"I could barely see my vision was so blurry and grey but I wasn't going down without a fight. I squeezed off as many rounds from my .45 revolver into those blood thirsty monsters as I could manage. I dropped about 15 before I passed out from blood loss. I woke up to see more of those hungry eyes gazing at me through the glass and I fed them the rest of my lead."
Sound like a zombie-strewn airport paperback? It's not—it's a true story of the popular gaming mod DayZ, shared on the game's forums by an intrepid reporter who goes by the handle TurkeyBurgers.
It, and the hundreds of other stories like it, stand as an unfolding chronicle of one of the most exciting video games of the year.
I've been hooked on the DayZ Stories thread on the DayZ forums for a while now—every day they're updated with a new tale from the front lines, a new survivor who sits, buzzing from another sleepless night of near-misses, shaky alliances and zombie mayhem, and pounds out a couple of hundred words describing it all.
Forum posters aren't the only ones getting into it; reporters are having a great time reporting from inside the game as well, from this introspective journal series at Unwinnable to the in-depth Ars Technica profile of Dr. Wasteland, hard-boiled guardian angel.
Considering the fact that the game—which is really just an Arma II mod created by Dean "Rocket" Hall—is now officially being made into a standalone game, it seems we'll be reading wild stories for a good long while now.
The "DayZ Stories" thread was started back in April by a forum poster called Redrick:
Feasting upon my friend was at least 15 of the beasts, all crouched and hunching. Being one of my first games I had never seen so many zombies together, I wish I had gotten a screenshot but my mind was elsewhere at the time. I knew I was going to die, so taking my enfield I tried dispatching them in an attempt to redeem my friend (and biding I survive loot his corpse). Sadly, without any flares, I quickly was lost in darkness and had surcom to the teeth of the snarling white eyes.
From there, the floodgates opened—everyone had an amazing story to tell. ThatGuy spins a yarn about a heroic and unlikely savior:
A silhouette of a low lying tent appeared before me.
"Grab what you need from the tent and get the hell out of my city." I grabbed a winchester, some rounds, food, and a full canteen and darted back to cover. "There's an ALICE pack and some more gear in the house across the street." I asked "Why? Why are you helping me?" He responded with a chuckle, "I'm like the Dark Knight." With those words my captor disappeared into the night.
ohnoyoudidnt29 tells a funny story that goes outside the game and into the real world:
We ran into 2 guys on a quad. They were surprisingly friendly and had crashed their atv into a sign. The guy who picked us up offered to fix the atv. All of the sudden they went rogue and then threw a frag at our car and d/c. Luckily the car we were in was like a tank. It didn't even damage from the frag and the car was extremely strong. He admitted that he hacked the car in but all his other stuff was legit. Since they d/c he decided to satchel the atv and tehn blew it up which looked awesome. We then blew up another house for the fun of it. We were driving when some random dude got in our car and said friendly. He said to add him on skype so we did and we talked to this new guy. He then asked us to get out of the car when the awesome guy who wasnt on skype tried to run him over. And then we realise he had god mode on. He had killed us except the guy who picked us up. He was still alive and counter hacked and overided his god mode and killed him. The hacker, being the dick he was, then killed the whole server.
Leave it to a hacker to ruin things and to be a dick, but that was my funniest time on day z ever.
Mirkz has an all-too familiar experience:
Eventually we came across a downed chopper... we got in there once the zombies cleared out a little.. we had just finished looting our spoils when we hear something over the comm's along the lines of "two targets spotted at downed bird" ..."Oh shit... that's us!" I said in surprise... "We've gotta go.... NOW".. we started to jog away from the chopper at first... We then hear confirmation of the mysterious voice... "2 targets are leaving the chopper"... and not a second later "Shoot to kill, shoot to kill."
I panic, "RUN!" I yelled... "Zig zag... just keep running!", we we're hoofing it as quickly as possible, darting all over the place.
Shots ring out from the mysery sniper/s... we couldn't determine where they were coming from, but I think it was behind us...
I take a hit.. shocked I stumble... and start running again.
More recently comes a long and twisting story from griffin, who even with a team of friendly players couldn't fend off tragedy:
AK- "WHAT DO WE DO, WHAT DO WE DO!"
Ghillie- "SHUT UP! Don't fucking fire your rifle, it brings more of them. We gotta move, get to the front of the store and make a run to the bus!"
Me- "The fronts blocked off by Zombies! There are way to many of them man, we gotta go out the back!"
Ghillie- "Backs blocked off!"
AK- "WE'RE GONNA DIE!"
Ghillie- "I SAID SHUT UP! WAIT, WAIT, THE FAR RIGHT BACK IS NOT BLOCKED! GO GO GO!"
Me- "Alright! I'm Mov-"
And thats when I got hit. Zombies dragged me down and everything went black. I could still hear them screaming, but I couldn't scream back.
Believe it or not, Griffin didn't die there—he made it out, and fought his way back to a small red house, where, blinded by blood loss, he and his buddy "AK" made a final stand:
"I'M GONNA DIE!"
"I know, and I'm sorry."
"Wait! You can't leave! DON'T LEAVE ME TO DIE!"
I ran. I ran as fast as I could. I kept running, and running, and running, and running. I ran out of that city and into the woods, all the while never looking back.
There are 1208 replies in the thread as of this writing, and it's growing by the day. There are lots of great videos of DayZ in action (this video of a quasi abduction sticks with me in particular). But it's the rare game that inspires this kind of writing, because it's the rare game that inspires this kind of ownership of the experience. We were there, man, this happened. We were in the shit.
This is what people are talking about when they say DayZ isn't like most video games.
DayZ Stories [Dayz Forums]