Some Q's about Dead Rising

What kinds of stats will I need to have before having a serious shot at solving the mystery of the zombie apocalypse in 72 hours (i.e. saving all the survivors beyond the zombies’ first entrance to the mall)? I’'m on my 3rd start and now Frank is up to Level 8. Is that enough?

What is the ideal order in which to save the survivors? Is is just me: it seems the game automatically resets the countdown for a particular survivor to zero if Frank gets close enough to him/her-- for instance, I wanted to save the two guys barricaded in the shoe store or whatever, and come back for the nearby survivor behind the jewelry store counter, but the game seems to want to MAKE you save the jewelry store lady (the grieving mother) if you take it upon yourself to save the first guys, even though when you got to the guys you still had hours and hours left to do so. Aargh. Two at a time is enough, thanks.

BTW, should I help Brad out before trying to save any of the survivors (if I don’t, they seem to take too much stray gunfire [or something] no matter where you try to stow them temporarily)?

Two at a time isn’t nearly enough for Frank the Pimp.

Frank the Pimp is the best achievement ever.

I think I was in the early 20s the first time I got an ending that didn’t involve zombies snacking on my brain or getting shot by the douchebag prison escapees.

On the playthrough I finished it in, I started at level 10 and finished at level 48 in Overtime mode. 8 should be okay, probably.

I played through one 3 day session and beat it on the second. I was probably around 20 or so, but not out of need but because I loved exploring. Although I guess I was grateful for it given the last boss.

If you feel the need to optimize specific aspects of your playthrough, gamefaqs has all you need. Whether it’s zombie genocider or getting all of the survivors, they have the checklists for them. The weapon optimization one was also really handy.

You should be able to beat the game from a level 1 start, to be honest. It’s tough, but not impossible.

The thing to remember is that in order to unlock overtime mode, you have to complete all of the story missions. So yes, you should always make those your priorities over survivors. If you have to be somewhere at a certain time, get there early. If you have a mission ticking, do it immediately.

That said, you get absolutely massive XP for saving survivors, so you should always try to save a few when you have the opportunity.

You could also take a car and drive over zombies in the garage to level up bit, then restart. I think some useful combat moves start opening up around 12.

I think it’s entirely random what upgrades you get when leveling up. But driving around down in the service tunnels is a good way to grind some experience.

I beat the game with ending A on my first playthrough without restarting. I didn’t save everyone, of course, but you don’t need to in order to get the best ending.

Thanks for the replies–tell me, what is the default best way to get Frank free when a zombie grabs him and starts munching–I mean aside from the on-screen quick time events prompts–before those appear?

I believe just shaking the left stick back and forth.

I only restarted due to the classic ‘save my character but reset my game’ menu confusion, but didn’t have a lot of problems. A couple of the bosses, the convicts, and the cultists are really the only ones that spring instantly to mind. That probably means I started around Level 8 or so. Either way, the campaign mode isn’t particularly tough if you’re not aiming to rescue everyone.

BTW, you guys clearly played a different game than I did, with all your talk of “combat moves” and the like. I never found any combat moves that were anywhere near as effective as a couple of mini chainsaws and the appropriate +durability books.

Of course, relying on ready access to those made the end-game pretty tough…

I didn’t use the mini-chainsaws - I actively avoided them first playthrough round to avoid spoiling the game - but I had something similar with That Fight At The End. Hurrah for incredibly cheap glitches!

It’s up to you. My best advice would be to use a few runs to get to know the mall’s layout and rescue as many survivors as you can, ignoring the case files where possible and giving yourself permission to make mistakes. I can do a perfect run up to about level 12 on a fresh save, but I tend to have trouble with the convicts.

If you see a survivor, that automatically flags them. If you leave the area they’re in entirely, it’s assumed that zombies attack them directly. You have about two minutes before they die.

The only cap on this is that the game only allows eight survivors to be in play at a time. If Otis has called you with tips about four survivors and you have four survivors following you, no further survivors will spawn until one dies or is returned to the security room.

That said, guiding the survivors is glitchy but doable with the following:

  • Hammer the Y button like it’s your job. When Frank yells, it resets a survivor’s AI to “follow Frank.” They’ll usually stop fighting or crying and come running after you.
  • Set waypoints often.
  • Arm any survivor that’ll take one with a handgun or shotgun.

If you’re only taking two survivors at once, you won’t be able to rescue more than a few of them. You simply don’t have enough time on the clock.

What I typically do is this:

  • In the opening scene, be absolutely sure to grab the shotgun off the dead survivor before you head upstairs.
  • Hit the roof, grab the baseball bat, save Jeff and Natalie, photograph their hug, grab another baseball bat.
  • Go down to Paradise Plaza via the warehouse. Grab the katana and SMG. Do not drop or expend the SMG if it’s low on ammo.
  • Run straight across the park. Use soccer balls or the lawnmower to clear out the mob of zombies around the food court door. You should get the call for Aaron and Burt.
  • Fight Carlito. The best thing you can do is to jump up on the walkway with him and dice him up with a katana. Grab the SMG off the top of the Chris’s Fine Foods sign.
  • Follow Brad into Entrance Plaza to open that security gate. Take a handgun from one of the cop zombies in Al Fresca.
  • Go into “In the Closet” on the second floor and check the back room to find Bill. Arm him with a handgun or SMG.
  • Go into Al Fresca Plaza. Set a waypoint outside Burt and Aaron’s hideout so Bill can guard your perimeter, then go beat Burt with a baseball bat until he gives up. (Using a dumbbell, chainsaw, bowling ball, or other “instant kill” weapons will kill Burt.) Arm Burt with a handgun or SMG.
  • Kick it in the food court for a bit until you get the call for Leah.
  • Rescue Leah.
  • Go out into the park and set a waypoint for your survivors in a relatively clear corner. Bill and Burt will keep the zombies off of Leah and Aaron while you go get Sophie, who will automatically run to your waypoint once she joins.
  • Take out the convicts. The best way to do this is generally to get them to chase you into an area with lots of trees, dodge out of the way when the driver tries to run you down, then unload a shotgun or SMG into the gunner. When he drops, use melee attacks or more gunfire to take out the driver and passenger.
  • Grab the .50 cal and use it to clear the way up to the security room.

My first game win had Frank start at about 12-15 and end at level 50.

One of the biggest advantages to leveling is the inventory space you end up with. It’s really helpful.

Agreed with the level ~13 or so. Starting at 1 is just painful, and you desperately need that first speed upgrade.

As for the rest, I tend to take it how it comes, survivor-wise. I grab who I see, if I’m well off on health and items, and if they fall behind and make too much of an ass of themselves, oh well. Some of them just can’t seem to stay out of the way of my sledgehammer, it’s tragic.

Tragic, or HILARIOUS?

I can’t count the number of survivors I’ve accidentally chainsawed, sledgehammered, hacked up with a katana/machete/battle axe, or whatever.

I think my favorite thing though is disembowling or face crushing zombies/guys at the end of the game. It’s pretty phenomenal! You don’t even NEED weapons anymore.

Yep. My first full run through the game I never used the mini-chainsaws and by the end, when I was level 50, I was just using my hand-to-hand moves. Some seriously great moves once you get a bit higher level.

Second time through the game was a mini-chainsaw/megabuster owning.

The biggest drag in the game is saving people. My first time through I only saved the ones that didn’t require me to go out of my way, which is to say most of them. The second time, I tried getting all of them, but it just wasn’t very fun. I yelled at the TV more times when escorting survivors than I did during any other parts of the game. They’re just so damn stupid. Couldn’t give them any weapons they’re liable to hit you with because they surely will. Hearing them yell “Frank!!” while they’re standing there being eaten by zombies is about the most annoying thing in the world.

Also, I want to play this game again now. Curse you all!