It’s been a hard month for this amateur zombie hunter. Last week’s blog saw me Bleeding Out in the Morgue as Nazi Pests tap-danced on my face – but since that fateful day, I swore I wouldn’t stop spawning in this strange Bavarian town until I claimed victory on The Final Reich for good. Which, in classic getting-worse-before-getting-better fashion, led to lots more Bleeding Out: in the courtyard, on a staircase, under a bush. You name it, I met Death beside it.
But I also felt like I’d been knocked down enough that it was time for a comeback. I spent several matches working my Nazi Zombies muscles (imagine 80’s tunes and a workout montage): leveling-up my weapons, cashing in Raven Research Tokens to improve Mods for Special Abilities, collecting a few Rare Zombie Supply Drops (which included sick “Consumables” for spawning in-game power-ups, like Flamethrowers and Bazookas). I even experimented with the Special Ability in my Loadout, trying Freefire (unlimited ammo), Frontline (attracts zombies while super-charging gun-power), and Camouflage (hides character from prowling zombies). In other words, this game was changing me: I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t eating. At night, I dreamed of dead, moving flesh; in the morning, I woke with a hand curled around my TV remote like it was a US Shovel. I nearly mistook my cat for a Crawler.
But still – I was getting stronger, and soon I was reaching Wave 20 with limited embarrassments. I was ready. I was a rival to the reanimated. I was a strong, independent Panzermörder Princess – and Doctor Straub, you Nazi dweeb, I was gonna make you say “Onkel.”
The Next Chapter
I spawned in Mittelburg on the eve of my 23rd match, feeling powerful, as if Geistkraft energy – Doctor Straub’s special blend of electricity that reanimates corpses and fuels most equipment in the game – were pulsing through my veins. I knew exactly what to do, thanks to rabid practice (and a little internet sleuthing): save ammo and collect extra Jolts by using the shovel on the first Waves. Delay buying Armor until sh*t gets real. Upgrade weapons as soon as possible (more on that in a sec).
The above tactics were only possible after I improved my Jolt conservation skillz. It’s too easy to lose ‘em – everything from opening doors to reinforcing armor needs a certain number of Jolts to cash in – and it only gets harder and harder to gain ‘em back, as each zombie Wave outstrips the last in strength, speed, and damage. This system of currency based on zombie kills means you have to look for zombies to fight when you’re out of Jolts, which happened to me over and over throughout my first games – and after running out of Jolts at the same time I ran out of bullets and a workable gun, I realized I was effectively trapped and couldn’t make progress. It was a feeling almost worse than Bleeding Out, tbh.
Where Were We?
Ahh, yes – dying in the Morgue. While last time we met I was just a young grasshopper, now I was an efficient killing machine – So I knew to avoid the Morgue and put the Notebook prompts on hold (just for a sec!), and use this time to complete any tasks with multiple steps …
… Like Packing a Punch!
Bear with me: one of the best features of this game is in the Sewers. If players can manage to find the weapon upgrade machine, known as “Pack a Punch,” and can locate the switch beside it that activates three disposal tubes on the map, they’re on their way to beast-mode. Once jumping down the disposal tubes and activating the switches that wait at the bottom, anyone can turn her weapon into a punched-up peacemaker that does more damage, way faster (and has a dope chrome-colored skin that ain’t hard on the eyes, either).
Onto the Salt Mine
Now deep in Wave 10 with my upgraded Brandi shining, I was looking for a fight. I made quick work of the zombie stooges pouring into the Command Room as my teammates rerouted the power to the Salt Mine Door and cracked it open.
After this step, players are only going deeper into the story of Geistkraft energy, the undead army it made possible, and the evil scientist to blame for it all. At the bottom of the Salt Mine Tunnel, where an unsettling statue of a German king stands surrounded by whirring machinery and the electric hilt of a sword, is the “Geistkraft Transfer Device,” which not only stores this sinister energy, but holds the key to finding and unlocking The Final Reich’s premier zombie-killing weapon – the Tesla Gun.
But First, Kill ‘Em All
How to use the Transfer Device and find the gun? Don’t worry, the Transfer Device will show players where to look – as long as it’s charged with zombie souls. If anyone wants a Tesla Gun, they’ll need to mow down some undead near the Device to see what happens – but it’s not easy to stay ahead of the swarm that follows its initial activation. I can’t say how many times I was left to army-crawl my dying a$$ all the way up the Salt Tunnel to the waiting arms of no one (after charging the Geistkraft Transfer Device all by myself, mind you), which made me suuuuuuper emo…
Until I Was Handed A Headset.
I immediately realized what a grave mistake it was to be sans-headset. Completing many of The Final Reich’s tasks solo are a tall order, if not near-impossible, for a single player. Some of the game’s most crucial quandaries not only have a time limit, but also involve taking steps in different locations across the map – kind of a bummer if a player can’t be in two places at once. Not to mention that it really helps players watch each other’s backs, especially when everyone has a common goal to complete while getting wrekt by a zombie tsunami.
I slapped my headset on and introduced myself to the team. No more time to be shy – the Waves were only getting tougher.
Completing the Tesla Gun
Once the Transfer Device locates the gun parts, it’s not hard to put ‘em together – thankfully. This puppy is the bread and butter of The Final Reich – the next steps in the Notebook won’t trigger until the gun is constructed. It’s also – so I hear – a pretty critical tool for accessing a “Hardcore” Easter Egg that, to be honest, I have only tackled in my dreams.
This is For Science!
Next steps after the gun is built revolve around harnessing enough Geistkraft energy at different points in the map to call a Zeppelin. I enjoy getting the lead out as much as the next person, but this was not a friendly li’l visit from a neighborhood blimp, and Mittelburg’s abandoned shacks were feeling more like houses of the un-holy as the Zeppelin stalked us, circling overhead, while lightning from its underbelly struck and singed the ground.
The Notebook prompted us to shoot at the Zeppelin until it dropped something called an Überschnalle. But the Zeppelin only kept coming back – and with every Überschnalle dropped and collected, the Waves of zombies mounted, making it super difficult to keep an eye trained on the Zep’ with a Wüstling charging from my blind spot.
It was full mayhem in the Village Square, as more and more Zombies flooded the street – and, over and over, this is where I would Bleed Out for the last time until the whole squad was downed, too. “Defeat. 1h 26m. Wave 26.” Wave 26?! (Did you see that, mom?!)
I was feeling distraught. All that … and not even a scratch on Doctor Straub’s sinister plan. There was a lot more work to do, and I knew I wasn’t done with this story by a long-shot. But I needed to survive past the Zeppelin first – and it was time to bring in the big guns.
Big guns, eh? I’ll be back in the coming weeks to tell all about ‘em. ‘Til then – do you think you can beat a Noob’s record and stay alive through Wave 26? Nazi Zombies ain’t easy, but it’s definitely super rewarding. See if you can earn some bragging rights and crack the case before I can!