A Snork is one of the most recognizable mutants in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series appearing in all three games. Thought to result from broken-minded soldiers left to "guard" the Zone, Snorks are recognized by the loud grunting they constantly produce. On some occasions, Snorks have also been seen talking to each other, although the "language" they use is barely recognizable.
The Snork is a horrifically mutated human soldier or Stalker, still wearing tattered remains of his uniform, boots, a gas mask with cracked eyepieces, and a flailing hose. The gas mask the Snork wears shows characteristics of both the Soviet GP-4 and SHM-62u civilian gas masks. It retains the grey color and rubber hood of the SHM-62u and the hose, exhale valve, and the tissot tube-less design of the GP-4.
Exposure to radiation and anomalies in the wake of the second Chernobyl disaster has destroyed the human mind, leaving a feral, vicious beast psyche and a twisted body in its place, creating a dangerous predator.
Snorks were first encountered on May 22, 2007, near one of the army posts at the 30th kilometer of the Zone, on the Kharkov side. An officer waiting for his shiftman's car near the post's gate was attacked by a snork, which slaughtered him with the rusty remains of a Izh 91 shotgun. The mutant was promptly gunned down by other soldiers.
Overall, the snork is 90-95% similar to a human, as it has the same general shape with no drastic modifications like claws or tentacles. Its skin is dark gray, covered with both lesions and open wounds, with an exposed spine on its back. However, despite the ragged appearance, the snork has incredibly powerful muscles and reflexes.
On the downside, the snork has poor eyesight (his field of vision is obstructed by the gas mask, and is hindered even more by the cracked lenses), but a brilliant sense of smell (his nose is the filter hose for the gas mask), which it uses to locate its prey. When not attacking, it slowly crawls on all fours across the ground, its spine unable to support its weight when standing upright. However, when attacking, it is surprisingly fast, thanks to mutated tendons in its feet. A snork can make long leaps to reach its target, and attack them with an incredibly fast series of kicks with their army boot-clad feet.
The snork cannot talk, as its vocal chords were destroyed beyond recognition. It communicates with growls, which vary in intensity and volume, the loudest being, of course, the one preceding an attack. Curiously, the lips on the mouths of snorks are missing. It is quite possible that in a desperate fit of hunger or insanity, the snork bit them off itself, condemning it to forever show its cannibalistic grin.
Originally, the snorks were called Recruits by Ukrainian soldiers.
The current name was given by a German RTL journalist Ulrich Klose, who reported about the situation in Ukraine after the accident. In his interviews he called the monster Schnorchel (snorkel), referring to the look of its face. The soldiers liked the sound of the name and started using a shortened version, snork.
The best way to deal with Snorks is through the use of a shotgun. If one is not available, try to aim for its head. A single headshot is fatal, as with all other enemies in the game (excluding the Pseudogiant). Always put some distance between you and the Snork. If it leaps, it is relatively easy to dodge by moving laterally or by crouching as low as possible, making it likely that it will miss you. It is also easy enough to shoot them during mid-flight. When in close combat with them, 2-3 knife wounds to the back, or a single knife wound to the head is sufficient enough to kill it. As with most mutants, dealing enough damage to the snork will cause it to start limping and moving at a largely reduced speed, making it easier to either flee or deliver a killing blow.
The Snork's lunge is really its only way of attacking you – it moves too slowly in its default run to hit you if you keep moving. It's easy to recognize when they're about to leap – they stand up from their crouched position before jumping. If you can, strafe them or at least try to get an object between you and it to keep the leap from connecting.
Snorks usually travel in packs of 3 or 4, and if the player does not have sufficient gear or experience with snorks, it is easy to be overrun.
Shadow of Chernobyl
Snorks become more and more common as the game progresses, although they can be most commonly found in Yantar, the Wild Territory, and Pripyat. They also live in X-18 and X16. They have also been seen near the Red Forest and on the outside areas of the Chernobyl NPP.
Both Barkeep and Professor Sakharov offer missions to purge local snork infestations: Destroy the lair of snorks in the Dark Valley and Purge the lair of the snorks. Sakharov is also interested in obtaining parts of snorks' bodies for use in research. To that effect he offers a mission - Bring a part of the snork's body.
In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, Snorks can also be found at Agroprom and, as part of a quest, the Garbage(only appearing at night, though they have also been seen during the morning hours). They can also be found in the Red Forest, and are plentiful in many underground facilities. The Snork also had its model changed compared to SHOC. The flesh around the exposed spine has been expanded and colored in an orange shade, along with several other visual changes that included more blood spatter around its mouth and better detail.
Call of Pripyat
In Call of Pripyat, Snorks can be quite common enemies, or very rare, depending on the player's choice of anomaly fields. In Zaton, they appear in the Claw anomaly field's underground section, as well as on the plateau – their lair is hidden in that area. In Yanov, they appear throughout the area, usually in pairs, but are rarer than dog packs. They are very common in the Pripyat Underground, but are rather rare in Pripyat until you initiate the Evacuation quest. Their health is now slightly higher than in other games, and thanks to massively limited shotgun power Snorks can easily survive up to a half dozen buckshot rounds from a fully-upgraded Eliminator.
However, if they are already close and you're low on ammo, try your knife - one or two stabs reliably suffice at the "Stalker" difficulty setting.
The Snorks, like most of the other monsters in Call of Pripyat, have received an AI upgrade. Instead of aimlessly trying to pounce and attack the player, the snorks attempt a more guerilla-like style, where they try to flank you, or perform surprise attacks from hidden areas. For example; if you're facing a lone snork in an area with lots of cover, the snork will attempt a hit-and-run style, where it will attack, flee, and use any cover to its advantage to flank you or attack you from behind. However, unlike in SoC and CS, the snork doesn't have any melee attacks; instead it will try to get some distance from the target stalker to leap onto him. So, ironically, trying to close the distance may not be a bad idea (especially since shotguns are weaker in CoP).
- After a long leap, a Snork will perform a roll to absorb shock, similar to practitioners of Parkour.
- At the border between Army Warehouses and Red Forest, there are spears in a line beyond the wire fence sticking out of the ground, with Snork heads mounted on them.
- Interestingly, Snorks are the only mutants encountered at the Chernobyl NPP itself.
- Archived GSC STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl Snork bio, GSC Game World, Ukraine, 2006, retrieved on 30/7/2010