The Rusalki are huge, sentient war machines created long ago to guard Sudra and the Breach. Each Rusalka has a unique personality and appearance. Generally though, the Rusalki are blue-grey in color, have a machine-like body, and a humanoid face. The Rusalki's appearance can be likened most to the famous art style of H.R. Giger.
Ophelia tells Trace that "Rusalki" is Elsenova's word for these beings, implying that there are other words used to describe them. "Kuliltu" is the Sudran (Language) word for the Rusalki, and can be found in several of the game's Notes.
Throughout the game, the player will meet several Rusalki.
List of Rusalki
It is noted by a Sudran high priestess that the Rusalki arrived on Sudra over 140 to 300 years prior to the writing of that Note. Despite the Note's description of the Rusalki's immortality, they can in fact die as can be observed in Katrahaska's remains. The power of the Rusalki seems to be much greater than any other inhabitants of Sudra, and she was likely killed by a Rusalki. Upon death, they apparently leave behind Nanogates. Those extracted from Katrahaska's remains were used on Trace to control him and allow him to be rebirthed repeatedly to accomplish the Rusalki's mission.
They can self-repair and interact with the environment by controlling Repair Drones. Without the Power Filter and Repair Drones they will slowly die. When first seen, Elsenova is in a dilapidated condition, with cracks and damage to her 'head' and cables; most noticeably missing her lower jaw. Once the Repair Drones are reactivated, however, she can be seen restored, with a new lower jaw and a cleaner, newer appearance.
Through most of the game, the large Rusalki are stationary, a head attached to the walls and floors by huge tube-like metal cables. There is a hangar in Edin that houses 3 bodies that the Rusalki can mount in order to move freely in different terrain. Elsenova uses the Repair Drones to attach to the serpent-like flying type body late in the game. Two other bodies are shown in the hangar. One is scorpion or lobster-like, the other is squid-like. The squid is most likely Veruska due to the reddish color of the squid and the reddish color of Veruska, while the scorpion/crab is Ophelia due to that it's of similar color and it is also facing forward like Ophelia.
One Rusalka is a single entity. As a group, they are called by the plural form "Rusalki".
The term originates in West Slavic folklore, where a Rusalka is a water nymph or female spirit, who gives moisture to crops in the spring. They can sometimes be malevolent spirits and can sometimes leave the water and climb trees.
it also means "mermaid" in russian.
Elsenova says that the term "Rusalki" is "like water machine", which may be a reference to the water nymphs of folklore.
Related to kulullû ("Fish-Man" a.k.a. "Dagan"/"Dagon") from ancient Mesopotamian religion. Kuliltu is "Fish-Woman". They have the upper body of a human and the lower body and tail of a fish, much like merfolk.
All items (6)