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Monday, July 23, 2012

[DayZ] Day 1, or, "Eaten by zombie Jamie Hyneman!"

Day Z is one of those games where no player's first experience is the same, where the interesting stories emerge precisely because no one plays it or experiences it in the exact same way. Games like WoW don't much have this anymore because everything is very much on rails, a guided, tour experience. Not to say WoW is "bad" but it doesn't fill that niche. Even Mass Effect has become a 2-option path where many of the experiences are similar for each playthrough (everyone gets to punch Khalisah al-Jilani...). In Day Z, what happened to you the first time you found the Balota airfield or came across Rog Por castle are different. One of my first memories so far is watching some player run across a field with about 10 zombies giving chase...part of me wondered if it was Simon Pegg filming an in-game version of Shaun of the Dead. So in keeping with the growing blogger "tradition" of sharing your early experiences, here are mine...and in the interest of full disclosure, I omitted some of my first few lives where I was more or less learning the controls/engine....

 "I walked into a town and summarily got mobbed by zombies," hardly makes an interesting story anyways.
 Day 1:

I am never drinking again...

I awoke face down on a muddy beach in a daze. Most of my possessions aside from my beloved, devoted flashlight have abandoned me. The last thing I recall is "Quarry" which may have been the voice of some taunting god in my ear. At least the hangover has passed.

Looking around I notice the hints of civilization north of my position. With nothing better to do I make my way towards the town. Was it my home? I'm not really sure. I spot a man in a ushanka staggering around the roadway....a zombie, I heard about those. Or at least I think I did, or I read it somewhere...either way I decided to go with the anti-social route and avoided him.

Being over-cautious after some previous encounters with zombies I approach the settlement at a crawl and make my way towards a warehouse. Most of the houses are locked and I need a weapon; a warehouse looks like my best chance. I make my way there at a crawling pace that would get me mocked by glaciers, and as it turns out there's nothing there except the remains of some soda-addict's latest binge.

Ignorantly deciding that this small town has nothing more to offer, I, still unarmed, venture off to the south-west and into the wilderness. I knew from word-of-mouth that zombies were only around civilization anyways.

I crest the first hill and find myself looking down into a valley with a farmhouse and the zombified remains of a Jamie Hyneman look-alike contest. Figuring that the worst that can happen is an untimely death from mythbusting zombies testing how much blood a human body contains. I crawl my way towards the farmhouse and despite a few close calls still have a pulse and a distaste for brain consumption when I arrive.

Lucky for me there is a Lee Enfield "Zombie-Summoner" rifle in the farmhouse along with bandages, food and some Coke (I was really hoping for Pepsi...). Better equipped I crawl my way out of the farmhouse in the opposite direction and off I head southwest, figuring I will let chance guide me towards a goal.

Feeling armed, dangerous, and studly in my baseball cap I reach the treeline again, get up, and head at a dead sprint into the wilderness. With lungs apparently made of titanium I sprint through seemingly endless forest until I find myself crossing a dirt road. With no real reason not to and growing bored of forests, I decide to see where this takes me. As it turns out this dirt road curves back the way I came and north...then sharply west and I find myself once more at a fork. My gut tells me to go right, but my gut also told me that the earlier warehouse might have a weapon AND it clearly lead me to do whatever it is that caused me to awaken on a beach in a zombie gut cannot be trusted.

So I go left...south, I like going south, it feels like going downhill...unless the road is uphill. A brief sprint leads me to another fork in the road, but this time, after all this running I find my ire towards my own instincts fading, so I go right. As I am running along I am constantly looking about for any sort of threat...when I spot something interest. After about 30 minutes of a Discovery Channel special on Trees I find myself looking up the hill towards what appears to be the remains of a castle. At this point a voice in my head screams, "Screw the road, go to the castle!"

The voice has only betrayed me once up the hill I go and I find myself in the ruins of some kind of old fort. Behind me I hear approaching footsteps, groaning, and grunting. Naturally I assume it is a lost tourist that has taken my fancy hat as reason to assume that I must be a guide.

Instead I turn around to find the zombie-version of a stereotypical Russian man, Ushanka and all...and what appears to be a groom who's lost his bride. I try to explain to them that I am lost too but they won't hear it, instead they flail their arms. Because I am carrying a firearm, think of myself as an 'Amurikan', and am being accosted by Russians; I decide to re-ignite the cold war and open fire. Down goes one...then the other.

The red fountain coming out of my back suggests I am bleeding, and the little tear-drop in my UI is blinking. Reaching for my trusty pack I spot bandages and manage to narrowly put two and two together as to their use. I wrap the bandage around my leg and my back stops bleeding, that blood pressure stabilizes just under ten thousand...lucky me I suppose.

By this point an hour has gone by and the hangover is back, so I make my way towards one of the ruins and hit the hay...tomorrow, I find somewhere FUN to go.

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