Matryoshka Dolls take up the player's tactical grenade slot. It is one of two tactical grenades in Ascension, the other being the Gersh Device. The player cannot possess both; if the player attempts to take Gersh Devices, any remaining Matryoshka Dolls will be swapped, and vice versa.
Its usefulness can be hindered by its random nature of explosions, resulting in the possibility of the grenade thrower harming themselves; however, this can be remedied by acquiring the PhD FlopperPerk-a-Cola. It is a tactical grenade that does not distract zombies like the Monkey Bomb or Gersh Device. It is most useful when surrounded from all sides, as it will clear the path for the player. It is more useful for dealing with Space Monkeys than regular grenades and the Gersh Device, as monkeys are not killed by the Gersh Device and cannot throw back Matryoshka Dolls.
It may be more useful to have the Gersh Device, as it will both pull zombies towards itself and kill zombies, whereas Matryoshka Dolls can only be used for killing and can possibly damage the player that threw them, though it is much faster to use.
The Matryoshka Dolls deal a massive 100,000 damage per doll (in comparison, the Scavenger only deals 11,500 damage and the upgradedV-R11 Lazarus deals 83,000 damage) which is a guaranteed one-hit-kill up to and including round 57, and up to and including round 72 if all four dolls hit the same zombie(s). It should be noted that Matryoshka Dolls have a 0.05 multiplier against George A. Romero, and as such, can only deal up to 20,000 damage to him if all dolls hit.
There are four Matryoshka dolls scattered throughout Ascension. These dolls are characters of the four original characters, and will respond when the player presses the 'use' key with a comment in a high-pitched version of the appropriate character's voice. These comments differ when different characters interact with the different dolls. The character who activates them will also react to the doll. The locations of the dolls are:
Dempsey - Is found on the flaming barrel to the left of the Claymore buy point on the wall.
Nikolai - Can be found on top of the measuring and recording equipment, next to the Speed Cola Perk-a-Cola machine.
Takeo - Can be found on the shelves next to the PhD Flopper Perk-a-Cola machine.
Richtofen - Is in the room directly below the Stakeout, and can be found on a large table in a corner.
The dolls glow in different colors when thrown, the character's dolls, however, will glow in accordance to their point counter color.