This is the timeline of events for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series.

Interestingly, in Build 1935, the game was supposed to begin on August 1, 2015, 4:30 PM. In other builds, the date is constant - May 1, 2012.


  • Limansk is founded as a closed city for scientists working on affecting human minds with the use of radiowaves. The city soon gains notoriety among neighboring villages.[1]



  • The science center in what would become the Dark Valley begins construction.[4]


  • April 26: At around 1:23 in the morning, reactor number four of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explodes, releasing dangerous radioactive materials over a widespread area, and forcing the evacuation of the nearby city of Pripyat and other settlements. This event is known as Chernobyl disaster.
  • After the accident, groups of workers called 'Liquidators' are hired by the Soviet Union to build a containment building around the remnants of the Reactor 4. It was later nicknamed the Sarcophagus.
  • Institute of Crop Selection and Genetics is shut down.[5]



  • The C-Consciousness Project begins, led by scientists from The Group. The presence of numerous high powered antennae in the area, coupled with a functioning nuclear power plant and the lack of people provide the perfect setting for clandestine research into fixing humanity's flaws.[6]


  • December 26: The collapse of the Soviet Union. Several republics break away from the USSR, declaring independence, many projects are discontinued, in particular funding for Soviet military labs in the Zone. However, several project leaders are unwilling to stop their research and continue their research into the noosphere. The Ukrainian government is unable to control the situation, in part due to fear of international sanctions.[7][8]


  • March 6: Engineers working for a local contractor claim that six field Generators were built deep in the center of the Zone. Speculation abounds as to their purpose, with some suggesting they are used for some bizarre psychic tests.[9]


  • February 22: Concerned by unsettling reports about illegal experiments carried out in the Zone, the Ukrainian government performs an official investigation. After examining accounts and intelligence service reports about the tests held in the underground complexes, the state security service made an attempt to take control of the situation by sending a special commission into the Zone. Reports uncover disturbing memos by one O. O. Dobrynin. [10]


  • The Zone begins to attract attention. Rumours about strange phenomena within c.a. 10 km radius of the NPP abound, the city of Pripyat is often mentioned as a hot spot for sightings of unusual phenomena and strange creatures. After a bus full of foreign tourists disappears the authorities seal off the Zone completely. [11]




  • Unnatural forces within the Zone begin to have an influence over a wider area. Significant changes in weather patterns are noted, including hurricane winds and tremors.


  • March 4: Blinding light illuminates the sky high above the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The incident lasted two full hours before subsiding, with witnesses reporting it disappeared as if power suddenly failed.[14]
  • April 12 14:33 +2 GMT: Just over a month later, the skies are once again lit by intolerably bright light. The clouds evaporated from the sky, followed by a tremendous thunder crash, lasting far longer than normal. After the thunder faded away, there was an ominous silence, followed by a 6.9 Richter earthquake. The glow in the sky continued, spreading over the entire region, while deadly energy disturbances raged through the Zone, making any rescue effort impossible. Subsequent investigation turned up the fact, that the center of the explosion was a kilometer away from the nuclear plant itself, evidently the nuclear fuel dump going up.[15]
  • June 10: The Zone abruptly grows five kilometers bigger after an emission which came to be known as the "Second Disaster". The zone today manifested, with the very laws of science being defied. Most of the military securing the perimeter perished, together with laboratories and their crews. Panic-stricken people from nearby villages were evacuated.[16]



  • September 28: A group of Kiev scientists succeeds in creating a special device for detecting anomalous activity at a distance of up to 10 meters. This winter, an expedition in protective suits and with detectors manages to penetrate the Zone 1 km deep and returned without incident or injury.


  • August 17: Expeditions further penetrate the Zone, one locates an abandoned camp of the first "stalker". They also locate first artifacts and observe the emergence of first blowouts.[17]


  • With news of the possibility to survive in the Zone leaked, amateur researchers, marauders and poachers begin to make their way into the zone, soon becoming known as stalkers, seeking artifacts in the dangerous environments. At first ignoring them, the government is soon forced to re-evaluate their policies, as artifacts make their way into private hands.[18]
  • According to one of the stalkers in Yantar one of his friends encountered some zombies who muttered what sounded like English, presumably remnants of a foreign tour group that disappeared in the Zone ten years earlier.
  • February 4: The government retaliates against illegal stalkers, during this campaign over 70 are arrested and ten trading posts closed down.
  • Early September: The Second Emission takes place as the Common Consciousness unleashes a massive blowout in order to destroy Strelok, Fang and Ghost as they retreat from the NPP. Faction wars begin when stalkers fight to redefine spheres of influence after the emission.
  • September 10, 6:20 +2 GMT: Clear Sky begins - Scar wakes up in the Clear Sky camp after being caught in the aforementioned blowout.
  • October 25: Inevitably, a skirmish takes place between a military patrol and a stalker group. Both sides suffer serious casualties, the army is authorized to shoot stalkers on sight.



  1. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, Forester's words and architecture of Limansk indicate that it was founded well before the 1980s
  2. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, Anarchy Cell design document
  3. General Krylov: "The Agroprom Research Institute is in a good strategic location, not to mention its underground tunnels... Anyhow, some time ago we deployed a research program there to study the Zone. First we researched the anatomy and physiology of mutants. In other words, we looked for easier ways to kill them. It was a long, slow search until we accidentally stumbled on some materials in Agroprom's underground facility... Some very interesting materials, I must say. Secret experiments for controlling consciousness carried out in Soviet times, can you believe that? Those guys made a lot of headway in their research - they even managed to instill simple commands into the minds of animals. That's what led us to suspect that someone, or something, can control mutants. Unfortunately, all of our data confirms this theory. As soon as we burn down a mutant den, they retaliate with a bloodsucker attack or a pack of pseudodogs. The faster we destroy them, the faster they come at us. I bet this is no simple coincidence... I don't believe in repeated coincidences. There's something behind all this - I'm certain of it."
  4. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, the building's construction date can be seen on top of the main hangar of the science center
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Agrobg1
  6. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, C-Consciousness representative's words
  7. THQ's Official STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl website, THQ, retrieved on 18/07/2010
  8. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, Anarchy Cell design document
  9. THQ's Official STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl website, THQ, retrieved on 18/07/2010
  10. THQ's Official STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl website, THQ, retrieved on 18/07/2010
  11. THQ's Official STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl website, THQ, retrieved on 18/07/2010
  12. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Investigation report - Year adjusted to match the 2006 Zone creation date.
  13. Cardan: "Whoa, man... I guess it wasn't a dream, after all. This gun is a Gauss rifle, or item 62 as it used to be called officially. Whew... Back then I used to do contract work for the Jupiter plant. I designed weapons, if memory serves, "based on the principle of projectile acceleration via an electromagnetic field." See those reels? I made those... Too bad they shut down the project in 2004. We never did find a compact enough energy source."
  14. THQ's Official STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl website, THQ, retrieved on 18/07/2010
  15. Clear Sky website, Zone World section, GSC Gameworld, retrieved on 18/07/2010
  16. Clear Sky website, Zone World section, GSC Gameworld, retrieved on 18/07/2010
  17. THQ's Official STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl website, THQ, retrieved on 18/07/2010
  18. THQ's Official STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl website, THQ, retrieved on 18/07/2010
  19. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, investigation report
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