1. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Adrenaline boost

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Pythonforger, Jan 8, 2011.

    I'm writing a zombie novel, and there's a scene where the characters are running from the zombies. It's set in an urban area and the characters have lots of adrenaline pumping. The zombies can run faster than them and are able to climb obstacles easily, so is it reasonable to assume the adrenaline helps them run faster than the zombies? I can't really estimate the speed of the zombies. Just take 28 day style zombies and plus maybe 1 or 2 kph.
     
  2. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I was a teenager I was talking to someone over a wall. She was on a step ladder, the ladder slipped to one side, with the ladder at a precarious angle she, screaming, hung on to a branch. In a flash I was over the wall and straightened the ladder so she could safely come down. I tried in vain to go back over the wall but it was too high for me to do so. I had to leave by the gate. To this day I do not know how I got over that wall. So yes adrenalin can have a big impact on ones abilities, whether someone would be able to outrun a larger stronger creature would remain to be seen, in a short burst-maybe? over a long distance I doubt it.
     
  3. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Heh, your idea reminds me of the game Left 4 Dead cause the 'zombies' in that game pretty much do the same thing.

    In the real world adrenalin only works for a few minutes. Once that rush ends, your body will crash and be more tired than it would be if it hadn't had that adrenalin rush. Prolongued dependancy on adrenalin will leave you fatigued. Since this is a story, you can exagerate the limits, but its not going ot make the average person run a mile in 4 minutes.

    So yea, your characters might be able to outrun the zombs for a very short time, but it won't last. If they are dumb enough to run straight down an open street they are going to get caught and gnawed on.

    If you don't want them caught, I would suggest having the characters run through crowded alleyways, parking lots, sewers, even up fire escapes. Anything that will throw obstacles in the zomb's path.

    Or arm them to the teeth with a nice selection of weaponry. :)
     
  4. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    "...is it reasonable to assume the adrenaline helps them run faster than the zombies?..."

    I think adrenaline gives a very short boost to performance. Think of it as the "nitro" button on racing games. I'm also not too sure that it gives a real speed boost, but creates a panic of sorts which lets you not hesitate or pace yourself. The downer is really tiring too.

    I did look quickly for info on its duration, and found this:
    http://www.ehow.com/about_5035720_long-adrenaline-rush-last.html
    Doesn't answer the question exactly, but does give a lot of good info to use when describing your characters during the flight.

    -Frank
     
  5. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I think you can push it for artistic purposes but everyone's right that it doesn't last long. I grew up in the country and on hikes I'd run into these crazy dogs who would chase me for no reason. I would run like crazy and they couldn't catch me, but that's because they'd break off after a point, but zombies might not.

    But...they might due to some factor like smell!

    I'd go with a combo with a chase but also the living using their brains to beat the zombies. Since zombies are mindless, they might track you forever, or as I mentioned suddenly lose your trail and go back to what they were doing.
     
  6. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Just had a thought.

    "..The zombies can run faster than them and are able to climb obstacles easily..."

    Do they have to? Why try to find ways for your humans to best a fictional creature when you can just tone down the creature a hair relative to the people?

    Part of me misses the old zombies. Rather than better, faster, stronger, they were sssslllloooowwww. You ran and ran, and put miles between you and the zombie horde, but they would catch up eventually. They had all the time in the world, while you were limited by your biology. Part of the horror WAS that you were stronger and faster then them, but it didn't make any difference.

    Well, enough of my old-fogie (that is, over 30) ranting.

    So, back to your problem. Keeping your characters away from "28 Days" style zombies.

    First and foremost, as Allegro said, brains - use em or lose em.

    Second, do the zombies have a weakness? Maybe they can't swim - so long as the MC can cross a river or get to an island they can be safe. How does heat or cold affect them? Are they easily distracted? Or, alternately, do they become target fixated and are therefore easy to lead into traps?

    Third, and be very careful not to overdo this, don't disregard the power of dumb luck.

    Just some thoughts. Good luck.

    -Frank
     
  7. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree alot with this. I have a zombie story that features the classic slow zombies. Well over the course of the story they seemed to adapt and some were faster then normal. But the majority were slow moving.

    But do your zombies need to be this fast capable? Instead of trying to find a way to alter humans to much, why not alter the zombies a bit? Maybe they can't climb over obstacles as easy.
     
  8. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Ok, I just had an idea inspired by all your feedback. The zombies are now the slow version(I've never even considered that, thanks FrankABlisset and Unit7), and they can't climb things so easily. Because of this, the MCs grow overconfident and get themselves ambushed by zombies. They panic and run in random directions, scaling over a wall into an alley. However, it's a dead end and they can't climb back over because their adrenaline is gone(yeah, thanks for the emphasis about the adrenaline duration peoples), and they're cornered by a seemingly endless stream of the living dead with nowhere to go.
     
  9. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    While reading that my mind kept think...and...and...WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
     
  10. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Well the whole idea behind the running/super strong zombie is that there aren't any limitations on their stress levels. Humans naturally avoid pushing themselves too hard because it wears them down in the long run, but zombies don't worry about things like muscle tears and heart attacks, so they operate at %100, %100 of the time.

    Let's keep in mind that zombies are fictitious - you can explain the disparity in speed however you want - but if a zombie could run, no way a person could be faster, let alone for a meaningful period of time.
     

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