“Stubbs the Zombie in Hero Without a Pulse”, the first title by Wideload Games, a then independent studio by Bungie co-founder Alex Seropian and developed on the Halo Engine. Released in 2005 on the Xbox and a year later on the PC and MAC. The game featured a variety of gameplay genres and subverted mix of themes in a retro-futuristic setting. At times the game breaks the 4th wall as Stubbs will turn and acknowledge the gamer.
A separate soundtrack was also released, featuring 1950’s-era rock ‘n’ roll and doo-wop songs covered by more ‘contemporary artists’ (at the time).
It was 1933, Edward ‘Stubbs’ Stubblefield was a down-on-his-luck traveling salesman during the Great Depression. When he comes across Knobb Cheese Farm and the family home to the Mondays, Stubbs meets Maggie, daughter of Ottis Monday; a confederate uniform wearing redneck conservative with a double-barrel shotgun and head of the Quaker State Irregulars. Stubbs and Maggie have a short-lived romantic fling, before her father unloads a shotgun into Stubbs and buries him in an unmarked grave in the Pennsylvania countryside.
Awoken 26 years later in 1959, Stubbs finds himself in the ‘futuristic utopia’ of Punchbowl, Pennsylvania. The brainchild of billionaire playboy industrialist Andrew Monday. Punchbowl is a wonderland of technology; hovering cars, robot servants and biodomes. Stubbs also just happened to be reborn on the inaugural opening to the public. He doesn’t know where he is, or remembers who killed him, or why. The only thing that he’s certain is his new abilities and appetites. The down-on-his-lucksalesman has now been reborn as a brain-eatting zombie.
Edward ‘Stubbs’ Stubblefield: a once traveling sales who was murdered and mysteriously turned into a zombie with powerful abilities.
Andrew Monday: son of Maggie, Andrew is the visionary of the technologically advanced city of Punchbowl and head of Monday Industries and “all round good guy” (supposedly).
Maggie Monday: a once poor white trash daughter to glamorous fashion model, Maggie is now the face and voice of Monday Industries.
Dr. Wye: Germany’s best scientist and inventor, head of R&D at Monday Industries responsible for bringing Andrew Monday’s ideas to fruition. He also has a personal jet pack!
Police Chief T.S. Masters: once a famous crime fighter, Masters now serves as Punchbowl’s Chief of Police.
Ottis Monday: the father of Maggie, grandfather to Andrew and murderer of Edward Stubblefield. Ottis is the head of a conservative militia group called the Quaker State Irregulars at loggerheads with the “techno-fascists” of Punchbowl and his grandson.
The majority of the gameplay is a 3rd person action adventure with varied non-conventional organic weapons, simplistic squad management, vehicular transportation and combat. The game also features other genres, such a rhythm based mini game with button prompts.
Stubbs has more unique abilities and powers than any zombie has possessed. Some are passive that occur contextually or automatically such as the ability to run or breaking down doors. While other powers regenerate overtime or are refueled by consuming an ungodly amount of brains.
The game focuses on Stubb’s ability to build and command a zombie horde. By eating the brains of his living enemies they will become zombies. The zombie horde can also kill and make more zombies as well. The zombie horde is best used to attack in mass and distract more heavily armed opponents.
- Zombie Strength: Able to smash down windows and doors. Also able to tear an arm off the living and use it as a club.
- Zombie Sprint: Run in one direction long enough and he’ll break into zombie sprint.
- The Hand: The left-hand can be detached, thrown and used as a wholly independent entity. If lost or destroyed Stubbs can grow another. The Hand can also be used to possess and control others.
- Possession: The hand clamps onto the skull of the target possessing them and allowing to Stubbs use their weapons and abilities.
- Gut Grenade: A sticky grenade that can explode after a few seconds or remotely detonated. Gut grenades can regrow after eating more brains.
- Unholy Flatulence: Obnoxious gas from Stubbs’ bowels that immobilizes and stuns enemies around him, close enemies will receive damage.
- Sputum Head: Stubbs’ head can be used as a bowling ball knocking people down and infecting them into zombies. Like the gut grenade the head explodes after a few seconds or can be remote detonated.
Welcome to Punchbowl!
- Central Town Square
- Main Greenhouse Area
- Greenhouse Sci-Fi Area
- Chasing Mr. Skegness
- Inside the Station
- Stubbs’ Capture
- Stubbs’ Escape
Painting the Town Red
- The Parking Garage
- Bank, Outlet Mall, and Streets
- The Mall Entrance
- Mall Interior
Fall of the House of Otis
- The Corn Fields
- The Farm House
When the Zombie Breaks
- Dam Entrance
- Conference Room
- Treatment Plant
- Top of the Dam
- Hydroelectric Room
- Dam Base
The Sacking of Punchbowl
- To the Diner
- Minefield Streets
- To the Laboratory
The Doctor Will See You Now
- Going Up
- Dr. Wye
Paved with Good Intentions
- Bombing Alley
- Your First Tank
- Sniper Alley
- Back at the Main Entrance
- The Serenade
The Ghoul of Your Dreams
- The Lobby
- Andrew Monday
– The soundtrack to stubbs the zombie featured modern artists covering songs from the 1950’s and 60’s , it featured
- Ben Kweller – “Lollipop” (Originally by Ronald & Ruby)
- The Raveonettes – “My Boyfriend’s Back” (Originally by The Angels)
- Death Cab For Cutie – “Earth Angel” (Originally by The Crew-Cuts)
- Rose Hill Drive – “Shankin’ All Over” (Originally by Johnny Kid and The Pirates)
- Cake – “Strangers In The Night” (Originally By Frank Sinatra)
- The Walkmen – “There Goes My Baby” (Originally By The Drifters)
- Rouge Wave – “Everyday” (Originally By Buddy Holly)
- The Dandy Warhols – “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (Originally By The Everly Brothers)
- Oranger – “Mr. Sandman” (Originally By The Cordettes)
- The Flaming Lips – “If I Only Had A Brain” (Originally From The Wizard Of Oz)
- Clem Snide – “Tears On My Pillow” (Originally By Little Anthony & The Imperials)
- Milton Mapes – “Lonesome Town” (Originally By Ricky Nelson)
- Phantom Planet – “The Living Dead” (Original Recording)
Original PC Minimum Requirements
- Operating System: Windows 2000/XP
- CPU Speed: AMD or Intel 1.2 Ghz or Higher
- Memory: 256MB or Higher
- Hard Drive: 4 GB
- Sound Card: DX9.0c complaint
- Video Card: 64MB DX 9.0c (GeForce 5200 or better / ATI 9500 or better)
Re-Release PC Minimum Requirements
- Operating System: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel Core i3-4170 @ 3.7 GHz, AMD A8-7600 @ 3.1 GHz
- Memory: 8 GB
- Hard Drive Space: 5 GB
- Video Card (ATI): Radeon R9 M270
- Video Card (NVIDIA): GeForce GTX 660
- VRAM: 2 GB