|“||The last place on Earth where people live as people, where they still remember what the word human means, and how it should sound.||„|
— Metro 2033 Novel
Polis (Russian: Полис) is a collection of stations, located at the heart of the Metro, and is situated below the Moscow State Library and General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation building. It is very close to the Kremlin.
Polis is formed by the Arbatskaya, Alexandrovsky Sad, Biblioteka Lenina and Borovitskaya stations. Above ground is the Moscow State Library, formally known as Lenin Library. Throughout the Metro, Polis is known as a station with wealth and power. The platforms which encompass Polis seem to have been taken up with various machinery, with near building-like structures taking the place of housing. In the novel, there is a hierarchy consisting of the Shudra, who are the servants, the Vashiya, a group of dedicated Polis merchants, Kshatriya, the former Russian Army, special forces, and Government agents who make up the defense force, and finally Brahmins, who are the pre-war scientists, teachers, and other important keepers of knowledge.
Every individual in Polis decide which caste they want to enter when they turn 18. The four stations denominate the four groups and separate them. The Brahmin are known to pay great amounts for Stalkers to go to the Library to collect books. In the game Metro 2033, the hierarchy is not set into groups but instead one group, it is known as the Polis Council. Not much is known about the group apart from the fact that they either genuinely do not care much for VDNKh or the dark ones or are simply incapable of sparing resources to counter the threat.
Polis is a unique city-state of the Metro. Only there do the keepers of old pre-war knowledge remain in substantial quantity. All scientific knowledge became useless for other Metro states, as they slowly descended into the abyss of chaos and ignorance. Scientists from everywhere, where their skills were useless, came to Polis. Only there could one meet elderly professors from pre-war universities, the last artists, artisans, musicians and poets, physicists, chemists, biologists, and mathematicians. All those who kept the knowledge achieved by thousands of years of human history, that may or will be lost forever as they pass away. The station is also considered to be the birth place of The Rangers of Order.
Because Polis is seen by many as the last hope for humanity, the last bastion and the last think-tank, it has a sizable defensive force, the details of which are modified from medium to medium.
In the game, Polis is protected by the Kshatriya which is umbrella term for Polis' Military Branches. It includes a very large Ranger force. There are at least eight Rangers at the first entrance. The Kshatriya also includes ordinary Town Guards and Militia. The protection is around the clock, and they use the most advanced equipment for their guardsmen to ensure the safety of this settlement. Also, deployed at the entrance to Polis is a large armored emplacement with a modified tank turret and Quad-DShK machine guns.
Similarly in the novel, Polis boasts a small, but professional military corps made up of the former FSB officers and military leadership, whose buildings were right above the stations of Polis when the war broke out.
The LibraryEditMoscow State Library, the biggest information storage of the old world. After the war it was called the "Great Library" and become a religious and sacred place for Polis dwellers, the rest of Metro, with respect, calls it "Library". Only Polis of all the Metro powers can afford sending stalkers for books and other pre-war items. that is considered "old world technology". Only there, is knowledge still valued highly enough to risk ones life to acquire it. Polis hosts smaller libraries, and the people there can afford "flats" - trash-built homes in between the station pylons or columns. The rest of the Metro, aside from a few Hansa citizens, live in tents, or in even worse conditions. This may seem irrational, but because it was the last science center, it was never attacked, threatened or devastated, but rather traded with and meticulously guarded. All Metro powers were ready to defend it, were it attacked. Even the war between the Hansa and the Red Line did not touch Polis.
- When Artyom and Ulman arrive in Polis, they enter the Borovitskaya station (Serpukhovsko–Timiryazevskaya Line). This location is part of an interchange point between three other stations which comprise the whole city of Polis: the Biblioteka Imeni Lenina station of the Sokolnicheskaya Line, the Arbatskaya station of the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line and the Alexandrovsky Sad station of the Filyovskaya Line.
- The Greek "polis" (πόλις) or "city-state" was the term coined probably by one of the station dwellers, and it was only a matter of time before it became official and stuck to the place for good. The name also fits the Ranger's Spartan theme.
- In both games the Polis itself is largely unexplored, and Artyom has little to nothing to do in those levels; as most of the levels are taken over by cutscenes. The Polis made a small appearance in DLC level of Last Light.
- The council in both games are dramatically different, its possible there are several places like this.
- When Artyom enters Polis in the novel, he is forced to wear sun glasses due to the bright lighting of the station.