- "Hurry, there's something in here too."
- —Isaac to Daina as he is being stalked by the creatures
The Stalker is a Necromorph that attacks its prey by means of flanking and group tactics. They approach slowly and quietly in order not to be discovered whilst they get closer, making them harder to notice. They are first encountered in Chapter 4 of Dead Space 2.
Stalkers are heavily altered Necromorphs, bearing little resemblance to their original human form. Their long arms are equipped with long talons ending in sharpened tips. While not very capable at slashing, they can still impale, knock down, and rend their victims. The ribcage is displayed wide open, though as with most Necromorphs, there is a lack of any digestive organs, and only vestigial remains of previously vital organs. Well-formed musculature in the back lead to a reinforced spinal column and neck capped by the creature's most distinguishing feature: A massive, eyeless, three-pronged head with only traces of original human bone structure. The skull is largely exposed, sporting a thick cap covered in bony protrusions to aid in crushing and bashing. The upper jaw and nasal cavities are left largely intact, while the cranial dome is squashed down to provide a more even, durable striking surface, which is further supported by the cheek bones. Unlike many Necromorphs, this highly mutated skull is the hardest point on the creature, and is immune to dismemberment.
Arguably the most intelligent and opportunistic of the common Necromorphs, Stalkers work in groups to distract and flank their prey. They will run between hiding places, peek from behind cover, and try to lure victims into exposed areas. When they attack, they charge towards their prey while emitting a high-pitched screech, with their limbs tucked behind them for protection and streamlining. Stalkers will take turns in attacking victims when they feel they have let their guard down, then flee before they have a chance to strike back.
They are also quite resilient; while charging, their skulls and torsos are able to absorb dozens of pulse rounds without disrupting their attack, even on normal difficulty. They are redoubtable foes, and in large numbers or paired with Exploders are some of the most severe threats in Dead Space 2.
Since Stalkers attack methodically, there are certain patterns they use, one of which is peeking at Isaac. Peeking from around cover is usually followed up by a charge. If Isaac sneaks up on a Stalker from behind, it will run for new cover instead of confronting him. However, if Isaac approaches the Stalker from the front after it peeks out or "barks", the Stalker will land an unstoppable headbutt if Isaac goes around that corner. Stalkers also show awareness of being damaged, unlike other Necromorphs, preferring to bolt to a hiding spot if it receives any damage.
They also have an Enhanced form that has double the power, speed and health of its original counterpart. Following the death of the Brethren Moon over Tau Volantis, an alternate form of Stalker was encountered that exhibited a larger and bulkier morphology and a head crowned with large fang-like spines.
Stalkers are also known to act like animals, eating dead bodies with other Stalkers, as seen in Dead Space 3.
- The AI of the Stalker relies on the player staying to fight them, however, it does little to prevent the player from simply leave them behind; in numerous situations the player can simply run past the Stalkers' area. Incredible as it may sound, it's actually easy to sprint through them without being hit.
- Stalkers can easily become the most frustrating foes you encounter. A good way to make sure they are dead is to impale their head(s) and pull on the body. The neck will stretch until a glitch occurs, making the body vanish.
- Stay calm and keep your guard up, aim carefully and always keep a spare Med Pack.
- Use your surroundings to your advantage. Stalkers are one of the few Necromorphs that won't pop in behind you from a vent in the wall, so keeping your back to a corner during an attack isn't a bad idea.
- Stalkers will almost always spawn in pairs or groups of pairs during an encounter, and another may strike immediately following the previous one's charge.
- In Dead Space 3, Stalkers roam in even bigger packs.
- Stasis is one of the most useful tools against the Stalkers. If all else fails, backing yourself into a corner to force Stalkers to charge at you head-on, and hitting them with Stasis will turn them into sitting ducks.
- A well placed shot from the Seeker Rifle can cause a one shot kill.
- The alt-fire for the Ripper, as well as the Line Gun can both slice the legs right out from under a charging Stalker. Do keep in mind that Stalkers will sometimes dodge the blade.
- If you have the ammo available, the Alt-Fire of the Pulse Rifle will blast a Stalker from around a corner.
- A javelin to the chest, leg, or hip will stagger a Stalker, but a shot to the reinforced head is unlikely to stop a charge. Even when electrocuted, the Stalker will smash forward.
- Standing against a wall with the Force Gun held at ready, and then waiting until one gets within range during its charge to fire will knock it on its back instantly. While they are still stunned from the knockdown, one or two well placed shots from the alt fire of the Force Gun will kill them.
- Stalkers can be easily defeated when using, in combination, Stasis and the Ripper. Allow them to get close enough to be in range of the Ripper, use stasis, then get a quick easy kill using the Ripper.
- Another sure-fire method is to use the Detonator to plant a mine in the predicted path that a Stalker will use to charge Isaac. (Once they choose to charge they will run in a straight line from their location to him.) More often than not it will head straight into the path of the mine. If you're in a corner, you can also use a Detonator mine to protect a corridor so that you can focus on one direction.
- It is best to shoot at their legs since it will stop them from charging and make it easier to dismember their arms. You should always use Stasis, however, as Stalkers can crawl at an unusually quick pace compared to other Necromorphs, such as the Puker.
- If you run out of Stasis, remember that Stalkers are weak in turning corners. Wait until they get close and then go around a corner. Doing this will slow the Stalker in place, and you can easily dismember it. Beware of other Stalkers in the room.
- An upgraded Line Gun beam can kill a Stalker when aimed the head or neck in 1-2 shots, even on higher difficulties. One fully upgraded shot will dismember its legs, stopping its charge. More primary fire shots may be used to dismember its arms and finish it off.
- Resist the urge to stomp a downed Stalker. They can easily stun you or knock you down and do severe damage before you finally manage to get a stomp in, and even then it may not finish them off.
- Make sure to step aside if you're being charged at, getting knocked down will leave you open. Being knocked down may leave you open to other charging Stalkers, which could result in you being knocked down until you die.
- The Flamethrower also is effective in dispatching them. A well-timed blast of flame will burn a Stalker.
- Heavy use of Kinesis is especially recommended here because Stalker claws are useful in saving ammunition for later, as firing them at Stalkers tends to kill them in one hit (if not stun them). That, and Stalker encounters tend to have items scattered about that you could throw at them such as pikes, Stasis canisters, and even Exploder sacs (providing you've killed the Exploders first). The most notable weapons to use are dead Stalker Claws, once one is dead, others will often charge immediately. The strategy is impale, quick kinesis on the dead stalker to grab a fresh claw, repeat.
- An unupgraded Contact Beam can kill a charging Stalker in one hit, so it can be useful if you are out of stasis. However, keep in mind that the Contact beam takes a second to charge, so you may want to keep it charged and wait for them to strike if you are going to use it.
- It seems that in Dead Space 3, Stalkers have become more aggressive, charging out much more often than in Dead Space 2. It also seems that, in regards to hiding from aim, they have become more sluggish, as it is easier to nail a shot at a Stalker peeking around corners since it doesn't immediately retreat behind cover when aimed at. With a powerful Seeker Rifle, a shot can easily be made to kill the peeking Stalker.
- In both Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, the Stalker is the only enemy who can interrupt the Contact Beam's secondary fire, rendering it useless as they often will knock you over before you can fire.
- Having a powerful knockback weapon against Stalkers is very effective, as at close range it will more than likely immediately knock down the Stalker mid-charge, making for an easy kill.
- In Dead Space 3, reloading while Stalkers are active around you will often cause one of them to begin a charge. This can be used offensively; fire one bullet, begin the reload, then Stasis and kill the Stalker that attacks you as a result. Be careful if you choose to do this method, however; shooting 1 round of ammo for that weapon and then reloading will always use up 1 unit of Universal Ammunition, possibly 2 if the weapon clip capacity is below 4.
- In Dead Space 3, while the Stalker peeks around its cover at the player, if the player aims their weapon at the Stalker it is likely to charge within a few seconds of “being spotted” regardless of the distance between the player and Stalker.
- Developers refer to them as the "Velociraptors of Dead Space". There is an achievement/trophy Clever Girls, which is a reference to a specific scene in the Jurassic Park movie.
- The braying, squeaking, clicking and moaning that Stalkers utter in Dead Space 2 also appears to be based off the vocalizations of the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park.
- During later parts of the game, Isaac will encounter the Enhanced version of these Necromorphs, which boasts a higher resistance to damage but also roams in smaller packs (2-4 instead of 6-8 like their regular brethren).
- In some low-light encounters with a Stalker, when the gun's flashlight is shined directly into its eyes as it is peeking around the corner, a reflective effect similar to cats' eyes is seen. Whether or not this is a glitch, or a detail to add to the fear factor, is unknown.
- Enhanced Stalkers have four glowing lights on their heads, two on each side.
- In several locations throughout Dead Space 2, a legless Stalker will attack Isaac to distract him from the fully mobile Stalker closing in behind him.
- On the Ishimura's bridge in Dead Space 2, the moan of a wounded Stalker can be heard, even if all the Stalkers on the bridge are dead.
- Stalkers, alive or dead, cannot be beheaded.
- Crawling Stalkers are easy targets to get the "Peek-a-Boo" Achievement/Trophy.
- Another easy place to get the "Peek-a-Boo" Achievement/Trophy is during the Stalker encounter in Chapter 6 of Dead Space 2. When you reach around the halfway point in the room (before the stalkers appear), a Stalker jumps up on the crate before you and roars. You can easily stasis it with plenty of time to activate the Seeker Rifle's alt fire and land a head shot.
- In "Questions with Steve Episode 06", Steve hints that the Stalkers may be a combination of different animals on the Sprawl.
- Stalker encounters are very predictable, as they usually appear in silent warehouses with a lot of large, rectangular objects to hide behind. Stalkers will also usually emit a squeak before you officially enter the area, even if you are on the other side of a closed door.
- The first sighted Stalker can be seen running on the end of the Church Basilica opposite of Isaac, as he enters through the door. Not long after this sighting, Isaac will also have the first engagement with several Stalkers.
- Depending on the difficulty you're playing on and how much you've upgraded your RIG, Stalkers may not die if they are impaled with another Stalker's claws, even if they are hit on the head.
- Stalkers exhibit smarter AI depending on difficulty. At lower settings the Stalkers will attack much more impulsively. However, on higher settings, they exhibit more patience, often forcing you to venture deeper into their 'hunting grounds' before attacking out in the open.
- It has been suggested that Stalkers are composed, at least partially, of animal remains. Other information released on the subject claims that Stalkers are created from human siblings, whose "bond" in life allows them to work effectively as a team.
- Stalkers are the only Necromorph seen to actually take Isaac's body in Dead Space 2 off screen upon his death.
- In Dead Space 3, Stalkers seem to give a 'triumphant growl' after a successful charge and headbutt on Isaac.
- In Dead Space 3, Stalkers charge at Isaac/Carver on all fours like a dog instead of their bird-like charge in Dead Space 2.
- In Dead Space 3, during a Stalker battle, a racing heartbeat can be heard. This could indicate Isaac being nervous or terrified of Stalkers from his last encounters from Dead Space 2.
- The scripted death scene for the Stalker is one of the few death scenes that reuses some of the sound effects made by Isaac from the first game.
- In Dead Space 2, Stalkers appear in packs consisting of 2-3 of them while others hide around the area, and as the player progresses further, they start to appear and attack. This is absent in Dead Space 3, the Stalker pack appear at the same time as a group. In Dead Space 3: Awakened, developers returned to the original way, they don't appear at the same time.
- In Dead Space 3, after the initial encounter with the Stalkers, if the player manages to knock the Stalkers off the cliff to the left side and the Necromorphs land of a platform below, the Stalkers will glitch out and freeze in a walking or charging animation. They continue to make grunts and growls as well as follow the player's direction by rotating horizontally with the combat theme playing and Isaac still breathing heavily, however they can't move.
- In Dead Space 3: Awakened a new variant of Stalker is encountered.
- The variant seen in Dead Space 3: Awakened is bares close resemblance to an anglerfish, with its rounder head and large amount of pointy teeth, this may be due to them being made from an anglerfish-like species native to the once watery planet Tau Volantis.
- These species do differ slightly in their biology with an anglerfish, most notably a skeletal structure with close resemblance to a human's. That being said, Tau Volantis is an alien planet and so the chances of them existing are quite high.
- Enhanced Stalkers do appear in Dead Space 3, in Chapter 18 twice. First time combined by Enhanced Fodders and the second, with Exploders. Note that these Exploders are not crawling.
- Enhanced Stalkers actually have eyelids as they can be observed blinking, although the instance to witness this is rare.
- If a Stalker kills Isaac in a frontal charge, it will knock him to the ground. The Stalker then stands over Isaac while he attempts to fight it off by striking it in the head multiple times with his weapon. The Stalker grabs the offending arm and rips it off. It then headbutts Isaac multiple times until he stops struggling. Finally, the Necromorph drags him off-screen.
- If Isaac is killed by a charge from behind he will simply be torn in half.
- If Isaac manages to cut off the legs of the Stalker, but unable to retaliate further, the Stalker will crawl forward and slash with his claws, cutting Isaac in half.
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