Non-Player Characters - NPCs
- As in all S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games and modifications, there are animated human Characters that feature in the gameplay.
- Almost all of these are controlled by the A-Life component of the Game Engine according to previously specified script, game and behaviour files resident on the game user's computer.
- These human sprites are generally referred to as Non-Player Characters or NPCs.
- These Characters are scripted with various degrees of behavioural freedom to move and interact with other NPCs within the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Lost Alpha game space.
- To aid the player (who after all is an external human) in making sense of this interaction, many of the Characters are given fixed in-game names, factional allegiance, experience and equipment to suit, and possibly a short biography for reference.
- These sprites are then listed and categorized according to these various properties here on the Lost Alpha Wiki.
- The A-life may spawn NPCs from time to time to repopulate a level or just as a scripted event.
Randomly named NPCs
- Characters may not have a stable 'bio' and may be created with a randomly generated name.
- Since these randomly named NPCs could be stalkers for any faction and may give the player useful information or be of some notable function within the game anything gained is deemed to have come from a Random stalker.
The Player's Actor
- The player controls ONE special instance of this A-life collection of Characters usually referred to as the player's Actor.
- The player moves the actor through various stages of gameplay within the Lost Alpha Zone, from level to level, encountering various other NPCs with which to interact.
Characters may stop being Characters
- Clearly the trivial case involves the death of the NPC.
- In certain instances the corpse may be reanimated as a Zombified Stalker at which point it would be considered a Mutant for the purposes of gameplay (but still controlled by the A-life of the game)
- For the most part, despite sitting around campfires swilling Cossacks vodka and going into 'bullshit mode', NPCs are classed as combatants.
- A much smaller subset such as Sidorovich, Fox, Barkeep and Deedee have more sheltered environments and should be considered as non-combatants.
- Some, like the Sin character who is seen visiting the "oso" hivemind may just be an observer or special ops.