One of my favourite websites at present is Concerned, wherein Chris Livingston (formerly of Not My Desk and friend to Lance and Eskimo) uses Half-Life 2 and Garry's Mod to make witty comic strips that simultaneously pay homage to and poke fun at Valve's beautiful opus. But there're more than just comics on the site. In his blog Chris also has a feature called 'To The Death!' in which he sets up huge battles between various NPCs, switches on the AI and records the results.

Now, it's been quite some time since he last did one of those, and frankly this makes me sad because it's one of my favourite parts of the site. So I thought I'd take the initiative and continue the feature while we wait for Chris to pull his finger out. Remember: it's not plagiarism if you mention who you nicked it from.

So, without further ado:


A terrifying near future scenario. Humanity dabbled with science it was not meant to understand, and for its hubris, was decimated. Once mighty cities reduced to gutted ruins. Parks and malls that once rumbled with life are now howling wastelands. Here, in this lonely corner of gm_construct, ancient playthings groan with rust, the joyful cries of children now almost forgotten, like a wisp of smoke in a darkened room.

In a nearby bunker, a tiny pocket of resistance struggles to survive. The apocalypse has made life difficult for these lost souls. The TV only gets three channels now, and they can only use the gas during off-peak hours. Sooner or later, someone's going to crack. There is a watermelon on the sofa, but you probably shouldn't read too much into that.

Taking up position at the left-hand window are the Davison twins, Jill and Cathy. Jill once ran a profitable internet business which involved dressing up like Father Christmas and removing garments one by one in front of a webcam. Those times are long gone, though, and now she only brings out the Father Christmas outfit to unwind after a hard day's looting. Cathy, a former chemist, can't say she approves, but the bonds of sisterhood are too strong to be threatened by a little thing like gratuitous nudity. The sisters are armed with an SMG and a pulse rifle.

At the next window along stand Joe McGee and Zack Flash. Joe has been trying to decide for several months now which of the Davison sisters he wants to rebuild the human race with. Jill seems like the easier lay but the extra work required for Cathy would make it more satisfying. Zack Flash has already shagged them both, along with every other woman in the world, but he hasn't the heart to mention this and ruin Joe's self-image as the alpha male. Joe and Zack are also armed respectively with an SMG and a pulse rifle.

No-one seems to know who these two are. They just arrived at the bunker one day, speaking in tongues and whacking each other with crowbars with what can only be described as religious furore. Zack, a prolific world traveller, believes they may belong to an ancient crowbar-worshipping trepanation cult and advises that everyone stay out of their way lest they turn evangelical.

So, that's the survival squad. Here's what they're up against.

Five on the left...

Five on the right...

Two having a bit of a play...

...and a few more scattered around here and there, making a grand total of SHITLOADS.

This is the barricade our heroes have built up in the bunker entrance. They've used pretty much everything they could spare, including a couple of explosive barrels buried in the middle of the stack. Hey, they're not the sharpest survivors in the holocaust, alright? If they had any sense they wouldn't have holed themselves up here in Zombie Central with nothing but a melon to keep them company.

Six representatives of the indomitable human spirit up against a great big pile of shambling undead. Will man and melonkind survive the mistakes of the past, or will the zombie hordes be dining on a great big hypothalamus buffet tonight? Let's GO GO GO!


Oh right. Let's TURN THE AI BACK ON!

And we're off. Somewhat predictably, all the zombies start shambling directly towards the bunker. The four hardened rebels are made of stern stuff, though, and immediately open fire. One thing I always loved about helpful NPCs in Half-Life 2 is that they're skilled enough to be useful but not so skilled as to be showing you up all the time. So the zombie horde gets right up to the bunker with minimal casualties.

It's all a bit too much for Jill Davison, though, and she tactically backs off from the window to evade her pursuers, despite there being a two foot thick concrete wall between them and her. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

As one zombie relaxes against the side of the screen, his chums have already smashed their way through the barricade. It seems, though, that zombie swipes aren't powerful enough to detonate the explosive barrels, not that they needed any help. In this shot you can also see the letter F on a wall. It was originally going to read 'FUCK OFF ZOMBIES' but I gave up.

Things are looking bad for the human race (all six of them) as the encroaching zombies force them to back into the corner, with the exception of one of the Crowbarologists, who is wondering why her friends are yelling at her to turn around.

Fortunately for the future of crowbar religions, the besieging zombie gets confused and begins heading into the residential quarter. I think he may be after the melon. Fortunately for watery fruit, this zombie is swiftly gunned down.

Meanwhile, outside, this bunch of zombies are trying to infiltrate the bunker via the other entrance. Unfortunately they haven't yet realised that I blocked off that entrance with two giant blast doors. Silly zombies! No brains for you!

Eventually some rotted neurones fire somewhere in the depths of their dead brains and they find the proper entrance. Except one zombie who appears to be sunbathing. Well, he's not going to fill his tummy down there, but I wish more people could approach warfare with the same easy-goingness as Sunbathe Q. Zombie.

The heroic survivors are still yet to suffer a single casualty. During a brief lull in the action the male Crowbarologist attempts to convert Zack Flash, who is having none of it.

One by one the zombies enter the bunker, and one by one they get turned into greasy stains on the wall. However, sheer weight of numbers is working in their favour, and one or two of their brave lads are slowly making their way closer to dinner. It could still go either way, just so long as no stray rounds hit one of those explosive barreOH SHIT

GUTTED! And even worse, I didn't have time to catch the explosion, only the aftermath. What I initially thought would spell the doom of the human survivors has instead utterly destroyed all that remained of the zombie army! The air is thick with the smell of roast headcrab and the bunker has been repainted a godawful yellow.

Well, that was a pretty pathetic zombie holocaust. The survivors step out into the open to inspect a job well done.

Unfortunately, little do they suspect that something is watching from the undergrowth.



Amazingly, one single solitary rebel survives the conflagration. It's either Jill or Cathy, I can never tell those two apart. I still have no idea how this happened. Last I checked there were four super zombies against this lady, then suddenly they were all lying in a heap. I can only presume she hulked out when I wasn't looking.

Sadly, when she realised that the loss of all the men had utterly scuppered the survival chances of the human race, she ended her nightmare with a single gunshot to the head. And by 'she' I mean 'I'. So all in all, a decisive, if somewhat Pyrrhic, victory for the human race.

The little dolly on the slide can bear to watch no longer.

Well, that was fun. Chances are I'll do this again some time, and try to even the odds a little better in the zombies' favour. See you then!

Oh yeah, and read Chris Livingston's comic, it rocks.

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