Tag Archives: zombies

A Conversation with A Video Game Zombie

“Hello everyone and welcome to another thrilling episode of ‘Behind the Video Game.’ I’m your host Chad Baker, and I like to interview the talent behind the video games you love. I also like to search out the unknown stories behind your favourite games. Tonight, I’m speaking to ‘generic zombie #099.’

But, hey folks, I’m gonna quit yappin’ so we can start the interview.”

***

The zombie’s exposed skull is dripping wet. A large chunk of brain falls from its head and splats on the ground.

Chad: “Oh, I think this belongs you.”

Chad picks up the chunk of brain and plops it back into the zombie’s hollow head.

Zombie: “Err” [grunts].

Chad: “So, tell me, how did you get started in this business? What was your big break?”

Zombie: “Grrrrrrrrrr”

Chad: “Ha! Ok, not everyone likes to talk about their past. I get it.

I understand you appear in an upcoming game. Tell me about the work you’re doing on the new Left 4 Dead. How’s that going?”

Zombie: [Screeching and hissing].

Chad: “I see. Boy am I hungry! Let’s you and I get a bite to eat. That’ll help break the ice, and maybe make you feel a little more at home.”

Suddenly, the chain tying the zombie to his chair snaps. The undead monster lurches forward with an outstretched and rotten arm.

Zombie: “Brrrrraiiiins!”

Chad: “Oh my! This interview is over. Tune in next week, folks, when we talk to a Goomba. In the meantime, run!”

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Video Game Zombies Take a Break

A sinister night has descended upon an innocent town. A large, white moon provides a touch of light and beauty. Then the camera reveals two zombies standing peacefully on a plain black road with a bright yellow line. The zombies are surrounded by trees that seem even darker than the road’s asphalt. Nothing else is visible. There is no escape.

Zombie 1: “Hey Fred, how long you been out here?”

Zombie 2 takes his cigarette out of his mouth and turns around. One of his eye balls is hanging by a thread.

Zombie 2: “Ha! Too long, Sam; this new guy is terrible.”

Zombie 1: “Yeah, I’ve heard things: I heard he once got lost at the start menu.”

Zombie 2: “You heard right. You know, I saw him wandering around in circles for 30 minutes. I just shook my nearly hollow and decomposing head. Then I had to stop and have a smoke to settle my nerves.”

Zombie 1: “Man, they sure don’t make gamers like they used to.”

Zombie 2: “You’re right about that my friend. You’re right about that.”

Awkward silence.

Zombie 1: “Hey, so, did I tell you my son is getting married?”

Zombie 2: “Wow! That is great news. Little Jimmy is all grown up, huh?”

Zombie 1: “Yeah, yeah and it feels like it was only yesterday when his mother and I watched him eat his first brains. We’re so proud. Now Sarah and I are thinking about retiring. I mean we paid off the mortgage and…”

Zombie 2: “Look! Here he comes. Act stupid.”

Zombie 1 and 2: [Snarling] “Grrrrrrrr Brains!”

Player 1 ran in to a tree and appeared on screen. He looked up and then down and couldn’t walk in a straight line.

Zombie 1 and 2: [Sighs].

Zombie 1: “This is going to be a long night.”

Fred shakes his head and Sam facepalms himself.

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Watch out for the Darkness!

The evil henchmen lurk in the shadows while a halo shines over the hero’s white robes. Darkness versus light and good versus evil are common story themes, and I wish more games used darkness and light as both a game mechanic and theme.

Alan Wake is one example of a game that uses darkness and light well. You fight enemies and explore a dark landscape with flares, flashbangs, flashlights and more. When the forest around Wake becomes foggy, when the eerie music oozes out of your speakers, the tone is set for a battle between good and evil, darkness and light. Of course, you can also shoot enemies. Shooting is effective, but it’s also a bit of a problem.

See, I think a game could use all light-based weaponry to combat darkness. What exactly is a light-based weapon? I mean something that makes use of light to either stop an enemy or solve puzzles.
Leave the guns behind. They are in enough games. I propose, instead, that games should rise above mere guns,  explosions and blah, blah, blah, etc.

Imagine you play as a character who shines a light to save people. You turn the corner, not knowing what to expect, and break out into goosebumps at the next sight. You see the disfigured faces of a swarm of zombies moaning and groaning in the moonlit night. Your light frees these poor souls from their undead prison–and voilà–they become human again. That’s unexpected.

When we talk about darkness and light, we normally talk about a book or movie theme. Unlike a reading a book or watching a movie, you get to play with darkness and light in games. Non-gamers, who like a good story, might want to play just so they can take an active role when they experience this theme. And I, as game lover, would love something unique to play. So this is one game theme and mechanic that I hope see more of in the future.


 

What are some of your favourite games that use darkness and light in the story, gameplay or both?

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I am not Going to Talk about Video Games

People might say I talk on and on about video games until I fall down and fall asleep.

They might be right and this time I’m gonna change.

I’m not going to mention those words once…starting now.

But–gosh–you know I tend to babble on like a brook.

There’s no room for others’ small thoughts

sometimes I even interrupt myself during a…Wait! What’s that sound?

Oh, just a bird

Because my voice drones on about leveling up as if nothing happened.

People hear all about what it’s like

to stay up until the birds start chirping

while I save the universe with a controller in my hand and my eyes magnetized toward a screen.

They don’t want that.

They don’t want me to talk about extra lives or one ups.

Forget game over screen and difficultly settings.

“They are too violent and bloody”

“They warp your mind.”

Others don’t want to hear about speed runs or how you charged through a hail of bullets without a scratch or splinter.

Zombies and shovels are in, right?

Oh, can’t mention them, sorry.

New consoles and specs that make grains of sand visible

You better believe that’s unmentionable

Oh well, at least they let me play, even if I can talk about it.

There! I did it. I didn’t babble on endlessly, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t mention video games, right?


This silly post started with a simple idea: I would promise not to talk about something and then spend the entire post discussing it—in a roundabout way.

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Achievements Gone Wild

Running around in circles in search of a missing golden banana. Sound like an obsession or good fun? What if I told you there was an achievement at the end of the tunnel?

Well, some people might obsess over achievements to the detriment of everything else in their life. Others dismiss achievements as pointless or stupid. Still others, such as myself, like to earn a fair achievement after they finish a fair challenge. And I bet there are even more opinions on the topic of awards in video games.

Now it’s time for you to be the judge. I have three scenarios below. Two probably show someone having fun while earning an achievement. A third, well, it’s a bit extreme.

1. It Never Ends

After you spent 70 hours playing a game, you unlock an achievement. You didn’t look at every blade of grass. Instead, you wanted to explore the beauty of the world. After all, the digital world needs someone to appreciate it too.

2. The Merchant of… Zombieland?

You need to shred 1000 pounds zombie flesh, what’s left of it anyway, with your handheld Civil War era gatling gun. Ammo is scarcer than water in a desert. You’ll have to run around and look in every haystack to squeeze out every bullet. Then, you’ll earn a series of achievements.

3. Green with Obsession

You have to collect the last green gemstone to unlock an achievement. In your search, you stumble upon the stellar scene of a star’s birth but don’t even bat an eye. You repeatedly die and never progress in the game because the final gemstone is, figuratively speaking, lodged in your brain. You will never stop until the gem is yours.

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The Video Game that has Everything

A bunch of suits sit in silence and stare with cloudy eyes. On the top floor of a large black building, in a glass encased room, they sit behind an infinite wooden table. Then a tall man walks in, he towers above the rest, and his suit outshines everyone at the table. The suits sit so far away that only the color of their tie distinguishes them.

“Right, what have you got for me today ladies and gentlemen?”

“We want,” said a young man who trembled as she presented his ideas, “to make a super creative adventure game about zombies. They say zombies have risen again in popularity… from the grave. Ha ha”

“Ah,” shiny suit replied, “There are tons of games about zombies out there. We need something fresh. I mean that literally. I want to put the word fresh on the box. Rotten and decomposed zombie corpses are anything but fresh.”

A short, man with a double chin stuttered and spoke, “What about Nazis zombies? Nobody likes them; they’re perfect cannon fodder for gamers.

Shiny suit rubbed his chin and stared at the ceiling. “Hmmm I think Nazis are good enemies, but others have done it. We need something different.”

“Ok, ok I got it,” said the double chin man. “Aliens abduct the Nazi zombies and equipped them with advanced weaponry. Sometimes the alien zombies’ arms fall off and the guns become useless. The falling arms will set the game apart.”

Before the shiny suit could open his mouth, a cadaverous gentleman spoke. “I’ve got it: evil demons, who were buried on ancient burial ground, possessed the alien zombies.”

“Hmmm,” shiny suit mumbled.

The cadaverous man interrupted,  “Ok, so the alien zombies have chainsaws too and use them to mince and to eat human pâté.”

“Still sounds like it’s been done before. And what about the costs?” said shiny suit.

“We’ll cut down on costs,” said the double chin, “because the enemies will be waves of clones. They’ll all look the same. And the hero will also be a copy and past job from our last game. He’ll have a shaved head, white skin and a square jaw. Oh, and he needs a bad attitude too.”

Then the cadaverous man asked, “but do you think we have enough monsters?”

Shiny suit interrupted: “Yes, that’s a great idea. If we aim for a Halloween release date, we can throw in some other monsters for the season. But no one has talked about explosions yet. Have we met our quota for this game?”

“You’re right sir,” said double chin. “As you can see from this chart, we’ve got have the obligatory guns and explosions.

“Ok,” said shiny suit, “but let’s recap what we agreed on today.”

Everyone at the other end of the table spoke up. “The game is about waves of demon infested and chainsaw-wielding nazi zombies who turn into bloodthirsty werewolves during a full moon.”

“Okay,” said shiny suit as he slammed his gavel on the table, “This matter is settled. Let’s get started.”

“Next order of business: world domination,” Double chin said.

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How to Become a Zombie

how to become a video game zombieYou don’t need a zombie to bite you. You don’t need an environmental disaster to transform you into one of the undead. There’s also no mystery about how to transform from a human to a zombie. In fact, millions of people can transform into zombies from the comfort of their living room. This practical guide allows you to play all the video games you want and still become one of the undead. You’ll crave brains in no time!

* Note: this process is expensive and can take weeks to finish.

How to Become a Zombie in 7 Easy Steps

1. First, find a desolate basement devoid of any light. A nice bunker is ideal. If you can’t find a decent abode, nail wood over the windows.

2. Ensure you have no contact with the outside world or friends and family. Contact with these people is healthy, and this behaviour is very un-zombie-like.

3. Ensure there are no food sources nearby. So empty your fridge and focus on the task at hand. Then, as a reward for your hard work, you can eat some hands as a zombie.

4. Ensure you have a comfy couch. Ideally, you want to know the couch better and can’t stand to be away from it.

5. Ensure you have all the latest video game consoles and a high-end PC. Plug all of them in front of the couch and place the handhelds next to you. You’ll want huge TVs. The TVs should make your local movie theater seem like a fossil from prehistoric times.

6. Now play video games almost non-stop for one week.

7. Your skin will slowly turn green. Most of what little brains you had will shrivel. You will start to drool puddles of saliva on yourself, but you’re not salivating because of normal hunger. Your hunger for human food – plant or animal – will dissipate. Instead, an insatiable appetite for brains will overpower all other urges.

Congrats! You’re now a zombie.

Please note: I cannot guarantee you will become a zombie.

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