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Facing the Zombie Apocalypse Horde

zombie targets in the dark

Nearing the shop, I noticed a light flickering inside. Maybe one of the emergency lights was going to have to be replaced. I was pretty sure I shut all the other lights off. I unlocked the door and opened it. A wall of decay and death rolled out of the shop. I gagged on the scent and wondered what had died and who I would have to call to remove it. Then I heard the groans and moans coming from the back of the range. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I could see movement.

“Hey! You back there!” I shouted and gesticulated. “You aren’t supposed to be here. How did you get in?”

The figures at the back synchronized their turns to face me. Something wasn’t right. They didn’t walk; they shambled. They groaned and moaned. They started coming toward me.

“Do you need a doctor?” Only moans and groans and shuffling feet answered my question. More appeared out of the darkness behind them. “Don’t come any closer.” I pulled out my phone to call 9-1-1. There was no service. I dialed anyway and hoped that it would work. “I’m serious.” I put the phone on the counter and grabbed a bow from the wall.

One of the figures passed beneath an emergency light. I could see maggots and worms in its face. A bit of the skull shone through where the flesh had torn away. My brain couldn’t process what I was seeing.

“Stay back,” I menaced as best I could. The figures moved inexorably closer. I strung the bow and grabbed some arrows. “If you keep moving forward, I will be forced to use these.”

They kept moving forward. Amidst the moans and groans, I could hear a splorching sound, like a wet rag slapping against the floor. It was rhythmic. With each shamble forward, the splorch came from somewhere in the back. I fired a warning shot and got no reaction. The arrow hit the green tarp with a thud.

The figures were densely packed into the range. Only the green tarp kept them contained. They had to be coming from somewhere, but not one of them spoke. “Last chance. Sit down.” There was no response. That’s when my brain finally processed what was going on. They were zombies.

(This is part of the Zombie Apocalypse Live Action Arcade story that starts with the finding of a video game cabinet. If you want to fight off the zombie horde at Lincoln City Archery, make a reservation. Here are the rules for the game.)

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The Zombie Apocalypse Horde Comes to Life

Zombie Apocalypse Arcade Game Cabinet

A light flickered in the back of the store. Static flashed across the screen. The sound system on the old video game cabinet. Groans and moans came through the speakers. With a bright flash, a hand emerged through the glass of the cathode ray tube.

The flesh was green and rotting. The hand pulled out of the cabinet and grasped the front of the cabinet. The arm extended with its torn and shredded sleeves. The shoulders and head followed with their open wounds and smell of death. The zombie’s body fell onto the floor with a dull thud.

Leaving some of its flesh and congealed blood to ark its landing spot, the zombie got up and shuffled away from the cabinet. It could not see, smell, or sense what it was looking for, what it craved, what it needed to survive. It shuffled in a small circle as another zombie emerged from the screen. The two zombies collided and were joined by a third. They milled around each other filling the small corridor and moving toward the openings at either end as more of the living dead emerged from the video game cabinet.

With no prey and no way to reason, they could only bump and grasp and moan. They horded together, not out of any sense of camaraderie, but because they had no way to make a decision and no way to find a better unlife. They filled the area behind the archery range’s heavy curtain meant to stop arrows from hitting the back wall. They stumbled on the boxes, which afforded the walls a little extra protection. They fell over each other and scrabbled to find their footing again.

One zombie found its way onto the range, but it had no sense of direction. The creature wandered back and forth along the curtain. A couple of the other undead joined it. They could feel their hunger, but it couldn’t drive them anywhere because they could sense no way to sate it.

(This story is part of the Zombie Apocalypse Live Action Arcade Game at Lincoln City Archery. For the beginning of the story, read about the arcade cabinet discovery, then read about what happens when it gets plugged in. If you want to join us for Zombie Apocalypse Live Action Arcade, read the rules first. Make reservations to fight the zombie horde.)

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Plugging in Zombie Apocalypse Arcade Game

Zombie Apocalypse Arcade Game Cabinet

After repairing the Zombie Apocalypse arcade cabinet to the best of my ability and cleaning the electronic components making sure they were dry and dust free, I decided it was time to try the game. I plugged it in.

The lights flickered and dimmed, then flashed to a brilliant white as I came around the front of the cabinet. The company logo glowed on the cathode ray tube screen and shambled forward until it was so close it disappeared. Then the game’s opening video rolled:

Looking down the hill, Kevin could see the fog sitting over the ocean and sand straining at the confines of the concrete wall that separated the beach from the parking lot. There were a few cars in the parking lot, and a couple of people stood at the railing looking into the fog. Kevin could tell that they wouldn’t be able to see anything of the ocean, no matter how high the tide was.
One woman focused intently at the fog. She squinted, leaned forward, and that’s when the fog broke loose. It engulfed the parking lot and rolled over the highway. It rolled up the hill toward Kevin. That’s when the tsunami warning siren went off.
Kevin looked at his watch. It was 11am. This was no drill. A tsunami was on its way. Underneath the blare of the siren, Kevin heard something else, the grumble, rumble, groan of the approaching disaster. The smell of death and decay preceded the fog as it crept closer. Kevin turned and ran. It was only a block from the tsunami safe zone. He was sure he could make it.
He didn’t look back until he passed the huge blue sign that marked the border of the safe zone. The fog was close behind him. There was something else in that fog. Kevin looked closer. The siren blared in the background of his thoughts. He squinted. There were shadows in the fog, slow-moving shadows, hundreds of them.
“Hurry up!” Kevin shouted. “You’ve got to get here before the water does.” He tried to encourage the people in the fog to keep moving. Then his ears picked out the sound of the groans and his brain connected the smell of death. Those weren’t people. Kevin ran farther up the hill and into the outlet mall.
He found the archery shop open. There were two employees and one other person who had decided to wait out the tsunami here. Kevin told them what he had seen as the fog and stench rolled through the building and grew denser. The manager reached the door as a hand slammed against the outer windows of the store – a decaying hand. He locked the door as a zombie shambled into the glass. Then another and another and another. Soon, they were surrounded by the horde.
The manager strung bows, moved everyone to the most defensible place in the building, and put baskets of arrows in front of the three others. The zombie horde broke through…

The video turned to the credits roll and then sputtered out and shut off. I couldn’t figure out what had happened. I unplugged it the Zombie Apocalypse arcade cabinet and plugged it in again. Nothing. It was getting late, so I left it alone, cleaned the store, and went home. (If you want to face the zombies, check out the rules and then get to Lincoln City Archery.)

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Zombie Apocalypse Live Action Arcade Rules

Zombie Apocalypse Arcade Game Cabinet

Using a bow and arrow, players will attempt to fend off the zombie apocalypse at Lincoln City Archery. This game will function like an arcade game. Players can continue by adding to their monetary total, and players can reserve their space on the machine with a (virtual) quarter. Each point counts as a zombie kill, and combos (three head shots by a player in a single round) will be counted. At the end of the game, the player will know the amount of time played, and the number of zombies killed as well as the number of combos achieved. High scores will be posted at the range with the player’s chosen (appropriate) moniker.

How to Get Lives

A player has a number of lives equal to the amount of money paid for lane time. The game ends when either the player is out of lives or the lane time has expired. For example, a player, who pays $15 for 15 minutes of lane time, will get 15 lives, the game will end when the player has 0 lives or when the 15-minute timer runs out. (A player will be allowed to complete the arrows left in the cone and have a final three arrows if there is no one waiting to play.)

If a player runs out of lives before the timer runs out, the player will be allowed to shoot at the regular targets on the range. The timer begins at the time the player starts shooting whether or not the player starts shooting at the zombie. A player may extend playing time by paying for extra lives and by purchasing more range time providing there are no players waiting to play the game. (Placing a quarter on the machine.)

Zombie Placement and Movement

Players play in teams. Zombies outnumber the players by one. For example, a single player will face off against two zombies. Two players will face three zombies, three players will face four zombies, and four players will face five zombies. Zombies start at 14 yards and move closer each round unless they receive a head shot. One head shot keeps the zombie in place, two head shots moves the zombie back a space. Three head shots on a single zombie only moves the zombie back a space, but it still counts as a combo. If a zombie at 14 yards receives two head shots, it does not move back a space.

How Lives Are Lost

A zombie that reaches the kill zone will remove one life from every player. If two zombies enter the kill zone, players lose two lives. Players continue to lose lives every round that a zombie remains in the kill zone. A player that shoots a victim will lose a life.

How to Score

All zombie parts are given a point value. An arrow that falls inside the space receives that score. An arrow that breaks the line will also receive the score. If an arrow pierces two lines, the higher value will count toward the score. The judge’s ruling is final.

Zombie Apocalypse Targets

If a player would like to take a zombie target home, the player must pay $8. The target may be shot at on the range, or the player may keep it to the side rather than shoot at it. Zombie targets were created by the artist responsible for illustrations in “Junior Braves of the Apocalypse.