|“||If not we, then who?||„|
— Ranger Motto
The Rangers of the "SPARTA" Order (Russian: Орден «СПАРТА») are a group of elite battle hardened soldiers that roam the wasteland, consisting of the most skilled and deadliest warriors in the whole Metro. The Rangers move individually or in small units helping settlements as well as fighting bandits and mutants. Some also appear to guard and protect Polis.
The origin of the Rangers are unknown, but some of the members may have been soldiers from the Russian Army or from the Russian Special Forces (Spetsnaz) before the 2013 apocalypse. They may as well have been mercenaries or some sort of other armed forces. However it is known that they have been operating in the Metro since the Great War of 2013. The group has always been led by Miller who is often referred to as "The Colonel". The Rangers have also always been the guard and military force of Polis. However, they also act independently.
Rangers seem to be greatly feared by the bandits, Reds and Nazis alike. In the level "Dry", a conversation between a few bandits near the rails can be heard. One bandit mentions how a lone Ranger single-handedly took out large groups of men and how nothing in the tunnels can stop them. The bandit also mentioned that they might not even be human because of their fighting skills. Ironically, upon questioning the bandit reveals the group was killed by a "lone Ranger" outside Riga station - the same bandit outpost taken down by Artyom when he was traveling with Bourbon. Also, in the first stage of Last Light, a Nazi officer mentions that normally the Fourth Reich does not interfere with the business of the Rangers.
The Spartans maintain a large amount of bases and outpost throughout the Metro. In both the Metro 2033 book and game, their main base is Polis. However, in Metro Last Light, after the Discovery of D6 they make their main base there. The Rangers maintain two permanent base located in churches on the surface, both known as Sparta. One is located near the Smolenskaya station, and the other near Oktybrskaya station.
After the Battle for the Bunker and during the events of 2035, the Rangers moved their permanent base to Smolenskaya station, close to Polis, and to Arbat, where Miller has set up his HQ.
What the rangers lack in number, they make up for in technological standards and are considered to be the most technological advanced in the whole metro system along with Polis. Most of them were soldiers and technicians before the Armageddon, giving them an upper hand in understanding various pieces of equipment. Pre-war Weapons are maintained by the most skilled gunsmiths the Metro can offer, giving them a Kalash over a Bastard. While the Rangers have a superior armory over any in the metro, their mechanics also make sure that they have a steady supply of well maintained Vehicles, both rail track within the Metro and off-road on the surface. Due to their alliance with Polis, they also be able to understand a lot of pre-war scientific knowledge about technology or biology since D6 and Polis are only two stations able to analyze and understand the bio-weapon unleashed by the Red Line.
Throughout the Metro games the Rangers wear a distinctive set of uniforms. In Metro 2033 , almost all Rangers, except Vladimir , are seen wearing a uniform consisting of a heavy sherpa lined jacket, combat trousers and boots, a heavy chest armor, spalders and the iconic Ranger helmet. This uniform is usually dotted with ammunition pouches, med-kits, knives and a few rangers wear it with a hood.
In the sequel and Redux, the Rangers armor has had a drastic change, with the only thing staying is the combat helmet. The rangers use a mix of black jumpsuits with armored vests, and an urban camouflaged body armor. The distinctive helmet is also used in conjunction with a Russian K6-3 helmet, balaclavas and woolen caps. Artyom and Anna are both seen wearing the Hazard suit and Artyom as well as several Rangers are seen wearing the Heavy suit.
— The Rangers of the Order War-cry
The Order have approximately 100 combat ready members due mostly to the fact that they only take in the best of the best. This is very small, even compared to Reich standards. However, what they lack in size they make up for being the greatest warriors in the whole Metro. They are the best of the best and a frequent comparison is 5 red soldiers are equivalent to one Ranger. One ranger in D6 asks another ranger what their strength is, guessing around 250. It is possible that the Order has more than 100 people, but some may be dedicated specialists such as technicians and engineers, wounded rangers, and members deployed elsewhere, meaning that there is roughly 100 combat ready members that can be drawn upon, but there are more in total.
In the novel Metro 2035, Miller states that after the battle for the bunker the Order had significant losses, with only 59 Rangers surviving. After secretive negotiations, Hanza gave the Order dozens of potential recruits, taken from their various special forces and elite units. Recruitment whittled them down to only 50 men, outstanding enough to join the ranks of the Order. In the year 2035, the orders full strength is 108, "including orderlies", and minus Artyom after he left the order.
The first Ranger Artyom encounters during the course of his journey is his step-father's friend, Hunter. Hunter has come to Exhibition because of reports of telepathic mutants attacking the station. He, Artyom, and Artyom's step-father, Alex, defend the entrance to the Hospital against several waves of nosalises. After the battle he leaves and tells Artyom that if he doesn't return to Exhibition, Artyom must deliver a message to Polis. He then hands Artyom his Ranger Token, an enameled dog tag, and tells him to find Miller in Polis. He never returns, and in the game's canon is presumed to be dead or missing.
Artyom himself had been addressed as "Ranger" a couple of times during the game. The first takes place if Artyom rescues a group of Red soldiers captured by the Fourth Reich on the front line between the Red Line and the Fourth Reich. One will say "We heard there was a Ranger in the vicinity, good work". The second occurs when Artyom returns Sasha to his mother. Before Artyom walks to the surface, one of the soldiers bids him goodbye by saying "...good luck to you, Ranger".
Artyom encounters many Rangers, and much evidence of their work along his journey in the game. Hunter's message to another ranger named Red can be found near the end of Dead City 1. The message talks about heading to Exhibition with some heavy gear, to try and help fight against the coming threat.
One man named Khan, who is affiliated with the rangers, guides Artyom to the Armory. Khan has a different outlook on the situation compared to that of the other rangers. He does not believe the Dark Ones, mutants, or anomalies are evil, they are just now what the world is, and that humanity should move on with them.
The next group of rangers Artyom meets are Pavel and Ulman, who save Artyom from being executed by two Nazis. Ulman leaves the group while Pavel and Artyom head to Polis. Pavel does not survive the trip. Artyom meets up with Ulman later on and they reach Polis
At Polis, Artyom meets Miller, the leader of the rangers. After failing to gain support from the Polis Council, Miller and Artyom decide to find D6. Miller, Artyom, and Danila head towards the library to find the location of D6. On the way, Danila is injured and must be taken back to Polis, and Miller leaves Artyom on his own to find the documents leading to D6.
When Artyom leaves the library with the D6 dossier, he is confronted by a librarian, but before the Librarian could attack Artyom, Miller and Ulman showed up in an armored car, and run it over. They take Artyom to Sparta where Artyom meets the remainder of the rangers: Boris, Vladimir, Stepan, along with Khan and three unnamed rangers.
Together the Rangers and Artyom travel to D6, and though citing a few casualties in their numbers, are able to get D6 functioning enough to send a missile to the Botanical Gardens. On the surface, Miller and Artyom encounter more Rangers, and they are all ambushed by watchers and demons. Barely making it out alive, the two make their way up Ostankino Tower where they launch the missiles at the Dark Ones.
Metro Last LightEdit
Metro: Last Light have changed very little. Garbed in new armor with the signature "Спарта" (Sparta) written on the upper back of their uniforms, the Ranger forces have occupied D6 and fortified it into their new permanent base, though they do not have full control over the facility and many of the parts remain locked or unexplored. D6 is now more extensively shown, with the living quarters of the Rangers and Artyom, gyms, the armory, and mess hall. The Rangers now move about more quickly around the Metro, using the secret Metro-2 system for quick transport. While the Rangers pose as a key faction in Metro Last Light, they do not share in nearly as much action as they did in Metro 2033. The Rangers are depicted prominently early in the game, as the rightful holders of D6, as well as later in the game in Sparta Base, and as a party in the Polis peace conference; but the Rangers are featured most predominantly at the very end, in the battle for D6 against the Red Line. The game's two endings serve as the deciding fate of the Rangers. In the C'est la Vie ending, the overwhelmed Rangers are forced to sacrifice themselves as martyrs, and destroy D6 so that the Red Army inside cannot get their hands on samples of the Virus. Conversely, in the Redemption ending, the tides turn at the darkest moment, and instead of throwing the detonation switch, the Dark One appears with his kin and helps turn the tide of the battle for victory but at great cost to their numbers.
- Artyom - The youngest and newest member, Artyom unofficially becomes a Ranger when Hunter gives him his first mission to get to Polis and find Miller. He is chosen for his natural fighting skill and marksmanship abilities. After finding D6 and wiping out the dark ones, Miller gives Artyom a Ranger badge on the spot. After the Battle for the Bunker, Artyom leaves the Rangers with Millers Daughter Anna and lives a quiet, paranoid life in VDNKh.
- Miller - Colonel and leader of the rangers.
- Ulman - A higher ranking Ranger. Artyom encounters him often. Killed in Action in D6.
- Hunter - Missing in Action - a friend of Alex, Artyom sees him as a mentor.
- Pavel - Missing in Action in the Depot.
- Stepan - Killed in Action in the Caves.
- Boris - Killed in Action in the Dungeon.
- Vladimir - The technician of the rangers, and one of the veteran rangers. He later becomes the Ranger quartermaster when the Order occupies D6.
- Danila - A lower ranking Ranger who accompanies Artyom and Miller to the Library, but is injured on the way.
- Captain Krasnov - A Ranger who works in Polis. He is only encountered once.
- Anna - Daughter of Miller and top sniper of the Rangers.
- Alex - D6 Airlock Guard, seen at the start of Metro: Last Light.
- Vladim - D6 Airlock Guard, seen at the start of Metro: Last Light. He is the Ranger who radios in the door code.
- Tomilin - Squad Commander sent to help Hansa at the infected station during the events of Metro: Last Light.
- Su - A Ranger/Stalker from the Library.
- Bar - A Ranger/Stalker from the Library.
- Kuzmich - A Ranger/Stalker from the Library. He is the group's Armorer.
- Shaman - A Ranger/Stalker from the Library. He is the group's artifact expert.
- Ivan - Squad Leader at the Ranger meeting. Seen outside the D6 control room. He talks about Miller's ideas of taking back the surface.
- Arseniy - A Ranger seen outside the D6 control room. He talks about the prospect of war and the numbers of the Red Line.
- Herman - D6 control room door operator.
- Sanya - A Ranger posted at the Church base. He talks with the gun mercheant about contacting St. Petesrberg and the survivors at the Nuclear Power Plant in northern Russia.
- Letyaga - A veteran ranger seen in Metro 2035. A Friend of Artyom, who fought in the battle for the Bunker.
- Nigmatullin - A new recruit taken from Hanza after the Order's losses during the battle for the Bunker.
- Stepan - A young ranger who took part in the Battle of D6, not to be confused with the stalker of the same name who appears in the first video game only. He returns in Metro Exodus.
- Yurets - A new recruit taken from Hanza after the Order's losses during the battle for the Bunker.
- Lyokha - A new recruit from Riga after being made a member of the Order in 2035. A companion and ally of Artyom.
Rangers mentioned, but not seenEdit
- Red - Mentioned by Hunter in a hidden tape in English dub (a possible reference to the character from the novel Roadside Picnic, a precursor to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and therefore Metro 2033).
- Ivan Petrovich - The guard captain of Polis, mentioned by one of the soldiers at the airlock.
- Romanov - The sole survivor of the Swamp ambush, he is found alone at the church base by the rescue squad, but refuses to talk or eat anymore after his experience.
- Korneyev - A high ranking ranger stationed at D6. He is given the orders to set the bunker to self destruct.
- Petr - A Ranger/Stalker from the Library, reported to have owned a pair of Night Vision Goggles. Only his corpse is found.
- Grisha - A Ranger/Stalker from the Library, reported to have owned a 'crossbow'. Only his corpse is found.
- Scalp - A Ranger Sentry at Exhibition. Mentioned in a conversation with three Rangers in D6. Was found shot in the head with the main suspects being Nazis.
- Rost - A Ranger Sentry at Exhibition. Mentioned in a conversation with three Rangers in D6. Was found shot in the head with the main suspects being Nazis. One ranger mentions it was Rost's birthday just a week prior.
- Blizzard - A D6 Forward guard. He, or his squad, are codenamed Blizzard and warn Miller of the advancing red threat.
- Sam - A Ranger mentioned by Artyom in Metro 2035.
- Styopa - A Ranger mentioned by Artyom in Metro 2035.
- Timur - A Ranger mentioned by Artyom in Metro 2035.
- Prince - A Ranger mentioned by Artyom in Metro 2035.
- Mikhailych - A Door operator in D6, heard breifly on the radio to Vladim.
- In both the game and book series, it had been mentioned that the rangers are an "Order". They may or may not have been founded by Russian Special Forces personnel after the apocalypse.
- In Metro 2034, it's noted that the punishment for betraying "the Order" is considered to be "worse than death". This is never alluded upon in the game, despite one of the main plot elements in Metro: Last Light consisting of hunting a traitorous Ranger.
- It is confirmed in Metro: Last Light that there are ranks within the order. This is shown in the English dub, when Miller addresses a Ranger as "Sergeant".
- The "Sparta" Battalion is a military unit of the separatist "Donetsk People's Republic", a self-proclaimed state in eastern Ukraine that receives humanitarian and military support from the Russian Federation. The first commander of the batallion, Arsen Pavlov (known as "Motorylo") was killed by Ukrainian Special Forces in an elevator. He was an avid fan of the computer series, which can be seen in the Sparta Battalion insignia, as it is copied from the logo of The Rangers of the Order. Ironically, Dmitry Glukhovsky has rather explicit non-sympathy towards the separatist units in Ukraine generally, and Arseniy Pavlov specifically.
- In the novel, Hunter described his order of stalkers (rangers) as "leukocytes" circling around Moscow's metro system.
- In the novel, when Artyom is being saved from the savage cannibals, several of the stalkers wore dark-brown trench coat, similar to Hunter's. This could be a way for the rangers to identify rank: ones with the trench coats are veterans, ones without could be new recruits.
- Rangers are equipped with best weapons and armor the metro can offer. Their arsenal at Sparta Base is quite extensive, containing "latest military equipment with outrageous costs in blood".
- In the live action short "Enter the Metro", the Ranger in the film looks similar to how the stalkers are described in the novel, than the in-game model.
- It appears the rangers allow those outside of the original military to serve in their ranks. For example Ulman, who was ten when the world ended, and Artyom who was allowed in the rangers after helping Miller's squad with the Dark Ones.
- Ranger armor can be purchased for an Xbox Live avatar for 320 Microsoft points.
- One piece of equipment that most Rangers do not possess during Metro 2033 events is proper camouflage clothing. During the time the surface was frozen, Rangers seem to be wearing faded woodland camo. When the snow is starting to melt and a lush green swamp starts to form, some Rangers are seen wearing urban camo (Noch 91M (Kamish urban) or GOROD-1 camo). This may be due to the fact that D6 held unique weapons and armor that the Rangers immediately utilized.
- This is most likely due to the fact most monsters hunt through non-visual means, making camouflage redundant as protection, would also be useless in tunnels where there are few places to hide, and would be a poor choice on the surface when compared to the need for NBC suits to protect against radiation hazards.
- In Last Light, although the camouflage version of their uniforms seem to be used as the non-camo uniforms, Rangers only wear their non-camo uniforms during the battle of D6.