The Monolith Control Center (MCC for short, also known as the Secret Lab) is a secret lab in the depths of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, accessible to player only in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl.
A lab hidden in the depths of the Sarcophagus built after 1996, it was used by The Group and served as the testing site for the Common Consciousness, and was selected due to its remote location. After the 2006 incident, the C-Consciousness set up a control center for the Wish Granter in the derelict lab, an illusion created by the C-Con to attract stalkers towards the center of the Zone and control their minds using either emissions or extreme psi emissions such as the ones emitted by the Brain Scorcher in order either to recruit them into the Monolith faction or as agents who infiltrate the stalkers community and execute the C-Con's orders (such as Strelok).
In 2012, it is visited by Strelok while trying to figure out the secret of the Zone. The level is only accessible if the player has acquired the Decoder from the safehouse in the Polissya Hotel in Pripyat and opened the secret door in the Sarcophagus (instead of entering the destroyed reactor and using the Wish Granter).
Shadow of Chernobyl
In Shadow of Chernobyl, it is the final level if one decides to merge with C-Consciousness, and the penultimate level is the player refuses to join them. Much like the Sarcophagus, the level is guarded by Monolith experts using the best weapons (FT-200Ms, GP37s, SPSA-14s, VLA Special Assault Rifles, Tunder S14s and a few Gauss guns) and gear (Exoskeleton, Monolith suit with integrated Gas mask and Scientific Monolith suits) of the faction.
The level is comprised basically of a rectangular "figure-of-eight" where free movement is constrained by two impassable metal grills, with a short L shaped extension to the actual control room.
There are 28 enemies in the area, and this obviously leads to a very difficult firefight. As the player enters the first room, they'll be flanked by Monolith from all three sides of the room (front, right and left), each having a sniper using the Gauss rifle. In order to progress the player, the player must fight their way to the left, then continue following the corridors until they arrive in the lab. Obviously it is strongly recommended to use heavy armor - fortunately, there is an Exoskeleton in the room containing the secret door in the Sarcophagus that is worth picking up. There is also another exoskeleton and a Skat-9M military armoured suit hidden inside the side rooms of the lab, which can be used for the later parts of the game. Picking up a FT-200M in the Sarcophagus is also helpful - if the player hasn't, this isn't a problem as all Monolith suit-clad stalkers in this level use the weapon.
The best way is to first shoot the Monolithians that shoot the player from behind the grate in front of the entrance, then on the right of the entrance, as they are the fewer; doing this prevents the player from getting shot from behind while progressing to the left. Afterwards, progress carefully and make sure you take out Gauss snipers at first as they can easily kill you while fighting with the rest of the Monolithians. Simply progress following the corridors until you arrive in a small lab, which is guarded by eight more Monolith experts - this will be a close-quarters combat so make sure to have suitable cover, and aim for headshots, as most if not all of the guards use Exoskeletons and are very resistant to gunshots. After cleaning the room, enter the secret lab.
The secret lab has a strange structure with an hologram of the Wish Granter in the center. There are six small projectors powering it. Destroy these - while doing so, Pyrogeists will appear in the room. It is possible to avoid fighting them by quickly destroying the power sources. After the Wish Granter is destroyed, an hologram representing the Common Consciousness appears in the room, and introduces itself to Strelok. The C-Con then tells Strelok about how they were created, how the Zone was created, and what happened to Strelok. After the end of the dialogue, the C-Con offers a choice to Strelok: either he accepts to join them in their fight against the Zone, or he refuses.
If Strelok accepts to join them, this will trigger the appropriate ending. If the player picks the other choice, this will teleport them to a tunnel where the player can leave the lab and go back to ground level, which is the final level of the game.
- The script files for the level point to the final squad of Monolith as being "Crystal"; The elite squad charged with the safety of the Monolith itself. These Monolithians must be killed before the door to the main control center opens.
- Though possibly an oversight by the developers or a coincidence, the scientist hologram's voice is eerily close to that of Lebedev's. It is unlikely, as it would be odd for it to take a "new" person into the program; however, Lebedev was at the CNPP when the third, large emission took place at the end of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky.
- The door to the Control Center itself normally requires the player to have the Decoder. However, using a weapon, it is possible to force the door to open, as seen here
- Sometimes, the player will find that the door to the hologram is also closed (irrespective of whether access was obtained with or without the decoder previously). The same note above will also apply in these circumstances.
- Pyrogeists will not spawn until the hologram projectors are damaged.
- Should the player, against better judgment, actually enter the MCC hologram room and have the door shut afterwards; head for the central dais. The Pyrogeists will not attack the player whilst within the projector ring.
- There is another locked door on the opposite side of the projector room which may be opened using a similar workaround to that mentioned above. Proceeding through this door, without attacking the projector array, leads to further walkways and shortly a set of stairs which transition to the warp game (which functions normally even though the player had no C-Consciousness confrontation) The only 'benefit' for the player by following this route would be not to score 50 quest points for solving "The Monolith's Secret"
- The fastest method of dealing with the projectors, by far, is with a Knife, as the Knife's secondary attack destroys all destructible objects instantly in Shadow of Chernobyl.