|"It's up to you, User. It's all up to you."|
This article contains multiple options that are determined by player choice.
- "What do you mean 'lapdog'? Huh? I'm the only one that knows what to do."
- — Samuel Stuhlinger, in Buried cutscene
After the destruction of the Earth, Samuel J. Stuhlinger was one of the few survivors left from the missile launch, and took shelter in a survival group called "The Flesh", who claimed that eating the flesh of the zombie hordes was the only way to survive their new anarchic world. This act of cannibalism granted Stuhlinger the ability to hear voices within the Aether, however the contact with the infected flesh gave him symptoms of the zombie virus.
Due to unknown reasons, Samuel left the group and met Russman, and the two commandeered a robotic bus to traverse the now-chaotic Earth in relative safety. Later, the bus stopped off at a small Town in ruins of Hanford, Washington, where they rescued fellow survivors Misty and Marlton from a horde of zombies. The group fought the zombies together and Samuel was contacted by Richtofen, who commanded him to polarize a pylon located in the town needed to enact his plans. Meanwhile, Dr. Maxis also contacted the survivors in hopes of them polarizing the pylon in his favor.
Regardless of their choice, Richtofen teleported Samuel and his survivors to a series of crumbling skyscrapers in Shanghai, China, where the second polarization device needed was located. There, he contacted Samuel once again and blackmailed Samuel into helping him, threatening to reveal his former affiliations with the Flesh, while Maxis also insisted the four aided him.
After powering the tower in either's favor, Russman led the group through the ruins of Europe and Africa, hoping to find answers at the Rift in the Namibe Province of Angola. There, Richtofen contacted him once again to polarize the third and final tower located above the Rift, although Samuel felt reluctant in aiding him.
If the player decides to follow Maxis' side of all three Easter Eggs, Samuel will fail to fulfill Richtofen's commands, and Maxis begins the process of destroying the Earth to reach Agartha.
If the player decides to follow Richtofen's side of all three Easter Eggs, Richtofen enters Samuel's body and uses him as a physical host on Earth, with his eyes now flickering blue as the Earth begins to repair itself using the energy from Argatha.
Samuel is a Caucasian man with a mustache, charcoal sweater, green vest, khaki shorts and glasses. He has short, grey hair, and appears slightly overweight. He also has a fanny pack.
Samuel is incredibly paranoid and seems to be a conspiracy theorist. He is frustrated with the lack of explanations to the events that occur and so he creates his own theories, often involving aliens or government cover-ups. Riddled with guilt due to his history of cannibalism, Samuel does not like to talk about himself around the others out of fear that they will either kill him or abandon him if they knew his secret. Samuel hates Misty and dislikes Marlton, but likes Russman.
- Main article: TranZit/Quotes#Samuel Stuhlinger
- Main article: Die Rise/Quotes#Samuel Stuhlinger
- Main article: Buried/Quotes#Samuel Stuhlinger
- He is referred to in game files as "
- Samuel says very odd things after killing numerous zombies, most of which have to do with him becoming hungry after killing them.
- In one of his quotes, Samuel pronounces his last name "Stuh-ling-jer" despite, most of the time, the other characters pronouncing it "Stoo-ling-ger."
- In Die Rise, Samuel uses Russman's nickname for Marlton, "Darlington", to mock him.
- When drinking Quick Revive, he says, "So you want me to use this to keep the others alive....but WHY though?", indicating he does not really like the others. He also says that it tastes like horse puke.
- Stuhlinger favors pistols, reacting favorably towards the Executioner, Python, both single and Dual Five-sevens and B23R, in contrast with other characters who react negatively. In Die Rise however, he reacts negatively to the single Five-seven, saying "fuck you box" when the player obtains it.
- In Buried, Stuhlinger has blood stains on his face and the right lens of his glasses have cracked, as well as having some parts of his clothes ripped.
- The others seemed to have learned about Samuel's ability to talk to Richtofen. In the opening to Buried, Russman mentions how all he knows is "Whatever the German tells him to think."
- Stuhlinger lost one of his big toes in a shotgun accident.
- He seems to be hated by Marlton, although this is only supported by a few quotes throughout Buried.
- It seems that Samuel smells bad, as suggested from quotes of the other three survivors and by Richtofen at the end of his endgame on Buried.
- According to the end of Buried easter egg, Stuhlinger hates salad.
- Samuel's favorite food is cheese, as one his quotes mentioned in TranZit.