Help Wanted: Dead Rising Pointers (possible spoilers)

I picked up Dead Rising shortly after launch, squealed with delight for a night or two once I started to find sexy things like the lawnmower, but then got a little frustrated with the well-documented text problem (your mileage may vary, but the text is basically indecipherable on my TV using the S-video connection) and my inability to save anybody, and I pretty much moved onto Fight Night and Saints Row.

Now I’ve come back to DR, and I’m still having a lot of problems getting through Day 1, so I thought I’d ask for some help.

My main problem is that I can’t seem to rescue anybody for the life of me. I have Frank at level 20, and my first day tends to go something like this:

  1. Run through the normal intro stuff, and rescue the first couple on the roof.
  2. Make a B-line to help Brad.
  3. Go with Brad to meet the old man in the bookstore, grabbing the SMG from the fountain on the way.
  4. Head back to the two guys barricaded in the shop. Get them to join and arm them with some decent melee weapons.
  5. Run across the hall and wait for the mother to get through her lo-o-o-o-ng dialog (anybody else wish this stuff could get clicked through?) while the store gradually fills up with zombies.
  6. Try fight my way through the store and back into the food court, to get into the centre courtyard.
  7. Try to save the girl from the guys in the jeep.
  8. Get them back to the security room.

That’s the plan, anyways. Usually by the time I start adding people to the party, they wind up getting separated pretty fast. If I go back to try save one of them, they’re almost invariably in the middle of a swarm of zombies, and if I go in swinging (usually the dumbell is the weapon at hand), I wind up clocking them and taking them out. If I try to be more selective about my target, either they wind up taking too much damage in the interim or the rest of my party gets swarmed.

Given the swarms of nasty post-7pm zombies that are between me and the security room, I’ve never made it back with more than one survivor alive, so I have the following questions:

  1. Should I even worry about survivors on my first playthrough, or should I mainly stick to the cases and treat anybody who happens to survive the run back to the security room as a bonus?

  2. Are there any tricks I can use to help keep my party close to me and alive? (I’ve read tips in other threads that involve arming them with weapons I haven’t yet found.)

  3. Are there any effective tactics for dealing with a party member in a crowd of zombies so that I can take out the most zombies while doing the least amount of damage to him or her?

Thank you for any and all help!

  1. It’s entirely up to you. If you wanna skip the cases, skip’em. If not, do them. Just know that you probably won’t be able to do everything on your first play-through. Decide to do one thing and do it well. Personally, I want to get the decent ending, then go back and do survivors, then go back and work on psychos, then go back and attempt a perfect run or at least come close. Then work on various Achievements. The beauty of it is, it’s entirely up to you which you want to start with.

  2. Pistols and katanas for your party. There is also a book that you find (unfortunately later on) that makes your party be more aggressive and reckless, but other than that … just try to clear paths and run through the smaller clusters of zombies. My biggest party so far is six people on day 2 (zombie concentration about middling) so I doubt I’m an authority here…

  3. As above, I employ trial and error. :/ Just remember to carry food so that you can heal them if they get caught. I tend to use Adam’s chainsaws and even if they damage my party, the zombie take-down factor is well worth it.

Hope that helps…

The Colombian Roastery upstairs in Paradise is your greatest resource. There’s an unlimited pie bar and unlimited OJ case, and a blender. Every time you go through Paradise, mix those together for the Untouchable smoothie. They heal 5 or 6 boxes of health, and make you invulnerable for a while.

My loadout when I did my first serious run at getting the A ending was the following: 2x Adam chainsaw, the 3 books that make them last 27x longer, and the rest of my inventory invuln smoothies. Whenever I picked up a survivor that was capable of fighting, I’d find the nearest cop and get a pistol to give to the survivor.

This is how I went from n00b to finishing the game (WARNING: Here there be spoilers!)
[li]Play from the start until dying, then saving and restarting a couple of times. I kept this up until I was comfortable with the controls, and got a few levels under my belt.
[/li][li]First serious attempt at surviving all 3 days, I think I was around 10th level at this point. This attempt went all to hell near the end of day two when I blew a rescue run by getting myself and everyone following me killed by the Convicts. I stupidly hadn’t saved since 3am the night before, so I just saved and restarted.
[/li][li]Damn the mission, damn the survivors, damn the storyline. I followed the plot until Adam showed up, stocked up on Chainsaws, then went for the Genocide achievement. I did nothing but drive around in the service tunnels smooshing zombies for the achievement, going from level 15ish to level 38 or so. BOOOORRRING. I managed to accidentally get the Stunt Driver achievement due to fortuitous arrangement of zombies pushing acetylene tanks under my wheels. Came back out, picked up 1 or two survivors that were still available to rescue, and explored the whole mall so I’d know my way around for my final shot at solving all the cases. Got out with the B ending.
[/li][li]Megabuster FTW! The genocider achievement gave me the cheesiest weapon in the game: The Real Megabuster. This makes short work of psychos. I think the hardest fight at this runthrough was the Vietnam vet, and that only because he moves around so fast and the aiming controls FUCKING SUCK. Anyway, got to level 50 from transporting survivors, but missed a bunch because of bugs and tight timing with some of the story elements. Particularly annoying was the 4 women from the cop psycho fight that didn’t spawn in, so I was only able to save their leader. Got everyone out, survived overtime, got the A ending, and everyone’s happy.
[/li][li]Achievement run. Time to start filling in the missing achievements. I didn’t get too far into this one, maybe 2 days. I haven’t played since. Once I’m sick of TDU, I’ll go back and do a Saint run, which requires following the storyline to a certain point, then stopping.

On the first day (before I had the Megabuster), I usually pick up baseball bats and the sports book from the first bookstore, and the Uzi from the overhang above the warehouse door. This gets me through most of the first afternoon, until I get over to the japanese tourists.

I then abandon the bats and sports book in favor of the criminal book and knives, which are abundantly available from the cutlery shop or zombies outside of the second bookstore in Paradise.

On the way back to face Adam, I pick up the Engineer and Entertainment books from the 2nd bookstore in Paradise, so I can get the full use out of the first two light chainsaws. After that, I’m pretty much unstoppable, so I just follow the storyline and pick up as many survivors as possible.

The biggest trick to keep survivors alive is to set waypoints, do not have them follow you. If you set waypoints they will go to that waypoint and defend it, if they follow you they will only randomly fight zombies around themselves. I prefer equiping my survivors with guns - shotguns and SMG’s if can, but at least pistols.

The only thing I haven’t gotten is 5 and 7 day survivor, Frank the Pimp and transmissionary.

My only tip for you: play the game so it’s fun. There’s no need to try and save everyone, or anyone, so don’t let that keep you stuck at the beginning

I find it’s a very good idea to rescue at least a few survivors, simply for the PP value. On your first playthrough, rescue everyone you run across, if at all possible, and let the bodies fall where they may. As you get more levels and get better at the game, you can rescue more and more of them.

Spam the Y button like it ain’t no thang. Basically, hitting Y interrupts all previous AI and otherwise commands, so it’ll shake crying survivors out of their funk, delete waypoints, and often get combat-crazed idiot survivors like Kay to knock it the fuck off.

When you encounter a survivor who can be armed, acquire a handgun for them ASAP, or bring one with you. Handguns are all over the map in DR; you can get them from cop zombies, who spawn near the Leisure Park doors in Paradise Plaza, outside the second-floor bookstore in Wonderland Plaza, along the moving walkway at the west entrance to North Plaza, and around the fountain in Al Fresca Plaza. There are also two “infinite” handgun cases in the Huntin’ Shack in North Plaza, but you’ll have to beat a boss to get them.

The advantage to a survivor that’s using a missile weapon is that he or she won’t run up to zombies and attempt to enter combat the way they will with melee weapons. Survivors are also pretty good at landing headshots on the fly unless it’s at point-blank range, so they’ll acquit themselves fairly well.

You should also strive to hold onto SMGs or shotguns that have very little ammo left, so you can give them to survivors. A weapon in the hands of a survivor won’t break or run out of ammunition, so you can ‘recycle’ a nearly-expended weapon by handing it to one of your AI buddies. This is a crucial strategy in some parts of the game, as a combat-savvy survivor with a shotgun is a force to be reckoned with.

There are four conveniently-accessible SMGs that I know of hidden throughout the mall, all of which will only respawn if you expend that SMG. They’re on top of the blue ledge over the warehouse entrance in Paradise Plaza (jump to it from the landing of the first staircase), in the storeroom near the center of the maintenance tunnels, on top of the Chris’s Fine Foods sign in the food court, and in the fountain in Al Fresca Plaza. There’s a fifth SMG hidden in Wonderland Plaza, but you have to jump to it from the Space Rider, so I never bother.

Finally, I should note here that of the survivors who can be armed, not all of them are actually worth a damn when you do. Without the Brainwashing Tips book, Bill, Burt, Greg, Yuu, Shinji, Kay, Kindall, Tonya, Heather, Neil, Nick, Jonathan, Brett, Alyssa, and Tad are the only characters who’re okay combatants. The rest are mediocre at best.

Follow the main plot up until “A Temporary Agreement,” where you go to meet Brad in the security room after talking to the old man in Entrance Plaza. When you return to the warehouse, you’ll trigger the “queens” cutscene, and thus the occasional appearance of a queen when you kill certain zombies. It’s a good idea to always have a queen in your inventory for the sake of survivor rescue, as throwing a queen will kill every zombie within a certain radius (both horizontally and vertically, interestingly enough) while leaving humans completely intact.

Other good methods of pulling a survivor’s hash out of the fire include the jump kick-roundhouse kick combination and wading in with a baseball bat or bench.

The shotgun, strangely, is another halfway decent option. Dead Rising handles damage in an interesting way, where some weapons do a certain amount of damage against human targets, but seem to go straight to fatal injury against zombies, especially if you aim at a zombie’s head. A shotgun blast doesn’t do that much damage to a human, but it’ll automatically kill zombies a fair amount of the time at close to mid-range. Fire a shotgun into a group of zombies around a survivor, and you’ll wind up with a dinged-up survivor and a fuckload of dead zombies.

Thanks for the tips!

I just had a pretty successful first day with my now L22 Frank. (I also finally found out where I can change back into Frank’s original clothes, as I was getting irritated with starting the game in the kidswear/sundress/novelty mask that I’d usually wind up wearing.) Once the couple on the roof were rescued, I wound up doing “Cut From The Same Cloth” which I usually skip. From there, I motored along to the food court, filled Carlito full of holes in record time (for me), and went with Brad to the old man in the bookstore, without pausing to pick up the two guys barricaded in the clothing store.

Once Brad vanished, I went back, rescued the two guys in the store, armed them with pistols, decided not to wait around for “A Mother’s Lament” to trigger, and bolted back to the food court to get everybody topped up. Making extensive use of waypoints, which I hadn’t done in the past, made a huge difference, although there were certainly moments where I was wailing on the Y button.

We made it into the centre courtyard while it was still daylight and the convicts hadn’t even spawned, and got back to the safe room well before 7, where I saved and took a break after completing the first case. When I head back out, I’ll try rescue the girl from the convicts (is there any way to make those jackasses stop spawning after your first encounter?) and hopefully make it back to the jewellery store in time to rescue the mother, although if anybody gets turned into zombie food, I’m not going to stress it.

Is there a more organic way to get the genocide achievement and unlock the uberzomgweapon or should I pretty much brace myself for an evening in the tunnels?

I don’t think there’s any better way to get the genocide achivement than the tunnels. At one zombie kill per second, you’re talking over 14 hours to get ~53k kills. The only way to do it without spending crazy amounts of time is to push your kills/second as high as possible, and I can’t think of any better way to do that than driving in the tunnels.

A useful tip for the tunnels: By taking the elevator located in the stairwell by the car, you can reset the tunnels with only one load screen.

You can get your KPS higher by going to the butcher room part of the tunnels, and driving up and down the ramp near it. It’s just long enough to cause the ends to respawn when you’re at the opposite end. The butcher’s room has a couple of knives, a sledgehammer, and some containers of milk for getting to/from the truck, and replenishing your health.

When I did it, I would drive down and reverse back up 3 times, maybe 4 if I didn’t hit too many acetylene tanks and thought I could make it. If the truck gets disabled while you’re on the ramp, kill your way to the nearest shopping cart, and use that to power through the zombies back up to the door to the butcher’s area.

You can also get the Kung Fu achievement while you’re doing this. The best way to do it is to wait until you’ve got the Double Lariat attack unlocked, then wait until you’re 2k kills away from genocider. Then just run out into the zombies and double lariat your way to victory!

I often nearly chainsawed survivors to death while escorting them. It doesn’t matter if they are damaged and sometimes you just have to beat the crap out of them for being so stupid. It’s therapeutic.

There’s actually an unannounced survivor in the Entrance Plaza that you can grab before going back for Burt and Aaron: Bill. He’s on the second floor in the back room of a store called In the Closet, and he’s an adequate combatant.

My strat for the 1-1 caseload involves getting Bill, using him to guard the door while I recruit Burt and Aaron, arming Burt and Bill with SMGs, using them to guard the door while I rescue Leah, and letting Burt and Bill watch Aaron and Leah’s backs while I grab Sophie out of the courtyard.

I almost made it back with the japanese tourists and the guy with the busted leg last night, but as soon as we hit the centre courtyard, the convicts had respawned and made a b-line for us, mostly tearing us to shreds. The tourists and I had pistols, and I didn’t have another SMG. I somehow managed to take the psychos out with just my pistol, but it was a pretty brutal fight.

I got back to the plaza with the exit to the warehouse, but instead of turning left to fill up at the juice bar, I tried to rush directly to the warehouse. The party got split up, and with their health drastically reduced from being machine-gunned for five minutes, the tourists didn’t last long.

I’m going to try it again, and do my best to stock up on food and heavy weapons. Any tips for better handling the convicts? Ideally I’d like to stop them from respawning, but either avoiding them or handling them more easily in combat would be good. I can’t believe the bad luck I’m having with them. It seems that if I enter the courtyard by myself, they’re always far away and I have no trouble sticking to the shadows and avoiding them. If I’m escorting survivors, however, it seems that they’re parked and waiting for us, or they see us from halfway across the park and come straight at us.

Yeah. Don’t fight them at all.

Here’s what you do. When Otis gives you the call that the Space Rider rollercoaster’s gone out of control, get a couple of SMGs and head over there. Use the console at the rollercoaster to trigger the appearance of a boss.

Avoid the boss’s attacks by staying well away from him, unless he either spins around too much and gets dizzy, or blows up a balloon. In the latter case, pop the balloon with gunfire before it gets too far away from him, then empty your SMGs into him. If you run out of ammo, there are four zombie cops on the second floor of Wonderland Plaza. Kill them and take their handguns.

When this boss is defeated, return to the rollercoaster and use the console again. You’ll stop the ride and allow Greg the mall employee to get out. Talk to him and he’ll offer to show you a shortcut. Follow him into Wonderland Plaza’s ladies’ restroom, and he’ll be looking up at the ceiling above the sink. Jump on the sink to find a secret passage between Wonderland and Paradise Plazas, thus enabling you to bypass the convicts entirely.

If you want to fight them, keep in mind that they have an abominably high respawn rate. Every time I’ve killed them, they’ve come back within half a day at most.

I have a video up on YouTube showing my defeat of the convicts:

The chainsaw guys is absolutely vital to making the game easier. It opens up a very nice shortcut and you get the best weapon in the game. Add in 3 different books (yeah, I know it takes up a slot . . . maybe only have one book at first until you level a bit), and you have a fierce weapon that takes a long time to break.

The absolute easiest way I’ve found to beat him is to just stoll into a store and throw cash registers at him when he chases you. It’s so easy to beat him this way I actually showed my friend who was visiting this boss as a way to impress him, but he went down so easy he thought the game was too easy for his tastes.

Edit: Shit, I might have to play me some Dead Rising when I get home.

Actually, there’s a big advantage to fighting them. Every time you kill the gunner on the jeep, you can take his .50 cal machine gun. It comes with 150 rounds, auto-aims, and one-shots zombies as well as doing massive damage to psychos. So your reward for killing those guys is being able to part crowds of zombies like the red sea for a while.

I found it easy kill him with his own balloons. I just used the upper level where there aren’t many zombies as the battleground and stayed far away from him causing him to keep trying to use a balloon. Popping his balloon on him does massive damage. Occasionally he’ll run at you so you’ll have to dodge him and run far enough away so he’ll use another balloon (since I was one the upper deck if he did manage to get close I’d jump off the side and then zip back up the staircase) but it’s not hard to kill him without taking a whack.

I’ll have to try the cash register thing on my next go through.

The dumbbell is a great weapon, but not when you’re escorting. It tends to be a little too indiscriminate in the killing. I happened to be using it when I first bumped into the side quest where you have to rough the guy up a little before he’ll talk to you. Took him down with one blow, so one less survivor for me.

And I can’t emphasize the secret passage enough. IMHO, the chainsaws are a nice little side benefit of clown-slaying - the real meat and potatoes is the shortcut, since it makes escorting so much easier.

Like the boss battles, escorting isn’t too hard if you get luckly enough to stumble up exactly the right strategy, but a pain in the tuckus if you don’t. Which is a slight design problem that doesn’t overshadow the fun of zombie killing.

The chainsaws will take most bosses down in no time, and you can clear a wide path in very little time to move escorts through when necessary. I’m a big fan of the chainsaws. Grab a couple of books to extend their use and whenever you happen to pass through wonderland plaza pick up another chainsaw and you can always have on available when you’re in a pinch. With a skateboard and chainsaw by the end of the game I was a fast moving zombie killing one man surgical strike team.

I’ll chime into the chorus of people saying to use waypoints. It’s infinitely easier than having them follow you.

I may have to go play some Dead Rising tonight too. I started playing other things after I finished the entire game and played around for a couple of hours in infinity mode and my 360 has been sitting idle ever since.

Actually, every gun auto-aims. It’s simply that the .50 turret has the firepower to where the auto-aim actually does you some good. The shotgun and machine gun also have auto-aim, which comes in handy on occasion.

The thing is, however, that fighting the convicts when you have survivors in tow is a dandy way to wind up with dead survivors, especially at night or if you’re escorting a bunch of unarmed people. The tactical utility of the .50 turret is not so amazingly great that it’s worth waltzing with the convicts more than once.

A big thank you again to everybody who offered up some tips in this thread. I now have the shortcut opened up and the triple-booked chainsaws - respawning triple-booked chainsaws, no less - to help with the festivities.

I just finished 72 hour mode with 35 survivors, the A ending, and level 48 by the time the credits rolled and the final pp bonuses came in (I had a really good run of farming special ops guys), and I’ve just had one of the best gaming experiences I can remember.

There was a moment in the maintenance tunnels when I was trying to reach my next objective and I was using a shopping cart as a battering ram to part a veritable sea of zombies that ate up my entire screen, as I pushed forwards into darkness. This game gets so much of what makes zombie movies such great fun absolutely right, and I’m absolutely delighted that I brought it back off the shelf and gave it another go.

Thanks once again to everybody who pointed me in the right direction!!!