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Zombies are the main antagonists of Army of the Dead. They are infected undeads that hunt for any human within Las Vegas, and are led by Zeus.
Overview and Behavior
Zombies are infected individuals that were killed and then revived by the pathogen, though they became hostile to every other human (and animal) in their vicinity in the process. They look and move like stereotypical zombies with decayed skin, though they look relatively human when they are "freshly reanimated"; nevertheless, their big, vacant eyes, and feral expressions, are dead giveaways of their undead nature regardless of their state of decomposition.
They are two types of zombies: the Shamblers, the most common kind, and the Alphas.
Shamblers are the most common and are created when any zombie other than Zeus infects or kills someone else. They are slow-moving, feral undead who lack any form of intelligence, though they still obey their leader. They will normally hunt any human in their vicinity, but they can also be passive, standing still, as long as other humans don't touch or aggravates them. They seem to avoid the Sun, as most Shamblers are found indoors during the robbery.
Alphas are special zombies that were bitten by Zeus. Much like the latter, they are very fast, possess superhuman strength, and can easily dodge bullets. They are also very durable, though not as much as Zeus, and retained some of their intelligence (but none of their free will). They are the main threats (besides Zeus and Martin) faced by the protagonists and are responsible for zombifying most of Las Vegas' population. Despite their power, they still obey and remain fearful of Zeus.
All of the zombies are led by Zeus, and to a lesser extent by Zeus' concubine. Animals can also be turned into zombies, such as Valentine, a zombie tiger, and (presumably) Zeus' (or the Zombie Queen's) pet. This also implies that zombies will attack pets and other animals, though they remain mostly focused on other humans.
While zombies are normally hostile to any living being, humans that wish to go inside the walled zone can negotiate a truce with the zombies, if they sacrifice someone else to Zeus. Shamblers will still be hostile if the humans get too close to them, while Alphas will remain alert and look for weapons.
The first zombie was (presumably) Zeus. Nothing is known about Zeus' backstory, but since he came from Area 51, he may have been infected with an extraterrestrial pathogen, as lampshaded by several soldiers in the convoy. Unfortunately for the army, the truck crashed, releasing Zeus who quickly turned the survivors into the first Alphas, who then invaded Las Vegas, overwhelming the city in a matter of days, though they were unable to breach out of the city, as the authorities successfully walled off Vegas to prevent any further outbreak. Authorities would also check the survivors in camps outside the city for signs of infection, and execute them if they pose the slightest risk of turning into a zombie; as well as shoot any zombie in sight. In the meantime, Zeus established a sort of primitive society and even a cult within Vegas, kidnapping humans that trespassed into the city without paying a tribute (human sacrifice) to the horde.
When Ward and his team invaded the city to retrieve Bly Tanaka's money, they were confronted by the Zombie Queen, forcing them to sacrifice Burt Cummings (though Cummings was a rapist that earned no sympathy from the team) in order to make a truce and be allowed to continue. Later, Chambers would be tricked by Martin, Tanaka's right-hand, into going in a room full of Shamblers, who overwhelmed her after a long fight, forcing her lover to kill them all as she was bitten everywhere by the vicious undeads. After that, they began to penetrate the casino's underground, and Vanderohe would use a random Shambler to activate the illegal traps that were meant to protect the vault from any intrusion. However, Martin also cut the Queen's head off, causing Zeus to be furious upon discovering her laying body and thus ending the truce between the team and the humans. The zombies stormed the casino, and Martin was mauled to death by Valentine while he attempted to escape. After a long fight, only Scott and Kate Ward, as well as Geeta and Peters managed to escape, but Zeus leaped into their helicopter, causing it to crash after Zeus was finally killed by Scott.
As they were escaping the city, the US Army dropped a nuclear bomb on the city, destroying every zombie, though it is revealed that Vanderohe survived, hidden and safe in the vault. However, Vanderohe has been bitten by Zeus and realized he's been infected as he was boarding a plane to Mexico City. It can be presumed that he turned into a zombie afterward and thus caused another zombie apocalypse.