A man lies on the road. He is curled up into a fetal position, head pressed to the tarmac. Fluid gurgles in his lungs. As you move closer past the ruins of a burned out bus, he sees you, and begins to curse and plead with you in a voice you can't understand. He speaks Russian, with a strong Ukrainian accent, but you only know that because of where you are - in the radiation blasted reaches of Chernobyl. You have lost your memory, but there's one thing you have learned.
There are many factions in S.T.A.L.K.E.R., some of which you can ally yourselves with. Others start out hostile and seem to stay that way - but it's never made clear why they're that way inclined. Only a thin line of ambiguity separates the stalkers from bandits, mercenaries, the military in the Zone. You've spoken to the damaged men standing around the camp fires, swilling vodka and listening to the strains of a guitar. Few have much to say, most have none, but the untranslated Russain forms part of the haunting sound scape of the game, and the laughter a friendly counterpart to the howls of wild dogs and worse that infest the wilderness around you.