I spent eight consecutive hours in
on Saturday. What began as a screenshot of a goat (that we were about to shoot) became, as it often does in Day Z, an afternoon worth documenting. We hiked. We crawled. We looted abandoned convenience stores. We looked and listened. We ran screaming from undead priests. We got lost. We ate beans.
Follow along at home with this colorful
Arma 2 map
, and other friends-of-friends.
It starts with this goat and a well-intentioned quest for his innards. After spawning on the coast, we rally up in a southwest town called Bor. With noise being a constant cost for defending yourself or hunting, Guillaume.
Chernarus castle magic
"Well, we're all here. Where do you guys wanna go?" "Let's hit that castle to the northeast." "Cool."
When zombies attack
"Walker in the doorway." "I got it."
"Man, this place is really defensible."
We score some Winchester ammo and an extra compass from the keep. Just down the hill, we spot a pair of houses outside Vyshnoye. "Let's check 'em out."
Livin' off the land
"I'll hang up here and cover while you guys go in. ...Anything good?" "Just soda and beans." "All right, regroup."
Another one of our friends enters the server. We rally up in the most apocalyptically-clichéd spot we can: the graveyard beside a bombed church.
A clump of walkers spawn from thin air just as we leave a barn. "Welp. Time to go."
They shall not pass!
More looting. We get noticed in another barn, but use the bottleneck to funnel them. A pile forms.
I screw up: while searching a cramped garage for gear, we can't put enough distance between ourselves and the doorway. A few angry swipes, and I go down.
All going black
But not out. My friends fend off the zombies, then drag my very unconscious body away from the town. I can only watch with a floppy neck.
Don't die on me bro
Helpless and afraid, Ben eases my panic with continual fist-bumping.
Promise you'll kill me before I turn
Sometimes the world goes sideways when zombies break you. My pals keep guard as the pain fades (thanks, morphine!).
He's okay folks!
I'm okay. We weren't done clearing the town when we got ambushed, but we decide to check the church. We find a tent near the pulpit.
The night's watch
Keenan keeps watch in the woods.
A lake break. We refill our canteens near Prud, then carry on back south, looking for trouble in Stary Sobor.
I've come to dread open clearings almost as much as I fear big cities in Day Z. Just as we're about to sprint across this one, we see movement.
Hours into the day, we finally encounter our first bandit. And...he's dead? Wait, no. He's just unconscious. "So I'm gonna shoot that guy on the ground, is that cool?" "Do it."
I recorded our Mumble chatter as we were playing.
Here's what our comms sounded like when we saw the bandit body
(Beware: plenty of panic-inspired profanity.)
You guys see anything?" "Nope."
I catch a snap of Keenan's M9 while keeping an eye on a hopper. Candid, I promise.
An unexpected problem emerges: I have too much ammo. CZ 550 bullets are taking up most of my inventory. I lighten my load. We all die alone. We all pray we don't die alone in a jumpsuit.
Deer stands usually overlook forest perimeters. We go out of our way to check them; they often hold rare loot and automatic weapons.
Admiring the view
You do a lot of hiking in Day Z. Occasionally you let your guard down and stop to freelook around.
We get daring: we decide to visit Krasnostav airport. It's popular, uncovered, incredibly dangerous, but usually covered in loot. I'm our sniper, so I set up behind these shrubs on the northeast side, giving me total overwatch over the scene below.
Listen to our radio chatter as I provide cover for Keenan in the airfield
Got your back
Keenan scrubs the radio tower and hangars for gear, finding little. I pluck down zeds from 450m before they get too close to him. It feels absolutely authentic, like a sniping/escort mission we're scripting ourselves.
Shop till you drop
We circle back to Krasnostav, remembering there's a convenience store there.
Waking the dead
We're just feet from the store's door when Father Joseph blows our perfect infiltration run. The town wakes up. "Forgive us, father, but: damn you."
No longer welcome in Krasnostav, we politely run the hell away. "Man, Father Joseph can really book it when he wants to."
Stop, drop and roll
We're still carrying a bunch of raw meat. We get a fire going to make it edible, then pass it around. Andrew rolls around in the fire to relieve some of the day's tension. "Stop, drop, and roll!" he jokes. "Do you really trust the Arma engine enough to roll around in open flames"
What a day
We hold at Black Lake in the northeast corner of Chernarus to commemorate the day and log off. Clark, Keenan, Andrew, Ben: we were a set of eyes and ears for eight hours. We didn't die. We did not die.
38 zombies, one bandit
125+ zombies, two bandits
Farthest zombie kill:
585m (measured afterward in Arma 2's map editor)
cooked meat, beans, water, soda, 60 CZ 550 ammunition, 9 Makarov pistol clips, 1 smoke grenade, 1 painkillers, 4 bandages
Water canteens refilled in lakes, ponds, or wells:
goat (2), cow (2), boar
W of Kamenka
Black Lake, N of Berezino
Read the rest of our
coverage, if you'd like.