Found: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Lost Alpha Mod Coming This Month

By Alice O'Connor on April 15th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

Who hasn't longed to see this little chap waddling around?

Like old Stalker tales told around the campfire, a lot of strange and wonderful things were once said to be in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, from naked green dwarves to driveable vehicles and a whole extra city. Several mods have restored various bits of cut content, based on leftover files and leaked dev builds, but Lost Alpha is one of the more ambitious. What began as a project to remake and reintegrate these leftovers has blown up into a new parallel story which includes (new) old content and a bits of the creators’ own design too.

In response to some ruffian leaking a scrappy old build from November, developers Dezowave Group have decided to release Lost Alpha earlier than planned then keep working on it. It’ll arrive on April 26, the 28th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster which started all this.

“Some testers have decided to ruin years of our hard work and have leaked an unfinished render-test build of Lost Alpha to the public,” Dezowave explained earlier this month, saying it “crosses out any chances to release LA as an official addon.” Which we weren’t aware was even a possibility.

They say the release coming in a few weeks “won’t be completely finished as we wanted it to be but at least stable and finishing the game would be possible.” It’ll be nice to see what they’ve been up to for five years, but a shame that it happened this way.

Here’s how the mod looked back in January:

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32 Comments »

  1. Goodtwist says:

    I kinda don’t get it: someone leaked an early build and because of this the modders won’t eventually relase it… WTF

    Someone please explain the state of the facts to my feeble mind please.

    • Ushao says:

      I think the key bit here is “official”. That would somehow mean the mod would be released as an official part of the STALKER universe, I think? I don’t see anything about it not being released at all because of this. Though why the leak would put something like that in jeopardy in the first place your guess is as good as mine.

    • Guy Montag says:

      Over the course of work on the project, they hit a point where they’d done so much toward creating a complete game based on the old alphas that it was nearly a full, original work. So (as far as I understand) they went to GSC and discussed the possibility of releasing it as a new game and be able to charge money for it. The LA team never announced if it would happen or not, but obviously something about the leak meant that there was no way it could happen anymore, since it meant GSC would withdraw consent.

      • Goodtwist says:

        OK, thanks and it makes some sense. Initially, I was wondering whether the unauthorised leak had something to do with copyright. You know, once published such a right might get exhausted. But I’m not sure here cause I don’t have any info on the whole affair.

        • frymaster says:

          not really exhausted, but it’s difficult to get a publishing deal for something that’s been previously published

    • Don Reba says:

      As I understand it, the deal with GSC fell through for the unrelated reason of GSC not doing games anymore. The leak added to the frustration, so they threw their hands up and decided to release what they have.

    • Baines says:

      The announcement is a little unclear as to exactly what they are doing.

      The leak has, for some unexplained reason, killed the “released as a paid official add-on” release. Lost Alpha will instead be released as a free mod. It will be released in an incomplete state, but that incomplete state will see patches and updates.

      What is unclear is whether or not Lost Alpha will continue to a “complete” state. Are they just going to try to get it into a working state, or will they continue to completion?

      Is the April unfinished release a “take our ball and go home” response, or a “Since the licensed release fell through, we have no reason to keep this project locked from public view. We are going to do a Chernobyl anniversary unfinished release while we keep working on the project. We hope we eventually finish the mod, but without that financial security/goal, you never know.” response? The promises of updates certainly weakens the former.

    • asura kinkaid says:

      our gaem is borken b/c terrarizm

  2. SkittleDiddler says:

    Naked green dwarves? Nodeargodpleaseno

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      If they are the new merchants / weapon modders then I’m cool with it. Little dwarf willy flapping about as he retrofits a scope mount to your ak-74. Cute and functional. Not the penis, obviously

      • phelix says:

        eunuch voice

        I SAID COME IN! DON’T JUST STAND THERE!

        /eunuch voice

        • Trumpeldor says:

          You just made me think of Siderovich speaking with the voice of Varys the spymaster

      • The Random One says:

        The penis, sadly, is only cute.

  3. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Can’t wait for this mod. Now I know what I’ll be doing at the end of April

  4. aperson4321 says:

    I think the mod is standalone, which is great as it means people won’t have to dig around for that old CD.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      STALKER’s one of those things I install on every new rig. I’m kind of surprised that’s apparently not the norm?

  5. MrThingy says:

    Something about STALKER always felt like more than a game to me. Like more of an experience.

    * deep philoso-wank in progress *

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Agreed, it’s incredible

    • guygodbois00 says:

      +1.My experience with STALKER exactly.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Absolutely. The bugs, the occasional clumsiness, the variable writing (or I guess localization, to be more fair), all of that should, by rights, annihilate the immersion and constantly remind you “I am playing a videogame”.
      It doesn’t. STALKER is a fairly decent videogame, but an absolutely essential experience.

      • cpt_freakout says:

        It’s impressive how this is one of those utterly imperfect games which can arguably be called almost perfect. I’m playing this for sure when it comes out!

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          This is basically going to sound like boasting (pifffffff), but I never had any bugs with STALKER. At most I might have had a few crashes after installing mods, and maybe once a funny graphics glitch where that “Lets have a little chat” guy in the freedom base’s gun turned into a christmas tree, but my rig was one of those rare beasts that just loved the X-Ray engine. Yeah I know, check me out right #^_^#

          No game has ever made me feel like STALKER SHOC and CoP did though. Fallout 3 came the closest, but STALKER … i can’t put it into words. It was just the sense of finally being somewhere you really want to be, doing something you really want to do. It felt special. After near traumatic battles with controllers and snorks, going back to Cordon felt like going home. No other game hub area ever, ever made me feel that.

    • DirtyDivinity says:

      Completely agreed. An exciting journey. Some dark poetry, like a delightful and captivating nightmare. Something about a big, big, Big mistake of mankind. So terrible mistake it made the universe itself buggy. A feeling like “oh no, this time the mankind has really screwed”. Under a (sometimes) peaceful and colorful, but distant, sky. All that generating an inextinguishable thirst of exploration in me. But yes : actually I have no words.

      Waiting Lost Alpha, I strongly recommand another great mod, Stalkersoup :
      http://www.tecnobacon.com/home.html
      Many new territories to explore, including old levels, and, in addition, the CoP maps!
      Now this huge work is pretty stable and polished.
      As said Mr Rossignol ( http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/07/26/stalker-soup-narodnaya-solyanka/ ) , “It all gets better after the cave” – but the Cave level is less boring with the help of “NS Guide” downloadable from tecnobacon.com.
      The colors by default are a little garish but it can be changed : Stalkersoup once installed, edit “shadersettings.txt” in gamedata\shader\r2 from SoC main directory : cut “/ /” before the line ” #define color_dim ” and paste it before “#define color_bright” to select washed colors. You can add any texture pack you want (I recommand textures from Complete mod and sky textures from CoP Atmosfear 3 : beautiful result!) : create a “textures” folder in “gamedata” and paste in the texture folders (“detail”, “grnd”, “sky”, etc.) you have chosen.

  6. jtraveller says:

    Sooooooo… It’s been 7 years since SoC and 5 since I finished CoP (fuck clear sky) and… well, 5 years isn’t that much, objectively… anyway, I lost the track of the myriad of mods that are still under development for the stalker games. anyone care to kindly point me to a list of them? or, even better, make an article about them? I have half a mind to buy the stalker bundle on steam, but need some incentive.

    • tsmike says:

      For CoP there’s the ‘MISERY’ mod, which basically adds additional weapons and mechanics that turns the game into a real hardcore survival Dark Souls like-thing. (For example the game spawns you in the zombie town at midnight with nothing but a flashlight, and all the loot spawns and rewards have been changed so it’s like playing the game for the first time all over again). I believe there’s a similar mod for SoC called L.U.R.K, although I’ve never tried that.

      Or if you just want something that polishes the base game without changing anything gameplay-related, all the games have the ‘Complete’ mods which overhaul the textures, sounds etc, fix some of the bugs and make the game super pretty. The Clear Sky version actually makes the game kind of playable. Kind of.

      • jtraveller says:

        Well, i do love gameplay modifications, and new stories. Back in the day I mostly used some realism mod for the weapons, and a few extra weapons and -I’m not ashamed to accept it- a mod to increase the weight I could carry.

        • Jrgl says:

          If you want new stories the Priboi Story mod is the only working one I am aware of.

          For realism/difficulty use either AMK or Zone of Alienation (the latter is based on AMK and, as well as actually translating it, adds features like magazines).

          The Complete series will make the game easier than vanilla and most other mods come with the graphical overhauls.

          • GlassDeviant says:

            Realism is a crock of sh1t anyway. Realism is worthless if it intrudes into gameplay, and even worse if it’s called realism but is not, in fact, at all realsitic. Case in point: with a twin barrel shotgun in real life, firing one barrel it is physically IMPOSSIBLE to jam the other barrel, but in Lost Alpha it happens.

  7. Distec says:

    This is fairly timely for me. STALKER was one of those games I was deeply anticipating many years ago. Back when I actually used to make lists of games to keep an eye on based on E3 footage and stuff, STALKER was up there in bold with Half-Life 2 in terms of “OMGOMGOMG GIMME NOW” emotions. The delays eventually sapped some of that, and for some reason I didn’t pick it up at release. I think the murmurs of a buggy release, all the cut content, and my own lack of confidence in my PC made me skip it. I was also turned off by the leaked alpha, which was silly. Because it’s an alpha, dumbass.

    Years later I purchased SoC and CoP on a Steam discount and was entranced by it for a few weeks. I used only the Stalker Complete mod for some of the bugs and spruced up visuals (although people have told me it makes it easier too), but the experience was absolutely captivating. I chickened out at some point. I was in some underground lab fighting those freaky-ass controllers, my visuals were getting all distorted for unknown reasons (was it an anomaly or an enemy I wonder), and more than anything I wanted to scram out of there and escape into the darkness of the surface.

    I kept wanting to play on, but I also kept opting for games in my free time that were less likely to get under my skin like that, since I’m a sissy. But I recently got the itch again and reinstalled both games last week, having played some almost every day. It’s still good and I aim to finish it even if it kills me. I haven’t even loaded Call of Pripyat yet, as I’ve resolved to save that for after I complete Shadow of Chernobyl. And I certainly aim to play through Lost Alpha. It seems they’ve recaptured a lot of the things that got me initially excited about the game.

  8. PenGunn says:

    The only thing that could make me stop playing ESO for a while is something like this.

    I have played the shit out of Stalker, by far my favorite game, and LA was one of the few mods I have not played.

    Illustration:

    In a COP mod, just cruising near the Jupiter complex, sporting with some Monolith with the eventual goal of killing them all and looting their nice stuff, as well as doing the complex.

    I turn around and a troop of bandits from the nearby base has shown up, their base had taken a few bullets from my bit of sport and are pissed. Great, I’m pleased and hunker down with my back to a wall and watch them shoot it out with Monolith. I remember I have some grenades and pull one out. I swear the closest bandit said “da grenada” with approval. I toss a few and it’s over and I get my goodies.

    Stalker is the very best.

  9. urza4315 says:

    Can someone explain why modders simply refuse to abandon SoC? I couldn’t play this game for 3 hours without running into a game-breaking bug of some description. If they’re going to overhaul everything anyway why not just do so in CoP? It’s so much more stable.

  10. beema says:

    I don’t understand why they would rush to release it because of that. It’s a mod. It’s not like they have sales to worry about. Why not just release it when it’s complete and polished? Surely that would make it even more worthwhile than getting the leaked version.