SPIDERBUG (METRO 2033)
Metro: Last Light
The Spiderbug (frequently abbreviated as Spiders) are arachnid-like enemies and ambient creatures which appear in Metro: Last Light. They combine both the features of a spider and scorpion. However, unlike real arachnids, they are deathly vulnerable to light.
Large spiders are enemies encountered in several chapters throughout Last Light, first appearing in Reich, but first fought in Torchlight. All variations of spider will avoid any light sources, including Artyom’s flashlight, so turn on all the available lights in your area to create safe zones in case you need to retreat. When exposed to the flashlight beam, spiders will begin to smoke, turn a reddish-black color, and often backpedal away from Artyom to attempt to break line of sight, such as by scurrying behind a pillar or around a corner. Once they are safely out of the light, they will come back to attack again. Adult spiders have a thick armored shell that is impervious to gunfire, and must be flipped onto their backs via exposure to light to kill; these can be distinguished from their weaker hatchling counterparts, that are not bulletproof, by their brown coloration. Large spiders come in several different varieties:
- Male Spiders: Spiders possessing a scorpion-like tail stinger. Their primary attacks involve a stinger jab.
- Female Spiders: Spiders with a rounded abdomen and no tail. They primarily bite and claw to attack. They seem to withstand both light and fire better than their male counterparts.
- Hatchling Spiders: These spiders are freshly emerged from their egg sacs. They are a light golden-green color, as opposed to the dull brown of their elders, and cannot withstand gunfire, unlike their adult companions. All of these found in the game are male, indicating that the small spiders that hatch with them are the females.
If they’re exposed to the flashlight continuously, they will flip over. If Artyom continues to shine his flashlight at them, they will quickly die, making it unnecessary to use ammo – saying that, only a blast from a Duplet or a few Kalash rounds are enough for a kill. Artyom can also stab flipped-over spiders, although keeping the flashlight on them is arguably easier and faster. Sometimes if they are getting too close, or other spiderbugs are nearby, the flashlight trick may be useless – be ready to shoot or the quick-button event as they may pounce Artyom (usually quickly tap the action key or button), to eliminate them quickly.
Small spiders are found hanging from webs in various locations in the game. These spiders were first seen in early gameplay trailers of the game, and pose no harm to the player. Their webs, though able to slow down the player’s progress, can be burned away with the lighter.
Additionally, in areas infested with spiders, small spiders can often be seen emerging in groups of 5-10 from fleshy egg sacs along the walls and floor, and emerge when approached. They are also found clustered round various dead bodies on the surface and must be removed to access the body (and any filters, ammunition etc. it’s carrying), indicating the spiders are carnivorous, though it’s unlikely the small spiders killed any of the bodies themselves.
There is also a fish tank inside the Venice brothel that contains two small spiders, one of which will jump at Artyom when approached. This indicated that, although they are not tame, they can still be kept as pets, albeit scary ones.
These spiders seem to be immune or at least resistant to light, which might change later in their life cycle if they do grow into the adult female Spiderbug; a classification based solely on proximity to larger insects.
Large Spiderbugs are only known to be found in deepest areas of the Metro and surrounding caves where light is very faint or non exsistent. Due to their weakness to light, they cannot live on the surface. Upon discovering an area that is isolated or has almost no ambient light, they will usually cover it in webbing and then start laying eggs. Therefore, transforming the area into a nest.
Little Spiderbugs live everywhere across the Metro due to their apparent lack of vulnerability to light. Small Spiderbugs can often be seen in ventilation shafts and even on the surface eating carrion and hunting invertebrates. Small Spiderbugs however, seemingly avoid heavily populated areas of the Metro and areas of relatively intense light exposure.
Spiderbugs are carnivores that hunt by ambushing their prey or confronting prey in a horde. After the prey is killed, they likely carry it away to the main nest for food storage. The exact components of its diet are unknown, however. Adult spider bugs and hatchlings likely prey on subterranean animals such as Nosalis or Lurkers, and are known to eat humans as well, based on the large amounts of partly-eaten corpses that can be found in their nests. Small Spiders likely sit in their webs waiting for small insects to fly in.
Like the Shrimp, it’s unknown how exactly the spiderbug life-cycle works. Spiders are distinctly seperated between two sizes: large and small, with the small spiders arguably being infants and large spiders being adults of some variety. To support this theory, small spiders – though found around the metro and surface – are very frequently seen around large ones, and can be seen coming out of egg clutches whenever (sometimes only when) Artyom passes near them. However, at the same time, adult spiders, specifically the hatchling variant, are also seen emerging from the egg clutches.
The appearance of both types of spiders emerging from the same type of egg is most puzzling, reflecting either two separate, but co-existing, symbiotic variants of the same species of spiders, or several stages of reproduction: starting as eggs; hatch as small spiders in egg clutches; emerge; eat; make webs; move into new clutches; becoming hatchling adult spiders; mature; copulate. It’s possible that the small spiders emerge from egg clutches because they are disturbed by Artyom’s presence, and will eventually grow into the larger spiders. Small spiders themselves could even be independent species emerging from a superficially similar mass egg-case.
It’s also possible that the small spiders will grow up into the big female spiders as only males are ever seen hatching at full size, indicating that “male” and “female” spiders are not independent, but the same creature with a different life cycle.