Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dead Rising Zombie Case Study

August 8, 2009 All of America was introduced to a game that was innovative, fun and new in just about every way except the story. Developed by Capcom and produced by Keiji Inafune. Dead Rising took the country by storm, it can now (not) be found in the “Platinum Hits” lineup. I will state right now that this is in no way a review of the game itself and the previous not is in my own experience of not finding this game anywhere in Indiana. Having played both of the actual games but leaving out any extra versions such as phone and even the Wii version (Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop) I will attempt to the best of my ability to access the impact it has had on the zombie culture.

Let’s discuss the first game to begin. The original
Dead Rising sets up a roving photographer Frank West as he enters a military quarantined fictional town known as Willamette, Colorado. The trouble starts immediately as he sees scene of what is mistaken as rioting town people. Soon the helicopter he is taking is spotted by the military and chased out of town. Frank abandons the chopper with an understanding that the chopper will return in 72 hours. Right off the bat the game introduces our villain and the man behind the zombie outbreak, Carlito Keyes. Carlito orchestrated the plan to release a mutated wasp creature that has the ability to lay its eggs with a sting and when the eggs hatch in the brainstem they kill the host and reanimate them as mutant zombies. That’s right mutant zombies, as if regular mutants or regular zombies aren’t bad enough. These mutant zombies can infect with a bite so the wasps aren’t the only threat, these aren’t “Re-Animator” zombies although they are similar. Carlito’s reasons for the outbreak stem from feelings of revenge for a similar event that took place in his childhood home of Santa Cabeza where an accidental release of a queen wasp caused the slaughter of Carlito’s parent, friends and the entire town except for himself and his sister Isabela. As Frank searches for a way to stop the outbreak he runs across something that was never brought up in zombie games until Dead Rising. The Concept of “Psychopaths”.

“Psychopaths” are Survivors of the outbreak who have lost their minds and no longer care about helping anyone else or even making it out of town they just kill everyone they come across, it just so happens that Frank comes across them. Until Dead Rising the main antagonist or bosses of zombie games are the zombies, with Dead Rising the zombies are what drive the main plot while the psychopaths are the boss battles. Throughout the game you will find a large array of psychos such as
a Vietnam Vet (seriously), a lesbian rapist Mall cop , a psychopathic chainsaw wielding clown and a cannibalistic overweight Chinese butcher and many, many more. This doesn’t mean the zombies are useless in fact when night falls in the game the zombies become super mutant zombies. The zombie in Dead Rising usually aren’t very interested in you that doesn’t mean you can just walk by them but the A.I. for the zombies just kind of wander around until you get so close to them and then they come right after you. Once night falls the zombie proactively search for you. Some might think this mechanic is odd but it truly does work well, it captures the mindset of a zombie, roam until food is found. After the original 3 day game play there are 2 more modes to play.

In the second mode, it would appear that Frank is infected. Most people would think this will either lead to you losing the game with Frank’s death or a cure which is the worst possible thing you can do to a zombie story, without having the zombies run. But as opposed to curing Frank we are only given a medicine that will only hold off the zombification process for 24 hours which plays a major part in Dead Rising 2.
Dead Rising ends with a possible open ending the world being overtaken by zombies and Frank’s death or multiple other ending.

With Dead Rising 2 we learn that Frank did indeed survive but we have no actual knowledge of where he is or what he is doing. But we see that the human race has not only survived the zombie outbreak which is also proven to have spread. But have learned how to live with the zombies, to a certain extent. But this is also where we see that with zombies still existing people have turned them into a cause to bitch about. The rise of an activist group called "Citizens for Undead Rights and Equality
(CURE)" I would like to state right now. Fuck these People!

The plot of Dead Rising 2 is our new protagonist Check Greene is competing in a “controversial” reality series known as “Terror is Reality” in the new Fortune City. In the games the contestants much kill zombies on chainsaw mounted motorcycles. Following the show a bomb is set off and Chuck has to save is infected daughter by taking her to a safe house. To make sure his daughter doesn’t turn while they wait to be rescued Chuck has to use the air vents to leave and bring back Zombrex the medicine created by Frank and Isabela Keyes in the first game. Chuck is framed for the bombing and soon the rescue is called off this makes Chuck attempt to not only clear his name but keep a steady supply of Zombrex to save is daughter Katie.

The Reaction to this game has caused both negative and positive feedback from the zombie community as well as the gaming community. Having to work around a time clock to keep your daughter medicated will cause a lot of problems for everyone. The Zombrex can only be administered when absolutely needed because if you give her too much, such as even an hour before she runs out she will turn and you will lose. There is absolutely no ending will your daughter dying and Chuck just getting over it. This is why Chuck is a terrible protagonist. He gives up the second anything happens to his daughter, it could be argued that his daughter drives him harder but that is a lame excuse. With Dead Rising 2 we get not only Mutant Super Zombies when night falls but when a new chemical is added we get “Super Angry Mutant Super Zombies” which are an even bigger threat.

With the
Dead Rising series we learn a number of things about the zombies and a few old lessons are re-enforced for zombie survival situations.

1. Zombies can tell you from other zombies either by smell or appearance, in Dead Rising its smell.
2. The Government is going to kill you if they get the chance. You are to them cannon fodder at best.
3. The government will not own up to its own mistakes but will hide it from you all the way till you are being chewed on.
4. Mutant Zombies are a terrible idea, Super Mutant zombies are a worse idea and Super Angry Mutant Super Zombies are the worst idea yet.
5. Fuck the old lady and her dog, it will kill you all.

I have looked over the series to the best of my knowledge and hopefully it was either entertaining or enlightening to you. If I skimmed over something or missed it completely please mention it. I think this has turned out well. Or at least better than the remake of “
Dawn of the Dead”.

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