by Andrew Sims
Editor’s note: The following was written by The Walking Dead: Survivor Instinct developers exclusively for Hypable.
You’re not alone in The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, although it might often feel that way as you pass through the lifeless, decimated Georgia countryside, fighting to stay alive against unending waves of the undead.
Throughout the journey, Daryl Dixon will come across other survivors – remnants of the world that used to be – desperate to stay alive. Everyone has a story to tell, but certain themes appear again and again. Families separated by immovable distances. Loved ones watching each other turn. Ordinary people finding their hidden strength – or hidden cowardice – when push came to bite.
How you approach the strangers you’ll meet on the road will shape your experience and, possibly, your chances of making it out alive. Will you opt for security in numbers, or hoard what limited supplies you can scavenge for yourself? Will you put your life in jeopardy to save another’s? Will you spare a weapon for a fellow straggler – and can you trust them not to shoot you in the back with it if you do? These are the decisions you, as the player, will need to make as you play The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.
The backstories below will tell you who some of these people were in the old world – but they can’t tell you who they became when it all came to an end
Name: Holly Gaines
Age: 60 Occupation: Artist Hometown: Asbury Park, NJ
Holly is an accomplished, even celebrated, sculptor. On her way to Atlanta for a show at the prestigious Sacrament 5 Gallery, she had taken a few days off to roam through the Georgia backcountry for inspiration when the world took a turn for the worse. Holly is very socially awkward, but is a fighter and a survivor.
Name: Jane Carroll
Age: 38 Occupation: CPA Hometown: Sherwood, GA
Jane and her husband, Aiden, moved back to her hometown of Sherwood, GA from northern CA to be near her parents. There they opened a store, which Aiden managed, while Jane freelanced as a CPA. Their son, Neville, was killed alongside her parents while staying with them. Jane is four months pregnant.
Name: Jess Collins
Age: ?? Occupation: ‘Freelancer’ Hometown: ?? Jess performs a variety of odd jobs and services, some illicit, for his older half-brother. He has served time for a variety of felonies. Tough and loyal to his family, Jess is a tough fighter and a decent thief. As a seasoned hunter, he also has a wide range of experience with weapons.
Name: Mike Swenson
Age: 55 Occupation: Sawmill Manager Hometown: Whitespring, VT
Born from a long line of loggers, Swenson joined Infinity Lumber’s Georgia facility 10 years ago as foreman. He secured the mill when its executives were eaten, striking a deal with the military to house and treat survivors in exchange for weapons and medicine. Swenson is decisive and firm-handed, tougher than most men half his age.
Name: Sarah Bell
Age: 32 Occupation: Stylist Hometown: Ontario, CA
Ambitious and determined to eventually open her own salon, Sarah is friendly, but will take drastic steps to survive. She was cutting a client’s hair during a busy day at Madame Q’s when walkers burst through the window. Sarah stabbed her way out with her trusty shears and escaped to safety – relatively.
Name: Shelley Berger
Age: 19 Occupation: Waitress Hometown: Macon, GA
Shelley graduated high school last summer, taking a year to work before moving to Arizona to study biology. She lost her boyfriend, Tom, and her parents in the outbreak. Originally pert and easy-going, Shelley is suffering from extreme anxiety trauma brought about by the horrors she’s witnessed.
Name: Terry Harrison
Age: 59 Occupation: Investment Banker (retired) Hometown: Long Island, NY
Harrison and his wife, Marie, drove up to Georgia from Tampa Bay to join their daughters for a reunion. They reached an evac point, but Harrison knew the military would put Marie down, after she fell ill following a highway assault. He is pragmatic and caring, demonstrating great affection to his wife and daughters.
Name: Todd Jeffries
Age: 22 Occupation: Administrative Assistant Hometown: Bozeman, MT Brash and self-confident, Todd was chafed at his low-level position with a small brokerage firm in Savannah, but he may not have the knowledge or skills needed to survive alone in the new world. Todd lost all contact with his family in Bozeman, and has a local girlfriend he cannot locate in the aftermath.