Brainless and Listener Zombies

So, a couple of days ago I PRed Brainless zombies, Listener zombies, and Skull zombies into the game.

Then I played for a lengthy bit today. In the span of about an hour, in one small town, I came across 4 brainless and 2 listener zombies. These numbers are much higher than I expected or intended.

Question is, did I get handed some fluke RNG or do I need to go back and fiddle with numbers? It wouldn’t take but a second, but I figured I’d ask for some feedback because I’m insecure and stuff.

Those of you who have played the experimental over the last couple of days, let me know your opinions.

It’s tricky because the brainless zombie (shot in the head or shrapneled or whatever) would actually be plentiful because most survivors would assume you have to destroy the brain of zombies. On the other hand they’re virtually useless as enemies because they have no eyes, so making them plentiful basically takes up a slot that could be taken by a more potent enemy.

So yeah. Gimme opinions.


Brainless zombies should also lack in sense of smell and hearing. But lacking these senses means they can’t attack, so why the eff did they arised tho?

Anyways, make them lethal, like clawed mutation resulting to additional cut damage :wink:

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So far i only encoutered a few of this type. And few hundrets of other, standard zeds.

Stumbled upon few. What are their purpose really? Also, if brainless zombies are the ones survived from typical “shoot the head” behavior, why do headshots do significantly more damage than ordinary shots in the game?

Been running into them pretty infrequently myself. They always seem to spawn in pairs though for whatever reason. Aside from eating pebbles they haven’t accomplished much of anything though despite my squeaky ankles and noisemaker cbm. Was expecting them to hear me or something but mostly they just stand still or walk in circles as I toss rocks at them.

Hm. More negative opinions than I’d expected.

I asked questions about whether they needed a brain to process sensory information and I never got any answers. The brainless CAN detect through hearing as they still have ears. Unfortunately, hearing doesn’t really pinpoint enemies, it’s more for tracking general position so they can’t do anything unless they’re right next to a character.

They’re basically just regular zombies that had their head blown apart. I don’t see any reason why they should be strong creatures.

Someone had suggested headless zombies. Like crawling zombies, a pre-damaged zombie for flavor/world building. Also to imply that Cataclysm zombies don’t need a brain to function. Also, so there’s a zombie in-game that is immune to headshot criticals.

I don’t know why headshots do more damage to the average zed.

Thanks for all the opinions. Now I don’t know how to feel about them. It sounds like their numbers are okay, though.

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I think you have made a better argument for this question:
Why did they get added in the first place being totally pointless? 0_o

Blob goo, whatever reanimated the flesh. I know. But the motor functions are still because of brain activity. Otherwise you would have a zombie that just flails about like a fish out of water. The reflex of muscle doesn’t mean chase people or do literally anything else. That would be due to active function of basic instinctual parts of the brain working.

Well, yeah, that’s neat but you’re not an authority on the lore of the game. When I asked for feedback surrounding lore, none was given, so I filled in the gap with what I know from the folks who generate it.

It got added because someone brought it up and some folks thought it was a good idea. I made my own take on headless zombies.

In my opinion, these upgrades were based around a story. First zombie, head blown off. Second zombie – reconstructing head, still mostly useless. Third zombie – Fully reconstructed, actually dangerous, immune to headshots.

But at this point, I’m getting defensive.

This thread answered my question which was ‘are they too common’. If people don’t like them, take it to the issues page on Github and ask that they be removed.

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I like them! More zombie variety is good. Their numbers seem slightly high to me, but not overly so.
Do they have evolved versions yet? The blob would continue shaping them, I assume. For the brainless zombie, perhaps a slow, regenerating horror. Not the usual brute throw, just tough to put down. The listener could continue down a seeker type path, perhaps getting good scent, maybe a cry out special attack?
It’s a good contribution though! Not every new monster should be ultra deadly.

Why? All I pointed out was you in your own thread made a better argument against what you added. No need to be bent out of shape because I asked why it was added in that light.

While I do think they are too common, I think its because my view was that most of the zombies had serious injuries that were implied. So while there are crawling zombies, they are mostly rare and could be the product of reanimation of dead zeds with serious injuries.

I don’t know how the game works, but is it possible to have it where corpses that are decapitated raise without their head? The feeling I get from the Goo is that it is a parasite that mostly controls the spinal cord, and thus nervous system, that doesn’t technically need the head. Given that we have skeletons and scorched zeds, those realistically would not usable tissue (napalm, especially, tends to destroy muscles), so the goo is presumably doing a lot of work then to replace and repair tissue to retain mobility.

So I think they are fine, and make sense, they just spawn too often. It might also open a rabbit-hole of “what about x zombies” but as far as I understand the lore, its fine. I am not sure of how useless they should be, they could have immunity to headshots, (which i don’t know if they have already) and be able to be herded by necromancers/masters.

Flavour-wise i like them as well.

I believe it’s because while they’re animated by the blob, it’s still using the preexisting muscle and nervous tissue to control things in most of the zombies, rather than going to the trouble of replacing it all. That means destroying the head/neck, where the central nervous system is connected, is effective at temporarily disabling them.

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Damaging the head also, probably most importantly for the goo, puts more of the burden on it for controlling the host. It becomes a matter of not being able to control the host “remotely” but instead has to spend energy and time to take over more and more of the host’s functions.

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Going by that logic, what about headless zombies evolving regenerating, and perhaps even REVIVES?

What little I’ve read from the logs is that

The goo has limits on what it can do with a host. There seems to be some specific exceptions to mammals in general, but only so much goo can reside in a host in the initial stages and survive until it can take over. Too little, and the goo is effectively stuck in a loop of trying and failing to set up a colony. Too much and it seems like the body can’t handle it and detoriates/the Goo’s go through resources too quickly. From this, I believe the goo has to spend a lot of energy in the initial stages of colonization in the host in order to survive, and then spends less energy on the direction/control of the organism. The various mutagens and evolution’s the host undergoes is a product of how healthy the goo colony is. So, the more damaged or unhealthy a host, the more work the colony has to do and thus less energy is available for the host. I’d imagine that sensory organs are a major drain on resources, so to me the main thing is that the headless zombie has less energy to work with and has to develop a new sensory system or the goo has to rely on whatever natural means it has.


I see these zeds as injured ones. Besides coming across them naturally, perhaps any dead body (normal zombie) and any normal zombie you crit or hit with something big like a car, has a chance to revive as once of these lesser zombies. Instead of normal zombies dying, they have a chance to respawn after a couple of seconds into one of these: Brainless, listener, crawler.

And what if these lesser zombies are just stepping stones to something else more creepy? What if they are the magicarps of CDDA? What if they can evolve?
Brainless --> Listener —> into a zed with maximum hearing abilities.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, zambies always resurrect as whatever they were originally? Maybe?

Also, yes, the evolution was the general goal. First, useless. Second, less useless. Third, new and scary. Those are the Skull Zombies. It felt like a neat idea at the time. They’re moderately dangerous, somewhere around a Mangator or whatever they’re called.

Lore-wise they are cool, frequency-wise I feel I’m running into far too many brainless/listeners and they are tediously easy to deal with. I haven’t encountered any skull zombies so I can’t say whether their difficulty makes up for it. I like the idea of a useless zombie evolving into something dangerous though.

I think it’s more or less an easier way of saying “you got a crit”, I guess it would be easy to replace with some more flavor like: " You notice a part of the zombie that is oozing with black goo and land a precise shot on it."

Then again how would you explain headshots for other creatures, or creatures that can’t be headshot? I think maybe you could explain it as: in order for the blob to take over the animal completely, it has to take over most of it’s sensory organs and nervous system to completely control the organism. The blob can still take over a organism without the brain too. But maybe the blob congeals in the brain to stop the organism from fighting off the infection so it can take complete control.

Sorry, was having a brain fart while writing this, so it’s pretty wonky to read.