Zombies Ate My Neighbors

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Zombies Ate My Neighbors is your classic Zombie game created by LucasArts and published by Konami. This game is basically a parody of Devil World/Dark Adventure, a previous Konami arcade game, and in turn had a Spiritual Successor in the form of Ghoul Patrol, which was significantly less popular. Also inspired a later game loosely on Greek Mythology called Hercs Adventures as well as the Xbox 360 game Monster Madness.

Zeke or Julie (or both in 2 player mode) enter a series of mazes. Each level is a punny-titled maze containing B-movie monsters, wacky weapons and up to ten neighbors to rescue.

A movie based loosely on the game is currently in production. Seriously.

Tropes used in Zombies Ate My Neighbors include:
  • Abnormal Ammo: Where else can you kill a giant worm with kitchen plates, or destroy a UFO with soda cans?
  • Affectionate Parody: Of pretty much every classic horror trope.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: When Zeke is facing left or right, the blue lens of his 3D glasses is always the one closer to the camera.
  • Ancient Tomb: A few levels are massive Egyptian pyramids full of mummies and traps.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • One of the bosses, Titantic Toddler, is, well, a gigantic baby, who can stomp you flat or shoot milk out of its bottle at you. It becomes a normal (and rescuable) baby upon defeat.
    • There are also giant snake bosses, Dr. Tongue's Giant spider form, and giant ant enemies.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever
  • Black Blood: the blood is replaced with purple ooze.
  • Bonus Level: About six of them, accessed by collecting a ? square in a level.
  • Bubble Gun: The Martians wield ray guns that trap the victim in a bubble but don't kill them. The player can collect these guns to do the same thing.
  • Chainsaw Good: Level 4. The chainsaw maniacs/lumberjacks in general.
  • Clown Car Grave: Most enemies spawn infinitely... which also includes zombies, who spawn by clawing out of the ground, and in a few levels, they have spawn points in graveyards, leading to this trope.
  • Combat Tentacles: Level 1-B and the Credits Level.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Passwords don't preserve your weapons or lives.
  • Cool Shades: See Rule of Cool below.
  • Creepy Doll: The killer doll enemies; some marketing genius had the idea to give them axes, too...
  • Darker and Edgier: The sequel took itself somewhat more seriously, at least in terms of visuals, which are surprisingly dark and creepy at times. The story is still pretty silly, and there are still humorous elements, like that one of the victim types you can rescue is an old man perpetually being electrocuted by a storm cloud.
  • Developer's Room: The credits level take place in LucasArts' office.
  • Easter Egg: See Shout-Out below.
  • Every Ten Thousand Points: You get a bonus neighbor. If you don't have any dead neighbors, you get a extra life.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: As a big B-movie loving video game, the zombies naturally get the title.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The level "Ants". Guess what the standard enemies there are.
  • Fake Difficulty: On occasion, you will find victims that are impossible to save, even with Sprint Shoes.
  • Final Death: Once neighbors die, they don't come back. However, you can gain Bonus Neighbors once your score is high enough.
  • Game Breaking Bug: It's possible for the cheerleader after the first fight with Doctor Tongue to disappear before you collect her, making the game unwinnable.
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: It's All There in the Manual that Dr. Tongue is the Big Bad of the game, but was any player expecting to first fight him in a non-descript attic level?
  • Guide Dang It:
    • Although the manual does point this out and many other monster weaknesses, so it's mostly Read the Freaking Manual. The best weapon in the game, the Flamethrower, is a Guide Dang It in itself since it's in a very obscure place and can be Lost Forever if you bypass it.
    • Absolutely nothing tells you that the last form of Dr. Tongue is weak against plates; although once you found that out, it starts making more sense why Level 41 had so many plates strewn around the level to begin with.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: Par for the course, the chainsaw maniacs are a hybrid of Jason from Friday the 13th and Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted, oddly enough. Not only are babies one of the kinds of Victims, but you also fight a Giant Baby as a boss three times. Defeating the latter merely turns it back to normal, though.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Flamethrower. Able to quickly destroy just about any monster. Good luck finding it in the one level it's located in.
  • In Name Only: Ghoul Patrol was reworked into a sequel for Zombies Ate My Neighbors to cash in on the game's popularity. It ended up killing the franchise. It's worth pointing out that Zombies Ate My Neighbors was not an immediate success in the first place and, like the cult movies that inspired the game in the first place, it's popularity had to build over time. Ghoul Patrol gets a lot of shit for what it is, some of it more justified than others, but calling it a franchise killer isn't really accurate (Ghoul Patrol wasn't even advertised as much as the first game itself). It would have had to come out in the early-to-mid 2000s and disappointed everyone before it could've really killed the franchise.
    • There is also a song called Zombies Ate My Neighbors on the radio. Sadly, no video game references.
    • A metalcore group named themselves after the game as well.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: Too Awesome to Use? No, you'll waste too much health and time if you don't use it. You like to stockpile weapons? Good luck finding the plates when you need them right now!
  • Lightning Bruiser: The giant babies.
  • Lost Forever: The Flamethrower.
  • Mars Needs Women: Apparently, the reason the martians arrived. The level that introduces them is called "Mars Needs Cheerleaders".
  • Monster Mash: A whole gang of movie monsters terrorizing your hapless neighbors, including: vampires, werewolves, killer dolls and of course zombies.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Armies of zombies compose the weakest enemy hordes in the game.
  • Nintendo Hard: One of the ROM hacks of the game decided you need between 1-3 tourist couples that each turn into a pair of werewolves 15 seconds after the start of the level in most of the levels. Have fun with those speed shoes.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Don't let all of your neighbors die!
  • One-Hit Kill: Most enemies have a weapon they're particularly weak against.
  • Poison Mushroom: One of the mystery potion's side effects is to turn you into Mr. Hyde, who will actively hunt down and kill neighbors. Or your partner in a 2 player mode.
  • RuleOfTotallyRadical: Zeke inexplicably wears a pair of 3D glasses throughout the whole game
  • Sequential Boss: The final battle with Dr. Tongue has him first transform into a spider, then a giant head.
  • Shout-Out: Entering BCDF as an opening password sent you straight to the Day of the Tentacle bonus level, themed after the video game of the same name.
  • Sprint Shoes: Often crucial for saving neighbors, especially the damned tourists before night falls.
  • There's No B in Movie: Pretty much the premise of the game.
  • Transformation Sequence: Big purple beasts in Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Grim Reapers in Ghoul Patrol.
  • Ungrateful Bitch/No Hero Discount/No Sympathy: No matter how often you rescue them from mortal danger, the teachers will always give you an "F"! OH NOES!
  • Unwinnable By Mistake: Very rare, but it is possible to get yourself stuck by running out of ammo for all your guns and wasting all the keys and not having a bazooka or potion to blast the doors down.