Zom Zom's is terrifing

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Zom Zom's is terrifing

And as soon as die when my frail and insomniac dies I'm going to make a combat character and check that place out. Holy crap.


...but they have free barbecue!

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

This is a place where a couple of people are killed everyday, their bodies dragged off-stage and soon after you get a fresh. grilled meat for free - here you go, all you people who wanted cannibalism in NS world! That is both scary and sick.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
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...but free.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

I am not saying not to take it - free is free after all. It only means I feel kind of sad while stuffing myself full of it :D

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

I had suspected considering the description pages as you eat the BBQ. Thanks for confirming!

I find myself going there a LOT. I just go out and bring an old shoe. Need more barbecue, and then watch countless old ladies get mauled into bloody rags D:

Why do you need a shoe? Go in there for free and defeat a robot like a man. ;-)

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

My game just crashed and I forgot when my last backup save was... it could be days D:. But that is next on my to-do list.

I was really looking forward to this place, imagining a real 'Thunderdome' atmosphere only more brutal and twisted and savage... but was rather disappointed in how "neon nightclub" and crowded it feels and - moreso - in the robot opponent. I'd have much preferred to see brutal human opponents or even a captured Dogman in the pit, personally, and a lower-tech, more "neo-barbarism" style establishment, especially being so far out from the Megacity (they have ATVs parked here and I'm pushing a box cart?!).

To be honest, though, I sometimes find the "early game awaken in the wilderness and spend a week just looking for clothes and hunting for food" at odds with the "flying cars, lasers and high-tech cyberware" of some later encounters and locations... it almost feels like two separate games to me. But that's just my personal opinion.

I did smile at the 'Warriors' reference, though. :D

My Mods:SaveMan|Fishing|Shouldered|Bottles

Minor spoiler here...

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Try approaching ZomZom's with different skill sets an participating as a stock, and you might discover it is not "that" high-tech after all :D

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
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I'm totally going to try that now! :)

Actually, the robot bothers me less than the general "nightclub" atmosphere (so many people for so far from the DMC). I can see some nutcase - even in the post apocalypse - slapping together a "Robot Wars" level gladiator (albeit not so far from the DMC!) to kill people for fun. I'd just have rather seen a huge scarred and disfigured thug with a crude spiked club and an old Halloween mask smashing helpless people in the pit at Zom-Zom's instead. :)

EDIT: Just defeated the robot (via hacking) and I agree... it's tech-level isn't beyond belief. I still think Zom-Zom's is too close to the cryo facility/start for the level of technology and activity (it feels like it should be in the shanty town outside the DMC more, to me) but I'll stress that I certainly don't dislike the encounter/location itself... it's neat and refreshing! it's the idea of huge lines of patrons that I find a bit odd; I can see it as a "risk your life for a chance to eat" (or if you can afford it, just watch other idiots risk their lives for your amusement) type place set up by some bloodthirsty assholes to take advantage of the starving and homeless (again, why it kinda felt more suited to the outskirts of the DMC to me), but the hints at slaves/prisoners and nightclub-type atmosphere so far from other settlements strikes me as a bit odd.

Having just won the fight, I was also disappointed that winning seemed to have no consequences; I'd have thought either the owners would be furious I wrecked their (surely valuable) robot gladiator, or amused to see someone actually defeat it and provide a "reward" of some sort (if not tangible, than a quest of some kind). Heck, I'd settle for a "I Defeated the Robot at Zom-Zom's and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt" clothing item! (damn, I wish we could mod this game!) :)

My Mods:SaveMan|Fishing|Shouldered|Bottles

I was thinking the same thing first time I got there, but then I realized something.
What makes NEO Scavenger world pleasant to visit is Dan's skill at writing cliche sci-fi setting while working around cliches themselves to make them seem more original...

- mandatory "raiders" - check (but not leather-clad, sado-maso fanatics)
- mandatory strange monsters - check (but no zombies/mutants)
- mandatory high-tech, hard to reach zone - check (but they are not evil and/or totalitarian)
- mandatory savage gladiatorial fights - check (but without any actual savage gladiators)

...that kind of stuff. It makes old themes feel fresh I think.

Yes, I must agree, lack of reward of some sorts, even if only some fluff text about ZomZom's manager praising my skills or stuff like that, or alternatively a hard beating by the guards for braking the robot, was a big let down, but it writes itself into general trend of encounters not giving too much (random encounters usually ether kill you or leave you with nothing of worth)

Also, if you look at random encounters, those lands have a noticeable population wandering around, so places like ZZ's are not that shocking to me.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
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It's funny that I LOVE post apocalypse fiction, and I LOVE Cyberpunk/Bladerunner-esque settings... it's the two together I find a bit jarring. Almost because I love both so much, I feel one has to suffer to make the other work (how "bleak" is a post apocalypse world with cybernetics and hovercars, for example? :) ). Strangely, though not usually a fan, the underlying horror/supernatural elements of NeoScavenger don't bother me at all by comparison, so long as they don't overshadow the survival aspects or introduce outright "magic" or "demon" type ideas.

I also love the raiders being more 'The Road' and less 'Mad Max', though that's perhaps why some encounters (like Zom-Zom's) stand out to me as a bit jarring, as they feel more "schlock sci-fi" (S&M raider style!) than the gritty realism of a poor "bandit" attacking you with one shoe and a tin pot for a weapon!

I will say that after my fourth visit to Zom-Zom's, I've somewhat changed my opinion of the place; it's now only it's location so far from the DMC that bothers me (plus "you're looking for a cryo facility and there's one just seven hexes away, you blind idiots?!"). I've really grown to like the location and setting, right down to the crazy-but-kinda-crappy robots that feel straight out of an 80's straight-to-VHS sci-fi/horror movie! I was shocked when the old lady fight came up for the third time and I found myself wanting new ones to watch! BBQ is damn tasty, too.

My Mods:SaveMan|Fishing|Shouldered|Bottles

My favorite way of defeating the robot is using the

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Eagle Eye skill

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

I enjoyed reading these comments. Some good, constructive criticism and commentary here. Reminds me a bit of the conversations I had around the water cooler at BioWare, which I miss now that I'm working alone :)

First of all, a confession: NEO Scavenger is not the most probable outcome for a North American apocalypse. Rather, it's the apocalypse that most accommodates the fictional elements I want to be in the game. In other words, I wanted a universe where I could survive by tooth and nail in a harsh, ruined wasteland, but still have cyberpunk cities and high technology, and encounter unexplained, often horrific things from our nightmares. NEO Scavenger is my perfect tapestry, and the wildly disparate threads are intertwined as plausibly as I can muster.

Plausibility is a big deal to me, though. I have a background in science, so I enjoy fiction more when it has some science to back it up. And in cases where something defies science, the good old X-Files treatment of "unexplained, but not inexplicable" is my preferred approach.

That said, folks who are looking for a pure, "The Road" experience might find NEO Scavenger a bit too sweet. It definitely captures some of that audience due to its rigorous simulation. However, I'll warn you now that NEO Scavenger is not at all what it seems. There is something pretty messed-up going on behind the curtain, and the reason one starts in a high tech cryo-facility besieged by a supernatural dogman is to make that clear as soon as possible.

Now, to the nuts and bolts of your comments.

Zom Zom's is admittedly an oddity in an otherwise homogenous sea of ruins. However, Michigan is a bit emptier now than it's intended to be. Some of the random encounters Kaaven mentions hint at the reality of life outside the DMC. Enclaves of people have clumped here and there, and factions have sprung up behind certain outlooks and ideals.

I hope to have a few more of these clumps represented in the lower peninsula, which should explain a bit more where all these people are coming from. Similarly, I had plans to make ATVs a vehicle that players could obtain, so I wrote Zom Zom's with that in mind.

On the other hand, some parts are in need of rewriting and editing. You both make good points about the lack of acknowledgement when defeating robots at Zom Zom's. The return-spectator fights are pretty few in number, too. And the Stoat is a bit too untethered, floating into and out of the story without much explanation.

The good news is that I can see player feedback on parts I've written before I've finished the work and sealed it in a box. Most book authors can't do that, nor even game masters in an RPG session. Hopefully, I can make good use of that to produce a story that is satisfying in the end.

Thanks again for the discussion. It was both useful and entertaining!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

What I don't like is "you feel this, you feel that". I don't like it if a narrator tells me what to feel. If you want me to feel scared, for example, don't tell me "you feel scared", describe a situation in which people usually would be scared. If I don't feel scared then, it's either because I don't react like most people in this specific situation or because your description wasn't good enough. You risk to fail scaring me (or whatever feeling you want me to have), but you avoid me thinking "hey, I wouldn't feel like that in this situation!"

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

If Dan tells you you feel scared then, damn it, you're going to feel scared and like it.

I would like to point out that Neo Scavenger is a very 'Judge Dread' type world. Outside the city it is raiders, monsters, and gangs, anywhere people gather outside the walls brutality and discrimination rule the day. Inside the walls there are police that are all too happy to find any excuse to banish you from the city effectively indefinitely. This is a very good Cyberpunk setting, far more than it is truly 'Post-Apocalypse.' Honestly, the only thing that suggests anything close to apocalyptic is the 'black swamp' that borders to the south. And honestly, it is not even clear if this is the rest of the US, or just a swath of area and that there might not be a more mega-cities and other people south of the Black Swamp. Honestly, the tech level is fitting, the cybernetics are suitably rare and minor, without being completely inaccessible to a player on a basic run-through of the game. Honestly, I think Zom Zom's sets the tone perfectly for an early player. It is disturbing, if not outright scary, it leaves you wondering exactly what the hell is going on in this place, just how bad the world is getting. Makes you wonder if this is the norm, or just an out of the way place not yet destroyed simply because it slipped under the radar. If you use the right skills you can see the robots, while scary, are not all they seem. The cannibalism seems reactive, the people are hungry and few seem to have the knowledge to live off the land. All told, I find Zom Zom's less scary, and more completely telling about the nature of this world, it is a perfect fit, it puts the player on edge, showing them the sheer level of degradation of the average person out in the wilds. And that is another thing, how is this so 'post-apocalyptic' if the wilderness is seemingly 90% unscathed. I see social collapse, but no real 'apocalypse' here. This is not per say a complaint, this is a unique world, which dodges a huge number of terrible cliches of the 'post-apocalyptic' genre today.

I went in as a spectator for my first trip there (gave them a hydro), and after my meal, once the guy dies and I left in fear after "wait and see", the doorman gave me a plastic bag full of stuff labeled "DUDE". Is that the property of the dead guy, and if so, why give it to me?

I don't think the origins of the bag are ever explained.

It might be related to the other special encounter you can get there, but that's just guesswork on my part.

*Waits patiently for the addition of Carroltron*