Project Zomboid is a game about a sole survivor in the state of Kentucky, which is the ground zero for the zombie infection breakout. In this game, you must survive and avoid zombification, no matter the cost. By raiding neighboring houses, you can build an urban stronghold to fend off the horde.
Even so, no sanctuary in Project Zomboid is truly safe, and death is always around the corner. Here is everything we know about Project Zomboid's lore.
Project Zomboid Lore Breakdown
It all started with a foul smell in the air. The residents of Knox County, Kentucky didn't think too much of it, writing it off as an unpleasant experience, but no cause for concern. Little did they know, the first wave of infection was approaching, with the help of its courier: the wind. This first strand was airborne, and the danger of its miasma was impossible to predict.
The symptoms for this first strand were nausea, followed by a high fever after two days. This fever killed its victim, then brought it back to life in a zombified state in less than 60 seconds. These zombies spread the infection through the transmission of bodily fluids, such as blood and saliva.
As the inhabitants realized the gravity of their situation, the government issued an evacuation of Knox County on July 6, 1993. The area was sectioned off with blockades set up by military personnel. This event was known as the Knox Evacuation.
Project Zomboid begins
Project Zomboid's gameplay begins on July 9th, with the player in their own house. Although the airborne strand has wiped out a majority of the Kentucky population, there is a small percentage of inhabitants who are immune to the airborne strand. You are one of them.
Despite your immunity to the airborne variant, you are not safe from the variant that is transmitted by bodily fluids. If you are bitten, you will turn into a zombie. Your death is simply a matter of time.
Three days into Project Zomboid's gameplay, the residents of Kentucky are afflicted by mass hysteria. A picture of a blood-soaked man with an arm attached by mere tendrils goes viral, increasing the fear of zombies in the community. The public is now exposed to the graphic brutality of zombification, which causes citizens to experience a heavy sense of dread.
Citizens loot stores in several major cities, prompting the response of the military. In containment zones around the state, crowds begin to form, and infection runs rampant. Two unarmed members of this crowd, who are presumed to have been infected, are killed by the military on July 14th.
This event incites riots around Kentucky, forcing soldiers to fire warning shots and administer tear gas to the crowds. The noise of this event exacerbates the hordes of infected, causing Kentucky's future to appear grimmer.
Related: Does Project Zomboid have an ending?
General John McGrew's final message
"First and foremost: we are safe. America is safe," General John McGrew assures the American people. He sends out a prerecorded broadcast to televisions on July 17th, detailing the implications of the Knox County event. "The initial period of contagion is over. There is absolutely no need for further panic," John McGrew states, attempting to quell the fears of the people.
McGrew couldn't be further from the truth. The infection is spreading rapidly, through airborne means. Radio stations are shutting down because their hosts have perished. Kentucky is ravaged by the undead. Yet, he still tries to calm the American people.
Before all television broadcasting stops completely, there is one last prerecorded message from the government:
This is a recorded broadcast. It will be set to repeat. An unknown plague known as The Knox Infection has taken a hold on America. It is... the stuff of nightmare. If you are still alive... If the fever didn't get to you.. It all rests on you... Just please... Not now. Please not now. No. Please. Find a way to survive. Please. God Bless America.Final broadcast on Project Zomboid's televisions
After this message, all communication dies between the player and the outside world. Televisions fail to broadcast, radio frequencies shut off, it is only you and the horde. After 11 days of survival in Project Zomboid, the only lore event on the horizon is your imminent death.
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