Our Zombies Are Different
"Is there an agreed definition of what is a zombie and how they get that way? Not that I know of. I think zombies are defined by behavior and can be 'explained' by many handy shortcuts: the supernatural, radiation, a virus, space visitors, secret weapons, a Harvard education and so on."
The word "zombie" originated in the Voudon beliefs of the Caribbean, referring to a body "revived" and enslaved by a sorcerer. (Some of the oldest aspects of zombie appearance are actually symptoms of tetrodotoxin poisoning, a neurotoxin used in certain voudon rituals.) In this form, it has been known in America since the late 19th century. However, it wasn't until the 1960s that George Romero's Night of the Living Dead attached the word to the living dead who eat the flesh of the living. (Note, however, that the flesh-eaters in that movie are never referred to as "zombies," and Romero himself didn't consider them zombies, preferring "ghouls.")
As Night was accidentally entered into the public domain due to an error in the end credits, it quickly became the object of imitation and emulation by many other directors. Most zombie invasion stories, even those not explicitly based on Romero's films, follow the same conventions, though there are major points of contention. While Romero is responsible for most of the "general" zombie conventions, the more specific and visible zombie tropes are more often inspired by the later works of John Russo, Night's co-writer. Most zombie movies mix-and-match conventions from the Romero and Russo canons. The Russo canon in particular is the reason most people will respond with "Braaaiinnnns" when Zombies come up in conversation, and most depictions along those lines are references to it.
The most common zombie archetypes are as follows:
- Type V: Voodoo. The original zombie. Reanimated by Black Magic or merely a living person Brainwashed via drugs for More Than Mind Control. May either do their creator's bidding or go insane and turn into Type F. This is a common type encountered in video games and RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons; being creatures of dark magic or unholy powers, these fall under the Revive Kills Zombie rule.
- Type C: Construct. Similar to Frankenstein's Monster, this is the zombie you get when attempting to reanimate somebody/bodies from the dead—With Science, For Science!! -- causing them to Come Back Wrong. If they go berserk (which they probably will—zombies will be zombies), the good news is that they have an almost zero chance of spreading Zombification and creating a Zombie Apocalypse.
- Type F: Flesh-eating. Your typical B-Movie zombie, it eats the skin, brains, or various other organs from the living, typically turning them into zombies—which makes them a lot like a ghoul, really. Can also be merged with Type V or P.
- Type P: Plague-bearing. Created by a virus or occasionally machine or somesuch. These are the zombies that are guaranteed to turn others into zombies due to their highly communicable virus or nanobots or whatever. Almost always merged with Type F.
- Type PS: Parasite. A subtype of Type P, these zombies are created specifically via exposure to a form of parasitic lifeform, be it the only stage or part of a series of mutations. Good for video games, as the advanced mutations allow for advanced enemies and bosses to still be zombies.
- Type R: Revenant. An older variety, originating in European folklore, less prone to rotting and falling apart, which normally retains intelligence, and memories of its previous life. They are driven by a single burning purpose, most often vengeance or true love, driven by a desire so strong it can overcome even death. While conceptually very old, and the prototype from which many other undead derive, this trope has fallen out of favor for more modern breeds of zombie, and for the bloodsucking vampire. Often Living on Borrowed Time.
- Type M: Mishmash. A combination of different traits.
- Type O: Other. Or, 'Our Zombies Are Really Different.' Not infected, not magical, sometimes not even undead, these guys are somehow still similar enough to be called zombies. (In some cases, office workers)
Skin color of zombies can also vary widely, ranging from normal color to greens, blues, grays and even other colors. Their gait can also vary, from limping, sliding their feet on the ground or have the "arms forward" stance.
See also Everything's Deader with Zombies, Zombie Apocalypse, Not a Zombie. Not Using the Z Word happens when creatures that otherwise fit the profile perfectly are not called zombies; Technically Living Zombie is what happens when they fit the profile perfectly except for not being dead. Elite Zombie is this trope combined with Elite Mook. Most zombies are Night of the Living Mooks, and Slave Mooks.
- 1 Type V: Voodoo
- 2 Type C: Construct
- 3 Type F: Flesh-eating
- 4 Type P: Plague-bearing
- 5 Type PS: Parasite
- 6 Type M: Mishmash
- 7 Type R: Revenant
- 8 Type O: Other
- The zombies of One Piece's Thriller Bark Story Arc are a combination of types V and C. They're reanimated by villain Gecko Moria's Living Shadow-based Kage-Kage Devil Fruit. Through it, Moria can steal shadows off a living person and put them into dead bodies rebuilt by Doktor Hogback. The resulting zombies have the personality traits, fighting skills, etc. as whoever the shadow came from.
- Ghouls in the Hellsing universe tend most heavily towards type V, although F and P elements are present. They are created when a natural vampire completely drains the blood of a non-virgin human. The fact that freak-chipped vampires do not create vampires, even from children obviously too young to be anything but virgins, is one of the first clues that Hellsing is dealing with an enemy thought to be completely extinguished. It Gets Worse from there.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- Marvel Zombies, combined with Type F.
- Marvel Zuvembies, on the other hand, are straight voodoo-based Type V. Used because the Comics Code at the time prohibited "walking dead" monsters lacking a literary pedigree. The "zuvembie" name originated in a Robert E. Howard story. (In Howard's story, the zuvembie was actually a Type O (see below.))
- Solomon Grundy, from the DCU and the DCAU, was a mobster who was killed and thrown in a cursed swamp. The curse caused him to reanimate decades later as a soulless, grey monster. Fortunately he doesn't reek due to being a Golden Age GL foe and thus made largely of plant matter.
- The hordes of undead raised by the Zombie Priest from The Goon are fairly standard, although a few are capable of speech and performing complex tasks. The Zombie Priest himself isn't actually a zombie, but rather a demon in disguise. There's also Willie Nagel, a friendly and intelligent zombie.
- Most of the movies featuring zombies prior to Night of the Living Dead fall under this category. White Zombie, (1932), arguably the first zombie movie, has zombie mill workers caused by voodoo. The comedy King of the Zombies (1941), Val Lewton's dark horror film I Walked With a Zombie (1943) (which includes the zombie shown in the black-and-white photo on this page), the dreadful movie I Eat Your Skin (1964) and the Hammer Horror movie The Plague of the Zombies (1966) all feature this type prominently.
- One of the few interesting points in the ZZ-grade sci-fi classic The Crawling Eye was the invading aliens' ability to create Type V-ish spies/fifth columnists from the bodies of their victims (well, those they didn't decapitate outright, of course).
- Though his original means of resurrection are never specified, Officer Matthew Cordell, after being blown up in the second film, is brought back again via voodoo magic used by a wannabee witch doctor in Maniac Cop 3 Badge of Silence.
- The zombies shown in Wes Craven's The Serpent and the Rainbow are all Type V zombies. This movie is, in a sense, a Deconstruction, as it goes into some detail on how Type V zombies are created using a special powder.
- The title of the early Troma film Zombie Island Massacre refers to this type of zombie, although the film turns out to be a slasher and not a zombie movie.
- Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things is the result of someone playing with a black magic ritual.
- Psychomania has gained some notoriety as "zombies on motorcycles", but are really zombies only in retrospect. More accurately, they're willing participants in a ritual that grants eternal life. The ritual requires that they first die. On revival, they carry on as before; they are essentially their own creator.
- The MST3K-featured Zombie Nightmare revolves around a young man brought back from the dead by a voodoo priestess to get revenge on the teenagers who killed him in a hit-and-run.
- In the Pirates of the Caribbean film On Stranger Tides, Blackbeard is a proficient voodoo practitioner. One of his abilities is resurrecting the dead men he kills, being his own crewmen or his enemies, and turning them into servant zombie warriors on his ship.
- Big Tits Zombie feature zombies summoned by the Necronomicon. They are also of the running variety (as well as sword fighting variety).
- In Cast a Deadly Spell, zombies are used as cheap labor or as enforcers and bodyguards. Crime boss Harry Bordon in particular has an ever present Scary Black Man zombie bodyguard.
Lovecraft: [indicating the zombie] What happened to your regular legbreakers?
Tugwell: Zombies don't eat, don't complain...
Bordon: ...don't get ideas.
Literature[edit | hide]
- The Zombie Master in Piers Anthony's Xanth series creates zombies of Type V. Neither the zombies nor their creator are threatening. Xanth zombies are mostly benign, although when called on to fight they make fearsome opponents. They are not contagious, although they deteriorate, and many suffer from brain-damage as their grey matter decomposes. They result either from the occasional person with unfinished business or from a corpse reanimated by the Zombie Master. Or, in one rather depressing case, the Zombie Master himself after he suicides.
- Micah E. F. Martin's The Canticle gives us ghouls, which are distressingly fast, hungry, and hard to kill. Still not very smart, though.
- Jim Butcher's Dead Beat pretty much skewers the idea of the Hollywood horror movie zombie, with Harry Dresden himself asking why someone would go to the trouble of working intricate dark magics just to get something that shuffles like an arthritic grandmother and thinks of nothing but brains (not to mention that, say, a zombie dinosaur may well be a much better choice for the discerning wizard). The zombies of the Dresdenverse are pumped full of dark magic to the point that they're stronger and faster than the average human, as well as completely pliant to the will of the necromancer that raised them... provided they maintain the spell (by supplying a "heartbeat", usually via drumming), of course.
- In the Anita Blake series zombies have to be animated by someone with the power to do so. They are obedient to the person who raised them, and have a varied amount of memory and personality depending on time passed since death, power level of the animator, and quality of blood sacrifice that raised them. Eating flesh will prevent them from decaying as rapidly, but an ordinary competently raised zombie is unlikely to go on a rampage unless they are a murder victim or used to be an animator themselves. The eponymous character's day job (well, night job) is as a zombie reanimator.
- The haunts in P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath are a combination of multiple of these. They meet type V in that they are created by the malignant, evil/chaotic influence of Perimal Darkling. Unburned corpses of humans or animals left in areas where Darkling influence is bleeding into the normal world—the Haunted Lands—become haunts. It is, however, also type P in that an untreated haunt bite can turn a bitten human into a haunt. While haunts bite people, they don't seem to do it out of hunger; it's an attack. Haunts are normally stupid, shambling creatures, although they do retain some memory of their former lives, sometimes calling out to the still-living. One character who is bitten and turns into a haunt, though, remains themselves through force of will, and proves capable of continuing to be a productive member of society despite their status.
- Walking dead were sent by the Fore to attack the heroes/gamers in the South Seas Treasure game in Dream Park (by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes). Not voodoo, but same idea.
- Also a gloriously-gruesome inversion of the get-bitten-by-brain-hungry-zombie trope. See, some of the walking dead horde were portrayed as twitching and jerking. These are symptoms of kuru, a fatal disease which the cannibalistic Fore contracted by dining on infected human brain tissue. Yes, folks, they'd died, and become eligible for reanimation as zombies, because they'd been chowing down on the brains of dead people while they were still alive!
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, when the malevolent Others kill someone, it reanimates as a "wight," a freezing cold zombie with glowing blue eyes. They are resistant to normal weapons but highly susceptible to fire ( and obsidian, probably because it's igneous rock and therefore "created" by fire). Hacked-off limbs continue to move for many days afterwards, but will eventually crumble apart.
- Mike Carey's Felix Castor series has zombies as ghosts who return in (mostly) their own bodies: one of them, tech whiz kid, Conspiracy Theorist and Deadpan Snarker Nicky Heath, plays a crucial and recurring role, as does his voodoo physical therapist Imelda.
- The Inferi of Harry Potter.
- The Lifeless of Warbreaker are pretty much treated like robots that happen to be made from reanimated corpses instead of metal. Once created they are perfectly obedient (though most have passwords built into them so that only certain people can command them) and will follow any instruction to the letter, though like real-world computers this often needs to be very specific to avoid Literal Genie moments. They absolutely will not rampage or eat brains unless someone is stupid enough to tell them to. In the nation of Hallandren they are a widely accepted part of society, though in other parts of the world they are regarded as abominations.
- Pet Sematary.
- Possibly a Type "M", as the tie-in with Wendigo legend includes cannibalism.
- The T'lan Imass of Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson are several tribes of undead neandertals who underwent a ritual many thousands of years ago to make themselves undead so that they'd be able to carry out the full extermination of the Jaghut, their former masters, making them closer to the "Voodoo" sort of zombie than the others. In the present day, they've mostly lost their way, with many tibes having been wiped out completely and others simply losing their will to exist, turning them to dust.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Scarlet Citadel", Pelias resurrects a jailer who was killed by Conan so that the two can be let out of their prison. The move creeps Conan the fuck out.
- In Iron Dawn, chryseids are leathery-skinned, sentient zombie minions animated by Simi-Ascalon's corrupted Egyptian magic.
- In Brown Girl in the Ring the gang lord Rudy controls several zombies using a process taught to him by a Ioa. one of which is his own daughter, Mi-Jeanne
- The Boy Who Couldn't Die: Has a mix of "voodoo magic" mixed with toxins used in real life hoodoo practices, who apparently did not have all the ingredients.
- The zombie of the eponymous Kolchak the Night Stalker episode. It takes orders from its voodoo priestess mother, kills mainly by snapping the spine, moves rather fast, and is finally put down by having rock salt poured into its mouth when dormant followed by sewing the mouth shut.
- Smallville (infected with a Kryptonian virus).
- The X-Files/Millennium crossover episode had corpses brought back to life using necromancy. They would attack anyone in the vicinity who was not protected by a ring of blood or salt. They could be killed by a bullet to the head, but those injured by zombies didn't turn into zombies unless actually killed (whereupon the spirits used to animate the corpses would infect them).
- The Cape had a group of people turned into the rough equivalent of Type V through TTX poisoning - a rare (for the show) case of Shown Their Work.
- Supernatural had Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, where a girl killed in a car crash is brought back as a zombie by a guy who had a crush on her using an ancient spell. She's actually pretty normal, apart from being completely psychotic.
- Lost seemed to have a variation of this. The Man in Black : resurrected the recently-dead Sayid, who became his psychotic recruit. He also "claimed" Claire and most of Danielle's team, all of whom were strongly implied to have been killed (or at the very least, badly hurt) prior to turning evil. Sayid and Claire both fought out of this though, and remained alive.
- : Well, until a bomb went off soon after, in Sayid's case.
- Doonesbury's beloved sociopath, Uncle Duke, spent some time as a zombie after his Baby Doc med school scam got on the bad side of a deposed Haitian tyrant. His zombification appeared to be drug-induced; he'd been found dead and appeared some time later going by the name "Legume" with no memory of who he was, his name or whether he'd had hair, and an inability to resist the zombie serum. He was, however, non-violent and able to converse and even engage with other people.
- Common low-level monsters, Dungeons & Dragons zombies (and skeletons) are nearly always mindless Mooks animated by necromancy.
- Unless you've run into a juju zombie from early editions, which are smarter.
- Or one of the variant zombies from 4th Edition, which can have un-mooklike powers.
- Or your DM owns Van Richten's Guide To The Walking Dead, in which case all bets are off.
- In Exalted, Abyssals and Deathlords make frequent use of reanimated corpses, though they also often cross over into Type C via Necrotech, which is basically Magitek crossed with this. Midnight Caste Abyssals (dark clones of Zenith Caste Solars) even get the ability to raise a corpse as a zombie with a mere touch.
- In Scion, children of the Loa (both heroic and villainous) can create or recruit zombie servants.
- So can, in fact, all Scions with access to a birthright that grants the Death domain.
- GURPS: Warriors has an American marine who was betrayed and killed by his squad-mates while stationed in Haiti. Proximity to a voodoo priest caused his body to reanimate. Currently looking for revenge, he has a number of tricks up his sleeve, including burying himself over night to heal.
- In Unhallowed Metropolis, what reports have come back of the state of Central Africa have invariably come from people driven insane from what they witnessed there, but they tend to include references to unholy empires where zombie and human alike answer to witch doctors who demand living sacrifices to placate their dark gods. If there's any truth to these stories, it seems very likely that the zombies there are Type V, or something akin to it.
- This is a recurring power in the New World of Darkness, possessed by a variety of supernaturals.
- "Revived King Ha Des" from the Yugioh Card Game, a Zombie-type resurrected version of the Fiend-type Dark Ruler Ha Des.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Warcraft and World of Warcraft. Which also have aspects of type F (as they can feed on humanoids) and P (as they were created by a plague).
- The undead really fit into all these categories. The trolls have voodoo zombies, which seem to have free will. Abominations and Flesh Golems are constructs, ghouls eat flesh, and there's a plague going around... though its not infectious in the traditional manner. WMG seems to point to a fungal agent that has to be eaten, or straight necromancy (voodoo go!) which can have some strange results.
- There are also creatures literally named Revenants who are undead creatures bonded to elemental spirits.
- LeChuck from Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is resurrected using voodoo magic involving his still-living beard from when he was a ghost.
- City of Heroes had the Banished Pantheon, a voodoo cult whose lowest ranking minions are zombies. They even have Adamastor, a zombie as tall as a skyscraper.
- The zombies in Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island are cheap laborers. They are basically harmless, but tend to turn against each other.
- Eternal Darkness has corpses reanimated by the magic of the Ancients. Note that the player can also command zombies with the right spell.
- In Dragon Age, zombies and other undead are most commonly created by demons from the Fade inhabiting corpses, either naturally (in areas where the Veil that separates the material world from the Fade is weak) or through the actions of mages or other powerful forces. Most such undead are best suited as foot soldiers, being fast and strong and tough, though rarely a possessed corpse will become something far more powerful such as a Revenant or Arcane Horror.
- Dwarf Fortress, being a Sandbox Game aiming at creating randomly-generated fantasy world, features all kind of fantasy tropes possible, including zombies. Any animal can be zombified, and parts of zombies will continue moving and attacking unless pulverised by impacts.
- Skyrim has the Forsworn Briarhearts. Which are essentially very strong individuals brought back from the dead to fight once more. The Hargravens accomplish this by replacing the heart with a 'Briar Heart'.
- Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare initially appears to follow the classic Romero rules: all dead bodies are reanimated at the time of the curse, the zombie plague can be spread through biting, and only headshots kill. An addition not found in Romero films is that holy water kills them as well. However, returning the cursed Aztec mask causes all zombies who haven't been headshot to return to normal life and intelligence.
- Zombies in Monster Girl Quest are quite variable. Novice necromancers raise zombies that are slow and dumb, though they do retain some traces of their original minds. On the other hand, the zombies of skilled necromancers are fast and just as intelligent as they were in life, though they are less adept at magic.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- In Last Res0rt, if you shatter your soul but don't become a Djinn-si before you die, you become one of these. About the only thing it really seems to do is give you one Get-Out-Of-Death-Free card—you keep your brains, you keep your strength, and your free will.
- The "plods" of Unsounded are dead bodies, reanimated by magic to do manual labor.
- Order of the Stick, being based in Dungeons & Dragons, uses zombies raised by necromancy.
Web Original[edit | hide]
- Tales of Ubernorden features this type of zombies in The Killing Field that possess a few traits from Type R.
- Found in an episode of Angry Beavers, in which the eponymous beavers were almost kidnapped by a voodoo witch to be made into some type of elixir. The zombies from the horrible Show Within a Show B-movies the beavers watch will invariably be type F.
- The Simpsons.
- Stroker and Hoop has an episode featuring a New Hampshire teddy bear type corporation which uses Voodoo on the living to create zombies to work in their factories.
- In the manga version of Black Butler, the Pheonix Society attempts to cure all aliements, including death. The result isn't pretty.
- There is a potion in the series Sankarea that reanimates the deceased. It even works if you drink it and then die, though there's presumably a time limit. Those brought back have their original personalities and intelligence, but are stronger than normal and feel no pain. They also rot unless preserved, much to the title character's woe (imagine suffering rigor mortis and not realizing that's the case...).
- Brandon Heat of Gungrave is revived by science. He has his own personality and free will but must be maintained or he will literally fall apart.
- In "Fullmetal Alchemist" the various chimeras are basically this type of zombie as the pain incapacitates them yet separating them kills both. This is especially true when animals and humans are combined. The "Doll Soldiers" are also this, the result of ripping out people's souls and placing them in one-eyed artificial bodies. They also definitely fit the flesh-eating type.
- In Rosario + Vampire, Touhou Fuhai uses an unexplained method to revive his great-great-granddaughter Ling-Ling, who died in an accident. This being a relatively idealistic series, she completely retains her free will and sanity (though she's not without quirks). She can survive dismemberment as long as her pieces remain intact, which she not only uses for a combat advantage, but also as a party trick.
- Zombie Romanticism has these.
- Sid Barett from Soul Eater.
- The House by the Cemetery is a good example of when Mad Scientist is mixed with Frankenstein's Monster.
- Similarly, the creatures of Zombie Holocaust (1980) are created when a Mad Scientist transplants the brains of the living into the bodies of the dead. The movie itself is a mashup of zombie movie and cannibal movie.
- Zombies in Dead Heat are created using a chemical/electrical device that restores animation for about 12 hours, after which the zombie's tissues undergo rapid liquification. If reanimated immediately after death, the zombie will retain its sentience and personality; wait a bit before zapping a corpse, and brain decomposition makes it a compliant Mook with no individuality. Unless you're Joe Piscapo, whose persona re-asserts itself when spurred by bad in-jokes.
- The Re-Animator series, possibly the classic film appearance of this type, are created by a mad scientist's serum.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Zombies vs. Unicorns story Children of the Revolution has zombies most like this, though with a bit of P thrown in as they can infect others..
- In Blaylock's Homunculus, the eponymous creature can re-animate the dead, including animal carcasses or body parts, by will alone. So can Narbando, though his creations must be fed regular meals of blood pudding to stay animate. Blaylock's zombies are sluggish and mute, but not animalistic, being capable of menial labor in factories or (if undecayed) of begging and handing out flyers in the street.
- As noted above, zombies in The Dresden Files are reanimated by Black Magic, but more strongly fit the construct type than the voodoo type. The zombies are explicitly compared to The Terminator, being fast, tough, and super strong. Zombies also require the necromancer who has raised them to keep up a drumbeat to control them, as the magic involved in controlling them involves making the zombie think the orders being given to them are coming from inside of them, and the drumbeat is a stand-in for their heartbeat; as long as the zombie thinks its heart is beating, and the orders are tied to the heartbeat, the zombie thinks it wants to do what the necromancer wants it to do.
- And since it bears mentioning at least one more time: Polka Powered Zombie Tyrannosaurus Rex.
- H.P. Lovecraft's Herbert West-Reanimator series of short stories involves the titular scientist making several attempts to reanimate the dead. His first few tries all result in Type Fs (he blames brain damage) but eventually he makes one that is smart enough to make more walking corpses which it orders to tear Dr. West limb from limb (and they took his head when they ran off)
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, the Mad Doctor Qyburn is involved in so far un described experimentation on the dying Gregor Clegane and a bunch of other poor suckers he was given permission to make use of. The end result is one of these, an unstoppable creature that gets named Ser Robert Strong.
- The Creature in Frankenstein was pieced together from dead tissue by some (poorly-defined) means and given life.
- In The Clown Service by Guy Adams, the zombies are animated with the same process as the famous Golem of Prague.
- A man attempts this in the Fringe episode "Marionette". Using a serum he invented which dramatically slows decomposition, he preserves a girl's corpse, transplants her donated organs back into her body, and restarts her system with a jolt of electricity. However, he gives up when it becomes clear that though he's reanimated her body, her mind is still gone.
- Flesh golems, cadaver golems, and especially blasphemes in Dungeons & Dragons.
- Warhammer Fantasy Battle Vampire Counts have the Corpse Cart, which is literally a bunch of corpses assembled onto a ramshackle cart with a wraith-like driver. It attacks with it's many reanimated corpses reaching out and can also infect others with the zombie plague. The Tomb Kings also have two Skeleton Variants: a Bone Giant made up of bone and other materials, and the Giant Scorpion, which contains the still conscious, but mummified corpse of a Liche Priest.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Most RPGs that involve dungeon-crawling will have some sort of zombies as a monster, usually found in the creepy Dark Temple/haunted house/graveyard setting. They may induce status effects, but are treated like any other monster in this case.
- Well, not exactly like any other monster.
- Abominations from Warcraft and World of Warcraft differ from the rest of the plague in that they are pieced together from different corpses, much like Frankenstein's Monster himself.
- The zombies from the House of the Dead series of video games are creations assembled/reanimated by sinister baddies, usually in massive numbers. Standard grunts are just reanimated corpses, while the bosses are creatures that have been genetically altered to get a brand new lifeform. One of the few modern examples where the zombies don't spread their undead status to the living; the HOTD zombies just plain murder people.
- However, the recent House of the Dead: Overkill does feature Type P zombies (or 'mutants' as G insists on calling them) that follow your standard "Bite - Infect - Multiply" pattern, which turns the entire region of Bayou City into a realm of living dead.
- The primary exceptions being the two main characters of House of the Dead EX, but that game isn't really connected to the main series.
- The Sims 2: University, as a result of a cheap resurrection. The good news is, teen zombies get an Undead Scholarship for university.
- The first The Sims also had zombies included in the first expansion pack. When a sim died and you pleaded with the Grim Reaper, you had a 25% chance of keeping that sim, only as a zombie with no personality points, and a green tint to their skin and clothing.
- The fifth expansion pack, "Unleashed," included an NPC who could "revivify" zombie sims, for a fee of course. Their personalities never returned, however.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has a variety of zombie monsters (including a headless [sub]version), along with necromancers and vampires who share their quarters with corpses, both animated and not. Spells can also be purchased that allow the player to summon a zombie, and the Mages Guild focuses on the extermination of necromancy, culminating in the acquisition of a staff that reanimates the bodies of the recently deceased.
- The Shivering Isles expansion pack introduces new enemies, which includes "flesh atronachs" of varying degrees, and skinned hounds. A "summon flesh atronach" spell can be obtained, and a skinned hound is the reward for one of the random quests. Furthermore, the player can spend quite a lot of time fighting the living impaired (including corpses that only reanimate when approached), and can even assist a charming woman in the parts selection (and subsequent rebuilding ritual) of a very large opponent.
- The zombies also carry disease which the player can catch if they fight the zombie. But none of the disease will turn the user into a zombie, they're just normal diseases, since, you know, a rotting corpse isn't exactly the most hygeneic thing in the world to be around.
- City of Heroes had the Vahzilok, a group of Mad Doctors that kidnap people off the streets and turn them into mindless, stitched up zombies.
- Mass Effect has its Husks, bodies of organics put on sinister skewer machines known as Dragons' Teeth, sometimes while they're still alive, and slowly transformed into electricity-spewing technological nightmares.
- In Lake Yantar and Red Forest in STALKER you will often come upon Stalkers who had their brains fried by the Brain Scorchers and aimlessly stumble through the wilderness mumbling incomprehensible things to themselves and attacking anyone who gets to close.
- Another example would be Snorks, who have degenerated into a primitive and feral state from unknown causes and are very similar to fast zombies, except that they crawl instead of running upright.
- Sion, a champion in League of Legends, was a berzerker from the nation of Noxus who was captured and beheaded by their enemy Dramacia. His corpse was stole and reanimated as an undead golem, enhancing his already fearsome strength with various magical abilities.
- In Serious Sam, the dead Sirian soldiers are beheaded, resurrected and made to lightweight soldiers with rudimentray intelligence. Then they're given weapons and either get to carry their own head or assigned as suicide bombers of the head was ruined.
- Vincent Valentine of Final Fantasy VII was killed and revived by science. Effectively a zombie with the power of shapeshifting, he nevertheless retains his personality and will of his own, giving him shades of Type R.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- All of the zombies in the Narbonic Verse, most notably Unity.
- In Girl Genius it is implied that Jägermonsters can become this if injured often enough. They must wait for a Heterodyne to repair them, carrying severed limbs, and bandaging injuries in the mean time. Also it is implied that this can happen to humans if a skilled enough spark does the reanimation, especially the skilled Dr. Sun Jen-djieh; it can also happen to various parts of the body when the whole thing is not needed/wanted/convenient.
Web Original[edit | hide]
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- The Middleman has perhaps a unique example of the Flesh Eating variety, selecting a very unusual type of flesh to eat. Nowhere else will the zombies cry not "Braiiiiins", but instead "troooooout".
- In The Goon zombies are usually flesh eating and may be created by either mad science or voodoo depending on the story. They also may or may not be sentient. Also may or may not be evil. In fact zombies are really inconsistent in the series.
- The "Living Dead" series, including Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, and Land of the Dead. Though never called "zombies" before Land (Romero originally referred to them as "ghouls"), the living dead in this series became the starting point for Hollywood zombies. They walk and move slowly, have very rudimentary instincts, and are driven most by the instinct to feed. They can only be stopped by destroying their brains. Over the series, their attributes are gradually expanded upon. In Dawn of the Dead it's discovered that they are drawn to places they knew in life, such as malls. In Day of the Dead it's discovered that zombies can be trained to use tools and can be coaxed to remember aspects of their past life. Land of the Dead takes it all much further, showing that the dead can communicate with each other, empathize with each other, cooperate, and solve problems, suggesting that they are replacing humanity. Anyone who dies in the living dead world will become reanimated, which is the overriding reason the planet is overrun so quickly. Zombie bites are fatal, thus causing victims to reanimate after they die.
- Shaun of the Dead zombies are generally of the Romero type. The interesting thing is that, while animal-like and mindless, they retain some mannerisms and shards of personality they had in life - a zombified kid keeps playing with his ball, zombified menial workers can still do their job, and Shaun's zombified stepdad turns off the radio with the blaring modern music he hated in life. And zombie Ed still plays video games.
- The Return of the Living Dead series riffs off the Romero series, but changes the zombies to make them much more dangerous. Decapitating the zombies will not stop them, and this change is lampshaded by one character, who cries, "You mean the movie lied?" Zombies maintain a roughly human-level intelligence, and can run and speak provided they still have the right parts, enabling them to taunt and bully their victims, as well as lure them to their doom by impersonating normal humans. They are driven to feed on human brains because it temporarily eases the pain of being dead. A gas called Trioxin is the source of the plague.
- In the movie Demons, the eponymous creatures are basically type F and P zombies, with a bit of demon in them.
- Cemetery Man: Type F, for the most part. Would also be Type P, except the dead in the town are coming back regardless of how they die.
- The zombies in Umberto Lenzi's Nightmare City (a.k.a. City of the Walking Dead) (1980) are variations of the Type F, except they drink blood instead of eating flesh. The specific origins of the plague are a result of radiation exposure.
- The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue/Let Sleeping Corpses Lie features undead who are reanimated when vibrations from farm machinery revive their nervous systems.
Literature[edit | hide]
- The Max Brooks books The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z attributes the zombie outbreaks to the fictional virus "Solanum", described as being highly contagious and 100% fatal. Victims attempt to attack and consume living prey, even though this is not required as the virus warps the brain into a new organ that does not require food, water or even air to survive. Zombies can only be killed by destroying the brain - decapitation merely results in a head that can still bite and feed, and freezing them solid only works until they thaw out again.
- Featured in Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice And Zombies.
- Animates in Unhallowed Metropolis fall under this. They have elements of type P, as their bite is usually fatal and death from a bite is guaranteed to result in reanimation... but any corpse has a chance to reanimate, with the odds varying according to the surrounding environment.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Final Fantasy XI has the Qutrub, which are actually people who have fallen to the Lamia who willingly turn themselves into zombies, and they eat flesh to stay in one piece. They are noted for being extra-weak to all damage, yet also have far more HP than most other enemies.
- Dead Rising: Aspects of F and PS. Mass-producing cattle created a wasp that turns people into zombies. The wasps in question are actually quite huge, compared to normal wasps. Trying to find out how they got so huge, the wasps themselves escaped and found a better source of food: humans.
- The Freeware Game Survivor: the Living Dead has plague-bearing flesh-eaters. In large numbers, and from the 2D view normally associated with platformers. Here's a review so you can see for yourself.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- TOGM: The Other Grey Meat is a webcomic that shows a zombie civilization that devoured brains to stave off a hunger. They are able to live on TOGM, a brain substitute that mimics the qualities of human brains.
- In Sluggy Freelance zombies are people who did a magic ritual to gain immortality; as a side effect, their flesh starts decaying, and they need to eat human flesh in order to replace the tissue they've lost. They can actually be fairly intelligent, but only as long as their brains haven't decayed too much. If they want to keep from devolving into mindlessness, they have to eat, you guessed it, braaaaaiiiiiiins!
- There's also the Deadels, the undead minions of the demon K'Z'K. Why "Deadels", you ask? If you're a world-ravaging demon, you can call your minions whatever the hell you want.
- Zombie Ranch features zombies that are pretty indiscriminate about the flesh they devour. Their appetites are a major reason conventional livestock went mostly extinct during the first years of the Plague.
Web Original[edit | hide]
Advertising[edit | hide]
- A recent Toshiba commercial has a zombie plague started by a carton of milk that was spoiled as a result of power outage caused by a power-station worker dropping a non-impact-proof laptop.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- Crossed. The zombies get a cross-shaped cluster of boils on their faces, but otherwise, look like normal people. They are sociopathic, sadomasochistic, and violent in the extreme.
- Twenty Eight Days Later.
- REC and its US Remake Quarantine appear to be this but may be Type PS due to implicit Demonic Possession.
- In David Cronenberg's Rabid, possibly the first "fast zombie" movie, the disease is initially spread sexually.
- In I Drink Your Blood, rabid hippies terrorize the countryside.
- Virus/Hell of the Living Dead, in which a zombification virus escapes from a facility...which was engineered by the First World nations so Third World people would get infected and eat each other.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Zombies vs. Unicorns stories Inoculata and Bouganvillea and Prom Night all deal with the aftermaths of a zombie plague (all are also Type F)
- The book The Forest of Hands and Teeth is like this, with a little of Type F in there. The zombies (called Unconsecrated) eat people, and once you are infected, you only have a few hours or maybe even minutes before you turn into an Unconsecrated. They can only be truly killed if you cut their head off.
- The web-novel Domina's "screamers" are...complicated. They seem to be mindless, and any of their body fluids will turn others into screamers, but only while the screamer is alive. On that note, they are not undead, and are quite fast and athletic. They also scream constantly (hence the name). Oh, and they also have superpowers.
- The zombies of the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant, the result of an airborne virus cure for the common cold meeting a phage meant to cure cancer, which worked btw, noone on Earth has either any more. Unfortunately now everyone also has the virus in them. They have a form of collective intelligence, the more there are in a group, the smarter the individuals become. A group of twenty or more is smart enough to exploit terrain and set traps and ambushes while one by itself is easy to deal with, especially the older it is. Oddly enough they're not flesh eating because they're compelled to spread the active virus and killing you won't do that.
- The zombie episode of Community. The zombies are caused by the biohazard material that Dean Pelton bought from an army surplus store, thinking it was taco meat, and served at the Halloween party. The virus is passed on through biting, and treating the main symptom, a ridiculously high fever, by cranking up the air conditioning reverses the zombification long enough for the Army to show up and cure everyone. And not only is this a comedy, it's Canon.
- The "Gas-mask Zombies" from the Doctor Who two-parter "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances" initially transmitted their plague by touch, until the nanogenes responsible for their condition grew airborne. Since the zombies had identical injuries(due to the nanogenes' faulty understanding of human biology) Doctor Constantine described their condition as "physical injuries as plague".
- Supernatural has the Croatoan virus, a demonic virus that turned humans into Twenty Eight Days Later type zombies, and was especially created by Pestilence to wipe out most of humanity as part of Lucifer's apocalypse.
- The Gotha parallels from GURPS Infinite Worlds are 19 alternate Earths that have been destroyed by the exact same zombie virus. These Gotha zombies retain some of their intelligence and are as willing to eat each other as well as normal humans.
- Warhammer 40,000, with elements of Type V; the zombies themselves aren't created by magic, but the virus itself is (they're the work of Nurgle, God of Decay).
- The "Plaguespreader Zombie" monster card in the Yugioh Card Game. Although its function isn't to spread a zombie virus, but rather "tune" with other monsters to summon powerful Synchro monsters, including zombies.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. The "zombies" in this series aren't actually dead (it's more akin to a strand of rabies) and don't actually eat the uninfected; they just want to rip their bodies to shreds and stomp on the remains.
- Getting shot anywhere on the body affects them pretty much as it would anything else living, though. If left on their own, they will just die from the virus, as seen from the zombies spending their free time holding their heads in pain and vomiting up their organs.
- Also combines elements of Type PS because it allows for the so-called "Special Infected," which in multiplayer are played by the other team.
- Super Energy Apocolypse features P type eyeball monsters that are apparently called "Zombies."
- Corprus walkers in The Elder Scrolls are humans (or elves) who are infected with the corprus disease, in incurable virus that increases the victims strength but destroys their mind. For extra Squick, corprus walkers do feed on each other (unlike zombies in other media) when they don't have any other food - their massively accelerated cell growth means they don't mind having bits chopped off as they only grow back stronger. In some cases they even defy physics, surviving by eating their own flesh.
- Elite Beat Agents features a mission where the titular agents must support a Duke Nukem ripoff in his quest to purge the world of purple, yellow-dotted, giggling zombies. Zombies that happen to spread their disease through kisses, and can be returned to normal by letting them ingest a very bad-tasting peanut. Yeah, that's Elite Beat Agents for you.
- Survivor: The Living Dead uses these and you are very much not immune. When you get bitten, you get infected. After that happens, all you can do to avoid turning before the timer runs out is stand still as much as possible and not get bitten again.
- Dwarf Fortress recently introduced husks, which are horrifying undead abominations covered in dust that transforms anything touched by it into another husk. Hands-down, these are the most horrifying monster in DF, even trumping The Legions of Hell for sheer terror; "Breach the Circus" is the traditional DF Godzilla Threshold plan and even that can't deal with a husk infestation.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- Last Blood plays along with this trope. The world has experienced Zombie Apocalypse and the majority of zombies are near mindless, hungry creatures, while the first zombie was a vampire who starved for too long. The first zombie has retained all of his intelligence, and has complete control over the zombies that descended from him.
- TOGM: The Other Grey Meat is a webcomic that has zombification via infection. Zombies become more intelligent based on the number of victims they have, as well as the victims of their victims (and so on).
- In Zombie Ranch the formerly human herds possess a bite that is infectious, incurable, and fatal. Their blood, on the other hand, is not only harmless but miraculously beneficial when processed correctly. It can even cure cancer.
- Infectonator: Zombies work by spreading a virus among people: Those who are infected become zombies and start spreading their plague around.
- Franken Fran, of course, has a stab at this in chapter 39. The Twist, which is either hilarious or horrifying, is that instead of zombies, the infected victims turn into rabid living amusement park mascots
- Franken Fran gets in on this again in chapter 47, with more traditional-style Romero zombies and a small parody of Dawn of the Dead. Notably, after being bitten by a zombie and examining the effects (by decapitating herself and remotely dissecting her own body, because that's how Fran rolls), Fran discovers that the victims are actually alive and entirely aware during their zombie condition but unable to control themselves, and that the zombie plague is easily reversible with the right treatment - but nobody knows this, and have used the zombie outbreak as an excuse to go on rampaging kill-sprees.
- The Nightshift in Dawn Tsumetai Te, which take over a host's body and slowly eat it from the inside out.
- The 'Zombie' plague Iruel unleashed on Tokyo-3 qualifies in Shinji and Warhammer40K.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- The creation of the Black Lantern Corps in the Blackest Night storyline sees wide swaths of DCU characters being transformed into zombies by Black Power Rings. They are nearly unkillable, vaporizing them proves to be only enough to stop them for a few seconds.
- Also, unlike most other kinds of zombies, these zombies are massive dicks who like to point out all the flaws and shortcomings of the people they are attacking while they are attacking them.
- The parasite ultimately turns out to be Nekron who uses the power they collect from victims to resurrect himself.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Infected in Infected are infected by alien spores, which embed themselves in the skin and dig their roots into the bone (and eventually, to the brain), causing massive mental shifts (such as insanity and uncontrollable rage).
- The Walkers in Joe Ledger's Patient Zero are humans that were infected with a combination of prions, parasites, and viruses that shuts down parts of the body while keeping other organs working.
- Taken in Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series are created by the Vord sending small creatures to kill and take over hosts. They're faster and stronger then they were when alive and the Alerans can use furycrafting.
- The Monster of the Week from the Doctor Who special "The Waters of Mars" is explicitly stated to be a water-borne parasite.
- The pilot episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures involved the Bane, aliens who turned humans into zombies with a parasitic life form that took the form of a sports drink. Better Than It Sounds.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- The various games in the Half Life series all have small creatures named Headcrabs that attach to people and turn them into "Headcrab Zombies". In this game, again, unless you immolate or seriously damage the body or kill the headcrab, the zombie keeps on going. If you hit the body wrong, you can kill the zombie but leave the headcrab alive, which has a long jump as well as a crawl. Or the zombie's body is cut in half, and the torso continues to crawl at you. There is also the Zombine, a Combine Overwatch Solider infected with a Headcrab, which is a fast armored zombie that has a grenade he can try to clobber you with, making him an unwitting suicide bomber.
- The Poison Headcrab Zombie, bloated and swollen with toxins and carrying four venomous headcrabs, as well as the Fast Headcrab Zombie, which climbs up drainpipes to reach you on rooftops, can jump across streets and entire buildings as it hunts you, and pounces with a pants-wetting scream. Oh, and all its skin and most of its organs and muscles are missing, most probably self-inflicted. * Twitch* . * Tremble* .
- The utterly terrifying sounds the Poison Zombies make when they breath... and, of course, that god-awful but thankfully hard-to-hear little chuckle they release just after being killed. That's right. They laugh quietly to themselves when you kill them.
- The most terrifying part: well, at least normal zombies seem to keep awareness of their condition. That's right, those rotting, mutated, living bodies still house human minds. Which beg for mercy.
- Resident Evil 4 has plague-bearing individuals with creepy crawlies in their heads who are certainly not zombies, despite having loads of zombie tendencies.
- Compounded in Resident Evil 5, with improved Las Plagas, making them even more aggressive, and with a boost in strength and speed, to boot.
- And later on, they know how to wield a gun.
- Compounded in Resident Evil 5, with improved Las Plagas, making them even more aggressive, and with a boost in strength and speed, to boot.
- Halo, while Not Using the Z Word, has the Flood, an alien parasite whose small squid-like 'infection forms' can turn dead or living bodies into highly-mutated zombies with Combat Tentacles. Once the infected are too damaged or decayed to fight, they begin to bloat and explode, releasing more parasites, which go on to infect other and so on and so forth. After the Flood infect enough bodies, they form a Hive Mind known as a Gravemind, as well as a variety of other creatures and environments that made of pure Flood biomass. They are highly adept, if somewhat suicidal, in their tactics and strategies, and perfectly capable of utilizing all sorts of advanced technology, from plasma rifles to teleportation grids. The most recent Gravemind incarnation even enjoys speaking in trochaic heptameter. The only organic sentient beings that seem truly immune to infection are those lacking sufficient calcium reserves and/or a central nervous system.
- The Flood were apparently created by an ancient species known simply as the Precursors in order to test humanity.
- Dead Space: Necromorphs. Shooting them in the head just annoys them. You have to shot off a limb or three.
- The infected crew members of System Shock 2.
- Dead Rising features a subversion: a group of mutated wasps lay their eggs in humans and deposit the zombification virus to ensure the host's immune system doesn't kill the egg, although the zombies themselves can still spread the virus through bites.
- The X-Parasites in Metroid Fusion are something like this, though they basically clone the creature they infect,
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- Girl Genius has Revenants of varying forms. Depending on the generation of wasp creation they could be mindless servants to the Other (this is the type everyone knows the warning signs of) or they could be completely normal after infection, apparently a "sleeper agent" subject to the Voice of the Other.
- The Thornback Clan in Goblins have been enslaved by a demonic plant called a Yellow Musk Creeper, which implants seedlings into the heads of living creatures; the seedling then compels the host to seek out other creatures, capture them and bring them back to the creeper's nest so it can continue to reproduce.
- YES, Real Life! Scary as it sounds, there are certain parasites and other critters that can take over another critter, making them effectively their own personal zombie. Of particular note is Leucochloridiom paradoxum, which completely turns a snail into its slave. It first fills the snail's body cavities so it can't retract its antennae/tentacles, then forces it to move out into the open where birds can find it. Since the infection also makes the antennae look like tasty catterpillars instead of nasty snail bits, this ensures the bird eats said antennae—and then gets infected itself. Though not mind controlled, of course.
- There are also fungi that make zombies. Cordyceps unilateralis is one that takes over ants and, after a short time, has them climb as high as they can so the fungus can geminate and spread its spores onto more ants. Now, transpose that onto people, in a major city.
- Another fungus nicknamed the "Insect Destroyer" does the same thing to flies.
- In fact, there are fungi like this for most insect species. It's a major part of rainforest ecology.
- There's also the nematode Gordius robustus which infects crickets as part of its lifecycle and mind controls them into jumping into water so the nematode can lay its eggs (drowning the cricket). It's of particular note because the worm is actually several times longer than the cricket.
- Too many parasites to list here cause dramatic behavioral shifts in their hosts that enable part of their lifecycle. Consider Rabies and Distemper: the only reason they aren't a zombie plague is that the infected animals don't die.
- Zmbie ladybirds, controlled by a parasitic wasp. Around 25% of victims can actually survive the experience.
- The jutsu Summoning: Impure World Resurrection from Naruto is complicated. To begin with, it forces the soul of a dead person who has passed to the "Pure World" (the afterlife) back into the "Impure World" (the mortal world) to obey their summoner, making it Type V. At the same time, the jutsu actually works by using a living human as a basis onto which the appearance, memories, personality, and abilities of the deceased are grafted, hence it also being Type C. The culmination of the jutsu implements a seal that overrides their free will completely and compels them to pursue a single goal relentlessly, leading to Type R.
- The eponymous fighters of Shikabane Hime. They can't pass away peacefully due to their lingering hatred toward something (usually the person who killed them), making them Type R; but it takes the Monks' esoteric magic (relatively-benign Type V) to prevent them from degenerating into standard zombies. They will degenerate into standard zombies regardless, it's an Awful Truth. Their enemies are are standard zombies.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- The zombified heroes from Marvel Zombies are a mix between types F and R (at least intellect-wise); it's not known if they have the P-type in themselves as well, because the fourth series revealed that the chain of events that led to their state was, in the first place, caused by a recursive loop in which the "original" remaining Marvel Zombies ended up in another universe (one that was parallel to Civil War in the lead up to World War Hulk) and infected their version of the Sentry - who, in turn, went on to spread the infection to their home universe.
- The main (titular) character in Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse is a mix of PS and R types. He is a psychic worm that hides in the skull of cadavers, animating them to his will. He doesn't particularly like eating brains (prefers a pint of lager instead) and generally finds himself cleaning up the magical issues of pretty much everyone. While he can switch between corpses, he has a preferred body which most people seem to recognize. It's also preferred because he is psychically linked, meaning he feels whatever the body is subjected to (although not pain, otherwise he would be comatose from shock). Note that the corpse is nothing but an empty vessel for Wormwood, which means the parasite IS the revenant. This is played with to good effect when Wormwood leaves his corpse in the first full story to find the Big Bad. If he hadn't, he would've been flung from the corpse and most likely squished.
- The zombies in the IDW Crossover comic Infestation: Outbreak consume flesh and infect the victims, looking like rotting corpses. They are also somehow able to infect machines (thanks to Magitek called Artillica) and other undead (which results in a vampire/zombie hybrid). All zombies are guided by a single intelligence known as the Undermind, whose eternal hunger is shared by all zombies. These zombies are then spread to other worlds, including G.I. Joe, Star Trek, Transformers, and Ghostbusters.
- The lushly illustrated Apocalyptic Log chronicle Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection features a mishmash of Type F and a variation/combination of Type P and Type O. They're Type F because they eat human flesh, but are Type O since they're the result of a toxic food additive which causes insanity and sepsis rather than a virus or plague (making the title "Year of Infection" somewhat inaccurate). Where they're Type P is the fact that the toxin can be transmitted through saliva via a bite. This also begs the question of whether or not they're actually undead or just insane, crazy rotting cannibals.
- The zombies in the ZMD (from the mind of Kevin Grevioux, the guy behind the Underworld movies) comics are a mix of F and P. However, they were specifically designed by the US government to be deployed in conflict areas instead of living troops. In order to contain the threat, a build-in fail-safe causes them to sublimate when exposed to the sun (which means they also get a vampire trait). They are exceptionally strong, able to literally tear body parts off their victims or punch through someone's ribcage. The problem appears when one of the prototypes goes missing following a deployment in the Middle East. Apparently, the zombie experiences Failsafe Failure and is able to walk in the sun. The scientist in charge of the project is very concerned, fearing the zombie virus could mutate into an airborne form. They send the protagonist, a veteran soldier named Drake to find and destroy the runaway zombie, who is terrorizing towns in the Middle East, creating an army of zombies. Additionally, it turns out that the zombie virus works on other species too. At least two animal species are found infected: dogs and camel spiders. There is a cure of sorts, but it has to be injected within the hour of exposure, or the infection is irreversible. All zombies rot very quickly. Additionally, any zombie resulting from the bite of the mutated zombie is immune to sunlight.
- It's also revealed that not all zombies are mindless creatures. The runaway prototype is capable of speech and exerts some sort of control over the others.
- The zombies from REC are a type M. They're infected by a virus made by Satan.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: The zombies that reside in Halloweentown seem to be Type R, while Sally is a Type C. Interestingly, both Sally and Jack, despite being Undead, have the need to eat and sleep, can be killed, and, depending on if you take the epilogue poem on the soundtrack to be Canon, even have children.
- Zombieland. A mix of types F and P.
- The zombies in The Dead Matter most closely resemble Type V, as they're completely controlled by whoever holds the scarab and die when it' deactivated, but they can also operate somewhat independently and apparently can spread their effect...somehow.
- Every zombie from the movies of Resident Evil, as they are type P and F.
- Amando de Ossorio's movie Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971) has zombies that are the corpses of the actual Knights Templar who return as the result of an ancient curse combined with a young woman disturbing their land. Their motivation is the continuation of their rituals, giving them elements of Type V and Type R. They also drink human blood, giving them hints of the Type F zombies. This movie also had three sequels by the same director, Return of the Blind Dead (1973), The Ghost Galleon (1974), and Night of the Seagulls (1975).
- The Italian So Bad It's Good flick Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981) has a horde of zombies awakened by a professor who stumbled upon an ancient curse. The zombies attack the professor and a nearby group of people, killing them and eating their flesh, and causing their victims to rise as zombies themselves.
- The brilliantly awful 80's flick Hard Rock Zombies features a localized Zombie Apocalypse started by—wait for it—an eerie bass riff discovered by glam rocker protagonist Jessie. The first zombies, that of the unnamed protagonist band, are revanents, as their first act is to get revenge against those who killed them, then they go to a scheduled concert and rock out. Those who they kill, however, also rise as zombies and kill others, who continue the process. Given the origins of the zombies, they could arguably be Type V (the "curse," in this case, being the music), as there is no mention of a plague and those killed rise as zombies no matter what methods are used to kill them. Some are Type F zombies, and one little mutant midget zombie actually eats himself from the feet up.
- In the B-Movie My Boyfriend's Back, the protagonist is a type R and M. R in that he comes back to life to take his beloved to prom after she says yes in his dying wish. M in that, to prevent rotting, he has to eat human flesh.
- Most of the zombies in Lucio Fulci's zombie flicks have a Type V origin but Type F behavior, such as in City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, and Zombi 2.
- The zombies in Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead are a combination of Type V and Type F. They're also chicken zombies.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Sandman Slim has four types of zombies: Zeds/Zots/High Plains Drifters are the old fashioned mindless eating machines that shamble along, Laccuna are slightly more intelligent running zombies, Savants/Sapiens are intelligent and still retain a soul, and the Geistwalds are kinda like vampire-zombie-liches.
- Zombies vs. Unicorns story Love Will Tear Us Apart features a protagonist that is a Type M zombie - he eats brains as the result of an infection, but retains his intelligence and some memory of his previous life, and even has the capacity to love, aww!
- The zombies in Seanan McGuire's short story "Gimme a Z!" are usually types V and F, mindlessly following the commands of their creator and requiring meat (not necessarily human) to maintain their existence. The catch is that they must be raised for a specific purpose, and some character traits are so ingrained that raising a zombie to go against those traits creates a type R that can potentially rebel against its creator. Since this story does not take itself remotely seriously, this means that a cheerleader brought back to kill her former squadmates instead kills the person who brought her back because of the sheer force of her school spirit.
- The draugs featured in Old Tin Sorrows are examples of Type V, being reanimated as a dying gesture of payback by Snake's amateurish magic. Before realizing there's more than one, Garrett expects the first one to show itself will specifically target its murderer, suggesting that most draugs in his world are Type R instead.
- Dead Hands from the Old Kingdom Trilogy are a combination Type V and Type F. A Hand is created by a necromancer who summons a minor (usually nonsentient) undead spirit to inhabit and animate a corpse; the resulting creature is completely under the necromancer's control and generally used as a Mook or for manual labor. If the necromancer is killed or their control is otherwise interrupted, the Hand will begin to wander about aimlessly and will usually attack any living person it stumbles across (though it eats life energy, not flesh or brains). They can't create more of their kind without a Necromancer or Greater Dead to do it for them.
- More powerful free-willed Dead also exist, which are usually closer to a Type R, though the purpose that drives them is a need to stay in the world of the living. These are usually encountered on their own, but can be enslaved by a greater power to act as Elite Mooks. More powerful still are creatues like Mordicants and Greater Dead, which quickly move out of this trope.
- The Laundry Files by Charles Stross features zombies (or Residual Human Resources) in a mixture of the V and C types, since sufficiently advanced science is magic. These zombies take the form of Demonic Possession of a corpse, usually programmed in Middle Enochian not to eat brains. Great for janitorial tasks, though the RPG book notes that following employee complaints, they are no longer used for food service. (Also, Laundry employees should be noted that decking the zombies in tinsel is discouraged for the holiday season.)
- Of course, if the spirit animating the corpse isn't bound by spells or geases, that's when zombie apocalypses happen. Instead of infecting others with their bite, the demon—a being of electricity—tries to take over the nervous system of its victim in order to devour their soul, and skin is conductive. The living, active soul of a living being is stated to be much "tastier" than the dead informational echoes in a long-dead body.
- In the Buffy Verse, zombies tend to be somewhere between V and R. They've been reanimated by black magic, but apparently retain their minds fairly well. One zombie on Angel just wanted to get back together with his girlfriend after being brought Back from the Dead, even though she was the one who killed him in the first place. It's odd.
- The Buffyverse could probably be said to have multiple forms of undead. It's implied that true "zombies" are basically Type V -- Anya mentions that zombies wouldn't eat people "unless commanded by their zombie master." (Though there is also another occasion where a magic mask made the dead in the area come back as zombies, all of whom wanted to get the mask and become the Voodoo god it represented.) Other people (like the dead in "The Zeppo") get risen by magic but are more like Type R's, retaining their own wills and minds. There are also some Type C's, of whom Adam is the best example.
- The penultimate episode of the 2011 season of Misfits puts its own twist on it. A character has the power to bring people back from the dead. The people brought back are fully alive as they were before being killed in all ways, except for an insatiable hunger for human flesh, and when they attack and kill others those others soon rise from the dead with their own insatiable hunger. The second wave of resurrections have varying amounts of intelligence from the mindless killer, to almost able to restrain themselves.
- Keith Richards is much like the Pratchett variety, being powered by willpower (and rock) and still fully cognizant (for a given value of "fully cognizant"). There have been no reported incidents of him eating human flesh (or, indeed, any solids whatsoever since 1978).
- He did claim to have snorted his father's ashes.
- Depending on how you see it, a Genestealer cult could be this. They are unfathomably loyal to their Patriarchal Alien, are made by parasites, infect others via....sex, etc... One can argue that they're not true undead and are just mutants, but half this list can also argue that.
- Except Genestealers are a distinct species. They are a hybrid species between Tyranid and the host species, but it is a unique species. The "infected" members of the host species do not become Genestealers. Not all members of the Genestealer cult are genestealers.
- Zombies in Magic: The Gathering inhabit many parts of the spectrum.
- Some, like the legendary creatures Balthor the Defiled, Thraximundar, and Lord of Tresserhorn, are mighty warriors brought back in the service of a necromancer (Type V).
- Others, like Frankenstein's Monster, Sutured Ghoul, and the Blue Innistrad zombies, are stitched-together constructs (Type C).
- Flesh-Eating zombies appear in great amounts, with too many examples to count (Type F).
- The Nim are plague-bearing zombies transformed by necrogen gas, which they begin to generate in their undeath. The Phyrexian oil also seems to work like a zombie plague, with one mere scratch transforming the victim into a mindlessly obedient Phyrexian (Type P).
- The oil could also be considered a parasite, since it seems to have limited sentience. The Phyrexian "Tingler" device is a parasitic machine that rips out the host's spine and replaces it, adding another parasite-made zombie (Type PS).
- Although the standard animates of Unhallowed Metropolis are Type F with some Type P elements, the alchemically-created mercurials are Type Cs that, depending on how successful the procedure is, can vary from Type F with P elements, to pure Type F, to multiple variations on Type R. Even the most successful ones Came Back Wrong, though.
- The New World of Darkness sourcebook Antagonists has a toolbox system allowing the creation of Types V, F and P.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- The zombies of the Resident Evil series are flesh-eating, plague-bearing zombies who are also, to a certain extent, constructed. The zombies are the result of the T-virus, engineered by the evil Mega Corp, Umbrella Corporation, although the zombies are simply a by-product of the virus, which is designed to create more powerful and dangerous creatures to be used and sold as weapons.
- Zombies in Doom 3 are flesh eating (they consume both dead bodies and immobile zombies) but do not attempt to bite the player. They are not contagious, having being changed by spirits from hell, and go straight from alive to undead in most cases. Most civilian zombies are slow moving and have low intelligence, but military zombies are faster, more agile and smarter. They also have a vulnerability to wounds to the body. Finally, the brain is not a center of infection, even if headshots count for extra damage for zombies that actually have heads.
- Heretic 2 zombies are former townsfolk that have been driven mad, sickened or prone to violence by a magical plague, however it seems they cannot spread the disease, plague bringers are needed for this.
- Metal Gear Solid 4. Well, not exactly, but half-way through the game, when Liquid represses the Mercenary Army's nanomachines, causing their emotion and reason to flood back into their brain, the Private Military Contractors in the area are brain damaged. Guess what? They shamble, moan, and are pretty much Classic-Romero zombies, to the point of mindlessly rushing Snake (and not reacting to any sort of stimuli). There's no biting or undead stuff, though.
- Zombies from STALKER are brain-damaged former stalkers who while quite resistant to gun fire show no signs of actually being undead. It's suggest the just got too close to the 'brain scorcher' and lost their minds. They also know how to use guns (badly).
- Cie'Th from Final Fantasy XIII are l'Cie that have failed their given task and transformed into crystal-ridden warped monsters. They have such heartwarming names as "Ghoul" and "Ghast". Even worse, a person's mental state can hasten the process, resulting in some mooks turning into Cie'th instantly.
- The mooks who became Cie'th instantly may not have been due to their mental state. When a human is turned a l'Cie, he/she is given a time limit in which to complete their assigned task. If a l'Cie doesn't complete his/her task within the time limit, he/she becomes a Cie'th. The fact that l'Cie are very rarely told what their assigned task is and must figure it out on their own doesn't help. If the mooks in question were turned into l'Cie but not given a task, or given a ridiculously short time limit such as only a few seconds, they would have instantly become Cie'th.
- The alternative isn't much better. When a l'Cie completes their task, their body is instantly transformed into a human-shaped crystal. It's little wonder that the humans in the Final Fantasy XIII world consider becoming a l'Cie to be a Fate Worse Than Death.
- Zombies in Disgaea are created by piecing together dead body parts, and in later games they are fully healed when they kill an opponent, though they have no attacks that specifically eat flesh. Instead, they puke at foes, turn themselves into tornadoes, and inexplicably create at least twenty copies of themselves and consecutively body-slam the enemy for their standard attacks. They also have mohawks and hunger for brains. Of note, they are stated to be dead monsters, not human(oids), though they seem to pieced together out of human's dead body parts. The game isn't too clear on the issue.
- Interestingly, according to supplementary material, these zombies are stated to be corpses revived by the Netherworld's natural miasma.
- Yoshika Miyako from Ten Desires is that while she is a Jiangshi, she is better described as a zombie with a funny-looking sticky note on the forehead. She was resurrected to guard something (that is currently unknown), she cannot feel pain, is stiff from rigor mortis, is barely smarter than a brick and can temporarily turn someone into a zombie. Part of this is because in the "outside world" (a.k.a. the real world), Jiangshi aren't talked of much but zombies are becoming popular, which affects things in Gensokyo.
- The undead in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare are a combination of Types F, P, and to some extent V. In addition to the basic infected humans, there are a number of specialized undead that seem to be Expies of the special infected from Left 4 Dead.
- The Infected in Prototype seem to range all over the place. BLACKLIGHT seems capable of creating Type P/Type F Infected, the rank and file of which act like the typical shambling zombies. Then they start mutating into faster and deadlier forms. Then you have Alex Mercer who is a mixture of Type R and Type C, after his corpse has been taken over by a sentient strain of BLACKLIGHT that the real Alex Mercer developed, going so far as to think that it is the real Alex Mercer.
- Kyurem from Pokémon Black / White is a frozen zombie dragon that is said to have a taste for human flesh. It's so feared by people that an entire village refuses to go out at night in fear that it may devour one of them.
- Bowser's Kingdom has the zombies infected with Poison Mushroom spores from Episode 666. They eat flesh and turn anything into more of them.
- MEOW has adorable kitty zombies created by toxic waste that seeped into a graveyard They don't die from a Boom! Headshot! and even if you kill yourself before they get you, you become one anyway once you die.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- In The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred, there's one character who is a zombie, but the only evidence is that he has a Healing Factor and no pain respose after the initial injury. He's also invincible, as the usual "destroy the brain" thing doesn't work. He's also completely sentient.
- Taken to the extreme in Bogleech Comics Zombie Fans story. Here we have zombies that breathe miniature zombie sharks when shot in the head, giant zombies with cheerleader puppets attached to their heads, zombies whose heads explode in a massive pyrotechnic display when they're cut off, and when three of them bite you at once, you mutate into a tree that sprouts fruit that turn into mini-vampires.
- Unwinder's Tall Comics has the After Dark novel series, starring a bevy of zombies in name only.
Horse-man: Wait, he's a zombie but he's handsome? And he's an amazing basketball player? And he can FLY? What on earth makes him a zombie? What conflict does the story have?
- The zombies of The Zombie Hunters are divided into seven different classes. All are Flesh-eating Plague-bearers with Black Eyes of Crazy, but each class has their own traits and behaviors, and many have superpowers. Crawlers are old-fashioned Zerg Rushers, but hidden among them could be Howlers , who emit a a cry that causes nausea and vertigo, Spitters, who vomit acidic poison from as far as fifty yards away, or Basilisks, who paralyze with their gaze, eating victims' faces while they're helpless to move or speak. Mercies move like humans, only approaching the sick, injured or dying. They bite, then hold and comfort the dying victim, protecting them from other zombies. By contrast, Hunters and Bersekers are faster and more agile than normal humans. Hunters are solitary, stealthily stalking victims over any terrain, for as long as weeks before ambushing them. Berserkers, who travel alone or in small packs, are the rarest and most intelligent, strong and capable of outrunning human sprinters once they sight prey. After ambush, they slowly and sadistically beat and torture their victim into unconsciousness before biting, all while grinning and laughing madly. Only being bitten or vomited on causes imminent zombification. Otherwise, exposure to bodily fluids through an orifice or wound leaves a person alive but Infected. Able to live full, asymptomatic lives, their virus is communicable, but dormant until death, when they'll inevitably reanimate. An exception to the above classes is Charlie, who through Applied Phlebotinum, also becomes a type R-Revenant, regaining healing, full sentience and partial humanity but left with the capacity to starve, Ghost Amnesia, a dependence on donated blood and tissue and a need to disguise his zombie traits as he lives amongst Infected humans.
Web Original[edit | hide]
- The main character of Sacreya's Legacy is a mishmash of Type C, Type F, Type P, and Type R. Ben Mason was saved from death by a good-natured Mad Scientist and retained his memories and intelligence. However, he does have to resist the flesh-eating aspect, and when The Virus spreads across the city, it's shown that the majority of the infected become mindless monsters.
- The zombies from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island are actually the good guys, returning from the grave to protect Scooby and the gang from the real villians. At least two of them are ghosts but the rest—pirates, gangsters, Civil War soldiers, tourists, etc.--are lumbering, non-flesh-eating but fleshy zombies.
- The "zombies" in Zombie Loan are more like Revenants, as they pass as human and only gradually lose their emotions.
- Kikyo from Inuyasha was created from her ashes and grave soil and powered by the souls of the dead.
- Brook from One Piece, a living skeleton resurrected by the power of his devil's fruit.
- Ayumu from Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? was revived by the Necromancer Eucliwood Hellscythe and is looking for his killer. With Magical Girl powers...
- The resurrected Number Ones in Claymore
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- The "slashers" in Hack Slash are another rare example of a modern canon repeatedly depicting this kind of undead. They've even been called revenants a handful of times.
- The Black Lantern Corps is definitely this version; they retain the powers and attitudes of the live characters, but pursue those who appeared to have "cheated" Death. In the DCU, this could mean just about everyone, but there actually are SOME distinctions.
- Dead Girl in X-Force is fully sentient, doesn't rot, and first rose to take vengeance on the guy who murdered her. She has limited memories of her life, however, which causes her some angst.
- A great many undead in the various EC Comics were Type Rs out to deal Karmic Death. (The other zombies were usually Type V.)
- The protagonists of the film and graphic novel series The Crow are classic revenants who are brought back to life by the title bird in order to seek justice for themselves and the people they loved. As long as the bird is alive, and as long as they remain focused on their quest for revenge and do not develop emotional ties to the living, they can heal any wound dealt them and cannot be killed. They also have the ability to cleanse others of whatever poison is in their systems, they can see through the eyes of the bird, and they have some measure of psychometric ability in regards to things that remind them of their former life and what happened to them, as well as the ability to transfer any memories they have by touch.
- Jason Voorhees, in every movie from Part VI on.
- Of all the zombie types listed, those from Undead or Alive more closely resemble the revenant. However, they become zombies due to the "White Man's Curse" cast on them prior to the death of Geronimo in the Wild West, they can only be killed by having their heads removed, and the curse is curable by eating the living flesh of the person who cast it.
- Johnny Dingle from My Boyfriend's Back.
- Godzilla himself in GMK is the re-animated corpse of the original monster driven by the souls of those who died in WWII to exact vengence on Japan for forgetting what had happened.
- Uncle Sam.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Zombies vs. Unicorns story Cold Hands has zombies most like this - something about the area makes dead people just rise from the grave sometimes, but they're fairly benign, retain some intelligence and memories, and are usually put to work doing menial labor. James especially is a Type R.
- An unusual sci-fi version of the revenant occurs with the Reifications in Neal Asher's Polity Series books, specifically The Skinner and The Voyage of Sable Keech. People who have chosen the unusual step of keeping their deceased bodies after a death which allowed some of their brain or consciousness to survive (as a mind-copy). Most people choose to have their mind copies uploaded into a new human or robotic body, whilst these guys prefer being animated with cybernetics and preserved with chemicals. May or may not have any living parts remaining. A splendid way to have undead IN SPACE.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld mostly fall under this classification. They are completely sentient, and generally maintain their old personalities to every extent, but are basically powered by their will to live; a person who becomes a zombie is generally much stronger than they used to be, being unburdened by all the creakiness of their old body. (Although, if it's not properly preserved, it'll fall to bits, and many zombies are covered in stitches.) The lurching Zombie Gait is explained as being because, with their entire autonomous nervous system shut down, they have to think about every move they make and control their muscles consciously. Also, being dead, they tend to smell.
"They appreciate gifts of cologne, perfume and other strong-smelling items--and believe me, you will want to give them these things."
- It should be noted that zombies do not exist in great numbers in Discworld, as very few people manage to achieve the level of obsessiveness or bloody-mindedness needed to become one. They're not considered a problem by the living population, although there are prejudices. The novels have featured three zombies as main or recurring characters:
- Reginald Shoe, a former romantic revolutionary, who after his death in the Ankh-Morpork civil war (or rather, the last substantial one, in Night Watch, not the civil war) thirty years prior to the present time became a mortuary worker and fervent Death Rights activist and (after the events of Feet of Clay) the first (and so far only) zombie recruit of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. He is a highly valued policeman, known for his calm and laconic humour. To quote Watch Commander Vimes, Reg Shoe was a man born to be dead.
- The wizard Windle Poons, who, after his death aged 130 years old (in Reaper Man) became a zombie due to the fact that Death was temporarily not available to take away Poons' soul. The undead Poons had more fun during the couple of days spent as a zombie than during the 100 years prior.
- Mr. Slant, a lawyer and president of the Guild of Lawyers. Has no discernible sense of humour. In fact, it is said that the only effect death had on Mr. Slant was that he started working through his lunch break. His will to live originates from the fact that his descendants still refuse to pay him for the case where he defended himself, lost, and was beheaded.
- Though not a recurring character, Witches Abroad features Baron Saturday who was revived as a zombie by a local witch. Other than the method of revival, he doesn't differ from any of the other zombies in Discworld, not going about eating brains or Human flesh or what have you. He just happens to become the embodiment of Voodoo magic, a consciously created god, Expy of our world's Baron Samedi.
- Though in Monstrous Regiment there are the standard shuffling zombie kind in the form of former soldiers in the castle catacombs, being kept alive by the Duchess who in turn is being kept alive by all the prayers sent in her direction as opposed to the Gods. Reginald Shoe actually observes them and says that they could be rehabilitated with some effort.
- It should be noted that Reg says that of the perfectly ordinary dead inhabiting the graveyards. Elsewhere in the book these zombies are described as mere memories on legs.
- Mercedes Lackey's Phoenix and Ashes offers incorporeal revenants, distinct from true ghosts in that they are so obsessed with revenge that they cannot think rationally.
- Shadow's wife, in American Gods, is brought back as one of these after Shadow unwittingly leaves a very special gold coin in her grave during the burial. She is still decaying (slowly, thanks to the formaldehyde), but retains all her memories and love for Shadow. It gives them a chance to say goodbye and make peace with how she died (and with whom) before she dies again in a partly successful Heroic Sacrifice against Loki/Mr. World
- In Brenna Yovanoff's debut novel The Replacement (which is about the trials of a changeling boy who was kept alive by the love of his sister and wants to stop his girlfriend's kid sibling from being sacrificed) any changeling kid who is not kept alive can become this, if you dig them up and say the right words. The Morrigan's court is populated by these, called "the blue girls", who mostly act just like normal humans—except for the fact that they died when they were only babies, and grew up. Also, they're rotting. One girl is described as having a mouth full of maggots, another has her collarbones showing. And another one likes to play with the gash on her throat—which the parents of the girl she was switched for cut there themselves at the crossroads underneath a full moon.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Beric Dondarion and Catelyn Stark are both resurrected and retain their consciousnesses and memories (although Beric increasingly loses his identity with each resurrection) and are devoted to carrying out a purpose, although in both cases, it seems like that purpose is a more extreme/singleminded version of their cause in life. There's also the character known as Coldhands, who appears to be a unqiue example of a wight that retained humanity.
- The "hungry dead" of Graveminder by Melissa Marr seem to be mostly this type.
- Kai from Lexx is essentially this, but with a few modifications.
- Owen Harper is killed in series 2 of Torchwood and is zombiefied the next episode. He's perfectly normal other than the fact most of his bodily systems no longer function.
- A Revenant appears in season two of Supernatural, episode "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things". She is reanimated by an ancient Greek spell, exactly as she was in life with the exception of superhuman strength, virtual immunity to physical damage and a single-minded focus on punishing her boyfriend and the woman with which he was cheating on her.
- In the Young Blades episode "Coat of Arms," a member of a secret society steals a magical artifact from a dead knight. The energy from another of the society's magical artifacts resurrects the knight. He doesn't seem to be intelligent or conscious, but can sense where his artifact is and will do anything to retrieve it.
- The Homecoming episode of Masters of Horror is about dead US soldiers rising from their graves to vote the Straw Conservatives out of office.
- Ghost Whisperer had "step-ins", souls who posses very recently dead bodies, usually out of love. The problem is if the transfer's successful the soul loses its memories and, not knowing why its doing things like stalking strangers, eventually goes insane and commits suicide. The three examples that I recall were a guy who possessed a badly damaged corpse whose "owner" really didn't appreciate being body-jacked (this was before step-ins were properly explained, the next two are after); a guy who entered a man's body to reunite with his girlfriend but didn't remember why he kept stalking her, and main character Melinda's husband, who eventually regained his memories after a near-death experience.
- The explanation was provided by the ghost of an insane asylum's doctor who talked to living patients while they were having electroshock therapy in order to drive them more insane and become step-ins themselves because he wanted to find a way to become one without losing his memories.
- The title character of Warren Zevon's song Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner. Roland was the leader of a mercenary team who was murdered by one of his comrades (a man named Van Owen) at the direction of the CIA. Roland (whose head is apparently entirely missing after this incident) tracks Van Owen to a bar in Mombasa, Kenya where Van Owen was confronted and killed. Roland continues on afterwards, apparently continuing to take up causes as a mercenary.
- In Sound Horizon's Märchen, the eponymous man is brought back into the world to enact revenge. He can't exactly remember who he's supposed to be enacting revenge against, so he just goes about granting the opportunity for revenge to whatever wronged soul is seeking it it. One of these souls also becomes a revenant, returning to the landlady who cut out her liver to take it back (or, more accurately, get a replacement).
- Insane Clown Posse has a song called "12" which features a man who was given the death penalty coming Back from the Dead and using supernatural powers to seek vengeance on the jury which convicted him. He is most certainly Living on Borrowed Time, and grows weaker with each kill he makes as another one of "The Spirits" leaves his body and as the sunrise approaches. By the time he's reached his last victim, he's falling apart and shuffling along more like a Romero-esque zombie.
- Another song by the Clowns features this type of undead. The song is a Halloween-themed tune titled "Mr. Rotten Treats" and is an homage to the A Nightmare on Elm Street films.
- Another unusual version of revenants is the Harrowed from Deadlands. These ones are re-animated by demons, who are capable of possessing them when it's least needed and wreaking havoc. Most times, however, the Harrowed are normal revenants with the same souls and personalities they had in life (only angstier).
- One can create a Revenant with powerful magic in the New World of Darkness; external forces can also construct one. A Revenant has certain supernatural powers, but their Virtue and Vice are replaced with Passions, which they must act on each day or eventually the power holding them to this world will dissipate. Otherwise, they're effectively mortal.
- Heroes of Shadow has Revenants as a player character race, dead people brought back to the mortal realm to serve the will of the Raven Queen.
- Revenants also feature in the Ravenloft setting.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- The Forsaken in World of Warcraft are basically revenants with some ghoul aspects.
- High ranking members of the Scourge (Liches, Death Knights and the like) mostly fit as well, as they retain a large amount of their personality and individuality.
- Brandon Heat/Beyond the Grave of Gungrave was raised from the dead via a special reanimation process (Necro-Rise/Necrolyzation), a process that revives the dead as zombie-like beings (which throws a bit of Type C in the mix). Seeks revenge on his killer and the syndicate that betrayed him. Possesses a powerful self-healing ability, at the cost of losing almost all emotion and memory of his mortal life. The difference between him and other people brought back this way is that he retains a sense of self and will of his own. He can't spread his condition to others, and doesn't require food. However he needs complete transfusions of his rare blood type or else his body rots and falls to pieces.
- Shantae has Rottytops, who more or less resembles a green human with a fondness for brains. She and her brothers are considered "bad news" around Sequin Land. Rottytops is quite fond of Shantae (although whether it's for her brains or morale is up to the player) and will help her on occasion.
- The 'Puppets' of Thief: Deadly Shadows qualify as revenant types mainly because they were brought back to life by the sheer malevolent will of the Shalebridge Cradle and because, when not chasing down and killing intruders, they mindlessly repeat the same actions they performed in life (an obsessive compulsive painter continuously straightens and restraightens paintings) or wander areas relevant to their habits (i.e. the cannibal haunts the dining hall, the arsonist hangs around near the fireplace etc)
- The lorn from Rift, who are basically Ascended Gone Horribly Wrong.
- Necromancy Masterminds in City of Heroes can summon zombies and other undead; whether this is as the product of dark magic, mad science or whatever is entirely up to the player.
- In Dragon Age Awakening, you have the Spirit of Justice trapped in the decaying body of a Grey Warden named Kristoff, making him a zombie of this type. Although, he's actually quite a nice guy.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- Carnies is full of this type of undead, although they aren't spared from decomposition
- The narrator of Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name appears to be an amnesiac Type R, but his means of resurrection and past are complete mysteries he hasn't much care to solve, though he does wonder whom he might have left behind. He's a green stitched together mummy, with orange headlights, an unfortunate tendency to cast arms and a muted and sarcastic but kind personality. It seems he smells all right, but a bit musty.
- Based on Tibenoch's suggestion that he's a failed and discarded Type C, and his and Hanna's reactions, his means of resurrection may become a plot point and give us some definite answers. The possibility of him reverting to Type F has never come up in canon, but the fanworks have been quite thorough.
Web Original[edit | hide]
- Stalker from Tasakeru. Resulted from the parasitic fusion of a baby Giant Spider to an executed rapist.
- Black Lantern Spoony from The Spoony Experiment is this. His goal is to devour the hearts of all the other Spoony-based characters (but especially the clone that runs the show now) so he can feel whole again.
- Zombies on Ugly Americans are still the same people the were in life – same thoughts, feelings, and memories – just more prone to having bits fall off.
- Zombies vs. Unicorns story Inculata has a lot of Type P zombies, but the main characters all end up infected with the disease, but in such a way that they aren't... zombie like. The other zombies don't bother them (i.e. try to eat them), and they have some... symptoms, so they're technically zombies, but not. They're inculated.
- Shadow Man from the comic series and games, would be an example here. He's explicitly a zombie through voodoo, though only at night, or in Deadside. Otherwise, he's a living human.
- Ghouls from the Fallout universe. Ordinary humans exposed to massive amounts of heat and radiation but somehow surviving, ghouls differ from most zombies due to not strictly speaking being 'undead' in any way - there is never a point in the life of a ghoul where they are dead and then alive again. Ghouls do however physically resemble zombies, and 'zombie' is considered a racial slur against them. Ghouls are infertile and seem to live forever unless killed. About half the ghouls in the Capital Wasteland and surrounding areas have completely retained their memories and personalities, but have some memory problems due to frequently being hundreds of years old. Other, 'feral' ghouls have become mindless killing machines that attack any human that comes near them. Attitudes towards ghouls differ - the Brotherhood of Steel kill them on sight and many humans treat them with fear and disgust. Others, such as Three Dog and the citizens of Megaton understand that the difference between them and humans is largely cosmetic.
- Expansions such as The Pitt feature other flesh-eating, decaying-looking formerly-human radiation monsters, such as Trogs, who are always mindless flesh-eaters and walk on all fours, and Wildmen, who seem to retain some human characteristics but eat people and cannot be talked to or reasoned with.
- The Fallout: New Vegas add-on Dead Money introduces the Ghost People, hazmat suit and gas mask wearing former residents of the Sierra Madre Villa. When the Cloud got loose due to the Casino's botched construction, the hazmat suits the residents were wearing kept them alive, but the Cloud... changed them. They can still do semi-intelligent things like use weapons, fashion spears, and improvise bombs, but their only function now is to kill anyone who sets foot in the Villa. Also, they keep coming back again and again unless you decapitate them, blow them up, shoot of their heads, or disintegrate them.
- Old World Blues has the lobotomites, which are humans who have several of their vital organs cut out and replaced with technology. They can use guns, but they don't seem to have any sense of self preservation and are instantly hostile to any and all life.
- Then came the Marked Men from Lonesome Road. They are former Elite Mooks of the NCR and the Legion that were caught in the Divide, and a combination of hazards such as wind storms and radiation caused most of their skin to be torn off, with only the Divide's radiation keeping them alive. They have no sense of who they once were, and now just kill anything they see. Despite this, they still hunt, cut their food, use guns, and at least have some sense of self preservation, as shown in an ending where they allow the Courier passage out of the Divide out of fear.
- WWE has The Undertaker, a zombie gravedigger who can levitate and/or bring down lightning every so often... and decides the way to use this is to go be a wrestling champion. Go figure.
- Journey Quest presents us with a 'theoretically impossible' form of undead. A sentient soul stuck in a mobile rotting corpse.
- Zombies in Super Meat Boy are corpses of a dead Meat Boy. Meat Boy respawns as normal when he dies, but his former dead body is resurrected as zombie, potentially making the amount of zombies infinite. Those zombies tend to hang around Hell and Rapture and are also capable of fusing together into a larger creature.
- Mick and Pnub from Idle Hands are undead stoners who returned from the dead because... well...
Mick: I mean, there was this bright white light at the end of a long tunnel, right, and there was these chicks' voices, and that music...
Pnub: Yeah, kinda uncool music, like, Enya. And these chicks' voices, they were saying, "come to us, come towards the light".
Mick: We figured, fuck it, I mean, it was really far!
- The titular character of Jean Rollin's Living Dead Girl, who has been turned into a bloodsucking zombie by toxic waste. She still looks fairly normal, but depends on her girlfriend to bring her victims, and despises her own existence.
- In Jean Rollin's The Grapes of Death, farm pesticides cause bouts of violent insanity in residents of France's wine-producing region. An inadvertent type C with elements of type P, but they aren't infectious, have lucid periods, and can recover completely.
- When Jonny Warner returns from the dead, all that changes is his skin is green. And all he wants to do is take his girlfriend to the prom.
- Yomiel of Ghost Trick best fits this type, as he is a ghost who is able to animate his own corpse. This is thanks to a radioactive meteor, a fragment of which is lodged in his body and keeps his corpse perpetually on the edge between life and death, making him virtually indestructible (much like The Crow). By the end of the story, the main character is like this.
- The abyss feeders from Claymore. A new class of "warriors" made by the Organization, they are created from the flesh of Awakened Beings instead of regular yoma. Unlike their Claymore counterparts, who retain their humanity in spite of being half monster, abyss feeders have no sense of self or humanity, and are only driven by the desire to eat the flesh of Abyssal Ones, by which they relentlessly track their target by being given a piece of their flesh. What makes them more zombie-like is their lankish gait, eyes that are sewn shut, rapid regeneration, and mouths that only become unfasten when they are eating their target alive.
- Deadgirl: The type and origin of the dead girl's condition is not revealed. While she appears driven to try to bite her captors, whether this is in an attempt to eat their flesh or simply as a means to escape is left unclear. Her bite is shown to infect others, however, which J.T. plans to use to find a replacement for her.
- Supernatural (again, they like their zombies) has the episode Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. Death raises several zombies in a small town, as part of the Lucifer's Apocalypse. Later on, we find that he was forced to do this by Lucifer, Death himself being True Neutral. The zombies at perfectly normal, and just like they did in life. For a short while, anyway, and then they turn into your typical flesh-eating zombies. They can be killed, unlike other zombies on the show, by a Boom! Headshot!.
- The song Aim for the Head by Creature Feature is about a Zombie Apocalypse caused by zombies that can be killed by a headshot (hence the song title), and are here because, according to the song "there is no more room in Hell.
- Actually, this song is based on the film Dawn of the Dead. The line about "no more room in hell" isn't the explanation for the zombies; it comes from a religious fanatic who thinks the zombies are divine punishment. It's considered the movie's most memorable quote, especially since it was also used as the official tagline.
- The French film "Les Revenants" or "They Came Back" deals with zombies that despite being dead within a 10 year range on some, have not decayed, do not crave human flesh and brains. They just one day walked calmly out of their cemetary as if they had been in a long sleep. However, they are sluggish and actually no longer live in our "reality". They have what is termed an "Echo and Memory" reality (echoing what seems like normal behavior and recalling how they might've been in their daily lives). They do tend to group together and migrate throughout the town. It is never explained why they rose and where/why they went when they decided to leave. The film focuses more on how the living's psyche would react when their loved ones rose than what the zombies are up to.
- Zombies in Minecraft are just your typical zombies. They attack you, and then you crumble into dust after you die, so they don't eat you. Though they did, until 1.8, drop feathers. Now they drop rotten flesh.
- It isn't exactly clear what happened in the alternate world of SCP-093, but the...things that roam that world are nasty pieces of work. The "Unclean" are massive creatures the size of buildings, immune to all known types of weaponry, absorb human beings by contact, and the minds of those absorbed are kept intact, wondering why this happened to them for all eternity. All of this was brought about by an Eldritch Abomination masquerading as God.
- Even though it's more of a demon invasion, the first Diablo had a unique view of where zombies come from. From the manual: "Zombies are formed from the corpses of men executed for the most depraved and degenerate crimes against the innocent. They are driven by both the hatred that consumed them in life and the undead hunger for mortal flesh." Though this was the only game in the series where this gets mentioned.
- In LMFAO's music video "Party Rock Anthem", the "zombies" are people who have been infected by a affliction that causes them to continually "shuffle" every hour of every day. According to the survivor the two group members meet after waking up, the virus is transmitted into the person's bones and forces them to "keep shuffling, nonstop, all day, every day", and requires that survivors put on headphones and continually move to avoid being surrounded and overtaken by the infected.
- The Hong Kong animates of Unhallowed Metropolis don't seem that weird in the overall zombie scheme of things from what information is available... but they somehow don't follow the rules that govern zombies in the setting. Animates decay and desiccate over time, eventually becoming mummified to the point of immobility before rotting away entirely. Plague Animates can stave this off by devouring living human flesh. The Hong Kong animates should have run out of living humans to prey on long ago, but somehow they're still functioning 200 years after the initial Zombie Apocalypse.
- Weirder on a typical scale are zombie lords, animates that retain some degree of intelligence and possess an ability to draw other animates toward them and telepathically direct them. Any large, directed horde needs at least one of these at its head, and possibly multiple working in tandem, as they turn aimless zombies motivated primarily to find living humans and eat them into a coordinated attack force. If it's any consolation, they're usually not terribly bright.
- The Undead in Dark Souls. They start off as living humans marked with the "Darkring." Upon death, they turn into something akin to a Type R -- a near-mummified corpse still retaining its human mind and intelligence. Over time or as they die more, they eventually lose all of their humanity and become Hollow—monstrous killing machines that, although not utterly mindless, don't seem to be capable of anything more thoughtful than wielding weapons and trying to kill all who cross their path. It is possible for them to regain their humanity and the appearance of life, but it's not an easy process—methods include reclaiming humanity from corpses (slow, but comparatively safe), helping other Undead with their trials, or attacking other Undead to steal humanity from them.
- While Brandon Sanderson insists they aren't zombies, the Elantrians from Elantris are suffering from a sort of curse that makes them closely resemble zombies, while they are not technically dead, or actually contagious, people that live within a certain radius of the city of Elantris just randomly become Elantrians, they don't breathe or have heartbeats, they have a constant ravenous hunger, and they don't heal from their wounds at all and they are almost impossible to kill, beheading or burning being the only ways to kill them, though they usually go insane and catatonic from the pain of accumulated injuries within a year of becoming an Elantrian.
- The Reapers in Dead Like Me. While they are not mindless, not slow, and for that matter no different seeming then humans in just about any way(other then the fact that you cant kill them) The fact that they were once dead and have been reanimated does qualify them to be referred to as the "Living Dead"(The show itself uses the term Undead to refer to the state they live in)
- Zombies are the rarest type of supernatural being in Being Human (UK), created when a person dies but something blocks their transition into the afterlife. The soul ends up remaining bound to the corpse for a few weeks after death, until the body decays to the point that it can no longer sustain the soul, at which point the soul is permitted passage into the afterlife. Zombies can function without their internal organs, but are able to think and feel pain as though they were still alive. They are even aware of the sensation of their bodies decomposing from within.
- In the Yugioh Card Game, the Field Spell card "Zombie World" morphs everyone on the battlefield and in all players' graveyards into Zombie types (until the card is removed from the field). Not through a parasite, but some other kind of strange magic.
- The zombies in the Korean Web Toon Wake Up Deadman are just normal people who happen to be dead and rotting, it's the media and the government that makes them out to be a mindless cannibal hoard. They don't need to eat or sleep, although if they become sleepy it means they're too damaged and will die for good.
- The zombies from Michael Jackson's Thriller are somewhat like Type F, but with the added benefit of synchronized dancing.
- In India the tens of thousands of normally functioning individuals have been declared dead by government officials so that others might be able to appropriate their land and property. The problem is so widespread that a pressure group called Mritak Sangh or Association of Dead People has been formed to advocate on their behalf. Some have even tried running for elected office despite the notable handicap of being dead.
- Marvel Comics called its Type V zombies "zuvembies" to get around a Comics Code prohibition (see above). The "zuvembie" name came from a Robert E. Howard short story, "Pigeons From Hell," and wasn't really all that zombie-like, as summarized on The Other Wiki.
- Black Butler has moving corpses that, lacking souls themselves, are able to sense the souls of the living and home in on them, hoping in vain to fill the void within. So the part about eating flesh of the living is really about trying and failing to eat souls. The moving corpses seem at first to have been created by science, but then it turns out that magic made them work, to the surprise of the zombie-making scientist. There are also more successful specimens that are able to pass as living humans.
- The Burning Dead, as the title suggests, the version of zombies the characters have to deal with can't be killed by fire, thanks due to being lava-based.
- A curse brought about by someone defiling an Aztec burial site, but there's no overall leader or commander.