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FORT ZOMBIE GUIDE

Fort Zombie is a role playing / action / survival / base building game created by Kerberos Productions (http://www.kerberos-productions.com/) in 2009.

YOUR CHARACTER

At the beginning of the game the player creates a character by selecting an occupation. Every occupation has 5 attributes (smarts, power, speed, finesse, and toughness). The attributes have preset numerical scores set to them but the player can adjust these scores a certain amount.

Each occupation also has certain preset skills (e.g., medicine, melee weapons, rifles, pistols) which also have numerical values assigned to them. You can adjust the numerical values to these existing skills, as well as select additional skills for your character.

CHARACTER ATTRIBUTES

Smarts – Measures intelligence and education. Governs memory and problem solving.

Power – Governs willpower and spiritual energy. Helps with recruiting other survivors.

Speed - Controls how quickly you can run. Finesse - Covers dexterity and body control. Critical skill for weapons handling.

Toughness – Governs how much damage you can absorb before you die. Any physical activity uses up stamina. It also measures how much stamina you have. The higher your stamina the slower it will deplete while you are performing physical tasks (e.g. running and melee combat).

SKILLS

There are two types of skills in Fort Zombie, standard skills and umbrella skills. Standard skills only apply to the specific task being performed. Umbrella skills contribute to a specific skill. For example, you choose pistol as your standard skill. During your travels you find a 9mm Beretta pistol. You start using that pistol and become familiar with it. Whenever you shoot that Beretta the game will combine your pistol skill (umbrella skill) with the skill you have with the Beretta (standard skill). Those two skills combined will determine your total skill level with that firearm.

HOW ATTRIBUTES WORK WITH SKILLS

All skills in Fort Zombie are based on one of the 5 attributes (smarts, power, speed, finesse, and toughness). Your base attribute will be combined with the underlying skill that you are using to determine how effective you are. For example, the base attribute for metal working is smarts. If your smarts are 20 and your metal working is 35 then your effective metal working skill is 55%. The higher your skill the faster and more accurate you will be at your given task.

FIREARMS COMBAT

Accuracy with a firearm is determined as follows: Standard skill percentage + umbrella skill + base attribute = accuracy modifier.

Example: You found yourself a sweet Colt Python that you’ve been using for a little while. Your Colt Python skill is 12, your pistol skill is 25 and your finesse skill is 20. Whenever you shoot, the game calculates a deviation cone based on your total skill, the weapon behavior and whether you are moving.

Not taking into account the weapon behavior and movement, your total accuracy modifier with the Colt Python is 12 (standard skill) + 25 (umbrella skill) + 20 (base attribute) = 57% (higher is better).

Pro tip: accuracy is also determined by your distance to your target and the body part you are shooting at. While some people recommend going for a head shot, I’d recommend you shoot the zombie in the legs. A crippled zombie is almost as ineffective as a dead zombie. The zombie can’t kill you if he can’t catch you. Every shot counts and you will want to save your ammo for the final battle. Trust me on this.

MELEE COMBAT

Melee combat is going medieval on a zombie with anything that doesn’t shoot (bats, swords, fists and feet). Your skill with a particular melee weapon determines entirely whether you will hit the zombie and whether that bag of puss will hit or bite you. For example, you are armed with a kickass katana and ready to do a Michonne on a walker. Your blade skill is 32%. When you swing you have a 35% chance to hit the zombie. When it attacks you his chance to hit is half your relevant melee skill, which in this case is 32%.

Pro tip: No matter how cool it may seem, it is not a good idea to go hand to hand against a zombie if you can help it. There is a good chance you will get injured and a fair chance you will be badly injured. That will cost you valuable medical supplies at the best, and your life at the worst. Avoid combat entirely until the final battle. If you can’t help it, make sure you go melee on a zombie with at least 4 fellow team mates. You want that thing downed quickly.

WEAPONS SKILL BREAKDOWN

Weapons handling is an umbrella skill. The base attribute needed to hit is finesse. The higher your finesse the more accurate (and therefore deadly) you will be in combat. Weapons skills fall into the following categories:

Assault Weapons: Covers fully automatic weapons, including any submachine guns. Examples: M-16, M-4, AK-47, Tommy Gun, and Uzi.

Blades: Covers edged weapons such as the katana, axe, broadsword, machete and scythe.

Clubs: Covers blunt weapons such as shovels, baseball bats and crowbars.

Hand to Hand: Covers punches and kicks to the enemy.

Pistols: Covers revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, such as the .38 special, Colt Python, USP .40, Glock 21, 9mm Beretta, and Desert Eagle.

Rifles: Covers semi-automatic, long rifles such as the Lee-Enfield, M1 Garand, The firing of long barrel weapons such as the Lee-Enfield and the Safari 70.

Shotgun: Covers pump shotgun, the regular 12 gauge shotgun, and the combat shotgun. Pro tip: The shotgun is probably the best weapon in the game for self-defense. You don’t need any skill to use it and you can easily take a zombie out in one shot if you aim in the right areas (head or legs).

OTHER SKILLS BREAKDOWN

Carpentry: The main skill for building barricades and traps. Key attribute is smarts. Note on traps: You can build traps for your bases but based on my experience they are not worth it unless you are just looking to see amusing results. Best thing you can do to prepare your base for the final battle is to build barricades.

Electrical: Used for building traps and maintaining base generators. Key attribute is smarts. Proficiency in the use of electrical systems and generators. Note on generators: You need to find fuel to power your generators and you need to keep your generators working. If you don’t have them running you will be fighting zombies in the darkness. You have been warned.

Interaction: Skill in relating to people and convincing them your ideas are sound. Useful in getting survivors to join you. Key attribute is power. Note on interaction: related to this skill is power. If you have interaction of at least 25 and power of at least 25 you should have no problem recruiting additional survivors to help you battle the zombies.

First Aid: Skill for the treating of fresh wounds in the field. Helps to a lesser extent in treating people overnight back at base. Key attribute is smarts.

Lock Pick: Skill needed to open door locks silently. Base attribute finesse. Note on lock pick: you can open locked doors in Fort Zombie by smashing them with melee weapons and hand to hand attacks but it will make noise. Zombies are attracted to noise. Enough said.

Mechanical: Also used to build and repair the base generators. Key attribute is smarts.

Medicine: Critical to treating the injured with overnight medical care. Key attribute is smarts. Note on Medicine: make sure you assign as your member with the highest medicine skill as your base doctor. The amount you heal overnight is greatly based on this skill.

Metal-Working: Used for building heavier barricades and for some traps. Key attribute is smarts. Pro tip on all construction projects: make sure you give power tools to everyone who is building barricades and traps. The work will go much faster!

Scout: Use to reduce travel times to and from your base to missions and lowering the chance of being stopped by zombies. Key attribute is smarts. Note on scout: Make sure you have someone with a high scout skill on your team during missions. Last thing you want to have happen is to be intercepted by a horde of zombies at night on your way back to base. If you’re stopped you will need to get across town to the exit zone alive. This is no easy task given the butt load of zombies that are shuffling and sprinting about at night.

Sneak: Ability not to attract the attention of zombies. Key ability is finesse. Note on sneak: Stay quiet and stay out of the zombies’ line of sight. This will also help non detection in addition to your sneak skill.

Spot: Proficiency in finding valuable stuff in the town. Key attribute is smarts. The higher your spot the more likely you will find stuff when you hit the search key. Note on spot: If you search and don’t find anything, move a few feet and search again. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and find stuff. Have your teammates search also because each of them has their own search check.

THE BASES

Now after you created your character you can select your base. Each base is more and more difficult to defend. Here are your base choices from easiest to hardest:

Police Station – Weak sauce. Your final stand spot should be at the top of the stairs right at the front entrance. Build barricades at the bottom of each side of the stairway. Then line all your team mates up at the top of the stairs. You’ll shred the zombies no problem at the final battle if you stockpiled your ammo like I strongly suggest you do.

School – Taco Hell mild. Your final stand spot should be either in one of the classrooms upstairs with barricades near the door or in the machine shop. Where ever you decide to commit, make sure you have enough room for long shots (in hallways or big rooms). Do not try to shoot from the balconies to the outside. If you do not heed this warning you will likely get shot by armed zombies.

Prison – Extra crispy. Best spot I’ve found is in one of the blocks where you can fire down on the zombies and in the sole entrance way into the block.

Now in all these scenarios you’re going to start in the town. You can stop and pick goods up in town but ultimately you will need to go to the base you’ve chosen. You will then need to clear the base of zombies and at that point it will become yours.

THE ENVIRONMENT

Fort zombie has a “somewhat” destructible environment. You can smash doors down if you can’t pick the lock. You can also shoot out and jump through glass. You can do a rolling smash through glass if you’re so inclined. Line of sight is taken into consideration as is bullet trajectory and physics. It’s a pretty amazing environment considering the price of the game.

HOW THE GAME PLAYS OUT

Once you’ve cleared out the base the day will end. The next day you’ll have tasks that you can do in town. They break down into finding supply caches and new survivors. When you finish a mission you go back to your base for resupply. You can do as many missions as you want to do during until the end of the day. I would not suggest doing missions at nighttime as it is extremely hazardous to your health. There are way more zombies at night and it’s dark. But hey, it’s your funeral if that’s what you want to do.

You’re going to have a countdown time to tell you how many days until the final battle. Until that time you’ll need to gather survivors, ammo, weapons, medicine, food and other supplies. You need to build barricades to defend against the horde. You could also build traps if you have time. You need to watch out for random attacks on your base (yes, it does happen). But keep your eye on the prize. The goal is to survive the final battle so plan accordingly.

STUFF YOU’LL BE NEEDING IN TOWN

You’ll need all kinds of stuff in town which you’ll need to haul back to base. However there is a limit to the amount of stuff you can squirrel away in your base. Pro tip: If you run out of storage space you can always use your survivor’s inventory as virtual “storage cabinets” if you’re so inclined.

Food – you need food to feed your survivors. It is usually not a problem finding enough though. Vast quantities of food can be found in supermarkets, convenience stores, deli’s, coffee shops, and burger joints.

Medicine –People will get injured in the field and your medic needs supplied to heal them. Make sure you bring medicine with you. Grab the smallest medicine with the most units to conserve inventory space. You also use medicine at night to heal up members. Medicine and first aid kits can sometimes be found in hardware, sporting goods and convenience stores.

Trap components – springs, knives, batteries, and all other kinds of weird stuff. Sooner or later you’ll run into someone who has the blueprints for the traps. Once that’s done you can start building them. But there is a bug that occurs sometimes if you load a game after you found the trap person. What happens is that the trap blueprints disappear so you cannot build anything. If that happens I feel bad for you but you can still easily beat the game without the traps. Trap components can be found everywhere.

Weapons and ammo - You’re going to find a ton of weapons. Ammo is scarce so save it for the final battle. Where do find this stuff you ask? Best place I’ve found is sporting goods stores. Guns are in the back right corner of the store. Baseball bats in the front of the store. Weapons and ammo can also be found in gun stores. You can also find a nice stash in the Keberos' building if you feel brave (see below for details). You can find smaller caches in houses and burned out buildings.

Tools – Mainly found in hardware stores and road construction sites. These power tools are necessary to speed up construction of base defenses.

Gasoline – Mainly found in army jeeps and tents.

Special trinkets –

Special trinkets are items that can be found randomly in various containers throughout the town. Each item confers a bonus to any character as long as it is in their inventory. Below is a list of special items and their corresponding bonuses:

  • Aspirin +10 to first aid
  • Black powder +10 rifle
  • Blessed wine +10 scout
  • Blood +10 assault weapons
  • Buffalo nickel +1 speed
  • Comic +2 toughness
  • Dentures +10 interaction
  • Dirty Sock +10 sneak
  • Glass eye +10 pistol
  • Holy water +2 power
  • Honey +10 interaction
  • Human hand +10 melee
  • Indian head penny + scouting
  • Iron nail +10 carpentry
  • Kerosene +15 metal working
  • Liberty Dollar +10 Lockpick
  • Lighter +10 mechanical
  • Magnet +10 electrical
  • Milk +1 toughness
  • Molasses +10 sneak

YOUR TEAM MATES

Unfortunately, your team mates are as dumb as a bag of bricks. The friendly AI pathing is terrible and they will get stuck everywhere. You’re going to have to push them out of a spot sometimes or issue commands until they get unstuck. Also, don’t lose track of them because there’s no way to figure out where they went if they’re stuck in town. The game has been patched a few times to improve the wonky AI a bit. However, the AI is still far from passable. Just think of your team mates as living storage containers with slight defensive capabilities and you’ll be fine.

Don’t bring any more than four team mates (including yourself) to town. Move them using the preset controls in short bursts and use them as a backup if you run into more zombies than you can handle.

Now for the basic group controls:

  • Gather (Everyone moves to you – unless they are stuck).
  • Defend (Don’t move. Stay where you are).
  • Flee (Run for the exit point). Good way to lose your team mates.
  • Search (Search for items but don’t take them). Items found will make the container glow that was searched glow.
  • Take (Search and then take items).

What I do is take each of these commands and assign them to hot keys. So if one of my team members gets stuck I will toggle the hot keys until they free themselves (i.e. gather, run, gather, run). If that doesn’t work then I have to push them free.

THE HORDE

Here is a brief description of the zombies you will encounter in the town. Danger level included (10 being most dangerous).

Soldier zombies – Danger level 10. Armed with an M16. Not super accurate but accurate enough to keep a wide berth unless you have excellent marksmanship skills. They can one shot kill you so watch out. These guys are typically found inside the Kerberos' building. They can also be found inside gun and ammo shops. If they’re around in force there is a good chance they are guarding something worth taking.

Police zombies – Danger level 7. Armed with a revolver. Much less accurate than soldier zombies but accurate at close range.

Jogger zombies – Danger level 7. Armed with endurance. They are fast and relentless. These guys will run you into the ground. If you can’t hide from the joggers, it is best to shoot these suckers in the leg and gimp them.

Fireman zombies - Danger level 5. Watch out for their axe.

Football zombies – Danger level 4. With a pack of other zombies danger level is 6. These guys will tackle you to the ground, opening you up to attacks by other zombies. If you want to kill them, shoot them in their big helmet melon. They are fairly easy to kill with a gun. Don’t try melee against them because you’ll just find yourself on the ground cursing at your stupidity.

Paramedic zombies - Danger level 4. They will assemble other zombies that you have killed. Kill them stat.

Other zombies –various giblet covered varieties. Chef zombies. Nurse zombies. Construction zombies. What the heck is that zombies. Not much to worry about with them unless you’re encountering a pack. Then it’s best to try and run and hide.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Fort Zombie has a place near and dear to my heart. I bought this game for about $8 and have played it for hundreds of hours. It was a very ambitious project by Kerberos and I visit their forums from time to time to encourage them to make a sequel. Sure, the game has crappy graphics. Sure, the AI is pretty horrible. But look at the concept. An open sandbox word with zombies, base building, survival elements, role playing elements, traps, day and night cycles, random encounters, special characters (characters with special abilities you can recruit), special items, tons of guns and melee weapons, different ammo, and a limited physics engine. The list just goes on and on. If you haven’t played the game be sure to give it a try. You’ll be glad you did!

games | role playing game


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