Sunday, October 26, 2014

At "The Walking Dead" Exclusive Event: Escaping from Terminus (Singapore-Style)

Remember "The Walking Dead" Terminus Escape exclusive event for a group of fans that was held a few weekend ago ?

Over 400 participants made their valiant attempts to gather supplies and escape from hungry zombies on 11 and 12 October at the Old Bukit Timah railway station.

Red Dot Diva could not be there in person because she was away on holiday overseas, so here's a very amusing report of what happened to the one of the teams who had won passes from Red Dot Diva's online blog contest! Thanks to David Goei for writing this report and sharing the awesome photos. Also, thanks to his pals for participating in the real-life zombie escape experience!


'It's gonna be so much fun!' said Stace to the rest of our little group, even though we had no clue what was in store for us. Mel was not a big fan of horror so I was a little worried that this little event would be too much for him. Sara had invited Sean because he was the only true fan of the TV series, so we were all a little in the dark what to expect from Singtel, Xcape Singapore and Fox "The Walking Dead" Terminus Escape game.

The sun was beating down upon us at the old Bukit Timah Railway Station; the location itself was already a pretty exotic spot and I was excited to see what had been done to the area and what pictures I could snap. Three other teams had gathered to compete against us, as we all gathered to hear the briefing from the hosts: we were each a pack of survivors fighting a horde of relentless zombies and each other to gather precious resources and supplies before making our way to the safety of the Terminus.

Two volunteers were to be nominated ('AS TRIBUTES!!!' yelled out Stace) from each group for a special task. QW and Sean stepped up from our blue team (not the wisest decision, leaving Mel as the only male with two female team mates free and on the loose as our little team of six was down one member) and they were spirited away before our eyes. After a bit more explaining from the hosts (such as 'zombies are attracted to noise'), the four teams gathered at the starting gate as music filled the air. The corrugated aluminum gates swung open and the teams strode swiftly into the field (no running they were told... But more on that later).

I hung back, allowing the players to take in the sights and reach their home base when I spotted them. One member of each team were seated peacefully on the tracks of the railroad, hands and feet bound down by iron chains. I laughed and waved at QW, who smiled sheepishly and asked "Do I look sad and traumatised enough?" Soon, the teams were running back down towards the track from home base, my chest swelling with pride as my blue team led the charge. The teams began scouring the railroad tracks for food, medicine and flint (whilst Stace ran forward to check up on QW first of course) and a key that was to save their chained compatriot. It suddenly struck me that Sean was missing! Where was he? In fact, where were the other second 'tributes' from the other teams for that matter?

Then in the distance, a chorus of bass groans reached us. Everyone stopped, even for a moment, to glance in the direction of the sound and acknowledge what we were all awaiting; the Walking Dead had found them. Most of the teams picked up the pace at the arrival of these uninvited visitors as I admired the make up (and quietly told them not to eat me, I was not playing) and began snapping away.

Brainsy convo w/ a zombie. Always entertaining when you're chained to a railway track.
The zombies began to spread themselves out across the playing field and began to hamper the efforts of the survivors. Some zombies seemed to retain their sense of humanity, as one of them pulled up a piece of cardboard and sat down on the tracks right next to a very bemused QW, and began to have a conversation with him. In zombie talk of course. I noticed two of the zombies had started banging and clawing at a big blue shipping container nearby, it's doors loosely bound by a heavy iron chain. And there were voices within. What, more zombies? I thought to myself, really? Those survivors are gonna be swarmed soon!

The teams had begun a cycle of running back and forth from home base to the tracks and scavenging. I saw Mel run up to QW and then duck off again as a zombie almost nabbed him and later Stace did the same. All the while, the survivors continued flipping cardboard boxes and scavenged amongst the debris of the tracks. The zombies were back to banging and moaning at the container but something seemed different… Had the chain come just a bit more loose? And now, voices from within...

Without warning, QW sprinted from the tracks behind me before I or the zombies around him could react and ran for the base, a set of keys falling from his hands. He had been playing possum all the while!  The zombie seated beside him just looked a little stunned as one after the other, the rest of the railroad captives took their cues and sprinted off.

After the blue team had regrouped, they began to scavenge the grassy field beside the tracks which had been scattered with more debris, makeshift barricades and oddly enough, scatterings of sunflowers. At this point, having not heard most of the intimate briefing details, I did not know what they were looking for but they were still making drop offs at the base, whilst the zombies were getting life a lot more difficult for the survivors once everyone conveniently forgot the 'no running' rule.

Suddenly, the container burst open and out sprung the remaining member to join their respective teams in their escape. I had completely forgotten Sean had been missing from team blue but the girls saw his flight and signalled him on to run for the Terminus. (Sean would later sheepishly explain that the container prisoners were supposed to try and undo the chains themselves but because none of them had thought of trying to free themselves, they simply waited till it reached a late point in the game and the hosts let them out! Ha!).

The blue team were the first to arrive, with Mel and QW catching up, bearing the weight of their provisions (and to the horror of the girls, they were also carrying several decapitated limbs). I caught sight of their cans of food and medicine but despite all this, the gatekeeper said they were missing something. The guys were voting of smashing open the seamless wooden box they had retrieved, much to the protest of the gals, to extract something that was rattling within. After a few minutes, the group agreed to return to home base to see what had been missing.

Searching for those bloody clues

What was interesting being an observer was the benefits of being omniscient. I sidled up to one of the organisers and asked what was missing. She gestured subtly to the old railway station itself, where a group had already crossed the boundary of the fence and was flitting from room to room. She said that there was one final puzzle within the room which had to be solved. I watched the group in the 'compound' as some members hung by the gates, clapping and making noise and watching the zombies floating around the gate, and I had to wonder 'Are they being tactical and trying to purposely jam the gates shut preventing other teams from entering… Or are they just a little dazed and uncertain with what they were doing?' Being a silent watcher, I had to bite my lip and watch my friends run back and forth past me looking for the 'final clue'. Finally, the blue team found out what to do and rushed for the station. All save Stace made it in, mysteriously asked by Sara to stay outside whilst they remained inside to solve the puzzle.

Stace was scrambling about outside, dodging zombies with some members of different teams who has been left outside. Now, Stace had been generally screaming and earnestly in fear throughout most of the game, much to the delight of the photographers on the scene so at one point, as she ran from the base back to compound, I threw caution to the wind and broke the fourth wall.

Om nom nom nom...

"GO ON, EAT HER!!!" I yelled at a zombie as Stace was locking eyes with one of the undead who had managed to corner Stace. With a blood curdling shriek that drew the attention of everyone in the field, Stace streaked whimpering past the zombie but was just a fraction too close as the zombie lunged and marked her for dead. (That being said, a lot of people who had been 'killed' earlier in my eyes seemed to be oblivious to the fact that they had died, which is kind of poetic because is that not what being a zombie was all about, an unawareness of death? That was going off an existential tangent…) On an interesting side, Stace became a lot more brave afterwards, and when a zombie 'stomp lunged' at her, she went pretty ghetto, stomped back and said "WHAT, I'M DEAD!?!!"

Finally, the blue team had completed the stations' puzzle challenge. Sara revealed her plan for leaving Stace outside, using her to lure the zombies away from the gate and allowing them all to flee for the Terminus. There, they finally solved the puzzle (the mysterious wooden cube was a sliding piece container) and managed to arrive just after the red team (I think? I was not permitted beyond the Terminus or to observe any puzzle). In the end, the blue team came in a close second to the red team's first place by 27 points (and note, we were already down ten points with me out of the game and unable to scavenge for stuff :P ) and surprisingly enough, the only injury was this reporter's slippers which were the ones to fall apart amidst all the running about, go figure huh? And out little group went away with one vital lesson for the day: Never leave Stace alone during the zombie apocalypse.

Many thanks to Red Dot Diva for the chance to take part in what all my team can confirm as a very entertaining afternoon! Now they want to go for a proper puzzle room (I had misunderstood and sold the game to them under that impression! Oops!)


The Season 5 premiere of "The Walking Dead" set a new record of 17.3 million viewers for its USA premiere about three weeks ago, making it the highest rated show in cable television history. The immensely popular series has also been renewed by USA cable channel AMC for a sixth season!

For Red Dot Island fans of "The Walking Dead", remember to tune in to Fox Asia channel (SingTel mio TV Ch. 330) at 9 PM every Monday. The show is telecast on the same day as USA, with previous episodes available on FOX Play (SingTel mio TV Ch. 331).

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