Dead Man Walking (Zombie Survival)

a Horror by BerkaZerka

Commended by mizal on 7/27/2019 3:04:47 PM

Player Rating7.28/8

"#1 overall, #1 for 2012"
based on 11405 ratings since 11/13/2012
played 425,838 times (finished 13,464)

Story Difficulty6/8

"wandering through the desert"

Play Length8/8

"Even light has to break at the rest stop"

Maturity Level6/8

"I'll need to see some identification"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 16. If this were a movie, it would probably between PG-13 and R.

Can you survive the Zombie Apocalypse? While challenging, it's not as hard as the movies would have you believe - where they always make the worst possible decisions for the sake of drama. At least here, you will be offered logical choices amid the foolhardy and your character cares about survival even more than you do. A serious game with gory detail.

Cameos (try to find them all!)
Aman: Hairy bearded sledge guy
applegirl: Coffee mug zombie teen
Betaband: Neighbor’s fish tank brought to you by Betaband
CovElite: The Cannibal Gaunt Zombie
EndMaster: A survivor tells about seeing a black hooded man walking among the zombie hordes and directing them like death itself
Fireplay: A madman with a taste for fire
JMgskills: A zombie wearing a red shirt with the logo “YOU DIED – END GAME.”
Marmotlord: A School Mascot on the run
playa988: A rather short, buzz-cut, zombie in a baggy white t-shirt and jeans that gets sniped
simplesabley: Tomboy survivor girl
SindriV: A mysterious corpse in the street
Solxd7: A police officer shit out of luck
Swiftstryker: Zombie in a speedo
ThisisBo: An oddly “talkative” zombie not terribly interested in eating brains
ugilick: Karate kicking conquistador

Special Thanks To:
Aman; AtomicWaste; blob; Briar_Rose; HoraceTorys; MBrock; playa988; ugilick

(For their invaluable feedback and playtesting efforts!)

Player Comments

This is an excellent storygame, and it is quite obvious to those with a functioning brain why this is one of the best storygames in the site, but I do not think that it is the very best. It had a hard battle with stories like Eternal, but with the way the author wrote this, it could very well win that battle.

The flow of the writing was set at a perfect pace. The writing was complex and didn't have that choppy feel that you get from some of the stories that can be found on this site, which greatly improved the flow and gave it a very smooth feel. Action scenes were smoothly developed and foreshadowed admiringly by the author, creating a good suspenseful feeling for me as a reader.

The way the plot was developed was simply masterful. This story had everything; exposition, raising action, numerous climactic scenes, even more action and suspense that couldn't be quite labeled as "falling action", and a variety of resolutions. Each scene kept me on the edge of my seat and I found myself clicking that link to the next page faster than Usain Bolt can run.

The writing was very descriptive and I could clearly picture each scene in my mind, and I felt as though I was actually a part of the story. Generic movie crap isn't included in this story, and it really comes down to you and your brain.

Each character in the story is introduced and developed in a way that makes me feel as if I've known them for a long time and I can understand everything about them. They become part of the virtual world created by the author's writing and play an important role in developing the story.

It is quite obvious that a great deal of time and effort was put into proofreading this because I didn't notice any mistakes in grammar or spelling, and even if I had, I doubt they would have taken anything from this storygame.

-- Nyctophilia on 2/22/2017 7:42:14 AM with a score of 2860
This is one of the first interactive novels I have ever experienced, but I have to assume that part of the reason people post these stories is to improve their writing. I will tailor my comment accordingly.
Praise first: I could not stop reading it. The vivid and expansive world captivates the reader's attention and (not unlike a ravening zombie) refuses to let go. BerkaZerka's exceedingly detailed and practical voice lays the world of the story before the reader like a blueprint, yet amid the practical descriptions are horrifying, frightening, and even tender moments which evoke the reader's emotions as their hopes are realized and/or shattered. The realization that one false move (just like an actual survival situation) could spell catastrophe kept me perpetually on the edge of my seat. BerkaZerka was only sometimes cruel, normally dishing out death and horror only to the deserving. This story was entertaining, and suspenseful; it divided its time equally between granting gratification which built my confidence and absolutely devastating me.
Now the criticism. Keep the above praise in mind as you read these notes:
My biggest issue with the story was the dialogue. Weak dialogue has the effect of breeding the reader's indifference toward the characters. Indifference means that the reader won't have an emotional response when the characters interact, succeed, fail, die, escape death, etc. Though the descriptions were captivating, the dialogue laid flat on the page. Dialogue is, of course, one of the most staggeringly difficult parts writing fiction. I have been told before to "Never let your characters say exactly what they are thinking." and I am afraid that BerkaZerka is badly guilty of this in the story.
Avoid using "thing" or "things" in your writing. I appreciate that the author is working to make the narrator's voice sound casual and authentic (and it comes across nicely throughout the story,) but "things" is just lazy writing.
Throughout the story the pacing felt strange to me. Some scenes or details would receive detail bordering on excessive, whereas other times the reader feels as though the story has lurched erratically forward. I realize that achieving consistency throughout 2000+ pages of adventure can be a difficult task, but it is something to be mindful of. One scene in particular (With the Arab and the Spaniard) comes to mind. I understand that you were working to include a camio, but the whole scene felt exceedingly detailed to no end. When demanding the reader's attention for such detail, take the opportunity to have some kind of literary impact or statement. This scene in particular leaves the reader scratching their head, unsatisfied.
My last point is on the subject of foreshadowing (the following is not a spoiler because it starts off in literally the opening scene). Throughout the story the foreshadowing was skillfully wielded and left me wondering who the mysterious figure could be and what it could mean for my adventure. It does what good foreshadowing should and adds to the suspense. This effect lasted until one of the characters I encountered in the story inexplicably BLURTED out an observation about it. This effectively shattered the spell of the otherwise-powerful sense of foreboding. This critique goes hand-in-hand with my previous comment about characters saying exactly what they mean. This obviously-forced attempt at foreshadowing was lazy and disappointing. I do not mean to sound harsh, but it is a pity to see such a chilling, effective literary tool squandered on a weak, one-line reminder to "Hey, remember to be scared of the ominous badness!"
There, I'm finished. I hope it is apparent that I give this advice (and criticism) out of a genuine desire to see this excellent writing become even better.
I recommend Dead Man Walking very highly. Its weaknesses were few enough as to allow me to enjoy the experience thoroughly. Genuine satisfaction, frustration, regret, sadness, and joy are sure indicators of a thorough, well constructed, and gripping tale.
Cheers, BerkaZerka.
-- dueconsideration on 8/18/2015 6:29:27 PM with a score of 25065
The story reminds me of the Energizer Bunny commercials: it keeps going, and going, and going. This is a good thing. I backed up and tried different paths a few times and was pleasantly surprised (and a bit awed) to find that the author has created quite a complex, sprawling spider-web of possible storylines, giving the story a lot of replayability.

I love the lack of an actual inventory and the way your choices affect later portions of the story. I believe whole portions of pages have script-driven text which "remember" the choices you made. Throughout, the author presents difficult scenarios for the main character to puzzle through, and the whole experience feels very open-ended, as many choices are shades of grey, rather than overtly evil/good, foolish/intelligent, pragmatic/emotional.

The story has minimal typos and I only found one "bug," demonstrating the author's commitment to proofreading and editing. At times, I would have liked a bit more action rather than explanation, particularly with the length of these portions, but overall the story had a nice pace and rarely felt dull. Also, some of the dialogue could be rewritten to feel more real and dynamic, but these are minor criticisms.

The depth of the story is obvious, as is the author's commitment to produce some solid work. I am definitely going to re-read this and try some completely different tactics. I got what I suspect is the second best ending.
-- madglee on 11/25/2012 1:45:19 PM with a score of 26415
Wowie, this game is the best word game I had. It contains a lot of choices and paths for you tpo choose. And it is very realistic. Just some improvements, I only go through about 100+ pages and I win. I think pls change the neding a bit, thanks
-- Rollypro on 7/3/2020 10:27:52 PM with a score of 20675
good read and fun play through scored:23905
-- yanmablade on 6/27/2020 5:08:48 PM with a score of 23925
nice it was awesome
-- ??? on 6/25/2020 3:05:00 AM with a score of 1110
I needed this! It puts COVID into perspective.
-- Jenny on 6/20/2020 3:28:45 AM with a score of 25125
Brilliant story, read through one set of circumstances and loved it. Going back in for more!
-- David on 6/11/2020 2:54:15 PM with a score of 19565
Awesome game! Keep up the great work.
-- asham on 6/7/2020 8:53:26 PM with a score of 30065
I went through again to try out different paths for me to take, and I am very impressed with all the choices you could make. I managed to survive and save my wife, my kids, Jacob, and everyone in the school without getting bit. I even managed to kill the Banshee in the park. I highly recommend people play this if they get the chance.
-- falconkgk on 6/6/2020 8:43:59 PM with a score of 32717
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