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He Chose ... Poorly.
September 27, 2008 5:18 AM   Subscribe

Survive the Outbreak: Interactive zombie movie. At certain points of the movie you will be prompted to make a choice. What would you do? You'll most certainly die, but at least you get to come back and try again. *NSFW due to profanity.
posted by bwg (48 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was waiting for the "bash the annoying chick in the head with her own baseball bat" choice, but it never came up.
posted by Lucinda at 5:31 AM on September 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Indeed. The choices clearly weren't based on the Zombie Survival Guide.
posted by bwg at 6:02 AM on September 27, 2008


Well, she DOES get hit with a baseball bat at one point.
posted by proj at 6:25 AM on September 27, 2008


Sweet, this takes me back to the days of Sega CD FMV games. I hope it's better than Night Trap...
posted by joshrholloway at 6:30 AM on September 27, 2008


I am actually quite surprised at the quality of this. It's really well put together, and actually does feel quite tense. That said, I could only find one way to ultimately survive, and I abandoned at least one person to die to do it. Grim stuff. Hope there's a sequel.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:32 AM on September 27, 2008


I was trying to remember the name of Night Trap when I read this.
posted by proj at 6:34 AM on September 27, 2008


This is awesome. It's put together way better than I assumed, I hope it lasts longer than a couple minutes though 'cause I'm enjoying it.
posted by Venadium at 6:38 AM on September 27, 2008


The chapter select page is the best possible thing they could have done.
posted by tylermoody at 6:41 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it seems from here that the site is getting pretty hammered.

SPOILER

I got to "Intro->Save Him->Stay Here->Gather Wood->Go Downstairs->Leave Her" and found none of the three choices from there will load. Further, I never got to expand the Go Out Back path with her (either version), but it's a pretty safe bet he dies there too given the previous branches...
posted by mystyk at 6:44 AM on September 27, 2008


I got it loaded and through it, after several backtracks, anyway.

What I hate about zombie movies is that the moral compass is gone and the choices you make are pretty random. I didn't see that any of the choices really made sense except in hindsight.

I don't really know SPOILER rules, so I'll just say that if you want to know the track through it, mefimail me, and I'll summarize.
posted by kalessin at 7:08 AM on September 27, 2008


I was able to get through it after a few tries; it's not altogether that long.
posted by bwg at 7:22 AM on September 27, 2008


What would you do?

None of the stupid shit this prick did, for starters.
posted by The Monkey at 7:29 AM on September 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the choices are fairly arbitrary. Choose your own adventure for the 00's!
posted by pharm at 8:57 AM on September 27, 2008


"You get to come back and EAT BRAINS", surely?
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM on September 27, 2008


I was thinking of posting this yesterday, but didn't get around to it. Blast!

It's short - total of six choices that take you from the intro to the final credits, assuming you make it that far. At least one choice is surprisingly subtle. (Hint, it really matters about three choices down the road how you chose to secure the house, even though at first both choices seem to lead to the same result.)

And sometimes your survival demands on raw luck - as in some decisions are obviously bad, but other times there's just no way to know whether some choice will ultimately kill you or not. And, as noted, sometimes there's just no good choice.

I would have liked it to be a little longer, but yeah, surprisingly well put together. Some actual production value on display, although the gore effects are appropriately cheesy. I don't know how deliberate it was, but it gets that grainy look of old cheap horror films down really well. The character types are all right for the genre.

All in all, a pleasant surprise.
posted by Naberius at 9:14 AM on September 27, 2008


The moral compass may be off, but the way to survival is pretty clear... don't stop to help anyone.
posted by autodidact at 9:35 AM on September 27, 2008


That was really cool. I got frustrated at first when I let the guy die in the first option, but when I saved him the video and choices that popped up were exactly the same. I actually gave up on it until I saw Happy Dave say he'd made it out alive. I understand why it was that way, but I think they should've varied the dialogue a little so it wasn't so easy to jump to a "you die no matter what" scenario. Which in retrospect would've been sort of funny.

This video confirms what I'd already suspected, though: I will be among the first to die in the zombie invasion. My instincts are all wrong.
posted by lilac girl at 9:44 AM on September 27, 2008


This isn't porn? Why didn't the FPP say so?!
posted by bardic at 10:33 AM on September 27, 2008


"This video confirms what I'd already suspected, though: I will be among the first to die in the zombie invasion. My instincts are all wrong."

Actually, if I understand you correctly, you'd be fourth to die, but still... not good. :-)

But yeah, it doesn't hold your hand and give you immediate feedback on your choices. Even after you've made a choice, you aren't immediately told whether it was a good one or not. Sometimes the consequences of a decision only appear in sudden and very surprising ways - after you've made a couple more potentially fatal choices.

For people thinking there's no way out, there are two successful endings, though the game? movie? considers one superior to the other.
posted by Naberius at 10:40 AM on September 27, 2008


Does anyone know if there are multiple ways to beat this? I seem to have beaten in the same way hinted at by others.

Definitely pretty cool, in any event. And the chapter select interface was excellent.
posted by Alex404 at 10:59 AM on September 27, 2008


There are two ways to beat these, but I felt the combination of the two was a bit of a let-down. That's all I'm sayin'!
posted by hazyjane at 11:17 AM on September 27, 2008


This is hilarious! Gotta love zombies...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 11:38 AM on September 27, 2008


I want to play this so badly! I don't get a "begin" to press, though. Just the title screen aaaand nuffink.
posted by hecho de la basura at 12:19 PM on September 27, 2008


Nice driving, Seth. Jerkass.

hecho, I couldn't see it either until I went to full screen.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:06 PM on September 27, 2008


Hecho: If you are running Firefox with Adblock, I had the same problem. Open it in another browser or disable Adblock.
posted by proj at 1:06 PM on September 27, 2008


This is pretty fun, although the slow loading made it an exercise in tedium.
posted by tehloki at 1:29 PM on September 27, 2008


Does anyone know if there are multiple ways to beat this?

As the post above yours mention, there are two "winning" endings -- though one is better than the other.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 1:55 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, finally got the best path win. That was pretty amusing. It's, ummmm, a darn pity that Kelly got eaten.

Really.
posted by Samizdata at 3:34 PM on September 27, 2008


Both endings were a bit of a letdown, but that was sweet.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 4:01 PM on September 27, 2008


WWJSay?

Well, I surely didn't expect that when I broke down the Gates of Hades.
posted by ersatz at 4:12 PM on September 27, 2008


"Nice driving, Seth. Jerkass."

Well yeah. Hopefully anybody still reading this far is beyond SPOILAGE, SPOILAGE SPOILAGE by now, but


If you think the smart thing to do in this situation is to go off with the hothead waving the revolver around - who's already shot another member of your party at least once - then you kind of deserve what you get.

I mean some decisions you could go back and forth on, but that one was pretty dog obvious.

And yeah, I'm irked (in a "oh that's good that they've irked me" way) that you can't save Kelly. Not only is she the girl, but she's pretty much the only smart, cool-headed, brave and compassionate person in the group - barring James as he's just a puppet for us. Of course she's doomed. It's actually a very good decision by the writers. One of the more involving facets of the story.
posted by Naberius at 4:15 PM on September 27, 2008


you kind of deserve what you get

The guy on the couch was a liability and we were sitting ducks in that house! Kelly was getting on my nerves and the load lag was driving me nuts!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:04 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmm. Yeah, okay, maybe it's better if you go with Seth then... :-)
posted by Naberius at 5:23 PM on September 27, 2008


I want to play this, but I get staggeringly bad A/V sync issues. Like, 30 seconds off by the end. I suspect my laptop just isn't fast enough to render the video in real time, and the audio doesn't wait around for nothin'.
posted by cj_ at 6:44 PM on September 27, 2008


I sometimes ponder about how to survive a zombie outbreak. I was always confident in my ability. This movie has put me in my place, I'm just zombie brain food.
posted by mr dodo at 6:57 PM on September 27, 2008


They needed an option to take out that guy tweaking by the window. You could see it coming a mile away that he was gonna crack and get people killed.
posted by Tullius at 7:18 PM on September 27, 2008


They needed an option to take out that guy tweaking by the window. You could see it coming a mile away that he was gonna crack and get people killed.

Yeah, not having an option to re-secure the door was annoying. He runs out, he gets what he gets.
posted by stevis23 at 8:10 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Agreed. Alex is basically useless zombie chow. He's less a character than a plot device. I've praised clever things the writers did above, but have to admit he was a little ham-fisted.

Living in Vancouver, I long ago decided that when the zombies come, I'm going to first swing by the nearest drug store and grab all the Vitamin C I can carry. No one's going to be going after that. I should be safe while they're all looking for bullets or hockey pads or whatever the hell they're planning to use.

Then I'm going to hole up in the Molson brewery at the foot of the Burrard Bridge. If you've never been to Vancouver, it's right next door to a Canadian Forces armory and apparently used to be part of it. You should see this place. It's got to be the most defensible brewery on Earth. Seal yourself up in there with all that beer and beer by-products and there's enough raw nutrients to survive for years.

The biggest problem would be scurvy, hence the Vitamin C. And, now that I've foolishly revealed my plan, keeping you bastards from swamping the lifeboat. Damn!
posted by Naberius at 8:55 PM on September 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Why would anyone run for the woods?

Got a buddy who's worked on some pretty high spec equipment. Figure we'll just prop up one of those Masers on the roof in a rotating cavity resonator. Any zombie that comes near the place will have its brains poached in its skull.
Shouldn't even take that much power. Small generator.
...course, we haven't built it yet.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:05 PM on September 27, 2008


who's already shot another member of your party at least once - then you kind of deserve what you get.

The first rule of any zombie situation is you always kill the wounded. They are way to dangerous. Plus going for the car was definitely the right thing to do. A vehicle is basically the best weapon you can have.
posted by afu at 2:17 AM on September 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Recording long scenes would have been harder and more expensive to film, I believe, so that escaping via car was never an option.

When in a zombie outbreak, try to figure out what budget the writers had in mind. If you're lucky, you're in a high-budget production and you'll get to use a laser or power armor. If not, stay in the house and go for the bricks!
posted by krilli at 4:02 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Edit: "Recording long scenes [b]in the car[/b] would have been harder and more expensive to film ..."
posted by krilli at 4:03 AM on September 28, 2008


And [b] is <> of course.
posted by krilli at 4:04 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


"A vehicle is basically the best weapon you can have."

I must vigorously disagree. (Meaning, in zombie movie morality I would shoot you to increase my own chances of survival.) While cars on streets as they are normally encountered, would be excellent protection against zombies, provide mobility and even counter-offensive capability, all that goes out the window when the zombies start munching on flesh. As I think the film amply illustrated, at that point the streets are full of flaming debris and obstructions, packed with zombies and especially full of terrified or mortally wounded people driving like maniacs.

Mobility tends to be very much overrated in these situations. There's zombies everywhere. Moving away from the zombies here just means moving closer to the zombies there. And while a car is armor, it's also big and unwieldy. You have far more options on foot than in your car. If nothing else, the fact that the main thing you're having trouble getting around is other cars that are overturned and burning, or full of zombies chowing down on the former occupants should tip you off that the car doesn't mean you win.

Basically, we're not talking about cruising to the shelter in the family mini-van while the zombies impotently groan outside. We're talking about never knowing when some panicked guy who's losing blood fast and spiking on adrenaline is going to t-bone you from a side street at 50 mph in a stolen taxi and kill you outright.

With a mobility strategy you never know what's ahead. With a defensive one, you choose one situation that you can control. Your working brain is your biggest advantage over the zombies. In the long run, you're much better off in a situation where you can rely on it more than on luck.
posted by Naberius at 11:29 AM on September 28, 2008


I wanted to like this, and I guess I had fun for a while, but it reminded me of why I ended up always being slightly annoyed at the 'choose your own adventure' books way back in the day anyway. It turns out that both of these only give you some illusion of choice; we are dumped in a situation where we don't have much or any context (i.e. the big dude's apparent tendency to FUCKING PANIC when behind the wheel of a car) and we have only the ability to make choices every 5-7 minutes in any given scenario. We are armed with our own personal knowledge on all pertinent subjects but are not actually given the ability to consistently exercise it, and instead may make good choices when the screen lets us but then, when we're dumped back into the narrative/scene as the dude who is making choices, have no access to it at all.

In other words I guess, seconding for emphasis:
- What would you do?
- None of the stupid shit this prick did, for starters.

posted by six-or-six-thirty at 1:43 PM on September 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


With a mobility strategy you never know what's ahead. With a defensive one, you choose one situation that you can control. Your working brain is your biggest advantage over the zombies. In the long run, you're much better off in a situation where you can rely on it more than on luck.

Can't help but agree. Once upon a time I thought the best thing to have when they (inevitably) rise was a big truck. Now I think a pile of plywood, some screws, and a cordless drill would probably be better in the short term.

Well, that and not walking backwards through darkened doorways into unexplored rooms.
posted by The Monkey at 12:25 AM on September 29, 2008


"With a mobility strategy you never know what's ahead. With a defensive one, you choose one situation that you can control."

Mobility is the key to warfare. This, of course, isn't warfare. Drives me nuts man. There's apparently no possible way to prepare (Max Brooks' work aside) in any movie scenario.
I could cough and some nut who's never handled a weapon in his life panics and shoots me.

You're never ready for what actually comes (Musashi had quite a bit to say on that - be ready only for what happens).
I mean stock up for the fight with zombies and...

I'm reminded of the quote from Tremors -"Food for five years, a thousand gallons of gas, air filtration, water filtration, Geiger counter... Bomb shelter... God damned underground monsters."
posted by Smedleyman at 9:54 PM on September 29, 2008


I could cough and some nut who's never handled a weapon in his life panics and shoots me.

Maybe, but at least you can reanimate and eat his brains as payback.
posted by bwg at 2:48 AM on September 30, 2008


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