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Video Game / Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

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"The dead are risen!"

"After months away, John Marston has returned to his loved ones. While trying to rebuild his ranch, and win back the trust of his family, Marston awaits whatever life will throw at him. As he drives home one evening from an errand, he ponders whether a man can ever escape his past. He is a man who is ready for anything... Almost anything. Hmhmhmhahaha!"

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare is a Downloadable Content pack for Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption. It's got a zombie theme, and was released on October 26, 2010 - just in time for Halloween.

The story takes place in an Alternate Continuity, and begins during the "Homestead" portion of the original game. The Marstons are enjoying an evening by the fire together but are worried about Uncle, who hasn't returned home yet. The weather has taken a turn for worse so John decides he can't go looking for him until morning and heads to bed.

Later that night, John Marston and his wife Abigail are rudely awakened by Uncle who has been zombified. In the struggle Uncle bites Abigail, infecting her, and John shoots Uncle dead. Jack runs to the aid of his mother upon hearing the gunshots and is bitten by her. John hogties his family and leaves them raw meat while he leaves to find out what the hell is going on and to hopefully find a cure.


  • Abnormal Ammo: One of the new weapons for Undead Nightmare, the Civil War-era Blunderbuss, can be "loaded with just about anything". Once this weapon is unlocked, zombies without ammo belts, who previously gave you nothing (except an angry Marston), now provide you with "undead parts" to stuff into your blunderbuss and instantly gib your targets with. You can also use phosphorous coating to give your bullets an extra kick for a short duration, allowing the player to One-Hit Kill a zombie without requiring the usual headshot.
  • Affectionate Parody: The overall plot of the game, music cues, hammier voice acting, and incompetent character actions are all very reminiscent of a B-Movie. Given Rockstar's pedigree, it's blatantly obvious that it was intentional.
  • All Myths Are True: Alongside zombies, there are sasquatches, chupacabras, unicorns, and the Four Horses of the Apocalypse. Plus, An ancient Aztec mask is behind all this but somehow water that's been blessed by a priest has some effect on the undead.
  • Always Night: Played with. The sun does rise, but it's usually never brighter than overcast and everything has an unhealthy pallor to it during the daytime.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: This happens at the end of the game to John Marston himself. He rises from his grave not too long after being killed by Edgar Ross' men, and you play as his zombie in free-roam. Kinda makes the cover a Spoiler Title.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The game features 3 new outfits two of which have to be earned by completing challenges.
  • Angel Unaware: You know that woman you haven't been noticing that appears in a lot of missions briefly? Turns out she's an Aztec goddess that needs your help putting the mask back in its proper place. However, it seems she can't do this herself despite, well, being a goddess.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game gives the player more dead-eye than the main game, since you need to be way more accurate with your shots.
    • The presence of a mythical animal (sans the unicorn) is announced to you in the text box, and their approximate location is marked on the minimap. That said, if they leave said marked area the map won't update.
    • When a town comes under attack, it takes a good while for it to become overwhelmed, giving you a lot of time to head there.
    • Completing the Horses of the apocalypse challenge track gives you the blood pacts (which allow you to switch between them at will) for them all. And while the unicorn doesn't give you a deed/pact, it'll keep respawning on whistle until you switch to another horse.
    • Some locations can never be lost to the undead, so you'll always have a place to rest at without having to fight.
    • Like in the main game, challenges use Exact Words and thus can be made significantly easier if you think ahead; for example, one challenge requires you to kill 5 undead in 8 seconds using a sniper rifle - running up to them and executing/beating them with one works just fine.
    • Marston doesn't automatically holster his weapon like in the main game. Given how quickly the undead can gather, this is a blessing.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Marston briefly has trouble believing the crazy old bear hunter that sasquatches exist.
  • Artifact of Doom: The cause of the Zombie Apocalypse is a jade mask stolen by Abraham Reyes from an Aztec tomb beneath his estate for its supposed immortality-granting abilities. The final plot mission has you descend into the tomb to return the mask, ending the curse. At least, until it gets stolen again by Seth...
  • Ascended Extra: Some deceased characters from the original story reappear as "boss" zombies when you clear out graveyards..
    • Also Mother Superior, who pretty much only appeared to give you something, is now a gun wielding badass.
    • Happens with several minor characters. Everett Knox, the doctor at MacFarlane's Ranch? Now drifting around the game world, defending Armadillo, helping rescue missing people at Fort Mercer, and travelling around New Austin conducting experiments on the undead. In addition, all the missing persons appeared in the original.
  • Asshole Victim: After you find him, Herbert Moon goes on a lengthy rant about how much he hates women, Catholics, Jews, homosexuals, etc. etc. He's eaten alive five seconds later.
    Herbert: You can't eat me! I'M HERBERT MOOOOOOOON!
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The zombie horses. Name speaks for itself in why they're awesome, but they will rarely obey you and constantly steer to one side while you ride them.
    • Unless you are heading south. The horses are trying to orient this way, to fulfill the old legend about horses bearing the dead south, where the land of the dead was originally thought to be.
    • The bolt action rifle succumbs to this. It's still one of the most powerful and accurate weapons in the game, but its five round magazine makes it ineffective when dealing with the tons of zombies you'll encounter.
  • Bag of Spilling: Even though the game takes place late in the story line of the original one, John Marston doesn't start with all the guns he should have at that point in the game.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Meta-example: After completing the main game many fans were upset by the ending, with some even forming petitions for a patch or update that returns John to life. In Undead Nightmare, that wish is granted and John rises from the grave... as an unintelligible zombie. Enjoy!
  • Bears Are Bad News: You thought they were terrifying in the main game? Well, they went From Bad to Worse: Keep on the lookout for Zombie Bears! Although despite their more frightful appearance, they're a bit easier to kill than the living variety.
    • "Bears aren't the scariest thing in John Marston's west anymore."
  • Believing Their Own Lies: In spite of trying to work his usual magic by selling phony zombie cures, West Dickens seems to be confident that he's at the very least developed a repellent as indicated by him eagerly trying to show it to John.
  • Big Bad: Abraham Reyes, who unleashed the Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Big Damn Heroes: You can randomly find people being attacked by zombies. Whether they set up a makeshift barricade in a futile attempt to protect themselves against the horde, or are simply being rundown by one zombie they didn't notice until the last minute, you can save them in the nick of time.
    • It can also be subverted, in that occasionally the makeshift barricade will include a gatling gun, and you'll be able to ride in and heroically help them loot the corpses of the undead attack they just effortlessly fought off entirely without your assistance.
    • There is also the occassions when your saving a town from being overrun and a pair of the riders you always see riding the trails throughout the game suddenly come shooting their way into town.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Sasquatches randomly appear in the forests of West Elizabeth and play a major role in a sidequest wherein John is ordered to slaughter them by a crazed hunter.
  • Big Ham: Herbert MOOOOOOON
  • Black Comedy:
    • Being a parody of 1970s BMovies, the game often takes this tone.
    • Zombie Marston's default posture? The one he had when he was riddled with bullets at the end of Redemption.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The Blunderbuss qualifies. John explicitly refers to it as an outdated firearm. However, it finds new life in his hands because he can make ammo for it out of zombie body parts, and it utterly vaporizes any target.
  • Broad Strokes: Takes this approach to the main campaign; John completed his mission and returned home and is still shot at some point, but parts of the story (For example, Professor MacDougal not only comes back, but judging by his comments Nastas seems to have survived his original fate) seem to differ at the details.
  • Call-Back: At the last segment of the game when John is killing zombies in an Indian burial ground, the mysterious girl accompanying him says many of them died in a great battle at that very place (Allende's villa in Mexico) to which John replies "No wonder they don't seem to like me." a reference to his helping the rebels' battle towards Allende in the main campaign.
    • The achievement/trophy for killing Sasquatch is "Six Years in the Making." Now, take a wild guess as to which game made by Rockstar was released in October 2004... Hilarious In Hind Sight, indeed. The French version even calls the achievement/trophy "No need to seek it anymore, CJ."
  • Captain Ersatz: There are three special zombie types; charging Bruisers, fast and crouching Bolters, and acid-spitting Retchers. Don't they sound similar to Chargers, Hunters, and Spitters?
  • Cats Are Mean: The cougars are back in undead cougars! But just like the zombie bears, they're a bit easier to kill than normal cougars.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: In the normal game a wide variety of guns are useful in different situations, with a gun's power and effective distance being key qualities for choosing a weapon. Since in Undead Nightmare players have to headshot zombies to kill them, and often face swarms of enemies, clip size and reload speed become the most important gun qualities by far, with power being rendered useless.
    • Red Dead Redemption essentially functions as a cover-based shooter. Undead Nightmare by comparison relies upon run & gun tactics, as well as use of the high ground, as zombies cannot fire guns.
    • Tomahawks were an okay ranged weapon and a pretty weak melee one in the main game. Here, they become one of the best melee weapons available because their kill animations kill enemies in one hit, and John turns invincible for their duration.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: Jack's story about the Aztecs turns out to be true as John finds out from Ayauhtéotl that a stolen Aztec mask caused the Zombie Apocalypse.
    • This is also a Call-Back to a similar event in Red Dead Redemption's single player. Jack discusses a story that he is reading with his father near the end of the game that centers around the plot of a young man seeking revenge for the death of his family. Sound Familiar?
  • Chupacabra: Present as a hunting challenge in Mexico. Interestingly, it appears to be some kind of monstrous, mutant hyena closer to the original legend rather than the typical alien lizard that it's usually portrayed as. It's also a rather benign creature, and the only difficultly you'll have killing it is waiting for it to show up. Which, once again, is closer to the original legend.
  • Church Militant: The mission of Las Hermanas becomes this as even nuns are forced to bring up arms to fend off the undead.
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: Herbert Moon hates virtually everything and is convinced they're all in an alliance against him. Marston confusedly points out he's never heard of a "Jewish British Catholic Homosexual Conspiracy" before.
  • Cool Horse: The zombie horses, the Unicorn and the Four Horses of the Apocalypse.
  • Death by Racism: Herbert Moon. Many other characters deserve the same, but we don't get to see if they were killed or not.
  • The Dead Can Dance: When you return to Seth after completing his first mission, he will be seen having a full on jamboree with multiple undead.
  • Downloadable Content: Originally released as a downloadable content pack that requires the Red Dead Redemption disc to play. However, as of November 2010 it was available for retail purchase, along with the other DLCs, on disc in a single box.
  • Eats Babies: The Sasquatch Hunter claims this about the Sasquatch. He's lying.
  • Empathic Environment: Safe zones usually have more sunlight and zombies usually only appear when the weather is terrible or the sun is down, but there are exceptions. Clearing out a graveyard or exterminating all zombies in a town often results in the sun coming out.
  • Elite Zombie: There are three types of special zombie among the hordes roaming the prairie:
  • Enemy Mine: All of the former gang hideouts that haven't been overrun are now friendly settlements, and the surviving gang members (who previously would have shot you on sight) will happily accept your assistance in dealing with the undead hordes, and repay you with weapons, ammunition, supplies, and a warm bed, just like any other town.
    • Sometimes subverted. Occasionally in some towns you will still see a thief trying to rob a woman. After you kill or restrain him, Marston remarks how it's bad enough with the Undead running around.
  • Epic Fail: Nigel West Dickens, in an attempt to make Zombie Repellant manages to make Zombie Bait. Even for a Snake Oil Salesman that's a pretty big fail right there.
    • Although, on the flip side, least this tonic does something, even if its something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.
    • He also redeems himself with his second attempt at repellent: phosphorus coating.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Um, duh?
  • Fire Keeps It Dead: Besides fire being one of the few things that can re-kill a zombie without need for a headshot, the process of cleansing graveyards requires you to immolate the unburied coffins laying around the area to stop whoever’s in them from rising again.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Aside from multiple varieties of undead humans and animals, we also have sasquatches, horses of the Apocalypse, a unicorn, a chupacabra...
  • Foreshadowing:
    • One of the scrawled signs in Blackwater says "Close The Borders," indicating early on that the zombie plague came from across the Mexican borders. It features prominently in an early mission.
    • For a race that Eats Babies and mauls people those Sasquatches certainly are cowardly. As it turns out, you have been lied to, and they are completely harmless. And facing extinction.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Sasquatches keep spawning in Tall Trees even after John supposedly commits genocide on them.
    • In the post-game, no one bats an eye at undead Marston and he's still treated the same as before.
  • Genre Blind: "I'm going to wander down that lonely, deserted street and get my bag." Seriously, exactly how many seconds did you expect MacDougal to last after he said that?note 
  • Gentle Giant: Contrary to popular belief, the Sasquatches don't eat babies. Rather, they eat mushrooms and berries, try to avoid human contact, and live a peaceful existence in the forest. Too bad you don't find this out until after you've killed five of them, and are facing the only one left. And even then, he doesn't attack you for killing his family and friends, but instead cries and begs you to "Make it stop!"
  • Halloween Episode: Complete with a spooky narrator in the intro.
  • Hand Wave: You can start Marshall Johnson's mission in the middle of Armadillo being beset upon by the zombies, triggering a cutscene where John casually enters his office and talks with him as if everything outside wasn't going to hell. A line from the Marshall explains that the zombies often randomly come and go, with this instance being one where they've magically left so he and John could talk about how Jonah and Eli are missing.
  • Here We Go Again!: What happens at the end of Undead Nightmare when Seth steals the returned Aztec mask. Turns out not so bad for John though...
  • Hellish Horse: Once again, the undead horse and the Four Horses of the Apocalypse.
  • Hero of Another Story: You run into several of these as recurring minor characters, such as a doctor who is performing field studies on the undead with a mobile lab and a machine gun, a professional undead hunter who works alone and regularly challenges you to zombie-shooting contests for fun, and a few of the surviving characters from the first game, such as Marshal Johnson in Armadillo, who is keeping what's left of the town alive and functioning (for a given value of 'functioning', anyway) through what basically boils down to sheer force of will.
  • Hide Your Children: No children appear apart from Jack, Millicent Waterbury (who is 15 years old), and a boy about Jack's age that shows up in a cutscene for the mission "Missing Souls."
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Almost a literal example: One of the new thrown weapons is a bottle of Holy Water that sets zombies on fire.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Well, horses at least. You can find, break, and ride the Four Horses of the Apocalypse - each of which has infinite stamina and its own special abilities:
    • War: Lights enemies on fire. Leaves glowing hoofprints at full gallop.
    • Famine: Doesn't slow down when going off-road. Also the fastest of the four horses. Looks almost as unhealthy-looking as the undead horse. Seriously, this thing looks like it would fall over in a stiff breeze.
    • Pestilence: Is nigh-invincible. Has a very cool cloud of green flies on idle animation (as in from flies from a lot of corpses).
    • Death: Instant headshots on any enemies it tramples.
  • Idiot Ball: Why did John need to run out to the barn to grab his shotgun, and leave his wife and son in the house with the unconscious, but not-fully-dead zombie-Uncle? Wouldn't an experienced gunman like him be smart enough to keep a gun in his bedroom? Furthermore, what was his shotgun doing out in the barn instead of in a room in his house? Yet furthermore, why didn't he urge his undefended wife and son to follow him closely, as much as why didn't they do so themselves?
    • And it appears that along with his clothes, he was keeping his revolver in the wardrobe. Right next to where he was standing when he beat his attacker down to the floor.
  • Improvised Weapon: Lots of the new DLC's weapons qualify.
    • John finds out that West Dickens' miracle tonic makes remarkably good zombie bait. Landon Ricketts devises a rather handy anti-zombie bomb by simply taping a stick of dynamite to a bottle of said bait.
    • Although the blunderbuss is actually a purpose-built weapon, its ammunition is improvised out of whatever crap you can find lying around - mostly bits and pieces of your enemies.
    • After the Mother Superior finds out that Holy Water sets zombies ablaze, she blesses a few bottles for John to use as impromptu incendiary grenades.
  • Inhuman Human: In the epilogue, a now-deceased John rises from the grave as one of the living dead. However, due to being buried with a bottle of holy water he retains his mental faculties and hasn’t missed a step in badassery despite being a rotting, borderline unintelligible zombie.
  • Incendiary Exponent: The Horse of the Apocalypse called War features a mane, tail and hoofs that are on fire and it burns every zombie it tremples.
    • You can also coat your bullets in white phosphorous, which causes everything you shoot to spectacularly burst into flames. This is particularly impressive when using a gatling gun.
  • Indian Burial Ground: This trope plays a huge role, as per BMovie tradition. Turns out Abraham Reyes' mansion in Escalera was built on top of one, and it hid a cursed Aztec mask that caused the dead to rise.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Even after saving the region from a zombie uprising and despite the disruption such an event would cause, John will still be killed by Ross and his goons, Abigail will still die, and Jack will still abandon Beecher's Hope, nowhere to be found. The only upside is that John gets to come back as a sentient zombie.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: After the first mission of the game when John leaves his family tied up in his house, your first mission is to head to Blackwater. You'll immediately discover that there is not a soul in sight. The added music gives you the idea that something is very wrong here.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Doubles as a Take That! to the Zombie Apocalypse Genre.
    The Film Maker: Kindhearted neighbors turned into savage flesh eating monsters. It will make a fantastic movie!
    John: Who would enjoy that?!
    The Film Maker: What?
    John: What kind of a sick person would like that?!!
    The Film Maker: My kind sir, THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR!!! My people.
    John: (Walks off in disgust) You're gone, friend.
  • Karma Houdini: The Sasquatch Hunter is never punished for manipulating John into exterminating the peaceful Sasquatch.
  • Kill It with Fire: The fire bottle, incendiary ammunition, and the torch, the latter two exclusive to this mode and especially effective against the undead.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Could you just wait here a moment? I'm just going to wander down that lonely deserted street and get my bag." This game doesn't hang lampshades, it embroiders Christmas lights onto them.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Most of the assholes are promptly zombie snack food seconds after they rant.
  • Last of His Kind: The Sasquatch.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Since the campaign starts at a point that was near the tail end of the original story, expect a lot of spoilery stuff from the original game to be mentioned liberally.
  • Lighter and Softer: Despite it being a freaking Zombie Apocalypse, this DLC is more softer than the main game. Think about it: you're shooting zombies instead of your fellow human beings, there's a lot less Shoot the Shaggy Dog stories, a lot of the unpreventable deaths happen to arseholes who survived the main game, and while John still gets killed by Ross, he gets to come back as a zombie. When zombies actually make the world better, you know the wild west is a Crapsack World!
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Zombies + Blunderbuss = huge red explosion.
  • Mercy Kill: When forced to kill Uncle, you are instructed to "put (him) out of his misery", so by extent you would be Mercy Killing every zombie you encounter. And when you face the final Sasquatch, he cries "MAKE IT STOP!" and sits down, ready to be killed by your hand. It's up to you whether he lives or dies.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The unicorn which emits butterflies when stationary and leaves a rainbow in it's wake when it runs.
    • The entire DLC is this to the main game, which is more in the vein of moody deconstructionist Spaghetti Westerns with lots of brooding ruminations on redemption, progress and fate. The makers lampshaded this in behind-the-scenes interviews, stating that they approached it as if both games were a 1970s film production and the main game was the serious western that the cast and crew were making during the day, and the DLC was the cheap and goofy B-Movie horror flick they made at night.
  • Nerves of Steel: John Marston sees a Zombie Apocalypse in action, including his own family zombified, and pretty much just rolls with it.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Mother Superior again. She is one kickass old lady.
  • Mystical Plague: The origin of the Zombie Apocalypse, being an ancient curse unleashed by a careless Abraham Reyes after stealing a sacred jade mask from the Indian Burial Ground underneath Escalera.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability:
    • Pestilence. It can be killed, but this is highly unlikely due to its massive endurance. Not even cougars can fell it easily.
    • Death literally can't be killed unless it falls from a great height or falls into a lake or river. And even then, you automatically gain its horse deed once you acquire it, so if it does die, you can just respawn it.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Zombie outlaws, zombie horses, zombie bears...
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The timeframe naturally justifies this. The first Zombie film was White Zombie in 1932.
    • Mackenna the Film Maker actually uses it if you stand near him and listen to him. But he's ahead of his time, so it might pass.
    • The word is very briefly used by a couple of incidental characters here and there, too, mostly out of cutscenes, but no more frequently than "ghoul" which is just as applicable.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: These zombies pretty closely follow classic Romero rules: All dead bodies are reanimated at the time of the curse, the zombie plague can be spread through biting, and only headshots kill. An addition not found in Romero films is that fire and holy water kill them as well. The townsfolk often describe them as "drinking blood" and "howling at the moon," which is technically correct if you include their moaning. In another twist, anybody infected by the plague that hasn’t been fatally wounded by their attacker becomes a Technically Living Zombie, displaying behaviour indistinguishable from their non-living brethren until the curse that made them is undone, whereupon they’ll gradually turn back to normal while the dead ones simply drop dead again.
  • Permanently Missable Content: If all the survivors of a town under attack die, the town is permanently overrun. You can still come back and clear out the zombies for a place to stay, but it won't stay clear for long after you leave.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Oh, yes. Especially ammo. Ammo is as rare as gold - until you get the Blunderbuss.
  • Playable Epilogue: Like in the main game, John dies (though it isn't shown here)... but instead of taking up his guns as his son Jack, you play as a (sentient) zombie John!
  • Precision F-Strike: Players know John Marston, especially if they've played through the vanilla game, to be cool-headed and have a high tolerance for pressure, and rarely raising his voice in character-building cutscenes, despite all he's been through. However, should he come across a zombie's corpse that has no ammo or spare body parts, Marston will have a surprisingly short fuse, muttering with frustration, or even just plain screaming "GODDAMN IT, THIS GOD FORSAKEN SHITHOLE!".
  • Raising the Steaks: Bears, cougars and other animals have been zombified in addition to humans.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: While it is possible to kill them with body shots, the amount of bullets required to kill just one will leave a massive dent in your ammo supplies. The quickest and most efficient way to put down the Undead terrorising the Wild West is to blow their brains out. Anything else besides explosives, fire, Holy Water or the Blunderbuss will stun them at best.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The Retchers glow with a sickly greenish light, with even their projectile vomiting and death explosions coloured the same.
  • Savage Wolves: Not just wolves, but also zombie wolves. They're easier to kill, though.
  • Scavenger World: There's absolutely no money in the game at all, so you'd better scavenge the hell out of everything you can. You have to make undead bait, phosphorous and blunderbuss ammunition out of scratch. Bullets are usually pretty dear, too.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: A good portion of the U.S. Army decides to desert and flee to Mexico when the situation in the United States becomes untenable. John decides to join up with them to find away in to Mexico since the border is closed due to the plague.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Once again, the cover art features this in full force.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: After all John goes through to save the world from a zombie apocalypse, Seth goes and steals the mask again, restarting the Zombie Apocalypse. This, however, allows John to come back from the dead.
  • Shout-Out: There are several; par for course for a Rockstar game.
    • Killing the chupacabra earns you the "Chupathingy" achievement.
    • There are multiplayer characters named for Wes Craven, Sam Raimi, Michael Jackson, and yes, even Uwe Boll.
    • The Undead Hunter outfit effectively dresses John as Ashley "Ash" Williams and during the post-game free roam, when John is a zombie himself, the outfit's name changes to "Army of the Undead".
    • The Legend of the Apocalypse outfit has John dressed as Stone from Deadlands.
    • The fact that the cause of the apocalypse is an Aztec mask may be a reference to the Stone Masks of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
  • So Proud of You: A non-spoken, internal version occurs in the first mission. Jack starts to explain the story he's reading to John, and as the view changes to John, the audio begins to fade and is replaced by light piano notes, implying John lost his concentration in favor of admiring his son.
  • Survival Horror: Definitely fits into the genre, and not just because of the zombies. Money does not exist and ammo is hard to come by.
  • Take That, Audience!: After learning that D.S McKenna intends to make a Zombie Apocalypse movie, John snarls about what kind of sick-minded individual would watch and enjoy a film about the undead returning to life and devouring the living. Presumably the same sick-minded individuals would also enjoy playing a video game about the undead returning to life and devouring the living...
    • And McKenna's retort isn't exactly flattering either:
    McKenna: : My kind sir: THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR!!! My people.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Did the D.S. MacKenna really think it was a good idea to set two zombies loose and try filming them only a few steps away from them?
    • To be fair, John was with him, and he did cry for John to help him, so he may have thought that John would actually save him
    • "I'm just gonna wander down that lonely, deserted street, and get my bag." Even MacDougal sounds like he can't believe what he is saying.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mother Superior is the most prominent example, going from an unarmed elderly nun collecting handouts to a gun-wielding zombie slayer. But nearly every survivor, whether it be the bookish doctors from MacFarlane's Ranch and Escalera to the whores from Armadillo's saloon now armed and defending their town, fits this trope.
  • Trigger-Happy: The Mountain man who starts the Birth Of The Conservation Movement sidequest oddly has a thing for firing his gun at nothing as he boasts about killing a sasquatch.
  • Unicorn: You can find a unicorn roaming the fields of Nuevo Paraiso. It leaves behind a trail of rainbows and butterflies, and bears cloven hooves, like a deer. It has unlimited stamina and the fastest top speed of any mount in the game. Breaking and taming one is required to unlock the Undead Hunter outfit.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No-one, even Zombie hunters, pay any attention to Zombie!Marston being... well, a zombie.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: It's likely a glitch, but the tomahawk and explosive rifle challenges only appear when bought as DLC for the main game, but not in the Game of the Year editionnote . Thankfully, they aren't required for 100% Completion and this seems to have been fixed in the 2023 rerelease.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Many of the "safe" rooms where John can bed down for the night are wooden buildings that are currently on fire. Even many of the relatively intact ones are unsecure, unguarded, and on ground level - one in particular is a tent, and they aren't exactly known for their sturdy defenses.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: When we first see Jack and Abigail, they are playfully trading insults. She does end the conversation saying she's proud of him.
  • Weird West: It's a Zombie Apocalypse set during the Twilight of the Old West, so yes, it counts.
  • Wham Line: "WE...EAT BERRIES...AND MUSHROOMS, YOU FOOL!" The Sasquatch, shortly after you kill its remaining brethren.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Jack's dog Rufus is briefly seen running away early in the game. You never see him again.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The U.S. Army Captain is less than amused when John Marston starts making jokes about the missing persons bounties around Fort Mercer. In fairness, Marston had thought the bounties were for wanted criminals and thought the Army was still focused on capturing unimportant criminals in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse. Once he learns the truth, Marston immediately starts to go looking for the missing people.
  • What the Hell, Player?: You receive a really terrible example of this trope after a stranger quest wherein you hunt Sasquatches in the hills. When you finally find the last one, he's sitting under a tree, crying because his docile species is functionally extinct. And he proceeds to explain this to you in perfect English.
    • On a lesser example, the treasure map sidequests can only be started if you rob the chest of the zombie hunter or scientist, both of whom will immediately turn hostile.
  • Whodunnit: Has some elements of this. John treats the Zombie Apocalypse as a mystery to be solved and spends the game chasing down leads to discover how and where the plague started, all to find a cure for his family.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain / Player Punch: Undead Nightmare presents a What If? story of what if a zombie outbreak occured before John had his last fatal standoff with the FBI. Even though John is alive, his family is zombified. John simply can't catch a break.
    • This lampshaded by D. S. MacKenna
    John: I'm trying to save my family.
    D.S. MacKenna: Yes, quite the hobby of yours, that.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Subverted; a few characters are revealed to be the same person, the Aztec Goddess Ayauhtéotl, who is trapped on Earth because of the Zombie outbreak.
  • Your Head Asplode: One of the only ways to put down the undead for good is to shoot them in the head - and nine times out of then, their head will violently (and messily) explode.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The premise of the game is John Marston against a zombie plague. Fuck yes.
    • Which includes both zombie bears and zombie cougars. OH SHI- * ZOMBIE-COUGAR'D*
    • In a rare variation of this trope, you can actually cure the mass zombification.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: Retchers do this, aside from exploding when killed.