|“|| I am Major Degtyarev, USS.|
- Major Degtyarev introducing himself to Captain Tarasov
Major Alexander Alexandrovitsch Degtyarev (Russian: майор Александр Александрович Дегтярёв, Ukrainian: майор Олександр Олександрович Дегтярьов (Olexandr Olexandrovitsch Dehtyaryov)) is the protagonist of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat.
The Major is an agent for the Security Service of Ukraine. It seems his mission into the Zone during Call of Pripyat is not his first one, as he seems to have good knowledge of the Zone.
Call of PripyatEdit
The player plays as Degtyarev for the entirety of the game. His initial mission in the zone is to find out what happened to the valuable Stingray helicopters, and to identify the cause of Operation Fairway's failure while remaining undercover from the rest of the stalkers. In order to prevent him from being singled out as a government operative, Degtyarev is inserted into the Zone with little more than a stalker suit, an AK assault rifle and some food supplies so his cover remains hidden. From the moment the game begins, what Degtyarev does is up to the player - unlike the preceding games, much of the plot is left up to the player's actions.
After identifying the causes of the helicopter crashes, the player learns of the three evacuation zones - one in Yanov, Zaton, and Pripyat. Finding the sole survivor of Stingray 4, Lt. Sokolov, the Major realizes the remaining survivors have somehow made their way to Pripyat. His next mission is to discover a route through to Pripyat itself, where the final evacuation zone lies. He does this while at the same time aiding the local Ecologist mission, putting him into direct conflict with the Mercenaries operating in the northern sector of the Zone. After discovering an underground network underneath Jupiter Factory, his mission is to assemble a team for the hazardous trek, and find a closed-circuit suit for the trip.
His team can be made up of as many as four men depending on his actions up until this point - Zulu, an ex-Duty hermit, Vano, a happy go lucky Loner, Sokolov, and Strider, a Monolith defector. Once assembled, the squad makes their way to the underground, where they fight through waves of Snorks and Monolith before finally surfacing in Pripyat itself. Confronted by Captain Tarasov and other survivors, most of the team is shocked when the Major reveals himself to be one of the Military force - Zulu leaves in disgust. Realizing the Major still trusts them, the other three remain and join the Military unit holding out inside the Laundromat.
While in Pripyat, Degtyarev helps the Military secure a Gauss Rifle, starting another mission - to uncover the true nature of Project 62. While investigating a lab in Zaton, the Major uncovers references to the Lab X-8 in Pripyat. With this information in hand he goes to investigate, uncovering more information on the experimentation performed by C-Consciousness prior to the events of Clear Sky. Mortified by what he's discovered, Degtyarev puts a high priority on getting the materials into the hands of the government. At the same time, the Military's numbers continue to dwindle, and a large emission threatens to destroy their outpost - but gives them an opening to call for an evacuation.
During the evacuation, the Major and any other survivors up until this point are joined by Strelok, who was escaping from Monolith forces. The main goal of the evacuation becomes ensuring Strelok's survival in the face of a small army of zombified stalkers and the Monolith attempting to kill the helicopter crews. Once the evacuation is complete, the Major is given the option to join the other survivors in escaping, or to remain in the Zone awhile longer.
Regardless of the player's choice, once the Major leaves the Zone he is promoted to Colonel for his actions, and declines a desk job in favor of returning to the zone as the Security Service of Ukraine permanent observer, essentially allowing him to remain a stalker.
- The Major has only one ending. He survives and is promoted to Colonel for his actions. He is proposed a position at USS Headquarters as mission coordinator, as a reward for the successful completion of his investigation into Operation Fairway's fate. He declines the position at HQ and requests to be sent back to the Zone as the USS's permanent observer.
Degtyarev plays a very minor role in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Southern Comfort. He makes an appearance in the chapter Needle in a Haystack where he debriefs Major Tarasov for his expedition in the Agroprom Underground. He then gives Tarasov a mission to find out about the fate of a lost expedition team in Kabul, Afghanistan and also to determine what is causing the New Zone to develop there. Afterwards, Degtyarev is not mentioned until Epilogue where, by means of radio contact, he later promotes Tarasov to Lieutenant Colonel for his success in the New Zone.
At this point, for some reason, Degtyarev is still mentioned as a Major, even though Southern Comfort takes place 1-2 years after the events of Call of Pripyat, and he should already be a Colonel after the evacuation from Pripyat, unless declining the desk job at HQ also meant he declined the promotion as well.
- The Major does not have a helmet and/or back-pack graphic when wearing a suit, even if it is equipped. Cutscenes (especially in the journey to the Jupiter Underground) display him lacking adequate protection for his head. This has led to some humor in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. community about his survival in situations where it would be impossible to survive without any kind of protective headgear. This trait is shared with others unique NPCs who wear no head protection as well.
- In the cutscene, where Major Degtyarev is ambushed by the survivors of Operation Fairway, no matter what weapon the player has chosen for him, he will always be/ shown wielding an AKM-74/2 with all the attachments, including a silencer, which cannot be mounted on any AKM-74/2 in-game.
- His name (rus. Дегтярёв) is commonly rendered as "Degtyaryev" in the English translation, although the correct transliteration is "Degtyaryov" or even more correctly - "Dyegtyaryov" (all vowels are iotated and thus effectively palatalize the preceding consonants and penultimate "ё" (note the diacritic) is read as "yo").
- Degtyarev's ID Card is written in Russian (майор Александр Дегтярёв), although a document of Ukrainian officer should be published in Ukrainian (майор Олександр Дегтярьов), as it is the only official language of Ukraine. Furthermore, it states Major's name as "Alexandrovitsch Degtarev" (Александрович Дегтярёв), which is a patronymic and a last name, a rather unlikely combination.
- He's the only protagonist so far to have his real name revealed thus far. Unless of course Strelok and Scar are the birth names of the other two.
- In the italian version of the game, Degtyarev is mistakenly stated to be an American undercover agent instead of being ukrainian. Even the intro states so.
- ^aStarting equipment.