Is A Paranoid conspiracy theorist's book in the WWZ 'verse.
In the Survival Guide, It's made clear that the Zombie plague has been around for milennia and is just something everybody knows about. In WWZ the virus is something completely new that is totally unrepresented in the historical record. The thing is, it IS unprecedented, the so called "Recorded attacks" are actually just the author combing the historical record for things that can be forced to fit a zombie presence before the war, when really there is none.
the SIR is an AR-180 with wooden furniture rather than polymer furniture.
Little bearing on the story, but resolves the in-story qestions of the rifle's exact make. the 180 is a reliable, accurate, semi-auto, 5.56 rifle that can be made cheaply and in high quality and quantity. It has a bayonet lug and a quick-detatch scope mount, and accepts M16 magazines.
The virus is alien in origin, a nanotech plague designed to affect only humans and sent by an unmanned probe.
The originating planet is a water world, explaining why aliens would want our planet (70% water) and why zombies under the sea don't decay as quickly.
- Brooks' earlier Zombie Survival Guide (and other WWZ universe materials) show that the zombie virus has been around for a while on Earth, dating back thousands of years. Its just that this is the first time it spread in the modern world, where modern international travel allowed it to easily turn into a pandemic. There are "recorded outbreaks" going back to Roman Britain and earlier; these were the basis for legends about "zombies" or similar undead revenants throughout history. What was the *ultimate* origin of the zombie virus, thousands of years ago? Who knows. The outbreak that caused World War Z started in China, and is vaguely implied to be the result of the People's Republic of China continuing bio-warfare experiments with the zombie-virus that Imperial Japan was conducting in World War II, as part of Japan's real-life "Unit 731" bio-warfare division.
- Okay, the aliens are inept at their methods and finally got it right.
Max Brooks is a time lord.
- And he came back to stop the zombie apocalypse. He succeeded and decided to publish his zombie survival guide to get a lot of money because his TARDIS got destroyed.
- Or, he came back to our time period AFTER he failed to prevent the zombie apocalypse of his favorite pet planet. He published the Guide to help prepare us years in advance, and because knowledge of zombies isn't mainstream yet, he published it as a comedy, to get it past everybody's scrutiny/disbelief. He's training us, but disguised it as entertainment. Classic Doctor.
WWZ is the future of a world in which The Zombie Survival Guide is a real reference book.
Alluded to in WWZ itself, which makes several mentions of a popular survival guide.
- The Narrator of WWZ is the same Max Brooks who wrote the Guide used in that universe.
What happened to Australia?
As mentioned in the Headscratchers
section, what happens to Australia is never covered in World War Z. Thusly, here's my take on how it would go down:
- Firstly, Australia has the benefit of being a large island nation with lots of resources and small population. However, not only is being an island no protection against sea-travelling zombies, there's one other major problem; Australia is a mere short boat-ride away from Indonesia, which has a population of over 200 million. Just as desperate people poured into Europe trying to find a cure for the infection, so will thousands of people pour into northern Australia. Our navy would probably try their best to create a blockade, but would probably be completely overwhelmed even if they did resort to sinking all refugee ships. Ergo, I propose that northern Australia would be overrun with zombies very quickly. As for the rest of the country, it's unlikely the infected refugees would get down to the southern part of the country very quickly because of the sheer distance, and so the southern population would get some sort of warning as the situation up north deteriorated.
- Secondly, the major cities would become infected first thanks to international travel. How bad this would be would vary from state-to-state; Western Australia, for example, has a state city that is very isolated and would therefore slow infection to other towns (however, miners flying between Perth and mining towns/sites would spread infection to remote areas). The eastern states of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria would have major problems though - a large chunk of Australia's population lives between all these cities and travel up and down the coast is frequent. As the eastern coast becomes a major hotbed of infection, people will desperately try to run inland to smaller towns, swamping them with infected refugees.
- Thirdly, Australians have a large amount of cultural cynicism towards authority, with the particular belief that all politicians are lying weasels. So when the government tries to cover-up the incoming zombies and tell a spin story, Australians are far more likely to dismiss it and suspect something's going on. This doesn't necessarily means that any Australian would grasp the situation quicker than people in other countries, but overall Australians wouldn't believe that the government has it under control, that the army will fix everything, and other placating denials.
- Finally, Australia has a small (but highly trained) army and very little gun ownership. Since it would be impossible for the army to cover such a huge country, the army will focus on protecting the government and important resources, leaving most Australians to fend for themselves. Rural areas would have an advantage over urban areas, as they would have more access to firearms, trained civilian teams (volunteer firefighters, etc), farms, and remote locations. However, water usually has to be pumped over many kilometers to these remote areas, and drought and fire will be even bigger problems than zombies.
- Overall? I'd say that some parts of Australia would be heavily infested, and the majority of survivors would be living within remote towns that didn't succumb to drought, fire, sickness, etc. Hell, considering how utterly isolated you could be, many of these towns would justifiably think they were the last people on earth. Clearing out Australia would also be difficult, considering its vast size and that everyone would have fled inland to the wilderness. But overall, Australia has it 50-50; some people are screwed, but some people will be fine if they're smart.
- One can only wonder then, with EVERYTHING in Australia trying to kill you, whether the zombies or humans will die out first should be debatable. On a serious note, most of Australia's landmass is desert; zombies decompose faster due to heat. As put in one of the pages on Aussies: It's like Russia. In Russia if you invade you can keep marching until you freeze to (un)death. Invade Northwest Australia and you can keep marching until you decompose from heatstroke.
- It's 2850km (as the crow flies) between Brisbane and Darwin, and most of that is desert. Given a rate of movement of 5km/h (the average LIVING human walking speed, so that's probably generous for a corpse), it would take 23 days for a zombie to reach Brisbane. Even supposing reinfection at rural townships along the way, that's more than long enough for a corpse to dessicate in the heat, or be eaten by our wonderful insect residents.
- Also, bush-fires.
- Made even more interesting by the sheer amount of eucalyptus trees all over Australia. What do eucalyptus tree leaves have in abundance? Eucalyptus oil. Any kid who's had a bonfire can tell you how fast branches of dry eucalyptus leaves go up; they practically explode, and they're part of the reason (along with drought) why our bushfires spread so fast. (There are stories of bushfires overtaking people driving in their cars.) So on one hand, zombies are going to be cooked pretty quickly. On the other hand, so is everyone else.
- I checked the Zombie Survival Guide and it says nothing specific about how dry deserts affect zombies. After all, mummies last longer in deserts, especially since there is such a huge lack of moisture. They'd rot faster in the northern tropics, true, but then you have the sheer mass of projected zombies. But even if they did rot faster, don't forget that Australia is the harshest continent to life apart from Antarctica. You can't live in the Australian wilderness unless you have the knowledge, which most people don't.
- It stands to reason that the zombies would die in the outback. Zombie flesh is poisoned to prevent decay, but they'd still desiccate. Sure mummies can be preserved for thousands of years, but have you ever tried to move one's limb? It would snap in half. In a desert, a zombie should dry out like a raisin before keeling over, immobile. Still, though, I can't see a lot of people taking advantage of this to survive—even ignoring the fact that the few people would actually know how to survive there, the number of people who can live off the land is limited by the calories that can be harvested from it, and isn't Australia so notoriously poor in natural resources that it's actually cheaper to import their food from overseas?
- Exactly. You can escape to the outback and be safe from zombies, but then you'd have to suffer some of the harshest environments on earth. In this situation, both the zombies and the country itself are your biggest enemies, and you have to decide which one you'd rather take on.
- Also, depends on the resource. Australia has big grain, rice, sheep, cattle and fruit industries, but all of that hinges on how lucky you are with the rains. If you're in a good weather cycle you can have a farm in a pretty remote area and survive fine. But the moment the drought or flooding shows up - and it will - then you're in a damn big pickle.
- Keep in mind the struggles early settlers had in Australia. It was extremely difficult for them to farm the land because of the soil quality, and this was on the east coast, where the drought isn't so bad and where everyone lives. You can just about forget about farming land out west, which is where most people would flee.
- Don't forget that aside from the environment, the reason why everything in Australia can kill you is because of poison, which will have no effect on zombies. So you can forget about using our armies of spiders against the undead.
- It's mentioned in the section about the ISS astronauts that the government evacuated to Tasmania. But I can't help thinking this is the usual "oh, we'd be fine" that also seems to pop up whenever nuclear war is discussed. (I am Australian, before you start throwing rocks at me.)
- I actually doubt how well that would actually go - Tasmania is remote and has lots of lush greenery, but it's also a short ride away from the mainlaid. Could they really protect all of Tasmania from 20 million desperate refugees trying to escape on any water vessel they can?
- Not the point. It's to get away from the zombies, full stop. Refugees can get there by boat, but they have to be screened first. The is exactly the same as the British evacuating north of the Antonine Wall, the Germans north of the Kiel Canal, the Americans west of the Rockies... it's mentioned several times the number of refugees that made it there. That's the whole point — get to a defendable position, and get as many people there as you can.
- No, it is the point. The Survival Guide has mentioned several times that your base in a full-on zombie apocolypse not only has to be isolated from zombies but from people. Refugees will certainly bring the virus with them, and how the hell is Australia's small military going to screen each and every single boat pegging their way to Tasmania? The only things you'd get is Tasmania swarming with zombies. If you want to save your government for the long term, you get to a defendable position and make sure no one else can get there.
- The cornerstone of the Redeker Plan is not just withdrawing your government to a smaller area, but concentrating every available ounce of military firepower in said area. The refugees who are able to make it to the boats and get to Tasmania (assuming they know that's the rally point; see the German narrative where they switch from civilian designations to grid codes before ordering the final bugout, and the American "Go North" debacle) will find themselves facing down every able-bodied Australian infantryman available, and can be contained on their boats by the military until quarantine procedures can be run, either by sweeping them with dogs or just confining them to their craft for 28+ hours. If the refugees get out of control, or are too numerous, there are options for those willing to Shoot the Dog (for example, the nerve gas bombings in the Ukrainian narrative) or just be murderously indifferent (the American "Go North" strategy).
- Australia's military is indeed small; but then, so is the island of Tasmania. Australia's military is 'small' relative to the size of the nation; if the 'size of the nation' is technically reduced to the island of Tasmania, it's much more manageable.
- For what it's worth, post-war Sydney appears to be inhabited and functioning reasonably well, as the hospital housing the dying astronaut is there.
- In favour of Australia doing well, we have already considered a plan analogous of the Redeker plan in the past. Specifically in World War 2, the Brisbane Line  was considered a potential defense in the event that the Japanese ever established a firm footing on Australian soil.
- A direct implementation of this plan would be unlikely to work, given Brisbane is a capital city and would receive infected via other means (planes, cruise ships, etc.) however it wouldn't be difficult to adapt the plan.
The North Koreans eventually evolved into Morlocks
The North Korean underground superstructure eventually forms the nucleus of The City of Zion
Having abandoned the surface, the North Koreans keep digging, advancing their technology for underground living, eventually culminating in a true underground city, powered by geothermal energy and allowing generations to thrive within the Earth. Meanwhile, on the surface, the drone technology designed to fight the underwater zombie hordes gives rise to true Artificial Intelligence. When machine nation 01 begins it's war against the humans, the North Korean city is the last human structure to fall. Through the cycles of birth and extinction, the free humans are set loose into the city, redubbed Zion, and explore into the original tunnel structures (which look little better than sewer pipes compared to the Korean magnum opus that is the main city) to make their broadcasts into The Matrix.
- However, while Zion is a fairly racially diverse place, with many people with black and white skin, there are very few Asians. This makes no sense, given that North Korea is perhaps the most racially homogenous nation on Earth.
Kondo Tatsumi killed Tomonaga Ijiro's older brother, and stole his sword
- Inside the apartment of the unnamed old man where Kondo found the sword, he finds a picture of the man in his youth, wearing an Army uniform. This picture includes a younger brother.
- Towards the beginning of Tomonaga's narative, he explicitly states that his older brother was in the army during the Second World War, and survived to establish a life for himself.
- The old man's sword is described as posessing a leather wrapped grip. This was a custom replacement, as standard issue for Gunto-pattern military swords was either wood wrapped with rayskin and cloth, or solid aluminum.
- At the end of Tomonaga's first narrative, upon picking up the sword that Kondo found, he states that the "weight and balance felt familiar to the touch". As military pattern swords were declared illegal weapons in the aftermath of World War 2, his older brother's sword was likely the only one he ever handled, with even less chance of coming across one with a similar custom grip.
- Well its explicitly stated that Kondo killed the guy, as he was a zombie when he broke into his apartment
Breckinridge "Breck" Scott is a Take That
to one Breckinridge Long
- The gentleman in question was an obstructive bureaucrat during FDR's tenure. He was a noted Anti-Semite and as an Assistant Secretary of State withheld visas at a time when they could have saved many desperate people. His actions (or inactions) led to his demotion once 1944 came around and the true scope of the horrors the Nazis had done were revealed to the world. He could have saved thousands and been greater than Oskar Schindler. Instead he doomed them by his own prejudices. Something to think about...
- Likewise, the book's Breck Scott acts selfishly and thinks only of himself and his own gain. Had he helped spread the truth instead of acting like the prevailing mindset of the day, he might have been celebrated in the post-war world instead of reviled.
Max never got his version of the report published
- Considering the amount of shocking Bombs that was dropped in his version there's no way in hell the government will let him publish it (at least without redacting some things).
The NATO 5.56 'Cherry PIE' (pyrotechnically initiated explosive) ammunition was conceived and developed by a human AU incarnation of Ironfist
, a weapons specialist attached to the China Lake Weapons Research Facility.
- A huge fan of the Alpha Teams, Dr. Iain Feist leaped at the chance to accompany one of them on a mission to re-establish control of an overrun military prison facility as part of a covert effort by the government to retrieve compromising information from the prison's records. Unfortunately, despite surviving the mission, he suffered a fatal aneurysm due to a head injury sustained during the PIE ammo's development before he could be interviewed for the book.
Specifically, Plants vs. Zombies
chronicles a battle between a Mad Scientist
who found a way to control Zombies and one who created plants that kill zombies.
There's quite a few similarities that would allow this Earth to be the past of Holy Terra: the Cherry Pie cartridge
is practically a small bolt round
without the rocket; the new bite-proof uniforms of interwoven metal fibres are practically the ancestors of the flak armour
; laser weapons have been researched as zombie killers, and the Lasgun
would be a magnificent laser-based zombie killer; the Imperium technology is based around the same 'bang for buck' principle of post-War technology (leading to the lasgun replacing the Cherry Pie as main cartridge because it's less expensive); and, finally, 40k has
a Chaos-based Zombie plague
practically identical to WWZ's one.
- So odds are that the Imperium of Man starts in Russia, which has become a theocratic state post-war.
Ancient Civilizations may have had a cure for Solanum
While more geographicaly isolated, we have seen that the Zeds just don't stop for anything. Even with a calmer and more deliberate approach to outbreaks, there was a need. Perhaps a cure existed, but was rare/expensive even by the dictates of the day, and reserved for the top leaders. Being held in reserve and secret, any trace of this knowledge was lost when Roman civilization crumbled, or perhaps endured a while, but was definitely destroyed in the multiple sacks of Constantinople.
- Fridge brilliance: in ancient times it was the norm for all cities to have massive walls, and for the gates to be manned by soldiers and locked at night. Thus the ancient world may have actually had a much easier time dealing with the problem. Soldiers were also properly trained and fully armoured for close-up melee combat: a hoplite or legionary is difficult to bite anywhere, expert at keeping people off, and not at all squeamish about smashing skulls because that's what they're paid to do normally. Combine with Greek fire and automatic crossbows for best results.
The Solanum virus is from another dimension. One where it is a lot more devastating.
The virus defies the laws of physics in that it animates corpses, turning them into Perpetual Motion Monsters
that require no energy intake to function, as well as a few other noticable things. This could only mean one of two things: Either the virus is magic (in which case why would it stop at simply reanimating the dead?) or it is from a place where the laws of physics aren't quite the same as they are here, i.e. another dimension. It first appeared sometime in ancient history, and has been with humanity since. Fortunately for us, we are somewhat protected by the natural laws that govern our universe, and the virus is incredibly limited in what it can make the corpses do. It doesn't even evolve over time like other viruses do
. In its native land, however? Solanum has already wiped out everything, because it is much more effective. Zombies infected with Solanum in its home dimension are more effective killers, being able to run, jump, operate weapons, form complex plans, and maybe even more.
Japanese people go extinct some time after the end of the war
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Japan's birth rate pretty low? This, plus a lot of other factors mentioned during Kondo Tatsumi's interview (inexperienced military, low crime rate leading to less gun ownership, and so on) would mean that relatively few Japanese people survive the war. With the entire world busy rebuilding, unless Japan does a baby factory thing like Russia is, or experiences a baby boom like the US did after World War II, odds are pretty good that they'd die out after a few generations.
The Irish government knew what was coming and went into lockdown mode before the big outbreaks erupted
Ireland isn't really covered in the book or film but the little that is there - that the Pope was a refugee in Ireland during the war and a map screenshot late in the movie apparently showing Ireland to be zombie free (no red blobs on the island unlike everywhere else in Europe) - suggest the island got through relatively or even entirely unscathed. Since Ireland is far less of a military power than Israel and is an island the lockdown was less overt than a massive wall, (just closing the airports and seaports) and thus far less noticable.
In the movie version, children are immune to the zombie virus.
Considering all the undead we see are all adults.
It could be possible that although the virus won't turn them, they're not immortal per se.
- Although thinking about it, how freaking SCARY would waves of zombie babies/children be? (Shudder)
- Given the twist near the end that the zombies instinctively avoid the terminally ill, it is possible that the virus also causes the zombies to ignore children, since they wouldn't be effective at spreading the virus.
- Except Tommy, the little boy whom the protagonist's family adopts, was being actively chased by his own infected parents.
- It's possible that children can be infected, but just drop dead instead of becoming a zombie.
The "Camoflauge" cure at the end of the movie was really Phalanx
Opening scene for the sequel: Max Brooks goes to interview Gerry Lane, who's shoveling manure in Antarctica.
- Alternately, the movie was produced In-Verse as a massive promotion for Phalanx, which is why the zombies act so differently: the screenwriters took the inaccurate term "African rabies" and ran with it.
The 12th Doctor
landed in Cardiff to refuel the TARDIS and noticed a zombie outbreak where he decided to help out at the WHO facility and give the camouflage cure to Gerry. The character is even credited as "WHO Doctor", which is an anagram of...
Going with the above; the zombie apocalypse is not a fixed point in time.
Since it seems like zombie apocalypse might have been worth mention on Doctor Who
. Realizing this the Doctor decided to mulligan the whole thing. A good 2-parter worth of adventure is had as he goes back in time, tracks down patient zero, and tries desperately to cure them before finally realizing he can't and has to kill them. It's all very The Water of Mars.
The film sequel will be about finding out where patient zero originated. And the third film about the last days of the war.