Nights and Days of the Living Dead

Monday 17 April 2017

If you have watched Night of The Living Dead by George A. Romero, you definitely remember the sequence where the characters are forced to lock themselves inside the farmhouse to fend off the approaching zombies. Since the movie's release, this scene has always been an iconic point of reference for almost every zombie-themed story that followed, because it's not a zombie-themed story until your characters get trapped in a place with no way out, while hordes of enemies are advnacing from all directions, with not exactly friendly intentions.

The claustrophobic atmosphere, reinforced by the sense of constant and progressive threat that is getting closer and closer, is the strongest element of these sequences, while the feeling of being cornered without knowing if and when they will be able to escape, is what mainly determines the actions of the characters involved.

The Cabin In Resident Evil 4  

The enemies in Resident Evil 4 are not zombies, but mutated humans who have been infected with the Plagas and have become Lord Saddler's puppets. Although there are several situations in the game where you have to make it safe through attacks from all sides, it's in the cabin just outside Pueblo village, where you meet Luis Sera for the second time, that the Night of the Living Dead feel is actually revived. Leon escapes from the village with Ashely and as they are crossing a wooden bridge, they see a solitary cabin nearby. Hunnigan calls Leon to inform him that the chopper that was going to get them was shot down, therefore forcing them to just keep going until another one is sent instead.

Leon and Ashley spot the cabin from a distance

As they reach the other end of the bridge, they are alerted by loud voices; it's a mob of angry villagers that apparently were following them and managed to catch up with them at that point. It seems that they have no other choice than to run and hide in that solitary cabin.

The villagers appear out of nowhere at the far end of the bridge

Upon getting inside, they are greeted by Luis Sera who, despite the tension of the situation, still has the nerve to pick on Ashley. The villagers are closing in, however, so Leon sends her upstairs to hide, while he gets ready to fight against the approaching enemies with Luis.

Leon and Luis are clearly getting prepared for the battle

This fight can get a bit too tough, mostly when you are in a New Game playthrough on Professional difficulty, as at that point you have very few weapons in your inventory and they are not upgraded enough to make them super-powerful and your max health is still very limited. Moreover, although you can block the windows of the cabin with the cupboards that are in the room, you will simply delay the intruders, as in due time they will smash through all sorts of barriers anyway (except for the door which seems to be made of iron or something) and jump in the room.

The exit door is securely shut, but the villagers use the windows instead

Thankfully, Ashley is safely hidden in a closet upstairs and Luis is there to help Leon out with his notable aiming skills as well as his stash of infinite ammo which he not only uses to shoot and kill the angry villagers, but also generously offers to Leon.

Soon the villagers get inside the cabin with extremely hostile intentions

As soon as the villagers gain access to the interior of the cabin, the party starts. It's safe to have Leon stand at a corner or on top of the staircase and let Luis do most of the hard work. Several villagers will turn to plaga parasites when they are shot in the head, and if this happens, you may be forced to use one of your valuable flash grenades against them, to save ammo from your shotgun.

You can use a flash grenade to stun the villagers, but not all of them will be affected

Sooner or later, the attackers will notice the existence of the upstairs windows and they will start bringing ladders to attack from there as well. This happens usually after a set amount of enemies are defeated. At that point, Leon and Luis have to run to the upper floor and try to defend the place as much as they can. This is particularly tough, because the villagers will be arriving not only from the windows but also from the lower floor via the staircase.

The upper floor has a lot more entry points than the lower one

Once on the upper floor, you have to hold out for a few minutes, fighting against the villagers in any way that you can. It's convenient to keep running around, knocking off the ladders from the windows so as to prevent more villagers from climbing up, thus gaining time, and try to shoot the enemies if they get too threatening.

The enemies will be using ladders to get in from the upper floor windows
Soon enough, the villagers will back away, at which point Luis will walk off in a hurry without giving any explanation, leaving Leon and Ashley to move on with their journey.

The Public Assembly in Resident Evil 5

This sequence takes place in plain daylight and most of its action occurs in a big exterior marketplace, however it has its fair share of creepiness and claustrophobic feel, as the whole area has its exit gate locked, and there's no other way out. Just like in Resident Evil 4, the enemies are not zombies; they are mutated humans who actually share a lot of common elements with the Spanish villagers.

Soon after Chris and Sheva meet and get their equipment from an associate, they attempt to leave the village but not after they get chased by a horde of infected residents. While moving on, they arrive at a shack leading to a small yard with a padlocked exit.

The shack is on lower ground, which means that you can't go back once you jump down to get in

From the safety of the shack, they watch as a large group of infected villagers listen to an agitator yelling incomprehensible ravings and subsequently witness the brutal public execution of the associate that sold them their equipment minutes ago.

Chris and Sheva watch in horror as Reynard is being decapitated in front of their eyes

It's not long before the agitator spots them hiding behind one of the windows of the shack, and orders the angry mob to attack them and kill them. Chris and Sheva must then stay in place and try to defend themselves with any means that they can, while waiting for another member of the team, Kirk, to arrive with help.

The infected villagers rush to the shack to kill the intruders

The shack resembles a lot the cabin from Resident Evil 4; it even has similar cupboards with which you can block the entry points (door and windows) to gain time as you prepare for the battle. They' re not much use though, because the villagers are able to get in from the open back door as well.

You should change your waiting spots very often, otherwise you will be overwhelmed by enemies

Instead of just waiting inside the shack for the enemies to arrive, it may be better to jump out to the narrow yard just before the padlocked gate. The villagers will be arriving from above the gate, from behind the walls, even from inside the shack. If you manage to stay at the corners, you are more likely to stay alive, as you can easily spot the approaching enemies.

Try to keep your partner close, so as to lessen the danger of her/him being killed

Beyond the gate is the open marketplace, which is secured by another gate at the other end. On top of the high platform where the execution just took place, the agitator is still there, yelling through his loudspeaker. It's not a bad idea to try and shoot him dead early on, not only to stop his annoying shouting, but more importantly because if he stops yelling, while the villagers may not calm down, at least they won't get angrier.

Chris puts an end to the agitator's shouts once and for all

At some point, more villagers will start jumping down from a hole in the ceiling of the shack, while at almost the same time the guy who decapitated Reynard, the horrifying and gigantic Executioner, will appear, walking towards the padlocked gate. Surprisingly enough, this is a good thing, as long as you keep your distance from him. He will use his huge axe to break the gate down, allowing Chris and Sheva to exit out to the open area.

There are several high spots around the place on where you can climb and shoot enemies from there. You can go up the execution platform (luckily neither the headless corpse of Reynard nor his head will be there), but the Executioner is also able to reach you from the staircase at the back, so you can't stay safe for long.

When the executioner decides to attack you with his axe, he will most likely hit you

Another relatively safe place is the top of a burnt bus, but again you can't stay there for long as the villagers will start arriving from everywhere around, even from sides that have no ladders to climb.

The villagers are unstoppable and will attack Chris and Sheva no matter where they go

The safest spot in the marketplace is the high roof closer to the shack. Although enemies will still be climbing up and getting to Chris and Sheva, they have only two entry points in their disposition, and those entry points can be easily watched without much hassle. Moreover, the Executioner is unable to climb up there, which leaves you with the option to forget about him and not bother fighting him; instead you can simply wait up there, killing any approaching villager, until Kirk appears.

The safe roof high up provides a great observation spot from where you can watch all movements 

After what seems a really long time, Kirk finally arrives with his chopper and he breaks the exit gate down wth his rocket launcher, allowing Chris and Sheva to pass through and get on with their mission.

The Gun Shop in Resident Evil 6

A reminiscent of Resident Evil 2, the whole Chapter 1 of Leon's campaign from Resident Evil 6 pays tribute to the classic game, with its Gun Shop section nodding to Kendo's gun shop and what happened there. The enemies here are the good old zombies, making this sequence one of the most closely related to the Night of the Living Dead one.

While in the town of Tall Oaks, Leon and Helena come across a group of survivors at a gas station and offer them a bit of help before they are all forced to back off and seek refuge at a gun shop which is close by. The gun shop apparently belongs to a friend of the rookie police officer, who is one of the survivors of the gas station.

Leon, Helena and the survivors arrive at the gun shop from its back door

The gun shop is quite big, meaning you have lots of room to move; moreover, the survivors will all be armed, shooting and killing zombies as they can, although the higher the difficulty, the less help they will offer. This section is split in three main parts (four if you also count the conclusion, which however takes place in a bus).

In the first part, Leon and Helena get inside the gun shop with the other survivors, while the owner of the store has locked himself upstairs, refusing to allow anyone to get in the room where he is hiding. You have to hold out for quite a while, until he finally decides to offer refuge to the group.

The gun shop is almost entirely dark, strengthening the creepiness of the sequence

When the group gets in, the owner who is locked upstairs informs them that he is not willing to allow them to hide with him as long as there are zombies around. Pretty soon, a large number of zombies smell human flesh and start approaching the gun shop from all sides.

The zombies are getting closer to the gun shop

The store has several windows, offering a good deal of entry points to the approaching zombies. You can shoot quite a few of them while they are still on the street and before they manage to make it to the windows, but sooner or later the survivors will be outnumbered and eventually the zombies will be getting in the one after the other.

The zombies are too slow and stupid, but are still able to dodge your bullets

There is no safe spot in the gun shop, except maybe the stairs at the back; the advantage of that place is that no one will be able to attack from the back and you can be ready to shoot dead anything that approaches from the bottom of the staircase. However, since the action in this section depends heavily on your character, it's better to stay down with the rest of the survivors and simply try to avoid getting badly hurt.

Group work is very effective in this stage

At some point, there is a tense conflict between Peter and Nancy, two members of the survivors who also happen to be a couple. Peter's gun is empty and he wants to take Nancy's gun; of course she doesn't want to give it because she needs it to defend herself, Peter however manages to grab it and then jumps out of a window in rage, thinking that it is smarter to run out on the street than stay inside. After a few minutes, he shoots a zombie in the head and the zombie mutates into a Bloodshot, an extremely vicious zombie variation which immediately attacks him and kills him.

This is the first time in the game that you get to see a Bloodshot, which is an unforgettable experience. The Bloodshot, after having killed Peter, moves toward the gun shop and if you don't shoot it enough to kill it while it is still outside, it will jump in the store, attacking everyone in its own unique way.

The Bloodshot is more bloodthirsty than the common zombies, and much stronger too

Several dead zombies later, and after Leon reassures him that the coast is clear, the owner unlocks the upper floor room and the action is transferred there. That room leads to the roof, but to make sure everyone makes it up there safe, the shutters of the windows must be closed so as to prevent the zombies from following the group to the roof.

The survivors take a momentary rest before getting back to action

You have a few seconds to catch your breath, during which the gun shop owner informs the group that a friend of his will be arriving shortly to get them in a bus, before zombies will start appearing from the opposite apartments and balconies and will be getting in to the room from the windows. Several of these zombies are potential Bloodshots, so it's better to avoid shooting them in the head.

There are zombies on the upper balconies, that can be easily overlooked

When the shutters are closed, the owner unlocks the next room, which is a small hall of sorts. As soon as the survivors get inside, they are attacked by a very fat zombie, the Whopper. It is unclear how such a huge creature managed to get that high up and from where he actually entered, but the point is that you have to kill him so as to be able to continue. Sometimes, while the Whopper is still around, a few zombies will start entering from the windows of the new room, making your life even more difficult than it already is.

The Whopper is able to come speeding towards you and knock you down

After the Whopper is defeated, everyone runs up to the roof. While it's a relief to be out in the open again, technically you are still stranded as the exit door is still locked and zombies are approaching from the nearby roofs. Moreover the owner of the gun shop, who has the keys of the exit, is knocked off the terrace by a zombie; he manages to grab the railing but it takes a while until he manages to get back up again with the help of the survivors.

Although you are already outside, the claustrophobic atmosphere remains

Now you have to deal not only with the standard zombies, but with a Whopper and a Bloodshot as well. Given the limited space of the terrace, this becomes more or less a nightmare. You can run inside and down the staircase leading to the second floor room, but you will end up cornered sooner or later. Placing remote bombs to hurt or even kill groups of enemies, however, seems to be more effective.

You will need more than one remote bombs to kill a Whopper or a Bloodshot

You have to wait a few more minutes on the terrace before the bus arrives down on the street. All this time, zombies will be appearing from the roofs and the terraces around, to keep you occupied and add more spice to your life.

Zombies spawn endlessly from the nearby buildings as long as you remain on the terrace

When the bus arrives, the gun shop owner unlocks the exit and everyone gets down from the fire escape. They manage to get on the bus, but they cannot leave yet because another huge Whopper is blocking the way.

When you defeat the last Whopper, it's a matter of time before you are able to leave

Once the Whopper is killed, Leon urges the bus driver to get the vehicle going, which he does, leaving a zombie-infested hell behind, only to get in another.

The Cathedral Yard in Resident Evil 6

The bus that has taken Leon, Helena and a few other survivors from the Tall Oaks gunshop to transfer them to the Cathedral is attacked by an army of zombies just outside the town. As a result, the vehicle tumbles over a hill, crashes and catches fire, leaving Leon and Helena the sole survivors at the cemetery outside the church.

After a fast-paced sequence among the graves which involves dealing woth zombies, chasing a specific zombie dog so as to kill it and grab the key that it holds, then dashing along yet one more section with mausoleums, they finally arrive at the Cathedral.

The Cathedral looks both imposing and creepy in the darkness

Once Leon and Helena enter the yard of the Tall Oaks Cathedral, they cannot get back out and as if this wasn't enough, the civilians that are locked up inside the church won't let them in as they are afraid that the zombies will burst through as soon as the door opens. Leon and Helena have to hold out for several minutes, fighting against all sorts of undead creatures, until one of the survivors in the Cathedral first decides to help them out from an upper window and then to finally open the gate, allowing them to get inside.

So many zombies, so little time

The yard is quite vast, and since it has just one simple iron fence around it, the zombies are able to climb up from practically everywhere. There is a series of actions however which can decrease significantly the time you have to spend there.

Τhe game expects you to do certain things yourself before giving you the green light

Place a remote bomb when lots of zombies are nearby, then make it explode to to kill a large number of them. The enemies in Resident Evil 6 are smart enough to back away when they sense danger, but if you are fast and manage to outsmart them by running around so that they can't tell from where exactly you will attack, you should have no problem gathering them close to you in order to surprise them with a bomb.

If set correctly, the remote bomb will tear all nearby zombies to pieces

Assuming you defeated a good amount of them this way, the church bells will start ringing, summoning even more and wilder enemies; because apart from the standard zombies, now Leon and Helena will also have to deal with Shriekers and Bloodshots. The Shriekers are mostly harmless if you keep a distance from them (with the exception of their chilling yell, which can do you damage); what they mostly do is walk around while trying to spot a convenient place to stand and summon zombies with their shout.

Whenever a Shrieker appears outside the yard, he brings several Bloodshots along

The Bloodshots however are literally merciless murderers; they are extremely fast and vicious and can attack in several ways. While you can kill them with one specific counter-attack, this is not always easy to do and most of the times you will end up on the ground, while they are biting the hell out of you.

Dealing with all those Bloodshots in the yard can get particularly stressing

Kill the first Shrieker that appears, and the brave guy from inside the church will appear at the high window, supposedly helping with killing zombies from there. It would be a good idea to subsequently kill a bloodshot or two if you haven't already, to speed things up.

The brave guy offers to give you a hand but it's unclear whether he does manage to kill anything

Kill the second Shrieker that shows up soon after, and the brave guy will call you to get inside. This won't be an easy task though, as naturally a swarm of zombies (preferably Bloodshots) will be blocking your way, not to mention that your partner will be somewhere else at that point, allowing the enemies to attack you while you are waiting, and several times kill you, especially on higher difficulties where they are insanely strong and your health decreases dramatically with each hit.

The Bloodhsots are extremely resilient and won't give up that easily

Eventually your partner will join you (hopefully) and you will be able to get inside the Cathedral to seek some temporary safety.

The Wossek Inn in Revelations 2

This section is a bit different from the others, in that the characters do not remain locked in the whole time; however they still have to survive for a certain amount of time without being able to run away.

Claire and Moira, after escaping from the prison, move on to a fishing village, where they meet up with two of their kidnapped colleagues, Gabe and Pedro, at the Wossek Inn. Actually this is (or rather, used to be) a tavern, where the game's arch-villain, Alex Wesker, informs them all via the bracelets that she had attached round their wrists that she has injected them with a virus which responds to fear, and she is going now to test who is immune to it and who isn't.

Although you are in the inn from the start of the stage, it's not until much later that you are trapped in there

Just before they are able to escape with a chopper that Gabe found and was subsequently repaired by items found by Claire and Moira in the village, Alex sets off the siren that is attached to the inn's roof, summoning the enemies against the group. These enemies used to be humans, who had been injected with the same virus as the Terra Save members, and badly mutated due to torture and abuse. So although technically they are not zombies, they are pretty close to that.

While Gabe is left repairing the chopper, Claire, Moira and Pedro run back to the inn and lock themselves in as the enemies start approaching from all directions.

As you make your way back to the inn to stop the siren, you come across several enemies blocking the way

The Wossek Inn has many windows on its walls, which seem fragile but are not so easily broken. Claire, Moira and Pedro are able to kill many enemies before some of them are actually able to break the glass and the protective bars and jump in the room.

The infected villagers have a hideous appearance and attack in very violent ways

While trying to fend off the attackers, Claire and Moira also have to talk some sense into Pedro who, although helps out a bit by shooting at the enemies, is extremely scared and keeps crying, whimpering and babbling about his bad luck.

Pedro panics almost as soon as the ambush starts, unlike the girls who remain relatively calm

After some time, the enemies stop arriving, only to appear again sooner or later. This time, they don't just bang the windows from the outside, they jump into the room without the slightest hesitation. All this time, the exit gate is locked and you cannot open it even if you try.

Pedro becomes even more panicked, and runs behind the counter to hide, while Claire and Moira are struggling to defend themselves against the attackers.

Pedro is unable to control himself and his fear

Minutes later, his fear becomes so strong, that the virus he carries gets activated and mutates him tunrning him into a vicious monster with killer instinct. It's no good that, a bit earlier, he found a drill which he unfortunately had on him when he mutated, and which instantly became his lethal weapon.

Mutated Pedro uses the drill to attack Claire and Moira

Dealing with Pedro is quite nasty on its own, as he is very strong and won't go down that easily. As if this wasn't enough to bug you, in a few minutes the door will burst open and more enemies will join the party, taking the whole sequence to a new level of frustration. At this point, since the door is now open, you have the option to run out and hide in the village, but more enemies will be spawning from everywhere, so it might be better to remain inside the inn and try to kill Pedro there.

Alternatively, you can just avoid him and not bother with him, in which case it's a good idea to run and hide in the village, moving from one place to another so as to not become dead meat by his drill.

The mutated villagers join their new friend Pedro in his killing party

If you have powerful weapons and enough ammo in your inventory, you may want to kill Pedro anyway, however, since this way you will make Barry's life easier later. Killing Pedro doesn't necessarily guarantee that your troubles are over, though, as more enemies are still likely to show up from the village.

If you kill Pedro quickly, you will need to wait a bit more until you are able to escape

At some point, Neil (Claire and Moira's boss at Terra Save who had also been kidnapped) arrives from above the inn and lowers a ladder, giving you access to the roof. The girls have to run and join him quickly, before the enemies catch up.

Neil doesn't jump down to help the girls against the enemies; they have to run and climb up to meet him instead

Once they are safe up on the roof, the three of them follow a narrow path which leads to the locked exit. Neil jumps over the gate to open it from the other side, while Claire and Moira are waiting at the end of the path.

You may need to shoot a few random enemies while waiting for Neil to open the exit

After Neil opens the gate, the escape is definitive, and the three of them move on to the deserted town of the island.

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