Lulu’s Zombie Apocalypse Squad

It’s a discussion that everyone must have at some point in their lives, one that has haunted mankind for years. Who would you have on your zombie apocalypse survival squad?

We’re no strangers to this question here at Six to Start – after all, we spend a pretty big chunk of our time considering the undead and making them come to life in Zombies, Run!. And now we set out to answer that most pressing of questions as we ask the team, which Zombies, Run! characters would you choose to support you in the zombie apocalypse?

In a zombie apocalypse, I think after the initial fear, I would want to start gathering power. There’ll be a vacuum perfect for new, strong leadership, and I’m nothing if not a megalomaniac! So with that in mind, Brent Valmont is the king of manipulation and negotiation. I would have to keep a close eye on him, of course, but he’d a very valuable diplomat and always seems to know what’s going on behind closed doors!

Brent Valmont, yesterday.
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I’d take on Veronica, and her genius would be directed at coming up with the cure — after all, whoever control the cure, controls the country. I would still be generous in handing out, of course — I’m a benevolent dictator!

Bella Ramsay would become my Head of Agriculture. With her irrigation know-how, we’d be able to bring sustainable farming back, and less runners would have to risk their lives for supplies!

Phil and Zoe, influencing the minds of the young.
Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com

Finally, I’d have Phil Cheeseman and Zoe Crick as my propaganda machines! With their easy, chatty style, I think they’d win people over. Plus, if they’ve already built a following for their radio station, I’m sure it won’t be difficult to get lots of people listening to Radio Lulu.

Plus, Zoe is a big animal lover like me, and she could double as my menagerie keeper!

Help us test Zombies, Run! 5k Training

Do you want to help us make our Couch to 5k Training app the very best it can be? Now you can – we’re opening our Beta Testing program up to Android users.

Follow the instructions below to join the Beta Test and gain access to the latest features and updates before anyone else. Be aware – you might encounter more problems with the app when using the Beta version, as we’re still testing it out.

What is Zombies, Run! 5k Training?

Zombies, Run! 5k Training is an 8-week training program and audio adventure for beginners that’ll improve your fitness so you can run a 5km distance.

We give you clear and detailed instructions about when to walk, jog, run and stretch, building up your confidence and stamina over 25 workouts – combined with a gripping story delivered straight to your headphones.

Test the Latest Features on Android

Find Zombies, Run! 5k Training on the Google Play Store, and click the link to enter the Open Beta programme. The latest release features:

- Android 9 and Q compatibility
- Workout timing corrections
- Stopping a run from a notification now opens a confirmation popup
- Updated credits

Meet The Fans: The Cagg

Working on Zombies, Run! we’re lucky to have a very dedicated, creative and overall lovely fanbase. We try to celebrate that whenever we can, so we’ve been talking to some of our fans. In the second of our fan interviews, we talk to prolific Rofflenet user, Steve C (otherwise known as The Cagg), about dream races and apocalypse plans!

The Mark of Five

What got you into Zombies, Run!?

I was 39 years old and more than a little overweight. Toward the end of the summer my young son developed an understanding of how to pedal a bicycle. At the time I wasn’t able to run more than one city block without stopping or getting winded. I realized that the little guy would likely want to learn how to ride a two wheeled bike in the spring, and that it would be my job to teach him and that this would involve quite a bit of running. 

I had heard about the app several years prior and had downloaded it but it sat on my phone unused for a very long time. The 5k training version of the app is where I started. I don’t think I would have known where to begin if not for the coaching provided there. I wanted to quit about a month in, and that’s where the real magic of Zombies, Run kept me moving. In the simplest terms, I couldn’t stop because I wanted to know how the story in the 8 week program ended. 

I started the standard or main version of the app shortly after, signed up for a virtual race, and got to meet some very interesting people in real life along the way. 

The boy learned to ride his bike in 8 days but I’m still running more than three years later. To date I’ve run four half marathons, a feat that I wouldn’t have thought possible at one point. This fall will mark my fourth year running for Abel Township. My wife and son now run with me. She’s using Zombies, Run too. I’m looking toward hopefully running the NYC Marathon in 2020. 

Could you tell us about your favourite place to run?

I live in a heavily urban part of the world so there are a multitude of parks and landmarks. My favorite spot is probably Flushing Meadows Corona Park which is fairly near my home. It was the site of two twentieth century World’s Fairs (1939 and 1964). You’d probably recognise the Unisphere globe from Men in Black. I really do like to run out in the woods when I can but I rarely get the opportunity lately.

The Unisphere Globe

That sounds like a great place to run! If you could run a race anywhere in the world  though, where would it be?

I’ve had the privilege of running some interesting races in the U.S. including obstacle courses, and one that takes place on an abandoned highway involving two long and extremely dark tunnels (head lamp required). 

There’s a race in Louisiana I’d like to run where the finisher medal is a full sized machete. Disney looks like a lot of fun. The Great Wall Marathon would be incredible (and would likely kill me) as would just about any race in Australia. I’ve wanted to see that land for a long time. 

If I had to choose one place in the world it would probably be a race that happens in Antarctica. It’s a location that few people ever get to see. Just reaching and standing on the continent would be an adventure, let alone completing a race there!

What is your top running tip?

Don’t look for something to motivate you. On days when you don’t want to run but you really should, accept that you have no motivation and go anyway.

Motivation

What would you job at Abel Township be?

In real life I’m trained as a paramedic so I’d likely be helping the docs out in the clinic or running to nearby townships and settlements to reach places where you wouldn’t want to risk the docs.

And do you have your own Zombie Apocalypse plan?

This is a topic my friends and I have mulled over several times, usually in the evening over backyard barbecue or during some other geeky activity. The truth is that I work in emergency services in one of the largest cities in the world. If a zombie outbreak ever happens, and it’s not controlled quickly, I’d probably get a front row seat. Given the population density I think it’s likely that I won’t be one of the lucky few that make it out alive, although Runner Five has beaten the odds before.

A very familiar shirt there!

What’s your favourite music to run to?

I usually use the internal player with a list of hard rock music. Lately I’m using the companion app to my satellite radio subscription which has several “workout” channels.

The Cagg’s playlist!

Thank you so much for talking with us! You can find Steve as a regular contributor on Rofflenet!

Help us test The Walk!

Do you want to help us make our sister app, The Walk, the very best it can be? Now you can – we’re opening our Beta Testing program up to iOS and Android users.

Follow the instructions below to join the Beta Test on your platform and gain access to the latest features and updates before anyone else. Be aware – you might encounter more problems with the app when using the Beta version, as we’re still testing it out.

What’s The Walk?

Created with the NHS and the UK’s Department of Health, The Walk helps you walk more, every single day. When you’re playing The Walk, every step counts.

A bomb explodes in Inverness station, and you’re given a package that could save the world. To stay alive, you’ll need to walk the length of the UK. The Walk is more than just a great pedometer/step counter — it’s a way to turn walking into a journey, a challenge, and a rip-roaring adventure.

iPhone

To join the Beta Testing group for The Walk, follow the instructions at this link.

Android

Find The Walk on the Google Play Store, and click the link to enter the Open Beta programme.

Welcome to the Abel Runner’s Club + 8.0.5 update

Hello Runners! Today, we’re renaming our Pro Membership subscription to the Abel Runner’s Club.

We aren’t changing the price or anything else about our subscription, so if you’re wondering what happened to your Pro Membership or what this new Runner’s Club is, consider them the same thing: our monthly/annual subscription that unlocks all Zombies, Run! missions and features.

Later this year, we’ll be adding some exciting new benefits for members of the Abel Runner’s Club, so we wanted a fun new name to match – one that fits perfectly with the story we all love!

New in 8.0.5

This week we’re also releasing our 8.0.5 update, with a whole host of improvements!

iPhone

  • New Adventures now gets its own section in the Codex, ready for Venus Rising
  • More reliable zombie chases
  • Back-to-back missions now work correctly
  • You can now cancel adding a building
  • Run share text no longer shows spoilers if you hadn’t completed the mission
  • Mission list captions now contain more relevant text
  • Redesigned Membership/Subscription screen

Android

  • More reliable zombie chases
  • Improvements to playing back story clips from the mission screen
  • Redesigned Membership/Subscription screen
  • Improvements to how the Next Mission card on the home screen is displayed

A Tourist’s Guide to Abel

The zombie apocalypse isn’t always filled with cheer; there’s the looming threat of the hungry undead, mad scientists vying to ‘fix’ everything, and the loss of all the things we take for granted – like clean running water and a supermarket stocked with as many Curly Wurlys as we can stomach.

But not everything is bleak! Today we take a look at some of Abel Township’s most entertaining features!

Tequila Shack

The Tequila Shack. Come and enjoy a shot of Pepe’s finest British tequila. Shame lemons are in short supply!

With its twinkling fairy lights salvaged from a Christmas shop and the giant tequila bottle sculpture stood outside, the Tequila Shack is definitely Abel’s most unique building. It’s full of the chatter of living humans, rather the moans of the zombie hordes, and someone has even found a game of Twister to liven things up. Next to the drab housing blocks, the Tequila Shack is a glowing point of welcoming light.

The Tequila Shack was introduced in Season 2 Side Mission 2 ‘Headcount’, where you head out with Janine to attempt a census of the post-apocalyptic world, with varying degrees of success.

Kitten Pen

It’s like a cat cafe, except without the coffee and cake and relative certainty that you’ll survive the night.

Cats: not only are they a pragmatically excellent choice for a post-apocalyptic companion, what with being able to devastate the soaring rat and mouse population, they’re also really cute. With Abel Township growing, it was inevitable that cats would show up sooner or later. Janine insists that it just makes sense to have them to protect the foodstores. Everyone else just likes the comfort of a familiar sight and the therapeutic qualities of stroking a cat are not to be dismissed.

The Kitten Pen was introduced in Season 3 Mission 11 ‘Stray Cat Strut’ where you accompany Zoe and Phil on a feline related adventure that turns up more information than expected.


Concert Area

It’s not exactly the O2 Arena, but it’s also not as expensive as the O2 Arena!

The Concert Area can’t really compare to somewhere like Wembley Arena, and after what happened there during the start of the apocalypse, no-one’s keen to replicate it. But you can always find someone there practising on a rescued instrument or performing an impromptu soliloquy. And who can forget Abel’s monthly slam poetry open-mic evening!

The Concert Area was introduced in Season 2 Side Mission 5 ‘Top 40’, where a hunt for CDs turns into a brush with stardom as you encounter a pop Diva and her moaning fans.

Rollercoaster Car

We’re thinking of doing an experimental Shakespeare performance using it. What if Richard the 3rd, but on a fairground ride?

A relic of a bygone age. While we might have joked about the queue to the biggest ride being full of zombies, that’s become a bit more literal since the apocalypse. A single car isn’t as impressive as an entire rollercoaster (and Janine won’t spare the supplies to build one for some reason), but it’s still become a bit of a tourist attraction at Abel. Sit back and stare up at the sky while imagining a death defying plunge towards the ground, and try not to think too hard about the younger residents looking at it like it’s a piece from a history museum.

The Rollercoaster Car was introduced in Season 3 Mission 60, where you stop a villain and need a quick escape.

Cultural Centre

It’s important to celebrate the things that make us different, especially when the zombies are all the same.

Now more than ever it’s important to remember where we came from. Sure, life has changed dramatically since the apocalypse, and we’re getting the impression that things won’t ever go back to the way they were. The Cultural Centre lets us remember the important things about life before the end. Be it a favourite recipe passed down through the generations, music, or a traditional outfit, you’ll find it here. There’s even a group planning Abel’s first Lion dance event!

The Culture Centre was introduced in Season 4 Mission 11, where you help Sam go shopping for some important items.

Meet The Fans: Emma St. John

Working on Zombies, Run! we’re lucky to have a very dedicated, creative and overall lovely fanbase. We try to celebrate that whenever we can, so we’ve been talking to some of our fans and would now like to introduce the first of our fan interviews!

Today we talk with Emma St. John about music, fanworks, and top tips for using Zombies, Run!

Some of Emma’s amazing Zombies, Run! fanart!

What got you into Zombies, Run!?

I actually got into ZR on the recommendation of a friend, about six years ago now. I was just about to finish up high school and the season for my sport of choice was ending, and I was looking for something to help keep me active. She suggested the app, and while at the time I was wary because I wasn’t super into zombie media, I gave it a shot.

I wound up loving it so much that I wound up going out on more and more runs more often, up to the point I was using it four times a week and getting into the ZR 5K trainer! It totally turned me from someone who always hated running to someone who seriously loved it.

You mentioned that you weren’t really a fan of zombie media. Do you think there’s something about ZR that makes it appealing, even to people who don’t like zombies?

I do think there’s something about ZR that makes it appealing to people who don’t/don’t usually like zombies – I do think there’s something very special about it. I mean, to start, I do think one of the things that helps it be more approachable that most other zombie media is the lack of visuals – there’s a slight level of disconnect from the elements of horror that are usually implemented in zombie media, because there’s no actual visual gore or blood with ZR – it’s all done through audio storytelling.

There’s several other aspects to it for me, but the biggest ones I’d say for sure are the stories and the way it’s written, and the characters. The story was absolutely what got me sucked in when I first started playing – I wanted to find out what happened next so badly it really motivated me to go out on that next run. The overall themes of hope and teamwork and unconventional skills being useful in the apocalypse is something that really appealed to me as well. And then the more I learned about and got to know the characters, the more I totally grew to adore them. They’re so diverse and inclusive, it really felt like there was someone for pretty much everyone to look up to/get attached to.

How do you prepare for a run? Do you have a special routine?

I wouldn’t say I have any sort of particular routine, not really. I try to make sure I run about three times a week, with a few extra walks sprinkled in. I usually get up, prepare myself an ice water for when I get back, feed my dog, and grab my gigantic armband for my phone and head out!

Part of Emma’s running route

What’s your favourite music to run to?

I definitely prefer energetic music – a good tempo keeps me moving. For every season I usually wind up building a new playlist to suit the tone of that season in particular. My ones for the earlier seasons were all very upbeat, and as they seasons go on the music I wind up picking as increased in intensity to match the seasons themselves.

I’m in the middle of working on my S7 one now, actually, because I just wrapped up Season 6. So far it’s being centered around “Champion” and “The Last of the Real Ones” by Fall Out Boy.

Emma’s Season 6 Playlist

Your playlist is really cool! How do you go about deciding what songs to centre your playlists around?

I usually look for lyrics that I find fit the theme or mood of the seasons – for the ZRS6 one, for example, ‘Werld is Mine’ is one I really liked because I could sort of find bits of different characters in the lines for the chorus. “Ghosts in Empty Houses” from ‘Interim Semper Currans’ I thought was a great foundation because it felt like it could even possibly be from the perspective of Runner Five.

And then for the one I’m working on for S7, both “Champion” and “Last of the Real ones” had lyrics that made me think of Five and Abel; “If I can live through this/I can do anything”, “You’re the last of a dying breed”, “There’s been a million before me” – all little things like that that just give off a ‘ZR vibe’ are things I like to look for. 

You’re involved in making fanworks. Do you have any fanfic/fanart recommendations?

Of course I do! I’ve always loved the art and fic this fandom creates. Some of my favorite works include Typelikemad’s Season 1 Epsiode illustrations this drawing of Sara by tumblr user Thaumivore (though sadly I think they’ve deleted their blog) and this super cute Hoodie 5 by illustratedacorns, and some of my favorite fics are “Scavenger” by Straydog733, this post-Season 3 Fic about Jamie, Maxine, and Five being bros by Puptart (big S3 spoilers warning on this one) and “Wolves” by TheTalkingCrocus (season 4 spoiler warnings)

More of Emma’s fanart, featuring Runner 5!

What is your top tip for using Zombies, Run!?

Honestly my top tip has always been just ‘have fun’! ZR is something that I’ve loved very, very dearly, and I’ve always loved the attitude the creators have about making fitness fun, because that’s what ZR did for me. I’ve been using it for ages now, at every level of fitness – there were times at my most fit where I was running five miles/8 km per mission, and there were times where I just listened to it while walking my dog because that’s the most I could manage. And it’s always been something I’ve wanted to come back to, something that’s made me enjoy getting out and moving and made me want to do it more.

To me, ZR really a really fun, unique experience. It’s something I love sharing with my friends and with the fandom. It’s always been a very important spark of joy in my life.

Thank you so much to Emma for talking with us! You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.


Season 8 Mission 15: Far Hebrides Map (Spoilers!)

This Season, we’re taking you on an adventure to the distant Far Hebrides archipelago in Scotland, where you’ll encounter a whole host of new friends – and enemies. To make your journey even richer, we’ll be publishing a map of the Far Hebrides, which will expand and gain detail as we progress through the series.

Today’s excerpt from the map features spoilers from the first 15 missions of Season 8, up to and including “Codified Likeness Utility”. Be Warned!

Stay Safe Out There!

S8 M15 Released and Hiatus Begins

We’re leaving you hanging off this icy cliff with the final Season 8 mission for now, Codified Likeness Utility.

You can download this mission right now from the ‘Missions’ tab. If you’re a Pro Member, you can download and play the mission immediately. Otherwise, you can use your free weekly unlock. Let us know what you think of the season so far on our social media!

We are neck deep in preparations for the second half of this chilling season. After our hiatus, you’ll start seeing new missions around mid August.

Meanwhile… we have something really special coming later this month: Venus Rising, an epic five-part New Adventure by Naomi Alderman and Elliot Gresswell.

Soon, you’ll discover some mysteries were never meant to be solved…

Season 8 Mission 14: Far Hebrides Map (Spoilers!)

This Season, we’re taking you on an adventure to the distant Far Hebrides archipelago in Scotland, where you’ll encounter a whole host of new friends – and enemies. To make your journey even richer, we’ll be publishing a map of the Far Hebrides, which will expand and gain detail as we progress through the series.

Today’s excerpt from the map features spoilers from the first 14 missions of Season 8, up to and including “Best Laid Plans”. Be Warned!

Stay Safe Out There!