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Video Game / Fort Zombie

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Fort Zombie is an Action Game with some RPG Elements thrown in, developed by Kerberos Productions of Sword of the Stars fame.

Playing as a twenty-something Ben Riley with a Multiple-Choice Past, player explores the town of Piety, Indiana and sets up a safe place to rebuild civilization. The player has to choose a fort (either a police station, a prison, or a school), gather survivors, salvage food, medicine, weapon and build defenses to prepare for the inevitable night when a huge horde of zombie from Indianapolis sweep through the town, trying to destroy everything in its path.


The following tropes appear in this game:

  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You cannot bring more than 3 survivors (not including Ben) with you on raiding missions. Not that you want to, see Artificial Stupidity below. Of course, it is possible to have over this headcount when one rescues other survivors on rescue missions.
  • Action RPG
  • Action Survivor: Aside from the ex-cops, ex-soldiers that you might run into, most survivors are just normal people caught in the apocalypse. Ben Riley himself can choose to have a less than combat-oriented background.
  • A.K.A.-47: Averted. All guns retain their real names.
  • An Axe to Grind: It is possible to find a fire axe in the Fire Department. The weapon is one of the most useless: take lots of inventory space, lots of stamina to swing while having mediocre damage.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Interestingly, you don't find any, but Ben Riley himself keeps one. It also serves as the summary of daily activities and skill improvements.
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  • Artificial Stupidity: While the zombies have the "right" to be stupid, the survivors also display the sort of behavior that makes you wonder if anything's wrong with their brains. They refuse to switch to melee weapon even when 5-6 zombies are clawing at their face (not having a shortcut for such a command doesn't help either). They zig-zag after you instead of running in a straight line so bumping into walls is as often as breathing. And they sprint all the time, exhausting themselves unnecessarily, which is probably the reason why the devs still let them run and use melee weapon when exhausted, unlike Ben Riley, to help balance out this weakness. Finally, the atrocious path finding, which makes it infuriating having to herd around more than 2 survivors.
  • Badass Adorable: It is possible to find child survivors, and surprisingly enough, some have decent combat skills, or other beneficial abilities.
  • Badass Family: Its possible to find members of the same family. Having found a certain little old lady, or child, can get other survivors to join Ben's crew, and tends to improve their respective morals.
  • Big Entrance: Ben Riley can sprint and dive through glass window into a room, or from the third storey building onto the street. The trailer has him perform this move, then whip out a shotgun and start blowing zombies' heads off. In actual gameplay, this move is rarely used because it consumes a large chunk of the stamina bar, and you can bump into zombies before having the time to ready your weapon.
  • Brain Food: Apparently the zombie's favorite, considering the only coherent thing they ever say when seeing a survivor is 'Braaaains'
  • Bland-Name Product: Cola-Cola, Popzi and Sup are the most obvious ones.
  • Boring, but Practical: Melee weapons. Slower to kill, almost soundless and much less flashy than guns, these weapons have many advantages. They don't attract other zombies like guns, can hit multiple targets, don't need ammo, and can block/ parry attacks. In fact, melee weapon is a must when zombies close in on you as aiming guns at close range gets very awkward thanks to the interface.
  • Batter Up!: One of the low damage weapon available is the baseball bat.
  • Bear Trap: Various types of traps can be built, using miscellaneous items found in missions
  • Child Soldiers: While not actually trained as soldiers, some child survivors will be very effective with weapons. Sometimes, a child is the first person Ben manages to recruit into his group.
  • Closest Thing We Got: Early on, Ben has to make due with the survivors he's able to recruit. For instance, early on, the initial group Doctor and Nurse will be whomever has the best First Aid and Medicine skills.
  • Combat Medic: It's possible to have a Survivor who is good with First Aid, or Medicine, and to also be good with a weapon. Such people tend to be given the Medical Kit during missions.
  • Critical Hit: Called "Major hits" in the game, they can knock zombie down for a few seconds. "Major hits" in the arm severs the arm completely. Also, " obliterated" severs and completely pulverize that body part, making it impossible for the Mook Maker to stitch it back.
  • Crowbar Combatant: The crowbar is the most powerful blunt weapon and is available from the beginning.
  • Death of a Child: Given that some of the survivors are children, it's possible, especially on harder difficulties, for them to die. Also, death of any survivor hits the group hard.
  • Disaster Scavengers: Pretty much who you are. You find weapons, ammo, food, medicine and defense supplies scattered all over the town.
  • Due to the Dead: Its the inability to do this that takes a hit on survivors' moral when someone dies. This is because the survivors are unable to give the dead a proper funeral, or even a grave.
  • Dump Stat: Smart for combat-oriented characters. It only affects 2 "field" skills: First Aid and Spot (search). You will find survivors with much better First Aid skill, so it is safe to lower Smart to the minimum, raise Spot to compensate a little, then spend the extra stat points on some other stats like Finesse (affects accuracy of ALL weapon types).
  • Elite Zombie: The soldier zombies. While not noticeable tougher than normal ones, they are armed with M16's which can kill a character with 2-3 shots.
  • Escort Mission: All the freaking time, if you carry Non-Player Character around on missions to haul loot. Although your companions can somewhat defend themselves, the horrible AI means you have to keep an eye on them to prevent them from getting stuck, getting lost and/or killed.
  • Every Bullet is a Tracer
  • The Face: Having good Interaction skills is useful to getting others to join Ben's group, and having other survivors with a high Interaction with Ben while out raiding on Survivor Rescue missions, can help convince others to join the group.
  • Heal Thyself: Averted. Providing first aid during raiding mission only return a tiny portion of health. Proper resting and medical attention in the fort is the key for healing characters.
  • Hyper Space Arsenal: Averted to an extend. You can see the character carrying a rifle/shotgun on his back and a pistol on his belt, but that's it. 10 rifles and 5 jars of pickles in the inventory is nowhere to be seen.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: There are more zombies on maps and they are more aggressive at night,
  • Jack of All Stats: It is a bad idea to build your character like this. You simply do not have enough time to get good at everything. It is best to just focus on 1-2 or at most 3 weapon types, leaving non-combat roles for NPCs to fill. However, you do randomly get NPCs that have ridiculously good combat as well as non-combat skills
  • Karma Meter: Keeping survivors alive raises your reputation, which may affect new survivor's decision to join you.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The broadsword out-damages it, but the katana is one of the most compact bladed weapons. And the attack animations are coolest looking. Awesome enough for you to literally kick zombies's head off while holding it.
  • Last Stand: In the 14th night, you get to see if your defenses are good enough for you to live to see the new day.
  • Machete Mayhem: The machete is the most compact melee weapon with medium damage.
  • Mook Maker: while not literally creating new zombies, the surgeon/doctor zombies can put together dismembered zombies and re-animate them. Keep this guys away from dead gun-wielding zombies at all cost.
  • Never Mess with Granny: While the older survivors might have a few issues, many can still pull their own weight when need be, even if it's not combat related. One such person is a 90+ year old woman, who is a former sheriff, and is decent with a pistol.
  • Obvious Beta: The first release is plagued with game breaking bugs. Even after the 1.07 patch, silly bugs still exist. For example, after you have deleted the default savefile name (like 2012-05-21 16:05:00), hitting the Delete key or Backspace key one more time crashes the game.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Zombies in track suit can sprint. Footballer zombie can charge and knock you over. Baseball bat and Fireaxe zombies can put a serious hurt on you. And then there are Police zombies and Soldier zombies.
  • Permadeath: NPCs can be killed off if the mission goes wrong.
  • Pistol-Whipping: You can do this when the gun is empty, but it does pathetic damage and offers no protection like a melee weapon.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Assembling them is central to surviving the Last Stand. Combat-oriented survivors are of course useful, but other survivors can be instructed to build defenses, heal others, etc.
  • Random Encounters: Sometimes, on the way to a raiding mission, the party can encounter zombies on the way.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Except for your own fort, of course.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Every zombie dies if shot in the head. It is, however, rather difficult to headshot them.
  • Scavenger World
  • Shoot Out the Lock: It's more like keep pounding on the door until you knock it off its hinges.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: While not exactly the best, shotguns in this game are more useful than many other games. They are noisy and slow you down quite a bit, but with multiple powerful pellets, each shot has more chance to sever limbs or heads. The regular shotguns are slow, but the SPAS Combat shotgun fires very quickly. Last but not least, they share the same skill with Rifles, which allow you to have another powerful weapon for long range engagements.
  • Shovel Strike: You can do this, although you are better off using another weapon.
  • Soft Glass: Diving through a glass window does no damage whatsoever.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Thankfully averted. The survivors leave behind equipment when they die.
  • Sprint Meter: The stamina bar depletes when you run, sprint or swing melee weapon. You can't do any of those actions when it is depleted, and have to wait until half the bar is filled.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Notably absent are explosive weapons, Sniper Rifles and BFGs. Also, Assault Rifles can only fire in burst mode.
  • Stat Sticks: Various items found in the town can boost your stat or skills if carried in the inventory. Can potentially turn anyone into an Instant Expert as the skill-boosting items do stack with one another.
  • Hide Your Children: There are no zombie children, but you can find and recruit living children.
  • Tarot Motifs: The "Keys" characters, the special NPCs with powers that can affect other character's stats or gameplay, are named after the Major Arcana.
  • Taught by Experience: Characters get better at shooting, bashing stuff, healing others, etc by doing it more often. You can even increase skill level for a specific weapon. For example, shooting an AK-47 can raise your Assault Rifle skill and AK-47 skill.
  • The Ace: The "Keys" characters. Aside from the abnormally high skills and stats, each of them possess one or more special abilities, some rather mundane (the Teacher, who can teach skills to characters under age 18; or the Beauty Queen improving morale of male characters), some mystical (automatically buffing Toughness, Finesse of characters around them, increasing the amount of loot found, etc). They are also modelled after the Major Arcana.
  • The Engineer: Characters with high Mechanical skills are needed to keep the generators running (to power lights and powertools) as well as build traps.
  • The Medic: Characters with high Medicine and First Aid skills, in general, can be assigned to Doctor and Nurse roles. However, the "Key" character named "The Healer" stands out. She heals twice as much health as a normal character with the same skill level, and can even cure infection.
  • The Scrounger: "The Rat". In his backstory he calls himself "The man who can get you anything". In the military, then in prison, he was doing pretty well before the apocalypse. Having him on missions can get you more supplies than usual.
  • The Siege: See Last Stand above.
  • Timed Mission: The game gives you 12 days to prepare for a huge zombie horde storming the fort.
  • Trauma Inn: Averted like Heal Thyself. Sleeping only returns a small portion of health. Characters with appropriate skills have to be assigned to Doctor and Nurse role to effectively heal others.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: You cannot pick up baseball bats, fire axes, revolvers or M16 from zombies.
  • Useless Useful Non-Combat Abilities: Lockpick (you can just break down doors or jump through windows), Sneak (only works if zombies are facing away from you, but they usually stand in groups so at least one zombie always sees you and alerts the others), Electrical and Mechanical are circumstantial, depending on if you can build traps and if you use the power generators and cause them to degrade.
  • Wall of Weapons: In the Trigger Guard gun shop, along with a sign saying "For display only, weapons are not functional"
  • When Elders Attack: When the majority of the raiders with Ben are 60+ years of age, it can seem like this, especially in the case of the 90+ year old lady that is a former sheriff.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The game's setting is in Piety, Indiana.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: The zombies, and also most of the NPCs. It gets a little amusing when you have five bald guys who look exactly like one another but do not share a surname. Ben Riley and "Keys" characters are the only ones with unique models, supposedly.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: It is implied that black magic is the cause.
  • Zombie Gait: Zombies in track suit and Footballer zombies.
  • Zerg Rush: Sometimes in raiding mission. Always happens in the final night.