking for a modest 300 ruble bribe if you comply with his questioning), he will turn hostile and attack. The other involves an Improperly Paranoid loony of a citizen residing in Fidel's local inn during daytime. Choosing to attack him while in dialogue will also have him fight you back. In both instances, the entire town will turn hostile towards you. Even if you manage to survive and escape the settlement, the town will still remain hostile towards you no matter how many days you let pass whether by resting in camp or travelling indefinitely in the main wasteland map, provided you have enough of the necessary food in your inventory to satisfy your character's hunger meter. Since Krasnoznamenny is a settlement that is critical to the game's main plot, you're screwed if you get careless when stumbling upon either one of these two minor NPCs.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: While certainly more of a selfish variety than most, Dan believes he's bringing order to the wastes by subjugating the smaller settlements, and that his gang protects them from legitimate threats in the form of hordes of marauders. If he's dead by the game's end, you will learn that he wasn't just trying to justify his own tyranny, as the region indeed gets overrun by petty bandits and descends into chaos.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Parties of human enemies armed with armor and weaponry tend to be magnitudes more difficult than any singular boss could be, the exception being VIL-a.
  • Wretched Hive: Peregon and Krasnoznamenny are the big takers in the game. Peregon is a trading town to the North comprised of merchants and former pirates turned mercenaries with an anarcho-capitalist flair to it, and everyone is on the brink of civil war from the bickering between the merchants and mercenaries. Meanwhile, Krasnoznamenny is a walled-up, well-defended city with a corrupt police militia, bureaucrats and conspiracies all over.