Sorry for the lack of updated posts!

Both authors of this blog are currently working and getting ready for college. When possible, we will find time to post. Thanks for all the views and comments and hang in there.

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Weapons Anyone?

Which weapons would you be most likely to use during a zombie apocalypse? (Reminder: using pistols allows double pistol action. Sweet, sweet action)

1. Pump Shotgun
2. M-16 Assault Rifle
3. Frying pan
4. Molotov
5. Machete
6. Uzi
7. Desert Eagle
8. Glock 19
9. Katana
10. Grenade launcher
11. Yourself (yes, you can be a weapon)
12. Guitar
13. Banjo
14. Average, garden variety hoe (get it?)
15. Baseball bat

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Left 4 Dead: The Green Flu

For those who love to indulge in zombie games, one might partake in playing the Left 4 Dead series. It is a simple shooter game where you play as one out of four survivors and set out to find an evacuation center. In the first Left 4 Dead, both comic and game, they introduce a virus that has brought about the apocalypse: the Green Flu. The Green flu, or lovingly nicknamed The Infection, appears to resemble a rabies-like pathogen. Amongst the uprising of this infection, CEDA (Civil Emergency And Defense Agency) concoted a coverup, stating that the infection was merely a form of Influenza. This was likely done to avoid mass panic amongst the people.

Yet, throughout both games, signs are seen stating “it is not a flu” which may signify that CEDA’s attempt to qualm public chaos had failed. On a containment scale, The Green Flu is rated at about a biohazard level four organism (which is a large scale containment). There are many different facets of this virus, though (or at least appears to be). There are the “stock zombies” which are also referred to as “Common Infected” which are simply the normal kind o’ zombie. Then there are the “Uncommon Infected.” Although not clearly presented with an answer when researching, I theorized that the virus evolved into different strains. This is what led to the development of the Boomer, Hunter, Witch, Smoker, Spitter, Jockey, Charger, Mudmen, and Tank. If you are not sure what these zombies look like, you can address an earlier post on this blog in which I explain the four original Uncommon Infected.

In the second game, four new Infected are introduced. They are known as the Spitter, Jockey, Charger, and Mudmen. The spitter is an infected woman who sports a fantastic half shirt and torn pants, her lower jaw is mutated an ripped back leaving her mouth a large gaping hole, and she secretes and acidic green “goo” that severely affects the survivors. The Jockey (the most annoying one) attaches itself to a survivor’s head and tries to ride them into the arms of other zombies, off a ledge, and even into acidic green goo. It’s about two feet high with a jagged backbone, a mutated mouth, and long lanky appendages that it uses to attack the survivors with. Another is a Charger. This infected has an abnormally large right arm which it uses to ram into survivors. You can tell a Charger is nearby because of either A) It runs into something near you, or B) You hear a noise that strongly resembles a cow. Now, the Mudmen are only in the level Swamp Fever. They look like normal infected except they partially submerge themselves in swamp water, and when you shoot them an explosion of mud will drench your screen. In the second game, there is also a variation of the Boomer, lovingly nicknamed “Boomette.” I decided to keep her under the same category as Boomer, since she does the same thing as a male boomer.

As a player in Left 4 Dead, it is steadily revealed that the four survivors are in fact carriers of the disease. This brings me back to Tuberculosis. As an example, you can be a carrier of the Tuberculosis Myobacterium but you are not showing symptoms. Instead, you may be able to infect other people around you. In the comic Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice, you find out that after the first four characters (Zoey, Francis, Bill, and Louis) are evacuated to a base they end up as medical experiments. Since the personel on the base are still following CEDA’s infection control guidlines, every soldier is wearing a mask when in the viscinity of the survivors. Zoey, the youngest survivor, and Bill, the eldest, get into a scuffle in which one of the soldiers (set there to guard the doctor performing experiments) loses his helmet. The soldier cries out “Don’t breathe on me! Don’t bleed on me please Jesus, dont.”

Zoey further discusses this with the doctor. It appears the carrier gene is paternal, meaning that it is passed on from the father. Zoey then begins to recollect on an incident when the virus first broke out, and a zombie broke into their home. Her mother was bitten, then turned, and her father was forced to kill her, but only after being bitten himself. Zoey’s father then jokes  about zombie movies, stating “You remember the part in all of ’em when they had to shoot the one guy before he turned?” to which Zoey responds “Yeah we always made fun of that part.” With their last ‘I love yous’ said, she executes her father out of mercy. Only until this point in the comic did she think he was going to turn when, in fact, he was a carrier but if injured would not turn into an Infected.

Then, in Left 4 Dead 2, the four survivors (Ellis, Nick, Coach, and Rochelle) all find out that they are immune to the virus. Whereas the first group of survivors were carriers. There is a crossover in the second game, where you can download a level called The Passing. In this level, the four surviors from Left 4 Dead (except Bill, and if you are an avid fan of L4D, then you know why) and the survivors from Left 4 Dead 2 meet up. Nick, Ellis, Coach, and Rochelle need help lowering the bridge but Zoey, Louis, and Francis will only agree to helping them if they go down and fill up the generator. I suggest downloading and playing this level, it is definitely the most exciting.

WARNING: Below is a picture of a spoiler in The Passing. If you don’t want to waste a surprise then don’t view the picture I took when playing this level.

While playing this level, you had to run down to fill up the generator. The first time while playing this (as Ellis, always Ellis) I was trying to collect gas cans. I ran into this room and saw something glowing and followed it. It wasn’t until I was closer that I realized it was Bill, dead in the exact position in which he died in the comic. I was instantly saddened but took a picture nonetheless. I love when video game creators incorporate little facts like this. Kudos to you, Valve. Although you killed off one of the best characters I loved that you put a little spin on the sequel.

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World War Z: A Book Review

I’m not too worried about revealing spoilers for the book because there is no real plotline to ruin. It’s not following specific characters who are on some quest, so there is no “Oh, Snape kills Dumbledore at the end of Book 6” kind of spoiler (sorry if that Harry Potter spoiler just ruined someone’s day). So, with a clean conscious, I shall continue.

World War Z is utterly fantastic. It’s written in an interview-style point of view, post-zombie apocalypse. It tells of a world struggling to regain some measure of sanity after mankind and society has virtually been wiped out by an undead scourge. The interview is conducted with a wide range of people to truly capture a unique perspective of the zombie apocalypse from many people’s point of view. From military to pop stars to suburban families, Max Brooks leaves no perspective untouched.

The military bits were my personal favorite. The realistically portrayed scenarios and combat situations were what sold it for me. From their struggle to break away from traditional military tactics (after all, what good are fear-inducing techniques on a foe that feels no emotion and no pain?) to the psychological effect on soldiers who were accustomed to having the most advanced weaponry work efficiently, only to find they were nearly useless against reanimated corpses whose sole purpose in their unnatural life is only to feed, I sometimes forgot that what I was reading was only fiction. I love when a book about zombies can do that.

The fall of society didn’t come overnight; every disease has an origin and through many different ways (some quite ingenious; who else but Max Brooks could have thought of the Z virus being spread through diseased hearts being used in illegal heart transplants in some obscure country, only to be brought back to the States?) it spread to every corner of the globe. Kind of reminds me of Pandemic 2.

The book also explores the many ways people reacted to the disease, whether it was the suburban family who thought it would last only a few months to the pharmaceutical director who manufactured a false vaccine that made a profit from panicking people. There were the fortresses in the “hot zones” in cities where hundreds of survivors struggled to endure the endless horde of zombies as the military had their own battles simply to remain united. There were those on Earth, trying to outrun infinite numbers of corpses with a finite amount of land to run to, as well as a handful of astronauts suspended in space, watching as the world burned from the bonfires of millions of refugees.

An illustration included in the book of the Battle of Yonkers, a disastrous loss to the zombie horde.

If it wasn’t already obvious, this book blew my mind. I felt as though I were reading a written testimony of events that had actually happened. If they made a movie of this, I think I would have a heart attack. Oh wait…….fire up those AEDs, I think I’m going into cardiac arrest.

It seems like they’re taking the adaptation seriously, for which I am endlessly grateful. The moment I hear a release date, I’m Fandango-ing some damn tickets to see it. If it’s done right, it will be Oscar-worthy.

Now excuse me while I go re-watch Dawn of the Dead and bask in the gory goodness that is zombies.


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Zombie Spock?

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Merry Christmas, slayers.

Ho ho ho, merry fuckin’ Christmas everyone. Sleep now, warm in your beds, but remain wary.

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Zombie Song of the Day

You need some brutal music to kill zombies, and this song is brutal and eerie. An homage to Zombies everywhere.

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