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Fridge: The Zombie Survival Guide
  • A minor one— In one "recorded incident", a scout is sent into a house. Shots, moans and screams are heard. He does not emerge. Another is sent in after him. He leans out of the upper window to tell the others he found a half eaten corpse and nothing else, and is grabbed from behind. Why didn't the attacking zombie moan? Because the first survivor, in his panic, had missed the zombies head and shot it in the throat, muting it.— Warlord396
  • Another minor one: I wondered for a while why, when a human can't escape (like in the story about the island where the dying are left for the zombies), the zombie stops eating while there is still enough of the victim left to start walking, rather than consuming the victim completely. Then I realized-zombies don't eat Solanum-infected flesh. The zombie stops once the virus has tainted its meal. Duh! — Lady Of Procrastination
    • The island scene contradicts the earlier chapters of the book: it takes nearly 24 hours for a Zombie Infectee to go through the fever, sickness, death and revival. In this case, the victim revives immediately after the zombie stops eating.
    • Presumably the fever, sickness etc is what happens if the person who's been bitten is relatively robust and healthy, necessitating a breakdown of the system by the Solanum. In this case, the victim was already very close to death and thus much easier to convert.
  • Shifted from the main page:
    • Max Brooks mentions that assault rifles have the temptation of going full auto. This has been decried as inaccurate by some tropers, because only semi-automatic versions have been available to the civilian market in America since 1986—meaning that only the military and criminals should have fully automatic rifles. Who says that upstanding citizens amid the breakdown of society in a Zombie Apocalypse wouldn't happen across one?
      • Well, that one's a little sticky— military personnel will be some of the last to go, and they aren't just leaving their rifles behind. Gangsters... well, lets just say that those very very rare full-auto conversion jobs aren't done by liscenced gunsmiths on quality firearms. For your own safety it's best to leave those alone
    • In the book it also says that only a few zombies can climb ladders. What is harder to climb than ladders, and is stable and tall? Trees! That's right, a treehouse could save you from a zombie invasion. As long as you don't create tons of flaming zombies.
  • Fridge Logic: Max Brooks goes to great length detailing the survival of an individual or a small group either in a world conquered by zombies (inasmuch as recommending offshore oil rigs as safe havens) or in a conquered region, where modern security features are useless for a citizen because the military and police are either too busy fighting zombies or are already dead. However, the first chapter describes the zombie as a creature below the most stupid predator animal: unable to use the simplest tool, unable to climb a ladder, unable to communicate or hunt in packs like wolves, slower than a normal walking human, with low physical strength due to degraded or rotten muscles, unable to reproduce except by biting and converting humans, killable by a short hatchet blow to the head. How exactly are they able to win and spread their infection against a modern state armed with guns, artillery, communication technology, jet fighters and tanks!?
    • Fridge Brilliance: Because of the fact that they are human. It's more likely that a civilian becomes a zombie (as there are more civilians) and it would take quite some time to react. After all, it only takes a single bit to zombify someone. If there's a place where there's a lot of people, it could spread very fast. Those modern armaments mentioned are made for fighting large scale wars with other armed forces. As such they are only effective on a large level. A jet fighter is useless against one living undead. Zombie attacks happen among people, where most people live. That means that most targets would be in civilian areas, most likely urban. That means that most of those weapons won't do much good, but it's down to infantry. Add to that the level that every possible enemy is a possible friendly, which makes everything harder. And the lack of tactics can be insanely effective against people with tactics: Zombies will be spread out, in no patterns whatsoever. Considering even one can be disaster, it takes a lot of time to be thorough enough to clear everything. Sure you could break out the artillery. But that means bombing everyone who you are trying to protect...
      • Sorry, the description Brooks gives of the Battle of Yonkers in World War Z is 100% idiocy - there should be no tactics, no detective work among cities filled with living people, no conventional shooting, just bait the undead in the open (field, city square, large highway), bomb them from planes and crush them under tank treads. They can't run away and don't want to run away anyhow.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Most of the weapons and tactics described by Brooks are stupid in Real Life, but this was intentional, since the entire book is a satire against the usual theories of survivalism.
    • Examples of stupid tactics:
      • French Legionnaires, American troopers and Serbian mercenaries wasting ammo at useless torso shots, intended to show how zombies are Made of Iron. What does a trooper who sees someone does not fall from bullets do? Throw a grenade.
      • Good luck finding enough grenades for an entire swarm. Chances are you're gonna get low on ammo and attract more undead. Plus it's not like that grenade's gonna kill every zombie. It'll probably buy you a couple of seconds and a few more undead nearby. The Z's standing near the 'nade would most likely absorb most of the force and pellets in the detonation.
      • The crowbar as a weapon/tool. They are very poor handling, hard to carry, lack sharpness. What hand weapon is useful for cracking zombie skulls, cutting obstacles, chopping firewood, hammering metal and opening tins? A hatchet.
      • The crowbar only works if you've got enough arms strength to break the skull and get to the soft brain. Chances are it'll tire you out if you aren't used to it. Same goes with the hatchet, easier handling perhaps but still you'd need enough strength to crack and split. Piercing tools like an improvised bayonet or spear could do but you'd need some practice with the aim.
      • Not searching for lost comrades or family members. Cooperation of survivors is key in any disaster. Even Stone Age people knew that.
      • Uh, yeah, while you're doing that any noise they make (better hope they're not shouting and panicking) could potentially attract more Z's around (better hope you're not in a city apartment complex in a heavily inhabited area) not to mention the trust issues that could come up (better hope they don't steal anything right after you save them 'cause some are really that desperate or just complete jerks). How sure are you they aren't infected and just hiding it? How sure are you that they won't just slow you down. And what exactly is your priority? Surviving? Or helping people? Honestly, doing both is a lot easier said than done. You need to take calculated risks? Then who to save? That middle-aged man who is probably strong enough to kill you and steal your supplies right after you save him? Or maybe that small child crying and making a lot of noise and too weak to kill any zombies effectively? I'm not telling you to abandon humanity, I'm just saying that trying to help humanity can get your humanity on Z's dinner table. Be a hero, don't be an idiot.
      • The semi-automatic rifle. This is the most delicate of all civilian guns and needs perfect ammo to fire. What does a hunter use in remote places with no technical support and dubious quality ammo? A bolt-action or a double barrel break-action.
      • Bolt actions aren't exactly a walk in the park, and unless you have a silencer with that double barrel, I'll take that semi, thank you very much. A pistol with a silencer (even an improvised one with a small pillow, some padding or duct tape) with also do fine by me.
      • Bolt-actions / pump-actions do not rely on cartridge explosion to cycle them, so they can fire even the worst round which can still go boom. Semi-automatics need ammo in perfect state, otherwise they jam. Break-actions have very few moving parts, they are exceptionally reliable and they might never need repairs if and when all gun shops are gone, plus break-action shotguns may fire all sorts of round beside shot: heavy slugs, fragmentation slugs, signal-flares and so on.
      • Barricading in your home or fleeing over crowded roads in a car without listening to government warnings by radio or other means. Which is the first authority to rely on for emergency supplies, technical help, heavily-armed support? The military.
      • Maybe listen for the essentials but if you're gonna wait for supplies from the army or authorities who are most likely knee-deep in securing their own areas, distributing supplies to other groups or rescuing essentials (people whose services they'd need in long term like doctors or engineers) then I suggest you get moving 'cause I'm not sure the authorities have enough manpower to get food to an average joe making his own way. Get supplies, and get moving (if and when possible) but minimize the risks.
      • Not communicating with other people. Which was the tool that made the German armed forces to sweep victories across 2 continents? The Tiger I? The Bf-109? The Bismarck? No. The radio. In the modern age, the small handheld radio or the cellphone.
      • The Germans weren't worried about potential looters knowing their locations and crashing for, well, loot. And all that is if you can actually find another group that hasn't been killed yet, another group that actually has any valuable information and if the situation is actually suitable enough for you to actually make good use of said information. Communication is one thing to worry about when you're already worrying about securing your location (if you aren't still looking for one), rationing your supplies (if you aren't still looking for more) and maybe ammo (if you're lucky enough to have a gun and know how to make the best of it) worry about your people (if you took the risk and it was actually worth it) and plan emergency escape routes for if and WHEN the location is compromised which involves knowing where to go, not to go, any landmarks and points of interest. That last part you WOULD need some good intel for, if you can get a got communications device. If you do, does the other party have their own? Do you know their frequency (for radios maybe)? Do they even know how to work it? You make a good point, but your point is easier said than done.
      • Cellphone towers will resist for a sizable amount of time and the Internet had been designed specifically (by very knowledgeable people) to run after a nuclear war, as long as there are a few servers and an energy source.
    • Another note is that the "Survival Guide" talks about the George A. Romero zombies - where the threat is only 25% surviving from the actual zombies, and 75% surviving from the jerkassery and stupidity of your fellow humans. The other tips are mostly a case of being Wrong Genre Savvy with these zombies:
  • At one point I remember mention of any vaccine being impossible due to the fact that this would necessitate infecting people with the virus, but this ignores the fact that you can make a vaccine out of the "dead" protein shell void of any viral genetic material that the body would then "train" against and learn to recognize for future infections.
    • Easier said than done, otherwise we'd already have anti-HIV vaccines.
  • One of the stories in the expanded Stories book details a man called Patrick McDonald, who was bitten while camping before heading back to Los Angeles. You'd think it ends there, but no. Other stories take place in LA, and make references to a man who came out of the woods, attacking people as he went. Slowly, the puzzle pieces come together to make the full story. It turns out that Patrick made it to LA, and, in a three month reign of terror, caused the deaths of countless innocents and the subsequent arrests of anyone who killed the zombies to survive, in a police cover-up.

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