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Video Game / Urban Dead

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A Zombie Apocalypse, free browser-based MMORPG. The game can be played here. Notable in that there are no NPC enemies in the game whatsoever; every single character in the game is controlled by an actual human being.

Provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: Any building, including hospitals, can be ruined by the zombie hordes, forcing survivors to go elsewhere. However, since hospitals are one of the most useful buildings they don't stay that way for long in most cases.
  • An Axe to Grind: the Fire Axe deals 3 points of damage with a maximum of 40% accuracy, one of the best melee weapons for humans.
  • Anti-Hero: Very easy to play, and most players are this.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Each character gets a maximum of 50 AP, replenished by 1 every half-hour. The site will only accept 160 hits per IP per day, effectively limiting max active characters to three. Certain disreputable types have found ways around the limits, and use mutiple characters to help themselves, against the rules of the game, and to avoid AP limits. This can be subverted by removing the IP hit limit for one character per $5 if you donate to the site.
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  • Apocalypse How: Presumably Class 0, considering the fact that a) the whole city of Malton has been quarantined and b) military soldiers are frequently deployed from the outside.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • While your character is inactive, everything that occurs or is said gets recorded for you to read when you Return. Radio messages, conversations, attacks, your body being grabbed and eaten in the street...
    • Many of the UD wiki's user and group pages read out this way, detailing what happened before the outbreak started
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Fighting zombies can sometimes fall into this, depending on the situation. If you're clearing out buildings or repelling a break-in, then that's all good. Fighting them outdoors is just a waste of AP, though, and considering the AP you have to spend looking for ammo later on...
    • The Flare Gun as a combat weapon. It can do a hell of a lot of damage, particularly if you cover your enemy in fuel, but its hit rate is so poor that you'd be better off just using a shotgun, pistol or axe to do the job. It's not much better for alerting survivors to emergencies, since zombies can see them too.
  • Badass Army:
    • The larger zombie hordes, like The Dead, the RRF and Militant Order of Barhah (although the MOB's numbers are lower than they once were). The survivors have The Fortress and the Creedy Defence Force, as well as the Knights Templar, which is now the largest survivor group in all of Malton.
    • The wiki lists the earlier groups. The Council, The New Malton Colossus and The Many are the most classic of the two factions.
  • Badass Longcoat:
    • Uncreative humans who try to play action-movie heroes are known as "Trenchcoaters" (or trenchies) after far too many to count described themselves to be wearing one in their character description box, among other cliches. Also tend to spend their time shooting zombies (who can just stand back up) rather than doing anything useful, like barricading or healing.
    • One particularly egregious character bio insisted that the player was triple wielding shotguns.
    • One can do this with lab coats as well, a favorite of the Deadly Doctor.
  • Battle Cry: Barhah, for all zombies. Many zombie groups have their own one, as seen here.
  • Berserk Board Barricade: Barricades on buildings can be built up to max in a single character's turn, despite the fact that this involves moving tables, bookcases, and vending machines. In garages, no less.
  • Blood Knight: Everybody, especially PKers.
  • Boom, Headshot!: A military perk you can pick later on, which forces zombies to spend extra AP to stand back up.
  • Booze-Based Buff: Wine and beer both give you back one hit point. However, since they take a turn to drink, and there's nothing useful in the buildings they're found in, it's generally best to go to a hospital and search for a medkit.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Averted. You can pay $5 to go over the normal character limit, but having multiple characters work together (A tactic called Zerging by the players) will make everyone turn their back on you, if not target you for Griefing. Even the Random Number God will desert you if two characters are too close together, and in very egregious cases, your IP may even be banned from the game altogether!
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: What happens whenever the zombies decide to seriously fight the survivors, although survivors can occasionally be the ones doing the stomping.
  • Cypher Language: The "Death Rattle" ability allows zombies to communicate in a limited form of speech. (Only allowed letter are a,b,g,h,m,n,r,z,-,! and ?) People have made a language out of this called Zamgrh. It tends to be funny to read or speak.
  • Deadly Doctor: Just because the Doctor and Medic classes primary focus is to take care of the other survivors doesn't mean they can't kick some zed ass.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist:
    • Whether or not this is true depends on whether or not the survivors are "winning" in your local area. If they are, you can shamble to a designated revive points and expect to be back on your feet tomorrow. If not, good luck. Of course, players who are willing to play both sides have nothing to fear at all. Smaller neighborhoods like Pescodside have had problems due to the fact they are considered out of the conventional area as well, with the resident group nowhere to be seen.
    • Dedicated zombie players have it easy all the time—all they have to do is stand back up. In fact, if you've got the Ankle Grab ability, getting back up costs you a grand total of 1 AP. (6 AP if you get head-shot).
  • Despair Event Horizon: Many groups partaking in "Escape" simply wanted Kevan to actually do something and shake things up a little, then the zombies chose to ruin their efforts and slaughter them before anything could happen (and no, nothing did). This was when many survivors chose to retire from the game permanently, although a few survivors subverted this by returning (granted, some didn't return for years).
  • Dirty Coward: The Gore Corps from the Ridleybank Resistance Front. Also, a lot of PKers.
  • Downer Ending: The Escape movement getting curbstomped by a superhorde made of some of the largest zombie groups in the game, all of whom made a beeline for the suburb Escape was based in.
    • For the survivors it may have been a Downer Ending, but for the zombies it was a party with an all-you-can-eat buffet.
    • In general, most attemprs to survive will end this way for inexperienced players. On the other hand, once you've gotten better...
  • Eat the Rich: From 2006 to 2008, there was a zombie group called "Eat The Rich." They only attacked mansions, malls, banks and office buildings.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Many survivor, zombie and Player Killer groups have actually banded together on several occasions, believe it or not. The Department of Emergency Management ended up with particularly large amount of groups allied against it, as they had been accused of zerging (or something similar to boost group numbers).
    • The amount of people that banded against "text rape" note  was another example.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Human, Zombies, PKers, Death Cultists, nobody likes those cheating zergers.
    • The Ridleybank Resistance Front's Gore Corps is a group of death cultists (zombies who trick humans into reviving them so they can use guns). Zombie players look at them as "impure" zombies who defile themselves with life. Survivor players look at them as a bunch of dirty murderers. They look at themselves as sick, twisted, depraved, murdererous bastards. They still demand that their members treat other players with respect.
    • If you practice text rape, it's basically carte blanche for someone to kill you without fear of reprisal, and even zombies are disgusted by the practice. See Enemy Mine and "Dude Not Funny" on the YMMV page.
  • Face–Heel Revolving Door:
    • Dual Nature, which follows the traditional zombie rules of survivors that get turned into zombies... acting like zombies.
    • Most players can be this to others. You damn well better be good at it though.
    • Razer Cain, leader of the Mountain Meddlers, switches between being an Anti-Hero and an out-and-out villain.
  • False Flag Operation: It only takes a few keystrokes to change the group name on your profile. With this in mind, groups have run "undercover operations" with purposes ranging from simply infiltrating another group to starting a war between two enemy groups.
  • Flare Gun: Fifteen points of damage... but at a shitty ten percent hit rate, made worse by the dice rolls of UD being mucked around with. Also rare and if fired into the air to tell where you are to other survivors, the zombies can see it too.
  • Funetik Aksent: Zombies' solution to the limited letters they have. A basic guide to the language can be found here.
  • Griefer: PK's make an art out of this, but the other sides have them too. For humans, it's "Barricade Strafing" - building barricades in empty buildings to make zombies search for the real target. For zombies, it's "Pinatas" - ruining a barricaded building so that humans have to break into their own safehouse.
    • Generator Killers (G Ks). No power, no radio contact and lights.
  • Hero Antagonist: Razer Cain, an Anti-Hero, up against another few heroic survivors has been recorded as happening at one point.
  • Hell Hotel: Any of the many hotels or motels that have fallen into zombie control, especially ones that have been ruined. Also, since there aren't many useful items that can be looted from these locations they rarely have more than a few surviours inside at any one time. This can make them easy prey for a nearby horde.
  • Heroic BSoD: Many groups have endured this. Special mention goes to the "Escape" movement, which ended in tragedy for the survivors, and caused many to leave. Can cross over with Villainous BSoD
  • Hope Spot: From the perspective of the group "Escape", the effort to flee Malton looked like it might work. Then zombie groups rushed them all at once, breaking through and killing more or less everyone.
  • Hit Points: 50 to start, 60 after getting the "Body-Building" skill.
  • Improvised Weapon
  • Infinite Supplies: Buildings contain an infinite amount of whatever items you can find in them. An Acceptable Break from Reality, since the game goes on forever.
  • Item Amplifier: The First Aid and Surgery skills that increase the amount of hit points restored from First Aid Kits by 5 each. The first skill is passive while the second one works only in powered hospital buildings.
  • Knife Nut: the Knife weapon does 2 points of damage but has a maximum of 50% accuracy.
  • Last of His Kind: Lists were made for the last hundred human survivors in Monroeville (now all dead) and Borehamwood (which now has just one human being, in addition to ten zombies left, thus sending humans into this trope).
  • Last Stand: Any siege, only these are usually escapable. If you're logged in early enough. Of particular note is Caiger Mall, which is the only mall with a decisive survivor victory. During a tour of mall sieges conducted by the zombies. All five-thousand of them.
  • Le Parkour: All humans can get the Free Running skill, allowing them to move between buildings without going outside. Depending on the neighborhood and your destination, this is a necessity if you don't want to waste the AP cracking a hole big enough in the front door to wriggle into (then fixing it when you're in, if that's your thing). Obviously, this doesn't work for the zombies. Besides, most of them don't wear hoodies, much less clothes.
  • Level Grind: Don't expect to be a very effective survivor or zombie until you start filling up that Skill Tree.
  • Museum of the Strange and Unusual: While many of the museum discriptions are fairly normal a couple of these show up from time to time. Sometimes being the end result of a local Mad Artist who opened it up before the outbreack. Check the wiki for details.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Well, pirate fireman zombie. There are also pantless mutants with shotguns. Ron freaking Burgundy.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Averted, whenever Zombies are referred to as Zeds or Z, it's usually to save space in the limited chat box.
  • No Zombie Cannibals: subverted; zombies can attack each other for XP, though they only gain half of what they get for damaging human players. Still, "cannibalism" is a good way for a new zombie to gain experience, and is even encouraged by the would-be victims — there's no good way for a zombie to avoid being killed while logged off, and being eaten by a fellow zombie means not taking a Headshot.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Groups like the ULC (Upper Left Corner), who don't take the game seriously at all. In the case of the ULC, the entirety of the group is of veteran gamers with maxed skillsets; they're also listed on the wiki as being one of the main survivor groups that stopped the infamous Mall Tour '06. It's generally not wise to pick a fight with any long-running frivolous group, no matter how silly, as they can make your life very unpleasant very fast.
    • The Burchell Arms Regulars group does not take the game seriously at all, with its members often getting drunk and occasionally starting a bar brawl in their favourite pub for the lulz. They also hunt most Player Killers in Rolt Heights and defend their pub with a hell of a lot of bullets.
  • Play Every Day: Since action points build up so slowly, players usually set aside a specific window of time every day to play so that they can perform many actions in one go.
  • Playing Both Sides:
    • Most players are content to fight whichever side they're not on at the moment and stick with groups only temporarily. This is in contrast to the players who insist you must be loyal to one of the two sides and defend it fanatically both in the game and out of it.
    • Even those players who do insist on keeping their characters dedicated to one side or another may have an alt character that runs with an opposition group. Usually they'll keep these characters far apart from one another to prevent conflicts of interest.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
    • The Zamgrh word for "grab" has strong sexual connotations.
    • "Gangbang". There's even a funny sexual encounter on the wiki.
    • Also, one of the few words that can be said in Zamgrh, "Banana"
    • The abbreviation of "first-aid kit" is FAK. It's often used as a verb. Unless you have ready access to a hospital, you'll spend lots of time asking people to FAK you.
    • Reviving a Zombie is known a poking them. Example from their wiki:"Don't worry, I'll poke you."
  • PVP Balanced: Averted. Melee and guns may have benefits relative to each other, but their only uses are dumping a zombie into the street from a building or leveling up very fast. The AP spent killing a zombie even with a stack of shotguns (the game's highest-damage weapon) is generally far more than the AP it costs him to stand back up, even without factoring in the time spent finding ammo and reloading (which is a lot). Healing, barricading and reviving are almost orders of magnitude more efficient at actually helping survivors or inconveniencing the zombies, and also grant some XP to boot. Additionally, there is a zombie perk that allows zombies to tell where you have gone, if you have successfully attacked them but not finished the job, allowing them to track you if you're any less than ten blocks away.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: So many survivor groups fit this trope that to list them all would extend this page to unreasonable lengths (not to mention impossible) just from the active groups alone.
  • Redshirt Army: What happens when survivors can organise themselves at all, instead of running around like decapitated chickens.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Invoked, headshot-felled zombies take a 5 AP penalty to Stand Up. it used to reset your XP, but this was changed after players complained.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Combat Reviving (Using the reviving item as a weapon). Not a good idea, since you don't know if the zombie in question will prove to be The Mole once they stand up, and if they have Brain Rot, you just wasted a syringe. For this reason, many will opt to scan any zombie they might come across before doing so.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The only pistols available in the game are six-shot revolvers.
  • Scavenger World: The only way to get items in the game (including weapons and ammo) is to find them.
  • Shout-Out: An alternate city that was available for a while is named Monroeville, after the George A. Romero zombie movie Dawn of the Dead (1978). The same was then done for Charlie Brooker's Dead Set with a place called "Borehamwood".
  • Shotguns Are Just Better:
    • Averted with the shotguns, which are plentiful and do the most damage, but can only hold two. Additional shotguns add to weight, and you can only find one shell at a time.
    • Played for Laughs with one survivor character, described as a trenchcoating shotgun golem. A golem made of shotguns, carrying multiple shotguns, with a shotgun tattoo scratched onto his shotgun arm.
  • The Siege:
    • A never-ending series of these, played out in miniature all across the city.
    • This also happens to malls a lot; as malls have just about everything a human player needs to survive, it's a high-priority target for zombies. There have even been a few hordes dedicated specifically to destroying the 19 malls that are in the city.
    • The fall of Caiger Mall marked the true end to a survivor-dominant Malton. Survivors are still winning, but by a much smaller margin than before.
    • The infamous zombie group The Dead is back, and now credited with laying waste to almost all of Malton - survivor numbers have dropped off fast and whole stretches of the map are perma-ruined.
  • Socialization Bonus: Working with an organized group offers a lot more opportunities than going solo.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Averted as it costs an Action Point to talk in-game, though you won't take damage from any infection you have if you do.
  • The Roleplayer: Some people and groups will portray themselves as a character and remain in character all throughout the game. One most historical example was the The Channel Four News Team group.
  • Thriving Ghost Town:
    • Inverted. The city of Malton has 100 suburbs each containing 100 buildings, 10,000 buildings total. At the time of this writing, there are about 8,500 active characters, with living humans outnumbering the walking dead by over 1,500 (though if you count corpses and revivifying humans, it's only by about a few hundred). The zombie apocalypse and associated quarantine here has been going on for over four years. On an individual suburb level, however, it's possible for the whole suburb to be practically devoid of both life and unlife for a time. People inevitably start filling in the gaps, however.
    • Numbers of people in Malton are generally a lot lower than they once were.
  • Troll:
    • Most PKers. (Humans who kill other humans, that is. Zombies killing humans and vice versa is just business as usual.)
    • When generators were implemented we had Generator Killers (GKers). It's been taken by other groups in weird ways, such as radio transmitter destruction, museum piece destruction, Christmas lights destruction...
  • Took a Level in Badass: A requirement by any player planning to last very long.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The two-man Mountain Meddlers, previously composed of two Nice Guy players have turned into self-serving, violent vigilantes. They also have gained a better moral code, help more people, and are opening a safehouse.
  • Useless Useful Non-Combat Abilities
    • Inverted. Combat skills are not entirely without a place, but in any and every situation far, far more of every other kind of survivor are needed than fighters, be it a neutral suburb, a well-controlled suburb or a siege.
    • Played straight with the radio. In theory it could be useful, but in practice it's filled with spam. Generally it's much more efficient to use message boards and the wiki. Not to mention that it actually costs AP to talk or use the radio. If you only earn 1 AP every half hour, which are you going to do: say something, or do something useful?
  • Victory Is Boring:
    • Shacknews, a group that had existed since before the game's creation and were the key factors in both the Battle of Blackmore and the Siege that ultimately destroyed Caiger Mall. Shortly after this, they issued an open challenge to anyone and everyone, and when this was not met, they retired en mass. Even three years later, the name Shacknews can terrify veterans. Even the RRF.
    • This happened once the "Escape" movement was thwarted for several zombie groups, realising that human efforts were unlikely to parallel this again, and that dozens would simply quit the game rather than play the same old thing, with no change.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Ironically, hiding in a ruined building if you haven't got the AP to get behind a barricade increases your chances of survival, especially in stretches of ruined landscape, because most zombies won't bother checking inside every building they come across, since it would be a waste of their own AP.
    • In a similar vein to this, hiding in a darkened building is also an excellent survival tactic, because the chance that someone will hit you is drastically reduced in the dark, meaning you are better defended against PKers and Zombies alike. Or, if you ARE a PKer, hiding in a dark building near your victims is a good way to avoid the angry survivors who want to kill you.
  • We Have Reserves: Siege strategy for both sides essentially relies on having enough warm (or cold) bodies to absorb the damage the other guy can dish out. Survivors have the added caveat that they need to be revived after dying to be effective, so Necrotech facilities tend to be heavily contested buildings.
  • While Rome Burns: The group 'The Upper Left Corner' usually spends its time dicking about in the upper left corners of any large buildings within Malton, wherein they roleplay getting roaring drunk and sometimes PKing one another.
  • Whole Plot Reference: A character named Codename V, using a Guy Fawkes mask as his avatar, urging the citizens of Malton to march on Ridleybank (home to the RRF, a giant zombie horde), on November 5th. Made his first appearance at a gigantic fireworks display. Sound familiar?
  • Wretched Hive: After several years of zombie hordes, survivor hordes, wreckers, zombie spies, death cultists roaming through the city, any newcomer will be greeted with either heavily reinforced buildings, or carcass strewn hellholes, with nothing inbetween these two extremes.
  • Zerg Rush: One of the main reasons it's better for zombies to join a horde than go solo.
  • Zombie Advocate: In a game like this, this sort of group is almost guaranteed to pop up. One of the more notable and successful groups is / was the Quartly Study Group, dedicated to keeping the Quartly Library free for both breathers and shamblers.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Zombies mostly follow the classic Romero Rules, including getting cleverer (leveling up) or moving faster as time passes. However, from both IC-roleplays and the backstory, they're capable of wielding weaponry, such as shotguns and pistols (whole teams for zombie groups have "human" characters who PK others). The trope itself is downplayed, as only a part of a city has fallen under the control of the zombies. The area is quarantined and the area even gets outside support from the military.
  • Zombie Gait: Zombies initially take twice as much AP to move as humans, though they can get an upgrade that makes them faster.


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