Episode 429 - A S.T.A.L.K.E.R. For Every Occasion

We’ve got special guest Dia Lacina on the show today to talk about Lost Judgment, but somehow also stumble into yet another discussion of S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl. Patrick’s dipped a toe into the Guardians of the Galaxy video game, which begs the question: why? And Cado’s been playing Sable, a visually stunning platforming exploration game where you set out to try on different hats (both literally and figuratively) in a beautiful post-post-apocalypse with your trusty hover bike.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://play.acast.com/s/vicegamingsnewpodcast/episode429-as.t.a.l.k.e.r.foreveryoccasion

Here are some things that are true:

  1. I love Rob’s energy as host. I think he’s doing phenomenally.
  2. I love the incantation “fuck capitalism go home”. I think it should stay in the podcast somewhere (maybe before ad breaks? lmao).
  3. I think Rob needs his own sign-off. It just feels a little weird for Rob to say fcgh at the same spot Austin did. “Do not give in to astonishment” is an all-timer and I would welcome a return to that (Austin’s farewell chef kiss) but if he wants to come up with a new one, that’s fine too.
  4. More Dia on the pod, please.

I started playing Shadow of Chernobyl with ZRC and I’m loving it. I’m excited to hear what everyone has to say about it. So pumped for STALKtober!


Also primed for Stalktober here! I did play a bit of STALKER back when it came out, but pretty sure I didn’t finish it (might have given in to mutant related terror). So, Tarkovsky’s Stalker is the only part of this I’m already familiar with. I’m ready to rewatch that, finally use this as an excuse to actually read Roadside Picnic, and earlier this evening, I installed STALKER and ZRP. Let’s go!


I also started STALKER! I had tried to play it a couple of years ago, but I got a hard crash an hour or so in and got spooked! We’ll, anyways, it happened again and took my PSU with it :grimacing:

So I’ll be playing the game on an old laptop from now on :sweat_smile:


For those curious about the film, it’s on The Criterion Channel!

Definitely watch with an open mind. The most ‘exciting’ moments happen within the first 20 minutes, but it’s a great exercise in world building, character development through dialogue, and contemplative thoughts on life and happiness.

On the other side of the coin, Roadside Picnic is just WEIRD. Zombie grandpas, monkey daughters, UN controlled Canada, and spider-webs that kill you later with something that seems inconsequential.

Also love Rob and the gang reacting to Stalker 2:

Rob turning excitedly to Patrick “The brain scorcher is active again!”

“The what-?”


If y’all haven’t started yet and mods haven’t been fully chosen (I’m behind on my podcast listening): ZRP is the right call, but you really should add this texture pack:

It’s very true to the original feel. It does that magic thing where it updates the visuals to what you remember them being like.


I might have to check this out. Since I’m guessing this means you’re familiar with ZRP, mind if I pick your brain on recommended toggles for the various options it offers?

I’m currently playing with the default settings (which I think is intended to be close to vanilla), apart from turning on the real weapon names so I know what things are at a glance (I appreciate some people might find it weird but I know what an MP5 is meant to be, not a fictionalised version called a Viper, etc). I’ve seen there are things like a different flashlight, different campfire lighting - quite specific stuff where the differences aren’t really explained and I’m struggling to find further info.


In other stuff covered on this pod, I am very sad the Sable is only on Xbox and PC(?) so far as a PS4 & Switch guy. I tried to grab an Xbox S last December and then just gave up because I already own more games than I can play. First time I am regretting that in a while.

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I played with the default settings as well. I think ZRP did a really good job of maintaining the spirit of vanilla. The game felt “right” in that it’s still arcane, difficult and obtuse, but it was very rarely actually buggy or broken.

I believe I may have turned off “the zone is open” since it does allow some sequence breaking, but otherwise I didn’t experiment too much.

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