Premature Irradiation: STALKER Lost Alpha

A brown place in the zone

Lost Alpha is an ambitious mod for Shadow of Chernobyl that aims to recreate all the content that was cut from the game between alpha and release. New (old) areas and new (old) mutants are the main additions, with the bulk of the mod being recreations of the cut locations. The team are aiming to stick as close to the original versions of the cut content as they can based on known info and it’s all looking mighty impressive. After a long time in development, release is closer than ever, which has of course been true every minute since it was first announced. We should have a date in February. In the meantime, here’s a trailer and a FAQ.

Even mod trailers have grufty voiceover men now. I shall consider hiring one to announce my arrival at social events.

As for S.T.A.L.K.E.R., I’ve been considering a new mod loadout at some point and if this turns out to be less than a couple of months away I might end up waiting for it instead.


  1. Godwhacker says:

    Looks a bit like Gateshead.

    • DickSocrates says:

      Way to spoil STALKER 2. Set in a future Gateshead where nothing in particular has happened, it’s just grim anyway.

    • BobbyFizz says:

      Funny that, on the ringroad here in Huntingdon there’s some 3 storey flats that look just like Prypiat.

      So, Stalker; Shadow of Gateshead, then Stalker; Call of Huntingdon.

    • Oddballs says:

      I was about to say the same, worked there a few days last week, and it’s quite uncanny.

  2. Syra says:

    “Even mod trailers have grufty voiceover men now. I shall consider hiring one to announce my arrival at social events.”

    I love you.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      My name is Grufty Mc Murderpants.
      I have come to kill you.

  3. Captain Hijinx says:

    What these guys are trying to recreate is what got me so excited about Stalker way back when. It never really did live up to those expectations for me when it was released.

    • Khemm says:

      Agree. STALKER did sound like something else before release, much of what it promised it delivered, what didn’t make into the final game got released in mods, Lost Alpha promises to bring THE STALKER I had been waiting for.

  4. SAeN says:

    Seems to have a cameo from Solid Snake

  5. db1331 says:

    I’ve been told that premature irradiation is perfectly normal and that it happens to lots of people, thank you very much.

  6. herschel says:

    FordĀ“s Blader Runner voiceover finally got sacked. I thank thee, god of the interwebs.

    • diebroken says:

      The commentary in the studio session when Ford did that voice-over is great to listen to, pretty much sums up just how stupid it was…

  7. Joshua says:

    Myself, I am waiting for the new edition of the L.U.R.K. mod. Unlike most mods, which use a bit of a kitchen sink or fix what was broken mod. LURK plays as if GSC had gotten themselves a different gameplay designer, which I like. The next verison is going to extent that to loot as well, which I like even more. And, it will introduce Artifact Hunting in SoC…

    • Mad Hamish says:

      There’s a new LURK? Fantastic, that and AMK were the only mods I got on with. All the others seemed a bit soft. I used to just play these mods and never really bothered finishing the game, just had a good time wandering around getting loot and trying to survive. Me and my trusty AK74SU.

  8. Blackcompany says:

    I purchased both Oblivion and Stalker several years – not months, but years – after their initial releases. The graphics were slightly dated. AI was not quite up to modern standards. Both games, while great for various reasons, left enough to be desired in 2009 and 2011, respectively, that purchasing them probably would raise some eye brows. So why did I do it?
    One word: Mods.
    Any developer who fails to understand the manner in which mods can extend both the appeal, and thus the “shelf life” of a game, needs to take a harder look at the modding scene. Would new purchases of Stalker still take place in 2011 without mods to update AI and graphics? Likely not. Would Skyrim and Fallout inspire the sort of fanatical fan base they do on PC without the ability to take hold of the tool sets and create our own personalized experiences within the games? Again, probably not.
    Mods add so much to games. Far more than just “more to do.” Mods like Heart of the Dead, Midas magic and Lost Spires for Oblivion added amazing quests, new weapons and even new magic systems to the game. They added new worlds and fantastic new stories.
    But more than that, they convinced some of us to buy a game long since dead on other platforms. Because we could extend of playing time – and thus, profits for the devs and publishers – literally indefinitely using mods. There is no good reason at this juncture to not release a tool set along with the PC version of your game.

  9. magnus says:

    Oh yes, I’m there already,this is what I got a PC for.

  10. Ross Angus says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic about this, after being disappointed with Narodnaya Solyanka (longest load times since the days of compact cassette, buggy, crashy and grindingly hard). If it adds all that lovely new geography without making a death punished by a four minute wait, this is great news.

  11. nyarlathotep-88 says:

    A definite download for me.

  12. Was Neurotic says:

    I remember yeeeeears ago, playing that leaked alpha code. I loved STALKER, but the fact that you couldn’t carry on sandboxing it after you’d finished it meant I never went back to it. I think they opened it up in a later patch, but it was too late then. Wiil definitely give S2 a go though.

  13. povu says:

    Lost Alpha for SoC, Misery for CoP… I’ve got two new games to play!

  14. Network Crayon says:

    Id love to see a Black Mesa mod for stalker, seems the ideal engine for a re-half-lifeing.

    also LURK is awsome.

    • bear912 says:

      I’d love to see a retelling of the Black Mesa incident from the perspective of a helpless scientist, built on Frictional’s HPL engine…

  15. sneetch says:

    No mention of co-op? That was the feature they cut that I most missed, well that and vehicles.

    • dryg says:

      I remember seeing a mod very long ago that added a super glitchy coop mode (do anything and the game will crash). A-Life is very complex and I’m guessing only GSC will be able to a real coop option, and they have been talking about it for S2.

  16. buzzmong says:

    Had a good shufty over the FAQ.

    Seems like quite the mod, lots has changed. Certainly seems closer to the Stalker that was initially promised (and sort of shown off in the earlier builds that came out) but with the added bonus of things like the Atmopshere mod being added.

    I’ve been thinking about playing SoC again anyway, so might play with this one rather than the Paradise Lost mod or Complete.

  17. Inglourious Badger says:

    More Stalker? What more could you ask for

  18. wazups2x says:

    You’ve just crossed over into.. the Twilight Zone

  19. Vivi says:

    I hope they get the Steam compatibility worked out, else they’ll be shutting out a huge portion of their potential audience.

    That’s the only issue I’ve run into with Steam and mods that has yet to be fixed. If the mod affects the .exe at all, even just an FOV hack or something, it will not work.

  20. Navagon says:

    It looks amazing. I can’t wait to try this. I tried an earlier version and the only thing it really showed was why the content was cut in the first place. Now it’s looking very special indeed.

  21. MichaelPalin says:

    I don’t know why we freaked out so much when GSC announced a possible closure, modders will keep releasing new STALKER games for years!

    There is something I don’t get though, have they used actual content of the alpha for this mod or all the new levels shown in the trailer are made by them? If all that content was made by GSC they sure did leave a lot of content behind!

    • buzzmong says:

      Quite a bit will be GSC content but modified and updated as while they did leave loads of code and bits of content behind in the retail release, not only were alphas leaked, but GSC have gone off and released a number of alpha and beta builds with content to the mod community to help them along.

      It’s quite a nice gesture really and one of the reason why Stalker mods are quite expansive.

    • Mistabashi says:

      A lot of the levels weren’t really cut they were just re-worked into something different. The original levels seen in the alpha builds were generally a bit bigger and more open than those in the final release, although they were also a bit sparser and didn’t look as polished overall (no dynamic sun shadows either).

  22. jquinn914 says:

    I always had one gripe with Lost Alpha, why detract from an excellent idea by going out of their way, using dated and poor features from the 2005 build. The weapon sounds are awful, the shooting seems awful and entirely lacking of the grittiness STALKER had that LURK intensified. I never understood how you could enjoy enemies eating 20 rounds from your recoil-less assault rifle over the carefully controlled shooting in which each shot is lethal or near-lethal.

  23. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Looking forward to it, and like GSC’s final build, I imagine it’ll earn its own community of modders. The STALKER community really is something else.

  24. scatterbrainless says:

    What rubbish, the only way I’d play this is if it’s full of ruined industrial settings, too little ammunition, and spatio-temporal vortices that hate me.

  25. lijenstina says:

    Yay, throat cancer for everyone!1!!!!!11!!

    I hate trailers.

  26. squirrel says:

    Hey, I know this team. It’s the team that brought us Priboi Story.

    Keep up the fine work, sir!

  27. kataras says:

    Nice, between this and some the COP mods with new maps, it should be plenty of content to keep us busy even if Stalker 2 never sees the light of day…
    Q: Will we be able to kill crows?
    A: Yes.

    This is all I wanted to know.