Metro 2033 Wiki


705pages on
this wiki

2033NovelIconTransMetro 2033 icon v1 by kamizanon-d48tkwjMetro last light icon by robertocrespo-d4790ssMLLFacPacNovelIconTransMLLTwrPacNovelIconTrans

Metro2033 (2) 2010-03-23 14-08-41-71
Black Librarian
General information


  • Sparsely-haired primate
  • Large, muscular arms, legs, shoulders and back
  • Large forehead
  • Large flappy nose structure that covers teeth
  • Long, three membered hands and feet


Various punches


The Surface

Derived from:

Of primate, human or gorilla origin.


Librarians are huge, quasi-intelligent creatures so named by the metro-dwellers due to their habitat - the Moscow State Library. Only encountered in a select section of the book and later in the games, they are some of the most powerful and frightening enemies Artyom will have to face in Metro 2033 - and serve as the climax enemy for the Stalker in Metro: Last Light's level: Kshatriya. Fortunately, only a few of them are encountered, and only in the library. They also appear in Metro Last Light's Tower Pack in the final simulation area where 3 are fought separately.


In both canons, librarians are much less deformed than other mutants of the Metro, resembling ordinary Gorillas in both posture and overall physical appearance, though they are much larger and have longer and thinner arms. In the game however, they have a fearsome visage, as their faces, somewhat humanoid, have one lip that covers their shark-like teeth and snout. This is caused from the nose and upper lip of their human progenitors fusing over successive generations. They are very territorial and will confront anything that appears to be a threat. They show signs of aggression by roaring and raising their upper lip, showing their teeth as a deterrent like most modern primates do. They are so powerful and territorial that they will even fight a demon if it enters the Library.

Notorious for being some of the most dangerous monsters that inhabit the wastes of Moscow, librarians are very difficult enemies, resilient enough to withstand many point-blank shots even from powerful weapons like the Duplet, and whose attacks can kill Artyom and the Stalker of Kshatriya with a few vicious sweeps. They are quite agile and capable of high jumps despite their size, and most importantly they have enormous physical strength, at least on par with the demons, and more than enough to tear apart a human being with their elongated fingers. They are one of the most intelligent mutants found in the area.

They also appear to be omnivorous as they have cultivated large amounts of plants in several areas.


Librarians have a somewhat low level of intelligence that can be compared to a Gorilla. However aside from Humans and the Dark Ones, they are one of the most intelligent creatures still alive. Librarians have unique abilities that come from the fact that they are mutated primates. They can memorize small pieces of literature, place traps, and even semi-communicate in the form of creating a temporary neutrality by staring a human in the eye. Aside from this, the Librarians' intelligence is largely undiscovered. In Metro: Last Light, Bar and Su can be heard talking about one Librarian that can apparently utter short sentences about overdue books and that it is an albino.

Metro 2033Edit

Common LibrarianEdit

Common librarians are covered in gray-blue skin and are found all throughout the Library, mainly occupying the top floors. These librarians are more passive and less dangerous than black librarians. They will curiously but also aggressively confront anything that comes within range of them, if they feel there is no threat, they will back down and walk away. Artyom can prove that he is no threat by standing his ground and staring it down until it walks away. However, if Artyom turns his back on one, it will take its chance to attack. Librarians can also use their territorial display to get within striking range of Artyom; they will not hesitate to attack if that happens. A librarian can still be stared down if it becomes hostile - though this is uncommon. If Artyom attacks one, however, they will not relent until either Artyom or the librarian in question is dead.

Black LibrarianEdit

In the archives, under the library lurks a variant of librarian notable for its thicker fur and darker skin, whose head is also deformed and has tumorous bulges, lacking the large lip of its cousin, and is much more aggressive than its grayish relatives. Fortunately, they are often found sleeping in nests of torn-up books and can be stealthily avoided. They are more territorial than the common ones but can still be avoided, even if awoken. After being stared down, or having lost interest, they will retreat, but unlike common librarians they can return very shortly, frequently hostile. This gives the player only a narrow window of opportunity to escape, or to reload and find a better vantage point.

Metro Last LightEdit

Librarians are not encountered in the standard Metro: Last Light campaign, but make an appearance in Metro Last Light's The Faction Pack DLC that was released in July 16th. They are encountered after passing through a heavily irradiated area with a single Demon, in the first area where Artyom first directly encountered them in Metro 2033.

The librarians of Metro Last Light's Faction Pack partially differ in physical stature to their 2033 counterparts. While before the librarian held similarities to that of a massive gorilla, never before has the comparison been more accurate. Last Light librarians are thicker in size, in particular to the arm and torso, and, keeping in step with the nuclear spring are slightly browner in coloration. They also display the distinctly gorilla-like behavior of beating their chests as a sign of aggression toward the Stalker.

Gameplay wise, librarians appear to have undergone moderate changes - mostly to make them more manageable "glass-cannon" sort of foes when the player's equipment is minimal. Staring down a librarian, once a tactic that required some skill and patience, is now a far more automatic feature of the seemingly less-aggressive librarians. This is exemplified in that librarians now have a tendency to flee mid-combat, only to return moments later in varying levels of hostility. This can sometimes lead to moments in which they are able to be stared down, even after taking considerable damage. To further make them easier enemies, librarians can not only be completely bypassed by sneaking, but do not hold up tremendously well under fire. Direct hits to the librarian's skull have a low, but very notable chance of stumbling the creatures, and, though they still retain a considerable level of health, have been recorded as taking as little as three shots from a Shambler on Ranger Hardcore to be killed, on the other hand it can take as many as twenty shots to kill one on Normal mode with the same weapon. Perhaps to counter this, the librarians of the Faction Pack have tremendous damage output, rivaling if not surpassing those of 2033. Even if armored, a good hit or two is enough to flat-out kill the stalker on the Ranger difficulties.

In the Tower Pack that was released on September 3rd, they can be fought in the final simulation area. Here, the player goes against 3 but separately. It is highly recommended they should be fought with spawned teammates and using the placed mini-gun. But players should be careful as numerous nosalises' may swarm while fighting against the Librarians.


Staring DownEdit

All librarians in Metro 2033 and Last Light have been tested, and can all be stared down with enough practice, skill, and luck. The player can have Artyom or the Stalker avoid all by following Miller's advice and staring them down; stare into one's eyes long enough and it will back down and retreat for a short period. Though the player will usually have the most trouble staring down a Libarian in 2033, the same basic rules apply for Metro Last Light.

General eye-contact is key when dealing with a librarian. The player should be standing and facing directly at the target to achieve the best effect. Librarians are not set off by the readying, aiming, or holstering of a weapon, nor by the raising of a watch in Metro 2033 - which can all be used to better help align Artyom's view to the head of the target.

When engaging a librarian of any variety, the approach is vital - it's best that Artyom start the encounter at a safe distance and on the terms of the player. Advanced players of Metro 2033 will find situations easier to predict and control, and thus, easier to manage when they are intentionally walking down certain corridors with viewpoints ready for an oncoming librarian, or intentionally stepping on glass or bone while turned to a single librarian.

Proximity is also key when handling a librarian. The player's avatar should never be closer than a meter to the librarian, lest risk attack. Conversely, he should never be too far - further than around three meters - or risk it approaching him- a danger for the two ending up too close together. If the librarian does approach when non-aggressively, players should begin to plan their steps ahead of time, adapting to any odd pathfinding librarians might have.

Similar strategies can be applied to the black librarians of Metro 2033. Staring them down is very possible, though players report the rules of engagement for black librarians to be much "stricter" than those of the common librarian, as these are more hostile in nature. Constant eye-contact is a must, and movement should be pre-planned. For sleeping librarians, stealth (or sneak attacks in Last Light) is the best tactic, but if Artyom or the Stalker is wearing the heavy armor, or he has awoken them, he cannot sneak past them, and will have to fight or run.


If awoken or otherwise engaged, the next best tactic is to hit and run, sidestepping around a pillar or jumping onto something elevated where they cannot reach. Point-blank shots to the head from shotguns, MGR-loaded or pneumatic weapons are the best to use on these beasts - due to their very high health. Polis is the final shop in the game, so MGR have no retail use after this point.

On normal mode it takes about eight Helsing bolts to kill one if the player can make at least one headshot. Consequently, both protagonists can take their adversary down with around three to five shots, depending on where the others hit (3 if all your shots hit the head). Librarians attack in a fairly slow linear pattern; therefore, taking calm, accurate, headshots with an over-pressurized Helsing can bring them down easily and quickly if you are skilled. A good tactic is to hit them with as many as possible and then, when they retreat, to pump and reload so when that when they come back, they will only need few shots to finish them off. It is also wise if Artyom has a Helsing when he enters Polis, the player should have him purchase some bolts.

Another good weapon to use in Metro 2033, if the player has the ammo for it, is the special unlock Heavy Automatic Shotgun - due to its lethal rate of fire with medium-damaging bullets. Three quarters to a full box is usually enough to kill them, as when a librarian charges it will often put its head into the crosshairs, and when combined with the barrel climb, makes the Heavy Automatic Shotgun an excellent weapon to use. Five to six consecutive headshots are sufficient in Ranger Hardcore difficulty, making it trivial to kill one's way in one side of the building and out the other. Another strategy is if Artyom is wearing the Heavy Armor and doesn't have the Heavy Automatic Shotgun, the Automatic Shotgun with a bayonet is another sound solution - pumping half of the shells into its face and then charge a bayonet stab.


Contrary to Miller's advice, it's often easy to outrun librarians since they cannot turn corners as well as Artyom due to their size, following Artyom by burrow is even slower. Running in straight line is dangerous due to their sprinting speed, so try to slow it down. The librarians also have trouble following Artyom if he runs into confined spaces like stairs or catwalks (the player can use this fact to their advantage to take a break during level Archives, although they will attempt to follow you and jump up to the catwalk, they cannot really reach you). You should be safe if you run to the airduct, its obvious that the librarians cannot enter. Artyom can also stop and shoot back from these places. However, running into a dead end or falling into a hole is disastrous, so a backup weapon is still a very good idea.

In the NovelEdit

Librarians are one of the enemies Artyom actually encounters face to face in the book. They very quickly attack Artyom, Melnik, Ten and, Daniel when they enter the main hall of the library. They are described identically to their appearance in the game (however, the game model lacks the pointed ears). Black librarians, or any other variation, however, are not encountered. Librarians are depicted as quasi-sentient creatures that hunt and move in packs of two or more individuals. Also, they are intelligent enough to imitate human speech with frightening accuracy, though whether they understand what they say or not is unknown. This could suggest that Librarians were ordinary human beings before the destruction of Moscow, and that the severe irradiation of the city drastically mutated them. Later Daniel is killed by a librarian sticking its claw through his stomach from behind. Interestingly, when Daniel then talks, the librarian mimics the words, and then starts mixing them and telling Artyom to "go away" - suggesting librarians retain a high level of intelligence. Librarians are also fond of growing huge plants in the novel, again suggesting high intelligence. Unlike the game, librarians also venture outside into the Library courtyard but still they go no further than this.

Related Achievements/TrophiesEdit

Metro 2033Edit

Ach-Heavy Reader Heavy Reader 20 Game points
Kill a librarian

Metro 2033 ReduxEdit

HeavyReaderR Heavy Reader Bronze Trophy - 10 Game points
Kill a Librarian


  • Another notable, perhaps intelligent action performed by one was placing ammo in a hole in the wall as a trap. If Artyom attempted to grab the ammo, it would grab Artyom through the wall and attempt to kill him, but will back off if Artyom doesn't break eye contact. This can be completely avoided however by not grabbing the ammo before going to the other side of the wall. The librarian will retreat after he reaches the other side of the wall, and the player can get the ammo.
    • This happens again in the Faction Pack DLC when retrieving the balalaika in the same location. Interestingly enough the exact animations from the previous game are used again for this scene. This is likely to be a throw-back for series fans.
      • On another note, unlike in the previous game, this encounter can not be avoided by going to the other side of the wall. Even killing the librarian walking around the area just causes another librarian to immediately spawn and warp to the position after triggering the encounter.
    • The same scare tactic is used in Undercity, though not by Librarian.
  • Another sign of intelligence allegedly shown by at least one librarian is the ability to read passages of text and mentally process them into speech. As they rest in the hub during Kshatriya, Bar and Su may be heard discussing rumors they apparently heard from Shaman (who they seem to consider to be a reliable source) regarding sightings of an albino librarian overheard talking to itself about overdue books and fines, words which could easily be found in pre-war documents scattered around the library it lives in.
  • The ape origins of the librarians is highly believable, since these creatures share their posture, attitude and intelligence with apex primates such as gorillas. The way they live, in small packs in a restricted place considered as safe, is also quite indicative. Though gorillas are restricted to Africa, the librarians may have mutated from zoo animals, since Moscow does have a zoo (Moscow's zoo, the most ancient menagerie in the country). Other creatures (mutated bears, demons and watchers) could also be derived from zoo creatures (wolves, bears, tigers, etc).
  • The librarians could be a reference to Terry Prachett's Discworld series of fantasy novels, where the librarian wizard of the Unseen University is transformed into an Orangutan because of a magical incident involving the most powerful book of magic on the Discworld. On discovering that being an Orangutan had certain advantages for a librarian - he can climb up to high shelves, for example - he refused to be transformed back into a human and has remained an Orangutan ever since. 'If someone ever reported that there was an Orangutan in the Library, the wizards would probably go and ask the Librarian if he'd seen it.'
  • The Librarians are considered aggressors of demons as seen in Metro 2033; when Artyom enters the elevator, a Librarian will attempt to attack him. The Librarian then spots an incoming Demon and retreats to plan an ambush in an attempt to ward off the dangerous mutant; the duo fight each other as Artyom watches; only for his elevator shaft to be brought down by another Librarian attempting to kill Artyom.
  • Arguably the best weapon, however, to take them down with in the Ranger Modes would be the Volt Driver, as in both Ranger Easy and Ranger Hardcore, it can take them down in 2 shots. This easily kills them even before they have time to attack the player, if they don't attack from the rear.
    • Another good weapon against librarians is the sticky grenade, it takes two to kill one. Though one of the grenades doesn't have to be a direct hit, the second should.


Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki