Skip to content

Seven days in Chernarus Part Six: This is DayZ

* @author Jonathan HW Halkett
* @date August 2012

The pain seemed too dull, and now only the wind blowing through the leaves filled my senses.

Suddenly I had developed a real appreciation for the calm serenity of Malinovka. Using the command to sit, I reclined at the foot of the deer stand overlooking Dolina. From here I could see a pleasant countryside with mountains stretching off into the horizon.

If I had a cigarette I’d be smoking it right about now, regardless of whether or not I smoke in real life. Instead I settled for consuming all the supplies in my inventory.

With a deep sigh and a resolute grin I fired off a round into the air. Three zombies dressed in military garb turned their heads toward the noise and I watched as death raced franticly up the hill.

As though to ease my passing, I lost conciousness once more. Falling flat on my back with the sky filling the screen, the tips of tree branches acting as a frame, I met my end painlessly.

‘Fan-bloody-tastic’, I thought. It was the east coast again near the junction of Three Valleys. Not willing to cover known ground the woods and the mountain straight ahead seemed the top choice.

Tulga sat atop the mountain, a small town that seemed as good as any to pick up my starting kit. For what seemed miles I traipsed my way up the hillside deep into the wood. Referring to the map constantly I attempted to track my position by using the slopes of the terrain as landmarks. Tulga was no safe haven. Although more patient, waiting for the undead to shamble off in all directions, the town didn’t yield loot worth the few zombies I had agro’d. Running for my life back down the slopes I lost the chase near the coast, right back where I had started.

Aggravated by the time lost with no reward, I aimed at using the coast to explore the North of the map and the large industrial points above Solnichniy. Slowly, very slowly, progress was made.

In Solnichniy proper I acquired an old Winchester rifle. Happy to have it in hand I filled my inventory with Winchester slugs, dumping all others, pilling all food and supplies into my backpack.

Zombie heads were easy nuts to crack with this weapon. It made little noise surprisingly, and takes down walkers easilly. My enthusiasm was building ,and just in time. The server was growing dark as night’s curtain soared up across the landscape.

As the dark set in the zombie threat decreased. Their numbers remained, but their senses dulled. In the failing light my movements became increasingly free. I could move across town, raiding one building after another.

I wasted no time deciding whether or not to use a slug on a passing dead guy. I had plenty of ammo and it was better to put one down than worry. Heading North along the coast I dropped one zombie after another, sure I’d replenish my rounds at the next part of town.

One shell left and I had reached my target, the factory buildings above Solnichniy. Now it was properly dark and I contemplated swapping the Winchester for a humble torch.

Incredibly on this night time server I ran into someone with the same predicament. Up ahead I could see the flashes of a torch light flicker over the grass and walls of the industrial complex. Approaching with my gun in the lowered position I crouched in the grass and called out.

“Hello!” I typed out. It was better to type out negotiations with a stranger as communication over the microphone could lead to confusion. In a game like this, it was better to supply a survivor with a concrete record of what you said before surprise puts a bullet between your eyes.

Taken by surprise this female avatar armed only with a torch swung round searching for the source of the nearby greeting. I loved to picture the expression on her face when the torch light eventually centred on me; a gun toting figure in the dark crouched in the grass who may or may not have had a full minute to contemplate putting her in the ground.

The conversation that followed was quaint and pretty forthright for two strangers who should be careful about sharing information. Her tag in DayZ said ‘Administrator’ in parenthesis, and that afforded her a level of trust that she’d be here to support fair play. She told me the nearby buildings offered nothing but helicopter parts and all the useful loot was gone. Taking her at her word (I knew I’d be checking out those buildings myself regardless) we shared a chat about how useful torches were in this night time game.

And that’s when she (the potential administrator of this server) taught me exactly what it meant to be a survivor with nothing, standing next to another survivor with a gun. No matter how much aide one survivor could offer alive, his gun was worth more than his life and all the help that life could offer.

In the corner of my eye, while I swapped out the torch for the Winchester, she swapped torch for hatchet… raising it up on high, walking up behind me. Before I could close my inventory and rise to my feet she brought the axe down on my shoulder. The blow hurt, but wasn’t fatal. She could swing at me a second time before I could raise my gun to the iron sights.

One shell left, and once I pulled the trigger it was obvious my aim was miles off. She had flinched, stepping back when her blows failed to stop me raising the gun to her face, but now it appeared I was the vulnerable one as I didn’t follow up with a second shot.

She came at me swinging wildly, forcing me to turn around and run. Zombies be damned, I was making a break for it. My axe murdering compadre would have to chase me through the horde if she wanted the Winchester along with my life.

Zipping round the first zombie I sprinted, bleeding on the tarmac. Ducking into a huge structure it seemed my haste carried none of the consequences of the day time as I entered the building alone without a gang of the undead behind me.

Patching myself up with a bandage, I witnessed her searching for me by torchlight no further away from the place of her betrayal.

I knew this kind of behaviour existed, but to be a victim that escapes; to watch them search and give up… It was cool!

With the coast clear and night allied with me, I explored the surrounding area for all it’s worth. I found plenty of ammunition for my Winchester in the nearby farm buildings, and with some sorting of my backpack I proceeded out toward the western wood.

It was at the point the server restarted and my night time antics were put on hold. Day light in Chernarus. ‘Fresh loot!’ I thought, back tracking to farm buildings that scored me many a shell. What I found proved well worth the move, as inside the barn I discovered a Lee Enfield rifle, a powerful weapon that could kill in two shots at long range to the torso…should I point it at a survivor.

Dumping my Winchester and all the ammunition in one pile I tried to chase up my luck with another raid of Solnichniy.

When I returned I figured another search of the barn couldn’t hurt. It had yielded a great find already, and I wouldn’t be visiting this part of Chernarus again in this life.

Arrogantly I dismissed caution, thinking I possessed a complete scope of the comings and goings of this wee portion of the map. I was wrong in the worst way when sauntering into the barn. I looked up to see another survivor, sporting a crossbow, picking up my dumped Winchester and all it’s rounds.

Fuck! I panicked. The admin from last night taught me trust is overrated, and this guy was about to pick up my old gun! I shot him. Blood gushed from his side.

The Enfield, although a trusted weapon of the British during the War, had degraded after years of life spent inside someone’s glass weapons case. It could only manage one shot every few seconds.

Before I could finish him off with another bullet he fired the bolt of his crossbow into my chest and I passed out unconscious on the floor.

It was his one and only crossbow bolt.

Helpless, I watched as he started to panic. He could have picked up the Winchester, he could have retrieved his crossbow bolt. Either way, he could have finished me off. But instead, he dives downstairs, leaving me alone altogether. Perplexed, I watched as the mystery suddenly became obvious! To my rescue shambled the slow persistent movements of the undead horde. Everyone’s basic enemy in DayZ had answered my call to arms followed my gunshot to it’s source.

Conciousness returned and my body scrambled up off the wooden floor with zombies closing in. Slipping off the top floor I hit the deck underneath, away from the biting teeth of my saviours. My victim cowered opposite, atop a pile of hay and now it was my turn to finish the job. Like a madman who can’t turn back time on his regrets, mistakes made in hindsight, I put him down…. Dead.

Bleeding profusely, every bullet picked up for this noisy accomplice to murder now found a way deep into the skulls of each zombie walker, crawler and dragger. Every gunshot ringing the dinner bell again for all around. My debug window tallied up zombie kill after zombie kill and by the the battles conclusion I had clocked up 67 total undead kills.

Though I was bandaged, my blood was low. There wasn’t enough food in my backpack to raise me back to health. Barely concious and passing out repeatedly, I struggled to leave this place. Making for Orlovets was my best bet as all I needed was a box of matches. With the aid of those I could start a fire and cook some meat to replenish my health.

Orlovets proved too risky, as losing consciousness became a common fact of life. The horde could not be avoided if I wasn’t on my feet for more than a minute at a time.

The nearby factory site seemed completely empty and so I tried there. Matches were common loot apparently, but for me they were tough things to happen upon.

The factory was empty of loot and undead. Considering I may be the witness to a server bug I logged out and hoped the loot would respawn when I got back.

Sniping each spawning enemy from afar with the few rounds of my old Winchester, I found naught but scraps inside the construction site. Worthless, my venture netted me only attention from the dead. In the back of the complex is where they cornered me. One brief loss of consciousness and I was stuck killing zombie after zombie, hoping they’d eventually stop coming.

They didn’t….another server bug???

Without knowing it a plucky biter broke my leg. Wondering why I couldn’t stand for more than a moment, I crawled out of there through a crack in the wall, slithering through the grass to a wee pool nearby.

Out of a grand total of 12000 health points in terms of blood, I was dragging around the fields of Chernarus a body holding only 29. Death was imminent and on the map there seemed only one possibility.

A military loot location in the forest, a deer stand.

For what seemed forever, I dragged myself up into the hills toward it. Into the trees, dragging my broken bones through dirt and rotting leaf.


The prize should have been a morphine injector, the only help in DayZ for a broken limb.

Too far from any miracles and without a friend in the world I resigned myself to this fate. The choice was mine and although exciting, this life wasn’t worth dragging on.

The pain seemed to dull and now only the wind blowing through the leaves filled my senses.

Published inFeatures