What does Crispy Critters mean in Atomic Heart?

I don’t think they’re talking about the robots.

Image via Mundfish

Atomic Heart is an action-packed FPS role-playing game by developer Mundfish. The game’s main combat sequences consist of shooting and slashing at enemies with improvised weapons, which can be crafted and further upgraded via the game’s crafting and cassette system. The game also features a stealth mode and a variety of quick-time events. Players play as Major Sergey Nechayev, codenamed Agent P-3, a veteran who fought in World War 2. Throughout the course of the game, the phrase ‘Crispy Critters’ is commonly heard by the player, usually uttered by P-3 during high-tension moments in the game. Here is what ‘Crispy Critters’ could mean in Atomic Heart.

Related: What is the Thought Device in Atomic Heart?

Usage of Crispy Critters in Atomic Heart

Screenshot by Gamepur

Take a shot every time someone says “Crispy Critters”, and you’ll probably end up drinking yourself dumb. The phrase “Crispy Critters” is used often in the game, though its exact definition is not known. Perhaps it is used as a form of censorship, replacing swear words. Given the context and circumstances of its usage — P-3 tends to utter those words during situations of volatile emotions — this would make a lot of sense. “Crispy Critters” does not appear to hold any cultural or societal significance in English or even in Russian, the location the game is based in. P-3 could also be using the phrase as a substitute for words he can no longer recall, given his memory issues.

The phrase could also be a reference to Crispy Critters, a breakfast cereal manufactured in 1963 by Post Cereals. The cereal has a rather catchy song in its commercial, but there does not seem to be anything linking it to the themes or characters in Atomic Hearts. Youtuber Mon Facts has briefly theorized about the significance of the phrase, though without any official confirmation from the developers, it is hard to say for sure.