Zombies: Fast or Slow?

Zombies. It’s a prerequisite of being a gamer; you gotta love ’em. I’m not entirely sure why you have to love them, but I’m yet to meet a gamer who doesn’t. Even if they don’t like zombies in games, they just love Dawn of the Dead or, even better, Shaun of the Dead. As a result of this weird obsession with zombies (which hopefully doesn’t extend to the bedroom), I thought it would be a safe bet to have my first TSArticle on them. Erm, about them, not on them. That’d be weird, right?

There’s been a relatively recent change in zombies – they’ve suddenly got quicker, as if someone went and attached motors to their arses. Quite how that would make them move any faster is beyond me, but I’m not a an expert, I leave that kind of thing to the zombiologists (ColossalBlue is a zombiologist). As far as I’m concerned, adding more weight to a zombie would probably slow them down, but then I am not to know the nuances of undead undressing.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes – the bringers of the zombipocalypse have suddenly increased in speed, and it leaves me at a bit of a loss; which is best? I’ve spent hours considering the question, because apparently my life is so empty that I must consider things that are unlikely to happen (though not impossible). After many long hours of careful consideration whilst everyone else was doing pointless things like drinking with friends and getting laid, I have come to a conclusion.


Coming up first are, ironically, the slow zombies. The oldest of the zombies and the least threatening, it’s hard to be too scared of something that could be outrun by a sedated toddler, yet the simple fact that it’s covered in blood and is probably a bit peckish tends to be enough to make you jump out of the window in a bid to survive (not a good plan if you’re at the top of a skyscraper). The slowie (it’s official name, as designated by, well, me) is a metaphor for death itself – slowly creeping up on you and impossible to avoid forever, you can see the metaphor that you probably didn’t even care enough to notice before.

Fast zombies (called fasties, though I originally called they quickies and decided that the name would be considered a euphamism) are the polar opposite. Quick enough to appear in a doorway just as you turn away and be tearing steak-shaped pieces of flesh out of you back before you can say ‘why are the pieces of flesh shaped like cartoon steaks?’, they’re a metaphor for the the phrase ‘life is too short’ and – ok, they’re not actually a metaphor, they’re just much scarier. I could invent a metaphor for them, but that could end messily, my imagination is too weird.

The fact is that fasties are at least 6.7 times more terrifying than slowies. Sure, if there’s a slowie in your doorway you’re going to scream, but as soon as it steps on an oddly conveniently placed toy car and slips it immediately turns the situation into a halloween special of Home Alone.

However, there is secret zombie-option number 3; medium zombies (imaginatively nicknamed mediumies). Predominantly seen in the latest two numbered Resident Evil games, these are the mid-point between fasties and slowies – they run up until they’re about two meters in front of you, then walk towards you threateningly. Some people might argue that mediumies aren’t actually zombies, but I don’t care about those people, and would happily test all three types of zombies on them. From mediumies, you get the ‘HOLY MOTHER OF GOD’ feeling when you first see them rushing towards you, but this undermines the slow part, making mediumies seem like they have a fear of commitment (which is possible, as they all seem to be male).

So fasties remain to be scariest and, since the main function of zombies is to scare you so much your pants fall off quicker than having a conversation with nofi (and in a completely different way), the best. Let’s face it, slowies take too long to get within bite range to form any sort of actual threat, and mediumies don’t seem to be too sure about attacking you. This leaves fasties, who don’t seem to have any real problems, other than losing a limb everytime you so much as look at them wrong. So, you can now go back to playing Left 4 Dead and anticipating Left 4 Dead 2 safe in the knowledge that you’re taking out hordes of a better class of zombie.