A Gas Mask is a type of breathing apparatus designed to filter the various toxic gases that pollute the air of the surface and sections of the metro.
Gas masks are necessary for those who wander outside of the metro and out on the surface in the ruins of Moscow as the air is poisonous to any un-mutated organisms. The gas masks likely use charcoal filters as charcoal is a natural poison absorbent.
The toxic atmosphere only seems to affect the user's respiration and not the user's skin because Artyom and many NPC's can go out to the surface whilst wearing fingerless gloves and having some parts of their skin exposed. After a while on the outside, Artyom will need to change the filters on the gas mask. The maximum filter time Artyom can have for his mask seems to be capped at around 30 minutes; thus the player should pass through the surface area quickly since the filter pickup is not common, same with the vendors that sell them.
As Artyom takes impact damage due to melee attacks and bullet impacts, the gas mask will become cracked, the more severe the cracks become, the less time the filters will last. If the mask becomes broken, it must be immediately exchanged for a new one, or Artyom will suffocate. Gas masks can be found littered throughout the surface, since many people have traveled to the surface and ultimately died, their gas masks are still usable by Artyom.
There are more than 5 different kinds of gas masks found throughout the game but Artyom seems to be wearing only the full-faced standard mask regardless of suit purchased. Even if his gas mask is severely damaged or completely broken he can only replace it with another full-faced mask. Strangely at the end of the game Artyom is seen with a ranger helmet and visor instead of the full-faced mask. If Artyom sprints or jumps the gas mask time will be affected.
A mixture of different masks from different nationalities, from Czech to Russian to German to others, appear in the games.
- Artyom's breathing can be slowed down by standing near a source of fire. At this moment, putting a new filter on would give a considerable amount of duration.
- Artyom's breathing will be faster while the filter is about to be changed, this is handy in Ranger difficulties, since the indicator on Artyom's watch can be hard to read sometimes, especially if player's graphics setting is low. Paying attention to breathing patterns is more useful in Metro 2033 than in Last Light, as in Last Light the indicator on the watch is easier to notice.
- Artyom's mask becomes increasingly foggy with condensation as his filter runs out. This can be used as an easy means of telling how much time is left on a filter. In most cases, Artyom has about 50 seconds to find a new gas mask or a new filter before dying.
- In Metro: Last Light, whenever liquid gets on the gas mask (if the character is wearing it at the time), the player can wait for it to naturally get off, or quickly wipe off the gas mask. It is necessary, but the player doesn't have to do it often, but only if it needs to be done (or if the player feels like their vision is too obscured).
- In the game, if the gas mask becomes cracked, it reduces the air filter's duration. In real life, a crack in the mask would not affect the filter at all; it would simply leak in poisonous air.
- The gas mask filters the player uses are very large (bigger than Artyom's hand), but the filters appear very small before being picked up. They are likely 60mm filters.
- In Metro: Last Light, the type of gas mask Artyom and Anna (and a countless amount of other NPC's) use look almost identical to the type used by Russian fire fighters, which would not protect against radiation to a high extent. Realistically, they should be using the standard issue PMK-3 Russian Gasmask.
- When Artyom changes the filters for the gas mask in the game, he doesn't remove the current filter in in the mask, and rather just screws a new one on. In real life one of two things could happen:
- 1. Artyom can't fit another filter on the gas mask, with one already blocking the slot
- 2. By the end of the games, Artyom might have a long stack of filters on top of each other on his mask, probably being around a meter in total length. While humorous to think about, this would be highly impractical for obvious reasons (severe restriction of mobility, much more high-profile target for enemies, etc.)
- However, it is also possible that Artyom is either knocking the current filter out of his mask very rapidly (unlikely, seeing as how the filters must be screwed in), or that the mask has a quick-release lever to automatically eject the current filter in use (very few if any gas masks feature this in real life, but considering the fictional equipment of the pre-apocalyptic Russian military, it's not too much of a stretch).
- In the Metro 2033 novel, Artyom is given a tinted Full face visor gas mask with two filters on each end. So far no Russian gas mask to date in the real world has such features. However, this specific mask appears countless times in the Universe novels, alongside real gas masks like the standard issue Russian PMK-3 and the PPM-88. The mask in the novel appears to be very similiar to American gas masks. It is possible that this was a gas mask being newly pressed into military (and possibly police) service when the war started, and thus a decent supply would be found in Moscow.
- The type of gas mask used by Artyom in the novel is a MF27 industrial gas mask which is used in a number of nuclear power plants around the world. It is nearly identical to the 3M 6900 Full Face Respirator series except for a small 3M logo on the mouth covering, which the MF27 does not have.
- It is possible since this gas mask is used by a large amount of workers at nuclear power plants around the world, these were all scavanged from a number of nuclear plants in Moscow.
- Whenever you start a level that requires a gas mask there will always be a gas mask provided nearby.
- In both games, Reich soldiers and stalkers have numerous unique gas masks not seen in use by any other faction.
- In the Metro 2033 Alpha, characters wear the Russian PBF Gas Mask and the GP-7, while in the final version, the PBF was ommited and the GP-7 can be found on dead bodies.
- The Ranger gasmask has no external filters. It is most likely uses an internal porkchop filter, as the Ranger helmet is based on the Czech M10 which is based on the American M17.
- The gasmask on the cover art of Metro 2033 is the USN MARK V.
- Despite the world model mask having the filter in front, Artyom screws the filter on the left side.
- The gasmask being pulled to Artyom's face resembles an American MCU 2/P.
- The filters in the Metro games have much shorter lifespans than in real life.
Real Gas MasksEdit