After yet another successful Zedtown Zombie event in October they are pulling out all the stops and throwing down the bloody gauntlet and running just ONE more this year on the 13th of December.
Unfortunately its on a Sunday so it doesn’t have the added spooky cache of being on a ‘Friday the 13th’ but at least most people will have the day off and be able to focus all their energies on tracking down and taking out zombies until the inevitable happens and the hunters become the hunted..
Check it out over here
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of being corralled into dark alleys by the zombie horde and picked off one by one until your clan is nothing but a skeleton crew of desperate survivors then jump on that link and score yourself some tickets before they all sell out again.
This will be the first one staged at Olympic park and we’re excited to see them spread their decaying wings in its much more spacious environs, not that Sydney university was exactly claustrophobic but with over 700 participants the ‘fighting’ could get intense at times and the more space to do that in the better.
So what is Zedtown I hear you ask?
Oh dear, I probably should have led with some kind of explanation right?
Lets see. You’ve seen the above photo, a bunch of happy looking people holding brightly coloured plastic guns and one particularly suave looking dude with a beard and a cool hat. Well ignore him. Nothing personal buddy but its all about the guns.
Dressing up is definitely encouraged of course and as you’ll see from our little album over here..
It’s all part of the fun and people get very carried away both dressing up and roleplaying as their alter ego of choice before eventually becoming one of the walking dead and going all screechy and bitey.
When it comes down to it though its about the guns and finding the right tightknit crew to watch your back, sure eventually there are just going to be too many of the undead to seriously consider making it out alive. Still, the longer you and your faction survive the more pride you’ll feel, the higher your chance of winning prizes is and most importantly you’ll have more fun!
Those precious dogtags they hand out to survivors are what the zombies really want, sure your brains will go down a treat too but once they get their blood covered hands on you the first thing you hear is a polite request that you handover your dogtag.
Then you begin the long walk back to ground zero for a quick lick of face paint and off you go again, this time joining the horde instead of avoiding it and hunting down the last few desperate survivors. If you can lay your hands on one without getting shot first then you score your own dogtag loot and again, that slight tingle of achievement not to mention more chances of prizes.
Hey though, not all is lost if a soft foam bullet bounces off your gesticulating form before you get your hands on the nearest survivor the only thing you need to do is head straight back to the start point and tag yourself back in!
Essentially the game begins in the early afternoon with three clans competing to see who can hold out the longest against the slowly growing tide of undead. Each clan has a base and the one to hold out the longest wins.
The base is not only defended by its leaders and devoted footsoldiers but an all encompassing forcefield which needs to be constantly fed with power to stay active. That power comes from little glow sticks or ‘Generators’ which are hidden around the field of play or doled out to those who earn them by performing quests.
In case that was a little confusing then here are the rules from the horses mouth..
“Survivors are recognised by their yellow armbands. They win by surviving until ‘evacuation’ or through other in-game events.
Zombies are recognised by their green headbands. They win by tagging Survivors and turning them into zombies.
Most players will begin as Survivors. They use Nerf blasters or balled-up socks to stun zombies and keep them at bay.
At least one player will begin as Patient Zero, a secret carrier of the zombie virus. They look like a normal Survivor so watch out.
The game lasts six hours, or until all Survivors are wiped out. There are special Missions to undertake, NPCs to meet, and powerful Elite Zombies to avoid. Try and survive! Humanity is counting on you.”
If you’re still a little confused then all you need to know is you get free reign to ‘shoot’ as many bloodied up zombies as you can before they get their hands on you, there are other characters running around who will either assist you in your quest or hinder you and there is even a website you can check in on during the day to keep track of how your particular clan is going.
You even get to update it yourself everytime you add a fresh kill to your tally and vice a versa when you join the ranks of the undead. You can either keep your head down and play it lone wolf or go all out with the roleplaying aspect of it and participate in the surprisingly intricate clan politics and warfare that occurs.
In the space of one hour I saw two leadership summits, three raids on opposing factions bases and at least one Clans second in command get kidnapped and ransomed off for ‘generators’. A fantastic training ground for the dedicated politicians of tomorrow, eat your heat out young liberals!
As a bewildered first timer i kept a low profile and stuck with smaller groups within my ‘clan’ who seemed to know what they were doing. This worked for a while and we took down one zombie after another, eventually however the increased presence of larger hordes blocking off escape routes and witches (who are impervious to bullets, if you see them or hear their screams…basically all you can do is run) made it harder to creep around unscathed.
Soon enough the few of us that remained assembled at the base to make a final stand, we had an ostensibly defensible position with only one way in and a narrowed entry point which forced the zombies to cluster together into a seething wall of undead which made an easy target when we had the firepower.
As their numbers grew however and ours dwindled all they had to do was wait for our force field to drop, we had run out of people brave enough to scout out more generators and even if we did have a few hardy souls out there, the nature of our base meant there was no way past the zombie horde camped at our front gate to help us.
Our one great advantage over the other more exposed bases now became our greatest weakness, there was no secret back door or underground tunnel to escape through. We were trapped. With highly unusual intelligence for zombies they started counting down the last remaining seconds until our ‘force field’ finally gave way.
A chorus of guttural cries went up and in they came, hundreds of dead eyed freaks baying for our blood (and dog tags), a great oppressing crush of cold grey ex-humans pouring through the widening breach in our defenses. It was the Bay of pigs all over again, the Somme in 1914. Hell it was almost as bad as platform 5 at Town Hall when the 5.17 to Wollongong pulls in.
We were finished, the we made a brave stand but for every nerf round that bounced off the chest or head of a walker, three or four more stepped over them to take their place.
To be honest if there was any frustration to be had on the day it was that through no fault of their own a lot of the zombies walked right through our hail of fire and kept on coming, whether it was the adrenaline rush, the fog of war or just that surrounded by their bretheren and all the noise…many seemed to be able to ignore the soft foam pellets as they ricocheted off multiple body parts.
It’s true, unless you have a tank or an actual flame thrower a tightly packed zombie horde is unstoppable, just get the hell away from them and whatever you do, don’t let yourself get trapped in a base with no way out.
Take it from me and the handful of other bewildered troops who made that last stand, it doesn’t end well. I’m sure even today, almost exactly a month later a few of them are still walking around with a thousand yard stare.
These events have been running since 2012, every Zedtown has gotten scarier, bigger, more realistic and more popular than the last. They now have their own radio station so participants can keep track of developments in real time, if it gets any more realistic they are going to have to provide trauma counselling post event in a few years from now..
In the end the only way to really understand how crazy it can all get is to experience it for yourself, you all have facebook, if you haven’t already jumped on the previous link to buy tickets join in the conversation over here
They only released the first wave of tickets yesterday and they sold out within two hours, the next and final wave is on sale right now so get over there!