Dead Rising - VGA's Exclusive Strategy Guide

While an excellent game, Dead Rising can be frustrating due to its difficulty and the emphasis that the save system places on staying alive. Planning ahead and understanding the game mechanics are vital to your very survival and getting the most out of your time in the Willamette mall. If you follow our tips, you'll get through the game with no problems.

Day One

Your main base of operations is the mall's security room which opens to a helipad, an air vent, and a hallway. After your initial encounter with the zombies at the mall's main entrance, you will return to this security room and watch as Otis the janitor welds the hallway door shut. This is good, as you do not want to see another zombie again for the rest of the game.

Now the only entrances through which zombies could potentially enter the security room are:

- An air vent
- The helipad

Unfortunately Otis will not weld the air vent shut, presumably because a man named Brad just climbed through said vent and it is his only route back to safety. Talking to Otis multiple times will not convince him to weld the vent, and there are no welding tools to be found in the security office that would allow you to do it yourself. For now you'll have to be content with simply staying as far away from this air vent as possible. Otis will serve as a miner's canary from now on. If you hear him scream, run.

The helipad is on a rooftop island surrounded by barbed wire, which means no zombie can gain access to it unless he is the reanimated corpse of a skydiver that died of a heart attack mid-jump. Just to be safe you will, of course, want to have Otis weld this door shut, but once again reasoning with the man gets you nowhere. This is a blessing in disguise, as your helicopter ride to safety will arrive on this very helipad in 72 hours.

For now, make your way to a secluded room halfway between the helipad and the air vent in case zombies come pouring through one of the entrances. Now the waiting game begins.

At seven o'clock at night, the zombies' eyes glow red and everything gets scarier. Back up into one corner of the room as far as you can possibly go, making sure to face the door so nothing can sneak up on you.

Day Two

On day two, you might begin to feel a little restless. Venture out to the helipad and look around at the sky, just in case the helicopter pilot misheard you and thought he had to pick you up today. Stay out there until it gets dark, then run back inside.

Make your way to the room with the bank of security cameras. A blonde woman with impressively lifelike breasts will be seated at the security panel. She refuses to speak to you, which is to be expected. For now pick up the apple on the floor and eat it, then spend the rest of the night drinking coffee creamer and taking pictures of the woman pretending to ignore you.

Day Three

As soon as your final day begins, drink all of the warm spoiled milk sitting next to the blonde woman and run to the helipad. Position yourself so that your body blocks the door, just in case some zombies infiltrate the security room. The key here is to keep yourself busy without thinking of the shambling figures who want to eat you in the parking lot below. Pressing Start to read through everything in the menu and look at the map pauses the game (which of course means that no time passes), so don't bother.

Once it gets dark, realize that although there are 72 hours in three days, you were dropped off in the afternoon of the first day. The helicopter won't be back until tomorrow afternoon. Go back inside and stare at the blonde girl some more.

Day Four

As soon as day four begins, rush outside. In fact, if you can, get there a little early in case the pilot has his watch set to another timezone. By now your camera's batteries will have died, so there goes one source of entertainment. There are, in fact, a few camera stores inside the mall where you could get a recharge, but there are zombies in there.

Wait at the foot of the helipad's stairs so you're as close to the landing spot as possible. If you want to you can walk up and down the stairs for fun, but walk down backwards so the helicopter doesn't land when you're facing in the other direction.

Eventually, the helicopter will come.

Congrats on beating the game!

General Tips

- The main point of the game is to stay somewhere quiet and safe for as long as possible, far from the reach of zombies. Adding a custom soundtrack with your favorite tunes will help the hours go by.

- As soon as you set foot on the helipad, run around and jump wildly. There is a small chance that your spastic gesturing will be seen by the pilot and he'll come back for you.

- Once you've completed 72 Hour Mode you have the option of playing Overtime Mode, which allows you to return for the mall for another 24 hours. Don't do this. It can only expose you to more zombies.

- Don't be a hero. You'll probably see a number of survivors on the security cameras, holed up in abandoned stores as the dead claw at them through hastily constructed barricades. The best thing you can do for them is look away or go to the helipad to see if your chopper has arrived early. Going out there can only end in death or inconvenience.

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– Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell (@DennisFarrell)

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