112 Facts About the Metro Series: Books, Games and Glukhovsky
The connection between the books and games, the history of the games development, Glukhovsky’s political views and other facts about the Metro franchise that you might have missed
Games and books based on the universe of Metro 2033 are rich in various easter eggs, references and allusions to both mass culture and political realities of the past and present. And the series itself has cast a huge amount of facts, rumors and scandals over the past 14 years, related directly to the works and their authors. In this compilation, you will find facts about the universe, books, games, Glukhovsky himself and 4A Games studio.
Dmitry Glukhovsky and the Metro book series
The Universe of Metro 2033 is based on the books by Dmitry Glukhovsky. He was also the co-creator of all video games in the series.
Initially, the book Metro 2033 was called M.E.T.R.O., was published on the author’s personal website and edited according to readers’ feedback.
Dmitry still publishes his works online for free, so less fortunate could still enjoy his books.
In the online version of the original books, the protagonist Artyom died from a stray bullet. It is because of this ending that the publishers did not want to publish it.
The main sources of inspiration for the first book are Fallout 2 and daily trips in the Moscow metro.
According to Dmitry Glukhovsky, the world of Metro 2033 is an allusion to 1990s Russia.
And the plot twist at the end of Metro 2035, with the appearance of Invisible Watchers — is an allusion to modern Russia.
The printed edition of Metro 2033 was almost twice as long as the first version and was written with the expectation that a game will be based on it.
As the author says, there won’t be any book sequel to Metro 2035.
In addition to Glukhovsky’s novels, various authors from Russia and other countries are taking part in the Universe of Metro 2033 project. All books from this cycle are considered canon.
Metro 2033 is available in 20 languages.
The events between Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light are described in The Gospel According to Artyom story.
Dmitry is a big fan of the early Fallout games and the Civilization series.
In 2012, the MGM film company acquired the rights to the Metro 2033 movie, but there is still no specific information about the project.
Dmitry Glukhovsky was accused of Russophobia even before the release of Metro Exodus. Among his statements are the following: ‘’My Homeland is rapidly turning, in just a few months, from stuck in the process seemingly free and democratic country, with, say, civil liberties destroyed, but at least personal freedoms untouched — into a terrible, bitter, paranoid, infected with rabies North Korea. To a country where the political enemies are fed to dogs alive. Where there are nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, but always not enough rice to feed the scared people, who haven’t seen anything else in 50 years.’’
On August 14, 2014, on the Snob website, Glukhovsky published an article titled ‘’You are not patriots’’, in which he spoke in detail about his attitude towards modern Russia.
Glukhovsky himself denies the accusations of dislike for Russia: ‘’We are called libtards and Russophobes, although we wish our Motherland prosperity, liberation from corruption, a lawful life, rights and freedoms for every person. not just the man of the System, and integration into a civilized world, where Russia would be a mighty and free democratic power. Yes, I would like my country to be similar to the United States and compete with America on equal footing — what is Russophobic about it?’’
In 2016, a petition was created, calling on Glukhovsky to withdraw the license for the Metro universe because of 4A Games employees’ Russophobia. It was signed by 22 people.
4A Games and the first two games
The backbone of 4A Games, the developers of all games in the series, came from GSC World, who worked on the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
The future creative director of 4A Games, Andrew Prokhorov, turned to Dmitry Glukhovsky with a proposal to make a game based on Metro 2033 in 2003, before the book was finished and before the studio separated from GSC World.
Before the agreement with 4A Games, Glukhovsky received proposals for a game based on Metro 2033 from other studios. The choice fell on 4A due to the fact that they participated in the development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
Unlike Andrzej Sapkowski, Glukhovsky actively cooperates with 4A Games and believes that the games have increased the sales of his books.
Scenarios of games and books complement each other. The chronology of events is such: Metro 2033 (game or book), Metro: Last Light, the Metro 2035 book, the Metro Exodus game.
Initially, the first game in the series was called Metro 2033: Last Refuge.
The plot of the Metro 2033 book and the game coincide as a whole but differ in details.
In particular, sectarians were completely cut out from the game, to whom a separate chapter was devoted in the book, the path to Polis was shown differently, and the nuclear summer was replaced with a nuclear winter.
The episode with cannibals from Victory Park station was also scrapped. In the book, they are armed with blowguns with darts, and it turned out to be too difficult to realize in the game.
Smuggler Bourbon died in the Metro 2033 book, but in the game at the same place he survived. In Metro Exodus, we learned that he died although where and how remains unknown.
According to Glukhovsky, the differences between the game and the book are made deliberately so that people familiar with the novel did not get bored during the playthrough.
All games of the Metro series are made on the 4A Engine. Due to some similarity with the X-Ray, on which S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was developed, a scandal erupted, the details of which remained unknown to the public.
It was initially planned to give Artyom superpowers, but in the end this idea was abandoned.
The plot of Metro 2033 resembles the first Half-Life. In both games, the main character himself caused a catastrophe, after which he seeks to fix everything.
The corpse of a man suspiciously similar to Gordon Freeman can be found in all parts of the Metro series.
The voice actors of the original version of Metro 2033 worked on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. In the Redux version of the game, their characters were re-recorded.
In all games in the series, English actors speak with a noticeable Russian accent. This is done intentionally.
Artyom said only one word in three parts of the Metro series, with the exception of intermission briefings.
Initially, Metro 2033 was planned as a game with an open world. During the development process, this idea was abandoned in favor of a linear shooter.
In the Metro games, there are many Glukhovsky’ books scattered across the levels. Many fans of the series believe that such advertising destroys the atmosphere.
According to the art director of Metro 2033, Andrey Tkachenko, the first part of the series is 70% made up of real locations.
The game Metro 2033 is the first shooter developed on the territory of the former USSR to be released on consoles.
Collector’s Editions of Metro 2033 were only available on PC.
Metro 2033 was a commercial failure (1.5 million copies sold).
The wristwatch of the main character in the PC version of Metro 2033 shows the time that is set on the player’s computer.
Georgiy Beloglazov is responsible for the atmospheric soundtrack of Metro 2033. He is the leader of the band Anthestria and the author of the music for the quests Sublustrum and Phobos 1953.
The plot of Metro: Last Light was written by Glukhovsky specifically for the game.
It was the work on the script for Metro: Last Light that motivated Dmitry Glukhovsky to write the novel Metro 2035.
It wasn’t a coincidence that the communists turned out to be the main antagonists in Last Light — the political views of Dmitry Glukhovsky can be called anti-communist.
In Metro 2033, the ‘’bad’’ ending is considered canon, and in Last Light it is the ‘’good’’ one.
The endings of both games depend on whether the main character has done good deeds or not. Killing people also influenced the finale.
You can almost complete Metro: Last Light without killing. It is mandatory to eliminate only one person — a flamethrower boss at the end of the game.
Metro is one of the two really successful attempts to adapt the book into a video game. The first is The Witcher.
Before the release of Exodus, Metro: Last Light, on a par with the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R., remained the most highly valued Ukrainian game on the Metacritic website — 82 points out of 100. Metro 2033 is rated lower — 77 out of 100.
In August 2014, the first two parts of the Metro series with all the DLC and improved graphics were remastered for Xbox One, PS4 and PC as part of the Metro Redux bundle.
A lot of Easter eggs from the Metro dilogy were cut out in the remaster.
There is no multiplayer in any game of the series. Multiplayer mode was developed for Last Light, but in the end it was abandoned.
In addition to the three games for PCs and consoles, a social media game and a turn-based strategy Metro 2033 Wars for mobile phones came out based on the Metro 2033 universe.
Gas masks in the games of the series affect the gameplay — you need to change the filters and periodically wipe the glass.
The hardcore Ranger mode was added to Metro 2033 and Last Light as a DLC. Its main features are increased complexity and a complete lack of interface.
The scene with rape in Last Light caused a wave of indignation in the Western press, but in Russia nobody paid attention to it.
GO-42, where the secret government of Metro is located, is a really existing anti-nuclear bunker on Taganskaya station, which today has been turned into a museum.
It was the Bunker-42 where the presentation of the Metro 2033 book in 2007, the presentation of the first game in 2010 and the first demonstration of Metro Exodus gameplay in 2018 took place.
In addition to the Metro series, 4A Games studio has released a shooter for Oculus Rift called ARKTIKA.1.
Metro Exodus was announced at E3 2017, at the Microsoft conference. This announcement was one of the most striking and unexpected events of the exhibition.
The Metro universe
200 thousand people were saved from an atomic strike in the Moscow metro. Over twenty years of nuclear winter, the population has decreased to 40 thousand.
In reality, the Moscow metro can protect from a nuclear strike, but it is impossible to live at its stations for decades because of the radioactive contamination of the area.
Although the action of the game takes place in the Moscow metro, the coloring and type of the trains (ЕМА 502) remind of the Kiev metro.
The main sources of food in the metro area are underground mushrooms and pork. Vegetables and fish are considered very rare.
In Metro 2033 game, you can hear stories about abductions of children. This is not just a story — the worm cult really steals boys and girls for re-education.
Stalin’s USSR was taken as the real basis for the Red Line faction, and Nazi Germany served as the prototype of the Fourth Reich.
Polis, the cultural capital of the Moscow metro, is a political organization reminiscent of an ancient Greek city, and its society is divided into castes like in India.
The real basis of the Hansa — the eponymous association of the trade cities of Europe, which existed from the 14th to 17th centuries
Sparta Order is formed by the former Special Forces. Later, they began to attract newbies and train them.
Bunker D-6 is based on the rumors and conjectures about Metro-2, secret government shelters inside the Moscow metro.
Every monster in the world of Metro 2033 is descended from a particular animal. Demons — from bats, librarians — from zoo gorillas, guards — from rats, and so on.
The Dark Ones are the result of a pre-war experiment to create super-soldiers who received a large dose of radiation during the nuclear apocalypse.
To pacify the librarians, you need to look them straight in the eye. Such game mechanics are rarely found in video games.
Despite the handicraft look, all weapons in Metro games have real analogues. So, the famous Kalash 2012 is a hybrid between the AK-47 and FN P90.
At the level called Venice, you can get really drunk and wasted. When you wake up, it turns out that the main character made quite some mess in the bar.
In Last Light, you can get into Lenin's Mausoleum and see the body of the leader.
You can meet Strelok and Doctor, characters of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., in Last Light, where they act as mercenary stalkers.
The beginning of the Metro Exodus story largely coincides with the last chapters of Metro 2035.
The new project of Dmitry Glukhovsky, the audio series ‘’Post’’, tells about small states located along the Trans-Siberian highway. Something similar happens in Metro Exodus.
Initially, Exodus was conceived as another game in the Moscow metro, with stations familiar from the first parts of the series, but with an open world available to explore.
The armored train Aurora, the main transport in Metro Exodus, is called the same as the ship, the blank shot of which began the October Revolution in Russia.
The choice of a locomotive as the main means of transportation is associated with warm memories from Glukhovsky’s childhood.
Metro Exodus is the first game of the series in which there are elements of an open world and side quests.
Shortly before the Metro Exodus release, publishers announced that the PC version of the game will be released exclusively at the Epic Games Store. This provoked a strong reaction from Steam supporters.
At the beginning of the game, when Artyom wanders around ruined Moscow, you can find the Soviet gaming device called Battleship in one of the shops. In reality, such units are preserved in museums, but not in ordinary supermarkets.
On the map near the jammer, instead of Russia, the USSR is depicted. This is not a mistake, but an indication that this radio suppression device was developed before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The techno-phobic cult is partly based on the Luddites — people who destroyed machines during the industrial revolution (early 19th century).
Paganism in Metro Exodus is not a big fiction. In Russia, pagans existed before the beginning of the 20th century, and according to some sources, they still exist.
If you tune the receiver on the Aurora to the frequency of 245 CB, you will hear the song ‘’Перемен!’’ (Changes!) by the Kino band. It is considered a classic in former USSR republics.
There are only 10 copies of Metro Exodus Artyom Edition. You can't even buy it, only win in the competition.
There are tons of obscene and plainly indecent inscriptions in Russian in Metro Exodus. Interestingly, a similar situation was in the book Metro 2035, where all the characters constantly swore.
On the Artyom’s patient card at the beginning of the game, he has the surname Chyornyj although it is known that his stepfather’s surname is Sukhoi.
There is a toy plane on the shelf ‘’September, 2001’’ in the archives in the Caspian Sea chapter. This is a reference to the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
In the same place, on the shelf ‘’August, 1991’’ is a bottle of vodka. An obvious hint at the Emergency Committee and drunkenness of Boris Yeltsin.
At the Caspian Sea level, you can find the ZIL-130 truck, whose body is filled with corpses. This is a reference to the death trucks from the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
And the first room of the underground communications center reminds the center of the zone from the film Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky.
At the last level of Metro Exodus, you can see the Dark One twice. These creatures played a key role in the first two games of the series but never appeared in Exodus.
In addition, the Dark One will appear in the Caspian chapter if you smoke a hookah.
At the level Volga, you can see a raft with two hares. This is a reference to the book Grandpa Mazai and the Hares.
The sound when navigating the menu in S.T.A.L.K.E.R .: The Shadow of Chernobyl and Metro Exodus are the same.
Disputes about whether there is a real bunker in the mount Yamantau are still ongoing.
In the first two games of the series, the player's karma only influenced the ending, in Metro Exodus, it also influenced the fate of the minor characters.
Metro Exodus turned out to be the highest rated game of the series on the Metacritic — 84 points out of 100.
One of the achievements of Metro Exodus is called Decommunization. To get it you need to destroy the statue of Lenin. This is a reference to the events in Ukraine.
Shortly after the release of the game, a story went live on Russia 24 TV channel, devoted to the condemnation of this gesture by the developers.
In addition, it was stated that Metro Exodus had high ratings on foreign resources solely due to the fact that the game is Ukrainian and Russophobic.
Glukhovsky responded to these statements as follows: ‘’It is very flattering to me that the Russia 24 channel drew attention to my work. I am glad that it has triggered them. I am very pleased that I managed to poke a little bit into their hive.’’
According to Glukhovsky, the destruction of the monument to Lenin is the smallest of the political allusions that exist in the game.