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The First Zombie Renaissance
Note: Much of this section is written from a July 2006 point-of-view.
The Zombie Renaissance started in Mid-May of 2006. Elements of the Zombie Renaissance include:
- the exponential growth of zombie military might and political strength
- the development of a more sophisticated zombie culture
- the inevitable triumph of Zombie intellectual reasoning over outdated human-centered philosophies.
Zombies were considered to be at the pinnacle of their influence, making up a greater percentage of Malton's citizens than at any time since the initial outbreak.
The Zombie Military Juggernaut
The zombie military has been characterized as "rivaling that of the army from the last Lord of the Rings movie." Except their leaders are even more ghastly and gory to behold!
After returning to the homeland of Greater Ridleybank the RRF began Excursion, a long voyage through all of Malton. Excursion was broken into three episodes: the original Excursion, Back in the Saddle, and the Farewell Brain Bash.
The original Excursion toured many sights throughout Malton. Some famous targets included Yagoton and Fort Creedy. This was considered one of the RRF's most successful parties since the creation of the group, which is saying something.
Back in the Saddle
After a small break, Papa Petro decided to get Excursion going again. This tour went into the north and ended in Dulston with the usual rowdy afterparty (or as survivors labelled it, "pillage and rampage").
Farewell Brain Bash
After Papa Petro retired and Sonny Corleone took control of the horde, he began the Farewell Brain Bash, a party to honor the retiring leaders of the RRF. The party is ongoing. Currently the RRF is working and eating alongside the Big Bash (see below) as it tours Central Malton.
The Big Bash
The Big Bash represents a turning point in the fortunes of the zombies of Malton. It was created to bring back the spirit of the old Mall Tour; many groups, including The Shining Ones (direct heirs to the Tour's heritage) have joined up. The Undeadites, the Minions of the Apocalypse and many other hordes are also in the vanguard of the Bash.
The Big Bash has turned the whole map of Malton upside-down, coloring more than a third of Malton a "dangerous" Dark Red.
Over half-a-dozen malls have fallen to the Bash in the space of less than a month. Many of these malls fell after less than 24 hours under siege. A full list of areas trashed, ransacked, and thoroughly partied-out by the Big Bash is available at their page. Some of their most recent targets have been Nichols Mall and Hildebrand Mall, each of which fell as quickly as ever with the help of the RRF.
Recently, the Bash has turned east, towards the few green suburbs remaining on the map.
The Revolution in Zombie Strategy
The Big Bash has also been at the forefront of the new Zombie Military Philosophy. In each of their mall sieges, they have demonstrated the revolutionary strategy of ransacking a corner completely, which makes it unbarricadable as long as zombies stand there. This has led to the extremely rapid fall of every mall the Bash has hitherto encountered.
The Big Bash has not just cut a swathe of destruction through much of Malton, it has held territory in absentia. This is due to the utility of Ransack, which allows zombies to thoroughly trash any area devoid of humans, making it impossible to reclaim so long as feral zombies repopulate the territory when the Bash leaves. Thanks to this new tactic, the practice of "patrolling" a suburb is largely obsolete.
The New Zombie Majority
Historically, absolute zombie control of territory has been confined to long-claimed enclaves such as Ridleybank and Barrville, traditionally the homeland of the RRF. The RRF has been successful in repulsing incursions by survivor groups such as the Channel 4 News Team and the Gingerbread Men.
However, as the Bash has snowballed into Malton's single most devastating horde (especially after the RRF joined forces alongside it) the age of speaking of "zombie-held" suburbs has passed. As the Bash and RRF collectively turn entire corners of the map to wasteland, it is now more appropriate to speak of the dwindling number of suburbs in which humans are relatively safe (see map).
Historically, zombies have been a repressed minority. Indeed, during December 2005, the ever-smaller zombie population of Malton officially went On Strike until the philosophy of Equal Pay For Equal Slay was instituted.
In recent months (specifically, since late May) the zombies have discovered powers they previously didn't know they had. As a result, the population of survivors has dropped from 58% of Malton to 35%, a devastating slide to nearly 2/3 of their former population.
Rise of New Leaders
After nearly a year of leading the RRF, Papa Petro retired and named Sonny Corleone to be his successor. At about the same time, several zombie group leaders, including Graull, created the Big Bash and dominated the battlefield of southwest Malton. Although the "changing of the guard" was a trying time for Malton, with many elder zombies leaving the town for good, these new leaders have helped realize the dream of a unified zombie horde working for a permanent zombie majority.
Intellectual Triumph of Zombie-Kind
Zombies have always been known for their intelligence. When reanimated the part of your brain that contains infinite wisdom is unlocked, at the price of living. With this new found intelligence zombies have created plans as well as unlifestyles.
The unstoppable advance of the unified hordes across the face of Malton is more than sufficient proof of the superiority of the Zombie over his lesser evolutionary ancestor, the Harman.
Zombie Culture has always been considered the most facinating culture in all of Malton, attracting thousands of tourists (most of whom were soon "converted" to the Zombie cause).
One of the most famous Zombie Artists was Dangermouse, whose groundbreaking propaganda posters were created to lift the morale of zombies in the High Medieval period of Malton. His art is on display at several Museums in Rolt Heights.
More contemporary artists, including Sonny Corleone and Marina, continue to use Dangermouse's art as inspiration for their own artwork. Their paintings are some of the most finest works of art in all of Malton.
Before the Zombie Renaissance most Zombie Music was considered to be of lower caste by the people of Malton. Everyone, including zombies, would listen to harman music. This was emblematic of the cultural repression of the zombie minority.
In recent times new zombie musicians have begun to experiment with a new sound they call "zambah." One of the most famous muscians was Willi, singer of "BARHAHmian Rhapsody", originally translated by Whipstitch on the Desensitized forums. Beefsteak later released his hit album, "My BARHAH (Brangz Arh Zah Zambahs Arh Hah Bazaarh." With zambah music on the rise, Maltonians couldn't shamble two feet without seeing a zombie squaredancing. Later on, more music would be released: Wolfgang Puck's "BARHAHmya", Sonny Corleone's "Nahnnah nahn rag barranz", and much much more.
Great Zombie writers such as Dangermouse and Marina fought the struggles of a survivor majority world to immortalize their messages in the form of zombie literature. These writings encapsulated the struggle of zombie-kind against a culturally callous oppressor, The Man, who frowned on unique expressions of zombie culture - such as marinating brains.
Dangermouse, an already critically acclaimed artist, was also a writer for the Malton Herald and Sun, the first newspapers begun after the outbreak. During many battles he was seen running into combat alongside his undead comrades to get "the story," always putting his unlife on the line. His many articles and stories are on display in Rolt Heights' libraries.
Another famous reporter from this time is Marina. Shouldering the heritage of Dangermouse's professional writing and adding her own unique journalistic twist, she has been proclaimed "Dangermouse's successor" in the art of reporting.
Zombie Movies & Live Theatre
Some of the first Zombie Movies were regarded as flops: The Amazing Saga, The Epic Battle, and WTFCENTAURS: The Movie.
Later on BARHAHwood (Malton's version of India's version of Hollywood) would create The RRF Movie, an exaggerated biography of the group starring many zombie stars. Afterwards, a documentary on Papa Sonny, created by Zambah Moore, would win many awards.
BARHAHpera was originated in recent months by Undeadinator. One of the most famous plays was RATs! The BARHAHdway play was about a couple of RATs that made their way into Ridleybank. Hilarity ensued. The play, Annah Grab Zar Bang Bang, by the Broadway Zombies, is celebrating opening night at Caiger Mall.
Ever since the creation of radios, deemed yet another tool for the dreaded Survivor Spam, zombies have been at arms, legs and assorted coldcuts.
But one zombie pioneer led the zombies into the world of radios: ZombieBabyJesus. With his radio show he heartened the zombie hordes through the darkest of times. Later, others like Zombie Cheezal, BeefSteak, and Papa Sonny would broadcast their message to zombies all over Malton.
Since the beginning of the time there has always been religion. Even though there may be different sects, they all believe in the original prophet: Ridleigh. Ridleigh was the strongest zombie ever, who was born in BARHAHthlehem (located in modern Ridleybank). Later came Zombie Baby Jesus who grew up into Zombie Jesus, savior of the Church of the Resurrection. Newer groups that follow the older ideals their own way include the Zambafarrians, Kosher Zombies, and Buddhist Monks on Fire.
The Second Zombie Renaissance
The Second Zombie Renaissance started in early September of 2006, right after the end of the First Zombie Renaissance. Some historians believe that the first and second renaissance are one in the same. However many differences are evident, including:
- the use of new "mega-hordes"
- the creation of a new calander, pre and post VC Day
- the change in zombie ethics
Zombie might at this time has been characterized as having a new and unique strength that is different to past high points and cannot be compared. As such the Second Zombie Renaissance has been placed in its own category regarding strength, tactics, and might.
A Worrisome Horde
The city of Malton has seen everything, from The Many to the day Malton turned red. But never saw a zombie horde the size of Shacknews. Over the horizon, as the year was near a close, Shacknews came down upon the city like a rolling thunder.
The Rise of Shacknews
In early September of 2006, a large influx of new zombies occurred in Wray Heights, specifically the Darnell Necrotech Building. It appeared to be just another mini-horde: 15-30 zeds.It wasn't. It was the genesis of the Shacknews Horde.
Shacknews would destroy Blackmore, Giddings, all of Shearbank, and the YRC. It is estimated that the pants industry spiked, hitting an all time high, due to the amount of pants crapping. Zombies blame this on the fact that survivors shouldn't be wearing pants in the first place.
A Thousand Nations of Shacknews
The Horde reached an all time high at 300+ zombies. Some zombie census takers believe there were 400+. No other group in Malton grew to those numbers before Shacknews.
Fall of Caiger Mall
The mighty symbol of harman oppression was finally overthrown in late 2006, near the anniversary of the first battle. Every November 10th zombies celebrate VC Day.
Point of No Return
Of course the question arose: "How the hell would the newest and youngest horde on the block accomplish what had never been done before?" The Shacknews horde faced many issues like being outnumbered, unfair enemy tactics, lack of support, and loss of the element of surprise.
The Epic Clash
The battle started October 23rd and ended November 10th. Wave upon wave of brute zombie strength pounded the Mall until there was nothing left. When the final survivor fell VC Day, Victory at Caiger, was proclaimed.
Birth of Barhah Mall
A young and unknown zombie, a revolutionary follower of Petro, stood in the ruins of Caiger and proclaimed that the newly conquered Mall will stay in zombie hands. His name was FidelCastro. He gave it the name Barhah Mall, to symbolize the new ideals that the Mall will be built on.
FidelCastro would harass the survivors trying to retake their Mall through his revolutionary guard, The Caiger Resistance Front.
The Return of Mall Smashing
Include a brief history of Mall Tour 06 and how the new year brought the tour back and stuff.
Mall Tour '07
After the success of the previous tour, it seemed a lot of zombies wanted another run at every Mall in the game. So barely was the New Year rung in before the Mall Tour '07 was begun! With Caiger Mall retaken after two months in zombie hands, and the ratio of harmans to zambahz beginning to swing worryingly near 70:30, Xyu of The Shining Ones decided to reform the group. Starting off at Calvert Mall, the Tour smashed open and ransacked the Mall after two days. A week later, Bale Mall had also fallen to the threat. It seemed nothing could stop them...
But the survivor population was not ignorant of the Tour's potential. A large Harman defense mobilised to defend the next target, Stickling Mall. ULC, C4NT, the Malton Rangers and PTT all came to defend the place, as well as the Lime Brigade. Comprised of former Shacknews members, the Lime Brigade surprised the horde by putting up a stellar defence, spreading themselves over the Mall area and the nearby NT, a key resource in the fight. The siege continued for close to a month, and the formation of the Chaos Wing, a purely PK-focused section of the tour was formed to much controversy. The X:00 were also used to mobilise the Feral zombies into an organised horde.
Numbers continued to grow on both sides. In fact, the battle was distracting enough for Caiger Mall to fall again with a whimper. The stalemate was finally broken on February 22, with a dual strike upon the weakened Whippey building and the SE corner. The Mall fell over the course of the day, and the entire suburb of Shearbank soon fell as the pent-up Barhah smashed through everything around the Mall. Gracious in defeat, the Lime Brigade quit and broke up. The Tour was once more victorious.
After Stickling, Dowdney Mall was next. Unlike the Mall of May 2007, the Mall fell within a day thanks to a paltry number of harmans in the NW corner. By the start of March, Treweeke Mall was added to the list of smashed Malls, and the Tour began marching south. Giddings Mall was worn down over a week, with 400 zombies on its doorstep. Penny Heights took a double punch as Lumber Mall and Joachim Mall fell within hours of each other on March 8th, and Mitchem Mall fell the next day.
Lo, the looming head of the SSZ appeared. A worthy goal, an area encompassing four Malls where harmans could easily fall back and defend against the menace. Sadly, the hubris of claiming Ridleybank as part of the zone would be their undoing. Woodroffe Mall was the first to fall, and the suburb surrounding it was also ransacked by the Tour. Nichols Mall swiftly followed, and Hildebrand managed to last a week after attracting the runaways from the previous two. Tynte Mall followed the next day, and so the SSZ was dust by the end of March. Ackland Mall fell before March was finished, and Marven Mall fell before April had begun.
And so, the final Malls were ahead. Tompson Mall fell after a day of battle on April 4th, and Buckley Mall was killed by April 7th despite some odd distractions in the form of Angry Hamish the Cheese Eating Scotsman Doll with Kilt Lifting Action. After smashing parts of the south, Pole Mall was faced and smashed over the course of two days. Finally, the tour ended as Blesley Mall fell on April 15th.
The Mall Tour '07 devastated large swathes of Malton, and brought the harman-zambah ratio to a more respectable 40-60. It used many of the skills introduced since the previous Tour to its advantage, such as Ransack, Feeding Drag and Scent Death, and strengthened co-ordination between hordes to a much needed degree. It herded Feral zambahs for maximum impact using X:00 tactics, and pioneered the rise of Mini-Hordes through the three strike-teams, Dead Ringers, Zombie Street Punks and Spooky Space Zombies, the latter of which was reformed into the Killer Zombie Tomatoes.
The Zombie Civil War
Include the split of the RRF and MOB over death cult tactics and such.
Militant Order of Barhah
MOB peoples fill your part in. Try to add social changes like the first renaissance did.
Changing of the Guard
Include a bit of history of the RRF during this time.
Pick a title
Include how Sonny gave the RRF to Patrucio.
Pick a title 2
Include Patrucio giving the horde to Murray.
Zombie Pop Culture
Include how zombies moved more towards more modern art and strayed from the nostalgic propaganda. Include Mistakes Were Made!, videos, and the return of Malton Herald and Sun.
Mistakes Were Made!
Mistakes Were Made! (MWM!) is an ongoing story / humor comic produced by Big J. It's homepage can be found at mistakes-were-made.com. Zombies and bits of their culture figure into the comic regularly. Examples include the following.
- Strange and Funny Zombie Rituals: Strip 12: The horror! The yellow fruity HORROR!
- Zombie Singing and Dancing: Strip 35: Shamblin' Room Only
- The Mall Tour: Strip 18: Post Traumatic Mall Disorder
- Zombie Language (Zombese): Of special note, this mini-strip, Dr. Murphy's Zombese Primer is a crash course in the zombie language used by many zombies in Urban Dead, as well as in MWM!
The Third Zombie Renissance
The Third Zombie Renaissance started in late June of 2007. This renaissance is distinct from the other two in the fact that it has occured when active zombie groups were at an all time low since the initial outbreak. Despite the few zombie groups left to terrorize Malton changes in zombie culture include:
- the return and growth of "mega-hordes"
- the decline of zombie groups
- the influx of enemy harmanz
Zombie strength has changed from quantity to quality due to the loss of many zombie groups. This renaissance is ongoing so there is no current evaluation of zombie might.
The Return of Mega-Hordes
Include a brief description of how mega-hordes work and the vast numbers they are made up of.
A Worrisome Horde 2: Electric BoogaLUE
If The Many was the first horde in Malton, the first mega-horde was The Ministry of the Dead, a coalition of major hordes that grew out of the events of mid- and late October 2005 when zombie groups began to work with one another in sieges against major survivor targets. However, this mega-horde met its end at The First Siege of Caiger Mall, and subsequent mega-hordes like the Mall Tours have been plagued by the same problems: a mega-horde is no different from a typical horde except in size. There are more zombies logging in and attacking the target to wear it down and overcome it, but without numerical superiority or if facing a highly organized survivor force, the effectiveness of this coalition horde is greatly decreased.
However, a second type of mega-horde exists in the mold of Shacknews, which not only has active numbers much larger than any usual horde but also a level of coordination typically only seen in unit-sized strike teams. Both of these things made Shacknews rightfully legendary as it allowed zombies to break down barricades at little AP cost per person and flood inside before any survivors could notice and react. This meant that the AP advantage of putting up barricades no longer existed, and with ransack, the dozens of zombies now inside one quadrant of a mall could not be easily dislodged, especially with more feral zombies constantly pouring through the now-open doors. Having all initiative to choose when and where to strike, a mega-horde of this type has the ability to use its numerical advantage all at once whereas survivor groups are forced to either a.) stay vigilant through the entire day or b.) pray that the zombie group doesn't attack when most of their members are inactive. The former goes against the principle of a 50 AP, 160 IP hits per day, and as for the latter, God probably doesn't give a shit what happens in Urban Dead.
For such a mega-horde to exist, it seems as though several factors are beneficial, but the major element is having a large, pre-existing community willing to join the game and work together (as opposed to numerous smaller sites which can only muster a dozen or so members and large ones like /b/ which can't properly coordinate). This could be seen in previous Something Awful groups like The Many and DARIS or the survivor group Paradox from the forum of the same name. But Shacknews was something never before seen and after their retirement, some thought it would never be seen again. But then along came LUE.
Life, the Universe, and Everything
LUE is a social board on GameFAQs (in)famous for having a hive mind anyway, so it seemed obvious to start a zombie horde. On June 19th, 2007, one user made such a suggestion and within a day, over a hundred LUEsers had joined. Unlike Shacknews whose members leveled up individually before making any coordinated moves, LUE's first assault began almost as soon as its members could make their way to Havercroft to take part in the siege on Ackland Mall. Within five days of forming, a horde made up primarily of level one zombies took its first mall. Two days laer, it took it's second: Nichols. Within nine days, three more malls, that is the entire "Survivor Security Zone" had fallen, LUE breaching the malls with one hundred to two hundred zombies at one time and ransacking at least one quadrant during each of its first assaults. Following that, LUE took a Fort Creedy under siege by the Undeadites in a day. It took the "impregnable" Giddings Mall the next day, ransacking two quadrants. The day after, the entire mall was in zombie hands and the surrounding buildings began to fall.
A short tour through several suburbs in the South included Mitchem and an already crippled Blesley. For its one month anniversary on July 19th, LUE made a pilgrimage to The Darnell Building in Wray Heights to pay its respects to its spiritual ancestors. The Southern Tour culminated in the fall of Pole Mall and a journey back through a recently recovered SSZ which fared no better this time around. LUE's ransack of Woodroffe Mall in two hours was followed by an unprecedented simultaneous attack on Hildebrand Mall and a Nichols Mall already under siege by the RRF. Both fell in a day. The two forces rejoined at Tynte Mall which fell in a little over four hours. This time, the entire SSZ fell in just four days.
On the 29th of July, LUE began the week-long Battle of SantLUEville covered in depth in that article. In brief, LUE won, but ever-classy The Dribbling Beavers made it take a while, and LUE didn't move on until August 6th.
LUE marched on to Stickling Mall, and sacked it and some of Shearbank with the help of an upstart group calling itself D.A.R.I.S. (not the originals), then converged on Bale Mall at the same time as the ruin feature was implemented, joining the Eastonwood Ferals in the first ruining of a mall. Several days after, nearly all of the largest hordes in the game converged on Caiger Mall to assist LUE in the First Ruin of Caiger Mall, which was accomplished in anti-climactic time.
LUE sacked Ackland Mall one more time, but with almost all goals completed and summer over, player interest faded and LUE's status as a megahorde became no longer applicable. LUE continued to operate around Malton, and was an integral member in the Second Big Bash, but the glorious days of that wonderful summer have yet to be repeated.
A more detailed account of this time and more can be found here
Include a brief history of the day ingame.
Brink of Extinction
Include a short list of well known zombie hordes that disappeared between January 2007 and July 2007.
Include brief description of how ghost towns were added and a pic of the first ghost town.
The Fourth Zombie Renaissance
The Fourth Zombie Renaissance started in early January of 2008. Events of the Fourth Renaissance include:
- the Second Big Bash
- the changing of leadership in the RRF
- the introduction of the largest horde to date, The Dead
- the implementation of new zombie skills
- the decline of survivor numbers to under 10,000 Stats
- the record for ghost towns among the suburbs (12)
- the record for the most Dangerous suburbs and least Safe suburbs
- the record for the least amount of safe malls (3)
The strength of zombies in this time period have started off initially low but slowly snowballing to an advantage over survivors. Some attribute the new lead to zombie skills recently added while others believe it is because of the largest horde, The Dead.
During this Renaissance the population of survivors has dropped from 63% in January to 35% on March 17th. This Renaissance has destroyed 112 of the 211 NTs in Malton and has also seen the record for least amount of safe suburbs.
Big Bash 2
Murray to Lord Moloch
Their wiki page proudly proclaims, "We're going to destroy everything, and you can't stop us."
While they were active, the goon horde made as large an impact on the game and its playing-style as the original zombie horde, the SomethingAwful's first foray into the game, The Many.
The Dead is, quite simply, the largest horde ever to exist. Starting with a largely green player base and appropriately low average level, they quickly became the top ranked group on the stats page with well over 1,600 active members.
During the March_of_The_Dead, the Dead began by sacking three malls in a single night. They set a new record for highest zombie percentage (69%), most very dangerous suburbs (67/100), fewest safe suburbs (0/100), and fewest malls in safe status (1/20).
They came from SomethingAwful, and there were a lot of them. That was it. In their own words, they came to break the game. There's no narrative to the March of The Dead.
"This happened, and then this happened."
"These are the statistics."
Compare to Shacknews, at that time the largest horde ever, who tells where they started, gives an understanding of what they went up against in most battles (including zerging and bots), and ends with a trip to The Brain Museum. No one in Caiger or Stickling Mall is actually affected by the actions of Shacknews now, but people who weren't there can have an understanding because of the historical chronicling of the events.
For a short-lived horde (and even at the time of this writing in June there are still 500+ active members in The Dead but the majority of the horde has quit), both the idea of the horde and what they're doing are important. The Dead set out to kill everyone, and they failed. Deus ex machina or not, there are 65~% survivors again. As they game goes on, no non-active groups have a lasting impact in the game, so all that's left is legacy. Maps, graphs, and statistics are great for helping to tell a story, but they don't tell one in themselves.
In the end, it's almost certain no horde ever killed so many people, and is certain none killed more in so short a time. Once they retire completely, they'll be assured a historical tag.