This is the place where it all began, meaning the whole S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game series.
The history of this place goes back as far as 1986, when it was abandoned by its previous inhabitants, as the first Chernobyl disaster took place. They were hastily evacuated, and all their possessions were left behind. In the upcoming years the homes were broken into and plundered - the houses were left almost empty. Some time after the second incident a Trader, known as Sidorovich moved in the small bunker west of the hamlet. He started a trading business with the Stalkers and the Military alike. Some months later the operation ended, as a new commander took up the lead of the nearby Military checkpoint. Sidorovich is now one of the best known and most respected people in all of The Zone. He still resides in his underground shelter at all times trading wares, weaponry, ammunition, information and whatnot. Being situated in the Western side of Cordon, North of the Military Outpost and South of the train line. It is in the remains of a small village, just off the main road. Rookie camp is a very important traffic hub as well as safe haven for stalkers. Due to Loners' nomadic nature its hard for any of them call any place a home, however, this is one of the closest things to home a stalker can have, rookie or not. A relatively peaceful place where ever-vigilant and weary Zone wanderers can get some of the much deserved and needed rest.
The location itself is situated in a small hamlet of seven houses, with Sidorovich's bunker a few meters west of the last building. A stalker named Wolf acts as a leader and mentor among the rookies, and is later succeeded by Fanatic in that role.
Shadow of ChernobylEdit
The main protagonist, Marked One begins his quest here not knowing who he is or who Strelok is, who to make things more interesting, he is supposed to kill. This location will serve as the player's initial base of operations. Supplies can be traded with Sidorovich and a couple side quests can be obtained from Wolf, who also supplies the player with a starting pistol and some other items.
Although there is a hostile Military base to the South of the village, it is generally a safe location; although one or two fleshes, boars, or wild dogs may charge through it on rare occasion, the Rookies are usually able to handle a lone mutant or two without too much trouble. However, if the player attacks the small military squad that patrols North and South from the Military base entrance, after a couple of days an elite Spetsnaz squad will emerge from the checkpoint at the Military base and begin patrolling North up the main Cordon road. If they are not dealt with by the player, they eventually pass by the Rookie village, where they usually spot the Rookies inside and attack. This results in a large firefight the poorly equipped Rookies are unlikely to survive unless the player intervenes.
- There is a hidden Stalker Suit (Merc Suit in the patched game) in the roof of a house. For details see Leather jacket.
- Every house has something in it, so exploring them may help you at the start. The fixed items are 4 Tourist's Delights in a basement, a Stone Blood artifact, a bottle of Vodka, a Medkit and few Bandages.
- Every couple of times you enter the Cordon from another area, the blue chest will be filled with a few random items.
- There are many other various items hidden in wooden crates and blue boxes in the basements and attics to help you get started. Be sure to search every house thoroughly!
- In Clear Sky the car door in the basement lacks an emblem.
- After you rescue Nimble (but before you talk to Wolf again afterwards), Sidorovich will sell an Tunder S14 which uses 5.45x39mm ammunition. This can be very useful, as the Tunder S14 is a powerful weapon and 5.45 ammunition is extremely common.
- Dealing with the Military is not too difficult, and neither is getting an assault rifle early in the game. If you eliminate their squad when their patrol reaches as far North as possible, the Military will retaliate immediately by sending forth multiple squads of soldiers from their base. Grab all the equipment from the deceased patrol that you dispatched and run East to the border. Running East from here achieves two important things:
- It redirects the counterattacking squads away from the Rookie Village.
- It sets the Military squads up for a deadly ambush by the Cordon itself.
- Upon reaching the Eastern border, there is a Whirligig anomaly field that will kill everything that enters it. There will be rock piles marking where it is so you can avoid it. Just place yourself into position to the North of the rocks, and wait for the "fireworks". The Military squads should run into the anomalies before getting a shot off at you. After their counterattacking squads have delivered themselves to the next world, scoop up all the loot scattered on the ground (careful that you don't touch the anomalies!) and take it to Sidorovich for trading in, keeping the best equipment for yourself, of course. Then it is suggested that a thorough mop-up of the Military base is performed for even more goods to trade in, since the Military's numbers have by now been decimated by the anomaly field ambush. The road is actually the safest way into the Military base at this point, since there are minefields to the East and West of the road. Once all the soldiers in the Military base has been cleared out, don't forget to search for the documents in the commandant's office, since they are a quest item for later.
Having an opportunity to take a peek at how things worked before the events in Shadow of Chernobyl, it can be observed that time in The Zone flows somewhat different.
Apart from Sidorovich' having regular PC instead of a laptop not much has changed. However, he is not as useful a trader as, chronologically speaking, he will become, since he cannot assign as many quests and rewards, although he does pay very well for artifacts.
Rewards and quests for the Loners are now provided in the farm past the tunnel to the Northwest. The hamlet may still contain some items, but at this point in the game, Bread, Tourist's Delight, and Vodka have lost their importance. The Rookie Village even then was a harbour for many a stalker.
It should be noted that Wolf occupies the same position in rookie village that he does in Shadow of Chernobyl and does offer side quests, one of which may have some particular importance to the player. Additionally, mutants have been known to overrun and kill all residents of the village with the sole exception of Sidorovich who remains protected in his bunker. This often occurs upon exiting Agroprom for the first time.