Modern Zombie

We take a look at some of the important issues and games facing zombies today.

by

Not long ago, when people thought of zombies, they thought of decomposing corpses shambling across a graveyard under the magical yoke of a higher, eviler being. Perhaps this being was a lich or a sorcerer, or even, we are ashamed to say it, a human.

In this disgraceful state, zombies were little more than bipedal fodder for heroes of every class and caliber. These heroes would bash, burn, slice, dice, mangle, or obliterate zombies on their way to treasure, victory, and fame. If adventure were karate, zombies were wooden boards, set up to be knocked down, broken in half, and discarded back into the ground from whence they had arisen.

Boys and ghouls, such a time has passed because the modern zombie is fast, agile, angry, and fluent in conversational Spanish. He or she can leap tall survivors in a single bound and infiltrate the safest sanctuaries while moaning for brains or sesos, all on the go. Not so fast, though! There's more between today's zombies and world domination than loosely boarded shacks or heavily armed agents. Gun proliferation is a serious issue in so-called "unlife," while language barriers can make international travel awkward and confusing for even the most cosmopolitan corpse. We'll address those issues and show you what a certain group of zombies is doing to turn the world's least liked minority into the most feared majority.

And what better day than October 31 to explore these pressing issues?

Stop, Don't Shoot!

What every zombie should know about gun control.
Oh, the inhumanity.

While some among the zombie elite pine for the day when zombies will learn to use guns, the editors of this publication would like to point out that the undead soldiers in Doom II were still fodder, even with shotguns.

Truly, the gun is the zombie's worst enemy. No matter how fast you run or clearly enunciate "Por favor, no!" the gun is faster and too often has the last word. Nowhere is this more clearly the case than in the upcoming Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii. This game is a rail shooter, most odious of all genres to zombiekind. Where normally fat, out-of-shape nerds would die near the beginning of a zombie apocalypse, they'll be able to recline in the safety and comfort of their La-Z-Boy chairs; Doritos resting securely on their paunches, blasting away with one hand, munching with the other. *Zombie groan*

And it's not like Umbrella Chronicles will feature the vanguard of zombie pride: the fast, the smart, or the Spanish speaking. No, normally progressive Capcom has chosen the slowest, saddest specimens to play the fish in their wicked barrel. Of course, Capcom rationalizes it all, saying Umbrella Chronicles will let players relive many of the most shameful and depressing periods of zombie history in violent glory, also known as Resident Evil 0, 1, 2, and 3. That's great, if you're a human.

Yet it gets worse. Not only will Umbrella Chronicles be a zombie-shooting spree, Nintendo is releasing an accessory to make the carnage even more precise and the headshots as numerous as the undead horde. We speak of the innocent sounding Wii Zapper that will come packaged with the cutesy Link's Crossbow Training. Do not be fooled: This device converts the already intuitive Wii controllers into a veritable submachine gun, and it is not, sadly, prohibitively expensive.

If you see this, shamble in the other direction.

While humanity is armed with cruel new peripherals, helpless Wii zombies will be forced to hobble toward the screen while teenage stoners, middle-aged mothers, and even hip grandmothers (normally a zombie's first and most rewarding target demographic) repeatedly shoot them. Oh the horror... If you've ever wondered whether or not zombies have nightmares, the answer is yes. These nightmares also come in the form of Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles with the Wii Zapper submachine gun grip.

So, what can be done? For starters, no more random milling around in malls: Go for the toy stores and video game shops. Convert the sales clerks and teach them to brainlessly recite preorder deals, future releases, and bonus-card spiels until the customer runs...screaming. Our only other piece of advice is this: duck.

Leave a comment or read more about the issues facing zombies today.

Foreign Tongues

A Zombie Language Lesson
Tears of joy.

While there is some debate as to whether or not the villagers in Resident Evil 4 are proper zombies, there is no denying the envy and pride our entire populace has for these Spanish-speaking Ganados. After all, a normal zombie moaning for "brains" in Spain is just another whiny tourist.

The modern zombie, on the other hand, can feel confident anywhere he or she goes. This zombie should be ready to consume a culture's people, as well as its music, language, and even some of the dances. If you can shamble, you can salsa, and it's a great way to meet members of the opposite vitality. We can't teach you that here, but we can teach you a few handy phrases for what could be the next stop on Resident Evil's zombie world tour, Haiti.

Capcom has NOT confirmed exactly where Resident Evil 5 takes place. So, we don't know for sure yet, either way--this is all speculation. Nevertheless, Haitian culture and language is something every member of the walking dead should be familiar with because the very idea of zombiism is a product of Haitian voodoo--or vodou. The known mother of all zombies was a Haitian woman named Felicia Felix-Mentor, so by learning the following phrases and familiarizing yourself with Haitian culture, you are broadening your horizons, as well as getting back to your roots.

The two official Haitian tongues are Creole and French; the following are handy phrases in each. Bon appétit!

French Phrases

French is a natural language for zombies--with its soft consonants and numerous vowels (when in doubt, just gurgle)--but it can be difficult to understand to the untrained ear. That's why "Parlez-vous anglais?" (pronounced par-lay voo zon-glay) is one of the first questions you should groan when in the company of a lively Haitian or American special forces agent. If they reply with "oui" (pronounced "way" by most French speakers) or "yes," you can cut straight to the business of "brrrraaaains."

That is, unless you're feeling overmatched, in which case you may want to call out with a simple "Ici!" (pronounced ee-see) to tell your cadaverous comrades that "here" is something they should help you kill and eat. Then again, if you're in the presence of too many comrades and find yourself forced to claw through the throng, you can allay any irritation, as well as possibly some painful bites, with an occasional "pardon" (pronounced pahr-dohn, as though you have a stuffy nose).

In the event that you do find yourself in an unavoidable and dangerous confrontation with a heavily armed survivor, try shouting "Je vais a tuer!" (jhe vayz ah tueh), meaning "I am going to kill!" Even if that doesn't look to be true, you should never underestimate the power of positive thought.

Finally, if violence seems like it can only go in your enemy's favor, you can try this clever little phrase, "Ne tirez pas, je suis ivre seulement!" (pronounced nay tee-ray pah, jhe swee ee-vruh sew-lay-mon) meaning "Don't shoot, I am only drunk!" If you pronounce it that way, they'll probably believe you.

Creole Phrases

Admittedly, complete Creole phrases are much harder to come across, but we have found a few terms and phrases that might come in handy for the intrepid zombie. Keep in mind the Creole pronunciation is easier phonetically than French, so you can pretty much groan and gurgle these as they're written.

Travel to exotic places, meet interesting people, and become local cuisine.

Tactics and Combat

"Atoure"--Surround
"Atake"--Attack
"Touye"--Kill
"Ki kote li ale?"--Where did he go?

General Use

"Kij an yo di...an kreyol?"--How do you say...in Creole?
"Tout ko mwen cho!"--I'm on fire!
"N'ap boule!"--Hello/Good

Dining

"Nou ta vle manje."--We would like to eat.
"Kote Iopital Ia?"--Where is the hospital?
"Eske ou gen petit?"--Do you have any children?

While there's certainly much more to both languages, hopefully that is plenty for you to sink your teeth into now.

Exquisite Corpse

Zombies Breathing New Life Into the Undead

You may have heard of Left 4 Dead, the upcoming shooter from EA and Turtle Rock studios. It will be powered by a high-speed, ferocious zombie menace, as well as the Half-Life Source Engine. From the brief, terrifying looks we had, this game will bring video game zombies up to speed with our brothers and sisters in such movies as 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake.

Finally.

The face of the future.

No more embarassing deaths. No more begging for brains. No one will have time to say "They're coming to get you Bah-bara" because the zombies will already be there, on their faces, tearing off important pieces. Zombie's got your nose!

At its core, Left 4 Dead will be a squad-based shooter, so a team of survivors will be clinging to life on the edge of civilization, rather than simply racking up easy zombie kills on their way to the chopper. Even if they got there, where would they go? In Left 4 Dead, there isn't an isolated Racoon City--the whole world will be Racoon City. Even better, you won't be forced to play as a worthless human. Even though the game will provide nice weapons to the survivors, you'll also be able to roam the streets and rip off limbs as one of the four classes of "infected"--the game's foaming-at-the-mouth take on the zombie epidemic (in this case, it's rabies).

There will be boomers, smokers, tanks, and hunters. The boomer will vomit blood on victims, turning them into zombie magnets. The smoker has an equally disgusting talent, using its 50-foot-long wicked tongue to kill survivors. Eat your heart out, Gene Simmons. Or rather, let them.

While we still know relatively little about this game, you should be sure to devour our previews, screens, and videos here. When we have more, we'll serve it raw and wailing.

Until Tomorrow

If There Is One

Thanks for reading this issue of Modern Zombie. We hope it's been educational, inspiring, and most importantly, evil. Remember: guns bad; French and Creole: good; and Left 4 Dead is the baby's brains. Although the unpredictability of zombie news may keep us from a regular publication schedule, don't be afraid to write in with stories of human conquest ("Ralph eat human! Then, Ralph eat other one.") or suggestions for future articles. Until next time, stay hungry.

Is something gnawing on you that you just have to get off your chest? Speak up, scream if you have to.

Discussion

559 comments
Rooster703
Rooster703

I like the way Left 4 dead is handling the "Zombie" genre, there is no speech, virus or disease caused the infection, zombies out number humans 1000/1, zombies cant use weapons, they're every where not just isolated, and running faster just makes them more terrifying.

ch-ch-chaoguy
ch-ch-chaoguy

I would like a Spartan Laser as an unlockable weapon, although the charging time would kill me...

Naruto_88
Naruto_88

I agree, there should be a sword fighting game where you get to eliminate zombies with your wiimote as a sword, with realistic controls (RE 6?). Guns bring senseless, unskilled violence.

BoaMo121
BoaMo121

Loyde Reed i agree with u when it comes to slicing n' dicing but guns are used as a means of bringing down a zombie from a safer distance but otherwise i agree besides you dont have 2 reload a sword or fire axe.

Daxol
Daxol

Well, in quebec, as well as in other exfrench colonies, "oui" is pronounced like "way". But yes, actually "oui" should be pronounced as "wii".

seedofallevil
seedofallevil

"oui" isn't pronounced "way" it's pronounced "wee" like the nintendo "wii". Tisk tisk Gamespot. Tisk tisk.

so_hai
so_hai

Zombie nipple-cripple. That's what the wii can lookforward to.

abodcom2007
abodcom2007

hope that new zombie based game have more old weapons (sowrds , bows ...) the ones that really gives you the enjoyment to play with. "hope so in doom 4 or the new Resident Evil 5"

Loyde_Reed
Loyde_Reed

this is what i don't get.......since when do GUNS ,of all weapons, work on the living dead? they don't feel pain! the best thing to do is slice n' dice! that's what all these games are missing! SWORDS AND CHAINSAWS! none of these panzee knives or machine guns, BADES AND LOTS OF 'EM!

Raok
Raok

wow, i forgot gamespot had a sense of humor until now

Hicks_1
Hicks_1

Can't wait for the aliens piece, put starcraft in there though

rideru
rideru

LOL!!!! that was quite possibly the funniest thing i've ever read on gamespot =))) not only funny but true.... too true.....

XQSNR
XQSNR

George Romero is a zombie god. HAHAHA! Although I like the idea of having zombies running (right after infection) is cool but they deffinately must slow down eventually. some quick jerks or spasms or moments of sprints would be cool if they moved slowly, like involuntary muscle movements.

kingdre
kingdre

How come we never see zombies turn on each other? Wh do they bother going after the armed, living people when they can just feast on their own kind? It'd be much easier.

luckygamer07
luckygamer07

hey zombie... EAT MY MAGNUM!!!!! lol thats wat i say in games like RE4 :D

GameCrapper
GameCrapper

I say we trash each and every zombie we encounter. Bring'em on! The only good zombie is a... well... eh... dismembered zombie!

Shmoe82
Shmoe82

I have seen zombies be everything from scary and difficult (FEAR, Corpes Killer, Along in the Dark) to easy why waste time on them (Doom, Half-life). Zombies are always a good fit with games regardless of anything the article stated otherwise. The best part of them is the fact you usually don't see them coming until they are practically right upon you.

Miss-Goldie
Miss-Goldie

I don't agree with this, or the video. How is it that every single zombie game, doesn't have any real zombies? The last I heard, zombies can't speak, they usually gurgle, or growl. A few of them can use weapons, but most use their claws and teeth to kill, and thats what the zombies in Half-life do. Just because they can't bite doesn't mean that they're not zombies. They slash instead. The headcrabs, or whatever they're called, are the cause, and the effect is a zombie. I'd like to know what the people in the video think are the characteristics of zombies. The article was amusing, but the video was just plain disappointing, and annoying. Just my opinion.

DiabloRaul
DiabloRaul

I love Zombie games!! Resident Evil 0,1,2,3, and CV as well as the other titles were fun but they weren't as full of action as RE 4 and the upcoming 5. They were more like run around picking up items to get to the next part of the game. Left 4 Dead looks amazing and I can't wait for it to come out. I would love to get it for PC but mine is really out dated so I will settle for 360 version. I'm currently playing Deadrising and its pretty awesome so far but it doesn't feel like a real zombie game cause I'm not going for head shots and beating them with common items kills them.

ringwraith58854
ringwraith58854

A few of you mentioned rigor mortis setting in and preventing zombies from running. Rigor Mortis is not permanent, the muscles will relax after a while. Of Course, they start decomposing then, so maybe zombies can't run because they have no muscles.

Shotgunmxhu
Shotgunmxhu

I'm all for the Max Brooks zombie, personally, so I think that guns are mortal and that in a time of zombie crisis, swords should be the choice weapon, as reloading is non-existant and maintenance can be done with a simple rock.

TKandPBC
TKandPBC

smart? well, when you think about it, they ARE brain-dead. And how can you think, or elaborate upon a thought without a brain?

DravenLaVitt
DravenLaVitt

Personally, I like the idea of "smart " zombies. Dumb zombies are excatly that....DUMB. I Hope RE5 has "smart" zombies when it comes out in a !?YEAR?! >:0

cyborgplatypus
cyborgplatypus

Has anyone ever seen Lucio Fulci's Zombi? If you'd like to see a swimming zombie tear into a shark I'd highly recommend it. That among other things makes it a cheese riddled goretastic classic.

Teebown24
Teebown24

to all who cannot understand why the dawn of the dead remake had running zombies: 1. Rigormortis can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 4 months to set in 2. as the bodies are reanimated within 1 minute of death, muscle tissue is still very much undecayed 3. the brain can control body fuinctions for up to 1 hour after death, so running at that time is still an option that is why later in the story (aka, land of the dead remake) they lost their ability to run. the body functions have pretty much all stopped, except for the classic zombie instincts and bodily functions. CYA!!

bigpup
bigpup

The Zombies Or Not video is HILARIOUS. I never knew that headcrab zombies were not zombies. Well done.

gta4life247
gta4life247

kill a zombie u get a prize, kill a human ur family dies YAY! World Order

imustremember
imustremember

so, according to zombieologists not one game zombie is like an actual zombie? plz explain i have no idea, if their supposed to be zombies, why do experts say their not?

callumfrench
callumfrench

It's only funny to kill zombies(ie re3 when you shoot their legs off) when a) they cant defend themselves b) during daytime with at least 10 friends watching and c) when you relize that in real life you would be breaching several animal cruelty acts and/or they cant sue Because there aren't any half decent beurocrats/lawyers in spain.

ballisticsfood
ballisticsfood

Zombies: 1: People or creatures that have lost control of their bodies to another entity 2: People or creatures that have lost their faculty of reasonable thought and all social inhibitions 3: Undead people or creatures (usually associated with consumption of living flesh) The dictionary definition says that both 28 days and RE4 have zombies in them, along with every other zombie movie in existance (thus the name ZOMBIE movie). Apparently zombies dont need to be dead. By the way, awesome article. All we need now is a zombie survival guide (the zombies should be doing the surviving of course. Who wants human survival in a zombie outbreak?)

PerfectJones
PerfectJones

The zombies in Shaun of the Dead are disappointing. They're forced to become part of the labor force! What happened to zombie freedom? Although I do approve of them taking a break from attempts to munch on their living friends and play a round of Timesplitters. I remember when I watched the first resident evil when it just came out. The lights were off, the door was closed, and I was scared ****less.

madaseyer
madaseyer

I hated the First like 3 Resident Evils because when you open the door....

kratospete
kratospete

ZOMBIE GAMES PROBABLY ARE NOT SO COOL AS THEY USED TO BE A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO

axlesix
axlesix

Keep having a heart attack when playing Resident Evil and have to turn it off, especially when they suddenly crash through a window of a quiet corridor where in your heart you know something is going to happen and you still s*&t yourself when it does- now thats a game!!!

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Clarkey1904- In Resident Evil 4 they aren't zombies just posesed by the Las Plaga play the game and know the story before putting it down. Also it's Spanish because it's in Spain.

clarkey1904
clarkey1904

i think zombies of today are rediculous, why change from the traditional slow,dumb and NON TALKATIVE! like in resident evil 4, they talk and carry pitch forks and are spanish????why! we cant forget the zombie roots such as resident evil 1,2, and 3. stick to George A Romero's style!

Lupus_Fangs
Lupus_Fangs

I found this issue quite enjoyable. No longer will I need to bang upon a door in rags asking "Fancy giving me some brains?" Now I may feast with dignity as I was raised to do. By the way, my dear brother-in-law, Osmund, who died when he was hit by a rocket was apparently tied to those "Ganados." My sister has been sent away for not marrying a "true zombie." Ridiculous right? Well I simply must be leaving, its dinner time and I'm having mashed brains in blood. Ta-Ta - Lοrδ RεgιηαΙδ Esq. ΙΙΙ P.S.: Brains good.

Omegax23
Omegax23

I freaking love zombies!!!!