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Manhunt: Behind Malton's Deadly New Sport


Never before has one sport captured the attention of Malton like Manhunt does today. Every week, Manhunt games draw thousands of zombies to stadiums around the city, all anxious to see their favorite human players tear each other apart in a no-holds-barred orgy of guns, knives and violence. It is on every television set. Its stars make millions. Its losers are left to rot on the streets.

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Manhunt Marathon: Coming to a suburb near you!

But what really happens on the professional Manhunt circuit? How did this little-known sport, once confined to the basements of seedy bars, become the great sports spectacle that we all know and love today?

This past week, we had the chance to interview three of Manhunt's most well known figures: Axehack, DanceDanceRevolution, and Rosslessness. From its humble beginnings in small nightclubs in Pasherton and Santlerville, to the bloodbath televised worldwide today, we are pleased to bring you a special behind-the-scenes look at Manhunt -- its stars, its fans, and its complete disregard for human life.

MHS: For many of our zombie readers, the very idea of enslaved harmanz hunting other harmanz for sheer sport is not only totally awesome, but it also represents the pinnacle of zombie sports entertainment. How did you become involved in the professional Manhunt circuit?

Axe Hack: I got involved after challenging Gnome to a one-on-one death match a few years back, which slowly evolved into what became the original Axe Hack's Manhunt.

MHS: A lot of us remember the thrilling conclusion to AxeHack's Manhunt 2, where Jose Cojones somehow managed to kill Vinetown Scout with a split-second, last-chance shot across three rooms, while diving behind a table. He got the kill, the trophy, and the fame. Can you tell us about your favorite Manhunt experience?

Axe Hack: Definitely gotta be the first day of Rage in the Age, where the Manhunt All-Stars bought swift and heinous death to most of the Discosaurs.

DDR: Every Manhunt has its moments, and many of the better ones have gone down in Manhunt mythos and have been recalled by participants for years.

My all time favourite memory would be the final of the inaugural Manhunt in 2007, where the last two contestants, Evieman and myself, decided that we'd been through too much to just throw it away with some off-hand murder, so we contacted the rest of the BBK and organised a controlled fight, with all the BBK and Santlerville's residents in attendance. We stocked up over a week and had pre-show entertainment and everything. It all came down to a turn-based fight; we took it turn by turn to shoot, axe and punch our way to victory, with the BBK's leaders commentating the match just off our HP values as the fight went on. It was very fight clubesque, and eventually, I got through on just 2HP, and our very first manhunt had concluded with the most climactic ending we could have mustered.

Ross: The day of the Meteor.

MHS: Up until recently, Manhunts were held underground, away from the public gaze. Now that the sport has become more mainstream, where will Manhunts go next?

DDR: Who could say? For now it seems to have gone full circle: The first manhunts, because of the one-life scenarios, were very niche competitions only for the willing and committed. Then when Axe Hack spawned the more forgiving and more fun rules, it seemed more casual and accessible to a multitude of players. Now we're going through a marathon, where if anyone wants a chance of winning they have to commit a character to a manhunt every month, which is a big ask, much like the first few manhunts.

In terms of the manhunt's evolution from the secretive backalley brawls to public spectacles, it's largely thanks to the growing level of celebrity endorsements the sport has gained over the past few years. Plenty of famed and respected warriors from all of Malton are joining the Manhunt in droves, regardless of their affiliation with the living or dead, and for every famous competitor that joins, another newbie or individual will join to see if they can match them. For me, it shows that today's hero is down to earth and willing to get down and dirty and risk their reputations in the name of fun. It would have been great to see how Sexy Rexy Grossman, Sonny Corleone or Ron Burgundy would have behaved in a Manhunt.

As for the future, how can we top a massive multi-manhunt marathon? God knows, but the most logical and most appealing direction I could see would be the classic "bigger= better" model that Axe Hack's manhunts in particular are still accumulating players from. Manhunts are growing in notoriety and popularity and what I think we're gonna need after the marathon is one big, fat, fuck-off sized, standalone event with a huge amount of willing players. the ~20 players in AHMH3 managed to rake up over 80 kills among each other in a month. Imagine the appeal of a month-long manhunt where those numbers were guaranteed to be doubled. I'd join for sure. The other idea I'm pondering on is working off of the historical appeal of the Manhunts- which is what I did with the Manhunt All-Stars. I'd like to see the All-Stars maybe undergo an annual selection based on form and perhaps pit them against a large team of participants. The All-Stars would be outnumbered, perhaps by 2, maybe 2 and a half. Lots of bitterness from the challenging team, and a lot to prove for the All-Stars- that'd be a spectacle!

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