Video Game / Rebuild

Rebuild is a Turn-Based Strategy Flash game by sarahnorthway in which a group of survivors must take back and rebuild various cities after a Zombie Apocalypse.

Can be played here (here for the remake, which has some improved features and is available on iOS and Android).

A Kickstarter was run and funded in order to develop a third game titled Rebuild: Gangs of Deadville. This game spent some time in Steam Early Access before having its 1.0 release in May 29th, 2015.


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    Tropes Common to all three games: 
  • After the End: The setting takes place after a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Anti-Hero: Dr. Bryukhonenko in R2 aims to cure zombieism, but a visit to his lab has the observers remark on the unethical experiments he conducts. Refuse to help him and he will bomb the city before heading elsewhere.
    • Gangs of Deadsville introduces a whole slew of people the player can meet along their journeys:
      • Senator Davis comes off as a pure Jerkass and your stereotypical U.S. senator who is hellbent on claiming land and resources by force. Then you find out that she's the only person in power anymore, and that she just wants to give her troops hope and purpose... At least until she has enough Elite Zombies in her army to conquer North America...
  • Apocalypse How: Most of conventional society appears to have been wiped out, but survivors are scattered throughout and your aim is to rebuild it.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Laboratory researches are this, at least for the early game. They can prevent food loss, allow survivors to randomly show up, and prevent fatal zombie bites, but can take weeks to accomplish. And they cannot be converted into different buildings once they are no longer needed; however, you'll need 2 of them to unlock the "cure zombieism" end, and the bonuses provided are ultimately worth it.
    • Schools in the first game were useful for converting a survivor into a different class, but they lost any of their already-known skills. This was fixed in the second game, when they could learn multiple skills. In Gangs of Deadsville, the two different methods are hybridized. While your survivors can learn more than one skill, they can only be classified as one class at a time. The skills themselves are still completely usable and come into play, but a penalty is imposed if the character is doing a mission that their specified class at the time isn't suited for.
  • Badass Bookworm: It's possible for scientists to train in combat and construction from the second game onward. Turned Up to Eleven with the MacGyver perk in Gangs of Deadsville.
    • One of the perks in Gangs of Deadsville, "MacGyver" adds half of a survivor's Engineering skill to his Defense, meaning that a survivor can have 15 Defense (the base cap is 10) without any equipment or other perks.
  • Big Bad:
    • Father Kane, from the perspective of the Last Judgement questline in 2. While not responsible for the zombie outbreak, he is the head of a fundamentalist biker gang that harass you and enslave women, and thus the biggest threat in the game.
    • Mr. Clark, an Elite Zombie and former McManager, is this in Gangs of Deadville. Eventually you discover that Senator Davis of the Government faction was manipulating him all along.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It ultimately depends on how many people die in your playthrough:
    • If you manage to take the city but trade the helicopter fuel for the "cure for zombieism", this occurs.
    • The ending where you cure the zombie plague will ultimately save hundreds and perhaps revive more, but you ultimately will lose at least two people in aiming for this.
    • In Gangs of Deadsville, most of the endings in which you don't find the real cure for zombieism are this. Your PC either nukes Vancouver or becomes a mindless Elite Zombie alongside the entire population of the fort you've built. However, two of the more peaceful factions unite to form a nation called Cascadia, and immortalize your PC as the hero who brought an end to the tyrannical Government faction.
  • Canada, Eh?: The default city names are all Canadian, though you can choose your own at the start and throughout the game.
    • In Rebuild 3, the story begins in Washington State, but the protagonists drift as far east as Spokane before heading north into Canada and then back west to Vancouver.
  • Chainsaw Good: A chainsaw is an equippable item that increases offense and building skill.
  • Command & Conquer Economy: Played straight in the first two games. Downplayed in Gangs of Deadsville, due to the "Redecorator"note  perk being available to builders.
  • Crapsack World: Played straight with the first two games. Played for Laughs in Gangs of Deadsville, which adopts a more cartoony look and utilizes a lot of Black Comedy in the way it's written.
  • Cult / Religion of Evil:
    • The Church of the Chosen Ones, for whom zombies are destined to replace humanity.
    • The Last Judgement motorcycle gang are rapists and pillagers dressed as Catholic priests going on about retribution.
  • Crazy Survivalist:
    • Some survivors will shoot at you when a recruitment attempt fails.
    • The third game subverts this: some survivors, when you try to recruit them, will freak out and start waving a gun around. If you have high enough Leadership, you can talk to them and they'll calm down and explain that they're not crazy.
  • Creator Cameo: In the second game, you can help a defector escape from the Last Judgement. Her name is always Northway.
    • In the third game, Northway is a relatively common surname.
  • Dark Secret: Dr. Bryukhonenko in R2 does many horrible, bizarre, and inhumane experiments as you let him commandeer your laboratory. It probably would've felt a little more worthwhile if he'd just told your fort that this was to try and cure zombieism.
    • Senator Davis in Gangs of Deadsville is revealed to have been lying the entire time about the United States Government still being intact. She all but begs you to help become her Secret Keeper, because she just wants to keep order and give her men hope and purpose.
    • The Pig Farmers have some juicy, delicious Pork for sale at fairly cheap prices. It's a shame that it's not really pork.
  • Disc One Nuke:
    • If you take the time to train five survivors until they have all skills maxed out, and give them the best items, starting anew becomes much easier since you can then give the items to your new recruits.
    • Some of the leader perks from Gangs of Deadsville. One, for example, reduces build times to one day. That's right, reclaim any building in one day, no matter the skill of the builder.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Naturally happens if the city is overwhelmed.
    • Allowing the Church of the Chosen Ones to preach will result in your survivors being sacrificed one by one until all but a few are left, at which point you lose.
    • In Rebuild 3, most campaign endings are this, including a number which involve the main character dying, or, at best, going completely insane from The Virus.
  • Drop the Hammer: A sledgehammer gives attack and building skills.
  • Embedded Precursor: The Deluxe Edition of Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville, comes packaged with the first two games, among other things.
  • Everything's Cuter with Kittens: In Rebuild 2, one of the items (obtained by beating the roulette game) is a cat that boosts every skill but offense.
    • Black kittens in Gangs of Deadsville boost all stats.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The game's setup lets you choose your character's name, starting item and difficulty via their diary.
    • The final mission of Gangs of Deadsville. If you failed to get all three pieces of research required for the curenote ., the Government will reveal that the cure you've made is tainted with the Omega Virus, which will turn all its users into Elite Zombies. Some serious Interface Screw goes down as you slowly turn. See Nightmare Fuel on the YMMV page.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The tainted cure in Gangs of Deadsville only causes your people to turn into zombies in the final mission. In any other mission you take, even after you play through The Reveal, it works perfectly as advertised.
    • Children born inside your fort in Gangs of Deadsville, particularly your PC's children. Once they come of age, they will be recognized by the game as adult survivors. Once you enter their backstories, however, they will be treated as if they were born somewhere else outside the fort and eventually were taken in.
    • Similar incidents with children in Gangs of Deadsville in particular are random events in which a survivor will spot a relative outside the wall. Most of the time it'll be their mother or father... even if both their Mother and Father are living in your fort as the event takes place.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: Sometimes a trade caravan shows up, but on seeing your supplies insists on giving you free food. Your food stockpile has to be very low or outright non-existent for this to happen. Otherwise he'll only want to trade.
    • In Gangs of Deadsville, having a high respect rating with a faction when you're low on food will oftentimes prompt an event where they leave you some food as goodwill.
  • Guile Hero: The main leader will always start out as the leader class in the first two games. You can level up their other skills in the second game, but depending on the difficulty, it might not be necessary.
    • In Gangs of Deadsville, you have the option to keep your leader as this if you avoid letting them participate in stealth/combat missions and exclusively pick diplomatic options when dealing with factions.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In Rebuild 2, this can happen to your fort if you allow the Church of the Chosen ones to kill any dissenters. Even if Your character and the other survivors are completely happy with it, the point still stands that by killing/exiling the dissenters, you are dooming your fort.
    • In Rebuild 2, The Last Judgement Gang is shown to be taking advantage of the subway system underneath the city for easy navigation. Provided you haven't encountered the escaped slave, Northway, this allows the player to ultimately discover the location of the Last Judgement Gang's fort and launch a surprise assault, ultimately ending their raids.
    • Another in R2, Dr. Bryukhonenko. He eventually blows up the research lab that he and the assistant you can give him researching stuff in. The guy was a pretty big Jerkass from the moment he arrived, anyway.
    • In Gangs of Deadsville, by the time you reach Vancouver, there are Multiple Endings available to both the city and the future of the Northwestern coast region. Choosing to destroy The Government's fort without setting off the missile silo is this for both The Player's Vancouver and Abbotsford settlements and The Government, since both groups were responsible for creating the Omega-Virus. Regardless of interpretation, it's easily a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Riffs sometimes use these during their regular zombie killing sprees.
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe. Characters reaching level 10 in a skill are treated as such, like soldiers able to kill zombies with a glance.
  • More Dakka: Machine guns and assault rifles provide the highest offense bonus.
  • Multiple Endings: Five of them in Rebuild 2: Curing zombieism, creating a new nation by retaking the city hall and drafting a new constitution, fixing a helicopter in order to flee the city, defeating the Last Judgement gang, and everyone converting to the Church of the Chosen Ones. The mobile version of Rebuild 2 added a sixth where you hoard food and run away from everyone else.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil:
    • Defeating the Last Judgement gang in Rebuild 2 shows you what happens to them. Corpses piled up, one guy's eyeball beaten out of his face, one guy tied to a pole and shot full of arrows...
    • One of the progress reports states that you blow a hole in their perimeter walls, allowing zombies through.
    • In Gangs of Deadsville, defeating a faction leaves you with the options of driving them out of the city, inviting them to join you, or killing them all. The last option can be rather tempting depending on who you're dealing with.
  • Randomly Generated Levels:
    • Cities are completely randomized, though you always start with a police station, housing and a farm.
    • Character names and appearances in the second game are similarly randomized; it's possible to end up with, for example, a man in a business suit and a keffiyeh by the name of Satoshi Gomez.
    • In Gangs of Deadsville, this is downplayed. There are multiple survivors you recruit throughout Campaign mode that have preset names and will always be the same appearance and skillset, to boot. Of course, everyone else is randomly generated.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: Starving survivors may attempt to catch rats for food, then become infected when a rat bites them.
  • Reinventingthe Wheel: You lose all your scientific upgrades after starting a New Game+. Justified, as the infrastructure that let you use them is back in the first city.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Several reports note this is the only way to deal with the zombies.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: Individual builders are oftentimes all you need to construct a two-story apartment or two acres of farmland within a few days, depending on their skill level.
  • Scavenger World: Before you get enough farms to produce more food than you eat, your food and equipment must be scavenged from zombie-infested city blocks.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying!:
    • A bizarre variation: if the Church of the Chosen Ones in Rebuild 2 is allowed to proliferate, they will shut down the city every two or three days to celebrate someone joining the Chosen Ones teeming outside their walls, when they aren't joining them of their own free will.
    • Occasionally the survivors will do this, increasing happiness at the cost of food. Sometimes it's a zombie shooting competition, which lowers the danger.
    • This is an option for Rebuild 3 when a couple gets married.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If happiness or food levels are too low, some survivors will leave and try their luck elsewhere.
  • Sex Slave:
    • The Last Judgment gang enslave their women in this way.
    • It's implied that the women working for Gustav's "love caravan" aren't there voluntarily. He will at one point ask to recruit one of your female survivors. Agreeing earns you a rocket launcher in Rebuild 2 and a Flamethrower in Gangs of Deadsville.
  • Units Not to Scale: In Rebuild 2 and Gangs of Deadsville, suburbs, motels, apartment blocks and trailer parks can all only provide housing for two people.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Gustav may offer you a substantial reward for trading away a handsome female survivor, but you can refuse simply because it's the right thing to do.
      • In Gangs of Deadsville, this event occurs at least once per city; unlike in the last game, you have the option to rudely decline. It nets a bit of annoyance from Gustav, but also boosts morale in the fort.
    • Converting your useless buildings into a church is a good way to make citizens happy. You can also build bars, and even assign a survivor as a bartender.
    • Gangs of Deadsville introduces children characters, who consume food, can't do missions, and must be cared for by an adult. They also subtract a point from all stats, and count as equipped items (so you can't give someone, say, a hammer to offset the stat penalty). You'll probably take them in anyway, because you won't be able to look yourself in the mirror after sending a little 7 year old back out into zombie-town. You do get a reward for doing so, in that kids eventually grow up into adults, usually with higher skills than new recruits, but this takes a long time.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • If you choose to allow the cult to form, you are sentencing your society to death. You can, however, ban and attack the cult after it starts going out of control; this will lose the author and a couple of survivors.
    • Sending out poorly-trained survivors as cannon fodder.
      • Especially useful in Rebuild 3, in which sending out weaker units as decoys can help draw "Roamers" away from core missions.
    • When Gustav arrives and offers you a deal to trade a female survivor for some valuable rewards, you can accept For the Evulz.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • The Bad Ending requires you to allow a book claiming "zombies are our friends" to proliferate and allow the author to commandeer a church to preach their beliefs. It's actually worthwhile to do this, since it boosts your city's happiness, as long as you crack down on the church once it starts turning crazy. You'll lose a few survivors, but that happiness boost can be crucial for the early game. They'll also convert an otherwise unusuable graveyard into a church.
    • One of the good endings requires you to allow an obvious Mad Scientist inside your fort, give him a lab, ignore the screams coming from the lab, and continue his work even after it explodes. Turns out his cure for zombieism actually works.
    • Turned Up to Eleven in the third game. The only way for you to get the good ending is by making no less than four choices that you wouldn't normally do, in the span of a single city:
      • Put a team of survivors in the path of an incoming zombie mob. This team must include an Engineer, a class that normally has zero reason to be outside the safety of your fort. Once the mob descends on your team, you must choose to finish reading an old newspaper instead of running for it.
      • When a scavenger at level 10 scavs an unreclaimed mall, they will finish early and have some time to kill. You must have them go to the pet store, instead of using that time to do something more productive, like kill all the zombies in the mall.
      • Sell a cricket bat, an extremely rare high level melee weapon, to Gustav. Alternatively, if you're more for guns, you probably left the cricket bat behind several cities ago, without ever knowing how important it was.
      • In an uncommon event where a neighbouring faction is impressed by your having five schools, they will offer to give you some books. You must choose trashy fiction novels, instead of scientific textbooks.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dr. Bryukhonenko is committed to dealing with the zombie plague, but his methods are very unethical at best.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas
  • Zombie Advocate: The Church of the Chosen Ones are, at first, advocates for friendship with zombies. Later, they become outright zombie-worshippers.
    • One of the progress reports for the constitution's drafting in Rebuild 2 has one of these, which slows down the debate.
  • Zombie Apocalypse
  • Zombie Infectee: A possible fate for the survivors, and are put down in plain view of the other survivors unless you researched the antivenom.

    Rebuilds 1 and 2 provide examples of: 
  • Art Shift: Rebuild 1 had designs that would make South Park characters seem extremely detailed. This was changed in Rebuild 2, which was way Darker and Edgier (and Gorier!) in appearance, as courtesy of the artist Evil Kris.
  • Badass Biker:
    • The Riffs. Randomly show up to go on zombie-shooting sprees, and later help you out with taking out the Last Judgement and the Church of the Chosen Ones.
    • The Last Judgement gang are a group of Catholic bikers that regularly pose a threat to the city.
  • Body-Count Competition: A random event will involve survivors have a shooting contest, using the zombies outside the walls as practice. Sometimes the Riffs will join in.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: The helicopter ending has a zombie sneak up behind the pilot... before getting its brains blown out by a passenger.
  • Eyebrows Burned Off: This is what happens when you build a jet fuel flamethrower.
  • Hold the Line: What the survivors do every night against the hordes of zombies surrounding them. Several of the endings have massive hordes show up every night until the objective is completed.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The level is chosen by the initial survivor wondering how hard it'll be to take back the city.
  • Informed Flaw: Survivors will sometimes mention that ammunition for their firearms is limited and hard to come by, and yet you can equip your entire fort with guns without risking the loss of offensive power.
  • Intrepid Merchant: Food caravans pop in and offer to trade from time to time. If you're out of food, they'll give you some.
    • Gustav will come to your fort once every in-game week to offer a deal for a variety of items, or even a chance to raise your happiness with his Band of Brothels.
  • Kill It with Fire: According to your soldiers, jury-rigged flamethrowers are quite useful for clearing blocks of zombies.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Bryukhonenko. He makes his presence known by arriving and demanding your help as soon as you have a lab, then works on a cure for zombieism which causes a lot of loud screaming for some unknown reason. He will also ask for a lab partner every week. This ultimately results in the death of both himself and whoever you send to help him, with the lab being swarmed by zombies. Ultimately, however, his work pays off.
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe. Characters reaching level 10 in a skill are treated as such, like soldiers able to kill zombies with a glance.
  • More Dakka: Machine guns and assault rifles provide the highest offense bonus.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • For Rebuild 1:
      • The Scientific ending has your survivors research the cure for zombieism.
      • The Leadership ending has your survivors found a new government to better organize your fort against the undead.
      • The Soldier ending has your soldiers being sent down into a portal to hell to close it.
      • The Builder ending is achieved by reclaiming all the blocks in the city, thereby having reclaimed it all.
    • For Rebuild 2:
      • The Helicopter ending has the fort construct a helicopter to use as an escape in the event of the city becoming overrun.
      • The Cure ending has the fort create and distribute a cure to that ultimately prevents new zombies from spawning in the city, as well as insanely increasing defense.
      • The Church of the Chosen Ones ending has the fort submit to the way of the Church, performing Ritual Suicide one by one until everyone is a zombie.
      • The War ending liberates the women in the Last Judgement Gang's fort, and eliminates the Last Judgement Gang altogether.
      • The Constitution ending is accomplished by reclaiming city hall and drafting a constitution, allowing for an organized banner for survivors to unite under against the undead.
  • Name of Cain: The Last Judgement is headed by a Father Kane.
  • Never Found the Body: In the first game, scouting missions weren't entirely safe, so this was the outcome if a scout didn't come back.
  • New Game+: The good endings have you choose five people to go to a new city to rebuild. You can choose the difficulty and the items your envoys are equipped with. Choosing to continue the game after other endings also gives you a nice boost: the zombie cure keeps new zombies from appearing, a constitution makes everyone very happy, and defeating Last Judgement keeps them permanently out of your hair.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Laboratory upgrades range from zombie biology to electricity and electronics to agronomy. The items that increase science skill are equally disparate, from medkits to chemistry kits to science textbooks.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Dog: Throughout Rebuild 2, you'll find dogs on scavenging missions as well as the fact before starting the game, a dog is one of the items you choose to use. Also from time to time, there would be wild dog attacks made on the fort which could lead to one of the survivor's death if there isn't enough fort defense.
  • Shout-Out:

    Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville provides examples of: 
  • The Ace: Your PC is technically the only one capable of this, with all of their skill levels being unlocked at once; however, all survivors' skills can be maxed out to a similar degree. Unlike them, however, the PC is not required to overspecialize.
  • Almighty Janitor: Jesse, the zombie cowboy. He'll reveal that he used to sell vacuum cleaners before the apocalypse if you successfully cure him.
    • The PC can actually be this, if they were a Hobo, Pizza Delivery Guy, or Pro Gamer before the apocalypse.
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Subverted with the Pharmacists. They amount to what is essentially an Anarchic drug empire with one "representative". They generally disapprove of any form of authority or law, and trying to have crime and punishment for your constitution - or any policies - will rub them the wrong way.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Before a specific patch, your maximum food limit was determined by how many survivors were in your fort and however many warehouses you managed to claim. Around 1.5 patches, they altered some of the research nodes to include a food storage buff if you research them.
  • Anti-Villain: The Pig Farmers are this. Cannibals who kidnap people and eat them when they're not selling the meat. However, when there's any plot centered around them, they explain that they only capture and eat "bad people." Choose not to believe them and kill them all to escape with your survivor? A week later, the other three people they had captive will all kill each other over something petty.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Played straight in the Zombie Apocalypse ending for Campaign Mode, in regards to your PC and all others who have been given the fake cure.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Multiple instances, but this one especially:
    Yeah, [Survivor] is really really sick now. Shaking, vomiting, seeing visions of blue gnomes dancing around the room. He'll be lucky if he even lives through it. That was a terrible idea.
  • Art Shift: This game went back to a more cartoonish look to go along with the Black Comedy theme.
  • Badass Biker: The Last Judgement Gang is full of these.
    • The Player character is this, if they have the Gang Member/Gangster perk.
  • Badass Bookworm: Any survivor with a high Soldier skill and the "Bookworm" perk are literally this.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The spike-lined leather clothing for both "bulky" and "obese" female survivors feature this.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The Last Judgement/Riffs conflict in Moses Lake. The Last Judgement Gang starts out with 25 respect, which is very low, meaning that they'll occasionally send raiding parties after your fort, and it's stated numerous times that they'd been going toe-to-toe with the Riffs since they arrived. As it turns out, the Riffs were deliberately trying to keep absolute power over the city and gain a monopoly on all the resources in the city limits. The conflict only really started after the former Riffs' leader tried to attack Last Judgement. Not out of necessity, or malice, but because he took offense to the Last Judgement Gang refusing to submit to the Riffs' protection.
  • Black Comedy: This game's primary focus. Well, that and Shout Outs. But the latter is prevalent in all installments. It has a section on the Rebuild Trivia page, after all. But we all knew that already.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The L33t Crew definitely seem to experience this. They're made up almost exclusively of either pro gamers or extremely introverted scientists. Dara Yu, their leader, constantly speaks in Gamer slang, and they generally approve of simply having electricity and rewarding people based on how talented they are. The faction also seems to lean on the fourth wall pretty frequently.
  • Book Ends: In Gangs of Deadsville's prologue campaign text, your PC writes "It's too late-It's too late-It's too late..." at the end of one page. Your PC begins screaming this in their head as they reanimate if you choose to annihilate the Government without nuking the city.
  • The Chess Master: Senator Davis. She used Mr. Clark and the PC to do her dirty work in developing, mass-producing, and mass-distributing the "cure"note .
  • Child Soldier: Little kids that grow up into soldiers are still 14. They may be adults by the rules of the apocalypse, but they're still just barely going into adolescence.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land: Nelson is this in spades, and outright described as a haven for hippies, hipsters, activists, cults, etc. The four factions living there are the Luddies, the Dahlias, the Pig Farmers see I'm a Humanitarian below, and the Church of the Chosen Ones.
  • Combat Medic: The First Aid perknote  turns a survivor into one. The entirety of your fort becomes equipped to be this when you research "Paramedic Training"note .
  • Combat Pragmatist: Survivors with the Scrapper perk are designated as this.
  • Commander Contrarian: All factions in each and every city display this. The way the gameplay mechanics are set up, you can't perform "meet with" missions with factions until you build a city hall and establish yourself as a government. Then when you do just that, the factions become annoyed with you and will claim you're trying to muscle in on their turf in an event not long after. Your options are either "Apologize", "Ignore them", or "Tell them to go to hell".
  • Crisis of Faith: Survivors with the Devout perk will undergo this and lose their perk after a few weeks of not having a church in the fort.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: In Campaign Mode, you'll often find yourself making decisions that can and will usually result in wiping out and befriending the various factions in the cities. Don't expect to see any effect of your choices later on. Except for when you get to Vancouver.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All survivors tend to have shades of this. Given who the game was made by, does it really come as a surprise?
    As I got near the house I spotted movement through the broken windows and a couple disheveled figures crouched over a fallen body inside. From the sounds of cracking bones and tearing flesh, I was pretty sure they weren't giving the guy CPR.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • You can invite the survivors of a faction you've destroyed to join your community. However, it's stated that the new survivors are extremely depressed. Their happiness meters upon joining will say it all if you're too lazy to read the entry.
    • One of the best ways to earn respect with the Riffs is to accept their challenge to a duel: their best fighter vs. your best, and if your guy is tough enough he wins and you gain a good bit of respect with them.
  • Developers' Foresight: Trail is meant to show players how to achieve the "biplane ending" for cities by ramping the danger levels Up to Eleven. You can still finish the city the normal way (albeit it's very difficult) and move on, however, and your PC will even say something different depending on how you do things.
    • Downplayed with the multiple endings in Vancouver. The way the missile silo holding the nuke pops up and prompts you to investigate once you start winning the war against the Government would pretty much be an instant-win condition, but you can simply wipe out the Government without detonating the silo. Doing so pretty much goes as well as you'd expect - yes, you stopped the Government, but you did so while giving into the infection. Now your entire fort will turn and Vancouver - as well as the countryside - will become overrun with the incredibly-monstrous Omega-Zombies.
  • Dirty Coward: There is, in fact, a "Coward"note  perk in the game. And you can obtain it for your survivors through backstories.
  • Dirty Communists: This is what many of your survivors will make you out to be if you choose to have the "Private Property"note  policy set to "People share all Resources." They'll be unhappy that the government is interfering with their own possessions.
  • Disappeared Dad / Missing Mom: Can be invoked by you when choosing which survivors to move onto other cities. There are absolutely no barriers in most cases as to who you can bring. This includes survivors that have built a family in the fort you're living in.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: One of the Rotten is named "Cutter", who will go around butchering zombies with his knife. Try to approach him when he pops up near your fort? He'll stab your survivor in the knee, injuring them for a few days, and then yell "Leave Cutter alone!"
  • Due to the Dead: This is what sets the entire plot in motion: Diane Moon, the tutorial lady, dies after you complete your first city. Your PC then pledges to continue her mission and dream of creating new communities to finally rebuild civilization.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Exaggerated, to the point of Guide Dang It. See Violation of Common Sense in the first folder above.
  • Elite Zombie: This game introduces a faction called The Rotten, which is composed entirely of Zombie Persons. They can blend in with the other zombies, and the living are, naturally, afraid of them, so they hide in the subways to avoid contact with them.
    • The main subplot of Gangs of Deadsville involves an Evil Plan via a conspiracy between Mr. Clark and Senator Davis to engineer a super-zombie virus, the "Omega-virus," which will turn people into pliable, ruthless super-soldiers.
  • Enemy Civil War: You have the option to start one by revealing that Senator Davis was lying to her army about the Government actually being intact to maintain order. You then have the option to choose who you help when the conflict ensues. Can double as a Heel–Face Turn on the player's part if they side with Senator Davis in the fighting. "What is war good for?" indeed, Player Character.
    • The Pig Farmers were once a part of the Luddies, before ultimately breaking off after some disagreements with Ludd. It's extensively shown that said disagreement was most likely over their diets.
  • Exact Words: An event with St. Michaels allows you a chance to give the boys there some of your alcohol when you have a bar, in exchange for their Bazooka. Said Bazooka is really just an old bulldog. Which is still pretty useful.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Deconstructed with Mr. Clark. He was a Mc-Noodles manager before the apocalypse, and is now an intelligent - if slightly insane - zombie trying to take over the post-apocalyptic world by training zombies into an army. He'll still slip into a rant about how his employees and customers were all complete Jerkasses when they weren't morons.
  • Gatling Good: Unlocking Gustav's special stock has him bringing in the big guns, which will include anywhere between one and several miniguns, amongst other BFG's like rocket launchers and flamethrowers. This stock resupplies every week.
  • Genre Shift: Also newly-implemented is the option to play in real-time rather than turn-based.
  • Guide Dang It: Only 0.4% of players have gotten the good ending for Gangs of Deadsville. The exact method was only discovered by data mining the game code. Mainly because unlocking it requires going through no less than four nonsensical choices in the span of one city, in a series of events that aren't obviously connected. See Violation of Common Sense in the first folder.
  • The Heart: Anyone with the Friendly perk ends up becoming one of these.
    • One particular backstory for children, which also gives the same perk listed above, essentially writes the child survivor up as this. When a kid has this backstory, you can have Easygoingnote , Pacifist, and Friendly all in one survivor just by having a child grow up. If that's not what qualifies for The Heart, then Crapsack World could not begin to describe a zombie game better.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Survivors with the "Brave" perknote  will often perform these on missions. Although, since mechanically, it essentially prioritizes the Brave survivors over other survivors for injuries and sicknesses, it's never outright mentioned.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The PC and their fort go through this before undergoing And Then John Was a Zombie when fighting the Government in Vancouver. The logs will constantly remind the player of how their survivors are morphing and changing into zombies from the "cure", with constant Sanity Slippage and violent outbursts becoming the norm.
  • Hope Spot: Drafting a constitution in Trail. The purpose of the town is to showcase the biplane function for escaping lost towns without losing the game. Choosing to instead Hold the Line against the oddly-immense hordes of zombies flooding in will have your PC comment that they don't think Trail will last.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: You can punish criminals by "capital cannibal punishment". And the Pig Farmers are an entire faction of cannibals. They kidnap people, butcher them, and sell the meat as "pork".
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Children can die just as easily as adults can in this game. And boy, does it take a toll on everyone's morale.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Rotten survivors. They're immune to zombie bites, don't need to eat food, and if you can get one to have the Camper perk, they don't need housing. When pairing this with some of the perks like Scrapper, you essentially have an absurdly-powerful super soldier.
  • Intrepid Merchant: Gustav is definitely this.
  • I Should Have Been Better: Your PC will have these thoughts when leaving a city behind via plane.
  • Jerkass: Gustav, in spite of how helpful he can be, is still a businessman and therefore Only in It for the Money in every aspect. Even though barter is the rule of trade, it's quite evident he gets off on being a shrewd businessman.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rufus, and the rest of St. Michaels. At first sight, he, and by extension, the rest of the kids, come off as Bratty Half-Pints who are better off being killed. However, not only does St. Michaels' respect meter default at 75%, but it's shown countless times that the kids are generally just trying to cope with the harsh new world the only way they know how: by being kids when they can. Rufus can gain some closure on his own issues if you do the questline in Wenatchee. Whenever they're present in a city, they allow you to Take a Third Option in regards to children. If you don't have the food/manpower to babysit a kid, you can send them to St. Michaels, where they'll be right at home.
  • Kangaroo Court: Specific factions will often start an event where this occurs. They detain one of your survivors for absurd offenses against them, and you ultimately have the options varying between accepting the punishment, having your survivor become a Pacifist, or, if you have a high enough respect with the faction, convince them to let the survivor go. Unlike most examples of this trope, however, there are benefits to playing along with the trial. Accepting the punishment, while landing your survivor into recovery for a few days, gives them the "Toughness" perk, which makes them less likely to die on missions/attacks. Making your survivor a Pacifist will spare them from injury/beatdown, at the price of them being unable to use weapons. Depending on what said survivor is, you may just go with the beating.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A few missions after the Government starts receiving threats from the mysterious "Cryptico," Dara of the 1337crew admits it is her: "As if it wasn't totally obvious, right?!"
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: The Stinky perk gives +1 to defense at the price of making fewer friends.
  • Little Miss Badass: The little girl that is most deserving of this is no doubt Lily Badejo. She's a generic character with a preset name that goes out by herself to try and find medicine for her sick father, and comes to your fort to ask for some. You can either convince her to just settle down with you, give her the medicine, or turn her away. Giving her the medicine will, in fact, save her dad, allowing you to get an Engineer a few weeks later!
  • The Load: Surprisingly averted in this game with normal survivors. There are a huge amount of negative perksnote  that survivors can have upon arrival, but they'll still try their damnedest to make themselves useful, even if that one sickly person is more likely to get sick and be a burden, they'll do whatever they can to help the fort when you have them assigned to work.
    • Justified with children, since children are small, less bulky and more vulnerable to disease than adults. And besides that, you do get some nifty survivors when the children finally grow up.
  • Loan Shark: This is actually the name of a random event with Gustav's caravan. If your fort is low on food, Gustav will offer a loan of 30 days rations with the promise that you'll pay him back the following month. Thankfully, he doesn't charge interest for that. Fail to pay him back, and you'll lose respect with him.
  • Loophole Abuse: In order to free Chuklin' Chuck from The Government's custody in Spokane, you have to acquire his identification and documents from his house. This confirms him as a U.S. citizen and therefore protected by U.N. law from being detained for experimentation.
    • At first glance, giving one of your Soldiers the Pacifist perk is possibly the dumbest thing you can do. However, the downside of "Pacifist" (being unable to equip weapons) can easily be mitigated by your soldier take the "Hand to Hand Combat" perk, which provides a bonus for not having any weapons equipped. Oh, did we mention that any miscillaneous items that add defense are also exempt from "Pacifist's" penalty?
  • Luck-Based Mission: Several:
    • During the "Inside Threat" event, you can perform a Leadership roll to try and resolve the situation peacefully and without losing any equipment. It's never a 100% chance for success, but your leadership skill will affect the outcome.
    • Gustav's "Gambler's Ruin" event is pretty much this. If you get enough bad rolls, you can end up completely depleting one of your resources. Get enough good ones to net +30 resources, not counting the Jackpot? You can easily double an uncommon/rare/item-in-demand resource if you're lucky enough.
    • If you're a role-player, then getting your PC to develop specific relationships with various other survivors is definitely this, since survivor relations are explicitly random, the only influence being the perks survivors have.
  • Mad Bomber: Jesse really likes explosions.
  • Madness Mantra: During the prologue text in Campaign Mode, your PC writes repeatedly, "It's too late it's too late it's too late..." In the Zombie Apocalypse ending, your PC will repeat this right before they turn.
  • Magikarp Power: Children are definitely this. They arrive at/are born in your fort, and when they turn 14 in-game, they turn into adult survivors that can be sent out to do missions. More often than not, by the time they grow up they'll already be maxed out in their stats, and are even their own sub-class of survivor with backstories only they can access. Of course, depending on how young they are when they first come to your fort (Especially if they were born between two of your survivors), they will take a very long time to reach the age of 14. Heck, the pregnancies alone take the actual 9 months a baby is born after!
    • The Scrapper and MacGyver perks are definitely this. The former adds the survivor's entire scavenging skill to their total combat proficiency, thereby allowing, with the right equipment, to boost said survivor's combat skill to a whopping 30. Just to put things in perspective, the base cap for all skills is 10. The latter, however, only adds half of the survivor's engineering skill to their combat proficiency. Both of these perks are only accessible when the respective survivor not only has reached their final "backstory" segment, but has a majority of their class's perks. Equipping items that temporarily give perks can often help in this regard, since it'll remove the perk from their list when you go through their backstories.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Oddly enough, the zombies seem to avoid going into Churches entirely. Entire games will often have the churches be completely empty and ready to be reclaimed.
  • Mood Dissonance: In-universe, during the "Bunny Wunnies" event, should you choose the "Half and Half" option:
    Rabbits for some, rabbit stew for others. Everyone wins!
    (Beat)
    Although it's a little disturbing to eat rabbit meat while you pet one sitting on your lap...
  • More Dakka: Miniguns and Rocket Launchers are the most powerful weapons in the game.
  • Multiple Endings: For the plot-oriented Campaign Mode's Vancouver level:
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The current narrator of the event will say this almost word for word if you turn away a child who shows up at your gates.
    The boy/girl's parents must be out there in the city, desperately searching for him/her. They must be. We gave the little tyke a fresh set of clothes and a tin of sweets, then dropped him/her off way on the other side of the city, in a big square where we figured his/her family would be most likely to spot him/her... (Beat) Oh god, what have we done...
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: The majority of the Luddies faction are this.
  • New Game+: Downplayed. You can move onto new cities like in the previous 2 games with a band of 5 survivors with high stats, but the stats are always capped at 5/10 when moving on with those survivors.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If you go to war against an enemy faction and then attempt to negotiate peace, the faction leader will demand you pay "reparations," regardless of whether or not you were the one who instigated the conflict. Refuse to pay? They'll inadvertantly accuse you of a rather well-thought out plan that could weaken their defenses. There's no effect on gameplay, but it's still applicable here, and even lampshaded by your peace negotiator.
  • Not Playing Fair With Resources: Factions operate a bit differently from the PC's forts. Instead of 5 different survivor types based on skills, they have only 3: Bands of soldiers for attacking other factions head-on, raiding parties, and trade caravans. The only time the factions ever seem to need resources is when an event comes up. Justified in that whenever they expand their forts, they take over everything in each block under their control, including the survivors and resources that are there.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Played with. The science skill has been turned into the Engineering skill, which is much more justifiable for covering a wide variety of different fields.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: In Rebuild 3, an entire opposing faction, the Rotten, is comprised of semi-still-human zombies (who resent the name being used on them). In certain cases you can even gain one of them as a member of your faction.
    • Also, there is Mr. Clark, and his horde of trained zombies.
    • Senator Davis is revealed to be striving for creating her own army of Elite Zombies.
    • Gustav also has a "zombie trainer" sideshow act with a zombie trained to do tricks. It doesn't end well, potentially.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Occurs on occasion if your PC participates in Gustav's "Love Caravan" visits, should s/he choose to participate. Also the driving factor of the Kathleen questline.
  • SequelDyeJob / SequelSpeciesChange: The Riffs are now truer to their inspirational material, in contrast to their previous description in 2 as bikers.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Survivors with the "Rebellious"note  perk are this.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: When a biplane is acquired, various events will occur where survivors try to weasel their way into a spot on the plane if an escape was ever necessary. One of the events involves attempted Bribery. You can accept the bribe and in turn honor the deal, confiscate the bribe (which will make the one attempting the bribe leave your fort), or refuse it.
    • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: This is one of the responses and what it amounts to with the situation above. If you're feeling particularly greedy and don't much care for that survivor anyway...
    • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: You can just confiscate the equipment item, which causes said briber to leave the fort. Although depending on what your rules on Private Property are, no rules are really being broken in this case.
  • Seemingly Hopeless Boss Fight: Trail. The normal goal of each city is to establish a constitution for the town and ally with/eliminate the factions in the area. With Trail, the zombies begin flooding en masse into town, ramping up the difficulty and danger levels Up to Eleven. This is meant to encourage players to escape Trail via the biplane mission. Of course, you can still do it the normal way, and the player will even remark on how they feel as if what they did in Trail won't be a lasting peace.
  • Ship Tease: Your PC seems to have this with Diane Moon, if the PC's depiction of the Dream Sequence is anything to go off of.
  • Shout-Out:
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Woe to those who decide to include Diane Moon in their first "dream team" after completing their first Campaign city. Any equipment she has will be lost, and on top of all that, you'll have one less survivor to start the next city with.
  • Straw Feminist: The Dahlias faction show shades of this.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Poor Mr. Clark is this. An Elite Zombie who wants to try and conquer the world by training the dumber zombies. The only problem is, the normal zombies are too dumb and weak to actually train.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Your PC will give this particular gem when discussing crime and punishment in the drafting of a Constitution:
    We need a policy for how we deal with criminals. I'm not talking, like, that jerk who borrowed my lighter but now insists he found it in an 8-12 last month even though we both know damn well that he stole it from me...
    (Beat)
    Anyway, I don't mean him. I mean people who break the foundations of our ethical code. Murder. Treason. Unthinkable crimes.
  • Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Trail is a rural farming town along the US-Canadian border, and you have to stop through there during Campaign mode. The abundance of farms means that feeding your fort is a complete non-issue! Hope you're ready for the massive hordes that will bombard your fort.
  • Take That
    • The Saw description reads: "Man those were some bad movies."
    • Learning Styles are stated as BS by your lab workers when you research a technology meant to increase your fort's skill levelling speeds:
    Some people used to think there were "visual learners" and "audial learners," but I'm pretty sure that was a load of BS made up by psychologists to justify their paycheck. There are a lot of different ways to learn something, but the most effective way is by doing.
    • If you don't take the 'Shop Clerk' perk as your starting PC perk, you get this gem if you pick it later on:
    All my friends came by to hang out at the corner store where I worked that summer. We talked about our favorite movies and stuff and basically nothing happened. Pretty much the plot to the movie Clerks.
  • Talking to the Dead: A lot of campaign mode has your PC writing their Captain's Logs as if they were messages to Diane, after she dies before reaching Wenatchee.
  • There Are No Adults: In-Universe for St. Michaels. All of the teachers died sometime after the apocalypse, and are essentially made up of mostly prepubescent children. They're all led by Rufus, and are implied to rely on scavenging to make way in the economy.
  • Useless Useful Non-Combat Abilities: One word: Redecorator. What it's meant to do is give you a little extra help with your materials management by having the survivor with this perk take the initiative and scrap a building without you telling them to. The range of buildings that can be scrapped is basically anything tagged in the game's files as a "useless" building... which happens to also include buildings like the Warehousenote , and the 8-12 Martnote . If you're watching a playthrough, don't expect to see veteran players choose this perk very often, if at all.
    • Prior to the 1.6 Patch that corrected this, the PC perk Politician was this in spades. Sure, it gives one extra random survivor every time you start a city... but that's it. They're the same level as any other survivor you can just recruit normally when you start the city, and you don't even get to take an extra survivor when starting a New Game+. You'll just spawn with a new survivor that's extremely wimpy and unskilled compared to your Four-Man Band.
  • Vendor Trash: The biggest perk of the cure (ironically), next to automatically immunizing all your survivors to zombie bites upon researching it. Just researching it gives you 99 syringes for free, and you don't even have to spend them to give your survivors the Immune perk. They just get it. Each syringe is worth 20 barter points, and more can be made by converting 1 medicine in your workshops. Medicine is in turn, made of thin air, and a mid-tier tech, which means by the time you get the cure, you should have already researched medicine. With a New Game+ engineer, it's entirely possible to be selling the cure to other folks by mid-game.
  • What the Hell, Player?: When meeting with a faction to improve relations, one event will have the leader give a gesture of fidelity. Your options are to either "Kiss his/her ring," for minimum leadership requirements, or to "Give it some tongue" for higher-level leaders. Doing the latter nets this response:
    Eww, no. The ring was just a metaphor. What I actually did was give a Rousing Speech about the partnership between us and (Faction).
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: If you save Chucklin' Chuck from the Government in Spokane, a few days later, a tank will roll up to your fort, prompting an Oh Crap! moment from your PC... only for Jesse to pop out of it, excitedly hooting and hollering about how the Rotten used Chuck's intel (against his wishes) to destroy the Government presence in Spokane.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: With a high enough leadership skill, the character you send to meet with a faction can resort to this to reach a happy conclusion when a faction demands that you swear loyalty to them.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/Rebuild