Duel to the Death: Classic Zombies Vs. Non-Zombies

Welcome one and all to a brand new series here on Dead Pixels, home of all things geeky and videogame-y. TJ and I have been slaving over our hot computers to bring you what we affectionately refer to as the Duel to the Death. In this new series we’ll take popular characters, monsters, bosses and everything in-between and pit them against each other so we can watch the giblets fly. All you have to do is watch the fight, root for who you want to win, and if your side loses you can vent your rage in the comments. Easy, right?

In this issue it’s all about the zombies. But we’re not just talking about the classic, shambling undead made popular in Resident Evil – we’re expanding this duel to a few more contenders as well. Also in this match are the agile, “rage” zombies like what’s found in Left 4 Dead, the sort-of-but-not-really zombies from the last two Resident Evils, and the possessed townsfolk from Alan Wake and Deadly Premonition. Now, this isn’t a “who would win if we put one of each in an arena and watch them fight?” sort of scenario, this is more about which poses the biggest threat to humanity. So who wins? Let’s find out.

The Classic ‘Romero Undead’

Adam: Ahh, the classic zombie. This one’s easy to root for because the moaning, shuffling zombies are the ones many of us grew up with. They can only go down after massive trauma to the brain (a bullet to the eye socket should suffice) and while they’re easy to overpower (or outmaneuver) alone, it’s when they’re in groups that you really have to worry.

TJ: See I feel as if these are the lamest of the zombies. I mean don’t get me wrong, they’re still zombies. If I saw a real one I would probably drop an unsightly load in my pants. I feel as if these zombies are way LESS threatening in large groups, because they are still slow as hell compared to the other types of zombies. The only advantage that I feel they have, is that aside from some occasional quiet moaning, they are fairly quiet, and you wouldn’t see one coming at you from the bathroom stall or closet.

Adam: Old school zombie fans please direct your complaints regarding TJ’s unabashed hatred for George Romero and his entire line of work to TJ’s email. With that said, I think I agree. I love classic zombies, they’re terrifying no matter what, but out of the many types of undead they’re definitely the least intimidating.

TJ: Right here bitches, bring me the hate.

The “Rage” Zombies

Adam: These crazy mother fuckers were introduced to us in 28 Days Later before making their way to the realm of bytes and sprites in Left 4 Dead. Unlike their slower counterparts, these guys aren’t as easy to outrun, and they’re also still as difficult to put down. They also don’t seem to have much interest in eating your liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti, instead they’re usually far more interested in tearing you apart, limb from limb.

TJ: 28 Days Later got me real nervous. I’m also pretty sure that you didn’t specifically have to be bitten to change into one of them. It freaks me out if they have a lot more ways to change you. Like spitting in your eye, getting some blood on your skin, plowing your girlfriend. Taking your mom out for a nice steak dinner and not calling her back.

Adam: I forgot about that! I remember a scene in 28 Days Later when the dad is infected when some tainted blood gets in his eye, or in its sequel, when the main guy is infected after a steamy makeup session with his wife. I fucking love those movies. And on a side note, does it make me a bad son if I’ve never taken my mom out for a nice steak dinner?

TJ: Yes! That was the scene, blood in the eyes will fuck you up. As far as your mom, not if you can’t afford it. Take her to Outback, great steaks, great prices. (Pitch for Outback ad/free steak coupons.)

The Non-Zombies

Adam: The Non-Zombies include a handful of creatures like Resident Evil 4’s Ganados, RE5’s Majini, and Siren’s Shibito. What’s so terrifying about these guys is they’ve managed to retain some semblance of thought that’s displayed in their ability to flank their prey and use complex machinery. They also seem to be able to communicate with each other, at least in most cases. They remind me a lot of velociraptors, only these guys can fire guns. Clever girl. (second movie reference? Check.)

TJ: It does frighten me that they can use weapons. But the probability of them getting their hands on, oh I don’t know let’s say a gattling gun and a box backpack full of bullets is slim to none. Now the fact that they know how to use everyday items like pitchforks, knives, rakes, etc to their advantage gets me a little more worried.

Adam: And don’t forget their ability to sustain themselves even when they’re not tearing up innocent people and eating them Jeffrey Dahmer style. In the village in Resident Evil 4 I’m pretty sure I came across a bunch tables set with rotting meals. I like picturing the townsfolk sitting at the table, saying grace before chowing down and talking about their day and how little Johnny got an A on his report card. Then suddenly, Leon comes into town and starts killing everyone. Somehow, Little Johnny is the only survivor, but he doesn’t know how to live without his mom’s cooking and he doesn’t want to go to bed until his dad reads him a few pages from that storybook he loves so much. So Johnny decides his only option is to take the chainsaw from his slain uncle who wore a bag over his head to cover the burns on his face that he got from saving two puppies from a burning building a few years back, then Johnny turns on the chainsaw and lies on top of it, sobbing until he breathes his final breath.

TJ: Holy shit, you’ve got me LOL’zing over here. I think I just read the official pitch for Resident Evil 4-2.

Possessed Townsfolk

Adam: I like paranormal stuffs, like ghosts and all that jazz. I even spent my 21st birthday in a necropolis here in California (Colma, CA – Google it) So games like Alan Wake and Deadly Premonition that add a paranormal aspect to the hordes of undead creatures coming at you is more than a little intriguing to someone like me. The only problem here is these creatures have to be taken over by some sort of malevolent presence before they become dangerous, and for that reason (and maybe the fact that an author managed to take out hundreds of these things), I can’t say I’m too worried about these guys winning.

TJ: See I feel as these guys pose more of a threat than they lead on. Think about Deadly Premonition. These guys come out of black goo holes. They technically never stop manifesting. If you don’t find the source of them and destroy it, game over man. The have an endless supply of minions. Though the Alan Wake guys are a bit more giddy about running right fucking for you.

Adam: I keep trying to comment on your argument but all I can think about are black goo holes. Amazing.

And The Winner Is…

Adam: I’m going to have to side with the Majini and Ganados. Really, it all boils down to who poses the biggest threat and I feel these guys do for a few reasons. They can take a lot of damage before going down, they can use complicated machinery (guns, vehicles), they can reach you no matter where you hide (rendering mall rooftops useless), and most importantly, they’re self-sustaining. No other enemy in this fight will continue to take care of itself, like eating, when there’s no prey nearby. If they have no one left to hunt these fuckers will rebuild civilization, and that’s terrifying.

TJ: I’m going to have to back the Rage Zombies. Why? Because the Majini and Ganados, while yes they sort of act like humans, eating, taking care of themselves, and handling weapons, that can be their fatal flaw. They aren’t as focused on turning the entire population into one of “them”. I mean, they hang out and farm! The rage zombies are completely fucking amped up and will chase you down like they have been running in the olympics their entire lives. They can spread a zombie virus faster than Adam spreads his chlamydia. They don’t need to eat, because they’re going to eat you. And they won’t let anything stand in their way. And in a crowd of them, or once they start running towards you in a group, you might as well just lay down and accept the fact that pretty soon you’re going to be running with them.

Agree? Disagree? Lend Us Your Thoughts

It’s no secret that between the two of us TJ and I are pretty damn smart. I mean, if there was a way to crudely combine our brainpower, our fused mind prowess would easily rank at an eleventh grade level. With that said, even the sexiest, most intelligent of people can make mistakes, so whether you agree or disagree with our choices this is your chance to toss in your own two cents. So do it, because if you don’t that means you’re killing democracy, and you’re not a murderer. Are you?

Who do you think should’ve won?
Classic Zombies
“Rage” Zombies
Possessed Townsfolk

Source: Dead Pixels Video Game News for Zombies, Lots & Lots of Zombies