Survival Crisis

Survival Crisis

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Chris "00509" Strayer

"There is no knowledge that *cannot be* power."
-Intro to Philosophy, Prof. John Eskridge (CCAC/North Shore), class refinement

I believe that a "spoiler" is something one puts on one's car to change its
aerodynamics.  Surprises are a Bad Thing.  If you read this, you will get
edified, whether you like it or not.

0. Contents
I. Prelude to Destruction [1PTD]
The Console
Character creation
-Classes in detail
Character creation, cont'd
-Episode Edification
II. General Guidelines [2GGL]
III. Interfacial [3FAC]
The Menu
-Gear (& Health)
--The Wide World of Weapons
--Weapon Table [3XWT]
--Weapons in detail
--Item List [3XIL]
--Chemistry [3XCH]
The Menu, cont'd (welcome back!)
IV. Municipal Geographic [4GEO]
Houses & House Leaders [4XHL]
-Benefits of Home Ownership
V. Missions [5MIS]
Mission Briefs
-Episode 1 [5XE1]
-Episode 2 [5XE2]
-Episode 3 [5XE3]
VI. Arcade [6ARC]
Level Table
-? Powers
--Power List
VII. Reference [7REF]
Unlockables & "Cheats"
-Cheat listing
Opposition In Review [7XOR]
Lexicon [7XLX]
VIII. Credits & Closing [8C&C]

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I. Prelude to Destruction [1PTD]

The Console
The SCZ console is fairly straightforward; pick options by number.  If you
played Arcade Mode and won something, enter "dir" to see a list of every
potential unlockable.  If it has a "r-x" on the left, you can type that
unlockable directly into the console to activate it.  For example: r_edit.exe
will fire up the character appearance editor, once you have got it unlocked.

Note that if one character currently in the system has unlocked an unlockable,
all characters may use it.  However, if you have not unlocked an unlockable,
knowing what it does will not do you much good: entering "absolut" in the
console will only run the Molotov cheat if somebody broke the 500,000 point
barrier in Arcade Mode.

Character creation
Every variable here is up to you.  Name, gender*, and skin tone appear purely
cosmetic in-game; note that the basic graphic files let only men wear long
coats [Shade and I are working to fix that].  Other decisions have more
substantial effects:
--Faction: Aligning with a faction gives you their uniform and sets starting 
relations (infra) to +20 with/-20 against.  Starting neutral starts you in
civvies but with +5 with both factions.  I do not know of any benefit to a 
high positive relation, so neutrality is probably the best way to go.  If you
must have SWAT pants or a Rebel headband, get the appearance editor.
--Classes: These affect your starting clothes, gear, and skills.  IOW, this is
initial difficulty and demand for the appearance editor.  Doctor is probably
the most survivable (Regen will smooth out a LOT) and Sales facilitates quick
income.  Income=character development.  I generated 2-3 characters of each
class to provide a more detailed report below.  Do not make my watching that
intro 18 times be in vain.

*Testing needed: characters created in one gender and given a torso
(via r_edit.exe) that corresponds to the other half of the (unfortunate)
We might have to test with/without facial hair, possibly hairstyles as well.
Checking for NPC romances under various conditions would determine whether
gender is stored separately from one's character graphics.

Classes in detail
Everyone has a knife.  I decided it wasn't worth listing for each case.

1) The Doctor wears a lab coat/jacket, and started with one each of the Shots,
Food Bar/caffeine; a Revolver w/24 rounds, and the Health Boost, Adrenaline
Boost, and Regen skills.

Generally recommended as a good class for new folks, and IMO one of the better
classes, period.  Health Boost and Regen are both good skills, the Shots can
help out in a pinch, and the Revolver, though not the best firearm available,
should work well enough for E1.

2) The Tech's clothing varies based on gender.  Women wear "punky" shirt &
pants, whilst men wear a black long-coat.  Both have a mohawk & sunglasses.
Xe starts with 3 EMP bombs, a GPS, and 3 doses of caffeine; a Tec9 with 100
rounds, and the Laser Sight, [Build EMP], and Disassemble skills.

Not a great first-timer class as the Tec9 does not forgive missed shots.
Skillset is nothing special and the lack of food bars makes one even more
dependent on finding a pile of Lootables in a hurry.

3) The Clerk starts with a mask, tape, and battery, along with 2 each
Food Bar/Caffeine; a Handgun w/34 rounds, and the [Build Pipe], C4, and Runner
skills.  Clothing is a nondescript shirt and jeans, w/blue toque.

IMO the Clerk is probably the least efficient starting class.  Sure,
you will start out with both torture implements and a mask with which to use
them, but the handgun lacks punch and can easily be had from an infected
faction member.  Torture gear is just as available in topside Lootables, and
Runner is nice but can be purchased.  There is nothing here another class
cannot find inside of 5 minutes [provided you want it in the first place],
barring a freak unavailability of Runner instructors.

4) The Bartender starts with 3 Molotovs, one each food bar/caffeine, and a 
pack of cigarettes; a SOSG w/24 rounds*, and the [Build Molotov] and
Healthy Meal skills.  Men wear an open Hawai'i-type shirt and dark pants;
women dress in a sensible black jacket with matching pants.
*Bear in mind that the SOSG is a double-barreled model, so you fire 2 rounds
per shot.  Wait for a crowd, because one SOSG discharge can clear out a lot of
E1 undead.

This is another not-so-great starting class, thanks to starting with only two
skills.  Healthy Meal is not a bad skill long-term; when one is starting out,
however, expensive Food is an inefficient healing method, at best.  The SOSG
is a very powerful weapon, but I would fret about ammunition for quite some
time; ammunition pickups only provide three shots.

5) The Hunter has forest-camo pants, and started with a Filthy Meat, GPS
item, one each Food Bar/Caffeine Pills; a Rifle w/12 rounds & chainsaw*;
and the Speed Boost, Scrap Armor, and Headhunter skills.
*Despite the menu's claim, neither of the Hunters I created started with
a crossbow.

This is not nearly as bad a deal as I thought, based on the menu. Truth be
told, I would prefer the crossbow to the rifle (the rifle is rather nice,
though), but Speed Boost and Headhunter are not bad skills and Filthy Meat is
a dungeon-class item.  Starting with the chainsaw ought to make life easier as
well, but that starting chainsaw disappeared just like a purchased one.  I
would not recommend it for first-timers, but if one is interested in a replay
this might be neat-o.

6) The Salesperson wears a dark jacket and pants; men wear a tie into
battle.  Ze starts with a packed sentry gun and one each FB/Caf; a flare
gun with 16 rounds, and the GPS, C4 Detonator, Disassemble, and Storage

My first character of any real duration was a salesperson.  I recommend it to
anyone starting out; though Storage is the only good skill, the flare gun was
far more forgiving than the game makes it out to be and ammunition is quite
plentiful.  In E1, ignition kills the Infected dead and quickly, whilst in E2
they burn for a second and only in E3 can common undead survive a flare.
Starting with a packed sentry gun is no joke, either.  Though I would not
recommend using it any earlier than E2, it is reassuring to have just in case
you get in over your head.

Character creation, cont'd

--Difficulty: Hardcore requires either an unlockable or an in-game pickup to
allow the PC to survive emptying of xyr health bar; otherwise, xe is off to
dev/null.  Normal lets the PC restart from the last save.
--Episode: Briefly, this controls where in the plot you would like to start, 
as well as the PC's general effectiveness.  Later episodes require more effort
and in-game resources to overcome the same level of opposition.  See "Episode
Edification", below.
--Controls: A surprising amount of SCZ's difficulty comes from interface
problems.  The control setting here is a toggle; select it twice to set it for
"Absolute + Mouse".  Do yourself a favor and get used to that; by E1's end,
you'll appreciate the ability to move in one direction and shoot in another.
As for remapping the keys, bear in mind that you are required to *hold* 
to stay in it, as well as the fact that  is permanently available on
your left mouse button.  I completed the plot using Control as my ,
Space [and LMouse] as , and Shift for .  Arrows worked
well enough for directionals, but bear in mind that Absolute controls are
"Up" is diagonally  up-right on the screen, "Left" is  diagonally up-left, 
usw. Combine two to go vertically or horizontally.
--Intro: Aesculapius was a healer in Greek mythology.  I have no idea where 
the programmers found that cite.  You might find the sequence disturbing*
and it is not skippable so consider grabbing a drink. Figure about 70 seconds
or so before the game kicks in.

*Aside from the text (if you have problems with that, you probably should not
be playing this), one of the graphics is potentially triggering.

[Trigger warning/Violence v. Children]

It's a mutilated baby face, looking like a doll based on the Gerber face.  The
eyes are missing and blood is running from the sockets.

Episode Edification
The major inter-episode differences are that the opposition is noticeably more
resilient and more numerous.  Missions become longer and require more
resources, with bosses and hordes being commonplace in the later Episodes.
Basically, SCZ is not unlike Diablo 2, where your character becomes
increasingly ineffective as the game goes on.  E2 lets the Infected stay alive
for a few seconds whilst burning, as well as get up from straightforward
kinetic kills.  E3 allows flamed undead to occasionally get back up, and adds
the rest of the Infernals as you progress.
It is probably feasible to start a character in E3 and complete the episode
but you will spend a *lot* of time leveling the character to E3 specs.
Leveling is faster and the plot is marginally more rewarding in the earlier
Plot overview:
E1: establishing rapport with the mission-givers and making efforts to get 
some research on the plague and find a safer spot to hide (in the sewers),
player gets evacuated via helicopter
E2: starts getting the sewer project underway and situation devolves into
defusing SWAT-Rebel conflict; efforts to re-reestablish outside communications
ultimately allow evacuating the player, again via helicopter
E3: for some reason the player is still in the same city; plague research
becomes classic Science Is Bad(TM), whilst sewer colonization efforts backfire
and release additional opposition, which player fights off.  Player implied
killed by horde (game fades out and horde sounds persist); I could have 
escaped that if I had been able to retain control.

Note that you keep everything in your inventory* between episodes, so do
yourself a favor and overstock before accepting the last mission of the
episode.  I would buy 1-2K flamethrower shots or so; LMG ammunition would also
be handy going into E3.
When starting a new Episode, the topside map resets**; houses move around and
new people show up as leaders, you lose control of any houses you had, and all
numbers based on controlled houses are zeroed.  Surviving NPCs seem to
accompany you (and the day counter remains the same, oddly enough).
I was able to keep 2 of my 3 E1 NPCs into E2 and they promptly died taking a
previously straightforward L9 base.  Replacements were slow to arrive and
Upon arriving in E3 I was pleasantly surprised to have a full L11 squad ready
and waiting, despite the previous team being killed in the evacuation from E2.
2 CSGs and one SMG made the first takeover almost pleasant.
Completing E3 reset the controlled houses but otherwise preserved my
character's inventory intact.  Note that unlike the transitions between
episodes, all the houses (and the Rebels' sudden hatred of my character)
remained in place. Further, the missions reset to E3M1, but the day counter
remained on 94 and I got started at ~12:40 AM game time.  Cue getting ghosts
on my way to establish a base.

*Everything on the screen that pops up when you hold .  Items,
weapons/ammo, skills, commodities, and money.  NPCs stick around if they
survived to you appearing on the helicopter; in a FOT-like touch, if they all
died you may get a full squad on arrival.  I had no NPCs for the final fight
and received none on the E3 restart.

**I'm not sure whether the physical layout (streets, buildings) gets
reshuffled.  I doubt it.  Locations of inhabited buildings and area
transitions move a bit but transitions tend to remain in the same general
area. Note that the bunker layout remains *exactly the same*.
Sewers, as distinct from dungeons, also appear to be pretty much the same but 
the topside access points move around.  Truth be told, there ought to be far 
more sewer-topside transitions; there are as many ways to get into the city
sewage system as there are to get into the classified government bunker, for
fae's sake.

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II. General Guidelines [2GGL]
The main numbers are the important part.  Subparagraphs are helpful but you
get away with ignoring them on your first reading.

1) There are no XP or other benefits to fighting for the sake thereof.  Cash
bounties are the closest you will get, but they will not cover costs until 
your reputable organization rivals that of the Rebels or SWAT.
1(a) In E1, you can get away with more combat, chiefly because the Infected do
not insist on getting up repeatedly.  Use this as an opportunity to learn how 
to maneuver, aim, and shoot effectively.
1(b) Running from everything gets old and is bad for morale; in E2&E3 Infected 
can match your speed at CQB distances so you may have to shoot. Solution: 
learn to strafe past opposition.  Run either in the general direction you want
to travel (if you need to get somewhere) or roughly parallel to the opposition
(if you are holding a position, your pattern will end up roughly resembling a 
circle or rectangle), and fire as necessary.  The idea is not so much to rack 
up kills as to keep the opposition off of you.  Arcade Mode is an ideal place 
to practice your circle-strafing skills.
1(c) Sometimes you will have to get through an area that the opposition has 
completely clogged.  Use the CSG or flamethrower to either kill Infernals or 
simply plow the Infected out of your way where necessary.  No, you will not
rack bodies for the count, but by the time plowing becomes routine you will 
only really need money to cover ammunition expenses, and that only if you are
using the flamethrower routinely.

2) Most everything you could ever want is available on the ground somewhere.
Scrounge topside interiors for Lootables containing ammunition and basic
inventory.  NPCs are correct that looting will replenish their ammunition;
about 20-30% per Lootable looted.
2(a) Lootable inventory parallels Diablo 2 treasure levels.  You will find at 
least one load of ammo (one pack for one weapon, minimum) in just about any 
container, anywhere.  Topside tends to provide mostly consumables such as 
caffeine, food bars, and the occasional mask, tape, or battery.  Sometimes you
will get a commodity, and color vials are rather rare.  Bunker has more 
grenades, is a bit more likely to pass out color vials, and can give out 
catalyst vials and packed emplacements*.
2(b) Dungeons can pass out the good stuff like Rotten Meat (attracts Infected
when dropped) and specialty summons (handy for E3, if you can't find a good 
L13/15 house for takeover).  I would not recommend looting in the  sewers; 
more chokepoints, no bases, and no body count v. topside loot is a losing 
argument IMO.

3) Your map is probably the best thing your PC has going for xyr.  Learn it,
use it, live it.  Heads indicate a house; flag color indicates alignment.
White is neutral, red is Rebel, blue is SWAT and you control green.
3(a) Importantly, "house", in SCZ context, means one enclosed interior area 
with a house leader present.  Multiple rooms of a building can be houses,
and each will have distinct levels and controllers.  My E1 main base was a  
four-way warehouse facility with one person controlling the hallway and two 
others each holding a room inside the building.  That eventually led to three
separate takings of leadership with three separate hordes repulsed.  
Fortunately for me, each added a full "house" to the control list and 
continued to have problems sharing commodities.  [Buy Electronics in the hall
and sell for a ~$20/apiece profit in the room 30 feet away.  Hmm.]
3(b) Some house leaders are Roma; for some reason this much-maligned ethnic 
group can heal everyone in your squad, no matter how far away your squad may 
be, and will do so--as often as needed--simply because you walked up and hit 
Talk.  You can identify a Roma by their light maroon kerchief, knotted in 
front.  Rebels, by comparison, have a red headband, knotted in back.
3(c) Despite what the readme may imply, taking a Roma house does not
affect their healing properties; likewise, Roma can in fact be aligned with a
faction.  My E3 setup has a Roma Rebel house leader, L15 to boot (completely 
open warehouse with over 4 access points though; definitely a losing battle).

4) Your PC requires food and energy.  It is theoretically possible to starve
to death, but you are more likely to get laggy and mobbed to death by a 
friendly neighborhood Infected swarm.  You will start seeing bad effects once
a stat drops into the negatives.
4(a) Hunger will auto-consume a unit of Food, if you have one, if you are at 0
or less Hunger.  Plan a meal every 4-8 hours under active conditions; resting 
consumes less food.  Food bars** are a viable alternative if you are strapped 
for cash; loot whenever you can and you should have an overabundance of food 
bars.  Consuming a Food restores a little over 3000 nutrition [so if you were
at -500, expect ~2500 post-consumption], and a food bar restores 1000.
Running into negative Hunger will slow the PC; at -1000 you will move about
as slowly as a Zombie.
4(b) As for energy, running dry on it tends to mess up your view. The camera 
will wobble (much like it does in the Menu).  If you are using the mouse to 
aim, this can interfere with precision shooting.  Resting will reset you to a
bit over 3000.  If you're a caffeine user, that will restore 1000 energy.
4(b)(1) Resting also gets the squad back to the house leader, uninfected, and
at full health.  It also advances the clock to 7 AM (dawn). If your NPCs are 
hopelessly swarmed and will be KIA in 5 seconds, consider resting in a 
desperate attempt to save their lives.  It is more reliable than trying to
actually rescue them.

5) You will start out severely underarmed for the task at hand.  Even the
Sales flaregun will not help in more than a L3 takeover and the Bartender SOSG
will  probably have serious ammunition problems.  Hang out around faction
members for a while; SWAT is preferable as they are generally better armed.
5(a) If the Infected land an attack on a faction member, stick around and put
xyr down once xe drops xyr gun (the Infected fight unarmed).  If this seems
morally questionable, well, it would be if you either had a way to cure
non-party NPCs (so far as I know, you do not) or you led the Infected to the
faction member in question.
5(b) Conversely, shooting someone for their gun is generally ineffective and
certainly inefficient.  Weapon or bite kills drop weapons only about 5-10% of
the time and they drop your relations with the faction if you or your NPCs
killed the faction member.  Once faction relations go negative, they and your
NPCs will fight on sight, and killing them (even if they shot you first)
incurs a further relation penalty. Substantial negative relations will induce
the  faction to actively seek and attack you, resulting in the proverbial 
downward spiral.

6) Anything persistent (it will not go away if you leave and come back) in an
Interior will always be in the middle thereof.
Lootables can be anywhere, but house leaders, area transitions, usw. will be
smack in the middle.

*Emplacements are covered in greater detail as weapons, supra.  When found in
the bunker, they are "packed" into one of your 64 inventory slots, as opposed
to being assembled as needed from 3 of your 30 components.  Save these for the
proverbial rainy day--as opposed to a literal rainy day (there is in-game 

**"Energy" implies that they might do something for your fatigue--they do not.

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III. Interfacial [3FAC]

As discussed in character creation, supra, the only real way to travel is via 
the Absolute + Mouse control scheme.  Recall that controls therefor are 
isometric and the mouse cursor is your aimpoint.  Holding  opens the 
menu, wherein left/right scroll selections in an area and up/down changes 
which of the three areas you're scrolling.  You can kick out to the console at
any time by pressing Escape; this is how you load w/o dying (kick out, log out
of your character, log back into your character, and run Story to arrive back 
at your last save).

Note that your aimpoint also defines which way you are looking.  In dark 
you will have little to no onscreen visibility behind you and to your sides.
Unfortunately quite a bit of the game will take place in the dark, so move the
mouse or otherwise turn around to check that all is clear (or rectify a non-
clear situation) every so often.

There are three ways to pause, two of which remain paused w/o further 
(handy if you have something more pressing to do).  1) Open the menu, and
action freezes whilst it is up; 2) Engage the map from the middle menu tier,
and the game stays paused until you hit  to resume; 3) hit Escape to
kick out to the console, game stays paused until you reenter or otherwise deal
with the game.

You save by: making an area transition; talking to a neutral, friendly, or
controlled house leader; or dying in Hardcore.

The Menu

Tier 1 is Inventory, 2 is Gear & Health, 3 is your Skills.  Commodities are
listed below Skills.  I'll discuss each, in inverse order.


SCZ civilization, such as it is, runs on four primary commodities: hardware,
electronics, chemicals, and food.  Their primary in-game function is to fuel
Active Skills, but your character will probably also consume Food to restore
--Commodity trading: Houses have an unlimited supply of and demand for each
commodity but trade for varying prices.  Operating trade routes is an honest
and fairly safe (in SCZ terms) way of making a profit and thereby developing
your character, even if the readme author finds it boring.
Bear in mind that if you control a house, you buy and sell commodities at the
"sell" price, rather than buying at the 100% markup.  IOW: Owning the houses
on your trade route substantially lowers your costs but does not affect
the price you'll receive at your destination, so you should see a noticeable
profit increase.


Skills generally break down into Active and Passive.  Active skills generally
let you burn commodities to get the effect of an inventory item (or, rarely,
create one).  Passives provide useful bonuses and are good to have around.

--Skill acquisition: All skills are available from house leaders. Each can
sell between 1-3 skills, rolled at episode start.  If you already have a skill
the leader could provide, the slot will appear empty.  Skills purchased from
house leaders cost $1K, full stop.  Alternatively, certain missions may
require you to employ a skill; they will then teach it to you at no charge.
Thus far, the only "free" skills I have encountered are C4 and C4 Detonator,
required in E2.  The only caps on skill development are the availability of 
funds and  instructors; chances are you will not find instructors for every
skill in one pass through all three episodes.

--Active skills: There are far more active skills (you affirmatively use them
and pay commodities for the privilege) than you will really need.  Most of
these I found less-than-useful, and I suspect I am missing one or two
entirely.  YMMV, however, and if so I heartily invite you to annotate your
experiences right in.
Use an active skill by selecting it in the menu and hitting .  You
can alternatively select a desired skill in advance and hit  to use
it without calling up the menu.  I find that calling the menu lets me take a
moment to stop, look at the situation, and figure out precisely how I can
best use the skills available, so the menu is preferable.  YMMV.

Adrenaline Boost: Protection from undead bites sounds great.  Problem is
that I've only seen *any* effect in E1.  I let rip in E3 and got bit for
damage in less than a second.  Do not waste your time, money, or commodities.

Armor (both): Blue Potions and Mercuronium can accomplish the same (or better)
effects using inventory, rather than commodities.  Hardware, in particular,
will serve you far better as an emplacement.  That said, Heavy Armor may be
handy for emergency stopgap needs if you plan on getting into shooting matches
that often--recall that non-Intelligent opposition will shoot at you
precisely *once* in the whole plot.

[Build Grenade]: Each of the grenades can be built from one component.  Pipe
bombs are built from hardware, EMPs from electronics, and Molotovs from
chemicals.  Using the skill builds and equips the relevant grenade, but re-
equipping your weapon will place the grenade in inventory.  Could be handy if
you are good with grenades but are not in a position to raid the bunker for
extras.  If you can buy the relevant commodity for under $5, using the skill
would let you make a gross profit since grenades sell for that amount.
Whether you are actually making money after costs of food and/or resting is
another matter.

C4/Detonator: Could be neat-o if you could use it to breach walls, as a remote
bomb, or plant one directly on a boss.  Even having the skills w/one Chemicals
& one Electronic should give a better ending.  Anyway.  All you get to do is
kill house leaders remotely--or use your previous kill(s) to "Threaten" them.
Meh.  They'll give it to you as part of the plot in E2M8, when you are
required to use it to kill off some leaders.  Do not waste your time, money,
commodities, or potential base locations where missions do not require its
--How to use C4: Use the C4 skill when you are next to the target wall, and it
will take one use (so one Chemical) on each exterior boundary.  If the "house" 
under condemnation is a smaller room of a larger structure, wire the walls
immediately around the target.  You should be able to [theoretically] cross
the wired wall and talk to the leader slated for demolition.  Apart from that,
charge placement does not matter.  Planting charges is not considered a
hostile act (for some reason) and the plot-required demolition of two SWAT
houses had no effect on my reputation. Once you hit the detonator it takes
about one second to actually blow.  I try to have the charges offscreen before
Finally: All C4 accomplishes is removing that leader from the Episode.  It
will not actually level the house or even make holes in the wall.

Disassemble: The good news is that this skill appears to be perfectly
"efficient", in that you will not pay commodities to use it.  Testing with a
starting Tech, however, only converted the starting 3 EMP grenades into 1
Electronics each, despite the fact I'd selected the GPS in the Inventory tier.
In short, it may be more efficient than selling grenades, but I would *hate* 
have it "randomly" disassemble a packed emplacement and provide 3 components.
Since it appears that things I would *want* to disassemble, like a GPS or car
battery,  are not subject to disassembly I would not bother with the skill.
[It only seems to reverse something you could build; a starting Sales will
not disassemble xyr Sentry Gun.]

GPS: Gives a radar-type display in the lower-right corner that tracks local
movement.  Provides noticeably longer-range intelligence than the regular
view, BUT: does not account for the isometric view; does not discriminate
between your squad, civilians, or hostiles; does not provide any indication of
range or scale; does not penetrate walls; does not provide advance warning of
horde spawns or trucks; and, despite its cost, only lasts for approximately 45
seconds.  Probably not worth the trouble.

Health Boost: One of the first skills you will want if you are not a doctor.
Chemicals are not needed for much else, so burning one to repair ~15% of the
health meter is not that damaging.

Healthy Meal: This is somewhat less efficient, since you consume food to stay
operational, but it seems to heal a bit more [maybe ~20%].  Note that despite
its food consumption, it appears to do nothing for your Hunger.  "Hyper-
Metabolize" might be a better name.

Laser Sight: Made an E1 SMG drop Zombies in 2 shots maximum, and lasted for
about a minute.  Glowing dot on the gun indicated it was on; looked neat, but
further testing needed.

Sentry Gun/Tesla Generator: Spawning an emplacement from commodities is
quicker, easier, and probably safer than raiding the bunker every time you
want to take a building or have some other reason to plant a turret.  With
good pricing and/or house control, sentries can be deployed for ~$25-30/pop
(or much less) in commodities.  Taking into consideration that undead
sometimes drop commodities and they show up in topside scrounging, the 3-
component cost is quite cheap.*  Check the weapon listing for discussion of
each emplacement; note, however, that using the skill builds and deploys the
weapon at your feet.  They do not build to inventory.
*I have had a time or two where the opposition dropped enough commodities to
replace the ones I used to build the emplacement that killed them.  Given the
circumstances [takeover hordes], however, retrieval may be challenging.

--Passive skills: Passives just sit in the skill bar and benefit you.  There
is really not much to say about them, aside from the fact that since they are
always on, it makes sense to stockpile all of them, just in case you ever need
them.  Note that passive skills seem less commonly offered than active ones,
so if you see a passive but cannot afford it, remember where it was and grab
it when you can.

Headhunter: You can get headshots—which guarantee the victim thereof will stay
dead--without it, but I suspect they become more commonplace (the skill
description states a 15% chance) with the skill.  Note that a flaregun
headshot is not overkill in E3, and a good thing to have in E2.  Even the LMG
benefits here, so I would grab it.  Note that the Hunter starts with this

Heavy Weapons: The CSG, SMG, Flamethrower and LMG are classed as heavy
weapons.  Without this skill, firing them slows you to roughly 30% of normal
speed for firing and one second afterward, though simply having them in
inventory or equipped incurs no penalty.  I have had to run whilst firing the
flamethrower rather often and would suggest having this skill before flaming
in a takeover situation.

Pistol God: Handgun and revolver RoF henceforward is a bit slower than the
SMG. This can help if they are the only weapons available at the moment or you
insist on using a suppressor, but tends to go through handgun ammunition
faster than scrounging provides it.  IMO this is not a particularly high

Regen: The best reason to be a doctor, and if you are not, probably the
highest-priority skill on your acquisition list.  Free healing greatly extends
the lifetime of your healing items, and by extension your character & squad.
The rate is not suitable for in-combat use (you are not the T-1000) but will
fix the bites and bumps of everyday travel.  If I had to put numbers on it, I
would say 10% or so of your maximum health restored per minute.
As implied, Doctors begin the game with this skill.

Runner: Flat 20% speed boost, both when maneuvering and in a full-out run.
This eases evasion & escape whilst making trading and travel go faster.  It's
a worthy investment.
Clerks start with this; it's probably the only good reason to be one.

Sharpshooter: Range upgrade is primarily noticeable on the flaregun; I had it
in the days PF* so I'm not sure about flamethrower range without it.  That
said, most guns worth using can hit anything on-screen anyway, so consider
Heavy Weapons, Runner, or Storage before going for this.
*Pre-Flamethrower.  Maintaining an operational flamethrower is tied with
deploying sentry guns as my determination of when a character's life begins.
Cf. the C&C note that life begins when you deploy your first MCV.

Storage: It is basically the backpack representing it.  Max commodities
changes from 20 to 30, full stop.  Get it before attempting any serious
trading or combat operations.  Sales characters start with this.

Gear (& Health)

The PC's gear is primarily a knife, whatever additional arms ze has, any
Medkits you may have found or purchased and the Map.  Selecting a weapon will
equip it as the active weapon; selecting the Medkit will use one if anyone in
your squad is at all injured, and selecting the Map opens it.

In case it is not obvious, that red ring behind the weapons is your health.
It starts at the 3 o'clock position and moves counter-clockwise.
Note that dropping below 75% or so will start to reduce in-game visibility*,
and below 33% or so you will be hard-pressed to avoid literally running into
hostiles.  Most healing restores around 10%-30% of your health, so repair
whenever you see fit.  The Regen passive skill will generally patch up 10% or
so of your health every minute, but since one can only monitor one's health
when paused I am not currently able to measure that.

*Things get darker and the view radius/angle starts to shrink.  You will know
it when it happens to you, but it's not a good thing.

Medkits fully heal NPCs and provide 30% healing to you.  Note that though
you can only buy them from house leaders if you have less than 10, there is no
cap on how many you can have.  I have had over 30 from topside scrounging.

The Wide World of Weapons

You can carry one of each item on the table below; however, recall that
ammunition-finding is randomly rolled for each weapon whose ammunition can be
scrounged.  Carrying too many weapons slows the rate at which you replenish
the ammunition for any particular one.

This begs the question: which weapons are superior, and by extension ought to
be carried in preference to others.  My primary character, Ka'lol, started
with the flaregun and was able to salvage a CSG on day 1.  From there, he
eventually scrounged a SMG and ran the dungeon for the flamethrower; I think
the LMG run waited until E2 but could be wrong.  These five weapons provided
acceptable power throughout the game and kept scrounging useful, since there
were only three weapons whose ammunition could be rolled.

Thus, I'd recommend one "sidearm" for general use, and the full four Heavy
Weapons for application as necessary.  Your sidearm ought to have reasonable
stopping power (damage and/or high RoF) and ideally a large magazine size,
since it should be your default weapon through E1, and hopefully into E2 as
well.  I'll gladly recommend the flaregun as an acceptable sidearm; the Rifle
might work, and the Tec-9 or Revolver may suffice during E1.

Weapon Table [3XWT]

My Range and Damage ratings on the table are subjective and certainly subject
to revision.  Further, I am not familiar with the lower Weapon Levels so they
are currently incomplete.  If you have something to add, or think changes are
in order, e-mail me at cstrayer AT rocketmail dot com with your reasoning,
your change, and how you want your name to look in the credits.

|Weapon |Range |Damage |NPC |Mag |HW |Faction |$/Wep |$/Ammo|Quick Notes
|Knife  |Melee |Stopgap| 0  |N/A |No |All     |N/A   | N/A  |Not so good
|C-Saw  |Melee+| Medium| 0-2|N/A |No |Party   | 100  | N/A  |Unreliable
|Handgun|Short | Low   | 0-3| 17 |No |Both    | 500  | 20   |Can silence
|SOSG   |Short |High   |    |6(3)|No |Rebel   | 600  | 20   |2 shells/shot
|F-Gun  |Med-A |Med-F  | 3,4| 16 |No |Party   | 800  | 20   |High power/RoF
|Rev    |Med+  |Low+   | 4  | 12 |No |Rebel   |1000  | 50   |
|Tec-9  |Short+| Low   |9-11| 50 |No |Rebel   |1200  | 30   |Not for takeovers
|Rifle  |Long  |High   |    | 08 |No |Rebel   |1000  | 45   |RoF a bit slow
|X-Bow  |Med+  |High   | -9 | 05 |No |Party   |1000  | 100  |
|SMG    |Med+  |Medium |11  | 32 |Yes| SWAT   |1250  | 40   |Generally OK
|CSG    |Med   | High  |11  | 04 |Yes| SWAT   |1500  | 80   |
|F-Throw|Med+A | Flame |13-5| 200|Yes|Party   |6000/D| 200  |Personal space
|LMG    |Long  |High-P?| 15 |100 |Yes|Party   |8000/D| 200  |Kills E3 bosses
|Laser  |Med+  |High   | 15 | 25 |No |Unlock/P|N/A   | N/A  |Extreme RoF

Range-"Short" is about 1.5 sandbags, "Med" a little over two, and "Long" makes
it all the way off the screen.  An A notation indicates that the projectile is
area-effect.  Pluses indicate a little more reach but not enough for me to
bump it to the next category.  [Note: these are measured WITHOUT the
Sharpshooter passive skill.]
Damage-"Low" weapons will not reliably kill E1 undead.  "Medium" does the job
until E2; "High" weapons either blast multiple targets (shotguns), cause
knockback, or simply allocate enough damage to be reliable in E3.  "Flame"
sets the target ablaze, which guarantees a kill on non-bosses until E3.  "Med-
F" notes that the flaregun's flare appears to do kinetic damage as well as
igniting its target.  "High-P?" indicates uncertainty as to whether LMG rounds
can blow through one hostile and into another.
NPC-What NPC Weapon Level(s) can supply your squad with the weapon.
Additional input requested.
Mag-Amount of ammunition you receive per pickup.  Double it if you are not
buying napalm or LMG ammunition (you get two findable mags for your money,
apparently).  Note that the SOSG fires two rounds per shot, so six shells
translate into three shots.
HW-Whether this weapon penalizes movement speed for those without the Heavy
Weapons passive skill.  Note that this includes your squad, and NPCs typically
do not have skills.
Faction-Who can be found with the weapon.  Everyone except your NPCs can come
up with a knife if it matters; I'm not sure whether your NPCs can show up with
a laser if you haven't unlocked it in Arcade.
$/Wep/Ammo-How much it'll cost you to buy the relevant item.  Note that weapon
prices reflect buying at houses you control; purchasing elsewhere doubles
weapon prices and is cost-ineffective.  Ammunition costs the same everywhere.
"/D" indicates that the weapon may be obtained, at no charge, as a prize for
completing a Dungeon.

Weapons in detail

Knife: Touch-range melee weapon; downs an E1 Zombie in one hit but will not
kill it.  If more than one Zombie is paying attention to you, you are fighting
a losing battle using this.  However, you will always have it, and it is
always available.
The E1 training NPC can show up with this if you have not yet taken a house.
With a knife, that NPC will not survive a L2 takeover.

Chainsaw: Unlimited-use* melee weapon with better reach, power and (more
importantly) RoF than the knife.  Tends to dismember fairly well. As the
description implies, it is more useful if you have access to dirt bikes.  I
wrote about that in the inventory section, but the short version is that it
instant-kills any generic opposition that touches you.
Chainsaw NPCs are available at L0-2; in E1 one held out through a L4
takeover, but was infected by cleanup time.  NPC users will report, in-game,
that people think chainsaws are a suboptimal NPC weapon, which they are.
[Oddly enough, chainsaw NPCs have an ammunition bar.  More testing needed to
see if that actually means anything (fuel?).]
*WARNING: Chainsaws have been known to disappear from the inventory without a
clear reason.  The first one I bought did not last long enough for me to open
the inventory and equip it, for fae's sake.  Do not buy a chainsaw unless you
can afford to not take the expense seriously.

Handgun: meh.  The suppressor* may be handy v. living but I prefer not to make
any more enemies than I already have.  People start suggesting you use one in
the back half of E3; perhaps non-suppressed fire spawns more opposition but my
L15 NPCs make that point academic at best.
17 rounds/magazine.
NPCs have enough ammunition topside, but will run dry quickly in dungeons.
Wait for more and/or better troops; going in alone is also an option, albeit a
rather risky one.
*Select the handgun, then select it again.  The green highlight behind it
should then disappear and the suppressor should appear on the handgun in the
main game.

Handcannon: This is a sawed-off SG, not a DE50AE or Automag.  It is about as
powerful as the CSG, but seems to have a little wider spread, less reach, and
certainly twice the ammo consumption; however, the SOSG is not a Heavy Weapon
so it may be more useful in early takeover attempts.
6 rounds (3 shots) per box.  This is a grossly ammunition-inefficient weapon,
and you should seriously consider selling it once you acquire HW skill and a
CSG or Flamethrower; either can accomplish the SOSG's mission more 
No NPC experience to report.

Flaregun: Flares, though shorter-ranged than bullets, bounce off walls and
have a small area-effect.  Further, a flare that "missed" and is on the ground
(but still lit) can still ignite opposition that walks on top of it.  Firing
into a group can frequently light two* undead with one shot. RoF is much
quicker than I had any right to expect (I'd guess 1.25 shots per second) and
fire tends to reduce the odds that undead will get back up.
A box of flares provides 16.
NPCs can run dry but tend not to.  They're generally about as accurate as a
moderately skilled player--enough to make it useful.  You will not have 100%
accuracy and neither will they.
*My record is three ignited with one flare, in E3.

Revolver: Shade did OK with it in E1 but bullets lose a lot of punch in E2
once the zombies start getting up.  When I accidentally killed a rebel in E3
xyr revolver was practically useless on the local undead.
12 rounds per drum set.
No real NPC experience yet.
Rebels use these; when they attempted to block peace talks in the reset E3,
revolver shots did about 5-10% of the health bar.  Do not sweat it, but do not
let them keep shooting you, either.

Tec-9: Full-auto is fun to spray around but you will go through ammunition way
too fast.  Stick to short, controlled bursts at definite targets.  Its initial
effective range feels a little less than two sandbag piles.  Do NOT expect 
this, no matter your ammunition load, to suffice for taking a house.
Each Tec9 clip provides 50 rounds.
NPCs have quite an impressive ammo load.  Though they were rather
short-lived in E2, nobody ever dropped below 25%.  Since each shot is
rather weak, I consider this overabundance justified.

Rifle: High damage and range; low RoF is a problem, though.  Probably quite
useful against bosses and in street skirmishes, but I'd want to shoot faster
in a takeover, dungeon, or in later Episodes.

I've never had an NPC with a rifle.

Crossbow: Instant-down punch in E1, and my NPC carrying it survived one or two
SMG NPCs*.  It would be interesting to see if the bow was considered
suppressed for E3 purposes; it seems quiet enough.  Since bolts are more
powerful and slower-firing than handgun rounds, it'd be an interesting trade-
NPCs have surprisingly little ammo; it's possible to run low on a typical
street-sweep.  Make a point to top off before embarking on any substantial
*Quite possibly because the SMG is a Heavy Weapon, so NPCs carrying them tend
not to be able to pull out of fights.  Shooting one's way out is not always
feasible, especially in E3.

SMG: Looks like an MP5.  It's a power weapon in E1 and an OK general-purpose
gun in E2; though it is not as lethal as the flaregun its range and RoF allow
for slightly more comfortable strafing whilst one remains on the move.  In E1
you may not have enough ammunition to use it consistently.  Initial testing
seems to support your NPCs' desire for a laser-sighted SMG; enhanced damage
may make the difference in E2, but is probably overkill in E1.
This is a Heavy Weapon.  Firing it without the Heavy Weapons passive skill
incurs a substantial movement speed penalty.
SMG magazines provide 32 rounds.
NPCs generally have enough ammo for these.  If you scrounge a container
every 10 minutes or so they should stay loaded; however, since NPCs lack the
Heavy Weapons skill, you may find that they have difficulty staying out of
trouble in later episodes, where the SMG becomes less effective.

Combat SG: I got luckier than I had any right to be in E1: a SWAT got infected
and dropped one for me on day 1.  Save it for special occasions such as
unexpected hordes or takeovers; in E1 one shell will flatten entire groups.
E2 hordes are more resilient and survive a shell or two.  It still works well
on dogs, though.  Even in E3, the CSG remains useful for plowing--especially
against the evil dolls.
This is a Heavy Weapon.  Firing it without the Heavy Weapons passive skill
incurs a substantial movement speed penalty.
4 shells per pickup; note that this is a full 4 shots, however.  CSG is more
ammunition-efficient than the SOSG.
NPCs have a little less ammunition than the SMG but do not go through it as
rapidly; the CSG is a CQB weapon so they will not shoot at something half a
block away.  Smart!

Flamethrower: IMO the better heavy weapon.  If you own a house ammo is
$1/shot, sold in lots of 200.  Stock up.  If you cannot buy napalm canisters,
then you have a flamethrower-shaped hole in your weapon ring.  Secure a base
reasonably close to a sewer entrance, get 3 NPCs, repair & reload, then go
looking for a random dungeon so you can remedy this deficit; buying it from a
L11 house is overpriced.  Circle-strafing with the flamethrower will save you
in many a close battle.  Finally, it will become your main-battle weapon for
the back half of E3.
This is a Heavy Weapon.  Firing it without the Heavy Weapons passive skill
incurs a substantial movement speed penalty.
NPCs have enough ammo to flame everyone around.  Problem is that they flame
*everyone* around, and thereby torch Rebels and SWAT.  If -512 from
one unfriendly-fire incident sounds like fun, I heartily recommend
L13 to your attention.  Note also that sometimes NPCs will fixate on a
particular undead chasing you and continually flame it; touching, bu
ineffective and a waste of ammo.

Mini-SAW: Not sure what makes this a "mini" LMG; the FN Minimi (adopted in the
US armed forces as the M249 SAW) fires 5.56mm (.223 cal) rifle-type
ammunition.  If we presume that the SCZ weapon includes an (unused) bipod, it
looks reasonably close to the real thing.  Unlike the other dispenser of
purchased ammunition, this weapon is generally less cost-effective for general
use, since its fire-line is far narrower and—though it appears to penetrate
multiple targets—costs twice as much per shot.  The real market for the SAW
would be E3 bosses, who are generally large enough to make aiming easier and
whose attacks are dangerous enough that paying for the LMG's high damage-per-
second ratio makes sense.  Note that this (and, rarely, the Sentry Gun) are
the only weapons I have seen blow apart the Infected's torsos (instant kill,
even in E3).
Each belt you purchase grants 100 rounds.  Firing your LMG thus costs
$2/bullet, so save it for emergencies or hard targets.
This is a Heavy Weapon.  Firing it without the Heavy Weapons passive skill
incurs a substantial movement speed penalty.
NPCs will bring exorbitant amounts of ammunition* for these, and use it
to gratifying effect on the opposition.  Too bad they lack HW skill (so will
have serious trouble running from a fight) or the affinity for mobile shooting
one develops in arcade mode.
*It feels like NPC LMGs cost $0.02 per bullet.  L15 is something of a
power trip.

Laser: Looks like a brown Handgun.  Running laser.exe gives the player this
blaster SMG with 999 rounds.  In E1, this has good power as well as knockback. 
However, shops are unaware of its existence; the player can neither sell it
nor purchase ammo.  Batteries are available as ammo loot, at 25 shots per
battery.  This will probably not sustain constant use, despite the Laser's
ability to (apparently) get 2-3 bolts out per unit of charge consumed.
NPCs will rarely show up with lasers at L15, and can (but probably will not)
bring them for L13 as well.  In E3, laser NPCs are neat but LMGs are the real
incentive for achieving L15.

--Grenades: These come in three flavors.  Note that using the relevant skill
will equip the built grenade but not launch it, as opposed to emplacements,
discussed below.  Reequip your preferred weapon to save the built grenade for
later use.

Pipe bomb: This is your basic thrown timed explosive.  They are capable of
destroying the trucks that sometimes drive by, as well as doing acceptable
damage to and igniting clusters of Zombies.  The 1-2 second fuse makes it
otherwise suboptimal against quicker or less predictable targets.

EMP bomb: The SCZ EMP is more accurately an electroshock grenade.  The charge
will find targets [if none are within range, it will retain the charge for
roughly two seconds, making this the *short-lived* SCZ proximity bomb] and
tends to do OK damage.  Like the Tesla generator, it can go through walls if
you need that sort of firepower.

Molotov: This is probably the best anti-horde weapon in the game.  On impact,
it explodes in a primary blast a bit larger than the pipe bomb, as well as
releasing flamethrower shots in an eight-way burst.  Any non-squad folks
caught in either will be set ablaze.

--Stationary weapons (Emplacements): The sentry gun and Tesla generator are
stationary weapons that can be quite helpful in E1 and provide needed backup
in E2.  The first thing to keep in mind is that they can and will target
anything moving; only you and your squad are safe.  Since any civilians, SWAT,
and/or Rebels in the area will not only die but distract your weapon from
higher-priority targets, let the living non-squad help get killed *before*
emplacing a weapon.
The opposition ignores emplacements, so do not worry about them knocking it
over or otherwise interfering with your support.  Conversely, you cannot
retrieve an emplacement once you've deployed it.  They time out after a
while*.  Thus far I have had three emplacements working at once; I am not sure
what, if any, cap exists.
Note that using the skill will place an activated weapon at your current
position, rather than giving you one in inventory.  Inventory emplacements are
available as bunker loot.  Save them for E3 as storing an emplacement in
1/64th of an inventory is far more space-efficient than needing 3 of 30
commodity slots that could be available for healing**.  In other words, use
the skill to build whatever emplacements you use to take buildings and ice
E1/E2 bosses.  Healing becomes a priority in E3, and generally you can't
restock during E3 missions.
All things being equal, sentry guns seem a bit more effective than Tesla
generators.  This is probably because sentry guns will fire continuously, so
long as they have targets.  Teslas fire every second, whether they have a
target or not; if the horde is a little late getting in range, they will have
another second to crowd you.  Friendly reminder: 2 seconds is a noticeable
delay in a combat situation.
*Assuming you are being reasonably quick about killing them, a L11
horde assault will outlast about two emplacements in E2.  If I had to
put a number on it, I would guess 30-45 seconds.
**1.5625% of the inventory v. 10% of the commodities.  The percentages
speak for themselves.

Sentry Gun: Automated minigun on a tripod.  Works well against a horde coming
from one direction; though it can swivel 360 degrees it can only fire in one
direction at a time.  If you expect company from more than one direction,
consider emplacing a second gun.  Range is a little more than 2 sandbag stacks
(the big piles of beige blocks).
Requires 2 hardware & 1 electronics.

Tesla Generator: Coil & generator on the tripod.  Fires about once every
second; if hostiles are w/in range [fluctuates; I've seen Teslas zap the
Infected from three sandbag stacks away and fail to zap inside one stack]
it sends out a chain-lightning bolt that goes through up to four or five
undead.  Allocates good damage, but the real draw is that it ignores walls
and need not swivel to change direction.
If nobody is around to zap, the coil will pulse ineffectively and recycle.
Requires 1 hardware & 2 electronics.

This is the catch-all for miscellaneous items.  You can have up to 64 on your
person at any given point. In the event of overcrowding, the only way to make
room in the inventory is to consume a consumable, mix vials, disassemble
assembled items, deploy a packed  emplacement [bad idea!] or sell items to a
house leader.  There is no "discard" function.

Item List
--Routine/Topside items:  (all consumed on use/removal)
Food Bar: +1000 to Hunger.  Note that more than 4000 is probably overkill.

Caffeine Pills: +1000 to Energy.  I quit caffeine years ago though; unless
you have some reason to avoid resting, simple rest cycles should suffice
throughout the entire game.

Duct Tape: Instantly preps a house leader for the car battery.  No other
apparent use, irritatingly enough.  [Come on, this is *duct tape* we are 
talking about here!  The handyperson's secret weapon!  Seal doors!  Tape pipe
bombs together for larger blasts!  Restrain bosses!]

Car Battery: Used after duct tape and initiates a MGS-style electric torture
sequence.  You will be required to torture someone in E1M2 and later in E2M9.
One might think one could use it to power lights [Since the game has 
Electronics, we can make a transformer], computers, appliances, or some other
less-malevolent application, but no such functionality is apparent.

Ski Mask: Portable cover identity--actions whilst wearing a mask don't
affect your non-masked rep.  Using the ski mask when you have it on removes
and destroys it.

Cigarettes: 00509 doesn't smoke; can't abide the smell.  Sorry.  Since these
have a character graphic, comparable to the masks, and their description
indicates that they suppress appetite but increase fatigue, I suspect they
last for a while and have that effect whilst they're going.

Vials, Color: These can come in Red, Blue, or Yellow.  See the Chemistry
section for information on potential combinations.
You cannot consume a vial by itself, but mixing them (obviously) consumes
both.  Colored vials sell for $10.

Ghost Crystal*: Found in churches if you are playing Hardcore.  When you die
whilst holding one**, the PC becomes a large white orb (similar to a Ghost)
which floats around as you would normally move--you open doors as normal,
despite your lack of a body.  You are supposed to find someone who looks
promising and float into them to take over their body.  You get their gear and
(lack of) inventory***, along with faction relations (if you possess a SWAT,
you will be hostile to the Rebels, and vice versa; civilians have 0 with both
factions) and will be out the crystal.
Note that though you can find and loot Lootables whilst incorporeal, anything
found will NOT transfer into a new host.  Looting may nevertheless be handy
to reload NPCs or if you plan to use the
EXPLOIT: If you were not on a Work or a Mission when you died, find an Area
Transition and use it before possessing anyone.  You will arrive in the new
area in your pre-death body, with inventory, gear, and commodities, including
the proceeds from any Lootables you picked up whilst in ghost form.  Your
reincorporated body will have roughly 1000 Energy and Hunger, regardless of
those values when you died.  And the ghost crystal remains available.
Given that you cannot possess your NPCs (the only folks who might [maybe and
arguably] have any inclination to sacrifice themselves for you), I would
recommend using the exploit.
Consumed on possessing someone else; sells for $15.
*I would like to dedicate this entry to JRB, Agent Johnson, and Agent Jackson,
who were forced into a Hardcore game and run to death solely that we might
have the benefit of their experience.  In Morte Sumus.  I would also apologize
to the three civilians whose lives I hijacked whilst testing the crystal.
**Note that the game saves on your death; you will load floating at the
spot where you died.  While you are in ghost form, pressing  will
toggle directly to the Map.  Finding a new host does not save the game, but
exploiting an Area Transition does (the AT saves on passage).
***Lose all commodities, inventory, and gear; you keep money, skills, and
NPCs (who will continue to follow your ghost around).  If you possess a
random civilian, they will only start with a knife and Map, as well as roughly
1000 Energy/Hunger.  Unfortunately you may not possess the Infected.

--Interesting/Bunker items:
GPS: Gives a radar-type display in the lower-right corner that tracks local
movement.  Provides significantly longer-range intelligence than the regular
view, but: does not account for the isometric view; does not discriminate
between your squad, civilians, or hostiles; does not provide any indication
of range or scale; does not penetrate walls; does not provide advance warning
of horde spawns or trucks; and, despite its rarity, only lasts for roughly 45
seconds.  Probably not worth the trouble.

Adrenaline Shot: Theoretically protects against bites from the Infected.  If
it's as useful as the skill, I would not bother.
Amphetamine Shot: Speed booster.  Could be handy if you lack a green potion or
the relevant skill.
Health Shot: Heals ~20%, IIRC.  Not a bad find.

Emplacement, Packed: Cha-CHING!  These are the primary reason to loot the 
bunker: a Tesla Generator or Sentry Gun compressed into one inventory slot and
ready to go--even if (for some reason) you lack the skill to make one from

Vials, Color: These can come in Red, Blue, or Yellow.  See the Chemistry
section for information on potential combinations.
You cannot consume a vial by itself, but mixing them (obviously) consumes
both.  Colored vials sell for $10.

Vials, Catalyst: These (typically found in twos) are one of the reasons to
go bunker-diving.  Mixing one with a color vial results in a significantly
different and generally "better" potion.  However, each has fairly specialized
uses, so don't go wild catalyzing everything.  Consult the Chemistry section
for a combination list.
Drinking the Catalyst seems like a bad idea; in any event, the only way to
"consume" it is via catalyzing a color vial.  They sell for $10, despite their
comparative rarity.

--Specialty/Dungeon items:
Dirtbike Keys: If you have both a Flamethrower and a LMG, you will get these
in your prize box at the end of a Dungeon.  Once you have them, you can find
dirt bikes lying around in the warehouses*.  Get to the bike and use the keys
to get on and fire it up.
You will have tank ("relative") controls no matter your control setting whilst
on the bike.  By itself, all the dirt bike does is louse your controls and
move you faster than it's feasible to see.  Equip a chainsaw prior to getting
on the bike, and you kill opposition by touch.  Not bad if you do not have a
squad, but the speed and control problems (you must apply throttle in order to
turn) will probably get squaddies killed thanks to their inability to pull out
of fights on their own.  Incidentally, use the keys again to get off the bike.
Unfortunately, once you get off it disappears to dev/null.  I have not been 
able to take one through an area transition and the rooms seem to lock off
during the hell dimension parts of E3.
The keys are reusable and sell for $100, if for some reason you want to
offload them.
*"Warehouses" are tough to define.  The structures that have a 4-way
internal hall with rooms in each corner can have bikes in the middle of
the hall (ideal); the topmost of the four quadrants has another
"warehouse" as the small room attached thereto, and that room design
recurs in other structures.  My go-to spot for dirt bikes in E3 is one such
room that for all the world was built onto the top corner of a house.
Your best bet is to talk with leaders in warehouse-looking houses and see
if they either mention its warehouse status (faction) or note the food
stockpile as the reason for settling there (neutral).  If so, that type
of facility is a warehouse.  In my experience, dirt bikes and house
leaders will not appear in the same house, so note the specific
structural details of the house (shape, doors, location in larger
structure, usw.) and look for similar unoccupied buildings.  Finally, bikes
will not show up at all if you do not have the keys.

Hockey Mask: This is a fully reusable mask awarded to folks surviving the
dungeon whilst carrying a Flamethrower, LMG, and Dirtbike Keys; I made that
run in E3.  Looks nicer than ski masks, but I'm not up to seeing if it
provides a melee boost (paging Mr. Voorhees).  If you enjoy using masks, I
suppose this could be fairly handy.  [The pickups file has a demon mask and
a gas mask as well; hypothesis: those may be available if one picks up a
reusable mask in an earlier Episode?]
It is indeed reusable and sells for $100.

Red Mirror*: If for some reason you cannot get enough of the hell dimension,
this handy item will set the textures to "hell" the next time you use a
door.  Whilst in hell, you won't have access to houses BUT every Lootable
will have another Red Mirror for you; use one to return.  Going to Hell
consumes the mirror, but using one to return apparently does not.
Red Mirrors sell for $20; it feels like harvesting them for profit would
only hamper your cause long-term, though.  Enjoy!
*The first one of these showed up in E2Mx, in the Lootable containing the
mission objective.  I have never had one show up in the dungeon, but since
they will not show up in "regular" salvage I thought this was the best place
for them.  Additional one-off items may merit creating their own section.

Yellow Whistle: This spawns in an NPC "Angel" with costume wings and a
LMG.  She arrives in about one second but only comes with ~20% ammo.
[I tried the whistle whilst the mirror was in effect; not sure if the two
Whistle is consumed on use and sells for $100.

Red Whistle: Spawns in an NPC in red coat and horns--presumably a demon of
some sort, but "Roger" didn't spell it out quite as well.  The NPC does
however come with a flamethrower.  I received this in my dungeon prize Parcel
thrice running [though the game reported it as a Filthy Meat] when carrying
a flamethrower, LMG, keys, and hockey mask, so it may be a generic 5th award.
Whistle is consumed on use; like the Yellow Whistle, it sells for $100.

Filthy Meat: Drop it and the Infected will swarm that instead of you.  It
will not last forever but can buy you some breathing room in a Take Leadership
with one too many doors.  Found along with the Red Whistle on my fifth pass
through the dungeon; my first came in the prize Parcel on the second pass,
IIRC.  Note that Hunter characters start with one of these.
Consumed (eventually) on use, sells for $1.  I suggest saving it for an
overextended takeover bid or E3 boss horde.

You will probably find vials after scrounging around topside for a while; they
are also available in the bunker.  Catalyst is only available in the bunker.
Vials of themselves do not do anything, but if you have more than one you can
mix them in groups of two to create a Potion.  Select one vial and then select
the other one you want to mix.  The Potion will appear in place of the second
vial, in case you want to arrange your inventory in a particular manner.  Note
that though the order you mix is otherwise meaningless (Blue+Red will produce
the same result as Red+Blue), attempting to mix a vial into a potion will
simply drink the potion and leave the vial unaffected.
All potions sell for $20, full stop.  Apparently Stimulyte's street value
has declined since the readme came out.
Potion list: [syntax: vial+vial=potion,effect]
Red+Red=Red, restores 30% health
Red+Blue=Purple, restores hunger & fatigue (~300 or so each)
Red+Yellow=Orange, restores 3000 hunger
Blue+Blue=Blue, 10 body armor (next 10 bullet hits do no damage)
Blue+Yellow=Green, movement speed boost
Yellow+Yellow=Yellow, restores 3000 fatigue
Cat+Red=Perceptol, greens the screen and probably 360-degree vision
irrespective of lighting [needs testing in harsh environments;
I fired it up topside and it wore off on area transition-00509]
Cat+Blue=Mercuronium, 25 body armor, no side/aftereffect I noticed
Cat+Yellow=Stimulyte, sell to house leaders (SCZ equivalent of FO2's Jet,
I think--could be handy for you but it makes hunger and fatigue
completely unmanageable after it wears off)

The Menu, cont'd [welcome back!]
Aside from the tiers, there are other useful but less-interactive features in
the menu.  The programmers will provide a brief description of whatever's
currently selected; find that on the lower left.  In E1 they will also
provide handy tips about the game, for the first 7 days.  Some tips are more
helpful than others.

--Status corner: The top left corner displays status information.  The day
counter is purely informational.  Time of day is important: you'll start the
game around noon, come out of rest cycles at ~7 AM, night sets in around 8-9
PM* (visibility drops off quite a bit) and ghosts can start showing up around
11 PM.  Ghosts drop off shortly before dawn, which is generally close to 7 AM
if you feel the need to pull a virtual all-nighter.  The body count as
displayed records all kills since your last rest cycle or area transition;
though that implies that kills in the sewers, etc aren't compensated, I
haven't been able to confirm the loss.
As for money, that's fairly straightforward.  I haven't been able to pin down
precisely when the daily kill bounty, infra, pays off; apart from payoff
timing and AT body-count problems with the bounty, it should behave precisely
as you would expect.
*According to the readme, SCZ takes place during a summer in the 1990s.
I completed E3 on Day 94 [the day counter remains the same between episodes]
and had seen no noticeable seasonal effects (such as shortening daylight
hours).  Note that the air-raid siren sounds at approximately 9 PM, if you are
topside but not watching the clock.
--Hunger/Fatigue: These were covered in General Guidelines, supra at II.4.  To
recap, each drains (at the same rate) over game time and if not restored, the
PC slows down (hunger) or the player's camera goes wonky (energy).  Problems
only start when a stat goes negative.
As for restoring these, you have the Food commodity, the Rest option with
house leaders, and a fair few inventory items.  The PC will automatically and
instantaneously consume 1 Food, restoring roughly 3000 Hunger, when Hunger
hits 0.  You can manually use a food bar from inventory to add 1000 Hunger, or
drink a purple or orange potion.  Purple restores roughly 300 Hunger, and
orange adds 3000.  Resting restores Fatigue to about 3400, and if you're a
caffeine user the pills add 1000.  Purple potions also add 300 Fatigue, and a
yellow potion adds 3000.

The mid-left area tracks any NPCs that may be following you around.  Each one 
has a name label, their mug shot, a health bar (red) and
ammunition bar, if applicable (blue).  A flashing health bar indicates
infection; either use a Medkit, use an area transition, talk to a Roma, or
rest with a house leader to fix the problem.  Infected squad members will take
far longer than infected faction members to succumb; if they're not under
attack, you should have enough time to either stop or heal the infection.
Ammunition is available either from Lootables or house leaders; Lootables give
each NPC a minor reload whilst purchasing one from a leader will probably top
everyone off.  [The readme quantifies these as 25% from Lootables and 75%
from leaders; in my experience the numbers depend on what the NPC is packing
and are a bit fuzzier.]  Bear in mind that Dungeons do not contain Lootables,
so NPC ammunition is at a premium therein; unlike you, party members do NOT
have any backup weapon.  Nor do you seem able to remedy this.  

--NPCs: NPC relations, to my knowledge, are purely cosmetic.  NPCs will take
an interest in your character ("How you doing, $PLAYERNAME?") if it's the two
of you; otherwise they will banter amongst themselves.  Banter can discuss the
situation at hand (philosophy, suggestions, or status updates—infection/empty
weapons will generally draw comment), pre-plague occupations, opinions on the
NPC's weapon, or opinions of others (romantic, positive, or negative).
Unfortunately, romance interests only seem to be heterosexual.
Intra-squad relationships of themselves don't seem to affect squad efficiency,
for good or ill, but can add a bit of human interest to the game and (more
importantly) can endanger the squad as people cannot talk and move at the same
time.  I've lost people in E3 due to their need to stop and make a living will
($NPC must promise to shoot $TALKER if $TALKER gets infected) whilst being
As discussed in the section on houses, NPCs are generally a function of which
and how many houses you control.  Your map lists the current party size and
weapon level.  Each of the first nine houses you take adds 0.3 to the NPC
count; partial members can show up but are less likely to do so.  For the
record, you start E1 with 0.3 NPCs purely so an NPC can show up and lecture
you, whether you need it or not, on how to start developing your character.
You will continue to have 0.3 NPCs after taking your first house, rather than

Weapon Levels parallel takeover difficulty.  I discuss that more in the
section on houses, but the short version is that houses that required more
combat to take provide your squaddies with better firepower.

Additionally, you and your squad can and will be asked to escort an NPC from
time to time.  Mission-escorted NPCs stick to the PC like the proverbial glue
and are unarmed.  Work-escorted NPCs appear to function as a squad member, but 
that may depend on having open squad slots.  Though you can't see a Mission
NPC's health I've never had one killed--though I haven't gone out of my way
to try.

NPCs generally arrive when you move from one location to another.  Generally
this involves a door but Area Transitions and (in some cases) successfully
taking a house also qualify.  Further, certain dungeon-class items can also
add combat (not escorted) NPCs to your squad, provided there's room.  The
Yellow and Red Whistles each summon a high-powered NPC (carrying a LMG or
Flamethrower, respectively) to join the squad, and that NPC remains as though
it had been rolled like any other.  Consider saving them for the beginning of
E3, where high-powered troops are difficult to come by.

         1         2         3         4         5         6         7       79

IV. Municipal Geographic [4GEO]
SCZ is made up of three primary tiers: Topside, the Sewers, and the Bunker.
The Dungeon and the Hell Dimension are a specialized version of the sewers and
a retexturing of an existing tier, respectively.  Within each tier, there are
"exterior" and "interior" areas.  Exteriors provide room to maneuver and
travel between interiors.  Interiors are where the action takes place: mission
targets, Lootables, dirt bikes, area transitions, and Houses are all found

A House is an interior containing a House Leader.  The readme notes that house
leaders are "an integral link" between the player and SCZ.  More precisely,
they're the shops, the mission-givers, and the repair depots.  Without them,
the PC would either be a strung-out caffeine junkie or fodder for the Infected.

NPCs are a function of houses, and though not as generally useful they can
certainly make life easier for you.  I'll cover each in order.

Each tier is its own map; you move between them via Area Transitions, 
typically a sewer grate, ladder, or elevator in the middle of an interior.
The Bunker is substantially smaller than the other two; roughly 25% of the
full map.

This is where the game started and where it'll eventually end.  That said, it
is generally also the safest Tier, since Houses are present and the exteriors
are generally wide.  It links to the Sewers and the Bunker; Dungeon transitions
can spawn in buildings.  When in doubt, get Topside.

--The exterior: The city streets are affected by weather and host Trucks; be
prepared to dodge when traveling on streets which run diagonally
down-left.  The Infected will generally be present anywhere you go; though the
map theoretically displays concentrations, I have never felt lonely traveling
topside.  However, that is someone from E3 speaking.  Factions will
occasionally have their troops outside in the vicinity of their buildings
(about a block or so away, maximum) which can provide cover, additional
weaponry, or a threat depending on the circumstances.  Finally, do yourself a
favor and stay away from buildings unless you plan to enter one.  The Infected
have a habit of ambushing out of doors and windows.

--The Interior: You will probably spend most of your SCZ career in or around
these locations.  Topside buildings include bars, churches, clinics,
convenience stores, homes, and warehouses.

Bars: Obvious from the exterior due to their red-green windows.  Bars
typically have the counters along the wall with tables and open space in the
In stand-alone bars, you can count on a walled back-room area being available;
it may prove a useful redoubt if takeover hordes overrun you.  Sometimes a
barroom will be attached to another building, though, and in that case you
will have to make do without the backroom.

Churches: Most obvious structure in the game.  They have red-brick walls and
stained-glass windows.  Internally, the pews can make maneuvers interesting but
typically will not hamper the Infected--this is not Nethack, and churches 
offer no protection.  If you are playing on Hardcore and do not have a crystal,
find one in a Lootable here, if any Lootables are present.

Clinics: Less obvious from the outside, but the door has a visible Red Cross
on it.  The sign appears to be for a MD's office.  Inside, they have
anatomical charts on the walls and gurneys around the floor.  Clinics
typically have a wall bisecting the place, which can make takeovers easier.

Convenience Stores: Generally, these are wide open floorplans with shelves
throughout and a counter down one side.  However, I have seen C-stores where
the house leader moved most of the shelving out and replaced it with couches,
floor lamps, and coffee tables.  [I would not expect to buy furniture at the
neighborhood gas station.]  If takeover hordes get past your containment they
will probably use the furniture for cover; though this allows them to more
easily sneak up on you it also breaks them into smaller groups.
Theoretically (according to the readme) you are more likely to find food bars
here.  In practice, topside scrounging has kept me well-stocked no matter the
particular building.

Homes: These are single-family dwellings, typically compartmentalized with one
primary hall and several "nooks" open to the hall.  Some homes have a 
Warehouse attached (probably to represent a garage).  Homes are non-trivial
to take; though the walls do offer cover for Tesla Generators and EMP bombs,
engaging via any other means will generally put you in lunge range for
the Infected.

Warehouse: Sometimes these will be obvious from the roller-doors on the outside
(which are functionally equivalent to walls), but not always.  In general, if
a building is not any other type, it will either be a C-store or a warehouse.
The four-way hall with smaller structures inside is a warehouse, despite the
lack of maneuvering room (if the dirt bike is any indication, I would not want
to pilot a forklift in there) or storage space.
-Dirt bikes: If you have the Dirtbike Keys, dirt bikes will show up quasi-
randomly (if you expect to find one, you won't) in warehouses that do not have
an Area Transition or house leader.  They will be in the middle, like an AT or
house leader.

Unfortunately, there are only two entry points to the sewers, and both tend to
be in the same general area; both also go topside, meaning that the sewers do
not connect to the bunker.  So much for using the sewers for transport.  When
I go looting, sewer loot tends to match that found topside, and since the body
count resets on area transition, the chances of getting paid for kills
approach zero.  Finally, the terrain is far more restrictive--it is
practically equivalent to topside, except for only being allowed to cross the
street at a crosswalk.  This allows the Infected to restrict your movement
with far greater ease.
Therefore, I'd recommend staying out of the sewers unless you have a mission
down there.  They are somewhat more hazardous, for the same payoff you can get

The bunker, as stated before, is rather smaller than topside or the sewers.
You can make it from one side to the other without making an all-day project
of it.  Factions are aware of the profit margins in the bunker, so expect
salvage teams throughout.  IOW: watch your fire.  As stated in the sewer
section, the bunker and sewers do not interconnect.

--The exterior: The bunker hallways vary widely; some are wide enough to be
their own room, whilst others are narrow.  Some parts may have walls
partitioning the hallway (not unlike homes, topside).  Be aware that there may
be transitions to interior areas (e.g. doors) without an actual door.  Apart
from that, walls are not as hazardous down here; there are no windows from
which the Infected could ambush you.

--The interior: Apart from being likely to dead-end, these are not that
dissimilar to the bunker exterior.  Network Admin rooms are more likely to
contain mainframe computers (a scenery item roughly as large as a sandbag
and Chemical Stores may have a greater probability of containing Catalyst, but
I have not quantified anything as yet.  Quantifying Lootable odds is a job
for someone with far more time than I, or access to the code and a guide to
interpreting it.

The "Secret Dungeon" is a randomly generated series of rooms using the sewer
texture set.  Area transitions thereto are randomly rolled when you enter a
topside interior; if you see a sewer grate and the building you are in is not
marked green on the map, there either is or was* a "Trap Door" to the dungeon
here.  Unwanted dungeons are a hazard of exploring topside interiors, but do
not occur sufficiently often to outweigh the risks of looting in the sewers.
Note that the plot assumes that the party has no memory of what goes on in
dungeons; otherwise, you'd believe Amanda in E3M2.  Note also that, like other
Area Transitions, going into or out of a dungeon resets the body count.
Minimize combat--you should not expect Lootables down here and you are not
being paid for kills.  Finally, don't bother fleeing a random dungeon via the
entrance as that will only record all the resources you depleted.  Either
die fighting (in Normal only--Hardcore will save your losses on your death) or
logout and back in to load, which will start you topside where the dungeon
entrance no longer exists [but another may later be rolled there].

--Deciding on a dungeon: Dungeons are an endurance match.  Once you go in, you
will receive no Lootables until the end (and probably not even then) but will 
certainly be attacked in every room.  Some dungeons are shorter than others,
but you will probably go through about 2000 Energy and Hunger in the place.
As for gear, I would recommend at least 80 shots' worth of SG (so 160 SOSG
rounds) and several hundred rounds of SMG, flare gun, or revolver at least.
Finally, do your dungeoneering early in the day and preferably in E1 or E2--
there is no sense in fighting more difficult opposition than necessary.
E3 dungeoneering may require the Flamethrower to clear crowded rooms.
--Dungeon design: If you opt to accept a dungeon, you will start at one entry
point.  The other entry point will generally be on the other side and will
serve as your exit** point; the prize room is generally around there, but need
not be the exit, the room before the exit, or anything set in concrete.
The dungeon proper will be a series of rooms with fixed opposition (if Room R
had exploders, it will not later have Evil Dolls) and a few locked doors & key
rooms.  Despite being made entirely of interiors, a dungeon will only have
Lootables in the prize room--and even then, they are *rare*.
--Key rooms: These exist to complicate things, and are a typical room with a
flame in the middle.  Neutralize all opposition, including stragglers from the
previous room or Infected NPCs, and the flame will convert to a key.  Grab
that and go breach the next locked door between you and the exit point.  Key
rooms are not restricted to any particular type of hostile, but since Infected
are the most common they tend to get the most key rooms.
--Opposition: Dungeon rooms may contain any one of the following: Infected,
Zombies, Infected/Zombies, Exploders***, Maggots, or Evil Dolls.  ED are the
least common, but you can safely expect to go through an ED room on your way
--Prizes: Prize rooms are generally clear of opposition and contain a glowing
Parcel.  Its contents are a function of your inventory; if you have a  
particular prize item already, it gives the next item, until you have all four
dungeon prizes.  In order: Flamethrower, LMG, Dirtbike Keys, Reusable Mask.
Once you have all four, you will generally end up with a substantial cash 
prize ($3,000 or so) and multiple dungeon items; if you get a known prize, you
may  get one dungeon-class item as well.  In general, once you get the LMG 
dungeon diving becomes more of a novelty.

*In a particularly irritating touch, the programmers made dungeon transitions
lock if you find but fail to use them.  That particular grate will remain but
no longer activate; I suspect that unused dungeons are cleared when you exit,
but have not confirmed that.  Accepted but non-completed dungeons (you died
or loaded whilst in the dungeon) do not leave grates behind on loading.
**Note that when you surface you'll come out of a sewer access point.
You may want to secure a facility near the sewers for quick repair&reload
before going downstairs.  After a successful dungeon dive, you'll come out
with noticeably depleted NPCs and probably down a medkit or three.  Do you
want to do so on the far side of town as well?
***Dungeon exploders seem to detonate noticeably more quickly than their
counterparts elsewhere; in general, they are the single most dangerous part of
dungeon diving.

Houses & House Leaders [4XHL]
Houses are, as mentioned previously, an interior containing a house leader.
They are only available topside; despite the missions involving sewer
colonization, neither Amanda nor anyone else will establish a house
Accomplishing things at a house generally involves the house leader; walk up
to the leader* and a "Talk" notation should show up.  Once it does, hit
 to open the menu; if the leader is either neutral or a member of a
friendly faction, the game will save.

--Roma: If you or your squad are injured, talking to a Roma leader will 
automatically heal everyone (as soon as you click to talk).  Click again
to bring up the menu faster**.

--House options: These are fairly straightforward.  Talking gives a blurb
based on the house leader's (former) faction and the type of building they
happen to be occupying.
--Trade Gear: This covers weapons and party reload (under Gear), personal
ammunition (Ammo)***, offloading weapons**** or inventory (Sell X), and
learning new skills (Skill).  Each leader can impart up to three skills, fixed
at map generation.  Once you start learning skills, finding ones you lack
becomes increasingly difficult.  Note also that houses will only sell you
Medkits if you have less than 10, though you can certainly find more than that
in topside Lootables.
--Trade Commodities: Houses have an unlimited stock and capacity for
commodities.  IOW, once you find a profitable route, it will stay that way for
the rest of the Episode.  If you own the house, the buy & sell prices will be
the same (so if you decide that perhaps you do not need 20 Food after all, you
can sell back the excess at no loss).
--Get Work/Mission: A Work can be either a courier/escort run (for neutrals,
or if your faction relations are positive but low), or a hit on the opposing
faction's hangout.  Escorts/couriers are straightforward trips from one house
leader to another but pay based on distance ($316 is the record high but that
involved traveling from the center of town to the right corner; $50-100 tends
to be more commonplace).  Hits seem worth $200 or so, plus drops.  Taking a
hit Work, even if you have not attacked any members of the target faction and
your relations therewith were positive beforehand, will set that faction
hostile—so go in shooting.
--Rest: Teleport the squad to the house leader and power everyone down for
repairs and recharging.  Everyone will wake up at 7 AM the next day, at 100%
health, and uninfected.  This restores roughly 3000 Energy to the PC and costs
up to $25***** unless you control the house--if you do, resting there is free.

--Bribe: If the faction leader is hostile (you have negative relations with
their faction) you may pay them off to restore relations to +5.
Thus far I have been able to pay $35 to fix -7 after taking a SWAT building,
$130 to cure -26 after starting as a Rebel and killing a few SWAT on my way to
test a SWAT building, $80 to fix –16 after hitting a Rebel base for SWAT as a
Work, and $425 to move the Rebels back to +5 from ~-80.
Note that you have to have your mask off to initiate settlement talks as
otherwise they won't realize you're in the market to settle things.  "I am X's
representative.  Zie sent me to make whatever arrangements are necessary to
have peace between xyr and your faction" apparently doesn't work.
Note also that you may only Bribe or Hostile Takeover hostile house leaders,
and that the game does NOT save when you talk to them.  Be careful.

--Take the house: Hold off (rather a lot) of opposition, and in return add the
house to your reputable organization; termed either "Take Leadership" at a
neutral house or "Hostile Takeover" at a faction house.
Attacking a friendly faction house will put you into single-digit negative
relations with them, even though you probably killed a LOT of their members in
the takeover bid.  Assuming control of houses is generally the first thing you
should do on arriving in a later Episode.  Note that if you fail a Take
Leadership, for whatever reason, your save happened before the takeover
attempt.  Feel free to load and retry or replan.
--The Takeover SCZ: Takeover difficulty is a function of several variables.
"Takeover Difficulty" indicates approximately how many hordes/assault waves
will come through; the number and placement of access points is frequently a
more important factor.  Each door gets its own wave, rather than each wave
dividing itself among the available doors.  Note also that the other side of a
door is generally irrelevant; it could lead outside, to a hallway, to a room
with no other doors and capacity for no more than 50 of the Infected, or even
to a house that you control.  Chances are that the hordes will come through
That said, you appear to be paid for undead kills racked in takeover attempts,
so if you think you can handle another hundred or so of the Infected, go for
Who (thus, what) you are fighting is also key; the Infected (neutral house)
bring Exploders and Zombie Dogs to the fight whilst SWAT SMGs are no joke.  I
have not attacked a Rebel house but I imagine Rifles and Tec9s probably do not
tickle either. Conversely, you can armor against Intelligent firepower, but
Infected will hurt if they get a bite or blast in.  Note also that the 
Infected's increased resiliency will make the same neutral takeover more 
difficult based on Episode; Intelligent opposition may take another bullet or
two but will not survive incineration like E3 hordes can.
--Later-game takeover notes: Assign a sentry gun per door and be ready to
flame everyone to help keep the hordes contained.  Once they start making it
through the doors--and they will on anything higher than L6-L7--go mobile with
the flamethrower and feel free to build additional emplacements.  Be advised
that your squad is immune to your/their flamethrowers, so don't worry about
flaming nearby undead.

--Alternate approaches: The SCZ readme notes that you can convince houses to
join you by either selling the leader four doses of Stimulyte (house joins and
provides you a dose per day) or by C4ing a house, wiring another, and then
discussing the situation with the wired leader.  The problem with both of
these approaches is that neither theoretically works on high-level houses (11-
15) and that C4 requires one house destroyed for each house taken.  Since
houses are a very finite resource (and the later Episodes require destroying a
few as part of the plot), I think we can safely call using C4 Evil Stupid.  
Dealing in Stimulyte seems distasteful but at least leaves your people intact. 
Friendly reminder: you ARE paid for undead killed in a Take Leadership.

*Do not be afraid to get close.  I know firsthand that leaders are immune to
weaponry, thanks to trying to talk from more than two feet away.  Hitting a
civilian or (worse) a faction member by accident is no fun, however.  FWIW,
talking to house leaders is a function of proximity.  You can talk, and I have
talked, to leaders through a room's internal walls.
**[Yes, I am *quite* familiar with your healing magic, leader.  The last three
times you used it on us were five, three, and one minute(s) ago.--00509, 
some difficulty getting the squad out of a house in E3]
***Though houses will only sell weapons to their level, they will buy anything
and sell ammo for every weapon in your inventory.  That L2 house you just took
can reload the 200 napalm you burned in the effort.
****Note that you are NOT paid for ammunition sold with a weapon.  If you plan
on selling a weapon, do so ASAP so as not to waste Lootables.
*****If you have less than $25, resting will cost all of it but you *may*
You need not go out on the streets to scrounge the last few dollars.  I have
only seen this in E1 but imagine that $25 will not be much to someone in E2.

Benefits of Home Ownership
Taking a house is rather a significant undertaking (even for a L2 house).
That said, your controlled houses maintain several benefits that will keep your
PC operational.  Without houses, you have no squad, let alone a well-armed one.
Here is the rundown.
--Tax incentive: Each house you control pays $0.20 per each kill (non-
Intelligent/Interfacial), paid daily. Multiple houses are cumulative, so
[for example] controlling 10 houses pays $2/kill, with the theoretical maximum
payoff being $6.40/head after you control every house on the map.  Don't rely 
on this to make money until you have at least 10 or so houses--or a source of 
Food for under $10.  Be advised that the counter only increases when a kill 
stays dead, so if you are using Handguns or are in a later Episode you may 
need to down that Zombie repeatedly.  Note that your kill count as displayed 
on the map* resets on area transition, so if you propose to go bounty hunting, 
do so topside and after you do any bunker looting or dungeoneering for the 
--Party size increase: Each house you control can contribute 0.3 to your party 
rating.  Partial party members are less likely to show up; if you have empty 
whole-number party slots (1 NPC around, but your rating is 2.3, for example), 
I would estimate about a 50% chance a NPC will show behind the next door or 
Area Transition, or when you next load or rest.  Your rating caps at 3.0, so 
controlling more than 9 houses will not gain you any further NPCs or induce 
them to arrive more often.  As this implies, the maximum squad size is 1 PC 
(you) + 3 NPCs=4 people/squad.
--Recruit weapon upgrade: Each house has a Weapon Level associated with it.  
This governs what weapons the leader can sell (L11-15 sell everything, if you 
would prefer to avoid the dungeon), how many waves will show in a takeover 
attempt, supra at "The Takeover SCZ", and what weapons NPCs will be carrying 
when they show up.  Your party uses the highest rating, full stop.
Lower-level or additional houses at the same level do nothing for NPC 
weaponry, and I have never had a house contested or removed from my control,
bar changing Episodes or resetting E3 after game completion.  In those cases,
you lose all your houses anyway so there is no point to a "backup" high-level
Basically, take one L11 house for the SMGs and forget upgrading party weapon
level--unless you're fortunate enough to find a L13/15 with one or two (max)
entry points.  Then consider upgrading.
--High level houses: L13/15 seem reserved for rebel and SWAT facilities.  This
is actually a good thing as 1) they don't get back up after being downed, so
flames aren't necessary; 2) they use bullets, so armor skills & potions will
help; 3) exploders and the like won't show up.
Walls, Teslas, and EMP charges will have far greater relative importance as
cover is a serious issue.
Despite what the readme claims, it is not impossible; I did it for the first
time in E3, and it only took two tries.  Having LMGs with NPC ammo counts
greatly facilitates splattering bosses.

--Discounts: House Owner Power Buying gives you rather more buying power.
When shopping at a house you control, all costs to you for weapons and
commodities are halved [skills will always cost $1,000], whilst prices you
receive for goods (Sell X) remain the same.  Though I recall ammunition prices
increasing at other houses, that appears to not be the case.  Nevertheless, if
you must buy a LMG or Flamethrower, do it at your L11-15 house or you will not
be able to afford ammunition for it.

--Free Rest: What it sounds like.  Houses you control will not charge you to

--Operator: Controlled houses will give you missions without requiring that
you complete a Work.  Though completing Work is easier than taking the house,
the advantage here is having this particular leader provide missions *now*,
rather than waiting until a neutral leader gives a mission directing you to
this leader.  It's no good getting missions from someone off by xyr lonesome
in the corner of the map.

*I have not been able to pin down when you are actually paid, so I am unsure 
to what extent, if any, you receive credit for pre-transition kills; I do know
that a) you do not receive any funds on transition, b) you will have the money
when coming out of a rest cycle however.

         1         2         3         4         5         6         7       79

V.  Missions [5MIS]

One of the problems with SCZ Missions is that though you can postpone taking
them indefinitely (simply avoid clicking "Get Mission"), you might not know
for what you are volunteering.  Time to fix that.
I've listed the missions by ExMx, name as given on the map screen, and mission
filename (.scm).  Notepad can open them, but you will have to either manually
order it to do so or create the association yourself.

Mission Briefs

Episode 1 [5XE1]
I would want 2-3 L9 or L11 NPCs before making any serious effort.  They are
not *necessary*, but the buildup will provide valuable funds and development
for the PC.  The last three missions in particular will go much more smoothly
with additional personnel, though, and it's best to spend time on PC
development now; it'll take more ammunition & effort to achieve the same
kills, income, and upgrades later.

E1M1: "A Great Initiation", NUXRG00
You will get sent to a building that has a bad case of the Infected.  Find the
orange-flashing building on your map and enter.  Once in, the PC will confirm
your presence in the correct building.  Neutralize Infected until the PC
indicates the job is done; the map will keep a running count of kills
In the event that you run out of targets before the counter agrees, you can
either wait around to see if anyone comes in via random spawn, or exit the
building and re-enter to hopefully get some more rolled in.  Note that so
exiting will NOT reset your kill requirement.

E1M2: "A Rotten Job", NUXRG01
Precisely.  This is the first of two plot-mandatory torture sessions.  Your
operator will provide the full line of gear (mask, tape, battery) and send you
to a particular house.  The target Lootable will show up once you have
completed the session; get it and return to the operator to complete the
[FWIW, I got sent after a SWAT house.  Wearing the mask prevented any long-
relation problems, but oddly enough the flag switched to Neutral after the
mission.  No idea why, and I did not feel like making her life any harder than
I already had so I did not try for a takeover.]

E1M3: "Remember Mark?", NUXRG02  [No.  Should I?-00509]
Make things easier for yourself and take this from a house located close to 
the sewers.  You are going down there.  As your operator states, sewer
transitions are in the green buildings on your map--there will be two,
roughly correlating to the arrival point underground.  Once down, Mark will
be in an interior location, which glows the regular target-orange.  Find and
talk to him to attach him to the escort slot, then leave the sewers.  Mission
completes on your arrival topside.

E1M4: "Ryan's Exploders", NUXRG03
This mission basically is a rehash of E1M3, with the Bunker substituted for
the sewers.  Once you attach Ryan, you will have a lot more Exploders in the
Bunker's exterior areas, but strafing ought to get you through without

E1M5: "We Want To Be Underground", NUXRG04 [BOSS]
This is your first boss fight, against the Big Zombie.  Once you get into the
sewers (recall that area transitions bring you down in an interior), look for
a nearby exterior area with some room to maneuver (about the size of a topside
parking lot is ideal).  If you brought a L11 squad and/or a flamethrower, you
probably won't need to run & gun too much, but finding space to fight is good
procedure and it is best to start now, whilst things are not too problematic.
In any event, the BZ will find you in about 10-30 seconds of your being in the
exterior, so do not worry about finding it.  Once the BZ shows up (it is about
8 feet tall, so you will know it when you see it), shoot it repeatedly.  If 
you have a flamethrower, feel free to give it a burst; BZ did not survive
ignition, but I wouldn't trust the flare gun for a boss.  Once BZ kneels and
holds iplace, it's down.  Cease firing because it takes a few seconds to
actually explode.  Once it blows, you have completed the mission.
Congratulations on your first boss kill.

E1M6: "Ryan's Monster Boss", NUXRG05 [BOSS]
This is the first two-part mission.  Your operator will send you to a target
topside building; look around a bit before going in because you will be
fighting the BZ w/Maggots around here.  Figure out where you want the fight;
once again, parking lots are ideal.  Once you have settled on a fighting
ground, go on in and talk to Ryan.  He will tell you about this new BZ and how
it's shedding Maggots (it is covered in them, too).  Head out and get into
position; BZwM will show up momentarily.  Though it does throw Maggots
everywhere, they die fairly easily.  A full L11 squad should have no problems;
I recommend you use the SMG or, if you have some spare napalm, flame the BZwM
to end things faster.  In general, the longer you spend fighting, the worse
off you'll be afterwards.
WARNING: The next mission ends the Episode.  Take some time to stockpile gear,
ammunition, and inventory, and go in with the best squad you have.

E1M7: "An Easy Out", EXIT0  [EVAC]
I flagged this one to note that completing it ends the Episode, and as such
1) will remove the vast majority of your support infrastructure (you will lose
all your controlled houses), 2) will significantly increase the Infected's
endurance (it will take noticeably more firepower to make the same kill).  Do
not take this mission lightly; you might consider practicing your horde-
evasion skills in Arcade Mode as well.
Once you are ready, get the mission and head outside.  Hordes will show up in
due time; you will have three separate kill counts (the PC will call out after
each one) plus a few extra kills before the helicopter grabs you out of the
mission.  Don't worry about finding a LZ* or any other problem with getting
onto the helicopter; once you are through, you will appear in the helicopter**
door and get flown out to the left.  My congratulations, and you will get
kicked out to the console.  Running Story Mode for this character will start
*However, outlasting a full-out horde rush is more easily done in a wide-open
area where you have room to evade.  Parking lots make your job easier, as well
as giving a much-needed nod to realism.
**Looks like a Bell JetRanger, if you are curious.

Episode 2 [5XE2]
If you have been relying on bullet-based weapons, the Infected would have
given you a nasty surprise*.  They will get up at least once unless you burn,
decapitate, or disintegrate them from here on.  As before, you should first
make an effort to secure housing and assemble a L11 squad before mounting a
campaign.  Obtaining and becoming competent with a flare gun would also be a
good idea, if you have not done so already.
*But then you read it here first.  Hopefully.

E2M1: "Remember Mark Now?", NUERG00 [BOSS]
Welcome to E2, and have another boss fight.  Mark's other buddy will send you
to a target house, wherein you will find Mark visibly infected.  Unfortunately
the engine doesn't allow you to simply fry him out of his misery.  Instead,
talk to him and [rolling a critical success on his Will save] he will
acknowledge his infected status.  After surprising your PC, he will roll more
poorly and blow into Tentaclehead.  Flaming him should suffice, but throw in a
few SMG rounds to speed things.  He locks for a few seconds before exploding
on death.  So much for that mission.

E2M2: "Kill The Truck!", NUERG01
You probably have seen the trucks rolling throughout the city by now.  They
invariably head "south", or down-left, and last for about 1-2 blocks before
disappearing to dev/null.  As your operator indicated, pipe bombs can destroy
trucks, and you will have to take one or two down for this mission.  Nothing
fancy here; just find the nearest down-left street and wait around for a
Once one shows up, get a pipe bomb (you should have a few from scrounging, and
your operator gives you about four along with the mission) and throw it about
*10 feet in front* of the truck*.  Pipe bombs have a noticeable delay and
trucks have some speed associated therewith, so throwing at the truck will
waste the bomb.  If all goes well, the blast will obliterate the truck and
leave you a Parcel.  The Parcel may/not have the CB you're after but it should
at least have a few more pipe bombs.  Once you get the CB, the PC will mention
taking it back to your operator.  Do so and that ends the mission.
*ASCII time!:  /    T /
              /      /
             /      /
            /   b<-/
           /      / PC

E2M3: "Monster Mash!", NUERG02 [HORDE]
Try to take this one from a house that opens on the exterior; I would not want
to fend off this horde in a confined space.
Your operator basically tells you everything: Exploders are swarming wherever
you happen to be based.  Go out and kill.  You will have two kill counts; once
you exhaust the first one, the PC will note that the detonations "woke up"*
additional undead in the area, so you get to repel them too.  Expect to lose
a NPC or two in this fight; massed Exploders simply aren't healthy.
*"The Infected know no mercy and know no sleep[...]", SCZ ReadMe, 1c.  Hmm.

E2M4: "Amanda Is Important", NUERG03
Indeed she is.  Unfortunately, the Infected agree and sent more ranged models
out to make the streets that much less safe.  Aside from that, this is a 
fairly straightforward escort operation; once you get Amanda underground, that
should take care of things.  Before you get back topside, though, give the map
a look and figure out which entrance is closer to a good boss arena.  Make a
note of this, then surface and repair & reload your squad.

E2M5: "Yes Its Smelly But..." (sic), NUERG04 [BOSS]
Head through your preplanned sewer transition prepared for a rough fight with
the first truly unique boss.  Chainclump levitates around and brings rather a
lot of chains up from the floor.  They can do a surprising amount of damage in
a fairly short time; it does not help that Chainclump can withstand being
ignited via flamethrower.  If CC looks like it will stick around (it went
right past my squad, but I had to fight it in a hallway) you might consider
emplacing a sentry gun.  Once CC locks and blows, you will have to find
Amanda.  Do so, marvel at the idea of settling the sewers, and surface to
complete the mission.

E2M6: "Why Catch Dogs When You Can Kill Them?", NUERG05
Finally on the attack!  Make sure your CSG is loaded and head to the orange
building.  [I got sent after a church.  Not sure what supplies my operator was
hoping to find.]  Said CSG should work wonders on the ZD population; if they
run out before your counter does, exit and reenter to get more.

E2M7: "A Brave New World", NUERG06 [HORDE]
I hope you remember your timing from E2M2.  Same operation, except that you
are required to nail three trucks for the express purpose of attracting
attention. Suffice it that I needed two emplacements and the squad to keep
enough breathing room to nail the third truck.  Once you get three trucks,
clear out and return to base.  Good thing ze actually had the payment

E2M8: "Set Us Up The Bomb"*, NUERG07
Save some time and have 4 Chemicals + 1 Electronics available going into this
mission.  I hope you did not waste money on learning how to C4 people; your
operator will comp you both skills when you start.  Now all you have to do is
get to the target house and C4 it.  Quick recap: go to the outside of each
bounding the target house, such that if a door was present you could walk
through and talk to the allegedly snapped leader (who is perfectly normal, as
SCZ "normal" goes).  Use the C4 skill, burning 1 Chemicals, on the exterior of
each wall.  Once each wall has one charge on it, retreat and use the C4
Detonator skill, burning 1 Electronics.  Bammo!
Honor the PC's request to fall back, and thus ends the mission.
*FWIW, the actual Engrish is "Mechanic: Somebody set up us the bomb."  I have
played Zero Wing; it is amazing how many people feel the urge to fix that

E2M9: "Chaos City", NUERG08
This is a LONG mission, and probably the most senseless one.  You will pull 2
bombings and the second plot-mandatory torture; if you happen to have a
reusable mask, I would use it here.  If you are in position to get one, I 
would do so before starting this mission.
Apart from the fighting in the streets (and the Infected are fully deployed as
well) there is nothing new here.  Just long, tedious, and morally unpleasant.

E2M10: "Fragments Collide", NUERG09 [HELL]
The hell dimension's primary threat is surprise and disorientation; hopefully
tagging its appearances reduces both.  Expect a darker and more metallic
So.  Try to take this one from someone close to the bunker, on general
principles (minimize travel time; time spent traveling is time the Infected
can use to spread and deplete your squad).  Go in and the HD will show up when
you enter the bunker exterior.  Strafe to the target room (it will be
"normal") and loot the Lootable to get your contact information, as well as
the Red Mirror.  Strafe back out* and get to your operator to start winding up
E2.  As that implies, the next mission is the evacuation, so prepare
*I would remind whoever wrote the dialogue that magic is sufficiently advanced
technology.  Science can explain anything.  Just give us time to work it out.

E2M11: "It's All Downhill From Here", EXIT1 [EVAC]
Take this from someone close to a parking lot or two.  Aside from the E2
horde resiliency, it is not that different than E1M7.  I ended up using the
flamethrower to enforce my personal space, so consider buying additional ammo.
As before, you will have to survive three kill-counts* plus a few before the
JetRanger teleports you aboard.  Oh--and congratulations on surviving E2.
*FWIW the PC uses precisely the same call-outs as ze did during E1M7.  Lazy

Episode 3 [5XE3]
Burning no longer guarantees that the Infected will stay down.  You will need
to burn the charred corpse to get the memo through, or decapitate it, or blow
the torso apart.  If you have not been getting L15 before, you should consider
it now.  LMGs are the only realistic means of getting torso blow-out, and NPC
ammunition protocols are the only realistic way to use LMGs on the Infected.
($2/bullet for your LMG is not really sustainable.)
Note that after E2M10, things have only gotten worse.  Expect the hell
dimension to show up regularly; if you get a mission to the bunker and it does
not go to hell, that is the exception.  You will get topside hell a few times
as well.

E3M1: "The Mitch Hassle", NUNRG00
IIRC, the HD is on break for this one.  After all that trouble to warn you, I
know.  In time.  Apart from the missing HD, this is a standard escort from the
bunker.  Nothing you have not done in E1M4, though I would not bother fighting
anything.  Get in, get him, get out.  Next!

E3M2: "Some Simple Scouting", NUNRG01 [DOLL]
By now you ought to be familiar with the Evil Dolls from (at least) 2 trips
through the dungeon.  If you somehow made it this far w/o running a dungeon,
you have rather a lot of either funds or skill; good job, either way.  In any
event, you will certainly become familiar with them here.  Take this mission
from a house close to the sewers, as your operator will send you in there to
check on Amanda.  Go down and meet up with her.  Apparently the PC has no
recollection of any relevant experience in the dungeon, or the game assumes
that you never opted to take a trap door, got an ED room, and survived.  After
insulting Amanda, head back and you will find the sewer exterior overrun with
EDs; applying their padded-cell texture to water on a large scale is a neat
effect.  Using the CSG, make your way toward the topside transition and the PC
will acknowledge that the EDs match Amanda's description, but the engine
refuses to let you reverse and retrieve her.  And if that was not bad enough,
the PC blames her for wanting to stay when ze never gave Amanda the option of
an escort out.  Gagh.

E3M3: "Remember to Wipe Your Feet", NUNRG02 [DOLL]
As your operator tells you, the ED have overrun a topside building.  Breach 
and clear, with the usual protocols on kill-counters.  This should be second 
nature by now.  Return, repair, and reload.  [Incidentally, remember this
building for future reference.  IIRC, this one was where both of my phone
booths showed up.]

E3M4: "Mitch's Juggernauts", NUNRG03 [BOSS]
You know, I would ask why the juggernauts were "on the loose".  That implies
that they were previously present in a restrained state, which implies that
Shovah and/or operations in the bunker might not be entirely wholesome.  Color
me paranoid.
Anyway, get downstairs and head into the exterior with a full squad.  The
Juggernauts come individually in about 10 seconds, and given the population in
the somewhat tight corridors, you may as well be dealing with a horde as well.  
Fortunately, these juggernauts are not Mr. Marko.  A L15 squad will steamroll
the horde and shred the juggernauts.  L13 could probably deal with things as
well, but I would not expect a L11 to come back intact.
Slaughter everything and head back to your operator for the repair & reload.

E3M5: "Mitch's Triumphant Return", NUNRG04 [BOSS]
Do not bother getting a base close to the bunker for this one; you will have
to pick up Dr. Shovah* and then go find his latest project**.  Unfortunately
he was the person behind the juggernauts after all.  Super Jug appears to be
a rehash of BZwM from E1M6, based on the Juggernaut chassis.  If you got
through E3M4 without casualties, this should not be a problem at all.  Take
doctor downstairs and get back to base.  Next!
*Apparently he defended his dissertation between the briefing for E3M4 and
now.  Either that or the programmers got sloppy.
**Which was also in the ED house.  Not sure if an algorithm broke down or
the programmers were looking to make some sort of point.

E3M6: "Bad Blood and the Cannibal Run", NUNRG05
Go C4 a house.  Nothing special here, though according to the dialogue you
get a horde on the way back. [I do not recall anything problematic.  Strafe
and plow as needed.]  Talk to your operator and do the usual R&R.

E3M7: "The Banshee Asylum", NUNRG06 [HELL]
Go to the target structure, and if banshees show up* look for their bodies
chained to poles around the area.  Each body projects a banshee, and killing a
body will dissipate the banshee.  Eventually the PC will call out that
observation, upon which you can return and report that fact**.
*My target structure (a restaurant, FWIW) was empty.  Nothing whatever going 
on therein.  I swept the place, found nothing, and the PC eventually just
learned how to kill banshees out of nowhere.  The streets back were HD and had
banshees present.  I think it is bugged.
**I can see the PC getting a bit unhinged by all this (especially given that
despite being helicoptered out of the city twice, ze is still there), but the
banshees appear old enough to be called women.  I have since rewritten those
lines if anyone wants the file.

E3M8: "Trevor and the Phone Booth", NUNRG07 [BOSS]
Tentaclehead is no more difficult for showing up in the HD.  Apart from that, I
like the line about the "phone booth that seems to have no business being where
it is."  [Mine was in the middle of an obviously residential house.]  Next!

E3M9: "The Elusive Professor", NUNRG08 [BOSS]
Just because Amanda's project failed does NOT mean we abandon people, for fae's
sake.  I cannot say I am pleased with casting scientists as evil, either.
On with the mission.  Take it from a base close to the sewers, and I would not
bother with using a suppressed handgun.  Crossbow feels more effective and
quieter, but frankly I would rather keep my L15 squad*.  Head down and talk to
Dachande; he will send you to retrieve a Lootable.  You will find Amanda in
that locale as well, but I would go for the Lootable first as she is visibly
infected and we know that the engine will not let you put someone down if they
are not attacking you right then.  After reading Tall Man's diary, get your
squad together and talk to Amanda.  Cue Hellmanda battle.  As a recap, she is
a giant ED that spawns the standard ones; nothing fancy though.  Send her to
dev/null and you do not actually deliver the journal; get topside and the
mission is over.
*"Bravery will take you into the most dangerous of places.  Overwhelming
firepower will see you safely through them."--the Book of Cataclysm,
Syndicate Wars

E3M10: "Goodbye Dr. Shovah", NUNRG09 [BOSS]
This one goes on in the bunker, so launch from your bunker base and bring a
bottle or two of Mercuronium.  Cyberdoc uses a LMG, but will not show until
you meet up with the scientist; do not bother looking for an arena.  Strafe
through the HD, meet the scientist, head out and the usual 10-second delay
applies.  This is where I first used EMP charges; an emplacement might not be
a bad idea as Cyberdoc has effective horde support.  Flame it and throw in a
bit of your LMG for good measure.  Grenades in general may also be useful,
since the  Cyberdoc does not move terribly often.  Win, surface, and R&R,
including replacing any casualties.  Mercuronium only protects you.

E3M11: "Saving Professor Dachande", NUNRG010 [BOSS]
Another sewer mission, with the HD present.  Fun for the whole family.  Make
quite sure you have a full L15 squad going in; you are going after BB this
time and IMO she is the toughest boss in the game. [I lost my squad on the way
to the fight.  Not good.]  BB is a huge target but: has an equally huge
spread-scream attack, spawns regular banshees that need not start next to
their projector, has a fire aura, and (for  safety's sake) gets a horde
as well.  Bring plenty of healing and emplacements, and use them liberally--
this is one of the fights for which I asked you to stockpile packed
emplacements.  Staying hurt in this fight makes getting killed far more likely.
Once you defeat BB, get topside and take some time to resupply your inventory.

E3M12: "Hell Is The Basement", NUNRG011 [HELL]
Finally, a non-boss level.  You will be escorting three scientists out of the
bunker, one at a time.  Of course, the HD has completely overrun it but by now
that should not be a problem.  Note that Dr. Summers warns you about masses of
the Infected; that is a clue, folks.  Next mission will be repelling them.
Load up and consider picking up more packed emplacements.

E3M13: "The Monsters Are Coming!", NUNRG012 [HORDE]
Take this from a base opening onto the exterior.  You will have to survive a
kill count, three or so Cores with horde support, and another kill count.
Note that you may have to enter, leave, and re-enter your base after
completing the mission for the house leader to show up; probably a problem
with HD coding.
Frankly, I would stop here.  After all that, you deserve a happy ending, and
you will not get one.  My congratulations on holding the line for humankind.

E3M14: "A Dutch for the Road", NUNRG013 [FINAL]
As with previous episode-enders, completing this one will undo all your hard
work.  And aside from the credits, that is all it will do.  Reset E3 and send
the PC through in the condition ze was in at fadeout.
Regarding the mission itself, it is fairly straightforward.  Go find the 
phone, marvel at the team misspelling "juggernaut", and head out*.  Tall Man
has a horde, the flame aura from BB, Cores showing up to support, and ghosts as
well, but the one thing he lacks is stamina.  Flamethrower, EMP bombs, and LMG
will wear him down fairly rapidly if you get the chance to concentrate your
firepower.  Bringing a few NPCs might help if you feel like recruiting them
after E3M13, but I would not bother.  Oh--and by now, you would in all
likelihood be able to shoot your way out of the ending horde.
Plotline complete.  Now help us fix it, or at least contribute to the FAQ.

*"We are the exception.  You have had your way for a long long time.  And you
have done what you wanted to do, when you wanted to do it, wherever you wanted
to do it, no matter who got hurt.  But that is over now, Because you have come
here, and this is our _home_, which would frighten you, if you thought about it
at all."  St. Nuke, Angels 4:2-9, Punk Testament of the Boomer Bible

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VI. Arcade [6ARC]
Arcade mode provides valuable practice in horde evasion and shot placement, as
well as unlocking useful/not bonuses for characters in Story; see section VII.

-Overview: Your character is on the topside streets, packing a handgun with 
unlimited ammunition.  All doors are sealed shut.  Survive as long as you can 
against an ever-strengthening horde of the Infected, though Trucks and the Big
Zombie will eventually show as well.
Powerups (both weapon upgrades and funky powers) are available.  The attack
progresses through timed rounds; as rounds progress the horde gains more and
deadlier members whilst special conditions (usually to your benefit) kick on
and off.  You start at 100 health, gain bonuses at the start of most levels,
and can pick up medkits as powerups.  Game ends and score gets checked for
unlocking things when you drop below 0%.

Level Table
It might help to know what you're going into.

|R #|Heal |Modifiers    |New Hostiles 
|01 | 10  |N/A          |Zombies
|02 | 10  |Dark         |N/A
|03 | 10  |Triple Ammo  |Zombie Dog
|04 | 10  |Coin Bonus   |Exploders
|05 |     |Pipe Bombs   |Infected
|06 | 15  |Laser Tracers|
|07 | 15  |Heavy Weapons|
|08 | 15  |Triple Pickup|Big Zombie (one) 
|09 | 15  |Double Coin  |
|10 | 15  |King of Hill |
|11 | 20  |N/A          |
|12 | 20  |Dark         |

Heal: The amount of health you receive at the beginning of the round.
Modifiers: Special effects for the round.
New Hostiles: Types of opposition joining the horde this round.
--Modifier list:
Dark: As nighttime during Story; no ghosts though.  The readme notes that 
every round ending in 2 (02, 12, etc) is guaranteed to go Dark, so plan ahead.
Triple Ammo: 3x ammunition for weapons; only one grenade, though.
Coin Bonus: The Infected drop coins on dying.  Grab for more points.
Pipe Bombs: All weapon/grenade powerups are considered to be a pipe bomb.
Deceptively rotten modifier, IMO.
Laser Tracers: Bright red laser bolt accompanies your shots, making it far 
easier to aim.  I do not think the bolt allocates damage.
Heavy Weapons: You will be supplied with longarms (including the Rifle and
Crossbow, apparently) whenever your ammunition runs out.  For example, at the
beginning of the round you are issued a SMG.  It runs out, you get a CSG, that
runs out, you get a Crossbow, usw.  Pickups function as normal.
Triple Pickup: I think more pickups spawn.  Needs more testing.
Double Coin: As Coin, for twice the points.
King of the Hill: Graphical gimmick, used in Story for sewer water: the ground
swells beneath your character (and follows xyr wherever xe goes).

From time to time you'll see a flashing symbol floating around the area.  
Weapons will generally provide you with the relevant weapon and 1-2 magazines
of ammunition; grenades provide one grenade and then revert you to the handgun
[regardless of your previous weapon], medkits provide ~30% instant healing
(any excess is wasted), and question marks provide one-off benefits.

? Powers
Hit  to use whatever power you currently have; you can have one in-use
and one stored.  Picking up a power will replace any stored power you may be
storing.  I think most powers time out in about thirty seconds, regardless of
use or kills.

Power list:

[Note that I've no idea how many powers there are.  This is probably most of
them; e-mail cstrayer AT rocketmail dot com if you find others not listed.]

I've broken these into categories for easier reading.  So far as I know any
question mark can provide any power.

-Freeze Frame: Roughly 30 seconds of bullet time.
-Thunder Head: Character emits long-range electric bolts; longer range and
higher damage than a Tesla Generator, but comparable RoF.
-Hand of God: Current weapon replaced by Big Blue Beam of Death; you get it
back when the power expires. (I picked up a SOSG powerup whilst using HoG,
during a Triple Pickups round, and ended up with 900 shells.  Probably a 
glitch but would have been rather useful with something longer-ranged.)

Damage Amplifiers:
-Double Damage: What it sounds like.
-Vampire Damage: Damage you do is applied to you as healing.  Handgun shots
heal 1% per hit, by way of illustration.
-Clone Satellite: Single red ball circles you, ignites anyone it directly
hits, and fires whatever you have, in whatever direction you're aiming [as
distinct from at your aimpoint—if you aim left the ball will shoot to its
left].  Note that satellite fire DOES decrement your ammunition {IOW, your
weapons run out twice as fast].
-Shot Multiplier: Your weapon now fires in a three-way spread, and at no
additional ammunition cost.  Works extremely well with the Flamethrower.
-Rapid Fire: Provides you with unlimited ammunition for your current weapon
and dramatically increases its RoF.  This appears to end early if you pick up
an alternate weapon, though, so wait for something like the Rifle or Crossbow.

Movement Enhancers:
-Energy Shield: Puts a spotlight-looking effect underneath your character; you
damage and destroy/push aside opposition in your path.
-Fire Wall: Four red balls (smaller than a Ghost, but with cometesque tails)
circle the player, igniting anything they hit.
-Shopping Cart: Puts the player in a grocery cart, which handles using 
Relative (Forward/Turn/Reverse) controls no matter the preferred setting.  The
cart is a bit slower than the Story dirtbike but tends to kill anything you 
run over.  Unlike both the bike and Energy Shield, you can be melee attacked,
but such attacks will not remove you from the cart.

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VII. Reference [7REF]

Unlockables & "Cheats"
These are the primary incentive to play Arcade Mode.  Breaching certain point
plateaus lets you do additional things, which vary from nonfunctional through
"meh" and "makes the game a lot more playable" to "makes life easier for
players and FAQ authors".  Score plateaus were lifted directly from the

zmlgame: Theoretically, runs a text-parser adventure program.  You can look
through the files in the SCZ/data folder.  Quick brief for "haunt": Enter the
mansion, into the hall, go upstairs, study, servants' quarters, fire, success. 
The cemetery provides some guidance as to the route to the quarters; every
other room either instant-kills you in some over-the-top fashion or does
nothing, so no real point therein.
Should open at 10K points, which should not prove that difficult to earn once
you have the controls down.  However, I have not been able to get the console
to run it.

asteroids: Theoretically a rock-blaster game that helped bring early players
into video gaming.  I cannot provide any advice because my console refuses
to accept the command.
Should open at 20K points.

gemgame: The readme describes it as "Remember Columns?"  I do not, but I
suspect that Columns did not resemble the SCZ console sitting there buzzing
away with "gemgame.exe" showing as the last command entered.  It would have
been rather a boring game at best.
Theoretically unlocked at 50K points.  Double that and you are getting

r_edit: Allows you to fairly freely alter the components that make up the PC
character model.  The first four components are head decorations; in case it
matters, they layer as you move to the right (so leftmost is on the bottom).
The fifth slider controls skin tone and condition.  If you want to play as an 
Infected, this is where you go--though skin tone "Dark" does not have Infected
variants*.  Fifth and sixth control torso and legs, respectively.
Unlocked at 100K points.  A competently played Arcade game should get you this
on the first or second try; if you cannot unlock the appearance editor, I
would advise against trying for E2 in Story mode.

laser: You may have tried the laser gun (as distinct from Laser Tracers) in
your time in Arcade Mode.  If not, it is a brown Handgun shooting red blasts
that have some knockback and do a bit more than SMG damage; figure a SMG with
the Tec9 RoF**.  Running this executable gives the current character a laser,
sets its ammunition count to 999 rounds and allows the PC to find more
ammunition in Lootables--25 shots per battery.  You can rerun the executable
to reset a laser-toting character's charge count to 999 should the looted
batteries not provide sufficient ammunition.  Shops do not acknowledge the
Laser's existence, so once you get it and save the only way to lose it is
Hardcore death & body swap or file deletion.
Getting the Laser into Story requires 200K points in Arcade.  Not a bad

revive: This brings your freshly killed--this must be the first thing you do
after being booted to the console--Hardcore character back online, with
all stats (aside from Health, obviously) as they were on death; any regular
opposition in the area will be gone. Presumably it loads the Hardcore death-
save and cancels its deletion.
Available at 350K points.  I barely breached this on my first Arcade run,
roughly around the end of E1.

cheats: Displays the available codes and their effects, as well as allowing
them to have that effect.  Though entering them early is ineffective, these
test results may help you decide whether to put in the effort to obtain 500K
points in Arcade Mode.  Further, note that they only reliably work once the
character is currently in play; kick out to the console and enter them then.

Cheat listing:
absolut: You constantly generate Molotovs at no chemical cost.  In practice,
this fills all empty space in the Inventory with Molotovs and, whilst on,
hard-locks the PC into using Molotovs.  You will have as many as you can
throw, but no access to projectile throwers, melee weapons, or other grenades.  
Enter it again to disable the unlimited Molotovs, but those in Inventory will

zaphod: As laser.exe, but for absolutely every gear-based weapon.  [Neither
grenades nor emplacements.]  Note that if you have been accumulating
ammunition more legitimately, this may be a liability since it sets all
weapons to 999 rounds; it's entirely possible to stockpile 5-6 times that
amount legitimately.  Re-entering the code resets ammunition to 999 and
restocks any weapons you may have sold or lost.

grocery: Puts you on a dirtbike as though you had found one at your feet and 
used the keys.  Despite the name and confirmation message, this does not bring
the shopping cart into Story Mode, nor did I see any effect in Arcade Mode.
Note that you can be knocked off the "grocery" bike as with the regular dirt
bike, but you can then use the code to spawn another one.  Use the code whilst
on the bike to dismount.

moroni: Provides a stunning example of sexism, stops decrementing your 
commodities as used, and on passing through a door provides roughly 9 of each
non-Food commodity.  Reentering the code does not disable it.

ether: The PC may pass through anything--walls, doors, sandbags, you name it.
Moving between areas is equivalent to using a door, so do not try to use this
to preserve a room, but being able to move through cover could be handy.  Note
that your fire will destroy sandbags, etc as easily as it does without the 
so hiding *in* the sandbags will probably be ineffective.  NPCs do not appear
to benefit--mine got stuck on the opposite side of a wall.  If you reenter and
thus disable the code whilst inside scenery (I tried a warehouse pallet) you
stay in and immobile until you reenter the code.

trevor: More sexism for no readily apparent reason and disables decrementing
ammunition.  This can be mildly amusing with a Tec9; when it gets old, reenter
the code to disable it.

semistar: PC is insubstantial to hostiles; Zombies and Infected went right
through when trying to bite.  Reentry turns it off.

There is a "disturbed.exe" as well, not mentioned in the readme.  I racked
618,916 points and did not get it.  I am unsure whether it is unlockable at
all, but frankly I would have preferred to have the Arcade specials available
in Story.  Thunder Head in particular would greatly simplify many battles.

*I am quite confident that the official line would be code limitations; the 
graphics file has the burnt-Infected where dark-skinned Infected would be 
expected.  Make of that what you will.
**Not the ammunition consumption, however.  The Laser seems to get 3-4 bolts
per ammunition unit.

Opposition in Review [7XOR]

The opposition is pretty much all undead.  In the interests of manageability,
I have divided it into Interface, Intelligent, Infected, Infernal, and

Interface: Ghosts, Trucks.  Unlike other opposition, both are a function of
when/where you are, and do not actively target anyone.

Ghosts:  They are harmless of themselves but can distract you (the player)
and take up view that could be spotting for more dangerous opposition.
Expect hauntings as a function of nighttime (11-12 PM through 6 AM).

Trucks: These occasionally show up on the city streets.  They travel in a
straight line diagonally down-left and persist for about two blocks before
disappearing to dev/null.  Trucks flatten the Infected but do surprisingly
little damage (20% max, *if* you deliberately charge into its front*) to the
PC or NPCs that fail to evade them.  You can hear a Truck's engine roughly a
second before it arrives, and if you have good timing and a pipe bomb, can
destroy the Truck for a Parcel.  Lead the Truck, because the pipe bomb has a
delayed fuse (about 1 full second).
In-game dialogue indicates that nobody is piloting the Trucks**, so do not
fret when you see an ambulance roaring by--there are no medevacs available.
*Say, if you were testing revive.exe and needed to die quickly.  ZD, infra,
is more lethal.
**E2M2's briefing discusses the "derelict trucks", and there are no other
trucks anywhere in the city.

Intelligent: Rebel and SWAT.  Both occasionally carry a green Parcel instead
of a weapon; these poor folks are the equivalent of a Mario ? block.  The
Parcel seems to count as scrounging for purposes of reloading NPCs.  Note that
shooting one of these folks, even if they were getting eaten, you were trying
to save them, and you hit them by mistake, will drop your rating with the
relevant faction by 1.
However, allowing them to contract infection, die/get killed, then looting the
proceeds will not be a problem.  SCZ ethics are those of a computer system.

Rebel: Wears a red headband, knotted in rear; typically armed from handgun,
revolver, Tec-9, SOSG, and the occasional rifle.  Though armed and uniformed,
they do not survive much in the way of punishment, should you for some reason
have to fight them.

SWAT: Wears blue non-camo pants (they do not actually blend with any terrain)
and typically other miscellaneous urban-combat gear.  Typically armed from
handgun, SMG, or CSG.  Note that both Rebels and Infected can and frequently
do get the drop on these folks; neither bravery nor combat efficacy is solely
a function of firepower.  SWAT body armor is not lootable, but it will not
protect them to any real extent either.

Infected (group): Zombie, Zombie Dog, Infected, Worm, and Exploder.
References to the Infected as a group will take a "the" prefix, like so:
"the Infected".  Strictly the fresh human infectees will be referenced
as "Infected" without a "the".
Infected and possibly Zombies will develop the ability to spit caustic goop
and/or Worms by E2.  E2 Infected will typically get up if you do not burn,
decapitate, or blow them apart; in E3 they will survive ignition more often
than you might like.  The Infected will not get back up if you nail a 
headshot, but in E3 they sometimes stay up for a few seconds after losing
their head.  If you manage to blow the torso apart, that is a guaranteed
instant-kill.  They will flash and disappear when staying down.
Note that Infected and/or Zombies will frequently be found lying around when
you arrive on the scene.  They are invulnerable to guns (I have not tried
grenades, let alone emplacements) but inoffensive whilst lying there, but they
will get up in a hurry.  If you can loot a corpse, it will have a "Corpse"

Zombie: Grey with visible physical decay.  If you see them first, you will
probably survive the encounter as they are not that powerful and are slower
than you. Map screen shows their relative population by the decayed face.

Zombie Dog: Skinned dog that is thus bloody red all over.  Red Rover is 
quicker than you might expect and does enough damage (~20%) to be a priority
target.  Note that ZD can and does come through windows and doors, despite 
being a dog; however, ZD is not a breacher for larger assaults.  Unlike others
of the Infected, ZD tends to stay dead no matter the Episode.

Infected: Recently-killed undead that retains human speed and [mostly]
appearance.  Face will show visible eye problems and dried blood.  Map tracks
their relative population by the infected face (has hat on).

Worm: Frankly, these ought to be called "maggots" as that is what they are, 
but in-game dialogue refers to an Infernal by that name.  These are the little
white things that show up around killed members of the Infected and that some
folks will spit at you.  If spat worms hit, they latch on and do minor damage
(less than 10% of your health per worm) but are an interface problem due to
the constant damage-effect.  I suspect they were designed that way.

Exploder: These bloated zombies just explode for damage; the blast may knock
down other undead in the area but should not be relied upon to kill them.
When encountered inside dungeons, they seem to pop right after you enter; in
other locations you have to shoot them (a few SMG bullets will suffice) to
prime their charge.  They stop and kneel about half a second before exploding.
So far as I can tell, there is no way to prevent them from exploding short of
leaving them operational (a temporary solution at best); igniting them will 
result in a stop, drop, and blow.

Infernal: Some of these will show up in dungeons, and all come in as E3 
progresses.  Those of you who believe in spoilers should have figured out what
to do by now.
Maggot, Evil Doll, and Banshee.  Note that Infernals stay down when killed, so
bullets and pellets remain viable in E2 & E3.

Maggot: You'll hopefully first see these large red & white-striped worms in
the dungeons, where they are available from the start.  The second-and-final
boss of E1 is covered in and spawns them, but aside from boss spawns they
typically do not show up topside.  Pity; they die easily to SMG or CSG fire.  
Do not confuse these with Worms, a supporter of the Infected—Maggots are 
comparable to Zombie Dogs.  However, at one point I saw a Maggot in the sewers
in a room full of the Infected; further sightings may reclassify them.

Evil Doll: Available in dungeons, and have three missions involving them in
early-to-middle E3 (E3M2-M3,M9).
The game seems to want these to actually be dead children, but given the intro
image and the size (they appear to come to a human knee), I think dolls are
more likely.  You will know they are around when the textures flicker between
"normal" and "bloodstained padded-cell".  This flickering is a function of
their numbers; if only one or two are around you will have about a second to
see and target.  Groups will sustain the "cell" for 2-3 seconds.  They are
only visible to you/player when the textures are padded-cell, but they are
still available to take and give damage when the walls aren't padded. NPCs can
generally see and shoot them without padded walls.  Shotguns or flamethrowers 
are generally the way to go, thanks to their area-effect.  A flaming ED will 
completely recloak when the textures return to normal, at least in E3.

Banshee: E3 only; they show up as their own mission (possibly glitched; the 
supposedly overrun building was dead empty, but they showed on the return) 
then are an important part of the toughest boss in the game.  A SCZ banshee is
a ghost-woman that throws a red skeletal shot; the only reason this is not
the proverbial Big Red Ball Of Damage is that it is not a ball.  Look around
for the banshee's dead body chained to a stake and shoot that to dissipate the
banshee.  As the mission brief will tell you, shooting the banshee itself is

Instigator: These are the boss-type monsters; I wanted to keep the 
alliteration going.  In general, an actual "boss" is dead when it locks in one
position.  Give it a few seconds and it will blow.  Unlike Exploders, boss 
explosions do not seem to hurt anyone.  Bosses typically at least allow 
outside spawns to interfere with the fight (Infected that would have showed up
anyway), but in E3 they tend to activate hordes as well.  I would rather not
mess around with trying a suppressed handgun to see if that stops the horde
from showing--
there is NO point to drawing out any boss combat in E3.
Note that emplacements will at least keep the boss's backup occupied, even if
they do not target the boss.  E3 bosses in particular are a lot more 
manageable if you don't have to worry about the hordes.
Big Zombie, (with extras), Tentaclehead, Chainclump, Juggernaut, Hellmanda, 
Super Jug, Cyberdoc, Banshee Boss, Core, and Tall Man. [These are all names I 
made up, with the exceptions of the Juggernauts and Tall Man the characters do
not generally have names for these.)

Big Zombie: First shows up in late E1.  Shoot it repeatedly; nothing special
here.  It will show up in Arcade Mode around round 8.
(with extras): The Maggot-infested Big Zombie is the 2d & last boss of E1, and
I recall another specialty model somewhere in E2.

Tentaclehead: Welcome to E2.  This boss is more special-effects than power,
but show some respect and hit it with a flame shot.  There is one in E3 as
well but by then there are literally bigger [scarier? maybe not] things to
worry about.

Chainclump: Levitating clump of sewage, with chains, that brings chains out of
the ground to hit and cause damage.  CC was the first boss I saw get ignited 
via flamethrower and still be alive when the flames went out.  Consider
emplacing a sentry gun for this one, and bring a full L9 squad at least.  
Those chains can get brutal awfully fast.

Juggernaut: You will fight three of these in fairly quick succession early in
E3.  I had 3 L15 NPCs and barely got a chance to engage the things myself
before they shot each Juggernaut to bits.

Hellmanda: The PC frankly deserves this one; I would have evacuated Amanda in
E3M2.  Anyone could tell that the sewers were more dangerous than topside
based solely on the amount of chokepoints.  Once the Infected got down there
the place was a deathtrap.
Anyway.  Hellmanda is basically something of an 8 to 10-ft tall ED, who spawns
the standard ones at a fairly brisk pace.  She does not have a horde, either 
of them or Infected, but you cannot clear the EDs out either.  Like her 
progeny, she affects and conforms with the level textures.  I had 2 L15 NPCs 
and the fight was straightforward--I was looking for some trick and was 
surprised to find none.  Enjoy it while it lasts; things only get worse from 
here.  Incidentally, you're sent to her room looking for an item of some sort.  
It is in the smaller room in the corner, and entering that room will allow you
a roll for a NPC & NPC ammo off the Lootable containing the item.  Might as 
well grab it first.

Super Jug: The Evil Scientist [who becomes Cyberdoc in a mission or two] felt
it was essential to develop some sort of maggoty somesuch; I recall it looking
vaguely like a Core but the L15 squad blew it to bits far quicker than a Core
burns.  Apologies; if nothing else, that ought to indicate that it is not that

Cyberdoc: The only mandatory opposition in the entire game that uses bullets.
  The Cyberdoc is a substantially more resilient BZ with what feels like
a LMG arm.  Fortunately he is not that effective with it.  Bring a L15 squad 
and some armor, and this should be fairly straightforward.

Banshee Boss: I found this the toughest fight in the game.  BB is about the
same scale as Hellmanda, and like Hellmanda spawns the regular version. 
However, 1) Banshees are a lot more dangerous, and they are NOT required to
spawn next to their body, so finding kill-points is a chore; 2) BB has a
spread-scream attack that seems to do about 33-55% of your health; 3) the area
where you fight BB is already a) dark, b) using "Hell" textures, so visibility
is a serious issue at full health, let alone once you start taking damage; 4)
BB has a flame aura, a) though she can't ignite you, you will take nominal 
damage from running past her, and thus b) it's probable that she takes either
reduced or no damage from the flamethrower; 5) she has full Infected horde 
support coming through.  I needed the flamethrower and 2 sentry guns just to
get the crowds off my back.

Core: These resemble the Maggot-infested BZ with a purple glow in place of
the BZ.  They are sub-bosses for the final siege and boss [separate missions]
and as such do not seem to explode.  Fortunately, they do visibly degrade as
you damage them.  Unfortunately, they also seem to either regenerate or
respawn, and their head-launching attacks are no joke.

Tall Man: Final boss.  Theoretically some sort of gnostic creep but the major
attraction is how the sprite changes with the background textures ("normal" &
"hell", w/a sprite for each)  Has BB's flame aura, hordes, ghosts, and 2-3 
cores around but does not seem all that capable himself.  Nothing 
EMP charges, and the LMG could not fix.  Unfortunately the ending is not worth
putting in all the time and effort to complete E3.

Lexicon [7XLX]
Area Transition: Grates, elevators, ladders, and once the hell dimension 
starts dominating the bunker (in E3), statues.  Get on/next to it and hit 
 to go between topside and underground areas.  Note that using an AT
is one of the ways to save the game; this will also cure NPC infection and 
Hardcore player ghost-form.

Bunker: The secret government research lab, found via elevator-based area 
transitions.  Elevators are in the blue buildings on your map.  Generally the
best place for loot; Dungeons provide higher-level gear but typically only
provide one Parcel's worth--and, more importantly, you cannot run the Dungeon
at will.

CSG: Combat Shotgun, a fairly decent weapon ingame.  Looks like a SPAS-12, but
that takes standard 12-gauge, a fairly commonplace shell.

Door: A wall panel (the bunker has a few "doors" w/o an actual door) that 
allows passage from interior to another interior or to/from the exterior.  PC
movement through one triggers rolls for activity on both sides of the door, as
well as loot and Trap Door placement.  In general, do not go in and right back
out the same door unless you are in a dungeon.  During takeovers, assault 
waves/hordes will come through all doors leading into the house.  In short, 
doors are important.  Pay attention.

Dungeon: Bonus levels found via "Trap Door" sewer grates.  Discussed in their
own section, infra.  These pass out the best items but tend to deplete the 
squad and your inventory.  Read the briefing and prepare first.

Evac: The final missions of E1&E2 involve you getting rescued from the city 
via helicopter; this is shorthand for either that or simply leaving an area in
a hurry.  Context should define which meaning applies.

Ex: Episode x, where x=1, 2, or 3.  References the episodes listed on 
character generation and thereby progress through the game.
ExMx: Syntax I first saw used in Doom references to refer to a particular 
mission via episode and mission number.  SCZ's structure lends itself to
the same syntax so I use it here.

Exterior: SCZ's terrain is made up of "inside" and "outside" spaces.  I will
use this term for "outside" areas, recognizable chiefly by their lack of loot
items.  The city streets, sewer tunnels, and bunker hallways are all exterior

Hell Dimension: Once things start really deteriorating, areas will get 
retextured in a far darker motif.  The game will eventually refer to this as a
hell crossover, but chances are you (player) would twig to that far earlier,
even without reading this.  Hell exteriors are made up of dark metal with
caged/bound EDs and statues of banshees [both are inert and harmless] whilst
interiors are a cross between techno-club and snuff set.  One amusing feature
of HD interiors is that they frequently mount wall monitors which reproduce
the middle of the player's screen.  You can see this most clearly by calling
up the menu and scrolling through your weapons.
Inaccessible areas in both tend to be flaming for no real reason.  The HD does
not noticeably affect your opposition in terms of power or numbers, nor is it 
inherently damaging or otherwise an active threat.  However, it can be
difficult to navigate and target due to the darkness; player surprise and
revulsion are also potential problems.  You will encounter it for the first
time near the end of E2, and by the end of E3 it will have spread topside.

Horde: Swarm(s) of undead that show up for some function.  Typically 
encountered during takeover bids, later-stage boss battles, evacuation 
missions and the ending.  Smaller hordes can randomly spawn from doors when
you are in an exterior area.

House: Used here to mean an interior area containing a house leader. Houses
will always be fairly free of undead opposition when you arrive, though as you
progress through the episodes the chances of undead breaking through windows
or barging through doors increase.
House Leader: Person standing unarmed and generally in the middle of their
house.  House leaders are immune to outside damage--a SWAT-Rebel firefight
with undead showing up in the crossfire won't even get their attention—but
will die to C4.  I presume torture taken too far will kill them as well.
Discussed in detail in Section IV, "Houses & House Leaders".

Interior: Areas that are not exterior.  More specifically, inside a structure
whilst topside, or inside a room whilst in the sewers or bunker.  Dungeons are
closer to "interior" but without an "exterior" the distinction breaks down.
Interiors can have loot items, house leaders (if topside), people with whom
you can talk, area transitions, and links to other interiors or the exterior.
Interiors generally have less opposition activity, but also less room to

Lx: Level x, where x=0, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, or 15 [so far].  This
measures 1) what weapons a house will have available for sale,  2) how
persistent the opposition will be during a house takeover bid, 3) what weapons
your NPCs will be using if that's the highest level house you control.  #3 is
discussed below; #1 is inefficient so I have not bothered to compile a list
(IOW: don't buy weapons) and I have not been able to quantify #2 yet.
Takeover research is the sort of thing that requires more than one person 
running the test.
Do not confuse Levels with Missions.  Missions are a particular set of goals
with a cash payoff attached that, if taken from a neutral or controlled house,
advance the plot.  Levels are a numeric rating of capacity, difficulty, and

LMG: Light machine gun, a weapon type generally found in militaries the world

Loot: Either the act of scrounging from a compromised locale or the proceeds
of said scrounging.  In SCZ, loot is typically obtained from a Lootable or a
Parcel but neutralized opposition may drop weapons or commodities as well.
Lootable: A container or corpse that contains Loot.  SCZ will alert you to
a Lootable's presence by displaying its name above it in bright friendly
letters.  Example: *Briefcase* .  Get next to it and hit  when it
changes to *Loot Briefcase* to claim your prizes.  Note that Lootables are
rolled when you enter a room, will disappear if/when you leave, and that
the PC crouches (and therefore stops moving) for a second to loot the

Mission: In SCZ, you will have the opportunity to undertake various sets of
pre-planned goals.  Completing all the goals in a set generally advances your
cash counter, and if you took the mission from either a house leader under
control or a neutral leader, advances the plot as well.
Do not confuse Missions with Levels.  Levels are a numeric rating of capacity,
difficulty, and capability.  Missions are something you do.

MP5: Heckler & Koch's Maschinenpistole-5 is a 9mm SMG that proved remarkably
effective and popular with special-forces and law-enforcement teams worldwide.
Several different versions exist, but discussing them is beyond the scope of 
this FAQ.

NPC: Non-player character.  Technically refers to everything that moves or
is a house leader, but typically used to discuss the people that follow the
PC around and end up dying in xyr service.  It is that inevitable.
PC: In roleplaying usage, the Player Character--a character who has a player
devoted to xyr management.  Generally endowed with far too many major roles
and plot importance.  Within the confines of the game, this is "you".

Parcel: Green box frequently found being carried by a faction member.  Should
they lose control of the Parcel, run over it to open and collect the
contents.  Additional research needed to confirm whether a Parcel provides
the same NPC reload as a Lootable.  For TibSun players: PEACE THROUGH PARCEL!

Roll: In this context, to make a quasi-random determination about something.
Examples include presence of hostiles/Lootables (and if so, how many, of what
types), whether an NPC will link into your squad, with what weapon, usw.  SCZ
typically rolls for things when the PC moves through a door, though map-based
rolls (where are the houses, usw) take place at episode start or character

Roma: To my knowledge, this is the term European migratory peoples use to
refer to themselves.  Kindly use it instead of "gypsy".  So far as I know, the
Roma are no more magically active than any other culture.

SAW: Squad Automatic Weapon, a US military LMG.

SCZ: Survival Crisis Z, the subject of this FAQ.  Would you like to know more?

         1         2         3         4         5         6         7       79
VIII. Credits & Closing [8C&C]
Shade--brought the game to my attention, ran tests, and handled procurement
Free2b--second opinions are good
SCZ readme--where this all started; unlockable scores referenced therefrom
You, the reader--without whom this work would have little to no value

I have a rocketmail (com) address; cstrayer.  Spam is not appreciated.

This work, Survival Crisis Z FAQ by Chris "00509" Strayer,is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
To view a copy of this license, visit

Version reference:
First annotations to the readme: 28th December 2009
Infodump: 4-6 January 2010
Infodump swollen to nearly thrice the size of the readme;
scope upgraded to supplant the readme and become FAQ: 8-11 January 2010
Mission briefs written: 11th January 2010
Work resumed; readme content practically eliminated: 26th November 2010
Final readme content purged: 28th November 2010
Version number and CC notice added: 29th November 2010
Version 1.0: 29th November 2010

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