The Story takes place in the modern world, and starting from one day anyone who recently died with their brain intact will revive as a zombie to feed on living flesh.

In this question we will not discuss how to make realistic zombies like in previous ones, we will save that for another time.

In George A Romero's Living Dead Series, the zombie outbreaks started out easily taken care of in the first film "Night Of The Living Dead", but by the time in the second film "Dawn Of The Dead" the situation quickly escalates into a full blown apocalypse. This might be explained that since the story takes place in the 1960s or something the military maybe wasn't well armed enough, and no-one had zombie fiction rules to use as a reference. But since my story takes place in modern cities where most people understand the concept of zombies and therefore can protect themselves and deal with zombies better, So I doubt that society would collapse as depicted in most zombie fiction works.

Some people say that the zombies have an advantage of having the reanimation phenomenon thingy appearing all around the world at once, but given how slow moving/weak the zombies are I don't know if this advantage would be useful.

Here's how zombies work in this scenario:

  1. Once someone dies without having their brain destroyed, it takes a few minutes until they revive as a zombie.
  2. The only way to kill zombies is by busting their brain.
  3. Zombies retain a certain level of intelligence/memories they had when they are alive, so they could use tools or try to open doors/windows, but they have no sense of self perservation and are driven purely by the hunger for human meat. (This means that they also don't feel any emotions like fear, plus they completely lose their humanity AKA empathy or morality)
  4. They are slow moving and cannot run
  5. If a human was bitten by a zombie they will slowly get sick over the course of three days and eventually die. If you preform an amputation ASAP then this can be avoided.
  6. Let's just assume that zombies eat to slow down their rotting, and without food intake it takes around a month till they are reduced to immobile piles of flesh and bone.

The Question: Can humanity defeat the zombies in a situation like this? (Stop zombies from causing mass destruction) If the zombies can't win (By winning I mean to cause civilization to dissappear, not kill all humans to cause distinction) then you can try to come up ways to buff them for bonus points. :)

Thanks for ur time!

EDIT2: Please provide an explanation for your answer so I would know for sure.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jan 9 at 7:39
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The issue here is that you're fishing for ideas. You've not stated a definitive goal, not stated a problem. It seems to be the case that you may want a way for zombies to win against humanity (and don't explicitly state it), but that leaves an open ended story-writing problem, not a worldbuilding one. There are often many valid answers to a question - what we need is a way to decide what is the best answer. This should be a part of the parameters of the question. The sandbox is worth considering. $\endgroup$ Jan 9 at 7:45
  • $\begingroup$ Define definite goal. I've stated a problem here and that is "Which Side will win in this zombopocalypse scenario realistically". I don't think there are many options for this question, all you have to do is consider how well people will react to the situation and tell me if humans/zombies would win. $\endgroup$
    – Hi0401
    Jan 9 at 7:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Realistically". I do not think it means what you think it means. Zombies are magic, and their magical capabilities are driven by the needs of your plot. Do you want the humans to win? Then that's the side the magic will come down on. What is it that you want, and what difficulties are you having arranging your story to get it? That's a rather more productive way to ask questions on here. $\endgroup$ Jan 9 at 9:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is an off-topic High Concept Question that is too dependent on narrative necessity. All questions of the types "X happens, what now?" and "how would X react to Y?" and "could X overcome Y?" are off-topic. They're all too broad, to story-based, and too opinion-based. Please remember, we are here to help you build a world independent of all stories, not to help you write stories. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jan 9 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


Of course humans would win

Nuclear subs can remain underwater for six months without surfacing. Ships can be months at sea.

People live in the desert where zombies would dry out. People live in the artic where zombies would freeze solid. People live on remote islands.

This is just people who would survive even with no warning.

Next you have preppers with their own bunker and food supplies and finally people with some common sense.

Slow moving zombies are no threat at all. Fast world war Z zombies aren't much better. No self preservation means you can set traps for them and they won't avoid them.

Zombies, by themselves aren't a threat.

Now if animals could spread the virus, it changes everything. Zombie mice, rats and birds would wipe out humanity.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree with what you are saying... mostly. I don't need everyone to die, I just need small pockets remaining, like people on farms or in villages. Also I think you are assuming these are classic viral zombies, but no. Anyone who dies since the apocalypse started with their brain undamaged will turn. Getting bit will kill you without amputation but it's not required for zombification to occur. $\endgroup$
    – Hi0401
    Jan 9 at 5:51
  • $\begingroup$ I don't need everyone to die, I just need small pockets remaining. That's narrative necessity. That's why the question is off-topic. Choose the outcome your story needs and move forward because nothing about the world really matters. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jan 9 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ My point is zombies by themselves are no threat. Honestly COVID is a bigger threat. You build a fence and you can keep them out. Some traps and you can kill them safely. Now zombie animals, you need to keep birds and mice out which is much harder. $\endgroup$
    – Thorne
    Jan 9 at 22:23

Humans would be fine

Let's forget about zombies for a second, and imagine a fictional country of idiots decides to go to war with everybody. They (magically) teleport their very dumb soldiers all over the world, but only where there are dead people with intact brains.

To make matters worse for the enemy, their soldiers are not just kind of dumb, but also quite lethargic and generally unarmed. For most, the only hope they have of claiming a victim is the element of surprise.


Human society is generally pretty diligent about consolidating storage of all our recently dead, so the first wave of soldiers will tend to appear in clusters in specific places: hospitals, nursing homes, morgues, cemeteries. They mostly will not be sprinkled throughout society. Excepting cemeteries, these are all places that tend to be staffed around the clock. So, the enemy will mostly not have the element of surprise, which is a major advantage gone.

Of course, many people do die all over the place, and we don't move them within your "few minutes" timeline, so the first wave will be followed by a slow but very persistent trickle of solo soldiers who do appear all over the place: restaurants, schools, car crashes, etc. During an initial period of perhaps 24 hours, these solo soldiers will have the advantage of surprise. But once word gets out that zombies are real, folks will be on the lookout for this.

Preparation for resistance

The entire human population will become galvanized for war immediately after their political leaders go on TV to say, "my fellow Place-icans, zombies are real, act accordingly."

Everybody who has seen a zombie movie has asked themselves what they would do in a zombie situation. They have all considered questions like "when would I run away, and when would I stay and fight?" Everybody has, at one time or another, cast an idle eye over their home and wondered which of their possessions would be useful as improvised weapons against zombies. To be sure, much of this idle rumination is probably not very rigorous, but my point is that the movie-going population has already begun to flex the mental muscles for coping with this situation.

This is important because it means the rank-and-file will likely not be completely dumbfounded and frozen in shock or confusion once the facts become clear. "Shock and awe" tactics work precisely because an enemy is very vulnerable in the initial aftermath of any attack whose nature is not readily understood. Because so many people are at least conversant on this topic, a zombie outbreak won't enjoy this major advantage.

Zombies are ineffective foot soldiers

Running away from slow zombies is easy. The only time it's hard is when zombies outnumber humans substantially. That can't happen if the zombies are never allowed to have the upper hand.

Lethargic attackers are easier to defend against because their slow movements mean they can't bring a lot of force to bear. Sure, they may have leverage if they are long of limb, but there's a reason baseball batters swing fast instead of slow: force is dependent on acceleration.

Attackers who can use only very crude tools are easy to defend against. They can't kill at range, and they can't really defend themselves. They can't do much to cope with difficult terrain. They can't do much to destroy our own defenses, because all they have is their own body weight.

Because they are kind of brainless, they can't do things like coordinate attack or defense. They can't collect intelligence in an attempt to find our weaknesses. They can't set traps at either a tactical or strategic level. They can't invent new weapons or learn to counter our weapons.

I suspect that there would be a substantial number of human deaths in the very beginning, before the word has got out, and while we work out the kinks in the new death-vigil protocols we'll need.

This could result total loss of a number of communities: whole nursing homes or even a few small towns might be lost. But the fact that each generation of zombie growth takes several minutes minimum pretty much guarantees that the vast majority of society will have time to orient itself to the problem and hunker down in safety long enough for real counter-attacks to be mounted. Once human militaries are brought to bear, things will shift in the humans' favor and probably never back-slide.

  • $\begingroup$ Like your comparison of zombies to magic soldiers, but I thought I mentioned that they retain some intelligence? (Zombie Karen stabbing her mom in NOTLD with a freaking shovel) Eh, nevermind, not like that matters anyways. $\endgroup$
    – Hi0401
    Jan 9 at 6:17
  • $\begingroup$ I shall leave this question sitting here JUST IN CASE people come up with something different. By the next day if there are no better answers I will then accept this :) $\endgroup$
    – Hi0401
    Jan 9 at 6:19

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