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Literature / Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

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Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? is a Gamebook by Max Brallier about, well, surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. You are a 25-year-old man living and working a crappy corporate job in Manhattan. However, at 10:40 on a hot, humid July morning, your morning meeting is interrupted and the world goes to hell. Now you can make all the same mistakes you scream at Genre Blind horror movie heroes not to make, flee the city, or survive to make war on the zombie threat. It all depends on your choices.

Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Yakuma, a katana-wielding Japanese stripper who slaughters zombies with ease.
  • Action Survivor: You are an average person working a corporate job when the Zombie Apocalypse hits, although you can get tougher over the course of the book.
  • Badass Biker: You can join the Hells Angels.
  • Big Applesauce: The zombie outbreak takes place in New York City and features much of the Big Apple's landscape.
  • Big Bad: George Romero.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Quite a few.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Several of the "good" endings are these.
  • Crisis Point Hospital: This is how the zombie outbreak begins.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The curator in the museum is secretly a ninja.
  • Deadly Lunge: The zombies perform the sprint variation — they shamble around until they see food, at which point they charge.
  • Death of a Child: You kill child zombies fairly often, and if you don't help them, the elementary school children trapped in the trailer all die.
  • Downer Ending: Many, mostly involving your death.
  • Drugs Are Bad: There is one option to do heroin, and a few to smoke pot. All but one lead to a bad ending; the exception, interestingly, leads to one of the best endings.
  • Dual Wielding: Common with various people and weapons.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • The End: All but one of the endings are identified as "An End." Just one, on the very last page, is called "The End", though it's not one of the happier ones.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Not quite, but you get to don samurai armour in one path.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Averted. The introduction states up-front that you're 25 years old, and one path has you visiting the small town where you grew up. Several pages later identify you as male.
  • Genre Savvy: The Zombie Walk participants have an extensive knowledge of zombies, and the geeks at the New York Comic-Con are also quite well versed in zombie lore. Also, one of the endings sees you holing up in a bookshop which is doing a promotion on zombie books; you decide to start with The Zombie Survival Guide.
  • Happy Ending: Several.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Yakuma's weapon of choice, as mentioned.
  • Knight In Shining Armour: Chucky will dress in Henry II's armour and wield his halberd.
  • Ninja: Yes, there is a real, honest-to-God ninja in the book. An effective one.
  • No Name Given: The curator in the museum, and the kid who you rescue from the train tracks in another path.
  • Pretend We're Dead: The Zombie Walk participants use their incredibly realistic makeup, extensive knowledge of zombies, and guts from a slaughterhouse to pass themselves off as zombies (you stay in the middle of the group so as not to draw attention). The zombies, while mostly accepting of you, are somewhat suspicious, with one investigating closely... until someone snaps and tries to run, triggering a mass panic/feeding frenzy. The paint also doesn't help your life expectancy when trigger-happy soldiers are around.
  • Raising the Steaks: One ending has you and Yakuma encounter — and subsequently be killed by — zombie lions.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: As usual, the only way to kill a zombie.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Though in fairness, zombies would put stress on anybody.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: The only way to survive three men who have duct taped you to a chair and are threatening to toss you to the zombies you've brought to their doorstep is to tell them off, rather than apologize.
  • Symbolism / Take That!: The battle at NYCC describes "a pretty-boy vampire covered in sparkles [getting] his throat slashed by Dracula."
  • Too Dumb to Live: You, at times. Other people, too.
  • Undead Child
  • Unwinnable by Design: Some branches have no happy endings (or even the aforementioned Bolivian Army or Bittersweet ones), with Options A, B, or C resulting in your death.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Happens multiple times. Humorously, if you tell Kim to go home, the book tells you to throw it out the window because you don't deserve it. Less amusingly, it calls you a loser and an asshole if you let the elementary school kids in the trailer die.
  • Zombie Apocalypse
  • Zombie Gait: Right up until they spot you.
  • Zombie Infectee: You, in some endings, and your allies in others.