I was once like you. Back in 2012. I was young, eager, excited to shoot some nerf guns and run around USyd on a Sunday. I thought Humans vs. Zombies was going to be fun.
I lasted less than five minutes.
I managed to make every possible mistake you can make in Humans vs. Zombies within five minutes. But don’t worry, friends. Together, we can learn from my mistakes. Maybe this year we’ll last six minutes.
Mistake 1: Trusting People
Trust is the cornerstone of human society. It will also let zombies murder you. A few humans are chosen to be the Original Zombies, or OZs. These players look and act just like regular human players, but if they touch you, you’ll become a zombie. Zombies can’t talk, which means they can’t reveal the OZs’ identities. If played correctly, OZs can take out hundreds of players without being discovered.
Former OZ Samuel Jenkins recommends OZs should infiltrate and befriend groups. “Friends are complacent people, and that means free kills to start the day,” he said. My group invited our friend James Wilson into our base at the start of 2012. Five minutes later, he led us into an enclosed space and tagged us all. I haven’t been able to trust since that day.
My advice? Stay near other human players so that if the OZ tags someone, you’ll notice. Not too near – don’t let them tag your whole group at once. Be suspicious of anyone touching humans. If you identify the OZ, message the game co-ordinators so they can announce it via social media and Zedtown radio. Check these sources regularly so you can identify the OZ when he or she is revealed.
Mistake 2: Not Holing Up
My stupidly quick zombification meant I spent most of my game attacking humans. I quickly developed a name for humans walking around in the open: fresh meat. Delicious, stupid fresh meat.
If you want to survive, find a base with one clear entrance, and aim all your guns at it. This way, zombies can’t surround or sneak up on you. If you’ve got enough firepower to cover this entrance, no zombies can get in. You’ll be safe. Throughout 2012’s game, zombies found it almost impossible to break through a suitable base. One group of players held up in the Sunken Courts BBQ for most of the game. The only reason we got them was because they committed mistake #2: they left their base.
When you hole up, don’t forget about the OZ. The OZ could be in your group or try to enter your base. Be suspicious of outsiders. Don’t give them a chance to tag your whole group.
In 2013, some special zombies (“Witches”) were indestructible (though they could only walk, not run). These forced players out of their bases. If you must walk around in the open, find a new defensible position as soon as you can. Zombies will form large groups and outnumber you eventually. You will run out of ammo, you will lose one or two group members and then be outnumbered. Humans in the open die like John Green falls asleep: slowly, then all at once.
Mistake 3: Bringing Stupid Equipment
Don’t buy a big fancy gun. You’re playing for defence, not offence. Killing zombies buys you time, not points. Don’t waste your ammo with battery-powered automatic firing. When a zombie jumps out at you from behind a wall or hedge or car, you need to be able to fire as soon as possible. So make sure your guns are always primed. If your gun takes a second to start spinning and firing, you’re dead. Bring an accurate gun that can fire the moment you see a zombie. And get lots of ammo.
Buy a dozen cheap socks from a dollar store – socks can be thrown as projectile weapons, and they’re great in a jam. Pack light – just ammo and food. You’ll need to run fast at some point. Good thing you’ve been doing cardio training. You have been cardio training, right? Fucking amateurs.
Mistake 4: Taking the game too seriously
Don’t forget this is the coolest, most unique event of the year. There’s nothing like this in Sydney. Give it all you’ve got, but don’t worry. Even though I spent my whole game as a zombie, I still had a great time. Enjoy this game.
And seriously. Don’t trust anyone.