I have always considered myself to be one of those guys that would survive when the inevitable zombie outbreak occurs. My reasons for believing this might not be immediately understandable, however. It’s obvious by looking at me that i’m not the guy that will be swinging a sledgehammer in the middle of a crowd of the undead, nor am I the one that could outrun my hungry pursuers. The only things I have going for me physically are a high pain tolerance and charming good looks, neither of which are going to stop virus carrying cannibals from treating my fat ass like a half price special at PF Chang’s.
What will help me, however, is the greatest weapon a person could have in a war with the army of the dead: a creative mind. What does this sudden burst of introspective analysis have to do with anything? Nothing really. My thought process is very sporadic. But considering I spend so much time at my local mall, it’s only natural for a person like myself to find their mind wandering to such topics. We might as well explore this. It may save your life someday.
For those readers who do not live in my area, which is probably most of you, The Galleria at Crystal Run is located in the heart of New York’s fastest growing area, Orange County. Orange County is centrally located between New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and less than an hour from New York City. That means when shit hit’s the fan, this mall will be FILLED with the walking dead in a very short amount of time. A quick look at the mall’s directory will allow you to see how incredibly fucked you will be, should you find yourself shopping when all hell eventually breaks loose. There is very little to help you survive. You are going to have to come up with a safe plan, and implement it FAST. I am going to help you do this, because you may be the only person left to play X-Box with me when the world around us inevitably burns.
The first thing that you are going to want to do is arm yourself. You are no Chuck Greene. You do not have a haymaker that can decapitate zombies, nor can you eat raw lobster with your bare hands and expect it to heal your wounds. Unlike the Williamette Mall or the Royal Flush Plaza, all of the trash cans and benches in the Galleria Mall are bolted to the ground. I guess management has had problems with people picking up heavy metal benches in the middle of a crowded public place before, but who knows? It’s highly unlikely that throwing a trash can in real life will result in getting a Bowie knife or a handgun like in make believe videogame world anyway. Your best bets for armament will either be Dicks sporting goods for a hefty baseball bat, or Sears for some Craftsman tools. Nothing says quality like smashing a skull with a Craftsman hammer. Just ask Bob Vila.
Immediately after arming yourself, find yourself a snazzy suit. Anybody who’s played Dead Rising with me on X-Box live will know how important I find this particular step. A man’s personal appearance should always be top notch, even if everything that he loves and cherishes is being destroyed all around him. Nobody respects a slovenly man. It will also help other survivors identify you. Nobody would mistake a well dressed man for a psychopath. The lower level has Via Roma and the upper level has Sossi Formals. The decision on what fancy threads you decide to adorn yourself with is entirely based on your physical appearance and personal style. I suggest a white tuxedo, though. It just makes the blood stains look SO GOOD!
After sexying yourself up, make a beeline for Hot Topic on the lower level, next to the juice stand. Don’t waste your time mixing drinks, by the way. You’ll never get quick step or untouchable. It’s always either nectar or randomizer in real life, and you don’t want to walk around covered in bugs, throwing up all over your expensive stolen suit. There is nothing in Hot Topic that will help you defend yourself or survive. You aren’t here for that. You’re here to find a usable vessel for repopulating the human race. This is going to be one of the safer, easier steps in your quest to survive the undead. Zombies only feast upon the living, and your average Hot Topic cashier is already long dead inside. Plus her self esteem is probably shot, making it easier to get into her pants without resorting to the tired “we have to continue the human race” line.
Don’t bother giving your new accomplice anything to defend herself with. We all know that escorted survivors are useless, and giving her a weapon will probably coax her into throwing herself into stupid, dangerous situations over and over again for no discernible reason. It’s probably in some vain attempt at showing that women can do anything that men can do, which we all know is bullshit. You show me a woman punching a hole in somebody with her bare hands, and I’ll remove this entire paragraph from my article. Just run ahead of her shouting things like “COME ON!”, “YOU STILL THERE!”, and “THIS WAY!” repeatedly, making sure to repeat yourself past the point of redundancy. She’ll catch up.
Next you’re going to want to find a safe place to lay low until everybody else is mauled and torn apart. Something that’s easy to fortify is important, and a place with useful stuff inside is always a plus. Most stores in the Galleria Mall have a large metal fence that can be lowered to keep pesky thieves out while closed overnight. It’s probably a no brainer to try to get to one of these, but the fact that most stores have large display windows made of easy to smash glass on either side of the gate kind of narrows down your options.
Build a Bear is a horrendous choice to hold out in, considering it’s almost entirely made of glass. Finding a gift to win over that cute cashier who you rescued from Hot Topic and hope to repopulate the human race with is just too risky. Electronics Boutique is also a bad idea, unless you’re planning to preorder death with a Gamestop exclusive DLC code for pain and dismemberment. Hannoush Jewelers on the second floor is good, but Sweet Feelings Jewelers is right next to it and has better armor. Why somebody would open a store right next to a similar one is beyond me. It’s like seeing four gas different gas stations on each corner of an intersection, all competing for the same customer base. If you can’t get to the ideal location, Day By Day Calendar Co. Is a good choice on the other side, and there are plenty of other Jewelry stores in between.
On the lower floor you have EVEN MORE jewelry stores (what’s up with Orange County, NY and bling?) or Via Roma and Brookstone. The latter has the bonus of being filled with all sorts of zany massagers and other oddities to smash zombies with in humorous ways, but the former has a collection of sweet formal wear for zombie slaying in style, should you want to get yourself an even cooler suit. After securing an easy lay, classy suit, safe hideaway, and quality craftsman tools, there’s really nothing else to do but lay low and wait for the zombies to starve to death, or migrate to New Jersey. I suggest you pack a lunch and get ready to play a lot of solitaire.