As their name implies, the Cannibals feed on any humans unfortunate enough to visit their bunker. They are mostly made up of construction workers, non-military personnel and a handful of surviving officers, trapped in the bunker when the bombs fell. While the government never arrived, the bunker's inhabitants soon discovered the food reserves were much lower than planned. It was not long until they started resorting to cannibalism to survive. They eventually managed to repair the antennas, and used them to transmit radio signals throughout the wasteland.
They turned their bunker into a Venus fly trap of sorts, luring other survivors to it by posing as the government. While the leadership and officers still retain their wits, most of the Cannibals appear to have gone mad, likely as a result of a neurodegenerative disease such as Kuru (which is spread through cannibalism). One Cannibals note mentions that the Doctor noticed an increase of Prions in his blood, indicating a possible Rabies infection as well. This would make sense, as a cross infection of Kuru and Rabies would theoretically result in an individual going quite mad. They behave as little more than feral animals, driven solely by their need to feast on human flesh. In combat, they will mindlessly charge their opponents with melee weapons, with little sense of self-preservation. While a few do wield firearms, they rarely take cover, standing in the open and wildly firing from the hip.
The Cannibals meet their end when they lure and capture Miller, Artyom and Anna. They are saved when the rest of the Spartans arrive, freeing Miller and Artyom. Together they fight their way through the bunker to find and save Anna. Artyom manages to reach Anna, who is being held captive by a Cannibal leader known as The Doctor. Artyom is briefly recaptured by him, but is rescued by Anna when she manages to free herself and slit the Doctor's throat. The pair then regroup with Miller as he executes the rest of the Cannibals' top brass in the bunker's command center. Meanwhile Idiot is searching for data in the center about radiation free areas and surviving military installations, which points the Aurora crew to the Kaspik-1 communication centre near the Caspian Sea. The Spartans then disable the Bunker's external communications and escape the base successfully while fending off the rest of the Cannibals and trapping them in their own bunker.
With all form of leadership being disposed of, it is likely the remaining Cannibals will starve to death and kill each other for food, since they are feral, no longer have the means to lure new victims, and are trapped within the bunker.
- The Cannibals share similarities with the Savage Cannibals of the Great Worm Cult from the Metro 2033 novel. Both are a group of survivors that became trapped in their shelter and were forced to resort to cannibalism to survive, both lure survivors to eat them, and both fight with mostly primitive weapons. Additionally, while the Cannibals live inside a military bunker, the cult lives near the entrance to one (D6).
- The Cannibals may have been inspired by a few lines of dialogue from Metro 2035. Notably, Savelii says that the Government, if they made it to Mount Yamantau, are probably eating each other. Later, Bessolov jokes that if he and the rest of the Invisible Watchers evacuated to Mount Yamantau, they would probably end up eating each other.
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