Video Games

How Did The Original Dead Island End?

How did the original Dead Island End
Image via Deep Silver.

If you’re taking on LA’s undead in Dead Island 2 you might be wondering how did the original Dead Island end? Zombie stories don’t tend to have happy conclusions, though it’s clear from this latest entry that the whole world isn’t besieged by the dead. So what happened?

What Happens at the End of Dead Island?

Dead Island’s story was spread over two games, the first game and its semi-sequel Dead Island: Riptide. Released ten years ago, the latter was, effectively, a stand-alone expansion pack that continued the tale. 

There were also three other games in the series, Escape Dead Island, Dead Island: Epidemic (which didn’t make it past beta), and Dead Island: Survivors (a now defunct mobile title). Their status as canon (or otherwise) is pretty questionable so we’re going to skip over them.

The original Dead Island features a zombie outbreak on the tropical archipelago of Banoi, a popular tourist destination. While most of the island goes full zombie, there are some survivors. Four of those survivors are rapper Sam B., receptionist and spy Xian Mei, ex-cop Purna Jackson, and former footballer Logan Carter. 

Those survivors — and the game’s playable protagonists — are apparently immune to zombie bites. They discover the zombie plague was a mutation of a real-world disease and rescue native Yerema, an asymptomatic carrier of the disease. The game ends with them escaping in a helicopter. However, their pilot Kevin is actually infamous hacker Charon who has big plans for the disease.

What Happens at the End of Dead Island: Riptide?

Dead Island: Riptide begins with the survivors and Charon being captured by the Australian Defence Force. Yerema and Charon are taken away with their fates unresolved. A second outbreak ensues and the four end up on the nearby island of Palanai. 

They encounter the organization partly responsible for the Banoi outbreak. However, during the course of their adventures it’s revealed that while they’re seemingly immune, they carry the virus within them. They’re exposed to a chemical that mutates the virus and they start experiencing side effects, such as bouts of fury.

At the conclusion of the game, they escape in a boat. However, their boat washes ashore and, as growls come from the hold, it’s implied the four survivors have mutated into something horrible. 

Do I Need to Play the Original Dead Island to Understand Dead Island 2?

There’s more going on in the games than we’ve mentioned. But do you actually need to have played the original Dead Island and Riptide to understand Dead Island 2? The simple answer is no. All you need to know is that there’s been a previous zombie outbreak. 

There are connections between the original Dead Island and Dead Island 2, but developer Dambuster Studios doesn’t expect you to remember the gritty details of a ten-year-old game. In fact, you might, initially, be a little confused if you’ve played Dead Island: Riptide. For example, just how is Sam B. still around when he wasn’t doing too well at the end of Riptide?

Then Is The Original Dead Island Actually Canon?

That’s open to debate. According to a GameSkinny interview with Dambuster director James Worrall, it’s fuzzy at best. “I can say that what happened in previous Dead Island games has happened. That’s canon, and what we’re doing now is expanding that canon,” Worrall said. 

However, he then went on to add, “I like to think of the whole backstory of Dead Island as a huge conspiracy theory, anyway. You’re never quite sure what was actually true and what wasn’t, right?” 

So… make of that what you will. It seems to suggest that the original Dead Island is an apocryphal version of what really happened. As for the timeline, that’s a little fuzzy too. 

So, that’s what happens at the end of the original Dead Island and its follow-up, but the important thing is that you don’t need to have played them to enjoy Dead Island 2

About the author

Chris McMullen
Freelance contributor at The Escapist. I've returned to writing about games after a couple of career changes, with my recent stint lasting five-plus years. I hope, through my writing work, to settle the karmic debt I incurred by persuading my parents to buy a Mega CD. Aside from writing for The Escapist, I also cover news and more for GameSpew. I've also been published at other sites including VG247, Space, and more. My tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though I'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based.