The Day After

The Day After
Surviving the End Times

Jack Baker | 15 Jun 2010 12:12
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The animals that you find will be faster, more alert, sneakier, and, let's face it, smarter than you, so, in order to eat them, you'll need to become more aware, stealthy, and intelligent than they are. Two helpful tools in this endeavor are fox walking and wide-angle vision. You're in wide-angle vision when you unfocus your eyes. This way, you'll pick up motion before details which is also how animals see. You'll have to fox walk to get near them. First, balance on one foot, touch the ground with the edge of the other foot, let the rest roll down (feel for anything you'd rather not stand on), and then put your weight on it. It should take three seconds for each step, and forty times longer if the animal is in-front of you (playing red light, green light the whole way).


Throw something at its head - hard enough to at least knock it out - once you get close enough, then bash it in (only kill what you need). Skin it (for an easy edge, take a round stone with a low pitch and strike it against a rough stone with a high pitch - the sound when you tap them is what matters - you should have a decent shiv if you struck correctly), cook it on coals (rub flint and steel together next to a fluffy bundle of inner tree bark strips for some fire) until they stop sticking (kills parasites), and you're ready to eat.

Whether you live in a debris hut stuffed with pine needles or a closet filled with old clothes, it still needs to be someplace safe from our glorious robot masters. Take a minute to check out your surroundings, notice all the prominent spots ... now look again at everyplace else you'd regularly neglect. It's in places like these where you can hide from space aliens, undead pigeons, and nomadic cannibals (for a visual demonstration, watch the beginning of Benicio del Toro's The Hunted) since they're just as likely to overlook them as you. This attention to various details combined with wide-angle vision and fox walking are the key to raising your awareness as well as your chances of survival.

The final bit of knowledge you'll need to survive the end of days is sign tracking. Sign tracking will tell you when you're crossing a heavily or seldom used road; a clearing untouched for years or one that recently hosted a cyborg luau; a deserted canyon or one that dragons just nested in. You need to be aware - are the sticks and leaves on this trail broken up or undisturbed since falling? Is this house in good repair or long since abandoned? Is this cliff evenly weathered or does the surface change suddenly? Attention to these details will tell you what's happening, and it's this awareness which will ensure that you will flourish where zombies can only flounder.

The skills outlined above are consistent with reality, and, to some extent, so is the genre of apocalyptic games and movies. The lawlessness and famine present in post-apocalyptica are unfortunately very real in some countries today. Somalia, Afghanistan, or a nearby country on the Failed State Index, is actually a lot like the wasteland of Fallout (sadly, undead or dragons aren't real enough to be experienced on Earth). By playing current videogames, you may learn how to barely survive in Somalia; but by applying the skills above, you just might thrive.

Jack Baker is an international superstar. When he's not out battling evil robots, sleeping with beautiful Amazonian women, and plotting to deliver our planet to the minions of Lord Xenu, he's working towards an infinite Gamerscore and writing articles for The Escapist.

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