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The subject of this article appears in the Metro Exodus video game.

Alyosha and I are on a recon mission - we have no idea of what is waiting for us there, although Alyosha seems convinced that there are going to be crowds of women eagerly anticipating his arrival.

— Artyom


The Taiga is the ninth overall level in Metro Exodus. The level differentiates itself from The Volga and The Caspian as being a far more linear level, with stealth and survival taking priority over exploration.

Overview[]

Plot[]

Desperate to look for a habitable place to live, but cautious of repeating previous mistakes, Miller sends Artyom and Alyosha to scout the forest valley where they plan to settle down. Having taken Krest's railcar, the duo make their way along the east side of the river bank, and along a side rail track, in hopes of securing the hydroelectric dam that dominates the scenery. Providing regular radio updates, Alyosha assures Miller that the valley will be a great location to settle down, and Anna is sure to get better from the mountain air. However things go awry as an avalanche occurs right above them and the tracks, sending the railcar and the two Spartans into the river.

Some time later, Artyom is dragged out of the reeds by a mysterious woman, who says she knows the pair are not ordinary bandits, and she will help them out providing they do not do anything stupid. Alyosha, however, is nowhere to be seen and Artyom's equipment has been washed away in the river. Arming himself with nothing but a makeshift crossbow used by the mysterious forest dwellers, Artyom sets out north in search of Alyosha and to attempt to make it to the hydroelectric dam in time for the Auroras arrival.

As he makes his way up the Valley, Artyom encounters more of the areas inhabitants. Known as the Children of the Forest, they are the former students who were studying at the valleys summer school during the outbreak of the war. Now years later, they follow the words of their teacher to ensure their safety and the sanctity of the valley. However, they have since split apart into two tribes; the Pioneers and the Pirates, both interpreting the words of the teacher differently. The Pioneers, lead by Olga, are far more peaceful, hunting the local wildlife and only turning their weapons on a group of local bandits. The Pirates, lead by Roman, are far more hostile, wanting to kill both Spartans on sight and desecrating their corpses as a warning to others.

As Artyom makes his way past various outposts and patrols, he is caught by a group of the forest dwellers, however rivalries between the two tribes distracts them from a hidden foe lying in ambush. The Master of the Forest, a giant mutated bear, suddenly appears above the group and causes chaos between them. Throwing Molotov Cocktails, the forest dwellers manage to fend it off but at the cost of their own lives. Artyom, spared from the bloodshed whilst still trapped, manages to escape and follows a trail of blood to a heavily wounded Pirate further down the track. It is revealed that this pirate managed to fish Artyom's pack out of the river, and makes no objections to Artyom taking it back as he lays dying.

As Artyom makes his way through a much larger camp, it is revealed that Alyosha was briefly captured, but had managed to escape with the help of Olga, the mysterious woman that saved Artyom, and the leader of the Pioneers. As Artyom reaches one of the cliff-side churches, he has a second run-in with the Master of the Forest but narrowly manages to escape high above into the church tower as the bear leaves once again. Due to the high ground, Artyom managed to hear fragments of radio calls from the Aurora, but is interrupted by Olga. It is revealed that she helped Alyosha to escape, and the pair have likened to one another, and she escorted him up the river and to the dam. Artyom can choose to stay to learn more about the Children of the Forest as well as visit the grave of the teacher. Olga reveals the only way to the dam, is through the marshes, where the Pirates have their base of operations.

Artyom manages to pass through the Pirates base and comes across a seemingly abandoned sawmill, it is here where he meets the Pirates former leader, the Admiral. Having been confined to a wheelchair, and refusing to give up the sawmill, the Admiral was abandoned by the rest of the Pirates and had slowly become unhinged, believing the corpses of his crew were still alive, while he imitates their voices. The Admiral, sensing Artyom is not a regular bandit invites him to sit down for tea, and discusses life in the sawmill with his crew. As Artyom begins playing a guitar, the Admiral offers to let Artyom stay before quickly drifting off to sleep.

Leaving the sawmill behind, and closing in on the Dam, Artyom makes his way through the spider infested tunnels beneath the dam. Unable to use his light, due to an unusually high level of radiation, Artyom is forced to fight his way through the spiders nest before coming out at the head of the village next to the dam. A surprised Alyosha ambushes Artyom before realizing his mistake and reveals some bad news; the forest valley is in danger due to the radioactive water behind the dam and gives it mere months before it collapses and decimates the Valley. The other piece of news comes from the Aurora, as Anna's condition has worsened considerably. Making their way down to the cliff-side church, and to the zipline across to the dam, the pair are set upon once again by the Master of the Forest. Alyosha is incapacitated and Artyom is left to deal with the bear alone. After being knocked down, the bear charges at him and causes the side of the cliff to collapse beneath it. Falling with the bear, Artyom is narrowly saved by Alyosha before the bear falls to its death.

Outcomes[]

Based on choices made during this chapter, the ending can go one of two ways.

  • After defeating the bear, Artyom and Alyosha prepare to take the zipline across when Olga and a mob of forest dwellers appear. If Artyom has not obtained enough moral points, and has been particularly bloodthirsty in regards to the Children of the Forest, then Olga will berate Artyom, and begin to fire their weapons on the pair as they zip line down to safety. However Alyosha is shot with a crossbow bolt and is knocked unconscious. The Aurora crew provides fire support from the Dam and Miller reveals that Anna's state worsens by the hour.
  • If Artyom received enough moral points, Olga will stop the mob from attacking the Spartans. Alyosha and Olga spend a moment together and he reveals the danger behind the dam. He invites her to join them aboard the Aurora, but she declines and stays committed to her people. As the duo prepare to depart via the zip line, Alyosha promises he will come back for her. They narrowly board the Aurora as it speeds past on the dam.
    • When Artyom later uses radio during the voyage from the valley to Novosibirsk, there is a transmission from a entrenched group of bandits that the Children of the Forest were moving out from the valley and killing the same group of bandits along the way.

Collectibles[]

On this level, there are a total of 18 diary entries and 5 postcards that can be collected. Despite the level being expansive, it is a lot more linear in design than the Volga or Caspian levels, and thus has quite a few "points of no return". For this reason, it is recommended that these notes and postcards are collected in the order presented.

  • Postcard 15 - Right after you collect the Helsing from the statue, go into the house on your right. The postcard will be pasted on the cupboard to your left.
  • Note on a Crossbow Bolt - When you exit onto the road, a bolt will be fired into a post next to you. It contains a note written by the pirates.
  • Unsent Letter - After you cross a small bridge, and pass a statue of Lenin, go inside the school. The letter will be on the first desk you see when you enter.
  • Postcard 16 - After you exit the school, go down the ditch and turn left instead going across. Follow the ditch until you reach a large tree, at which point turn left and go through the hole in the fence. Enter the building and go straight into the main room. The postcard will be nailed to the left cabinet.
  • Little Kid's Note - After you cross the bridge, go into the first house to your right and turn right again once inside. In the back room, there should be a note on a desk, next to a teddy bear.
  • Solemn Oath - After you climb the tower, there is a note right next to the zipline.
  • Dusty Diary - Walk down the road until you see a tree house to your left. Inside you will find a shelf with the diary on it.
  • Alchemist's Log - From the tree house, walk across a rope bridge until you reach the zipline. The said zipline will take you straight to the alchemist's lair. The log will be on his bed.
  • Lost Diary - Back on the road, walk down it until you run into a herd of reindeer. From there, walk towards the riverbank until you find a fishing shack. The diary will be on the crate right in front as you enter. This is also where you encounter a non-hostile pioneer.
  • Dusty Notebook - Before climbing the cliff and proceeding to the next objective, search for a cave to the left of it. The notebook will be on the table.
  • Calligraphic Note - To the right of the small camp with another non-hostile pioneer, there is a small house. The note will be on the stone stove.
  • Scribbled Note - Going through the main entrance of the pioneer camp, you will immediately need to turn right and go into the first hut. The note will be on the table.
  • Worn-out Letter - After ziplining out of the pioneer camp, walk through the canyon until you come across a small cave. The letter will be sitting on a crate right at the entrance.
  • Crumpled Note - Continue exploring the cave until you come across the body of a pioneer. The note will lie next to it.
  • Postcard 17 - In the bandit camp, you might notice an abandoned buss in the centre of the camp. You will find the postcard in the house above. It is pinned next to a large map.
  • Dirty Diary - Work your way towards the shore, specifically the pirate ship. Once you reach the ship, take a right until you come across a small camp. The diary will be on the table.
  • Hunter's Note - Before you get to the church, you will have to go through a gate. Next to the gate, you will see a body with the note.
  • Weathered Note - After the church, you will be able to take two paths to the pirate camp. Take the upper path until you see a billboard to your left. Right across from the billboard there is a zipline. The note will be on a pillow next to the zipline.
  • Folded Note - At the pirate camp, search the ground floor of the house where the gate leaver is. The note will be on a table right below the stairs to the upper floor.
  • Postcard 18 - As soon as you enter the Admiral's room, you can find the postcard nailed to some boards to your right.
  • Blood-soaked Letter - In the spider-infested bunker, you will need to open a large red gate. As soon as you do, search the body on the floor for the letter.
  • Unfinished Letter - After you're reunited with Alyosha, go down the street until you get to a tractor (it looks like a truck with tank tracks). Go inside the house it's parked next to (House no.34). The letter will be on the table next to a sewing machine.
  • Postcard 19 - In the same house, search the room to your left. The postcard will be pinned next to the door frame.

Weapon Attachments[]

  • All attachments for the Helsing are located in this level, as it makes a prominent appearance in it but is not found in any other level in the game.

Related Achievements/Trophies[]

ME Achievement Decommunization Icon.png Decommunization Bronze Trophy Icon.png / 5 Game points.png
Destroy the biggest statue in front of the children's camp on the Taiga level.

ME Achievement Master of the Forest Icon.png Master of the Forest Bronze Trophy Icon.png / 15 Game points.png
Stand your ground against the Bear at the first encounter.

ME Achievement 5 o clock Icon.png 5 o'clock Bronze Trophy Icon.png / 15 Game points.png
Take part in the Admiral's tea party on the TAIGA level.

ME Achievement Forest Child Icon.png Forest Child Bronze Trophy Icon.png / 15 Game points.png
Complete the TAIGA level without attacking anyone or getting noticed.

ME Achievement Sword of Damocles Icon.png Sword of Damocles Bronze Trophy Icon.png / 15 Game points.png
Complete the TAIGA level.

ME Achievement Alyosha Icon.png Alyosha (Achievement) Silver Trophy Icon.png / 40 Game points.png
Alyosha doesn't get wounded.

Trivia[]

  • The Taiga was the focus of the 2017 E3 reveal of Metro Exodus. However, the level design was considerably different.
    • The level was originally called the Volga, and the location map was considerably different, hinting towards a more open level earlier in development
    • The final section in the village is slightly different, featuring wolves and a different final fight with the bear.
    • When boarding the Aurora, instead of being helped aboard by Miller, Artyom is pulled aboard by Anna.
    • The final sequence in the irradiated spider lair was played differently. In the final version Artyom exits the facility with no enemy encounters, however in the demo Artyom is chased by packs of watchers. This scripted sequence was moved to the opening of the game, when Artyom is rescued by the Spartans during the Moscow level.
  • Artyom stabbing the watchmen from the demo is immortalized in the Metro Exodus Spartan Collectors edition statue.
  • As revealed in a developer commentary, Pavel Morozov was supposed to appear in this mission, but was cut during development. Pavel would have asked Artyom to help find his grandfather's grave.

Gallery[]

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