The COVID-19 pandemic is gaining momentum. Many of us were locked in our own homes, covered with buckwheat and toilet paper, quickly figured out how the FFP1 respirator differs from FFP3, and try not to leave the house once again.
From all sides, news headlines scream about how the virus is destroying our familiar world. But you know what? You can find a lot of worse diseases in history. And even more so in games.
We present you a selection of the most terrible and destructive epidemics in video games. And if your anxiety doesn’t allow you to sleep well, we recommend that you start any project from the list below and make sure that things are not so bad for us today.
White Chlorination Syndrome – Nier
All the problems in The NieR universe began when magic entered from a parallel reality. In 2003, the skies over Tokyo opened up, and a giant white creature fell on the city, followed by a real dragon swooped out of the clouds. As a result of a difficult battle, the dragon destroyed the giant, after which the brave Japanese air force shot the winged alien.
It would seem that everything will be limited to destroyed buildings and a few dozen dead, but no. Six months later, in the area of Shinjuku, where guests from another world collapsed, there were outbreaks of a disease called “white chlorination syndrome”. It turned the cells of the human body into sodium chloride (or simply salt), until the person crumbled into a pile of white crystals. At first, the death rate reached 100%. Then some infected people began to survive, but show uncontrolled aggression. The disease was transmitted primarily through liquid secretions: if, for example, an infected person coughed nearby and you got particles of their saliva — you are dead.
To stop the epidemic, the government isolated Shinjuku by enclosing the area from the rest of the city with a high wall. This did not help: four years later, the infected broke through the wall and poured out, killing everyone in their path and rapidly spreading the disease. The infected army was called the Legion, and after a couple of years of bloody war, it was dealt with with radical nuclear bombs. Needless to say, they turned the Land of the rising sun into a parched desert?
But this is not all. Ironically, it was the fallout that helped spread white chlorination syndrome around the world. Only then did scientists find out that the disease is caused by particles from another world left after the death of the white giant — and they are completely invulnerable to nuclear attacks. It all ended quite sadly: at the time of the game’s beginning, humanity is on the verge of complete extermination.
In fact, you can write a separate text about the nier universe, the epidemic of white chlorination and its consequences, but it is better to see them with your own eyes. Fortunately, recently announced a remaster, which can be played on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Black death – A Plague Tale: Innocence
In games, the plague was used more than once, but almost everywhere the screenwriters mixed a fantastic element with the real disease, making it even more terrible.
In A Plague Tale the story is set against the backdrop of the most famous plague pandemic: The black death, which occurred in the XIV century and killed tens of millions of people. In the game, the inhabitants of France are threatened not only by the bubonic plague, but also by hordes of rats caused by a mysterious curse. Rodents attack in avalanches, gather in “rat-turns” and even cause earthquakes. As a result, we get a huge destruction, mountains of corpses and scared to death survivors. The main character will not just have to Wade through the deserted streets of once-flourishing cities and villages, but also face the fear of the inhabitants, who are ready to burn people alive, just to prevent new infection
Rat Plague – Dishonored
In Dishonored, residents of the city of Dunwall are also mowed down by the plague, but its symptoms are quite different from those described by real medicine. Local ” rat ” plague affects the lungs and brain, discolors the skin, causes baldness and severe weight loss. Infected people cough constantly, and as the disease progresses, they lose their minds and turn into aggressive somnambulists. In the later stages, they shed bloody tears, which is why hopeless patients are called “mourners”.
And this disease did not just mow down tens of thousands of people. Dunwall was the capital of the Empire, its jewel, and the main economic, industrial, and cultural center of the state. When it was put under strict quarantine, cutting off the city from the rest of the world, the whole country suffered. And the people of Dunwall were left alone with the plague and packs of bloodthirsty rats that could gnaw a man to the bone in seconds. Add to this the impending famine and death of the beloved Empress, who has been replaced by a despotic Lord Regent. Of course, the picture is impressive, but you want to watch it exclusively from the outside.
Scourge plague – Warcraft III
The Warcraft III heroes also had to fight the plague. However, here the nature of the disease is already frankly magical. All the trouble started with the fact that the undead appeared in the Kingdom of Lordaeron from nowhere. Prince Arthas decided to find out what the reason was, and the results of the investigation did not please him.
It was all the fault of the necromancer Kel’Tosad, who brought a special kind of plague: this disease didn’t just kill people, it turned them into zombies. The dark wizard has long experimented with the strain to make it deadly and secretive. For a while, the plague had spread through the land unnoticed, manifesting itself only in fever and headaches — and then thousands of Lordaeron people had become the walking dead in an instant. In an attempt to stop the spread of the disease, Prince Arthas ordered the slaughter of an entire city with people still alive. We can only be happy that in our world such a disease simply can not appear.
Spanish Flu – Vampyr
Vampyr takes us to London in 1918, where the Spanish flu is rampant — and this is another example of how fantastic assumptions are mixed with brutal reality. During the First world war, more than 50 million people died from “Spanish fever”. The disease affected the lungs and, at the worst, ended in lightning-fast pneumonia. The dying literally choked on their own blood, and the flu victims were often young people.
In these settings, the story of Dr. Jonathan reed, who is turned into a vampire at the beginning of the game, unfolds. Foggy London is already a sad place in the grip of illness, and when the evil spirits walk its streets, it becomes quite sad. So reed should do his duty as a doctor and treat patients — if only to make their blood tastier and more useful. And although reed can succumb to the thirst for blood and bite everyone in a row, the city in this case will quickly be filled with monsters, and this will greatly complicate the hero’s life. It’s better to limit yourself to rats.
Ashen blood – Bloodborne
Once the city of Yharnam was famous for its healers, who promised to cure almost any disease with the help of ritual transfusions of special blood. Only later did it become clear that the transfusions caused another disease, much more terrible — “ashen blood”, which turns people into terrible monsters. By the beginning of the game, entire areas of Yharnam are infected, isolated, burned or waiting to be burned, and monster hunters are prowling the streets.
About the symptoms of the disease is little known: the projects of Hidetaka Miyazaki is not particularly generous with details. Ashen blood is easily confused with poisoning at first, but the antidote brings only temporary relief. The infection is transmitted with various secretions of the human body, which also become poisonous. Not surprisingly, the ashen blood quickly spread through a city very similar to Victorian London with its dirty streets and overflowing gutters.
Sand ulcer – Pathologic 2
All the projects of the Ice-Pick Lodge Studio are deeply metaphorical, but for the sand ulcer, they prescribed quite understandable symptoms and ways of spreading. The horrors of the deadly epidemic were portrayed very realistically: this disease, similar to the real anthrax, almost uprooted the inhabitants of a steppe town on the Gorkhon river. Sand ulcer is transmitted by physical contact and airborne droplets; patients are feverish, they are tormented by a wild headache, and sometimes hallucinations. The death rate reaches almost one hundred percent, and without treatment, infected people die in a matter of hours.
When the gerbil broke out in the city for the first time, the disease was localized, blocking the block with infected people. A significant contribution was made by the healer Isidor Burakh and his students: they made tinctures that increase immunity to infection. Later, however, the gerbil struck again, and this time it was merciless. The entire city was infected in just a few days. The quarantine cut him off from the outside world, causing a shortage of food, and the price of the rest skyrocketed. The city’s water supply was destroyed because residents feared that bacteria live in the river water. In isolated areas, people died rapidly, and soon there were only looters who ransacked empty houses. If you do not find a cure for the disease, the city is doomed: to prevent the spread of Sand ulcer, the military will only have to burn it along with all the infected. Whether this happens or not depends on the player.
Blacklight virus – Prototype
This disease was born as a biological weapon, although initially scientists worked on it with good intentions. They wanted to create a virus that would feed on useless human genes and replace them with improved ones to make its host smarter, faster, and stronger. “Black Light” causes the human body to mutate, changing every cell in it. Most of those who become ill do not survive this process and die, but the survivors acquire superhuman abilities… and external deformities. The easiest way to get sick is through contact with an infected person or through infected fluids.
When “Black Light” broke free, the island of Manhattan turned into a giant meat grinder: those who did not finish the virus, killed mutants. The streets were filled with armored vehicles and military detachments that were trying to cope with the infection and its offspring. In the first game, the disease was kept within the island, but in the second part, it has already spread throughout new York. The virus took 72 hours to plunge the city into bloody chaos. New York had to be divided into zones: “red”, completely covered by the virus, “yellow”, where the survivors were relatively safe, and” green”, where the military settled. And if even in the” green ” on the streets you can meet mutants, then a walk on the “red” with a high probability would be the last in your life.
Freaker Virus – Days Gone
Another case where people “played it out”: they created biological weapons, and then allowed their uncontrolled spread. Infected people in Days Gone are called “freaks”, and they are easily confused with zombies, but the freaks are still alive. Infection makes them stupid and very aggressive, but much more agile and stronger than ordinary people. Patients go bald, their skin becomes covered with ulcers, and the main diet becomes human flesh. Curiously, the virus affects not only people, but also animals: during the game, the hero will meet infected wolves, crows and bears.
The local disease took two years to spread around the globe and destroy modern civilization. The survivors huddled together and began to live in shelters, leaving their abandoned homes to freaks and bandits. Now on the deserted roads and destroyed cities roam only freaks-moral including.
Cordyceps Brain Infection – The Last of Us
The local infection is curious because it is based on a real-life fungus, Сordyceps unilateralis, which parasitizes insects. After entering the host’s body, the fungus spores germinate directly in it until they affect the nervous system. After this, the victim becomes a virtual” slave ” of Cordyceps and forgets about their own needs, turning into a kind of zombie. Taking this creepy phenomenon as a basis, the screenwriters decided to go a little further — and imagine what would happen if Cordyceps mutated and began to parasitize people. According to their version, this turned into a pandemic that destroyed the civilized world and killed most of humanity.
The main action of the game takes place twenty years after the first outbreak of infection. The devastated cities are slowly being consumed by the forest, and the few survivors are ready to kill each other for food and ammunition. Some are even cannibalistic. In the course of the game, you often wonder who is scarier: poor people stricken with Cordyceps, or people who themselves have discarded everything human for the sake of survival.
Dollar flu (Green Poison) – The Division
“People die for metal,” Mephistopheles sang in Gounod’s Opera, and this description fits the story of the Division perfectly. In this game, people die not even for metal, but from metal. Or rather, from the crunchy pieces of paper that have long replaced hard currency.
One overly idealistic virologist decided that the planet would be better off without humans, so he perfected a smallpox strain and then put it on dollar bills. Leaving infected bills in stores on Black Friday, he achieved a lightning outbreak of the disease. The epidemic destroyed the government and in three weeks brought the United States to complete anarchy, chaos and destruction. Cities are divided among themselves by criminal groups that are ready to cut the throats of not only each other, but also everyone who comes to hand. The culprit of the celebration was called “green poison” or “dollar flu” — and this is the rare case when happiness is certainly not in the money.
T-virus – Resident Evil Series
Well, where is it without the Golden classic of gaming epidemics? This, of course, is about the machinations of the sinister umbrella Corporation, which developed bio-organic weapons. The goal of the Tyrant project, after which the virus was named, was to create deadly super soldiers. Infection causes mutations in the body, the result of which depends on the carrier and subtype of the virus. Most often, the disease kills a person in a couple of days, then raises it as an aggressive zombie. And even if the virus got into your blood just before you died, you will still stand up as a walking dead — stupid, but extremely tenacious. Infected can be not only people, but also animals, insects (how about being killed by a giant moth?) and even plants.
Naturally, all this did not end well. There was a leak in Umbrella’s secret lab, rats spread the virus through raccoon city, and soon zombies were flooding the streets. To prevent infection of the entire country, the government took the only possible decision — to drop a nuclear bomb on the city. Although this prevented a pandemic, the raccoon city epidemic remains one of the worst in video game history.
In our turbulent times, it is important to remember that people have been through a lot of hard times — both in games and in reality. Most importantly, take care of yourself and your loved ones, wash your hands and while away your self-isolation with good games.