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Video Game / Zombie Panic

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Get Them Brain Dawgs!

Zombie Panic is a Half-Life mod created by the Zombie Panic team. Later the team redesignated themselves as Monochrome Games and has released a Spiritual Successor to Zombie Panic titled Contagion. Both Contagion and its first remake, Zombie Panic: Source, use the Source engine. The plot is fairly generic, and in many ways it lampshades many B-Movie horror films.

As a result of an odd Noodle Incident, zombies roam a destroyed earth. A group of survivors needs to fend off a zombie attack until none remain or, alternatively, complete a mission before they are overrun. Zombie Panic allows players to take either the side of the humans or of the zombies, and survivors that are killed respawn on the zombie team. Zombies begin with a "pool" of lives, which allow them to respawn. Once the pool is empty, zombies cannot respawn until more survivors get killed.


This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: ZPS_Silence and ZPS_Asylum. Both maps take place in asylums.
  • Abandoned Subway: Three of the official maps (ZPS_Nightmare, ZPS_Underground and ZPS_Subway) have an abandoned subway station and in the case of the latter two, center around it.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Humans can pick up body armor to reduce damage.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: ZPS_Thrillville takes place inside a carnival.
  • Boring, but Practical: The pistols. If a survivor is in a suitably defended position (say, behind a secure barricade), they can do quite some damage with the pistols as long as they aim for the head. Ammo is common, and the guns themselves are lightweight. Handy when you've already used up most of the shotgun/Magnum/rifle ammo on the map but still need a gun to cap zombies with.
  • Berserk Board Barricade:
    • Justified. Survivors can push existing objects such as couches and cabinets into a doorway to block it, but due to the limits of the Source engine, there is no way to dictate where they land, resulting in comical but nonetheless effective (sometimes) zombie blockers.
    • The 1.5 update added barricade hammers that can place boards across doorways to further impede the zombies' advance. Interestingly, Diagonal boards are often more effective at blocking a doorway than horizontal boards. These boards can only sustain a few hits before breaking, but a well-maintained barricade can last indefinitely.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The ammo. Red: pistol, White: magnum, Yellow: rifle and shotgun
  • Deadly Lunge: All zombies come preloaded with one good lunge. Can also be used to either shift heavy objects more quickly ("Uberpush")or, if saved, can be used in a deadly rage attack, where the zombie is given running speed and increased attack for a few seconds.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Paul.
    • "Oh yeah, perfect spot guys! If you wanna DIE AND S**T! Whatever dude."
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Many objects are breakable. A key part of the barricading system.
  • Elite Zombie: The Carrier zombie, AKA "Whitey", due to his deathly pallor. He moves a little faster than other zombies, has a little more health, is able to infect survivors, can "call" for other zombies to make them spawn close to him, and an uncanny ability to make your pants as brown as his.
  • Escape Sequence: ZPO_Harvest
  • Game Lobby: A physical place in the game. Usually there are 3 options: A reassuring "Join Survivor" corridor, a menacing "Join Zombie" pathway, and a "join Spectator" door. Bonus points if door 3 is an elevator, staircase, or other observation platform.
  • Genre Blindness: Occasionally…
    • Eugene: "There's gotta be supplies around here, split up and find them"
    • Though it's a gameplay element, one must wonder at the savviness of a person hiding from zombies in a dark corner when they start muttering to themselves or coughing uncontrollably. Probably justified though, as they're likely to be going insane by that point.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath:
  • Improvised Weapon: There are a plethora of melee weapons.
  • Infernal Retaliation: Since zombies have the ability to regenerate, they can afford to set themselves on fire. A flaming zombie running through a human barricade usually results in wild shots, and in the end the only ones left standing have brown pants, are extra crispy, became Brain Food, or any combination of the above.
  • Informed Equipment:
  • Jerkass: Infected survivors tend to be, although it has become anticipated and even planned for, so any rage or vendettas are short lived.
    • Vanessa in particular spends most of her time insulting the other survivors. Not even being killed stops her abuse, as instead of gurgling upon lunging, she instead states "You got me killed...."
    • Servers also tend to have one or two Crazy Survivalist players who will not allow other survivors behind their barricades. This is generally discouraged however, as the denied entrants usually get killed and return as zombies, leading the rest of them back to the barricade. Unless the occupant is either Crazy-Prepared or a complete badass, their chances of survival are slim.
    • Ammo sharing tends to be open to abuse as well, to an extent.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Both survivors and zombies can get their heads blown or ripped off in various ways, in addition to massive amounts of gore if killed by an explosion.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Plays with Mighty Whitey hilariously, but has nothing to do with race.
  • Oh, Crap!: when all hope is lost, a survivor can panic, making them drop anything not currently in their hands and allowing a temporary boost in stamina. Survivors can use this to escape a bad situation, run back to the group if scouting, or put distance between the zombies and themself, allowing more time to aim if the zombie is almost dead. Comes with an appropriate dialogue.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Although the zombies are straightforward F/P-type zombies, their intelligence mirrors that of the person controlling them. Also, even though head shots are the best way to deal with them, body shots also cause damage.
  • Path of Most Resistance: Paths directly into the zombie spawn, especially in survival mode, typically have better weapons. It's risky, but tempting.
  • Power Up Motif: when zombies lunge or rage, they moan and gargle, respectively.
  • Regenerating Health: Zombies have this if they wait a few seconds after being hit.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The .357 magnum is a veritable Hand Cannon that can kill all zombies except for "Whitey" with a well placed headshot.
  • Shoot the Dog: Friendly fire is disabled for an infected survivor in the seconds before he/she becomes a zombie.
  • Shout-Out:
    • ZPO_Harvest references Night of the Living Dead (1968)
    • ZPS_Cinema is full of them. Movie posters for The Blob (1958), Fido, and Days of Darkness'', among others, adorn the walls.
    • Marcus is very similar in appearance to Peter Washington from Dawn of the Dead (1978)
    • ZPS_Ruralpanic is an almost 1:1 recreation of the layout of the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead
    • ZPO_Aquatica takes place in an underwater facility which gets flooded near the end. The setting and the facility's name are both homages to Deep Blue Sea.
      • In addition, the plot about going down in a secret laboratory to retrieve the anti-virus is pretty similar to the premise of the first Resident Evil film. There also exists a rare Easter Egg which features a red hologram of a girl similar to the Red Queen.
  • Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: Type III
  • The Unfettered: Eugene.
    • "I'm not sticking around to die here!"
  • Stripperific: In the delightfully rare male case, the punker survivor Paul wears jeans that are absolutely covered in ragged holes. With enough holes in certain areas to make it pretty clear that he isn't wearing much under those jeans.
  • Undeathly Pallor: Again, Whitey
  • Victory Quote: Both teams have them.
  • Your Head A-Splode:
    • Happens when Boom, Headshot! is a kill shot.
    • The dev team seemed to understand that headshots are a primary staple of zombie mythology, and so there are close to half a dozen different ways in which a zombie skull can fracture, depending on where the bullet impacts.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The point of the game, Although it's hard to tell how long it's been since the world went to hell.
  • Zombie Gait: Averted. The zombies move at a fast walk, and have the ability to "lunge" for a couple of seconds in order to close the distance. They can also jump and have been known to move objects and try ridiculous schemes to get past a barricade.
  • Zombie Infectee: A central piece of the game. Only the carrier zombie, "Whitey", is able to infect survivors. Once infected, there is no cure. Infected survivors tend to avoid a Shoot the Dog scenario and instead go about doing their best to slow down or destroy the survivors before or after they turn into a zombie.
    • This depends on the player really. Some may choose the above 'spy' method, while others may drop all their weapons for their team-mates and go out in a blaze of glory with the use of an IED or Grenade; in objective maps, they may opt to stay behind and work as a barrier, giving their team mates just enough time to escape.
  • Zombie Vision: Can be toggled during gameplay. In exchange for peripheral vision, zombies can see the heat signatures of survivors, making hiding tricky under most circumstances.