If you’ve been playing this adorable, morbid sim game reminiscent of Stardew Valley, then you’re probably starting to get frustrated with doing all of the small things yourself. Tasks like cutting wood, mining stone and iron, and farming are time-consuming and require a lot of attention; time and attention that you could be devoting to investigating science and magic to try and get back to your own time period.
There’s a solution to this problem: make zombies using the bodies that come into your morgue! As long as you don’t get caught by the Inquisitor, you can have tireless servants gathering materials and tending your farms all day long! But a question remains: how to you make zombies?
Prerequisites: Snake’s Questline
Getting the ability to raise the dead is, aptly, unlocked via the questline given to you by Snake, the mysterious disfigured man who, for some reason, desperately wants to get into the dungeon underneath your house. Before you start on this path, you need to make sure that you have access to the church and have 7 faith available from preaching – you can do this via the Bishop’s Questline. You also need the keeper’s key, which you receive from the Astrologer after bringing him a human skull.
Once you have the necessary materials, enter the tunnels underneath your house and speak with Snake; he’ll be there every night. He’ll ask you for 5 faith and the key to open the gate to the dungeon. To make this key, you need to combine the keeper’s key with two faith at the study table underneath the church.
Congratulations! You’ve now unlocked the dungeon area. What awaits you behind that gate? Your first zombie servant, of course!
Gunter and Your First Zombie
As you explore the dungeon, you’ll come across a zombie chained to the wall; his name is Gunter, and he is directly involved with your new zombie friends. When you speak to him for the first time, he’ll tell you where to find another zombie; he tells you to go north, towards the forest.
Leave the dungeon and travel along the path that leads north from your house. Your new zombie is blocked by two piles of stones in the road; once you’ve gotten those out of your way, you can pick up the zombie (he’s asleep or unconscious, one of the two) and bring him to a workstation to put him to work. (Don’t worry, we’ll talk about what kinds of things zombies can do in a minute.)
So, you now have one zombie friend helping you around the house. But zombies are a lot like potato chips – you can’t stop at just one. So how do you make more? Well, you DO run a morgue, after all.
The first thing you need to get is a Resurrection Table – you can build one of these in your morgue. It takes 4 wooden planks and 4 complex parts to build, so it should be fairly simple at this point in your game. After you’ve got a table, you’ll need to start gathering resources to raise the dead.
Zombies require a material called Zombie Juice to come back to life – this black, suspicious-looking liquid can be created by combining blood and health powder at your alchemy table; there’s no other way to do this, so you might have to wait until later in the game when you have your alchemy stations. Don’t know how to make health powder? You make it by processing vegetable matter in your alchemy mill – Crop waste produces 1 health powder for every unit processed, cabbage produces 2, and pumpkins produce 4. Once you’ve got Zombie Juice, all you need is 10 faith and an available body.
Making Efficient Zombies
While you can make a zombie out of pretty much any corpse that you have lying around, there are some things that you can do to increase your zombies’ “Work Efficiency” stat. This stat is directly related to how many white skulls their body has – they don’t suffer a penalty from red skulls, but the more white skulls they have, the closer they can get to doing tasks as fast as you could do them yourself. For example, if your zombie has 10% efficiency, then they will take 10 seconds to do a task that you could complete in 1 second. The maximum stat that a zombie can obtain is 40%, with 16 white skulls.
To give your zombie as many white skulls as possible, you can modify them in the same ways that you can modify a corpse that you haven’t decided to put to work, on the autopsy table or embalming table. According to the Graveyard Keeper Wiki, the formula for the most efficient zombie is as follows:
- Remove the blood (-1 red skull, +1 white skull) and fat (-1 red skull, +1 white skull)
- Replace the brain, heart, and intestines with +3 white skull variants.
- Keep the flesh and skin.
- Apply a lye injection (+1 red skull, +1 white skull), glue injection (+1 white skull), silver injection (-1 red skull, +1 white skull) and gold injection (-2 red skull, +2 white skull)
Removing the skull and bones won’t affect the quality of your zombies at all, so you can really do what you want with that part.
Jobs for Zombies
Congratulations! You are now capable of resurrecting an army of zombies to complete a wide variety of tasks, leaving your time free for figuring out how to get home. The next question is, what do you need them to do? Zombies can complete almost any menial task in Graveyard Keeper, given the right tools.
Generally, the first job that people set their zombies to is woodcutting. The game even provides a good spot for this; it’s a large tree close to where you found the first zombie that comes with a ready-made timber stockpile and a porter station, where you can set another zombie to take the logs back to your stockpile at home. And voila! An endless supply of wood!
Like we just mentioned, you can assign zombies to move materials from place to place. This is useful, especially when you’re harvesting resources far from your home. You can place porter stations at the mine, quarry, and crate factory.
Mining is yet another monotonous task that you can outsource to your zombie army. The mine can be home to two zombies, who will alternate between mining iron ore and mining coal. Don’t forget to build a stockpile for the ore and a box for the coal so they can store their finds for the porter, who you can set up near the cabin.
You can also set zombies up in your quarry to mine stone and marble for you. This area can accommodate a maximum of 5 zombies: two mining stone and two mining marble, plus one porter moving the spoils back to your house. Again, don’t forget to build a stone stockpile to store the stuff that your porter hasn’t moved yet.
While farming is one of the more involved (and more pleasant) tasks in Graveyard Keeper, you can still outsource the work to your zombies. This area can be made fully autonomous with a little work; zombies will plant seeds, water the plots, and harvest the resulting crops and plant waste. A zombie garden is larger than a normal garden plot and can produce anywhere between 20 and 40 of one crop at one time. Planting requires 24 seeds, but the zombie will recover this after harvesting and plant them again.
Vineyard (Stranger Sins DLC)
The Stranger Sins DLC brought a lot of new stuff into Graveyard Keeper, and one of these new features is your zombies’ burgeoning love for making alcohol. Zombie vineyards work exactly like zombie farms, except for one key difference – you can put a porter station in your vineyard to transport the grapes and hops to the brewery underneath the house.
Winery (Stranger Sins DLC)
Of course, those grapes have to go somewhere, and zombies can help turn your tiny winery into a massive business. A zombie winery can produce 40 red wine at a time, and can be incredibly profitable, especially as you start to produce higher quality wine. Unfortunately, you can only build one winery, and the progress on winemaking tends to be quite slow. Make sure you put your best zombie on the job to maximize efficiency and profits.
Brewery (Stranger Sins DLC)
This station works exactly like the zombie winery does, with 10 beer at a time as a result. It’s not quite as profitable as the winery and involves slightly more ingredients – beer is made with a mixture of wheat and water, while you only need grapes to make wine. It doesn’t mean that it’s not a good investment, though.
Zombies’ brains aren’t exactly up to par with living human’s brains, but you can still get them to write low-quality stories if you set them up with paper at a writing desk. After the stories are produced, you can turn them into notes, farming blue points as you go.
This station automates a later game mechanic that you unlock via the Merchant’s questline. As you complete more quests for him, he will offer to buy crates of materials or crops for roughly 10 silver apiece. You can put a zombie to work making crates and sending them down to the basement of the house via a pulley system. You can then assign a porter to the station under the house to take the crates to the merchant. This is also a really profitable system if you put a little work into it.
While there are a lot of stations that can be specifically built for zombies, don’t forget that they can also be useful for running normal workstations too. If you’ve got a lot of planks to make or iron bars to smelt, then you can place a zombie on the station to get the work done for you. Zombies can use most crafting stations, as well as your alchemy equipment to create potions and ingredients that you already know how to make.
Disposing of Zombies
Make too many zombies? Worried about getting caught by the Inquisition for practising dark magic? Not to worry – you can dispose of your undead friends in many of the same ways that you would dispose of a normal body. You can throw them into the river or bury them in your graveyard if you’ve got the space. Don’t forget to remove as many red skulls as you can before you bury them – while zombies don’t take any penalties from red skulls while working, the skulls still affect the grave in the same way.
And that’s it! You’ve built your zombie empire and can now focus on unravelling the secrets of science and magic that will allow you to escape this timeline.