|“|| So... Among us you and Strelok have the most experience in the Zone. The difference is that while Strelok's experience remains hearsay, the fact that you're a pro is clear as day. What's I'm trying to say is that I'm counting on you, Major. Keep an eye on Strelok - there's not many of us left.|
The Evacuation is the finale of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, putting all of the player's work up to this point to the ultimate test.
The player must escort the survivors of Operation Fairway through the remains of Pripyat towards Prometheus Cinema, the site of the final evacuation effort. Depending on the player's actions, he may have as few as four or as many as eight characters escorting him. The initial going is easy - the Military amongst the team make quick work of the horde of Zombified Stalkers - but the run grows steadily more challenging as it progresses. Mutants of nearly every kind make their presence felt, and in the last section of the gauntlet prior to the landing site, the Monolith itself projects a massive psi-field across Pripyat - killing the player if he does not make his way to the landing site.
The last stand at the landing site pits the player and any remaining survivors against massive numbers of Monolith snipers, foot soldiers, and dreadnoughts, making it by far the most intense gunfight in the entire series. After a certain number of Monolith have been killed, the helicopters begin to evacuate personnel and the quest is complete.
It is highly recommended you at least get Lt. Sokolov out of the Pripyat Underground - and also ensure that as many of Cpt. Tasarov and his squad survive as possible. Their presence makes the finale much, much easier - they aren't good shots, but they're valuable meat shields to keep story-critical personnel safe. As well, if you found the UAV, it is vital you keep the notes you find in the related caches, and turn them over to the rightful owner - this makes him more durable.
This quest begins immediately after the player brings Lt. Rogovets back to base - the team picks up a mysterious signal, and the player is directed to inspect it, only to see that it's rapidly approaching the base. The group braces for attack, only for Strelok to appear, and bargain his information on C-Consciousness for evacuation out of the zone. So, in essence, the point of no return is reached the moment you destroy the psi-generator in the Pripyat Kindergarten.
Keep a save game here!
After several cutscenes, a massive emission hits, during which the player is given a chance to stock up on goods from the Military's quartermaster, as well as medical supplies and weapon maintenance. The emission lasts for some time, during which the player's contact count will steadily climb - you can expect around 15-20 zombies outside depending. After the emission subsides, the player can wait up to 4 in game hours before launching the mission (helpful if you accidentally start this quest at midnight!). If the player doesn't speak with Col. Kovalsky he will initiate the mission on his own after the four hours have passed.
The crew will be at least comprised of Kovalsky, Strelok, Kirillov and Rogovets. It may also include Tarasov, Valentyr and Podorozhny if they survived the Mysterious Weapons quest, and Sokolov if the player asked him to go to Pripyat, and if he survived the Jupiter Underground and the Shattering the Monolith quest.
The first obstacle is the horde of Zombified Stalkers. They pose little threat - Kovalsky, Tasarov, and any other military will make quick work of them and usually suffer no casualties. The player's goal is to escort Strelok however, and he tends to run up ahead while the others gun down zombies. After fighting through a few groups of zombies, Kovalsky orders Strelok and you to go ahead regardless - don't worry, they'll catch up. This marks the start of the next 'phase' of the finale.
The opposition for this leg of the journey varies - you always fight at least Snorks and Rodents, but depending on your progress in the monster hunting quests, a Poltergeist, Chimera, and even a Pseudogiant might make their presence known - the latter two are randomly spawned as part of A-Life and may or may not appear, hence the save game back at the start of the mission. Unless the player uses the Gauss Rifle on the two latter mutants, casualties are guaranteed - someone will take a hit before you do, and it will usually be fatal. If you didn't bring a large team you may need to quick-save-quick-load multiple times to get your entire party out of this section.
When going near the Hospital (right before the second Hind flies over the player), a Chimera will often attack the group - as the Hospital is a fixed spawn for Chimeras. If this happens, run ahead to make it attack you, and quickly kill it using a powerful weapon - the Gauss Rifle and a fully-upgraded Eliminator are weapons of choice.
After going under a building, the squad goes towards the school, where they will be attacked by a large amount of Snorks and Rodents. They shouldn't be much a problem, as the squad will quickly kill the mutants and will not suffer casualties. Just to make sure, go ahead the group and use a powerful shotgun (such as the Eliminator) to kill the mutants.
The end of this section is marked by a sudden wave of psychic emission, which hits the player for fairly substantial damage. If you have Psy-block, don't worry about it. It won't minimize the damage done. Lt. Rogovets is hit particularly hard, and starts to lag behind before collapsing. The rest of the group might stop while you run and help him - if they do, the emissions will kill them or turn them into zombies if you don't die first. Run up to the medic and 'talk' to him to whack some sense into him, and prepare for the grand finale.
The evacuation team has been ambushed - Kovalsky apparently forgot to inform them that the Prometheus Cinema is Monolith's base of operations. Monolith throws everything they have at the player and the survivors to keep them from evacuating. A Preacher will be on top of the Cinema, directly beside the letter sign. Snipe him off immediately, and focus on your right side as you and the survivors push forward to the plaza. Monolith's main forces come from the docks.
The snipers are the main threat - the Military has plenty of cover around the base of the statue, but the low walls don't protect them from above. Two more snipers will appear atop the Cinema, another will spawn atop the apartment building you ran past on the way here, and two more will snipe from the dock station's roof. Lastly, one will walk out of the Cinema doors itself. To make matters even worse, a particularly strong Monolith has taken up the Preacher mantle, chanting and leading a unit of Monolith experts from the docks. And even more Monolith will pour out of the Cinema.
In any point during this finale, if your quest updates, it means either Kovalsky or Strelok were killed. It should only update right before the final cutscene - otherwise they're dead.
The Sniper RouteEdit
The best way to go about this sequence is to assume the Military are absolutely moronic and won't watch their own rears. Immediately take down the snipers, then focus on the docks - the Monolith Fighter and his men are the main threat. Because of his sheer resiliency and the number of bullets his escort throws, you likely won't be able to take him down with the Gauss Rifle without exposing yourself to a fatal barrage of gun fire. Ignore him and focus on the other Monolith, as the finale's length is determined by the number of dead snipers and Monolith, not the quality. The others will march through the bushes, so if you have an assault rifle or sniper rifle with target-identification, it will save your life, and everyone else's.
In short - use your Gauss Rifle on the Preachers and the run-of-the-mill Monolith, and keep an SVD/Vintorez/FN2000 on hand to deal with the crafty ones.
The Close-Quarters RouteEdit
Join the team around the statue to trigger the finale, take down the snipers, and whip out your hardest-hitting assault rifle - the SG-550 Arrow and OTs-14 Groza are particularly strong here. Try to avoid the Monolith Fighter - he's the only one in the initial wave wearing an Exoskeleton so he's rather easy to pick out. Focus on the grunts, gun down the snipers that respawn, using the bushes and debris between the docks and the statue as cover. The Monolith will initially focus more on the Military - namely Strelok - so you can often gun down one group, and flank another while they fire on the survivors. You'll receive a PDA note to retreat to the statue when evacuation is done.
In summary - push the attack on the reinforcements from the docks - let the survivors handle the Cinema entrances. But keep an eye out for snipers.
Upon reaching the final evacuation, the player is given a choice to remain behind or to join the others in evacuating. If the player chooses to remain, both Pilot and Garik can escort him out of the Zone at any time, though both note it is a one-way trip for both of them (Garik, however, makes his way back in). The ending film rolls when the player leaves the zone, whether it be via evacuation or guide.
If you choose to remain, any surviving Monolith will immediately open fire. It is more advisable to flee then to try and fight them off - there's usually in excess of 10-15 Monolith contacts in the area even after you've gunned down 20-30. If you do somehow kill them all, be sure to find the Monolith Fighter amongst them, and grab his PDA.
- The final battle will be much easier if you take your time and clear out both the Cinema and Docks before going to the Kindergarten(As it's the point of no return). You will only need to deal with mission-spawned Monolith that way and the Monolith Fighter will be, of course, absent from the fight altogether.
- Bring the Gauss Rifle, and an assault rifle with 700 AP rounds at the bare minimum - put away any unnecessary drugs or items that might weigh you down and replace them with ammo. Make sure everything is upgraded and fully repaired.
- Keep tabs on the survivors. If Kovalsky goes down, the others lose significant morale and will panic or generally be stupid during the finale and get themselves killed. Likewise, if Strelok dies, the most 'important' part of the ending is bad.
- Once at the landing site, don't babysit the survivors. They have cover, but the snipers can still land potshots. Trust them to deal with the ground forces so long as you keep the snipers down.
- The Monolith Fighter will absorb an obscene amount of punishment even for an exoskeleton, but he isn't the smartest fighter and won't do much damage unless you get close to him.
- If you encounter a Poltergeist, Chimera, and Pseudogiant, you may want to reload that save, as that's essentially a guaranteed 2-3 dead men unless quickly dealt with.
- It is a good idea to bring an Exoskeleton, however it is crucial to have it with the sprinting upgrade, which Cardan can upgrade with calibration tools.
- Strelok has bursts of energy, or cowardice. At any point during the first two phases, he may holster his gun in favor of sprinting absurdly fast to the next section. You MUST follow him as he can die at any section!
- After getting past the arch near the Hospital and progressing towards the school, the squad will make a short break before pushing forward again. If the player is too ahead of the squad before it is on the move again, the squad's script will be indefinitely frozen, resulting in them standing in place near the arch and never moving towards the evac site again. The player may complete the mission by going straight to the evac site, however the psi-emission will not strike and fewer Monolith forces will be at the ending area due to the bugged script. The game will also consider the entire squad to be dead, thus resulting in the player obtaining the bad ending slides for Pripyat, Strelok, Kovalsky and Sokolov. To make sure the bug does not happen, make sure to stick behind Kovalsky when he goes below the arch, then wait for him to react to Rogovets' suggestion to walk around the school and move again to continue on.
- When Rogovets is knocked out by the psi-emission, the player may not be able to help him, resulting in his death after some time. If this occurs, reload a save prior to the psi-emission and try again.
- One or several soldiers may not follow the squad when quitting the Laundromat and stand with their weapon unholstered in the main room. On occasions, they will catch up after some time, otherwise they will remain there for the rest of the quest. The game may consider them as dead, but in some cases they will be reported as alive. Typically this affects Tarasov and Sokolov - however, it may affect Strelok, which forces the player to reload a previous save. What causes this to happen is the zombies which spawn to the left of the Laundromat. There are around 6 or 8 zombies, killing them makes the npcs follow the rest of the crew.