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Video Game / Metro 2033

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"Life was never easy in the tunnels, but it was our home. There was comfort in its routines, in seeing the same people day after day. But since the mutant attacks had escalated, fear ruled the station. I had just turned twenty...and could never had imagined what would follow on the morning that my stepfather's friend, Hunter, arrived at the barricade..."

Metro 2033 is a First-Person Shooter with Survival Horror elements based on the novel of the same name, made by Ukrainian developer 4A Games and released in 2010 for the Xbox 360 and Steam. Set in Moscow twenty years after a devastating nuclear war, much of the action takes place Beneath the Earth, as humanity now shuns the surface wasteland in favor of living in the remains of the Moscow Metro system. The story features the 20-year-old Artyom, who embarks on a journey to solicit help from the Rangers before his home station is overrun by the mysterious and unstoppable "Dark Ones".

Along the way, Artyom faces danger from not only the Dark Ones, but also the "normal" mutated wildlife that prowl the tunnels, unpredictable and deadly electrical anomalies, the hostile environment of the surface and, of course, unfriendly humans (from bandits to militant Soviets and resurgent Nazis). Oh, and there are ghosts. You see the silhouettes and hear the screams of people who aren't there.


The world is bleak and resources are scarce; weapons are mostly cobbled together and the trading currency of choice is pre-war military-grade bullets, giving intrepid Disaster Scavengers (and the player) a choice between taking on threats with substandard ammo or literally shooting money.

A sequel to the game called Metro: Last Light was released in 2013. An Updated Re-release/Videogame Remake, Metro Redux, was released in 2014, which remade 2033 with Last Light's version of the 4A engine, as well as bundling it with Last Light.

The third game in the series, Metro Exodus, was announced at the E3 2017, and released on February 15, 2019 on PC, Xbox One, and PS 4.


The game features the following tropes:

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  • Abandoned Playground: And how! While Artyom is walking through a ruined district he starts to hear voices and see things that are not actually there. At some point he comes across an old and rusty playground. Suddenly a living Flashback Echo happens. After a couple of seconds the vision vanishes and Artyom notices that the Dark one who was stalking him for a while was behind all that crazy stuff (cue awkward silence).
    • When the flashback ends, a swing seat keeps moving as if a child was playing here just a second ago.
    • If Artyom takes his mask off during this flashback, he gets a silent approval from the Dark ones in a form of a positive moral point that affects whether or not he can make a choice at the end of his journey. However if he acts agressively, i.e. attacks the illusions, he gets a negative one and the Dark one's voice will say "He doesn't understand".
  • Abnormal Ammo: Zigzagged. Military-grade (A.K.A. Shiny) 5.45x39 rounds are normal in other games, but here they are the only form of currency, which means that using them means you're literally shooting money away. You'll be using crudely-reloaded ammunition for your bullet- and shell-firing guns the rest of the time. Some of the improvised guns like the Tihar pneumatic rifle and the Volt Drivernote  electromagnetic gun play this straight, using ball bearings propelled by compressed air (Tihar) or electrified rails (Volt Driver) as ammunition. The Helsing speargun is another example similar to the Tihar, although it uses compressed air to fire arrows instead.
    • Being a railgun, the Volt Driver formally uses the Lorentz force to fire projectiles.
    • The Abzats is an unusual example. Based on an existing tripod-mounted heavy machine gun, it was completely rebuilt as a portable weapon and re-chambered to fire 12-gauge-equivalent shotshells instead of large-caliber bullets.
  • The Ace: Miller/Melnik, Hunter, and Khan.
  • Achilles' Heel: Super Nosalises in "Cave" are afraid of the light.
    • Same goes for the spiderbugs that replace them in Redux, only this time it can even kill them if exposed to it long enough.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The only form of currency is pre-war, military grade ammunition. Ammunition you could be using for an extra edge in a fight... but then you'd be literally shooting money. There're a few nice guns to be found if you take the time to look around, however. After a certain point (Polis) in the game though, there's no place to buy anything, so you're definitely encouraged to use it against tougher mutants you come across.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Bourbon is presented much more sympathetically in the game than in the book, going from a sleazebag opportunist and coward who planned to kill Artyom to a, Cool Old Guy Big Brother Mentor trying to put his past behind him. He even willingly takes a bullet for Artyom.
  • Aerith and Bob: The Moscow subway is full of people with common names such as Boris or Peter. And then there is a prostitute Snezhanna. Her name is changed to a simple Nikky in the English dub, however.
    • Snezhana is actually a legitimate, although rare, Russian name, meaning "snowy". There are more that play the trope completely straight, but in most cases it's subverted as half the characters are known only by their nicknames.
    • Moreover, Snezhana is exactly the kind of corny, faux-fancy name that (equivalent to) "white trash" Russian parents could give a girl - or that a prostitute could invent for herself as an exotic moniker. It's not a "stripper name" like Nikki or Candi, but very, very close.
    • Khan and Hunter are better examples since Khan is not a Russian name and Hunter's (nick)name is in English even in Russian version,while his fellow Rangers use names/surnames common (Miller, as Melnik, Vladimir etc.) or at least not eye-brow raising (Ulman - Russified German/Ashkenazim/Latvian surname.)
  • Afterlife Express: Complete with bright lights and the shadows of passengers in the windows.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Both played with and ultimately averted at the library. At the end of the level, Artyom is knocked into an elevator by a Librarian which approaches him menacingly. Artyom is saved by a much larger Demon, who pushes the Librarian aside and also takes interest in eating Artyom. Luckily for Artyom, the Librarian then returns and the two mutants have a short-lived but evenly-matched battle.
  • Anachronism Stew: The game's world looks more archaic than it should be, considering nuclear war occured in 2013 / twenty years prior. Most of the pre-war items are taken right from the Soviet Seventies or even Fifties. Compunding this is the straight up Science Fiction gadgets common in the Metro, like railguns, or handheld generators far more efficient than any gas generator that exists in real life. Slightly retconned in the Redux version and the sequel as modern stuffs like flat screen monitor were frequently seen especially in more affluent stations like Polis. One of Artyom's journal entry even implicitly mention smartphone as a phone that "could answer any question at a flick of a finger".
  • Anti-Villain: It is implied by some NPC dialogue that a good proportion of the "Nazis" and "Communists" you kill are forcibly conscripted or otherwise immensely desperate sods, and two of them have a conversation about their families, their children, and their plans to flee to the Hanza trade collective:
    Nazi 1: What a life... Maybe take the families and go to Hanza ?
    Nazi 2: You know what happened to those who tried.
    Nazi 1: Bastards.
  • Artifact Mook: Averted, Librarians remain in the library, Nosalises don't leave the tunnels and Dark Ones aren't encountered as normal gameplay enemies at all.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Somehow, the AI is surprisingly smart and good on Ranger Mode. In the Redux version, human enemies will duck, bob, and weave while still shooting at you in a direct firefight. If they don't know where you are however...
  • Artificial Stupidity: The A.I. of human enemies for this game was widely mocked, as they often do things like run back and forth between cover points at random without actually stopping to use the cover to shoot at anything, even when being shot at. This problem seems worse in the PC version than the Xbox 360 version. Averted in the Redux version, but only if they know where you are. Considering most of the against-human combat can be done stealthily, it may seem like this the whole game through, though.
    • The loading screens suffer from this. The tips, while they are supposed to be related to the game and how the player died, aren't. This leads to the tips suggesting approaches to deal with anomalies or ghosts (both of which only appear a handful of times) when the player dies to something else.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The Volt Driver, while based on sound principles, would be woefully ineffective as a weapon in Real Life. It would take hours to charge a single lethal shot with the depicted hand crank, the ball bearings have ballistic properties that make them poor ammunition at longer ranges, and the rails would require frequent re-machining just to keep in use- which is not something that the survivors in the tunnels have the luxury of doing. Still, it is really cool.
  • A Taste of Power: The prologue section, where you have powerful guns and a relatively high amount of ammo for them.
    • Except on Ranger Mode, where you can barely scrounge one full magazine (forty rounds) for your primary firearm even if you turn the entire tutorial level upside down.
    • For comparison, on the easiest difficulty setting the player gets 400+ bullets.
  • A-Team Firing: A common complaint against the game is the lack of feedback on whether shots hit or miss. Depending on skill level, this trope may or may not be in effect because of this. Might be somewhat justified considering the quality of the firearms you find.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Scoped guns. There is seldom enough distance to need a scope, and the scopes themselves aren't anything to be thrilled over. They're cloudy, dirty, smudged, and oily.
      • Redux makes them practical again as an attachment, even if few situations call for long-range shots.
    • The Tihar becomes this later on. While the Tihar's ammunition is inexpensive to purchase, it relies on compressed air from a reservoir, which requires manual pumping from time to time. If it the reservoir is not fully-charged, each subsequent shot is noticeably weaker than the last and will eventually become so weak as to barely make a dent in anything. Weapons in the other slotsnote  (such as the VSV and Revolver with the Silencer attachment) can do the same job without compromising your close-quarters combat ability, especially as the Tihar takes up the same weapon slot as the shotguns. But since the VSV isn't available until the player is more than halfway through the game, it's still a fair choice when the alternative stealth approach involves throwing knives, which have limited range and penetration.
    • The VSV is perfect for sniping and comes with an integrated silencer in 2033 (In Redux the silencer is an optional attachment), but suffers from a small magazine and a slow fire rate, making it an ill-advised choice for firefights. Redux makes it more practical with the possibility of carrying it along with another assault rifle.
    • Grenades. In the original version the only indicator of how long until they explode is how much of the fuse has yet to be burnt, grenades are fairly rare and expensive, they don't pack much of a punch, and throwing them the right distance and time will take practice.
      • In the Redux version, they are quite commonplace / cheaper to purchase, but you are still limited to five of each type and throwing them effectively still requires practice.
    • Military-grade ammo, until a certain point in the game. It makes short work of pretty much everything on any difficulty, but using them before the final acts will mean you'll have little/no money for vital supplies, which can make the game unwinnable even on the easier difficulties.
    • The Ranger DLC introduces the Abzats Automatic Shotgun; while it's more than capable of clearing a room of Librarians, be prepared to both spend a fortune on shotgun ammo and to almost never use the thing. Unfortunately for PC Redux players, the weapon doesn't become available until after the Library, but it is picked up for free (and can even be carried in multiple weapon slots).
  • Badass Boast:
    Hunter: You can go like lambs to the slaughter but I'll hold on to what life I've got with teeth and claws, and I'll take more than a few of your "Homo Novus" with me to Hell!
    • Miller also gets one after seeing hangars in D6 filled with dozens of tanks, MRLs and SCUDs perfectly preserved underground.
    Miller: Our heritage, our future, how much power is here. With all of this we'll rule the Earth once more! We won't have to live like rats, with sword and fire, we'll win back the sky and the sun! We can climb out of the dirt, rebuild the cities and the Metro tunnels will be once again filled with fast silver trains.
  • Badass Beard: Several, especially Ulman, Khan and Miller (in Redux only).
  • Badass Normal: Pretty much every person in the Metro who knows how to use a gun. The most evident, though, would be the Rangers.
  • Bad Future: After the nuclear war, humanity's only refuge is the metro system, and even that isn't safe with all the bandits, political fanatics, nosalises and lurkers running around, attacking stations and travelers. The outside, with its toxic air, radioactive water, Demons, Watchers and Librarians, is even worse. And that's not even counting the paranormal activity...
  • Barred from the Afterlife: The fate of everyone in the Metro, according to Khan. The war was so great, it destroyed even Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.
  • Bayonet Ya: The original version's Shambler semiautomatic shotgun can come with a bayonet, which is a rather effective way of saving ammunition. When it is without a bayonet, you just smack things with the butt of your gun. In Ranger Mode, expect to use this more than the primary fire itself.
    • The original version's Volt Driver has a secondary fire mode that works like an electric bayonet. The best part? When charged up, it can kill most enemies with only a single hit.
  • BFG: Many.
    • The DShK mounted machine gun in the Frontline level. It uses 12.7x108 mm bullets and leaves big holes in concrete and flesh. Sadly, no Ludicrous Gibs. Also has a very limited supply of ammunition, roughly a hundred bullets (Unless you are riding a stolen Nazi cart. During that part of the game it can only overheat and never runs out of ammo).
    • The Abzats Heavy Automatic Shotgun fits as well. It is a DShK that was modified to use 12x70 shotshell ammunition and is light enough to be carried by a single human. Initially it was available only in a pre-order version of the game from Gamestop, but the Russian community made it available for all versions shortly after it's release.
    • The Volt Driver fires ball bearings as ammo (which is the cheapest type of ammo and is also a fairly common pickup). The non-Redux version comes complete with a Secondary Fire mode that uses zero ammunition but drains the battery by delivering a huge jolt of electricity directly into an enemy. And to make this even cooler, with the Ranger Mode DLC, you can pick this up very early in the original game.
  • Before the Dark Times: Pre-War Earth.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Artyom is captured and nearly executed by Nazis, Rangers Ullman and Pavel come into the room and swiftly eliminate the captors without firing a single bullet.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Subtitles in the English version differ greatly from the Russian ones, especially during Artyom's narration that accompanies loading screens. Sadly, several localizations are based on English translation, not the Russian original.
    • None of the songs in the game are translated. Instead different language settings use different songs. Bourbon's song in Riga is Sodatushki in the English dub, but it is replaced by Vladimirsky Central in the Russian version.
  • Blast Out: Bourbon and the bandit leader at the Suharevskaya station (called "Dry" in the English version). The bandit leader dies, Bourbon apparently dies. Last Light reveals the latter survived.
  • Blob Monster: Giant Amoebae.
    • Redux makes the Biomass this rather than the Combat Tentacles it was in the original.
  • Blown Across the Room: Zig-zagged. Bodies generally react to shots like you would expect them to (unless you shoot them with a DShK machinegun). Ragdoll Physics often glitch though, as they don't seem to collide with non-terrain features all that well.
  • Book-Ends: For the series as a whole, the main series plot kicks off and ends With a charge down a hallway, alarms blaring, into an unknown danger
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • Although a number of enemies wear protective headgear, aiming your shots at the head/neck region is a very effective tactic against humans.
    • Some of the mutants, like the Lurkers and even the Demons, can be downed with a single headshot. Though it's beter to do so from a distance since it might be difficult to aim once they've spotted you due to their erractic movements.
  • Boring, but Practical: It is possible to go through almost the entire game only using your knife. With enough patience and evasion, almost everything can be killed with enough knife strikes. Yes, even the librarians will fall if you do it enough.
    • There is quite an array of weaponry to choose from, but you will find that when you have ammunition available, that almost every fight is won with either the Shambler or the Kalash.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: There are actually three different ones, all capable of surviving a direct sticky grenade to boot: Librarians, Demons, and in the original version, Plated Nosalises.
    • The Librarians are found only in the Lenin Library. It is possible to stare down the normal grey-white ones to avoid confrontation, but the black Librarians found in the deeper parts of the Library are even tougher and will usually attack you on sight. They can also be stared-down, but require an even stricter protocol for doing so.
    • Bitc- er, Demons, are the deadliest enemies in the game. Strong and fast, they're pretty much dragons without the fire breath, although their sharp claws and massive wings allow them to swoop down from the skies and carry off their unfortunate prey. When encountered, the best way to deal with them is to either hide until they go away or run for cover: getting caught out in the open with one of these bearing down on you is tantamount to suicide.
    • Plated Nosalises are the toughest form of Nosalis and they sport some sort of black-blue shiny plating on their skin and have big glowing eyes. Fortunately, shining your light on them stuns them briefly, so you can use that to score a few hits.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Whenever there's a Jump Scare early on:
  • Broken Faceplate: Your gas mask will start to crack and break as you take damage while wearing it. As it gets closer to breaking, it becomes less effective, and when it has a hole punched in it, it's done for and you have to find another in less than thirty seconds.
  • Butt-Monkey: Artyom.
    • Falls off a rail cart three times. In the second instance he goes under the cart and, during the third time, the rail cart flips over and nearly crushes him.
    • Subjected to a number of incapacitating hallucinations.
    • Knocked out and beaten up by a pair of Nazi soldiers.
    • Often very nearly falls to his doom because the surface or object that was supposed to support him gives way.
  • Cap: The original version has no limit for ammonote , but throwing knives, grenades, sticky grenades and morphine syrettes are limited to five each. The Redux version imposes an ammunition cap, but stealthy players will conserve ammo anyway and find themselves selling it off when they can and scavenging more later on.
  • The Chosen One: Artyom.
  • The Coconut Effect: Apparently western players won't understand the game takes place in Russia without people speaking with heavy accents and raspy voices.
    • All the different language dubs were spoken by the same guys.
  • Combat Tentacles: The fleshy tendrils (called Liana) that hang down from the ceiling in the Library. The Biomass in D6 also attacks you with these.
    • Redux turns the Biomass into a Blob Monster, and subsequently removes the tentacles.
  • Commonplace Rare: For a world with a lot of radiation and poisonous fumes, it seems extremely arbitrary that Artyom can only use one particular model of gas mask and only one particular model of filter.
    • To elaborate, Artyom can only use a particular model of full face gas mask. It can be somewhat considered an Acceptable Break from Reality for being easier to execute from a programming perspective, prevent Interface Screw by subjecting players to looking through masks which use smaller viewing windows, and also to make the game more challenging.
  • Computer Voice: The D6 reactor crane keeps informing Artyom of his progress in a calm pre-recorded female voice while the biomass tries to break into the cabin.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: One of Artyom's journals in Redux speculates on the ramifications of this. He considers it a rare positive example, since their tempered bravery would be an asset in reclaiming the surface world.
    "The children of Metro...Sometimes I feel that they, who were born underground and who have never seen the Sun, are a whole new species. This child has just been through hell, he stayed alive by sheer luck - and he is not falling apart in the slightest. He speaks calmly and rationally... I remember the day the station where my Mother and I lived then right after we went down the Metro, was attacked by rats....When Mother died...And the rats, they....And I was saved by Sukhoi...He says I did not talk for several months after that. And I remember nothing about that time. Nothing at all. While this little boy... Perhaps, the Metro will temper us. Perhaps, the generations raised without the Sun, but also without fear, will claim the Earth. If I give them a chance."
  • Conspicuously Selective Perception/The Guards Must Be Crazy: Guards and bandits will occasionally walk past you hiding less than a foot away, but step on some glass or knock some cans over? If the slightest bit of light shines on you, they open fire on your exact position. In the Redux version, the AI "pretends" to not know you're there while slowly searching for you.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: The preferred pasttime of some Metro inhabitants, generally trying to make sense of a post-apocalyptic world. Notable musings include Khan, who speculates that ghosts and the like now exist because the nuclear war blew up Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.
  • Cool, but Inefficient:
    • Scopes on pneumatic weapons and firearms. There are only two levels in the game big enough for long-distance sniping, glares and oily thumbprints on the optics obstruct vision in the dark and the zoom is excessive for even medium-ranged combat. They, especially the scoped Tihar, look awesome though.
    • Some players have a habit of keeping their gas masks and nightvision goggles on at all times despite running the risk of damaging the gas mask or suffering the tunnel-vision caused by the goggles. It's more a matter of the player failing a spot check, since the game doesn't hold your hand on these things.
  • Cool Car: The Ranger vehicle. In the book it was a regular firetruck that broke and was abandoned in the depot while Moscow burned; in the game it's a modified GAZelle truck.
  • Cool Garage: A fortified orthodox Russian church.
    Ulman: This is the first and so far the only human outpost up here...
  • Cool Guns:
    • The AK-74M and VSK-94 are as close as you're going to get with real weapons (aside from a rare woodland camo and worn-down wooden handguards instead of plastic ones that were present in the Beta version).
    • The Kalash 2012 is highly reminiscent of the FN P90 due to the stock and feeding system. It does have a number of glaring flaws, however, like a lack of an ejection port or cocking handle.
    • Considerable effort went into making the homemade weapons plausible. The Duplet shotgun is heavily based on weapons produced in basements during the Seige of Sarajevo, while the Bastard's unusual feed system is inspired by the rather obscure WWI-era Italian Fiat-Revelli M1914 heavy machine gun.
  • Creepy Child: One of the child models in the game looks disturbingly similar to a Type 3 Screamer from the 1995 film with the same name. It is even seen holding the same teddybear on promo screenshots.
  • Crapsack World:
    Artyom: The sun on my face... Fresh air in my lungs... The grass beneath my feet... I've heard of such things, yet I live in a world without them.
  • Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Right after Artyom escapes the communists in Arsenal Station.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: After slaughtering or sneaking his way through an entire station full of Nazis, Artyom is captured by quite literally the oldest trick in the book - a man hiding on the other side of the door hits him upon opening the door.
  • Cyanide Pill: Red Line conscripts are issued one, just in case. One Red Line soldier claimed that he could never take his own life, so he gave his capsule to another comrade.
  • Cycle of Revenge
  • Dark Is Not Evil: But you only see it if you manage to get the "Enlightened" ending.
  • Deadly Gas: D6 is filled with it. Artyom has to climb the crumbling catwalks and kick-start the ventilation system to clear it out.
  • Deadpan Snarker: One of the soldiers in Frontline, whose interruptions are very much contrary to the Commissar's grandstanding.
  • Diary: Redux adds collectible diary entries similar to the ones found in its sequel. They add further insight to certain events in each level.
  • Diegetic Interface: The game doesn't rely on a typical digital HUD —it's post-apocalyptic Russia, so no Powered Armor for you. Damage causes your vision to red out, while low air / expended mask filters makes it go blurry. The original version had a button for looking at your watch (which shows both the current real-world time and the time left before you need to replace your gas mask's filter, and has a sensor for ambient light level, to help you sneak), while another button brings up your journal (showing you your current objectives and a compass). Your lighter serves both as a source of light and as an objective pointer, its light flickers towards your task under a non-existant air flow. The only non-diegetic part is your weapon selection and ammo counter, and even then, on most weapons you can see how much ammo you have left without looking at the HUD ammo counter.
    • You have an ammo counter except on Ranger Hardcore, where you have to check your journal or your wristwatch in order to get a definite count.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Helsing. You have to keep it pumped, which limits its effectiveness against multiple opponents as damage drops dramatically after the first few shots on a full reservoir. The arrows it fires are both hideously rare and expensive, and also have a tendency to drift at longer ranges, limiting it to close quarters only. On the other hand, you just shot a dude in the face with an arrow and the guy behind him didn't notice. Ammo is retrievable, so long as you don't shoot it somewhere you can't get to. At higher pressures, the Helsing can kill virtually any human opponent in one shot, even through their armour. Although not nearly as useful against swarms, it can also kill most mutants in one shot as well. It is particularly useful against Librarians, who tend to soak up dozens of shots from other weapons, but only require a few arrows to take down.
  • Dirty Communists: The Communists, called the Reds, are definitely presented in a negative light.
  • Disaster Scavengers: Stalkers, who regularly go to the surface to look for anything of value they can carry.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The non-Redux version's Ranger DLC release has the Volt Driver (home-made rail gun) as early as Chapter 2: Lost Tunnels (the bandits stole it from a caravan). It kills Librarians in five shots or less when overcharged (and most other foes in one), uses the cheapest ammunition in the game, and its Secondary Fire can kill most common mooks in one hit without expending any ammunition.
    • Also from the Ranger DLC is the Abzats Heavy-Automatic Shotgun, which is effectively a shotgun that fires like an automatic rifle. It eats through a full belt of shotshells in seconds (20 in about 8 seconds), is thus incredibly expensive to use, and limits use of the shotgun/secondary slot in the original version. However, provided you're not too distant, nothing that can be killed, including Demons and Black Librarians, can survive a full belt.
    • Military ammo also qualifies for this; it's available from the intro onwards, and will kill any non-boss pretty fast. The only reason it isn't a game breaker is that it doubles as currency, and overuse means you'll be wasting money literally. Naturally, after the point where shops start appearing (the last shops are in Polis), you're free to use them in combat.
  • Driven to Suicide: The doctor in the Hole station hospital, either while or after it's overrun by Nosalises and occupied by Lurkers.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: The Ranger Pavel, upon realizing the mutants are dragging him off, sets off a pipe bomb that takes out a number of Nosalises along with himself and frees up Artyom to escape the Depot alive.
    Pavel: Take this, you bitches!
  • Downer Ending: The default (and canon/book) ending, in which Artyom opts to destroy the home of the Dark Ones and is left to wonder whether he did the right thing.
  • Easy Level Trick: On the mission Frontline, if you listen to the right conversation you can find a shortcut that takes you right to the other side of the level, missing out most of the harder parts of the mission and making getting the no casualties achievement for that level much easier to get, moreso on the Redux version where you don't lose out on the moral point of saving the Red prisoners from their Nazi executioner (you can clock him on the noggin).
  • Eldritch Location: The entire Metro is in the "ordinary building" variation, seeing as it's a man-made, perfectly mundane object/system that turns into the trope during the game's backstory. The mutants can be semi-explained away as a product of the radiation, although real radiation does not cause such fundamental changes. However, there is obviously much weirder, inexplicable stuff going on in a lot of seemingly-deserted tunnels, going by the conversations Artyom overhears.
  • Emergency Weapon: The original version's trench knife, as well as throwing knives and the Helsing (sort of). If you don't forget to pick up knives and arrows, you will never run out of ammunition. The knife can be used to kill almost any foe except for amoebas (the pores are fair game) and demons. As you would expect, you're going to use this a lot more than firearms when you're playing Ranger mode.
  • Escort Mission: Two formal ones, both towards the end of the game. The first is difficult to fail as you have plenty of backup otherwise, whereas the second requires you to play in a very specific (and rather vague) way to keep from having your escort be overrun by amoebas. It's not too infuriating if you run through the Meat Moss before him and simply allow him to catch up, as he's capable of taking care of himself most of the time. Story-wise, Bourbon essentially hires you to escort him to where he wanted to go, although only the first few levels before Market station play out like this, and even then does not impact the gameplay. Afterwards, you get split up, are briefly reunited, and are split up once more.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: Mostly averted. All rifle-type weapons use the same ammunition and thus deal the same amount of damage, the only difference is their rate of fire, accuracy and magazine size. On Ranger Hardcore difficulty each firearm is capable of killing most mutants and mooks in a single hit, so the player can base the choice on aesthetics alone.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: From your fellow humans to wildlife to plants to the very ground you walk on and air you breathe, you can also add ghosts of dead trains.
  • Evil Gloating: After you get knocked out by Nazis, then lampshaded a few seconds later.
  • Evil Phone: Twice in the D6 bunker, in an airlock during Prologue and in the main chamber during the "D6" chapter. The place was abandoned and decaying for twenty years and the government was destroyed or dissolved shortly after the third world war, yet the phone rings when you restore power and press some buttons on the control panel. The player can't answer the call and the other NPCs don't seem to react at all though.
    • Game files refer to that specific sound as "d6_signal_4.ogg" and beside several scripted events it's supposed to happen at random. And it does.
    • It's possible this was based on the mysterious transmission signals people noticed in the area of Moscow. These signals are theorized to be a part of a Russian fail-deadly "Perimeter" system nicknamed Dead Hand in the West.
  • Expy:
    • Byakhee (demons) and Formless Spawn (Ameobas) from Call of Cthulhu.
    • The Dark Ones to Half-Life's Vortigaunts. Both species are lanky semi-humanoid beings, whose hands have only two fingers and no palms to speak of, and oddly-shaped faces. Both also have psychic abilities to some level, seem to share a collective conscience of sorts, and have a bad reputation with humans at first.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Artyom starts off wearing a pair of knit fingerless gloves. In the non-Redux version, your suit upgrades also change your gloves: full-fingered black leather gloves for the stealth suit, or fingerless olive green combat gloves for the heavy armor. In the Redux version the costume changes are automatically applied as the story progresses, but they change from the fingerless gloves to Red Line workers' gear, and even later, Ranger armor for the ending cinematic.
  • First-Person Shooter: With alternating stealth-is-optional-but-rewarding segments as well. Interestingly for the genre, you're not encouraged to shoot wantonly.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: There's a lot of little things you're not going to notice on your first time through the game. Like how the silhouette of a Dark One is standing on the tracks during your handcart caravan to Riga (just before everyone around you passes out and things get weird), or incidental conversations between people having relevance later on.
    • While sneaking through Dry station, you may notice a couple of times that a guard gets killed by a pneumatic weapon. Turns out it was Khan all along, helping you out.
    • A first-time player wouldn't realize that the occasional blue/red glows on the screen and their accompanying sound cues are related to gaining/losing Moral Points.
  • Fridge Logic: The ammunition dealers' item descriptions mention that the firearm ammunition has been used, reloaded, and re-used extensively over the past twenty years. Yet no effort is taken to recover spent shell casings (or even equip the guns with brass catchers), as there would be an industry of its own in collecting and refurbishing them.
  • From Bad to Worse: Just when you thought things weren't going well for the apocalypse survivors, chapter one shows there is something worse in the tunnels...
  • Foreshadowing: The contamination of a fully-sealed military installation by toxic gases and mutants not seen anywhere else in the Metro hints at the fact that D6 was originally a biological weapons facility, which becomes a major plot point in the sequel.
  • Gallows Humor: Pavel and Ulman are known for their somewhat grim sense of humor.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Subverted. Any time you have a companion, they can theoretically be swarmed, and they can die. In an early-game case, Bourbon can die in Dead City if he is mobbed too heavily by Watchers, but you pretty much have to be trying on purpose for this to happen. The amoebas can kill Miller in D6 if you don't assist him with them. If one of them dies, you fail the level, and the game hangs a lampshade on the subversion.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Anyone (including you) in a heavily irradiated/poisoned area. Also notable is that it's possible in the original game to shoot off the gas masks and/or their filters during one level on the surface, suffocating them. But what the hell, why not, when the people you're killing on that level are increasingly-fascist Neo-Nazis!
    • The Nazi troopers wear gas masks, even indoors. In fact, their distinct gas mask (different in style from the ones everyone else wears) is the one shown on the front cover of the game. Since the game factors in all barriers, items, and stuff on a body when calculating damage inflicted, these masks act as a form of armor, capable of stopping at least one 5.45 or .44 bullet.
  • Genius Loci: The Catacombs. You apparently stumble into one with Bourbon; the tunnel he originally planned to take was sealed off, forcing you to detour into a small side room where the nosalises refuse to follow. It turns out that it's full of the dead bodies of other explorers, and as Bourbon tries to find a way out, he begins to hallucinate something singing to him. As his hallucination gets worse and worse, you start seeing the room as a dark alley, with a slowly-opening gate at one end increasingly shrouded in an ominous pink and purple atmosphere. However, thanks to Artyom's psychic resistance and a little help from a Dark One, you manage to escape from the room's deadly grasp.
  • Gone Horribly Right: When calculating damage inflicted by weapons, the dev team made it so that every piece of armor, bit of ammo, magazine, and such on human enemies absorbs a certain amount of damage from gunshots and is flung off of the person. This is responsible for the frequent reviewer complaints about enemies inexplicably becoming bullet sponges. The effect becomes more pronounced when shotgun blasts are introduced. The game doesn't treat the spread as a single massively damaging projectile. Rather, each pellet is treated as a single weak projectile with poor armor penetration, just like in real life. The result is that well-armored opponents can sometimes require more than a half dozen shotshells to the torso before going down, but can easily be killed by three dirty 5.45 bullets or a single shotgun blast to an unarmored part of the head.
  • Go Out with a Smile: The original game has a dead soldier with a broken gun on a pile of nosalis corpses at the airlock of the Hole Station. It is smiling.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: Everyone - the guards, the bandits, most of the Soldiers fighting for the Nazis and Reds, even Artyom himself - is, for the most part, doing what they have to do to survive.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • You obtain the 'good' ending by listening to conversations, lingering in hallucination sequences and so forth...the problem is that the only indication you've achieved anything with these actions is a brief, unexplained flash on the screen and a whisper. The Redux version eventually added a pause screen hint that tells you vaguely about it, but of course you can't cyle through them and their random selection from a large pool of messages means you may not see it more than once, if at all.
    Khan: You reap what you sow, Artyom. Force answers force, war breeds war, and death only brings death. To break this vicious circle one must do more than act without any thought or doubt.
    • The 4A Games team made an armor attachment system that worked just like it should: Every pouch, helmet, magazine or armor plate honestly did its job and subtracted a certain amount of damage dealt by a projectile that hit them. But it was never explained to the player in the non-Redux version, which led to mass confusion and complaints that enemies are literal bullet sponges, while all it took was a single bullet to the neck.
    • You never need to buy any guns you see in shops, because you can always find the same gun, or a better version in some cases, for free hidden on the levels if you know where to look.
    • The Library is a level where you need to spend a lot of time of the surface. Hope you brought plenty of filters!
    • Many people play through the original game not realising you can buy special armour to increase either your defense or stealh.
    • You can buy filters at precisely two places in the game, both of them early (Riga and Market.) This can leave a new player expecting that every civilized station afterward will sell filters, and might only buy a few to save rounds, counting on being able to buy more later when they have more currency to burn. The Armory will be a nasty surprise for a player who is down to their last few filters, if they have any at all after the surface trek to get there.
      • The way the original game handles filters and the gas mask isn't explicitly stated anywhere unless you decide to look it up online (which seemed to be the only way to find out.) When you buy or find filters, the number next to the gas mask in the lower left corner of the screen pops up and says "+##", with the "##" being whatever amount of breathing time the filters added, not the actual amount of filters you bought. An astute player may be able to notice this when they buy filters from Riga or Market Station because the number will increase by ~10 even when you buy just one filter (the filters you buy in the stations are supposedly of "higher" quality and so add more breathing time than ones found on the surface, which will add 3 or 4 if you get lucky). That being said, it's easy to see that the filter system doesn't work intuitively. One would assume you buy filters, which get added to the total in the corner of the screen, and the watch tells you how much time your filter has left. Instead, in actuality, the number in the corner is how many total minutes you have to breath with the gas mask on, the watch tells you how many minutes your current filter has left, and the amount of filters you have on you seems to be infinite until you get down to the last 5 minutes, at which point it will no longer allow you to change filters. Also, the game doesn't tell you how to change filters anywhere. There are three ways: tap the gas mask button, take the mask on and off (which automatically adds a new filter), or just wait until your current filter is completely wasted and then Artyom will automatically replace it. Another untold issue with the filter system is that it seems to cap out at around 40 total minutes or so, and the game won't let you pick up surface filters until you have less than 10 total minutes left. Also, as far as the gas mask itself goes, the game won't allow you to pick up a new replacement gas mask from the ground unless it is in better condition than the one you're wearing, which is not something readily observable when looking at the world model of the gas masks.
      • Much of this was simplified in the Redux vesion: pressing the gas mask key puts it on and the timer audibly starts with some clicking showing the minute hand moving a few minutes around the watch face. Pressing the key again wipes the mask, while holding it down removes the mask entirely. Every time the timer has one minute remaining, count on a message telling you to press the filter-swap-key showing up. Unfortunately, the maximum time seems to be reduced (20 minutes in Survival mode and 30 in Spartan mode) and you can't pick up filters until the amount to be added does not put you over the maximum. The issue with the world model showing damage was also changed to show different grades of wear, and if a better example than what is currently worn is found, it can be easier to tell from the amount of cracks in the faceplate.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Of the quitting variety, of a kind. If you attemtpt to quit the game on the main menu (by mousing over the door that has "Quit" on it), one of the soldiers may comment on how they're "not suprised" or otherwise mock the player.
  • Groin Attack: Heavily implied in the Armory level, where a malcontent mocks that a Communist soldier is attacking the part that attracts him the most. He returns the favor a minute later.
  • Gun Porn: The game is filled with it, despite the fact that as a Scavenger World, most of them are cobbled-together pieces of crap. Probably the best example is the Shambler semiautomatic shotgun, which has a complicated reload mechanism because only four of the six shells are accessible at any time. The reload animation shows all of this accurately, reloading in the correct order and manually cycling the chamber as necessary to expose more racks for shell placement.
  • Harder Than Hard: Ranger Mode. It doesn't matter whether you pick Ranger Easy or Ranger Hardcore, you are still going to cringe more than once. The fact that the game is noob unfriendly to begin with doesn't help at all. A list of the notable things it does to murder players includes:
    • Ammunition being extremely scarce. Ammo pickups are down to 1-2 bullets per magazine or pouch from a solid dozen on Normal difficulty. It will be a rare occasion when you fire a gun; you'll be using your knife for almost everything. Unless, of course, you keep your eyes open to find all the military rounds around and make the right deals at marketplaces. Even then, having even a full hundred rounds of any kind in reserve is likely to be the absolute most you will ever have.
    • The HUD is disabled, save for laser pointers on mid to late-game weapons (And those can be turned off in the game settings as well).
    • Damage, dealt and taken, is several times higher. Both Artyom and his enemies, human and mutant, are glass cannons, killing and dying incredibly fast, up to the point of one hit, one kill. Same goes for Artyom's gas mask - it breaks incredibly quickly, making surface or toxic levels far more deadly.
  • Healing Potion: Rather than using bandages or the like, a medkit consists of syrettesnote  of painkillers. Artyom can carry up to five of them in an orange Individual Medkit used by Civil Defence.
  • Heroic Mime: Downplayed with Artyom. He narrates during the loading between the chapters, but otherwise he only speaks precisely once in the actual game, when a railcart is about to fall on him. This is lampshaded by multiple characters who comment on his silence.
    Khan: Keeping silent? You're turning into a ranger.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted. Both the player character and all of his allies happily wear helmets whenever appropriate, only removing them in safe areas such as towns. Even then, Artyom himself is never seen without one in the cutscenes.
  • Hide Your Children: Averted. There are many atmospheric moments featuring kids living underground, including an entire level dedicated to carrying a very chatty young boy on your shoulders, as you attempt to reunite him with evacuees from his station.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Spectacularly averted. Save for the VSK-94, which is pretty close to this trope in real life, silenced weapons are still fairly noisy (the revolver sounds like a firecracker going off), and enemies aren't oblivious to this sound. Using a silenced weapon versus an unsilenced weapon is the difference between enemies going "Something's up. Stay alert and check it out," versus "Someone's firing a weapon right over there. Get to cover!" rather than keeping you from being noticed at all. In fact, there are only three truly silent weapons in the game: throwing knives and the pneumatic guns.
  • Hospitality for Heroes: Lampshaded by Miller in D-6:
    Miller: Same old story... you save the world while sitting waist-deep in shit and nobody gives a damn.
  • How We Got Here: The game begins with a section pretty close to the end. Most of the game is leading up to that initial fight up until a Demon lunged at you.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Hunter and the Order he belongs to. "Any danger should be eliminated by any means necessary".
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: All of your partners are this. More or less whenever you are travelling with someone you don't even need to fire a shot; just stand back and wait for your buddy to get the kill. Very rarely though they will still get overwhelmed, although in most cases on the next try they will still solve the problem themselves.
    • This is averted with Miller when in D6 though. He will die from the amoebas if you do not help. And he will run ahead faster than you can kill them or the pores they spawn from. D6 can be a lot of trial and error if you think Miller is invincible.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Zig Zagged. You can carry only 3 types of weapons at once: primary (assault rifles of all sorts), secondary (shotguns/pneumo guns), a revolver, a medkit containing five syrettes, five pipe-bombs of each kind and five throwing knives. Ammo count is unlimited though, so a careful player can easily stack up several hundred rounds by the end of the game.
    • In the Redux version, the weapons slots were opened up for any type, meaning a player could choose to walk around the final level with three shotshell-spewing heavy machineguns and a laser designator somehow strapped to them with no penalty to movement speed, etc. This would be ill-advised, though, because while the slot restrictions were lifted, ammo capacity gained a cap, making carrying different weapon types more worthwhile.
  • Idle Animation: Stand in one place for a while and Artyom will fiddle with whatever he has in his hands. Some of these are rather amusing, like the Duplet's stock coming loose, or Artyom tossing the Bastard up in the air and wondering where it went when it takes too long to fall down. See this video.
    • Since the Redux version removed the universal charger, trench knife, and thrown weapons as selectable items, they no longer have idle animations (instead they are selected when their appropriate key shortcuts are used).
  • If I Do Not Return: Hunter to Artyom. It kickstarts the whole plot.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Very much averted by human enemies, especially soldiers. They will hit you consistently at least 2 out of 3 times if you don't use cover.
  • Improperly Placed Firearms: The unknown .44 revolver, to the point of becoming almost a Running Gag on the series' wiki. Not only is the type of bullet it uses only widespread in America, but revolvers nowadays aren't that widespread outside of the US. There hasn't been a .44 round manufactured in Russia for decades, and Metro 2033 is set in the ravaged remains of Moscow in an alternate near future. All other guns are excusable by virtue of being either, a) Homemade Inventions as seen below, or b) rare and valuable Pre-War guns.
    • A codex entry in Metro: Exodus finally clears this up. The Revolver is meant to be based on an old M1895 Nagant revolver, that was repaired and retooled to accept .44 Magnum cartridges, as those rounds proved to be most effective against mutants in the tunnels. The fact that it can be suppressed supports this; Nagant revolvers are one of only a few revolvers that be successfully suppressed, owing to their design.
  • Improvised Weapon: Bastard assault rifles and Duplet shotguns, as well as the Hellsing and Tihar airguns, are cobbled together from junk. The bullets don't fare much better. A pre-apocalypse weapon is a very valuable piece of hardware, as Bourbon invokes by using his AK as a bargain chip.
  • Infinite Flashlight: No matter the charge level, Artyom's flashlight will never go out because of low battery power. Cranking the charger makes the light brighter, and while helpful, it's not quite necessary unless you're facing a Plated Nosalis.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Kalash 2012. Same fire rate than the Bastard without overheating, very precise and with bigger magazines than the Bastard or Kalash, with per-bullet damage almost on par with the Kalash and way beyond the Bastard. You can only get it for a high price late in the game or for free in Redux if you know where to look note .
  • In Medias Res: The prologue level takes place towards the end of the game. You then go back to the start of the plot and work your way back to that scene.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Some of the surreal sequences can evoke this. There is also the small, low-contrast fonts not being easily legible on smaller screens.
    • The "escort mission" with Sasha causes the game to forcibly ratchet up the mouse acceleration, making precise aiming much more difficult. Justified by the fact that Artyom is now lugging around a child on his back, adding weight and throwing off his center of balance.
    • As Artyom's gas mask filters get closer to being expended, the gas mask's goggles start to get a little fogged up.
  • Intoxication Ensues: There's one scene where you and a buddy are stuck just below the surface in a room with an anomaly. Your friend starts babbling about "the Great Gate" and "marvelous songs", but Artyom's resistance to anomalies means that you don't see what he's seeing, so he seems high or drunk.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: The last leg of Artyom's journey is climbing the old and decrepit Ostankino tower.
  • Invulnerable Civilians: Gameplay-wise. Living noncombatants are never found outside fortified stations, and Artyom holsters his weapons whenever he enters a safe zone, making it impossible to harm them. In-universe, it's far from played straight, and Hole station is a big example of that.
  • It's Up to You: Downplayed. It occurs a few times, but not to the point where Artyom is the only one who does anything.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: Troops on the train to Frontline. Mentioned word for word by Miller as well.
  • Jump Scare: Scarce (the game focuses more on Nothing Is Scarier to create tension), though they do happen.
    • An almost literal one happens late in the game, after you restart the air filtration system in the D6 bunker: the catwalk you passed earlier starts to break free when you step over it, most likely causing you to run/jump for safety. It's a good thing that you do it, because it can break off completely and send Artyom plummeting to his death if you don't hurry over it.
    • At one point of the library's depository where the grey Librarians live, there's a strip of shotgun shells on a hole in the wall. You approach it, and you hear a snarl. Grab it, and boom, Librarian in your face! There's no real consequence to that aside from hurting Artyom for very little damage (not even worth using a medkit syrette for) and rattling the player's nerves; it's also totally skippable if you go ahead and around the wall and nab the shells from the other side.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The player can nab almost anything useful that is not nailed down. This is justified when stripping dead bodies of their weapons, ammo, and supplies between stations as this is a Scavenger World and nothing should go to waste, but the player can also find a few rounds of ammunition (and the occasional firearm) lying about in inhabited stations and nab them without anyone there noticing or objecting. Note that doing so in some places results in a negative Moral Point, enough of which will result in the 'bad' ending.
  • Kick the Dog: The Red Line Communists execute a soldier who found a secret way into the Nazi base, charging him with desertion.
  • Kill It with Fire: Thrice - chapters 1 (Flamethrower), 5 (Flamethrower) and 6 respectively (MRL).
    • Redux gives you the portable version of the Flamthrower found in Last Light's Downloadable Content.
  • Knife Nut: On the harder difficulties, it is advisable to conserve ammo by using your knife where possible.
  • Large Ham: The Commissar on the frontline level. He tries to start off the welcoming of new recruits by singing The Internationale, but gets interrupted. He then gives a grandiose speech with a comedically high pitched nasal voice and mispronounces his r's like w's (An obvious parody on Vladimir Ilyich Lenin himself). It's filled with propaganda and then cut short by a soldier snarking. He finishes by telling everybody to get their shit together and follow him to the battle area.
    • Several minutes later a different Commissar orders the execution of a man who found and marked the secret passage under the rails on the basis of suspected mutiny as though it's a daily routine. After that he casually asks an executioner to check if the passage actually exists.
  • Laser Sight: Most weapons can have these equipped. On most difficulty levels they are unnecessary as the crosshairs are more reliable indicators of where your shots will go. However, on Ranger Mode, the Heads-Up Display is disabled, and they become essential for lining a shot up from the hip.
    • In a more practical sense, the Rangers guarding Polis make a justified use of these by hiding in the darkness and then focusing them on someone approaching so they know they are being targeted until they identify themselves.
  • Last of His Kind: Most of the Metro residents believe themselves to be the last viable population of humans on the planet, with a Ranger going so far as to proudly proclaim their surface base in Moscow to be the only aboveground human settlement left on Earth. They're wrong - a perceptive player can overhear some incidental dialogue revealing that there are at least two other places where humans survive, specifically the St. Petersburg Metro tunnels and Siberia.
  • Last Stand: Defenders of the Hole station - Children of the Underground.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: One of the journal entries in Black Station has Artyom remarking on how he managed to get past all the Nazis in one piece, mentioning that it felt like an unseen force had been guiding him through the whole time.
  • Licensed Game: Of the eponymous novel.
  • Lies to Children: Dialogue of a father and his son on Exhibition station during Chapter 1. Also a bit of a Tear Jerker.
    Boy: Daddy? When mommy will come back?
    Man: Soon, very soon...I wish she saw how grown up you are now...
  • Lighter and Softer: The game does take place in a dreary, dark and filthy Crapsack World, but compared to the novel, the game world is downright optimistic and hospitable.
  • Limited Loadout: In the non-Redux version you can carry only 3 types of weapons at once: primary (assault rifles of all sorts), secondary (shotguns/pneumatic guns), and a revolver. This is aside from you also carrying a medkit (containing a maximum of five syrettes), five pipe-bombs of each kind and five throwing knives. In Redux the slot limitations were removed, meaning you could carry three identical shotguns if you could afford it.
  • Living Memory: As Khan explains, the dead in the tunnel between Dry and Cursed stations are forced to relive their last moments, over and over again. Those that are killed by these occurrences end up joining them... human or not.
  • Living Shadow: How the Ghosts present themselves.
  • Lost in Translation: A minor case but crucial to the plot: Hunter's adage if it's hostile — you kill it originally was any danger should be eliminated by any means necessary. This contrasts with the words of Khan who will tell Artyom that not everything that is dangerous is necessarily hostile.
  • Lost Technology: MRLs used to destroy the Dark Ones' hive. Also any pre-war weapon, especially the AK 2012.
  • Lost Superweapon: The D6 bunker is filled with them: operational train cars with autopilot, tanks, MRLs, SCUDs and so on.
  • Made of Explodium: Amoebas in the lower levels of the D6 bunker.
  • Made of Iron: A lot of things in the game. Artyom himself survives multiple severe injuries and then gets right back up afterwards, but only in cutscenes.
  • Meaningful Name: Artyom is the Russian masculine form of the Greek name Artemisios, relating to the Greek goddess of the hunt. She obviously had to have excellent aim, as Artyom himself is said to have by Hunter... but two of the possible Greek cognate words for "Artemis" can also be read as "safe" or "butcher".
  • Meat Moss: Ameoba hives, Biomass.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Not a single woman is seen dying in the entire game (except possibly the ghost encountered next to her husband's corpse).
  • Mistaken for Badass: Artyom is occasionally assumed to be a member of the Rangers, once after (optionally) freeing a group of POWs from the Nazis and again after returning a child to his mother after a mutant attack.
    • The captives call him "Охотник" or "Okhotnik" in the Russian dub, which is a direct translation of Hunter's moniker.
    • In the original version, that doesn't come off as unexpected if Artyom chooses to purchase a set of heavy armor in the Armory, since it appears to be the basis of the easily recognizable Ranger uniform.
  • Mistaken for Spies: Artyom again, by a Nazi patrol.
  • Money for Nothing: Subverted. Around three quarters into the game, you'll run into your last shop, with no way to go back to it. Military grade rounds start appearing much more commonly and in larger packs from that point on, justified in that you go from scrounging through places humans still inhabit to searching through the ruins of untouched military installations. Fortunately, this means that now you can shoot that military-grade ammunition at your enemies without fretting that you're literally shooting money!
  • More Criminals Than Targets: Averted, unlike similarly-themed games. You only encounter a comparatively-small number of bandits throughout the whole game, consisting of small encampments with less than 15 men at one and less than 25 at the other. The majority of the enemies in the game are mutants, and the majority of human enemies are Nazis.
  • More Dakka: Averted. Ammunition is always precious, so the only way to use automatic weapons effectively is to fire only in short bursts. You can easily run out of ammunition if you aren't careful. On Ranger Mode, where you have to fire all weapons one shot at a time and count every single round fired, it gets even worse.
  • Mysterious Protector: In one level, you may notice that some guards are being sniped by a pneumatic rifle before they can see you. You get to meet the guy covering you by the end.

  • No Bikes in the Apocalypse: Averted. A primary means of getting transportation around the metro tunnels is by taking handcars powered by working a lever. Possibly justified in that someone figured out how to turn bicycles into working firearms.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: Averted. Last Light uses the book/ game default ending as canon.
  • No Scope: You will want to use your weapon's sights every time you fire. However, it's an enforced trope when using any of the shotguns in the original version, as the Duplet double-barrel uses one fire button for each barrel, the Shambler semiautomatic shotgun has a melee attack mapped to the aim button, and the Abzats heavy automatic shotgun will fire no matter which trigger is pulled. Fortunately, you can use a HUD crosshair to make up for this.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: Both highly realistic and highly effective.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Several times as the plot progresses. And just like in the book, Artyom eventually recieves more and more control over his body during those, progressing from just watching at unfolding events to breaking from the nightmare on his own volition.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game is not easy in any case, but Ranger Mode pushes the difficulty right into the absurd.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Almost completely averted, since most of the voice actors in the English version of the game actually are Russian, but one man who lets you into the Armory station is quite obviously voiced by an American. This character speaks with an American accent even in the book, however; Moscow being the biggest city in Europe, it's not surprising that there are foreigners around even After the End.
  • Not His Sled: Redux changes, merges, or removes several sequences from the original. One of the more notable examples is the sequence near the end where you slide under a heavy blast door into a flare-lit room and the plated nosalises are replaced with spiderbugs in the Dungeon level.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: A large part of the immersion of the game comes from the fact that not everything that spooks you is actually dangerous. Or visible. Sometimes, just to take this further, the game will either force you to go off on your own...but not meet anything. Other times, the game will randomly trigger an environment noise, like a hatch banging, a train whistle, a rattle of loose stones, or, worst of all, a nosalis or lurker roar...and then nothing happens. It is truly terrifying.
  • No Swastikas: The Fourth Reich Nazi faction's symbol is a big runic "C" instead of any actual Third Reich-related imagery. This C is the Moscow Metro sign for stop/no entry, symbolizing the Nazis' attempts at getting rid of all ethnic groups other than "pure Russians," as well as suspected mutants. Beta version Nazis sported a three armed swastika used in the book.
  • Obvious Trap: Almost every trap is clearly visible and has a thick string as a triggering mechanism, which is hard to miss when you're moving carefully. If you're involved in a fight or frantically searching for a new mask filter, however, you can stumble into one. Justified by the fact that these traps are presumably meant for dangerous wildlife, not people. There's only one trap that is actually very hard to notice, and it misfires, so triggering it only gets you a "click". The rest of the time, fall traps are instant death and the shotgun or flame traps will leave you critically wounded.
    • The exception here would be broken bottles, or other ground clutter that makes noise when you step on it— on stealth levels, these can be deadly (alerting the enemy to your position), and you have to be very careful to avoid them.
    • The traps are instant death if you're not used to being careful and paying attention to the environment.
  • Offscreen Start Bonus: In the original version, the second half /second map of Dead City. You spawn in a room down some stairs that implies you went down some form of tunnel. However, there are two rooms behind you that contain dead bodies with some ammunition you may collect. In the Redux version the two Dead City maps were merged into a single contiguous level, but lootables are still found.
  • Oh God, with the Verbing!: "Enough with the talking. Get out! Form up!"
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There are a lot of namesakes around the subway and it's easy to get confused if you don't pay attention.
    • There are two NPCs named "Boris" that you encounter: first is the leader of the caravan to Riga, and the second is one of the Rangers that helps you locate the secret D6 bunker and dies in the process.
  • Only a Lighter: Artyom carries a lighter that is made from a machine gun bullet casing, used to read the journal notes in the darkness of the metro tunnels. It can also provide light in situations where the proper flashlight would be too dangerous and its flame moves in the draft showing the player the direction to their current objective.
    • Redux also allows the lighter to be used on cobwebs that hinder progress in especially dark and narrow tunnels or passages.
  • Optional Stealth: The game is essentially this trope, moreso after the Redux version brought the upgraded stealth and combat elements of Last Light backward. You have an otherwise-useless knife and a usually-lethal set of throwing knives; almost every weapon is naturally silent or has a silenced variant; and in the original you can purchase a set of black stealth armor that helps conceal you from enemy vision. On the other hand, you have an arsenal of grenades and can purchase such weapons as a heavy automatic shotgun if stealth isn't your thing. However, it's certainly encouraged to sneak around, and the Golden Ending requires more moral points then Artyom can get by just running around gunning down all human opposition.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Three-dimensional shadows that have to relive their last moments forever. Touch one and you will join them.
    • Which is in turn a nod to the source material, where it's suggested that the nuclear war blew up the afterlife as well.
  • The Order: The Rangers. They seem to focus their considerable talents on countering threats to the Metro as a whole, like the Dark Ones and the Nazis. Occasionally, they are even referred to this trope by name, i.e. "Rangers of the Order."
    • The Fourth Reich soldiers encountered in-game present something of an Evil Counterpart: they are part of a small, highly militarized faction centred on ensuring the survival of "pure" (Russian) humanity according to their strict (and increasingly irrational) standards. Membership however, is not an option: you must fit in with their ideals or else you must die.
  • Pacifist Run: Completing certain missions without killing any human opponents earns you a morality point that influences whether or not you can get the good ending. In fact, one can finish the game without killing any humans except for the obligatory unskippable massacre at the Lost Tunnels level, but it takes a lot of effort. In Redux, it's easier since Artyom has the whole arsenal of tricks from Last Light, including the Non-Lethal K.O. punch.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Done and lampshaded by Miller in D6.
    Melnik/Miller: Just like in old Hollywood movies about Soviet Union!
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Justified since the entire game takes place in underground tunnels. Communities are very cramped and crowded. That said, there are some surprisingly large alternate routes through the bigger levels, such as "Frontline."
  • Please Wake Up: Sasha and his uncle.
  • Plot Armor: Played with when you go out to the surface in order to reach the Library. You attract the attention of a Demon which can be killed but is replaced shortly after with another one. Once you're inside the library with the Rangers and it appears in the window, you can fight it off again. Even after the fight with the Librarian, the outcome is uncertain.
  • Pocket Protector: In the original version of the game, the miscellaneous equipment worn by NPCs would actually deflect bullets if shot, falling off in the process. It's entirely possible for enemies, especially soldiers who tend to wear a lot of stuff on their chest harness, to take more hits than usual because bullets are pinging off their spare magazines, canteen, etc.
  • Post Apocalyptic Gasmask: Moscow's air and surface water has been contaminated after nuclear war. Gasmasks are required for traversing irradiated tunnels and the surface, and since the crudely-refurbished filters only last for five minutes, these sequences are effectively Timed Missions. The Redux version includes Last Light's dedicated button function for wiping off any dirt, water, or blood that's spilled on the mask.
  • Practical Currency: MGR's, the Metro's universal trade coin, can be fired from any assault rifle you find, and deal a lot more damage than the more common dirty ammo. In the Redux version, they gain the ability to ignite enemies as well.
  • Press X to Not Die: Shows up as "quickly tap (use button)", both in-game and during the cutscenes. In-game, it happens when you're about to get mauled by a mutant and need to shove it away and carve its face off with a big knife. During cutscenes, it's often needed to avoid falling to your death from flooring/ladders collapsing.
    • And if you turn your HUD off, you don't get the QTE prompts.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: What Dark Ones attempt to do to Artyom when he brings "death" by making him jump off the Ostankino tower.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Most of the Communist and Fascist soldiers enlisted for food and a warm bed, or for the money, or to keep their families safe. Very few of them actually believe in the political message their chosen faction is espousing.
    • The Nazis at least force people to join up. The Reds are implied to use forced conscription as well.
  • Punch-Packing Pistol: The basic revolver is a rather trusty sidearm able to one-headshot a Watcher. Justified in that it's a .44 Magnum.
  • Quick Melee: The Uboiniknote  semiautomatic shotgun performs a melee attack either with the butt stock or a bayonet depending on which version you have. You can hold the button down to do a more powerful strike. It is surprisingly effective and allows Artyom to easily take down humans and mutants alike.
    • In the Redux version, using the knife became a mere-button press rather than selecting it as a specific weapon, and using said button when close enough to unarmoured humans results in a mostly-silent fatal stab.
  • Quick Nip: Pavel hands Artyom a hipflask after he and Ulman rescue him from his would-be Nazi executioner.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Massively averted. Survivors live in squalid conditions and the Metro is a maze of crumpled concrete and rusty pipes. Even most firearms are improvised and only a few people can afford a still-operating pre-war automatic weapon. So much so that when, near the end of the game, you encounter a functional subway line with cars that look completely pristine and are apparently still running back and forth on auto-pilot, it's incredibly creepy and the characters all even remark as much.
    • The aforementioned subway station, D6, is a secret command center deliberately designed to be Ragnarok Proofed. In addition to its still perfectly-intact stockpile of tanks, ordnance and other military supplies, many of the electronics are still functional. It also helps that in real life, Russian/Soviet hardware's engineered to last in any environment, such as the incredibly resilient AK and its derivatives. Yet even then, 20 years of neglect have already taken their toll (such as rusting and partially collapsed gangways, some of the lights shorting out and the fact that at least some of the automated systems had to be activated manually).
    • A group of Fourth Reich soldiers in the Black Station level can be overheard talking about how Metro 2 / D6 was designed "for the Soviet pantheon" in the event of disaster.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Pleased with how your shotgun is destroying mutants, but perplexed why it takes so many hits to kill soldiers? Buckshot has pathetic performance against military body armor, and the developers put actual armor attachments on many of the soldiers that must be shot off before actual damage can be incurred in the areas they cover.
    • Wonder why Military Grade Rounds are so vastly superior to dirty rounds? Much of ballistic behavior depends upon powder selection and bullet construction. Even the cartridge can affect the performance of a firearm. Now consider that the Metro has been scavenging and reloading its cartridges for the last two decades.
    • Hip firing leading to lots of misses? Guns have sights on them for a reason!
    • You may able to slaughter dozens of mutants by acting like Rambo, but trying to do the same to human enemies and they will kill you in seconds. Heck, even regular bandits will pose a problem to you.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Artyom's idle animations show absolutely appalling gun safety.
  • Red Shirt: Played With. A nameless unimportant Ranger NPC almost dies no less than three times, each time being a thinly veiled parody of the cliched "nameless ally gets killed to show how dangerous things are" scene.
  • Regenerating Health: However, the health regenerates a lot slower (though not as slow as in a certain comparable series) compared to contemporary FPSes, so much so that you may want to rely on your good'ol medkits in case things get too intense to let you regenerate at all.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The only handgun available is a no-name .44 revolver and its numerous modifications. Justified since 9x18 or 9x19 ammo is too weak to use against mutants. It still looks weird as revolvers are practically non-existent in today's Russian Federation: civilians are not allowed to own handguns, nor is anything in a pistol caliber available to them.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Watchers and Lurkers.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: The Duplet is a double-barreled one which can eventually be upgraded to have four barrels in the Redux version. You are given one before the start of your second combat in the game, and the fact that it can fire all barrels at once makes it arguably the most powerful gun in the game per trigger-pull when fully-upgraded. Alternatively, the Redux version also lets you extend the barrels to full-length size.
  • Scare Chord: Every enemy has a distinctive audio cue, each of which is usually heard before an encounter. May also apply to the sound that occurs when you stealthily kill human enemies.
    • Lurkers make a very high-pitched one which can often be heard near pipes. Except that only around 50% of the time, will one actually turn up. Another sound: the wet, squelching sound you can hear where one is nearby... and feasting on a corpse.
    • Nosalises growl like dogs, and roar like lions. Like the lurker, sometimes this is done simply to spook you, at other times it's done to herald an impending attack.
    • Watchers/Watchmen make a wolf-like howl. Hearing one is always the precursor to an enormous horde of them turning up.
    • Librarians make a low-pitched growl. Along with Nosalises, they have a disturbing roar, but even more unsettling is their low, heavy breathing, which can be heard all around the Library.
    • Giant Amoebas make a plopping sound, which is not scary except for the fact it signifies a Giant Amoeba is nearby...
    • The Dark Ones have hissing, rattling voices.
    • The flapping of wings and shuddering roars of an incoming Demon.
    • In Redux, the spiderbugs have a distinct crawling and hissing sound that makes you know that they're lurking nearby.
    • Also from Redux, larval shrimp make a unique gurgling sound when encountered on the surface levels.
  • Scavenger World: The survivors of the nuclear war that reduced Moscow to rubble are forced to live in the subway tunnels beneath the city, venturing above for only a few minutes at a time to scavenge for what few materials can be found.
  • Scenery Gorn: The ruins of Moscow in the snow look absolutely sublime, and vaguely depressing. Gawk all you want, just make sure not to look at the Kremlin!
  • Schmuck Bait: If you pay Nikki, the prostitute, you will get a "big surprise". Since this happens in only the second town of the game and you lose all your Military Grade Rounds (currency and ammunition), restarting your game is likely.
  • Science Fantasy: Post-nuclear wasteland with humans surviving off pigs and fungus, fighting mutants and crawling through ruins—more-or-less a standard After the End setting. Then we throw in the murderous ghosts and Afterlife Express...
  • Shining City: Polis, at least by the standards of the rest of Moscow. The largest underground station with luxurious amounts of open air, fully-functional lighting and utilities, with an ordered layout and filled with Rangers who are all well-fed, well-equipped, and all highly self-disciplined badasses.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: And revolver shotguns with bayonets are even better!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Metro 2033 the book shows up a remarkable number of times in Metro 2033 the game. An NPC in Exhibition station will apologize for borrowing the book (from Artyom!) for so long, and Artyom's father has a copy as well. Later, in Armory, Andrew the Smith has another copy in his room plus a giant poster for it pinned up on his wall, and there's yet another copy on the train with you when you catch a ride out of Armory. There's actually a mod created by the Russian community that replaces all of these with pornography and cheap detective novels (a mildly NSFW example), presumably to avoid the Mind Screw that comes from Breaking the Fourth Wall or remove the aggressive Product Placement.
    • There are people called Stalkers, who play the same role as Stalkers in Roadside Picnic. Made explicit at one point during the Great Library level, when one of your companions stops to look at the books on a shelf.
      "Hey, Roadside Picnic! There's something familiar!"
    • It may not be a coincidence that the Librarians look like gigantic apes.
    • See Easter Eggs article on the respective game wiki.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Yes, that really is how you use AK iron sights.
    • While the AK-74's rear iron sight in real life does not look like the one on the Kalash unless you modify the hell out of it first, the sight alignment and picture are otherwise correct.
    • The AK-74's firing sounds are correct.
    • Shotguns are great for killing mutants with single mighty blasts, so they ought to be great at killing armoured humans, right? Wrong! The shotguns in the game are chambered for 12x70mm (12 gauge for Americans), and most likely use 00 buckshot. Shotguns in real life typically fire pellets called "shot", hence the name. Since 00 buckshot pellets are roughly .33 caliber, spherical, and number 9 per shell, each shotgun blast is essentially a small cloud of pistol rounds with a bit of a velocity boost; they aren't going to get through body armor very well. Although, that doesn't stop other humans from offing you with 1-2 shotgun shells.
  • Sinister Subway: Where Everything Is Trying to Kill You too, even the ghostly remnants of the subway itself.
  • Sniper Pistol: The revolver can take attachments which take it into this territory. Barrel extensions, a rifle stock, and optics can all help and increase its accuracy over long range. With the exception of the optics, these are all worthwhile upgrades since the .44 ammunition of the revolver is powerful enough to kill lesser enemies in one or two good hits, and thus the additional accuracy over distance helps conserve bullets.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the STALKER series. Actually, more like an estranged spiritual brother, in a manner of speaking, since the people behind Metro 2033 left the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. team during Shadow of Chernobyl's infamously protracted development - though now that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 has been canceled, this trope may be played more straight in Metro: Last Light.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Men go out and protect the stations, run the trading caravans, and maintain machinery and equipment. Women stay home and take care of the kids, cook the food, and watch the pigs. See Men Are the Expendable Gender above.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: It's not actually required, but there are a few levels where stealth is the obvious solution and easiest way through. Two of them give an achievement for making a Pacifist Run, but one also has an achievement for taking the exact opposite path.
  • Sticky Bomb: The spiked grenade, which comes with a bit of a twist. The grenade is "sticky" not because of some kind of adhesive, but because it's bristling with razor-sharp nails. Ouch.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Many are used, especially for the weapons. A common criticism of the game.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: The Helsing is one of the best stealth weapons you can get if you're not shooting at a very distant target. It's totally silent and powerful enough to kill an armored human on a body shot when fully pressurized. An overpressurized arrow will put a serious dent in the health of the most powerful mutants as well. Also, ammo may be expensive and rare, but it's retrievable just like throwing knives, so even a small ammo pool will give the Helsing good longevity.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: In the Armory station, the only way to proceed is to walk right into a Red Commissar and get arrested.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence:
    • Although Mook Chivalry is averted, enemies never flee. There are a variety of reasons why this is explainable - the dead bodies of their comrades will be a source of ammo and supplies, they feel that they are as good as dead in the tunnels on their own, or they don't know that they are alone - combat in Metro is a very confused affair, as befits gunfights fought at pistol-shot in pitch-black tunnels around decaying wooden shacks.
    • Also displayed by the mutants, to a degree - unlike most normal animals, they freely attack things much bigger than they are, and don't seem to feel an instinctive urge to flee when confronted with the sight/sound/smell of their own dead.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: All the mutants in the game, to a degree. They will continue to attack even if significant numbers of them are shot down, and never flee even when horribly injured. Justified by a little Fridge Logic: the predators are just as desperate for survival as you are - they can't afford to flee from a meal just because it poses a threat.
  • Supporting Protagonist: It's evident that Artyom is really dependent upon the help of the more experienced veterans.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Boris and Stepan in the Dungeon.
  • Survival Horror: It's bleak, resources are tough to find, enemies can easily mess you up, and there's plenty of horrors to be found.
  • Tank Goodness: The main Nazi army has a 'Panzer', actually an armored railcar with a makeshift gun turret attached to the top. It's still the scariest and most powerful vehicle in the Metro, and the only working vehicle in the entire game mounting anything larger than a machine gun. Redux changes the Panzer's gun turret to a rocket launcher similar to the Red Line tanks in Last Light.
  • Taking You with Me: Boris (the Ranger, not the ushanka-wearing caravan leader) and Pavel use this against mutants. See Do Not Go Gentle.
  • The Smurfette Principle: There is exactly one named female character, and she's a minor NPC. Oh, and also a prostitute. Who steals all your money if given the chance.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The Fourth Reich is the main opposition to the Red Line communists.
  • To Absent Friends: Bandits at the Dry station drink to the memory of their friends... which the player realizes were the bandits encountered with Bourbon between Riga and Market.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Military-grade bullets, which are used as currency. After about three quarters into the game, though, they lose this status, since there are no more shops after Polis.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Artyom and the player take several throughout the story, going from getting your ass kicked in almost every encounter to fighting on an even level with the resident Badass Normals.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Good luck operating that crane the first time before the Biomass smashes it to pieces.
  • Unbreakable Weapons: Surprisingly enough, all the weapons in the game, both the ones jury-rigged in the Metro and the over-twenty-years-old mil-spec ones left around in extremely hostile conditions, are 100% reliable, even when firing the undeniably dirty ammunition the Metro produces and the Idle Animations showing that they are rather fragile indeedexamples . The worst thing that can happen is the Bastard overheating, and even for that, you have to really abuse it in a way no sane player would ever dohow? .
  • Unbroken First-Person Perspective: The original release had occasional third-person cutscenes, but the Updated Re-release Redux revised this to use a consistent first-person perspective, in keeping with Metro: Last Light.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Ranger difficulty nominally turns the game from First-Person Shooter to First Person Stealth-Based Game.
  • Universal Ammunition: Most weapons seem to be chambered to accommodate ammunition based on the 5.45x39mm design. Justified in that most of the common weapons were built after the apocalypse and specifically designed to use a single kind of ammunition.
  • The Undead: According to Khan, the world got blown up so good that Heaven, Hell and Purgatory were atomized as well. When someone bites it, they haunt that stretch of tunnel forever. There's one tunnel that's so haunted that even the mutants and rats are too scared to go there; Khan comments "This tunnel must re-live its past. And those unfortunate enough to walk here at such a moment, usually join that past." There's one very creepy scene where Khan chants at a bunch of ghosts so that they let you through.
  • Underground Monkey: It's not really noticeable, but there are only five main types of monsters in the game: Nosalies, Watchers, Librarians, Demons and Amoebas. Even fewer in the book, as most of the monsters are only mentioned in ghost stories and are never actually encountered by Artyom.
    • Three of the monsters in-game have subspecies. Nosalises have the black (stronger than usual), winged (more agile and has a special attack) and armoured (fast and very hard to kill; Dummied Out in Redux) varieties; Watchers have Lurkers (weaker, but faster, smaller and more annoying); Librarians can be found in a black (stronger and more aggressive) variety. They tend to have a distinctive look to them however, so it isn't all that bad.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: There's a very good reason why you should save every MGR that you collect instead of using them to buy stuff or to get out of a pinch in the original version: You have the options of buying an Armor Upgrade (100 MGRs) and a Kalash 2012 at Polis. Both choices are expensive but worthwhile investments.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: It's rare to see anything that isn't ruined, creepy, or defunct. D6 is the only area that really stands out, simply because it is an empty installation without bodies or skeletons scattered around.
    • Upper levels are clean and devoid of corpses (Plenty of blood trails and piles of spent casings though). Lower levels - not so much.
    • There is a skeleton in the reactor room lying right under the trestle ladder leading to a sparkling fusebox with the pliers still attached to the cover. Guess what happens when Artyom touches it?
  • Unspecified Apocalypse: What caused the war of 2013? All we know is that it was caused from tens of thousands of nukes launched, initially between two middle-eastern countries. To the residents of the Metro though, figuring out the facts hardly matter.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: It's possible to put yourself in a bad situation where the next chapter has you going through the surface of Moscow and you simply don't have enough filter time on your gas mask to survive. A pretty hard and unforgiving way to learn the need to manage your supplies more carefully.
    • Fortunately, if you catch yourself running short, you can extend the life of your filters by repeatedly taking your gas mask off, breathing in the air until you start choking, and reequipping the mask before the toxic air kills you. This would of course be Too Dumb to Live in real life, but the game engine doesn't stack poison damage between exposures.
  • Updated Re Release: Metro 2033 Redux was released for the PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 in August 2014. It's basically Metro 2033 redone using the significantly more advanced Metro Last Light engine and assets. One of the toted features is the ability to play in either the classic Metro 2033 play-style, or the more refined play-style of Last Light.
    • Metro 2033 Redux allows the player to choose between "Survival" and "Spartan" modes, aside from the original difficulty levels. Survival Mode plays just like the original Metro 2033 but in the Last Light engine, creating a perfect mix of the original's survival horror atmosphere where every resource is precious and the Last Light's more refined first-person stealth and shooter elements (such as stealth kills and knock-outs). Spartan Mode makes the gameplay almost exactly like Last Light, with plentiful resources and very relaxed stealth. Aside from those two fundamental changes, many other things in the game also were overhauled in the transition into the Last Light engine:
      • The HUD and UI now mirror Last Light, looking more modern and altering the way the player interacts with their equipment with the L1/LB/Tab key/buttons functioning as a modifier input that changes the D-Pad/WASD keys and the Face buttons/mouse movements functions to that of menu functions like turning on and off the flashlight, changing gas mask filters, etc. Also, interacting with merchants is very different as well, with a new customization feature added to each of the weapons allowing you to attach specific parts to each one rather than trying to find a gun that just has all the parts you want on it. To help avert the A-Team Firing example listed on the YMMV page, the devs also added hit markers to the Normal and Hardcore difficulties on Spartan mode to let players know when they were actually hitting enemies.
      • The gas mask and filter system have been updated to be much simpler. When you pick up filters, it adds time to your overall breathing time just like before but now seconds are included in the HUD element for filters, making it much more obvious that the number is how long you have to breathe total rather than your amount of filters. Also, the watch changes depending on whether you're playing on Survival or Spartan. Survival gets the traditional watch and Spartan gets the Last Light watch, which is a digital watch that times you when you have your gas mask on.
      • On the topic of the watch, the light system also has been simplified. Instead of three lights on the watch telling you if you're fully exposed, semi-dark, or in total darkness; there's now just one light that lights up when enemies can see you and that stays off when they can't.
      • Some of the weapons in the original release have been swapped out with their equivalents from the sequel, such as the Volt Driver being replaced with the somewhat-nerfed, not so much of a Disk One Nuke Hellbreath.
      • 4A Games also expanded upon the collectibles in the game. They added keys and safes containing lots of extra resources to the game that are very useful if sought out, especially in Survival Mode, along with notes hidden around the levels that expand upon Artyom's thoughts and reflections. Inline with that, each of the pre-level loading screens and their monologues have been redone with updated dialogue that more closely resembles the original Russian.
      • All of the games models have been replaced with those from Last Light, so characters that just shared models in the original release now have unique models. For example, Miller looked very similar to Khan in the original release, whereas now he has the updated model used in Last Light that makes him look more like Quaritch from Avatar. This also helps to avert the You ALL Look Familiar example listed below. However, it's important to note that it wasn't just the characters that were remodeled; all the mutants were also remodeled as well. Compare an original Nosalis to the updated model used in Last Light. Also, mutants that didn't make their debut until Last Light have also been implemented into 2033, such as the spiderbugs replacing the plated nosalises in the Dungeon level.
      • Some events, set pieces, or map layouts have been altered or shifted, occasionally even deleted. In the original 2033 Bourbon would kill the first bandit you saw with a throwing knife (his tutorial on how to kill people silently). Since you can take people out from behind with a melee attack now, that bit never happens. When searching for D6 in the original, the skeleton that Ulman suggests keeping as a memento has two heads; in Redux it is a regular half-decayed skeleton.
  • Urban Warfare: All your fights and encounters with hostile humans.
  • The Unfought: Unlike the original 2033, where you confront it at the end of the level it appears in, the Nazi Panzer you encounter in Redux chooses not to chase after you and Pavel, opting simply to fire at them briefly.
  • Vader Breath: You breathe very loudly while wearing your gas mask, and more so as the filter gets worn out.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: Plenty, but what alot of people miss is that you can even stealth through the outside levels in most cases. Meaning all those mutants you wasted precious ammunition on did not need to die. The game hammers this home with scenes where the watchers in the Dead City level will look at you, but disregard you, uninterested. In the same level, you can explore a ruined building only to hear roaring from a corner. When you look up, it´s a Watcher with two Lurker "Cubs" angrily roaring at you for intruding on their home. You can walk out...or you can waste them indiscriminately.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Averted; late in the game, Artyom can get his hands on a flamethrower that will kill the mutants with merely a single burst of fire. This is compensated by fuel being a bit rare, however.
  • Villain Has a Point: A Nazi soldier at the Black Station rationalizes atrocities committed by his faction as an acceptable evil that will eventually lead to prosperity of the whole Metro. Nazi controlled stations are some of the safest, wealthiest and prosperous ones in the Metro, but are facing impending doom due to aging population. Nazis face extinction without expansion, Metro faces extinction without a unified government and law.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Vladimir and Ulman in D6.
  • Wall of Weapons: Gun shops have their inventory tacked on for everyone to see. Sparta, the Rangers' base on the surface has a literal wall covered with weapons.
  • Was Once a Man: It is hinted that Dark Ones and Librarians are mutated humans.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Boss in Mook Clothing super tough Nosalises with the glowing eyes in the cave can be briefly stunned and made vulnerable to attack just by shining your flashlight on them, giving you a few seconds to attack them.
    • The spiderbugs that replace them in Redux are weak to pretty much the same thing as the plated nosalises, except that light actually hurts (and even kills) them rather than simply stunning them.
  • Wham Line: The last line of dialogue before the ending cutscene
    The Dark One: "We want peace."
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: Bourbon is shady as hell and apparently deals with every crooked person in the Metro, but the advice he gives to Arytom about how to deal with mutants and the surface is perfectly valid and serves Artyom during the whole game
  • You ALL Look Familiar: There's a dozen or so faces for the men, and the majority of the Rangers you meet along the plot all share the exact same face. Redux averts this thanks to using the models from Last Light
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Several times throughout the story.


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