After repairing the Zombie Apocalypse arcade cabinet to the best of my ability and cleaning the electronic components making sure they were dry and dust free, I decided it was time to try the game. I plugged it in.
The lights flickered and dimmed, then flashed to a brilliant white as I came around the front of the cabinet. The company logo glowed on the cathode ray tube screen and shambled forward until it was so close it disappeared. Then the game’s opening video rolled:
Looking down the hill, Kevin could see the fog sitting over the ocean and sand straining at the confines of the concrete wall that separated the beach from the parking lot. There were a few cars in the parking lot, and a couple of people stood at the railing looking into the fog. Kevin could tell that they wouldn’t be able to see anything of the ocean, no matter how high the tide was.
One woman focused intently at the fog. She squinted, leaned forward, and that’s when the fog broke loose. It engulfed the parking lot and rolled over the highway. It rolled up the hill toward Kevin. That’s when the tsunami warning siren went off.
Kevin looked at his watch. It was 11am. This was no drill. A tsunami was on its way. Underneath the blare of the siren, Kevin heard something else, the grumble, rumble, groan of the approaching disaster. The smell of death and decay preceded the fog as it crept closer. Kevin turned and ran. It was only a block from the tsunami safe zone. He was sure he could make it.
He didn’t look back until he passed the huge blue sign that marked the border of the safe zone. The fog was close behind him. There was something else in that fog. Kevin looked closer. The siren blared in the background of his thoughts. He squinted. There were shadows in the fog, slow-moving shadows, hundreds of them.
“Hurry up!” Kevin shouted. “You’ve got to get here before the water does.” He tried to encourage the people in the fog to keep moving. Then his ears picked out the sound of the groans and his brain connected the smell of death. Those weren’t people. Kevin ran farther up the hill and into the outlet mall.
He found the archery shop open. There were two employees and one other person who had decided to wait out the tsunami here. Kevin told them what he had seen as the fog and stench rolled through the building and grew denser. The manager reached the door as a hand slammed against the outer windows of the store – a decaying hand. He locked the door as a zombie shambled into the glass. Then another and another and another. Soon, they were surrounded by the horde.
The manager strung bows, moved everyone to the most defensible place in the building, and put baskets of arrows in front of the three others. The zombie horde broke through…
The video turned to the credits roll and then sputtered out and shut off. I couldn’t figure out what had happened. I unplugged it the Zombie Apocalypse arcade cabinet and plugged it in again. Nothing. It was getting late, so I left it alone, cleaned the store, and went home. (If you want to face the zombies, check out the rules and then get to Lincoln City Archery.)