So what is the actual lore?
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8 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Are they actual zombies or simply infected?
How did they came to be, is it religious/disease/magic?

If they have plans to elaborate on this in the future then never mind.
But if they haven't planned on it/already released it, then please feel free to update me on this. (Unless the information is available in-game to be found)
Or if none of the above, simply share your thoughts on the subject.


/Z

Edited by zeeb

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A big part of the lore that we know of can be found by listening to radio and TV broadcasts. This however means that it's from an in-character perspective, which means that a large part of it is false, since the characters broadcasting it are either not observing the whole thing or are told what to say.

 

All that's actually touched on is that the infection is flu-like and that the transmission is through bodily fluids. There's some more speculation based on the radio broadcasts, which I'll put in brackets for those who don't want to hear it.

 

Spoiler

In one of the broadcasts on the news channel, there's a bit directed at "those immune to the second wave of the Knox Infection". Which implies that the virus is or was at one point airborne. Warns the person that they are not immune to the transmission by bodily fluids.

 

I'm a bit confused about the second wave bit, which might imply that there has been a previous outbreak.

 

zeeb likes this

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There are a few possibilities to the origin of the outbreak, which can be interpreted from some of the broadcasts. One suggests that the outbreak is some form of biological contamination left over from military testing in the area. Another theory suggests that it might be a foodborne disease (at least initially) in a similar vein to Mad Cow disease. There was also something called the "Raleigh outbreak" that happened prior to the events of July 9/July 14 1993; there aren't many details given about the Raleigh outbreak, only that several people and cattle died and that it was not easily contained by the CDC due to budget carts and downsizing. 

 

But to answer your question, the zombies are 100% dead. They follow Max Brooks style of zombie lore: slow, dumb, 100% lethal, dead as a doorknob, no vaccine, no cure, transmission through blood and saliva. 

 

As for official lore, here's how it goes according to the broadcasts:

 

The outbreak begins on July 9, 1993. No communications are reported from Knox County due to phone lines being shut down by Knox Communications BEFORE the start of the outbreak (make of that what you will). People start to get sick, and the military sets up an "Exclusion Zone" that effectively quarantines Muldraugh, West Point, Valley Station, Rosewood, and March Ridge. A military camp is set up near the northern border of the Zone, where many of the TV and radio broadcasts take place.

 

Over the next few days, the country is thrown into chaos due to the clandestine nature of the "Knox Event" and the lack of information being shared by the President and the military. Meanwhile, things only get worse inside the zone (as we can all plainly see). The Exclusion Zone border is expanded, and a curfew is declared in major cities after riots and fights with police. Photographs emerge from within the Zone that reveal the zombies to the world, causing even more panic. At this point, the military is forced to partially reveal the nature of the outbreak and its abilities.

 

A fight breaks out between refugees and soldiers at the border camp, attracting a massive horde of zombies that breaks through the border and overruns the camp. The horde continues to the city of Louisville, which is eventually overrun. At the same time, reports surface that not only is the infection starting to spread WITHOUT bodily contact, it has also sprung up across the world in locations such as England and Africa. At this point, society and communications begin to break down. Most of the major cities are reported to be overrun by the infection. The power fails and the broadcasts go dark. From then on, all that plays on the radio are occasional messages from survivors, as well as a few strange military frequencies that may continue even after the downfall of civilization. 

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Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, Brex said:

The outbreak begins on July 9, 1993. No communications are reported from Knox County due to phone lines being shut down by Knox Communications BEFORE the start of the outbreak (make of that what you will).

 

Also interesting to note, one of the broadcasts is a mother with a military son calling into a radio show explaining that the amount of military arriving was 'planned' and 'couldn't have been done in days..' ;

 

Spoiler

Speaker 1: You're on the air Madison.
Speaker 2: I just wanna say this was planned.
Speaker 1: What was planned? A disease outbreak?
Speaker 2: All those helicopters. All those soldiers. Just appearing.
Speaker 2: My boy was in Desert Storm - I know it can't be done in days...
Speaker 2: To move those guys that quickly?
Speaker 2: They knew a storm was brewing.
Speaker 2: They knew this might happen.
Speaker 1: I don't know Madison.
Speaker 1: They have to plan for all contingencies.
Speaker 2: Cutting off counties south of the Ohio river is a HELL of a contingency.
Speaker 1: Good point and well made.
Speaker 1: Okay, next caller after these...

 

Also to note, within the broadcasts there are ALOT of references to dogs, (especially a reference refering to a possible secret lab in a military installation where one of the security guy's dogs got 'sick', although the source isn't exactly reliable) heavily implying that they could have (accidentally?) been a vector for the disease in some way;

 

Spoiler

Speaker 1: What's your employment mystery caller?
Speaker 2: I'm a janitor.
Speaker 2: I've signed so many forms that I know this isn't right...
Speaker 2: But there's labs in there.
Speaker 2: Guys in white coats.
Speaker 1: And they're experimenting with what? Biological stuff?
Speaker 2: I don't know.
Speaker 1: Do they test on anything? Animals?
Speaker 2: Saw some dogs on my last day before this all started.
Speaker 1: They test on dogs?
Speaker 2: Naw. Security guys' dog was sick.
Speaker 1: So what you're saying is...
Speaker 1: They have science stuff in a military installation.
Speaker 1: Could be weapons, could be freshman chemistry class.
Speaker 1: And a guy owned a dog?
Speaker 2: Yes sir. That's the measure of it.
Speaker 2: Could be anything.
Speaker 2: It's terrorism.
Speaker 1: Thanks for your call.
Speaker 1: If anyone actually knows some facts about the Event call me.
Speaker 3: Sick of time-wasters.

 

Dogs again, this time the military took this guy's dog for no reason.. ;

 

Spoiler

Speaker 1: This is Triple-N.
Speaker 1: Flu-like'. 'Panic'. 'Confusion'.
Speaker 1: An unknown communicable illness that has cut through Kentucky communities...
Speaker 1: ...forcing evacuations, and the creation of a huge exclusion zone.
Speaker 1: Yet STILL no concrete word on what the Knox Event is, or how it spreads.
Speaker 1: Worse? Revelations from a Dr Jack Galbraithe - a former scientist with the CDC.
Speaker 1: He's reported as saying: 'America is not ready for this'.
Speaker 1: We haven't been ready for a long time.'
Speaker 1: How does that sound to you on the ground at the Event boundary, Kirsty Cormick?
Speaker 2: Well Joan, it's exactly that sort of rumor that's not helping.
Speaker 2: People just don't what to do, and the military don't know what to do with them.
Speaker 2: Some have been taken to Louisville - but most?
Speaker 2: They want to stay - in tents, in local buildings. This is their home.
Speaker 2: Or, at least as near to their homes as the Army will allow them.
Speaker 2: And they're angry. Real angry.
Speaker 3: They're not tellin' us nothing!
Speaker 3: Every day like the last!
Speaker 3: I got a business in there, in West Point!
Speaker 3: I got a home! A family!
Speaker 3: I've got a dog too, and they took it for no reason at all!
Speaker 3: We want answers!
Speaker 2: This is Kirsty Cormick on the Knox Event line. Back to the studio.
Speaker 1: Thank you Kirsty.
Speaker 1: Now, coming up - the scientist that says 'it IS contained'...
Speaker 1: ... on Triple-N.

 

Yet again, another reference;

 

Spoiler

Speaker 1: As of today I'm breaking with the schedule.
Speaker 1: You'll notice you haven't heard Tim the past few days.
Speaker 1: No recipes. No weather. No Tim.
Speaker 1: He's inside the Exclusion Zone.
Speaker 1: He doesn't even know we had to put the dog to sleep.
Speaker 1: If you know anything, anything at all...
Speaker 1: ...find a way to talk to us.
Speaker 1: The phones are cut-off.
Speaker 1: The roads have checkpoints.
Speaker 1: This is too big.
Speaker 1: Way too big for us to just... believe...
Speaker 1: ...what they say.

 

My two cents? The virus is a man-made bio-engineered weapon (maybe it wasn't even designed to be a weapon?) made in a military installation that *somehow* got passed onto one of the security detail's dogs. Somehow the dog escaped/ was let loose, passed the virus onto people in the surrounding area (or even onto other dogs it encountered). At some point, people start to fall to the virus, in which the military realise this (as well as the vector of the virus via a dog/dogs) and began to quarantine the area.

 

There's a reference to a meteorite in another broadcast aswell, but it seemed kinda eh. Curious on what you think :-)

Edited by Mr_Sunshine

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Looking through the radio broadcast data there are reports of the virus transferring without bites.

 

That would mean that the virus evolved outside of Knox county, and the Virus2.0 infected the entire world with the new strain of Virus.

 

So in a weird way, the zombies in Knox aren't the deadliest zombies out there. You are contained by the Virus 2.0 instead of a military or a wall. You can't leave Knox because it is pretty much the "safe zone" from the new Virus which will instantly infect you.

Though the radio does make talk of people who are immune, so maybe you are one of those few people who are, but bites are enough to kill you.

 

Quote

People are sick here. Sick without the bite.</LineEntry>

That's not possible.</LineEntry>

You're calling me a liar? It's happening.</LineEntry>

I just saw twenty people in an Old Folk's Home die in an hour.</LineEntry>

They're still there. In their chairs.</LineEntry>

Only... some are crawling on the floor. </LineEntry>

 

After the wave of the dead took over the boundary camp...</LineEntry>

Something else came out with them.</LineEntry>

Howard, you okay to talk?</LineEntry>

<cough> I know what people will think.</LineEntry>

But I haven't taken a scratch.</LineEntry>

No bite marks.</LineEntry>

Closest I've been to those poor dead bastards is 20 feet.</LineEntry>

But I've got it. I've got the sickness.</LineEntry>

Unless this is flu or some sick joke.</LineEntry>

*cough* *hack*</LineEntry>

This is it. I'm dying.</LineEntry>

 

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My best guess would be that the virus is man-made, perhaps accidentally released, as evidenced by the phone lines in and out of the towns initially infected being down days before the virus took hold.

 

Initially the virus was (presumably) airborne; a very large majority of the towns turned very quickly, while a few individuals were uninfected by the airborne strain.  The virus remained stationary in the towns for a bit, before escaping the quarantine, both when zombies broke through the border and individuals in separate cities and countries began falling ill despite never seeing a zombie - and that's where it gets interesting. 

 

The way it works is that some people are immune to the airborne strain; nobody is immune to a bite. I'd guess that scratches vary from person to person based upon the severity of the scratch.  The virus can be caught like an actual cold or flu without bites/scratches by those not immune to the airborne strain of the virus, and therefore zombies are created very quickly; it's not like in The Walking Dead where the virus is dormant in everyone and only jumpstarts the body after death, but rather the airborne virus in PZ actually kills you first and then reanimates you.  (Otherwise, drinking bleach without being infected in Single Player would result in your character getting up undead and walking around, but that doesn't happen.)

 

I doubt tainted meat and the meteor shower caused the outbreak due to the knowledge that something was going on as evidenced by the phone lines, but who knows? That's the fun of the mystery. :) 

 

That being said, I'd want to talk to somebody working with Knox Telecommunications before the virus took full force; they would be the best start in finding out what was going on with the phones, and who may have incited them to do so.

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4 hours ago, Damien Darkside said:

So in a weird way, the zombies in Knox aren't the deadliest zombies out there. You are contained by the Virus 2.0 instead of a military or a wall. You can't leave Knox because it is pretty much the "safe zone" from the new Virus which will instantly infect you.

 

 

I think the player character (and all NPCs to be seen in-game) are just always implied to be immune to the airborne strain.  I don't see what's stopping airborne strain-infected zombies from just migrating, as they tend to do, and re-infecting an area with the second wave.

 

As for origins, I personally took the "mad-cow disease" theories seen in the media as just a nod to how big news stories are always rife with conspiracy theories, some reasonable, some outlandish and unfounded. Hell, decades later there's still people shouting at each other over the grassy knol. I remember seeing a post on these forums (source: my ass, as usual) where a dev said that they have an internal reason for the infection already, but would rather give hints towards it through in-game exposition rather than just hit the player over the head with it. I suppose that means it could be anything heard through the media, since not much else connects you to the outside world.

 

4 hours ago, Deputy said:

Initially the virus was (presumably) airborne; a very large majority of the towns turned very quickly, while a few individuals were uninfected by the airborne strain.  The virus remained stationary in the towns for a bit, before escaping the quarantine, both when zombies broke through the border and individuals in separate cities and countries began falling ill despite never seeing a zombie - and that's where it gets interesting. 

 

I personally have a theory that the virus was always airborne. The military just kept it contained until it spread through enough of the containment zone that the zeds could muster enough of a concentrated push in one area and break through. Once they broke that quarantine line, enough of them got to nearby Louisville to infect the population in massive numbers almost overnight.

 

This would explain how it stayed contained, infected the zone so quickly, and then immediately infected the world. The virus has enough of an incubation period to infect somebody near the containment zone and wait to turn them until they've already fled to a different country. Due to flights being grounded to and from the United States, I'd chalk the epidemics appearing in Somalia, Korea, etc, and being from smaller numbers of American refugees fleeing immediately after the quarantine was broken. Be it smuggled through a cargo ship, or going through America to Canada/Mexico and flying to somewhere else from there, or whatever else.

 

The media refers to it as a second wave because they're not as reliable a source as the player thinks they are. The media, especially in 1993, was relatively slow and just as prone to misinformation as it is today. From the public's point of view, they were always assured by the government it was spread through bites and scratches only. Only when the virus itself is beating down their doors (literally) do they realize it's "suddenly" airborne, and everyone is fucked.

 

As we all know, according to the translated lyrics of one of the in-game songs, the virus was clearly man made while attempting to obtain immortality. We've known this for a while. I think that Fort Knox is where the virus was developed. It was released, either by accident or some 28 Days Later-esque misunderstanding,  and quickly spread to the immediate area. For dramatic effect, perhaps General McGrew was closely part of the project.

 

4 hours ago, Deputy said:

That being said, I'd want to talk to somebody working with Knox Telecommunications before the virus took full force; they would be the best start in finding out what was going on with the phones, and who may have incited them to do so.

I always just assumed the military preemptively cut off telephones once they realized the infection was out and starting to spread. It's made clear by the forceful censorship of local radio stations what the military is willing to do to quarantine the infection, and information pertaining to it.

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11 hours ago, hunger john said:

 

As we all know, according to the translated lyrics of one of the in-game songs, the virus was clearly man made while attempting to obtain immortality.

what song?

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