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Plague Inc: Evolved - Ereshkigal's Shadow Scenario Guide

Written by indigofenix   /   Jan 31, 2020    

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A guide for the Necroa Virus / Shadow Plague hybrid scenario, Ereshkigal's Shadow.

Ereshkigal's Shadow - It's Necroa Like You've Never Seen

Ereshkigal's Shadow is a custom Necroa Virus scenario featuring several new mechanics. There are two main gimmicks in this scenario:

  • Instead of building up your zombies' combat strength, you have to weaken humans by spreading the plague ahead of you. This means that you can't just ignore the cure once you've created zombies - if the plague gets cured, the zombies will have very little hope of victory. Similarly, you can't just ignore transmissions once you've got the zombies - you have to pay attention to both at once.
  • You can make Crypts. Yes, this is a new Active Ability based on the Shadow Plague's Lairs. Crypts will greatly power up your zombies in a selected country, but you'll have to deploy them strategically, because like Lairs their cost increases every time you construct one.

Also, in Brutal difficulty, Z Com forts will accelerate cure research, like the Templar in the Shadow Plague. As with the Shadow Plague, destroying them will undo their research. This mechanic adds a whole new layer and makes the game significantly more difficult.

The main challenge of this scenario is beating it quickly - you'll need a 3-star victory to get the best ending. Getting the best ending will really test your multitasking skills.

General Gameplay Tips

Release the zombies early. Don't wait for the plague to spread too far before invading a country with zombies, or countries will prepare before you have a chance to get a foothold. This is doubly true if you pick up Paranoia.

Being able to send large armies is very important, especially in the late game. Make sure you pick up Army of the Dead.

Take over countries with large populations as quickly as possible; this will allow you to send large armies to conquer the neighboring countries. Using Crypts in these countries can be very useful, both for taking over quickly and keeping your reserves from starving.

Check the World Map screen frequently - countries that show up as solid, non-blinking red are infected but have no zombies. Make sure to invade these before the neighboring countries starve.

The "zombie bubbles" appear when you have completely destroyed a country with the undead. While it may be tempting to send a zombie army from a nearly-conquered country to a neighboring one, sometimes it may be worthwhile to wait a few days so you can grab the extra DNA and evolve a new symptom. On the other hand, sending zombies early is important for making sure the target country is conquered faster. You'll have to decide what you need more based on the situation.

Lethal symptoms don't do much at first because humans will quickly counteract them with trauma centers, but once you have made about 1% of a country population into zombies the trauma centers will be destroyed, letting the lethality take effect and causing the rest of the country to collapse much faster.

Even if you're not worried about actually being cured, slowing cure research can make the difference between a 3 star ending and a 2 star one. Pick up a level or two of Harrowing at some point if you can spare the DNA.

General Symptom and Transmission Tips

There are a lot of symptoms, so don't expect to evolve them all. They are clustered and color-coded according to their main function.

Purple traits are used to weaken infected humans and leave them vulnerable to zombie attack. You're going to want to pick up as many of these as you can. Not all of them are equal; generally you can identify how effective they are whether they say "slightly" or "severely" in their description. Most purple traits are clustered in the lower-right portion of the Symptoms page. There are also three purple traits on the Transmissions page.

Orange traits are used to fight the cure. Note that not all of these impact the cure in the same way - some, like Paranoia, create a general reduction in research efficiency, but others, like Tinnitus, will only affect cure research coming from countries that have been infected. The latter, however, tend to have more of an impact. Most orange traits are clustered in the upper-right portion of the Symptoms page.

Yellow traits are mainly for getting cheap severity and are nice if you want to boost your early DNA.

Red traits are used for infectivity. The ones in the upper-left (coughing) are generally more infective, but the lower-left (nausea) give bonuses in poor countries and tend to have higher lethality.

The most lethal traits are found on the far left side of the page. In this scenario, lethality will not have much of an impact at first - humans will very quickly set up trauma centers to reduce or even entirely negate lethality in a country. However, once zombies start to spread through a country, they will destroy the hospitals, letting the lethality take effect in full. Picking up lethal traits early will therefore speed up the endgame significantly.

Transmissions are fairly standard - Howling Wind and Tainted Water are your typical arid and humid transmission, while Growths and Blight will impact urban and rural areas and also boost your mutation rate if you're interested in getting free symptoms.

Howling Wind and Tainted Water can also be combined for Dark Mist and Dark Storm, both of which will weaken humans in infected areas. Dark Storm will give you the most infectivity for a single trait, although it may actually be worthwhile to hold back on it, because spreading the disease too quickly may cause humans to start preparing for zombie attack ahead of time.

Frost and Stench are the replacement for Cold and Heat resistance, and Interference will boost your effectiveness in wealthy areas. Frost and Stench can also be combined to give you Mummify, Crystallize, and Embalming, which reduce zombie decay rate in hot, cold, or temperate climates, in addition to boosting your infectivity in those climates.

Special Abilities

Unlike the standard Necroa Virus, you can unleash the zombies at any time you want. The Sacrifice ability will kill one person a day in your starting country, and Awaken will start to reanimate the dead. My advice would be to start the reanimation right around the time your starting country is close to hitting a "critical mass" of infectees. You should aim for the country being mostly infected by the time the zombies are discovered, preventing humans from fighting back.

There are several ability groups, some standard, others not. I'll make note of the main changes.

Command: This is just your standard Zombie Horde ability; it unlocks the paths for larger hordes and faster speeds. However, faster speed abilities (which are kind of useless in the base game, since you can just create the horde right near a country border anyway) will also increase zombie conversion rate, letting you take over countries slightly quicker.

Underwater Travel is a must-have for spreading to new islands. Moving too slowly will actually cause you to lose zombies as you travel overseas. Ghost Ships is nice, though not essential. However, evolving both Ghost Ships and Undead Cavalry will unlock The Wild Hunt, which speeds up country takeover quite a bit.

Undying Vigil and its child traits that are based on it are just for reanimating. This can be handy if you mess up and run out of zombies in a region, and its upgrades can help you conquer a country faster, but if you're staying on top of things you shouldn't need it. I'd advise using your DNA elsewhere if you're aiming for the best ending.

Harrowing replaces Genetic Reshuffle. Instead of simply increasing cure research requirement a set amount, this will cause the cure research required to increase based on the percentage of the world you've killed. You're going to have to keep attacking to fight back! If you're playing well, you shouldn't need it to survive (unless you are playing Brutal and get unlucky with Z Com placement), but it will help increase your score.

Crypts unlocks the ability to create Crypts. Crypts serve two functions: They increase your combat ability in a country, and greatly slow zombie decay rate (though zombies will still decay eventually). You can upgrade either of these qualities two levels.

Plague Bearers lets your zombies carry the plague with them - if they are losing, they will infect people in a country. This is mainly used to infect sealed-off islands and can be extremely useful, although if you've save up your Crypts using them can be more effective.

Special Symptoms

There are three symptoms, all on the far-right side of the Symptoms page, that have special effects later in the game.

  • Despair will trigger mass suicides once zombies start to take over heavily infected countries. It makes taking over much easier.
  • Psychopathy can trigger sabotage in Z Com forts, significantly weakening them. It can also cause countries to re-open their airports, ports and borders, though this isn't particularly useful.
  • Aggression can trigger riots, creating anarchy and destroying cure research, but will also increase the ability of infected countries to fight back.

Where to Use Crypts?

Some things you can do with Crypts include:

  • Invade an uninfected, prepared island that you'd lose to otherwise - send a horde and build a Crypt as soon as they arrive in the new country. This will give you a combat bonus, hopefully enough to take over.
  • Counter Z Com bases. The Citadel trait will allow you to counter all but the most completely prepared bases.
  • Speed up conquest of a country that you'd win eventually.
  • Preserve a country full of zombies while you wait for the plague to spread through neighboring countries. This is most effective for countries with big populations, like China or India, but can also be handy in Europe since the plague spreads slowly there.

Written by indigofenix.