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  #1  
Unread 28th of September, 2009, 20:25
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Unconventional Zombie Apocolypse

Well, zombie apocalypse has basically become the most mainstream and overused idea in non-popular culture. It seems like there are at least two games based on this concept on every PbP forum. It seems like there's at least one big budget movie made with the idea every year. Same with video games.

I'm getting tired of it...

It's basically all the same. Set in modern times, the dead come back to some semblance of life due to some sort of virus that usually killed them originally, and seek to devour the living. Ever since NotLD this has pretty much always been the premise. So how about some original ideas for a change?

I'm not saying the whole idea of a "zombie apocalypse" should be thrown out, but it's just so generic. Sometimes they're faster, sometimes they're slower, but they always seek to consume the living, usually for no apparent reason, and the stories always follow a survivor or group of survivors trying to live through hordes of undead trying to kill them. The only movie I can think of that doesn't follow this same basic plot is a movie I've only heard about about KIA US soldiers coming back to life wanting to vote.

So, come up with some less generic zombie apocalypse style scenarios! Doesn't need to even involve undead. I got the idea for this post from the AH.com episode about a world overrun by psychotic cannibalistic clones of various attractive female celebrities. As long as it's generally about an area being overrun by some sort of humanoid beings that damage society to the point where it cannot sustain itself in it's current form it should be on topic.

The idea that immediately comes to my mind is a world in which the zombie disease doesn't kill people, just makes them psychotically violent and stupid, (like in 26 days later from what I've heard) but after society has collapsed they manage to develop a cure for the disease. A game like this would be interesting because it would introduce an otherwise completely absent aspect of moral ambiguity to slaughtering zombies.
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Last edited by Shoelip; 28th of September, 2009 at 20:32.
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Unread 29th of September, 2009, 04:31
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Zombie apocalypse is a tightly defined genre. If you don't have flesh-eating ghouls of some kind, you don't really have zombies, and if they haven't overrun the world, or at least the vicinity of the protagonists, it's not really an apocalypse. Neither your idea nor the celebrity apocalypse escapes that.

But it's not as if there's no variety. Superheroes eat flesh in Marvel Zombies. I Am Legend (the book, not the adaptations) is technically about vampires, not zombies, but it's definitely a prototype for later zombie apocalypse stories, and it has an excellent twist ending. Undead or Alive is a zombie western, albeit not a very good one (It's a Chris Kattan comedy, so don't act surprised). But I highly recommend Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Edit: I just remembered this, which always stuck with me as a well-developed idea for a fantasy zombie game. It's too bad it never went anywhere.

Last edited by LeadPal; 29th of September, 2009 at 04:45.
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Unread 29th of September, 2009, 05:31
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What if you take the idea of a zombie back to the Voodoo origins? From what I remember (and since I'm talking off of the top of my head), zombies were specifically created by a master, usually a priest, and controlled by his will. They were slaves, but not necessarily stupid and not necessarily dead.

So what if a mondo bad guy got ahold of the formula used to zombify people? And this mondo bad guy wanted to utterly destroy an area? He could send literal masses of people against that area with a single goal: kill everything that moves.

To end the zombie apocalypse, you'd strike out at the mondo bad guy, but the closer you get to him the worse the devastation, the stronger and more numerous the zombies, and the more susceptible to becoming one yourself you become. The inital bit still reflects the traditional idea of a zombie apocalypse (hordes of beings slaughtering all in sight), but the background and resolution are far different. And if these people are still alive, they are victims themselves, which introduces that moral question of, "Do we kill them?"

The answer, by the way, is yes. Yes, kill them before they kill you. But you feel bad about it afterwards...
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Unread 29th of September, 2009, 09:14
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Originally Posted by LeadPal # Zombie apocalypse is a tightly defined genre. If you don't have flesh-eating ghouls of some kind, you don't really have zombies, and if they haven't overrun the world, or at least the vicinity of the protagonists, it's not really an apocalypse. Neither your idea nor the celebrity apocalypse escapes that.

But it's not as if there's no variety. Superheroes eat flesh in Marvel Zombies. I Am Legend (the book, not the adaptations) is technically about vampires, not zombies, but it's definitely a prototype for later zombie apocalypse stories, and it has an excellent twist ending. Undead or Alive is a zombie western, albeit not a very good one (It's a Chris Kattan comedy, so don't act surprised). But I highly recommend Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Edit: I just remembered this, which always stuck with me as a well-developed idea for a fantasy zombie game. It's too bad it never went anywhere.
I'm not trying to escape the zombie apocalypse genre. If I were I wouldn't have called the thread "Unconventional Zombie Apocalypse." I'm trying to find and discuss some unconventional zombie apocalypse ideas. Are you one of those types who say if they aren't dead they aren't zombies?
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Unread 29th of September, 2009, 14:12
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No, Shoelip, I'm not "one of those types".
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Unread 29th of September, 2009, 18:23
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Well that's good. Avoids a big argument we could have had. So do you have any ideas, or comments on other ideas?
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Unread 29th of September, 2009, 18:31
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Originally Posted by Stringbean2142 # What if you take the idea of a zombie back to the Voodoo origins? From what I remember (and since I'm talking off of the top of my head), zombies were specifically created by a master, usually a priest, and controlled by his will. They were slaves, but not necessarily stupid and not necessarily dead.

So what if a mondo bad guy got ahold of the formula used to zombify people? And this mondo bad guy wanted to utterly destroy an area? He could send literal masses of people against that area with a single goal: kill everything that moves.

To end the zombie apocalypse, you'd strike out at the mondo bad guy, but the closer you get to him the worse the devastation, the stronger and more numerous the zombies, and the more susceptible to becoming one yourself you become. The inital bit still reflects the traditional idea of a zombie apocalypse (hordes of beings slaughtering all in sight), but the background and resolution are far different. And if these people are still alive, they are victims themselves, which introduces that moral question of, "Do we kill them?"

The answer, by the way, is yes. Yes, kill them before they kill you. But you feel bad about it afterwards...
Well that all depends on how much you value human life doesn't it? A humanitarian worker would probably feel allot worse than a borderline psychotic GI whose barely within the limit to avoid being discharged. Expose someone to something enough and they become desensitized, that includes ending the lives of others. If they can easily rationalize it with the fact that their very survival depended on it, it makes it even easier.
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Unread 6th of October, 2009, 00:34
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How about reversing the idea? You're a zombie that retains your identity. Now you want to return to normal. But there's a catch! In order to keep on unliving, you must every once in a while feast on someone else's brains!

Oh did I forget, the zombie hunters are after you. They either want to study you or kill you. Better hurry and find a way to turn back to normal!
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Unread 6th of October, 2009, 04:57
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What about alien zombies? Either aliens creating zombies (for example, Slither) or aliens becoming zombies (don't know of any examples).
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Unread 6th of October, 2009, 05:35
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HA! Cool ideas! Now if only I could think of something meaningful to add to that...
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Unread 6th of October, 2009, 06:31
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Originally Posted by LeadPal # What about alien zombies? Either aliens creating zombies (for example, Slither) or aliens becoming zombies (don't know of any examples).
The closest "aliens become zombies" I can think of is in comics, like in the Marvel Zombies books. This might just be something original, and I demand a bad B-movie be made of it. Now.
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Unread 6th of October, 2009, 08:05
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I know this isn't exactly unconventional, but I was thinking of running a f2f game where an undead (mainly zombie) apocalypse has befallen the kingdom.
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Unread 6th of October, 2009, 11:50
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Aliens creating zombies, uh can anyone say Plan 9 from Outer Space?!?!
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Unread 6th of October, 2009, 12:21
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Wait, there's a plot to that movie?
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Unread 6th of October, 2009, 16:47
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Actually I think those were vampires that the aliens were going to use. I'm tempted to go see the MST3 screening of Plan 9. But honestly, could there be an easier movie to make fun of?
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Unread 14th of October, 2009, 05:28
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A Canadian zombie movie, and unlike most Canadian films its actually pretty good. Interesting take on Zombies.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457572/
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Unread 14th of October, 2009, 05:32
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Just watched the movie Dead Girl, which was a different take on zombies completely.
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Unread 14th of October, 2009, 09:52
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Sorry to drive my own thread off topic but, hey Mercutio! Got time yet for slasher flick?
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Unread 14th of October, 2009, 11:14
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Actually working on writing up an adventure now. I'm basing it on Final Destination, which I think is actually an excellent kind of slasher movie.
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Unread 16th of October, 2009, 09:50
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I dunno... I mean, Final Destination actually has an interesting concept but... The only reason it's like a slasher flick is because they just ended up using that premise as an excuse for brutalizing stupid attractive people in various unrealistic ways. The removal the physical presence of the slasher removes one of the the key elements of slasher flicks, and it would kind of screw with the mechanics as well. In Final Destination movies generally only one person really knows what's going on, and if they're lucky they'll convince one or two others. The rest of the characters are usually totally oblivious so their kills scenes would just be them wandering around doing whatever until something kills them. Sure sometimes they try to survive but they can't unless someone else intervenes. There's also no way to win. No matter what everyone dies. "Death" is also probably the shallowest slasher around. It's got no personality aside from an apparent psychotic hatred of all life and especially lives that it's failed to take. It's constantly causing massive disasters that kill large numbers of people, apparently for fun, and then if a precognitive person just happens to save a few it gets all pissy and decides to screw stuff up even more. It also teleports, which is generally considered bad writing even in slasher flicks. Not only that but it screws up the physics of everything around it, making human flesh suddenly have the consistency of jello, making nail guns into deadly projective weapons, causing things to short circuit in reverse, oh and it makes busses teleport too.

Well whatever, I'm still interested in trying it out to see what you come up with! We should talk about this more, but in a different thread.
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Unread 16th of October, 2009, 23:32
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I moved this as I couldn't really see why it was sitting in CY.
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Unread 17th of October, 2009, 07:51
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Because it's about a popular setting for RPGs.
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Unread 26th of October, 2009, 09:20
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See Dead Reign RPG by Palladium Books. It's their Zombie Apocalypse rpg, which I ordered and am waiting on. Has elements from nearly every zombie apocalypse movie/book etc. Also there is alternative setting in the Rifter magazine #45 which has supernatural evils/gods/demonic influences.

http://www.palladiumbooks.com
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