I'm with a group of friends in the southern coastal town of Kamyshovo. We've been running down the coast for what feels like hours, and we're all dying of thirst and/or hunger. Then, up ahead on the main road, we see another player. We all point our guns at the stranger, even though we don't have any ammo, but he waves and says he's friendly. Amazingly, it's Chris. By sheer chance, I've bumped into someone I know in the vast expanse of Chernarus. He's in dire need of food and water too, so we decide to hike west towards the city of Elektrozavodsk to try and find life-saving beans.
We reach the city and search the houses and apartment blocks for supplies. There are a few zombies, but Chris makes short work of them with his fire axe. Encouragingly, there don't seem to be any other players around. I spot a pump behind the church and we gather around it, filling our bellies with delicious, probably infected, water. Our health restored, we go scavenging in a nearby fire station. Chris finds a Magnum, and I look in vain for M4 ammo.
Then, suddenly, I catch a glimpse of someone in full military gear with a rifle. “There's a player here with a gun!” I announce over public voice chat, because I'm an idiot. I lose sight of them almost immediately, but now everyone's in a panic. We circle the station and we can't see anyone, so I think maybe I imagined it. Another friend of ours is trapped at the top of a smokestack somewhere in the city. He can't get down because there are zombies at the foot of the ladder, so we decide to go and help him.
We're sprinting along the main road – which is a really, really bad idea in DayZ, especially in somewhere as heavily populated as Elektro. Then I hear a crack of gunfire, and my friend Emily is shot. She falls to the ground, then I do. Blackness. I load up Chris's stream on Twitch and, thanks to the delay, see Emily die again, but Chris bolts into a nearby apartment before he knows what's happened to me. Our attackers sprint down the street towards our bodies. They've been stalking us this whole time. Then, just when he thinks he's safe, they shoot Chris through the window. We're all dead.
Chris leaves, but Ben joins me when I start a new character, along with two other friends. This time we decide to head inland, away from the coast, and well away from Elektro. We work our way through the countryside, from Solnichniy to Dolina, gathering supplies. We have a pretty nice haul. Enough to keep us fed and watered all the way to the north-west airfield, where our plan is to pick up some decent weapons – if we don't get sniped the instant we approach, that is.
Along a dirt road, I spot a lake. We take advantage of it and fill up on water. While we're waiting for the others, Ben approaches me, and I see a message flash up on the screen saying that I've just been force-fed a rotten banana. “I have a funny taste in my mouth.” my character says. I have food poisoning. Ben laughs over voice chat, not realising that he's just signed my death warrant. I scour Dolina for charcoal tablets, but in my 20 hours of playing the standalone I've never once come across any. My character moans as the sickness gets worse. Thanks, Ben. Thanks a lot.
Incredibly, while we're looting a house, he tries to do it AGAIN, this time with a kiwi fruit. But his plan backfires and he accidentally eats it himself. I'm furious, so I take out my fire axe and kill him, cursing him over Skype. I could have watched him die slowly of the same ailment he gave me, but I was feeling vengeful. I loot his body and leave him for the zombies. The rest of the group are fine, but I'm done for. The sickness is eating away at me. I get on my knees and ask them to kill me and end my suffering. They pummel me with their axe and baseball bat, and I see blackness once again.
Chris recorded his stream of the adventure, so you can see it from his perspective here.
These aren't the first times Andy's died in DayZ, and they won't be the last. He's documenting every bitter demise on his DayZ Death Diary - a chronicle of DayZ at its most melancholy.