DayZ is the zombie apocalypse we all knew was coming. Yes, it’s a game. I read an article. My zombie fetish was tickled. I knew very little. This is what happened…
I appeared in darkness. I could see stars above, and the rest was pitch black. Night time in zombie land.
I’ve avoided reading much about the game, but the one article I did read made it clear that you started with a flashlight and very little else. Apparently they used to start you with a pistol, but those glory days are long gone.
I reviewed the controls, tried a few different possibilities, and tried to move things around in my inventory. But I was completely stumped. I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the flashlight.
Google’s usually my friend, but in this case it was surprisingly difficult to uncover the secret. Lots of people had the same question, but in most forums the response was simply, “You have to equip the flashlight first.” Great, but how do I do that?
I finally hit on the answer, which I’ll recount here for those that care. The flashlight begins on your utility belt. You have to right click the icon and select “remove from inventory” or some such thing. It’s the only choice there. That’s the super-intuitive way they built to get the flashlight from your utility belt to your pistol slot. For the record, I did try to simply drag it from one spot to the other. It didn’t work.
I any case, I now had a cone of light in front of me and darkness all around. It really, really seemed like suicide.
I took about three steps forward, then stopped and thought about it. Finally, I figured there was little chance of accomplishing anything, so I logged off and and started looking for a server that was in daytime.
Once again I appeared on the shoreline, this time with the familiar overcast skies. Not far off ahead of me I saw houses. A quick check to the left showed a large building on the shoreline, like a cannery or something. A quick check the right showed a few buildings further off.
I crouched and started making my way toward a large tree that was between me and the cannery. I stop just behind the tree and looked around, only to see a crouched figure shuffling around up ahead. Zombie.
I went prone and started making my way toward the houses instead. Before I reached the houses I came across a railroad track that was on a slightly raised bed. I crawled up the side of it and looked around. Zombies on my left and right, crossing the tracks as I watched. I was boxed in.
I shuffled backward and slowly crawled back toward the tree. The zombies didn’t come any closer, and eventually I moved far enough that they were no longer flanking me. So, I was basically left with one direction – to the right.
I paralleled the train tracks for a while, crawling all the way, then saw a zombie up ahead. I stopped to think, and finally decided that I’d have to thread the needle. I started veering toward the tracks, and eventually got across them without any zombies noticing. I kept moving, and started making a beeline for a couple of nearby houses.
The closest house had a dilapidated truck sitting in front of it, just like the truck I had seen on Day 1. I veered around it, sure that it would be empty, and approached the house. All was well, but as I came up to the door I couldn’t find any way to open it. Instead, I circled around the house.
In the back was a little shed. As I approached the door, an icon appeared at the bottom of the screen and I clicked the action button (middle mouse button). Huzzah! The door opened, and I found myself crawling forward into… the outhouse. Uh… huzzah…?
I turned around and moved toward a well that was sitting between the two houses. I got up into a crouch so I could see the top of the well and try opening it. No luck, so I went prone again and moved on.
As I came around the corner of the second house, I saw a beautiful sight. There it was, a wood cutting block with an axe firmly embedded in it. I pushed down my excitement and took some time to look around. All was clear, so I crawled over to the axe.
Nothing. No icon, and no apparent way to get it. I got up into a crouch, thinking maybe I needed to be level with it. Nope, nothing. I think I even tried standing, but nothing worked. The axe, it appeared, was simply there for ambience.
As I crawled toward the next corner, I heard a moan. Next thing I know, a figure appeared from around the corner, wandered over, and started beating on me. I got up and ran.
And boy did I run. I led the zombie on a merry chase through a small group of houses, over a hill, and through some woods. I think I had as many as 10 zombies trailing me at any given point, but it was clear that there was simply no escape. So finally, I just stopped running.
They made short work of me, and Day 2 ended just like Day 1. But I had learned a few things.