Let's Sperg Let's Play Cataclysm ; Dark Days Ahead

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HG 400

Okay kiwis, I decided to introduce you all to one of my favourite obscure games, an open-source roguelike-like that focuses on zombie-style post-apocalypse survival and is surprisingly, ridiculously rewarding once you get past the retro graphics. I'll be using a tileset because I'm simply too casual to play ascii. You can grab it here, and my recommendation is to always grab the latest Tiles/SDL Experimental version.

It's a free game which is updated extremely regularly, usually with a steady stream of new content and features dropped in, and I haven't played in a while so chances are I'll run into a bunch of shit that surprises me (possibly including gamestopping bugs) Here goes.

I'll start by rolling up a random character. I could mod the game a little to custom-build lolcows, and I might do that if my first piece of zombie-bait doesn't survive long.


Okay, I got a "survivor" as my profession, which is pretty basic and boring. If I remember right I'll start with a pocket knife, some matches, a decently warm starting outfit and not much else. There are dozens of professions, ranging from the easy (cybernetically-enhanced cyborg soldiers, for example) to the near-impossible (half-naked crack-whores), and I've got myself what looks like a solid start.

The average stat is 8, so I'm pretty damn strong with a little boost to perception, but I'm ever-so-slightly clumsy. I'm also starting with a little skill in first aid and mechanics. Let's hope they come in useful. I'll name my first piece of zombie-bait Niggerfaggot Jones, because I don't want to use a random name but also don't want to bother putting any thought into the name.

One thing I don't have any of is traits, which can range from hugely beneficial (like Parkour Expert) to crippling (like being a faggot vegan). All in all I've got a pretty basic build here.


I start in an emegency evacuee center, which apparently only one other survivor managed to reach. I'm the mulatto with the mohawk, the guy with the blue cap and gun is the other survivor. The curtains are all drawn over the windows so I can't see out and nothing can see in, but if anything hears or smells me they can smash through the window extremely easily. The lockers in the northwest could have some useful items, and so could the downstairs. But first, let's check my starting gear.


A warm outfit, a matchbook, a pocket knife and a 500ml bottle of potable water. All-in-all it's a pretty good starting loadout. My most urgent needs will be finding a better weapon, since a folding penknife is bottom shit-tier, and gathering up a bigger water reserve, with a second water container and something to boil it in to kill off the bacteria. Next, I'll check my map.


The @ is me in my little evacuee center, and it's quite close to a mid-sized town. This means zombies could be sniffing around literally just outside the window, making my need for a half-decent weapon even more urgent. Green F's are forest, the brown dots are plains. The grey lines are roads, and the yellow crossroads signify a sewer manhole. Travelling by sewer is usually safer than risking the wandering aboveground hordes. Light green ^/v/</> symbols are residential houses, the dark green G is a gardening supply store, while the 4-tile grey W's is a public works building, which are usually an excellent source of tools and construction materials. Other places of interest include a park, liquor store, arcade, antique store, two gas stations, bank, furniture store, garage, police station, clothing store, resteraunt, pizza parlour and a boxing gym. North of town I see another evacuee shelter (the white +) and a lab, which is an excellent but very dangerous source of high-level loot, and will be inaccessable until I manage to find an access keycard or equivalent (such as high explosives, a jackhammer, or an oxy-acetylene torch)

Well, let's get to know our fellow survivor.


"At least we've got shelter". Seems like an optimistic sort. Seems like he had a gun so I'll take a peek at what he's packing.


A Cx4 Storm is a fairly decent 9mm submachine gun, so this guy can probably protect the hell out of me and my dinky-ass pleb-tier pocket knife, until he runs out of ammo. Downside is he'll draw every fucking horde on the overmap right down onto our heads if he fires it.

I ask him 'what should we do now'


Solid plan, Josh. But first, I want to check out the downstairs.


I peek out from between the curtains on the west side to make sure nothing dangerous is milling about in the field. Nothing is.


I take the curtains down and arm myself with the curtain rod, which is called a 'heavy stick' ingame. It's a pretty shit weapon but it's much better than a folding pocket-knife. I don't like leaving the windows uncurtained, if anything sees me it'll come charging in, but considering how close I am to town I'd rather do that than risk making noise smashing apart furniture for a makeshift weapon.


I check the lockers first. A gas mask, a folded emergency blanket and a folded jacket. Another locker has an extra jacket and blanket. Me and Josh will sleep somewhat comfortably, but I don't need the jackets. The gas mask could come in useful though. I leave it for now and check downstairs.


Downstairs is dark, and with no way of making light I'll have to scour the floor for anything useful by touch. All I end up finding is a bottle of vitamins, which will help keep my immune system up but do nothing to stave off malnourishment and starvation. I pop two and keep the rest.


Okay kiwis, the boring preliminaries are done. I've taken stock of my assets, said hello to my new roommate Josh and scoured the evacuee center for anything of use. What I do next is up to anyone who cares enough to suggest a thing.

- I could spend the day fortifying the evacuee center like Josh suggested, knowing I'll spend the next day hungry and thirsty unless I go on a night-raid, but at least I'll have a somewhat secure place to sleep.


- I could piddle around at the outskirts of town and try to break into the outlying houses and grab up some much needed supplies. This is likely to be dangerous, but hopefully I'll get some food and water out of it at the very least.


- I could abandon the evacuee center and try to make a home for myself somewhere else, such as the public works, which is almost certain to be full of goodies. I could even try holing up in one of the houses on the outskirts of town, although I'll definitely have to fight for the territory.


- I could go balls-out and try to make a run for high-value targets in the extremely dangerous and highly-populated center of town. The police station is likely to have guns. The garage is likely to have tools or maybe even a working vehicle. This is high-risk high-reward stuff and I'll probably die trying it this early in the game, but my points in mechanic skill will really maximise the value of me finding a vehicle in near-working condition, assuming I don't die..


- I could do something completely different that only kiwi spastics could ever even dream up, because it's pants-on-head retarded and will probably get me killed.

What should I do, faggots?

HG 400

Okay, I'm gonna continue on anyway and take the safe choice ; fort up and maybe plan for an evening/night raid into town.


First, I need a better tool, which I could make out of rocks, so I make a tentative stroll out the west side of the shelter, so the building can hopefully keep me hidden from any potential zoms on the east side.


I spot a moose to the far south. Moose are extremely territorial and dangerous, and get even more so as the seasons progress and local wildlife die and rise as zombified versions. If I get anywhere close to this guy he'll spaz out and kick me to death so I'm giving him a wide berth and looking for rocks.


I find a couple of rocks to the north and luckily nobody's lurking close enough to spot me. I also find a car stereo system which could be a luxury later in the game but is nothing but a liability for now, even if I could hook it up to a battery and get it running. I grab my rocks and hurry back into the shelter.


The crafting system in this game is fucking incredible. Even now there are hundreds of things I can craft, and that's with my skills mostly zero across the board. For now I make a simple stone hammer out of my rocks, curtain rod and some of the cord from the curtains I took down.

I use the hammer to smash up some furniture for planks and nails, trusting in Josh to watch my back with his SMG in case it draws any attention.


And hit my first snag. Last time I played boarding up windows didn't require any skill in construction. Now it apparently does. I'm literally too stupid to nail a few planks across a window, it seems. Onto plan B.


I smash up a locker and use my hammer to bang one of the metal pipes from it into a primitive makeshift crowbar. Then I fold one of the curtains into a makeshift carrying sling. I'm going to try an early raid. I decide not to invite Josh, planning to rely on evasion and stealth over brute force.


In this game you're not only restricted by weight, but by the capacity of your pockets, which my warm outfit is fairly short on. A sling means I'll be able to haul some goodies home, but it'll also encumber me to the point that I won't be able to put up any kind of fight. If it comes down to violence I'll have to find a safe place to unencumber myself before fighting.


Checking the map, my smashing and crashing around has definitely drawn attention from across town. The green Z's represent wandering hordes of zombies which are most likely heading right for me. Even so I'm going to try and travel between them and hit one of those houses. I'll bring my crowbar as a weapon and housebreaking tool.


Almost immediately after leaving the shelter I'm spotted and chased by zombies.


Quite a lot of zombies.


One of the 'shocker' zombies hits me with a bolt of electricity, slowing me down and causing me some minor pain. Pain is a huge deal in the game, as it affects everything you do. A single bite from a weak enemy can be so debilitating you simply can't fight back properly and fall victim to more and more bites.


With a fair-sized pack chasing me I smash the window of an arbor and crowbar the door open.


Closing the door behind me and drawing the curtains won't buy me much time.


Moving my way through the house, closing doors behind me to slow down pursuers, I find my way to the kitchen and score a frying pan and a plastic bag full of bacon. There's also a waffle iron, but I leave it. I'm in way too precarious a state to think about luxuries like belgian waffles.


Out the window and crowbar a side window of the next house open. All those closed doors between me and my persuers will probably slow them down so much they forget they were chasing me in the first place, but a new batch spot me from the east.


Through a hallway and closing doors behind me, I find myself in a room with a 300lb obese landwhale zombie. Fighting it would probably cause enough noise and cost enough time for the rest to catch up with me, assuming it doesn't just kill me one-on-one. So I'm gonna keep scrambling.


A zombie smashes his way through my escape-route window just as I reach it. From the door to the east I also hear zombies trying to smash the door down.


Fat zombies are tough and hard to kill, but slow. I easily sprint around him and get to the window on the west, even stopping to snatch up some goodies ; a sewing kit, a mostly-empty disposable lighter and a pair of sunglasses.


Right out into an open street where packs of zombies are closing in from all directions.


Trying to sprint between them gets me hit by another blast of electricity. I'm now at a level of pain I really need tramadol or oxy to deal with. And if I counted right, that's my 20-picture limit so I'll stop here.

My position is pretty bleak at this point. I'm running out of stamina, I'm not equipped to fight, zombies are closing in from every direction and I can see a good half dozen of the very dangerous 'shocker' type zombies milling around to the south-east, where I was hoping to escape to. This game is, above all else, extremely unforgiving, so I don't expect Niggerfaggot Jones to survive another installment.

HG 400

So, I'm in a bad way. I'd hoped to get to the public works but the shockers there are far too dangerous, especially since my crowbar conducts electricity. Without many other options I sprint for the house to the southeast, hoping I can at least use doors and furniture as obstacles on my way through.


It doesn't look good, a zombie just smashed his way through the window I was planning to gain entry through. I'll try to sprint south before the gap closes.


The lime green fellow southwest of me is a spitter, capable of spitting globs of acid. This one missed me, luckily. Hopefully the acid smears will cripple some of the zombies following me through it.


Made it through the gap but there's huge amount of zombies to the south, I've finally hit one of the wandering hordes. This bunch is still a fair distance away but includes zombified dogs, which are usually easy to kill but almost impossible to outrun. With my encumbrance, pain and low melee skill a zombie dog will be a tough fight and take long enough for the rest to catch up with me, so I can't risk taking them on.


I'm running out of stamina fast. I'll sprint for the car to the southeast and hope it's in some kind of working order and with the keys in the ignition (unlikely).


In cataclysm you can build, rebuild, and customise vehicles that range from folding bicycles to rolling fortresses the size of a city block. But you can't do shit with a zombie horde on your heels, and this car has all four wheels torn off.


I crawl in through the trunk, closing it behind me, and prepare to leave through the back door, hopefully buying myself at least a little time as the zombies clumsily navigate around the car. I'd like to start the engine first in the hopes of the noise holding their attention but crawling over car-seats is slow and I don't think I'll manage it in time, and it'll probably need hotwiring anyway.


The zombie child manages to bite at me as I run past but between my parrying and my denim jeans I'm unhurt.


I make it into the house to the south, using my crowbar to pry open the window instead of breaking it. Curtains are closed behind me as usual. My options are really running low at this point and I don't think I have a hope of making it back to my evac shelter, but this house is on the edge of town, bordering a nearby forest. I decide to exit the house on the other side, grabbing anything I can on the way, then lighting it on fire. Hopefully most of my persuers will funnel into the house and be keurigged up as I flee into the wilderness.


The eastern door leads to a bedroom and I barely make it to the south door before my pursuers burst through the windows there. I can slam this door behind me, but I'm face to face with another zom and I'm basically completely exhausted at this point and can barely run any more.


With the last of my endurance I manage to skirt the kitchen table and avoid that zombie, making it to the door to the south... which opens into a dead-end pantry. I could sprint in and close the door, but I'd be trapped. Hopefully the zombies slow enough trying to crawl over that table and I'll be able to skip back and around to find another way out.


Also, I'm hearing explosions from the southeast. This probably means somebody violated the Geneva convention nearby and zombies are wandering through a minefield, but it could also be a survivor blowing shit up. Survivors can be friendly like Josh, but it's not worth betting my life on. I'll take my chances in the forest instead.


I make it outside. I didn't manage to grab a single thing during my scramble through the house, but I burned through four matches getting some bushes lit up. Hopefully the whole house will catch as zombies funnel into it from the north. I'm going to stagger southwest and hope I can outpace a new small group of zombies who were milling around when I burst out of the house.


Made it into the forest but with a few still on my heels. I'm so completely out of stamina that I can no longer run and they're catching up to me. If they catch me I'll be too exhausted to fight, and my pain and emcumbering carrying sling will only add to that, making me pretty much helpless. My only hope is to skirt the trees and bushes, and let their inferior zombie-style pathfinding get them slowed down by smashing into shit.


And now wolves are following me. Feral dogs and wolves in Cataclysm like to follow you at a safe distance, and can usually be driven off by throwing a few rocks or firing a gun ; only moving in for the kill when you're badly injured or exhausted.


Which apparently I am...


Some of those combat logs are from a little monster called a 'krek' fighting a nearby zombie, but most of it's me swinging once on the wolf and getting tore the fuck up.


I'm bleeding badly from the head and torso, and in enough pain to warrant some MSContin or heroin with a chaser of rock or meth to keep myself from nodding out. Unfortuntely, my medical supplies are 18 multivitamin pills. It's worth noting I have a little stamina back from strolling around the bushes but if I try to run now I'm dead. I decide to throw my crowbar at the wolf in desperation, hoping it'll back it off enough that I can turn and run.


And that's me done. Throat torn out by a wolf. Not even a pack of wolves, a single wolf. Zero kills. Zero days survived. How humiliating.


And that's the end of Niggerfaggot Jones, dead and forgotten amongst the billions of others. Next up I'll roll a lolcow. Since I couldn't manage to survive one day with a solid starting build, let's see how well I can do playing as ADF or Chris.


True & Honest Fan
Jun 14, 2014
RIP Niggerfaggot Jones

Murdered by Soap the wolf, how sad.

This game looks fun

For your next run through I would like to see a high risk high reward dash to the police station
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HG 400

The world is prod-genned each playthrough, so there won't a police station in the same place next time. But the next run was pitifully short and already done, so here we have chapter two.

Chapter 2 ; Marjan Siklic


Okay, I'm giving our guatamalan rape-ape trucker god maybe a little too much credit but I've made him above average in strength and dexterity, since he purportedly plays soccer. I've made him stupid and lacking in perception because he's dumb and oblivious. Also Ugly, Schitzophrenic and Psycopath because of course he is. Gave him a small skill boost in computers and a slightly larger one in bashing weapons, for breaking the spines of potential sweethearts.

Tweaker is easily the single most difficult starting profession. No knife, no water, no means of creating fire, a woefully inadequate starting outfit for New England spring weather, and a serious amphetamine addiction, with no amphetamines. Unless I luck out and find some adderall or crystal meth in the very early game I very much doubt Marjan will even make it through his detox.


Not a bad start at all, the red are gun shops and I also see a pharmacy and doctor's office, potential sources of precious amphetamines. Right next to the shelter there's a home improvement superstore, a potential source of tools.


My starting gear. Hardcore pitiful. Without shoes I doubt I have any chance of a successful raid before I start jonesing, so I'm going to hope for a half-decent haul in the shelter and basement.


My fellow survivor is armed with a .22 zipgun and thinks we should try to find a farm to hole up in.


An emergency jacket, a 500ml water bottle, a bag of instant coffee and a newspaper page. My prospects of survival aren't looking good. I decide to use my first crucial hours making a knife and turning some of the curtains into makeshift clothing.


I step out of the shelter and I'm greeted by this. Apparently the apocalypse happened on black friday. Clearly I can't stay here. I decide to trek north across the fields to the power substation outside of town, leaving my 'friend' to stay behind and hopefully slow the horde down a little.


Before abandoning my friend, I try begging them for supplies because I have no moral compass and I'm a worthless leech on society even after society no longer exists. Dora Hong gives me all the consideration anyone should ever give Marjan, ever.


This is how far I got when my amphetamine DT's kicked in. Hordes are already converging on the shelter. This was an especially brutal start.


My stats have tanked. I'm basically the walking dead out here. Maybe the zombies won't be able to tell I'm not one of them?


My feet will be frostbitten soon, and my face not long after, and I desperately need meth. I doubt Marjan will even outlive Niggerfaggot Jones.


The horde is catching up with me real fast as I drag myself along. I'd better hustle. I break into the briskest jog I can manage in my fucked-up condition. Also, I've begun hallucinating. Not sure if that's the untreated schitzophrenia or the untreated meth withdrawals.


I didn't bother to cap the skeletal dog because I assumed it was another hallucination. Then it killed me. Between my frostbitten feet, shoelessness, meth withdrawals and miserable morale I didn't even get to swing back on it before it tore me to pieces. Rest In Piss Marjan.

HG 400

Chapter 3 ; ADF


Next up, I'm a fat smelly stupid faggot in a bondage gimp suit. I'm just disappointed the trait is 'slow learner' because 'non-learner' seems far more apt. In any case, low stats across the board, a bunch of negative traits. The only upsides to ADF is a couple points in tailoring, because I suspect he makes some of his shitty-ass 2edgy clothes himself, and the masochist trait, which boosts your morale when you're in pain. If there's one commodity in endless supply in the Cataclysmic world, it's pain.


The bondage gimp start isn't actually that bad. You get a matchbook and a candle for hot wax play and/or zombie survival purposes, and the gimp suit isn't bad for low-level protection against bites and cuts. Downsides are it's somewhat encumbering, hampering your running and fighting, and has no pocket space to speak of.


Very isolated starting position. A podunk town down the road with a few houses, a subway station and a radio tower. The light blue further down the road is a gas station, and the 3x3 dark blue is a FEMA camp, a place to avoid for now.


My cishet shitlord companion has a baseball bat with nails in it and thinks we should get a car up and starting. I'll start by smashing up a bench for a 2x4 and check out the shelter basement.


Unfortunately I'm too much of a fat weak pussy to break the bench. Guess I'll go for a trusty curtain rod instead.


A lit candle only provides a little light, but it's better than nothing. All I find in the shelter basement is a sweater, which fits (amazingly). There's also an emergency jacket and blanket in the upstairs lockers. I decide to start off by making a knife.


Fetch a rock from outside, smash a locker, use the rock to hammer some scrap metal into a spike and then use some of the curtain cord as a wrapping handle. I can store the knife in my boot or tucked into my belt, since I have shit for pocket space.


I use my knife to carve my curtain-rod stick into a point, and also cut up one of the curtains and make some primative hand-wraps, which won't do much against the elements outside but are better than nothing. The other curtain I fashion into a carrying sling. I'm going to try foraging around in the forest for food or useful items.


The cishet asshole amazingly agrees to travel with me, despite my fatness, ugliness and generally uselessness.


We make our way into the woods and find a rattlesnake almost immediately. Rattlesnakes mind their own business and I've never been bit by one before but ADF has absolute shit for stats. Still, it's food. I tell shitlord to kill it and get ready to move in and flank it while it's concentrating on him.


It's clear to see which one of us is the useful one. My clumsy butchering destroys most of the meat but I manage to salvage one edible cut. I move on to fossick around in the bushes for edibles and useable trash.


I find nothing but a paper wrapper and an empty canvas bag before spotting a very dangerous zombie. We decide to head back to the shelter.


Unfortunately, it has the same idea and cuts us off. Hopefully two-on-one will be enough of an advantage ot make up for ADF's uselessness.


I have to dump my carrying sling to get unencumbered or I'll have no chance of hitting it. Then we move in to two-on-one it.


We manage to kill it with shitlord doing most of the work, but I'm slightly injured and in pain.


I use my knife to chop it into pieces so it can't come back from the dead and surprise us. It's clothes aren't that useful to me and the only thing in it's pockets is a metalworking chisel, which is used for higher-end blacksmithing and totally useless to me now. I put my sling back on and we return to foraging.


Mmm, roadkill. We also came across a couple of wandering zombies in the forest, which we dispatched rather easily.


At around noon we come across a sports car that's very low on fuel and missing a wheel, but seems to be in working order. Unfortunately whoever abandoned it took the keys with them and I don't have a screwdriver to try hotwiring it with. We're getting hungry and thirsty anyway, so we head back to the shelter.


The haul wasn't bad. A few clutches of wild bird eggs, some snake and weasel meat, wild vegetables and wild rhubarb. I can cook the meat over an open fire with my pointy stick but I need a pot or pan to cook the eggs and veg, and they're grossly unappealing raw. The best find however, was the glass bottle. If I can make some kind of funnel I'll be able to catch rainwater in it.


Shitlord and I grill the meat over a small campfire and share it for lunch. We have rudimentary weapons, functional clothing, enough unappetising food to last us a few days. I have a knife and a means to build another nineteen fires. Our main concern now is water. If I can't get a rainwater catchment up and running, we'll have to check out the nearby town to collect water out of toilet cisterns. We'll probably have to do that anyway, since a single 750ml bottle catching rainfall isn't going to be enough to keep us hydrated.

But that's my 20 pic post-limit, so I'll leave it here for now. All hail ADF, he actually managed to survive until lunchtime (by leeching off the pity of a functional human being, just like irl).

Randall Fragg

Tran Ranch is under siege!
Forum Staff
Global Moderator
True & Honest Fan
Apr 15, 2014
This looks really intresting. Where do you get the graphical version from?

HG 400

Is there a shutin profession? If so, you should do Chris next.

There's a weeb/otaku/furry style shut-in but I think when I do Chris I'll mod the professions.json to give myself a striped-shirt classic Chris.

This looks really intresting. Where do you get the graphical version from?

http://en.cataclysmdda.com/ Scroll down to 'New Download Locations' and pick SDL/Tiles for your OS. Stable has less features and Experimental is the latest version of the game usually bug-free, so I always suggest grabbing the Experimental with the latest timestamp. Then in the graphics sections of game options choose a tileset. I'm using 'ChestHole' which seems to be the best and most complete tileset at the moment.

HG 400

Okay, I've made it to lunchtime but I'm not going to try raiding today. I want to cement ADF's position on the leaderboard by actually surviving through the night. First thing first, I'll try to get a rain catchment up and running. I can make a funnel out of leather, but that means saying goodbye to some of my treasured bondage gear.


I fuck up the salvaging from my belt, but have better luck with my bondage mask. Unfortunately there's not quite enough material to make a funnel from. I'll have to say goodbye to my gimpsuit.


I tear down another window's curtains and use them to make a tunic and keffiyah to replace the gimpsuit. Here's me in my new stylish Islamb curtain-wear looking all Lawrence of Arabia. The gimpsuit gives me plenty of leather but I still need a needle and thread to make it. With my survival skill ground up from foraging I could make a needle out of bone, but tainted zombie bones won't cut it. I'll have to go hunting.


Made a different type of sling out of curtain cord and gimpsuit leather. I can bang rocks together to chip off appropriate ammo for it. Let's go get some bone.


I manage to stone a raccoon hanging around near the shelter. Unfortunately it doesn't drop any bone when I butcher it. Got a cut of meat out of it, though. I continue the hunt.


Hunting moose with a sling is probably a really bad idea. But I'm confident we can two-on-one it with our melee weapons if it gets pissed off and attacks us.


Too confident, clearly. Shitlord gets stomped to death in the time it takes me to flank the moose and fling a couple of shots at it.


He did wound it, though. I doubt I can outrun it, so I'll have to bank on being able to finish it off.


I shrug off my carrying sling and spark it up with a match. Wildlife in Cataclysm hates smoke and fire and will back off away from it. I get kicked by the moose a couple of times and I'm injured and in pain, but I manage to get a small fire going between me and the moose, which is backing it off a little and taking it from the 'enraged mating-season kill-and-rape-everything' mindset into 'confused, scared, want to get away from humans' mindset.


I fling everything I have at the moose then run to shitlord's corpse and grab his nail bat. Just as the fire smoulders out in the rain.


Between the mauling shitlord gave it before dying, the few glancing hits from my rocks and pebbles, and some minor burns on its legs as it tried to get clear of my fire, the moose has had enough and starts limping away. I run it down and kill it with two solid blows from the nail bat. I am Ahuyvia, Slayer of Moose!


The hunter's bounty is great. Bone for my needle and other purposes, lots of meat and fat. Sinews can be used as thread, and it's fur could be tanned if I was a little better at survivalism. I take the sinew, a few bones and all the meat. I can't cook fat without a frying pan and I've got plenty of barely-edible disgusting food home at base now that there's one less mouth to feed.


I also strip shitlord of his clothes and put them on. Jeans, a polo shirt and a nice warm woolen poncho. Waste not want not.


I make a bone needle, load it with sinew, and sew up a gimp-suit leather funnel.


Which I set up outside with my glass bottle to catch rain.


Next up, it's time to try and optimise my outfit. I dump my rag tunic and put on the sweater I found in the basement.

It's not a terrible setup, but the carrying sling drives my encumbrance right the fuck up and makes it impossible to fight without first dropping it and anything in it, which takes time I might not have in a dangerous situation. I don't have enough tailoring skill to make anything much better though, so I concentrate on other shortfalls in my outfit ; I could really use better headwear and handwear.

I start sewing up leftover rags from the curtains and manage to make a patchwork scarf but a cotton hat proves too difficult for me and after a few failed attempts the sun goes down. I'm hungry and very thirsty now, so I'll stop for dinner.


I fill up on moose steak grilled over the open fire, but the rain stopped shortly after setting up my funnel and there's not so much as a drop in it. I'm still a little injured but at least the pain of that has faded a fair deal. I decide to try and get my hat and gloves finished by candlelight.


I make a pair of leather gloves from leftover gimpsuit leather, a cotton hat from the curtains, and replace my ragged handwraps and keffiyah with them before snuffing out the candle.


I take the emergency blanket from the shelter locker and unfold it over some benches, then pile up all my spare clothing to go with it. Even so, it looks like it's going to be a cold, hard night for Ahuyvia.


I sleep through the night and wake up well-rested, but hungry and thirsty. All hail ADF, he actually made it to day two. I'm not quite to 20 pics yet but this seems like a good place to stop.

So, what should I do for day 2? Should I check out that town or continue to live as a grizzled forest survivorman? Concentrate on forting up and building more tools and clothing in the woods, or make a higher-risk foray to town and see what invaluable goodies I can snag?

HG 400

Okay, I decided to make a run for town, since I'm pretty sure I can't sustain myself on a 750ml catchment. I gather up whatever I can use.


It's a pretty shit-tier raiding loadout, to be honest. I could really do with better armour and weapons, and most importantly some less encumbering load-carrying equipment. A curtain sling is terrible, you have to drop it before every fight (and everything it was carrying), and this one's torn up from my fight with the brute and burned from my fight with the moose.


Nevertheless, I make it to town easily enough and get to the back of the western houses.


I smash a window with my nailed bat and start trying to clear out the jagged shards still in the frame. A zombie wanders over, alerted by the noise, so I decide to wriggle through anyway. Fun fact, this game features tetanus.


My sling is really taking a battering. I should think about making a new one for my trip home. I drop it and get ready to batter the zombie as he follows me through the window. Fighting from an obstacle or broken ground gives a huge penalty, both to you and your enemies.


If I wasn't a gimped-stat fat piece of worthless shit, I would have brained that zombie without a scratch. But fortunately my thick wool sweater protected me from the weak bites he was dishing out half-way through the window frame. I strip a duster-style jacket off his corpse and put it on. It's in bad repair and doesn't fit me well, but it has plenty of pocket space and hopefully I can refit and repair once I get home to base.


Good haul in the kitchen, a frying pan, a can of chicken, two 500ml bottles of juice, a bag of yeast and a delicious burrito. I slake myself on juice right away.


And zombies from the street are already banging on the front door. There aren't many in this tiny town but I think I glimpsed an exceptionally dangerous 'hulk' zombie before I got the kitchen curtains closed, so I don't want to stick around.


Quick stop in the bathroom hoping for medicines. No luck there but I snag a quality sewing kit, much better than my bone-and-sinew version at home. I also fill an empty juice bottle with water from the toilet cistern. The other bottle's still half-full and I'd rather 250ml of orange juice than 500ml of disgusting toilet water, so I keep it.


The house also has a basement... do I dare?


It's full of giant black-widow spiders. Ugh. I flee immediately.


I get caught up in the webs a little but none of them follow me and I'm able to make it out the way I came, grabbing a pillow off the bed on my way out.


Got some very useful items from that house and still have plenty of carrying capacity. I think I'll push my luck and try the next house up.


History repeats itself as I'm interrupted while cleaning out the frame and clamber through. This time I cut my right hand. The zombie after me is a 'boomer', capable of spitting bile which can blind me. I get ready to fight.


It spits bile through the window frame, blinding me. If I had saline or eyedrops I could flush my eyes out, but without them I'll have to wait for the effect to wear off. But I'm in a fairly low-stress situation so the best thing to do is stay exactly where I am and smash this fucker as he climbs through the window.


I'm blinded again as the boomer explodes on death, and I can hear zombies banging on doors and walls all around me. I don't think there are many of them though, so I'll stick around and wait for the effect to clear. I want to loot this house.


I weave my way through the house, snagging an 'Alpha Male Quarterly' magazine from a nightstand and a pair of leather pants that (somehow) fit me. Then I'm hit by another boomer. I really need safety goggles. I hold position and get ready to fight and he steps into range just as my blindness clears.


In cataclysm there's no XP ; skills are raised by using them, by reading skillbooks, or by being coached by NPCs. I finally hit level 1 of bashing weapons from practical use of it. I'm getting dangerous. The boomer also drops a plastic bottle of disinfectant when he dies, which is one of the best ways to clean wounds. I snatch it up and wait for my fourth bout of bile-induced blindness to clear.


Snag a couple more books my way out. Also manage to grab a tub of yoghurt, an uncooked TV dinner and a bag of dried beans.


And I'm out the way I came. I place some notes on my map to mark these two houses off as 'looted' and warn myself about the spider nest in the southern one. Then I'm on my way home with the haul.


I make it home without too much trouble. A few zombies follow me for a while but get distracted chasing cats and squirrels and stumble off into the woods. And check out my haul. Plenty of goodies there. Most importantly, that duster will give me space to carry some essential items, and with the frying pan and extra bottles I'll be able to boil my rainwater to completely avoid the risk of sickness. The disinfectant will be invaluable if I take a deep wound. The pillow will make my sleeping bench more comfortable, I've got a few skillbooks to hunker down with, and a fairly good haul of food. I could bolster my armour by swapping my jeans for those leather pants, or I could try making another leather funnel to supplement my catchment. All in all, I should be set for a day or two.

And that's 20 pics so I'll end it here.

HG 400

I have a few days before the basic needs of hunger and thirst push me back to town, so I'll try to improve my homebase as best I can. I start by arranging all my stuff into piles.


A seperate pile for books, weapons, perishable food, nonperishable food, cooking implements, drinks and containers, meds, bedding, tools, tailoring scrap, spare clothes, cordage, metal scrap and miscellanious junk. It should help me keep track of what I have and where everything is.


Next I refit, repair and reinforce my duster. I'd love a backpack or something to carry some serious loot, but a duster is pretty good too.


Unfortunately between a polo shirt, sweater, wool poncho and duster I'm getting encumbered just by the excessive layering. The 10 encumberance is the sum of all my encumbering clothes (5 from the sweater, 5 from the duster) and the +20 is the layering penalty for wearing too much. I dump my poncho and sweater to bring me down to a lean 5 encumberance (negative effects are only incurred on multiples of 10), and think about finding or making some kind of less-encumbering layer between my shirt and duster for added warmth and protection in the future.


I cut up my carrying sling and curtain tunic, reinforcing the rest of my clothes using the rags. I also use the leftovers to stitch myself some boxer shorts and a pair of socks. Unfortunately I'm still only 90% of the way to my next level in tailoring, which would open more recipes (like hopefully a backpack) and I don't like to grind skills on shit I don't actually want, so I leave it there for now.


For lunch I cook a burrito, and eat it with my yoghurt and the last of my orange juice. I'm still thirsty so I boil some toilet water and drink that too. I'm still in pain from the cuts and bruises I recieved in my raid, which makes me a little happy too ; oh Ahuyvia, you wacky pervert.


Time to start forting up the base. I manage to smash a bench with my baseball bat, and carve one of the planks into a digging stick.


I start digging shallow pits outside the windows. Shallow pits will slow zombies down a little and prevent them from pushing zombies ahead of them forward and overwhelming a chokepoint, but they're not deep enough to injure. I can't dig any deeper without a shovel, though.


It does boost my construction skill to 1 after digging out one side of pits, which means I can finally board up some windows. I leave the pit-digging for later and amble off to find some rocks to make a stone hammer.


This sign helpfully informs me that I'm standing in a fucking minefield. Great. A high-perception character would be able to spot the mines before stepping on them, but not ADF.


Through sheer luck I don't step on any mines, and return to homebase with my rocks. I build a stone hammer and get to work smashing up benches and boarding the windows. I manage to get the windows I tore curtains off boarded up just as the sun sets.


Dinner is a TV dinner cooked over the campfire and some more boiled water.


I light my candle and crawl into bed, skimming over my three books to see if any might be useful. My fossicking in the woods early already raised my skill past what Alpha Male Quarterly could teach me (ADF is a true alpha slayer, it seems), and the Zombie Survival Guide is useless for anything but a laugh, but Bon Appetit can teach me some cooking pointers. I read by candlelight for a while and increase my cooking skill to 1 (it was pretty close already from all the moose steaks and boiled water).


I snuff out my candle and go to sleep. All hail Ahuyvia, survivor of two days.


Breakfast is a couple of roasted moose steaks, my stash of which probably won't stay fresh much longer. My catchment only gathered 250ml overnight, and I'm able to slake myself with it and what's left of my toilet-water reserves. I'm also down to only five matches. I might have to raid into town again sooner than I expected.


I keep getting told my face is going numb, so my patchwork scarf clearly isn't cutting it. I use some more rags to sew up a balaclava, an act which increases my tailoring to level 3.


With new recipes unlocked, I cut up another set of curtains for rags and unpick the cordage into thread. I make a backpack, a hoodie and an undershirt, reinforcing them all, and dumping my polo shirt to avoid layering penalties. I now have some serious carrying capability for only 15 encumbrance, as well as protection against the wind and cold (although not against bullets and bites).


I get the rest of the windows boarded up before stopping for lunch.


A light drizzle has filled my catchment to 500ml, which is enough for now, and I wash down two moose steaks with it, more than I really needed but I'm trying to finish off the moose before it starts to rot.


I could finish up the shallow pits but it's not urgent and without medicine reserves I don't really want to work for long periods in the rain when I don't have to. I decide to check out the terminal in the corner of the room to see if I can access facebook yet.


Looks like I can't.

That's 20 pics so I'll leave it here for now. It's lunchtime of day 3, I have a decent food stash, even if most of it is disgusting, and a barely-adequate rainwater cachment. I have a decent looting-and-carrying outfit with plenty of pocket space and a nailed baseball bat that's seen some action. Aside from bolstering my water supply, I'm running low on matches (only 3 left after lunch), have nothing in the way of medicine but a plastic bottle of disinfectant, and the closest thing I have to a gun is a crude homemade sling.

HG 400

With no facebook I have no Kiwi Farmers to fight, so I decide to spend some time crafting a few more useful items.


A towel will let me dry off after being out in the rain, and a blanket stitched out of rags is superior to the emergency blanket, although not as easily transportable. I fold up emergency blanket for use if I have to go nomad and add the curtain-rag blanket to my bedding.


With a towel to dry off afterwards, I go back to digging out my shallow pits in the rain. Even though they're boarded up, the windows are still the weakest points in the building and a horde will tear through them before the doors or walls.


Night falls before I'm done and I enjoy a dinner of scrambled eggs and the last of my venison. There's very little water in the catchment and I boiland drink it all, staving off thirst but not managing to slake myself. Hopefully there'll be rains overnight. Keeping the campfire going in the rain long enough to make that dinner used up all three of my matches.


On the third night I have trouble sleeping. Probably from acute facebook withdrawals. I don't have anything to help me, like alcohol or sleeping meds, so I'll just have to keep trying.


The sun rises and I didn't manage to get any sleep at all this night. It also lightly snowed the whole night through, so my catchment is empty. I'm very thirsty, so I guess I'll have to raid again. I fill up on leftover scrambled eggs from last night's dinner and prepare for another foray into town.


I'm taking all three of my bottles, to fill up on toilet water. My sling doesn't take up much room in my pack so I bring it, although it's really only good for hunting small game. And I take my disinfectant in case I get a deep bite that needs cleaning. Between my hoodie, duster and backpack that leaves plenty of storage space for loot. Off I go.


I detour through the woods to come up behind a house from cover, but a few wandering zombs have been stumbling around here chasing squirrels and whatnot. I kite one into some heavy ungrowth and bash him to death as he struggles to get past it.


This one coming up on me now used to be a national guard soldier. He's likely to be tougher and armoured for combat. I plan to use the same lure-into-undergrowth tactics and hope I'm strong enough to break his bones up through kevlar with my nailed bat.


It's proving a more difficult fight than the last one.


But I eventually kill him. Soldiers are always worth checking over for loot. This one has a modular bulletproof vest with ceramic inserts, which is pretty excellent armour but it doesn't fit me and is in terrible repair. I won't be able to fix it without a soldering iron and kevlar scrap, so I leave it. He also has a box of weird Chinese pistol ammunition. Although I doubt I'll find a gun that matches it, I take it. It's low-volume and if I ever come across a kinetic puller I'll be able to take it apart for powder and lead. I grab the cash-card too, some gas stations and vending machines are still powered and can be accessed with pre-cataclysm credit. I also take his cargo pants, hoping to refit and repair them back at base.


Breaking into my first house and I hear a zombie stumbling around in the room to the south. I'll check out the other rooms first.


Nothing of much use in the walk-in closet.


Or the bathroom. I fill up my empty bottles on toilet water in case I don't get another chance, though. Even though I'm very thirsty, I don't drink it immediately. I want to boil it first.


It's just a regular zombie bumbling around the house. He shouldn't be any trouble for me and my nail bat.


I kill him and move on. The kitchen's completely empty, but I snag a pair of warm wool gloves lying on the sofa, which could be worth holding onto if I survive until winter.


Moving up to bedroom two and a zombie was milling around outside the window and spots me immediately. I prepare to brain him as he crawls through it. This one is a 'tough zombie', an athletic or muscular person before death who can run and fight a little better than your average zom.


I kill him fairly easily while he's halfway through the window, but my bat is getting splintered by all this skull-crushing. I'll need duct tape if I want to repair it. There's nothing useful in bedroom two anyway, so I move on to the next house.


I stop to check out a parked car between the houses and this one looks like she runs. After killing that crawling zombie I find a pedal & gear assembly nearby, which I could theoretically use to make a bicycle. I don't have anywhere near the required skill yet but I grab it anyway cause ADF loves bikes.


But my hopes of driving out of here are dashed. Again, no keys in the car, and no screwdriver to hotwire it. I move on to the next house.


An obese tub-of-lard zombie is following me. Fat zombies are slower than usual but can be difficult to kill quickly, giving their buds time to catch up with you. He shouldn't be a huge challenge one-on-one but I'll break my way into this kitchen and kill him as he follows me through the window as per usual.

That's 20 pics, so post ends here.

HG 400

There are a few more zombies further down the road ambling towards me, so before I continue I'll give you an idea of what kind of threat each one is.


We've seen regular, fat and tough zombies before but some of these are new. Skeletons are a bit faster and weaker than your average zom, and have a very high resistance against ranged and piercing weapons. Since I'm swinging a bat it's no big deal, but if I was using a gun, bow, spear, or anything like that I'd have to give the skelly more respect. Ferals are fast, fragile and inflict some serious wounds. They're easy to kill but near-impossible to outrun, especially so for fat langorous ADF. They can also leap around, getting through chokepoints to attack you from behind as more zombies crowd into the doorway or window you're holding them off at. Finally the bloated zombie is the most dangerous. They exude toxic gas which has pretty serious debuffs if you breathe it in, and since I'm without a gas mask or a respectable ranged weapon I'll have to avoid him altogether, or at least until I'm sure all the other zoms are dead. Anyways, onto the looting.


Fatty is no match for one-on-one while he's stuck halfway through a window frame, although he does manage to hurt me. I decide that a decent helmet and goggles are my new priorities when it comes to clothing. The kitchen I broke into is unfortunately bare save for a can of chicken & dumplings, so I move on.


In this bedroom I snag another pair of leather pants, and a down-filled blanket, another upgrade over the one I'm currently using. I figure I'll chop up the pants and maybe make a leather helmet.


Nothing of use in the rest of the house except up a pair of scissors in the bathroom, which will increase my yield when it comes to cutting up clothes and curtains for rags. I spot another zombie clawing at the door on my way back, this one's a child. Child zombies are very weak but damage your morale when you kill them (at least, until you're hardened enough to stop caring)

I still have some storage space and I haven't managed to find matches or a cigarette lighter yet, so I move on towards the last house in town.


The feral catches up with me as I check out some of the parked cars. I'll slam the car door to my north of those regular zoms crawl in through the trunk, but for now I'm fighting the feral.


I find some much-appreciated herbal relief in his pockets. Ignoring the zoms who've now trapped themself inside the car, I move on.


This electric car seems mostly functional, although dangerously low on charge, and the keys were left in it. Unfortunately it's lacking wheels.


I make it to the next house with a zombie dog in hot pursuit. Dogs are faster but weaker than regular zoms, only really dangeorus in large numbers or when they run you down and delay you ahead of a shambling pack. I'll go for windowframe tactics as usual.


Killed it with one mighty swing of my bat. ADF's getting dangerous. I hang around to use the window to help take care of the other zombies following me.


I kill a tough and regular zombie one by one as they crawl into the window, but now two approach at the same time. I'll have to go two-on-one if I want to hold them off at these windows. I decide to retreat to find a narrower chokepoint.


They end up getting confused trying to follow me out of the kitchen and start banging at the wall instead, so I leave them. I managed to clear out the kitchen on my way through ; a can of pickled herring, a bag of bacon, a bottle of lye powder, and a roll of aluminium foil.


In the bathroom there's finally some meds, as well as a staircase down to the basement. Since I still haven't found matches or a lighter, I decide to check the basement out. The meds are nothing great, a bottle of multivitamins and a bottle of ambien, which should ensure I have no more trouble sleeping. I pop a few vitamins straight away and head down the stairs.


Zombie in the basement! I back up to use the door as a chokepoint, killing him easily. There don't seem to be any others.


The basement appears to be an underground cannabis farm. I collect up the dank dank harvest, snagging a pre-rolled joint and a glass pipe while I'm down there, but I do suffer a rat bite. Hopefully it didn't infect me with any nasty diseases.


Still no firestarter so I head out onto the street to comb over the parked cars and wreckages more thoroughly, hoping to find a lighter in a glovebox or wedged into a car seat.


I find a pack of cigarettes and a flashlight in this one. There's also a spare tire and hydraulic jack in the trunk, which I leave. Still no firestarter, but with a flashlight I decide to check out the subway station.


Lots of rubble and darkness. I decide to explore a little but find nothing and head back before I use up too much battery. It's still mid-morning so I plan to walk down to that gas station as my last attempt at finding a firestarter before giving up and thinking about how to deal with a lack of fire.


After trudging south a little ways I run into that zombie hulk I thought I saw early. These are amalgamations of multiple zombies forged into a fleshy giant human-shape, like a rat-king made of melted flesh, they're fat, strong and extremely dangerous. I begin sprinting back to town hoping I can worm my way through buildings to lose it before it runs me down in the open ground.


I go in through a window but it's right behind me, and due to my fat langorous tub-of-guts physique I'm already out of stamina.


I swing twice on it before a single punch drives me straight through the fucking drywall to land there. I'm now injured, in serious pain, exhausted, tired, very thirsty, and some of my clothes were somewhat shredded in my flight through the wall. The hulk, on the other hand, is only 'lightly injured' from my two solid swings. This looks like the end for our brave chairwomyn. It's also 20 pics, so it's the end of this installment.

HG 400

I can't run for the basement, since that's full of spiders. The windows to the west will run me straight out into open ground, where the shambling regular-zombie horde that was following me is likely to be. I stumble northeast for the door as fast as I can.


I manage to get through and slam it behind me but the hulk isn't far behind and doors and walls won't slow him down too much. I decide to head for the broken windows to the southeast then angle back once I'm through, heading north around the outside of the house. Hopefully losing sight of me will slow him down a bit.


I'm halfway through the window when he kicks the door in. Damn. Still gonna try for the north.


My breath has completely given out but he hasn't burst straight through the wall like I expected as I limp-walk away. I'll head through these windows up ahead and make my way through the house to create more obstacles for him if he's still following.


I make my way through the house, closing doors behind me, and come straight up into these fine fellow on my way out the northern window. I've got a little stamina back from walking through the house so I'll try to run past them.


They follow after me and more from the southwest converge, but the hulk has lost line of sight and will have to rely on slowly following my path by smell. I continue north towards the subway station and the forest beyond, hoping to lose them in the ungrowth.


So far so good, managed to get behind the subway station, blocking line of sight. I continue north for the relative safety of the forest.


Between the bushes I'm skirting and they're stumbling into, and the trees that keep blocking line of sight, I quickly put distance between myself and the zombies. However, I've now got worse to worry about. Looks like the frontrunner of a wolf pack, and I'm definitely injured enough to be considered prey and have no means of driving them off with fire.


"Fortunately", there's one of those squirrel-chasing zombies up ahead. I decide to run close towards it, hopefully getting it into a fight with the wolf while I make my escape.


It's right on me though, and starts mauling the shit out of me as I run. I ignore it and run straight up into the zombie.


Another hit to my head and I'm pretty much dead.


Oh, thank fuck. I don't know how long this fight will take so I waste no time in sprinting onwards...


Making it to my homebase, barely alive and without a firestarter but alive nonetheless. It's barely even noon yet. What a long-ass day.


Lunch is most of a can of chicken & dumplings, and some untreated toilet water. I'd rather burn through my nonperishable canned food than risk eating raw eggs. The untreated water can't be helped. Let's hope I don't come down with dysentry.


Although I'm tired I want to stay up till at least evening, to prevent getting into a bad sleep cycle. I start to fuss around with my clothing, hoping to build some kind of head protection, but I'm interrupted by sudden pains. The bad water got to me.


I try to ignore it and continue with my tailoring, making a leather helmet out of cut-up leather pants, and a pair of safety goggles out of curtain cordage and one of my plastic bottles. I also repair and reinforce my duster and hoodie, which took damage in my raid, and refit, repair and reinforce the zombie soldier's cargo pants, replacing my jeans with them. I can't reinforce the goggles without a soldiering iron, however, which is why they don't have the dark green ++ status like everything else.


Since my nail bat is taking wear and tear, I also fashion myself a backup blunt weapon in case it breaks, a simple makeshift crowbar. It'll come in handy on future housebreakings and make a fairly decent weapon if and when my nail bat gives out.


At this point I'm in something of a bind. I don't want to risk a run to look for a firestarter while I'm so badly injured and sick. On the other hand, without a firestarter all I have to drink is untreated water, which will make me sicker and I'll probably run out of that within a few days, since my rain catchment can't keep up with my consumption. Unsure of what to do, I crawl into my bed and try to distract myself by reading the Zombie Survival Guide for a few hours.


Jesus fucking Christ you're retarded, Ahuyvia. Abandoning that idea, I pop a couple ambien to help me sleep through the pangs of gut pain, and I try to fall asleep early.


I wake up in the late morning of day 5, very hungry and thirsty but I'm already over my upset tumtum and my injuries have healed up surprisingly fast. ADF truly is surprisingly resilient. I'm almost to 20 pics so this seems like a good place to leave it.

HG 400

Okay, today was a big and shitty day for ADF and will take 3 posts to get through. Here goes.

We last left off with our doughy hero in a bind, his inability to make fire greatly limiting his ability to safely consume food and water. While ADF has done well so far, he won't do well much longer if he's at risk of food poisoning every time he eats and drinks. I should point out that I could forage the woods to grind my survival skill up to a point where I can build a firedrill, but I still have plenty of raw eggs and wild vegetables and really dislike gamey grinding. So instead, I'm going to check out that gas station to the south.


ADF breaks fast on irradiated plum and precooked bacon. I don't particularly like eating non-perishables while I've still got perishables in stock, but without fire to cook with I'm not too keen on eggs and wild veg.


Today's adventure loadout. I'm bringing the crowbar mainly in case my nailbat gives out, and the cashcard in case I run into a vending machine with a functional alarm. Alarms can summon pre-cataclysm security robots. And it's always good to have a flashlight handy. (note from later, I forgot my disinfectant, which turned out to be a mistake)


Finally, I'm setting out 'very thirsty' instead of risking another bout of food poisoning from my unclean water. And here we go, the quest for fire continues.


It's an uneventful trip across the fields to the gas station, but I spot a fungaloid milling around out front. Fungaloids aren't hostile but release incredibly dangerous spores. A fungal spawning ground must be nearby, and will be working on terraforming the entire area into fungal growth. Without a gas mask to prevent infection, I don't want to tangle with these guys. I carefully continue to the gas station.


It looks thoroughly ransacked except for a stack of magazines. I grab the ones that look like they might have useful information, "Popular Mechanics", "Boxing Monthly", "AAA Guide 2040", and "Rural Digest-Examiner".


There's a living space in back of the gas station, clearly this must be some old-fasioned rural family-owned business. I snag a cooking pot, a bottle of cranberry juice, and a banana. I greedily drink the juice immediately, but it isn't enough to reduce my thirst from 'very thirsty'.


Praise Jesus for New England rednecks. In the bedroom I find a box of 00 shot and a single-barrel break-action. It's obviously not a great weapon for the zombie apocalypse but it's streets ahead of my current paleolithic-tech ranged weapon. I grab it up and load it. I also snag a down-filled pillow off the bed, an upgrade on my regular pillow back home. There are a couple of vehicles out front, which I decide to check on next.


This armoured personell carrier seems to be in working condition, but the diesel tank is almost dry and this gas station only carries gasoline. There's also a mounted M2 Browning with 90 rounds of ammo left in it. If I had a wrench and hacksaw I could remove it from the mount, but a .50cal HMG is a ridiculously impractical weapon for anyone, let alone somebody as fat and weak as ADF. I'll check on the other vehicle first.


This electric car has nothing of value stored in it, and lacks the wheels to move. I return to the APC, planning to drive it out of here on fumes, as far as it'll go.


I said it was in working condition, not in good condition. The engine is pretty worn. A couple more tries and it turns over, though.


And I'm off, behind the wheel of a composite-armoured beast of a machine. Unfortunately, my field of view in this thing is shit. Regular cars and trucks have rear windows and side mirrors to help you see what's going on around you, but this one doesn't. On the plus side, it's 2.5 tonnes of military-grade armour and sports a .50 cal HMG. Off I go.


Just a little ways down the road and I almost drive into a police roadblock, manned by fully automated 9mm turrets. Bullets are more realistic in cataclysm than they are in the vast majority of games. Pistol rounds aren't so bad, but if something like a .30-06 hits you in the torso, then there's a 50% chance that you're instantly fucking dead and a 49.9% chance that you'll bleed to death before you can do anything about it. No saving rolls, no "-10 hp" bullshit, bullets tear you the fuck up and kill you hard. And there's no magical armour that protects against high-powered rifles, go up against a rifle with the game's best armour and it just spalls like a frag grenade strapped to your chest and raises that 99.9% instant-death chance to 100%.

There are a few ways of getting past SMG turrets. If you have a rifle you can stand out of range and snipe them. If you have zombies around you can kite them into the turrets range and wait for it's magazine to run dry. If you have decent armour you can stand at the very cusp of the turret's range and let it empty out onto you, trusting in your leather and kevlar to deflect the mostly-spent bullets that hit you ; but that still risks a lucky shot to the head ending your existence. Oh, and if you have a composite-armoured fucking hellbeast of a road machine, well... that's the route I'm gonna take.


My first run misses the turret and smashes up the road barricades instead. I back up for another try as a storm of 9mm plink harmlessly off the reinforced glass windshield.


Second run is better, I hit the turret at 60km/hr and turn it into wrecked metal scrap. Between the gunfire and the crash I'm defeaned, however. There's probably a turret on the other side of the roadblock so I try to keep my roadbeast moving.


Building up speed for the second turret, looks like I'm gonna smash my way through this piddly-ass roadblock.


I smash into it, doing myself an injury and tearing off part of the front quarterpanel on my roadbeast, but fail to kill the turret. The road barricades slow me down. I keep my pedal to the metal, hoping to crush through the barricades and slowly drive over the turret.


Fuck. The windshield shatters and I take shots to the leg and arm. If I back up for another try I'm definitely going to die, so I decide to let go of the controls and clamber away from the drivers seat instead.


Taking cover behind the seats, I try to get the .50cal up and operational. In retrospect, I should have used it to snipe the turrets from far out of their piddling 9mm range.


There's no automatic target aquisition so I resort to firing the M2 blindly at where I *think* the turret might be.

I can't see the turret I'm trying to hit, but I fire off a few shots at the tiles I think it might be on. This does more damage to my poor throbbing eardrums and doubtlessly alerts every fucking horde in a 50 mile radius. I decide to clamber out the back of the APC and use it for cover as I try to get out of the turret's firing range and have a look.


I circle around and peek past the edge of the APC and spot the turret before jumping back. The turret is still there and still operational, on the tile SW from the APC's headlight. I decide to limp back and continue blindfiring at it.

HG 400


I fire about 30 shots into the area I think the turret's in, but the machinegun leaves me so deaf I won't be able to hear the turret exploding if I hit it. I can't control the APC while hiding in cover behind the seat, and if I climb into the seat it might have a clear shot at me at point-blank range, which will churn me into red butter before I'm even in position to take the wheel.


I leave from the back again and circle far around to get another peek. Looks like the turret has been blown into fucking pieces by Ol' Ma Deuce. I go reclaim my roadbeast, keeping in mind I no longer have a reinforced windshield to protect me.


I'm hitting a lot of fungaloids due to the terrible field-of-view this machine has, and I'm concerned about spores finding their way into my system. I'm also down to 0% fuel, and expect the engine to give out at any time.


I can see shambling hordes on the edge of my map's vision, doubtlessly ambling their way to where the .50 gunfire was. I decide to turn back, knowing that if my fuel gives out as I reach the hordes, I'll have no chance of outrunning them with a bullet in the leg.


I stop at the roadblock, checking both police cars to see if either are in usable condition. Although it's a a step down from an armoured deathmachine, I'll at least be able to top them up with any gasoline still in the station's pumps up the road.


This one's in decent condition, despite taking a bit of a bump from the APC and rolling offroad, and the keys are waiting for me in the ignition. I drive back to the gas station to top up it's tanks.


A giant wolf spider is hanging around too close to the pumps. They're dangerous predators, and with my injuries I really don't want to try fighting something like that off, so I speed up to ramming speed.


Smoosh! Look how far it bounced off the hood. I turn around and top up my tanks, then drive back to that small town. I want to catch that hulk and drive a V8 police cruiser straight into his ugly fucking face.


I cruise into town with the sirens on and holding down the horn. Come the fuck out, bigguns.


After a few passes without him emerging from a building I cruise around to run the perimeter of the town and spot him a little ways SE of town, hanging out with a hazmat zombie. I accelerate to ramming speed.


I hit him at 128km/hr, killing him and throwing my car into a skid. I fight to recover and turn around for another pass. Zombies will revive unless cut into pieces or smashed to a pulp, and I want to make sure he's well and truly dead.




In previous versions of the game you couldn't brake in a car with no engine. Thankfully that bug is gone, so I screech to a halt and climb out. I snag a radiation badge off the hazmat zombie, which I unwrap and attach to my lapel, and then smash the hulk to a broken puddle of pulp with my nail bat. Despite being injured I decide to keep going, and check out what's east of the town.


I find a home improvement superstore, complete with dozens of zombie shoppers. Thankfully my injury isn't so bad that I can't hop-jog along and keep ahead of them.


Further along the road I find this contraption, a solar-powered car. It's in working order, with keys in the ignition, so I hop in and start her up.


Well, fuck me. A couple of 9mm turrets put up a decent fight against my APC. Now I'm in a dinky light-frame solar car and up against a milspec and an antimat turret. Milspec is 5.56mm, one shot of that to the head or chest will kill me. Antimat is .50cal, one shot of that even glances off my car and I'll get minced into hamburger by the shrapnel. I haul hard on the steering wheel to try and put as much distance between them and myself as I can before their targeting software locks onto me.


Luckily, I'm not fired on. I make a huge detour around them and mark them on my map for later. I continue puttering along to the east, still in urgent need of something as simple as a god damn book of matches. And then my solar car's batteries die, unable to recharge themselves in this thunderstorm. I let it cruise as far as it'll go before continuing on foot.


I reach the edge of what looks like it might be a larger city. Unfortunately I can't see too far in the thunderstorm, reducing my overmap field of vision. There's a house and a subway station, those green 0's are parks and the white 0 is an automotive garage. Continuing to avoid the zombies, I decide to check out that house to the northeast, hoping it might have a well-stocked fridge at the very least.


The wreckage to my south is an ambulance, and that little red + sign means items. With my injuries in mind, I decide to risk fighting the zombies scrambling after me to check it out.


I get swamped and surprised by a smoker zombie, which exhudes thick vision-blocking smoke which causes minor debuffs if you breathe too much of it in. This screenshot is after running a circle around the wreck. You can see the damn dirty smoker approaching from the west, and the rest of the zombies floundering amongst the wreckage I led them over. I decide to leave whatever goodies the ambulance might have held, and continue on.