main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Video Game: Dead State
An RPG by indie developer DoubleBear Productions, Dead State casts the player as the leader of a safehouse during a Zombie Apocalypse. Although zombies will, of course, be a constant menace, the focus of the game is human interaction: other survivors will be both your greatest asset and your greatest threat.

Some of The Age Of Decadence's development team is assisting with the game. The game is currently available through Steam in a Beta version. The website can be found here. DoubleBear also launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to gather funding for the production.

Now has its own wiki here.

All Tropes down below are valid as of the current Beta build.

Tropes featured in Dead State include:

  • 0% Approval Rating: According to Brian Mitsoda:
    "The current design lets you pretty much piss off, kick out, kill everyone you meet, with the kind of response you would imagine you would get from being King Bastard of the Apocalypse."
  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Some of the barricades you see on various maps were very hastily constructed, or clearly didn't do their job considering the amount of undead wandering around behind the barrier.
  • Action Survivor: Almost everybody.
  • After the End: Exactly two weeks after the Zombie Apocalypse caused society to collapse.
  • A.K.A.-47: There is a weapon in the game named this. No guns have a company or brand name.
  • Anyone Can Die: As long as the player is alive, the game goes on.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Can be found all over the place in the form of laptops, cellphones, flyers, computers, and cameras.
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The Coyotes. Most likely because they killed the other bikers.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Guns. Not only do you have limited ammo for them, but the noise easily draws other zombies to you. However, with some training, they easily end fights.
  • Batter Up: Bats are good weapons for fighting the undead, not least because they're Unbreakable Weapons.
  • The Big Board: Davis sets up a large whiteboard in the Cafeteria for the survivors to track their work progress.
  • Bloody Horror: Lots of areas, understandably, have considerable quantities of blood splashed around.
  • Breakable Weapons: Many of them, particularly improvised ones. The kitchen knife even has a special attack that breaks the blade off in the wound, causing a guaranteed critical hit and bleeding.
    • The screwdriver has a special attack when you plunge it into the brain of a zombie being an instant kill.
  • Burger Fool: The "Mmm, Bison!" restaurant chain.
  • Burn The Undead: One way to get rid of zombies. They remain aflame until they die.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Being the leader means being the one who has to make the unpopular decisions.
  • Character Customization: You can customize your character at the beginning of the game.
  • Character Portrait: Allies and some neutral or hostile characters have these.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Renee isn't a doctor or even a medical student. She was training to be a veterinarian. However she's the only one with any medical training in the group. Unless of course you roll up a doctor.
  • Colour-Coded Emotions: In one of the menu screens, characters moods are displayed in different colored text.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Not only do you have to deal with Lone survivors that will shoot on sight, you also have groups of criminals who have decided that they are the new government.
    • The group as well if you play them like this.
  • Creepy Basement: Several of these on various maps
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Lot of potential for this from various sources. Most noticeable in the various victims decorating Predator Town.
  • Daylight Horror: The best time to explore is during the day. Unfortunately zombies don't sleep.
  • Death by Materialism: Getting greedy is a fantastic way to get someone shot in the face.
  • Death by Pragmatism: While not known yet, pissing off everyone can't end well.
  • Dialogue Tree: Lots of these. There are several novels worth of text in the game.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Specializing in guns. Limited ammo and makes a lot of noise which in turns summons zombies. However you'll hit almost every time and guns can finish fights fast.
  • Disaster Democracy: Develops as time goes on. The player has the final say on group decisions, but sub-leaders have the ear of various groups of people who will react to your decisions.
  • Drop the Hammer: One type of melee weapon.
  • Driven to Suicide: Elaine if you don't talk her down. Also numerous people in the background, you'll find people who killed themselves rather than face the zombies.
  • Drugs Are Good: Several characters request medical marijuana as a luxury item.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Bud's Wife. She went to the Clinic, knowing that they were being swarmed with Zombie Infectees. She went anyway as that was her job. Bud even says that's one of the things he loved about her.
  • Eaten Alive: Comes with the zombie apocalypse territory
  • Elite Zombie: Almost entirely averted. The only variations on the zombie theme are the crippled, crawling ones, the ones who're on fire, and the ones with body armor.
  • The End of the World as We Know It
  • Fate Worse than Death: Getting infected
  • Foreboding Architecture: Predator Town. The mangled corpses scattered around should be more than enough warning that you don't want to mess with the people inside.
  • Gay Option: The PC can be homosexual depending on some of the choices you make during character creation and the intro sequence.
  • Genre Blind: Zombie fiction was never popularized in the world of Dead State, leaving most people clueless about the infection.
  • Ghost Town: There are many abandoned areas in the game, although one random event is named this specifically. It's not really abandoned.
  • Goodies in the Toilets: Bathrooms are a source for luxury items like toilet paper, soap, shampoo, and tampons.
  • Gun Accessories: Suppressors, extended magazines, laser sights, etc.
  • Hacking Minigame: You discover the game's "lore" by beating a letter substitution minigame.
  • Handicapped Badass: Davis somewhat. He's able to climb stairs and make repairs while in his wheelchair but he can't fight.
  • Harder Than Hard: Hardcore/Iron Man mode. In this version of the game, antibiotics don't work so getting bitten is a death sentence. Will likely be added after the normal game is released.
  • Hate Sink: A few characters qualify for this, such as Todd, Clifford, and Effrem.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: When raiding homes and campsites for supplies, the player can slowly realize that you're actually the bandits here.
  • Hide Your Children: There are no children in Dead State, although they do exist. Possibly evacuated out of the area before the game starts.
    • Except in some cases; Ryan's sister was probably devoured by zombies when she got off the bus, although we don't know for sure.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Various groups you encounter aren't above murder, theft, and deception. Of course, the same can be true for the player depending on the choices you make.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Dead State has a 24 hour clock.
  • Ironic Name: The town of Splendid is anything but with all the zombies and looters walking around.
  • It's Up to You: The Player character must always be in the exploration team.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Doug. While he does have decent science stats, the man doesn't realize the difference between the military internet and civilian internet. (He goes on a rant about how the internet was designed for the end of the world so how can it be down.)
  • Late to the Tragedy: The game opens with the Player Character waking up after having been bedridden and unconscious for two weeks in the basement of the High School the action centers around.
  • Locked Door: Many areas were secured before the player got there. You can pick locks or bash doors down.
  • The Load: Several allies don't have much to contribute, although there might be various reasons to keep one around.
  • Machete Mayhem: One of the melee weapons
  • Mle Trois: Late game maps (or eariler if Sequence Breaking) has some of the enemy factions fighting each other. Of course the noise of the fight draws zombies to it becomes a Looter/Survivalist/Zombie battle. You can join in or pick off the survivors.
  • Mercy Kill: Possible with infected survivors
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Elaine for getting her pilot boyfriend to open the cockpit door and causing him to get bit. Which resulted in the plane crashing.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Lane the Radio DJ has moments of this, either due to the heat in the radio station, isolation, or the stress of the Apocalypse. He gets better the next day.
  • Monsters Everywhere: Depends on the level. Some are sparsely populated, while others are swarming with zombies or looters.
  • Moral Dilemma: "Sorry, guy, but your sister was bitten and we're running low on antibiotics. Out she goes."
  • Morale Mechanic: Keeping the other survivors in your Shelter happy is one of the keys to staying in a leadership position.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Often true while looking for supplies. Of course, the people you're robbing usually have the same idea.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Welcome to scenic Splendid, Texas.
  • No Periods, Period: Hilariously averted in a scene with Oscar and Melina.
  • Not Using the Z Word: Characters rarely, if ever, refer to them as "zombies."
  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: Once animated, zombies remain animated until they're destroyed.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Dog: Lightning. There are also packs of feral dogs or attack dogs accompanying looters.
  • Random Event: A wide variety of these pop up as you explore. They can bring new allies, supplies, or horrible death.
  • Real Is Brown: Although the game does take place in central Texas in summer.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: Rats are also known as "apocalypse chicken" in Dead State.
  • Room Full of Zombies: Several of these, such as the Old Church or the doomed community at Alamo Way.
  • Run or Die: Depending on how you're playing, certain fights are better off avoided entirely.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Otherwise known as smart battle tactics. Confronted with a group of enemies too strong to fight directly? Lead a mob of zombies to them!
  • Safe Zone Hope Spot: The State Shelters. They're about as safe as you would expect.
  • Save Scumming: You can do this with the maps due to the small size. However the game takes place over numerous days and something days ago can and will affect you later on. Save Early Save Often.
  • Shout-Out: The Mmm, Bison mascot? It's a Buffalo wearing an M. Bison hat.
  • Shoplift and Die: Literally, depending on who or what is lurking in the store.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: Doug and the Player.
  • Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: Type II - The zombies don't regenerate, but they're not falling off the bone either.
  • Schedule Slip: Unavoidable as a fourth of the Dev Team is in Ukraine which is currently under going political upheaval.
    • Another minor one as the Team is preparing to Showcase the game at PAX and since they are an Indie team they don't have a publisher to do that for them. Of course unlike most examples it just slows down the updates for a bit. The first pushed back their release date by a month. The second only for the three days they'll be there and a week to recover.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: If a character leaves the Shelter, they take all the gear they had equipped with them (and maybe even additional supplies)
  • Spiritual Successor: It's being developed and written by some of the people who worked on Fallout, Arcanum and Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, and has been all but explicitly declared to be a successor to the first two in terms of dialogue and gameplay style, albeit with zombies.
  • Take That: To Rick Perry's day of prayer. For non-US political followers, the Governor of Texas asked for everyone to pray for a drought in Texas to end. Not only did drought became a record-breaker after that, but several wildfire also razed Texas. In-Game he asked all of Texas to pray for the infection to end. One Genre Savvy ally knew it was time to get the hell out of dodge.
  • Team Pet: The player has the option adopt a dog and put it on their team. Obviously; dogs do not have hands like humans and can't carry stuff or hold weapons, but they compensate for this by their better senses which can more effectively alert the player's team to threats. In combat they also have the perks of being unable to panic, and immunity to the zombie plague.
    • Later updates should add Cats that raise morale and keep the rats away at the cost of more food. Also you can raise chickens for eggs, and meat in a pinch.
  • The Bechdel Test: Passes, easily if you make a female PC. Men and romance is the last thing on any one's mind right now.
    • Renee and Anita have a conversation about wanting the other to stay safe in the Shelter.
    • Mia and Sara debate the merits of joining the Shelter.
  • The Bad Guys Are Cops: One of the enemy factions in the game are cops gone rogue.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: The player wakes up two weeks into the zombie apocalypse after surviving a plane crash in Texas.
  • We Need a Distraction: Zombies are drawn to sound. This can be used to your advantage. You can even draw them to you for the scraps of supplies they carry.
  • Wrench Whack: One of the starting weapons is a pipe wrench.
  • Tuckerization: In the original build of the demo, the premade characters' name was Brian Doublebear, the main developer and the Dev Team respectively.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You can rescue or recruit dozens of survivors, most of whom are quite grateful.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can also kill any of the people you recruit, either by letting them die in combat or taking them out of the Shelter for a "terrible accident."
    • On Serpent Street You can break into a house where you fight a survivor. Once he's dead and you loot his house, you discover a locked room where the mans terrified family is hiding from you.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Why, of course! The game largely follows the classic Romero Rules after all.
  • Zombie Gait: The game's zombies are strictly traditional, slow-moving lurchers.
  • Zombie Infectee: Naturally. Though, in a slight departure from the classic Romero Rules, infectees can stop the turning process with a steady supply of antibiotics, but not entirely cure it; an infectee will eventually turn if they lose access to antibiotics.
    • The player is, due to the Rule of Fun, immune to the infection on normal difficulty. The dev team have hinted at a harder "survival mode", where this won't be the case.

Dark WatersWestern RPGDeus Ex
Dead SpaceSurvival HorrorDeep Fear
Dead Rising 3Zombie StoriesDeadly 30
Dead Space 2UsefulNotes/SteamDear Esther

alternative title(s): Dead State
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy