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Lurkers (Russian: singular Кикимора) are a pack-based species of burrowing mutants revered by players as being both an incredibly annoying and unnerving foe.

OverviewEdit

Lurkers are comperably small creatures that are on the lower ends of post-appocalyptic food chain. They are very fast and tend to jump up from holes in the ground and launch themselves at threats or food. They often show up in packs of one to three at a time, even if more are in the area. Lurkers are mostly scavengers that press in upon carcasses, and rarely hunt live prey. They have almost pink skin and no body hair whatsoever. They also possess a second pair of eyes, which are very small and are probably useless as they appear to be milky white (a sign of blindness).

Lurkers congregate in recently abandoned metro stations, feeding on the corpses of humans and mutants alike. They have "warrens", burrows that allow the Lurkers to transit between holes as a means of flanking prey. The holes that they use are often (if not always) above lower rooms of the stations, indicating that their burrowing abilities aren't very good and that they prefer to use large, empty spaces to save them the trouble of digging a new warren.

Lurkers tend to only attack lone humans as opposed to large groups, another behavioural trait of scavengers, such as when Artyom is making his way through Hole Station and carrying Sasha. Bourbon warns Artyom of this early in the game when a lone Lurker is seen fleeing before them.

The Lurkers of Metro: Last Light look completely different than their counterparts in Metro 2033. They have light brownish tan skin, a short neck with a pronounced droop, and a head that resembles a cross between a reptile's and an insect's with very small, beady eyes. This dramatic change may simply be attributed to artistic license, but it seems more likely that the name "Lurker" is just a catch-all term for a number of mutant species, many of which may be related to watchers.

Metro Exodus features a redesigned Lurker, this variant has the appearance of a hunchbacked, very large, simian-esque rat. This Lurker's body is covered in pink skin and mangy black fur that seems to be balding heavily around the head and chest areas. It has large back paws twice the size of its front paws, and possesses opposable thumbs. The large back paws are possibly an adaptation that helps in the digging of tunnels.

TacticsEdit

MLL Lurker Chaosian

Dealing with lurkers can be very easy or very annoying, it all depends on how the player approaches them. While individual lurkers can cause severe damage, lurkers frequently attack in groups at a time. After striking or missing contact, they will retreat into their holes. The player should remain cautious, however, as they can come out of the holes behind Artyom at any time.

Moving into lurker territory with guns blazing is not recommended. Instead, trying to find a spot where there are no holes behind, like a solid corner or structure with one entrance, will guarantee a better chance of survival. If Artyom moves into the middle of their territory, he will provoke them, if this happens, retreat to a safe spot. Doing this will force them to run squarely into the barrel of a revolver (or any other weapon), which can dispatch them with one shot to the head (an easy shot to make when they're running straight at Artyom). Shotguns are also a good choice, but only at Hardcore or Ranger difficulties where its stopping power is large enough so that Artyom can take them out at longer distances. Like most melee enemies, however, they tend to jump when they're close. That means the player might end up telling Artyom to pull the trigger just as they're flying over his line of fire.

It should be noted that lurkers are the only mutants that are actually more dangerous in Ranger pack difficulties. Their normally modest damage is made much higher, and their mobility is their defence, so increased damage of Artyom's weaponry won't help as much. Because they attack fast and in groups, Artyom can be shredded in a matter of seconds.

Similar tactics as used against librarians can be used against lurkers, as they usually don't come out of their holes if the player looks at them, and tend to like to attack from the back. They often retreat if the player spots them while trying to sneak up from behind. This could be very useful when playing in ranger difficulties as they are much more powerful. It's advised to not rely completely on this, however, as they might still come out and attack.

When dealing with them in the area requiring a gas mask in Defense, it's best to provoke them and then retreat to an area with no gas (like at the top of the stairs). Otherwise, they might seriously damage the player's mask.

Lurkers will rarely appear out from a burrow the player is staring at, instead, milling about beneath, waiting for the player to look away, given away by the sounds of their movement and growls. A stick of dynamite down the warren (provided it doesn't fall too far down) will kill any lurkers nearby.

As a final note, contrary to popular belief, there are no places in the game where Lurkers spawn indefinitely. Even in the first area of Child, they will eventually stop spawning (Artyom will need to kill somewhere in between 20 and 40 of them, however).

Related Achievements/TrophiesEdit

Metro 2033Edit

Ach-Fire in the hole Fire in the Hole 30 Game points
Kill 20 lurkers

Metro 2033 ReduxEdit

Fireinthehole Fire in the Hole Bronze Trophy - 15 Game points
Kill 20 lurkers

TriviaEdit

  • The name "Kikimora" (sometimes anglicised as "Kikimore") comes from Slavic mythology. The Kikimora is described as a small humpbacked woman with a thin body and small head. Creatures with the same name also appear in another game made by a Slavic studio, namely in Wiedźmin 3: Dziki Gon (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt).
  • If you fall down a hole belonging to a lurker, you will hear the sound of gnawing on your body, shortly before you die. Likewise, in 2033 Redux, it results in a short cutscene of Artyom falling down the hole, followed by a Lurker jumping in and pouncing on him.
  • According to the game developers, these monsters are truly navigating their way between their holes in the game, not just being placed in a random hole near Artyom.
  • Lurkers are the only mutants known to have been domesticated in any numbers. A performer at Theatre Station uses one in his show (though it is rather poorly trained or the creature itself is not suited for training for show), and Kuzmich owns a much smaller and more tamed one that he allows to perch on his shoulder; thus they're one of the few mutants that do display a considerable degree of intelligence. 
  • The Metro 2033 model is used for baby Watchmen in Dead City in Metro 2033 Redux. All instances of actual Lurkers, on the other hand, are replaced by the Last Light model.
  • Meanwhile the Lurker usually identified along with the Watchmen, the Game series shows the Lurkers are indeed a separate species as their dwellings/nest and behaviour towards the watchmen are noticeably differentiated and hostile.
  • It is unknown what the Lurker might have mutated from, but considering its average quadrupedal form along with a noticeably elongated tail, it's possible that the animal might be the heavily radiated and mutated result of pre-war cats. This would also explain their tendency to attach to humans and capacity for being domesticated. Although other explanations, such as smaller dog breeds or even large rats, are highly possible. However the re-design/appearance of the Lurker in Metro: Exodus; openly confirms that they are likely descendant/evolved; albeit heavily altered/mutated; from large Rodents; most likely the semi-feral rodent population of moscow and perhaps siberia.
  • Lurkers were suspected to be juvenile/sub-adult stage of watchers. There are notable visual similarities between the two, both physically and behaviorally. This is evident in Defense when a Lurker can be seen performing a rare start-combat animation, the watcher's trademark pose. Furthermore, in Metro 2033, both lurkers and watchers had two sets of eyes, and in Last Light, both now only have one set of eyes. Both hunt in packs, share the same general body composition, and very similar movement and attack animations. However, there is no concrete evidence to legitimize this claim; the creatures potentially exhibit what is deemed similar behavior as a result of sharing, potentially, the same ancestor, or a result of convergent evolution to adapt to the same ecosystem. The games also seem to differentiate the two creatures; this is more evident in Metro: Last Light. This is further re-enforced in Metro Exodus, that features a considerable redesign of both species, with the lurker now resembling a rat much more closely.
  • Lurkers are; very likely; on the very lower ends of the post-appocalyptic world's food-chain; despite their enlarged size and intelligence; they are likely hunted by every predator on the surface such as Demons; Watchmen; elder/adult shrimp; even nosalis. Seeing as their scavenging (and likely hunting smaller creatures) and elusive/more prone to run rather than attack/ behaviore; along with the fact that Lurkers are more underground dwelling species that likely come to surface only when they have to.
  • While infiltrating the Munai-Bailer oil rig in Metro Exodus, Artyom will encounter several dead lurkers and spiderbugs. Upon closer inspection the lurker corpses are those of Metro Last Light's lurkers, rather than Exodus's lurkers. This might suggests differentiation on Lurkers; as different breeds/variants/subspecies; or could be an oversight.

GalleryEdit

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