Last year the humans were put at a disadvantage on the very first day of Zombies, with the zombie primes masterfully conquering around 90 unprepared or unlucky humans. Now, the zombie primes deserve some credit – their unrelenting activity and craftiness took the humans by complete surprise and shifted the game in their favor. However, the whole problem rests in the fact that the humans were surprised: nobody was prepared for Zombies.
When people first hear about Zombies, they think about it lightheartedly, like it is just a game, but it is not a game at all. For five days, Zombies is a lifestyle. Every time you go outside you are at risk of dying and becoming a zombie. Last year, if a zombie even recognized someone as human, they would chase after them, screaming “HUMAN!!!!!” for all of the campus’ zombies to hear. It is terrifying, and at any point during the days of Zombies you can hear screams echo throughout our small school.
As a human, there is no point where you can just relax. You have to constantly keep your guard up because you can die at any moment. You might have to do radical things to survive, such as sleeping in your car so you can wake up near where you have to be in the morning. Zombies do not have to live with the stress and anxiety that the humans do: they can pick up the game whenever they just so happen to spot a human. They are the hunters. We, the humans, are the hunted.
The worst part about Zombies is that the people who are trying to “kill” you are your friends and classmates. They probably won’t take it easy on you, either. Friendships and relationships get complicated, lines are drawn in the sand and it makes Zombies so much more than a game.
In Zombies, if you want to survive, you need four things: a partnership or larger alliance, the Zep Commercial Professional Sprayer (at least two of them), a backpack and a safe home.
If you know someone close to you who is serious about playing Zombies, talk to them and try to team up. Alliances are without a doubt the most important part of the game. A simple two-person partnership will get you through at the beginning, but as the week goes on and the human numbers thin out while the zombie horde grows, the teamwork has to grow, too. Three or four person alliances are great because they can fit inside of most safe places together and do not need too much coordination, while still being mobile and effective when the team has to go somewhere. Zombies is also a great way to meet friends and form long remembered bonds with them, so do not be afraid.
The second-most important thing while playing Zombies is the spray bottle that you get. Last year, I started off Zombies with four spray bottles I thought were decent in the store, but I quickly realized on the first day that spray bottles that can only shoot a few feet really suck to have when you have to deal with zombies madly hunting you. Fortunately, if you get the Zep sprayer, the entire game will be easier for you. The spray bottle can spray up to almost 30 feet, which is incredible at keeping some distance between you and a zombie. The spray itself is also more focused than the usual spray bottles, which makes it harder for zombies to deny that you “shot” them when they have a dark wet mark instead of a fine dusting. Also, get three or four spray bottles – there will be points where a spray bottle runs out and you have neither the time nor the accomodations to refill it, and the spares will in handy.
Another Zombies necessity is a backpack. Simply put, you might need to live out of that backpack at some point in time. Pack an extra set of clothes in there, a toothbrush and other hygenie supplies, and – if you think you can handle it – a gallon jug of water. The gallon of water is for those times where you are running low on water in your spray bottles, but do not have a source of water. This also is extremely helpful when the humans are forced to go into the circle formation and many people need water and have the protection and time to reload – the circle formation, for those who do not know, is where humans on the outside link arms while spraying outwardly, and the humans on the inside fire their spray bottles over the people on the outside.
The last necessity in the lifestyle of zombies is a safe house. A place that you can trust, that preferably has two ways to exit and plenty of supplies. Pei is a deathwish, and if zombies catch on to where you are staying and are pissed enough to do anything about it, they will wait outside of where you are staying. Sometimes your safe house might have to be your car. Last year, I spent two nights of zombies sleeping in my car outside of the library so I could get to class in the morning and not have to cross the overpass, or have to run past the many zombies that are always lurking outside of ACE and the library. Conditions will get tough – Ham is a slaughterhouse for humans – so make sure that whatever your home is, you are stocked.
When Zombies gets started by the end of the week, be prepared and follow my advice. I was not one of the winners last year – I was the eighth-last human alive and “died” on Thursday night – but one of you might be this year.
Good luck, people.